Library, Information, and Technology Services

Two LITS Summer Projects

May 07, 2012 by Debra Morrissey

Two Library, Information, and Technology Services (LITS) summer projects will create more user seating; a need we heard loud and clear from the community during the 2010/11 space master planning process.

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Jorge Knows: The Five College Library Depository

Mar 10, 2010 by Sarah Oelker

Have you ever run across a record in the catalog that said FC Depository, or heard someone talk about the Five College Depository, also sometimes referred to as "the bunker?"  

front entrance of five college library depository

The Five College Library Depository is a place where the Five Colleges store less frequently used materials, in a high-density shelving system.  It is located on Military Road off Route 116 in South Amherst, where 116 passes through "The Notch" over the Holyoke Range.  Why is it nicknamed "the bunker," anyway?  Well, the storage facility used to be part of the United States Air Force Strategic Air Command, and is now owned by Amherst College and under lease to the Five Colleges for library storage.  It is, in fact, actually a bunker.   

 Because Mount Holyoke College has sent almost all of its science journal volumes older than 1980 to the Depository, you are most likely to run across Depository records when searching for older science journals.  In our library catalog, these records will be marked "Owned
By: FC Depository
" and "LOCATION:  Five College Depository."  They will have call numbers that are different from ones in the Mount Holyoke Library: they are strings of characters like UB170434.  With a few exceptions (which library staff are in the process of correcting), these records will also contain a link to the Five College Depository Article Request form, which you can use to request the article you need.  The Depository staff will scan the article you need and email it to you within a few days.  If you've found a book that resides in the Depository, you can use the "Request Item" function in the library catalog just like you do to request books from the other Five College Libraries.   

 Why not go visit?  There are a few reasons.  Materials are sorted and organized in a different way at the Depository; unlike the library shelves and call numbers you are used to, Depository materials are stored on sliding trays in movable shelves, so that they can be packed very tightly.     


The shelves roll, and the system is controlled by machinery that packs rows of shelves together until you press a button to
open an aisle between the shelves you need to work with.   Here's General Jorge showing a visitor how it's done.

Materials are sorted into the trays by their sizes, and then Depository staff members enter the tray number into the Five College Catalog as the call number for that volume.  Different volumes of the same journal will not necessarily end up next to or even near each other.  This means you always need that Depository call number in order to find what you're looking for, which is why we use those unusual numbers, and why they're a required piece of information when you fill out the article request form.  Because space is tight, the facility can't support lots of people opening aisles and browsing at the same time, the way a traditional library can.  But the Depository staff can email you a PDF of the article you want, or have a book shipped to your home library, usually within a few days.     


Below are the wooden forms that correspond to the three tray sizes used at the depository-- items are compared to these forms, and sorted into the smallest tray they fit in.  Sorting by this method makes it possible for the Depository to get more materials into less space, but it isn't so good for browsing! 


While the Depository staff can arrange for materials to be viewed in the
visitor area of the facility, they need advance notice to find the materials, and their visitor area is not very big.   For most purposes, it's easier and faster for users to request books to be brought to their home library, and to request that articles be scanned and sent electronically.  For more information about all the modes of access, you can read the Five College Library Depository's Access Instructions page.     

Photo credits: Mary Stettner

Materials Moves in LITS for Summer 2009

Sep 01, 2009 by Sarah Oelker

As the beginning of the chain reaction which will bring about the
transformation of Dwight Hall into a Center for Centers, LITS staff spent much
of the summer reorganizing spaces. Some of our library materials were affected.
Here’s what’s new:

Previously, science, psychology and education
periodicals were housed on levels 2 and 3 of the Miles-Smith wing of the library.
To make way for rearrangements of LITS space, the education and psychology
periodicals now live on level 2 1/2 of the Williston part of the library to
join the humanities and social science periodicals.  Materials on microfilm have also been moved to level 2

All Science periodicals are now located on Level 2 of the Miles-Smith wing.  In addition, volumes of science periodicals older than 1980 have, in most cases, been sent to the Five College Depository facility in South Amherst. The Depository provides additional space that allows us to keep older journals in the Five Colleges, and is a location which ensures secure, climate-controlled preservation of materials as well as use by people across the Five Colleges. Individual
articles can be requested from the Five College Depository. Complete instructions can be found on
the Five College Library Depository Request Forms page.  If you need access to larger runs of older journals, or you have other needs not covered by the request forms, please contact your LITS liaison to discuss ways in which we can meet your needs. 

If you need assistance using any of our resources, please contact the Research
and Instructional Support Team

Please see our Getting
Around in LITS
page for further building directory information, plus
maps and navigation videos.

A Valuable Partnership: LITS and MHC Faculty

Jul 20, 2009 by Leigh Mantle

LITS is pleased to announce the acquisition of several new scholarly resources: Dance in Video, Women and Social Movements in the United States, and an extension of Biological Abstracts.  These electronic resources are available to all current faculty, staff, and students through the E-Resources A-Z, and more information is available below.  LITS is appreciative of faculty input in suggesting these resources as the collections at Mount Holyoke College are continually changing and LITS is always striving to meet the needs of faculty.  Faculty input to the collection development process is crucial and LITS invites each faculty member to contact a LITS Liaison for a conversation about collection needs and interests.   

Dance in Video (requested by dance faculty) searchable database containing streaming video files of dance
productions and documentaries by influential performers and companies
of the 20th century. Selections cover ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary,
experimental, and improvisational dance, as well as forerunners of the forms and the pioneers of modern concert dance.
Videos can be browsed by people, role, ensemble, genre, and venue.
Material types include documentaries, editorials, instructional,
interviews, and performances. Database users may create their own
custom playlists and video clips.

Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000 (requested by history faculty) a resource for students and scholars of
U.S. history and U.S. women's history. Organized around the history of
women in social movements in the U.S. between 1600 and 2000, this
collection seeks to advance scholarly debates and understanding at the
same time that it makes the insights of women's history accessible to
teachers and students at universities, colleges, and high schools. The
collection currently includes 89 document projects with more than 2,800
documents and 150,000 pages of additional full-text documents, and more
than 2,060 primary authors. It includes as well book, film, and website
reviews, notes from the archives, and teaching tools. (Globe image from the cover of the The World's Congress of Representative Women (1893))

Biological Abstracts has been extended back to 1983.  This resource offers global journal coverage of every area of the life sciences with over 4,200 journals from 100 countries and over 350,000 records added annually.  (Calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II)

In addition, LITS has purchased a number of films requested by film studies faculty.  A feature of the library catalog is the ability to only search Mount Holyoke College's collection of DVDs/Videos/Films by following these steps: 

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Do You Know...Your Databases?

Apr 08, 2009 by Leigh Mantle

Yes, I did have the nursery rhyme, "Do You Know the Muffin Man" stuck in my head...

I have people tell me all the time that they've spent hours searching Google and only came up with Wikipedia for information about their topic.  I am a librarian who Googles, but (brace yourself) Google is not everything. 

else is there?  Millions of journal articles are available in
subscription databases.  A database is a collection of information that can be searched (i.e. a phone book, or even the Internet) and in the library world databases are electronic journal indexes.  You, as a Mount Holyoke College student, have
free access to these journal articles that are scholarly and peer-reviewed, and
your professors will love them.  

How do you find these databases?  Use the E-Resources A-Z List
This lists all of the electronic databases available to you; when
you click on the database name, it'll recognize you're a MHC student and
let you in for free.  If you're off campus, then
you'll login with your MHC username & password (same as your
email).  If you need help figuring out what database to use, check
out the Research Guides.  You'll find that you can search an interdisciplinary database (meaning a little bit of everything), such as, JSTOR or Academic Search Premier or a subject specific database like Sociological Abstracts.
  Please note that while most of the databases do have the full text of the articles, sometimes you'll just find the citation (author, title, etc.) and an abstract/summary of the article.  Check out the post on Interlibrary Loan for more information about locating full text articles.  Use the databases for your next paper and get that A!  (Note: starving librarians will accept muffins).

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Anatomy of a Scholarly Article

Mar 06, 2009 by Leigh Mantle

What exactly is a scholarly article?  We get that question a lot and our colleagues at North Carolina State University must too because they've come up with a great tool for understanding the parts of a scholarly article.  Check out the site and enjoy dissecting the article!


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