Questions from primary contact meetings

I thought I’d share with the team some questions my primary contacts had (or I had) after our initial meetings. Some of these questions are easily answered, and some raise other questions. I just thought I’d get them out to see what other people have been thinking about and discussing in their meetings. Maybe I’ll put a new section in the Wiki for LIS primary contact meetings FAQs…

  1. Will a link to my department/content exist on the LIS landing page?
  2. Will there be a “featured departments/events/exhibits/goings-on” spot on the LIS landing page?
  3. If I have an exhibit or event or online project being launched, can I advertize it on the LIS landing page?
  4. Can I name my part of the LIS site whatever I want? (What if I want to name it something other than what my department is called?) Can I separate out parts of my site as I see fit?
  5. Is creating my content in a Drupal page the best way to display and organize my department’s dynamic content (video, images, audio, etc.)?
  6. What if I want to use blogging tools than WordPress as part of my department’s web presence?
  7. How can I use MiddLabs, and other tools of the new College website to best communicate my department’s services and collaborative activities?

10 thoughts on “Questions from primary contact meetings

  1. Ian McBride

    These are my opinions:

    1. If it is one of the sections on listed in the recommendations document, yes, otherwise, no. The idea is for the landing page to be a quick reference to all things LIS, but we won’t be able to list every division, office, and department of the organization because we want a simple list of options for people to choose. This does not necessarily mean that the department is not prominent in other parts of the information architecture of the site. It may have its own search landing page or be one of the links on the top-level landing pages in the Drupal site, such as with the Library.

    2. I think the LIS landing page should have a calendar widget listing space availability, but events should be advertised via another calendar widget that appears on the LIS blog, since that will be our public outreach system. This calendar would feed events out of R25.

    3. It could be advertised on the LIS Blog either through an event listing in R25 or a blog post about the event, or both. This is one of the reasons why I think allowing all LIS staff to contribute to the blog is beneficial: it allows easy announcement of LIS related events without delay until publication or approval through committee.

    4. I see no reason not to allow the site naming to be done by the people in charge of that area. I’ve already told the Curricular Tech team that there will be a link on the LIS landing page to something about CT and they get to decide what that link is called. I would encourage people to name their area of the site something related to its content rather than related to the organizational name, should such a difference exist. I see no problem with separating out content into multiple section, provided its done with the intent of making the content easier to browse as I’m sure is the case here.

    5. Drupal is the best system available for creating a site with a hierarchy of information, managing the permissions for that hierarchy, and including content from other sources (other pages in Drupal, other blogs, etc.). All of the systems we maintain can include multimedia like images, video, and audio. In fact, for video and audio, we recommend uploading that to MiddMedia, which can then be used to include the content in Drupal, WordPress, and/or MediaWiki. Still, if you’re trying to build a site that will be a tree of related information with multiple authors, you’re best served creating it in Drupal. That’s not to say that it *can’t* be done in those other systems, just that you will find they aren’t as well suited for the task.

    6. WordPress is the blogging tool that is run locally at Middlebury and will be supported by staff. We won’t stop you from using other blogging tools and you will be able to include feeds from any blog you like in a Drupal site, but we won’t offer support or assistance for design, plugins, authentication, etc. for other blogging platforms.

    7. We don’t know what MiddLabs is yet, so this one is harder to answer. The Web Redo Coordinating Committee will receive White Whale’s recommendations for content in MiddLabs on 9/11. Joe has been very good about forwarding these to the relevant groups as they come in. Still, this does not mean that the recommendation will be approved by Middlebury on that date. We’ve been curious to see how MiddLabs will work without adding to the curricular workload and I personally expect there will be some negotiation on that point after we receive the recommendations.

  2. Jessica Isler

    Thanks so much, Ian!

    I created a new Wiki page for primary contacts information/resources/stuff. I’ve included Ian’s response, and others may contribute as they see fit (possibly with deliverables or timelines, other questions, etc.). Or feel free to ignore it! I created links to it from our LIS Website page, and from our blog here, (under Project documentation).

  3. Elin Waagen

    Thanks Jess and Ian.

    I added the revised list of contacts to the new wiki page Jess created.
    I made some changes to the list based on the meeting discussion today – and added ILL as another site to the list – feel free to edit.
    Or – will the ILL pages be considered in discussions with Collection Management?

    Tiny technicality – can it be renamed to LIS Website Primary Contacts so that it shows up on our wiki pages when we search for “lis website”.

  4. Jess Isler

    ILL and all other departments within CM should be handled by CM. I do not see ILL as being a higher-level piece of the LIS architecture. I think that was one of the the motivating factors behind the way we defined and designated the primary contacts–how prominent the content for that area is or will be on the new site. That’s why Armstrong wasn’t on there–it’s not high up on the IA currently (not that it shouldn’t be, or that we can’t change it, just that in the current IA there is no link to Armstrong from the main College homepage, whereas there IS currently one to the Music Library, via Arts). Maybe it wasn’t very clear to those who weren’t in the meetings when we outlined the contacts, but hopefully that helps explain it!

  5. Jessica Isler

    I don’t think renaming a page is a tiny technicality. I think you need to create a whole new page if you want to call it something different. Ian, is this correct? If so, is there a way we can change that and make it so a page name can be edited? Thanks!

  6. Ian McBride

    Use the Move button at the top of the page to rename it. This will correct all existing links to the page to go to the new page location.

  7. Jessica Isler

    Thanks, Ian! A welcome revelation :) I’m sharing this information with the several parties I queried about it and who didn’t know!

    Elin, I’ve changed it, so you can now find it if you search “lis website”. You could also find it by searching “primary contacts”.

  8. Barbara

    re: ILL. I have started working with Terry & Richard on the Collection Development section & from the e-mail I’m now cc’d on I see that Rachel is involved for ILL. I’ll take a look at the new wiki section (thanks Jess) and perhaps make some notes there too.

  9. Elin Waagen

    Thanks for clarifying the ILL question, Barbara.
    Jess, thanks for updating the LIS website site/content table – and for changing the title. Maybe you can show me how to copy and paste tables on the wiki? Thanks, Ian for sharing how to rename a page – I am so happy to know how to do that.

  10. Jess Isler

    I just copied and pasted it from Ian’s table on the other page.

    Just make sure you’re NOT using the “rich text editor”.

    Click “disable rich text editor” to reveal the text of the formatting OR if there isn’t a “disable rich text editor” button, Click on the “Wikitext” button, and that should do it…

    I think the issue of the rich text/WYSIWYG editing vs. the text editing is something we need to address in our workflow/documentation on Wiki usage!


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