This Week in LIS - 6 May 2011

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

Headline of the Week: Building a Building Plan

This year, one of our objectives has been to ask and answer both short-term and long-term questions about the role of a library on a residential liberal arts campus. We know the library is a central and strategic academic resource the enables Luther to deliver a quality liberal arts education. We are also keenly aware of changes in how we use and relate to the information we need to learn. We want to proactively understand as best we can these changes and continue to adapt both the idea of what a library is, and physically what the library looks like over time. We recognize that we are not successful in our mission if those who rely on our services are not successful in their work.

LIS has assembled a team to examine these questions (Eddy Atwell, Andi Beckendorf, Kathy Buzza, Diane Gossman, Rebecca and Sullivan) and they in turn have engaged both LIS internally and our library users to better understand priorities and how the current facility is used. Our whiteboard project this winter where individuals could share their thoughts about the ideal library was very informative (so much so that we are seeking a way to expand this sort of feedback mechanism in the future). Our team is now beginning to coalesce this information into a vision document that will help guide planning for physical space in the coming years (both near and far). LIS will further discuss this at our summer planning day, and a complete plan will be published out likely over the summer.

Some ideas are already in motion, largely thanks to the good comment provided by those using the library now. Examples include:

  • More Power – We know we cannot live without our gadgets, and there is a never-ending thirst for electricity in the library. We have been able to add a few new outlets in the last several months, and we will continue to work toward this as we can. However, to further meet needs we have also begun to circulate extension cords from Circulation for use in the building. This will minimize furniture moving and gangly cords draped mid-air trying to reach from a table to an outlet.
  • More Comfortable Furniture – We have been fortunate to have gift funds to refresh much of our main floor furnishings in recent years. We know this has been popular, but it needs to be the tip of the iceberg. We will be working to acquire more furnishings for other areas that will be attractive and more importantly comfortable.
  • Refreshments – Perhaps the most frequent request for facility improvement is coffee available in the building. We are working with facilities and Luther’s vendor partner for vending machines to bring in machines for coffee, soda, juice, and treats. We will also look to create an area for individuals to gather over a cup of coffee informally. We’ll study how this improvement goes to make it useful and sustainable.
  • Finals Study Break – This year, we’ll be offering some refreshment opportunities in the library for students needing a little boost to power through studying or paper-writing.

These are just a few of the ideas that are already in progress. Our full building vision will include plans for learning spaces, multimedia infrastructure, programming and events, growing campus partnerships, better marketing, the role of food and drink, the future of our shelving, policies for facility use, and a plan to assess facility use and priorities in an ongoing way. We’ll be sharing more of this as it develops, and as always hope you will share your thoughts and priorities for how library facilities can support and improve the work you do to teach and learn at Luther.

LIS Blog Highlights from the Week

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

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 …

Have Microsoft Office Available for Students – Many Luther students come to college with a brand new computer without any software installed on it. Having a well known and easy to use “one-size-fits-all” program available for students would make it easier for both professors and students alike.. … 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
    • CLAC
      • Adam, Diane, and Marcia are planning to attend at Kalamazoo College in June.
    • Project Directory
      • This has been superseded by the site and will be retired.
    • Katie/Morsle will create calendar for each course
      • For next year, each course will automatically have a Norse Calendar created as part of our Moodle/Norse Docs integration.
    • Summer hours (or not)
      • Luther has adjusted summer hours this year. We discussed how this change affects our staffing. We will need to ensure employee coverage of business hours as in the past.
    • LIS General Agenda
      • We discussed the agenda for the LIS General meeting this week.
    • Student Early Arrivals
      • There are some changes from Residential Life affecting early arrivals. Departments will be required to pay for meals. Specific information was shared out.
    • Consortial Memberships
      • As part of TG 150, we are considering future participation in some consortial partnerships.
  • Returning Items
    • Budget
      • We are continuing to monitor end-of-fiscal-year spending.
    • Annual Report
      • A reminder that is is available for editing.
    • TG 150
      • A summary list will go to the President later this week and to TG 150 next week.
    • Recruitment
      • We are moving forward with campus finalist interviews later this month.
    • Collaboration
      • We’ll be collecting thoughts from our recent meeting with the school district.

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 Location Enrollment
Feedback Session on LIS Training and Faculty Development Events Faculty Development May 9 2011 – 12:15pm 1:15pm Dahl Centennial Union – Mott Open
Creating a Faculty Website Using Reason Workshop Jun 15 2011 – 9:00am 12:00pm Olin 301 – Round Table Room Open
Enhancing Student Learning Through Information Literacy and Technology – Summer 2011 Faculty Workshop Faculty Development Jul 11 2011 – 9:00am Jul 15 2011 – 12:00pm TBA Closed
Creating a Faculty Website Using Reason Workshop Jul 27 2011 – 9:00am 12:00pm Olin 301 – Round Table Room Open
Creating a Faculty Website Using Reason Workshop Aug 3 2011 – 9:00am 12:00pm Olin 301 – Round Table Room Open

Quote(s) of the Week

  • “A new meta literacy is emerging that isn’t based on any single technology but instead on our ability to quickly internalize the grammar and vocabulary of any new technological environment.” – cloudhead: my generation
  • “Facebook now accounts for about one out of every three (display) ad impressions in the U.S… In the first quarter of 2011, comScore estimates that 1.1 trillion ads were served to U.S. Internet users, and 346 billion of those (or 31 percent) were on Facebook. This percentage is up from 23 percent in the third quarter of 2010” – comScore: Facebook Now Serves One Third Of Online Ads In U.S.

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, May 13, 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 25 (#192)

Creative Commons License

Content is made available under Creative Commons license.