Author Highlight: John Green

“Those awful things are survivable because we are as
indestructible as we believe ourselves to be.”
Looking for Alaska


There’s certainly no fault in John Green’s stars. If you haven’t heard of him yet, John Green is an Indiana resident, Young Adult author, and is one half of the Vlogbrothers, one of the most popular online video projects in the world. His #1 New York Times bestseller that Time Magazine called “damn near genius,” The Fault in Our Stars is being adapted into a movie to be released June 2014 starring Divergent‘s Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort.

Recently, it was announced that Green’s novel Paper Towns will be adapted into a movie with not only the same producers and screenwriters as The Fault in Our Stars, but also one of the stars. And even more exciting for fans:

Paper Towns features Quentin, with his neighbor Margo, who discover a man who committed suicide. When Margo vanishes, he begins getting clues from her and has to follow them.

Green’s books are funny, moving, and somewhat impossible to put down. You can find Paper Towns, The Fault in Our Stars, Looking for Alaska,and the rest of Green’s novels in IUCAT.

You can also join the millions who who follow him on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook or visit his website.

-Krista K. Mullinnix

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Crisis in Ukraine

ukraineWe certainly don’t need to tell you the crisis in Ukraine has caused quite a stir–in many ways, it can be overwhelming trying to sift through all of the available information. Because of this, we’ve put together a brief list of resources to help you stay informed.

Background Information

News Sources

Social Media and Blogs

Web pages

Be sure to check out IU’s Russian and East European Institute webpage as well–sometimes they offer related events and post additional information.

And, as always, feel free to Ask a Librarian if you have other questions.

-Susan Bogner

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Fore-Edge Paintings and You

When they weren’t learning how to garden with lobsters or questioning the best method to use when trimming their toenails underwater, the people of 18th century England were shelling out their shillings for the latest literary trend—fore-edge paintings. Often featuring landscapes, religious symbols, or portraits, fore-edge paintings are decorative designs that have been painted onto the edges of the pages of a book. The books usually come in two basic forms: closed and fanned. The former indicates that the painting is visible when the book is in a natural, closed state, while the latter means the reader has to physically shift the pages of the book to reveal the picture.

To paint a better picture of what these books looks like in action, Colleen Theisen, an outreach librarian who works in the Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa, uploaded a .gif that shows the fanning process of an 1837 book entitled Autumn.

A fore-edge painting being fanned.

A fore-edge painting being fanned.

The final fanned example of a fore-edge painting.

The final fanned example of a fore-edge painting.

But! Fret not! You don’t have to travel all the way to Iowa to get a glimpse of these belletristic beauties. IU’s very own Lilly Library has a collection of over 50 books with fore-edge paintings, and many of them are still in excellent condition.

The Canterbury Tales  by Geoffrey Chaucer

The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

Rokeby; A Poem by Walter Scott, Esq.

Rokeby; A Poem by Walter Scott, Esq.

For more information regarding the history of fore-edge paintings, be sure to stop by the Lilly Library to take a look at these helpful resources! And if you have any questions, or forget how to handle a book (please, don’t use it as a Kleenex), feel free to talk with a librarian!

Hidden Treasures : The History and Technique of Fore-edge Painting
ND2370 .B471 2012

Paintings Under Gold : Being an Illustrated Catalogue of Eighty Fore-edge Paintings
Z688.R3 J45

Fore-edge Painting
Z688.R3 J49

-Delainey Bowers

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Scholars’ Commons is Underway!

Construction at the Herman B Wells Library is finally underway! You may have noticed that since the beginning of the semester, the first floor of the East Tower has been stripped down to just about nothing. This has been in preparation for the new Scholars’ Commons renovation project, which is set to be completed in July.


It’s no secret that the Wells Library is a vast place that can be very overwhelming at times—with or without construction! While construction is happening on the first floor of the East Tower, here are a few things that can help make navigating the library easier:

• A few public computers have been moved into the Reference Reading Room (located on the first floor of the East Tower). Two scanners, a public printer, and two IUCAT express workstations have also been moved there.
• Copy machines are not located on the second floor of the East Tower.
• The current periodicals and the library’s reference collection will remain in the Reference Reading Room.
• During construction there will be a small circulation desk near the entrance. The circulation desk on the second floor of the East Tower will still continue to serve library users, as well.

For more information about the Scholars’ Commons renovation, check out this library webpage and don’t forget to follow the Wells Library on Facebook and Twitter!

-Keila DuBois

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On Nurturing Creativity

The Creative ProcessAs 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:

- Nickoal Eichmann

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Black History Month at the Library

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.

black history month display

-Faith Bradham

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New York Fashion Week

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.





DIANE: A SIGNATURE LIFE by Diane Von Furstenberg

DIANE: A SIGNATURE LIFE by Diane Von Furstenberg



STYLE by Kate Spade

STYLE by Kate Spade

ANNA SUI by Andrew Bolton

ANNA SUI by Andrew Bolton

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The Burroughs Century in Bloomington, February 5-9

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.


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Happy Birthday President Washington and President Lincoln!

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)!


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Where’s Waldo: How to Find a Book in Wells


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.

    *Please note*
    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.

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