Author: Angela Vanden Elzen

Wellness Resources at the Mudd

Did last week’s spring-like days motivate you to get outside and get active?  Even though the ground is once again covered with snow, the Mudd Library can help you maintain your exercise and healthy living motivations.  We have a growing collection of exercise videos available to check out.  Some of our newest titles include, Yoga for Beginners, Step-by-Step Strength Training, and Perfect Hips: Belly Dance Workout.  The Mudd Library staff can tell you that Wii Sports Resort can be a great workout, as well as a lot of fun to play.  If you don’t have your own Nintendo Wii console, the library has one available for loan.

If you’re interested in researching wellness, our reference librarians have put together a Wellness Resources library guide.  This guide includes information about wellness related electronic databases and websites, as well as tips for finding wellness related books in our catalog.

Of course, the library is not the only place on campus for those interested in wellness.  WelLU, Lawrence University’s committee on wellness, has been actively encouraging wellness on campus.  Take a look at their web page, or visit the newly remodeled Buchanan Kiewit Wellness Center.   The student organization, LU Wellness Committee, focuses on wellness related issues of particular interest to students, such as sexual health/body image and stress management.

Video Games at the Mudd

Some of you may have noticed that we enjoy hosting gaming events here at the Mudd Library.   While we know video games can be a lot of fun, we also know that they provide a wide range of research topics.   For all your video game research (and non-research) needs, the Mudd Library has recently added a Nintendo Wii and a growing collection of video games to our collection.  The Nintendo Wii and games are available for loan for Lawrence University students, faculty, and staff.   Of course, we also have some excellent books on the topic.

Feng Mengbo Long March: Restart (Installation shot) Photo: Matthew Septimus

The following are a few neat examples of video games integrated into art, culture studies, and even science:

Long March: Restart: MoMA exhibit by Feng Mengbo.  This exhibit depicts “the massive military retreat of The Chinese Communist Party’s Red Army, under the command of Mao Zedong and others, that began in 1934” through the media of a video game (see MoMA PS1 Blog).  The viewer interacts with the exhibit by playing the game, displayed on a 80’x20’ screen, with a wireless controller.

Computerspiel Museum:  Not just an exhibit, but a whole museum dedicated to “digital interactive entertainment culture”.  Their newest permanent exhibition, Computer Games: Evolution of a Medium contains more than 300 interactive exhibits depicting the “cultural history of computer and video games.”

Foldit:  Like puzzle games? Then why not “fold puzzles for science”?  This game was designed by the Departments of Computer Science & Engineering and Biochemistry at the University of Washington, with the purpose of  attempting “to predict the structure of a protein by taking advantage of humans’ puzzle-solving intuitions and having people play competitively to fold the best proteins” (see The Science Behind Foldit).  The game designers can use the knowledge unlocked by players to research cures for diseases such as HIV / AIDS, Cancer, and Alzheimer’s.

National Gaming Day 2010

National Gaming Day is an initiative of the American Library Association, created with the purpose of educating the public about the many opportunities provided by libraries- including gaming.  Libraries around the world are invited to sign up to host gaming events on Saturday, November 13, 2010.  As of November 1st, more than 1,800 libraries have signed up to participate in this event.  For more information about National Gaming Day, see the official American Library Association Press Release.

We at the Mudd Library encourage gaming for fun, as a way to socialize, and even as a topic of study.  We will, of course, be participating in National Gaming Day.  We will have board games including Scrabble, Twister, and Wits & Wagers, as well as Mario Kart Wii available to play on Saturday from 1:00 to 4:00 pm.  So, bring a friend and take a gaming break @ the Mudd.

New Interlibrary Loan/ Circulation Assistant!

When I asked blog superstar Antoinette Powell for some blogging advice for my introduction, she kindly wrote an excellent one for me!

Former Mudd Library Night Supervisor Angela Vanden Elzen now has a day job. As of mid-July, Angela is our illustrious hard-working Interlibrary Loan and Circulation Assistant. If you are a regular reader of this space, you remember the previous, highly regarded ILL & Circ. Assistant, Cheryl Kraft, left the Mudd’s bosom to devote herself to the Neenah Public Library (June 29, 2007.) Angela is more than able to fill those shoes.

In real life, Angela devotes herself to her cats, her nut-ball Lab/Akita puppy, and her husband Adam. She is working on her MLIS, and should cancel her World of Warcraft account now that the semester has begun.

Angela lives in the same space Cheryl occupied and will be available to serve the Mudd patrons Tuesday through Saturday during the regular academic year. We are thrilled Angela has emerged from the darkness, yet remains in the Mudd.

So, please come see me or call x6758 with any interlibrary loan, electronic reserve, or World of Warcraft questions.