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March 2014 LIS Update

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

spring-flowers

We’ve posted the March 2014 Update from LIS.

As has become our custom, we write this update three times a year to provide ourselves and  rest of the community with a review of recent accomplishments, and more importantly, a roadmap for what to expect in the next three to six months. In addition, we make a nod to what we see as future issues and challenges further down the road.

Highlights since the last LIS Update include:

  • We continued to co-sponsor with CTLR the Academic Roundtable to encourage cross-campus conversation on important topics having to do with pedagogy, scholarly inquiry, and student learning.

  • We also continued our planning for the digital liberal arts initiative.

  • We continued to build out new library subject guides

  • In Special Collections, we supported students and faculty during Winter Term including A People’s History of Middlebury and Field House Museum, Adventure Writing, Space and Place in the Graphic Novel, and Matt Longman’s seminar on higher education.

  • We started to archive Ward Prize-winning student essay in our online archive

  • We made more progress in building out our new videoconferencing infrastructure and upgraded a number of classroom.

  • We continued to encourage our community to use Web Help Desk to request service from us.

  • We created a new guide to training options that include both on-line, off-site, and on campus options.

Key goals for the next three to six months include:

 

  • As part of the broader faculty governance conversations taking place on campus, we in turn are thinking about a wide range of governance questions. How do we ensure appropriate consultation with our students, faculty, and staff to ensure that our planning and prioritization is aligned with the needs of the community that we serve?

  • We are hiring! We are currently running searches for a director of academic technology, a senior systems administrator, a head of collections, a media services specialist, and a network security analyst.

  • We are discussing the technical and policy implications of converting our google apps from a pilot to a full-supported production system.

  • We will also be discussing the process for evaluating new options for our email/calendaring system, and updating our analysis of the privacy and security implications of moving certain services to the cloud.

  • We are busy planning for the move of the CSNS and Security work groups to Exchange Street, the move of the Enterprise Applications area to Painter House, and the re-use of space within the Davis Family Library to support the digital liberal arts initiative.

  • We are planning an upgrade to the latest version of Microsoft Exchange.

  • We’ll be rolling out a Network Access Control system that will allow us to more carefully control which devices can join our network.

  • We’ll be reconfiguring the wireless network to make it simpler and more secure. As part of that, we’ll be putting in place a guest registration system to allow for those who only need to use it on a temporary basis.

  • We will be working closely with many offices across campus to develop a multi-year plan for Nolij, the document imaging system that allows for offices to automate many of their paper-based processes.

  • We’ll be upgrading Drupal, the software that powers our website to the latest version.

  • We’re also working with the Office of Communications on rolling out a new design for the homepage and some of the key pages that are linked to from the home page.

  • We will have an external security review of our systems as part of a consortial effort to improve our security stance.

  • We will continue our efforts to study trends in the ways our public computer labs are used to help us plan for the future of providing computing resources to our students.

  • We will start a pilot project where you can check out a bicycle from the circulation desk.

  • We’re writing a Request for Proposal as part of our investigation into a new campus phone system.

While we pursue all of this, we will of course keep doing all of our regular stuff: prepping for Language Schools, upgrading classroom and lab technology, adding more wireless access points, updating various systems, teaching information literacy courses, buying and cataloging library materials, and distributing new computers.

One goal that we are very keen to pursue is to invent a fool-proof, indestructible stapler that no one can steal.

If you have questions, comments, or suggestions on any of this, please feel free to contact me (Mike Roy, mdroy@middlebury.edu) or do so on-line at http://sites.middlebury.edu/lis/2014/03/27/march-lis-update/  .

– mike

LIS Quarterly Update: April 2013

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

wordle-april-quarterlyreportI just posted the latest installment of the Quarterly Update from LIS. This installment covers activity from December 2012 through March 2013, and describes recent accomplishments, our current priorities (for the next 3-6 months) and longer range opportunities and challenges that we are preparing for. The 14 workgroups and  teams that comprise LIS each contributed on average a little more than five items in each of the three categories. This adds up to a total of 233 items, broken down into 72 items recently accomplished, 95 items that are current priorities, and 66 items in the future-oriented category. As always, we hope that this report provides useful insight into the work that we are engaged in. We welcome feedback on any and all items included in this report.

As I read through this, I think of the LIS mission statement “We bring knowledge to you. We help you explore, use, and contribute to it as you engage the world”, and how the many, many activities we are engaged in are all part of our overall effort to evolve our resources and services to adapt to a changing information and technology environment, an evolving curriculum, and a community with an increasing appetite for all things digital. I am also struck by how these seemingly disparate activities all do in fact connect with one another through our mission, and through our mission to the broader mission of the College.

 

LIS Quarterly Update: January 2012

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Welcome to 2012! As part of my ongoing effort to keep LIS and the College community aware of and involved in the work of LIS, I’ve decided to start writing a quarterly report. The report will offer highlights from the last three months, and describe our upcoming priorities, longer-term issues we should begin to consider, and other institutional planning efforts with which we must connect. Given the constraints of our budget and staffing, it is clear that we need to understand our priorities, make hard choices, and focus our efforts on the areas and initiatives that will make the most difference.

Having written the report, it is evident to me that we have much to be proud of, much to keep us busy, and much to look forward to. We work in a rapidly evolving set of fields. We are integral to the day-to-day operation of the College. Our work is key to a future that is increasingly digital, networked, and global. Our challenge is to find ways to make this manageable and understandable for us and for the community we serve.

My intention is to provide updates in a similar fashion on a quarterly basis. I welcome feedback on what I can do to make this regular communication serve its intended goal, which is both to inform and to invite further dialogue. As always, my door is open!

Recently completed projects

We’ve completed several major projects this quarter. The list below is not meant to be comprehensive, but it will give you a good idea of what we’ve accomplished. For those interested in seeing a complete inventory of all recently completed projects, you can do that by looking at the project directory.

  • Banner Migration
    After months of planning and considerable last-minute work, we moved Banner to a hosted facility run by SunGard. We did this project in record time under very stressful conditions. This may well be the most impressive piece of work that I’ve had the pleasure to work on. (For the record: the party to celebrate this has been on hold awaiting Carol’s return!)
  • Nolij (imaging) for Admissions and International Student Services
    We also launched an imaging project with Admissions and International Student Services. In the case of Admissions, Nolij (the name of the product we are using) allows the admissions office to be entirely paperless, thereby completing a multi-year initiative to increase efficiency.
  • Portal
    Last week, we officially released a web portal that allows student, faculty, and staff to create customized views of a wide array of campus information. This information can be easily accessed and read on both mobile devices and computers.
  • Course Hub
    This Fall, we launched a new service for faculty and students called the course hub. It provides a place for faculty to share a simple syllabus for their course, and to link to online resources such as blogs, wikis, online reserves, or a course Moodle site. For students, it brings together in a single place all of the electronic resources for all of their courses.
  • Moodle
    As part of the launch of the course hub, we went live with an open source course management system called Moodle, which replaces Segue. Support for Moodle is being handled by the faculty liaisons, which is another change in how we support instructional technology.
  • Summon
    Summon is a new discovery tool that allows our patrons to search via one Google-like box not only the contents of our library catalog, but nearly all of the electronic databases, journals, and full-text offerings. This has been generally well-received, although there are some who still prefer the more precise searching afforded by the individual interfaces designed for each type of resource.
  • Network Upgrade
    We’ve ‘juniperized’ the last major building on campus (fittingly, Painter House, the home of our founder). We can declare victory on our campus network upgrade!
  • DVD project
    We reclassified, re-cased, and relocated our DVD collection from behind the circulation desk to the main floor of the library, where it is now available for browsing. In addition, we relaxed many of the restrictions on borrowing these materials, making them more widely available to the campus community.

 

Upcoming Projects/Decisions
In the first quarter of this year, we will focus our attention on a range of projects, issues, and decisions. If you have ideas or concerns about any of these, we will hold open meetings to explain our present thinking and provide you with the opportunity to make suggestions.

I’ve organized this section into two categories: the How and the What.

The How List
How we go about doing our work internally and with the rest of the community

  1. Policies
    To improve the security of our systems and the mechanisms we use to protect our data, we are proposing to the administration policies on network monitoring and security incident response. We are also establishing new internal policies for change management, server administration, and back-up/restore methodologies.
  2. Service Level Agreements
    We’re creating service level agreements that will make clear what services are offered, and what are expected and reasonable timelines for the delivery of any given service.
  3. Process Analysis for Help Desk
    With an eye to increasing efficiency, we’re taking a critical look at how requests for service are processed within the Service Request area. This analysis is the first step in a larger project, linked to the service level agreement project, to improve the efficiency of how we all work together in providing service to the community.
  4. Rethinking the Banner LEADS Program
    To streamline development and support for Banner in particular and administrative systems in general, we would like to improve the LEADS program by clarifying who is responsible for supporting various aspects of Banner, who provides training, and how requests for support and development are created and vetted.
  5. Team Realignment
    We are working with a consultant to analyze our existing teams, provide training to LIS staff new to teams, and to develop strategies for enhancing the efficacy of our teams.
  6. Improving Communications
    We will continue to experiment with new ways to improve communications, including our recently launched Friday morning open meetings. We will also create more opportunities for face to face, two-way dialogue and for input into our decision-making and prioritization processes.
  7. Management Training
    All LIS managers will participate in a five-day intensive management training that will occur over the course of February and March.

 

The WHAT List:
Projects currently underway that may have broad impact across the organization and across the campus (you can find a comprehensive list of all of our projects in the project directory).

  1. Classroom Project
    We are working with the Language Schools, Registrar’s Office, and Facilities Services  to develop a plan for adding more smart classrooms to support the growing needs of the Language Schools. In addition, we are reviewing how we can enhance our video recording and videoconferencing capabilities in our classrooms.
  2. Google Apps and MS365 Evaluation
    We are evaluating Google Apps for Higher Education and MS365 as possible replacements for our local Exchange email and calendaring service.
  3. Budget
    In addition to working on the FY12 budget, we are developing a five-year budget that projects costs to maintain our current technology and library materials investments.
  4. Improving Library Collections eBooks
    In light of our new purchase-on-demand eBook program, we are looking at ways to adopt this approach for printed materials, as well.
  5. Disaster Recovery
    We are putting the finishing touches on our disaster recovery plan. Once complete, we will turn our attention to testing it and keeping it current.
  6. Stats Lab in Library 140
    We’re finalizing plans for a 35 station stats computer lab in Library 140. This will expand the footprint of the room, forcing us to relocate two rows of book stacks.
  7. Further Rationalization of Printing/Copying
    We will continue to reduce the number of stand-alone printers and copiers and to provide appropriate printing and copying services.
  8. Data Classification Task Force
    As part of our ongoing efforts to ensure that our data is properly protected, we are appointing a data classification task force to inventory current practices across campus and make recommendations for how we can adequately protect our data.
  9. Video Workflow
    To increase the quality and visibility of video on our website, we have been analyzing and making improvements to the workflow associated with recording lectures and other events on campus.
  10. Sophos Anti-Virus
    We’re replacing our existing virus software with Sophos Endpoint Solution.
  1. Virtual Alumni College
    We are working with College Advancement to develop a small proof-of-concept project to understand what it takes to mount an online course for alumni. The pilot is John Elder teaching the poetry of Robert Frost.
  2. Hiring New Staff
    We will hire seven new staff members in the coming months. Advertising, recruiting, screening, and training these new positions will take up a great deal of time and energy.

 

Longer-Range Issues
While the lists above document what will keep us most busy in terms of rolling out new services, improving existing services, changing our internal processes, and making decisions, many in LIS would benefit from understanding what longer-range issues we will need to focus on in the near future. This list represents a mixture of more speculative activities that may or may not result in a new service, trends in our various industries that we ignore at our peril, or ongoing concerns that we will never be ‘finished’ with.  

  • Telephony
    Our phone switch will be obsolete in three years. How should we approach the future of voice communication on campus, and in relation to our many campuses spread across the globe? How does this relate to our planning for email and other types of communication platforms?
  • More Imaging Projects
    With the first wave of Nolij (see above) projects underway, we will need to develop a way to prioritize which offices will go next. Human Resources is a likely candidate, as is College Advancement.
  • Storage
    As more and more services move to the cloud and to mobile devices, how should we be thinking about file storage for collaboration and publication? With the explosive growth of video and other storage-hungry data applications, how do we project for growth? How do we think about our responsibilities for providing stable, secure, archival storage for things born digital?
  • Advising Portal
    With an increased interest in how academic advising functions, in what ways might we support these efforts through the use of online tools to allow for sharing of information between student and advisor?
  • Clusters as Pathway to Curriculum
    How might we use the web to help organize new ways of navigating and presenting the curriculum that is not currently an ‘official’ part of the curriculum, such as food studies, poverty studies, or global health?
  • Videoconferencing/Collaboration
    Given our ambitions to define what it means to be a global liberal arts college, how do we support the need to communicate and collaborate at a distance through video and the web?
  • Data Warehouse
    In order to make best use of the data stored in Banner to support data-driven decision making, we will want to decide whether we want to continue to provide reporting and analysis through traditional reporting means against banner. Alternatively, do we want invest in the construction of a data warehouse, as other schools have done?
  • Internet2
    A wide range of interesting services are now provided by Internet2. We want to determine if this offering makes sense for us, and if so, what the right path would be to access it.
  • Obe Group Press Project
    A number of librarians who are part of the Oberlin Group are studying whether or not we should form a liberal arts press to support new forms of scholarly communication on our campuses.
  • Scholar’s Lab/Digital Humanities
    We are making plans for what services our faculty and students may need in order to pursue scholarship in the emerging field of digital humanities and to support long-term archiving of born digital materials (see storage above).
  • Open Access
    We will want to facilitate a conversation on whether or not the faculty wish to adopt an open access policy for faculty publications, as other peer institutions have done.
  • Books on Demand
    We will explore how new models for offering print books in an on-demand model might factor into our overall goal of providing our patrons with what they need when they need it.
  • Information Literacy
    We have made great progress in developing standards for our incoming students and in working on pilots to define advanced information literacy goals for majors. That said, one of our core questions remains: what sorts of literacies — media, information, quantitative– do our undergraduates need in order to suceed both during their time at the College and after?
  • Death of Analog Video Formats
    The video industry has declared VHS and other analog formats as ‘formats non grata.’ We need to determine how to adjust our classrooms, and how to handle the conversion of valuable curricular resources before the clock runs out.

 

Linkage to Larger College-wide Goals and Objectives
What has been discussed thus far is very IT- and library-centric. From time to time, we all need to be reminded that we are here to support the ongoing mission of the College. To that end, I’ve listed below strategic conversations that are underway on campus. I challenge us all to think about what we do can do both to support and, at times, provide leadership as the College develops itself as the global liberal arts college. In subsequent editions of this report and LIS conversations, you can expect our planning to connect explicitly to the planning efforts embodied in:

  • Re-accreditation Projections
    In producing our self-study in support of the visit by the NEASC re-accreditation team, we gave ourselves an ambitious list of activities that we committed to pursuing in the coming years. In addition to LIS-specific projections, we have been looking at all of the projections and asking ourselves what (if anything) can we do to support the work that the College will be pursuing to improve itself.
  • Revised Strategic Plan
    In addition to the self-study projections, we still have our strategic plan on the books, with a handful of key items still on the ‘to do’ list.
  • College Council
    The College formed the College Council to identify those initiatives in our various undergraduate and graduate programs that can help realize the promise that our collective resources will allow us to provide an educational experience that each school can not provide on its own.

  • Innovation Task Forces
    This Spring, the newly formed task forces on curricular innovation will be hard at work identifying specific projects that could help the College stay on the cutting edge of pedagogy and scholarly communication.


For those of you who have made it all the way to the end of this, I hope you have found this to be a helpful way to remind ourselves of where we’ve been, where we are, and where we are going. I hope that future versions will be more concise.

 

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 Priorities: Fall 2010

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 third installment of this document; previous installments can be found here: Spring 2010 and Summer 2010. 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 are evaluating 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 options for a system or set of connected systems to replace Segue. Details at http://sites.middlebury.edu/segue/
  3. ebooks We are running a pilot project this fall 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. banner document management system and workflow We will be working with various offices on campus to identify pilot projects to work with us to replace paper-based processes with paperless processes using the banner document management system (formerly known as xtender.)
  6. next generation discovery tools We are exploring options for improving access to scholarly materials that we license but are not easily found through our catalog interface. New

Services, infrastructure, programs

  1. wireless improvements We are continuing to work to improve the performance and reach of the wireless network.
  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.
  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 evaluating systems that 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 reduce the number of devices on our network to save money and to reduce our carbon footprint.

Strategic Planning

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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. You can see a draft of this at https://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=0Am_gidnwMP9TdHNJbXBaNE4xTmllQ0V… . New
  6. business continuity & disaster recovery planning We are continuing 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 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. New

 

Items Removed From This List (And Why We Removed Them)

  1. efficiency through technology taskforce We are leading a campus-wide effort to look at how the College might operate more efficiently through the more effective use of technology.
    This project is on hold while we sort out the administrative systems roadmap and the banner/web prioritization work.
  2. open access We are planning a campus-wide conversation about open access to begin this fall that we hope will lead to the faculty considering open access legislation that will encourage if not insist on faculty making their publications available through an open repository.
    The Faculty LIS Advisory Committee decided to defer a year before pursuing this project, although it does remind faculty that they can always pursue open access options for their publications on their own.
  3. course catalog In collaboration with the Dean of Curriculum and the Registrar, we are developing a more interactive version of the online course catalog, and a simplified version of the printed catalog.
    This first version of this project is now complete. See http://www.middlebury.edu/academics/catalog/coursecatalog
  4. data warehouse evaluation We are exploring options for providing access to institutional data through a ‘data warehouse’ that provides a simplified view into Banner and other data to make reporting and analysis easier to do.

A campus-wide survey of key users of such a system revealed that this is not a high priority for the time being; we are focusing our efforts instead on workflow and imaging.

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. Such an initiative could engage the college community in a discussion of the implications of capture technologies, such as:
  • When and where their use is appropriate How to obtain permission to capture events and the expressions of others
  • How to credit those whose expressions have been captured
  • How to clarify the degree of editing that has been done to captured material
  • How individuals can review what has been captured of themselves as a basis for improving their own teaching, learning and research.

Uses of captured activities/events could include:

  • Screencasts for technology documentation/dissemination
  • Lecture recordings for student review
  • Meeting recordings for participant review
  • Presentation recordings for later dissemination
  • Code versioning systems for capturing changes in codebases as part of change management

There are a number of programs of study already using capture. Integrating web-based capture tools (see: Kaltura open source video) into some of our platforms such as WordPress and Drupal could enable a lot more…

…… what else? Let us know. Send Mike Roy an email at mdroy@middlebury.edu .

LIS Priorities: Spring 2010

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

We posted this in the spring of 2010

Services, Infrastructure, Programs

  1. Wireless improvements: We are working to improve the performance and reach of the wireless network.
  2. Google apps: exploring whether or not we should migrate away from Exchange to Google Apps for Higher Ed
  3. Segue from segue: We are evaluating options for a system or set of connected systems to replace Segue.
  4. Music library plan: We are developing a plan for potentially 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.
  5. 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 approach this.
  6. Website usability testing: Having launched the new website, we are now testing the usability of the site in order to assess how successful the site is in meeting the goals we set out to accomplish with the new site.
  7. Search strategy: As part of the new website, we are looking at how search works, and exploring what our options are to improve the search function for the site.
  8. Security and privacy and the cloud: As part of our evaluation of Google apps, we are doing research into the security and privacy issues that arise when shifting data from local systems to systems hosted by vendors.
  9. 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 evaluating systems that 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.
  10. Course catalog : In collaboration with the Dean of Curriculum, we are developing a more interactive version of the online course catalog, and a simplified version of the printed catalog.
  11. Printer consolidation/management : We are doing an inventory of printers and copiers on campus as part of a project to reduce the number of devices on our network to save money and to reduce our carbon footprint.
  12. Data warehouse evaluation: We are exploring options for providing access to institutional data through a ‘data warehouse’ that provides a simplified view into Banner and other data to make reporting and analysis easier to do.
  13. Efficiency task force : We are leading a campus-wide effort to look at how the College might operate more efficiently through the more effective use of technology.
  14. Open access : We are planning a campus-wide conversation about open access that we hope will lead to the faculty considering open access legislation that will encourage if not insist on faculty making their publications available through an open repository.

Strategic Planning

  1. 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.
  2. Finalizing and tracking goals : As part of our overall strategic planning process, we are developing a set of short-term (18 months) goals for the organization.
  3. Project directory : As part of the strategic plan website, we are developing a project directory that lists all major LIS projects, with descriptions, resources used, offices and constituencies served, and time-line.
  4. 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.
  5. Prioritization process : Linked to our efforts to document our projects, we are looking at the process that we use to set priorities at both a micro and macro level.

Organizational Development and Assessment

  1. Launch 3 new teams: We will be forming three new teams to support space planning, training & education, and security.
  2. Staffing plan : Following the loss of 25 positions within LIS, we have developed a staffing plan approved by the Staffing Resource Council that will result in a set of external hires, internal promotions, and transfers.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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, special collections, interlibrary loan, and security

 

LIS Priorities: Summer 2010

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

In order to ensure that LIS and the community we serve has 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. Evaluations highlight pilot projects and other ways that we are exploring new ways of delivering service, Services, infrastructure, programs highlights those projects that will have the most obvious and direct impact on the community. Strategic planning highlights efforts that are longer-term and more abstract. Organizational development and assessment highlights activities that look at our organizational structure, workflow, communications, and efforts to assess and improve them. This is the second installment of this document; the first installment is here. 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. google apps We are continuing to explore whether or not we should migrate away from Exchange to Google Apps for Higher Ed. One of the key issues we are focusing on are the security and privacy issues that arise when shifting data from local systems to systems hosted by vendors. Details at http://sites.middlebury.edu/googleapps/ .
  2. segue from segue We are evaluating options for a system or set of connected systems to replace Segue. Details at http://sites.middlebury.edu/segue/
  3. ebooks We will be running a pilot project this fall to investigate the utility of providing our patrons with ebooks. new
  4. 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. new
  5. banner document management system and workflow We will be working with various offices on campus to identify pilot projects to work with us to replace paper-based processes with paperless processes using the banner document management system (formerly known as xtender.) new

Services, infrastructure, programs

  1. wireless improvements We are continuing to work to improve the performance and reach of the wireless network.
  2. music library plan We are developing a plan for potentially 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.
  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 approach this.
  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 evaluating systems that 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. course catalog In collaboration with the Dean of Curriculum and the Registrar, we are developing a more interactive version of the online course catalog, and a simplified version of the printed catalog.
  6. printer consolidation/management We are doing an inventory of printers and copiers on campus as part of a project to reduce the number of devices on our network to save money and to reduce our carbon footprint.
  7. data warehouse evaluation We are exploring options for providing access to institutional data through a ‘data warehouse’ that provides a simplified view into Banner and other data to make reporting and analysis easier to do.
  8. efficiency taskforce We are leading a campus-wide effort to look at how the College might operate more efficiently through the more effective use of technology.
  9. open access We are planning a campus-wide conversation about open access to begin this fall that we hope will lead to the faculty considering open access legislation that will encourage if not insist on faculty making their publications available through an open repository.

 

Strategic Planning

  1. 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.
  2. finalizing and tracking goals As part of our overall strategic planning process, we are developing a set of short-term (18 months) goals
    for the organization.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

 

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, special collections, interlibrary loan, and 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. new

 

Items Removed From This List (And Why We Removed Them)

 

  1. website usability testing Having launched the new website, we are now testing the usability of the site in order to assess how successful the site is in meeting the goals we set out to accomplish with the new site. While we will never be done with this, we have made sufficient progress on this front that we no longer feel it is a priority.
  2. privacy and security in the cloud As part of our evaluation of google apps, we are doing research into the security and privacy issues that arise when shifting data from local systems to systems hosted by vendors. This items was consolidated into the google apps evaluation item.
  3. search strategy As part of the new website, we are looking at how search works, and exploring what our options are to improve the search function for the site. We have established a schedule for regularly looking at how effective search is working, and so no longer feel that we need to focus on this.
  4. project directory As part of the strategic plan website, we are developing a project directory that lists all major LIS projects, with descriptions, resources used, offices and constituencies served, and timeline. The directory is now more or less finished, and is more or less being used within various parts of LIS. While there is work to be done, it need no longer be listed as a focus for us.
  5. launch 3 new teams We will be forming three new teams to support space planning, training & education, and security. These teams are now launched, and have begun their work.
  6. staffing plan Following the loss of 25 positions within LIS, we have developed a staffing plan approved by the Staffing Resource Council that will result in a set of external hires, internal promotions, and transfers. While there are still some open positions that we have yet to fill, this item has shifted to focusing on the orientation and training of the new staff

 

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. …… what else? Let us know.