Category Archives: LIS Staff Interest

Dan Klemonski '19

I Know What You Did Last Summer! – Dan

Dan Klemonski '19

Dan Klemonski ’19

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 Dan!

Hometown: East Hampton, Connecticut

Year at Middlebury: 2

Majors: History, Economics

What’s a DMT/What drew me:

DMTs are the first line of defense for multimedia-related technical issues, and one of several layers of support for technological literacy on campus. The opportunities to aid in content creation and work on topically diverse projects drew me to this job.

Training:

As a DMT, I’ve been trained in the Adobe Suite, WordPress, Scalar, iMovie, Audacity, Panopto, and Canvas. I’ve also been acquainted with digitizing tools and the plotter.

Talents:

I’ve become quite familiar with Illustrator and iMovie, and have worked a fair amount with digitization (video capture and scanning).

Software to learn:

I’d like to learn Premier better, because I find myself a little too willing to give up its added functionality for the enticing simplicity of iMovie.

Projects:

One particularly fun (and, at times, frustrating) project this summer involved the seemingly basic task of digitizing analog tapes. What I expected to be a straightforward click-and-drag affair turned into a week of hunting for the right cords, ports, and video capture software. The experience let me see the library basement I never knew existed, and left me rather thankful that easy-breezy digital storage is the norm among modern video cameras.

Advice:

No amount of prior training will guarantee that you always know the solution to a problem. A DMT-to-be should be prepared to fill in the inevitable gaps of their technical knowledge on the fly.

Click here to view some of Dan’s work. For more posts like these, like our Facebook page.

Weekly Web Updates – September 18, 2017

We have finished moving from MySQL to MariaDB as the database backend for the Drupal, Course Catalog, CAS, and GO systems. The new database cluster is set up to enable automatic failover to a secondary server should the primary database fail. We’ve now had an opportunity to test this out a couple times and it works quite well, giving us additional stability for these services.

There were a few issues with the initial cutover which are now resolved. Our apologies for these problems and thanks for your patience as we make these changes.

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • The Handbook has been updated for 2017 and we’ve added in several redirects to ensure links to major sections of the old handbook still work.
  • Long datelines in Arts events will no longer cause the event information to drop below the right sidebar.
  • We’ve updated the Help documentation for the online Directory to reflect the current state of the system, removing several sections which no longer apply and noting that commons affiliation is now shown publicly.
  • The embed URL for the Middlebury TimelineJS WordPress plugin is updated so it works with the new version of that service.

Ongoing Work

  • Creating a new website for the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.
  • Creating a new automatically generated course catalog.
  • Building out the configuration of our CAS servers in Chef, which is a configuration management system. We have already completed this work for our Drupal, WordPress, MediaWiki, GO, Omeka, and the Course Catalog services.
  • Upgrading the Drupal sites for the Davis programs, Dining Menus, and Museum of Art to Drupal 8.
The banner used on the 2017 Hispanic American/Latinx Heritage Month display in the Davis family Library.

Celebrating Hispanic American/Latinx Heritage Month

From September 15th thru October 15th, the United States celebrates Hispanic American / Latinx Heritage Month. Read below to find out how some of the people at Middlebury College engage with these identities. Also come by the Davis Family Library September 18th-29th to see the display. Many sincere thanks to Marlena Evans :) for her committed work in developing banner designs.

Names of Respondents; Hometowns; Roles on Campus:

Zarai Zaragoza, a Mexican American Middlebury College senior and studio art major sits in front of colorful art pieces.

Zarai Zaragoza, a Mexican American Middlebury College senior and studio art major sits in front of colorful art pieces.

ZZ: Zarai Zaragoza; Chicago, Illinois; Studio Art Major with Education Studies Minor – Part of Alianza, WOC [Women of Color], DMC [Distinguished Men of Color], Anderson Freeman Center Fellow, and so much more.

MRM: Marcos Rohena-Madrazo; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Assistant Professor of Spanish / Linguistics.

KS: Katrina Spencer; Los Angeles, California; Literatures & Cultures Librarian.

XM: Ximena Mejía; Salisbury, Vermont; Middlebury College Counseling Director. Continue reading

Fayza Rahman '20.5

I Know What You Did Last Summer! – Fayza

Fayza Rahman '20.5

Fayza Rahman ‘20.5

I Know What You Did Last Summer! This is the first 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. We’ll begin with Fayza!

Birthplace: Dhaka, Bangladesh
Current Residence: Oberlin, Ohio
Year at Middlebury: 1
Major:  Film
What’s a DMT and what you drew you to this job on campus?
A DMT is a digital media tutor in the Wilson Media Lab who is knowledgeable about an array of softwares in order to help others with their digital projects.  As an intended film major, I love editing softwares and was inspired by the tutors that helped me through many of my film projects to take this job.

 

What type of training have you received?
I have received training in InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, iMovie, Audacity, WordPress, Panopto, Scalar, and so much more, it’s awesome!

Do you have a strong talent with any particular software?
I love video editing and working in Adobe Premiere! I love combining Premiere with AfterEffects or Character Animator to give my movies more variety.  I could edit films all day.

What software tool would you like to learn better and why?
I really want to further master Adobe Aftereffects because that software is an endless pit of editing opportunities.

Tell me about some of the projects you worked on this summer. Were there any that were especially interesting or challenging?
I am currently working on developing a website for a first year seminar based on Dan Brown’s upcoming novel Origin. Working on that project has been really fun because Professor Beyer is passionate about the books Brown has written and I can 100% relate as someone who has read most of his work myself.

I will be starting another project where I am creating instructional lab videos for the physics department.  I am excited to do camera work for that project and it’s also cool because the lab works with lasers!

What advice would you give to any other Midd student interested in becoming a DMT?
I think the main thing is self motivation, if you want to make the most of this job, you need to be willing to dive into new softwares and familiarize yourself with them when you get the chance.  Self teaching during the slower days in the lab and becoming well versed in as many programs as possible will make you a better tutor.

 

Click here to read more about Fayza’s projects. For more posts like these, like our Facebook page.

Phoenix Pod to replace NExpress

Former NExpress members have agreed to keep working together to provide expedited Interlibrary Loan services with the start of the Phoenix Rapid Returnables Pod.  All requests will be processed through ILLiad, but requests for materials owned and available at any of the Phoenix Pod members will be ordered automatically, delivered by UPS, and loaned for an extended period of two months (with a renewal of another month).

What do you need to do to take advantage of Rapid’s automated ordering? Nothing special! If you need a book or an article that we don’t own, submit a request via ILLiad at go.middlebury.edu/ill/ as usual, and be sure to include an ISSN or OCLC Accession number. (Need help with that? Ask a librarian!)

100 Years And Counting!

The Spanish School, one of Middlebury’s 11 Language Schools, celebrates its 100th year. Here are a few words from current affiliated staff who have witnessed some of its evolutions.

Professor Joseph Casillas of the Spanish School (MA, Class of 2010) poses for a photo.

Names:      

JC: Joseph Casillas

LC: Laura Cabrera

KS: Katrina Spencer

Bilingual Assistant Laura Cabrera of the Spanish School is pictured here, in Middlebury gear.

Hometowns:

JC: Phoenix, Arizona

LC: Salamanca, Spain

KS: Los Angeles, California

Roles:

Middlebury’s Literatures & Cultures Librarian Katrina Spencer poses at the Research Desk in the Davis Family Library. Having obtained a master degree from the Spanish School in 2010, she now serves the school as the Language Schools’ library liaison.

JC: Professor.

LC: I’m a bilingual assistant in the Spanish School.

KS: Library liaison.

When did you first encounter the Spanish School?

JC: My first experience in Middlebury was in 2007 as an MA student in the Spanish school.

LC: I arrived to Middlebury in 1998 when I was a little girl because my dad [Carlos Cabrera] was a teacher in the Spanish School.

KS: I arrived to Middlebury in 2009 and graduated from the master program in 2010. I’d been looking for a school that would allow me to complete my degree overseas and this was one of the two I found.

Has your role always been the same?

JC: No. I spent two summers in the Spanish school finishing my MA. Afterwards I spent two consecutive summers in the French school, as a pure beginner in level 1 and the following summer in level 4. The following two years I returned to the Spanish school to work as a bilingual assistant, and the past 3 years I have worked as a professor in the undergraduate 7-week program.

LC: First I came as a dependent with my parents but since 2007 I’ve been working as a bilingual assistant at the Spanish School.

KS: No. At first I was a master student, then a non-degree seeking student in the Portuguese program and now I’m a librarian.

Over the summer, the Spanish School placed several banners in the atrium of the Davis Family Library to commemorate its centennial. This one documents its beginnings in 1917.

Tell us about the diversity of the program.

JC: The Spanish school program is rather diverse. In any given summer there are professors and students from most of the Spanish speaking countries in the world. The students are particularly diverse in many different ways. In terms of age, in my classes I have had students that just finished high school, all the way up to retirees that decided to learn Spanish for fun. But the student body at Middlebury is diverse in other ways as well. For example, I have had students that work as government agents, and other military special forces, as well as high school teachers of other languages.

LC: Faculty and staff come from different places around the world: Spain, Mexico, Cuba, United States, Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, etc. And we have some students that are from different parts of the United States and other countries like India and China, so the Spanish School is culturally diverse.

KS: In terms of the faculty, without having to do much mental exercise at all, I know that Cuba, Mexico, Peru, Spain, and the United States are all represented. In terms of the student body, you find students aged 19-50+. That’s always something that has quite impressed me. During my first summer, we had a nun in our program and at least one student completing the doctorate of modern languages. People come to Middlebury for a wide array of reasons and from a variety of backgrounds. This year they have a lawyer who’s engaged in immigration law.

This banner reflects some of the most recent developments and cultural celebrations led by the Spanish School.

Over the years, what changes within the school and what remains the same?

JC: There are many things that stay the same. Middlebury, itself doesn’t change much. In the ten years that I have been around, the faculty hasn’t changed too much. Certain aspects of the program that we do every year typically stay the same, but every summer is unique in its own way because of the students. Sometimes there are students who repeat, and the graduate students typically spend multiple summers in the program, but the majority of the undergraduate students are new. It is always fun to see how diverse and talented they are. I’ve also seen many of the professors children grow up over the course of several summers. It truly is a unique experience.

LC: In my opinion, almost everything is the same as my first time here. Some people come back and some people don’t, but the main spirit of the “Spanish school family” is the same, summer after summer. Middlebury is like a bubble, no matter how you spent the whole year, if you go back for another summer, you’ll feel the last summer was yesterday instead of a year ago.

KS: Much of the professoriate remains the same! The Spanish School attracts and retains excellent instructors. Some have been teaching in the program more than 15 years. Mariluz Gutiérrez Araus and Mercedes Fernández-Isla are two of them. One change that I’ve noted is that program now has a website where students can follow its activities. It’s very colorful and up-to-date, reflecting the technology use of our time. Also, I believe we have a school site in Argentina now. Formerly students were able to complete a summer of study in Mexico, which I did, and now you can do it in South America. Oh, and the Literary Analysis students join together and receive a library orientation session in Spanish!

Literatures & Cultures Librarian Katrina Spencer poses with an “abanico,” a fan, designed for the centennial. Other accouterments for the 100th year celebration included buttons and “pañuelos,” scarves or handkerchiefs, all marked with the letter “ñ“.

How do you and your community within the Language Schools use the libraries and our resources?

JC: I used the library much more for research as an MA student. Since then, I mainly use the library for preparing classes and meeting with students.

LC: As an office manager at the Spanish School, I don’t use the library so often. We usually borrow some films to show and some tech devices we need for the events. I think the students use the library more often, like a studying place and using the resources: books, movies, etc.

KS: When I was a student, we graduate students used JSTOR quite heavily to find academic articles of literary criticism. This database is still popular among Language School students in general. The Spanish-language browsing collection that includes readings like Manolito Gafotas and music by flamenco-style singer Buika is also popular. In the instruction sessions I give, I really try to plug Lexis Nexis for finding news articles,  Kanopy for online film streaming and our Alexander Street vendor for listening to music online. There are also special carrels/study spaces in the library assigned to each language school.

What do you envision for the Spanish School’s future?

The Spanish School hosted a special dance party with live music to which all the Language Schools on the Vermont campus were invited to fete the centennial occasion.

JC: I think one of the big changes facing the program in the upcoming years is related to heritage speakers. Every summer we get more and more students with this profile, which makes sense because of the changing demographics in the US, and I hope to see explicit attention given to these students in the program’s curriculum moving forward.

LC: I don’t know what will will be the future of the Spanish School, but I’m sure it depends on the students because they are a different group every summer. So, like Joseph said, I think the heritage speakers will be a very important part of the program in the next years.

KS: Changes in the school will likely mirror changes in society, ¿no es cierto? Perhaps there will be more demand for courses representing Central America and indigenous populations as we have more people within the United States that represent that region. I imagine the school will become even more diverse as more people realize the importance of speaking Spanish merely as residents in the Western hemisphere. And I hope that more classes will request library instruction sessions so students can navigate our spaces with even greater confidence. 

 

Weekly Web Updates – September 11, 2017

 

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • Resolved an issue with one of the Drupal front-end servers that caused intermittent page errors between the morning of Sunday, September 3, and Monday, September 4 and interfered with the SiteImprove crawl.
  • Increased the page cache lifetime for the Course Catalog to 24 hours, which gets cleared nightly when importing new information from Banner. This should increase application performance.

Ongoing Work

  • Creating a new website for the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.
  • Creating a new automatically generated course catalog.
  • Building out the configuration of our CAS servers in Chef, which is a configuration management system. We have already completed this work for our Drupal, WordPress, MediaWiki, GO, Omeka, and the Course Catalog services.
  • Upgrading the Drupal sites for the Davis programs, Dining Menus, and Museum of Art to Drupal 8.