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Author Edan Lepucki will be on campus May 4 at 6:30 PM

April 17th, 2015 by John Jackson


Garrett House presents author Edan Lepucki reading from and answering questions about her award-winning first novel, the post-apocalyptic thriller California.

This is the novel you heard about on The Colbert Report — check it out here, and here, and here!

So …

When: Monday, May 4, 2015, at 6:30 PM
Where: Garrett House
What: Edan Lepucki reading from California, answering your questions, and signing your copy!
Why: An awesome chance to interface with the celebrated author of one of last year’s most celebrated books. (PLUS there is no admission charge and coffee and cookies will be served!)


Edan Lepucki is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a staff writer for The Millions. Her short fiction has been published in McSweeney’s and Narrative magazine, among other publications, and she is the founder and director of Writing Workshops Los Angeles.


The world Cal and Frida have always known is gone, and they’ve left the crumbling city of Los Angeles far behind them. They now live in a shack in the wilderness, working side-by-side to make their days tolerable in the face of hardship and isolation. Mourning a past they can’t reclaim, they seek solace in each other. But the tentative existence they’ve built for themselves is thrown into doubt when Frida finds out she’s pregnant.

Terrified of the unknown and unsure of their ability to raise a child alone, Cal and Frida set out for the nearest settlement, a guarded and paranoid community with dark secrets. These people can offer them security, but Cal and Frida soon realize this community poses dangers of its own. In this unfamiliar world, where everything and everyone can be perceived as a threat, the couple must quickly decide whom to trust.

A gripping and provocative debut novel by a stunning new talent, California imagines a frighteningly realistic near future, in which clashes between mankind’s dark nature and deep-seated resilience force us to question how far we will go to protect the ones we love.


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Librarian Joe Dmohowski to Speak about Nixon: Sep. 18 at the Whittier Museum

September 9th, 2014 by John Jackson

Nixon on the football team

Librarian Joe Dmohowski will be speaking at the Whittier Museum on September 18 at 7:00 pm about “Nixon at Whittier College: The Education of a Leader.” The event is open to all current and interested members of the Whittier Historical Society. Joe is a new board member for the Society and a long-time member of the Wardman Library family, not to mention an expert an all things Nixon. We’re looking forward to it, Joe!

Here is the description of the event from The Whittier Museum Gazette:

Joe Dmohowski will examine Richard Nixon’s memorable career at Whittier College during the Great Depression years, 1930-34. How did a shy and unassuming 17-year-old Quaker evolve into a “big man on campus” and political leader? In his first semester, he became co-founder and the first president of a men’s student society, the Orthogonians. Nixon was not athletically gifted, but joined Poet athletic teams throughout his college career. His varsity football coach, “Chief” Newman, would become one of this most significant influences. Success on the college debate team and in theatrical productions would also figure prominently. A selection of archival photographs from the era will accompany the talk. Please join us for this special event to learn more about Richard Nixon’s college years and to take part in our annual member meeting.

The Whittier Museum is located at 6755 Newlin Avenue. For more information, call 562-945-3871.

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An Evening with Writer Ron Carlson

April 29th, 2014 by John Jackson

Ron Carlson

Writer, novelist, and poet Ron Carlson will be speaking in Wardman Library tonight at both 4:00 pm (Craft Talk) and 7:00 pm (Reading and Q&A) as part of the Whittier College Writers Festival. Admission is free.

Ron Carlson’s newest novel is Return to Oakpine. He is the author of ten books of fiction, including the novel The Signal from Viking. His short stories have appeared in Esquire, Harpers, The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, and other journals, as well as The Best American Short Stories, The O’Henry Prize Series, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction and other anthologies; they have been performed on National Public Radio’s “This American Life” and “Selected Shorts.” Ron Carlson Writes a Story, his book on writing is taught widely. He is the author of a book of poems, Room Service. He has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Cohen Prize at Ploughshares, the McGinnis Award at the Iowa Review, the Aspen Literary Award; and his novel Five Skies was One Book Rhode Island in 2009. Mr. Carlson was born in Logan, Utah. He taught at Arizona State University for twenty years and is now Director of the Graduate Program in Fiction at the University of California, Irvine.

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Newly Tenured Faculty Honored at Wardman Library

April 24th, 2014 by John Jackson



On Tuesday, Wardman Library honored seven faculty members who acquired tenure status or promotion this past academic year. Students, faculty, staff, and administrators came together to celebrate our colleagues and their achievements. Each faculty member was honored by the addition of one book (of their choosing) to the Wardman Library collection.

We have been told from faculty members of past receptions that selecting a book is an agonizing decision, but each choice is fascinating. Here is what each honoree ultimately decided upon and why:

Jonathan Burton (English Literature)

Let’s Talk About Love: Why Other People Have Such Bad Taste

“Wilson’s little book is nominally about Celine Dion, but more fully and brilliantly about why we like what we like and how taste is formed by our socio-political contexts. Wilson initially loathes Celine, but develops a reluctant appreciation for her as he meets her fans, attends her Vegas show and considers her work in the context of Quebecois politics, globalization, “schmaltz” and aesthetic theory. Laugh-out-loud funny, searingly intelligent and surprisingly thoughtful, this book remains one of my all-time favorites, and I’m delighted to share it with my friends at Whittier.”

Julie Collins-Dogrul (Sociology)

Death Without Weeping: The Violence of Everyday Life in Brazil

“I read Death Without Weeping as an undergraduate student and found that the rich, ethnographic text made extreme poverty in North Eastern Brazil palpably real. The book is about mother love and child death and argues that extreme scarcity shapes maternal thinking and practice. I learned that inequality kills, a truth that I teach in many of my classes at Whittier.”

Erica Fradinger (Biology)

A Brief History of Time

“I’m choosing this book in memory of my father who introduced me to the world of science. His passion was for physics and astronomy, and some of my earliest memories involve rowing out into the middle of the lake in summer to look at the stars and talk about the universe.”

Mike Garabedian (Library)

Books as History: The Importance of Books Beyond Their Texts

“Although their content obviously is important, the physical and formal attributes of books can tell us much about the social-historical moment in which they were produced and consumed. In our own strange moment when the future of print books is questioned constantly, Pearson reminds us to consider and pay focused attention to books’ artifactual value. It’s a perspective we try to bring to bear regularly on collection development decisions here at here at here at Wardman Library.”

Danny Jauregui (Art)

Beyond Shame: Reclaiming the Abandoned History of Radical Gay Sexuality

“Beyond Shame was instrumental in my research because it contextualized the radical gay sex movement of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Understanding this time period was important for my work since the projects I was working on centered on the aftermath of that movement – specifically the AIDS epidemic.”

Ivannia Soto (Education)

En Una Silla de Ruedas

“This book connects to two of my loves: my cultural heritage and the needs of students who learn differently, either because of a disability or a second language. In En Una Silla de Ruedas, Costa Rican customs are portrayed through the eyes of a paralyzed boy who becomes an artist. This book is also special to me because Lyra was one of the first female professors at the University of Costa Rica, and played an important role in organizing women schoolteachers and starting the first Montessori pre-school in Latin America.”

Sylvia Vetrone (Biology)

The Secret History of the War on Cancer

“This book uses cancer to unravel how society has shaped the way science is conducted and disseminated to the general public. Davis shows how much scientists already knew about cancer and its causes by the end of the 1800s, and how various social forces have kept us from moving forward. Readers are transformed as they question what they thought they knew, and begin to realize the importance of attaining science literacy in order to advocate better for themselves and their loved ones.”

View the full set of photos on our Flickr site

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Anna Leahy and Roy Mash poetry reading this Wednesday

April 8th, 2014 by John Jackson


Poets Anna Leahy and Roy Mash will be reading selections from their poetry in Wardman Library, Wednesday evening, April 9 at 7:00 pm.

Leahy teaches at Chapman University and directs the Tabula Poetica Center for Poetry. You can read more on her website. Roy Mash is a humorist, writing wry, whimsical poems about everything from love to monsters. You can read more on his websiteWe hope you will join us! 

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Author Ramona Ausubel reading Tuesday, April 8 at 7:00 pm

April 7th, 2014 by John Jackson


Join us tomorrow evening at 7pm in Wardman Library when novelist and short-story writer Ramona Ausubel will be reading selections from her works.

Ramona Ausubel is the author of the novel No One is Here Except All of Us, winner of the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Fiction, the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award and Finalist for the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award. The novel was a New York Times Editor’s Choice, a San Francisco Chronicle and Huffington Post Best Book of the Year. Her new collection of stories, A Guide to Being Born, is one the New York Times’ 100 Notable Books of the year and a San Francisco Chronicle best book of the year. It was long-listed for the Frank O’Connor International Story Award. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review Daily, One Story, The Best American Fantasy and shortlisted in The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Non-Required Reading. She is on the permanent faculty of the low-residency MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Redaction poetry at Wardman Library

April 1st, 2014 by John Jackson

Redaction poetry guide Redaction poemApril is National Poetry Month! To celebrate, we have set up a poetry-making-station outside the central staircase on the first floor of Wardman Library. Using pages from old books, you can create “redaction poetry” (see images). So take a break, create something beautiful, and post/tape your creations to John’s office window!

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Science Writer Don Prothero: March 12 at 7 PM.

March 7th, 2014 by John Jackson


Join us on Wednesday, March 12 at 7 PM in Wardman Library as we welcome science writer and skeptic extraordinaire Don Prothero to speak about his new book, Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future. Refreshments will be served!

Palaeontologist Donald Prothero explains the scientific process and why society has come to rely on science not only to provide a better life but also to reach verifiable truths no other method can obtain. He describes how major scientific ideas that are accepted by the entire scientific community (evolution, anthropogenic global warming, vaccination, the HIV cause of AIDS, and others) have been attacked with totally unscientific arguments and methods. Prothero argues that science deniers pose a serious threat to society, as their attempts to subvert the truth have resulted in widespread scientific ignorance, increased risk of global catastrophes, and deaths due to the spread of diseases that could have been prevented.

More about Prothero

Donald Prothero taught college geology and paleontology for 35 years, at Caltech, Columbia, and Occidental, Knox, Vassar, Glendale, Mt. San Antonio, and Pierce Colleges. He earned his B.A. in geology and biology (highest honors, Phi Beta Kappa, College Award) from University of California Riverside in 1976, and his M.A. (1978), M.Phil. (1979), and Ph.D. (1982) in geological sciences from Columbia University. He is the author of over 35 books (including 5 leading geology textbooks, and several trade books), and over 300 scientific papers, mostly on the evolution of fossil mammals (especially rhinos, camels, and horses) and on using the earth’s magnetic field changes to date fossil-bearing strata. He has been on the editorial boards of journals such as Geology, Paleobiology, Journal of Paleontology, and Skeptic magazine. He is a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London, the Paleontological Society, and the Geological Society of America, and also received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and National Science Foundation. He served as President of Pacific Section SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology) in 2012, and served for five years as Program Chair of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. In 1991, he received the Charles Schuchert Award for outstanding paleontologist under the age of 40.  In 2013, he received the James Shea Award of the National Association of Geology Teachers for outstanding writing and editing the geosciences. He has been featured on numerous TV documentaries, including Paleoworld, Walking with Prehistoric Beasts, Prehistoric Monsters Revealed, Monsterquest, Prehistoric Predators: Entelodon and Hyaenodon, Conspiracy Road Trip: Creationism, as well as Jeopardy! and Win Ben Stein’s Money.

More about Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future

Many forms of denial of consensus science (such as creationism, climate deniers, anti-vaxxers, AIDS deniers, etc.) are active in today’s culture, attempting to prevent the public understanding and teaching of established scientific ideas that threaten their ideology. All of them borrow from “The Holocaust Deniers’ Playbook” for strategies that create smokescreens to cast doubt on scientific truths, quote out of context, cherry-pick or distort data, and deliberately mislead people in order to prevent widespread acceptance of scientific ideas. Such denial of the reality that face us in the future is not only bad philosophically, but directly kills people, and threatens our society and its ability to be competitive in science and technology.


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Poetry event: Suzanne Roberts and Sholeh Wolpe, Feb 25 @ 7pm in Wardman Library

February 24th, 2014 by John Jackson

About Suzanne Roberts

Suzanne Roberts

“Suzanne Roberts’ books include the 2012 National Outdoor Book Award-winning Almost Somewhere: Twenty-Eight Days on the John Muir Trail (University of Nebraska Press, 2012), and the poetry collections Plotting Temporality (2012), Three Hours to Burn a Body: Poems on Travel(2011), Nothing to You (2008), and Shameless (2007).” More info at  http://www.suzanneroberts.org/

About Sholeh Wolpé

Sholeh Wolpe

“Sholeh Wolpé is a poet, literary translator and writer. She was born in Iran and spent most of her teen years in Trinidad and the UK before settling in the United States. Wolpé most recent awards include the 2013 Midwest Book Award and 2010 Lois Roth Persian Translation prize.” More info at http://www.sholehwolpe.com

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The History of Wardman Library (in 4 minutes)

January 23rd, 2014 by John Jackson

This year marks the 10th anniversary since the remodel of Wardman Library that created the Rose Hills Center for Library and Information Resources. To celebrate, we created this short video on the history of the library. The transcript is below. We are excited about the future of our library, especially our plans to create a “Digital Liberal Arts Collaboratory” for innovation with the help of a $750,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation. The new library space will be designed to provide faculty and students with the technology necessary for “collaborative and imaginative work of digital scholarship.” To learn more about the Digital Liberal Arts Center, check out the DigLAPoet website.

“Honoring the Past, Looking to the Future”

Whittier College has always valued the library as a living, breathing organism. With changes in society come changes in knowledge repositories. The history of the library as an institution at Whittier College has always been one of growth, honoring the past while progressing into the future. The Whittier College library once lived in a small redwood building. The library, like the college, began to expand in the 1930s and needed a new home. The library developed and settled into Mendenhall where it would remain until the mid 1960s. At that time it was clear that a larger library was needed. Aubrey Wardman, passionate philanthropist and college trustee, recognized the need for a space dedicated to the growing library. His support and generous contribution helped to form the future library.

In 1964, the Bonnie Bell Wardman Library was completed costing nearly $1.5 million. At the dedication of the library in June 1965, President Richard Nixon explained the importance of a growing library to Whittier College:

Thinking of a library in broader terms, I am reminded of a quotation: that a library is never made, it grows. And putting it in another context: better to inherit a library is to collect one. And those that follow will have the opportunity to make this library grow and how it grows will determine if it is to be a great library or just a good one in a great building.

In the 1990s, it was clear as it was in the Mendenhall library of the 1960s that the Bonnie Bell Wardman Library needed more space to house its growing collection and keep up with society’s rapidly changing technology. It needed to provide Whittier College, its students and faculty, with the tools necessary for a 21st century liberal arts education. The new facility was built on the original site of the Bonnie Bell Wardman Library, doubling its size. The Wardman Library was completely gutted and the ground floor, once open, was incorporated into the building’s interior space. With the generosity of the Rose Hills Foundation, the Center for Library and Information Resources was completed. This space now holds the Center for Advising and Academic Success, a video production studio, and an instructional technology space.

As we enter a new decade of a new millennium, we again look towards growing our library and its role in the intellectual and holistic education of Whittier College students. With the help of the Mellon Foundation, we are building a new digital space for discovery: a collaborative laboratory for exploring the intersection of digital technology and the liberal arts designed for students and faculty to experiment and innovate using tools the blend physical and virtual environments. We believe the library will continue to serve as the central nexus of the community, leading the way for liberal arts colleges seeking ways to integrate technology into the teaching goals of higher education, creating students best equipped to meet the demands of a global, hyper-connected society. Those who follow us will have the opportunity to make this library grow. How it grows will determine whether it is to be a great library or just a good one in a great building.

Special thanks to: Rich Cheetham for providing archival footage and images. Becky Ruud for script and additional archival images. John Jackson and Richard Nixon for narration. Sonia Chaidez for video production.

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