Category Archives: Website Migration (WIMT) Updates

Our once and future website: working group update

Formed in May 2016, the Libraries Website Working Group was charged to evaluate and define the structure, responsibilities, and goals of the University Libraries’ website, and delivered its final report in November 2016.

One of the key outcomes of the group’s report was to move the web management structure from a multiple team/group structure to more of a product owner model. The end result is a round table of individual product owners, managers and the Author Expert Team, with Karen Estlund serving as the overall Website Product Owner. This new management structure provides increased agility with component product owners evolving, contingent on future needs and projects.

Another component of the Website Working Group’s report was the creation of new, efficient workflows for various web-related issues, such as maintenance, content, design, and new projects. Additional information about these workflows as well as the new website management roles and goals can be found on the Libraries’ new Website Management intranet page (link requires Libraries employee login).

One thing that has not changed is the continual look forward approach to the web presence of the Libraries. Some current and future website projects are as follows:

  • integrating LibCal into the Libraries webpages for group study room reservations, coming for the Fall 2017 semester
  • redesigning the About, Services, and Research landing pages
  • enhancing the A-Z Database list with subject categorization
  • making the Libraries’ digital collections easier to find and use
  • promoting access and use of open educational resources
  • enhancing the staff directory and staff profile pages
  • making key portions of the Libraries website available in other languages, starting with Mandarin and Korean

Lastly, the Website Working Group’s report established a six-month pilot phase, now in progress, after which the group will reconvene to assess the new structure and processes. Group members welcome feedback, which can be provided by via Website Feedback link in the footer on every page of the Libraries’ public and staff intranet sites.



University Libraries’ website migration completed

Friday, Sept. 30, marked the highly anticipated completion of the full migration of the Libraries’ website into Drupal. After nearly two years of hard work on the project, we were able to decommission our old Content Management System, Adobe CQ. The goal of the Libraries’ public website is to make our information, services, and resources easily discoverable and
accessible to all of our users. All internally facing content has been migrated into the staff site, designed specifically to serve the needs of the Libraries’ faculty and staff.

As with any website migration, the work doesn’t end the day the migration is complete. The web is an ever-changing, iterative environment that requires consistent updates and improvements to content and functionality. This is where feedback is critical to the continued success of
our site! We welcome your comments, questions, and suggestions, which will help us improve the site as we move forward. Please feel free to direct your feedback via the form at: Feedback and requests will be reviewed and prioritized, and help guide us in planning the next steps for the site.

An effort of this magnitude doesn’t happen without a great team of supportive people! Thank you to everyone in the University Libraries who dedicated great amounts of time and energy to help make the migration a smooth one. Again, we look forward to your feedback as we continue to move forward.

– submitted by Karen Hackett, web content strategist, I-Tech

Website migration

The website migration team is nearing the release of the first two new Library webpages, Wilkes-Barre and Life Sciences. The preview for Life Sciences can be viewed here:

In an effort to simplify the website for users and to represent ourselves as one library geographically dispersed, library location pages will have information which is site specific. All the universal resources of the libraries will be centralized under Services, Research and About.

The new library pages will contain:

  1. Your Librarian: includes a list of the librarians in your library with a link to “see all staff,” which goes to the full directory for each library.
  2. Study at the Libraries: includes a link to a page where we have detailed information on rooms and spaces; scan, copy and print; textbooks and reserves; and equipment to borrow.
  3. Library Guides: each library may choose the guides they would like to feature.
  4. Information: this information is dynamic, coming right out of LDAP. Please review for accuracy and let us know if any information needs to be updated.
  5. Events: this area is for very simple event information, and is a stop-gap measure until CollegeNet is in place and we can pull calendar information from that system.
  6. About: short blurb about your library
  7. More information: special links to library-specific information
  8. Social Media: individual library social media. If your library does not have an individual account, we will use the general libraries Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts.
  9. Collections: links to featured collections for your library

As soon as each Library’s content is complete and has been approved, the webpages can go live. We don’t have to wait for all Libraries to be finished – they can go live individually.

We’d love your feedback! Please contact me at or 570-675-9261

Megan Mac Gregor

Drupal Update: Some Interesting Statistics

For this week’s Drupal update, we wanted to share a few interesting statistics …


We have migrated close to 1,800 pages into the new staff site and the same number in the public site …


… and 40 authors have been trained and are actively working on content in the staff site. (Remember — to get an author account, please fill out the account request form and Ryan Johnson will get you set up with training and your Drupal account!)


As part of the migration, we’ve worked hard to improve our page load speed, and we are happy to report that we are now the third-fastest Libraries website in the Big 10. That’s up from our No. 7 spot less than three weeks ago!


According to LibUX’s Alexa-ish Top 100 Library Websites, we are ranked 18th among the top 100 high-traffic library websites, which includes both academic and public libraries worldwide!

Questions? Comments? We’d love to hear from you!

– submitted by Binky Lush, I-Tech, on behalf of the WIMT committee

Website Update: May 16

We hope by now you’ve had a chance to explore the new Staff Site, which will be going live and replacing the current intranet on Wednesday, May 18. We’ve been getting some great feedback from you — thank you! In addition to some really kind words, we’ve heard the following comments and questions:

  1. We need the fuller list of staff tools. We will be adding an updated list of the resources from the current intranet.
  2. Why are certain forms and groups appearing on the home page? By default, these lists show in order of last created on the Staff Site home page. Moving forward, we will list them by most popular, based on statistics.
  3. Where is my content? We have migrated all of the CQ intranet content into the new Staff Site. The preview was a great way for everyone to double-check their content, and we found a few things that didn’t come across quite as expected. Please check your content to make sure it appears as it should be and let us know if you have any questions or concerns!
  4. Our library/department does not currently have an intranet presence on CQ. Can we create one? Yes! Any area that has not had an intranet presence in the past can request accounts and training for authors. We will create a space for your Library or department to which you can add content. Please request staff site author accounts using the Account Request Form. Once accounts have been requested, Ryan Johnson will schedule training.
  5. We love the new Staff Site Search! We do, too! If you haven’t already tested out the new SOLR search, we encourage you to give it a try.

Please keep the feedback coming via the website feedback link on the bottom of every page (public and staff site) or come talk to us! We will be holding drop-in Q & A sessions in the I-Tech Training Room and via Adobe Connect and phone (888-644-0576) on the following dates this week:

11am-noon Tuesday, May 17 
2-3 p.m. Friday, May 20

Thank you in advance for your help in making the website the best it can be for our users!
– Binky Lush, 
on behalf of the Web Implementation and Management Team and the Development Team

Drupal migration update

The countdown has begun! We are two weeks away from some big changes happening to the Libraries’ public website as well as the switch to the new staff website!

Here is a reminder of some of the changes that are coming the week of May 16:

Public site:

  1. Services: We will be replacing “Community” with “Services” in the global navigation. Under Services, we will highlight the services that the Libraries provide- removing them from the departments pages where they have been described previously, and bring them to the surface where they are much easier for our users to find!  Services will be grouped into categories that have been identified by user testing, including:
    • Borrow and Renew
    • Course Reserves
    • Rooms and Spaces
    • Technology and Equipment
    • Adaptive Technology
    • Research Help
    • Guides and Tutorials
    • Instruction and Classroom Support
    • Research Data Services
    • ScholarSphere
  2. About: “About” will remain in the global navigation, though the organization will change.  This section will be categorized more intuitively into the following areas:
    • Libraries
    • Staff and Department Directory
    • Jobs
    • News and Events
    • Awards and Scholarships
    • Giving to the Libraries
    • Strategic Planning and Initiatives
    • Collections
    • Message from the Dean
    • Organization at a Glance
  3. Public vs. staff: In an effort to move and separate pages that are for our own internal use and information, many pages will move to the staff site (more about the staff site below). Departments will all have their directory information available publicly, but much of the information that currently resides in the current department area will be moved to Services, if it is for our users, or to the Staff Site, if it is for our own faculty and staff.
  4. Staff Directory: We will have a new staff and department directory that is faster and provides a much more robust search!
Staff site:

The biggest change with the new staff site is the fact that we have completely separated it from the public site. The staff site is a place for all of our faculty and staff to add information for their own library or department use and for others within the Libraries. The site is only accessible to those working in the Libraries.

Staff site stakeholders identified two key elements as most important on the staff site: a search box that works well and a customized dashboard. We are happy to be providing both with the new staff site! You will be able to create your own list of favorites on the home page or dashboard of the Staff Site, so the pages and tools you use are immediately and easily available to you. And the new SOLR search index will provide a robust search for all Staff Site content to make things much more easily discoverable.


We are excited about the changes coming to both the public and staff sites and to be improving the user experience for both our internal and external users! Look for a preview of the staff site and the changes to the public site coming shortly; we look forward to hearing from all of you! Please send your questions and feedback via the Website Feedback link at the bottom of every page on the Libraries website.

Thank you for your support as we continue to make our site better for all of our users!

– submitted by Binky Lush,
on behalf of the Web Implementation and Management Team and the Development Team

WIMT Update: Drupal news and notes

FAQs in the new Drupal Site

We currently have FAQs in both our current website as well as in the LibAnswers system. In the new Drupal site, we will be integrating these two into a single, dynamic method of providing FAQs. We will be using the current LibAnswers system to create and maintain all FAQs and any page in the University Libraries site can optionally display a list of the top FAQs for a given FAQ tag in LibAnswers. From the FAQ, clicking on the question displayed on the Libraries site will take the user to the answer in the LibAnswers system. The user can then search or browse the LibAnsers system for more information. — submitted by Helen Smith and Charlie Morris

Development Update

  • Hershey site
    We are excited to begin Drupal development in collaboration with Xiaoyu Sun from Hershey!
  • Staff directory
    Mockups are complete. Development has started.
  • News and Events
    Mockups approved. In development
  • Giving to the Libraries (Development Office)
    Mockups approved. In development
  • Staff site
    Implemented “My Favorites” to make it easy for users to have their favorite links on the Staff Site homepage.
    Searching and sorting of training pages enabled

Content update

Over 500 pages scripted from Adobe CQ into Drupal (staff site) using CQ Slurp (content scripting)

Drupal Dates of Note

  • April 14, 9:30-10:30 – Web Forum – Foster Auditorium (and via Media Site Live)
  • Week of May 9 – Department pages, updated navigation and Staff Site go live

Questions? Suggestions? Please submit questions and comments via the website feedback link at the bottom of every page.

WIMT Update: Development news and notes…

Submitted by Binky Lush, chair, Web Implementation and Management Team (WIMT)

Development Update:

We’ve been working on development of pieces of web functionality for our users (for example search and staff directory), updates to our author environment and enhancements to our development and migration workflow for system stability and efficiency. In technical terms, here’s what we’ve been doing…

  • Updated interface to have a single full width column of results along with a logo in the header that splits between PSU and PSU Libraries
  • Scoped and mocked up the Staff Directory project
  • Made fixes to the author environment, including image alignment in the wysiwyg and a short screencast recording
  • Made improvements to Libraries production and QA or test instances
  • Added functionality to the “CQ Slurp” program – the script that scrapes content from CQ and saves it into a Drupal-friendly format

Content Update

  • Used CQ Slurp (content scripting) to bring over 200+ pages and 150+ binary files (staff site)
  • Completed Services pages (public)
  • Finishing up department page migration in preparation for stakeholder approval

Other Drupal Project News

  • Content Board is up and running
  • Author Expert Team has been charged
  • Author Strategy and Workflow has been finalized

Drupal Dates of Note

  • April 14 9:30-10:30 – Web Forum – Foster Auditorium (and via Media Site Live)
  • Week of May 9 – Department pages, updated navigation and Staff Site go live

Questions? Suggestions? Please submit questions and comments via the website feedback link at the bottom of every page.

WIMT Update: Smarter library alerts

alerts blog postHave you noticed that alerts in the Libraries’ new site are different than they used to be in the old site? With the creation of the new site on the Drupal platform, the way in which critical information for our patrons is displayed has been upgraded.

Library alerts are those messages that we want our patrons to notice because they affect how or when the libraries and its services can be used. For example, when a winter storm hits many of our locations may close or reduce hours of service. When this happens we can proactively tell our users about the change in service through our website’s alert capabilities.

This was possible in the previous version of our website, but with the new platform we’ve made some improvements, now alerts…

  •   …are classified as high or low urgency
  •   …can be scheduled
  • …can be associated with library locations
  • …can be classified as a database alert

All that means we can…

  • …display low urgency alerts less prominently and high urgency more prominently
  • …schedule alerts ahead of time to only be active during known scheduled maintenances (e.g., when a database vendor goes down for maintenance)
  • …display alerts for any location on that location’s page (e.g, if there’s a closing at Berks-Thun, we can display it on the Berks-Thun library page)
  • …display alerts for databases on the databases’ pages.

All of our alerts are timestamped as well, for both the times that the alert was originally posted and the time it was last updated.

Finally, alerts are responsive – this means that alerts display in a predictable and usable way at any digital screen size.

alert 2

alert 4 alert 3

So, keep on the look out for more library alerts and let us know if you have any feedback.

WIMT Update: Development news and notes

New Development

This week, we are in the beginning development phase for both the Libraries’ Staff Directory with Joe Fennewald as the Product Owner and the Libraries Template with Product Owner Megan Mac Gregor.

Ongoing development continues on the following projects:

  • Intranet
  • Global Navigation and Information Architecture changes

We are wrapping up development on:

  • Promotion and Tenure Recognition
  • Alumni Library
  • News and Events

We want your feedback! Please submit questions and comments via the website feedback link at the bottom of every page.

Upcoming CMS dates of note…

  • Migration meeting this week with Special Collections Library
  • First Content Board working meeting on February 29 to set milestones and plan pre- and post-migration workflow
  • Migration meetings with campus libraries will begin in March

Ongoing development:

  • Promotion and Tenure Recognition
  • Alumni Library
  • News and Events
  • Intranet
  • Global Navigation and Information Architecture changes

We want your feedback! Please submit questions and comments via the website feedback link at the bottom of every page.


New site feature: Search Box on every page

search(1)Our new search box appears in the right top corner of every page on the Libraries new site. We are following Penn State policy by providing the ability to search Penn State, the Penn State Directory and Penn State Departments on every page. We have added to that the ability to search the Libraries site (default search) as well as Lionsearch (Books Articles and More) from every page. The search is a drop down (as shown in screenshot). Once the user clicks in the search box, the default option of “in Penn State Libraries” appears – performing a Libraries site search, across the new Drupal site, the existing CQ site, as well as LibGuides. Clicking on the arrow to the right of “Penn State Libraries” presents users with their other search options.

Questions? Suggestions? Please submit questions and comments via the website feedback link at the bottom of every page.

WIMT update: Migration news and notes

by Ryan Johnson, technology training coordinator

  • The migration team has met with all but one department, and will be completed by the end of February
  • The migration team has met with all but three subject libraries, and will be wrapping up the remainder by the end of February
  • Migration meetings with campus libraries will begin in march

Currently in development are:

  • Promotion and Tenure Recognition
  • Alumni Library
  • News and Events
  • Global Navigation and Information Architecture changes

We want your feedback! Please submit questions and comments via the website feedback link at the bottom of every page.

WIMT update: Finding library hours on new website with smartphone

One of the most common reasons that visitors come to the Libraries’ site is to check the hours. Specifically users usually want to know whether or not we’re open right now and for how long. This is especially true for our patrons accessing our site from their mobile devices. These are all assumptions that were built into the way our new site’s hours and locations are displayed.

The new page, Hours and Locations shows a week’s worth of hours information for all of the University Libraries’ locations. As a side note, the separation out of Commonwealth Campus Libraries has been removed, and usability tests have shown that students inside the Commonwealth Campuses do not immediately understand the distinction — so putting all of the libraries together sorted by University Park and its 40,000 plus students first actually makes it simpler for all users. So, when a patron visits this page from a mobile device, the view is different. Only today’s hours are shown. This was done because, for one, showing a week’s worth of data on a mobile device runs into space limitations. Secondly this was done because the use case scenarios for mobile users on this page is much more likely to be of the immediate nature.

As it turns out, the usage statistics for the site appear to reflect our assumptions. The Hours and Locations page is the second most viewed page on our site for our mobile users.  Further fully 32% of all traffic to that page over the last month came from a mobile device. This is significant especially considering that when you look at all of the site’s traffic, only 7% of the traffic comes from mobile devices. So this page receives somewhere between 4 and 5 times the mobile traffic that the rest of the site receives on average (yes the data sample is small, so it’s something we’ll keep an eye on).

One other mobile-friendly item to highlight in this post lies within something we call the “global header” — meaning the top of the page on every page. In the new site, when you visit from a small-screened device, you’ll see a global header that is easier to use for a condensed touch interface, including a display of today’s hours at Pattee and Paterno along with an open/close indicator. This gives mobile visitors immediate information about what can be assumed would be the number one reason for using the site from a mobile device – and it is added without any cost to using the rest of the page. What I mean by that is that it is not distracting and does not hinder usability of the rest of the site’s content.

Here’s a screenshot that demonstrates both the hours indicator in the global header and the display of the Hours and Locations page.

mobile_hoursSo, try it out for yourself sometime! And thanks for reading! If you have any questions or feedback, please let us know. — Charlie Morris, I-Tech programmer analyst


Web migration update by the numbers

by Binky Lush, chair, Web Implementation and Management Team (WIMT)

It’s been a little over a month since we officially launched the Libraries’ top level web pages in Drupal. This is a great time to take a look back over the last month to reflect on what we’ve accomplished and what’s coming next!

First, a few numbers:

  • 46 days since we launched (Dec. 21)
  • 28 meetings with stakeholders from departments and subject libraries
  • 321,000 pageviews on the top 15 pages (12/21–2/4). The top pages in Drupal are the
    ◦ Homepage
    ◦ Subject Guides
    ◦ Hours and Locations
    ◦ Alerts
    ◦ Ask
    ◦ Jobs
  • 230 items moved from “To Do” to “Done” list
  • 66 tickets in LibAnswers since Dec. 1 (some feedback, some bug reports, some related specifically to Drupal, some to CQ, some to databases, etc)
  • 14 training documents for our staff editing Drupal

Overall, we’ve had over 720,000 pageviews on our site since we went live , so our infrastructure is great and holding up to the high traffic our site receives. Our new Subject and Course Guides pages are getting great traffic, – 30% more than the same time last year.

What’s coming next

On the migration side of things, we are excited that the full suite of tutorials has been migrated and upon approval will move into production next week, so our “How Do I” page in the guides section will have lots of great resources!

In terms of development, we are actively working on the changes to global navigation, the Staff Site, News and Events, Promotion and Tenure Recognition and the Alumni Library. Up next will be the Libraries Template and the Staff Directory.


Your feedback is critical to the success of this project! Good and bad, big or small, outrageous or simple, we want to hear from you. You can submit feedback via the website feedback link at the bottom of every page on the site.

Watch latest Drupal migration forum

The recent Drupal migration forum held on Jan. 13 highlighted a number of key areas, including an update on the new “Staff Site” and details about the new home page image. The forum can be accessed on MediaSite Live. If you have any questions, please contact the Web Implementation Management Team. To report broken links on the website, go to

Libraries homepage starting website migration process

This story appears in Penn State News. For internally-focused news with additional information about the migration, see Binky Lush’s post “Upcoming Libraries website changes”

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Visitors to Penn State University Libraries’ website may start to notice a few changes by the end of 2015. The Libraries will receive a new homepage in advance of the spring 2016 semester, marking the halfway point and the first public phase of a two-year, iterative process to migrate its web content to a new responsive design and Drupal content management platform.

“The Libraries’ Web Implementation and Management Team and Libraries Technology department have been working since January 2015 to identify, plan and implement migration of its content to a new user-centered site that will integrate many systems into a faster, easier site for information retrieval,” Barbara I. Dewey, dean of University Libraries and Scholarly Communications, said.

Curating more than 10,000 pages of online content serving Libraries patrons, 36 subject and campus libraries and more than two dozen administrative departments is no small task. The Libraries website is moving to a more streamlined, responsive and open-source Drupal interface, supporting the goal of providing a better experience for Libraries online visitors.

“We are overhauling the Libraries’ online content, which includes many external databases and information portals, during this transition with the goal of simplification and greatly improving the online user experience,” Karen Estlund, University Libraries associate dean for Technology and Digital Strategies, explained.

The web team’s charge has included developing a plan for better website functionality, prioritizing phases of migration and developing a strategic vision for the Libraries’ web presence. Improved information and resource access and discoverability is the central focus of the website redesign.

screen capture of new Libraries homepage design

Starting Dec. 21, visitors to Penn State University Libraries’ homepage may notice a new design. The Libraries is launching the first public phase of its two-year project to migrate all its online content to a Drupal content management platform.

The first round of changes to the Libraries website encompasses the Libraries homepage and top-level landing pages. In addition to a new look and feel designed to align with Penn State’s primary web presence, this first iteration will refine the delivery of news and events content. An existing small slideshow interface will be replaced with a full-width background image that will highlight individual Libraries news, events, resources and services. This approach will improve the website’s universal usability, including accessibility. Other news and events content will be moved to a separate page linked from the homepage via the main image. The search box itself will receive visual improvements, but its functionality will not change.

Future Libraries website changes will include incremental improvements of all aspects of the site, including content, navigation and user interface design. The projected completion date is Sept. 30, 2016.