WebPac Implementation Team : Meeting Minutes

8/10/00, 11-12pm, Baker 158


  • Mark Mounts (co-chair)
  • Ann McHugo
  • Rebecca Lee
  • Jennifer Merrill
  • Paul Merchant (recorder)
  • Bill Fontaine
  • Norma Pellerin
  • Reinhart Sonnenburg


Approved Minutes of August 3.


Several useful links have been added to the committee web page. "Log of Local WWWOptions Changes" lists changes to the WWOPTIONS file and the current WWOPTIONS settings. "Usability Testing" is a link to Washington State University's useability testing page that we can use for ideas for our own useability testing. Reports from other committees are available under "Related Committees and Committee Reports ".

Suggested Sites

Mark demonstrated several sites that have implemented different unique features into their catalogs. Scripps Research Institute uses predefined searches to create journal listings by subject. [To see this page, follow the Scripps Research Institute link in the suggested Innovated WebPacs page, click on "Start Over", then click on "Journals By Subject".] Bill is making some examples to show what we can do with our catalog.

Howard University School of Law has used a simple box on all their pages to allow users to choose the index they wish to search. The question was raised whether a pre-search subgroup should be formed to examine the various ways to offer different search strategies. This task may be handed to the Main Menu Design subgroup.

The SWITCH catalog, a consortium of seven libraries has a detail tutorial for their catalog which might be a useful model should we decide to write a tutorial.

Subgroup reports

Limit Group

The limit group is working on a list of desirable WWOptions. The group wondered if more than one limit screen could be created, such as a basic and advanced screen, or a separate staff an patron screen. Innovative has replied that this is not currently possible as the WebOPAC doe not distinguish between Staff and other users.

Post Search Functionality Group

At the next meeting this group plans to experiment with different WWOptions to see how they look.

Main Menu Design Group

The group is leaning towards a single main page, but wants to look at some more sites before making a final recommendation.


It was noted that the Advanced Keyword index is different from the other indexes in that it offers a choice of limits on the search page while other indexes only offer limits after a search is done. This is because the Keyword search doesn't do a browse before the search. The difference may affect the main menu page if we decide to put a search box on the main menu. This issue will be handed to the main menu group.

Design Subgroup Charge

Discussion followed for the charge of the design subgroup. This group will focus on the overall look and feel of the Web OPAC and will be responsible for choosing the size and color of buttons and text, font choice, banners and footers. The team considered whether the wording of buttons and menu items should fall under the Design Subgroup, but decided that the Help Subgroup should probably decide the wording since it is closely related to the help text.

The team is not aware of any college wide web page standards that need to be followed when choosing the look and feel, though the design subgroup will probably want to consider college and library trends when making choices.

The question was raised as to whether the new interface should be named as some other institutions have done. The Design Subgroup will consult with the library adminstration to determine whether this is desirable, and if so suggest a name and logo.

The Design Subgroup will also look at mouseovers to decide whether they are desirable, and if so, how and where they should be used in the interface. They will be responsible for checking the appearance on Macintosh and Windows with Internet Explorer and Netscape to be sure the appearance is acceptable.

Other Subgroups

Help Subgroup

The team began discussion of what areas the help subgroup might cover. Help comes in the form of examples on search pages, separate help screens, a tutorial, and links to other help pages already in the library web site. This group will probably have a lot of work.

It was suggested that the Web OPAC team create a web page for anyone within the libraries to volunteer for the Help subgroup or to indicate any other groups they might be interested in joining. Mark noted that department heads have been asked to make their departments aware of the Web OPAC team's web page and encourage them to take a look at the catalog-in-progress so as many people as possible may provide input to the design.

Next meeting: 8/24