We’ve launched a one-question survey on the portal ( http://portal.middlebury.edu ) to help figure out what needs doing in order to improve it. The survey is at go/portaleval. We’re planning to launch a re-design contest that will be informed by what we learn.
We’ve just launched an on-line discussion board at http://go.middlebury.edu/discuss . The goal of this project is to find out whether or not an on-line forum will meet a need on campus that is presently not being met by Facebook, Midd Confessional, and Twitter on the one hand, and MiddNotes, the Campus Events Calendar, and the Portal on the other.
The discussion board is a very simple utility where you can post a topic, respond to a topic, and respond to a response. You can add profile information about yourself, including an image, and links to your on-line persona. We’ve created a thread to discuss the discussion board, and hope that students will take time to let us know whether or not this effort will address some of the gaps they have described in the communication platforms currently on offer at the College.
An FAQ on the details of how the forum works is available for those who want to learn more about how to post.
As a follow-up to this week’s DISC workshop, here are some links that Sheila Andrus has collected from the Manager’s Tools website to help us delve further into how DISC can be useful in the workplace.
How to use DISC to be Effective Everyday http://www.manager-tools.com/docs/BeEffectiveWithDISC.pdf
There are several podcast resources available to you to support your application of DiSC:
The ‘D’ in DiSC – http://www.manager-tools.com/2006/03/the-d-in-disc
The ‘i’ in DiSC – http://www.manager-tools.com/2006/04/the-i-in-disc
The ‘S’ in DiSC – http://www.manager-tools.com/2006/05/the-s-in-disc
The ‘C’ in DiSC – http://www.manager-tools.com/2006/06/the-c-in-disc
Improve Your Feedback with DiSC – http://www.manager-tools.com/2006/02/improve-your-feedback
Greetings in DiSC – http://www.manager-tools.com/2009/06/greetings-disc
Simple DiSC, Delegation, and Project Management, Part 1 – http://www.manager-tools.com/2009/06/simple-disc-delegation-and-project-management-part-1
Simple DiSC, Delegation, and Project Management, Part 2 – http://www.manager-tools.com/2009/06/simple-disc-delegation-and-project-management-part-2
To be a better communicator, you have to be willing to change. Here are four simple changes you can make:
High D: Smile and slow down
High I: Slow down and ask more questions (and listen to the answer!)
High S: Shorter sentences, less questions
High C: Smile more and choose to be effective rather than right
Each of these changes will reduce conflict and tension and will increase understanding (which is what communication is all about).
– The Manager Tools Team
This is a guest post from David Clark, Director of the Ilsley Public Library. I thought it particularly interesting that their circulation numbers were in fact significantly greater than our circulation numbers.
September 7, 2012
The other day a relative stranger, having learned that I was a librarian, announced with the certitude of the uninformed that, “Libraries aren’t really going to be around in another ten years, are they?”
It turned out that this fellow hadn’t been in a library for years and certainly not in ours. He only read magazines and big town newspapers whose declining subscription lists were accompanied by well publicized predictions regarding the imminent demise of the printed word. For him, this meant the demise of public libraries as well.
The fact is that Ilsley Public Library lent more materials this past fiscal year than it has in its 146 years of lending. In fiscal year that ended June 30, 184,010 items were loaned, 19% more than the previous year. Youth circulation now totals over 45% of total loans.
Overall, books accounted for 64% of our loans, movies 30%, and audiobooks 6%. The computer circulation system which we share with Middlebury College reports that Ilsley lent 57% of all the loans in the system and the College lent 43%.
75% of what is borrowed at the East Middlebury library of Sarah Partridge is borrowed by Middlebury/East Middlebury residents. 62% of the Ilsley’s loans are made to Middlebury/East Middlebury residents. Cornwall residents borrowed 7%, the next largest town use.
Last year we helped almost twice the number of folks with questions than in the previous fiscal year. Use of the library’s databases rose 56%. There was a significant increase in the number of people researching their families’ histories through AncestryLibrary.com which was started with a gift from our Friends.
The number of persons attending library programs inside the building was up 14%; outside the building 56%.
The library loaned free passes to museums and state parks 68 times.
12 % of readers used the self-check-out machine.
Interestingly, readers downloaded onto their personal reading devices almost as many books as were loaned through the East Middlebury library (2,070 and 2,139)
As of July 1, 2012 Ilsley had 4,688 members/card holders who were active borrowers, and177 graduates of Middlebury Union High School’s Class of 2012, 71%, had taken out memberships.
Since everyone is welcome into the building, with or without a membership, far more people than just members used a computer, attended a program, or read a newspaper. The number of people coming into the building rose 38% to 219,310.
Given rumors of our demise, you might well ask, “Well, why are things so great at the library these days?”
The answer lies in a dynamic community interested in the world, parents eager to introduce their children to the joy of reading, a stagnant national economy that encourages more people to borrow rather than buy, a terrific staff, and even the new bridge that makes the library and parking more accessible..
Yes, the world continues to change around us. Books will diminish as a percentage of public library collections. Reference books sitting on shelves are relicts of the past. Readers now borrow ebooks and audiobooks through the library’s website for their Nooks, iPads, and Kindles. Staff now help people create as well as research and copy. In other words these are great days for libraries. Boy, are they ever!
Last spring, we put in place regular optional all-LIS open meetings where we invite LIS staff members to join in a conversation on a topic that has the potential to have an impact on the work that they do in their area, or that is simply of general interest. In an effort to generate ideas for topics, we’ve set up a poll that allows you to both vote on topics that we think might be of interest, and to suggest new topics. That poll is at http://middleburylis.ideascale.com/a/ideafactory.do?id=20632&mode=top&discussionFilter=byids&discussionID=34954 .
Please take a moment to review the proposed topics, vote for topics you think would be good for us to discuss as a group, and propose a new topic.
On Wednesday October 10 from 4 PM to 5 PM EST, Alison Byerly will present lead a webinar on the topic of Evaluating Digital Scholarship. You can join us in Library 145 to watch the webinar together, or sign-up to watch it on your own computer by going to http://www.nitle.org/live/events/146-evaluating-digital-scholarship , where you will also find a full description of the topic.
A small group of us gathered last week to watch the NITLE webinar on Blended Learning in a Liberal Arts Setting http://www.nitle.org/live/events/142-blended-learning-in-a-liberal-arts-setting . The webinar was led by Dr. Jennifer Spohrer, Educational Technologist at Bryn Mawr College and highlighted the work she has been organizing as part of a grant funded by the Gates Foundation looking at how blended learning (a combination of on-line and face-to-face instruction) works at liberal arts colleges. Middlebury’s Jeanne Albert (Math) and Jeff Howarth (Geography) are both teaching courses that incorporate blended learning this semester and are receiving support for this effort from the Bryn Mawr grant.
You can see the slides from her talk at http://www.nitle.org/live/files/52-blended-learning-in-a-liberal-arts-setting
You can also watch a video recording of the webinar. To do that, you need to ask NITLE for access, which you can do via the form at http://www.nitle.org/NITLE_seminar_recording_request.php
The integration of on-line resources into face-to-face instruction is not particularly novel in 2012. What is novel is the thoughtful analysis of the costs and benefits of this approach, and the focus on measurable improvements in learning outcomes. Many of us wanted even more specific examples of how blended learning was incorporated into specific courses, and the sorts of gains enjoyed through this method. We are hoping that as the grant progresses that there will be further opportunities for us to learn more about what works (and what doesn’t) on campuses like ours.
Sunday’s convocation marked the beginning of the new academic year, and on Monday began the first classes for our over 600 new students and over 30 new faculty. With the rush of settling in now complete, I want to welcome our newest members of the Middlebury community, and at the same time, remind returning faculty and students of key guides to the major resources LIS makes available for our academic community.
One obvious place to start, for both faculty and students, is the Ten things students should know page, which describes the top services for students (labs, wireless, reference services, etc.) From this page, you can find links to the key resources that will allow you to make the most of the network and the library.
Both new and veteran faculty might also do well to review the page LIS4Faculty which describes many of the same resources, but from the perspective of a faculty member.
And for those who want to help shape our agenda for the year, we have two main advisory groups: the Student LIS Advisory Group and the Faculty LIS Advisory Group. These groups provide critical perspective for us as we navigate the complexities of bringing new technology and new forms of information to a campus already bursting at the seams with technology and information.
I wish you all the best as you begin your semester. If you have any questions, concerns, ideas, or thoughts about any and all things having to do with LIS, please feel free to contact me. I’m reachable via firstname.lastname@example.org .