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ALA Website Advisory Committee Committee

Thank you to everyone who responded and agreed to be a member of a subcommittee. Below are the rosters and charges. The ideal timeline for completion of these projects is Annual 2015. Please coordinate with your subcommittee members to develop a work plan. I am happy to answer questions or meet virtually for any of these subcommittees. 

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Discussion WAC Meeting Reminder for Midwinter 2017

by Sherri Vanyek on Wed, Jan 18, 2017 at 02:16 pm

Our meeting at Midwinter will be on Sunday, January 22, 2017 from 3:00 PM-5:00 PM in Georgia World Convention Center (GWCC) room A408.  We hope to see you there!

Your fellow members have been given a high level update on:

Our meeting at Midwinter will be on Sunday, January 22, 2017 from 3:00 PM-5:00 PM in Georgia World Convention Center (GWCC) room A408.  We hope to see you there!

Your fellow members have been given a high level update on:

  1. eCommerce for Join/Renew/Rejoin/Donate (launched)
  2. ITTS Staffing Issues
  3. New eStore and eLearning eCommerce System
  4. ALA Connect
  5. ALA.ORG Responsive Redesign

The draft WAC agenda for the Atlanta Midwinter 2017 meeting can be found at http://connect.ala.org/node/261809 

The 2017 ITTS Report to WAC can be found at http://connect.ala.org/node/261600  

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Discussion 2017 Midwinter ITTS Report to WAC

by Sherri Vanyek on Fri, Jan 6, 2017 at 02:49 pm

1.0 ALA Web-Related

1.1 eCommerce for Join/Renew/Rejoin/Donate

Approximately 900 members have renewed through the new system.  There have also been around 251 donations. We had a few glitches which have required some fixes and data cleanups.  We have modified all the menu links on the ALA website to point to the new dues & donations eCommerce system.  Menu links on division sites (e.g., Join PLA) are now smart links that add the division into the cart for the user.

1.0 ALA Web-Related

1.1 eCommerce for Join/Renew/Rejoin/Donate

Approximately 900 members have renewed through the new system.  There have also been around 251 donations. We had a few glitches which have required some fixes and data cleanups.  We have modified all the menu links on the ALA website to point to the new dues & donations eCommerce system.  Menu links on division sites (e.g., Join PLA) are now smart links that add the division into the cart for the user.

1.2 New eStore and eLearning Ecommerce System

ALA Publishing decided to accelerate the move from our current fulfillment vendor to another vendor to provide better customer service.  This required some store re-programming of the current store integration for the new vendor.  The new vendor took over on December 12, 2016.  This project became a priority for ITTS to assist Publishing with the integration work.

The eLearning ecommerce project has been moving forward but due to the lack of vendor support for the current online store the new online store project took priority.  We are now looking at launching an integrated store that includes both sites at approximately the same time in 2017.

1.3 Responsive Theme for ALA.ORG and Division Websites

We had to upgrade the infrastructure to the latest technology to be able to rollout the theming on the new sites.  We would like to rollout the new infrastructure to support the rollout of the new theme prior to Midwinter if possible. As Midwinter is fast approaching, we suspect this upgrade will occur afterward.

1.4 Search Engine

We have indexed most of the sites on the new Google Search Appliance (GSA), but we must launch the responsive design prior to the GSA rollout to avoid doing the search engine integration work twice.

1.5 New Generation ALA Connect

We have encountered unanticipated challenges with the new ALA Connect project implementation. We will post a revised timeline after the Midwinter meeting. When we are ready to launch, the current site will be locked down for two weeks to migrate content from the old ALA Connect to the new ALA Connect.  There will be training videos available to members.  More details about the features and the schedules can be found in the ALA Connect post at http://connect.ala.org/node/257398.

1.6 Moodle

This fall we upgraded the Moodle software to 3.0 and then combined our two Moodle courseware sites. Most of the courses have been migrated to the new site.  The site is being used by ALA Publishing, the divisions and other units.

1.7 Accessibility Testing Protocols

ITTS will be evaluating Blackboard Collaborate Ultra in January 2017 to see if it meets our accessibility standards.

1.8 Shibboleth

ITTS is working to install Shibboleth single sign-on software for Digitell and eShow for AASL’s online recordings and National Conference registration systems, respectively.

1.9 Sympa

As part of our email migration, we changed our outbound mail routing for Sympa.  Our monthly minimum of 5,000,0000 messages per month limited our choices.  We selected MailChannels as a relay host. There have been challenges.  Most are caused by a flaw in the MailChannels spam detection system.  They fail to detect a subject on messages, even though all Sympa messages have a subject.  Since they don’t detect a subject, the mail is bounced as spam. A large list (some of ours are over 6,000 subscribers) generates enough false positives that our account is flagged as sending spam, which results in a temporary ban on all email.  After providing detailed log reports to MailChannels, they have confirmed that they are investigating the bug. In the meantime, they have disabled this rule for our account. We have seen a vast improvement in mail delivery since this rule was disabled.  They are still actively investigating the issue.

2.0 Hardware & Software

2.1 Office 365

In early September, we successfully moved our email from our hosted provider to Microsoft to prepare a move to Office 365.  Office 2016 was successfully installed on 350 staff PCs.  The installation was completed on December 8, 2016. We are investigating our next Office 365 steps.

2.2 New Telephone System

ITTS has been meeting with our telecommunications consultant and various vendors to put a RFP together for a new telephone system.

2.3 Filr

We are upgrading staff access to our internal file shares.

2.4 Citrix

We are replacing our Citrix farm with the current version. This will improve external access to some of our applications and stabilize our internal financial system.

3.0 ITTS Organizational Changes

3.1 Staffing

Our new eStore System Project Manager, Steven Pate started December 5th. He is managing the implementation of the new online store, which will include online learning.  We are also searching for a data/business analyst to work with the divisions on member engagement.  We currently have four ITTS staff members taking intermittent family leave for various reasons.  Some of our timelines may have to be adjusted going forward.

3.2 New Proposed Website Advisory Committee (WAC) Title and Charge

The ALA Website Advisory Committee recommends that the charge of the committee be expanded to include all ALA technology services and products, whether used by ALA members, staff, or the public.  They recommend the title be changed to the ALA Information Technology Advisory Committee. Ron Block, Chair of the ALA Website Advisory Committee, and Sherri Vanyek, Director ITTS, will meet with the Committee on Organization (COO) at the ALA Midwinter meeting in Atlanta for approval.

 

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Discussion Fall Virtual WAC Meeting Minutes

by Julianna Kloeppel (staff) on Wed, Dec 14, 2016 at 08:43 am

Minutes from the Fall Virtual WAC meeting

Friday December 9, 2016 2:00 PM EST

Adobe Connect session

Attendees

Ron Block (Chair); Simon Healey (Accessibility Forum Chair); Kelly Sattler (LITA Representative); Sherri Vanyek (Staff); Louise Gruenberg (Staff) ; Julianna Kloeppel (Staff)

 

Minutes from the Fall Virtual WAC meeting

Friday December 9, 2016 2:00 PM EST

Adobe Connect session

Attendees

Ron Block (Chair); Simon Healey (Accessibility Forum Chair); Kelly Sattler (LITA Representative); Sherri Vanyek (Staff); Louise Gruenberg (Staff) ; Julianna Kloeppel (Staff)

 

The meeting recording is available here: http://ala.adobeconnect.com/p56633pibvm/  (Length: 0:30:17)

 

Agenda

1.0 COO form to change scope of committee

2.0 ALA Connect Status

3.0 Report to Exec Board

4.0 Updates on projects

5.0 Midwinter meeting details

 

1.0 Discussion of Document to be on the Committee on Organization’s (COO) Agenda at Midwinter

Document: ALA Website Advisory Committee Title and Charge Change

Goal: Title and scope of committee approval by COO.

Proposed New Title: ALA Information Technology Advisory Committee

 

This request for action from COO refers to the Annual Conference conversation about changing the scope of the committee to broaden it. The new scope would bring attention and participation of members to technology services and products which need it. The hope is to increase communication with and feedback from divisions and other units.

 

Discussion: Kelly Sattler asked about terms of service. The LITA representative to WAC is a chair serving a one year term, but terms of service to the new committee are 2 years. Rob Block said that it is preferred and beneficial to the progress of the committee to have 2 year terms. 2 year terms for division representatives would be appreciated.

 

WAC will provide documentation for the appointing units for term length, expectations, and who might like to serve and be a good fit.

 

2.0 New ALA Connect

New ALA Connect Update- please review this post.

The new ALA Connect is scheduled to launch on February 21st.  We are planning to demo the new site at Midwinter.  We would like to get WAC involved in early testing prior to the launch after the Midwinter demo..  The current site will be locked down for two weeks in order to migrate content from the old ALA Connect to the new ALA Connect.  There will be training video available to members.  More details about the features and the schedules can be found in the ALA Connect post.

 

Discussion: Kelly Sattler asked if old content will be migrated. Sherri Vanyek confirmed that it will be. Test imports are looking good. Ron Block and Sherri Vanyek pointed out the Public vs. Private post changes explained in the report. Best practices for how to manage those new features will be put forward at a later date.

 

3.0 Executive Board Report

Ron and I updated the executive board on ITTS projects at the fall meeting in October.  The ALA executive board agreed that the title and charge name for the committee is a good idea.  Ron and I are meeting at Midwinter with COO to get it approved.

 

Since this fall executive board meeting, ALA Publishing decided to accelerate the move from our current fulfillment vendor to another vendor to provide better customer service for the online store.  This required some store re-programming of the current store integration for the new vendor.  The new vendor is scheduled to take over on next Monday.  This project became a priority for ITTS to assist Publishing with the integration work.

 

4.0 Updates on ALA & ITTS Projects - Sherri Vanyek

4.1 Dues and Donations Ecommerce site

500 members have renewed through the new system.  There have also been around 100 donations. We had a few minor glitches which required some fixes and data cleanup.  I’m happy to report I will be meeting with the ALA Director of Membership Development and the Manager of Member & Customer Service today at 3:30pm to see if we can change all the links on the ALA website to point to the new dues & donations system. It looks very promising. J

 

4.2 Elearning ecommerce

This project has been moving forward but the new online store project has taken priority due to the lack of vendor support for the current online store.  We are now looking at launching the two sites at approximately the same time.

 

4.3 Responsive Theme for ALA.ORG and Division Websites

We had to upgrade the infrastructure to the latest technology to be in a position to rollout the theming on the new sites.  We would like to rollout the new infrastructure to support the rollout of the new theme prior to Midwinter if possible. If not, it will happen after Midwinter

 

Discussion: Kelly Sattler asked about division responsibilities for the new design. Louise Gruenberg explained that divisions have some options for changes and that ITTS is making as many of the changes as possible. It will not be a flip the switch on a live site and then do cleanup. There are development, QA and production sites. Units will have the opportunity to review content and do clean up before content is locked down. ITTS is working with the developer to have the preferred type of dropdowns.

 

4.4 Search Engine

We have indexed the majority of the sites on the new Google Search appliance but we need to launch the responsive design first to avoid doing the integration twice.

 

4.5 Moodle

This fall we upgraded our Moodle courseware software to 3.0. Most of the courses have been migrated to the new single site.  The site is being used by ALA Publishing, the divisions and other units.

 

4.6 Office 365

In early September, we successfully moved our email from our hosted provider to Microsoft to prepare a move to Office 365.  Office 2016 was successfully installed for 350 staff.  This project was completed yesterday.

 

4.7 Staffing

Steven Pate, our new Estore System Project Manager, was hired and started this week. He will be in charge of managing the implementation of the new online store which will include online learning.  We are currently searching for a data analyst/business to work with the divisions on member engagement.  We currently have four ITTS staff members taking intermittent family leave for various reasons.  This means some of our timelines may have to be adjusted going forward.

 

4.8 Update Report

Sherri Vanyek is working on a written report and will make this available to you soon.

 

5.0 Midwinter Meeting Details

Sunday, January 22, 2017 3:00- 5:00 PM

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Discussion Annual 2016 Meeting Minutes

by Sherri Vanyek on Wed, Jul 20, 2016 at 04:51 pm

Minutes from the WAC Meeting at Annual 2016

Sunday, June 26 2016, 3:00 PM-5:00 PM
Orange County Convention Center
(OCCC) Room S321

Attendees:   
Ron Block (Chair), Sherri Vanyek (Staff), Pam Akins (Staff), John DeSantis (rep to Executive Board), Jodie Gambill (LITA), Steven Hofmann (PLA), Elaina Klaic (incoming Intern), Jennifer Peters (Intern), Steven Pryor (Member at Large), Erin Ruston (RUSA), Kelly Sattler (LITA), Gina Seymour (YALSA),  Paula Wiley (ALSC)

Minutes from the WAC Meeting at Annual 2016

Sunday, June 26 2016, 3:00 PM-5:00 PM
Orange County Convention Center
(OCCC) Room S321

Attendees:   
Ron Block (Chair), Sherri Vanyek (Staff), Pam Akins (Staff), John DeSantis (rep to Executive Board), Jodie Gambill (LITA), Steven Hofmann (PLA), Elaina Klaic (incoming Intern), Jennifer Peters (Intern), Steven Pryor (Member at Large), Erin Ruston (RUSA), Kelly Sattler (LITA), Gina Seymour (YALSA),  Paula Wiley (ALSC)

1.0    Update from Executive Board Liaison John DeSantis

Orlando update:

In response to the tragic events, ALA organized some special activities: ribbons to honor the memory of the victims and a Memorial gathering attended by John Lewis.

Conference update:

We have 16,300 registered, smaller amount than San Francisco and Vegas.  It was anticipated that we would have a lower showing for various reasons.

Legislative update:

Dr. Carla Hayden , a former ALA President, is up for an appointment as the new librarian of the Library of Congress. The confirmation hearing is on the calendar but it has not actually scheduled as of yet. We would like this to happen before the July 15th recess.  We don’t expect any opposition or obstacles.

Organization update:

Membership is now at 58,000. It is due primarily to Division and Round Table growth.

Financial update:

ALA Budget is tracking on point since all of the conference expenses are not realized yet.  We are $400K ahead of budget at this point.  The new fiscal year starts September 1st.

Taskforce for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion update:

The taskforce made fifty-eight (58) recommendations, which will be reviewed by a new special taskforce.  There will be more details on the review of the recommendations and which ones will be implemented after annual.

Communication and future of accreditation update:

There are a number of changes and updates to accreditation.  We expect work to be done by November 2016. Among them is that the Library of Congress proposes a change from “illegal aliens” to “non-citizens”

2.0    Administrative

Sherri passed out some screenshots of the new Ecommerce system for Membership Dues and Donations.  The system is scheduled to launch in July 2016.  Final modifications have been applied and testing is underway. There are 128 funds you can donate to which can also be added to your cart.  The new system will accept PayPal as a method of payment.  Sherri announced that we are moving to Outlook Office 365.  She pointed out that Sympa is a major communication channel for us.  ALA sends out approximately six million messages each month.  ITTS had to research other email providers to handle this volume of traffic because our current provider is going away in October.  She mentioned that these projects are a great start of a number of things we have going on that are highlighted in her ITTS report to WAC later in the agenda.

2.1    Today’s Goals

To update WAC on actions of the Executive Board and the ITTS group. To provide opportunity for members to update committee on web-space-related unit news. Please review our committee's charge (below).

2.2    Amendments to Agenda

There were no amendments to the agenda.

2.3    Review/Approval of January 10, 2016 minutes

The minutes were approved.

2.4    Announcements

There were no announcements.

3.0    Reports from WAC Members and Units

Please briefly update WAC on what your unit is doing with its web-space. Please bring up any questions your unit has about its web-space or Connect-space.

Paula Wiley – ALSC
We spent a bit of time figuring out if we had new members available to work on ALSC’s website.  We basically did link checking on the entire site. We are going to break the website up and do a year by year comparison based on traffic to fix the most important links.

Gina Seymour– YALSA
We have done the link checks and we have a number of wikis.  YALSA announced an organizational plan and its websites will reflect the new plan.

Steven Pryor -Member at Large
Participated in the testing of the eCommerce site.  He agreed the new system test scenarios worked well and smoothly and made notes on little things that were posted.  Steven gathered feedback for the scheduler app that he will post to our Connect group. Others added related Scheduler comments and Sherri noted that feedback will be sent to our Cadmium vendor.

Jennifer Peters (Intern)
It is interesting to learn how committees are run. More insight and involvement in the process is needed.

Erin Ruston – RUSA
About a year ago we established a website review task force over concerns about the structure of the website. RUSA is waiting for the new responsive design.  They are hiring a content strategist and also formed a content task force. RUSA wants to develop a learning portal to have one place to find eLearning and webinars.

Jodie Gambill – LITA
LITA installed lots of applications. They did a new multi-site installation of LITA forum, another site for forms, moved their job site, and celebrated their 50 year anniversary.  They did cleanup a lot of their images to make sure they have alt tags, and are waiting on new responsive templates from ALA for the divisions.  Kelly Sattler is the incoming chair (in attendance) with Jodie.

4.0    ITTS Report to WAC

e-Commerce was referenced above, and the ITTS Report to WAC is posted in our Connect space at: http://connect.ala.org/node/254392.  Sherri’s report included an update to ALA Connect, which Pam presented and got feedback to these three questions that were asked of the group:
   - How do you use Connect?
   - What’s on your Wish list (for the new Connect)?
   - What are your Pain points (in the current Connect)?

5.0    Upcoming ALA Initiatives needing input from WAC

We need you to look at our new responsive design, new eLearning ecommerce system, the new ALA Connect and new membership dues and donations ecommerce interface.  We will post the details to our WAC Connect group when we are ready with links and credentials.  WAC was given a heads up that testing and review is coming up for these upgrades.  It was decided that we would talk about the need to standardize the webinar delivery systems (WebEx, Adobe Connect, and GoToMeeting) offered for eLearning at a later date.

5.1    ALA’s New Website Search Engine


We plan to launch the new interface this summer. We have the appliance and new user interfaces in place for many of our websites.  The scope contains our sixty-four microsites and many sites not hosted at ALA.

5.2    Website Responsive Design


We have a new responsive design.  ALA’s responsive design for the main site is scheduled to launch September 6th.   We are working with all of our divisions and other offices to assist as needed for the rollout.  We plan to roll the divisions and offices out between September  2016– December 2016 . We have the staging site up in with an upgraded environment.  We upgraded PHP and simplified the ala.org information architecture, which caused a delay in the implementation.  As soon as we have something for you to test, we will post the URL to our group in ALA Connect and get you involved.

5.3    E-Learning Ecommerce


We have developed the design for the new elearning portal site.  The new design has faceted searching capabilities.  We ran into a few tech issues with the iMIS integration.  There were 54 registration classes and we were able to get that down to 5, which helps to simplify the special pricing rules required for the new ecommerce elearning portal.  A project that we did not anticipate was a new eStore for purchasing publishing and division products .  We had a 3 day discovery meeting in the spring and developed a 35 page document of requirements.  We have been reviewing this with Publishing and other stakeholders to confirm what will be in phase 1 and 2 in order to get a new eStore up and running as soon as possible.  We plan to launch the new eStore in calendar year 2017. 

6.0    Discussion about Changes to the Scope of the Committee Charge


The original reasons why WAC was created have been dealt with for the most part and don’t apply anymore, but our involvement and oversight responsibilities are changing in other ways.  The purview of this group will now be expanded to include not only the website, but all of ALA Information Technology and Telecommunications. The chair (Ron Block)  is collaborating with Sherri Vanyek of ITTS to redefine the committee charge and WAC requirements by Midwinter.  Look for posts in ALA Connect on this topic to provide additional ideas and feedback. Points raised during the discussion included the need for clarification of the participation requirements, the specific responsibilities of committee members for liaising with their member groups, and the need for some type of orientation for new members. A desirable outcome would be an increase in participation, both in-person and at virtual sessions.

7.0    Update on ALA IT External Review from ALA Executive Board Meetings

The URL for the ALA IT External Review is: http://itts.ala.org/news/2016/06/13/ala-external-it-review-report/#sthash.CXNk4xDR.dpuf
We did update the ALA Executive Board on the Membership Dues and Donations, eLearning, and new eStore ecommerce projects.  We also discussed the topic of customization vs standardization.  There has been a discussion about the need to “play by the business rules”.  Sherri mentioned that if a division or office decides to buy a software product not currently be supported by ITTS, there are things that need to be considered such as accessibility requirements.  If you are going to an outside hosting environment or taking payments there are certain standards for security, integration with our iMIS Membership database, and other standards that must be followed.  We need to get ITTS involved sooner so that maintenance fees are included, etc.  We need to ensure software applications and technical requirements guidelines and business rules are followed.  In addition, forming an internal IT Advisory Task Force was recommended in the report. This task force will be formed in September 2016.  ALA is paying more attention to the resource allocations for ITTS in the next budget cycle for fiscal 2018.

Our Charge:

  • To develop, review and recommend to council association policies for the ALA website.
  • To recommend editorial or structural guidelines for the ALA website.
  • To provide advice to the ALA executive director responsible for implementing such policies and guidelines.
  • To provide an ongoing channel for member communication by working closely with other units, committees and offices of the association.
  • To make recommendations concerning technical issues or changes to the ALA website, including evaluating, testing and implementing web-based products and services used by association members or by the public.
  • To advise the association on priorities and strategies that promote utilization and continued development of the ALA website.
     
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Discussion ALA Annual Meeting 2016 Meeting Room Change

by Sherri Vanyek on Mon, Jun 20, 2016 at 02:09 pm

The room changed to Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) S231.  It's correct in the conference scheduler.

ALA Annual Meeting 2016 Agenda

Discussion ALA Annual Meeting 2016 Agenda

by Ron Block on Mon, Jun 20, 2016 at 01:58 pm

Hello all-

Here is the draft agenda, along with our committee charge and meeting date/location. Please review and let me and/or Sherri know if you have any corrections. Thanks and see you all soon!

Hello all-

Here is the draft agenda, along with our committee charge and meeting date/location. Please review and let me and/or Sherri know if you have any corrections. Thanks and see you all soon!

In 7.0 the item refers to the IT External Review report, which is very important to be cure to review and bring comments and questions to the meeting. Here is a link to the report if needed- http://itts.ala.org/news/2016/06/13/ala-external-it-review-report/

WAC Agenda
Please review the following draft agenda. If you have specific items you would like to add, please let me know before Wednesday, June 22. Additionally, please let me know if you are not able to attend the meeting at Annual. If you are unable to attend, please prepare a brief summary (no more than 1 page) of what your unit is doing with its web-space and any web- or Connect-related issues so that I can share that with the group. You can email that to me directly rblock@cuyahogalibrary.org or post it here in the comments.
Our meeting at Annual will be on Sunday, June 26 2016 from 3:00 PM-5:00 PM in Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) *room changed to S321*.
1.0 Update from Executive Board Liaison John DeSantis (10 min)
2.0 Administrative (10 min)
2.1 Today’s Goals
To update WAC on actions of the Executive Board and the ITTS group. To provide opportunity for members to update committee on web-space-related unit news. Please review our committee's charge (below).
2.2 Amendments to Agenda
2.3 Review/Approval of January 10 minutes
2.4 Announcements

3.0 Reports from WAC Members and Units (20 min)
Please be ready to (briefly) update WAC on what your unit is doing with its web-space. Please bring up any questions your unit has about its web-space or Connect-space.
4.0 ITTS Report to WAC (30 min)
5.0 Upcoming ALA Initiatives needing input from WAC (20 min)
5.1 ALA’s New Website Search Engine
5.2 Website Responsive Design
5.3 Elearning Ecommerce
6.0 Discussion about the Scope of the Committee Charge (15 min) 
7.0 Update on ALA IT External Review from ALA Executive Board Meetings (15)
8.0 Other New Business?
________________________________________
Our Charge:
•    To develop, review and recommend to council association policies for the ALA website.
•    To recommend editorial or structural guidelines for the ALA website.
•    To provide advice to the ALA executive director responsible for implementing such policies and guidelines.
•    To provide an ongoing channel for member communication by working closely with other units, committees and offices of the association.
•    To make recommendations concerning technical issues or changes to the ALA website, including evaluating, testing and implementing web-based products and services used by association members or by the public.
•    To advise the association on priorities and strategies that promote utilization and continued development of the ALA website.

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Discussion 2016 Annual Conference ITTS Report to WAC

by Sherri Vanyek on Mon, Jun 13, 2016 at 04:02 pm

1.0   ALA Web-Related

1.1 Ecommerce for Join/Renew/Rejoin/Donate

1.0   ALA Web-Related

1.1 Ecommerce for Join/Renew/Rejoin/Donate

ITTS’ most significant project this year is the development and launching of a new dues and donations ecommerce system.  The system will make the join, renew, rejoin, and donation processes more straightforward for members. Members of the Executive Board, the Website Advisory Committee and ALA staff assisted with user acceptance testing so that we could compile a final list of bugs and requests for interface changes to better support the user experience. Our vendor is close to completing that work so we will be scheduling what we expect to be a final round of testing later this month. If all goes well, we expect to launch in July. ITTS staffers Sherri Vanyek, Tim Smith, Mitch Stein, Stan Kessler and Louise Gruenberg have been dedicating significant time to this project.

1.2 New Estore System

Due to support issues for the existing ALA Publishing estore, this project was moved up from fiscal 2017 so that work could begin this year. The store requirements document developed during three days of discovery sessions with ALA Publishing and ITTS runs to 34 pages. To expedite getting the new store ready, ITTS will begin exploring the possibility of a minimum-viable-product launch with ALA Publishing.

Because work began on the Dues & Donations project and eLearning Portal preceded the store, we are attempting to leverage all appropriate development and integrate whatever we can for a more seamless user experience. Shifting resources to this important project has impacted others, but we expect the new store to launch during calendar year 2017.

1.3 New Ecommerce eLearning Portal

ITTS has had to devote considerable resources to determining the functionalities of the event based web services available for iMIS so that progress on the eLearning portal, the one stop shop for online and small in-person event registrations, could proceed. We’ve been reviewing current ALA systems and processes so that the new site will streamline the user experience and reduce the effort required to create events, process and service registrations. We expect the portal will launch during fiscal 2016 or early 2017.

1.4 New Responsive Design for ALA.org

ITTS is working on the implementation of a responsive redesign for the main ALA website. The new development server required has been created and our vendor has successfully shifted the database onto it and begun planning and/or making updates to things like the version of PHP and code-repository software used.

Once we have a prototype of the ALA.org homepage with the new theme to share, ITTS will be scheduling sessions with division and other stakeholders to share a proposed timeline and discuss the resources required to apply the redesign to each microsite.  The current timeline for ALA.org calls for the homepage redesign and theme changes to occur early in fiscal 2017, with rolling changes to all other microsites happening thereafter, as fast as ITTS and their units can prepare them.

1.5 Search Engine for ALA.org

As reported in the Midwinter ITTS report to WAC, most of ALA.org is now using Google Custom Search to provide search results. However, we have been at work on the configuration of a Google Search Appliance. Testing of the search results for the specialized groupings and microsites has just begun. When results are satisfactory, the current ALA.org search boxes will be changed to point to the search engine.

To improve metadata collection on ALA.org, we have revised all relevant content management system templates to require the addition of metadata. Although not yet implemented on the live site, we’re testing the Drupal Metatag module on our QA site. The Metatag module can be configured with tokens to auto-fill various metadata fields across a number of standards, including Open Graph, Dublin Core and various social media fields. When the Metatag module is implemented on production, ITTS will schedule lunch and learn sessions for staff.

1.6 Next Generation ALA Connect

The following progress is being made on the installation of the New ALA Connect:

Model Site

We have a model site of the new Connect that can nest the Divisions, Round Tables and APA.  Although we suffered a setback waiting for needed changes that Higher Logic applied to their base code (for other clients, not just us) in late April 2016, we have begun initial testing of these capabilities in the new software.

iMIS Sync

With much effort and communication between ITTS and Higher Logic, we now have evidence of a working data sync between the ALA iMIS database and the new Connect test site. The iMIS data was initially synced over Memorial Day weekend.

What does this mean?

  • The team is working to confirm that the database connections accurately display changes made to the iMIS data in the new Connect test site.
  • Now that we can see ALA’s iMIS data in the test site, we can resolve issues and confirm everything is working properly.
  • The sync reveals the need to add iMIS fields for data that was either stored in Drupal, (i.e. profile data) or wasn’t previously captured.
  • As expected, the sync is revealing the need for data cleanup, in iMIS for consistency and usability.

Drupal Import

In addition to data stored in iMIS, the current ALA Connect has content and profile data in Drupal. The planned one-time import from Drupal will need to be timed carefully with the launch.  The team is working with Urban Insight (our Drupal consultant for ALA Connect) on a plan for this migration of data.

RFP for Design

Now that we can see what the microsites look like and how the various features work on them, we need an effective design that  allows users to easily flow between the divisions, ALA Offices, Round Tables, and APA.  The RFP for a consultant to design a usable and efficient interface is in its final stage and will be released in June 2016 to four select vendors with Higher Logic experience..  In the meantime, the team has partnered with ALA Production Services for theming for microsite branding to be deployed across the microsites so members know which site within they are on once they arrive on the new Connect site.

Modified Launch Date

The team hopes to be able to launch the New Connect in late fall 2016, FY 2017.

1.7 Accessibility Testing Protocols

ITTS continues to test the conference registration, program and recording sites for accessibility compliance before site launches. When sites are not in compliance, we work with unit staff and vendors to arrange for mitigation. Because it’s impossible to test with every possible platform, we appreciate receiving feedback about any accessibility issues that members or others experience, and always pass that information along to our vendors.

1.8 Shibboleth

ITTS will be working to install Shibboleth on all the new ecommerce sites before they launch.

1.9 Sympa

The implementation of Office 365 is underway and we’re looking at solutions for routing Sympa outbound email.

2.0 Hardware & Software

2.1 Office 365

ITTS is working on the implementation of Office 365, which provides staff with the ability to access and share files remotely.  The project will be divided into two phases.  The email migration and outbound routing of Sympa list server email will be the first phase and the installation of Microsoft Office products (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) will be installed in the second phase.  The first phase is scheduled to rollout this summer.

2.2 New Blade Servers

We purchased three new blade servers for our internal and external network to retire older blade servers that were about to go unsupported.  These new blade servers are faster and more efficient and will help support our new ecommerce systems and ala.org.

3.0 ITTS Organizational Changes

Julianna Kloeppel joined the ITTS team as our new elearning specialist in January 2016.  She trains staff on new and existing technologies used by ALA staff and members. Julianna  provided eight years of great customer service to members and staff of ALA’s Public Library Association. For PLA, Julianna worked on the awards program, committee appointments, coordination of financials, board and committee coordination, conference meeting scheduling and much more. She is sharing her expertise with iMIS, SharePoint and other ALA software and applications with all of ALA’s staff and member-leaders.

4.0 ALA Strategic Technology Directions Report

ITTS continues to work on priority projects outlined in the ALA Strategic Technology Directions Update: 2016-2017 report and a majority of the items outlined in the External IT Review Report.

Please let us know if you have questions about any of these items.  

 

 

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Discussion Midwinter 2016 Meeting Minutes

by Sherri Vanyek on Mon, Feb 15, 2016 at 08:34 am

ALA Website Advisory Committee

Draft Midwinter Meeting Minutes
January 10, 2016

3:00 PM-5:00 PM in Boston Convention & Exhibition Center 

 

Attendees

Ron Block
Rob Banks
Nancy Bolt
Erin Boyd
Simon Healey
Steven Hoffman
Jennifer Peters
Steven Pryor
Gina Seymour
Sherri Vanyek
Paula Willey
Pam Akins

ALA Website Advisory Committee

Draft Midwinter Meeting Minutes
January 10, 2016

3:00 PM-5:00 PM in Boston Convention & Exhibition Center 

 

Attendees

Ron Block
Rob Banks
Nancy Bolt
Erin Boyd
Simon Healey
Steven Hoffman
Jennifer Peters
Steven Pryor
Gina Seymour
Sherri Vanyek
Paula Willey
Pam Akins

1.0 Update from Executive Board Liaison Rob Banks (20 min)

The Executive Board talking points can be found at http://connect.ala.org/node/248949.

Membership is up and we are excited about it. Conference numbers are up—slightly higher than Chicago.

Libraries Transform is a big deal.  It’s important to get everybody involved in the campaign. We are more than just books, and a lot of the public don’t see that, so we need to educate the public as to what the 21st Century Library is.  Please visit the website, download posters, badges, and such, and if you do anything in your libraries, please share it with us.

Some folks tweeted what they were doing and got a huge response. They were very excited.

Rob asked if there were any questions from the group to take to the Executive Board. Simon mentioned accessibility at the conference and on our websites is very important.  Sherri mentioned additional funds for ITTS staffing are needed.

2.0 Administrative (10 min)

Please be ready to (briefly) update WAC on what your unit is doing with its web-space. Please bring up any questions your unit has about its web-space or Connect-space.

 

2.1 Today’s Goals

To update WAC on actions of the Executive Board and the ITTS group. To provide an opportunity for members to update committee on web-space-related unit news. Please review our committee's charge (below).

2.2 Amendments to Agenda

No amendments to the agenda

2.3 Review/Approval of June 28 minutes

The minutes were approved.

2.4 Announcements

No announcements

3.0 Reports from WAC Members and Units (20 min)

ALCTS hired Brooke Morris and is re-evaluating some of the pages on their website.

YALSA has no new updates on their website but has made changes to their wikis.

ALSC is struggling to keep their website up-to-date due to staff capacity.  They did check all of their links on their website with a goal to look at accessibility issues.

Steven Pryor said he is a member at large and doesn’t represent a specific group. Ron said that Steven could review documents and reports for the group.

Jennifer Peters said she is here to serve and will continue to be our intern.

Simon Healey said there is major resolution coming from ASCLA dealing with the accessibility of conference websites, and other services. He said ITTS has done a terrific job continuing to help keep accessibility issues at conference and on ALA’s websites front and center. He mentioned ASCLA is thinking about a strategic goal planning for thinking of areas to focus on such as eBooks, digital presentation, and eMusic content. He said GODORT does most of its work on its wiki and all of its standing chairs and committees keep the wiki up-to-date.  He said GODORT is going through a major reorganization of their content and are concerned about resources  needed to maintain their wiki going forward.

ASCLA mentioned they have been looking at their website for the last two years and have focused on two categories: Resources and Professional Tools.  They found several broken links and content that was not relevant.  They have assigned an interest group to help them work on these areas.  However, the interest group expressed that they do not want the responsibility for the content.  They took this issue to their Executive Board to get more resources to update their website which included accessibility initiatives with a goal to get it done by June 2016.

4.0 ITTS Report to WAC (30 min)

Sherri reported ALA’s Information Technology & Telecommunication Services (ITTS) revised the timelines in the ALA Strategic Technology Directions Update: 2016-2017 report and added three more sections (10: Library Catalog, 11: Awards & Grants Database, and 12: Institutional Repository (ALAIR)).

 

Highlights from the report included:

Ecommerce System for Membership Dues and Donations          

ITTS’ most significant project this year is the development of a new ecommerce system with phase one to launch early in 2016, and phase two later in the year. The system will make the join, renew, rejoin, and donation processes more straight forward for members.

 

Phase II contains functionalities that don’t exist in the current system by the end of calendar 2016.

  • Will include continuing and life members to renew their divisions online.

  • Student chapter selections.

  • Corporate memberships

  • Auto-renewal

  • Pledges

     

    Ecommerce System for eLearning (small f2f events, courses, webinars)              

    ITTS is working with ALA’s Director of Marketing Mary Mackay, project manager Ian Lashbrook, Liz Catalano from Member and Customer Service and our eCommerce vendor to plan and implement the ALA eLearning portal, the one stop shop for online and small in-person event registrations. We’ve been reviewing current ALA systems and processes so that the new site will streamline the user experience and reduce the effort required to process and service registrations. We are currently reviewing and approving design comps. We expect the portal will launch during fiscal 2016.

     

    ALA Connect                                                                                                                     

    The project for the new ALA Connect powered by Higher Logic is underway.  The Higher Logic development team is currently reviewing the ALA tagging hierarchy as a critical part of the integration.  Higher Logic had to do additional coding to make the microsites work for our divisions and the stakeholder group will start meeting again in February.  The expected launch date is targeted for spring 2016. After lengthy consideration, the stakeholder group decided that the name of the new system will remain ALA Connect.

     

    Launch Responsive Design for the ala.org and division websites                                                             

    ITTS is working in the implementation of a responsive redesign for the main ALA website and its division websites. The design will provide a new homepage layout for ALA and its divisions, and apply the responsive redesign to all site pages.

    Accessibility                                                             

    We continue to incorporate accessibility into all of ALA's digital work, including training on adding metadata and using the Accessibility checker in Microsoft Word.  Sherri will get the final resolution being proposed by ASCLA and post it to our Connect Space. 

5.0 ALA Initiatives needing input from WAC  (20 min)

5.1 ALA Website Search Engine

As of 12/14/2015, most of ALA.org is now using Google Custom Search to provide search results. Google Custom Search is a free service that searches all ALA resources and displays the results on our site. Thus it automatically provides federated search of far flung ALA resources that incorporate ala.org in their domain name, such as public portions of connect.ala.org, and ALA blogs and wikis.

ALA’s American Association of School Librarians elected to join the experiment to evaluate Google Custom Search, while the rest of ALA’s divisions chose to retain Apache Solr for the time being. This allows us to compare and contrast search results from the two systems while we are working with our search consultants to develop a strategic plan for ALA enterprise search that will be available in January. Future plans already include a revision of all content management system templates to require the addition of metadata. We’re also exploring ways to add metadata to downloadable files. We expect that there will be a staff training initiative in the development of quality metadata.

The search engine recommendation report suggests three phases of implementation. There will be budget implications.

5.2 Ecommerce for Membership Dues and Donations

This system will make it easier for members to join, renew or donate. It also has a recommendation engine.  We are about to enter final user acceptance testing. We need volunteers to participate in the user acceptance testing. If you’re interested, please contact svanyek@ala.org or post to the ALA Connect site.

5.3 Revised Website Responsive Design

The new design comp for the ala.org redesign has been posted our connect community. Please review and provide feedback in ALA Connect. ITTS is also working with the divisions to develop a responsive design for their sites.

6.0 ITTS Projected Timeline for FY2016 Technology Projects (15 min)

The projected timeline was reviewed

7.0 Other New Business?

Pamela Akins will manage the new ALA Connect integration as the new ITTS Community Engagement Specialist.

Julianna Kloeppel is the new ITTS eLearning Specialist.

________________________________________

Our Charge:

•    To develop, review and recommend to council association policies for the ALA website.

•    To recommend editorial or structural guidelines for the ALA website.

•    To provide advice to the ALA executive director responsible for implementing such policies and guidelines.

•    To provide an ongoing channel for member communication by working closely with other units, committees and offices of the association.

•    To make recommendations concerning technical issues or changes to the ALA website, including evaluating, testing and implementing web-based products and services used by association members or by the public.

•    To advise the association on priorities and strategies that promotes utilization and continued development of the ALA website.

- See more at: http://connect.ala.org/node/248238#sthash.gY6GqDtf.dpuf

 

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Discussion Draft Agenda for ALAMW Meeting

by Ron Block on Tue, Dec 29, 2015 at 02:37 pm

Please review the following draft agenda. If you have specific items you would like to add, please let me know before Monday, January 4. Additionally, please let me know if you are not able to attend the meeting at Midwinter. If you are unable to attend, please prepare a brief summary (no more than 1 page) of what your unit is doing with its web-space and any web- or Connect-related issues so that I can share that with the group.

Please review the following draft agenda. If you have specific items you would like to add, please let me know before Monday, January 4. Additionally, please let me know if you are not able to attend the meeting at Midwinter. If you are unable to attend, please prepare a brief summary (no more than 1 page) of what your unit is doing with its web-space and any web- or Connect-related issues so that I can share that with the group. You can email that to me directly rblock@cuyahogalibrary.org or post it here in the comments.

Our meeting at Midwinter will be on January 10, 2016 from 3:00 PM-5:00 PM in Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) room 152. Following our meeting, Sherri and I have been asked to meet with the ALA Executive Board, so I'd like to make sure we are prepared.

1.0 Update from Executive Board Liaison Rob Banks (20 min)

2.0 Administrative (10 min)

2.1 Today’s Goals
To update WAC on actions of the Executive Board and the ITTS group. To provide opportunity for members to update committee on web-space-related unit news. Please review our committee's charge (below).
2.2 Amendments to Agenda
2.3 Review/Approval of June 28 minutes
2.4 Announcements

3.0 Reports from WAC Members and Units (20 min)

Please be ready to (briefly) update WAC on what your unit is doing with its web-space. Please bring up any questions your unit has about its web-space or Connect-space.

4.0 ITTS Report to WAC (30 min)

5.0 ALA Initiatives needing input from WAC (20 min)

5.1 ALA Website Search Engine
5.2 Ecommerce for Membership Dues and Donations
5.3 Revised Website Responsive Design

6.0 ITTS Projected Timeline for FY2016 Technology Projects (15 min) 

7.0 Other New Business?
________________________________________
Our Charge:
•    To develop, review and recommend to council association policies for the ALA website.
•    To recommend editorial or structural guidelines for the ALA website.
•    To provide advice to the ALA executive director responsible for implementing such policies and guidelines.
•    To provide an ongoing channel for member communication by working closely with other units, committees and offices of the association.
•    To make recommendations concerning technical issues or changes to the ALA website, including evaluating, testing and implementing web-based products and services used by association members or by the public.
•    To advise the association on priorities and strategies that promote utilization and continued development of the ALA website.

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Discussion 2016 Midwinter ITTS Report to WAC

by Sherri Vanyek on Tue, Dec 29, 2015 at 02:15 pm

1.0   ALA Web-Related

1.1 Ecommerce for Join/Renew/Rejoin/Donate

1.0   ALA Web-Related

1.1 Ecommerce for Join/Renew/Rejoin/Donate

ITTS’ most significant project this year is the development of a new ecommerce system with phase one to launch early in 2016, and phase two later in the year. The system will make the join, renew, rejoin, and donation processes more straight forward for members. Significant changes were made to iMIS, our membership management database to make it possible for the new system to use web services to transfer information to and from iMIS. ITTS staffers Sherri Vanyek, Tim Smith, Mitch Stein, Stan Kessler, Rob Berquist and Louise Gruenberg have been dedicating significant time to this project, working with our vendor for Drupal Commerce, the underlying ecommerce system that is being configured for ALA. ITTS is involved in almost daily tests of the 997 pricing rules that effect membership transactions as we work to launch a bug-free, user and mobile friendly system.

1.2 Search Engine for ALA.org

As of 12/14/2015, most of ALA.org is now using Google Custom Search to provide search results. Google Custom Search is a free service that searches all ALA resources and displays the results on our site. Thus it automatically provides federated search of far flung ALA resources, such as public portions of connect.ala.org, the Midwinter and Annual Conference websites, and ALA blogs and wikis.

ALA’s American Association of School Librarians elected to join the experiment to evaluate Google Custom Search, while the rest of ALA’s divisions chose to retain Apache Solr for the time being. This allows us to compare and contrast search results from the two systems while we are working with our search consultants to develop a strategic plan for ALA enterprise search that will be available in January. Future plans already include a revision of all content management system templates to require the addition of metadata. We’re also exploring ways to add metadata to downloadable files. We expect that there will be a staff training initiative in the development of quality metadata.

As a non-profit, ALA is able to use the ad free version of Google Custom Search, but sites using the search must retain Google’s branding, visible in the search box and at the bottom of the results page.

We encourage our site visitors to help us evaluate the two different systems as we work toward a plan to improve enterprise search. After 12/15/2015, please take five minutes to provide feedback at http://www.ala.org/support/search-feedback.

Here are a few examples of common searches and the results retrieved using Google:
Google: http://www.ala.org/search-results?as_q=american%20library%20association%20code%20of%20ethics

Google: http://www.ala.org/search-results?as_q=executive%20board.

1.3 New Responsive Design for ALA.org

ITTS is working in the implementation of a responsive redesign for the main ALA website, ala.org. The design will provide a new homepage layout for ALA and the divisions, and apply the responsive redesign to all site pages. ITTS is currently working with division stakeholders to develop the proposed division version of the redesign. We expect to have the division version available for review after Midwinter Meeting.

1.4 New Ecommerce Elearning Portal

ITTS is working with ALA’s Director of Marketing Mary Mackay, project manager Ian Lashbrook, Liz Catalano from Member and Customer Service and our eCommerce vendor to plan and implement the ALA eLearning portal, the one stop shop for online and small in-person event registrations. We’ve been reviewing current ALA systems and processes so that the new site will streamline the user experience and reduce the effort required to process and service registrations. We are currently reviewing and approving design comps. We expect the portal will launch during fiscal 2016.

1.5 Next Generation ALA Connect

The project for the new ALA Connect, powered by Higher Logic is underway.  The Higher Logic development team is currently reviewing the ALA tagging hierarchy as a critical part of the integration.  Launch is targeted for Spring 2016. After lengthy consideration, the stakeholder group decided that the name of the new system will remain ALA Connect.  Divisions interested in becoming an early adopter or part of the pilot group should contact Pamela Akins, Community Engagement Specialist at pakins@ala.org.

1.6 Accessibility Testing Protocols

ITTS continues to test the conference registration, program and recording sites for accessibility compliance before site launches. This year we also tested the new Programming Librarian and the ACRL Conference site.

When sites are not in compliance, we work with unit staff and vendors to arrange for mitigation. Because it’s impossible to test with every possible platform, we appreciate receiving feedback about any accessibility issues that members or others experience, and always pass that information along to our vendors.

1.7 New Conference Scheduler

ALA Conference Services launched the new conference scheduler for Midwinter 2016.  They are collecting feedback and will continue to make improvements over time.

1.8 Shibboleth

ITTS worked with our new eCommerce, Joblist, and Online Journal vendors to get Shibboleth single sign-on working in their respective systems.

1.9 Sympa

Sympa was upgraded to the latest version. The system is faster, more reliable, and has a more usable and modern interface.  New features have reduced spam and improved mail throughput.

1.10 New Estore System

ITTS is working with ALA Publishing on the implementation for a new estore system to sell books, ebooks, webinars, posters, and more. 

2.0 ITTS Organizational Changes

As of October 19th, Pam Akins was promoted from ALA’s eLearning Specialist after three years of service to ALA’s New Community Engagement Specialist. Pam’s overall responsibility is to provide direct support and management for ALA’s new online community platform.  This platform will be used by ALA and its divisions to manage committee volunteer work, provide networking opportunities, and association engagement and collaboration for our members and potential members. This position will help guide all communities through a unique journey for improved engagement and collaboration.  

Pam Akins’ promotion to Community Engagement Specialist left an opening for an eLearning Specialist. We are pleased to announce that Julianna Kloeppel, who provided eight years of great customer service to members and staff of ALA’s Public Library Association, will be joining ITTS on January 18th. For PLA, Julianna worked on the awards program, committee appointments, coordination of financials, board and committee coordination, conference meeting scheduling and much more. She will now be able to share her expertise with iMIS, SharePoint and other ALA software and applications with all of ALA’s staff and member-leaders.

3.0 ALA Strategic Technology Directions Report

ITTS has revised the timelines in the ALA Strategic Technology Directions Update: 2016-2017 report and added three more sections (10: Library Catalog, 11: Awards & Grants Database, and 12: Institutional Repository (ALAIR)). This is the version that will be referred to at the ALA Midwinter meeting.

Please let us know if you have questions about any of these items.   

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Consists of 15 members, with the chair appointed annually by the appointing officer from the membership of the Website Advisory Committee.

Learn more about the WAC on the ALA website.

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