Category Archives: Blog Posts

Preview Site Now Open to Contributors!

Access to Preview is live! Please continue to check our KNOWN ISSUES page and our general Blog Posts (this page) for updates about development, design, and general site work. We recommend subscribing to this blog using the form at the very bottom of this page.  Working with the Preview Site Components and Information Architecture contains specific component information, instructions, and the architecture of the site.

Changes to the pages, site overall, and the structure of the DAM are still being made, e.g.:

  • CourseWorks guides are not yet available for editing.
  • There is no longer a "Link to Printer-Friendly" component.  Going forward, all pages will have a printer-friendly representation, which will be incorporated into the site template.  Existing links to printer-friendly pages will be automatically removed before we go live.
  • The DAM is continuing to be changed to reflect the new site architecture. We will continue to update you on specific content moves within the DAM.
  • The Social Networking Icons that link to location-specific Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and Blog sites (e.g., division blogs, individual libraries' blogs, location-specific Foursquare hotspots) are still being worked on and will be implemented site-wide before we go live.
  • CSS Style needs continue to be identified and are being worked on. 
  • Our iterative process means that changes to the structure, design, navigation, and content will be ongoing. Major changes will be highlighted and detailed on the blog and in email updates as needed.   

There is a new Information Architecture in place in the new site, and everything is in a new place. The Information Architecture mostly mirrors the menu and navigation structure of the site. Please attend a contributor session for more individualized assistance with finding your pages.

Log in to begin working. (PLEASE NOTE: Changes to the StaffWeb, BTS, and Alumni Friends sites should NOT be made in the Preview Environment.)

Attend an Open Contributor Session in 306

Several open contributor sessions in 306 Butler will be held between 13 May and 31 May as we prepare for the Libraries' Website Relaunch. These are for any Libraries' Website contributors. They will include a brief introduction to the new functionalities, templates, and responsive design features of the renovated website, followed by an open work period during which LDPD Web Team staff will be available to answer questions and provide help.


  • Tuesday, 14 May:  2 p.m. – 4 p.m. 
  • Wednesday, 15 May: 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Monday, 20 May: 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Tuesday, 21 May: 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Thursday, 23 May: 10 a.m. – 12 noon

If possible, please RSVP to the WCM Helpdesk,, with your first and second choice of session, so we know whether to schedule more and can prepare appropriate materials.  Drop-ins welcome!

More sessions will be scheduled if needed. Occupy the Relaunch! 

Redesign Update

We are in the process of scheduling usability testing times and are awaiting IRB approval before finalizing the schedule. Thanks to those who will be helping with that testing! 

Our launch date, June 3, is fast approaching! Our rollout schedule for contributors is below:

May 3 (Fri 5pm)

  • Last day contributors can edit the current website.

May 4 (Sat)

  • LibraryWeb content freeze (other than news & spotlight blog updates).  

May 6 – 10

  • Final site transformation is run.
  • Post-transformation content cleanup.

May 13 – 31

  • Contributors begin working in redesigned site.  We will host open sessions for contributors.

May 31 (Fri 5pm)

  • Preview site content freeze.

June 3 (Mon)


Libraries’ Website Preview

We are very excited to announce the CUL staff preview release of the redesigned Libraries' website, The site is being released for Libraries & Information Services staff to preview the new design, to see some of the new functionality we are building into the site, and to provide us with feedback. We are looking forward to continuing to improve the navigation and structure in response to feedback and usability testing over the next three months. In May staff will be able to begin editing, updating and changing their pages in the new site in preparation for the public launch in June.

The Preview Site is not a complete website and will continually be changed and updated as we work on incorporating new functionality and bring in new content. Please see our blog page listing known issues with the preview site

We welcome your feedback. Please use the form for Suggestions & Feedback (linked to from the Help menu in the upper right, from the Quicklinks drop-down in the upper left, and from the footer of every page) to let us know what you think! 

Please be aware that the Preview Site is not our fully functioning public website and is not ready to be shared publicly. 

Thank you for all of your support while we've been working toward this. We are excited to share it with you and get your feedback.  

Talking Points for Framing the Redesign

Many of the reasons that we are making these changes are outlined in this blog on the About and Design Principles tabs. This is a quick list that might be useful when explaining the reasons for the upcoming changes to our end users:

  • First and foremost, we are redesigning and improving the website in response to feedback from and information from our users. We have spent several years conducting assessments, and compiling and analyzing data to better understand those needs.
  • Users are beginning to work in multiple environments and on a variety of platforms, and our site needs to be responsive to those environments. We’ve redesigned the site so that it is responsive to the size of the screen you are viewing it on, and so that the navigation and functionality are not lost when you are using it via a touch-screen.
  • By updating the site to be responsive to multiple devices and to comply with new coding standards (HTML5 and CSS3 if you are interested in that sort of thing), we are able to make sure the site works in current browsers.
  • Using a more standard grid-based and user-centered design framework will allow us to respond to changing user needs more quickly and to improve the consistency of our site both internally and across browsers and devices.
  • The new design will allow us to more efficiently and effectively respond to user needs and feedback, and to more easily enhance the user experience. It will offer us more opportunities to effectively engage the university community.

Website and CLIOBeta Launch Update

As you are aware, we have postponed the relaunch of Library Web/CLIO from its initial proposed launch in mid-January.  Our new target launch date for both projects is early June. The new launch timeline allows the opportunity for for more adequate assessment of the new site structure, important technical improvements that result from assessment, communication and training opportunities for staff and faculty, and a marketing awareness campaign to highlight the site changes and encourage Columbia community input throughout the process. While CLIOBeta is, and will continue to be available for testing and use, you will receive communication about the Library Web preview site early next week. 

A detailed Assessment & Communications plan provides more details about the scope and phases of the plan. We have also provided an overall timeline for the relaunch on the blog and as a PDF.

Implementation Timeline Updated January 2013

New Libraries' Website Implementation Timetable
Dec. 26 – Jan. 24:  The Web Design Team will be implementing the new site design in the web content management system, migrating the content into the new site, and both reviewing the pages and tweaking the transformation processes.

Jan. 31:  Beta launch of new site to Libraries and Information Services' Staff.  Feedback.  Feedback mechanisms will be provided.  Please help us test the site!    

Feb. 15:  User testing begins

Content Changes in Current Libraries' Website
No content freeze at this time. 

The public launch and content editing timeline are still being determined.

Join Us this Week at the Staff Forum and Staff Session

We will be giving an overview of the Libraries Website Redesign Project at this week's Staff Forum: Tuesday, 13 November. Session 1 is at 10:30 and Session 2 is at 2:30.  

Also, please join us from 2:30 – 3:30 on Friday, 16 November, in 203 Butler for a more in-depth look at the Libraries' Website Redesign Project. 

The Redesign Process

The Redesign Team is the group that is overseeing the Libraries' Website Redesign project. We began meeting in 2010 (wow!) to determine the scope, goals, vision, and shape of the project, and to define the process(es) we would use to govern the redesign project. The team has also included, and benefited from, Jen Rutner (our former Assessment Librarian) and Emily Donahue (our former Marketing Coordinator). Our overarching goal is to have a responsive, user-driven site that is touch-screen friendly, follows basic usability and UX principles, and is flexible enough to allow us to respond to evolving technologies, needs, and expectations. Information about our design principles, our timeline, and a description of the redesign working group are all available here. We will continue to update the milestones and timeline as we progress. There will also be announcements posted here about usability testing, feedback mechanisms, and information sessions about the redesign. There will be opportunities for staff to see our progress and initial designs as part of our information sessions. We will share the new design internally by 15 November 2012.