Report to the Reference User Group Meeting April 20, 2006
By Keith Ewing
Uniform task force process from User Council Committee
Excerpts from the document ("ground rules" for establishing and conducting MnPALS Task Forces) were read aloud. Individuals interested in the work of Task Forces should subscribe to the appropriate mailing lists.
Report - Keith Ewing, Chair (SCS)
The MATF met in November and December, and worked on changes to the Bookbag feature and consistency of wording on various levels of Aleph screens.
They also reviewed the backlog of work requests and consolidated them on three lists, but there are still some requests that may be "buried" in the list. There are "dated" (old) change requests from 2003-2004, a "completed" list (11 pages long), and a "current requests" list (2 pages long). These lists are available on the MATF FuseTalk message board.
Keith also mentioned a web site for program presentations at Taiga Forum (advances in information technology): http://taigaforum.org that dealt with Web OPACs
Discussion of MATF focus set by motion approved at the fall, 2005 User Group meeting.
Much of the discussion centered on whether Aleph version 17 will correct the issues that have yet to be resolved from the work request lists.
A motion was passed to consider only currently queued work requests to version 15, as Perry's time and availability allows. The User Group asked that the MATF focus on future modifications in version 17.
Linda Richter (PALS) suggested that the group decide on the top priorities from the three lists (backlog and current work requests) to find out what are the most important changes needing to done, and to then decide on a plan for making modifications to version 15, or waiting for version 17 to address the issues. Perry Madden (PALS) noted that some issues will be resolved with little added work with the "out of the box" Aleph v. 17. It should be available on Lute with test data drawn from version 15 libraries by the end of June. This will allow test searching of OPAC, and investigating which changes are corrected in version 17.
David Wuolu (SBSJ) suggested conducting usability testing of the new OPAC with a sample group of users with a short survey. The MATF wouldn't conduct the survey, but could compile the data for the group.
The group passed a motion (by consensus) to examine usability issues once an operating test OPAC in version 17 is available. Melissa Prescott (SCS) volunteered to spearhead usability testing efforts of the version 17 OPAC.
MATF handling of requests for changes to version 17
A motion passed that continued the MATF's role to work on issues and modifications to version 17, rather than starting a new task force.