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Web > Web Committee Notes, 01 June 2010

Web Committee Notes, 01 June 2010

Web Committee Notes, 01 June 2010

Present: Dana Craig, William Denton (chair), Angela Hamilton, Linda Hansen, Nisa Lawson (secretary), Aaron Lupton, Mark Robertson, Anna St. Onge, Louis St-Amour, Robert Thompson.

Regrets: Walter Giesbrecht, Sarah Coysh, Tim Knight.

Notes from previous meeting

The notes from 04 May 2010 were approved.

Business arising

  • Changes to the home page: W Denton and R Thompson discussed, and will further discuss, a development area for home page changes.
  • Subject guides: S Coysh will give an update about these at the next meeting.
  • Mobile-friendly home page: R Thompson understood that one intent of trying VuFind’s mobile theme would be how we could use it for the whole library mobile web site.

    ACTION: R Thompson to report back when VuFind’s mobile theme is up; then discussion of if and how it can be used for a mobile home page.

Other web-related news and updates

  • RSS feeds of new titles were updated to point to VuFind.

    ACTION: W Denton to add a link to this under Catalogue in the red navigation bar.

    ACTION: W Denton to update the new titles page to use VuFind-generated new titles listings, when VuFind’s RSS feeds problems are fixed. (They will not include YorkSpace and OJS additions, unless a date-catalogued field is added, but neither do the Unicorn-generated lists.)
  • There was little comment on the Feedback forums this month, aside from one of the regular and very active commenters.
  • The committee looked at the home page feature schedule, which is planned out for many weeks ahead. M Robertson distributed a graphic Christina Pringi had created to promote Planet York.
  • There was discussion of YUL getting involved in Doors Open next year.
  • R Thompson reported on a new version of SFX, version 4. It is currently going through the trial period. A Lupton and R Thompson will be looking further into this. Questions and suggestions from the group may go to A Lupton and R Thompson.


  • VuFind version 2 was released on 25 May 2010.
  • A Hamilton has been in contact with Laura Walton regarding a Sony eBook glitch. She reported no link to the record which has been fixed since it had been spotted.
  • RefWorks exports, and other problems, are being worked on.

Assessment update

A Lupton reported on web analytics and usage statistics, modeled after What We Did and Didn’t Learn from Google Analytics, by U Windsor’s Mita Williams. A Lupton went through site usage and how it’s used. There was a discussion on bounce rates, unique visitors, and traffic sources. There was clarification of what organic search results are.

What are people looking at? The home page (which is to be expected) and Passport York login were listed as the highest used.

W Denton suggested using the Passport York login process to promote resources or make announcements: it is a captive audience, and we could show a banner ad.

ACTION: W Denton will ask Tuan Nguyen why we can’t have the Passport York login on the homepage.

What are people are researching with JSTOR, Factiva, PsycINFO, etc.? A St. Onge said this could have uses to anticipate levels of usage at certain times of the year.

A Lupton asked what do we want to track, what should be tracked? There was much discussion about what we can track from now on compared to what use we can make of the historical data in Google Analytics that has been accumulating for over a year. Should we track the top 10, top 25, top 50 in certain categories? All of the data is in Google Analytics, so do we need to pull it out into a spreadsheet?

We know, from the data we have, a lot about how people use the site. Instead of tracking the most popular pages or commonly-used browsers from now on, can we instead dig into the data to find answers to particular detailed problems?

With the ClickHeat heatmaps, it was agreed that saving them month by month would be good for future reference. They could be animated into a flipbook.

ACTION: W Denton to ask T Nguyen how long the ClickHeat data is stored.

ACTION: A Lupton to send out e-mail with examples of what we can track, and ask what people are particularly interested in.

It may be most productive to have a workshop so that anyone interested in Google Analytics or who has particular questions about some aspect of the web site can have the time to dig into the system to find the answer.


M Robertson presented a draft document showing how YUL will summarize and report on the known problems coming out of LibQUAL. There will be a forum next week, to which all YUL people should come, that will lead to the development of a full plan, listing what concerns are, how we’re going to fix them, who is going to do it, when it will be done, and how we’ll know we’ve been successful.

At M Robertson’s suggestion, discussion was postponed to the next meeting, after the LibQUAL workshop, when we will know more about what recommendations were made and what should be acted on.

ACTION: Add LibQUAL planning to the agenda for the next meeting.


The meeting adjourned at 4 pm.

The next meeting will be on Tuesday 06 July 2010, at 2 PM in the SMIL Screening Room.

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