5 Things I Wish I Knew About the Mudd Library as a Freshman

September 10th, 2014 by Angela Vanden Elzen

Mudd buildingLawrence student and library fan William Gislason took the time to write another excellent post for our blog. In this post, he imparts some wisdom he’s gained about the Mudd Library after spending much of his summer here.

5 Things I Wish I Knew About the Mudd Library as a Freshman by William Gislason Class of 2015

The summer before my senior year, I got to know Lawrence University’s Mudd Library on a whole new level. Amazingly, Lawrence hired me to build an iPad app for the trails of Björklunden— that’s right, sometimes Lawrence actually pays you! Along with the job, I got an office of my very own in the Seeley G. Mudd Library. After spending day after day in it, I’ve learned a thing or two about this building and I’ve come to realize that our library is actually one of the best places on campus! Here’s a list of 5 things I wish I knew about our library when I was a freshman.

1. There is a place for any mood
Whether you want to hang out with friends surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the first floor or have some peace and quiet on the fourth floor — there’s a spot for you. When serious work needs to be done on a paper, check out the study carrels along the windows of the silent second, third, and fourth floors. When you need to meet with a group, try reserving the meeting rooms on the second, third, and fourth floors (fully equipped with all you need to practice a presentation or write out a complex differential equation). Of course, if you just want to meet up with some friends while getting this week’s Italian homework out of the way, there are plenty of large group tables throughout the first floor always littered with groups of laughing students.

2. Movies and Music?
Anyone who thinks the Mudd Library is only filled with books is missing out. Every student has access to thousands of albums – new and old. You want The Beatles? They’ve got The Beatles. You’ll graduate long before you have a chance to listen to half the free music you’ve checked out. Of course, you can’t forget about the movies. When you and your “LUMOS” friends (Lawrence University’s Magical Organization of Students) decide you need to watch all 8 Harry Potter movies over Reading Period, you know where to go. And did I mention the viewing rooms? Let’s say you need to watch 2001, A Space Odyssey for your Film Studies class. You can actually check it out from the library and watch away it from away from the distractions of campus on a big screen TV!

3. Themed (Curated) Rooms
I’ll bet you didn’t know that Lawrence University has an Abraham Lincoln themed room where anyone can go to study and keep a bronze bust of Honest Abe company. How about an antique room devoted to the legacy of Milwaukee-Downer College that is filled with ancient books that bears an eerie resemblance to the library in Hogwarts (particularly after your Reading Period binge). And did you know about a small bare white room called the Mudd Gallery that serves as a pop-up gallery for a diverse array of art student’s projects. Within a week, the room will switch from delightful exhibit on typography to a grungy cavern showing beautiful, yet slightly disturbing, music videos for some of our campus’s rock bands on repeat. All of these room exist in Mudd Library and are open to students for study, contemplation, or artistic expression.

4. The Best Book Recommendations
The library is always filled with a plethora of librarians and student workers who love books. Each worker is surrounded by all genres of books and is bursting with recommendations about any subject. Looking for a collection of short stories? They just read a great one! How about a World War Two memoir? Their friend just recommended one. A book on how to write html/css code? They can show you exactly where all your options are.

5. The best part of the Mudd Library: FREE BOOKS!
Do you realize that throughout your four years at Lawrence you will never have to pay for a book? Aside from some classes’ mandatory textbooks, any book you want is free! Think of the possibilities! Even if the unthinkable happens and they don’t have the exact book you want, you can easily order it through Interlibrary Loan. Currently, I have checked out a book on the ecology of Door County, a book on Wisconsin’s geography, the film Wild Strawberries by Ingmar Bergman, and the novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce (if you are also a Joyce fan, don’t worry, they have 3 more copies).

The Mudd Library can easily become anything you need it to be: a quiet study carrel, a meeting spot for friends, the hub of your cultural pursuits, or a home away from home. My best advice is to make full use of our library during your time at Lawrence. You’ll quickly understand why we all love it so much.

Are you interested in writing a guest post? Contact Angela Vanden Elzen with ideas.

Welcome Week Library Events

September 8th, 2014 by Angela Vanden Elzen

Library Open HouseFor the first time in forever- the library will be full of students!*

We have some fun events planned for new students and their parents during Welcome Week. Come to the library for any or all of these events, or just stop by to check out some novels, movies, or video games. The library will be open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. during the week, 10 a.m to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Visit our table at the services fair
Tuesday from 1-4 in the Somerset Room of the Warch Campus Center
Stop by our table to learn about the services the library offers our students, our collections, and meet some of our awesome staff.

Parent Drop-In at the Library
Tuesday September 9, 1:30-3:30
Parents, need a place to read the paper, get some coffee, and charge your phones? Stop by the library to relax and talk with the Mudd librarians about how we can help your students succeed.

Library Open House Party
Thursday, September 11, 9 a.m.– noon
Come for the doughnuts and coffee, stay for the games, tours, library giveaways, crafts, and friendly librarians. We also have a mountain of prizes that were donated from downtown businesses.

We’ve also put together an informative welcome page for new students to help you learn all about the Mudd Library.

*We apologize to those of you who will now have the Frozen soundtrack stuck in your heads for the remainder of the day.

It Was 50 Years Ago Today

September 4th, 2014 by Antoinette Powell

This item appeared in the Milwaukee Journal on September 5, 1964: “Let it be graven on tablets of jade that at 9:10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4, in the year of our Lord 1964, the Beatles walked onto the stage of the Milwaukee Arena and sang a tune called, ‘I Saw Her Standing There.’” Several singers and combos had the thankless task of being warm-up acts. The entire show lasted 1 hour and 40 minutes. This was the first and only time the Beatles appeared in Wisconsin.

The Milwaukee newspapers, along with the entire population of young people and even some adults in Milwaukee, had been anticipating this event for a while. One such person was a young lass who, with her sister, chronicled the months preceding The Greatest Experience of Their Lives with scrapbooks and a count-down calendar (pictured.)calendar

If you would like to have a first-person, primary source account of The Most Significant Event in History, make your way to the Seeley G. Mudd Library and sit at the knee of your Music Librarian to learn how it really was.

Yes, in 1964 $4.50 got you in to see the Beatles.
Beatles ticket stub

Remembering the Humor of Fred Sturm

August 27th, 2014 by Angela Vanden Elzen

Fred SturmAll of us in the library were sad to hear of the passing of Fred Sturm, Professor of Music and Director of Jazz Studies and Improvisational Music. What Music Librarian Antoinette Powell remembers most about him is his sense of humor.

“Besides being an educator, composer and arranger, Fred was fun and he wasn’t afraid to display it in any setting.  There was the time he and Mark Urness signed up for the wedding registry on Amazon because they thought it would be a good place to let me know what CDs they wanted the library to buy.”

Professor Sturm was even able to transform something as dull as meeting minutes into something entertaining, in his Old West interpretation of a Conservatory Planning Committee meeting:

Conservatory Sodbusters Meetin’

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Present:  Marshal Black Bart Pertl, Sheriff Wyatt Stannard, “Dances With Wolves” Ament, Sundance Dreher, Hoss Sturm, Calamity Gu, Rowdy Jordheim, Annie Oakley Powell

I. Selection of recording secretary – Ah reckon it’s time fer me to put down the ol’ jug and start doin’ me some writin’

II. Approval of April 21, 2009 minutes – Black Bart threatened to shoot us all dead if we didn’t approve the gol-danged things.

III. Admission report Dances With Wolves Ament and his posse rounded up 87 flea bitten no good mule headed varmints.

IV. Swine Flu update  Black Bart said we gotta stop takin’ baths together on Saturday nights, stop steppin’ in cowpies, an’ quit chewin’ tobacckie or Doc Holliday’s gonna shoot us all dead.

V. Commencement Concert length Wyatt Earp Stannard’s tired of all that catterwallin’ and lollygaggin’ and said he’d hang anybody that dances on stage fer more’n 8 minutes.

VI. Signage on College Avenue You tenderfoots oughta be doin’ what I got planned down in Texas – Ah’m plannin’ to brand little dogies with promo like “Texas Tech’s OK Chorale 2-Night!!” and stampede through downtown Lubbock. Moooo!!

Meeting adjourned at high noon.WEE-HAH!!!, Rooster Cogburn Bjella 5.21.09

To read more stories, or to share your own, the university has set up a webpage dedicated to Professor Sturm remembrances. We’ve also set up a display in the library highlighting some of his accomplishments.

Summer Student Research in the Library: William Gislason

August 18th, 2014 by Angela Vanden Elzen

A great deal of interesting student research happens in the Mudd Library over the school year as well as the summer. William Gislason was kind enough to share a bit about the innovative project he has been working on in the library this summer. We were happy to help him out by providing a student office, research materials, and use of one of the library’s iPads. 

Will Gislason

My summer project – William Gislason

When I entered Lawrence, I had no idea what major I would choose much less what career options I was interested in. While in St. Paul, Minnesota, I held a series of odd-jobs during which I worked at a hardware store, a Christmas tree lot, a garden center, as well as a coffee shop. At Lawrence, I even assisted an Ecology professor with her research. I finally focused enough to choose Biology and Environmental Studies for my double major and I knew I would need a summer job related somehow to this field. As I reflect about my time at Lawrence before starting my senior year, it’s clear I’ve learned a lot from each position but I’ve realized that I’ve learned more in this past summer than ever I thought possible.

Over the past three months, I’ve had the delight of making my first iPad app. Under the direction of the Biology department’s Bart De Stasio and Alyssa Hakes and the Director of Björklunden, Mark Breseman, along with the assistance of Celeste Silling, I’m attempting to provide the visitors of Björklunden with much of the information about the area’s ecology one would learn in a guided nature tour. To accomplish this, I’m building an app that displays the visitor’s location upon a trail map along with the location of interesting ecological features. Pictures and information on these features can be accessed by simply tapping the feature on the map. I’ve been so fortunate to not only have an office in the library to use as a base of operations for the project but to have the literary resources of the library to learn about the geography, ecology, and natural history of Door County and Wisconsin.

Though this project involves long hours of coding I have learned a ton about photography, writing, design, and planning a user experience. I consider myself so lucky to have been given this opportunity by Lawrence University and I hope the app will be a simple, educational, and delightful addition to the many services for the guests of Björklunden. Starting this fall, we’ll have 3 iPads for visitors to rent from Björklunden to experience their own person tour of Björklunden. Be sure to check it out!

Final Summer Coffeehouse: Films from the Archives

August 11th, 2014 by Angela Vanden Elzen

Our final summer coffeehouse session is fast approaching. Don’t miss our special sneak peek of newly digitized short films from the Lawrence Archives!

Join us on Wednesday, August 13, at 10 am, as we share some recently digitized 16 mm films from the Archives. A public showing is planned for the fall, but attendees at this session will get a first look at two promotional films: A River, A College, A Town (1957) and This is Lawrence (1972). Not only will you be treated to an entertaining look into Lawrence’s past, but we will also provide popcorn and refreshments.

Coffeehouses are held in the reference area on the first floor of the library, and last for about one hour.

Remembering Bob French

July 22nd, 2014 by Peter Gilbert

Bob FrenchRobert French ’48, a great friend of the Library and of Lawrence, died Saturday, July 13, 2014 at his home in Appleton. He was 90.

Bob had a wide range of interests but his passion was Abraham Lincoln. Bob felt that “if we follow Lincoln’s footsteps, we’ll learn to live with different races not only in our own country but in the world…I think that’s my great interest in Lincoln.” He bought his first book on Lincoln in 1941, with money he received as a high school graduation gift. From there his collection grew to include thousands of books, pamphlets, government documents, art work, sculpture, a Lincoln autograph, and more.

His excellent collection was made so by the fact that it was not collected willy-nilly, but strategically. Bob consulted many bibliographies including the Library of Congress Civil War bibliography, and systematically (with the help especially of the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop in Chicago) went about building his collection –  then gave it to Lawrence. In 1992, Bob made the initial gift of his collection and in 1998 he gave a gift for the construction of the Lincoln Reading Room in the Library which was dedicated in 2000 in the memory of Bob’s mother.

But that wasn’t the end of it. For the rest of his life, Bob was a regular visitor to the Library, coming in regularly to check on the collection, talk about it, and make additions to it. After the room was built, he continued to give current scholarship resulting in an impressive collection that includes significant works of contemporary Civil War and Lincoln scholarship as well as historical works.

Of course, Bob was more than a donor and a visitor. He was a good friend to many at Lawrence and we’d look forward to hearing his voice on the phone or seeing his face in the doorway. Since Bob never owned a computer, once Lincoln scholarship began moving online, he would regularly call or stop by the reference desk to ask us to check “on the computer” for this book or that article. He was great storyteller and would always have stories about his time at Lawrence or a report from up at the lake or one of his many world travels. He was eager and very willing to talk with others about Lincoln and the Civil War in general. If you were interested, the discussions were lively and the information he imparted was remarkable. He will be missed by many at Lawrence.

A memorial service will take place at 2 pm on Thursday, July 24, in the Nathan Marsh Pusey Room of the Warch Campus Center.

“Strength through Union:” Exploring the Consolidation 50 Years Later

July 18th, 2014 by Angela Vanden Elzen
A group of Milwaukee-Downer College students and faculty who transferred to Lawrence with the consolidation in the fall of 1964.

A group of Milwaukee-Downer College students and faculty who transferred to Lawrence with the consolidation in the fall of 1964.

If you know a bit about Lawrence history, surely you know about the consolidation between Milwaukee-Downer College and Lawrence College back in 1964. While the fact that it took place is common knowledge, not many know about the events leading up to the consolidation and why it took place.

Over reunion weekend, our Archivist, Erin Dix ’08, gave an excellent presentation about this consolidation- including how it continues to shape Lawrence University’s present and future.  She will be reprising this presentation on Wednesday, July 23rd at 10 a.m. in the Mudd Library. All are welcome and encouraged to come and learn about this fascinating period in Lawrence’s history. Coffee and snacks will be provided.

Update: Did you miss the presentation or interested to learn more? Take a look at our guide for more information and a video of the presentation from Alumni Weekend.

Summer 2014 Coffeehouse Series

July 2nd, 2014 by Angela Vanden Elzen

Announcing the 2014 Summer Library Coffeehouse Series! The Mudd coffeehouses provide an opportunity to come to the library, enjoy a snack, and learn something interesting.

Wednesday, July 9: Summer Reads
What is summer in a library without reading? Come to this popular session to hear about the library staff’s favorite summer reads, and please share yours with us!

Wednesday, July 23: “Strength through Union:” Exploring the Consolidation
2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the consolidation of Lawrence and Milwaukee-Downer colleges. Do you have questions about why or how the consolidation took place? Join us to learn more about the events leading up to the consolidation, about how it was carried out, and about how it continues to shape our present and future.

Wednesday, August 13: Special Sneak Peek: Films from the Archives!
A number of 16mm films from the Archives have recently been digitized, and we are so excited to share them! A public showing is planned for the fall, but attendees at this session will get a first look at two promotional films from the set: “A River, A College, A Town” (1957) and “This is Lawrence” (1972).

Coffee

Where and When?
All coffeehouse sessions will take place on the first floor of the Mudd Library. They will begin at 10 a.m. and last until 10:45 a.m. Coffee and some variety of yummy refreshment will be provided at each session. All Lawrence faculty and staff are welcome to attend.

Visit our coffeehouse guide for more details about this summer’s sessions and to learn about past coffeehouses.

Collection of Indian Rabari Objects on Display

June 17th, 2014 by Angela Vanden Elzen

Currently on display in the library display cases is a beautiful collection of ornate textiles and other handcrafted objects made by the Rabari people of India. This eye-catching display was curated by Beth Zinsli and Leslie Walfish of the Wriston Galleries.

The objects are a selection from the larger Judy Frater, ’74 Collection of Indian Rabari Objects. The collection was assembled by Lawrence alumna Judy Frater during her travels in India, and later curated by her into a traveling exhibit. This exhibit was donated to Lawrence by Ms. Frater and displayed in the Wriston Galleries in 1987.

In her original traveling exhibit notes, Ms. Frater describes the culture from which these objects were created:

The Rabaris are an ancient nomadic people who slowly migrated from Central Asia to the Indian subcontinent around twelve centuries ago… One of these groups, the Kachi Rabaris, lives in the desert Kutch. Kachis are herders of goats and sheep and are semi-nomadic. In their leisure time the women make mirrored embroideries for their childrens’ dress and their daughters’ dowries. Embroidery is a part of their way of life.

Judy Frater is author of the book, Threads of Identity: Embroidery and Adornment of the Nomadic Rabaris and has extensively researched the art of Indian textiles and crafts. She is the founder and former director of Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya, an organization dedicated to preserving traditional crafting by educating artisans about how to promote their goods in today’s markets.

In recognition of her contributions to the preservation of crafting traditions, Ms. Frater will be receiving the George B. Walter ’36 Service to Society Award during this weekend’s Reunion Convocation.

Interested in learning more about Indian artisan designs? Ms. Frater and Kudecha Dayalal Atmaram, a traditional weaver, will be presenting a trunk show and informal talk on Sunday, June 22nd from 2-5 p.m. The show will be held at the office of Peterson, Berk, and Cross, located at 200 E. College Avenue.

The collection will remain on display in the library through June 30th.