More for Febs and all students! The books and DVDs we brought to the Student Services Fair last week are ready for check-out. Find them near the Research Desk on the Main Level of the Davis Family Library. Take a pencil while you’re there!
Name: Katrina Spencer
Hometown: Los Angeles
Role at Middlebury: Literatures & Cultures Librarian
Time at Middlebury: 1 year, 10 days
Katrina, are you prepping a display… again?
Yes, I have a problem.
What’s it about?
My problem or the display?
I have an obsessive streak that is manifesting itself in this way. The display is a small celebration of Valentine’s Day. It’s called “Blind Date With A Book.” My former supervisor, Jessica Newman, at Steenbock Library at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, hipped me to it.
Doesn’t that kind of crowd the atrium?
Yes, we have a lot of great collections we want to highlight. Currently we have at least three temporary displays there: the Black History Month Display, the New England Review’s display, and Blind Date With A Book. (On the Upper Level, a display called “Hair Me Out” is being prepped, too. See if you can find it.)
What’s special about Blind Date With A Book?
Well, with this one, it’s only there for a limited time: February 11th- 19th. Many of the items are wrapped up so you can’t see what the title is and by unwrapping it, you make a small commitment of getting to know the work without knowing much about its content, hence the concept of a blind date. ;)
Take a selfie with the book you unwrap so we can show the match made in heaven on Facebook. Tag “Middlebury College Libraries.”
Also, don’t miss out on Special Collections’ (SC) awesome event, “DIY Valentine Event,” Tuesday February 13th. SC always has cool stuff.
As an aside, I noticed we didn’t have many love stories featuring people of color so that will launch some new acquisitions: Love and Basketball, Love Jones and Poetic Justice. The form at go.middlebury.edu/requests will allow you to make requests, too. For now, minimally, we have Chico & Rita. ;)
Who helped you to shape this?
You want me to name my accomplices?
Leanne Galletly did the wrapping. Marlena Evans supplied numerous items, the book cart and the heart-shaped decorations. Kat Cyr also added titles that would be thematically appropriate for the project. I. . . I am an endless source of ideas.
Is that why they hired you?
Maybe. That and the degree (MSLIS). And the willingness.
Can you give us a hint as to what lies beneath the wrapping?
- There may or may not be a classic work by a world famous South American writer there.
- There may or may not be a work dedicated to telling Muslim women’s stories of love.
- There may or may not be the story of two men falling in love and having to hide their intimacy from the world.
So who’s your Valentine?
Hello, Febs!!! Stay sharp! Visit the Research Desk early and often. You’ll find that librarians are always happy to help. You don’t even need a question! Just tell us what you’re working on and together, we can figure out you’ll need to do first, next and last.
Spring Research Desk Hours
(February 12 – May 18, 2018)
Mon – Wed: 11 am – 5 pm
and 7 pm – 10 pm
Thursday: 11 am – 5 pm
Friday: 11 am – 4 pm
Sunday: 1 pm – 5 pm
No one available at the Research Desk?
Visit us in our offices! Librarians are conveniently located right behind the Research Desk.
MIDCAT has a new URL! All links on the library website have been updated, but your links probably need some attention. If you bookmarked MIDCAT, or if you included links to MIDCAT in your syllabus or course web page, you’ll need to revise the URL.
The new URL for MIDCAT is:
Fortunately, revisions will be pretty straightforward: Wherever you have the old URL, just replace it with the new one (see below). This includes links to books and to searches (both of which have some characters after the “biblio.middlebury.edu”).
- Old: http://
- New: http://mbury.iii.com/record=b4194118
Thing to know: The old URL seems to work now, but it won’t last forever.
Questions? Ask a librarian! go/askus/
Can you hear that? Our graphic novels are calling out to you this month! New signs in the Davis Family Library lead you right to this collection of more than 450 illustrated works of fiction and non-fiction.
Come and visit the Graphic Novels Collection, just after the movies on the main level of the Davis Family Library. You’ll see Alison Bechdel’s memoir Fun Home, Neil Gaman’s fantasy Sandman, Eleanor Davis’ quirky collection of short stories How to be Happy, and more. We’re sure you’ll wander out with a few.
Want a preview? Browse the collection in MIDCAT:
Genre: Graphic Novels
On Tuesday, Jan. 16, our systems vendor Innovative Interfaces will be performing an upgrade of MIDCAT, the library catalog. We expect the catalog to be unavailable from approximately 3AM-5AM Tuesday morning.
Apologies for any inconvenience, and thank you in advance for your understanding.
Director, Discovery & Access Services
Middlebury College Libraries
Hey, there’s a new display up of Very Short Introductions to usher in the New Year. Come check it out, January 3rd- 26th!
Katrina (Literatures & Cultures Librarian), what are these books?
Every title featured on the table belongs to the Very Short Introductions series. They attempt to treat big themes in relatively few pages. The topics covered are broad in range from anything as abstract as “love,” as concrete as “water,” as complex and involved as “American politics,” as controversial and problematic as “racism” and as esoteric as “Kant.”
How many do we own?
Between the print and digital volumes, our MIDCAT catalog shows records for over 500 items in the Very Short Introductions series.
Why are they on display?
Aside from having beautiful, eye-catching colors and covers, J-Term is dedicated to studying one particular theme intensely and for a brief period of time. These items are rather “meta” because they have the same objective. Do you see what we did there? ;)
How do I get access to more?
Visit go/midcat/ (or, from off campus, go.middlebury.edu/midcat) and type in “very short introductions” as a keyword search. The results will list what we own in our collection in both print and e-format.
Is there a place that I can see the whole listing in the series?
How long will they be out in the lobby?
We’ve chosen a small collection of thirty items to represent the series and they will be in the lobby either from January 3rd- January 26th or until you, your buddies and colleagues pick them up and check them out. ;) You can always pick them up off the shelves to check them out and remember that Armstrong has various very short introductions in its holdings, too! For example, climate change, fungi, hormones, infectious disease, moons, nuclear physics and viruses, just to mention a few!
How many can I check out?
We haven’t got a limit.
Is the writing accessible?
I say yes. However, reading them is not like reading a novel. The works are more academic in nature and reflect the words of experts and years of research. While made and written for the layperson, don’t expect character development– perhaps except in the cases of Jesus, Muhammad, Goethe and other historical figures– and plot. (Speaking of which, they could likely use some historical figures who are women in this series like the Queen of Sheba, Juana Inés de la Cruz, Marie Curie and Malala Yousafzai. Just sayin’.) They are written to be informative and, as with many other items in our collection that serves academic needs, you may find yourself drawn to certain chapters or sections and less inclined to read from the first word to the very last.
Can I use these works for my research?
Yes, of course! Though tiny, these works are credible sources that can supplement broader research and be cited like any other. Here is a sample citation:
Parker, John, and Richard Rathbone. African History: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. Print.
Which is your favorite?
Me? I’m partial to the ones that feature religious themes, like the Koran and the Bible. Religion shapes so much of our lives and mores and having the opportunity to understand the contexts in which sacred texts were born is really enlightening. Since developing November’s display featuring Native American history and related content, I’ve also been eyeing the one on North American Indians. And there’s the one on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, something I’ve been trying to get a greater grasp on for nearly all my life.
Who’s behind this effort?
Every– EVERY– display is a group effort. Many invisible hands make these displays possible. While I’m a great source of ideas ;), Kat Cyr, Rachel Manning and their student workers help to pull items from the shelves, Marlena Evans consistently has excellent feedback (and leadership) on design and Kim Gurney and Dan Frostman exercise a lot of patience with me and my constant requests for reserving props and status changes. Come by and see the culmination of our work!