This Week in LIS - 12 February 2010

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

Headline of the Week: What’s New and Improved for Spring 2010

A comment I have frequently heard from faculty, staff, and students is that with the wide and diverse range of services provided by LIS, it is difficult to keep up-to-date with what is new. Speaking truthfully, it is hard for those inside of LIS to keep up with what changes, so we know it is a challenge for those outside of the organization. Earlier this year, we introduced new Welcome Guides designed to provide the most useful information for new members of the community, and we have worked to update and refresh those guides for 2010 including information on a number of new and updated services. While this does a good job of introducing new folks to services, it does not help the veterans. A suggestion from our student advisory panel was to prepare a concise summary of new and updated services that would be sent by email to the community at the beginning of each semester. We think it is a good idea, and so for Spring 2010, we’re doing just that.

Early next week, we’ll send out a short email message intended to offer some headline information on new and upgraded services and resources sprinkled with links for more information. TWILIS readers get a sneak peek at the content below. We’ll customize the content specifically for students and employees to ensure relevant information for everyone. We hope this new distillation of what’s important will be useful … let us know what you think. I bet just about everyone will find at least one thing they didn’t know was new …

LIS Service and System Notices – Spring 2010

In an effort to concisely convey important service and system updates, LIS publishes a list of notices at the beginning of each semester for the Luther community. To keep up with announcements throughout the year, please visit the LIS Blog at or subscribe to our weekly newsletter This Week in LIS at

New Services and Resources

New Collaboration Space in Preus Library – LIS is continuing to enhance the main floor of Preus Library to foster collaborative work. Two interactive, revolving whiteboard tables and two 27” LCD monitors (allowing laptop connection) are being added to the space. In addition, the area will be rearranged and will include more casual seating.

Credo Reference Collection Online – LIS has recently subscribed to the Credo Reference collection of over 460 full-text scholarly electronic reference books. You can find the collection by searching “Credo Reference” in Encore or you can go directly to the collection at: A list of titles in the collection can be seen at:

Netbooks Available for Loan – PC netbooks are now available for checkout from the Circulation Desk in the library in addition to the PC and Mac laptops already available.

Datatel on the Web – Datatel is now available via web browser at from on campus. Off-campus users may connect via

AV Guides Now Available Online – Guides are now available for various spaces on campus to help with usage of the audio-visual technology. See

Personal Computer Repair Pilot – As a pilot project this spring, the Help Desk will perform minor computer repairs and upgrades for personally-owned computers. Contact the Help Desk for more information. They also maintain a list of Luther students and local area businesses that are available to provide fee-based support. See

Hardware/Software Request Form for Faculty and Staff – It’s now even easier for faculty and staff to request the purchase of non-standard hardware, software not already owned by Luther College, or an upgrade of software Luther owns. The process has been streamlined and converted to online forms that can be accessed 24×7. Go to and select either “Requests for Hardware” or “Requests for Software”

Norse Groups – Norse Groups, the newest addition to the Norse Apps suite, is a quick and easy way for groups of people with a common interest to facilitate online discussions. For more information and to set up your own group, see

Kindles Available for Loan – LIS will begin circulating 3 Amazon Kindle ereaders to faculty and staff beginning in late February. One additional Kindle will be available for 2-hour, in-house checkout to students and community members.

Desktop Messaging – Wish you could retrieve your voice mail messages from your email or the web? Now you can! See

ePortfolios – LIS is testing Mahara, an open source ePortfolio and social networking web application. It provides users with tools to create and maintain a digital portfolio of their learning, and social networking features to allow users to interact with each other.

Cambridge Histories Online – LIS has recently purchased the Cambridge Histories Online collection of digital editions of over 250 volumes. Included are major multi-volume histories in Ancient History, Economics, Literature, Music, Philosophy, Religious Studies and regions and countries like Africa, China, India, the United States, Great Britain, and more. Search Encore for “Cambridge Histories Online” or go directly to the collection at: You can browse a list of titles in the collection at:

Upgraded Services enhancements now available include:

  • A new option has been added to the my.luther student menu under “Other Campus Links”, called “Student Group Management”. This new option will direct students to the new web-based software for the Student Activities Office to assist student groups in organization and communication with their members. There is also a link to the Student Group Management Software on the college website under “Faculty/Staff/Students”.
  • Students can access tax forms 1098T for 2008 and 2009 available in PDF format on
  • Web Time Entry functions included on faculty, staff, and student menus

Wireless Networking in Olson – Wireless infrastructure was replaced and significantly enhanced over Winter break. Building coverage is improved, and Olson is now the first location on campus to provide 802.11n wireless service.

Atomic Learning – Luther migrated to the new website over winter break. This website provides a library of short video tutorials on a wide variety of software applications and is available 24×7×365. See

KATIE – KATIE has been upgraded to version 1.97 – Liberal Arts Edition (LAE). Most notable changes involve a gradebook that is easier for instructors to maintain and easier for students to understand how their grades were computed.

Citrix – Citrix, one of our services providing access to Windows-based software, network files and network folders from both on and off campus was upgraded this fall and now boasts a web interface in addition to the familiar desktop interface. For information on Citrix, see

Microsoft Vista Lab Computers – The PC computers in running Windows Vista were re-imaged over winter break to increase performance.

Carillon Bells – Luther’s Carillon was replaced with a new system in December. The carillon chimes on the hour and provides occasional music from the tower of Main. See

Recent updates to Norse Apps include:

  • “Upload any file” feature allows users the ability to upload, store and organize any type of file in Google Docs up to a 1GB limit.
  • Finding duplicate contacts in Gmail is now much easier. Click the “Find Duplicates” button in Contact Manager.
  • Offline Gmail has graduated from Labs and is now a standard feature.
  • Folders in Docs can now be shared.

Policy Updates

Draft Copyright Website – Luther’s draft copyright website and new copyright and intellectual property policy is available online at

Campus Events Support – The LIS Support for Campus Events Policy is now available on the LIS website. See

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:

  • Updates on collaborative space furniture and delivery timelines. Large monitors have been installed. We are awaiting new tables.
  • Old Help Desk space renovations may begin this week or next.
  • Recruitment updates (Application Development, Program Support, Director of Research and Instructional Services)
  • Eaglecam bandwidth. We’re working to tune a new version of Flash server to try to maximize availability. The cam is overly-popular :)
  • The LIST staffing plan for teaching in 2010-11 has been submitted to the Dean. LIST will contribute two Paideia sections (Streese/Sullivan) and one Paideia II (Gjerde).
  • Snow Leopard recommendation is complete, and Windows 7 deployment is on hold pending domain authentication resolution.
  • Review of the What’s New items from LIS.

LIS User Perspective: Renee Bay


Housing Assignment Coordinator Renee Bay has been with Luther since 2004. Her job is to make sure every student has a place to live and call their own. Bay has lived in Decorah for 16 years and used to be a manager at the Hotel Winneshiek on Water St. She attended the University of Colorado at Boulder and is also a part-time Luther student.

When it comes to LIS, Bay has high praise for the Help Desk. The Housing Department relies heavily on many programs, like Datatel or the Housing Management System, in order to operate on a daily basis. Bay has had much experience working out problems by using the Help Desk. One of her favorite features offered by them is called VNC, which allows the Help Desk staff to connect to a computer so that they see what you see which makes fixing a problem much easier in most cases.

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.

— Contributed by Adam Kobler ’11

MISO Moment: Interest in Learning More About Spreadsheets

Click through for full size

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.

Upcoming NITLE events:

Event Date Description
Supporting Faculty Use of Video in the Curriculum Feb 12, 2010 How are academic support staff ensuring faculty and student success with curricular video projects? Instructional technologists from Skidmore College & Colgate University will share stories from fall 2009 classes, discuss successful practices.
Spatial Statistics, Part 3: Description & Prediction Feb 16, 2010 For GIS users: develop the skills and knowledge necessary to analyze, interpret, and present spatial data competently in order to support research or offer statistical advice to students or colleagues.
Open Notebook Science for Research and Teaching Feb 18, 2010 For faculty, instructional technologists, and librarians who wish to explore cutting-edge concepts and digital technologies for scientific teaching and research.
Technologies for Teaching Languages & Cultures Feb 19, 2010
Technologies for Teaching Writing Feb 20, 2010
Spatial Statistics, Part 4: Hypothesis Testing & Simulation Feb 23, 2010 For GIS users: develop the skills and knowledge necessary to analyze, interpret, and present spatial data competently in order to support research or offer statistical advice to students or colleagues.
Teaching with Mobile Devices: Smartphones Feb 24, 2010 For faculty, instructional technologists, and others interested in using smartphones for student projects including digital storytelling, mapping, polling, and in-field data collection.
Spatial Statistics, Part 5: Sampling Mar 2, 2010 For GIS users: develop the skills and knowledge necessary to analyze, interpret, and present spatial data competently in order to support research or offer statistical advice to students or colleagues.
Electronic Books Mar 8, 2010 For those who wish to explore electronic books, from uses and pilots of the ebook on liberal arts campuses to the emergent possibilities that new devices offer.
Using Technology to Teach Contemporary Political Conflicts Mar 11, 2010 For faculty and staff interested in how new technologies can be used to teach about contemporary political conflicts.
Instructional Technology Leaders Conference Mar 24, 2010 For leaders in instructional technology and academic computing with responsibility for integrating technology into the curriculum.
NITLE Summit Mar 25, 2010
Augmented Reality’s First Educational Applications Apr 12, 2010 For those who wish to explore augmented reality, a recently evolving technology for layering digital content over the physical world, and its potential uses on liberal arts campuses.
Online Exam & Assessment Tools in Teaching Language Apr 15, 2010 For faculty and academic support staff involved in the teaching of languages.

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 Location Enrollment
Teaching Writing: Expectations for Writing Senior Papers/Projects Faculty Development Feb 16 2010 – 4:15pm 5:30pm Olin 101 Open
Reason Web Training for non-academic departments Workshop Feb 17 2010 – 2:00pm 4:30pm Olin 301 – Round Table Room Open
Reading Group: Health, Sustainability, and Social Justice: An Interfaith Dialogue on Contemporary Ethical Challenges Faculty Development

Repeats every month on the Thursday until Fri Apr 16 2010 .

Feb 18 2010 – 9:40am 10:30am
Dahl Centennial Union – Borlaug Closed
Getting the Most Out of KATIE Faculty Development Feb 18 2010 – 3:00pm 4:00pm Olin 301 – Round Table Room Open
Book Discussion: In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto (part 1 of 2) Faculty Development Feb 18 2010 – 4:15pm 5:15pm Dahl Centennial Union – Borlaug Closed
Getting the Most Out of KATIE Faculty Development Feb 19 2010 – 3:00pm 4:00pm Olin 301 – Round Table Room Open
New Faculty Teaching Group Faculty Development Feb 24 2010 – 9:15am 10:15am Dahl Centennial Union – Borlaug Open
Introduction to the KATIE Gradebook Faculty Development Feb 24 2010 – 3:00pm 4:00pm Olin 301 – Round Table Room Open
String Seminar Research Session Library Instruction Feb 24 2010 – 5:45pm 6:30pm Preus Library – Hovde Lounge Open
Introduction to the KATIE Gradebook Faculty Development Feb 25 2010 – 3:00pm 4:00pm Olin 301 – Round Table Room Open
Reason Web Training for academic departments Workshop Mar 3 2010 – 2:00pm 4:30pm Olin 301 – Round Table Room Open
Book Discussion: In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto (part 2 of 2) Faculty Development Mar 4 2010 – 4:15pm 5:15pm Dahl Centennial Union – Borlaug Closed
New Faculty Teaching Group Faculty Development Mar 10 2010 – 9:15am 10:15am Dahl Centennial Union – Borlaug Open
Remote Access Options Product Demonstration Mar 10 2010 – 3:45pm 4:45pm Dahl Centennial Union – Mott Open
Nursing 232: Research Methods for Nursing Library Instruction Mar 11 2010 – 11:00am 12:00pm Olin 301 – Round Table Room Closed

Internet Resource of the Week: Sketchpad

Much ado has been made following the announcement of the iPad about the device’s inability to run Adobe Flash, a flagship product delivering a variety of interactive media online. Apple has cast its weight behind the new HTML standard HTML5 as a better way to accomplish interactivity on the web. Sketchpad is a good example of why. This online drawing tool is entirely developed in HTML5, so it requires no plugins or other media helpers to work … just a modern browser.

As HTML5 use spreads, we’re sure to see tools expanding their native browser functionality, making Sketchpad a little sliver of the future of web apps.

On the web at

Quote(s) of the Week:

  • “Meanwhile, the digital age is in full force on other fronts as well as Search engines are promising to give everybody access to the aggregate knowledge brought forth by human culture. Recently, I had some firsthand experiences with a number of institutions whose existence appears to be under siege due to the public’s changing relationship with all this information. For a project I’m currently working on, I visited the Rem Koolhaas-designed Seattle public library, which is a gorgeous architectural ode to the book, expressing great optimism about a culture worth saving. But in reality, the library holds only 780.000 books, all of which can be contained on one external hard drive you may find on sale for $240 at your local electronics store.” – Rene Daalder
  • “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.” – Calvin Coolidge
  • “Graduate school in the humanities is a trap. It is designed that way. It is structurally based on limiting the options of students and socializing them into believing that it is shameful to abandon “the life of the mind.”” – Thomas H. Benton
  • “But we have never identified excellent teachers in any reliable, objective way. Instead, we tend to ascribe their gifts to some mystical quality that we can recognize and revere—but not replicate. The great teacher serves as a hero but never, ironically, as a lesson.” – Amanda Ripley

Image of the Week: The Future of Computing

Video of the Week: Rethink Scholarship at Langara 2010 Call for Entries

Rethink Scholarship at Langara 2010 Call for Entries from Rory O'Sullivan and Simon Bruyn on Vimeo.

Links of the Week

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. The full content feed is available by Daily Email Digest or “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 20 (#147)Content is made available under Creative Commons license. Creative Commons License