Posts by Joseph Watson

 
 
 

Office Ergonomics and You

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

The other day I encountered a colleague who’s office chair was broken so the height adjustment no longer worked.  They’d been putting up with it for a number of weeks, and I can’t help but wonder how long they would have tolerated it if I hadn’t happened by.  They now have a replacement chair.

Please remember that proper office ergonomics are important and that therefore LIS is willing to spend money when necessary to ensure that everyone has proper resources to complete their jobs safely.  If you can’t adjust your work area in a way that makes it possible for you to work safely and comfortably, please let Joseph Watson, the LIS Facilities Coor. know so we can make arrangements to improve the situation.

Here is a link to the College’s page on office ergonomics.

Sculptural Books

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Our associates at the Cornell University Conservation Lab shared this great link about an artist carving old books.  I think it’s so cool I feel compelled to share it here.  Carved Book Landscapes

Art on display in Davis Library

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

In keeping with the theme of of the Clifford Symposium on Creativity and Collaboration, the Dept. of Studio Art is displaying a variety of pieces in the Atrium of Davis Family Library.  The display is only in place until Monday, so stop by and see it soon!

 

Maya Stela installation underway in Davis Family Library

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

In case you too are wondering what’s going on–   The Museum of Art is installing a Maya Stela in the Harman Periodicals Reading Area.  It is a cast of a stone unearthed by Middlebury College students on an archeological dig in Guatemala.  A monitor will be installed next to it to show a video about the dig.  Here’s a link to the Middlebury Campus article about the dig.

Big things come in BIG packages!

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

This big gift will be opened during a study break in Davis Family Library on Wed. night at 10pm!  Snacks will be provided too!  

                                                             Don’t miss it!

 

 

 

Workshop Report– “Spaces That Inspire: Gathering the Data and Acting on What our Students Tell Us About the Library as Place”

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Workshop Report–  “Spaces That Inspire: Gathering the Data and Acting on What our Students Tell Us About the Library as Place”  by NERCOMP.  Description and schedule with names of presenters can be viewed here.  http://nercomp.org/index.php?section=events&evtid=141

This day long workshop turned out to be quite useful and I was impressed by how well organized it was.  I’d be happy to share more details with anyone who might be interested.

1st session: “Post-its, Pencils, and Placement: A Simple Technique for Getting Student Involvement in the Planning Process “ was sort of a repeat for me personally because the inspiration for it came from a Dartmouth Conference presentation by our own Carrie Macfarlane, to whom for which credit was duly given.  I’d seen Carrie’s presentation and also seen the technique in use here at Middlebury.   A large board is installed in a public place asking a single question.  Post-it pads are provided and students write answers on the notes and post them on the board.  This encourages a lot of interactive comments as people build off the ideas of others.  Themes surface and expand.  It’s quick and inexpensive.  They used it to gather information for a renovation project and they shared the results of the renovation that is opening next month.   Here’s  a link to the PowerPoint.  http://nercomp.org/corecode/uploads/event/uploaded_pdfs/Post-its,%20Pencils,%20and%20Placement%20-%20University%20of%20RI%20-%20Amanda%20Izenstark%20and%20Mary%20MacDonald_138.pdf

2nd session:  “Worth a Thousand Words. Letting Pictures Speak”  A very interesting and useful session.  The idea is to get a group of students in a room and provide each of them with large pieces of paper and various markers/pens/pencils, then ask them to draw their ideal classroom, study space, lounge, whatever.  Emphasizing  that there’s no right answer and that they’re designing their own personal ideal.   Allow them time to brainstorm visually on their own, then go around the room and ask them to describe their drawing. This exercise brings out common themes as well as unique ideas.  Notes are taken and a list of desired elements compiled.  We each drew our ideal classroom and then went around the room and looked at everyone else’s drawing.   I can imagine actually trying this here at Middlebury LIS.

3rd session: “Getting the Most out of Your Data: Methods for Collection, Coding and Use for Implementing Change in Student Learning Spaces” The most useful session of the day for me.  Basically they shared how they made use of the great quantity of data that is to be found within the comments fields of surveys.  Using a list of “codes” they categorize various comments and then use a spreadsheet to organize them by code.  The organized lists can then be shared with appropriate staff,(for instance those who oversee printing, reference services, the café, etc.)  for further evaluation.   I emailed the presenters and they willingly shared their list of 100 codes.  Key take away- they hired student assistants to go through all the comments and code them because they, just like us, don’t have the time to do it themselves.   Here’s the PowerPoint.

http://nercomp.org/corecode/uploads/event/uploaded_pdfs/Getting%20the%20Most%20out%20of%20Your%20Data%20-%20Sarah%20Hutton%20and%20Rachel%20Lewellen%20-%20UMass%20Amherst%20_137.pdf

4th session: “Resurrecting Elihu Burritt Library: The Challenges and Opportunities of Rehabbing Library Space” The presenters gave an overview of a recent renovation project and talked about future plans.  Not particularly applicable to me or Middlebury.

5th session: “Space Project Plans Writ Small”  We used a retro style game from a diner place mat (literally, the kind of thing that kids would get to fill out in a restaurant in the 60s and 70s) as a tool to get user input into the kind of space they’d like.   It’s the kind of thing you have to see to understand and an example of it can be seen in the ppt from the 3rd session.   I’m not sure what to think of this tool, but if we had an artist who could draw something similar, it might be interesting to give something like it a try with a group of student assistants.

The day ended with the very capable facilitator Susanna Cowan, Undergraduate Education Team Leader at Univ. of Conn., leading us in a review of the day.  Thanks to Hans Raum for pointing this workshop out to me!

Reminder: Preservation Open House and Lecture on Thursday!!

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Remember, you’re invited to stop by the Preservation Dept. in Davis Family Library (LIB135) between 1 and 4:30 on Thurs.  See what we do to preserve the library’s collections, bring in your own preservation problems for advice, and then stay for the lecture at 4:30.

Also, please watch this short video that shows you how YOU can help us preserve one of Middlebury College’s most valuable resources!  (It’s less than two minutes long!  Come on, give it a go!)  Thanks!

Still from Preservation "commercial".