Inclement Weather Expected

Although Marlboro College is not officially closing Tuesday, January 27 given the severity of the weather forecast, staff, faculty, and students are advised to make safety a priority and avoid travel to and from campus if necessary. Public events have been postponed – check the events list for updates. Essential operating staff will be on campus regardless of weather conditions.

The End is Nigh!

Library Blog - December 15, 2014 - 1:42pm

It’s almost over! Congratulation to our graduating seniors, and we wish everyone a successful close to the Fall semester! The Library will close over the winter break, and to that end, we wanted to update everyone on the following dates and deadlines:

  • Please remove all personal belongings from the library no later than Thursday, December 18th.
  • All interlibrary loan books are due back no later than Wednesday, December 17th.
  • Marlboro library items are also due back Wednesday, December 17th. However, you are welcome to renew them over break as long as no one else has requested them.
  • The library building will begin winter break hours on Thursday, December 18th, at 4:30pm (when the dorms close), which means the building will be locked overnight. A return bin will be located outside the entrance by the librarians’ offices for those needing to return library materials.
  • Hours for the library building and services over break are M-F, 8:30am – 4:30pm.
    The library will be closed from Wednesday, December 24, 2014, through Sunday, January 4, 2015.

Doing research over break? Don’t forget that you have access to tens of thousands of journals, books, and more via the library’s website. And whether you are near or far, library staff remain available to provide research assistance.

Have a wonderful break!

Rapid Reviews this Thursday!

Library Blog - December 8, 2014 - 12:41pm

How can anyone review The Complete Works of Shakespeare in a minute? Come hear Marlboro College student Saskia Giramma try just that at this semester’s Rapid Reviews this Thursday, December 11th at 3pm in the Apple Tree lecture room. Saskia will be joined by students Kelly Hickey and Tommy Arsenault along with librarian Rachel Gravel and chemistry professor Todd Smith as they talk about their all-time favorite books, reviewing each in a minute or less.

Even with all of Shakespeare’s plays being counted as one book, you can hear about an unprecedented 58 books in 46 minutes when Tommy Arsenault attempts to review the 13 book series by Lemony Snicket, A Series of Unfortunate Events, in one minute.  Here are some other books that you’ll hear about:

All the books reviewed will be at the event for you to check out at the event.

Milk and homemade chocolate chip cookies, as well as vegan and gluten free goodies, will be served.  We hope to see you there!

Library Hours over Thanksgiving, & the ILL book request deadline reminder

Library Blog - November 24, 2014 - 4:26pm

While the Library building will remain open during the Thanksgiving holiday, the Service Desk will have reduced hours.

Governor LeRoy Collins pardoning the Thanksgiving turkey in Tallahassee, Florida. 1957. State Library and Archives of Florida.

The Service Desk will close at 3pm on Wednesday, November 26th. Please plan in advance if you’d like to borrow reserves, DVDs, equipment, or pick up holds or ILLs before break!

The Service Desk, Reserve/AV Room, and Plan room will reopen at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 30th (December! Yikes!). Regular hours will resume at that time.

The last day to request books or A/V materials via Interlibrary Loan this semester is Monday, December 1st. (You can keep requesting articles.)

Remember that even when you’re away from the library, you still have access to over 125,000 academic ebooks, 40,000 online journals, and dozens of research databases. When you use library resources off campus, if you’re prompted to log in, just use your Marlboro username and password.

Have a wonderful break!

EQAs Raise the Bar on Sustainability   

Sustainability Updates - November 21, 2014 - 3:02pm

Students employed by the college as Environmental Quality Assistants, or EQAs, have been an integral part of sustainability programs at Marlboro for several years. But this year there is a bumper crop of EQAs on the job, six in all, rising to address several environmental challenges at once. They report directly to the Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC) on a range of projects from improving energy use on campus to researching the Climate Action Plans at other colleges.

“The EQAs are essentially the day-to-day action arm of the EAC, which advises the president on issues of policy and planning,” said Matt Ollis, math professor and chair of the EAC. “I was thrilled with the number of people interested in the position, all of them with talents to bring, and I continue to get inquiries.”

Among the valuable projects the EQAs are working on, they are assessing and applying weatherstripping around doors and collecting data on windows left open (and shutting them) and lights left on (and turning them off). They are installing LED light bulbs all around campus, with the goal of removing nearly all incandescent light bulbs by the end of the academic year. Members of the team are developing helpful signage for recycling bins, and to remind people to close windows and doors tight. Along with the dining hall staff they are launching the self-assessment required for participation in the Real Food Challenge, and collecting mugs and plates that find their way into dorms. They are even designing and building a tricycle cart for collecting compostables at events.

Van Trip to the UMass Amherst Libraries, 11/16

Library Blog - November 10, 2014 - 2:23pm
Yes, that’s the library.

This Sunday, November 16th, the library is sponsoring the second van trip of the semester to the UMass Amherst Libraries. Space is limited! Sign up on the sheet at the Library Research Bar.

The van will leave the Dining Hall at 11:30 am and return by 5:30 pm.

While at UMass, you can search their hundreds of databases and download or scan articles from their extensive journal holdings (e-journal list; library catalog). If you are a Massachusetts resident, you can get a library card and borrow books; if not, you can jot down any book titles that look useful and request them via Marlboro’s Interlibrary Loan service.

Beth and/or Amber are happy to meet with you this week to help you make the most of your 3 hours (roughly) at UMass. Stop by or email us to set up an appointment!

Sustainable Rice is Nice

Sustainability Updates - November 6, 2014 - 2:33pm

The dining hall staff has made great gains in buying more local foods, in line with the recent Real Food Campus Commitment, but not all their efforts have been local. A new partnership with Lotus Foods, an importer of ecologically sustainable whole-grain rice varieties, provides a wholesome option for vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free students.

Lotus Food’s “More Crop Per Drop” rice varieties are grown with 50 percent less water and 90 percent fewer seeds, requiring less land, less labor, and lower costs for smallholder farm families. They also produce less methane than conventional flooded rice fields, so contribute less to global warming.

“We’re just making every effort to find as many ecologically sustainable food sources as possible, so when our distributor offered this rice we jumped right on it,” said Benjamin Newcomb (pictured), chef manager at Marlboro through Metz Culinary Management. Marlboro is the first Metz location to order Lotus Food rice, and is regarded as a pioneer in the company for introducing more local, organic, and other sustainable food options.

Students Bullish on Bikes

Sustainability Updates - October 30, 2014 - 11:49am

Bicycles are not only good for the environment, they are a great way to get exercise and blow off steam after 300 pages of The Brothers Karamazov. It’s therefore not surprising that Town Meeting voted in favor of paying $1,000 from the “Washer and Dryer Fund” to obtain three shiny, new mountain bikes. The proposal, which was presented to Town Meeting by Randy Knaggs, director of the Outdoor Program, met with unanimous approval, even raising the fund request from $750 to $1,000. The new bicycles, Raleigh Talus 3.0s purchased from Burrows Specialized Sports in Brattleboro, will be added to the growing stable of bicycles for students to borrow from the “bike shed” next to Random North.

“These are definitely the shiniest bikes we have had in the bike shed in a long time,” said Max Foldeak, director of the Total Health Center. Max leads a weekly bike trip on nearby dirt roads and trails that he refers to as “cycle therapy,” enjoyed by students, staff, and faculty alike. “This fall we had three new students show up wanting to ride, but they didn’t have bikes. Now we’ll be able to accommodate more interested students. It’s a great way to get off campus, to get to know the neighborhood, and figure out where you are geographically…as well as psychologically,” added Max.



Economists Separated at Birth?

Potash Phil - October 21, 2014 - 3:38pm

What would you do if you were shipwrecked on a Caribbean island frequented by cannibals, all on your lonesome except for the captain’s dog and two cats? Well, if you were Robinson Crusoe this would not be a hypothetical question, and you would dry grapes into raisins and hunt with handcrafted tools until you were rescued decades later. But in John Rush’s awesome Economic Principles & Problems class, our man Crusoe has much to teach us about the “utility function” that is the bread and butter of economic theory.

Okay, in case you’re just catching wind of this, John Rush is Marlboro’s new economics professor, joining us from the University of Hawaii at Manoa (so he has some tips to share on island survival), where he received his doctoral degree. According to John, economics is all about “choices,” and how we make choices to maximize our good friend the utility function. What is it worth to us to eat mac-n-cheese every day, for example? To sled down library hill on a dining hall tray? To hang out with friends and watch Game of Thrones? None of these things are options if you are shipwrecked, of course. However, Robinson Crusoe made many other choices—like, should he kill the marauding cannibals who don’t know they are committing an abomination?—and John’s class is reading this timeless classic to get at the heart of economics.

But the real economic question on everyone’s mind is whether John Rush and recent Marlboro graduate Patrick Magee ’14 are twins separated at birth. I mean, not only is there a marked similarity between the two gentlemen, they are both economics scholars with uncanny knowledge about things like resources and actors and scarcities and market equilibriums and the like. Sure, Patrick’s Plan was about the impact of U.S. agricultural policy on small farms, and John’s work has focused on natural disasters and inequality in developing countries, but they are both unusually kind and sensibly dressed. I wonder if they both include mac-n-cheese in their utility function?


Marlboro Signs Real Food Challenge

Sustainability Updates - October 18, 2014 - 9:44am

“I am thrilled to be a part of the solution to our troubled food system,” said Benjamin Newcomb, chef manager at Marlboro through Metz Culinary Management. On April 15, Benjamin and Marlboro President Ellen McCulloch-Lovell signed the Real Food Campus Commitment, joining more than 100 colleges and universities across the country.“The Real Food Challenge permits us to create a fair, sustainable food culture that celebrates the student, the local farmer, and the best of what New England agriculture has to offer—farm to table.” The signing of the commitment was followed by a community dinner of mostly regional or ecologically sound foods, part of Marlboro’s events leading up to Earth Day.

Learn more.

Privacy and security concerns with Adobe Digital Editions

Library Blog - October 16, 2014 - 1:02pm

**Please read this if you download ebooks from our eBook Academic Collection to a personal device**

Recently, it came to light that there are serious privacy and security concerns with Adobe Digital Editions version 4. ADE is software that can be downloaded onto laptops, tablets, and smartphones, and is used to view ebooks offline on personal devices. With version 4, Adobe Digital Editions has been logging and sharing non-encrypted data on the books used. While Adobe has announced it is currently working on correcting this issue, it is strongly recommended that users revert to ADE 2 or 3; older versions of this software do not log and transmit personal data back to Adobe in the same way version 4 does. You can find the older versions here.

Please be aware that simply viewing an ebook on a computer does not put your privacy at risk; the privacy concerns only occur when you actually download an ebook and open it using ADE 4. Adobe Reader – used for viewing pdf’s – is also not affected.

For more information, see the article in Ars Technica and the latest update from the American Library Association.

Please contact Beth Ruane, Library Director, with any questions or concerns.





Service Desk Hours @ the Library During Hendricks Days

Library Blog - October 15, 2014 - 8:03pm

During Hendricks Days weekend, the library building will remain open.

The Service Desk will be staffed, and the AV/Reserve Room and Plan Room available, during the following times:

  • Saturday: No staffing
  • Sunday: 6:30pm – 11:00pm
  • Monday: 8:30am – 5:00pm; 6:30 – 11:00pm
  • Tuesday: 8:30am – 5:00 pm; 6:30 pm – 11:00 pm

Have a wonderful break!

And The Winners Are…!

Library Blog - October 8, 2014 - 9:37am

Many thanks to everyone who nominated and voted for items for the library to buy this year with the David Pierce Fund. His family has generously established a fund in his memory to support the purchase of fun, not necessarily academic items for the library each year. This year’s winners are:

  • The Roald Dahl Audio Collection (CD) (23 votes)
  • The Indispensable Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson (20 votes)
  • A Song of Ice and Fire Audiobook Collection: Book 1: Game of Thrones (CD) (9 votes)
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox and Other Stories Audio Collection (CD) (8 votes)
  • Nothing Nice to Say by Mitch Clem (7 votes)
  • The Maze Runner by James Dashner (5 votes)
  • The Reluctant Assassin by Eoin Colfer (4 votes)

These items will arrive at the library over the next few weeks; look for them to be on display as they come in.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s selection process! This tradition is a lovely tribute to David’s memory. I hope that everyone enjoys these great new additions to the collection.