What’s New?

Updates from MIT Libraries

Sheila Widnall. Courtesy of MIT Museum.

Libraries Launch Women in Science and Engineering@MIT Archival Initiative
The Institute Archives and Special Collections (IASC) has been focusing increasingly on documenting aspects of MIT history that have been underrepresented, and women faculty in science and engineering has been one such area. Now, with the generous support of Barbara Ostrom ’78, the Libraries are launching a new initiative to acquire, preserve, and make accessible the archives of MIT’s notable female science and engineering faculty. “As the number of women faculty and associated projects and initiatives has increased over the past 50 years, this time of growth and tremendous accomplishment needs to be better represented in the Archives,” says Liz Andrews, associate head, IASC, and archivist for collections. Andrews is project archivist for the initiative, bringing more than 25 years of experience and extensive knowledge of MIT history to the role.


Janet MockMIT Reads Engages the Institute Community
The Libraries’ Institute-wide reading program got off to a strong start this fall, drawing hundreds of community members for group discussions of Redefining Realness and a conversation with its author, Janet Mock. The writer, media professional, and transgender rights activist spoke to a capacity crowd in Kirsch Auditorium in November.

“The thing that really made my heart sing was the idea of the MIT community getting excited about a book and coming together around the act of reading,” says Nina Davis-Millis, director of community support and staff development.

Excitement continued for the winter selection, Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly, chosen in partnership with MIT’s Black Women’s Alliance. The largely unknown story of African American women scientists at NASA drew more than 50 members of the community for discussion events. This spring, MIT Reads partners with the MIT Literary Society to read and discuss The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu.


Open Access Policy Expanded
The 2009 MIT Faculty Open Access Policy, one of the country’s first, allows MIT authors to legally hold onto rights in their scholarly articles, including the right to share them widely. The policy, which until now applied only to faculty, has been very successful: 44 percent of faculty articles published since the policy passed are now shared in DSpace@MIT. The Libraries worked with graduate students, faculty, and the administration to create an opt-in version of the policy that is available to all MIT authors, including students, postdocs, and staff. “It’s a strong step towards the openness called for in the Future of Libraries report,” says Ellen Finnie, head, Scholarly Communications and Collections Strategy.