Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Summer Reading...

Hello everyone,

It is Carl again, your loyal cataloger, ready to encourage you to do a little light reading over break, between catching up on all of your paper writing.  [Yes, I remember those days when I was also an undergrad and wouldn't trade them for the world.]  I again report to you from the hub of Lane Library where amazing things continue to happen - behind the scenes.

I'm sure some of you wonder what your librarians do when they are not at their desks.  Like all people, we do a variety of things, including reading.  After the release of the movie DIVERGENT (which I haven't had a chance to see - yet), I wanted to know more about the story.  Lane Library owns the collection of novels, so I decided to sit down and read them.  I was drawn in immediately by the characters and storyline.  So, that is the background to today's blog post.  I am very happy I read them and I would encourage you to consider doing the same sometime - maybe even over fall break.

I'm sure that some of you have already seen the film DIVERGENT or have read the book series that I mentioned above by Veronica Roth.  For those of you who are not familiar with Roth's series and do not mind a few spoilers, read on.  Veronica's series is a work of Dystopian fiction, and it revolves around a society somewhere in the future, located in the ruins of the once great metropolis of Chicago.  To set the stage, we meet a young woman named Beatrice Prior who is a member of one of the groups that makes up this society.  The society she lives in consists of five groups of people, known as factions.  At the age of 16, each young person in this society must take a test which determines which faction that person actually belongs.  Upon taking this test, Beatrice finds out that she is divergent and that she has a proclivity for multiple factions.  She must keep this fact a secret, for to reveal this could lead to her untimely death.  On choosing day, she chooses a much different faction than she grew up in.  This is where the story really gets interesting.

Spoiler Alert:  This is a story of growth through strife.  First Beatrice must survive the initiation into the faction she chose, which is very difficult.  Then she must then survive a civil war, only to discover that she and everyone she loves is part of a closed experiment and genetic restoration project.  Talk about turning one's world upside down.  Let's just say that the young woman you meet at the beginning of this story is not the person you know at the end.  Since this story takes place in post-apocalyptic  Chicago, many iconic places are mentioned, including Millennium Park, Navy Pier, The Hancock Center, O'Hare Airport, the Chicago 'L', and even the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (briefly in the third book).  

So, if you want a little light reading set in a strangely familiar world, I'd suggest checking out DIVERGENT, INSURGENT, and ALLEGIENT.  These books (and many, many more) are available at Lane Library, and at other libraries in this area. 

This is Carl the Cataloging Librarian signing off.  Happy reading, and have a great Fall Break!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Use all the Technology!

Interested in creating a digital media project for a class or group? Where are you going to go for the technology needed?  Stop by Lane Library today.  We have a couple of Sony Camcorders along with tripods available for your use.  Uncertain what to do next?  We have iPads available for checkout as well, complete with the iMovie app.  Simply transfer your videos from the camcorder to the iPad via a computer, and you too can create your own video complete with voice-overs, musical scores, credits, and more.  

Why create a video for an assignment?  Your goal is to synthesize the information set before you by writing and thinking critically.  It may be daunting, but in a digitally, tech savvy world, it may be time for you to jump right in.  Before starting a project like this, be certain that you do plenty of planning and pre-production work to ensure that your video goes smoothly.  Write an outline, create a storyboard, and revise.  Continue revising and editing, as you will undoubtedly run into unexpected bumps in the road.  Don't forget the credits at the end, and be certain to cite any images or videos used that you yourself did not take.  Most importantly, enjoy the process and get in touch with your creative side.  

Check out camcorders and iPads Monday through Friday from a librarian.  For more information, please check our technology guide at, or ask one of the friendly librarians for assistance.   As far as technology, we also have headphones, flash drives, and external hard drives, all available for check out.  New this fall we also have updated technology in our conference room to include a television that can be connected to your computer in order to project your project onto the big screen.  This room is available for your use, and can be reserved as well.  

Be certain to view the Banned Books Week video from this year's Virtual Read Out at Lane Library, created by Ripon College student and library assistant Emelia Erickson using digital media at the library.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Banned Books Week!

Banned Books Week - 2014!

To commemorate Banned Books Week, the library is having a Virtual Read Out and Banned Book Mugshot event - Thursday, September 25th from noon to 3:00pm.

It just takes a few minutes for you to get your mugshot with your favorite banned book and then read a few lines. We'll take the images and readings and make a compilation video to commemorate BBW 2014!! Everyone who participates will get a sweet pin and be entered to win a library swag prize!

About Banned Books Week

Many people think that banning books is something that happens only in the past or in extremist dictatorships in far-off countries, but it is, unfortunately, alive and well in the United States. Starting in 1982, Banned Books Week is an effort by librarians to highlight the importance of not censoring books and limiting the public's knowledge on topics that others may find "objectionable".  As John Stewart Mill wrote in "On Liberty":
But the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.

The titles challenged are sometimes shocking, such as To Kill A Mockingbird, The Giver, The Catcher in the Rye, and ironically, Farenheit 451. Take a moment to look at what texts people find so offensive that they fight to have it removed from libraries:

One thing these lists have in common is that you are guaranteed to find at least one title which changed your life (The Sun Also Rises, Sophie's Choice, Looking for Alaska, Hunger Games, Harry Potter, The Hobbit, Brave New World, Perks of Being a Wallflower...)

Here are recent local challenges. All have happened within a one-hour drive from Ripon:

Oshkosh, WI

(2007) Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass was removed from the St. John Neumann Middle and Lourdes High School in Oshkosh, WI because of concerns about what critics call its “anti-Christian message.”

Fond du Lac, WI

(2010) Julie Halpern's "Get Well Soon" was challenged at the Theisen Middle School in Fond du Lac, Wis. by a parent who believes that the book contains inappropriate subject matter for children.

(2010) Ann Brashares' "Forever in Blue, the Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood" was challenged at Theisen Middle School in Fond du Lac, WI by a parent who believes that the book has inappropriate subject matter for children. "Some (of the characters in the book) are sexually active, and alcohol is part of their recreation."

(2010) WritersCorps "Paint Me Like I Am: Teen Poems" was retained in the combined middle and high school library in North Fond du Lac, WI School District provided it has a label designating it as appropriate for high school students. Younger students could also access the book with prior parental permission. A parent asked the school district to reconsider the book due to mature language.

(2010) Sonya Sones' "One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies" was challenged but retained at the Theisen Middle School despite a parent's belief that the book's "sexual content was too mature for eleven-to fourteen-year-olds." The book has won several awards, including being named a 2005 Best Book for Young Adults by the American Library Association. The same parent plans to request removal of six other books from the library, including the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, another set of books by Sones, and Get Well Soon, by Julie Halpern.

Menasha, WI

(2008) Louise Rennison's "Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging: Confessions of Georgia Nicolson" was retained with limited access at the Maplewood Middle School in Menasha after objections from a parent who found the book offensive. The book was retained, but board members voted unanimously to adopt procedures intended to secure parental consent before limited access books could be released to students.

Appleton, WI

Carol Plum-Ucci's the "The Body of Christopher Creed" was challenged, but retained in the Appleton, Wis. Area School District (2012), despite the book’s references to suicide and sex. Other titles also considered inappropriate by the local parent group, Valley School Watch, include The Catcher in the Rye and The House on Mango Street. The reading list for the group’s ideal alternate class would contain books with no profanity, obscenity, or sexual material.

West Bend, WI

(2009) Stephen Chbosky's "The Perks of Being a Wallflower", Brent Hartinger's "Geography Club", and Francesca Lia Block's "Baby Be-Bop" were just a few of numerous books challenged in West Bend because of content seen by some community members as obscene or harmful to minors. Many of the books challenged had LGBTQ themes. On May 18, 2009, the West Bend Common Council voted not to reappoint four members of the Library Board because of their views and adherence to library policy. NCAC, ABFFE, the Association of American Publishers, and PEN American Center joined to urge the council to reconsider their decision and retain the books. The ALA issued a separate letter and statement on the issue. Additionally, the Christian Civil Liberties Union filed a legal claim arguing that its plaintiffs suffered mental and emotional damage from the presence of the books in the library's young adult section. On June 2, the West Bend Library Board voted unanimously to retain the books in its YA Zone, without removing, relocating, labeling, or otherwise restricting access. Though no subsequent challenges were submitted, the library has faced ongoing pressure to remove or restrict access to online content and library materials for young people.

--all taken from

Monday, September 8, 2014

Learn a little, play a little

Our Digital Makerspace schedule is now available for this fall.  Another semester of Digital Makerspace Workshops at the library and we have a lineup of new topics, as well as a couple of "back by popular demand" workshops.  Some are geared to help you out with your classes, such as the ones on Zotero and Advanced Google search techniques, while others are there to have a little fun, such as the "create a button" workshop.   Be sure to look them over and mark the dates in your calendar!

Some things don't change, and as always the workshops are free and with no advance registration required, and we try and do two sessions of each workshop. The content covered in each of the two sessions is the same, so you only need to attend the one that fits into your schedule.  The workshops last about 30 minutes, and are generally held in the Waitkus Computer Lab in Lane Library, unless otherwise noted.

Below is a list of our Digital Makerspace Workshops this semester:

Monday, September 8 @4 pm 
Start your semester our right with your research.  Learn how to create a bibliography in seconds using your collected research in Zotero.  

Prezi vs. Powerpoint 
Monday, Sept. 15 @4 pm / Tuesday, Sept. 16 @noon
Using the latest technology to share your ideas?  There are many choices out there for incorporating ideas and visual technology into your presentation.   Best practices for presentations, both in Prezi and Powerpoint, will be reviewed to help in getting your point across smoothly.  

iMovie with iPads and Digital Cameras
Monday, Sept. 22 @4 pm / Tuesday, Sept. 23 @noon 
Stop by to check out the cameras and iPads available to you through the library.  The iMovie app is also available on our iPads, which means you can make the videos the length you need for assignments or promotional materials for your class, club or sport.  

Advanced Google:  new search strategies  
Monday, Sept. 29 @4 pm / Tuesday, Sept. 30 @noon
Want to find out how to do a better, faster search with Google?  All searching is not equal; learn how to take advantage of the Advanced Google search to find what you are looking for the first time.

Monday, Oct. 6 @4 pm / Tuesday, Oct. 7 @noon   
Wondering how to take your photos from good to amazing?  Want to add a little text to your photos?  Come explore Pixlr, and let your photos have their time to shine.

How to Design Video Assignments
Monday, Oct. 13 @4 pm / Tuesday, Oct.14 @noon           
Video essays and digital storytelling play a part in the Digital Humanities movement, and this visual aspect can be turned into a great assignment if designed well.  Come to learn and share ideas as to how a video assignment can be adapted to fit your class.

Create a Button 
Monday, Oct. 27 @4 pm / Tuesday, Oct. 28 @noon      
Do you have something to say in a visual 1 inch format?  Come with your ideas and learn to use the library's button maker to create a small button of your very own.  

Infographics in your pocket
Monday, Nov. 3 @4 pm / Tuesday, Nov. 4 @noon      
Do good statistics and data sets make you smile?  Find out how to create engaging infographics, as well as great places to get data at your library.  

How to Give a Ted Talk    
Tuesday, Nov. 11 @ noon / Wednesday, Nov. 12 @ 4pm 
Love the style of a Ted Talk, but not certain how to incorporate those techniques into your own presentation?  Stop by to learn what makes a Ted Talk so engaging, and get the tools needed to make your end of the semester presentations stand out. 

3D Printer      
Monday, Nov. 17 @4 pm / Tuesday, Nov. 18 @ noon in the North Reading Room
The Makerbot 3D Printer is available for you to be innovative and release your creativity for your coursework.  Want to find out what the printer can do?  Professor John Dalziel will be leading the workshops, demonstrating how the printer works and the guidelines for use.

Monday, Nov. 24 @4 pm / Tuesday, Nov. 25 @ noon 
Never to late to learn new organizational techniques.  A second chance to familiarize yourself with Zotero's bibliographical tools, and amaze your professors with your correctly formatted bibliographies that you created with the click of a button.

If you have any questions, comments, or any suggestions for future Digital Makerspace workshops, please let us know! 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Now and then: Ripon College Campus

Welcome back Ripon students!
As you walk around the campus, imagine all of the students who have walked and stood in the same places you have. Pictured left, two female students standing on steps adjacent to the library ca. 1935.  Pictured right, two female students standing on steps adjacent to the library, 2014.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Etiquette: Business or Otherwise.

Hello everyone, 

It is Carl, your intrepid Technical Services Librarian at the keyboard, and I'm writing to you again from the deep recesses of Lane Library where amazing things happen.  Many of you know that your Lane librarians serve as representatives (liaisons) to various academic departments on campus.  As part of what we do, we often look at resources related to our liaison departments.  Since I work with the business department, I recently had a business book cross my desk that most everyone might find interesting.  The book is titled:  The essentials of business etiquette : how to greet, eat, and tweet your way to success.  It is written by Barbara Pachter who is a public speaker and regularly does workshops on this topic.  Upon reading the first few pages, it was obvious to this reader that she is an expert on this subject.

Pachter includes five general topics in this book:  greeting people, maintaining your profession image, how to eat with grace, how to properly handle phones and social media, and how to improve your career.  Her writing style is easily accessible, down to earth, funny and informative.  This text is so full of excellent advice that I had a hard time putting it down.  Of special note, section four starting at page 185 is especially helpful for the job seeker.  Soon to be graduates, This Means You!  Remember not to sell yourself short.  Take chances when applying for positions.  Do your research on the company you are applying at and ask good questions if and when you get the interview. 

So, dear reader, will this book benefit someone who is not a business major or minor?  I ask, will you ever have to go out on an interview?  Are you going to have a career someday?  Ladies and gentlemen, don't let the word "business" in the title of this book fool you.  Everyone who has to interact and communicate with other people ought to read this book.  This is the text for you and is well worth your time.  I highly recommend it and intend to use as much of the advice as I can recall from my one reading of this book.

We'll "chat" again soon.  In the meantime, I hope you have fun reading and learning new things.

Your trusty librarian,

Carl Z.