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Summer Internships: It’s As Easy as 1-2-3…

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Well spring isn’t exactly in the air, but it’s time to start thinking about summer!

It’s as easy as 1-2-3…

Step 1- Focus: What kind of internship is right for you? Talk to your professors, EIA counselors, parents, upperclassmen – ask for their advice based on your major, career and interests.

Step 2 – Find: There is no one right way to find an internship. Networking, online resources – use them all. Head to the EIA website for more tips on finding your summer internship.

Step 2 – Fund: You’ve landed the internship of your dreams, but it’s unpaid. You still need to eat, right? Well lucky for you, there is funding available to support the expenses of your summer internship. The application for summer internship funding is now open – check it out!

Stay tuned for more info about the Internship Open House and other events coming up!

For more information on everything internships, check out go/internships.

LIS Focus: Summer 2011

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

As has become our habit, we again are publishing our ‘focus document’ that lays out by workgroup and team the activities that we will be focusing on this summer. While this list is not comprehensive, it is a way for us to both ensure that everyone in LIS knows about what’s being worked on now (and therefore will generate questions later), and to give a preview to the rest of the community of changes that will result from this work.

 

LIS Focus: Spring 2011

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

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

ILL Department

  • Complete ILL Department Assessment, write report.
  • Make improvements identified by Assessment process.
  • OCLC Knowledge Base implementation.

P&P/Facilities Coordination

  • 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.

Collection Management

  • 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

CSNS

  • 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.

Enterprise Applications

  • 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.
  • LMS recommendations and implementation
  • Identity Management Project
  • Platform Evaluations: Database of Faculty Accomplishments, E-commerce, Hiring Manager, Judicial Review, Portal, Student Room Selection

USER SERVICES

Helpdesk Service Requests

  • Rolling out Windows 7
  • Moving Equipment inventory into Heat
  • Mobile device support

Media Services

  • 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.

Circulation Services

  • Music Library move
  • Student and staff scheduling, summer 2011

TEAMS

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

Security

  • 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.

Space

  • 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

LIS Administration

  • 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.

 

LIS Focus: Winter 2011

Categories: Midd Blogosphere
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

Evaluations

  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 .

Updated LIS Focus Document (draft)

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

At a recent retreat, the AD Team reviewed and updated the LIS Current Focus document. The current version of the document can be found at http://www.middlebury.edu/offices/technology/lis/about/priorities , while the draft of the updated version can be found at http://docs.google.com/View?id=dhb56n4x_221g6bb7sft . Before we finalize this, we thought it would be useful to collect comments, questions, and suggestions. Questions we have are:

  1. Is this document useful? If so, how?
  2. What could we do to make the document more useful?
  3. What’s on the list that shouldn’t be on the list?
  4. What’s missing from the list?

We also worry that this list of priorities may be confusing, given the project directory and our strategic planning website , both of which provide ways of looking at our work. The hope is that the Focus Document will complement these, rather than being yet another list of things that we are working on.

I plan to post a final version of this shortly.