ITS provides a wide range of information service and support to the Luther community. Policies that guide and govern these services and support activities are collected here for reference.


LIS seeks to provide clear and consistent communications both internally and externally to facilitate effective information sharing, collaboration, and service. This organizational communications plan is designed to help us achieve this goal. It seeks to provide clarity and greater simplicity for staff by defining communication tools and their appropriate uses.

It is an evolving work-in-progress and suggestions for improvement are welcome and sought. As a leader in investigating new technologies and communication tools, we can expect to regularly test and evaluate additional tools that may or may not become central tools for LIS communications in the future. Emerging or experimental tools will be labeled as such and we will set expectations and definitions for their use while under evaluation to ensure ongoing clarity for LIS staff.

We recognize the challenges of any organization when considering strategies for communication methods, and understand that any successful plan for communications will involve commitment by all those participating. Thank you for your part in helping to make our communications more effective.

  • Standard Internal Communication Channels

    The following methods of communication are officially supported and should be used for normal, daily communication within LIS. All LIS staff are expected to monitor these channels for LIS news and information.

    Everyone in LIS is responsible for helping to ensure that we collectively follow this communication plan. We should all be personally and mutually accountable for carrying it out. If you feel it is not being followed, or could be followed better, please let your colleagues know in a productive and encouraging way. Your input and thoughts on how well any part of this plan works is also welcome at any time.

    Everyone is expected to regularly check and monitor his or her Luther email account. If a reply is appropriate, it should be provided in a timely manner.

    Generally, information that is to be shared with multiple work groups should be shared through the LIS Blog, not email. When emailing multiple individuals/groups in LIS, use of BCC: is not encouraged. Please use the To: and CC: fields so that others can know who has been sent the information.

    Telephone / Voicemail
    Everyone is expected to regularly check and monitor his or her Luther telephone extension, Luther cell phone (if applicable), and voicemail. If a reply is appropriate, it should be provided in a timely manner. If you are to be out of the office on vacation or on professional travel, you are encouraged to set a temporary greeting.

    Campus Mailbox
    Everyone is responsible for contents delivered to their campus mailbox. LISers with multiple mailboxes are responsible for all of them. If you would prefer just one campus mailbox, that can be arranged.

    LIS Blog
    Everyone is expected to regularly check and monitor the LIS Blog (http://www.luther.edu/lis/blog) as the primary collective tool to share information with others in LIS and others at Luther. Individuals have the option of monitoring the Blog by:

    1. visiting the website regularly (at least daily)
    2. subscribing to RSS feeds of Blog content (http://www.luther.edu/lis/feeds/blogs/lis_blog)

    Appropriate and expected uses for the LIS Blog:

    • Event Notices – If you are hosting/coordinating an event for LIS or others at Luther, the Blog is the preferred communication channel to let everyone know of the event.
    • Project Updates – Periodic reports on special initiatives and projects should be posted to the Blog.
    • System Outages/Restorations – It is expected that any known system outage affecting more than one individual will be posted to the Blog within 30 minutes (preferably sooner) of its identification. Restorations in service should also be posted. LIS members will know to check the LIS Blog if there are suspected issues.

    Guidelines for LIS Blog Posts:

    • Post Titles - Keep the titles of blog posts brief, clear, and specific. If a post includes time-sensitive information, include the date in the title, for example “Firewall Upgrade Complete - 10/23/2013”
    • Description - The description field is displayed on the blog listing page, and is meant as a summary of the post.
    • Content - Keep paragraphs short, with around 2-3 sentences apiece.  For longer posts, use headings to denote majors sections. Single space between sentences and include links as appropriate.
    • Images - Include a teaser image for each blog post. Posts with the same theme (e.g. wireless) can reuse the same image.
    • Updates - Update posts, placing new information at the top and changing the title to indicate current status.
    • Terms - Use appropriate terminology (e.g. LIS Technology Help Desk v Helpdesk, Research Help v Reference Help, Lower/Main/Upper Floor v 1st/2nd/3rd Floor)

    LIS Google Group

    Everyone is expected to regularly check and monitor the LIS Google group as the primary collective tool to share information with others in LIS. Individuals have the option of monitoring the LIS Google group by:

    1. visiting http://groups.luther.edu/ -> My groups -> LIS (at least daily)
    2. subscribing to email updates containing content updates to the LIS group by adjusting “Membership and email settings”.

    Appropriate and expected uses for the LIS Google group:

    • General News Items Of Interest to or Affecting LIS – Reminders about LIS or campus events and any general news information that it is good for us to know about.
    • Meeting Reports/Minutes – Teams and workgroups should post brief reports/notes on meetings that have content affecting others in LIS or at Luther. Content should be drafted for LIS audiences.
    • Travel Reports – If you travel on business to a conference or professional meeting, it is expected that you would provide a brief report of the event, focusing particularly on how it affects your work in LIS.


    As an optional communication channel, if you run into interesting sites across the web that you think display unique or interesting uses of technology, or that have particular use for us at Luther, post them to Google+. The purpose of these “cool resources” is to heighten awareness of current trends in technology. It is not expected that everyone try these or read about them, though if something strikes you as interesting, please do.

    Norse Calendar
    Everyone should regularly monitor their Norse Calendar appointments and will be held responsible for knowing what is scheduled there. When scheduling events, it is expected that everyone will use the email notification feature to let others know of the event by email.

    Your calendar should also be updated with your current availability so that meetings can be scheduled efficiently.

    To assist with event planning, it is expected that everyone will use the Reply/RSVP feature to indicate whether they plan to attend an event or not.

    Meetings: LIS General Meetings
    LIS General meetings are typically scheduled for the first Wednesday of the month from 9:00-10:15 am. All LISers should plan to attend the monthly LIS General staff meetings. These meetings will provide an opportunity for general news and information sharing, as well as discussion of significant events, topics, and initiatives that affect LIS and the services we provide to the Luther Community. If you are unable to attend, please speak with your supervisor.

    Meetings: Teams or Projects
    Individual teams within LIS have the authority to design their own team or project meeting schedules. Everyone is expected to participate in meetings for these groups as determined by the leader(s). If you are unable to attend, please speak with your team or project leader.

  • Special Use Internal Communication Channels

    The following methods of communication are officially supported and appropriate for special uses. Everyone in LIS is expected to know how to use them appropriately when asked or when required. Generally, LIS staff are not required to regularly monitor these tools unless under active use for a specific purpose or project.


    KATIE is available for group/course management of content, threaded forums, surveys, and other tools as appropriate for use by LIS teams.

    All LISers who are technicians in KBOX are expected to regularly check the system and respond to work orders there. All KBOX users are expected to professionally manage their own work queues, closing work orders as they are completed and including updates on open work orders as available.

    While not a form of communication per se, fileshares do provide an important mechanism for sharing data among LIS teams. Their effectiveness is lessened by the “wild west” approach to saving files there that seems to happen on occasion. LIS will work on addressing usability issues with fileshares by:

    • Actively working to create, encourage, and enforce organization on shares.
    • Actively working to deploy search tools on fileshares (e.g. Google Search Appliance)
    • Actively work to reduce the number of fileshares in use by LIS for greater simplicity.
  • Emerging or Experimental Internal Communication Channels

    The following methods of communication are not officially supported by LIS, but may be used by LISers who find them convenient and for communications with others who also use them.

    Instant Messaging
    Those who currently use instant messaging are encouraged to continue doing so. As the availability of IM grows, particularly through implementation of Norse Apps, this channel may become officially supported. For the time being, it remains optional.

    LIS has an organizational account that displays on our blog page. Twitter is appropriate for short timely notices from LIS … reminders of impending events, notice of system outages, or other small information tidbits. Individuals wishing to post to our central account can do so through their own Twitter account.

  • External Communication Channels

    It is a priority for LIS to maintain simple and effective communication channels with the Luther community. Given the breadth and depth of services supported by LIS, this is a challenge to accomplish and a moving target to hit, but one we are confident of improving and refining. We recognize fundamentally that each individual member of the Luther community has their own communication styles and preferences. Our external plan attempts to address some of that variety however will focus on the web as the primary external communication tool for LIS.

    Primary Channel: The Web
    LIS websites will be our primary method of communication with our external constituencies. We have begun and continue to migrate all content appropriate for external audiences to the web. The LIS website should be considered internally and externally as the primary reference regarding all LIS services, resources, and policies. Community members with questions regarding availability or use of any LIS-supported services should first review www.luther.edu/lis and www.luther.edu/helpdesk for any available information or updates on service interruptions.

    The LIS Blog in particular is the central publication for news items regarding LIS. Please see the section on the LIS Blog under Standard Internal Communication Channels for more information about how the Blog is used. Content published to the LIS Blog is also available via email and RSS.

    General information about LIS services, resources, and policies is also posted to LIS websites. This process is currently managed by the Executive Director and the Digital Initiatives Librarian.

    Supporting Channel: All-Campus Email
    In some cases where immediate or specific communication is necessary for the community, LIS may send all-campus email messages via campus lists (flist, staff, students). Generally, this will only be done in rare cases where the content of the communication specifically requires such distribution.

    The Executive Director will approve all messages to the community delivered via direct email. These messages will also be approved and delivered by the Director of Publications.

    LIS will never ask for account information of community members via email. Email communication from LIS will also include the names of LIS staff. If a community member is suspicious of any communication perceived to be from LIS or regarding LIS services, they should contact the Help Desk to inquire about the message prior to taking any action.

    Supporting Channel: TWILIS – This Week in LIS
    LIS maintains an opt-in weekly email newsletter written for the Luther community. This newsletter is published by the Executive Director and is a digest of news regarding LIS services, resources and policies. It also contains information on useful Internet tools, and links to current events in the library and information technology professions.

    Any member of the Luther community may subscribe to receive TWILIS on the LIS website: https://www.luther.edu/lis/blog/twilis/.

    Supporting Channel: Tuesday / Bulletin / DeaNotes
    LIS regularly includes announcements about events, new or updated services, and resources in regular email publications such as Tuesday and the Bulletin. Such announcements are brief and should always include a link back to the LIS website where more information can be found.

    Supporting Channel: Annual Report and Snapshot
    Each year, LIS publishes a full annual report which is available to the Luther community via the LIS website. This report includes a full overview of ongoing support work and special projects undertaken by LIS. A summary Annual Snapshot is also available via the LIS website, and is distributed in print to select individuals and offices on campus.

    Supporting Channel: LIS Welcome Guides
    LIS publishes and maintains a brief guide for each major constituency on campus (students and employees) that contains central and important information regarding LIS and our services. These guides are available for download from the LIS website https://www.luther.edu/lis/about/welcome/, and are provided in print to new members of the Luther community.

    At the beginning of the fall and spring semesters, LIS will deliver via email an electronic update for each guide to the appropriate constituency.

    This combined print and electronic publication will be the primary channel for educating new community members about LIS services, resources, and policies.

    Other Methods
    From time to time, LIS may use other methods as appropriate to communicate with the community, principally via staff/faculty meetings, special email distribution lists, advisory groups, campus and local media, etc. Doing so will be done in addition to using the general channels described above, and will be considered supplementary and on a case-by-case basis.

  • Communication Tone


    Along with defining appropriate communication tools for use within LIS, we also seek to define boundaries for how we will use those tools with one another to ensure a positive, honest, and welcoming work environment. In every communication we have with our co-workers and with our users, we have a choice to make regarding the tone and motivation of the communication. Some choices result in “above the line” communications, and others may result in “below the line” communications.

    In LIS, we will hold one another accountable to “Above the Line” communications with one another and with our users. It is important for everyone to do so, and to feel the freedom to do so, no matter their position in the organization. Holding one another accountable is not a hierarchical function, but an organizational one. As all LIS staff are part of the same organization, we each carry the responsibility to maintain accountability.

    If you observe communication tones, behaviors, or feelings that are below the line, please address the situation directly, and with “Above the Line” communication tone and behaviors.

    Please see the attached chart for further information.

    Attachment Size
    CommunicationTone.pdf 80.59 KB
  • Service Outages

    When LIS becomes aware of a disruption in service, LIS team leaders are responsible for communicating this outage to the Luther Community in a clear and concise manner as follows:

    • LIS Blog, Digital Sign, & Website – An entry will be posted on the LIS Blog with a descriptive title. All LIS Blog posts also display on the LIS Digital Sign located on the main floor of Preus Library. The Description will appear in all locations and should be written as such; the Body of the posting will include details regarding the outage, the implication(s) of the outage to the Luther Community, and an estimation of service availability (when possible). In addition, the "LIS ALERT" Text Blurb in Reason will be updated; this displays on the top center of all https://www.luther.edu/lis/ web pages.
    • Campus-wide Digital Signs – If the service outage affects a significant portion of the campus, LIS will post a crawling message on the bottom of all of the digital signs on campus that begins with the phrase “LIS Alert: ”. Digital signs are located in Preus Library, Valders, Union Lobby, Cafeteria, Career Center, Jenson-Noble, the Center for Faith & Life, and the Regents Center Lobby.
    • Technology Help Desk – The LIS Technology Help Desk will be contacted so they are aware of the outage and can respond to calls appropriately.

    Changes in the status of the service will be relayed by updating the title of the LIS Blog and adjusting the Body of the posting as appropriate. The text of the LIS Alert crawl on the digital signs will also be adjusted and the Technology Help Desk will be informed of the current status.

    Once the service has been fully restored, the posting on the LIS Blog will be deleted. If information regarding the service is to remain on the LIS website, then a new LIS Blog posted should be created explaining what transpired.

  • Dress

    You are expected to dress appropriately while working in the library. If you have questions about what is appropriate, please check with your supervisor. YOU MUST WEAR SHOES AT ALL TIMES! Other tips: refrain from wearing torn or tattered clothing, revealing tops, shorts, or pants, or any clothing with offensive and/or controversial words or images.

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