More art in the library

By Way of Constantinople

We are pleased to announce an expansion of artwork on the entry level of the library. We received many comments about how bare the walls looked after last fall’s exhibition of works by Myanmar artists. Through another collaboration with School of Art faculty, 15 of the previously-stored works in the Campus Art Collection are now on public display. This is a teaching collection containing over 1,300 items.

The Thorpe Center on the library’s 3rd floor also has numerous selections from the larger collection, and all works contained within The Ames Library are available for public viewing.

Many of the new additions to the entry level are by Arrah Lee Gaul, a prolific artist of landscapes and portraits, who died in 1980 at the age of 92. Miss Gaul chose Illinois Wesleyan as a beneficiary in her estate because of her devotion to her father, a Methodist minister who served Philadelphia churches from 1883 until his retirement in 1931. The Rev. Christian Lee Gaul, was proud of the doctor of philosophy degree he was granted by IWU in 1899 after fulfilling requirements in the non-resident degree program.

To learn more about the Gauls and this donation, listen to this 1981 recording by Flora (Harris) Armstrong, Trustee and member of the Class of 1943. The Spring 1982 IWU Bulletin also covered the story.

Other new additions from the Campus Art Collection are prints by Marc Chagall and Pablo Picasso. A recent addition to the works by Chinese artists is also on display. A new scroll was donated last year by Roger Sheldon, Class of 1964. Two scrolls are on display between the Ford Instruction Lab and the Social Justice & Diversity Room at all times but are rotated every six months to minimize light damage.

Resolved: Library Accounts Not Available

Update: The issue affecting library accounts has been resolved. You should now be able to login to your library account to renew or request items, view your loans, or save to your MegaSearch favorites.

Please contact circ@iwu.edu if you experience any problems when logging into your account. Thank you for your patience!

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Due to an issue with our library systems, users cannot login to their library accounts. If you try to login to your library account to renew or request items, view your loans, or save to your MegaSearch favorites, you will see the error message, “The login process has failed. Please refer to the library for assistance.”

Please contact circ@iwu.edu for assistance with renewing or requesting items while accounts are inaccessible. We apologize for the inconvenience and will update this post as necessary. Thank you for your patience!

Winter Break I-Share & ILLiad Requests

The Ames Library will be closed from Friday, December 23, through Monday, January 2.

You may continue to submit I-Share and ILLiad requests while the library is closed, but please note that requests placed during that time will be processed starting January 3. Requests submitted close to December 23 may not arrive until after January 3.

Remember, The Ames Library’s online journals, articles, media, ebooks, and databases remain available to you when the library is closed!

Finals Toolkit, Part 3 of 3: Finish Well

Happy Reading Day, Titans! We know this time of year can be stressful, so for the last installment of the Finals Toolkit, we’re sharing relaxing and stress-relieving activities. Taking breaks and moments to rest can help you return to your studying or writing feeling refreshed and revitalized. Don’t forget, you can also check out our earlier tools and tips from part 1 and part 2 of the Finals Toolkit!

Bonus finals week reminders: You can reserve a study or project room in the library and print your projects and papers using one of the library’s five printers.

We hope you’re able to finish well, take care of yourselves, and enjoy the upcoming break. Good luck during finals week–you can do this!

Finals Toolkit, Part 2 of 3: Finish Strong

We’re filling your Finals Toolkit with tips and resources to help you cross the fall semester finish line strong. This week, check out ways to take care of yourself as well as a few quick reminders as you put finishing touches on projects and papers:

  • Ask a Librarian Chat: Monday-Friday, from 1-4 pm, a librarian is online and ready to help answer your questions!

  • Citation refresher: Working on your citations page? Let MegaSearch help you! (Click image below to enlarge.)

Next week, visit the Finals Toolkit for relaxing activities and stress-busters!

Finals Toolkit, Part 1 of 3: Finish Smart

The Ames Library is here to help you finish the semester smart, strong, and well. For the next three weeks, we will be sharing tools for your Finals Toolkit–reminders to help you make the most of your time, strategies for taking care of yourself, and ways to help you relax. You’ve got this!

We all know the end of the semester goes by fast. Take some time now to prepare for the next few weeks with these tools, which can help you plan ahead for your study sessions and final projects. Your future self will thank you!

Next week, we’ll be sharing strategies for taking care of yourself!

World News Day & Access to News

What would a world without fact-based journalism look like? How would you discover trustworthy information about your community, your country, and the world?

World News Day, an initiative from the Canadian Journalism Foundation and the World Editors Forum recognized annually on September 28, seeks to “draw public attention to the role that journalists play in providing trustworthy news and information that serves citizens and democracy.” 

Celebrate World News Day by bookmarking some of the many news sources available to you via The Ames Library. These are just three popular news publications available to you online:

The Chronicle of Higher Education

“The nation’s largest newsroom dedicated to covering colleges and universities,” The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on news, events, and data impacting higher education. Read full-text articles from The Chronicle dating back to 2015.

To access The Chronicle online, visit this link.

The Economist

Founded in 1843, The Economist covers world events in business, economics, technology, politics, culture, and more. As an IWU student, faculty, or staff member, you have access to current full-text articles and an online archive dating back to 1997.

To access The Economist online, sign up for an account on economist.com using your @iwu.edu email address. After verifying your email, you’ll have access to the website, app, and newsletters.

The New York Times

The mission of The New York Times is “seek the truth and help people understand the world.” Your access to NYT via The Ames Library allows you to read recent and historical full-text articles and issues dating back to 1851, as well as view video and images.

To access The New York Times online, please sign up with your @iwu.edu email address at this link. Faculty/staff have four years of full access to NYT before being asked to re-authenticate, and students can enjoy access until December 31 of their graduation year.

Please note: To utilize The Ames Library’s access, existing paid NYT subscribers must first cancel their paid subscription before authorizing with their IWU email address. The Ames Library’s subscription does not include games or recipes.

Find other major news publications, such as the Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal, and more by browsing the A-Z Resources list or searching in MegaSearch.

Stay informed and seek understanding about the world, and let us know what journalism means to you.

Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation

Last week, we shared some resources, databases, and collections Ames has that highlights Hispanic, Latinx, and Chicano/a/x communities. This week we’d like to share projects hosted by other universities, archives, and cultural heritage organizations related to Hispanic heritage, as the more we’re able to connect with resources the more open our minds become. Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation is the 2022 Hispanic Heritage Month Theme.


The National Museum of Mexican Art’s mission is “to stimulate knowledge and appreciation of Mexican art and culture from both sides of the border through a significant permanent collection of Mexican art, rich visual and performing arts programs, high quality arts education programs and resources and professional development of Mexican artists. The Museum welcomes all people and strives to foster a world where all are included.” Located in Chicago, the museum showcases 3,600 years of creativity from across Mexican, Mexican-American, and Mexican-Indigenous creative works. Nuestras Historias showcases pieces from their permanent collection, to emphasize the dynamic and diverse stories of Mexican identity in the US.


Also in Chicago, the National Puerto Rican Museum is “devoted to the promotion, integration and advancement of Puerto Rican arts and culture, presenting exhibitions and programming created to enhance the visibility and importance of the rich Puerto Rican arts tradition.” Coming soon, the museum will host a Walter Mercado pop up exhibit. Mercado was “Latin America’s beloved spiritual advisor, best known for his astrology television shows. His daily horoscope readings and flamboyant persona captivated the attention of millions of Spanish-speaking people worldwide. Mercado’s fluid blend of beliefs and gender presented an expansive alternative to the traditional Catholic practices of many Latin American cultures.”


Chicago is also home to several Latino neighborhoods with colorful and innovative street art. The Pilsen Murals were originally started by street artists in the ’60s to oppose the Vietnam War and express pride in Mexican-American identities. Later generations of artists are leaving their marks, starting new conversations through their art. Humboldt Park is also home to fantastic murals, with a preservation program to help restore older murals, along with working with the community to create new pieces.


The Latinx Diaspora in the Americas Project is an oral history project at the University of Florida. It is dedicated to creating space for Latina/os to share their historical experiences related to identity, immigration reform, labor conditions, education, and civil rights.


The National Park Service cares for special places in the United States like parks, monuments, historical areas, lake- and seashores, rivers, and trails. Places like the Cabrillo National Monument preserves the history of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s voyage of exploration. It was the first contact between the coastal California Indigenous tribes, like the Kumeyaay, and men from Europe. Though the San Salvador stayed only six days in San Diego harbor, this journey and future Spanish journeys to the area would shape southern California’s complex history.

Along the El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail (which extends between El Paso, Texas and Santa Fe, New Mexico in the United States) you’ll find churches, battle sites, art museums, cultural properties, and Indigenous heritage sites. The sites along the trail reflect 300 years of conflict, cooperation, and cultural exchange between a variety of empires.

Visit the NPS American Latino Heritage website to learn more about these and other sites.

We’re Celebrating Banned Books Week

Record numbers of challenges to books in schools, libraries, and book stores across the country were tracked by the American Library Association (ALA) in 2021. Over 729 challenges to materials and services were made, accounting for more than 1,597 individual book challenges or removals.

It’s hard to think of celebrating Banned Books Week when staff in Montana are resigning after bullet-ridden books were returned to the library. Or when a library director in Idaho resigned over the extremism she faced in her community. Libraries are being defunded in Michigan and teachers dismissed in Oklahoma, while fallout from the Don’t Say Gay bill racks Florida and challenged materials are separated from general collections in Texas.

It’s recent cases like those in Virginia, though, and the reality that most challenges don’t result in a ban that give us reason to celebrate Banned Books Week. This week celebrates the freedom to read and shines a spotlight on current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship.

For over 40 years, the ALA and libraries have celebrated Banned Books week with displays, read ins, collection highlights, and, more recently, social media campaigns. Follow #BannedBooksWeek on your platform of choice and see what people are saying. Have you read any of the books that have been challenged? Why do you think someone would challenge it? What does it mean to you to hear that someone challenged something you read?

The theme for Banned Books Week 2022 is “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.” Sharing stories important to us means sharing a part of ourselves. Books reach across boundaries and build connections between readers. Censorship, on the other hand, creates barriers. Banned Books Week is both a reminder of the unifying power of stories and the divisiveness of censorship, and a call to action for readers across the country to push back against censorship attempts in their communities.

The conversation around intellectual freedom, the right to read freely, and censorship is, of course, not limited to this week or to just libraries. Our freedom to read means little without a culture of conversation that allows us to discuss our freedoms openly, work through issues that books raise for our readers, and wrestle with the challenging balance between freedom and responsibility.

Read more about the history of Banned Books Week here and this year’s honorary Banned Books Week Chair here.

Hispanic Heritage Month!

The Ames Library is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month by highlighting history, people, and digital collections that include and represent Hispanic, Latinx, and Chicano/a/x communities.

Celebrated from 15 September until 15 October, Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the contributions and importance of persons whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. 

For this first week, check out some of the databases available through Ames.

ArtStor is a repository of thousands of collections of digital images. Topics include but are not limited to foreign languages, decorative design, African/American studies, classical studies, history, Medieval studies, photography, and women’s studies. This year, ArtStor highlights 28 open collections for Hispanic Heritage Month. Those collections include maps, art, scholarly works, and oral history projects, to name a few.

Contemporary Women’s Issues is a multidisciplinary, full-text database that brings together relevant content from mainstream periodicals, “gray” literature, and the alternative press with a focus on the critical issues and events that influence women’s lives in more than 190 countries. Contemporary Women’s Issues includes English-language titles from East and West Africa, Asia, and South and Central America, the Caribbean, North America and Europe.

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Collection contains thousands of selected titles covering Asian Studies, Women’s Studies, Black Studies, Hispanic/Latino Studies, and much more. It is a comprehensive and curated subscription developed to represent all voices – regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, physical ability and religious belief.

Independent Voices is a digital collection of alternative press newspapers, magazines and journals, drawn from the special collections of participating libraries. These periodicals were produced by feminists, dissident GIs, campus radicals, Native Americans, anti-war activists, Black Power advocates, Hispanics, LGBT activists, the extreme right-wing press and alternative literary magazines during the latter half of the 20th century.

Informe Academico provides access to Spanish- and Portuguese-language scholarly journals and magazines. The database offers a wide range of content both from and about Latin America.

World Scholar: Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Portal covers Latin America culture and society from the 15th century to the present day. The collection consists of a Portal and Archive component. Launching with 293 portals based on Person, Topic, Event, Named Work and Country types users can delve into over 1.3M pages of archival material (Archive) and hundreds of periodicals, newspapers, magazines, reports, and data feeds (Portal).