Submitted by Adam Dobucki
The team that supports computer labs across campus, which includes Brian Foley, the Computing Lab Manager, and the open position left by Sasha Huntley’s departure, has transitioned from the Systems and Infrastructure Area to the User Services Area. This organizational shift is an effort to strengthen Library and Information Services support of public computers, computing labs, and classrooms. We appreciate your assistance as we move forward with this staffing change.
On Wed., September 3rd the Main Library will be transformed into an Orientation Information Center for incoming students and their families. Offices from across campus that provide student services will have information tables set up in the Atrium, along with some local organizations. Several local banks will have representatives in the Harman Periodicals Reading Room so students can set up bank accounts.
The Information Center is part of a new approach to orientation. Instead of a welcome center being set up at Kenyon, students will be welcomed at their individual commons offices. All the campus-wide offices that would have been in a central welcome center will be at the Information Center in the Main Lib. LIS is fortunate to be hosting this Info Center because it gives us a chance to also feature our services. For more information contact Joseph Watson.
For an article publicizing orientation see http://www.middlebury.edu/about/pubaff/news_releases/2008/pubaff_633543214388984769.htm
And for the current schedule see http://www.middlebury.edu/NR/rdonlyres/62A86658-2DDF-4421-896B-9F5DB9C4A927/0/orientation_schedule_fall_2008.pdf
Submitted by Howie McCausland
Technicians from BTS worked all weekend rebuilding the water-damaged fiberoptic infrastructure in the Sunderland basement wirecloset. Service was restored to Sunderland, the ILC computer labs, and Johnson by midday Sunday; service was restored to Wright Theatre early Monday morning. All damaged fibers were reterminated, with patch panels mounted in a new location where they will no longer be subject to dripping water laden with caustic chemicals.
Before (first photo) and After (second photo)
(Behind the new rack, you can see the rust stains left on the wall from the old corroding boxes and white streaks where alkali-laden water has run down the wall.)
We also used this time to replace and upgrade the ethernet switches serving Sunderland, and to improve the fiber cabling used by Media Services for video and TV feeds from the Sunderland satellite farm.
(We hope in the near future to do a similar “extreme makeover” to the network gear serving Proctor. The situation there isn’t quite so dire, but the extensive revovations offer us the opportunity to relocate the network gear away from the heat and humidity of the current mechanical room.)
Submitted by Rick James
Recently we’ve been moving physical servers from Voter to Carr Hall. This is because we have exhausted our battery backup units in Voter and need to reduce the load to prepare for the arrival of new storage arrays. In all of our computer rooms (Voter -2, Library, and Carr) we have Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS’s) that provide power in the event of a utility outage. The UPS provides power until the computer room generator starts and begins supplying electricity. This entire sequence takes about 10 seconds from start to finish. The current UPS units were installed about 12 years ago and have been very reliable. As we have added new servers and network equipment, the load has steadily increased. The latest generation of servers consume 3-4 times the power than the earlier generation servers did. More CPU’s, more memory, more network cards all add up.
Submitted by Mike Lynch
Thanks to Ian McBride for making it possible for us to add a Search Midcat box to the top of web pages on the LIS website. We will also be able to add a Search LIS box, but we are still working with Ian to determine exactly what that will search. Jeff Rehbach added the Search Midcat box to http://www.middlebury.edu/academics/lis/lib/. We are also testing a Search Metafind box.
Mike Lynch & Barbara Merz gave a training session to Andy Wentink, Danielle Rougeau, and Kristina Simmons on constructing custom queries in ContentDM. This should allow them to build a web page reflecting their archival organization scheme with search links to ContentDM.
We are experimenting with LibraryFind, an open source application which allows search across multiple sources. Although it’s not ready for public consumption just yet, we are making it available for testing by LIS staff at http://libraryfind.middlebury.edu/record/search. If you click on Advanced Search (http://libraryfind.middlebury.edu/record/advanced_search) you’ll see three choices: Digital & Print Undergraduate Theses, Images & Multimedia, and Middlebury College Abernethy Collections. The first choice searches all of the NITLE Dspace thesis collections, as well as the Special Collections thesis database on Concerto. The second searches 12 different collections, some in ContentDM and some in Concerto. The third searches the Abernethy Collections on ContentDM
When Tim Spears in his recent blog posting about what is a provost failed to mention LIS by name as part of his universe, I complained. And like any administrator worth his salt, he turned my complaint into an assignment for me to complete: write a guest blog entry that introduces his readership to LIS. I chose to write about an interesting conversation I had with a student at a lunch we had to meet some of the LIS students. (The post got picked up by MiddBlog, but attracted no comments, alas.) To continue that conversation in this space, I wonder what channels both formal and informal we have to make sure that our services stay aligned with evolving student needs and preferences.