Tag Archives: Library Spotlight

Welcome to the Libraries, Febs!

Welcome, Febs!Hello, Febs!!! Stay sharp! Visit the Research Desk early and often. You’ll find that librarians are always happy to help. You don’t even need a question! Just tell us what you’re working on and together, we can figure out you’ll need to do first, next and last.

Spring Research Desk Hours
(February 12 – May 18, 2018)
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.

Update your bookmarks and syllabi with the new MIDCAT URL

MIDCAT has a new URL! All links on the library website have been updated, but your links probably need some attention. If you bookmarked MIDCAT, or if you included links to MIDCAT in your syllabus or course web page, you’ll need to revise the URL.

biblio.middlebury.edu is crossed out

The new URL for MIDCAT is:
http://mbury.iii.com/

Fortunately, revisions will be pretty straightforward: Wherever you have the old URL, just replace it with the new one (see below). This includes links to books and to searches (both of which have some characters after the “biblio.middlebury.edu”).

For example:

  • Old: http://biblio.middlebury.edu/record=b4194118
  • New: http://mbury.iii.com/record=b4194118

Thing to know: The old URL seems to work now, but it won’t last forever.

Questions? Ask a librarian! go/askus/

Get Your Graphic Novels Here

Graphic Novels: Located behind the movies on the main floor of the Davis Family Library

Follow the signs to the Graphic Novels Collection

Can you hear that? Our graphic novels are calling out to you this month! New signs in the Davis Family Library lead you right to this collection of more than 450 illustrated works of fiction and non-fiction.

Come and visit the Graphic Novels Collection, just after the movies on the main level of the Davis Family Library. You’ll see Alison Bechdel’s memoir Fun Home, Neil Gaman’s fantasy Sandman, Eleanor Davis’ quirky collection of short stories How to be Happy,  and more. We’re sure you’ll wander out with a few.

Want a preview? Browse the collection in MIDCAT:
Genre: Graphic Novels

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

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.”

How many do we own?

Between the print and digital volumes, our MIDCAT catalog shows records for over 500 items in the Very Short Introductions series.

multicolored cover art for a book

The cover art used for the Very Short Introduction on love by Ronald de Sousa.

Why are they on display?

Aside from having beautiful, eye-catching colors and covers, J-Term is dedicated to studying one particular theme intensely and for a brief period of time. These items are rather “meta” because they have the same objective. Do you see what we did there? ;)

How do I get access to more?

Visit go/midcat/ (or, from off campus, go.middlebury.edu/midcat) and type in “very short introductions” as a keyword search. The results will list what we own in our collection in both print and e-format.

Is there a place that I can see the whole listing in the series?

Yeah, if you check out the Wikipedia page, you’ll see every theme that’s covered, starting with “classics” and all the way through “the immune system,” as of January 3rd, 2018.

multicolored cover art for a book

The cover art used for the Very Short Introduction on hormones by Marin Luck.

How long will they be out in the lobby?

We’ve chosen a small collection of thirty items to represent the series and they will be in the lobby either from January 3rd- January 26th or until you, your buddies and colleagues pick them up and check them out. ;) You can always pick them up off the shelves to check them out and remember that Armstrong has various very short introductions in its holdings, too! For example, climate change, fungi, hormones, infectious disease, moons, nuclear physics and viruses, just to mention a few!

How many can I check out?

We haven’t got a limit.

multicolored cover art for a book

The cover art used for the Very Short Introduction on Islam by Malise Ruthven.

Is the writing accessible?

I say yes. However, reading them is not like reading a novel. The works are more academic in nature and reflect the words of experts and years of research. While made and written for the layperson, don’t expect character development– perhaps except in the cases of Jesus, Muhammad, Goethe and other historical figures– and plot. (Speaking of which, they could likely use some historical figures who are women in this series like the Queen of Sheba, Juana Inés de la Cruz, Marie Curie and Malala Yousafzai. Just sayin’.) They are written to be informative and, as with many other items in our collection that serves academic needs, you may find yourself drawn to certain chapters or sections and less inclined to read from the first word to the very last.

multicolored cover art for a book

The cover art used for the Very Short Introduction on African History by John Parker and Richard Rathbone.

Can I use these works for my research?

Yes, of course! Though tiny, these works are credible sources that can supplement broader research and be cited like any other. Here is a sample citation:

Parker, John, and Richard Rathbone. African History: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. Print.

For more on citing, visit go/citations/ (or, from off campus, go.middlebury.edu/citations) or see a librarian at the Research Desk.

multicolored cover art for a book

The cover art used for the Very Short Introduction on colonial America by Alan Taylor.

Which is your favorite?

Me? I’m partial to the ones that feature religious themes, like the Koran and the Bible. Religion shapes so much of our lives and mores and having the opportunity to understand the contexts in which sacred texts were born is really enlightening. Since developing November’s display featuring Native American history and related content, I’ve also been eyeing the one on North American Indians. And there’s the one on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, something I’ve been trying to get a greater grasp on for nearly all my life.

Who’s behind this effort?

Every– EVERY– display is a group effort. Many invisible hands make these displays possible. While I’m a great source of ideas ;), Kat Cyr, Rachel Manning and their student workers help to pull items from the shelves, Marlena Evans consistently has excellent feedback (and leadership) on design and Kim Gurney and Dan Frostman exercise a lot of patience with me and my constant requests for reserving props and status changes. Come by and see the culmination of our work!

REMINDER – Limited Library Services – December 19, 2017

Currently underway

TODAY, Tuesday, December 19, 2017, the library will be offering limited services as we migrate our MIDCAT library catalog from a locally-hosted server environment to a vendor-hosted one.  This includes all catalog look up, renewal, borrowing, MyMIDCAT, and circulation functions, from both on- and off-campus.

Specifically:

  • Armstrong Library in Bicentennial Hall will be closed
  • The Davis Family Library building will remain open but with limited services from 9am-5pm
  • Patrons will not be able to look up library materials via MIDCAT
  • Patrons will not be able to check out or renew library materials, including InterLibrary Loan (ILL) materials and including renewals via MyMIDCAT
  • Patrons will be able to use physical materials on-site inside Davis Family Library
  • Summon will be available, and, in the absence of MIDCAT, can be used to look up the call number of a physical book in order to locate it within the library.  However, links from Summon to fuller descriptions contained within MIDCAT will not be functional
  • Access to full-text journal articles and databases via Summon will be available

The migration is expected to last approximately 6 hours, and, while we hope it takes even less time than that, as with any technology change there are no guarantees.  We will update the College community via this blog if the process takes significantly longer than 6 hours.

This is the first phase of a multi-phase project to upgrade the library catalog to a more modern platform, and it needs to be done during regular business hours in order to accommodate our vendor, Innovative Interfaces, Inc.  The remainder of the migration will be scheduled during the interim period between the Spring 2018 semester and the beginning of the College’s summer programs.  We will announce that date on this blog when finalized.

If you have any questions, please contact either Terry Simpkins or Mike Roy.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.

You Asked, We Listened

Photo of the 'You asked, we listened' billboard in the Davis Family Library Atrium

The Library Space Committee has created a billboard display in the atrium to showcase how student input impacts space decisions made here at the library.

Background: The Library Space Committee collected student feedback about the library, as part of a 2016 lobby survey and a media carrel area survey. With this information the Library Space Committee made or influenced changes to the library, including the creation of “The Nook” and the Unplug & Recharge Room. Also highlighted on the billboard display were other smaller changes that were made or supported by the team including: a new water bottle fountain, more plants, puzzle table, acquiring student art, better designated quiet areas, bean bag chairs, opening more carrels on the main level (by moving or removing equipment), and a self-schedule service for study rooms.Filled out survey, from Fall 2017 Library Space Survey

Last week the Space Committee concluded a three week seating survey.  The results will help the Committee to learn more about students seating habits and what improvements can be made to library spaces.