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 Blogspot.com 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 reference@ulm.edu.

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 http://www.ulm.edu/library/webpage.html 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
(Ex: http://ulmlwpc.blogspot.com/2008/08/another-page-modification.html)

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: http://www.ulm.edu/library/webpage.html

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.