This Week in LIS - 8 February 2013

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

Headline of the Week: Alone in Public

Articles on the future of libraries and the future of the residential college are very interesting to me. The steady stream of insights and ideas in these articles informs an ongoing conversation in my mind.

“For Making the Most of College, It’s Still Location, Location, Location” caught my interest. It started with the title – “…Location, Location, Location.” This is an oft used phrase for a key parameter to determining the value of real estate. If a property has a good location that is a driver that increases the value of the property. This hits close to home. My parents have recently moved to a senior living arrangement and many recent weekends include trips to Rochester to prepare their retirement home for sale. What is the right price to list the home? Well, let’s first consider its location.

Humans are inherently relational. They will seek out connections to one another. If I think about this in the context of college life two recollections come to mind. First, although I had the privilege to attend an extraordinary institution, very highly ranked, with professors who were internationally famous in their fields, I was surprised by the value of the cohort. My fellow students came from different places, had different life experiences and valued things differently. The relationships that developed among the cohort were more valuable than I would have ever thought going into the program. I think this occurs at Luther. We call it “community” and it manifests in one way as lifelong relationships by the time our students graduate.

The article says: “People, especially young people, want to be around other people, even if they don’t want to interact. The library, as someone once put it, is one of few places you can go to be alone in public.” On weekends during my time in Cambridge I would frequently find myself walking down to Kendall Square with a book, sitting on a park bench enjoying outside, doing a combination of people watching and reading. Sure enough, I too, was enjoying being “…alone in public.”

The article talks about the library and the residential college as a place. It talks about how vibrant and alive a library can be and how it can support connections and conversation. It talks about the influence a residential college can have on a student’s experience. I think there is value in online courses however there is something in “place” that cannot be reproduced. How can we leverage our “place” to the benefit of our students?

Suggested Reading:

For Making the Most of College, It’s Still Location, Location, Location

[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 shared information showing the utilization of our Internet connections. There are two points in the day, late afternoon and late in the evening (10pm to 1am) where we are using all of our bandwidth.
      • We looked at the number of wireless network connections. There is an increase in January at least partially attributed to the likelihood that gifts from the holidays are coming to campus and being used.
    • User Services
      • Diane showed numbers that indicate we are getting more responses to the LIS feedback surveys administered each time a work order is closed. One graph showed that most contact LIS via email, with phone requests the next highest contact. Satisfaction statistics showed general satisfaction (i.e. 90%+) with LIS. The challenge is getting under those less than satisfied to better understand what we can do to improve.
      • Diane prepared some slides and packaged them as Norse Apps presentations from the MISO survey. The LIS Council agreed that they should be shared with the LIS organization.
  • New Items
    • Midwest Educause
      • Paul is planning to attend the midwest regional Educause conference, March 18-20, in Chicago. At the end of the conference he will attend the ACM Library and IT Directors meeting also in Chicago.
    • Summer Student Workers
      • We discussed requirements and allocations for summer workers. Requisitions are due 2/15. Copies of signed forms to be turned into Patty. Generally speaking we have budget to support approximately 18 and we have in recent history leveraged 14. This summer we are planning on using 18 FTEs across LIS.
    • Security Audit
      • We received our IT Audit/Penetration testing report at the end of January. Adam is going through the data and is providing information to others on the team on an “as-needed” basis based on the sensitivity of the information.
      • The auditors will meet on campus next week to deliver the Executive Summary of their findings. We will prepare a response to the findings and begin implementing our proposals.
    • LCWireless5G
      • Efforts continue to improve the Luther network with particular focus on wireless and wireless in Towers as dependence on that network increases.
      • A list (of approx. 50) names has been created of people in Towers whose devices are capable of operating on the 5Ghz network but who are connecting at 2.4Ghz. The purpose is to reach out and encourage them to have their wireless devices switch to using the 5Ghz network. A working assumption is that users will have a better experience on 5Ghz if they move. Simultaneously, by moving, they will reduce the contention for the 2.4Ghz network which we anticipate will lead to a better experience for those that remain there. The process by which these people will be contacted is a work item.
      • Adam further discussed the idea of extending the 5Ghz network across campus (except for Main, Sampson-Hoffland and Valders where our network is not 5Ghz capable yet).
      • We also discussed approaches to continue to drive the connections towards the 5Ghz network. One additional approach is to provide an information sheet with 5Ghz adapter information and to encourage students to buy an adapter if they are experiencing difficulties in performance that cannot be resolved. It is important that at every juncture we help students appreciate the need to buy devices that support 5Ghz wireless connections and especially if they will live in Towers where there is only wireless support. A further suggestion is to create and distribute a card (e.g. business card) with the info about 5GHz network and possible adapters. Incoming students have been asked to buy 5Ghz capable devices.
  • Returning Items
    • Digital Media Proposal
      • A digital media proposal is currently being drafted and Phase I of this proposal will assume a one year timeframe. Conversations were held recently with Facilities in regard to the spaces involved in the proposal.
    • New KATIE Version
      • The new version of KATIE was successfully launched for Spring 2013.

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
Student's Guide to Saving Money & Time with E-Books Library Instruction Feb 12 2013 – 7:00pm 8:00pm Preus Library – Hovde Lounge Open
E-Books in the Classroom Faculty Development Feb 26 2013 – 4:00pm 5:00pm Preus Library – Hovde Lounge Open
Google+ in the Classroom Faculty Development Mar 5 2013 – 4:00pm 5:00pm Preus Library – Hovde Lounge Open
Are You LinkedIn? Workshop Mar 6 2013 – 12:00pm 1:00pm Dahl Centennial Union – Borlaug Open
What's Up with You?: A Google Demonstration Product Demonstration Mar 14 2013 – 12:00pm 1:00pm Dahl Centennial Union – Mott Open
Who are you According to the Internet?: A Guide to Managing Your Online Reputation Workshop Apr 9 2013 – 12:00pm 1:00pm Dahl Centennial Union – Mott Open
What is Google+ and Why Should I Care? Product Demonstration Apr 11 2013 – 6:30pm 7:30pm Preus Library – Hovde Lounge Open
Who are you According to the Internet?: A Guide to Managing Your Online Reputation Workshop Apr 16 2013 – 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.

Creative Commons License

Content is made available under Creative Commons license.