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

Sunday morning maintenance

This Sunday morning between 7 and 10 am we will be performing some fine-tuning of our Internet gateway routers and firewalls that will include some Internet routing prioritization and optimization as well as some firewall configuration changes.  We do not expect any noticeable interruptions of services but are performing this during our maintenance window as a precaution.

100th Flanders Collection Cylinder Milestone!

The Northeast Document Conservation Center reports  that they’ve recorded one hundred of the two hundred and fifty cylinders in the Flanders Ballad Collection.  Quite a milestone!  See the recording system at work and listen to the hundredth cylinder in the NEDCC blog post here!  Take a look at some of the previous posts to learn more about this new sound scanning technology.

Irene Blog

Library hours for Spring Break

The libraries will have reduced hours for the week of Spring Break, March 21st-30th. During the week, we will be open from 9 am – 5 pm. In addition, the libraries will be closed Thursday, March 27th, for an LIS in-service day. Full hours can be found at go/hours.

NExpress downtime again tonight (Tuesday, 3/18/14)

The NExpress library system will be down after 10 pm EDT tonight for maintenance. The system will be unavailable for searching, requesting, and borrowing for approximately 3 hours. This is ONLY NExpress and does not affect regular library searching via Summon or MIDCAT, nor regular borrowing of materials at the circulation desk.

What’s New in Moodle 2.6

Please note we are currently on Moodle 2.5, this is all information about an upgrade that has just been made available to us.

Remote-Learner is hosting a webinar on Tuesday, March 25th, from 11:30am-12:30pm.

Webinar Registration

A small group from LIS will be attending the webinar together, please contact Joe Antonioli (jantonio@middlebury.edu) if you would like to join us.

Here are some of the items that will be presented:

  • New whole-course formatting options (eg. entire course design is forum-based)
  • Simplified password recovery process
  • Annotate uploaded .PDFs in-browser, with tick and cross stamps
  • Enhanced mark-up, feedback & grade-review/release options
  • Backup & restore courses larger than 4 GB
  • More responsive, flexible TinyMCE editor for multi-device design, readability
  • Better performance & functionality–faster, and uses fewer resources

This video is a quick overview of some of the usability and performance improvements:

and more on the pdf annotating:

Friday Links – March 14, 2014

9 Tips for Creating a Sense of Community for Distance Learners - The article provides is geared towards fully online courses, but it is also good advice for faculty wanting to created engagement in a hybrid course.

Memes, Genes and Evolution on Facebook - The way memes evolve on Facebook is startlingly similar to the way genes evolve on Earth, say researchers who have carried out the first large-scale study of memetic evolution.

Photos: 3D printers, a tour of the top models – The MakerBot Replicator Mini is the cheapest of the versions at $1,375. It’s designed for home use and only weighs 18 pounds. Download the designs on the tablet app, connect the Mini to a USB cable, and print. The machine is optimized for PLA filament.

Two Middlebury Grads Offer Software to Help You See in 3D – Shane Scranton and Nate Beatty are developing software for the Oculus Rift to connect architecture, design and 3D modeling into an immersive experience.

Seduction in the Poster Session – Plan, learn and whatever you do – don’t use Comic Sans! This article provides poster making tips from Kathryn Everson, a PhD Student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks & University of Alaska Museum. Adobe InDesign and Illustrator are highlighted as two of the best tools to use for poster production and (GOOD NEWS!) these are both available at Middlebury in the Wilson Media Lab!

Five tips for creating a successful presentation with an iPad - connection and swapping between applications are just two of the considerations in this short list of recommendations.