Tag Archives: research

Don’t Miss These Exciting Internship Opportunities!

The deadlines for some awesome internships for fall and winter term are quickly approaching – head to MOJO today to apply for these great opportunities. Deadline is this Friday, October 12.

Passionate about global health? Research? Apply to be a…

  • Roots of Health Development and Media Intern: Roots of Health (Ugat ng Kalusugan) is a nonprofit organization focused on improving the health of women and girls, and their communities, in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, in the Philippines. You will be based in the United States and will assist Roots of Health with internet-based research, generating an online presence using social media and with the preparation of grant applications. (Winter Term)

Interested in marketing? Sustainability? Apply to be a…

  • NativeEnergy Marketing Intern: Founded in Vermont in 2000, NativeEnergy is an expert provider of carbon offsets, renewable energy credits, and carbon accounting software.  You will assist with public relations activities, including traditional and social media outreach. You will develop and execute social media campaigns, write blogs and other content, conduct market research, help plan and organize events, and assist with other marketing-­‐related activities as needed. (Fall term)

Planning to go into medicine?  Apply to be a…

  • Porter Hospital Intern: You will have the opportunity to see what life might look like if you choose a career in medicine. You will work out a schedule with your assigned physician preceptor  for you to shadow the physician based on the physician’s work schedule and your availability. You’ll also get to go on rotations in other departments, such as surgery, emergency care, radiology and labor and delivery. (Winter Term)

Love social media?  Apply to be a…

  • Kelliher Samets Volk Media Intern: You will learn how to evaluate media vendors, target specific markets and much more. You will work with the PR team and manage client clip books, support and maximize press opportunities. On a daily basis, you’ll help the PR team track and document media coverage. You’ll manage alerts and create weekly/monthly digests. Dive in and draft PR materials and help manage KSV’s online community. (Winter Term)

Reference (or, Research!) Desk Revived

Based on the findings of last year’s Research and Instruction Assessment, we’ve decided to use the Reference Desk again. This is the desk on the main level, near the walk-up computers. Don’t get used to the name though. We’re changing it! We’re also stretching to increase our hours of coverage. When students work with us, they come back. But some of them don’t think of us in the first place. We’re trying to encourage all students to ask us for help.

Starting next week, librarians will be available at the Research Desk. Please refer research questions to us! Does the library have any movies in Spanish? How should I cite this web page? I’m writing a paper on [insert your topic here]… We know what to do!

Signs and web pages will be updated ASAP.

Monday-Wednesday: 11-5 and 7-10 pm
Thursday: 11-5 pm
Friday: 11-4 pm
Sunday: 1-5 and 7-10 pm

At any time you can always Ask a Librarian! (go/askalibrarian)

Two New Civil War Collections Won for Special Collections

Erastus Hibbard Phelps Collection

The winning bid on the Archive of Civil War paymaster Erastus Hibbard Phelps, Middlebury Class of 1861, was made at auction by Andy Wentink, Curator of Special Collections & Archives. The archive was one among nearly 350 lots of American History, including Civil War, materials offered by Cowan’s Auctions in Cincinnati, OH, last Friday morning, December 2. The Phelps Archive comprises 334 letters, 4 diaries (3 from Civil War years), 2 bound volumes including a photo album containing portraits of graduates of the Middlebury Class of 1861, many of which are inscribed to Phelps. The archive also includes two photos of Phelps previous to his years at Middlebury, his paymaster sidearm (a Colt 1851 Navy 36 caliber pistol), what is believed to be his sheepskin winter jacket worn on duty, and a leather documents trunk carried during his service.

Andy also made the winning bid on another Civil War archive, 54 Letters of 2nd Lieut. Ephraim L. Hackett, Wisconsin 1st Light Artillery. Born in Maine in 1837, Ephraim L. Hackett was living in Baraboo, Wisconsin, in August 1861, when he enlisted as a Sergeant in the 1st Independent Battery, Wisconsin Light Artillery. Small in number and mobile, the Battery recruited barely over 100 men before being sent into the field in Kentucky that Fall, then went on to fight up and down the Mississippi Valley until the end of the war.

These two important Civil War collections significantly enhance Middlebury’s already impressive Civil War era archival holdings including the Aldace Walker (Middlebury Class of 1862) Letters, the Calvin Parker Letters, the Civil War Archive of Professor Kit Wilson, and nearly 100 Civil War era letters from individual writers.

The purchase of the Phelps and Hackett archives was made possible through the generous partial funding from the Friends of the Davis Family Library, the Middlebury College Museum of Art, the Julian W. Abernethy Fund, and the Davis Family Library.

When Mom Stops Calling

Professor Barbara Hofer talked about "iconnected parents" during Homecoming Weekend

Just a few years ago, psychology professor Barbara Hofer noticed something different among her first-year students. On any given day, as soon as class was over, they would flip open their cell phones and make a call. She noticed that even the seniors on campus were startled by how readily first-years used their phones.

Curious about this new behavior, she conducted some research and soon discovered that a “sweeping cultural change” was taking place. Not only were students heavily connected to each other by cell, they were also heavily connected to their parents. The amount of contact between young people and their parents had increased exponentially. “It happened over night,” she said, and it seemed to be pervasive. She was alarmed about some of the ramifications.

Hofer’s findings launched more research, in collaboration with undergraduates; a coauthored book on the subject; and many appearances around the country. During Homecoming Weekend, she described her work to an enthralled group of alumni, many who remembered how they used to call home—from dorm pay phones.

Hofer’s findings show that there is an “electronic tether” connecting young people with their parents in a profoundly new way. Whereas a generation ago, students thought of themselves as adult and independent and they called home perhaps once a week, today’s students and parents communicate approximately 13 times weekly, each initiating about half the calls.

“Parents report that they are a lot closer to their kids than they were to their parents,” Hofer said. She pointed out that the amount and the content of the communication is very important in helping students gain autonomy. “The challenge is to remain connected in a healthy way.”

What concerns Hofer is that the electronic tether tends to create a dependency that prevents students from learning to regulate their own behavior or to handle their own disappointments and challenges. Instead of figuring out how to deal with a problem, they can be in touch with a caring parent almost instantly. This level of contact also prevents some parents from developing the skills and responses that would bolster independence.

Hofer described cases in which parents regulate their children’s activities from afar, keeping their course syllabi and reminding them of papers and tests, for example, or editing their papers. She described one student’s answer to this question: “When will you know you are an adult?” The answer: “When my mom stops calling me three times a day.”

But Hofer was quick to point out that this does not mean that parents should simply “let go,” as is sometimes suggested. What parents need, she believes, is to find healthy ways to back off a bit while staying connected, a thoughtful balance that encourages students to use their own internal resources and the resources of the institution.

Or, perhaps, it will suffice to simply turn the phone off.

Trial access to a trove of medieval digitized texts

For a trial period starting today, Middlebury College has access to Medieval and Early Modern Sources Online (MEMSO), a searchable database of original manuscript materials, archival documents, and printed sources for English, Irish, Scottish and Colonial history from the medieval and early modern period (c. 1100-1800).

MEMSO includes digitized versions of original texts held at the National Archives in London and includes the papers of King Edward VI and Queens Mary and Elizabeth I, among many others.

To access MEMSO, visit the library’s New and Trial Resources or visit MEMSO directly, through October 20th.

Send feedback via email (or by Royal Decree, if the mood strikes you) to Rebekah Irwin.

Annual Special Collections Open House



Special Collections, Davis Family Library, Lower Level







10:00 AM-5:00 PM


SEPTEMBER 6, 7, & 8, 2011



ERIAL Project

There was an succint write-up about the ERIAL Project (Ethnographic Research in Illinois Academic Libraries) in Inside Higher Ed recently.  Although I’m sure many of you have already heard about this project — an attempt to use ethnographic research techniques to look at how students use (or don’t use) libraries for their academic research needs — it’s worth taking a look at this summary of some of ERIAL’s findings.

Among the study’s findings:

  • Google reigns supreme among resources most commonly used (JSTOR ranks 2nd), but…
  • Students often do not know how to search effectively using Google.
  • Students do not view librarians as potential research partners
  • Faculty have an important role to play in “brokering” interactions between students and librarians.
  • Faculty also tend to view the library primarily as a purchasing agent, while librarians view the library as partners in the teaching & research processes.
  • Both librarians and faculty overestimate the research skills that students possess, assuming that these “digital natives” will have already developed sophisticated searching techniques by the time they arrive at college

What should we as librarians (and library/technology staff) be doing to overcome these problems?