The Library has hundreds of databases, indexes and catalogs, providing access to millions of articles, books, films, musical recordings and primary sources. That sounds promising… until it sounds overwhelming. Where should you start your research? We used to recommend Summon, but over the summer, we replaced Summon with LibrarySearch.
Like its predecessor Summon, LibrarySearch is a great place to begin your research. That’s because LibrarySearch links you to nearly everything in our collections. And, we think LibrarySearch is even better than Summon at matching results to your search terms.
We’re still straightening out some of the kinks with our new discovery service. For example, LibrarySearch is linking to materials at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, and it is not linking to many of our online newspapers. So as always, please get in touch with a librarian if you’re not finding what you need.
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:
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.
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collection has not been systematically reviewed as a whole in decades, and we have on our shelves materials that are outdated, superseded, and/or no longer relevant to Middlebury’s academic program.
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:
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.
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.
Starting this fall, librarians will review the titles under consideration for withdrawal, and will make preliminary decisions about which titles to remove.
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.
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.
Information Technology Services (ITS) offers a monthly workshop with recent hires in mind called “ITS & You: Technology Services Overview.” The next session will be held Wednesday, October 9 at 9:00 a.m. We’ll introduce services and resources provided by ITS to all Middlebury campus employees, including: account security, online learning, file storage, how to obtain computing help, and more. The workshop format will be a presentation with questions entertained along the way, followed by an optional half hour for hands-on assistance with specific questions.
To sign up, please use our online form. Although geared toward new or recent hires, everyone is welcome to attend – you might surprise yourself with an “aha” moment or two.
Next month’s session will be held on Wednesday, November 20 at 1:30 pm. Our complete workshop schedule can be viewed at http://go/techworkshops/.
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.
Fall Research Desk Hours (September 9 – December 13)
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.
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
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).
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!
Dear Library Patrons: You may have noticed that turnaround times to complete ILL requests have of late at times been slightly longer than in the past. As a result of workforce planning, we have reduced the number of staff working in this department by .5 FTE. We will of course continue to fill requests as quickly as we can, but do bear this in mind when submitting requests with hard deadlines. Please note the following as well:
* ILL requests submitted with incomplete or erroneous bibliographic information may be returned to you as unfulfilled and/or in need of additional information
* ILL staff may not be able to devote quite as much time as in the past to filling requests for particularly rare or hard-to-acquire items
You should continue to use our online form (http://go.middlebury.edu/illiad) to submit ILL requests and as noted above, provide as much and as accurate bibliographic information as possible. If you need to speak to a member of our dedicated ILL staff, you can stop by the Davis Family Library circulation desk during the following hours:
Summer’s almost here! The library has added 30 new titles to our print browsing collection, and another 30 (including many non-English titles) to our collection of e- and audiobooks (go/overdrive/). These books are available for borrowing by the entire College community, so enjoy the copious Vermont sun with some lemonade and a new book!