Monthly Archives: January 2016

Legacy Wall & Diversity Exhibits

legacy wall.jpgIn February, The Ames Library is hosting the Legacy Wall, an interactive Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) history exhibit. The Legacy Wall will be on display on the entry level of the library, and can be visited during normal library hours.

The Legacy Wall features the stories of LGBT people from all walks of life throughout history who have contributed in more than 20 distinct fields. This exhibit tells the stories behind such figures as social justice pioneer Jane Addams, civil rights organize Bayard Rustin, British mathematician Alan Turing, US Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, astronaut Sally Ride, iconic artist Michelangelo and Fr. Mychal Judge – the “Saint of 9/11.” In total, there are more than 100 featured excerpts. The Wall is based on the outdoor exhibit, the Legacy Walk, on North Halsted in Chicago.

Supporting Resources

20160128_155849In addition to hosting the Legacy Wall, several exhibit cases will feature registered student organizations and their history at IWU. The IWU Pride Alliance is a student-run organization dedicated to equality for all students regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. They help to ensure the safety of and equality for all in the community. The Alliance was reactivated in 2003. Check out the display “Celebrate Diversity – IWU Pride: Then and Now” on the west side of the entry level.

20160128_155922In the display case across from the Library Services Desk, you’ll find the African Students Association (ASA), Black Student Union (BSU), Spanish and Latino Student Association (SALSA), and South Asian Student Association (SASA) featured in “Celebrate Diversity – ASA, BSU, SALSA, and SASA: Then and Now.” You can also learn about the first black and international students to attend Illinois Wesleyan.

20160128_155929ASA educates the campus about the various countries in Africa and their cultures. Our goal is to share appreciation for the traditions, religions, customs, food, dance, and music from various African countries.

Black Student Union is an organization that is here to teach IWU students about the black culture and to have a place for minority 20160128_155934students to feel unified.

SALSA’s mission is yo promote culture, heritage, and diversity for students of Illinois Wesleyan University and to spread and celebrate Latin American Heritage and pride, as well as the enhancement of Latino presence on campus and community service.

South Asian Student Association (SASA) is a group on campus designed to immerse oneself into the South Asian culture on the IWU campus. Regardless of cultural background or exposure, this group is open to anyone who is interested in learning more about the different holidays, traditions, and cultural differences within the South Asian community.

20160128_160051Did you know that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. visited IWU twice in the 1960s? While you’re walking around looking at the various exhibits, check out our case behind the JWP Rotunda where you can see flyers, circulars, a signed program, and photos from his two visits.

20160128_155831Finally, to promote awareness and to celebrate diversity, members of the IWU community and telling you to READ some of their favorite authors. Talk a walk around the entirety of the entry level and see how many faces, authors, and books you recognize. Scan the QR codes and go straight to the catalog entry where you can request a copy of any of the books shown.


See those books on display? You can check any of them out!


Scholarly & Artistic Award for Students

Are you a sophomore or junior working on a scholarly or artistic research project? Will that project be completed by the end of 2016-2017? Do you want to work with an Ames Librarian to bring your research to the next level? Then you should apply for The Ames Library Artistic and Scholarly Research award. This award provides a $500 funding opportunity for a student under the supervision of a faculty sponsor to propose a significant research or creative project in his or her specific field of study.

Ames LogoThe goals of the award program are to increase opportunities for student learning, information literacy, and critical thinking skills through the creation of knowledge; and to foster information literacy skills through the extensive and sophisticated use of the library services, resources and collections, in collaboration with the liaison librarian.

This award program is open to students in all academic disciplines; all forms of undergraduate research and artistic activities are eligible for support, including those that receive academic credit.  Students must have achieved sophomore or junior standing at the time they apply for the award; senior students graduating in May of the application year are not eligible to apply.

The deadline to apply is March 1, and the award is announced at the honors convocation in April. More information and access to the application procedures and cover sheet may be found here.  The Library Advisory Committee makes the selection of the winner.

If you have any questions, contact your librarian.

Legacy Wall in Ames Library

The Legacy Wall, a traveling exhibit featuring stories of LGBT individuals who have made a significant impact in the world, will be coming to The Ames Library at Illinois Wesleyan University Jan. 31 through Feb. 13. An opening reception is scheduled for Jan. 31 from 4 to 6 p.m.

The interactive Legacy Wall features biographies of people who have made contributions in a number of fields. Some of the individuals featured include author Oscar Wilde, U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, British mathematician Alan Turing, and Father Mychal Judge, a chaplain to the New York City Fire Department who was killed in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

legacy-wallThe Legacy Wall exhibit was created by the Legacy Project, a Chicago-based nonprofit intended to inform, inspire, enlighten and foster an appreciation for the role LGBT people have played in the advancement of world history and culture. Victor Salvo, the founder and executive director of the Legacy Project, will present remarks at the Jan. 31 opening reception. Other speakers include IWU Provost Jonathan Green, Equality Illinois Field Fellow Marcus Fogliano, Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner and Rev. Kelley Becker, associate pastor of First Christian Church, Bloomington, representing Not in Our Town, one of the sponsors of the exhibit.

The Legacy Wall is brought to Illinois Wesleyan as part of the “Queer Lives” Speaker and Performer Series at IWU funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Other Illinois Wesleyan sponsors include the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, IWU Pride Alliance, and The Ames Library. Organizers said awareness of the roles LGBT people have played in shared human history helps boost the self-esteem of LGBTQ youth who are raised without the benefit of historically significant role models. The goal of the Legacy Wall exhibit is to use the lessons of history to spark conversations and to promote a feeling of safety and belonging in the classroom. The exhibit includes data linking the teaching of LGBT-related content in schools with lowered incidences of bullying between students.

The exhibit may be viewed on the entry-level floor of Ames, which is open Sundays 12 noon to 1:30 a.m.; Monday through Thursday 7:45 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.; Friday 7:45 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

By Emily Phelps ’19

Coming Soon to a Bookshelf Near You…

Goodreads looked at the books set for publication in 2016 that users were most frequently adding to their “to-read” lists and came up with the following titles. Pre-order them through Amazon to keep up with your Goodreads network.

Coming in February


“The High Mountains of Portugal” by Yann Martel

"The High Mountains of Portugal" by Yann Martel



Publication date: February 2

“Life of Pi” author Yann Martel’s first book since 2011, “The High Mountains of Portugal” begins in Lisbon in 1904, when a young man named Tomás discovers an old journal that takes him on a journey to find a mysterious artifact that could redefine history.

Thirty-five years later, a Portuguese pathologist finds himself on the same quest, and fifty years later a Canadian senator finds himself following their footsteps as well. Martel’s beautiful story spans decades and mixes modern fable with heartwarming bedtime story.

Find the book here »


“Glass Sword” by Victoria Aveyard

"Glass Sword" by Victoria Aveyard



Publication date: February 9

The highly anticipated sequel to No. 1 New York Times young-adult best seller “Red Queen,” “Glass Sword” follows Mare Barrow, a member of the lower class whose blood is red, unlike those of the elite silver-blooded class. However, she still manages to wield the same superhuman powers as those in the Silver class, making her seem like an imposter — albeit a dangerous one — to the royal court.

But she’s not an imposter, and Mare escapes the royal court, discovering along the way that she’s not the only one of her kind.

Find the book here »



“A Gathering of Shadows” by V.E. Schwab

Publication date: February 23

Kell is a traveler-magician: He can travel between parallel universes within the same magic city. The second book in Schwab’s “A Darker Shade of Magic” series, with Kell now rid of the shadow stone, he must pass between the parallel Red London and Grey London and protect them both from Black London before it rises again.

Heavily doused in magic and fantasy, “A Gathering of Shadows” is a book of adventure, heroism, friendship, and good vs. evil.

Find the book here »




“Hidden Bodies” by Caroline Kepnes

Publication date: February 23

In the last ten years, Joe Goldberg has hidden four bodies on his unwavering quest to find love, and he’s gotten good at it. Now Joe has moved to Los Angeles for a new start and makes a life for himself there, but his secrets may not stay hidden. And if his new girlfriend finds out, she could be the next casualty.

An eerie yet satirical tale of a sociopath looking for love, “Hidden Bodies” is Caroline Kepnes’ sequel to her critically acclaimed book “You.”

Find the book here »

Celebrate Diversity with Ames in February

In conjunction with a traveling diversity exhibit, the Ames Library will be celebrating Black History Month in February by highlighting your favorite authors.

We’re looking for individuals who want to highlight authors that speak to issues of diversity, or who have helped you understand or cope with issues related to diversity, in an upcoming exhibit in The Ames Library. All you have to do is have your photo taken with a book of your choice and provide a brief quote as to why you’ve chosen that author. We’re hoping to have authors from all walks of life represented. We’re using read-poster-boycethe READ poster formatting (see here for examples), and will be superimposing your image on a decorative background, and printing out the image for display in the library.

As an example, I’m going to highlight Octavia Butler, a black, feminist, female sci-fi writer who won multiple Hugo and Nebula awards. I’ve chosen to highlight Butler because the themes in her writings helped me challenge myself and resonated with some of my own frustrations in life.

Faculty & Staff: I’ll come to your office areas at a time that is convenient for you.

Students: I’ll have a space set up in Ames to take your photo.

If you’re interested in participating, please contact me at or 309-556-1551 to set up an appointment.

Thanks for your interest!

Ames Librarian Highlights Early History of Bicycling


Just back from sabbatical, where he has been researching the history of bicycling, Information Literacy Librarian Chris Sweet was featured on WGLT’s Sound Ideas, and spoke to a crowd of 160 yesterday at Peoria’s Riverfront Museum. Great work!

WGLT article –

Peoria Journal Star article –

I-Share Down; 1/10, 6-10am

The library’s catalog, VuFind, and the I-Share catalog will be unavailable for approximately 5 minutes between 6 and 10 am on Sunday, January 10. Searching in MegaSearch may also be impacted briefly.

This service interruption is necessary in order to perform operating systems maintenance. If you have any problems connecting after 10am, please contact the Library Services Desk at 309-556-3350 or on the entry level of The Ames Library.

Take a break from your class reading!

We know, we know. You just got back from the holidays and you’re already overwhelmed by the amount of work you’ve been tasked to do for your new classes.

Well did you know that in addition to maintaining an academic collection, The Ames Library also has a regularly rotating collection of Popular Reading materials available for checkout. You can find this collection on the entry level by the Library Services Desk. It’s a great collection for in-person browsing, but if you want to see what we have before making the trek over to Ames, things just got a lot simpler.

Follow this link or go to the Popular Reading Collection page on the library’s website (under Help & Services). We’ve got over 400 titles available to choose from, including everything from Isabel Allende to James Patterson to Paolo Bacigalupi to Judy Blume.

Check out this collection whenever The Ames Library is open.

2015 Outstanding Academic Titles

Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries compiles critical reviews of newly published books, eresources, and reference materials to help libraries develop excellent collections. The Choice subject editors recognize the most significant titles reviewed during each calendar year by compiling the “Outstanding Academic Titles” (OAT) list, which is published each January.


Check out the titles available in The Ames Library, linked below.


Baptist, Edward E. The half has never been told: slavery and the making of American capitalism.


Summary (from – Americans tend to cast slavery as a pre-modern institution—the nation’s original sin, perhaps, but isolated in time and divorced from America’s later success. But to do so robs the millions who suffered in bondage of their full legacy.

As historian Edward Baptist reveals in The Half Has Never Been Told, the expansion of slavery in the first eight decades after American independence drove the evolution and modernization of the United States. In the span of a single lifetime, the South grew from a narrow coastal strip of worn-out tobacco plantations to a continental cotton empire, and the United States grew into a modern, industrial, and capitalist economy. Until the Civil War, Baptist explains, the most important American economic innovations were ways to make slavery ever more profitable. Through forced migration and torture, slave owners extracted continual increases in efficiency from enslaved African Americans. Thus the United States seized control of the world market for cotton, the key raw material of the Industrial Revolution, and became a wealthy nation with global influence.

Told through intimate slave narratives, plantation records, newspapers, and the words of politicians, entrepreneurs, and escaped slaves, The Half Has Never Been Told offers a radical new interpretation of American history. It forces readers to reckon with the violence at the root of American supremacy, but also with the survival and resistance that brought about slavery’s end—and created a culture that sustains America’s deepest dreams of freedom.

Carnes, Mark C. Minds on fire: how role-immersion games transform college.


Summary (from – Why are so many students intellectually disengaged? Faculty, administrators, and tuition-paying parents have been asking this question for nearly two centuries. And the answer is always more or less the same: students are so deeply absorbed in competitive social play (fraternities, sports, beer pong, World of Warcraft, social media) that they neglect academics.

In Minds on Fire, Carnes shows how role-immersion games channel students’ competitive (and sometimes mischievous) impulses into transformative learning experiences. His discussion is based on interviews with scores of students and faculty who have used a pedagogy called Reacting to the Past, which features month-long games set during the French revolution, Galileo’s trial, the partition of India, and dozens of other epochal moments in disciplines ranging from art history to the sciences. These games have spread to over three hundred campuses around the world, where many of their benefits defy expectations. Students think more critically by internalizing alternative selves, and they understand the past better by filtering it through their present. Fierce competition between opposing sides leads to strong community bonds among teammates and develops speaking, writing, leadership, and problem-solving skills.

Minds on Fire is a provocative critique of educational reformers who deplored role-playing pedagogies, from Plato to Dewey to Erikson. Carnes also makes an impassioned appeal for pedagogical innovation. At a time when cost-cutting legislators and trustees are increasingly drawn to online learning, Carnes focuses on how bricks-and-mortar institutions of higher education can set young minds on fire.

Critical terms for the study of gender, ed. by Catharine R. Stimpson and Gilbert Herdt.


Summary (from – “Gender systems pervade and regulate human lives—in law courts and operating rooms, ballparks and poker clubs, hair-dressing salons and kitchens, classrooms and playgroups. . . . Exactly how gender works varies from culture to culture, and from historical period to historical period, but gender is very rarely not at work. Nor does gender operate in isolation. It is linked to other social structures and sources of identity.”

So write women’s studies pioneer Catharine R. Stimpson and anthropologist Gilbert Herdt in their introduction to Critical Terms for the Study of Gender, laying out the wide-ranging nature of this interdisciplinary and rapidly changing field. The sixth in the series of “Critical Terms” books, this volume provides an indispensable introduction to the study of gender through an exploration of key terms that are a part of everyday discourse in this vital subject.

Following Stimpson and Herdt’s careful account of the evolution of gender studies and its relation to women’s and sexuality studies, the twenty-one essays here cast an appropriately broad net, spanning the study of gender and sexuality across the humanities and social sciences. Written by a distinguished group of scholars, each essay presents students with a history of a given term—from bodies to utopia—and explains the conceptual baggage it carries and the kinds of critical work it can be made to do. The contributors offer incisive discussions of topics ranging from desire, identityjustice, and kinship to loverace, and religion that suggest new directions for the understanding of gender studies. The result is an essential reference addressed to students studying gender in very different disciplinary contexts.

Happy New Year!

Hello Titans!

Welcome to Leap Year 2016! Are you ready to jump into classes tomorrow?

Starting on Wednesday, 6 January The Ames Library will be open regular hours, opening at 7:45am. Learn all about Ames hours on our website.


Photo taken by Cristeen Quezon; March 22, 2008