OA research in the news: Reader for the visually impaired

Posted July 23rd, 2014 by Katharine Dunn

ring_in_use_correctedResearchers in the Media Lab’s Fluid Interfaces Group have built a prototype of a device that helps visually impaired people read printed text. The FingerReader, developed by graduate student Roy Shilkrot and professor Pattie Maes, among others, sits like a ring on a user’s finger and scans words via a built-in camera as the user points to them. Software identifies the words and translates them into an audio track. The FingerReader also alerts users if their finger veers away from a line of text.

Though the FingerReader isn’t on the market, the researchers say they’re looking into this option. As Maes recently told the Associated Press, the FingerReader is “a lot more flexible, a lot more immediate than any solution that they have right now.”

Explore Professor Maes’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.

Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009 they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world via DSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of blog posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.

OA research in the news: Robotics expert Seth Teller dies

Posted July 9th, 2014 by Katharine Dunn
Seth Teller

Seth Teller

Seth Teller, a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) and head of the Robotics, Vision, and Sensor Networks group, died last week at the age of 50. In a message to the EECS community, several of Teller’s colleagues wrote: “There can be no doubt of the magnitude of the loss we face on both a personal and professional level. Seth’s outstanding contributions as a researcher, teacher, mentor, and colleague set a standard that has inspired many of us. He was a generous, warm person whose passion for his work was contagious. He had a unique ability to envision new approaches to problems, then assemble, motivate, and guide large research teams to accomplish things far beyond what they thought possible.”

Teller worked in a wide range of fields, including robotics, vision, graphics, and human-computer interfaces. He recently led the MIT team that will compete in the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge, the goal of which is to develop robots that can help humans in disaster zones. He was also a leader of MIT’s Fifth Sense Project, whose researchers develop wearable devices to assist blind and low-vision people.

Explore Professor Teller’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.

Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009 they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world via DSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of blog posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.

Barker Library reading room closed Wednesday, July 9th, 9am-noon

Posted July 8th, 2014 by Heather Denny

BarkerDomeVerticalThe Barker Library reading room will be closed temporarily on Wednesday, July 9th from 9am-12pm.

While the reading room is closed, library users can find alternative spaces for studying in the library on the upper floors, as well as in other library locations. Access to the Barker reading room is expected to resume by 12 noon.

We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience.

Doucette joins MIT Libraries to lead IT efforts

Posted July 1st, 2014 by Heather Denny
Doucette

Armand Doucette (photo by L. Barry Hetherington)

Armand Doucette has been appointed to the position of Associate Director for Information Technology and Digital Development at the MIT Libraries. In this position he will play an essential role in shaping the future of the Libraries’ digital environment–leading the Libraries’ technology strategy, and managing IT development in support of the Libraries’ initiatives and priorities.

Doucette comes to the Libraries from the MIT Sloan School where he was the Executive Director of Technology Services for 9 years. Among his many achievements at Sloan were the development of the MySloan intranet portal, the outfitting of the new Sloan building classrooms with robust technology in support of in-classroom and distance teaching and learning, and the development and growth of a professional and diverse staff. He also served on the Institute’s Information Technology Governance Council where he provided thoughtful input and advice on information technology issues.

“Armand is a proven manager and leader. At Sloan he provided oversight and direction to a diverse set of technology services including applications development, enterprise services, operations infrastructure, desktop and classroom support, and consulting and project management. These skills are well suited to help lead the MIT Libraries, and further develop the technology resources and services that MIT students, faculty and researchers require,” said Steve Gass, Interim Director of MIT Libraries. Doucette will begin his appointment July 1, 2014.

Libraries closed on July 4th

Posted July 1st, 2014 by Grace Mlady

All MIT libraries will be closed for Independence Day this Friday, July 4.flags-316407_640

The Libraries will resume summer weekend hours on Saturday, July 5. Please see our hours page for a detailed list of library locations and hours.

Have questions? Ask Us.

There’s a World of News at the Library!

Posted June 27th, 2014 by Heather McCann

pressdisplay

One of the ways MIT Libraries provides access to international news is the Library PressDisplay, where you can read your favorite international newspapers, sometimes even before the publications hit the newsstands.  Library PressDisplay is an online newspaper and magazine kiosk with full-format, full-color e-versions of more than 2,600 newspapers from 100 countries in 60 languages.  Among the titles are The Washington Post, The Guardian (United Kingdom), Le Figaro (France), Izvestia (Russia) and Der Tagesspiegel (Germany).   Advanced features allow you to translate or listen to articles, and search 30 to 60 days of back issues.

 

reader

The Press Reader app, available for Apple, Android, Blackberry or Windows, allows you to download full issues from Library PressDisplay on your mobile device to read on the go. You must be using authenticated MIT wi-fi for the app to recognize our subscription.

 

Check out our other news sources: http://libguides.mit.edu/news.

Study Sanctuary—Hayden’s Lipchitz Courtyard

Posted June 27th, 2014 by Heather Denny

The Lipchitz Courtyard within Building 14 (adjacent to Hayden Library) is a hidden gem—a quiet, leafy retreat where you can find a sunny or shady spot to pull up a chair and read a book, or enjoy artwork from MIT’s Public Art Collection.

The courtyard contains three sculptures by 20th century Cubist artist Jacques LipchitzPhotographer Yulla Lipchitz donated the monumental bronze sculptures by her late husband in memory of the late MIT President Jerome B. Wiesner, founder of the Council for the Arts at MIT. 

The garden is also featured on the list of MIT’s pocket gardens, It contains paper birch trees, azalea, hydrangea, rhododendron, and flowering perennials. Stop by to see what’s in bloom, and enjoy this special oasis!

Llipchitzcourtyard_blog

Digital stewardship residents announced

Posted June 26th, 2014 by Heather Denny

LogoColorTextBelowThe National Digital Stewardship Residency Program of Boston (NDSR-Boston) has announced their first cohort of residents. MIT Libraries along with four other local institutions, will host the early-career residents who will focus on digital preservation projects at their institutions.

Tricia Patterson was chosen as MIT Libraries’ resident. She will begin her residency in September working on an important project to preserve MIT’s digital audio content. The “Making Music Last” project will involve preserving treasured audio documentation of music at MIT.

Patterson is a recent MSLIS graduate from Simmons College. She began her archival career at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission before moving to Boston. While at Simmons, she focused on digital preservation, digitizing textual collections at the John F. Kennedy presidential archive, and working as an editorial assistant and program facilitator for Simmons. She has worked at several other Boston-area institutions including Harvard University and the Boston Athenæum.

“It is very exciting for MIT Libraries to be an organizer of the National Digital Stewardship Residency (NDSR) Boston program and a host institution for its first cohort. Tricia Patterson is a wonderful fit for our project,” said Nancy McGovern, MIT Libraries’ Head of Curation and Preservation Services.

For more information about the projects and residents, visit the NDSR Boston website.

 

Spam alert: Ignore emails asking for your username

Posted June 25th, 2014 by Heather Denny

Please be advised that some MIT students are receiving emails with the subject line “Reactivate your username.” The email says reactivation is required due to a new library system. These emails are spam and are not from the MIT Libraries.

The email asks you to complete registration before the beginning of the semester. Please ignore all emails asking for your information. If you’re unsure about a suspicious email, contact MIT’s IS&T Help Desk.

If you have any questions about how to use Your Account with MIT Libraries, please see our Circulation FAQ page.

OA research in the news: The cost of patent trolls

Posted June 25th, 2014 by Katharine Dunn
Catherine Tucker

Catherine Tucker

A new study by a Sloan researcher suggests that the recent increase of so-called “patent trolls”—companies that do little more than sue others over patent rights—has resulted in a huge loss of entrepreneurial activity in the United States. The study, by marketing professor Catherine Tucker, correlates patent litigation and venture capital (VC) investment using data from 1995 to 2012. The “evidence suggests that more lawsuits can distract management from developing new and innovative products, and may cause them to ignore products targeted by lawsuits, in addition to the more obvious litigation costs,” she writes. The paper says that VC investment would have been more than $21 billion higher over five years if not for lawsuits brought over patents by frequent litigators.

Explore Professor Tucker’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.

Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009 they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world via DSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of blog posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.

Check out the complete listing of JulyAP 2014 sessions

Posted June 23rd, 2014 by Mark Szarko
photo by L.Barry Hetherington

photo by L.Barry Hetherington

Summer workshops in the Libraries are here! It’s like a little slice of IAP, only warmer.

Pre-registration is required for some, but not all sessions. See below for details.

Research Data Management: File Organization – Register
Thu July 10, 1:00 – 2:00 pm, 14N-132
Contact: Katherine McNeill, mcneillh@mit.edu

Do you struggle with organizing your research data? Wonder if there’s a better way to arrange and name your data files to optimize your work? This workshop will teach you practical techniques for organizing your data files. Topics will include: file and folder organizational structures and file naming.  Will include hands-on exercises to apply the concepts to your particular data project.

Introduction to GIS – Register
Mon July 14, 1:00 – 4:00 pm, 14N-132
Contact: Jennie Murack, murack@mit.edu

Learn the basics of visualizing and analyzing geographic information and creating your own maps in a Geographic Information System (GIS). We will introduce open source and proprietary GIS software options and let attendees choose to work through exercises using ESRI ArcGIS (proprietary) and/or Quantum GIS (QGIS) (open source). Learn to work with data from the MIT Geodata Repository, analyze the data, and create maps that can be used in reports and presentations.

GIS Level 2 – Register
Tue July 15, 1:00 – 4:00 pm, 14N-132
Contact: Jennie Murack, murack@mit.edu

Expand your experience with GIS software and learn how to create and edit GIS files, geocode addresses onto a map, re-project data, and use tools like Clip, Buffer, and Spatial Join. Prerequisite: Intro to GIS workshop or basic knowledge of ArcGIS

Getting Started, Getting Funded: Obtaining Research Funding – Register
Tue July 15, 1:00 – 5:00 pm, E17-139
Presenter: Dr. Micah Altman
Contact: Randi Shapiro, shapiror@mit.edu

Increasingly, conducting innovative research requires resources that exceed those readily on-hand to the individual scholar. You can use research funding to access a wider set of research methods, to accelerate your research project, expand its scope and depth, and increase its impact. This short course provides an overview of the types and sources of funding available for research support, and introduces the fundamental elements of planning, proposal writing, and management for “sponsored” projects. The course is geared toward junior faculty, postdocs, and graduate students (in late stages or on the job market), who are new to the funding process, are considering whether to seek funding from new sources, or who would like a systematic review of the grant writing and review process. The course will be presented in a half-day format, followed by an individualized consulting session focused on each attendee’s research project. Schedule individual consultations with Randi Shapiro at shapiror@mit.edu.

For more information, please consult the Program on Information Science Website.

Business Information for Engineers and Scientists – Register
Thu July 17, 4:00 – 5:00 pm, 14N-132
Contact: Howard Silver, hsilver@mit.edu

This session will introduce engineers and scientists to business information resources that will help you understand the commercial potential for your ideas, how to find partners, and sources for financial support. We will use realistic examples and hands-on exercises with key resources to demonstrate how to match your ideas and discoveries with the opportunities and realities of the marketplace.

Managing Your References: Overview of EndNote, Zotero, and Mendeley – Register
Mon July 21, 12:00 – 1:00 pm, 14N-132
Contact: Anita Perkins, perkins@mit.edu

Using citation management software to create and maintain a collection of references or PDFs is common and important in today’s academic world. These tools will help you to save citations from your favorite databases and websites, store related PDFs or attachments, and quickly build a bibliography for your papers and publications. We’ll compare and demo 3 tools (EndNote, Mendeley, & Zotero), so you’ll leave the session knowing which tool might work best for your needs.

Current and Emerging Uses for Wikipedia in Research – Register
Tue July 22, 1:00 – 2:00 pm, 14N-132
Contact: Stacey Snyder, ssnyder@mit.edu

“Well, actually…” you begin when the topic of Wikipedia’s accuracy comes up in conversation. If you’ve found yourself in this position, come share ways you have effectively used Wikipedia in your own research or in consultation with students and professors. Learn how to use complementary applications to guide you to valuable library resources. Join the discussion on the future of Wikipedia and the information landscape.

NIH Public Access Compliance Hands-on Working Session – Register
Thu July 24, 1:00 – 2:00 pm, 14N-132
Contact: Courtney Crummett, crummett@mit.edu

Missing a PMCID? Can’t figure out why a paper isn’t in compliance? Lost in NIH manuscript system? Join us for a problem solving session. This session is designed to provide an opportunity for hands on problem solving in the systems that need to be navigated in the process of submitting and authorizing manuscripts and reporting progress on NIH Funded Grants (eRA Commons; NIHMS, and MyNCBI). Please bring your NIH compliance problems and logins to this session to work through together. Registration encouraged.

Patent Searching Fundamentals – Register
Friday July 25, 1:00 – 2:00 pm, 14N-132
Contact: Anita Perkins, perkins@mit.edu

This session will enable you to successfully find patent references from all over the world, and obtain patent text and diagrams. This hands-on session will help de-mystify the patent literature and show key resources for finding patents.

ILLiad downtime Thursday, June 26th, 3-4pm

Posted June 23rd, 2014 by Melissa Feiden

ILLiad at MITPlease be aware that, due to a scheduled software upgrade, ILLiad will be unavailable from 3pm-4pm EST on Thursday, June 26, 2014.  During this outage, you will not be able to:

  • place new Interlibrary Borrowing requests
  • place requests for article delivery from the Library Storage Annex
  • download PDF copies of articles
  • track or change existing requests
  • renew Interlibrary Borrowing books
  • do anything that requires ILLiad

For more information, see our ILLiad system outage page.

Barker Library closing early on Thursday, June 12

Posted June 11th, 2014 by Jeremiah Graves

Barker Engineering LibraryThe Barker Library Reading Room will close at 3:30pm and the library as a whole will close at 5:00pm on Thursday, June 12 for a private function.

Access to the Barker 24/7 study space is expected to resume by 9:00pm and the library will be open for regular business hours on Friday.

All other MIT Libraries locations will remain open for regular business hours and the 24/7 study spaces in Dewey and Hayden will be available after closing.

We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience.

OA research in the news: Anand wins 2014 Drucker Medal

Posted June 11th, 2014 by Katharine Dunn
Lallit Anand

Lallit Anand

Mechanical engineering professor Lallit Anand has won the 2014 Daniel C. Drucker Medal, awarded by the Applied Mechanics Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. The medal is one of the highest distinctions a mechanician can achieve. Anand was cited for his “seminal contributions to the formulation of constitutive theories for the plastic response of a variety of engineering solids, including polycrystalline metals, metallic glasses, glassy polymers, and granular materials.”

Explore Professor Anand’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.

Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009 they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world via DSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of blog posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace

Make time to make more stuff!

Posted June 9th, 2014 by Chris Sherratt

tools2Knowing as we do that MIT people love to make things, last summer Mechanical Engineering Librarian Angie Locknar made a guide about designing & making stuff.

“We wanted to have one place to go to find things that people might need if they like to invent/create/build … plus we’re hoping users will send other helpful links to include.” Perhaps this is just what you need to kick start that still, but not for much longer, put-off project. Or you might want to finally master that cool new tool!

 

 

 

Discovering the Libraries: Top 10 things to know

Posted June 5th, 2014 by Pritee Tembhekar

By MIT Libraries’ student blogger, Pri Tembhekar

Hello everyone!

It is with bittersweet sentiment that I write my last blog for the MIT Libraries. This post will be about the top 10 things to know about the Libraries. I’ve covered some of these tips in other posts, so this entry will be a good way to tie it all together.

null

Bonus tip:The courtyard outside Hayden Library is a relaxing place to study.

  1. Library hideaways can make studying just a little better. The Libraries have many beautiful places to study and also contain 24-hour study rooms. Check out my post about the Lewis Music Library.
  2. Stop by the Libraries for textbooks. You don’t have to carry them around in order to study between classes. The Libraries have textbooks on reserve that you can check out for two hour increments. There are also some textbooks available online through the Libraries. It could save you significant money!
  3. Think outside your courses for fun options at the Libraries. The Libraries have resources well outside science and technology. The Libraries have videos and travel books. Check out my spring break post for more ideas.
  4. On a similar note, the Libraries can help you pursue your interests. The Lewis Library has concerts and open mics that could help nurture and preserve your interest in music. If art is more your style, the Libraries’ pass to the MFA allows you to take non-MIT friends along for free.
  5. Student jobs at the MIT Libraries are a fantastic way to make money and learn. There are many ways to get involved. From the student workers I interviewed, I really got the sense that working at the Libraries had become more than just a job. In my short time here I have learned a lot about blogging and felt a community among the Libraries’ staff. Check out my student jobs post.
  6. The libraries can make research less painful! For in-depth, longer-term research making an appointment with a librarian can go a long way. Subject matter experts can really push you in the right direction. See my post on research resources for more information.
  7. Research guides provide a quicker fix and concise information. They can be accessed online and cover a wide range of subjects. More information is available in the research resources post.
  8. One of the lesser known Libraries’ resources are the range of special events they host. During their IAPril series of events, I learned about using Mendeley software to manage PDFs and citations. There were also events on 3-D printing and business resources. Some events can be really surprising. For example, preservation week brought a letter locking event to MIT.
  9. Meet at least one librarian or staff member during your time at MIT. When I met Jana Dambrogio, I was amazed by her passion for letter locking, something I had never heard of. Not only are they incredible resources, but the Libraries’ staff have unique interests that are refreshing for someone immersed in science and technology.
  10. The Libraries’ scanners are fantastic. They create high quality images with no hassle. When I asked a few senior friends what they liked best, this was the most surprising answer.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my blog as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it! There’s an excellent video on this topic made by the Libraries and featuring students. Best of luck readers!

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum passes are back at the Hayden Library!

Posted June 4th, 2014 by Melissa Feiden

Isabella Stewart Gardner MuseumIsabella Stewart Gardner Museum passes are back at the MIT Libraries!  Discount passes for the Gardner Museum are available with an MIT ID at the Hayden Library.

There are some special things to know about these passes:

  • Check availability of passes in the Barton catalog before making a trip to Hayden to pick them up.
  • Each pass is good for one specific day: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
  • One pass for each of these days will admit 4 visitors for a discounted price of $5 each.

Don’t miss the Gardner’s current Special Exhibition: Carla Fernández: The Barefoot Designer: A Passion for Radical Design and Community

If you have any questions, please email circulation@mit.edu.  Enjoy your passes!

New! Access to the complete New Yorker

Posted May 30th, 2014 by Katherine McNeill

New Yorker cover image        

The current issue and all past issues of The New Yorker—going all the way back to very first in 1925—are now available to the MIT community through our subscription to The New Yorker Digital Archive.

You can read the magazine in its full-color glory anywhere you have a browser and an internet connection (try it on your iPad).  So if you’re traveling light this summer and have a hankering for “The Talk of the Town,” those sometimes uproarious, sometimes inscrutable cartoons, and a little Eustace Tilley, check out The New Yorker Digital Archive.

Discovering the Libraries: Archives and conservation

Posted May 30th, 2014 by Pritee Tembhekar

Hello everyone!

Null

Letters by William Barton Rogers

It has been a few weeks since I had the pleasure of visiting the Institute Archives and Conservation Lab, but I’m excited to write this belated post. This week’s post is about how the MIT Libraries preserve MIT’s rich history and how old, sensitive materials are treated and conserved for library users.

Most students know that William Barton Rogers founded the Institute in 1861. The details of MIT’s founding and early years are much less widely known. The MIT Libraries however has a surprisingly in-depth collection of materials relevant to MIT’s history. This includes letters that William Barton Rogers wrote, old student newspapers, and photographs of students and buildings. With the help of Nora Murphy, Archivist for Reference, Outreach and Instruction, I got a glimpse of some of the fascinating pieces in the archives.

One of the earliest and, in my opinion, most meaningful pieces was the letter by William Barton Rogers describing his vision for a technical institute. The letter is from 1846 and outlines parts of the MIT mission that are still with us today (right).

Many of the other artifacts give insight into life at MIT in the past. For example, going through old photobooks reveals the presence of international students very early in the Institute’s history (19th century students from China are present in photobooks). There are also pictures of MIT living quarters in the 1930s. Surprisingly, they don’t look starkly different from where we live today.

Important works of MIT students and faculty are also preserved here. I had the opportunity to see a chlorine level map made by Ellen Swallow Richards in the 1880s. Richards was the first female student admitted into MIT and subsequently the first female instructor here.  She is notable for her work in environmental chemistry and testing levels of various toxins in food and water. The MIT Archives has her work as well as some of her personal history. Richards appears in the journal of Louisa Hewins, which the Libraries has in their collection.

null

Journal of Louisa Hewins featuring Ellen Swallow Richards (1880s)

A few of the pieces that I saw were just plain fun. For example, the class of ’84 yearbook (1884 that is) has fantastic photos of student organizations. The fencing team is shown below. It also has rosters of fraternity members.

null

Fencing team photo in 1884 yearbook

The Tech from June 10, 1910 featured pictures of the Institute buildings and the president of the time. It’s interesting to see what made students of the time take notice.

I went on to see the Wunsch Conservation Lab in the MIT Libraries. Jana Dambrogio, the conservator, gave me an inside look into the life of a book in need of restoration. Jana’s specialty in recent years has been around letter locking, a practice by which letters were sent without an envelope. The letters are folded in different ways that hide the contents of the letter without using more (scarce) paper. It was refreshing to hear about a passion outside science and engineering. Jana explained to me the fine line between restoration of an artifact to its old state and preservation of “imperfections” with historical meaning. I got the chance to see an old work that is currently undergoing analysis.  Jana and her colleagues are looking into the structure of the book and drawing insights about how it was made.

null

Tech newspaper from June 10, 1910

null

Jana Dambrogio explains the structure of a book

I also met Kate Beattie who was doing a completely different kind of work preparing books for circulation to MIT users. It just goes to show the range of initiatives that the conservation lab engages in.

Thanks again to Jana Dambrogio and Nora Murphy for showing me around!

OA research in the news: Storms peaking further from tropics

Posted May 28th, 2014 by Katharine Dunn
image from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

image from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

A new study coauthored by an MIT faculty member shows that powerful tropical storms are peaking in intensity further away from the equator. The migration of these cyclones, hurricanes, and typhoons is significant in part because residents and infrastructure where the storms now make landfall may be unprepared for them and thus in more danger. As well, the authors write, these cyclones “have an important role in maintaining regional water resources, and a poleward migration of storm tracks could threaten potable water supplies in some regions while increasing flooding events in others.”

While the paper makes a link between the storms’ shift and global warming, coauthor Kerry Emanuel, a professor of atmospheric science in the department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, says that researchers are continuing to examine this. Tropical winds have also expanded towards the poles in recent years. And, Emanuel told the MIT News, “as that belt migrates poleward, which surely it must as the whole ocean warms, the tropical cyclone genesis regions might just move with it. But we have more work to do to nail it down.”

Explore Professor Emanuel’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.

Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009 they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world via DSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of blog posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.