Tag Archives: Research & Collection Services

What’s an Approval Profile, and Why Does the Library Want to Change Ours?

A brown-bag lunch will be held on May 3 at 12:30 pm, in the Crest Room of the McCullough Student Center, to explore the subject of the library’s approval profile. Douglas Black, the library’s Head of Collections Management, will be presenting, with some sweets and coffee to augment your own lunch. He’ll give some history of the approval program in library acquisitions over the years and lead discussion on its role in the academic library collection of the 21st century.

For context, the library selects, acquires, and provides access to materials in many different ways:

  • upon request by students, faculty, and staff
  • automatic purchase of e-books and streaming media based on usage
  • subscriptions
  • package deals on journal subscriptions and purchased journal archives (“backfiles”)
  • one-time purchases of electronic databases, which often require annual maintenance fees
  • gifts/donations
  • and through automatic purchase via an “approval profile.”

Under the approval model, the library utilizes a library vendor (in our case, YBP Library Services) to purchase automatically books that meet certain criteria (e.g., subject, hardbound only, no workbooks, scholarly publishers only, within a certain price range, etc.).  Middlebury typically purchases about 3,000 volumes/year this way, at an average annual cost of $97,000 in the last few years. We recently conducted a thorough analysis of the program’s effectiveness, finding that print books purchased through the approval profile are used much less than those specifically requested. The library believes some of that money could be spent more effectively and would like to gather input from members of the campus community on reshaping the profile.

Please feel welcome to contact your liaison or Douglas Black (dblack@middlebury.edu or x3635) with any questions (whether or not you can attend the meeting), or comment here in the blog.

Are you reading this post via a feed reader? If so, read on…

On Tuesday May 31st we’re going to change the categories on this blog, so if by any chance you’re using a feed of a specific category, that’s going to break. We suggest subscribing to the whole blog for maximum enjoyment! If you’re not a LIS staff member & would like to filter out the more staff related posts, you can subscribe to the new “Middlebury Community Interest” category after May 31st. The other categories will be “LIS Staff Interest”, and “Post for MiddPoints” which will cause the post to be added to the MiddPoints blog too. All the old categories except “The Essentials” will be converted to tags for easy searching.
The LIS Web team developed this new scheme, following recommendations that came out of the open meeting about the future of the LIS Blog (including a call for simplified categories). The AD Team reviewed and approved these changes. We welcome your comments.

Cataloging for Non-Catalogers

From Carrie:  This morning, I attended a Lyrasis webinar called “Cataloging for Non-Catalogers.”  Since I supervise a few librarians who do cataloging, I figured I could use a refresher.  Many years have passed since I took the required cataloging class in library school!

The instructor was enthusiastic (“We can catalog a-ny-thing!  Even the Dr Pepper I’m drinking right now!”).  The content was elementary (purpose of cataloging, cataloging terminology, examples of catalog records).  I’m glad to have a renewed familiarity with the work that our fine catalogers do.

From Rachel:  Also sitting in on the Cataloging for Non-Catalogers class, and learning to speak Cataloger.  I found the resources and links the presenter provided very helpful.  It’s great to have so much of this information easily accessible on-line.

From Carrie:  I’ve added these two sites to my delicious bookmark collection:

And of course, there’s lots of documentation for catalogers on the Cataloging page of the LIS Wiki.

Liaison Discussion Section – Summon

You’re invited!  (Who?  All LIS liaisons and anyone else who might be interested.) 

Liaison Discussion Section
Thursday 5/19,  10-11 am in Lib 105
Topic: Summon, the greatest library research tool ever to be invented!  And I might not even be exaggerating.  Bryan Carson will do a quick demo, then we all can try it and share what we figure out.  It’s in Beta testing now (look for it on the library home page), but it’ll be live by the time summer school starts.
RSVP:  Liaisons have received and responded to an Outlook invite.  All others don’t need to respond.  Just come if you’re interested!

“Liaison Discussion Section” meetings address topics of interest to liaisons: research and/or technology. They can be conversations, or presentations, or both.  They take place most often in the 3rd week of the month.  Anyone in LIS or beyond is welcome to attend.

Update: collection rearrangement in Davis Family Library

The book collections on the Main and Lower Levels of Davis Family Library have been rearranged in order to create room for the Music Library collections that will be moving later this month.  Updated paper copies of the building guide are available at the Circulation and Info Desks, and you may see updated plans online at go/davismap

New compact shelving was installed in the SE corner of the lower level, and all of the books in the “stacks” (aka general collection shelves) were shifted toward Z.   Therefor, if you’re used to finding your favorite PQ books in a specific spot, to find them now, keep following the alphabet toward Z until you run into them.

The Vermont Collection was moved to the middle of the lower level, as were the Arabic, Chinese, and Japanese Collections.   The VHS collection was moved to open shelves in the center of the Main Lvl just east of the Government Documents.

Open House for the Rutland Railroad Archives

On Saturday afternoon, April 30 our Special Collections hosted an Open House for members of the Rutland Railroad Historical Society as part of the 25th annual convention of the group.  The Open House provided an opportunity for society members to see some of the most interesting material that has been acquired for the archives in the past decade.

Rutland Railroad Archives Open House

Rutland Railroad Archives Open House on April 30, 2010

A two page summary of material in the Rutland Railroad Archives can be found at http://midddigital.middlebury.edu/rutland_railroad/Summary%20of%20holdings%20of%20the%20Rutland%20Railroad%20Archives.doc and a more detailed 25 page listing of holdings can be found at http://midddigital.middlebury.edu/rutland_railroad/RRAGuide.htm.  A two page gateway to other resources relating to the Rutland Railroad Archives can be found at http://midddigital.middlebury.edu/rutland_railroad/RutlandRailroadArchivesHandout.htm.

Hans Raum served as co-chair of the two day convention held at the Middlebury Inn, which drew attendees from as far away as California.  Greg Pahl, an expert on the Beldens Falls Branch Railroad (and Joy Pile’s partner) spoke about the railroad at a program on Saturday, in preparation for a field trip on Sunday morning to visit traces of the short-lived railroad which ran from Beldens Falls, north of Middlebury, to a marble quarry about four miles away, east of Middlebury.

More on the New York Times subscription plan

In addition to the alternate ways of accessing formerly free NY Times content pointed out by Carrie Macfarlane in a previous blog post, I’d like to provide a bit of additional information about this popular resource. Continue reading