Friday, December 19, 2008

O.K. Browsers

The home and sub page templates work just fine in:

Opera ("accessibility" mode also works right)
Google Chrome

So of course the only problem child is IE. The sub page template looks all right in IE6-8, though. That's good. (actually the search box is slightly too tall in IE6, but no one will notice unless they already know to look)

So that's 6 major browsers tested. I'd say that's enough.

The home page template looks all right in IE8, but that is only a beta for now.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Compatibility issues, oh boy howdy

(EDIT: These issues will likely be fixed in the near future, so it's nothing to worry about)

I was trying to see if the random image loader I have will work on our home page (it does), and ran into a (literally) little problem with IE:

(Click to enlarge)

It was always like that, because the original templates we got do that too. I have no idea why I never noticed this before. I don't use IE, and I did briefly glance at it in IE and thought it looked all right, but I really should have been paying attention :-/ [Actually, I have some memory of having seen this problem before, but it didn't seem to be a priority at the time. But now it is.]

I investigated the "library.css" file and found that the problem is that the ".hours" box and the ".announce" box, which are both inside the box called ".container3," can increase the size of ".container3" depending on how big they are. However thier height is set as "auto" so their size depends on how big the text inside looks, and text display varies by browser (*sigh*, right?):

(colors changed so you can see)

I "solved" the problem by making ".container3, ".hours," and ".announce" all a fixed height of 150px. The "side effect" of doing this is that the boxes will never get larger no matter what you write in them. That might not be too bad. Here's how that turned out:
You can also see the image loader here, but that is unimportant now.

However, I also tested the web page on IE6 (which I never use, I hasten to mention!), and it still has problems even in my fixed version.

Here's the original template:

Here's my modified one:

Where did the hours go? It is a mystery.

IE6 is one of the most awful IT products ever. However, if your OS is pre-XP, you're not allowed to have IE7, and not all users may know enough to get FF or can't get used to it. So this may be a problem, or it might not be at all.

I'll try these in other browsers in the very near future.

The sub-page templates all look acceptable so far. That's good.

Friday, December 12, 2008

This is not a Web of Science

Since the database calls itself "ISI Web of Knowledge," so should we. It also makes it much more clear that its contents go beyond "science."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Database Pages Progress

I've been working on CH's copy. Since the DBs are, as I've said, the crown jewels of our site, I think it's necessary to ask you all for input. What I have here is just about "done," although the A-Z EBSCO link is wrong on over half of the subject pages, so I'll have to go fix those anyway.

1. Databases By Name:

a) Quick List: The only difference between the "quick" and "expanded" lists is that some names have been simplified and the EBSCO DBs are not expanded. Most of our students just know EBSCOhost as "EBSCO" and don't think about it being an aggregator, etc., and might be intimidated by a big list. And really, they don't need to know that. All they want is to get in, and that's just fine.

b) I need a link for "Lexi-PALS Drug Guide," on the Health Sciences list (which, I must confess, I've never heard of before). All of the others have links, though.

c) Both of the lists also contain the DBs that are on the LOUIS DB list but not our home page.

d) Database Tools: I'm unsure if this is needed, but I put it there anyway. They're in the the other lists also, but they're not really DBs in themselves.

e) The list on name.html is made of the LOUIS list (because it had links) and CH's copy.

f) Will ARTSTOR, if it ever comes, have its own link or will it be seen as an extension of JSTOR (I recall that they used to advertise it by placing an "artstor" tab in JSTOR to trick unsubscribed people into clicking on it)?

2. Databases By Subject:

a) I decided to give each subject area its own page. An idea I had before was to have them all on one page and then use anchors to link to each one, but in order to bookmark it the user would have to take care to bookmark that particular anchor link (as in, going to the main URL and scrolling down and bookmarking would bookmark the whole page, not that particular part). Here's the yardstick: "Could my mother figure that out?" The answer is a concrete "No."

b) Since there are to be so many of them, the pages will reside in their own /subject directory. The links already work, but the pages are incomplete templates for now. "dbs" is just where I'm keeping all of these, but they will work in any directory as long as it's "X"/subject

d) There are some lesser known DBs now on the "by name" list. If you want to add/subtract DBs from your lists, let me know.

3. Newspapers:

Yes. It really is that short.

Are we really going to have a page of just that? Is there anything more to add? It's even on the home page. (I suppose it's a well-known fact that I've always been skeptical of this page. It's not that I don't like it, it's just that I can't envision what to put on it. Maybe someone else can.)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Library Instruction & Tours

From Megan's copy, I made a page for Library Instruction & Tours:

It may need changes in the future, but this generally what it could be.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Library Instruction & Tours

I've made a page for "Library Instruction & Tours" out of Megan's copy. DW's status will probably change in the future as her subject liasonship.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Oh no!

We've been knocked down a spot!

Nov. 2008 Uni. Relations Report

Curse you, ARROW, curse yooooooouuuuuuu....

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Copy: Staff and Departments

Here's Megan's copy for Library Departments: DEPARTMENTS.docx

And here's the html version I made from it:

I changed it a bit to work in html. There's a list by Dept. and another by name. The name list is short enough that it mostly fits into a normal window, so it doesn't need alphabetical links. The list by name was derived from the ULM Email Search, so if anything is wrong on that it will be wrong on this list (for instance, William had no phone or room, but I fixed that). All depts. that have pages should be linked in future, also.

Doc = please no

If your web page copy contains anything besides text (images, tables, etc.) please don't use MS Word, or else it has to be re-done to have the right code in html. Text is easy to clean up, but tables are not.

Well, you know how I get about Microsoft...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Copy: KC's Alumni + visitor info

I got these much earlier today, truth be told:

Guide to the Library on the website?

Ok, I'm probably revealing my ignorance (again--nothing new in this), but is there any place on the current (or soon-to-be) library website where the contents of the goldenrod "Guide to the Use of the Library" appears?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Some new-ish pages

I finished most of the pages I was supposed to do. Mostly finished, anyway. Please do let me know if there's something that must be changed.

I've sent those all to Mike in a .zip file.

I've also figured out how to put a PHP form into the template. I have some version of that on my site, which can run such script, now:

Why not try Kompozer? And get a new web page?

I did learn something interesting at Dr.Beutner's presentation on Friday. Although I've long been recommending SeaMonkey for html composition, there's another program called Kompozer (which you may have heard of) that works just as well but does not require an installer. It looks and feels just like SeaMonkey's "composer." (SeaMonkey is still a good all-in-one app., though)

Also, if you want to get the files and directions on how to use the new ULM faculty web page template (not required, but very nice), go to the TLRC's site:

Friday, November 21, 2008

Minutes for Nov. 20, 2008

In attendance were:


Most of the pertinent notes were kept in this image during the meeting.
Here's the "key":

-- Green slash = on track
-- Green ? or ! or blue text = coming along but with possible issues
-- Red = needs to be addressed

Not on the image...

-- KC is to make an Alumni-related page
-- KN is to inform reference librarians that we are to compose a list of databases for each dept. they do. They are to send them to KN who will organize them and send them to CH.
-- Capitalization on home page links should be consistent
-- There no known demand for a Faculty Publications page. There is a way to do that with our catalog
-- The process of creating working forms will soon begin

[The collection Policy seems have to be talked about already]

Do let me know if I have forgotten anything.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Copy: Friends of the Library (by CR)

The Friends of the Library
UNiversity of Louisiana at Monroe

A non-profit organization that provides support for the Library at ULM through fundraising and advocacy.

Memberships Available

ULM Student Membership $10
Individual Membership $20
Household Membership (Up to 3 library cards) $30

Contributing Member $50
Sustaining Member $100
Life Member $1,000
Life Patron Member (payroll deduction is available) $10,000

Membership offers book checkout priviledges and BellTower Books Discounts

Interested in Belltower Books?

This resale book area is located on the fourth floor of the Library. Volunteers are always needed.

Also available through Belltower Books -

Library Note Cards, boxed notecard sets of pen and ink renderings of the ULM Library

A Bibliography of Louisiana Parish History, compiled by Dr. H. Glenn Jordan and published by the Friends of the Library.

Interested in other ways to help?

Library Memorials are a lasting way to remember or honor a special friend or loved one.
Individualized bookplates and acknowledgements sent for donations made in amounts of $50 or more.

The Library Endowment Fund is an investment in the Library's future.

The Friends Wish List provides opportunities to help by donating time, services and financial support for a variety of Library needs.

Please call (318) 342-1050 for more information.

Copy: Distance Learning

Distance Learning

Even if you're not in the Monroe area, you still have access to many of the same library services as on-campus students.

Databases (journal, newspaper, and encyclopedia articles)
Many of the sources in our databases are available online in full text. To log in to the databases from off-campus, simply enter your username (CWID) and PIN (birthdate in MMYY format) when prompted.

Ebrary is a collection of full-text e-books which you can access by following the same login instructions as for the databases above. Create a "bookshelf" (Ebrary account) to save books and easily find them again later.

Government Publications
Many Government Publications are now available online for free. Follow the directions here to search for them in the Library catalog. There's also a wealth of information on the main Government Publications page.

Reference help
If you need help searching the databases or Ebrary, you can give us a call at the Reference desk at 318-342-1071 or email us at The desk is staffed from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, and 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Faculty Publications?

I was looking at the Library plan today, and noticed that in the "goals" there's something about finding a way to promote faculty publications online:

Uh-oh... I don't recall having talked about this before. I reckon we will at the next meeting. Any thoughts now?

Monday, November 3, 2008

ULM logos

FYI: The official ULM logos and other such things can be found here:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Informal status report

I apologize for the long wait. I've been working on a different web project, but that's no excuse. There are several things to bring up, so we likely will need to meet again.

a) The page content.

Here's the original list complied on July 10th:

Databases by name
Databases by Subject

Off-campus access
The Reference Desk
Distance Learning
Purchase requests
Job Opportunities

For faculty/Staff
For Students

Ask A Librarian
Subject Librarians
Style Guides
Staff and Departments
Interlibrary Loan [will no longer simply link to Iliad]
Tours and Instruction

Visitor Information
History [um, of the library]
For the Community

Friends of the Library

Computer Lab [not marked on sheet, but I assume it's his]

[these links don't truly need anything new in terms of content or will be handled in a special way. If they do later, we can arrange something]
Subject Guides
Floor Plan
Annual report

Here are the completed parts that I know about (I'm sorry if I forgot something):

--Maren's "contact us" and "Help---->Reference Desk" are here:

Megan's "Style Guides," "ILL," "Photocopying/Printing" are here:

(By the way-- Someone had a session at LUC about how to add Uni. colors and a logo to the Illiad interface. Did anyone go to that? We should think about it.)

Here are Karen Cook's "Visitor Information" "History" and "Community": of the ULM University Library.docx
(For being .docx files, the markup imports into html rather well)

Megan's "Library Instruction," "Departments & Faculty/Staff Page," "Ask-A-Librarian Page," "Subject Librarians Page"
and Maren's "Find articles--->Off-campus access" and Subject Librarians Page are all here:

My ""For Faculty" page (I think I may change this)
My "For Students" page (I think I may change this too)
My "Tutorials" page will be like this, minus the graphics, and plus or minus some tutorials (I certainly will be chaging this)

There has been some confusion as to whether "comments" or "contact us" will have separate forms. We need one form that will allow people to ask us questions or give us comments. I have the ability to create a basic one that emails itself to a designated address. I do not, however, know how to format or embed such a thing. Example:

c) The Friends of the Library doesn't seem to be particularly active, the last I heard. I will make one if no one else wants to.

d) Where is the template as of this time? I would like to begin work on converting/fixing my old pages, unless that's inappropriate.

Directories. What will be done with /reference and /govdocs? What pages will go on /library and what won't? I've been thinking about it for a while, actually.

f) Apparently, the blog has lost some functionality, like linking to posts, after moving it to ULM. Oh well. :-( At least I know not to try that again.

Monday, October 13, 2008

New Library Templates

The new library template has been completed. I'm not sure if I can post the links here, but I must say... I'm really happy with them.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Readability can be achieved in different ways...?

I just scribbled these out in 5 min., so of course it looks bad, but it does show that adding some texture does not necessarily detract from readability. It's really nothing to worry about. The more nondescript the image is, the better.
Or there could be other ways to break things up. Solid colors can't be the only way to make something "readable."

Personally, though, I do reckon that the banner should remain pristine and uncluttered all the time as to maintain gravitas. Perhaps things could go into the proposed area where the catalog search will be? I'm aware that is a very, very, very unpopular view.

Minutes for Oct. 2, 2008


TABLE WIDTH for sub-pages (to retain consistency)
fixed width = yes
pixel = 750-800

For bg color:
either some kind of Grey or a darker shade of the same color on the Glaze draft page. That colors (#E5E5CD ?) bleaches out into white too easily on some monitors, which is too bright because the main table BG is going to be white already [at least we agree on that! :-) --KN]

Should we move the reference blog to ULM space?
No. That is unimportant and the change undesirable.

Depts. with their own directories will decide what to do as they see fit. There will be more discussion on this later...

Some will have to be made, probably in PHP. More to be decided later.

We do want the long wide table with the search bar. If possible. it allows us to explain what the catalog is, and have a ask-a-lib image button (which should have alternate text)

A box for text news and other info. is needed after all. Announcement will go there for emergencies, special news, etc.
RULE: the news box will have a set height/width that will not be violated = YES
This way, the box will not change the size of the table. Or contain too much information.
(not said at meeting: We could create special pages as needed and hyperlink to the in this box. That way, the subject being linked to will have all the room it needs for explication. Maybe that goes without saying.--KN)

All are in favor of making the picture a teeny bit smaller to make more room for "white" space and the aforementioned longer table for the search box.

M.M.'s general arrangement is still favored

Committee members still want to use the banner for placing links and content. If a gradient or other texture is used in the banner, readability is the primary need.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Copy: Contact us

Contact us by...

Reference (research help, logging in to databases, etc.): (318)342-1071
Circulation (renew items, check account status, etc.): (318)342-1063
For a full faculty and staff list by department, [click here.]

University Library
University of Louisiana at Monroe
4100 Northeast Drive
Monroe, LA 71209

[PHP form here?]

Wow, that was easy!

I can't believe how easy that was! Now the ULMLWPC blog actually resides at ULM! Which is as it should have always been. However:

--It's slow.
--We cannot use custom templates when publishing to FTP. So if we moved the ULM library blog, it would no longer have its custom images and colors. Not cool.
--If ULM goes down, so does the blog. I've not very often heard of falling over.
--Of course the old URL was better.

When you actually compose posts and etc., all of that still happens on the Blogger site. It just sends the information for publication to my directory. So that means that blogger is still the thing being used to manipulate it.

Copy: Help---->Reference Desk

[I know it's short, but I can't think of anything else that needs to be said. Suggestions welcome, as always!]

Reference Desk

When you need help searching for books or articles, formatting your bibliography, or tracking down other elusive bits of information, the Reference Desk is the place to go. The Reference Desk, located to your right as you enter the Library, is staffed by friendly degreed librarians who are always ready to help you with anything you may need. When classes are in session, the Reference Librarians are available during these hours:

*Monday-Thursday: 7:30 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
*Friday: 7:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
*Saturday: closed
*Sunday: 2:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.

If you need research help when you're not in the Library, you can also call us at (318)342-1071 or email us at

Time to move the blogs?

I've discovered, much to my great surprise, that Blogger works well with secure ftp, and actially can be install to directories like ours. I tested on my domain and then moved it to my ULM space. It still works!
I have no plans to actually use it.

If I can do so safely, I'll move this blog and the reference blog to ULM spaces so that it will then be on our domain.

I suppose I had never thought about it because it was working fine as it was, but not letting users navigate away from our site is much better.

Monday, September 29, 2008

#E5E5CD color

Looking at Rob Glaze's latest page, I noticed that he's using a color like this as a background:

I like it. Actually, I like it better than gray. Brightness is a problem, though. The same color is invisible on my laptop display. It shows as white until I brighten all the colors. So maybe a darker shade of the same color would be nicer?



Or even:

Ah-ha! So you were a derivative of the ULM gold all along! I should have known...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

shadow gradient edges

I do reckon that it would be rather inconsiderate of me to demand edges on a table without suggesting how it could be possible. There are 3 ways to do it, the last of which is probably the best:

Set an image as the background of a cell or cells.
Here's a hastily constructed (and not IE-ready) example of that on the right edge of this page:

One can also put the shading on the inside of the table by making a background that's the same width it is. I've done that on the center table of the Reference page.

A centered tiliing background as shown here.
There's a little CSS that makes the background tile center instead of tiling out from the left corner. It actually looks like this:
That's not IE-ready, but Parade magazine does the same thing.

I've known about this for a long time, but didn't use it on the site I made myself. Why didn't I do it? I don't know. In the future I may do it. No one will notice it, probably, but I will.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A width question

A member of the committee asked me by email: "


Would it throw off the fonts and spacing if the table width matched the window width?

Oh yes it would.
The best example is the current instruction page. The wider the window is, the harder it is to read because your poor eyeballs have to travel all that way across the screen to read the text. People with low resolutions will be O.K., but people can afford better monitors now, and it looks worse the bigger the window is. And if your screen is a wide screen monitor to start with, having a low resolution doesn't even help. So, having a set width ensures that almost everyone gets more or less the same browsing experience, and it always looks the same.

Transparencies instead of gradients?

Since it's so hard to make a pleasing gradient out of #660000 maroon, we agreed at the last meeting that we did not favor a gradient color (and decided to defer to Mr.Glaze's judgment, actually).

I've probably been too much in love with gradients, because I forgot about transparent images, which are easy to achieve but make a big impact.

Have a look at this banner I just saw on the ULM University Advancement pages:
(the font here is boring, but given the office it's for, that's very likely deliberate and appropriate)

Compare that directly to this banner:

What a difference!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

New Glaze Designs

Rob Glaze has created more things for us to review already. Email me for the link; it's not meant to be publicized to everyone. Hint: The URL is exactly the same as the last one.

I believe these were created before today's meeting, but even he is aware that we've still to review it.

(Personally I think it's looking very good and I'm generally very pleased with everyone on the committee :-) )

One more thing! Sub-page width!

It's so obvious, I totally forgot! We decided that going 100% page length for the sub pages was all right (to accommodate varying amounts of content), But I forgot about what the width would be. The size of the home page is all right as it is, because the cell with the important links will all fit in a small window. However, that won't work for the sub-pages:

It won't fit 800x600. There will be content sprawling out everywhere if it's too big, but too small, and there will be too much empty space on hi-res displays. As Goldilocks does... what is just right?

I think the table width for the sub-pages should be exactly 700. This is what that could possibly look like (this is a picture of a real html page):

And at 1280, 1024:

Of course, I'm very biased to think that 700 pixels is good, because the table width on the site I administer is 660 pixels.

So here's the question: Should the width of the main table of the page be 700 pixels?

a) yes
c) wider (please specify number)
d) Not enough information / we should discuss this in person

You don't have to stick to the multiple-choice format if you have more to say of course. Post about it here too if you like. Your decision can also be to put it off if you can't judge from the information given.

Minutes for Sept. 23rd, 2008

The ULMLWPC had a meeting on Sept. 23rd which began at about 11:35 and ended at about 12:25pm. In attendance were:

(did I miss anyone?)

Many issues were discussed and decided upon.

These Catalog links will appear under the "Catalogs" subject group:

Advanced ULM Catalog
LA Union Catalog
Ouachita Public
OCLC WorldCat
(wording, etc., subject to change)

Mike's design is acceptable. It was chosen be the subject of discussion.

Table for news on home page is not to be lengthened. Blog link will appear at the end.


rotating random pictures on page load = YES
They can be of various things. [this could be fun]

Changing announcements in the banner = YES


Fonts. Rob Glaze will choose them?

links table will remain WHITE


Light-grey background = okay

little tiled gradient edges are nice too

ULM standard gold new box? Rob will decide, we reckon.


no need for image on main body of sub-page. Each sub page will fill the middle column with what is needed

no catalog table/row atop sub-pages

ULM lib home to be linked at top right corner + bottom


centered table will be 100% page LENGTH on SUB pages

No separations between tables, images (where the page or table background shows through)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Comic Sans: Urgent Information For Your Daily Life.

I'm only posting this because it's very important to know in such a way that if you won the lottery and moved to a mansion in Lake Tahoe, you'd still need to know this (and that's not hyperbole). I know I'm "passionate" about a lot of things, but this time I'm not just seeing things.

What can I say about the font Comic Sans? I think this image can explain it:

I don't mean to offend any human beings. However, if Comic Sans itself actually had feelings, I'd gladly tell it that its mother wears army boots.
Comic Sans is always (always, always) a very bad idea. I didn't make that rule up; the internet did. So I'll let it do the talking for me:

First of all, even John Stossel says no. (wait, that's better than the internet, it's network TV!)

Wikipedia's "Comic Sans" article has a section about the "Anti–Comic Sans movement."

There is a whole website calling for the banning of the font, with examples as to why and alternative fonts you can use.

If you do a Google search for "worst fonts" almost all of the results mention "Comic Sans"

There are too many web pages that berate Comic Sans, but here's one. This page, 420 Design Blog, has rather a complete explanation:
And the number 1 worst font: Comic Sans The absolute worst font ever. Hey, when there's a website dedicated to banning you, you know you're beyond overused. From what I've gathered, apparently this font gives people an impression of "friendliness." I guess I can see that. But, like Papyrus, why do folks insist on using it for longer bits of text? Comic Sans' angles are so abrupt and strange that it doesn't make for quick reading or scanning. And frankly, that "friendliness" reads more child-like than anything else. So if you're using it for your business... it's not exactly the most professional image in the world.
Since Comic Sans is a commonly pre-installed font, its use is too common and many people are unaware that's there's anything wrong with it. Now you know.

Feel free to email this post link to anyone you know, if you like. The less Comic Sans there is in the world, the better it will be.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Ebrary intercept page?

I've heard that Ebrary will work off campus with use of ULM's SSL VPN (or something like that). I'll try it out this weekend, I hope. If it works, it would be most helpful to our patrons if we had the "ebrary" link, wherever we put it, lead to another web page explaining how to connect off campus with the links to ebrary and the VPN. It's complicated enough that I think it needs extra explaining.

Does that sound like a good idea? I'll make the "copy" for it, if so (and if it works).

I did try it, and it didn't work. Maybe I'm doing it wrong. And ideas?

Minutes for Sept. 11, 2008

The ULMLWPC had a meeting on Sept. 11th which began at about 11:35 and ended at about 12:35pm (maybe 12:40). In attendance were:

(did I miss anyone?)

--Pertinent emotional issues were discussed concerning the committee dynamics

--The committee discussed the possibility of employing a "procedure" for changing/maintaining the website

--The committee decided to wait for confirmation from The Dean of the Library that they committee indeed have the authority to draft such procedures, considering the purpose of the committee itself

--The committee's purpose and vision was also mentioned

The ULMLWPC turned 1 year old since the previous meeting, did you know?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Secondary Webpage Draft Design For Review (Mike)

The link below will show a draft design with design notes for the secondary webpage template for the new Library Website Redesign.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

More page design stuff for you to review. Mike

The updated draft design for your review:

Most of the updates in this design included using the Legal ULM Education Logo, i.e. tower in circle, on the top banner and giving more presence to the 60th anniversary and celebration this month with a link to more information about the event.

Rob is working on the secondary page draft design. I am still working on finding the web code for the advanced search function for the ULM Catalog Search on our Library Homepage.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Another page modification

I've modified Mike's modifications...
My usual approach: Gradients can solve world hunger and save the whales.

There are a lot of things that can be done with the banner:

All right, so I can't modify the logo from the original. But I think you-all get the idea.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Webdesign Draft (cleaner look, search engine ulm catalog)

The preview page is located:

This design is a modification of Rob's design we reviewed. This design still keeps clean sqare corners and fits into the design a strong presence near the top of the webpage for ULM Catalog.

Monday, August 25, 2008

UNF changes again

Remmeber that web site I kept holding up as the example of what a library website should be? They've changed their look again:

It's more or less the same as before but with more gradients (which I've been talking about since forever, but they've used some nice-looking ones). They've added colored gradient images for their group headings so that they stand out more, which is a concern raised at the last meeting about the draft of the new ULM pages.

I would've choosen more subdued colors, but it does spice things up a lot. It used to be plain blue text with bold for the headings. Could doing something like this (but not nearly as much) be good for us?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Minutes for Aug. 21, 2008

The ULMLWPC had a meeting on Aug. 28 which began at about 11:37 and ended at about 12:15pm. In attendance were:

(did I miss anyone?)

We talked about nothing but the home page at the ULMLWPC meeting today. Everyone is very happy with the look for the upcoming home page. We didn't have anything major to say. These are the changes we discussed...

--We decided to implement the new catalog search box by completely removing the "catalog" and "search collections" bit and replacing it with the search box and some links to other catalogs (if they can fit).
This is a plain html example of what we want (and it has the working html code too):
Web feat will go below it.
(No, actually, the direct link to the Advanced search doesn't work. I'm not really sure how to make it work. Also, "advanced" may need to be shortened to "Adv." if it is too long.)

--The pages and category headings need to be more easily differentiated (Mike suggested reversing the colors). We're not sure how to put a finger on it, really, but it seems a little bit too "flat." (sorry we have nothing more useful to explain it) Maybe the headings just need to be a teeny bit bigger, or a different font... can't really tell.

--we want the phone number "318-342-1063" at the bottom (or maybe "Ex. 1063" if it won't fit)

-- Remove "the" before "Reference Desk"

--Everyone is all right with the size of the table for the home page. (Sub-page size subject to change)

--We do want the large image to be a random image shown on page load. There are various way to do that.

--The sub-pages' names will be on/inside the banners, and Mike has elected to do this.

--I made (well, copied) some PHP and made a working form that emails itself to a given address (in this case, my gmail account). It won't work by itself on the ULM site because it requires PHP.
It is intended as a contact form for questions and comments. How this can be added to the library site in some way so that it looks like a regular page is yet to be seen.

--Truth be told, all the page content isn't done yet, but a lot of it is.

"For Faculty" page

Here is my "copy" for the "For Faculty" page. The text in red is meant to show where a hyperlink for a page that doesn't exist yet may go.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Comments Page (submit form)

I've been messing around with PHP lately, and I've made a working "comments" form that actually works. Right now it sends itself to my Gmail account.

How can it be embedded into a different html page? Frankly, I have no idea. Maybe Rob or Mike can fix that. After all, it requires PHP to run, and so it won't work on the ULM site without authorization.

(so that's my "copy" for the "comments" page)

TO specify, here the same page on my ULM web space:

It doesn't work at all. That's because it can't run the PHP.


O.K... so Karen C. noticed that other Sirsidynix-using LOUIS members have catalog search boxes on their home pages and wondered why we couldn't. So I asked Karen Jung at Southeastern's Sims Memorial Library how they got it to work on thier page. She gave me exactly the code I needed and it worked instantly when I tried it out on my site:
Try it for yourself. Beautiful, isn't it? :'-)

So a million thank-yous to Ms.Jung!

No, no-- a trillion!

Here's the same thing on my ULM web space. It still works there too:

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Copy: Style Guides

Note: there's a lot of text for this, obviously, but I think we could put some sort of guide that will allow users to jump to the particular format they're looking for, ignoring this main text (which I am currently unwilling to dispose of), and by-passing the formats they don't need. I am not including the whole style guide, since it's basically examples from the different formats, using the same citations. There will be link after the explanatory text that will allow you to view the word doc (yes, Karen N., I used .doc to make sure it wasn't .docx, so you could view it). Please take the time to look at the word doc with the examples. And now, the copy:

When your professor tells you she wants your paper written in MLA style, what does that mean? And then you get to your sociology class, and that professor says he expects your paper to be formatted according to APA style, and you feel even more lost. Never mind that your anthropology professor is asking that your paper be formatted using Chicago style. Are you lost yet? What do they mean?

When a professor instructs you to write your paper in this style or that style, she’s asking you to adhere to a particular format that provides rules and guidance on how to physically arrange the paper, how to insert footnotes or endnotes, how to cite resources, and how to document resources you’ve used in your paper. There are several different style guides available, but the three most common are MLA, APA, and Chicago. They refer, respectively, to The Modern Language Association Style Manual & Guide to Scholarly Publishing, The American Psychological Association Publication Manual, and The Chicago Manual of Style. This page is intended to help you navigate the most common citation formats in these styles. If you have more in-depth questions regarding how to format your paper, please check out the links at the bottom of the page, which will lead you to additional resources. Also, the Library has copies of the most up-to-date versions of these guides. Check the catalog for their availability!

A note about citations – though they may vary in arrangement, they all include the same basic information: author; title of the resource; and date of publication. Books include place of publication; periodical materials, such as journal articles, will include volume and issue number, but not a place of publication. Electronic resources will be cited differently, depending on the style guide you’re using. And don't forget about The Write Place, the English department's writing center, where you can get help with your papers!

[here is where the citation examples will go; click here to view them]

"For Students"

Here's a plain html version of the "For Students" page:

I'm not really happy with it as it is, of course. I was trying to find to make it heavy on content without being too long. So I went with a Top Ten.

Copy: ILL

Note: I have not struggled with copy for any of the pages I've done thus far the way I've struggled with this one. I'm not sure how much I should do; what's too much; or how I should structure the content. Ultimately, I think a self-guided tutorial would be best on this page, but as I am not as adept as Karen N. at creating such things, I have relied on images. Sorry. My ideal for this page: a link that takes those familiar with the system straight to the login screen, and then a link for a self-guided tutorial that walks them through the process of creating an account, as well as a tutorial for requesting material. Barring that, I have produced this. Sorry about the images. I've had to shrink the pictures to fit in the parameters of the blog page. Just do a right-click "View Image" and the full shot will be available. PLEASE ADVISE. CRITICISM WELCOME.

* * *

Ever wondered how you might obtain access to a resource the ULM Library can’t provide? Maybe there’s a book your professor has recommended you read, or a classmate has directed you to an article that would be perfect for your research paper…but the Library doesn’t have the book or a subscription to the journal? Don’t worry – we can still help, through our Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service!

ILL is a free service provided by the ULM Library whereby we borrow materials you need from libraries that have them. All you have to have is the citation information for the material you need – author, title, that kind of stuff. You don’t have to know which libraries have copies of what you need – we handle that part. You just have to make the request – and to make a request, you have to have an account. One warning, though: ILL is NOT instant. It can take anywhere from a couple of days to a few weeks to get your materials. If you need something tomorrow, or even the day after tomorrow, ILL is not for you.

Now, to set up an account! You will click on this icon [insert some crafty image Karen N. can concoct] to access ILL. Since you don’t have an account, you can’t login. You will click where it says “First Time Users”:

You’re going to get a page that provides information about your username and password, legal notices (we aren’t going to break copyright law), and will provide a link to the ILL Frequently Asked Questions. Please take the time to read all that information – it will help you understand how the process works and what our limitations are, so you don’t ask us for something we can’t do (like photocopy a whole book).

Once you’ve read all that info, you will scroll to the bottom of the page and click the button that says “First Time Users Click Here”:

This button will take you to the form you need to fill out in order to create an account. If a field says required, you have to fill it out, but it makes our lives a lot easier if you fill out everything; it also helps us get your materials to you faster (for example, you could get an article in two days instead of four days). Here’s what the first part looks like, with a few added tips, so you understand what we’re asking you to provide.

The second part of the form asks for additional information; more importantly, though, it allows you to create your ILL account. Remember: YOU make up your username and password. They can be whatever you want them to be.

Now your account is created! You can request all kinds of materials – books, articles, theses, dissertations, reports, chapters from books, and more! Remember, you don’t have to know EVERYTHING about an item you want, but the more you know, the faster we can obtain it. If you need further assistance with ILL, don’t hesitate to ask at the Reference Desk, or in the Interlibrary Loan Office, which is on the first floor on your right as you enter the Library. The ILL Librarian, Melinda Matthews, will be glad to help you. She can be reached at or by phone at (318) 342-1067.

Edited, 08.21.08, 9:36am: I have added text regarding the non-instant nature of ILL, and corrected the two typos Maren caught. Thanks, Maren!

The new page design

The new page design is done, but it's secret for now, so I won't publish the link here. If you need the link again, ask me and I'll email it to you.

--It's classy, but too much so. I think it's a more boring that I'd like :-/ But you know me: "Gradients blah blah gradients etc." It does match other pages on the domain, and that's good. Yet I always was dreaming of something that was very different from the other ULM pages. The Computing Center does that:

--The major content on the right fits into 800x600, but the whole thing requires scrolling. But maybe that's all right? Hmm. I can't tell.

--I'm still a bit adverse to using a drop-down menu for databses. A faculty member once told me how much she did not like the one on the main ULM page because it is too big to use.
But usability isn't the purpose of that menu. It's purpose is satisfying someone (usually just one person) who absolutely demands that a particular link be on the page. That is the only reason I'd want it, and it's a good reason, actually. Yet there's something inherently wrong with making a design decision based on fear and intimidation.
I think it would be braver to "just say no," but it would be much easier to appease.

Oh... forget it. Let's just go ahead and let it stay there. After all, it's small enough to ignore.

--So, in short: slightly smaller table, better colors. That's all I think it needs. That's not much, so actually I do like the page! :-)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Copy: Photocopying/Printing

Need to make copies of your friend’s biology notes from the class you missed yesterday? Need to print a copy of your paper for English, or print the study guide for chemistry? The Library can help!

We have four photocopiers on the first floor of the Library, on the bayou side. The photocopiers can only make black-and-white copies, and only one-sided. The cost to copy is 10¢ per page. Copy machines accept the ULM ID/Tribe card as well as coins and bills ($1-$20). All change is returned in coins. The library counters cannot provide change. You may obtain change at LaCapitol Bank (down from Starbucks) or at the Post Office (in the SUB). If you need assistance with copying, please ask at the Circulation Desk.

Printing is only available in the Computer Lab. The lab operates two Dell 5100 black- and-white Laser Printers. The GoPrint application is used to manage your printing. The printing limit is 150 sheets per week. Please note: Delta students do not have access to the printers in the open lab.

Printing is not available on the first floor computers. We recommend that students bring a USB memory stick if they are planning to work on Library computers – you can work on a paper on the first floor, then take it upstairs to print! If you need help printing in the lab, please ask the desk worker for assistance.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

scratch that

All right, so the meeting has been postponed to maybe Aug.21. So the due date has been extended, but I reckon that's more time to work on it.

Not big deal, really. I guess never truly believed it could all get done that fast.

Oh Well. I suppose I could use the rest of this space to...

...plug the upcoming Pre-LUC 2008 conference!

Some things done...

I'm embarrassed that I've been such a harpy about deadlines, and yet I haven't submitted anything to this page yet. I've been busy with another website, the 404 page of which has some ULM in it.

Anyway, of my parts, here's what's done so far:

Tutorials - It will be a plain version of this page with some new things linked on it.

Comments - This is likely be a .php form that emails itself to reference. I don't have the authority to make that, but I would include fields for:

comment/question (a text box)

(It is possible, by the way, to include a radio button asking the user to specify a type of comment, but that would just complicate things unnecessarily)

Yet to do:
For faculty/Staff
For Students

I hope/plan to have those done before tomorrow.

Also, an update on the site progress:
It's not quite ready to be seen yet, and that's all right, because several members will be missing, and that's all right too because we can discuss the pages we've been making (it doesn't have to be a full hour).

Monday, July 28, 2008

Copy: Library Instruction

A note regarding this copy: this has been taken from the existing Library Instruction page. I have rearranged and omitted some text, as well as added some. And now, the copy:

The Instruction Program of the ULM Library seeks to develop the information and computer literacy skills of students, faculty and staff at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. To this end, the University Library’s Instruction Program teaches users to independently seek, locate, retrieve, evaluate and use information effectively and ethically for problem-solving.

The Instruction Program is developed in response to identified learning needs and through collaboration with teaching faculty and staff. The Program provides individual and group instruction, course-specific, web-based and open workshop methods.

The Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education from the Association of College and Research Libraries provide the framework for program development and instructional objectives. The Instruction Program of the ULM Library supports the missions of the University of Louisiana at Monroe, the University Library, and the Louisiana Board of Regents Statewide General Education Requirements.

Your subject librarian, or liaison, has expertise in the resources of your discipline and is able to tailor instruction to fit specific course needs. You can direct any question you might have about the ULM Library or library research to your subject liaison. Contact a reference/subject librarian to discuss your course instruction needs. See the list below for liaisons and contact information. Please remember: it takes time to prepare for these courses, particularly in the case of tailoring assignments or classes. Please contact your librarian at least a week ahead of the day on which you desire instruction.

  • Dinah Williams: Curriculum & Instruction, Educational Leadership & Counseling, Kinesiology, Marriage & Family Therapy, and Psychology

    Phone: 318-342-1069

  • Carita Alexander: Health Sciences, Communicative Disorders, Dental Hygiene, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Pharmacy, Radiologic Technology and Toxicology

    Phone: 318-342-3042

  • Karen Cook: Criminal Justice, History and Political Science

    Phone: 318-342-3043

  • Megan Lowe: Art, Communication Studies, Dance, English, Music and Theatre

    Phone: 318.342-3041

  • Karen Niemla: Business, Accounting, Computer & Information Systems, Computer Science, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Finance, General Business, Insurance, Management, Gerontology, Sociology and Social Work

    Phone: 318-342-3045

  • Maren Williams: Agriculture, Atmospheric Sciences, Aviation, Biology, Chemistry, Construction, Family & Consumer Sciences, Foreign Languages, Geosciences, Mathematics and Physics

    Phone: 318-342-1065

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Departments & Faculty/Staff Page

Okay, here's how it is. I want our depts./people page to look something like this one: Cook Library, USM, but without a lot of the visual noise they have. It's arranged (somewhat loosely) by department, with people in those departments listed underneath.

I would like to arrange our directory page alphabetically by departments, with the people who work in those departments listed underneath, in alphabetical order.

To keep from having a stroke, and because I am unfamiliar with tables in Blogger blogs, and because I am loathe to create such a page in Nvu, knowing it won't look the way I want, I created a Microsoft table that basically mimics Cook Library's look but with the arrangement I would like. It is admittedly very rough and not pretty, but we don't care about design at this point, and I trust the designers will make it much prettier when we are done.

One more thing: underlined departments and people indicate those depts. and people who have web pages. I did not include links. And I have not created individual pages for departments. I have only attempted to combine the departments and faculty/staff page into one directory page.

Now, without further ado - my Microsoft word doc Directory.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Copy: Find articles--->Off-campus access

Find articles--->Off-campus access

Even when you're not on campus, you can still access most of the Library's databases and other online resources. You will, however, need to log in to our proxy server so we know you are affiliated with ULM. To do this:

*Select the resource you want to use [link to databases page]. You should be redirected to a login page.
*Your username is you CWID number and your PIN is your birth month and year in MMYY format. Select ULM from the drop-down menu of schools.
*Now you should see the database you selected and be able to search it just as you would on campus.

If you're having problems accessing our databases from off-campus, please give us a call at the Reference desk (342-1071).

NetLibrary account

If you plan to use any of our NetLibrary e-books [] from off-campus, you'll need to set up a NetLibrary account while you're on campus. Simply go to the NetLibrary homepage [] and click on 'Create a Free Account' in the upper right corner. You can choose your own username and password for this one, but make sure you don't forget them since we have no way to retrieve them for you! Once the account is created, you can use it from off campus to access the e-books linked from our catalog.


[This is not part of the page copy!] Comments and critiques are welcome--I feel some of the NetLibrary section might be redundant, and like I typed NetLibrary too many times.

Copy: Subject Librarians Page

Ever wonder who you would talk to about making purchase suggestions for your department or major? Need a librarian to teach your class about using the library, or you want to direct your students to the appropriate librarian for your discipline? Not sure who you should consult for research help pertaining to a specific discipline? Then you’ve reached the right page! This is the subject librarians page – it outlines what services the reference librarians can provide and which departments/disciplines for which they are liaisons.

Subject liaisons can…

  • Receive and process recommendations for purchases - books, periodicals, or electronic resources (such as databases)
  • Conduct tours of the library for classes
  • Conduct bibliographic instruction (sometimes called “library sessions”) for classes. These classes can be tailored to specific assignments or classes, or can be overviews of the Library’s resources
  • Help develop research assignments
  • Assist with and collaborate on research

Every department on campus has a subject librarian – check the list below to see who your librarian is!

  • Dinah Williams: Curriculum & Instruction, Educational Leadership & Counseling, Kinesiology, Marriage & Family Therapy, and Psychology

    Phone: 318-342-1069

  • Carita Alexander: Health Sciences, Communicative Disorders, Dental Hygiene, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Pharmacy, Radiologic Technology and Toxicology

    Phone: 318-342-3042

  • Karen Cook: Criminal Justice, History and Political Science

    Phone: 318-342-3043

  • Megan Lowe: Art, Communication Studies, Dance, English, Music and Theatre

    Phone: 318.342-3041

  • Karen Niemla: Business, Accounting, Computer & Information Systems, Computer Science, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Finance, General Business, Insurance, Management, Gerontology, Sociology and Social Work

    Phone: 318-342-3045

  • Maren Williams: Agriculture, Atmospheric Sciences, Aviation, Biology, Chemistry, Construction, Family & Consumer Sciences, Foreign Languages, Geosciences, Mathematics and Physics

    Phone: 318-342-1065

Please feel free to contact us! We're here to help!

Edit, 5:33pm: I have removed Agribusiness and added 're. Thanks for catching that, Maren! We English types have to stick together. ;D

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Copy: Ask-A-Librarian Page

Taken from a word doc, with very little formatting other than bullets and links (which have been manually added to this entry):

Need some help? Just ask a librarian! You can contact us three different ways:

  • In person: the Reference Desk is located on the first floor of the library, on the right as you enter the library. The desk is staffed by librarians who can help you, face-to-face. Please consult the Library Department Schedule for service hours.
  • On the phone: as long as the desk is staffed, there’s a person there to answer questions you phone in! The phone number for the Reference Desk is (318) 342-1071. You can also leave a message – we will return your call as soon as possible.
  • Via email: we are happy to answer any questions you email to us! You can send it to Be sure to state your question as clearly as possible in order to facilitate a prompt, appropriate, and helpful response.

You can also consult the Library’s Frequently Asked Questions. We’ve based it on questions you, the users, ask us regularly. It provides helpful answers to questions regarding borrowing policies, hours, and other services provided by the Library!

Edit, 5:22pm: Per Maren's suggestion, I have scaled back the exclamation points. I should not compose text when hopped up on Rockstar. :)

Design meeting with Rob Glaze...

As was discussed at the last meeting and in the blog, Rob Glaze [ULM's webmaster, in case you don't know], Mike Magee, and Karen Niemla met today (for almost 2 hours) to talk about the actual web site implementation and design.

Here's some points of note discussed:

-- there was much talk about the site tiers and navigation. Truth be told, the library site is relatively small

-- Breadcrumbs (semantic, not directory) might not actually be appropriate for a web page of this size. You need a breadcrumb trail in the deep, dark forest, not the park. A link to the home page will probably cover our needs. (The home page is, as we've planned it, is a link hub when you really look at it) Besides, as Rob pointed out, the semantic breadcrumbs will not make sense if the page is linked to by more than one.

-- The news box/area has been eliminated. This way, when something critically important changes, people will know for sure that it's important because it would not be posted directly to the home page if it wasn't.
Otherwise, we can put such information on the blog (which is what the blog is for anyway)

-- Rob favors something similar to this because other new web pages going up at ULM also have or will have the "geometric" look.

-- picture loading java scripts are okay. Or we can just manually change images. Whatever.

-- Should we have a drop-down menu sort of like this for quick links to all our databases on the home page? (sorry about the mess; inserting html directly into blogger doesn't always work right)
Mike says yes. Karen says no. Rob won't get involved. So this will be decided by a vote at the next meeting!

-- A general page design (of some sort) will be ready for committee approval by Aug. 7 (2008!). It will be fairly independent of "content." The center table will be an empty area where the "content" of the page goes, so that: a) actually creating a page will be easy b) each page will look pretty much exactly the same, which is something users do expect.

-- implementation (AKA "putting up") of the website is largely up to Mike and Rob.

-- ...but of course, we will be using absolutely nothing that the committee as a whole disapproves of. Graphics included.

We did not discuss, however...

-- what happens with pages off the "main" library site (like our subject guides). I propose that such pages have a top banner like the one on my own page:

It's just a table with a fill and an image link in it. It can be placed in any web page if you know how.
Then users will know they're still in library world and will have a link to return home.
If said page is maroon, the background gradient can be changed to a ULM-gold one, so it won't look odd.

-- Or again, maybe all library web pages should use the same design template as the rest of the site? Should it be this way?
So this will be decided by a vote at the next meeting!

-- ( Of course, pages this far down do not need great attention right away)

-- graphics programs and problems with anti-aliasing and artifacting... it's tedious to make them look just right, but I think it's essential. (I had meant to bring up imaging but forgot)


At the next meeting we will:

-- critique the general web template for the site and approve it and changes to be made to it [this comes first, because a) this is where the "copy" will go; when they meet a real page is created b) if there are changes to be made, time will be needed to make those changes ] The page look will likely be similar to ones you've all seen before, so maybe it won't be much trouble.

-- look at and talk about the "copy" text only pages we've all made.

-- I will try to enforce maximum time of 30 min. for each of these.

Monday, July 14, 2008

2 quick things....

A) Anchor text links
For a while I've been trying to argue that form and content aren't truly separate in html composition because it's nothing like paper. How could I have forgotten one of the best ways to prove that: Text anchors.
If being able to link within the page is an integral part of how the page will "work," plan ahead for that please. However, if you're composing in html right now and you try to add them at this stage the "links"may change as the file's name or position changes. Fixing it shouldn't be too difficult, though.

B)gif. problem solved?
I've found that saving .gifs with Fireworks makes for higher-quality .gifs. Adobe products could likely do even better. Just something to keep in mind, that's all.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Minutes for July 10th, 2008

The ULMLWPC had a meeting on July 10th which began at about 11:37 and ended at about 12:15pm. In attendance were:

(did I miss anyone?)

-- The committee decided to focus on sub-page content today

-- "Design" issues are not priority right now. There is still some confusion as to who exactly will be responsibile for that, but it will certainly involve Rob Glaze, Mike Magee, and Karen Niemla, at least.
[This process will begin as soon as it possible.]

-- The committee decided to assign pages to be developed so that the content will be ready [guidelines to follow]

-- The assignments are...

Databases by name
Databases by Subject

Off-campus access
The Reference Desk
Distance Learning
Purchase requests
Job Opportunities

For faculty/Staff
For Students

Ask A Librarian
Subject Librarians
Style Guides
Staff and Departments
Interlibrary Loan [will no longer simply link to Iliad]
Tours and Instruction

Visitor Information
History [um, of the library]
For the Community

Friends of the Library

Computer Lab [not marked on sheet, but I assume it's his]

[these links don't truly need anything new in terms of content or will be handled in a special way. If they do later, we can arrange something]
Subject Guides
Floor Plan
Annual report

[Did I miss anything?]

Everyone who has been assigned pages, please stand by for further instructions.

Guidelines to Make Life Easier:

0. No images, no cells. Just plain text or plain html text. If you have pictures that must be included, have them ready for later but not actually in the document.

1. If, during the course of your composition, you start to feel that your page may be too big or if you're not sure what your page is for, you may post to the blog (or email me/us) and ask about eliminating or splitting up that subject link.

2. Very small page content is O.K. as long as the page is needed because hopefully the design will allow it. This is one situation where the two blend (I've explained this before: )

3. If you compose in Word or something like that, any formatting you do (italics, bold, lines, etc.) will be lost because it will be converted to plain text first.

If you want to use formatting and keep it, you may if you use Seamonkey or another html composer. Then using your copy later will be easy because part of the work will already be done. I highly recommend it (having learned the hard way).

But if all this is too confusing... just go to your computer and click start => programs => accessories => Notepad. This makes clean plain text all the time, every time.

4. Is your page going to link to another page in the text? Make a note of it, and it can be added later.

5. Is your page going to reside on the directory? If so, you do not need to wait. You likely have ftp access to this directory and may upload any pages you deem suitable as long as the rest of the reference staff is O.K. with it. However, "design" is subject to change, and just because the page is there doesn't mean that anyone is acutally linking to it.

6. Deadline: August 7th.
If you have questions before then, post to the blog or email someone else on the committee. (I'll mention again that if you don't have a Gmail account, you may email your message to me and I'll post it for you)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Yeah, Those pages I was talking about...

I'm keeping my work in this directory on my site:

I probably should've posted more things sooner, and I'm still working on these, of course.

There's a no-no on some of those pages... transparent PNGs! I've tried to achieve the same effects using .gifs, but the results are ugly (cannot use gradients at all). I've heard that there's a way to create high-quality .gifs with lots of colors. If anyone knows how that can be done, please let me know!
Only IE6 has any problems rendering transparent PNG pixels (they appear as solid gray and do not interfere with content, but it looks bad).

And there's also, of course, the other page I've already made, too.

Please post anything you-all have come up with.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Edinboro U changes web page too

Many many many months ago I believe I showed you-all Baron-Forness Library page as an example of a bad web page. I went back there to see what databases they had while I was evaluating one, and found out that they've completely changed it. And guess what they did?

The same thing we're doing! It's still not that great, but it's waaaaaaaaaaaay better than it was. Hooray for 'Boro.

Here also is a picture of one of my prototype pages at 800x600 resolution. I'm surprised how much room that really is.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The IRS site

I stopped by the IRS site today to find out about stimulus checks, and I noticed that their site looks similar to UNF's, but even more boring. The look is simple to implement, looks neat, and is fairly easy to navigate. Not all government sites can say the same.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Some things that we do know

To lessen confusion, here's a list of things that we actually do know already:

0. Everything we do should look good in all major browsers

This is a requirement of all web designers. It is also rather difficult.

1. No transparent PNGs

PNG images are far, far superior to GIF images in almost every way (for stills). Yet we can't use them for transparent pixels and it's all IE6's fault. Transparent pixels in PNGs will simply not display in IE6 (but will in GIFs). Why care about IE6 when there's IE7? Because Microsoft is mean and won't let anyone without XP or higher use IE7 at all. I know this because I have Windows 2000, which I refuse to part with because I love it so much. I use Firefox, but not everyone knows to do that. So if some of our users still have Windows 98 or something, it simply won't work out.
( EDIT: I really, really want to break this rule whenever possible. PNG is superior.)

2. Will all sub-pages need to follow the look of the home page?

Sometimes yes, and sometimes no. What is appropriate for each page will be used. Quite actually, I like the idea of mass unification better. Which means that I wouldn't mind changing the reference page to something new. Yet the upcoming "for students" page (which is yet to be made) would look nice if it were similar to what the reference page is now. However, this doesn't need to be decided right away.

3. Breadcrumbs

As I've said before, this is not only a good idea, but is essential. When I brought this up at a meeting, I recall that everyone agreed.
How this is to be implemented, however, is debatable. I'm still in favor of a table at the top of the page (like our site has right now) with the breadcrumb links put right into it.

4. Slim, centered tables are good

So elegant:
If we borrow anything from UNF, it's the table size. Very neat, and it looks more or less the same at all common resolutions. (Anyone with less than 800x600 should by now be used to absolutely nothing ever looking right). I know we've talked about this at a meeting before.

5. ULM has standard colors

This makes life quite a bit easier. The page colors I use the most are:





That's all from the old blog. In fact, now that I think of it, the old Blog was almost entirely about making pages. So it could be worth a look. Or not.

6. CSS?

I've used a teeny bit of CSS in some things I've made. But entirely tableless CSS? I have no idea. If anyone else knows how to compose something this way and make it look good on all major browsers, I'm all for it.

7. Do not compose in Word

Word makes a mess of your markup. I learned the hard way. Use something else, like Seamonkey.

...Does anyone have anything to add to this list that I have forgotten?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

May 29th minutes

(there is no real explanation for the lateness of these minutes)

The ULMLWPC had a meeting on May 29th which began at about 11:40 and ended at about 12:00pm. In attendance were:

(did I miss anyone?)

(As I expected) This meeting did not go anywhere, as the most difficult part of the process is coming.
-- everyone seems to be happy with the category names and link names for the time being
-- Mike said that Rob will be making the new pages
-- Karen C. suggested that we make more demo-version pages and then decide what we want
-- so we've decided to think more about what sort of page we want

Monday, May 19, 2008

The categories again

Here are the categories again so that we may see them all at once...

Find articles

Databases by name
Databases by Subject
Off-campus access

Ask A Librarian
Subject Guides
Subject Librarians
Style Guides
The Reference Desk

About the library
visitor Information
floor plan
Staff and Departments
Friends of the Library

for the community
Interlibrary loan
computer lab
for faculty
distance learning
tours & instruction
for faculty/staff
for students
purchase requests

HOMELESS (links that can go at the bottom or anywhere)
annual report
job opportunities

And here's an image I made in paint of what they look like next to each other.
Did I forget to mention the Catalog before? I think I did.