Posts by Carrie Macfarlane


Liaison Discussion: Increasing student participation in our workshops

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Topic: Increasing student participation in our workshops. Led by Richard Jenkins, Joy Pile, Wendy Shook, and Carrie Macfarlane.
Who’s Invited: All liaisons and anyone who might be interested
When and where: Monday, October 29, 9:30-10:30 am. LIB 145.

Description: We’ve all been trying new techniques to make our classes more interactive. Richard, Joy, Wendy and Carrie will share some of their recent attempts, then turn the floor over to the group for discussion. Come ready to tell others about your own ideas, whether you’ve tested them in the classroom or not. Why? Here are at least 10 reasons, and when we meet, I’m sure we’ll come up with more. Bring a laptop if you’d like to try out one of our polls.

“Liaison Discussion Section” meetings address research and/or technology topics of interest to liaisons. They can be conversations, or presentations, or both. They take place most often on the 3rd week of the month, but in order to allow people who work different hours to attend, they’re sometimes scheduled for different days/times.

Stressed out?

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Notes from “Stress, Your Brain, & Productivity,” a go/learning workshop led by Porter Knight, Productivity Vermont, October 10, 2012.

The main point of the workshop was that understanding how your brain responds to stress can allow you to improve your health and increase your productivity. Apparently, LIS is sometimes not the most tranquil place to work. LISers comprised a good portion of the audience!  Here’s what we learned.

When bad things (surprise deadlines, dissatisfied customers, arguments with colleagues…) occur, here’s what happens:

  • blood leaves prefrontal cortex, and decision-making skills falter
  • brain applies a filter that encourages you to see everything in a negative light; focus of attention narrows, prevents you from “zooming out” and seeing alternatives
  • you become preoccupied and may “check out” causing you to miss important details and info
  • blood flows to the memory/emotion part of your brain, causing you to make accidental connections that are not helpful
  • compromised health due to elevated levels of adrenalin & cortisol
  • brain is chemically dumbed down, forgetfulness for example

One solution: Organization. Create a safety net so that when bad things happen, you have tools in place that help you recover.

What about that bloodflow issue? Acknowledge, then choose to act. This actually reverses the bloodflow! Say, “I’m experiencing stress. Now I choose to…Take a deep breath, use a calm voice, shake it off, spend only 10 more minutes…”  It may help to plan ahead and “write a script” of such responses to have at-the-ready.

The brain uses a lot of energy — “each decision gets harder” because you’ve used up juice.  Here’s how you can fight “brain drain”:

  • Feed it! Eat breakfast, lunch
  • Exercise helps the brain too. It feeds oxygen into the bloodstream, and oxygen carries away the brain’s “trash” (free radicals)
  • Be aware of how your brain functions — save heavy-thinking tasks for times when you’re well-nourished and well-exercised.
  • Schedule times for your intentions & recharging so they will actually happen!
  • Protect yourself by communicating your plan to others.
  • Don’t forget to evaluate your actions for effectiveness.

Solution Summary:

  • Get organized
  • Be mindful — choose/decide.
  • Schedule & protect your intentions.
  • Connect!  Smile.  Put on your friend filter so others are more likely to view you as approachable.


His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the Davis Family Library

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Photos on the LIS Facebook page courtesy of Joseph Watson!


Find LIS on Facebook and Twitter

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Facebook icon

Since we got ourselves on Facebook and Twitter over a year ago, more than 220 students, faculty, staff, organizations and colleagues have ‘liked’ and ‘followed’ us. More are always welcome! Find us on Facebook at Middlebury College LIS, and on Twitter at @MiddLibrarian.

We wondered recently how we were doing. Should we go to other social networking sites? Are we posting useful news? What else do students want to know about? We polled our student workers and learned that most importantly, we need to make sure everyone knows we’re out there!  Facebook and Twitter still seem to be the most popular forums, and our content seems good.

To help us keep spreading the news, Mike Lynch (Systems Administrator) has joined us as a social media community manager. Great job this month, Mike!

We’re asked periodically by LIS staff members how to get info posted to the LIS Facebook page. The easiest way is to post it to the LIS blog. We’ll notice it, and we’ll either share it right away, or we’ll decide to share it later. (We now use the ShareThis plugin, and we have a planning calendar so that we don’t over-post.) Alternatively, send an email to Steve Bertolino, Mike Lynch, and Carrie Macfarlane and we’ll make a note of your request.

How to print

Categories: Midd Blogosphere






Welcome, new students! Among the many questions you have about life at Middlebury, certainly, “How do I print???” is right at the top of the list! Here’s all you need to know.

  1. The Tech HelpDesk Printing page  [shortcut: go/printing] gets you started. It tells you where the printers are and how much it costs to print. It also refers to the print release stations.
  2. If you follow the link to the Print Release Stations page, you’l find out how to send a document to a printer. You can print from library computers, lab computers, or your own computer.
  3. How to print from your own computer? Easy! Follow the instructions for WebPrint.

Questions? Start at the Tech Help Desk Help and Support page.

Thesis carrel signup

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Seniors who are currently enrolled in 500, 600, or 700 level thesis/project work are eligible for a thesis carrel either at the library. If you register for one of these classes you may sign up ONLINE for a Davis Family Library carrel starting at 8 am on Monday, September 17th. Instructions can be found here (go/bookacarrel). Note: Please use Firefox or Chrome browsers.

For a carrel at Armstrong Library, please go directly to that circulation desk on Monday the 17th to reserve.

All books in thesis carrels must be checked out and display the thesis bookmark indicating it’s checked out to you.

Reference (or, Research!) Desk Revived

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Based on the findings of last year’s Research and Instruction Assessment, we’ve decided to use the Reference Desk again. This is the desk on the main level, near the walk-up computers. Don’t get used to the name though. We’re changing it! We’re also stretching to increase our hours of coverage. When students work with us, they come back. But some of them don’t think of us in the first place. We’re trying to encourage all students to ask us for help.

Starting next week, librarians will be available at the Research Desk. Please refer research questions to us! Does the library have any movies in Spanish? How should I cite this web page? I’m writing a paper on [insert your topic here]… We know what to do!

Signs and web pages will be updated ASAP.

Monday-Wednesday: 11-5 and 7-10 pm
Thursday: 11-5 pm
Friday: 11-4 pm
Sunday: 1-5 and 7-10 pm

At any time you can always Ask a Librarian! (go/askalibrarian)