Category Archives: libspotlight

Finding Sources at Middlebury Libraries

The library has millions of resources, but how do you start to find the exact title you’re looking for? The answer isn’t one size fits all. Check out the top ways to find sources below:

Finding sources at the library infographic

Research Guides

Librarian approved! These guides highlight relevant resources and databases on specific subjects and are a great place to start your research. go/guides/

Summon

Library search engine, results will show everything  the library has access to. Use the filters on the left side to narrow your results down to a manageable amount. go/summon/

MIDCAT

The traditional online library catalog, MIDCAT is a great tool when you know a specific feature of what you’re looking for like the author’s name, title, or subject of the work. go/midcat/

Interlibrary Loan

Fear not! If Middlebury doesn’t have the resource you want, you can still have it (though it might take a little longer than pulling a book off the shelves) Submit an ILL request for anything we’ll get a copy for you! go/ill/

Still Not Sure?

Meet a librarian at the Research Desk or schedule a consultation, no question is too small. go/AskUs/

Throwback Thursday: Kat Cyr

Some of the employees working within the libraries once had other roles and separate affiliations with Middlebury. Follow their (r)evolutions on the first Thursday of every month this semester.

Name: Kat Cyr

Former Role(s) on Campus: Midd Class of 2011, Japanese Major, Linguistics Minor

(also a Japanese Summer Language School Alumnus)

Current Role on Campus: Interlibrary Loan Associate

When was this photo taken?

When I was studying abroad in Kyoto in 2010. This was before we had established a Midd-specific school in Japan so I was there via the Associated Kyoto Program (AKP).

What were you doing in this photo?

I’d gone up to Kurama Hot Springs with a bunch of friends for a day of cultural enrichment (i.e. soaking in huge volcanic baths) and inter-college outreach (i.e. goofing about with fellow study abroad students from other schools). We had gathered a small group of Magic enthusiasts and were playing in between soaking sessions; we were using Japanese cards of course, so studying was still happening. We were just also in our fancy robes, sipping tea, occasionally amusing the other hot spring patrons. I seem to remember several little old ladies approaching us in the bath to chat. It was a delightful day.

How have things changed in your life since then?

I’m a couple years older, a couple degrees further in debt, now thoroughly obsessed with fiber arts, and very much turning into a crazy cat lady librarian. Also my Japanese is much, much better than it was then.

What hasn’t?

I still love hot springs, though my access to them is now non-existent. I also drink entirely too much tea, study Japanese whenever possible, and play geeky games on a regular basis.

What’s your favorite thing about your job?

I love seeing all the interesting books that people request through ILL. We see some really cool things requested for research purposes, from microfilm of obscure government documents to foreign language comics to massive road maps. As schools borrow things from our library we also get to see some of the coolest books from the stacks that I would never have thought we’d have. And then there are just the awesome book recs we get from people ILLing fiction of various kinds. ILL is a spectacular place to work if you love books.

What is on the horizon?

I’m currently working my way out of debt and trying to establish a home that is a little less temporary than my string of dorm rooms and office-provided apartments. Other than that, I haven’t thought that far into the future. Right I’m just taking things one day at a time.

For more posts like these, like our Facebook page.

Image of the banner used in the November 2017 display including headshots from the class at left and a Native American woman in traditional headdress at right

Celebrating Native American/Indigenous and Alaska Native Heritage Month

In honor of Native American/Indigenous and Alaska Native Heritage Month, Dr. Irina Feldman’s Spanish 324 Class, Images of America, has collaborated with the Davis Family Library to develop a display including works that commemorate the many peoples belonging to these groups throughout the Americas. Visit the Davis Family Library to see the display and read more about how it all was shaped below. We thank Marlena Evans, Caleb Turner, Alaina HanksOshin Bista and all the unseen laborers and sponsors who make these projects successful.

The display in the Davis Family Library lobby will be staffed by students from the class on the evenings of November 6th and 7th to answer your questions on this theme. Plan to join us at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, November 27th in the Robert A. Jones (RAJ) ’59 Conference Room when Chief of the Abenaki Don Stevens will join the Middlebury College community for a talk on life in Vermont as a person of indigenous heritage. Also, stay tuned for Dr. Brandon Baird’s talk, “Unequivocally Authentic: Mayan Language and Identity in Modern Guatemala,” in the Carol Rifelj Lecture Series hosted by the Center for Teaching, Learning & Research on November 29th. The site go.middlebury.edu/calendar has more details. Continue reading

Happy Open Access Week, Middlebury!

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 

“Stephen Hawking announces he has made his doctoral thesis openly available for the first time, and perfectly captures the essence of Open Access by noting in his comments:

“Anyone, anywhere in the world should have free, unhindered access to not just my research, but to the research of every great and inquiring mind across the spectrum of human understanding.” (from https://amp.theguardian.com/science/2017/oct/23/stephen-hawking-1966-thesis-cambridge-university-properties-of-expanding-universes  )

Locally, at the Middlebury College Library, we have four main things we are doing to celebrate this week:

  1. We have a new display of books and pamphlets having to do with Open Access in the atrium of the Davis Library.
  2. 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 .
  3. 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.
  4. We are encouraging faculty to submit their recently published articles to our Open Access Repository by using the form here.

 

(A broader summary of our engagement with Open Access can be found in a recent newsletter article “TOWARDS AN OPEN INFORMATION COMMONS” . )

 

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.

 

Trending Questions: How should I start?

Trending Questions“I have to write a research paper. How should I start?”

We’re hearing this question a lot these days, and we aren’t surprised. The librarians at the Research Desk have helped many students begin working on research papers — and the process is a little different every time. Depending on the assignment (how long is the paper? what are the requirements and goals? when is it due?), the topic, and the prep work you’ve done already, we might suggest beginning in Summon, or MIDCAT, or… on a sheet of notebook paper where you’ll jot down a few keywords to get the thoughts flowing.

If this trending question has been on your mind lately too, go ahead and ask a librarian! Find us at the Research Desk in the Davis Family Library, behind the Circulation Desk at the Armstrong Library, or online at go/askus/.

I Know What You Did Last Summer! – Alex

Alex Brockelman '18

Alex Brockelman ’18

I Know What You Did Last Summer! This is part of a series of posts highlighting the work of the Summer 2017 Digital Media Tutors (DMTs) from the Wilson Media Lab found in the Davis Family Library Room 220. Meet Alex!

Hometown:  Tempe, Arizona

Year at Middlebury:  3 years / Rising Senior

Major: Political ScienceMinor: History

What’s a DMT and what you drew you to this job on campus?

A DMT is a Digital Media Tutor, a student hired to train in the uses of media for academic purposes and then aid students/faculty bolster their research/projects with a media presence.

What type of training have you received?

I have received a comprehensive training on media and web tools, including audio, video, web site, and graphics editing.

Do you have a strong talent with any particular software?

My strongest talent lies where I began my “media journey,” with sound editing.  I began working with sound when I was in high school as an amateur DJ and producer, and have always found the process interesting and rewarding.

What software tool would you like to learn better and why?

I would like to become better at video editing, because I see video (the confluence of audio and visuals) as the most versatile digital media tool.

Tell me about some of the projects you worked on this summer. Were there any that were especially interesting or challenging?

I have worked on a web site to help athletic teams at Middlebury communicate as a group, as well as do film study and perhaps even recruit.  My other big project has been a French Grammar Website (essentially an online grammar book).  That project has been a great way to practice my French, and an interesting exercise in understanding language pedagogy.

What advice would you give to any other Midd student interested in becoming a DMT?

Do it!  It is a fun and low-pressure environment which provides you with crucial skills.  Be prepared to be wrong sometimes, or struggle through complex problems.  In the end, those are the moments which will hold the most valuable lessons.

Click here to view more information about Alex’s projects. For more posts like these, like our Facebook page.

Pulling back the curtain on the Research Desk

What can I do at the Research Desk?There is, of course, no curtain at the Davis Family Library Research Desk! But still, sometimes it seems like we should be making what we do at the desk more visible. So, let’s (air quotes) “pull back the curtain” —

Many people think you have to have a question to talk with a librarian at the Research Desk. If you do have a question, please talk with us! But even if you don’t know what your question is, we still can help. Just tell us about your assignment and together, we’ll figure out what you should do next.

What can I do at the Research Desk?

  • Get help finding a book!
  • Explore the magical world of citations!
  • Learn how to use Interlibrary Loan!
  • Have someone listen to your research woes and offer you sound advice!
  • Or, just ask directions to the restrooms!

AND MUCH, MUCH MORE!

***

We’re at the Research Desk Sunday-Friday, and in the evenings on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Find our hours (and lots of other research help) at go/askus/.

The image of the banner to be used for the Disability Employment Awareness Display on a dark blue background with white text highlighting access, full participation and opportunity.

Celebrating Disability Employment Awareness Month

October is Disability Employment Awareness Month. Come to the Davis Family Library atrium October 2nd- 15th to see our display that includes books and DVDs that touch on a variety of themes related to disability. Also read below about the various efforts made to make our campus more accessible and inclusive. Many sincere thanks to Marlena Evans for her work in designing this month’s banner and to the Advisory Group on Disability, Access, and Inclusion for its generous guidance. Continue reading