This Week in LIS - 15 May 2009

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

Headline of the Week: Information Tools in Use at Luther


Last week, we published a look at services provided by LIS to the Luther community as ranked in order of importance by faculty, students, and staff. This week, we turn to a snapshot of how a variety of information tools are used by the community. As part of the MISO survey administered earlier this year, respondents were asked to identify which tools they use in their academic work (faculty and students) or work for the college (staff). The resulting data gives us a picture of the tools most widely used (separated from importance). It also informs on the level of comfort with and penetration of a wide variety of services and tools.

Generally speaking, use of information tools is up sharply at Luther over the past two years, with only a few items seeing decreases in use. And among those that did decline are services that LIS is intentionally guiding the community away from (e.g. online course reserves in favor of KATIE, or Videotapes in favor of DVDs).

Data is reported independently for each constituency and is ranked in descending order of use based on the 2009 survey.

Faculty Students Staff
Tool 2007 2009 Tool 2007 2009 Tool 2007 2009
KATIE 68% 81% KATIE 94% 96% Portable Drives (USB) 32% 52%
DVDs N/A 67% Online Quizzes 35% 62% Digital Images 33% 45%
Student Library Research 48% 55% Portable Drives (USB) 51% 56% Instant Messaging 10% 42%
Technology-Enhanced Lectures 38% 54% Physical Course Reserves 59% 48% Burn CDs 37% 40%
Physical Course Reserves 50% 52% Online Course Reserves 66% 47% KATIE 28% 36%
Portable Drives (USB) 38% 51% In-Class Computer Use 42% 42% Digital Video 16% 33%
Burn CDs 52% 49% Technology-Enhanced Presentations 29% 35% Web Page Development 30% 33%
Digital Video 29% 47% Digital Video 15% 31% Technology-Enhanced Presentations 20% 31%
Digital Images 29% 41% DVDs N/A 30% Burn DVDs 21% 29%
Technology-Enhanced Student Presentations 29% 40% Slides 15% 28% Digital Audio 15% 28%
In-Class Computer Use 32% 36% Wikis 13% 26% Survey Tools 11% 22%
Digital Audio 29% 35% Digital Images 17% 24% Portable Media Devices (iPods) 6% 17%
Videotapes 42% 35% Paper Course Packs 15% 21% Slides 12% 17%
Online Course Reserves 32% 30% Digital Audio 17% 20% Text Messaging N/A 16%
Library Research Instruction 29% 27% Blogs 9% 19% Video Recording N/A 16%
Burn DVDs 24% 24% Burn CDs 30% 18% Videotapes 15% 16%
Discipline-Specific Software 19% 23% Discussion Boards 19% 17% Blogs 4% 14%
Video Recording N/A 18% Instant Messaging 16% 17% Videoconferencing 9% 13%
Technology Instruction 9% 17% Portable Media Devices (iPods) 11% 17% Discussion Boards 8% 12%
Online Quizzes 11% 15% Electronic Portfolios 7% 16% Podcasting 3% 7%
Slides 20% 15% Text Messaging N/A 15% Animations 4% 6%
Paper Course Packs 15% 13% Survey Tools 5% 13% Wikis 2% 5%
Blogs 6% 12% Burn DVDs 10% 11% RSS Feeds 0% 2%
Instant Messaging 3% 12% Videotapes 16% 11% Simulations 0% 2%
Simluations 10% 12% Disciple-Specific Software 11% 11%
Portable Media Devices (iPods) 4% 12% Classroom Electronic Polling 5% 9%
Animations 12% 11% Web Page Development 12% 8%
Discussion Boards 11% 9% Podcasting 2% 6%
Student Electronic Portfolios 4% 8% Animations 5% 6%
Survey Tools 4% 8% Simulations 5% 6%
Wikis 5% 6% Smart Phone/PDA N/A 3%
Podcasting 2% 5% Videoconferencing 1% 3%
RSS Feeds 1% 5% RSS Feeds 1% 3%
Web Page Development N/A 4%
Text Messaging N/A 4%
Videoconferencing 1% 3%
Electronic Polling 4% 2%
Smart Phone/PDA N/A 2%

It is rewarding to see use of information tools generally rising across the College. It is also a challenge to continue to support the rapidly rising need for support of these (and many other) information tools supported by LIS at Luther. Not only does the population grow each year using most information tools, but the number of information tools itself continues to grow. We appreciate the many partnerships we have with our constituents across campus as we work to better position Luther’s infrastructure supporting information resources and tools to meet the mission and goals of Luther.

LIS Staffing News

LIS has launched a recruitment for a Programmer/Analyst. We have completed on-campus finalist interviews.

LIS Blog Highlights from the Week

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

Notes from LIS Council

Topics discussed by the LIS Council this week included:

  • 40th Anniversary of Preus Library
  • Fine Arts Collection Updates
  • Faculty Roll – Summer 2009 (Hardware & Scheduling)
  • Service Points Task Force Update
  • Colleague Advancement Scheduling
  • Paideia Support
  • Reason Update
  • Cell Phone Policy Changes
  • Review of new brief LIS brochure
  • MISO Data Review

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.

A full list of events (sortable by registration deadline) is available at

Next Week in LIS

Notable Internet Resource of the Week: Omegle

Press regarding a new social site Omegle has recently made the rounds, including a recent profile in the New York Times. Omegle, programmed by an 18-year-old (looking for other programming work) is a service that anonymously connects you with another user to chat and socialize. By clicking the “Start a Chat” button you are placed into a room with another individual and away you go (it really is that simple). For extroverts and the adventurous, this may be a great sort of site. It does have the ability to connect with you with interesting people from around the world. The down side, is you never know who you’re going to get, and anonymous nooks on the Internet don’t necessarily attract the most upstanding netizens. But that’s what the Disconnect button is for :)

On the web at

Around the Web

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

  • Mobility
    • None

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This Week in LIS is published most Fridays by Christopher Barth, Executive Director of Library and Information Services at Luther College for the Luther College community as well as those interested in information services and higher education.

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