Monthly Archives: November 2017

GoPro? Yes, please!

Those of you who use The Ames Library regularly know that we offer a variety of equipment for checkout: MacBooks, Kindles, audio recorders, and so on. All you need in order to borrow this equipment is your student ID and you’ve got it for five days.

Did you know that we now have a GoPro, though?

That’s right! The Ames Library recently acquired a GoPro Hero5 Session with 180 minutes of recording time. You can shoot video in 4k resolution and take photos up to 10 megapixels. The GoPro comes with a curved adhesive mount, a flat adhesive mount, and a mounting buckle. It’s also submersible in water to a depth of 33 feet.

Whether you need to make a short film for an end-of-the-semester project or just want to capture some unique shots of campus life, the library’s GoPro is your new go-to.

(View our equipment checkout policies here and then drop by the Library Services Desk on the main floor to grab the GoPro. Just make sure to bring your student ID with you!)

Theme Thursday – Evolution of Revolution

No series on evolution would be complete without a discussion of dinosaurs, especially when you consider all the revolutionary theories about dino evolution.

Recently, fossils of early birds and their most immediate predecessors have been collected at an unprecedented rate from Mesozoic-aged rocks worldwide. This wealth of new fossils has settled the century-old controversy of the origin of birds. Today, we can safely declare that birds evolved from a group of dinosaurs known as maniraptoran theropods-generally small meat-eating dinosaurs that include Velociraptor of Jurassic Park fame.

Evidence that birds evolved from the carnivorous predators that ruled the Mesozoic ecosystems is plentiful and it comes from disparate lines of evidence. Traditionally, the prime source of evidence in support of this scientific view was the similar shape of the bones of birds and a variety of maniraptorans but spectacular new discoveries have added other lines of evidence to the table.

What other evidence is there? See for yourself.

Flying dinosaurs: How fearsome reptiles became birds, by John Pickrell

Dinosaurs, by John H. Ostrom

The Princeton field guide to dinosaurs, by Gregory S. Paul

Greenhouse of the dinosaurs: Evolution, extinction, and the future of our planet, by Donald R. Prothero

Dinosaur data book: The definitive illustrated encyclopedia of dinosaurs and other prehistoric reptiles, by David Lambert and the Diagram Group, in association with the British Museum (Natural History)

Theme Thursday – Evolution of Revolution

On the fourth Thursday of November, Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, a national holiday honoring the early settlers and their harvest feast known as the first Thanksgiving. The commercialized version of Thanksgiving suggests the Pilgrims and local Native Americans, the Wampanoag, sat down for a peaceful meal to celebrate the harvest season. The truth is far more nuanced, as it often is when victors write final version of events.

On this Theme Thursday, the last in our Native American Heritage Month mini-series, we take a look at library resources related to the Indian Civil Rights Act. This 1968 act made many, but not all, of the guarantees of the Bill of Rights applicable within Native American tribes in the U.S. It is one of many decisions made at a federal level that made efforts at making native lands more sovereign, but there is still much work to be done.

Read more about the act and related efforts with some of these resources, available to be checked out from Ames.

American Indian civil rights handbook by Michael R. Smith

Encyclopedia of American Indian civil rights, edited by James S. Olson; Mark Baxter, Jason M. Tetzloff, and Darren Pierson, associate editors

The Indian, America’s unfinished business, report compiled by William A. Brophy and Sophie D. Aberle, et al.

Native Americans, edited by Donald A. Grinde, Jr.


Theme Thursday – Evolution of Revolution

Native Americans have taken an active role in every branch of the US military since the country formed. In fact, War Department officials have stated, that during WWII, if the entire population had enlisted at the same rate American Indians did, Selective Service would have been unnecessary. According to the Selective Service in 1942, at least 99 percent of all eligible Indians, healthy males aged 21 to 44, had registered for the draft. The annual enlistment for Native Americans jumped from 7,500 in the summer of 1942 to 22,000 at the beginning of 1945.

Native American contributions to war efforts during World World II were numerous but they are most famous of code talking. The name code talkers is strongly associated with bilingual Navajo speakers specially recruited during World War II by the Marines to serve in their standard communications units in the Pacific Theater. Code talking, however, was pioneered by Cherokee and Choctaw Indians during World War I.

Check out some of these titles, available in Ames, to learn more about these efforts and contributions.

Navajo code talkers, produced by Triage, Inc. for the History Channel

Defending whose country?: Indigenous soldiers in the Pacific war, by Noah Riseman


This video, available through Alexander Street Press, reveals how strongly Navajo cultural identity and spiritual references correlated with traditional Marine Corps values and a passionate patriotism. The famous Navajo Code Talkers, memorialized by Hollywood in the feature film “Windtalkers,” were an integral part of the armed forces during World War II. Navajo veterans who fought in the Pacific in World War II, used their unwritten Native American tongue as an unbreakable code language, essential in the American military intelligence machine. Richard West, President, Museum of the American Indian, says, “Ironically, the U.S. military used the Native American language as a potent instrument of war although the government had prohibited [native] people from speaking their own language for almost a century.”Successive generations of young Navajo men who fought in the elite division of the U.S. Marine Corps, relate their stories in this film. Vincent and his brother enlisted in the 1970s; his brother died in Vietnam. Benjamin, Calbert and Michael are currently training as Marines in San Diego.

Theme Thursday – Evolution of Revolution

Google “Native Americans and Revolution” and almost all the results are related to Native American involvement in the American Revolution. Also known as the American War for Independence, many Native Americans sided with the Americans, but many sided with the British or tried to remain neutral. The Declaration of Independence accused King George III of unleashing “merciless Indian Savages” against innocent men, women, and children. The image of ferocious warriors propelled into action by a tyrannical monarch fixed in memory and imagination the Indians’ role in the Revolution and justified their subsequent treatment. But many Indian nations tried to stay out of the conflict, some sided with the Americans, and those who fought with the British were not the king’s pawns: they allied with the Crown as the best hope of protecting their homelands from the encroachments of American colonists and land speculators.

The American Revolution in Indian Country: Crisis and Diversity in Native American Communities This study is one of several available through Ames. This particular one presents the first broad coverage of Indian experiences in the American Revolution rather than Indian participation as allies or enemies of contending parties. Colin Calloway focuses on eight Indian communities as he explores how the Revolution often translated into war among Indians and their own struggles for independence. Drawing on British, American, Canadian and Spanish records, Calloway shows how Native Americans pursued different strategies, endured a variety of experiences, but were bequeathed a common legacy as a result of the Revolution.

Student Scholarship at IWU Earns Millions of Downloads!

You may have noticed a headline in the October 23rd Campus Weekly reading “Digital Commons @ IWU Exceeds 3 Million Downloads.” Digital Commons is Illinois Wesleyan University’s institutional repository, and it is here that students can deposit faculty- or peer-reviewed research. Additionally, Digital Commons also contains selected works from faculty, staff, and university departments, offices, and programs.

So what kinds of materials are available for download through Digital Commons?

“Student work deemed outstanding will be included in DC@IWU. These include honors theses, work presented at the John Wesley Powell Undergraduate Research Conference, works published in peer-reviewed IWU student journals and outstanding creative works as determined by faculty in a sponsoring department. Acceptable formats include text, images, video and audio files.”

“The DC@IWU accepts a wide range of materials including text, images, video and audio files. Examples of content include, but are not limited to:

  • Articles, pre-prints and post-prints (distribution rights permitting; please see SHERPA/RoMEO for more information
  • Book chapters (distribution rights permitting; please contact publisher for permission. Templates with suggested language for communicating with publishers are available for your convenience.)
  • Audio files
  • Conference papers
  • Dance performances
  • Datasets
  • Faculty course related output
  • Musical scores and composition recordings
  • Poetry and creative writing
  • University produced journals
  • Video files”

Student work has comprised much of the 3 million downloads between 2008 and 2017. If you’re interested in making your own research available through Digital Commons, you can find the guidelines for submission here.

A live map of the downloads in real time is located at the bottom of the Digital Commons homepage: In the past week alone, users from places as far-flung as India, China, Africa, Finland, and Australia have downloaded IWU student research!

Read more about the 3-million download milestone here:

Ames Librarian Stephanie Davis-Kahl Co-Edits New Book

The Ames Library is proud to announce the publication of a new book, Undergraduate Research and the Academic Librarian: Case Studies and Best Practices, co-edited by our very own Scholarly Communications librarian, Stephanie Davis-Kahl.

Published by the American Library Association and available both in print and as an e-book, this new collection explores research as an integral part of undergraduate learning.

“In 25 chapters featuring 60 expert contributors, Undergraduate Research and the Academic Librarian examines how the structures that undergird undergraduate research, such as the library, can become part of the core infrastructure of the undergraduate experience. It explores the strategic new services and cross-departmental collaborations academic libraries are creating to support research: publishing services, such as institutional repositories and undergraduate research journals; data services; copyright services; poster printing and design; specialized space; digital scholarship services; awards; and much more. These programs can be from any discipline, can be interdisciplinary, can be any high-impact format, and can reflect upon an institution’s own history, traditions, and tensions.”


Illinois Wesleyan students will no doubt find the book a vital resource as they undertake original research during their four years on campus. Similarly, faculty overseeing that research will benefit from the book’s detailed case studies. As we’ll mention in an upcoming blog post tomorrow, one of the many advantage of The Ames Library is that outstanding undergraduate research can be deposited with Digital Commons @ IWU. Stay tuned to find out more! In the meantime, Davis-Kahl’s edited collection will soon be available for checkout through Ames, so be sure to keep an eye on our catalog.


Theme Thursday – Evolution of Revolution

What started at the turn of the century as an effort to gain a day of recognition for the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the United States, has resulted in a whole month being designated for that purpose. On August 3, 1990 U.S. President George H. W. Bush declared the month of November as National American Indian Heritage Month, thereafter commonly referred to as Native American Heritage Month. First sponsorship of “American Indian Heritage Month” was through the American Indian Heritage Foundation by the founder Pale Moon Rose, of Cherokee-Seneca descent and an adopted Ojibwa, whose Indian name Win-yan-sa-han-wi “Princess of the Pale Moon” was given to her by Alfred Michael “Chief” Venne.

This commemorative month aims to provide a platform for Native people in the U.S. to share their culture, traditions, music, crafts, dance, and ways and concepts of life. This gives Native people the opportunity to express to their community, both city, county and state officials their concerns and solutions for building bridges of understanding and friendship in their local area.

This month, Theme Thursdays will focus on revolutions within and related to Native Americans with our first post highlighting Native Americans’ roles in environmentalism and environmental justice.

The environmental revolution has been years in the making; contrary to stereotypes, Native American Indians do not have a “natural” affinity with environmentalism. What they do have is lands with a long history of being the dumping ground for uranium tailings, nuclear waste, and toxic chemicals. Reviving traditional land-based spiritual/cultural practices, and inventing new ones for the 21st century, play an increasingly vital part of many reservation cultures threatened by environmental pollution and cultural genocide.

Efforts at Standing Rock against the Dakota Access Pipeline are just one example among many of Native Americans fighting for environmental rights. This video, available through Kanopy, documents the largest river restoration project in American history. Nearly three hundred miles in length, flowing from southern Oregon to northern California, the vast communities of the Klamath River have been feuding over its water for generations, and as a result, bad blood has polluted their river and their relationships equally. The film examines the complicated history of this conflict: how anger, fear and distrust have undermined the Klamath’s communities for decades.

This video, also available through Kanopy, chronicles the efforts of several tribes as they fight to end the harmful use of coal and work to bring clean, renewable energy projects into their communities, including wind and solar power. As Power Paths reveals, many Native American tribes are not waiting for the government to act. Instead, they are actively seeking investors and a way to control their own energy and sell the rest to the power companies.

Native Americans and the environment: Perspectives on the ecological Indian, edited and with an introduction by Michael E. Harkin and David Rich Lewis; foreword by Judith Antell; preface by Brian Hosmer; afterword by Shepard Krech III

American Indian environments: Ecological issues in Native American history, with contributions from Kai T. Erikson … [et al.]; edited by Christopher T. Vecsey and Robert W. Venables

American environmentalism: Readings in conservation history, edited by Roderick Frazier Nash


On the flip side, some Native American traditions stand in contrast to federal regulations. The idea that tribes have an inherent right to govern themselves is at the foundation of their constitutional status – the power is not delegated by congressional acts. Congress can, however, limit tribal sovereignty. Unless a treaty or federal statute removes a power, however, the tribe is assumed to possess it. Current federal policy in the United States recognizes this sovereignty and stresses the government-to-government relations between Washington, D.C. and the American Indian tribes. However, most land is held in trust by the United States, and federal law still regulates the political and economic rights of tribal governments.

One prime example of Native customs conflicting with federal regulations is whale hunting. In 2015, the Washington state native Makah Tribe has asked the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to waive federal marine mammal protections that ban the hunt. The Makah historically hunted gray whales for food and spiritual ceremonies but ceased in the 1920s, when gray whale numbers were at an all-time low. Learn about another whale-hunting tribe, the Inuit, in this e-book, available through Ames.