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Things to love at the Libraries this February

Posted January 26th, 2015 by Heather Denny

HeartBookWebWelcome back! We hope you enjoyed your winter break. February is great time to get acquainted with new things at the Libraries we think you’ll love:

Warm welcome
Our new Director of Libraries, Chris Bourg, starts on February 9th. We hope you’re as excited as we are to get to know her. Please wish her a warm MIT welcome!

Feel the love
Are you in need of a little extra affection? How about a wagging tail and a lick on the face? Therapy dogs will return to Hayden Library on the first Friday of every month during the Spring term for furry, fun stress relief.

Meet our matchmakers
As the new term gets underway, remember our library experts can introduce you to the best resources for your research: see our most beloved research guides and experts. But don’t just take our word for it hear about MIT student’s favorite library resources.

Get social
Connect with us on TwitterFacebook, and now Instagram. Profess your library love, or post photos of your favorite library things tagged with #MITLibraries.

OA research in the news: What our sewage says about us

Posted January 21st, 2015 by Katharine Dunn
photo by Patrick Brosset. Licensed under CC-BY-NC

photo by Patrick Brosset. Licensed under CC-BY-NC

This month, MIT researchers and local public health officials will gather and analyze waste from Cambridge sewers for insights into the health of city dwellers. Members of the “Underworlds” project, led by architect Carlo Ratti of the Senseable City Lab and bioengineering professor Eric Alm, will screen samples for viruses like the flu, bacteria like those that cause cholera, and biochemical flags for drugs and other compounds.

“Sewage is really an unexploited source of rich information about human activities,” Alm told the Boston Globe.

The researchers have a $4 million grant through the Kuwait-MIT Center for Natural Resources and the Environment and plan to use the initial samples to develop a software program that will help analyze data. One goal is to use sewage data to help predict epidemics.

Explore Professor Alm’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.

Libraries’ spring hours begin Monday, January 26

Posted January 21st, 2015 by Grace Mlady

The MIT Libraries’ spring hours begin this Monday, January 26, 2015.null

Barker and Dewey
Monday-Thursday: 8:30am-11pm
Friday: 8:30am-6pm
Saturday: 11am-7pm
Sunday: 11am-11pm

Hayden (Humanities & Science) and Rotch
Monday-Thursday: 8:30am-12am
Friday: 8:30am-8pm
Saturday: 11am-7pm
Sunday: 11am-12am

Lewis Music
Monday-Thursday: 9am-9pm
Friday: 9am-6pm
Saturday: 1pm-6pm
Sunday: 2pm-9pm

These hours will remain in effect through Friday, May 22, 2015. For a complete list of library locations and hours, visit our hours page.

Have questions? Ask Us.

ARL SPEC survey aims to map current role of libraries in makerspaces

Posted January 16th, 2015 by Heather Denny

ARLlogoThe Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has selected a survey proposal from the MIT Libraries as one of four to be conducted in 2015. The survey, selected based on currency, insightfulness, importance to research libraries and relevance to ARL’s strategic directions, consists of a suite of questions intended to map out current and planned engagement of ARL-member Libraries with digital fabrication (“3-D printing”) and Makerspace technologies.

Such technologies produce intellectual assets, such as sensor and digitization data, as well as models and methods, that are of potential value to other researchers and which therefore may fall within the mission of research libraries. Moreover, these technologies offer the opportunity to create spaces that facilitate research, collaboration, information discovery and management, and a form of technical and information literacy.

The goal of the survey, which will be conducted between May 4 and June 1 of this year, is to provide information to decision-makers considering services in this rapidly evolving arena. A SPEC Kit is expected to be published in September, while a 45-minute webcast discussion of findings is expected to stream in October.

The survey was developed by Dr. Micah Altman, Director of Research and Head/Scientist, Program on Information Science for the MIT Libraries, Matt Bernhardt, web developer for the Libraries with expertise in the field, Lisa Horowitz, Assessment & Linguistics Librarian, and Wenqing Lu, a research intern for the Program on Information Science.

For more information, and to learn how to participate see ARL’s website.


Open mics for spring: save the dates!

Posted January 15th, 2015 by Christie Moore

pianoLibrary music! The Lewis Music Library open mic events are returning on the first Fridays of March, April, and May. Here’s your chance to play our piano or your own instrument. Free audience supplied for all performers.

Dates: Friday, March 6, 2015 — Friday, April 3 — Friday, May 1
Place: Lewis Music Library, Bldg. 14E-109
Time: noon- 1 pm
Refreshments provided.

Live screening of webcast with Noam Chomsky, Jan. 20

Posted January 14th, 2015 by Heather Denny

Institute Professor Emeritus Noam Chomsky (Photo by: Philip van Ootegem)

Institute Professor Emeritus Noam Chomsky, a prolific author, political activist, and philosopher, is one of MIT’s greatest scientists. He created the field of modern linguistics—the scientific study of language—and his political commentaries have sparked controversy and conversation for more than 50 years.

Join us for a live screening of an MIT Alumni Association Faculty Forum webcast with Professor Noam Chomsky on Tuesday, January 20, noon-12:45 p.m. in Killian Hall. This is a rare opportunity to hear Chomsky’s thoughts on a wide range of topics, as well as the recently established Chomsky Archive at MIT that includes his personal notes, drafts, correspondence, and other rare and unpublished materials. This event is free and open to the public, no registration is required.

Non-alumni can also watch the webcast and share their real-time thoughts and questions on Twitter using the hashtag #mitfaculty. (Check back to Slice of MIT on Monday, January 19, for viewing details for non-alumni.)

MLK, Jr. Day hours for Monday, January 19

Posted January 14th, 2015 by Grace Mlady

america-517927_640On Monday, January 19, the following libraries will be open as follows:

Barker, Dewey, Hayden (Humanities & Science), and Rotch:


Lewis Music:


All other library locations will be closed and will resume IAP hours on Tuesday, January 20.

Have questions? Ask Us.

Updated MIT amendment to publication agreements released: incorporates new federal public access requirements

Posted January 12th, 2015 by Ellen Duranceau

Two new versions of the MIT amendment to publication agreements have been released, in order to provide MIT authors with an amendment that incorporates the public access requirements of the 2013 White House Directive. This directive from the Office of Science and Technology Policy focuses on “Expanding Public Access to the Results of Federally Funded Research,” including making publications funded by major US agencies openly accessible.

screen shot MIT amendment web page revised with WH directive versionsThe revised versions of the amendment are currently appropriate for researchers funded by the Department of Energy, whose requirements for sharing publications under the Directive began taking effect in October 2014.  Other major US agencies that sponsor research are expected to be releasing their requirements early in 2015, and the revised versions of the amendment are designed to be appropriate for those agencies as well.

There are two versions of the MIT amendment: one for faculty authors which also references rights related to the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy, and one for other MIT authors, which does not reference rights related to the faculty Policy.

These new versions, as with prior versions, may be attached to a standard publication agreement, with an indication that the signature on the agreement is subject to the attached amendment, which is also signed by the author.  The MIT amendment provides legally vetted language that retains key rights of interest to many MIT authors (such as the right to share their articles openly on the web) and rights required to meet the obligations of research funders, as well as those reflected in the faculty’s Open Access Policy.

Please contact Ellen Finnie Duranceau, Program Manager, Scholarly Publishing, Copyright, and Licensing, with any questions about the use of the MIT amendment.


How to make an inexpensive book cradle for your treasures

Posted January 12th, 2015 by Jana Dambrogio
Two rare volumes from the Institute Archives and Special  Collections supported on Tyvek + air cushion book cradles. Back: need title. Front: Theodore Reisch's Margarita Philosophica, 1508.

Two rare volumes from MIT Libraries Institute Archives and Special Collections rest on these easy to make book cradles.

Book cradles are a type of support that help to reduce stress on the spine of a book, stress that over time can cause book covers to pull away from the area where they connect to the text pages. Cradles help prop a book open, usually at an angle less than 180° so that the book doesn’t lay flat on a tabletop. Reducing stress on the book opening is a preventative measure and helps reduce the need for expensive and time consuming repairs.

Here is a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to make one with simple materials. You’ll need Tyvek™ envelopes and recycled air pillows to make this support for your bound treasures. This type of book cradle has other benefits:

  • Replenish envelopes and pillows as needed (after the bags are soiled or air pillows deflate)
  • Lightweight and portable (easy to set up and break down)
  • Great for working with books that require mold abatement (throw away supports after exposure)
  • Easy to use and easy to store when not in use
  • Adjustable by filling in more or fewer air pillows
  • Also useful as a spacer to keep books vertical (while in a partially filled box or during transit).
  • Cost: probably less than $1.00 to acquire materials, $0 if using recycled envelopes and air cushions

Time: 10 minutes or less


  • Two Tyvek™ side opening envelopes (new or recycled) slightly larger than the size of the book to be cradled
  • Recycled air pillows often found as cushioning material inside shipped packages.

Here are instructions to make the simplest version of this cradle:


  • Place your book in the palm of your hand and open it, feeling how wide the book will open without forcing either side down. Is the angle less than 180 degrees? This action will help you determine how many air cushions to place inside each Tyvek™ envelope.

inserting air cushionAir_Pillow_made_of_PLA-Blend_Bio-Flex

  • Insert an air cushion (or more than one) into each envelope pouch.

IMG_1475 IMG_1476

  • If you need to use several air cushions or Styrofoam peanuts to create the amount of cushion you’ll need to support your book, place them into a resealable bag or Tyvek™ envelope to contain the cushioning material first before inserting it into either side of the book cradle.

overlapping envelope flaps

  • Remove self-adhesive guard strip from one of the envelope flaps and adhere it to the flap of the other envelope. By adhering the two flaps together, you create an area for the spine of the book to rest in. Apply pressure over the adhered area to ensure firm attachment.

rare book in cradle

  • Place the book on the book cradle. Use different air cushion sizes to support the desired opening. Use book snakes (light padded weights) as needed to help hold the pages down while consulting your treasured book.

OA research in the news: Murray receives award from Queen Elizabeth

Posted January 8th, 2015 by Katharine Dunn

Murray_Fiona_Bio_120pxEntrepreneurship professor Fiona Murray, the Sloan School of Management’s associate dean for innovation, has been named a Commander in the Order of the British Empire (CBE). Murray is cited for her work to “improve the UK’s entrepreneurial community, which has led to improved trade and investment opportunities between the UK and USA.” Read more about Murray’s work in a 2013 interview with the MIT News.

Explore Professor Murray’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.

Publishing and copyright — IAP workshops provide pathways through the maze

Posted January 6th, 2015 by Ellen Duranceau

The MIT Libraries’ Office of Scholarly Publishing, Copyright, and Licensing is offering seven IAP sessions devoted to publishing and copyright.  Three of the sessions offer introductions to publishing, including using independent book publishing services, understanding scholarly journal and book publishing processes (cosponsored with the MIT Press), and learning about alternative careers in publishing (cosponsored with the Graduate Student Council).

Two sessions cover publishing issues that intersect with copyright — one for graduate students writing theses, and a second focused on anyone who wants to use other people’s images or figures in new articles or other works.

For those whose research is funded by the Department of Energy (DOE), we are offering a session (with the Office of Sponsored Programs / OSP) on meeting the new DOE requirements for public access to data and publications.

A session on text-mining using APIs for scholarly resources will include hearing about two active research projects at MIT that involve using APIs that are available through Libraries’ subscriptions.

A complete list of the sessions appears below. To register for any of the sessions, please email the contact.

An Introduction to Independent Publishing  (With Professor Anne Whiston Spirn)
Wed Jan 14, 1:00-2:15pm, 14N-132
Contact: Katharine Dunn,

Research Funder Open Access Requirements from DOE and Other Federal Agencies (With OSP)
Thu Jan 15, 1:00-2:00, 1-150
Contact: Ellen Duranceau,

Alternative Careers Series for Grad Students: Careers in Publishing (With the GSC)
Fri Jan 16, 2:30-3:30pm, 3-270
Contact: Katharine Dunn,

Using Images in Your Work: A Look at Copyright, Fair Use, and Open Licensing
Wed Jan 21, 1:00pm-2:00pm, 14N-132
Contact: Ellen Duranceau,

Theses@MIT: Specifications and Copyright Issues
Mon Jan 26, 3:00-4:00pm, 14N-132
Contact: Ellen Duranceau,

APIs for Scholarly Resources: (With overviews of active text and data mining research projects)
Tue Jan 27, 12:00-1:00pm, 14N-132
Contact: Mark Clemente,

From Submission to Publication: What Authors Need to Know About the Journal and Book Publishing Process (With the MIT Press)
Thu Jan 29, 3:00-4:30pm, 4-145
Contact: Ellen Duranceau,


IAP hours begin Monday, January 5

Posted January 1st, 2015 by Grace Mlady

The MIT Libraries IAP hours begin this Monday, January 5, 2015 and continue through Sunday, January 25. Hours are as follows:books-441866_640

Barker, Dewey, Hayden (Humanities & Science) and Rotch
Monday-Friday: 9am-7pm
Saturday & Sunday: 10am-6pm

Lewis Music
Monday-Friday: 9am-5pm
Saturday & Sunday: 1pm-5pm

The 24-hour study facilities in Barker, Dewey and Hayden Libraries will remain open during IAP. Visit our hours page for a complete list of library locations and hours.

Have questions? Ask Us.

Reference USA databases of US business and consumer information

Posted December 31st, 2014 by Katherine McNeill

Reference USA logo

InfoGroup’s Reference USA provides basic information on over 25 million businesses and over 270 million consumers in the US and Canada.

  • Business data includes company name, location (address and geolocation coordinates), industries, size (sales volume and number of employees), year established, names of owners and executives, and more.
  • Consumer data includes: name, location (address and geolocation coordinates), estimated home values and household incomes, and more.

Recent enhancements include map-based and radius search features and historical business data (dating back to 2003).

For more sources of company information and historical business data, visit the MIT Libraries’ Companies research guide.  Want even older data?  Download business data back to 1997 from the ReferenceUSA Business Historical Data Files in the MIT Libraries Dataverse.

Institute Archives and Special Collections receives records of the MIT Hillel office

Posted December 30th, 2014 by mit-admin

The Institute Archives and Special Collections is pleased to have recently received and processed a donation from the MIT Hillel office. Highlights of the collection include many informal photographs of students at social and religious events sponsored by the Hillel office; posters publicizing events; newsletters; papers, drawings, and brochures about the award winning sukkah design from the early 1990s; and files from the original Director of the MIT Hillel office, Rabbi Herman Pollack. These records provide evidence of a vibrant Jewish community on campus as well as the evolution of MIT Hillel from its beginnings as the Menorah Society.

Hillel scrapbook. All rights reserved.

A Jewish organization on campus began in 1914 with the Menorah Society which was affiliated with the Intercollegiate Menorah Association (IMA). It provided educational, social, and cultural programs for Jewish students. During the 1920s and 1930s, as part of its social activities, the MIT Menorah Society hosted dances with societies at the all-female schools in Boston such as Simmons College and Radcliffe College. The Society continued on campus until the fall of 1945, at which time it was replaced by the MIT chapter of the B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundation. In 1953 Rabbi Herman Pollack joined the MIT Hillel and became the first full time Director. In the 1990s the national organization that began as B’nai B’rith Hillel became Hillel, The Foundation for Campus Jewish Life. Much of the material in the MIT Hillel records is from the 1950s to the early 2000s.

To access the Hillel records, or for more information, contact the Institute Archives and Special Collections at

Recent Activities for Curation & Preservation Services

Posted December 23rd, 2014 by Jana Dambrogio

Members from Curation and Preservation Services (CPS), had the opportunity this semester to participate in several outreach activities. Off campus, we visited the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) in North Andover. NEDCC was the first independent conservation laboratory in the nation and they specialize in book and paper conservation and digitization.

After the overview about the center given by Julie Martin, Bill Veillette, the director of NEDCC, led us on a tour that included the imaging studio, digital scanning lab and audio content preservation lab. Photographer, David Joyall, explained the benefits of having conservators in-house and their ability to offer of object handling guidance when needed.


The “XY” table.

It was interesting to learn how specialists image oversized flat objects with equipment called the “XY” table. Instead of shifting an object, this large custom-designed table moves in many directions to enable the object to align with the camera lens. This reduces the handling of the artifact during image capture. The lighting set-up remains in a fixed position.

In the spacious paper conservation lab, we saw many oversized objects are in process of treatment. Monique Fischer, the senior photo conservator, showed us photography and Elisabetta Polidori, the Kress Fellow, explained pigment consolidation of Ethiopian binding. MP Bogan, head of Book Conservation Lab showed us a variety of project and works. Some books were already conserved beautifully while others are a waiting treatment.

CPS recently provided a four-part webinar series on audiovisual preservation presented by the NEDCC to selected members of the MIT community who work with film and video collections.

Other Recent Events:


Participants making books and folding locked letters at MIT’s first annual Minimaker Faire.

Fall activities also included the latest installment of instructional letterlocking videos on MIT’s TechTV made for the Courtly Rivals exhibit at The Hague Historical Museum and the grand opening of CPS’s Digital Sustainabilty Lab. On October 4th over 100 attendees at MIT’s first annual minimaker faire visited our booth to learn how to sew pamphet journals and lock facsimilie letters modeled after a letter William Barton Rogers wrote to his father. A few days later, CPS staff members went on a guided tour of Acme and Harcourt Bindery, our colleague Jenn Morris blogged about it.

Conservators participated in the fourth annual OrigaMIT convention, a meeting dedicated to paper folding at MIT and in December presented a brown bag talk, “Conservation Collaborations at MIT Libraries” hosted by the MIT Libraries Program on Information Science.

Stay tuned! Curation and Preservation Services has several programs lined up this winter including January IAPs and a lecture in February about John Donne’s letterlocking practices.

MIT’s WorldCat & ILLiad system outage, January 3rd

Posted December 19th, 2014 by Melissa Feiden

ILLiad at MITOn Saturday, January 3, 2015, OCLC has scheduled a technology upgrade to support system performance and reliability. During this upgrade, all OCLC services will be unavailable from 12:01am to 3:00pm, U.S. Eastern Standard Time (approximately 15 hours). The following MIT Libraries services will be affected:

Request forms for campus delivery via Barton’s Your Account and the Annex web site will not be affected by this outage.  You can contact Ask ILB during the outage, but staff will not be able to provide information about specific requests during the system downtime.

OA research in the news: Longtime anthropologist retires from MIT

Posted December 18th, 2014 by Katharine Dunn
Jean Jackson

Jean Jackson

Jean Jackson, one of the earliest members of MIT’s Anthropology program and a founding member of the Women’s and Gender Studies program (formerly Women’s Studies), will retire this spring after 42 years as a faculty member. Jackson has done fieldwork in Mexico, Guatemala, and, for more than 45 years, Colombia. She’s written about kinship and marriage, anthropological linguistics, missionaries, and Colombia’s indigenous rights movement, among other topics. She’s now working on a book about the last two decades of her fieldwork, chronicling changes in indigenous activism in Colombia.

Over the years, Jackson has helped build a tight-knit community with her Anthropology colleagues. “She thinks ethically and acts ethically at every scale, from the global geopolitical to the very interpersonal politics of the department. She communicates through action that we’re all in it together,” Anthropology program head Stefan Helmreich told the MIT News. One of Jackson’s points of pride: “Everyone we have hired has received tenure.”

Explore Professor Jackson’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.

Winter vacation hours begin Saturday, December 20

Posted December 16th, 2014 by Grace Mlady

The MIT Libraries winter vacation hours begin this Saturday, December 20 and continue through Sunday, January 4, 2015.snowflake-554635_640

Barker, Dewey, Hayden (Humanities & Science), Rotch*
Monday-Friday: 9am-6pm
Saturday & Sunday: 1pm-6pm

*These library locations will close early at 5pm on December 24th and the 31st. 

Lewis Music
Monday-Friday: 9am-5pm
Saturday & Sunday: closed

All library locations will be closed the following dates:

Thursday, December 25 – Sunday, December 28
Thursday, January 1 – Saturday, January 3, 2015

The 24-hour study facilities in Barker, Dewey, and Hayden Libraries will remain open as usual throughout winter vacation. For a complete list of location hours, visit our hours page.

Have questions? Ask us.

OA research in the news: Adventures in product design

Posted December 10th, 2014 by Katharine Dunn

12_10s-2_finalThis week, dozens of MIT undergraduates showed off their work in a semester-end presentation for Product Engineering Processes, a class led by professor of mechanical engineering and engineering systems David Wallace. The theme of this year’s course was “Adventure,” and the eight teams built prototypes of devices for skiers, cyclists, skateboarders, musicians, parents, and amputees. Though the audience at Kresge Auditorium scored each presentation, Wallace said the main point of the evaluations was to help students improve their designs. “It’s not a competition; this is a learning adventure,” he said.

Explore Professor Wallace’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.

Stress relief for exams — of the furry kind

Posted December 8th, 2014 by Ellen Duranceau

This Thursday, December 11, therapy dogs from Dog B.O.N.E.S. will make a special visit to Hayden Library (building 14) for “Cookies with Canines.”

Photo by Christopher Maynor

Photo by Christopher Maynor

A terrific group of dogs will be stationed near the entrance to Hayden Library, waiting to meet you. Cookies and beverages will be served.

We hope to see you:

Thursday, December 11, 2-3:30

Also follow us on Twitter and Facebook for a chance to win an MIT Libraries Tim t-shirt during the event.

IAP 2015 offerings from the MIT Libraries

Posted December 8th, 2014 by mit-admin

The MIT Libraries are offering a ton of classes this IAP, probably having something for just about everyone! Some classes require advance registration, and most fill up quickly. Classes are being offered on a variety of topics, including:

For a complete list of individual classes offered by the Libraries, please see our calendar of events or the IAP calendar.

Last Open Mic of the semester Friday, December 5

Posted December 3rd, 2014 by Christie Moore

pianoLibrary music! First Friday of December = the last open mic of the semester. Here’s your chance to play our piano or your own instrument. Free audience supplied for all performers!

Date: Friday, December 5
Place: Lewis Music Library, Bldg. 14E-109
Time: noon- 1 pm
Refreshments provided.

Webinar on film preservation – December 2

Posted December 2nd, 2014 by willer join Curation and Preservation Services for the final event in our “Caring for AV” webinar series. These webinars are offered by the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) and will be shown for free in 14N-132 (DIRC).

The webinars are open to any member of the MIT community. Registration is requested but not required. Please register through LibCal (link below).

Caring for Motion Picture Collections
2-4 pm on Tuesday, December 2, 2014
14N-132 (DIRC)
Presenter: Andy Uhrich, Film Archivist, Indiana University Libraries

This beginner-to-intermediate webinar is intended for those new to the subject as well as those seeking to refresh their knowledge.

This webinar will introduce:

  • Identification
  • Storage
  • Care
  • History of film
  • Film characteristics
  • Preservation reformatting
  • Providing access to analog and digital forms

Come get furry on Friday at Hayden Library

Posted December 1st, 2014 by Ellen Duranceau

December 5 is a Furry First Friday!dog bones furry first fridays picture of four dogs

This fall we’ve expanded our popular therapy dog program. On the first Friday of each month you can stop by Hayden Library to spend some time with one of our furry friends from Dog BONES: Therapy Dogs of Massachusetts.

Dogs and their human handlers will be available this Friday December 5 from 2-4 pm for the final event of the fall term.

“Furry First Fridays” builds on the success of past therapy dog visits during final exams. These visits with dogs have been so widely appreciated that we wanted to make them available more frequently. Our first furry Fridays in October and November were a big success.

Take a break from your studies to pet a dog and de-stress!

All are welcome; no registration required.

And: Come to our “Cookies with Canines” exam-time event which will be held Thursday December 11 from 2-3:30.

Finals week survival kit from the MIT Libraries

Posted December 1st, 2014 by Melissa Feiden

Finals week survivalNeed help getting through finals? Check out our finals week survival kit.

If you have any questions, feel free to Ask Us!

OA research in the news: Waves as scientific & cultural things

Posted November 25th, 2014 by Katharine Dunn

MorganLecture2014This fall, MIT anthropologist Stefan Helmreich gave the prestigious Lewis Henry Morgan Lecture at the University of Rochester. Helmreich, whose 2009 award-winning book Alien Ocean describes marine biologists studying deep-sea microbes, spoke about waves—in the water and elsewhere—and how scientists and others use the notion of a “wave” to describe many disparate phenomena.

“How do cardiologists tracking waves of electrical potential in the heart draw inspiration from research in physics? How has the image of the wave migrated into social theory, making it possible to speak of waves of opinion, of revolution, of immigration, of innovation? The cultural work of analogy in the sciences — natural and social both — fascinates me,” Helmreich told the MIT News last week.

Explore Professor Helmreich’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.

What do students want in a library? Here’s what they told us:

Posted November 25th, 2014 by Heather Denny

studentFeedbackIf you were to design the perfect library, what would it look like? MIT students shared their ideas about library spaces in two sessions held last month. Over fifty students representing both grads and undergrads attended the meetings to discuss upcoming renovations planned for Hayden Library and other library spaces.

The students talked with architects from the firm Shepley Bulfinch, MIT campus planners, and library staff. They also viewed slides of other libraries and learning spaces to get the conversation started.

“The open and enthusiastic exchange of ideas from the students about the Libraries at MIT was inspiring and informative,” said Jennifer Marshall, MIT Senior Campus Planner.

Here’s a short summary of the students’ ideas:

Library spaces should support a variety of activities, such as:

  • Work and study spaces for individuals, small groups, and large groups
  • Group study rooms, available 24/7
  • Spaces to learn and create
  • Semi-social, quasi-public places to work and socialize while not disturbing others (with different zones for different noise levels)
  • Places to reflect and take a break
  • A café with coffee and snacks
  • Places to enjoy art, exhibits, and collections

The library environment should be inviting and comfortable:

  • It should be easy to find things and navigate through Hayden
  • Study spaces should be well lit and inviting
  • The great views in Hayden could be enhanced by “bringing the outside in and inside out”
  • There should be a mix of seating–seats at big tables and carrels for working, as well as soft comfy seating for relaxing
  • Furniture should be comfortable and easily movable to reconfigure spaces for multiple uses

Library spaces should support technology with:

  • The ability to integrate one’s own technology throughout the Library
  • Full technical, multi-media services and support
  • Media creation tools such as design software, video and recording capabilities, and color printers

See the full list of ideas.

The students’ feedback will help to shape many aspects of the renovation plans. By early next year more detailed concepts, cost estimates, and phasing will be proposed and submitted to MIT’s Building Committee for review.

To follow the progress of the renovation plans, and add your ideas to the discussion go to the website: Planning the future of library spaces at MIT.

Libraries closed over Thanksgiving holiday

Posted November 21st, 2014 by Grace Mlady

pie-72274_640All library locations will close early on Wednesday, November 26 and will remain closed for the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, November 27 and Friday, November 28.

Details are as follows:

  • Hours for Wednesday, November 26: All library locations will close at 5:00 PM (with the exception of the Institute Archives & Special Collections, which will close at 4:00 PM).
  • All library locations will be closed Thursday, November 27 and Friday, November 28.
  • All libraries resume regular hours on Saturday, November 29.

The Libraries web site, BartonPlus, 24/7 spaces, and access to electronic licensed resources will continue to be available during the holiday closing. For a complete list of library locations and hours, please visit our hours page.

Have questions? Ask Us.

Chris Bourg named director of MIT Libraries

Posted November 21st, 2014 by Heather Denny
CBourg photo blog

Chris Bourg (Photo by: Wayne Vanderkull)

Longtime libraries administrator at Stanford tapped to lead MIT’s libraries and the MIT Press.

Chris Bourg has been named as the new director of the MIT Libraries, effective in February. Provost Martin Schmidt announced her appointment today in an email to the MIT community.

Bourg comes to MIT from Stanford University, where she is currently associate university librarian for public services. At Stanford, Bourg oversees the largest division of the Stanford University Libraries, with six branches and a collection of more than 4 million volumes.

Bourg “has a deep appreciation for the critical role of scholarly communication in a research university environment, and how this communication links to education and service to the community,” Schmidt wrote in his email to the community. “She also has considerable experience with leveraging the capabilities of digital technologies in order to enhance library services.”

Bourg joins the MIT Libraries and MIT Press at a pivotal time, and will play an important role in guiding the redesign and renovation of library spaces. She will also lead the exploration of the Libraries’ role in new modes of learning and global engagement, and advance MIT’s commitment and influence in the area of scholarly communication and open access.

“I am very much looking forward to working with Chris as she undertakes the leadership of the MIT Libraries, particularly at a time when the nature of library services is evolving to accommodate a variety of needs related to research and education,” Schmidt wrote. “I know you will join me in welcoming her to the MIT community.”

As a senior officer with oversight responsibility for the MIT Press, Bourg will also provide strategic guidance to the Press, expanding international engagement and managing its evolving business models. The MIT Press is one of the largest university presses in the world; it publishes journals, scholarly books, trade books, textbooks, and reference works in print and digital formats in a wide range of academic disciplines.

Bourg’s appointment follows a nationwide search that began after the death of the Libraries’ previous director of 17 years, Ann Wolpert, in October 2013.

“I have long admired MIT’s commitment to openness, inclusion, and innovation,” Bourg says. “It is an honor to join a community of faculty, staff, and students with a global reputation for excellence, integrity, and service. I look forward to engaging in conversations across the MIT community about the future of library spaces, services, and resources. Together, with the talented staff of the libraries and the MIT Press, we have the opportunity to build on MIT’s legacy and to be a leader in creating new models for scholarly communication and research libraries. I am eager to get started.”

Read the full story on MIT News.

Wunsch Lab intern blogs about working with the Peterson Telegraphy Collection

Posted November 20th, 2014 by Jana Dambrogio

By guest contributor, Leslie To


During my time as an intern working on MIT’s Peterson Telegraphy Collection, I got to look at a lot of interesting books and papers. Some of my favorite documents were old telegrams. It was so interesting to be able to look back and see what people had written. The telegram forms themselves were also fun to examine because of the imagery and the wide variety of fonts used. Some of the forms seemed to use a different font for each line. I especially liked the branch-like font on the National Telegraph form.

Wired: A World Transformed by the Telegraph, the current exhibit in the Maihaugen Gallery (14N-130) features more than 60 artifacts from the Peterson Telegraphy Collection. Several interns helped to clean and provide custom housings for the telegrams, images, books, video, and ephemera included in the 60 cubic feet of records.

Visit the Maihaugen Gallery Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. The exhibit runs through mid June 2015.