Author Archives: Carrie Macfarlane

Director of Research & Instruction.

This way to the Unplug and Recharge Room

Follow the arrows, and find some time for yourself! Take a break from your studies for just one – quiet – moment. You’ll feel refreshed, we promise.

Photo of Unplug and Recharge Room

Just follow the arrow

The Unplug and Recharge Room will be available through November on the Upper Level of the Davis Family Library, but you may borrow meditation cushions all year long from the circulation desks at the Davis Family Library and the Armstrong Library.

Clifford Symposium at the Library – through October

Clifford Symposium at the LibraryThe libraries are pleased to support the Art and Science of Mindful Engagement during the  Clifford Symposium and beyond. Dip into a few recommended books on display, let a podcast walk you through a guided meditation, and disconnect from daily stressors in the Unplug and Recharge Room. (Or, borrow meditation cushions from the Circulation Desk and use them anywhere in the library!)

All will be available during regular library hours now through mid-October.

Library Book Display (Davis Family Library): Recommendations from faculty, students, and staff for mindfulness and meditation readings. Browse and borrow whatever you like! Located on the main level of the Davis Family Library.

Guided Meditation Station (Davis Family Library): Pick a blue chair, put on the headphones, and hit “play.” A professional will walk you through a short guided meditation exercise. Try it and see how you feel afterward! Located on the main level of the Davis Family Library.

Unplug and Recharge Room (Davis Family Library): Take a break and disconnect from daily stressors. A secluded corner of the library will be screened off to create a temporary Unplug and Recharge Room with meditation cushions and soft lighting. Located on the upper level of the Davis Family Library.

Meditation Cushions  (Davis Family Library and Armstrong Library): Thanks to the Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life, we are able to offer loaner meditation cushions for the whole school year. Check them out from the Circulation Desk, and use them anywhere in the library for 2 hours.

Library hours at

Join us at our first Write-In

On Wednesday, May 4th from 8-11 PM, the Writing Center at Middlebury College will join 75 other colleges and universities who sponsor a Write-In between the weeks of April 24-May 5. Supported by CTLR, the Writing Program and the Library, the Write-In fosters a writing community by creating a calm time and space in LIB 201, LIB 145 and the Harman Reading Room for students to write together. A Peer Writing Tutor and a Research Librarian will be on hand in LIB 201 to provide support. During the Write-In, students may work on academic papers, do personal writing, or brainstorm writing for fellowships, internships, and jobs. We’ll provide snacks and prizes. See Swarthmore’s International Write-In page for more information.

Why come to a Write-In?

Writing can be lonely, solitary work. Joining a group of other student writers can be motivating, productive, and calming.

How will this work?

  • Come to Davis Family Library 201 any time between 8-11 PM. Stay from 15 minutes to 3 hours.
  • Sign in to receive prizes
  • If you want, we’ll give you a pen and a pad.
  • Have some tasty snacks (Cheese and Crackers, Chicken Satay, Rice Krispie Treats, Brownies)
  • Meet with a Peer Writing Tutor or Research Librarian.
  • Stay in Lib 201, or go to one of our two reserved quiet spaces: Lib 145 and the Harman Reading Room.

What kind of writing should I do?

  • Academic writing (Start your end of the semester papers this week!) (We’ll provide some research questions.)
  • Personal writing (No idea where to start? We’ll provide some writing prompts.)
  • Brainstorm writing for fellowships, internships, and job applications (We have a handy worksheet to get you started.)

Who is making this great event happen?

You CAN search library databases from off campus!

You can search library databases from off campus! Just start at the library site:  JSTOR, ebooks, audiobooks, Summon and all of our online journals, magazines and newspapers are there for you…no matter where you are!

When you’re off campus, links that are on library web pages (for example, Research Guides, Summon and the Journals list) will ask you to log in with Midd credentials. It’s as easy as that!

Seniors: Ask a librarian about alumni access to library databases!

Enjoy the summer!


Classroom LIB105 to be renovated and expanded

To meet the high demand for interactive video conferencing spaces on campus the College has decided to fast track a renovation and expansion of the LIB105 classroom. LIB105 will go off-line after this semester and the renovated space will go back online for the Summer Language School session. The room will be enlarged to the east, increasing its size by about 1/3. The finished room will be dividable into two spaces, each with its own entry door. The space will have high end, state of the art video conferencing equipment.

Changes to shelving and seating

The six study carrels on the east wall of 105 will be removed. We will reuse the lockers from these study carrels in carrels located elsewhere in the library.

To open up additional floor space, seven static ranges of shelves will be converted to compact shelving, compressing the collection against the existing compact shelving in the SE corner of the floor. To make the shelving conversion possible, right after classes end in December, the books (specifically, PS 214 – PS 3569 E5) and shelves will be temporarily moved to the Harman Periodicals Reading Area. The temporary shelves will stay in place during January and into February while the new exterior wall of 105 is built and the compact shelving units are installed, then the books will be moved from Harman back onto the new compact shelving. A few of the big blue easy chairs from Harman will be placed between the showcases and book stacks, and the rest will be staged on the upper level of Davis Library. The newspapers and magazines will continue to be accessible. All the books will continue to be available for use except for the short time they’re actually moving from one spot to the other and back. The new compact shelving and the static book stacks on the north side of LIB105 will be accessible throughout the spring semester while the renovation of 105 continues.

Facilities Services will do what it can to minimize noise and dust. This project is quite similar to the expansion of LIB140 a few years ago, which was, overall, quite painless and had little impact on people in the building.

Changes to room scheduling

The LIB105 classroom is currently used as an instruction and computer lab space. In January 2015, when the renovation begins, this will change. Scheduling and events staff are working on policies for the new videoconferencing room and for the LIB140 classroom, which has just been opened to use outside of the Economics Department. The library has given feedback on these proposed policies.

For now, we know:

  • LIB105 will be closed for renovation from January 2015 through the spring term.
  • When LIB105 reopens as a videoconferencing and meeting space, in time for Language Schools, it will be quite different. For one thing, it will no longer have computers! And in terms of scheduling, videoconferencing events will receive priority.
  • Beginning in Janjuary, students looking for a computer lab in the Library will need to use other rooms, including LIB140 and LIB220, the Wilson Media Lab. There are computer labs outside the library too, of course.
  • From January through the end of the spring term, classes that would have been scheduled in LIB105 will need to be scheduled elsewhere.
  • Even after LIB105 reopens in the summer, videoconferencing needs will get higher priority than instruction.

Questions? Post here, or contact your liaison.

We’ll post updates here as often as we can.

Friday Links – October 17, 2014

Time for a Thesis – From the Senior Admissions Fellows Blog, a self-reflective essay by a History major on the impact of our annual message to seniors about thesis carrel signup and research support. His conclusion is quite nice: “When I think ahead to the books and research, I am not so much nervous as I am excited,” he says.

Practicing Collaborative Digital Pedagogy to Foster Digital Literacies in Humanities Classrooms – This article presents two case studies of classes who employed different techniques to “foster digital literacies in humanities students using distinct approaches for each course.” My key takeaway hinged on one student’s observation: “Through creating an infographic in, I learned that it is very important to develop skills in being able to pick out important information from the vast amounts that you can easily find online.”

How Stress Affects the Brain During Learning – A fight or flight reaction may be useful in some situations, but it is highly detrimental in the classroom. Whether anxiety stems from test taking or from an unstable home environment, the brains of students experiencing high levels of stress look different than those who are not — and those brains behave differently, too. In this article, we’ll take a look at the neural and hormonal responses that underpin a student’s stress response, and make a few suggestions for continuing to teach through the challenges it presents.

Upcoming Battery Will Charge Phones And Electric Cars in Minutes – It takes about an hour to fully charge a cell phone, and the battery lasts about two to three years over 500 charge cycles. However, a new design could reduce charge time to only a few minutes and the battery is expected to last for 10,000 charge cycles over a 20 year lifespan.

FireChat in Hong Kong: How an app tapped its way into the protests
(CNN) — The revolution will not be televised but it will be tweeted, instant messaged or, in the case of Hong Kong, broadcast on mesh networks like FireChat.


Welcome (Back) to the Library!

Whether you’re new to campus or returning from summer break, we invite you to take advantage of all the library has to offer. Here are 5 things you won’t want to miss:

Many thanks to our talented Digital Media Tutors Maggie, Emily and Denisse, who created this video and others as a summer project!

More tips for the new semester:  Midd Libraries Quick Guide [go/quicklib]

Spoiler alert! The 5 quick tips include:
1. The Circulation Desk is where you’ll check out all of your library materials, including CDs, equipment and interlibrary loans.
2. Library collections include not only books but also DVDs, graphic novels in the Browsing section, dictionaries in the Reference section, manuscripts downstairs in Special Collections, and magazines in the Harman Periodicals Area.
3. Librarians can help you in person at the Research Desk and online via the library web site at
4. Technology and media assistance is available at the Tech Help Desk and the Wilson Media Lab.
5. Peer Writing Tutors are ready to meet with you at the Center for Teaching, Learning and Research (CTLR).
BONUS! The library has all kinds of study spaces, from the Wilson Cafe at the entrance of the building, to senior thesis carrels tucked away on the upper levels.

“Finishing the Term in the Library” – a poem

Thanks to poet Gary Margolis for sharing this timely work!

Finishing the Term
in the Library

It was most likely me
I’m remembering, one
of the last to leave,
to finish not sleeping

in the red leather chair.
Three floors down
from street level. Trying
to write the last sentence

of a semester’s paper.
Trying to become more
complete all by myself.
There in the stacks

there was another book
I’d rather be reading
and not searching for
a word to send me

home. Home being up
three flights, where tonight’s
late night librarian was closing
his book. Reading being all

he could do to pass the course
of his time. To close the big door
behind him. To turn off
the magnificent, fading, central

hall light. So the two of us could
walk out together, him to his car
and me to my passing, now-I’m-done