This update from LIS covers work accomplished this summer and early fall, and projects out into work we will be doing in the later fall and early winter. For those not familiar with this report, it is designed both to capture the contributions that LIS has made in its efforts to support the information and technology needs of the College, and also to ensure that those who work within LIS and those who work closely with LIS are aware of current priorities and initiatives. Because of its goal to provide useful, detailed information for those of us deeply involved in this work, it is a long and somewhat technical document.
For those who may not have the interest or patience to work their way through the over twenty pages within this report, here are some highlights:
We’ve recently revised our strategic directions for LIS, and defined a set of overlapping issues that will help us in our efforts to evolve to meet the evolving needs of the College, and the fast-moving world of technology and information services. We are looking at how we support innovation, new models for access to resources, our approach to sourcing various core technologies, how we can support efforts to improve administrative efficiency, and ways to define quality and reliability in the face of growing demand on our resources. You can learn more about this at http://www.middlebury.edu/offices/technology/lis/about/strategic_directions_and_goals
We have been working closely with our colleagues at MIIS and with the new DC office to establish a new videconferencing system that significantly improves the quality and reliability of this service.
We’ve installed a new system called web help desk that provides our users with the ability to create and track their own tickets, makes the assignment of tickets to workgroups far more efficient, and provides easy access to solutions to common problems.
We migrated the last reports from our AS400 data system (the system that Banner replaced) and shut down that system forever.
In response to the growth in demand for ubiquitous and robust wireless services across campus, we added access points to locations on campus where there was not adequate service.
This fall we have been engaged in a planning effort with our colleagues from the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Research to establish new ways that we can work together to support faculty development in curricular technology, and to develop a plan for work in the digital liberal arts.
This list is just a sample of our many recently completed projects, and our current priorities. I invite you to read through the complete list. If you have any questions about any of this, feel free to contact me.
PS The graphic is from the Google Books Ngram Viewer, and shows the history of the use of the word Update over the last 500 years.
Thanks to the hard work of the LIS Education and Training team, LIS now offers a help gateway that collects great resources from all corners of our department and makes it easy for you to find what you need. You’re also quite likely to discover some new tools and ways to learn about technology and library resources along the way. Don’t take our word for it — visit go/lishelp and see for yourself. Here are just a few things you can do:
Search LIS web pages and wiki lore to get answers to your questions.
Submit a HelpDesk ticket to request assistance or search the FAQ database for answers.
Find who in LIS can help you.
Use quick links to access “how to” information tailored to different audiences.
Check systems status.
Learn how LIS can help you acquire more technology and library skills.
“DPLA Bookshelf lets the user scroll a visual representation of a bookshelf… When a user of the DPLA site searches for books, the results are displayed as books on a bookshelf; the shelf is shown as a vertical stack so that the titles and authors are more easily readable on their spines. The width of the book represents the actual height of the physical book, and its thickness represents its page count. The spine is colored with one of ten depths of blue to “heatmap” how relevant the work is to the reader’s search.” Follow the announcement link to learn more.
3D Printing is a hot topic, but have you heard of 3D scanning? Lucky for us – the Smithsonian has, and has been busy scanning several artifacts that you can now view online! Their 3D exploration tool is in Beta so they are looking for feedback and bug reports. Load time is a little slow – but it’s worth it! (Check out the Woolly Mammoth!)
Screen shot of Smithsonian X 3D of a Woolly Mammoth
Curious about how 3D scanning works? Check out the video below.
Instead of holding book sales to get rid of unwanted books, we’re now sending withdrawn books to Better World Books, a company that turns them into money for the good of humanity.
In recent years, the quality of our local book sales has been declining because we are receiving fewer large gifts of books than in the past. When we accepted large gifts in the past, we often sorted through them and added appropriate books, which was sometimes a small percentage of the total gift, and put the rest of the books into the book sale. Our book sales had interesting duplicate copies and fun books that wouldn’t be appropriate for an academic library. Without that influx of gift books, the local books sales just consist of withdrawn academic books that relatively few people are interested in purchasing. After all, the reason those books are being withdrawn from the library collection is because nobody is using them, so it’s not surprising that hundreds of those books were left over at the end of the last sale. (We couldn’t even give them away for free.)
Rather than sending them directly to recycling, we found the Better World Books library program. We ship our withdrawn books to them at no cost to us, they market them to a world-wide audience, and when they sell them, a percentage of the profit comes to us and a percentage goes to the BWB Literacy Partners. It’s a very efficient way to dispose of our withdrawn books while benefiting both Middlebury and the world beyond.
If we ever have a quantity of books that we think will be of interest to our local community, we’ll probably put them in a sale, but for now, no book sales are scheduled for the foreseeable future.
I’m overjoyed to share two recent staff promotions from the ranks of library collections and archives:
Arabella Holzapfel has taken on a newly expanded role as Electronic Resources Manager and Library Systems Specialist. In this role, Arabella has taken on more responsibilities managing the lifecycle of the Library’s collection of online journals and databases. In addition, she’ll be providing more assistance to Bryan Carson with behind-the-scenes support of library-related systems and infrastructure.
Danielle Rougeau has a new title too: Assistant Curator of Special Collections and College Archivist. Officially, Danielle is now the recognized subject expert of the College’s historical archives and has significant oversight of the collecting practices, organization, outreach to academic and administrative departments, and the long-term preservation of the College Archives collection.
Is your department head asking you to update the department’s web page? Does the thought of adding a sidebar make you call the Helpdesk? Fear not, join me for a Drupal Intro class. We’ll learn the basics of Drupal so you’ll be adding links, pictures, and a host of other cool things to your page the very next day. For you more advanced users who may be struggling with needs beyond the basics, join us for a work session. We’ll help you get the job done and you’ll leave with the “know how.” You can look for upcoming workshop dates at go/lisworkshops and sign up for the class that fits your needs. See you on the sidebar or maybe in a subpage.
This Sunday morning during our maintenance window we will be performing the following activities:
(1) Between 6:30 and 10:00 am EST we will apply a service pack to our Exchange cluster that provides email services for @middlebury.edu and @miis.edu. Due to the redundant configuration of our Exchange environment we do not expect there will be a service disruption. You may be asked to re-authenticate during or following this window the next time you connect with an outlook.
(2) Between 7:00 and 8:30 am EST we will be adjusting the configuration of Web Help Desk as recommended by the vendor to support the access of content on 3rd party systems. There will be a less than 10 minute period when Web Help Desk is unavailable.
(3) Between 7:00 and 9:00 am EST we will be upgrading components of our real audio/video server (muskrat), it’s content is accessible and served by CONTENTDM. There will be a less than 10 minute period when the associated digital content hosted on this system is unavailable.
(4) Between 7:00 and 9:00 am EST we will be upgrading components of our ERes Library system (bearcat). There will be a less than 10 minute service interruption of ERes.
(5) Between 8:00 and 10:00 am EST we will be upgrading papercut to v13.4 – there will be a less than 10 minute service interruption to the following printing related servers during this window:
Additionally there will be an approximately 10 minute interruption of Web Print services generally and approximately 30 minute interruption of printing services generally when the papercut database is upgraded. Additionally a number of printing stations (generally Kyocera-Mita) will require a hands-on visit, a software update with a restart that will take place during the later hour of our maintenance window.
We appreciate your patience as these essential maintenance activities are performed.
The Wilson Media Lab in the Library offers many multimedia tools that can be used to build infographics. Digital Media Tutors are available Sunday – Thursday from 1 pm – 1 am and on Fridays from 1 pm – 7 pm to assist users interested in using these tools.