Wardman Library Blog

Whittier College Wardman Library

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.


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.


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:


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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.

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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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