InfoEyes Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes
- S. IL
- IL State Lib.
- TAP Info. Services
- Library of Congress
Libraries/states/organizations unable to attend:
- Perkins (MA)
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:
- Beginning March 1, limited text chat hours:
- Lori Bell's staff is able to provide some text chat monitoring
- Mary Mohr at the LOC is able to monitor text chat during her regularly scheduled hours (as she has been doing text chat for a long time at the LOC)
- Once people have had training on text chat, whenever they feel comfortable they can begin monitoring text chat during their regularly scheduled InfoEyes hours. They should email the group to let us know they're ready to do this.
- Lori will periodically update the web-site as text chat hours expand.
- Email questions monitored by Lori Bell
- A full launch of service, including Question Point Enhanced beginning March 22
The above launch was decided upon after Discussing and voting on the following three options:
- No delay of any kind. Full launch on March 1
- Soft launch with email, and limited basic text chat hours offered (as described above)
- Soft launch with email, and limited basic text chat hours offered with limited QPE hours offered from libraries who feel prepared to begin offering QPE
All participants voted that the second option (as described above) was acceptable. Three participants also added that the third option would also be acceptable.
- NY advertised "coming soon" instead of an exact date in their newsletter. They've had additional training and are getting more confident. They're fine to start at any time.
- LOC is ready for March 1, but will support a soft launch.
- TX would like to delay offering QPE.
- There was preference voiced for all libraries beginning QPE at once to maintain unity.
- Not having QPE times scheduled until March 22 will also allow for non-conflicted scheduling of additional practice sessions and mentoring.
- Decisions will be posted to the web site.
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
- Audio delays: What improvements have been made?
- The major problems experienced in early February were fixed by convey. Voice Over IP was having problems within various services all over the US at that time.
- As much as a 2 second delay is considered normal.
- OCLC recommends a noise canceling or echo canceling headset.
- It helps to reset the audio to avoid cumulative delays by quickly shutting audio on and off.
- It is important to find the "sweet spot" number on the slider bar. The slider bars are noise canceling controls. The "sweet spot" on "my audio" should not vary much for you from session to session, so you can find what generally works best for you.
- Pop-up ads: What can be done to prevent getting lost in them?
- Integrating a pop-up blocker into the actual software is not planned and could be problematic and could prevent certain aspects of the service from working
- A local pop-up blocker may be a better solution
- When you click on re-sync in URL share, you are brought in sync with the patron's screen.
- Therefore, if the patron's computer gets a pop-up, even if yours does not, the pop-up will still be a problem.
- Pop-ups are handled better in Application Share
- Search strategies and a lot of surfing are handled better in application share
- However, we need to test Application Share with screen readers, as Barry Levine thought there might be problems with this.
- Be sure to copy & paste any web sites used in Application Share into the text chat so the patron can refer to the site later when they receive their automatic email, as sites shown in Application Share are not automatically linked to in the email.
- Tom Miller has emailed Convey to see if they can recommend anything that can be done to alleviate the problem of pop-up ads.
6) Technical Support - Tom Miller/OCLC
Contact Miller with technical support needs: phone: 614-764-6130; email: email@example.com
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:
- March 18
- April 15
- May 20
- June 17
- July 15
- August 19
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):
- Post to the web site what services will be available March 1, and what will be available March 22 (see 3a). - Lori Bell
- Schedule, prepare, and provide two identical 45 minute practice/training sessions to teach participants how to do basic Question Point chat. Sessions will be scheduled for the week of March 8th. (see 4b) - Lori Bell
- Post to the web site increases in available chat service hours as more participants feel ready to offer chat service during their regularly scheduled InfoEyes times prior to March 22. (see 4b) - Lori Bell
- Send out survey regarding web OPACs. (see 8b) - Lori Bell
- Compile web OPAC survey results into an information sheet and share sheet on listserv & web site. (see 8b) - Lori Bell
- Compile and send Holiday responses so far, then re-compile holidays with any additions. (see 10) - Diana
- Email list with a list of which blind listservs you've publicized to. (see 11a) - Dan and Karen
- Make where/what plans for Sunday InfoEyes meeting at NLS conference. (see 16) - Lori and Diana
To Do (everyone):
- Register and participate in one Question Point basic chat training session. (see 4b)
- After basic chat training (prior to March 22), email listserv when/if you are ready to begin offering basic chat service during your regularly scheduled InfoEyes times. (see 4b)
- If you need more training contact your mentor. (see 7)
- Respond to web OPAC survey. (see 8b)
- Email Holidays your library will be closed to Diana (see 10)
- If you would like to switch scheduled hours now that 8:00-10:00am central on Mondays and Tuesdays is open, email Diana. (see 11)
- Share your advertising efforts with the group (see 11a)
- If you have any ideas for future funding, email the group or Tom Peters. (see 14)
- Mark the following meeting dates in your calendar for future committee meetings:
- March 18
- April 15
- May 20
- June 17
- July 15
- August 19
- All 3rd Thursdays at 1:00pm central in iVocalize room (see 15)