This Week in LIS - 11 May 2012

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

Headline of the Week: IT Risk

For the past several weeks a sub-team of LIS has been looking at some security issues; a specific focus has been on virus scanning on campus. Another group has been providing information as input into a discussion about coverage for cyber liability. An additional piece of work was done to package together a set of IT risk mitigation tools and projects. This was presented to the Cabinet on Monday. Why is there such a focus on security and risk management? What is behind this?

I see two important driving factors. The first is the global, interconnected system of networked computers that provides a path from almost anywhere around the world to computing resources and the information they store and the processes they enable. It is so easy to copy and distribute information with electronic networked systems.

The second driving factor is the critical role that information systems play to the operation of the college. It is the consequence of success. Information systems are stitched into the very fabric of the college operations. There is no “going back” to an earlier, pre-IT way when systems do not meet expectations.

Together these factors lead to a need for vigilance and systematic thoughtfulness. Networked information systems supporting key enterprise processes create value. Value implies dependency. Dependency implies risk.

In their book “IT Risk,” George Westerman and Richard Hunter share research that suggests that the most pressing IT objectives of enterprises that can be affected by IT risk management decisions are availability, access, accuracy and agility.

Business processes that are “down” impact us immediately and the consequences of “outage” can long be felt through reputation or “brand” damage; well after business has been restored and systems are again “available”. From and access and accuracy, it is essential that business systems get the right information to the right people involved in those systems and at the right time. In this sense “people” includes Luther faculty, staff and students as well as prospective students and parents, alumni and friends of the college and beyond. It is critical that our systems reflect who we truly are. Competition and change lead to the need for agility. Our responsiveness to needs and our effectiveness to delivering solutions to meet enterprise needs are also a piece of IT risk management. Unmanaged risk increases the potential that business process availability and access, information accuracy and our agility in supporting enterprise change will not meet expectations.

Westerman and Hunter go on to describe a framework using these critical factors to help with decision-making concerning managing risk. This is important because managing risk takes time, can be expensive, and can lead to usability issues for users of systems.

They further suggest that there are 3 key disciplines essential to managing risk. Not surprising, the first is a well-structured, well-managed, foundation of information assets, people and supporting processes.

The second is a well-designed risk governance process to prioritize and track risk and guide investment decisions. In our security team meetings we have discussed developing and leveraging a “The Book of Holes” as part of this.

The third discipline is developing a risk-aware culture in which people understand causes and solutions for IT risks and are comfortable discussing risk. This is important within LIS because assessing systematic risk will require collaboration and decision making that balance trade-offs across our functions. It is also important beyond LIS as IT risk meets enterprise risk. Many of the solutions we have identified to mitigate IT risk will require people across campus to participate.

Leadership for IT risk management comes from LIS. Leadership for enterprise risk management comes from the Cabinet. LIS is in the best position to help identify risks and develop proposals for mitigations and solutions. Senior leadership is in the best position to appreciate the cross enterprise needs and trade-offs. The expectation is that these discussions will continue.

Suggested reading: “IT Risk” by Richard Hunter and George Westerman

Paul
paul.mattson@luther.edu


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. There was no meeting this past week.


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 links below are currently open for registration by Luther participants. LIS Staff who are interested in participating in an event should speak with Paul Mattson. Faculty who are interested in participating should speak with Lori Stanley. Participation is contingent upon available funding and program acceptance.

Conferences & Events: http://www.nitle.org/events/events_list.php
Digital Humanities Events: http://www.nitle.org/help/digital_humanities_events.php
Teachers Without Borders Series: https://lis.luther.edu/files/NITLEandTWB.pdf


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
Advising and Vocation at Luther College (Day 1 of 2) Faculty Development May 23 2012 – 9:00am 4:00pm Baker Commons Open
Advising and Vocation at Luther College (Day 2 of 2) Faculty Development May 24 2012 – 9:00am 4:00pm Baker Commons Open
Sustaining an Honors Curriculum at Luther (Day 1 of 2) Faculty Development May 29 2012 – 1:00pm 4:00pm Dahl Centennial Union – Borlaug Open
Off-Campus Studies 101 Faculty Development May 30 2012 – 9:00am 12:00pm Dahl Centennial Union – Mott Open
Sustaining an Honors Curriculum at Luther (Day 2 of 2) Faculty Development May 30 2012 – 1:00pm 4:00pm Dahl Centennial Union – Borlaug Open
Ethical Issues and the Nature of Moral Decision-Making: Why You Don't Need a Moral Philosopher to Teach Paideia 450 (Day 1 of 2) Faculty Development Jun 5 2012 – 1:00pm 4:00pm Dahl Centennial Union – Mott Open
Ethical Issues and the Nature of Moral Decision-Making: Why You Don't Need a Moral Philosopher to Teach Paideia 450 (Day 2 of 2) Faculty Development Jun 6 2012 – 1:00pm 4:00pm Dahl Centennial Union – Mott Open
What is the Place of Online Instruction at Luther College? (Day 1 of 2) Faculty Development Jun 18 2012 – 9:00am 12:00pm Main 217 Open
What is the Place of Online Instruction at Luther College? (Day 2 of 2) Faculty Development Jun 19 2012 – 9:00am 12:00pm Main 217 Open
Creating a Faculty Website Using Reason Workshop Jun 19 2012 – 9:00am 12:00pm Olin 301 – Round Table Room Open
The Bible: Not for Dummies! (Day 1 of 2) Faculty Development Jun 20 2012 – 9:00am 4:00pm Dahl Centennial Union – Mott Open
The Bible: Not for Dummies! (Day 2 of 2) Faculty Development Jun 21 2012 – 9:00am 4:00pm Dahl Centennial Union – Mott Open
Creating, Developing, and Evaluating Oral Presentation Assignments (Day 1 of 2) Faculty Development Jun 25 2012 – 1:00pm 4:00pm TBA Open
Creating, Developing, and Evaluating Oral Presentation Assignments (Day 2 of 2) Faculty Development Jun 26 2012 – 1:00pm 4:00pm TBA Open
Paideia 111 & 112: Reading the Works (Day 1 of 2) Faculty Development Jun 27 2012 – 9:00am 4:00pm Main 114 Open
Paideia 111 & 112: Reading the Works (Day 2 of 2) Faculty Development Jun 28 2012 – 9:00am 4:00pm Main 114 Open
Enhancing Student Learning Through Information Literacy and Technology – Summer 2012 Faculty Workshop Faculty Development Jul 9 2012 – 9:00am Jul 13 2012 – 12:00pm Preus Library – ICN Room Closed
Shakespeare's "King Lear": Page, Stage, and Workshop (Day 1 of 2) Faculty Development Jul 10 2012 – 1:00pm 4:00pm Main 112 Open
Shakespeare's "King Lear": Page, Stage, and Workshop (Day 2 of 2) Faculty Development Jul 11 2012 – 8:00am 8:00pm Off-campus Open
Creating a Faculty Website Using Reason Workshop Aug 9 2012 – 9:00am 12:00pm Olin 301 – Round Table Room Open
Senior Projects: Creating Meaningful Culminating Experiences in the Major Faculty Development Aug 16 2012 – 9:00am 1:00pm Dahl Centennial Union – Nansen Open
Luther College as a Community of Faith and Learning (Day 1 of 2) Faculty Development Aug 20 2012 – 9:00am 3:30pm Loyalty Board Room Open
Paideia 111/112 New Instructor Workshop (Day 1 of 2) Faculty Development Aug 20 2012 – 9:00am 12:00pm Main 114 Open
Updates for Academic Advisors Faculty Development Aug 20 2012 – 9:00am 12:00pm TBA Open
Luther College as a Community of Faith and Learning (Day 2 of 2) Faculty Development Aug 21 2012 – 9:00am 3:30pm Loyalty Board Room Open
Paideia 111/112 New Instructor Workshop (Day 2 of 2) Faculty Development Aug 21 2012 – 9:00am 12:00pm Main 114 Open
Writing in the Disciplines Faculty Development Aug 22 2012 – 1:00pm 4:00pm Main 112 Open

Food for Thought: “Book-em, Danno”

Hi, I’m Bob and I’m a recovering “paper” book reader. I have tons of “pbooks” laying around the house, having long ago overflowed the banks of our various bookshelves and things that remotely resemble bookshelves. I admit that sometimes I like to take a pbook down and handle it, breathe in its used book fragrance, listen carefully as I flip quickly through the pages and just generally reminisce over a bygone age (its part of the recovery process). Pbooks possess a lot of character I find missing in an ebook… But I still pick ebooks whenever possible because my main goal in reading, well, is to read. I can accomplish that goal better, more easily in more venues, with less hassle using an ebook. Generally when I want to read:

  • I want to be able to highlight and annotate the books I read because I’ve found that doing so causes me to recollect the information far better. I can do that easily using kindle’s or Google Play’s reader software. I don’t have to carry my highlighters with me and I don’t have to wrestle with the book spine on a pbook hoping not to send it to the hospital for back surgery. I don’t have to hope the publishers have left enough margin for my marginalia.
  • I want to read when the opportunity presents itself, often unexpectedly, like when you’re waiting forever for your child’s turn at the musical solo, track event or turn in the orthodontist chair. With ebooks I can read on my Mac or my iPad or my Android phone (a device i have with me all the time) and each of them remembers where I left off with whatever device I used last. I never fret over a bookmark falling out again.
  • I want to read several books at a time and with ebooks I’ve always got them all with me without having to carry around a heavy bookbag leading to the inevitable back surgery that goes with one of those guys. Speaking of heavy weight, I often read above my reading level. Kindle and Google Play software allow you to tap a word and a definition pops up… just like toast.
  • I want to see what other readers highlighted, which I initially thought might be fairly useless but have found to be remarkably helpful, causing me to frequently go back over a section I previously dismissed to find some great gems. I can do that using the Kindle software. I also can read others’ public notes (most are public). In fact, we can have a running discussion on specific topics from a book. A friend in New York and I could read the same book and conduct our own long-distance book club. A Summer reading group could be discussing all the way up to their next formal meeting.

I’ve noticed a lot of difference in ebook reading software. My current favorite is Kindle (they’ve been at it the longest) but Google Play has nearly caught up from a dead-stop about a year ago. I expect Google will continue to improve and we’ll have another arena in which these too massive competitors go head-to-head. I don’t think anyone else’s software comes very close which is unfortunate for all those who’d like to eread on the cheap. If you’re looking for any of the advanced features mentioned above, I don’t believe you’ll find them in the software in which all the library’s ebook collections are imprisoned. I choose the enhanced ereading experience over the free milque toast. What’s your favorite method for reading?
(NOTE: x-posted to Google+)

Thanks to Bob Puffer for this week’s submission.


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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