Week in Review – 9 May 2014

IT Strategy Survey: An Overview Perspective

Several weeks ago, a select though broad population at the Academy was asked to contribute to a survey regarding IT service and priorities. More than 400 individuals participated and the data helps provide some insight into overall IT satisfaction in a number of different areas, as well as give us a look at where the community places high priority on IT service. This data will be fed into our IT Strategy group for consideration as we look at our institutional priorities for the coming year.

The linked document below provides a high level look at the survey responses for the entire population. There are three goals within the mission of our IT Strategy group and each goal has several areas of focus underneath.

  • Goal 1: We require technology that is enabling, efficient, and innovative to best equip cadets with the awareness, experience and skills our Nation will need in the future.
  • We seek a technology infrastructure that is transparent, ubiquitous, and responsive to
    rapidly changing curricular and institutional requirements.
  • We seek an operational environment that is stable, secure, open, mission-oriented, and
    appropriate for delivering an outstanding undergraduate education for cadets.

In the document, each goal is listed along with the specific areas of focus underneath. Each goal and area is labeled by number (G1A3 is Goal 1, Area 3).

A few takeaways:

  • Overall satisfaction is generally good across nearly all areas. Neutral/Don’t know answers are a significant portion of responses as well.
  • The second goal regarding infrastructure has a generally higher level of satisfaction than our support and environment.
  • Responses tended to be consistent with themselves. If a person was very satisfied with one service, they tended to be very satisfied with many. Negative opinions tracked the same way.
  • Only one area had both a statistically low satisfaction rating and a statistically high dissatisfaction rating (G1A2) which involved providing an area wherein customers can test new technologies for us in an educational environment without the restrictions imposed by DA policy and regulation
  • When it came to prioritization, G1A1 (Improve efforts to enable cadets in their use of technology), G1A4 (Ensure users have access to responsive first line client support trained in the applications and hardware being used), G2A2 (Provide an ever-present and capable data network), and G3A1 (Promote technologies which enable staff and faculty to perform their essential duties with ease) were each placed significantly higher than other areas.

IT Strategy 2014 Overview

Preparatory Reading for USMA Library Strategic Planning (Revised List #2)

In a few weeks, library staff will be spending some time doing some long-range strategic thinking about where we as an organization need to position ourselves to best serve the evolving needs of the U.S. Military Academy. In preparation for that work, I would ask that library staff review the following materials that should inform our thinking and planning:

  • Ithaka S+R US Library Survey 2013In the Ithaka S+R US Library Survey 2013 report we examine how the leaders of academic libraries are approaching systemic changes in their environment and the opportunities and constraints they face in leading their organizations. While exploring key topics covered in our 2010 survey of library directors, such as strategic planning, collecting practices, and library services, in 2013 we also introduced a new emphasis on organizational dynamics, leadership issues, and undergraduate services. (from their website)
  • NMC Horizon Report > 2014 Higher Education EditionThe NMC Horizon Report > 2014 Higher Education Edition is a collaborative effort between the NMC and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI), an EDUCAUSE Program. This eleventh edition describes annual findings from the NMC Horizon Project, an ongoing research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in education. Six key trends, six significant challenges, and six emerging technologies are identified across three adoption horizons over the next one to five years, giving campus leaders and practitioners a valuable guide for strategic technology planning. The format of the report is new this year, providing these leaders with more in-depth insight into how the trends and challenges are accelerating and impeding the adoption of educational technology, along with their implications for policy, leadership and practice. (from their website)
  • The Academic Library of the Future (Only available on post to staff) – This report looks at the characteristics that constitute the “academic library of the future,” highlighting recent innovations that are most effective at reducing library costs and utilizing existing resources. Economic, technological, and socio-cultural factors are considered. (from the report)
  • Top 10 IT Issues(Added 18 April) This annual report looks at significant issues in information technology and information access in higher education and is issued by EDUCAUSE.
  • USMA Strategic Plan(Added 25 April) This is the U.S. Military Academy’s Strategic Plan put in place last year and describes the focus of the Academy for the next five years.
  • USMA Academic Program Strategic Plan(Added 25 April) This is the plan developed by the Office of the Dean that describes areas of strategic importance for the coming five years.

USMA Library Events

The events below will likely affect USMA Library and Jefferson Hall operations in the coming week.

Date USMA O/DEAN USMA Library Jefferson Hall Hours
Fri 9 May 2014 D-Day Ceremony Week in Review Retirement Ceremony 0700-2100
Sat 10 May 2014 TEEs 0900-2100
Sun 11 May 2014 1100-2315
Mon 12 May 2014 TEEs  Academic Luncheon 0700-2315
Tue 13 May 2014  TEEs Supt. Brief / Division Heads Retirement Ceremony 0700-2315
Wed 14 May 2014  TEEs Dean’s Staff Meeting Liaisons 0700-2315
Thu 15 May 2014 TEEs 0700-2315
Fri 16 May 2014 TEEs Week in Review Retirement Ceremony 0700-2315

USMA Library Metrics

USMA Library tracks a number of key statistics to measure service levels. These are their stories …

7APR-13APR 14APR-20APR 21APR-27APR 28APR-4MAY
Access Services
Items Charged Out 1,045 895 555 523
Gate Count 5,313 5,238 5,035 10,056
ILL Article Requests 42 23 24 25
ILL Book Requests 9 9 14 11
Administrative Services
DV Tours 0 0 0 1
Significant Events Hosted 2 5 2 7
Events/Meetings Attended 18 25 20 12
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 85 78 42 29
Library Instruction Sessions 0 1 0 0
Cadets Attending Sessions 0 9 0 0
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 84 94 113 31
Items Added – Digital 34,907 557 34 38
Items Added – GovDocs 56 15 44 63
Items Added – Other 1 0 0 0
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 100 175 86 70
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 41 38 58
Research Visits < 1 hour 6 14 5
Research Visits < 1 day 4 1 4
Research Visits > 1 day 1 1 0
Instruction Sessions 0 0 0
Cadets Taught 0 0 0
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 4,654 5,804 4,135 3,509
LibGuides Visits 496 666 513 411
Digital Collections Visits 248 298 282 260
Facebook Visits 42 45 35 44
Public Printer Prints 5,702 8,437 8,887 17,223
Public Printer Copies 410 231 298 630
Public Printer Scans 155 105 47 151

Food for Thought

A few quotations from the past week about libraries, information, technology, and the future

  • “It serves to chill the unbridled, cost-free collection of data,” said Albert Gidari Jr., a partner at Perkins Coie who represents several technology companies. “And I think that’s a good thing.” The Justice Department disagrees, saying in a statement that new industry policies threaten investigations and put potential crime victims in greater peril. “These risks of endangering life, risking destruction of evidence, or allowing suspects to flee or intimidate witnesses are not merely hypothetical, but unfortunately routine,” department spokesman Peter Carr said, citing a case in which early disclosure put at risk a cooperative witness in a case. He declined to offer details because the case was under seal.” – Apple, Facebook, others defy authorities, increasingly notify users of secret data demands after Snowden revelations – The Washington Post
  • “A humanities culture that prizes thinking and writing will tend to look down on making and building as banausic—the kind of labor that can be outsourced to non-specialists. Digital humanities gains some of its self-confidence from the democratic challenge that it mounts to that old distinction. “Personally, I think Digital Humanities is about building things,” said Ramsay in a polarizing talk at the MLA convention in 2011, printed in Defining Digital Humanities. Unlike many theorists, however, he was willing to make this demand concrete: “Do you have to know how to code? I’m a tenured professor of digital humanities and I say ‘yes.’ ” Naturally, most humanities professors, even digital ones, do not know how to code, and Ramsay’s bluntness caused a backlash: “boy, did this get me in trouble,” he writes in a note to his essay. There is something admirable about this frankness: if digital humanities is to be a distinctive discipline, it should require distinctive skills.” – The limits of the digital humanities, by Adam Kirsch | New Republic
  • “The average employee spent only 48 minutes per day using Office, largely the Outlook email client, which consumed about 68 percent of that activity. Excel was in second place with 17 percent, or an average of 8 minutes per day, leaving Word and PowerPoint trailing with only 5 minutes and 2 minutes per day each.” – Microsoft Office applications barely used by many employees, new study shows – Techworld.com
  • “IBM’s Watson supercomputer has already mastered Jeopardy! and can even whip up an innovative recipe. Next step: it’ll be elected to the presidency after dominating against humans in a series of debates. The computer’s new Debater function is what it sounds like: after being given a topic, Watson will mine millions of Wikipedia articles until it determines the pros and cons of a controversial topic, and will the enumerate the merits of both sides. Argument over. Move along. Or, maybe not. … Watson searches Wikis for the pros and cons of banning the sale of violent videogames to minors. After less than a minute, the computer churns out a few points, but they’re conflicting: Watson suggests violent videogames both cause violent acts and that there is not a causal link between violent games and real violence. Which, in fact, is about right. Different studies have come to wildly different conclusions about the correlation between violence in games and violent acts. That’s why Watson doesn’t yet make value decisions about which side of a debate is “correct,” but only lists the points generally brought up by both sides. So you’ll still have to make up your own mind about what’s right. (Ugh, I know. Sorry.) But if nothing else, contrarianism just got a lot easier.” – IBM’s Watson Can Now Argue For You | Popular Science
  • “Commercial antivirus pioneer Symantec has finally admitted publicly what critics have been saying for years: the growing inability of the scanning software to detect the majority of malware attacks makes it “dead” and “doomed to failure,” according to a published report.” – Antivirus pioneer Symantec declares AV “dead” and “doomed to failure” | Ars Technica
  • “Over a lifetime, the average U.S. college graduate will earn at least $800,000 more than the average high school graduate, a study published Monday by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco shows. That’s after accounting for the high cost of college tuition and the four years of wages lost during the time it takes to complete a typical undergraduate degree, the researchers found.” – Skip College and Forfeit $800,000, Fed Study Says – NBC News.com
  • “Most people under 40 probably would agree police should never have the right to rummage through our entire lives without a particular purpose based on probable cause.Yet during arguments, Justice Roberts insinuated that police might reasonably suspect a person who carries two cellphones of being a drug dealer. Is he unaware that a large portion of the DC political class with which he associates – including many of his law clerks – carries both a personal and business phone, daily? The chief justice of the Supreme Court of the United States may have proved this week that he can throw out tech lingo like “Facebook” and even “Fitbit”, but he is trapped in the closet from reality. This is not the first time justices have opened themselves up to mockery for their uninitiated take on tech issues. Just last week, in the copyright case against Aereo, the justices’ verbal reach seemed to exceed their grasp, as they inadvertently invented phrases like “Netflick” and “iDrop”, among others. Before that, many ripped Justice Roberts for seemingly not knowing the difference between a pager and email. And then there was the time when a group of them tried to comprehend text messages, or when the justices and counsel before them agreed that “any computer group of people” could write most software “sitting around the coffee shop … over the weekend.” (Hey, at least Ginsburg reads Slate.)” – Technology law will soon be reshaped by people who don’t use email | Trevor Timm | Comment is free | theguardian.com
  • “They are deliberately harming the service they deliver to their paying customers,” Taylor wrote. “They are not allowing us to fulfil the requests their customers make for content.” Which six ISPs are we talking about here? Taylor stops short of naming them, but he still manages to shame them. “Five of those congested peers are in the United States and one is in Europe,” he said. “There are none in any other part of the world. All six are large Broadband consumer networks with a dominant or exclusive market share in their local market. In countries or markets where consumers have multiple Broadband choices (like the UK) there are no congested peers.” – Level 3 calls out Comcast, TWC and others for ‘deliberately harming’ their own broadband service – Yahoo News
  • “Take notes by hand, and you have to process information as well as write it down. That initial selectivity leads to long-term comprehension. “I don’t think we’re gonna get more people to go back to notebooks necessarily,” Mueller said. “Tablets might be the best of both worlds—you have to choose what to write down, but then you have the electronic copy.” – To Remember a Lecture Better, Take Notes by Hand – Robinson Meyer – The Atlantic
  • “On Monday (May 5) Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law that will impose fines on creators or promoters of books, music, theater performances, and films that contain profanity. In addition, existing works that contain profanity will have to carry warning labels. This law takes effect July 1; a similar law that affects bloggers with more than 3,000 daily page views will take effect in August. Although the definition of “foul language” is not made clear, a panel of experts can be called in to determine if a particular word qualifies as profanity.” – New Russian Law Will Ban All Profanity In The Arts | IdeaFeed | Big Think
  • “The shift to digital that has demolished some print publications is very much generational. And, from a generational perspective, this shift is only just beginning. Media consumers in their 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s grew up reading newspapers and magazines. Old habits die hard. Many of these consumers will never be as comfortable with digital as they are with paper, and they will keep reading newspapers and magazines until the day they die. But media consumers in the 0s, 10s, 20s, and 30s have no such print habits or allegiances. To them, the idea of printing information on a dead tree and then trucking it to houses and newsstands seems ludicrous, old-fashioned, inconvenient, and wasteful. To these folks, paper-based publications are a pain to carry and search, easy to misplace, and hard to share, and the information in them is outdated the moment it appears. For those who weren’t raised on paper, digital is superior in almost every way.” – Media Usage By Age – Business Insider
  • “The Navy is making 365 devices at first, with more to follow. The Navy plans to send about five to each submarine to be shared between multiple people. Each reader is preloaded with 300 books that will never change. The selection includes modern fiction like Tom Clancy and James Patterson, who are popular in the Navy, as well as nonfiction, the classics, and “a lot of naval history,” says Carrato. The library program is supposed to make sailors feel more at home when they’re abroad. But the limited selection — a small subset of the Navy’s 108,000 digital library titles — reflects the military’s culture of imposed discipline. iPads, Kindles, and Nooks would also allow sailors to download whatever titles they want (although finding an internet signal would still be a challenge). The NeRD lets the Navy control their reading habits just as it does with their diet and sleep schedule.” – The Navy just announced an e-reader designed for life on a submarine | The Verge

Excerpted from Infoneer Pulse, a digital commonplace book curated by Christopher Barth.