Thursday, February 28, 2013

Faculty Open House in Archives & Special Collections

Professor Nancy Campbell With Her Printmaking I Class

On March 4 College Archivist Patricia Albright will be hosting an Open House from 4 to 5pm on the lower level of Dwight Hall to introduce faculty to the collection, discuss ways in which these sources have been used by faculty and students, and answer questions.

All faculty members are welcome!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

LITS Student Employee Profile: Mary Alice Martin in ASC!

Mary Alice Martin

Houston, Texas

Mary Alice with the baby she helped deliver last summer!
Class Year:

Critical Social Thought—Maternity care and midwifery in the United States

Student Employee Position:
Outreach Assistant in Archives & Special Collections

When did you start working in Archives & Special Collections (ASC)?
Spring 2012

How did you hear about the position, and why were you interested?
I found the position through JobX. I was interested because I had never been down to the archives before! I had worked in my library in high school, and I was determined to work for LITS here at MHC.

What is your favorite ASC project thus far? Least favorite?
My favorite project in ASC has been putting together this year’s Valentines exhibit. I had so much fun looking through the Valentines and deciding which to display. Book of the Week in the reading room treasure case is also a blast. I love browsing the rare book room looking for early editions of my childhood favorites. 
My least favorite project would have to be the Buildings and Grounds filing that I worked on my first two semesters here. I learned more about the MHC buildings than I ever wanted to know. And I’m still working on this a bit.

How do you think this position has helped your professional development?
I’ve loved learning about different outreach strategies this semester. I think it’s important in every field to learn how to make material relevant and accessible!

Career goals?
Catching babies. (Midwifery!)

Favorite class at MHC thus far?
Donnie Cotter’s Science, Revolution, and Modernity—CST 248.  I highly recommend it.

Anything else you want to share?
The archives are so interesting and really fun to just explore. You should come visit us in the basement!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Blind Date with a Book!

Jorge on the set of Blind Date with a Book
Jorge on the set of Blind Date with a Book

This Valentine's Day, we at LITS have decided to play cupid. Wandering through the bookshelves, we have handpicked an array of books that are single, and very much available.

So if you've been meaning to catch up on leisure reading, or rediscover your estranged love for books which have nothing to do with your classes, drop by the library on Thursday, February 14th for a blind date with a book. Don't worry, we definitely have your type, whether it's dark, romantic and handsome, mysterious and magical, serious and kind of nerdy, or perhaps a bit silly altogether.

While true love may be blind, these book-dates will be dressed for the occasion. Look at the hints on their wrappings to pick the one you'd like to know better. Who knows, it could just be love at first read!
Who will the be lucky one to bring this book home?

PS. Bring wing-men/women.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Archives LOVE

Join us this Thursday, Valentine's Day, for a special event in the Library MEWS from 2 to 5pm! It's Archives LOVE, celebrating a new valentines exhibit curated by Mary Alice Martin, Class of 2015. Come see the archival valentines then make your own valentine-inspired buttons to give to your true love!

Mary Alice is the Archives & Special Collections Outreach Assistant, and she has chosen beautiful, colorful cards from the valentines collection to share with the Mount Holyoke community. These cards reflect the College's association with the valentine industry through Esther Howland, Class of 1847. Howland is credited with establishing the commercial valentine industry in the United States.

Mary Alice's exhibit features valentines manufactured by Esther Howland herself, as well as many others. Included is a brand new acquisition: a 1916 Votes for Women valentine!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

LITS Liaisons: Here to help!

I'd like to introduce myself and a few of my colleagues, your LITS Liaisons. As the Research & Instructional Support team, we're here to help students, faculty and staff with research or instructional technology questions and needs. Among other things (like making decisions about what books, films, and databases to buy, and working with faculty to support the integration of technology in their teaching), we meet with students about their research projects. This is one of my favorite parts of my job.

If you are just starting on a research paper and are wondering if you've chosen a manageable topic, we can help you find "what's out there" and narrow or expand your topic if you need to. If you're working on a thesis or similarly in-depth project, we can help you identify the important resources in your field and finesse your searches so you can find exactly what you need. We meet with students at any point in the research process and with students who have a wide range of research experience and expertise. Whether you're brand new to college-level research or you're already an expert library user, we'd love to hear about what you're working on and help you find what you need more effectively and efficiently.

Research can be a time consuming and even messy process, but we really enjoy it. The world of information is vast and complex, and the availability of so much information online has made it even more complex. We are a resource for you as much as the books and other resources in the library. There is a LITS liaison for every department on campus, so no matter what you are working on, there is a liaison with expertise in that area.

Meggie Lasher ('14) and I met to discuss her research on portraits of Augustus
This photo might have been staged. Meggie is one of our wonderful Research Help Desk Assistants. While we snapped this photo during one of her shifts, the caption is true: we did recently meet to discuss her research on portraits of Augustus!

To get research help, you can stop by the Research Help Desk in the main Reading Room (during staffed hours, a liaison is always available for drop-in help), set up an appointment through our online form, call us at 413-538-2212, or email us.

Working on a research paper this semester? Come talk to us!

Friday, February 1, 2013

I Found It in Special Collections: A Career Goal

Before my interview at Archives and Special Collections, I had never set foot in a rare book room.  I learned the joys of libraries young--History Day projects took me to the University of Minnesota’s main library at the age of eleven, where I tried to dig up primary sources on the Salem witch trials and the Black Plague, learned to use microfilm, and stared awestruck at the wonders of the moving shelves in the Annex Sub-Basement--but somehow Rare Books always seemed a sacred place, and I felt like I wasn’t clean or purposeful or old enough to enter.  
The entrance to Special Collections at the local library where I grew up. (Source.)
In the first few days I spent on the Mount Holyoke campus, though, I received an email from the director of Archives and Special Collections, where I’d applied for a job.  Was I still interested?  Did I want to come in for an interview?  


Welcome to the new home of the LITS blog!

Past posts are still available right where they were originally posted (in case you needed to take another look at that stop-animation video). Stay tuned for more stories, tips, and tidbits drawn from all things library- and technology-related at Mount Holyoke College.

The blog is dead; long live the blog!

What do you think of the new look?