Category Archives: LIS Staff Interest

Middlebury Campus Moves to Office 2016 — Are You There Yet?

MS Office 2016 logoIs your college-owned computer already running Microsoft Office 2016?  If so, you’re all set; read no further (unless you hate to miss anything!)  Not sure?  Here’s how you can find your version information.

If you have yet to upgrade your version of Office, it’s time to seize the moment and take care of this important detail so you’ll be using the recommended version.  Office 2016 is available for college-owned computers through self-service installs that can be done at your convenience. You’ll find installation instructions — and some great resource links — on our Office 2016 wiki page.  If you’d like assistance or have questions about the Office upgrade process, please submit a Helpdesk ticket and we’ll be happy to lend a hand.

Reluctant to upgrade?  You may be relieved to hear that you won’t need to relearn everything you already know.  The main changes are a streamlined look that provides the same experience on different devices, such as phones and tablets, and better integration with OneDrive for file storage.  Office 2016 is also needed so you can use Multi-Factor Authentication with Outlook.

But don’t take my word for it — check out How to Learn More about Office 2016 and convince yourself that it’s time to move on up!

Weekly Web Updates – June 26

We’ve removed the Sydney theme from the list of those which can be enabled on the Middlebury site network. This theme requires a custom plugin for most of its advanced functionality to work and we recommend people use a different theme for their sites.

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • Updated the copyright statement and carbon neutrality banner in the Sustainability site footer.
  • Extended the local browser cache lifetime of items served by cdn.middlebury.edu to two weeks and minified the MIIS site’s CSS files.
  • Removed the list of admission prices from the Dining Menus site.

Ongoing Work

  • Creating a new website for the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.
  • Archiving Moodle.
  • 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.

Weekly Web Updates – June 19

We have disabled the creation of WebM videos when new video files are uploaded to MiddMedia. The server was experiencing issues transcoding video to that format. Firefox and other browsers now natively support H.264, removing the requirement for a WebM alternative file.

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • Members of the “ADA Compliance” group will now automatically get added to WordPress sites created through the Course Hub so they can assist in making course materials accessible.
  • HTML files are no longer allowed to be uploaded to Drupal webforms and we’ve further limited the allowed files types that can be collected through submissions to these forms.
  • Fixed an issue in the Drupal WYSIWYG editor caused by the introduction of a new field for handling external media URLs which we don’t use.

Ongoing Work

  • Creating a new website for the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.
  • Archiving Moodle.
  • 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.

Welcome, Mike Lally!

Please welcome Mike Lally, a MuseumWorks intern who is working with Wendy up in Armstrong. Mike is a rising senior, majoring in physics

Mike Lally, ’18, researching instruments

and art history. He will be working on researching and cataloging items in the Antique Scientific Instruments collection, and learning about digital preservation. In the end, we hope to digitize a subset of the collection – including 3-D scanning! – and he will create a new exhibit for the Armstrong lobby area. He has already discovered treasure in the collection, so we will be posting semi-regularly on the exciting find-of-the-week. Stay tuned!

Weekly Web Updates – June 12

WordPress 4.8 features new sidebar widgets for images, videos, audio, and rich text. We’ve added support for these in the past through custom plugins and shortcodes, but it’s now part of the native experience with an improved user interface.

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • Applied padding updates to the CCI WordPress homepage.
  • Resolved an issue with the Middlebury TimelineJS Shortcode WordPress plugin which was not allowing timelines with hyphens in their ids.
  • Relocated the editorial style guide to GitHub.

Ongoing Work

  • Creating a new website for the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.
  • Archiving Moodle.
  • 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.
  • Integrating Panopto (streaming videos) and Canvas (LMS).

Weekly Web Updates – May 29

 

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • Only sites.middlebury.edu/dmt/ will redirect to the Digital Media Tutor blog, allowing other WordPress sites to be created which begin with the letters “dmt”.
  • Removed a login form for ILLiad from the Drupal site and replaced with a direct link to the ILLiad login page.

Ongoing Work

  • Creating a new website for the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.
  • Archiving Moodle.
  • 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.
  • Integrating Panopto (streaming videos) and Canvas (LMS).

African American Music Appreciation Month 2017

Literatures & Cultures Librarian Katrina Spencer kneels next to a newly installed display featuring African American musics..

I grew up in a very musical household and that identity follows me wherever I go.

Name: Katrina Spencer

Title: Literatures & Cultures Librarian

Hometown: Los Angeles, California

Collaborators: Kat Cyr, Arabella Holzapfel, Amy Frazier, Terry Simpkins, Marlena Evans, Heather Stafford, Innocent Mpoki, Joe Antonioli, Sue Driscoll, Dan Frostman, Kim Gurney, Janine McDonald, Todd Sturtevant, Bryan Carson, Joy Pile, Ryan Clement, multiple student workers, Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter, and others. Many sincere thanks to all of the energy you all have put into this.

Whatcha got goin’ here in the atrium and on the main level of the Davis Family Library?

Of the 23,000+ CDs we have in our collection, we are highlighting over 300 works by and about African American musical artists from June 1st- June 7th and June 18th- June 22nd. Former President Barack Obama declared June as African American Music Appreciation Month, an initiative first shaped in 1979. President Obama was able to draw further attention to the commemorative month with his 2016 proclamation and the many artists his administration invited to perform at the White House.

Generally speaking, the content spans the 1940s to the early 2000s, including artists from every decade in between. African American music started much earlier than this, but when it comes to largely accessible sound recordings, the early 20th century was perhaps a good place to start in terms of our holdings.  However, we do plan to include some very early recordings and have a few books that address African American music in the late 1800s- early 1900s.

What motivated you to put this together?

There were so many motivations. First, I have lived now in five states– California, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Vermont– and while the demographics, landscapes, weather, and food fare change, the consumption of African American music as an avid pastime does not. Scratch that: it’s global. People love the soulful sounds born deep in the South of our country, among pain, oppression, and affliction, within the church, in the Great Migrations to urban spaces, on stage at Harelm’s Apollo Theater, within both Motown’s and Los Angeles’ major recording studios, and shown on MTV and BET. When you tell the story of African American music, you tell the story of our nation.

Second, I attended the Posse Plus Retreat back in February when I was hired and some of the facilitators did a great job of playing music during our set-ups for activities. There I told American Studies professor (and musician) Dr. Will Nash, “I’ll give you all the money in my wallet if you can tell me who’s singing this song.” He thought for a minute and replied, “Is it Brandy and Monica’s “The Boy Is Mine?”” I wasn’t expecting a white man, some 20 years my senior, to know an R&B hit from the 1990s– and I was wrong. Thankfully I was only carrying $1.63 in cash! But that conversation made me realize even more profoundly that music transcends race, class, geography, and other markers we tend to think divide us.

Lastly (and transparently), I love to see people of color taking ownership of our library spaces, myself included. Frequently at predominantly white institutions, people of color and oppressed minorities do not see themselves systematically reflected in the curriculum, the history of their colleges, and/or in the body of faculty and staff. My efforts in the library aim to speak to that scarcity of representation. I’m on a mission to reassert esteem, to remind my audiences that we’re in the 21st century, and that “America” is increasingly and beautifully brown.

How’d you decide what to include?

We crowd-sourced. We started up an Excel file and invited various people on the library staff to add to it. The seven of us rather easily came up with hundreds of works that would fit into our theme. Ha! New recommendations were coming in while we were loading the shelves!

Can I just say that I learned so much in the process of preparing this display? I found out about “soundies,” some of the very first “music videos” of the 20th century that preserve early performances by black artists, that the ubiquitous tune,“The Entertainer,” was composed by a black man, Scott Joplin, and, perhaps most importantly for me, if you ask for help on a project, you’ll get it. This display was nothing if not a collaborative effort.

The layout of the display is a bit unconventional. Can you say a few words about that?

Sure! The idea of adorning our tables (and carrels) with display materials had been brewing for awhile, however, the opportunity to test it out only presented itself this month. The whole point of a display is to draw attention to a theme. While it’s easy to walk past shelving containing “themed” items en route to a study space, it’s harder to miss items in a display that occupy one’s study space. I call it a “guerrilla” method. It’s a more aggressive attempt to engage an audience. (And people are noticing.)

What were some of the challenges in shaping this display?

I wish the students who are normally here during the academic year could see and enjoy the display. Many of them who frequent the Anderson Freeman Center <3 would appreciate the work. However, as we prepare for Reunion, many alumni will likely have an opportunity to encounter it.

We also realize that streaming is perhaps the most popular way for young people to consume music. While we have resources for this (see “Music Online: Listening (North America” within our databases under “M” at go.middlebury.edu/lib), the CD cases and inserts make for great visuals. For those of us wanting to listen to the CDs, know that we have multiple external disc drives behind the Circulation Desk to loan out for both Macs and PCs.

This display will last until June 22nd as the whole campus is gearing up for Language Schools and the content includes music in the English language. However, I have made efforts to include artists from the black diaspora like Beny Moré (Cuba) for the Spanish School, Les Nubians (France) for the French School, and Seu Jorge (Brazil) for the Portuguese School.

What do you want people to take away from the display?

I want people taking in the display to think critically about the contributions African Americans have made to this country. Music is merely one of them. Our economic contributions are often hard for people to stomach because they are mired in blood, sweat, and tears. Our scientific contributions experience historical erasures as The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and Hidden Figures suggest. And our political ones are often met with violence, aggression and unpopularity, as the Civil Rights Movements demonstrate, while ultimately forwarding this nation.

How else can we enjoy this effort?

Like our Facebook page. For three weeks we will be sharing videos and trivia that speak to the African American musical experience and history. The content will be loosely chronological and you can follow the evolution of African American music with us.

Last words?

This display is an act of love. We welcome students, faculty, and staff to approach library workers with display development ideas and to continue making the library spaces your own. Also, while the music CDs typically “live” behind the circulation desk, they are still accessible to you. Come check it all out.

Weekly Web Updates – May 29

We are continuing to investigate an issue with uploading files in MediaWiki using the Embedded file button in the WYSIWYG editor. There appears to be a bug in the user API in recent versions of MediaWiki causing this. In the meantime, you can upload files to wikis using the “Special:Upload” page.

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • The Directory now correctly decodes LDAP-escaped characters stored in fields, such as website URLs.
  • MediaWiki will no longer throw a mixed content security warning due to loading favicons.
  • Fixed an issue editing in Drupal with Chrome where images were not selectable in the WYSIWYG editor and image dimensions were not populated in the Edit Image dialog.

Ongoing Work

  • Creating a new website for the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.
  • Archiving Moodle.
  • 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.
  • Integrating Panopto (streaming videos) and Canvas (LMS).