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Area 51 notes, July 19, 2012

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

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

We discussed the agenda for the AD retreat on July 27. This meeting will be focused on the preparing goals and materials to send to the Office of Planning and Assessment, which is overseeing the goal-setting process for the College this year. We also discussed draft goals for the Senior Leadership Team, and will continue that discussion at the retreat as well.

We also reviewed the status of LIS projects to help Mike prepare his Dean’s Quarterly Report, which identifies some of the primary work LIS is focusing on for the next 3 months. Thanks for reading,

Terry & Doreen

Area 51 notes, June 14, 2012

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

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

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

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, May 31, 2012

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

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

The ADs briefly discussed the LIS priorities list, which Mike has been working on.  When finished, Mike will distribute his modified list to the ADs for further discussion.

As noted in the email from the VP of Planning & Assessment earlier this week, their deadline for receiving goals is August 1st.  The ADs have decided to keep to our current schedule, requesting all work group goals be submitted to the ADs by July 1st.   The one-page summary needed for the annual report is due on August 1st.

As a follow-up to the commencement video concerns, the ADs discussed how video recording for important events could be improved.  Focus should be put on workflow, testing and communications.  A meeting will be scheduled with LIS and communications staff next week.

Thanks for reading
Doreen

Area 51 notes, May 10, 2012

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

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

The ADs discussed the timing of the Google/MS Live evaluation.  In order to take into consideration staff workloads, Mike asked the ADs to estimate project timelines/completion dates for major current projects to see when it would be feasible to complete this evaluation step.

In anticipation of an upcoming discussion with the Web Team, Terry asked the ADs for input on elements of a new charge for Web Team III.  The ADs suggested a number of topics, which Terry will bring to the team for discussion.  Among the initial ideas we discussed were these:

  • assessing the “extended” web presence (blogs, wikis, etc.)
  • research into new features and functionality that we may want to implement
  • improving the “self-service” aspect of the site
  • modifying design, features, etc., of the site to bring highly sought-after pages closer to the forefront
  • working with content managers to review analytics, etc., in an effort to keep site content relevant and prune obsolete information/pages/etc.

On a related note, Chris presented a draft of a team charge for the Security Team to the ADs for approval.  Rather than a list of specific tasks, this charge serves as a sort of “statement of purpose,” which the Team can use on a continuing basis to set goals each year.  This approach might also benefit other teams as well.  After some discussion, the ADs approved the charge and are happy to meet with Team members for follow-up, if desired.

Mary Backus presented a proposal for printer consolidation to review and discuss prior to presenting it to President’s Staff.  ADs were interested in learning more about the money saved and time gained from supporting fewer printers, as well as the criteria for deciding which printers to remove (e.g., distance or easy access to printers, no. of pages printed, etc.)  Mary will provide more information on this.

Chris provide a system level monitoring & availability update, sharing the data compiled in the last 3 months on how College systems are performing.  Over this period of time, systems were performing at 99.81% and not the preferred 99.9%, due to downtimes on systems for a variety of reasons (migration, Middfiles affects, scheduled upgrades, and other planned outages). Some systems of concern are iGreentree, Frontrush, Segue and the MIIS Drupal site. Systems working at 100% were Google, Rave, Cybersource and Blackberry.

Thanks for reading,
Terry & Doreen

Manager’s meeting notes, April 2012

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

We discussed next steps regarding the recent Manager Training workshops, and proposed some topics to suggest to Sheila Andrus for quarterly or other refresher workshops, including:

  • prioritization: using the urgent/important Covey grid to learn how to map out priorities and manage workload
  • how to develop and assess SMART goals
  • giving feedback
    • manager to staff
    • staff to manager
    • peer to peer
    • third party
  • effective meetings

We talked about implementing the DiSC evaluation given at the management training for all LIS staff.

  • Dan Frostman (leader), Joe Durante, Joe Antonioli, Sheila Andrus, and Joseph Watson will develop a proposal
  • We need a charge
  • We need a timeline

We also suggested that information from the training be disseminated to staff, and that  managers should take an hour with their work groups to review the topics covered. If they so choose, they can use Dan’s presentation, and then discuss how that went at the next managers meeting (slides at http://prezi.com/adylam68cjey/dans-take-on-management-training/).

Key concepts from management training:

  • ladder of inference
  • circle of concern and circle of influence
  • Covey prioritization grid (important/urgent, etc.)
  • aligned organization
  • DiSC profiles
  • 4 key activities of a manager: communicate, provide feedback, coach, delegate
  • performance management cycle
  • feedback
  • delegation
  • situational leadership
  • SMART Goals
  • “waterfall” communications
  • running effective Meetings
  • teams

Thanks for reading

Terry & Doreen

Manager’s meeting, Jan. 2012

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Present:  Ian Burke, David Ludwig, Jim Stuart, Joe Durante, Pij Slater, Terry Simpkins, Mary Backus, Chris Norris, Peggy Fischel, Joseph Watson, Rebekah Irwin, Jess Isler, Dan Frostman, Rachel Manning, Petar Mitrevski and Doreen Bernier

We discussed the LIS Values.  Mary asked “as a management team, are they useful to your work?  Do you use them?”  We agreed that our values could be useful for departments, but they need to be integrated more into our everyday environment.  It appears that they are currently not accessed often by workgroup leaders.  Workgroup leaders should remind staff of these values yearly and this could be a useful tool during evaluations.  Managers should also offer positive feedback throughout the year.  We should consider possibly incorporating these values into the monthly employee awards.  No revision to this document is needed at this time.

We talked some about the mechanics of the staffing plan

  • If you have any questions about iGreenTree, contact either Heather Stafford in HR or Carol Peddie.
  • As we make plans to bring in candidates for open positions, we should begin by preparing a list of search committee members.  These members should talk with HR to find out what is appropriate to ask candidates and what is not.
  • Search committees should save all notes and documentation and give them to HR after the process is completed.
  • All resumes and documentation pertaining to candidates are considered confidential.  Please shred any leftover materials.

Chris mentioned the most important column in the Roadmap Project Directory needing updates is the status column.  He also mentioned that it is also possible to import MS Project into Roadmap, but only 1 project at a time.  If you have a lot of projects to import, please ask Chris for assistance.  Roadmap also has an export feature and exporting to Excel is the easiest.

Everyone has updated their goals (thank you!).  Mike will be preparing a blog post updating the college community on our accomplishments.  It was suggested that goals be added to workgroup agendas to get people talking about them.  Talk to your AD if you should have any questions.

The annual evaluation process begins in January, with all evaluations being due to HR by March 31.  HR is preparing a new evaluation form this year, which will be distributed shortly.  The merit raise quota from last year is not being continued this year, but you can still nominate staff for bonuses.  The next Manager training session is January 18th.

We discussed whether the optional all LIS meetings should be monthly instead of every two weeks, and held on a different day than Friday.  Some topic suggestions:

  • Building library collections
  • Sustaining analog laptops in classrooms
  • Service points
  • Sophos

We discussed team workloads, specifically how we can help workgroup leaders prioritize their regular work and requests for team work.  Some team members don’t have “cycles” in their work to allow them to handle the work of their teams during low periods.  Team members are interested in doing the work, but they can’t find the time to set aside regular work.  Because of the current staffing levels in some areas, there is little “extra” time to devote to team work.  Should a process be in place where team members can be rotated?  This topic should be continued at another Managers meeting.

Thanks for reading

Terry & Doreen