National Library Week 2014!

April 14th, 2014 by Allison Wray

Come celebrate National Library Week here at the Mudd from April 13-19! The festivities will begin Monday, some highlights include:

National Library Week 2014

  • Hidden prizes all over the library! Plastic eggs containing a slip redeemable a prize have been hidden around the library. Bring the egg to the reference desk to pick a prize!
  • Enter the annual Library Haiku Contest!
  • Library Student Worker Appreciation Day on Tuesday, April 15th- make sure to say thanks for all the hard work they do!
  • Ask a question at the reference desk, get a cookie on Wednesday, April 16th from 6-10 PM!
  • Tell us your favorite thing about the library, and see why the staff and students love it too!

Take a look at our Facebook album to see photos of the library staff sharing what it is that we love about working at the Mudd Library.

We hope to see you here!

Scholarly work of Lawrence Alumni: Joe Siegel ‘01

April 10th, 2014 by Peter Gilbert

A bit about me, Joe Siegel (LU class of 2001)Joe Siegel

How do people learn to listen? It’s something that most people don’t even stop to think about. The ability to listen in our first language develops with little effort or explicit attention, but listening competency in a second language can be an arduous task, something that takes significant time and effort.  I’ve been interested in how listening ‘works’ for a long time, particularly in a second language, and I’m amazed by what an incredible ability it is. Biological, psychological, and auditory aspects combine to help us understand the aural messages we receive, and the communicative importance of listening, whether in a first or second language, makes it a fundamental tool.

I’m currently working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Foreign Languages at J. F. Oberlin University in Tokyo, Japan. In the classroom, I teach courses on general English as a foreign language (EFL) with a specific focus on the development of aural abilities in a second language. Such skills include recognizing the beginnings and endings of words, parsing the speech stream into meaningful chunks of language, and confirming or rejecting predictions we make about what we hear. As a researcher in the field of applied linguistics, I’m interested to learn more about teaching methods and learning styles for second language listening. This work has included MA and PhD dissertations and grant-funded research supported by the Ministry of Education in Japan.

The liberal arts education I received at Lawrence was a great preparation for my career, since my particular area of research focuses on the intersection of biology, psychology, education, and foreign language teaching and learning. A number of classes I took at LU have had a great impact on how I go about research and academic writing. Freshman Studies was a wonderful interdisciplinary experience, and I benefitted from the challenges of relating different works, genres, and themes to each other. I remember one Freshman Studies teacher who gave us the autonomy to choose any two works we had covered during the semester and write a paper on any aspect that linked the two. What a fantastic assignment for freshman students! What freedom!

Creativity, analytic thinking, and the need for clarity of expression: all of these have been indispensable in the work that I do now.

I majored in English at Lawrence, and the comparative and close analyses of important works of literature have definitely prepared me to do background reading of academic works and to construct clearly-written yet sophisticated literature reviews for academic publications. The two independent studies classes that I completed at LU gave me the opportunity to set up, plan, resource, and execute small-scale projects on my own. These courses, which I completed in my junior and senior years, were practical bridges that allowed me to transition from work done purely for grades and research done in the ‘real world’ for the benefit of students, colleagues, and the language teaching field in general. Further, at Lawrence, I had chances to interact closely and collaboratively with professors, which gave me much-needed confidence and thick skin that I’d need when dealing with peer reviewers and editors working for journals and publishing companies, who can sometimes be a picky bunch.

Listed below are some of my main and more recent publications, mostly on topics related to second language listening pedagogy:

Siegel, J. (2013). Methodological ingenuity for second language listening. In J.  Schwieter (Ed.), Studies and global perspectives of second language teaching and learning (pp. 113-139). Charlotte: Information Age Publishing.

Siegel, J. (2013). Exploring L2 listening instruction: Examinations of practice.  ELT Journal, 68(1).

Siegel, J. & Siegel, A. (2013). Empirical and attitudinal effects of bottom-up listening activities in the L2 classroom. ELT World Online, 5, 1-25,

Siegel, J. (2012). Second language learners’ perceptions of listening strategy instruction. Innovations in language learning and teaching, 7(1), 1-18.

Siegel, J. (2011). Thoughts on L2 listening pedagogy. ELT Journal, 65(3), 318-321.

Siegel, J. (2011). Learner development through listening strategy training. In K. Irie & A. Stewart (Eds.), Realizing autonomy: Practice and reflection in language education contexts (pp. 78-93). Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

In the future, I plan to continue investigating current methodologies in language teaching and to develop and trial other alternative ways of teaching second language listening. I’ve also recently become more interested in pragmatic development, especially concerning university students who complete study abroad experiences.

Fox Cities Book Festival Authors at Lawrence: Bruce Machart and Matthew Batt

April 8th, 2014 by Allison Wray

As part of the Fox Cities Book Festival, Bruce Machart and Matthew Batt will present on the Lawrence University campus on Friday, April 11 at 4pm in the Pusey Room in the Warch Campus Center.



Bruce Machart is the author of the award-winning novel, The Wake of Forgiveness (2010), and the collection of short stories, Men in the Making (2011), both published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Reviewers have called The Wake of Forgiveness mesmerizing, evocative, and a dazzling tale of retribution, redemption, and morality. The novel won the Texas Institute of Letters Steven Turner Prize for fiction and the Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association’s Reading the West Prize. It was also named to several “top ten title” lists for 2010.

Both of Machart’s books are available in the Mudd, and more information on the author can be found on his website and the Fox Cities Book Festival author page.

Matthew Batt is the author of Sugarhouse, tumblr_n3f5nrKijx1rhgrsso1_500a nonfiction account of renovating a Salt Lake City crack house and his life along with it. He’s the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the McKnight Foundation, and his work has been featured in the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Huffington Post, and elsewhere. He teaches creative writing at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota and has lately been finishing work on a collection of essays and a novel set in Milwaukee.

Sugarhouse can be found in the Mudd Library, and more information on Batt can be found on the Fox Cities Book festival author page.


Fox Cities Book Festival Authors at Lawrence: Shawn Sheehy

April 1st, 2014 by Allison Wray

As part of the Fox Cities Book Festival, Shawn Sheehy will present on the Lawrence University campus on Thursday, April 10 at 4:30 in the Wriston Art Center.

Shawn Sheehy is a pop-up book artist whose work is a unique blending of image, message, and structure. He combines paper engineering with his interest in biology and cultural evolution to produce limited-edition pop-up books. His artist books are inspired by the dynamic ecologies that operate in both wild and cultured environments. Counting on the Marsh: a Nighttime Book of Numbers, for example, is a book with a marsh environment for its setting, contains intricately constructed pop-ups, and uses the simple text of a counting story — all to create a work of art and science.

Sheehy’s work is featured in 500 Handmade Books Vol. 2, which can be found in the Mudd Library (Call Number: Z246 .A14 2013).

Visit Sheehy’s website and the Fox Cities Book Festival author page to see more images and information about his work!


Fox Cities Book Festival Authors at Lawrence: David Rhodes

March 20th, 2014 by Angela Vanden Elzen

JewelweedThe seventh annual Fox Cities Book Festival will take place in just a few short weeks. This festival celebrates the joy of literature by connecting readers with local, regional, and nationally-known authors. Book festival authors will be speaking at locations all over the Fox Cities during this week-long festival. This year, David Rhodes, Shawn Sheehy, Bruce Machart, and Matthew Batt will be speaking on the Lawrence University campus.

Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing a bit about these authors and their works.

David Rhodes, author of Jewelweed, will be speaking in the Warch Campus Center Cinema on Monday, April 7th at 6:30 P.M.

David Rhodes has received national acclaim for all of his novels, the most recent of which is Jewelweed (2013). This story centers on the small town of Word, Wisconsin, and a number of characters who are trying to come to grips with their problems and make their way in the community. A Booklist review described the work as a “many-faceted novel of profound dilemmas, survival, and gratitude.” A Chicago Tribune review called it “dazzlingly alive” and noted Rhodes is “a master storyteller of real people who live in our small towns.”

For more information about David Rhodes, take a look at his author page on the Fox Cities Book Festival website.

The Mudd Library owns a number of Rhodes’ works, including Jewelweed. Take a look at our library catalog.

What’s So Great About the Con’s New Steinway Piano?

March 17th, 2014 by Allison Wray

Photo courtesy of Liz Boutelle

A generous and unexpected gift of 1958 Lawrence graduate, Kim Hiett Jordan, allowed the Lawrence Conservatory’s keyboard department to purchase a new Steinway D Concert Grand Piano. You may have read about it on the Lawrence blog.

The piano, which has been placed in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel, is one of the most popular models of Steinway concert pianos. It was carefully chosen by three of the Con’s keyboard department’s members- Catherine Kautsky, Anthony Padilla, and Michael Mizrahi (pictured)- who traveled to New York City to hand-pick precisely the right instrument.

Being one of the most popular piano manufacturers with a reputation for high-quality instruments, Steinway & Sons is not an unfamiliar name.  However, for someone who lacks more specific knowledge regarding musical instruments, the importance of this newly-acquired instrument may not be entirely evident. Luckily, the Mudd has plenty of resources for those wishing to brush up on their Steinway knowledge.  We’ve compiled a few sources to look into and in addition, a brief summary of what makes a Steinway great:

In 1836, Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg assembled his first piano in his home in Seesen, Germany, thus beginning the prosperous piano company we know today as Steinway & Sons.  In 1850, he made a bold decision to sell the company and move to America with his family due to the economic recession in Germany; America offered free-enterprise and new and different manufacturing techniques.  The Steinwegs worked for a variety of American piano manufacturers before coming back together in 1853, Americanizing their name, and officially establishing the Steinway & Sons company.

There was a strong emphasis on advertising and marketing for the company, and the construction of Steinway Hall New York City’s Union Square in 1864 allowed for concerts of world-renowned pianists performing on Steinway pianos.  “The Instrument of the Immortals” became the company’s slogan for nearly a century after a young copywriter discovered that Steinways had been used by nearly every great pianist and most of the great composers since Wagner.  However, many consider the pianos manufactured between the two World Wars to be the prime models for the company, and thus, the 1920s and 30s were dubbed Steinway’s “Golden Age.”

As for the Steinway Model D, the piano was originally designed in 1883.  And amazingly, never had a formal blueprint- the specifications for the twelve thousand part piano were handed down from each generation of foremen to the next.  Construction of Steinway Concert Grands takes nearly a year to complete, even today.  But this meticulous craftsmanship has given it a reputation that it certainly lives up to.  Steinway pianos have become famous for their ability to project more sound and project it farther- the “Steinway sound” encapsulates a full, dramatic, powerful bass all the way to a clear, singing treble, making the Model D a prime example of an exquisitely crafted instrument.

 .          .          .          .           .

Sources from the Mudd Library:

Dolge, Alfred. Pianos and Their Makers: A Comprehensive History of the Development of the Piano from the Monochord to the Concert Grand Player Piano. New York: Dover Publications, 1972. Print.  (Call No.: ML652 .D6 1972)

Hafner, Katie. A Romance on Three Legs: Glenn Gould’s Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Piano. New York: Bloomsburg, 2008. Print.  (Call No.: ML417 .G68 H28 2008)

Lenehan, Michael. “The Quality of the Instrument.” The Atlantic Aug. 1982: 32-58. Print.

The Wisconsin Collection

March 3rd, 2014 by Holly Tuyls

002 (Medium)Are you interested in Wisconsin history, geology, or politics? Do you enjoy reading locally-written literature? Do you love Wisconsin? If so, take some time to peruse our fabulous Wisconsin Collection!

Located on the library’s fourth floor, the Wisconsin Collection features over 2,500 titles related to Wisconsin or written by Wisconsin authors. State and local history titles abound, some dating from the time when Wisconsin was still a territory. Learn about the rich culture of the Native American tribes who have called the state their home, or about the many immigrants who have settled here. Explore the unique culinary and linguistic history of the area, or savor poetry inspired by Wisconsin’s beautiful landscapes and extreme climate.

The Wisconsin Collection features books about the Fox Cities specifically, as well as other interesting cheese-state locales, such as Milwaukee, Madison, and Door County. Enjoy the works of famous Wisconsin authors Edna Ferber, Aldo Leopold, Jane Hamilton, and Michael Perry. Field guides can help you learn about and identify local flora and fauna, and hiking and backpacking manuals abound if you’re looking to experience the diverse and rustic natural beauty of the state. Biographies of famous Wisconsin residents, such as Les Paul, Gaylord Nelson, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Bob La Folette, can be found in the collection as well.

If you’re curious about regional or state statistics, the collection features a plethora of statistical information, including the full collection of the state’s Blue Books. Of course, it could hardly be named the Wisconsin Collection without titles featuring the Green Bay Packers, the Wisconsin Badgers, and beer.

Whether you’re a political activist or an amateur naturalist, a statistics buff or a committed locavore, be sure to spend some time in the stacks of the Wisconsin Collection. You can see a small sampling of titles from this collection by checking out our Pinterest page. Exploring the state of Wisconsin is as easy as a visit to the Seeley G. Mudd!

NEDAwareness Week Books Display

February 26th, 2014 by Allison Wray

Thanks to the campus student groups PSA, LUNAMI, SAA, and LU Wellness, there is a new themed display on the New Books shelf in the library for National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (February 23rd-March 1st).

1779140_10203606711034707_1843898827_nThe goal of this week is to promote public and media attention to the seriousness of eating disorders and improve education about triggers, warning signs, and how to help those struggling. NEDAwareness’ 2014 theme is “I Had No Idea”, seeking to address the misconceptions and stigma that surround eating disorders.

This display provides print resources for patrons that are perhaps suffering from an eating disorder, or are interested in learning more about them. Also on display are educational infographics provided by NEDA, the National Eating Disorders Association (which can also be viewed here).  To learn more about NEDA and NEDAwareness Week, you can visit their websites here and here.

NEDA’s Information & Referral Helpline: 800-931-2237

LU Counseling: 920-832-6574 or the WellLU webpage for counseling and other resources.


Standing Desks in the Library

February 21st, 2014 by Allison Wray
Desks are available in front of the Circulation Desk

Desks are available in front of the Circulation Desk

As part of a student health initiative, there are now two standing desks available for use in the library.  Donated by stand2learn, these wheeled desks allow students to go anywhere in the library and work standing up. Standing aids in focusing, increasing energy level, and is overall good for a student’s health (plus they’re a nice break from sitting constantly all day).

The initiative has been led by three students- Christopher Bohl, Nathan Eckstein, and Brynley Nadziejka- and it appears to be quite popular with the student body, as the desks are almost always in use!

Lux Reaches 100,000 Downloads

January 14th, 2014 by Angela Vanden Elzen

Lux logo

The Lux institutional repository is the home for the scholarly and creative output of Lawrence University. What does that mean, exactly? Lux is an electronic database that contains scholarly articles, art projects, honors projects, meeting documentation, and more- all created by Lawrence University students, faculty, and staff.

Here are a few examples of what can be found in Lux:

Recently, Lux reached the exciting milestone of 100,000 downloads of full-text content.