Tag Archives: Area Directors

Area 51 notes, Aug. 3, 2012

Present:  Mike Roy, Carol Peddie, Terry Simpkins, Mary Backus, Chris Norris, Joe Antonioli and Joe Durante

The Communications Task Force presented to the ADs their communications plan for LIS.  The plan calls for the distribution of a survey to LIS staff to gather information about communications issues within the department.  The results of this initial survey would then be analyzed to produce a second round of information gathering survey to gather more specific information about communications issues within LIS.  After discussions with managers and staff, the Task Force would make recommendations for solutions to the ADs.

This proposal was approved by the AD group, and the task force will now bring the proposal to managers at their Aug. 9 meeting and to staff at the Sept. 19th All Staff meeting.

The ADs decided to re-establish Friday morning meetings with (or about) teams.  Roughly once a month, a team will meet with the ADs to provide them with updates.  During meetings with no teams scheduled, the ADs will use the time to focus on issues relating specifically to the team program and team work.

The LIS Summer Potluck Picnic will be held on Aug. 22, 3:00 pm, at Hadley Barn.  The library will be open during this event, so managers should make sure they have student staff available to cover library services areas.

Thanks for reading,

Terry & Doreen

Area 51 notes, July 26, 2012

Present:  Shel Sax, Mike Roy, Terry Simpkins, Chris Norris, Carol Peddie, Doreen Bernier and Chris Tangora

Chris Tangora joined the meeting to discuss the proposed Curricular Technology Team charge:

  • The CTT is the LIS resource for investigating & implementing technology for enhanced teaching & learning.  The team monitors & researches technology trends that lead to this end, and act as the senior LIS resource for consultations with those who are investigating or experimenting with those technologies.

The new charge would shift the team’s responsibility to a primarily advisory role in the investigation of new curricular technologies, and would not be project oriented.  The conversation generation a number of questions, including:

  • How would the team make faculty aware of other technology trends happening elsewhere on campu?
  • How would the team relate to the Innovation Task Forces and the liaison group?
  • What would workflow processes look like for uncovering and evaluating new curricular technologies?
  • How will the team keep abreast of existing technology on campus? Should an inventory be made of already existing technologies and coordinating resources?

There seemed to be general agreement around the basic idea of the charge.  Mike suggested some changes, which we will look at and finalize.

We discussed the idea of participating at some level in the Wikipedia Loves Libraries events, many of which will be happening in October to coincide with Open Access Week.  Given the College’s past complicated history with Wikipedia, Mike felt as though this was worth discussing with Academic Affairs before we dived in.  Once he talks with that group, we will revisit the idea.

Chris distributed a draft memo on confidentiality policies for review.  This document will become the basis of language for the the College Handbook.  We made some suggestions and wording changes, and Chris will follow up with Drew Macan on any HR implications.

We reviewed and discussed the Data Classification Task Force’s proposed policy and procedures documents.

Thanks for reading,

Terry & Doreen

Area 51 notes, June 14, 2012

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

This month’s all-LIS Staff meeting will be canceled.  Mike will talk with Sheila Andrus about holding a workshop allowing LIS staff to participate in exercises taken from management training sessions. The first will be on giving and receiving feedback.

We discussed creating a centralized location on the Area51 AD site for ready-access to certain types of heavily used data (i.e., benchmarking and analytical data, server level monitoring, etc.).  Mary, Carol, Chris and Terry will suggest what data to include.  We also agreed to share interesting or provocative data and readings from Gartner Research (or other sources) for discussion at meetings when possible.

Mike met with Tim Spears and Marna Whittington, the Board of Trustees’ new chairperson, for a general discussion of the kinds of library and technology issues the Board is interested in learning about from LIS.

Mike also discussed establishing a framework within the Academic Affairs group for discussion regarding the scope of activities LIS engages in, as well as how to further involve LIS in effecting change throughout the institution, and how LIS can align its work with the goals of the academic programs.  This might involve assessment efforts to ask questions such as:  What do we do about faculty development and student services?  Who are the faculty that are using technology?  How can this be done on both the department and college levels?  Mike will meet with Susan Baldridge to brainstorm further.

Thanks for reading,
Doreen & Terry

Area 51 notes, June 7, 2012

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

We discussed College-wide content management issues around with the website.  Carol will continue the discussion with the Web Editorial Group (through College Communications).

The first topic of discussion was how to move forward with 360 reviews for managers.  Mike and Terry will work together to create framing document for this pilot program.  They will gather information from Human Resources to see what services are already available and LIS workgroups who have already adopted this process, and work with managers to devise appropriate questions and format for receiving responses.  The SLT agreed that we do not think anonymous feedback fosters a healthy, candid atmosphere for conversation, and at this point are disinclined to allow anonymous comments in the 360 review process.

We had an animated discussion related to revising the draft LIS Priorities document, especially around the concept that serving the academic program is always a top priority, and of how best to convey the amount of resources are required to maintain those ongoing LIS services that our patrons and customers rely heavily on (e.g. helpdesk, library services, etc.). This is still a work in progress. We plan to post this as part of the July Quarterly Update. (Mike also reminded the group that updates to goals and the project directory will be due on July 1.)

Thanks for reading
Terry & Doreen

Area 51 notes, Dec. 8, 2011

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

Mike indicated that there would be another meeting in early January with UVM regarding the shared science computing cluster.  Also, we will be creating a shared space to store contact information for both schools in order to facilitate collaboration.

It was noted that LIS needs to define a list of governance and approval for technology issues such as network monitoring, Service Level Agreements (SLAs), the Leads program, and Google Apps.  In other words, who are the decision making entities for these issues (e.g. Academic Affairs, President’s Staff, Web Prioritization Committee, etc.)?

We discussed and confirmed plans for system downtime during the holiday break.  LIS has notified offices of the downtime schedule.  Helpdesk will be closed during the break.  Carol and some members of CSNS will be in during the break to troubleshoot any issues that might arise.

We reviewed and confirmed the timeline for the Banner migration to Sungard hosting over the weekend of Dec. 9-11.

We continued discussing the LIS staffing plan in light of additional information from Mike.  There was consensus about how to proceed, and Mike will continue to make our case and discuss our proposal with Tim in advance of the SRC meeting on Dec. 16.

The Language Schools summer debriefing indicated that things went very well this year, with few major problems.  A major shout-out to everyone involved with supporting this work!

The agenda for the Dec 15 SLT meeting:

  • Network monitoring policy discussion
  • Change management – web servers
  • Results of discussing LIS values with workgroup leaders
  • Friday morning open discussions idea: what if we had open meetings every friday AM to discuss some topic/issue of current interest?
  • SLT Goals: when can we discuss/finalize?
  • 2012-13 Budget: This will be the subject of a half-day retreat on Friday

Thanks for reading,
Terry and Doreen

Area 51 notes, July 28, 2011

Present:  Mike Roy, Mary Backus, Shel Sax, Chris Norris, Carol Peddie and Doreen Bernier

Video streaming: Mike indicated that there is a fair amount of interest by College Advancement to use video to reach alumni via the web.  After a lengthy discussion on this topic, the ADs decided to form a group to investigate how we can create workflow and processes for cross-campus use. Several questions need to be addressed like:

  • What’s the right format for video streaming and for archival purposes?   
  • How quickly could we move to a new standard (perhaps mp4)?
  • How might adopting a new standard impact our workflows?

Project directory move to “Roadmap”:   The timeline for changing over the current project directory to “Roadmap” was discussed.  It was decided that Chris Norris will provide training to workgroup leaders at the September Managers meeting so they can start to incorporate current project milestones into the new program.

Goals: The August Manager’s meeting will be devoted to workgroup goals.  We discussed how to link workgroups/teams goals to the larger institutional mission and incorporating them into the LIS strategic planning site/.

Google/MSlive:  The process for evaluating cloud service offerings discussed.  Draft documentation containing background information, scope and timeline are being prepared for presentation to President’s Staff. 

Thanks for reading


Area 51 notes, July 14, 2011

Present:  Mike Roy, Terry Simpkins, Danna Gianforte, Mary Backus and Doreen Bernier

  • We discussed recommendations from the Web Development workgroup regarding a mobile web presence for Middlebury.  They recommend using Kurogo, a program developed by MIT, for the basic framework.  Kurogo features a module-based structure with icons for various topics (e.g. news events, weather, emergencies, etc.).  The system functions automatically (i.e., it detects the browser being used to access the web site, and redirects mobile browsers to the mobile web platform).  The first round of this project, back-end development, has been approved by the ADs.  Front-end design will be done by Communications.  Both groups will work in conjunction with the Banner/Web Committee.
  • LIS has received a quote from Sophos for antivirus support that includes coverage for both PC and Mac computers for faculty, staff and students.  Going with Sophos would mean migrating from the currently-used Symantic application.   The ADs need to look more closely at the budget implications in the event we proceed.  If this is approved, we will need to develop a communication plan for the campus.
  • Human Resources is in the process of updating job descriptions for staff and has requested assistance from the ADs.  The ADs need to identify outdated job descriptions and provide revisions to HR by August 1.
  • The ADs reviewed next week’s AD retreat agenda, which will focus on goals and goal-setting for the next 12-18 months.

Thanks for reading,

Terry & Doreen