Category Archives: Library

MIDCAT downtime tomorrow, Tuesday, 3/6/18

Hello again

This is another reminder that MIDCAT will be unavailable on Tuesday, Mar. 6, between 4AM-8AM.  This includes staff client side functions as well as the webPAC (go/midcat/) and includes all lookup and checkout functions, among other services.

Thank you for your patience, and we apologize for any inconvenience.

Terry Simpkins
Director, Discovery and Access Services
Davis Family Library

Upcoming library catalog (MIDCAT) downtime – take 2


As most of you probably are aware, Innovative’s first attempt at adding a 2nd serials and acquisitions unit to our Millennium library catalog was not successful.  Therefore, we are trying again on Tuesday, Mar. 6, between 4AM-8AM.  As with our first try, during this period, MIDCAT will be unavailable, including lookup and checkout functions.

Thank you for your patience, and we apologize for any inconvenience.

Terry Simpkins
Director, Discovery and Access Services
Davis Family Library

Upcoming library catalog (MIDCAT) downtime

In preparation for our upcoming merge of the Middlebury and MIIS library catalogs, our vendor, Innovative Interfaces, Inc., will be adding a 2nd serials and acquisition unit to our Millennium installation.  This addition requires a short period of downtime, which will occur on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 4AM-8AM.  During this period, MIDCAT will be unavailable, including lookup and checkout functions.

Thank you for your patience, and we apologize for any inconvenience.

Terry Simpkins
Director, Discovery and Access Services
Davis Family Library

Hair Me Out: A Black Hair Celebration

The collaborative, locally sourced, internationally themed, contemporary and historical exhibit “Hair Me Out” is now installed on the Upper Level of the Davis Family Library and includes multimedia components in the atrium. It explores the political, diasporic and stylistic phenomena surrounding Black hair from all around the world. This exhibit will be installed from February 21st through March 20th. Stop by to see it and visit to see its digital representation. Continue reading

Watch for this when accessing full text articles

Next time you click on a “Full text online” link in Summon that looks like thisyou may see a screen that looks like thisAny reasonable person would suspect something is terribly wrong. The fact is that, somewhat unfortunately, a link that says “Click this link to display full-text in a new window” no longer displays in the big empty spot. Instead, there is now a very small link at the bottom of the narrow frame on the right that says “Open content in a new tab.” (additional screenshot below) If you click that link, you will (hopefully) see the journal article you are looking for.

We’re sorry for this inconvenience. We and other libraries are working with our third-party vendor to improve the situation.

Report any problems with access to online resources by email to


Erroneous Library Overdue Notices

UPDATE: This issue has now been resolved.  Again, we apologize for the confusion and unneccessary alarm.


Earlier this morning, many of you may have received automated email notices generated by our library system (MIDCAT) erroneously informing you of having overdue library materials. Please ignore these notices.  We are investigating why these notices were sent, but please be assured that the materials are NOT currently charged out to your account.

We apologize for this inconvenience.

Terry Simpkins
Director, Discovery & Access Services
Middlebury Library

Interlibrary Loan Winter Break Service Update – 2017

Due to the holidays, shipping madness, the increased risk of losses, and the lack of open libraries willing to send things, the Interlibrary Loan Department limits ordering and shipping during the second half of December.

If you need anything before winter break request it now!  Interlibrary loan requests submitted to ILLiad after Dec. 15th will be ordered in early January.

ILLiad article requests will continue to be filled by RapidILL through Dec. 22st, but requests must have a valid ISSN and year to be processed by Rapid.

Use Worldcat to find your citations and submit your loan requests!


MIDCAT v. Summon, a tale of two systems

image of woman

Literatures & Cultures Librarian Katrina Spencer has a few words to share about MIDCAT and Summon.

This is Katrina Spencer, the Literatures & Cultures Librarian and this post is for everyone who uses MIDCAT and Summon to navigate library resources. At this point in the semester, however, the message is primarily for students. Students, as you prepare for your end-of-year assignments, I want to tell you a bit about how I use both MIDCAT and Summon differently. If you speak to another librarian, you will likely get a whole new set of ideas, interpretations and uses, which is good and enriching. Take a look below to see my impressions and visit the rest of the team at the Research Desk for more conversation on this topic.

MIDCAT ~ Will provide results for library materials including print books, e-books, DVDs, CDs, VHS, government documents, sheet music, microfilm and microfiche, and a variety of technological equipment held in Davis Family Library, Armstrong Library in Bicentennial Hall, Davison Library at Bread Loaf, Twilight, etc.

When I use MIDCAT…

  • I am searching for a specific item (usually a book, DVD or CD) I know or suspect Middlebury College Libraries own
  • I am searching for an item by title or author
  • I am searching for an exhaustive list of materials by Subject, for example, “Abenaki,” as depicted in the screenshot with 78 results.
a MIDCAT subject listing for the search "Abenaki"

MIDCAT browse list showing results for the subject search “Abenaki”

  • I need to know an item’s call number and where it is housed in the libraries
  • I want to know the status of an item/if it has been returned
  • I want to know how many copies we have of an item
  • I want to know if we have a certain item in multiple formats, both in print and digitally
  • I want an exhaustive list of a particular type of holding, for example, all of the films in a certain language

    a screenshot from the go/midcat/ menu highlighting videos and languages with red arrows

    Advanced search menu showing one way to search MIDCAT for Middlebury’s film collection by language.

Summon ~ Except for some relatively small types of material such as the tech equipment the library makes available for loan, Summon will provide results for almost everything MIDCAT holds AND other library materials including databases, journal articles, photographs, dissertations and theses, magazines, newspapers, sound recordings and more. You can also use Summon to search libraries other than Middlebury’s.

When I use Summon…

  • I am looking for journal articles.
  • I am looking for something I’m not sure exists.
  • I am using a complex string of keywords to find a variety of materials (journal articles, photographs, audio recordings, etc.)
a screenshot from the advanced search menu in summon for selecting content type

This is a screen capture of the advanced search screen in Summon. This box holds dozens of content types and these three examples — interactive media, journal/e-journal and journal article– are a limited selection of what is available.

  • I am looking for materials held by libraries other than Middlebury.
a screenshot of a search performed in Summon indicating the "Add results beyond your library's collection" button indicated with a red arrow

After entering a search in Summon, users can select “Add results beyond your library’s collection,” indicated above with a red arrow, to review holdings outside of Middlebury’s resources.

  • I am attempting to use resources that ask me for money.  The College subscribes to many paid resources, and in order to gain access to them, I must arrive at them via a Middlebury site and sign in with my Middlebury username and password
  • “Boolean” searches are helpful, employing “AND,” “OR,” and “NOT” to limit or increase my results.

I welcome you to comment on anything I missed and to introduce new approaches. Visit the bottom of the page at to see the times at which the Research Desk is staffed, more than 40 hours a week, and visit to find discipline-specific specialists.