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).