Picture Books for Everyone!

The end of the year is almost upon us. After Little 500, we have “dead week,” finals week, and the great departure. For many, it will be a summer before we return; for seniors, these are the last few weeks in Bloomington. But as these weeks fly by, the work is not at all lessened. To the contrary, there projects to be finished, papers to be written, and exams to be studied. The walls of Wells are packed to capacity nearly every night.

All of this work means that stress levels are high. This is understandable. One way to alleviate these stress levels is to get lost in a good book. Being able to turn off your mind and enjoy yourself for even a few hours is a great way to relieve some stress after hours of studying. At the same time, however, no one wants to get heavily involved in a story when there are other things that need to be done. This is also understandable. Therefore, a good stress reliever is a contained story deep enough to escape into, but not too deep that it is demanding. Perhaps the perfect solution is a graphic novel!

Graphic novels are far from “stories for kids.” Although there are many pictures, the stories can be incredibly exciting for all audiences, including mature adults. Some of the best graphic novels can be read in a single sitting and have the pace of an stimulating TV series. I’ve found myself wanting to read the next volume in a series much like I’m anticipating the next episode of a TV show. I’m currently midway through a series called Fables, and I can’t wait to get the next issue. Since most graphic novels are actually collections of several thirty-page comic books, there can be individual stories as well as arcs spreading over the collection. And you don’t have to look very far in Bloomington to find some!

We have graphic novels in both the Research and Core Collections of Wells Library. As with traditional books, some of the more emotional stories can be found in non-fiction graphic novels. Maus and Persepolis are both impactful memoirs tell biographical stories of important times in history. These are both examples of emotional, but beautiful tales.

As you know, many comics go on to become movies. One of the most famous fictional non-superhero graphic novels is Watchmen, the subject of the 2009 film of the same name. It has been lauded as one of the greatest collections in comic book history. If you are looking for a series, try The Sandman. Authored by Neil Gaiman (American Gods, Coraline), this multi-volume series is a narrative about Morpheus, the god of dreams. It is truly engaging and, personally, I think it would make a great film.

If you are a superhero fan, the library has examples from both DC AND Marvel. Whichever side of the fence you fall on, you can find some classic stories of your favorite superheroes. I recommend Batman: Year One or Marvels as two good entry points into superhero comics. Read into essential lists to dig into more of the characters you enjoy, and check out the Eisner Awards for some of the best in comics.

If you have just an hour or two to kill, consider picking up a graphic novel. They are quick, interesting, and most of all, fun. Wells is not the only place on campus to find them, though; the residence halls at Eigenmann, Collins, Teter, Willkie, Campus View, and Foster all have some on hand. Pick a couple up today, and you’ll find that they’re not just for children. And my guess is that you will find that they are quite addicting!

–Joseph Wooley

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Discovering Indiana’s “Drowned Towns”

At one point in time, the Salt Creek Valley, located in Monroe County, was a rich bottomland that was home to hundreds of farming families. This folk community was close-knit and self-reliant, and its residents prided themselves on hard work, family values, and cultural heritage. In the early 1960s the Louisville branch of the Army Corps of Engineers began work on the Monroe County Reservoir, which effectively forced farmers off land that had been in their families for generations. When the reservoir was built more than 300 homes—along with 3 schools, 10 churches, 8 cemeteries and the last 3 covered bridges in the county—were either relocated or washed away, only to become “drowned towns.” These displaced families were left to struggle with how to regain a level of normalcy and comfort after the tragic loss of their homes and livelihoods.

A home in Elkinsville, Indiana after the start of the reservoir construction.

A home in Elkinsville, Indiana after the start of the reservoir construction.

In 1986 Alice Morrison (formerly Mordoh), a doctoral student at the Indiana University Folklore Institute, published her dissertation entitled “Portrait of a Lost Community: A Folklife Study of the Salt Creek Valley of South Central Indiana and the Effects of Community Displacement Following Formation of the Monroe Reservoir.” While long, the title is a wonderful summation of the research Morrison conducted over the span of two years. The dissertation is currently accessible through ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global.

For her dissertation, Morrison collected the oral histories of past residents of Salt Creek while also exploring other fields such as local history, cultural geography, political influence, and the industrialization of agriculture. Through this endeavor Morrison was able to create a narrative that reflects the complex physical, social, and emotional components of a “drowned town.” Several years ago Morrison deeded the contents of her research to the Monroe County History Center. The materials include a copy of Morrison’s 400-page dissertation, 8 audiocassettes, aerial and topographic maps, black and white photographs, letters, newspaper clippings, personalized files, and perhaps the most helpful element: handwritten transcriptions of every recorded interview.

Supplemental materials including a title page from a family history, a handwritten card, and a newspaper article.

Supplemental materials including a title page from a family history,
a handwritten card, and a newspaper article.

While the History Center is currently in the process of digitizing all the materials to place in an interactive online exhibit, why not take a peek at what resources the libraries have to offer relating to oral histories, “drowned towns,” and folklore?

Books

Down in New Orleans: Reflections from a Drowned City
Location: Wells Library – Research Coll. – Stacks
Call Number: HV636 2005 .L8 S68 2007

Elkinsville, Indiana: The Town That Was
Location: Lilly Library – Stacks
Call Number: F532.B76 E435

Oral History: From Tape to Type
Location: Wells Library – Research Coll. – Stacks
Call Number: D16.14 .D38

Overlook: Exploring the Internal Fringes of America with the Center for Land Use Interpretation
Location: Blmgtn – Fine Arts Library
Call Number: E161.3 .O84 2006

Audiovisual

Elkinsville: Washed Away by Progress
Location: Blmgtn – Auxiliary Library Facility
Call Number: F534.E458 E457 2003

[Note: This documentary can also be viewed online at: http://video.indianapublicmedia.org/video/2365412679/]

The Call of Story: An American Renaissance
Location: Wells Library – Media Services – DVDs
Call Number: LB1042 .C27 2005

-Delainey Bowers

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Survival Guide in Using the Library (When All You Want to Do Is Be Outside)

As of this week, spring has finally graced us Bloomingtonites with her presence. Warm air, cool rain, trees budding, the daffodils blooming, all reminds us that color and life is returning to Indiana.

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When this weather hits, everyone wants to be outside as much as possible to soak up the long forgotten sun and to watch everything become green. Unfortunately, students, faculty, and staff can’t be outside all day looking at nature and laying out due to the four weeks left in the semester. That leisurely time can come when school is over, when the books are closed, and you are in the car with the windows rolled down and the radio is blasting.

In the spring, the more beautiful it gets outside, the more time we will need to spend inside studying for finals, finishing projects, writing papers, and practicing presentations.

IT. IS. THE. WORST.

But do not despair! The Wells Library has a variety of very awesome and very unique study spaces that students utilize on a daily basis. Here is a list of a few favorites:

Mild talking areas:
The fourth floor of the West tower is a place where study groups and those who are doing group projects gather to openly collaborte, without having a noise limit. This floor also offers the option of groups printing posters and has the library’s only Apple iMacs. This floor is not ideal for getting quiet, intensive studying done as it can get fairly noisy.

Collaboration Rooms – The West Tower collaboration rooms in the Learning Commons are used at almost all hours of the day by groups of all sizes. This space offers the ability to plan projects out on white boards, create content on the computer and monitor in the room, and everyone can contribute their ideas in a roundtable type manner.

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Study with a great view – If you are in the library, why not be as close to nature as possible? On the far east side of the Learning Commons (West Tower), there is a great study space with the view of the intermural practice green and the arboretum.

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Quiet Study Areas
The Scholars’ Commons offers great quiet study spaces with a wide array of seating. If you are reading, you can sit and curl up with your book in a high back armchair or you can sit in plush armchairs that are adjacent to a desk to get work done in a comfortable manner.

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The second floor of the west tower, a quiet floor, also offers views, but mostly of the upper side of the buildings on 10th street. This area is especially beautiful in the early morning during sunrise and in the evening during the sunset. Seeing the vivid colors against the limestone is something to witness – especially from the second floor.

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Personal study – If you like to study alone in a very quiet place, the third floor of the West Tower is monitored on a regular basis to upkeep the rules. The best quality of silence is on towards the back of floors 8-10 of the East Tower. These offer a personal space for your books and help to keep you concentrated. Also, the fact that you are amongst millions and millions of words won’t be of determent.

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If you ever feel lost or don’t know of a good place to study, the librarians at the Reference Desks in both the East and West Towers will help you.

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We hope you enjoy spring at the Wells Library!

-Vaughan Hennen

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Spring and All

Now that Winter has turned to Spring and March is coming to a close we are ready to usher in April— “the cruellest month” as described by poet T.S. Eliot in the 1922 long poem “The Waste Land”. April is also National Poetry Month! Started in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets, National Poetry Month is a celebration of poets and poetry by libraries, schools, bookstores, and literary organizations across the United States. How can you participate in the celebration? The Academy of American Poets has some suggestions. You can catch up on some great books from last year, you could make a poetry mixtape for a friend, bake Emily Dickinson’s coconut cake, or hunt a snark. Not every poet celebrates National Poetry Month, though. Charles Bernstein, in his book Attack of the Difficult Poems, proposes an “International Anti-Poetry Month” in an essay titled “Against National Poetry Month as Such.” Bernstein’s criticizes National Poetry Month for promoting a particular strain of traditional poetry while ignoring the diversity of contemporary forms and approaches. Whether you prefer news that stays news or noise that stays noise the IU Libraries offer a wide reaching collection of poetry for you to spread wide your narrow hands and gather all year round, including but not limited to:

  • Twentieth Century American Poetry – “an unprecedented collection of poetry which allows readers a unique survey of the movements, schools and distinctive voices of modern and contemporary American poetry. With the collaboration of America’s leading poetry publishers, the collection brings together 50,000 poems by over 300 poets.”
  • Caribbean Literature: Poetry – “a searchable collection of poetry and fiction produced in the region during the 19th and 20th centuries. Among the titles selected are numerous rare and hard-to-find works written in English, French, Spanish, Dutch, and various Creole languages.”
  • African American Poetry – “[covers] a wide range of topics from slavery and abolition to love and death, this collection provides a unique portrait of early America through the reflections of African-American poets during the 18th and 19th centuries…Contains a rich variety of poetic styles and types including elegies, odes, ditties, hymns, and sonnets.”

Not only can one search the entire oeuvre of Shakespeare but you can also view the papers of Amiri Baraka. And if physical books and objects are more your style, take a trip to the Lilly Library to view the first folio of Shakespeare, Burning Deck postcard poems, letters and manuscripts of Amiri Baraka, even a lock of hair from Sylvia Plath or Edgar Allen Poe! Other poetry and literature resources that the IU Libraries offer have been conveniently listed for your browsing pleasure. Happy snark hunting!

– Thom Sullivan

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Anything Peeps Can Do, You Can Do Better

The library can be a pretty intimidating place.

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Especially if you’re made of marshmallow and sugar.

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Lucky for this little peep—and you—we have some really great reference librarians and assistants on staff who can assist you with finding the books, journal articles, and online resources you’re searching for.

But I don’t even know where to start! you say.

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Well, how about we follow these peeps as they journey through the library in search of a book?

First thing’s first, little guys: Head on over to the reference desk to learn how to locate your book.

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Before the librarians can help out, of course, the peeps need to say what it is they’re hoping to find. Once they’ve done that, the librarians can show them where to search.

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The librarian has pulled up IUCAT, which is IU’s online library catalog. It will show us any books or journals within IU’s libraries that are relevant to the peeps’ search.

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Now that the peeps have a call number for their book, they’re heading up to the stacks. (They all agreed they could use some exercise, so they’re taking the stairs.)

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Not quite what you had in mind, is it? The peeps thought they’d stumbled upon a book about Abraham Lincoln (their favorite president) AND peeps. Lucky for them, this entire section of books seems to be devoted to Lincoln. And one of the peeps has spotted an interesting title, up on the very top shelf.

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Now that they’ve found their book, all that’s left is checking out with circulation. But, oh no! The peeps need a photo ID to borrow a book from the library…

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Phew, looks like one of them found his.

Now the peeps are all ready to take their book on Abraham Lincoln home. And, best of all, they’ll know what to do the next time they visit the library!

– Kaitlin Bonifant

*No peeps were harmed in the making of this blog.

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**Except this one…

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How Did This Get Made? and the IU Libraries

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It has reached that point in the semester where the stress of school work and the darkness and cold of winter have completely taken over. Don’t let this get you down! Instead, head on over to the Earwolf Podcast Network and check out How Did This Get Made? This bi-weekly podcast features hosts Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael, and Jason Mantzoukas as they discuss a new movie each episode. The film for each episode is announced in a mini-episode in the off weeks so listeners can watch the film before the episode comes out.

So what makes this podcast special? Instead of discussing Oscar winners and art house foreign films, HDTGM discusses some of the worst, most confusing, and crazy films ever made. The movies range from the endearing but poorly made (The Room and Birdemic), to the crazy and over-the-top (Crank and Gymkata), to the confusing and bizarre (Zardoz and Sleepaway Camp). Not only are these movies incredibly entertaining, the hosts bring a level of insider knowledge of Hollywood that will undoubtedly increase your understanding of how films are made and the difference between a good film and a How Did This Get Made? film.

The best thing about this podcast? It has a backlog of over 100 episodes and the IU Bloomington Libraries have several of the films they have covered! Click on the thumbnails below and head to the library to start watching.

– Ryan Frick

Burlesque

Burlesque

The Room

The Room

Crank

Crank

Fast Five

Fast Five

Sleepaway Camp

Sleepaway Camp

Spice World

Spice World

Sharknado

Sharknado

Zardoz

Zardoz

Reindeer Games

Reindeer Games

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Pets in the Library

Ever wonder if having a live animal living in the library is a feasible idea? Almost everyone has heard of Dewey, the library cat.

Cute, isn’t he?


Dewey came to his library by chance – he was abandoned in the library’s book drop and found there the next day. He was cared for entirely by public fund donations and his name was even chosen by a public contest, providing a cute and fun away to reach out to the community as well as to help the cat. He is a loving, wonderful kitty and he himself became a tourist attraction, bringing new patrons into the library and always there to please the regulars. He lived there for 19 long years and has had books and even a movie about him. Dewey was even used to reach out to multiple age groups through books, and a children’s book featuring him was made:

Dewey the Library Cat is not the only example of animals living in libraries who become successful fixtures of their institutions. There is also a library pet here in Indiana: Morgan the Library Bunny of the Morgan County Library!

Morgan even has her own very pink blog. She can be visited at the library today, and is part of numerous public outreach programs, such as her recent participation in anticipating the winner of the Superbowl (she seemed reluctant to choose one or the other). Both Morgan and Dewey show us that libraries do not only help their human patrons, but their animal friends, as well!

Even though the Wells Library does not have its own “pet,” there will be therapy dogs and even a therapy kitten at the Libraries’ annual DeStress Fest on Thursday, March 5 at 6:30-8:00pm. To get an idea of what DeStress fest is all about, check out this page from last semester’s DeStress Fest! We hope to see you there!

-Margaret Agnew

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A Look at The Oscars

GTY_neil_patrick_harris_jef_150129_16x9_992Can you believe it’s almost Oscar Sunday? And not only is Neil Patrick Harris hosting, he’ll be performing an original musical number written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez – you may remember them winning last for Best Original Song (for a little number called “Let It Go”).

The official title for the annual American awards ceremony honoring cinematic achievements in the film industry was rebranded from The Academy Awards to The Oscars in 2013. Winners receive a copy of the statuette, officially “The Academy Award of Merit,” which is better known by its nickname Oscar.

How did the statuette get its adorable nickname? Sidney Skolsky claims in his memoirs, Don’t Get Me Wrong, I Love Hollywood, that he first used the nickname in an attempt to mock the Academy Awards: “Will you have a cigar, Oscar?” However, the popular theory suggests the nickname was given by Margaret Herrick when she remarked in 1931 that the statue looked just like her Uncle Oscar. We’re rooting for this theory. “Why?” you might ask. Because Margaret Herrick was a librarian!

Herrick earned her library degree from the University of Washington, and in 1929 became head librarian of the Yakima Public Library. After moving to Hollywood, she became the Academy’s first official librarian. Located in Beverly Hills,the Academy library is a world-renowned non-circulating reference and research collection devoted to the history and development of the motion picture as an art form and an industry.

Fortunately, we have everything you need to brush up on your trivia before the big night.

85 Years of the Oscar by Robert A. Osborne
Bringing up Oscar: The Story of the Men and Women Who Founded the Academy by Debra Pawlak
African American and the Oscars: Decades of Struggle and Achievement by Edward Mapp
Made for Each Other: Fashion and the Academy Awards by Bronwyn Cosgrave

You can find even more materials by doing a subject search in IUCAT for “Academy Awards (Motion pictures).”

Although many of the nominated films are still in theaters or have not been released to DVD, you can check out the following nominees by clicking on the thumbnails:

Cinematography, Foreign Language Film

Cinematography, Foreign Language Film

Animated Feature Film

Animated Feature Film

Visual Effects, Makeup and Hairstyling

Visual Effects, Makeup and Hairstyling

Visual Effects

Visual Effects

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Visual Effects

Visual Effects

Visual Effects

Costume Design

Costume Design

Best Picture, Actor in a Supporting Role, Actress in a Supporting Role, Directing, Film Editing, Writing

Best Picture, Actor in a Supporting Role, Actress in a Supporting Role, Directing, Film Editing, Writing

Best Picture, Cinematography, Costume Design, Directing, Film Editing, Makeup and Hairstyling, Original Score, Production Design, Original Screenplay

Best Picture, Cinematography, Costume Design, Directing, Film Editing, Makeup and Hairstyling, Original Score, Production Design, Original Screenplay





































Or check out some of the books that inspired the films:
American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History by Chris Kyle
Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

Wells Media and Reserves Services also has a number of previously-awarded films. Just check out their Academy Awards Media Collection.

For more information about the 87th Annual Academy Awards (including a complete list of the nominees), visit their site. And don’t forget to tune in February 22nd!

-Krista K. Mullinnix

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Love is (Not) in the Air: Help with Anti-Valentine’s Research

This gallery contains 7 photos.

Did Valentine’s Day leave you with a case of the blues over mass-marketed appropriation of romance and any patriarchal implications resulting from February’s beloved holiday? Well, guess what–Wells Library is here to help you get out of that funk. We … Continue reading

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Digital Services with a Human Touch

January is now over and, hopefully, you are starting to settle into your classes and schedules. As it is still early in the semester many of you are probably not yet worried about the big paper or project you have due at the end of the year. On the other hand, some of you began to worry the first day of class when you saw it on the syllabus. In either case, adding a digital element may ease some of your concerns. Enter the Scholar’s Commons.

Scholar's_Commons
The Scholar’s Commons is located on the first floor in the East Tower of the Herman B Wells Library. It offers many services provided by librarians to help you with that paper or project. Many of these librarians have scheduled times when they take walk-in questions on a wide range of digital topics, or you can schedule a time that works for you. You can get help with digitization services or digital project development as well as many other services. Aside from the long list of services offered, there are many workshops and events that are hosted in the Scholar’s Commons. Some of these are geared towards improving your writing skills, while others aim to improve your coding skills, like the Digital Brown Bag series or the TEI Coding Workshop, where you can learn to do the coding that helped create the Algernon Charles Swinburne Project which is pictured below:

Swineburn.Project

However, if creating an interactive map is what you’re after, we have a workshop on February 18th from 1p-2p about using the free mapping tool CartoDB which was used to create this map here:

CartoDB

So whether you wish to do some text mining, map making, or anything in between, the Scholar’s Commons in the Wells Library is your one stop shop to add some digital pizazz to your term paper or project. So come on in now to get a head start, or procrastinate a bit (but not too much), and take advantage of the digital services provided in the Scholar’s Commons of the Wells Library!

-David Kloster

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