As we approach the middle of the semester, many of us are in the throes of research projects, papers, whathaveyou, with ever looming deadlines. Even those who find that the creative process comes naturally to them hit mental brick walls. Overcoming this roadblock remains an eternal human question: how do you foster inspiration and creativity?
The experts will tell you that, most often, good ideas manifest from collisions of many small, half ideas, that finally culminate with the inspiration of things we read, people we’ve talked with, or random and serendipitous mental synthesis.
Good ideas and connections also formulate when the brain has had a chance to think subconsciously. In other words, you’ve given yourself opportunities to not think about something, at least for a little while. Distraction, in moderation anyhow, can be beneficial. Positive daydreaming and sleep allow for the best subconscious thinking.
Lastly, train your brain to foster creativity by having specific environments for specific tasks. Writing a paper? As often as possible work in the same place, like your desk. Getting a Tumblr or Facebook fix? Step away from your workspace. That way, your brain associates certain spaces with “This is where we create marvelous things.”
Want to learn more about creativity to figure out what works for you? Check out these reads from the Wells Library:
Magic Hours : Essays on Creators and Creation [ BF408 .B47 2012 ]
Where Good Ideas Come From : The Natural History of Innovation [ BR408 .J56 2010 ]
Ideas and Opinions [ AC35 .E28 ]
Zigzag : The Surprising Path to Greater Creativity
The Creativity Question [ BF408 .C755 ]
The Act of Creation [ BR408 .K78 ]
- Nickoal Eichmann
Check out 3 ways the library can help you celebrate Black History Month before February is out!
1. With their collections of African American history and culture with an emphasis on the performing arts, the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center Library is a great place to start. They even host events like film screenings!
2. IU Libraries has a nifty subject page for African American & African Diaspora Studies. This page has a list of resources that includes everything from archives of African American newspapers to collections of little-known African American poets, playwrights, and authors.
3. Finally, if you want to honor Black History a little more informally, Wells’ Browsing Collection on the first floor of the West Tower currently has a Black History Month display that features novels from the Browsing Collection.
Another Fashion Week has come and gone. Until next season, here’s some recommended reading from six designers who made a splash this year.
*Images courtesy of NY Magazine’s The Cut.
JUERGEN TELLER, CINDY SHERMAN, MARC JACOBS by Juergen Teller
OBSESSION: THE LIVES AND TIMES OF CALVIN KLEIN by Steven Gaines
DIANE: A SIGNATURE LIFE by Diane Von Furstenberg
GENUINE AUTHENTIC: THE REAL LIFE OF RALPH LAUREN by Michael Gross
STYLE by Kate Spade
ANNA SUI by Andrew Bolton
William S. Burroughs, also known by his pen name, William Lee, rose to prominence during the era of The Beats in the 1950s. He wrote novels, essays, short- stories, and was also known for his spoken word performances. Like many of his famous friends – such as Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg – he was extremely influential and still is to this day.
In honor of Burroughs’ 100th birthday, the city of Bloomington is holding The Burroughs Century, a festival starting Wednesday, February 5 (Burroughs’ birthday), and lasting through Sunday, February 9. Join in on the fun and celebrate the life and works of a literary master!
Here are some samples of some of Burroughs’ work held right here on the Bloomington campus:
Herman B Wells Library Holdings:
Everything lost: the Latin American notebook of William S. Burroughs
PS3552.U75 E63 2008
Naked lunch [videorecording]
PN1997 .N32453 2003
Rub out the words : the letters of William S. Burroughs 1959-1974
PS3552.U75 Z49 2012
Fine Arts Library Holdings:
Naked lunch [book]
PS3552.U75 N3 1990
Lilly Library Holdings:
And the hippos were boiled in their tanks
PS3503.U78 A8 2008
For more literature by or about Burroughs, visit IUCAT.
In the month of February the United States recognizes the birth of two monumental leaders of yesteryear. Here are some quick facts in honor of their birthdays:
President George Washington
• Washington was born February 22, 1732 in Pope’s Creek, Virginia.
• George Washington was the United States’ first president after the Revolutionary War.
• He was the General of the Continental Army from June 15, 1775 to December 23, 1783.
• Washington served as the first U.S. president from April 30, 1789 to March 4, 1797.
• Washington died December 14, 1799 in Mount Vernon, Virginia at the age of 67.
More George Washington Facts
President Abraham Lincoln
• Abraham Lincoln was born February 12, 1809, in Hodgenville, KY.
• Nearly seventy years after President Washington’s time in the White House the nation elected Abraham Lincoln to be the country’s sixteenth President.
• He served as president of the United States for four years: March 4, 1861 to April 15, 1865.
• President Lincoln led a divided nation through the Civil War, and emancipated the slaves.
• He proclaimed all persons held as slaves in the states of the rebellion “forever free.”
• President Lincoln died April 15, 1865 at the age of 56.
More Facts About Abraham Lincoln
Check out these books from the library on the life and times of these great leaders:
Abraham Lincoln: a real American (1936)
Written by: Daniel Webster Hoan
Abraham Lincoln: a constitutional biography (1999)
Written by: George Anastapio
Abraham Lincoln: letters to his generals, 1861-1865 (2013)
Written by: Abraham Lincoln
George Washington’s Secret Six: the Spy Ring that Save the American Revolution (2013)
Written By: Brian Kilmeade
“Mr. President”: George Washington and the making of the nation’s highest office (2013)
Written by: Harlow G. Unger
George Washington (2004)
Written by: James MacGregor Burns
Happy Birthday President Washington (2/22) and President Lincoln (2/12)!
Venturing into the stacks of Wells Library can be a daunting task, but fear not, finding the book you want is easier than you think. Follow these five easy steps and it’ll be second nature in no time.
1. Search the catalog
The new IUCAT just keeps getting better. Consider it your compass as you begin your quest…
2. Locate the library
After you find the record for the appropriate title, take a look at the holdings to determine which library has your book. Keep in mind that branch libraries are scattered throughout the Bloomington campus.
3. East / West / Underground
Assuming that your book is held in Wells, you’ve still got options. Use the following list to decode the location:
Research Collections = East Tower
Undergraduate Services Core Collection = West Tower
Media & Reserve Services = Ground Floor of the West Tower
4. Take a hike / Ride the elevator
To determine what floor you’ll be traveling to, use the Collections Directory in conjunction with the call number listed in IUCAT.
5. Break it down
Once you’re up in the stacks, you’ll see that call number ranges are labeled at the end of each shelf. Call numbers themselves can be slightly terrifying, so take it one letter/number at a time.
Where’s Waldo? might cause some headaches, but finding a book in the stacks should be a breeze. For additional assistance, never hesitate to ask a librarian.
Jacob Marley comes to tell Scrooge about his impending guests, the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future.
In 1843, Dickens began writing one of his most popular and best-loved stories, A Christmas Carol
. The books so perfectly expressed the moral teaching, as well as the English celebration of that season, that it became an inseparable part of the English tradition of Christmas. Dickens’ rich portrayal of Christmas activities like the Christmas feast and Christmas parties were used to instruct Victorians on how to conduct festive activities, while his metaphorical and symbolic portrayals of the characters such as Scrooge, the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future, as well as the Cratchits and Tiny Tim, were used to illustrate the morals of Christmas.
Dickens’ name became so synonymous with Christmas that on hearing of his death in 1870 a little costermonger’s girl in London asked, “Mr. Dickens dead? Then will Father Christmas die too?”
Today, after more than 160 years, A Christmas Carol continues to be relevant, sending a message that cuts through the materialistic trappings of the season and gets to the heart and soul of the holidays.
So as we all start to head home for this most joyous of holidays, perhaps we should look to the words of Dickens to remind us what Christmas is all about:
“a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of other people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.”
Christmas is just around the corner! In the final push to winter break, many of us are probably feeling overwhelmed with final projects, papers, and exams, which can definitely put a damper on the holiday spirit. If you find yourself needing a study break, why not check out the many Christmas books, videos, and sound recordings that the library has to offer?
The Wells Library Folklore Collection houses many books on the history of Christmas. To find these books, simply search for “Christmas” in IUCAT and limit your search results to books located in the Wells Library.
Maybe you’ve had your fill of reading but still want to get in the holiday spirit. The Media and Reserve Services department offers many holiday movies for that perfect study break. To see what movies are available, search again for “Christmas” in IUCAT, but this time limit your results to videodiscs (or videocassettes, if you still have a VHS player!) in the Wells Library.
The Library also offers Christmas music, which is available to listen to online! To find these recordings, just search for “Christmas” in IUCAT and limit by “sound recording” and “Herman B. Wells Library.”
Happy Holidays from all of us here at the Wells Library!
If you’re looking to get in the holiday spirit (and possibly take a break from final projects and exams), look no further than the Wylie House Museum. Located on Second Street at the very edge of campus, the museum is one of the IUB Libraries’ and Bloomington’s best-kept secrets. Originally the home of IU’s first president, Andrew Wylie, generations of the Wylie family actually inhabited the house until 1913. Today, it offers visitors a snapshot of nineteenth-century life and houses a number of historic artifacts from collections of family letters and photographs to antique furniture and other textiles.
The museum offers numerous opportunities for visitors interested in local history. Guided tours of the house are available March-November from friendly docents familiar with the house and family’s history. Classes from IU and local schools are welcome to visit for field trips and class projects. An outdoor interpreter, with the help of volunteers, maintains an heirloom garden on the grounds to promote seed saving–an activity in which visitors are welcome to support. Other activities include live music, exhibits, and even quilt shows.
Staff and volunteers at the Wylie House have been busy preparing for the holiday season. The current exhibit, located in the Wylie House Barn, is called “Christmas in the Nineteenth Century” and features excerpts from family letters and diaries, historic Christmas cards, and photographs to highlight holiday traditions at the Wylie House and in Bloomington during that time period.
Another tradition includes the annual holiday open house, “Wylie House by Candlelight” which will take place this Saturday, December 7 from 5:00-8:00 pm. The event will offer live music performed by IU affiliates, holiday crafts and period games, docents and volunteers dressed in period attire, and of course, refreshments! If you have a chance, stop by to take part in the holiday festivities.
When you think of the library does your first thought go to the Herman B Wells Library? Well it’s time you branch out and explore the multiple libraries spread throughout campus. Think of the library system as a tree, where the branches spread far and long. Some libraries you can explore include the Business/SPEA Information Commons, Education Library, and many more. Each library and its functions are different, but they are all the same in that they provide interesting and fun information.
The Chemistry Library is the information hut for all those involved in the Chemistry department and the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology department. This library is housed with reference librarians available to help you with your information needs and includes multiple science-based databases such as SciFinder, Web of Science, PubMed and more.
Fine Arts Library
Do you want to explore the Arts? Why not travel to the Fine Arts Library located within the IU Art Museum? Here you can find material on topics such as the Visual Arts, Art History, Fashion and Design. The Fine Arts Library houses over 130,000 volumes, a reference collection and 323 periodicals.
Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center Library
The NMBCC Library is housed in the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, which was named after Marcellus Neal and France Marshall, the first African American male (1895) and African American female (1919) to graduate from Indiana University. Inside the NMBCC Library you will find material that “promotes the awareness and understanding of the African American experience, history, and culture through Library collections, displays, exhibits, facilities and programs.”
For more information, check out this handy list of all the IUB branch libraries.
Have fun exploring!