Tag Archives: Davis Family Library

“Postcard to Mum”

If you visit the Davis Family Library atrium between now and Sunday, May 21st, you will see a very special display on the main floor, and continued in the glass display case on the Upper Level. Here’s what it’s about:

Middlebury student Miguel Castillo renders an artistic tribute to his mother with this interactive display.

Name: Miguel A. Castillo

Year: Junior/third-year

Major: Dance/Theatre

Hometown: Caracas, Venezuela

Collaborators: Aida Rodríguez [Tata], Andrew Pester, my family

Thanks Yous/Acknowledgements: Joseph Watson, Danielle Rougeau, Kim Gurney, Katrina Spencer, Deborah Leedy, Katrina Moore, Angela Valenzuela, Gabriel Ferreras, Emina Mahmuljin, Cathy Collins, Hedya Klein, Milo Stanley, Eliza Renner, Nando Sandoval, Ximena Mejia,  Wonnacott Commons, International Student Organization, and everyone else that said yes to this.

So what is this that you’ve set up on the main and upper levels of the Davis Family Library?

Part of the display on the upper level of Davis Family Library

It’s a three-part art installation that explores nostalgia, loss, and memory. This past year has been hard for me. On March 30th, 2016, my mother was diagnosed with brain cancer. On June 12th, 2016, she passed away under a bright blue sky. Dealing with her physical absence has been a journey, a messy one. I compare this process to dropping a stone in the ocean water. A stone that falls in water makes ripples; at first they are small, intense and constant. With time, they become more spaced out but larger. They are all the result of the same stone. This art installation has been an opportunity to collect my feelings about what is going on– a space to bring out what cries and laughs inside. My grandmother, my mom’s mom, came to live with me for a month, so I thought that having an artistic project to collaborate on would give us the opportunity to deal with something that is hard for us both, and this is what we came up with.

How are library patrons supposed to interact with it?

I hope people come to see it and check out all the parts. There is a typewriter, some postcards, envelopes and stamps. My hope is that people use them to write with an open heart to whomever comes to their minds. Maybe they’ll write one and send it to a random address. Mother’s Day is coming up soon. I hope that people can reflect on the ephemerality of life. Live fully not because one will die but because one is alive. Life is a fleeting moment and, as my mother said, “No hay tiempo para pendejadas” (“There’s no time for bullsh*t”.)

What do you hope the community will gain from the display?

I hope people stop for a second, breathe, and keep going feeling even more human.

New Library Water Fountain Helps the Environment and Those with Disabilities

Facilities installed a new ADA-compliant water fountain in the Davis Family Library that is designed to fill water bottles too.  The Library Space Team successfully applied for an Environmental Council grant to cover the cost for one.  The fountain will calculate the number of disposable plastic bottles that are saved by using it.  Next time you are thinking of buying bottled water, think instead about using a refillable container (and thus avoid landfill waste or the energy and financial costs of recycling).  It will also be the only ADA-compliant fountain in the Library, so if someone in a wheelchair needs a water fountain, be sure to direct them to this one, which is just opposite the print copy room on the main level.

 

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.

Upcomming Collection Shift in Davis Family Library

Library moving company W. B. Meyer has been hired to shift part of the book collection in Davis Family Library during the week of Spring Break, starting on Monday the 26th.  This is being done to make room for the expansion of classroom LIB140 in June.  First, the Gov Docs collection will be consolidated to the east end of the compact shelving that it currently occupies.  (This is possible because Hans Raum and Ginny Faust have been weeding the collection for the past two years, significantly reducing it in size.)  Second, three ranges of books just to the east of LIB140 on the Lower Lvl will be moved to the emptied shelves at the west end of the compact shelving in the center of the Main Lvl.    The stacks sequence will remain the same but the break between the floors will be slightly different.   The movers will be done by Friday of that week.  Contact Joseph Watson with any questions or concerns.  A public notification of the move will be forthcoming in a few weeks.

Where’s the Harman Periodical Reading room?

If you’re an avid reader of newspapers or magazines…wait, that is, if you’re an avid reader of newspapers and magazines in their paper format, then maybe you’ve spent time in the Harman Periodical Reading Room located on the ground floor of the Davis Family Library. Comfy blue chairs, copies of the Burlington Free Press, New York Times, الأهرام (Al-Ahram from Egypt), 人民日报 (The China People’s Daily), and The Times of India to name just a few. Sound familiar?

Over the winter break we moved thirty-six of our most popular magazines to Harman from our current periodical shelves. So now, twenty-four of our newspapers from around the world live side-by-side with thirty-six magazines. So, if you have the urge to leaf through the most recent copy of Wired, The Economist, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, Atlantic, MacWorld, Mother Earth News, or many others, pull up a chair.

Those of you using Apple’s Newsstand app for your magazine and newspaper reading can kindly ignore this message.

Library Book Sale

Tuesday, November 15th  – Sunday, November 20th ,  

Davis Family Library, 110 Storrs Ave., open at 9:00 AM on first day, continuing during regular library open hours thereafter.

The Davis Family Library will offer withdrawn and duplicate copies of books, music scores, and other media for sale at great prices.   Choose from a wide variety of items for scholarly work or recreational reading, listening, and viewing.  Proceeds from this year’s sale will be donated to the Vermont Public Library Foundation’s Emergency Relief Fund, assisting libraries that were impacted by the recent floods.

(Because the low price asked for materials is in part a service to the college community, anyone purchasing items on the first day of the sale will be required to show a Middlebury College ID.  Book dealers are not welcome to purchase items for resale on Tuesday, Nov. 15th).

FMI, contact Joseph Watson 443-5487 jwatson@middlebury.edu

AND!!!  Look for a small preview sale of antique/collectable/like new/especially nice items in the Atrium starting on Wed. the 9th.

This is a quiet study area


While certain areas of Davis Family Library have always been known unofficially as good spots for quiet study, recently we’ve formalized that a bit by installing signage marking some areas as “Quiet Study Areas”. Look for the big blue Q and please avoid conversation, either in person or on the phone, anywhere near these signs. Of course, LIS staff won’t be going around the building “shushing” people, but we hope the new signage makes it more obvious which parts of the building are reserved for quiet contemplative study.

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.