Sian Beilock convo!

November 4th, 2014 by Peter Gilbert

Before or after you’ve attended the Sian Beilock convo, you’ll want to read more.Sian Beilock

Search LUCIA, the Library catalog for Sian Beilock or check Academic Search Premier for articles by her.

There are, of course, plenty of pertinent web links:


Featured Spooky Materials!

October 20th, 2014 by Allison Wray

Just in time for reading period and Halloween, the Mudd’s best scary books and movies will be on the display shelf! Our materials range from newer releases to classics, from endearingly campy to downright scary (depending on how easily you scare).

This past week there has been an assortment of wonderfully chilling literature including:

Some of the featured movies for this week will be:

Alumni Librarians: Wendy Pradt Lougee ’72

October 8th, 2014 by Allison Wray

Editor’s note: We invited Lawrence alumni who have gone into library work to share with us what they do and how they got there. Here’s another in a series.

From liberal arts context to a research institution in 40 years… my career has been an interesting journey, reflecting some of the seismic changes in information, publishing, and technology.  I wish I could convey that I heard a clear call to librarianship when I graduated from Lawrence in 1972 with an English major (and good liberal arts education). Rather, an older sister (also English major) was a librarian with Time Warner in New York, and her experiences helping with research for reporters around the globe sounded appealing. Perhaps, too, the focus on sound skills in inquiry and writing that Lawrence embraced had an impact in selecting a career path. Diploma in hand, I headed to UW-Madison for its library science masters program.

A year later, post-UW grad school, found me working at the University of Minnesota in the South Asian Library, unprepared for the diverse languages and narrow focus.  Since academic librarianship seemed an interesting arena, I returned to graduate school in psychology at the University of Minnesota, considering a future as a psychology specialist within a university library. The next stages of my career took me first to another small liberal arts college (Wheaton College in Massachusetts) and then to Brown University Library, where I developed collections and supported faculty in social science disciplines.

A recruitment call from University of Michigan launched the research university chapter in my career and introduced me to university administration, first as an Assistant to the University Library Director (an intern type role) and later as Director of the Graduate (main) Library.  In the early 1990’s when campuses were wrestling with the early promise of distributed computing, I had the unique opportunity to launch a fledgling digital library program, an endeavor to seize the opportunities that technology afforded for information delivery and for developing digital content and programs.  It was a heady time, and Michigan took an early lead in the international arena of digital information initiatives.  Projects ensued to digitize books and journals, create retrieval systems, address diverse needs ranging from art images to biological specimen collections, and much more — often in partnership with other institutions and fueled by many grants.  Concurrently, the commercial publishing world began to dramatically step up its development of digital publication, and I oversaw the policy, infrastructure, and service dimensions of acquiring and delivering digital content at Michigan.  The experience was expansive and challenging and brought national recognition for our pioneering work.

In 2002, I headed to another U of M, back to University of Minnesota as University Librarian and McKnight Presidential Professor, overseeing a system of 14 libraries, historically rich collections, and a very large distributed staff.  Here, too, the burgeoning digital environment grew dramatically, and we’ve been recognized for innovative technology programs and service models that support digital data intensive research and learning/teaching that employs online digital content and tools.

An increasing imperative for academic libraries is to work collectively with other institutions to realize models to share resources and to gain efficiency in serving our individual campuses.  I’ve been deeply engaged in these trends within the Big 10 academic consortium known as the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) and more broadly.  I’ve been privileged, too, to serve on various national boards: the Council on Library and Information Resources, the Digital Library Federation, the HathiTrust, and Association of Research Libraries.   All of these organizations address the knowledge environment writ large – that is, far more than physical collections and place-based services that used to define bricks and mortar libraries.

Back in the 1970’s when I left Lawrence, could I imagine leading a large library organization and working within complex consortia to address mutual interests? The answer is quite simply, no.  Yet, I believe the investments made in those years at Lawrence to nurture a strong liberal arts background, to gain perspective on social issues, and to imagine roles of global citizenship provided an energizing start to a career in the “knowledge business.”   I consider libraries a critical player in the knowledge environment of higher education, and I’ve been fortunate to be engaged in leadership roles within that context.

Wendy Pradt Lougee
University Librarian
McKnight Presidential Professor
University of Minnesota

A Stone of Hope in the Fox Cities

September 29th, 2014 by Allison Wray

The Mudd Library welcomes A Stone of Hope: Black Experiences in the Fox Cities, a “pop-up” museum exhibit that examines black history in the area from the 1700s to the present. The exhibit, that began in June on Appleton’s Juneteenth celebration, will be traveling for two years, displaying at numerous sites around the Fox Cities and Appleton area.  The exhibit will be on display on the Mudd Library’s 2nd floor from September 29th-October 31st, 2014.

Twelve educational floor banners make up the exhibit, sharing stories and photographs of individuals, businesses, and events that have contributed to the historical narrative.  Lawrence University Archivist Erin Dix ’08, Research Intern Sarah Golden ’15, and Music Librarian Antoinette Powell have all contributed research to the exhibit.

More information on the Stone of Hope exhibit and other locations it will be showing at can be found here on the History Museum at the Castle’s website.  Check out our Flickr page for more photos of the display.

Wisconsin Collection & Wisconsin Documents, Together at Last

September 26th, 2014 by Allison Wray

Over the summer, an important shift of materials took place- the Mudd’s collection of Wisconsin documents moved from the second floor to the fourth floor of the library, next to our Wisconsin Collection and the Roger Dale Kruse Room.

The Wisconsin Collection contains over 2,500 titles and features books covering a full range of topics about Wisconsin or by Wisconsin authors. As a collection that we purchase into, we have been able to acquire unique holdings of local and regional writers with a special emphasis in poetry. Because Lawrence University was started as a territorial college, we also have early state government documents and early histories of the Fox River Valley and Appleton. We are also a “Selective Depository Library” for State of Wisconsin documents, which means that we receive a portion of the thousands of documents published by Wisconsin state agencies.

Formerly, the Wisconsin Documents were housed on the second floor along with the Federal Documents, but now both collections have been brought together to form a cohesive and impressive collection of Wisconsin history and legacy.  Be sure to head up to the fourth floor to check it out!


Corinne Wocelka: “Because of her, Lawrence is a better place”

September 20th, 2014 by Angela Vanden Elzen

Corinne WocelkaThe library was very saddened to hear about the sudden passing of Corinne Wocelka, former Associate Professor and Director of Technical Services. Corinne retired from the Mudd Library in 2010 after 33 years at Lawrence. Her passion for public service and exacting standards were well-known in the library and across campus. Many of us also knew of her impressive skills at bridge, her devotion to the Packers, and her love of music. In light of that love of music, members of the library staff were willing to embarrass themselves by performing a dance in her honor at her retirement celebration.

Upon her retirement, Associate Professor and Library Director Peter Gilbert wrote about some of Corinne’s many contributions to Lawrence and to the library:

The director of technical services — the job that Corinne has held since 1985 — is responsible for acquisitions, cataloging, periodicals and government documents. In these last 25 years, each of those areas has undergone a massive shift in how the work is done as the world of information storage and retrieval has moved from paper to electronic. In fact, Corinne’s entire career at Lawrence — as circulation assistant, acquisitions librarian, and director of technical services — has been all about that core library value: helping people get the stuff they need for teaching and learning, no matter what the format.

One of the main signs of that shift was the transition from the card catalog to LUCIA, Lawrence’s online catalog. Corinne was, of course, a lead player in that transition — and the later transition from one vendor’s system to another. The number of details that are involved in shifts like that is just boggling, but Corinne managed to keep it all in her head (or on her desk). She also managed to keep library users in the forefront. Her priority was always to help make things easier for the reader. If you can find anything in the library, it’s because of Corinne’s efforts.

Another of the many reasons everyone loves Corinne is that it’s been her job to buy things for the library — and she was tireless in locating and acquiring materials for teaching, learning and research. Many, many faculty have praised her willingness to “go the extra mile” to help them get the books, music and videos they needed.

In addition to her excellent library work, Corinne has been an active participant in faculty committees. The Honors Committee, especially, has benefited from her high standards and attention to detail. Hundreds of students brought their honors papers to her and she responded with support and enthusiasm for even the most esoteric topics.

That support and enthusiasm extended throughout Corinne’s work at Lawrence. Whether it was creating records for the online catalog, searching for an obscure video or reading an honors paper about C. elegans, Corinne has focused her attention on the people.

When Corinne was promoted to associate professor, Dennis Ribbens, the library director, said about her, “Were she to leave today, there is no way I could replace her with only one person … Probably no one person knows more about the entire spectrum of this place than she … Because of her, Lawrence is a better place.”

Suffice it to say, both the library and the campus are better places because of her work and we’ll miss her. I’m sure, however, that her retirement travels will bring her occasionally back to the Mudd — and we’re glad of that.

A celebration of Corinne’s life will be held at her retirement community, Touchmark (2601 Touchmark Dr, Appleton) on Saturday, September 27th in the afternoon. More details will be added as they become available.

Update: The following memorial service details were published in her obituary in the Post-Crescent:

The memorial service for Corinne will be held at 4:00 PM on Saturday, September 27, 2014 in the chapel at TOUCHMARK ON PROSPECT, 2601 Touchmark Drive in Appleton, with Rev. Jane Anderson officiating. Family and friends are invited to gather at Touchmark on Saturday from 2:00 PM until the time of the memorial service. In lieu of flowers, memorials to Lawrence University are appreciated. Online condolences can be offered at

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.