This Week in LIS - 7 September 2012

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Headline of the Week: LIS Abuzz with Activity – Thank You

The start of the school year comes with much preparation and simultaneously much discovery as the new students and new faculty arrive and join all those returning. It seems the magic at the beginning of an academic year is finding just the right balance between the efforts and activities that move the discovery to prior to the start of the academic year and activities and efforts associated with dealing with surprises discovered after! Each year we have another chance to get the balance right based on what we have learned in previous years.

As I came in early this morning there were trucks on the front lawn of Preus Library. The door into Hovde Classroom was open. As I crossed the threshold my eyes were first drawn to the attractive, new, modular, portable (all on wheels!) furniture which will enable all sorts of classroom dynamics. As I looked beyond the new furniture, friends from Facilities were busy putting up a new 16 foot whiteboard along one wall. One professor expressed it well, “I can’t wait to teach in this space!”

Residence Halls doors are controlled by ID cards. A new version of Reason hosts a new Admissions website. Hundreds and hundreds of devices are joining the network and competing with one another to tap into the additional Internet bandwidth running through new firewalls. A new appointment scheduling system is in place for both the Norse Writing Center and the new Speech and Debate Center. The emergency communication system has been upgraded. This list can go on and on.

The coffee time hosted by LIS for the the new faculty during the new faculty orientation has yielded a number of 1-1 conversations between new faculty and librarians and those conversations, in turn, have led to some classroom opportunities to work with their students. It is always a good thing for students when they interact directly with librarians given a world of nearly unlimited, easily accessible information and much more limited, less easy to find, high quality information.

The Paideia “open section” is earlier in the semester this year. This means that soon there will be many groups of Paideia students and librarians working together learning their way around Preus Library and coming to appreciate how to access scholarly information and materials. The buzz of activity will continue.

All this activity, all this interaction, is exciting and invigorating and it is fantastic to be a part of it. I want to thank the entire LIS team for all your good work over the summer preparing for the start of this school year and for all your accomplishments and successes during the start and for your extraordinary efforts in handling the discovery. The work you do today creates and enables our future. I hope you find satisfaction in the good work of your minds and hands.

“It is not enough to understand, or to see clearly. The future will be shaped in the arena of human activity, by those willing to commit their minds and their bodies to the task.” (Robert Kennedy)

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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 the past two weeks were:

  • LIS Operational Agenda
    • Council members will be reporting on LIS operational views (metrics for processes and status of projects) regularly at LIS Council meetings. This week’s reports included the following:
    • Library
      • The Paideia “open unit” literacy events are coming up soon. There are thirty plus sections of Paideia. During the “open unit” there is an expectation students will need to use the library. Most all Paideia professors will request at least a tour and some will request multiple sessions with their students.
      • The library team is logging their client “encounters” with the RefStats tool. This information will provide an interesting view on Library operations and it is coming soon.
    • Software Development
      • Luther uses a number of calendaring approaches to track the events across campus. Last week a meeting was held with the various groups keeping calendars and a subsequent meeting was held with Publications this week. A proposal was made and demonstrated to have events created first as Reason events and then Reason will synchronize with various departmental (e.g. music, sports, publications) calendars. The campus-wide calendar will “borrow” from the Reason events.
      • 25 new Slate users have been placed into Active Directory in preparation for using the new Slate CRM system.
      • Alumni/Development has asked LIS to revisit the document imaging/workflow proposal. Software Development will begin with an update for Sherry and Keith on work done to date and in particular will address the level of integration with Datatel in the proposal. If there is advocacy for the approach, the proposal will be made current with regard to pricing, implementation, hardware and software, etc.
      • Discussed possibility for Kim Powell’s Speech and Debate Center to use the appointment system recently developed for the Norse Writing Center. It turns out that the Speech and Debate Center is already on the new calendaring system.
  • New Items
    • LIS Operational Reports
      • We began a discussion on how to share operational reports with LIS in a meaningful way.
    • LIS General Feedback
      • Request was made to have a portion of each LIS General used for announcements. All announcements will be listed on the agenda.
      • Given the interest expressed at the September LIS General on a Day of Caring, we began a discussion on how we might do that. Since Luther is working on a Habitat project, that seemed like a good candidate.
    • LISAAC
      • Kevin Kraus approved the recommendations for LISAAC (LIS Academic Advisory Council) membership – Kelsey Bies will serve on LISAAC as junior student representative for a two year term and Rebecca Sullivan as LIST faculty representative. The first meeting is 9/13.
    • LIS Board of Regents Presentation
      • Rebecca (Becca) Dominiczak will present a student point of view on the influence of technology on her Luther experience at the Board of Regents meeting on 10/26.
    • College Resources Council
      • Paul is a staff representative to the College Resource Council which will meet again on 9/6. The recent agenda included continued discussion of pending faculty and staff positions that are being requested and the financial aid model was reviewed.
    • LIS Gathering
      • Paul will send out a “save the date” note for an optional event, for Saturday, October 13, to all LIS team members. Spouses/significant others and families will be invited to join Miri and him for an afternoon of cycling on the Preston-Harmony and Root River bike trails and a cookout Saturday early evening. More details will be forthcoming.
  • Returning Items
    • Preus Library Furniture
      • Hovde furniture will arrive Thursday (9/6) and the Hovde whiteboard installation will occur on Friday (9/7).

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
ZOTERO Workshop Workshop Oct 3 2012 – 7:00pm 8:00pm Preus Library – Hovde Lounge Open
Creating a Faculty Website Using Reason Workshop Oct 15 2012 – 2:00pm 4:00pm Olin 301 – Round Table Room Open
ZOTERO Workshop Workshop Nov 7 2012 – 7:00pm 8:00pm Preus Library – Hovde Lounge Open
ZOTERO Workshop Workshop Dec 5 2012 – 7:00pm 8:00pm Preus Library – Hovde Lounge Open

Training and instruction is provided to the Luther Community through Faculty Development Sessions, Library Instruction Sessions, Product Demonstrations, Skills Training, Workshops, 1-on-1 Sessions, and Online Materials. To schedule a session, contact the LIS Technology Help Desk at x1000 or enter your request online at

This Week in LIS is published most Fridays by Paul Mattson, Executive Director of LIS at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

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