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Meeting Minutes: February 23, 2004

InfoEyes Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes

Libraries/states/organizations represented:

Libraries/states/organizations unable to attend:

1) Welcome and Introduction - Diana/Tom/Lori

Thanked everyone for their ongoing work, and reiterated how the problem solving and other work done during this beta project will result in improved services for our patrons, as well as greater awareness of accessibility issues among software providers.

2) Website update - Lori

Thanks to Will Reed for all of his help in making the InfoEyes site more accessible. There are now white-on-black, and high contrast options available to improve visibility. Patron plug-in problems have also been resolved.

3) Do we want to postpone the opening? Do a "soft launch" with limited text chat hours & email until full service on March 22? - Diana/Lori/Tom

Because technical problems, and some internal policy problems have delayed some of the mentoring, and/or increased the need for more mentoring & practice, a "soft launch" was discussed. This would involve:

The above launch was decided upon after Discussing and voting on the following three options:

All participants voted that the second option (as described above) was acceptable. Three participants also added that the third option would also be acceptable.

4) Basic Question Point chat as an alternative - Lori

Participants agreed that it would be okay to offer basic Question Point chat as a supplement to Question Point Enhanced. Basic chat is very easy to do, and patrons could use it, instead of being turned away if they have problems using Question Point Enhanced.

It was asked whether in basic QP chat the text box is accessible to screen reading software. Lori has had some experience using basic chat with patrons who used screen readers, and finding the text chat box was not a problem. With QP Enhanced, there have been problems, and scripts for this have been written for Jaws 4.2 and Jaws 5.0.

4a. Guidelines for that: answering one question at a time - Lori

Monitoring basic chat and QPE at the same time would require librarians to have both applications open simultaneously. Librarians would not be expected to handle more than one question at a time. If questions came in to standard chat and QPE at the same time, the librarian would handle just one question, while pop-up messages would instruct the other patron to wait.

4b. Training on basic chat - Lori

Lori will set up two identical 45 minute practice/training sessions for the week of March 8. No software is needed for either the patron or the Library. The librarian just goes to the OCLC web site and logs in to monitor basic chat. This will be explained in training. Basic chat does not have a very high learning curve. It's like instant messaging.

4c. What this means to those who are already manning both (ISL & LOC) - Diana

At the IL State Lib. And the Lib. Of Congress they are already monitoring regular Question Point Chat for their own libraries. To monitor chat for the InfoEyes project, they will probably have to monitor a second chat window (one where they are logged in for their own library and another where they are logged in for InfoEyes). When they begin monitoring QPE as well, this will mean having a third window open. This is okay with the LOC, as Mary Mohr is not scheduled to monitor basic chat for her library very often.

5) Overall discussion of how things are going: thoughts, hopes, problems, concerns - Diana/Lori/Tom

6) Technical Support - Tom Miller/OCLC

Contact Miller with technical support needs: phone: 614-764-6130; email:

We can choose to join the Question Point listserv if we like. There is mixed consensus on how busy this list is. We may know about technical problems and resolutions faster if we join this list. To join the list, email Tom Miller.

7) Training needs - is further training on QP Enhanced needed? First Search? iVocalize? - Diana

No one expressed an immediate need for more training, although we are all encouraged to contact our mentors if we need more training from them.

Mary Mohr is willing to help with either Question Point Enhanced or standard chat if anyone would like to practice with her.

8) Web OPACs - Lori

8a. What will we use each other's OPACs for (any guidelines) - Lori

For example: A patron may ask if there is an online catalog they can use to order books, and you can refer them to their home library's online catalog. Or the patron may be having trouble using the online catalog. Although web OPACs may seem intuitive to us, patrons do often call with questions about how to use them.

8b. Demo of OPACs 1 Klas Demo & a demo for each other OPAC type (do or schedule brief tours with tips & tricks) - Lori

Instead of a demo, it was decided that a sheet explaining the basics of each type of OPAC (such as KLAS OPACs, and those from other vendors), links to each library's OPAC (if they have one), the catalog vendor, whether patrons can order books directly from the catalog, etc.

Lori will send a survey to the list to collect this information. Each library should complete & return the survey.

9) E-Resource update and questions - Diana/Lori/Tom

9a. Patron access or librarian only access (librarian only) - Diana

This was discussed at a prior meeting, and it was decided that it would not be a good idea to share log-ins & passwords with patrons because this right would most likely have to be rescinded in the future because of licensing issues with databases available to patrons in multiple states.

9b. iVocalize room as a training room for web opac's, etc., to introduce an information literacy aspect to InfoEyes, possibly teaching patrons how to do basic research with search engines, online catalogs, FirstSearch - Diana/Lori/Tom

Tom would also like to use iVocalize to do focus groups with patrons and librarians for evaluating InfoEyes service.

9b1. additional training needs for utilizing iVocalize in this way - Diana

No one expressed a desire for further iVocalize training at this point, but if a library should decide to use the iVocalize room in this way, training will be provided.

9c. Will we be able to use our own electronic resources? - Lori

9c1. when working the desk, everyone should only use the free web and the First Search sources available to us in the trial. If the question cannot be answered using these resources, the question should be referred to the patron's library. It will muddy the waters if we use our own and legally we cannot unless a question is referred upon the basis the librarian knows the library has that resource. - Lori

To be safe (because of licensing issues) don't use your library's own resources. Only use this project's FirstSearch access, and free Internet sources.

If staff at a participating library wish to use their own library's resources with their own patrons, staff at that library will need to understand the licensing agreements on their own and use those resources in accordance with those agreements.

9c2. When to refer a patron to their home library? - Lori

Refer the patron to their home library for follow up if you cannot answer their question. Follow up is to be in the hands of the patron's home state.

9c3. Lori will send out the survey listing the e-resources each library has. - Lori
9c4. policies on application sharing: is it a potential violation of state licensing that APPL SHARE remains open for further searching after the QPE session has ended? - Diana

This is a mute point as long as we are limiting ourselves to using this project's FirstSearch databases. If a library will be offering access specifically to its own patrons, it will be up to that library to follow its own licensing agreements in regard to this issue.

10) Holidays update - Diana

Holiday schedules have been received from a couple of libraries. Diana will send what she's received and participants will add any holidays they do not see listed.

11) Wolfner Withdrawal: rescheduling - Diana

Wolfner had to withdraw their participation. They were scheduled to work Mondays and Tuesdays from 8:00 - 10:00am central. If someone would now like to rearrange their schedule, to perhaps work these hours instead of what they have scheduled, email this request to the list. If not, service on Mondays and Tuesdays won't open until 10:00am.

12) Publicity update: Finalize the press release (either from OCLC or MO) before we announce the start of the service in March. - Lori

12a: Who will send to which list-serv, etc.? Any current plans? - Lori

OCLC sent their press release to the library press. If anyone has other groups that they will publicize to, share that information with the list so that we can track publicity and avoid multiple postings to the same lists.

Dan & Karen are sending publicity to listservs for the blind. They will email the group to let us know which listservs they'll post to.

13) Evaluation update - Tom

There are three tiers of OPACs: World Cat, NLS, & Local, and there are various FirstSearch databases. Determining which resources are most useful will be essential for choosing future resources.

This, and other information will in part be determined by focus groups of librarians and patrons.

InfoEyes web server statistics will also be useful for determining who is interested in this project (individuals, companies, other libraries, etc.).

Future Fun & Funding

14) IMLS grant update & Future Funding of the QPE profile beyond August 2004 if IMLS funding is not awarded - Tom

Almost $250,000 requested from IMLS for a two year period. Notice was sent from IMLS that the grant was received. Awards are not announced until September.

If the grant is not awarded a single QPE profile could be maintained for one year at a cost of about $200 - $300 for each library.

If anyone has any other funding ideas, please share those ideas either with the list, or with Tom Peters.

15) Scheduling of future advisory committee meetings - Diana

It was agreed that advisory council meetings will be held the third Thursday of each month at 1:00pm central. Meetings will have to end by 3:00pm central, as events are scheduled in the iVocalize room at 3:00 on those days. We wouldn't want meetings to last more than two hours anyway. Meetings will be held on the following days:

16) Get together at the NLS conference in South Dakota for a meal or an hour to meet in person and discuss the project. Even those not involved in the project would be welcome - if they came to the dinner or whatever, they would just know that the discussion would be InfoEyes. Maybe we could recruit more libraries that way too. As the agenda for the NLS conference comes out, maybe we can discuss a time that would be good for everyone. - Lori

It was decided that we will meet at the NLS conference on Sunday at 7:30pm after the reception. Where we will meet, and whether we will have dinner will be decided and arranged.

On Wednesday morning at NLS there will be an InfoEyes presentation.

To Do (specific people):

To Do (everyone):