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Libstats: Overview & Demo August 15, 2007

Posted by Rachel in Brown Bags & Webcasts.
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If you were  unable to attend the presentation today that Hilary Rudsenske and I did for the Heard Library System, then check out this presentation.  If you’d like to create an account for use in your library here at Vanderbilt, please contact LITS (specifically, Dale Poulter).

TTSC Meeting Notes – August 14th August 14, 2007

Posted by Rachel in Computers, Primo, RSS, TTSC Meetings.
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The Technology & Training Support Coordinators met again today. We had a full room – 20 people! And there was a full agenda! So this post is rather long, but bear with me!

1) Update on AlphaSearch plan for year 2 (Primo) -It’s now being reviewed by the library. Please let them know just how rapidly evolving the product is. It’s constantly being updated and problems are being addressed and resolved as quickly as possible. The Digital Library Steering Committee is doing formal acceptance testing for the licensing in the Spring. There will be a “soft launch” (and possibly a version 2) for the public and other libraries to play with, also in Spring. Anticipated full roll-out of the production version is Fall 2008.

2) Discussion of replacement for VUcal and Mulberry – VUcal is going away, and a replacement for shared private calendaring, etc. A direction has been recommended from ITS – move to the Exchange Servers (which means Microsoft Outlook). There are other clients that work with exchange servers, but ITS recommends the Outlook platform. LITS will be figuring out how and when to do the migration. It may happen by December.

People’s folders will be copied over, and people will be able to still send mail from Mulberry, but once the switchover happens, people will be strongly encouraged to use Outlook. Jody talked for a bit about distribution lists and the difficulty they are having recreating and moving certain structures over to

Jody is eliciting volunteers to help with training (people who are familiar with or currently use Outlook), and the Staff Development Committee will manage the training.

LITS’s goal: Be VUcal-free by January 1, 2008, and to have Outlook going and training underway, and still have Mulberry available (to have access to group mailboxes and distribution lists that will still work).

3) Discussion of plan to upgrade Unicorn to Oracle – There are many other ILS’s that use Oracle, and it’s just a good thing if we move to that platform. We’ll be able to better integrate services with Unicorn if we are using Oracle. There was a discussion about downtime, and the timing of doing the migration. There will be no percieved downtime except those regularly scheduled downtimes.

GL3.2 = Symphony, formerly Rome. (It’s basically just the fancy name for the next version of Unicorn.) Any questions about the Oracle migration or about the next version of Unicorn can be directed to Dale Poulter.

4) Walker library desktop support changes – Over the course of the year, LITS will be supporting us more with desktop support.

5) RSS for the Divinity Library Lectionary – Jody has been working with Anne Womack and Bill Hook to create an RSS feed for the lectionaries. They created the XML themselves for the RSS feed. They are also using SiteMason to help with the ease of use and maintenance of the feed. This will be going live soon.

6) Workstation replacement plans – They are targeting to remove the Dell 270’s and get new Dell 745’s. There are approximately 100 computers to replace over the course of the year.

7) Patch Tuesday – 49 patches were released today from Microsoft. They will be released to Heard networked staff the next day.

8) Update on search for systems librarian (Jason Battles’ former position) – They have several applicants so far, and the deadline for the position is tomorrow.

9) MS Vista and Office 2007 – Jody would like to come up with a mini boot camp for Vista and MS Office 2007 to help those who work with the public who are already dealing with Vista and Office 2007.

10) They are trying to consolidate idendidty management on the campus – it’s a huge project. They are also trying to work with those who aren’t current Vanderbilt entities, such as alumni, community users, etc. Basically, it will be a huge improvement.

11) ContactVU – a new system that will contain all our personal information used by the Vanderbilt Operators. The Sun Identity Manager and this new ContactVU system will be linked together and be much more secure than it currently is now. Multi-factor authentication will also be used eventually (a thumb as well as a password, for example).

Beware of public email scams August 1, 2007

Posted by Rachel in Announcements, Spam & Viruses.
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In the interest of promoting better network security and increasing awareness of possible security threats, ITS asks that you review the article below and distribute to your colleagues.


Washington, D.C. — The FBI today warned the public against three separate Internet scams that continue to flourish through spam e-mails. The warning comes after the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received a rising number of complaints from citizens over the past few weeks.

In one scam, an e-mail recipient receives an electronic greeting card containing malware (malicious software). The cards, which are also referred to as e-cards or postcards, are being sent via spam. Like many other Internet fraud schemes, the perpetrators use social engineering tactics to entice the victim, claiming the card is from a family member or friend. Although there have been variations in the spam message and attached malware, generally the spam directs the recipient to click the link provided in the email to view their e-card.
Upon clicking the link, the recipient is unknowingly taken to a malicious web page.

In another scam, fraudulent e-mails misrepresent the FBI and/or Director Robert S. Mueller III and give the appearance of legitimacy due to the usage of pictures of the FBI Director, seal, letter head, and/or banners. The types of schemes utilizing the Director’s name and/or FBI are lottery endorsements and inheritance notifications.

The third is spam e-mail which claim to be from an official of the U.S. military sent on behalf of American soldiers stationed overseas. The scam e-mails vary in content; however, the general theme of each is to request personal information and/or funds from the individual receiving the e-mail.

These spam e-mail messages are hoaxes and should be immediately deleted. Consumers need to be wary of unsolicited e-mails that request them to take any action even if that means just clicking on an attachment. It is possible that by “double-clicking” on attachments to these messages, recipients will cause malicious software — e.g., viruses, keystroke loggers, or other Trojan horse programs — to be launched on their computers.

For further information on computer safety tips please visit the FBI website and the IC3 website.

If you have any questions, please contact ITS Partner Support at its-partner@vanderbilt.edu or call 615-343-9999.

For more information about upcoming and recent outages, see: http://its.vanderbilt.edu/outage.php

For more information about anti-virus efforts at Vanderbilt, see: http://its.vanderbilt.edu/antivirus

New Vanderbilt website to go live on August 1st July 30, 2007

Posted by Rachel in Announcements.
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On August 1st, Vanderbilt University will have a new look and feel to its homepage!  There were many people involved in the redesign efforts, and many opportunities for folks across campus to provide feedback.

Yes, I had several strong opinions as usual.  I’m glad that so many people’s suggestions were taken into consideration or implemented.

I am not sure yet as to when the new Owen webiste will be going live, but I’m sure they will announce it.

Joost now at Vandy! July 20, 2007

Posted by Rachel in 2.0, Announcements.
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Vanderbilt Information Technology Services (ITS) has partnered with Joost to offer free TV via the internet. Joost is an innovative offering that will change the way you watch TV. You’ll have loads of interactive programming available on your computer for FREE!

You can watch it anywhere in the world with a broadband connection. It’s easy to use and interactive. It even has chat and instant messaging.

You’ll be able to watch hundreds of full-length shows from some of the world’s best-known channels, including lots of foreign language programming.

Joost is now available to the Vanderbilt Community in beta format. Take part in testing Joost and give your feedback on ways to make it even better. All you need to start is your invitation.

Windows XP or Vista with 500 MB free disc space or an Intel-based Macintosh is required, along with a broadband connection.

Access Joost support at http://www.joost.com/support/

Vanderbilt ITS does not provide Joost support.

For more information about Joost, see Joost FAQs and Knowledge Base.

Learn more about Joost at Vanderbilt.

Vanderbilt ITS’s partnership with Joost is part of our effort to provide legal programming alternatives to Vanderbilt students.

THINK June 30, 2007

Posted by Rachel in Computers.
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Originally uploaded by mstephens7.

I’ve seen this before, but I felt like sharing it with my colleagues this time. I think we have to be careful with word choice when we say what users can and can’t do in the library. Banning is a poor word choice. We should encourage them to turn their ringers to vibrate and answer their phones with consideration of their peers in the library. We know they are trying to get jobs, schedule meetings, and are important people just like you or me. So why not respect that?

Outside the box … June 29, 2007

Posted by Rachel in Computers.
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Outside the box …

Originally uploaded by hblowers.

I’ve been remiss in writing on this blog for a while. Why? I was in Houston for a cousin’s wedding, and then I went to DC for the Annual ALA Conference. It was amazing this year. I’ll blog more about it later this weekend. But this pic that Helene Blowers uploaded to Flickr is just awesome. When Paul Gherman talks about the concept of a new library here at Vanderbilt, this is what I think of. We can’t continue to stay comfortable with the legacy issues and traditional ways of doing things in libraryland. I know we don’t want a new building to be just a warehouse for books. It really needs to be for the users, and in order for us to really understand our users, we have to step outside our comfort zone and think outside the box. We have to be familiar with where social software, web 2.0 technologies, and new methods of communication, such as the iPhone, are taking our users. We have to be aware and willing to take the leap into the unknown. It’s up to us, the library staff, to make the library more than just a box with services.

TTSC Meeting, June 12 June 12, 2007

Posted by Rachel in ExLibris, Primo, TTSC Meetings.
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Today we met for our regular Technology & Training Support Coordinators meeting. Jody led the meeting as usual, and we talked about:

1) Two new people on the LITS team: Jodie Gambill and Jim Pleace

2) There are new computers in the Science Library, and mini keyboards in the Music Library

3) Primo development project. They are still working on several bugs (show-stoppers). Jody is happy with how well the ExLibris Primo team is working with him and his team. Julie Loder has been the “problem manager” for Vanderbilt through it all, and deserves special recognition. She joins in on the conference call every Monday.

4) Reports from the ELUNA conference (Ex Libris Users North America). It was in Spearfish, South Dakota. According to attendees, the conference was very enlightening.  Vanderbilt presented 3 sessions on the Primo development project. All sessions were well-attended.

Janice Adlington reported on what she heard about Verde (ExLibris’ electronic resources management system) and Jody reported on what he learned abou Digitool (ExLibris’ digital asset management tool).  This is comparable to ContentDM.

5) Jody mentioned that LITS plans to hold a Primo G.R. 1.0 celebration event on June 20 @ 2:30-4:00 pm (ish) at the Bishop Johnson Cultural Center. (It’s behind Rand, and on the side of the post office.) They will be celebrating all the work the staff has done to get the first general release out. Primo been openly released by ExLibris. There are over 40 Vandy Library staff members that have been involved directly with the project, and almost everyone in the library system has been involved indirectly.  People from ExLibris, Gordon Gee, Paul Gherman, the Digital Library Steering Committee, key faculty, and all the library will be invited. Food and beverages will be served. :-)

6) Patch Tuesday. George Anglin is on vacation, so the patches will come out when he returns. This of course, doesn’t affect us in the Walker Library since we are on a different network.

7) End of fiscal year activities. If you’ve got money to spend, spend it.

8) VUcal (the campus calendaring system) will be terminated at the end of this year. The university is also committed to moving towards using exchange servers (for Outlook). Plus, Mulberry isn’t supported anymore (which is the email service everyone else on campus uses).  But if they are serious about going forward with Outlook, then that will solve both the calendaring and email problem simultaneously.

9) Migrating Unicorn over to Oracle. This might happen later this calendar year, and there would be about 5 days of working on the backup server. If this happens, then there will be a chance to utilize Unicode. No one has been totally successful in doing this, but Stanford is trying to do this. LITS will have to work with SirsiDynix’s schedule for this.

10) John Ozborne – He’s the new contact for the ITS Delivery Manager with LITS. He’s replacing Michael Martin who’s moved on to be the Technology Manager of the Peabody Freshman Commons.

11) Chris Benda will be moving from the Peabody to Divinity Library soon. Also, Jason Battles’ last day is Friday, July 13th and will soon be at the University of Alabama.


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