Monday, December 8, 2008

Holiday Card

If the library had a Christmas/Chanukah/Holiday/Everything card, this would be it. From our librarian family to you, Happy Holidays and keep it down. People are trying to study.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

All Fun, All the Time

It's that time of your again. Jib Jab and Office Max have teamed up once again to make the holidays even more merry. Here is a special greeting from the library to you.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Renee Florsheim's Meaningful Books

The Miller Information Commons’
“Meaningful Books” Series

Renee Florsheim
Dean of the Division of Business

MONDAY, November 24th
3:30 pm
Miller Information Commons, Vista Room

(Refreshments will be served)

Join the Library in welcoming Renee to Champlain.

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

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Not the Healthiest?

I posted yesterday that Burlington was the healthiest city in the U.S. But a few hours later my friend e-mailed me this article from Web MD saying that Lincoln, Nebraska was the healthiest. It says that the other rankings were derived from 2006 CDC figures.

This makes a good information literacy point. It is easy to "prove" things based on some article, but that does not make it true. If someone only looked at my previous blog post or the original CNN or Burlington Free Press article, they would only get one side of the story.

It is important to question our information. Don't just accept what CNN says or Web MD says, look at the CDC numbers for yourself. In this case it is not terribly important but in others it may be. Question the info that is given to you, and don't simply take things for granted.

And who cares if we are #4 or #1? We're still in exceptional health, and I think I would rather live here than Nebraska.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Healthiest City in U.S.

According to the CDC, Burlington is the healthiest city in the U.S. This may come as little surprise to those of you who are constantly biking, hiking, walking, etc. Here at Champlain people even start skiing and snowboarding before the snow flies.

So whatever else is going wrong, whether you are stressing about finals or the holiday season, at least you can say you've got your health.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Chili Cookoff

Last week at here at the library we hosted the First Annual Faculty/Staff Chili Cookoff and Tasting and it was a stunning success. We brought people together from all over campus including entries from 212 Battery down by the lake and Spinner in Winooski.

Our three skilled judges Bob Mayer, Sandi Earle, and Craig McKeon chose our winner Tee Mulhall. They also chose David Wolfe as winner of "Most Original Chili" with his strawberry rhubarb entry, which edged out Rob Williams' entry of Yak Chili no less.

The discerning chili crowds spoke loud and clear choosing Rich Long's entry as their favorite chili and giving him the title of "People's Chili Champion."

There were at least 73 people who voted and I am willing to bet that over 100 people came to taste chili a week ago. It was a good opportunity to bring different parts of the campus together who would not normally commingle.

Due to the popularity of this event there is already a Second Annual Cookoff in the works. We'll see you next year once the leaves start turning and a chill permeates the air!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

TC Boyle at the Library

Every year, Champlain selects a Community Book for the campus to read and come together to discuss. This year we read T.C. Boyle's The Tortilla Curtain.

Boyle was here for two and 1/2 days. The big bang of those two days is his book talk. Andy Burkhardt, the Library's Emerging Technologies librarian, showed his emerging technologies stuff by live-twittering it. Thanks Andy! The talk was amazing: Boyle read a short story, talked about his writing process, read an excerpt from the Tortilla Curtain, and then answered questions. He was very funny but also gave a lot of insight into how he writes. My favorite part was when he wouldn't answer a question about the book's interpretation. Essentially, he believes that the writer must leave issues of interpretation up to the reader. That is our job. If he told us it was just one way, what fun would that be? YES!

One of the more quiet but wonderful parts to the Community Book author's visit is their seeing our GGD students' renditions of the bookjacket. Here's Professor David Lustgarten's announcement of the project:
Students in Graphic Design and Illustration classes have produced their own interpretation of T.C. Boyle's "The Tortilla Curtain" in the form of new book jackets. Their varied, imaginative, and highly professional work can be
viewed in the Miller Information Commons magazine area on the first floor, where new acquisitions are normally displayed. The show will be up for about three weeks.

TC Boyle seemed to really enjoy the bookjackets, as these picture show:

It’s always wonderful to have student art work at the Library, but even better to have authors and students mingling, discussing the importance of the students’ choices in their work, and students getting the real world perspective of book art in the eyes of an acclaimed author.

Yup, it was pretty awesome.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Kyle Dodson's Meaningful Books

Kyle Dodson, our new Director of the Center for Service and Civic Engagement, was truly engaging on Monday during his Meaningful Books talk. The conversation branched over a lot of topics: race, media, accountability, politics, elections, youth, the individual v. the society...I could go on. Needless to say, it was wonderful.

In case you haven't made it over to look at the display of Kyle's books on the Main level of the MIC (come on over!), here is the list of books that he discussed:
NVISIBLE MAN-Ralph Ellison
AMAZING GRACE-Jonathan Kozol
THE SNOW LEOPARD-Peter Matthiessen
DON QUIXOTE-Miguel de Cervantes
LOVESONG: Becoming a Jew-Julius Lester
FREAKONOMICS-Stephen Dubner and Steven Levit

Many thanks to Kyle for an excellent hour of conversation and welcome to Champlain!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Shiver Me Timbers!!!!

Happy International Talk like a Pirate Day
! I almost forgot, but luckily I was reminded by one of my friends online. So I exhort the faculty, staff, and students of Champlain to shove off and start talking like ye be pirates. I would really like to hear about an entire class conducted in piratese, but that may be wishful thinking.

I may try to take a reference session today so I can throw at least some pirating talk into the questions I get. Maybe I'll make an eye patch, or at least draw an anchor tattoo on my arm.

If you arRRRR not sure how to talk tlike a pirate here is an instructional video:

Good luck me hearties!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Grockit and learning in gaming

Here at the library we have been involved with two separate groups who are designing games for us. These games are meant to teach information literacy. We are not quite sure how we are ultimately going to use them, but that may be easier once we see the finished projects. From the meetings I have been to, the games are looking pretty solid and I can't wait to play them.

In addition, a number of students recently got a grant from the UN to design a game that combats violence against women. They traveled to South Africa and from their blog posts clearly had an amazing and moving experience. Learning in gaming is clearly a trend around here, and an awesome one from my perspective. I love fooling people into learning.

This trend is not limited to Champlain College though. The startup company Grockit took home a Jury Selection award at this year's TechCrunch50. From what I have read it is “Massively Multi Player Online Learning Game” in which you are a student in a classroom and you get questions that you can discuss and debate and ultimately decide on. You award "Grockit points" to other students that increase or decrease their ranking. It sounds like an online study session but funner. The article talks about using it to study for things like the SATs, but I could see this product used in a lot of interesting ways, especially in the classroom. They have been very secretive about it for the past year and only now are they opening it up to the light of day. I am excited to learn more about it and see where this game goes.

Who knows, maybe some of our graduates will go on to work on this game or something even better.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

ArtStor Workshops

This fall, the Library will be offereing workshops to help students and faculty get the knack for ArtStor & Naxos. Artstor offers over 750,000 images from artistic traditions across many times and cultures, including painting, architecture, sculpture, photography, decorative arts, and design. Naxos, gives online access to classical, jazz, folk, blues, world, and other music genres. It includes over 16,000 CDs, plus liner notes, libretti, biographies, and more.

Workshops will cover:

ArtStor Level 1: Explore ArtStor, navigate the collections, search images, look at individual images, look at details of an image. Create an account and start a folder. (30 minutes)

ArtStor Level 2: Use an account, offline image viewer, and slide sorter. Make notes. The last 20 minutes will cover user privileges, accessing class folders, instructor privileges. (30 minutes)

ArtStor More: Please contact a librarian for a private consultation

Or, check out ArtStor on Youtube.
1. Register for an Artstor Account
2. Making an Image Group
3. Downloading Images to Powerpoint

Naxos: General exploration of the music database. Search for artists, pieces of music, era, or instrument. Create a playlist. (30 minutes)

Join us at a workshop!
Artstor, Level 1
• 9/10/08—noon (30 min.)—MIC G08
• 9/18/08—12:30 pm (30 min.)—Foster 104
• 9/22/08—3:30 pm (30 min.)—MIC 308
• 9/29/08—5:00 pm (30 min.)—Foster 100

Artstor, Level 2
• 9/29/08—3:30 (30 min.)—MIC G08
• 10/1/08—5:00 pm (30 min.)—Wick 101

• 9/16/08—noon (30 min.)—Foster 104
• 10/8/08—12:30 pm (30 min.)—MIC 308

Workshops are interactive and for faculty and students. If you plan on requiring attendance for students, please let us know!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

New librarian joining the team

Hi! I have been here three whole weeks now, so I figure that I should formally introduce myself. My name is Andy Burkhardt, and I am the new Emerging Technologies Librarian at Champlain College. I am very excited to be working here. Burlington seems like a very lively, effervescent city. I am originally from Minnesota so I am no stranger to cold and snow. I also recently got my Masters in Library and Information Science from UW-Madison in Wisconsin, so I am no stranger to local cheeses either.

As an Emerging Technologies Librarian I plan on finding creative ways to use new and existing technologies to make using the library easier and hopefully more fun. An example of something I am going to be working on is making the instant messaging reference service we provide more visible and available longer hours. Another technology I plan on employing is screen-casting software. This is software that is used to capture movements, mouse-clicks and pretty much anything else that goes happens on a computer screen. I plan on making easy to understand tutorials that explain things like how to do research and how to find books and articles. These are just a couple examples of the ideas that I have swimming around in my brain. There are all sorts of interweb technologies that I would like to try out here at Champlain. But there is probably a lot of stuff that I haven’t even thought of that may work great at the library. If you have any great ideas for technologies that you’d like to see used in the library or know more about, I would love to hear about them. You can get a hold of me here, or my screen name on AIM is andyatmic.

I won’t be hidden away in my office behind the warm glow of the computer screen all the time. I’ll be out at the reference desk answering questions. I also look forward to a heavy instruction schedule, assisting in the new information literacy initiative for which we are busily preparing. I look forward to meeting a lot of new people, making new friends and becoming a part of the community here at Champlain College.

P.S. These “Read” posters are kinda cool. You can make your own here at the ALA website.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

So much blogging going on

The Faculty Internationalization Initiative is well underway at Champlain. How do I know? Because there's a whole lot of blogging going on. Some faculty are on their way, some are out in the world right now, and some are already back in the States. But no matter where in the world they are, you can read about their adventures, observations, and experiences on their blogs. Professors David Kite, Bob Mayer, Richard Hunt, and of course Gary Scudder are full of interesting tales. I know Prof. Scudder heads out this weekend so add their blogs to you RSS for updates.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


The library received funding through a grant to the College from the Coleman Foundation ( to purchase the initial one year subscription to the Small Business Resource Center Database and almost 200 print books on entrepreneurship. Special thanks to Charlie Nagelschmidt collaborating with Greg Morgan (Development), Dave Binch (VITC) Cinse Bonino (CIP) and Marie Kascus (MIC) to make this special collection available to the Champlain College community.

Entrepreneurs launching a new business need help with all aspects of selecting and operating a business including information gathering, start-up, writing a business plan, financing, marketing and advertising, management, human resources, accounting, taxes, knowing the law, growing the business, franchising and much more. Titles included in this collection reflect the broad range of resources needed to support Champlain’s BYOBiz Program and entrepreneurship throughout Vermont and beyond. Many of the books selected are practice based and intended to jump-start and sustain any fledgling entrepreneur. The global impact of entrepreneurship is reflected in a number of the titles included in this specialized collection of entrepreneurial resources. This print collection is physically located in the Miller Information Commons and virtually accessible via the library/college Web Page through the library flickr site below:

The Coleman Foundation entrepreneurship collection is our May New Book Display.

Come to the main floor of the Miller Information Commons on Tuesday May 13th at 3:30 for a reception with the Business Division to showcase this special collection to the entire college community.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

National Turn Off TV Week April 22-28

Can you imagine how cool it would be if everyone on the planet who has a TV really did unplug, even for one day--say, on Earth Day, April 22nd! VPR commentator Deborah Luskin has a problem with pulling the plug on TV, however, and she'll tell you why. Luskin's daughter was "right on" when she said to her mother: "Not watching TV gave us a chance to be ourselves instead of trying to be like everyone else." Years ago I used to defend TV every now and then, but now my mindset is more like the bumper sticker that advertises "kill your TV." This week, when you get that urge to pick up the remote, pick up a book instead. And now for the best part, listen to our own Rob Williams singing Kill Your Television.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Celebrate Earth Day, Today and Everyday

Greetings from a tree-hugging librarian.....and check out the EPA's website featuring a list of Earth Day events and volunteer opportunities, a timeline and history of Earth Day, and much more, including the cool Environmental Tips Widget and Earthday Countdown Widget. And check out our display in the Miller Information Commons for great books on topics ranging from global warming to the publishing of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

National Library Week on YouTube (Sarah & Paula's Favorites!)

Happy National Library Week Champlain!

We were amazed and excited (so much so that our workstudies laughed at us) to see all of these funny and clever You Tubes on National Library Week.

And we love the little diddy and the little creatures dancing.
Here are some of our favorites:

Given the jump in reference this year, we really liked this one:

For our gamers out there:

Tammy Miller, our head of Circulation, will love this one:

Anyone read People Magazine?

And we really have that song in our heads!
Happy National Library Week!


PS: Paula found these on the Lipstick Librarian blog. If you didn't know, librarians are avid bloggers. Just in case you were wondering.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Rockin Reference!

Wow: we must be doing something right because our students are slamming us at the Reference desk this finals season! And not just with quick, easy questions either. A lot of what is coming our way are sophisticated, in depth, difficult issues and questions. What ever is in the air, it certainly is keeping us busy at the MIC.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Technology Workshops: Mark Your Calendars!

Champlain's IT Department are offering a host of helpful workshops this month. Some are for getting your work done (Outlook, Powerpoint) but others are to spread our wings into social networking and effective use and enjoyment of 2.0. Here's a list of what is offered:

Monday 3/31 @ 4:00 pm and Tuesday 4/1 @ 8:00 am
Outlook and Meetings – Meeting Requests
At the end of this workshop you’ll be able to create meeting and track responses from invitees

Monday 4/7 @ 4:00 pm and Tuesday 4/8 @ 8:00 am
Outlook IV – Searching and Sorting
At the end of this workshop you’ll be able to more easily find messages in your inbox or folders.

Monday 4/14 @ 4:00 pm and Tuesday 4/15 @ 8:00 am
PowerPoint Basics
At the end of this workshop you’ll be able to create and show a basic PowerPoint Presentation

Monday 4/28 @ 4:00 pm and Tuesday 4/29 @ 8:00 am
Connecting to the H: drive from home – Secure FTP
At the end of this workshop you’ll be able to access your Network H: drive from home (or anywhere)

Monday 5/5 @ 4:00 pm and Tuesday 5/6 @ 8:00 am
Social Networks
At the end of this workshop you’ll be able to create a profile on a social network site

Monday 5/12 @ 4:00 pm and Tuesday 5/13 @ 8:00 am
At the end of this workshop you’ll be able to navigate in the ClearSpace

Monday 5/19 @ 4:00 pm and Tuesday 5/20 @ 8:00 am
RSS Feeds
At the end of this workshop you’ll be able to subscribe and unsubscribe to RSS feeds of your favorite websites

Monday 5/26 @ 4:00 pm and Tuesday 5/27 @ 8:00 am
Microsoft Vista – A Tour
At the end of this workshop you’ll be able to describe the features and benefits of Microsoft’s latest generation of desktop operating systems

Friday, February 29, 2008

Brown Bag Informal

It's time for another Brown Bag Informal at the Library. This time we are going to feature our cool new streaming-music database, Naxos--not to be confused with the island off the coast of Greece! Faculty member Lois Price and I will be showing off the Naxos Music Library database on Thursday, March 6th, from 12:30-1:30 in MIC 308. Discover a wide range of music from piano music of Enrique Granados to Chinese lute music of Fung Lam. Lois will discuss how she has used Naxos in her classes, and I will present some of the basic features of the database. Join Lois and me on Thursday for a musical event.

"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything." -Plato

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Wikipedia: where does it belong?

As I am spending more time in the classroom this semester, I am constantly dealing with the question of Wikipedia, the encyclopedia anyone can edit. As part of my starting the Information Literacy program with students, I ask them if they have been told that they can't use Wikipedia. Invariably, they say yes. Then I ask them why they think that is. Invariably, they say that it is because anyone can edit it. Because professors think it is unreliable. Because professors, wrongly they say, think it isn't worthwhile.

Students get pretty riled up about it.

The reason I don't want students to use Wikipedia is not because anyone can edit it. As a matter of fact, the more time I spend on Wikipedia, the more articles I read, the more changes I track, the more I learn about the technology, the more I believe in the democratization of information, the more I think that an encyclopedia anyone can edit is cool. Very cool.

But I still don't want students to use Wikipedia for their academic research papers. I don't want students to use any encyclopedias as a resource of an academic research paper. Encyclopedias, I tell students, are starting places. They are a great place to familiarize yourself with a topic, to identify keywords, key events, key issues, key players. But going to a summarization of a topic and its issues is not research. You, or your parents, aren't paying all this money for you to look stuff up in an encyclopedia and call it a day.

Students are hear to hone their critical thinking, writing, reading, and analytical skills. They are here to do dig deeper into what they learn in encyclopedia entries, electronic or print, edited by anyone or by the elite.

Much like Kim Leeder points out in this post from the ACRLblog (ACRL=Association of College and Research Libraries), a few years ago I took a different tack on Wikipedia. But it has changed and so have I. I think Wikipedia will continue to improve and continue to flourish, especially if Aaron Swartz gets his way and connects the Open Library with Wikipedia.

So where does Wikipedia belong in the research process: as a place to start it. But it is just that: a starting place. It does not belong on a Works Cited page. But it can surely be a useful resource in figuring out what does.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The List of Gary Scudder's Books

By popular demand, here is the list of Gary Scudder's Meaningful Books. All but a few are available at the Library, so if something looks appealling, come check it out!

Zhu Xi, Reflections on Things at Hand

James George Frazer, The Golden Bough

Junichiro Tanizaki, Some Prefer Nettles

Charles Dickens, David Copperfield

Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio

Paul Fussell, The Great War and Modern Memory

Yukio Mishima, The Sea of Fertility cycle
Spring Snow
Runaway Horses
The Temple of Dawn
The Decay of the Angel

Sei Shonagon, The Pillow Book

Valmaki, Ramayana

Brooks Hansen, The Chess Garden

Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death

Robert Graves, Goodbye to All That

Julian Barnes, Flaubert’s Parrot

Herodotus, Histories

Basho, The Narrow Road to the Deep North

Charles Maturin, Melmoth the Wanderer

J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings trilogy

Monday, February 18, 2008

Meaningful Books Series Highlights Gary Scudder

“The Miller Information Commons’ “Meaningful Books” series highlights Professor Gary Scudder

Monday, February 18th at 3:30 pm,
Miller Information Commons, Vista Room
(Refreshments will be served)

Professor Gary Scudder, recipient of the 2007 Edward Phelps Lyman Professorship, grew up in a small, country town in southern Indiana before cable TV or the Internet. While he wouldn't romanticize that upbringing, it was an environment designed to turn someone towards a love of reading. Professor Scudder found out early that books were a magical escape. For him, they have never lost that power of enchantment.

As a great and avid reader, Professor Scudder’s only problem in producing his list of Meaningful Books was later remembering other books that he had forgotten to include by some terrible oversight - and, as he said, “upon remembering them, I suddenly felt a sense of guilt as if I had heartlessly forgotten an old friend."

The Lyman Professorship honors a faculty member who has shown dedication to students and Champlain College through a record of excellence in teaching and service to the College.

A selection of Gary’s Meaningful Books is on display in the glass case on the main floor of the Miller Information Commons. Stop by to look at some of the titles.
Join the Library on Feb. 18th to find out more about the books that have made a difference in Gary Scudder’s life.

Friday, January 25, 2008


Monday kicks off Focus the Nation at Champlain and we have a lot of events to help us all learn what we can do to find solutions for global warming. Check out the posters around campus, or the wiki to find out what's going on.

Or, check out these AWESOME videos made by Prof. Rob Williams' Contemporary Media Issues class:

To see more of what Champlain is doing, or what's going on nationally, search Focus the Nation in You Tube. We are a big part of something big! FOCUS THE NATION!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Keep it Focused...

Visit the Sustain Champlain Wiki for more information and the full schedule of events..

We can all do something! Get involved!