On Saturday afternoon, April 30 our Special Collections hosted an Open House for members of the Rutland Railroad Historical Society as part of the 25th annual convention of the group. The Open House provided an opportunity for society members to see some of the most interesting material that has been acquired for the archives in the past decade.
Rutland Railroad Archives Open House on April 30, 2010
Hans Raum served as co-chair of the two day convention held at the Middlebury Inn, which drew attendees from as far away as California. Greg Pahl, an expert on the Beldens Falls Branch Railroad (and Joy Pile’s partner) spoke about the railroad at a program on Saturday, in preparation for a field trip on Sunday morning to visit traces of the short-lived railroad which ran from Beldens Falls, north of Middlebury, to a marble quarry about four miles away, east of Middlebury.
Below you will find the Spring 2011 edition of the LIS Focus document that outlines the activities that we’ll be focusing on this spring. For this quarter’s installment, I’ve organized the document into a more traditional format that lays out the areas of focus for each of the workgroups and teams within LIS.
In addition to this quarterly snapshot of what’s keeping us busy, we still have our goals and our projects that provide another view into the on-the-ground view of what we are doing to achieve our longer-term vision for how LIS can support the ambitious goals of the College. The idea behind these quarterly snapshots is to provide a check-in to make sure that our annual and multi-year initiatives are making steady progress week-by-week, and to provide a transparency into what our priorities are.
RESEARCH & COLLECTION SERVICES
Complete ILL Department Assessment, write report.
Make improvements identified by Assessment process.
OCLC Knowledge Base implementation.
Music Library Move: We will continue to work closely with Facilities Services and outside contractors to reorganize the shelving and book collections in Davis Library, and prepare for and then accomplish the move of the Music Library collections and related staff.
DVD collection: We will reprocess and rehouse the DVD collection, transferring it into locking security cases.
Reclass the portion of the DVD collection that currently uses the local call no. scheme (MCTR)
Planning for RDA during the summer, assuming LC decides to adopt it. If they do not, my inclination would be to follow their lead.
Implement the Digital Center/Committee.
Reference & Instruction
video tutorials: created a few and will be publicizing and assessing their usefulness
segue from segue (several librarians are on the CT team)
Music Library: finding ways to be sure researchers know what’s now in Davis
Information literacy: developing pilot for advanced skills, evaluating testing tools for first-years
Next-gen discovery tools: training staff and creating a tutorial for researchers
Liaisons: refining list of what liaisons roles and responsibilities, thinking about training and staff awareness
Statistics: figuring out what we must track and what we can stop tracking
ENTERPRISE APPLICATIONS & SYSTEMS
Planning and implementation of network infrastructure and wireless services upgrades Many academic and administrative buildings and residential halls have new network equipment installed and operational, we are continuing to deploy new gear and turn up services that provide for increased performance, reduce risk of failure and offer expansion of wireless coverage. Additionally, based on the work completed this far, we have the opportunity to assess our progress and examine challenges encountered thus far to better plan for the remaining execution of our current upgrade project and future initiatives.
Inventory of services, systems and infrastructure: Significant evolutionary (at times it feels like revolutionary) information technology changes have taken place in recent years that has resulted in extensive growth and change with the College’s IT systems. As we plan for the future, it is essential that understand how all of the technology we manage fits together, we transition with minimal disruption and we position ourselves to gracefully handle growth and take advantage of innovation.
Disaster recovery planning and testing: As the day to day activities of Faculty, Staff and Students increasingly rely on technology, the consequences of service failures become more disruptive and expensive. We are building out new a test environment, isolated from production customer facing services that, along with operational process and procedure changes, allow us to test backup and recovery procedures, changes to systems that address security vulnerabilities and product enhancements, and deployment of new services in a manner that reduces risk of unexpected production system/network failures or unexpected behavior.
Integrating Middlebury College and Monterey Institute networks and systems: We are continuing to streamline access to IT services and identify efficiencies by eliminating duplicate systems and tightly integrating applications. Plans for and current implementation underway include a new faster more reliable Internet connection at Monterey, new network administrative and authentication management services, and enhanced collaborative library and educational resources.
Evaluation of SunGard Hosted Banner Environment: When considering the costs associated with upgrades, appropriate disaster recovery, timely reporting database access, addressing load balancing concerns as well as a handful of other things, it is necessary to consider all options. An alternative option for Banner that is being investigated is offsite hosting at SunGard’s facility in Maitland, FL. Mike Roy and Danna Gianforte visited the Maitland facility in late March. A team of SunGard reps will now visit the Middlebury campus to discuss the process with the rest of the functional leads and technical staff.
Implementation of Nolij Document Management: After a lengthy evaluation process, Nolij Web 6 was selected as our electronic document management solution. An implementation team will begin in May to build out the environment, setup training, etc. The first functional areas to go live will be undergrad Admissions.
Implementation of Banner Workflow: The Banner Workflow module creates an automatic notification trail based on data changes in the system. For instance: if a termination date was entered in the HR module, an email could automatically be sent to the relevant folks that need to handle the termination process. Automated communication based on data changes within Banner will greatly enhance efficiency within the system.”
Web Application Development
Mini-re-org: reassignment of responsibilities within workgroup and preparing for new review process.
Build more smart classrooms. Replace the media equipment in the oldest smart classrooms. Divide classrooms into Tiers and create a template for each to streamline support and ease the construction of new and upgrading of old classrooms. Find an additional contractor or two to help us with smart classroom design and upgrades.
Improve the way event and screening support requests are processed. Streamline and automate this process. This will involve replacing Filemaker Pro databases with R25 and/or Heat and/or another solution.
Ensure that the Media Services group can program classroom systems (either Crestron or Extron). This will reduce upgrade expenses for classrooms, allow us to upgrade and build more classrooms per year, troubleshoot new classrooms better and greatly enhance team spirit.
Refresh the lecture capture system (Accordent). Find easy(er) ways for streaming events (which may resolve overflow issues).
Labs and Public Computing
Dual boot macs: Learning how to deploy (and deploying) dual-boot macs in labs and classrooms
Virtual Machines: Improving our virtual machines to better serve students: Continuing the expansion to virtual applications and virtual printing. Formalize how the virtual computer lab is used, its capacity and how much growth costs.
Windows 7: Deploying Windows 7 to labs. Implement a quarterly / 3-month update to the lab image. Testing software packages after they are deployed, in a timely and consistent manner. This will require working with faculty to create test files and scenarios for the software they need. Alternatively, we can continue to rely on faculty to test the software that we’ve installed upon their request. (Note that successfully installing a software application and opening it does not always test whether all its features are functional)
Telephone Services (and Printer Management)
Continuation of printer consolidation/management. We are combining all databases (PaperCut, Symquest, HEAT) into HEAT. To this end we are doing a new inventory in April 2011 of printers and copiers on campus to get a one-time “”snapshot”" of the equipment.
Printer Workflow: Work with the Helpdesk to establish a smooth workflow for new and replacement printer/multifunction devices. Examine and make recommendations for tools to make tracking these devices easier and more accurate. The ultimate goal is to reduce the number of devices on our network to save money and to reduce our carbon footprint.
LS Phones: Work with contractor and Language School administration to provide telephone service for the summer schools’ faculty.
Emergency Notification System: Re-evaluate emergency notification system in light of notice from our vendor that states, “We recommend that any customer currently using our alerting services for emergency notifications immediately migrate to a solution designed for life-threatening emergencies or implement a second, redundant, system that ensures message delivery in a timely manner.
Music Library move
Student and staff scheduling, summer 2011
Education & Training Team
Work with campus departments to identify specific information and technology training needs. Recommend teaching/training/self-help strategies to address needs and support LIS goals.
Work with Human Resources to incorporate training into the hiring process, and staff development across the College.
Recommend how to build LIS staff development goals into the performance process.
LIS Website Team
Strategies to market the LIS Website: how can we help draw attention to key parts of the site, focusing on a variety of audiences (students, faculty, staff, summer students, etc.)
LIS Website assessment: User needs analysis for LIS website and follow-up usability testing
LIS Wiki Mission/Purpose/Guidelines and coordinating enhancements to the Wiki including search enhancements (Chris N. & Joe A.), appearance (Alex C.), and taxonomy (Bryan C.)
Possibly also creating similar guidelines for the LIS Blog, following the open discussion about the future of the LIS Blog
Website refresh & enhancement strategies
We’ve started drafting security education topics.
We continue to use the SaaS form to evaluate products and services that are being considered for purchase (we used it for Studio Abroad and a remote assistance tool that the Helpdesk is looking at)
We explored full disk encryption as a security solution, running tests, quoting estimates and drafting guidelines.
We attended (virtually and through Chris Norris in person) the Educause security conference.
Ian put together a conference call with info sec / it sec staff from other educational institutions in the vicinity and we are exploring how we can use that.
We have created a data loss response plan / procedure. This could be used, for example, for addressing stolen laptops.
on hiatus until summer (having just done yoemen’s work on planning the music library move, and plan for LIS office space!)
Curricular Technology Team
developing LMS recommendation
course hub development
Budget – shifting or restructuring monies needed for end of FY11 and beginning of FY12 to allow for shifting priorities
Assessment – completing first round of Work-group services assessments ( ILL, Equipment distribution, backup & restore services.)
Re-accreditation – gathering final data needed for re-accreditation
Strategic Planning – longer term look at budget & assessment or evaluations in line with projects on the horizon and evolving changes at the college and in the profession.
To give our colleagues a better idea of what’s changed in our web applications each week, we’ll be preparing this quick list for publication each Friday. Not all of the details of each change are included below, but we’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have in the comments.
A bug that caused file upload replacements to fail has been resolved. You can now replace an existing file by editing its file upload node and uploading a new version of the file, even one with the same filename.
TIFF images have been added to the list of allowed file types.
Added a Google Calendar content type that can be used to embed Google Calendars on pages of the site. MIIS has been using this for their events calendar for some time.
The cache files for RSS feeds are now kept in the same location as other cache files, meaning that the feeds will be refreshed with the same periodicity as other features on the site.
We’re now keeping usage data on site search so we can better analyse how its various features are working.
Updated the calendar template so that promotional calendars work properly when linking to the originating calendar.
On the “business card” style list of profiles, the person’s name will now link to their specific profile instead of the page their profile appears on to handle the case where multiple profiles appear on a single page.
The “my codes” area now lists your codes alphabetically for easier management. Thanks to Chris Norris for this suggestion.
“Superadmins” now have additional features available when moderating flagged codes and for determining whether or not a code appears in the site search suggestions.
Lots of new student project in MiddLab this week from the Spring Symposium. You can follow MiddLab on Twitter and get alerted to new projects as they are added.
During this Sunday’s regular maintenance window we will be upgrading the operating system on the Juniper network switches. Each switch will need to be restarted after the upgrade and thus there will be a 5 minute network outage for the local network served by each switch in the following buildings at some point between 7 am and 10 am Sunday morning:
The IUG (Innovative Users Group) conference was a great experience. Keynote speaker, futurist, and ex-IBM engineer Thomas Frey from the DaVinci Institute kicked it off with a fascinating peek into the future of libraries and how they are entering a period of rebirth. With information exploding everywhere, libraries are becoming the “crown jewels” of their communities. He ignited enthusiasm by stating libraries may offer a mix of media and book havens with a real-time info wall, virtual world areas, rooms to create videos, a place for gaming and music use, blogger studios, etc. The conference offered a complete variety of classes. I attended Circ and media-related classes and forums (Mill Time Savers, Circ Forum, Mill Circ Update on Products & others). I spoke with conference attendees about specific work procedures. It was fun to be a part of the info exchange in these forums by informing others of why, how, and what we are doing (i.e. condensing Music Library into Davis Main) and also to listen to them. It was interesting to see how other schools handle their media, which often depends upon academic programs. Some schools offer gaming courses so they loan iPads (generally revving up, Kindles remaining strong). If you want to check out a variety of conference programs, go to: http://www.innovativeusers.org/index.
I placed a few Power Point presentations in the folder on the O drive, so please add any that might be useful to your area O:\orgs\LIS\LISstaff\ILS III Millennium User Materials\IUG2011 materials
There were brief presentations each day by Innovative and SkyRiver staff highlighting tips and support info. They also had a poster area which showcased new ideas.
The Innovative Interfaces Info Center was available during the entire 3 days, and the staff told me the new product, “Sierra” is coming very soon (no date). What I was told about Sierra is that it is a service-oriented architecture, acts as an integrated resource management and work flow with one piece of software (no modules), and users have a choice of a cloud or local-based deployment. Millennium will continue to be supported of course, with a new release underway.
If you would like to contact the Innovative Interfaces service rep Deborah Devine, she welcomes communication:
Internet: http://www.iii.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Davis Family Library will be providing extended hours during the last week of classes and the exam period.
24/7 hours started at 9 am on Sunday, 5/1 and will end at 8 pm on Tuesday, 5/17. Bring your ID – card access required between 11 pm and 7:30 am (9 am on Saturday and Sunday). Guest passwords for computer access will not be issued between the hours of 11 pm and 8 am.