Turning Titan 2019

The Ames Library is happy to join our colleagues in New Student Orientation in welcoming the Class of ’23 to Illinois Wesleyan University! New Titans are encouraged to learn more about the library and how we can help you to succeed in the classroom right from the start during the “Turning Titan My Way” sessions on Thursday, August 22nd, and to start becoming familiar with our services to students, including research assistance, access to technology, print and digital resources for every department and program, and resources to help you make the most of signature experiences at Illinois Wesleyan, including internships, study abroad, service learning, and undergraduate research. Most importantly, you’ll learn who your liaison librarian is, and how your librarian will be able to help you to identify, access, evaluate, and use the information sources you need to make the most of your student experience at IWU.

Students who took part in the Summer Reading Program will find the library to be the gateway not only to resources that will help you to further explore issues and ideas found in Educated, but also to programs throughout the year supporting this year’s intellectual theme, “Fact of Fiction.”

The Ames Library is also home to other people and programs that will help you to succeed at IWU, including The Writing Center, Action Research Center, and Thorpe Center, and is joining campus colleagues this year in launching the new student information service, Titan Central.

Be sure to learn more about all of these during orientation, and we’ll look forward to seeing you in the library!

Introducing: The Lightboard Studio

Working with our colleagues in Information Technology Services (ITS), we are happy to announce the opening of the Lightboard Studio in The Thorpe Center. Like the One-Button Studio, the Lightboard Studio provides a new space for faculty integrating media into their teaching, especially for lecture capture, online learning, or the inclusion of digital media assignments for students. Faculty and students are now able to reserve the Lightboard Studio for:

  • creating mini-lectures;
  • creating a graphic overview of a concept to be shared with the class; or,
  • demonstrating a step-by-step approach to solving a problem

The Thorpe Center is a collaborative initiative of ITS and The Ames Library designed to promote the use of digital media and other technologies in support of teaching and learning at Illinois Wesleyan. With on-site technical support, as well as access to instructional design consultation, The Thorpe Center provides a foundation for instructional innovation among faculty and new opportunities for students to demonstrate what they have learned in the classroom and to share their work with the wider community. For information about information technology available at The Ames Library, please contact Suzanne Wilson, Library Technology and Resources Director.

Continuing Collaboration with Information Technology Services

Information Technology Services (ITS) and The Ames Library have been partners for many years on strategic initiatives designed to promote the innovative use of technology in teaching, learning, and scholarship at Illinois Wesleyan University. In addition to working together on the provision of library technology in Ames, digital scholarship, online learning, and publishing programs across the curriculum, we have collaborated on support for classroom technology, community spaces such as the Beckman Auditorium, technology lending, and innovation spaces such as The One-Button Studio and the upcoming Light Board Studio and Sound Stage. In 2019-20, we will have new opportunities to build on this foundation of service-centered partnership as part of campus-wide initiatives around strategic planning and IT planning.

With the retirement this week of Assistant Provost and Chief Technology Officer Trey Short, Scott Walter will take on interim responsibility for the ITS Teaching, Learning, and Technology Services (TLTS) program, including the IT Help Desk and instructional design support programs currently housed in The Ames Library’s Thorpe Center.

As Co-Interim Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Walter will work with colleagues in ITS and the Library to promote greater use of technology in teaching, learning, and scholarship, and to ensure a coordinated approach to strategic planning activities in Academic Affairs and Student Affairs that depend on technology, student mastery of information technology and information literacy skills, and engagement with staff training and faculty development initiatives.

Both ITS and The Ames Library maintain robust liaison services programs designed to promote awareness and use of information and technology resources across the university, as well as the ITS Help Desk and Library Services Desk to meet immediate service needs. We look forward to bringing these teams together over the coming year while the university completes its review of our IT organization and establishes a long-term strategy for IT services that will ensure the greatest benefit to our students, staff, and faculty, and the most powerful impact in initiatives currently being pursued as part of the university strategic plan.

New Digital Content Now Available

Image from African American Serials Collection

Each year, the Ames librarians take advantage of end-of-year opportunities to acquire digital access to new content. With the new year upon us, we are happy to announce that the IWU community now has access to the digital archives of the following titles:



National Review

New Republic

Sports Illustrated


In addition, we have acquired access to the African American Historical Serials Collection, which “documents the history of African American life and religious organizations from materials published between 1829 and 1922 and contains more than 170 unique titles related to African American life and culture.”

Image from African American Serials Collection

Providing access to these resources electronically promotes enhanced discoverability of these valuable resources, and facilitates student use of these resources in their own scholarly and creative work. The African American Historical Serials Collection also enhances the diversity of materials available to our students and faculty through the Ames Library, and promotes greater opportunities for discovery and analysis of information documenting diverse American cultures. Print volumes of journal titles now available digitally are being reviewed for retention as part of the current review and shifting of library materials.

You may find these resources, and more, through the Ames Library A-Z list of digital resources. If you have any questions about these new resources, please contact Stephanie Davis-Kahl, Collections and Scholarly Communications Librarian.

Coming this Fall: The Soundstage

Film equipment

The Ames Library is collaborating with the Office of the Provost, Information Technology Services, the School of Theatre Arts, and others to bring an exciting new space and set of services to the Illinois Wesleyan community in Fall 2019: The Soundstage.

The Soundstage will be a 750–square-foot film and sound recording facility that will be used by students in the Film Studies minor (as well as other courses), and by student groups with an interest in film, video, and media production, including Titan TV.

Media literacy – “the ability to access, analyze, evaluate and create media in a variety of forms” – is a critical component of undergraduate education in the 21st century, and a essential to the information literacy program at IWU, which is designed to shape students both as critical consumers and creative creators of information, scholarly work, and creative activity. The Soundstage will complement existing production resources in The Ames Library, including the One-Button Studio (and the upcoming Light Board Studio), audio and video editing hardware and software, and equipment available for use outside the library, including digital cameras, camcorders, GoPros, and more. More information on specialized film production equipment available for use outside the library through a dedicated Soundstage service desk will be announced in the Fall. Film Studies students, as well as other users of The Soundstage, will also have access to the Beckman Auditorium, an ideal space for both the presentation and discussion of film. According to Tom Quinn, core faculty member for the Film Studies minor: “The addition of The Soundstage to The Ames Library will revolutionize the study of videographic arts and technologies at Illinois Wesleyan. Within this new space, students will master technical skills, and explore the power of motion pictures through the creation of dramatic fiction, documentaries, educational films, and commercial communication”

The Soundstage will be located on the lower level of The Ames Library, and collections are currently being reviewed and shifted in order to make space for production space and related equipment. If you have any questions about The Soundstage, please contact Tom Quinn, Associate Professor of Theatre Arts or Scott Walter, University Librarian. If you have questions about collections being moved for construction of The Soundstage, please contact Stephanie Davis-Kahl, Collections and Scholarly Communications Librarian.

Collections on the Move

As part of our ongoing review of library collections and space, we are undertaking a number of projects over the summer that will result in materials moving to new places in the short-term (or beyond). Microform collections have already been moved from the lower level of the Ames Library to the 3rd floor, and a number of books and journals will be shifted throughout the lower level during the next several weeks as we make room for additional services in the library.

If you have any questions about the location of library materials, or require assistance placing a request for materials, please contact the Library Services Desk.

Ames Library Joins Scholarly Publishing Grant Project

IMLS logo

Illinois Wesleyan University is one of 12 partner libraries, including the Claremont Colleges, University of Alberta, University of Michigan, University of Pittsburgh, and others, joining the Library Publishing Coalition and the Educopia Institute to explore best practice in scholarly journal publishing as part of library publishing programs.

IMLS logo

The Ames Library has long been a leader in exploring the potential for academic libraries to serve as a platform for open access scholarly publishing, primarily through the use of our Digital Commons repository to provide access to a wide range of scholarly and creative works produced by IWU students, faculty and staff, including undergraduate research journals. By participating in this project, funded through a US Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) National Leadership Grant, IWU will contribute to a critical discussion of workflow practices, scalability, and sustainability for open access library publishing services, including those designed to extend the reach and impact of undergraduate research programs in liberal arts colleges.

In the contemporary information environment, students must learn not only how to discover, access, and evaluate the work of others, but also about their own opportunities (and responsibilities) as content creators. Ames Library faculty collaborate with colleagues across the university to find opportunities to integrate scholarly communications education with information literacy instruction as part of teaching, learning, and scholarship in all fields.

Illinois Wesleyan University is an Initial Contributing Member of the Library Publishing Coalition, and Digital Commons has become an integral component of undergraduate research programs at the university, including the John Wesley Powell Student Research Conference (with contributed posters available here). Scholarly and creative works published through Digital Commons have been downloaded by users around the world over 350,000 times in the past year alone. If you would like to know more about open access initiatives and scholarly communications education at Illinois Wesleyan, or would like to discuss opportunities to publish your work through Digital Commons, please contact Stephanie Davis-Kahl, Collections and Scholarly Communications Librarian.

4th of July and Holiday Hours

Image of fireworks
Image of fireworks

Image licensed through Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license).

The Ames Library will be closed for the 4th of July holiday on Thursday, July 4th, and Friday, July 5th. Library users will continue to have access to digital content, including full-text articles, e-books, and digital media (including streaming media). Research assistance will also remain available through online research guides.

We wish you a happy and safe holiday and look forward to seeing you when the library re-opens on its regular summer schedule on July 8th.

Experiential Learning in the Library

Intern Cynthia Arends with special collections

At Illinois Wesleyan, we are committed to providing experiences that “blur the line between the learning that takes place in the classroom and outside the classroom,” and The Ames Library and its faculty have supported these experiences for years, e.g., through information literacy instruction that supports undergraduate research projects, and partnerships with other units with a focus on “engaged learning,” including the Writing Center and the Action Research Center. But, the library can also be the site for research, internships, and community projects that demonstrate our commitment to engaged learning, both for our undergraduate students and for graduate students working toward a future in library work.

The Tate Archives and Special Collections, for example, has hosted Library and Information Science (LIS) students from the University of Illinois School of Information Sciences as part of that program’s Alternative Spring Break. This summer, Associate Professor and University Archivist Meg Miner is serving as intern supervisor for Cynthia O’Neill, a student in the Kent State University Master of Library and Information Studies program pursuing a concentration in Archives and Special Collections. Ms. O’Neill comes to her internship at Ames with experience in both the museum and public library fields.

“There are similarities in the missions of libraries, archives, and museums,” Professor Miner notes, “but also subtle differences in the ways we go about achieving our shared goal of preserving and providing access to cultural heritage materials in our communities today and into the future.” This internship, Miner continued, “will provide Cynthia with hands-on experience with these distinctions, and with strategies for applying both archival theory and her past experience to archival work in the academic environment.” 

In her IWU internship, Ms. O’Neill is learning about the management of archival collections, as a whole, and about the management of the archives as a research environment. She will do this in the context of completing a number of specific projects:

  • assessing, organizing, and describing a collection of materials donated by Marjorie Kouns (’79);
  • conducting a preservation assessment of the Leslie Arends Congressional Collection; and,
  • creating a tutorial on historical book construction techniques and their preservation needs.

“Everything I’ve learned in my classes is coming together [in this internship]”, O’Neill says, and the field experience “is especially beneficial as I am gaining experience both with university records management and with the personal collections of regional residents and organizations.”

Both as a resource for experiential education and an opportunity for experiential education, The Ames Library reflects the university’s commitment to engaged learning. We expect this to only grow with the launch of the Center for Engaged Learning in the library in the coming year. If you or your students have questions about opportunities for pursuing undergraduate research or other engaged learning experiences under the supervision of library faculty, please contact Scott Walter, University Librarian.

Welcoming Titan Parents to the Library

Turning Titant Parent logo

Turning Titant Parent logo

On June 22, 2019, The Ames Library will join partners including Academic Advising, Career Center, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Information Technology, Study Abroad, and others at the “Experience IWU” Parent Orientation’s “Titan Fair.”

Parents will have the opportunity to learn more about the services available to their students in the library, and across campus, as part of our commitment to student success. We will also highlight expert services provided by our librarians, and ways in which we can help students to achieve their goals in the classroom and out while taking advantage of academic opportunities including internships, study abroad, undergraduate research, and more.

Research has shown that parents can be powerful partners with librarians and other student success professionals to ensure that students learn about, and take advantage of, all of the resources available to them as they make the successful transition to college life. We look forward to meeting our students and their families this summer as they continue the process of “Turning Titan“!