On October 21 at 1:30pm ET, the Office of Digital Learning and the Digital Learning Commons will be hosting a talk by Audrey Watters, internationally recognized education writer and speaker. Audrey will give a talk called “Attending to the Digital / Reclaiming the Web“, which will focus on issues of digital identity and ownership, and on the Domain of One’s Own movement that inspired Middlebury’s own MiddCreate. On Middlebury Campus, we will gather to watch and discuss the livestream at 1:30pm ET in the Davis Family Library, room 105A. For more information, visit the Office of Digital Learning blog.
Today in Special Collections, our oldest text faced the library’s newest technology.
Our cuneiform tablet, a beer token from 2,000 BCE, took a new form when DLA postdoctoral fellow Kristy Golubiewski-Davis captured it in a 3D scan.
To see 3D scanning in action – along with the tablet and other important Special Collections objects – come to Davis Family Library this Friday! Kristy will by demonstrating 3D scanning in the library atrium from 10am-2pm, and Special Collections will host our annual Fall Family Weekend Open House from 1pm-4pm.
And stay tuned for a 3D printout made from the scan coming soon, a plastic facsimile students and researchers can inspect in their own hands!
In honor of the Vermont primary tomorrow, we remember that every vote counts – even in a small town.
The tiny Vermont town of Somerset (which still exists!) could not be silenced despite losing 50% of their voting population in 1924. In one fell swoop, the town clerk, treasurer, tax collector, constable, and school director departed, leaving the other two legal voters the only residents eligible to cast their ballots.
Though the town currently boasts a similarly small population, we hope they, and all voting Vermonters, make it to the polls tomorrow!
We are pleased to announce the second in our series of speakers for Envisioning Middlebury, our yearlong conversation.
Dr. Gardner Campbell serves as associate professor of English and special assistant to the provost at Virginia Commonwealth University. In his talk, he will discuss how the paradigm of “romantic computing—the experience of wonders [and] uncanny encounters” through technology—can help us fulfill our highest educational ideals.
Dr. Campbell will speak at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey on Friday, May 6, at 12:15 p.m., PDT, in the 499 Van Buren videoconferencing room. Vermont participants are encouraged to attend and participate in the videoconference in Davis Library 105 at 3:15 p.m., EDT. Opportunity for discussion immediately following.
Envisioning Middlebury is a community conversation to engage individuals across the Middlebury community. These discussions will form the foundation for Middlebury’s strategic planning process. Please join us by attending the talk and engaging in our community conversation.
While our February Folio fever has passed, the Shakespeare celebration continues with the theater department’s upcoming production, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Come watch the latest show in the long legacy of Shakespeare at Middlebury with performances at 7:30pm Thursday-Saturday, May 5-7 and 2pm Sunday, May 8th in Wright Theater!
And be sure to catch Special Collections’ archival exhibit featuring historic costume and set designs of past Middlebury Shakespeare productions! On display for a limited time in the atrium of Davis Family Library.
The Middlebury College Observatory, GIF-ified here by Special Collections Film Preservation Assistant Sam Cartwright, opened in 1937 and was torn down to make way for the construction of McCardell Bicentennial Hall. Read Sam’s blog post, Romance of the Skies to learn more. Then, get your celestial body to the new Middlebury College Observatory during one of their Open House Nights. The first is scheduled for Friday, May 29th from 9:00PM-10:30PM.
A brown-bag lunch will be held on May 3 at 12:30 pm, in the Crest Room of the McCullough Student Center, to explore the subject of the library’s approval profile. Douglas Black, the library’s Head of Collections Management, will be presenting, with some sweets and coffee to augment your own lunch. He’ll give some history of the approval program in library acquisitions over the years and lead discussion on its role in the academic library collection of the 21st century.
For context, the library selects, acquires, and provides access to materials in many different ways:
- upon request by students, faculty, and staff
- automatic purchase of e-books and streaming media based on usage
- package deals on journal subscriptions and purchased journal archives (“backfiles”)
- one-time purchases of electronic databases, which often require annual maintenance fees
- and through automatic purchase via an “approval profile.”
Under the approval model, the library utilizes a library vendor (in our case, YBP Library Services) to purchase automatically books that meet certain criteria (e.g., subject, hardbound only, no workbooks, scholarly publishers only, within a certain price range, etc.). Middlebury typically purchases about 3,000 volumes/year this way, at an average annual cost of $97,000 in the last few years. We recently conducted a thorough analysis of the program’s effectiveness, finding that print books purchased through the approval profile are used much less than those specifically requested. The library believes some of that money could be spent more effectively and would like to gather input from members of the campus community on reshaping the profile.