Posts by Michael Roy


The future of scholarly communication

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

NITLE (and Ripton’s)’s Bryan Alexander has published a provocative piece in Educause Quarterly speculating on possible futures for scholarly communication on campus. It is relatively brief, and worth a read.

LIS Focus: Winter 2011

Categories: Midd Blogosphere
In order to ensure that LIS and the community we serve have a shared understanding of our priorities, we regularly publish a summary of what we are focusing on. The intent is not to capture everything that we are doing, but rather to highlight what we see as the most important projects, issues, and initiatives. We’ve organized it into four categories.

  1. Evaluations highlight pilot projects and other ways that we are exploring new ways of delivering service
  2. Services, infrastructure, programs highlight those projects that will have the most obvious and direct impact on the community.
  3. Strategic planning highlight efforts that are longer-term and more abstract.
  4. Organizational development and assessment highlights activities that look at our organizational structure, workflow, communications, and efforts to assess and improve them.

This is the fourth installment of this document; previous installments can be found at . Items new to the list are marked as new while items that have been removed from list are listed as such at the bottom of the document, as are items that we believe might make their way to the list in the future.

A complete list of all projects LIS is engaged in can be found at


  1. cloud-based collaboration We  continue to evaluate cloud-based online services offered by Google, Microsoft, Zoho and others that promote collaboration and information sharing. While vendor-hosted services offer the potential of reduced operating costs, there are security and privacy issues that arise when shifting institutional data from local systems to systems hosted by vendors, and these issues are being studied in detail.
  2. segue from segue We are evaluating three options for a system or set of connected systems to replace Segue. They are Sakai, Moodle, and Blackboard. Details at
  3. ebooks We are running a pilot project this spring to investigate the utility of providing our patrons with ebooks for reading on laptops.
  4. desktop virtualization We will continue our efforts to deploy thin-clients as replacements for desktop computers as a means of saving money, reducing our carbon foot-print, and lowering the management costs of maintaining the hundreds of computers we have on campus.
  5. document management system and workflow We are evaluating products that will allow offices to become nearly paperless through the use of on-line documents and workflows. The first office that will move to this will be the Admissions office, with a target of Fall 2011.
  6. portal evaluation With the one-year anniversary of the new website almost upon us, we are looking into what options exist for providing a customizable interface to various resources, and how much demand there might be for such a service. New

Services, infrastructure, programs

  1. wireless improvements and network upgrade We are continuing to work to improve the performance and reach of the wireless network, and to implement a new set of core network infrastructure.
  2. music library plan We are developing a plan for moving the music library into the main library as a means of consolidating collections and having more of our staff working in the same building. The move is scheduled to take place this Spring.
  3. information literacy plan As part of the reaccreditation process, we are looking at how we approach information and technical literacy and its integration into the curriculum, with an eye towards developing a proposal for how we can collaborate with faculty and others to achieve these goals.
  4. identity management As part of our overall efforts to have systems that provide access to our services based on roles within the College, we are developing a system that will allow this information to be stored in an ‘identity vault’ that our systems can check in order to decide what sort of access to provide to an individual.
  5. printer consolidation/management We are doing an inventory of printers and copiers on campus as part of a project to consolidate printers and copiers, with a goal to reduce the number of devices on our network to save money and to reduce our carbon footprint.
  6. next generation discovery tools We are implementing Summon, a tool that will improve access to scholarly materials that we license but are not easily found through our catalog interface. New

Strategic Planning

  1. multi-year budget for capital and operating budgets We are developing a multi-year budget to support our strategic plan and our on-going operational commitments. This budget links our capital and operating needs, and will ensure that we don’t take on projects for which we don’t have the necessary on-going financial resources to maintain. In addition, we are working with the budget office to create a  zero based budget for LIS.
  2. administrative systems roadmap We have created a ‘roadmap’ for our administrative systems to allow us to plan and budget for the next two or three years. It lays out both the maintenance work that we do regularly, and also new initiatives that we might pursue.
  3. business continuity & disaster recovery planning We are continuing to develop a formalized information systems disaster recovery plan, including the documentation of critical business processes and policies, and associated recovery procedures and responsibilities.

Organizational Development and Assessment

  1. reaccreditation As part of the campus-wide reaccreditation committee, we are preparing a section of the reaccreditation report having to do with library and technology resources.
  2. communications We are looking at how we communicate both internally within LIS and to the rest of the Middlebury community with an eye towards improving the way we inform ourselves and our constituents about what is going on.
  3. assessment We are establishing a schedule for a regular assessment of our major services. The first set of services to be assessed will be desktop support, interlibrary loan, and backup/storage.
  4. next generation staffing and services Having completed our staffing plan and begun the process of hiring new staff, we now need to focus our attention on the training and orientation of our newest members of LIS, planning for the professional development needs of all of our staff as they transition to new roles and responsibilities and new support needs, and revisiting our ‘not to do’ list process to make sure that the decisions we made remain the right decisions.
  5. assessment of integration of technology and library services with MIIS In collaboration with the Monterey Institute, we will document the systems that we support for MIIS, the systems that MIIS continues to operate on their own, the policies, procedures, and service level agreements that exist, and the policies, procedures, and service level agreements that need to be developed. We will also work to develop processes for planning and budgeting for the evolution of our systems.

Items Removed From This List (And Why We Removed Them)

  1. finalizing and tracking goals As part of our overall strategic planning process, we are developing a set of short-term (18 months) goals; this activity will be completed in time for the development of the FY11-12 budget.
    We have established goals for the next 18 months.
  2. prioritization process We are looking at the process that we use within LIS to set priorities at both a micro and macro level as a means of making sure that we have in place effective governance structures, and that our internal prioritization maps onto the priorities of the College.
    We will be enacting the recommendations of our project management taskforce in the coming months.
  3. strategic plan website We are posting to the web our strategic planning process that lists out our priorities, goals, projects, and our progress in achieving these results. See
    With the exception of a few gaps, this site is now complete.

On the Horizon

Here are items that we anticipate making their way to this list in the coming months; we welcome suggestions about what we might include on this list, what shouldn’t be on this list, and which items on this list should make their way to our focus list.

  1. Communications Plan We need to evaluate the effectiveness of the various ways that we communicate internally within LIS and to the rest of the Middlebury community, and if we discover gaps or issues, make improvements.
  2. R&D/Innovations We need to build into our planning processes space for research and development, experimentation, and innovation in order to ensure that we are informed about new opportunities afforded by emerging technologies, formats, and delivery methods.
  3. Support for mobile devices With the proliferation of iPhones, android phones, iPads, and other more mobile devices, we need to develop a strategy for providing services for these new platforms.
  4. Capture A capture technologies initiative could seek to disseminate methods for capturing audio, video and computer screen interactions, as well as methods for editing, cataloguing and sharing this material.
  5. balanced scorecard We want to look at the Balanced Scorecard methodology as a way of assessing progress towards goals, and to understand how that methodology overlaps with our strategic plan. New
    …… what else? Let us know. Send Mike Roy an email at .

Mike Roy’s Educause 2010 Trip Report

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

I’ve posted my trip report from my recent attendance at the Educause Annual Conference at for those who might find it of interest.

Director of Library of Congress Center for the Book Discusses Library’s History at Middlebury’s Ilsley Public Library

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Middlebury ~ John Cole, founding director of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress, will discuss the Library’s history and mission in a talk at Ilsley Public Library in Middlebury on October 6. His talk, “The Library of Congress: The Ups and Downs of Jefferson’s Legacy,” is part of the Vermont Humanities Council’s First Wednesdays lecture series and takes place at 7:00 p.m.

Thomas Jefferson believed that a library shared by a nation’s citizens was necessary to a democracy. Cole will explain how Jefferson’s belief, despite challenges, has again become central to the mission of the Library of Congress, which is now one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive research libraries and institutions.

Cole is founding director of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.  He has published widely about books and libraries in society, as well as about the history of the Library of Congress.  His most recent book is On These Walls: Inscriptions and Quotations in The Library of Congress.

The Vermont Humanities Council’s First Wednesdays series is held on the first Wednesday of every month from October through May, featuring speakers of national and regional renown. Talks in Middlebury are held at Ilsley Public Library.

Upcoming Middlebury talks include “What Did the Voters Really Say?” with former ABC News correspondent Barrie Dunsmore on November 3; “Potential U.S. Responses to Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions” with former Iranian ambassador to the UN Mansour Farhang on December 1; and “F. Scott Fitzgerald: American Dreamer” with Dartmouth professor Barbara Will on January 5.

A complete listing of First Wednesdays Middlebury talks is here

The Vermont Department of Libraries is the statewide underwriter of First Wednesdays. Ilsley Public Library is sponsored by Friends of Ilsley Public Library.

For more information, contact the Ilsley Public Library at 802.388.4095 or contact the Vermont Humanities Council at 802.262.2626 or, or

The Vermont Humanities Council is a private nonprofit working to bring the power and the pleasure of the humanities to all Vermonters-of every background and in every community. The Council envisions a state in which every individual learns throughout life-a state in which all its citizens read, reflect, and participate in public affairs.

Summary of Staffing Changes within LIS

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

In the past 18 months, LIS has gone through a set of major staffing changes.  25 people  have left LIS, seven have been promoted within LIS,   four have jointed LIS from other parts of the College, and three have joined us from elsewhere. In addition, there are 5 positions that are still open.   Collectively, we have lost over five hundred years of experience!  Our FTE level has dropped from an all-time high of 104 to 83.5. For those who are interested in how we are now organized, you can find an organizational chart at . We’ve also listed below the names and titles of the promotions and new hires.

Kellam Ayres to Circulation Services Coordinator, Reserves
Steve Bertolino to Reference & Instruction Librarian
Charlie Conway to Media Services Specialist 2
Dan Frostman to Circulation Services Manager
Jess Isler to Reference & Instruction Librarian
Mike Lynch to Area Director, Central Systems & Network Services
Carrie Macfarlane to Head of Reference & Instruction
Petar Mitrevski  to Tech Media/Services Manager
Scott Witt to Media Services Specialist 2

New Hires from within Middlebury
Joe Durante, Technology Specialist,  from Dining
Kim Gurney, Circulation Services Specialist, from Facilities
Danielle Madison, Media Specialist,  from Facilities
Janine McDonald , Circulation Services Specialist, from Career Services

New Hires from elsewhere
Danna Gianforte – Area Director, Enterprise Applications
Dennis Hadley – Senior Technology Specialist
Matt LaFrance – Web Programmer
Positions Still to be Filled
Collection Development Acquisitions and Cataloging Manager
Database Administrator
Senior Technology Specialist
Network/Security Administrator
System Programmer Administrator

Postponing the Evaluation

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

We have decided that we need more time to prepare before we have a public conversation about whether or not we should implement Google Apps for Middlebury College. As you can find on this blog, we have developed a set of preliminary analyses of the issues that surround this potential shift, but we believe that in the interest of using everyone’s time effectively, it would be better to postpone broader conversations about this possibility until we have spent more time clarifying the significant differences that exist between these platforms, and have also factored in recent developments from Microsoft and others that provide interesting alternatives that were not part of our initial evaluation plan. Please feel free to engage the materials already posted (via comments) to this blog and stay tuned for an update on our plans to engage the community in this important conversation.

Area 51 notes – July 8, 2010

Categories: Midd Blogosphere
Present: Mike Lynch, Mike Roy, Shel Sax, Terry Simpkins (notes), Mary Backus
CurrTech Team: BCarson SDriscoll AChapin JPile joined us for agenda item #1
The CT team met with us and reviewed their recommendations, along with the results of their focus groups surveys, particularly regarding the online discussion component, the audio/video components, and the potential use of MiddMedia to store media files.
Their primary recommendation is the creation of a “course hub” for faculty/students.  Course sites could be automatically created from Banner info., and the hub would provide a single site that provides access to the various components that comprise the materials used in online course management (i.e., whether wiki, blog, LMS, etc.)  It would incorporate easy functionality to add a syllabus, with added capability for functionality such as assignments, course readings, etc.
The hub would based on Drupal, which people already know and LIS already supports.  This would be a minimal level of support, and other platforms (MediaWiki, Moodle, Wordpress, etc.) would be readily connectable to (through) the Course Hub.
There was a lot of discussion centering around whether this is basically rebuilding Segue.  The team argued that they are not recommending building a specific LMS (learning management system) such as Segue, but rather building linkages between existing systems.
Ultimately, the ADs requested more info from the CT team:
a) Undertake due diligence about ready-made solutions
b) Talk to SunGard Banner people about their product roadmap and if there are plans to incorporate any of this functionality within Banner directly
c) Sketch out steps to estimate timeline – partially (at least) done – including support requirements & costs.
d) Functional comparison of Moodle/Sakai/Blackboard/GoogleApps
e) Engage BL/LS/MIIS (currently awaiting survey results, etc.)
f) Engage faculty, perhaps involving liaisons or others to assist with gaining feedback.
There was a question from the Security Team.  With the departure of Jeff Rehbach (whom we miss) we are losing our go-to person for policy-related questions. Should the security team be viewed as a group that will be writing the security-related policies? If so, do they need any (legal or other) training?  The ADs thought that, yes, the ST should look at existing security-related policies for deficiencies (as well as thinking about policies that we need to create as part of our efforts to improve security), review other policies at other institutions as needed, and make recommendations for changes.  If they identified professional development opportunities to support those tasks, LIS would do what we can to support that.
We discussed the change management form and process.  Mike R will write a blog post explicating the reasons/thinking behind the process.  The ADs tend to be the ones to call about when the change management process is appropriate and when it’s not.  We reaffirmed that the purpose of the process is not simply to layer bureacracy onto the change process, but to respond and mitigate problems that might (and have) occurred.