This fall, the Library will be starting a multi-year review of our circulating monograph collection in Davis Family Library that will identify titles we can safely remove from our collection. The project was discussed with department heads and chairs last spring. A web guide is available with much more information, including definition of the materials under review (spoiler alert: only circulating books, and nothing else). We are doing this for several reasons:
The Davis Family Library’s shelves are functionally full. While you’ll see empty or partially filled shelves in places, a library needs to keep roughly 20% of its shelf space clear in order to reshelve and shift books, which is necessary when we acquire new materials.
The collection has not been systematically reviewed as a whole in decades, and we have on our shelves materials that are outdated, superseded, and/or no longer relevant to Middlebury’s academic program.
The library is short on study rooms and other usable spaces for students and faculty.
The process will be deliberative and consultative, and we invite your participation. Here is how the process will unfold:
We have analyzed the 600,000 titles in Davis Family Library and automatically marked for retention titles that were recently acquired or heavily used, or which we must retain due to our consortial obligations. This reduced the number of titles under consideration for withdrawal to 229,000.
We have created a website (Monograph Deselection Project) that lists all of the titles under consideration, organized by subject, where you can see details about each title, including its usage history, date of publication, and more.
Starting this fall, librarians will review the titles under consideration for withdrawal, and will make preliminary decisions about which titles to remove.
As these preliminary reviews are completed, we will share with departments and other interested faculty our recommendations on which titles to remove, and provide you a chance to weigh in.
Some materials may be moved into Special Collections if they have acquired an historical or other kind of value, rather than being withdrawn outright.
We’ll conduct these reviews in batches over the course of the next few years. Your Library Liaison will let you know when collections pertinent to your academic field(s) are under review. Because many faculty teach and do research in areas outside their departmental homes, we also invite those who wish to review any particular subjects to let us know via http://go.middlebury.edu/listrequest so that we can inform you when that subject is being reviewed.
Collection review is a critical part of the work of sustaining a vital, vibrant, and relevant print collection. While we recognize that it is daunting to make hard decisions about the importance of hundreds of thousands of titles, we have created, with useful help from consultations with chairs and with our advisory committee, what we think is a simple and straightforward process that provides you with the opportunity to give us valuable input into these decisions. Again, much more information is available on the project’s web guide.
Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.
Dear Library Patrons: You may have noticed that turnaround times to complete ILL requests have of late at times been slightly longer than in the past. As a result of workforce planning, we have reduced the number of staff working in this department by .5 FTE. We will of course continue to fill requests as quickly as we can, but do bear this in mind when submitting requests with hard deadlines. Please note the following as well:
* ILL requests submitted with incomplete or erroneous bibliographic information may be returned to you as unfulfilled and/or in need of additional information
* ILL staff may not be able to devote quite as much time as in the past to filling requests for particularly rare or hard-to-acquire items
You should continue to use our online form (http://go.middlebury.edu/illiad) to submit ILL requests and as noted above, provide as much and as accurate bibliographic information as possible. If you need to speak to a member of our dedicated ILL staff, you can stop by the Davis Family Library circulation desk during the following hours:
Starting this fall, instead of being open 24/7 during finals, we will instead have extended hours. Starting on Sunday, December 2nd, the Davis Family Library will remain open until 2 am. Opening hours will remain unchanged, as will Friday and Saturday hours (closing at 11 pm). Full hours can be found at http://go.middlebury.edu/hours/
For those who wish to continue studying past 2 am, here are the spaces on campus that are available 24/7:
Sunderland (computer lab available in Sunderland 122)
Axinn (computer lab available in Axinn 105)
The study carols in Hepburn, between the ResHall portion of the building and the Zoo
The Stewart 2 lounge and the Stewart Pit.
Milliken 3 lounge
Milliken 2/senior lounge
Our decision to end 24/7 in the library was based on usage data (only a very small number of students used the library past 2 am), the importance of getting sleep especially during stressful times (and the worry we had that by being open 24/7 we were tacitly encouraging students to stay up all night), and by budget pressures. Our decision was informed both by a student survey that we conducted in the spring, and with extensive conversations with the SGA.
This week is Open Access Week, which brings with it the opportunity to learn what Open Access is, why it matters, and to identify ways both large and small that we can help be the change that we want to see in the world.
Heather Joseph, the Executive Director of SPARC ( the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) , wrote this morning
Locally, at the Middlebury College Library, we have four main things we are doing to celebrate this week:
We have a new display of books and pamphlets having to do with Open Access in the atrium of the Davis Library.
We are promoting the webinar “Open Access Monographs:Current Initiatives, Sustainable Models” on Tuesday, October 24, 4 p.m Eastern time. You can sign up here .
We’re hosting a viewing of the webinar “What We Talk About When We Talk About Open Access” which will be shown in Axinn 229 from 1-2 PM on Wednesday, October 25, with a half hour discussion of the webinar from 2-2:30 PM.
There is a rich and engaging website at http://www.openaccessweek.org/ where you can see how the rest of the world is celebrating this important effort to make open the default in research and education.
I’m pleased to announce that the Lever Press has launched, and that Middlebury along with nearly 40 of our peers is supporting this effort as a charter member.
You can read the press release on the Oberlin Group website, coverage of the announcement from Inside Higher Ed, and Barbara Fister’s reflection on the process and what this means for the future of scholarly communication.
Twitter folks can track progress by following @Lever_Press . I am on the inaugural oversight committee, so I can also answer any questions that might arise.
We’ve published the Library Update that covers the period from July 2014 to October 2014. It’s a fairly long read (12 pages single spaced) that documents both recent accomplishments and upcoming plans. Please let me know if you have any questions about any of the materials within.
As has become our custom, we write this update three times a year to provide ourselves and rest of the community with a review of recent accomplishments, and more importantly, a roadmap for what to expect in the next three to six months. In addition, we make a nod to what we see as future issues and challenges further down the road.
Highlights since the last LIS Update include:
We continued to co-sponsor with CTLR the Academic Roundtable to encourage cross-campus conversation on important topics having to do with pedagogy, scholarly inquiry, and student learning.
We made more progress in building out our new videoconferencing infrastructure and upgraded a number of classroom.
We continued to encourage our community to use Web Help Desk to request service from us.
We created a new guide to training options that include both on-line, off-site, and on campus options.
Key goals for the next three to six months include:
As part of the broader faculty governance conversations taking place on campus, we in turn are thinking about a wide range of governance questions. How do we ensure appropriate consultation with our students, faculty, and staff to ensure that our planning and prioritization is aligned with the needs of the community that we serve?
We are hiring! We are currently running searches for a director of academic technology, a senior systems administrator, a head of collections, a media services specialist, and a network security analyst.
We are discussing the technical and policy implications of converting our google apps from a pilot to a full-supported production system.
We will also be discussing the process for evaluating new options for our email/calendaring system, and updating our analysis of the privacy and security implications of moving certain services to the cloud.
We are busy planning for the move of the CSNS and Security work groups to Exchange Street, the move of the Enterprise Applications area to Painter House, and the re-use of space within the Davis Family Library to support the digital liberal arts initiative.
We are planning an upgrade to the latest version of Microsoft Exchange.
We’ll be rolling out a Network Access Control system that will allow us to more carefully control which devices can join our network.
We’ll be reconfiguring the wireless network to make it simpler and more secure. As part of that, we’ll be putting in place a guest registration system to allow for those who only need to use it on a temporary basis.
We will be working closely with many offices across campus to develop a multi-year plan for Nolij, the document imaging system that allows for offices to automate many of their paper-based processes.
We’ll be upgrading Drupal, the software that powers our website to the latest version.
We’re also working with the Office of Communications on rolling out a new design for the homepage and some of the key pages that are linked to from the home page.
We will have an external security review of our systems as part of a consortial effort to improve our security stance.
We will continue our efforts to study trends in the ways our public computer labs are used to help us plan for the future of providing computing resources to our students.
We will start a pilot project where you can check out a bicycle from the circulation desk.
We’re writing a Request for Proposal as part of our investigation into a new campus phone system.
While we pursue all of this, we will of course keep doing all of our regular stuff: prepping for Language Schools, upgrading classroom and lab technology, adding more wireless access points, updating various systems, teaching information literacy courses, buying and cataloging library materials, and distributing new computers.
One goal that we are very keen to pursue is to invent a fool-proof, indestructible stapler that no one can steal.
This update from LIS covers work accomplished this summer and early fall, and projects out into work we will be doing in the later fall and early winter. For those not familiar with this report, it is designed both to capture the contributions that LIS has made in its efforts to support the information and technology needs of the College, and also to ensure that those who work within LIS and those who work closely with LIS are aware of current priorities and initiatives. Because of its goal to provide useful, detailed information for those of us deeply involved in this work, it is a long and somewhat technical document.
For those who may not have the interest or patience to work their way through the over twenty pages within this report, here are some highlights:
We’ve recently revised our strategic directions for LIS, and defined a set of overlapping issues that will help us in our efforts to evolve to meet the evolving needs of the College, and the fast-moving world of technology and information services. We are looking at how we support innovation, new models for access to resources, our approach to sourcing various core technologies, how we can support efforts to improve administrative efficiency, and ways to define quality and reliability in the face of growing demand on our resources. You can learn more about this at http://www.middlebury.edu/offices/technology/lis/about/strategic_directions_and_goals
We have been working closely with our colleagues at MIIS and with the new DC office to establish a new videconferencing system that significantly improves the quality and reliability of this service.
We’ve installed a new system called web help desk that provides our users with the ability to create and track their own tickets, makes the assignment of tickets to workgroups far more efficient, and provides easy access to solutions to common problems.
We migrated the last reports from our AS400 data system (the system that Banner replaced) and shut down that system forever.
In response to the growth in demand for ubiquitous and robust wireless services across campus, we added access points to locations on campus where there was not adequate service.
This fall we have been engaged in a planning effort with our colleagues from the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Research to establish new ways that we can work together to support faculty development in curricular technology, and to develop a plan for work in the digital liberal arts.
This list is just a sample of our many recently completed projects, and our current priorities. I invite you to read through the complete list. If you have any questions about any of this, feel free to contact me.
PS The graphic is from the Google Books Ngram Viewer, and shows the history of the use of the word Update over the last 500 years.