Author Archives: Terry Simpkins

Friday links – Jan. 30, 2015

Lepore, Jill. “The Cobweb: Can The Internet Be Archived?” The New Yorker, January 19, 2015.
Good read about the Internet Archive and Wayback Machine.

Forget Virtual Reality. Are You Ready for Virtual Sushi?

Project Nourished combines brightly colored experimental cuisine, crafted from agar and pectin, with VR simulations intended to make those meager morsels seem tastier than they really are.

Forget Virtual Reality. Are You Ready for Virtual Sushi?- A small Los Angeles-based team of designers, engineers, and chefs have cooked up a “gastronomical virtual reality experience” that use head mounted displays, 3-D printers, and food science to take aim at our tastebuds.

Friday links – October 3, 2014

JSTOR Dailyan online journal offering “insight, commentary, and analysis of ideas, research, and current events, tapping into the rich scholarship on JSTOR … In addition to weekly feature articles, the magazine publishes daily blog posts that provide the backstory to complex issues of the day in a variety of subject areas, interviews with and profiles of scholars and their work, and much more.”
Clever video, but I (AH) wonder how they’re able to trademark a “bookbook”

Directors’ Notes, Oct. 3, 2013

Present:  Mike Roy, David Ludwig, Jim Stuart, Chris Norris, Mary Backus, Terry Simpkins and Doreen Bernier

We talked about regularizing a structure for team assessments and updates to the directors group.  We agreed that rather than ask teams to meet directly with the directors to provide updates, we will ask each team to present their latest quarterly updates at an LIS staff meeting once a year to provide information on their recent accomplishments, current priorities, longer-range thoughts and goals.  Additionally, we will invite each team leader to a directors’ meeting 4 times a year to discuss priorities, communications and resource issues.  We also will ask each team member for feedback at least once a year, and are developing a list of questions to guide that conversation.  We agreed that this feedback should not be anonymous.  Mike will send out a communication with the teams about this assessment proposal.

We then reviewed and discussed the proposal and justification for wireless network administrator position to refill that open position.  This was approved.

Prior to meeting, we reviewed the LIS Facilities Requests process being facilitated by Joseph.  This requests are due in to Facilities by October 11th.

Upcoming meeting agendas:

  • Oct. 16 – All-staff meeting:
    • Staff Awards
    • Get to know the Directors:  Jim Stuart and David Ludwig
    • LIS private blog initial roll-out
    • Time for learning discussion
  • October Manager’s Meeting – cancelled
  • Oct. 17 – Director’s retreat
    • Directors Team – expectations, ground rules, etc. in light of the revamped team structure and newer members
  • Oct. 24 – Directors’ meeting
    • Education and Training Team visits
    • project management : Discuss a proposal to develop a common understanding and vocabulary around project management
    • content and usefulness of directors’ updates: Review the updates we provide one another to see if we can improve their utility.
    • Consortium of Liberal Arts Colleges (CLAC): staff exchange proposal: Discuss a proposal from CLAC to facilitate staff exchanges to share expertise among CLAC schools
    • Team Assessment Protocol : Further discussion of the plan to assess our current team

Thanks for reading

Terry & Doreen

Director’s notes, Sept. 26, 2013

Present:  Mary Backus, Mike Roy, Jim Stuart, Chris Norris, Terry Simpkins, Rebekah Irwin, David Ludwig and Doreen Bernier.  Guests: Space Team members Joseph Watson, Hans Raum, Lisa Terrier, Todd Sturtevant and Peggy Fischel

Members of the Space Team joined the meeting to discuss office assignments in Davis Library.  We had previously reviewed and approved the Team’s proposal to address the short-term need for additional office space for newly hired positions, which have now been completed.  We discussed another round of office/space shuffling to accommodate further growth in some workgroups and, if possible, to colocate certain groups currently dispersed.

We also agreed:

  • we need to go through DFL 221 and DFL 145 schedules to delete obsolete meetings;
  • staff room could be used as a meeting space during certain times of the day (e.g., not during lunch breaks)

The team also reminded us that project lists are due to facilities on October 8th.

We approved a charge for a group to think broadly about library systems issues (aka, Library Systems Think Tank) with the following caveats:

  • the LSTT should consider inviting Peter Liu (MIIS) as a member;
  • the LSTT will also play a role in thinking about how we support digital scholarship services.

David and Charlotte have been working on a form through Webhelpdesk for project requests.  This topic was only touched on briefly and will be added to next week’s agenda for further discussion.

Thanks for reading,

Terry & Doreen

Manager’s Meeting Notes, Sept. 19, 2013

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


  • 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

AD notes, Sept. 19, 2013

Present:  Mike Roy, Chris Norris, Mary Backus, Jim Stuart, David Ludwig, Terry Simpkins, and Doreen Bernier

We discussed a recent decision by UVM to place a freeze on new projects from Middlebury faculty for the UVM Vermont Advanced Computing Core (VACC).  UVM has been providing our faculty with access to this service, which is used for computing-intensive research.  At this point, faculty already using the VACC are not affected.

Several alternate options were discussed.  Some of these include:

  • Investigating the feasibility of asking faculty currently using the system to mentor new faculty;
  • Look for new institutional partners;
  • Propose a cost recovery model to UVM;
  • Look to use faculty start-up funds for local machines.

Jim will convene a meeting to continue this discussion.  Terry will ask liaisons about reaching out to departments currently using the system in order to try to determine what expectations are going forward for current researchers using the service.  We agreed that we should include Bob Cluss in these discussions.

The Directors discussed what high level areas the next MISO survey (to occur in Spring 2014) should focus on.  Terry mentioned the MISO group’s strong suggestion to keep the survey under 15 minutes for faculty, which would entail sharply reducing the number of questions we have traditionally asked.  The directors’ generally agreed to focus on the following areas as much as possible while aiming to keep the survey under the 15 minute mark for faculty.

The areas of most interest include:

  • Curricular technology services
  • Liaisons services
  • Wireless
  • Responsive web design for display on mobile devices
  • Online registration
  • Public printing
  • Time to resolve computer issues
  • Video conferencing
  • eBooks

We also talked briefly about distributing a shorter survey every year instead of every two years as we currently do.  This would have modest budgetary implications.  No action on this is needed immediately, and we will discuss more as the decision point gets closer.

Mike distributed a draft of the College campus-wide goals document to the Directors for review, and asked each director to review the document with their workgroups with the aim of determining what the resource implications might be.  We will resume discussion at next week’s AD meeting.

We talked broadly about considering new policies (or renewed emphasis on enforcing existing policies) with regard to the use of rapid growth in network infrastructure and storage needs in areas such as retention of old/unused/archival files, creation of multiple special interest mailboxes (fun fact of the day: LIS currently supports 18,000 mailboxes), and distribution lists.  We also noted that there are widespread misconceptions about costs associated with redundant network storage, with the prevailing belief being that the cost is inexpensive.  This is emphatically not the case for enterprise systems, where even just 1TB of unmirrored storage costs is rather expensive.   Mike will bring this discussion to a future VP meeting when a proposal is prepared.

Finally, we discussed plans to replace the information desk and install an electronic directory kiosk or kiosks.  We have been given budgetary permission to hire an architect to propose a redesign of the space currently housing the information desk, but the kiosk can be set up independently.  However, work orders for Facilities need to be submitted soon. The Space Team will contact the Web Team and other appropriate parties to discuss content, scope, and programming for the electronic directory.

Next week’s agenda thus far:

  1. Guest: Space Team (10:00)
    1. October 2010 Davis Service Points Report
    2. LIS Facilities Request compilation for 2015
  2. Library Systems Think Tank charge approval

Thanks for reading
Terry & Doreen