This Week in LIS - 11 January 2013

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

Headline of the Week: Value of Walking the Stacks

I am glad that in Preus Library at Luther College the stacks are open to the community. I like it for many reasons. One that I was reminded of this week was the value of walking through them to just see and be inspired by what’s on the spines and covers of the books on the shelves. A newer member from the Decorah community had come to the library to “check it out” and reported being drawn into the stacks as she passed by an aisle and for a time enjoyed being lost in the discovery and exploration. I also enjoy this. When I do this at a Barnes and Noble or the MIT Press Bookstore I generally end up with one of those very heavy duty shopping bags and a large credit card bill!

It begs the question, what is lost if one weren’t exposed to this “discovery and exploration” that comes from walking the stacks?

Also this week an article came by about a prep school in Minneapolis where the library’s collection was removed. This is a school that has a history of being very progressive. A good friend of mine, who had been their controller, shared some of their history with technology. They have had a laptop computer assigned to each student for some time. They have subscriptions to large digital repositories. Teachers were invited to take from the collection what they wanted for their classroom use and the lion’s share of the rest was donated/discarded; a library with (nearly) no books. Students can access materials digitally, get books from a number of nearby public libraries or bring them from home or from the set of classroom specific books. At this school there is no walking the stacks to see what one can discover and explore. They do still have a library that provides a number of services – just not physical books. Is it still a library?

In the Rochester Post Bulletin this week there was a report on the district’s plans for technology. It was reported that although the current proposal would not get them to a one-to-one iPad configuration, that is the desire of the superintendent. I frequently hear of schools going to one-to-one programs with tablets or laptops for each and every student. The Apple sales rep is one source of such cases. With that sort of enablement would they too consider disbanding their library’s physical book collection?

I wonder what expectations new students will have that come from one-to-one high school programs to Luther College? Will we have an opportunity to help them come to appreciate the value and joy of exploring and discovering in the physical stacks? In a complementary fashion I wonder what expectations and associated incoming skills they might have that we need to prepare for and what are the implications on our investments in both digital information resources, devices and associated networks and support?

I can imagine an interface much like the one I use to navigate my little collection of Kindle books that would provide some portion of the “walking the stacks” experience where one can see virtually the spines and jackets of the digital books. Will that be the same as walking the stacks?

What do you think?

Suggested Reading/Viewing:

School Library Thrives After Ditching Print Collection

School district plans $3.8 million technology update

[email protected]

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 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:
    • Network & Systems
      • Adam showed us a spreadsheet his intern, Emmanuel, created related to viruses blocked by the new firewall’s virus scanning feature which was recently enabled. Descriptions of these potential viruses have been looked up and Adam has coded the alarming ones in red so he can follow up to see what IP addresses and workstations are associated with them to consider possible actions (e.g. quarantine if necessary until the workstation can be disinfected).
      • Adam also shared our first documented case of an android virus. This led to a discussion of what the Help Desk might do in cases where phones are quarantined from the network.
      • Network penetration testing is underway. Adam gave a brief description of what the tester has been doing. The on-site tester shared a couple of early discoveries where there is opportunity for an incremental improvement in security. Another discovery suggests perhaps further logical isolation of a certain class of devices might be in order.
    • User Services
      • GoPrint Metrics: Diane shared graphs showing that lab printing costs have gone way up this year and we are on track to exceed $25,000. The cost went up from 2010-11 to 2011-12, but was absorbed into the budget. However, this year’s costs cannot be absorbed. The number of impressions has gone up, but not as much as costs. Three possible factors: Dells replaced by HPs; increase in color printing; transfer of printing expectations from coursepack or departmental print to student’s responsibility.
      • Multimedia: The team is beginning to write the proposal; more on this as part of the returning items for this meeting.
      • Katie Video Streaming: A new video streaming solution has been developed for use with the new Katie version to be implemented Spring 2013; more on this as part of the new items for this meeting.
      • Help Desk: New student staff was added during J-Term, and training is underway. Several Parent Portal questions this week due to parents needing to make payments.
      • Others: Modern Language Lab (MLL) computers changing to standard lab image in J-Term because they no longer require a unique image; Qualtrics survey software is up and running in pilot phase; Norse Docs and Katie training begins next week; reviewing workflow of device replacement and naming of printers.
  • New Items
    • Google+ Policies
      • Andi has a student in her current J-Term class who is waiting to hear back from Google+ about whether or not he will be approved to join. She was wondering if he is the only student who has encountered this, or what might be done to ensure that actual Luther students can get on Google+ for course-related purposes. Andi will provide the student’s name to Adam and he will contact our Google representative.
    • Katie Video Streaming
      • An alternative method for streaming video with the new Katie version has been found and is working. However, we cannot use the same links to media stream that have been used in the past and faculty will need to contact the Help Desk for the new links. Announcements will be posted.
    • Faculty Development & Training for Spring 2013
      • Diane is looking for topic suggestions. Proposed topics thus far include: Google Sites (Perry), Google+ (Rian), Excel Mastery (Rian),Qualtrics (Toussaint, Wilder), SAS (Savariappan), GoToMeeting (Hughes), Katie, and Security. On a related note, Kevin Kraus has accepted that the LIS Summer Workshop should be one of three that new faculty should take.
    • Director of Facilities Search
      • Adam will represent LIS on the interview team for the new Director of Facilities.
  • Returning Items
    • Multimedia Proposal
      • The multimedia leadership team will meet on Thursday (1/10) to look at work plan, assignments, timeline, what other institutions have done. LIS Council looked at the draft document and talked about responsibilities and interdependencies. Parallel work on space is being led by Matt B, Andi, Diane; repository architecture by Ryan and Rachel; and storage and communications network infrastructure by Adam.
    • New Katie
      • Jennifer R, Lane, Bob P and Diane will meet on Monday prior to the first New Katie Faculty Working Session next week to further prepare. These sessions are designed for faculty and others with existing Katie sites or that want to use Katie to drop in with their questions or to get help developing or migrating their sites to the new Katie version to be implemented Spring 2013.
      • Matt Hughes is exploring alternative appointment management tools to replace Google Appointment Slots function which Google is deprecating in January.
      • Based on a discovery of a staff member that has a Katie site that was not aware of the new Katie version and associated migration we discussed how we might further communicate.
    • LIS Website Migration to Reason
      • Ryan/Rob both agree LIS will take advantage of available skilled student workers from Rob’s team to help with a portion of the LIS website migration to Reason. Next step is to coordinate with Rob with goal; this will get off the ground next week. Ryan has an understanding that we will be able to use the students beyond January and into the spring vs. an earlier thought that the student help would only be available in January. This will enable a more metered migration and we need to therefore create a system and manage the costs of synchronization and dual maintenance between the current site and the Reason site.
    • Datatel Migration
      • Marcia and the Datatel team in Software Development, along with a number report writing end users, worked with the consultant Monday through Wednesday this week. The focus continues to be on training, reporting and modeling using Business Objects software.
    • Campus Cable TV Contract
      • Adam shared that he understands the current 10-year TV cable contract is up this March. Adam will reach out to be part of the conversation based on the adjacency of LIS capabilities/mission to cable firms and cable infrastructure and digital information.

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
J-Term Reading Group: When Madeline Was Young by Jane Hamilton Workshop

Repeats every week until Tue Jan 22 2013 .

Jan 15 2013 – 4:00pm 5:15pm
CFL Closed
Google (Norse) Docs Workshop Jan 16 2013 – 9:00am 9:30am Olin 301 – Round Table Room Open
New Katie – Faculty Working Session Workshop Jan 16 2013 – 9:30am 12:00pm Olin 301 – Round Table Room Open
Be the Library: How to Lend Your Own E-Books Product Demonstration Jan 17 2013 – 12:30pm 1:15pm Preus Library – Hovde Lounge Open
J-Term Reading Group: Luther College history & liberal arts education Workshop Jan 17 2013 – 4:00pm 5:15pm CFL Open
Google (Norse) Docs Workshop Jan 21 2013 – 12:00pm 12:30pm Olin 301 – Round Table Room Open
New Katie – Faculty Working Session Workshop Jan 21 2013 – 12:30pm 3:00pm Olin 301 – Round Table Room Open
Get Inside E-Books in Your Library Workshop Jan 22 2013 – 3:00pm 3:45pm Preus Library – Hovde Lounge Open
J-Term Reading Group: When Madeline Was Young by Jane Hamilton Workshop Jan 22 2013 – 4:00pm 5:15pm CFL Closed
E-Reading on Your Tablet Workshop Jan 24 2013 – 10:00am 10:45am Preus Library – Curriculum Classroom Open
Google (Norse) Docs Workshop Jan 29 2013 – 11:00am 11:30am Olin 301 – Round Table Room Open
New Katie – Faculty Working Session Workshop Jan 29 2013 – 11:30am 2:00pm Olin 301 – Round Table Room Open
It's Not Just Facebook!—What Every College Student Should Know About Online Privacy Online Conference Jan 30 2013 – 12:00pm 1:00pm Preus Library – Hovde Lounge Open
Google (Norse) Docs Workshop Jan 31 2013 – 1:00pm 1:30pm Olin 301 – Round Table Room Open
New Katie – Faculty Working Session Workshop Jan 31 2013 – 1:30pm 4:00pm Olin 301 – Round Table Room 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.

Creative Commons License

Content is made available under Creative Commons license.