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Manager’s Meeting Notes, Sept. 19, 2013

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Present:  Pij Slater, Terry Simpkins, Joe Antonioli, Rachel Manning, Mike Roy, Joseph Watson, Joe Durante, Lisa Terrier, Rebekah Irwin, Chris Norris, David Ludwig, Petar Mitrevski, Jim Stuart, Mary Backus, Dan Frostman and Doreen Bernier

Announcements:

  • New ILL Assistant Megan Burns has started work in LIS.  Welcome Megan!
  • Media Services now supporting events in McCullough and looking to set up a substitute pool to assist when media services staff are not available
  • 9/20 Academic Roundtable in CTLR: all are invited
  • A few staff moving offices next week:  Ian, Cindy and Charlotte
  • Language Schools end-of-summer report is complete and the Bread Loaf one is close.

This remainder of the meeting was dedicated to the discussion of professional development for LIS Staff. Mike will be sending out an all-LIS announcement shortly detailing a six-month pilot project called “Time To Learn” that will carve out time for ongoing professional development for all LIS staff.

Thanks for reading,
Doreen & Terry

Managers meeting notes, August 8, 2013

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Present: Carrie, Joe A, Mike, Joseph, Ian B, Terry (notes), Pij, Joe D, Peggy, Mary, Dan, Jim

Mike will soon send out requests for volunteers to form two groups:

  • one to investigate teams;
  • another to look at possible LIS benchmark/performance indicators.

We focused the rest of the meeting on discussing preparations for the upcoming start of the Fall semester, along with other activities that are occupying folks during the waning days of summer.

Joseph:

  • Dealing with an outbreak of mold at Davison Library
  • Now working part-time in Special Collections
  • With staff, undertaking a review of periodicals at Armstrong

Terry:

  • MISO prep – request to share questions that are required so they are not needlessly debated.  Mike mentioned that the results of the MISO survey would likely be considered one of our key performance indicators;
  • Work with the communications task force is continuing;
  • liaisons and systems folks are working diligently on migrating our SubsPlus subject guides to a new platform called LibGuides;
  • we are now providing access to Middlebury journals/databases for a select group of MIIS center directors and department heads

Ian Burke:

  • Shifting College point-of-sale systems to a new area of the network;
  • Planning for “cyber awareness month” in October.

Mike:

  • planning for a data center is beginning;
  • Mike, Jim, Chris, Mike, and Mary participated in a conference call with a few other area schools to discuss a joint IT security assessment;
  • Bill Burger in Communications has received funding for TV studio “in a box”; implemented first at MIIS and then, eventually, at Midd.  Location at Midd still TBD;
  • Jim Ralph is here and involved with CTLR.  Beginning conversations about the possibility of applying for grants in the area of digital humanities projects;
  • Jim and Mike seeking approval, funding, etc. for a biweekly luncheon series to highlight innovations around technology and pedagogy;
  • discussing LIS Info Lit efforts and how that might align with CTLR’s new role;
  • Met with COO of Middlebury Interactive Languages (MIL); may try to have semi-regular conversations between their tech staff and ours for professional development purposes.

Pij:

  • Education & Training Team is in the process of collecting feedback on the new LIS help site.  Will probably roll out after Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.
  • Preparing wiki documentation for cut-over to MiddCloud.

Joe Durante

  • Working on hiring/returning Helpdesk students;
  • Returning student assistants will need training to use WebHelpDesk;
  • SLAs up and running; alerts are now sent whenever something is unduly delayed.

Peggy

  • Print management group is talking with SymQuest about changing our primary printer model from Canon to Kyocera.  Kyocera fully supports PaperCut and we’ve also been experiencing problems with the Canon Mac drivers;
  • Looking at alternate billing methods

Mary

  • Working with MIIS to implement Web Help Desk, using a shared database.  Tickets will be divided by location;
  • Planning public announcements of the self-service feature of WHD (September) and of the SLAs (October;
  • Something involving first-year registration (possibly registration system training, or possibly just people having trouble registering – conflicting reports…) will be happening in the Libraryon the afternoon of Sept. 4.

Dan

  • Asset inventory piece of WHD still not working with KeyServer; may need to re-import computer data into the new database system;
  • circulation/reserves staff are preparing to wrap up BL School of English and are also preparing for beginning of BL Writers Conference;
  • 18,000 more people visited Davis in July 2013 than in 2012;
  • planning for more equitable carrel distribution to those who have greatest need for them.

Jim

  • Final prep for Middfiles cutover, scheduled for Aug 18, will take 6 hours to cut-over;
  • CSNS is engaged in a complete network overhaul of MIIS campus; the core is being built here at Middlebury, and the first components installed at MIIS probably by mid-September;
  • Network improvements happening at Washington DC office of MIIS’ Center for Non-Proliferation Studies (CNS). Also preparing for a new Internet connection;
  • Undertaking a wireless assessment to determine coverage gaps; have identified some spaces, such as Gifford, where we need to upgrade;
  • Upgrading Computer Science lab, integrating authentication into our main system.  Moving storage for CS students and faculty to MiddFiles from a separate system;
  • Next windows upgrade to 8.1 will only support one specific VPN protocol; may impact some home users.

Carrie

  • Incoming students will be getting a USB guide of helpful information rather than a packet of printed materials;
  • Marketing efforts:
    • LIS book marks for new students;
    • Post-cards to market/advertise the most useful/helpful of our services;
  • Doing a targeted survey for some first-year seminars; planning for pre- and post-instruction tests to assess how well we are teaching info lit skills.  Joe Antonioli is helping with KeySurvey for this.

Joe Antonioli

  • Digital Media Tutors had a total of 66 project proposals.  40 are complete; 5 more starting soon due to returning faculty schedules; 14-15 projects to complete before academic year;
  • CourseHub for MIIS;
  • Changes to CurrTech site, making sure it is up-to-date and the information is correct.  This will not be a full overhaul this year, however;
  • Undertaking a side-by-side comparison of Midd and UNC Chinese placement exams for LS and UG department;
  • We need to make a decision on our SANSSpace by the start of the academic year;
  • Honor Code tutorial – new site, integration with CourseHub;
  • LS review every year, so will want to meet with folks involved in that support.

Thanks for reading,
Terry

Managers’ Meeting Notes, July 11, 2013

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Present: Joe Antonioli, Mike Roy, Carrie Macfarlane, Lisa Terrier, Pij Slater, Joe Durante, Jim Stuart, Rebekah Irwin, Peggy Fischel, Mary Backus, Carol Peddie, Rachel Manning, Terry Simpkins, Joseph Watson, Petar Mitrevski and Doreen Bernier

Announcements:

  • Stacy Reardon has started as Librarian
  • Susan Simmons has started as Business Systems Analyst
  • David Wright has started as Media Services Specialist
  • Brett Wells has started as Computing Specialist II
  • We still have an open positions for Information Security Analyst, an ILL Assistant, and Curator of Special Collections & Archives

Web Help Desk – general discussion of best practices

  • Petar mentioned that Media Services has successfully downsized from 4 tracking systems to 1 with the installation of Web Help Desk
  • WHD is slow at times, especially in the afternoon.  Working to resolve this with the vendor and may need to send our database to them for testing/troubleshooting.  Jim Stuart is also looking into possible causes, but thus far the issue doesn’t seem to be on our network end.
  • Mary Backus indicated that SLA alerts had not been turned on, but will be sent out today.  They had been waiting for a way to exclude events scheduling from the alert systems, since these tickets are often entered far in advance of the event date
  • Anecdotal evidence that WHD is fostering communication between workgroups that hadn’t had much direct contact in the past
  • Templates are being set up in Web Help Desk that can assist customers in viewing our priorities.

Review of LIS Directors Goals:
We held a brief discussion/overview of the LIS Directors goals for FY14.  These goals are:

  • policy review
    • Outcome: Clarity within LIS and cross the College about what policies govern LIS activities and how they are determined
    • Comment: although internal and external policies were reviewed last year, a process for input and feedback should be implemented and inventory should be revisited.
  • internal communications improvements
    • Outcomes: A better informed staff, less confusion about where to go for meeting notes and agendas, decisions made with more input from across the organization
    • Comment: The Internal Communications Task Force will be presenting their recommendations at next week’s all-staff meeting.  Terry Simpkins gave a brief reminder of the top issues raised in last year’s short survey.
  • prioritization
    • Outcome: Clarity within LIS and across the College about how work is requested from LIS, and how LIS priorities are established and communicated.  This goal is based on feedback from some of our constituents across campus.
    • Comment: Should there be representation here from across LIS?
  • re-assess teams
    • Outcome: More effective teams that can achieve important goals and allow for effective work across work groups and areas.
    • Comment: can we implement 360 reviews for our annual performance evaluations, as we do with teams?
  • support for professional development
    • Outcome: A staff that is prepared to support not only existing systems, services, and resources, but also prepared for the fast-moving future.
    • Comment: We are looking at ways to allow a certain number of hours per month for staff to pursue training and professional development opportunities.  A survey will soon be sent out regarding this topic.

In addition to these goals, Mike has four other things that he would like to see LIS pursue:

  • effective meetings: How well run are our current meetings?  What could be done to improve them?
  • project management: Interested in some sort of in-depth, multi-session course on project management to help us develop a common approach and vocabulary for this type of work.  Should there be a project management office? Should we develop some sort of tool kit to assist project managers?
  • 360 reviews for managers: we discussed this last year. Mike would like to see all managers in LIS go through some version of a 360 review on a regular basis.
  • balanced scorecard pilot:  a first pass at establishing quantitative and qualitative metrics for understanding how each workgroup, team, and area is performing.

Next Month’s agenda

  • Semester Startup – around-the-table discussion
  • Teams Assessment

Thanks for readin’!
Terry & Doreen

Managers Meeting, Oct. 11, 2012

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Present:  Lisa Terrier, Joe Durante, Pij Slater, Peggy Fischel, Mike Roy, David Ludwig, Jim Stuart, Joe Antonioli, Joseph Watson, Chris Norris, Carrie Macfarlane, Terry Simpkins, Rebekah Irwin, Mary Backus, Ian Burke, Dan Frostman, Petar Mitreviski and Doreen Bernier

Mike Roy shared early results of the staff survey showing improvements from last year in every area.

Preparations for the Dalai Lama visit were briefly discussed.

Mary reviewed the process for selecting a new incident tracking system (we currently use HEAT) for LIS.  Two finalists were selected,  Parature and Web Helpdesk.  Parature is a hosted solution while Web Helpdesk, after recently having been acquired by Solarwinds, Inc., no longer offers hosting services.  After analysis, Parature was eliminated because they could not find enthusiastically positive reviews of the product.  For a hosting solution with Web Heldesk, a third-party service, Loop1, will be selling hosting for Web Helpdesk.  Cost and impact are being investigated.  Other tidbits from the discussion:

  • Dan and Mary also agreed to be application co-administrators.
  • A kickoff meeting to analyze how support will flow through the organization and to prepare an implementation plan will be organized soon.
  • Jim Stuart asked if departments outside of LIS would also utilize this new ticketing system?  Would it be prudent to look at it in a larger campus wide context?  Mary stated that this was only being looked at for LIS and if it went campus-wide, someone other than LIS would need to organize and budget for it.
  • Web Helpdesk will not hold concurrent licensing.  Individual licenses will be needed for staff to use this product. She asked managers to give Dan names of students and other staff who may need access.
  • Mike noted that workgroups will be involved in these conversations, and staff should try to find time in our schedules to dedicate to this project within the next 3 -5 months.
  • We also recognized the need for Service Level Agreements to be incorporated into any new ticketing system we implement.
  • Finally, Mary also asked the workgroups to let Dan know if they have a specific set of data that they want to have tracked.

LIS has launched the LIS Tech Partners group, comprised of LIS staff and department tech leads (i.e. those staff charged with providing tech services to other departments on campus.

Mike created an online form for managers to describe how things went with the startup of the Fall semester.  What went well and what didn’t?

  • One of the themes extracted from the results was on Printing.  Suggestions were made to either have a staff member available to assist with printing problems or to develop a  troubleshooting video to assist students.
  • Jim Stuart asked why is there still so much printing?  Should there be more of a campaign to promote electronic submissions?   We still have students that prefer to study in print and a conservative faculty.
  • Joe Antonioli noted that communications between workgroups seemed better this year.
  • Because the pool of student help at the beginning of the year is so small, should we find temporary help to assist with fall semester?  Mary noted that Circulation has a pool of subs who can be trained and to contact Dan if temporary student help is needed.
  • There were fewer course data fixes this year.  Data from Banner seemed to be more accurate than in years past.
  • Was everyone aware that student workers had not been paid? Student employment said that it  could take them up to 3 weeks to manually enter authorization forms into the system.  We should confirm mid-August next year to make sure the students will get paid in a timely fashion.
  • Next year at the July Manager’s meeting, we should discuss the school year startup.  This should also be reviewed in May for Language Schools.
  • Petar commented on communications – we should integrate the  ticketing system with events scheduling to assist with venue and event time changes.
  • Petar also mentioned that we need more time for classroom tech upgrades

Mike led a conversation about the next phase of staffing requests by indicating we currently have 4 open positions.  Through a voting process, managers believe they need 8 new positions.  He asked managers to be thoughtful in analyzing their staffing needs, and be cognizant of the costs associated with increasing staff resources.  We agreed the managers and ADs need to gather info from workgroup leaders and hold another open meting and discuss ideas.  ADs would then use their next retreat to prepare the phase 2 staffing plan to present to SRC.

Joe Antonioli noted that on August 31st Segue was officially decommissioned.  Woohoo!

Thanks for reading, Terry & Doreen

Managers Meeting, Sept. 13, 2012

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Present:  Chris Norris, Peggy Fischel, Mike Roy, Joe Durante, Pij Slater, Ian Burke, Lisa Terrier, Dan Frostman, Carol Peddie, Joseph Watson, Rachael Manning, Carrie Macfarlane, Jim Stuart, Joe Antonioli, Petar Mitrevski, Chris Tangora, Terry Simpkins, Rebekah Irwin and Doreen Bernier

Pij led the managers through a discussion about the Education and Training Team’s recommendation to include new language in all LIS job descriptions, indicating what technology skills are expected for all LIS staff members.  The Education & Training team recommends adding the following general phrase to all LIS job descriptions in the section labeled “Other”:

Demonstrate proficiency in general computing skills, such as e-mail, word processing, and use of web-based applications and resources.

Ability to operate in a networked computer environment, including the appropriate use of file storage, understanding security best practices, and a willingness and ability to develop new competencies.

Pij explained that this contains only the “minimum” requirements for LIS staff positions. For current staff members who do not maintain the skills set by these minimum requirements, educational opportunities will be made available, should your current position require them.

This topic will be discussed at the next All LIS Staff meeting.

Joe Antonioli presented the following plan created by the Communications Taskforce.  He described the basic survey and information gathering process.
https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/12o26-W5h-1zQCu3w3aYjyGNyVlBy2XPERYDc3Mx8Zek/edit  This will also be presented to staff at the next All LIS Staff meeting.

Thanks for reading,

Terry and Doreen

Manager’s Meeting Notes, May 10, 2012

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Present:  Mike Roy, Carrie Macfarlane, Peggy Fischel, Joe Antonioli, Mary Backus, Jess Isler, Dan Frostman, Ian Burke, Rachel Manning, Joe Durante, Chris Norris, Carol Peddie, Pij Slater, Terry Simpkins, David Ludwig, Petar Mitrevski and Jim Stuart (via phone).

Pij Slater presented the Education and Training Team’s Orientation Checklist for New LIS Staff for discussion.  Some suggestions for inclusion or revision were:

  • Expand the list of “systems” to include all in current use (i.e., Millenium, Subsplus, Heat, Hyperion, etc.
  • Information on locating documents in Middfiles
  • Reserving library rooms
  • Information map (“What info is where” — Middfiles v. Googledocs v. wiki)
  • Shift the information security section above BannerWeb
  • Include information on keys and card access
  • Ordering supplies
  • Garbage and recycling
  • Information on printing/copying for office and personal use
  • Management of personal Drupal profiles (Main directory & workgroup page)
  • BannerWeb overview (not covered by H/R in their orientation sessions)
  • Add mission statement to document
  • Under platforms – add portal
  • Portal customization – add link
  • Various web platforms (Joe Antonioli will provide this information)
  • Be sure to define abbreviations for those who might not understand them

The managers also discussed the idea of presenting this at an LIS all-staff meeting,  possibly as an exercise where staff would actually go through the checklist document in detail.  Managers also felt that this should be discussed on the workgroup level.  Finally, we talked a bit about maintaining the document.  Who will do this and how will be kept up to date?  Should this be made into an “LIS portal?”

Next steps will include:

  • Pij (or the Team) will make changes and incorporate the group’s suggestions
  • Redistribute to the managers
  • Joe A. will consult with the Web Team about maintaining this in Drupal vs. Wiki (Ed & Training Team prefers a Drupal page for easier formatting, with links to the underlying content on wiki or elswhere.)
  • Present at All Staff meeting

Mike then led a discussion of a number of ideas to improve “how we do our work” that we generated several meetings ago.  These ideas include:

  • Topics from management training
    • Effective meetings
    • Prioritization
    • Effective communication
    • Feedback
    • Planning and decision making
    • Delegation
    • DiSC
    • Shared values: trust, respect (this item was moved up on the list because of importance)
  • Consolidate places to find and share information – Mike asked for volunteers to work on this, and Ian Burke, Chris Norris, Terry Simpkins, David Ludwig, Pij Slater, Joe Durante, and Joe Antonioli were foolish enough to suddenly blink, twitch, scratch themselves, or otherwise attract Mike’s attention.  Therefore, this group will meet to develop make recommendations regarding internal communication once we have a charge.
  • SLAs and ticketing system
  • Policy summit and policy overrides (this should be done AFTER the SLA process is complete.  Consider handbook update schedule.  Carol Peddie will work on this, possibly in June)
  • Focus on technical training

Other ideas that are worth pursuing but potentially more complex to implement include:

  • Team assessment: new charges, membership, protocols
  • 360 reviews for managers (do not do this during the annual evaluation time)
  • Career ladders
  • Adding staff
  • Values – have we articulated the right values for LIS and how do we hold people accountable to them.  Mike will present values at an All-Staff meeting for discussion, but it should also be discussed on an area/workgroup level.

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