Author Archives: Janine McDonald

A Cure for Winter Doldrums: check out the new Blu-ray display in the atrium!

If the freezing temps and winter storm warnings keep you indoors, we have a solution. There is a new display featuring our collection of Blu-rays, which continues to grow. A little more than year ago we had a smattering of choices, but we now have a wide variety from which to choose. For all of you classic film buffs, we have an amazing collection by master filmmaker Roberto Rossellini. A few of his very best are available; “Stromboli,” “Europe 51,” and “Journey to Italy,” (all starring his wife, Ingrid Bergman). We have several Blu-rays from the great Alfred Hitchcock;  “To Catch a Thief,” “Rebecca,” Psycho,” to name a few.  David Lean’s award-winning epic, “Lawrence of Arabia,” based on the life of T.E. Lawrence, and Humphrey Bogart in “Treasure of the Sierra Madre,” are not to be missed.

The bulk of our Blu-ray collection is more recent, including  “Promised Land” (screenplay/actors Matt Damon, Jon Krasinski), “Before Midnight” (last in the 20-year trilogy co-written and starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, and written/directed by Richard Linklater). We have last year’s Oscar for best picture, “Argo” (directed by Ben Affleck, with Bryan Cranston of “Breaking Bad” fame).  “Hunger Games” with Jennifer Lawrence, “Behind the Candelabra,” another Matt Damon role, “Magic Mike” (could it be, really, Matthew McConaughey?) and Channing Tatum. (I have to say, McConaughey has come a long way since his role in “Mike” to his current turn in “Dallas Buyers Club,” in which he is nothing less than phenomenal, and a likely Oscar recipient for best actor). We also have the Sundance Film Festival 2011 award winner, “Another Earth.”

TV series are part of the action as well; a couple of examples are Seasons 2 and 3 from “Madmen,” and the first season of “Louie” (as in C.K.)!

Well, you will just have to peruse the shelves on your own to see what appeals to your viewing taste, but I am sure you will find a Blu-ray to your liking. As you start playing your Blu-ray at home, look out the window to see the snow pile up. It is a perfect winter back drop, as you sip a little hot cocoa to keep you warm. I can smell the popcorn now!

Thank you Marlena, for creating such an accessible and creative display for us!

Two New Kindle Fires at Circ!

We are excited to announce the addition of 2 Kindle Fire tech products to our ever-expanding inventory. They were added to our catalog today, and I barely attached the laminated tags to them before they were checked out, and out the door. One of them is designated solely for faculty/staff on loan for 2 weeks, while the second one is allowed to be checked out by everyone, including all of our students (also with a 2-week loan period). You will need an Amazon account to log in for reading books. You won’t need login info for browsing the Internet or checking email. It’s a great way to become familiar with them to see if you would like to buy one later. They are listed under our borrowing equipment umbrella in the wiki. Enjoy!

New DVD/CD Display Case at the Circulation Desk

We have recently added a DVD/CD display case on the Circ Desk, near the TV. The purpose of this case is twofold; to showcase recommendations by LIS student employees, all other students (& anyone who is interested), and secondly, for others to get some great tips. Top picks are for movies, documentaries, TV shows/series, and music. Everyone can participate, and we encourage your interaction. Alongside the display case is a testimonial (with optional photo) about a specific selection. This is a great way to unveil several “hidden gems” within our vast DVD stacks. We have newly-released titles you may not expect, films like Oscar-nominated Midnight in Paris, Beginners (Oscar winner for supporting actor Christopher Plummer), Moneyball, Tree of Life. Additionally, we enjoy featuring many of our timeless classics.

Bringing out behind-the-desk CD collections is particularly fun because they are unavailable for browsing, other than via Midcat. We have Paul McCartney’s new release, “Kisses on the Bottom,” along with jazz greats Coltrane, Davis, and genres in classical, hip-hop, bluegrass, fusion, Latin-inspired, country, etc. There is a seemingly endless number of CDs from A (as in Alison Krauss) to Z (as in Frank Zappa) and everything in between.
If you are passionate about your music and film/TV favorites, please let us know.  We welcome your recommendations since we are always on the hunt for good stuff. And do come by to view our special features from the case.

DVDs, Browsing Local Books and Magazines at your Fingertips

With the new year comes change, and LIS is no exception. Check out the varied display of local books on the main level next to our DVD area.  From Patti Smith’s Just Kids, to Chris Bohjalian’s The Night Strangers, you will appreciate our range of topics. One particular standout is from faculty and author Andrea Olsen, an absolute treasure in the dance department. Her recent publication, Body and Earth, An Experiential Guide, features a forward written by John Elder, & preface from Bill McKibbon, so you can’t miss, considering this Midd triumverate. Then there is the true story, The Man Who Cycled the World, by Mark Beaumont, detailing how he demolished the Guinness World Record in 81 days. Several outstanding novels are on the shelf; The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht is one of the ten best books on the NY Times Book Review, and Colum McCann’s Let the Great World Spin, is a National Book Award Winner, just to mention a couple. If you wander downstairs you will see popular magazines lining the front racks. Current issues of Esquire, PC World, Vogue, Mother Jones, Time, National Review and many others are conveniently displayed, so you can keep up with weekly news and entertainment events in a comfy setting.  Add a cup of joe or hot tea from the cafe, and the joys of a Midd J-Term winter’s night can be cozy and as imaginative as you wish! Welcome 2012, and to your J-term!

Access Services Conference – Atlanta GA

Valuable information was gathered at the recent Access Services conference held at Georgia Tech. Learning various customer service styles and techniques utilized in libraries ranging from student populations of 2,000 to 48,000 was eye-opening. The major takeaway was how change is now the “new normal.”  Integrating new technologies and innovation with excellent customer service were major themes. Tips on Reserves policies & procedures, merged libraries, media, student employees & professionalism at the Circ Desk, Reference, privacy/confidentiality issues were topics of interest. Info regarding maximizing customer and employee satisfaction was particularly enlightening. Power Point presentations will be available from the conference site in January 2012, but I am receiving some of these presentations directly from specific schools for my reference. I will place them in our Conference folder in the 2011 Orgs drive.

LIS DVD Collection- Watch Our Collection Grow

LIS has made significant changes over the summer, and we are especially pleased to inform you of the newly-augmented Browsing DVD section of the library. This section has been supplemented with over 80% of DVDs formerly confined to library viewing, housed behind the Circ Desk. These additions to the Browsing Collection provide an enhanced selection for you to select from and enjoy at home or wherever your laptop may take you for three days.  Additionally, since we have had the good fortune to add the Music Library contents over to Davis, we now offer an extensive group of musical DVDs ( CDs are stored separately behind the Circ Desk). In the lobby Browsing area, select from a musical DVD collection diverse as Rebel Music ( Bob Marley’s life story) to Puccini’s Tosca to Superfly. Our documentary section is incredibly stimulating & most definitely something to write home about. (But you must restrain yourself. You can only take out 3 DVDs at a time). Some examples:
The Maysles Brothers‘ Grey Gardens (based on the fascinating, reclusive mother-daughter socialites Edith Beales).
Man on Wire
, (an astonishing account of French high-wire artist who dared to walk and perform acrobatics on a cable between the Twin Towers 1350 feet above ground  in 1974).
The award-winning (Sundance Film Festival) Andy Warhol from PBS. Producer/writer/director Ric Burns’ takes an insightful portrait of Warhol, who defined the pop art movement in the 20th century.
Thompson’s wild ride in Gonzo: Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. And what a journalist.
From the Bill Moyers Collection, B.T. Jones: Still/Here.  Acclaimed choreographer Jones and his creative process.
Need I say more? These are just a few.
The TV Series section is also eclectic and fun (think Simpsons, True Blood, SNL, Mad Men, Smallville) while our current and classic feature collections encompass masters from the silent era, D.W. Griffith & Chaplin, on to Jack Cardiff, Hitchcock,Fellini, Truffaut, Wilder. All of the heavyweights are here. Check the amazingly varied titles in Midcat.
We have color-coded four sections to assist your search as you navigate through the shelves. There are posters to guide you to an area of interest. This continues to be a work in progress, but we welcome you to take advantage of our abundant & fantastic collection. We will keep you updated on the DVD project status as we proceed.
Huge thanks go to all of the students who worked on this DVD project over the summer, as well as the staff members who spear-headed this project, while accomplishing an amazing amount of work by cataloging and processing new titles, along with the physical changes with new cases and labels.
Now staff members and students can kick back and enjoy.  Popcorn anyone?

LIS Picnic!

 Below is a sign-up sheet for everyone who would like to participate in our summer picnic celebration next Thursday, 8/25, 3:00 P.M. at the Roy residence (location details in an email will follow this post). We have something for everyone…whether you love to cook by preparing a side dish, entree or by baking a dessert, you can decide. We will need beverages brought to the picnic too. You might enjoy taking part in the setup procedure (purchase utensils and paper plates/cups), while others might prefer cleaning up at the end of the party. This will be a fun way to celebrate the last weeks of summer with our fellow LIS staff members. We look forward to seeing you there! Families/partners are welcome!    Pot-luck sign up