Archive for February, 2012

Presidents’ Day Library Hours: Monday, February 20

Posted February 16th, 2012 by Grace Mlady

On Monday, February 20, 2012, the following libraries will open at noon (12pm):

All other library locations will be closed. Libraries resume regular hours on Tuesday, February 21.

Have questions? Ask Us!

New website provides access to treasures in the Charles J. Connick Stained Glass Foundation Collection

Posted February 13th, 2012 by Melissa Feiden

In conjunction with the Maihaugen Gallery exhibit opening of Glass at MIT: Beauty and Utility, the MIT Libraries have launched a new Charles J. Connick Stained Glass Foundation Collection website.

The website includes a slideshow and sampling of images from collection artwork, including stained glass panels and paper designs.  A history page provides insight into Connick as an artist, his studio, and how the collection came to MIT.  Additionally, it covers the contents of the collection and processing projects such as digitization and conservation.

Soon, researchers will be able to use the website to access digital images in the collection and to search a database of collection job files containing information on Connick windows around the country.

For more information on the Charles J. Connick Stained Glass Foundation Collection, visit the new website or contact Jeremy Grubman, Project Manager, at

Diversity event with speaker Art Munin – Wednesday, Feb.22

Posted February 13th, 2012 by Heather Denny

On Wednesday, February 22 the MIT Libraries will host Diversity and Social Justice Advocate, Art Munin for White Privilege 101 a presentation that will uncover how white privilege has evolved, how it persists and what we can do about it.

Date & Time: Wednesday, February 22, 10am-12pm

Location: Bartos Theater (E15)

Munin, the Dean of Students at DePaul University, will present a broad introduction to the concept of privilege.  He will discuss the evolution and perpetuation of white privilege in depth and hold an interactive conversation on what the concept means for us as individuals and professionals.

The event is cosponsored by the MIT Libraries’ Committee on the Promotion of Diversity and Inclusion (CPDI) and the Institute Council for Diversity and Inclusion. This event is free and open to the MIT community. For more information contact CPDI.

Elsevier Boycott Grows: MIT Faculty Speak About Participation

Posted February 10th, 2012 by Ellen Duranceau

The boycott of Elsevier started by mathematician Timothy Gowers has rapidily grown to nearly 5000 names, including at least 45 from MIT. MIT signers, who constitute nearly one percent of participants, come from all across MIT, including Biology, CSAIL, EECS, Linguistics, Math, the Media Lab, Philosophy, and Physics.

“I signed the petition simply because I believe that if taxpayers fund research, they should have access to the results of that research without going through a paywall,” says EECS Professor Seth Teller.

Those taxpayers would not have access to government-funded research if Elsevier has its way. Elsevier supports the Research Works Act (RWA), which would prohibit the government from requiring authors to openly share articles that result from the research it funds, thus making the existing NIH Public Access Policy, or any others like it, illegal.

For Professor Scott Aaronson, “signing this petition was a no-brainer.” He “started boycotting Elsevier and most other commercial publishers as a graduate student, because the economic model didn’t make sense” to him. “I couldn’t understand why academics were (1) donating their papers to publishers like Elsevier, (2) signing away their copyrights, (3) asking their universities’ libraries to buy *back* the papers at exorbitant, ever-increasing costs, and (4) even reviewing the papers (an onerous burden) free of charge, all while I could see for myself that the publishers were providing little or no ‘value-added,’ since most people just downloaded the papers from the arXiv or the authors’ homepages anyway.”

For Professor Aaronson, this boycott has been a long time coming. “I’ve simply been waiting for what I saw as the inevitable moment when a critical mass of academics would ‘wake up’ to the issue” that the existing publishing model, with ever-increasing prices, was “unsustainable,” he says. “Now that one of the greatest mathematicians on earth (Timothy Gowers) is spearheading the boycott movement, and dozens of other leading figures in the mathematical community have declared their support, that moment may have arrived.”

More information:

MIT Libraries Receive Papers of Distinguished Linguist, Philosopher, and Activist Noam Chomsky

Posted February 9th, 2012 by Heather Denny

Noam Chomsky, photo credit: MIT News

MIT’s Libraries were recently chosen to be the stewards of the personal archives of noted linguist, political activist, and Institute Professor emeritus Noam Chomsky. The significant collection spans a long and distinguished career, beginning when Chomsky joined MIT in 1955 in the Research Laboratory of Electronics, through his years as a professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics, then as Institute Professor.

Often referred to as “the father of modern linguistics,” Chomsky revolutionized the field of linguistics and paved the way for transformational grammar and universal grammar. His book Syntactic Structures (1957) was considered groundbreaking. He also made significant contributions to the fields of psychology, cognitive science, philosophy of language and philosophy of mind.

“It’s fitting that Professor Chomsky’s papers will remain at MIT as a resource for future generations of scholars. He revolutionized the way we think about the linguistic sciences and the cognitive mechanisms of language acquisition, and his ideas in many realms have had profound influence on scholarship and public discourse here at MIT and worldwide,” MIT President Susan Hockfield said.

Over the years, Chomsky has been awarded numerous prizes, including the Kyoto Prize in 1988 and the MIT Killian Award for the academic year 1991-1992. Most recently, he won the Sydney Peace Prize in 2011. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

“Over the last fifty years, Noam Chomsky has not only created the building blocks of linguistic theory and understanding, but has built a remarkable and unique department of Linguistics that has nurtured several generations of linguists who have taken their MIT experience into and across the globe. It is wonderful that Noam’s papers, which span this long period of growth and development, will be available to scholars for many years to come,” MIT Dean of Humanities Deborah Fitzgerald said.

The collection also reflects Chomsky’s political activism and outspoken support for freedom of speech and social justice. He was once quoted as saying, “If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all” (Guardian (UK), Nov.23, 1992).

He has authored numerous works on the topic, including American Power and the New Mandarins (1969), Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (1988), Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy (2006), and Hopes and Prospects (2010).

The addition of Chomsky’s personal archives, and a large portion of his personal library, augments a small existing collection of Chomsky’s papers already in the care of the MIT Libraries’ Institute Archives.

“With this addition, the collection will be a complete archival resource that will provide researchers with unique insight into Professor Chomsky’s thinking, and the development of the field of linguistics, as well as his views on significant issues in social activism from post-WWII through current day,” MIT Institute Archivist Tom Rosko said.

Staff from the MIT Libraries and Institute Archives and Special Collections are in the beginning stages of transferring material to the Archives. Initial work in organizing the Chomsky collection will occur this year, with additional work on improving access to the collection, including online access to portions of it, continuing over the next several years. When the work is done, scholars will have unprecedented access to an enormous depth and breadth of material from one of the world’s most renowned linguists and top intellectual minds.

Learn a language with Byki Mobile. ¿Entiendes?

Posted February 9th, 2012 by Remlee Green

Byki Mobile

Want to brush up on your language skills or learn a new language? Use all that time you spend waiting for the T, and learn a new language with Byki Mobile!

Learn over 70 languages, including English, using the Byki language-learning system. Learn at your own pace with virtual flashcards and quizzes.  Byki will remember where you left off, so you can track your progress and easily learn on-the-go. The mobile app works for iPhone and Android, but if you don’t have a mobile device, you can still use Byki from any computer.

To get started: 

  1. Visit Byki through the MIT Libraries from a computer or mobile device, and log in through your MIT Touchstone account.
  2. Click the “Sign Up Now” button and create an account. (Or just log in, if you already have a Byki account.)
  3. After you’ve logged in, click the “Byki Mobile” button, and follow the steps to download and activate the Byki Community Edition app for Android or iPhone.

To access the full version of Byki, use the same link from a computer:

Questions? Ask Us!

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum passes in Hayden Library

Posted February 8th, 2012 by Melissa Feiden

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum passes are here!

The MIT Libraries now have discount passes for the Gardner Museum.  Passes are available with an MIT ID at the Hayden Library.

There are some special things to know about these passes:

  • Passes are good for specific days of the week only.  Details can be found in the Barton catalog record.
  • Passes are good for 2 or 4 people each depending on the day of the week – one pass per person only.
  • Passes do not get you in free, but are used to receive a $5 per person admission price.

Of note to our community might be the current Special Exhibition: Illuminating the Serenissima:  Books of the Republic of Venice.

If you have any questions, please email

Music CDs, DVDs now circulate for 1 week

Posted February 7th, 2012 by Christie Moore

coverThe Lewis Music Library’s over 20,000 audio CDs and more than 1,300 DVDs now circulate for 1 week (no renewals) to members of the MIT community. The collection includes music from Gregorian chant to Lady Gaga: classical, jazz, world music, film and soundtracks, and popular.

Lists of the newest arrivals: Recent Additions to the Collections.
CDs and DVDs are listed in Barton; for search tips, see Searching for Music.
Selected recent CDs and DVDs are on display in the library.

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

Spring hours begin Monday, February 6

Posted February 2nd, 2012 by Grace Mlady

The MIT Libraries spring hours begin this Monday, February 6, 2012.

Barker, Hayden (Humanities & Science)
Monday-Thursday: 9am-12am
Friday: 9am-6pm
Saturday: 11am-6pm
Sunday: 12pm-11pm

Dewey, Rotch
Monday-Thursday: 9am-11pm
Friday: 9am-6pm
Saturday: 11am-6pm
Sunday: 12pm-11pm

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

These hours will remain in effect until Thursday, May 24, 2012. For a complete list of library locations and hours, visit our hours page. Have questions? Ask us!

“Glass at MIT: Beauty and Utility” Opening Feb.10 in the Maihaugen Gallery

Posted February 1st, 2012 by Heather Denny

Please join us for the opening of the MIT Libraries’ latest exhibit GLASS AT MIT: BEAUTY AND UTILITY

Date: Friday, February 10, 2-4pm
Location: Maihaugen Gallery (14N-130)

A new exhibition in the Libraries’ Maihaugen Gallery explores glassmaking as revealed in glassware from MIT laboratories, blown glass from the MIT Glass Lab, and stunning stained glass windows from the Libraries’ Charles J. Connick Stained Glass Foundation Collection. Tools, early photographs, and selections from rare books demonstrate the combination of artistry and engineering that goes into the creation of glass.

This event is free and open to the community.