17 Aug 11 ITTS News Meeting – August 16, 2011

  1. CMS Update (Louise)
    PLA has gone through the conversion process – Louise showed their new site (it’s not live at this point)
    uses the new left-hand navigation worked out by the divisions
    thank you to Steven Hoffman for all of his work getting their pages doneworking on getting Shibboleth running
    every division, round table, office, etc. is its own microsite within our Drupal installation (85+ sites right now), so Louise is setting up iMIS groups to control permissions for each onehope to get LLAMA, LITA, and the rest of the test sites converted soon for evaluation
    also hoping the PLA fixes will make the next test sites go fasterLouise is working on the Drupal “roles”  now, which will control the different sets of permissions that will be available across the microsites
    need to define the default settings for these (basic, intermediate, advanced)
    will start asking for feedback on a starter set later this weekquestion: will the current press release interface be part of the new site?
    answer: we’re implementing the existing workflow on the new site as part of the “press center”; making and publishing press releases will go back to being a website process, which American Libraries will then pull in
    press releases will publish to AL and your own site area
    PIO will control the press center
  2. Shibboleth (Sherri)
    the Shibboleth server is installed and is communicating with the ActiveMatter server but it isn’t sending data yet
    we’re working to fix this last piece so that we can provide single sign-on across our sites, including the ecommerce server
    initial implementation will be for ecommerce and the website; later we’ll add ALA Connect
    question: for those who do customer service, how do we see what a non-member sees now?
    : you can keep two browsers open; just don’t log in to the website in one of them in order to see the public (anonymous) view
  3. ALA Connect (Jenny)
    In addition to the “follow a group” and “file repository” features added a couple of months ago, we’ve added some other enhancements to the site.

    • A reminder that Connect Chat is back up, and it appears to be running smoothly. The interface barely changed, so your groups should be able to use it the same way they did before it was temporarily disabled.
    • We’ve added a tab on group rosters that shows “Followers.” This list shows you any non-group members who are “following” your group in order to receive email notifications whenever new public content is posted. For an example, see “Groups I’m following” now also appears on your profile and in your navigation dropdown menus for easy access.
    • There are new, expanded statistics for the Conference Scheduler at that let you view and download the numbers for a specific unit’s sessions. To get to this page, click on the “Connect statistics” link in the left-hand column on any page, go to the “CS” tab, and click on the “View session schedule adds/attendees by sponsor” link. Note that “attendee” statistics are self-reported, so they won’t be accurate until attendees begin using that feature regularly. Please also remember that only ALA staff accounts can see Connect statistics, although you can download unit reports to share with others.
    • Connect users can now set a personal URL for their profile. For example, you can find me at . You can set your own personal URL by editing your profile and looking for the “My URL box.” We’ll formally announce this publicly next week, so now is a good time to go grab your name if you have a common one.
    • We added two enhancements to polls.
      • When creating a poll, you can check a box to make voting anonymous so that you get a total but no names in the results. Note that no one can see the results if you use this setting, including group admins or the poll’s creator.
      • You can check a box to have an email reminder to vote sent to all group members who haven’t voted 24 hours before the poll closes.
    • Staff liaisons and member chairs can no longer use the “add members” tab on Connect rosters that synchronize with iMIS to add a member to the roster since this should be done in iMIS only. However, removing that option means you won’t be able to add non-ALA members to a working group’s roster. If you need to add a non-member to a Connect roster that synchronizes with iMIS, please submit a Track-It request with the person’s Connect username and ITTS will add them in Connect.Note that you can still handle adding and removing users from community rosters yourself (groups that don’t synchronize with iMIS) if you’re an admin for the community.
    • When editing the properties for a group that synchronizes with iMIS, you’ll no longer be able to change the group’s status to something other than “closed.” You can’t have an “open” or “moderated” roster that synchronizes with iMIS — it has to be one or the other so that you don’t have to maintain the roster in two places. Note that you can still change the status of a community (groups that don’t synchronize with iMIS) yourself if you’re an admin for the community.
    • The “ALA Connect at Two Years” report, along with a summary of statistics from the 2011 Annual Conference Scheduler, are available on the ITTS News blog.
    • Watch for announcements of Connect refresher Q&A sessions for staff to be held in the Chicago Training Room starting in September. As always, locations outside of Chicago can request a special online Q&A session by contacting Jenny directly.

18 May 11 ITTS News Meeting – May 17, 2011

  1. Migration Report (Louise)The migration process is heating up. The migration test sites are I Love Libraries, Conferences & Events and PLA. The schedule will be released once the test migrations are complete. The ETA for that is June 15, conflicting with the run-up to Annual Conference.

    The draft migration schedule is being developed based on the size, condition (accessibility violations, broken links), cross-site linking, and training requirement for staff and member-volunteers, with final adjustments to be made based on unit vacation scheduling for site reviewers.

    Despite the proximity to Annual Conference, with 60 distinct look-and-feel subsites, about 10 will have to be migrated every week between the end of June and mid-August. We hope to have a one week turnaround on most subsites, with longer scheduled for ACRL. If your unit wants to be an early adopter and you have not already done so, contact Louise Gruenberg.ITTS will use the Selenium IDE Firefox plugin to run a test script that verifies left navigation links, selected content snippets, and right nav pods to evaluate the migration before handing over a subsite to staff to review. Each unit will get a login for one person to a bug tracker site for reporting migration-specific problems. (Note that migration does not magically repair broken links … anything broken before migration will still be broken afterwards.)

    Units should let Louise know who their site reviewer(s) will be, and alert her to any scheduled vacation time that would interfere with a quick turnaround on the review.

  2. Connect Update (Jenny)The Group File Repository feature will be going live on Thursday, May 19.We hope to restore Connect chat the week of Memorial Day. To do so, we need to run a test to see how well the module does in the new server environment. We’re asking volunteers to log in to Connect and access a specific chat room on Friday, May 20th, at 1:00 pm CDT. We need 40-50 people to give it a good run-through. If someone on your staff or any of your members can help, please contact Jenny Levine for the URL.

    Jenny showed the new “follow a group” feature that was quietly released a couple of weeks ago. Once a help document is ready, we’ll formally announce this new option, which lets you subscribe to email updates of public content only from groups you’re not a member of.

    Next Jenny showed new features in the Conference Scheduler. Current enhancements include:

    • Restored the “add” buttons on all pages
    • User-generated tags on sessions and a tag cloud on the Conference home page
    • Recommended sessions broken out by group and interest/type of library
    • Attendees listed on session records, plus the ability to hide your attendance
    • Ability to add personal (private) notes to sessions
    • Personal sessions now have a separate location field that displays on your schedule
    • Integrated wiki
    • Conference sessions appear on group Connect calendars
    • Staff can still view running statistics
    • Coming soon: the ability to add attachments to sessions so that the Scheduler can become the permanent archive for that conference’s materials/handouts

    Please be sure to check your unit’s sessions in the Scheduler and let Jenny know if you need any details changed.

  3. Adjourned


21 Mar 11 ITTS News Meeting Minutes – March 15, 2011

1. iMIS 15 Upgrade this weekend (Sherri)

the upgrade to iMIS 15 will begin on Friday, March 18, at 5pm – see previous blog post for reasons, expectations
it will take 21 hours for the database to update
desktop rollouts begin on Saturday afternoon, starting with MACS, Accounting, plus web interfaces
will then work around the building to upgrade everyone
the upgrade will include the fundraising module, although staff might not get access to log in to it until Tuesday at the latest
Sheila has prepared some materials comparing versions; it will be distributed soon, but not much has changed in the interface
one significant change is how iMIS 15 handles usernames and passwords
staff will be able to use the same login info to access the website, Connect, and iMIS; this will take effect on Monday, at which point you’ll log in using one password for all three resources
your username will be first-initial-lastname
formal communication went out to the membership on Monday, March 14
members who can’t log in can get help from MACS, although they’ll now be able to reset their passwords themselves via the website
reports should still work the same as before

2. Connect (Jenny)

– Welcome message: we’ll be implementing a new “welcome” message on the home page that helps new users get started
– Highlights, font color: you can now change the color of text or the background on it when using the WYSIWYG editor for easier highlighting and collaboration
– File repository: did a demo of this new feature; it’s ready to go, except for one bug that occurs with Internet Explorer 7 users; unfortunately, OJC’s programmer is on vacation for 3 weeks, so we won’t be able to fix this problem and implement it until he returns; look for this to go live the week of April 11
– Chat: we think we’ve found a solution for restoring chat to Connect; will begin internal testing next week; if it works, we hope to go live with it in April
– New hosting environment: during the next few weeks, we’ll be migrating Connect to a new, more robust hosting environment that can handle the traffic and server load for Annual
– Conference Scheduler: next month we’ll begin work on phase two of the Conference Scheduler, which will add more features for attendees

3. CMS Project Update (Louise)

will be working to migrate the awards database to Drupal in order to make the data can run ALA units’ pages so that no one has to maintain them manually
if you haven’t worked with Louise to set a migration date, you need to do so ASAP because you’ll get slotted into any open spot
we’ll be making the schedule public soon
delete from Collage anything you don’t want to migrate and then let Louise know the URLs
remember you can keep copies in the web archive if need be

4. Dreamhost outage (Rob)

yesterday there was a big outage (3am CDT) when Dreamhost’s core network crashed (all of their hosted sites, not just ours)
around noon they restored access to our server and our sites came back online
it was a network connectivity issue – the servers were fine and weren’t touched


16 Feb 11 ITTS News Meeting – February 15, 2011

1. Web presence snapshot (Jenny, Louise)

In December, Keith Michael Fiels asked the Web Editorial Board (WEB) to coordinate a snapshot of activity on ALA’s various websites and channels
This snapshot will include everything from our website to social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter and will take place the week of February 28, 2011
Units will be asked to report statistics about activity on their various sites by the end of the day on Wednesday, March 9 using an online form ITTS is currently creating
Because ALA’s web-based presence is so large and diverse, we’ll only be measuring activity for “big ALA,” offices, initiatives, divisions, and round tables at this time
More information about this project, along with instructions for gathering the statistics, can be found at

Please be sure to read through that page in order to understand what your unit needs to do before the snapshot starts on February 28 and afterward in order to submit your statistics by March 9

Contact Louise Gruenberg or Jenny Levine with questions

2. Wiki & blog migration status (Rob)

Any remaining sites must be migrated by April 8
The week of April 18 is when the migration will start
Once the wikis are moved over, they’ll be subject to the new notification and lock scripts so a sysadmin has to log in periodically to keep them unlocked
If you need your wiki back up quickly, contact Rob to get in the queue higher up since downtime can last up to a week

3. CMS migration (Louise)

We’re about to spin up the virtual servers in order to start implementing code
We’re going to start work on single sign-on with Connect
Currently seeking feedback on design for division templates
The ALA home page won’t change in terms of content and structure during this migration
Hope everyone is working on their web mitigation snapshots

4. iMIS 15 rollout (Sherri)

Ran into a snag with the desktop installation due to the way iMIS 10 was installed, which has delayed the project
We still plan to move to iMIS 15 in March and we’ll communicate the date as soon as we have it
It’s very similar in the way things are laid out, so there shouldn’t be a big learning curve (just some color changes)
Most of the things that are different are in the backend

5. Agreement with Verizon (Irene)

We just signed a contract to change our long-distance provider
There’s a “small conference call” option now; can have up to 20 callers for “instant” meetings at 2.7 cents/minute
If you require more than 20 callers, rate is the same but you have to call to reserve ahead of time
To set that up, call them but Irene can provide the rates
We also have the ability to do netmeetings, 17 cents/minute plus voice call
No licensing, anyone can set one up, you don’t pay for it if you don’t use it
There’s a web moderator tool where you can see your usage
Currently costs 2.2 cents per minute for 5 callers using just your phone for conference calling
Should be set up by the end of February
70 staff members are being set up with access to the interface, so watch for an email from Verizon (which might end up in your junk email folder)
Irene will send email about this as it happens
Not sure if the call has to originate at ALA – will ask
Irene set up every unit manager and a few other staff members but she can add others as needed

6. Adjourned

17 Nov 10 ITTS News Meeting 11-16-2010

iMIS 15 Upgrade

The iMIS 15 upgrade has been scheduled for February 15, 2011.  The upgrade is needed because the version we currently have will not be supported in the future.  We will also gain access to new web services that will be needed for the future.  The new interface is a little different and Sheila will be developing training materials for the rollout.  She will also hold training sessions on the new interface and features of the release.

Wiki & Blog Migration Status

The majority of the wikis and blogs have been migrated.  Please notify Rob Berquist ( if you have been contacted.  We would like to finish this project as soon as possible.

CMS Project Updates

  • Moving from Discovery to Design: Our vendors are shifting from the discovery phase to the design phase. We expect to have mock-ups for review by the division directors and the Branding, Marketing & Design group in mid-December.
  • Web Snapshots: Louise has met with 9 of 11 division directors and a number of office directors to review web snapshot reports. The members of the Round Table CMS Task Force and their staff liaisons will receive their respective snapshots this week. Units that have done a significant amount of deleting, mitigating, archiving should request a new HTML Tidy report.
  • Demo for How to Archive Web Content: This went off without a hitch. Detailed instructions are in the Liberation from Collage Moodle course (under Miscellaneous) at

Knowledge Management System Tech Tips

Enhancing your ALA Staff Directory record with your photo and expertise was discussed at the last ITTS News meeting and now step-by-step  instructions are ready and we encourage everyone to go through the process of enhancing their record.  Instructions and videos are available on the ITTS Training Web site.  These instructions are in the staff-only area of the Web site so you will need to login with the proper staff-only credentials.  A link to the ITTS Training Web site and login information  is included in the Staff Tools area of the homepage of the KMS. An all staff email will also be sent with information on how to access the instructions.

Adding photos and expertise to the Staff Directory is a Keith Michael Fiels initiative.

At the last News meeting, concerns were raised about storing home and phone numbers in one’s staff record.  This information is no longer visable to anyone perusing your record.  The only place this number will be used is when the Call Tree is transferred to the KMS and a supervisor would only see the numbers of those people they are responsible for calling in the event of an emergency.

If you find out of date information in the KMS Staff Directory, please submit a Track-IT! request reporting your findings so they can removed.

26 Oct 10 ITTS News Meeting 10-26-2010

1. Collage SQL Server Database Upgrade (Jeff)

We didn’t want to conflict with activities during the recent board meetings, so the upgrade has been put off until some time in November. We will let you know the exact date when it is rescheduled.

2. Website Cleanup for Drupal Migration (Louise & Sheila)

Progress: Louise is meeting with unit managers to give them their Web Snapshot Reports, to discuss strategic objectives and plan mitigation efforts. Meetings are scheduled between now and mid-December

Training: Sheila has developed a Moodle class with support materials for the website cleanup. The access URL and instruction key are provided in a link in the Web Snapshot Report. She provided a tour of the course, “Liberation from Collage” and recommends that staff and member-volunteers engaged in mitigation efforts use the course in parallel as they work through the items on their lists.

Knowledge Management System (Irene)

New Enhancements: Irene demonstrated how to search for yourself in the Staff Directory, add information, upload a photo (it has to have the same number of pixels for the length and the width), and add expertise. Reminder: the Staff Directory on the website pulls from the KM, so please maintain your correct job title and phone extension. There’s a bug that exposes your home phone to people looking at your profile in the KM (not the website) when it should limit that information to the Call Tree. Please wait until you get the all-clear before adding that information.

Irene also demonstrated how to register for a class in the Orientation & Training area of the KM by clicking on its name. (Register for multiple events by using the checkboxes and the Register/Unregister link at the top and bottom of the page.) You will receive a meeting invitation that you can accept to add the class to your Outlook calendar. Unregister by (you guessed it) going back to the KM, selecting the checkbox next to the class and clicking the Register/Unregister link.

New Wiki Usage Notification (Rob)

To prevent spam from overtaking ALA wikis, Rob has developed a script that reviews the login status of the wiki’s sysops. If no one with sysop privileges has logged in during the last 90 days, the wiki is locked and becomes read-only. Please upgrade staff and member-volunteers who maintain wikis to sysop status. Sheila will send the link to the instructions. If a wiki is locked down and needs to be revived, check with Rob Berquist.

From Sheila:  To learn how an administrator  can assign roles on their wiki, please start here:

Anyone can learn more about establishing and caring for a Wiki from this Sandbox Wiki.  In the future, you can access it by going to the Wiki section of the ITTS Training Website at:

More Twitter Sessions Coming Soon (Sherri)

Jenny will be providing more Twitter sessions for those who tweet and retweet. Check the Orientation & Training schedule on the KM in the next week or so, and use the one-click registration method Irene demonstrated to sign-up.

iLINC Issue (Sheila)

Those with iLINC accounts have already received an email about the situation preventing us from having the use of all four of our rooms whenever four ALA staff users with accounts are in a session, any session. Because units already have resources attached to their user accounts, we don’t necessarily want to delete user accounts. Our workaround is to have anyone on staff who is attending but who is not leading the session login with a personal email address rather than their staff email. Those logging in with personal emails rather than staff logins get guest accounts that can be set up to be assistants and actively manage the meeting without triggering the system to think we’re using another room.  See the email message or Connect iLINC Early Adopters community posting for more information. Units that are willing to trade in their personal accounts for a generic unit_user account attached to their unit email should enter a TrackIT ticket.


23 Sep 10 ITTS News Meeting – September 21, 2010

  1. CMS Update (Louise)
    the contract is with the lawyer – we hope to have it signed in October
    Louise is giving an update to Unit Managers at their October 6 meeting
  2. Introducing Jeff Dong, newest member of the ITTS staff (Sherri)
    Jeff’s primary responsibility is for our database servers and the interaction with them (maintenance, upgrades, support, etc.)
    we’re very happy to have Jeff on board
  3. Blogs & wikis migration (Rob)
    Rob is working away on the Dreamhost migration and is making good progress; he’s already about 50% done
    one thing he’s discovered during the process is that themes can get lost for blogs, so make sure you have a copy you can reapply

    Rob is contacting units to schedule the migrations; submit a Track-It ticket if you want to discuss timing before he contacts you

    many of our wikis seem to be informational and aren’t updated much
    a lot of them are getting spammed to the point where they’re unusable
    Rob has developed a script that checks for any admin activity in the last 90 days
    if the admin hasn’t logged in during the last 90 days, it will send an email to the address listed for that account to let them know the site is being converted to “read-only” status
    this means updates/edits will no longer be possible, but Rob can always reverse the read-only status so that it can be edited if changes need to be made at some point
    this will prevent spammers from creating new accounts and vandalizing the wikithe new blogs/wiki server is working amazingly well and is nice and clean

  4. ALA Connect Updates (Jenny)
    Jenny showed screenshots of the following Connect enhancements:
    – Round Table statistics
    – New link to download all attachments at once
    – Email notifications when someone friends you
    – New option to attach files to comments
    – Added a direct link to the revisions page for online docs in email notifications
    – Position titles now appear on rosters that synchronize with iMIS; note that if a member has two affiliations with a particular group, only the last one listed in iMIS will display in Connect; if that’s a problem, you might want to remove the affiliation you don’t want to display.
    – iMIS groups can no longer be made “open” since the rosters synchronize with the member database
    – We added more options for listing additional education and work history information in profiles
    – Because we’ve added the time and date of an event to the email notification for it, we now require you to pick a time zone; if you don’t, it will say “no time zone selected” instead of listing a time zone, so please be sure to pick one!

    We also upgraded chat a few weeks ago; there have been no reports of users getting kicked out of chat rooms since the upgrade was installed.
    There are some new features that came with the upgrade (see next blot post for more details), but you can now:
    – Pop the chat out into its own window
    – Pause autoscrolling
    – Make the box you type in bigger by pulling down the bottom border of the box

    Right now, we’re working on offering the ability to do “drafts” so that you can start writing something and stave it but not publish it yet.

    This fall, we’ll be working on the new conference scheduler (used to be known as the “event planner”) and giving each group its own file repository. We’re also going to redesign the Connect home page and group home pages so that they’re easier to read and use.

    These three major projects will take up the bulk of our time, so there won’t be a lot of smaller enhancements until either December or January.

  5. Web Application Firewall (Sherri)
    everything will be down when this is being worked on
    will be between 5-60 minutes at 5pm on Wednesday, October 6 (which is our normal maintenance time)
  6. KM System (Irene)
    we’ll be upgrading the KMS starting at 2pm this Friday (/24)
    it should be back up in a couple of hours, but if you access it during that time and notice something strange, it’s because the system is being upgraded in the background
  7. Web Editorial Board update (Karen)
    meeting summaries are publicly posted to its Connect space, with an email notice sent to unit managers
    there’s a special WEB meeting next week to discuss what needs to be done in preparation for the migration
    the overall message: be prepared to spend some time working on your unit’s content to make it clean and valid

    the Library has become less reactive to questions and more proactive to get the information out there and reorganized ahead of time
    they’ve have been working on the Guidelines and Standards section, the Library FAQ Sheets, an A-Z of topics
    they’re also doing interventions in major areas because then the number of questions about that subject drop when work is done to address problems
    one of the problems has been the Policy Manual, which was originally posted as a straight translation of the print version to the web (150 print pages as one long scrolling page)
    – the Library has redone it, with Rebecca taking the lead to work with Lois Ann and the Governance Office
    Karen showed work that was done to make it a true web document, such as making the data that needed to be in tables accessible, adding anchors for navigation, and adding a section for recent changes
    they’re still building the left navigation
    ITTS fixed everyone’s links to the Policy Manual and deployed the pages so the links wouldn’t break
    please be sure to link to the new version, rather than reproducing it (or sections of it) elsewhere on the site

    the Library has begun working with OIF to restructure some of its pages and is starting another project with the Governance Office

23 Jul 10 ITTS News Meeting – July 20, 2010

  1. New CMS vendor selection (Louise)

    Will email a survey link to the folks who attended to get detailed feedback
    Asked for feedback about the first vendor meeting on Monday
    Next vendor is scheduled to come in on Thursday
    Hope to make an announcement sometime after August 1 so the lawyers can start on the contract

  2. ALA Connect (Jenny)

    Recent enhancements to Connect include:
    – Rotating banners on the home page to help highlight all of the new features and changes
    – You can now compare versions of online docs to see what actually changed (the way you can on wikis or on new press releases). Just go to the “revisions” tab on an online doc, select which two versions you want to compare, and click on the “show diff” button.
    – In the email notifications for updates to online docs, we’ve added a line that links you directly to the revisions page so that you can immediately go see what’s changed.
    – Right now we’re working on implementing HTML formatting in email notifications in order to make them more legible. We know it’s difficult to read blocks of unformatted text, so we hope to make this easier.
    – In the last two weeks, three new versions of the chat module have been released, so we’re currently testing the latest one to see if we can go live with it to try to resolve the problems that some users encounter when using the chat function. We’ll report back on the testing soon but even if it’s successful, we believe the links to past chats will still be broken, so we’ll again have to give folks time to archive their chats before implementing the new version on the live site. More news on the blog as we have it.

    MemberFuse pilot restarting
    This is the project to test some software called MemberFuse to see if it’s a potential replacement for Drupal to run Connect. Although we got some good feedback from a handful of folks in late May and early June, things kind of died off as we got into Annual. We’re going to add a few more testers and restart the pilot so that it runs July 26 – August 15. If any staff person wants totry it out and give us feedback, please contact Jenny to get access.

  3. WEB report (Louise)

    Inventory project
    inventorying each unit’s pages and deleting unneccesary ones
    took three weekends to finish the inventory of each unit’s content
    only removed content that had already been removed from the website by someone in the unit, so no live pages should have disappeared
    we removed 20,000 pages, so we hope that will help with deploys since we’re not trying to publish thousands of removed pages anymore
    HTML Tidy project
    we had a version customized for us to remove font tags, inline formatting, and non-XHTML compliant code, as well as alert us to other accessibility issues
    we have to take files from the website, run them through HTML Tidy, and then return them to Collage
    we’ll be starting to run the program on unit’s files but will coordinate with each unit because we have to lock out authors during the run so that the files don’t change
    units will receive a before and after “snapshot” of the changes to show the differences
    it took Rebecca less than a minute to make most of the changes suggested for the Library’s pages

    question: what are the options for loading new CSS files in Collage for migrating tables?
    answer: we can figure out a way to add the necessary code, hopefully as a universal solution for everyone

    Louise showed the newish Online Learning section of the website since it’s gone live since our last meeting
    we’ll be adding Round Tables as contributors
    trying to get all units to use the templates for uniform display of information

    Louise also showed the revamped Conferences & Events section of the website
    work was done to condense the “calendar of events” area down to three: affiliates & chapters, American Libraries Magazine’s, and a new list of celebration/promotional weeks/days

  4. Moodle upgrade to 1.9.8 (Rob)

    happening on Wednesday, July 21, around 5:30pm
    the current content will be copied onto a brand new server using the latest version of Moodle may be down for up to 4 hours while the DNS propagates
    there don’t seem to be any interface changes, although there are a lot of new report options available for instructors; most folks shouldn’t notice any change at all.
    we’ve posted an announcement on the Moodle site for the last week and did a post on the ITTS blog last week

  5. Knowledge Management System (Sherri)

    ITTS has worked with the Library to add “expertise” and staff photos to the staff directory in the KM system
    Sheila is working on documentation for how staff can add information to both; it should be ready in mid-August
    all you need is a square image of yourself to add your picture
    Karen showed how to use the expertise directory to find who in the building is a notary public, just as an examlpe

  6. Dreamhost Application Migration (Tim)

    we’re migrating from a single, private server on Dreamhost to two new private servers on Dreamhost
    why now?
    because we have some intrusions on our current server that are serving up pharmaceutical ads
    this happened because we have a lot of blog and wiki software on Dreamhost that is very out-of-date
    going forward, we’ll be upgrading all blog and wiki software at once as soon as new versions become available
    the main issue will be that if you have a custom theme for your site (in other words, you’ve changed a default one in some way), you may have to re-install it after the upgrade
    unfortunately, whole domains will have to be moved at the same time (eg,,, etc.), so Rob will work with each unit to coordinate timing
    for content you don’t need anymore, ITTS can archive it on a DVD, although that will just be the data and not necessarily a way to easily view it; we’re investigating options for this.
    if you want to make a site an online archive, we can migrate it and make it uneditable so that it can’t be spammed
    we’ll also be increasing security, like requiring secure FTP, changing everyone’s passwords, and encouraging strong password use
    on the plus side, the new servers will run much faster and perform better

  7. Please submit your help requests through Track-It.

    The best description possible in the Track-It ticket helps us resolve your issues faster.

  8. Don’t forget to subscribe to updates from the blog!

28 May 10 ITTS News Meeting – May 25, 2010

New Content Management System Selection Update

Sherri gave an update on where we are in the selection process for a new content management system for

  • Altogether ALA received 47 proposals from which the CMS Task Force, comprised of members of the Website Advisory Committee (WAC) and staff, selected  7 candidates.
  • The same Task Force then completed a 41 page survey created by Louise Gruenberg that evaluated the proposals submitted by the  7 candidates.
  • The results of that survey identified our top 3 candidates and those candidates have now been given a document with additional questions so we can compare all 3 candidates equally on their responses.
  • The names of the top 3 candidates will be announced once we notify the 44 vendors who were not selected.

ALA Connect Update

The Opportunties Exchange

Jenny encouraged any unit that has opportunities such as scholarships, grants or internships to add them to ALA Connect’s Opportunity Exchange (OppEx). OppEx is a database where anyone can search for assistantships, awards, calls for proposals, volunteer opportunities, and more.  Connect members can indicate within their individual profiles the opportunities that they seek  and will get additional email notices when new opportunities are added to the OppEx.  Anyone who is posting an opportunity needs to login to ALA Connect to access the form.

Staff Liaisons Should Notify Committee Members about Access to Connect Groups Change Over on June 30th

Jenny reminded everyone to have their iMIS Committee Rosters up-to-date with the correct term dates for all members. All committee members whose terms end on June 30, 2010 within an iMIS Commitee Roster will only have access to their Connect groups until midnight that night.  Any incoming committee member whose term begins July 1, 2010 will not have access to the Connect group until July 1st at 12:01 AM

Chat Upgrade

Jenny discussed where we are at with updating the  Chat Module.

MemberFuse Pilot Project Update

Jenny discussed the MemberFuse Pilot.

Tech at Annual

A Networking Uncommons area will be set up at Annual Conference as it was at Midwinter.  This is a location where groups can meet informally and have access to resources such as projector, digital recorder, iPod with microphone, a webcam and a flip cam.   If any group wants to gather in the Uncommons and have any of these resources available to them at a specific time, they can go to the ALA Annual Wiki at and on the index page go to Connecting with Other Attendees>New at Annual: Networking Uncommons.  On the Networking Uncommons page is a link to a Schedule. There is a page for Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday with reservation times slots from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.  Add a Presenter/Convenor Name, Topic and make sure to list what technology resources you would like to use in the Resource column.

Web Editorial Board (WEB)

WEB is adding taskforces to involve staff stakeholders in the following four areas:

  • Social Media
  • Archiving & Digital Asset Management
  • Branding, Marketing & Design
  • Communication & Education

If any staff member would like to be a part of any of above groups and help move the association forward in these areas please contact

The Social Media Working Group has already met to discuss strategies and created an ALA Connect Community.   As part of this group, Jenny will be offering “Let’s Talk About Twitter” Lunch and Learns in the weeks before Annual. 

All sessions will take place in the training room from 12:00-1:00 pm.

  • Thursday, May 27
  • Wednesday, June 9
  • Wednesday, June 16

The sessions will highlight some Twitter basics, such as the difference between replies and direct messages, the use of hashtags, why you should use URL shorteners, and more. Our focus will be on how to use Twitter well during Annual, but the concepts will be applicable to your unit’s general use of this interactive channel.  The official ALA hashtag for Annual is #ala10.

Annual Base Camp is currently planning showing a Twitter Feed on the home page to showcase the excitement of Annual Conference.

All units are encouraged to contact the Web Editorial Board for guidance with their web presence.  Currently WEB is assisting the units with the creation of an eGovernment Tool Kit and possibly merging the Help Get a Job site with JobList.

New Internet Administrator: Rob Berquist

Rob Berquist was introduced at the meeting.  He has joined ITTS as our Internet Administrator and he will be responsible for the administration of Blogs, Wikis, Moodle, Sympa and other internet resources. 


Please be sure to sign up for email updates from the ITTS News blog at because it is one of our primary communication channels.

20 Apr 10 ITTS News Meeting – April 20, 2010

1. New Content Management System Selection Process (Louise)

The Web Editorial Board (WEB) has determined that our new content management system should allow for interactive options, such as widgets, sharing, posting, and so on. This will require a database-driven CMS that delivers dynamic content. We also want to offer flexible design options in a way that reinforces ALA branding and supports usability and accessibility. The timeline for the vendor decision has been set for June 1, with work to begin on September 1. WEB is creating sub-groups to assist with the discussions that will be required to prepare for the new site design and migration.

  • Communication & Education Task Force
  • Marketing, Branding & Design Task Force
  • Social Media & Interaction Task Force

Staff members interested in serving should discuss it with their unit manager and have him or her notify the conveners of WEB (Karen Muller, Jenny Levine, Louise Gruenberg). We may also need a fourth group to look into digital asset management and archiving issues; there is a 2010 project request under consideration.

With five months between now and the earliest work can begin, units are encouraged to review and weed their collections, archiving material that is no longer current but that should be kept for reference.

We also briefly discussed the advantages of a rolling migration/conversion versus an all-at-once, seemingly overnight changeover.

2. Standard Maintenance Window for Servers (Sherri)

We need a standard maintenance window for our 50 servers.  We plan to do maintenance on them every Wednesday from 5:00pm until 9:00pm.  This means that we will have interruptions of service during this time depending on the applications running on the servers.  We will post notifications.  It won’t be every server every week. We plan to begin server maintenance on Wednesday, April 28th, 2010.

3. ALA Connect Pilot Project (Sherri for Jenny)

We have found another software package that contains features (like an expanded search, expanded profiles to collect more interests, advocacy tools, better file repository, and historical CVs) we don’t currently have in ALA Connect.  We have decided to do a pilot project with NFi Studios to see if their package meets our needs.  Jenny is planning to give a more detailed communication on this topic on the ITTS news blog.

4. Status of New Desktops, Laptops, Netbooks (Sherri)

We replace 1/3 of our equipment every year. We ordered new desktops to replace PCs that were leased three years ago.  We are waiting to hear from unit managers regarding the number of laptops and netbooks to order. If a netbook is ordered, you must have a desktop to run applications that will not run on the netbook.

Why Lease? First, leasing forces us to change our technology infrastructure every three years. Second, laptops typically begin to fail in the third year, especially when they are used a lot.  Third, the ongoing fattening of application software usually requires more powerful hardware over time.

5. Early May launch of the New Online Learning section of the ALA Website (Louise)

We showed everyone the staging version of Online Learning, the new section of the website that will debut on or about May 3, 2010.

6. The next ITTS News meeting will be on Tuesday, May 25 . See you then.