Posts by Terry Simpkins

 
 
 

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

Area 51 notes, Feb. 14, 2013

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Present: Terry Simpkins, Mary Backus, Mike Roy and Doreen Bernier
Space Team Members: Joseph Watson, Peggy Fischel and Hans Raum

The Space Team joined us to present an update of their activities:

  • Earlier this year, the team presented their recommendations to the ADs for the future use of the information desk in the library atrium.  The team recommended the space be used as an information kiosk with an electronic directory and handout display.  Mike brought this recommendation to the larger campus space committee, which approved $5,000 for an architectural study for FY13-14
  • Joseph will coordinate with the architect to develop a design for the kiosk, removing the information desk and incorporating an electronic directory and display for handouts.  He will also have the architect develop a less expensive option, leaving the desk in its current position and repurposing it to include the electronic directory and handouts display.
  • We will need to create a small group to work with various service points within the library to develop an electronic directory.
  • The space team will also be reviewing office space needs for LIS now that SRC has approved some of our position requests.
  • The team will investigate the issue of how to increase student carrel and study spaces within the library.
  • We need to think about a long term space study to look at overall use of library space, the utility of installing additional compact shelving to the stacks, etc.  The team agreed to propose a timeline to the ADs.

This week Mike Roy, Chris Norris and Jim Stuart had a preliminary meeting to revisit our overall cloud strategy.  Areas of focus will include:

  • Email
  • Storage
  • Telephone (VoIP)

More at a future meeting.

Dining has requested assistance with project management efforts for their current CBOARD food management system, which tracks food usage and costs.  These project management needs would be temporary; dining staff would maintain the system once up and running.  The current implementation has been used for about 10 years and it needs to be upgraded.  Dining doesn’t have the capability to handle a project this size and asked for our assistance.  We discussed some possibe options, but the project requires further discussion and analysis.

Thanks for reading,
Terry and Doreen

Another copyright case, another victory for libraries

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Last Tuesday, in the case of Kirtsaeng vs. John Wiley & Sons, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 to uphold the “first sale” doctrine for materials purchased from non-U.S. sources.  This ruling allows legal purchasers of copyrighted material from overseas to continue to subsequently resell, loan, rent, etc., copyrighted material.  The first sale doctrine, in general, is the exemption that allows libraries to loan books to borrowers, video stores (those that are left) to rent DVDs, or individuals to loan or resell a book or CD or other copyrighted work to someone else without fear of running afoul of the normal protection afforded to copyright holders to control the sale and distribution of their copyrighted content.

At issue in the Kirsaeng case was whether or not materials purchased overseas were subject to this exemption, or if the exemption applied only to those copyrighted materials purchased within the United States.  The plaintiff, publisher John Wiley & Sons, argued that the exemption did not apply to works intended to be sold overseas, and that the defendant, a graduate student named Supap Kirtsaeng, had violated copyright law by purchasing textbooks in Thailand intended for that market (and sold there at a lower price than in the U.S.) and then reselling them in the United States to help finance the cost of his graduate education.

Why is this important for Middlebury?  Because Middlebury libraries purchase at least 10% (by cost) of our material from overseas vendors.  (This is a conservative estimate based on our expenditures with our primary foreign dealers; the actual percentage is certainly higher, although probably not by much.)  If this case had been decided differently, there would be considerable doubt as to whether we could continue to loan materials purchased overseas without some sort of legislative intervention that specifically allowed it.

If you would like to read more about the case and its implications, take a look at this article from the Chronicle of Higher Education.  Kenneth Crews, from Columbia U., has an excellent analysis on his blog here, and Kevin Smith at Duke has a couple of posts here and here.  And if you are a true glutton for punishment, the full text of the SCOTUS decision is here (pdf).

Area 51 notes, Jan. 31, 2013

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Present: Mike Roy, Mary Backus, Chris Norris, Terry Simpkins
Absent: Doreen, Carol

We began with discussing next steps for the policy review process and suggested the following plan outline:

  • Create inventory and review policy documents in the handbook for currency, completeness, accuracy, and usefulness.
  • Inventory internal LIS policies, with the possibility of a survey to capture missing policies or to review and revise existing policies.
  • We discussed ownership of “College” policies that reside within the LIS section of the handbook, but aren’t strictly limited to LIS processes (e.g. copyright, data privacy, etc.)  Does LIS “own” policies because of where they are situated within the handbook?
  • We want to focus on policies that are problematic.
  • Mike agreed to draft a plan to send to the directors.

We talked briefly about the APS timeline for LIS staff.  HR confirmed that this year’s deadline is officially Mar. 31, 2013.  SInce this falls on a Sunday, we can submit are documents to HR on Monday Apr. 1, 2013.

LIS internal deadlines will be similar to last year:

  • Self-evaluations and team 360s are due  to managers by Monday, Feb. 18; a notice of the team evaluation process will go out this week;
  • Managers will need to make a recommendations to their director about how their staff members performed by Friday, Mar. 1;
  • LIS Directors will communicate decisions regarding ratings back to managers by Friday, Mar. 8;
  • Performance reviews should be scheduled during the period between March 11 and March 22;
  • Forms should be signed by both staff member and manager and in to Doreen by Monday, Mar. 25;
  • All reviews will be signed and delivered to HR by Monday, Apr. 1.

Chris wants to communicate with Google Apps users regarding the discovery of phishing attempts through a design flaw in Google Apps.  Specifically, if you are signed in already but click on a malicious link, the browser displays the URL such that the form appears to be hosted within our Middlebury google apps instance even if it is not.  Mike mentioned that, even generally, a URL showing the Middlebury domain is not an absolute guarantee of legitimacy, since students can create pages and forms as well.  Chris also suggested we restart the discussion about our intentions for Google Apps.

We discussed a new security issue involving phone calls from people falsley claiming to be “Middlebury Support Services”. Public Safety and the Helpdesk have been informed.

Thanks for reading,
Terry