Monthly Archives: May 2018

Cannes Film Festival Titles Now on Kanopy

With the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival now past us, it’s time to relax on the couch with some of your favorites! Kanopy offers 134 streaming films in its Cannes Film Festival Collection. All IWU faculty, staff, and students have free access to thousands of foreign, independent, and documentary films through Kanopy.

Home for the summer already? No problem. You can still access Kanopy and all of The Ames Library’s other resources by proxy. Just make sure to log in using our website as a jumping board.

If you use the library’s website, we need your help!

The Library is conducting a usability study to investigate how our users navigate and find information on our website, and we need students and faculty to help us! Each usability session will take 30-45 minutes, and will take place in the library.

If you’d like to participate, please contact Stephanie Davis-Kahl ( to set up a date and time for a session.


One Button Studio Now at The Ames Library!

The Thorpe Center at The Ames Library is now offering a One Button Studio. Designed for users who may not have prior experience with video software, the One Button Studio requires only a USB flash drive and yours truly. With the push of a single button, you can record a presentation for class or practice your public-speaking skills. Faculty and staff can use the One Button Studio to record lectures and professional-development videos. No more fussing with lighting, camera, or mics–it’s all taken care of for you!

Where do you start? Book an appointment online up to four weeks in advance, but please be sure to give us a 24-hour notice. For tips about design and copyright, see our LibGuide about the One Button Studio. Happy recording!

Professor Chris Sweet Publishes New Article on Leonard “Baby” Bliss

Professor and Information Literacy Librarian Chris Sweet has just published a new article in The Wheelman on Leonard “Baby” Bliss, a Bloomington, Illinois native famous in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries for his impressive weight. Sweet’s article discusses how the heavyset Bliss was able to make a living combining two Victorian passions: bicycling and sideshows.

By the mid-1890s, Baby Bliss was well-known in Central Illinois for his tremendous size. Multiple accounts state his weight at this time to have been around 500 pounds. Around the country, and particularly in nearby Peoria and Chicago, the bicycle boom was underway. During the 1890s, Illinois was home to nearly 400 bicycle companies. The sheer number of bicycle companies meant intense competition between these companies to distinguish their particular bicycle from everyone else’s. . . . Eventually someone had the idea to put the heaviest cyclist they could find on their bicycle for visual proof of durability. Enter Baby Bliss. (2)

Image copyright McLean County Museum of History.

Sweet is an historian of bicycles and cycling in the Midwest. You can read about the life and times of the remarkable Leonard Bliss in Sweet’s “Baby Bliss: World’s Heaviest Cyclist.”

New Digital Collections from the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress has just added new primary-source materials to its expansive digital collections. Among these materials are the papers of Susan B. Anthony and Benjamin Franklin, and a collection related to the National Film Registry. If film studies are your thing, then you’ll love the latter. You can watch entire films like St. Louis Blues, in which “[l]egendary blues singer Bessie Smith finds her gambler lover Jimmy messin’ with a pretty, younger woman; he leaves and she sings the blues, with chorus and dancers.”

Enjoy exploring these brand-new collections here!

Frederick Wiseman Collection Now Streaming on Kanopy

Are you a film buff? Do you like documentaries? If so, you’ll be excited to learn that the entire oeuvre of filmmaker Frederick Wiseman is now streaming for the first time ever through Kanopy.

In January, legendary documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman, who has been chronicling the lives of mostly American institutions for more than half a century, announced that he would finally be putting his movies online for the first time. Wiseman’s movies, which have been shot in mental institutions and on military bases, in hospitals and public parks, comprise one of the most monumental bodies of work by a single artist, but despite being awarded a lifetime-achievement Oscar in 2016, he’s remained something of a cult figure. His movies, which run as long as six hours, defy the rules of traditional theatrical distribution, and apart from a single PBS broadcast apiece, they’ve rarely been available to a mass audience.

That all changed today. As of this afternoon, a whopping 40 of Wiseman’s movies—nearly everything he’s every directed—are available via the streaming service Kanopy, which can be accessed through many public libraries, universities, and other institutions of the kind Wiseman has devoted himself to exploring in his work. (His latest, Ex Libris, is a portrait of the New York Public Library, and will be added to Kanopy after its PBS broadcast in the fall.)

Source: Slate.

What’s Kanopy? Think of it as Netflix for foreign, independent, classic, and documentary films. All IWU students, faculty, and staff have free access–all you need is your netID and password. You can use it off-campus, too! Just make sure that you’re logging in by proxy (click on A-Z Resources on our homepage).