A few words from Mike
Welcome to the first issue of Keywords for the 2016-2017 academic year! As usual, it has been a busy summer here, with the libraries operating full-tilt year-round to support the Language Schools and Bread Loaf School of English. We have also begun to reimagine our physical spaces to meet evolving curricular needs and highlight new resources. If you are returning to campus after being away for the summer, you may have noticed a few changes, many based on student feedback. These include:
1. Student Art Display: We have begun a partnership with the Studio Art Department to permanently feature student artworks in the Library. We have a lot of space and many bare walls, and have long wanted to feature student art more prominently. A few years ago, we acquired 4 large photographic prints by Cory Brody Schubert, ’08, that are currently on display in the building, but adding to the collection has been a challenge. Now, however, Colin Boyd, Art Studio Technician, has agreed to work with the Studio Art faculty to provide new works each year. Faculty will review student work and select pieces they feel best represent the quality of their program. The students themselves will be the donors of the pieces. The first 4 works we’ve acquired – donated by Charlotte Fairless, ’15.5; Andrew Goulet, ’16; and Emily Knapp, ’15 – are now located the northeast corner of the Upper Level, near carrel suite 335. Go check them out!
2. DLA Posters: We’ve hung a series of new posters in the hallway behind the Research Desk highlighting innovative work by the Digital Liberal Arts project.
3. Armstrong Library exhibit space: Over in Armstrong, we’ve created a new exhibit space for highlighting various collections from departments in BiHall, e.g. scientific instruments, botany specimens, animal specimens, etc.
4. “Unplug and Recharge” room: To support the Clifford Symposium’s “Fully Present” program, we’ve created an “Unplug and Recharge” space on the 3rd floor of Davis. There, you can relax, meditate, and take a few minutes to get away from your devices. This space will remain open at least through early November.
5. Loaner Meditation Cushions: We are also loaning out meditation cushions as a pilot project. These can be checked out at both the Davis Family Library and Armstrong Library circulation desks.
6. Rolling Whiteboards: We have 4 rolling whiteboards for students to use for group projects.
7. New Special Collections Tables: We’ve added two new study tables in Special Collections & Archives, which will allow us to accommodate more students in that space, and provide more room to spread out the rare and amazing treasures found in our Special Collections.
8. 3D Scanner: The Digital Liberal Arts program has acquired a 3D scanner, which is being used to create models of artifacts from Special Collections, the Museum of Art, and the sciences. Using the online website Shapeways, Special Collections printed a replica of a 4,000 year old cuneiform tablet.
9. Virtual Reality Viewer: We’ve created a demonstration space for exploring the Oculus Rift, an immersive 3D environment.
10. Emergency Phones: Facilities have installed new, bright red emergency phones near every stairwell. These allow one touch dialing to public safety in the event of an emergency event.
11. Lights Out! Last but not least, we’ve finally been able to have a nagging problem with our lighting system fixed. We can now properly turn off the lights in Davis Family Library, saving energy and reducing light pollution when the building is closed.
We hope you’ll enjoy these new spaces and improvements to the Middlebury libraries. As always, our library staff is here to help you with any questions you might have about these, or any other, topics. Welcome back, and we hope the rest of your Fall semester is stimulating and invigorating!