Tag Archives: Area Directors

Area 51 notes, Feb. 10, 2011

Present: Mike, Mike, Danna, Chris, Carol, Mary, Doreen (notes).  Guest: Ian Burke

Ian joined us and shared his thoughts on how security initiatives are being managed at Middlebury. He included a list of tasks and timelines (see below), some of which are already being worked on by Chris Norris and the security team.  We need to strengthen our infrastructure’s security and develop procedures and policies.  The change management policy is most important.

Top Priorities

Initiative / When To start

• Security Infrastructure / Now

• Change Management/Now

• Security Policies/Now

• Audit/Compliance– Risk/Spring

• Audit/Compliance-Compliance/Summer

• DR/BC /Summer/Fall

Ian was asked to return next week to continue discussions.

The ADs also viewed a demo of Microsoft Office 365.

Thanks for reading,
Terry & Doreen

LIS Focus: Winter 2011

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 http://www.middlebury.edu/offices/technology/lis/about/priorities . 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 https://sites.google.com/a/middlebury.edu/pd/all-projects-list


  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 http://sites.middlebury.edu/segue/
  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 https://sites.google.com/a/middlebury.edu/lis-strategic-planning/home
    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 mdroy@middlebury.edu .

Area 51 notes, Jan. 20 & 27, 2011

Present:  Mike Roy, Mary Backus, Terry Simpkins, Chris Norris, Danna Gianforte, Mike Lynch (absent 1/20), Carol Peddie, and Doreen Bernier (absent 1/20)

Jan 20
The meeting was devoted to continuing the review of potential projects submitted for next year’s budget request, along with a review of projects already approved that we may be able to accommodate within this year’s remaining budget.

Jan. 27
The time to solicit nominations for the LIS graduate internship program is upon us.  ADs will send an email to their area workgroups asking for proposals for next year’s program.  Deadline is February 15th.

We had a lengthy conversation about 2 related topics how on-call expectations & cell phone allowances are structured across LIS.  This topic will be continued at next week’s AD meeting

A few recent problems and near-problems have illustrated a need to identify “fragile” and/or high-profile processes within LIS.  Mike Roy will create a Google document for ADs to compile processes that they consider to be fragile, with a deadline of 1 week.

We discussed LIS support for requests made by key staff members, specifically with an eye toward ensuring that these requests receive the appropriate level of support, within an appropriate time-frame.  One response will be to flag these requests within Heat in order to better track and review these requests.

Thanks for reading
Terry & Doreen

Area 51 notes, Jan. 13, 2011

Present:  Mike Roy, Dana Gianforte, Carol Peddie, Shel Sax, Terry Simpkins, Mary Backus, Mike Lynch and Doreen Bernier

We reviewed the change management document for DFS – ExtremeZ-IP and DFS-Windows upgradeThis upgrade is primarily to improve the performance and compatibility for Mac clients.  We need to budget money for software and testing needs.  The appropriate workgroups are also preparing campus communication plans.  We also anticipate an all-LIS communication asking prepare staff with alternate plans if this upgrade does not as planned.  Terry will talk to the liaisons group/Carrie M. in advance so that, once the email from the Helpdesk has been sent, they can contact faculty to reinforce the importance of this upgrade and follow up as necessary with any faculty who need assistance mapping drives, etc.

We discussed the strategic planning website, and agreed to post missing documents and make other changes necessitated by the last re-organization.  We will review this material during monthly Team/Goal meetings to make sure the material up to date. The “Results” page will be parked for the time being.

We followed up on the project management and prioritization discussion which we began at last AD retreat.  We reviewed the Project Cabal suggestions again, and agreed to adopt Project Tracker as our primary project management tool (for large projects; smaller projects can use other tools, as appropriate).

We also agreed we need to:

  • check in late spring on list of goals around projects/project management
  • analyze our agendas to see if we have the right balance between project and process discussions
  • offer a project management workshop for LIS project managers and team leaders (possibly using Porter Knight), with an LIS project to use as a test case.
  • submit any outstanding budget figures/requests to Carol ASAP
  • link projects to our goals and strategic plan
  • make improvements to project directory views
  • undertake regular reviews of projects at a monthly mtg
  • shift some of the checking in on project statuses to one-on-one meetings between the ADs and Mike R

We agreed to create an LIS recognition team.  Danna & Carol will lead.  We will solicit volunteers, with the aim of having equal representation from all areas.

Topics for the upcoming all staff meeting
Team updates
Recognition team

Topic for the upcoming joint managers/AD retreat - internal and external communications.

Thanks for reading
Terry & Doreen

Area 51 notes, Jan. 6, 2011

Present:  Terry Simpkins, Danna Gianforte, Mary Backus, Mike Roy, Carol Peddie, Doreen Bernier, Mike Lynch, Kim Ehritt, Mack Roark, Brenda Ellis, Ben Molberger, Pij Slater, and Joe Antonioli

The Education & Training team joined us to present an update on their progress so far. The team’s charge was to take a holistic look at the ongoing training and education needs of Middlebury & Monterey faculty, staff, and students.  During Phase 1 the team will address interlocking goals and make recommendations at the basic level.

  • Develop an inventory of information and technology skills and knowledge needed by LIS staff.
  • Develop an inventory of information and technology skills and knowledge needed by College staff and faculty.
  • After reviewing the report from the Standard 7 group, make recommendations and assist reaccreditation groups, CTLR, and LIS advisory groups to develop a list of skills/abilities that graduating students are expected to have.

Through reviewing HelpDesk tickets, experience and discussions with various colleagues, the team compiled a detailed Excel workbook combining Information & Technology Skills and Knowledge inventories for the specific groups requested in their goals.

Next steps:

  • Combine our findings with the reaccreditation team when their work is completed.
  • Continue efforts to identify/collect relevant Middlebury training resources.
  • Continue evaluation of training products offered by outside vendors.
  • Share their findings with the Web Team
  • Prepare a marketing and communications plan, including a blog post
  • Prepare a gap analysis

The ADs were pleased with the results so far and have approved the team’s next steps.

Mike will prepare a response to the Project Cabal for review by the AD team.

We discussed the Curricular Technology team proposal to handle the migration of course content from Segue to WordPress. Shel will ask the team to contact faculty to see what they would like to use for an LMS and have cost proposal prepared.

We agreed to schedule additional meetings for the ADs to hear from Teams as to their progress and to review area/workgroups goals.

Thanks for reading,
Terry & Doreen

Area 51 notes, Dec. 9, 2010

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

Guests: Space Team (Joseph Watson, Peggy Fischel ,Hans Raum, Kellam Ayres, and Lisa Terrier) & Sheila Andrus

The Space Team presented two possible scenarios for the Music Library move to Davis, with scenario 1 as their recommendation.  This scenario relocates monographs and scores to the shelving adjacent to the Panther Reading Room on the upper level of Davis.  N class collections would move to the main floor and part/all of P class collections would move to the lower level.  A bay of compact shelving would be installed in the southeast corner of the lower level.  Dance monographs will be placed in the LC sequence on the upper level, the reference collection and bound and current periodicals from the Music Library will be integrated into existing collections in Davis, and the audio CD collection will be placed behind the Circulation Desk.

We followed this with a detailed discussion followed about whether we should purchase an extra bay of compact shelving now, anticipating further shelving needs, or wait until we are certain the need exists.

The ADs approved scenario 1, but requested pricing information for the compact shelving.  The ADs agreed that we should expand to incorporate an extra bay of compact shelving, if financially feasible.

We also discussed creating a new Recreation & Recognition Group within LIS to recognize staff accomplishments.  This group would consist of volunteers from staff to, for example, plan social gatherings, develop and implement an employee-of-the-month program, and other activities and semi-formal means of recognizing the excellent work accomplished by LIS staff.  Danna and Carol will prepare a charge and present a proposal to the ADs at a future meeting.

Thanks for reading,

Area 51 notes, Dec. 2, 2010

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

Carol presented a summary of the MISO survey data.  Most of the meeting was devoted to this discussion.  Results of the survey will be discussed at this month’s all-staff meeting.

Mary proposed creating a new taskforce to regularly review client/device processes (i.e., what works well, what doesn’t, etc.).  A formalized proposal will be prepared and presented to the ADs for further discussion.

Upcoming meetings and primary agenda items:
Managers Meeting Agenda (12/9 9:00 a.m., LIB145)
* LIS Values discussion

All Staff  Meeting Agenda (12/15 9:00, Harman)
* MISO survey results

Thanks for reading,

Terry & Doreen