Author Archives: Michael Roy

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.

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

David Clark Guest Post: News from the Ilsley Public Library

This is a guest post from David Clark, Director of the Ilsley Public Library. I thought it particularly interesting that their circulation numbers were in fact significantly greater than our circulation numbers. 

– mike

September 7, 2012

The other day a relative stranger, having learned that I was a librarian, announced with the certitude of the uninformed that, “Libraries aren’t really going to be around in another ten years, are they?”

It turned out that this fellow hadn’t been in a library for years and certainly not in ours.  He only read magazines and big town newspapers whose declining subscription lists were accompanied by well publicized predictions regarding the imminent demise of the printed word.  For him, this meant the demise of public libraries as well.

The fact is that Ilsley Public Library lent more materials this past fiscal year than it has in its 146 years of lending.  In fiscal year that ended June 30, 184,010 items were loaned, 19% more than the previous year.  Youth circulation now totals over 45% of total loans.

Overall, books accounted for 64% of our loans, movies 30%, and audiobooks 6%. The computer circulation system which we share with Middlebury College reports that Ilsley lent 57% of all the loans in the system and the College lent 43%.

75% of what is borrowed at the East Middlebury library of Sarah Partridge is borrowed by Middlebury/East Middlebury residents.  62% of the Ilsley’s loans are made to Middlebury/East Middlebury residents.  Cornwall residents borrowed 7%, the next largest town use.

Last year we helped almost twice the number of folks with questions than in the previous fiscal year. Use of the library’s databases rose 56%.   There was a significant increase in the number of people researching their families’ histories through which was started with a gift from our Friends.

The number of persons attending library programs inside the building was up 14%; outside the building 56%.

The library loaned free passes to museums and state parks 68 times.

12 % of readers used the self-check-out machine.

Interestingly, readers downloaded onto their personal reading devices almost as many books as were loaned through the East Middlebury library (2,070 and 2,139)

As of July 1, 2012  Ilsley had 4,688 members/card holders who were active borrowers, and177 graduates of Middlebury Union High School’s Class of 2012, 71%, had taken out memberships.

Since everyone is welcome into the building, with or without a membership, far more people than just members used a computer, attended a program, or read a newspaper.  The number of people coming into the building rose 38% to 219,310.

Given rumors of our demise, you might well ask, “Well, why are things so great at the library these days?”

The answer lies in a dynamic community interested in the world, parents eager to introduce their children to the joy of reading, a stagnant national economy that encourages more people to borrow rather than buy, a terrific staff, and even the new bridge that makes the library and parking more accessible..

Yes, the world continues to change around us.  Books will diminish as a percentage of public library collections.  Reference books sitting on shelves are relicts of the past. Readers now borrow ebooks and audiobooks through the library’s website for their Nooks, iPads, and Kindles.  Staff now help people create as well as research and copy.  In other words these are great days for libraries.  Boy, are they ever!

Suggest Ideas for LIS Open Meetings

Last spring, we put in place regular optional all-LIS open meetings where we invite LIS staff members to join in a conversation on a topic that has the potential to have an impact on the work that they do in their area, or that is simply of general interest. In an effort to generate ideas for topics, we’ve set up a poll that allows you to both vote on topics that we think might be of interest, and to suggest new topics. That poll is at .

Please take a moment to review the proposed topics, vote for topics you think would be good for us to discuss as a group, and propose a new topic.