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.

01 Jun 09 Help Us Create a Better Event Planner

At the Midwinter Website Advisory Committee meeting, a subcommittee formed to help implement a new conference event planner in ALA Connect. This group has put together a survey to help us learn what members want improved/fixed/added/changed about the current event planner.

You can help us out by completing the survey and giving us specific suggestions for what would help you. If you’ve ever complained about using ALA’s event planner (or even if you haven’t), now’s your chance to actually *do* something about it. Don’t just mutter under your breath – mutter to us.  🙂

The survey will be open through July 19, 2009, and anyone can take it, including non-members. All of the feedback received will help us shape the new event planner, which we hope to implement for the 2010 Midwinter Meeting.

Thank you to WAC members Dave Hargett, Rebecca Jackman, Mary Popp, Jean Rainwater, and William Reed for their invaluable help with this project.

09 Feb 09 2009 Midwinter WAC Meeting Notes

At ALA Midwinter in Denver last month, we had a great Website Advisory Committee (WAC) meeting, coming out of it with several action items. You can read the full details in the official minutes (52KB, PDF), but here’s the short list of items that were reported out during the Council III session on Wednesday, January 28.

  1. Website Content Management System (CMS)
    Collage, the ALA website CMS software, will be discontinued by the developers within one year.  Collage updates and support will expire within three years. WAC is taking the following steps:

    • Convene internal task force with representation from all affected units;
    • Investigate and explore options for a web content management system which is intuitive, stable, and scalable;
    • Report back progress and draft recommendations for discussion at Annual 2009.
  2. Event Planner
    Members have expressed dissatisfaction with the current event planner. WAC is taking the following steps:

    • Working to implement the Event Planner in ALA Connect;
    • Will survey the membership for feedback on features and functionality during spring 2009;
    • Will report on “Event Planner in ALA Connect” progress at Annual 2009.
  3. Website Content Standards
    Members report some difficulty finding things on the ALA website. Members occasionally have discovered older versions of a current web page on the ALA website. WAC is taking the following steps:

    • WAC is creating a task force to recommend future directions for the ALA website (meaning the website stored and maintained within the CMS); i.e. is the ALA website mainly an archive of permanent content with current content in blogs/wikis —or— is the website mainly for current information with links to other internal resources for historical documents —or— somewhere in between?
    • Task force will report recommendations to WAC by Midwinter 2010.
  4. Accessibility Issues and Data Cleanup
    The ALA website has never had a full accessibility review.  ITTS staff calculate that a “full accessibility review and data cleanup” project to meet web content accessibility guidelines would take approximately ten (10) “person-years” (10 years for 1 person to do).  The code which controls display of the ALA website does not meet web standards.  With the looming need to migrate off the Collage CMS system, “clean” data is imperative to a smooth, seamless transition to a new web content management system. WAC is requesting from BARC that:

    • ALA allocate funds to perform an accessibility review at the highest priority level; and
    • ALA allocate funds to perform a data cleanup project to repair or remove non-compliant code at the highest priority level.
  5. Recognition for Content Managers
    There has been a large cadre of members and staff who have undertaken the task of managing and updating content over recent years.  Without the Herculean efforts of these dedicated members and staffers, the ALA website content would not be as complete as it is. WAC is taking the following steps:

    • Formally recognize content managers for all ALA web content via several methods in relevant places within the ALA web presence.


16 Jan 09 2009 Midwinter WAC Meeting Documents

The Midwinter WAC meeting will be held on Monday, January 26, 2009, from 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., in Room 602 of the Denver Convention Center. At this point, committee members who have agenda changes or additions should bring them to the meeting.

Here are the documents we’ll be referring to during the discussion.

24 Sep 08 Browser Testing the New Website

The Website Advisory Committee is proactively helping us find bugs in the new website now that it’s officially live, so Aaron Dobbs started a new area on the Web Planning wiki for tracking browser-based bugs. If you’re the intrepid type and you’d like to help out with this, please pick a browser and OS and start listing any problems you encounter with the website on the wiki. Thanks!

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17 Sep 08 Updated Timeline for ALA Connect

Now that we seem to have cleared the iMIS hurdle, we’ve adjusted our timeframe for next steps. Urban Insight is still working on the iMIS module so that we can grab user information (not just log you in), and then we need to import data such as committees, units, rosters, etc. into the system. Going through all 1500+ active committees was…interesting, but that’s a story for another blog post.

So there’s still a lot to do, and we’re still wrestling a bit with Drupal to make it more intuitive. Given our progress so far, we project that we’ll start alpha testing with the Website Advisory Committee the first week in October. We had several groups volunteer to beta test the site (seven, to be exact), so we hope to begin involving them before the end of October. If all goes well, we’re on track for a November soft launch.

Keep in mind that phase one is the collaborative, virtual workspace for ALA committees and an online sharing space for any communities you want to create. After we get the kinks worked out, we’ll start on phase two, which will include the professional networking pieces. That’s when things get really interesting in terms of helping you make connections with the other 65,000 members of ALA.

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04 Aug 08 2008 Annual Conference WAC Meeting Notes

The notes from the 2008 Annual Website Advisory Committee meeting are now available (PDF, 171KB). If you have questions, please post them in the comments so that we can answer them for everyone. Thanks!

20 Jun 08 Annual 2008 WAC Meeting and Report

At the 2008 Annual Conference, the Website Advisory Committee meeting will take place on Monday, June 30, from 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. in Room 202B in the Convention Center. If you’re coming to the meeting or playing along at home, here are the agenda and the latest ITTS Report (both PDFs). Committee members who have agenda changes or additions should bring them to the meeting.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, please ask away in the comments. See you in Anaheim soon.

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15 May 08 Website Redesign Podcast

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

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

Program Length
13:58; 12.7 MB

03 Jan 08 WAC Midwinter Report

If you’re interested in reading the report ITTS staff have put together for the Web Advisory Committee (WAC), it’s available as an Adobe Acrobat PDF. It’s an update of what we’ve been working on since Annual 2007, along with information about upcoming projects. We’ll be discussing the contents of the report at the WAC meeting at Midwinter on Monday, January 14, from 8:00 a.m. until noon.

And yes, it’s wack. 😉