Category Archives: Post for MiddPoints

Throwback Thursday: Zach Schuetz

 

Some of the employees working within the libraries once had other roles and separate affiliations with Middlebury. Follow their (r)evolutions on the first Thursday of every month this semester.

Name: Zach Schuetz  

Former Role(s) on Campus: Class of 2011, Japanese Major, Linguistics Minor; Japanese Language School 2009

Current Role on Campus: Senior Technology Specialist; Advisor, Xenia Social House

When was this photo taken? Fall 2008, at the Quidditch World Cup (then hosted in Middlebury.)

What were you doing in this photo?

Just observing, though in other years I competed or performed with the Mountain Ayres for the halftime show.

How have things changed in your life since then? I’ve gained a lot of perspective on what I want out of life and what I’m willing to do to get there. For example, I love teaching, so at the time I was planning to be a college professor. But I’m not that excited about doing original research, so instead I found a position where I still get to teach and answer questions, but in a less formal setting, and without the stress of grad school and adjunct hell.

What hasn’t? I still speak Japanese sometimes, and I still enjoy watching anime, playing tabletop games, and attending events at Xenia. I also wear my wizard hat to work on special occasions.

What’s your favorite thing about your job? The satisfaction of solving a difficult puzzle, helping students and faculty do all the awesome things they do (both in an IT context and at Xenia), and getting to live and work in the wonderful community at Midd.

What is on the horizon? Getting more involved with the community and seeking social and romantic opportunities here and in Burlington. Paying off student loans and saving up for a down payment on a house so I can start to think about settling down.

For more posts like these, like our Facebook page.

MIDCAT v. Summon, a tale of two systems

image of woman

Literatures & Cultures Librarian Katrina Spencer has a few words to share about MIDCAT and Summon.

This is Katrina Spencer, the Literatures & Cultures Librarian and this post is for everyone who uses MIDCAT and Summon to navigate library resources. At this point in the semester, however, the message is primarily for students. Students, as you prepare for your end-of-year assignments, I want to tell you a bit about how I use both MIDCAT and Summon differently. If you speak to another librarian, you will likely get a whole new set of ideas, interpretations and uses, which is good and enriching. Take a look below to see my impressions and visit the rest of the team at the Research Desk for more conversation on this topic.

MIDCAT ~ Will provide results for library materials including print books, e-books, DVDs, CDs, VHS, government documents, sheet music, microfilm and microfiche, and a variety of technological equipment held in Davis Family Library, Armstrong Library in Bicentennial Hall, Davison Library at Bread Loaf, Twilight, etc.

When I use MIDCAT…

  • I am searching for a specific item (usually a book, DVD or CD) I know or suspect Middlebury College Libraries own
  • I am searching for an item by title or author
  • I am searching for an exhaustive list of materials by Subject, for example, “Abenaki,” as depicted in the screenshot with 78 results.
a MIDCAT subject listing for the search "Abenaki"

MIDCAT browse list showing results for the subject search “Abenaki”

  • I need to know an item’s call number and where it is housed in the libraries
  • I want to know the status of an item/if it has been returned
  • I want to know how many copies we have of an item
  • I want to know if we have a certain item in multiple formats, both in print and digitally
  • I want an exhaustive list of a particular type of holding, for example, all of the films in a certain language

    a screenshot from the go/midcat/ menu highlighting videos and languages with red arrows

    Advanced search menu showing one way to search MIDCAT for Middlebury’s film collection by language.

Summon ~ Except for some relatively small types of material such as the tech equipment the library makes available for loan, Summon will provide results for almost everything MIDCAT holds AND other library materials including databases, journal articles, photographs, dissertations and theses, magazines, newspapers, sound recordings and more. You can also use Summon to search libraries other than Middlebury’s.

When I use Summon…

  • I am looking for journal articles.
  • I am looking for something I’m not sure exists.
  • I am using a complex string of keywords to find a variety of materials (journal articles, photographs, audio recordings, etc.)
a screenshot from the advanced search menu in summon for selecting content type

This is a screen capture of the advanced search screen in Summon. This box holds dozens of content types and these three examples — interactive media, journal/e-journal and journal article– are a limited selection of what is available.

  • I am looking for materials held by libraries other than Middlebury.
a screenshot of a search performed in Summon indicating the "Add results beyond your library's collection" button indicated with a red arrow

After entering a search in Summon, users can select “Add results beyond your library’s collection,” indicated above with a red arrow, to review holdings outside of Middlebury’s resources.

  • I am attempting to use resources that ask me for money.  The College subscribes to many paid resources, and in order to gain access to them, I must arrive at them via a Middlebury site and sign in with my Middlebury username and password
  • “Boolean” searches are helpful, employing “AND,” “OR,” and “NOT” to limit or increase my results.

I welcome you to comment on anything I missed and to introduce new approaches. Visit the bottom of the page at go.middlebury.edu/askus to see the times at which the Research Desk is staffed, more than 40 hours a week, and visit go.middlebury.edu/librarians to find discipline-specific specialists.

A banner with black lettering and white background labeled "what is whiteness?" and six headshots of the authors

what is whiteness?: a critical examination

The Davis Family Library has highlighted a variety of groups and discourses through displays over the last 10 months including racial/ethnic minorities, the LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities and themes of access and universal design. Take the opportunity now to critically examine whiteness as an identity and system of privilege. Visit the Davis Family Library lobby December 1st through the 17th to see works that highlight this topic. Also, listen to Dr. Laurie Essig and Dr. Daniel Silva interrogate whiteness as a social and historical construct via StoryCorps with transcript found at On Whiteness with Laurie Essig, Daniel Silva, Katrina Spencer. Use the whiteness glossary to enhance your vocabulary surrounding this topic. All underlined terms and more appear in the glossary.

Listen to the “On Whiteness” interview here.

Continue reading

A Subsaharan backdrop with an adult white Barbie posed with and surrounded by black African children

whiteness: a glossary

20+ Relevant Terms for Discussing Whiteness

As a supplementary addendum to the “what is whiteness?” blog post, display and StoryCorps interview, some Middlebury staff and faculty have put together an informal glossary of terms that helps the community to discuss whiteness. For more on these terms, use reference materials and other published works found on this crowd-sourced list and beyond.

Contributors’ Names; Hometowns; Roles on Campus; Times At Midd:

  • Katrina Spencer; Los Angeles, California; Literatures and Cultures Librarian; 10 months.
  • Daniel Silva; Newark, New Jersey; Professor of Portuguese; 4 years
  • Laurie Essig; from a lot of places, mostly NYC; Professor of Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies; 11 years
  • Amy Frazier; Memphis, Tennessee; Film & Media Librarian; 2 years.
  • Tara Affolter; Peoria, Illinois; Professor of Education Studies; 9 years

Terms:

bleaching/whitening; columbising; colorism; cultural (mis)appropriation; dominant culture/hegemony; double consciousness; Eugenics; invisibility/hypervisibility; miscegenation; passing; WASP; white anxiety; white fragility; white gaze; white guilt; white privilege; white savior complex; white supremacy; white tears; white trash; wypipo

two images of the same man with dark brown skin on the left and considerably paler skin on the right

A screenshot from Twitter user @LittleButTalawa‘s feed depicting before and after pictures of former baseball star Sammy Sosa, an athlete from the Dominican Republic. He has deep brown skin on the left and considerably paler skin on the right.

bleaching/whitening: Both of these terms describe processes in which people attempt to alter/reduce the pigmentation in their skin, typically to increase their social capital or perceived social capital. An additional element of this practice can include people avoiding exposure to the sun for fear of its potential skin darkening effect. In many cultures, bleaching and whitening reflect a prioritization and preference for a beauty paradigm that values pale/light skin. To see more on this industry and samples of products used for this practice, visit Dencia’s Whitenicious page. (Katrina) Continue reading

New Workshop — Tech Services Overview for New or Recent Hires

Hello My Name Is <Place name here>Information Technology Services (ITS) is offering a new workshop with recent hires in mind called “ITS & You:  Technology Services Overview.”  We’ll introduce services and resources provided by ITS to all Middlebury College 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.

Visit http://go/techworkshops/ to view the schedule and sign up using 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.

Throwback Thursday: Kat Cyr

Some of the employees working within the libraries once had other roles and separate affiliations with Middlebury. Follow their (r)evolutions on the first Thursday of every month this semester.

Name: Kat Cyr

Former Role(s) on Campus: Midd Class of 2011, Japanese Major, Linguistics Minor

(also a Japanese Summer Language School Alumnus)

Current Role on Campus: Interlibrary Loan Associate

When was this photo taken?

When I was studying abroad in Kyoto in 2010. This was before we had established a Midd-specific school in Japan so I was there via the Associated Kyoto Program (AKP).

What were you doing in this photo?

I’d gone up to Kurama Hot Springs with a bunch of friends for a day of cultural enrichment (i.e. soaking in huge volcanic baths) and inter-college outreach (i.e. goofing about with fellow study abroad students from other schools). We had gathered a small group of Magic enthusiasts and were playing in between soaking sessions; we were using Japanese cards of course, so studying was still happening. We were just also in our fancy robes, sipping tea, occasionally amusing the other hot spring patrons. I seem to remember several little old ladies approaching us in the bath to chat. It was a delightful day.

How have things changed in your life since then?

I’m a couple years older, a couple degrees further in debt, now thoroughly obsessed with fiber arts, and very much turning into a crazy cat lady librarian. Also my Japanese is much, much better than it was then.

What hasn’t?

I still love hot springs, though my access to them is now non-existent. I also drink entirely too much tea, study Japanese whenever possible, and play geeky games on a regular basis.

What’s your favorite thing about your job?

I love seeing all the interesting books that people request through ILL. We see some really cool things requested for research purposes, from microfilm of obscure government documents to foreign language comics to massive road maps. As schools borrow things from our library we also get to see some of the coolest books from the stacks that I would never have thought we’d have. And then there are just the awesome book recs we get from people ILLing fiction of various kinds. ILL is a spectacular place to work if you love books.

What is on the horizon?

I’m currently working my way out of debt and trying to establish a home that is a little less temporary than my string of dorm rooms and office-provided apartments. Other than that, I haven’t thought that far into the future. Right I’m just taking things one day at a time.

For more posts like these, like our Facebook page.

Image of the banner used in the November 2017 display including headshots from the class at left and a Native American woman in traditional headdress at right

Celebrating Native American/Indigenous and Alaska Native Heritage Month

In honor of Native American/Indigenous and Alaska Native Heritage Month, Dr. Irina Feldman’s Spanish 324 Class, Images of America, has collaborated with the Davis Family Library to develop a display including works that commemorate the many peoples belonging to these groups throughout the Americas. Visit the Davis Family Library to see the display and read more about how it all was shaped below. We thank Marlena Evans, Caleb Turner, Alaina HanksOshin Bista and all the unseen laborers and sponsors who make these projects successful.

The display in the Davis Family Library lobby will be staffed by students from the class on the evenings of November 6th and 7th to answer your questions on this theme. Plan to join us at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, November 27th in the Robert A. Jones (RAJ) ’59 Conference Room when Chief of the Nulhegan Coosouk Abenaki Don Stevens will join the Middlebury College community for a talk on life in Vermont as a person of indigenous heritage. Also, stay tuned for Dr. Brandon Baird’s talk, “Unequivocally Authentic: Mayan Language and Identity in Modern Guatemala,” in the Carol Rifelj Lecture Series hosted by the Center for Teaching, Learning & Research on November 29th. The site go.middlebury.edu/calendar has more details. Continue reading

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!

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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/.