This Week in LIS - 13 November 2009

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Headline of the Week: Thoughts from EDUCAUSE 2009

Last week I traveled to Denver for the fall meeting of the CLIR (Council on Library and Information Resources) CIOs group and EDUCAUSE 2009. The meetings and sessions were overall thought-provoking and it is always good to break the routine of everyday work to look at the big picture of what we are doing, and more importantly what we ought to be doing.

Rather than preparing long narrative descriptions of themes and thoughts, below I list ten semi-provocative statements and questions that grow out of the meetings, presentations, conversations, and thoughts of the past week. They are presented in no particular order.

1. A framework of flexible structure for staffing is becoming more and more critical in information organizations. What would happen if we created space in our organization for rotating fellows/post-docs/innovators?

2. The (wired) network is dead. Long live the (wireless) network. How can we prepare for next-generation wireless, both internally and through partnerships with cellular providers?

3. Within three years, our students will use mobile internet-enabled devices as their primary portal to Internet-based services. Do we understand what that means for our business, and what possibilities that opens for us?

4. Libraries are increasingly and notably dropping traditional reference service without significant casualty. What should we put on our “Stop Doing List”? Yes, we need a “Stop Doing List.”

5. Sustainability initiatives are mainstream. Workstation lifecycles and return on investment are miserably inadequate. How long will it take us to virtualize services like our computer labs?

6. The current economic downtown is forcing information organizations to rethink resource priorities in a reactionary (and not altogether healthy way). If we know our fundamental business model is changing, why are we not being more proactive about realigning our resources with our future priorities? This should not be optional, or procrastinated.

7. Decline and atrophy is almost inevitably self-inflicted, while greatness is self-created. Mediocrity follows from failing to execute fundamentals and distraction from core values and purpose. How much of our daily work is a distraction from core values and purpose?

8. Libraries need to own and lead the collaborative creation of interdisciplinary knowledge in higher education. How does this become something that is actively core to our mission versus something we passively acknowledge?

9. While Luther needs to fully comply and promote compliance with copyright law, we should be more active in promoting the free and open exchange of information (within the framework of current copyright law). How do we carry this message forward? (One way: draft copyright website has been expanded)

10. The more we think we are sure we know the answers to the questions that confront us, the greater our likelihood of being wrong. How do we each incorporate continual questioning into our work, and allow for iteration and reevaluation while focusing on core values?

So all in all, it was a pretty low-key week provoking thoughts of little consequence. Hmm.

I welcome your thoughts and comments, and look forward to engaging on some of these topics as we move ahead.

LIS Blog Highlights from the Week

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

Notes from LIS Council

LIS Council is the leadership team within LIS. Among the topics discussed this past week were:

  • Application Development Vacancy – Planning for the recruitment team is underway.
  • Scott Bassford Farewell – Will be held November 23rd. Email will be sent and it will be put on the calendar for LIS.
  • Naxos & iPhone/iPod – Native client to be released soon allowing music to be streamed to mobile devices.
  • Cell Phone Vendors – We are working with NEIT to improve GSM coverage on campus and will be reaching out to other vendors as well. We are beginning to push for better ubiquitous coverage on campus.
  • Datatel Portal – Datatel continues to develop their portal product as a primary interface for their services. Given that it runs on technology that is not core for Luther, this generates more questions than answers for us regarding future directions.
  • EDUCAUSE/CLIR Notes – Chris shared some thoughts from the meetings. Expanded version is this week’s Headline of the Week.

The User Perspective on LIS Services: Mark Peltz

The Assistant Dean and Director of the Career Center, Mark Peltz has been with Luther since 2002. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa in Education and his graduate degree in Career Development from Miami University in Ohio. Peltz has worked in the Career Development field since 2000 and was previously employed by the University of Florida before coming to Luther.

When asked about his role at Luther, Peltz stated “everything that has to do with life after Luther, (the career center) is involved with.” While the Career Center does provide assistance with jobs and internships for students, that is not all it does. They also design services and programs that would benefit the student body. For example, helping new students figure out what they should major in so that they might pursue a given career path.

The Career Center is very dependent on technology both to convey information as well as to store information and as such are reliant on the LIS department to provide them with what they need. Peltz relies on the advice of LIS staff when he is trying to decide on a program for making job listings available online or maintaining the Career Center database or many other things. He is also concerned about the availability of more general services to students. “If the Career Center has this need, do others have this need?” he asks himself when considering new ideas. Online videos and lectures that are interactive are two things that Peltz would like to see realized during his time at Luther. When the time comes for those, he plans to work closely with LIS to determine how to make it work.

The Technology Help Desk is the gateway to technical support at Luther College. The Help Desk handles questions, problems, and requests from Faculty, Staff, and Students as well as guests to campus. Support is provided for computer hardware and software, Internet connectivity, media equipment, telephones, and other related topics. Visit our Technology Service Catalog for more information, browse the Technology Articles listing below, or use the Search LIS button in the upper right corner.

— Contributed by Adam Kobler ’11

MISO Moment: Adoption of Instant Messaging/Chat

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In order to assess information service at Luther, Library and Information Services participates in the Merged Information Services Organization Survey administered by Bryn Mawr College. Luther has administered the survey twice in 2007 and 2009 to all faculty, staff, and a random sample of students.

Each week, we profile a datapoint from the survey that illustrates how the Luther community currently uses LIS services.

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

Upcoming LIS Training, Instruction, and Professional Development Opportunities

Click on the event below for specific information and for a link to register. More information on training and development events is available.

Course Format Date Start Time End Time Location
Copyright and Intellectual Property: Legal, Ethical, and Practical Considerations for Faculty Faculty Development Nov 18 3:30 pm 4:30 pm Preus Library – Hovde Lounge
Teaching Discussion: Planning and Teaching a First-Year Seminar Faculty Development Nov 18 4:00 pm 5:00 pm Dahl Centennial Union – Nansen
Norse Forms Skills Training Nov 19 2:45 pm 3:45 pm Olin 301 – Round Table Room
New Faculty Teaching Group Faculty Development Nov 23 2:45 pm 3:45 pm Dahl Centennial Union – Nansen
Teaching Writing: Using Rubrics to Evaluate Papers Faculty Development Nov 30 4:00 pm 5:30 pm Olin 101
German 201: Intermediate German I Library Instruction Dec 2 12:15 pm 12:15 pm Rare Book Room – Preus Library
New Faculty Teaching Group Faculty Development Dec 7 2:45 pm 3:45 pm Dahl Centennial Union – Nansen

Internet Resource of the Week: Graphics Atlas

bq. Graphics Atlas is a new online resource that brings sophisticated print identification and characteristic exploration tools to archivists, curators, historians, collectors, conservators, educators, and the general public. The Image Permanence Institute at the Rochester Institute of Technology began initial development of this resource in 2006.

In a nutshell, this online reference tool helps individuals determine the exact image reproduction process for any image, and provides a framework for understanding how that process works and where it falls in the history of image reproduction. Yes, you too can learn about processes such as intaglio, collotype, gravure, and dye sublimation. The level of detail is quite good as you drill down into specific reproduction types allowing you to even see what prints would look like at different lighting angles, and at high resolution and magnification. For image folks, a great resource to bookmark.

On the web at

Quote(s) of the Week:

  • “Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.” – Douglas Adams
  • “Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” – Scott Adams
  • “Sacred cows make great hamburgers.” – Anonymous
  • “There’s a doctrine called fair use, which we believe can be challenged in the courts and will bar it altogether.” – Rupert Murdoch
  • “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” – Aristotle
  • “There is always a heavy demand for fresh mediocrity. In every generation the least cultivated taste has the largest appetite.” – Paul Gauguin

Image of the Week: Ninjas vs. Professors

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Video of the Week: Jon Stewart vs The Archivists

Links of the Week

There will some upcoming changes to this section beginning next week … TWILIS will going forward reduce the number of links reproduced here to a slightly larger version of the QuickPicks. But if you’re a link-lover, no worries … the full link feed (even more than appear in TWILIS) is now available by Daily Email Digest or RSS. If you want the whole enchilada, sign up for either of those distribution tools.QuickPicks Books, Media, and Publishing Copyright and Intellectual Property Culture, Economy, and Business Data Security and Privacy Future
  • None
Google and Search Google Apps Hardware and Technology Tools Higher Education Innovation and Design Internet and Networking Libraries and Librarians Mobility Social Media & Communication Software, Operating Systems, and The Cloud infoneer.pngThe links and media above are selected from material posted to, which gathers links and comment on the worlds of libraries, technology, higher education, culture, intellectual property, copyright, information, ethics, design, professional identity, leadership, and the future. Subscribe to RSS
This Week in LIS is published most Fridays by Christopher Barth, Executive Director of Library and Information Services at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa for the Luther College community as well as those interested in information services and higher education.This issue is Volume 4, Number 10 (#137)Content is made available under Creative Commons license. Creative Commons License