Author Archives: Michael Roy

Deaccessioning Project Formally Begins

This fall, the Library will be starting a multi-year review of our circulating monograph collection in Davis Family Library that will identify titles we can safely remove from our collection. The project was discussed with department heads and chairs last spring. A web guide is available with much more information, including definition of the materials under review (spoiler alert: only circulating books, and nothing else). We are doing this for several reasons:

  1. The Davis Family Library’s shelves are functionally full. While you’ll see empty or partially filled shelves in places, a library needs to keep roughly 20% of its shelf space clear in order to reshelve and shift books, which is necessary when we acquire new materials.
  2. The collection has not been systematically reviewed as a whole in decades, and we have on our shelves materials that are outdated, superseded, and/or no longer relevant to Middlebury’s academic program.
  3. The library is short on study rooms and other usable spaces for students and faculty.

The process will be deliberative and consultative, and we invite your participation. Here is how the process will unfold:

  1. We have analyzed the 600,000 titles in Davis Family Library and automatically marked for retention titles that were recently acquired or heavily used, or which we must retain due to our consortial obligations. This reduced the number of titles under consideration for withdrawal to 229,000. 
  2. We have created a website (Monograph Deselection Project) that lists all of the titles under consideration, organized by subject, where you can see details about each title, including its usage history, date of publication, and more.
  3. Starting this fall, librarians will review the titles under consideration for withdrawal, and will make preliminary decisions about which titles to remove.
  4. As these preliminary reviews are completed, we will share with departments and other interested faculty our recommendations on which titles to remove, and provide you a chance to weigh in.
  5. Some materials may be moved into Special Collections if they have acquired an historical or other kind of value, rather than being withdrawn outright.

We’ll conduct these reviews in batches over the course of the next few years. Your Library Liaison will let you know when collections pertinent to your academic field(s) are under review. Because many faculty teach and do research in areas outside their departmental homes, we also invite those who wish to review any particular subjects to let us know via so that we can inform you when that subject is being reviewed.

Collection review is a critical part of the work of sustaining a vital, vibrant, and relevant print collection. While we recognize that it is daunting to make hard decisions about the importance of hundreds of thousands of titles, we have created, with useful help from consultations with chairs and with our advisory committee, what we think is a simple and straightforward process that provides you with the opportunity to give us valuable input into these decisions. Again, much more information is available on the project’s web guide.

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

United Way Raffle Deadline is Friday January 24th

Friday January 24th is the deadline to be entered into the regular raffle as part of the College’s United Way campaign. The winning raffle entry wins $250 in Middlebury Money. Congratulations to Carrie Macfarlane who was the winner of this year’s early bird raffle.
This year’s goal is to top $100,00 in contributions from the college community. We are over 90% of the way there.

To learn more about the important work that the United Way does in supporting Addison County, see their website at  

You can contribute online via payroll deduction at  

Thank you for considering this request.

The Middlebury College United Way Committee
Peter Matthews, Economics
Mike Roy, LIS
Pete Ryan, Geology
Linda Schiffer, Cook Commons

United Way of Addison County: What It Is, and How You Can Help: November 22 and 25 Lunchtime Presentations

Everyone has heard of United Way. Have you ever wondered what United Way really does?
Have you thought, “What does United Way have to do with me?” , “How/why would I get involved?”, “Is it going to cost me money?”

Involvement can take many forms; it may be through volunteering, through advocating, or maybe giving. Middlebury College is a large community within the larger community of Addison County; we will talk about the many ways that you can be an integral part of the amazing and hard work going on in the non-profit sector of our community and how to get started.
Please join us on November 22 or 25 in Axinn 100 at noon and find out! We will answer those questions and more. Yes, United Way does have something to do with you and there is a reason for you to be involved!

Bring your lunch. We’ll provide dessert.

More information about United Way of Addison County can be found at their website.

United Way Days of Caring: September 26th and 28th

The Annual United Way Days of Caring this year will be Thursday September 26th and Saturday September 28th. Attached you will find the flyer, the sign-up, and waiver forms. See for more information.




Please note that the College has generously agreed that you may volunteer for this without needing to take CT0! This is a great way to contribute to the important work of the United Way, and a fun way to get to learn more about your community.

LIS Update: August 2013



I’ve just posted the LIS Update August 2013 that describes recent accomplishments, current priorities, and longer-range opportunities and challenges. It is a lengthy, detailed document that captures the many things we are doing to help support the College’s efforts. A broader, higher-level description of our goals for the year and beyond can be found at our recently updated Strategic Directions page and at our Goals for 2013-14 site. I hope it is useful as a way to stay informed about what we are working on. If you have any questions about any of these items, do feel free to reach out to the appropriate group within LIS or to me.


Workshop on Spatial Thinking and Visualization on Friday April 5

This workshop, led by Anne Knowles (Geography Dept.), will explore principles and practices of spatial thinking, visualization, and research design for working with visual sources and methods in the digital humanities and social sciences. Examples will come from faculty and student research on the geographies of the Holocaust, the battle of Gettysburg, and other projects. We will also brainstorm around participants’ goals and ideas for incorporating spatial and visual approaches into their research and teaching.

If you wish to participate, please email Anne ( Maximum 12 participants. Please identify yourself as faculty or staff, as we are aiming for a balance across the range of interests on campus.

Time and place: Friday, April 5, from 12:30 to 3:00 p.m. in MBH 319. Be sure to bring paper and drawing implements.