Website feedback at Madison Meeting 10/14/10

New CONSALD Website (Tim Bryson)

  • Old site still the default at http://consald.org.  Created and maintained by Philip McEldowney at U of Virginia for many years.  Recently migrated from UVA servers to commercial web hosting service, Bluehost.com
  • New site located at http://consald.org/newsite . Still a draft.  New location offers the opportunity to use a content management system, i.e., one that automatically generates web pages from content entered into a form.  How content is displayed can be changed with global settings as opposed to having to hand code individual pages.  In addition, access can be regulated with great granularity, down to the level of individual posts.  Samip then Tim created draft sites using Drupal, an open source content management system.  
  • We made some initial assumptions and this is the first time we’re presenting it to the group as a whole for feedback to see how we should proceed.
  • Jim Nye: Change the banner images.  Tim: we can change the images to whatever you want.  [Eventually, we can set it up so that you can upload banner images yourselves.  For now, if you have an image for us to use (copyright free), email it to Tim (tbryson@emory.edu). ]
  • Should the site be geared just to CONSALD librarians or to South Asia scholars as a whole?
    • Advantages are that it would enable CONSALD librarians to share their collective expertise with each other and with the scholarly community and it would aggregate information on resources into one place. Also, having the CONSALD-L posts on the Drupal platform, for example, makes them more searchable.  Disadvantages are that it would take some time to fill in all the categories with information, that it would require some active management to keep it up to date, and it may duplicate what a lot of other sites are already doing.
    • Rich Richie: CORMOSEA site was geared to scholars but it is mostly used by librarians.
    • Jim: If targeting scholars, would it not duplicate SARAI?  David Magier manages SARAI.  He hasn’t had time to work on it for a long time but has plans to return to it.  Having it on CONSALD offers the advantage of distributed management, i.e., many people could work on it.  
    • Carol Mitchell said that the new site offers LC people an opportunity to contribute.  
    • To serve the field as a whole, it would require an infrastructure, e.g., assigned responsibilities or a vetting committee, to implement.
    • Should we focus on just a few categories at first then build out?
    • Aggregated information for librarians would help people new to the field.
    • Tim: Should we focus on serving ourselves and contributing to the field only what we as librarians can contribute that is unique and original, e.g., original reviews, i.e., serve as a unique niche rather than try to cover everything?
    • Jim Nye: Rather than copy and aggregate all library guides into the site, why not set up a search portal that searches those guides only and presents the results with some standard facets?  
      • We could use Google Custom Search Engine to set up a restricted search.  
      • To make the facets consistent, that might require everyone to set up their guides in the same way.
    • Could searches be saved and be made available to others?  Unknown at this point.  We can explore.
  • Should the CONSALD-l posts be public or private?
    • Some users might be sensitive about some things.  SARAI has had complaints on some of its content.  
  • Going forward
    • Tim will (has already) set robots.txt file on the server to ask search engine robots not to index the site.  This will allow CONSALD members to contribute to the site without logging in.  Later we can open up the site to the robots.  Since anyone can still see the site if they know the url or stumble on it, and spammer robots will not respect the robots.txt, Tim has kept the login restriction.
    • Tim will send login instructions to the SACAP list (plus not-yet-SACAP-members if they’ll send me their email, e.g., Xian Wu wuxian@msu.edu). 
Free tags: 
Group content visibility: 
Private - accessible only to group members