This Week in LIS - 29 February 2008

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

Upcoming Dates

  • March 5 (Wednesday): LIS General
  • March 12,13 (Wednesday, Thursday): Luther Staff Meetings

Headline of the Week: LIS Focuses on Support for Student Services and Resources

At its meeting earlier this month, the Luther Board of Regents approved the adoption of a technology fee designed to directly support access to technology for Luther students. This funding will allow LIS to better target services and support for our students and help provide access to appropriate and well-maintained technology across our curriculum. The fee will assist in providing such services as campus bandwidth, web-based services, academic computer labs and software multimedia equipment, and printing service and support. More information on the technology fee and an expanded definition of what it is designed to support is available in the LIS Blog. A student advisory panel is being formed to provide guidance on use of this fee, as well as to serve as a sounding board for perspectives on LIS resources and services.

LIS has also published a report examining data from our recent MISO survey on student perspectives on both the importance of the services we provide, as well as their general satisfaction with those services. The report casts a generally favorable light on LIS service to students and is available for download from the LIS website at This data will also assist LIS in examining and prioritizing support for technologies affecting academic and residential life at Luther.

Academic Technology Librarian Recruitment Concludes

We are pleased to announce Rebecca Sullivan will begin her duties as Academic Technology Librarian in August 2008. Ms. Sullivan is currently an Instructor of English at Luther and has recently completed her Master’s in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois.

LIS Blog Highlights from the Week:

  • Rare Book Collection Update – New content is now available online regarding the rare book collection, and significant work has been completed which added more information to our cataloging records for these materials.
  • Telephone Battery Backup System Replaced – Our very aged (11 years) battery backup system for our main telephone switch was replaced so that we might actually have backup power until our generator kicks in following a power disruption. A good thing.
  • Slight Change to Help Desk Site Design – Minor modifications to the layout have been completed with an eye to opening up screen real estate for better usability.
  • Norwegian-American Artists in ULAN – Biographies and research references for eighteen Norwegian-American artists in the Luther College Fine Arts Collection have been contributed to ULAN, the Getty’s Union List of Artist Names database.
  • February Regents Report Available – [For LIS Staff Only]. The agenda and reports for the meeting are available for review.
  • Happening in Preus – A performance art piece will be performed in the library entrance area this Friday.
  • Norse Apps Rollout in Process – We are completing preparations for full implementation of Norse Apps, our new hosted service for email, calendaring and other applications.
  • Google Sites Launched – Google’s new application in their online suite has been added to Norse Apps.

LIS Website Changes

  • The LIS website is now operating from our Help Desk server and has SSL encryption active for all authentication and editing/administrative pages.

Notes from LIS Council

LIS Council discussed the Academic Technology Librarian recruitment as well as initial budget review discussions for 2008-09. The LIS General meeting on Wednesday, March 5th will focus on the 2008-09 LIS Budget process.

NITLE Opportunities

As a member of NITLE, Luther has the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of programs targeted for faculty, librarians, and information technologists. Each week, we’ll list upcoming opportunities. If you’re interested in more information about any of these events see the links below. If you would like to be nominated to participate in an event, please let me know prior to the posted deadline. Participation is contingent upon available funding and program acceptance. Items added since the last issue of TWILIS carry a NEW: tag.

Cool Resource of the Week: Mango Languages

For those who don’t have the time to cash in on that tuition benefit for a foreign language course, Mango Languages steps in with web-based instruction available in a number of languages. The service offers several levels, including a free introductory level with 50 lessons available for free. For those with more serious aspirations, $10 or $20 per month will allow you to upgrade to additional lessons and more features such as additional pronounciation, grammar, and cultural help. [Thanks to Rachel for the tip.]

On the web at

Around the Web

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