Category: Archives

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

Lux Reaches 300,000 Downloads!

People all over the world have accessed honors projects, issues of The Lawrentian, and convocations in the six years since Lux was implemented through the library.

We have now reached 300,000 downloads!

What is this Lux? Lux is the Lawrence University institutional repository, digital home to over 4000 scholarly and creative works of our students, faculty, and staff, as well as select historical documents.

If you are looking for interesting stories from student newspapers or alumni magazines, check Lux! You will find a rich and fascinating history.

Want to peruse recent honors projects? Lux is the place for you.

Interested in reading a Harrison Award paper? Studio Art senior exhibition artwork? Look in Lux. You will find these things and many more.

We hope you enjoy and are enriched by what you find in Lux! Let us know what you think.

A Stone of Hope in the Fox Cities

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.

Final Summer Coffeehouse: Films from the Archives

Our final summer coffeehouse session is fast approaching. Don’t miss our special sneak peek of newly digitized short films from the Lawrence Archives!

Join us on Wednesday, August 13, at 10 am, as we share some recently digitized 16 mm films from the Archives. A public showing is planned for the fall, but attendees at this session will get a first look at two promotional films: A River, A College, A Town (1957) and This is Lawrence (1972). Not only will you be treated to an entertaining look into Lawrence’s past, but we will also provide popcorn and refreshments.

Coffeehouses are held in the reference area on the first floor of the library, and last for about one hour.

“Strength through Union:” Exploring the Consolidation 50 Years Later

A group of Milwaukee-Downer College students and faculty who transferred to Lawrence with the consolidation in the fall of 1964.
A group of Milwaukee-Downer College students and faculty who transferred to Lawrence with the consolidation in the fall of 1964.

If you know a bit about Lawrence history, surely you know about the consolidation between Milwaukee-Downer College and Lawrence College back in 1964. While the fact that it took place is common knowledge, not many know about the events leading up to the consolidation and why it took place.

Over reunion weekend, our Archivist, Erin Dix ’08, gave an excellent presentation about this consolidation- including how it continues to shape Lawrence University’s present and future.  She will be reprising this presentation on Wednesday, July 23rd at 10 a.m. in the Mudd Library. All are welcome and encouraged to come and learn about this fascinating period in Lawrence’s history. Coffee and snacks will be provided.

Update: Did you miss the presentation or interested to learn more? Take a look at our guide for more information and a video of the presentation from Alumni Weekend.

Summer 2014 Coffeehouse Series

Announcing the 2014 Summer Library Coffeehouse Series! The Mudd coffeehouses provide an opportunity to come to the library, enjoy a snack, and learn something interesting.

Wednesday, July 9: Summer Reads
What is summer in a library without reading? Come to this popular session to hear about the library staff’s favorite summer reads, and please share yours with us!

Wednesday, July 23: “Strength through Union:” Exploring the Consolidation
2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the consolidation of Lawrence and Milwaukee-Downer colleges. Do you have questions about why or how the consolidation took place? Join us to learn more about the events leading up to the consolidation, about how it was carried out, and about how it continues to shape our present and future.

Wednesday, August 13: Special Sneak Peek: Films from the Archives!
A number of 16mm films from the Archives have recently been digitized, and we are so excited to share them! A public showing is planned for the fall, but attendees at this session will get a first look at two promotional films from the set: “A River, A College, A Town” (1957) and “This is Lawrence” (1972).

Coffee

Where and When?
All coffeehouse sessions will take place on the first floor of the Mudd Library. They will begin at 10 a.m. and last until 10:45 a.m. Coffee and some variety of yummy refreshment will be provided at each session. All Lawrence faculty and staff are welcome to attend.

Visit our coffeehouse guide for more details about this summer’s sessions and to learn about past coffeehouses.