Tag Archives: LIS Administration

Area 51 notes, Dec. 5, 2012

Present: Carol, Mike, Terry, Chris
Guests: Dan, Richard, Barbara, Matt (web team); Joseph (space team)

1) We met with the Web Team to thank them for their work before disbanding the team, and to discuss how we can best use the LIS Content Managers program to maintain the LIS web site.

  • One person (tentatively Dan Frostman) will be designated to be responsible for report to Communications on a quarterly basis as that group takes more responsibility for oversight of the College’s web presence;
  • We will have regular LIS content managers meetings or communications to remind staff of their responsibilities in this area, and to help them with training and/or tools.

2) We met with Joseph Watson from the Space Team to review their recommendations for repurposing the space now occupied by the information desk.

  • remove current desk;
  • spread current practical functions (e.g. outgoing mail, staplers, etc.) to periphery;
  • install some sort of electronic information kiosk;
  • put something aesthetically pleasing (e.g. tree, fountain, reproduction of Michelangelo’s David – just kidding about that last bit) where the desk is now;
  • involve a designer in the redesign process, who in turn will involve stakeholders (e.g. students);
  • goal is for work to take place between summer school and fall term of 2014 (10th year anniversary of building);
  • design/selection of centerpiece might involve Committee on Art in Public Spaces;
  • could conceivably separate design of the functional areas from the design of the more decorative portions.

Agenda for Dec. 12

  • Security Team Visit (10:00)
  • Review calendar
  • LIS holiday party
  • Policy summit next steps
  • LIS website next steps
  • The Williams:Wesleyan:Wellesley:Brandeis:Amherst:Middlebury (henceforth W3BAM) group is meeting at Williams on February 25th.  Who should attend? We want to have three groups:
    1. sys admins/network admins (from the last meeting)
    2. digital humanities types
    3. CIOs

Thanks for reading



Area 51 notes, Oct. 11, 2012


Present:  Mike Roy, Mary Backus, Terry Simpkins, Chris Norris, and Doreen Bernier.  Special guest: Joseph Watson.

We talked at length about the next round staffing needs.  The ADs will work with managers to identify and/or clarify staffing needs within their areas, and the ADs will address the topic at the next retreat, scheduled for early Nov.  We will also have another open staff meeting just prior to the retreat to give staff another avenue for input.

The College-wide goals document has been simplified.  ADs wll review for accuracy and correct.  Doreen will share the version of the document with the ADs.  Once vetted to confirm that all stakeholders agree to the goals, the list will be shared broadly.

On a related topic, the quarterly goal updates, normally due Oct. 1, are pushed to Nov. 1.

After discussion, we agreed that the project directory in Roadmap is too labor intensive to keep up to date, so it will be discontinued. Mike is asking each director to provide him with a list of what projects have been recently been completed, what are we working on and what is on the horizon.  Mike will prepare a summary to ADs to share with workgroups.

We reviewed items from the quarterly update, focusing on staff morale issues (““How we do our work”) – see:  http://sites.middlebury.edu/lis/files/2012/09/lis-quarterlyupdate-summer2012.pdf.  It appears we are making good progress!  We will add two items from this discussion to future updates:  governance and reviewing management training with workgroup leaders.

Joseph joined the meeting for a discussion and review of the list of space requests to send to Facilities Services.

Chris talked about a new assessment tool: Gartner’s ITscore.  From Gartner: “Gartner’s ITScore is a tool that quantifies the maturity of both the IT organization as a provider and the enterprise as a consumer of information technology. Enterprise and IT leaders can use ITScore to identify and remedy constraints on their ability to leverage IT.

Roles (ie. assessment questionnaire areas)

  • Enterprise Perspective
  • Application Organization
  • Business Intelligence and Performance Management
  • Business Process Management
  • CIO Perspective
  • Enterprise Architecture
  • Infrastructure and Operations
  • IT Sourcing and IT Vendor Management
  • Program and Portfolio Management
  • Security and Risk Management

For more information, there is a video at: http://my.gartner.com/html/itscore/itscore-video.html

Thanks for reading,
Terry and Doreen


AD Meeting Notes, month of September

Special quadruple-size bonus issue to catch up, since I’ve again gotten behind with these… Most recent notes at the top.  TS

Sept. 27, 2012
Present: Mike Roy, Carol Peddie, Mary Backus, Terry Simpkins, Chris Norris, Shel Sax and Doreen Bernier

We talked about the membership of the Education and Training Team.  Terry will consult with the possible new members.

Mary led a discussion about the SLA response time recommendations.  After reviewing these recommendations with workgroup leaders, we will extend the recommended response times so that they are consistent across LIS.

Mike shared a list of potential topics for the optional all-LIS meetings.  We will share LIS staff for suggestions.

Shel gave an informative but bleak presentation on the Future of Higher Education.

Thanks for reading,
Terry & Doreen

Sept. 20, 2012
Present: Mary, Carol, Terry, Mike, Chris
Absent: Doreen

We agreed to have a semester start-up debriefing at the October managers meeting.

We will have a DiSC conversation in October for all-staff.  The assessments will go out in advance and the meeting will focus on results; no one will need to retake the assessment who has already taken it recently (e.g., for management training)

In looking more at the 306 goals that departments across campus have compiled, we reviewed those which might have a large impact on LIS and assigned each area director to follow-up with certain College offices where we need more information.  The point is to obtain more information on these goals and work to provide feedback on the goal viability from our point of view. This could involve stopping projects already in motion to work on new ones, or delaying new ones until we have capacity.

Thanks for reading,

Sept. 13, 2012
Present: Mike, Terry, Carol, Chris, Tim
Absent: Mary, Doreen

Tim Spears joined us as we reviewed a tentative (and incomplete) list of goals from other departments with potential impact on LIS.  We also spent time talking about MIIS, BL, and LS, etc. (not yet in the list of dept. goals) and their potential impact on LIS and how we will get more information about these projects.  We will need to review the goal list to identify projects for which we need more information, projects to dismiss, or projects which we think we can handle with the available resources.  This needs to happen within 3 weeks.

Other points of discussion with Tim:

  • staffing issues, especially in light of how some of the new initiatives under consideration will impact technology and LIS;
  • innovation TF recommendations will go to EAC for approval of “low-hanging fruit”
  • how does the Middlebury community engage the ongoing questions about college costs vs. relevance?  These conversations could also generate more goals and projects involving technology;
  • how do we (LIS/The College/everyone) foster innovation and creativity? LIS often seems to be a combination of utility company and experimentation zone

Following Tim’s departure, we had a brief discussion of the Security Team membership. Chris as sponsor will follow-up.

Sept. 6, 2012
Present: Mary, Carol, Terry, Mike, Chris
Absent: Doreen

Reviewed the directors’ updates and calendar.

Discussed SLA response times

Chris reported a flaw in Java runtime v6 and the recommended path for security reasons is to upgrade to v7. Some of our critical systems do not support the upgrade.  Carol and Chris will investigate more.

The About LIS page needs some updating (MR will do)

Joy & Kellam have sent out a request for information regarding this year’s debriefing on Language School support, still to be scheduled.

Facilities Services has put out their annual call for project requests.  Some that come immediately to mind:

  • data center refurbishing;
  • info desk refurbishing;

We will check with Joseph Watson about any projects remaining from last year.

We began talking about budget requirements for next year and new projects/requests LIS might be looking at.  We should be discussing needs and preliminary thinking with managers, especially viz-a-viz projects/requests involving capital costs that will subsequently roll over into operational costs.  More discussions in early October.

Reviewed topics for various upcoming meetings: managers, directors, open meetings, and all staff meetings:

  • Communications Task Force;
  • Curricular Technology support;
  • Staffing plan;
  • Innovation task forces (James Davis);
  • DiSC workshop (October);
  • Policy summit;
  • Amy McGill from MIIS could talk about current activities on the Left Coast;
  • Review goals from other areas of the College that will or might impact LIS (once shared with us)

We also talked about pulling conversations about our shared values into specific topic discussions, as this may inform why and how we do some of the things we do.  Directors should also talk with managers about what we are doing to incorporate the values into the worklife/workday.

Talked about team assessments: what issues are out there that we need to work on?  What do we expect when we begin inviting teams to Friday directors meetings?

  • Each team needs a clear, agreed upon charge;
  • Membership issues – are the right people on the right teams?  Are there people who want to rotate off?  Should we have terms?
  • Communications/updates;
  • Do we have the right teams? What work wouldn’t happen if a particular team didn’t exist? Can we afford to lose it or not?
  • Should teams be ongoing or project based?

Reviewed the recommendation of the incident tracking (HEAT) system replacement committee.  Carol stressed the need for an application administrator to oversee patches, work with central networking, etc., regardless of the system we choose, whether hosted or not.  We agreed that we need an implementation plan for Web Help Desk, especially looking at what it will take to host locally.  What will that take time away from?  We still have concerns over the matter of hosting/not hosting.  If we can’t support implementing Web Help Desk, we agreed we may need to go back to the drawing board and look for a new system.  We may also need to consider other models for providing support, but that may not work within our culture and expectations of support levels.  This will be considered a critical system, and taking on the hosting locally will involve considerable overhead to support this, overhead which we have not planned the staffing resources for.

Thanks for reading,

AD Meeting Notes, Aug. 30, 2012

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

The President’s Office has begun efforts to gather information about internal compliance requirements (“things which we require or request of ourselves, office-to-office, in order to get our work done.  Things that used to be able to get done with a single phone call that now requires several forms, paperwork, and follow up”).  Discussed their request for a list from each department of processes that might have the effect of making it more difficult to get work done.

We deferred discussion of  the Curricular Technology Team’s charge until the September AD’s retreat.  A future All-LIS staff open meeting will also be dedicated to how the teams vs. workgroups are working.

We talked about the academic software request process.  Terry will convene a small group (Lisa Terrier, Carrie Macfarlane, Carol, Terry, Mary).

Mike requested agenda suggestions for future LIS meetings (managers, directors retreats, all staff meetings and optional all staff meetings).  Mike will create a draft list and distribute to the ADs for comments.

Thanks for reading,
Terry & Doreen


Area 51 notes, August 23, 2012

Present: Mike, Terry, Chris, Mary, Carol

We agreed to have discussions of readings of interesting or provocative articles relating to technology in education, libraries, strategic planning, etc., that are germane to the work we do in LIS.  We will establish a rotating schedule so that every 2 weeks one of us will propose readings as a starting point for conversation around a topic.  Mike will set the schedule.

We reviewed the proposed SLA response times for each workgroup, the purpose of which is to keep customers involved and updated without having to constantly request status updates.  We looked especially at groups whose response times seemed especially long, and talked briefly about the need for measurement tools to track response times (the new incident tracking system will help, but some groups track requests outside of that system).  Within the next 2 weeks, all area directors will talk to workgroup managers about the recommended SLA times.  We’d like workgroups to conform to our recommended response times whenever possible, but realize that there may be completely valid rationales for longer times in some cases.

We approved a request from the Research & Collections Services area to hire a temporary, part-time reference librarian for the 2012-2013 academic year to assist with reference coverage while the R&I group is operating at reduced staffing levels.

Reviewed the goals/projects summary for the next 3-6 months plan.  We have yet to see all the potential goals resulting from the annual planning process, but we reviewed the latest quarterly project list for accuracy and completeness.  As a corollary to this, the ADs are going to reestablish our Friday meeting series focusing on team issues and team update.  This will be in partial fulfillment of one of our AD team goals.

Reviewed updates from each director.  Among the highlights:

  • We will be discussing issues around curricular software support at our Sept. retreat
  • Mary will convene a kick-off meeting of technical support staff who work outside of LIS.  Details (frequency, etc.) will be determined by the group at their first meeting.

Thanks for reading,

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