Archive for May, 2011

Libraries closed for Memorial Day weekend

Posted May 26th, 2011 by Melissa Feiden

All MIT Libraries will be closed for the Memorial Day weekend, Saturday, May 28 through Monday, May 30.

The Libraries will resume regular hours on Tuesday, May 31.  See our summer hours page for a list of library locations and hours.

Have questions?  Ask us!

GIS Services Summer Hours

Posted May 25th, 2011 by Lisa Sweeney

A GIS specialist will be available in the GIS lab for walk-in assistance 3:00-4:00 pm, Monday-Friday. You can also ask questions via email : gishelp(at)

Longer CD/DVD loans on summer weekends

Posted May 25th, 2011 by Christie Moore

New CD: PhonCD B758 ech

Take advantage of a few extra days when you borrow music CDs and DVDs over the summer! Since the Lewis Music Library will be closed Saturdays and Sundays beginning Memorial Day weekend, CDs and DVDs borrowed on a Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday will be due the following Monday (by closing, 5 pm). Limit of 5, no renewals.

See lists of the newest music books, scores, CDs, and DVDs: Recent Additions to the Collections

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

Study Finds Open Access Manuscripts ‘Good Enough’ Without Copyediting

Posted May 25th, 2011 by Ellen Duranceau

A recent study that assessed the impact of the publisher’s copyediting on open access manuscripts of scholarly articles concludes that the manuscript versions “are probably ‘good enough’ for use by scholars … and by teachers.”

Sanford Thatcher, Director Emeritus of Penn State University Press, designed the study out of concern that archiving “less-than-final versions of articles carried a risk of corrupting scholarship” through use of “imperfect versions.” His team examined manuscripts of scholarly journal articles in the humanities and social sciences which had been made openly available through Harvard’s repository.

Thatcher expected to find the open access manuscripts deficient in comparison with the final copyedited and published articles, but found instead that “By and large, the copyediting did not result in any major improvements of the manuscripts” and that “the vast majority of the changes made were for the sake of enforcing a house formatting style and cleaning up a variety of inconsistencies and infelicities, none of which reached into the substance of the writing or affected the meaning other than by adding a bit more clarity here and there.”

While it did not evaluate a statistically significant number of manuscripts, the study provides support for the MIT faculty’s approach to sharing their articles through their Open Access Policy. Under this Policy, the author’s final manuscript is made openly available through MIT’s repository, DSpace@MIT.

The study is reported in “Copyediting’s Role in an Open Access World,” Against the Grain, vol. 23, no.2, April 2011, pp. 30-34.

Solve an MIT 150 puzzle

Posted May 25th, 2011 by Lois Beattie

MIT 150 logo with question markPut your Inventional Wisdom to work on an MIT 150 Puzzle.

Exploring the exhibits on the web site of the Institute Archives and Special Collections to solve the puzzle, you may be entertained and educated by facts you didn’t know about MIT’s history and the work of people associated with the Institute.


New CD set: Leonard Bernstein Symphony Edition

Posted May 20th, 2011 by Christie Moore

A new set of CDs has begun to appear in the Lewis Music Library: a 60-disc set of the conductor’s symphonic recordings with the New York Philharmonic from 1953 to 1976.

The first few are ready to circulate and the rest will follow as they are cataloged. Search by call number (PhonCD B458 lbsym v.1-) or keep an eye on Recent Additions to the Collections (page loaded weekly).

Music CDs and DVDs circulate for 3 days to members of the MIT community (limit of 5, no renewals). The Lewis Music Library is located in Bldg. 14E-109 and library hours are posted on the web.

Libraries' space study completed – thanks!

Posted May 20th, 2011 by Stephanie Hartman

The MIT Libraries conducted a three part space study this semester in order to learn how and why people use our physical spaces. The study included counts of space usage three times daily, a “task survey,”  and a series of flip-chart questions posted in each location for open-ended feedback.

Some initial numbers:

  • During a seven day observations period, we counted and mapped over 3,700 users across the Libraries.
  • Over 900 library users completed a task survey.
  • Three flip chart questions resBarker Reading Roomulted in over 250+ responses from our community.

Thanks to everyone who responded. We are now working to crunch, analyze and study the data and hope to make some positive changes in the coming year to address your feedback. As always, we welcome thoughts and ideas about our spaces at any time of the year – just Tell Us!

Summer hours begin Saturday, May 21

Posted May 19th, 2011 by Melissa Feiden

The MIT Libraries summer hours begin this Saturday, May 21, 2011.

Hayden (Humanities & Science)
Monday-Friday: 10am-6pm
Saturday-Sunday: 1pm-6pm

Barker, Dewey, Rotch
Monday-Friday: 10am-6pm
Saturday: closed
Sunday: 1pm-6pm

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

These hours will remain in effect until Monday, September 5, 2011.  For a complete list of library locations and hours, see MIT Libraries summer hours.

Have questions?  Ask us!

Been to Rotch lately? Check out our stacks improvements!

Posted May 18th, 2011 by Jim Eggleston

Finding books at Rotch is now easier thanks to the combined efforts of staff and students in the Information Delivery & Library Access department. For the past four months, the team of staff and students has been working in the stacks measuring and adjusting shelves, shifting the entire collection for maximum utility and replacing the end panel call number signs. Navigating the complex Rotch space is now simpler with clear collection, floor and study space signage in addition to the updated directory. Come check it out!

ESRI ArcGIS 10 Downloadable

Posted May 12th, 2011 by MIT Libraries

The latest version of the ESRI GIS software (including ArcGIS/ArcMap) and ESRI Data and Maps are now available to the MIT community via download from:

Use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to make maps and analyze spatial information. Learn more about using GIS for your teaching at research at MIT GIS Services.

MIT GIS Services Globe

Full-color facsimile preserves crumbling book

Posted May 10th, 2011 by MIT Libraries

What do you do when a book is still in high demand, but has grown too fragile to hold up to frequent use?  This was the dilemma the Libraries faced with Architectural Drawing by R. Phené Spiers, an 1888 volume featuring stunning color illustrations.  This edition of the book has an MIT connection as well, with a foreword by Architecture School founder William Robert Ware.

To preserve this fragile original, the Conservation Lab repaired the damaged pages and sent them to Acme Bookbinding Co, Inc., where high resolution scans were taken, copies printed on acid-free paper, and pages bound in sturdy cloth.   One copy will be stored with the original in Rotch Limited Access, and a second, circulating copy will be available in the Rotch stacks. 

A preservation facsimile is a high-quality reproduction which is used as a substitute for the original item, in order to prevent the original from being damaged by frequent use.  The images below show the original and the facsimile that was created from it.   The original pages will be stored in a custom portfolio in Rotch Limited Access.

 Preservation facsimile, before and after

MIT150 Through the Video Lens–Tuesday 5/10, 4pm

Posted May 10th, 2011 by MIT Libraries
Date: Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Time: 4:00pm – 6:00pm

An overview and discussion of the multimedia developed in support of MIT’s sesquicentennial. Content includes the Infinite History Project, From the Vault, Elemental MIT, and five documentary shorts that explore different facets of the MIT experience:

  • The Founding of MIT: Persistence in Vision
  • Outside the Box: Crossing Disciplines at MIT
  • MIT in Service
  • Common Threads: The Evolving Student Experience at MIT
  • The Ecosystem: Nurturing Entrepreneurship at MIT

Following the 30-minute screening of excerpts from the documentaries, we’ll look at this collection of new multimedia resources with our MIT colleagues who imagined and produced them — and others who are now using them in their own education and outreach activities. Conversation will include emerging trends in online video publishing and advances in video transcript-based search technology.

All are welcome: no tickets required.

Reception to follow; room 10-105.

Late Night Study Hours

Posted May 9th, 2011 by MIT Libraries

Need a quiet place to cram for your finals or a space where you can work with a group? The Hayden Library in building 14S-100 will be open until 2 am every night from May 12th through May 19th. These additional hours are for the MIT community only.

Good luck with your exams!!
Image credit

New Kindles & Nooks Now Available

Posted May 9th, 2011 by MIT Libraries

The Hayden Library (14S-100) has added two new Kindles and two new Nooks to their lending repertoire.  Each device is loaded with public domain works and several freely available MIT Press titles.  If you’ve wanted to see if e-reading is for you – now is your chance to test drive the technology.  Check out the Barton records (below) to see if they are available, and if not – contact any service desk to have your name added to the waiting list.  The loan period is one week.

Check availability of  Nooks:

Check availability of Kindles:

Any questions? Just Ask Us!

Bizarre book repairs – journal volume bound with nails

Posted May 3rd, 2011 by MIT Libraries

Nail used to bind journal volumeYou never know what you’re going to find when you open an old book! This 1953 volume of Architectural Forum from the Rotch Library had been improperly “repaired” at some point using 10 nails. One of the nails was even sticking out of the book’s spine.

Staff in Preservation + Conservation Services removed the nails, and the book will be rebound using a more conventional method–no tetanus shot required!

Nails removed from journal volume

Classical Scores Library now available

Posted May 2nd, 2011 by MIT Libraries

Classical Scores Library is now available to the MIT community. This database contains over 400,000 pages of classical music scores, manuscripts, and previously unpublished material, allowing for the study and analysis of more than 25,000 musical scores.