Wardman Library Blog

Whittier College Wardman Library

Los Angeles in Maps by Glen Creason

January 19th, 2015 by John Jackson


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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Institute for Baseball Studies Exhibit

January 15th, 2015 by John Jackson


In celebration of the grand opening of the Whittier College Institute for Baseball Studies, Wardman Library is hosting an exhibit showcasing the House of David baseball team and the Harlem Globetrotters, curated by Terry Cannon, head of The Baseball Reliquary. “Long Road to Glory: The Harlem Globetrotters and the House of David” explores the legacies of these two teams who combined athleticism, theater, and comedy while spreading the gospel of sports throughout the United States and around the world. The exhibit will be on display in the foyer of Wardman Library from now through February.

The grand opening and ribbon cutting for the Institute of Baseball Studies [press release] will take place Friday, January 16 at 12:30 in Mendenhall Room 310 of Whittier College. The Institute is the first humanities-based baseball research center associated with a college or university in the United States. Hot dogs, peanuts, and Cracker Jacks will be served. For more information about the Institute, contact the co-director and Whittier College Professor of Religious Studies, Joe Price (562-907-4803).

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Wardman Library Highlight: Mike Garabedian

January 13th, 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 Collections Management Librarian, Mike Garabedian.

photo credit: Mike Garabedian

photo credit: Mike Garabedian


What is your job title?

I am the Collections Management Librarian here.

What three words best describe you?

Curious (in all senses of that term), fastidious, fuzzy.

What do you do at Whittier College?

I am in charge of the overall collection development, acquisitions, and maintenance of the monographs (i.e., books) in our collection, as well as their description in the Library Catalog. Like all librarians here, I also assist with reference duties and teach information literacy sessions to classes in the departments for whom I’m a liaison (i.e., English, Religious Studies, Political Science, Sociology, and Social Work).

How would you describe your work space? 

My work space is busy with activity but also with artifacts related to several of my vocational and avocational interests, e.g., typography and book history. And toys. And cephalopods.


What’s your favorite book?

My favorite book is currently Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, but I hasten to add that the answer to this question is subject to change according to my ever-evolving worldview (not to mention how I may be feeling on any given day).

What are you currently reading/watching/listening to?

I’m currently reading editor Mark Martin’s I’m With the Bears: Short Stories from a Damaged Planet (New York: Verso, 2014), watching David Dimbleby’s Seven Ages of Britain (BBC, 2010), and listening to Polish composer Henryk Górecki’s Symphony No. 3: Symphony of Sorrowful Songs as performed by the London Symphony (featuring soprano Dawn Upshaw) back in 1992.

What advice do you have for Whittier College students?

As a Whittier College student you will find one significant kind of satisfaction if you strive to find one or two areas about which you are passionate, and then do excellent work within these areas. However, as importantly, I think you should also use your time to learn about the kinds of things it takes to be a good citizen, and to help us — faculty members, staff, and other students — to continue the important work of building a caring community here. This means recognizing our involvement in a common enterprise; coming up with equitable solutions together to challenges that arise on campus and beyond; sharing burdens and hardships but also joys and successes; and attending to one another by listening well and honing our capacity for compassion and thoughtfulness.

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

Allow me to promote a favorite project of mine and recommend that students check out the Quaker Campus Digital Archive, in which we’re working to digitize all 100+ years of the QC. The archive contains a plethora of fascinating information from the early twentieth through the early twenty-first century, and is important not only to the history of the College, but also to the history of the City of Whittier, and arguably (given our most famous alumnus), to the region and nation itself.

Thank you, Mike, for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences with us. Next week, we will bring you an interview with our Office Manager, Mary Garside.

Works mentioned above:



Category: staff news | 1 Comment »

The Perennial Parking Problem

January 8th, 2015 by John Jackson

Commencement parking

Commencement Parking, 1963

With new renovations coming to the Science center and temporary classrooms going up in the Amphitheater lot, parking on campus these days can be somewhat of a trial. Turns out, this isn’t the first time Whittier College parking culture has been challenged by new construction and new regulations.

Archivist Becky Ruud reminds us that back in 1991, the Air Quality Management District asked the college to reduce the number of vehicles on campus and create more designated spots for staff, faculty, and students. Students in 1988 probably felt a similar squeeze during the construction of Harris when the Whittier City Planning Commission allowed the college to temporarily bypass an ordinance that required one parking lot for every bed on campus. In fact, according to the Quaker Campus, parking is a perennial problem. Students voiced their concerns repeatedly in front page articles (see these issues from 200619931988, and 1983).

All that said, Whittier College has successfully navigated the limited parking trials of its past. Undoubtedly, we can make it through this one as well.

image source: Whittier College Special Collections & Archives

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Free food, coffee, and games for Finals!

December 4th, 2014 by John Jackson


It’s finals and you know what that means, Poets… Free coffee and food in Wardman Library! Just like the finals of years past, we’ll be providing free food, coffee, and games throughout finals week. In addition to coloring books, puzzles, and board games, we’ll also have an origami table set up this year. Also new this year, we have free holiday cards and envelopes that we will mail for you in case you want to send a quick note to grandma.

Oh, and just so you know: some time around midnight each evening there will be a mandatory 12-minute “get up and stretch” session (aka dance party). Consider yourself warned. =)

Tue. – Fri. @ 8:00 am: free coffee

Tue. – Thu. @ 7:00 pm (-ish): free “brain food” (healthy beverages and snacks)

Tue. – Thu. @ 11:30 pm: free coffee, tea, and cocoa

Lastly, we want to give special thanks to the ASWC for providing fruit and beverage services throughout the week. Thanks, ya’ll!

image source: student, by ugl_uiuc on flickr, CC by-nc-sa 2.0

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Fall Finals and Holiday Hours 2014: Dec 8. – Jan. 4

December 1st, 2014 by John Jackson

Library Hours 2014

We’ll be open an extra 3 hours each night during Finals next week and, as usual, we’ll have food, games, and stress-busting activities available for Poets on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. More details on those events soon!

Monday, Dec . 8:   8 am to 3 am (Reading Day)

Tuesday, Dec . 9:   7 am to 3 am

Wednesday, Dec . 10:   7 am to 3 am

Thursday, Dec . 11:   7 am to 3 am

Friday, Dec. 12:   7 am to 5 pm

Saturday, Dec.  13 to Sunday Jan. 4:   Library closed

(image source: Exams by Haya Ibrahim on Flickr, CC by-nc-nd 2.0, modified)

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Thanksgiving Hours 2014: Nov. 25 – Dec. 1

November 20th, 2014 by John Jackson


The library will be open through Wednesday, but with limited hours. Please be sure to stop by and get what you need before heading out for the holiday! The library hours are below. Have a lovely Thanksgiving, Poets!

Tuesday, Nov. 25:  8:00 am to midnight

Wednesday,  Nov. 26:  8:00 am to 2:00 pm

Thursday, Nov. 27 through Saturday, Nov. 29:  Closed

Sunday, Nov. 30:  3:00 pm to midnight

Monday, Dec. 1:  Normal semester hours resume at 8:00 am

(image source: Thanksgiving by Don McCullough on flickr, CC by-nc 2.0)

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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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Welcome Anne Cong-Huyen as our new Digital Scholar!

July 7th, 2014 by John Jackson

20140426_131420We are delighted to announce that Dr. Anne Cong-Huyen has joined Whittier College as the Digital Scholar for the newly-formed Digital Liberal Arts center. Anne brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to her position. Most recently, she was the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities and Visiting Assistant Professor of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has a PhD in English from UC Santa Barbara and her research interests include literature and media of migration and labor, Asian American studies, globalization and neoliberalism, postcolonial studies, and transnationalism. As the Digital Scholar for Whittier College’s Digital Liberal Arts Center, Dr. Cong-Huyen will work closely with faculty to foster digital scholarship projects tied to the curriculum and research, explore emerging technologies and their pedagogical implications, and lead workshops for faculty and staff on issues pertaining to the development and use of innovative technologies and digital scholarly resources.

Dr. Cong-Huyen says she is excited to be at Whittier College. She hopes to find ways to link Asian American and Latin American students to conversations about American ethnic studies at the national level. This September, she will represent Whittier College at the regional meeting of the Association of Asian American Studies. She has taught courses on Ethnic Los Angeles, Asian Migration and Global Cities, and Asian-American Popular Culture, and she is currently working on a monograph entitled, Global Temp: The Culture of Temporariness in Global Cities.

Laurel Crump, director of Wardman Library, is thrilled to have Anne join us in the library. “Anne brings a high level of enthusiasm and creative energy to our new Digital Liberal Arts Center. I am very much looking forward to working with her ideas and plans for the new digital collaborative workspace in the Library.  She is a great addition to Whittier College!”

To learn more about Dr. Cong-Huyen, visit her website and follow her on Twitter at @DigLibArts. Please join us in welcoming Anne to Whittier College!

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Summer Hours in Effect until August 15

June 4th, 2014 by John Jackson

beach umbrella and bench

This is a courtesy reminder that we have shorter hours during the summer. Between Tuesday, May 27 and Friday, August 15, we are only open 10 am to 4 pm on weekdays (closed weekends). Then, from August 16-31, we will be closed completely. Between September 1-2, we will be open 10-4 again. Normal hours resume on Wednesday, September 3.

Of course, don’t forget that you can access our electronic resources, including our ebooks, from the comfort of your own home…  or beach lounge. ;-)

image source: olivier olindo on flickr (CC by-sa)

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