Integrated Access Council

October 17, 2005

1:00-2:00 p.m.

SML Room 409

Present:  Katie Bauer, Matthew Beacom, Meg Bellinger, Katherine Haskins, Kenny Marone, Fred Martz, Jack Meyers, Bobbie Pillette, Tom Raich, Frank Turner, Kalee Sprague, David Stern, Joan Swanekamp

Introductions (for the benefit of Rachel Dwight, who will be taking minutes from now on.)

Update from Metadata Committee – Matthew Beacom/Joan Swanekamp

Ellen Cordes has moved to the Lewis Walpole library and is now on the Metadata Committee.

Matthew Beacom reported on the Metadata 101 course that is currently being offered.  The course presents an overview and synthesis of current metadata topics such as XML, RDF, DTDs, OAI, METS, MODS, and DOI, as well as emerging metadata standards, the impact of metadata on the use of information resources, and other topics.  The instructor is Amy Benson, Program Director for NELINET Digital Services.  Two of the three sessions have already taken place and have been well attended, with approximately 100 people between the two.  There are 70 people signed up for the final session on November 7.  The survey response from the first session indicate that about half of those attending felt the information presented was at the right level for them, and a large percentage felt it was advanced material, but “doable”.  When all the sessions are done, the Metadata Committee will examine the surveys and present the results.

The Yale Elements Set is currently being commented on.  The committee will be evaluating the comments and will have something to present in November.

Update from Digital Preservation – Bobbie Pillette

Bobbie Pillette announced that the Committee has rolled out a “Final” Draft of the Digital Preservation Policy.  Please note that the ‘Collecting Levels’ section has been rewritten.

Best Practices are currently in development.  Use Cases and the issues related to each are under discussion.  The groups of materials being discussed for Best Practices include: web-based, 3rd party, leased/purchased, records, digital collections (digital objects). 

Update from Digital Production and Integration Program (“DPIP”) – Fred Martz

Fred Martz presented the charge for the Digital Production and Integration Program (“DPIP”).  That document can be found HERE.

Based on a program at Cornell, DPIP’s purpose is to address and resolve issues related to digitization and metadata needs, and implementing and managing digital projects.  It has three major components, and the DPIP Production and Content Integration Working Group will be focusing on the second of these:

1.      Market/User Research Services (including assessment and usability efforts),

2.      Digital Production and Content Integration Services, and

3.      Consultation, Advisory, Referral and Management Services.

DPIP will try to answer the question: What is Yale’s grand plan in regards to Digital Collecting?  They will examine needs and consider digital collection building policy (a key issue).  It is necessary to raise the question to a higher level.

Sakai is critically important to DPIP, as is its presentation.  Repositories are also key, both existing (e.g. Beinecke) and new (e.g. Fedora).

Matthew Beacom proposed that Rebekah Irwin might be the information point person for three groups, including DPIP and the Metadata Committee.

Update from Portal Opportunities Group (“POG”) – Kalee Sprague

Kalee gave a very brief update from POG.  June and July were spent in research and planning.  There is a need for more detailed analysis.

The POG Report is available online HERE.

The POG Standing Committee ended in June but needs some more work.

Usability Program Planning – Katie Bauer

Katie gave a presentation on Usability Program Planning in Digital Development.  The presentation can be found HERE.

The Library used to be the only game in town; there was nowhere else to go for information.  Now there are more options, but the library still has to meet user needs in house and out—and especially digitally.  There has been a huge increase in use of electronic resources by students and faculty alike, and the use of print collections has conversely decreased.  Katie referred to a recent ARL study that shows faculty use of e-journals has increased tremendously.  A graph showed the curve that groups of people adapting to change tend to follow and named four groups:  Innovators, Early Adopters, Late Adopters, and Laggards.  Katie places Yale in the Late Adopter group.

Libraries have competition in the information access business these days, and people come to the library expecting ease of use comparable to something like Google.  Markers of excellence in digital libraries as perceived by users include:  usefulness, effectiveness, learnability (the technology), and satisfaction.

Usability is important in avoiding disaster.  The example Katie used was the infamous butterfly ballots used in Florida for the 2000 Presidential elections.  An interface needs to be easy to understand, or it won’t be used in the way it was intended.  It’s essential to understand what it is you want to accomplish, and who your population is before you design, and to test with a user population sample after.  The library is looking at several major projects over the next few years and needs to keep these things in mind.  For example, Metalib and the need to examine how users use it.

Some methods of embedding usability that are quick and reasonably economical: 

1)                          Literature Review—find out what’s been done already so you don’t duplicate effort or repeat mistakes;

2)                          User Needs Assessments—questionnaires, etc.;

3)                          Focus Groups;

4)                          Expert Reviews—have people with experience (not typical users) test product;

5)                          Usability/Protocol Testing—testing with intended users.  For example, asking a student to use Orbis to determine whether the library has a copy of X on the shelves.

The library has purchased software to do this kind of usability testing.  Katie presented the results of a Metalib Test of Yale Undergraduates.  Bonnie Turner served as facilitator to the testing.   The software (Morae) gathers data streams such as voice, photo/video, and keystrokes used while searching.

Some results of the Metalib testing (A summary of the testing can be found HERE):

·        LC numbers were removed from search records because it was confused with the Yale number.

·        There were many problems identified although only a small number of users were tested. 

·        Students state that they like Metalib (even if they’re not very good at using it).  Every student tested said they would use it again.

David asked if there were any control experiments done, where the students were first taught how to use Metalib and then tested.  Katie replied that “usability testing” is intended to test untrained users.

Kenny recommended testing users as much as possible.  Meg agreed and suggested developing a plan for the library to test new tools in coming years.  Frank emphasized a need for testing and training of faculty—of all ages, departments, and disciplines—so that they can then effectively teach and assist students.  They can also spread the word of what’s available and how to get to it.


Meg mentioned that the November meeting will be moved to 11/28 due to Thanksgiving, and that from now on meetings will be extended to 1-1/2 hours.