Digging Through the Mudd: Zoom Rooms on the 3rd & 4th Floors!

Do you know what a Zoom room is? A Zoom room is a video conferencing station that uses cloud-based technology to power its connections. Unlike Skype and other services, you can video conference with multiple users at once, making it great for larger meetings! Zoom is available for all Lawrence University faculty, staff, and students at go.lawrence.edu/zoom.

The Mudd library has Zoom rooms on the 3rd floor (room 310) and 4th floor (401). Room 401 has to be booked through Lawrence’s room reservation system, but its spacious layout is perfect for big groups. Room 310 has a sign-up clipboard on the door to make it convenient for study sessions. Use whichever one best meets your needs!

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Room 401 on the fourth floor, equipped with microphones, speakers, and a Zoom-ready camera.

These rooms are available during library hours: just make sure to reserve room 401 first.

Living and Learning: The History of Women at Lawrence University in the Mudd Gallery!

From now until May 20th, uncover Lawrence’s past with Carolyn Ford’s senior capstone curation in the Mudd gallery!

Photos, fashion, journals, and more comprehensively document the lives of women at Milwaukee-Downer College and throughout Lawrence’s co-ed history. Read about encounters with the Ormsby ghost, witness the old Lawrence May Day traditions, and take a look inside a real Milwaukee-Downer student yearbook!

Exhibition Photo 2
A yearbook from Milwaukee-Downer college, on display at the Mudd Gallery.
Exhibition Photo 1

The Mudd gallery is located on the 3rd floor of the Mudd library, and is open during library hours.

Digging Through the Mudd: Keyboards and Finale on the 3rd & 4th Floors!

The library blog is proud to introduce a new post series: “Digging Through The Mudd!” This weekly series will uncover resources and spots in the library that often go unnoticed.

You might have seen those computer cubicles on the left side of the 3rd and 4th floors. They’re perfect for getting in some quiet essay-writing. But did you know that the left-most cubicle on both floors also has a MIDI keyboard?

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A MIDI keyboard on the 3rd floor of the library, complete with computer and headphones.

The computers are loaded with the keyboard’s primary software, ARIA Player, which you can use to experiment with all sorts of different sounds. Just turn on the keyboard, log in using your LU ID, open ARIA from the desktop, and you’ll be good to go! Make sure to select the keyboard as your controller in the Preferences menu if it doesn’t automatically detect it.

These computers are also equipped with the Finale software. For those who want a silent place to notate their music, look to the 3rd and 4th floor computers.

Evidence of the Ephemeral: An Archaeological Exhibition in the Mudd Gallery!

The staff of the theatre scene shop are bringing Evidence of the Ephemeral: An Archaeological Exhibition to the Mudd Gallery from April 27th to May 5th. Join them for a playful retrospective of the shop’s past plays featuring redesigned props curated within a time capsule aesthetic!

Exhibition collaborators include Delaney Stewart, Liz Risley, Oscar Brautigam, Abby Simmons, Courtney Wilmington, Meryl Carson, Taylor Blackson, Molly Hjelle, and Andrew Stelzer.



National Library Week 2019!

Celebrate National Library Week, April 7-13, with your friends in the Mudd Library!

Tuesday, April 9th: Say thanks to our amazing student workers on National Library Workers Day!

Wednesday, April 10: Ask a question at the reference desk between 6-9 pm, get a cookie! Planning on attending? Invite a friend with our Facebook event!

All Week: Tell us what you love about the Mudd Library, or all libraries! We’ll have a National Library Week Notes box set out for your library love notes.

Poster describing National Library Week events: Tuesday, April 9th: Say thanks to our amazing student workers on National Library Workers Day! Wednesday, April 10: Ask a question at the reference desk between 6-9 pm, get a cookie! All Week: Tell us what you love about the Mudd Library, or all libraries!

Alumni Librarians: Zachary Fannin ’12

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.

At the end of my junior year at Lawrence, while wrapping up a tutorial meeting with Professor Carr, she asked about my post-LU plans. I had myriad answers which, in reality meant I really had no answer at all. All my life, I had been able to answer the question “What do you want to do when you grow up?” without hesitation, but a variety of unexpected, ongoing, and often debilitating health problems screwed up my plans. I no longer had a clear vision. Professor Carr sensed my confusion, smiled and said, “You might want to look into library science.” The rest is history.

Epiphany! Libraries had always been my intellectual and emotional sanctuaries, but, strangely enough, I had never seriously looked into the profession. As long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by classification and organization, and not just of books: I’ve always been always curious about the philosophy and logic behind such notions, wanting to know how we describe things and classify them accordingly; the nature of the relationship between the concrete (e.g., a copy of a book) and the abstract (e.g., what a book is about); whether we organize things just for convenience, by convention, or in a manner allusive to deeper assumptions (consistent with the world carved at its joints). It only made sense to pursue a career where I could put these questions to the test and, yes, be surrounded by books, but in truth, that’s merely a bonus to my job; librarianship deals with far more than analog books nowadays. (Yes, dusty, bibliographic curmudgeons, I qualified the term book!)

Thus, I enrolled at UW-Madison’s iSchool (formerly SLIS–School of Library and Information Studies; now the Information School, a humorously vague title). Just as I matriculated, unexpected and unfortunate personal events reared their ugly heads once again, forcing me to take things at a much slower pace than originally planned. What I discovered was breathing room, allowing me to concentrate on doing a stellar job on fewer assignments and gain invaluable work experience, all of which led me to my current, dare I say it, perfect job.

A starter job as a pager in the Special Collections Department (which I loved because it allowed me to go into the vaults and inhale the archival fumes), gave me a chance to do some basic cataloging, and returned me to the meticulous world of bibliographic control. It reminded me of learning the basics of the card catalog back in grade school, when computers weren’t yet ubiquitous. Here it was: a way to utilize my love of organizing, to implement my abstract interests, and to facilitate information access and retrieval (with no appreciation from reference staff—Kidding!…kinda…).

Along the grad school way (actually, before I even started classes), I tripped over a job in the UW Law School Library. The Reference Librarian asked me to help with the library’s brand new institutional repository. Projects involved creating and maintaining collections of digital resources significant to the school’s history. I stuck with it all four years I was a student, and discovered an interest working at the intersection of analog and digital data—a fascination with the juxtaposition of old and new technology (e.g., I created electronic records for archived manuscripts and digitized old, brittle faculty photos). I worked on the faculty scholarship collection, the digital photo collection, and, my favorite, the oral histories. The Law School Library served as a guinea pig testing the new Oral History Metadata Synchronizer (OHMS), an open-source software program facilitating metadata creation for interview recordings (involving former and current faculty/staff members). I indexed, summarized, and subject cataloged entire interviews (ranging in length from 2 to 8+ hours), listening two or three times over to be sure I captured all that might be of interest to patrons. The histories were fascinating, and I enjoyed creating data that (I hoped) would help patrons find what they needed for their research. I plan to do likewise here in DC, working on improving the hitherto neglected metadata for the LOC’s Web Archive.

Speaking of the LOC, shortly before I fully entered the dreaded world of job applications, I came across an interesting opening on the iSchool’s jobs blog: a new residential program at the Library of Congress. Knowing the chances were slim at best, I took a shot in the dark and applied. Thereafter I thought little of it, staying realistic and increasingly preoccupying myself with job applications elsewhere. I had several initial interviews but no job materialized. Then, in February, I received a phone call from the Library of Congress. A section head, the librarian who created the new residency program, asked me if she could interview me. A month and a half after the interview, I was offered and accepted a place in the program.

Six months into the residency, my section decided to hang onto me permanently. I can now call myself a full-fledged librarian. I plan to move up the ranks in my division to a point where I can catalog independently and train other employees. Down the road, my supervisor will lend me to another section to help subject catalog their influx of philosophy materials (I majored in philosophy at LU and continue to study it on my own time). I also plan to get involved in the BIBFRAME Initiative, a program testing the new Bibliographic Framework data scheme to replace MARC (finally!–don’t tell a veteran cataloger I said that). The scheme will streamline cataloging across different library systems and allow users to access the institutional catalogs outside their ivory towers (e.g., when you look up a title via Google, search results finally will include library holdings). As digital libraries continue to grow, metadata remains crucial to navigating bibliographical cyberspace. I’d like to help patrons maneuver through the maze of online resources with clear, concise, and consistent metadata.

I am unbelievably fortunate to have begun my career in the largest, most respected cultural heritage institution in the world.

Thanks, again, Karen. (And thanks, Pete, for letting me pick your brain about the profession.)

By Zachary Fannin, Class of 2012

Academic Citation Workshop

Want to learn answers to important questions like,

  • why do we cite?
  • what’s the difference between MLA and APA?
  • when do I use footnotes?
  • what should be cited (and what shouldn’t be)?

If so, come to the Academic Citation Workshop, co-hosted by your friends from the Mudd Library and the Center for Academic Success. Gretchen Revie, Julie Haurykiewicz, and Nicole Crashell will guide you through the art and science of academic citations.

The workshop will take place on the first floor of the Mudd Library at 4:30 on Tuesday, April 23rd. Hope to see you there!

Student Research in the Library: Xiaoya Gao

Xiaoya Gao is a fifth-year senior from Urumqui, China. In June she will be receiving a BA in History and a BM in Piano Performance. That’s right, she’s almost completed a double-degree!

This industrious researcher is planning to attend graduate school after Lawrence.

Xiaoya took some time from her busy schedule to tell us about what she’s been researching in the Mudd.

Student researcher Xiaoya Gao

Sisi, what’s the focus of your research?

Female health in two late Ming novels: a path to women’s autonomy in a closed society.

What are you hoping to learn or gain?

I hope to learn more about the history of healing in late Imperial China by studying the novels written in late Ming and early Qing, especially the encounters between female patients and their healers.

Why do you think this research is important?

My research is important because female health in novels is a newly touched-upon topic in Chinese medical history. From the novels, one could see “hidden” figures and facts that were not included in official Ming documents and yet existed in the Ming society. Novels have unofficial accounts of history that the “official” history is unable to tell. 

In the two novels I’ve studied, the “forbidden practices” of female patients and their healers revealed that women found and wielded their autonomy through an unofficial social system. Also, half of the history of healing is missing if we ignore women’s history of healing. Female reproductive health is significant because it is a tremendous part of women’s life in the Ming dynasty.

How did you become interested in this line of research?

I have always enjoyed taking classes and doing research in women’s history. During my junior year, I took Chinese Women’s History and Women in Early America, and I have been in love with women’s studies ever since. After taking a class on the history of Chinese Medicine and writing a paper on a specific topic I liked, my focus on Chinese women’s medical history in novels became clear.

“Reach out to the library staff when you have questions about citations, or anything related to your research! They are extremely helpful.”

~Xiaoya Gao

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

Besides the books I used from the Mudd Library, I requested many materials through interlibrary loan. I also found online resources like JSTOR and Historical Abstracts useful.


The Web Turns 30

By Jill Thomas, Director of Technical Services

Do you know the name Tim Berners-Lee? Well, the idea that he came up with 30 years ago on March 12 touches us almost every minute of every day – he invented the internet!

Thirty years ago, Tim Berners-Lee was working at CERN (European Council for Nuclear Research/Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire) and thought it would be great if he could link and access information across computers. By November 1990, his idea had become, “[a] web of information nodes in which the user can browse at will” as he stated in his formal proposal written with his CERN colleague, Robert Cailliau, titled World Wide Web: Proposal for a Hyper Text Project. By Christmas of 1990, Berners-Lee and Cailliau had implemented key components such as html, http, and URL, and created the first Web server, browser, and editor.

On April 30, 1990, CERN released the first version of the WWW software into the public domain and made it freely available to anyone to use and improve. Today, half of the world’s population is online and there are close to 2 billion websites. Openness has always been a part of CERN’s culture. Today CERN continues to promote open sharing of software, technology, publications and data through initiatives such as open source software, open hardware, open access publishing, and CERN’s Open Data Portal.

Today take a moment to thank Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau for their imagination and their drive to communicate just a little easier with their colleagues.