Your librarians and library staff want to stay connected with you, whether you’re able to come into our spaces or not. To that end, we’re offering multiple opportunities to hang out via Zoom, either to work together academically or to casually chat and see one another.
Please join us at any or all of these weekly events!
Sundays from 4 pm to 8 pm Virtual Mudd: Open Study Hall
Meet your friends in the Mudd to study, virtually! The motivation you need to get to work and a reference librarian ready to assist. You’ll have the option to break-out into group study spaces, perfect for collaborating with your group or connecting with your friends.
Wednesdays from 7 to 7:30 pm LU Reads with Spiritual and Religious Life and EDST 270: Why Read Children’s Books?
Brew some tea, grab a blanket, and cozy up to enjoy being read to by some of your favorite folks on campus. We love to read and we’d love to read to you! All ages are welcome. Learn more about the books and readers on the LU Reads guide.
Reference Librarians are available to help you with research assistance and reference instruction. We’re also on hand to offer assistance of any kind!
We’re offering some cool Zoom gatherings this term as well, including weekly read-alouds, virtual study hall, and fiber arts hang-outs. Be on the look-out for announcements about these events through our social media accounts.
Whether through our computer screens, or from six feet away, we’ll see you soon!
Considering that you may not have had the opportunity to meet all of our fantastic library faculty and staff during Welcome Week this year, given the need for social distancing, we thought it might be nice for you to get to know the librarians who are here to support you.
Reference librarians, among many other things, help you learn to engage in high-quality research and use our extensive collections in the most advantageous way. We support student scholars! We also support faculty and staff.
First up we have Andrew McSorley, our Reference and Digital Liberal Arts Librarian. Andrew is a published poet and also a published dad! If you’ve worked with him before, you know he is very intelligent, well-rounded, and has the ability to take complex ideas and information and express it all in a clear and concise way. He’s also very, very funny.
Here are a few more fun facts about Andrew, answered in his own words.
Undergrad Major: Creative Writing
Favorite Book: Sometimes it’s Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. Right now, probably either Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino or Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett (plays count, right?)
Favorite Hobby: Poetry, Ice Hockey, Magic: The Gathering
Favorite Database: This is such a fun idea, to have a favorite database. They’re all so useful. The one I use the most is probably Credo Reference, but AVON (Academic Video Online) and Oxford English Dictionary are pretty fun.
Pets: One cat, Nikki.
Best part of being a Reference Librarian: Meeting new students!
Anything else: Stay curious, and never stop learning!
Thanks so much for all you do for Lawrence and our students, Andrew.
Our Reference Librarians can be reached in a variety of ways highlighted here.
The Mudd Library isn’t just a place to study, or to search for and gather materials.
Libraries offer so much more, and the Mudd is no different!
Print and Copy Shop
We have everything you need to put the finishing touches on your papers and projects. Make copies, print your paper, or use the scanner. We have a universal phone charging station if you’re running low. We have staplers, tape, paper clips, rulers, and all kinds of other accoutrements to help you polish your assignments and hand them in with pride.
Academic Support Station
Do you need another primary or secondary source to support your argument? Looking for an open-source photo to add to your slides or for the proper citation for your paper? The reference librarians are here to help you find what you need and engage in the best and most thorough research possible. We aim to help you feel confident and supported as a student researcher.
Curious about what’s happening on campus? Looking to find local thrift stores, coffee shops, or parks? Not sure when that concert starts tonight? Stop by, we’ll help you find out!
Social Hot Spot
All of your friends are here! Hang out on the first or second floor to discuss, debate, and collaborate. Chat, vent, laugh, share. Sometimes just sitting next to someone who is working as hard as you are can be the most valuable resource. Snap some pics or make a vid! Then get back to that group project! Pull up a whiteboard and teach each other what you’ve learned. Ask someone out on a study date. The options are endless.
Safe, quiet, peaceful haven
The third and fourth floors are meant for quiet study. They also make a great place to read, reflect, daydream, or nap. Write that paper! No one will barge in just as you get in your groove. Or, if you’ve been in your groove and need a little break, stop down to the first floor to nurture yourself with a cup of tea. Text your mom and then get back at it. The library is for everyone, and everyone is welcome here and treated with respect and dignity!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Did you know that the Seeley G. Mudd Library has its very own task force? If you use the library, this information is directly related to you and your work. In fact, the Mudd User Experience Task Force exists solely to make your experience in the Mudd better!
Have you noticed the new library work station near the copiers? The station has been stocked with various supplies to help you prepare papers, posters, and presentations. Have you ever lamented the shortage of power sources on the library’s upper floors? There have been oodles of outlets added for all of your charging needs. These are two examples of the small, simple, yet incredibly useful improvements to the library undertaken by the Mudd User Experience Task Force.
Library Director Pete Gilbert felt that the rising library trend focusing on optimal user experience was worth paying attention to. With that in mind, he allocated a small sum of money and assembled a group of library staff to spend time focusing solely on our patrons’ experiences in the Mudd, and what we can do to improve those experiences.
“We hope your day went a little better because you stopped by The Mudd.” Cindy Patterson, Mudd User Experience Task Force member
Cindy Patterson, Andrew McSorley, Angela Vanden Elzen, Susan Goeden, and Holly Roycraft have been meeting regularly to explore simple, cost-effective ways to make a big difference to our library users. The group also spends time soliciting ideas, comments, and suggestions from students, staff, and faculty on how the Mudd can be even more helpful and efficient.
So far the task force has added some desk lamps and additional power strips throughout the building to allow for clearer reading and fully-charged devices. They’ve also done some simple projects, like rearranging the furniture on the second floor to better accommodate collaborative groups gathering to study.
With users asking for both quiet spaces, as well as spaces to let loose and have fun with a group, the task force simplified the library’s noise policy, stating clearly the first and second floors are open to collaborative, group study and therefore may be noisy, whereas the third and the fourth floors are for quiet, individual study only.
The task force, which welcomes all feedback about the library experience, worked with Gaming House over reading period to host a game day in the library, in order to draw attention to the large selection of games that we circulate.
“We have so many interesting and helpful resources, and as a group we really want to make our patrons aware of all we can do for them. From books, great spaces, an incredible selection of databases, to research assistance or video games, our users can expect a wide array of services. We are here, and we want you to be here, too! Please let us know how we can improve or expand what we offer.” Holly Roycraft, Mudd User Experience Task Force member
The task force has many ideas for further improving our patrons’ experiences in the Mudd, including even more rearranging, and perhaps some more flexible work spaces and additional comfortable spaces for relaxation.
“We really want you to feel like the library is a comfortable place to be.” Susan Goeden, Mudd User Experience Task Force member
We truly value our patrons, and we aim to continuously improve your experiences here. Please feel free to reach out to any or all members of the task force with your feedback as to how we can make the Mudd even better. We want you to have a great experience here, and we have the task force to prove it!