Thursday, December 27, 2007

Focus the Nation at Champlain

This past year, I signed on to be an ACRL Legislative Advocate. It has been a fascinating appointment: I send information about important legislative issues out into my community to rally support from my college and immediate community while informing them of the issues that impact their ability to access information as well as remind them of their power as voters.

One particular issue that I am excited to support is the HIGHER EDUCATION SUSTAINABILITY ACT. Here is an update by Kara Malenfant, our contact as Legislative Advocates:

On November 9, House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller unveiled the College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007 (HR 4137) that reauthorizes the Higher Education Act. At the request of many of the 17 co-sponsors of HESA, Chairman Miller included HESA in HR 4137.

Subsequently the Higher Education Sustainability Act of 2007 (S. 2444) was introduced into the Senate on December 11 by Senator Patty Murray. HESA is co-sponsored by Senators Bingaman, Dodd, Kennedy, and Kerry. Such a powerful list of Democratic co-sponsors puts HESA in an excellent position.

The House is expected to vote in mid-January on the College Opportunity and Affordability Act (HR 4137) that reauthorizes the Higher Education Act and also includes HESA. If it passes, then the conference between the House and Senate (which has already passed their new Higher Education act) should occur shortly thereafter. This conference will decide which of the 30+ new programs including HESA make it into the final bill.

Environmental literacy is vital to our ability to fight global warming in a longterm, sustainable, and proactive way. Champlain is involved in
Focus the Nation, to turn our energy and attention to finding solutions for global warming. Champlain is joining more than 1000 other institutions nation-wide on January 31st to bring our attention to finding solutions for Global Warming. We are excited to welcome Bill McKibben as our keynote speaker and we have a bunch of events lined up including a Teach In, a sustainabiltiy expo, and a film series.

If you are interested in getting involved, contact Sarah Cohen or Rob Williams (we are both at the Miller Information Commons). One of the best things you can do is to come to events and bring your friends. Educating yourself is vital to finding solutions; learning more is doing something.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Time for yourself with a good book

Believe it or not, in less than a week everyone at Champlain will have some time to themselves. Yes, finals are this weekend and then...(drum roll)....we are on break!

While everyone takes that time for themselves, I hope we take a moment to pick up a book. You know, for pleasure reading. Remember that? Reading for fun?
Yes, I hope you find that book at the Library. But even if you don’t, take up a book regardless. Take a moment to think about what you WANT to read. Or what someone you love might want to read. Let’s not forget, books are great holiday gifts.

Some good lists of good books:
The Ten Best Books of 2007 by the New York Times, as well as their Gift Guide (the Boxed Sets bit is really good). The Happy Booker, Carole Burns, whose book is on display among the New Books this month, also offers a good list. Or if you are trying to remember one of the books from a previous New Books list, try looking at the

It has been a busy semester. I hope everyone has the chance to enjoy this break with your friends, families, and of course, a new book.

Happy Holidays!

Hoping to see you at the Library.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Books for Fun at the MIC

Students, faculty, and staff often wonder if there is anything "fun" to read in the Library's stacks.

To answer that question, the Library has started to highlight our collection of "Popular Reading" in a virtual display. And to start us off, we are highlighting "Great Books into Great Movies". Some of the greatest movies of all time were books first.

More popular reading collections are soon to come so don't forget to Check It Out!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tent City

As part of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, FIFTY Champlain College students signed up to participate in "Tent City," a week-long on-campus student-led service project designed to simulate homelessness and raise money for Burlington's COTS (Committee on Temporary Shelter) program. Here's some footage of their work.

Once again, thanks to Rob Williams for the footage and to the students who donate their time and energy to helping all of us realize how fortunate we are.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Global Modules Hit the Big Time!

The Chronicle of Higher Education has caught on to the coolness of Global Modules and highlighted them in this article. Congratulations Gary and everyone involved in making Global Modules a success.

If you are still wondering what the big deal about Global Modules is, here is Gary giving you the skinny in 9 minutes (bravo to Rob Williams for the video and the editing!)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

So What is a Global Module?

You've heard about it.
You've maybe even participated in it.
But what is a global module?

Thre are a couple of ways to find out:
1. Track down that elusive Gary Scudder and latch on to his enthusiasm for the project. Oh wait...he's traveling the world right now making connections for further modules but keep your eyes on the blog roll to the right to find out when he'll be back!
2. Check out the Global Modules website or blog to learn more.
3. Check it out in YouTube. (Yes, educational uses for YouTube!)
Here is our own Bob Mayer:

And here is Cinse Bonino's explanation of it:

Thanks to Rob Williams for capturing these "Champlain Stories" and sharing them with the rest of us.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Meaningful Books Series highlights Angela Batista

The Miller Information Commons’ “Meaningful Books” Series highlights

Angela Batista, Director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Wednesday, October 24th at Noon,
Miller Information Commons, Vista Room
(Refreshments will be served)

Welcome and get to know Angela Batista, the new director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Angela's list of meaningful books reflects her journey and many transitions from a simple childhood in the Dominican Republic to a complex immigrant experience in New York City and later in Vermont.

Although Angela did not own any books as a child, her love of reading was inspired by the stories she listened to on the radio and the oral tradition passed down from generation to generation by her family members.

The first book Angela owned by Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes, a gift by a beloved high school teacher. The story opened a whole new world of possibilities and dreams for Angela as a young woman trying to find her way out of a challenging and at times dangerous neighborhood in Brooklyn.

Join us on October 24th to find out more about Angela's journey and the books that have made a difference in her life.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Champlain Gamers noted in the Library blogosphere

Rock on Jenny Levine, (aka the Shifted Librarian) for highlighting Champlain College's gaming students in this post. All of us at the Library wish them the very best of luck in this hard core contest. I know they will rock it in Orlando!

These are the same students that are working with the Library to develop an information literacy game to complement are developing IL program. We met for a brainstorming session last night and they are a rowdy, smart, creative bunch. They latched onto key IL concepts and ran with it, offering a slew ideas as to how to make information literacy exciting to college kids everywhere.

More to come on the project. Exciting stuff coming out of Champlain...

LexisNexis: let's put it to good use!

Have you used LexisNexis recently and noticed a change or just interested in learning more about this online database?

Information Professional Consultant Andrea Sevetson is coming to Burlington on Thursday October 11th to provide a training session for Librarians on the new LexisNexis interface.

You are welcome to attend this session scheduled in GBTC 112 from 2:00 to 3:30. Handouts will be provided.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Brown Bag at the Library

On Tuesday, October 2nd, Michele and Paula hosted a Brown Bag at the Library from 1-2 featuring ARTstor. The appreciative audience, Cinse Bonino, Al Capone, and David Kite, enjoyed fresh Vermont apple cider and chocolate “autumn foiled wrapped” kisses while Michele Melia, the library’s ARTstor guru, presented introductory and intermediate features of ARTstor. Paula showed an alternate way to access ARTstor images through JSTOR. The display of portraiture books we had set up for the presentation in MIC308 also showed off our rich collection of art books, and generated an idea from the crowd to move the books to the display area at the Circulation Desk for all to see, and check out! We plan on offering more Brown Bag Informals in the future.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Betsy Beaulieu's Book List

Today we hosted our Meaningful Books Series with Betsy Beaulieu. It was wonderful. While her overviews of her books were brief, they were passionate and intriguing.

A number of people who attended asked for a copy of the booklist. I imagine that some of you who couldn't attend might be curious as well. A number of these books are on display at the MIC. As for the others, check the catalog to see if the books are available.

Many thanks to Betsy for such a wonderful talk!

Betsy Beaulieu's Most Meaningful Books

1. Bread and Jam for Frances, Russell Hoban and Lillian Hoban
2. Nancy Drew series
3. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
4. The Boston Cooking School Cook Book, Fannie Merritt Farmer
5. The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner
6. The Women of Brewster Place, Gloria Naylor
7. Incidents in the Life of A Slave Girl, Harriet Jacobs
8. Beloved, Toni Morrison
9. A Lesson Before Dying, Ernest Gaines
10. The Middle Passage: White Ships, Black Cargo, Tom Feelings
11. Teaching to Transgress, bell hooks
12. Feminism Is For Everybody, bell hooks
13. Save Me the Waltz, Zelda Fitzgerald
14. The Dream of A Common Language, Adrienne Rich
15. Images from An African Journey, Mark Patinkin
16. The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro

Books That Have Stayed with Me
17. The Dogs of Babel, Carolyn Parkhurst
18. The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger
19. My Sister’s Keeper, Jodi Picoult
20. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, Kim Edwards
21. The Girls, Lori Larsens

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


ArtStor, the most comprehensive database of images, is an incredible resource. I just finished introducting it to a professor and despite the tediousness of registering, logging in, and turing off his pop up blocker (all of which are necessary for a successful ArtStor experience), he was amazed at the quality of the images and the sheer number of images available. The best part is once you are in an image, you can zoom in...and in...and in to see the texture of the paint, even the texture of the canvas!

I know ArtStor will be useful to our Core curriculum but wouldn't it be great to see it used in other programs?

If you are interested, come by the Library and we can think about how to use ArtStor in your projects, papers, or classroom.

Monday, September 24, 2007

It's a Core Blog!

Look to the right.

Notice that serious thinker over in the big, black, blog roll. That serious thinker is a great new addition to the library's Feevy: it is the Core Development Team's new blog!

This new blog offers anyone at Champlain the chance to keep up on how the new Core is developing. In just a few postings, I have learned a great deal about the next semester including its theme, the texts, the central questions, and how global modules will fit in.

Thanks to David Kite, Jen Vincent, and Bob Mayer (the CDT Team) for entering the blogosphere and keeping us all up to date!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Meaningful Books Series highlights Betsy Beaulieu

The Miller Information Commons’ “Meaningful Books” Series highlights

Dr. Betsy Beaulieu

Thursday, Sept. 27th at Noon,
Miller Information Commons, Vista Room
(Refreshments will be served)

Welcome and get to know Betsy Beaulieu, Dean of Champlain’s new Core Division.

Betsy’s list of meaningful books reflects her love of reading almost everything – African American literature (her specialty in grad school), pedagogy, poetry, and smart women’s fiction.

A voracious reader, Betsy cut her reading teeth on Golden Books. She progressed to the Nancy Drew series, developing a love of mysteries. Her first grown-up friend was the Children’s Librarian at the public library, who introduced her to Little Women, the first book that made Betsy cry, so closely did she identify with bookish Beth.

Join us on Sept. 27th to find out more about Betsy’s love of reading and the books that have made a difference in her life.

Preview some of Betsy’s meaningful books in the glass case on the Main Floor of the MIC.

Monday, September 17, 2007

3 Cheers for CC students

Students in Linda Miller's Accounting Information Systems class and Erik Kaarla's CREW2 class, thank you for your participation on Thursday the 13th and Friday the 14th as we milked those library databases! We discovered ways to find reliable and useful accounting websites and which databases can turn up valuable reports on topics ranging from physics to alien abduction. We covered the invisible web, a list of evaluation criteria to use when reviewing websites, I highlighted databases ranging from Mergent Online to MarketResearch.comAcademic, I shared my funniest (of the month) YouTube--"The Best Horse in Europe"--and we listened to Goldfinger on the library's Naxos Music Library database. I received a round of applause from the accounting students, and I saw many of Erik's students printing reports from (Yes!) library databases rather than Google (Google, of course, turned up some good reports as well). Go figure.....can life at the library get any better than that?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Shakespeare at the MIC

“A kingdom for a stage, princes to act, and monarchs to behold the swelling scene” (Henry V, Prologue)

The stage is set at the MIC…
Join us on October 4th at noon in the Vista Room at the Miller Information Commons as we discuss some “swelling scene(s)” of Henry Vth.

Before attending the Champlain Theater performances (Oct. 11-13th), familiarize yourself with the play and get a taste of the characters in this informal discussion session. We will be reading and discussing excerpts from the following scenes:

The Prologue
The St. Crispin’s Day Speech
, and the Wooing of the French Princess.

We have the stage, we have the scenes…a kingdom for princes to act.

Hoping to see you at the Library.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Super Busy at the MIC bring Technology out into the Open

School started today and getting the Library ready for the influx of 475 new first years as well as returning students, new faculty, new deans, and new adjuncts has been a whirlwind. But the results are outstanding. Largely this is due to our library crew embracing and taking technology to a whole new level. We are starting out the year with a series of new initiatives that are pretty cool. Here are some of the highlights:
1. We have started using wikis to create subject guides. What a relief! You can actually update and modify the pages to accomodate instructor's needs, students' feedback and new additions to the collection. Awesome and very well received. Hopefully they will be very used.
2. We are trying chat reference. We've held back from chat in the past because we are such a small staff but with more of our students going abroad and a new librarian in the mix, we thought it was time to give it a go. More on that as the school year's hard to know how that's working on day 1.
3. We are blogging (as you well know since you are reading it!) We are maintaining a library blog to highlight events at the library but also things the librarians think are cool. (Oh, there are so many).
4. We are tracking reference questions using a free, online tool from zoho. We just stareted it today but it was so much easier to keep track of questions. We kept the screen open and the form is easy to fill out and WHAM, we've got improved data on reference.
5. We have been spending most of the summer adding our newest additions to the collection into Flickr. I think it will be a cool way for faculty, and maybe even students, to share books with one another, comment, suggest other books, and get to know our collection better, which is changing rapidly.

We are giving these technologies a go and I am so proud to work somewhere that is willing to take that chance. It's a great way to kick off the school year: invigorated, excited, and trying new things. It might make all of us insanely busy, but it feels insanely great.

Monday, September 3, 2007

A First for First Years

Orientation has been growing like crazy at Champlain so this year the Library decided to participate in the Scavenger Hunt. It's a first for them and a first for us!

Here's how it goes, each group of students will receive a question that once answered will take them to a spot in the Library that we wish they would know about.
Here are some of the spots in the MIC that are included:
Writing Center
Math & Accounting Lab
Quiet Study Rooms
Main Stacks
Circulation Desk
Reference Desk

To answer the questions, the students have to use skills we wish they'd use:
Find a book in the Stacks and in Reference
Look up a book in the Catalog
Ask a Librarian for help
Find a book on Reserve

How would you do? If you are scratching your head as to where to find any of these spots or how to do any of these things, come by the MIC and ask! That's why we're here.

And yes, we will give you a new MIC bookmark too!

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Library Website gets Better and Better

As if winning an award for the website wasn't enough...we've improved the Library Website. Some of the highlights include:
1. Renew Your Books. Get to know this link so you no longer have to receive reminder emails or look at those books on your desk guiltily.
2. Subject based Research Guides. These are wiki based, therefore easily editable and awesome. Keep your eyes peeled, more subject guides are on the way!
3. Ask a Librarian, Champlain's Live Chat Service. We are excited to try to implement a well-used technology with our students to answer questions Monday thru Thursday, 6 - 9 pm. We are powering through Meebo, which means that a variety of instant messengers will work to contact your favorite librarians.

So check out the website and click around. We are looking forward to a new school year and always trying to come up with ways to put the right information into your hands.

Monday, August 20, 2007

College Website of the Month!

Champlain College Library's website has been selected as the "College Library Website of the Month" by the College Library Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL). In his letter announcing the selection, J. Michael Thompson, chair of the College Library Section's Communications Committee, explains the award this way: "The College Library Section recognizes that a library's Website, in addition to enhancing access to a library’s resources and services, serves in general as a major means of communicating with current and future users."

In their review of the Champlain Library website, the selection committee wrote: "Library Director Janet Cottrell and the staff provide a visually pleasant homepage. The links clearly identify the Library's services and resources to their patrons. The Find sections as well as the Research Advice, Library Services and For Faculty sections illustrate the Library's mission as stated by Cottrell in the latest annual report...." The committee's review goes on to identify elements of the Library website they found particularly helpful, including a link to guidelines for starting a research project and a new link (to be activated this Fall) providing chat-based reference service.

To have our work recognized by our peers is truly an honor. Like all college libraries, we work hard to communicate with students, faculty, and colleagues; this external recognition of our website lets us hope that we have built a site that does indeed communicate some of the wealth of resources and services that our library offers.

Many thanks to everyone in the Library who contributes to and maintains the website, and to our IS colleagues who helped with the original setup. We are planning some great enhancements to the Library website this Fall, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Angela Battista

Our new diversity director has agreed to be a part of our Meaningful Books Series this fall! We can't wait to see what books Angela finds important to her!

Core Slide Show

I checked out the slide show of our new core books at Flickr, and it really is awesome. Thank you MIC staff for all the hard work you've done to make this work! It's a great way to browse the collection and encourage readership at the same time.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Cool idea

The July/August 2007 C&RL News had a fun article about a program at the University of Chicago called "Class Librarians." Check out their website at Food for thought.....


Other cool blogs

In thinking about what else we could blog about, there are plenty of interesting blogs out there, library related or not, that give some ideas or are worth commenting on. That's what the Feevy is for! Feevy is a dynamic blog roll where we can see when blogs we like have new posts and the first few lines of that post. I have loved having it on my personal blog. If you have any suggestions for blogs you want to see added, let me know. Also, it would be a great way to highlight other campus blogs. I know Elaine Young blogs regularly...who knows who else might be at it.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

to blog or not to blog

Let's try it! For example, we could talk about what we're reading. I just finished my first book by Amos Oz, an Israeli writer, novelist, and journalist. Don't Call It Night was a haunting and poetic story about the relationship between the couple Theo and Noa and their involvement in the establishement of a drug rehab center in the their small desert frontier town. Oz creates an atmosphere that lingers long after the book is finished!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

To blog, or not to blog...

To blog, or not to blog. That seems to have been our question for quite some time. One of the reasons I know I have hesitated to blog for the Library has been the question, "what will we blog about?" With the school year approaching, new books coming in by the truckload, and new faculty and staff joining us all the time, there seems to be quite a lot. But as Janet pointed out to me today, perhaps we don't just have to blog about ourselves. Perhaps we can take this opportunity to share with the campus the stuff we think is cool: website, articles, blogs, wikis, events, etc. Check out what Kenyon is up to: this blog is filled with simply good stuff. So that's where the title for this blog came from: "Good Stuff at the Miller Information Commons." It is by no means "the" name: we can change it. We can change everything you see here.

This is our blog: a place to point out cool stuff at the library, at the college, and in the world. What do you think?