Archive for July, 2014

Libraries participate in Summer Youth Employment Program

Posted July 30th, 2014 by Grace Mlady

Tinischa croppedThis summer, MIT has partnered with the city of Cambridge to participate in the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program. The purpose of MSYEP is to provide high school students as well as some students in early college with the opportunity to work in a professional work environment and “expose youth to potential educational or career paths.” The Libraries, along with MIT’s Human Resources and Department of Facilities, have been selected as a work site within the community; each workplace is assigned a student where s/he works anywhere from 20-40 hours a week and meets regularly with a designated supervisor or mentor.

The Libraries have the pleasure of welcoming Tinischa Lahens as she joins Information Delivery and Library Access to help with a variety of circulation projects through August.

We had Tinischa answer some fun interview questions as a way to introduce her to Libraries’ staff and the rest of MIT. Without further ado, meet Tinischa!

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New Libraries homepage design will debut in August

Posted July 29th, 2014 by Heather Denny
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Tap image for a full view.

We’ve been hard at work redesigning our homepage, and it’s time to give you a sneak preview! By mid-August, you’ll see a new homepage for the MIT Libraries, and it will be stunning on smaller mobile screens, too.

Through focus groups, interviews, and usability testing, we’ve gathered your feedback about what you love (and don’t love) about the current homepage. Some recurring thoughts we heard include:

  • “Less is more!”
    Our most popular links are stashed in the navigation at the top of the new page.
  • “Search is important, but make it simpler.”
    The search box is still front and center, but we’ve streamlined it.
  • “Library hours need to be easier to find.”
    They’ll be right there on our homepage, in an easy-to-scan format that highlights which locations are open 24/7.
  • “Research Guides are super helpful, but I didn’t know about them.”
    Experts & Research Guides will display on the homepage, so you can easily find who or what you’re looking for.

We’re not quite done with the design phase, but the screenshot will give you a taste of what’s to come. Also stay tuned for more changes coming to our News page this fall.

If you have thoughts, concerns, or comments, we’d love to hear them. Tell us!

 

OA research in the news: Reader for the visually impaired

Posted July 23rd, 2014 by Katharine Dunn

ring_in_use_correctedResearchers in the Media Lab’s Fluid Interfaces Group have built a prototype of a device that helps visually impaired people read printed text. The FingerReader, developed by graduate student Roy Shilkrot and professor Pattie Maes, among others, sits like a ring on a user’s finger and scans words via a built-in camera as the user points to them. Software identifies the words and translates them into an audio track. The FingerReader also alerts users if their finger veers away from a line of text.

Though the FingerReader isn’t on the market, the researchers say they’re looking into this option. As Maes recently told the Associated Press, the FingerReader is “a lot more flexible, a lot more immediate than any solution that they have right now.”

Explore Professor Maes’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.

OA research in the news: Robotics expert Seth Teller dies

Posted July 9th, 2014 by Katharine Dunn
Seth Teller

Seth Teller

Seth Teller, a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) and head of the Robotics, Vision, and Sensor Networks group, died last week at the age of 50. In a message to the EECS community, several of Teller’s colleagues wrote: “There can be no doubt of the magnitude of the loss we face on both a personal and professional level. Seth’s outstanding contributions as a researcher, teacher, mentor, and colleague set a standard that has inspired many of us. He was a generous, warm person whose passion for his work was contagious. He had a unique ability to envision new approaches to problems, then assemble, motivate, and guide large research teams to accomplish things far beyond what they thought possible.”

Teller worked in a wide range of fields, including robotics, vision, graphics, and human-computer interfaces. He recently led the MIT team that will compete in the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge, the goal of which is to develop robots that can help humans in disaster zones. He was also a leader of MIT’s Fifth Sense Project, whose researchers develop wearable devices to assist blind and low-vision people.

Explore Professor Teller’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.

Barker Library reading room closed Wednesday, July 9th, 9am-noon

Posted July 8th, 2014 by Heather Denny

BarkerDomeVerticalThe Barker Library reading room will be closed temporarily on Wednesday, July 9th from 9am-12pm.

While the reading room is closed, library users can find alternative spaces for studying in the library on the upper floors, as well as in other library locations. Access to the Barker reading room is expected to resume by 12 noon.

We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience.

Doucette joins MIT Libraries to lead IT efforts

Posted July 1st, 2014 by Heather Denny
Doucette

Armand Doucette (photo by L. Barry Hetherington)

Armand Doucette has been appointed to the position of Associate Director for Information Technology and Digital Development at the MIT Libraries. In this position he will play an essential role in shaping the future of the Libraries’ digital environment–leading the Libraries’ technology strategy, and managing IT development in support of the Libraries’ initiatives and priorities.

Doucette comes to the Libraries from the MIT Sloan School where he was the Executive Director of Technology Services for 9 years. Among his many achievements at Sloan were the development of the MySloan intranet portal, the outfitting of the new Sloan building classrooms with robust technology in support of in-classroom and distance teaching and learning, and the development and growth of a professional and diverse staff. He also served on the Institute’s Information Technology Governance Council where he provided thoughtful input and advice on information technology issues.

“Armand is a proven manager and leader. At Sloan he provided oversight and direction to a diverse set of technology services including applications development, enterprise services, operations infrastructure, desktop and classroom support, and consulting and project management. These skills are well suited to help lead the MIT Libraries, and further develop the technology resources and services that MIT students, faculty and researchers require,” said Steve Gass, Interim Director of MIT Libraries. Doucette will begin his appointment July 1, 2014.

Libraries closed on July 4th

Posted July 1st, 2014 by Grace Mlady

All MIT libraries will be closed for Independence Day this Friday, July 4.flags-316407_640

The Libraries will resume summer weekend hours on Saturday, July 5. Please see our hours page for a detailed list of library locations and hours.

Have questions? Ask Us.