Tag Archives: Library Spotlight

Tonight! The Third Annual Middlebury College Write-In

Tonight, December 6, 2017, we’ll be hosting the Third Annual Middlebury College Write-In, sponsored by CTLR, the Writing Program, Middlebury College Libraries, and the Anderson Freeman Resource Center. This event creates a one-stop place for students to get everything they need to hammer out those last papers in a fun and supportive environment. It’s like an academic writing party at the library!

The Write-In will be happening from 8-11 pm at Davis Family Library, and 8:30-11pm at the AFC. Both Write-In locations will feature snacks, hot chocolate, writing tutors, a research librarian, and lots of moral support from friends. This event has been a great success the last two years, and we’re hoping to make this one the best so far!

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

Limited Library Services – December 19, 2017

On Tuesday, December 19, 2017, the library will be offering limited services as we migrate our MIDCAT library catalog from a locally-hosted server environment to a vendor-hosted one.  This includes all catalog look up, renewal, borrowing, MyMIDCAT, and circulation functions, from both on- and off-campus.

Specifically:

  • Armstrong Library in Bicentennial Hall will be closed
  • The Davis Family Library building will remain open but with limited services from 9am-5pm
  • Patrons will not be able to look up library materials via MIDCAT
  • Patrons will not be able to check out or renew library materials, including InterLibrary Loan (ILL) materials and including renewals via MyMIDCAT
  • Patrons will be able to use physical materials on-site inside Davis Family Library
  • Summon will be available, and, in the absence of MIDCAT, can be used to look up the call number of a physical book in order to locate it within the library.  However, links from Summon to fuller descriptions contained within MIDCAT will not be functional
  • Access to full-text journal articles and databases via Summon will be available

The migration is expected to last approximately 6 hours, and, while we hope it takes even less time than that, as with any technology change there are no guarantees.  We will update the College community via this blog if the process takes significantly longer than 6 hours.

This is the first phase of a multi-phase project to upgrade the library catalog to a more modern platform, and it needs to be done during regular business hours in order to accommodate our vendor, Innovative Interfaces, Inc.  The remainder of the migration will be scheduled during the interim period between the Spring 2018 semester and the beginning of the College’s summer programs.  We will announce that date on this blog when finalized.

If you have any questions, please contact either Terry Simpkins or Mike Roy.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.

24/7 exam hours at the Davis Family Library

The Davis Family Library will be open 24 hours a day starting Sunday morning, December 3rd. Regular hours resume for Friday and Saturday, December 8th and 9th, then 24/7 resumes until 11 pm on Friday, December 15th. After 11 pm, you will need your ID to access the building. After 1 am, there will be no circulation services provided – the library will only function as a quiet study space.

Armstrong Library will have regular hours.

A full calendar of the hours can be found at go/hours

Finding Sources at Middlebury Libraries

The library has millions of resources, but how do you start to find the exact title you’re looking for? The answer isn’t one size fits all. Check out the top ways to find sources below:

Finding sources at the library infographic

Research Guides

Librarian approved! These guides highlight relevant resources and databases on specific subjects and are a great place to start your research. go/guides/

Summon

Library search engine, results will show everything  the library has access to. Use the filters on the left side to narrow your results down to a manageable amount. go/summon/

MIDCAT

The traditional online library catalog, MIDCAT is a great tool when you know a specific feature of what you’re looking for like the author’s name, title, or subject of the work. go/midcat/

Interlibrary Loan

Fear not! If Middlebury doesn’t have the resource you want, you can still have it (though it might take a little longer than pulling a book off the shelves) Submit an ILL request for anything we’ll get a copy for you! go/ill/

Still Not Sure?

Meet a librarian at the Research Desk or schedule a consultation, no question is too small. go/AskUs/

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.

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