In the Mudd Gallery: Wonder and Resonance

Wonder and Resonance is a student-curated exhibit on view in the Mudd Gallery until Monday, March 12th. Using selections from Lawrence’s Anthropology and Archaeology collection, Manuel Ferreira crafted a show which explores the cultural meanings behind various artifacts. Ferreira encourages the viewer to experience the wonder and resonance of these cultural objects writing, “Wonder is the power of an object to grab the attention of a viewer, to convey a sense of enchantment and charisma. Resonance is the power of an object to go beyond itself, to convey the complex and dynamic cultural, historical, and personal forces that created it.”

Mudd Gallery - “The Story Behind the Artifacts” a solo show by Manuel Ferreira

Unlike a traditional museum exhibition, which would likely separate artifacts by time period, culture, and geography, Ferreira includes objects which cross all these boundaries. Walking through you’ll see an Aztec death whistle which dates back to the 12th century a few feet from Chinese ivory. The rich and diverse selection of the exhibit encourages the viewer to consider the consistent power objects have throughout cultures and time.

Mudd Gallery - “The Story Behind the Artifacts” a solo show by Manuel Ferreira

More than just present the viewer with a beautiful variety of objects, Ferreira pushes us to consider what goes into building a collection asking among other things: how did Lawrence come in possession of these objects? Why are they displayed the way they are and how does that affect my experience?  The result is an affecting and intimate experience with objects you otherwise are unlikely to have.

Mudd Gallery - “The Story Behind the Artifacts” a solo show by Manuel Ferreira

We at the Mudd are incredibly excited to house this exhibit and hope you all have a chance to see it before it closes Monday, March 12.




Alumni Librarians: Kathy Abromeit ’85

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. 

While a student at Lawrence, I worked in the music library under the supervision of faculty member, Paul Hollinger. At that time, it was a small collection housed in the conservatory, but we all ate up that collection like children in a candy store. Additionally, I was writing an honor’s thesis on Anna Bon, 18th-century composer and her flute sonatas, so I was getting a lot of library time both working in the library and doing extensive research myself. I studied flute with Ernestine Whitman, and both of us were very excited to be exploring Bon’s work. My advisor for the thesis was Professor Marjory Irvin, and she was the one who instilled my love of research, writing, and scholarly discussion. I came to love the hunt for information, and Professor Irvin helped me to understand that the process of research is often not a straight line from where you begin to where you finish, but that it is messy, that it is connected, that and it requires an ability to tolerate ambiguity. I think she was actually teaching me about life without me knowing it at the time!

Following Lawrence, I began graduate school in musicology. I had a teaching assistantship and was on the path to complete a PhD in musicology. To supplement my income, I also got a job in the music library helping with the copy cataloging of sound recordings. Before long I started appreciating the breadth of a typical day in the library. When I would visualize my life as a musicologist, I saw a tube that was somewhat narrow but tremendously deep. When I would visualize my life as a music librarian, the tube was much broader and offered exceptional breadth but not necessarily the depth of a teaching faculty member. I know it’s not that simplistic, but what I learned about myself, from my visualization of the two professions, is that I needed a career path that offered me a full span of knowledge and exploration. Essentially, I needed a big sandbox that included music, research, expansive learning and service, and the ability to influence the canon. It seemed that librarianship could be a viable profession that met the requirements.

In talking with a few librarians and exploring the job market, I decided to switch to the master’s in musicology, rather than the PhD, and apply for library school. I’ve never looked back. It’s been the perfect career choice for me. I work at the Oberlin Conservatory Library, and it is located on the campus of Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. It was founded in 1865 and is the second oldest conservatory and oldest continually operating conservatory in the United States. Like Lawrence, Oberlin is a liberal arts college and conservatory of music, the best of both worlds! My daily work in the Oberlin Conservatory Library focuses on public services activities. I spend my days doing information literacy work, conducting research appointments as well as supervising the public services operations of our branch library. It’s a very busy library!

After spending a great deal of time thinking about breadth and depth, my thoughts have changed. My work as a music librarian has afforded me the opportunity to become moderately knowledgeable across a domain, and deeply knowledgeable within a strand of that domain. It has been a profession with a continual learning curve as technology advances and changes. While at times it feels somewhat overwhelming, I appreciate the constant challenge that comes with an ever-changing landscape. I remind myself that I did ask for a large sandbox!

I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting and working with a wide range of musicians and scholars ranging from the undergraduates in the conservatory to the budding rap artist to the chorus member in the Metropolitan Opera to the seasoned soloist who is looking for a bit of information for their award-winning CD.

Librarianship is a meaningful profession that has given me tremendous opportunities, intellectual growth, and created a framework for my professional life. That care started at Lawrence where I was a first-generation college student who needed mentoring and guidance, and Lawrence took great care to develop me as a leader despite me coming from an economically-disadvantaged family. That spirit of support helped me to identify that I too wanted to further social justice in my library and research work. It started with Professor Irvin introducing me to music by women composers. Since that time, my path has taken me through the creation of a large folksong database, co-created with the journal, SingOut!, that indexes anthologies of folksong collections, publishing two reference books on African-American spirituals, and I’m working on a third.

I feel blessed that I had the faculty trifecta of Paul Hollinger, Ernestine Whitman, and Marjory Irvin along with Dean Colin Murdoch to launch me on my way and teach me, in the Lawrence way, to engage, develop multiple interests, and give back to my community.

By Kathy Abromeit, Class of 1985

You can read Kathy’s honor’s project in Lux, our institutional repository.


History of the Book Exhibit

Here at The Mudd we love books – we acquire them, we organize them, we help students engage with them everyday – but it’s rare that we get the chance to truly reflect on how books have shaped and been shaped by the course of history. However, we are lucky enough to host an exhibit created entirely by Lawrence students as apart of Prof. Garth Bond’s class “History of the Book”. Under the guidance of Professor Bond and librarian Jill Thomas, several Lawrence student’s engaged critically with selections from our special collection to examine how the role of books have changed throughout time and suggest perhaps how we have changed with them.

Topics range from Catherine Stowe and Harriet Beecher Stowes’ 1869 guide The American Woman’s Home: or Principles of Domestic Science to Artist Books to an analysis of 15th century Christian books. The exhibit, featuring the work of students Sara Armstrong, Allison Brooks-Conrad, Rufino C. Cacho, Anna Cohen, Yarely Covarrubias, and Hanwenheng (Billy) Liu will be up until January 15th. This exhibit is a special opportunity to view some pieces from our special collections in person outside of the Milwaukee Downer room, so be sure to stop by the Mudd before then. For those of you who want to spend some more time with these pieces, selections are digitized in the database Artstor under Selections from Special Collections, Seeley G, Mudd Library. Photographs of the exhibit are available in the History of the Books album.

      These precious books alongside the work of our students provide great insight into the lasting impact books have not only in our own lives but also in the lives of those who lived long before us and surely those who will live long after we’re gone.

Alumni Librarians: Kasie Janssen ’12

My path to librarianship has felt fluid and fated in many ways.  With a multidisciplinary approach to a career in libraries, it is no wonder Lawrence has had such a huge impact on my path.  I have always been a lover of books, spending much of my childhood and adult life immersed in literature and libraries.  But it was fateful day at Lawrence University that set my sites on the world of books as my career.

That day Julie Lindemann and Johnie Shimon took my Intermediate Photography class to the LU Archives, I place I had never stepped foot in throughout my previous time at Lawrence.  Erin Dix, the University Archivist, had brought out a collection of glass plate slides for our class to look at and study.  She talked about the primary sources overflowing the archives and the unique ways such collections came to their Lawrence home.  The best way I can describe that experience of being surrounded by history in those archives… wonderment.  The glass slides tapped into a nostalgia and appreciation so deep it became a day and experience I would ever forget.

But that day came and went.  While memorable and important looking back, I was not as sure of what I wanted out of life as I began wrapping up my time at Lawrence.  After graduating in 2012 with a BA in English and a minor in Studio Art, I spent two years moving around, trying different jobs, and feeling incredibly unsatisfied.  And I know I cannot be the only one to have these post-graduation blues and trials.  After lots of ups-and-downs in my career path (mostly downs it seemed like at the time), I decided to tap back into that day in the archives.  If I could not access a fulfilling career with the credentials I had, it was time to change those credentials.

I applied to six different library programs throughout the United States, and subsequently visited three in person.  And to assist in learning more about libraries and archives while I applied, I went back to Lawrence to volunteer with Erin Dix in the University Archives.  I loved having an excuse to visit campus each week, and loved even more the amount of skills and information I was able to learn from Erin while I worked with her.

I ended up with an acceptance letter to the top library program in the country, in a small town I had never heard of prior to sending in my application, the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana (yes, quite the mouthful).  But it was not just the high credentials of the program that drew me to UIUC.  My in-person visit assured my of the breadth and depth the program had to offer.  Not only would I leave after two years with my Master of Science in Library and Information Science (MSLIS, we library-folk love our acronyms), but I could do it by catering the program to my interests in the fields (there is that multidisciplinary approach coming back in).  On top of the academic love for the program I was just accepted to, I also received a Graduate Assistantship in Conservation.  Now, I had never even heard of conservation, but what I learned brought back that archives-wonderment feeling.  A job that blended books, archives, libraries, and art… yes, yes please.

My experience in the conservation lab was nothing short of amazing.  I was able to work alongside of incredibly talented and knowledgeable people in the field who offered me insight and training.  I was able to work on historical items ranging from the papers of Gregor Mendel to an Ian Fleming collection and beyond.  Gaining this incredible work experience alongside of a strong and vast library education gave my career-searching heart everything it was looking for and more.

But graduate school comes to an end all too quickly, and so began a carer-hunt extravaganza.  Months of applications, resumes, and cover letters took over any speck of free time that I had while finishing up my grad program.  All that work paid off when I took on my current job at the Newberry Library in Chicago as their Conservator for Special Projects.  At the Newberry I am greatly involved in the treatment and preparation of the many items that go on exhibit every year, while also continually working on treatment for the vast and varied collections the library houses. (Seriously, these collections are amazing. Next time you are in Chicago, stop by for a visit, the Newberry is free and open to the public, that means you!)  Honestly, it is a dream job.  It blends my interests of literature and art perfectly.  Every day I go to work the library offers new and interesting challenges that bring amazing historic items across my bench.  And it is a career that means I will be continually learning—learning new treatments, seeking new insights from other professionals in the field, researching collections and their uses in the library—which means my career will be a constant source of inspiration and enjoyment.

When I started my education at Lawrence I did not foresee where it would lead me, but as I look back from my bench at the Newberry I see a clear path of how I got here.  Libraries have so much to offer, and I hope that there are many future librarians sitting in Lawrence’s classes today.

By Kasie Janssen, Class of 2012

Winter Break Closure

The annual winter break closure is quickly approaching, so be sure to get to the Mudd Library to pick up your books, movies, music, and scores to help you prepare for winter term (or catch up on the fun stuff).

The Mudd Library will be open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Friday, December 22nd. We’ll be closed from December 23rd through January 1st. We look forward to seeing everyone in the library again on January 2nd when we reopen from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Regular academic year hours resume on January 3rd (the first day of winter term).

We hope everyone is enjoying the winter holidays and having a safe and relaxing winter break.

OneSearch Tips & Tools: Searching

While Library OneSearch makes keyword searching easy, there are still plenty of tips and tricks to make your searches more productive. One method is Boolean searching. Here are a few tested strategies to use when searching in OneSearch (as well as the library catalog tab):

OR can be used when searching with synonyms or words that both describe what you’re searching (be sure to use all caps when using OR and NOT)

NOT will omit a word from your search results. Use this with caution as it can sometimes omit potentially useful resources.

Phrase searching” will ensure words are searched in a certain order, next to one another.

Wildcard searching can be used when working with variations of words. To do this, a question mark (?) will stand in place for a letter. Examples are wom?n for women or women

Truncation uses an asterisk (*) to will search for multiple words with the same root. Examples are modern* for modernism or modernist and hist* for history of historical and ethno* for ethnography, ethnographies, or ethnographic

Grouping/Nesting combines multiple search strategies for more complex searches

In OneSearch, when multiple words are included in a search, they are automatically combined with AND

These strategies are often referred to as Boolean Searching, though there are some slight variations. For more search tips, see the “learn more about searching” document.

Mudd Gallery Exhibit: Future Humour


Future Humour runs until November 20.

We love the Mudd Gallery! Having an art gallery in the library is a beautiful partnership, and one that truly embodies the essence of a liberal arts education.

Future Humour features digital photography captured in New York City and Appleton.

Supporting our students is an incredibly significant component of our mission, so it makes sense for us to offer space that allows burgeoning student artists the opportunity to curate, organize, and host their own gallery openings and exhibits.

It’s also a great resource for students working hard in the library, slogging away at their academic work. The gallery allows a meaningful, fulfilling, thought-provoking avenue through which to relax, unwind, and shift or gain perspective.

The Mudd Gallery’s latest exhibit is Future Humor by Yifan Zhang.

The artist shares color photography captured in New York City and in Appleton, creating a vibrant and interesting opportunity to compare and contrast these locations.

Zhang states, “Humour is elegant innuendo. Future Humour represents unforeseen conditions. I will let the images speak for themselves.”

The Mudd Gallery is located on the 3rd floor of the Seeley G. Mudd Library.


OneSearch Tips & Tools: Add to e-Shelf

Did you know that if you log in to your library account in Library OneSearch, a whole selection of options are made available?! Logging in allows you to see additional materials in the OneSearch and Course Reserves tabs, and do a bunch of cool stuff from your library account. One of these cool things is the e-Shelf feature.

The e-Shelf feature allows you to save items and go back to them later rather than printing screenshots or taking pictures with your phone. It works with items we have in the library like books and videos as well as with articles found in the OneSearch tab.

Unsure of how to add items to your e-Shelf? Here are some photos to help.

Steps 1 & 2: Click the star next to the item you’d like to save. Log in to your account.

Steps 3 & 4: Click on e-Shelf. Click the new folder icon.

Step 5: Name folder

Step 6: Return to basket, click the box next to the item you’d like to move, and drag the item to the new folder.

Items in your e-Shelf folders can be emailed, printed, or sent to your RefWorks account.

Questions? Ask a librarian! We’re happy to help!

International Games Week!

It’s International Games Week! Formerly National Gaming in Libraries Day, this event has expanded internationally and is now a week-long event to allow more school programming- not just for libraries!

Your friends at the Mudd Library have been celebrating this event for many years and are happy to continue. This year we are taking the opportunity to showcase the many games and gaming-related resources available at the Mudd, including:

  • Board games and puzzles on the second floor that can be checked out or played in the library. This year, we received donations of, Are you the Traitor? and Regular Show Fluxx from Looney Labs, and Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull and Shackles from Paizo!
  • Video games and a Nintendo Wii system that can be reserved and checked out for residence hall gatherings, student organization events, a fun weekend with friends, or anything! Our collection of Just Dance games is especially popular- and a great way to get some exercise.
  • Scholarly books about games, including gaming culture, music, technology, history, psychology, and more!
  • Great selection of electronic scholarly research on games, compiled in a handy Game Studies LibGuide.

Follow the Mudd Library on Instagram, where we’ll be doing an International Games Week takeover.

Be sure to stop by and check out a game or learn about about the scholarly side of gaming at the Mudd Library.

Open Access Monographs!

During Open Access Week, we’re highlighting a variety of open access resources. Today is Book Day!

More than 2,000 Open Access ebooks are now available at no cost to libraries or users. These titles are freely available for anyone in the world to use.

Knowledge Unlatched:
KU’s vision is “a sustainable market where scholarly books and journals are freely accessible for each and every reader around the world.” There’s a browsable list of books they’ve made available.

MIT Press:
The  MIT Press has been a leader in open access book publishing. They support a variety of open access funding models for select books, including monographs, trade books, and textbooks.

Luminos is University of California Press’ new Open Access publishing program for monographs. With the same high standards for selection, peer review, production and marketing as their traditional publishing program, Luminos is  built as a partnership where costs and benefits are shared.

The OAPEN Library contains many freely accessible academic books, mainly in the area of humanities and social sciences.

As always, if you have questions about these resources, please ask your librarian!