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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.

Music Library To Be Relocated To Davis

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Last Saturday, the Middlebury Board of Trustees approved a project to relocate the Music Library from the Mahaney Center for the Arts (MCFA) into the Davis Family Library, moving the History of Art and Architecture Department into the vacated music library space.  This project is scheduled to begin next June, with completion hopefully by September.

The consolidation of the Music Library into Davis was proposed by the College Administration, with the stated aims of strengthening ties between the curriculum and the Middlebury Museum of Art, also located in the MCFA, and increasing the use of the MCFA building, which has declined substantially especially since the closing of the Rehearsals dining space.  The moves will also free up studio space in Johnson for the Program in Studio Art and Architectural Studies.

From the library perspective, it is my hope that incorporating the music collection into the Davis Family Library will increase the visibility of this fabulous library resource, one that has perhaps been underutilized due to its location on the periphery of the campus.  With almost 20,000 compact discs; over 18,000 scores; and 13,000 books about music, this is a tremendous resource for anyone with even a passing interest in music, encompassing everything from the latest contemporary classical and avant-garde works to jazz, blues, and popular music for study or recreational listening.  We hope that integration of the music collection into Davis will inspire the musically-curious to investigate our collection and take advantage of the riches it contains.

Moving a collection of this size entails, of course, a great deal of planning and no small amount of disruption, especially during the summer months of 2011.  LIS hopes that our constituents will bear with us through this transition period, and have patience for any temporary inconveniences you encounter.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments at: Terry Simpkins (tsimpkin@middlebury.edu) 802-443-5045, Davis Family Library 202C

VoIP comes to the Snow Bowl

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Telephone Services recently installed a new voice over IP telephone system at the Middlebury College Snow Bowl.  It is an Aastra MX-One Lite telephony server which integrates fully to the main campus Aastra (Ericsson) phone system.  Next time you need to call the Bowl just dial SNOW (7669).

Our local contractor, Business Telephone Systems, working with our telephone system vendor, Black Box Network Services, installed the new server and phones in late September.  We are using the existing campus fiber network that was connected to the Bowl in the spring of 2009.  Howie McCausland and I tested the voice quality over the fiber with the vendor this past August.  Our network passed the test with flying colors.

The Snow Bowl now has a combination of IP phones in the offices and analog lines elsewhere.   The two major requirements for the new system were that it had enough analog trunk lines to accommodate the telephones at the lift load and unload stations and that the system not need dedicated bandwidth on the fiber.  A POE switch was installed to keep the IP phones going during a power outage, and in the event of a network outage the phones will failover to one of the four telephone company analog trunks remaining.