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					      Breakout Session
 2006 VALE User Conference
       January 5, 2006
Library Website to Campus Gateway:
Integrating Library Resources into a
   College Information Commons

       By Mark S. Thompson
      Assistant Director, Library
     Bergen Community College

           Bergen Community College
                  Today’s Outline
LESSONS LEARNED & KEY QUESTIONS
• Why and how do you integrate the library into a college
  web?
       • Library-centric Web  College Gateway
• How do you uncover student needs and change your
  approach to the site?
       • Usability inputs toward innovation
• With limited time/resources, how do you succeed?
       • Collaborative Process


   Demonstration (pre- or post- lecture)
       • Not focusing on the results
           – Try links (on handout)


                            Bergen Community College
                Background
• Now and Future - Bergen Community
  – Community college with 15K students
    • Continued growth in student body
    • Expansion of online courses
  – One library; Central location on campus
    • Large people traffic volume – the main place on
      campus
       – Information Commons
    • Library renovations will begin Spring ’06
       – Closing open labs, so increase library workstations from
         60 to 200


                    Bergen Community College
                 Project effort
• Given charge to overhaul and migrate entire
  Library website by 9/1/05, but:
  – We didn’t begin overhaul until 5/1/05
  – Old site is large, disparate, and many owners
     • Various formats and styles
     • Page currency ranges from 1-5 years old
  – Web committees not functioning
     • Our Library web team was only two people
• Then we discovered that we had other
  challenges…

                      Bergen Community College
           Project Effort, cont.
• Other challenges:
  – College web platform move to Sitebuilder
    (Sungard/Collegis)
     • PR department redesign of college Web
     • Whole new Web software editor and process!
  – IT upgrade to WinXP and other programs to create
    new library workstation image
  – Due for an upgrade in our Innovative Millennium
    Online Catalog, as well, in Spring 05
• This was NOT just a library project.

                     Bergen Community College
             Key Questions
• Any upcoming computing platform or
  network changes?
  – Web = Computing, Services, Content
• What’s available on campus
  – What content or functions are under
    development?
  – How does the library homepage fit within the
    college site?

                 Bergen Community College
          Limited Resources
How do you deal with limited time /
  resources?
• Used a fast track process to benchmark
  best-in-class and to focus on the end user
  to make sure it met their key needs.
• Invited others to collaborate with us in
  their area of expertise.
  – Many short-term, limited project efforts

                  Bergen Community College
         Fast Track Process
Short on time and personnel
  Simplified Process: Ask, Try, Ask Again
 and then Fix
  – Benchmarking
  – User studies and testing
  – Web development
    • More user testing
  – Trial and Launch
    • More user testing

                  Bergen Community College
               Benchmarking
• Reviewed excellent academic sites
  – And library sites
• Reviewed Web project approaches, usability
  and design books
  – Hint: Need to decide on an approach
• Discussed with internal and external experts
  – Differing opinions cloud the picture
• Assessed current website and its uses
  – Where are we now: strengths and weaknesses

               See handout for references to these

                        Bergen Community College
              Benchmarking
• Establish usability principles
  – “Don’t make me think”
  – I should be able to “get it” (what it is and how
    to use it) without effort
• Establish design goals
  – Create clear visual hierarchy on page
  – Develop consistency in page layout

               See other guidelines on handout

                   Bergen Community College
                    Resources
• Are you primarily?
  –   Systems, technology
  –   REF, Circ or teaching
  –   Administration, mgt
  –   Collections, tech services
• Questions
  – Do your webmasters manage both content and
    systems efforts?
  – Whom can we partner with to better manage web
    users, content and systems?

                      Bergen Community College
               Resources
• Many groups have a role in providing a
  college and library website
  – Can you partner with other departments in
    looking at solutions?
• Identify perspectives and expertise
  – Looking at it now, I guess it worked!
  – Each subteam had one urgent purpose
• Short term collaboration
                 Bergen Community College
                           Collaborative Project
              Simultaneous efforts and subteams work toward common goal: new college portal


                                                                          Three College Depts.
                                   Key groups participating                Worked Together

                Departments


               Public Relations                                                                                  Technologies
                                                           Library

Who was involved

                                           Asst. Dir.                Electr. Svcs.
                                                                                                           IT Staff
  Webmaster        Steering Comm          Patron Svcs                 Librarian.




 Expertise - PR                             Expertise - Library                                  Expertise - IT
 •New Web Platform                          •Library content                                     •Network and Workstation
                                            •Database functions/searching                        Tasks
 •College goals
                                            Tasks                                                •Upgrade info commons workstation
 •Custom web skills
 Tasks                                      •Library site review and                               image
 •Manage Sitebuilder implem.                    conversion                                       •Support MS Active Desktop use
 •Solve web roadblocks                      •Design new library interfaces
                                            •Upgrade online catalog features
 •Training support
                                            •Create new content sets
 •Oversee collegewide launch
                                            •Lead usability testing on library site
                                                  Bergen Community College
                                     Collaborative Project
                  Simultaneous efforts and subteams work toward common goal: new college portal



                                                                                    Three College Depts.
                  TOTAL of 16 people involved                                        Worked Together




                  Public Relations                                                                                           Info
                                                                Library                                                  Technologies



       College Team
                                                Main Library Project Team                                  Network/Tech Support


                                                      Asst. Dir.          Electr. Svcs.                           Office of Info
                      Web Steering Comm              Patron Svcs            Librarian                                 Techn.
  Webmaster            •Warren Conditi             •Mark Thompson         •Lynn Schott.                         •Keith Muirhead
•Warren Conditi         •Sheila McGee                                                                            •John Methner
                         •Lynn Schott


     Other PR Staff:                              Other Library Teams:                                       Other IT Staff:
     Tracy Baird                          Pat Denholm, Director; Rong Wang, A.D.-Admin Team                  Javier Leon
     Matt Pierce                          Paula Williams, Annemarie Roscello – Web Development               Ulysses Isa
                                          Edith Sirianni, Gloria Delfico- OPAC Enhancements


                                                         Bergen Community College
             User Focus
Do you know?
• What usability testing has been done on
  your college’s website?
• What are the most used functions on
  college workstations? Homepage?
• Are elements of an info commons at work
  on your campus?

               Bergen Community College
                 User Studies
• Thought of as many ways as possible to get
  user input (as quickly as possible)
  – Students first
     • Including Student Ambassadors
  – Librarians as superusers AND experts
  – Teaching faculty and administrators
• Adhoc: 1:1, 1:2, and small groups
  – Tied to class schedules
  – At Library terminals
• What did NOT work:
  – Testing at end of library instruction classes


                     Bergen Community College
          What’s the Target?
3 angles on what to do:
• What needed fixing? (from old)
  – Benchmark
• What’s really needed (from current users)
  – Usability
• What new opportunities to solve problems
  do we see? (invent the solution)
  – Creative

                Bergen Community College
             What Needs Fixing?
• Confusing navigation
   – Where am I within Bergen’s site?
      • Where do I find college services?
   – Links scattered across page.
      • Mix of college, dept. and library
• Too much text and clutter
      • Many sections
      • Data is several clicks away
      • Too many links:
          – 51 links on main page alone!
• Variety of colors, shadings, fonts and styles.
   – Subpages also vary in style and format


                        Bergen Community College
   Many Areas on Old Page
                                                         College areas:
                                                         pull-down lists

                                                        Major library links

                               News/alerts




Key library functions and many info links


                                  Mix of college & library functions- 25 links



                     Bergen Community College
      What’s Really Needed?
• Current Student Usage Surprised Us
  – Multitasking
     • Frustrated by the different desktops and
       segregated functionality
  – Focusing on key tasks only (3-4 links):
     • MS Word, email, library databases, and online
       registration
  – Little awareness of resources
     • Little time or patience to explore what is not central
       to the Web page


                    Bergen Community College
                Recalibrate
• Fixing the Library Web was not enough
• Need new student-oriented solution
• Solutions should be:
  – One-stop shopping (gateway)
  – Integrated library, workstation and college
    resources
  – Graphic, easy to grasp set of options and
    resources

                  Bergen Community College
            What New Opps?
• Think of ways to create “home” desktop view
  – Use Microsoft Active Desktop
• Think of attractive visual to show what’s
  available
  – Graphic  Control panel, “dashboard” or push-button
    approach
• Let user have control
  – Immediately jump into action
  – Know where they are at all times (back/forth)

                    Bergen Community College
     New College Gateway
•Problem: Needed a desktop view that would
allow students to SEE all that was possible and
EASILY GET to it.

•Solution 1: Instant View (MS Active Desktop)
  •“Jumping-off Points” to info commons
  workstation
  •Include MS applications, e-registration,
  WebCT and Library
  • Clickable buttons that sit on an attractive
  BCC flame logo.
                Bergen Community College
PORTAL New Desktop for Fall 2005: Six icons and the Active Desktop portal




                           Bergen Community College
          Entry into the college, desktop and library: all on 1 page




                                                          The flame is the
                                                            college logo


                                                            Only 9 links:
                                                            2 homepages
                                                            4 library
                                                            1 workstation applications
                                                            2 college service sites
Desktop is cleaned up
   to only 6 icons.




                               Bergen Community College
   New Library Homepage
Solution 2: Get me to the Search and don’t
  lose me
• Create a library homepage with search
  boxes up FRONT to complement the desktop
  and make remote access easy.
• Place within the College’s sitebuilder
  template/framework, so students can quickly
  jump back-and-forth to what they need
  • Navigational menu – on left
  • Key links – on right

                Bergen Community College
New Library Homepage: Fall 2005 with College Template and three Library Starting Pts




Key library functions placed with college template: all in one




                               Bergen Community College
              Features of New Page

Breadcrumbs along horiz. and navigation menu in left column
                                                                   All key info links
                                3 Key Functions:              Accessible from 1st page
                                                                – flattened hierarchy




                                                                     Search boxes or
                                                                     direct links from
                                                                      the first page




                                 Bergen Community College
    New Library Homepage
Solution 3: Let me see what you have
• Create tables with ALL of the key resources
  listed.
• Then let me sort it so I can find it by title (I
  know what I am looking for) or by subject (I
  don’t know what to use) or type (I know I
  need an X).
• We did this for all:
   • Library databases
   • Library handouts, how-to’s, guides, pathfinders

                  Bergen Community College
Electronic resources


                                •Sortable table
                                •Gives title and
                                description of databases
                                •Direct links to library
                                subscription resources




     Bergen Community College
Instruction Materials


                                •Sortable table
                                •Gives title and
                                description
                                •Direct links to documents




     Bergen Community College
            From Old to New
What were the critical issues?
• Design approach
  – Library as homepage
     Desktop gateway
• Content essentials
  – Library databases & OPAC
     Plus college’s online registration, online courses,
    e-reserves and MS Office applications
• Platform essentials
  – Windows desktop & I.E.
     MS Active Desktop & Sitebuilder template


                    Bergen Community College
             From Old to New
• Along the way -- What We Changed
  – Design process
     • Approach to user needs
     • Testing and usability research
  – Web essentials
     • Platform
     • Interfaces
     • Key elements on page
  – Content/functionality
     • Which functions we support
     • Software applications
                                                 See handout for specifics


                      Bergen Community College
                Key Lessons
• Focusing on student needs wins
  everyone’s attention and creative energy
     • Usability Testing  Complete Re-focus
• Thinking as an inter-departmental
  manager leads to innovative solutions
     • Work, as if, we are all on one team




                    Bergen Community College
                 The END
• THANK YOU
• Visit us at (links on handout):
  – www.bergen.edu/library
  – www.bergen.edu/library/sslwallpaper.html
  – Come in-person to Paramus NJ!
• Mark Thompson, Asst. Dir.
  – Sidney Silverman Library at Bergen
    Community College
  – mthompson@bergen.edu

                 Bergen Community College

				
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