Social Sciences Advisory Group – Notes from March 21, 2012 Mtg.

Attending:  Shel Sax, Brenda Ellis, Bert Johnson, Allison Stanger, Ellen Oxfeld, David Stoll, Steve Bertolino, Terry Simpkins, Richard Jenkins, Carrie Macfarlane (notes), Rebekah Irwin.

– Moodle and Course Hub Review (Shel)
– Liaison program (Brenda &/or Shel or Carrie?)
– Help Desk Assessment (Shel)
– information literacy survey (Brenda)
– library collection development issues (Brenda)
– anything faculty want to raise

Purpose of meeting:  Get feedback from faculty about what needs are being met, and where we need to improve our services.  Also to get word out about what we’re working on.

Moodle and Course Hub Review (Shel)
Question about course hub:  How does link to e-res get added to course hub?  Reserves adds it.

Course Hub (

Overview:  Even if you do nothing, description and time shows up.  E-res link is added if you have e-res.  Can add additional resources.  Hub was created for the students, based on feedback.  Course sites can be on many different platforms.  Hub can bring them together for the student.

How broadly is this being used by faculty?  In fall 2011 (keep in mind, there was insufficient time for faculty to make transition from Segue to new platforms), there were 599 sites:  112 had e-res, 135 used moodle, 29 used wordpress, 129 uploaded syllabus.

·     All 3 faculty in attendance are using the hub.
·     Useful?  No students have asked for syllabus!
·    One hangup:  Wanted to upload a document to supplement the syllabus (eg, a writing prompt), but course hub does not allow this.  Reason:  We wanted to avoid creating another Segue.
·     Another issue:  Wanted to upload PowerPoints.  Alternative:  classes folder (eg, handouts folder or public_html folder), Moodle, e-res.  Just have to get used to the idea that the course hub just directs students to material in other places; it doesn’t house all materials.
·     One faculty member is tweeting, would like to stream tweets to hub, but can’t set hub to display anRSS feed; hub will only link to Twitter page.  Can’t seem to display RSS feed in moodle either.  WordPress will allow though.
·     Suggestion:  Could create a Facebook group.  But do students think this is a good idea?  In some cases, students have created the group for a class.

Liaison Program
Going well.  It’s so easy to get information; seamless; we wouldn’t know how much work you’re doing to keep us connected til you’re out.  Kudos to Kellam, she’s great.

Communication via email good, sending smaller targeted messages rather than one large update is preferred.

Comment:  Need to find a better way to deal with assignment submission.  Right now, using email.

Suggestion:  Could use the classes folder on middfiles.  Or could use Moodle, which allows you to respond.

Question:  When to do Moodle workshop?  Right after classes end (Senior Week), with lunch.  Late August?  Perhaps not, many faculty not back on campus yet.

Comment:  Faculty miss having students do screenings.  Some faculty don’t live near campus.  Question:  What service would faculty be more willing to give up?  Can’t think of anything.  Faculty understand that cutbacks hit LIS hard and feel like this is the “lifeblood” of the campus and shouldn’t have been cut.

Helpdesk Discussion:
·     Most would say they’ve received excellent help.  There are great people working in the helpdesk.
·     Feeling that helpdesk is understaffed, people are stretched thin.
·     Walk-in is closed at the middle of the day (lunch).
·     One recent issue:  Library printer was printing jobs that weren’t released from print release station.
·     Just get the sense that we’re overworked, spread thin, since the budget cuts.  Numbers went from (~100) to (~80).
·     Loaner laptops don’t have printer drivers installed on them.  (Matters because when faculty laptop fails, they use a loaner.)
·     When a person experiences a failure, they avoid the service in the future.  For example, one prof had a laptop failure and it took a long time to get it, so he bought his own.
·     Network in this building seems “wacky.”  Recent?  Yes.  One potential reason is that Sophos roll-out has created some issues.  Another potential reason is firewall, our attempts at protection.
·     Some have reported missing email messages—sometimes message isn’t received here, sometimes message isn’t sent out.  Email will go to gmail but not Midd email. Not in junk mail folder.  Can add a person to a “Safe sender” list (in Outlook 2007:  Actions>Junk email>Add to safe senders list…).
·     Question:  What is the upgrade schedule?  Every 4 years. People will be contacted.  Can check status by filling out form at

 Information Literacy Survey
We performed a baseline assessment of research and technology skills of first-year students this fall.  Brenda shared the summary report.  Later, we’ll be able to compare our students with students at other schools.  If you read nothing else, read the last page.

Some of the findings:  Students don’t know when to cite.  Students don’t know what “scholarly” means.  Students don’t know where to go for help; they’re used to going to their teachers but don’t know they can get help from a librarian (they more often go to friends and parents).  We’ll share with all faculty.

Library collection development
Rebekah Irwin, Head of Collections and Digital Initiatives introduced herself.

go/requests:  Easy way to make purchase requests.

News:  If you want a new journal subscription, you may request through the go/requests form.  The one-for-one policy no longer applies; we no longer need to drop a subscription to add a subscription.  We’re more cautious in making decisions about journal subscriptions since they are an ongoing expense, but we now can consider them throughout the year and we can add a title even if we don’t cancel a title.  Please do request journal subscriptions if you see a need.

Planning to do a journal subscription review for each department in the next 1-2 years.

Discussion:  Can we revisit decisions about purchases?  For example, our China Data Online subscription doesn’t include data from the local level (it’s expensive).


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