Happy Holidays!

December 16th, 2014 by

The holidays are upon us and things are quiet in Ames Library. We’ll be open 8-4 this week and 8-4 on Monday and Tuesday next week. We hope you’re resting and catching up on everything you couldn’t get done this semester. This will be our last post until next year, so we’d like to leave you with something special – movie suggestions!

christmas movie flow chart

Ferguson Library Provides Calm Refuge for a Torn Community

December 10th, 2014 by

In addition to sharing news and information about Ames Library and the IWU community, we also like to share library-related news from across the country. The following article originally appeared in Library Journal online, on November 25, 2014 and was authored by Lisa Peet.

“On November 24 a grand jury in Ferguson, MO, delivered its verdict on the August 9 shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, by a Ferguson police officer. The St. Louis County grand jury chose not to bring criminal charges against the officer, Darren Wilson; the decision, which was announced just after 8 p.m. CST, set off a night of protests and civil unrest, the most violent including arson, shattered windows, injuries, and, as of press time, a possible murder.

During the nearly four months of unrest since Brown was killed, the Ferguson Municipal

Photo by @IndyJazzBelle

Photo by @IndyJazzBelle

Public Library (FMPL) has consistently stepped up to help the town’s citizens, especially its youngest members. Last summer the Ferguson-Florissant School District postponed its schools’ opening day, originally scheduled for August 14, out of fear of violence. Until schools eventually opened on August 25, FPL opened its branches to the district’s teachers, allowing them to set up activities and instruction for students in the library.

As Ferguson awaited the grand jury’s verdict, Governor Jay Nixon had pre-emptively declared a 30-day state of emergency November 17 in anticipation of unrest in Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, and the surrounding area. As predicted, demonstrations flared through the night into Tuesday morning, mainly centered around the Ferguson Police Department and the site of Brown’s shooting. As of Tuesday morning 61 arrests had been made in Ferguson and another 21 in St. Louis, and Governor Nixon had ordered additional National Guard reinforcements. Demonstrations occurred across the country as well, in cities such as Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York, Oakland, and Philadelphia.


It was announced the Monday night of the verdict that schools would be closed the following day, and on November 25 once again FMPL opened its doors to the district’s children and their teachers. Scott Bonner, library director of Ferguson Municipal Public Library District, said that while numbers weren’t as high as in August, the library hosted “scores” of children, as well as serving as a safe place for the neighborhood’s adults.

“I’m seeing a mix of moods,” he told LJ. “Our volunteers are excited and optimistic, and here to help, and then I have patrons who come in and literally hold my hands and cry—they just needed someone to hold onto and talk to. And everything in between, including people who are doing the regular walk-in, walk-out stuff.” But, he said, the mood was “a lot more emotional and taut than usual.”

Bonner is FMPL’s lone full-time librarian, working with another 10–11 part-time staff members. When the school closings were announced FMPL put out a call on social media for help, and on Tuesday Teach for America and other organizations responded with more than 50 volunteers. Operation Food Search, a local food bank, served lunch for children who would ordinarily eat at school.

The smallest children, Bonner noted, were happy to come in and do their activities. Recent events were harder on teenagers, however. Middle- and high-schoolers tended to act out, giving voice to their anxiety and anger. But while Bonner had expelled a few teens earlier in the week, he said, “Today we haven’t had to kick anyone out.”

A book swap planned for Tuesday night was canceled, as the library decided to close at 4 p.m. for safety reasons. “We don’t know if it’s going to be another night like last night,” Bonner told LJ. “There were people trying to kick in the door of the library last night after we closed.” The book swap, which had been the first event planned by FMPL’s new Teen Council, has been postponed until December.

Appropriately enough, FMPL was one of the galleries hosting art exhibit entitled “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!” The show was organized by the Alliance of Black Art Galleries to give local artists an opportunity to respond to Brown’s killing. opened October 17 and 18 and will run through December 20. Artwork was exhibited in more than a dozen galleries throughout the area.


While library staff and volunteers did their best to make neighborhood children feel at home, FMPL’s Twitter feed (@fergusonlibrary) Tuesday showed an outpouring of love and support from all over. In addition, calls for action on Twitter, some utilizing the hashtag #whatlibrariesdo, resulted in a huge spike in PayPal donations to the library. (Update: donations have topped $300,000; for reference, the library’s operating budget is $400,000.) “It’s been kind of phenomenal,” Bonner said.

Book donations remain steady as well: when FMPL first opened its doors to students in August Angie Manfredi, head of youth services for Los Alamos County Library System, NM, started a Twitter campaign soliciting books for the library. She created a wishlist for FMPL on Powell’s, which has since been filled and added to. The effort continues to be a great success, and once all the books received have been cataloged, says Bonner, “Thanks to her efforts, we’re going to have one of the strongest collections in the state for civic engagement, civil rights history, and recovering from trauma.”

Librarians across the country are working to help support students and educators as well. A St. Louis school librarian has created a LibGuide for resources about the Brown shooting, and the Twitter hashtag#FergusonSyllabus provides a wide range of links.

Schools had been planned to close Wednesday through Friday for Thanksgiving, so FPL will not be holding classes during that time. But if schools are closed next week, said Bonner, “we’ll do it again.” Bonner reinforced his steadfast approach to the library’s role. “What we’re doing is just what libraries do,” he emphasized to LJ. “We’re in a particularly dramatic situation, but we’re doing the same thing everyone does. And that’s because our libraries are awesome. We’re all about the community, and our doors are wide open to every human being in Ferguson.” “

Reading Day Monday

December 8th, 2014 by

Today, Tuesday and Wednesday – Stress Free Tabling Event– Feeling stressed?!? Don’t crack under the pressure! Take a break and take care of yourself! To help reduce your stress level during finals week, counselors from Counseling & Consultation Services will be at The Ames Library on Dec. 8, 9 and 10 offering giveaways. They will have snacks, water, Biodots, stress balls and other information to help you manage your stress level. Please stop by to get some of the tools you may need to reduce your stress.

Monday, 4pm, Beckman Auditorium – To Meet the Faces: A Performance of Slam Poems – Come watch the students of English 109: Poetry Through Performance perform their SLAM poems. Refreshments will be served.

Instruction Lab, Room 129

  • Tuesday, 3:30, English 370 – Literary Minds
  • Friday, 1pm, OU Users Group

Meeting Room, Room 214

  • Monday, 9:30am, Network Group
  • Monday, 3pm, CUPP
  • Tuesday, 4:30pm, Star Literacy
  • Wednesday, 2pm, IT meeting
  • Wednesday, 3pm, CUPP
  • Thursday, 11am, Assessment Committee
  • Thursday, 1pm, Web Redesign Workgroup
  • Thursday, 4:30pm, Star Literacy
  • Friday, 1:30pm, CUPP

Beckman Auditorium, Lower Level

  • Monday, 4pm, English 109 – SLAM poetry
  • Tuesday, 3:30pm, Nursing 217
  • Wednesday, 10am, Nursing 385
  • Thursday, 10am, Acting of the Camera

Ames Library Hours

Exam Week – Fall Semester

  • Monday – Thursday: 7:45 a.m. – 1:30 a.m.
  • Friday: 7:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Saturday: Closed
  • Sunday: Closed

Winter Interim

  • Monday, December 15 – Friday, December 19: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Monday, December 22 – Tuesday, December 23: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, December 24 – Sunday, January 4: Closed

Try Them Out! – New Databases

December 5th, 2014 by

Ames is trialing a couple of new databases. Check them out as they’ll only be available until January 18, 2015. If you’ve got any feedback about the databases, be sure to share them with your library liaison.

More than 600,000 published tables a year on thousands of different topics. It provides fast and easy access to statistical information produced by U.S. Federal agencies, states, private organizations, and major intergovernmental organizations.
Collection of global macroeconomic and demographic statistics taken from national governments, international organizations, and research firms, enabling users to simply and immediately query and compare data and to share their findings.
We’ll decide which databases to purchase based on need, content, quality, ease of use, costs, and other factors. We can’t promise that these databases will be purchased or, if purchased, that we can continue to provide them, but we welcome and value your input!

What’s New in the Popular Collection?

December 3rd, 2014 by

Did you know Ames Library has a Popular Reading Collection? It’s located right next to the Circulation Desk and has dozens of titles from which to choose. Grab one of these for some light weekend reading or just to take a break from all that scholarly work you’ve been doing.

Some of our recent additions to the collection include:

New Popular Reading Titles

Bones Never Lie – Kathy Reichs

Flesh and Blood – Patricia Cornwell

Gray Mountain – John Grisham

Handsome Man’s De Luxe Cafe – Alexander McCall Smith

Leaving Time – Jodi Picoult

Mean Streak – Sandra Brown

Revival – Stephen King

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, November 2014: How does Stephen King do it? In book after book, writing long (Under the Dome,11/22/63) or short (Joyland) he manages, nearly always, to tell a compelling story that is both entertaining and somehow profound, or at least thoughtful. His latest, Revival, is vintage King. It’s the perfect mix of baby boomer nostalgia (think Stand By Me) – this guy remembers the 60s with details you usually can only find in photographs – and good old American horror, the kind that was first elevated by sucrevivalh minor writers as, say, Poe and Hawthorne. The story here centers on a reverend who comes to a New England town, befriends and mentors a young boy, and then goes wild with grief when his family dies in an accident; he gives a blasphemous sermon and is, basically, run out of town. Cut to: a couple decades later, when the boy, now a junkie, meets up by chance with the disgraced clergyman, and they form another disturbing relationship. Reverend Jacobs, it turns out, was always more complicated than the stereotypical man of God – he is fascinated by electricity, by science – and pretty demonic, too. How he and Jamie find and fight each other over their lifetimes is as shocking and inevitable as the explosive and, yes, horrorish, climax of the book. Never mind that King’s prose can sometimes lapse into laughable cliché – “like water through a sieve”? Really? – there is absolutely no better storyteller than Stephen King, who keeps us up at night, with fear and fascination and admiration. –Sara Nelson

Slow Regard of Silent Things – Patrick Rothfuss

Wolf in Winter – John Connolly

Yes Please – Amy Poehler

New Kindle Titles

Astonish Me – Maggie Shipstead

Delancy: A Man, a Woman, a Restaurant, a Marriage – Molly Wizenberg

Euphoria – Lily King

Kill Switch – James Rollins

Now I See You – Nicole C. Kear

Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra – Helen Rappaport

We Are Not Ourselves – Matthew Thomas

Giving Tuesday

December 2nd, 2014 by

Give Back.

Give Now.

After Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday comes Giving Tuesday. There are many ways to give – of yourself, your talents, your dollars – to support students at Illinois Wesleyan.


On Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014, non-profits, families, businesses and students will come together for one common purpose – to celebrate generosity and to give.

There are many ways to give back and support students at Illinois Wesleyan:

Last Monday of the Fall Semester!

December 1st, 2014 by

One week to go! The end of the semester is just around the corner. Not much going on in Ames this week, but we’re gearing up for finals next week.

As you start cramming and preparing for finals, remember to save your files often, make sure your devices have plenty of charge, and that you call 3900 if you have ANY technology problems!

Wednesday, 11am-1pm, Entry Level – We will again host the closing reception for all cluster classes to share their final class projects, research results, and/or community service projects. Check out this presentation and our interactive wall supporting this year’s course cluster theme: Walls & Bridges.

Language and cultural understanding can be both a wall and a bridge towards human communication around the globe.  German 201, Spanish 203 and 280 created a joint assignment that is being shared with the IWU Community.  At The Ames Library, entry level east side, the Interactive Wall has an installation “Language and Culture – Both a Wall and a Bridge.  Can You Caption these Images?”

Class members each chose an image that speaks to the 2014-15 university theme: “Walls & Bridges”.   Each student wrote a paragraph to describe the image, contextualize its relevance in the culture it originates, and explain how it relates to the theme.  Each student created a packet with an image, a paragraph in the course language, and a final page translating the paragraph to English.

Can you BRIDGE the language barrier?  Are there cultural nuances that hint at the theme?  What WALLS are in the packets that keep you from exploring the culture and language?

We are encouraging all IWU Community members to visit the interactive wall and create a caption for each image.  Write a caption on the packets.

Wednesday, 7pm, Beckman Auditorium – Only the Greatest Reading Ever – Seniors from Associate Professor of English Michael Theune’s 401 Writing Fiction Seminar will read from their work, ranging from experimental poetry to fantasy prose. The event will be divided up into two sections with four students reading in each section:
– from 7-7:50 p.m., Kaitlin McManus (prose), Danielle Kamp (poetry), Michael Wettengel (prose), and Erica Kucharski (poetry);
– from 8-8:50 p.m., Joe Ruskey (prose), Tessy Ward (poetry), Mike Dickinson (prose), and Sara Raffensperger (poetry).
Refreshments will also be served.

Thursday, 4pm, Beckman Auditorium – Hispanic Studies and secondary education major Nathan Douglas08-douglas-nathan-20015 will present the work he carried out as a Mellon Humanities Scholar this past summer: “Y no me esperaba nadie: Historical memory in Carmen Laforet’s Nada”. What does literature have to do with history, and what does photography have to do with memory? Supported by grant funding through the Re-centering the Humanities grant and guided by an interdisciplinary approach to research, Douglas spent the summer in Barcelona, Spain exploring the interplay between fictional narrative, history, memory and photography. Following a brief oral presentation, there will be a “gallery walk” of photos taken during the summer.

Thursday, 7pm, Beckman Auditorium – “Blind Shaft,” 2003, China, will be presented by Professor of History Thomas Lutze. Due to copyright restrictions, this event is free and open to the IWU community only.

Sunday, 7pm, Beckman Auditorium – Mangy Chickens: A Poetry Reading – Come experience a celebration of a semester’s worth of poetry produced by Associate Professor of English Michael Theune’s Poetry Class. The works of Mitchell Billimack ’16, Jacob Morris ’18, Cady Williamson ’18, Diana Moody ’17, Hannah Dhue ’15, Kaitlin McManus ’15, Paige Buschman ’17, Sean Grady ’17, Sam Mancini ’17, and Tia Patsavas ’16 will be presented.

Instruction Lab, Room 129

  • Tuesday, 9:25am, Prof. Reissenweber’s Gateway

Meeting Room, Room 214

  • Monday, 3pm, CUPP
  • Tuesday, 1pm, C&RL Forum
  • Tuesday, 4:30pm, Star Literacy
  • Wednesday, 3pm, CUPP
  • Thursday, 9:30am, IT meeting
  • Thursday, 11am, Assessment Committee
  • Thursday, 4:30pm, Star Literacy

Beckman Auditorium

  • Monday, 7pm, English 370
  • Wednesday, 7:00pm, English 401
  • Thursday, 4pm, Presentation & Gallery Walk
  • Thursday, 7pm, International Film Series
  • Sunday, 7:00pm, English 202

Next week the Counseling & Consultation Services center will be in Ames from 11 to 4 offering FREE giveaways. They will have snacks, water, Biodots, stress balls, and other information to help you manage your stress level. Stop by to get some tools to help you reduce and deal with end of semester stress.

Thanksgiving Thursday

November 27th, 2014 by

In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.

The First Thanksgiving 1621, oil on canvas by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1899). The painting shows common misconceptions about the event that persist to modern times: Pilgrims did not wear such outfits, and the Wampanoag are dressed in the style of Native Americans from the Great Plains.

This feast lasted three days, and it was attended by 90 Native Americans (as accounted by attendee Edward Winslow) and 53 Pilgrims.

William Bradford, in Of Plymouth Plantation:

They began now to gather in the small harvest they had, and to fit up their houses and dwellings against winter, being all well recovered in health and strength and had all things in good plenty. For as some were thus employed in affairs abroad, others were exercised in fishing, about cod and bass and other fish, of which they took good store, of which every family had their portion. All the summer there was no want; and now began to come in store of fowl, as winter approached, of which this place did abound   when they came first (but afterward decreased by degrees). And besides waterfowl there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc. Besides, they had about a peck a meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to the proportion. Which made many afterwards write so largely of their plenty here to their friends in England, which were not feigned but true reports.

Edward Winslow, in Mourt’s Relation:

Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruits of our labor. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which we brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.

Curious about other Thanksgiving traditions? Check out the library’s holdings to get a sense for how the holiday has changed over time.

Cosmigraphics: Picturing Space Through Time

November 26th, 2014 by

If you’ve never been up in The Ames Library stacks (where we keep the books) you might realize that we some really AWESOME stuff. One of our new acquistions, for example, was recently featured in Wired Magazine.

On 10/15, Adam Mann, wrote:

What does the universe look like? How about the sun, moon, planets, and stars? These are probably question that humans have been asking themselves ever since we first looked up at the sky.

A new book, Cosmigraphics: Picturing Space Through Time, looks at the imaginative variety of ways that people have answered these questions throughout history. In it, photographer and filmmaker Michael Benson collects thousands of years of human understanding about the heavens.

Cosmigraphics jacket_DY O.inddCosmigraphics is divided into 10 chapters, each following the progression of ideas about some heavenly topic. For instance, one chapter centers around representations of the Earth. In it, you can see dramatic medieval conceptions of our planet surrounded by elemental water, air, and fire. There’s also a bizarre 19th century map refuting the theory that the Earth is sphere-shaped — instead postulating a four-cornered, roulette-wheel world more in accordance with Biblical (or something) principles. Finally, there are recent geographic drawings of river basins and ocean floors based on the enhanced technological capabilities of the modern world.

All images in the book are essentially data visualizations representing the accumulated knowledge of their time. Ancient people’s data was far more limited than ours, and mixed with erroneous beliefs about divine spirits, celestial spheres, and geocentric cosmologies. But looking back through history reminds us that our current scientific ideas no doubt contain inaccuracies and partial truths, limitations of the data at hand. With scientists still debating the inner workings of black holes, the properties of neutrinos, and the nature of dark matter and dark energy, we realize the amount we have yet to know is as vast as the universe itself.

CosmigraphicsThe book is also a good reminder of how big a deal the night sky was to pre-Industrial people. The movement of the sun and phases of the moon told them when to plant and harvest their crops. The changing stars and planets helped them interpret their own lives and their futures. Even today, you might get away from city lights and look up to feel a sense of wonder and awe, a slight tug from the collective unconscious of humanity that has been watching and thinking about the universe for so long.

All captions from Cosmigraphics”

Snowy Monday – 11/24

November 24th, 2014 by

Excited for this two day week?! The Ames Library will close early on Tuesday (4:30pm) and will be closed Wednesday through Saturday. We will open at 6pm on Sunday evening.

Instruction Lab, Room 129

  • Monday, 10am, Prof. Hughey’s Gateway
  • Tuesday, 8am, School of Nursing HESI Exam

Meeting Room, Room 214

  • Monday, 9:30am, Network Group
  • Monday, 3pm, CUPP
  • Tuesday, 9am, Workflow meeting

Beckman Auditorium

  • Monday, 7:30pm, Nursing 217
  • Tuesday, 10am, Physical Plant training

Since we’re closed for the holiday there won’t be much going on this week, but that’s okay. It gives you plenty of time to start thinking about plans for the last week of classes. The following was originally published on the IWU News & Events feed.

“Illinois Wesleyan University will observe the holiday season with events celebrating a variety of cultural traditions.

On Tuesday, Dec. 2, the Black Student Union will host a Kwanzaa Dinner at 6 p.m. in the holiday-kwanzaaMemorial Center, Turfler Room. The African-American and Pan-African holiday celebrates “The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa”: self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.

On Wednesday, Dec. 3 there will be a sing-a-long of the “Christmas” portion of Handel’s “Messiah” with Illinois Wesleyan’s Collegiate and University Choirs and faculty soloists at 11 a.m. in Evelyn Chapel.

Students can make holiday cards, wrap gifts and create winter crafts Wednesday, Dec. 3 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sponsored by the Dean of Students, “Wrapping It Up” will be held in the Dug Out.

IWU Hillel will sponsor a Hanukkah Dinner on Wednesday, Dec. 3 at 6 p.m. in the Memorial Center, Turfler Room. Attendees will learn about the story and traditions behind the Jewish holiday, and students and faculty of the Jewish faith will have the opportunity to celebrate Hanukkah on campus. IWU Hillel hopes to increase awareness of religious diversity through this event, and share part of their faith with the Illinois Wesleyan community

holiday-light-the-nightThe third annual “Light the Night: A Multicultural Celebration of the Season of Light” will be held on Thursday, Dec. 4 at 8 p.m. in Evelyn Chapel. Light the Night celebrates the stories, songs and meanings of various December holidays. Following the celebration, attendees can join a candlelight processional to Joslin Atrium for a reception with global holiday foods. The event is a part of the 3D series, a campus-wide collaboration that encourages diversity, dignity and dialogue at Illinois Wesleyan.

“Light the Night is an exuberant evening that reflects the wonderful diversity of our campus and leaves students energized and connected for a long week of exams and papers ahead,” said Rev. Elyse Nelson Winger, University Chaplain.

Illinois Wesleyan’s holiday events will conclude with the School of Music’s Christmas Choral Concert on Sunday, Dec. 7 at 3 p.m. at Holy Trinity Church, Bloomington.

By Danielle Kamp ’15”


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