Category Archives: LIS Staff Interest

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.

Weekly Web Updates – October 9, 2017

You will now be added to WordPress sites where the group sync option is enabled and you are a member of one of the groups immediately when you log in. For example, if you log in and try to access a course site and are in the class groups, your WordPress account will be added to the site. Similarly, if you are a new staff member and log in you will automatically be added to the Classifieds blog, since that is set up to sync group members from the All Staff group.

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • When viewing the Analysis tab of results in the Drupal webforms site, you can now select whether to include draft submissions in the analysis.
  • We’ve put some redirects in place to assist the reorganization of the Commons websites.
  • When viewing the “analytics” tab of a WebForm, you can now filter between draft and completed submissions.

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.

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/.

Throwback Thursday: Katrina Spencer

Literatures & Cultures Librarian Katrina Spencer visits Downtown Guadalajara Mexico with the Spanish School in 2010.

Name: Katrina Spencer

Former Role(s) on Campus: Master of Spanish Grad Student, Class of 2010; Portuguese School, 2014

Current Role on Campus: Literatures & Cultures Librarian

When was this photo taken?

Summer 2010

What were you doing in this photo?

I was studying in Guadalajara Mexico, completing my last requirements for my degree. There was a scheduled field trip for touring the downtown portion of the city. Here we’re all in an historic governmental building. It looks like one of my classmates caught me reviewing photos in my camera.

How have things changed in your life since then?

A number of things have changed in the last seven years. I’ve gained some weight. ;) Traveled to West Africa. Studied Arabic. (Mastering Spanish certainly gave me the confidence to approach other languages, though just last week I had a “por vs. para” slip up.) Started working in the professional world. And. . . have finally approached persuading myself to explore meatless meals.

What hasn’t?

I still wear leggings around three times a week. My tennis shoes (Tigers ‘n’ Reeboks) and purse (long strap and slightly exotic design) preferences are rather equal to those in the photo. I still strive for an abstract ethos and ideology of “equity.”

What’s your favorite thing about your job?

I get paid well to listen to and help students I love.

What is on the horizon?

I still have an appetite to build on the minimal foundation I have in Arabic. There are so many things I want to read: David Sedaris, Toni Morrison, Nicole A. Cooke… I’d also like to meet my niece.

For more posts like these, like our Facebook page.

Weekly Web Updates – October 2, 2017

 

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • Trailing paragraphs and line breaks in course descriptions on the course catalog are now removed to ensure the formatting for following sections isn’t thrown off.
  • RSS page feeds produced by Drupal now include a cache header with instructions on how long they should be retained.

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 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