2016-2017 ILS Annual Report
With impact on nearly all facets of work and life at Bates, the work of ILS is a reflection of the work of the college. Though a transitional year in terms of leadership, 2016-2017 saw many successes on the part of the ILS staff including the normal mixture of upgrades, maintenance, and introduction of new services.
ILS By the Numbers
- 85% of Research Desk questions involve how to use a research tool or skills
- 148 research instruction sessions
- 556 student initiated research consultations
- 85 in-class technology instruction sessions
- 317,423 library visitors
- 573,498 library items circulated
- 10,578 Help Desk tickets
- 585 classroom technology calls
- 23 classrooms and event spaces upgraded
- 94.84% average satisfaction with overall computing services (per MISO survey)
- 98.9% average satisfaction with overall library services (per MISO survey)
Help Desk Services
In order to strengthen service and improve the quality and timeliness of responses, we introduced a new service desk website, including an all-new FAQ section and the ability for users to enter and verify on status of tickets. We aso introduced service level agreements for basic services and began work on a service catalog. As well, all Help Desk requests (whether email, phone, voicemail, walkup) are now recorded in a unified ticketing system.
As usual, new software platforms were researched, tested, and implemented in the past year. Below are some highlights and the departments with whom we partnered:
- Slate (Admissions)
- Advizor (Advancement)
- Internship Exchange Database (Bates Career Development Center)
- EmbARK (Museum)
- Bates Alcohol Education Program (Student Affairs)
- StarRez and Titanium (Student Affairs)
- Banner Document Management (Finance/Administration and Advancement)
- Maximo (Facilities)
- Wherescape Red (Advancement and Institutional Research)
- Student Census Data Warehouse (Institutional Research)
- Campaign website (www.bates.edu/campaign)
- Learning Objectives interface via the Garnet Gateway (Academic Affairs)
In addition, we made significant progress in shifting business intelligence and reporting from Hyperion to Argos. We also partnered with the Registrar to rewrite the registration algorithm, giving students more access to needed courses.
Bates participated in the annual MISO Survey. The results of the 2017 survey, while generally very positive, revealed 3 significant areas where students in particular find our services less than satisfactory:
- Performance of wireless on campus
- Physical comfort in the library
- Availability of wireless on campus
We will be working with student groups in the fall to determine the best way to address these concerns.
Teaching, Learning, and Research
Open Access & Scholarly Communication
We began a process of raising faculty awareness of and engagement with open access opportunities. Our work, which will continue in the new academic year, featured
- establishing a CBB affinity group for Scholarly Communications and Open Access
- linking to OA content in catalog and discovery layers
- completing an inventory of campus SCOA activity
- opening up SCARAB to include faculty works and conference proceedings
Alongside our usual rich mixture of technology and research consultations with faculty and students and hundreds of support contacts for the first time ever we were embedded in a course, providing GIS and aerial photography support for a Short Term course in the Alaskan bush. We also embarked on an analysis of three years worth of research instructional statistics to determine how particular departments/programs utilize our services.
This paragraph could easily have been organized under Facilities and Upgrades but given the centrality of technology spaces to teaching and learning on campus, here it is. Both to support the expanded number of courses with integrated technology and to ensure access for all students, we expanded the number of computing seats by 15%. As well, the Imaging Center continues to evolve. Working with Biology and other STEM disciplines, we are strengthening support for microscopy while introducing new technologies such as drones and VR to our support portfolio.
In addition to the revamped Help Desk website, we made substantive improvements to the library website thanks to extensive user testing. We also launched a new Muskie Archives web site and Historic Photos Gallery.
We launched a systematic assessment for all electronic resources for the purpose of benchmarking use of materials.
Diverse Book Finder
We worked with Krista Aronson on a successful IMLS SPARKS! Grant designed to support a collection of fiction and narrative non-fiction K-3 picture books featuring characters of color. Works include collection building, development of a schema to more accurately describe contents, building a database as a collection tool for the wider library/education community to find these books, and featuring 73 linear feet of books on the first floor of Ladd Library.
Facilities and upgrades
We continued to work on expanding and upgrading network facilities in new and existing locations, including Chu and Kalperis Halls, the new crew building in Greene, the Health Center, Human Resources, and Schaeffer Theatre. We were busy designing for the future, including designing a single mode fiber path for Smith, Adams, Olin, and the Village, implementing a hyper-converged infrastructure for all virtual servers, and commissioned a high-performance network redesign.
In addition to the new and the next, ILS has considerable responsibility towards existing systems and infrastructure. With this mind, following are highlights of significant upgrades
- core backup system
- campus-wide print management system
- telephone system
- Oracle 12c
- e-security system
- assorted Banner upgrades
- Red Hat
- operating systems on all servers
Library as Place
Ladd Library continued its role as a focal point of academic life on campus. In addition to showcasing the Diverse Book Finder collection, we partnered with faculty in Theatre and English to showcase our Shakespeare holdings with public lectures and displays. Student comfort remains a top concern, along with protection of the collection. Discussions have begin with Facilities around planning for the FY19 renovation of the Library Terrace and stacks roof. Also in collaboration with Facilities and the Office of Sustainability, we now have public composting and has expanded the Bates Green Bike program.
Security and Risk Reduction
Alongside our core, edge, and desktop protection strategies and ongoing user education, we implemented server level ransomware protection.
The Archives began investigating standards for college records management. We will broaden this conversation shortly, including a proposal to establish a campus records management committee.
The unusual time frame for this annual report (6 months rather than the usual 12) reflects the unusual nature of the last year. For a fuller sense of 2016, please consult https://www.bates.edu/ils/projects/ils-year-and-a-half-in-review-july-2015-november-2016/.