Postcard from the library

I’m often asked what goes on at the library during the summer months. Despite having many fewer visitors using the building or seeking help in person, we do still provide research support and services for the Graduate School, which operates year-round, as well as for faculty, students, and staff at the undergraduate campus who forge ahead with their work during the summer months. Most of all, though, summer is a time to take on special projects. Here’s some of what’s going on at Rice-Aron this summer:

  • In the Reference Room, a new shelving and seating nook is being constructed as we speak. This will be the home of the Galbraith Collection — the personal library of John Kenneth Galbraith and Catherine Atwater Galbraith, donated to Marlboro College by their sons Alan, James, and Peter (a Marlboro trustee) in 2008. The collection will be available for browsing, but will not circulate. The books should be on the shelves by the time the fall semester starts, and an event commemorating the collection is being planned for October…details to follow.
  • We are in the process of configuring and cataloging two Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight e-readers. These will be available for circulation (2 week loan period) at the start of the school year. Books from the library’s ebrary collection can be downloaded and read on these e-readers; you can also download free, public-domain ebooks from a number of sources, or configure the device to work with your own Barnes & Noble account. Other equipment will also be available for loan from the library this fall…stay tuned for more details.
  • We’re taking some steps to protect the DVD collection against loss and theft. Cases will remain available for browsing on the shelves in the Reserve/AV Room. The only change is that when you want to borrow a DVD, you’ll simply bring the empty case to the library staff member at the Service Desk, who will retrieve the disc, put it in the case, and check it out to you. Hours and availability will not change. We’re hopeful that this measure will ensure that videos are accounted for and available when you want/need them.

Lots of other behind-the-scenes work goes on over the summer as well. This year’s Plans of Concentration are sent to the bindery, received back with glossy black covers, cataloged, and added to the library collection. Personal Plan copies are mailed to recent graduates. Portions of the library collection are inventoried (which involves a brave soul going into the stacks and scanning the barcode of every single item on the shelf — thanks, David!). Donations of books and videos are reviewed, processed, and added to the collection, sold, or given away. Library usage statistics are compiled and shared. Books for Fall courses are purchased, cataloged, processed, and placed on reserve.

Summertime is a nice change of pace, but around this time of year I always find myself eager for the arrival of new students and faculty and the return of familiar faces. Summer hours continue through August 26; the library building will open (and stay open) for the fall semester on Monday, August 27 at 8:30 am. Please stop by to say hello and, if you’re new to campus, introduce yourself. We’re looking forward to seeing you!

–Emily Alling
Library Director