Flash! Anne’s Upcoming Lightning Talk at Confab Central

I am so proud to announce that our own Anne Haines will be giving a lightning talk at the upcoming Confab Central conference in Minneapolis.

Confab Central is the place for content strategists, and there were only seven proposals accepted, so I wanted to be sure and highlight her achievement.

Even better, her talk will be about … us!

Your Website Is a Verb: Persuading Librarians to Let Go


Way to go, Anne!

We Contain Multitudes: A Song of our Anne

Breaking News: our very own Anne Haines was recently featured in Librarian As Poet / Poet As Librarian, the latest post on the widely-read library blog In The Library with the Lead Pipe.

That’s right! After all, what is a poet if not a content strategist? 😉

If you’d like to read more on our celebrated multihyphenate, I invite you to contemplate her epic journey through librarianship as chronicled in this 2011 profile penned by former GA Sara O’Donnell, or catch her on twitter.

Librarian Poetry Thoughts, by Sarah Barker.
Librarian Poetry Thoughts, by Sarah Barker. [N.B. In honor of this post, I share this CC licensed photo retrieved with a Flickr search of ‘librarian poet.’]

So long, farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, goodbye …

Our own dear Mary Pagliero Popp will be retiring and ‘flying the coop’ this Friday, January 31st. This momentous occasion brings with it a barrage of sensations; to name just a few:

  • Excitement for new opportunities that lay ahead of her;
  • Trepidation – how will we manage to go on?;
  • Disbelief;
  • and, to be honest, a dollop of selfish regret (grumble grumble How can you possibly leave us just to retire, Mary! You’ve only given us four decades after all! Why hurry off?)

Simply put, the place won’t be the same without her.

If you are available, please join us in celebrating Mary’s 41 year career with the Libraries on Monday, February 17 from 2:00pm – 4:00pm in the Wells staff lounge to enjoy some cake and leave a note in her memory book. Those unable to attend in person who wish to send comments for inclusion in the memory book to be presented to Mary may send them to Diane Dallis (ddallis at indiana dot edu) by February 14 and they will be included in the book.

Speaking on behalf of myself, the DRS department, and shoot, the whole campus:

Mary, we love you! We will miss you! We’ll be seeing you!

Mary Pagliero PoppMary Pagliero Popp began her career at Indiana University Libraries as Assistant Librarian in the library for Graduate Library School in 1973.  Mary’s performance is remarkable not only for its quality and intensity, but for its consistent excellence, demonstrated throughout her four decades of service at the IU Libraries.  Her contributions in a wide variety of areas — library instruction, electronic resources, online services — have been essential to the function and betterment of the organization, both in Bloomington and statewide.  She worked assiduously to establish and grow library instructional services as art of Undergraduate Library services and later as Head of Library Instruction, then in 1995 transitioned to a new role as Electronic Resources Librarian.  In one sense this marked a transition in the focus of her responsibilities from traditional face-to-face instruction to “machine-assisted” services.  But in a larger sense, Mary remained consistent in her dedication to a user-centered approach, always going the extra mile with the goal of making electronically mediated library transactions as direct and personal as possible.

For many faculty and students, Mary is the face of the library, providing support, encouragement, and an unparalleled dedication to helping them solve problems and achieve their goals.  Mary has been integral to many projects related to online discovery, including the transition from the card catalog to IUCAT, the IU Libraries’ online catalog, and on enhancements to IUCAT — first moving from a command-line to a web-based interface, and most recently in implementing a new discovery layer to serve as a public interface.  She has also been instrumental in the implementation of many large-scale research products intended to increase the breadth and depth of researcher access to information, and her expertise, judgment, and leadership have been essential to the progress of these endeavors.  Mary has for many years been a highly valued contributor to both the Bloomington and University Faculty Councils, and she has remained active in her involvement with the Library Science program.  Nationally Mary is and has been a force for positive change through her extensive involvement with the American Library Association, including a recent term as President of the Reference & User Services Association.

Laying aside her many accomplishments, Mary is also deeply personally invested in not just her work, but in the lives of her colleagues, and is a source of tremendous encouragement and emotional support to everyone around her.  She is insightful, trustworthy, innovative, thorough, persistent, diplomatic, hard-working, a groundbreaker, and a pleasure to work with.  With her retirement on January 31, Mary now embarks on new adventures, and we are grateful for the legacy of caring, compassionate service — both to her colleagues and to all library users — she leaves behind.

A Duck by Any Other Name …

Well, friends, we have some big news. Our department has a new name: Discovery and Research Services.

What does it mean for you? On a day to day level, probably not a lot. You can call us DRS (pronounced “doctors”) and we will be happy to prescribe tonics for what ails your websites just as we always have. Our bedside desk-side manner will be just as caring as ever as we (figuratively) bathe your (metaphorically) fevered brow while you bravely edit your content. We will crusade against ROT as we always have, in the noble spirit of “Do No Harm … To Your Patrons’ Brains.” Only now we can have truly illegible handwriting and maybe, if we get lucky, even manage to start going to conferences in warm places in the dead of winter. Wait a minute, we’re still librarians – we go to places like Philly and Boston and Chicago in January! Nevermind about that last thing then.

They* say that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, so we here in the Department Formerly Known as DUX hope the same thing is true for, well, the Department Formerly Known as DUX. Unfortunately the announcement of this change came just a few days too late to be exactly twenty years after Prince changed his name to the Artist Formerly Known as Prince on June 7, 1993 – before he changed it back to Prince again, that is – so we decided not to bother with all that symbol-only awkwardness.

We did take a new department picture though:

Bat duck, grad duck and Doc duck
Bat duck, grad duck and Doc duck | SheepPurple/flickr

We’ll leave it to you to decide which is me, which is Mary and which Anne.**

Our name may have changed, but as you can see from this slightly coo-coo post, we are still the same word nerds we ever have been, and we are still here to help you Make Things Better one web page and catalog record at a time. Only now we will not only be working with all of you but also with the help of our colleagues in the newly formed User Experience & Digital Media Services department to achieve our main goal – to put users first.

*By they, I mean the possible multiple Shakespeares as purported by the Anti-Stratfordians – and naturally the best and only place to refer you for more information on a literary conspiracy theory is Wikipedia.

** That might vary on a day-to-day basis.

Real Questions from Real People: part 2

Today I answer three more queries in our continuing series of Real Questions from Real People about the coming library website migration.

If I can ask about the design … the search box says “Search All.” What’s it mean? Search website? IUCAT? OneSearch? etc

screen capture: new search box
Screen capture of the search box from the first visual design comps

I’ve added an illustration above from the first set of design comps (which we will be sharing at the April brown bag event) so that everyone can follow along. The new search box will work similarly to the current library search AND to the new IUCAT search; it will be similar to the current library search in that results will be returned from a variety of targets (site content, Serials Solutions e-journal info, OneSearch, etc) and it will be like the new IUCAT search box in that users will be able to search all or to opt to restrict their searches to a particular subset of results [see below].

new iucat search options
Screen capture of the new IUCAT search box with options visible

The search results page will allow users to view results organized by facets and facets may be determined either by type of information (resources) or by target (OneSearch@IU). That said, we are still working with the consultants’ UX and development teams on how exactly the search page will be laid out and what exact targets it will search, so I don’t have anything more detailed I can share … yet.

Are you incorporating Libguides into the Drupal design? Or will this be separate?

Eventually we would like to be able to move toward a tight integration between Drupal, LibGuides and our campus course management system (Michigan has a great pattern for this in place) but for the time being the systems will be fairly separate. We will link to LibGuides, of course, and we should be able to harvest data from LibGuides so they can be included in search. Until some decisions are made campus-wide about Sakai (aka Oncourse), we are going to hold tight on anything further, though.

Would the interaction between the new website and the new IUCAT be any different?

For starters, no, it will probably not be that different in that we will still link to IUCAT widely from across the site; but because the new IUCAT and the new website will each have more functionality we can work with, we are hopeful that the interaction will eventually be different and better. One thing that will be hugely better right away will be the ease of finding and using permalinks for the new IUCAT anywhere, not just in the new website.


Have questions? Want answers? Attend one of our brown bag events to discuss the migration with us (details) or drop us a line.

You say “iPad,” Google Analytics says “iOS”

Given that we’ve held a couple of workshops on using Google Analytics in the last couple of weeks, I thought I’d share an article about a recent change in how Google Analytics tracks Apple devices – logging is no longer broken out by device (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) but instead will be noted under a catch-all category of “iOS.” The change took place on May 29th.

What does this mean for the average Google Analytics user? Be aware that data-sets spanning that date (May 1 – May 31, for example) are going to have numbers and displays that look a little bit funky because of the change as they sort of “bump over” from one measure to the other. Going forward, it means we will all have a sense of overall Apple-device traffic to our sites, and if one is interested in determining which Apple devices, the best way to do that will be through looking at screen resolution reporting (logged under Audience -> Technology -> Browser & OS).

AND – if you’re really geeking out on Google Analytics right now, you might take a gander at these two case studies on how PBS and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art have been using Google Analytics. We’re always interested to see discussions of GA usage specific to nonprofits.

Thanks, Anne, for the tips on the articles.

DUX at IU Librarians’ Day

It’s almost time for this year’s Indiana University Librarians’ Day! We look forward to gathering with librarians from across the state to learn about projects, consider new ideas, discuss issues of concern to us all, and (last but not least) have a chance to talk together and connect in person rather than through a telephone line or via email.

This year’s program is packed with fantastic options, as usual – it’s always so hard to choose just one in each time slot. We wanted to specially invite you, our dear reDUX readers, to two programs we’ll be presenting on projects we’ve featured on this blog – Blacklight, the new IUCAT discovery interface, and OneSearch@IU, IU Bloomington’s implementation of Ebsco Discovery Service.

Redefining IUCAT’s public interface: Blacklight [10:35 – 11:15a, UL 2120]
[View slides online]
The new IUCAT interface is coming soon! Curious about how it will look? Wondering about how it will work? Not sure what Blacklight is anyway? Join members of the IU Libraries OLE Discovery Layer Implementation Task Force for an informal informational session about the project to implement a new public interface for IUCAT. The session will include updates on the implementation timeline and on progress made thus far, a look at the new design and information about plans for the future, as well as a discussion of some of the implications of transitioning to a discovery layer interface from our current traditional OPAC interface. There will be plenty of time for questions and answers.
Presenters: Courtney Greene and Mary Popp of DUX, and Randi Stocker, IUPUI

It’s Live, Now What? – Reflecting on the first year with Ebsco Discovery Service [11:20 – noon, UL 1130]
[View slides online]
What does it take to maintain a web-scale discovery tool? In August 2011, both IU Kokomo and IU Bloomington launched Ebsco Discovery Service (EDS), through which users can search large portions of their library collections, including IUCAT and both EBSCO and non-EBSCO databases, from a single search box. In this session, digital user experience librarians from IUK and IUB will talk about the ups and downs, ins and outs, successes and failures they’ve experienced in their first year with EDS – importing catalog data, managing publicity, integrating the resource into the library website, and more. We will also discuss how the resource has been received at each campus, by library staff and by students and faculty.
Presenters: Courtney Greene of DUX and Angie Thorpe (former DUX GA! now Digital User Experience Librarian at IUK)

We hope to see all of our IU librarian readers this Friday June 8th!

Notre Dame & responsive design

I’m back again to bang my responsive design drum  … this time to share a really interesting blog post about the University of Notre Dame site:

Delivering an Amazing Site on Every Device: Notre Dame Edition

There’s lots to mull over in the article, but I specifically want to highlight that in the last two years, they’ve seen a 900% increase in traffic to their mobile site … and, over the same time period, a 500% increase in mobile traffic to their main site. Even with that increase, mobile traffic constitutes only 5% of visits to their main site overall – it seems like a no-brainer to me that we are only going to see the proportion of mobile traffic grow and grow, what with all the tablets and smartphones flooding the market.

Notre Dame: mobile trafficWhile the Libraries’ mobile site has yet to see that kind of increase, the statistics on mobile visits to the Libraries’ main site show an increase of about the same proportion as ND saw – since February 2010, mobile traffic to libraries.iub.edu has increased by approximately 550% … and mobile traffic makes up about a percent and a half of our overall site visits. Plenty of room for growth!

Watch this space for some news relating to the Libraries’ mobile site in the near future. In the meantime, we’re always interested to hear your thoughts and comments on responsive design, ideas for our mobile site, or would love it if you have other examples of responsive sites you’d like to share with us.

Responsive *library* design

I was very excited to see the announcement last week in Walking Paper about a library site employing responsive design.

GVSU: Mary Idema Pew Library | responsive siteThe site is for the Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons at Grand Valley State University, slated to open in Fall 2013. Very cool! We’d be very interested to hear of any other library sites employing responsive design, so please share in the comments if you are aware of any such.

IM help using LibraryH3lp

For several years, the IUB Libraries have offered reference service using instant messaging and text messaging – staff at reference desks provide the great service and DUX manages the care and feeding of Libraryh3lp, the system we use to provide the service. Libraryh3lp is an awesome product, and an awesome project – started by Pam and Eric Sessoms four years ago, it has grown so successful that they’re now doing it full time (Pam previously worked as a librarian at UNC-Chapel Hill) and they recently hired a third full-time person to provide support. You can read more about the history of the project at their blog.

We get all sorts of questions, from ‘are you open?’ to ‘how do I do X in Y database?’ to very in-depth subject related questions … and there are lots of them, too – in the fall semester we averaged about 775 instant message transactions per month, peaking in November with 925 interactions. We have IM widgets in several places throughout our web site, including the Ask A Librarian page and the 404 (error) page. You can see an example widget below.

IUB Libraries IM reference widget

So how does it work for us? Well, library staff log into a web-based chat application, and the questions pop up in little windows, as illustrated below. We sort the questions out in three ways, based on where they initiate:

  • Our website: questions from the Ask A Librarian page, or any other web-based widget. In the webchat interface, we see a red ‘REF’ icon.
  • Text message questions: In the webchat interface, we see an image in the corner that looks like a phone for these.
  • Ebsco databases:  We added a chat widget that appears along the side of the search results in nearly all of our Ebsco databases, and in OneSearch@IU. In the webchat interface, we see an EBSCO image for questions from these locations.

Libraryh3lp adminstrative viewWhy do we bother to sort them? To make it easier to identify the point of initiation for each question, whether that’s a specific page in our website or a results page in one of our databases. The reference desks can get a bit hectic, with staff balancing in-person traffic, telephone calls, and the IM questions. The more we know about the context of the question, the better the answer we can provide – for IM, it’s easiest to do this with visual cues in the chat application.

We are also working with the Business/SPEA IC so that they can place a widget on resource pages they create to support the research in specific courses, and those questions can be funneled directly to those staff.

These changes have had very little practical impact on staff (that is – no disruptions!) and instead seem to be pretty popular with our users. We’ve already had several contacts from within the Ebsco interface in which people just wanted to tell us how happy they were that we were there to answer questions!

If you’re interested in knowing more about the partnership between reference and DUX to support virtual reference services, contact us, or check out the slides and other supporting materials from a talk I gave on the topic, titled UX + VR FTW, at last weekend’s ALA Midwinter meeting at http://bit.ly/vrdg-alamw12