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David Isaak's picture

GLBTRT Web Committee Report - 2010 Midwinter

The Website Committee recently finished a large update/conversion/migration process to:

  1. rework our existing ALA space and

  2. migrate all our content hosted on Keith Trimmer's work server over into our ALA domain

Keith was the RT's web committee (literally!) for many years and we thank him so much for all his support of the round table in terms of time, effort and monetary donations.

Our Guiding Questions:

  • What can be done to help non-members understand what the RT does?
  • What can be down to promote interest and entice people to join?
  • What can be down to create clear pathways to membership?
    • structure the site to express the RT's 'parts' and add new pages
  • What must be done to our code to bring it in line with accessibility standards?
    • lots of processing (removing formatting code and only using valid xhtml
    • applying consistent document structure with h1, h2, h3, p, for headings, paragraphs, etc.

Our Process:

  • We've restructured the site architecture to better express the 'parts' of our organization (nav bars, nests of pages).
  • We've mass-processed (using plain text editors and simple python text manipulation tools) tens of thousands of lines of code to make the markup code closer to standards compliant, valid xhtml.
    •  benefits of this processing:
      • our site is closely aligned with accessibility standards
      • migration to a future system will be very smooth and will require very little coding
      • our pages will transform smoothly for mobile devices
      • we can use CSS
  • We're using CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) to better space/indent generally articulate document structure of large documents such as our Bylaws.  (we're also committed to maintaining previous versions of our Bylaws, see the bottom of that page.)
  • We've added two nifty web forms (Committee volunteer & 40th Anniversary T-Shirt Sale Form)  Emails are coming soon about volunteering and our sale!
  • We're using the "right rail" on the home page to highlight current events and activities of the RT.
  • We're working on a Newsletter project to index past Newsletters as well as reprocess all of them so their contents are structured for accessibility purposes and be indexed by search engine crawlers.
  • We did a soft roll out of a Twitter account - we're sticking with it, keeping it vital.  Come follow at www.twitter.com/glbtrt
  • We're assessing other web 2.0 sites and considering scaling our web presence more broadly.
  • We've added a 40th Anniversary section to our site - more is coming to that space soon. Watch that space or our twitter account for updates and information.
  • The Committees page is meant to clarify our committees in one fast glance.  Note the web form link to volunteer.  (Most of the information on the Committee page is in our Bylaws but that document and it's language can be intimidating to newbies.)
  • Our Contacts page is being updated and lists all our committed volunteers and their contact information.
  • We've been experimenting with the Events & Meetings section.  Maintaining updated schedules and experimenting with embedded google map links to conference and meeting locations.  (A GLBTRT master calendar embed that you can sync with your person eCalendars is coming soon.)
  • Our new Fundraising page gives our Fundraising committee a home to express funding/support options to the organization as well as clear pathways to give money.  (Content here is coming soon)
  • Our Initiatives and Project page lists off all our ongoing work, short term projects and will list our future projects.
  • Our Membership page is meant to attract new members and provide a clear path to people and committees.
  • We've been maintaining our News page and will continue to do so.
  • We've done a complete migration from Keith's server to our domain of all the resources on the Popular Resources page.  This page will be restructured soon and we hope to add new Tool Kits soon.
  • Our own Rainbow Project has its official home in the GLBTRT space with its own nest of pages to express its work.
  • Our Social Networking page (antique name I know) lists our email lists as well as our other web 2.0 sites.
  • The Stonewall pages have gotten a revamp as well to bring them into consistent formatting with the rest of the site and remove extraneous code.
  • We've added a contact email for the website committee to the bottom of each page on our website.  Use that email address to note any problems you see with the site.  (We couldn't get an ala.org email account as they are transitioning to a new system and don't want to start more accounts)

Nothing is perfect and this site will never be but we promise to do our best.

Let us know your ideas, suggestions, comments, etc. off list at glbtrt@gmail.com


David S. Vess
Amy Hribar
Gayle Keresey
Sara Marcus

David S. Vess (GLBTRT Website Committee Chair)
Visiting IMLS Portal Librarian &
Visiting Assistant Professor of Library Administration
Grainger Engineering Library Information Center
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
1301 West Springfield Avenue, 158
Urbana, Illinois 61801