Upgrading to schema compliance in 2016!

As promised in August 2015, we at TARO have been working diligently on preparing our system to move to the more modern format of schema-compliant EAD.
We have conducted our pilot project for moving to schema-compliance.

We will start with volunteers for early conversion with the rest following as training and support allows. No one will be rushed into conversion.
We will contact you in January 2016 to discuss this process, answer your questions,  and hear when your repository would consider participating.
A specific TARO contact person will be available to you for questions and assistance throughout this process.

We will be ready starting in January 2016 to begin working with each repository one at a time to:
1.) Convert the repository’s existing files which are on TARO over to schema compliance. TARO’s Minnie Rangel will use an automated process and then work with repositories on manually following up on any errors (at the repository’s convenience, or at the time when the repository wishes to reload a given file for content changes). The time needed for this will vary from repository to repository, but shouldn’t be significant, and is not on a particular deadline.
2.) Give you the information you need in order to start submitting schema-compliant files to TARO from then on.
(You may still submit dtd-compliant files all the way up until the time your repository converts to schema compliant submission.)

We look forward to working with you on this and appreciate your participation, as this step is the basis for any additional TARO improvements.

Amanda Focke, on behalf of the TARO Steering Committee

Platform evaluation: One down!

Howdy TARO Members!

The WebTex Subcommittee and its team of volunteers have completed our first platform evaluation, as described in our posting from October 29. The platform under consideration for this first round of testing was Access to Memory, or AtoM.

The evaluation proceeded according to four user personas crafted to present the needs of a range of hypothetical *archival staff* end users with diverse job descriptions and levels of experience. That approach helped our volunteers step off of the “beaten path” of their own typical use of such a platform and into areas they might not otherwise consider. The varying levels of experience of the volunteers themselves also provided insights into how intuitive the front-end and back-end interfaces were, the initial learning curve for getting acquainted with the platform, and the strength of the documentation provided.

Testing with the user personas occurred in early November; after the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend, the Subcommittee held a conference call with the evaluation volunteers to discuss their experiences with the evaluation procedure, and the platform itself. That information will be helpful in planning our next platform evaluations, and the Subcommittee is grateful for the commitment of the volunteer pool to continue testing the other platforms.

Analysis of this round of platform evaluation will be complete before the holiday break. After the start of the new year, we will call on our volunteers again to put the next platform through its paces. The diversity of the institutions which participate in TARO — in size, history, mission, and personnel — makes a broad scope of input imperative as we update and enhance the services which TARO offers.