2017 Summer Coffeehouse Series!

Engage with YOUR library this summer! Enjoy coffee and treats while you learn about resources, Lawrence, and other topics to enhance your personal and professional development. All staff and faculty are welcome. We’ll gather on the first floor of the Mudd Library; sessions begin promptly 10 a.m. and last no longer than an hour.

July 12: Summer Reading

Books are our friends! Introduce yours and prepare to meet new ones at this ever-popular and fun Summer Reading Coffeehouse.

July 26: Streaming Media Sources

Can you step into the same river twice? You can with streaming media. The library provides access to a number of sources for streaming audio and video; come learn about resources from our subscribed databases like Academic Video Online and from Lux, the digital home for the scholarly and creative works of Lawrence University.

August 9: Lawrence and World War I

The United States entered the first World War, which had started in Europe almost three years earlier, in April 1917. The war had profound and lasting effects at Lawrence. Enrollment plummeted as students enlisted; anti-German sentiment took hold; students were quarantined with Spanish influenza; and the college contracted with the government to host a unit of the Student Army Training Corps. Join Archivist Erin Dix for a discussion of this often-overlooked period of our history, featuring documents from the LU Archives.

August 23: Movement and Mindfulness in the Mudd

You’ve heard about mindfulness and the scientifically-proven benefits that practitioners enjoy, including increased productivity, improved concentration and mental clarity, heightened compassion and self-awareness, better sleep, and deeper relaxation. Join us to learn some simple mindfulness techniques and gentle yoga stretches you can do at your desk. The practice is simple. Showing up is the challenge!

Alumni Librarians: Evan Meszaros ’07

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.  Just in time for reunion, here’s another in a series. 

Libraries and librarian interests, responsibilities, and compulsions have been present throughout my life, from the weekends I’d volunteer for the Friends of the Library booksale in my hometown to the Borders Books job I held following my time at Lawrence. It was during that formative interim at LU, however, where I learned firsthand what an academic library is all about.

The first time I set foot in the Mudd was during freshman orientation. There was a tour being offered and, unbeknownst to me, the handful of first years who actually attended the tour were entered into a drawing for a prize. I remember how surprised I was to have won a gift certificate to Lombardi’s Steakhouse—the first (and one of the few) times I’ve won anything substantial in a drawing! The real prize, though, turned out to have been the work-study position at the Mudd I secured shortly thereafter and which would last four years, expose me to all manner of library operations responsibilities, and introduce me to a lot of great coworkers.

While my job at the Mudd was stable and abiding throughout my LU career, my academic pursuits were all over the map. I entered LU having done well in an AP Biology course, but decided to explore other disciplines (e.g. philosophy, history, anthropology, etc.) that I’d otherwise had little or no exposure to in high school. The mad dash in my junior and senior years to pull-off a biology major didn’t quite work out, so I switched to a “natural science interdisciplinary” major—a decision I’d happily make again. With the rich variety of science courses I ended up taking, I was able to sample from a fuller menu of academic disciplines while still ultimately getting accepted into a graduate program in biology.

Another work-study position I held—this one during grad school at Case Western Reserve University—was one that required me to organize and manage medical records, microscope slides, and patients’ tissue biopsies for a dermatopathology lab at a university-affiliated hospital. It was only when looking back on the commonalities of these library and librarian-like experiences I’d had, in addition to my penchant for “academic tourism,” that, after completing an MS and working for three years in a molecular biology lab, I decided to switch things up and enter the academic library world.

I couldn’t have done this alone, and I thankfully didn’t have to. Friends and fellow Lawrence alumni Steve and Emily Flynn stayed in contact with me throughout their time at the University of Michigan’s School of Information and beyond, providing me with much guidance during my transition. In the spring of 2014—and with the help and advice of the Flynns and other Lawrentian librarians—I was accepted into UW–Madison’s School of Library and Information Studies.

Fast-forward almost three years, and, while I’m still working on my library degree, I’ve had the tremendously good fortune to hold a full-time librarian position at my (other) alma mater, Case Western, where I’m a Research Services Librarian at the university’s Kelvin Smith Library (also since 2014). In this position, I support the Department of Biology, along with two other science departments and the Institute for the Science of Origins. My responsibilities range from academic subject liaising and collection management to reference and classroom instruction.

Learning the ropes of the academic library profession on the job while simultaneously taking courses in library science has been very illuminating. It also has its perks: when you’re a student, you get opportunities to apply for scholarships and student pricing on most professional development offerings, so conferences, workshops, and memberships are more affordable during this period than they’ll ever be. To any LU students who are planning on entering the library profession: take advantage of these! Even if you’re not working while you’re in school, you’ll still set the foundation of your library career through the networking and volunteering you’ll do. The people you meet meet may be your future bosses, coworkers, friends… or even significant others! (It’s true—I met my librarian-fiancée at the very first library conference I attended!)

As I write this, I’m a week out from attending my 10-year LU reunion. And after those ten years since leaving LU, I’d say I’ve finally found my calling—even if the message didn’t come across distinctly or coherently sooner. While I’d hesitate to discourage any Lawrentians from following their own path of self-discovery after graduating, I would urge them, if they’re even remotely inclined to the profession, to at least consider a future in librarianship. For those who have found themselves similarly drawn to libraries, learning, and helping others learn, the profession has a great deal to offer you.

By Evan Meszaros, Class of 2007

In the Mudd Gallery: A Fine Specimen

Currently on display in the Mudd Gallery,  A Fine Specimen, a show by Lawrence University student and artist scientist Lexi Ames. This exhibit features documents, illustrations, and bird skins. The origins of this fascinating assemblage are described in Ames’ exhibition description:

The Lawrence University Vertebrate Collection is a rarely seen archive of natural history, spanning over 200 years and housing some 300 birds. In the Fall of 2016, senior biology/studio art major Lexi Ames began learning the traditional art of specimen skin preparation under the tutelage of Jodi Sedlock, Associate Professor of Biology, and has since added skins of birds collected on campus, as well as digitizing and cataloguing the antique collection.

A Fine Specimen will remain on exhibit through April 2, 2017.

Update: The exhibit will now remain in the Mudd Gallery through April 4, 2017.

Student Research in the Library: Sierra Parker

We are so grateful when our hard-working students take time out of their busy schedules to share what they’re up to in the library!

Sierra Parker has been spending an awful lot of time in her student office this term. The Linguistics and Russian Studies major is from Michigan’s Upper Penisula and will be graduating in June. Sierra plans to attend graduate school to study communication disorders after taking a year or two off to work with FoodCorps (a branch of AmeriCorps that helps start school gardens and educates kids about healthy foods) or the National Park Service.

Sierra, what are you researching?

I am researching aphasia, a language disorder.  People with aphasia lose the ability to find words and/or use them coherently.

More specifically, I am looking at how aphasia was studied by two Soviet psychologists: Alexander Luria and Lev Vygotsky. I am interested in what they believed about aphasia, as well as the chain of thought that led them there.

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

I am fascinated with how people with aphasia experience the world. I am hoping to gain some insight by learning more about conceptions of aphasia that differ from the modern Western approach.

Why do you think this research is important?

I believe it is always important to step into someone else’s shoes (in this case: people with aphasia, Vygotsky, and Luria) and try to see the world from their point of view. Also, Western histories of aphasiology tend to overlook the groundbreaking work done by Vygotsky, Luria, and other Russian/Soviet psychologists.

How did you become interested in this line of research?

I took the class Brain & Behavior, which introduced me to aphasia. As someone who has always been interested in language, I was stunned by the implications of losing it. I instantly wanted to know more about the disorder, as well as the lives and minds of those who live with it every day.

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

The library created a research guide specific to my senior seminar, which has been extraordinarily useful. The PSYCInfo database has been helpful, as well as the fact that the library owns four volumes of Vygotsky’s Collected Works!

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

Apply for an office! They are a big help, especially if you are planning on using many books from the Mudd’s collection.

Also, do not be afraid to ask the librarians for help. That’s what they’re there for!

Thanks, Sierra. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. See you around the Mudd.

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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.

Dead of Winter: New Holga Photographs

Lilly Donlon

Upon entering Dead of Winter: New Holga Photographs I felt immediately overwhelmed by the existential loneliness that inhabited these images. The show, featuring the work Prof. John Shimon’s eleven photography students, includes an eclectic body of work yet still presents a stark and surreal picture of  the winter we know too well here at Lawrence.

In preparation for this show Shimon asked his students to consider the Ingmar Bergman film, Winter’s Light for both aesthetic and emotional inspiration. The film, which takes place in the isolated Swedish countryside in the middle of winter, explores the psychology of questioning one’s faith in GodThe film conveys an emotional and environmental isolation that can certainly be felt in the student’s work.  With few exceptions, the images are devoid of people and instead focus on the way that the cold winter landscape obscures and abstracts itself. This is perhaps seen best in the work of junior studio art major Molly Froman, who’s pair of images “Fire” and “& Ice”  show a stove in a middle of a snow bank and shopping cart lying in a pool of ice respectively. Froman’s images are filled with a feeling of strange frenzy and dark humor that encapsulates the angst and beauty of Winter. The work of each student presents a sharp and distinct experience that makes for an exciting and thought provoking show.

Molly Froman “Fire” and “&Ice”

The show is closing soon so be sure to stop by the Mudd Gallery on the third floor to experience it before it closes.

 

ICPSR

ICPSRAs I’m sure you know, Lawrence is a member of something called the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR). As part of that cool and geeky group, Lawrence joins with approximately 700 colleges and universities in the acquisition, preservation, and distribution of social science data.

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Are you interested in determining the average age at which men versus women begin smoking? What if you need to know whether age at marriage differs between your region of the country and other regions, or about differences in political attitudes based on age, gender, education, race, or ethnicity? These and many other questions can be answered by studies in the ICPSR data holdings. Note that ICPSR does not provide publications, reports, or ready-made statistics. What ICPSR does supply are the numeric raw data used to create publications, reports, and figures.

ICPSR, established in 1962, provides access to a vast archive of social science data for research and instruction and offers training in quantitative methods. To ensure that data are available to future generations of scholars, ICPSR preserves data, migrating them to new storage media as changes in technology warrant. ICPSR also provides user support to assist researchers in identifying relevant data for analysis to conduct secondary research and write articles, papers, and theses.

In addition to the general archive, ICPSR hosts a number of special topic archives, including the Health and Medical Care Archive (HMCA), Child Care and Early Education (Research Connections), Data Preservation Alliance for the Social Sciences (Data-PASS), Data Sharing for Demographic Research (DSDR), the Resource Center for Minority Data (RCMD), the National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA), the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (PHDCN), the National Addicition & HIV Data Archive Program (NAHDAP), and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive (SAMHDA). Data from all of these topical archives are conveniently available at the ICPSR website.
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All Lawrence University staff, students, and faculty have access to these extensive ICPSR data holdings via any campus computer. Access is direct and quick: Connect to the ICPSR website at http://www.icpsr.umich.edu. First-time users will be asked to create an ICPSR MyData account; thereafter, you’ll just need your email address and password to download data. Need assistance in locating, accessing and analyzing ICPSR data?  See our ICPSR LibGuide or ask a reference librarian!

Welcome, Andrew Solomon!

         Everyone at the Mudd is very excited for the upcoming convocation by  Andrew Solomon, a writer, lecturer, and activist. Solomon’s work explores everything from psychology to LGBTQIA+ rights. In addition to being a Professor of Clinical Psychology at Columbia University Medical Center and the President of PEN American Center, he is also an accomplished author. Solomon has written several books including, The Noonday Demon : An Atlas of Depression which received the 2001 National Book Award. His most recent book, Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity, for which his convocation address is named, explores issues associated with parenting exceptional children and ultimately concludes that its diversity that unites us all.

Andrew Solomon’s insightful works are available at the Mudd and can be found in the library catalog. Solomon is also a renowned speaker, having giving multiple TED Talks, including: “Love No Matter What“, “Depression, The Secret We Share“, and “How the Worst Moments in Our Life Make us Who We Are“.

We look forward to seeing you at the convocation on Thursday, February 2nd at 11:10 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel- and in the Mudd if you need any help at all!

Update: View the recorded convocation on the Lawrence University Livestream.

Streaming Video Databases

Did you know that the Mudd Library subscribes to multiple streaming video resources? These resources cover theatre, opera, newsreels, documentaries, and much, much more.  Like many of our databases, these can be accessed on campus or off campus with a Lawrence University login.

Digital Theatre Plus is a collection of British performances, cast and crew interviews, learning resources, theory and criticism, and more. Plays and productions range from theatre to film to dance, covering many genres and time periods. The number of performances and resources available in this database has greatly expanded since we subscribed a couple of years ago, so now’s a great time to take another look!

Met Opera on Demand contains video and audio access to over 600 performances from the Metropolitan Opera. Performances date up to the current year, and can be searched by opera title, composer, or artist.

Academic Video Online is a vast collection of videos that covers an extensive range of subject areas and video types. This collection contains news reports, documentaries, music & performing arts, newsreels, instructional materials, health sciences resources, and more. Database features include the ability to clip and share videos, searchable transcripts, and the option to send to mobile.

Be sure to take a look at these amazing resources brought to you by your friends in the Mudd Library!

Have questions, ask a librarian.

The Mudd Welcomes Natasha Trethewey to Lawrence!

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Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Natasha Trethewey will be at Lawrence November 1.

The Seeley G. Mudd Library is pleased to welcome poet Natasha Trethewey to Lawrence!

You can read more about Natasha and her work at the Poetry Foundation. Ms. Trethewey is also a professor at Emory University. Check out the links provided to learn more about her numerous accomplishments and honors.

The library has many of Natasha’s works available in our collection, including:

Native guard

Beyond Katrina : a meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast

Bellocq’s Ophelia : poems

Domestic work : poems

Black nature : four centuries of African American nature poetry

In addition, we’ve created a display featuring her poetry for your reading pleasure. Stop by the library to enjoy an assortment of Ms. Trethewey’s work before what is sure to be an interesting and thought-provoking convocation.

Natasha Trethewey’s talk, titled “The Muse of History: On Poetry and Social Justice,” will take place on Tuesday, November 1, at 11:10 am in the Chapel.  We’ll see you there!

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Stop by the Mudd to read some of Natasha Trethewey’s work!