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Online chat reference, events and more added to the library website in October 2012

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The new library website has been in place for over two months now, and the team has been busy receiving feedback, fixing bugs, adding new features, and planning ahead.  We have established a support contract with Chapter Three, the same firm that engineered the site initially, to provide us with a fixed number of support hours each month.  Within that allocation of support hours we first tackle critical bug fixes and then attempt to add new features to enable better service and to support content creators in their work.

October was an exciting and productive month as we added many new features that will make the site more dynamic and interactive. Major patron-facing enhancements to the site include:

  • Extensive integration of online chat throughout the site.  Online chat reference has always been available on the Ask Us page. Now individual librarians have the ability to make themselves available via chat on their People pages and Subject pages, and branches can offer branch-specific online chat to their patrons. For information on how to configure your personal or branch-specific chat service, email sul-libraryh3lp@lists.stanford.edu .
  • Events pages published and integrated with Stanford Events.  The new Events page displays any Library event published at events.stanford.edu. If you are interested in submitting events that will appear in the library events feed, please send us a note via the website feedback form.  
  • Staff Directory. By popular demand, a full staff directory is now available. You can search and filter by name, title or department.  The data in the directory comes directly from publicly visible contact information StanfordWho, and reflects staff privacy settings in StanfordYou

Enhancements supporting content creation include: 

  • Spell-check has been added to WYSIWYG for all content types. 
  • Guide authors can now add simple formatting (bold, italics, and hyperlinking) to the annotations field of SearchWorks items. 

In addition to these technical improvements, the Library Website Steering Group was assembled and held its first meeting.  This group will play a critical role in prioritizing future improvements to the site, and establishing policies and best practices. 

November and December hold promise for other new and exciting advances, including Department, Research Service and Special Project mini-sites. Stay tuned, and Happy Thanksgiving! 

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