Posts by Terry Simpkins

 
 
 

Area Director’s notes, June 6, 2013

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Present:  Mary Backus, Terry Simpkins, Rebekah Irwin, Chris Norris, Jim Stuart, David Ludwig,  Mike Roy and Doreen Bernier

Brief updates:

  • Proposed Joy Pile and Kellam Ayres, respectively, as writers for the Language Schools and Bread Loaf end-of-summer reports, pending confirmation with them.  Terry will confirm with Joy and Mary will confirm with Kellam.
  • Mike proposed that the ADs hold the 9:00-10:00 on Thursdays to create a space in the calendar to hold additional ad hoc directors’ meetings.  Doreen will send a calendar invite.
  • Mary asked Mike to speak with the Michael Geisler about closing the library on July 4th.
  • Jim asked if the Service Request Workgroup could assist with testing Eduroam.  Eduroam began in Europe, and allows visiting scholars, etc., to log in at participating institutions world-wide using only their local credentials.  Currently Eduroam is enabled in Voter and in Lib125 for testing purposes.  Jim will touch base with Lisa Terrier to request her workgroups assistance.  Chris requested more information about security issues.  Terry suggested that Joy Pile could help identify Language School faculty who might be interested in participating.

We discussed planning for the Middfiles production cutover. Jim and his group proposed cutover dates of June 15-16, which would mean limited access to Middfiles for approximately 4 hours (during which Middfiles would be read-only).  Because of the aggressive timeframe for this project, the directors requested that Jim distribute a draft change management document for their review.  There are concerns about how this will affect Language Schools and certain Banner processes that write to Middfiles automatically.  David and Jim will discuss further, and the directors also thought this should be discussed with John Stokes (Operations Director for LS).  This would also have an impact on lab setups.  There was strong sentiment that this timetable may be too aggressive and that it might be better to wait until after LS to  implement.  [6/17 update: The cutover is now likely to occur at the end of the summer after Language Schools].

The ADs discussed some of the more pressing office space recommendations prepared by the Space Team.  In the Space Team proposal, the new hire for Media Services would be temporarily located at the desk behind the circulation desk in front of Doreen’s office.  This is approved as a short term solution, but it would be preferred if all media staff worked in the same area.  Joseph will place necessary requests with Facilities Services to better prepare the area as a workspace.  Additionally:

  • approved a move of Joseph from his current location in the 135 suite to Special Collections;
  • approved new librarian hire going to DFL 207.

In addition to preferring to keep Media Services staff together if possible, we also expressed a desire to keep the Information Security staff in proximity to one another.  The Directors agreed to provide the Space Team with a list of desiderata regarding staff locations (these would be general requirements or wish lists, not specific room assignments; e.g., workgroup A needs quiet space to work, staff members B & C could double up in offices if necessary, etc.).  We will invite Joseph to meet with the ADs on June 20th for more discussion.

All area, workgroup and team goals are due at the beginning of July.  Mike has asked the directors to draft goals for themselves.  They are listed below with the AD who will act as lead.

Policy – (Chris Norris)
Internal Communication (Terry Simpkins)
Prioritization (Mike Roy)
Team Reassessment (Mike Roy)
Professional Development (Mike Roy)

Next week’s Directors’ meeting is canceled since several members will be traveling.  We have an retreat scheduled for June 21.  We will also try to reschedule that since several members will be out.

Agenda for June 20th

  • Goals preview
  • Budget
  • Cloud Strategy
  • Office Space
  • Communications TF recommendations

Thanks for reading,
Terry & Doreen

Area 51 notes – Apr. 25, 2013

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Present:  Terry Simpkins, Mary Backus, and Doreen Bernier
Guests: Bryan Carson, Joe Antonioli, Carrie Macfarlane, Joy Pile

The Language School task force joined us to discuss their proposal for providing curricular technology support for this summer’s Language School programs. The team asked the ADs to review and approve various proposals, including:
Update curricular platforms documentation

  • Minor changes to current documentation will be made as needed;
  • Documentation that needs more extensive updating will be marked to alert users;
  • CTT will periodically review and revise documentation tagged as being in need of updating;
  • Joe A. will look into options for “tagging” [4/27 update - he has identified a couple of appropriate tags to use for this];
  • An annual documentation review should be planned; this may be something the Curr Tech Team can assume ongoing responsibility for.

Curricular technology questions, unscheduled

  • Joy has met with Mills coordinators and walked them through Moodle and the CourseHub.  Mills coordinators can now “masquerade” as other users to help troubleshoot issues themselves;
  • Joe A. has met with Joe D., Linda and Marty to introduce them to the CourseHub and Moodle platforms.
  • Vacations may need to be staggered to ensure continuous coverage, especially during the July 4 holiday;
  • ADs will ask their managers to balance vacations schedules within their groups.

Curricular technology questions, scheduled.

  • The ADs would like to discuss this in a small group setting with support providers;
  • Support for this, like most of the other LS tasks, will need to be revisited next year.

Onboarding Workshops for faculty/staff.

  • We are hoping support can come from the Ed and Training Team.  Mary will communicate with them about this;
  • Bryan will provide a list of skills has has covered in the past when doing this training.

Courseware Workshops for faculty/staff.

  • We would like LS bilinguals to shadow LIS staff this year as LIS staff conduct workshops.  We will discuss this idea with coordinators and directors.

Curricular resource site creation

  • Bilinguals and faculty who use curricular technology frequently will be asked to place request for site creation needs in advance to allow LIS to assess demands.  At this point, there is no guarantee LIS can fill every request.  Time spent performing this work may limit time available for other, equally important tasks;
  • Joe A. is meeting with LS coordinators next Wednesday.  He will set a deadline for LS departments to communicate needs/requests;
  • Joe A. noted that a temporary and fairly straightforward means for site creation would be to use our pilot implementation of SANSpace.  The down side to this would be if decided not to move SANSpace into production; we would then need to find another platform suitable for these sites;
  • Joe A. will also find out from the coordinators when the bilinguals will be arriving.

Conversations with the team will be continued through email to make sure the appropriate conversations are taking place.

Thanks for reading
Terry & Doreen

Friday Links – May 3

Categories: Midd Blogosphere
Makes you want to be an archivist!
How long can you work on making a routine task more efficient before you’re spending more time than you save? http://xkcd.com/1205/

Friday Links – April 12, 2013

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

AD 51 meeting notes – April 4, 2013

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Present:  Mary Backus, Mike Roy, Terry Simpkins, Carol Peddie, Chris Norris, Doreen Bernier; Wendy Shook (guest)

Wendy Shook joined us to discuss the draft Data Management Policy she is in the process of preparing.  This is a requirement for grant applications from certain agencies (e.g. National Science Foundation); applications for funding from these agencies require the inclusion of a data management, access, and preservation plan.

The completed policy will outline objectives for science data preservation and storage using a digital on-campus repository, or, where appropriate, pointing researchers to national discipline-specific repositories that may be preferable.  Currently, Biology, Economics, and Psychology are departments at Middlebury that are most likely to need local data hosting/preservation.

Wendy suggested a 2-stage process.  Stage 1 would be a pilot project using ContentDM in conjunction with a subscription to a digital object identifier (DOI) registry. Stage 2 would reassess the platform and determine if migration to another platform would be beneficial.

We agreed that Wendy should investigate costs to subscribe to a DOI registry, and that we should get an estimate that includes MIIS.  There are also unresolved issues around data ownership and rights management, which Mike will try to have added to the Dean’s meeting agenda for next week.  Finally, Chris recommended that an information security audit and disaster recovery assessment be conducted for ContentDM.

The AD Retreat scheduled for April 19th be cancelled since Mike and Carol are both out.

We reviewed the LIS calendar for April, focusing on:

  • the 3rd quarter budget: including travel, labor, capital and operational expenses.  Carol reported we are fairly well on target, budget-wise, with not a lot of wiggle room for unanticipated expenses;
  • student labor trends.  We have asked workgroup leaders to review student labor trends to see how we are using student dollars; Directors should follow up and nudge managers as necessary;
  • BreadLoaf/Language School planning –Carrie Macfarlane is leading a group preparing a report on support for this coming summer.  She expects to be able to submit it to Terry by Monday (4/8), and we will invite her and other group members to attend next week’s Directors’ meeting to discuss.

The Manager’s meeting agenda for the April 11th meeting will include:

  • Follow-up discussion on management training, especially thinking about ways to keep the training moving forward and in active use;
  • Professional development — Mike would like to try a pilot program where, for 1-2 Fridays/month, we will set aside time to make staff professional development a priority.  This would mean not scheduling meetings, limiting the amount of email we send to one another in LIS, etc., during this time.

The All-staff meeting agenda for the April 17th meeting:

  • Staff awards;
  • Norm Cushman will give an update on his organization (not confirmed);

The Optional all-staff meeting agenda for April 18th:

  • BreadLoaf and Language School Planning (not confirmed).

Carol will re-engage the Space Team to review office space requirements for new staff members.

Mike would like to re-establish the LIS New Staff Member Coffee meetings for the forthcoming plethora of new employees.

The April 11 directors’ meeting is canceled.  We hope to discuss a proposal for LIS Language School support at the 4/18 meeting.

Thanks for reading,
Terry & Doreen.

Area 51 notes, Mar. 21 21, 2013

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Present:  Mike Roy, Carol Peddie, Terry Simpkins, Chris Norris,  Mary Backus and Doreen Bernier

The Area Directors provide Mike with weekly updates of activities happening within each areas.  Mike asked that, when the directors are out of the office on business travel or vacation, they either delegate someone on their staff to forward updates for posting to Doreen or provide the updates for the missed week upon their return.  He also asked the ADs to highlight topics that may warrant special attention by members of the College administration, or that demand more comprehensive discussion among the leadership team.

All areas appear to be roughly on schedule for the performance reviews.

Mike has been asking managers how long it takes them to prepare submissions for the quarterly update document.  Times estimates run between 20 minutes and 1 ½ hours, depending on level of detail.  Mike feels this process is working well.

The ADs discussed what the nascent Green Mountain Higher Education Consortium (which includes Saint Michaels College, Champlain College and Middlebury) may mean for our purchasing activities.  The Consortium is intended to look for ways to improve college services and find cost savings by acting together in making purchases in supplies, equipment and services.  At the moment, it is focused primarily on general supplies, but may look to broaden in the future.  The discussion focused mainly around what aspects of LIS purchasing might appropriately be considered for inclusion within any agreement between the 3 schools, and which aspects might be specialized for Middlebury’s needs and require a certain level of continued autonomy.

The update and demo of Web Helpdesk on this week’s agenda will be moved to next week.

Thanks for reading.

Terry & Doreen