Honors Convocation: Is it Warm in Here?

The 2015 Honors Convocation will be this Thursday, May 14th at 11:10am in the Memorial Chapel.

Is it Warm in Here? The Intractable Challenges of Climate Change will be presented by David Gerard, Associate Professor of Economics and recipient of Lawrence’s annual Faculty Convocation Award.

What does it mean to say that a problem is “intractable”?  What makes this particular problem so difficult to solve?  Where can we go from here? Here is a link to a recommended reading as a brief introduction to the subject. And for a longer, more detailed consideration of the issues, take a look at this article. Gerard’s primary research interests lie in quantitative policy analysis, particularly focusing on energy, environmental and safety issues such as risk regulation and public policy.

To learn more about Professor Gerard and his work, visit his faculty and research webpage here.

Professor Gerard will participate in a Q&A session on Thursday afternoon from 1:00-2:00pm in the WCC Cinema.

Lux Reaches 200,000 Downloads


Lux, the Lawrence University institutional repository, is home to student honors projects, artwork, The Lawrentian, various annual reports, the Women and Identity in Gaming Symposium, and many more creative and scholarly works produced by the Lawrence University community.

We are pleased to announce that Lux has reached the milestone of 200,000 downloads since 2012! That means items that were created here, at Lawrence, have been viewed by people all over the world 200,000 times. Pretty cool!

Microform Magic with the ViewScan II

Professor Frederick with the ViewScan II

If you have used the microform readers of the past, you may remember having to squint to see poor quality images and putting a substantial amount of effort into reading the material. Our new ViewScan II digital microform reader adds digital magic* to your microforms! The ViewScan II allows you to edit and crop frames, resulting in content that possibly looks better than when it was first printed back in 1900 (or whenever)!

Associate Professor of History, Jake Frederick, has been visiting the Mudd Library to use the ViewScan II quite often as he prepares for a publisher’s deadline. After trying to read a microfilm reel for years on machines at other libraries, Professor Frederick was ecstatic to discover how readable the ViewScan II made his microfilm copy of a document from the 18th century.

Here is what he had to say about his experiences with the ViewScan II:

Normally using microfilm is like trying to read badly printed newsprint in a moving car at night. It’s blurry, dark, never focuses on the whole page at the same time, and is likely to make you seasick. I have had some microfilm sitting in my office for the last nine years that I could hardly bring myself to look at because it’s usually so terrible to use. The new scanner in the library is awesome. It has literally taken away everything that made using microfilm awful. I can’t believe how much better it is.

Interlibrary Loan Assistant Andrew McSorley has noticed a number of students, many of whom have never used microfilm technology in the past, have become quite comfortable with using microforms on the ViewScan II. Andrew explained, “With the ViewScan, otherwise rare items on old-fashioned media can now be sifted through easily on state-of-the-art, intuitive technology. Basically, between ILL and this microfilm reader, there are now far fewer barriers between our students and access to just about any material they could think of.”

In addition to editing, the ViewScan II allows patrons to save microform images (from microfilm reels, microcard, etc.) to a USB flash drive, or to print directly to the nearby laser printer. If you’d like to use the ViewScan II, the Mudd has a variety of microform materials, including The New York Times newspaper dating from 1851, as well as the Milwaukee Journal and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel starting from 1884.

Have questions about using microforms? Contact our friendly reference librarians, or ask us at the reference desk!

*No actual magic is used in this machine, however the technology is quite useful.

Fox Cities Book Festvial 2015

The Fox Cities Book Festival will be happening this week, April 20-26. Featuring an abundance of free events at many venues in the Fox Valley area, the festival will have something for everyone! Visit the festival’s website here to view the full schedule and learn more about the events.

And be sure to check out these events that are happening on the Lawrence University campus:

Wednesday, April 22: Martin Brief Gallery Tour (1:00pm, Wriston Art Center- Hoffmaster Gallery)
Beth A. Zinsli, director of the Wriston Art Galleries, will give a tour of artist Martin Brief’s exhibition. Brief’s artwork is focused on language, almost to the point of obsessiveness, digging deeper into the meaning of words until he has reached the very limits of expression. (Brief will also be giving a talk on his work in the Wriston Auditorium – Room 224, tomorrow April 21 at 4:30pm).

Thursday, April 23: Reading by poet Cynthia Marie Hoffman (4:30pm, Wriston Art Center- Hoffmaster Gallery)
Cynthia Marie Hoffman is the author of the poetry collection titled Paper Doll Fetus. Drawing from the history of obstetrics, midwifery, and the many experiences of childbirth, Hoffman crafts imaginitive and poignant work. She will be reading her poetry in the Wriston gallery, so this is a great opportunity to explore and be surrounded by many kinds of art.

Friday, April 24: Author Meet & Greet with Crystal Chan (12:00pm, Seeley G. Mudd Library- Milwaukee Downer Room)
Stop by the Mudd Library and chat with Lawrence University alumna and author of Bird, Crystal Chan. Enjoy coffee and cookies while you mingle. We encourage both readers and (especially) writers to attend this event!

Friday, April 24: Art Photography Panel with Kevin Miyazaki & Travis Dewitz (5:00pm, Warch Campus Center Cinema)
Kevin Miyazaki is a Milwaukee-based editorial and fine art photographer, whose most recent project culminated in the book Perimeter: a Contemporary Portrait of Lake Michigan which exhibits a diverse image of the people and place attached to Lake Michigan.
Travis Dewitz is a professional photographer and Eau Claire native, who is known for his corporate, portrait, youth modeling photography, and numerous personal projects. Dewitz’s latest personal project resulted in the book Blaze Orange, which takes an intimate look at the close ties between deer hunting and Wisconsin identity.
Miyazaki and Dewitz will be hosting a panel to talk about art photography and the development of their work.

Mozart Visits the Mudd Library

The Mudd Library was recently given the unique opportunity to exhibit an original Mozart manuscript. Technically speaking, it was an autograph (meaning Mozart wrote it himself) leaf (one page, double-sided) from one of his compositions.

To share this artifact with Lawrence students, Music Librarian and Associate Professor Antoinette Powell, and Director of Technical Services and Assistant Professor Jill Thomas put together a presentation focusing on not just the manuscript, but also historical background to put it in context. Antoinette explains:

“By researching and examining the leaf, Jill and I were able to talk about Mozart’s compositional style, the types of materials he used, the history of western Europe at that time and daily life in Salzburg. It was an extraordinary opportunity for students and faculty to see something Mozart touched.”

All of the books Antoinette and Jill used to conduct the research about the score and its historical context came from the Mudd’s collection. Their extensive research revolved around:

  • the work itself
  • the circumstances of its creation. Mozart wrote it for a family friend who was graduating from college. It was Finalmusik, which is music to be performed outdoors to honor the professors at the end of the school year.
  • how the owner acquired it
  • Mozart’s life at this time (he was 17 when he wrote it in 1773)
  • European and American history in 1773. In what is now the U.S., people were wearing hats made out of raccoons and dumping tea into Boston Harbor, while in Salzburg people were wearing elegant clothes and listening to Mozart  in a refined outdoor setting.
  • the paper and ink with which the work was created, including the differences in paper over the past 400 years

The title of the work is Serenata (Serenade in D major, K. 185.) The leaf we had on loan is from the fourth movement, Menuetto – Trio.   It contained the final 10 measures of the menuetto on one side and the first 16 measures of the trio on the other.

Over 60 people viewed the item over four days in the Milwaukee-Downer room in the Mudd Library. The students and faculty  were primarily from music composition and theory classes in the Conservatory. The students saw the autograph and were able to compare it to a modern published edition, as well as other pieces that were published around the same time and after to analyze the differences in paper making. Antoinette and Jill also showed the students what can be learned about Mozart’s process of composition by examining the leaf, including:

  • he worked fast
  • the composition was completed in his head before he put the pen to paper
  • at this time he was traveling a lot and preferred using small-format paper

The thoughtful owner of the leaf is a Lawrence University alum from the class of 2010. Although it has been returned to its owner, we are grateful to have had this unique opportunity to share such a rare piece of history with students at Lawrence.

Meet the Staff, Student Worker Edition: Andrea Parmentier

002 (Medium)Andrea Parmentier is an Appleton native who has been working in the Mudd library for over two years. This English and Geology double major is another of our fabulous Circulation Desk Assistants, completely adept at answering questions and helping patrons find exactly what they are looking for. We appreciate Andrea’s hard work and wonderful personality. Read on to learn more about this library student worker.

Andrea, what’s your favorite part of your job?

Making the closing announcements is pretty fun.

Share something you’ve done at work that has made you especially proud.

One day an older man came in. He’s made it his mission to find a list of all WWI armed service members from Wisconsin who had died and were buried overseas, and contact family members who never found out what had happened to them or where they were buried. I helped him find the information and print it off. He was so grateful – I was very happy to have been able to help him out.

As a student, where is your favorite (study/relaxation/hang-out) spot in the Mudd?

I love the Milwaukee-Downer Room tables, especially the mid to late afternoon light.

What are your hobbies?

I write poetry, knit, bake, and have started to cultivate bonsai.

What’s the last book you read that you couldn’t put down?

A Conspiracy of Kings – the latest book in the Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner

What are your favorite bands or performers?

It’s kind of dorky, but I’m a big fan of Flying Forms – a baroque ensemble that’s been coming to Lawrence for the past few years.

How about your favorite blogs and/or magazines?

Hyperbole and a Half hasn’t updated in a while, but I love it. Also, Interweave magazine.

What groups and/or organizations are you active in (on or off campus)?

I’m most active in the library’s knitting club and at the Fox Valley Literacy Council.

When will you graduate? What are your post-graduation plans?

I’m graduating this June and I’m going to grad school for a Master of Library Science.

Please feel free to share anything else you’d like about yourself or the Mudd!

If you knit, crochet, embroider, or do any kind of handicraft, come to the library’s knitting circle at 4:30 pm on Thursdays! We also have yarn and needles and don’t mind teaching new knitters.

Mudd March Madness: Potter, Baggins, Holmes, and Salander Advance to Final Four

Thanks again to Andrew McSorley for providing this guest post, and for his excellent reporting on our Mudd March Madness event.

The Mudd March Madness event pits fictional characters from all across literary history against one another. By the end of next week, a champion will be crowned, taking control of the Seeley G. Mudd Library’s bragging rights for the next year.

And then there were four.

Harry Potter and Bilbo Baggins continued their impressive dominance in this tournament, with Baggins out-dueling number one seed Darth Vader 51 – 30, and Potter once again putting up the round’s largest margin of victory with a 53 – 29 bouncing of Winnie the Pooh. “It’s really a dream come true” Potter said after cutting down the proverbial nets. “Ten points for Gryffindor! On to the Final Four! Hey, that rhymes!” Potter’s brimming smile and exuberance was matched in its intensity by Bilbo Baggins’s stoicism. “When you go up against someone like Vader you really learn a lot about yourself.” Baggins nervously shifted something over and over in his pocket as he leaned into the microphone, “I have seen dragons, the magician Potter does not frighten me.” Harry Potter has emerged as the only number one seed to advance to the final four. He is also the scoring leader for this tournament, but fans have begun to describe Bilbo as a character of “destiny.” They will go head to head in these semifinals in a fantasy bout for the ages.

In both the Classics and Contemporary Fiction regions, the matches were much tighter. Sherlock Holmes and Lisbeth Salander escaped as champions of their regions, each with six point margins of victory. Lisbeth remains one of the most intriguing storylines in the tournament as many pundits believed her inexperience and tough region would keep her out of the final four. “She’s acting like she’s been here before, like she knows what’s coming next” said long-time tournament analyst Mikael Blomkvist, “I don’t know how she keeps doing it, but she finds things out about people, exploits their weaknesses. She knows how to cut someone down to size, that’s for sure.” Sherlock Holmes was not available for interviews following the news that Jack Torrance had been reported missing. Torrance was last seen wandering into a long abandoned corn maze following his first round upset loss. Holmes is investigating his disappearance.

Voting for the Final Four matchups will be open through tomorrow, when the final pairing will be announced. Vote for your favorites in both of these matchups and check in soon to see who has advanced to the championship final!

Student Research in the Library: Allison Juda

Do you know that the Seeley G. Mudd library has nine individual study rooms that can be assigned to students on a term-by-term basis? More information about our student offices, as well as the student office request form, can be found here.

Allison Juda applied for a student office at the beginning of Winter Term to facilitate her work on her senior honors project. She is an English major and an anthropology minor from Maple Grove, MN, a Northwest suburb of Minneapolis. Read on to learn more about what Allison is researching in her student office in the Mudd!

Allison, tell us about your research.

I am currently working on a senior honors project about the portrayal of Jane Austen’s heroines and how their individual growth out of a position of liminality is reflected in many ways in societal growth so that by the end of the novels both the heroine and community are corrected and society operates once again with morality and decorum. In doing this I am combining theories of liminality produced by notable anthropologists and historical information about social structures in Austen’s time period, as well as some research on Austen herself.

What are you hoping to learn or gain from this research?

I noticed that all of Austen’s novels seem to follow a similar plot structure, so my main goal was to discover why Austen continued to write about the same worlds and journeys, and how that was reflective of literary, and also Austen’s contemporary, society.

Why do you think this research is important?

There has been a lot of research on Jane Austen, especially since the most recent trend of producing Austen movies (as well as other movies from her time period), but I think that not enough research has focused on the reasons why the heroines must go through their journeys. One of the most important things that I want to draw out in my work is an emphasis on the fact that these heroines are a product of their surroundings and that the growth of the social structure is instrumental in the growth of the liminal heroine. In this way, Austen’s literature is an important product of its era; in examining her literature we can learn more about her time period and social structures in general.

How did you become interested in this line of research?

After reading my first Austen novel, Pride and Prejudice, I was drawn into her literary work. As I entered the rabbit hole I became more fascinated with examining the works from a critical perspective and so I approached my advisor about working on the topic in greater detail.

What library materials and resources have been the most useful to you in pursuing this research?

I think that the physical building itself, with great places to study is a huge asset to anyone doing research, big or small. Having a place to go to know that I am going to do work is very important in helping to keep me focused. I also have taken advantage of the expertise of the reference librarians, who have helped point me in the right direction in my research, and the ILL system to get access to important works that we do not have here in Mudd.

What I am perhaps most thankful for is my library office; I have two large binders with research and various drafts and well over a dozen books with which I have been working on a regular basis. Having a place to keep all of my materials safe has been a savior both on my sanity and my back (I don’t think that my poor backpack could make it without my office either).

What would you like your fellow students to know about the Mudd Library?

I think that something I didn’t realize my freshman year at Lawrence is that returning to the same place to study (and only study) on a daily basis really helps me get into the mindset and stay focused while I am doing my work. Studying in the library provides you with all the resources you need in the same place, from the librarians to help you if you get stumped, the scanners, printers, hole punches, staplers, and even the occasional piece of candy.

Mudd March Madness: Elite Eight Field Set Tournament

Another guest blog post from our fabulous ILL Assistant, Andrew McSorley!

The Mudd March Madness event pits fictional characters from all across literary history against one another. By the end of next week, a champion will be crowned, taking control of the Seeley G. Mudd Library’s bragging rights for the next year.

The final sixteen contestants duked it out this week and there wasn’t a close call in any of the eight matchups.

This morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself eliminated from the Mudd March Madness Tournament. Samsa was ousted by Darth Vader in a 44 – 12 rout. The other favorite in the region, Bilbo Baggins, also emerged victorious, slaying Big Brother by a final of 40 – 18.

The young adult region saw its first upset in this tournament as Winnie the Pooh took down Peter Pan 35 – 22. Harry Potter lived up to his status as “The Chosen One,” dominating his matchup against Katniss Everdeen with a 51 – 7 drubbing. Asked how he would prepare for his regional final against Winnie the Pooh, Harry said, “Lots of studying and hard work. Also, I want to clear my name about the accusations of PED use. I have not used Felix Felicis in this competition, I have tested negative for potions multiple times, and I do not condone magical elixir use of any kind.” Pooh was unavailable for comment after an unfortunate honey pot incident during his locker room celebration. Hundred Acre Wood doctors confirmed he is cleared to participate in the next match.

The Classics region found itself with the closest matchup of the round as Sherlock Holmes bested Jay Gatsby in a 35 – 23 upset. Gatsby’s “Green Lights,” as his boosters are nicknamed, were terribly disappointed by the defeat, but promised to throw the biggest after-party the tournament had ever seen. Atticus Finch made short work of Moby Dick in a 45 – 10 blowout. “It’s about courage” Atticus explained after his victory, “Sometimes you know you’re licked before you begin, but you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.”

Tyler Durden and Lisbeth Salander both easily won their respective matchups in the Contemporary Fiction region, and will go head to head in a bout that was highly anticipated as a possibility when the first round pairings were announced. “It’s hard to predict what Tyler’s going to do, how he’ll perform” said Robert Paulson, head of Tyler Durden’s management team. “If he’s in the right headspace, so to speak, he can be unbeatable. We’ll see which Tyler shows up for this next round.”

Voting is open now for the elite eight of the inaugural Mudd March Madness Tournament. Fans can vote for their favorites in each round in person at the Seeley G. Mudd Library. Look for an update next week on which characters are moving on to a berth in the coveted Final Four!

Mudd March Madness: First Round in the Books

We are pleased to share a guest post written by our very own Andrew McSorley!

03/11/2015, Appleton, WI

The Mudd March Madness event pits fictional characters from all across literary history against one another. By the end of next week, a champion will be crowned, taking control of the Seeley G. Mudd Library’s bragging rights for the next year.

It was mostly chalk in the first round of the inaugural Mudd March Madness as top seeds hung on in nearly every contest. One huge upset seized the day, however, with eighth seeded Alex (A Clockwork Orange) taking down The Shining’s Jack Torrance, the number one seed in the Contemporary Fiction region.

The Young Adult region saw every top seed advance to the next round. Harry Potter, Katniss Everdeen, and Winnie the Pooh all blew-out their competition en-route to the sweet sixteen. Peter Pan survived a late surge from The Wind in the Willows’ Toad (a well-sponsored fan favorite) to seize a matchup against Pooh bear in the next round.

In the Science Fiction region, fans were treated to the largest margin of victory in Mudd March Madness history with Bilbo Baggins’s outclassing of Rick Deckard in the first round by a score of 56 – 9. A fan found sporting a “If you can’t handle Smaug’s heat get away from the treasure” t-shirt said this of the matchup: “I’ve never seen anything like it. Bilbo wasn’t even challenged in this matchup. It really seems like he’s peaking at the right time. He looks like a champion right now to me.”

Our Classic characters region saw one upset, as Moby Dick took down Anna Karenina 37 – 32 in a low-scoring nail-biter.

The contemporary fiction region found itself with the biggest storyline of the first round. Jack Torrance was frozen out by Alex 34 – 26. With this outcome, fans witnessed the biggest upset in Mudd March Madness history. Alex’s win puts him into contention against The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’s Lisbeth Salander in the second round, while Tyler Durden and Amy Dunne go head to head in one of the most intriguing matchups of this sweet sixteen.

Fans can vote for their favorites in each matchup of the second round in person at the Seeley G. Mudd Library. Stay tuned to see who is moving on to the elite eight and taking one more step towards the Mudd March Madness championship!