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Destination Recreation: Christmas Tree Farms

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Destination Recreation: Christmas Tree Farms.

Here I am on the Vermont WCAX TV Channel Check out the vid and don’t mind my hair! MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – WCAX

Whether it’s already cut and waiting or still hiding in the field, a tree farm can hold that perfect centerpiece for your holiday living room.

And at Werner Tree Farm in Middlebury, they say picking out your own tree at a farm is a traditional Vermont Christmas experience.

“I think in Vermont people are more willing to go out take a walk and cut their own tree down and get their hands a little bit dirty,” says manager Amanda Werner.

Most people make it a family outing, she says, getting outdoors and spending time together.

“Part of that is being able to come out and walk around the grounds and look at the trees. A lot of people, even the ones that end up getting a pre-cut tree, like to walk through the fields,” she says.

One visitor to the farm is Maggie Nazer, an exchange student at Middlebury College. She says in Bulgaria they bought their trees from vendors on the street. This is her first time to a tree farm, and she has friends to help her.

The group is learning a few things in the field, such as why it’s important to know the height of your ceiling before you get to the farm.

“A standard ceiling is about eight feet tall which means you might have to make it a little bit shorter. If you do, I’d suggest doing it from the bottom so you keep the shape of the tree intact,” Werner advises.

A few minutes later, they spot the one. Nazer gets to cut it down.

“Wow it smells so good,” she says.

Once the tree is brought out of the field they put netting around it and then tie it down to the car. This tree is headed to the Middlebury campus, where students will make ornaments for it.

“It’s amazing. It’s so much fun. I think it’s great just having this ritual and really be able to feel the Christmas spirit,” says Nazer.

She’s one of many getting her tree here. The farm says they sold 1,200 last year and expect to do even more this year as demand increases.


New Special Collections Summer Hours

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

A change in Summer Hours for Special Collections on the Lower Level  of the Davis Family Library was approved by the LIS Area Directors at their recent meeting. The following hours will be in effect immediately:

Tuesday, May 31-Thursday, June 2      By Appointment Only

Friday, June 3                                           Open 1-5 p.m.  for Reunion Weekend

Saturday, June 4                                      Open 10 a.m.-2 p.m. for Reunion Weekend

June 5-19                                                  CLOSED

Monday, June 20-Friday, August19     By Appointment Only

Monday, August 22-Friday, September 2    CLOSED

CLOSED WEEKENDS DURING THE SUMMER

Are you reading this post via a feed reader? If so, read on…

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

On Tuesday May 31st we’re going to change the categories on this blog, so if by any chance you’re using a feed of a specific category, that’s going to break. We suggest subscribing to the whole blog for maximum enjoyment! If you’re not a LIS staff member & would like to filter out the more staff related posts, you can subscribe to the new “Middlebury Community Interest” category after May 31st. The other categories will be “LIS Staff Interest”, and “Post for MiddPoints” which will cause the post to be added to the MiddPoints blog too. All the old categories except “The Essentials” will be converted to tags for easy searching.
The LIS Web team developed this new scheme, following recommendations that came out of the open meeting about the future of the LIS Blog (including a call for simplified categories). The AD Team reviewed and approved these changes. We welcome your comments.

WordPress feeds can now include pages

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

During the past few years new versions of WordPress have made this system much easier to use — and our community has made use of these new abilities to make a wide range of sites structured in many ways.

Most of the content in WordPress sites are Posts, chronologically ordered entries that make up a ‘blog’ or news site. Pages on the other hand, are non-time-dependent content that can be arranged in a hierarchy. Traditionally, Pages in WordPress sites were used mostly for describing the blog, contact information, or other content that rarely changes and isn’t ‘newsworthy’. (more on Posts vs. Pages)

Recently, a number of sites have been making increasingly large use of Pages, such as to hold curricular resources that are then referenced from Posts describing assignments that use them. For sites that make significant use of Pages, site-owners can now enable the RSS Includes Pages plugin so that new pages are added to your site’s main feed. For course sites in WordPress, enabling this plugin will allow page additions to be fed into the Course Hub as updates.

We still recommend making use of Posts in WordPress sites to share new material with readers rather than heavily using Pages as Pages are still second-class citizens in many ways (such as support for tagging and categorization). With the new RSS Includes Pages plugin, Page-heavy sites can now feed new content to the Course Hub and others subscribed to their feeds.

Wireless in the dorms

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

There are approximately 60 buildings classified as dorms here at Middlebury providing beds to over 2400 students in 5 Commons.  From a ‘wireless’ perspective these dorms can be divided into three broad groups in terms of how many Wireless Access Points or WAPs they have:

  1. those that have moderate coverage
  2. those that have minimal coverage, typically in lounges only
  3. smaller houses that require only one or two WAPs

As mentioned in a previous blog post, LIS has embarked on an ambitious project to upgrade the campus network infrastructure, including improving wireless in the dorms.  All dorms are currently getting new network switches added to their wire closets to prepare for phase two, the deployment of new WAPs.  Dorms in the first group above (and gradually those in the third group as well) are getting all of their old WAPs replaced with newer equipment, while dorms in the second group are getting new WAPs deployed throughout. Dorms in the first group will be re-visited later on to determine if there are still gaps in the wireless coverage.

As an example, Hadley, Milliken, Kelly-Lang and Stewart are in group 1.  These dorms have had all of their old WAPs upgraded.  Hepburn is an example of group 2.  It has had new WAPs installed throughout the dorm.

Atwater A & B, Gifford, Battell, and Chateau are in progress now.  New switches have also been placed but not yet connected in Coffrin, Pearsons, Starr and Painter, which will also need new WAPs installed.

As you might imagine, this is an enormous task requiring lots of planning and coordination.  Please bear with us as we try to do this with minimal interruption to your access to the network!

Bibliography of children’s and young adult books set in Vermont

Categories: Midd Blogosphere
The Green Mountain Sampler,” has been updated. On this fifty-page list are all the books that the Department of Libraries owns that are set in Vermont, or about Vermont or Vermonters. This is not a selected, recommended list, but rather an all inclusive one. It is here. (From VTlibraries listserv).

Google Analytics Workshops

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Beginning in December, Chris Norris will be offering a series of Google Analytics workshops for LIS staff. These workshops will cover the basics of how Google Analytics works and how this data can be used to better understand (and help improve) the online services that we provide to the community. The first workshop will be held on Thursday, December 9th, 2010 in Davis Family Library 105 from 1:30p to 2:30p. If you are interested in attending, please email Chris at cnorris@middlebury.edu.