Campus Update: Summer 2016
Learning Information and Technology Services
In Support of College Initiatives, LITS …
Created the InfoDesk in Pelletier to provide students easier access to technology support over longer hours and to better position Pelletier as a key resource for student learning. The InfoDesk merges the computing help and circulation desks, and is located immediately to the left as you enter Pelletier.
Collaborated with Physical Plant and the faculty and staff in Carnegie Hall to remove, relocate, and reinstall office, classroom, network, and lab technology as part of the Carnegie Hall Renovation.
Created the Allegheny College Civil War collection in Shared Shelf. Shared Shelf is a project of ArtSTOR designed to make it easy for institutions to share images, both within the institution and globally via the web. The project will provide greater visibility for the College and the unique items housed in the College’s Special Collections. The Civil War collection, which is currently limited to on-campus access, contains images of manuscripts and other materials from the Civil War era. The collection will be added to Shared Shelf Commons and shared globally later this year. Future projects will share more images from Special Collections, including digital images of the Russian icons contained in the College’s Hulmer Collection, as well as images of illuminated manuscripts owned by the College. This work is supported by a grant from the Council of Independent Colleges, which is being supported by the A.W. Mellon Foundation.
In spring 2016, the Library awarded the first annual Undergraduate Research Awards in celebration of student excellence in the research process and the importance of student research in the College’s educational program.
To Position the College for the Future, LITS …
Negotiated an agreement to increase Internet bandwidth to 1GB, which is approximately one third more bandwidth than we had last academic year. We are also updating electronics and adding fiber so that we can support a 10GB connection and add internet service as needed.
Invited three vendors to demonstrate library service platforms (LSP), which would replace the College’s current administrative and catalog system. A committee is working to evaluate advantages / disadvantages associated with moving to a new system. The goal is to determine whether moving to an LSP would be more cost-effective and better support the operation of current and future library services.
Expanded projects to trial “evidenced-based” procurement of library resources, which promises to meet patron needs better while reducing total cost.
Will fill vacancies in the library technical services and enterprise services teams. These newly described positions provide opportunities for the College to acquire new skill sets aligned with future needs.
Began planning to upgrade to Sakai 11 in December 2016. Sakai 11 brings enhanced functionality to our learning management system, and utilizes a mobile-friendly design.
To Improve Operational Effectiveness, LITS …
Transitioned from streaming course videos through ShareStream to Google Drive. Recent changes to Google Drive’s sharing permissions as well as Google’s decision to provide educational customers unlimited storage has enabled LITS to offer a comparable or better level of service to students and faculty at a greatly reduced cost while continuing to protect the rights of content owners.
Established open office hours, commonly referred to as “Fun Fridays,” for our enterprise services group to provide space and time for key users of enterprise and information systems like Colleague, EMS, Gator Connect, etc.. to work with ITS staff. Fun Fridays occur Friday afternoon from 3-5 in Murray Hall.
Created a new collection / depository of college syllabi in DSpace. This project will be managed and maintained by Merrick Archives.
Relocated team offices within Murray Hall to reinforce our integrated teams approach to supporting the technology and information environment of campus.
Engaged Schneider Downs to conducted an IT Security Audit of processes related to hardware security, process controls, change management, and penetration testing. The experience has been very positive, allowing the team to critique current practices to make sure they continue to be aligned with industry standards and meet the needs of the Allegheny community. Results of the assessment are anticipated in mid Fall 2016.
Began reorganizing staff roles in the Resources and Metadata Management (RMM) area of the library in response to retirements in RMM and Merrick Archives. A technical services specialist now works jointly with RMM and Archives, and work in RMM is being streamlined.
To maintain and enhance the College’s Technology Currency, LITS …
Refreshed classroom technology in Doane Chemistry, Steffee and Carr Hall, and installed a new classroom in Brooks Hall for Interdisciplinary Studies.
Conducted preventative maintenance on networking equipment in administration, residential, and academic buildings. Yearly maintenance efforts ensure reliability and position the college to meet future network needs more economically.