Many thanks to The Middlebury Campus for sharing the Middlebury College librarians’ efforts to serve our community in the story linked below. The seven librarians in the research and instruction group meet regularly to talk about how we’re connecting community members with library resources. We’ve examined how our work has been affected by the pandemic. While the library is closed, we’ve been using both tried-and-true and experimental forms of communication to help researchers get what they need. To consult in real time with these research and instruction librarians, make appointments using our go links. For more information, see here.
By now, we hope that you’ve been able to establish some sense of stability, if even occasionally tremulous, despite having so much of what we understand about our college and higher education experiences intensely challenged over the last two months. As we approach the close of the 2019- 2020 academic school year, this last entry in the Words for Wellness series is especially for graduating seniors. In a culture that praises us for being chipper, upbeat and optimistic, let me introduce you to an audiobook in our Overdrive collection titled How To Be Fine. Not how to be great. Not how to be excellent. Not how to be thriving. How to be fine. We’ve all had to alter and adjust our expectations for an extended period of time and we’re not certain what we’ll return to once our collective “hiatus” comes to an end. If you’re looking for ways to maintain a sense of equilibrium, How To Be Fine is chock-full of testimonies and tips, and is a critical examination of the self-help book. For more, click here.
It’s been over a month since most students have left Middlebury. A broad array of normal campus functions have shut down and classes have gone fully online. These transitions, no doubt, are massive and can certainly make us feel justifiably destabilized. So for the second entry in our Words for Wellness series (click here for the first), we offer you a title that challenges us to rethink what is most important, the audiobook Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown. For more, click here.
Needing a little encouragement? Or perhaps to desperately adjust your worldview in the face of these, uh, “unprecedented” and trying times? The libraries decided to develop a 3-part-series, “Words for Wellness,” to introduce you to some of the collections you can access, even from afar, that have the potential to lift your spirits. For this first entry, two audiobooks we’ll highlight are Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World by retired Navy Seal Admiral William H. McRaven and blogger Samantha Irby’s meaty. Both feature personal stories that recount how the writers confronted and responded to prolonged experiences and periods of adversity. I’ll spend some time telling you about each and then, based on the descriptions, you can decide which has the most potential to inspire you as we navigate new terrain in the times of COVID- 19. See more here!
Dear Community Library Users and Fans of our Foreign Language DVD Collection:
This note is to inform you that starting Friday, May 31st, 2019, the next foreign language DVD you search for in the stacks may in fact be found in the foreign language browsing collection as we prepare for the Language Schools. Please see the map below and note the circled section on the main level, behind the browsing books collection. A selection of foreign language DVDs will be shelved there under headers that indicate their language, for example “Español.” Not all of the foreign language DVDs will be there as they will not all fit. Also, languages with schools located off campus, like Arabic and Italian, will remain in the regular DVD stacks. So please budget in extra time to seek out what you would like to find and feel free to ask library staff for assistance in locating what you seek.
Literatures and Cultures Librarian Katrina Spencer interviews Madeline “Maddie” Hope, the Assistant Director of Health & Wellness Education, for Mental Health Awareness Month. Visit the Davis Family Library to engage with a thematic display on this topic. Credits go to Dr. Raquel Albarrán of the Department of Luso-Hispanic Studies and students Jayla Johnson, Class of 2021, and Myles Maxie, Class of 2022, for the display’s design. Special thanks to Barbara Walter, Dr. Susan Burch, Kat Cyr, Laura Kearley and Joseph Watson.
Katrina Spencer (KS): Hi, who are you? How long have you been here? What do you do on campus?
Maddie Hope (MH): Hi! I’m Maddie Hope. I’ve worked at Middlebury since July of 2018. I am a Health Educator, which means I provide trainings, one-on-one discussions and programs about topics related to health and wellness for students. My areas of focus are mental health, alcohol use and cannabis use. Come visit me in the Health and Wellness Education Office on the second floor of the Service Building. We have a massage chair!
KS: What do you know about the display in the Davis Family Library?
MH: I know the display is focused on decreasing stigma related to discussing mental health challenges and providing different resources that can be accessed for support.
KS: Why is it important to reduce stigma surrounding mental health and illness?
MH: So often when people are struggling with mental health, they are also having a hard time connecting to themselves or others and stigma, or judgment, can make this problem worse. Stigma about mental health and mental illness is often the largest barrier to seeking support and feeling understood. These are two of the most important curative factors for mental health challenges. When we seek to understand the challenges others are facing rather than meeting them with judgment, we pave the way for healing.
KS: What resources are available on campus? To students? Staff? Faculty?
MH: For students, there is the Parton Center for Health and Wellness. Students can choose to speak to a counselor or a health care provider for mental health support. To make an appointment with a counselor, students can call 802-443-5141, or visit their office on the third floor of Centeno House. You can also read about counseling staff on campus at go/counseling/. If students are interested in meeting with a health care provider, they can call 802-443-3290, or visit their office on the first floor of Centeno House to make an appointment.
For staff and faculty, Human Resources provides a confidential service called Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) which can provide short-term counseling services on a variety of topics and serve as a referral source for more long term services. More information can be found at go/EFAP/ or by inquiring with Human Resources.
KS: Are there any mental health counselors of color? And if not, what can community members do when they are seeking cultural familiarity and competency in their mental health care services?
MH: The Counseling staff at Middlebury is predominantly white-identified, but the counseling center is commiting to actively recruiting counselors of a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds.
This can certainly be a challenge. Community members have a few options here. It might be valuable to consider beginning an online counseling relationship. It may be helpful to search for a clinician in your home community or in Burlington, VT. Some counselors may be open to meeting completely online, or have a few sessions in person and then offer online appointments.
A few resources for finding a therapist who can provide cultural familiarity include:
- “Find a Therapist” tool through Psychology Today
- “Therapist Directory” at Therapy for Black Girls
- “Directory” at National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network
For additional reading and listening about how mental health challenges can be different for people of color consider the following:
- University of Houston Coping with Race Related Stress
- Just Jasmine Blog Self Care for People of Color After Emotional and Psychological Trauma
- Podcast: Between Sessions
KS: Thank you for those resources above. How might the Health and Wellness Education Office and the Libraries collaborate in reducing the stigma surrounding mental health?
MH: Often the library can be a place students experience many overwhelming emotions (e.g. feeling fatigued from studying, experiencing frustration or hopelessness about assignments or workload). I can see some exciting potential to explore having consistent stress management events in the library for students, faculty and staff to enjoy. Providing opportunities to explore strategies to address overwhelming emotions together helps to show support for those who may have a hard time discussing mental health challenges with others.
KS: Brilliant. Thank you for your time. Students, keep a look out for the Health & Wellness Education’s Stressbusters Calendar out May 6th!
What are audiobooks?
Audiobooks on OverDrive are digital versions of a book, often a novel, that allow you to listen to a book’s text. Many come in downloadable MP3 format files and are therefore portable on many electronic devices like iPods. Sometimes the authors read their works to you with modest sound effects or other dramatizations of the story or action! Audiobooks can also be found on CDs in the Middlebury College Libraries’ collection. See a thorough listing here.
Why might I want use them?
If it’s hard to find still moments to sit down and open a print work or scroll through an ebook, audiobooks offer a hands-free alternative to the other formats. So, you can carry out household chores, drive, or even exercise while listening to an audiobook.
Where can I see what’s available?
In terms of what the Middlebury College Libraries holds on OverDrive, just visit go.middlebury.edu/overdrive for access to over 200 audiobooks. If you’re a Vermont resident and a holder of a public library card, you can access 5,000+ titles through the Green Mountain Library Consortium. See go.middlebury.edu/gmlc for more information and use your last name in all caps, ex. ALI, as your password.
Do you have any recommendations?
Yes, sure! But that depends on what you like. One of my favorite parts of my job is readers’ advisory. Look at the bolded type for genre:
- If you want a psychological thriller in the realm of domestic noir, I recommend The Silent Wife.
- If dystopian fantasy is what you’re into, Director of Access and Discovery Terry Simpkins and Library Associate Kat Cyr swear by N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth Series.
- If you want to access a classic and haven’t gotten around to it, Things Fall Apart is available.
- Social justice? Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me is sure to please and enlighten. And Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed also deeply engages systemic injustice.
- Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer lit? I really enjoyed Less. Dr. Marcos Rohena-Madrazo of the Department of Luso-Hispanic Studies is a big fan of Redefining Realness.
- Humor? Everything’s Trash, But It’s Okay.
- Disability studies? Good Kings Bad Kings is on the docket.
- Then there’s also historical non-fiction like The War Before the War.
- Historical fiction? Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer-prize winning The Underground Railroad is recommendable.
- And we have memoirs like Michelle Obama’s Becoming— though you may have to wait awhile to get to this one. See my review of it in The Campus, in the meanwhile.
- Oh, and if you’re studying a foreign language like Spanish, you’ve got about 10 works to choose from on OverDrive and several on CDs in many languages found in the foreign language browsing collection on the main level of the Davis Family Library.
There’s a lot out there!
How can I use them and what should I know about the app?
There are three basic steps for accessing audiobooks:
- Download the OverDrive app, create an original account and after signing in, add the Davis Family Library.
- When prompted to sign in with a library card, accept, but use your Middlebury credentials instead.
- Make a selection, borrow and manage your ebookshelf.
Also, when in doubt, you are welcome to ask a librarian for help or visit the guide found at go.middlebury.edu/ebookguide. With regard to the OverDrive app, there are some cool options like setting a timer for when you want the recording to stop playing, for example, if you’re getting in bed to sleep, and adjusting the speed of the player if you want to move through some text more quickly or more slowly than others. There’s some bookmarking, too.
For how long can I borrow audiobooks?
There are two loan periods: 7 days and 14 days. Know that only one user will use each audiobook at a time. So, if desirable, you can place a hold on a work if you want to be in line for when a popular item is released. Check out up to three audiobooks at a time!
They’ve changed my life, for the better. I hope they are of use to you, too. Also, to hear more from Middlebury audiobook users, see this week’s issue of The Campus.