Category: Library Staff

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.

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.

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!

 

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!

 

 

Meet the Staff, Student Worker Edition: Andrea Parmentier

002 (Medium)Andrea Parmentier is an Appleton native who has been working in the Mudd library for over two years. This English and Geology double major is another of our fabulous Circulation Desk Assistants, completely adept at answering questions and helping patrons find exactly what they are looking for. We appreciate Andrea’s hard work and wonderful personality. Read on to learn more about this library student worker.

Andrea, what’s your favorite part of your job?

Making the closing announcements is pretty fun.

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

One day an older man came in. He’s made it his mission to find a list of all WWI armed service members from Wisconsin who had died and were buried overseas, and contact family members who never found out what had happened to them or where they were buried. I helped him find the information and print it off. He was so grateful – I was very happy to have been able to help him out.

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

I love the Milwaukee-Downer Room tables, especially the mid to late afternoon light.

What are your hobbies?

I write poetry, knit, bake, and have started to cultivate bonsai.

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

A Conspiracy of Kings – the latest book in the Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner

What are your favorite bands or performers?

It’s kind of dorky, but I’m a big fan of Flying Forms – a baroque ensemble that’s been coming to Lawrence for the past few years.

How about your favorite blogs and/or magazines?

Hyperbole and a Half hasn’t updated in a while, but I love it. Also, Interweave magazine.

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

I’m most active in the library’s knitting club and at the Fox Valley Literacy Council.

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

I’m graduating this June and I’m going to grad school for a Master of Library Science.

Please feel free to share anything else you’d like about yourself or the Mudd!

If you knit, crochet, embroider, or do any kind of handicraft, come to the library’s knitting circle at 4:30 pm on Thursdays! We also have yarn and needles and don’t mind teaching new knitters.

Meet the Staff, Student Worker Edition: Tyler Grasee

003 (Medium)Tyler Grasee is another of the Seeley G. Mudd Library’s wonderful Circulation Assistants. He is adept at the full array of circulation duties, including helping patrons find and check out materials. Tyler, who is an anthropology and German double major, has worked in the Mudd since his sophomore year at Lawrence. We appreciate his sweet and helpful nature, and are always impressed with his impeccable sense of style. Read on to learn more about Tyler!

Tyler, where are you from?

I’m a local! Originally from Green Bay, Wisconsin.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

I love the interactions with professors, visitors, and other non-students. Working with and meeting new people are nice breaks from studying.

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

I’m not certain I’ve done anything particularly notable behind the desk, but there is definitely a sense of personal satisfaction on the rare occasion I find a lost book.

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

The Kruse room on the fourth floor has a great view and very cozy furniture.

What are your hobbies?

Though traveling, attending concerts, reading, and writing are all at the top of my list, food will always be number one. There is nothing I appreciate more than an interesting culinary experience, whether it be out or at home. I’ll eat anything.

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

“The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran. If you like poetry, it changes your life within the hour it takes to read.

What are your favorite bands or performers?

Classical music is my first love, but I usually find myself listening to Disclosure, FKA Twigs, Grimes, SBTRKT, Tei Shi, Lana del Rey, Janelle Monae, Edith Piaf and Marlene Dietrich, and of course, Beyoncé.

How about your favorite blogs and/or magazines?

This is difficult for me to narrow down, but I’ll give it a try: Fast Company, Chronicle of Higher Education, Hello Mr., New York Magazine, Dazed and Confused Magazine, the Atlantic, Vogue, and GQ are a few.

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

I’ve been most active in Hillel, Anthropology Club, and GLOW.

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

I’m graduating this spring! I’m hoping to get my Master’s in museum studies.

Is there anything you’d like to share about the Mudd with your fellow students?

Interlibrary loan is a great tool, use it!

Lawrence Students at the WLA Conference

Back in November, three library student workers, Allison Wray, Aubrey Klein, Andrea Parmentier, along with Angela Vanden Elzen, one of our reference librarians, attended the 2014 Wisconsin Library Association Conference.  The three students were invited to attend because they are interested in pursuing library sciences and librarianship after college.  In addition to helping organize the Conference’s Makerspace, everyone was able to attend some of the numerous presentations and talks, featuring a huge range of topics.  It was a fantastic experience, here is what Andrea, Allison, and Aubrey have to say about it!

(From Left) Andrea, Aubrey, Allison in front of the Makerspace
(From Left) Andrea, Aubrey, and Allison in front of the Makerspace

Andrea: I am very grateful for the opportunity I had to go to WLA.  The conference really solidified my resolve that librarian is the career path I want to follow.  I felt that I fit in with these people who want to help people learn and have fun.  It was interesting to see how and what kinds of ideas were exchanged through the conference.  There was a lot of programming interesting for me, even not being a librarian.  I went to panels about how to cater library programs and events to different groups and about keeping up with teens and teen literature, as library programming is one of the areas of librarianship I am most interested and those talks seemed most interesting to one not in the field.
The panels and speeches weren’t the only place to find out more information, however.  The exhibition hall, and especially the makerspace that Angela was in charge of, was a great way to meet people and exchange ideas.  Not only were the projects ideas in and of themselves, but librarians working on activities chatted with one another about how to adapt the ideas to fit their own library’s needs and goals.  Talking to a couple of librarians was cool too, especially talking to a librarian from our own Appleton Public Library about the types of activities she has for the teens.  All in all, I learned a lot about the ways librarians work to improve their services and what those services are.

Allison: My favorite part of the conference was probably exploring the exhibition hall. There were so many neat tables and people; it was really cool to see such a variety of stalls.  I also really enjoyed some of the presentations I went to, especially the ones on young adult literature and graphic design.  I’m very passionate about art and LGBTQ/feminist activism so I was pleased to be able to participate in a discussion space concerning topics I care about, especially ones relevant to teen readers. I was impressed by how many different topics the presentations covered, I definitely wasn’t expecting to directly share my interests in opinions with many people, but I was pleasantly surprised when there was a plethora of relevant and interesting presentations to attend!
I really appreciated that the conference gave me a good idea of the breadth of librarianship and all of the different paths that are available.  I was excited to discover that UW has a Gender and Women’s Studies librarian who was tabling there, and it was great to talk to her and learn about what she does. I was also reminded of just how much libraries do, in both the public and academic sphere. I haven’t had much public library experience, so it was exciting to see all of the programming and ideas that people had. I definitely feel like librarianship is a good path for me—there are just so many different options and opportunities that make it appealing and exciting!

Aubrey: In particular, I really liked the presentations  given by young-adult librarians and hearing what they had to say.  In their work, they use young-adult novels as a way to talk about and teach teens about topics like sexual assault, body-image, LGBTQ relationships and many other things.  I’ve always loved YA but it helped me realize just how important the genre is for teen readers, considering that it is often so easily written off by adults or people who don’t consider YA “serious” reading.
I was surprised at the huge amount of presentations and activites being presented at the conference.  There were a lot of different topics covered under categories like leadership, community and event planning.
The conference definitely reaffirmed that librarianship is the field for me.  I was fascinated and excited by everything that I learned and sensed a lot of community and solidarity among the library community.  It also presented some new paths to me that I may not have thought about before, like teen librarianship.
I was reminded that librarianship is far more than just picking books for a collection.  Libraries are community spaces that provide a variety of resources for every person in the community, from the poorest to the richest.  I love that libraries are a space for everyone to feel welcome and that even if a person comes to the library every day and never checks out a single book, the library is still providing them with something, whether it be internet access, an after-school program, or a warm shelter.  Librarians really play a huge role in community building, and can have a major impact on the lives of those who use the library.

Meet the Staff, Student Worker Edition: Devin Ditto

001 (Medium)Devin Ditto is a psychology major from St. Louis, Missouri, and works as a Circulation Assistant at the Seeley G. Mudd Library. We love to see her smiling face from behind the Circulation Desk, where she helps students and faculty access course reserves, locates materials and assists students in navigating the stacks, and helps patrons use the copier, scanner, and printer. Devin enjoys working in the Mudd, and it shows!

We asked this circulation assistant a few questions so that you, our faithful patrons, could get to know her and her work in the library a little bit better. Be sure to say hello the next time you see her in the Mudd, and you may get a glimpse of her shining smile yourself.

Devin, how long have you been working at the Mudd?

This will be my second year working in the library.

What’s the best part of your job?

I think my favorite part is helping students find what they are looking for. The other staff members are pretty great as well.

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

It depends on what kind of mood I’m in. If I actually want to be productive, somewhere on the second or third floor. If I want to be a little bit productive but still talk to friends, the first floor. And if I want to make myself believe that I’m being productive, the Kruse room.

What are your hobbies?

Cooking and baking

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

Gone Girl – I read at least 200 pages in one day over reading period.

What are your favorite bands or performers?

Oh my gosh, so many favorites that I don’t think I actually have a favorite!

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

LUCC (Lawrence University Community Council)

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

I will graduate in June. I’m not sure what my post-graduation plans are, but hopefully working, so that I can save up to go back to school, is on the agenda.

Is there anything you’d like to share about the Mudd with your fellow students?

Actually use it! It has so much stuff to offer, from great study spots to a friendly environment. The staff is always really helpful, and you will almost always be able to find what you need or are looking for.

Antoinette Powell Named Lillian F. Mackesy Historian of the Year

Antoinette (pictured here with Nick Hoffman) talks about the Cleggett-Hollensworth family during the "Bicycling Through Local Black History" tour.
Antoinette (pictured here with Nick Hoffman) talks about the Cleggett-Hollensworth family during the “Bicycling Through Local Black History” tour. (Photo from the History Museum Facebook page).

Our very own Music Librarian and Associate Professor Antoinette Powell has been awarded the Lillian F. Mackesy Historian of the Year Award by the Outagamie County Historical Society!

Nick Hoffman, Chief Curator of the History Museum at the Castle, explained that Antoinette received this award for her “important work on the Cleggett-Hollensworth [and] Newman families, organizing the Tribute Concert, work on Stone of Hope, and the Third Ward website.  [Her] talents for research and storytelling have made all these projects especially credible and engaging.”

Here at the Mudd, we have long known about Antoinette’s talents for research and her dedication to local history. We’re delighted to see that she has been recognized in this way.

Please join us in congratulating Antoinette on this significant award!

Meet the Staff, Student Worker Edition: Allison Wray

003 (Large)We are pleased to introduce Allison Wray, the library’s new Student Social Media Assistant! In the short while that she’s held this position, she’s impressed us with her skill and talent, and we are so grateful to have her social media acumen here at the Mudd. You may have already noticed that Allison has been writing some wonderful posts for this blog, and she is also helping us maintain all of our social media sites.  She recently shared with us that Lawrence students tend to use tumblr more than any other social media site; thanks to her insight, we’re now aiming to reach more of the Lawrence community through our tumblr page.

We’re looking forward to continued collaboration with Allison, who also shares her talents at the Circulation desk. Read on to learn more about this multifaceted and talented student worker.

What’s your major?

English, but I’m thinking about adding art history as well.

Where are you from?

West Bend, Wisconsin

How long have you been working at the Mudd?

Fall term of this year.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

I really like being a part of the “behind-the-scenes” work of a central campus spot. It’s so cool to see how the library operates!

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

I redesigned the theme on the tumblr page! It’s not awfully difficult, but I’m really glad with how it turned out. Designing a nice theme is very satisfying for me.

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

I don’t usually stick to one spot, but as long as there’s a big window, I’m happy. I am a fan of the upper floors, though.

What are your hobbies?

Knitting, watercolor and oil painting, reading, sleeping, and binge watching television on Netflix.

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

It’s been so long since I read a book for fun! I can’t name one, but I just started Full Bloom: The Art and Life of Georgia O’Keeffe and I’m excited to get into it.

What are your favorite bands or performers?

I really enjoy folk and indie music; some of my favorites are Andrew Bird, Bon Iver, Laura Marling, and Johnny Flynn.

List your favorite blogs and/or magazines.

I really love Autostraddle.com and Nylon magazine.

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

I’m involved in Tropos (the literary magazine) and the Downer Feminist Council, and I adore both!

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

2017. I don’t know yet, but I think I’d like to go to grad school for library sciences or museum studies.