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

March 26th, 2015 by Holly Roycraft

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

March 17th, 2015 by Holly Roycraft

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

March 13th, 2015 by Holly Roycraft

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

March 11th, 2015 by Holly Roycraft

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!

Meet the Staff, Student Worker Edition: Tyler Grasee

February 24th, 2015 by Holly Roycraft

003 (Medium)Tyler Grasee is another of the Seeley G. Mudd Library’s wonderful Circulation Assistants. He is adept at the full array of circulation duties, including helping patrons find and check out materials. Tyler, who is an anthropology and German double major, has worked in the Mudd since his sophomore year at Lawrence. We appreciate his sweet and helpful nature, and are always impressed with his impeccable sense of style. Read on to learn more about Tyler!

Tyler, where are you from?

I’m a local! Originally from Green Bay, Wisconsin.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

I love the interactions with professors, visitors, and other non-students. Working with and meeting new people are nice breaks from studying.

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

I’m not certain I’ve done anything particularly notable behind the desk, but there is definitely a sense of personal satisfaction on the rare occasion I find a lost book.

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

The Kruse room on the fourth floor has a great view and very cozy furniture.

What are your hobbies?

Though traveling, attending concerts, reading, and writing are all at the top of my list, food will always be number one. There is nothing I appreciate more than an interesting culinary experience, whether it be out or at home. I’ll eat anything.

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

“The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran. If you like poetry, it changes your life within the hour it takes to read.

What are your favorite bands or performers?

Classical music is my first love, but I usually find myself listening to Disclosure, FKA Twigs, Grimes, SBTRKT, Tei Shi, Lana del Rey, Janelle Monae, Edith Piaf and Marlene Dietrich, and of course, Beyoncé.

How about your favorite blogs and/or magazines?

This is difficult for me to narrow down, but I’ll give it a try: Fast Company, Chronicle of Higher Education, Hello Mr., New York Magazine, Dazed and Confused Magazine, the Atlantic, Vogue, and GQ are a few.

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

I’ve been most active in Hillel, Anthropology Club, and GLOW.

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

I’m graduating this spring! I’m hoping to get my Master’s in museum studies.

Is there anything you’d like to share about the Mudd with your fellow students?

Interlibrary loan is a great tool, use it!

Lawrence Students at the WLA Conference

February 13th, 2015 by Allison Wray

Back in November, three library student workers, Allison Wray, Aubrey Klein, Andrea Parmentier, along with Angela Vanden Elzen, one of our reference librarians, attended the 2014 Wisconsin Library Association Conference.  The three students were invited to attend because they are interested in pursuing library sciences and librarianship after college.  In addition to helping organize the Conference’s Makerspace, everyone was able to attend some of the numerous presentations and talks, featuring a huge range of topics.  It was a fantastic experience, here is what Andrea, Allison, and Aubrey have to say about it!

(From Left) Andrea, Aubrey, Allison in front of the Makerspace

(From Left) Andrea, Aubrey, and Allison in front of the Makerspace

Andrea: I am very grateful for the opportunity I had to go to WLA.  The conference really solidified my resolve that librarian is the career path I want to follow.  I felt that I fit in with these people who want to help people learn and have fun.  It was interesting to see how and what kinds of ideas were exchanged through the conference.  There was a lot of programming interesting for me, even not being a librarian.  I went to panels about how to cater library programs and events to different groups and about keeping up with teens and teen literature, as library programming is one of the areas of librarianship I am most interested and those talks seemed most interesting to one not in the field.
The panels and speeches weren’t the only place to find out more information, however.  The exhibition hall, and especially the makerspace that Angela was in charge of, was a great way to meet people and exchange ideas.  Not only were the projects ideas in and of themselves, but librarians working on activities chatted with one another about how to adapt the ideas to fit their own library’s needs and goals.  Talking to a couple of librarians was cool too, especially talking to a librarian from our own Appleton Public Library about the types of activities she has for the teens.  All in all, I learned a lot about the ways librarians work to improve their services and what those services are.

Allison: My favorite part of the conference was probably exploring the exhibition hall. There were so many neat tables and people; it was really cool to see such a variety of stalls.  I also really enjoyed some of the presentations I went to, especially the ones on young adult literature and graphic design.  I’m very passionate about art and LGBTQ/feminist activism so I was pleased to be able to participate in a discussion space concerning topics I care about, especially ones relevant to teen readers. I was impressed by how many different topics the presentations covered, I definitely wasn’t expecting to directly share my interests in opinions with many people, but I was pleasantly surprised when there was a plethora of relevant and interesting presentations to attend!
I really appreciated that the conference gave me a good idea of the breadth of librarianship and all of the different paths that are available.  I was excited to discover that UW has a Gender and Women’s Studies librarian who was tabling there, and it was great to talk to her and learn about what she does. I was also reminded of just how much libraries do, in both the public and academic sphere. I haven’t had much public library experience, so it was exciting to see all of the programming and ideas that people had. I definitely feel like librarianship is a good path for me—there are just so many different options and opportunities that make it appealing and exciting!

Aubrey: In particular, I really liked the presentations  given by young-adult librarians and hearing what they had to say.  In their work, they use young-adult novels as a way to talk about and teach teens about topics like sexual assault, body-image, LGBTQ relationships and many other things.  I’ve always loved YA but it helped me realize just how important the genre is for teen readers, considering that it is often so easily written off by adults or people who don’t consider YA “serious” reading.
I was surprised at the huge amount of presentations and activites being presented at the conference.  There were a lot of different topics covered under categories like leadership, community and event planning.
The conference definitely reaffirmed that librarianship is the field for me.  I was fascinated and excited by everything that I learned and sensed a lot of community and solidarity among the library community.  It also presented some new paths to me that I may not have thought about before, like teen librarianship.
I was reminded that librarianship is far more than just picking books for a collection.  Libraries are community spaces that provide a variety of resources for every person in the community, from the poorest to the richest.  I love that libraries are a space for everyone to feel welcome and that even if a person comes to the library every day and never checks out a single book, the library is still providing them with something, whether it be internet access, an after-school program, or a warm shelter.  Librarians really play a huge role in community building, and can have a major impact on the lives of those who use the library.

The Mudd Welcomes Kwame Anthony Appiah to Lawrence!

February 11th, 2015 by Holly Roycraft

The Seeley G. Mudd Library is honored to welcome Kwame Anthony Appiah to campus for his convocation entitled “A Decent Respect: Honor and Citizenship at Home and Abroad,” on Tuesday, February 17 at 11:10 am in Memorial Chapel. He is often called a postmodern Socrates, and for good reason; he asks probing questions about identity, ethnicity, honor, and religion during a time when these difficult notions continue to shift. Exciting and erudite, Appiah challenges us to look beyond the boundaries—real and imagined—that divide us, and to celebrate our common humanity. You will not want to miss this important convocation!

Of course, being librarians, we encourage you to learn more about this great thinker before he arrives on campus. You can read his biography here.

Many of Appiah’s works are available for check-out in the Mudd, and can be found by doing an author search in our catalog. These works include:

  • Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers
  • The Ethics of Identity
  • Experiments in Ethics
  • The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen
  • In My Father’s House: Africa and the Philosophy of Culture

Kwame Anthony Appiah is also featured in the film Examined Life, which attests that “philosophy is in the streets” and can be found on DVD in our media collection. He helped to edit The Dictionary of Global Culture that is shelved in our reference collection, as well as the Critical Perspectives Past and Present series, featuring authors such as Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, Toni Morrison, and Zora Neale Hurston. These works are all located on the third floor. The book Color Conscious: The Political Morality of Race, is an electronic resource that can be found here after logging in on the library’s home page.

We invite you to take full advantage of the many resources available in the Mudd, and to take some time exploring and engaging with Appiah’s work before he arrives. We are certainly looking forward to hearing his convocation address, and hope to see many of you there. Meanwhile, here’s a Ted Talk by the philosopher given in May, 2014:

See you at Convocation!

Meet the Staff, Student Worker Edition: Devin Ditto

February 4th, 2015 by Holly Roycraft

001 (Medium)Devin Ditto is a psychology major from St. Louis, Missouri, and works as a Circulation Assistant at the Seeley G. Mudd Library. We love to see her smiling face from behind the Circulation Desk, where she helps students and faculty access course reserves, locates materials and assists students in navigating the stacks, and helps patrons use the copier, scanner, and printer. Devin enjoys working in the Mudd, and it shows!

We asked this circulation assistant a few questions so that you, our faithful patrons, could get to know her and her work in the library a little bit better. Be sure to say hello the next time you see her in the Mudd, and you may get a glimpse of her shining smile yourself.

Devin, how long have you been working at the Mudd?

This will be my second year working in the library.

What’s the best part of your job?

I think my favorite part is helping students find what they are looking for. The other staff members are pretty great as well.

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

It depends on what kind of mood I’m in. If I actually want to be productive, somewhere on the second or third floor. If I want to be a little bit productive but still talk to friends, the first floor. And if I want to make myself believe that I’m being productive, the Kruse room.

What are your hobbies?

Cooking and baking

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

Gone Girl - I read at least 200 pages in one day over reading period.

What are your favorite bands or performers?

Oh my gosh, so many favorites that I don’t think I actually have a favorite!

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

LUCC (Lawrence University Community Council)

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

I will graduate in June. I’m not sure what my post-graduation plans are, but hopefully working, so that I can save up to go back to school, is on the agenda.

Is there anything you’d like to share about the Mudd with your fellow students?

Actually use it! It has so much stuff to offer, from great study spots to a friendly environment. The staff is always really helpful, and you will almost always be able to find what you need or are looking for.

Antoinette Powell Named Lillian F. Mackesy Historian of the Year

January 30th, 2015 by Angela Vanden Elzen
Antoinette (pictured here with Nick Hoffman) talks about the Cleggett-Hollensworth family during the "Bicycling Through Local Black History" tour.

Antoinette (pictured here with Nick Hoffman) talks about the Cleggett-Hollensworth family during the “Bicycling Through Local Black History” tour. (Photo from the History Museum Facebook page).

Our very own Music Librarian and Associate Professor Antoinette Powell has been awarded the Lillian F. Mackesy Historian of the Year Award by the Outagamie County Historical Society!

Nick Hoffman, Chief Curator of the History Museum at the Castle, explained that Antoinette received this award for her “important work on the Cleggett-Hollensworth [and] Newman families, organizing the Tribute Concert, work on Stone of Hope, and the Third Ward website.  [Her] talents for research and storytelling have made all these projects especially credible and engaging.”

Here at the Mudd, we have long known about Antoinette’s talents for research and her dedication to local history. We’re delighted to see that she has been recognized in this way.

Please join us in congratulating Antoinette on this significant award!

The Weekend of Trivia L Has Arrived!

January 23rd, 2015 by Allison Wray

ARC2008-06Beginning Friday, January 23 at 10:00:37pm and lasting through midnight on Sunday, will be the 50th edition of the Great Midwest Trivia Contest hosted by Lawrence University.

For those who aren’t familiar with this Lawrence tradition, Trivia is a 50 hour competition among both on-campus and off-campus teams to answer obscure questions penned by the year’s Trivia Masters.  With one question read every ten minutes, teams have three minutes to complete each question, usually after an intense amount of Google-searching. In past years before energy drinks and laptops, teams would search through encyclopedias, atlases, almanacs, and other print sources to find answers.

The Mudd Library’s archives feature some fantastic images from Trivias past, including photos of teams, sample questions, and more! Here is where you can check those out. In addition, Lux contains digitized copies of past editions of The Lawrentian- browse through student articles about Trivia!

And for those of you participating in Trivia L this year, check out the MIT Libraries’ Google search tips!