Category: Current Awareness

Prepare for the Solar Eclipse!

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Simulation of the eclipse view from Appleton in NASA’s interactive web app.

If you’re as excited about the upcoming solar eclipse as we are, you’re probably interested in learning more. We’ve found a few awesome resources that will help you to not just enjoy the eclipse, but understand more about the science that’s making it happen.

NASA has put together an excellent website devoted to the eclipse of 2017 with all kinds of cool stuff. Here are a few of our favorites:

In anticipation of the eclipse, the Appleton Public Library is hosting NASA Ambassador, Bob Schmall, to talk about the significance of this event.

Want even more information? Gale, one of our database vendors, has opened access to three of their science databases from August 1st to September 15th in anticipation of the eclipse. The databases available are, Science In Context, Student Resources In Context, and Research In Context. In addition to these databases, they’ve also assembled some fun experiments, scavenger hunts, and more to help “empower you to participate in this rare event through engaging activities and up-to-date content.”

The eclipse will happen on Monday, August, 21, 2017. Remember- make sure to be safe when viewing the solar eclipse, and never look directly at it without approved eye protection!

Summertime Mudd!

Summer is here and it’s time to enjoy the Mudd in a whole new way. The Library transforms over summer break, as most of our students are away and the busy bustle of the academic year has subsided.

Cool down and take a load off in the Kruse Room on the fourth floor.

Of course, you’ll find an industrious student or professor or two huddled around a laptop, but for the most part, it’s fairly quiet around here.

This peaceful, settled atmosphere allows our resources and spaces to appear in a whole new light.

Here are some ideas to help you make the most of summer in the Mudd:

Relax with our popular magazines.
  • Come to our coffeehouse sessions! This is a summertime Mudd must!
  • Enjoy the air conditioning while catching up on local, national, and international news with our large selection of newspapers or popular magazines.
  • It’s finally time to binge watch your favorite TV series! Or, some popular or classic movies. We’ve got a ton of documentaries and musicals, too. Browse the DVDs in the media center, or check out our streaming resources (You’ll need to log in).
  • Make an appointment to FINALLY check out the Archives.

    Board games are on the 2nd floor. We have video games, too!
  • Challenge your family or your nemesis to a game night! We have both video and board games for check-out, or, stay and play!
  • Wander around the building to appreciate our art. Pay homage to The Katie while you’re at it.
  • Find a fabulous summer read! Stop by our coffeehouse on Wednesday, July 12 for our recommendations. Or, peruse the third floor for the latest and greatest in popular fiction and young adult or graphic novels. Of course we have poetry and classic literature, too, as well as some really compelling nonfiction.
  • Contact a reference librarian and ask for a peek at some of the rare books in our special collections.
  • Soak up the scholarly atmosphere while developing historical perspective and appreciation in the Lincoln Reading Room.
  • Come and introduce yourself to the staff and faculty who call the Mudd home. We enjoy getting to know members of the campus community and this is a great time of year to catch us with a few moments to talk about our work, the library’s offerings, and how we can best serve our community.
Lovely art, natural light, and cozy chairs.

Summer is here and so are we! We strive to make this library a welcoming, comfortable, peaceful, productive space, and we encourage you to make the most of it, regardless of the time of year.

Whether you’re reading, researching, or relaxing, we’d love to hear how you’re using the Mudd this summer!

See you soon.

The Mudd Visits The Center for Spiritual and Religious Life

As you know, the Mudd Library supports the entire Lawrence community. Because of this, we strive to connect with other departments on campus to learn more about their services, how we can best assist them, and to explore possibilities for collaboration.

Recently, we reached out to Lawrence’s Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life, Linda Morgan-Clement, to welcome her to campus and to learn more about her work. She graciously invited us to The Center for Spiritual and Religious Life to check out the recently-renovated space and to hear more about the offerings of the center.

We happily obliged.

Mudd Library Staff with Reverend Dr. Linda Morgan-Clement in the beautiful living room at The Center for Spiritual and Religious Life.

It was a grey, icy morning the day we slowly made our way to Sabin House, but once inside the space we were suffused with warmth and comfort. The Center for Spiritual and Religious Life is filled with lovely colors and soft light. We took off ours shoes, as directed, and looked around the beautiful, comfortable first floor.

According to their website, “The Center for Spiritual and Religious Life is a welcoming place for curious, intentional, respectful engagement with persons of similar, different or no religious tradition, and for quiet personal reflection and spiritual practice.”

There’s a lovely meditation room, a cozy living room/meeting space, and a spacious community room with a kitchen, perfect for hosting group meals or even yoga classes. The downstairs bathroom features a foot wash station for Muslim guests.

To our delight, each of the spaces has its own library which corresponds to the space; the meditation room features brief works and poetry to foster centered reflection, whereas the living room houses classic religious texts and works meant for deep reading and to foster respectful conversation.

The second floor features the administrative offices for the center as well as a meeting room.

Linda explained that one of her many roles as the Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life is to offer one-on-one spiritual direction and guidance relating to important questions of meaning and purpose.

We loved visiting Sabin House and learning more about this great campus resource, and we highly encourage you to do the same. Visit their webpage to find out more about the center and to see the rich and timely offerings available to the Lawrence community.

Thank you so much for having us, Linda.

(In)visible: Homelessness in Appleton

         It’s hard to imagine what homelessness looks like in Appleton from within the Lawrence bubble. During Spring term of last year, Sankofa CODA hosted a conversation that focused on the issue of Housing Inequality. The discussion looked at the social and historical conditions that threaten people’s access to shelter – especially for people of color and members of the LGBTQ community. Thanks to a partnership between Lawrence and the History Museum at the Castle, we are lucky enough to have an excerpt of the exhibition “(In)visible” on view in the Mudd Library to continue this conversation. The exhibition, located on the library’s second floor, is sponsored by the Fox Cities Housing Coalition as a part of their initiative Project RUSH (Research to Understand and Solve Homelessness).
        “(In)visible” refers to how those struggling to find stable housing in the Fox Valley often feel. This exhibition sought to amplify the voices and experiences of members of Appleton’s homeless community by providing them cameras to capture moments of their lives. Many of these photographs as well as written accounts by the photographers are on view as well as statistics about this population gathered by Project RUSH in 2015.

Image and caption by Del, a participant in the program

        The result is a moving insight into the daily lives of Appleton’s homeless population. Be sure to stop by the exhibition before it is taken down on Sunday October 16th and to get involved in Project RUSH or other organizations dedicated fighting housing insecurity in the Fox Valley. Lawrence students should check out volunteer opportunities through the campus Volunteer Center.

Summertime and the Living’s Busy

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Librarians and staff learning how to efficiently use one of our art databases during a webinar.

We’re often asked what we do during the summer, when we’re not focused on assisting students or helping faculty.

In reality, summer is a very busy time for everyone in the Mudd. It’s our chance to catch up on the tasks that take second place to our main priority: supporting students and faculty. Read on to learn a bit more about what we’re up to when campus is quiet.

  • Continuing to improve OneSearch, our new library system. We implemented OneSearch last summer. While this tool provides a lot of research advantages, overhauling and learning a new and complex system takes some fine-tuning. We’re working with the provider to ensure that the system runs smoothly and effectively before everyone returns to campus in the fall.
  • Maintaining our collections. This includes binding older periodicals into hardcover volumes for preservation purposes, repairing damaged items, shifting and reorganizing the stacks and processing gifts and new materials.

    A huge music collection that was gifted to the Mudd awaits processing.
    A huge music collection that was gifted to the Mudd awaits processing.
  • Digitizing. Summer is a great opportunity to digitize items that we’d like to share with classes or the world. Some examples of this include items from our rare book collection and recordings of Conservatory concerts and other performances, which leads us to Lux:
  • Adding items to Lux. Lux is Lawrence’s institutional repository and the digital home of the scholarly and creative works of the community. It is maintained by the library. This summer we’ll be adding some older issues of Lawrence magazine.
  • Researching. Some of the subjects our librarians are digging into include pedagogy, new information literacy guidelines and, as always, best practices. We participate in webinars and attend conferences throughout the summer, too, ensuring that we remain on the cutting edge of research, instruction, technology and librarianship.
  • Hosting. This summer we’re welcoming folks from the ACM schools to Lawrence for a makerspace conference, so we’re tending to the many details involved in preparing for that.  We also host our summer coffeehouse series each year, creating interesting and helpful programming for folks who remain on campus.
  • Gathering statistics from the previous academic year. This includes tallying all of  the new materials that we’ve purchased, the amount of time that we spent offering research instruction to classes or individuals, the types of items that were checked-out, how many folks used the library and for what and, of course, examining closely how much money we spent on everything.
  • Preparing. We’d be remiss to not mention the fact that we spend quite a bit of time preparing for the upcoming year. We develop new classes that we’ll be involved in teaching, ensure that all of our systems are running smoothly, stock up on supplies and ideas for the coming year and discuss how to better serve all of the wonderful students, faculty and staff with whom we have the pleasure of working.
  • Odding and ending. Offices are cleaned, items are organized and inventoried, newer and clearer signs are posted and all sorts of other odds and ends get taken care of each summer.

As you can see, your librarians and library staff work hard all year round, even in the summer. The feedback that we receive during the academic year is taken seriously and we continuously aim to improve the experiences of everyone on campus, regardless of the time of year.

We trust this sheds some light on our summertime activities, and hope that this doesn’t disappoint those of you who envisioned us sipping iced tea in hammocks while reading our favorite literature. That’s what we do at home!

Looking forward to seeing everyone again soon.

Every summer we welcome guests to our popular Summer Reads Coffeehouse. We sip coffee and discuss the latest books that we've read and loved.
Every summer we welcome guests to our popular Summer Reads Coffeehouse. We sip coffee and discuss the latest books we’ve read and loved.

The Mudd Welcomes Lan Samantha Chang to Lawrence!

Spring term finals are over and the hustle and bustle of students writing, reading and concentrating intently in the busy, buzzing library has given way to quiet stillness.

This can only mean one thing: Commencement is just a few days away!

If you’re as excited as we are about Lan Samantha Chang delivering this year’s commencement address, you’re in luck. We’ve created a display featuring all three of the Appleton native’s novels.

The display also features The Workshop: Seven Decades of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop – 43 Stories, Recollections, & Essays on Iowa’s Place in Twentieth-Century American Literature. This book is a compilation of works created by participants in the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, of which Chang is the current director.

If you’re wondering what to do with the several days before commencement, stop by the Mudd and check out some of Chang’s work before she arrives.

While you’re here you can catch up on some current news, watch a movie, read a magazine or novel (Chang’s are available!), work on a puzzle or just hang out. (You know, all of the things you’ve been daydreaming about doing since spring break ended.)

Thanks for a fabulous academic year, everyone, and congratulations to our graduating seniors!

Join us as we welcome Lan Samantha Chang back to Appleton.

 

Start Spring Term Strong in the Mudd!

We just love the feeling of a new term, when minds and notebooks are fresh and the work feels manageable. Staying abreast of readings and assignments and spending quality time with coursework from the very beginning of the term will go a long way toward avoiding stress later, when papers and projects and finals are looming.

Are you feeling motivated to start your spring term strong?

We can help!

We offer group study spaces throughout the first and second floors, including helpful tools like moveable white boards and standing desks. Why not create a study group during the first week of the term and begin meeting regularly to discuss readings and to further analyze ideas presented in class?

For more group study options, check out a private group study room on the second or third floors, where you will find large blackboards and whiteboards for parsing difficult concepts or formulas.

The second floor group study room has a computer and a large screen monitor, prefect for practicing presentations or compiling and sharing large amounts of data.

For times that you’d rather study alone, the third and fourth floors offer quiet space and individual study carrels perfect for deep reading, research, reflection, and writing.

Speaking of research, we offer a plethora of books, over 20,000 music scores, 103,000 microforms and a digital microform reader and scanner, tons of electronic resources organized by subject, periodicals and newspapers, videos, and many government documents.

Becoming familiar with the stacks and with our online resources and digital collections before midterm madness is a great way to ensure your academic success and to mitigate stress later.

If you need assistance navigating all of our resources or are in need of research guidance of any kind, our friendly reference librarians are available to assist you. You can even schedule a research appointment and meet with a librarian one-on-one! The earlier you start a dialogue with the librarians about a particular project, the better. And even without a project on the horizon, the librarians would love to take a few moments to get to know you. Stop by the reference desk to say hello.

The Mudd is here to help you succeed! We can also help to reduce your stress and maximize your experience at Lawrence. Start your spring term strong by spending some time with us. Come tenth week, you’ll be glad that you did.

Voter Registration Guide for Students

It’s primary season in the presidential election which means its time to exercise your constitutional right to vote. The Wisconsin primary is on April 5th.

For first time voters, the deadline to register is March 16th, or you can register to vote in person at your polling place on election day. Registration is quick, easy and can be done online or in the Warch Campus center at voting registration tables on the third floor.

If you’re from out of state but planning on voting in Wisconsin there are a few things to know; first in order to vote you have to show you’ve lived in Wisconsin for 28 consecutive days, second Wisconsin now requires a valid photo ID to vote, click here for more information on what constitutes a valid ID.

If you’re in need of an ID stop by the ID office located behind the information desk in Warch where valid voting ID cards are being provided for students at no cost.

If in need of any additional information or assistance in the voting process email Greg Griffin, Warch Campus Center director, or Nancy Truesdell, vice president for student affairs, who are coordinating student voting efforts at Lawrence.

Student Researcher in the Library: Terese Swords


Whether she’s studying English or biology, we love to see Terese Swords’ smiling face in the Mudd! This Midwestern senior may be winding down her career at Lawrence, but she’s still using the library full force. Read on to learn more about Terese, her research and why she loves the library.

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

I frequently use ILL to gain access to both electronic journal articles as well as PDFs of books. The main collection of books within the library, especially regarding 18th century credit economies, has also been extremely useful.

What would you like your fellow students to know about the Mudd Library?

It is a great resource and can allow you to gain a better understanding of questions (in any academic field) that interest you.

Also, having a student office in the library is extremely useful when pursuing large research projects, because it allows for both a quiet study space as well as a secure location to keep an immense amount of research materials.

The Mudd, and its staff, are awesome!

What are you researching?

I am researching many things!

For my honors project in English, I am researching the representation of 18th century economies in two of Daniel Defoe’s works: Robinson Crusoe and Roxana.

For my biology senior capstone, I am writing a review paper analyzing how the parasitic protozoan Toxoplasma gondii is able to manipulate its intermediate rat host and how Toxoplasma, which can infect humans and cause the disease toxoplasmosis, may be manipulating our behavior!

I am planning to use my biology research on Toxoplasma as content for a radio script that I am going to be writing and producing in the spring.

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

For my honors project in English I am hoping to gain a deeper understanding of capitalist economies in the 18th century and how the South Sea Bubble’s burst drastically influenced the social and economic thought of the time. I am also looking to understand where critics stand on the issue of economic representation in Daniel Defoe’s works so I can enter into a conversation with them within my paper.

For my biology capstone, I am hoping to further understand the mechanisms by which Toxoplasma gondii is able to manipulate its hosts as well as the global health implications of the disease toxoplasmosis in humans.

Why do you think this research is important?

I believe that both research topics are important because both projects look to further answer/understand gaps present within the critical literature in each respective field.

How did you become interested in this line of research?

I became interested in researching 18th century credit economies after taking Dr. Barnes class “Gender and the Enlightenment” last winter, where I was first introduced to Daniel Defoe and his work Roxana. Since then, I have not stopped thinking about economic representation within Defoe’s works and other literary/artistic works post South Sea Bubble.

After taking parasitology with Dr. Humphries, I amazed at the idea that Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite that is estimated to be infecting ¼ of the population of the US above the age of 12, could be manipulating mammals’ behavior. Since then, for my capstone, I have been researching how humans, a dead end host for the parasite, may also experience behavioral changes due to infection.

What are your plans after graduation?

I am taking a gap year or two before attending graduate school or law school (I haven’t decided yet). For my gap year, I am applying to boarding school programs where I will have the opportunity to teach high school students while earning a masters degree in education. I am also planning on applying to pharmaceutical companies.

My job search is just about as broad as my academic interests! I am hoping that work experience during my gap will help inform my decision of what higher education to pursue.

All the best to you, Terese! We think you’re awesome, too.

Mudd User Experience Task Force

Did you know that the Seeley G. Mudd Library has its very own task force? If you use the library, this information is directly related to you and your work. In fact, the Mudd User Experience Task Force exists solely to make your experience in the Mudd better!

Have you noticed the new library work station near the copiers? The station has been stocked with various supplies to help you prepare papers, posters, and presentations. Have you ever lamented the shortage of power sources on the library’s upper floors? There have been oodles of outlets added for all of your charging needs. These are two examples of the small, simple, yet incredibly useful improvements to the library undertaken by the Mudd User Experience Task Force.

Library Director Pete Gilbert felt that the rising library trend focusing on optimal user experience was worth paying attention to. With that in mind, he allocated a small sum of money and assembled a group of library staff to spend time focusing solely on our patrons’ experiences in the Mudd, and what we can do to improve those experiences.

“We hope your day went a little better because you stopped by The Mudd.” Cindy Patterson, Mudd User Experience Task Force member

Cindy Patterson, Andrew McSorley, Angela Vanden Elzen, Susan Goeden, and Holly Roycraft have been meeting regularly to explore simple, cost-effective ways to make a big difference to our library users. The group also spends time soliciting ideas, comments, and suggestions from students, staff, and faculty on how the Mudd can be even more helpful and efficient.
AndrewAngelaHollySusanCindy

So far the task force has added some desk lamps and additional power strips throughout the building to allow for clearer reading and fully-charged devices. They’ve also done some simple projects, like rearranging the furniture on the second floor to better accommodate collaborative groups gathering to study.

With users asking for both quiet spaces, as well as spaces to let loose and have fun with a group, the task force simplified the library’s noise policy, stating clearly the first and second floors are open to collaborative, group study and therefore may be noisy, whereas the third and the fourth floors are for quiet, individual study only.

The task force, which welcomes all feedback about the library experience, worked with Gaming House over reading period to host a game day in the library, in order to draw attention to the large selection of games that we circulate.

“We have so many interesting and helpful resources, and as a group we really want to make our patrons aware of all we can do for them. From books, great spaces, an incredible selection of databases, to research assistance or video games, our users can expect a wide array of services. We are here, and we want you to be here, too! Please let us know how we can improve or expand what we offer.” Holly Roycraft, Mudd User Experience Task Force member

The task force has many ideas for further improving our patrons’ experiences in the Mudd, including even more rearranging, and perhaps some more flexible work spaces and additional comfortable spaces for relaxation.

“We really want you to feel like the library is a comfortable place to be.” Susan Goeden, Mudd User Experience Task Force member

We truly value our patrons, and we aim to continuously improve your experiences here. Please feel free to reach out to any or all members of the task force with your feedback as to how we can make the Mudd even better. We want you to have a great experience here, and we have the task force to prove it!