Category: Current Awareness

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.
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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!

 

Student Research in the Library: Alex Damisch

We love to learn more about what our students are up to in the Mudd. Yes, even over summer break we have the pleasure of welcoming and supporting industrious students. Alex Damisch requested one of our student offices over the summer in order to work more efficiently at developing some of her web applications. The mathematics and clarinet performance double-major, who plans to earn her double-degree in just four years, was quite pleased to discover that she could reserve a private, quiet office in the Mudd to use for her research.

Alex, who hails from Northbrook, Illinois, is planning to graduate in 2016, after which she hopes to enter a master’s program to pursue statistics. She graciously agreed to answer some questions about her work in the library.  Enjoy!

Alex, what are you working on in your office?

Under the supervision of Adam Loy in the Mathematics department, I’m helping create several web applications that allow people to get hands-on experience with statistical concepts like bootstrapping, permutation tests, and ANOVA. The apps create graphs and perform different calculations, many of which can be adjusted by the user, so they can see how the result changes.

There are currently three apps on Professor Loy’s website, with about a half-dozen that are in a more preliminary stage of development. Some of the operations that the apps perform “behind the scenes” are a bit complicated, so they require some fine-tuning by Professor Loy to get to a satisfactory speed before they go live.

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

I’ve learned a ton about the coding languages that I’m using, of course–I had some R experience before, but not nearly at the level that I have now. Two months ago I knew almost no Shiny at all. Coding is often frustrating, but having my work out there is really satisfying.

I’ve recently started working on an app that uses a statistical test that’s new for me, too, so that’s been a challenge. It’s also been useful to revisit concepts that I learned a few years ago, which I really value because I sometimes tutor for statistics classes. Having to write code and use functions that perform certain statistical calculations has really solidified my understanding of how they work.

Why do you think this research is important?

The apps will probably get used in some of the introductory statistics classes this school year, which is great. In mathematics or statistics, as in almost any other field, the best way to learn is by doing–you have to try out problems yourself. If you can upload your own data set and play around with it and see how your histograms and confidence intervals update in real-time, hopefully it facilitates your understanding of the concepts behind them.

How did you become interested in this line of work?

I first got this book of infographics called Visual Miscellaneum for Christmas in 2009, so data visualization has been a longstanding interest of mine. I approached Professor Loy absurdly early in the 2014-2015 school year and said that I wanted to work with him over the summer. I was pretty willing to work on whatever statistics-related project he threw at me, but I’m lucky that this one is particularly interesting to me.

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

Definitely Mathematical Statistics with Resampling and R. (Only half-joking.) Since I can code almost anywhere, it’s been nice to have my library office as a space to keep a few books and to call my own. Having a quiet, focused space and a standing desk has been really important for me. You can only sit in coffee shops or your bedroom for so long.

I also use the whiteboards almost compulsively. This is business as usual for a math major, but this summer I’ve used them to map out particularly convoluted functions.

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

Between working for ITS since I was a freshman and studying frequently at the library during the school year, I always like to remind people that the third and fourth floors are the library’s quiet floors.

Also, the library staff is awesome and really helpful–definitely an under-utilized resource among most students.

We think you’re awesome, too, Alex. 🙂

 

Meet the Staff, Student Worker Edition: John O’Neill

With Welcome Week just around the corner, it’s time to celebrate the fabulous John O’Neill, who began working in the Mudd during Welcome Week two years ago, when he was a freshman. Little did we know how valuable and well-loved this horn performance and government major from Reno, Nevada would become.

Not only does John work tremendously hard balancing all of his roles during the academic year, he has also spent his summers working with us in the Mudd, doing all sorts of necessary and useful projects, from helping to manage our music scores and collections, to charmingly modeling for social media posts. Summer would not be the same without John, who is always ready to lend a hand. Read on to learn more about this wonderful and talented student worker!

What is your job title at the Mudd and what work does that entail?

I am a student shelving assistant in the score section, which means that I keep the area organized and shelve everything that circulates. I have also worked at the circulation desk over breaks and have done some cataloging work with Antoinette Powell, the music librarian.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

I really love fixing up and erasing some of our “extra loved” scores because it tells me how much students use the score collection.

Share something you’ve done at work that has made you especially proud.

Very recently someone asked how many feet of CDs we would have if they were laid end-to-end. It was really fun and satisfying to figure out the answer.

As a student, where is your favorite (study/relaxation/hang-out) spot in the Mudd?

I usually head straight for the middle of the stacks on the third and fourth floors, although the “fishbowl” on the 2nd floor is also a great place to work.

What are your hobbies?

Collecting vinyls, reading, putting together puzzles, and baking when I can.

What’s the last book you read that you couldn’t put down?

Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man

What are your favorite bands or performers?

The Beatles, Chicago

How about your favorite blogs and/or magazines?

The Atlantic Weekly, New York Times, the Horn Call, and the Mudd’s blog (of course!)

What groups and/or organizations are you active in (on or off campus)?

I am active with Lawrence’s Young Democrats, Lawrence’s Quizbowl Team, and several chamber groups in the conservatory.

When will you graduate? What are your post-graduation plans?

Since I will be a fifth year and I’m only a junior, I won’t graduate until 2018!

 

 

Honors Convocation: Is it Warm in Here?

The 2015 Honors Convocation will be this Thursday, May 14th at 11:10am in the Memorial Chapel.

Is it Warm in Here? The Intractable Challenges of Climate Change will be presented by David Gerard, Associate Professor of Economics and recipient of Lawrence’s annual Faculty Convocation Award.

What does it mean to say that a problem is “intractable”?  What makes this particular problem so difficult to solve?  Where can we go from here? Here is a link to a recommended reading as a brief introduction to the subject. And for a longer, more detailed consideration of the issues, take a look at this article. Gerard’s primary research interests lie in quantitative policy analysis, particularly focusing on energy, environmental and safety issues such as risk regulation and public policy.

To learn more about Professor Gerard and his work, visit his faculty and research webpage here.

Professor Gerard will participate in a Q&A session on Thursday afternoon from 1:00-2:00pm in the WCC Cinema.

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

001 (Medium)As the Lawrence community prepares to celebrate and commemorate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with speakers, discussions, and acts of community service, the Mudd library offers heartfelt reverence, as well as a collection of materials that those wishing to honor the man and his mission will appreciate.

We have several DVDs featuring this incredible and inspiring civil rights activist. King: A Filmed Record-Montgomery to Memphis highlights his life and work, from the beginnings of the Civil Rights movement in Montgomery, Alabama, and culminating with his assassination in Memphis in 1968. Featuring archival footage, this film is an indispensable primary resource of a pivotal moment in American and world history. It originally screened in theaters for one night only in 1970.

Roads to Memphis documents the story of assassin, James Earl Ray, his target, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the seething, turbulent forces in American society that led these two men to their violent and tragic collision in Memphis in April of 1968. This film explores the wildly disparate, yet fatefully entwined stories of Ray and King to create a complex, engaging, and thought-provoking portrait of America in that crisis-laden year.

Satyagraha is a visionary opera telling the story of how Mahatma Gandhi developed the philosophy of satyagraha, nonviolent active resistance, as a political revolutionary tool to fight oppression, connection his lifework to three historical figures who advanced his philosophy, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Mudd library also features many books about MLK, Jr., most of which can be found on the fourth floor. These include biographies such as I May Not Get There With You: the True Martin Luther King, Jr., Let the Trumpet Sound: the Life of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Coretta Scott King’s My Life with Martin Luther King, Jr. Titles like Parting the Waters and Pillar of Fire, as well as To the Mountaintop: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Sacred Mission to Save America and Judgement Days: Lyndon Baines Johnson, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Laws That Changed America explore the social and political context of the country during this pivotal period of history.

Books that focus specifically on King’s work, his philosophy, and his speeches include, among many, The Preacher King: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Word that Moved America, King Among The Theologians, and Martin Luther King, Jr.: Apostle of Militant Nonviolence. The book A Call to Conscience: The Landmark Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. is available both in print and on CD.

We also have music CDs available that pay tribute to Dr. King’s legacy. These works include Alice Parker’s Sermon From the Mountain, which features a cantata celebrating the life of the civil rights leader and Sinfonia by Berio Luciano, which includes a tribute to King’s memory and is also available on LP.

We are happy to provide so many resources, both informative and inspirational, pertaining to the work and life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and we invite you to visit the Mudd on Monday, January 19, as we pause to reflect on his life and legacy. If you are planning to honor his memory with an act of service in the community, we’d love to hear about it.

Sian Beilock Convo!

Before or after you’ve attended the Sian Beilock convo, you’ll want to read more.Sian Beilock

Search LUCIA, the Library catalog for Sian Beilock or check Academic Search Premier for articles by her.

There are, of course, plenty of pertinent web links:

Enjoy!

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.