Monday, September 11, 2017

It's Your Turn, Pegasi -- Senior Study Carrel Choosing is This Weekend!

Carrel sign-ups for the senior class will take place in the LITS Whiting Alcove this Sunday, September 17th, from 9 AM -- 11 AM.

Carrels are assigned on a first come, first served basis, so we recommend that you line up early.  When the library opens at 9 AM, students from Access Services will be at the main entrance to hand out choosing numbers.  A line will then form outside of the Whiting Alcove, which is located on the 6th floor landing that overlooks the atrium.  You will be called in one at a time to make your selection, and floor plans will be available to assist you in choosing your carrel.

There are carrels on both quiet and limited talking floors.  You are encouraged to take a walk through the library to see what is available prior to Sunday.  It is best to come to carrel choosing with a few back-up selections in the event your first choice is taken.

We have a limited number of accessible floors and height-adjustable carrels.  Please let us know if you need one of these when you sign up for your carrel.  We will do our best to grant your request, as space allows.

If you have a scheduling conflict and cannot attend carrel choosing, you can assign a proxy to attend in your place.  Proxy forms are available at the Circulation Desk, require your signature, and must be presented at the time of carrel selection.  Please note that each proxy may make a carrel selection for one senior only.

Sign-up for carrels that remain unassigned after choosing ends at 11 AM will take place at the Circulation Desk, and will continue until all carrels are assigned.

Happy studying, Class of 2018!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Top 5 Things To Know about Moodle 3.1

It may not be obvious at first glance, but we have upgraded our Moodle software and the new version 3.1 comes with some enhancements we think you’ll find handy. Most of these are improvements that make managing a course site easier for faculty, but a few apply to all Moodle users, students and faculty alike. Here are a few highlights.

1- Assignments - especially their grading and feedback:

There’s been a significant overhaul of the assignment tool in Moodle, which will save you steps in reading and commenting on submitted assignments. You can now download selected assignments rather than all or one-at-a-time. You can also do substantial comments and grading, even of submitted Word or PDF documents, right within the Moodle interface. We recommend this short video showing the key features of the revamped Assignment tool.

2- Global Search of Moodle:

Beginning this fall, you will now have the ability to search all your Moodle courses at once. You’ll see a small magnifying glass icon and search box next to your name at the top right of your screen. When you enter search terms there (and apply any filters you like on the next screen), it will search all of your Moodle courses and show you a list of resulting matches. It’s handy for jumping to a specific item you remember, or for pulling together a list of items from different courses.

3- A Recycle Bin:

Faculty: Ever deleted something from your Moodle course and then said “oops”? Now you have a safety net! At the bottom of the Course Administration block you will see a Recycle Bin. Anything you’ve deleted will remain in the Recycle Bin for 7 days and can be restored to your course with just a click.

4- Forum enhancements:

There are a couple of new features available in the Forum activity, one for faculty and one for everyone. Faculty can now “pin” a particular post to the top of a discussion. And all users will now find a permalink function on every post, making it easy to give a link directly to that item. Check out this 90 second video to get a quick look at these Forum features.

5- Other Small Enhancements:

A few smaller, but still handy new functions.

  • Easier Section Editing -- faculty can now change section headings right on the Moodle course page screen. With editing turned on, just click the pencil icon next to the section heading and type in your change. It will immediately change in the course navigation block as well.
  • Bulk Download of Folders -- when resources such as readings, lecture powerpoints, image files, etc., have been grouped into a folder, you now have the option to download the whole folder at once, rather than each individual file.

What's the best way to get quick answers on Moodle questions? Take a look at our Moodle help site.  A lot of the basics are covered there! Or if you prefer, you can always send a question to Research & Instructional Support (ris-d or to your specific RIS Liaison.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Alternatives to using the Five College Library Catalog

7/13/2017 Update: 

As of 7/13/2017, the Five College Library Catalog is back online. If you encounter any problems or have questions about library materials that were due or needed to be renewed during the outage, please contact

Original post: 

As of 7/10/2017, the Five College Library Catalog is temporarily offline, so there are some changes in how you identify and locate certain library materials.

You can:

  • Borrow/check out items from the library.
  • Search in Discover (the main search box on the LITS home page) to find call numbers and locations for print books.
  • If the book location is MH Stacks, write down the call number then either come to the library to see if the book is available on the shelf or call the Circulation Desk at x2622 with the call numbers.
  • If the book location is another library, physically go there and check to see if the book is available on the shelf. You may call their circulation desks, but not all libraries are set up to retrieve books from the stacks on demand.

You cannot:

  • Search for items using the catalog.
  • Request print books from other 5 College libraries.
  • Connect to most ebooks, streaming videos, and streaming audio you locate in Discover.
  • Access your library “My Account” to see the status of holds, due dates for checked out items.
We apologize for the inconvenience and will post an update when the library catalog is functional.

Please let us know if you have any questions. Call or email: x2622,, or

Sunday, May 21, 2017

LITS Student Employee Profile: Sarah Robinson in Web Services

A few minutes ago Sarah Robinson crossed the stage at Commencement, but before that step we asked them a few questions about their three years on the Web Services & Application Development team here in LITS. After you read their answers we encourage you to read more about Sarah's most recent web project!

We're very proud of Sarah and of all of our 2017 graduates, and we wish them the best!
Sarah Robinson

New York City

Class Year:

Computer science major, mathematics minor

Student Employee Position:
Lead Web Programmer

When did you start working for Web Services?
I started with the Web Team in June of 2014.

How did you hear about the position, and why were you interested?
I found the position through JobX. I was a TA for CS 201 that Spring, but I was looking for an opportunity to learn more about web development and work on cool projects.

What is your favorite LITS Web project thus far? Least favorite?
My favorite project was the most recent version of the campus map that launched in March. The project I enjoyed the least was researching different libraries that could be used for testing projects, since it involved a lot of comparison and not that much coding.

How do you think this position has helped your professional development?
The Web Team helped me develop better programming skills as well as critical thinking and teamwork. After a year working there, I was able to do a software engineering internship with Google as a rising junior.

Favorite class at MHC?
I've enjoyed a lot of classes at MHC; one of my favorites was Christine DeLucia's Place and Power in the American West and Pacific World, because we visited the museum often and worked with objects and atypical sources.

Career goals?

I would like to work in industry as a software developer for a while and continue learning on the job.

Friday, May 19, 2017

LITS Student Employee Profile: Mahima Ghale in Web Services

Mahima Ghale spent several years working in LITS' Web Services & Application Development team. Before she graduates this Sunday we asked Mahima to answer a few questions about her experience working with us as a programmer.

Mahima Ghale

Kathmandu, Nepal

Class Year: 

Computer Science and Math

Student employee position: 
Web Programmer

When did you start working for the LITS Web Team?: 
Freshman year summer (2014)

How did you hear about the position, and why were you interested?
I saw the job in JobX. I wanted to explore web programming which is why I applied.

What is your favorite LITS Web project thus far? Least favorite?
My least favorite one was going through new and old CSS files and delete the unnecessary ones. My favorite one was to develop a Drupal module that would search pages and files based on what their tags or how they are linked on text/html.

How do you think this position has helped your professional development? 
I think this position helped me understand the importance of scalability—it was great seeing how web programming comes into play in a big website like our campus website.

What's next for you? 
I will be working as a full time software engineer.

Favorite class at MHC thus far? 
Stochastic Processes (Math class) 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The bunnies are back!

Fretting over finals? LITS can fix that. Join us for our Spring Study Break Tea, a.k.a. Tea and Buns!

Come to the Stimson Room on Library Level 6 Wednesday, May 3 from 4-5pm. There will be snacks, button and bracelet making, and - most importantly - baby bunnies! Take a break, cuddle a bunny, and feel all your finals stress melt away . . .

Image credit: Mary Stettner

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Download older Moodle materials before June 19

In order to comply with copyright law, LITS must turn off student access to Moodle course sites a few weeks after grades are due.

Copyright symbol

If you wish to save copies of any Moodle materials from a Spring 2017 course site, please do so before Monday, June 19, 2017.  If you have an extension and require access to a course site beyond this date, please contact the course instructor.

Image credit: opensourceway via Compfight cc