This Week in LIS - 10 September 2010

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

Headline of the Week: What’s New in Norse Apps

Since it’s introduction on campus beginning in 2008, Norse Apps, provided through a partnership between Luther and Google has proven to be one of the central services used by the Luther Community. While email may be the core application for many Luther users, campus adoption of other Norse Apps services such as Norse Chat, Norse Docs, and Norse Sites has changed the way many of us work for the better. As Google has added additional products to their suite, we have also expanded our offerings, most recently with the addition of Norse Groups. Now anyone at Luther can gather a group together to share an email list and web-based archives and communications tools themselves via the Norse Groups website.

One of the great positives of this software is also one of its great challenges. The software is often changing, and Luther has relatively little control over how it changes. Sometimes this leaves us quickly adjusting to service changes as they happen and as we seek to provide support to the community. But the changes are generally very welcome as the continue to improve and expand the quality and depth of services available. This summer seems like it has a particularly active period of growth for the suite, and I thought I’d mention a few of the bigger changes to Norse Apps that Luther users can now take advantage of.

Priority InboxMore info
Priority Inbox (Beta) is a new view of your inbox that automatically helps you focus on your most important messages. Priority Inbox splits your inbox into three sections: “Important and unread,” “Starred,” and “Everything else”. Messages are automatically categorized as they arrive in your inbox.

Gmail uses a variety of signals to predict which messages are important, including the people you email most and which messages you open and reply to (these are likely more important than the ones you skip over). You can improve the ranking in Priority Inbox by clicking the plus or minus buttons at the top of the inbox to mark conversations as important or not important.

You can choose to show different types of messages in each section, to set maximum sizes for each section, and to hide or add a section altogether. You can customize your sections from the Priority Inbox tab under Gmail Settings or right from the inline menus dropdown arrow.

Norse Calendar Event Scheduler UpdatedMore info
A new event page in Google Calendar has been introduced. Along with a simplified layout and making the style more consistent with other Google apps, some new functionality has also been added: – New repeating event editor – New tool to help you find a time for your event and work better across time zones – Ability to set your default working hours for events

In-Cell Dropdown and Data Validation in Spreadsheets More info
We’ve introduced in-cell dropdown and validation to spreadsheets. This makes it easy to constrain the values of an individual cell to a specific range or list.

Horizontal Navigation, Global Footer and more in Norse Sites More info
The following new features have been added to Google Sites: – You can now add horizontal navigation to your site’s layout in one of three different options: boxes, tabs, and links. – You can now set your site to have a global footer that displays across all pages on the site. – We’ve added quick links to Google Docs embedded to Google Sites making it easier for collaborators to open embedded documents. – We also added a “Deleted items” section to site management making it easier to get to deleted pages and attachments.

New Curve Tool in Google Drawings More info
A new curves tool has been released in Drawings. The new curves can be left open or closed, and can be filled or unfilled. You can also adjust points on the curve after drawing it.

Page Navigation in Google Forms More info
When creating Google forms you can now use a simpler page navigation feature to direct respondents to relevant pages regardless of their answers.

Rich Text Signatures Now Available in Norse Mail More info
Rich text signatures have now been added to Gmail allowing you to add your own formatting, images and links to your email signatures. If you have configured your Gmail account to also send mail using the Send mail as/custom ‘from’ feature, then you can now also have a unique signature for each these other addresses that you’ve added to your account.

Optical Character Recognition in Norse Docs More info
Google Docs now supports importing scanned documents and then allowing you to edit the converted docs.

And these changes are only a portion of new features available this summer. In the near future, Google will also be significantly expanding the suite to include many other Google services. Stay tuned for more exciting tools in Norse Apps to help you in your work.


LIS Blog Highlights from the Week

The following articles are sampled from those available on the LIS Blog:


LIS Ideas

This spring, LIS launched a community website to gather ideas for how we can improve existing service, help prioritize proposed new services, and figure out what other services can be retired. Since that time, LIS staff, as well as Luther faculty, staff and students have visited to add their votes and ideas. TWILIS will periodically highlight some of these ideas and signal how LIS intends to respond.

Make the walkway in front of the library safe in wet weather
Fix the apron in front of the library which gets very slippery in wet weather. (It’s made of some substance different from the usual concrete used in nearby sidewalks.) Perhaps this is an issue for Facilities Management rather than LIS, but still…. We don’t want people breaking their legs on the way to the library.

Response: As part of the preparatory work for the landscaping changes in front of the library last spring, we discovered erosion underneath the current concrete deck at the entrance of the library. In order to repair that erosion, construction on the main entryway will take place and as part of that process LIS will request that the surface be made less slippery.

Have you thrown your two cents into the idea pot? If not, we welcome you to do so at http://lutherlis.ideascale.com/.


Notes from LIS Council

LIS Council is the leadership team within LIS. Among the topics discussed this past week were:

  • Digital Signage
    • The system is kicking people out periodically. We’re looking into why this might be happening.
  • Fall Updates from LIS Email
    • Will submit to Jerry for distribution this Friday. Updates should be contributed by Thursday.
  • Statement of Responsibility / Mobile Phone Changes
    • Marcia will meet with HR and others to discuss inclusion of staff information in the directory.
  • LIS General Agenda
    • We reviewed agenda items for the September meeting.
  • Ropes Course
    • We’ll work to find a time when interested folks might participate and discuss at the LIS General Meeting
  • Digital Output Pricing
    • Chris met with Faculty Interests and Diane Tacke today and will be meeting with IKON tomorrow. We continue to look at and discuss pricing models and also are considering alternative ways to increase revenue at the Document Center.
  • Copyright
    • We will be beginning to implement our new copyright policy, which will involve gathering compliance information when duplication requests are made. The same policy is being enforced at the Book Shop and Document Center.
  • Budget
    • We continue to have some funding on hold and will take a slightly more conservative approach to spending for the time being.
  • LIS Ideas
    • We discussed planned renovations to the library porch and will ask to have the surface adjusted to make it less slippery.
  • Recruitment Updates
    • Dossier review is ongoing and phone interviews have begun.
  • Department. Heads Report
    • John reported on the academic department head’s meeting which included discussions of admissions liaisons being assigned to academic departments; how student work is reviewed as part of departmental reviews; revision of departmental scholarship statements; and a review of course approval procedures.

NITLE Opportunities

As a member of NITLE (National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education), Luther has the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of developmental and training programs intended for faculty, librarians, and information technologists. Events listed at the link below are currently open for registration by Luther participants. LIS Staff who are interested in participating in an event should speak with Christopher Barth. Faculty who are interested in participating should speak with Lori Stanley. Participation is contingent upon available funding and program acceptance.

Upcoming NITLE events:

Event Date Description
Geospatial Coffeehouse Project: Coffeehouse Assessment and Planning Dec 9, 2010 Join colleagues for informal, open-ended discussion about support, teaching, and research with geospatial technologies in the liberal arts. Today’s topic is “Coffeehouse Assessment and Planning” and will be moderated by Sean Connin (NITLE).
Digital Scholarship Seminar: Infrastructure and Support for Digital Scholarship in the Clouds Dec 10, 2010 Seminar organizers encourage faculty, instructional technologists, librarians, and others interested in digital scholarship, digital humanities, and related projects to attend this seminar in institutional teams, if possible.
Geospatial Coffeehouse Project: Topic To Be Determined Nov 18, 2010 Join colleagues for informal, open-ended discussion about support, teaching, and research with geospatial technologies in the liberal arts. Today’s topic will be announced, and will be moderated by Justin Grigg (Alfred University).
Geospatial Coffeehouse Project: What Are You Doing On Your Campus? Sep 23, 2010 Join colleagues for informal, open-ended discussion about support, teaching, and research with geospatial technologies in the liberal arts. Today’s topic is “What are you doing on your campus?” and will be moderated by Carol Cady (St. Lawrence University) and Alex Chaucer (Skidmore College).
Geospatial Coffeehouse Project: Teaching with ArcGIS 10 Oct 28, 2010 Join colleagues for informal, open-ended discussion about support, teaching, and research with geospatial technologies in the liberal arts. Today’s topic is “Teaching with ArcGIS 10” and will be moderated by Sharron Macklin (Williams College).
Digital Scholarship Seminar: Digital Scholarship Projects Nov 12, 2010 Seminar organizers encourage faculty, instructional technologists, librarians, and others interested in digital scholarship, digital humanities, and related projects to attend this seminar in institutional teams, if possible.
Digital Scholarship Seminar: Undergraduate Digital Humanities Courses Sep 24, 2010 Seminar organizers encourage faculty, instructional technologists, librarians, and others interested in digital scholarship, digital humanities, and related projects to attend this seminar in institutional teams, if possible.
Digital Scholarship Seminar: Oxy’s Mellon-Supported Digital Scholarship Summer Institute for Faculty Oct 22, 2010 Seminar organizers encourage faculty, instructional technologists, librarians, and others interested in digital scholarship, digital humanities, and related projects to attend this seminar in institutional teams, if possible.

A full list of events (sortable by registration deadline) is available at http://www.nitle.org/events/calendar.php


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
Education 221-A Diverse and Exceptional Learner Library Instruction Sep 14 2010 – 8:00am 9:30am Preus Library – Hovde Lounge Closed
Bringing World Cultures into the Classroom: Using eHRAF Faculty Development Sep 14 2010 – 3:00pm 4:00pm Olin 301 – Round Table Room Open
Introduction to Sage – An Open Source Computer Algebra System Faculty Development Sep 16 2010 – 9:40am 10:30am Olin 201 Open
Research in Nursing: Health Care Management Library Instruction Sep 21 2010 – 11:30am 12:00pm Valders Closed
Voice Seminar Library Instruction Sep 21 2010 – 6:00pm 7:00pm Preus Library – Hovde Lounge Closed
Password Management Faculty Development Sep 23 2010 – 11:00am 12:00pm Dahl Centennial Union – Borlaug Open
Reason Web Training Workshop Sep 23 2010 – 2:00pm 4:30pm Olin 301 – Round Table Room Open
ART 104: Foundations: Visual Thinking Library Instruction Oct 4 2010 – 2:30pm 4:30pm Rare Book Room – Preus Library Closed
REL 312: The World of the Bible Library Instruction Oct 8 2010 – 8:00am 9:00am Rare Book Room – Preus Library Closed
Reinventing Management for a Networked World: EDUCAUSE 2010 Online Online Conference Oct 13 2010 – 10:00am 11:30am Olin 301 – Round Table Room Open
Overview of the Information Security Guide: Leveraging the Knowledge and Skills of Your Colleagues: EDUCAUSE 2010 Online Online Conference Oct 13 2010 – 11:45am 12:15pm Olin 301 – Round Table Room Open
Collaboration: A Must, or a Time-Consuming Bust?: EDUCAUSE 2010 Online Online Conference Oct 13 2010 – 12:30pm 1:20pm Olin 301 – Round Table Room Open
Mobile Computing: Safe or Sorry? Online Conference Oct 13 2010 – 1:30pm 2:20pm Olin 301 – Round Table Room Open
IT Funding: Coping with the "New Normal": EDUCAUSE 2010 Online Online Conference Oct 13 2010 – 2:30pm 3:00pm Olin 301 – Round Table Room Open
New and Evolving Technologies: Anything Goes: EDUCAUSE 2010 Online Online Conference Oct 13 2010 – 3:15pm 3:45pm Olin 301 – Round Table Room Open
Phasing Out Public Computing Labs Online Conference Oct 13 2010 – 4:30pm 5:20pm Olin 301 – Round Table Room Open
Cognitive Surplus or the Lonely Shallows: Is the Internet Making Us Stupid?: EDUCAUSE 2010 Online Online Conference Oct 13 2010 – 5:30pm 6:20pm Olin 301 – Round Table Room Open
Classroom Engagement in the Age of Cell Phones and Social Media: EDUCAUSE 2010 Online Online Conference Oct 14 2010 – 9:00am 9:50am Olin 301 – Round Table Room Open
Distance vs. Distributed Education: Bringing the Campus to the Student: EDUCAUSE 2010 Online Online Conference Oct 14 2010 – 11:30am 1:00pm Olin 301 – Round Table Room Open
A Survey of Video-Streaming Practice and Aspirations in Academic Libraries: EDUCAUSE 2010 Online Online Conference Oct 14 2010 – 3:00pm 3:50pm Olin 301 – Round Table Room Open
Press "Delete": EDUCAUSE 2010 Online Online Conference Oct 14 2010 – 4:00pm 4:50pm Olin 301 – Round Table Room Open
The Academic Library in 2025: EDUCAUSE 2010 Online Online Conference Oct 15 2010 – 10:00am 10:50am Olin 301 – Round Table Room Open
Syncing and Sharing Files in the Cloud: Using Norse Docs and Dropbox Faculty Development Oct 28 2010 – 3:00pm 4:00pm Open

Quote(s) of the Week:

  • “The Internet is “the most powerful weapon that has existed” – Fidel Castro
  • “So perhaps the lesson here is that business ethics only matter when they jeopardize business. Of course, sometimes these go hand-in-hand. A perfect example is Arthur Andresen. With an auditing firm, integrity is everything. If you lose that, you have no business, as the firm quickly found out. But in other businesses, where the profit motive is less connected to good ethics, that’s not the case. Then, so long as poor decisions don’t compromise profit, they will eventually be forgotten.” – Does Hurd’s New Oracle Gig Prove Business Ethics Don’t Matter? – Business – The Atlantic

Image of the Week: Facebook Passes Google In Time Spent On Site For First Time Ever

If Google wasn’t already scared of Facebook, this ought to do the trick.
Time spent on Facebook was greater than time spent on Google sites in the U.S. in August for the first time in history, according to fresh data from comScore.
Meanwhile, Yahoo continues its slide from the top of the heap to the bottom.

» via Business Insider


Links of the Week

infoneer.pngThe links and media above are selected from material posted to pulse.infoneer.net, which gathers links and comment on the worlds of libraries, technology, higher education, culture, intellectual property, copyright, information, ethics, design, professional identity, leadership, and the future. The full content feed is available by Daily Email Digest or “RSS“:http://feeds.feedburner.com/infoneer


Next Issue

The next issue of TWILIS will be published on Friday, September 17, 2010.


This Week in LIS is published most Fridays by Christopher Barth, Executive Director of Library and Information Services at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

This issue is Volume 5, Number 2 (#169)

Content is made available under Creative Commons license. Creative Commons License