Author: Holly Tuyls

Student Research in the Library: John O’Neill

John O’Neill is a double-degree student from Reno, Nevada. He’s been at Lawrence for five years and will earn his BM in French Horn Performance and his BA in Russian and Government in a just few short weeks!

John is also a much-beloved library student worker, and has been the night supervisor at the Circulation Desk. He definitely knows his way around the Mudd and offers great insight into using the library to your best advantage.

Upon being asked what he would like his fellow students to know about the Mudd Library, he responded,

“Get to know the staff, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and always go upstairs to find your own books because you will come down with an entire stack of useful materials.”

Read on to learn more about John and the fascinating and important research he’s been pursuing in the Mudd!

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John O’Neill holds a 2002 issue of Appleton’s local newspaper, The Post Crescent, which he used to research Appleton’s sister city, Kurgan, Russia.

John, what are your plans after graduation?

I am planning to travel to Ukraine for the summer to work with an NGO there that works with under-served regions of the country. After that I will be back in Appleton and hopefully onto Chicago in the fall.

What have you been researching in the Mudd Library?

Over the past two terms I have been working on my senior experience in government. For this project I am profiling the Fox Cities-Kurgan Sister City Relationship. The partnership had an astonishing period of peak activity from the 1990s through 2013, but it has since been dormant. Some of the partnership’s major accomplishments included a 2003 security summit hosted in Appleton with keynote from Mikhail Gorbachev, opening of medical facilities and a domestic violence shelter in Kurgan, obtaining funding for a project to decommission a significant stockpile of chemical weapons in the Kurgan region, and over 100 educational exchanges between universities, high schools, and middle schools in both regions.

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

For this project I ended up using a wide variety of resources that the library offers students. I took advantage of the main collection, ILL, and electronic databases for most of my background research. Later, I relied on our wonderful reference librarians, who pointed me to contacts at the Appleton Public Library and the Appleton Historical Society. Finally, I learned to be grateful for the VCRs and microform readers that the library makes available to students. Most of my resources were on VHS tapes from the 90s, so having those VCRs on hand was absolutely fantastic.

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

One of my main objectives was to learn how sustainable local organizations are built. This involved finding out how Fox Cities-Kurgan got its start, what program leaders hoped to accomplish, and why it eventually entered a decline. As I progressed in my research I found many other sister cities around the country with similar stories of huge growth followed by a swift decline. This led me to ask just how much these relationships are subject to the broader political climate and what their place is in the global geopolitical environment.

Why do you think this research is important?

For me, The Fox Cities-Kurgan Partnership has been an inspirational example of international partnership that transcends political boundaries. Not only did the program accomplish some enormous objectives that we wouldn’t normally associate with smaller towns like Appleton, but it also forged lasting friendships between the countless exchange participants, volunteers, host families, and students who were involved. By increasing awareness of the program I hope to re-spark the interest in international advocacy that the program was founded around.

How did you become interested in this line of research?

A couple of years ago I found the partnership’s website, which hadn’t been updated since 2013. I later tried to search for Kurgan on the Post Crescent’s website, but due to archiving of the newspaper, my search returned no results. The disappearance of this program from the public eye made me a little sad and I began reaching out to program leaders and participants to find out more.

John, this sounds like really important work. We are so excited to see where you take what you’ve learned and to see the grand adventures that are in store for you! Thank you for sharing.

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Mudd Gallery Exhibit: Future Humour

 

Future Humour runs until November 20.

We love the Mudd Gallery! Having an art gallery in the library is a beautiful partnership, and one that truly embodies the essence of a liberal arts education.

Future Humour features digital photography captured in New York City and Appleton.

Supporting our students is an incredibly significant component of our mission, so it makes sense for us to offer space that allows burgeoning student artists the opportunity to curate, organize, and host their own gallery openings and exhibits.

It’s also a great resource for students working hard in the library, slogging away at their academic work. The gallery allows a meaningful, fulfilling, thought-provoking avenue through which to relax, unwind, and shift or gain perspective.

The Mudd Gallery’s latest exhibit is Future Humor by Yifan Zhang.

The artist shares color photography captured in New York City and in Appleton, creating a vibrant and interesting opportunity to compare and contrast these locations.

Zhang states, “Humour is elegant innuendo. Future Humour represents unforeseen conditions. I will let the images speak for themselves.”

The Mudd Gallery is located on the 3rd floor of the Seeley G. Mudd Library.

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Lux Reaches 300,000 Downloads!

People all over the world have accessed honors projects, issues of The Lawrentian, and convocations in the six years since Lux was implemented through the library.

We have now reached 300,000 downloads!

What is this Lux? Lux is the Lawrence University institutional repository, digital home to over 4000 scholarly and creative works of our students, faculty, and staff, as well as select historical documents.

If you are looking for interesting stories from student newspapers or alumni magazines, check Lux! You will find a rich and fascinating history.

Want to peruse recent honors projects? Lux is the place for you.

Interested in reading a Harrison Award paper? Studio Art senior exhibition artwork? Look in Lux. You will find these things and many more.

We hope you enjoy and are enriched by what you find in Lux! Let us know what you think.

Enjoying the Mudd from Afar

Are you a current student, faculty, or staff member of Lawrence University?

Are you away from campus for the summer?

Do you miss us?

No worries, friends, the Mudd Library is still here for you!

Whether you’re relaxing at a cottage up north, working hard at an internship across the country, or furthering your research in another country, we’re here to support you.

Here are a few ways you can use our resources, no matter where you are in the world:

You may not be here, but we are! Andrew explains our new ILL system at a recent staff meeting.
Login to our video resources with your LU ID to access thousands of streaming videos.

If you need help or have any questions, a reference librarian is on call throughout the summer, from 9 am to 4 pm, Monday through Friday. Feel free to ask a librarian if you’re having trouble accessing our resources or if you have questions about using them.

No matter where you are in the world, you can still enjoy the Mudd!

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Summertime Mudd!

Summer is here and it’s time to enjoy the Mudd in a whole new way. The Library transforms over summer break, as most of our students are away and the busy bustle of the academic year has subsided.

Cool down and take a load off in the Kruse Room on the fourth floor.

Of course, you’ll find an industrious student or professor or two huddled around a laptop, but for the most part, it’s fairly quiet around here.

This peaceful, settled atmosphere allows our resources and spaces to appear in a whole new light.

Here are some ideas to help you make the most of summer in the Mudd:

Relax with our popular magazines.
  • Come to our coffeehouse sessions! This is a summertime Mudd must!
  • Enjoy the air conditioning while catching up on local, national, and international news with our large selection of newspapers or popular magazines.
  • It’s finally time to binge watch your favorite TV series! Or, some popular or classic movies. We’ve got a ton of documentaries and musicals, too. Browse the DVDs in the media center, or check out our streaming resources (You’ll need to log in).
  • Make an appointment to FINALLY check out the Archives.

    Board games are on the 2nd floor. We have video games, too!
  • Challenge your family or your nemesis to a game night! We have both video and board games for check-out, or, stay and play!
  • Wander around the building to appreciate our art. Pay homage to The Katie while you’re at it.
  • Find a fabulous summer read! Stop by our coffeehouse on Wednesday, July 12 for our recommendations. Or, peruse the third floor for the latest and greatest in popular fiction and young adult or graphic novels. Of course we have poetry and classic literature, too, as well as some really compelling nonfiction.
  • Contact a reference librarian and ask for a peek at some of the rare books in our special collections.
  • Soak up the scholarly atmosphere while developing historical perspective and appreciation in the Lincoln Reading Room.
  • Come and introduce yourself to the staff and faculty who call the Mudd home. We enjoy getting to know members of the campus community and this is a great time of year to catch us with a few moments to talk about our work, the library’s offerings, and how we can best serve our community.
Lovely art, natural light, and cozy chairs.

Summer is here and so are we! We strive to make this library a welcoming, comfortable, peaceful, productive space, and we encourage you to make the most of it, regardless of the time of year.

Whether you’re reading, researching, or relaxing, we’d love to hear how you’re using the Mudd this summer!

See you soon.

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.

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!

Using Your Library Wisely

The library offers so many resources and services, it can be hard to keep track of all the ways in which we can help you succeed at Lawrence.

Below you’ll find a handy list of just a few ideas for optimizing your experience in the Mudd. How many have you employed?

Lots of seating for lots of studying.
  • Grab a study buddy and a rolling whiteboard to parse out those tricky formulas.
  • Head for the quiet solitude of the fourth floor and hide out in the stacks to read.
  • Contact a reference librarian for research assistance or make a research appointment: visit the desk, call, email, or text!
  • Watch a movie for class or relaxation in one of our five viewing rooms.

    Books and art and standing desks!
  • Browse the fiction and graphic novels on the third floor during a study break.
  • Wheel one of our standing desks to your favorite spot to focus.
  • Lounge on one of the comfy couches in the Milwaukee-Downer Room (1st floor) or in the Roger Dale Kruse Room (4th floor) while doing your class reading.
  • Reserve a group study room on either the 2nd or 3rd floor by signing your name on the clipboard outside the door. Invite your friends for an intensive study session.
  • Practice your PowerPoint presentation in the group study room on the 2nd floor.
  • Check out the art in the Mudd Gallery on the 3rd floor during a study break.
  • Cozy up to read or nap in one of our beanbag chairs! There are three spread out across the upper floors.
  • Browse the free book shelf on the 2nd floor. You can find some great music there as well!
  • Catch up on domestic or international current events with a newspaper.
  • Hide away for some quiet study among the bound periodicals on level A.
  • Visit the Circulation Desk to check out a locker for your research materials. Or check out the Wii for the weekend!
  • Gather some friends for a game break: everything from Candyland to Catan can be found on the 2nd floor.
  • Pop into the Archives on Level B one afternoon and visit with Erin Dix, our friendly and informative archivist. Find out the answers to your burning questions about the history of Lawrence and Milwaukee-Downer.

Are there any other ideas that you would add to this list? How do you use the Mudd? We’d love to hear from you!

Regardless of how you use the Mudd, we look forward to seeing you soon.

The beautiful and serene Lincoln Reading Room.

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.