Author: Angela Vanden Elzen

Keep Up with the Latest Research with Search Alerts

Many of the Mudd Library’s databases include a feature called search alerts.  This feature allows a user to be notified when new records matching a specific search are added to the database.  With search alerts, you can choose to be notified through a RSS reader such as Google Reader, or via email.

Still not really sure what a search alert is?  Say you are searching in Academic Search Elite for interested film reviews for the movie The Battle of Algiers.   After you have submitted your search, select search history, then click on the orange RSS button.  A window will then pop up with a RSS link, as well as the option to have the notifications sent via email.

EBSCO's search alert setup

Our reference librarians are happy to answer your questions about search alerts, RSS feeds, or anything else.  Check out our Ask a Librarian page for a variety of ways to get in touch, or just visit the reference desk.  For more information about the EBSCO database search alerts, take a look at their, Using One-Step RSS Alerts page.  For Gale database search alert support, see their Search Alerts and RSS Feeds page.

The Scholarly World of Harry Potter


Now that the last Harry Potter movie is in theaters, are you looking for something to fill that Harry Potter-sized void?  Here at the Mudd Library, we have shelves of books dedicated to a wide variety of research relating to the Harry Potter books, characters, and world.

Here is a  small sampling of our collection:

Harry, a History by Melissa Anelli:   Written by the webmistress of the popular fansite, The Leaky Cauldron, this book explores the Harry Potter fan culture.

The Wisdom of Harry Potter by Edmund M. Kern: An exploration of the morality in the Harry Potter book series.  This book’s author is Associate Professor of History here at Lawrence University.

The Magical Worlds of Harry Potter by David Colbert: A collection myths and legends behind many of the names, stories, and magical beings used in the Harry Potter book series.

Harry Potter: The Story of a Global Business Phenomenon by Susan Gunelius: A look at the successful strategy behind the marketing of Harry Potter.

2011 Summer Coffeehouse Series

Today, July 13th, we will be presenting the first in our 2011 Coffeehouse Series.  If you’re unfamiliar with the coffeehouses, they provide an opportunity to come to the library, have some edibles, and learn about resources and services available to help you with work or leisure interests.  Refreshments, as always, will be provided.

In our first presentation, “Feed the Beast: Keep Current Using New Technology”, we will be discussing online tools such as feed readers, newsgroups, blogs, Facebook, and other resources.  Please join us, and if you would like, share resources that you might use to follow your professional and personal interests.  Julie Fricke, Reference and Web Services Librarian, will present ideas and facilitate our discussion.

Of course, the fun does not stop there.   Other presentations this summer include:

July 27- “Picture This: Finding the Perfect Image on the Open Web”

August 10- “PowerPoint of the Past: The Archives Collection of Glass Slides”

August 24- “Mudd on the Move: Mobile Library Resources”

We’ll start promptly at 10:00 a.m., finish at 10:45.  All staff and faculty are welcome to attend.

Historical Media

We’d like to share a couple of awesome ways to share, view, and experience historical media.

Fourth of July Celebration photo compared with Google Street View

SepiaTown is a user-driven database that matches historical photographs with locations on Google Maps.  Users upload photographs, add the location the photograph was taken, the date it was taken, and any additional information about the picture.  The “then/now” feature provides a side-by-side comparison of the historical photo to the Google Maps Street View.  Users can do a keyword search, or look at images associated with featured locations. Check out the SepiaTown Blog to learn more about features and collections.

The ARIS game platform uses historical images and videos to create mobile games that allow the player to relive past events in the locations that they took place.  An example is the game Dow Day, which displays videos and images from Dow Day in 1967 when a player visits certain locations around Madison.

Dow Day: A game designed using the ARIS game platform.

ARIS was created to allow educators to create mobile games that integrate learning and augmented reality (the concept of using technology to add additional information to an existing environment). Educators/developers have created more than historical games using ARIS.  Some examples include, campus tours, museum exhibits, foreign language instruction,  bird and plant species identification, and one from the Library of Congress on using primary sources.  Games created by ARIS are currently only available on the App Store.

Graphic Novels at the Mudd

The popularity of graphic novels has been growing not only among young adults, but adults as well.  At the Mudd Library, we’ve been adding a lot of new materials to our graphic novel collection- a couple of which are featured below.

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel: An amazingly candid and engaging autobiography of Ms. Bechdel’s childhood and early adulthood, particularly relating to her father. This graphic novel has basically become a community read among library staff.

Duncan the Wonder Dog by Adam Hines: A story of a world in which animals have the ability to speak, and how they use that ability to empower themselves against humans.

Our collection also includes classics such as, Watchmen and The Sandman series, as well as the very popular Scott Pilgrim Vs the World series.

Check our library catalog to browse our entire collection of graphic novels.

Chill Out @ the Mudd!


Looking for a fun way to stay cool on Friday afternoons this summer?   Why not come to the library?  We will have a variety of board games, puzzles, coloring books, card games, and video games available to play in the library.  Check out a movie from our staff movie picks to watch over the weekend, or watch it in one of our temperature-controlled viewing rooms.   Games will be available every Friday from 1 to 4pm, all summer long.

Time for Canine Therapy at the Mudd!

Stressed out by finals?  Need a study break? Perhaps you could use some canine therapy from our friendly and cuddly puppy pals!  Join us on the library plaza on Tuesday, May 31st.  Dogs and their people will be standing by from 2:00 to 3:00 pm.

Take a look at the photos from last year’s event.  Look at all of those smiling faces…

Make All Your Citation Dreams Come True This Sunday


Just in time for the end of the term, Gretchen Revie, Julie Haurykiewicz, and Maggie Waz will present the Academic Citation Workshop.  In one short hour, they will review some common citation styles, provide helpful tips for embedding and formatting quotes, and point you to resources that will help you finish your paper efficiently.

Join them this Sunday, May 22nd, in library room 401 at 4:00 pm.  It might just make the difference between a good night’s sleep and a stressful scouring of reference manuals for an obscure citation rule.

Things Worth Knowing

A few weeks ago, we began a new tradition in the library: Things Worth Knowing. Our patrons may not know this, but the denizens of the Mudd Library have a vast knowledge on a wide variety of topics.  What kinds of topics?  Check out our Facebook page, or take notice of the fliers around campus to find out.  We begin advertising Tuesday or Wednesday for the topic that will be shared on that Friday.

Amanda Lee reads "Shirt" by Robert Pinsky

Our first program happened to take place on the one hundredth anniversary of the Triangle shritwaist factory fire.  Music Librarian Antoinette Powell discussed the workers’ rights movements of the time, Acquisitions Assistant Amanda Lee shared a poem on the tragedy of the  Triangle fire, and Gretchen Revie introduced a short film about the fire.  Our second program was on April 1st, so the topic chosen was the history of April Fool’s Day.  Gretchen Revie discussed the history, and Archivist Erin Dix shared some April Fool’s issues of The Lawrentian.

Tomorrow, April 8th, we will geek out as Interlibrary Loan & Circulation Assistant Angela Vanden Elzen discusses the history and impact of Dungeons & Dragons, and Gretchen Revie delves into the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

All Things Worth Knowing events take place from 4:30-5:00 p.m. on the first floor of the Mudd Library. Of course, cookies are always available.

Let us know if you have any suggestions of topics you’d like to hear us talk about!

Take a look at all previous Things Worth Knowing events on our Facebook events page.