Minutes of the Reference Services Committee meeting
June 11, 2014 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Alice Moulton Room – Gerstein Science Information Centre
Present: Michelle Spence (chair, Engineering); Amber Allan (Laidlaw); Alison Bell (Gerstein); Juliya
Borie (Robarts Cataloguing); Heather Buchanksy (Library Administration); Jesse Carliner (minutes,
Robarts); Richard Carter ( St. Mike’s); Chris Crebolder (Circulation Services); Lisa Gayhart (ITS); Christina
Kim (Gerstein/Mars); Vanessa Kitchin (UTM); Joan Links (Media Commons); Vincci Lui (Gerstein);
Courtney Lundrigan (Trinity); Suzanne Meyers Sawa (Music); Irene Puchalski (Architecture); Stephanie
Quail (Business Information Centre); Rita Vine (Library Administration); Dawn Wong (Canada Hong
Kong/East Asian Library).
Virtual attendance: no one requested this
Regrets: Maria Buda (Dentistry); Debbie Green (Robarts); Angela Henshilwood (Engineering); Judith
Logan (Robarts); Tim Neufeldt (Music)
1.
2.
3.
4.
Selection of minutes taker- Jesse volunteered.
Minutes of the last meeting- accepted with no changes.
Business arising from the minutes: Judith submitted the report to library council
Report from ITS- Lisa Gayhart (on behalf of Marc Lalonde)
a. Room booking software: upgrading to latest version of the software. Latest version of
software available for Robarts in September. Want to adapt the software to incorporate the
hours of the library. More information to follow. Lisa will report back on what rooms in
Robarts are included in.
b. Endeca work update: currently in a two week work period on Endeca. Addressing various
issues that have arisen with the update. Currently doing manual updates to the catalogue.
c. Library website redesign: work planned for the following two weeks. Includes updating and
making T-Space responsive. Testing on T-Space and room booking software scheduled for
September.
 Look for the widget to provide feedback on the redesign on the ITS website page.
 Currently Lisa is going through the feedback from interview, environmental scans,
surveys, observations, etc.. and summarizing the result. She has done interviews, e
scans, surveys, etc…
 Next, Lisa will be looking at the analytics to determine what content to include on site
and how to package and present it.
 Lisa will be posting the summary on the ITS web site when ready.
 Wireframe version of website redesign: Gordon has put together a very preliminary
draft version, grouping out the content.
d. Preview of library website redesign:
 Emphasize the website redesign to emphasize the top actions that people do.
Research, using the library and item renewals are key.

Subjects A-Z: Can it be more user friendly without losing the content? What is your
vision of a beautiful subjects a- z research guide. Also how can the research guides
be incorporated into it.
 Is a more google-like search possible? Reaching out to people to see how this can be
done.
 Aggregate all the collections: ITS will also audit the web site content and the
collections with the goal of gathering into one place the digital and non-digital
collections.
 Adapt the other websites.
 Highlight events and workshops, better display management so people can easily
find them.
 Tool bar that can be hidden or made visible.
 Shrink down the navigation to make it more actionable.
 Footer can be kept or removed depending on feedback. Lots of additional room at
the bottom of the page to include additional elements in a footer. Long scrolling
pages are very popular right now.
 Featured books: keep or remove depending on feedback.
e. Beta site will be launched in the fall for testing and feedback and then officially launched in
January.
f. Redesign workshop scheduled for next week.
g. Contact Lisa with questions
5. Guide on the Side- Courtney Lundrigan
a. Free code based open source system developed at U of Arizona. Sits on the side of the
website and can support students, as they actively work through the activity. Students are
interacting with the website on the right, while the guide is on the left. Can set the starting
URL to be anywhere that you need.
b. Courtney presented a couple of demo guides. Use arrows to navigate. In her experience, it
is easier to use than lib guides.
c. Additional features: There is a space for putting the definition of problematic words like
“catalogue.” Also, you can create questions for users and have them embedded into the
guide. Website still moves but it doesn’t affect how the tutorial moves. Can enter free text,
images, contact information. Can also append a quiz at the end. Can have the results of the
quiz emailed to the professor or the librarian or both. Ideal for using in flipped classroom
models: have them work on it before class, then have the results emailed to yourself and
find out where students are experiencing difficulties.
d. Following up on questions from the ILU committee meeting:
 Code is active and evolving.
 Released as open source in 2012.
 Only one major upgrade for accessibility.
 Accessibility: US and Canada have different accessibility standards, but guide on side
is compatible with screen readers. Can generate a pdf or a single screen version of
the guide.

Guide cannot be embedded into Blackboard, but the link can be posted in the
course area.
 Can be used off campus once authenticated.
e. Other uses for the guide: Could be used for library procedural questions like “How to renew
stuff online.”
f. Advantages over screencasting video tutorials: no need to update screen shots of the
website when there is an update.
g. Limitations: As with any guide, need to write things in such a way that students can use
them.
h. Available for prepackaged download, or can be hosted externally on GitHub.
i. Questions and discussion:
 Rita: Can Courtney check in with CTSI to find out if something comparable to this
already being supported? Also, probably the blackboard environment is critical. To
what degree is it possible to track the use of these modules? Assessment is
essential. How many users start using the guide but do not finish? How do we
maintain and update this, once we have it on the UTL server? According to Michelle
Spence there is not anything comparable to Guide on the Side from LibGuides. Rita
suggests a pilot first.
 Lisa: suggests using google analytics to assess usage of the guide. Usability standards
could be applied to the guides to ensure that they meet standards. Lisa is also
interested in using Guide on the Side for usability testing of the new website, and it
could be used right now to do some testing.
6. Science Literacy Week Initiative- Richard Carter
a. Several U of T libraries are planning a science literacy week during the week of September
22-26. The theme is “wonder and scepticism.”
b. Easiest way to participate is by creating a book display. Gerstein has offered to loan out
books to libraries that may not have science books in their collection. Gerstein is considering
keeping the display up for the month. Several professors will also be giving lectures during
the week.
c. TPL is now involved. 25 branches will be participating.
d. The ON Science Center is getting involved and there is a meeting scheduled with them for
Friday June 20th at 10 am at the Science Centre. Contact Richard if interested in attending.
e. Robarts Library is participating with a science fiction book display.
7. Student Engagement Librarian Update- Heather Buchansky
a. Blackboard FIXIT Update
 A working group was formed in February to look at the FIXIT tool in Blackboard that
lets librarians customize course sites.
 A survey was conducted as part of the redesign to find out what user expectations
are when they enter the area.
 Other libraries were looked at to see where they have their library resources section
in their CMS to inform the redesign.
 ITS will be working on the revised version of FIXIT based on the feedback from users.
 Heather will continue to provide updates through ILU meetings, RS meetings and
listservs and will present the version once there is an updated beta version.
b. UTL Social Media Listserv—If you did not sign up originally and are not on the list and would
like to be, email Heather to be added to the list.
8. Other business:
a. Update from Faculty and Student Engagement office- Rita Vine
 Liaison librarian focus groups have taken place.
 If you were unable to attend, you can still provide direct feedback to the facilitator.
 Email Rita before Friday and she will put you in touch with the facilitator.
 Report based on the results of the focus group to hopefully be completed by the
end of the month.
 Next step will be an external review that is tentatively to be conducted by early fall.
b. CAPAL (Canadian Association for Professional Academic Librarians)- Suzanne Meyers Sawa
 CAPAL had its inaugural conference “Shifting Landscapes: Exploring the Boundaries
of Academic Librarianship,” held at the Congress of the Humanities and Social
Sciences at Brock University, May 25-26, 2014. Dale Askey was a key note speaker.
 Membership is not expensive.
 Information on joining can be found here: http://capal.wildapricot.org/
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June 11 - University of Toronto Libraries