This Week in LIS - 14 May 2010

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

Headline of the Week: Report from CLIR CIOs

The Council on Library and Information Resources convenes together CIOs from merged library and technology organizations twice a year to discuss and advance issues of common interest. The meetings provide a venue unlike any other, in that the conversation can focus on the joys and peculiarities of broad information organizations at schools like Luther. Here’s a brief overview of the agenda topics from last week’s meeting:

  • The Economy – Schools are responding, adjusting, and adapting in a variety of ways. The central theme of this conversation was a renewed push toward collaborative models of operations (not just in information support but across functions and institutions. In some cases, governance structures at schools are taking a closer look at information-related initiatives and expenditures and are considering how technology plays into the future of liberal education. With some CIOs from public higher ed in attendance, we also discussed the differences between public and private institutions in weathering the turbulent times.
  • Open Access – We discussed the status of open access publishing requirements or guidelines on our campuses. Many schools are moving forward to capture materials such as senior thesis into digital repositories. A number are also moving forward with policies affecting faculty publications as well.
  • Relationships Between Library/IT and Communications/Marketing – With the web as a central focus point, we discussed the ways in which our institutions handle the relationships between communications/marketing and IT. In some places, the relationship works well, in others there is room for improvement. Specific institutional environments are at play, but the broader need for collaboration across these teams was noted and explored. We also discussed future directions of the web, particularly to the cloud and poked a bit at what that migration will do to this relationship.
  • Portals vs. Web 2.0 – Portals are not new topics and many schools have deployed one kind or another. Notably, many of the schools in attendance at this meeting have not. The question of whether portals are as relevant today as they were five years ago was kicked around for a while. The arrival of free third-party systems, and close integration with ERP vendors was also discussed. This conversation also picked up on a theme of internal/external content from the previous conversation and how the portal works to deliver internal information to local college constituencies.
  • Measuring Effectiveness of Service – We discussed how our institutions look to measure effectiveness in a time of budget review and reduction. This conversation highlighted the joys and pitfalls of data and data presentation, and the challenges of uncovering exactly what any given dataset actually is saying.
  • Research on Hidden Collections – We heard from Kelly Miller, a former CLIR postdoc who has been studying the hidden collections grant projects funded by CLIR. The interesting discussion touched on the interplay between academics and librarians through the process of managing hidden collections, and how liberal arts institutions display much more flexibility when it comes to deployment.

The group also affirmed the value of meeting and worked to determine a schedule for the coming academic year.

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:

  • LIS Council did not meet this week.

LIS Ideas

This spring, LIS launched a community website to gather ideas for how we can improve existing service, help prioritize proposed new services, and figure out what other services can be retired. Since that time, LIS staff, as well as Luther faculty, staff and students have visited to add their votes and ideas. TWILIS will periodically highlight some of these ideas and signal how LIS intends to respond.

Remove phones in residence hall rooms

  • Response: In Progress. Beginning with the 2010-11 academic year, Luther is changing our procedures for assigning landline telephone numbers in residential living spaces for students based on feedback from students and use of the landline telephone system. Luther will no longer automatically assign these numbers for students, nor will we automatically have telephone numbers follow students from year to year. All residence hall rooms will be provided with a shared telephone and telephone number which will allow for incoming and local outgoing calls. Students desiring an individually-assigned number and voice mail box will be able to request one via the LIS website ( Requests may be entered at any time and will be processed this summer.

Stop routing LIS office phone bills

  • Response: Complete. With the recent transition in telephone billing, LIS staff are asked to self-identify any personal calls from their electronic bill and pay for them with Jean or Lori. We will stop routing the phone bills as we have done in the past.

Stop ordering labels for other departments

  • Response: Completed. LIS is transitioning label inventory and purchasing to the Document Center and will no longer resell labels to other offices on campus.

Have you thrown your two cents into the idea pot? If not, we welcome you to do so at

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:

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
Using Dropbox – An Introduction to Saving and Syncing Files in the Cloud Product Demonstration May 14 2010 – 12:15pm 1:15pm Olin 108 Open
Reason Web Training for non-academic departments Workshop May 19 2010 – 2:00pm 4:30pm Olin 301 – Round Table Room Open
Advising and Vocation at Luther College (Day 1 of 2) Faculty Development May 26 2010 – 9:00am 4:00pm Baker Commons Closed
Advising and Vocation at Luther College (Day 2 of 2) Faculty Development May 27 2010 – 9:00am 4:00pm Closed
Reason Web Training Workshop Jun 2 2010 – 2:00pm 4:30pm Olin 301 – Round Table Room Open

Internet Resource of the Week: Online OCR

Have a need to edit a scanned document? Or do you have a scanner nearby to scan paper documents and you want to make those editable? … is a free web-based OCR (Optical Character Recognition) service that allows you to convert scanned paper documents (including multipage files), faxes, photographs or digital camera captured images into editable and searchable electronic documents including Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Rtf, Html and Txt.

Converted documents look exactly like the original – tables, columns, bullets and graphics.

With users can process documents in 28 languages including English, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and others. also allows and supports:

  • automatic image rotation,
  • full-page deskew on images,
  • creation black and white images from color and grayscale image file,
  • retain non-text color regions for reinsertion into the output document

On the web at

Quote(s) of the Week:

  • “The iPad is one of the most elegant, useful, astoundingly cool objects ever produced by the mind of man. Da Vinci would drool. Newton would show an equal and opposite attraction. Edison would ignore the objections of his wife and buy one, preferably the model with 64 gigabytes.” – Michael Gerson – The 64-gigabyte shape of the future
  • “With iPods and iPads and Xboxes and PlayStations, — none of which I know how to work — information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation,” – Barack Obama
  • “Education has no end. As far as your brain can work all right, your eyes can see all right, and your ears can hear all right, if you go to school you can learn.” – Akasease Kofi Boakye Yiadom, 99-year-old business college graduate from Ghana
  • “It is not necessary to understand things in order to argue about them.” – Pierre Beaumarchais

Image of the Week: The Evolution of Privacy on Facebook

Click through for full size

Video of the Week: The Semantic Web: What It Is and Why It Matters

Web 3.0 from Kate Ray on Vimeo.

Simply put, the semantic web gives us more than just raw data; it shows us the context and relationships behind and between those data.
Student Kate Ray interviewed a flock of researchers, entrepreneurs and other innovators for her 14-minute documentary, Web 3.0. Ray is a journalism/psych major at NYU who has done extensive research on the semantic web. Her subjects include World Wide Web creator Tim Berners-Lee, CEO and inventor Chris Dixon, and a host of other semantic web experts.
Ray’s film is a brief but high-level discussion of semantic technologies, the tech that’s going to affect how we use the Internet and all its information for years to come. If you’ve ever wanted to know more about the semantic web, what it is and why it matters to all kinds of Internet users, we highly recommend checking out this documentary below.

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.This issue is Volume 4, Number 29 (#156)Content is made available under Creative Commons license. Creative Commons License