Come see what's "Under the Dome" Saturday, April 30, 11am-4pm

Posted April 25th, 2011 by Heather Denny

Under the Dome
is a day-long, campus-wide open house on Saturday, April 30.  On this day the public is invited to explore MIT as we celebrate our 150th anniversary.  MIT’s libraries and the Maihaugen Gallery will be open to visitors and will offer several workshops:

‘Technology’ Through Time: 150 Years of MIT History
Maihaugen Gallery (14N-118)
Open 11 a.m.–4 p.m.

This multimedia exhibition showcases in words, documents, photos, video and sound, the broad and varied history of MIT. View original MIT documents and historically significant materials that played a role in making MIT the unique place it is today. The exhibit also features items from the MIT Museum’s 150 Exhibition, as well as Infinite Histories, video stories of those who have shaped–and been shaped by–MIT.  ­­

Preserving Your Family’s History
Meet at the Maihaugen Gallery (14N-118)
Sessions hourly.  Last tour meets at 3 p.m.

Visit the Wunsch Conservation Lab where the MIT Libraries preserve their collections using modern science and traditional craft.  The MIT Libraries’ conservator and preservation librarian will explain how to care for your family papers, photographs, home videos, and digital media. Hand-outs with basic information and sources of archival supplies will be available. Sessions will last 45 minutes. Tours are limited to 20 people and will begin every hour on the hour.

Digital mapping tools introduced by MIT GIS Services
DIRC (14N-132)
Sessions at 11 a.m. and noon

Learn about creating maps with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and collecting data in your community with a Global Positioning System (GPS) unit. A GIS provides tools for analyzing scientific and cultural data, as well as data collected by individuals (like you).  Session will include demonstration and a chance for everyone to collect data outside and create their own maps.

DIRC (14N-132)
Sessions at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

In this show and tell, we will recommend the best iPhone/iPad apps and mobile websites for your academic life. We’ll talk about apps for productivity, library research, note-taking, e-reading, PDF-reading and annotating, sketching, and more. Some apps we’ll demo include Evernote, Instapaper, Dropbox, GoodReader, Papers, and WorldCat Mobile. See our companion web site:

Digital library partnership gives MIT access to additional online resources

Posted April 20th, 2011 by Heather Denny

The MIT Libraries have recently joined HathiTrust, a partnership of over fifty academic libraries that share the ambitious goal of building a comprehensive digital library of their shared collections.

Started in 2008, the HathiTrust digital library currently contains over 8.5 million digitized volumes representing the collections of partner institutions. HathiTrust’s collections include both copyright and public domain materials digitized by Google, the Internet Archive, and Microsoft, as well as partner institutions.  Founded by twelve universities from the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, the University of California system and the University of Virginia, the partnership has now grown to include fifty-five institutions.  MIT and Harvard are two of the most recent universities to join.

Through the HathiTrust website, the public can search the full-text of 8.4 million digitized volumes, and get full online access to 2.2 million volumes that are in the public domain.  With the MIT Libraries membership, the MIT community will have the added benefit of being able to download full volumes of public domain works in PDF format, and also build and share collections using the Collection Builder feature.  Access will be provided to MIT users, with authentication through Touchstone, later this year.

Joining HathiTrust is one of several steps the MIT Libraries have recently taken to expand access for MIT faculty and students to print or digitized resources beyond the holdings of MIT.  In January, the Libraries announced their membership in Borrow Direct, a partnership with Ivy Plus libraries that gives the MIT community access to nearly 50 million print items. In February, MIT and Harvard libraries jointly announced an expanded alliance to explore collaborations for sharing library materials, advancing digital preservation collections practice, and developing future off-site storage facilities and services.

“In today’s interdisciplinary learning environment, it’s essential for our faculty, students and researchers to have access to an even wider array of information resources than ever before.  By collaborating with other outstanding research libraries, we can offer the resources necessary to support the cutting edge research and education that is MIT’s hallmark,” said MIT Director of Libraries, Ann Wolpert.

Wolpert added that it is important for universities to take a leading role in shaping digital libraries. “Libraries have been stewards of the scholarly record for centuries,” she said.  “We’re committed to the long haul.”

The MIT Libraries are actively involved in open access initiatives that support MIT’s mission to make scholarly knowledge openly available to the world.  Partnering with HathiTrust, an organization committed to collecting, organizing, preserving, communicating, and sharing the record of human knowledge, is in line with the Libraries principles of supporting the long-term curation of the cultural record, and furthering global scholarship and research.

GIS courses available online through ESRI Virtual Campus

Posted April 19th, 2011 by Lisa Sweeney

Want to learn about GIS online, on your own time? The MIT community has access to many virtual campus courses from ESRI. Courses can help students learn many skills including: using ArcGIS, working in 3D, raster analysis, programming with Python, and creating mobile GIS applications. The virtual campus addresses a variety of topics including getting started with the basics of GIS and working with HAZUS – using GIS technology to estimate physical, economic, and social impacts of disasters.

The MIT community can sign up for ESRI virtual campus courses for free by emailing For a listing of available courses visit the MIT GIS Services website:

For updates about GIS related events, new GIS data and software, and more subscribe to by visiting:

Harvard and MIT Libraries Explore Far-Reaching Alliance

Posted February 4th, 2011 by Heather Denny

Hayden Library, MIT

Widener Library, Harvard University

New agreement reflects physical proximity, cross-registration, joint programs, and research affinities

The Provosts of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have charged their respective library systems to explore expanded collaborations for sharing library materials, advancing digital preservation and collection, and developing future off-site storage facilities.

Both institutions have identified increased collaboration between and among their complementary libraries as an essential element in developing the research library of the 21st century. While an ambitious level of collaboration is anticipated, each library system will remain engaged with and guided by the respective missions and priorities of each university. While enhanced collaboration may serve to reduce prospective costs, the focus of the collaboration is on the future of 21st-century library services, technologies, and collections.

“No single library system can expect to meet the full intellectual needs of the academic and research communities of MIT and Harvard,” stated Harvard Provost Steven E. Hyman. “A wide-ranging exploration of all opportunities for collaboration is of great interest to both institutions.”

Both formal and informal relationships already exist between the MIT and Harvard libraries. MIT has shared in the use of the Harvard Depository since its inception in 1985. A 1995 agreement between Harvard College Library (HCL) and MIT brought reciprocal borrowing privileges to faculty, researchers, and graduate students in both institutions. An April 2010 pilot program extended those privileges to undergraduate students.

While traditional library materials have been the focus of prior agreements, digital materials are at the forefront of the new alliance.

“The increasing primacy of digital materials brings its own urgency to our collaboration, ” observed MIT Provost L. Rafael Reif.  “As new models of online information delivery emerge, Harvard and MIT can support joint programs for open-access as well as joint acquisition and licensing approaches that are appropriate for education and academic research.”

Under the agreement, the two libraries will develop a four-tiered action plan by the end of 2011.  The four tiers are:

Reciprocal access to circulating collections

By developing linked access between Harvard and MIT library catalogs and implementing reciprocal privileges that extend to Harvard’s graduate and professional school libraries, library patrons can anticipate full access to 20 million volumes that users will experience as a single collection.

Enhancing digital preservation and collection practices

MIT and Harvard have earned leadership roles through their open access programs and repositories and through their respective approaches to digital preservation. High priority areas for collaborative growth include digital archives of faculty papers and web-based publications.

Developing wider access to electronic information

Questions of electronic serials pricing, and the costs of building digital information management and delivery systems, point to opportunities for Harvard and MIT to investigate new models for licensing agreements, as well as alternative, open access forms of publication that reflect each institution’s commitment to the dissemination of new knowledge.

Envisioning joint off-site storage facilities for the future

Harvard and MIT have shared the Harvard Depository for high-density, non-browsable, off-site storage since 1985. Together, the two universities could effectively anticipate both a new service model and an additional facility for off-site storage.

“We’ve enjoyed a collaborative working relationship with Harvard’s libraries for many years,” said Ann Wolpert, Director of the MIT Libraries.  “This new agreement builds on our successes and underscores the commitment we share to provide our communities with the best and broadest range of resources possible, and to be at the forefront of advancing the digital preservation of scholarly work.”

“In several ways, the libraries of Harvard and MIT are already united by proximity and affinity,” said Helen Shenton, Executive Director of the Harvard Library. “Our new agreement supports the distinct priorities of two very singular universities. At the same time, it challenges us to collaborate on a sustainable information ecosystem for the 21st century.”

New GPS units available for borrowing through MIT GIS Services

Posted December 14th, 2010 by Lisa Sweeney

Garmin GPSMAP62s
MIT GIS Services has recently added new Garmin GPSMAP62s GPS units to our collection.

These new units have a high sensitivity quad helix antenna, so they pick up satellite signals quickly. They also have a color display, are easily readable in the dark and in bright sunlight, have 1.7 gigabytes of memory, and are easily recognized by computers via a USB cable.

These are now available for checkout through the Rotch Library front desk.
For more information visit:

OpenStreetMap Event Nov. 7

Posted October 28th, 2010 by Lisa Sweeney

OpenStreetMap is a free editable map of the world. It is open data, made by people like you. It includes things like streets, buildings, sidewalks, bike paths, and anything else that people have contributed for locations all around the world.

Come join us for a mapping party to learn about OpenStreetMap and update some local map data to reflect the new developments in Cambridge.

When: Nov. 7, 2010, starting at noon
Where: MIT, room 14N-132
Register at:



Introduction to GIS for Architecture Workshop – 9/29

Posted September 20th, 2010 by Lisa Sweeney

When: Wednesday, September 29, 12:30-2pm
Where: DIRC (14N-132) (20 computers)

Register at:

Learn about what you can do with GIS, common sources of GIS data, how to make your own GIS data, and gain hands-on experience using tools to create basic maps, export to CAD, Google Earth, or image formats, and work in 3D.

More information is available at:

NYC Land Use

Library locations closed over the July 4th holiday and remaining week (Fri., July 2nd-Sat., July 10th)

Posted June 14th, 2010 by Heather Denny

24/7 study rooms in Hayden and Dewey libraries will remain open

All MIT Libraries’ locations, with the exception of the 24-hour study facilities in Hayden and Dewey Libraries, will be closed Friday, July 2 through Saturday, July 10, as a cost saving measure to meet Institute budget reductions.

During this period the Libraries’ website, Barton, Vera, and access to electronic licensed resources will be available. However, most library staff will be on furlough and will not be available to offer assistance. A small number of staff will be on-call to address any reported system outages; reasonable attempts will be made to bring systems back online as soon as possible.

While it will continue to be possible to make online requests for some MIT Libraries’ services or materials, these requests will not be acted upon until the Libraries reopen.  Due dates for materials on loan have been adjusted to reflect this closure – no items will be due during this period and fines will not accrue.  We apologize for any inconvenience.

See: for a complete list of individual library hours.  Please send questions, comments or concerns to

Libraries' Summer Hours Begin May 22

Posted May 4th, 2010 by Heather Denny

Photo by Christopher Harting

The MIT Libraries’ Summer Hours will begin on Saturday, May 22, 2010.

Barker, Dewey, and Hayden (Humanities & Science) Libraries:
Monday-Friday 10am – 6pm,
Saturday closed, Sunday 1 – 6pm

Rotch Library:
Same hours as above except Sunday closed

Lewis Music Library:
Monday-Friday 11am – 5pm,
Saturday-Sunday closed

For a complete list of locations and hours see the Libraries’ website.

Please note all libraries will be closed Memorial Day weekend (May 29-31) and for a week during the Independence Day holiday (July 2-9).

Latest Addition to New Study Space in Hayden Basement: Wireless Access

Posted March 31st, 2010 by mit-admin

The Libraries are pleased to announce that wireless access is now available in the Maps Area of the Hayden Basement.

With comfortable seating and plenty of flat table space, users can find geological maps, topographic maps of their hometown, or browse world maps and atlases to take them away, all while connected to the internet that serves up GIS, Google Earth and so much more.

Grab a map, bring a laptop, and check it out.

Check out the MIT Libraries Maps Research Guide or email us with any map-related questions.

Haiti Earthquake Summary Available From the US Geological Survey

Posted January 20th, 2010 by mit-admin

Looking for the scientific background on the Haiti M7.0 earthquake? The US Geological Survey (USGS) has posted a colorful earthquake summary poster that shows Haiti’s tectonic setting, earthquake epicenters, historical earthquakes, and ground shaking. Different sizes and formats of the poster can be downloaded.

Additional details on seismicity, seismic hazards, population exposure, and scientific and technical information on the earthquake are available at the Earthquake Hazards Program’s site.

Contact Michael Noga with any questions.

IAP 2010: All Sessions for Week of January 25 – 29

Posted January 19th, 2010 by Ryan Gray

Check out all of the MIT Libraries IAP events for the week covering Monday, January 18 through Friday, January 22. Also check out the complete listing for all of our sessions.

Introduction to R

Practically Genomic

Rotch Library Film Series

Using Elevation Data and Hydrographic Tools in a GIS

EndNote Basics

Managing Research Data 101

LabLife Tutorial

Middle East Blogsphere: Who Are They? Where Are They Archived?

GIS Model Builder for Programmers

Regression Using Stata

Demystifying Fair Use – An Interactive Workshop for Users of Copyrighted Content

Linked Data

Cool Tools for Science & Engineering Research

Going Beyond Google Scholar: Using the Web of Science and Other Citation Searching Resources to Discover Articles

Introduction to SAS

Making Your Own Videos for the Web & MIT TechTV

Managing Your References: Overview of EndNote, RefWorks and Zotero

Graphics in Stata

NOTE: Some sessions have limited availability or may require advance sign-up requirements. If you have further questions, please see individual listings for appropriate contact information.

IAP 2010: All Sessions for Week of January 18 – 22

Posted January 13th, 2010 by Ryan Gray

Check out all of the MIT Libraries IAP events for the week covering Monday, January 18 through Friday, January 22. Also check out the complete listing for all of our sessions.


Going Beyond Google Scholar: Using the Web of Science and Other Citation Searching Resources to Discover Articles

Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

EndNote Basics

Introduction to Stata

Bookbinding in the Japanese Tradition

ModelBuilder for beginners

Career Research: Targeting and Researching Employers

A Sampling of Interesting Images from Rotch Visual Collections

Introduction to Spatial Statistics using GIS

Patent Searching Fundamentals

Rotch Library Film Series

Patent Searching Fundamentals

Mapping and Using US Census Data

Cool Tools for Science and Engineering Research: Meet the Developers!

RefWorks Basics

Data Management in Stata

Making Your Own Videos for the Web & MIT TechTV

Introduction to Company and Industry Research for Engineers and Scientists

Site Selection – Making Spatial Decisions Using a GIS

The International Music Score Library Project and the future of digital repositories

NOTE: Some sessions have limited availability or may require advance sign-up requirements. If you have further questions, please see individual listings for appropriate contact information.

IAP 2010: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Workshops

Posted January 6th, 2010 by Ryan Gray

MIT GIS Services will be offering a series of workshops to introduce the MIT community to Geographic Information Systems and the world of Digital Mapping. All workshops will combine lectures about concepts with hands-on exercises.

MIT GIS Services are cooperatively supported by the MIT Libraries, the Office of Educational Innovation and Technology (OEIT), and MIT Information Services & Technology (IS&T).

WHERE: All sessions take place in the DIRC (14N-132), with the exception of the Python session (see below), which takes place in the Rotch Library, 7-238.

NOTE: Advance sign-up is required by January 19 for several sessions – see notes below.

Check out the GIS website for copies of presentations, exercises and more. Also check out the MIT Libraries’ complete listing of IAP offerings.

Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
Learn the basics of visualizing and analyzing geographic information and creating your own maps in a GIS. Learn to work with data from the MIT Geodata Repository, analyze the data and create maps that can be used in reports and presentations. Registration is required and this workshop is only open to people with MIT kerberos accounts.

WHEN: Friday, January 15, 2 – 4pm & Tuesday, January 19, 2 – 4pm (duplicate session)

ModelBuilder for beginners
Learn to build graphic models of your GIS processes. ESRI’s ModelBuilder helps you to visualize the process you use and makes it easy to document your work for thesis or for publication. We will create models to automate processes learned in the ‘Site Selection’ workshop. This session is targeted toward beginners.

WHEN: Wednesday, January 20, 10:30-11:30am

Introduction to Spatial Statistics using GIS
Have you ever wondered if your data is dispersed or clustered? Are there patterns? This workshop will introduce participants to basic statistical tools that can be used to analyze spatial data. While we will primarily use ArcGIS, we will also briefly discuss alternative software for analyzing spatial data. A basic knowledge of statistics and GIS (especially ArcGIS) is helpful. Registration is required and this workshop is only open to people with MIT kerberos accounts.

WHEN: Wednesday, January 20, 2 – 4pm

Mapping and Using US Census Data
The US Census holds an enormous amount of demographic information dating back to 1790. New and interesting relationships can be observed when looking at census data on a map. Come learn about what is in the US Census and how to use some of the tools available for mapping it.

WHEN: Thursday, January 21, 2 – 4pm

Site Selection – Making Spatial Decisions Using a GIS
Learn to select a new project location based on a variety of data types and perform analysis using tools provided in ArcGIS. Pre-requisite: Participants should take the Introduction to GIS or have previous experience using ArcGIS.

WHEN: Friday, January 22, 2 – 4pm

Using Elevation Data and Hydrographic Tools in a GIS
Learn to read a topographic map and how to use a digital elevation model to create contour lines and do hydrographic analysis. Pre-requisite: Participants should take the Introduction to GIS or have previous experience using ArcGIS.

WHEN: Monday, January 25, 2 – 4pm

Model Builder for Programmers
Learn to use model builder for automating complex processes in GIS. This tool is useful for increasing efficiency and documenting your work. We will create models to automate processes learned in the ‘Elevation and Hydrographic Tools’ and ‘Site Selection’ workshops. Pre-requisite: Participants should take the Introduction to GIS or have previous experience using ArcGIS.

WHEN: Tuesday, Januray 26, 2 – 4pm

Python Programming for GIS
An introduction to scripting for geographic analysis systems. Scripting in Python is an efficient method of automating analysis in ArcGIS. An understanding of programming concepts is useful; an intermediate level of ArcGIS is necessary.

WHEN: Wednesday, January 27, Thursday, January 28, and Friday, January 29, 9am – 12pm

Please fill out this survey, as there are several technical considerations for this class.

Contact Daniel Sheehan or David Quinn with questions about the Python session or the GIS staff for general questions about the rest of the sessions.

IAP 2010: Power Up with Maps! GIS and Energy Resources

Posted January 6th, 2010 by Ryan Gray

Where are the power plants and the pipelines? How close are they to population centers?

In this session, MIT GIS Services will introduce you to energy maps and spatial data available, and demonstrate GIS in action on the energy front.

WHEN: Monday, January 11, 1 – 2pm

WHERE: DIRC, 14N-132

Contact Anne Graham with any questions.

Check out the MIT Libraries’ full schedule of IAP sessions.

This session is co-sponsored by the MIT Energy Initiative.

Check out the MIT Libraries’ IAP 2010 sessions!

Posted December 11th, 2009 by Ryan Gray

Are you wondering what an RSS feed is and how it can help your research?

Want to learn more about using GIS, EndNote or RefWorks?

Need to find chemical information, social science data, or patents?

Want to kick back and enjoy a film festival, improve your bioinformatics search skills, or learn how to make your own videos for the Web?

Look no further! Take a peek at all of the MIT Libraries IAP Activities offered in 2010.

New Geodata Search Tool

Posted November 3rd, 2009 by Lisa Sweeney

Manhattan Buildings Zoning Height

MIT GIS Services has released a new version of the MIT Geodata Repository Search Tool for ArcGIS. The MIT Geodata Repository holds 1,700+ layers of geographic data. This tool enables searching for GIS vectors and rasters via keywords, geographic location, and geometry type. For example, you can search for building footprints, like the ones used in the view of Manhattan shown above.

This tool is available in the MIT GIS Lab, and can be downloaded and installed on any machine running ESRI’s ArcGIS software. The help guide can walk one through how it works.

Building footprints

Introducing Rotch Library’s New Web Site

Posted September 1st, 2009 by Heather McCann

We are happy to announce that Rotch Library has a new web site!

screen shot of new Rotch home page One of our primary goals was to make the site more visually appealing, as well as more user-friendly.

Some new features:

  • a slideshow on the home page (powered by Slideshow Pro)
  • a list of exhibits with sample images
  • quick links to our Research Guides
  • a page describing the building and history of Rotch Library
  • incorporation of the previously separate RVC pages into this site

Technical notes:

  • The site is powered by WordPress. This makes it very easy for staff to update; allows us to use professional templates; and makes it easy to incorporate new plugins and features. Rotch joins Dewey Library, the Scholarly Communication web site, and our News Blog as the 4th of our sites to be powered by WordPress.
  • The news page is automatically updated by the RSS feed from our central libraries’ news blog.

JulyAP 2009 Workshop: EndNote Basics

Posted July 6th, 2009 by Ryan Gray

EndNote logoWHERE: 14N-132 (Digital Instruction Resource Center – DIRC)

WHEN: Friday, July 10, 12pm – 1pm

Endnote is a “personal bibliographic software” package which allows you to create and manage a database of bibliographic references. Learn how to find and use information more effectively in our hands-on workshops.

Contact Peter Cohn with any questions.

Full schedule of JulyAP 2009 workshops

This week’s GIS workshop – Site selection!

Posted February 24th, 2009 by Heather McCann

MIT GIS Services is offering a series of workshops to introduce the MIT community to Geographic Information Systems (GIS). All sessions will be held in the MIT GIS Lab, Rotch Library, 7-238. These workshops are restricted to the MIT community and will require an active kerberos account. No registration required – seats are available on a first come basis. MIT GIS Services are cooperatively supported by the MIT Libraries, OEIT, and IS&T.

Site Selection – Making Spatial Decisions Using a GIS
Friday, February 27, 2-4 pm
MIT GIS Lab, Rotch Library, 7-238
Learn to select a new project location based on a variety of data types and perform analysis using tools provided in ArcGIS.
PreReq: Participants should have previous experience using ArcGIS.