Category Archives: Middlebury Community Interest

ITS Tech Services Overview Offered March 11 – for New (or not-so-new) Hires

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 Monday, March 11 at 1:30 p.m.  We’ll introduce services and resources provided by ITS to all Middlebury campus employees, including: email, file storage, account security, online learning, and how to obtain computing help.  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, April 24 at 1:30 pm.  Our complete workshop schedule can be viewed at http://go/techworkshops/.

Audiobooks on OverDrive and You

What are audiobooks?

a librarian at desk
Literatures & Cultures Librarian Katrina Spencer poses at the Research Desk, modeling audiobook use with sex columnist Dan Savage’s American Savage.

Audiobooks on OverDrive are digital versions of a book, often a novel, that allow you to listen to a book’s text. Many come in downloadable MP3 format files and are therefore portable on many electronic devices like iPods. Sometimes the authors read their works to you with modest sound effects or other dramatizations of the story or action! Audiobooks can also be found on CDs in the Middlebury College Libraries’ collection. See a thorough listing here.

Why might I want use them?

If it’s hard to find still moments to sit down and open a print work or scroll through an ebook, audiobooks offer a hands-free alternative to the other formats. So, you can carry out household chores, drive, or even exercise while listening to an audiobook.

Where can I see what’s available?


A screenshot representing a small sample of the ~200 audiobooks available at go.middlebury.edu/overdrive.

In terms of what the Middlebury College Libraries holds on OverDrive, just visit go.middlebury.edu/overdrive for access to over 200 audiobooks. If you’re a Vermont resident and a holder of a public library card, you can access 5,000+ titles through the Green Mountain Library Consortium. See go.middlebury.edu/gmlc for more information and use your last name in all caps, ex. ALI, as your password.

Do you have any recommendations?

Book cover art for Eddie Huang’s memoir, Fresh Off the Boat

Yes, sure! But that depends on what you like. One of my favorite parts of my job is readers’ advisory. Look at the bolded type for genre:

  • If you want a psychological thriller in the realm of domestic noir, I recommend The Silent Wife.
  • If dystopian fantasy is what you’re into, Director of Access and Discovery Terry Simpkins and Library Associate Kat Cyr swear by N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth Series.
  • If you want to access a classic and haven’t gotten around to it, Things Fall Apart is available.
  • Social justice? Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me is sure to please and enlighten. And Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed also deeply engages systemic injustice.
  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer lit? I really enjoyed Less. Dr. Marcos Rohena-Madrazo of the Department of Luso-Hispanic Studies is a big fan of Redefining Realness.
  • Humor? Everything’s Trash, But It’s Okay.
  • Disability studies? Good Kings Bad Kings is on the docket.
  • Then there’s also historical non-fiction like The War Before the War.
  • Historical fiction? Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer-prize winning The Underground Railroad is recommendable.
  • And we have memoirs like Michelle Obama’s Becoming— though you may have to wait awhile to get to this one. See my review of it in The Campus, in the meanwhile.
  • Oh, and if you’re studying a foreign language like Spanish, you’ve got about 10 works to choose from on OverDrive and several on CDs in many languages found in the foreign language browsing collection on the main level of the Davis Family Library.

There’s a lot out there!

How can I use them and what should I know about the app?

There are three basic steps for accessing audiobooks:

a flyer advertisement
A flyer with detailed instructions on how to use OverDrive’s audiobooks, a condensed version reproduced at left
  1. Download the OverDrive app, create an original account and after signing in, add the Davis Family Library.
  2. When prompted to sign in with a library card, accept, but use your Middlebury credentials instead.
  3. Make a selection, borrow and manage your ebookshelf.

Also, when in doubt, you are welcome to ask a librarian for help or visit the guide found at go.middlebury.edu/ebookguide. With regard to the OverDrive app, there are some cool options like setting a timer for when you want the recording to stop playing, for example, if you’re getting in bed to sleep, and adjusting the speed of the player if you want to move through some text more quickly or more slowly than others. There’s some bookmarking, too.

Book cover art
Book covert art for Harriet McBryde Johnson’s Accidents of Nature

For how long can I borrow audiobooks?

There are two loan periods: 7 days and 14 days. Know that only one user will use each audiobook at a time. So, if desirable, you can place a hold on a work if you want to be in line for when a popular item is released. Check out up to three audiobooks at a time!

Last words?

They’ve changed my life, for the better. I hope they are of use to you, too. Also, to hear more from Middlebury audiobook users, see this week’s issue of The Campus.

Issue RESOLVED – 503 errors when attempting to open links to websites sent via email

We are pleased to report that the Safe Links service issue is now resolved and we have re-enabled Safe Links. To recap, Safe Links provides extra protections for the Middlebury community from phishing attacks and other malicious email activity by providing time-of-click verification of web addresses (URLs) sent via email.

Thank you for your patience while we worked to resolve matters. Again, we apologize for the disruption.  Please contact the Help Desk if you have any outstanding issues or questions.

Kindly,

ITS Help Desk

Issue UPDATE – errors when attempting to open links to websites sent via email

Microsoft is making significant progress towards resolving the issue with the Safe Links service. In most all cases now, clicking on a link sent to you via email works on the first try. If it doesn’t work, you can typically try again, and the linked website will open.

We are sorry for this disruption in service and any inconvenience. Thank you once again for your patience. We will provide an update as soon as we have more information.

ISSUE – 503 errors when attempting to open links to websites sent via email

We are experiencing an issue with the Microsoft Safe Links service which means you may receive a “503” error if you attempt to click on a link someone outside the organization sent to you via email.

We are working closely with Microsoft to resolve this issue as swiftly as possible. Microsoft has confirmed that this is an issue with their service impacting customers globally. We do not currently have an estimated resolution time.

We have temporarily disabled Safe Links for new, incoming email messages. We will re-enable the Safe Links service after Microsoft has solved the problem.

We will provide an update as soon as we know more. We apologize for this disruption. Thank you for your patience.

Kindly,

ITS Help Desk

Attention VPN Users! (Pulse Secure)

On January 31, 2019, Information Technology Services (ITS) will enable a feature on the Virtual Private Network (VPN) system that will detect if your VPN software needs to be upgraded to the latest release. If an upgrade is indicated, you will see a popup window from the Pulse Secure VPN application informing you that “An upgrade is available for Pulse Secure.” Please click on “Upgrade” to complete the upgrade process. Keeping the client up to date will ensure that all security updates have been applied.

Users of the older Juniper VPN client should note that the system tray icon has changed. The Pulse Secure client icon now looks like a fancy letter “S.”

Linux Users: The automatic upgrade isn’t offered for Linux; the new client can be downloaded manually from https://middfiles.middlebury.edu/software/public/VPN/

If you have concerns or issues with this upgrade please contact the Help Desk at http://go.middlebury.edu/helpme/, helpdesk@middlebury.edu, or 802-443-2200.

Update on New York Times access

New York TimesYou may be aware that we’ve had an access problem with the New York Times web site over the past few months. The short version of the issue is that SGA was providing online access until NYT discontinued that program…which no one on campus realized until our access ceased (there’s more detail in this Campus article). The Times’ new program is extremely expensive, and the library’s funding for this fiscal year was set last year. Partial access is still available; would that full access were, and we wish an immediate solution were at hand. We haven’t given up, though, and are still working on the problem. Please feel free to contact Douglas Black, Head of Collections Management, for more information.

Links to our remaining options for online access access to the NYT are in the Journals list New York Times. (You can get to this list on your own by clicking on the “Journals” tab on the library home page and searching for “new york times.”) For today’s paper, select “Global Newsstream,” a database that provides NYT articles with full text but without images. Need help? Ask a librarian.

SCAM Alert – “Sextortion” Scam Emails

ITS is aware of an influx of sextortion scam emails received by members of the Middlebury community. These are indeed scams, identified as such by online security sources (see below) and making the rounds on the Internet once again. Recent samples have been personalized with older passwords stolen from breaches of third-party websites, such as Linkedin, Adobe, etc..

Please forward any sextortion scam emails to phishing@middlebury.edu so that the sender addresses can be blocked!

For more information on these sorts of scams, see:

https://krebsonsecurity.com/2018/07/sextortion-scam-uses-recipients-hacked-passwords/comment-page-13/
Excerpt: “The message purports to have been sent from a hacker who’s compromised your computer and used your webcam to record a video of you while you were watching porn. The missive threatens to release the video to all your contacts unless you pay a Bitcoin ransom. The new twist? The email now references a real password previously tied to the recipient’s email address.”

These are indeed scams. Recent samples have been personalized with older passwords stolen from breaches of third-party websites, such as Linkedin, Adobe, etc..

Here is a resource to help you find out where an old password to a 3rd party site may have been exposed: https://haveibeenpwned.com is run by Troy Hunt, a globally recognized security expert.

Check your email address here: https://haveibeenpwned.com (use your_username@middlebury.edu and then scroll down to see services where your username may have been part of a breach)

Check your password here: https://haveibeenpwned.com/Passwords

Change that password anywhere you use it and this time, pick a different STRONG password for each service.

Again, please forward any sextortion scam emails to phishing@middlebury.edu so that the sender addresses can be blocked from bothering our community members!