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Whittier College Wardman Library

Wardman Library Highlight: Laurel Crump

February 19th, 2015 by John Jackson

This semester, we are highlighting the people that make Wardman Library possible. Each week, we will bring you an interview with one person who helps to support the mission of the library at Whittier College. You can find a list of past interviews in our blog archives. This week, we interviewed Library Director, Laurel Crump.

lcrump

What is your job title?

Library Director

What three words best describe you?

Happy, upbeat, practical

What do you do at Whittier College?

I’m the administrator for the Library and the buck stops with me. I direct our 13 library employees, which includes hiring, professional development, and annual reviews. The Library budget, building (maintenance, plans for improvements), strategic planning, decisions about library resources, and event planning are all my responsibility. I oversee all aspects of the day-to-day operations of the Library.

How would you describe your work space? 

Most of my work is done at my desk computer. I like my office because it faces the windows and I can see the students coming and going past the Circulation desk. You’ll see I’m surrounded by elephants, a collecting hobby of 40 years.

crump_office

What’s your favorite book?

Oh my heavens, I could never list one as a favorite since I’ve been reading for 58 years and thousands of books have flashed before my eyes!  I like murder mysteries, detective fiction, gardening books, biographies and a little of everything else. Eclectic would best describe it.

What are you currently reading/watching/listening to?

Listening: Dylan’s Shadows in the Night

Reading:  Traitor to His Class (Brands); Burning Room (Connelly); Owen’s Daughter (Mapson); How the Light Gets In (Penny); An Unfinished Life (Dallek)

Watching:  Suits, State of Affairs, Black List, Grantchester, NCIS New Orleans, and of course… Downton Abbey!

What advice do you have for Whittier College students?

Enjoy being young, energetic, and healthy. Be sure those you love and hold dear know how much you care – life is precious, and it’s easy to take the good times for granted.

What Wardman Library resource/service would you recommend to students?

Our Librarians are friendly, helpful and smart – ask for their help. Our new e-books are wonderful, and using Interlibrary Loan for articles and LINK+ for books is a great way to get items we don’t own. The Library offers a lot of support during finals, too. Your tuition pays for all these Library resources and services…take advantage of all we have – and give us your suggestions for more resources and services.

Thank you, Laurel, for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences with us. Next week, we will bring you an interview with our Systems Librarian, Nick Velkavrh.

Works mentioned above:

dylanbrandsconnellymapsonpennydallek

 

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The Oxford English Dictionary Online

February 19th, 2015 by John Jackson

oed_homepage

(click on image to see full-size)

If language is a city, as Ralph Waldo Emerson claims, to the building of which every human being has brought a stone, then the Oxford English Dictionary is one of the greatest linguistic urban centers ever constructed. Begun more than a century ago and containing over 600,000 words, the OED is the definitive reference work for understanding the development of the words that make up the English language today.

Students of Whittier College can access both the print copy of the second edition (1989) as well as the online edition, which we will be highlighting in this post. To access the OED Online, jump over to our Databases A-Z list. You will find a link to the dictionary under “General Databases” as well as within the alphabetized tabs at the top. (If you are off-campus or on the “poets” wifi network, use your Whittier ID and password to login.)

The OED seeks to trace the first recorded use of every sense of a word, to show when it entered the language and how its use changed over time. Students who are seeking to learn more about the history of a word or how a word was used at a particular point in time will find the OED most useful. However, it can also be a credible and reliable resource for looking up a word’s current usage.

quaker_meaning

(click on image to see full-size)

Each entry contains a chronological list of the word’s meanings, including quotations to illustrate its usage. Common compounds and derivatives are also listed. For example, the entry for quaker also includes terms such as quaker colour (a subdued color), quaker gun (a dummy gun or cannon), quakerdom (Quakers collectively), and, my personal favorite, quakeristical (of, relating to, or characteristic of a Quaker).

poet_etymology

(click on image to see full-size)

The etymology of each word (at the top of each entry) details the origin and derivation of the word, whether it was initially borrowed from another language or blended with another word. As you can see in the image above for the word “poet”, it also includes both the British and English pronunciations using standard IPA notation. If you’re not sure how to read the characters of the International Phonetic Alphabet, simply click on the IPA spelling of the word and the OED with give you a helpful pronunciation guide.

timeline

(click on image to see full-size)

Finally, the OED’s Timeline feature gives you a graphical method for exploring any aspect of English over time: including exploring the language as a whole; English relating to a particular subject area; English used by particular groups; or English derived from other languages and language families.

Whether you prefer to use the print or online version, there is certainly more to explore in the Oxford English Dictionary. We hope you will find it useful to your studies!

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Wardman Library Highlight: Shezad Bruce

February 11th, 2015 by John Jackson

This semester, we are highlighting the people that make Wardman Library possible. Each week, we will bring you an interview with one person who helps to support the mission of the library at Whittier College. You can find a list of past interviews in our blog archives. This week, we interviewed Media Coordinator, Shezad Bruce.

shezad_photo

What is your job title?

Media Coordinator

What three words best describe you?

Curious, reflective, energetic

What do you do at Whittier College?

I am in charge of all A/V equipment in classrooms and meeting spaces across campus.  Funding requests, design, installation management, and maintenance.

How would you describe your work space? 

Organized Chaos.  Things can pile up around me but I always seem to keep it under control.  At least that is what I tell myself.

bruce_office

What’s your favorite book?

Botany of Desire.

What are you currently reading/watching/listening to?

Watch: I don’t watch TV often but every Monday I watch Yowamushi Pedal, a Japanese anime about cycling, with my race team.  Reading: American Catch by Paul Greenberg  Listening: I recently got back into rap so I have been listening to Chance the Rapper a lot.  The kids tell me I’m late to the party but it still makes me cooler.  Once again, at least that is what I tell myself.

What advice do you have for Whittier College students?

What do you want to do?  What ideas do you have?  GO OUT AND DO IT!  You have every resource at your fingertips here on campus and a staff willing to help you get there.  Too often students say “There is nothing to do on campus.  This place is so boring.”  You are boring.  Get up off your tush and get involved.  If your interest isn’t represented by a group or club on campus you can build your own from the ground up.

You can do anything here.  If it doesn’t exist you can build it.  If it does you can make it better.  Go have fun, learn how to raise money, and start doing the things that make you happy.

Second piece of advice: Go into the hills.  We have Turnbull Canyon right here in our back yard.  It is so beautiful this time of the year.  You can bike, run, hike, or just relax up there.  It is a chance to get away from the campus and clear your head.  I didn’t hike the hills until after I graduated and can honestly say they helped me loose 60 lbs.  Also, bikes.

What Wardman Library resource/service would you recommend to students?

If you have an idea for something you would like to see added to the Library or its collections, put it in our suggestion box.  The staff does actually read these and take the appropriate action.  Libraries are all about giving and the Whittier College Library staff is here to help you out.

Thank you, Shezad, for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences with us. Next week, we will bring you an interview with our Director, Laurel Crump.

Works mentioned above:

botanyamercatch

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Wardman Library Highlight: Becky Ruud

February 4th, 2015 by John Jackson

This semester, we are highlighting the people that make Wardman Library possible. Each week, we will bring you an interview with one person who helps to support the mission of the library at Whittier College. You can find a list of past interviews in our blog archives. This week, we interviewed Archivist & Special Collections Librarian, Becky Ruud.

rruud

What is your job title?

Archivist and Special Collections Librarian

What three words best describe you?

Passionate, intuitive, witty (I like to think so!)

What do you do at Whittier College?

The short of it, I am in charge of the old things. The long of it, I maintain, preserve, provide access to, and promote our Archives and Special Collections. Our largest collection is the College Archives. This collection contains the history of Whittier College in the form of yearbooks, newspapers, brochures, student handbooks, film, audio recordings, clothing, banners, ticket stubs, diplomas, photographs, scrapbooks, and everything else consumed and produced at Whittier College! I work with professors to integrate our materials into their courses and with alumni and staff to collect materials. In addition, I work at the Info Desk providing reference and in the instructional lab providing library skills workshops for classes.

How would you describe your work space? 

My work space is sort of a mystery on campus. I work in the Archives and Special Collections, which is not on any map, located behind VPS on the ground floor of the library building. My desk is placed in the archives because most of my tasks are carried out in that area. It can get pretty quiet and lonely down here so I make sure to have stand up comedy audio or music running at all times

ruud_office

What’s your favorite book?

My all time favorite book is pretty impossible to identify. Maybe my all time favorite books? Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh, Dracula by Bram Stoker, About a Boy by Nick Hornby, and Hamlet by William Shakespeare (though not technically a book).

What are you currently reading/watching/listening to?

I am currently reading the second compendium of the Walking Dead graphic novel. I am savoring the last few pages because I really don’t want it to end! I’m pretty deep into many television shows: Bates Motel, American Horror Story, The Office, House of Cards, New Girl, Broad City, and The Mindy Project.

What advice do you have for Whittier College students?

Whittier College students, go exploring. Take courses that aren’t in your major, travel to foreign cities, see a band you have never heard of, just explore! College could be about more than just grades it could be about trying something new and getting away with it!

What Wardman Library resource/service would you recommend to students?

I recommend that students suggest titles to the staff. We try and order all books suggested by faculty and students, but rarely get suggestions from students. The library’s purpose is to provide the materials that will facilitate student research and thus we need to know what you are interested in researching. So let us know if there is a title we don’t have that we should purchase. We will try to do our best to get it for our collections. Also, come visit the Special Collections! There’s pretty neat stuff down here. :)

Thank you, Becky, for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences with us. Next week, we will bring you an interview with our Media Coordinator, Shezad Bruce.

Works mentioned above:

bridesheaddraculaaboutaboyhamletwalkingdead

 

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1-Minute Introductions: Academic OneFile

January 28th, 2015 by John Jackson

Every week this semester, we are highlighting one database at Wardman Library in a series of videos we call “1-Minute Introductions.” Last week, we looked at JSTOR. Here is another favorite of Whittier College students: Academic OneFile:

As we create more videos, we will post them to our tutorials page. Next week, we’ll take a look at Global Issues in Context. You can find a complete list of databases available to Whittier College students and faculty on our databases A-Z list.

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Wardman Library Highlight: Steve Musser

January 26th, 2015 by John Jackson

This semester, we are highlighting the people that make Wardman Library possible. Each week, we will bring you an interview with one person who helps to support the mission of the library at Whittier College. You can find a list of past interviews in our blog archives. This week, we interviewed Acquisitions Specialist, Steve Musser.

Three-time champion of the faculty March Madness pool.

Photo: Three-time champion of the faculty March Madness pool.

What is your job title?

Acquisition Specialist

What three words best describe you?

Patient. Knowledge. Creative.

What do you do at Whittier College?

I am the Acquisition person for the Library. I order the books and DVDs for the collection. I also receive and catalogue them. I also handle the Reserve section behind the Circulation Desk. I also train student workers the shelving procedure.

How would you describe your work space? 

My desk is right at the door near the Circulation Desk. Sometimes my area can be messy. I try to keep it clean, but not always.

musser_office

What’s your favorite book?

That is a hard question, but if I had to pick four they would be, Rimbaud: The Complete Works and Letters, translated by Wallace Fowlie. On the Road by Jack Kerouac and The Sun also Rises by Hemingway are good starters. Also The Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire.

What are you currently reading/watching/listening to?

Right now, I am reading the entire collection of Dr. Suess with my 3 year old daughter Selena. For myself, I am reading The Cosmic Race by Jose Vasconcelas. For watching TV, I am addicted to international news and politics. There are many shows in this area. For fun I like Ghost Adventures on the Travel cable network and Million Dollar Listing. For listening I just got my copy of The Doors at the Matrix, 1967.

What advice do you have for Whittier College students?

I would give advice to the students to study abroad if they can. It is a great way of opening yourself up to different perspectives and cultures.

What Wardman Library resource/service would you recommend to students?

I would recommend to all students as well as faculty to use LINK+. It is on the library’s website.

Thank you, Steve, for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences with us. Next week, we will bring you an interview with our Archivist & Special Collections Librarian, Becky Ruud.

Works mentioned above:

rimbaudkerouachemingwaybaudelaireVasconcelosdoors

Category: staff news, Uncategorized | No Comments »

The Almanac of American Politics

January 26th, 2015 by John Jackson

american political cover

Reference & Instruction Librarian John Jackson won’t hesitate to tell you that the The Almanac of American Politics is one of his favorite reference works. Political Science majors and any students taking PLSC 110 or PLSC 202 should definitely make this book part of their information arsenal.

Published biennially, the almanac contains in-depth political profiles of every sitting governor and member of congress.  The work is organized first by state and then by congressional district. Each chapter contains a brief political history of the state that includes prominent politicians, issues, and events that contributed to its current political climate, demographic information and economic data (e.g. racial/ethnic makeup, home values, education levels, number of registered voters), the role the state has played in presidential politics, and districting information, including maps.

political almanac

Biographies of each governor include information on their professional careers, ideologies, election results, significant achievements in office thus far, and contact details (in case you’d like to send them an email or call them up on the phone). Profiles of senators and representatives additionally include ratings by various groups such as the ACLU, the League of Conservative Voters, and the Information Technology Industry Council (to name just a few), a list of committees on which they currently serve, and information on how they voted on key issues during their recent term in office.

political almanac 2

The final section of the almanac contains brief, special features such as the rosters for the House and Senate, a list of all new members, minorities, and women in Congress, the National Journal’s Vote Rating (e.g. most liberal, conservative, and center leaning members of Congress), lists of districts with especially high or low demographics (e.g. largest Hispanic populations, most educated districts), and campaign financing information.

The latest edition (2014) is on order for Wardman Library and should arrive in the next two weeks. Unfortunately, it’s been rumored that it no longer contains campaign spending information. However, interested readers can consult The Campaign Finance Institute and The Center for Responsive Politics for more information.

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Wardman Library Highlight: Mary Garside

January 20th, 2015 by John Jackson

This semester, we are highlighting the people that make Wardman Library possible. Each week, we will bring you an interview with one person who helps to support the mission of the library at Whittier College. You can find a list of past interviews in our blog archives. This week, we interviewed Administrative Office Manager, Mary Garside.

mgarside

What is your job title?

Administrative Office Manager

What three words best describe you?

Resourceful, Creative, Fair

What do you do at Whittier College?

My job is all over the place! I design graphics and signage for the library. I recruit and manage the library student assistants. I manage room reservations in the library and assist with special event planning. I help answer Photoshop questions. I order supplies/equipment and help to manage the library’s budget.

How would you describe your work space? 

At times, chaotic! I usually have a lot of tools on my desk. I also like to think of it as a warm, inviting place. I want everyone that comes by my office to feel welcomed.

garside_office

What’s your favorite book?

More of an essay than a book, but my favorite piece of written work is “Civil Disobedience” by Henry David Thoreau.

What are you currently reading/watching/listening to?

At this exact moment, I am listening to “The Crane Wife 3” by The Decemberists. I have an eclectic playlist that I am constantly adding to called “Work”. When I put on this playlist, it’s time for me to get to business and kick whatever project I’m working on in to high-gear. I’m one of those types that needs background music or noise to really get focused. The list is filled with the likes of Sam Cooke, Billy Joel, Elvis Costello, Dusty Springfield and many other artists.

What advice do you have for Whittier College students?

Drink lots of water and visit the dentist regularly. Also, always give credit where credit is due and never take people for granted. People are more valuable than things.

What Wardman Library resource/service would you recommend to students?

The librarians! I have never regretted reaching out to one of our librarians to help find information that I needed.

Thank you, Mary, for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences with us. Next week, we will bring you an interview with our acquisitions specialist , Steve Musser.

Works mentioned above:

thoreau_essayscranewife

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1-Minute Introductions: JSTOR

January 20th, 2015 by John Jackson

Every week this semester, we will highlight one database at Wardman Library in a series of videos we call “1-Minute Introductions.” First up, everyone’s favorite go-to database, JSTOR:

As we create more videos, we will post them to our tutorials page. Next week, we’ll take a look at Academic OneFile. You can find a complete list of databases available to Whittier College students and faculty on our databases A-Z list.

Category: databases | 1 Comment »

Los Angeles in Maps by Glen Creason

January 19th, 2015 by John Jackson

lamaps

Los Angeles in Maps by Glen Creason, Map Librarian at the Los Angeles Public Library, is a cartographic exploration of the city of Los Angeles and its environs from mid-nineteenth century to the present using over 70 maps from public and private collections. It is an essential resource for Whittier College students researching the historical development of Los Angeles – its land, infrastructure, industries, communities, and sense of place – as well as any student generally interested in urban growth.

Historic Roads to Romance: California's Southern Empire, 1946 (Claude George Putnam)

Historic Roads to Romance: California’s Southern Empire, 1946 (Claude George Putnam)

The first third of the book focuses on the growth of central L.A. and the annexation of surrounding communities. The latter part examines maps that illustrate specific aspects of twentieth century urban growth including water, transit and railways, tourism, and even includes such gems as the 1975 Goez Map Guide to the Murals of East Lost Angeles (p. 176) and the 1987 Literary Map of Los Angeles (p. 178). It includes fire insurance atlases like the Dakin Atlas, which shows the plaza around the original Chinatown (what is now Union Station) and details not only sources of water for each block, but also the use of each building (using quaint terms like “Ill fame,” “Opium Joint,” and “Sal.” for saloon).

Dakin Atlas, 1888 (detail).

Dakin Atlas, 1888 (detail).

Almost every other page contains a beautifully reproduced image of a historic Los Angeles map alongside Cleason’s fluid and lively contextual notes. Additional contributions by Dydia DeLyser, Joe Linton, William J. Warren, and Morgan P. Yates introduce how the mapping of Los Angeles adapted to the influences of tourism, the L.A. river, homes of the stars, and the automobile.

You can find Los Angeles in Maps in the Atlas section on the first floor of Wardman Library. Additional information on L.A. maps is available at the LAPL website (see also the YouTube video below). Students interested in this topic should also check out Derek Hayes’s Historical Atlas of California and his Historic Atlas of the American West

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