Author Archives: Barbara Merz

A web site by any other name…

Owners of blogs & web sites on Middlebury’s WordPress site were asked their opinion on a proposed change in the URL (address) of the site from “” to “”. The change was proposed to the Web Prioritization Committee as a way “…to provide faculty (and others) using WP as a content management system, personal website, research portfolio, conference proceedings, or other collection of information with a more neutral-sounding domain name than “””
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Food Drive

Staff Council is sponsoring a food drive for the local food shelves. It’s a great time to donate – winter is a time of need and the holiday donation season is over! Non-perishable food will be collected until February 28th. There’s a beautifully labelled collection box in the DFL staff room. (Can you guess who created the signage?). Please be generous.

Arabella, Margey, Joseph W. & Barbara are managing this effort for LIS – please contact us if you have any questions about the drive.

Innovative Millennium maintenance update – 12/17/12

Innovative will update our library system to Millennium Release 2011 1.3. on Monday 12/17/2012 after 6pm. All college library branches and Ilsley Public Library are closed at that time. This maintenance release fixes some known issues but doesn’t add functionality.

There is no server down-time for this software update so access to MIDCAT will not be interrupted. For library staff who might be planning to work, Innovate states “Library staff may continue to work during the installation; however, staff must not post in acquisitions during the time that the update is being installed. Additionally, postpone creating large lists in the Create Lists function or performing large record loads while the update is being installed.”

Users of Millennium clients (Circ, Cat, Acq etc.) will automatically download new client software the first time they log in after the update.



KeySurvey downtime – Saturday November 24th

Survey users – I draw your attention to this notice from our KeySurvey provider:

WorldAPP will be upgrading the Key Survey and Extreme Form platforms to version 8.2 on Saturday, November 24th, 2012,
between the hours of 1:00 AM and 10:00 AM EST / 6:00 AM and 3:00 PM GMT.

This update is intended to improve the performance of the applications and provide you with more powerful functionality.

During the system upgrade any individuals and respondents attempting to access surveys/forms or accounts will receive a friendly notice of the system maintenance in progress. Once the maintenance has been completed all links will be accessible again.

To learn more about new features and functionality to Key Survey and Extreme Form, visit our Autumn ’12 Release mini-site.

Friday links – September 21, 2012

The Middlebury Campus, our student paper, covered three stories about LIS this week.

TV Advertising To Students Most Effective; Email Best Reach from a 2012 College Marketing Report from the Barnes & Noble College Marketing Division

Welcome new LIS staff members

We’re very happy to announce the recent arrival of several new LIS staff members. See the individual blog posts for all the details:

Welcome to LIS Billy Sneed – Senior Network Administrator

New Science Data Librarian  Wendy Shook

New hires in Service Request  Chris Anderson & Jamie Carroll

Welcome to a new staff member in Collections Management  Lisa Brayshaw McLaughlin

Please join us in welcoming our newest staff members to Middlebury.

All about the LIS blog

Following a discussion by the eNewsletter production crew, here’s an update about the purpose & features of the LIS blog. The “About this blog” link sums up the purpose pretty well! All LIS staff members can post and anyone can comment. What might not be so easy to see is the various ways in which LIS blog posts are being repurposed.


  • “LIS Staff Interest” – Default – All LIS staff routinely cast an eyeball over the posts!
  • “Middlebury Community Interest” – of broader interest, feeds to the LIS homepage
  • “Post for MiddPoints” – feeds to the faculty/staff blog and into the weekly e-mail digest generated there.
  • “Post for MiddNotes” – feed to the news & announcements for students blog. No e-mail digest from there, but this blog is included on the student portal.


  • “Library Spotlight” – feeds to the library home page
  • “eNewsletter” – theoretically identifies posts to be included in the LIS eNewsletter but rarely used.

The eNewsletter, a compilation of posts from the LIS blog, is created approximately monthly during the regular school year. It goes out to faculty, staff & students as an e-mail blast & statistics show that it drives traffic to the blog. Inclusion in MiddPoints also increases the number of hits on a post for a day or two. The production crew currently favors including posts that are of community interest but haven’t been pushed out to MiddPoints. We’d love to hear what you think about that – how many ways & how many times should our services be advertised?  (our pearls cast…).

If you’re not an LIS staff member but have read all the way down to here, please comment – what would you like to see in the blog? how would you like to learn about LIS?

Innovative Users Group (IUG) meeting – Chicago 2012

Arabella Holzapfel, Shawn O’Neil & I (Barbara Merz) were at the 20th IUG in Chicago – beautiful city – love the lake, parks etc. etc. The meeting was quite interesting too. We’ll give brief highlights of the sessions we found to be useful, and we’ll download the associated materials, which in most cases will include PowerPoint presentations, to the folder \orgs\LIS\LISstaff\ILS III Millennium User Materials\IUG 2012 materials for your enjoyment & edification.  An observation I (Shawn) had after attending these workshops is that Middlebury College is ahead of the curve to many other Institutes in technology. Our network infrastructure seems to be superior to others.

  • “Running a User Experience Group in the absence of a Sys Admin.” (BM). Bentley University. Without a Sys Librarian, III duties fall to a group of 7: 2 tech support, 2 reference, 1 circ, 1 tech services, 1 special collections. 8 staff can access the III helpdesk. Very interesting model.
  • “Sierra Roadmap & Update” (BM) III’s pitch for the wonderful new world of Sierra. Sierra will have 100% of Millennium functionality.
  • “Learning Library-Specific Context to Mobilize Library Catalog” (BM) At University of Miami concern for the usefulness of the OPAC on mobile devices, even though searching starts with Summon, led to the adoption of Bob Duncan’s mobile stylesheet, with modifications to take care of their OPAC customizations. Definitely worth follow-up.
  • Load Profile Forum (BM & AH). Useful review of resources available to load profilers. Wiki available but underutilized! Time for Middlebury to review RDA implications.
  • “Automation: Boost your Productivity a Thousand Times.” (BM) Good tech geek presentation. Use of Expect in various flavors, AutoIt plus Java to automate repetitive tasks e.g creating review lists from record numbers, barcodes etc.
  • Systems Managers Forum (BM) Mostly controlled by III staff member talking about transition to Sierra + how things would work in Sierra. Take away message – III’s efforts will be largely directed to Sierra development from now on, even though they insist that Millennium development is continuing. My conclusion – Middlebury should consider the future of our ILS with all due haste!
  • “When your item types just don’t work anymore” (AH) was a discussion about how and why a library totally revamped their item types (going from around 10 to 101) to help them better identify various formats of material, which in turn aided greatly in tracking statistics of all kinds for all reasons. Most of it is useful ‘inside baseball’ stuff, but one intriguing thing that came out is that they (a public library in Oklahoma) loan out bike locks.
  • Two useful sessions focused on using Millennium (and, in one session, additional assistance from an outside vendor) to aid in weeding (AH). (One library had 100,000 volumes in off-site storage to weed.) Interesting factoids: Jefferson County Public Libraries in Colorado (my home state!), with 10 branches, serving 548,000, orders 100-120 copies of bestsellers. They run their weeding list weekly and withdraw about 120,000 items each year.
  • Four useful sessions dealt with various aspects of batch record loads, particularly those for e-books. (AH) One session was presented by staff from San Jose State University, where they provide e-books from 17 different providers/platforms, and have patron-driven acquisitions programs from three different vendors. They use a combination of tools, including Excel and WinBatch scripts, to de-dupe and perform other necessary functions on batch records.
  • “Using circulation data to validate an approval plan” (AH) described one library’s journey towards refining their approval plan profile (for print books) to match or surpass the circulation rates for firm orders.
  • “Getting the most out of Print Templates” (SO) –creating and using print templates for everything from spine labels to hold slips.
  • “Centralized Weeding: using create list and icodes to streamline the weeding process” and “Millennium Makeover magic: weeding in an INN-Reach consortium”- (SO) The 1st presentation dealt with both public and Academic libraries and the later was an academic library that was involved with  INN-Reach. In both, faculty  was given a say over the weeding. There seems to be no standard method for choosing what is to be weeded.
  • “Creating lists for Beginners – Why created the wheel again” (SO)  In other words, use others’ lists (with permission).
  • “Confounding by Copyright?” (SO) It seems guidelines change all the time and you can “buy protection” for copyright privileges.