Now available for checkout from the Davis Family Library Circulation desk: a family pass (up to 8 people in one vehicle) for free entry into a Vermont Historic Site. This means you can go see and of these historic sites – the Bennington Battle Monument, President Calvin Coolidge, Chimney Point, Hubbardton Battlefield, Senator Justin S. Morrill, Mount Independence, Old Constitution House, President Chester A. Arthur, and Eureka Schoolhouse and Baltimore Covered Bridge – for the bottom line price of zero dollars! At that price, you can’t afford to NOT go learn some history!
If you visit the Davis Family Library atrium between now and Sunday, May 21st, you will see a very special display on the main floor, and continued in the glass display case on the Upper Level. Here’s what it’s about:
Name: Miguel A. Castillo
Hometown: Caracas, Venezuela
Collaborators: Aida Rodríguez [Tata], Andrew Pester, my family
Thanks Yous/Acknowledgements: Joseph Watson, Danielle Rougeau, Kim Gurney, Joseph Watson, Katrina Spencer, Deborah Leedy, Katrina Moore, Angela Valenzuela, Gabriel Ferreras, Emina Mahmuljin, Cathy Collins, Hedya Klein, Milo Stanley, Eliza Renner, Nando Sandoval, Ximena Mejia, Wonnacott Commons, International Student Organization, and everyone else that said yes to this.
So what is this that you’ve set up on the main and upper levels of the Davis Family Library?
It’s a three-part art installation that explores nostalgia, loss, and memory. This past year has been hard for me. On March 30th, 2016, my mother was diagnosed with brain cancer. On June 12th, 2016, she passed away under a bright blue sky. Dealing with her physical absence has been a journey, a messy one. I compare this process to dropping a stone in the ocean water. A stone that falls in water makes ripples; at first they are small, intense and constant. With time, they become more spaced out but larger. They are all the result of the same stone. This art installation has been an opportunity to collect my feelings about what is going on– a space to bring out what cries and laughs inside. My grandmother, my mom’s mom, came to live with me for a month, so I thought that having an artistic project to collaborate on would give us the opportunity to deal with something that is hard for us both, and this is what we came up with.
How are library patrons supposed to interact with it?
I hope people come to see it and check out all the parts. There is a typewriter, some postcards, envelopes and stamps. My hope is that people use them to write with an open heart to whomever comes to their minds. Maybe they’ll write one and send it to a random address. Mother’s Day is coming up soon. I hope that people can reflect on the ephemerality of life. Live fully not because one will die but because one is alive. Life is a fleeting moment and, as my mother said, “No hay tiempo para pendejadas” (“There’s no time for bullsh*t”.)
What do you hope the community will gain from the display?
I hope people stop for a second, breathe, and keep going feeling even more human.
The Middlebury Libraries are sensitive to the discord on campus surrounding Charles A. Murray’s recent visit. Given our core role of providing access to as wide a range of information as possible, as well as teaching the skills necessary to interpret and assess that information, we thought it might be useful to outline some of the ways we have responded to the controversy.
- We have purchased additional copies of core titles by Charles A. Murray in order to meet the heightened interest from the community. The library also holds multiple copies of works that respond to and/or dispute Murray’s conclusions, such as William Wilson’s The Truly Disadvantaged, and Stephen Jay Gould’s The Mismeasure of Man;
- In response to the Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life’s email message recommending specific books about conflict resolution, we purchased titles we were lacking and highlighted these works with a display in the library atrium. This display remained in place for over three weeks and was also highlighted in The Campus;
- Special Collections has been identifying, collecting, and preserving a variety of Web-based content relating to the controversy and protests. This material includes blogs and social media feeds created by student political action groups, as well as local news articles covering the events. We hope that these Web archiving efforts — in addition to our growing collection of donated images and video — will enable future researchers and generations of Middlebury students to understand the Murray visit and the March protests in a fuller context, and ensure that student voices continue to be heard more clearly than they might be if relying solely on secondary, mainstream sources;
- Special Collections also received a donation of digital photographs, videos, articles and responses to the Murray protest from August Hutchinson ‘16.5. These materials, which the donor has called “The Middlebury Moment,” are now held in our digital repository along with other student-created materials documenting the event.
We continue to seek ways to provide thorough information about Murray’s work, the various responses to it in the literature, and the recent protests relating to his visit to Middlebury. If there are additional titles that might speak to any these themes, we encourage you to submit them at go/requests/ (or go.middlebury.edu/requests/ if off-campus). Finally, please feel free to email us with other ideas for the Libraries to consider as we continue to respond as a community to these challenging issues.
A few months ago, the library subscribed to EBSCO e-books. You can search for them here, or in the library catalog, or if you do a Summon search and one of these more than 157,000 books has content connected to your search term, Summon will lead you to the book.
Below is a screenshot of what you’ll see, showing red boxes around some key things.
- Scroll down to read a brief description of the book, see how many users can view the book at a time (most have “unlimited user access”), and see other information about the book.
- To ‘save’ it to read later in the same browsing session, click “Add to Folder” (Note that if you close the tab or window, the folder will empty.)
- To read the book page by page online on the EBSCO platform, choose the “PDF full text” icon in the left menu.
- To download it to read offline, or to retain it in a folder after you close your browsing session, you need to create your own personal account on EBSCOhost. To do that, click the “Sign In” link on the top bar, and create your account. (It is best practice to not use the same username or password that you use for Middlebury logins.) Once you have created an account and logged in, you can download an EBSCO e-book for up to seven days.
- There are EBSCO e-book apps for Android in the Google Play Store and for iPhone in iTunes. You need to create a personal EBSCOhost account as described above (on a laptop or desktop) to use for the app.
This is the first in a series* of posts about members of the Middlebury community who value the library. Today’s profile is of Oz Aloni.
Where are you from and what’s your academic specialty?
I’m from Jerusalem, Israel. I teach at the Modern Hebrew program at Middlebury. I’m a Semitic Linguist, which means I research languages of the Semitic family, a family that includes Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic, Amharic, and many more. My research is focused on a language called the North-Eastern Neo-Aramaic (NENA) – in fact only on one dialect of that language: the Jewish dialect of Zakho, Kurdistan.
What do you like about Middlebury?
The beautiful nature surrounding us; the college’s great facilities; the friendliness of Vermonters.
How do you use the library?
For my own research I use the library mainly through its online databases and resources, and also its efficient interlibrary loan service. Two of the databases that were recently added to the library’s collection are particularly valuable for me: the Responsa Project and the Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics [see note below]. They are also very useful for my students, as research tools for the assignments I give.
How can the library better serve you?
The library is doing a pretty good job as it is. One thing that can be an improvement is expanding the Hebrew collection, and I’m happy to help with that.
Note that the library has free access for one more week to the Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics while we decide whether to subscribe. Check it out!
*How Do You Use The Library? is a social media series based on the “Humans of New York” model.
In case you are wondering what that noise is on the main floor of the Davis Family Library today, it is the installation of a new ADA-compliant water fountain that is designed to fill water bottles too. The Library Space Team successfully applied for an Environmental Council grant to cover the cost for one. The fountain will count the number of times a water bottle / glass is filled. Next time you are thinking of buying bottled water, think instead about using a refillable container (and thus avoid landfill waste or the energy and financial costs of recycling). It will also be the only ADA-compliant fountain in the Library, so if someone in a wheelchair needs a water fountain, be sure to direct them to this one, which is just opposite the print copy room on the main level.
We are very excited to announce that Melissa Floyd has accepted the position as a Business Analyst on the Administrative Systems Team in Enterprise Applications. Melissa will move into her new role effective April 1st.
Melissa has been at Middlebury since November 2015 where she has worked as a Software Engineer on the Web Technologies and Services Team. Prior to coming to Middlebury, Melissa spent 13 years at IBM filling numerous roles including Project Manager, Software Engineer, and Solutions Architect.
We are very excited to see Melissa transitioning into her new role as a Business Analyst.