Archive for March, 2009

MIT Libraries Now Carry Extensive Optical Society of America Content

Posted March 31st, 2009 by Ryan Gray

Optics Infobase logo
We are pleased to announce that the MIT Libraries now subscribe to all of the content available from the Optical Society of America through their OpticsInfoBase package.

The new package includes:

  • Journal of the Optical Society of America A and B (from v.1, 1917)*
  • Applied Optics (from v.1, 1962)*
  • Optics Letters (from v.1, 1977)*
  • Optics Express (from v.1, 1997)*
  • Journal of Optical Networking (from v.1, 2002)*
  • Advances in Optics and Photonics (new in 2009)
  • Virtual Journal of Biomedical Optics
  • Optics and Photonics News (from v.11, 2000)*
  • Partnered Journals:

  • Journal of Lightwave Technology (from v.16, 1998)
  • Journal of Optical Technology (from v.66, 1999)
  • Journal of Display Technology (from v.1, 2005)
  • Chinese Optics Letters (from v.1, 2003)
  • Applied Spectroscopy (from v.1, 1946)*
  • All OSA Conference Papers (dates of coverage will vary by conference)

    The URL above works on campus. As always, you can access this content off-campus through Vera or by using the Infobase shortcut.

    * – Content from the old subscription

    Browse and tag Humanities Library DVD collection in Delicious

    Posted March 31st, 2009 by MIT Libraries


    Want to find a thiller, romance, or drama available at the MIT Libraries? Or you want to find movies about aliens, politics, or vampires? Try our list of Humanities Library DVDs in Delicious! Three students teamed up on a project to tag the Humanities Library’s DVD collection in to make searching for films more flexible and fun.

    Help us tag our DVD collection! We invite you to participate in further tagging this collection by going to and sign in with user name: mitlibdvds, password: films2008. The only tag all of these DVDs have in common is “MIT-DVD,” so the collection may be retrieved as a whole. The rest is up to you!

    Let us know what you think… Give us feedback.

    MIT Faculty Vote to Make Their Articles Openly Available

    Posted March 30th, 2009 by Ellen Duranceau

    Precedent-Setting Vote

    On March 18, 2009, MIT Faculty voted unanimously to make their scholarly articles openly available, the first university-wide faculty vote of its kind anywhere. A similar policy was put into place in 2008 by the Harvard Faculty of Arts & Sciences and then two other schools at Harvard, as well as a single school at Stanford, but MIT’s vote is unprecedented in originating with a unanimous faculty vote, and covering all of the faculty.

    Under the new policy, scholarly articles will be made available for open dissemination via MIT’s DSpace, an open source, open access repository launched in 2002 following a joint research project between the MIT Libraries and Hewlett-Packard. Hal Abelson, the Class of 1922 Professor of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science and chair of the Ad-Hoc Faculty Committee on Open Access Publishing, which brought forth the resolution, says in an interview with Wired Science that “what’s important here is that [the policy] is giving the university a formal role in how publications happen.”

    Speaking with Marisa Taylor of Wall Street Journal’s Digits blog, Professor Abelson elaborated on this point: “Scholarly publishing has so far been based purely on contracts between publishers and individual faculty authors. …In that system, faculty members and their institutions are powerless. This resolution changes that by creating a role in the publishing process for the faculty as a whole, not just as isolated individuals.”

    This is important because publisher business models, which are built on restricted access, impede reuse and sharing of the scholarly record, in contradiction to the university’s mission of rapid dissemination of science and scholarship. Reflecting this, Bish Sinyal, Chair of the MIT Faculty and the Ford International Professor of Urban Development and Planning said that “the vote is a signal to the world that we speak in a unified voice; that what we value is the free flow of ideas.”

    The implementation of the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy is being overseen by the Faculty Committee on the Library System, and will evolve over the coming months.

    Working with the policy

    • The policy applies only to scholarly articles completed after the policy was adopted on March 18, 2009.
    • To be thorough, faculty authors are encouraged to use the MIT addendum for publisher copyright agreements that reflects this policy.
    • There is an opt-out option (see more)
    • Procedures for submission to DSpace under this policy are still under development. For now, contact if you have a paper you want to submit.

    More Information

    Text of full policy
    Details on working with the policy
    MIT News story

    IAPril 2009: EndNote basics

    Posted March 30th, 2009 by Ryan Gray

    EndNote logo

    EndNote Basics

    Learn how to find and use information more effectively in our hands-on workshops. No advanced registration required.

    **NOTE that different events will be happening throughout the month of April and early May.**

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

    WHEN: Friday, April 3, 12 – 1pm

    EndNote is a “personal bibliographic software” package which allows you to create and manage a database of bibliographic references.

    Contact: Peter Cohn for more information.

    Check out the full listing of IAPril 2009 Libraries events!

    IAPril Information Workshops 2009

    Posted March 27th, 2009 by Ryan Gray

    Peter DIRC
    Learn how to find and use information more effectively in these hands-on workshops. No advanced registration required. Light refreshments will be served at each session.

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

    Endnote Basics
    Friday, April 3rd, 12 – 1pm

    EndNote is a “personal bibliographic software” package which allows you to create and manage a database of bibliographic references.
    Contact: Peter Cohn

    Researching Companies for the Job Hunt
    Thursday, April 9, 3-4:30pm

    The MIT Libraries subscribe to a number of databases that you can use to research companies and industries. Using these databases, you can:
    -Target companies by industry and geography
    -Conduct comprehensive company and industry research
    We will discuss why this type of research is critical to the job and internship search process, and how to use these databases effectively.

    Contact: Anita Perkins

    Bioinformatics for Beginners
    Friday, April 10th, 12 – 1pm

    Class attendees will learn about the organization of key NCBI databases, understand the database record structure, and work with the BLAST search tool. The session is a hands-on practicum and an excellent starting point for people who are new to, or curious about bioinformatics research tools.
    Contact: Howard Silver

    Biotechnology Patent Fundamentals and Searching
    Thursday, April 16, 12-1:30pm

    Come and hear attorney Sonia Guterman of Lawson & Wetzen discuss the distinctive aspects of patents that make them valuable, the role of patents in capital development, along with issues surrounding filing biotech patents. She will be assisted by Drew Lowery, who received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from MIT and is a member of Global Prior Art’s Life Science Team. Drew will discuss and demonstrate alternative ways to search biotech patent art and their suitability. At the end of the talk attendees will have the opportunity to do hands on searching.

    Contact: J. Darcy Duke

    Managing Research Data 101
    Thursday, April 23, 12-1pm

    For researchers struggling to manage their data, basic strategies will be provided for
    • best practices for retention and archiving
    • effective directory structures and naming conventions
    • good file formats for long-term access
    • data security and backup options
    • metadata, tagging, and citation
    • other relevant issues

    Contact: MacKenzie Smith

    Introduction to Market Research Databases at MIT
    Friday, May 1, 12-1pm

    Market research abounds on the web, but usually with a hefty price tag. This session will familiarize participants with market research accessible through MIT. We will cover types of resources available, how to navigate them, and some basic tips for using these resources.

    Contact: Maggie Bartley

    Check out the full listing of IAPril 2009 Libraries events!

    “enChanting Musical Artifacts” lecture on MIT World

    Posted March 23rd, 2009 by Heather Denny

    In the lecture enChanting Musical Artifacts in Unlikely Places: Rare Resources in MIT’s Lewis Music Library, Michael Scott Cuthbert, Assistant Professor of Music at MIT, MIT World logoand Nancy Schrock, Thomas F. Peterson, Jr. Conservator for Special Collections at the MIT Libraries, reveal some treasures from MIT’s early music collection which, while often incomplete or damaged, sing volumes about their origins and use.

    Cuthbert demonstrates that when it comes to medieval and renaissance music manuscripts, there’s really no substitute for the real thing. His discussion covers several recent additions to MIT’s Lewis Music Library.

    View a video of the lecture online at MIT World, a free and open site that provides on demand video of significant public events at MIT.

    Barker Reading Room Closed During Spring Break

    Posted March 19th, 2009 by Ryan Gray

    Starting Friday, March 20th, through Monday, March 30th, the Barker Reading Room will be closed. The Reading Room will reopen on Tuesday, March 31st.

    Reading Room

    We’re happy to announce that the walls are getting a fresh coat of paint and the study carrels are being refinished! These are the first steps in our plans for further renovations to be done over the summer of 2009.

    Also, thanks to our Processing and Access Services teams, all Barker bound print journals have made it safe and sound to the Library Storage Annex where they won’t be exposed to leaks.  The 8th floor of Barker is now closed until the Dome repairs are complete.

    As a result of these two events, all unbound and current issues of journals have been moved to shelving on the 5th floor of Barker, just after the reference collection.

    Ask Lurleen the Librarian: How do I renew my ILB books?

    Posted March 18th, 2009 by Melissa Feiden

    Lurleen the LibrarianDear Lurleen the Librarian,

    Why can’t I renew my ILB books through Your Account in Barton?


    Dear Anonymous,

    Your Account in the Barton catalog is a self-service gateway to the MIT Libraries collections.  Renewing MIT books through Your Account is easy because Barton knows what can/cannot be renewed as per Libraries policies.  Our books, our rules!

    For Interlibrary Borrowing (ILB), requests are managed through your ILLiad account.  The books you borrow through ILB do not belong to MIT.  Their due dates (and whether they can be renewed) depend on the library that loaned us the books.  When you request a renewal via ILLiad, the ILB staff can contact the lending library in order to change the due dates.

    If you ever have trouble renewing your ILB books, don’t hesitate to contact the ILB staff at

    Happy reading!


    The Bookmobile – brought to you by the letter “S”

    Posted March 17th, 2009 by MIT Libraries

    No, Cookie Monster, not “Cookie Mobile”…Bookmobile, with our usual assortment of great books and CDs from the Humanities Library and the Lewis Music Library. But, since we are being sponsored by the letter “S,” there may be something there for you. Read on:

    • “S” is for “SERENDIPITY” and “SCIENCE LIBRARY”

    We will have a selection of books from the Science Library’s new “Serendipity” Collection.

    • “S” is for “SPRING BREAK” and “SPECIAL LOAN” for CDs and DVDs

    The Lewis Music Library is offering a special, longer loan period for CDs and DVDs over spring break 2009. Music compact discs and DVDs borrowed Wednesday, March 18 through Friday, March 27 will be due Monday, March 30 (by closing, 10pm). That’s more than a week, instead of the usual 3 days! Limit of 5, no renewals.

    • “S” is for “SURVEY” and “SNACK!”

    Fill out a survey, get a snack (who knows…maybe a cookie).

    So come check us out in Lobby 10 this Friday, March 20th, between 11AM and 2PM.

    Lewis Music Library facebook page

    Posted March 17th, 2009 by Christie Moore

    facebook logo The MIT Lewis Music Library now has a Facebook page. Take a look, and add yourself as a fan!

    The Lewis Music Library is located in Bldg. 14E-109 and library hours are posted on the web.

    A New Exhibit Takes Flight in the Maihaugen Gallery

    Posted March 17th, 2009 by Heather Denny

    FOF exhibit header

    For centuries humans have been fascinated by the concept of flight. From simple attempts to fashion human wings to the serious science of space exploration, our fascination with flight has been constant and compelling, and has literally known no earthly bounds. This allure is the focus of a new exhibit in the MIT Libraries’ Maihaugen Gallery.

    The Fascination of Flight showcases both the dream and the reality of flight through historical materials, archival records, and current collections owned by the MIT Libraries.

    The exhibit also highlights the pioneering work of the Institute’s faculty, students and heroic graduates and acknowledges their contributions to the science of powered flight.

    The MIT community is invited to an opening celebration for the exhibit on Wednesday, April 1 from 1-3 pm.

    Longer CD/DVD loan over spring break

    Posted March 17th, 2009 by Christie Moore

    crocusThe Lewis Music Library is offering a special longer loan period for CDs and DVDs over spring break 2009. Music compact discs and DVDs borrowed Wednesday, March 18 through Friday, March 27 will be due Monday, March 30 (by closing, 10pm). That’s more than a week, instead of the usual 3 days! Limit of 5, no renewals.

    This longer loan period coincides with the Humanities, Music & Science bookmobile on March 20 from 11am-2pm in Lobby 10.

    The Lewis Music Library is located in Bldg. 14E-109 and library hours are posted on the web.

    New Podcast: Professor JoAnne Yates on Making MIT Sloan Teaching Materials Openly Available

    Posted March 16th, 2009 by Ellen Duranceau

    The latest in the series of podcasts on scholarly publication and copyright is an interview with Professor JoAnne Yates, Sloan Distinguished Professor of Management and Deputy Dean of the MIT Sloan School of Management. She speaks about the new MIT Sloan website that offers case studies, teaching videos, and other innovative instructional resources openly to anyone with access to the internet.
    Professor JoAnne Yates
    Professor Yates explains why MIT Sloan Teaching Innovation Resources (MSTIR) is an open access site, what is innovative about its approach and content, and why it matters for business education. She reflects on the decision-making that went into offering the content openly, commenting that “the notion of giving it away to the world seemed to us the right notion,” even though some people at other business schools “wanted to know whether we were crazy” for giving this content away when other schools charge for it. She addresses this in the context of Sloan’s mission to develop “principled leaders who make a positive difference in the world,” noting that Sloan’s focus is unusual among business schools in that it includes “bettering the planet.”

    The growing site will include innovative tools such as “management flight simulators” — dynamic models that demonstrate how intuitions are often wrong, and material for underserved content areas like global entrepreneurship, industry evolution, and sustainability.

    Professor Yates, a member of the Ad-hoc Faculty Committee on Open Access Publishing, links the decision to make the content open access to MIT’s culture of openness and experience with OpenCourseWare. She says “I’m very proud of the fact that MIT makes all this material open to the world and that we started that [OpenCourseWare] movement… MIT… understands it owes something to the world and it tries to give back to the world. That’s something that makes many of us who work here very proud. It’s easy to want to follow in these footsteps.”

    Download the audio file. (20:56 minutes; 19MB)

    For more information, see the MSTIR site.

    The other episodes in the podcast series are available on the scholarly publication website.

    To subscribe to the MIT Libraries’ Podcasts on Scholarly Publishing, paste this link into iTunes or another podcast reader:

    We encourage and welcome your feedback, which you may direct to

    African American improvisational quilts: an introduction – 3/15

    Posted March 10th, 2009 by MIT Libraries
    click on images to view larger pdf

    Quilt collector Heather Korostoff Murray introduces us to African-American improvisational quilts: the unique qualities of these extraordinary textiles, their possible African connections, and the stories behind their creators. The exhibit will feature twenty-five quilts from her collection, illustrating the key characteristics of the genre. Her slides come from quilt scholar and curator Eli Leon’s extensive collection. Leon has generously provided the slides to edify Murray’s audience about this special province of African-American quilt making. Murray’s talk will focus on the lives and work of eight significant African-American improvisational quilt makers, including striking examples from Leon’s collection.

    Murray’s interests include the quilt makers themselves – their stories, inspirations and astonishing talents. Her talk incorporates the technical side of the quilts, as well as anecdotes of their inspiration.

    Heather Korostoff Murray, Bio
    Heather Korostoff Murray, a native Philadelphian and long-time admirer of traditional Bucks County quilts, stumbled upon her first African-American improvisational quilt while exploring online. This experience launched a passion for the genre that has quickly led to a considerable collection, and a desire to learn more about these spectacular textiles and their makers. She finds these distinctive quilts to have an almost palpable depth and melodic eloquence.

    Sponsored by the MIT Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies, MIT Humanities Library and the Program in Women’s and Gender Studies

    Ask Lurleen the Librarian: How do I get a book that’s checked out?

    Posted March 10th, 2009 by Melissa Feiden

    Lurleen the LibrarianDear Lurleen the Librarian,

    I need a book, but it’s checked out! What do I do now?

    -Tim the Beaver

    Dear Tim,

    Here’s the deal: To get a book that someone else has, you can request a recall or hold. Both options allow you to request a book that is checked out, but what’s the difference?

    • A recall will shorten the other user’s loan due date. Use Your Account via Barton to recall a book. All books with 30 day loan periods are subject to recall—including term loans!—however, a minimum two week loan is guaranteed. If two weeks have passed, the recalled due date will be one week from the time you request it.
    • A hold will block the other user from renewing the item, but will not change their due date. Unlike a recall, the other user will not be notified that someone else is waiting for the book.  Request a hold by calling or visiting any library service desk.

    Have any questions? Ask Us!

    Stay smaht, sweetie!

    Violin music concert April 17

    Posted March 9th, 2009 by Christie Moore

    violinSave the date! The Lewis Music Library will host the 7th annual Prokopoff violin music concert from noon to 1 pm on Friday, April 17, 2009.

    MIT student musicians chosen by concert coordinator Sherman Jia (G) will perform music from the more than 2,600 violin scores given to the library in 2001 by Stephen Prokopoff’s widow Lois Craig, former Associate Dean of MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning. In past years this concert has featured pieces by composers such as Bach, Gershwin, Kodály, Kreisler,  Martinu, Pärt, Piazzolla, Prokofiev, Ravel, Sarasate, Schubert, and Spohr.

    The Lewis Music Library is located in Bldg. 14E-109 and the concert is free and open to the public.

    Balloon Prints exhibited by Archives in March

    Posted March 2nd, 2009 by Lois Beattie

    Balloon ascent from DublinThrough the generosity of Thomas F. Peterson, Jr. ’57, the MIT Libraries have undertaken the conservation and digitization of the Theodore Newton Vail Collection of Aeronautical Prints, Broadsides and Clippings. “Balloon Prints from the Vail Collection” is the subject of the March Object of the Month exhibit by the Institute Archives and Special Collections. On display are images from the balloon collection and a short history of early ballooning.

    The balloon collection is part of the Vail Rare Book Collection, given to MIT in 1912 by Theodore N. Vail, former president of AT&T and member of the MIT Corporation. All Vail Collection materials are available for research in the Institute Archives and Special Collections, 14N-118, and the Vail Collection of Aeronautical Prints, Broadsides and Clippings will soon be available in the MIT Libraries’ DOME collection of online resources. Some images from the collection will also be included in the “Fascination of Flight” exhibit opening soon in the Maihaugen Gallery, next to the Institute Archives.