This Week in LIS - 15 August 2008

Weekly news and updates from Luther College Information Technology Services. To receive email updates, please sign up here.

Headline of the Week: 2007-08 LIS Annual Report and Snapshot Published

As we prepare to launch the new academic year in just a couple weeks, we close the book on the 2007-08 academic year with the completion of the LIS Annual Report. Notable points include:

  • The full report is being published only electronically this year on the LIS website.
  • The condensed “Snapshot” is also now available as a PDF download. This 8-page summary will be printed and distributed selectively on campus.
  • Metrics have now been added to the entire LIS website (including the Annual Report) in a “Did You Know?” box running in the far right column. This item randomly chooses one of many metrics tracked by LIS.
  • The objectives listed in the Annual Report are now our final objectives for the coming year.
  • A number of edits, additions and other changes have been made over the last several weeks.

Thanks to everyone for your assistance in gathering together this summary of work for the past academic year. On to 2008-09 we go …

Presidential Candidates Release Technology Policies

Today, the presumptive Republican nominee John McCain released his technology policy which now joins the policy previously published by the presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama. Links to the two policies are included below, and both are worthy of a good read. Technology and technology policy in government will only grow in importance as our reliance on networked information grows.

John McCain on Technology [old link]
Barack Obama on Technology [old link]

Upcoming Dates

LIS Blog Highlights from the Week

The following articles are sampled from those available on the LIS Blog:

LIS Website Changes

  • The default theme on the website has been changed. This new theme allows for some greater flexibility in publishing, integrates imagery and introduces a more muted color scheme.
  • The “Did You Know?” factoid box has been introduced as a way to convey the scope of LIS service to the community. It currently appears on each page.
  • The About LIS section of the website has been nearly completely revamped. All content (with the exception of the staff listing) has been migrated to Textile and cleaned up. New material has been added including our most recent organization chart. Our policies have been republished as a collective unit like our Annual Report. We will be actively working to expand the collection of policies published there.
  • Some permissions work is ongoing to address some issues with site stability.

Notes from LIS Council

Among the topics discussed at this week’s Council meeting were:

  • Planning for the Help Desk Specialist recruitment.
  • Review of third-party training resources.
  • Review of our LIS project list ( – LIS Only).
  • Ramifications of the technology mandates in the Higher Education Reauthorization Act.
  • Policies required by the Reaccreditation team.

Council also met this week in “extended” session to prepare the first draft of a comprehensive external communications policy. This will be shared with LIS in the next couple of weeks.

NITLE Opportunities

As a member of NITLE (National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education), Luther has the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of developmental and training programs intended for faculty, librarians, and information technologists. Events listed at the link below are currently open for registration by Luther participants. LIS Staff who are interested in participating in an event should speak with Christopher Barth. Faculty who are interested in participating should speak with Lori Stanley. Participation is contingent upon available funding and program acceptance.

Complete List of NITLE Opportunities

Notable Internet Resource of the Week: NowDoThis

With the new school year about to start, it’s time to create some new to do lists, right? Of course everyone has everything checked off your old lists :) NowDoThis takes simplicity strongly to heart and follows the single-tasking philosophy that things should be done one thing at a time. As such, it focuses on just the next thing you’ve told it you need to do, and encourages you (in pretty big letters) to do it. Once you’re done, click done and move on to the next task. The site uses cookies to identify users and keeps a very basic list for you. This is not a frilly to do list manager. It does one thing only: cycle through the list you’ve given it. So if you’re a serial sort of person, this one might be right up your alley. Thanks to John Goodin for recommending the site …

On the web at

Around the Web

Here are a few links to interesting developments over the past week:

  • Hardware and Technology Tools
    • None
  • Open Source and Standards
    • None
  • Service and User Experience
    • None