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It's All About the User: Enhancing Discovery with Open Source Software
It's All About the User: Enhancing Discovery with Open Source Software
It's All About the User: Enhancing Discovery with Open Source Software
It's All About the User: Enhancing Discovery with Open Source Software
It's All About the User: Enhancing Discovery with Open Source Software
It's All About the User: Enhancing Discovery with Open Source Software
It's All About the User: Enhancing Discovery with Open Source Software
It's All About the User: Enhancing Discovery with Open Source Software
It's All About the User: Enhancing Discovery with Open Source Software
It's All About the User: Enhancing Discovery with Open Source Software
It's All About the User: Enhancing Discovery with Open Source Software
It's All About the User: Enhancing Discovery with Open Source Software
It's All About the User: Enhancing Discovery with Open Source Software
It's All About the User: Enhancing Discovery with Open Source Software
It's All About the User: Enhancing Discovery with Open Source Software
It's All About the User: Enhancing Discovery with Open Source Software
It's All About the User: Enhancing Discovery with Open Source Software
It's All About the User: Enhancing Discovery with Open Source Software
It's All About the User: Enhancing Discovery with Open Source Software
It's All About the User: Enhancing Discovery with Open Source Software
It's All About the User: Enhancing Discovery with Open Source Software
It's All About the User: Enhancing Discovery with Open Source Software
It's All About the User: Enhancing Discovery with Open Source Software
It's All About the User: Enhancing Discovery with Open Source Software
It's All About the User: Enhancing Discovery with Open Source Software
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It's All About the User: Enhancing Discovery with Open Source Software

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The Ithaca College Library uses SubjectsPlus, an open source product, to manage its resource guides and other aspects of the Library's web site, with the ultimate goal of creating a user-centered web …

The Ithaca College Library uses SubjectsPlus, an open source product, to manage its resource guides and other aspects of the Library's web site, with the ultimate goal of creating a user-centered web presence. During this presentation, two Ithaca College librarians will demonstrate the flexibility of SubjectsPlus and the freedom it provides in terms of content creation. We will review the use of collected data in web-based resource/service development and address some of the general issues involved in the implementation and maintenance of open source software in a medium sized academic library.

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  • All websites are a work in progress… we conduct a round of usability testing each academic year. We spend money on content vs. buying new bells and whistles from vendors…
  • LAC: -Usability Testing – Articles, Keyword Search, and Photos of Staff – We are not required to live in the College’s content management system - we do use the official college logo on the page – web site is managed by our Web Services Librarian RG – we also have a Web Content Team (a subject librarian, me, the web services librarian, technology specialist (no systems librarian), e-resources librarian, archivist, and LisRG – the nav bar headings came from usability testing – data shows that “articles” is the #1 clicked on item in the bar
  • LC; we have created a portal to our various research guides – there are guides for academic subjects and individual courses – These are built with SubjectsPlus an open-source tool that we will demonstrate during this presentationRG: At first we thought searching for a guide was better than providing giant dropdowns, but usability tests show that users like lists more than searching, so we currently provide both options.So, let’s search for FILM in the guides…
  • You will see that Film is either in the title of the guide or has been assigned as a keyword to the guide, note we repeat the Find Search Guide Box and list the newest guides
  • RG: Our research guides, as well as some other aspects of the site, are controlled by an open source tool called “SubjectsPlus.” This was initially developed under a different name at East Carolina University, but was taken over by Andrew Darby, then IC Library webmaster, c. 2005. This is a free, open-source alternative to LibGuides, and also offers a lot of freedom and customizability.This is the “back-end” screen of SubjectsPlus when a staff member logs in. Notice the log of search strings on the right. These are captured from the main site search. The SubjectsPlus administrator assigns levels of permissions to SP users. Dan is a high-level user, so you’re seeing all of the available options. Each week, staff with editing permissions receive an email that highlights all activities across the site, including this log of search terms.
  • RG: We will now take you through a series of screens that highlight the functionality in SubjectsPlus… This is the “records” page. Each resource linked to in a guide is called a “record.” You can create a new record for an item or browse the list of available records to edit the record or add it to a new guide.
  • RG: This is the guides tab. Here you see a complete list of the guides that you have created, as well as an “All Guides” dropdown to give you access to others. There’s also an option to create a new guide.
  • RG: As the name implies, SubjectsPlus manages more than just research guides. One of the “extras” is an FAQ database. This is the screen where FAQs can be created and edited.
  • RG: Here’s a front end screenshot of the main FAQ page. FAQs can be tagged as part of a “collection” so that they are organized into topical areas.
  • RG: Another of the SubjectsPlus “extra” features is the “Talkback” module. This module receives comments and questions from users and e-mails them to me. I forward these the appropriate staff member, who then logs in to SP to respond.
  • LC: Once a question has been answered, it appears on our home page.
  • RG: This shows the back end of the SP video module. I should mention that this is not part of the current SP distribution (we’re beta testers), but should be included in the next release. This module lets you pull in data from YouTube or Vimeo to create a nicely styled page for your public site.
  • RG: and here’s what the front end looks like. Like most things in SP, this can be styled as you desire.
  • Lac: Here is a course guide for an Interdisciplinary class – 3 faculty members – note: Two liaison librarians/Handout/Citing/Research TipsAlso, you can LABEL THE BOXES HOWEVER YOU LIKE AND ARRANGE THEM IN ANY ORDER, YOU CAN ALSO SET THE COLUMN WIDTH
  • RG: Here’s what the guide looks like from the back end. New boxes (or “pluslets” as we call them), are added via an easy, drag-and-drop interface and can be labeled and customized as desired. You can also use the “Find Box” feature to grab a box from another guide an insert it into the current guide.
  • RG: This slide shows the “new box” menu. To create a new box, you just drag the kind of box you want from the menu into either the left or right drop area. “Editable Box” is the “generic” box that lets you do anything. Others are special boxes of various kinds.
  • RG: Each guide has a metadata screen. At IC, we have added a keyword feature to SP so that the guide creator can maximize the guides findability using our “find a guide” option. LAC: I added TURKON AND LAPP because they ARE FACULTY MEMBERS FOR THE COURSE
  • We mentioned earlier that we capture search strings – we notices that Literature Reviews showed up a lot, so we created this guide in response - same with Annotated Bibliographies and Citation Searching
  • , Mini-multidatabase search & Resource description is tailored to course focus – e.g. HWRC, Note BOX Label – e.g. Key Resources
  • RG: This is the backend of an “editable box” in SP, you can edit in rich text view or in “source” view. The weird looking strings are tokens that SP automatically adds when you select a resource that is already entered as a record.
  • LAC: You cam customize a item’s decscription on a per-guide basis. Note the specific search tip…
  • We also use SP to build GUIDES TO SUPPORT RELEVANT CAMPUS EVENTS
  • RG: in addition to the data that we get directly from users via usability testing and Talkback, we also use Google Analytics to monitor traffic patterns. Here we can see our traffic from Jun 24 to July 24 this year.
  • Transcript

    • 1. It’s All About the User:Enhancing Discovery withOpen Source Software
    • 2. Best Practices1. Share comments and questionsthroughout the session via the chat box.2. Continue the conversation on theLibraries Thriving Discussion Forum.3. E-mail Laura Warren with requests forprofessional development certificates.
    • 3. It’s All About the User:Enhancing Discovery withan Open-Source Tool Libraries Thriving Webinar August 2012 Lisabeth Chabot & Ron Gilmour Ithaca College

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