What is a “release” of the CDL web site?

In an effort to provide predictable times for major changes, target publicity efforts, and manage task and resource planning, the CDL has established “releases” of the CDL web site twice a year, in January and July.  These dates were chosen so that there would be advance time for testing and revisions during periods when library staff are usually available, to coincide with breaks in the academic term, and to allow time for updating instructional and promotional materials.  If these time periods prove to be problematic, please let us know and we can consider other times during the academic year.

We have received a number of questions regarding what constitutes a “release”.  In general, releases will introduce significant new tools and services or major enhancements to existing functions.  We will continue to add content (including databases) as agreements are reached rather than waiting for release dates, although publicity efforts for releases may highlight recently added content.

Beginning with the July 1999 release, we will post plans for the release as soon as they have been determined on the web site in the libstaff System Services section (http://www.cdlib.org/libstaff/).  As the Tools and Services Working Group refines the process for reviewing and prioritizing functions, we expect to post more information on tools and services under consideration or in development as suggested by advice from that working group and others.

In keeping with the goal of establishing semi-annual releases of new features and enhancements to the CDL, the second release of this year is scheduled for July 7, 1999 and will include the following:

  • Collections and Services section will feature direct links to the main search tools, including the Melvyl Catalog, CDL-hosted databases, and the Online Archive of California’s search interface.
  • Search: The Search function for the Directory of Collections will add the ability to specify an exact title for more precise retrieval.  If this search produces no results, the user will be prompted to do a keyword search.  It will also be possible to select more than one type of format limit.
  • General Public Access: Directory entries for items available to the general public will be so indicated and highlighted in a different color.  A link to a pop-up help screen will explain in more detail what types of resources the general public may use, and why other resources are limited to UC users.
  • Go To It Now: The “Go to it now” button will actually do what it says and bypass the interim screen and provide a direct connection to resources, when the user’s IP address indicates access eligibility.
  • Directory Contents: Records for the approximately 1500 journal titles with ASCII text in MAGS, COMP, and ABI will be available.
  • Services: The Services page will be revamped to focus on function rather than the name of the service.  This structure will also allow the addition of comparable services in resources other than CDL-hosted databases in the future (e.g., to describe current awareness services available in various resources beyond the CDL’s own “Update” tool).  A section on Interlibrary Loan services for UC and non-UC users will be added.