This report is an overview of projects and initiatives from the 2007-08 academic year for Luther College Library and Information Services (LIS), an integrated information service organization serving the faculty, students, and staff of Luther College. This document was written by the staff of LIS in the summer of 2008 and was prepared and published digitally for the web. A short summary document has been prepared for print.
The organization of the document is structured on our goals and objectives for the 2007-08 academic year, which are individually presented and discussed. This structure intentionally cuts across library and information technology structures to demonstrate the integrated nature of our information support.
For more information about Luther College Library and Information Services, visit http://luther.edu/lis/.
This annual report was published August 15, 2008 and was written by staff of Luther College Library and Information Services. It is the synthesis of many individual and departmental reports covering work completed during the 2007-08 academic year. The contents of these reports have been collected and mapped to the LIS Goals and Objectives for 2007-08. This is principle organizational structure for the report.
On each “goal” page, there are two forms of objectives, “Original” and “Emergent.” Original goals were set by LIS in summer 2007 while Emergent goals were added over the course of the year. Each objective includes a report on work completed and information on the next steps for that objective. Each “goal” page also includes information from regular operations of LIS that support that goal. In many (most) cases, the ongoing work of LIS is difficult to categorize by individual goals because they address many of our goals simultaneously. To address this, material is crosslisted across goals where appropriate.
Also at the end of the report are links to PDF copies of original reports submitted by each of the primary work teams within LIS. These reports formed the bulk of the original material in the primary report. However not all content appearing in the main section of the annual report appears in these supplementary appendices.
As the 2006-07 academic year was a year of laying foundations for LIS, 2007-08 has clearly been about above-ground construction in preparation for many things new. We set an ambitious agenda of projects (most of which we have accomplished), and managed to pick up a number of unforeseen initiatives along the way (isn’t that always the case). The decision to push ourselves as an organization this year was deliberate, and was informative in determining how efficient and productive LIS can be. The story told in this annual report is clear: LIS has a tremendous ability to move initiatives forward and to get some heavy lifting done when necessary. It remains a privilege to work alongside the many dedicated and hard-working people in LIS as we seek to provide responsive and relevant information support to the faculty, students, and staff of Luther College.
As we head into 2008-09, the fruits of our construction work over the past year are evident across the wide range of services LIS provides. A few of the new initiatives launched by or launching in Summer 2008 that we’ve been hatching this year include:
With so much “new” rolling out, the 2008-09 year will be more targeted at ensuring quality deployments of these major initiatives, training and communication with our community, and iteratively improving service where appropriate. While the nature of our profession doesn’t ever remove new projects, programs and technologies, we look forward to a year of stabilization and ensuring that our construction work over the past year holds up well and is appropriate and useful for the community.
As always, we welcome comment and discussion on any aspect of LIS’ services, and look forward to a productive 2008-09.
Library and Information Services supports the work and mission of the Luther College community by providing:
The following sections contain the primary content for our annual report. Discussion of individual initiatives and projects are listed under the appropriate goal they support. In many cases particular projects may support more than one goal. In those cases, the primary goal is listed. While many projects were originally on our list to accomplish in 2007-08, many others were not. Individual objectives carry a designation of whether they were originally planned at the beginning of the year, or spontaneously planned during the year.
We will work to understand the mission of Luther College and the work of our constituents. We will understand our place in the institution, and we will adapt our work to respond to the changing needs of the College.
Work toward this objective was begun in two areas this year. First, several meetings took place in the fall of 2007 with academic departments and a range of LIS personnel to discuss general topics relating to LIS support of their curricula. The outcome of these meetings was to develop a template for service level agreements moving forward. Ryan Gjerde and Diane Gossman helped pioneer this process. This initiative should be continued and expanded in the future. A student advisory panel was also formed and met during the spring semester. The students provided comment on LIS services and learned more about LIS operations. The largest challenge to this group was getting students to engage and respond to invitations. This group will reconstitute in Fall 2008.
Next Steps: The Executive Director will reconvene the student advisory panel in the Fall of 2008, and the Director of User Services and Academic Technology Librarian will reconvene and expand departmental support meetings with faculty. The resource allocation team of staff will continue under the guidance of the Director of Information Systems. We are also working to reconsider the role of the Academic Technology and Learning Resources Committee.
Analysis continued this year on our MISO (Merged Information Services Organizations) survey results and a number of reports were published and made available via the LIS website. LIS will commit to administering the survey again in the spring of 2009 to coincide with departmental reviews that will take place both for the academic department of Library and Information Studies as well as the administrative department of Library and Information Services. We are also launching our Dear Linka project that encourages dialog with community members who have questions or comments regarding LIS services. Dear Linka will launch as a section on the LIS website and will also have a physical presence within the Preus Library facility.
Next Steps: LIS will administer the MISO Survey again in spring 2009, while continuing to foster constituent comment and feedback through focus groups and initiatives such as Dear Linka.
The User Services team was formed during the 2007-08 academic year to bring together several specific user-related services and service points to provide a more intentional space for collaborative work to occur. Specifically this includes the current Academic Technology, Help Desk, Training, and User Systems areas. This new group is under the leadership of Diane Gossman and consisted this year of Matthew Baumann (Help Desk Technician), Bob Erickson (Classroom/Lab Manager), Ryan Gjerde (Academic Technology Librarian), Matt Hughes (Help Desk Supervisor), Todd Marken (User Systems Specialist), Andrew Olson (Help Desk Manager), Bob Puffer (Academic Technology Assistant), Larry Sikkink (User Systems Administrator), and Jim Veeder (Audio-Visual Coordinator).
This new team has had a successful first year in building new bridges and understandings of each other and our users and will continue to develop a leadership role in providing the best information support we can to the Luther College community.
Next Steps: User Services will continue to pursue opportunities to intentionally define and develop the team in the coming year and continue to pursue objectives that bring innovative and useful services to our users.
The Archives held an open house during National Archives Week and participated in a confidential destruction demonstration with Spectrum Recycling in Decorah.
The following exhibits were hosted in Preus Library as part of the Luther College Galleries exhibit schedule for 2007-08
Gallery exhibits were scheduled and arranged by Dave Kamm with assistance from Jane Kemp during the fall of 2007.
We will seek to provide appropriate, quality information tools and services to students enrolled at Luther College. Though we prioritize and place our emphasis on the academic information resources required to successfully complete the curriculum, we recognize that LIS-provided library and technology services are important recreational and social services supplementing residential life at Luther. We will seek to engage the student community and to understand the perspectives of students when assessing and evaluating tools and services to ensure they are appropriately meeting their needs.
No concrete work was completed on this objective during the 2008-09 academic year.
Next Steps: We will continue this forward to 2008-09.
The beginning of the academic year saw a transition in staffing for our instruction and information literacy programs. Andi Beckendorf stepped into this role replacing Kate Rattenborg. In her new role as Research and Instruction Librarian, Andi began to lay the groundwork for expansion and growth in library instruction and research. She resumed her role as the library’s liaison to Paideia I and served on the Paideia Writing Committee, working with the group to talk about how the library can support the work done in Paideia I, in both fall and spring semesters. She began conversations with Germano Streese about new initiatives and ideas for instruction and reference. She also began conversations with Diane Gossman about how our technology training programs and library instruction can be coordinated. Some highlights of work on instruction and information literacy for the year include:
This past year, we reached 626 students in 37 sections during the February research sessions of Paideia (out of the 652 students Judy Boese reported as enrolled in spring semester Paideia), had direct contact with 18 students during the fall semester open unit, and did additional research sessions for three Paideia sections, including one in the Rare Book Room. Over 50% of our course-related instruction for 2007-2008 was devoted to Paideia I. Librarians offered direct support to 11 Paideia faculty for the fall semester open unit, working with them to develop resource lists, handouts, or guides that had the potential to get over 200 Paideia students directly involved in using library resources during the fall.
Outside of Paideia I, library instruction provided direct contact with 668 students in 16 departments or programs, including Art, Biology, Communication Studies, Education, English, J-Term First-Year Seminar, Health & Physical Education, History, Honors, Museum Studies, Music, Nursing, Philosophy, Religion, Social Work and Spanish. This included departmental or instrumental seminars, lower and upper level courses, general education requirements (J-Term seminar), and sessions for senior paper/project.
Several special collections associated with the library were also used to provide course-related instruction: Archives (Intro to Museums, taught by Vagts), Fine Arts Collection (seven sessions, taught by Förster, Kamm and Kemp), and the Rare Book Room (seven sessions, taught by Kemp and Beckendorf).
In addition to the support offered to Paideia faculty, several other faculty had the opportunity to discover more about the library and its resources through direct work with a librarian. Andi Beckendorf led two discussions with several members of the New Faculty Teaching Group (facilitated by Associate Dean Lori Stanley); Germano Streese was also in attendance. John Goodin met with the Religion & Philosophy Department to speak with 10 faculty about using CHOICE Reviews Online. The faculty workshop “Teaching Styles and Learning Styles in the Classroom” offered in May by Beckendorf and Pillsbury (Education) was related to helping faculty understand the relationship between learning and research and provided faculty with information about library resources that can be directly implemented into coursework. Eight faculty from across the curriculum participated in the workshop.
We have a long tradition of providing library orientation and instruction for local schools. This year, six classes from four local schools (a total of 134 students) visited Preus Library. Schools served included CFS Middle School, MFL Mar Mac High School, Decorah High School, and South Winneshiek High School. Classes visiting included Ceramics (Decorah), Philosophy (MFL Mar Mac), Physics (MFL Mar Mac), National History Day (CFS grades 6-8), and Composition II (South Winn). Sessions were taught by: Kamm (Ceramics), Beckendorf (Philosophy, Sixth Grade History Day, Composition) and Moeller (Seventh and Eighth Grade History Day).
All librarians participated in library instruction this year, and Förster, Kamm, Kemp and Vagts provided instruction related to other college collections. A summary of individual sessions:
Next Steps: Information literacy and instruction initiatives will continue to be a primary focus in the coming academic year for all LIS staff. This objective will be carried over.
In 2007-08, we did introduce training sessions targeted for students and included them in advertising and marketing efforts. For a full discussion of our training initiatives, please see the training section under Support for Administration.
Next Steps: We will continue to offer student-focused training opportunities in the coming year. More information about our training opportunities is available.
In the 2007-08 academic year, LIS received some generous gift funding that with some matching funds has provided a small pool of resources to begin refreshing some furniture in our primary facility Preus Library. Work is underway at the beginning of summer 2008 to identify furniture that will be ordered and delivered for the start of the fall semester. Andi Beckendorf and Kathy Buzza have led our efforts to look at options and coordinate this effort.
Next Steps: We will work to identify funds each year to systematically replace furnishings in the facility. Most furniture is original to the building (constructed in the late 1960s).
To address the campuses ever-increasing appetite for Internet bandwidth, a wireless Internet connection to Northeast Iowa Telecommunications (NEIT) was installed during the summer of 2007 to complement our existing connection to the ICN. This increased our total Internet connectivity from 25Mbps to 40Mbps. As part of this process we came to the conclusion that internet connection load balancing appliances are insufficient to meet our needs. We were able to use the second connection to provide inbound redundancy, but not outbound redundancy. We will pursue full inbound and outbound redundancy using BGP routing during the summer of 2008.
We also have simplified our IP address space by acquiring a new block of address from ARIN, the folks who control Internet address space. Instead of using a hodge-podge of address blocks owned by Luther, the ICN, and NEIT, we have consolidated into a larger block of addresses owned by Luther. This will allow us to more easily handle our Internet routing and tracking of activity on the network.
Next Steps: In summer 2008 we will be deploying an additional 45Mbps connection provided by Mediacom Communications to bring our total campus bandwidth to 85Mbps. This will also give us three independent connections to the Internet which will be routed using BGP to provide full redundancy.
Our ancient and aging DSL networking equipment in Miller, Dieseth, the College Apartments, and Prairie Houses were upgraded with new DSL equipment in summer 2007. Since these facilities do not have Ethernet networking, network service is provided via our telephone infrastructure and DSL. The new system has significantly improved service levels in these locations. As Miller and Dieseth are to be renovated in the near future, we plan to build out an Ethernet network that will finally include wireless service for these facilities. Dennis Blake and Adam Forsyth were instrumental in deploying this upgrade.
Next Steps: We will seek to replace the DSL system in Miller and Dieseth during upcoming renovations. As other facilities currently served by DSL are renovated, we will continue to expand our fiber and ethernet networks.
Bob Erickson leads our campus’s academic computer lab support as part of our User Services team. Major responsibilities of this team include testing and installing recommended software and updating existing software for general computer lab use, working with individuals from academic departments to assist them in their own departmental lab maintenance, and bidding and designing multimedia classrooms.
Several servers that support classroom and lab management were upgraded this year, including the purchase of a new Macintosh Xserve for image deployment, a Deepfreeze server upgrade to accommodate Macintosh clients, and a significant upgrade to the Ghost server to manage Vista Images.
Other significant projects of the past year include installing 14 new A/V multimedia classrooms in the new Sampson-Hoffland Science Building, adding new scanners in the computer labs, placing 37 new flat screen monitors in Olin 202, redesigning the 50 desks in Main 113 and 114 to accommodate new flat screen monitors, and replacing 10 A/V projectors in existing multimedia classrooms due to regular maintenance.
Projects for next year include building better Vista and Intel Mac images, upgrading to the latest Microsoft Office applications on both the Mac and Windows platforms, introducing Vista and Leopard operating systems into the labs, installing new PCs with flat screen monitors in the Olin 113 classroom, upgrading the circulation desk laptops and implementing a digital tapeless video camcorder solution, developing a Lab Stats server to run computer usage reports, continued work on a MIDAS solution, investigating remote A/V classroom monitoring, and continuing with the Technology Help Desk project of developing and providing video editing services.
In 2007-08, LIS supported 42 computer labs with a total of 581 seats available. Ten servers and 34 printer queues accompany and support these labs/seats.
Just after the end of the Spring 2008 term a major upgrade was performed on the KATIE learning management system which allows Luther College to take advantage of numerous enhancements produced since the last major upgrade (2006) while bypassing many of the difficulties other schools have encountered implementing the intervening upgrade versions. This past year, Luther has joined NITLE, a consortium of the liberal best liberal arts colleges. Many of these schools have chosen Moodle (KATIE) as their learning management system. NITLE has awarded a technology fellowship for Luther’s KATIE administrator Bob Puffer which will provide professional development opportunities as well as providing other schools with Moodle training.
Specific 2007 -2008 enhancements
We will seek to provide appropriate, quality information tools and services to faculty of Luther College. We recognize the increasing importance that information literacy and technology fluency skills play in the curriculum, and will work to deploy tools and services that support the faculty in teaching and growing these skills in our students. Our focus and priority will be on maintaining information resources and tools that primarily support undergraduate teaching and research.
A comprehensive plan for marketing and constituent communication is being developed during summer 2008 for full deployment in fall 2008. This objective is current and ongoing. This objective is included in the broader marketing objective discussed under Integrated Information Organization and Services.
Next Steps: Completion of the marketing plan and deployment in fall 2008.
During the 2007-08 academic year, several initiatives were included in Luther’s new strategic plan that relate to improving academic technology support for faculty. We have secured new funding for “innovations” in 2008-09, which will help seed some initiatives. We have also hired a new Academic Technology Librarian to be leading our thinking in technology support to faculty. Our new partnership with NITLE also affords new opportunities for training and professional development in areas of curricular technologies.
Next Steps: This will be an ongoing objective over the next several years as we continue to expand our services and use of academic technologies on campus.
The Academic Planning Committee application for course proposals and evaluation was completely overhauled to include the enhancements suggested by faculty and provide a simpler interface for easier use. Scott Bassford led the work, now available at http://apc.luther.edu/
Next Steps: This objective is complete. Ongoing assessment of the product will continue and appropriate modifications made.
Dennis Blake, Adam Forsyth, and Bob Erickson have led LIS work to plan for and install networking, telephone, and classroom technology into Luther’s new science facility Sampson Hoffland Hall which has been under construction during the 2007-08 academic year. This project will be complete for the opening of the fall semester in 2008.
Next Steps: We will transition our focus to the renovation of Valders and the rewiring work required there which will be significant. New classroom technologies will also be needed during that renovation to take place during the 2008-09 academic year.
The ATLRC met six times in academic year 2006-2007. Faculty representatives included Loren Toussaint from the Science Division, Jeannette Pillsbury from the Social Science Division, and Peter Scholl from the Humanities Division. Several topics were discussed over the course of the year including:
Departmental Websites: As the college has moved to a new look and feel for public face on the web, there is some concern that departmental websites do not have access to the resources needed to bring them up-to-date. The committee recommended sharing concerns with the Dean and marketing staff.
Classroom Response Systems: Faculty in the natural sciences and social sciences have requested “clickers” to poll students during class. Uses range from large lectures of 75+ students to small seminars of 20 and under, making the decision on installation and provisioning challenging. A related discussion occurred on a faculty discussion list. User Services will likely use some “Innovations” funding to experiment with this technology.
Faculty Workstation Replacement: The committee helped plan a faculty survey in preparation for the summer roll out of new computers. This involved revising the survey conducted three years ago, and helping communicate with division members.
LIS updates: A number of issues such as migration to Norse Apps, password expirations, the new printing policy, and updates to Moodle/KATIE were discussed by the committee. These discussions helped LIS clarify communications distributed to the faculty at large, and anticipate questions that would arise from various divisions.
Targeted marketing and outreach events of 2007-08 included:
Work in preparation for the faculty workstations replacement cycle occurred over the entire academic year, culminating with financing approval to fund the replacement over summer 2008. This year, several new features are being added to our replacement process:
We will seek to provide appropriate, quality information tools and services to the administration of Luther College. We will seek to partner with our administrative colleagues to provide excellent oversight and care of our administrative information, and our administrative workflows.
During the 2007-08 academic year, training moved from being part of “Training and Support”, to being part of the “User Services” team. The transition was beneficial because training ties in closely with the work of the other groups within User Services namely the Help Desk, User Systems, and Academic Technology. This report begins with narrative regarding training within LIS and the Campus Community and ends with metrics supporting the narrative.
Training staff for the 2007-08 academic year included the following full-time staff: Diane Gossman, Director of User Services. Luther student Aaron Harpole helped as LIS Training Assistant in June and July of 2008 to develop the Office 2007 training materials. During Spring 2008, Luther students Cory Wagner and Curtis Younker helped develop the Norse Apps, Windows Vista, Office 2008 for the Mac, and Mac OSX 10.5 Leopard training materials.
Schedule of Sessions
In January of 2008, LIS began to offer a regular series of training opportunities for the Luther community which is published at http://lis.luther.edu/learn. The schedule includes sessions in a variety of formats including weekly demonstrations, training sessions, and workshops. A brief description of each session and format is available on the web and links to additional materials are provided as well. The topics are determined one term in advance and announcements are published in The Bulletin, Tuesday, and the DeaNotes. Diane Gossman led numerous demonstrations, training sessions and workshops this January and Spring semesters primarily on the new software being implemented on campus which includes Office 2007, Norse Apps, and Windows Vista. In addition, Bob Puffer led several KATIE demonstrations, training sessions and workshops during the January and Spring semesters. Christopher Barth, John Goodin, and Lindy Moeller also led at least one session during the spring semester.
Microsoft Office 2007
In preparation for the implementation of Office 2007 on campus, several online materials and handouts were produced late summer 2007. The primary link for these materials is http://helpdesk.luther.edu/go/office which includes general information about the product, Luther’s time-line for implementation, compatibility information, and additional materials for Word 2007, Excel 2007, PowerPoint 2007, Access 2007, and Publisher 2007. Each of the product-specific materials includes step-by-step instructions for getting started with the product and resources such as one-page “getting started” and “new features” guides. Demonstrations, training sessions, and workshops continue to be held offering faculty, staff, and students the opportunity to learn more about the suite before, during, and after their upgrade to Office 2007.
Microsoft Office 2008 for the Mac
Office 2008 for the Mac became available Spring 2008 and, in preparation for its implementation on campus, several online materials were produced late Spring 2008. The primary link for these materials is http://helpdesk.luther.edu/go/office which includes general information about the product, Luther’s time-line for implementation, compatibility information, and additional materials for Word 2008, Excel 2008, and PowerPoint 2008. Each of the product-specific materials includes step-by-step instructions for getting started with each of the products.
Microsoft Office Work At Home Program
Along with the implementation of Office 2007 and Office 2008 for the Mac, the Microsoft Office Work At Home Program became available to Luther employees Spring 2008. The Work at Home Program allows Luther employees to install Luther licensed Microsoft Office on one home computer for use for work purposes only. Budget director approval is requested prior to distribution of the installation media, and a small fee for purchase of the installation media and program administration is charged to departmental accounts. More information is available at http://lis.luther.edu/WAH.
In preparation for the implementation of Windows Vista on campus, several online materials were produced late Spring 2008. The primary link for these materials is http://helpdesk.luther.edu/go/vista which includes general information about the product, Luther’s time-line for implementation, and additional materials for basic usage, network printers, network shares, new features, and system maintenance. A QuickStart Guide (http://lis.luther.edu/files/images/Vista_QuickStart_Guide.pdf) was also produced to help faculty and staff receiving Vista become familiar with the new operating system faster. Demonstrations and hands-on training sessions are being offered to aid in the transition to the new operating system.
Mac OSX 10.5 Leopard
With Apple’s introduction of a new operating system, the existing Mac Training information was updated Spring 2008 to include new screen prints and current information. Descriptions and pictures of the new and enhanced features such as Stacks, Finder (Side Bar, Spotlight, Cover Flow View), Quick Look, Spaces, Mail, Time Machine, and iChat are discussed. A QuickStart Guide (http://lis.luther.edu/files/images/MacQuickStart_Guide.pdf) was also produced to help faculty and staff receiving Mac OSX 10.5 Leopard become familiar with the new operating system faster.
Several online materials were created to aid in the implementation of Google Apps for Education, locally branded “Norse Apps”. The primary link for these materials is http://helpdesk.luther.edu/go/norseapps and includes information regarding the advantages of Norse Apps, Luther’s time-line, the migration process, and information on the individual components. Numerous Norse Apps demonstrations and hands-on training sessions have been held this spring and will continue to be held until all faculty and staff are migrated to Norse Apps by the end of this calendar year. In addition, conversations have been held with each faculty and staff prior to their conversion to Norse Apps to aid the transition.
LIS Training Website Updates
A complete list of the LIS Training (LIST) materials that were created and/or updated on the Help Desk website is available under the Technology Help Desk report.
Next Steps: We will continue to grow our training programs for administration, faculty, and staff, and will continue to expand training responsibilities throughout LIS to tap into the knowledge and expertise of LIS employees.
This objective remains a priority though significant work was not completed during the 2007-08 academic year.
Next Steps: This objective will be carried over to the 2008-09 academic year.
The Colleague Advancement project involves moving the Alumni Development information from the current Benefactor system into the Colleague student information system. Our staff is working with Datatel to test the data conversion programs and new software as well as evaluate the business practices of the alumni and development operations. Once this conversion is complete, Luther will benefit in better demographic data, time savings from reduced data maintenance and duplicate data entry.
Next Steps: While a significant amount of work has been completed during the 2007-08 academic year, much work remains. Work will continue through the fall as we plan for a system implementation during the 2008-09 academic year.
As part of new financial audit regulations, IT operations support and securing financial services at Luther were reviewed in summer 2007. Auditors generally approved of LIS procedures regarding support of accounting and finance at Luther, though some improvements were suggested and many of them have been implemented during the 2007-08 academic year. Several of these improvements are listed elsewhere in this report. They include installation of dry fire suppression in the server room, remote fireproof storage of backup tapes, regular review and verification of backup tapes, implementation of new reviewing and approval procedures governing code changes, and other items.
Next Steps: IT auditing will be repeated in future financial audits. LIS has worked to address or respond to all items brought up in our 2007 audit and will continue to work to ensure the highest security for all services.
The Application Development team enhanced My.luther (Datatel’s WebAdvisor) capabilities by customizing the myBudgets screen, adding a student accounts receivable statement of account, financial aid award letter, and the ability to accept or reject financial aid awards. We also added the ability for employees to access their leave plan through my.luther and upgraded the software to newest version 3.1 and underlying systems on the server.
We completed server upgrades and software updates for AdAstra, the campus facilities scheduler, CBORD Odyssey dining services card system and housing management system, and software updates for the Nebraska Bookstore system. We assisted User Services and Microsoft Office users in running the MS utility to scan files for compatibility with Office 2007.
In addition to fixing the remaining Datatel Colleague Release 18 implementation issues, we’ve created a new training account with new training data, allowing users to play and practice using new functionality provided by Datatel.
Just-in-time service to Luther’s community of technology users – students, staff, faculty, and visitors – is the core of operations at the Technology Help Desk. As such, the daily work of problem resolution is visible with each community member’s interaction with Help Desk student and professional staff. In less visible roles, Help Desk staff work with others in LIS to identify and plan for transitions in campus technology and their effects on users, to provide a communications link between the campus community and LIS through individual and campus wide communications, to create and maintain tutorials and other self-support resources, to support the use and installation of audio visual equipment, and to provide an opportunity for professional growth of Help Desk student staff – many of whom aspire to careers in information technology.
One method of profiling the daily work of problem resolution at Help Desk is through investigating the requests recorded in the LIS work order tracking system. Typically, requests are tracked in this system when the request cannot be completed at first point of contact. From June 1, 2007 to May 30, 2008 the Help Desk opened 5056 such requests and closed 2851. These totals represent 59% of all work orders opened in LIS and 35% of all work orders closed. From a wider view of annual totals between 2003 and 2008, these percentages are consistent with both a linear downward trend of total LIS work orders being opened by the Help Desk and a flat trend line in the percentage of total LIS work orders being closed by the Help Desk. In short, the work order tracking system reports fewer LIS requests being recorded through the Help Desk but a consistent percentage of recorded requests being closed by the Help Desk.
Unfortunately, the profile of daily work as illustrated by the LIS work order tracking system is not so clear when one considers that up to 75% of requests coming into the Help Desk are not recorded in that system. While a high percentage in this area is positive because it indicates a high percentage of “first-call” resolutions, it does make tracking trends more challenging. For many years, this work that is hidden from reporting has been estimated through reviews of saved email conversations, and sampling of daily call volumes and service desk interactions. In late March 2008 the Help Desk began capturing some of this previously unrecorded data through the Twitter micro blogging service (available at http://twitter.com/lishd).
Results from the compilation of that data confirm previous estimates that upwards of 75% of requests resolved at the Help Desk are not reported through the LIS work order tracking system but that overall trends are similar between first-call resolutions and resolutions in the tracking system . This new data illustrates that interactions between Help Desk staff and the campus community occur as phone calls 55% of the time, as service desk conversations 25% of the time, and as email messages in the remaining 20% of interactions. The Twitter data also illustrates an hourly and daily timeline of Help Desk work load that is consistent with profiles illustrated by LIS work order tracking system data – peak times of day are consistently early to mid-morning and early afternoon hours and peak days of the week are consistently Mondays , Wednesdays, and Fridays with a noticeable high on Mondays. It is hoped that continued use of micro blogging to record “first-call” resolutions will continue to provide an additional openness to the daily work of the Help Desk and better longitudinal data for future reporting.
Along with annual projects such as supporting Summer Registration, supporting ResNet connections, and training new pools of Help Desk student staff, the Help Desk professional staff also led and contributed to several areas of significant work in LIS. Help Desk professional and student staff provided beta testing for, participated in planning for, and supported users in the roll-out of several new campus technologies – Windows Vista, Microsoft Office 2007, Google Apps for the Domain (Norse Apps), and new password expiration requirements. Additionally, primary support of Alumni access to the Alumni directory was relocated from the Alumni Office to the Help Desk. Other Help Desk -lead projects underway include improvements to setup and support of self-service video duplication and editing facilities, enhancements to Help Desk support of Macintosh computing, upgrades to the campus carillon system and digital signage, and continued work improving options for viewing campus video broadcasts online.
Spring Student Projects
In its second year of implementation, a spring projects initiative has facilitated the Help Desk’s student staff contributions to other work units in LIS. Twelve of the Help Desk’s thirty-three students contributed to projects throughout LIS by dividing their time between on-duty work at the Help Desk and project work with LIS staff. Projects included creation of training and support resources, enhancement of work order reporting, cleanup of the used equipment inventory, research of lab management tools, redesign of the Help Desk’s antivirus CD, cleanup of the network registration and quarantine web interfaces, proof of concept for lecture podcasting, automation of feature length online video streaming, creation of video screencast tutorials, and production of an Help Desk services video. The majority of projects produced noteworthy results and had a noticeable impact on work achieved in several LIS work units. In addition, the student staff made use of an opportunity to expand their experience, broaden their perspective on the sum work of LIS, and form new relationships with LIS staff. This gained perspective is invaluable in their work supporting just-in-time problem resolution at the Help Desk.
Work Order Reporting Tools
LIS Leader: Andrew Olson
Student Staff: Anne Lyttle
Project Description and Outcomes: Anne Lyttle provided enhancements to Help Desk and LIS work order reporting tools through the creation of over 30 new work order tracking reports. These new reporting tools offer LIS staff new insight into work load and work flow processes. They provide overviews of Help Desk and LIS work as well as views into the interactions between LIS work units and the internal interactions between Help Desk professional and student staffs. A significant portion of her work involved designing methods for retrieval of historical data to match data included in reporting tools for the current reporting year. This work opens the possibility of examining the work of the Help Desk from a longitudinal perspective reaching back to the Help Desk’s redesign in 2001. The Help Desk
was fortunate to have the opportunity to leverage Anne’s previous experience writing database queries and Crystal Reports files for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections.
Streaming Video Automation
LIS Leader: Bob Puffer
Student Staff: Brett Hazen, Andrew Zaffke
Project Description and Outcomes: Brett and Andrew worked on various workflows for taking various media to streamability using a variety of open source tools. The result was a stable, relatively-easily created format that required a minimum of user interaction to make it happen. Flash video was the streamable format chosen because it transcoded quicker and was readable immediately by 97% of the workstations on campus. Andrew and Brett also produced documentation for the project as well as video tutorials on how to create a streamable flash video using their workflow.
Lecture Podcast Pilot
LIS Leader: Bob Puffer
Student Staff: Rufus Vethanayagamony
Project Description and Outcomes: Rufus video-recorded all lectures for Claude Mertzenich’s CHEM-152 section. These were extracted from the video camera, transcoded and made available through the course’s KATIE site in a streaming format (Quicktime and Flash). Claude reported satisfaction with the project and statistics indicated each video was viewed by at least two different students. It was discussed with Claude that LIS won’t be providing staffing for this endeavor in the future — it was just a proof-of-concept. He said he’d be considering what alternatives he has.
Application Development Screencasts
LIS Leader: Steve Smith
Student Staff: Jason Smoliak
Project Description and Outcomes: Steve and Jason worked to create demo videos for common tasks in Datatel, my.luther, and AdAstra. Jason created two videos for the my.luther portion of the project. The work with Jason served as a springboard to get a start on the project. Steve will be finishing up the other videos and create more as needed.
Setup and Test Windows Services Update Server
LIS Leaders: Bob Erickson
Student Staff: Bryan Uhlenhake
Project Description and Outcomes: This project was focused on setting up a Windows Services Update Server (WSUS) and testing the process of using it to deploy Windows Updates. The group started by loading WSUS 3.0 on the required Windows Server 2003 that was also running Microsoft Report Viewer 2005, Microsoft Management Console 3.0 and Microsoft Internet Information services. The advantages would be reduced bandwidth; better management of downloads and better reporting on the status of updates. The disadvantages were found to be that update services only ran on the hour, the server administrator needed to continually monitor the process to manage and repair updating problems, the client configuration was detailed and had to be configured on the client machine – not by the server. The WSUS only updated the Windows operating system and not other applications. After numerous tests with the WSUS server and the client, it was determined to be very problematic, inconsistent and difficult to test. No great advantage over the existing windows update procedure was realized so continuing ahead with an on-going software management and deployment project has been advised.
LIS Leader: Diane Gossman
Student Staff: Cory Wagner, Curt Younker
Project Description and Outcomes: This project was designed to produce additional LIS Training materials in preparation for numerous implementations beginning on campus including Norse Apps, Office 2007/2008, Windows Vista, and Mac Leopard. The group met together once a week and then Diane met individually with Cory and Curt other times during the week. In addition to producing documentation and enhancing existing materials, Cory assisted with several training sessions throughout the term. The materials produced include the following:
Norse Apps (helpdesk/go/norseapps): http://helpdesk.luther.edu/tiki/tiki-index.php?page=LIST_NorseApps
Norse Mail (helpdesk/go/norsemail): http://helpdesk.luther.edu/tiki/tiki-index.php?page=LIST_NorseMail
Norse Chat (helpdesk/go/norsechat): http://helpdesk.luther.edu/tiki/tiki-index.php?page=LIST_NorseChat
Norse Calendar (helpdesk/go/norsecal): http://helpdesk.luther.edu/tiki/tiki-index.php?page=LIST_NorseCalendar
Norse Docs (helpdesk/go/norsedocs): http://helpdesk.luther.edu/tiki/tiki-index.php?page=LIST_NorseDocs
Norse Sites: https://helpdesk.luther.edu/tiki/tiki-index.php?page=LIST_NorseSites
Vista (helpdesk/go/vista): http://helpdesk.luther.edu/tiki/tiki-index.php?page=LIST_Vista
Vista – Basics: http://helpdesk.luther.edu/tiki/tiki-index.php?page=LIST_VistaBasics
Vista – New Features: http://helpdesk.luther.edu/tiki/tiki-index.php?page=LIST_VistaNewFeatures
Vista – System Maintenance: http://helpdesk.luther.edu/tiki/tiki-index.php?page=LIST_VistaSystemMain...
Vista QuickStart Guide: http://lis.luther.edu/files/images/Vista_QuickStart_Guide.pdf
Vista Network Printers: http://helpdesk.luther.edu/tiki/tiki-index.php?page=LIST_VistaNetworkPri...
Vista Network Shares: http://helpdesk.luther.edu/tiki/tiki-index.php?page=LIST_VistaNetworkShares
Vista System Maintenance (Power Settings): http://helpdesk.luther.edu/tiki/tiki-index.php?page=LIST_VistaSystemMain...
Mac Word 2008: https://helpdesk.luther.edu/tiki/tiki-index.php?page=LIST_MacWord2008
Mac Excel 2008: https://helpdesk.luther.edu/tiki/tiki-index.php?page=LIST_MacExcel2008
Mac PowerPoint 2008: https://helpdesk.luther.edu/tiki/tiki-index.php?page=LIST_MacPowerPoint2008
Mac OS X Leopard 10.5: http://helpdesk.luther.edu/tiki/tiki-index.php?page=LIST_MacOSXLeopard
Mac Training – Basics (updated to 10.5) (helpdesk/go/mac): http://helpdesk.luther.edu/tiki/tiki-index.php?page=LIST_MacTraining-Basic
Mac QuickStart Guide: http://lis.luther.edu/files/images/MacQuickStart_Guide.pdf
Mac Data Backups: https://helpdesk.luther.edu/tiki/tiki-index.php?page=LIST_MacDataBackups
Basic Web Design: https://helpdesk.luther.edu/tiki/tiki-index.php?page=LIST_BasicWebDesign
Help Desk Video Production
LIS Leader: Matt Hughes
Student Staff: Luis Enriquez
Project Description and Outcomes: The goal of this project was to create a short video on ‘What Can the Help Desk Do For You?’ to make available for viewing on the Help Desk’s Norse Clean CD and on the Help Desk website. A storyboard has been drafted and clips collected. Production of the video is still in progress and will not be ready for inclusion in the CDs printed for New Student Summer Registration. It is hoped that the video will be ready for publication prior to the beginning of Fall semester.
Norse Clean CD
LIS Leader: Matt Hughes
Student Staff: Cam Webb, Bryan Perrot
Project Description and Outcomes: The goal of this project was to create a new Norse Clean CD to replace the aging one that has been in use by the Help Desk for several years. The current CD has several problems – software that is out of date and a GUI interface that fails on computers without the proper version of .Net installed (which rules out Mac OS X). Cam and Bryan determined that coding the GUI in Java would solve the problem of operating systems. This enabled them to make a ‘tab template’ that would be easy to duplicate for future upkeep. They’ve included numerous tools including Anti-Virus (Sophos, AVG Free), Anti-Spyware (Adaware, Spybot), Browsers (Firefox, Opera), and several other useful tools.
Larry Sikkink, User Systems Administrator, returned after spending the 2006-07 academic year in Dubai, UAE. Todd Marken continued in his role as User Services Specialist throughout the entire year. Colin Smith was hired as a temporary employee to assist with technical needs during Larry’s absence, working full-time in User Systems until he moved to cover a vacancy in the Help Desk in July 2007.
The PC desktop computers are categorized as alpha, beta, and gamma. Alpha computers are for positions requiring more computing power such as: web developers, secretarial support staff, programmers and software developers, heavy Microsoft Access managers, heavy Microsoft Excel managers, video or audio editing, or multimedia developers/graphics. The alpha computers for ’07-’08 were the following:
Beta computers are for positions requiring less computing power than the alpha computers, and more computing power than gamma computers. The beta computers for ’07-’08 were the following:
Gamma computers are for student worker positions. The gamma computers for ’07-’08 were the following:
Laptops are becoming a popular item for staff as well. For those where travel is not a required part of the job, LIS has made an option for the department to co-pay the difference in cost between the laptop and desktop models.
Staff Workstation Replacement
Machines for staff are upgraded year-around, and the schedule is planned such that each department will receive an upgrade every two years. The departments are divided in halves, and each half is upgraded on alternate years. These departments are upgraded on the even-odd budget years (i.e. 2007-08):
Administrative Services, Admissions Office, Alumni, Book Shop, Career Center, Celebration Iowa, College Ministries, Counseling, Development, Diversity Center, Health Service, Human Resources, International Studies, LIS (west), Post Office, Publications, Print Shop, Regents Center, Residence Life, Sports Information, Student Life, Wellness Center, LIS – Help Desk (laptop pool)
Due to budget, staffing, and the prospect of buying a systems management solution reasons, the staff rollout was stalled for a portion of the 2007-08 year. Only the Admissions, Alumni, Development, and LIS (west) departments were upgraded late in the academic year. The laptops harvested from those departments were used to refresh the Help Desk laptop pool. Those departments delayed will be picked up in the 2008-09 year, along with the regularly scheduled departments for that period.
Two Dell GX270 Motherboards were repaired at the component level to restore them to working condition. Approximately twenty GX270 power supplies and a dozen 15” Viewsonic LCD monitors were repaired to restore them to working condition – all at a total cost less than a single replacement power supply.
Much time was spent becoming familiar with Intel-Macs and OS X (Leopard), Microsoft Windows Vista, Microsoft Office 2007/2008, and the utilities involved in deploying an upgraded workstation to a user. Procedures were developed and tested to make the faculty rollout scheduled for the summer of 2008 run as smoothly as possible.
A search was launched to select a systems management solution(s) [the MIDAS project] to reduce the time and effort involved in providing software updates, patches, and fixes to our end users. The field was narrowed considerably, but the process has taken much longer than expected because of the complexity many of these solutions offer. For example, some include extensive help desk and inventory modules that could replace Track-It!, and some include training modules and/or image deployment as additional features. The costs of these products also exceeded our budget. Plans are under way to make the necessary budget adjustments for 2008-09.
In 2007-08, wireless access was added to Campus House which services administrative and academic departments. Wireless service has also been expanded to cover outdoor athletic venues to support a new initiative in the Athletic department to stream contests via the Internet. This service began during the 2007-08 academic year with network support from Adam Forsyth.
We will build strong relationships with peer institutions and peer networks to become better aware of the state of our profession, to gather ideas and learn skills from our professional colleagues, and to share the expertise of our staff with others.
Next Steps: We will work to expand the number of staff participating in off-campus professional development activity in the coming year.
A number of new expanded relationships were initiated during 2007-08 in both library and technical arenas. Specifically:
Next Steps: We will continue to pursue local relationships and networks where appropriate.
A number of new expanded relationships were initiated during 2007-08 in both library and technical arenas. Specifically:
Next Steps: We will continue to pursue national relationships and networks where appropriate.
During the 2007-08 academic year, Luther continued membership in organizations such as the Iowa Private Academic Libraries, Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and Educause.
We will deliver the best appropriate resources available to us to allow our users to succeed academically and professionally in their work at a liberal arts college. We will work to continually assess and improve the research tools and technology infrastructure that comprise our strategic information resources.
For the 2008-09 academic year, the academic research resource budget will receive a 4% increase overall to compensate for rising resource costs. This is the first funding increase in several years. and will begin to address the slipping purchasing power of resource budgets generally.
Next Steps: We will continue to request funding increases in line with actual cost increases to providing necessary academic research resources to support Luther’s curriculum.
Some indirect progress was made on this objective during the 2007-08 academic year as we sought to restructure how we replace faculty workstations. Instead of a monolithic replacement process every three years, we are transitioning to a four-year cycle evenly distributed across four years. This not only will reduce our overall cost due to the longer replacement cycle, but will also save financing costs we currently incur for our current purchases. We will continue to evaluate our needs to ensure that we make progress to our goal of a four-year replacement cycle for all hardware on campus in the coming year.
Next Steps: This objective will continue in 2008-09. We will be making progress but have more work to do to reach our replacement cycle funding goals.
College Chips is being digitized by Arcasearch of Paynesville, MN. The initial phase included issues from 1884-1926 and from 1956-1967. Payment for the initial phase of the project was provided by Chips and the library. Filming was completed during Summer 2007 and the site is linked from the library and archives web page, the Chips web site and the MAGNUS catalog record. We have identified copies for the remaining years to be digitized (1926-1956) and will be sending those off for imaging in summer 2008. Chips is working directly with Arcasearch to add born-digital copies of papers from 2000-2007. The Archives applied for a grant this year to cover a portion of the digitization costs but was unsuccessful. The Archives, Library, and Chips will continue to fund the project to completion.
Next Steps: After the remaining issues are added to the archive we will be working to identify additional titles for digitization and inclusion in our digital archive of Luther publications.
LIS convened a group of staff to review possible directions for enterprise management and storage of digital objects, both to support academic and administrative operations. The result of that review has led to use of the open source product Alfresco to support some academic functions, particularly with regard to KATIE our learning management system. A review of systems to interface with our administrative Datatel system was less conclusive and also requires significant capital expense to implement. It will also involve significant change in administrative department workflows.
With a new partnership emerging with IKON for digital output device management on campus, we will continue to revisit our administrative needs for document management and delivery.
Next Steps: We will continue using Alfresco for some academic use, and will continue pursuit of a document management system to interface with Datatel for administrative support.
Rachel Vagts, Archives student employees Katie Benedix, Dana Fine, Tristan Campbell and History student Matt Cox conducted 17 interviews with alumni during Homecoming 2007. All interviews have been digitized and eight have been transcribed so far. Video presentations were created and presented for the Class of 1982, 1957 and the 60+ year anniversaries. Rachel also presented a session on “What the Archives Can Do for You” to class agents who are responsible for reunions in 2008.
Next Steps: We will continue to build and expand this initiative to capture oral history from alumni when appropriate.
New bibliographic records for our manuscript collections (Record Group 15) were added to Magnus during the year. These records join existing records for the main record groups.
Next Steps: We will continue to add records as appropriate, but will be working primarily on the new Archon database for access to archival collections.
The Archives is contributing to a new unofficial History of Luther College wiki (http://www.luthercollegehistory.org/). This site was launched in early 2008 and has a growing collection of material related to the history of the college.
Next Steps: Contributions will continue from Archives student employees as appropriate. Content will also be contributed by others in connection with the Sesquicentennial events.
Rachel Vagts created a Flickr account and added over 200 historical photographs from the Archives to the collection with categories and metadata attached.
Next Steps: We will add additional photographs as appropriate and work to provide digital imagery via the web of archival resources where possible.
During the fall semester of 2007 an evaluation of the Reference Collection in the J-Z call number range was conducted. All titles with the publication date of 1998 or older were evaluated. A total of 844 titles were reviewed. From those 355 titles were withdrawn from the collection. This evaluation process allowed us to free 160.5 feet of shelf space (approximately 53.5 shelves). The project was led by Germano Streese, in collaboration with Andi Beckendorf and Jane Kemp.
Next Steps: This project will continue in the coming year with a review of call numbers A-H.. Our MUSTY review process will continue to review the main collection on an ongoing basis.
Notable items from the Archives during the 2007-08 academic year include:
A number of improvements were made to our central network infrastructure in 2007-08. Among the improvements:
Overall circulation of library materials showed a small increase over the previous year rising from 50,071 to 51,867. This included a significant increase in DVD use, up to 7,553 from the previous 6,422. Renewals also showed a large increase, from 12,006 to 14,911 and the building gate count was up by 5,000 visits to 51,867.
Use of print reserves continued to decline, down to 7,048 from 8,388 in the previous year. This is good evidence of the success of our emphasis on electronic reserves and the use of KATIE as the prime delivery source for this kind of material. Leisure reading use increased somewhat, hopefully in response to our increase in the number of items and our more careful attention to college campus best seller lists.
The circulation desk also continued handling a wide range of equipment including the very popular laptop computers, digital video cameras, external hard drives and a decreasing number of hubs for dorm use. Eddy Atwell also was responsible for the library’s annual book sale in April. He handled publicity, worked with out of town dealers, set up the sale and tracked the proceeds (over $2700).
At the end of every summer’s shelf-reading project a list of lost books is compiled. In September 2007 that list contained 81 titles, down from 112 the previous year.
Jean Dickman ordered, tracked, received and paid for over $530,000 worth of library materials during this fiscal year: nearly $120,000 was spent on monographs, DVDs, CDs and other single items. Over $193,301 was spent on serials and over $218,000 on electronic resources. This included nearly $3,000 spent on items that originated as interlibrary loan requests, many of which were ordered by Kathy Buzza after consultation with Jean. In addition to ordering materials for the library collection Jean also ordered supplies, managed payments and charges for the library copy machines and kept a careful eye on the library budget.
The quantity of new titles and volumes cataloged and added to our collection was similar to that of recent years. We added 3391 titles & 4744 volumes and we withdrew 1063 titles & 1814 volumes. After a few years of large withdrawal projects this year’s smaller number resulted in a slight increase in our overall volumes. On May 31, 2008 we had 329,949 total volumes, up from 327,019 on May 31, 2007. Rene Donlan continued to provide highly accurate and timely cataloging of both new acquisitions and older items in need of more complete cataloging. We purchased a catalog enrichment product from Syndetics that supplies table-of-contents, jacket images and selected reviews for many of the books in our collection which relieved some pressure to manually add some of this information. We added nearly 10,000 MARC records to our catalog, purchased from Serials Solutions, to increase access to our online journal holdings. We also continued to experiment with adding links to online full-text versions of some of our books that are available through the Google Book Search catalog.
All of the librarians, as usual, actively participated in developing the collection. Each managed the departmental collection development allocations for our liaison departments and each contributed our expertise in recommending purchases in more general areas. We made good use of the additional $10,000 that was generously allocated to us from the Paideia endowment. At year’s end we once again improved our DVD collection by asking for recommendations from the entire LIS staff.
During the academic year of 2007-08 twenty-six new titles with an acquisition price over US100.00 were added to the Reference Collection (not including standing orders and serials). During the last year 132 titles were added to the Reference Collection (including standing orders, serials and titles with a price tag of less than US100.00).
All of the librarians continued work on reviewing portions of the collection in their liaison areas and withdrawing select items. Many of the 1374 monographic volumes withdrawn this year were a result of this activity. Ryan Gjerde reviewed and withdrew approximately 100 titles this year. Lindy Moeller completed work in the HQ 1100 – HQ 1870 section of the library, and has begun work in the education area, beginning with the L section. L – LA217 have been reviewed. This work will continue in the next academic year.
Our lineup of electronic resources remained virtually unchanged this year, though we did add a subscription to Biological Abstracts (from Thomson Scientific) to compensate for the fact that our access to BasicBIOSIS was discontinued through FirstSearch. This was the first year that the cost to provide electronic resources surpassed that of serials. The last budget report (dated May 5) indicated that $218,289 had been spent on electronic resources (budgeted $205,000), while $193,301 had been spent on serials (budgeted $195,000). We did have a few free trials of resources during the year, but declined to begin new subscriptions (Oxford Language Dictionaries, Encyclopedia of Popular Music).
Andi Beckendorf continued to work with Kevin Engel from Grinnell College throughout the year, since he serves as the vendor liaison for the IPAL schools. Using cost estimates and percentage increases provided by Kevin, our annual springtime negotiation of databases for next year remained stable. Ryan Gjerde served as an additional contact person for the IPAL database process this year, in order to deal with any issues that might have come up while Andi traveled outside of the country. After reviewing the list of databases at a professional staff meeting, John Goodin, Ryan and Andi made the final decisions on our 2008-2009 subscriptions. Some notes on future changes:
We began the year with approximately 70 databases from 30 vendors. With the switch of Philosopher’s Index and Social Work Abstracts, the number of vendors we work with will drop down to 28.
This was Andi Beckendorf’s final year managing the subscriptions to our databases and online resources. Responsibility for electronic resources moving forward will be divided between Ryan Gjerde and John Goodin.
Accessions and Exhibitions: Fifty-seven new art works were accessioned into the Fine Arts Collection. Major gifts were an outdoor bronze sculpture and the Kemp Collection of Alaska art. One exhibit from the collection entitled “Looking Back: The Luther College Fine Arts Festivals” was shown, February 1-March 20, 2008. Works in the collection total 1,477.
Initiatives: The Midwest Art Conservation Center returned one restored painting to Luther. Two additional paintings have been restored and two pieces of pottery are being repaired. Thirty-seven names and profiles of artists in the FAC were contributed to ULAN, the Union List of Artist Names maintained by the Getty Research Institute. 25 pieces from the FAC were loaned to the University of Northern Iowa for their exhibit, “Marguerite Wildenhain” in fall 2007. Three loans of significant art, lent to the College by a Luther faculty member, were installed in Jenson in April 2008. Over 140 contacts were made with individuals and institutions during 2007-2008. Works from the FAC were utilized in the following classes: 2 Paideia sections, 3 art, 2 communications, 2 philosophy, 1 history, 2 honors, 1 high school class. Three students used works from the FAC for research papers. A substantial gift of art to the College was officially designated in a bequest. Plans continue for a new outdoor sculpture which was to arrive in April but has been delayed to summer 2008. The Gerhard Marcks Endowed Lecture by Fred Horowitz in April 2008 featured the Bauhaus connection to the Fine Arts Collection. Jeff Boshart’s sculpture residency in fall 2007 resulted in the creation of a new outdoor sculpture, currently located in front of the CFA, that will be accessioned into the FAC.
Publications/Presentations: The FAC was featured in the fall issue of Agora with an article by Kemp entitled “Celebrating Fifty Years of Art” and in the winter 2008 issue of Luther Magazine with articles about the donation of the Paul Granlund sculpture, restoration of Gausta’s Closing the Bargain, and a Luther alumna who has several works in the collection. The Wildenhain Collection was described with essays by Kemp and Kamm with photographs in the book edited by Dean Schwarz, Marguerite Wildenhain and the Bauhaus published in fall 2007.
Over 25 letters of acknowledgment were sent to donors this past year, mostly in fall 2007. Several large gifts were received and processed for the main collection.
Kathy Buzza and her excellent student employees processed 5,978 ILL transactions during the year. This was a drop of 7.3% compared to the previous year. Even though we saw increases in books borrowed (+6%) and books lent (+3.5%), we experienced a 25% drop in the number of articles requested and a 17% drop in the number of articles provided. We also saw 32% fewer media rentals. Our document delivery activity was stable.
Specifically, we loaned 1656 books and sent 721 articles and we borrowed 2096 books and received 1505 copies of articles during the year. We rented 30 media items and chose to purchase 58 items that came to our attention as ILL requests. We also paid copyright fees to purchase 21 items at an average cost of $23.98.
Our service continued to be excellent by any measure. Our average turnaround time to fill an ILL request from another library was .79 days and our time to “unfill” a request was .59 days. Our turnaround time to receive an ILL request generated by one of our patrons was 5.48 days.
We failed to make progress in implementing the Odyssey component of the ILLiad software during the year and this may have been a factor in our trend of fewer article requests. It may also be that more and more libraries are purchasing access to many of the same article databases that we have been using for years and thus have less need to borrow articles from other libraries. We also took the step of having the Innovative Interfaces ILL module removed from our system, a significant savings in maintenance costs.
Martha Davis continued to order, track, check-in and claim missing issues of over 800 titles and she was instrumental in assisting Germano Streese in the final stage of his reference collection review project, which included many serial titles. Martha also very capably managed our leisure reading selection process.
Jane Kemp significantly revised and expanded the content describing Special Collections on the LIS website. Revised pages for Rare Books, Alumni, Faculty/Staff, Luther College Press, and DEPO. Jane also researched and wrote essays about significant donors or collections which were linked to the Special Collections pages.
For Rare Books, donor information was linked to the Magnus records for all books in the Rare Book Room. As a spin-off of this project, six handwritten manuscripts and the first book accessioned into the library were rediscovered. An interview by Jill Bohle profiling the Rare Book Room appeared in the April 10, 2008, issue of Chips. A demonstration manual was prepared to provide a pathway so all librarians could provide library instruction using Rare Book Room resources.
A number of significant upgrades were completed in 2007-08 in our telephone services. This work was coordinated by Dennis Blake. Specifically:
We will strive to provide simple and effective products tools, and services for our users. We will value their experience and perspective, while focusing our efforts on enhancing their workflows in meaningful ways. Our products, tools and services should not get in their way, but should allow them to accomplish their work more efficiently.
Significant amounts of new training and tutorial content has been developed during the 2007-08 academic year. For a full list, visit the Technology Help Desk section of our report. Some video tutorials have been developed for Application Development support and Help Desk use. These are not yet in wide use or readily available.
Next Steps: We hope to promote screencasts more uniformly and intentionally in the 2008-09 academic year to become a central pillar of training support for LIS.
Eddy Atwell, Christopher Barth, Andi Beckendorf, Matt Hughes, Lindy Moeller, Andrew Olson, Germano Streese and Rachel Vagts convened as a task force in spring 2008 to review service points on the main floor of the library and discuss how each individual service point operates and relates to others in LIS and in the library facility. The product of this group is a vision for LIS service points that is available online.
Next Steps: A process for implementing the vision will be developed along with a timeline for implementation.
Some initial work was complete on this objective as discussed under our Focus on Constituents section. The Music, Art, Theatre/Dance, and Chemistry departments have met with LIS and preliminary work on defined service level agreements have been developed for them. Additional work is needed, and many more areas require service level agreements to be written.
Next Steps: This objective will continue to 2008-09 in an effort to better support and communicate with our users.
With the deployment of Encore, our new discovery services platform, we are achieving progress toward simplifying the academic research process for the Luther community. Additions of subject-based research guides, our new federated search product Research Pro, and a new design for our catalog Magnus also contribute to simplification of the search process. A new subscription to Syndetics brings us more cover images and expanded tables of contents/reviews. We’ve also added MARC records from Serials Solutions for all full-text journals in our databases, that provides much better and deeper functionality from the catalog. John Goodin has led our efforts at catalog enrichment over the last year.
Next Steps: We will continue to pursue this objective regularly in the future to ensure quality and easy-to-use services for our community.
Servers on our 126.96.36.199/24 network were previously mixed together on the same vlan as some user ip addresses. Because of this problems caused by bad user traffic or network loops, could adversely affect access to these servers. To prevent this problem, we separated 188.8.131.52/24 onto its own servers-only vlan.
Next Steps: We will continue to pursue simplification of our addressing scheme through our new ARIN allocation.
We will value and pursue original innovative thinking in our field and will continually seek to develop a better user experience for our community of users. We seek to make systems better for our users and not just change things for the sake of change.
Office 2007 and Office 2008 are currently in deployment at Luther, and training materials have been created and are being offered through regular training sessions. This process will continue over the next 18-24 months as the replacement process follows its standard course. More information on this objective can be found in the Training, Help Desk, and User Systems reports in our Support for Administration
Next Steps: We will continue the deployment and training into the 2008-09 academic year.
Some review of vendors for print accounting systems occurred in summer 2007, however significant progress was not made on this objective during the academic year. As we were working through a selection process for a campuswide vendor for printing and copying support, it was a lower priority to complete. Now that that process has completed, this objective has reemerged as a higher priority for completion.
Next Steps: We are trialing software in summer 2008 and hope to make a vendor selection and limited deployment during the 2008-09 academic year.
Microsoft Windows Vista is currently in deployment for faculty at Luther, and training materials have been created and are being offered through regular training sessions. Deployment on staff workstations will begin in fall 2008, and deployment in labs will occur in summer 2009. More information on this objective can be found in the Training, Help Desk, and User Systems reports in our Support for Administration
Next Steps: We will continue the deployment and training into the 2008-09 academic year.
Intel Macs are currently in deployment at Luther, and training materials have been created and are being offered through regular training sessions. Deployment will continue over the current faculty and staff replacement cycles. More information on this objective can be found in the Training, Help Desk, and User Systems reports in our Support for Administration
Next Steps: We will continue the deployment and training into the 2008-09 academic year.
Known internally as our “MIDAS” project, work on this objective did occur during the year with staff reviewing a number of possible products to accomplish more streamlined software distribution and management. Ultimately, progress on completing this objective was slower than originally hoped, and we are still working to a selection point for preferred products. Once that is complete, we will identify funding sources for implementation.
Next Steps: Work continues to identify a solution and funding for purchase.
During the 2007-08 academic year, LIS and Luther made the decision to migrate our users to Norse Apps, a suite of online productivity tools hosted by Google. This project has been led by Adam Forsyth with assistance from many folks in LIS including Scott Bassford who provided programming to support the migration. Beginning in March 2008, all new email accounts that were created were built in the new system. Our migration process began in earnest in spring with the move of all students into the new system. Summer 2008 will see the migration of alumni, and employees (who have not yet migrated) will be targeted for moving in fall 2008. Once complete we will no longer host email services on our own servers. As of June 3, 2008, 100% of students, 24% of faculty, 17% of staff, and <1% of alumni were migrated to Norse Apps.
Next Steps: Migration will continue this fall, with a goal of 100% migration by December 31, 2008. This will coincide with our transition to Google Calendar as the primary tool for calendaring effective January 1, 2009.
Work has continued over the academic year on the new LIS website and conversion of the library website. Originally all meta-content was converted, and in spring 2008 work focused on development of a new academic research portal running at https://www.luther.edu/library/. Kate Rattenborg and Christopher Barth led the work to develop the site. The site will launch in July 2008 as the old library site is completely retired. The new site will focus on delivering subject-specific course guides for research and channeling traffic through task-based navigation.
In conjunction with the website launch, we also will launch Encore, our new discovery services platform as the primary search interface. Encore was delivered and installed in March 2008 and will be fully launched this summer after integration of Research Pro, a federated search tool that we are implementing across a suite of free and licensed databases. This product will be available in summer 2008.
Our Innovative catalog Magnus also received a redesign this year and the new design will launch alongside the website and Encore launch. John Goodin and Ryan Gjerde have assisted in managing the deployment of these new research products.
Next Steps: Work will continue on lis.luther.edu as we continue to work to consolidate certain LIS web services into the site. We will continue to build and grow our subject-based research guides and develop new documentation and training materials on the new research tools available in fall 2008.
In May 2007, LIS purchased a Google Search Appliance to provide local indexing of networked information. This engine was deployed along with the new version of www.luther.edu in October 2007 and now serves as the default search index at Luther. It is also available on the LIS website. Work is ongoing to deploy the engine in more ways across the campus.
Next Steps: Steve Smith in Application Development will be working to expand functionality to build the engine into a deep resource for locating networked information at Luther.
The new www.luther.edu site went live using the ActiveAdmissions and ActiveCampus content management system on October 22, 2007 and included a new webpage design, navigation, engaging spotlights telling the story of the many faculty and students with a variety of interests, and an online application form for prospective students. The application development team continues work on event registrations, targeting web content, and data integration between ActiveAdmissions and Colleague, the admission’s student information system. The publications staff is working on updating the new look on the parts of the website that live outside of ActiveCampus.
Next Steps: Implementation continues as we work with Datatel to eliminate barriers to full integration and customization.
Growing use of the LIS website has opened up a fair amount of transparency to the community for those interested in developments and ongoing work in LIS.
Next Steps: We will continue to publish much of our work to the web for our own use, as well as for the community. We will also seek to open up more LIS systems where appropriate for users (e.g. Track-It!) so they can monitor and observe processes that affect them.
A significant and multiyear project to improve Norse Key security and authentication procedures for network access was completed this spring with the implementation of a new policy requiring expiry of all Luther Norse Keys after 180 days. This project, led on the technical side by Chris Stuckman and on the user side by Diane Gossman involved upgrades to nearly all our authentication infrastructure, of which the largest piece was our OpenLDAP system. A revised Statement of Responsibility was added to the workflow for password changes and the entire campus was taken through the expiration process in April 2008.
Our Network Access Control (NAC) has been expanded this year to ensure that only known computers running up-to-date antivirus software and patched operating systems are allowed to connect to our network. NAC has been used on ResNet for several years. NAC is currently being phased in for our entire network. During the 2007-2008 school year, we added NAC to the networks in Jensen, Koren, CFA, Campus House, and Loyalty.
Next Steps: The campus will again run through the expiration process in October 2008, and we will be continuing to expand deployment of our Network Access Control in additional facilities on campus.
We have successfully built and deployed two VMWare servers during the 2007-08 academic year and are working to identify and migrate appropriate services to the new virtual hardware.
Next Steps: We will continue to build and expand our virtual server infrastructure and will continue the migration of services into virtual machines.
Collection records are currently being added to our new database, Archon. As of June 2008 we have 78 records added to the collection. The temporary location is at http://iris.luther.edu/archon. We hope to customize the front end and move the database to its permanent location when the archives website is redesigned. Rachel Vagts has led the work to implement Archon along with installation assistance from Ryan Gjerde.
Next Steps: We will continue to load content and make use of the new tool more prominent on LIS research sites.
Kate Rattenborg and Ryan Gjerde led deployment of a web-based reference statistic-gathering program RefStats. This system was used during the 2007-08 academic year to track questions, answers, and other statistical information regarding reference service. During the year, the desk serviced 2,322 reference questions.
Next Steps: We will continue to track reference interactions using this software for the 2008-09 academic year.
Application Development assisted Network and Systems and the Publications office in populating the contact information for all students and staff in the ConnectED emergency contact system that was purchased and installed this year. Test emergency messages were delivered to 4755 telephone numbers and 2998 email addresses. Dennis Blake, Marcia Gullickson, and Cindy Goede have led efforts in LIS to coordinate deployment, facilitate data transfer and help train Luther staff on operation of the system.
Next Steps: We will continue to monitor and maintain this system.
We will build a stronger integrated information organization that respects the historical traditions of information professionals and also engenders an innovative and pioneering attitude for delivering integrated information service.
A comprehensive plan for marketing and constituent communication is being developed during summer 2008 for full deployment in fall 2008. This objective is current and ongoing.
Next Steps: Completion of the marketing plan and deployment in fall 2008.
Andi Beckendorf and Diane Gossman led a project to develop a internal communication plan for LIS. This work took place in fall 2007, with implementation of the plan in February 2008. The project grew out of a workshop attended by Andi and Diane sponsored by CLIR offering strategies for studying and interviewing users and how they interact with information. Using principles from the workshop, LIS staff spent time logging communication practices, taking a survey on communication, and serving in focus groups. A review team of Andi, Diane, Christopher Barth, Mark Johns, and Jennifer Green examined the data and co-viewed the recorded focus group sessions (facilitated by Ann Mansfield). A panel presentation has been proposed to the 2009 ACRL conference on this topic.
Next Steps: The communication plan has been amended and slightly expanded in summer 2008. The current version is attached. It will continue to be reviewed and revised as necessary.
The “Puffer Plan” is a rotating schedule of lunch meetings between two LIS staff. This schedule was published and employees encouraged to participate. Many employees have participated during the academic year.
Next Steps: Pending continued interest, the schedule will be continued for the 2008-09 academic year.
Geographic consolidation remains a priority for LIS, though physical circumstances do not present low-hanging fruit to harvest. As we begin to devote more attention to physical arrangements with the Library, this will continue to rise in importance. It is a priority to relocate existing LIS staff that are not in close proximity with other staff as soon as suitable arrangements can be identified.
Next Steps: This objective will be continued in 2008-09.
Our original emergency response document compiled in the 2006-07 academic year focused specifically on an LIS response to pandemic flu. In spring 2008, we have worked to expand this document to contemplate other emergency response scenarios. This expansion will be complete in July 2008 and will be regularly reviewed and expanded as appropriate.
Next Steps: The expanded plan will be completed in summer 2008 and will be reviewed again during the 2008-09 academic year.
A proposal for a name change for the library department to Library and Information Studies was submitted to the faculty via Dean Craft in November 2007. It was reviewed by academic divisions and was presented as an information item to the full faculty in spring 2008. The name change is now in effect and will facilitate the department in offering courses currently taught by LIS faculty under the General Studies label to be labeled as Library and Information Studies. Internships will also be offered under the new designation and will be broadened to include opportunities in all areas of information support. The department will be listed in the Course Catalog beginning with the 2008-09 academic year. Catalog copy was coordinated by Andi Beckendorf and John Goodin. The full rationale is attached.
Next Steps: This objective is complete. Courses previously taught under the General Studies label by LIS faculty will need to be migrated to the new designation.
An LIS-wide social team was created in fall 2007. Participants were Andi Beckendorf, Kathy Buzza, Martha Davis, Cindy Hansmeier, Andrew Olson, and Scott Bassford. Jean Dickman and Christopher Barth assisted the team. This new team coordinated a variety of events for LIS over the year and coordinated sympathy and congratulatory cards and gifts.
Next Steps: The team will continue in 2008-09 with some new additions following the departure of Andrew Olson and the resignation off the social team of Andi Beckendorf.
We will seek to hire, and maintain staff with an unparalleled commitment to service, outstanding skills, and team orientation. We will work to provide opportunities for professional growth and ongoing skills development for our existing staff and celebrate exceptional achievements. We will work to support our colleagues by encouraging one another to excel and succeed.
In spring 2008, LIS employees interested in discussing the employee review process met to brainstorm the positive and negative aspects of the existing system and to propose a modified model that might meet more needs of employees. There was a strong sense that performance evaluates are an important piece of professional development, but there was a level of frustration with the standard form and that the evaluation was not tied more directly to mission, vision, goals, and objectives of Luther and LIS.
To address this, several modifications were made to the standard Luther form, including giving the option for supervisors to use more narrative forms of evaluation provided they covered the same topics included in the form. Some additional questions were added to tie the employee’s work and performance directly to the goals and objectives of LIS and the mission of the College. A new Professional Development Plan was also developed to accompany the review and serve as a forward-looking document to baseline expectations for the coming year. We also elected to eliminate differences between exempt and non-exempt forms. (The revised forms are attached to this page).
Employees are also encourage to periodically participate in a 360 degree review that incorporates feedback from individuals across LIS and constituents from outside the organization. A form has been developed for this review and will be used beginning in summer 2008.
Supervisors are completing reviews in summer 2008 using the new structure, and they will also be asked to meet in January with employees to review progress. This new system covers all exempt and non-exempt employees. In 2008-09 we will look to add modified process to cover the administrative duties provided by our faculty as well. The faculty review process will remain unchanged. Under the faculty review process, Ryan Gjerde, John Goodin, Lindy Moeller and Germano Streese were evaluated in fall 2007 according to the guidelines of the Faculty Handbook. Andi Beckendorf was not evaluated this year since librarians with ongoing appointments only need to be evaluated every three years.
Next Steps: We will use the new process in the coming year and reevaluate in summer 2009.
Funding for staff development and training was adequate for 2007-08 and we did not deny or defer training for budgetary reasons. Internally, LIS budgets are not current calibrated or balanced when it comes to development and training budgets with some areas of LIS allocating more resource than others. Central budgets are currently used as necessary to augment team budgets.
Next Steps: This objective will be an ongoing one as we look more closely at our budget structure in 2008-09, and will be of particular note given the sharp increase in the cost of travel.
Scott Bassford was hired in September 2007 following a recruitment for a redefined position of Web Programmer Analyst. This position had been vacant since 2006. Serving on the recruiting team were John Goodin, Diane Gossman, Marcia Gullickson, Matt Hughes, Jane Kemp, Bob Puffer, Jean Ryan, Les Yaw, and Christopher Barth, .
Dave Huinker was hired in January 2008 following a recruitment for a redefined position of Systems Administrator. This position was vacant following the departure of Les Yaw in October 2007. Serving on the recruiting team were Bob Erickson, Adam Forsyth, John Goodin, Diane Gossman, Marcia Gullickson, Jane Kemp, Jean Ryan, Chris Stuckman, and Christopher Barth.
Matthew Baumann was hired in January 2008 following a recruitment for the position of Help Desk Technician. This position was vacant following the transition of Steve Smith from the Help Desk to Application Development as Web Programmer Analyst. Steve’s move followed the transition of Brian Jones to the Office of Publications. Serving on the recruiting team were Eddy Atwell, John Goodin, Diane Gossman, Marcia Gullickson, Matt Hughes, Jane Kemp, Andrew Olson, Steve Smith, and Christopher Barth.
Rebecca Sullivan was hired to a position beginning in August 2008 following a recruitment for the position of Academic Technology Librarian. This position was vacant following the departure of Kate Rattenborg in May 2008. Serving on the recruiting team were Andi Beckendorf, Ryan Gjerde, John Goodin, Diane Gossman, Marcia Gullickson, Brooke Joyce of the Department of Music, Jane Kemp, Bob Puffer, and Christopher Barth.
A staffing plan listing credit-bearing classes taught by librarians for 2008-2009 (including J-Term) was submitted to Dean Bill Craft. A proposal to move Germano Streese into a tenure-track position was denied in December 2007. Germano received a second three-year contract in March 2008.
Jane Kemp taught Paideia I during the fall semester. Germano Streese taught Paideia I for the full academic year. Andi Beckendorf taught a section of First-Year Honors (Fall and Spring), and taught GS 185: Burn that Book!: Censorship and Society (J-Term first-year seminar).
Jane Kemp, John Goodin, Rachel Vagts, Ryan Gjerde and Andi Beckendorf served as advisors during the 2007-08 academic year. Rachel Vagts began work in the regular reference rotation.
Jane Kemp served as academic department head for fall 2007 and then took sabbatical during the spring semester. During that time John Goodin served as acting department head.
LIS offers internship opportunities to students interested in gaining a greater understanding of work in information-related fields. In summer 2007, two interns spent time working in the library, Claire Tebbenhoff, a member of the class of 2008 and Amanda Oelrich a Luther alumna from the Class of 2006. Amanda’s internship was part of her graduate studies at Clarion University of Pennsylvania. In spring 2008, Meagan Esterby, class of 2008 also worked in the library. Heidi Madsen, also a member of the class of 2008 served as an intern beginning in summer 2008. Library internships have been coordinated by the team of Andi Beckendorf, Jane Kemp, and Germano Streese; John Goodin and Jane Kemp coordinated projects for the graduate internship.
Andi Beckendorf saw her article “Interlibrary Loan Staffing in Liberal Arts College Libraries” published in vol. 17, no. 4 (2007) of the Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery and E-Reserve. The article included the results of an original survey that was offered to schools throughout the country.
Ryan Gjerde served as Chair of the Electronic Communications Committee, of ILA/ACRL where he led the migration to a new web host, and implemented a new content management system (Drupal) to better allow other committees and members to contribute and maintain their own content. Ryan also gave presentations on Facebook and libraries at the ILA/ACRL Spring Conference in March and the Midwest Library Technology Conference in May.
Jane Kemp wrote an article in the fall issue of Agora entitled “Celebrating Fifty Years of Art” and in the winter 2008 issue of Luther Magazine with articles about the donation of the Paul Granlund sculpture, restoration of Gausta’s Closing the Bargain, and a Luther alumna who has several works in the collection. The Wildenhain Collection was described with essays by Kemp and Dave Kamm with photographs in the book edited by Dean Schwarz, Marguerite Wildenhain and the Bauhaus published in fall 2007.
John Goodin published the first and second of what will be an ongoing series of columns in the Mandolin Journal titled Digital Mando in the February and May, 2008 issues (vol. XXIV, no. 1 & no. 2). Also, in the February issue, published a bibliography of mandolin-oriented content that appears in the issues of S.S. Stewart’s Banjo and Guitar Journal (1891-1900, incomplete run) that were recently digitized by the University of Rochester’s Sibley Music Library.
John Goodin also continued upgrading his Communal Studies Bibliography (http://academic.luther.edu/~goodinjo/CSAbibliography.htm) by adding over 300 new citations and linking the citations to bibliographic records in WorldCat. Google Analytics reveals that, between June 2007 and May 2008 the bibliography was visited 2,529 times by 2,331 visitors from 63 countries.
Rachel Vagts presented at the spring meeting of the Midwest Archives Conference on the role of the archivist in the integrated library/IT setting. She is also serving as the Society of American Archivists’ Key Contact for Iowa and was appointed by Governor Chet Culver to the Iowa Historical Records Advisory Board.
Looking forward to the future, LIS seeks to align our goals and priorities with the broader initiatives of Luther College. The following list of strategic emphases have been identified as critical for LIS in the coming years.
Expansion of Information Literacy, Fluency and Training Initiatives
We believe that in our information-based economy, learning critical information literacy skills in college is an integral piece to a 21st century liberal arts education. Our graduates need to have consistent and intentional instruction on critical evaluation and use of information sources and resources in order to function successfully in business and in life. Previous generations of students and employees have relied upon the publishing industry to serve as arbiters of quality information. The digital age makes understanding information and its proper use the responsibility of the end user.
Information “fluency” implies not only the skills necessary to interpret information, but also the accompanying technology skills to use information technology effectively, and the ability to effectively communicate information in meaningful ways. We believe that Luther graduates should have strong skills in information research, critical analysis, and technology as they enter the workforce. We believe faculty and administrators overestimate the technology fluency of our students, and we seek to expand our technology training opportunities for students.
LIS seeks to expand our information fluency programs by partnering more deeply with faculty across the curriculum and expanding our commitments to provide this service to the College. Additional emphasis on this priority and focused resources in this area will promote this. This is an initiative where Luther can distinguish itself among our competitor institutions.
Expansion of Academic Technology Support
The role of technology in education continues to grow significantly and the technology demands and responsibilities being placed on our faculty are growing. Over the last fifteen years, most schools like Luther have developed teams of instructional technologists who partner with faculty to support and engage them in using appropriate technology in their classrooms. We currently have one faculty position in the library with the responsibility of coordinating all academic technology initiatives, with an additional 1.5 staff FTE devoted to general computer labs and our course management system. While this gives us broad coverage, it does not afford us the opportunity to truly support faculty who seek to innovate. We see multimedia technologies becoming critically important in the future in the classroom as faculty want to create and use more digital multimedia to record courses, connect virtually with others off-campus, and encourage authoring scholarly content in multimedia. Our faculty also need more support for departmentally-focused computer labs, which currently are not supported or replaced appropriately by LIS or the departments, and are critical to curricula across the College. Our recent MISO survey of faculty and students does illustrate a general weakness in this area for Luther.
While further investment in Academic Technology support at Luther will have a direct and meaningful impact on the ability of Luther faculty, students, and the curriculum to stay technologically current, it will also help provide the infrastructure needed to support more innovative uses of our academic content for our extended alumni community. Additional multimedia infrastructure and support will allow us to make interactive content more broadly available via the Internet, to engage those away from Luther in the intellectual and cultural life here. By investing in our multimedia and classroom technology infrastructure and support, we can realize significant new capabilities to serving our local and extended communities.
Focus on Web-Based Delivery of Services
We seek to push Luther to innovate in the area of web delivery of services. The Internet brings unparalleled opportunities to provide on-demand information-based services. We feel Luther should invest in prioritizing web-based services to serve both the local and extended communities. This includes implementation of new and expanded portals/virtual communities for students, employees, and alumni. LIS is currently reconfiguring staffing in our programming resources to focus more effort in this area, though we are hampered by the volume and complexity of these systems. We believe that additional investment and commitment of resources in LIS and elsewhere are important to growing this initiative.
It is clear that if we are truly to engage our extended community of alumni and friends internationally, the Internet will be a central tool to accomplishing this. We seek to identify or develop innovative and meaningful web-based tools to enable more effective delivery of academic resources for our faculty and students, and to connect our alumni and friends to the vibrant intellectual and cultural community of the College.
Focus on Communication
As an institution, we need to be smarter about what and how we communicate. LIS provides an excellent case study of this issue. The services provided by LIS are complex and broad, and just maintaining internal communication regarding our services is a challenge in and of itself. Communicating the possibilities and opportunities available through services provided by LIS to our users is even more difficult. At the same time we want to provide a clearer and more effective message for our users, we also do not want to add to the communication noise of their daily lives.
LIS seeks to be intentional about designing and conforming to a communications plan with the campus that enhances information flow in a controlled and manageable way. We hope that this can foster and support additional conversations across campus to help manage and guide communication to make it more effective.
Expanded Commitment to Network Security
As network-borne threats continue to change and evolve, we must continually reevaluate our risks and exposures while working to ensure a secure and well-functioning data network. Network security will be an area that LIS will continue to devote more and more time and effort to over the coming years, and the liabilities for not doing so will grow as well. Many institutions of our size have designated specific network security personnel to be responsible for strategic and day-to-day network security duties. This is a direction that Luther should be considering as well. Providing dedicated resources to defend against these sorts of events is often the best insurance policy we put in place.
In order for our local and extended communities to know and trust our remote services, we should demonstrate a strong commitment to network security, privacy, and data stewardship, so that our constituents can feel comfortable networking with us.
Expansion of LIS Services to Alumni
As Luther seeks to create a stronger and more intentional community inclusive of alumni, LIS will need to reevaluate how we can use technology to connect geographically diverse populations into a strong Luther-centric virtual community. Historically, LIS has appropriately focused support efforts on campus-based constituents as primary consumers of information services. Because technology provides many of the avenues to best connect with our alumni body, LIS should develop a leading role in connecting those remote to our campus with our campus community. This will involve expansion of virtual communities, directories, email services, and multimedia delivery of content from campus.
An emphasis on this service is emerging through the broad Luther strategic planning process and should be carried forward in the coming years.
Pursuit of Expanded Consortial Relationships
A principle coping mechanism for colleges and universities facing rising costs in both library and technology arenas has been to band together with similar institutions to gain benefit through greater purchasing power and access to expanded collections. Historically, Luther has not developed strong consortial ties with regional institutions, which has resulted in the institution having access to fewer resources than some other similar schools, and maintaining higher operating costs for some functions necessary for enterprise information support operations. Lack of consortial relationships also significantly affects training and professional development opportunities available to Luther faculty and staff.
LIS seeks to engage similar regional schools to gain broader networks of academic resources to support our work. While we may be competitors with other regional schools in some realms, for information service and support, consortial arrangements are win-win for everyone in keeping costs manageable while expanding available resources.
Expansion of Services for Mobile Technologies
Technology is moving mobile and with the now emergent viable mobile devices combining web, chat, email, and voice communications, Luther should focus some effort to make services available via mobile and portable technologies. While this encompasses a need for designing network-based services that can be used efficiently via mobile devices, it also includes a recognition of a broad move toward deployment of mobile technologies and hardware for employees and students (more laptops and mobile devices). Over time, we see a laptop or other portable computing device being the primary device for nearly all Luther employees and students. Our infrastructure will need to evolve to support this mobile world. We may also need to work closely with third-party mobile network and technology providers to ensure that appropriate infrastructure exists in Decorah and on our campus.
A focus on our constituents and their work to support the mission of Luther College
Support for students
Support for faculty
Support for administration
Engaging and collaborating with our peers
Depth and breadth in resources
Simplicity in product, tool, and service
Innovation in products, tools, and service
Integrated information organization and services
The attached documents are original team reports from within LIS.