This Week in LIS - 20 March 2008

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

Upcoming Dates

  • March 26,27 (Wednesday, Thursday): Training: Office 2007
  • April 2,3 (Wednesday, Thursday): Training: Sneak Peek at New Magnus (library catalog)
  • More information on upcoming training opportunities:

Headline of the Week: Norse Key Changes

This week, LIS put in place some changes to our Norse Key policies that will affect all faculty, staff, and students. These changes have been in the works for quite a while and will create a safer and more secure environment for our networked information. Data security is a top priority for LIS and Luther, and we want to ensure and promote that same responsibility for data security and integrity is an important duty for all Luther community members.

The new policy will now provide periodic expirations for passwords, and brings us in line with standards for secure identity management. We recognize there are benefits to keeping the same credentials over time, though we also know the potential damage that can be done with compromised credentials. Ensuring a regular expiry procedure allows us to better contain the associated risks. Each time a password is changed, community members are also asked to review the Statement of Responsibility that covers use of data and data networks at Luther. This will serve as a good refresher and reminder of the responsibilities that accompany access to the Luther network.

We do strongly encourage individuals to not write down their Norse Key credentials to minimize their exposure to loss or theft. The recent spate of phishing attempts at Luther were delivered from compromised accounts at another educational institution, and we want to continually work to ensure that our resources are not used in a similar manner. To accomplish that, we need your help in keeping your credentials safe, secure, and regularly refreshed.

For questions regarding the policy and changes to the password procedures, please call the Help Desk.

LIS Blog Highlights from the Week:

LIS Website Changes

  • has received some significant patches and upgrades this week to ensure security. We also continue to look at some expanded functionality to migrate discipline-specific research guides into Drupal.
  • Encore has arrived and is now available as an alternate search interface to our library catalog. We will be working to expand its functionality in the coming weeks before a public launch in early summer 2008. Luther’s Encore is on the web at:
  • Magnus, LIS’ online catalog has a beta interface available at which is currently undergoing review and will be finalized shortly. This new interface will be launched alongside Encore after the end of the spring semester.

Notes from LIS Council

LIS Council discussed Norse Key changes and timelines for implementation, beginning our review of emergency response procedures, how regular care and feeding of Postal Soft should be handled on campus, and reviewing timelines for LIS projects. We also discussed topics from the faculty meeting also held on Tuesday including contracts for non-tenure line faculty and the proposal for a Russian Studies major.

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: The Visible Body

Depending upon how you feel about doctors, medicine and the internal workings of your body, this week’s selection may or may not be for you. The Visible Body is a fully-interactive, 3D human body application providing a window into ourselves like you’ve probably never seen and according to the publisher, is the most complete, highly detailed, and anatomically accurate human body model available. It is designed to deliver the level of detail necessary to teach a college-level Anatomy and Physiology course. Individual layers can be controlled and turned on or off, allowing for study of specific anatomical systems. Currently the model used is female, though a male version is currently under development as well.

This web-based tool does require Microsoft Windows and Internet Explorer, so there are a few points off there for not playing nice with all operating systems and browsers. Two plugins are also required (Flash and Anark). However access to the full tool is available at no charge to anyone who registers with the site. Use in educational environments is encouraged.

For those just wanting to look a bit before registering, check out the Help page which includes a video with screen shots (

On the web at – Thanks to Andrew for forwarding this along.

Around the Web

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

  • Open Source and Standards
    • None