Tag: Library news

Lawrence’s Own Makerspace!

Have you heard about the new Lawrence University Interdisciplinary Makerspace for Engaged Learning? It is an exciting space for hands-on learning and creation, located on the first floor of the Mudd Library. A makerspace is any space that encourages making, tinkering, and creativity. Some are focused more on technology, some on manufacturing, some on building, and some on crafting. Our space is a little of each of those with an academic focus. The LU makerspace includes two 3D printers, a desktop 3D scanner, a handheld 3D scanner, an electronic cutter, a sewing machine, and supplies for painting and making collages (learn more on our guide). The space also houses the digital conversion lab.

Instructional Technologist Arno Damerow, Reference Librarian Angela Vanden Elzen, and Associate Professor of Chemistry Dave Hall oversee the daily use of the space, work with students and classes, and plan makerspace events and speakers.  A large group of Lawrence faculty and staff, including Anna Simeth from the Development office, contributed to the grant proposal to the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) that allowed for the purchase of much of the equipment.

Read more about how this great space came to be (thanks to help from our friends in Technology Services, Facility Services, and Provost Dave Burrows), read about assignments, and view documentation on the makerspace website. Keep up with recent news and uses of the space with the makerspace Twitter account.

Part of the grant from the ACM included funding to bring in speakers to discuss the idea of maker pedagogy, and how to integrate it into higher education. Our first speaker, Matt Sonnenberg from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, will present on March 31st at 11:10 a.m. in the Warch Campus Center Cinema. Matt will share his experiences with integrating 3D printing into classes on the UWSP campus. All are invited to attend this presentation.

Have questions about the makerspace or interested in using the space with your classes or an independent study? Contact us at makerspace@lawrence.edu.

Microform Magic with the ViewScan II

Professor Frederick with the ViewScan II

If you have used the microform readers of the past, you may remember having to squint to see poor quality images and putting a substantial amount of effort into reading the material. Our new ViewScan II digital microform reader adds digital magic* to your microforms! The ViewScan II allows you to edit and crop frames, resulting in content that possibly looks better than when it was first printed back in 1900 (or whenever)!

Associate Professor of History, Jake Frederick, has been visiting the Mudd Library to use the ViewScan II quite often as he prepares for a publisher’s deadline. After trying to read a microfilm reel for years on machines at other libraries, Professor Frederick was ecstatic to discover how readable the ViewScan II made his microfilm copy of a document from the 18th century.

Here is what he had to say about his experiences with the ViewScan II:

Normally using microfilm is like trying to read badly printed newsprint in a moving car at night. It’s blurry, dark, never focuses on the whole page at the same time, and is likely to make you seasick. I have had some microfilm sitting in my office for the last nine years that I could hardly bring myself to look at because it’s usually so terrible to use. The new scanner in the library is awesome. It has literally taken away everything that made using microfilm awful. I can’t believe how much better it is.

Interlibrary Loan Assistant Andrew McSorley has noticed a number of students, many of whom have never used microfilm technology in the past, have become quite comfortable with using microforms on the ViewScan II. Andrew explained, “With the ViewScan, otherwise rare items on old-fashioned media can now be sifted through easily on state-of-the-art, intuitive technology. Basically, between ILL and this microfilm reader, there are now far fewer barriers between our students and access to just about any material they could think of.”

In addition to editing, the ViewScan II allows patrons to save microform images (from microfilm reels, microcard, etc.) to a USB flash drive, or to print directly to the nearby laser printer. If you’d like to use the ViewScan II, the Mudd has a variety of microform materials, including The New York Times newspaper dating from 1851, as well as the Milwaukee Journal and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel starting from 1884.

Have questions about using microforms? Contact our friendly reference librarians, or ask us at the reference desk!

*No actual magic is used in this machine, however the technology is quite useful.

Fox Cities Book Festvial 2015

The Fox Cities Book Festival will be happening this week, April 20-26. Featuring an abundance of free events at many venues in the Fox Valley area, the festival will have something for everyone! Visit the festival’s website here to view the full schedule and learn more about the events.

And be sure to check out these events that are happening on the Lawrence University campus:

Wednesday, April 22: Martin Brief Gallery Tour (1:00pm, Wriston Art Center- Hoffmaster Gallery)
Beth A. Zinsli, director of the Wriston Art Galleries, will give a tour of artist Martin Brief’s exhibition. Brief’s artwork is focused on language, almost to the point of obsessiveness, digging deeper into the meaning of words until he has reached the very limits of expression. (Brief will also be giving a talk on his work in the Wriston Auditorium – Room 224, tomorrow April 21 at 4:30pm).

Thursday, April 23: Reading by poet Cynthia Marie Hoffman (4:30pm, Wriston Art Center- Hoffmaster Gallery)
Cynthia Marie Hoffman is the author of the poetry collection titled Paper Doll Fetus. Drawing from the history of obstetrics, midwifery, and the many experiences of childbirth, Hoffman crafts imaginitive and poignant work. She will be reading her poetry in the Wriston gallery, so this is a great opportunity to explore and be surrounded by many kinds of art.

Friday, April 24: Author Meet & Greet with Crystal Chan (12:00pm, Seeley G. Mudd Library- Milwaukee Downer Room)
Stop by the Mudd Library and chat with Lawrence University alumna and author of Bird, Crystal Chan. Enjoy coffee and cookies while you mingle. We encourage both readers and (especially) writers to attend this event!

Friday, April 24: Art Photography Panel with Kevin Miyazaki & Travis Dewitz (5:00pm, Warch Campus Center Cinema)
Kevin Miyazaki is a Milwaukee-based editorial and fine art photographer, whose most recent project culminated in the book Perimeter: a Contemporary Portrait of Lake Michigan which exhibits a diverse image of the people and place attached to Lake Michigan.
Travis Dewitz is a professional photographer and Eau Claire native, who is known for his corporate, portrait, youth modeling photography, and numerous personal projects. Dewitz’s latest personal project resulted in the book Blaze Orange, which takes an intimate look at the close ties between deer hunting and Wisconsin identity.
Miyazaki and Dewitz will be hosting a panel to talk about art photography and the development of their work.

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.

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.

Canine Therapy at the Library!

The term is coming to an end and finals are looming closer…must be time to pet some dogs!

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For the past few years, the Mudd has hosted canine therapy for students to de-stress for a bit and take their minds off the pressure of spring term finals.  Faculty, staff, and students bring their dogs for Lawrence students to get some puppy love!

It’s a whole lot of fun and this year it will be on Monday, June 9th from 2-3pm, outside of the Mudd. Pictures from past years’ canine therapy events can be found on our Flickr page!

Senior Experience Addresses Wisconsin Mine

For her senior experience project, geology major Steph Courtney ’14 decided to approach an issue that hits close to home.  In a series of four posters and tangible display accessories, Courtney explores the geology and hazards associated with GTac’s planned taconite mine near Mellen, Wisconsin.  The goal of the posters is to provide an information source about these topics because it is fairly difficult to find accessible scientific information from scientists in today’s political climate.DSC022381

In her project’s mission, Courtney states, “In my time at Lawrence, I’ve discovered that I have a passion for science public outreach, education, and communication.  Coupled with my interests in conveying information visually, I’ve found that one of the ways I most enjoy working on this passion is through museum-type displays, such as this one.  I’ve found a number of ways to exercise and refine that passion through LU-garnered opportunities, but feel that…public engagement and feedback is always helpful.”DSC022401

Courtney isn’t the sole part of the geology department who is addressing this topic, professors Andrew Knudsen and Marcia Bjornerud have been working on this issue as well, and collaborated with another geology student to write a paper about it.  In addition, Bjornerud has been working with the Bad River tribe and has testified to the state legislature about the planned mine.

Steph Courtney’s display can be viewed on the second floor of the Mudd Library through May 9th, 2014.  There will be a public reception (with snacks!) on May 4th from 3-5pm.

National Library Week 2014!

Come celebrate National Library Week here at the Mudd from April 13-19! The festivities will begin Monday, some highlights include:

National Library Week 2014

  • Hidden prizes all over the library! Plastic eggs containing a slip redeemable a prize have been hidden around the library. Bring the egg to the reference desk to pick a prize!
  • Enter the annual Library Haiku Contest!
  • Library Student Worker Appreciation Day on Tuesday, April 15th- make sure to say thanks for all the hard work they do!
  • Ask a question at the reference desk, get a cookie on Wednesday, April 16th from 6-10 PM!
  • Tell us your favorite thing about the library, and see why the staff and students love it too!

Take a look at our Facebook album to see photos of the library staff sharing what it is that we love about working at the Mudd Library.

We hope to see you here!

Finals Stress Relief in the Library

We are happy to report that a variety of finals stress relief options will be available for Lawrence students in the library this weekend.

Our friends from around campus will be hosting the following stress relief events on the first floor of the library:

  • Kappa Alpha Theta will be selling cupcakes to raise money for CASA of the Fox Cities:
    Saturday, noon-6pm
  • Asia-A will be encouraging origami as a study break:
    Saturday, 7-10pm
  • The Wellness Committee will be bringing in chair massage and will have healthy snacks:
    Saturday, 1-3pm

We’ve set up a couple of stress relief options ourselves, available during all open library hours over reading period and finals:

  • Cut out a paper snowflake to decorate our tree. We have templates of Anthony Herrera’s awesome Star Wars snowflakes, Doctor Who TARDIS and Cybermen, as well as some more traditional designs. We also have plain paper available for those who’d like to exhibit their own creativity. The paper and tree are located to the right of the circulation desk.
  • Create with LEGO bricks! We’ve set out a collection of LEGO bricks on a table in front of the reference desk for some fun creativity time.

OF course, from group study rooms to individual carrels, the library has whatever type of study space you need.

New Abraham Lincoln Exhibit at the Mudd Library

Abraham Lincoln exhibitThe Mudd Library is currently hosting a new Lincoln exhibit entitled, Abraham Lincoln: A Man of His Time, A Man for All Times.  This exhibit focuses on the life of President Lincoln, following his path from a self-educated young man, to President of the United States and the challenges he faced while President.

This exhibit came to us from The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. To learn more about it, see the Gilder Lehrman page– or better yet- come to the second floor of the Mudd Library and see it for yourself! It was installed in the Mudd on October 8th, and will be up through November 5th.