Category Archives: LIS Staff Interest

Microsoft to end technical support for Windows XP and Microsoft Office 2003

Microsoft will end support for the Windows XP operating system and Microsoft Office 2003 software on April 8.  Microsoft will no longer release security updates or provide technical support for either product after this date.

Both Windows XP and Office 2003 will continue to function, but computers running either product will become increasingly vulnerable to malware and other forms of cyber-attack.

Due to the risk these vulnerabilities create, the Information Security group considers it necessary that Middlebury College students, faculty and staff have an upgrade to better protect personal and College data.

If you are not sure whether you are using Windows XP, Microsoft has created an easy-to-use website you can use to help at http://amirunningxp.com.

If you have a College-owned device that is running Windows XP, please contact the helpdesk at helpdesk@middlebury.edu, or create a ticket at  https://webhelpdesk.middlebury.edu/ to discuss the best course of action. The Technology Helpdesk has already begun the process of migrating all College-owned computers to Windows 7.

Students, faculty, and staff with personal computers running Windows XP will need to upgrade their computer operating system to be able to connect to the Middlebury network or VPN at some point in the future, so please take action as soon as possible.

For questions or assistance, contact the Helpdesk at X2200 or visit https://webhelpdesk.middlebury.edu/ to create an online ticket.

Environment and Agriculture – Taylor and Francis journal collection (trial through April 30)

Because Middlebury was ranked by Sierra Magazine as one of the “Cool Schools,” Taylor & Francis is graciously providing us with free access to the 212 journals in their Environment and Agriculture Collection.

Since there isn’t a specific page or website for these journals, after the trial we will see whether the journals in this collection were used sufficiently to justify a subscription. Find articles in these journals by searches in Summon, or searching the Taylor and Francis Online platform, or link to the journals from go/journals. A complete list of journal titles can be found here.

Go/middfiles II: Electric Boogaloo

This post was made in the fall, but technical issues delayed the implementation. We’re now ready to move forward.

Recently, we at the Helpdesk have spoken with many individuals who were disappointed with the interface and performance of NetStorage, but were unaware of other, usually superior ways to access their files.

In an effort to improve awareness, and in consultation with Central Systems and Network Services, we will be changing the go/middfiles shortcut, currently pointed directly to Netstorage, to lead to our main documentation about Middfiles. Using this documentation, users should be able to quickly connect using faster, better methods and be on their way.

We realize that this will be a significant change for some in our community, but we anticipate that over time, this will help people distinguish between Middfiles, the server system, and Netstorage, a web application that permits limited access to that system and is not intended for daily use. Netstorage will still be accessible via go/netstorage for edge cases like mobile devices that cannot use WebDAV.

The plan is to make the switch within the next few weeks. (EDIT: The changes have been made.) This post (available at go/middfileschange) will be updated with any new information.

As always, we invite your feedback via comments. For specific questions or issues, please make a ticket.

Internet Explorer 9 “update”

It turns out that updating from a very old web browser to a somewhat less old (yet still outdated) web browser is not necessarily as simple as it might be.  For more on this, read on* – but the short version of importance to know is:

Almost all public machines recently received an update from Internet Explorer version 8 to version 9.  Shortcuts, favorites, plugins and the like have been unaffected in all of our testing beforehand.  If you encounter problems or have questions, please pass them on.

 

*Last year INB was approved to run on Internet Explorer 9, and the group policy that blocks IE9 was removed.  As we noticed that computers still were not receiving IE 9 as an update, we found we had a registry entry to modify to undo the group policy block that had been applied.  As of that time, anyone running Microsoft Update should receive the IE9 update.

Our computer labs do not run the regular Microsoft Updates, though, since most users do not have administrative privileges on those computers.  Dell KACE applies critical Microsoft Updates on a regular basis – but IE9 is no longer in that update list (as it has been replaced by IE10 & IE11).  So, a manual installation has also been set up for this purpose.

NAACP Papers (trial ends April 30, 2014)

Middlebury College has free access through April 30th to the NAACP Papers section of the ProQuest History Vault. Browse-able and searchable by full-text, this collection includes documents from NAACP Conferences, legal pursuits, correspondence of all kinds, political activities and more.

Let us know what you think. Please email eaccess-admin@middlebury.edu or your liaison.

 

Friday Links – March 28, 2014

The faces of libraries change, but we still love them:
From Distant Admirers to Library Lovers–and beyond from Pew Research Internet Project

How MOOC Video Production Affects Student Engagement is a good read for anyone considering the use of video in an instructional context. For a more in depth analysis see Philip Guo’s published paper How Video Production Affects Student Engagement: An Empirical Study of MOOC Videos.

Manuscripts of Lichfield Cathedral - 3D renderings of sixteen pages of the 8th-century St Chad Gospels: https://lichfield.as.uky.edu/models/gallery

3D printing: 10 companies using it in ground-breaking ways – A growing number of innovative companies are experimenting with 3D printers, propelling the technology closer to the mainstream market.

March 2014 LIS Update

spring-flowers

We’ve posted the March 2014 Update from LIS.

As has become our custom, we write this update three times a year to provide ourselves and  rest of the community with a review of recent accomplishments, and more importantly, a roadmap for what to expect in the next three to six months. In addition, we make a nod to what we see as future issues and challenges further down the road.

Highlights since the last LIS Update include:

  • We continued to co-sponsor with CTLR the Academic Roundtable to encourage cross-campus conversation on important topics having to do with pedagogy, scholarly inquiry, and student learning.

  • We also continued our planning for the digital liberal arts initiative.

  • We continued to build out new library subject guides

  • In Special Collections, we supported students and faculty during Winter Term including A People’s History of Middlebury and Field House Museum, Adventure Writing, Space and Place in the Graphic Novel, and Matt Longman’s seminar on higher education.

  • We started to archive Ward Prize-winning student essay in our online archive

  • We made more progress in building out our new videoconferencing infrastructure and upgraded a number of classroom.

  • We continued to encourage our community to use Web Help Desk to request service from us.

  • We created a new guide to training options that include both on-line, off-site, and on campus options.

Key goals for the next three to six months include:

 

  • As part of the broader faculty governance conversations taking place on campus, we in turn are thinking about a wide range of governance questions. How do we ensure appropriate consultation with our students, faculty, and staff to ensure that our planning and prioritization is aligned with the needs of the community that we serve?

  • We are hiring! We are currently running searches for a director of academic technology, a senior systems administrator, a head of collections, a media services specialist, and a network security analyst.

  • We are discussing the technical and policy implications of converting our google apps from a pilot to a full-supported production system.

  • We will also be discussing the process for evaluating new options for our email/calendaring system, and updating our analysis of the privacy and security implications of moving certain services to the cloud.

  • We are busy planning for the move of the CSNS and Security work groups to Exchange Street, the move of the Enterprise Applications area to Painter House, and the re-use of space within the Davis Family Library to support the digital liberal arts initiative.

  • We are planning an upgrade to the latest version of Microsoft Exchange.

  • We’ll be rolling out a Network Access Control system that will allow us to more carefully control which devices can join our network.

  • We’ll be reconfiguring the wireless network to make it simpler and more secure. As part of that, we’ll be putting in place a guest registration system to allow for those who only need to use it on a temporary basis.

  • We will be working closely with many offices across campus to develop a multi-year plan for Nolij, the document imaging system that allows for offices to automate many of their paper-based processes.

  • We’ll be upgrading Drupal, the software that powers our website to the latest version.

  • We’re also working with the Office of Communications on rolling out a new design for the homepage and some of the key pages that are linked to from the home page.

  • We will have an external security review of our systems as part of a consortial effort to improve our security stance.

  • We will continue our efforts to study trends in the ways our public computer labs are used to help us plan for the future of providing computing resources to our students.

  • We will start a pilot project where you can check out a bicycle from the circulation desk.

  • We’re writing a Request for Proposal as part of our investigation into a new campus phone system.

While we pursue all of this, we will of course keep doing all of our regular stuff: prepping for Language Schools, upgrading classroom and lab technology, adding more wireless access points, updating various systems, teaching information literacy courses, buying and cataloging library materials, and distributing new computers.

One goal that we are very keen to pursue is to invent a fool-proof, indestructible stapler that no one can steal.

If you have questions, comments, or suggestions on any of this, please feel free to contact me (Mike Roy, mdroy@middlebury.edu) or do so on-line at http://sites.middlebury.edu/lis/2014/03/27/march-lis-update/  .

– mike