Monthly Archives: November 2016

New eBooks Available!

The ACLS Humanities E-Book (HEB) just added 323 titles to our online platform as part of our Fall 2016 title release, bringing our collection to 5,000 books.

Our latest round of books includes:

  • Additional offerings from some of our longstanding publishing partners: 54 books from Harvard University Press, 40 from University of California Press, 26 from Cambridge University Press, 23 from Princeton University Press.
  • Fifty-one titles from our new collaborating publisher Berghahn Books; as well as a selection of titles from other first-time contributors Temple University Press, University of Hawaii Press, Fortress Press, Orbis Books, Arden Press, Northwestern University Press, and Liverpool University Press.
  • Twenty-nine titles authored by ACLS Fellows.
  • Expanded offerings in areas of scholarship including Women’s Studies, Gender Studies, Latin American Studies, Environmental History, Architectural History, and Animal Studies.
  • New additions to the ACLS Centennial series, which commemorates the founding of the organization in 1919, as well as the Fordham Perspectives in Continental Philosophy series.
  • One hundred twenty-nine titles that have received awards from a number of ACLS constituent societies.
An overview of our Fall 2016 release is available via Pinterest. To download a spreadsheet listing all titles now available in the collection, click this link.

Women’s Power | Women’s Justice


Happy Thanksgiving, Titans! Did you know that Sarah Josepha Buella Hale was a leading force behind the creation of Thanksgiving as a national American holiday? Prior to her campaign, it had been primarily celebrated in New England, with each state celebrating it on a different day. Her advocacy for the national holiday began in 1846 and lasted 17 years before it was successful. She wrote letters to five US presidents (Taylor, Fillmore, Pierce, Buchanan, and Lincoln) with the final letter to Lincoln convincing him to support legislation establishing Thanksgiving as a national holiday in 1863. The new holiday was considered a unifying day after the stress of the American Civil War.

index (4)Hale is also the author of the famous nursery rhyme, “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” From the book cover: “Since this nursery rhyme first appeared in 1830, children have loved it.  When Tomie dePaola discovered that Hale had been born near his New Hampshire home, he knew he wanted to illustrate this perennial favorite.

DePaola uses his signature folk art style and sets the poem in a traditional 19th century New England setting.  The result is an endearing interpretation of the little lamb that followed Mary to school and how the teacher handled it.

Back in print after fifteen years and in a board book format for the first time, Mary Had a Little Lamb will be cherished for generations of children to come.”

Core Values of Librarianship

The American Library Association is the professional organization representing public, academic, school, and special libraries in the United States. Last week, the Washington office released a statement, which was quickly criticized by the larger profession. In short, the statement highlighted ways in which the ALA would work with the incoming presidential administration. Read more about the issues in a recent post from Inside Higher Ed.

The Ames Library wants to call your attention to the Core Values of Librarianship, which “reflect the history and ongoing development of the profession” for many years.

Included in the Core Values are:

“It would be difficult, if not impossible, to express our values more eloquently than ALA already has in the  Freedom to Read statement, the  Library Bill of Rights, the  ALA Mission StatementLibraries: an American Value, and other documents. These policies have been carefully thought out, articulated, debated, and approved by the  ALA Council. They are interpreted, revised or expanded when necessary. Over time, the values embodied in these policies have been embraced by the majority of librarians as the foundations of their practice.”

Women’s Power | Women’s Justice


Considered one of the most prolific female spies of the 20th century, as a triple agent for 51Msz1kZ8WL._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_Communists in China, India, and the Soviet Union, Agnes Smedley was an American journalist and writer well known for her semi-autobiographical work, Daughter of Earth.

Agnes Smedley, author of Daughter of Earth, worked in and wrote about China from 1928 to 1941. These 18 pieces featured in  Portraits of Chinese Women in Revolution —all out of print and most unavailable even in public libraries—are based on interviews with revolutionary women. They include descriptions of the massacre of feminists in the Canton commune, of the silk workers of Canton whose solidarity earns them the charge of lesbianism, and of Mother Tsai, a 60-year-old peasant who leads village women in smashing an opium den.


After the Election…

The letter below was sent to the IWU community by campus leaders shortly after the 2016 presidential election results were announced. Per The Ames Library mission, the library “provides a seting conducive to interaction, consultation, study, and reflection,” for all members of the IWU community. If you feel uncomfortable in the library, please contact the Library Services Desk at 309-556-3350.

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Faculty, Staff and Students,

Today brings closure to one of the most divisive elections in U.S. history. Whether you supported Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, today is met with mixed feelings by many because we live in a country deeply divided on our values and beliefs. Unfortunately, that fact was as true yesterday as it is today.

As we reflect on this particular election, we must turn to our values — our individual values, our University values as expressed in our mission, and the values of our country that reflect the kinds of communities that we aspire to be.

Institutionally, we remain committed to diversity and social justice, explicitly stated in our mission. For those in our community who are feeling marginalized by the election results, please let us be clear: we see you and we care about you. You are respected and valued here. Illinois Wesleyan is a place committed to mutual respect and inclusion.

Liberal arts educations are designed to prepare students for democratic citizenship and life in a global society. Democratic citizenship requires that we accept the outcomes of elections. As we have seen in this election, the electoral process reveals our differences of opinion and perspective as much as it affirms those things we have in common. Our mission calls us to develop engaged citizens who will build partnerships, work to solve conflict, speak up when injustice occurs, and work tirelessly for the ideals that inspire them. Democracy works best when all voices are heard – not just on one day, but every day.  

Continue to use your voices to advocate for the issues that matter most to you. Hold your elected officials (local, state and national) accountable for creating the kind of community you want to live in. On our campus, advocate for your educational experience and the inclusive experience of all.   

We don’t know the path forward, but history demonstrates that there must be one. We need you, educated in the liberal arts, to solve the world’s biggest problems and to lead this country. We need you to continue to use your voice to make a difference in the world.   

As a community, we will always have a variety of opportunities to come together in both celebration and struggle. As we process this election, let us use this time to come together and create a future that reflects our genuine care for one another and our shared values.


Eric Jensen, President

Jonathan Green, Provost

Karla Carney-Hall, Vice President for Student Affairs

First African-American Woman Graduate from IWU

Want to learn all about the first African-American woman to graduate from IWU? Check out The Ames Library Archives and Special Collections blog post on Jospehine M. Jackson.

Women’s Power | Women’s Justice


“The present was an egg laid by the past that had the future inside its shell.”

– Zora Neale Hurston

This Theme Thursday celebrates the accomplishements and life of civil rights activist Zora Neale Hurston. Zora Neale Hurston was an American novelist, short story write, folklorist, and anthropologist. Of her novels and published short stories, plays, and essays, she is best known for her 1937 index (3)novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God

Her works remained rather obscure during her life and for several years after her death, for a number of cultural and political reasons. Many early readers and critics objected to Hurston’s use of dialect, but more recently critics have praised her use of idiomatic speech.

From the book cover: “One of the most important and enduring books of the twentieth century, Their Eyes Were Watching God brings to life a Southern love story with the wit and pathos found only in the writing of Zora Neale Hurston. Out of print for almost thirty years—due largely to initial audiences’ rejection of its strong black female protagonist—Hurston’s classic has since its 1978 reissue become perhaps the most widely read and highly acclaimed novel in the canon of African-American literature.”

Women’s Power | Women’s Justice


Fifty years after women like Dame Jane Goodall and Gloria Steinem started chipping away at the glass ceiling, their influence remains palpable, especially in a world where we still debate women’s rights. This Theme Thursday celebrates the work of Jane Goodall, a famous primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and all-around awesome woman. Dame Goodall continues to study and write about primate behavior. She founded the Gombe Stream Research Center in Gombe National Park, Tanzania, and the Jane Goodall Institute for Wild Life Research, Education, and Conservation to provide ongoing support for field research on wild chimpanzees. She is the author of many books, including two autobiographies in letters, Africa in My Blood and Beyond Innocence. Today Dr. Goodall spends much of her time lecturing, sharing her message of hope for the future, and encouraging young people to make a difference in their world.

51Ul67cmJfL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_In the Shadow of Man is one of Goodall’s early books. From the book cover: “World-renowned primatologist, conservationist, and humanitarian Dr. Jane Goodall’s account of her life among the wild chimpanzees of Gombe is one of the most enthralling stories of animal behavior ever written. Her adventure began when the famous anthropologist Dr. Louis Leakey suggested that a long-term study of chimpanzees in the wild might shed light on the behavior of our closest living relatives. Accompanied by only her mother and her African assistants, she set up camp in the remote Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Reserve in Tanzania. For months the project seemed hopeless; out in the forest from dawn until dark, she had but fleeting glimpses of frightened animals. But gradually she won their trust and was able to record previously unknown behavior, such as the use—and even the making— of tools, until then believed to be an exclusive skill of man. As she came to know the chimps as individuals, she began to understand their complicated social hierarchy and observed many extraordinary behaviors, which have forever changed our understanding of the profound connection between humans and chimpanzees.

In the Shadow of Man is “one of the Western world’s great scientific achievements” (Stephen Jay Gould) and a vivid, essential journey of discovery for each new generation of readers.”

World Series Champions!