Category Archives: libspotlight

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:

Deaccessioning Project Formally Begins

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. Starting this fall, librarians will review the titles under consideration for withdrawal, and will make preliminary decisions about which titles to remove.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Before and After Stonewall: Queer Stories Throughout American History

Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin (1956)

This fall in the Library Atrium, view Special Collections’ new exhibit commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, an event that sparked the movement for equal rights for members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Curated by Suria Vanrajah ’22, the exhibit presents a timeline illustrating the increased visibility and acceptance of queer literature in America.

On view through fall, with the companion exhibit:

Middlebury College Coming Out: A Foundation for Queer Activism
Depicting Middlebury College’s LGBTQ community in the decades following the Stonewall riots.

Curated by Joseph Watson, Reid Macfarlane, ’21 and Halle Shephard, ’22.
Located on the Library Lower Level.

Questions? Contact specialcollections@middlebury.edu

Welcome to the Libraries, Class of 2023!

Welcome to the Libraries! Come and say hello to a librarian at the Research Desk. We provide expert research help, bookmarks, collectible library pins and (sometimes) candy! Find us on the main level of the Davis Family Library.

Welcome, Class of 2023!
We’re at the Research Desk Sunday-Friday. Come by and say hello!

Fall Research Desk Hours
(September 9 – December 13)

  • Sunday 2pm-5pm
  • Monday 11am-5pm and 7pm-9:30pm
  • Tuesday 11am-5pm and 7pm-9:30pm
  • Wednesday 11am-5pm and 7pm-9:30pm
  • Thursday 11am-5pm
  • Friday 11am-4pm

And online anytime at:
go.middlebury.edu/askalibrarian

No one’s at the Research Desk?
Visit us in our offices! Librarians are conveniently located right behind the Research Desk.

What about the Armstrong Library?
A librarian is available most days at the Armstrong Library in McCardell Bicentennial Hall, too. Just ask!

LibrarySearch!

LibrarySearch is here!

The library has switched its discovery platform from Summon to one from EBSCO, which we are calling “LibrarySearch.”  LibrarySearch will work very much like Summon: it will still retrieve results from the library catalog (MIDCAT), and it will still find article-level results from our subscribed journals and databases (as well as beyond, if desired).

We made this switch for a number of reasons.  LibrarySearch:

  • offers better discovery of non-full-text indexes such as MLA Bibliography and RILM (in fact, these databases are not indexed by Summon, due to their dissatisfaction with how Summon handles non-full-text databases)
  • has features not available in Summon, such as a view into which databases search results are coming from, and the option to save search results directly into online storage providers such as Dropbox
  • is more tightly integrated with the library’s catalog than Summon
  • is (like Summon) a very stable and widely-used system
  • is highly customizable
  • is also now available to students and colleagues at the William Tell Coleman library at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies

Of course, since LibrarySearch is provided to us by a different vendor, you will see changes in how search results are ranked and displayed, and the interface will look somewhat different. 

Please see go/librarysearch to try out the new system.  As with any new system, there are bound to be some bugs, broken links, unexpected results or behavior, etc.  Please submit problems, or suggestions for improvements, to Terry Simpkins in the Library (x5045).

Experience the Library in Your Language

Finding your way around the library takes time, and we know that during summer language schools, time is scarce!  That’s why we’ve created guides to the library for every summer language, from Spanish, to Hebrew to Experience the library in your languageChinese and more. Browse a complete list of guides here.

Each guide is curated by a Middlebury librarian to help you find what you need quickly.  We provide links to lists of in-language books, search tips, and answers to questions that have been asked by other students.

Most importantly,  each guide includes contact information for a librarian who can help. Use the “Schedule Appointment” button to sign up for a one-on-one research consultation with your librarian. Talk with us about what you’re working on — and save yourself some time!

Find your research guide at go.middlebury.edu/guides.

MLA Bibliography Has Moved to EBSCOhost

The Modern Language Association (MLA) has decided to make the MLA Bibliography available exclusively on the EBSCOhost platform. For this reason, we have moved our MLA Bibliography subscription from the ProQuest platform to EBSCOhost. You may already be familiar with EBSCOhost if you’ve accessed our eBook collection, or any other number of databases hosted by EBSCO.

What does this mean for you?

The content is the same! It’s still the MLA Bibliography, but it looks slightly different now. What, exactly, has changed? The basic and advanced search forms, buttons for emailing and saving records, and links to access articles and books via full-text databases, MIDCAT, and Interlibrary Loan — all of these appear in slightly different locations, fonts or colors. But overall, MLA via EBSCOhost will feel at least somewhat familiar, we expect.  

MLA Search Form
Search form for MLA via EBSCOhost

How to adapt to this change?

Visit MLA on the EBSCOhost platform and take a look around. Then, update any personal bookmarks to point to the MLA via EBSCOhost:  http://go.middlebury.edu/mla.

Questions or concerns?

Please reach out to your library liaison for assistance.