RALC Outreach Committee Meeting 11/12/19, 10:00am – 11:00am

Members present:  Will Weaver (chair), Molli Gonzalez, Jen Thomas, Dora Byrd Rowe, Kyle Binaxas (Web User Group), Andy Morton (Web User Group), Todd Easter (Web User Group)

Archived online Zoom meeting can be accessed here: https://vccs.zoom.us/recording/share/u-pZBuCiIAEsCS8AFcIZ_SyECoL7PvR56UadiuGd-yewIumekTziMw?startTime=1573570637000


Background info:

  • Reviewed Outreach Committee task of redesigning website
  • Flaws of Current site
    • Spread over 3 different formats:  Reynolds hosted server, libguides, and Google Docs.
    • Dated logo and design
    • Not dynamic (no way to easily post or share news, events, etc.)
    • Centralized admin
    • Mission not clear
  • Proposed Hosting and URL for WordPress site:  Will initially proposed Namecheap which is only $30/yr and $13 for domain name.  Much better deal than wordpress.com ($113/yr) which upcharges you for plugins and other features that are included with Namecheap deal.
    • Andy Morton informed group that server space was already commissioned using UR’s instance of WordPress, hosted by Bluehost. Andy provided Will admin access in order to migrate free version already started to the UR site. Much preferred option since the hosting fee would be FREE to RALC; this option also includes the most customization/design flexibility.
    • Andy was able to secure the domain name ralclibraries.edu and is currently investigating how to activate with newly created site; will follow up with Will
      • This will probably incur an annual cost for RALC (Andy investigating cost)

Website tour (current active placeholder URL is now ralclibraries.urlibraries.org – will eventually be ralclibraries.edu):

  • Updated logo
  • Central feature being ability to quickly make posts, search posts, spotlight events/news, add committee minutes, etc.
  • Filtered categories (board meeting minutes, scholarship, etc.)
  • Board meetings:  Add 2017 – present; Rest can be found in archives page
  • Web User Group page:  Possibly add a dedicated page for Web User Group.
    • Detail the purpose of group;
    • links to WUG related news/events/posts
  • Contact Us form:  Can allow libraries to send us announcements, job opportunities, etc.  Can setup so a couple different users receive email when someone submits.
  • Archives consolidated
  • Discontinued? (still need to review)
    • Borrowing pass
    • Staff Development Exchange Program
    • InterInstitutional Loan Agreement
    • Library Circ policies
  • Social media:  Potential of creating a Twitter account?  If nothing else, can set it up so that it automatically posts when a post is added in WordPress.  The beauty of this is that it will tap into the large social media network that most RALC libraries (and beyond) already belong to.  Will add more exposure to RALC sponsored events and the RALC scholarship. Would recommend keeping it simple (limiting to only Twitter). Don’t want it to become too stale, or require too much work for upkeep
    • Will is going to research setting up Twitter account for RALC
  • Listserv:  Would we want to continue to use? Or, just rely on people to follow WordPress site? Or, maintain both.  If we want to continue to use listserv (maintained by VCU), we need to detail the process for getting added to the listserv on the website.  Can possibly discuss at January board meeting
  • Possibly put a preview link/coming soon link on current RALC site in lead up to January Board meeting
  • Have at least two admins for site; but Will volunteers to post minutes, events, etc. if someone forwards him the info.  Current admins set up in WordPress: Ashley Brewer, Todd Easter, Erin White, Andy Morton, Will Weaver

Open discussion

  • Goal is to share site with RALC board in January
  • Feedback on new site thus far positive and well received by Outreach Committee and WUG