Q: Reflect on the cultural setting in which you are working or studying and identify three factors that shape the work or study environment.

Working at Wayne State I am exposed to more people and cultures than at any other job I have worked. Just the sheer number of groups of people I work with have their own internal cultures beyond the traditional culture of nationalities.

Some factor that shape my work and study environment are:

  1. How open my department is to giving everyone freedom to experiment, learn and grow. We are a marketing office filled with creatives with hard to define deliverables. The culture in the office of about 40 people consists of various nationalities and backgrounds but we all have the same mentality. Service is everything, and everything is marketing. It leads us to extend our reach beyond our departmental walls to help anyone and everyone that asks. Purely by example new hires learn that their job is to go above and beyond. It is breed in to everyone that steps in to the department.
  2. My current boss shapes my work environment by supporting me within and outside our departmental walls. Of all my previous bosses he is the only one who will defend every one of his employees and their actions. He truly trusts us and our decisions, he doesn’t get in the way and knows that he can’t control or understand everything. It leads to very little over head and being agile enough to make decisions quickly.
  3. A factor that shapes my study environment is my parents. Both are recently retired teachers from Hamtramck Public Schools. Their impact on my education and how I approach learning is instilled into everything I do. They taught me that everything is a learning experience. Formal classrooms are just one point of contact for learning but every situation and person teach a lesson. A culture of learning spreads deep in my family and continues to this day. My wife is a teacher and I love teaching in any capacity. For me, once you give up the willingness to learn you have given up the willingness to live.

LIS 7040 – Introduction

Basically every online class I have been in starts the same. First week take a look around, make sure you understand everything and post an introduction to the discussion board. It’s a primer to make sure people can dive in the second week, totally understandable.

I end up saving every single thing I have submitted digitally to any of my classes just incase I need it in the future. Each year I continue to refine my “Introduction” post. This year I thought I would share it with you. Enjoy and feel free to leave me any feedback. I know I use “I” a lot 😉

Introduction – Nick DeNardis

My name is Nick DeNardis, I am 27 years old and live in Sterling Heights, MI with my wife and dog Foxy. My background is in computer science I received my bachelors degree from Wayne State last year.

I am the Associate Director of Web Communications here at Wayne State. I oversee the team that is responsible for (almost) all of the public facing web presence for the university. This includes the homepage, admission sites, 350+ other sites, official social media presence, email campaigns, etc.

I am very active in the higher education Web community. I routinely speak at conferences about web usability, UX, UI, accessibility and web redesign. You can find me blogging at http://nickdenardis.com/, http://doteduguru.com/ and http://blogs.wayne.edu/web/

I host a video blog twice a week where I review a higher education website from the prospective of a first time visitor and give it an A-F overall score. http://educheckup.com/ I curate http://edusnippits.com/, hand picked selection of unique higher education web elements.

I am also an officer for Refresh Detroit http://refreshdetroit.org/ a group of web professionals whose goal is to promote web standards, usability, and accessibility. Our next meeting is May 26th and the topic is using PhoneGap to create mobile applications. If you are Detroit local you should come out!

I love organizing information, user interaction and human computer interaction. I don’t have any experience working in a library and I don’t plan on working in one when I am done. Library interest me a lot and I look forward to this course and learning from all of you.

Last but not least me and my wife are expecting our first child on Oct 28th, exciting stuff! 🙂

Guest lecture: Sandra Yee – Director of the Wayne State libraries

Sandra Yee come in as a guest speaker in my LIS6120 – Access to Information class to talk about library management. She has managed multiple academic libraries and has many years experience, it was great to get her point of view. I took notes during the lecture and they are outlined below. I tried to clean them up but they are still pretty raw.

Management Positions

  • Attitude is everything, needs to be willing to learn. Hire to learn
  • Management and leadership are two different things
    • Leader looks far ahead
    • Always be thinking bigger and further out
  • Ability to communicate
    • Beyond sending emails
    • Walking around and talking to people
  • Concept of what money means
    • How to distribute
    • How to stretch it
    • How to invent it
  • Common sense
    • Ability to analyze situation and move forward
  • Learning on the job
    • Having good people around you that you trust
    • Consultants when necessary
    • Talk to people on a regular basis
      • The actual workers cleaning each day, etc.

How to get there

  • Practice management skills all the time
  • We all manage certain things
  • Volunteer with a manager
  • Get a second degree, MBA possibly
  • Attend workshops
    • Great ones out there


  • Working with people is the best and worst part
    • Unsupervised
    • Developing a common goal together
  • Budget
    • Everyone will eventually face them
    • Finding money
    • Negotiation
  • Facilities
    • High cost is always an issue
    • Old building get even more expensive


  • How do you prepare for long term goals?
    • Reading
    • Getting involved with associations
  • What do you think is the future?
    • Smartphones
    • Finding new ways to reach our audience
    • How to use technology
  • What library or library system are you envious of or look to for guidance? One that you think is just doing it right?
  • What is your view on ebooks making their way into the library?
    • Boggles her mind
    • Their time will come, just not yet
    • We are just at the edge of adoption
  • Planning hinders growth, how do you prevent that?
    • Take small steps
    • Stay Agile
    • Some things you just cannot help
      • Installed a bunch of wires
      • Now everything is wireless
      • It was necessary at the time but now it’s not.
  • Insights into our students
    • Our number of laptops are small in proportion than the rest of the US
    • Our number of smart phones is higher than the rest of the US
  • Get involved with the associations
    • Get to know people you would not know otherwise
  • Troy Library Closing
    • Community has not figured out how valuable it is until they see it gone
    • Why do these people feel like they don’t have to pay for a library
  • What is the best structure for public libraries in MI?
    • Helped create a district library for Brighton
    • Libraries need to help themselves and get out of being funded by the city
    • Cities barely have enough money for police, fire, etc
    • District libraries are their own entities
      • They can levy millages

The Web Worker’s MLIS Adventure

I’m starting a blog about my experience in the MLIS program and how it relates to my Web life.

A little about me

I oversee the web communications at Wayne State University, host a video blog called EDU Checkup, write on a higher education marketing blog, write on the web communications blog, speak at conferences, maintain an open source php framework, married to a beautiful girl and own a pretty sweet dog. I am addicted to learning new things and helping people out. Yep, that’s me.

Hope you enjoy this adventure as much as I do. 🙂