Tag Archives: website

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.



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.