Fall 2009 Web Author Gathering

We had a nice turnout for the Fall 2009 Web Author Gathering. Thanks to all who came. If you were not able to attend you can review the power point as a linked PDF below. Matt reviewed recently completed projects and soon to be completed projects. I provided an introduction to the benefits of using a javascript framework, what javascript framewark we are using, current ways we are using it, and how Developers and Web Authors can use it. Finaly we touched on Fall cleaning and answered questions.

Web_Author_Gathering_Fall 2009 (PDF)

Reloaded: Technical Services Staff Site

The Technical Services Staff Web Site has been refreshed with updated content, interface, and navigation and transitioned into the Libraries’ SharePoint site. The previous site was outdated, difficult to navigate and cumbersome to maintain. A project proposal for updating the site was submitted and discussions on content and user interaction began.


The Libraries’ SharePoint site was chosen to improve content updating by not relying on a central “Web Author” and by providing a browser interface requiring no HTML/CSS knowledge.  Directories can be mounted on personal desktops for easy updating of documents. In addition permissions can be managed through the interface and can be assigned as fine as item level. SharePoint also provides the added benefit of Wikis, Web Parts (blocks of content), Notifications on content updates and many other options. In order to simplify the presentation and improve recognition of navigation elements a new SharePoint theme was created.The new site has been handed over to TS and with minimal staff training content updates are now occurring.


New Social Icons and Support Us features

Technology Integration Services has added two new features to the Libraries Web Site footer.

The addition of linked social icons allows users to easily access the Libraries top social sites from any Library page. Adding these icons improves user discovery and improves exposure of these resources. “Follow us” tool tips have also been incorporated for user clarification.


A second feature is the incorporation of a “Support Us” graphic linking to the University giving form. This feature pre-selects the Libraries and also selects the appropriate branch when the user chooses support us from within a branch.


TIS would like to thank the  Library Development Office and Library Instruction Services for their collaboration.

New Advisory Council Members’ Site

TIS recently completed a new password-restricted Web site for members of the UT Libraries Advisory Council. The site provides Council members with a place to find the latest Advisory Council news, UT Libraries news, member contact information, the council charter, meeting minutes, and nomination form. Along with the new Web site, a new Advisory Council listserv was set up on utlists.utexas.edu that allows members to quickly communicate with each other.

Left: Advisory Council Members’ site home page; Right: a view of the site in the CMS

The site was built in UT Libraries’ new content management system (CMS). The CMS allows us to easily restrict public access to the site by requiring a password. The password is necessary because the new site contains phone numbers and addresses of Council members. The CMS allowed us to do a few other cool things as well. For each council member, we created a single page with contact and biographical information. Then we used the CMS’s “views” feature to display that information in different ways. For example, we arranged the member list to display both alphabetically by first name and by the members’ position and term expiration date. We made each bio appears on its own page. We did not need to write a lick of HTML to create any of these displays. After a bit of prep work marking up the contact information and telling the CMS what to do with it, we sat back and let the CMS do the hard work. Even better, when it comes time to add or remove a member, the list only needs to be edited once and the changes will automatically update in all the appropriate places on the site.

The new site should prove to be a breeze to keep current. The home page features Advisory Council news and an RSS feed of the UT Libraries news (http://www.lib.utexas.edu/about/news/). The Advisory Council news lives in the CMS and uses the “views” feature to display an abbreviated list of news and the full news story, just like UT Libraries news. A couple of weeks ago we met with the folks who will maintain the site and gave a short how-to session on using the CMS. After the session they reported that they feel confident in their ability to use the CMS to update the site and look forward to not writing any HTML.