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Learning Commons Refresh


ONE stop for questions. Go ahead - Ask Us!

You spoke; we listened! Based on your feedback, in partnership with Information Technology, we're refreshing part of the Learning Commons in the Du Bois Library:

-ONE service desk for all your borrowing, research, and tech needs
-ONE easily visible and accessible space for printers
-NEW spaces for PCs
-NEW work surfaces with a splash of color

Check out the new and improved Learning Commons this fall!

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Dean of UMass Amherst Libraries Elected President of Boston Library Consortium

Simon for CMS

The UMass Amherst Libraries are pleased to announce that Simon Neame, Dean of Libraries, has been elected President of the Boston Library Consortium (BLC).

Founded in 1970, the BLC is a community of academic and research libraries in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire that fosters interlibrary collaboration, innovation, and sharing of resources.

“I’m honored to be elected President of the BLC for a one-year term,” said Neame. “The BLC provides access for our faculty and students to the rich collections of research libraries across New England, as well as opportunities for UMass Amherst Libraries’ staff to participate in a diverse range of professional development programs.”

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UMassic Amherst Libraries...?

Dinosaur CMS

Libraries find a get you the best resources possible. Welcome to UMassic Amherst Libraries.


A dinosaur has been spotted in the Du Bois Library.

Experts believe it is a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Possibly aggressive due to frustration at not being able to reach books on shelves.

Please check our social media pages for further information. #UMassicAmherstLibraries.

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Study in the Graduate Commons!

Grad Commons CMS

Students Asked—We Listened

The campus's first-ever Graduate Commons, located on Floor 5 of the Du Bois Library, is a result of input gathered through surveys and focus groups assessing the needs of graduate students. The space is filled with workstations, conference rooms, and secure storage for scholarly materials.


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Falcon Season 2018

Falcon Season

Falcon Season 2018 is here!

Falcon Cam is live on our website and our YouTube channel.

When we installed the camera for the 2018 season on April 23, we found one egg in the nest. Because of the cold temperatures and wet weather in April, it appears the single early egg is inviable. With the past as our guide, we are hopeful the mating pair will lay additional eggs this season. Thank you for watching.

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Digital Media Lab Announces Winners of Virtual Reality Contest

Transforming the UMass Amherst Community through Virtual Reality

Ready Player One 1

The UMass Amherst Libraries Digital Media Lab is pleased to announce the winners of the Ready Player One Virtual Reality Competition. To commemorate the lab’s new virtual reality (VR) capabilities from HTC VIVE, the official partner of the new film, Ready Player One, UMass Amherst students were challenged to produce a short video describing their vision of how VR technology and its applications could enhance student life on campus.

First Place: Parker Louison ’20, for an idea based on a VR application to develop simulations of various career paths and areas of study. This will help students “test the waters” of their various interests, stretching their perspectives on their own capabilities and helping them thrive in and be passionate about their future careers. Louison received an HTC VIVE set valued at $599 donated to the UMass Amherst Libraries by Dr. Steve Acquah, Digital Media Lab Unit Coordinator and Associate Adjunct Professor of Chemistry.

Second Place: Benjamin Abraham ’21, for an idea to incorporate VR into UMass Medical Services to help military veterans cope with traumatic experiences. VR therapy using applications such as Bravemind may help in the healing process of our nation’s combat personnel. Abraham received a copy of the book Ready Player One, signed by author Ernest Cline, and a $20 Cinemark Gift Card.

Third Place: Harrison Packer ’19, for an idea to enhance the sustainability aspect of campus life with a virtual reality app supporting clean energy initiatives, allowing students to examine how green technology can affect the environment. Packer received a $20 Cinemark Gift Card.

Acquah, who also serves as Director of the Global Educational Outreach for Science Engineering and Technology (GEOSET) initiative founded with one of the 1996 Nobel Laureates in Chemistry, is very pleased with the outcome of the competition.

“The students at UMass Amherst show a passion for their campus community with creative and innovative ideas that can enhance campus life,” he stated. “I’m looking forward to working with our talented students on their ideas for VR applications. Our team, including the leader of our VR facility, Yuntian Hu, is ready to help enhance the student experience through technology.”

Currently located on Floor 3 of the W. E. B. Du Bois Library, the UMass Amherst Digital Media Lab is a multimedia and 3D print production space designed to support students working on video, audio, animation, and 3D modeling.

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UMass Amherst Libraries Made Partner in Maker Competencies and the Undergraduate Curriculum Pilot Study

Makerspace CMS Photo

The UMass Amherst Libraries have been chosen by the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) and the University of Nevada-Reno as one of four additional university partners to participate in a pilot study entitled Maker Competencies and the Undergraduate Curriculum.

Funded by a $49,800 National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the study seeks to explore the impacts of academic library makerspaces–spaces with technological resources and equipment for project-based collaboration–on undergraduate student learning.

Sarah Hutton, Head of Undergraduate Teaching and Learning Services at the UMass Amherst Libraries and President of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) New England Chapter, applied for the partnership on behalf of the Digital Media Lab, a cross-disciplinary makerspace in the W. E. B. Du Bois Library where all students have access to professional-quality audiovisual production facilities and equipment, as well as the Makerbot Innovation Center for 3D printing.

As a partner in the study, the UMass Amherst Libraries will work towards four main goals: to pilot a diverse selection of undergraduate courses in academic library makerspaces; to expand and improve the early stage list of maker-based competencies originally developed by UTA Libraries’ Maker Literacies Task Force; to create and explore various assessment methods and tools for measuring student learning in makerspaces; and to develop an online repository of Open Educational Resources (OER) for utilizing and assessing maker-based competencies.

To accomplish these goals, Hutton will be collaborating with UMass Amherst Professors Alex Schreyer in the Building and Construction Technology program and Charlie Schweik of Environmental Conservation and the School of Public Policy over the Spring 2018 semester in their Makerspace-related class offerings: Schreyer’s “Designing with 3D CAD & BIM” and “Studies in Building Information Modeling” and Schweik’s “Makerspace Leadership and Outreach.”

According to Hutton, “Our hope is to develop competencies that could hopefully be as widely recognized and utilized as the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy–essentially, a common language for curriculum mapping and development throughout makerspaces in libraries all over the country and the world.”

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UMass Amherst Librarian Receives Digital Library Federation & Kress Cross-Pollinator Award


The UMass Amherst Libraries are pleased to announce that Annie Sollinger, Digital Image Metadata Librarian, has been selected as a winner of this year’s Digital Library Federation (DLF) & Kress Cross-Pollinator Awards.

A member of the Libraries’ Digital Scholarship Center (formerly the Image Collection Library), Sollinger works closely with the Department of the History of Art and Architecture in particular to provide quality digital images, metadata, and research support. She states, “As we add to our traditional visual resources work, I am excited about building new services that are accessible and equitable from the ground up.”

The Kress Cross-Pollinator Awards bring in awardees from non-DLF members who belong to other cultural organizations. These awards provide a travel fellowship to the annual DLF Forum, serving as a meeting place, marketplace, and congress for digital library practitioners from member institutions and the broader community. This year, the Forum will be held in Pittsburgh on October 23-25.

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UMass Amherst Faculty Members Receive Sustainability Curriculum Fellowships

$10,000 Awarded for 2017-18

The Chancellor’s Office has awarded 11 UMass Amherst faculty members with a Sustainability Curriculum Fellowship (SCF) for the 2017-18 school year. The year-long interdisciplinary fellowship provides ten fellowships of $1,000 each (one shared) to faculty developing or augmenting courses with sustainability-related topics.

Fellows will attend monthly meetings, during which they receive guidance with using library resources, assistance with course design or redesign, and reports about campus sustainability policies, projects, and other initiatives. 

The fellowship is supported by the Chancellor’s Sustainability Advisory Committee, in cooperation with UMass Amherst Libraries, the Campus Sustainability Manager from Facilities and Campus Service, the Institute for Teaching Excellence and Faculty Development, and the School of Earth and Sustainability.

To date, the SCF program has supported five cohorts of faculty fellows from every college, across two dozen different departments at the university.

This year’s Sustainability Curriculum Fellows are:



Mary Bell and Angela Roell, Stockbridge

Madeleine Charney/Naka Ishii

Nicole Burton, Stockbridge

Madeleine Charney/Naka Ishii

Carol Connare, Journalism

James Kelly

Christina DiMarco-Crook - Food Science

Naka Ishii

Wayne Feiden - LARP

Madeleine Charney

David Glassberg - History

James Kelly

Emily Kumpel - Civil and Environmental Engineering

Maxine Schmidt

Jennifer Merton - Management

J. Michael Davis

Joel Saxe - Communication

Jeremy Smith

Elizabeth Schmidt – Public Policy

Lisa Di Valentino

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UMass Amherst Libraries Win Grant from the National Networks of Libraries of Medicine - New England Region

ScienceBootCamp edit

The UMass Amherst Libraries announce the recent award of a $9,694 grant from the National Networks of Libraries of Medicine – New England Region to support Science Boot Camp (SBC), an annual two-and-a-half-day professional development event for science librarians.

The grant provided seven scholarships for Library staff and library school students from across New England. Recipients were paired with a veteran SBC mentor to develop deeper understandings of science librarianship and related opportunities. The grant also increases the reach of the program, using technology to enable more librarians to participate on the local, national, and even international scale.

“The grant money enabled the Planning Committee to hire a professional videographer to record, edit, and close-caption each session during SBC,” said Thea Atwood, Science and Engineering Librarian at the UMass Amherst Libraries, “as well as to purchase a public address system to enable participants to better hear each lecturer and provide the SBC Planning Committee more autonomy in selecting locations for future Boot Camps.”

Atwood applied for and was awarded the grant on behalf of the New England Science Boot Camp Planning Committee, comprised of science librarians from New England.

SBC aims to support science librarians assisting researchers in subjects new to them, as well as provide them with strategies for effective communication and outreach across multiple scientific disciplines. Each year, researchers are invited from three topical areas to discuss a brief overview of their field and current research. The program ends with librarians spending a half-day working intimately with a subject relevant to their work.

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