05 Jun 15 ITTS News Meeting – May 20, 2015

  1. Responsive Design for (Louise)

    The most recent version of the prototype for the new responsive design is available online.This project is for a responsive theme redesign that will be applied to all microsites, thus affecting all division and round table sites. While divisions will continue to have their own branding and color schemes, they too will be converted to the responsive, accessible theme as part of this project, and will also have various homepage layout options. The responsive theme resizes to the device in use, and will ensure that our pages are not downgraded in search results for being mobile-unfriendly.

    The prototype design work was developed by the Homepage/Responsive Theme Redesign Task Force of the Web Management Group; the latter has reviewed the Midwinter usability tests and provided feedback that was incorporated into this most recent version. The prototype was implemented by Sean Bires of ITTS using Axure, and was designed using the Google Material Design guidelines. The graphic details of the prototype are not necessarily the finals; nor are the menu item dropdowns complete. This is a testing formative prototype subject to change, not a final version. If you share the links to the prototype with others, please ensure that they are aware of these caveats.

    We intend to further test the most recent version of the prototype at Annual. Visit it on a desktop, laptop, or mobile device. It should resize to your device’s screen. You can also resize it to review the mobile look on your desktop by making your browser window narrow. Due to limitations of the prototyping software, the slide carousel does not respond to gestural swiping. Use the arrows, instead. Click (or tap) on menus and utility icons to see your options.

    The content pane options on the homepage are mostly intended to use feeds to update, although the I am ALA member success story feature may be manually updated.

    Here’s a page level mockup without working menus, as they are time consuming to create.

    One thing we’re looking at is the Masonry module, which would allow drag and drop options for site owners to use when positioning blocks and pods of content. At this time, we’re not sure yet how what’s in the “Featured Content” block will be decided. We’re also in the process of doing a website inventory to determine what will go in the “Related Sites” menu.

    Once the design is approved, we’ll issue an RFP to implement it. The target date for implementation is before the end of the current fiscal year (August 31st) with a rolling implementation down to division and microsites.

    Please review and share any questions or concerns with me directly ( by the end of next week and copy the

    Homepage/Responsive Redesign Task Force: Jan Carmichael, Rebecca Gerber, Louise Gruenberg, Jen Habley, Dan Kaplan

    Web Management Group: Adam Eisgrau, Louise Gruenberg, Steven Hofmann, Ron Jankowski, Mary Mackay, Mari Merola, Sherri Vanyek

    Question: Will the search engine remain the same?
    Louise: Yes, we’ll still use Solr for search, but we’re going to work with a consultant to improve how it retrieves results.

  2. Ecommerce Update (Sherri)

    We signed a contract with a Drupal Commerce vendor in March, and now we’re currently in the discovery phase with our vendor and internal stakeholders. Work is currently being done on wireframes and then we’ll move to the design, with implementation beginning on June 5th. We hope to launch the new system for membership dues and donations the week of November 6th. Mary Ghikas is taking point on some of the discussions and is putting together a small group to work on the bigger decisions.

  3. ALA Connect RFP (Jenny)

    Working with a group of staff and members from the Website Advisory Committee, the RFP for a new Connect platform was issued on May 4th with responses due by May 26th. This group will read through the responses to select vendors to do a demo. We hope to select a new platform by the end of June so that we can start work in mid-July. We have an ambitious target date to go live in September, but that’s dependent in part on units providing the information we need to move forward. For example, we’ll be asking each unit to decide which of its groups and how much of their content should be migrated into the new system.

    Question: Will the conference scheduler be going away?
    Jenny: Yes, starting with Midwinter 2016, Conference Services will take over the conference website, scheduling tool, and mobile apps using a different platform. These services are currently hosted in Connect’s Drupal installation, which will be going away before Midwinter, so they have to be migrated to other services.

  4. Training (Sherri)

    Informz How To
    The first Informz remote classes were held this month, and will be offered monthly so remote offices as well as local staff who want refreshers can get in on the sessions via Adobe Connect.We are also working with Dan Kaplan and Mary Mackay to create Informz training videos for on-demand staff access on topics such as the Basics, Opt-out forms and links, and more.  The plan includes working with groups to help update Opt-out options on template footers as needed. Details on these and other upcoming classes are on the support site.

    Digital Library Help
    There is also a new Digital Library section on Support.  Clicking on the link reveals submenu items for tips on how to Search and/or request and item from the Library, using our new WorldCat.

    Where is the KM?
    Just a friendly reminder that we no longer have the KMS and most things can be found at under Staff Resources.  Your staff login will be required to see Conference Registration stats, HR Policies, and more.

    New iMIS Videos
    There is  a new iMIS page on support with over 20 TASK BASED videos, most of which are under a minute.  You can learn where to find data on records in the History and Detail tabs as well as refresh on the several ways of Finding a record, including options for creating an Ad Hoc Search.

  5. General Q&A

    Question: Where we are with the new grant cube in the accounting system?
    Sherri: We met with grant managers, accounting, and consultants to come up with a specifications document. We signed a contract this week in the hope that life-to-date grant reporting will be available in early June.

23 Dec 13 ITTS News Meeting – December 17, 2013

1. Financial System Problems (Sherri)

ITTS had to allocate more space for the financial system, at which point it started working again. We have reports of Prophix being slow and have an open ticket with them about it. [Ed.: This issue was resolved on December 19th and reports should be running much faster now.]

2. Solr (Louise)

Solr will launch this week [Ed.: It did go live on on December 19th). Louise did a demo to show what it looks like, including how the search results also display press releases and facets (ways to further narrow searches). “Suggestions” are still available as part of the results.

Due to the limited resources available in ITTS at this time, we can’t predict for sure when Solr will be rolled out to ALA Connect, making federated searches possible, but that’s part of the long range plan.

It’s very important to use style headings in your text for the facets and for weighting results. The setup process for each microsite is a manual one, so the rollout will occur in phases as we make the changes to each microsite so not everyone will see it at once. If users have any questions or comments, please send them to Louise so that we can tweak the settings for the best results.

3. iMIS Self-service Reports (Irene)

In order to empower staff, Irene has created several reports staff can run themselves on iMIS data (especially since ITTS is now down two people). You can find the reports in the Customers module under Generate Reports. These are the requests Irene gets the most often from staff (eg, all ALA membership statistics, membership statistics for my division, publication subscribers, members with a specific job title, etc.). When you export the data, you can put it directly into Excel. Irene and Pam are working on a training class for how to navigate the data.

4. Windows 7 Implementation (Sherri)

We need to finish this project by April because that’s when Microsoft stops supporting XP. We’re currently doing an inventory of all our applications to find out which ones work in Windows 7 and which ones will need upgrades. Note that ome old scanners, printers, and other hardware may not work with Windows 7.  We’ll likely do the installation unit by unit in the evenings and on weekends, starting after Midwinter, but we need to finish all of the testing first.

5. iMIS 20 Upgrade (Sherri)

While reviewing ecommerce system proposals, it became clear that we need to upgrade to iMIS 20 first. The current plan is to do this upgrade by the end of February. Pam will offer training on the new version when it’s ready. The biggest difference is a structural change to the database, but many of the interface screens are similar or the same. We’ll be doing an automated rollout of the new software (using Zen).

6. Ecommerce Proposals (Sherri)

ITTS has been reviewing proposals and has narrowed them down to the top three. We plan to hold demos with the top vendors and internal stakeholder groups sometime around April. Noted that moving forward with implementing a new ecommerce system is dependent on the iMIS 20 upgrade being completed first.

7. Profile Editor Mockups (Louise)

Louise provided a progress update on the implementation of the CSI Profile Editor, a product that integrates with iMIS. The profile is the first step in account creation for new memberships and event registrants, and thus it is a crucial piece in the upcoming ecommerce implementation. The profile  project objectives are to merge the data from the two existing profiles from ALA Connect and  to make it possible for both members and non-members to view and update a single version of their profile from either location. The new profile is intended to make it easier for members to communicate their engagement with ALA as part of an online CV that shows ALA memberships, committee service, conference registrations, and ultimately continuing education and elearning. It also includes fields for members to tell us more about their education, work history, social media accounts and interests. The member profile is intentionally more elaborate than the non-member profile so it can be considered a member benefit, and the ability to showcase involvement in the profession will assist with member retention. Suggestions about how to incorporate profile update reminders into other messaging to members were provided by staff in attendance.  (Thank you, Dan Kaplan and Ron Jankowski!)

8. ITTS Project Request Form (Sherri and Louise)

We have launched the ITTS Project Request Form as a place for staff to request the future allocation of ITTS resources. The form is at (Day to day help requests should go into Track-It; this form is for grant funded or other types of projects that will require a significant investment of ITTS resources.) We review project requests at a weekly meeting and will return a response to you and to any others you specify on the form. You will need to log in with a staff ID at before you will be able to access the form. If you don’t have, or aren’t sure if you have a staff record in iMIS, put in a Track-It request and Pam Akins will get back to you.

9. New staff change form (Sherri and Louise)

Supervisory staff who are on-boarding or off-boarding personnel are reminded to use the Staff Change form at to communicate with ITTS and other units that have relevant responsibilities. You will need to log in with a staff ID at before you will be able to access the form. Try to give us two weeks or as much notice as you possibly can. If you don’t have, or aren’t sure if you have, a staff record in iMIS, put in a Track-It request and Pam Akins will get back to you.

10. The next ITTS News meeting will be on March 11, 2014, at 2:00 pm.

04 Oct 13 ITTS News Meeting – October 1, 2013

1. TrackIt! Requests (Sherri)
Reminder – Please provide us with as much information as possible (assume we know nothing – where something lives, URLs, etc.)

Please provide us with a due date, planned well in advance, for email blasts

Reminder – we can’t guarantee a response time given our staff capacity right now, but we’re doing our best to respond to every ticket

Questions about attaching files to a Track-It request – this should work (some people noted they’ve used it successfully); Might have to use IE to attach a file? Will check.

Question about how to get member lists from iMIS more quickly – ITTS is working on a way to allow units to do this themselves; to learn to do this yourself, put in a Track-It request for the access so that ITTS can create the queries for you; training can be done in 15 minutes

Request for a report to track division memberships for a specific iMIS group code; ITTS will try to work on this

2. New ITTS Project Request Form (Louise)
This form will have to be filled out in order for ITTS to consider committing resources to your project
Use it when you’re planning projects, not for individual tasks (those go in Track-It)

The form is still under development, but the link is in the left-hand navigation under “ALA Staff Resources” on the Support site ( and requires a staff login to view it. Please don’t use the form until we send an all-staff announcement that it’s ready.

Did a walkthrough of the form

ITTS’ queue is currently around 38 projects, 20 of which are rated as “priority 1” so it’s very important to fill out all of the information in this form to get in the queue. This is in addition to all of the help requests in Track-It, so we won’t be able to help with your project at all if you don’t go through this process.

3. Demo of the New Staff Change Form (Louise)
This is the first item under “ALA Staff Resources” on the Support site ( in the left-hand navigation.
Note that it requires a staff login to access the form.

Use this form for all personnel changes – arrivals, departures, name changes, status changes, etc.
Please try to give two weeks notice, especially for Staff Support Services so that there’s enough time to get everything set up. This is very important for new hires.

Did a walkthrough of the form
We’ll try to add Outlook group lists to the form (eg, all-staff, unit managers, etc.)

4. Twitter Feeds on the ALA website (Sherri)
Twitter changed its API several months ago, which broke our implementation displaying tweets on
We’ve implemented the new Drupal module but it’s not a real-time feed, so we’re working on a way to schedule updates; until this is resolved, you might not want to add Twitter feeds back to your sites
We’re investigating options and will report back.

Question about ACRL’s implementation on its home page and how it’s working – we’ll investigate.

5. Postini Spam Filtering (Sherri)
Google owns Postini and they’re working on a new interface for spam filtering;
Changes will take effect sometime between now and December 31st
There will be a new “message center” and “quarantine summary” that uses Google Apps
No set date yet, so we’re waiting to hear from Google
All ALA email is routed through Postini first and then they go to OWA/Outlook
This will represent a routing change for us, so there may be an interruption when we do the switchover
All the Sympa lists hit Postini first, so they’ll be affected, too.

6. Informz Training (Pam)
We’re working on training classes to show how to build an Informz email and send it out based on iMIS queries
The first training session will be on October 15th
Advantage: emails sent through Informz using iMIS-based lists are always current
You can use it to send thousands of emails at once

We bought a large block of emails – when you log in, you can see how many emails are left on our account
Using Informz queries respects member communication preferences, which is an important issue
Once Irene creates a view for an Informz list, you never have to go back to her for that query – you can then run it yourself, so good for repeat queries
Submit a Track-It request for a new query

7. Drupal Changes to Slideshow Feature (Louise)
We’re trying to implement fewer microsites but provide more flexibility with slideshows so we’re removing the limitation of one slideshow per site
By the end of the year, we’ll transition to a new setup that will allow for multiple slideshows and tabs on one site; you’ll no longer need a new microsite just to have these options.
The new system will use new content types, so the previous ones will be deprecated.
Let Louise know if you want to volunteer to implement the new system first

8. Solr Search Engine Implementation (Louise, Sherri)
The Solr search software is installed and is almost ready to go
Allows for faceted searching (like Amazon’s seach results pages with options for filtering results in the left-hand column)
Still crucial that authors enter metadata or those pieces still won’t work

9. ALA Connect (Jenny)

  • Email Notifications – We’re working on improving the readability of email notifications, based on feedback from the survey we did last April. Hope to launch new versions in the next few weeks.
  • Demo of new Meeting Request feature – We’ll be releasing a new group-based feature that lets you post potential meeting times (similar to Doodle) and then lets you easily create a calendar event from the most-selected time. Watch for this to release in the next few weeks – will send an all-staff email about it when it goes live. Contact Jenny if you want to help beta test it.

10. Ecommerce Project Update (Sherri)
A revised RFP was sent out last month and we’re starting to receive responses back from vendors
Proposals are due by October 16th
We hope to have the new system in place by FY15

11. Next Meeting will be in early December – we’re moving to a quarterly schedule

12. Other
Question: Timeframe for Windows 7 implementation? Staff need to be able to test most current versions of browsers, but IE9 and IE10 won’t install on Windows XP.
Sherri: It’s one of the 20 “priority 1” items in the queue and will start soon because Windows XP support expires in April; we have to get a working image and test all of our software on it before we can begin rolling it out
Contact ITTS if you need to occasionally use a Windows 7 computer/laptop for testing purposes
We’re not planning to go to Windows 8 at this point
All of our computers and laptops are Windows 7-ready because we anticipated this migration.

06 Mar 13 ITTS News Meeting – February 19, 2013

1. Drupal Modules (Rob)

Rob explained how decisions are made about which Drupal modules we can add to the installation and why

ITTS evaluates each module request, with the first criterion being its development status;
“alpha” modules are never installed because they’re too unstable and there’s no guarantee the developer will fix any problems
modules in “beta” testing are considered, but we’ll still take into consideration other factors, such as whether the developer is actively working on the module, if it’s dependent on other modules being installed first, etc.
“release candidate” status on a module still equals “beta”
even when accepted for testing, modules can still fail when implemented on the development site because the module just doesn’t work properly in our environment or with other installed modules

a list of existing modules in the installation is available at
we’ll also add a list of rejected modules to the Support site

2. Connect Migration to Drupal 7 (Jenny)

the upgrade is scheduled to begin at 6:00 pm CST on Wednesday, March 6th
Connect will be offline for approximately an hour if all goes well
watch the Connect Twitter account for updates –

users shouldn’t notice any major changes when the new version is up – the interface will be the same, with only minor changes made to chats (see January 2013 meeting notes)

once we’re in Drupal 7 and the dust has settled, we’ll begin working on better email notifications
watch for an online poll to provide feedback about how you think the notifications should look and what should be in them and where

we’re also planning a larger survey about Connect later this year to get broader feedback about how to improve the site

3. Merging Connect and Profiles (Jenny)

ITTS continues to work on the plan to merge Connect and profiles into a single profile that will result in a new, standalone membership directory; all of the data will be unified and will live in iMIS as our central source
we’ll be implementing Apache Solr as the search engine for profiles (members, non-members, and staff), which will allow us to offer faceted searching
this also means that Connect profile interests will be available to units via iMIS for use with Informz

4. Status of the New Hire Form (Louise)

the form is not yet ready but is getting closer to going live
Louise discussed various features and showed the “Changes and Departures” side of the form (building on what was shown at the January 2013 ITTS Update meeting)
when live, the form will be behind a staff login on the Support site
ITTS will seek feedback from Unit Managers before the form goes live
all other related, existing forms will be deactivated when this new one goes live

5. New Event Management System (Sherri)

the group working on selecting a new system has narrowed the choices to two vendors
we hope to sign a contract in March and begin work as soon as possible since the new service has to be ready for testing in August


22 Jan 13 ITTS News Meeting – January 15, 2013

1. Blog & Wiki Migrations (Rob)

The blog and wiki migration from Dreamhost to ALA servers has been put on the backburner due to other projects right now
We did a test moving the ITTS News blog, which was successful
We’ll work on this project after Midwinter
We have more than 80 blogs and more than 70 wikis, so this will be a long process because each site needs a little work in order to get it ready for migration
Rob will work with units individually because all of a unit’s sites on a single domain must be moved at once will be the last site moved because it has 50 wikis on it
Moodle will remain hosted externally because we need additional support for it; we’re investigating specialty Moodle hosting services now

2. ALA Connect (Jenny)

Drupal 7 Upgrade
We’ve postponed the upgrade until the week of February 11th so that we can ensure proper testing and not run into any problems right before Midwinter
The change should be pretty seamless to users – the interface is the same, the functionality is the same, etc., so no major documentation or training should be necessary
Two things will be different, though:

Chats will work a little differently because that module was re-written by the author
Individual chats will now work like every other content type, so you’ll be able to create an individual chat from the “Add” button
You’ll also be able to categorize your chats using your group’s existing subject headings and chat transcripts will be searchable
Also, chats will appear on the group home page, so chats occurring now should be easier to find because they’ll appear as the new content at the top of the page

Email notifications will also change in Drupal 7 and hopefully will get easier to read
Because we’re using our own Drupal module now, we can format the notifications however we want (especially for digest versions)
In the weeks after the Drupal 7 launch, we’ll work on reformatting these emails
We want feedback about what users would like to see change with notifications, so we’ll do a survey of both members and staff to ask for suggestions

Connect-iMIS sync issue

Members and staff have reported enough problems with Connect rosters that we know there is some kind of an issue with the synchronization between iMIS and Connect
Since nothing has changed on either side recently and the problems appear to be random, it’s been very difficult to troubleshoot the problem
In February, we plan to pull together a group to work on resolving the issue
In the meantime, we’ve put every active committee member in the overnight sync in order to re-synchronize the rosters going into Midwinter
We also turned on email notifications from committees for every committee member as part of the re-synchronization
We believe that this will solve the problem short-term until we can implement a long-term fix, but it’s important for all staff liaisons to check their rosters to make sure they’re updated
Please report any problems to Jenny via Track-It so that we can continue logging issues and find the pattern

3. Reminder to access remote resources prior to leaving for Midwinter conference (Louise and Pam)

A reminder that the document for accessing remote resources can be found on

ITTS has moved the old support wiki into now that the ALA website is in Drupal 7
Pam has been working on updating the content and adding new information
The one thing to note is that there are pages that only staff can view; if you have a member account, you won’t be able to see the staff-only page
The “staff resources” area includes the “remote resources” page that can be very useful if you’re going to Midwinter
Note that you can’t test your NetStorage access to the LAN from inside the building – it only works externally

4. Review of New Hire Web Form (Louise)

We’ve moved the “New Hire” form to th3 “staff resources” section on the Support site (
The great thing about this new form is that portions of it can be sent to whichever unit needs that information

Use this form for:

  • Employee name change
  • New Hire
  • Status change
  • Unit transfer
  • Termination

The form walks you through the various options for each type of request
Note that it isn’t quite ready to go live yet but will be soon

Question: When will the Outlook Address Book be cleaned up?
Answer: Not sure who has access to maintain that and authority to change it. We need a way to kludge together the Outlook Address Book, the KM staff directory, and the Contact Us list. Mary G. will look into who is responsible for what to sort this out because at least one of them needs to be reliably updated. Discussion about ways to do this, and we’ll try to work on this after Midwinter.


18 Sep 12 ITTS News Meeting – September 18, 2012

1. Membership & Connect profile management system (Sherri)

ITTS is merging the and Connect profiles into one for future viewing and management
we’ve found a software package to handle the merged profiles and we hope to have the legal documents signed by the end of this week

2. Ecommerce proposals (Sherri)

we’ve received 22 proposals; Sherri and Louise are making a first-pass through them to narrow down the field

3. Adobe Connect demo (Louise)

All-staff emails were sent to note how to get your password
you were added as a user in Adobe Connect if you were on HR’s list as a staff member
this means you can easily be given access and added to meetings
enter your email address into the site in the “forgot your password” field to set a password

we have 15 rooms, but 12 of them are licenses bought by units for their own exclusive use
3 licenses are for anyone in ALA to set up, run registration, and hold meetings/webinars
there are 3 Outlook calendars managing these steps to book your events in Adobe Connect
you’re basically booking a license; ITTS monitors the calendars and moves you into the “meeting host” group when you need meeting host access
meetings are created according to user license so that has to be enabled to create or host a meeting
booking the license in the Outlook calendar does NOT create it in Adobe Connect; all it does is tell ITTS that you need a license for that date and time
you can use any of the calendars to create or host your meeting; just can’t have more than three licenses in use at once

remember that ITTS has to manually transfer licenses between people in your unit, so please include deadlines in your Track-It requests so that we know when to transfer a license back to you or someone else

if you’re booking an event, you probably only need a license for half-an-hour
if you finish early, you can let ITTS know so that we can release that license to others

ITTS moved past iLinc content into units’ “shared content” folders in Adobe Connect
each archived event has a URL you can give out for public viewing; the default on all of the past content is public

we only have until September 30th for the iLinc content to be migrated to Adobe so check if you still need anything moved in enough time that we can migrate it for you
after September 30th, we can’t access that content anymore so this is very important

“event management” section lets you handle registration; you can upload images to create a pretty template

Adobe Connect has many short tutorial videos at

there is a staff group in for Adobe Connect users in ALA Connect; if you’re not a member of it and you think you should be, find the group and ask to be a member of the group or email Louise

these licenses are for approximately 100-user or less meetings; 100 registrants doesn’t cost us any additional money, but 101+ does

note that half the people who register usually show up for the meeting, so adjust your expectations accordingly
you can’t limit the number of registrants and the number of attendees separately – it’s one number/setting for both
you won’t get charge if more than 100 people register, but we do get charged if more than 100 attend

ITTS isn’t setting any audio conference phone numbers by default so assuming you’re using VoIP instead
there’s no default conference call line, although you can add your own
should we change the default registration message to note users needs to be set up for VoIP?

4. 503 errors on (Rob)

we believe we’ve finally tracked down the problem and resolved it after testing with AASL and PLA
as of Monday morning (9/17), it should be fixed, so please submit a Track-It ticket if you still encounter this problem

5. Midwinter website (Jenny)

the Midwinter website will go live on October 1 at and for the first time, the Scheduler will be at the same URL so we can point users to one place now
the Scheduler will go live in November

6. Track-It (Sherri)

reminder: we get a lot of email, so please be sure to submit your help requests in Track-It so that they don’t get lost


14 Sep 12 ITTS News Meeting – August 21, 2012

Drupal features you may not know about (Louise)

Louise showed how to:

  • Embed a video in a web page; anyone can do it using the icon on the WYSIWYG editor; she recommends keeping the size to 500-700 pixels wide at most (500 for pods)
  • Add an audio file using the “multimedia” section of the page (not an icon in the WYSIWYG editor)
  • Embed external content using an iframe by inserting the HTML into the source code; the example she used was OIF’s Banned Books Week Timeline

Louise also discussed “microsites,” which are subsites that use a different template from the standard one
any unit can request a microsite, but please allow a minimum of two weeks notice so that ITTS has time to implement it before your deadline for it to be live
for a microsite, you’ll need to provide a banner, color scheme, and links; colors can be different from the template, but not font size

Virtual Meeting Software (Sherri)

Louise is configuring Adobe Connect
please make sure your staff list is current for your unit in the KM system because Louise is creating “groups” now
because of the way the Adobe Connect licensing works, we need to assign one person in each unit to be the main point of contact for using the software
Adobe is trying to convert our iLinc archives
all ALA staff are Adobe Connect users by default
we recommend you put your webinar materials in your unit’s shared folder so that anyone can get to it

Blogs & wikis (Sherri)

ITTS has found software to maintain our blogs and wikis in-house, so we’ll be migrating from DreamHost sometime in the near future
we’ll give plenty of notice and set up a schedule when we have more information

Rollout of network disk space (Sherri)

ITTS is moving files to a new storage location in order to add more storage space
this should stop the network full messages, but please take a few minutes to clean out any files you no longer need

RFPs (Sherri)

Sherri noted that we have several RFPs running right now

  • Profile Management System that will help us merge Connect and profiles into one (released in June, work to begin in September)
  • New ecommerce system – will replace ActiveMatter (responses due in September, work to begin in November)
  • New event management system – will replace ActiveEvents and add abstract management plus speaker management (RFP released in August, work to be completed before August 2013)
  • Committee Appointment System – ITTS is talking with Charles Wilt about redoing the committee appointment forms to move them out of ColdFusion; will solicit input from other units after initial discussions (work to be completed by June 2013)

ALA Connect (Jenny)

Jenny will hold additional sessions on the redesign in a few weeks


04 Jun 12 ITTS News Meeting – May 22, 2012

ALA Connect (Jenny)

The Annual Scheduler went live last month and we’re now working on the mobile Scheduler app for early June
– Don’t forget you can add descriptions and speaker info to Annual sessions all the way through the conference itself
Beta testing for the new Connect interface went so well that we postponed implementation until after July 4th to try to incorporate as many user suggestions as possible; Jenny will send out an all-staff announcement when we have a specific date for the launch, along with dates for more staff demo sessions and eventually online webinars for members.
The upcoming timeline for Connect work includes some major behind-the-scenes projects:

  • July – Launch the Connect redesign and move Connect to ALA servers
  • August – Migrate Connect from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7
  • September – Work on merging the Midwinter conference site with the Midwinter Scheduler for an October 1 launch; work on merging Connect profile data into iMIS (could possibly be used with Informz in the future); work on phase 2 of the Connect redesign
  • October – Launch Shibboleth single sign-on with, combine website and Connect profiles into one, and implement’s Solr search engine installation for federated search of both sites
  • November – Launch Midwinter Scheduler within the Midwinter website
  • December – Launch the Midwinter mobile Scheduler app with session evaluation feature
  • January – Open merged Annual website with integrated Scheduler

We’ll resume feature development in calendar year 2013.


Drupal CMS Migration Update (Sherri)

  • Homepage Go Live Schedule: We expect to take the homepage live in Drupal at the end of the day on May 29th. This will complete the migration to Drupal.
  • Drupal Enhancements
    1. Modules: Your microsite should have feature slides, navpods, lightbox, and also the book module (really great for displaying policy and other types of manuals) available. Let Louise know if you need modules enabled or if you require training.
    2. Feature Slide (AKA Homepage Highlights) templates now include left and right side image options. Templates for feature slides are available at and templates for pods are at Please use the original navpod size until we inform you that the other options are available.
  • Feedback Forms
    Feedback Forms have been installed on each microsite. Forms are set to submit email responses to ITTS, and the owning unit. On shared portions of the site, messages are sent to the web group list for that area. It is expected that the appropriate personnel will take the lead in responding to these messages.

Ecommerce Project (Sherri)

  • The requirements document has been shared with unit managers, with a request for review and further comments from staff.
  • We expect to release the draft version of the RFP for feedback from the Website Advisory Committee and staff by mid-June.

Virtual Meeting Software Update (Sherri)

After reviewing the results of the Online Learning survey, ITTS has determined that we should have three shared rooms seating 100. Because of Adobe Connect’s named license requirement, we need to determine which ALA units will be assigned to each room. Please contact us with possible partnerships for each shared space.

  • We can manually move iLinc recordings and players, but they will not play in Connect rooms. We will have to relocate them elsewhere to keep them available.
  • We believe we can also manually move Connect recordings to Connect rooms, but have not tested that functionality yet. We will know for sure whether that’s possible by the end of this week.
  • Units with recordings in either platform are requested to begin making lists of which of their recordings will need to be transferred.

Discussions continue, and we hope to have a decision soon.

25 Apr 12 ITTS News Meeting – April 24, 2012

1. Web Working Group, WWG (formerly Wed Editorial Board) – Eric Cameron, Program Officer ALA Public Programs Office and co-convenor of the new Web Working Group

Eric covered the mission and scope of the new Web Working Group as outlined below.

Mission: To create and maintain a strong web presence for ALA by incorporating best practices and trends, with a shared strategic vision.

Rationale: To optimize resources by engaging stakeholders across the association in actively sharing and implementing best web practices, rather than current editorial-only focus. To increase ITTS’s effectiveness without adding resources. To make policy and high-level recommendations to and receive such recommendations from ALA Management Group.

Who: Rotating conveners (elected by group), with staggered 12-month terms. Group open to all; outreach will be made to any units that the group identifies as lacking needed representation, especially if projects affecting that unit are planned.  Two levels of participation possible: participatory or serving as representative/liaison (following in Connect only).

 New scope:
– Policy/ high-level recommendations to and from ALA Management Group
– Develop objectives for web presence
– Discussion forum for stakeholders (key feature)
– Representative and inclusive group with flexibility of membership, and short-term ad hoc groups for specific projects
– A *working* group, with time commitment on a self-selected basis (mirroring the social media group which has been both creative and productive)
– Resource for colleagues–reach out proactively
Suggested activities/responsibilities/outcomes:
– Work with trainer to identify training needs.
– Work with Usability Officer to continuously improve website.
– Make recommendations about priorities for ALA web presence.
– Bring to group issues/proposals/changes that affect the selection and display of items on the homepage, and the top level left navigation menu, prior to implementation
– Help units adopt best practices (e.g., migrate a Word Press site to Drupal, or replicate effective ideas from other units) including implementation of microsite guidelines
– Provide coaching [and fun] for building new skills
– Create updated style guide for Drupal
– Organize informal information-sharing events open to all staff, similar to recent social media group brown bag lunches
– Track specific pages needing review; identify “owners” of seemingly abandoned pages or areas
– Identify projects, gather input, develop draft and have conveners/stakeholders take to Management Group
– Use group to help develop association-wide buy-in so changes are easier to make and more effective
– Develop pilot projects as examples of an improvement
– Solicit feasibility/analytic input from ITTS
– Identify projects deemed critical by the larger group for consideration for inclusion in ITTS budget

The new group is a successor to Web Editoral Board (WEB).  WEB started out selecting News and Highlights for the ALA homepage. WEB’s charge then expanded to cover other areas on the ALA website. WEB outgrew its orginal charge and decided to redefine its mission to encompass its new role.

WWG serves two functions:
1) To identify Projects &  Initiatives that need to be addressed
2) To be the Representative body of all stakerholders

Co-convenors are Eric Cameron, Mary Mackay, and Gwendolyn Prellwitz

Two levels of participation possible: participatory or serving as representative/liaison (following in Connect only). Representatives/liaisons can bring issues to the group.

WWG is a central place to think about what ALA and its related websites do.

2. Drupal CMS Migration Update – Louise Gruenberg
The homepage is the only content that is being served by Collage web servers.  We plan to migrate the ALA homepage on May 9th, barring any unforeseen complications.  We are configuring new server hardware for load balancing to handle the increased traffic and URL rule sets.

The Drupal book module is now available. It allows you to create web pages that will build a PDF for download. Eric Cameron will explore the application of module.

Lightbox is now available in Drupal. This application allows you to expand the display of an image or text file on the website.

A submission form for adding hightlights to website pages has been developed on the ALA training site.  The form will be made available for staff to use very soon.

A feedback form for members and the public has been developed for various sections of the website. The feedback form will route information to appropriate staff based on the section of the site they’re visiting.  The feedback form will be deployed as soon as minor revisions are implemented.   

3. ALA Connect – Sherri Vanyek
We’ve had many members and staff helping us beta test the redesign of ALA Connect.  The feedback to date has been very positive. Jenny has been giving tours of the new design to staff.  We hope to finish up with last minute revisions based on the feedback received very soon.  The launch is scheduled to take place in May 2012.

4. Ecommerce RFP – Sherri Vanyek
The new ecommerce system will replace the old Active Matter system that members currently use to join or renew their membership, register for small events and continuing education, fund raising, subscriptions, and profile management.  We have been meeting with various stakeholders across the association to gather requirements.  We plan to draft a RFP and circulate it for review.  The funds for this project will be available in the fiscal year 2013, which begins on September 1, 2012.

5. Virtual Meeting Software Update – Sherri Vanyek

We are looking at various solutions for the association. It was noted at the meeting that ease of use is very important.  Sherri and Louise will meet with the ALA Online Learning Task force on Thursday, April 26 to discuss findings. 

6. New Categories and Priorities for Track-It!– Irene Marquez

Track-IT Priorities (implemented 4/3/2012)

1. Just a casual question, comment, idea, suggestion…
2. I need some help but it’s not super time sensitive.
3. I can’t get things done until I hear back from you, please reply ASAP.
4. Things are broken and I’d like them not to be!

Track-IT Categories (implementation 04/25/2012)

1. ! Server Down !
2. Access Rights
3. ALA Software: Accounting
4. ALA Software: Outlook
5. ALA Software: iMIS
6. Hardware Support
7. Phones
8. Procurement
9. Email Marketing/Lists
10. Training
11. Web –
12. Web – ALAConnect
13. Web – Apps & Forms
14. Web – Blog, Sympa, Wikis
15. Web – Drupal on Dreamhost
16. Web – Moodle
17. Web – Other (KM, JobLIST, Store)
18. z-Other

Feedback on the priorities have been very positive. 

151 categories were whittled down to 18.  The group felt “ALA Software: Email” should be changed to “ALA Software: Outlook” and “Reports” should be changed to “Email Marketing/Lists”.  The list was updated and implemented around 5:30pm yesterday.

7. Investigating Remote Office Worker Functionality – Sherri Vanyek
We are investigating several solutions to provide remote office worker functionality. We plan to make this available to all staff.  Our current Citrix solution is being used by our remote offices.  We are looking at application virtualization or desktop virtualization as possible options. We are also looking at different options for NetStorage file sharing.

20 Sep 11 ITTS News Meeting – September 20, 2011

1. CMS Update (Louise)

Things are moving along
Everything will go into the review stage during the next few weeks
Showed the new versions of PLA, I Love Libraries, LLAMA, AASL, RUSA, ASCLA, LITA, YALSA (some of which still need some work) but are displaying at some level in the new system

Hope that all divisions will have first round of pages on the review site by the end of this week
Then we’ll start on the round tables, offices, and sections
Reviewers should begin hearing from Louise soon
Will take PLA live when Shibboleth is ready, hopefully next week

When your site is ready to go live, you do one last lookover with ITTS on Monday
Tuesday the site is frozen and the migration starts
Go live on Wednesday (can rollback to old site if things don’t go well)
Thursday you come to training (Friday if you can’t make Thursday)

Member volunteers will all eventually get trained, starting with iLinc webinars
Screenshot-based documentation and training will probably become available in December

We’ll be taking sites live on a rolling basis as they’re ready

Shibboleth is moving forward, with just one remaining hangup to get it working on the dev sites

2. Connect update (Jenny)

Showed the new “Suggestions” feature that will be coming soon

Connect Roadmap for FY12:

  1. Implement redesign (hopefully in October)
  2. Add Suggestions feature (hopefully in October)
  3. Midwinter Scheduler (November)
  4. Mobile version of the Scheduler (November)
  5. Migrate to Drupal 7 (work done in January, migrate in February)
  6. Merge Connect profiles into iMIS (February)
  7. Move to Single Sign-On with using Shibboleth (February)
  8. Migrate to in-house servers (March)
  9. Implement’s Solr search engine for federated and faceted searching (March)

3. Service outage on Tuesday, September 22, 2011, 5:30-8:30 pm CDT – corrected date (Sherri)

Hopefully the following services will only be down for a few hours early Wednesday evening

  • iMIS
  • Log in to the ALA website
  • Log in to Connect
  • Membership renewals
  • Registration for events
  • Fundraising
  • KMS
  • Track-It
  • Drupal dev site for the new CMS
  • New finance system (check requests, etc.)
  • FRX

Staff: if you’re already logged in to the network, you’ll be able to keep working after 5:30 pm CDT; otherwise you won’t be able to log in during the outage

We’ll put up a message on the public sites when this happens so that users will see a meaningful message