Category Archives: Library

Open Access Week: What is It?

Open Access Week is an international event that raises awareness of the many benefits of making research free and open for others to use. This year’s theme is “Open for Whom? Equity in Open Knowledge,” which asks libraries and researchers around the world to consider how they will create and support platforms for sharing knowledge that are “inclusive, equitable, and truly serve the needs of a diverse global community. Asking ourselves and our partners ‘open for whom?’ will help ensure that considerations of equity become and remain central… .”

At Middlebury, we are considering “open for whom?” through two goals for the upcoming year: expanding our efforts to support campus-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives; as well as identifying our role in building and sustaining the infrastructure required for digital scholarship.

Other open access efforts at Middlebury include:

  • Digital Collections at Middlebury, our open-source repository that houses digitized works from our archives, along with student theses, scientific datasets, and faculty open access articles.
  • The Open Access policy, adopted by faculty in 2016, grants the college a license to republish scholarly essays by faculty in our online repository.
  • Lever Press, a consortial open access publisher focusing on “digital-first” online scholarly monographs. 
  • An examination of digital scholarship infrastructure, supported by a Mellon grant and led by Dean of the Library Mike Roy (along with a multi-school team of library professionals), with the goal of envisioning a more modern and sustainable system that would enhance scholarly communication at colleges, universities, and research libraries. 

Finally, are you wondering where to find open access research? Here are a few places to look:

Bye-bye Summon, Hello LibrarySearch

LibrarySearch allows you to search our catalog of physical books and all our digital resources at the same time.

The Library has hundreds of databases, indexes and catalogs, providing access to millions of articles, books, films, musical recordings and primary sources.  That sounds promising… until it sounds overwhelming. Where should you start your research? We used to recommend Summon, but over the summer, we replaced Summon with LibrarySearch.  

Like its predecessor Summon, LibrarySearch is a great place to begin your research.  That’s because LibrarySearch links you to nearly everything in our collections. And, we think LibrarySearch is even better than Summon at matching results to your search terms.

We’re still straightening out some of the kinks with our new discovery service.  For example, LibrarySearch is linking to materials at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, and it is not linking to many of our online newspapers. So as always, please get in touch with a librarian if you’re not finding what you need.

Next time you’re starting a research project, try LibrarySearch! Look for it at the center of the Library home page, or at go.middlebury.edu/librarysearch

Mental Health Awareness Month

Literatures and Cultures Librarian Katrina Spencer interviews Madeline “Maddie” Hope, the Assistant Director of Health & Wellness Education, for Mental Health Awareness Month. Visit the Davis Family Library to engage with a thematic display on this topic. Credits go to Dr. Raquel Albarrán of the Department of Luso-Hispanic Studies and students Jayla Johnson, Class of 2021, and Myles Maxie, Class of 2022, for the display’s design. Special thanks to Barbara Walter, Kat Cyr, Laura Kearley and Joseph Watson.

Professor Raquel Albarrán, Myles Maxie and Librarian Katrina Spencer pose with the Mental Health Awareness Month Display.
Professor Raquel Albarrán, Myles Maxie, Class of 2022, and Literatures & Cultures Librarian Katrina Spencer set up the Mental Health Awareness Month Display in the Davis Family Library lobby.

Katrina Spencer (KS): Hi, who are you? How long have you been here? What do you do on campus?

Maddie Hope (MH): Hi! I’m Maddie Hope. I’ve worked at Middlebury since July of 2018. I am a Health Educator, which means I provide trainings, one-on-one discussions and programs about topics related to health and wellness for students. My areas of focus are mental health, alcohol use and cannabis use. Come visit me in the Health and Wellness Education Office on the second floor of the Service Building. We have a massage chair!

Assistant Director of Health & Wellness Education Maddie Hope provides answers to important questions.

KS: What do you know about the display in the Davis Family Library?

MH: I know the display is focused on decreasing stigma related to discussing mental health challenges and providing different resources that can be accessed for support.

KS: Why is it important to reduce stigma surrounding mental health and illness?

MH: So often when people are struggling with mental health, they are also having a hard time connecting to themselves or others and stigma, or judgment, can make this problem worse. Stigma about mental health and mental illness is often the largest barrier to seeking support and feeling understood. These are two of the most important curative factors for mental health challenges. When we seek to understand the challenges others are facing rather than meeting them with judgment, we pave the way for healing.

KS: What resources are available on campus? To students? Staff? Faculty?

MH: For students, there is the Parton Center for Health and Wellness. Students can choose to speak to a counselor or a health care provider for mental health support. To make an appointment with a counselor, students can call 802-443-5141, or visit their office on the third floor of Centeno House. You can also read about counseling staff on campus at go/counseling/. If students are interested in meeting with a health care provider, they can call 802-443-3290, or visit their office on the first floor of Centeno House to make an appointment.

For staff and faculty, Human Resources provides a confidential service called Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) which can provide short-term counseling services on a variety of topics and serve as a referral source for more long term services. More information can be found at go/EFAP/ or by inquiring with Human Resources.

KS: Are there any mental health counselors of color? And if not, what can community members do when they are seeking cultural familiarity and competency in their mental health care services?

MH: The Counseling staff at Middlebury is predominantly white-identified, but the counseling center is commiting to actively recruiting counselors of a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds.

This can certainly be a challenge. Community members have a few options here. It might be valuable to consider beginning an online counseling relationship. It may be helpful to search for a clinician in your home community or in Burlington, VT. Some counselors may be open to meeting completely online, or have a few sessions in person and then offer online appointments.

A few resources for finding a therapist who can provide cultural familiarity include:

a screenshot of Therapy for Black Girls
A screenshot from the online directory Therapy for Black Girls

For additional reading and listening about how mental health challenges can be different for people of color consider the following:

KS: Thank you for those resources above. How might the Health and Wellness Education Office and the Libraries collaborate in reducing the stigma surrounding mental health?

MH: Often the library can be a place students experience many overwhelming emotions (e.g. feeling fatigued from studying, experiencing frustration or hopelessness about assignments or workload). I can see some exciting potential to explore having consistent stress management events in the library for students, faculty and staff to enjoy. Providing opportunities to explore strategies to address overwhelming emotions together helps to show support for those who may have a hard time discussing mental health challenges with others.

KS: Brilliant. Thank you for your time. Students, keep a look out for the Health & Wellness Education’s Stressbusters Calendar out May 6th!

Audiobooks on OverDrive and You

What are audiobooks?

a librarian at desk
Literatures & Cultures Librarian Katrina Spencer poses at the Research Desk, modeling audiobook use with sex columnist Dan Savage’s American Savage.

Audiobooks on OverDrive are digital versions of a book, often a novel, that allow you to listen to a book’s text. Many come in downloadable MP3 format files and are therefore portable on many electronic devices like iPods. Sometimes the authors read their works to you with modest sound effects or other dramatizations of the story or action! Audiobooks can also be found on CDs in the Middlebury College Libraries’ collection. See a thorough listing here.

Why might I want use them?

If it’s hard to find still moments to sit down and open a print work or scroll through an ebook, audiobooks offer a hands-free alternative to the other formats. So, you can carry out household chores, drive, or even exercise while listening to an audiobook.

Where can I see what’s available?


A screenshot representing a small sample of the ~200 audiobooks available at go.middlebury.edu/overdrive.

In terms of what the Middlebury College Libraries holds on OverDrive, just visit go.middlebury.edu/overdrive for access to over 200 audiobooks. If you’re a Vermont resident and a holder of a public library card, you can access 5,000+ titles through the Green Mountain Library Consortium. See go.middlebury.edu/gmlc for more information and use your last name in all caps, ex. ALI, as your password.

Do you have any recommendations?

Book cover art for Eddie Huang’s memoir, Fresh Off the Boat

Yes, sure! But that depends on what you like. One of my favorite parts of my job is readers’ advisory. Look at the bolded type for genre:

  • If you want a psychological thriller in the realm of domestic noir, I recommend The Silent Wife.
  • If dystopian fantasy is what you’re into, Director of Access and Discovery Terry Simpkins and Library Associate Kat Cyr swear by N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth Series.
  • If you want to access a classic and haven’t gotten around to it, Things Fall Apart is available.
  • Social justice? Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me is sure to please and enlighten. And Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed also deeply engages systemic injustice.
  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer lit? I really enjoyed Less. Dr. Marcos Rohena-Madrazo of the Department of Luso-Hispanic Studies is a big fan of Redefining Realness.
  • Humor? Everything’s Trash, But It’s Okay.
  • Disability studies? Good Kings Bad Kings is on the docket.
  • Then there’s also historical non-fiction like The War Before the War.
  • Historical fiction? Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer-prize winning The Underground Railroad is recommendable.
  • And we have memoirs like Michelle Obama’s Becoming— though you may have to wait awhile to get to this one. See my review of it in The Campus, in the meanwhile.
  • Oh, and if you’re studying a foreign language like Spanish, you’ve got about 10 works to choose from on OverDrive and several on CDs in many languages found in the foreign language browsing collection on the main level of the Davis Family Library.

There’s a lot out there!

How can I use them and what should I know about the app?

There are three basic steps for accessing audiobooks:

a flyer advertisement
A flyer with detailed instructions on how to use OverDrive’s audiobooks, a condensed version reproduced at left
  1. Download the OverDrive app, create an original account and after signing in, add the Davis Family Library.
  2. When prompted to sign in with a library card, accept, but use your Middlebury credentials instead.
  3. Make a selection, borrow and manage your ebookshelf.

Also, when in doubt, you are welcome to ask a librarian for help or visit the guide found at go.middlebury.edu/ebookguide. With regard to the OverDrive app, there are some cool options like setting a timer for when you want the recording to stop playing, for example, if you’re getting in bed to sleep, and adjusting the speed of the player if you want to move through some text more quickly or more slowly than others. There’s some bookmarking, too.

Book cover art
Book covert art for Harriet McBryde Johnson’s Accidents of Nature

For how long can I borrow audiobooks?

There are two loan periods: 7 days and 14 days. Know that only one user will use each audiobook at a time. So, if desirable, you can place a hold on a work if you want to be in line for when a popular item is released. Check out up to three audiobooks at a time!

Last words?

They’ve changed my life, for the better. I hope they are of use to you, too. Also, to hear more from Middlebury audiobook users, see this week’s issue of The Campus.

Issue RESOLVED – 503 errors when attempting to open links to websites sent via email

We are pleased to report that the Safe Links service issue is now resolved and we have re-enabled Safe Links. To recap, Safe Links provides extra protections for the Middlebury community from phishing attacks and other malicious email activity by providing time-of-click verification of web addresses (URLs) sent via email.

Thank you for your patience while we worked to resolve matters. Again, we apologize for the disruption.  Please contact the Help Desk if you have any outstanding issues or questions.

Kindly,

ITS Help Desk

Issue UPDATE – errors when attempting to open links to websites sent via email

Microsoft is making significant progress towards resolving the issue with the Safe Links service. In most all cases now, clicking on a link sent to you via email works on the first try. If it doesn’t work, you can typically try again, and the linked website will open.

We are sorry for this disruption in service and any inconvenience. Thank you once again for your patience. We will provide an update as soon as we have more information.

ISSUE – 503 errors when attempting to open links to websites sent via email

We are experiencing an issue with the Microsoft Safe Links service which means you may receive a “503” error if you attempt to click on a link someone outside the organization sent to you via email.

We are working closely with Microsoft to resolve this issue as swiftly as possible. Microsoft has confirmed that this is an issue with their service impacting customers globally. We do not currently have an estimated resolution time.

We have temporarily disabled Safe Links for new, incoming email messages. We will re-enable the Safe Links service after Microsoft has solved the problem.

We will provide an update as soon as we know more. We apologize for this disruption. Thank you for your patience.

Kindly,

ITS Help Desk