This Week in LIS - 24 October 2008

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

Headline of the Week: New Arrivals in LIS: Library Furniture and iTunes U

Earlier this week, LIS took delivery of some new furniture for our casual seating areas on the main floor of the library. The new chairs, tables, and other pieces replace a variety of furniture, some of which dated to the opening of the Preus Library facility nearly 40 years ago. We have been able to purchase these items through recent gifts from the Preus family and other matching funds made available for this purpose. Andi Beckendorf and Kathy Buzza worked with a designer from our vendor to ensure the new pieces would be a good match for our functional and aesthetic needs, and the style is in harmony with other furniture recently acquired for other campus spaces including the Union and Sampson Hoffland. The design also allows for ongoing flexibility as we continue to work to make our main floor service areas as welcoming and productive for the Luther community. We encourage everyone to stop by and sit a spell in the new areas to help break things in a bit.

Also this week, Luther is launching our own version of iTunes designed to make available media content published by the college for academic and marketing purposes. This is made available through a product offered by Apple called iTunes U and is integrated directly into Apple’s iTunes service and interface. This allows friends of Luther to easily access multimedia programming for use on computers or portable devices such as the iPod. Initial offerings are available from the Department of Music and Campus Ministries. Additional content is under development and we hope to offer a growing catalog of audio and video content profiling the academic life and work of Luther. Our iTunes U work in LIS has been led by Steve Smith and Matt Baumann, along with Rachel Vagts, Rebecca Sullivan, and Matt Hughes. As an ongoing service, iTunes U will be jointly supported by LIS and the Office of Communications and Marketing. Visit Luther’s iTunes U site (Use of iTunes U requires use of iTunes software, available free from Apple).

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:

  • Norse Apps migration status
  • John Goodin’s recent conference travel to Montreal
  • Hardware upgrade to
  • Arrival of new library furniture
  • Upcoming MISO/Educause events next week
  • User Services position changes
  • Orientation for Lucas Welper in Application Development
  • A review of the draft college reaccreditation report

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.

  • Nominations Due Friday, November 7th:
    • NEW: Online Event: Teaching with Digital Games. An instance of the “Special Topics in Digital Teaching” series. Featured presenters: Brett Boessen, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies, Austin College; Richard Liston, Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, Ursinus College; Christian Spielvogel, Assistant Professor of Communication, Hope College; and Shalom Staub, Provost for Academic Affairs and Contributing Faculty in Judaic Studies, Dickinson College. Program Date & Time: November 19, 2008, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Eastern. Panelists will describe how they have integrated a variety of digital games into their courses to promote active learning. Registration deadline: Friday, November 7, 2008. Delivered online via MIV. 1 program unit.
  • Nominations Due Friday, November 21st:
    • NEW: Online Event: Teaching with Virtual Worlds. An instance of the “Special Topics in Digital Teaching” series. Featured presenters: to be announced. Program Date & Time: December 10, 2008, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Eastern. Discuss virtual worlds with the presenters, who have used them in a variety of ways to achieve pedagogical goals. Registration deadline: Friday, November 21, 2008. Delivered online via MIV. 1 program unit.

Call for Campus Input: spring 2009 conferences, calls for proposals

NITLE is currently developing calls for proposals for its spring 2009 conferences, and invites your input into that process. Your and your colleagues’ thoughts on themes to be addressed, specific topics to be included, suitable session formats, or other features of the conferences’ agenda are welcome and will benefit participants in these events. If you or your colleagues have suggestions or comments, please contact the staff lead for the particular event, indicated below, by Wednesday, November 12. The calls for proposals for these conferences will be published in the November 19 liaisons’ update.

  • Language and Culture: Finding, Assessing, and Exploiting Online and Media Resources for Language Teaching. Program Date: March 13 – 15, 2009. Location: Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA. Please contact Michael Toler ([email protected]) with any suggestions regarding this conference and its call for proposals.
  • From Property to Privacy: The Ethics of Information. Program Date: March 22 – 24, 2009. Location: DePauw University, Greencastle, IN. Please contact Nancy Millichap ([email protected]) with any suggestions regarding this conference and its call for proposals.
  • Instructional Technology Leaders Conference. Program Date: March 27 – 29, 2009. Location: Ursinus College, Collegeville, PA. Please contact Nancy Millichap ([email protected]) with any suggestions regarding this conference and its call for proposals.
  • The NITLE Summit. Program Date: March 29 – 30, 2009. Location: DoubleTree Hotel Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA. Please contact Alex Wirth-Cauchon ([email protected]) with any suggestions regarding the Summit and its call for proposals.
  • Mapping for Sustainability. Program Date: April 23 – 25, 2009. Location: University of Redlands, Redlands, CA. Please contact Sean Connin ([email protected]) with any suggestions regarding this conference and its call for proposals.

Please note that the call for proposals for “Encouraging Student Scholarship: Learning to Write in the Digital Age” is currently open. Proposals are due by Friday, November 7, 2008, at Respondents will receive notification by November 15. This conference will be held at Wheaton College (Norton, MA) on January 16 – 18, 2009. See for full information. Event contact: Rebecca Davis ([email protected]).

Complete List of NITLE Opportunities

Next Week in LIS

Notable Internet Resource of the Week: World Names Profiler

World Names Profiler uses public data on more than 300 million people in 26 countries to provide geographic density information on names, and in my testing is pretty accurate for data in the United States. The site can search both for particular names, with world, country, and regional/state maps available, or for geographic locations returning the most popular forenames and surnames. Forename data is not as reliable given that the sources for much of this information are telephone books or other directories that may only list head of household and not other individuals. Scores and densities on the site are determined in a “frequency per million” not straight counts to best show the density and popularity of names in a given geographic region. The database counts eight million unique surnames and five million unique forenames.

On the web at

Around the Web

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

  • Hardware and Technology Tools
    • None.