Author: Holly Tuyls

Zoom Extras for Winter Term from your Seeley G. Mudd Librarians

Your librarians and library staff want to stay connected with you, whether you’re able to come into our spaces or not. To that end, we’re offering multiple opportunities to hang out via Zoom, either to work together academically or to casually chat and see one another.

Please join us at any or all of these weekly events!

Sundays from 4 pm to 8 pm
Virtual Mudd: Open Study Hall

Meet your friends in the Mudd to study, virtually! The motivation you need to get to work and a reference librarian ready to assist. You’ll have the option to break-out into group study spaces, perfect for collaborating with your group or connecting with your friends.

Join our virtual study hall here.

Wednesdays from 7 to 7:30 pm
LU Reads with Spiritual and Religious Life and EDST 270: Why Read Children’s Books?

Brew some tea, grab a blanket, and cozy up to enjoy being read to by some of your favorite folks on campus. We love to read and we’d love to read to you! All ages are welcome. Learn more about the books and readers on the LU Reads guide.

We’ll read to you here.

Fridays at 4 pm
Fiber Arts and Chat

Grab a craft project, an art project, a puzzle, your knitting, or, just come to hang out and chat.

Get crafty and chatty with us here.

We miss having so many of you in our building, and we look forward to seeing you on Zoom! Reach out if you have any questions.

Winter Term Services at the Seeley G. Mudd Library

Happy winter term, everyone!

We are open and providing all of our usual Reference and Circulation Services.

We have safe, clean, and distanced study spaces available throughout the first and second floors anytime our building is open.

Log into your library account to request physical materials. We’re happy to locate and retrieve books and other resources for you to pick-up at the Circulation Desk, or to be sent to your campus SPC.

Check out this awesome guide if you need help accessing our resources from off-campus.

Reference Librarians are available to help you with research assistance and reference instruction. We’re also on hand to offer assistance of any kind!

We’re offering some cool Zoom gatherings this term as well, including weekly read-alouds, virtual study hall, and fiber arts hang-outs. Be on the look-out for announcements about these events through our social media accounts.

Whether through our computer screens, or from six feet away, we’ll see you soon!

Meet Your Reference Librarians: Lina Rosenberg Foley Edition

By now, many of you have reached out to our reference librarians by email, phone, chat, our web form, and now, our reference kiosk.

We provide solid research assistance, as well as help with navigating our wide array of electronic resources.

Have you met Lina? If so, you’ll know she is enthusiastic about helping you and supporting your academic success.

She is also our University Archivist, so she loves providing our community with access to the wealth of primary sources and interesting historical ephemera that she carefully curates.

Read on to learn more about this multi-passionate Reference Librarian-slash-University Archivist-slash-all around wonderful person (and alumna)!

Lovely Librarian Lina

Undergrad Major: Environmental Studies (from this fine institution!)

Favorite Book: Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

Favorite Hobby: Anything outside- camping, hiking, mountain biking

Favorite Database: Artstor, because not only can you find a bunch of things from the Archives and the Wriston Art Galleries, but also art and architecture from around the world. 

Pets: Only the squirrels in my backyard

Best part of being a Reference Librarian: Learning something new because of a question someone’s asked

Anything else: Vote! Register to vote, and get your friends and family to do it too- it’s easy and quick, and your civic duty.

Meet Your Reference Librarians: Andrew McSorley Edition

Considering that you may not have had the opportunity to meet all of our fantastic library faculty and staff during Welcome Week this year, given the need for social distancing, we thought it might be nice for you to get to know the librarians who are here to support you.

Reference librarians, among many other things, help you learn to engage in high-quality research and use our extensive collections in the most advantageous way. We support student scholars! We also support faculty and staff.

First up we have Andrew McSorley, our Reference and Digital Liberal Arts Librarian. Andrew is a published poet and also a published dad! If you’ve worked with him before, you know he is very intelligent, well-rounded, and has the ability to take complex ideas and information and express it all in a clear and concise way. He’s also very, very funny.

Here are a few more fun facts about Andrew, answered in his own words.

Undergrad Major: Creative Writing

Favorite Book: Sometimes it’s Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. Right now, probably either Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino or Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett (plays count, right?)

Favorite Hobby: Poetry, Ice Hockey, Magic: The Gathering

Favorite Database: This is such a fun idea, to have a favorite database. They’re all so useful. The one I use the most is probably Credo Reference, but AVON (Academic Video Online) and Oxford English Dictionary are pretty fun. 

Pets: One cat, Nikki.

Best part of being a Reference Librarian: Meeting new students!

Anything else: Stay curious, and never stop learning!

Thanks so much for all you do for Lawrence and our students, Andrew.

Our Reference Librarians can be reached in a variety of ways highlighted here.

Academic Citation Workshop presented by the Mudd Library and the Center for Academic Success

There’s enough confusion and uncertainty in the air these days.

Whether or not you’re citing your sources correctly does not need to be one of them.

Stop by Zoom on Thursday, April 30 at 4:30 pm Central to get some support and clarity on your citations.

Reference Librarian Gretchen Revie and Associate Dean of Academic Success Julie Haurykiewicz will guide you through the art and science of academic citations, so you can get them right the first time, without confusion.

You do not have to figure this out on your own. We are here to help you succeed.

Join the meeting here.

Hope to see you there!

National Library Workers Day: A Tribute to Technical Services!

Those of us who work directly with students, staff, and faculty in the library rely every day on the efforts of the people who work in other parts of the library.

Most of you may never see them.

We can do what we do because they do what they do. Now, more than ever, we count on them.

So, a huge thank you to:

Jenni, who orders the library’s books, DVDs, scores, and more;

Trudi, who monitors and maintains all of our journal orders and collections in paper and online;

Kim, who coordinates our government documents;

Susan, who makes sure we can find it all in our catalog;

Jill, who helps all these great people do their jobs as head of Technical Services (and manages acquisitions and special collections);

Craig, who makes it possible to find everything we own and more (and to check it out) by making OneSearch and Alma work.

We could not be providing the services that we are right now if it wasn’t for this fine group of folks.

We see you! We appreciate you! We could not be doing this without you. Thank you!

Student Research in the Library: Xiaoya Gao

Xiaoya Gao is a fifth-year senior from Urumqui, China. In June she will be receiving a BA in History and a BM in Piano Performance. That’s right, she’s almost completed a double-degree!

This industrious researcher is planning to attend graduate school after Lawrence.

Xiaoya took some time from her busy schedule to tell us about what she’s been researching in the Mudd.

Student researcher Xiaoya Gao

Sisi, what’s the focus of your research?

Female health in two late Ming novels: a path to women’s autonomy in a closed society.

What are you hoping to learn or gain?

I hope to learn more about the history of healing in late Imperial China by studying the novels written in late Ming and early Qing, especially the encounters between female patients and their healers.

Why do you think this research is important?

My research is important because female health in novels is a newly touched-upon topic in Chinese medical history. From the novels, one could see “hidden” figures and facts that were not included in official Ming documents and yet existed in the Ming society. Novels have unofficial accounts of history that the “official” history is unable to tell. 

In the two novels I’ve studied, the “forbidden practices” of female patients and their healers revealed that women found and wielded their autonomy through an unofficial social system. Also, half of the history of healing is missing if we ignore women’s history of healing. Female reproductive health is significant because it is a tremendous part of women’s life in the Ming dynasty.

How did you become interested in this line of research?

I have always enjoyed taking classes and doing research in women’s history. During my junior year, I took Chinese Women’s History and Women in Early America, and I have been in love with women’s studies ever since. After taking a class on the history of Chinese Medicine and writing a paper on a specific topic I liked, my focus on Chinese women’s medical history in novels became clear.

“Reach out to the library staff when you have questions about citations, or anything related to your research! They are extremely helpful.”

~Xiaoya Gao

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

Besides the books I used from the Mudd Library, I requested many materials through interlibrary loan. I also found online resources like JSTOR and Historical Abstracts useful.


Student Research in the Library: Sophie Penniman

Sophie is an English and history double major with a creative writing minor from Austin, Texas. She will graduate in June.

After graduation, Sophie will stay in Appleton briefly, applying for graduate school and baking delicious treats at Seth’s Coffee in Little Chute. She also plans to hike the 500-mile Colorado Trail in the Rocky Mountains!

Sophie will pursue her graduate degree in Library and Information Science with a concentration in archives management. She’s been a student worker for several years in the Mudd, and we know that she’s going to make a fantastic librarian and/or archivist!

Read on to learn more about the research she’s been undertaking with the help of the library!

Student researcher Sophie Penniman

Sophie, tell us about your research.

I’m working on my senior capstone for history! I’m writing about the travel diary of Betty May Hale, an American 13-year-old girl who spent six months traveling in Europe with her family in 1937.

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

Honestly, my office has been a massive help!! Especially at a small, residential school like Lawrence, it’s sometimes hard to find a space entirely to yourself that’s just dedicated to academic work. My office is a place free from distractions where I can just go and work, which has been really useful to me. Also, last term I carried all the books for my research around with me in a tote bag, so it’s great to have somewhere for them to live in the library.

Other than that, the archives were a great resource, especially in the early stages of my project.

” There are so many resources available for you at the Mudd, you just have to take advantage of them! “

~Sophie Penniman

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

I’m studying how Betty May’s travel experiences affected how she thought about herself as an American. I’m also interested in how the travel agency the family used (a company called Thomas Cook) influenced the way they interacted with Europe and the European people.

Why do you think this research is important?

The mid-late 1930’s are a really interesting time for a lot of reasons—America was just climbing out of the Great Depression, World War II was right around the corner, and the United States was in the middle of this big cultural shift from relative isolationism/neutrality to globalism. There’s a lot written about this period on a national level, but there’s not as much about individual people, especially normal Americans like Betty May.

How did you become interested in this line of research?

I studied abroad in London my sophomore year and had an amazing time, so I wanted to do a project that dealt with study or travel abroad to Europe. Initially I was going to compare the experiences of a few different young women traveling before World War II, and I came across Betty May’s diary in a library database called American Women’s Letters and Diaries. There was so much more material in Betty May’s diary than in any of my other sources, and eventually I just narrowed my focus to her.

” Librarian Gretchen Revie has been really involved with helping my capstone class access research and citation materials.”

~Sophie Penniman, discussing all of the ways the Mudd Library has supported her research

Sophie, thank you for taking the time to talk to us about your work! It’s been an honor and a joy to support you and we wish you all the best.

Collaborative Science Fiction Display in the Mudd

This term the Mudd Library has partnered with professors from around campus to create a display celebrating science fiction!

The display is meant to highlight several winter term science fiction courses currently underway.

Chloe Armstrong is teaching Science Fiction and Philosophy, Amy Ongiri is leading a class called Queering Science Fiction Film, and Jason Brozek is heading up a weekend retreat to Bjorklunden to study War and Science Fiction.

Below we’ve shared science fiction recommendations from professors across disciplines. Our library display, located on the first floor, includes many of these recommendations, and more!

Jason Brozek from the Government Department recommends:

Starship Troopers (1997) – This is right up there with Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove as one of the best military satires of all time.

Battlestar Galactica (the rebooted series, 2004-2009) – One of the most powerful TV representations of issues like dehumanization, torture, terrorism, and civil-military relations.

The Forever War by Joe Halderman (1974) – The plot is about humanity traveling light-years to fight an interstellar enemy, but this book is really about how the experience of war fundamentally changes the people who fight it.

Amy Ongiri from Film Studies recommends:

Bloodchild and Other Stories by Octavia Butler

Octavia’s Broodedited by Walidah Imarisha

Peddle Zombies by Elly Blue

Our Reference and Learning Technologies Librarian Angela Vanden Elzen recommends:

Star Trek

Dr. Who

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Monica Rico from the History Department recommends:

Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. It explores the historical and philosophical issues raised by time travel in a sophisticated way, but it’s also a book that, at its heart, is about friendship, compassion, and loyalty.

Martyn Smith from Religious Studies recommends:

Elon Musk, Elon Musk, SpaceX, Tesla, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

Claire Kervin from Environmental Studies recommends:

Maddaddam Trilogy by Margaret Atwood

Victoria Kononova from the Russian Department recommends:

The Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky 

Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky

Chloe Armstrong from the Philosophy Department recommends:

“Imposter Syndrome” by Mari Kurisato, in Love Beyond Body, Space and Time, an Indigenous LGBT Sci-fi Anthology, edited by Hope Nicholson

Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang

Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer

Please come in and visit our display if you are on campus!

We hope you will consider reading or watching some science fiction, and that you live long and prosper, too!

The Mudd is Everything!

The Mudd Library isn’t just a place to study, or to search for and gather materials.

Libraries offer so much more, and the Mudd is no different!

  • Print and Copy Shop

Printing projects and papers and presentations, oh my!

We have everything you need to put the finishing touches on your papers and projects. Make copies, print your paper, or use the scanner. We have a universal phone charging station if you’re running low. We have staplers, tape, paper clips, rulers, and all kinds of other accoutrements to help you polish your assignments and hand them in with pride.

  • Academic Support Station

Do you need another primary or secondary source to support your argument? Looking for an open-source photo to add to your slides or for the proper citation for your paper? The reference librarians are here to help you find what you need and engage in the best and most thorough research possible. We aim to help you feel confident and supported as a student researcher.

  • Information Kiosk

Curious about what’s happening on campus? Looking to find local thrift stores, coffee shops, or parks? Not sure when that concert starts tonight? Stop by, we’ll  help you find out!

  • Social Hot Spot

All of your friends are here! Hang out on the first or second floor to discuss, debate, and collaborate. Chat, vent, laugh, share. Sometimes just sitting next to someone who is working as hard as you are can be the most valuable resource. Snap some pics or make a vid! Then get back to that group project! Pull up a whiteboard and teach each other what you’ve learned. Ask someone out on a study date. The options are endless.

Learning, together.

  • Safe, quiet, peaceful haven

The third and fourth floors are meant for quiet study. They also make a great place to read, reflect, daydream, or nap. Write that paper! No one will barge in just as you get in your groove. Or, if you’ve been in your groove and need a little break, stop down to the first floor to nurture yourself with a cup of tea. Text your mom and then get back at it. The library is for everyone, and everyone is welcome here and treated with respect and dignity!

Getting productive while enjoying the peace and of the fourth floor.

What do you need?

Academic support?

A quiet place to get some work done?

A place to belong?

We’re here for you!