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Web > Web Commitee Notes, 03 April 2012

Web Commitee Notes, 03 April 2012

Present: Timothy Bristow, Catherine Davidson, William Denton (chair), Andrea Kosavic, Walter Giesbrecht, Maggie Reid (A Kosavic’s practicum student), Robert Thompson.

Regrets: Mark Robertson, Anna St.Onge

Notes from previous meeting

Notes from 07 February 2012 were approved.

Business arising

Six Weeks of WordPress Workshops is over. Attendance at the first three session (two introductory and one advanced) was good, with about twenty-five people at each, mostly from the various departments on the first floor of Scott. Everyone who might need to edit pages on the web site is now set up with accounts and access and all of the basic knowledge required. W Denton is happy to offer more training where needed, and department heads can get in touch with him to arrange whatever they want.

Site Search link in top navigation bar. We looked at the Google Custom Search Engine and some of the options that are available.

ACTION: W Denton to remove all of the filters except Research Guides, and get the “Search this site” link back in place in the top navigation bar.

New York U template (see Web Style Guide): We are still waiting for UIT to give us the WordPress theme for this.

Learning Commons site has been moved into our main WordPress instance. More work is underway.

bX trial

The test instance of SFX’s bX Scholarly Recommender is up. To see the recommendations, change in a URL to For example:

ACTION: W Denton to talk to Aaron Lupton about finishing the interface and then getting it in place for testing.

Search cues for VuFind stale

The examples used as VuFind search cues (such as jimi hendrix; atwood m*; "freud, sigmund" for Author Keyword) have been unchanged for years. Should they be updated with different examples? Could we keep the examples for Keyword (scholars portal journals; "origin of species"; cubism and Picasso) current and relevant and eye-catching? For example: presidential primaries, occupy movement, Valentine’s Day.

There was absolutely no interest in doing this.

Google Webmaster Tools

Google Webmaster Tools has been activated for our main site, the mobile site, and (which hosts YorkSpace and OJS). We reviewed what it can tell us.

Comments are possible

We can allow commenting on pages if we want: for example, this very page. However, no-one could think of any pages on our site where we would want comments.

Scott Reference/Research and Collections hours on home page

Walter Giesbrecht brought a request from Scott Reference that the research help hours be shown on the home page. The hours for Maps, SMIL and the Archives are shown there, and the Reference department wants its opening hours to be equally visible. There followed a outrageously lengthy discussion which boiled down to three points:

  • The research desk is not a library the way that SMIL, Maps and the Archives are.
  • What if other libraries want their research help hours posted there too? Wouldn’t that make the hours listings too long?
  • The “services” listed as having “various” hours are really only Resource Sharing and Accessibility, and their hours should be shown there too.

ACTION: W Denton to put the Scott research help hours on the www-dev home page. If other branches want their research hours listed as well, we’ll figure out how best to handle it.

Refining and redesigning and improving the web site

The exhausting minutiae of the hours discussion seemed to break down old barriers and liberate us from previous constraints and we had a rich and productive discussion about the web site as a whole. Now that we have WordPress in place we are finally in a position to tackle all of the long-standing problems with the site and with the various fixes we have bolted in place over the years to fix them.

ACTION: T Bristow and W Denton to meet to plan how to improve the design and information architecture of our web site.


The meeting was adjourned at 4 pm.

One Response to “Web Commitee Notes, 03 April 2012”

  1. Louis Charles St-Amour Says:

    “we are finally in a position to tackle all of the long-standing problems with the site” — gasp, like maybe someday I won’t have to click 6 times to renew books? :p Seriously though, let me know if you want my help as a consultant or something. I could pitch in to make an HTML prototype or two, like old times. ;-)

    (And yes, I really posted this just to leave a comment … because, you know, we can now …)

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