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Archive for the ‘Spotlight’ Category

Vermont Congressional Collections Online

Friday, May 12th, 2017

The University of Vermont (UVM) is a major repository for Vermont Congressional papers. Special Collections holds the records of over thirty members of Congress from 1791 to the present. Digitized content from a selection of Vermont congressional papers is available in four Center for Digital Initiatives collections.

Dairy and the US Congress documents legislative issues relating to dairy such as milk pricing, subsidies, and oleomargarine. Vermont’s congressional delegation has a long and active history in matters relating to Vermont’s dairy farmers and the dairy industry. George Aiken, Elbert Brigham, James Jeffords, and Patrick Leahy all served on Agriculture committees and their collections document many of the agricultural issues that faced Congress from 1941-1975.

Congressional Speeches features speeches made on the floor of the United States House of Representatives and Senate by Vermont Congressmen. Topics covered include the environment, education, agriculture, World War II and selective service, the Mexican War, the tariff and international trade, slavery, the Civil War and Reconstruction. The speeches date from 1812 to the present and a wide variety of Congressmen are represented.

Letters Home from Congress features letters written home from 1818-1941 by Warren R. Austin (Senator, 1931-1946), Jacob Collamer (Representative, 1843-1848; Senator, 1855-1865), and Samuel C. Crafts (Representative, 1817-1824; Senator 1842-1843). The letters document travel to and from Washington by horse, boat, train, and airplane; lodging in boarding houses, hotels, and homes; social life in Washington; significant local and national events; and legislative issues under consideration in Congress. Austin’s letters are particularly strong in their coverage of his frustration at being a minority Senator during the era of Roosevelt and the New Deal; his activities on the Judiciary Committee; and foreign affairs questions such as the Neutrality Act. The letters of Crafts and Collamer both extensively cover the question of slavery, discussing Missouri statehood, John Brown, the annexation of Texas, and the Civil War. All three Congressmen frequently discuss questions regarding appropriations and the Federal budget.

Congressional Papers documents selected aspects of the legislative history of Vermont’s members of Congress. In particular, the collection looks at issues that were important for a particular member as well as issues that have been important over time, such as support for dairy farmers, water quality, and slavery. The documents cover the period from 1818-2004.

A fifth collection, Congressional Portraits, includes individual and group portraits of Vermont members of Congress.

 

 

Information Literacy – Now More Than Ever

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

INFORMATION LITERACY AT UVM

University of Vermont students have more access to information now than they have ever had in their lives. Yet rarely do students come to us with a complex understanding of the information they encounter. As teachers, how do we guide our students through a complicated information landscape and help them become better researchers and more informed writers?

Information literacy is more than a discrete set of skills. Students must understand the context in which information resides. A request to find appropriate information on a topic assumes that students will understand why a certain resource may or may not be appropriate for a given audience. A request to find scholarly articles on a topic assumes that a student understands how scholarly articles are produced and contribute to disciplinary conversations. To be effective teachers of information literacy is to explicitly attend to the contextual questions of “how” and “why” that are so often overlooked. Information literacy is an iterative, progressive, and scaffolded set of skills, abilities, and habits of mind.

INFORMATION LITERACY AT UVM IS:

> taught across all years of the student experience.

> embedded throughout the process of identifying topics, posing questions, reading, research, and synthesizing information to create final products.

> relevant to all disciplines and across all disciplines.

> collaboratively taught in partnership between librarians, faculty, and students.

> assessed through assignments and coursework.

The Association of College and Research Libraries, which guides and supports information literacy in higher education, defines information literacy as: “The set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning.”

UVM’S INTEGRATED APPROACH TO INFORMATION LITERACY

Expectations for understanding information literacy, conducting research, and writing are different in all disciplines. As learners and practitioners, our understanding of information literacy is constantly developing.

Students learn about information literacy most effectively when it is integrated throughout the curriculum. UVM’s Writing and Information Literacy General Education outcome helps address the teaching and learning of information literacy, and writing through the collaboration of librarians and faculty.

At UVM two initiatives are in place to structure this progression by combining the interrelated practices of writing and information literacy:

Foundational Writing and Information Literacy (FWIL) is designed to meet the needs of first-year students. Courses that fulfill this requirement address information literacy, critical reading, revision, and the ability to adapt one’s writing to a particular audience and situation.

Writing and Information Literacy in the Disciplines (WILD) works with departments to develop a curricular approach to teaching information literacy and writing across a student’s four-year undergraduate experience.

As students move past college they will continue to engage with the concepts of information literacy and use the skills that they have developed at UVM. In many professions, information literacy manifests itself through the use of evidence-based practices that help inform decisions and actions.

INFORMATION LITERACY BEYOND THE CLASSROOM

As citizens in a complex global society, UVM graduates will face demands to critically engage with information, generate knowledge, and solve problems in a variety of personal, professional, and civic contexts. UNESCO’s Alexandria Proclamation on Information Literacy and Lifelong Learning describes information literacy as a basic human right in a digital world that promotes social inclusion. In this larger context, information literacy can be transformative and provides a means for understanding the economic, political, and social forces that impact people’s ability to access information in order to educate themselves and facilitate change.

AN INVITATION TO COLLABORATE

We invite you to work with your subject librarian to integrate and sequence information literacy into your classes and across the curriculum. Contact your librarian to start the conversation.

Librarians can work with you to:

> develop information literacy outcomes for your course.

> support specific assignments through targeted instruction.

> create tutorials and guides to enhance student learning outside the classroom.

> collaborate to create and assess effective assignments.

Continuum of Librarian Support for Information Literacy

> Point-of-need assistance is available through various Ask A Librarian reference services.

> Student research support is available through individual and group consultations with librarians.

> Library instruction is available for individual courses to support specific research needs.

Programmatic information literacy is integrated into the curriculum in cooperation with faculty across campus.

FURTHER READING

> Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. Association of College and Research Libraries. (2016).

> Ithaka S+R US Faculty Survey 2015.Wolff, C., Rod, A.B., & Schonfeld, R.C. (2016).

> Project Information Literacy. Information School, University of Washington. (2016).

Explore Kanopy Streaming

Friday, January 13th, 2017

Have you heard about UVM Libraries’ video streaming service, Kanopy? With Kanopy, you can watch thousands of films ranging from educational documentaries to cinematic classics – all for free. All you need to do is go to uvm.kanopystreaming.com and follow the prompt to sign in with your netID and password.

Kanopy offers professors an easy and direct way to assign viewings to their students, and also provides an impressive collection of informational documentaries for student research. The service boasts thousands of critically acclaimed foreign, art-house, and classic films; including many from the Criterion Collection.

Below are just a few examples of some fantastic films that you can access today!

 

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Hoop Dreams – Dubbed “one of the best 1,000 films ever” by The New York times, Hoop Dreams chronicles the journeys of two high school students from Chicago as they strive to realize their dreams of becoming professional athletes.

 

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Eraserhead – Take a dive into the surrealist world of David Lynch with his very first film, Eraserhead. Created for a school project at the American Film Institute in 1977, Eraserhead is a bizarre ride through a young man’s attempt at living by the standards of modern society- and falling into a whole other world completely.

 

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Burden of Dreams – Watch as Les Blank follows prominent filmmaker Werner Herzog in his exhaustive plight in the production of his 1982 film, Fitzcarraldo. The documentary follows the cast and crew through the jungles of South America as they attempt to work with the elements – and each other – in order to create a critically-acclaimed film.

 

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The Fear of 13The Fear of 13 is a riveting documentary told by its main protagonist (or potentially antagonist), Nick Yarris – a death row inmate convicted of a brutal rape and murder. Yarris offers his entire autobiographical narrative, all the while leaving the viewer wondering if he is innocent or guilty.

Mindfulness and natural medicine

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

There’s growing interest in the benefits of mindfulness techniques and alternative medicines. The UVM Libraries provides affiliates with up-to-date, research intensive information on best practices.

Mindfulness journal cover

Mindfulness journal

“This journal publishes peer-reviewed papers that examine the latest research findings and best practices in mindfulness. It explores the nature and foundations of mindfulness, its mechanisms of actions, and its use across cultures. In addition, Mindfulness features papers that address issues involving the training of clinicians, institutional staff, teachers, parents, and industry personnel in mindful provision of services.” –Publisher’s information

Herbal assortment

Natural Medicines

Natural Medicines is a database dedicated to comparing the efficacy of alternative therapies, that provides information on the safety, effectiveness.and interactions of over 1200 naturally-sourced vitamins, herbs, minerals and other supplements. It includes access to patient handouts, and topical overviews on health and wellness, sports medicine and medical conditions.

PolicyMap

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016
Farmers' market map

Map showing numbers of farmers’ markets in the United States in 2015.

PolicyMap is an online mapping and data tool with extensive U.S. datasets on demographics, socioeconomics, mortgage and home sales, health, employment, crime, and more. It’s valuable for research, market studies, business planning, site selection, and grant applications.

“Help students across disciplines understand geographic data without having to take a specialized class. Use PolicyMap to bring sophisticated data, mapping and analytics to fields beyond traditional GIS and planning departments.  From public health to sociology and law, students can use PolicyMap to create maps, reports and analyses to enable a deeper understanding of crucial areas in their fields.” –Publisher’s information

The UVM Libraries provides subscription access to PolicyMap for UVM affiliates.

Want fashion?

Monday, August 29th, 2016

The UVM Libraries provides access for UVM affiliates to resources with contemporary and historic appeal to fashion lovers.

Beyonce 2015 Vogue cover

Vogue Archive
The Vogue Archive contains full issues of Vogue magazine from the first issue in 1892 to the current month, with high-resolution page images.  The Archive is meticulously indexed and can be searched by photographer, fashion item (kimono, scoop neckline, Breton jacket), person pictured, company/brand, designer name, or material (chiffon, wool, taffeta).

Sample image from Brooklyn Museum exhibit in Berg

Berg Fashion Library
The Berg Fashion Library is an interdisciplinary portal to integrated text and image content on world dress and fashion throughout history. It covers all aspects of clothing, dress, fashion, and textiles around the world and includes access to comprehensive reference sources, as well as images from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Bath Fashion Museum, the MoMu Fashion Museum (Belgium), the Commercial Pattern Archive Database and more.

Great Starting Places

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

Not sure where to start looking for material for a research project? Check out our Subject Research Guides. Subject Guides are available on a wide range of topics from Anthropology to Zoology. Each guide includes recommendations for the best places to look for books, articles, and other materials related to the subject at hand. In addition many guides also provide helpful advice about research strategies and preparing citations and bibliographies.

If you need more specialized help or just want to talk with someone about your research, each guide includes contact information for the librarian that specializes in working with students and faculty in that subject area. This librarian will be happy to work with you.