Headline of the Week: Improving the Process: Welcoming New Community Members
Devoted TWILIS readers will recall discussion from last summer of LIS plan to begin looking at internal work processes with the goal of significant improvement in efficiency and quality of output. This project has grown out of Luther’s relationship with Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and learning more about their process improvement activities. Much of the work within any business process often adds little or no value to the end product. Processes also benefit from “continuous improvement,” a culture that continually refines and tweaks processes and workflow to pursue greater quality and efficiency.
This month, LIS will begin a process improvement project to look at how LIS handles new users entering the community, from how we provision credentials and equipment to training. The following is from the draft project charter:
Each year, Luther welcomes hundreds of new individual users of LIS services to the Luther community in a wide variety of roles, including students, faculty members, staff members, alumni, and friends of the College. Each individual user requires a unique suite of LIS services, access credentials, and in some cases physical equipment. After receiving notification from a variety of campus sources of the arrival of a new community member, LIS follows a process to provide them with appropriate access to services including email, calendaring, file shares, Datatel, and voice mail. In many cases physical equipment is also required (a telephone, computer, or related equipment). This process involves a variety of individuals in LIS and relies on many to come to a successful conclusion, often on a particular deadline.
Specific goals we hope to achieve are:
- to reduce and minimize the number of staff and steps involved in the process.
- to prepare and deliver electronic and print documentation and user support materials customized to the new community member immediately upon notification of their arrival.
- to set specific and aggressive deadlines for provisioning deliverables (credentials, equipment, etc.).
We believe this will result in significantly better service to our constituents, and more effective use of LIS staff time as we welcome new members to the community.
Participating on our process team will be: Christopher Barth (lead), Diane Gossman, Marcia Gullickson, Cindy Hansmeier, Jean Ryan, Larry Sikkink, Chris Stuckman, and Laurel Womeldorf. Regular updates will be made available to LIS and the Luther community as we work through the project. We plan completion and implementation of our work by February 2009.
LIS Blog Highlights from the Week
The following articles are sampled from those available on the LIS Blog:
- Presentation in the Iowa Communication Association Annual Conference
- Phishing Scam Attempt
- Atomic Learning Now Available!
- Library professional staff meeting 9-29-08
- Upcoming Changes to KATIE
- LIS Website Changes – 10/02/2008
- Magnus searching alternatives
- Network Switch upgraded in Olin
Notes from LIS Council
LIS Council discussed the following this week:
- Progress on a campus agreement for print and copy support.
- Mission and definition of the Academic Technology and Learning Resources Committee
- LIS social team composition
- Proposed uses for endowment funding
- Proposed funding for our proposed print accounting software
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.
Next Week in LIS
- October 6 (Monday) Internship Learning Plans: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (Faculty Development) – 4:00p
- October 7 (Tuesday) Norse Mail (Skills Training) – 8:30a
- October 7 (Tuesday) Norse Calendar (Skills Training) – 10:00a
- October 8 (Wednesday) New Faculty Teaching Group (Faculty Development) – 12:15p
- October 9 (Thursday) New Faculty Teaching Group (Faculty Development) – 11:00a
- October 9 (Thursday) Group Collaboration with VoiceThread (Faculty Development) – 1:00p
- More information on upcoming training opportunities
Notable Internet Resource of the Week: Zamzar
Have you ever received a document from someone that were unable to open? Zamzar is an online file conversion website that converts a wide variety of document, image, music, video, and other formats. Files are uploaded to the remote service, and users are notified by email after the file conversion is complete with a link to download the converted file. The service is free. Paid accounts can convert larger files and also can use SSL for uploading.
A note of caution … using a service like this involves uploading files to a remote server, so one should think carefully about the confidentiality of any files uploaded. But for occasional use for non-sensitive files, it’s an easy and affordable solution.
On the web at http://www.zamzar.com/
Around the Web
Here are a few links to interesting developments over the past week:
- Culture, Economy, and Business
- We’ll Fill This Space, but First a Nap [New York Times]
- Men happiest online, women prefer family time: poll [Yahoo! Tech]
- Hardware and Technology Tools
- Macs now have 8% of computer market [TechRadar]
- Higher Education
- Education attuned to times [Philadelphia Inquirer]
- For College Recruiting, Let’s Go to the Video, but Without the Tape [New York Times]
- Bank Limits Fund Access by Colleges, Inciting Fears [New York Times]
- As Credit Crisis Freezes Colleges, Worries Mount [Chronicle of Higher Education]
- Google and Microsoft Stage Dueling Bus Tours to Promote College E-Mail [Chronicle of Higher Education]
- College-Search Web Site Predicts Likelihood of Admission [Chronicle of Higher Education]
- Sony goes after Kindle with new, touchscreen eBook reader [ars technica]
- Internet and Networking
- Law, Intellectual Property and Intellectual Freedom
- Libraries and Librarians
- Free Our Libraries, Cry University Presidents [Chronicle of Higher Education]
- Media and Publishing
- AP: The Modern Newsroom Looks Like a Little RSS Reader [ReadWriteWeb]
- 2 New Digital Models Promise Academic Publishing for Profit [Chronicle of Higher Education]
- Open Source and Standards
- Maker of EndNote Citation Software Sues George Mason U. [Chronicle of Higher Education]
- Security and Privacy
- Study Finds Many Americans Lack Adequate Firewall Protection [Chronicle of Higher Education]
- Service and User Experience
- Software and Operating Systems
- Ballmer: Microsoft will soon release ‘Windows Cloud’ OS [InfoWorld]
- Windows XP gets another lifeline [CNET News]