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.

24 Mar 10 ITTS News Meeting – March 23, 2010

1. Demo of the new Partnership & Alliances Database (Sheila)

will be used for inquiries from other organizations of possible national, programmatic partnerships (not for how to market your book to libraries, which is what the majority of requests revolve around)
to get to it, go to the “contact us” page on the website and look in the lefthand nav, via About ALA, or the Marketing & Advertising Opportunities page, too
Sheila showed the front-end form that other organizations use to submit a request to collaborate with ALA
the request then goes into a database and four admins on staff are notified via email
they go in to the database and match the opportunities with potential partners within ALA
this matching triggers an email notice to the appropriate unit managers, who can then do things like claim it, decline it, leave a note, etc.
multiple units can claim an opportunity, but only the first unit to do so should be the point of contact
users can leave notes on the opportunity throughout the process, although only an admin can close an opportunity
there are instructions for unit managers in the KM system
if you already have a staff login for epetitions or the scholarships database, you can submit a Track-It request to have that same login associated with the partnerships db
ITTS is working towards letting staff use their system logins for this

2. New membership pages on (John)

John showed the new pages, which are now live a little early but are still being worked on
the goal was to help answer a web-based inquiry from someone who wants to join and to anticipate their questions based on multiple paths
the categories of members come directly from the bylaws – each has its own landing page now, too
the pages include member stories and testimonials to help explain “why ALA”
concerted effort to help folks get more involved but need more supporting links
although this is still a work in progress, please let John know if you find any problems or have suggestions for additions/edits
he’s actively soliciting both deconstructive and constructive comments – how can we make these pages better?

3. iMIS Database Server Upgrade (Sherri)

the transition seems to have been smooth and gone well
no reports of problems so far, and the database is much more responsive
the entire db can now be cached in memory, making queries run much faster
ITTS is working towards a nightly refresh of the reports access, which will then be available to everyone who needs it
hope to have this done in the next month or so

4. Update on Meeting/Webinar Software (Mary G.)

MPS did a survey of which products are being used throughout ALA and found several different products
we decided to pursue a single contract for better functionality and pricing
have done 4 demos so far, considering two major uses – “meeting rooms” and webinars
the short list of potential products includes one that has integration with Moodle
whichever direction we head in, it will be for one year, so if it’s not working out, we can change at the end of the term
overall, this should offer all units a cheaper option than they’d get going it alone, regardless of which vendor we choose
we’ll still need to figure out how to “schedule” the meeting rooms, as these products aren’t designed for our type of setup (“named users”)
we’ll try cover 90% of the needs, but the volume issue for Pubs (particularly Booklist) likely will fall outside of our limits, at least in this go-round
we’ll still hold on to OPAL, at least for the time-being, in part because of its accessibility features
we’ll let everyone know when a decision has been made and details are available

5. Office 2007 Implementation (Sherri)

we’re about halfway through implementing Office 2007 throughout the organization
ITTS will be contacting unit managers to schedule the remaining installations
unfortunately, it won’t be an automatic upgrade process, because we have to manually uninstall Office 2003 first; after that, the process will become automated in the future has some training materials that are publicly available (you don’t have to log in to view them)
there are also some videos available from Microsoft, although you’ll need to have MS Silverlight installed to view them
when we do the Office 2007 installation, we’ll install Silverlight for you, but you can also do this yourself through the Zen app on your desktop

6. ALA Connect Update (Jenny)

as a quick update of work done during the last couple of months:

  • we’ve re-organized the “my unread items” page to break new content out by group
  • we’ve added a spellcheck button to the WYSIWYG editor you use when typing in content; just click on the button with the checkmark on it, and it will put a red line under any words it thinks are misspelled
  • staff accounts now have the ability to edit content without triggering email notifications; just check the box labeled “do not send notifications;” note that staff using member accounts will *not* see this feature
  • we’re planning to officially launch the Opportunities Exchange next week
  • today we added video formats to the list of available types for upload (avi, flv, mp4, wmv), although the 20MB file size limit still applies

regarding Connect’s chat feature:
we’ve had many reports of users being kicked out of a chat room, but it seems completely random, and we can’t find a discernible pattern
the problems aren’t specific to one operating system, web browser, time of day, or even one group
we use this Drupal chat module for its accessibility features, so we’re going to try to upgrade to the latest version of it

the problem is that the updated version breaks all links to past archived chats, which means if users don’t manually archive any chat content they want to keep, they’ll be gone forever
to manually archive a chat, go to the chat, copy and paste the transcript, and paste it somewhere else, like in a discussion topic, post, or even your own Word document
we’ll begin notifying everyone about it this week, including a blog post, a banner on the Connect home page, and an all-staff email
please help publicize this to your own groups using Connect
users will have up to one month to archive this content, as we currently plan to do the upgrade on Wednesday, April 21, 2010

7. One last request – please be specific when submitting Track-It requests (Sherri)

for example, tell us what the error message said or which button you pressed or what you saw on the screen
without this type of information, there’s nowhere for us to start troubleshooting
please also use the sub-topics to help us assign the issue to the correct person
question: what if we can’t find an appropriate subtopic?
answer: submit a separate Track-It request to add a new subtopic 🙂

8. The next ITTS News meeting will be on Tuesday, April 20. See you then.

01 Dec 06 TrackIT! Updates – November 2006

The server TrackIT! resides on needs to be rebuilt in order to resolve problems that have been encountered since TrackIT! went live.

31 Oct 06 TrackIT! Updates – October 2006

TrackIT is installed and working and being used by ALA staff to process problem tickets and work requests. It is not yet open to the world, but we expect to be able to accomplish this soon. ITTS staff completed 280 of 371 work orders in the month of October 2006.

28 Sep 06 TrackIT! Updates – September 2006

ITTS staff are now using TrackIT for problem reports. ALA staff are also able to use the system to place work orders.

05 Sep 06 TrackIT! Updates – April 2006

April 2006

Implementation of TrackIt! was decoupled from the KMS launch to avoid training and support conflicts. ITTS staff continue to refine the system and expect to make it generally available in early May.

05 Sep 06 TrackIT! Updates – May 2006

May 2006

Since our last update, an upgrade to TrackIt! was received and installed. Testing of the upgraded system is underway. We expect TrackIt! to go live early in June.

05 Sep 06 TrackIT! Updates – June/July 2006

June/July 2006

After having resolved some early issues resulting from the upgrade, the system is now up and running and ITTS staff are managing problem reports using TrackIT! The next step is to put the web (user) interface on the Knowledge Management System. This will happen late summer.

05 Sep 06 TrackIT! Updates – August 2006

August 2006

TrackIT! is ready to go live. We have developed instructional materials for logging into and using the system which will be distributed to staff shortly. The software assigns work orders, tracks time to resolution, stores solutions in a knowledge base, and automatically escalates requests that do not receive timely responses. We expect the use of the email address to be deprecated when TrackIT! goes live.

07 Jul 06 TrackIT! – Background

Our new help desk application, TrackIt! is set to launch with the Knowledge Management System portal on April 3rd. All calls or messages to the help desk will now be entered directly into the TrackIt! system, where a problem ticket will be opened and requests will be assigned to an ITTS staff member. Staff can follow the progress of their requests in the system in real time. TrackIt! will also give us reliable statistics on help desk issues.