Open Access Week: Understanding the Connections Between Open Access, Equity, and Inclusion

October 19-25 is designated as International Open Access Week. Open access is defined as the free, immediate, online availability of research articles combined with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment. The open access movement began in the 1990’s and has grown and matured along with the internet. The theme of this year’s Open Access Week is: “Open with Purpose: Taking Action to Build Structural Equity and Inclusion.”

Those unfamiliar with open access, might wonder if tying improving open access to making any sort of real dent in the deep and systemic problems related to equity and inclusion isn’t just an attempt to co-opt an important nationwide movement.  In 2008, Aaron Swartz, a young programmer and open access visionary wrote a Guerrilla Open Access Manifesto which includes the following: “Those with access to these resources – students, librarians, scientists – you have been given a privilege. You get to feed at this banquet of knowledge while the rest of the world is locked out. But you need not – indeed, morally, you cannot – keep this privilege for yourselves.”  As Swartz makes clear, information is power, but if this power (in the form of access to information) is not the same for everyone, then inequity is the result. Knowledge builds upon knowledge, so the only equitable way forward is to reduce discrepancies in who has access to information.

Open access is one component of a broader “open” movement that also includes open source software, open educational materials (OER), and open data. Together these initiatives are beginning to re-shape who has access to information and who doesn’t, pointing the way to a more equitable and inclusive future.

Stop by and see the Open Access display in the Ames library and check out The Ames Library’s guide related to Open Access and Open Educational Resources.

Free images to use and reuse and Happy OA Week!

Olveritas Village

Olvera Street in the oldest part of downtown Los Angeles, California

Here’s a seasonal and timely message from the Free to Use and Reuse collection at the Library of Congress.

The seasonal part of the message is they are profiling images of autumn, Día de Muertos and Halloween in this subset of their collection.

The timely part is that this is also Open Access Week, a global event for the academic and research community to continue to learn about the potential benefits of Open Access, to share what they’ve learned with colleagues, and to help inspire wider participation in helping to make Open Access a new norm in scholarship and research. This year’s emphasis is on examining who the knowledge-sharing and information spaces and systems are designed for, who is missing, who is excluded by the business models we use, and whose interests are prioritized.

OA 2020 banner logo


Congratulations to Chris Sweet!

Chris Sweet, Information Literacy Librarian

Congratulations to Chris Sweet, Information Literacy Librarian, for completing the Open Education Network’s Certificate in Open Educational Resources (OER) Librarianship! Funded with a grant from the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries of Illinois, this highly competitive program aims to develop leaders within academic librarianship to aid in the creation and implementation of OERs at participants’ institutions. Chris has also been appointed to CARLI’s OER Committee, which will create a plan for supporting OERs across the consortium.

To learn more about OERs, please check out our guide.

Design on Display: COVID Runaway Fashion Show

Last week, students in Professor Lozar’s Foundations of Art and Professor Bullock’s Beginning 3D Design courses competed in a COVID Runaway Fashion Show, displaying designs with the goal of promoting social distancing and experimenting with building wearable constructions out of cardboard. The winning design, “Building/Burning” by Andrew Browne is now on display on the Minor Myers jr statue in front of The Ames Library. More coverage and photos of the students’ creations are available on the Pantagraph’s website.

You can be a Citizen DJ!



The Library of Congress sponsors many kinds of residency programs. One of them involves different kinds of digital humanities projects.

Citizen DJ is a project by Brian Foo developed during his time as an Innovator in Residence at the Library of Congress. The application invites the public to make hip hop music using the Library’s public audio and moving image collections. By embedding these materials in hip hop music, listeners can discover items in the Library’s vast collections that they likely would never have known existed. For technical documentation and code, please see the report.

Setting up Google Scholar


Did you know you can configure Google Scholar to connect to our journals? Follow our instructions to set up Google Scholar on your device, and use your IWU NetID/password to access articles and more!

Congratulations to Professor Tom Lutze!

Congratulations to Professor Tom Lutze, our newest Kemp Award Winner! We’re so happy to celebrate your many achievements and your dedicated support of students! To listen to President’s Convocation, please visit the IWU News site, and to view past Kemp Winner Honors Convocation talks, please see our collection on Digital Commons.

Writing Center Fall Workshops!

The Ames Library Writing Center’s Writers’ Workshops are back! Please see below for dates, times, and descriptions.

Workshops for the fall will be held online via Zoom. For Zoom links/passwords, or if you have questions, comments, or need assistance with registering for one of more of these workshops, please email Dr. Scanlon.


Friday September 4th 2 p.m. CDT MLA-Making Language Awesome [Passed]

Has your professor required you to write in MLA? Do you need a bit of help going over the basics of the citation style? Perhaps you have a few questions! Bring them and any citations you’ve worked on to this online writing workshop to gain insight and information on this awesome citation style! Email Dr. Scanlon for the recording.

Tuesday, September 8th 6 p.m. CDT APA No Way!: 6th versus 7th Edition [Upcoming]

Have you always written in 6th edition APA format and now your professor wants you to switch to the newer style? Perhaps you’re starting out and are unfamiliar with APA in general. This workshop is designed with you in mind! We’re here to take you through the general differences of each style as well as discuss pitfalls writers can avoid as they work through the process of writing. If you have questions or wish to attend, contact Recording available after the event upon request if you email Dr. Scanlon.

Thursday, September 10th 7 p.m. CDT Writing for Protest [Upcoming]

Are you interested in social justice? Do you support a variety of causes but are feeling a bit hindered as a result of the COVID Pandemic? This writers’ group is for you. We’ll meet weekly (you don’t have to come every time!) and virtually to discuss inspirational protest writing and work on some of our own. If you have questions or wish to attend, contact Dr. Scanlon.

Tuesday, September 22nd 6 p.m. CDT Let’s Get Personal: Grad School Personal Statements [Upcoming]

Are you applying to graduate school? This workshop is for you! We’ll cover the ins and outs of writing personal statements, give you some tips from a pro, and answer any questions you have. We’ll also recommend tutors able to help you on your writing journey. If you have questions or wish to attend, contact Recording available after the event upon request if you email Dr. Scanlon.

Tuesday, October 6th 6 p.m. CDT GREat Writing [Upcoming]

This workshop is designed to help writers tackle the analytical portion of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE). We take writers through what good essays include, how to get a high score, and what resources are available both online on-campus and online in general. If you have questions or wish to attend, contact Recording available after the event upon request if you email Dr. Scanlon.

Tuesday, October 27th 7 p.m. CDT Maybe Medicine? Moving from Maybe to Definitely with a Strong Personal Statement [Upcoming]

Are you thinking about applying to graduate school with a focus in medicine? Perhaps you want to become an advanced practice nurse? Maybe dentistry is more your speed? Does an MD appeal to you? This workshop will take you through the work done to craft a personal statement that will set you up for an interview with the college(s) of your choice. We’ve planned this one well before most application deadlines, too, so you can return to meet with a tutor several times before your final statement is due. If you have questions or wish to attend, contact Recording available after the event upon request if you email Dr. Scanlon.

For all questions, comments, or for assistance with registering for one of more of these workshops, please email Dr. Scanlon at

Thank you!

Writing Center Staff 2020-2021

Image from PIXNIO, CC0

“Supporting Teaching with Primary Sources at Illinois Wesleyan University”

Last fall, our Archivist & Special Collections Librarian Meg Miner participated in a multi-institution project sponsored by Ithaka S+R to explore “pedagogical practices of humanities and social sciences instructors teaching with primary sources at the undergraduate level. The goal of the study is to understand instructors’ undergraduate teaching processes toward developing resources and services to support them in
their work.” (Ithaka S+R) IWU joined with colleagues from 25 academic institutions, two of which are located in the United Kingdom, for this work. Two other participants in this project also offer
undergraduate-only liberal arts programs.

Her report, “Supporting Teaching with Primary Sources at Illinois Wesleyan University” is now available online, and presents the results of her interviews with our faculty. Congratulations to Meg on this accomplishment, our gratitude to the faculty who participated, and many thanks to Ithaka S&R for including the liberal arts perspective in their research!


Archives for the Centennial of Women’s Right to Vote

Equality is the Sacred Law of Humanity

Equality is the Sacred Law of HumanityThis post is from a news release courtesy of the Society of American Archivists’s Committee on Public Awareness. Be sure to visit the poster exhibit on The Ames Library’s entry level, too!

Archives contain primary sources such as letters, photographs, and audio and video footage that document the work of early suffragists such as Carrie Chapman Catt, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Minnie Fisher Cunningham, Angelina Weld Grimke, and Ida B. Wells-Barnett. In making these materials available, archivists hope to remind the public of the long history of the battle for the right to vote and the suffragists’ roles in the fight for equality.

Here are a few archives and history organizations that are remembering the suffrage centennial via online exhibits, social media, and lesson plans. You are invited to join in the celebration!

  • The National Archives Museum in Washington, DC, created Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote, a 3,000-square-foot exhibit that draws from more than 90 documents, photographs, and artifacts in its collection – including the original Nineteenth Amendment, which will be on limited display. Check out the virtual exhibit led by archivist and curator Corinne Potter. The National Archives also has created a nationwide traveling exhibit, pop-up displays for classroom use, and educational resources and lesson plans for educators to incorporate into their curriculum.
  • The Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission was established by Congress in April 2017 “to commemorate and coordinate the nationwide celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment.” The non-partisan commission has created a federal legislative tracker to note all suffrage-related congressional legislation, as well as a chronological list of press releases on suffrage news, programs, and events.
  • The National Organization of Women is highlighting past and present “sheroes” via its Sisters in Suffrage website and social media campaign. Each day in the 100 days leading up to the anniversary of the vote, NOW has released a new image and biographical sketch that illustrate the extraordinary work of these remarkable and diverse women. The public is encouraged to participate and follow along via social media with the hashtags #sistersinsuffrage#Celebrating100#righttovote.
  • The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum is celebrating the centennial via a Google Arts and Culture exhibit about Rosalynn Carter’s fight for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA); an article for The Text Message, the blog of the National Archives and Records Administration, about President Carter meeting an original suffragist prior to the Alice Paul Memorial March of 1977; and a new interview of Rosalynn Carter by her former daughter-in-law, Judy Langford Carter, about the fight for ERA.
  • The Radcliffe Institute’s Schlesinger Library at Harvard University has invited researchers, writers, and teachers to create a series of digital teaching modules for its Suffrage School. Each lesson connects to the library’s Long 19th Amendment Project, tackling the tangled history of gender and American citizenship, and includes a short video in which the instructor shares a primary source from the Schlesinger’s collections. Lessons include a link to the digitized documents, questions to guide further reflection, and additional readings.
  • The National Women’s History Museum provides a wide variety of lesson plans, modules, downloadable documents, PowerPoints, and videos for educators wanting to integrate the history of Women’s Suffrage into their educational curriculums. Each specific lesson plan is tailored to meet the requirements of students from grades 6 to 12. Additionally, a timeline of the suffrage movement and corresponding educational activities test students’ knowledge of the timeline.
  • The National Park Service, through its 20 Suffragists to Know for 2020 profiles, spotlights the biographies of diverse women of color, such as  Marie Louise Bottineau BaldwinMabel Ping-Hua LeeNina Otero-Warren, and Zitkala-Ša, whose work  contributed to the passage of the 19th Amendment even as they waged their own battles against racism and discrimination.