Tag Archives: Library Spotlight

MIDCAT scheduled upgrade and down-time

On Tuesday, Jan. 16, our systems vendor Innovative Interfaces will be performing an upgrade of MIDCAT, the library catalog.  We expect the catalog to be unavailable from approximately 3AM-5AM Tuesday morning.

Apologies for any inconvenience, and thank you in advance for your understanding.

Terry Simpkins
Director, Discovery & Access Services
Middlebury College Libraries

Erroneous Library Overdue Notices

UPDATE: This issue has now been resolved.  Again, we apologize for the confusion and unneccessary alarm.

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Earlier this morning, many of you may have received automated email notices generated by our library system (MIDCAT) erroneously informing you of having overdue library materials. Please ignore these notices.  We are investigating why these notices were sent, but please be assured that the materials are NOT currently charged out to your account.

We apologize for this inconvenience.

Terry Simpkins
Director, Discovery & Access Services
Middlebury Library

On Very Short Introductions

woman hovering over a table of books

Literatures & Cultures Librarian Katrina Spencer poses with the Very Short Introductions display. With more than 500 titles, these works represent one of the libraries’ most diverse collections.

Hey, there’s a new display up of Very Short Introductions to usher in the New Year. Come check it out, January 3rd- 26th!

Katrina (Literatures & Cultures Librarian), what are these books?

Every title featured on the table belongs to the Very Short Introductions series. They attempt to treat big themes in relatively few pages. The topics covered are broad in range from anything as abstract as “love,” as concrete as “water,” as complex and involved as “American politics,” as controversial and problematic as “racism” and as esoteric as “Kant.” Continue reading

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