Category Archives: about the library

The MacPhaidin Library Turns 20

Come celebrate with us over the next year as we commemorate the 20th anniversary of the construction of the MacPhaidin Library. Construction began in late May of 1997, and the library opened at the beginning of the fall semester in 1998.

Follow along with us as we share pictures and stories of the construction and opening of the library over the next year in the newsletter and on our social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest).

The images above were taken on September 3, 1997 when the college had an official tree topping-ceremony to celebrate the start of construction. Members of the college community were invited to sign a beam that was then raised into place in the library during the tree-topping ceremony.

What is a tree-topping ceremony? We wondered, too. Here’s an article from Slate explaining the history of the tradition.

Welcome Allison Keaney!

Allison Keaney is the new Head of Open Access Systems and Services.

Allison Keaney is the Open Access Systems and Services Librarian. She oversees the circulation department including course reserves. Her prior library positions have included academic, public and special libraries. Allison holds a B.A. in History (concentration Military History) from UMass Boston, and is completing a MLIS degree at Clarion University. She has also taken several courses towards a Certificate in Genealogical Studies through The University of Toronto.  Outside of work, Allison enjoys reading, genealogy, cooking, and fixing things in her 167-year-old house. Most of all she enjoys spending time with her husband, 2 daughters and 4 cats.

May 2017 Hours

The MacPhaidin Library

The Library will close at 4:30pm on Friday, May 12th, and will be closed Saturday and Sunday, May 13th-14th.

During the rest of May, the library is open 8:30am-4:30pm Monday-Friday, closed on the weekends and will close at 12pm on Friday, May 26th and remain closed until the morning of Tuesday, May 30th for the Memorial Day holiday.

Spring 2016 Library Finals Hours

In addition to our regular hours, the library will be open:

Friday, April 29:  7:30am – 10:00pm

Saturday, April 30:  10:00am – 10:00pm

Sunday, May 1:  10:00am continuously until Thursday, May 5 at 1:00am

Thursday, May 5:  7:30am continuously until Sunday, May 8 at 1:00am

Sunday, May 8:  10:00am continuously until Friday, May 13 at 4:30pm

Saturday, May 14 and Sunday, May 15:  CLOSED

Monday, May 16 – Friday, May 20:  8:30am – 4:30pm

Saturday, May 21 and Sunday, May 22:  CLOSED


For information regarding library hours or service, please click here or call Circulation at 508-565-1313.


Library Study RoomsThere are 13 Group Study Rooms in the Library and they are under increasingly high demand. Some students have asked to be allowed to book the rooms in advance using an online system. On March 14th, 2016, we are starting a pilot program using 5 of the Group Study Rooms which can now be booked in advance using the online calendar system 25Live. The remaining 8 rooms will continue to be administered as they have in the past and will be available for walk-up use or booked in advance, by calling or stopping by the Circulation Desk. As always, group study rooms are primarily for group use and individuals may use rooms only when groups are not using them.

The pilot program will run through the end of the spring semester and then we will assess the various likes, dislikes, successes or frustrations of the program before we determine if it will continue or expand for Fall 2016.

Visit the page “Book a Group Study Room” for more information. To book a study room, log into myHill and click on the “Library” tab. There you will find a link to book a room in the “General Library Services” box.

HARI: A New Way to Research

4520018121_806712ef8f_oIn person webinar: join colleagues in the Library DisCo at 11:30am on 3/14.

This webinar will open at 11:30am on Monday, March 14th. To access the webinar at this time, click on the link; a download of “Zoom_launcher.exe” should start automatically. On a Windows computer, click on the downloaded file in your browser, then click “Run.”  On a Mac, you will be prompted to download a .zip file of the Zoom Launcher.  Once that is saved, double-click on the .zip file and then double-click “ZoomusLauncher” to install.  The webinar room will be live at 11:30am on Monday.

We are in the process of implementing a new, patents pending inference engine for Stanford in collaboration with a Silicon Valley start-up that is a completely new way to extract meaning and knowledge across multiple sources.  In effect this discovery environment produces inferential semantic relationships among millions of digital documents (articles, books, websites, — any digital  text really) in a wide and expanding range of subject and genres with clear links to the documents if licensed and to information about the documents enabling purchase on demand, potentially a pay-per-view option.

The method, Hyper-Association of Related Inferences (HARI has been developed by an Italian mathematician named Ruggero Grammatica, a friend. The technology combines machine learning, natural language processing, and a succession of algorithms. HARI ingests enormous amounts of ie-texts efficiently, then uses algorithms to determine relationships among concepts, providing a tool for browsing or discovery. (This is at least a thousand times more difficult to put into words than to grasp when you see a demonstration.)  There is an instantiation that has ingested and analyzed 22+ million Medline entries, though more interesting and extensive results arise when full texts are analyzed.

One way to think of it:
Google provides specific answers to specific queries. It’s like a library, such as the library of Congress, in which, instead of gaining access to the stacks, you write down the name of a book, give it to a librarian, and are then given the book for which you asked and only that book.

HARI, by contrast, is like browsing in library stacks. One will find specific information that was sought, but other connections among related concepts will be exposed, and some, perhaps many, of those will be unexpected.

The HARI engine is based on NLP, AI, and custom algorithms that allow the processing of huge amounts of text based information and the extraction of concepts (not keywords).  The concepts are then correlated and identify relationships and inferences on the chosen topic, ultimately revealing the full texts containing the concepts.  It is a semantically based process that can be “tuned” by the end user both in the front end of a search and once results are obtained.

This complements our existing list and link type of search engine tools that academic users, both students and faculty, typically use today. HARI returns a more in-depth, visual result from each search.   At any moment the user can explore any of the concepts displayed and new streams of correlations are presented suggesting new paths of investigation.  And through use of the links, a researcher might be directed to licensed source documents or to a pay per view interface.  The benefits to publishers would be substantial; we wish to engage with you and others to elaborate and extend HARI dramatically.  The benefits to students and professors as well as many other professionals who make use of information resources hiding in thickets of content are also dramatic.


Step Back Into the Nineteenth Century With Our Print Journal Collection

New York ReviewUnbeknown to many Stonehill students, the library has an extensive collection of nineteenth century journals on the second floor of MacPhaidin. Despite impressiveness of this extensive collection, many students do not access the journals. Several teachers have worked to incorporate the journals into their classes in an effort to share these fascinating resources.

Professor Gracombe in the English department loves including the journals in her courses on Victorian literature. She says: “Discovering the library’s large collection of Victorian journals was like finding a completely unexpected, completely amazing portal to the past. It is extremely unusual for a college of Stonehill’s size to have such a diverse collection of periodicals.” The library offers over seventy titles of journals on literature, science, art and many more topics. The periodicals range between the 1800s and 1900s and spanning across the United States as well as Great Britain. Mac Phaidin provides full runs of many of these journals to give students and faculty the complete experience of the journal. Every Saturday, for example, was a literary magazine, published in Boston between 1866 and 1874; this magazine includes publications by renowned authors like Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins. The library provides every copy of this journal to its patrons.

In a digital age, the draw to only using electronic resources is strong and print resources can often go overlooked. However, physical copies of artifacts cannot be taken for granted when scholars are looking for true historical context. Professor Gracombe notes, “I’ve found that having students explore the actual copies of Victorian texts allows them to experience the texture of Victorian writing, literally and figuratively. They see what the original nineteenth-century readers would have seen, including the way articles were juxtaposed with poems, ads, and cartoons.” While electronic resources are helpful when searching for specific terms or questions, the exploration of these journals is best done with the prints themselves. Discovery of different images and articles would not be possible without dedicating the time to leafing through the collection.

Professor Gracombe has taken the search a step further, allowing her students to create their own archived work from the periodicals. In the “Fictions of Englishness” course, students explore the journals from England, in an effort to expand their understanding of “Englishness” in a historical context. The students in this course explore, research, and analyze small pieces of the journals.  Rather than simply handing in an essay of the analysis, students add their work to an online forum created by Professor Gracombe called “Archive of Englishness”. This forum adds to the resources provided by Stonehill for future students in an effort to add to the information provided by the journals themselves.

February’s “Blind Date With a Book” is back in the Library!

IMG_2665This February, why not go on a blind date with a book or DVD?

Our Web & Social Media Intern, Deirdre Clifford ’16, selected titles from a wide variety of genres, authors and directors. We’ve wrapped them all, so you won’t know what you’ve picked until you’ve checked out the book or DVD. However, Deirdre has written a few helpful keywords for each one as a preview; see them all below!

  • “Math and Mental Illness”
  • “True and Wild”
  • “Modern World and Holy Wars”
  • “A Real Love Story”
  • “The Birth of Comedy”
  • “Privilege vs. Passion”
  • “Unlocked Fantasy”
  • “The passion of prisoners and miracles”
  • “Mentality and Mayhem”
  • “Political Power’s Punishment”
  • “Moby Dick’s Match”
  • “Love and the Roaring ‘20s”
  • “Burning Books”
  • “The Power of Stories”
  • “Comedic Compassion in World War I”
  • “Race and Reputation”
  • “Love and Life Through Sarcasm”
  • “The Funny Fight for Freedom”
  • “A History of Magic”
  • “Holden Caulfield’s Update”
  • “Cars and Crimes”
  • “Kisses and Family Curses”
  • “Culture, Politics, and Teenagers”
  • “Snapshots of the American Dream”
  • “Historical Fiction and Heroism”
  • “Cops and Robbers”
  • “Secrecy in the Suburbs”
  • “Price Tagged History”