Author Archives: Carrie Macfarlane

The Palm You See in the Question – a poem

Thanks to poet Gary Margolis for sharing this library-related poem.

The Palm You See in the Question

You don’t want your local library
tracking you down
in heaven.

Sending a team of librarian
angels to recover,
retrieve the book

you didn’t think
any reader would miss.
Given how many times

you were allowed
to renew it.
How many years passed

without a patron
searching the stacks
for that missing one.

The book you took out
to take to a deserted
island. To have something

good to read, over
and over again.
For all the time it could take

to be found there.
Drawing a word in the sand.
Tearing your shirt

into sparkling strips.
As if you had some other place
to be. As if God needed

to find you, dozing under
a tree. The palm you see
in the question

What book would you bring
with you,
if you were stranded

on a deserted island?
If you had all the time
in this world and the next.

If you could fall asleep
with a book
on your chest.

-Gary Margolis

Trending Questions: How should I start?

Trending Questions“I have to write a research paper. How should I start?”

We’re hearing this question a lot these days, and we aren’t surprised. The librarians at the Research Desk have helped many students begin working on research papers — and the process is a little different every time. Depending on the assignment (how long is the paper? what are the requirements and goals? when is it due?), the topic, and the prep work you’ve done already, we might suggest beginning in Summon, or MIDCAT, or… on a sheet of notebook paper where you’ll jot down a few keywords to get the thoughts flowing.

If this trending question has been on your mind lately too, go ahead and ask a librarian! Find us at the Research Desk in the Davis Family Library, behind the Circulation Desk at the Armstrong Library, or online at go/askus/.

Pulling back the curtain on the Research Desk

What can I do at the Research Desk?There is, of course, no curtain at the Davis Family Library Research Desk! But still, sometimes it seems like we should be making what we do at the desk more visible. So, let’s (air quotes) “pull back the curtain” —

Many people think you have to have a question to talk with a librarian at the Research Desk. If you do have a question, please talk with us! But even if you don’t know what your question is, we still can help. Just tell us about your assignment and together, we’ll figure out what you should do next.

What can I do at the Research Desk?

  • Get help finding a book!
  • Explore the magical world of citations!
  • Learn how to use Interlibrary Loan!
  • Have someone listen to your research woes and offer you sound advice!
  • Or, just ask directions to the restrooms!

AND MUCH, MUCH MORE!

***

We’re at the Research Desk Sunday-Friday, and in the evenings on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Find our hours (and lots of other research help) at go/askus/.

Keep on asking! We’re glad to answer.

Research Questions, Week 1

Research Questions, Week 1 (2016 and 2017)

Great job, students!

We’ve enjoyed talking with you at the Research Desk at the Davis Family Library. You’ve asked us a lot of questions! More this year than last year, even.

In just the first week of classes, you stopped by 142 times, which is up from the 124 questions we received in Week 1 last year. That’s a 14.5% increase. Even more significantly, 72 of your questions were research-related, which is a 33% increase over last year!

What’s been going on at the Research Desk?

  • We’ve helped people find books and DVDs (“Where is this call number located?”)
  • We’ve figured out how to cite unusual sources (“How do I cite something I read in Chinese?”)
  • We’ve discussed how to narrow a research topic, how to refine a search for scholarly articles, how to decide when it’s time to shift to a different research topic, and more

What do students say?

  • “I just came from a research workshop for my first-year seminar, and I wanted to continue my search.”
  • “Thank you! I’ve never known how to use Interlibrary Loan, so I’m glad I asked!”
  • “I wish I’d come to see you last year!”

So please, keep on asking! We’re glad to answer.

Welcome (back!) to the Libraries!

Welcome (or, welcome back!) to the libraries! Whether you’re new to campus or returning from summer break, we’re looking forward to seeing you.

Want a virtual tour? Watch the video called Davis Family Library: 5 Quick Tips in the Midd Libraries Quick Guide. While you’re in the guide, take a look at all of the other advice we provide for navigating the libraries.

Want a deeper dive in our collections? Find your favorite research guide (there’s one for every subject) at go.middlebury.edu/guides:

Subject guides

go.middlebury.edu/guides

Welcome!

Welcome to the Libraries, Class of 2021

Hello, Class of 2021Hello, Class of 2021!

We know you have questions — who doesn’t? Introduce yourself to a librarian at the Research Desk. You’ll find that we’re always happy to help. Tell us what you’re working on and together, we’ll figure out what to do next.

Fall Research Desk Hours
(September 10-December 15)
Mon – Wed: 11 am – 5 pm
and 7 pm – 10 pm
Thursday:    11 am – 5 pm
Friday:          11 am – 4 pm
Sunday:        1 pm – 5 pm

And online anytime!
go/askus/ or
http://go.middlebury.edu/askus

No one available at the Research Desk?
Visit us in our offices! Librarians are conveniently located right behind the Research Desk.

Welcome to the Libraries, Class of 2021

Hello, Class of 2021Hello, Class of 2021!

We know you have questions — who doesn’t? Introduce yourself to a librarian at the Research Desk. You’ll find that we’re always happy to help. Tell us what you’re working on and together, we’ll figure out what to do next.

Fall Research Desk Hours
(September 10-December 15)
Mon – Wed: 11 am – 5 pm
and 7 pm – 10 pm
Thursday:    11 am – 5 pm
Friday:          11 am – 4 pm
Sunday:        1 pm – 5 pm

And online anytime!
go/askus/ or
http://go.middlebury.edu/askus

No one available at the Research Desk?
Visit us in our offices! Librarians are conveniently located right behind the Research Desk.