home Cycle of Success, Ellis Library Two Student Employees Help Preserve Ellis Library’s Collection

Two Student Employees Help Preserve Ellis Library’s Collection

Behind the scenes at the University Libraries, there are quite a few things that go into making a book shelf-ready. Occasionally, the physical processing department, in the ground floor of Ellis Library, has to repair books before they can go on (or back on) the shelves for users to check out.

Thankfully, physical processing is staffed with employees who want to teach, and great students who are eager to learn. The physical processing staff is now able to hand more and more work over to dedicated students, giving the students great experience, and freeing up the employees for other projects, such as conservation and preservation.

Two such students are Lydia Dysart and Megan Potter, both student employees in the physical processing department. As you can see from the “before” photo, books often come to physical processing looking . . . less than great. But as you see from the “after” photo, a lot can be done to fix a book. From start to finish, these students were able to complete the project.

When a book is in poor shape, you can’t simply glue it back together. The books that are repaired rarely look like they have been repaired (see the “after” photo) thanks to detailed work. When walking around the physical processing work space, you will see streamers hanging from the wall in all different shades.  This is paper used to repair the books, and they want the repair to match the book as closely as possible. It’s intricate work that takes training and detail-oriented people. Thankfully, both Lydia and Megan were up to the task.

As you can see in the before and after pictures, the students have to fix breaks in the book block using rice paper. Then they replace the spine, and, lastly, consolidate and repair the covers. Lydia and Megan did all the spine and cover repairs in the finished repair pictures.

We all appreciate the students who work at University Libraries, and are happy to be able shine a spotlight on some great work!  Thank you, Lydia and Megan, for helping to preserve our library’s collection!

home Uncategorized Journal Spotlight: The New York Review of Books

Journal Spotlight: The New York Review of Books

The New York Review of Books is technically a magazine, but comes under the guise of a bound, awkward newspaper you can’t fold.  But if something’s ain’t broke, why fix it?  And the NYRB has been publishing its semi-monthly magazines since 1963.

What’s most interesting about the NYRB isn’t necessarily its longevity (though that is impressive, especially considering the demise of paper journals), but its very content.  The title is somewhat misleading, as the magazine doesn’t focus solely on books, but contains articles on everything from current affairs to literature to science.  They also include essays and reviews, as well as original works by well-known writers.  This was the goal of the magazine’s founders: they wanted to publish a magazine featuring “the unusual, the difficult, the lengthy, the intransigent, and above all, the interesting.”  The early editors also wanted the Review to “be interested in everything…no subject would be excluded.  Someone is writing a piece about Nascar racing for us; another is working on Veronese.”  There is literally something for everyone in this magazine.  The magazine eventually expanded into book publishing, and you can buy books on their site.  The publishing side is also unique, printing translations of works previously unavailable in English, and, in the case of its Children’s Collection, reintroducing books that are no longer be printed or have fallen off the radar.

One downside to the magazine is its price, which is $79.95 per year.  It’s not exorbitant by any means, considering the material, but may be out of reach for many of us.  Thankfully, you can take a look at the New York Review of Books, the New York Book Review, and the London Review of Books in the Colonnade in Ellis Library with other newspapers and journals near the display cases.

For a preview of the kinds of content they run, you can check out a great short story by Ian McEwan, available free on their website: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2018/07/19/dussel/.

home Databases & Electronic Resources, Resources and Services University Libraries Provide Resource for Suicide Prevention Student Group

University Libraries Provide Resource for Suicide Prevention Student Group

Here is a terrifying statistic: suicide is the second-leading cause of death among 10 to 34-year-olds*. According to the CDC, in the United States, someone takes their own life every 12.3 minutes. That’s over 44,000 people lost to suicide annually. The Mizzou Student Suicide Prevention Coalition (MSSPC) is working to change those statistics.

MSSPC is “a student organization at Mizzou founded to bring people of all backgrounds together to raise awareness for suicide prevention methods.”  Zach Lahr, the president of the organization, contacted Corrie Hutchinson, our Associate University Librarian for Acquisitions, Collections, and Technical Services, to ask for help procuring a license for a documentary, The S Word, for their week of action in April. The S Word is about a “suicide attempt survivor on a mission to find fellow survivors and document their stories of courage, insight and humor.  Along the way, she discovers a rising national movement transforming personal struggles into action.”

This documentary is especially important as it includes interviews from a diverse group of people, including a veteran and members of the LGBTQ community, to show that this is a national problem that encompasses all populations.

Suicide is a difficult topic to address, and MSSPC wanted a streaming license for this documentary so that students on the MU campus would have the opportunity to view it.Hutchinson was not only able to procure the streaming rights in time to stream the video, but was able to find the library funding to purchase the video. Because of this, students who weren’t able to attend screenings can now view it on their own, with others, or even in various courses.

To view this documentary on campus, stream here: http://proxy.mul.missouri.edu/login?url=https://missouri.mediaspace.kaltura.com/media/t/0_yur6xt37.  If MU students would like to view this off-campus, they can click here: http://merlin.mobius.umsystem.edu/record=b12278488~S8.

For more information on MSSPC, you can visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/mizzousuicidepreventioncoalition/, as well as on their Twitter and Instagram accounts: @MizzouSSPC.

For more information on suicide, suicide prevention, and to get help, please visit https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/.

*according to the National Institute of Mental Health https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/suicide.shtml

home Uncategorized Serials Spotlight: History Today

Serials Spotlight: History Today

Today I learned: Benjamin Franklin believed in and researched merpeople

Ellis Library gets a lot of serials. A LOT. If you have an interest in a topic, we have at least one journal/magazine that will interest you, from art to history to footwear. Today’s focus is on History Today, “Britain’s best-loved serious history magazine.”  Not a history buff?  Trust me, you’ll still find something amazing in this journal or on their website (https://www.historytoday.com/) – they even included a spotify list to go with the most recent issue!

The May 2018 edition has a very creepy merperson on the cover, but don’t let that dissuade you. The article, “Diving into Mysterious Waters,” discusses not only the legend of mermaids/mermen, but how some of the most famous and intelligent people in early Europe wholeheartedly agreed that merpeople existed.

You may remember Cotton Mather from history lessons. He was the guy with giant, white hair who was disgustingly enthusiastic about hanging witches during the Salem Witch Trials.  Considering he believed that nonsense, it isn’t a huge surprise that in 1716, he wrote a letter to the Royal Society in London, revealing that he sincerely believed in merpeople.

While we scoff at this admission now, was it really that surprising? Sure, Christopher Columbus believed in merpeople, even claiming to have seen three of them upon arriving in the New World, but when Europeans first landed in North America and saw the opossum for the first time, they compared them centaurs and gorgons because they had never seen a marsupial, let alone one with a grumpy face. There were new discoveries all the time. “The 18th century was as much a time of wonder as it as of rational science: the two, in fact, seemed to interweave by the day.”

It’s not surprising that tales of merpeople existed then, and still exist to this day. Since ancient times, people have worshipped merpeople. Medieval European churches were covered with mermaid symbolism (the theory is that these decorations were a reminder to Christians “of the dangers of the lust for flesh”). Even after religious changes in Europe, when Catholic imagery was erased, merpeople stuck around.

Sightings abounded as well. In 1403, a group of Dutch women apparently found a mermaid and taught her how to wear clothes, take up spinning, and converted her to Christianity.  How a woman who was half fish would wear clothes or exist outside of water is beyond me, but people believed them. Mermaid sightings increased in the 16th and 17th centuries, with the seas abounding with tales of mermaids and their siren calls. The explorer Henry Hudson (of Hudson River fame) noted sightings in his captain’s log. Descriptions of mermaids over time contained the same basic information regarding their looks, until 1759, when the creepy drawing, “The Syren Drawn from Life” was published and freaked everyone out with its big ears, bald head, and “hideously ugly” features.

European cabinets of curiosity began to display “mermaid appendages” and by the end of the 18th century, some of the “smartest men in the western world,” including Benjamin Franklin and other members of the Royal Society, decided to take on the task of trapping and investigating merpeople.  This was a step in the kind of scientific research we continue to use today.  Sure, we may not chase mermaids around, but we do investigate other amazing things, with scientific discoveries happening all the time.  Parallel universes and DNA codes may not sing to sailors and lure them to their death, but the current scientific research is still pretty amazing.

The creepy mermaid drawing vs how people typically imagine mermaids. That picture had to have bummed people out when it was published.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And to prove that not all merpeople conform to the same typical body type, here’s a new discovered species.

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home Ellis Library, Resources and Services New Nonfiction: Theft By Finding (Diaries 1977-2002) by David Sedaris

New Nonfiction: Theft By Finding (Diaries 1977-2002) by David Sedaris

Looking for your next summer read? University Libraries are here for you.

David Sedaris is a well-known writer (well, well-known to most people: https://goo.gl/hcFmQY) whose humorous essays tend to focus on his own crazy life in addition to the crazy lives of his family and friends. However, his new work changes things up a bit.

While Sedaris has never been one to hide anything, his honesty reaches new heights in his latest book, “Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002).” The first of two volumes, this diary contains Sedaris’s observations on the world, which is different from most diaries, which contain the introspective thoughts and experiences of the writer. This creates a new kind of reading experience for fans of his previous works, offering a peephole into other people’s lives, and who doesn’t love that? Have you ever had a strange experience with a stranger, overheard a crazy conversation, or come across some hot gossip? While many of us might tell our friends and family, Sedaris told his journal, and now the world. Like many authors, he draws from life for his writing, and records the things around him. But unlike other writers, Sedaris records the little minutiae that some wouldn’t give a second thought. It’s an interesting look into the mind of a writer, and will inspire you to take an extra look/listen to things around you, and, possibly, start a journal of your own.

Check out this book at Ellis Library  or through MOBIUS.

home Resources and Services Crafting on a budget – let Mizzou Libraries help!

Crafting on a budget – let Mizzou Libraries help!

Welcome to a new series where the library helps you find new hobbies and adventures you might not have considered before!

Paper quilling:

Quilling or paper filigree is an art form that involves the use of strips of paper that are rolled, shaped, and glued together to create decorative designs. The paper is rolled, looped, curled, twisted and otherwise manipulated to create shapes which make up designs to decorate greetings cards, pictures, boxes, eggs, and to make models, jewelry, mobiles etc. Quilling starts with rolling a strip of paper into a coil and then pinching the coil into shapes that can be glued together. There are advanced techniques and different sized paper that are used to create 3D miniatures, abstract art, and quilled flowers among many things.” – Wikipedia

Paper quilling is a great craft to take up when you’re on a budget.  The paper is inexpensive and available just about anywhere. You can create all kinds of projects, such as cards, jewelry, wall hangings, and more.  There are a lot of great books available through MOBIUS to get you started!

 

 

 

Wood Carving:

Wood carving is a form of woodworking by means of a cutting tool in one hand or a chisel by two hands or with one hand on a chisel and one hand on a mallet, resulting in a wooden figure.” – Wikipedia

Wood carving can be a great hobby for someone who is more detail-oriented.  Start-up costs are low, typically under $20, and the supplies take up very little room.


Wood carving
basics / David Sabol with Kam Ghaffari


Wood carving
: projects and techniques / Chris Pye


Wood-Carving
Design and Workmanship / George Jack
ps://goo.gl/zW6Mdj

 

Sketching:

“A sketch is a rapidly executed freehand drawing that is not usually intended as a finished work.  A sketch may serve a number of purposes: it might record something that the artist sees, it might record or develop an idea for later use or it might be used as a quick way of graphically demonstrating an image, idea or principle.  Sketches can be made in any drawing medium.” – Wikipedia

Sketching can be an extremely low-cost creative outlet, with help from books from the library!  All you need are some instructions, a pencil, and some paper!  You may think you aren’t able to draw, but with practice, you can really develop your skills, and it’s a good stress reliever.

Sketch Your Stuff : 200 things to draw and how to draw them / Jon Stich


Start Sketching and Drawing Now Simple techniques for drawing landscapes, people and Objects

 

home Databases & Electronic Resources, Resources and Services Spotlight on Serials: American Craft

Spotlight on Serials: American Craft

An overgrown library

Though many magazines have gone completely digital, Ellis Library is still home to a large variety of print editions – several of them are probably so obscure you haven’t heard of them, but they’re full of information you wouldn’t normally come across anywhere else.

Take, for example, December/January 2018 edition of American Craft.  Erin Powell of our Serials Department couldn’t resist flipping through it when she saw this headline on the cover: “Tiny Scenes of the Apocalypse.”

Who remembers making a diorama in grade school?  It’s a common enough project, but Lori Nix and Kathleen Gerber have taken it to new heights (or lows, considering the size of their art) by expanding on the diorama with increasingly complex themes and textures.  While Nix and Gerber didn’t study miniature design in college, their combined skills in photography, ceramics, and glass made them perfect partners for creating realistic scenes of disaster and dystopian realism.  They’ve gradually moved from store-bought props and empty backgrounds to making nearly every element by hand.  Every diorama is extremely detailed and filled with various textures and designs because, as Nix explains, “I don’t know what the camera is going to catch.”  Seeing this kind of in-depth art can make you feel a little out of sorts when viewing the photos, as you can’t easily tell which photos portray real life, and which have been created in a studio.  Nix actually ran into this problem last summer, when she photographed a grasshopper while visiting her mother here in Missouri.  After posting the photo to Instagram, her followers immediately thought it was a model.

An abandoned laundomat at night.

Most of their dioramas portray a “post-apocalyptic background,” as part of their ongoing series, The City, which debuted in 2005.  Nix and Gerber both have a morbid streak, and their next exhibit, premiering at the end of November, takes the dystopian scenes from indoors to outdoors – from an overgrown library to a vast view of a city skyline.  The dioramas are so detailed, the artists are only able to exhibit once every three years or so, but have been able to create their own commercial business, producing dioramas for companies like BBC America and Wired.

While people find a “dark humor” in the works, Nix worries that they “should be doing Utopian scenes” but admits, “it’s not in me.”  She asks Gerber, “Do you think we should be making ‘pretty’?  Could we even make ‘pretty’?”  But neither of them know – they just know this is the art they need to make now.

http://www.nixgerberstudio.com/

http://americancraftmag.org

Imagine handcrafting each map on the wall!

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home Resources and Services Exciting new non-fiction – “Hunger: A memoir of (my) body” by Roxane Gay

Exciting new non-fiction – “Hunger: A memoir of (my) body” by Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay’s memoir Hunger is available for checkout through the University Libraries.

Is there anything Roxane Gay can’t do??  Let’s just list some of the highlights of this amazing woman:

Click the cover for more information!

You wonder how a woman like that has time to do all of this and still travel around the country, promoting her new book, Hunger: A memoir of (my) body.  Gay has been open about her life and experiences, and in her new book, she tackles a subject she has often written about intimately on her tumblr blog.  Her horrific sexual assault at age 12 has been a big influence on her work over the years, and this part of her past is discussed in this book, with regards to self-image and self-care: “I ate and ate and ate in the hopes that if I made myself big, my body would be safe. I buried the girl I was because she ran into all kinds of trouble. I tried to erase every memory of her, but she is still there, somewhere. . . . I was trapped in my body, one that I barely recognized or understood, but at least I was safe.”  People make assumptions and are often cruel towards people of a certain weight, but more than that, Gay confronts the reality of being a fat person in today’s society, for example: unsolicited advice from strangers (many listed on her blog with a link below), people taking food out of her grocery cart, and the heartbreaking realization that “the bigger you become, the smaller your world gets” with regards to movie theaters and airplane seats, and being excluded in so many ways. Gay’s honesty and vulnerability make this a memoir worth checking out.

 

Interesting Links:

Here are recommendations for books that you may also enjoy – available through University Libraries!  Click the covers for more information!

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
Wonder Women: 25 innovators, inventors, and trailblazers who changed history by Sam Maggs and Sophia Foster-Domino

 

We were feminists once: From riot grrrl to CoverGirl®, the buying and selling of a political movement” by Andi Zeisler
Sex Object by Jessica Valenti

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home Cycle of Success Congratulations to Michaelle Dorsey for her Chancellor’s Outstanding Staff Award!

Congratulations to Michaelle Dorsey for her Chancellor’s Outstanding Staff Award!

Once a year during Staff Recognition Week, the Chancellor’s Outstanding Staff Award is given to one person in each of four job categories.  The award “represents those who best reflect honor upon the University and the community through a combination of job performance, job-related personal qualities, relationship with their associates, and the ability to relate their work to the missions and values of the University.” Considering the number of employees currently employed at MU, this is a great honor.  Ellis Library is lucky enough to have an amazing staff member who won the Chancellor’s Outstanding Staff Award this year, Michaelle Dorsey, head of our physical processing/preservation unit.

Tell us a little about your background and experience?

I have a BFA in painting and a BA in English Literature from Truman State University.  In May 2017, I earned my Master of Arts Degree in Information Science and Learning Technologies with an emphasis in Library Science (what a mouthful!).  While at Truman State University, I was a student assistant in the physical processing unit at Pickler Library.  I started at Ellis Library in 1994.

What’s the most arduous task you have?

Hands down, the most arduous task is disaster recovery.  Disaster recovery is mentally and physically exhausting.  In addition, for library staff, damage to the physical collection and the building elicit strong emotions that last well into the recovery process.  During the 2011 fire, it was difficult to work against the clock, directing the salvage of physical library materials, finding resources needed to continue the effort, acting as mediator between areas with different priorities while dealing with the emotional and psychological ramifications of the vandalism.  After the initial recovery effort, library routine goes back to normal but recovery of damaged library materials is an ongoing process for Technical Services staff long after the initial event.

Is there any task you enjoy doing personally, rather than delegating?

There are many parts of my job that I enjoy.  However, I’m happiest when performing preservation and conservation treatment.  As my responsibilities as a manger grow, I have less time to personally repair library materials.  This is sometimes hard for me to reconcile.  I derive great satisfaction from working with my hands, knowing that through my efforts, library resources continue to be available for scholars, students, and researchers.  However, I remind myself that the more skills I pass along to those I supervise, the more impact we can have on the state of the MU Libraries Collection.

Now that you’ve completed your Master’s degree, what are you working on?

The MU School of Information Science and Learning Technologies doesn’t offer a conservation component so I focused on digital preservation and digital libraries.  I’m currently apprenticing with James Downey, a local conservator.  Mr. Downey and I are working with MU Special Collections to identify RARE items in our collection that need conservation treatment.  The plan is for me to begin performing conservation treatment in-house.

You currently work on preservation, but are still learning conservation.  What is the difference between the two?

Preservation treatment and conservation treatment require similar hand skills but the decision-making, purpose, and philosophy differ.  Preservation prolongs the life of library materials in the general collection, allowing them to remain viable to the user with the idea that they are not currently rare and can be replaced or are owned by a large number of other institutions.  Conservation is performed to prolong the life of the item for a benchmark of 300 years (as long as it is kept in the proper environment) with an eye towards retaining the content and the historical significance of the physical object, and as much of the original materials and structure as possible.  The idea is to do only as much as is necessary to keep the material stable using materials and processes that will not increase deterioration and are reversible if needed.

Michaelle with librarian Corrie Hutchinson.
Chancellor’s Outstanding Staff Award winners!
Ann Campion Riley, Vice Provost and University Librarian, with Michaelle Dorsey.

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home Ellis Library Spotlight on new fiction: The Wonder, by Emma Donoghue

Spotlight on new fiction: The Wonder, by Emma Donoghue

Click for more information on Room!

Emma Donoghue is a writer who is best known for her book, “Room,” which was made in to a movie in 2016.  It won multiple awards, including being nominated for a Best Movie oscar, which is likely due to both the acting and the fact that Donoghue herself adapted the book into a screenplay.  While many consider it blasphemous to say that “the movie is better than the book,” I will say that both the book and the movie are excellent, and worth checking out (Room is available at Ellis Library, and the movie through MOBIUS).

 

 

 

Click for more information on The Wonder!

Ellis Library now has a copy of Donoghue’s new book, titled The Wonder.  Lib Wright, a nurse mentored by Florence Nightingale, is sent to a small Irish village to investigate the “wee wonder” living there, Anna O’Donnell, who is allegedly living on “manna from heaven.”  Visitors are flocking to the house to witness this miracle of a child who has had nothing but spoonfuls of water for four months.  Libby, along with another nurse, are tasked with watching Anna to make sure she isn’t sneaking food in somehow, but as Anna’s conditions worsens, Libby finds it harder and harder to be an objective observer and begins to question her own beliefs.

 

 

 

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