Help in Using the Government Information Web Page Template


GITCO Home > Help With Loading and Altering the Government Information Web page Template

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The Government Information Web Page Template has been designed to help the librarian at a small- or medium-sized library quickly add a government information section to the library's Web page. With minimal alterations, this template can be added to your Web page to give you and your patrons easy access to publications of all levels of government. Links to key sources of government information have been selected, and each site is considered stable, which should reduce the amount of maintenance required to keep the page current. Each section contains approximately 5 key links. Sections included are:

  • Federal Government: General Information
  • Federal Government: Legislative and Regulatory Information
  • State Information
  • International and Foreign Information
  • Statistical Resources
  • Additional Resources

   

Included in this Readme File are instructions for:

Should you have questions or comments, you may contact the current editor of the Web Page Template and Help file: Beth Clausen

For assistance with the HTML coding, there are several good Internet sites that may be useful. Some of our favorite starting points include:

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A: Getting Started

NOTE: All of the commands given below are for PC-based systems. Macintosh system commands are noted in grey.

  1. First, create a folder and name it docpage.
  2. Next, save the file called govinfo to the docpage folder. To save, open the template in your Web browser by clicking on the link below:

    Government Information Web page Template

    Select Save As from the File menu on your browser; then be certain to save in the docpage folder as an HTML file. Name the file govinfo.htm.

  3. Next, save the three (3) graphic images contained in the page by pointing at each with your mouse, right click while pointing, select Save image as from the pop-up menu, then save in your docpage folder as a .gif file. The three images are the separating line (save as rwb-line.gif), the back arrow (save as back.gif), and the house at the bottom of the page (save as home.gif). [For Macintosh users: save the images by pointing at each with your mouse, and hold down the mouse button; select Save images from the pop-up menu]
  4. Now, you have the file with the HTML coding and the accompanying graphics saved and are ready to begin the alterations.
  5. Using an HTML editor can assist you with making alterations to the Web page. If you do not have an editor, Notepad may be used. With an editor or Notepad application, click on File--Open, and open govinfo.htm. If using Notepad, you will see the document with all the HTML coding. If you are using an HTML editor such as MS Frontpage, you will see the page as it will appear on the Web.  Here changes may be made in the coding if you wish to make alterations to the Web page.  If using an editor, follow the proper procedure for your specific software.
  6. Keep your Web browser open as you are working on your HTML coding. This allows you to open your HTML file in the Web browser and check your work for accuracy and to see how it displays.
  7. To quickly move back and forth between the document in the Web browser and the same document in the HTML editor, hold the alt key and press the tab key. [To toggle between applications on a Macintosh, use the Finder icon in the upper-right corner of the monitor and select either the editor or the browser as needed.] Remember to save your changes in the HTML editor and reload your document in the Web browser each time you wish to check your work.
  8. Repeat editing, saving, toggling, reloading, and viewing to achieve the results you want.

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B: Adding New Links

To add favorite or frequently used links to any of the lists of links, find the appropriate section for the new link. Insert a new line following this coding:

<li><a HREF=" the URL of the site">The Name of the site</a>

For example: To add a link to the Texas Legislature Online, type:

<li><a HREF="http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/">Texas Legislature Online</a>

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C: Adding Local Information

To add a section with links to local sites:

  1. Decide where in the list called Sections you want to insert Local Information. For example, if you wish Local Information to immediately follow State Information, after:

           <li><a HREF="#state">State Information </a><br>

    add the following line:

            <li><a HREF="#local">Local Information</a><br>
     

  2. Next, move through the file to the State Information section. It begins with the following coding:

           <a NAME="state">

    And ends with the coding:

           <a HREF="#contents">Return</a> to the Table of Contents
           <p></ul>
     

  3. Following the </ul>, insert the following coding:

    <img src = "rwb-line.gif"
    ALT="************************************************"
    width=100% height=8> <p>

    <a NAME="local">
    <h1><center>Local Information</center></h1>
    <ul>
    <li><a HREF=" the URL of the site">Name of the Site</a>
    <p>
    <img SRC="back.gif" ALT=" " width=24 height=24>
    <a HREF="#contents">Return</a> to the Table of Contents
    <p>
    </ul>

  4. Now, go back to the line that begins <li> and substitute the URL and the name of the site as instructed above. This line may be added as many times as you wish to add links for all of your local sites. Be certain to keep the added lines between the <ul> and the <p>.

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D: Adding Graphics and Colors

  1. Graphics may be copied from many other sites (be aware of possible copyright violation and out of courtesy, ask for permission to copy graphics from another site.). For example, if you want to add the Depository Library electronic seal to your page, go to any site that displays the seal, such as the University of North Texas Depository Library's Gateway to GPO Access, at:

           http://www.library.unt.edu/gpo/

    and right click with your mouse while the pointer is on the depository electronic seal. [Macintosh users see Section A for instructions on saving graphics.] A menu will open. Select Save As from the menu and save the file in your docpage folder. Name the file gposeal and be certain that you save the file as a .gif file.

  2. To add the graphic at the top left of the Web page title, locate the following coding very near the top in the file:

    <a NAME="top">
    <center>
    <table border=1 cellspacing=0 cellpadding=3 bgcolor="white">
    <tr ALIGN="center">
     

  3. Insert the following coding immediately following the <tr ALIGN="center">

    <td><img SRC="gposeal.gif" height=50 width=50 ALT="Government Printing Office Electronic Seal"></img></td>
     

  4. Other graphics may be downloaded and added to your page in the same manner. Images may be aligned left or right in addition to the ALIGN="center" as shown above. Width and height may be altered. Don't be afraid to experiment. The alternate ( alt) title is given for persons using a text browser. Many browsers used by persons with a visual impairment do not display graphics. Also, remember that adding graphics to the page does slow loading of the document in your browser, so moderation in the use of images is advised.
  5. For excellent information about graphics and FONT and background colors, see one of the following sites:

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E: Removing Template Sections

Your library may not need all the sections of the template. For example, your library may wish to remove the section entitled Statistical Resources. To remove a section of the template just follow the steps below.

  1. Go to the area of the file called Sections that is coded as:

    <a NAME="contents">
    <h2><center>Sections</center></h2>
     

  2. Delete the following line:

           <li><a HREF="#stats">Statistical Resources</a>
     

  3. Next, find the section of the file that begins

    <p>
    <a NAME="stats">
    <h1><center>Statistical Resources</center></h1>

    and ends

    <img src = "rwb-line.gif"
    ALT="***************************************************** width=100% height=8><p>

  4. Click and drag to block (highlight) this section and then delete it. Be careful that you stop highlighting at the first occurrence of <width=100% height=8> after the <a NAME="stats"> line or you will delete too much of the file. Save your work and view in your Web browser to be certain that you have deleted correctly.

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F: Adding Documents Librarianship Resources

To add a section with links to Documents Librarianship sites:

  1. Decide where in the list called Sections you want to insert Documents Librarianship Resources. For example, if you wish Documents Librarianship Resources to immediately follow State Information, after:

           <li><a HREF="#state">State Information </a><br>

    add the following line:

            <li><a HREF="#librar">Documents Librarianship
            Resources</a><br>

     

  2. Next, move through the file to the State Information section. It begins with the following coding:

           <a NAME="state">

    And ends with the coding:

           <a HREF="#contents">Return</a> to the Table of Contents
           <p></ul>
     

  3. Following the </ul>, insert the following coding:

    <img src = "rwb-line.gif"
    ALT="************************************************" width=100% height=8> <p>

    <a NAME="state">
    <h1><center>Documents Librarianship Resources</center></h1>
    <ul>
    <li><a HREF=" the URL of the site">Name of the Site</a>
    <p>
    <img SRC="back.gif" ALT=" " width=24 height=24>
    <a HREF="#contents">Return</a> to the Table of Contents
    <p>
    </ul>

    Now, go back to the line that begins <li> and substitute the URL and the name of the site as instructed above. This line may be added as many times as you wish to add links for all of your favorite sites. Be certain to keep the added lines between the <ul> and the <p>.

    Following are a few sites that contain excellent information for inclusion in such a section:

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G: Adding Annotations to Links

In order to include annotations underneath links on pages, use the following format to ensure that the lines are aligned correctly:

  1. Locate the link for which you want to include an annotation. For example, if you wish a description of the site to immediately follow the site link, after:

           <a HREF="http://www.name.of.the.site">Page Title</a><br>

    add the following characters to add one space:

            &nbsp

    An example of an annotation line would be:

            &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Site Description here <br>
     

  2. Toggle back and forth between the source of the page and your browser, saving, reloading, and checking the alignment until it meets your satisfaction.

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H: ADA Requirements

Your page should be accessible to persons with disabilities.   There are several Web sites that offer tips and suggestions for making your Web page accessible.  The W3C site listed below is considered to be an authoritative site with many resources. Also listed is a site that offers help with determining the accessibility of your page.

W3C Web Accessibility Initiative - offers guidelines for making Web pages accessible

Bobby - type in the URL of your page and Bobby will test it for ADA accessibility.

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I: Adding Requests for Comments

After preparing your page, be sure to provide patrons and visitors an opportunity to contact you for questions or comments. This is the only part of the government information page that must be edited before putting it on your Web server!   To customize this last part of the page follow these final steps.

  1. At the end of the template, you will see the coding:

    <p>

    <IMG SRC="home.gif" ALT="" HEIGHT=40 WIDTH=40 ALIGN=ABSCENTER> Return to the <A HREF="yourhome.html">Home Page</A>&npsb;

    <HR>

     

  2. To make this a link back to your library's home page, replace Home Page with the name of your library and replace "yourhome.html" with the URL of your library's home page.
  3. Also, at the end of the template, you will see the coding:

    <p>
    For comments or suggestions concerning this page, please contact
    <a HREF="mailto:yourid@your.domain"> Your Name</a>
    <p>
     

  4. To make this a link to you for comments or feedback, your e-mail address must be inserted in place of yourid@your.domain . For example, to insert an e-mail address such as jdoe@library.unt.edu for Jane Doe, type:

    <p> For comments or suggestions concerning this page, please contact <a HREF="mailto:jdoe@library.unt.edu" >Jane Doe</a><p>
     

  5. The text, "For comments or suggestions concerning this page, please contact," may also be changed to any statement that you prefer. For example, you may want to accept reference questions by e-mail. If so, the text could be changed to read " Submit your questions about government information to. . . ."
  6. Just below the the mailto command, you will see in the coding:

    Insert your Web address in place of the your.web.site.

  7. To add this page to your library's Web page, the whole folder docpage will need to be loaded and a link from the library's homepage to the government information page must be added by your Web Master.
  8. Enjoy editing and using your government information Web page!