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Sound Bytes

New Home Page Preview Available

By Darcy Del Bosque on August 4, 2009 5:14 PM | Permalink
The new Libraries' home page is scheduled to go live on Monday, August 17, 2009.  Please take a look at the preview and let us know if you notice any bugs.  The revisions to the page incorporated both usability feedback and staff input. 

If you have tutorials, handouts, or other resources that you need assistance with because of the design changes, please contact a member of the Web Management Committee. 

Web Developers should stop making changes to web pages on "set" and "go" between August 10, 2009 and the launch. 

Feel free to share your feedback by posting a comment.


Proposed WebOPAC material type (format) label changes

By Kee Choi on July 24, 2009 2:21 PM | Permalink
One of the tasks the former WebOPAC Committee had agreed to address was the review of the list of material types used when a modifying a search.  We are all aware that the term "AV Materials" was confusing, misleading, etc. but we have decided to look at all the terms used for material types and whether we even need to list every possible material type available.

Unfortunately we cannot make these changes available on the test server.  However Brian Egan created a side by side mock up so you can see the proposed changes.

Areas of note:
  • "Material Type" has changed to "Format"
  • Order of items has changed
  • Terminology has changed
  • Number of formats has been reduced

Try it Out: Text a Call Number from the Catalog

By Darcy Del Bosque on July 1, 2009 1:48 PM | Permalink
The WebOPAC committee has installed some customized code in the WebOPAC which will allow patrons to send a text message of the title, location and call number of an item to their cell phones. This text message enhancement allows patrons to walk to the stacks and look for the book without having to write down that information using a pen and paper.

Below is a screen shot of the Text Info to Phone button.


What Do You See as the Future of the Library?

By Darcy Del Bosque on June 26, 2009 3:35 PM | Permalink
This short YouTube video asks What is the future of the library? and offers a vision of what libraries should offer in the networked age.  Some of their suggestions include:
  • providing awareness of new information technology
  • materials available at no cost
  • accessibility of interfaces both virtual and real
How does your vision of the future library compare to the urban information bar and how does that impact our current virtual spaces?

Handheld Librarian Online Conference

By Darcy Del Bosque on June 19, 2009 10:59 AM | Permalink
Interested in learning more about current technologies, but don't want to travel?  Consider the Handheld Librarian Online Conference

Description of the conference from their conference page:

The Handheld Librarian 2009 - An online conference about Mobile Library Services

More people than ever are using mobile devices for a wide variety of purposes including communication, internet access, text messaging, and entertainment. It is important that libraries provide services on these devices as use increases.

The first ever Handheld Librarian Online on July 30, 2009 is the place to learn about these and other topics related to using wireless and hand held devices in your library.  The program, sponsored by Alliance Library System, LearningTimes and Infoquest, will include a variety of ways to collaborate, network and learn from a great group of experts in the field.  In addition to live interactive webcasts, we will have a collection of available resources, discussions boards, and access to the recording  of all live events for one year after the conference.

Proposed WebOPAC Label Changes

By Kee Choi on June 18, 2009 2:22 PM | Permalink
The WebOPAC Committee has been working on ways to improve the WebOPAC.  One of the areas we have been considering concerns improving MARC tag labels and terminology for bibliographic records.

Proposed WebOPAC label change.xls

Some labels represent a fuller version of the term we already use. 

For example:  

  • ALT TITLE would change to ALTERNATE TITLE
  • PUBL INFO would change to PUBLICATION INFO
  • ADDED AUTH would change to ADDED AUTHOR

Some labels will be more descriptive than the current label. For example, instead of just NOTES, there would now be labels for CREDITS, PERFORMER, CAST, and AWARDS

Sheet 1 includes the following columns:  MARC tag, Current WebOPAC label, Proposed WebOPAC label, MARC label definition, # of records in PAC with that label (all institutions) as of April 2009,  and a place for comments.  

Search Overload is Over?

By Darcy Del Bosque on June 9, 2009 10:37 AM | Permalink
Microsoft has come out with a new search engine, replacing Live Search, Windows Live Search and MSN Search.  Instead of going for breadth, they are aiming for relevancy and calling their product a "decision engine".  You can check it out at  If nothing else, they have come up with a great marketing campaign (and pretty much anything would be an improvement over Live Search). 

Bing Commercial - Search Overload - Vignettes

Have you looked at your web content lately?

By Darcy Del Bosque on June 5, 2009 5:02 PM | Permalink
Content is one of the most important pieces to the web site, but there is a tendency to create it and forget it.  It is important to continuously review your content and make sure it is meeting your goals and your users needs.

Rajesh Setty blogs about the nine levels at which users connect to your online content and explains how these levels can provide insight into if your content is effective or not.  He pushes authors to, "Use your creativity to generate content that will inspire and transform the lives of the audience in a positive way," and provides suggestions to consider before creating content.  What can you learn from your users to enhance the content you are providing, whether its via your blog or on a static web page?