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Category: guest post

Alumni Librarians: Wendy Pradt Lougee ’72

Editor’s note: We invited Lawrence alumni who have gone into library work to share with us what they do and how they got there. Here’s another in a series.

From liberal arts context to a research institution in 40 years… my career has been an interesting journey, reflecting some of the seismic changes in information, publishing, and technology.  I wish I could convey that I heard a clear call to librarianship when I graduated from Lawrence in 1972 with an English major (and good liberal arts education). Rather, an older sister (also English major) was a librarian with Time Warner in New York, and her experiences helping with research for reporters around the globe sounded appealing. Perhaps, too, the focus on sound skills in inquiry and writing that Lawrence embraced had an impact in selecting a career path. Diploma in hand, I headed to UW-Madison for its library science masters program.

A year later, post-UW grad school, found me working at the University of Minnesota in the South Asian Library, unprepared for the diverse languages and narrow focus.  Since academic librarianship seemed an interesting arena, I returned to graduate school in psychology at the University of Minnesota, considering a future as a psychology specialist within a university library. The next stages of my career took me first to another small liberal arts college (Wheaton College in Massachusetts) and then to Brown University Library, where I developed collections and supported faculty in social science disciplines.

A recruitment call from University of Michigan launched the research university chapter in my career and introduced me to university administration, first as an Assistant to the University Library Director (an intern type role) and later as Director of the Graduate (main) Library.  In the early 1990’s when campuses were wrestling with the early promise of distributed computing, I had the unique opportunity to launch a fledgling digital library program, an endeavor to seize the opportunities that technology afforded for information delivery and for developing digital content and programs.  It was a heady time, and Michigan took an early lead in the international arena of digital information initiatives.  Projects ensued to digitize books and journals, create retrieval systems, address diverse needs ranging from art images to biological specimen collections, and much more — often in partnership with other institutions and fueled by many grants.  Concurrently, the commercial publishing world began to dramatically step up its development of digital publication, and I oversaw the policy, infrastructure, and service dimensions of acquiring and delivering digital content at Michigan.  The experience was expansive and challenging and brought national recognition for our pioneering work.

In 2002, I headed to another U of M, back to University of Minnesota as University Librarian and McKnight Presidential Professor, overseeing a system of 14 libraries, historically rich collections, and a very large distributed staff.  Here, too, the burgeoning digital environment grew dramatically, and we’ve been recognized for innovative technology programs and service models that support digital data intensive research and learning/teaching that employs online digital content and tools.

An increasing imperative for academic libraries is to work collectively with other institutions to realize models to share resources and to gain efficiency in serving our individual campuses.  I’ve been deeply engaged in these trends within the Big 10 academic consortium known as the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) and more broadly.  I’ve been privileged, too, to serve on various national boards: the Council on Library and Information Resources, the Digital Library Federation, the HathiTrust, and Association of Research Libraries.   All of these organizations address the knowledge environment writ large – that is, far more than physical collections and place-based services that used to define bricks and mortar libraries.

Back in the 1970’s when I left Lawrence, could I imagine leading a large library organization and working within complex consortia to address mutual interests? The answer is quite simply, no.  Yet, I believe the investments made in those years at Lawrence to nurture a strong liberal arts background, to gain perspective on social issues, and to imagine roles of global citizenship provided an energizing start to a career in the “knowledge business.”   I consider libraries a critical player in the knowledge environment of higher education, and I’ve been fortunate to be engaged in leadership roles within that context.

Wendy Pradt Lougee
University Librarian
McKnight Presidential Professor
University of Minnesota

5 Things I Wish I Knew About the Mudd Library as a Freshman

Mudd buildingLawrence student and library fan William Gislason took the time to write another excellent post for our blog. In this post, he imparts some wisdom he’s gained about the Mudd Library after spending much of his summer here in a student office.

5 Things I Wish I Knew About the Mudd Library as a Freshman by William Gislason Class of 2015

The summer before my senior year, I got to know Lawrence University’s Mudd Library on a whole new level. Amazingly, Lawrence hired me to build an iPad app for the trails of Björklunden— that’s right, sometimes Lawrence actually pays you! Along with the job, I got an office of my very own in the Seeley G. Mudd Library. After spending day after day in it, I’ve learned a thing or two about this building and I’ve come to realize that our library is actually one of the best places on campus! Here’s a list of 5 things I wish I knew about our library when I was a freshman.

1. There is a place for any mood
Whether you want to hang out with friends surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the first floor or have some peace and quiet on the fourth floor — there’s a spot for you. When serious work needs to be done on a paper, check out the study carrels along the windows of the silent third and fourth floors. When you need to meet with a group, try reserving the meeting rooms on the second and third floors (fully equipped with all you need to practice a presentation or write out a complex differential equation). Of course, if you just want to meet up with some friends while getting this week’s Italian homework out of the way, there are plenty of large group tables throughout the first and second floors always littered with groups of laughing students.

2. Movies and Music?
Anyone who thinks the Mudd Library is only filled with books is missing out. Every student has access to thousands of albums – new and old. You want The Beatles? They’ve got The Beatles. You’ll graduate long before you have a chance to listen to half the free music you’ve checked out. Of course, you can’t forget about the movies. When you and your “LUMOS” friends (Lawrence University’s Magical Organization of Students) decide you need to watch all 8 Harry Potter movies over Reading Period, you know where to go. And did I mention the viewing rooms? Let’s say you need to watch 2001, A Space Odyssey for your Film Studies class. You can actually check it out from the library and watch it away from the distractions of campus on a big screen TV!

3. Themed (Curated) Rooms
I’ll bet you didn’t know that Lawrence University has an Abraham Lincoln themed room where anyone can go to study and keep a bronze bust of Honest Abe company. How about an antique room devoted to the legacy of Milwaukee-Downer College that is filled with ancient books that bears an eerie resemblance to the library in Hogwarts (particularly after your Reading Period binge). And did you know about a small bare white room called the Mudd Gallery that serves as a pop-up gallery for a diverse array of art student’s projects. Within a week, the room will switch from delightful exhibit on typography to a grungy cavern showing beautiful, yet slightly disturbing, music videos for some of our campus’s rock bands on repeat. All of these room exist in Mudd Library and are open to students for study, contemplation, or artistic expression.

4. The Best Book Recommendations
The library is always filled with a plethora of librarians and student workers who love books. Each worker is surrounded by all genres of books and is bursting with recommendations about any subject. Looking for a collection of short stories? They just read a great one! How about a World War Two memoir? Their friend just recommended one. A book on how to write html/css code? They can show you exactly where all your options are.

5. The best part of the Mudd Library: FREE BOOKS!
Do you realize that throughout your four years at Lawrence you will never have to pay for a book? Aside from some classes’ mandatory textbooks, any book you want is free! Think of the possibilities! Even if the unthinkable happens and they don’t have the exact book you want, you can easily order it through Interlibrary Loan. Currently, I have checked out a book on the ecology of Door County, a book on Wisconsin’s geography, the film Wild Strawberries by Ingmar Bergman, and the novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce (if you are also a Joyce fan, don’t worry, they have 3 more copies).

The Mudd Library can easily become anything you need it to be: a quiet study carrel, a meeting spot for friends, the hub of your cultural pursuits, or a home away from home. My best advice is to make full use of our library during your time at Lawrence. You’ll quickly understand why we all love it so much.

Are you interested in writing a guest post? Contact Angela Vanden Elzen with ideas.

Summer Student Research in the Library: William Gislason

A great deal of interesting student research happens in the Mudd Library over the school year as well as the summer. William Gislason was kind enough to share a bit about the innovative project he has been working on in the library this summer. We were happy to help him out by providing a student office, research materials, and use of one of the library’s iPads. 

Will Gislason

My summer project – William Gislason

When I entered Lawrence, I had no idea what major I would choose much less what career options I was interested in. While in St. Paul, Minnesota, I held a series of odd-jobs during which I worked at a hardware store, a Christmas tree lot, a garden center, as well as a coffee shop. At Lawrence, I even assisted an Ecology professor with her research. I finally focused enough to choose Biology and Environmental Studies for my double major and I knew I would need a summer job related somehow to this field. As I reflect about my time at Lawrence before starting my senior year, it’s clear I’ve learned a lot from each position but I’ve realized that I’ve learned more in this past summer than ever I thought possible.

Over the past three months, I’ve had the delight of making my first iPad app. Under the direction of the Biology department’s Bart De Stasio and Alyssa Hakes and the Director of Björklunden, Mark Breseman, along with the assistance of Celeste Silling, I’m attempting to provide the visitors of Björklunden with much of the information about the area’s ecology one would learn in a guided nature tour. To accomplish this, I’m building an app that displays the visitor’s location upon a trail map along with the location of interesting ecological features. Pictures and information on these features can be accessed by simply tapping the feature on the map. I’ve been so fortunate to not only have an office in the library to use as a base of operations for the project but to have the literary resources of the library to learn about the geography, ecology, and natural history of Door County and Wisconsin.

Though this project involves long hours of coding I have learned a ton about photography, writing, design, and planning a user experience. I consider myself so lucky to have been given this opportunity by Lawrence University and I hope the app will be a simple, educational, and delightful addition to the many services for the guests of Björklunden. Starting this fall, we’ll have 3 iPads for visitors to rent from Björklunden to experience their own person tour of Björklunden. Be sure to check it out!

Alumni Librarians: Kirstin Jansen Dougan, ’95

Editor’s note: We invited Lawrence alumni who have gone into library work to share with us what they do and how they got there. Here’s another in a series.dougan_photo

Even as a small child, I loved the idea of investigating things—Harriet the Spy and the Hardy Boys were my heroes. By junior high, the idea of collecting information was extremely appealing. Crush on the new boy in school? Research! Where did he come from, what did his parents do, what kind of car did they drive? Silly, yes, but it carried over to school. I loved researching school projects (the writing, not so much). In high school, my youth orchestra director tasked me with being the group’s librarian, since he thought I was responsible and organized. I also started a love affair with technology—computers—especially.

By the time I got to Lawrence as a viola performance major, I was ready for the wonders that awaited me in the Seeley G. Mudd. When I wanted to learn the origins of a word, I went to one of the reference librarians (now director) Pete Gilbert. He showed me how to use the Oxford English Dictionary (just in print at that point). Shortly after that, my sophomore music history class had a session with the music librarian, the great Eunice Schroeder, and was assigned a follow-up scavenger hunt using the DOS based library catalog to find music materials. It was so much fun! The power to know how to search correctly and find what I needed—my investigative and information collecting tendencies were thrilled. If I remember correctly, one of the other students who did well on that assignment was Colleen Rortvedt, now director of the Appleton Public Library.

Sophomore year also saw me taking on the job as librarian for the LUSO. I loved the duties, ordering, marking, and organizing the music for each season. But I didn’t care for the deadlines and eraser bits that permeated my wardrobe. Since I knew I wasn’t likely to make a full-time living as a performer, and I wasn’t interested in teaching, I started wondering what else I could do with a music background and a love for information. I knew I didn’t want a job where I sat at a desk all day (no, librarians don’t do that!). I talked to Eunice, who suggested that working in an academic library would be a good fit. I was already taking German and French in addition to my music history and theory classes, lessons and such), so I kept at it until it was time to think about graduate school. I’m not sure I knew that I would need a second masters in music to be a good candidate for many academic library positions, but I knew I wasn’t ready to stop my viola education. So long story short, I went to grad school for viola performance and paid my way by being the orchestra librarian—still couldn’t get away from the eraser bits! After a year off to work in an office, in which I learned I really didn’t want to do that, I enrolled in UW Madison’s SLIS. Given the different paths my classmates had taken, I felt a bit conspicuous as one who had wanted to be a librarian early on. But I was fortunate to get various GA positions, first in the University Records Office (part of the Archives), then at College Library, and finally with the Digital Content Group, where my love of technology and data structures grew. Throughout I held an hourly position at the music library, working at the reference desk, processing archival collections, and other tasks.  I took several independent studies with the music librarians to supplement my classwork.

After graduating I stayed with the Digital Content group for a year and half, before taking a job as a music librarian at Duke University. I was responsible for reference, instruction, collection development, web site maintenance and staff supervision. After two years my boss retired, so I became the interim head for two years. I then left to take the job I have now as the Music and Performing Arts Librarian at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. We are one of the largest libraries in the country and I love my job. I (along with the head of our branch library) do many of the same things I did at Duke, but in addition, librarians here are on the tenure track. This means that I also research and write articles. I focus on information seeking behavior in music and the tools used in music research, as well as the collections and services that connect these. My love of research and information gathering has come full circle.

by Kirstin (Jansen) Dougan, Class of ’95

Scholarly work of Lawrence Alumni: Joe Siegel ‘01

A bit about me, Joe Siegel (LU class of 2001)Joe Siegel

How do people learn to listen? It’s something that most people don’t even stop to think about. The ability to listen in our first language develops with little effort or explicit attention, but listening competency in a second language can be an arduous task, something that takes significant time and effort.  I’ve been interested in how listening ‘works’ for a long time, particularly in a second language, and I’m amazed by what an incredible ability it is. Biological, psychological, and auditory aspects combine to help us understand the aural messages we receive, and the communicative importance of listening, whether in a first or second language, makes it a fundamental tool.

I’m currently working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Foreign Languages at J. F. Oberlin University in Tokyo, Japan. In the classroom, I teach courses on general English as a foreign language (EFL) with a specific focus on the development of aural abilities in a second language. Such skills include recognizing the beginnings and endings of words, parsing the speech stream into meaningful chunks of language, and confirming or rejecting predictions we make about what we hear. As a researcher in the field of applied linguistics, I’m interested to learn more about teaching methods and learning styles for second language listening. This work has included MA and PhD dissertations and grant-funded research supported by the Ministry of Education in Japan.

The liberal arts education I received at Lawrence was a great preparation for my career, since my particular area of research focuses on the intersection of biology, psychology, education, and foreign language teaching and learning. A number of classes I took at LU have had a great impact on how I go about research and academic writing. Freshman Studies was a wonderful interdisciplinary experience, and I benefitted from the challenges of relating different works, genres, and themes to each other. I remember one Freshman Studies teacher who gave us the autonomy to choose any two works we had covered during the semester and write a paper on any aspect that linked the two. What a fantastic assignment for freshman students! What freedom!

Creativity, analytic thinking, and the need for clarity of expression: all of these have been indispensable in the work that I do now.

I majored in English at Lawrence, and the comparative and close analyses of important works of literature have definitely prepared me to do background reading of academic works and to construct clearly-written yet sophisticated literature reviews for academic publications. The two independent studies classes that I completed at LU gave me the opportunity to set up, plan, resource, and execute small-scale projects on my own. These courses, which I completed in my junior and senior years, were practical bridges that allowed me to transition from work done purely for grades and research done in the ‘real world’ for the benefit of students, colleagues, and the language teaching field in general. Further, at Lawrence, I had chances to interact closely and collaboratively with professors, which gave me much-needed confidence and thick skin that I’d need when dealing with peer reviewers and editors working for journals and publishing companies, who can sometimes be a picky bunch.

Listed below are some of my main and more recent publications, mostly on topics related to second language listening pedagogy:

Siegel, J. (2013). Methodological ingenuity for second language listening. In J.  Schwieter (Ed.), Studies and global perspectives of second language teaching and learning (pp. 113-139). Charlotte: Information Age Publishing.

Siegel, J. (2013). Exploring L2 listening instruction: Examinations of practice.  ELT Journal, 68(1).

Siegel, J. & Siegel, A. (2013). Empirical and attitudinal effects of bottom-up listening activities in the L2 classroom. ELT World Online, 5, 1-25,

Siegel, J. (2012). Second language learners’ perceptions of listening strategy instruction. Innovations in language learning and teaching, 7(1), 1-18.

Siegel, J. (2011). Thoughts on L2 listening pedagogy. ELT Journal, 65(3), 318-321.

Siegel, J. (2011). Learner development through listening strategy training. In K. Irie & A. Stewart (Eds.), Realizing autonomy: Practice and reflection in language education contexts (pp. 78-93). Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

In the future, I plan to continue investigating current methodologies in language teaching and to develop and trial other alternative ways of teaching second language listening. I’ve also recently become more interested in pragmatic development, especially concerning university students who complete study abroad experiences.

Meet the Staff, Student Worker Edition: Olav Bjornerud

015 (Medium)As you know, we love our student workers! One of our favorite things about working with them is learning about their many projects and accomplishments around campus. As much as it might appear as if they spend all of their free time perfecting their library duties, in reality they excel in many other areas: performing, producing, and achieving so many wonderful things.

Take Olav Bjornerud for example. In addition to working in the Mudd during his entire academic career, he has also spent the past several summers handcrafting a beautiful Viking ship named Strake, which is now on display in the Buchanan Kiewit Wellness Center. Read on to learn more about Olav, and to see a photograph of his gorgeous craftsmanship. Also, be sure to swing by the Wellness Center to get a real feel for the amount of work and attention that went into building such a large and detailed vessel.

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

The official title of my job is “Student Circulation Desk Assistant.” I check in and out books, movies, music, and course reserves, and preform a wide range of miscellaneous tasks behind the desk.

What’s your major?

I’m a Studio Art / History double major (definitely not Art History, though).

When will you graduate?

As far as I know, I’m graduating in June, 2014.

Where are you from?

I’m actually from Appleton; Lawrence is closer to my house than my high school was.

How long have you been working at the Mudd?

I’ve been able to work at the library all four years, excluding one term when I was abroad in London.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

I’ve loved being able to see the inner workings of the library and all the parts that are essential to keeping it running smoothly.

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

Whenever I’m able help someone, lend a hand in finding an item, or answer some question, it’s always very satisfying.

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

I particularly like studying (and putting off studying) on the top floors of library, where I can peer out the windows over campus.

What are your hobbies?

I enjoy listening to music, building things in the sculpture studio, and as generic as it sounds, hanging out with friends.

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

That would have to be George Mackay Brown’s Greenvoe.  While the book is definitely character driven, and it takes a bit for the plot to gain momentum, I couldn’t get enough of Brown’s prose and lyrical descriptions of the Orkney Islands.

What are your favorite bands or performers?

I completely believe that Bob Dylan is the greatest American artist living or dead.  His output during the 60s and 70s was legendary, and since the 1990s he’s released masterpiece after masterpiece as he continues to redefine himself.  I actually prefer his more recent work—I love his current voice that sounds like he’s been gargling thumbtacks.  I saw him live a few years ago on Halloween and it was by far the best show I’ve ever been to.

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

I’m part of the Greenfire Co-op, on the newly formed cross-country skiing team, and also one half of a folk music radio show on WLFM.

017 (Small)

Strake by Olav A. Bjornerud
Ash and painted steel, 2013
On view now at the Buchanan Kiewit Wellness Center!
With its organic and enveloping curves, Strake celebrates Lawrence University’s mascot and is inspired by the Vikings’ expert synthesis of form and function.

Alumni Librarians: Jennifer Chamberlain, ’96

Editor’s note: We invited Lawrence alumni who have gone into library work to share with us what they do and how they got there. Here’s another in a series.

The Roundabout Road from the Mudd or How I Accidentally Became a Librarian

by Jennifer Chamberlain, ’96

To me, the Seeley G. has always been more than a concrete fortress beckoning to procrastinating Lawrentians. From 1992-1996, it was my second home as an unexceptional English major with disparate interests and a remarkable capacity for getting side-tracked. Armed with a steaming cup of coffee from the Grill (this is commonly referred to as the pre-latte era) and a steeled resolve to hit the books, I spent many hours tackling my homework and papers with an inefficient, yet well-intentioned outlook. I adored the research process, but hated writing papers. I could spend countless hours refining a topic or following an obscure research lead only to find myself pulling out my hair in the final hours before a paper was due trying to synthesize a mountain of citations. Professor Spurgin could likely attest to the fact that my works cited pages always read a lot better than the paper itself.

The Mudd is also the place I spent a fair number of hours studying (ok, shamelessly flirting) with my then-friend and now-husband of 14 years. Who knew that sixteen years post-graduation, I’d sit on the other side of the reference desk helping college students tackle their research projects (while watching them shamelessly flirt with fellow students)? Never underestimate the power of romance in the library.

I graduated from Lawrence in 1996 with a B.A. in English and Certification in Secondary Education ready to tackle a low paying internship as a museum educator at the Illinois State Museum. After a series of jobs in museums morphed into a semi-career in nonprofit fundraising, I found myself unhappy with the direction my professional life was taking. I was an educator that didn’t want to teach in a K-12 school and an English major without the yearning to pursue an MA (all that paper writing). I distinctly remember the day a mentor asked me my career goals. Struggling to appear like a gal with a plan, I quickly revealed a subconscious desire to become a librarian. My mentor laughed, and there’s no motivator quite like laughter. Problem was I didn’t have the first clue how people became librarians. I didn’t know anyone who worked as a librarian. As a kid, the librarians at my public library seemed a mystifying other-worldly folk that rarely stepped foot outside of the library. Even in college, I’d never really gotten to know the librarians on a personal level, despite the fact they bailed me out countless times. It seemed as though librarians were a higher life form, on par with the Elves in Lord of the Rings, who existed beyond the normal realm. Plainly put, librarians knew a whole lot about a whole lot of things. I wasn’t sure I fit the bill.

Fast forward a few years when my husband took a job in the rural Northwoods running a YMCA camp. By some act of luck, I landed a job as the director of the local, rural library. Thanks to some antiquated state statute, librarians at the smallest of public libraries are not required to hold an advanced degree in library science. It only took one day as director of the Boulder Junction Public Library for me to realize I’d found my dream job. I quickly pursued a Master of Library Science from UW-Milwaukee, and for the next ten years I held a variety of reference and administrative positions in southeastern Wisconsin public libraries.
In 2009 I was tapped to serve as the Interim Library director and later appointed Director of Library Services for the University of Wisconsin-Washington County, a freshmen/ sophomore campus of the UW System. Working in the UW System offers me the power of a large academic institution in terms of colleague caliber and strength in resources, yet I get to interact with students in an intimate campus setting a bit smaller than Lawrence. I think about the skills I acquired at the Lawrence library on a daily basis working with students one-on-one. When I educate students on information literacy strategies and watch them wade through the vast information resources at their fingertips, I think about all those hours I culled through books and resources at the Mudd. During formal library instruction sessions, I tell students they arguably have it harder in today’s digital world than I did as an undergrad when it comes to seeking and evaluating information. I share with them my memories of researching in my college library (I can still here the “shunk” sound of the Mudd’s turn style) and how I took for granted the credibility of the information I found there in print. As a small college library director, I get to administer a dynamic student-centered library similar to what I experienced at LU – and I love it.

The switch from public libraries to academic libraries was a great opportunity for my career and personal growth. Not until writing this blog entry did I realize what a homecoming it was for me. As a guide for students in the research process, I relive a bit of those college years and I find myself remembering my days at the Mudd with tremendous fondness. I feel lucky to have a job that appreciates, even encourages me to embrace my generalist-self that still enjoys chasing divergent research leads wherever they take me. And the best part is I don’t have to stay up until 3 a.m. writing that final paper.
I treasure the years I bumbled my way through the Mudd library collection. I reflect on that time frequently as I work with undergraduates learning to navigate the physical and virtual collections in the UW System. From my perspective, a career as a librarian is a glove-like fit for the type of person Lawrence inspires you to be: curious, tenacious, widely-read — a first-class generalist.

Meet the Staff, Student Worker Edition: Dakota Williams

As summer break winds to a close, all of us at the Seeley G. Mudd Library are readying ourselves for the upcoming academic year and are looking forward to welcoming our students back to campus. Of course, a few students have been hanging around the library all summer long–our incredible student workers! Dakota Williams has been working as a Circulation Assistant; his duties include circulating and shelving library items and assisting with the arduous task of cataloging CDs. He’s also facilitated some projects for the Archives. For a few weeks this summer, he worked tirelessly to convert  piles of commencement and convocation speeches from audio and video cassettes into newer formats. He’s cataloged scrapbooks, photocopied articles, done data entry, and created a comprehensive listing of Lawrence faculty. Dakota does all of this work while continuously sharing one of the biggest and brightest smiles on campus!

Dakota’s hard work and great attitude have landed him the Night Supervisor/Course Reserves Assistant position for the upcoming academic year. Once the term starts, his responsibilities will grow to include the supervision of circulation desk workers during the Mudd’s hectic evening hours, and the processing and maintaining of course reserves. We feel so lucky to have this dynamic student worker behind the circulation desk! Read on to learn more about Dakota:

What’s your major?

My major is BM Horn Performance.

When will you graduate?

I will be graduating in June 2014.

Where are you from?

I grew up in southwest Missouri, but my family lives in Milton, Wisconsin now.

How long have you been working at the Mudd Library?

I have been working at the Mudd library for 3 years, since my Freshman year.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

In my work in Archives, I enjoy finding concert programs collected by Milwaukee-Downer Alumnae in their scrapbooks.

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

Strange as it sounds, I am proudest of the signs that I created, advertising different aspects of the Mudd’s collection of which I believe patrons may be unaware.

What are your hobbies?

I enjoy reading (especially short stories and music literature), doing crosswords and other word puzzles, arranging music for chamber ensembles, and collecting and drinking tea.

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

Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice.

What are your favorite bands or performers?

The Berliner Philharmoniker, Audra McDonald, Sutton Foster, and  the American Horn Quartet.

List your favorite blogs and/or magazines.

The Horn Call (magazine), Horn Matters (blog), (blog).

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

Lawrence University Quizbowl, GLOW, and NAfME.

What are your post-graduation plans?

I plan to go to graduate school for a dual-masters in musicology and library science.

Meet the Staff, Student Worker Edition: Thomas Malm

001 (Small)For the summer editions of Meet the Staff, we thought it was high time we featured some of the most valuable employees that we have here at the library, our student workers! The Seeley G. Mudd employs about 50 students each year to help in Circulation, Technical Services,  Archives, and Media Services. Student workers are fundamental to the fulfillment of our mission, and their work provides invaluable support to library staff, and as a result, to the entire campus community. They also serve as unofficial liaisons between the library staff and the student body, helping us stay attuned and connected to the needs and interests of our student population, as well as making the library feel welcoming, friendly, and familiar to the students we serve. The Mudd library would not be the same without their input and presence. We love our student workers!

Thomas Malm had spent four years as a library student worker before graduating this past June. Currently, he’s happily awaiting his student-teaching stint by spending the summer as a Student Circulation Desk Assistant. Whether helping patrons with materials or taking photos for our flickr page, Thomas is a capable and industrious employee. And while it will be difficult for all of us to see this intelligent, hard-working, and outright hilarious employee move on at summer’s close, we are looking forward to hearing about his future success!  And now, without further ado, more about Thomas:

What’s your major?

Bassoon Performance and Music Education, emphasis in Conducting.

Where are you from?

Olympia, Washington

What’s your favorite part of your job?

Helping patrons and the occasional shelving project.

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

Check out the Interactive Seeley G. Mudd reference here!

What are your hobbies?

Being from the NW I love backpacking, hunting, mountain (especially volcano) climbing, but I also like watching Star Trek TNG, doing Lord of the Rings research (it’s a thing!), and I’m an avid video gamer.

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

J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion.

What are your favorite bands or performers?

Coldplay, The Beatles, Herbert von Karajan, M.T.T., and many other conductors. I’m also very partial to the music of David Maslanka.

List your favorite blogs and/or magazines.

The Double Reed (IDRS Journal), National Geographic,, and CNN for my news.

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

The National Association for Music Education, International Double Reed Society, the National Band Association, the Conductor’s Guild, and even the International Practical Shooting Confederation.

What are your post-graduation plans?

I will be student teaching in Pulaski, WI through February and then going to graduate school to pursue master’s degrees in wind band conducting and bassoon performance.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

I am eternally grateful to all of the professors that I’ve had here at Lawrence for their guidance and for inspiring me to be better every day. Lawrence is a unique institution and I’m proud to call myself a Lawrence Alumnus!

Alumni Librarians: Paul Jenkins ’83

Editor’s note: We invited Lawrence alumni who have gone into library work to share with us what they do and how they got there. Here’s the first in a series.

Paul Jenkins, '83My acquaintance with the Mudd library began during freshman orientation week. I thought I could just waltz in and get a work study job there. Little did I realize how fierce the competition was for these plum positions. It seemed like everyone wanted to work there. Long story short, I ended up pushing food tray carts in Downer for three years.

Having grown up a faculty brat (my father was a professor of English at Carleton College), I was already familiar with what a good academic library had to offer. I spent my teenage years educating myself about art history and folk songs in the Carleton stacks. After surviving the first few hectic weeks of Freshman year I began to spend lots of time, browsing the Ps and making mental notes to read all the classics that remained on my list.
Once I got the hang of student life and how to study efficiently I would spend a great deal of time during Finals Week in the stacks. This irked my classmates no end. While they crammed, I read Balzac. While they worked furiously to finish final papers, I learned more about Günter Grass.

Yes, this sounds pretty nerdy, I know, but rest assured that I was also on the soccer team and spent my fair share of time in the Viking Room.

As graduation neared my adviser urged me to consider graduate school in German literature. I’d majored in German and spent Fall term junior year in Munich. Part of me had never felt comfortable speaking German, however. Reading it and writing it were no problem, but my natural shyness grew even worse when I spoke “auf Deutsch.”

I considered graduate programs in German, English, and Journalism before finally settling on library science. To be honest, many of my friends seemed disappointed with my choice. My father, the professor, was delighted, though. He found librarianship very useful work and free from much of the nonsense then polluting literary analysis.

I entered “library school” at UW Madison never having worked a day in a library. I knew somehow that I wanted to be there, though. What a great place to earn a living, I remember thinking. I had no idea what librarians actually did all day, of course.

During my studies at UW I quickly realized I wanted to work in academic libraries. The notion of answering questions about snowmobile repair horrified me. I was too much of a snob to consider toiling in a public library. Academic libraries seemed vaguely nobler to me. If I am honest, I will admit that working for a college or university eased my worries about never having become a professor as my father, brother, and sister had. (Despite earning only a BA at Cornell, my mother is the smartest of us all.)

My first job was at the College of Mount St Joseph (Cincinnati OH) in 1988 as the Head of Collection Development. A noble title until I realized that I had no staff. I was a department unto myself. Working with the faculty to choose books, videos, and periodicals came naturally to me. Soon nearly everyone knew me. Within three years I had been elected President of the Faculty. I became director of the library seven years after arriving. My work with the Mount faculty inspired me to write a book for the English publisher Chandos: Faculty-Librarian Relationships. After publishing another book (Richard Dyer-Bennet: The Last Minstrel) through the University Press of Mississippi, I was chosen as Distinguished Scholar of the college in 2011. The faculty liked my work enough to nominate me for the New York Times Academic Librarian award (now called I Love My Librarian) in 2006. One day later that year I was on duty at the Reference Desk when the phone came informing me that I had won. I smiled broadly and then helped a student with yet another ERIC search.

If this reportage smacks of bragging, perhaps it’s because I still feel a bit inferior to my faculty colleagues with their Ph.D.’s. I teach classes here now (History of American Protest Music, and The Beatles: Voice of a Generation) but when my students address me as “Dr. Jenkins” I cringe. I ask them to call me “Mr. Jenkins” and feel better after a few moments.

Still, I find academic librarianship a great profession, and I am grateful to my first boss who took a chance on a newly minted MLS way back in the time when the Internet was still only an idea buzzing around the brain of Al Gore.