Archive for January, 2013

Spring term hours begin Tuesday, February 5

Posted January 31st, 2013 by Grace Mlady

The MIT Libraries spring hours begin this Tuesday, February 5, 2013.

Barker, Hayden (Humanities & Science), and Rotch
Monday-Thursday: 9am-12am
Friday: 9am-8pm / Barker Library closes at 6pm Fridays.
Saturday: 12pm-8pm
Sunday: 12pm-12am

Monday-Thursday: 9am-11pm
Friday: 9am-6pm
Saturday: 12pm-8pm
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 23, 2013. For a complete list of library locations and hours, visit our hours page.

Have questions? Ask us!

DesalData arrives on campus!

Posted January 30th, 2013 by Chris Sherratt

The MIT Libraries are pleased to announce campus wide access to, a business development and consultancy package from the publishers of Global Water Intelligence in association with the International Desalination Association (IDA).

Within Desal Data you will find desalination plant listings, incorporating the IDA Inventory (a catalogue of desalination facilities contracted and under construction since 1945, based on over 25 years of annual industry surveys), market analysis and economic forecasting from Global Water Intelligence, company profiles and desalination news from countries worldwide.

You can find DesalData in VERA or use this URL

We welcome your feedback and hope this product supports the desalination work on campus!

H4ckademic jam session: tips & tricks for working on mobile tablets

Posted January 24th, 2013 by Remlee Green

mobile tabletsDo you own an iPad, Surface, Android tablet, or other mobile tablet and use it for your work at MIT?  Join us for free dinner & share your tips & work-arounds for working on your device!

h4ckademic jam session: best apps for managing your academic workflows
Thursday, January 31, 4-7pm
Bring a mobile tablet.

h4ckademic, a project of the Harvard Library Lab, is exploring & developing academic workflows using apps on mobile tablets. You’re invited to join a jam session at MIT!

A h4ckademic jam session is a blend of many things–part app-athon, part design squad, part discovery zone–but essentially it’s hanging out to riff on mutual app experiences to create something new & cool.  So that’s the idea–bring together students who use tablets and develop cool workflows using apps to get their academic stuff done. Anything from capturing, collecting & organizing electronic academic content to reading, annotating & note-taking.

These jam sessions will surface the best of the best in academic workflows & will contribute to a baseline of options that will be showcased in an online app gallery. The online app gallery will be a tool for new students, new mobile users or anyone who wants to expand their app use to see apps that are being used, how they are being used & what might work best for them.

What will you do at the jam session?

  • Meet other tablet users
  • See folks demo their academic workflows on their mobile tablets
  • Break out in design squads to define, refine, & demo a workflow for inclusion in the online gallery
  • Contribute to a tool that will help students across campus
  • Eat (yep, dinner’s provided!)
  • Have fun!

Sign up & learn more.

Can’t make the session, but want to share your h4ck? Use the form to give us a list of the apps you use to manage your academic workflow.

Questions? Contact Carol Kentner, 617-496-4799,

Advance sign-up required.

Langley joins MIT Libraries as Director of Development

Posted January 23rd, 2013 by Heather Denny

Kaija Langley has recently been appointed to the position of Director of Development in the MIT Libraries. Langley will lead the Libraries’ fundraising efforts, working closely with the Libraries’ senior management team and MIT’s Resource Development staff to identify and develop funding opportunities in support of library priorities.

Prior to joining MIT, Langley served as Associate Director of Philanthropy at The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in Boston. While at TNC she worked with major donors, and was involved in the critical mission of organizing fundraising efforts in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Before working at TNC, Langley worked as an Individual Gifts Officer at the Museum of Science in Boston for three years and, prior to that, as Community Outreach Specialist, and then Director of Development for Family Builders in Oakland, California.

“Kaija’s exceptional ability to build and develop positive, cooperative relationships as demonstrated in her work at TNC is noteworthy, as is her exposure to the exciting world of science in her years with the Museum of Science. She will bring great energy and enthusiasm to her role with MIT,” said Ann Wolpert, Director of Libraries.

OA research in the news: Happiness on tap

Posted January 17th, 2013 by Katharine Dunn

More than half of people worldwide with access to water have to walk to fetch it. In urban Morocco, households relying on public taps spend seven hours a week collecting water—a burden that can lead to stress and conflict within families. Economist Esther Duflo and colleagues recently published a paper showing that when offered credit and assistance, nearly 70 percent of households bought a connection to water despite a doubling of their water bill. Nearly half of those who did said their overall quality of life improved afterwards.

Explore Professor Duflo’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.

MLK, Jr. Day hours this Monday, January 21

Posted January 16th, 2013 by Grace Mlady

On Monday, January 21, 2013, the following libraries will open at noon (12pm):

All other library locations will be closed. Libraries resume IAP hours on Tuesday, January 22.

Have questions? Ask Us!

Research energy industries with the eTrack databases

Posted January 14th, 2013 by Katherine McNeill

Alternative Energy eTrack logo

Researching energy industries?  Need statistics, market analysis, news, company information, and financial deals?  Try our suite of eTrack databases:

eTrack provides data and reports on energy industry sectors worldwide. Each database contains numerous statistical databases; detailed information on companies, deals, and key events; plus in-depth industry research.   Find detailed statistics and generate lists such as:

  • Wind farms in Argentina (showing the generation capacity of each)
  • Planned oil exploration blocks, showing the country, area, operator, and acreage
  • Nuclear power reactors to be decommissioned (including shutdown year and decommissioning cost)

Note: To download tables, copy and paste them into Excel page by page.

Want further information about energy?  Attend one of our energy IAP workshops and try the other resources on our Energy Research Guide.

Win an award for using IPUMS data in your research

Posted January 10th, 2013 by Katherine McNeill

IPUMS logo

Have you used data from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) in your research?  If so, consider submitting your paper for the IPUMS Research Award, the annual cash prize award competition for research using the IPUMS microdata collection.

Cash prizes will be awarded for:

  • Best published work, and
  • Best work by a graduate student, published or unpublished.

Papers or publications submitted should utilize IPUMS-USA/CPS, IPUMS-International, or IHIS to study social, economic, and/or demographic processes.

Deadline for nomination or submission: February 15, 2013.

Submit your work.

Never used IPUMS data and want to learn more?  Want to know more about your options for utilizing microdata (i.e., record level research data) to answer research questions in the social sciences?  See our guide to Social Science Data Services and contact Kate McNeill, Social Science Data Services Librarian, at

MIT professor and librarian collaborate on “10 PRINT”: Open access book explores computation, creativity and culture

Posted January 9th, 2013 by Ellen Duranceau

Using a home computer in the early 1980s meant knowing at least some programming to get it off and running. When you turned on your Commodore 64—which you may well have done; it was the best-selling single model of computer ever produced—a nearly-blank blue screen emerged. “READY,” it told you. A blinking cursor awaited your commands.

Many of us used prefab programs to play games or do word processing, but the tinkerers among us wrote their own code, long and short, to explore what computers could do. Take this one-liner in BASIC language that Associate Professor of Digital Media Nick Montfort found in a magazine from the era: 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10. Run it on a Commodore 64 (or an emulator on your laptop today), and diagonal slashes fill the screen in a random way, building a pleasing maze that continues until interrupted.

Montfort posted 10 PRINT to an online Critical Code Studies conference in winter 2010. A lively discussion ensued among a dozen participants including MIT librarian Patsy Baudoin, who is liaison to the Media Lab and the Foreign Languages and Literatures department. Though the code is short and there’s not much known about its history, “it was obvious that there was plenty to say about it,” says Montfort. “However concise it was, it clearly connected computation to creativity, and to culture, in really intriguing ways.”

A few months after the conference, Montfort asked the 10 PRINT thread contributors to collaborate on a book exploring different aspects of culture—mazes in literature and religion, randomness and chance in games and art, the programming language BASIC, the Commodore 64 computer—through the lens of that one line of code.

The book, whose title is the code, was published in December by MIT Press. Besides Montfort and Baudoin, the authors include John Bell, Ian Bogost, Jeremy Douglass, Mark C. Marino, Michael Mateas, Casey Reas, Mark Sample and Noah Vawter. Though 10 PRINT is freely downloadable under a Creative Commons license, its first print run nearly sold out within a month. (This is another example of increased sales accompanying open access.) Royalties go to the Electronic Literature Organization, a nonprofit that promotes writing, reading, and teaching digital fiction and poetry.

Baudoin, the lone librarian of the group, has a PhD in comparative literature, which she says proved useful during the year-and-a-half collaboration. “I understood implicitly that exploring a concise line of computer code was like reading a short poem,” she says. “[As a graduate student] I wrote a 50-page paper on Catullus’s Odi et amo, a two-line Latin poem. In one sense, this line of code doesn’t appear to do a lot, but analyzed carefully, it speaks loudly.”

10 PRINT has a lot to say about a specific time. Though we can easily edit video, chat online, and play music on our laptops today, “when it comes to allowing people to directly access computation and to use that computing power for creative, expressive, and conceptual purposes, today’s computers, out of the box, are much worse” than those of 30 years ago, says Montfort. “I can type in and run the 10 PRINT program within 15 seconds of turning my Commodore 64 on. I can modify it and explore the program quite extensively within a minute. How long would it take you to produce any program like that after you started up your Windows 8 system?”

Montfort is quick to note that his interest in code like 10 PRINT is not nostalgia for a lost era; this, he says, trivializes important ideas in computer history. 10 PRINT itself is far from trivial, which is why Montfort, Baudoin and their coauthors found it a worthy book topic. “This type of program was written and run by millions in the 1980s on their way to a deeper understanding of computation,” he says.

Find 10 PRINT events under “Upcoming” at

See also: MIT News coverage of the book

IAP session on Arts, Culture, and Multimedia in the MIT Libraries

Posted January 9th, 2013 by Mark Szarko

Thursday, January 10, 2013, 3-4pm in 14N-132 

photo by L.Barry Hetherington

Are you interested in music, video, literature, art or architecture? Join Libraries staff for a session highlighting some of the vast arts, culture, and multimedia resources available to you through the MIT Libraries. Learn how to access over a million tracks of streaming audio (everything from classical to jazz to popular music), over 150,000 online music scores, streaming video of foreign films, dance, theater, documentaries and more, and over one million high-res images of art, architecture, science and the humanities.

Please register for this class.

Questions? Contact Mark Szarko.

Survey snapshot: Library space improvements result from survey feedback

Posted January 9th, 2013 by Heather Denny

In a Fall 2011 survey we asked the question: “What three improvements to library spaces would best enhance your research or scholarship?” Of the options provided, most in the MIT community wanted…

  • more library hours
  • more tables with power strips
  • more quiet spaces
  • more comfortable seating
  • access to food and drink

…and we’ve made improvements based on your feedback:

  • The Libraries are open approximately 750 more hours this academic year than in the Fall of 2011 when the survey took place.
  • In Rotch Library, power outlets have been installed in the reading room and map areas, and comfortable seating has been expanded.
  • You can now bring snacks and covered beverages into the library. See our new food and drink policy.
  • Barker Library‘s reading room will soon offer a 24/7 access after an extensive renovation. This will more than triple the amount of space currently available in the Libraries for 24/7 study.
  • And we’ve designated several quiet and collaborative spaces. Several group study rooms can be reserved in advance and offer LCD screens with laptop connectors, and video conferencing capabilities.

Ask us or Tell Us more about library spaces, or see additional information about the Fall 2011 library survey.

Newspapers from around the world with Library PressDisplay

Posted January 4th, 2013 by Heather McCann

Newspapers from the U.S. and around the world are at your fingertips with our new subscription to Library PressDisplay!

Search complete issues of over 2000 newspapers from 97 countries in 54 languages, including the current issue and a three-month archive. The papers are viewable in full color in the original layout of the print edition, with complete content, including photos, graphics, advertisements, and classifieds.

Titles include the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, China Daily, Dong-A Ilbo, Le Figaro, the Globe & Mail, the Guardian, and Times of India.


OA research in the news: Chisholm and Langer win national awards

Posted January 4th, 2013 by Katharine Dunn

Two MIT researchers have won the country’s highest honors for scientists, engineers, and inventors. Sallie (Penny) Chisholm, a professor of environmental studies in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, won the National Medal of Science. Robert Langer, an Institute Professor and professor of chemical engineering, won the National Medal of Technology. President Barack Obama will present the awards at a ceremony early in 2013.

Explore Professor Chisholm’s research and Professor Langer’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.

Unlocking the secrets of company databases, Jan 10th, noon-1:30pm

Posted January 3rd, 2013 by Chris Sherratt

Do you know what you want to do when you leave MIT (or for the summer), but aren’t sure what companies do that type of work?   Do you want to work in a specific part of the world?  Don’t you wish you could make a list of interesting companies that included their vital statistics?  Come learn how to use article databases and other resources to reveal secrets that you might be missing from your job or internship search.  Sign up and bring your laptop or tablet as Ellen Stahl of Career Services and Angie Locknar, MIT Libraries,  go step by step and show how these tools may be the key to finding the right company or organization for you.

When: Thursday, January 10, 12-1:30pm

Where: 14N-132, the Digital Instruction Resource Center (DIRC)

Enrollment: Sign up on CareerBridge
Limited to 25 participants

Ellen Stahl, Career Development Specialist, Angie Locknar, MSE, ME, ESD Librarian

Sponsor(s): Global Education and Career Development, Libraries
Contact: Ellen Stahl, 12-170, (617) 253-4733, eestahl@MIT.EDU

IAP hours begin Monday, January 7

Posted January 2nd, 2013 by Grace Mlady

The MIT Libraries IAP hours begin this Monday, January 7 and continue through Monday, February 4. Hours are as follows:

Barker and Dewey
Monday-Friday: 9am-6pm
Saturday-Sunday: 12pm-6pm

Hayden (Humanities & Science) and Rotch
Monday-Thursday: 9am-8pm
Friday: 9am-6pm
Saturday-Sunday: 12pm-6pm

Lewis Music
Monday-Friday: 10am-6pm
Saturday-Sunday: 1pm-5pm

The 24-hour study facilities in Hayden and Dewey libraries will remain open during IAP. For a complete list of library hours, visit our library hours page.

Have questions? Ask us!

Get the most out of Google Scholar

Posted January 2nd, 2013 by Katherine McNeill

Google Scholar icon

If you use Google Scholar, you already know it’s a great tool for finding citations to literature in your research area. It’s a massive index of articles, books and other publications of a scholarly nature. (It doesn’t cover ALL the scholarly literature in any discipline, however, so be sure to include the Libraries’ databases in Vera in your literature search.)

Many of the articles in Google Scholar are licensed by the MIT Libraries through our subscriptions, so – in many cases – the full text is available to you. If you are on campus, you’ll see this link in your results list:

Image of full text link

Are you working off campus?   To take advantage of this feature, click on Settings and then Library Links.

Image of library links list

Type MIT in the search window; select it; click Save.  You should now see the full text link in your results list for articles in any of MIT’s paid subscriptions.