March 17, 2014 Meeting of Administrative Council

Time and Location of Meeting

March 17, 20141:30 pm - 3:00 pm 428 Library

Agenda Details


1. Discussion of Internal IT Policies – Beth Sandore with Jim Dohle and Jason Strutz (1:30-2:00 p.m.)
Change Management Policy
System Maintenance Policy

2. Records Retention Policy – Bill Maher (2:00-2:30 p.m.)

3. Updates on Privacy Policy Working Group – Lynne Rudasill (2:30-2:35 p.m.)

4. Other updates – ?

Minutes Details


1.  Discussion of Internal IT Policies – Beth Namachchivaya with Jim Dohle and Jason Strutz

Beth introduced two internal policies to be used by IT going forward: the Change Management and System Maintenance policies. These two policies are needed to provide an understanding both in IT and across the Library about when things ought to change, the circumstances under which they can change, and the timeframes during which IT can implement changes. These policies will educate units on how to request that changes get made, communicate how IT determines a rationale for making changes and describe how changes are integrated into the Library IT workflow.

Jim Dohle added that these policies have been under consideration for a while. There was a strong need for setting better parameters around System Maintenance. A 2010 IT Audit uncovered the need for better documentation. So in the interest of the Library and IT as a department, the policies were created and reviewed several times by the IT managers group.

The Change Management document lists items that Library IT can schedule changes on and also articulates things that lie outside of the control of Library IT but may still change (i.e. recent Bluestem update). The policy will also include the Library- and campus-planned “no-change” times (a blackout period for introducing new systems or services).

Change Management policy example: a patch is forthcoming for a third-party service. The unit contacts IT and asks for them to schedule the update. The role of IT is then to look at that change and assess the benefits and risks of updating the service. In some instances, new features gained may present too high a risk to the security of the system. IT then communicates the risks and the benefits, what other systems may be affected by the change, brings in any other affected units and provides a decision to schedule the change or decline it. When IT completes a change to a production service, they wish to have a record of who it was that wanted the change and why, and then provide the framework on whether to approve or not.

The System Maintenance policy looks at the windows of time in which Library IT does maintenance to systems, databases and services as well as the kinds of servicing that is done during maintenance. This policy also defines the mechanism by which a unit should notify IT when to use or not use a certain maintenance window if there is an upcoming critical change or Library event.

The System Maintenance policy outlines the specific conditions under which Library IT will communicate with the rest of staff that they are working on an outage and what it is that is being done by IT to take care of the situation.  This policy has been tested in different iterations over the last several months and is now well-balanced on time spent notifying versus time spent fixing issues.  Library staff will be notified if the system cannot be fixed within 30 minutes, and 30 minute updates will be subsequently provided as long as the issue is unresolved. Updates may be communicated sooner if events warrant.

This policy also makes some changes to what the actual maintenance windows are. Maintenance windows are when IT would typically schedule work like patching servers that need a reboot. Assessment activities have uncovered that the lowest use for Library’s electronic services was Saturday mornings as opposed to the current window of Sundays 6-10a. To avoid situations where maintenance runs over and then has to be rescheduled for the following week, the policy expands maintenance windows to include Saturdays from 6-10a. During normal operating periods, all Libraries are closed at this time. Finals week is an exception where the Libraries would be open during this time, but a “no-change” period is in effect during Finals so maintenance would not occur anyway.

IT Policies Questions and Feedback

Mary Laskowski posed a question about third-party procedures and Jason Strutz explained that Library IT will try to follow the same procedures with third-party products and services, but unfortunately that timeline is ultimately not up to Library IT.

For the System Maintenance policy, Mary noted that the testing procedures (procedures for finding out whether or not something is working) are not included in the policy and suggested their inclusion as it may be helpful for staff to see a summary of what Library IT does to ensure that systems are back up and running properly at the end of the maintenance period.

Jason noted that there is a section within the System Maintenance policy for operational definitions which specifically defines many terms used by Library IT that may not appear in Library vernacular. This is IT’s attempt to make that terminology more widely known.  The hours included in the policy are the hours of the IT, Business and Administrative offices to correspond with Civil Service work hours.

Susan Avery raised the issue of IT support being unavailable for on-the-spot assistance during classes being taught at 8am. The Change Management and System Maintenance policies are not aimed at addressing help desk staffing.

The related point was made that the communication piece of the System Maintenance policy may somehow need to be amended to address the point of services being down before regular staffing hours. Waiting 30 minutes for a notification is over half of a class period and the communication timeline does not work for those facilitating a course at 8am. While not a solution, IT offered that the first place to look for communication is on the IT website’s status page. There are notifications out there about the various downtimes that are occurring.

Sue asked whether these policies could be posted on the Library Policy page since she feels that there is information in the policies in which many parties will be interested. Beth thinks it does make sense for the policy to be widely available so long as it is not confused as a patron policy.  Sue noted that if there are other polices that need to be posted on the Library Policy Index, please communicate them to her.

Consensus was reached that the policies will not need to be reviewed again by the Administrative Council. Once the policies incorporate the changes, they will be communicated to User Services for posting.

Sandy Wolf asked IT whether it might be useful and appropriate for units to communicate when there are events occurring that would affect the need for Library IT support, especially in what are considered to be off-periods. IT responded that communication around those items would be greatly appreciated and helpful to the IT teams responsible for Change Management and System Maintenance.

Conflicts of timeline that cannot be resolved at the unit level with IT will be adjudicated by the Associate University Librarians or the Dean of Libraries.

2.  Records Retention Policy – Bill Maher and Joann Kaczmarek

Role of Archives

The Archives exist for retaining and creating accessibility to and preserving documents of enduring value pertaining to the University’s history. The Library is an important part of the University of Illinois and is very important in American Library History[JK1] .

There are records that exist within the Library and various units that may be of interest to researchers in the future. A formal policy has been in place since about 1970 indicating that Archival approval is needed for the disposal of records. This in effect creates a screen between those things that don’t merit long term retention and those items that do.

In any given organization, the volume of records that merit retention versus what ought to be tossed at due interval is probably less than 10%, or even 5% across all formats. There are lots of things in your various units which are simply office copies of convenience for you, and you are not the office of record. In some instances, because of your responsibilities, you are the office of record, and those are the types or records that Archives wishes to ensure are considered carefully before disposal. For example, bi-weekly student timecards are deposited for record with the Library Business Office but there may be a convenient administrative need to keep them with your particular unit. Your unit could dispose the bi-weekly student timecards because it is not the office of record and non-record items are not subject to the formal state-regulated disposal authorization process.

At due interval, Archives will want to consult to make a determination of how they should be retained and communicated to Archives. For efficiency of operations, it is advisable to identify those things that do not have enduring value or that are non-record items so that you can arrange for the disposal of those at the appropriate interval and get them out of your way (such as account statements, book orders, automated reports, etc.)

Documents may exist in Library units that are similar to documents that exist elsewhere on campus. This is especially true of business and financial records, and those items are scheduled at a central level. Since Joanne is aware of those and the extent to which those items may be covered by the general record schedules, there is a set of guidelines that need to be followed.

Joanne Kaczmarek is the Archivist of electronic records, and she has developed a multi-campus program that is supported at the University Level called Records and Information Management Service (RIMS). They are working to continue the practice that University Archives had developed initially for creating state approved records disposal schedules and moving those forward with the revision of the schedules into a more electronic era.

RIMS is working on that with support from the VP of Finance and at the campus level as well, supported by the Chancellors and Provosts’ offices. They are looking at coming up with the same records retention guidelines for the parallel material that exists at all three campuses, while accommodating the differences that exist between each.

Records and Information Management Service

What is happening right now with records and information management for the University is a program that has been modeled off the preliminary work that was undertaken in University Archives. We have moved it to the University level in particular because there was too great a variance in retention schedules across units. From a regulatory standpoint, retention of certain kinds of records (HR, financial, etc.) should be standardized across the campus. One of the goals of RIMS is to align everyone so that we have standard rules around retention, because we now work in a world of electronic records in Enterprise environments, where there are central repositories of the data and/or reports.

RIMS works closely with the archivists at UIUC, UIC and UIS. RIMS’ reporting structure is through the Office of the CIO, Michael Hites, so the program is a direct set of services that is offered through that office and support staff is available for that purpose.

Part of what RIMS is doing is training and designating Records Liaisons. Kim Hutcherson at the Library volunteered to do training with RIMS on this campus, although that training has not yet taken place.

If there are records that are defined in your unit as being official records, they need official permission for purging. Even if you are already aware of the period of retention for your records, you still have to inform the state that you are purging them through a formal process. We are now initiating that process with the state on a regular basis; all requests are centrally submitted once a month. There is then a 30 day waiting period while the state evaluates the request. The Records Liaisons are part of the process to simplify the purging of records for everybody. RIMS is asking people to define Records Liaisons at either the college level or department level who, in turn, take all of the purging requests and roll them up to the college level so that RIMS can purge all of the official records of the same kind at the same time and be more in compliance with the laws and avoid a Class 4 felony.

The bigger questions really have to do with deciding what you might have that may not be official records, but still have value to the Archives. That is why Bill Maher reminds everyone to “leave a legacy” on cleaning days. A question for consideration is: how is content being managed so that items of value pass through to the next support person, faculty member, administrator, researcher, etc.?

A goal of University Archives is to help determine what items have enduring value for record purposes or academic purposes, and what can be purged. RIMS serves to facilitate the purging process so that records are disposed of in an orderly way that is compliant with state regulation. RIMS specialists can also provide information on best practices for managing official records and discriminating official records from items that do not need to be maintained. Joanne is happy to come and speak with any individuals or groups who have interest in these types of questions.  n the meantime, can we come up with a strategy or approaches for moving the historically significant electronic records into the future digital archive repository?

Tom asked whether there has been any conversation with Beth Woodard or the Staff Development & Training Advisory Committee so that there can be a concerted effort for training Library staff to identify records of enduring value and the offices of record for certain documents that involve many different parties. The more training provided, the more consistency there will be in language and practice.

Joanne indicated specifically that there are big questions around HR record retention. A University-wide retention schedule for HR was just approved in November, and central HR has not yet published much on the matter because they wish to work with RIMS on creating an HR manual that will provide guidance at the department and unit level. This will help units determine what is the official personnel file (valued at campus level) versus what is being kept by and valued at the department level.

Mary Laskowski thinks it would be important to improve the Library’s understanding of how to determine what is versus what is not a record of enduring value. She suggests creating broad categories of items that should be retained and those that should not be. Joanne thinks that there will be some case-by-case determinations at the unit level; however reliance upon the Record Liaisons will be important.

Tom proposes a conversation on what the University Archives may want so that the Records Liaisons are better informed on records of enduring value and are well positioned to reach the faculty across campus and educate them on what items in their files may be of value at a higher level.

Bill thinks that getting together with Beth Woodard to start some workshops would be helpful for Library staff. As for identifying the subject matter, Archives liaisons can contact the division coordinators. Joanne proposes that general RIMS training be conducted and from there focus on specifics with interested parties. Sue asked whether the training is aimed at serving every unit, but JoAnne indicated that this effort is focused more on a volunteer approach[SS2] .

Beth asked a question about what strategies or tools RIMS is making available to units for managing their virtual documents of record. Joanne indicated that strategies for management of electronic records are still in development. RIMS specifies that a department must have an acceptable, approved method of storing the electronic records; however at this point, RIMS cannot control department practices and is satisfied with units self-identifying and communicating their efforts to become more aware. Later down the line, RIMS will make appropriate recommendations.

3. Updates on Privacy Policy Working Group – Lynne Rudasill (2:30-2:35 p.m.)

Lynne is going to lead a meeting of the Privacy Policy Working Group   this week. Lisa Hinchliffe is replacing Mary Laskowski on the team.

4.  Addendums


  • Sue passed out flyers about the LibQual survey that is coming up during the first week of April. You can pass this information along to your divisions and encourage them to participate in the survey. Certain groups will be sampled, but anyone can take the survey and anyone is eligible for the prize drawing.

Promotion and Tenure

  • The Promotion & Tenure Advisory Committee will be looking at our faculty statement on promotion and tenure and completing revisions and updates, which has not been done in over a decade. Please encourage people in your divisions to come to the meetings with proposed revisions or suggestions. Meetings will be held in 428 over lunch on Monday, Mach 31st and April 10th at 12p noon.

Adjournment  2:40 p.m.

FUTURE TOPIC: What are some good strategies for when the website and other services are down and what are the consistent steps that Library IT will take to manage those situations?

FUTURE TOPIC: IT notification for special events that significantly affect support expectations or need.