This Week in LIS - 17 October 2008

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

Headline of the Week: Next Steps for Printing and Copying

Earlier this afternoon, President Torgerson announced a new managed services agreement with IKON Office Solutions. This is a significant step by Luther to think about our printing and copying in a strategic way. Luther has nearly 400 devices for printing, copying, and faxing scattered across the campus generating nearly 1 million copies per month. To date, these devices have been acquired, managed, and used independently and without broad thinking about the relationship these devices have to one another and their ongoing costs of operation. We have not as a College informed employees of factoids like the fact that the average ink jet printer costs $138 per year to maintain with ink, or that their multi-function copier is by far the cheapest device (in terms of cost per copy) than other devices they may have in their office. We also have not been selective about duplicating functionality (at significantly different costs) in some areas. This new agreement is a good thing for Luther and will enable us to be better stewards of our all our resources in new and evolving ways.

The new agreement with IKON will bring some changes to LIS workflows over time. Some changes are known now, and others will become evident as we enter in to the agreement. A few of the known changes are:

  • IKON will support all copiers, multi-function devices, and laser printers included under the agreement (to start, this will include all existing copiers currently supported by IKON as well as all HP laser printers on campus). Specifically, User Services will phase out of support of HP laser printers (Help Desk and User Systems).
  • LIS will phase out resale of ink jet ink and toner to departments. Under the agreement, ink jet printing will be fully unsupported by Luther and laser toner costs will be billed to departments on a per print basis.
  • The process by which new printing equipment is acquired and funded will change and be standardized across all output devices.
  • LIS will serve as the primary unit at Luther to coordinate with IKON in managing our agreement. This will include the coordination of internal accounting structures to fund our agreement.

This week, LIS also purchased a campus license for GoPrint, a product designed to provide us granular tracking and control of printing on our network. This will enable us now to track printing by user or department, and most notably to gain a measure of control and management over how students print on our network. The software will be quietly launched on the network this fall in order to begin tracking use and gathering data. It is anticipated that LIS will unveil a new program and policies governing student printing in Fall 2009 designed to encourage appropriate use of college digital output devices.

All of these changes regarding printing and copying point to a group of underlying questions which we as a campus and internally as LIS will need to ask and answer:

  1. Are we really sure we need to print everything we print?
  2. Is there a significant business reason for us to not print to the lowest cost device available to us? (This may require walking :)
  3. How we can work individually to reduce our copying and printing individually and collectively?
  4. Can we help to hold each other accountable for responsible digital output production?

For all the work that many have done to get this ship to sail, we’re only just beginning to get underway and have many more questions to ask and answer. Feel free to share what questions you may have and thanks for your help in working to accomplish our goals with regard to digital output on campus.

LIS Blog Highlights from the Week

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

Notes from LIS Council

LIS Council discussed the following this week:

  • The upcoming Meridian II sculpture dedication.
  • The status of our Programmer/Analyst recruitment.
  • Upcoming training opportunities for Atomic Learning.
  • Defacement of library materials.
  • Web content management systems for the campus.
  • Forthcoming printing and copying changes for the campus.
  • An upcoming meeting of the LIS Student Advisory Panel.
  • Review of the LIS Web Dashboard.
  • Review of the LIS Project List.
  • A new WorldCat Local page for Luther (which we discovered)

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

Next Week in LIS

Notable Internet Resource of the Week: lingro

lingro is a fairly deep tool designed to speed language acquisition using clickable definitions and translations over existing pages on the web. There are a number of different ways to use lingro. The online dictionary provides direct lookup and translations of words. Web and file translators can present textual content for use within lingro, or bookmarklets can be plugged into browsers to provide on-demand use of the service. Additional features include flash card games, and definable word lists for study.

From their website: lingro’s mission is to create an on-line environment that allows anyone learning a language to quickly look up and learn the vocabulary most important to them. Whenever we’re developing new tools for lingro or planning the next big step, there are two principles we always consider:

  • Knowledge and information essential to human communication and interaction should be free and accessible to everyone. This is why we created the most comprehensive set of free dictionaries available under open licenses so that anyone can contribute, download, redistribute, and modify the dictionaries for their own needs. These licenses guarantee that they will always remain free and useful to society.
  • To have the best dictionaries, you need to have the best tools. Every tool we create, from games, quizzes, and study tools to in-context word lookup is designed for you, the user. To us, this means that they should be intuitive, fast, easy to use, and hopefully fun. :-)

On the web at

Around the Web

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

  • Hardware and Technology Tools
    • None