Tag Archives: May 8 2009

LIS Staff Art Exhibit June 8 – 22

Submitted by Elin Waagen

Calling all LIS staff artists!

The LIS Staff Arts and Crafts exhibit has been scheduled in the Main Library Atrium for June 8 – 22. Submissions are trickling in – please let me know as soon as possible if you would be interested in displaying your work.
Elin – waagen@middlebury.edu X 2393

NExpress Enhancements

Submitted by Elin Waagen

In collaboration with NExpress partner libraries, LIS has recently implemented a couple of very nice enhancements to the NExpress service we offer.
NExpress now offers a third renewal to accommodate research needs.
Midd now loans out DVD’s from the Browsing Collection – and we can now request DVD’s from NExpress partner libraries.
Books – 28 day loan
DVD’s – 7 day loan

Pass the Word!
Midd staff, faculty and students who will be living or traveling near our NExpress partner libraries during the summer can borrow directly from them – Colby, Bates, Bowdoin, Northeastern, Williams and Wellesley – with their Midd ID.

Goals and Projects: What’s the difference?

Submitted by Mike Roy

In the upcoming months, I am planning on working with Chris Norris to develop a project directory for all of LIS that will allow us to present to ourselves and our constituents an overview of all of the projects that we are working on. In addition, I am also keen to see us improve upon our goal setting process from last year so that we also have a comprehensive list of all of our goals in a single place for us to see what we’ve committed to accomplishing in the upcoming year.

In thinking about how to approach these two activities, I’ve begun to wonder: is there a difference between a goal and a project? Are there projects that can’t be described in the language of goals? Are there goals that can’t be described in the language of a project? It seems to me that they could sensibly be handled with a single list.

As I envision this list of our goals and projects would let us know:

  • the name of the goal or project
  • a description
  • the date it would begin
  • the date it would end
  • the people and resources involved in achieving it
  • who would benefit from it being completed

I’m interested to hear from the rest of LIS about whether or not they think this is the right information to keep track of, what differences they see between goals and projects, and what we can do to optimize the benefit of this, and minimize the cost (time and energy) of maintaining such lists.

Have a question for LIS? Text Us!

Submitted by Brenda Ellis

If you are based in the main library, you may have noticed signs advertising this new service (I’m campus mailing color signs to the branches today).  A company called Mosio offers a “text a librarian” service but we’re not calling it that but instead are using it for LIS in general.  Our users can use a cell phone to anonomously text a message to the number 66746 but they must start the message with the word midd (this gets the messsage to us and not some other library).  The message gets sent to a special webpage setup for us where we see the question and can respond backto their phone using our computers rather than a phone ourselves.  Our responses are limited to 320 characters.  Librarians are monitoring this for now and if a message comes in for another area of LIS, we can forward the message or act as intermediaries.  A few people at the helpdesk (Shawn and the helpdesk students) and circ desk (Elin) have seen the system and I am happy to train anyone else who’d like to participate.  We have this service free for a year, so we are trying it out to see how our users like it.  If you have questions, just ask me.

Area Directors Notes from April 30, 2009

Present: Mary Backus, Doreen Bernier, Tom Cutter, Carol Peddie, Mike Roy, Shel Sax, Terry Simpkins
Guest: Chris Norris1. Google applications for education – Chris Norris discussed Google applications for education, a collection of widgets and appliances provided by Google for free to higher ed. institutions.  A number of other schools are currently using Google apps, and most appear pleased with the service; there are currently about 90 people at Middlebury using some element of this, which actually complicates matters from a testing and development standpoint. 

We also spent considerable time talking specifically about migrating student (only) email from Exchange to Gmail, and talking about various scenarios by which this might be accomplished.

Other features of the package include:

*       Customizable home pages
*       Calendaring
*       Document storage and collaboration
*       Website creation
*       Online chat.

Currently, we have done some preliminary testing on the migration of mail and other functionality. We also reviewed and edited the Google contract and returned it to Google for review.  The ADs expressed interested in seeing the contract when it is returned.  At this point we should be ready to move to the next phase of technical issues, but there are policy implications that need more discussion: support, administration of it, privacy, etc. On the last issue, the instance for higher ed partners is somewhat different than for public Gmail in that there is no advertising or data mining, and so is a presumably more secure environment.  But Google may reserve the right to change this unilaterally, so that needs investigation as well.

Other issues to consider:

*       We could enable dual email delivery as long as single sign-on is in place.
*       Should we focus on new student accounts with Gmail and worry about everyone else at a later date?
*       Concern about the calendaring piece on campus; how would we synchronize Google and Outlook calendars?
*       We need to develop strategies for single sign-on programming, tech support and documentation, as well as email migration tools.

Timing the potential migration of student email was also a discussed at length.  Several folks expressed concern that we don’t have the capacity to do this for fall semester, and there was some sentiment to wait until December to allow us time to create a responsible a project plan and prepare.

Action item: Create project team with the charge of investigating these issues, including timing, in a responsible fashion.  Project Team: Chris/Tom (one would be project manager), Mark Pyfrom, Alex Chapin, Adam Franco, Jim Beauchemin, Joe Antonioli, Rick James.

2. Goals – ADs agreed to review and update 0809 Goals in Google Docs. This document will help to create the LIS Annual report.  Mike would like to share goals info with FLAC

3. End of year report – Mike is shooting for a completion date of July 1, 4–5 pages long.  Auditors noted that we did not have a report for last year.  Much hanging of heads and looking abashed.

4. NITLE membership + DSpace annual fee – In our ongoing efforts to reduce spending, we wondered whether the NITLE/DSpace expense was useful and whether or not we should consider alternatives, perhaps support for this functionality in Drupal.  No resolution thus far.

5. Tech Fair – Support considerations, preparations & requirements.  – Shel will talk to Mary and Jeff after meeting – June 4th event date – requiring 15 computer stations

6. Changes to admin org structure for college – Mike will still be reporting to Tim and the administrative change should not have much impact on our organization

7. Idea: technology resource committee (like SRC or space committee) – Mike proposed establishing a committee to assist with major programming decisions.  Attendees will most likely be from the College Administration.

8. Budget meeting discussion – Comptroller’s Office would like to model for budget reductions ranging from 2-20%.  We all wept and gnashed our teeth at the prospect of a 20% cut.  Area budgets need to be reviewed again for the upcoming AD retreat on 5/15.

9. Academic Advisory Groups – We talked about defining mutual expectations regarding issues that surface in the Academic Advisory group meetings.  Items coming out of these meetings imply, at a minimum, consideration of the issue by LIS even if outright resolution is not feasible.  Since Shel attends all of these meetings, he agreed to bring concerns to ADs for discussion.