18 Jul 08 ITTS Update Meeting – July 15, 2008

1. Web

* Website Redesign (Karen)
Change in where you’ll post information to within the website
Might not be “under your office” by default anymore — might be where it best fits by topic
Membership units vs. organizational units – organizational units might have reduced number of pages under “their” section; instead, content from all units will get mashed together by topic
Showed “contact us” as one new, revamped area

Toured the various left-hand navigation menus and explained what is now in each of them (eg, scholarships are now in “education,” not “awards”)

Have broken the news up into 3 main categories
– National/International Views – regular news from American Libraries
– Inside ALA = our press releases
– Legislation & Advocacy

* Knowledge Management System (Karen)

The KM system has a new look!
Toured the new interface
Showed list of magazines checked in today
Showed how you can search databases without having to log in to each one
Site now shows a tag cloud of resources the Library is bookmarking in

* Website Redesign (Rob and Louise)
Some of the new IA is going to be created by staff tagging via a new tagging system
The tagging matches the IA exactly — it’s only available on “ALA live” document type
Showed how to tag items in Collage
Question about rolling up an ACRL event up to Upcoming ALA Events – will check on that
Division sites may become smaller as their resources are located in more main areas
If a division uses this, the page will appear branded elsewhere in the site, not just within the division’s pages

* New Google Search Features (Rob)
Just before Annual, Rob installed some code behind the search box on the home page of the preview ONLY
Google Search Appliance doesn’t do pagerank, so we’ve been working with a consultant to improve the SERP — Search Engine Results Page
First hit (if available) will be an “ALA suggestion” that we configure (example, Newbery)
We can put in any number of these
Next set of hits will be “results from Google” that do use pagerank because the search is run from the big Google search engine; set is limited to hits
Last section is results from content on our server, which has been cleaned up considerably
– this content is more granular; it just doesn’t have the same sheen of authority that Google or the direct keyword match give it
This customized SERP will eventually be the default for every results page
Have the ability to customize sections for searching and to brand search results for divisions/units
Still have to work with the consultant on including search results from blogs and wikis

Will present two options for implementing the redesign at the unit manager’s meeting tomorrow; decision will be noted in the meeting minutes

** Note that the decision was made to freeze the site for 30 days to do the migration
** Watch for more details about this here on the blog

2. Association 2.0

* Online Communities Update (Jenny)
not much to report yet but work is continuing
Drupal has been installed for about a month, and Urban Insight is installing modules and implementing the interface
work is beginning on the iMIS authentication
the response at Annual was very positive – many members are looking forward to using the new service
Jenny will be doing a task analysis for each module/tool and will post the steps to this blog – please have your committees provide feedback on these! thank you 🙂

* New Capabilities (Matt)
Matt will be providing instructions soon for how to migrate your b2e blog or wiki from the ALA server to Dreamhost

* Demo of how to use OPAL (Sherri and Jenny)
Sherri and Jenny logged into an OPAL room with member Aaron Dobbs
Sherri spoke with Aaron via voice over IP through the computer while Jenny communicated with Aaron via a text chat window

ALA has 4 OPAL rooms available for staff and members to use – 2 rooms with 25 seats each, 1 with 50 seats, and 1 with 100 seats
ALA staff and/or members can use these for meetings, discussions, presentations, and other ALA-related activities for free right now
members can reserve a room by contacting their staff liaisons

Louise sent out documentation for how to book these rooms in Outlook back in March and they are loaded in the KM systemOPAL offers text chat with the option to save the transcript, co-browsing, audio discussions, a whiteboard, and uploading of files for a meeting
the audio portion can be saved to your desktop as an MP3 file you can then post to a blog as a podcast
– or you can post the audio file to a web page so others can download or listen to it (this is not called a “podcast,” though)

you can password-protect a room for private discussions
you can have one way audio for just the presenter

staff are encouraged to purchase a headset to use with OPAL if they are going to use it more than once or twice, as it’s much easier to hear and be heard this way
headsets are not very expensive and can be purchased for around $25 – Maribeth has information if you’re interested

3. Keeping up with developments (Sherri)
Blog w/RSS Feed –
Wikis – ;

4. Q&A / Wrap-Up
No questions at the end this time

30 May 08 Redesign Preview Now Available

A sneak preview of the redesigned ALA website is now available at .  This is a semi-working version, so expect errors!  In the quick links along the bottom of the header, only Divisions and Round Tables have any content in them at the moment.  Know also that if you click on the “more” link below one of the three news sections, you will be taken back to the old design because we haven’t moved that content into the staging area yet.  Also, shortcuts you might have come to use (such as do not work on the staging site.  That is to say, will work, but will not. Redirects will all work as expected when we move to the live site.  As of 4:00 p.m. today, we have not been able to make the highlight images “clickable.”  Again, you will be able to click on a highlight image when the site goes live.

Please let us know what you think by writing us a comment, below.  We will continue to work on the site over the next few weeks, so come back often.  We  expect to have the site much more “fleshed out” by Annual Conference at the end of June.

15 May 08 Website Redesign Podcast

Billie Peterson-Lugo, Chair, ALA Website Advisory Committee
Michelle Frisque, Past Chair, ALA Website Advisory Committee, LITA Board Member, and LITA President-Elect
Karen Muller, ALA Librarian and Chair, ALA Web Editorial Board

The new ALA website will take a huge step in visual appeal and usability when it debuts at ALA’s Annual Conference next month. In this Website Redesign Podcast, Billie Peterson-Lugo and Michelle Frisque are interviewed by Karen Muller about their connections to the ALA site and the redesign. They discuss the process that was followed to perform the Website Usability Study, including contributions from the ALA Website Advisory Committee, which ultimately led to new information architecture and graphical design.

Program Length
13:58; 12.7 MB

05 May 08 Website Redesign Update

Welcome! The purpose of this blog post / web page is to introduce the new graphic design and information architecture for the American Library Association website, and to solicit your feedback.

ALA will unveil our redesigned website at our 2008 Annual Conference in Anaheim, CA. The site has undergone an extensive usability assessment and redesign process, with the expertise of UserWorks, Inc., a Silver Spring, MD, usability and design consulting firm. For a description of the process, please read this background document (pdf).

To view key documents produced during the usability assessment and redesign process, please visit the web planning wiki at Of particular interest are the Strategy Recommendations Report and the Information Architecture Strategy Recommendations Report.

To view sample pages of the graphic redesign, please visit the following:

Home Page

Landing Page 1

Landing Page 2

Listing Page

Content Page

(Please note that the sample pages are intended to show a journey from the ALA home page, through the awards section, to an envisioned Caldecott Medal page.)

This is a work in progress.  Some of the things you will see in these graphic design samples have already been changed, though not drastically.  We are still tweaking the information architecture as well, and will probably continue to do so as we move forward.  We plan to implement a process of continuous improvement for the ALA website.

We welcome your input; please leave a comment, below.

Rob Carlson

ALA Web Development Manager

29 Jan 08 Design Concept, Survey Coming Down

Just a reminder that the graphic design concept description and survey will be coming down at close of business on Thursday, January 31, 2008. If you haven’t had a chance to look and comment, please do so soon. The URL is .

We’ve had about 700 survey completions so far.

Rob Carlson
ALA Web Development Manager
800-545-2433 x3272

27 Nov 07 Web Redesign Survey

As another piece of the ALA website redesign process, UserWorks is going to conduct another survey beginning today. This one is intended to find some consensus on grouping content in broader categories. The intent is to gather input on users’ expectations regarding the terminology and placement of the terms in the organization of the site. In some ways it is similar to the card sort exercise done earlier this year, but more focused and seeking broader input.

The survey invitation will go out this afternoon to a random selection of 750 members and 250 non-members from ALA’s database. We hope to get 250 people to actually fill out the survey. If we don’t have 250 completed surveys by the start of next week, we’ll send out another batch of invitations.