Collections Management

Collection Management purchases books, journals, online databases and journal archives, audio and visual media, printed music, and other items.  Our staff members locate requested material and place orders with vendors, negotiate license agreements for online materials, acquire performance rights and pay licensing fees for film screenings, pay vendors for all materials, track receipt of materials (including verifying access to online material we've paid for) and contact vendors when necessary to troubleshoot problems such as missing journal issues or difficulties gaining access to online material. Collections Management also maintains our our online catalog (MIDCAT) and our research catalog, Summon

For documentation related to Periodicals and Serials, see our Wiki.

Discovery & Access Services

The Discovery & Access Services (DAS) area of the library is responsible for acquiring materials that are added to library collections, for making them available through MIDCAT and Summon, prepares them for the shelves, maintains and updates the MIDCAT database, and preserves library materials.  DAS is also the home of borrowing, Inter-Library loan, reserves, and library systems.

The formal responsibilities of RCS are to:

  • Evaluate and build our collections, and endeavor to ensure their continuing relevance
  • Locate and secure desired resources
  • Categorize, analyze, and describe our collections
  • Prepare, monitor, and preserve our collections and access tools Make available our collections and technical expertise world-wide
  • We understand the needs of faculty, students, and staff and promote change to better meet those needs.
  • Communicate effectively with faculty, students, and staff.  We vigorously promote awareness of library resources and services. We listen and respond.
  • Support the curriculum and development of various ‘literacies’ that enable independent research and lifelong learning.
  • Systematically assess the effectiveness of library and technology resources and services.
  • Maintain an awareness of the information needs of the College community and investigate and review developments in technology, formats, pedagogy, instructional design, resources, and scholarly communication.
  • Connect people who need library services and resources with the people who provide those services and resources, and when necessary, act as facilitators to help resolve problems.
  • Help develop technologies and library collections based on an awareness of available resources and the needs of our users. We test creative ways of providing resources and services.

For internal documentation and links to work-related web sites, see the DAS wiki.

Davis Family Library

110 Storrs Avenue, Middlebury, VT 05753

Departments with specific names indicate the primary contact for that area.

Other offices in the Davis Family Library:

Library and Technology

Jenny Holzer (American, Born 1950)

Selections from Truisms: A Sense of Timing..., 1977–1979

Danby Imperial marble, 16 3/4 x 61 x 25 3/8 inches. Purchase of the Committee on Art in Public Places with funds provided by the Middlebury College Board of Trustees One Percent for Art Policy. 2001.004

Location: Second floor of the library

Jenny Holzer is a multi-media artist whose pithy Truisms have been printed on posters, T-shirts, and LED (light-emitting diode) boards from Times Square to Tokyo. In addition to those seen here, some of the best known are “Abuse of Power Comes as No Surprise” and “Lack of Charisma Can be Fatal.” One has only to look on the Internet to find a full sampling of her Truisms.

As would be suggested by the range of environments in which her work appears, Holzer believes that art should be comprehensible and relevant to a wide audience, not reserved specifically for museums and their public. She began to write her Truisms in the late 1970s, following an intensive period of reading canonical texts of both Eastern and Western traditions. While her writing and the variety of advertising techniques she uses to reach a broad public have led to controversy about the aesthetic status of her art, Holzer has nevertheless been commissioned by major international museums to design public spaces emblazoned with her signature texts.

Jenny Holzer, Selections from Truisms

(Photo: Tad Merrick)

This bench was made in Vermont and purchased by the Committee on Art in Public Places for installation in its present location.

Jenny Holzer, Selections from Truisms (display)

Jenny Holzer (American, Born 1950) Selections from Truisms: A Sense of Timing... [detail], 1977–1979 Danby Imperial marble, 16 3/4 x 61 x 25 3/8 inches. Purchase of the Committee on Art in Public Places with funds provided by the Middlebury College Board of Trustees One Percent for Art Policy. 2001.004 (Photo: Tad Merrick) Location: Second floor of the library

Jenny Holzer, Selections from Truisms

Jenny Holzer (American, Born 1950) Selections from Truisms: A Sense of Timing..., 1977–1979 Danby Imperial marble, 16 3/4 x 61 x 25 3/8 inches. Purchase of the Committee on Art in Public Places with funds provided by the Middlebury College Board of Trustees One Percent for Art Policy. 2001.004 (Photo: Tad Merrick) Location: Second floor of the library

Matt Mullican (American, born 1951)

L’Art d’Ecrire (The Art of Writing), 2004–2005

Oil stick and acrylic paint on 64 canvas panels, overall dimensions: 25' x 74'. Commissioned by the Committee on Art in Public Places, Middlebury College, with funds provided by the Glenstone Foundation in honor of Charles Gwathmey, and The Edwin Austin Abbey Memorial Fund for Mural Painting in America of The National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts, New York. 2005.039

Location: In the atrium of the library

For nearly three decades, artist Matt Mullican has evolved a visual language that describes an imagined world, a universe of his own creation. Drawing from a rich vocabulary of images, many of which have roots in actual signs and symbols from the public realm, Mullican composes grids of information that can be both literal and evocative.

The artist’s visual language also includes a chromatic palette he has used since the 1970s. In addition to black, which represents language, his works employ the primary colors—red, yellow and blue—and, occasionally, green or white. For L’Art d’Ecrire he has chosen to use black and yellow. Signifying “the world framed,” in the artist’s own terms, yellow provides a legible background for the artist’s adaptation and incorporation of imagery from a wide range of published sources.

Matt Mullican, L'Art Decrire

(Photo: Tad Merrick)

The mural is comprised of 64 individual panels created using a transfer technique favored by the artist. Mullican first makes a vinyl template for each image, which is articulated as a positive relief. The yellow canvas is then laid over the template and rubbed by hand, with black oilstick. The imagery of the template is thus transferred, via the rubbing, onto the canvas. The artist’s process and its final character are akin to the popular activity of making chalk rubbings from old gravestones.

The title of the mural, “The Art of Writing,” as well as a number of the images within the work, have come from the influential 18th century Encyclopedia compiled by the French academicians Denis Diderot and Jean d’Alembert. This multi-volume anthology of articles and images on a broad range of topics endeavored to catalogue all of human knowledge, with an unprejudiced respect for the mechanical arts as well as the intellectual, or liberal, arts.

Like his Enlightenment predecessors, Mullican shares an enthusiasm for anthologizing. Woven within L’Art d’Ecrire,one can find references to a range of ideas that encompasses language, geography, history, the natural world, and the built environment. Among the recognizable images in this encyclopedic survey of world knowledge are alphabets of myriad languages, charts of the heavenly bodies, and some references to Middlebury itself. For example, the library building has been acknowledged in the form of two floor plans found in the mural's center panel. Mullican’s iconography places an emphasis on the world as perceived through the visual language of commonly accepted signs and symbols that his viewers can read. More broadly, the fundamental concept of the libraryas a locus of knowledge, research, and information resonates throughout the mural’s imagery and themes.

Matt Mullican, L'Art d'Ecrire (display)

Matt Mullican (American, born 1951) L’Art d’Ecrire (The Art of Writing) [detail], 2004–2005 Oil stick and acrylic paint on 64 canvas panels, overall dimensions: 25' x 74'. Commissioned by the Committee on Art in Public Places, Middlebury College, with funds provided by the Glenstone Foundation in honor of Charles Gwathmey, and The Edwin Austin Abbey Memorial Fund for Mural Painting in America of The National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts, New York. 2005.039 (Photo: Tad Merrick) Location: In the atrium of the library

Matt Mullican, L'Art d'Ecrire

Matt Mullican (American, born 1951) L’Art d’Ecrire (The Art of Writing), 2004–2005 Oil stick and acrylic paint on 64 canvas panels, overall dimensions: 25' x 74'. Commissioned by the Committee on Art in Public Places, Middlebury College, with funds provided by the Glenstone Foundation in honor of Charles Gwathmey, and The Edwin Austin Abbey Memorial Fund for Mural Painting in America of The National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts, New York. 2005.039 (Photo: Tad Merrick) Location: In the atrium of the library

Michael Singer (American, born 1942)

Garden of the Seasons, 2003–2004

Granite, cast concrete, painted steel, aluminum, and plantings. Purchase of the Committee on Art in Public Places with funds provided by the Middlebury College Board of Trustees One Percent for Art Policy. 2004.048

Location: Adjacent to the library

Michael Singer, who has been a resident of Vermont since 1971, is an internationally known sculptor who has redefined the practice of art and broadened its applicability to a surprisingly wide range of publicly funded and publicly maintained spaces. In addition to commissions for private residences, he has completed award-winning site-specific sculptural environments comprised of natural and man-made materials for airports, office complexes, college campuses, civic waste management facilities, waterfront recreational areas, and public parks. A graduate of Cornell University, he has been awarded fellowships and grants from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts. In 1996 he received the Vermont State Governor’s Award for the Arts from then Governor Howard Dean.

Singer was awarded the commission for a library garden at Middlebury following a competition in 2002–2003, which was sponsored by CAPP. An exhibition of three proposals was on view at the college Museum in spring 2003.

A popular destination as well as a seductive retreat for pedestrians and casual visitors to campus, Garden of the Seasons was conceived as a designated spot for study, contemplation, and refreshment of the senses. From the western and southern windows of the library one can enjoy a birds-eye view of the project. Even those who see the garden only from afar—in passing vehicles, for example—can enjoy its alluring conjunction of nature and culture. As its plantings mature and the seasons follow their courses, Garden of the Seasons is designed to affect and offer respite and pleasure to generations of Middlebury students, staff and passersby.

Michael Singer, Garden of the Seasons (full)

(Photo: Tad Merrick)

Occupying a space of approximately 30 feet in diameter, Garden of the Seasons is located to the south of the library building. Articulated both on the ground and above it, the garden space is defined by granite benches that form a semi-circular enclosure and also a stepped wall that runs parallel to the sidewalk between the building and Storrs Avenue.

From afar the garden can be seen by its signature planting screen, a six by fourteen foot rectangle made of mesh, aluminum, painted steel, stainless steel cable, and copper piping that rises above the ground. In warmer months the screen carries a variety of deciduous vines and foliage, which change color with the seasons. In winter months it supports a wall of ice. The circular seating area of the garden encloses a “floor” made of cast aluminum and concrete with textured copper that harbors various indigenous plantings—mosses, flowers, and ferns.

Michael Singer, Garden of the Seasons (detail)

(Photo: Tad Merrick)

The water that maintains the garden in the temperate seasons is furnished by a designated retention pool that holds run-off storm water. A swale of rocks and plantings extends from this pool, forming an arc around the garden that ends at the road at the perimeter of the library lawn. The entire area within this arc is planted with tall grasses and wild flowers. In the temperate seasons the water runs naturally; during the winter months a pump buried in the construction delivers water in upward pulses where it freezes on the planting screen.

Michael Singer, Garden of the Seasons (detail)

Michael Singer (American, born 1942) Garden of the Seasons [detail], 2003–2004 Granite, cast concrete, painted steel, aluminum, and plantings. Purchase of the Committee on Art in Public Places with funds provided by the Middlebury College Board of Trustees One Percent for Art Policy. 2004.048 (Photo: Tad Merrick) Location: Adjacent to the library

Michael Singer, Garden of the Seasons (display)

Michael Singer (American, born 1942) Garden of the Seasons [detail], 2003–2004 Granite, cast concrete, painted steel, aluminum, and plantings. Purchase of the Committee on Art in Public Places with funds provided by the Middlebury College Board of Trustees One Percent for Art Policy. 2004.048 (Photo: Tad Merrick) Location: Adjacent to the library

Michael Singer, Garden of the Seasons (full)

Michael Singer (American, born 1942) Garden of the Seasons, 2003–2004 Granite, cast concrete, painted steel, aluminum, and plantings. Purchase of the Committee on Art in Public Places with funds provided by the Middlebury College Board of Trustees One Percent for Art Policy. 2004.048 (Photo: Tad Merrick) Location: Adjacent to the library

Library Services

 Information Technology Services (ITS)

 

MiddTags:

Library and Technology

Political Science Research Guide - library resources relevant for political science.

Technology Helpdesk Support - Help documents and contacts.

Library Homepage - Library resources, hours, contacts, etc.

Library & Technology Resources for Faculty - Shortcuts to library and technology pages used by faculty.

Library Liaison– Have a question about library or technology use?  Ask the Political Science liaison: Brenda Ellis, Davis Family Library 208; 802.443.5497; bellis@middlebury.edu.

 

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

Interlibrary Loan helps eligible patrons obtain materials that are not available at the Middlebury College Libraries, or via NExpress. ILL services are made possible by participating libraries worldwide that share their collections with scholars, researchers, and students of other institutions.

For more information see our main page.

ILL Services: Borrowing from Other Libraries

 

NExpress is a service built for fast delivery and extended loan periods.

NExpress logo
Use NExpress first!

Similar to NExpress is the ConnectNY consortium for fast delivery.

ConnectNY Button
 Try ConnectNY only for items not found in NExpress.

Traditional ILL, using ILLiad, brings items worldwide here to Middlebury for patron use, but may have limits or restrictions on usage.

Worldcat

 

More information on Interlibrary loan Services

Information for off-campus patrons and patrons in Middlebury's Schools Abroad

ILL FAQ

Contact ILL

Preservation & Processing

We process new materials (books and audio/visual media) being added to the collection by labeling them to indicate location and ownership and by reinforcing items as necessary to withstand shared use.  We preserve the library collections by repairing materials in the circulating collections and performing conservation treatments on materials in special collections.  We also monitor the environment and educate users on proper handling of library collections.

For documentation related to Preservation & Processing please see our wiki.

 

Watch our locally produced "commercial" on how to handle library materials.