Category Archives: LIS Staff Interest

Welcome Kaitlin Buerge to Special Collection in Davis Library

Special Collections & Archives is pleased to welcome Kaitlin Buerge ’13 to our team as Special Collections & Archives Fellow. Kaitlin first joined us as an graduate intern last year while she was completing her Master of Science in Information Science (MSIS) at the University of Albany. She graduated from Middlebury College with a major in English and American Literature.

Kaitlin will concentrate on cataloging unique archival collections in ArchivesSpace (go/aspace), and on improving access to the historic Abernethy Collection of American Literature. It’s great to have her on board!

Puzzles in the Davis Family Library

We now have some puzzles for use in the Library.  Currently there’s a spot set up behind the Research Desk on the main floor. Take a study or office break and put together a few pieces or a whole puzzle.  We will leave out several options at a time and rotate what we have.  If you want to take one elsewhere in the Library, just stop by the Research desk and ask to see the selection.

We will gladly take more puzzle donations (it would be nice to get some featuring foreign places for summer) and we are still looking for donations of GAMES (rubics cubes, monopoly, etc).  Just drop your donation at the front Circulation desk.  Anything we don’t use will be given away.

Weekly Web Updates – July 3

Our colleagues in Communications found this really great guide to WCAG 2.0 Accessibility requirements. Each items has a short article explaining the standard in simple English with suggestions.

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • References to the “News Room” were changed to the “Newsroom” in the global header and all locations on the Middlebury and MIIS Drupal sites.
  • Fixed an issue where the MIIS homepage was printing extra stories that were hidden, but may still have caused browsers to download extra assets.

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.

Armstrong Treasure Hunt: “Philosophical Beads”

On the first day of cataloging the vast array of equipment held in Bicentennial Hall, I came across a small wooden box. Inside the silk lined box are 31 hand blown glass beads with number painted on in gold paint, and a bone slide rule. Engraved on a small ivory plaque on the lid of the box are the words “Lovi Edinr Patentee.” After Wendy informed me that Edinr stands for Edinburgh, I quickly googled to find that they are aerometrical, or specific gravity, beads. Beads such as these, also known as “philosophical beads”, were invented by Alexander Wilson of Glasgow in the 1750s, and were used to determine the specific gravity of a fluid. The user would drop the beads into a liquid until finding the one with neutral buoyancy, which would indicate the specific gravity. By using the slide rule, one could then, for example, find the alcohol content in wine.

These beads turned out to be quite rare. These beads are an improved version, patented by Isabella Lovi in 1805. They presumably were handmade by Lovi, with only four, now five, known sets in existence. After further digging, we discovered that these beads were likely purchased by Professor Hall in 1809 during his trip in Europe, and were used in his lectures at Middlebury, as referenced by student Jonas Colburn in his 1815 notes. We are currently contacting the National Museum of Scotland, which owns other known sets, for more information.

-Mike & Wendy

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!