This Week in LIS - 11 March 2011

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Headlines of the Week: IPAL Update

On February 28th, I had the opportunity to meet with other academic library directors from the State of Iowa in Des Moines at Drake Univerity to discuss the current and future benefits of the IPAL (Iowa Private Academic Libraries) consortium. Formed in 1977, the group has had an evolving mission over the years, and most recently primarily serves as a venue for professional development and discussion for staff from academic libraries in Iowa as well as a purchasing consortium for library resources. The group currently pools in excess of $1,000,000 each year for the shared purchase of materials.

Rather than have the standard IPAL meeting this year (generally open to anyone), library directors were invited to talk about what the future benefits of the organization could be and how we should structure the organization going forward. The primary points emerging from the meeting were:

  1. Collaboration is a priority
    There was general agreement that collaborating with other private academic libraries within the state is valuable to pursue and there are areas where we could pursue deeper collaboration. Generally though our institutions may compete for student, we are not competitive when it comes to library and information resources.
  2. There is value in gathering directors of IPAL
    Recently, IPAL has not really been a place for directors to meet and discuss, as the attendance at meetings has been more broad. There is value in the broad participation that we want to maintain, however there is also value in bringing together senior library leaders, both to help explore collaborative opportunities among member libraries as well as to guide the overall path and direction of IPAL.
  3. Affirmation of the importance of staff development
    We would like IPAL to continue to be a place that draws together librarians from across the state.
  4. Creation of Directors ad hoc committee
    This group would work with the IPAL officers and steering committee to help plan and guide new collaborative initiatives.

The meeting also included brainstorming sessions where we worked to identify areas for further exploration along with roadblocks to greater cooperation among institutions. We also heard from State Librarian Mary Wegner on current legislation affecting libraries at the state and local levels.

LIS Blog Highlights from the Week

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

From the Archives – Celebrating Luther’s Sesquicentennial

In honor of Luther’s 150th year, the Luther Archives is profiling 150 facts about Luther over the year. Here’s one of this week’s facts:

Moment #16: Coeducation at Luther College was approved June 5, 1936, allowing women to be admitted for the first time. Five graduates of Decorah College for Women (shown above)—Ruth A. Graeber, Helen M. Hoff, Dorcas V. Jacobson, Laura M.Monson, and Lily B. Nelson—were granted bachelor’s degrees from Luther at commencement that year.

LIS Ideas

This past 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.

Idea of the Week – What do you think about …

Utilize GIS technology on campus – Investigate the opportunity to utilize GIS as a means to map Data, Fiber and Telephone routes and lines through out campus. Could also be used for power lines,water lines etc. This mapping could eliminate numerous blueprints etc. And also help in the event of a disaster. San Francisco City College and Auburn University utilize this platform to track various items such as size of windows, building room layouts types of computers in each room etc. It’s got six votes … what do you think?

Notes from LIS Council

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

  • New Items
    • TG 150
      • Individual teams in LIS are asked to review and discuss the TG 150 Planning/Positioning materials as we consider how LIS should respond to a request for strategic initiatives from TG 150.
    • LIS / Visit Day
      • We will participate in an Admissions admitted student day on April 15th. There will be a meeting later this month to brainstorm how we will cover the event.
    • Google Apps User Managed Storage
      • Google now allows the purchase of additional document storage. This will be enabled on Funding for additional storage at this time will be handled by departments as with other department-specific technology purchases.
  • Returning Items
    • Recruitment Planning
      • Public Services Specialist candidate reviews continue. Our recruitment for an Innovative Services Librarian will hopefully launch this week.
    • Collaboration
      • No significant updates.
    • Xirrus Wireless
      • Arrays for Olson have arrived on campus.
  • LIS Ideas
    • Did not discuss.
  • Kudos
    • Did not discuss.

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
The NITLE Summit Apr 6, 2011 Given fundamental shifts in context affecting many social institutions, re-thinking models for how liberal arts colleges can successfully operate is paramount. What does it mean and what does it take to provide liberal education in a digital environment? Participants in this invitation-only, leadership event will work and plan around strategic issues with this question and measurable outcomes in mind.

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
Art 239: American Art Library Instruction Mar 17 2011 – 11:00am 12:30pm Main 113 Closed
Advanced Reason Web Training Workshop Mar 21 2011 – 9:00am 11:30am Olin 301 – Round Table Room Open
Citrix – New Features & Tips Product Demonstration Mar 29 2011 – 1:00pm 2:00pm Dahl Centennial Union – Borlaug Open
Morsle: KATIE integration with Norse Docs Product Demonstration Mar 30 2011 – 1:00pm 1:30pm Dahl Centennial Union – Borlaug Open
Datatel web user interface 4.2 Workshop Mar 31 2011 – 9:45am 10:15am Olin 301 – Round Table Room Open
Citrix – New Features & Tips Product Demonstration Mar 31 2011 – 1:00pm 2:00pm Dahl Centennial Union – Borlaug Open
Using Dropbox – An Introduction to Saving and Syncing Files in the Cloud Product Demonstration Apr 7 2011 – 3:00pm 4:00pm Open
Art 219: Book Arts Library Instruction Apr 14 2011 – 12:45pm 2:15pm Rare Book Room – Preus Library Closed
Using Skype in the Classroom Faculty Development Apr 19 2011 – 3:00pm 4:00pm Olin 301 – Round Table Room Open
Moving to the Mac Product Demonstration Apr 20 2011 – 12:15pm 1:15pm Dahl Centennial Union – Borlaug Open

Quote(s) of the Week

  • “How can technology make a person better? Only in this way: by providing each person with chances. A chance to excel at the unique mixture of talents he or she was born with, a chance to encounter new ideas and new minds, a chance to be different from his or her parents, a chance to create something his or her own.” – Author Kevin Kelly from What Technology Wants
  • “Whether a HarperCollins book has the circulatory vigour to cope with 26 checkouts or 200, it’s bizarre to argue that this finite durability is a feature that we should carefully import into new media. It would be like assuming the contractual obligation to attack the microfilm with nail-scissors every time someone looked up an old article, to simulate the damage that might have been done by our careless patrons to the newsprint that had once borne it.” – Cory Doctorow from Ebooks: durability is a feature, not a bug
  • “The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.” – C.S. Lewis

Links of the Week


The 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

Next Issue

The next issue of TWILIS will be published on Friday, March 18, 2011.

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 5, Number 21 (#188)

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Content is made available under Creative Commons license.