Author Archives: Michael Roy

LIS Update: August 2013



I’ve just posted the LIS Update August 2013 that describes recent accomplishments, current priorities, and longer-range opportunities and challenges. It is a lengthy, detailed document that captures the many things we are doing to help support the College’s efforts. A broader, higher-level description of our goals for the year and beyond can be found at our recently updated Strategic Directions page and at our Goals for 2013-14 site. I hope it is useful as a way to stay informed about what we are working on. If you have any questions about any of these items, do feel free to reach out to the appropriate group within LIS or to me.


LIS Quarterly Update: April 2013

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.


December LIS Quarterly Update

We’ve just posted the LIS Quarterly Update for your reading pleasure. We’ve shrunk it down (it’s a mere 11 pages!) and generally re-organized it to make it easier to skim quickly. As always, I would love to hear more about how we can make this report useful as a communication and planning tool, and also what we can do to make the process of producing it as simple as possible.

LIS Annual Report: 2011-12

We’ve just posted the LIS Annual Report at

Thanks to Doreen Bernier and all who contributed to pulling this together.

Here’s the introduction:

Reading through the over 20 pages of dense detail within this report provides a snapshot of how the rapid changes within the world of technology and information services are impacting the way the Middlebury community is creating, sharing, and using information in service of the College’s mission to create the world’s first and foremost global liberal arts college. From e-books to smart phones, Facebook, twitter, discovery tools that mimic Google, paperless  admissions, shifting to hosted services, increasing the number of smart classrooms, building more resilient and secure infrastructure, and building information literacy programs to prepare our students for new modes of research and communication, we are quickly and radically changing how we provide service to our community. And in the face of all of this novelty, we also continue to operate our bread and butter services: email, circulation, interlibrary loan, the distribution of new computers, building collections (and special collections!). Each year as I write this introduction, I marvel at the sheer amount of activity required to balance these two competing demands: providing reliable services that meet existing needs, and putting in place new services and resources that meet emerging needs. I wish I could honestly say that the next year will be a less busy year, but looking over our ambitious goals for the upcoming year, and reviewing the goals of the College, the best I can offer is this: it is clearer than ever that we all need to get better at setting priorities, at working with our campus partners to establish what is essential, and what can wait. LIS will continue to play a central role in enabling innovation and transformation at the College, and also in serving as an information utility company that just needs to work 24/7. In looking at our myriad accomplishments from last year, it is clear that we have the willingness and ability to play these two important roles. Our challenge, and it is a challenge across our campuses, is to learn how to do all of this in a sustainable way, being both planful, but also opportunistic. The good news is that the entire campus is focusing its attention on planning and prioritization, and so our efforts will take place in the context of a new annual college- wide planning process.

Go Discuss!

We’ve just launched an on-line discussion board at  . The goal of this project is to find out whether or not an on-line forum will meet a need on campus that is presently not being met by Facebook, Midd Confessional, and Twitter on the one hand, and MiddNotes, the Campus Events Calendar, and the Portal on the other.

The discussion board is a very simple utility where you can post a topic, respond to a topic, and respond to a response. You can add profile information about yourself, including an image, and links to your on-line persona. We’ve created a thread to discuss the discussion board, and hope that students will take time to let us know whether or not this effort will address some of the gaps they have described in the communication platforms currently on offer at the College.

An FAQ on the details of how the forum works is available for those who want to learn more about how to post.


DISC Workshop Follow-Up

As a follow-up to this week’s DISC workshop, here are some links that Sheila Andrus has collected from the Manager’s Tools website to help us delve further into how DISC can be useful in the workplace.

DISC basics

How to use DISC to be Effective Everyday

There are several podcast resources available to you to support your application of DiSC:

The ‘D’ in DiSC –

The ‘i’ in DiSC –

The ‘S’ in DiSC –

The ‘C’ in DiSC –

Improve Your Feedback with DiSC –

Greetings in DiSC –

Simple DiSC, Delegation, and Project Management, Part 1 –

Simple DiSC, Delegation, and Project Management, Part 2 –

To be a better communicator, you have to be willing to change. Here are four simple changes you can make:

High D: Smile and slow down

High I: Slow down and ask more questions (and listen to the answer!)

High S: Shorter sentences, less questions

High C: Smile more and choose to be effective rather than right

Each of these changes will reduce conflict and tension and will increase understanding (which is what communication is all about).

– The Manager Tools Team