Notes from LIS Council - 02/5/14

  • LIS Operational Agenda
      • Software Development
        • Luther is a member of the Consortium of Liberal Arts Colleges (CLAC). Software/Development is part of a peer learning proposal associated with a CLAC program called Mindshare. The proposal, which has been approved, is for ImageNow (our document imaging system) and is in collaboration with DePauw, Kalamazoo, St.Olaf, Wooster, and Trinity colleges. The participants will meet April 16-18 and work together to develop and enhance ImageNow skills. Nathan and Marcia will participate. This is a great way to cross pollinate and leverage experience and skills and to control costs associated with necessary training.
        • The second piece of the document imaging program is to digitize the records of our graduates that are teachers. Those physical documents need to be recalled when graduates take new teaching jobs to document their credentials. Those documents are developed as students work through the education program while students.  The contract with Ricoh to digitize the existing files is ready to sign by our co-sponsor/collaborator in the work, the Education Department. The plan is, after the signing, RICOH will return the second batch of alumni/development files that have been scanned and are on-line and pick up the education department files on the same trip. Another trip will be required later (e.g. summer) to pick up the final batch of alumni development files.
        • There was a discussion on the process and coordination for administering surveys on campus. The Career Center is considering a survey and looking for support (potentially on tools such as Qualtrics as well design and campus coordination). We suggest they begin with John Christy as a good entry point.
        • Marcia called attention to her weekly software development update.
        • We discussed the challenges encountered in making available the course evaluations to instructors from Fall semester and J-term and what lessons can we learn and apply to the process for subsequent cycles.
      • Archives
        • Sasha reported that there was a spike in reference transactions in the Archives over January, specifically in external and staff requests. Increased external traffic may be due to more robust web presence due to Nordic.  It may also be due to a difference in granularity of reporting.
        • Web statistics on Archives site and Nordic showed list of keywords searched which we help us understand patron interests. Additionally we noted that we get several “referrals” come from Vesterheim web site to our website.
        • The Archives Leadership Institute (ALI) application deadline has passed and  evaluations are underway to select this summer’s cohort. There were fewer applicants (75) but better quality in the sense that more applicants are coming from candidates that fit the target for the conference.  Last year’s finalists were encouraged to reapply. Twenty-five will be selected for the cohort.
        • Work study students are working on interesting projects including re-processing the Laur Larsen papers so that the materials match the inventory, and OCR scanning project to enhance searching and cataloging and inventorying manuscripts and adding information to Nordic. Additionally student work is being organized so there are ongoing jobs for students to work on when there are not special or urgent projects. This will enable the students to contribute more and not be dependent on daily assignments.
        • Sarah’s work with the Postville Project continues. A decision has been made to not re-apply for a grant that was previously returned unfunded. Sasha signalled there are additional ideas they are exploring.
        • Sasha gave a report on the Records Management project. First round conversations with with administrative offices are complete and work is underway to revise the retention schedules. Next organizations include student organizations and academic departments.
        • Last summer most of the backlog was accessioned and there are perhaps 300-400 linear feet to process. Developing a processing workflow will be be a focus for Sarah and the students. The team is anxious to work off this backlog.
        • Some bits of papyrus were discovered in the collection from O.W. Qualley’s materials. Investigations are underway on how to leverage them for teaching and learning (Classics department) and how to preserve them.
        • A final note was the re-photography project found expression in the Luther magazine.
    • New Items
      • Admitted Student Visit Day
        • We discussed and agreed to participate in the schedule of activities for the Admitted Student Visit Day Monday, April 14. We noted it coincides with National Library Week.
      • Summer Student Employment
        • We discussed the summer student employment process schedule and deadlines. Supervisors should have all forms for student summer workers to Patty by Feb. 17 (preferably Feb. 6) and she will collect, copy and  get them turned in Feb. 17.  Students need to have their applications in by March 3. Offer letters will be issued prior to spring break and students will be able to accept by the end of March.
        • We looked at staffing levels for summer student workers and after the adds and subtracts across supervisors we are modelling levels equal to last summer’s.
      • Machine Room Overheating
        • Two nights in a row (for a total of three times), there was a blown fuse to an air exchanger that resulted in the room overheating and servers powering themselves off. Notification came only when the servers began to shut down. Notification should come when the room begins to overheat. No damage has been discovered to this point but investigation of impact continues. Impact to nightly backup is also being investigated. Adam plans to test a scheme he has devised to have his switches monitor their temperature and send alerts if the  machine room warms. At this point it was not clear what the root problem is with the air exchanger. They symptom is blown fuses leading to room overheating.
      • Preus, Library and Archives
        • Coming out from Paul’s presentation to Cabinet re digital media center year two spending recommendations and request for approval to do an archivist search. The cabinet elected to suspend the broad search for an archivist, and instead approved a two-year Interim College Archivist position. The position will be re-evaluated following the selection of a new president and strategic planning. The cabinet asked for information to be gathered to inform that strategic planning. The next step is to work with the Dean to start putting together an outline. The focus will be on Preus and the services and offerings it houses and supports (LIS and beyond), library and archives. This is a great opportunity for some generative thinking and assessing the dynamics of this “heart of the campus.” The cabinet also provided guidance on staffing for the digital media center including a staff position which needs to be taken to the College Resource Council (CRC) and six additional academic year work study students and a portion of the shortfall from the previous eight approved student workers. The cabinet also allocated contingency funding for some additional multimedia workstations for the multimedia lab. The staffing and the workstations will enable the newly constructed digital media center operations. The cabinet suggested that funds for an additional event cart, the remaining workstation, and walls for Preus 120 can be added to the list competing for surplus.
    • Returning Items
      • eMail Security
        • Adam has been looking at information from Google on “suspicious logins.”  Most of these are false positives; logins by faculty, staff and students away from campus or studying abroad.  Together with the Technology Help Desk they are making some calls to try to verify if/when there are actual dubious logins. Passwords are changed when they are discovered.
      • Budget Analysis
        • Budget owners have largely encumbered their remaining planned and periodic expenditures. The next step will be to look at specific plans for remaining expenditures and identifying portions of budget lines that could be available for necessary year end LIS purchases. We are also building a list of candidates items.  For example we would like to see if we could purchase new modular/comfortable furniture for upstairs in Preus, matching what is on the main level. Another example is classroom projectors. We have approximately 150 of them across campus. They generally go into classrooms when they are remodelled or constructed. If, on average, they last 5 years we need to plan to replace, on average, 30 per year. We might be able to make year end purchases to replace projectors.