Annual Report 2012-13

In the 2012-13 academic year ILS staff completed more projects and implemented more plans than in any single year in recent memory. Systems Development and Integration put at least one major system into production each month of the year. With expert project management services from Facility Services, the Library, User Services, Network, Mathematics and Statistics, and Writing staffs completed the planning of the library renovation to realize the vision of an integrated physical facility for library, technology, writing, and mathematics and statistics services. Network and Infrastructure Services completed a first phase of wireless upgrade in the residence halls, completed a full survey of wireless coverage on the campus, and, using the results of the survey, planned for the upgrade of wireless in the rest of the campus. We completed the transition to Google Apps for Education with an integration of the class schedule information from Banner into student and faculty personal calendars, and began training users of all types on the effective use of other Google features. Library staff from Colby, Bowdoin and Bates studied the future of our shared library service and decided to combine the library systems into a unified catalog and processing system, making future efficiencies possible and reducing the ongoing cost for all. And working with other Maine libraries we developed and implemented a plan to assure that we retain the research collections of the state for the future.

Progress this year was not always in a straight line. While we had been working on developing a “learning commons” for the campus, it became clear that plans for the library would need to be reexamined in the context of emerging plans for other facilities nearby. We reconceived the project to make only the changes in the library that are needed to provide seamless access to the services already in the building. Though this is a scaled-down project it will be a significant improvement in the facilities we devote to student learning. A water emergency resulted in the closing of Pettigrew Hall. Two major ILS groups (Systems Development and Integration and the Digital Media Studios) relocated to alternate locations on campus. The plans for the renovation of Pettigrew hold promise for the future, but the achievements of these staff members have to be appreciated even more, given that major disruptions in their workflows became commonplace.

What follows is a brief summary of progress ILS staff made on the goals we set for 2013. For the strategic context of these goals, see: ILS Strategic Directions 2011-2016. As we prepare for new campus initiatives in teaching, learning and campus life, we are mindful that our work would not be so rewarding were it not for a campus environment that embraces continual change in technology and information. Our job is to help make this transition as smooth as possible, but we are grateful that we do not push forward alone, but rather in partnership with faculty and staff members, serving students who want to learn.

Respectfully submitted,
Gene Wiemers
Vice President for Information and Library Services and Librarian of the College
August 2013


Teaching, Learning and Research

Conduct systematic outreach with the faculty, looking for opportunities to improve services and collections, and promote/support creativity, experimentation and innovation.

  • Technology staff consulted with more than 100 members of the faculty on technology projects, including Lyceum, Google Apps, GIS, video, classroom response systems, and specialized curricular and research applications.
  • Offered faculty workshop series with focus on Google Apps, including Sites and Docs
  • Library staff reached the highest higher percentage of first-year seminars (89%) with instructional activities, and more than doubled the number of sessions (146), 
  • Library staff increased in the number of open workshops, especially with promotion of RefWorks (15), and conducted more than 70 classroom sessions.
  • Worked to strengthen connections between library and technology staff, and looked for opportunities for joint programming, including promotion of SCARAB and Etna secure storage system for research data. 
  • Rolled out new library WordPress website with the new Bates web design. The focus is more outreach to users, more information on new services, and ease of access to all the scholarly information. Experimented with using in-library electronic sign as an alternative form of information delivery. Exploring use of this highly visible medium for all ILS news.

Work with President Spencer and other campus leaders to create a faculty and staff team to explore ways to support and enhance innovative pedagogy at Bates.

  • Established more formalized relationships with Dean of Faculty’s office with regard to technology support.
  • Worked with the President and academic deans on formation of new team for support of innovative pedagogy which will become more defined and active in 2013-14.

Plan and implement renovation of Ladd Library for near term needs.

  • Completed library plan with focus on spaces for collaborative work, enhance access to electric power for users’ electronic devices, and transparent access to learning services in the library, including Writing and Speaking Center and Mathematics and Statistics Workshop.
  • Rearranged audio and video collections to provide for open stack access whenever possible.
  • Installed A/V equipment in Ladd G28, provide viewing and listening space for up to 22 people. Completed the upgrade of AV equipment in all the viewing rooms, including connections for laptop computers and other mobile devices.
  • Developed new library signage to be implemented in the summer.
  • Redesigned and improved staff work spaces for circulation and interlibrary loan staff, and eliminated the physical barriers between these groups. This will enable the staff to design more efficient workflows as technology and information formats change.
  • Continued to enhance the Reserves collection to include items on required reading lists for bookstore sales. We reduced reserves to a single list to reduce confusion among library patrons, and reduce staff time required to process the materials. We continued to evaluate the effectiveness of this program, and made recommendations for changes in 2013-14.

Test new course management systems to find next iteration of Lyceum, to account for end of Moodle 1.9x.

  • Migrated to new version of Moodle.

Explore and potentially expand and extend use of “classroom capture” technology for instructional and administrative use.

  • Installed class capture in five additional classrooms and supported use by seven courses.

Technology for the entire campus

Support Campus Connect communications project, phase 2: events scheduler, public calendar, integration of Banner course information and Google calendar, listserv revision/replacement, campus portal.

  • Implemented EMS scheduling software and prepared for rollout of new college master calendar in Fall 2013.
  • Banner schedule information fed to Google calendar for all faculty and students. All course information as well as physical education classes are fed (September 2012).

Implement productivity/efficiency improvements

  • EZproxy for Library (August 2012).
  • Degreeworks – degree audit for students and advisors. (September 2012).
  • Talent Management – new performance development system to replace Success Factors (October 2012).
  • Advancement Self Service Live including a view of event attendance (October 2012).
  • Banner Document Management System (BDMS). Electronic document management system for admission applications and related materials (November 2012).
  • Axiom data transfer tool for moving Common App information into Banner (November 2012).
  • Report Exec Incident Reporting System provides recording and reporting capabilities for Security and Campus Safety including federally mandated security reports (January 1, 2013).
  • Faculty Personnel System for promotions and tenure decisions (February 2012).
  • Secure Electronic Transcripts (May 2013).
  • Transitioned from R25 to Events Management System (EMS) (June 2013).

Implement network and infrastructure improvements

  • Implemented file backup solution for Apple computers.
  • Evaluated replacement for end-of-life voice mail system, and prepared for summer 2013 upgrade. 
  • Upgraded C911 with new hardware and software.
  • Upgraded NetApp storage for campus-wide use, replacing all Netapp storage controllers.
  • Computer room reorganization and power upgrade implemented in New Commons.
  • Significant renovation designs for Chase Hall, Pettigrew Hall (following the water damage), Ladd Library (fiber and wireless).
  • Upgraded network core ring to 10gb on Juniper EX stack switches.
  • Upgraded backup systems Virtual Tape Library to new hardware.
  • Upgraded server hardware in all virtual server clusters.
  • Created 50+ new virtual servers to support applications across campus.
  • Evaluated providers of off-site computing services and selected Oxford Networks.
  • Implemented a new VPN system for remote access for college-owned computers.
  • Increased network support for video streaming. This will now be an ongoing issue until network switches are upgraded in all campus buildings. 
  • Planned network upgrades for Carnegie and Dana Chemistry for implementation summer 2014.

Support the ability of staff and faculty to use constantly changing technology.

  • Implemented a full‐year technology instruction plan and delivered 48 courses for 425 faculty and staff.
  • Developed online data security curriculum for faculty, staff and student employees for Fall 2013 rollout.
  • Refined and extended live streaming service and supported streaming of over 100 athletic contests, inaugural events, academic activities and commencement
  • Expanded support for web‐based conferencing and supported over 100 video conference calls across campus.
  • In the library, staff learned the new national-standard cataloging rules (RDA) and began providing access to Bates information content using RDA rather than AACR2.
  • Created computer output jobs to allow staff to do their work themselves without IT intervention.

Mobile connectivity on and off the campus

  • Completed the wireless upgrade for the large dormitories that had not been recently built or renovated (Smith, Adams, the Village, JB, Rand, Page, 280 College, Parker), including in some cases wireless access points in individual rooms when signal strength required it.
  • Conducted a campus-wide wireless coverage assessment. Adaptive Communications surveyed all brick buildings on campus and selected wood frame structures and provided recommendations for “N” standard wireless coverage throughout. Planned FY 2014 upgrades based on this information.
  • Implemented multiple 10GB links to all 3 Aruba wireless controllers.
  • Implemented new wireless portal for visitors to the campus.
  • Implemented encryption solution for data-at-rest on Windows laptops. Macs will require more investigation.
  • Worked with Bates Communications Office to explore options for mobile application developments, including websites with mobile view and web apps. Purchased Ellucian mobile suite for FY 2014 deployment. 
  • Changed to EZproxy for sign-on to library databases from off campus. Enhances users’ ability to use library information regardless of their location.

Management and partnerships

  • Refined electronic thesis submission process with faculty committee and faculty advisors. 
  • Extend use of digital repository (SCARAB) for academic and administrative documents and other digital assets.
  • Assessed and revised budgets and schedules for technology replacement, software maintenance, network switch replacement, and cable TV/phone/Internet services. Worked with Finance on new budget model in response to this assessment.
  • Re-examined the basics of student printing with environmental and student groups. Conducted cost-benefit assessment of current system of managing printing without charge to users and decided to continue with this model.

Explore alternative technology platforms for CBB, NExpress, MaineCat and Maine archives connections with state and regional library partners, and MaineRen and I2 computing partners.

  • Worked with NExpress on assessment of future technology platforms for this collaboration. Decided to stay with current InnReach technology.
  • Decided, with Colby and Bowdoin, to move to combined CBB library catalog on Innovative Interfaces technology. Developed budget plans and implementation schedules for go-live date in early Winter semester, 2014. The new catalog will replace three stand-alone catalogs and the Aquabrowser CBB catalog service. Should result in service improvements and significant cost savings for all of us.
  • Developed Maine Shared Collections Cooperative with seven other large Maine libraries to agree to and record decisions on retention of printed books so that the research collections of the state are preserved for the future.
  • Implementing the Summon “discovery service” to extend access to the electronic content the library subscribes to. Implementation is a Bates version, with significant collaboration among CBB partners regarding options and the reasons for differences among the three.