Minutes

TexShare - Library of Texas Working Group Meeting
November 23, 2004

Meeting Place: Online via Centra

List of Attendees:
John Asbell, Shedrick Pittman-Hassett, Jeanette Mosey (Chair), Antonella Ward, Chris Peterson, Tim Mason, Luis Chaparro, Martha Rinn, Kathryn Sturtz, Beverley Shirley, Kevin Marsh
Absent: Sheri Benton

Meeting Called to Order:

Meeting was called to order at 2:00 p.m. Chris Peterson gave a brief tutorial on how to use the software provided by AMIGOS to conduct the meeting over the Internet.

Announcements:

David Calabrese (Panhandle Library System) has resigned from the WG. A replacement is being sought.

Unfinished Business:

Software Enhancements – Kevin is still waiting for Index Data, the company that created the software on which LoT is running, to provide him with estimates for the implementation of the following proposed changes to the software:

  1. Provide support for library-specific databases
  2. Allow rich-URL or referring-URL authentication
  3. Link to third-party authorized resources (e.g. maps databases)
  4. Make displaying the “view MARC” field optional
  5. Add custom gateways to non-Z39.50-compliant databases

The sub-group created ad hoc to modify the current MARC records permission form for LoT has not yet met. Jeanette suggested and the Working Group agreed that the sub-group should have a draft of the new form ready for review by the LoT Working Group by February 1, 2005.

Priorities -

  1. The Working Group unanimously voted to split the first priority on their list (“promote outreach and conduct usability studies to increase usage of LoT”) into two different statements, as follows:

    • a. Work with the Communications Working Group to promote outreach to increase usage of LoT.
    • b. Conduct usability studies to determine future software enhancements.
  2. After some discussion, the Working Group voted to postpone priority #2 (“enhance search features”)
  3. Because shared cataloging is one of LoT’s biggest selling points, the Working Group voted to keep this feature as a major priority for the next two years. Members agreed that an ad hoc sub-group should be assigned the task of preparing a list of specifications for the software vendor regarding the download features the LoT Working Group would like to see implemented. The final quote will depend on the number of features requested. Kathryn Sturtz and Shedrick Pittman-Hassett volunteered to be members of said sub-group. Beverley volunteered to be the mediator between the sub-group and the other group members.
  4. Following a brief discussion, the Working Group unanimously approved to split priority #4 (“expand the ‘Help’ feature or implement other forms of training;”) into two separate statements, as follows:

    • a. Improve the ‘help’ feature.
    • b. Partner with the Education Working Group to expand and implement other forms of training.

With seven votes against, one in favor, and one abstention, a member’s suggestion to add the Help” feature to the list of other software enhancements was rejected. The “Help” feature will remain a separate item on LoT’s priority list.
Kevin was asked to put together a running list of software enhancement items/features. Kevin reiterated the importance of looking for ways to integrate other similar resources and different types of content into LoT, by partnering with other digitization endeavors (i.e., Texas Heritage Digitization Effort).

At this point, a suggestion was made to reprioritize LoT’s list of priorities. Jeanette will create a draft of the group’s current priorities; members will review the list and submit their suggestions as to the re-sequencing of the group’s priorities.

TLA Program – the subgroup needs to start pinpointing topics and roles for the upcoming TLA meeting.

New Business

Search Options -The group discussed John Asbell’s suggestion to offer LoT users the option to search only OPACs, only databases, or both. Beverley suggested making this the target of future usability studies. Kevin advised that this feature was relatively simple to implement, and proposed adding two options to the LoT default screen: (De)select all libraries / (De)select all OPACs, provided that any addition does not end up cluttering the screen. The Working Group is to submit a formal recommendation at the next meeting as to which options should be implemented.

Custom gateways – The group talked about the possibility of developing custom gateways between LoT and various non-Z39.50-compliant databases. This would allow libraries to use LOT as a local metasearch tool, accessing all their locally licensed content via a single interface. Kevin reminded the other members of the one-time cost involved in configuring the software to communicate with these databases. Although Working Group members agree that participating libraries should share the cost of developing these gateways, determining how said costs need to be divided will require further discussion. The TexShare Electronic Information Working Group has conducted a survey to try and establish what databases Texas Libraries subscribe to. Jeanette will obtain a copy of the survey results for our next meeting. A suggestion was made that the Electronic Information Working Group should be involved in future discussions about custom gateways in LoT.

Topics identified for discussion at the next meeting:

  1. Usability study
  2. Soliciting enhancements (w/replies to Kevin)
  3. Enhancements FAQ
  4. How to enhance LoT’s “Help” feature

    • a. Just click
    • b. Not browsable
    • c. No table of contents
    • d. Add tutorial
    • e. Foreign language version (such as Spanish)

The meeting was adjourned at 4:00 p.m.

- Minutes recorded by Antonella Ward

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