Wednesday, April 30, 2008

What should we do with our WebPAC? Can we make it relevant in a 2.0 World?

John Wenzler, Electronic Resources Coordinator, San Fransisco State University
  • link to presentation in program...on IUG site...will be updated next week (TODO add link)
  • previously worked at III, working on the opac
  • lots of change recently in opac philosophy / ideas...wanted to keep tabs on
  • why John thinks things are changing...history:
  • card catalogue...digitized card cat...same info / indexes / purpose
  • responsibilities for webpac / card cat similar: help people use it easily
  • anxiety of freedom!
  • tons of design choices with webpacPRO..."paradox of choice" book (check it out)...more choices = less satisfaction with your wonder about the other options you didn't choose
  • libs also social environment -- group process to decide how it's going to look...personal opinions...conflict w/in library
  • "opac sucks" meme...(to do, check out opac sucks YouTube video!)
  • look at annoyedlibrarian's take on opac sucks
  • David Walker's "OPAC sucks" demo (link in handout)
  • specific complaints:
    • it's not as good as the old card cat!
    • digital immigrant
    • lack of context (esp if searching from home)
    • less access to experts (ie libs)
    • interface manages expectations...if it looks hard, probably will be and you'll need help
    • "deceptively non-intimidating user interface"
    • it's not as good as amazoogle!
    • relevancy ranking ineffective
    • too many complex search options
    • poor integration with online virtual collection
    • no suggestions / recommendations
    • lacks user-generated content

Enhancements Forum

  • reuse, recycle, roll-over
  • all are reconsidered / periodically re-evaluated
  • new for '09 cycle...Inn-reach will be incorporated...also schedule in-line with IUG conference
  • "mantis" software used to manage the enhancement requests.....check it out
  • always check to see if your idea is already there -- can add notes...really helps the FEs (aka Functional Experts)
  • FEs meet with product developers at IUG
  • Betsy from III:
    • their cycle of upgrades is not regular -- but still will always look at enhancement requests...might be brand new or a bit old
    • release cycle will be quicker / smaller chunks
    • also input from sales reps / trainers etc.
  • CSDirect is being re-designed...hope to have a new place to submit enhancements (similar to calls)
  • in mantis, new "instruction" button
  • can filter / search by kwd (@ bottom)
  • to do: check to see if demerits in to good merits are there...if not, add!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Editing the WebPacPRO Example Set

Sue Boggs, Cataloguing and Library Technician
University of Puget Sounds

slides are here (need IUG un and pw)

  • you don't have to use the example set when you go pro
  • took about 9 months for their whole redesign process
  • the "example set" is a SET of files which work together
  • DOCUMENT all the changes / tweaks you make
  • check out the FireFox FireBug tool -- free download ...lets you see hidden code
  • WebPAC tutorial on CSDirect is good
  • mailing list archives fab too on this subject
  • steal from others!...use http://catalogueurl/screens/
    • webpub.def
    • styles.css...etc (on slide)
  • remember FireFox and IE display differently...advice = design for FireFox and tweak for IE
  • stylesheets:
    • backbone of new look
    • 3 style sheets:
      • prostyles: can't edit, but can view w. firebug tool
      • styles.css: can edit
      • iestyles.css: for IE differences
  • look at googleanalytics (for our opac) and see what browsers people are using -- also screen res vip when designing / screen size too
  • fab link to tab presentation from European IUG
  • tokens: short-hand for larger chunks of code
  • when you look at page source you see code, not tokens...have to use iii urls to see tokens
  • Index vs. Record browse: vip to understand the diff
    • index = list of headings, and controlled by wwwoptions
    • record browse = list of records, contorlled by brief_cit.html
  • lost of aspirin and chocolate required!
  • editing wwwoptions:
    • add new, make existing in-active (in case you need to revert back)
  • can in-activate icon_bookcart and get tick boxes instead of the "bookcart" icon...this eliminates the behaviour that some of our patrons have complained about re when you mark something for the book cart it jumps you to the top of the list...especially annoying with webpacPRO 50 items in the list: TODO...make this change in Staging and run it by the OPAC Task Force group...see if they like it...will the tick boxes be clear enough to folks that this means you're marking the records for email / holds / etc?
  • check our AVS adjacency search setting...see presentation re what it *should* bet set to for WebPacPRO!
  • webpub.def
    • defines which marc fields are displayed for which field tabs, which order and what field label
  • good hints in manual at page 106019 and 106853 and Webpac tutorial
  • new example set came out last release coming out next week...good to know!
  • feed reader free with r2006...change weather to your city (is set to Emeryville, CA, by default!)...look in to it and see if/how it could work for us

A View From The Top: Thoughts from Senior Innvative Staff on the State of Things in General

slides are here (IUG un and pw needed)

Betsy Grahm, Vice President Product Management
  • what we want
  • right time to release
  • successful digital experience diagram good (have seen on Stephen's Lighthouse, I think)
  • useful / usable etc...
  • doing stuff that's worth doing
Martha McEvoy, Senior Vice President, Software Engineering
  • product development / code
  • management philosophy of "agile development" -- short list of features worked on at a time / test/review/test/review etc.
Doug Randall, Vice President, Product Technology
  • "Gartner Hype Cycle"...nifty slide

Tell us what you want, what you really really want: Using Community Feedback to Spice Up your Catalogue

Kirsta Graham, Web Services Team Leader and
Lauren Campbell, Senior Honours Student
from Central Michigan University

  • slides will be posted on IUG site
  • Lauren did usability study for her Honour Project (is going to Lib school in the fall, and worked in the lib)
  • step 1: talk to users (including, for them: students / faculty / staff)
  • showed focus group other III opacs, to demo features / styles / the possibilities out there they were considering
  • projected these, and their then-current opac on a screen, for discussion
  • had 8 students in focus group, lured by extra credit, pizza and brownies
  • "I just wanna search"
  • choose advanced keyword search as first screen -- were surprised students wanted the anti-googlesque paradigm -- however, they have had the advanced search screen as default on all their databases for a number of years, and worked hard to train students to use them
  • students wanted clear directions for other search options (eg. type author's name with last name first...)
  • every search screen has a "My Centra" (ie: My Library Card) log-in box (which would address OUR common comments re too many clicks to get to My lib Card)
  • combined 'wants' of students with prof judgment / balanced with comments / opinions of faculty..."make them eat their veg" idea
  • neat list of features (good slide) similar to what we're looking at eg spell check seen as a no-brainer vs. nah, we're not going to write reviews
  • Usability study:
    • tasks based on new design features / elements
    • used situations rather than just questions
  • they have an OPAC group/committee that meets regularly...nice!...but also have lots of staff!
  • spent a year...took time for user feedback
  • planning to do it again before 10 years go by...will continue to solicit user feedback

Monday, April 28, 2008

Using Google Analytics in the OPAC with Rebekah Kilzer (Ohio State Univ Lib)

  • overview of how it works
  • slides will be on IUG site
  • idea: check our GA and see if we can hook patron rating stats (unique url when s/one rates?)
  • check GA privacy policy...Rebekah mentioned a requirement to post / maybe covered by existing privacy policy?
  • todo: email Rebeka re our security warning issues that arose wrt mixing http and https...changed url for GA to https and seems to have fixed...(just in EI)
  • site overlay does drop-down boxes
  • urls with searcha seracht etc for type of search...can filter by these
  • can set up monthly email reports (do this!)
  • compare milstats on opac to GA stats...Rebekah has this on her 'todo' list too! her in a while and compare notes

random notes

  • asked Maruta about changing date format on date due slips (at self-check demo)...suggested we call Help Desk...they'll know if and how
  • Barbara is going to mail me some IUG t-shirts...had wrong date of ECIUG printed on them...can use for shelf reading prizes

MilStats 101 with Corey Seeman

slides are on his blog here
  • Milstats job = counting what's there
  • name it, grab it, filter it, view it
  • wild card for record number is "a"
  • *good idea to try milstats for my work on profile of biz collection ...
    • can "grab it" with an index search...which can be larger than a review file
  • best way to learn is to go in and play

Opening Session: Larry Irving

  • coined term "digital divide"
  • 7 years as "Assistant Secrtary of Commerce for Communications and Information"
  • work with the Pew Internet Project
  • lawyer / technologist
  • community access points: public libs
  • digital divide is shifting to mobile devices...from land lines / desk tops etc...*wifi vip
  • wikipedia good eg. of democratizing of info
  • people need libraries: intellectual / digital / media literacy
  • industrial revolution INFO revolution....libs needed
  • public media / TV / arts...public media "space" pulling it all together...including libraries...public + academic
  • "don't get too attached" to the current state of things...they will change soon!

Opening Session: Be Innovative Awards

Presented by Betsy Graham, VP Product Development
  • to people for creative use and promotion of III products
  • list of winners in program...notables:
    • Ryerson University: for FaceBook app -- re exporting OPAC seardch results...check it out...
    • West Palm Beach PL: use of WiKi for staff competencies program (wrt software as well as Millie modules
    • LasVegas Clark County: use of concierge for staff to trouble-shoot...check it out
    • Mid-Hudson Library system: KidsCat (new one...check it out!)

Opening Session: Jerry Kline (the big cheese)

Jerry Kline, CEO of III spoke about how III has been focusing on R&D rather than mergers and corporate takeovers, as a lot of the other ILS vendors seem to have been doing. Also mentioned Encore V. 2 is coming out in the next few weeks...constant R&D, and not waiting until things are *perfect* to release them...two steps forward, one step back mentality. Also noted a high percentage of III staff / management have MLIS.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Innovative Users Group (IUG*16): Washington DC

Just back from dinner with Barbara H. our III sales rep, and a lively group of her Canadian customers. LPL asked about e-comm -- they're thinking about using it for donations...let them know how many online donations we get (not via ecomm on our end, but

Met Kathy Duchack who worked at TBPL with Bev and co. back in the 70s and 80s! She's now at the BC Institute of Technology.

Met Rebeccca B from Greater Sud PL..."Virtual Librarian" position has been at GSPL for six years, Bex has been in the job for two. Similar challenges...FAB to meet irl!

Looking forward to volunteering on Reg. desk tomorrow morning, and what the rest of the day will bring.