In Memoriam: Arthur Monke, Librarian Emeritus

Arthur Monke Obituary

To Members of the Bowdoin Community,

I am very sorry to inform you of the death of Arthur Monke, the head librarian at Bowdoin’s Hawthorne-Longfellow Library from 1968-92. Art died Wednesday, January 27, in Topsham after a long illness. He was 84 years old.

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Electronic Access to the Chronicle of Higher Education

Chronicle of Higher Education – The Weekly Issue and More!

The Library offers the weekly online Chronicle of Higher Education in its entirety. To read the Chronicle online, bookmark this address:

The subscription also includes the following:

  • RSS feeds for the Daily News, News Blog, Wired Campus, and Chronicle Careers, and more.
  • Statistical databasesfor:
    • Data on faculty members and administrators, including salaries
    • Financial data, including endowments and fund raising
    • General institutional data, including statistics on crime, graduation rates, and degrees conferred
    • Data on scholarly research, including research-library holdings and government grants
    • Student data, including characteristics, enrollment, financial aid, foreign students, and test scores
  • E-Mail alerts for jobs, community college newsletter, and wired campus newsletter (requires creating a free account)
  • Jobs by position type, discipline/field, state/region, and institution

Introducing Overdrive Downloadable Audiobooks

Digital versions of audiobooks now are available through the OverDrive Maine InfoNet Download Library.  Bowdoin faculty, staff and students can search for, check out and download digital audiobooks from the internet and listen to them directly from their computer or transfer the digital files to a portable device for listening on the go.

OverDrive includes a mix of adult, children, and young adult titles in both fiction and nonfiction.  You may explore the growing collection of downloadable audiobooks and enter your five-digit Bowdoin ID number to download up to two titles at a time for a seven-day “checkout.”  If an item is already checked out, you may place a hold on it.

OverDrive Audiobooks are available in both MP3 and WMA formats:

  • MP3 audiobooks are compatible with many devices including most cell phones, PDA’s and MP3 players such as iPods.
  • WMA audiobooks work only with PC-based machines and Window Media compatible portable players and devices.  Some titles can be burned onto CD’s.
  • A ‘Plays on’ icon displays with each title for compatibility assistance.

As a first step to using OverDrive, you will need to install the free OverDrive Media Console software, available on the web site.  To play WMA format audiobooks, which are DRM-protected files, OverDrive uses Windows Media® Player 9 Series (or newer). The first time that Windows Media Player attempts to open a DRM-protected file, it will alert you that a Security Update must be performed before the file may be opened. The update takes just a few moments, and must be performed before Microsoft® Windows Media Player will allow any of these files to be played.  OverDrive MP3 Audiobooks do not require the Windows Media Player Security Upgrade.

The OverDrive Download Library is provided to participating Maine libraries through the statewide Maine InfoNet service.  Maine residents who are not affiliated with Bowdoin can access the service using the barcode number from their public library card.

For technical assistance with OverDrive at Bowdoin, please contact Mike McDermott:

E-Book Readers Available in the Library

The Library has added four Kindles and one Sony e-book reader to its collection. E-book reader technology is becoming more sophisticated and more content is now available. We thought you would like an opportunity to give these readers a try.

Bowdoin community members are welcome to check out readers from the H-L circulation desk. Three of the Kindles and the Sony reader may be checked out for two weeks and one Kindle for four days. We have loaded over fifty titles on each reader for your enjoyment and you may download mobipocket formatted e-books on the Kindles (but please delete them before returning your reader).

Here are lists of the titles on both styles of reader:

We would love to hear your opinions! Please email comments or questions to Mike McDermott at

CBB (Colby, Bates, Bowdoin) New Materials List

Have you tried the CBB New Materials list? Connect at: or from the Library web home page.

This online service provides you with a merged list of the new acquisitions of the three libraries. You can request your information either by subject or format (e.g. books, scores, videos, etc.) and can further refine your results by language and location held. Then choose whether you want to see new materials acquired in the last day, or last 7, 30 or 90 days.

You can view the results as a webpage, an email or in print or you can create an RSS feed or recurring email alert. The email alert option will save and repeat your search and then email the results to you on a regular basis. The RSS will dynamically recreate your search each time you check your feed. If RSS feeds are still a mystery to you, check out our RSS webpage at

We believe that this combined CBB new materials service will be extremely helpful to faculty, students and staff alike as the CBB libraries continue their collaborative work to create a shared library collection.

Your librarian liaison ( or Judy Montgomery ( will be glad to answer any questions you might have.

Librarian Sherrie Bergman Wins Excellence Award

An image of Sherrie Bergman

Bowdoin College Librarian Sherrie Bergman has won a 2007 Outstanding Paper Award from the Emerald Literati Network in the Library Management category for her article, “The Scholarly Communication Movement: Highlights and Recent Developments.”

The Emerald Literati Network says such Outstanding Papers represent some of the best work the journal editors and editorial advisory board members — many of them eminent academics — have seen over the past year.

The article was published in Emerald’s journal Collection Building in 2006. Read the article here.

CBB Libraries Receive Mellon Grant For Collaborative Collection Development

Broader Universe Awaits Libraries at Colby, Bates and Bowdoin

Story posted January 03, 2007

Colby, Bates and Bowdoin colleges have received a $280,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to build a model collaborative library collection development program. The plan is to share collection resources in all formats, electronic and print, reduce unnecessary duplication and redundant purchases, and make a broader universe of materials available at each campus.

Previous grants from the Mellon Foundation to the three schools, which collectively are called “CBB,” have helped build a service framework for collection sharing, enabling the libraries to develop technologies to share catalogs and support interlibrary loan activity.

The goals of the current project will bring collaboration among the three libraries to the next level. The libraries plan to determine how to expand the collection of materials available to the CBB academic communities, share budgetary and space resources so that all three libraries can operate more cost-effectively, and build a faculty culture that embraces the plan.

“It’s tremendous,” says Associate Professor of History Patrick Rael, clearly already on board with the concept of developing three collections which function as one. Rael says NExpress – an existing regional resource-sharing system among the CBB libraries and those of Williams, Wellesley and Northeastern – has helped his research enormously. “With the library’s newest expansion, it’s just becoming premier, really first-rate. I think we’re very fortunate, not just as educators but as researchers.”

The grant will be used over two years to hire two temporary librarians who will enable current staff to devote time to the project.

“We need the time,” says Bowdoin College Librarian Sherrie Bergman. “We need the project work to be conducted by librarians who have established collegial relations with faculty members and who are knowledgeable about the research and curricular needs of our faculty and students.”

The CBB librarians are identifying areas of historical curricular and collection strength for each school and each college. Four pilot curricular areas are being selected to begin the project, which ultimately will span all disciplinary areas and all subject areas of the collections. The pilot areas will be among those that are taught at all three schools, place budgetary pressures on their respective libraries, and are interdisciplinary in nature.

The libraries are using two software tools to analyze areas of collection strength and overlap, measured against current and projected curricular needs. The tools offer collection comparisons on such parameters as collection age, format and past circulation. The resultant data analyses will support development of new approaches to collection development, weeding, cancellation, print archiving, and preservation activities.

The libraries will be working in new ways with vendors for the acquisition of new materials. They will develop joint monographic approval plans with the goal of acquiring a larger number of unique book titles, and test new models for the development of shared journal and electronic book collections.

Because collection-building strategies differ among the disciplines, librarians will consult closely with academic departments and individual faculty members on the three campuses. They will discuss curricular concentrations and collection strengths, overlaps and gaps to achieve increased collection breadth at each school. Space limitations at each library make it logical also to consider cooperative de-accessioning, print archiving and off-site storage agreements.

Professor Thomas Conlan, Program Director of Asian Studies at Bowdoin, notes that the books his department orders are typically very expensive, and says sharing them lets each library focus on areas of expertise.

“It makes all three libraries more than what they are,” says Conlan. “The synergy is great.”

In the second year of the grant, the model book approval plan will be extended to all appropriate subject areas, and the libraries will write a joint collection management document that presents the strategic vision for a shared collection plan. They also will review benchmark data to measure the success of the new model plan to bring more unique materials to each school.

Project librarians say the enthusiasm and high satisfaction with resource sharing among faculty and students are what make the collaboration possible. Results of the project will be widely disseminated among the library community with the hope that the CBB partnership can serve as a model for other library collaborations.

Library Acquires One-Millionth Volume

Arthur Rimbaud’s Les illuminations

Arthur Rimbaud’s Les illuminations

Arthur Rimbaud’s Les illuminations, a limited edition copy from the Pearce Collection, marks the millionth volume acquired by the Bowdoin College Library. Published in 1949 with fifteen hand-colored original lithographs by Fernand Léger, the Pearce Collection copy was specially bound in a designer binding by Kerstin Tini Miura, whom Ms. Pearce had commissioned to perform the work in 1985. The volume exemplifies the broad interdisciplinary interests and research needs of the Library’s users. This particular copy serves as a nexus for inquiry into French literature, modern art, printmaking, fine binding, and literary criticism. For the Library, it has special value not only as a rare book—only 395 copies were published, and only a handful in such full color—but as being both unique in its binding and fitting in commemorating the generosity of its donor.

War with Iraq – Information Resources

Related campus resources:

World Affairs Crisis Resources
Prof. Dov Waxman’s Sources
Intellectual Freedom Project
Forums on the War

Library staff have selected and compiled for the Bowdoin community the following list of information resources about the war in Iraq. Our intent is to support informed scholarly discourse on campus, as well as to foster individual understanding of this war.

Note: Items with an asterisk (*) require a Bowdoin ID for off-campus access.

News Coverage – American Sources

These library databases are good sources for current and retrospective news coverage:

  • LexisNexis-Academic*
    Local, regional, and national newspaper & newswire coverage; transcripts from ABC, CBS, CNN, National Public Radio, The NewsHour and more; full text.

Special news coverage also is available from these Web sites:

  • New York Times (requires free registration)
  • CNN
  • Yahoo! News collection of articles from a variety of sources.

News Coverage – International Sources

For a different perspective, consider following the news from another country:

  • World News Connection*
    Full text of foreign news broadcasts and press releases translated into English beginning November 1994.
  • BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation)
  • CBC News (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)

Periodical Indexing and Abstracting Services

These Library databases won’t necessarily bring you up-to-the-minute articles on the war but are excellent for scholarly research into political, economic, and social issues in Iraq and U.S.-Iraq relations. For databases without full text, use the Find Journals tool to determine if the Library has the full text in another source; if not, use Interlibrary Loan.

  • Worldwide Political Science Abstracts*
    Covers periodicals from around the world since 1975; political science, international relations, law and public administration; abstracts only, no full text
  • PAIS International*
    Articles, books and government documents (including the U.N.) since 1972; no full text.
    Paper version (Main Library, Index Section) of PAIS covers 1915-1994.
  • Academic Search Premier*
    Multidisciplinary database that covers popular magazines and scholarly journals; many full text articles.

Books, Videos & Government Documents in the Bowdoin College Library

For books, videos, and government documents (1999+) in the Library, please use the Catalog. For government documents prior to 1999, use Government Documents Monthly Catalog.

Subject searching in the Library’s catalog produces a focused list of sources on a topic. Consider using the following subject headings:

A keyword search is more random but often can be productive. Try some of the following suggestions:

To limit a subject or keyword search to videos in the catalog, use the “Limit/Sort” or “Modify” function.

Think Tanks/Research Papers

  • Iraq Research and Documentation Project (Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University)
    “The Iraq Research and Documentation Project aims to create a comprehensive, accessible, computerized, multi-media database system about the government, politics and civil society of modern Iraq basing itself on such hitherto inaccessible sources of information.”–IRDP Information page

Here is a selection of research institutes and think tanks representing a variety of viewpoints:

Iraq Background Country Reports/Maps

  • Iraq: A Country Study (Library of Congress) of a series, these Dept. of the Army studies provide detailed coverage of many aspects of a country, e.g., history, transportation, economy, government.
  • Background Notes: Iraq (US Dept. of State)
    Brief information on people, government, economy, defense, foreign relations.
  • CIA World Factbook
    Basic facts on the people, government, economy.
  • Frontline: The Long Road to War (PBS)
    Frontline chronicles twelve years of US confrontation with Saddam Hussein.
  • Iraq: Selected Internet Resources (Library of Congress)
    Thorough selection of Internet sources on Iraq’s government, culture, economy, education, history, religion and more.


  • CIA Maps
    (Main Library, Gov’t. Ref. PrEx 3.10/4:)Variety of physical and political maps on Iraq and the region; available in different sizes.

Key Documents

  • Lexis/Nexis Congressional*
    Comprehensive access to U.S. legislative information, including The Congressional Record; full text.
  • AccessUN*
    Documents from the six main bodies of the United Nations – General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council, Trusteeship Council, Secretariat and International Court of Justice; full-text is included for some.
  • United Nations Security Council Draft Resolution (March 7, 2003)
    Second resolution proposed by the United States, United Kingdom and Spain. It was announced on March 17 that the three countries would not pursue a vote on the resolution.
  • United Nations: The Situation in Iraq
    Compilation of U.N. briefings, statements, humanitarian efforts, key developments and related stories.
  • Statements by US officials:
  • The White House
    Press briefings, speeches and initiatives of the Bush administration.

Comprehensive Sites

These sites served as sources for this page and are excellent places for continued research.

Questions & Further Assistance

Please call the Library’s reference desk at 725-3227 or visit our Ask A Reference Librarian page.

Library Renovation Photo Gallery

What’s New in the Library

Welcome to the rejuvenated Hawthorne-Longfellow library. Designed by architects Steinman, Cain and White, and named for two “Men of Letters” of the Class of 1825, H-L opened in 1965. Regarded by some as one of the most handsome college libraries of its day, the building exemplifies modernist aesthetics of the 1960s. Connected underground to the Hubbard Hall stacks in 1980 by Shepley, Bulfinch, Richardson and Abbott, the original design has remained virtually untouched, until reorganization of the first floor in 1993 by architect Mark B. Mitchell to accommodate new technologies, create a welcoming new book area, and reconfigure public service and staff workspaces to achieve operational efficiencies. During 2000-2001, much of H-L was revitalized by Ann Beha Architects, Boston and H.P. Cummings General Contractors, Winthrop, Maine. The project was made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the generosity of over 200 alumni and friends of the College.

What was renovated?

The main and basement levels, Special Collections and Archives, and the Nixon Lounge on the third floor, plus technology infrastructure, heating, mechanical and air handling systems throughout the four-floor building. The elevator also was enlarged for handicapped accessibility, and compact shelving was installed to increase collection capacity.