Category: Conversation

It’s Open Access Week!

Open Access Week! Open Access Week, October 19-23, is an “opportunity to broaden awareness and understanding of open access issues and express support for free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research.” See for more information about this event.

For a good introduction to open access issues, watch this Open Access 101 video from SPARC or (for a longer, technical description of OA), read the Bethesda Statement on on Open Access Publishing.

Lawrence is supporting open access in a couple of ways:

  • The Mudd Library subscribes to open access journals like PLoS (Public Library of Science) Medicine and PLoS Biology, links to the Directory of Open Access Journals, and is a member of SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition). SPARC is an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to correct imbalances in the scholarly publishing system.
  • President Beck, along with the presidents of more than 50 other liberal arts colleges, signed an open letter supporting the Federal Research Public Access Act (S. 1373). The FRPAA would be a major step forward in ensuring equitable online access to research literature that is paid for by taxpayers. For example, research supported by the National Institutes of Health, which accounts for approximately one-third of federally funded research, produces an estimated 80,000 peer-reviewed journal articles each year.

Suggestions for a greener Mudd

Green Mudd!

For Earth Day 2008. we asked visitors to suggest ways to make the Mudd Library more environmentally friendly. As usual, we got a bunch of good suggestions (the number of times something was mentioned is in parentheses):

  • Make all student/faculty printers double sided and make this the default setting. (3)
  • Make the urinals flush themselves less often.
  • Turn down the heat. (3)
  • Motion sensor lights in the bathrooms. (3)
  • Turn off the lights at night. (2)
  • Turn off the computers at night. (2)
  • Use energy efficient light bulbs… the lighting is horrible here.
  • Bring your own thermos/coffee mug to go at Lucy’s Breakfast.
  • Solar panels and/or gardens on the roof.
  • Charge for printing (or give each student a quota). 3 agreed, 5 disagreed to the idea of charging directly.
  • Replace bathroom fixtures/toilets with more water efficient models.
  • Get a copier that works. (2)
  • ID swipes for elevator use – encourage students to take the stairs for less than two floors. (2)

Do you have other ideas? Post them in the comments!

What one book?

During mid-term reading period, we asked “What one book should every Lawrence graduate read?” As usual, the responses were varied, thought-provoking, and (sometimes) amusing. The list is below.

As always, your further comments and suggestions are welcome.

The Nature of a Liberal College by Henry Wriston

The Prince by Machiavelli

The Republic by Plato

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

The Jungle Book

Green Eggs and Ham

Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

Manchild in the Promised Land

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

Confessions of an Heiress by Paris Hilton

The Freshman Studies Book by Mark Dintenfass

Ishmael by Daniel Quinn

The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay

Anything by Ayn Rand

Life of Pi

The Bible

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins

1984 by George Orwell

Rich Dad, Poor Dad

The Communist Manifesto by Marx

The Bone Parade

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters by J. Barnes

Alice in Wonderland

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by McDanogh and Braungart

The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruk Murakami

Ethics for a New Millennium

Middlemarch by George Eliot

On the Road

Le Petit Prince

Something by Jeffrey Eugenides

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

The World According to Garp

Men Cry in the Dark by Michael Baisden

The Quran

The Torah

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

The Prophet by Khalil Gibrah

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf? by Edward Albee

Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals

Mountain Man by Vardis Fisher

The Flashman Papers by George M. Fraser

The Ender Series by Orson Scott Card

and the very fine:

The Biography of Skyler Silvertrust

The Myth, the Mystery, and the Man by Chris Wright

Starting the conversation….

Members of the library staff were talking togther and wondered how we could engage our users in a conversation about the library. We decided that one simple step would be to set up a flip chart, ask a question, and let people respond. We had no idea what would happen, but we thought we’d give it a try.

So we asked the question, “If you could change one thing about the library building, what would it be?”

The answers we received are summarized below. One of my favorite parts of this was the way the pages became a discussion of sorts. The numbers following some of the suggestions represent the people who said, “Yes!” or “Word!” in response to an initial suggestion. In other cases, comments elicited responses like, “Already done” or “Can already do this.”

We do take these suggestions seriously and, while we can’t implement them all (as much as we’d like to move the library to Bermuda), we will take them into account as the library begins planning for future services and possible building renovations.

And because we want this to be a continuing conversation, feel free to comment on this list through the comment feature on this blog. We look forward to hearing from you.

  • Coffee Bar (9)
    • Or at least some coffee makers
    • Other caffeinated beverages
  • Better organize the music scores
  • Wider selection of music
    • More variety: world, metal, gypsy
  • More movies
  • Better lighting (6)
    • More environmentally-friendly lighting
    • More natural lighting (windows)
  • Being able to log into Library account with username and password instead of Library Barcode #
  • MS Office on 1st floor PCs (4)
    • MS Word on all PCs (2)
  • New furniture (13)
    • Updated and modern
    • More cozy
    • New chairs on 3rd floor (3)
  • More outlets for laptops
  • Faster elevator (2)
  • Extended hours (12)
    • Especially during finals week and end of term (3)
    • Open 24 hours (2)
    • Open earlier on Saturday, at 8 or 9am
    • Open earlier on Sunday, at 7am (2)
  • More group and individual study rooms to cut down on the noise (8)
    • With dry erase boards
    • Soundproofed (2)
    • More carrels
    • More small computer rooms
  • Color printer (2)
  • Less sedate and depressing beige
  • Air fresheners on 3rd and 4th floor (2)
  • Another computer lab that is always open
  • Move it to Bermuda or Tahiti or Russia
  • Snacks or café (2)
  • Printers on 3rd and 4th floor
  • Access to more scientific journals
  • Access to online sources while studying abroad or off-campus.
  • Better air quality (2)
  • Bring back Ceramics Monthly
  • Student shredders
  • Cots for overnight study
  • Tall chairs around all the 1st floor computers