This Week in LIS - 26 April 2013

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Headline of the Week: StrengthsFinder

Last year during the planning for our Strategy Days the recommendation was made that we look at leveraging the StrengthsFinder instrument and process as a tool for us to learn more about ourselves and our relationships to our work and to our colleagues. At that point we had already chosen the True Colors tool. We kept the StrengthsFinder idea in the file.

Change is not easy. Change requires extraordinary communication and collaboration and above all trust. Relationships are the key to trust. Relationships develop through time and through learning and sharing about and with one another. I found the True Colors exercise informing and fun. It definitely informs my thinking as I go about our LIS business.

This year we plan to use the StrengthsFinder instrument as part of our Strategy Days. It is an interesting and different tool and one that has been used extensively. There will be reading, an instrument, a report/read-out and an opportunity for discovery and sense-making. I have been reading a book related to the tool and I like its bent.

The concept is anchored in the idea that when we can align our natural talents with our work then we enjoy it more, are more productive, feel more satisfied with our accomplishments and are generally happier. If this is true it seems useful to invest in such self-discovery. As a collaborating group with a very broad mission we can leverage this understanding when we create/join teams, workgroups and collaborations and volunteer/make assignments. There’s nothing in a tool that makes tough work go away and although I’ve generally always loved my jobs, each one includes responsibilities that I am sure require me to work beyond my natural talents. Nevertheless more alignment seems much better than less!

There are plans to leverage StrengthsFinder more broadly on the campus and including students. Some of those students will be our student workers and we interact with many others through our various services. Having shared vocabulary and experience with our students as they go through their transformational experience will be useful as this roll-out gets underway.

Next week at LIS General leaders from the campus initiative will join us to introduce the concept and get us going on the pre-reading and process steps prior to our first Strategy Day 5/24. I encourage you to listen to the leaders, learn about the StrengthsFinder concept and open your minds to further discovery and insights about ourselves and our relationship to our work. It might even be fun!

Suggested Reading/Viewing/Listening:

“StrengthsFinder 2.0” by Tom Rath


[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:
    • Library
      • Ryan showed some analysis on database costs and usage by the community including average cost per database search. Usage of many databases is up significantly over last year and there are some where usage is significantly decreased. One theory on the variability is based on particular faculty members driving increased usage through assignments and in the complementary fashion, decreased usage when they are not teaching. Statistics on 175 databases are tracked to evaluate effectiveness and usage.
      • Gate counts from January and February are similar to last year.
      • Questions to Research Help are up year to date over last year.
    • Software Development
      • Marcia shared insights from her team meeting notes.
      • Marcia is currently reviewing contracts from two potential vendors with cloud solutions. The focus of those reviews is IT risk management as well as functional and integration elements.
  • New Items
    • Sophos
      • We are working on solving an updating issue that has recently occurred with Sophos running on Macs. Luther-owned Macs are still protected, but are no longer receiving updates.
    • The Iowa College Foundation
      • We recently became aware of a library grant through the Iowa College Foundation. Purchasing additional tables and chairs for Hovde was suggested as a way to use this grant money.
    • MSDS (hazardous material) Website
      • Conversations are underway concerning handling of hazardous material information on the website.
    • Disaster Recovery
      • Disaster recovery is an important element of IT risk management. We plan to re-visit disaster recovery.
    • Update on Ellucian LIVE Conference
      • Ellucian LIVE was the first conference for the Banner, Colleague, and PowerCampus users together since Datatel and Sungard SCT merged last year. Marcia shared the strategy/outlook information that she learned at the conference including their roadmaps. Ellucian will need to rationalize their investments going forward across their three platforms. It is important for us to monitor and assess implications and options going forward
    • May LIS General
      • We discussed potential topics for next week’s LIS General. LISers are to send suggestions to any member of LIS Council.
    • Budget
      • We discussed the budgets within LIS and identified needs for the remaining funds for this fiscal year.

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
Update on Summer 2013 Faculty Computer Roll-out Faculty Development Apr 30 2013 – 11:00am 12:00pm Dahl Centennial Union – Borlaug Open
Zotero Workshop — Grab your research with a single click. Workshop May 1 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.

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