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
package deals on journal subscriptions and purchased journal archives (“backfiles”)
one-time purchases of electronic databases, which often require annual maintenance fees
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org or x3635) with any questions (whether or not you can attend the meeting), or comment here in the blog.
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.
Update as of 2/29— After consulting with the Student LIS Advisory Committee who independently preferred the same option that LIS staff preferred, we have asked Facilities Services to move the two booths. Both booths will be on the upper level. One will be opposite elevator #2 and the other will be in the corridor between group study LIB301F and the south wall of carrels. The one that is opposite elevator #2 is still quite adjacent to the most staff who occupy shared offices in the building, it’s just that the adjacency is vertical, after a short elevator ride. Thanks to everyone who participated in the decision making process.
Post as of 2/24— A group of LIS staff recently attended an open meeting to consider various options for locating the two new cell phone booths. Below please see a summary of our conclusions. If you were unable to attend the meeting but would like to share some ideas, please either comment here or email me (email@example.com) Also, if you prefer, feel free to stop by my office so I can point out the options on a floor plan.
Cell phone booth location notes:
-General agreement that it doesn’t make sense to put a booth on the Main Lvl.
-General agreement that it makes more sense to put both booths on the Upper Lvl. because the signal will be more reliable and it’s more likely they’ll be used. However we also agreed it makes sense to check back in with stakeholders who weren’t at the meeting to get their reaction to this before proceeding. It’s a difficult call. (LOL! “call”, get it?)
-No general agreement on the ideal placement of the two on the Upper level. In order of popularity the three options are:
Kitty corner. One opposite elevator #2 in the alcove with the recycling bins and the other in the separate little hallway between group study 301F and the carrels on the south wall. The advantages are a low aesthetic impact, at separate ends of the upper floor. The disadvantages are the low profile for finding them, one of them is near assigned study carrels where people might be bothered, the other displaces a few nicely located lounge chairs, the possibility of providing too much privacy for mischief.
By elevators on east end. One each in the alcoves opposite elevators #2 and #3. The advantages are the low aesthetic impact and the feeling that it’s a semi-private spot. The disadvantages are the low profile for finding them, the nearness of assigned study carrels, the possibility of providing too much privacy for mischief.
Center of east end. next to the public access computers that are adjacent to the East Reading Room. Advantages are the ease of finding them, that they’re not very near anybody studying, and they could be easily hardwired with a land line phone. Disadvantage is the high aesthetic impact.
We were going to wait to announce the new Cellphone booths in Davis Family Library until we’d had a chance to evaluate them and decide on a permanent location for them, but Brittany beat us to the punch with this post on middblog. (Thanks Yiling Zhang for the great picture.)
Photo by Yiling Zhang
We’ve installed these in an attempt to solve two problems. For years we’ve had complaints about people having cell phone conversations adjacent to study areas. Other academic libraries like ours have successfully used cell phone booths like these to solve that problem. Also, there are about thirty staff members working in shared offices in Davis Family Library and these folks don’t have a private place for phone calls to their doctor, baby sitter, etc. Part of the reason we acquired the cell phone booths was to enhance the work/life balance of these staff members.
We purchased them at a deeply discounted price and we hope they’re worth it. Only time will tell. In Brittany’s post she mentioned that the location of the one on the upper level might not be ideal. If you have suggestions of better spots in Davis Family Library for these, please feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks!
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.
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).
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.
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.