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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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Online Doc ITTS Report to WAC, June 2014

by Sherri Vanyek on Tue, Jan 20, 2015 at 04:57 pm

1.0 ALA Web-Related

1.1 ATS Web Services

We acquired a new suite of iMIS web services from Association Technology Solutions (ATS).  We plan to use them to read data from and write data to iMIS on several upcoming projects (e.g. Merged Profiles, replace older web services with conference vendors, etc.).

1.0 ALA Web-Related

1.1 ATS Web Services

We acquired a new suite of iMIS web services from Association Technology Solutions (ATS).  We plan to use them to read data from and write data to iMIS on several upcoming projects (e.g. Merged Profiles, replace older web services with conference vendors, etc.).

1.2 Merged Profile Implementation
We’re still working on a project that will make it possible to merge the profiles from ALA Connect and ala.org into one master profile, available for editing from either location, using Shibboleth for single sign-on. We hope to launch phase one of the new profile system in August.  This project was scheduled to launch earlier, but has experienced delays due to lack of staff resources.

1.3 Solr Integration with ALA Connect

In May, we successfully migrated Connect to using Solr, which means search on the site now covers node content, comments, and files/attachments (pretty much everything). Since search results sets tend to be larger, facets and phrase searching can help reduce the bigger result sets. This fall, we’ll work on federated and faceted search between ALA Connect and ala.org.

1.4 Review of Recent Web Improvements

We’ve greatly improved our development, testing, acceptance, and deployment methodologies by installing new development and quality assurance servers for final testing before changes are sent to the production server.

We regularly perform security updates to various Drupal modules.

We configured the Honeypot module on all the ala.org microsites to provide behind the scenes protection from Spambots.

Several projects for improvements to the listing page and online learning content types are still in-process, but we expect to announce completion before the end of fiscal 2014.

It’s now possible for microsites to have multiple slideshows and feature tabs. Sub-themed areas can have their own look and feel, slides, and Twitter and RSS feeds. This is very useful for special events or other initiatives.

1.5 New Event Management System

ALA is still discussing the simplification of the event management process and exploring options for a new vendor. Conference Services will continue to use the previous company, ActiveEvents, until a new system is selected. We plan to try again to implement a new system in March 2015 for Annual 2016.

1.6 ALA Connect

Several new enhancements will be rolled out before Annual:

  • Solr search integration (as noted in 1.3)
  • Opportunities Exchange - Working with the Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment (HRDR) we’ve added the hundreds of assistantship, grant, internship, and scholarship opportunities in the Financial Assistance for Library & Information Studies (FALIS) Directory. This makes the FALIS data searchable by multiple criteria, and users can get new opportunities that match their interests emailed to them.
  • Meeting Requests - Thanks to David Vess and Veronica Douglas for helping test this feature that lets users poll group members for a meeting date and then create a calendar event from the best option.
  • Email in to Connect groups - As you’ve seen with the WAC group, this feature that allows group members to start a new discussion via email is up and running.
  • Direct links to attachments in notifications - Now when someone attaches a file to a node, there’s a direct link to the file in the email notification.

 

We also spent quite a bit of time trying to replace Online Docs with Etherpad, open source software that’s similar to Google Docs. We did get it working and it works a lot like Google Docs (including live comments in real-time), but in the end we were unable to make it ADA-compliant despite multiple efforts.

This is a good example of how we could make Connect “slicker” and add more “bells and whistles,” but we decline to do this at the expense of accessibility. Therefore, we’ll continue to provide the current Online Docs content type as an accessible alternative to Google Docs.

1.7 Blogs & Wikis

Several blog upgrades have been rolled out, with Wordpress to 3.9.1 being the most recent. We have also started offering blogs on ala.org using the Drupal blog module.

Several wiki upgrades have been performed, with Mediawiki 1.22.7 being the most recent.

1.8 DreamHost

We’ve reviewed the ALA sites hosted by DreamHost, with the goal of reducing our reliance on their services.  We went from over 80 domains to under 30 hosted there due to sites moved in-house or retired.

Moodle and RDAtoolkit continue to be served from DreamHost. There are some wikis still served under the umbrella wikis.ala.org.  Their migration will take several days, so we’re waiting until after Annual Conference when those wikis can be down for a longer period of time. A few blogs remain at DreamHost as users are still migrating data.

Over 30 redirects are currently in place redirecting domain names to the new relocated sites

Five domains continue to use DreamHost for DNS hosting.

Fifteen websites are still using DreamHost, which is where we host sites that are not compatible with our primary site.

One file repository exists on DreamHost to allow users to present downloadable content.

YALSA blogs remain on DreamHost as their footprint remains too large to bring in house.

1.9 Shibboleth

We worked with Experient to enable Shibboleth single sign-on for the ACRL conference registration and are working with Urban Insight to implement it on ALA Connect later this year.

1.10 Sympa Upgrade

A new virtual server has been created and planning has begun for the Sympa migration and upgrade. The upgrade will be complex because of the volume of lists and list archives and the fact that we are several major releases behind in the software.

1.11 iMIS 20 Update

The iMIS 20 upgrade is scheduled for late August. We ran into some difficulties when we tried to integrate the old ecommerce site to work with the new iMIS 20 application.  We have also experienced delays due to resource limits of both staff and our consultants. iMIS 20 is the foundation for the new ecommerce system.

2.0 Working with Stakeholder Groups

We helped create microsite initiatives for American Dream @your library, http://www.ala.org/advocacy/literacy/americandream, Librarians Build Communities http://www.ala.org/groups/lbc and AASL’s Essential Links (still in process, unpublished). Microsite initiatives are part of ALA’s Drupal installation but use a different theme than the standard ALA template.

We also implemented a blog in Drupal for Libraries Transforming Communities, http://www.ala.org/transforminglibraries/libraries-transforming-communities/blog.

2.1 Web Management Group Report

The staff Web Management Group (WMG) is responsible for making the ALA website a 21st century communications and marketing tool. The WMG consults with member groups and convenes staff task forces as needed. Follow the group at http://connect.ala.org/wmg. The WMG has published Strategic Objectives for ALA.org and ALA Website Guidelines, which are available in a new section of the ALA Tech Support Site called Web Strategic Planning Docs. A member or staff login is required to access the documents.

2.2 Social Media

The Social Media Team continues to coordinate ALA’s three primary channels (Facebook, Google Plus, and Twitter). Despite a lack of staff capacity to focus on Google Plus, we have more than 73,000 followers there, and it’s already our largest following by far. Facebook and Twitter continue to grow, and we experiment with Instagram. We’re working on plans to coordinate more efforts with our incoming President, Courtney Young.

The larger Social Media Working Group (SMWG) put together a new “Social Media Best Practices for Live Events” document for staff that will be available on the Support website.

We also want to highlight the new ALA Social Media Channels page on the ALA website. It replaces the old ReadWriteConnect wiki, which had become very out-of-date. This page lists all of the known ALA accounts and hashtags on social media sites. There’s also a form anyone can use to submit an update to keep the information current. The page is easily accessible from the “Related” tab in the ALA website template.

2.3 Reminder
Due to resource limitations, units are being asked to fill out the form at http://www.ala.org/support/res/projectrequest (only available to ALA staff) to have their project request evaluated to determine whether it can be added to the queue.

3.0 2014 Upcoming Projects

Upcoming projects can be found at Technology Roadmap June 2014

4.0 Training Highlights

New Sessions Offered for Staff

  • Informz Email Marketing Service
  • Windows 7 Prep & Preview
  • Changes to Outlook Web Access
  • iMIS Casual Users Intro & Committees Overview
  • Pivot Tables in Excel
  • Print, Autofill & Subtotal in Excel
  • Moodlers Overview

iMIS

  • Trained staff on the new Continuing Education Unit (CEU) tracking system
  • Designed a new iMIS session focusing on Casual user tasks and Committees
  • Partnering with MACS to offer an iMIS summit panel (coming FY 2015):
    • Overview of processes and timing
    • Clarity on basic reports all users should be able to pull.
    • Best Practices for Full users in iMIS

Informz

  • Opt-Outs and Image Wrapping instructions
  • Template conversion: Mail Chimp to Informz

Drupal

  • Drupal Press Releases: Tag team with PIO
  • Since last January (2014):
    • 17 users have received training and been granted rights to edit web pages
      • 13 users used self-paced option
      • 4 attended a live session

Annual Conference Ambassadors Sessions in Adobe Connect

  • Hosted two (2) live sessions for 2014 Annual Conference Ambassadors 
  • Setup in Adobe Connect; recording available after June 30, 2014
  • Presenter: Paul Signorelli

KM/New Hires

  • Recorded General Overview of accessing KM and updating your Staff Directory record
  • Added Section under Outlook for Mobile Configurations of email

5.0 ITTS Organizational Changes

Our Systems Project Manager, Irene Marquez, resigned in May to relocate to Germany.  After some reorganization and the addition of one position for fiscal 2015, we are now looking for two new full-time positions.

The first position will provision and maintain interactions between various ALA systems, assist staff with data extraction projects from the membership and financial databases, and present data in a usable format that meets their requirements.

The second position will have three primary areas of responsibility: ALA’s Association Management Systems and related components (iMIS), our financial system, and database administration. The position components will include, but not be limited to, data integrity, data remediation, data manipulation, and design and implementation of extensions to the Association Management Systems. This position will take a lead role in the maintenance of database servers and database/application interconnectivity, in particular interaction between the SQL databases and web applications. 

6.0 ALA Strategic Technology Directions & Technology Roadmap Report
The ALA Information Technology & Telecommunication Services (ITTS) unit presented the ALA Strategic Technology Directions 2014-2017 to the ALA Executive Board in April 2014.  It provides a good foundation for understanding the role of ITTS within ALA and how technology is implemented to meet the goals of the organization. We will continue to update the roadmap on the ITTS News blog with the latest information on project schedules.

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

 

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Online Doc Minutes from Nov. 19 Virtual Meeting

by John Jackson on Fri, Dec 5, 2014 at 05:48 pm

WAC Members,

Please review these minutes and let me know if any changes need to be made. Special thanks to Erin, Liza, and Sam for pulling these together. - JJ

 

Virtual Meeting Recording: http://ala.adobeconnect.com/p2uhra4ofkk/ 

 

1.0 Introductions - 5 min

Erin Rushton:  RUSA Representative

Brian Auger:  PLA Technology Committee

Betsy Fraser:  ALSC rep and also reports to YALSA

WAC Members,

Please review these minutes and let me know if any changes need to be made. Special thanks to Erin, Liza, and Sam for pulling these together. - JJ

 

Virtual Meeting Recording: http://ala.adobeconnect.com/p2uhra4ofkk/ 

 

1.0 Introductions - 5 min

Erin Rushton:  RUSA Representative

Brian Auger:  PLA Technology Committee

Betsy Fraser:  ALSC rep and also reports to YALSA

Louise Gruenberg:  ALA staff Liaison

Simon Healey:  ASCLA and ASCL Access Assembly

Sherri Vanyek:  Staff Liaison

Margaret Heller:  LITA Rep

Liza Booker:  Intern for WAC

Jenny Levine, ITTS staff

Erin Boyd, ALCTS Representative

 

Today’s Goals

  1. Establish regular online meeting schedule
  2. Establish expectations for online meetings
  3. Discuss how WAC can better improve committee participation and communication
  4. To determine/prioritize WAC projects that can be accomplished by Annual 2015

 

Amendments to agenda

No amendments

 

Discussion of Committee’s Charge 

ALA’s Website Advisory Committee’s charge is as follows:

  • 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.

- See more at: http://connect.ala.org/node/231032

There was a question about how much the committee works with ITTS.  John clarified that the committee has a role in communicating between ITTS and the rest of ALA.  John also reported that WAC serves as an advisory group. 

 

Discussion of Committee Roster

There are open positions on the following group.  John has been working to fill these slots. 

  • AASL
  • Publisher
  • Round Table rep
  • LLAMA (declined)

John asked if there are any areas within ALA that should have representation on WAC.  The following groups were suggested:

  • Round Tables who have a web presence.  
  • Digital Content Working Group
  • GLBTRT
  • IRRT
  • NMRT
  • Various advisory committees to offices that aren't necessarily tied to a division.
  • VRT

 

3.3 Discussion of Virtual Meetings, Schedules, and Goals

Chair's Proposal: (1) That WAC members meet virtually on a regular schedule between Annual and MW (either quarterly or bi-monthly) to discuss ongoing projects and emerging issues. (2) That Annual and MW meetings focus primarily on discussing reports from ITTS and Executive Board rep.

Questions to consider:

  1. Considering the advisory capacity of this committee, how frequently should we meet (if at all) between Annual and MW?  The cons
  2. What should be the goals of these interim virtual meetings?
  3. How much work (and what type) can be accomplished asynchronously?

- See more at: http://connect.ala.org/node/231032

WAC agreed that it should meet bimonthly.  John will set up a poll to find a time that works best for most. 

 

4.0 Discussion of Possible Projects (loose ends from previous meetings) - 20 min

(in no particular order)

  • WAC Orientation Docs: creation of orientation documents for new WAC members that covers things like expectations. 
  • Welcome First-Time Connect Login Page: Creation of welcome messages for (1) first time logins to Connect of members and (2) first time logins to Connect of non-members. WAC began a draft in 2012 but to my knowledge it was never adopted: http://connect.ala.org/node/178590
  • Revising and updating ALA website style guide:http://www.ala.org/support/style
  • Wiki Development and Maintenance: 68 wikis migrated in house. WAC can help assess and develop plan to determine which wikis can be automatically retired. WAC members can poll their constituencies to verify their group’s dependence on the ALA Wiki. If no groups are using the service, the committee may recommend ITTS take this service down. When migrating all LITA groups from Mediawiki to ALA Connect, LITA’s Web Coordinating Committee created a migration guide that includes a schedule and communication templates. It helps members evaluate wiki content to determine what should be preserved in ALA Connect and what can be deleted.
  • Articulating the Value of WAC: We once proposed in 2012 (ever acted upon?) to create email campaign to revitalize WAC by reaching out to our constituencies’ leadership groups. This would also include talking points for committee representatives to use in talking to their communities about the committee.
  • Connect Survey: Helping to interpret Fall 2014 Connect survey responses
  • Action items from Annual 2014 meeting: accessibility of exhibits floor, ALA logo on third party site, accessibility clearinghouse on ALA homepage (EL project)
  • Helping ITTS test new systems: upcoming major changes include the ecommerce system, profile management system, EMS, and elearning portal
  • Connect Toolkit: Develop a model (best practices, supporting docs) for ideal virtual work in ALA Connect by reaching out to constituencies for examples.

- See more at: http://connect.ala.org/node/231032

Jenny reported that Conference Services has a pilot to test iBeacons at the 2015 Midwinter Meeting.  Conference services will work with a company called Bluubeem to pilot iBeacons. If it's successful, they hope to pilot an accessibility project with the company on the exhibit floor in the future. Other projects WAC agreed that were important to continue included:

  • articulating the value of WAC
  • Orientation/value of WAC documents
  • Wiki Project
  • Website style Guide
  • Helping ITS test new systems 

John will review list and identify individuals to possibly work on these projects. 

 

Connect Survey -Jenny

The survey received 477 responses.  Jenny reported that it has been a bit challenging to disseminate the results because the summary of the questions doesn't correlate to what is mentioned in the open comments.  

ITTS also ran some one-on-one usability tests with individuals who had never used Connect before.  The information from these tests will help improve all user’s experience with ALA Connect. 

 

Summary of Projects mentioned

John reiterated that there was definite interest on working on the following projects: 

  • WAC orientation
  • articulating  the value of WAC
  • the wiki maintenance project
  • working on the style guide for websites 

John told members to think about what projects you would like to work on and be able to bring your ideas to the next meeting.

  

Other Possible Projects - Testing 

Louise mentioned that the WAC could help test a new ecommerce system. John added that other systems could be tested including: 

  • a profile management system
  • the EMS
  • the E-learning portal   

John mentioned that the WAC could provide feedback on these new systems. 

Erin B. also mentioned that a new ALCTS Preservation Week website could be shown to WAC around Christmas.

  

Adjournment

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Online Doc Draft 2014 Annual Website Advisory Cmte Agenda and Minutes

by John Jackson on Tue, Nov 11, 2014 at 12:52 am

Sunday, June 29, 2014, 3:00pm to 5:00pm

Las Vegas Convention Center Room: N209

Sunday, June 29, 2014, 3:00pm to 5:00pm

Las Vegas Convention Center Room: N209

1.0 Call to Order and Introductions - Vess 10 min. (3:00)

2.0 Report from and Conversation with WAC Executive Board Liaison – Rob Banks 25 min. (3:10)

  • Conference registration for Las Vegas is ahead of projections.
  • Membership numbers are down but this parallels the decline of library jobs as a result of the recession.  Several divisions and committees, however, have seen an increase in membership.
  • Revenue is down but so are expenses.  There is a Special Presidential Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.  There are some concerns about the Annual 2016 conference in Orlando.  
  • The Workforce Investment Act has been a 10 year project that will help improve funding for libraries.  This bill just passed the Senate.  There is optimism that this bill will also pass the House.  
  • Budget & supporting plans for ITTS:  Money has been set aside to move ITTS projects ahead.  As always, more funding is needed but this is a good start.  Sherri and Jenny have created a ITTS Roadmap which was favorably received by the ALA Board.  There is an understanding that ALA needs to make technology a priority.   
  • Strategic Plan for ALA:  The ITTS plan is a bubble on the strategic plan.  There will be opportunities for ALA members to provide feedback on the strategic plan.  
  • The 2014 Budget is looking healthy.  
  • Aaron Dobbs expressed concerns about the low attendance at the Web Advisory Committee meetings.  

Discussion about ITTS

  • ITTS requested four positions be filled. One position was approved.  ITTS is in serious need of new staff.   ITTS lost two positions a year ago and its been a challenge keeping up with work.  
  • ITTS is not getting enough feedback from members.  This makes it challenging to fix to issues and problems.
  • Simon thanked ITTS for doing a great job staying on top of accessibility issues and for being responsive.  
  • Betsy thanked ITTS for their clear instructions on how to set up committees in ALA Connect.  
  • Courtney shared three suggestions:   
    • It would be helpful to have documentation that describes the relationship between different systems e.g. IMLS database and ALA Connect .  
    • Improve the way to provide feedback/report problems in ALA Connect
    • ITTS could hold focus groups to get feedback on ALA Connect.  It was suggested that someone outside of ITTS could lead the discussions.  David and Robert might try to develop this.  
  • Jenny reported that the new ITTS trainer will be developing webinars and training sessions on ALA Connect.  It was recommended that ALA Connect training should be part of the orientation for new chairs.  
  • There was a discussion about whether WAC would want to consider sponsoring an emerging leader to help with ALA Connect training or see whether there are library students interested in working on this as a project.  

3.0 Committee Business -

3.1 Amendments to agenda

None

 

3.2 Amendments to minutes from Midwinter 2014:

http://connect.ala.org/node/216828 

Minutes were approved.  

 

3.3 Discussion of committee report from Midwinter 2014:

http://connect.ala.org/node/21936

None

 

4.0 Questions about ITTS Report to WAC - Vanyek, Levine 15 min.

ACTION ITEM:  Sherri will collect statistics for Mediawiki.  It was recommended that Sherri collect statistics for a peak time (e.g. before/after conference) and a non-peak time.  This will provide a better sense of how often groups are using Mediawiki.  

It was noted that if the decision is made to retire Mediawiki there will need to be a plan to migrate content off of the wiki.    

David thanked ITTS for their great report.  Additional questions about the report should be posted to ALA COnnect.  

Full report available here: http://connect.ala.org/node/224560

 

5.0 Questions about ITTS Roadmap – Vanyek 15 min

Full roadmap document available here: http://itts.ala.org/news/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/ALA-Technology-Roadmap.pdf

The Roadmap outlines projects ITTS is working on/plans to work for the next four years.  

ITTS is currently accepting projects for 2016.   

David also thanked ITTS for another great report.  Additional questions about the report should be posted to ALA Connect.    

ACTION ITEM:  David will send a call out to the  WAC for feedback about the report.  

 

6.0 Action Item Follow-up from Previous Meetings 20 min.

6.1 Accessibility of ALA Exhibits Floor

The challenge is to make it easier for people with accessibility issues to navigate the exhibits floor.  

Jenny suggested that the project should be referred to LITA.

ACTION ITEM:  David will contact the LITA Coders group to see if this is a project they would be willing to take on.  Simon, Jenny and John will be cc’d on the message.  

 

6.2 Use of ALA Logo on a non-ALA website -- Universal Access: Making Library Resources Accessible to People with Disabilities

The request is to allow a “ALA Approved” logo to appear on the website Universal Access: Making Library Resources Accessible to People with Disabilities.  

ACTION ITEM:  Simon and David will draft a request.  Sherri will then take the request to management for approval.  

 

6.3 Link to Accessibility Clearing house page on ALA Homepage

Simon suggested that this could be a project for an emerging leader.  

ACTION ITEM:  David and Simon will draft a formal request.  

 

7.0 New Committee Business

GODORT has expressed concerns about using ALA Connect for its committee activity. The issue is there are three taskforces and by default every GODORT member is a member of these task forces.  Simon asked whether it was possible for GODORT members to be automatically added to each task force in ALA Connect.  Jenny replied it was possible but that there would be a maintenance issue.  Jenny replied that she could turn on notifications for the division if advised.   

 

8.0 Adjournment (5:00)

 

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Online Doc 2014 MW ALA Web Advisory Committee Report

by David Vess on Mon, Mar 3, 2014 at 08:47 am

Committee Charge

ALA’s Website Advisory Committee’s charge is as follows:

Committee Charge

ALA’s Website Advisory Committee’s charge is as follows:

  • 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.

Charge and roster are located here: http://www.ala.org/groups/committees/ala/ala-webadv

Issues that affect the committee’s work and their implications for the future

ITTS Lacks Sufficient Resources

ALA’s Information Technology & Telecommunication Services Office (ITTS) is under a great financial and staffing strain.  Like library patrons, the Association’s members expect sophisticated web services that come at a high price.  ITTS is responsible for serving all of ALA membership and ALA staff.  The office must also provide a public face of the Association to the world – that responsibility alone is daunting.  The office supports many services.  They deal with everything from the moral and legal obligations of web accessibility to staff technology training.

I urge you all to look over two documents from ITTS.  If you’re pressed for time, look at the Road Map.

    • The ITTS report illustrates that the team accomplished -- with few resources -- since Annual Conference.  ITTS Report to WAC, January 2014: http://connect.ala.org/node/216983 [5 pages]
    • The second document is ITTS’s ALA Technology Roadmap.  The office is under such demand that basic housekeeping work like upgrades are scheduled years out.  The link to the PDF is just under the title of the blog post:  http://itts.ala.org/news/2014/01/16/ala-technology-roadmap/  [9 pages]

ITTS' Lack of Resources and Implications for WAC

Until the Association’s financial situation stabilizes, the committee is limited in what it can ask of ITTS to do.  We can certainly develop and pose projects for ALA’s web presence but they will need to be added to a 4-year queue of projects that consists of many basic housekeeping tasks.
The ALA Website Advisory Committee is struggling to engage committee members.  Given the demands on ITTS, this seems to be a good opportunity to build a stronger committee community.  More about this is noted in item two of the Planned Activities section below.

Accomplishments

At this time, the committee hasn’t undertaken projects other than general communications with ITTS.  We often send out calls for volunteers around the Association when ITTS needs beta-testers for something.

The committee met at the ALA Midwinter Meeting.  We didn’t have a quorum but the meeting was time well spent.  We’ve identified some activities that we can report on at Annual.  I address them in item two of the Planned Activities section below.

Planned activities

Mediawiki Usage Evaluation

The committee requested ITTS pull usage statistics of ALA’s installation of Mediawiki – the technology that powers the ALA Wiki.  Committee members will soon poll their constituencies to verify their group’s dependence on the ALA Wiki.  If no groups are using the service, the committee may recommend ITTS take this service down.  When migrating all LITA groups from Mediawiki to ALA Connect, LITA’s Web Coordinating Committee created a migration guide that includes a schedule and communication templates.  It helps members evaluate wiki content to determine what should be preserved in ALA Connect and what can be deleted.  If we pose taking the service down, we will be able to leverage member-developed resources.

WAC Member Participation

I noted above in the Issues section of this document that most WAC committee members are not participating in the group.  There appears to be confusion about the committee.  This committee is often an add-on to other appointments or staff responsibilities.  There also is some confusion about appointments to the committee. 

Aaron Dobbs (former WAC chair) commented that it was imperative for ALA groups to have representation in WAC so they can share with WAC what their groups are doing and what they need.  More importantly, these representatives need to report back on the important work that ITTS is doing.  WAC and ITTS needs to have support from divisions and committees.

We will soon launch an email campaign in the hopes of revitalizing the group by reaching out to our constituencies’ leadership groups.  This will also include talking points for committee representatives to use in talking to their communities about the committee. 

I think we can build awareness of the committee and also demonstrate the value of participating.  What does it do?  What good is it in our current financial situation?  The committee’s staff liaison is the head of ITTS.  We have a direct line to this important ALA office and we’re not leveraging it. 

Accessibility of Exhibit Halls (Healey)

Simon Healey, Chair of the Accessibility Forum, posed an idea of how to make ALA exhibit halls more accessible for people with visual challenges.  Healey asked if there was some way to use RFID tags to help individuals connect with exhibitors.  A solution to this problem could certainly be used to help all conference attendees locate vendors on mobile devices.  It was suggested that this idea could be posed to the LITA codes project.  David will contact that group to talk about this idea.

Use of ALA Logo on a non-ALA website -- Universal Access: Making Library Resources Accessible to People with Disabilities (Healey)

The website, Universal Access: Making Library Resources Accessible to People with Disabilities https://www.washington.edu/doit/UA/PRESENT/libres.html was created by librarians who are experts on accessibility issues.  The site is housed on the washington.edu domain. Healey requested that the ALA logo be added to the site, though it isn’t an official ALA webpage.  The committee supported the idea.  David will craft a request with Simon to then pas on to Sherri Vanyek, Head of ALA ITTS, who will then take this issue to senior management to see if its possible to add the ALA logo to this website.  

Link to Accessibility Clearing house page on ALA Homepage (Healey)

Simon Healey, Chair of the Accessibility Forum, also requested a link to an accessibility clearinghouse be placed on the ALA website home page.  There are several groups who have a stake in this.  It was noted that getting “real estate” on the homepage could be a challenge.  More about this idea will need to be fleshed out.  The committee will write a letter in support of this request and pass it on to Sherri Vanyek, Head of ALA ITTS.

Interactions with other units within ALA

We have no interactions to report at this time, though we plan on contacting the LITA / ALCTS Library Code Year Interest Group regarding the idea noted in item 3 in the Planned Activities section of this document.  We will also use committee members to reach out to their representative groups to build awareness of the committee as well as the work ITTS does.   This outreach will also emphasize that representatives (committee members) are a crucial link to ITTS.  Ideas and updates should be flowing  back and forth between constituencies and ITTS via our committee members.

Current level of committee members’ involvement (more substantive than an attendance roll)

The ALA Website Advisory Committee is struggling to engage committee members.  As noted above in the Planned Activities section, the committee will soon be brainstorming on how to better articulate the value of WAC.  Some notions about value are already noted in item two of the Planned Activities section of this document.  The committee will also establish a virtual meeting schedule between Midwinter Meetings and Annual Conferences along with and some other general meeting procedures to help us have productive meetings.

Committee self-check on its value and viability (update charge, discontinue committee, consolidate with another, change structure, other observations)

More about this is noted above in item two of Planned Activities section of this document.  This is a uniquely positioned committee that could have tremendous impact on the ALA web presence for our members.  

Other issues of each committee’s own devising

None to report at this time.

Committee Meeting Agendas and Minutes

I noticed on Jim's reporting record document [excel document called Committee report record ongoiong.xlsx] that this committee hasn't turned in reports for some time.  This isn't accurate -- at least I can attest this group has never been dormant.  It's functioned since I started doing web work for GLBTRT in 2009.  The following is a list of WAC meeting minutes and ITTS Reports:

ITTS Reports to WAC:

WAC Minutes & Agendas:

Submitted by,
David S. Vess
ALA Website Advisory Committee Chair
Past-chair of GLBT Round Table

More...

Online Doc 2013 Annual WAC Meeting Minutes

by David Vess on Mon, Mar 3, 2014 at 08:20 am

ALA Web Advisory Committee Meeting Notes
Sunday, June 30 2013, 3 to 5:00 p.m.
McCormick Convention Center Room N134

Comment and request regarding these meeting notes:  

ALA Web Advisory Committee Meeting Notes
Sunday, June 30 2013, 3 to 5:00 p.m.
McCormick Convention Center Room N134

Comment and request regarding these meeting notes:  

  1. The below document started as out agenda but I added my notes to it.  The original agenda without notes is located here: http://connect.ala.org/node/208660 
  2. Look these notes over and add post your amendments.
  3. At the moment, only I (david) have action items.  Share more if you have them in your notes.

1.0 Call to Order and Introductions - Dobbs 10 min. (3:00)

2.0 Report from Executive Board Liaison – Rob Banks 15 min. (3:10)

  • attendance is up, higher than last year
  • Projecting that Las Vegas will be smaller attendance (due to weather, cost, etc)
  • ALA President's Program - Libraries Transform Communities (Maurine Sullivan)
  • Digital Content and Libraries Working Group:
    • Group very active.  The big 6 are working with libraries in some fashion.  Their work is documented here: http://connect.ala.org/node/159669
    • noted the creation of the digi edition of Am. Libraries
  • School Libraries - (ALA President's Program) Right to Libraries. Is a grass routes initiative.  The call to sign up is going around now in ALA membership communication channels.
  • The ALA Leadership Institute meeting took 40 attendees but had over 200 applications

Sherri and Jenny, I have this mysterious note that I'm afraid I've not followed up with.  Do you recall what this pertains to?  ACTION: David V will work with Sherri and Jenny to craft language to share things with the ALA Executive Board. 

Jenny and I checked our notes and found nothing about this ACTION.  Does anyone else remember?

3.0 Committee Business - Dobbs 15 min. (3:25)

  • WAC member role guide
    • membership on this committee, what roles are, are not clear.  People come from various groups and have various levels of direction from their parent groups.

3.0 Questions about ITTS Report to WAC - Vanyek, Levine 15 min. (3:40)

  • Report document is posted here: http://connect.ala.org/node/208409
  • Accessibility Assembly response to ITTS report ASCLA is glad the accessibility of the registration forms will be addressed this summer
  • The assembly notes that ALA digital editions aren't accessible
  • A request from Accessibility Assembly:
    • can an interactive link (an icon) "Learn about Accessibility and Libraries" be added to ALA front pages?  The link will direct users what all ALA groups are doing around accessibility. (Simon mentioned the model Cal state is using for this) The Assembly wants a clearing house of accessibility efforts.  Is this feasible? Hoping to have a right rail pod also.  The request came from the Assembly's Digital Accessibility Subgroup.  
    • ACTION: WAC will ask the web content group (staff) to address this.  They need a note from WAC in support of Simon's idea.
  • Arron mentioned that there's still problems with conference registration.

4.0 WAC Vice-Chair for 2014-15 - Dobbs 5 min (3:55)

5.0 ITTS Project Delays – Vanyek 15 min (4:00)

  • Notes provided on the agenda:
    • profile management software 
    • homepage redesign for ala.org
    • new e-commerce system
    • updated style guide containing best practices for the ALA Website 
    • new abstract/program proposal and meeting request system
    • committee appointment wireframes
    • video training materials on how to maintain the ALA website in Drupal
  • Notes about this item:
    • They merged connect profile with the IMIS database. Wanted to role out in 2012 but there were software issues, and time constraints.
    • Been working on the American Libraries site. (covered in report).
    • Migrated from Drupal 6-7. Had slow down on site, had to stop and address that.
    • Put off home page redesign until 2014. Will have a prototype. Want's WAC to test the prototype.
    • Talked about the conference registration system.  The new event management system is going live. The old system, was hacked to death. The vendor didn't want to work with us more.  Trying to implement e-show. This first phase will be to implement the room submission form. There will be public submissions for public proposals for the system also. Hope to get a speaker database out of this project also.  This is a huge project but they don't have resources. The deadline is for Sept 1.  The goal is to make form easier to use so they can get better data to make it easier to build the schedule.  LITA pushed the process, used their requirements.
    • Drupal sandbox created to have practice space was mentioned.

8.0 Reports from WAC Members & Units - WAC 15 min. (4:30)

  • Notes provided on the agenda:
    • Please be ready to (briefly) tell us what your Unit is doing with its web-space 
    • Please bring up any questions your Unit has about its web-space or connect-space 
    • If you want to report something detailed, please feel free to post it to the WAC Connect Group (or post it publicly in your Unit's Connect-space)
  • Vess mentioned appointment system and intention to still produce case models to go along with an RFP.
  • Vess noted dead links on Support site and will email them to Sherri.
  • Discussion of Drupal Micro Sites:
    • Vess noted there was a document floating around that promoted the adoption of Micro-sites under the ala.org site.  This isn't correct.
    • We need to limit the creation of micro-sites, not promote them.
    • ala.org consists of many micro-sites.  The more added, the slower the whole site will get.
    • Thus, the LITA Top Tech Trends micro-site needs to be a WP blog.
  • ALCTS - New member, (Erin)
  • ACRL IS - use a doc repository model under main IS site (John)
  • YALSA - not hiding lists behind log ins. Migrating to WP blog. (Wendy)
  • Travis - nothing to report (Ascla)
  • RUSA - will be talking to board about her role. (Courtney Greene)

  9.0 Action Items/Other Business Summary - WAC 15 min. (4:45)

  • The following items were noted but have not actions attached to them:
    • ITTS Road Map
    • Connect Road Map

  Adjournment - WAC (5:00)

More...

Online Doc 2014 MW Website Advisory Cmte Agenda and Minutes [DRAFT]

by David Vess on Sun, Mar 2, 2014 at 11:26 am

NB: This document holds the agenda and meeting notes.  These notes will be amended and adopted at the next meeting of the committee.

ALA Website Advisory Committee - Meeting Minutes - 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting – Philadelphia
Sunday, January 26 2014
3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Pennsylvania Convention Center PCC-109 A

NB: This document holds the agenda and meeting notes.  These notes will be amended and adopted at the next meeting of the committee.

ALA Website Advisory Committee - Meeting Minutes - 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting – Philadelphia
Sunday, January 26 2014
3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Pennsylvania Convention Center PCC-109 A

1.0 Call to Order and Introductions - Vess 10 min. (3:00)

Attendees: Erin Boyd, ALCTS Representative; Arron Dobbs, Councilor and Former WAC Chair; Linda Friend, RUSA Representative; Simon Healey, Chair of the Accessibility Forum; Steven Hofmann (PLA); Ruth Newell, United For Libraries Representative; David Vess, WAC chair; Erin Rushton, WAC Intern; Sherri Vanyek, Head of ALA ITTS; Jenny Levine,  Internet Development Specialist and Strategy Guide.  (I'm missing a few more.  Can someone fill in those missing?)

2.0 Report from Executive Board Liaison – Rob Banks 15 min. (3:10)

Rob Banks, WAC’s Executive Board Liaison shared a report from the Executive Board.  http://connect.ala.org/files/2014-Midwinter-ALA-board-talking-points.pdf

WAC asked Rob to let the Executive Board know that ITTS is strapped for resources and this is starting to impact the ability of divisions and committees to conduct their work.     

3.0 Committee Business - Vess 15 min. (3:25)

Changes to the Agenda:

Simon Healey Chair of the Accessibility Forum added three items to section 7 of this agenda. 

Review of Minutes from Annual 2013

Annual Action Items: http://connect.ala.org/node/214920  Minutes were approved.

The committee had brief discussion about Council's resolution on access to electronic communications.

http://connect.ala.org/node/217500

4.0 Questions about ITTS Report to WAC - Vanyek, Levine 15 min. (3:40)

Full report available here:  http://connect.ala.org/node/216983

Highlights from the report:

    • ITTS has been working with the registration and housing vendor to make the site more accessible. 
    • ITTS is working on a project that will make it possible to merge the profiles from ALA Connect and the member profiles available on ala.org into one master profile.  They hope to launch the new profile system in April.  This project needs to be completed so that ITTS can begin work on the new ecommerce system.
    • ITTS is aware of an issue with the committee roster synchronization from iMIS to Connect.  ITTS resources won’t be available to resolve it until later in the next fiscal year. ITTS encouraged sections and committees to check Connect rosters to make sure they are correct.  If a member is not on the roster, they should log into Connect.  This will trigger the person to be “added” to the database. 
    • The Google Mini Search Appliance is no longer supported by Google so ITTS is moving to an Apache Solr Search.  The new search engine includes facets and each top level directory of ALA (this includes all division and round table sites) have their own search collections.
    • ITTS plans to roll out a global calendar.  This will help keep members informed about what is going on in ALA.  The calendar will be part of the website.

WAC had a discussion about the future of Mediawiki and whether this was something ALA needs to continue supporting - especially since many sections and committees are using ALA Connect. There are no plans to retire Mediawiki in the immediate future but this is something WAC might want to propose if usage is low. 

ACTION ITEM: Sherri will pull usage statistics for Mediawiki for the Committee to review. 

ACTION ITEM: Committee members should check with their groups to see if MediaWiki is being used. 

David commented on ITTS’s impressive work in the area of social media.

Simon praised ITTS praised for their awareness of accessibility issues as well as their proactive work in this area.  Simon also noted that ITTS is very responsive to concerns and questions about accessibility issues.     

David noted that ITTS has been very busy as evidenced by the report.  He thanked ITTS for their hard work.

5.0 Questions about ITTS Roadmap – Vanyek 15 min (3:55)

See:  http://itts.ala.org/news/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/ALA-Technology-Roadmap.pdf

The Roadmap outlines projects ITTS is working on/plans to work for the next four years.  

ITTS is currently accepting projects for 2016.  

6.0 Discussion for Future of WAC – Vess 30 min. (4:10)

The WAC has important role in ALA and is positioned to do valuable work for the association.

Several members who attend WAC are responsible for updating their committee/section websites.  There are, however, many individuals in ALA with this responsibility who do not attend WAC meetings. Should there be a push to encourage sections and committees to have representation at WAC meetings? 

One way to perhaps encourage member participation is to hold virtual meetings between conferences.

Aaron Dobbs commented that it was imperative for ALA groups to have representation at WAC meetings so that they can share with WAC what their groups are doing and what they need.  More importantly, these representatives need to report back on the important work that ITTS is doing.  WAC and ITTS needs to have support from divisions and committees.

ACTION ITEM:  Steven Hoffman of PLA suggested that as chair of WAC, he could ask to attend various meetings at ALA Annual to encourage sections and committees to have representation on WAC.    

7.0 Action Items/Other Business Summary - WAC 20 min. (4:40)

Simon Healey Chair of the Accessibility Forum stressed the importance of making sure that ALA is compliant with accessibility standards.  He reported on three issues

Accessibility of ALA Exhibits Floor (Healey)

Accessibility issues on the exhibits floor, specifically locating vendors.  Healey asked if there was some way to use RIFD tags to help individuals connect with exhibitors.  It was suggested that this could be a LITA codes project. 
ACTION ITEM:  David will draft a request for this project. 

Use of ALA Logo on a non-ALA website -- Universal Access: Making Library Resources Accessible to People with Disabilities (Healey)

Website on accessibility issues.  The website Universal Access: Making Library Resources Accessible to People with Disabilities [https://www.washington.edu/doit/UA/PRESENT/libres.html] was created by librarians who are experts on accessibility issues.  The website, however, is housed on the washington.edu domain.  Healey wanted to know if it is possible to include the ALA logo on the site even though its not an official ALA webpage. 
ACTION ITEM: Sherri will take this issue to senior management to see if its possible to add the ALA logo to this website. 

Link to Accessibility Clearing house page on ALA Homepage (Healey)

Healey wanted to know if it was possible to add some information to the front page for the accessibility clearinghouse.  There are several groups who have a stake in this.  It was noted that getting “real estate” on the homepage could be a challenge.

ACTION ITEMDavid will work with Healey to write a letter in support of this request.   

Adjournment - WAC (5:00)

More...

Online Doc 2011 Midwinter WAC Meeting Minutes

by David Vess on Fri, Feb 28, 2014 at 08:18 pm

[2/28/2014 - Just made this document public and slightly modified the title. dsv]

January 10, 2011
ALA Website Advisory Committee Meeting
San Diego Convention Center room 8

[2/28/2014 - Just made this document public and slightly modified the title. dsv]

January 10, 2011
ALA Website Advisory Committee Meeting
San Diego Convention Center room 8


 
In attendance:
Aaron Dobbs, chair
Sherri Vayek, staff liasion
Jenny Levine, ALA
Mary Mackey, ALA publishing
Kathy Tomajko, At-large
Robin Kear, round able representative
Matthew Hamilton, LITA
Simon Healy, ASCLA
Vicki Bloom, RUSA
Laura Krier, Social Responsibility Round Table
Susan Martin, ALCTS
Wendy Stephens, intern
Steven Hoffman
David Wasserman
 
8:11 Introductions and call to order, quorum
Review minutes from annual -- no comments, they are adopted.
 
Reviewing the committee 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.
 

Committee structure:
Accessibility Chair Position Status

See: http://connect.ala.org/node/121324 for COO discussion of this request

COO approved this request and included this in their report to ALA Council.

Vice Chair Position Status

See: http://connect.ala.org/node/114222 for COO discussion of this request
See also: http://connect.ala.org/node/119124 for suggested resolution of this request
COO suggested using an informal process to identify potential roadblocks and other proces steps.
WAC Chair will keep COO Chair J. Rettig, and ALA Pres Elect M. Raphael informed of the progress and process as it goes.
Volunteers for informal "Vice Chair" position requested. Requirements:

  • Must be in first year of a two year appointment or reappointment (for ease of meshing with ALA Appointments process)
  • Must be able to participate in WAC activities, preferably also able to attend both physical meetings (Annual and Midwinter)
  • Willing to try it out with some extra conversations with current chair and staff liaison

Subcomittee Reports

  • The CMS selection task force
    Sherri gave an update on the CMS selection committee - Work Completed: OJC awarded.
  • Content Management Recognition Subcommittee: http://connect.ala.org/node/78274
    Sherri gave update and suggests a Connect group for content contributors to the websites.
    Robin says all round table content mangers are in a group in Connect.
    Sherri hopes that the round tables will become more consistent in layout and presentation.
    Jenny says we need to check rosters of subcomittees to see which members are active, as the majority of that group is ALA staff at present.
  • Strategic Plan Subcommittee: http://connect.ala.org/node/78181
    No report - thought defunct?

 Conference Scheduler

The shift from the Event Planner to the Conference Scheduler went smoothly. Jenny said, except for the server down time, the feedback had been overwhelmingly positive with some requests for functionality and guidance for use.  
If a session has the wrong tag, for example, that is an education issue.
Simon wonders how the ADA Accessibility information was assigned and proposes use of the heading “Accessibility (Not equity of access)” instead of the current heading “Accessibility/ADA Compliance,” which Jenny suggests he take back to ASCLA. Headings will probably continue to be an issue at ALA Annual, but perhaps will be standardized by Midwinter 2012. 
Kathy asked about Scheduler usage data, Jenny said that as of analytics provided the Thursday before Midwinter, there were 1448 saved schedules and 21K hits of the scheduler page. There were 9600 registrations for the conference (1700 of those vendors). There will be more data available.
Jenny said that one of the features of the new system is that if a user is not registered s/he can use the scheduler. The software is server-intensive.
When Vicki shared her own difficulty looking for a vendor event, Jenny felt her experience fell within the window of the hardware issue the Monday before the conference. The issues with the Scheduler are symptomatic of larger hardware issues. Connect has outgrown a single server and will move to a multi-instance model in a virtualized environment very soon. The Scheduler outage was announced via Twitter and the Connect Help Group, and the Twitter feed will continue to reflect its current status.

 
ITTS report
 
OJC won the bid to switch ala. org to drupal. Soon, there will be a single sign-on for all ala sites and services (including Connect and the CMS) using Shibboleth for federated identity verification and management.

Robin asks about the Connect chat module.
Jenny says in the soon-to-be virtualized Connect, chat could have its own server, “and not just run but run well.”
The sense is that many groups relied upon chat, and a chat module that is fully accessible and can be archived.  Groups that cross time zones, school librarians (where other services might be blocked) and international groups in particular NEED chat.

Sherri reports the migration timeline will begin in March or April and be complete by September 1st. Groups will be asked to work on html and xml, and will be moved as soon as they have done that.

Connect and ALA Groups

Once users had to opt-in to group emails in Connect, which was intended to respect their communication preferences. Now, email notices can be ON by default for committee members. Consensus agrees that email notifications is appropriate for all Committee Members and should be default set to “on.”
David suggests a canned response for any complaints, coming from ALA rather than the committee. Jenny notes there is a Chair FAQ for Connect that could be distributed to Committee Chairs.

General feedback on Connect

Vicki reports that her groups don’t use Connect.
Simon: the Conference Schedule gave him an incentive to use Connect.
David: Most members will log in only 4-5 times a year and may not learn the tool because of the infrequency of use, raises marketing the usefulness of Connect.
Jenny feels she is too close to Connect to give an opinion about the current marketing.
The ‘09 Emerging Leaders may Connect marketing videos, but perhaps a one paragraph “What Can I Do On ALA Connect?” doc might be less intimidating or time consuming for the casual user

Changes to Connect

Redesigned homepage, group homepages. File repositories added this month.
A welcome message for the first-time logon
(Jenny is looking to crowd-source this work)

Future of Connect

If drupal shares a platform, should Connect be separate? What about in ten years?
For committee work, it is the recommended tool, but also for non-committee members (like the Scheduler).
Jenny says that Connect is not just about committees, but about making the organizational experience easier, but they cannot market directly to divisional constituencies.

Vicki reports concern that groups lack content in connect and committee affiliations are incorrect.
Jenny says Connect syncs with the membership database.

Groups file repository accessible this month

Sherri -- working with Chris Proum, overseeing paper archiving currently, looking at electronic archiving, in draft version versus recent to help all units in ALA to develop standards for digital assets. Sherri suggests waiting until the file repository is IN, then allowing exploration.
Robin suggests a subcomittee (Robin, Kathy, Aaron) at Annual report on storage & archiving guidelines for the ALA Connect Document Repository.

Committee Name

Aaron raises changing the committee name from ALA Website to ALA Web Presence. The change in semantics reflecting a larger function. Robin agrees it needs to be expanded.

Regular Online Meetings

Kathy suggests one meeting between face-to-face conferences.
Simon prefers ad hoc meetings.
Aaron suggests we schedule a meeting in March, midway between the two conferences.
There is discussion of the available meeting options -- 100 seats OPAL, up to 1000 seats in iLink -- both are free resources available to anyone in ALA.
The divisional Executive Directors know about therse as do IT staff -- they must be set up, but allow for archiving and scheduling

Vicki asks about components of ALA Annual broadcast for virtual members.
Aaron talks about commitees using speakerphones or cellphones.
Are there members who could have been here at WAC virtually?

Executive Board Liaison Report

Jospeh Eagan, executive board liasion,  reports on strategic plan for ALA 2015 approved in June, now adding strategies under goals and objectives. This is relevant to this committee because of the goal of member engagement. With mobile device accessibility and lower midwinter attendance, there is a concurrent goal “Transforming libraries, transforming ALA.”
There is a white paper on the future of Midwinter, reviewing the last few, suggest options for the future since members are ”voting with our feet,” but many members feel there is a critical need for midwinter for face-to-face conversations. Eagan also reports that the Spectrum Initiative continues, having exceeded goal of $500K for internal stakeholder (reached $532K). Majority of applicants remain unfunded.

To Eagan, Aaron reports on perceived needs at ALA include hardware redundancy, increased manpower in terms of FTE.
Vicki says information on  their divisional website is outdated, there are broken links, causing members to migrate from RUSA to ACRL. 
Eagan said the members included traditional members with traditional concerns (including intellectual freedom) and technology is often layered on top. We need to shift resources, but in a member-driven organization it is difficult to give up anything.
Jenny sees opportunities in reducing barriers, including the training required, to author web content.
Eagan says that these are part of the member engagement and retention issues.
David mentions that the dearth of people working in capacities like Jenny at the organization may be discouraging to younger libraries, making them reluctant to join. He himself and lapsed in membership. 
Eagan says the strategic plan should resolve the lack of tech support at ALA.

Action Items

  • Completed Action Items
    • WAC Accessibility representation: Accessibility Forum Chair (or designee) approved as ex officio member of WAC
  • Committee Charge review: from ALA Website to ALA Web Presence (Dobbs, Kear, Vanyek, others?)
  • ALA Connect Document Repository: storage & archiving guidelines (Dobbs, Kear, Tomajko, Vanyek, others?)
  • ALA Connect: Welcome message for the first-time logon (Dobbs, Levine?, Vanyek?, others?)
  • ALA Connect: Marketing "What Can I Do On ALA Connect?" one-pager (?, ?, ?, others?)
  • ALA Groups: Default email setting for iMIS-synced Groups set to "On"
    • Boilerplate email for complaints (Dobbs, David?, Levine?, Vanyek? ask for Ghikas involvement, too?)
    • ALA Committee Chair FAQ review and revision (Dobbs, ?, Levine?, Vanyek?)
    • ALA Committee Member FAQ (is there one?) review and revision (Dobbs, ?, Levine?, Vanyek?)
  • WAC Vice Chair: WAC chair will keep COO Chair and Pres Elect in the loop (Dobbs)

Unit issues

RUSA reports content management involves training that can be obsolete in months.
Vicki will check with the board to get a sense on how often things should be updated.

Simon reports that many members prefer emial-lists to Connect. ALA will continue to support mailing lists.

Aaron requests feedback on conduct of the meeting via Connect or directly to aaron@thelibrarian.org

10:00 Adjourn.

 

More...

Online Doc WAC Midwinter 2012 Meeting Minutes-Draft

by David Vess on Fri, Feb 28, 2014 at 07:51 pm

Please find attached draft minutes from the Midwinter 2012 meeting.  I have uploaded pdf and rtf for your reading pleasure ;0)  Rene

[2/28/2014 - dsv - Just making these old minutes public and pasted text from attachment into this area.]

WAC Meeting Minutes: ALAMW12 - Dallas
Sunday, Jan, 22 2012
3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Dallas Convention Center (DCC) Room D163 

Please find attached draft minutes from the Midwinter 2012 meeting.  I have uploaded pdf and rtf for your reading pleasure ;0)  Rene

[2/28/2014 - dsv - Just making these old minutes public and pasted text from attachment into this area.]

WAC Meeting Minutes: ALAMW12 - Dallas
Sunday, Jan, 22 2012
3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Dallas Convention Center (DCC) Room D163 

1. Call to Order, Introductions, Review of the current WAC Charge

  • Aaron Dobbs (Chair) called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone.
  • Attending members introduced themselves:
    • Liz Burns (ASCLA Representative)
    • Simon Healey (Accessibility Forum Chair)
    • Vicki Bloom (RUSA Representative)
    • Sherri  (ALA ITTS staff)
    • Jenny Levine (ALA ITTS staff)
    • Rene Erlandson (Member)
    • Gail Schlachter (ALA Publishing Representative)
    • Susan Marcin (ALCTS Representative)
    • Travis Jonker (via phone-ALSC Representative)
    • Dora Ho (ALA Executive Board Liaison)
  • Guests introduced themselves:
    • Andy Boze
    • David Schuster
  • Dobbs discussed the charge of WAC:
    • To develop, review and recommend to Council Association policies for the ALA website;  recommend editorial or structural guidelines for the ALA website; provide advice to the ALA Executive Director responsible for implementing such policies and guidelines; provide an ongoing channel for member communication by working closely with other units, committees and offices of the Association; 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; and advise the Association on priorities and strategies that promote utilization and continued development of the ALA website.
    • Each members is responsible for visiting the ALA Website and letting ALA ITTS staff know of problems (broken links, down areas etc).  Send problems to: helpdesk@ala.org

2. Report from Ho (Executive Board Liaison)

  • A new Digital Contents and Libraries Group, made up of 25 members from various ALA divisions, publishers and vendors was formed.  Six sub-groups are being created within the group to work on specific topics.  Work will begin after Mid-winter.
  • Mid-winter stats: attendance is down slightly from last year.  There are over 5,000 attendees and over 400 company exhibitors, making estimated total attendance at this point just under 6,000.
  • ALA membership has dropped 6.29%.
  • The Second Annual Virtual Membership Meeting will be held June 5, 2012, 3:00-4:30pm CDT.  Encourage everyone to attend!
  • ALA Publishing purchased Neal-Schuman.

3. Committee Business

  • Review of Minutes from Annual 2011 
  • Annual Action Items
    • The following projects are still active:
      • Developing boilerplate email for complaints
      • Discussions regarding ALA Connect marketing and use-suggestions 
        • Levine/Dobbs resolution/report to council re: Connect being *the* tool for committee work
      • First-time Login/Welcome statement
        • Levine and Dobbs are working on a draft message
      • Committee Chair FAQ
        • Levine and Dobbs are drafting this FAQ
  • Dobbs asked everyone to remind their appointing group(s) that Connect exists and is ready to be exploited.
  • Staff and Member Content Reviewer Appreciation Certificate/Letter
  • Dobbs pointed out WAC is a representative committee and discussed the need for everyone rotating off WAC in 2012 to alert the Presidents of their appointing groups that a new representative will need to be appointed in 2012.
    • If needed, Dobbs is willing to draft a letter requesting appointment to WAC.
    • Dobbs encouraged appointing groups to select representatives to WAC who have an interest in Websites in general and who will be able to attend meetings so the committee is assured of a quorum if a vote is needed.
  • WAC Vice-Chair for 2012-13
    • Due to the complexity of the work of WAC, Dobbs proposes to select a Vice-Chair for 2012-13 who will become the Chair in 2013.  He will put out a call to WAC members for volunteers.  The Vice-Chair will need to be able to attend all ALA conferences and work closely with Dobbs and ALA ITTS staff throughout the year.

4. New Committee Business

  • Identify Strategies in the ALA 2015 Plan that WAC would like to work on.
    • Dobbs asked that everyone look at the ALA 2015 strategic plan on Connect @ http://connect.ala.org/node/145192
    • WAC needs to consider how the Website relates to the 2015 Strategic Plan objectives/goals.  The Website needs to be included in the 2015 Strategic Plan, so we need to come up with a list of priorities for changes/additions/upgrades to the website and decide how many of these initiatives will require funding.  A budget will need to be developed for items that require funding and a narrative justification developed to submit to Council.
    • A conference call will be set up to discuss priorities for the Website in preparation of drafting Website goals to be included in the 2015 Strategic Plan.

5. Reports from WAC Members & Units

  • Bloom (RUSA)
    1. Questioned how micro-sites (division, roundtable etc) are updated and how to recruit someone to be the Webmaster for a micro-site.
    2. Proposed creating a meeting for micro-site administrators at Mid-winter and Annual to create a sense of community among volunteers.
  • Healey (Accessibility Forum)
    1. The ALA Website has made great strides in accessibility.
    2. Current existing virtual accessibility challenges:
    • When ALA Council makes changes to resolutions on the fly in meetings, the PDFs are not being distributed in an accessible way.
    • Magnifier software loaded on to computers throughout the conference centers is not meeting accessibility needs.
      • ALA has a license for Jaws, but the open source Magnifier software used in conjunction with Jaws is not working on all email clients and browsers being used.  The suggestion is for Council to purchase Magic (which works better with Jaws.   This matter needs to be referred to ALA Council for further consideration.
  • Vanyek (ALA ITTS)
    • Latest ITTS report to WAC is online please look it over @ http://connect.ala.org/node/165767
      • ALA Website is migrating from Collage content management system (CMS) to the open source Drupal CMS.
        • Migration expected to be completed by end of February.
        • ALA home page will be the last page migrated.
        • Once migration is complete it will be possible to track micro-site administrators/Webmasters contributions, making it possible for these individuals to include this work on resumes and curriculum vitae.
      • Shibboleth single-sign on is being implemented throughout the ALA site.  Visitors will log in once and when they go to a micro-site will only have to click on login (user name and password will not have to be re-entered).
      • New ALA logo (http://www.ala.org/aboutala/contactus/rights/logo-download) and use guidelines (http://www.ala.org/aboutala/contactus/rights/logo-rules) are online.  ***Please look these over and highlight updated guidelines to member constituencies.
      • ITTS continues to virtualize servers.
      • A new financial system will be put in place by September 2012.
      • By end of February or early March, ALA will switch Internet service provider. 
      • The first step to changing the site search appliance in 2012 is to migrate to Google Mini, which has been done.  Ultimately, the site search appliance will be changed to Apache Solr during FY 2013.
      • WordPress blogs have all been upgraded to 3.3.1.
      • iLink (online training) platform is being evaluated.
    • ALA Connect Scheduler
      • There is some confusion about time zones when working in Scheduler on a mobile device and exporting to calendar programs like Outlook and Google.  May need to consider drafting a FAQ and welcome message.
        • Action Item: Levine and Burns will draft ALA Connect Scheduler boilerplate regarding setting time zone within Scheduler.
    • ALA Connect will have a new interface by the end of March.
    • WAC members should notify appointing group(s) that Drupal training is available online.  Member volunteers are encouraged to attend a 1.5 hour training session to learn how to maneuver within Drupel.  Register @ https://ala.ilinc.com/perl/ilinc/lms/event.pl?uc=1
    • WAC members should subscribe to the ITTS news blog (http://itts.ala.org/news/) to keep up with latest happenings in ALA ITTS office.
  • Burns (ASCLA)
    • Continuing to encourage members to use ALA Connect.
  • Marcin (ALCTS) – no report
  • Schlachter (ALA Publishing)
    1. It is hard to get a representative to attend the WAC meeting, so she is recruiting to find someone to regularly attend the WAC meeting after she goes off the Publishing Committee in June.

6. Action Items

  • Select Vice-Chair (Dobbs)
  • Continue to develop boilerplate email for complaints (Dobbs/Levine)
  • Continue discussions regarding ALA Connect marketing and use-suggestions 
    • Levine/Dobbs resolution/report to council re: Connect being *the* tool for committee work
  • Draft first-time login/welcome statement (Levine/Dobbs)
  • Draft Committee Chair FAQ (Levine/Dobbs)
  • Review staff and member Content Reviewer Appreciation Certificate/Letter drafted by Vanyek http://connect.ala.org/node/166703) (all WAC members).
  • Draft ALA Connect Scheduler boilerplate regarding setting time zone within Scheduler. (Levine/Burns)

7. Dobbs requested Vanyek schedule ALA Annual 2012 WAC meeting for Sunday 3:00-5:00 like Mid-Winter 2012.

  • Previous regular scheduled time conflicted with ALA Council meetings and other meetings, which resulted in less than a quorum at a recent previous meeting.  The Sunday 3:00-5:00 time slot seems to work better for Council liaisons and other current committee members.

8. Adjournment: 4:15

  • Bloom motioned to adjourn
  • Burns seconded motion
  • Meeting was adjourned

 

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Online Doc ITTS Report to WAC, January 2014

by Sherri Vanyek on Thu, Jan 16, 2014 at 04:00 pm

1.0 ALA Web-Related

1.1 Registration and Housing Application
Our registration vendor, CompuSystems (CSI), has addressed our accessibility issues in their software. We will be performing registration and accessibility testing in January 2014 for Annual registration and housing

1.0 ALA Web-Related

1.1 Registration and Housing Application
Our registration vendor, CompuSystems (CSI), has addressed our accessibility issues in their software. We will be performing registration and accessibility testing in January 2014 for Annual registration and housing

1.2 Merged Profile Implementation
We’re still working on a project that will make it possible to merge the profiles from ALA Connect and the member profiles available on ala.org into one master profile, available for editing from either location, using Shibboleth for single sign-on. The product we are configuring for profile display and editing is produced by Computer System Innovations (also known as CSI). We hope to launch the new profile system in April.  This project was scheduled to launch earlier, but has experienced several delays due to lack of staff resources. It is a precursor required before we can begin work on the new ecommerce system.

1.3 Plan & Implement Solr Integration
Our Google Mini Search Appliance in use on ala.org was no longer supported by Google, so we replaced it on December 19, 2013, with Apache Solr Search, an open source search engine. The initial implementation includes search facets such as specialty content types, subject headings, and more. A significant difference between the old system and this one is that each top level directory of ALA (this includes all division and round table sites) now have their own search collections. The first search always searches only the directory and subdirectories of the user’s starting point. After that, users can choose to expand their search to all of ala.org or use facets to further narrow their results. Search Tips for the new system are available at http://www.ala.org/support/searchinfo.

The second phase of the Solr integration will make it possible for users to search the newly-merged master profiles, which will become our online Member Directory (and will also include non-members the way Connect does now). Search and display options for non-members will be far more restricted than for members.  The third phase will include federated and faceted search for ALA Connect. Due to resource limitations, we are not currently providing completion dates for future phases.

1.4 Review of Recent Web Improvements
Drupal Core was updated in December to version 7.24 in response to known security vulnerabilities that included cross-site scripting and SQL injection attacks.

We updated a module in December that will make it possible for us to roll out a global calendar that can be filtered by event type, unit, etc.

The Honeypot module was implemented on I Love Libraries to provide behind the scenes protection from Spambots.

Several projects for improvements to the listing page and online learning content types are still in-process.

1.5 New Event Management System
We worked with the new vendor throughout June and July to set up the new system, but by August it was clear that they couldn’t meet all of the requirements, so the contract was ended mutually by both parties. While ALA discusses simplifying the event management process and explores options for a new vendor, Conference Services will continue to use the previous company, ActiveEvents, for two years. We plan to try again to implement a new system in August 2015 for the 2016 Midwinter Meeting. More details are available in a blog post on ALA Marginalia (http://discuss.ala.org/marginalia/2013/09/04/the-elusive-ala-event-management-system-and-why-we-have-to-make-this-process-better/).

1.6 ALA Connect
We’ve been investigating an issue with the committee roster synchronization from iMIS to Connect, and we think we’ve found the problem. However, ITTS resources won’t be available to resolve it until later in the next fiscal year. In the meantime, it’s good to periodically check your Connect rosters to make sure they match what’s in iMIS.

After running a poll in April, we used the feedback to update the templates for Connect notifications to reduce the amount of template text, make the notifications easier to scan and read, and better set the body of text off from the header and footer information. These changes were then also applied to digest notifications. We’ve continued to tweak the improvements (font size, further reducing footer text), and feedback so far has been very positive.

The new “Meeting Request” module is almost ready, pending a last round of feedback  and implementation of a popup “new feature” balloon in the Connect interface. We expect it to go live in February.

We’re also working with ALA’s Office for Human Resource and Development (HRDR) to integrate the thousands of grant, scholarship, and other awards from the FALIS Directory (http://www.ala.org/educationcareers/education/financialassistance/) into Connect’s Opportunities Exchange. Data entry has begun, and we’re making changes in the code to accommodate the unique FALIS fields.

1.7 Blogs & Wikis
Several blog upgrades with Wordpress 3.8 being the most recent.

Several wiki upgrades with Mediawiki 1.22.0 being the most recent.

1.8 Moodle Courseware

Moodle migration has been postponed due to budgetary reasons and will be looked at again in 2014.

Dreamhost does not allow upgrading to the 2.x branch. While 1.x is still supported by Moodle, 2.x brings many new features to the table.

1.9 Dreamhost
All sites are migrated off of Dreamhost with the exception of wikis.ala.org and acrl.ala.org.

A few independent Drupal sites remain.

1.10 ALA Apple Developer
We had to renew our subscription this year and renew the certificates for the ACRL apps.

1.11 Shibboleth
Single sign-on is currently being implemented for Dspace.

Single sign-on was implemented for Eventscribe conference recordings.

1.12 RDA Listserv migration
RDA asked that their mailing list be moved to the in-house Sympa system. Since the list was hosted in a listserv system, the archives were converted to a format that Sympa could understand, then imported. The member list was also imported and the list continued to run with no interruption.

1.13 YALSA Badges
YALSA had a grant for a new project and wanted to host it in-house. After several calls with their developers, it was decided that our Drupal instance would not satisfy the requirements. The project was implemented on an existing Dreamhost server without iMIS integration.

2.0 Working with Stakeholder Groups

The member and student member blogs were shifted from American Libraries Magazine to the Membership area (ala.org/membership), while the Ask a Librarian blog was migrated to ala.org/tools.

The Development Office launched their Planned Giving microsite at Annual, at http://www.ala.org/plannedgiving.

We assisted with microsite (new area) and microsite initiative (separately themed portion of an existing area) creation. We helped ORS with LARKS, a grant funded initiative to bring together librarians and library researchers, located at http://www.ala.org/research/larks, ALCTS with ALCTS News at http://www.ala.org/alcts/news, and the Sustain RT site, at http://www.ala.org/sustainrt.

We also created and implemented the I Love Libraries site’s Declaration for the Rights of Libraries form, which uses Honeypot, a behind the scenes module that prevents spambots from filling out forms.

2.1 Web Management Group Report
The Web Management Group (WMG) is responsible for supporting ALA’s mission by developing the ALA website into a 21st century communications and marketing tool. The WMG consults with member groups and convenes staff task forces as needed. Follow the group at http://connect.ala.org/node/210519. The most recently convened subgroup is an Analytics & Search Engine Optimization group intended to begin developing channels and funnels in advance of the ecommerce implementation. The WMG has published an FAQ on Web Groups and Best Practices, available at http://connect.ala.org/node/210967. Work in progress includes the Website Strategic Objectives and Website Guidelines documents, which will be ready to distribute following Midwinter.

2.2 Social Media
In August, a plan was approved to create an internal team to manage ALA’s primary social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter and add a Google Plus presence. The team consists of eight staff members from Customer Service, ITTS, the Library, Membership Development, PIO, Publishing, and the Washington Office. In the future, we plan to add someone from Conference Services.

The team began coordinating posts in October and added Google Plus in December. Since then, engagement has risen dramatically on Facebook, the rate of followers on Twitter has doubled, and ALA now has more than 20,000 followers on Google Plus (where we appear on Google’s “Suggested User List”). We’ve also started an Instagram account that mirrors content to Facebook, Flickr, and sometimes Tumblr and Twitter.

ITTS is also working with Membership Development to integrate ALA presidents into our social media initiatives. Future campaigns will include Twitter chats, “day in the life” projects, and more visual posts.

2.3 Upcoming Division/Office Projects that Impact ITTS
We will be assisting ACRL in having the Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success Team Action Learning Project website/searchable database priced by suitable vendors and with some of the site implementation if they choose to stay within our Drupal implementation.

We have been collaborating with the ALA Staff Online Learning Task Force on changes to the Online Learning template. The final changes have been agreed upon, and will be implemented following Midwinter Meeting.

Due to resource limitations, units are being asked to fill out the form at http://www.ala.org/support/res/projectrequest (only available to ALA staff) to have their project evaluated to determine whether it can be added to the queue.

3.0 2014 Upcoming Projects

3.1 Ecommerce System Implementation
We updated the RFP to include recent infrastructure changes as well as changes to the pricing rules and asked ten of the original vendors to update their responses. From that pool, we selected three semi-finalists, who will be asked to meet with stakeholders at ALA either in-person or virtually. We plan to schedule those meetings for early this spring so that we can make a final selection. The update to iMIS 20 will have to be completed before the ecommerce implementation begins.

3.2 Homepage Redesign, Responsive Theme & Mobile CSS
This project has been pushed back to fiscal 2015, so that resources can be focused on the iMIS 20 upgrade, profile project, and the ecommerce project during this fiscal year.

4.0 Training Highlights
New Sessions Offered

  • Outlook
  • Excel (Basics, Data Analysis, Mail-merge)
  • Adobe Connect,
  • iMIS
  • Moodle

iMIS

  • Setup and training demo delivered for the CEU module for the Online Learning stakeholders
  • Several new IQA queries have been set up for Development , Membership & HRDR
  • New Self-Service reports are highlighted in training as well as user help sessions

Informz

  • Delivered a successful campaign to get users on board with Informz. 
  • 4 sessions offered; users from ALSC, ALCTS, LLAMA, LITA and other staff participated
  • We successfully converted a Mail Chimp template to Informz; instruction page/video is in development

Prophix Financial Reporting and Budgeting Software

We are in the sixth (6th) week of Prophix training/delivery; we continue to provide support for remote users during the session via Adobe Connect as well as login support and follow-up with users getting in to the new version of Prophix outside of the classes

Drupal

  • Awards and Grants field map displaying where fields appear was added to theSupport site
  • Since July 2013, 25 users have received training and been granted rights to edit web pages
    • 18 users used self-paced option
    • 7 attended a live session

Emerging Leaders Explore ALA Connect

  • Two sessions were offered/delivered to the 70 Emerging Leaders for 2014. 
  • Great feedback from the attendees
  • The first of two recordings is already available

5.0 ITTS Organizational Changes

On July 17, 2013, two members of ITTS were let go due to budgetary constraints.

Jim Kanis’ career ranged from starting as a computer operator in 1969 to Manager of Operations.  As Manager of Operations, he lived through a number of major systems implementations and worked with staff around the building on many projects.

Jeff Dong was our Association Management System (AMS) Administrator.  He worked mostly on our iMIS Association Management System, Financial System, and SQL databases.

6.0 Technology Roadmap
Our Technology Roadmap is located on the ITTS blog at http://itts.ala.org/news/2014/01/16/ala-technology-roadmap/ and contains projects that are on the docket for the next four years.  We will continue to update the roadmap on the blog with the latest information on project schedules.

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

 

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Online Doc WAC Agenda for Annual 2013, Chicago

by Sherri Vanyek on Mon, Jun 24, 2013 at 03:44 pm

Draft WAC Agenda - Annual 2013 - Chicago

Sunday, June 30 2013

3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

McCormick Convention Center Room N134 http://ala13.ala.org/node/11469

Please review the ITTS Report to WAC on Connect before the meeting
(and post any questions here if possible - we have ~15 (flexible) minutes allotted for the ITTS Report in the Agenda)

Pages

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.

View our working groups in Connect:

Subscribe to ALA Website Advisory Committee