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Meeting Minutes: March 15, 2007

InfoEyes Advisory Committee Meeting


Minnesota Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped OPAL Online Room


2:00 pm Eastern / 1:00 pm Central


Karen Bersche, Donna Cirenza, Catherine Durivage, Meghan McDaniel, Tom Pgh, Linda Rossman, Robin Rousu, Sharon Ruda, Julie Strange, Diana Sussman, Joe Thompson

1. Statistics Report and Changes on Website Statistics

Catherine said that we are going to change the layout of how the statistics are depicted on the InfoEyes Usage Report page (within the Members section). Every month post annual cumulative stats that come from the QuestionPoint reports. Monthly totals are still available in column format within the year.

There were 19 questions in February, which is a bit down from January, which experienced 35. The February numbers will be posted soon.

The Talking Book Topics article might have generated interest in January that's since dissipated.

2. Website Update Discussion

Catherine asked for comments/suggestions on recent updates, as well as what additional content might be useful to have on the web site.

There is a new Desk Coverage section. There is also a new Knowledgebase Database section.

Joe asked if an index could be included at the top.

Julie asked, what are "significant questions" that should be added to the Knowledgebase (KB)? Catherine noted that these are potentially ones that could be asked again and again, or a topic that you spent a lot of time searching for an answer. Robin asked if an example could be included. Julie also asked if there are existing guidelines on how identifying information should be removed from the question before being added to the KB.

Diana suggested adding survey comments from customers to the web site.

Robin suggested a resources section.

3. Training Issues

Catherine thanked Joe for a terrific February session regarding best practices for e-mail reference. She asked for suggestions for an April training.

Joe noted that he kind of put together the February session as more of a discussion than a training class. Others thought discussions would be fine as a format in the future. Sharon noted that it was great to use examples.

It was suggested that each of us could simply consider what topics we already know a lot about to lead a training or discussion. For instance, Robin expressed that she's solid on business, science, and pop culture reference. Julie is good on non-verbal communication via computer mediated communication.

Joe asked if there would be interest in expanding the publicity for the next training/discussions beyond only our InfoEyes group. This Minnesota room is a 25 seat OPAL room. We could see if another OPAL room is available if we wanted to invite a broader audience. We also can ask Tom Peters to arrange for the Minnesota room to allow for more than the 25 seats if we expect to need more for a special event.

Catherine suggested that we could continue with some of the topics covered in February at the April meeting. Diana also suggested that some more experience might be needed using the Version 5 room. There are still some things we are learning about it, for instance the keystroke commands. Julie noted that you can right click on the screen, then select back. Alt + T gives you all the keystroke commands.

Joe asked if OPAL is considering other products besides those from Talking Communities. Diana feels that they probably always are looking at other options, but it would be unlikely that Talking Communities would be dropped by OPAL since the price is good and it's accessible.

April 19 would be the next training/discussion day. We will see if Tom Peters is available that day to cover Version 5 of Talking Communities Conference Room. Possible topics for June include: Follow-up (How to organize/format a reply).

4. Discussion on people's experiences using the new Version 5 TC Conference Room

There was a question about how a person using a screen reader would know which keystroke commands to use. These commands don't seem to be as clearly indicated as in the previous version. Catherine believes that some of the people who participated in the town meeting did use screen readers, so they were in fact able to identify the correct commands.

5. Accessibility Issues: updates, discussion

Jeff Penka of OCLC QuestionPoint shared an update with Linda and Catherine regarding OCLC QuestionPoint's plans to introduce a more screen-reader accessible chat version of the QuestionPoint service. Jeff recommended trying an existing service called "ATutor" which will be much like what QuestionPoint is developing. June is now the expected time for a QP accessible chat to be available.

The new chat in development is expected to address previous problems for screen readers related to "blinking screens," the lack of a message audible chime, and message sorting. It also needs to be able to work widely on operating systems and browsers.

We have some disappointment that January goal was not met, but it had seemed such a quick prediction when made in November that it is not surprising to many. National Federation of the Blind staff are involved in the testing. This shows OCLC QuestionPoint's seriousness of intentions. Joe also noted that by comparison he hasn't heard anything about or Docutek, the other two leading chat virtual reference providers, and plans to make their services more accessible to people using screen readers.

6. Other Business

There is a conflict for some on having the next meeting the 3rd Thursday of May, as we normally would. Instead we will meet on May 31.

Next Meeting:

May 31, 2007 at 2:00 pm Eastern / 1:00 pm Central

Minutes submitted by Joe Thompson