The University Library’s internal web site, SourceWeb, has received external validation in the form of a prestigious national award.
The Library Web Team responsible for SourceWeb has been awarded the Canadian Library Association (CLA)/Information Today Award for Innovative Technology. This award recognizes a member or members of the CLA for the “innovative use and application of technology in a Canadian library setting.”
The honour came as a surprise to Web Team Coordinator Rae Hazelwood and the rest of the Web Team – Technical Specialists Jake Cameron and Allan Gergel and Library Operations Specialists Lorainne Chandler and Joanne Overn – who were not aware that Librarian Leona Jacobs had nominated them.
“I’m doubly proud to have received this type of support from a colleague and national recognition of the Web Team and the Library’s success with a long-standing project,” says Hazelwood.
Jacobs says that describing SourceWeb as an “intranet” does not sufficiently capture the functionality and support that it provides.
“Rae and the Web Team have created a web infrastructure that interacts with the public web site and other systems across campus. The biggest benefit of SourceWeb is having access to all of this functionality and relevant information through one interface,” says Jacobs.
When librarians and staff log-in, the menus and site content are customized according to their operational groups and the service points they work at, such as the General Services and Information Services Desks.
“SourceWeb provides access to the tools librarians and staff need to do their jobs from any computer with Internet access. The flexibility is important to the staff and librarians when they are helping patrons at the service points, teaching courses or working from home,” says Gergel.
The Web Team has developed SourceWeb in cooperation with all of the Library personnel. “This site would not be a success if we had not consulted everyone who uses it,” says Hazelwood.
SourceWeb is a technical solution that requires very little technical know-how to use. For example, its content management system allows staff to produce and edit internal and external web pages without using HTML.
“We’ve tried to put as much of the content in the hands of the content experts as we could by allowing librarians and staff to update their own web pages,” says Gergel. “For example, librarians can use SourceWeb to create and edit online class guides and subject resource guides.”
Overn is responsible for the high-traffic Indexes/Databases listing on the Library web site, and she works with Chandler to maintain content on numerous other internal and external pages. Maintaining large volumes of content will always be a challenge, but SourceWeb’s editing tools simplify the process.
“We regularly use the keyword search to identify pages that need updating. It’s important for the information to be accurate for patrons and the librarians and staff who assist them,” says Overn.
Cameron uses SourceWeb every day as he works to ensure that it is fully integrated with the Tech911 technical support system. “Staff and librarians at the service points can use
SourceWeb to quickly identify problems with the public workstations or report technical problems that arise,” says Cameron.
SourceWeb is still a work in progress that continues to be updated to meet the ongoing needs of the librarians, staff and, ultimately, the patrons they serve.
“Users do not know about SourceWeb, but they benefit from the increased efficiency and effectiveness it allows for at the service points and the accurate content available to them online,” says Jacobs.
For more information on the University Library, visit www.ulethbridge.ca/lib.
Straight From the Source
The Library’s SourceWeb intranet has evolved over the past seven years from an online procedures manual to an essential administrative, operational and communications resource that encompasses such tools as:
• Easy-to-use templates for creating, publishing and editing both internal and public web pages
• The Tech911 technical support system for librarians and library staff to submit help requests and quickly identify problems with public workstations
• The ability to post notices to SourceWeb’s main page and/or e-mail relevant staff
• A keyword-searchable online procedures manual
• A keyword-searchable central repository for Library committee minutes and various project documentation
• An absence reporting system for staff to request, approve and track absences
U of L Communications and Public Relations Contact:
Communications and PR Officer (403) 382-7173