Monday, December 12, 2011

Spring Semester - 2012

Happy Holidays to you all! All my best wishes for a wonderful New Year.

Before our winter break, I wanted to touch base with you about a couple of things.

Improved Access to UVM Libraries Collections

Library staff are working hard to improve access to our collections. During the spring we hope to make available a beta site for an improved Library Catalog interface. We will ask all of you to "kick the tires" on the new interface, letting us know what you like, don't like, and would like to see.

We are also working hard to make that button work better (or, actually work!), with a new product. That will be available for testing as well.

As you begin/continue your course preparation for the spring, remember the library. In addition to meeting with your classes for research instruction, I will:

  • prepare a web-based library research guide customized to your course
  • provide feedback on an assignment (or assignments) that will require scholarly research
  • facilitate  the purchase of library materials to support your course (and your own individual research)
  • meet with your students one-on-one for a research consultation*
  • visit your class for 5-10 minutes to introduce myself and the library. Students often feel more comfortable making an appointment with me or seeking assistance at the reference desk if they can attach a face to a name
*I will meet with any student taking an English/FTS class, whether or not they are English/FTS  majors.

Feel free to include my name and contact information on syllabi and Blackboard sites.

I hope to see you and/or your students in the spring.

New! Database Trial of Interest - International Bibliography of Theatre & Dance

Yes, the International Bibliography of Theatre & Dance really might be of interest to you and your students.

I know all of you are incredibly busy right now, but I'd like to alert you to a resource that the library is considering. I hope you have some time during the break to give it a "test drive."

International Bibliography of Theatre & Dance:  the UVM Libraries currently has trial access to this core research resource for theatre, dance, and performing arts. Date coverage extends back to the early 1900s for some publications.  It has
  • More than 60,000 journal articles, books, book articles and dissertation abstracts
  • Full text for more than 500 total titles, including books and journals
Topics relevant to English/FTS folk include: mysteries & miracle plays, African drama, motion picture direction and production, documentary films and filmmakers, amongst others.

How to Access:
from the Library's Database Trials page
On-campus, or from off-campus, through the VPN client )

The trial runs through January 2012.
We'd love your feedback. Submit your comments to me or through the online feedback form found on the database trials page.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Research Assistance for Your Students in November

Lots of students are working on papers and projects right now. Here are some opportunities for research assistance before they leave for the Thanksgiving break.  Please spread the word:

Literature and Film Resource Workshops
Literature Resource Center (for beginners) :          4:00-5:00 p.m.
MLA International Bibliography (for beginners)  :   5:00-6:00 p.m.
When:    Monday, November 7
Where:   Library Classroom (main/1st floor)
(these workshops have also been "advertised" on the library homepage under "Events & Exhibits" since Sept.)

Drop-In Research Assistance
No appointment or registration required. Students may stay as long as they need - for a few minutes or for the entire hour. I will be there to help students with their literary or film research.
Tuesday, November 15            8:45-9:45 a.m.
Wednesday, November 16       3:00-4:00 p.m.
Where:   Library Classroom (main/1st floor)

Monday, October 24, 2011

New! Database Trial of Interest - British Periodicals

The UVM Libraries currently has trial access to British Periodicals, which provides searchable access to the full text of hundreds of periodicals from the late seventeenth century to the early twentieth, comprising millions of high-resolution facsimile page images. Topics covered include literature, philosophy, history, science, the social sciences, music, art, drama, archaeology and architecture.a full-text encyclopedia covering international literature and related topics. 

How to Access:
from the Library's Database Trials page

The trial runs through November 4, 2011.
We'd love your feedback. Submit your comments to me or through the online feedback form found on the Database Trials page.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Drop-in Research Assistance for Students in November

In addition to literature workshops and individual research consultations, I'm offering an alternative means of getting help.
Drop-in research assistance will be available for all English and FTS students this semester. No appointment or registration required. Students may stay as long as they need  - for a few minutes or for the entire hour. I will be there to help students with their literary or film research.
Location:  Library Classroom (main/1st floor)
Tuesday, November 15        8:45-9:45 a.m.
Wednesday, November 16   3:00-4:00 p.m.

I'll remind you again closer to the dates. Please let your students know.

Spotlight on the Internet - European Film Gateway (EFG)

Back in June 2009, there was a blog entry about  a nascent international film portal, "The European Film Gateway." After nearly 3 years in development this EU-sponsored website is now online.   URL:
This is an Internet portal to the digital collections of European film archives, and offers free access to @600,000 digital videos, lantern slides, photos, film posters, and text materials. Users can search for people as well as by film title or keywords. EFG is a component of Europeana, an online collection of millions of digitized items from European museums, libraries, archives and multi-media collections- serving as the platform for the cultural heritage of Europe.

The European Film Gateway web site has been added to the Film & Television Studies Subject Guide - Web Sites - [sub-tab] Archives & Museums.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Librarians and Faculty - Partnering for Academic Success

Video from Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL)
In this brief video  (@4 minutes) from the ACRL  Literatures in English Section (LES), four professors discuss how working with literature librarians has enhanced their teaching and research.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

New! Database Trial of Interest - Literary Encyclopedia

The UVM Libraries currently has trial access to a full-text encyclopedia covering international literature and related topics.  The Literary Encyclopedia is a reference work designed to provide university students with access to current thinking on literature, culture, and historical contexts. There are thousands of entries on people, works, and topics that have been written by scholars from around the world. All entries provide online content as well as lists of recommended external readings.

How to Access:
from the Library's Database Trials page
On-campus access only

The trial runs through October 2011.
We'd love your feedback. Submit your comments to me or through the online feedback form found on the Database Trials page.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Your Input on Library and Learning Spaces is Needed!

The UVM Libraries and Campus Planning are working with consultants from the architectural firm of Shepley Bullfinch to create a master plan for renovations to Bailey/Howe library and the possible addition of a Learning Commons that would include instructional spaces, specialized technology labs, and support services.

We need input from the campus community on September 6th and 7th. Please come to one of our open forums/focus groups:

For Faculty:
FOCUS GROUP #1, Tuesday, September 6, 2011, 10:30 a.m. to noon
Billings North Lounge
Refreshments served.
FOCUS GROUP #2, Wednesday, September 7, 2011, 2-3:20 p.m.
Billings North Lounge
Refreshments served.

Topics covered will include:
  • Faculty teaching and research.
  • Student study, learning, and research activities.
  • Library collections’ access and use.
  • Instructional space.
  • Multi-media use and production.
  • IT services and resources.
  • Academic support services.
  • Potential library partnerships and services.

For Graduate Students:
OPEN FORUM, Tuesday, September 6, 2011, noon to 1PM
Bailey/Howe Library’s McCrorey Gallery
Pizza and refreshments served.

Topics covered will include:
  • How the library currently meets your needs.
  • The best and least used library spaces.
  • What you need to better support and advance your work.
  • The balance between physical and digital resources.
  • Additional service and partnership possibilities for the Libraries.

RSVPS for focus groups are encouraged; drop-ins welcome. Email
Can’t make it? We still want to know how you use existing library spaces for study, research and teaching, and the kind of spaces you would like to utilize in the future. Drop us a line at 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Spotlight on the Collection (new!) - Ambrose Streaming Videos

Ambrose Video is a leading producer of educational documentaries, offering an extensive library of award-winning materials in social studies, literature, fine arts, and the sciences. The UVM Libraries has purchased a license for accessing several video collections via streaming video, including...(drum roll please..) the Complete set (37) of BBC Shakespeare Plays.
NOTE  off-campus access to this resource requires a log-in. Clips may be integrated into your Blackboard course sites.

Streaming video is a means of delivering video content to computer desktops via an Internet connection, without requiring any additional equipment for decoding or downloading.  A host server delivers the file to the receiving computer.  Multiple users can view the same video at the same time from different locations. Streaming video differs from downloads in that no copy of the file is stored on the end-user’s computer, so files remain relatively secure.

Access Ambrose Streaming Videos from the Library website:

Little Used Journals

Departmental liaisons have been informed by the Acquisitions librarians that several journal subscriptions will be canceled.  The decision was based on a usage study for the past two years. I was sent the following list as the liaison to English/FTS:
  • Arcadia
  • Chloe
  • English Studies
  • English Studies in Africa
  • New Formations
  • Publications of the English Goethe Society
Of course, you will always be able to request articles from these journals through Interlibrary Loan. If you have any immediate concerns, please contact Peter Spitzform / 656-2632. If you feel the pinch in some way during this year, you may certainly request that a journal subscription be reinstated.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Spotlight on the Collection (new!) - Two Databases

During the summer, the UVM Libraries purchased access to two fabulous resources. Please let me know if you have any questions about using these databases.

Dictionary of Literary Biography Complete Online  (DLB) [Remote Access-UVM Affiliates Only]
Searchable database of full-text literary biographies (including critical response to literary works) profiling past and present authors, historians, journalists, screenwriters, publishers, and playwrights worldwide from every era.

This is the online version of the well-known "blue books" in the Reference Collection. Literature Resource Center provides the partial contents of this set-text only, but this new resource is the complete version, available in pdf format-with images.

Another full-text historical newspaper has been added to our stable of historical full-text newspapers.

Times Digital Archive 1785-1985 (Times of London)  [Remote Access - UVM Affiliates Only]
Full-text of the Times of London, 1785-1985.  Search or browse full-page images of the paper.

For a list of full-text newspapers (current and historical) useful for your research see the "Newspaper Articles" tab in the English & American Literature subject guide and the Film & Television Studies subject guide.

Access these resources from the Library website:

Spotlight on the Collection - Database News

During the summer, some of our existing databases that you may use have changed or altered somewhat - hopefully for the better!

JSTOR:  The UVM Libraries has purchased access to several additional Arts & Sciences journal collections, which we hope will enrich your research.
While JSTOR provides subscriptions to individual journal titles, the primary method of providing access to journals is through "collections" (like Comcast cable when channels are bundled according to level of service). To see what collections (and what journals) UVM currently subscribes to, click on Note: you may have to use the VPN client to gain access to these lists from off-campus.

Arts & Humanities Citation Index (via Web of Science):  Date coverage now extends back to 1975. Previously, our coverage began in 1982.

International Index to Performing Arts (IIPA): ProQuest, the vendor from whom we purchase access, has created a new search interface for its databases. For those of you who search this database for film, television, and theatre/drama research, I believe you'll find the new search screen more intuitive and user-friendly. As always, let me know if you have any questions about this new search interface.

Dissertation Abstracts: This database is temporarily unavailable. Our previous vendor, FirstSearch, dropped this database. Acquisitions librarians are working to make this database available from another vendor. If you have questions about this, please contact Albert Joy or Peter Spitzform.

Library Orientation Workshop - New English Graduate Students

The library orientation workshop for new English graduate students will be offered in September. While the workshop is geared towards new arrivals, returning graduate students are more than welcome to attend as a "refresher."  This workshop is designed to introduce library services and collections, as well as some search tips that will enhance research.
Pre-registation is not required.
Courtesy Note: Food and drink are not allowed in the classroom.

Date:  Monday, September 12
Time:  3:30-5:00
Location:  B/H Library Classroom. Room 123. Main/1st floor.

Literary Criticism Workshops - Fall 2011

The literary criticism workshops for Fall 2011 have been scheduled. They are geared to the uninitiated or uncertain.
LOCATION: Bailey/Howe Library Classroom (Room 123) Main/1st floor

September 14 (Wednesday)
Literature Resource Center : 4-5 pm
MLA Int'l Bibliography : 5-6 pm

November 7 (Monday)
Literature Resource Center : 4-5 pm
MLA Int'l Bibliography : 5-6 pm

There is no "ideal" time of day or perfect day of the week to offer workshops. This is my best attempt to offer them at strategic times throughout the semester. I will make sure they are advertised on the Library web site at appropriate times. I would appreciate it if you would post these dates and times to your Blackboard site, list them on your syllabus, and/or mention them in class.

As always, if students need assistance and are unable to attend these workshops, please have them contact me directly and I will be happy to set up an individual appointment.

If you have any questions or comments, please let me know.

Library Research Annex (LRA) - Public Access

Beginning in Fall 2011, public access to the Library Research Annex (LRA) has ceased.  The only appointments that may be made are for access to Special Collections or Archives materials.

What does this mean for you?
You and your students may no longer physically go to the LRA to look at materials. Materials will be brought to the B/H Library at your request.

Individuals who need to look at these materials may retrieve them at the Circulation Desk (by presenting a  UVM ID), and then view them anywhere in the library.
Looking at materials with all your students at once (i.e., a group viewing) may present a challenge.

Please contact Access Services ( / 656-2023) if you wish to continue the practice of a group view.  If you have questions or concerns about this, please contact Jeffrey Marshall or Paul Philbin.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Spotlight on the Internet - Vermont Historical Newspapers

Speaking of historical newspapers (see previous post)..... The Library of Congress provides free access to hundreds of digitized U.S. newspapers through it's website Chronicling America - Historic American Newspapers.

The UVM Libraries was awarded funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)  to support the Vermont Digital Newspaper Project. As a result of this grant, the first batch of  VT newspapers is available on this website.
This is only the beginning-- staff working on this project will be adding tens of thousands more historical Vermont newspaper pages from titles all around the state. Right now, the collection at this website (covering the mid-19th century) is a complement to the VT historical newspapers available through our subscription database, America's Historical Newspapers.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Spotlight on the Collection (new!) - Los Angeles Times and Boston Globe

The library has added two more titles to our stable of  Full-text Historical Newspapers:
  • Los Angeles Times (Proquest Historical Newspapers), 1881-1987. This west coast counterpart to the New York Times provides the  full-text newspaper (articles, reviews, letters, obituaries, cartoons, display ads, etc.). It will serve as a rich source of research for documenting the Hollywood film and television industry, back to the beginnings.
  • Boston Globe (Proquest Historical Newspapers), 1872-1979. Provides the  full-text newspaper (articles, reviews, letters, obituaries, cartoons, display ads, etc.). This is a wonderful source for New England regional news as well as keeping track of the Boston Red Sox - the triumphs and the heartbreaks (like losing the 1967 World Series).
Access these resources from the Library website:
Don't forget about our other historical newspapers, which are also listed in the two subject guides:

America's Historical Newspapers
Full-text collection that includes hundreds of American newspapers published between 1690 and 1922. Search or browse early American newspapers including titles from all 50 present states.
Nineteenth Century British Newspapers
Collection of national and regional British newspapers from the collections at the British Library. Articles are presented as images of originals and can be viewed individually or in page context.
New York Times (Proquest Historical Newspapers)
Full-text of the New York Times since 1851 (excludes the most recent four years). Search or browse full-page images of the paper.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Spotlight on the Collection (new!) - New York Review of Books

The library has just purchased a subscription to The New York Review of Books, which provides full-text book reviews and articles back to 1963. This is a database restricted to UVM affiliates, so access from off-campus requires use of either the Ezproxy or VPN client log-in.
Access this resource from the Library website:

Spotlight on the Internet - NYPL Digital Gallery

Here's an Internet resource for images that may be useful for research in film as well as literature.

NYPL Digital Gallery
Provides free and open access to over 700,000 images digitized from the The New York Public Library's vast collections, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints, photographs and more. Search by keyword, or Browse by Subject or broad topic, e.g., Arts & Literature, Culture & Society, etc.
Sample search (literature) result from clicking on the discrete collection Authors: Photographs from...  in "Culture & Society."
Sample search (film) result after using the Browse feature to search by Subject: Motion Pictures  or click Arts & Literature to view discrete collections of photographs, posters, etc. relating to film and stage.

Access this resource from the Library website:
  • English & American Literature Subject Guide - Tab -> Images
  • Film & Television Studies Subject Guide - Tab -> Images

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Looking Ahead to Fall 2011

The end of the semester is finally here! I hope you all have a wonderful summer. While the last thing you want to think about is the Fall 2011 semester, I wanted to catch you before the semester ends.

If you are beginning to think about your classes for the fall...

Please let me know if there is anything I can do to support you and your students in your fall courses.
I can do one or more of the following:

  • Design a web-based research guide customized for your course
  • Meet with your students as a group during class time
  • Consult with you on a research assignment
  • Meet with students as a group (across Eng/FTS courses) outside of class, for workshops on using specific resources such as MLA Bibliography, Literature Resource Center, JSTOR, etc.
  • Meet with students individually for research assistance with a paper or project. Please encourage them to contact me directly.
  • Design a web-based research guide for your course, visit your class briefly to introduce myself, and meet with students individually as necessary.
I encourage you to include my name and contact information on your syllabi as the librarian for English and FTS, who looks forward to helping students with their research.

Summer Classes

If you are teaching a course this summer, I'm available to help you and your students. While you most likely don't want to give up a class period for instruction, please know that I can help in other ways:
  • design a web-based guide customized to your course and assignment/s
  • meet with students individually for research assistance

Congratulations Graduate Students!

Congratulations to all the graduate students who are graduating in May. It was a joy and pleasure to work with you. Best of luck on your future journeys!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Spotlight on the Internet - Old Bailey Online

Bigamy,  28th June 1676
"A Country fellow was tried for having two Wives ; the first he married neer Tame in Oxfordshire, and liv'd with her several years, and had two pretty children (a Boy and a Girl) which were brought into Court to see the wickedness of the Father: After that ..."

For those of you teaching British literature, you may be interested in this primary source of social history.

Old Bailey Online - The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, 1674-1913

"A fully searchable edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published, containing 197,745 criminal trials held at London's central criminal court."

Literary/Film Criticism Workshops - March

Another set of literary/film criticism workshops will be held in March - just before spring break.
They are geared to the uncertain and uninitiated. Please let your students know about them. There will soon be a post about the workshops on the Library home page under the category Events & Exhibits. Questions should be directed to me.

March 1 (Tuesday)
Literature Resource Center : 4-5 pm
MLA International Bibliography : 5-6 pm
LOCATION: Bailey/Howe Library Classroom (Room 123) Main/1st floor

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Library Collections - Your Opinions Matter

As the liaison to English/FTS, I've been thinking about how best to make sure the library's collections are meeting your teaching and research needs.

Print books, e-books, online reference books, print reference books, article databases, full-text databases, print journals, e-journals, order on demand books, order on demand e-books,  books freely available on the Internet, films on dvds, streaming video,  the advent of e-book readers.....      All these options make us dizzy.

While I hope you feel comfortable contacting me with your collections needs, I thought an in-person conversation with the group would serve a purpose.  Sometimes "group think" yields important information.

Tony has kindly agreed to set aside @15 minutes or so during your dept. meeting on Monday, January 31st.   During our time together, I hope to learn:
  • what you’re happy with
  • what you’re not so crazy about
  • what you wish we would provide
  • your thoughts on various formats for books, journals, and films (print, online, dvd, streaming video)
This type of feedback is important to the library. With budgets being tight, we want to make sure we direct our collections budget to what really matters for our faculty and, consequently, to our students.
I won't be there to present, but to ask, listen, and record.  Of course, I’ll try to answer any questions you might have.  At the end, l hope you’ll have found this to be a useful exercise. See you on Monday!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Workshops, Workshops, and More Workshops!

Reminder about literary/film criticism workshops:
Literary Criticism Workshops in Spring 2011
Note: the first set is coming up soon - Tuesday, February 1st (Literature Resource Center, 4-5 and MLA International Bibliography, 5-6)

EndNote  (citation management software program)
Thursday, February 10 :   4-5 pm
Thursday, March 17 :  4-5 pm
Wednesday,  April 6 :  4:30 - 5:30 pm 
-- these are introductory workshops for students, faculty, and staff. Offered by Laurie Kutner, Bailey/Howe Reference Librarian (tel: 656-2213).
-- if your department would like to schedule your own EndNote workshop, Laurie would be pleased to do that.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Spotlight on the Collection (new!) - Masterplots

Well, Masterplots isn't actually new; it's been around since at least the 1950s. What is new is that we have the latest edition (4th, 2011) in print as well as complimentary online access [  Masterplots ].

A reminder that Masterplots provides plot summaries and critical analyses for major works worldwide in all genres -- long fiction, short fiction, poetry, drama, and nonfiction -- from all time periods. Each entry ends with a short but useful bibliography.
Access this resource from the Library website: