In conjunction with the 2017 Life Sciences and Society Symposium, librarian Timothy Perry has curated an exhibition of materials from Special Collections on the art and science of love. Love has many faces. Traditionally depicted in art as a rosy-cheeked boy with blond curls, love appears throughout Western literary history in various guises, sometimes violent, sometimes playful, sometimes mysterious, sometimes beneficent. To Hesiod, Eros – the Greek for love — was one of the oldest, and certainly the fairest, of the gods. To Empedocles, Eros was a primal force, battling with Eris (Strife) for mastery of the cosmos. To Lucretius, love was like a festering wound. In the Middle Ages, Dante described God as “the love that moves the sun and the other stars”. But love had also become a courtly ideal, closely associated with concepts of nobility and chivalry. Wherever love appears, though, and in whatever form, it is always as a powerful force in human life and the universe as a whole. As Virgil says, omnia vincit amor – love conquers all.
Omnia Vincit Amor: The Art and Science of Love presents the many faces of love as they appear in the literature of antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance. It covers both the theories of love found in philosophy and science, from Plato to Judah Leon Abravanel, and more literary accounts of love, including Terence, Ovid, and the Roman de la Rose.
In a related exhibition, University Archives has brought together items from its collection to tell the story of Scandalous Questions – Questions of Scandal: The University of Missouri and the 1929 Sex Questionnaire. In 1929, a student project for a sociology class at the University of Missouri created an uproar that echoed throughout Columbia and across Missouri. The “sex questionnaire” as it came to be known was intended to gather data regarding the sociological significance of the changing economic status of women on family life. Its inclusion of three questions pertaining to extramarital sexual relations, however, led to the dismissal of one faculty member, a year-long suspension of another, the ouster of the University President, and the involvement of the American Association of University Professors.
Both exhibitions will be on view in the Ellis Library Colonnade until October 30.
In 1929, a student project for a sociology class at the University of Missouri created an uproar that echoed throughout Columbia and across Missouri. The “sex questionnaire” as it came to be known was intended to gather data regarding the sociological significance of the changing economic status of women on family life. Its inclusion of three questions pertaining to extramarital sexual relations, however, led to the dismissal of one faculty member, a year-long suspension of another, the ouster of the University President, and the involvement of the American Association of University Professors.
In a new display presented in conjunction with the Special Collections and Rare Books’ exhibit Omnia Vincit Amor: The Art and Science of Love, University Archives has brought together items from its collection to tell the story of Scandalous Questions – Questions of Scandal: The University of Missouri and the 1929 Sex Questionnaire. The display is in the Ellis Library Colonnade during October.
This year, the Research, Access, and Instructional Services Division of Ellis Library is fortunate to have seven graduate assistants providing research assistance at the Reference Desk, leading workshops, and helping with behind-the-scenes projects. Meet a few of them below and find out some of their insider research tips.
Haley Gillilan, originally from Kansas City, studied English and film studies at Ball State University as an undergraduate. Her parents took her the library from a young age, helping instill “a lifelong love for reading, pop culture, and the library.”
She says, “I started looking into library careers around the time there was a lot of racial unrest and community upheaval in Ferguson, Missouri, and I saw the way that the library took care of people in that community seeking refuge. After that event, I was inspired to look into library school and realized that the profession exemplified a lot of the values that I personally hold.”
Haley enjoys helping people find what they need and is “always happy to make the library a hospitable place.” When anyone isn’t sure where something is located in the library, she recommends using the How do I find? link under Looking For? on the library’s homepage.
Victoria Knight studied English here at Mizzou, graduating with her bachelor’s in the spring of 2016. What made her want to become a librarian? “The most stereotypical answer, I love to read! I have always been interested in reading and writing, and even in high school I knew I wanted to go into librarianship. However, as I got older and started my career in higher education, I saw the value of information literacy and the importance of our freedom to gather and read whatever we wanted. I thought librarianship would be a great way to combine my interest in literature and my love for freedom of speech and information access.”
She says finding “the exact right source” is most rewarding aspect of working at the reference desk. “It doesn’t matter if it is a book, article, or even the perfect database. When the student starts to realize that we have exactly what they need, that is what makes the job fun! We never know what we are going to be asked, and when we find the perfect source it just makes everyone happy.”
Victoria knows that library research can be intimidating but tells students “they should never spend hours struggling with library sources.” She emphasizes the library’s abundant resources and the reference department that helps students “research smarter, not harder.” She advises, “Don’t stress or be afraid to ask us for help! It’s literally why we are here.”
Erin Niederberger majored in English and minored in history and anthropology right here at Mizzou. Her undergraduate internship at Ellis Library led to her current path. She says, “I hadn’t even thought about librarianship as a career before, but the internship prompted me to find out more.”
Erin appreciates a good challenge, like “when someone has a complicated question, and we’re able to find exactly what they need. Hunting for good books and journal articles can be a fun treasure-hunting experience, but the best part is when you get them what they’re looking for.”
Her favorite piece of library history to share is that “if you stand on the second floor landing and look up the stairs, you can faintly see the outlines of windows that were filled in when additions were built onto the library. This building comes with a lot of history.” Erin’s practical advice is to take a look at the subject guides linked to as Research by subject under Quick Links on the library homepage. These guides “give you a lot of places to start with research.”
Dylan Thomas Martin studied English literature, pursuing secondary education for a few years before deciding on librarianship, which offers him a “unique mix of teaching, public service, projects, and research.” In addition to his work at Ellis Library, he is “currently working with the Daniel Boone Regional Library to host digitally a collection of a local zine published since 1992.”
As far as his work here at Ellis, Dylan most enjoys “working with diverse students from across the disciplines and helping users arrive at the ‘a-ha!’ moment, so they can walk away from the reference desk a more independent researcher.”
Michelle Zigler majored in English, with an emphasis in creative writing, plus a minor in women’s and gender studies. What made her want to become a librarian? She says her internship with The State Historical Society of Missouri prompted her interest in the profession. She also worked in her high school library.
Michelle likes helping people and finds plenty of opportunity for that at the Reference Desk. “It makes me feel so good inside knowing that I helped give someone else the answer that they needed.”
“I love referring students to Special Collections and Rare Books,” she says of her favorite library tip. Although many students are unaware of what is in their collections, Michelle hooks them with tidbits such as “Their oldest material is around 4,000 years old!”
The University of Missouri Libraries recently welcomed Joseph Askins as Head of Instructional Services. We are excited to have him on board. Get to know a little more about him in this quick interview.
Please tell us a little about your background and experience. What led you to the University of Missouri Libraries?
I grew up in Northwest Arkansas, not too far from the University of Arkansas and Walmart’s world headquarters, and moved to Columbia in 1999 to study Journalism. After graduating from the J-School in 2003, I spent a few years working for newspapers, magazines, and websites in Arkansas and Chicago. As I neared the end of my twenties, I decided to get a master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois, even though I had never worked in a library at any point in my life. In 2011 I left Chicago and my job as an editor, moved back to Arkansas once again, and looked for any and every opportunity to work with libraries, archives, and museums around my hometown. In 2012 I took a job as a Reference and Instruction Librarian at NorthWest Arkansas Community College, in 2015 I moved to Columbia, SC, to become an Information Literacy Programs Librarian at the University of South Carolina, and this summer I traded in one Columbia for another and returned to Mizzou.
How did you come to be a librarian, and what do you find most interesting about library instruction?
By 2008 I was working as the managing editor of a small magazine and website that covered new residential construction in and around Chicago. The market collapsed that year, developers stopped placing ads in our publication (or, in one memorable instance, fled the country entirely), and construction in many neighborhoods ground to a halt. I realized at some point that tracking price cuts for imaginary condos in unbuilt high-rises was not my idea of a good time, and by early 2009 I was thinking a lot about what I did and didn’t enjoy about my career up to that point. What I realized was that I loved chasing facts, pulling files, sifting through records—I liked the research part of my job so much more than the storytelling part. So I started to brainstorm ways in which I could spend more time searching for information and solving mysteries about where a particular piece of data might be located, and I quickly latched onto librarianship as a career where I could do just that.
The very first LIS course I ever took, a full year before I entered school as a full-time grad student, was called Instruction & Assistance Systems. It was all about teaching in a library environment, and it was there where I first encountered terms like “information literacy” and “one-shots” and “flipped classrooms.” One of the things I realized as I went through that course was that I never really experienced that kind of instruction as a student; I tested out of my freshman composition class and didn’t recall any other instances in which I visited Ellis or the J-School library for formal instruction, and I couldn’t help but wonder how much better I would have performed as an undergraduate if I had felt more at ease with the library and its resources. So through the rest of library school and on into my career, I thought of my role as that of someone who could encourage and empower users, and help them develop the strategies and confidence necessary to use our collection to meet their needs.
What was your favorite book you were assigned to read in college, and what are you reading now?
I really enjoyed In Dubious Battle, which I read for an American Protest Lit class. It covers a lot of the same territory as The Grapes of Wrath, with its depiction of migrant workers and labor strikes, but it’s also a study of mob mentality—the way that humans, like other animals, behaved differently when grouped together than they would individually—which was a topic that interested Steinbeck greatly.
Right now I’m reading The Republic for Which It Stands, Richard White’s new book about the Reconstruction era and the Gilded Age. I’m also working my way through A New Literary History of America, an anthology of essays about works of American literature, co-edited by Greil Marcus, who’s always been good at relating rock music to seemingly unrelated works of art and folklore.
What is LibWIS?
LibWIS means Library Workshops for International Students. These no-registration sessions are open to anyone, but international students are particularly encouraged to attend. Here are the dates for the remaining workshops this semester. Come to one or all of the workshops! You may bring your own laptop or use the desktops located in the classroom, Ellis Library, Room 4D11.
Introduction to Research
Wednesday, September 27
3:15-4:15 pm, Ellis Library Room 4D11
Learn how to find books in our library and how to request books from other libraries. Learn how to do basic research to find peer-reviewed journal articles.
Wednesday, October 11
3:15-4:15 pm, Ellis Library Room 4D11
Discover which library resources are best for YOUR specific research. Learn time-saving tips for effective searching to find the research articles, reports, and other materials you need.
Plagiarism: What Is It & How to Avoid It
Wednesday, October 25
3:15-4:15 pm, Ellis Library Room 4D11
Your class syllabus has a statement about “academic dishonesty” and “academic integrity.” What does this mean at MU? Plagiarism is an important—but sometimes confusing—issue for domestic and international students alike. Many people unknowingly commit plagiarism when writing their papers. Join us to learn how to identify and avoid plagiarism in your academic writing. We will look at common errors in citing resources, paraphrasing, and summarizing research as well as how to correct those errors and prevent plagiarism in your academic work.
Zotero (New in the LibWIS series this semester!)
Wednesday, November 8
3:15-4:15 pm, Ellis Library Room 4D11
Zotero is a free, open source computer program that provides space to store your citations and then formats them in hundreds of different citation styles as you write your paper, article, or dissertation. Join us as we discuss how to use Zotero in your writing.
We encourage you to bring your own laptop to this session and have Zotero downloaded on your laptop before coming. (Get assistance downloading Zotero at the Ellis Library Reference Desk.)
Topic to Be Announced
Wednesday, November 29
3:15-4:15 pm, Ellis Library Room 4D11
First of all, what is Zotero, and why might you want to use it? If you’ve ever worried about plagiarism after losing track of where the text you cut-and-pasted into your notes came from or whose idea you were paraphrasing where, a research tool like Zotero can help. It keeps all of your citations in one location, and it can format those citations in hundreds of styles (including in-text citations and your reference list). How much does this amazing program cost? Good news, Zotero is free and open source. Interested? Ellis Library offers workshops on using Zotero, and you can find lots of information in our handy guide.
To get Zotero, you can download the latest version from their website, or you can stop by the Ellis Library Reference Desk for one-on-one assistance downloading Zotero to your laptop. Technical help getting Zotero installed on your laptop is available during these hours:
Monday 9 am – 7 pm
Tuesday 9 am – 7 pm
Wednesday 9 am – 7 pm
Thursday 9 am – 7 pm
Friday 9 am – 5 pm
Saturday 10 am – 4 pm
Sunday noon – 7 pm
If you are planning on attending the Zotero session of LibWIS, you must have it installed on your laptop before the session begins at 3:15 pm. Stop by the reference desk at one of the times above, or help will be available in the classroom from 3:00-3:15 pm.
Ellis Library will be open from noon on Sunday until midnight on Friday and from 8 am until midnight on Saturday starting Sept. 5.
Students have consistently asked for longer hours, and thanks to the Enhance Mizzou Student Fee the hours have been extended to meet student needs.
- Only students, faculty and staff with a valid Mizzou ID will be allowed in the library from midnight to 7 am.
- Library users will have access to all floors of the library during the extended hours.
- Service hours, such as check-out and reference, will not be extended, but the self-checkout machine is always available.
- At certain times of the evening only the West entrance (by Speaker’s Circle) of Ellis Library will be open.
For a complete list of all library hours, including around holidays and intersession, please visit library.missouri.edu/hours.
If you have questions or concerns about using the library overnight, Pat Jones, Head of Library Security, and Dana Houston, Senior Security Officer, share security information and safety tips.
What security measures are in place?
During the overnight hours, there will be three security officers inside Ellis Library, one stationed at each entrance and one roving officer, meaning that officer will be walking throughout the building.
Approximately 18 security cameras will be added to the outside of the building soon. More and better lighting outside the building is also in the works. There are already approximately 20 security cameras throughout the inside of the building.
All security officers are Red Cross certified, and the library has a defibrillator. MU Police Department officers will arrive within 3-5 minutes if they are needed at any time.
What is the number one complaint library security officers receive?
Talking in the quiet areas!
Do you have any safety tips for students who plan to use the library overnight?
- Intoxicated students will not be allowed entrance. The library is a place to do research and study.
- Any time you feel unsafe or are being bothered by another individual, go to a security desk or tell the roving officer.
- If you can, stay at the security desk to talk to the officer and answer a few questions. Additional details can help the officer solve the problem.
- You can request an MU PD escort to an on-campus location by calling 573-882-7201. Escorts are done on foot.
- Use the buddy system if possible. If not, call someone to say when you’re leaving and what route you’re taking.
- Always walk in lit areas after dark.
What is the number one thing to know about safety in the library?
Again, any time you feel unsafe for any reason or are being bothered by another individual, tell a security officer.
Join us on August 30th at 4 p.m. in Ellis Auditorium for a viewing of the PBS documentary Of Civil Wrongs and Rights: The Fred Korematsu Story. If you don’t have time to read this year’s One Read Program pick, Infamy: The Shocking Story of the Japanese American Internment in World War II by Richard Reeves, or if you want to learn more, this is the event for you. This PBS documentary tells the story of Japanese-American internment through the experience, resistance, and trial of Fred Korematsu.
Snacks will be provided thanks to the Friends of the University of Missouri Libraries.
The One Read Program, which promotes conversations regarding diversity, inclusion, and social justice through students, faculty, and staff reading a particular book together, is sponsored by Mizzou Law and Mizzou Libraries. For more information, see this guide or visit the exhibit through September 29. Copies of the book are available for checkout.
Tutors from the Writing Center will be offering one-on-one writing support in Ellis Library again this fall. All Mizzou students can take advantage of this service. Tutors can help with all stages of the writing process: brainstorming, revising, polishing a final draft. They are familiar with a variety of writing styles and formats.
Writing Tutors’ Schedule
Ellis Library, Room 151-E
Sunday, August 27 through Finals Week
(no tutors during Thanksgiving Week)
Sunday 4:00 – 9:00 pm
Monday noon – 9:00 pm
Tuesday 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
Wednesday 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
Thursday 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Sign up for appointments on the sign-up sheet which will be posted on the door to Room 151-E at the start of tutoring hours that day. Appointments are for fifty minutes.
Visit the Writing Center’s website to find out more about the writing assistance they offer.