Thursday, December 11, 2014

Do you have some Neanderthal in you?

Hello everyone,

Here is another blog post from your Lane Library Cataloger, Carl Z.  Today's topic focuses on Neanderthals.  As you know from previous posts, many books come through my department and there is certainly not enough time in a day to read all of them.  Although, I have been known to check out a book from time to time and take it home.  Recently, a book titled Neanderthal Man : in search of lost genomes by Svante Pääbo caught my attention.  This book centers around how Pääbo researched and mapped Neanderthal DNA.  He tells his story of research and discovery in a generally linear (biographical) fashion.  If you, dear reader, are a science major or just love the art and science of research, here is your opportunity to learn how a cutting-edge scientific researcher thinks.  One of the big questions posed in this book was whether modern humans and Neanderthal humans interbred and if modern humans living today contain some Neanderthal genes.  According to the findings, peoples from Europe, China and Papua New Guinea have some Neanderthal genes.  So yes, somewhere back in history, there was interbreeding between these two species of humans.  If you want to find out more about these findings, I strongly urge you read this interesting and engaging book.  It is available at Lane Library.  Call no:  GN285.P33 N42 2014. 

On a somewhat related note, starting in 1980, Jean Auel began writing a series of fiction books.  Her first novel was titled Clan of the Cave Bear and was about a young orphaned girl who was taken in and raised by a group of Neanderthals.  A campy movie by the same title, starring Daryl Hannah, was also produced, but in my opinion, and Auel's, it didn't quite capture the full scope and spirit of her first book.  Auel went on to write five more books in the Earth's Children series for a total of six.  She, in doing research for her fiction, visited significant archaeological sites in France and other parts of Europe and kept abreast of Neanderthal research.  In her fiction, she wrote about Neanderthals and modern humans interbreeding.  Now we know through science that this phenomenon actually did occur.  I found these books to be a real adventure to read, although I must warn our sensitive readers that there is some violence and sexuality in these books.  These novels by Auel are available at the Ripon Public Library.

So Gentleman, if a friend or your significant other calls you a "Neanderthal," that person might ironically be closer to the truth than he or she thinks.  I'll let you chew on that thought for awhile.

I want to wish you a happy holiday season.  Enjoy your break.

Carl Z.


Jean Auel's website:

Clan of the Cave Bear Movie:

TED Talk by Svante Pääbo:

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Films at your fingertips

Direct link through Ripon College Lane Library
Need an academic or documentary style video clip for a presentation or class?  Looking for something interesting and educational to watch on your computer at home or in your dorm room?  We now offer thousands of possibilities to be found in the Films on Demand database.

Ripon College now has access to Films on Demand, the Humanities and Social Sciences collection.  This database provides streaming access to thousands of full length videos, and even more video clips from a wide variety of producers such as American Experience, BBC Films, Ken Burns, Nova and PBS among others.

Any Ripon College student, faculty or staff may access this online video collection on-campus or off-campus through this Films on Demand direct link and by using your MyRipon login and password when off-campus.  (This is the same information that you use to access any computer on campus.)  You can also access Films on Demand through the library's online database list under "databases and journals" at

Search by title or browse by subject or collection to find a video of interest for you.  Once you find a film, you may access it by segments or view the film in its entirety.  Searchable transcripts are also available for most films, as well as closed captioning/subtitles.

If you have any question on how to use this database, please ask one of your librarians or view one of the available tutorials or webinars from Films on Demand.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Scholarship Workshop and Scholarship Materials

Many students are struggling with keeping above water when it comes to financing their education. Often students rely too heavily on loans, not understanding the difference between grants, loans, subsidized, unsubsidized, and how the interest rate affects the future cost of the loan. The far better option is to get a scholarship - a few hundred dollars from various organizations every year over four years of college can save you thousands after you leave.

Finding, applying for, and winning scholarships is terribly daunting. Many students don't even know where to start. Starting next semester, Lane Library will be having a multi-week Scholarship Workshop. During these two-hour workshops, you'll learn about all kinds of scholarships out there, how to find them, and best practices when it comes to winning them. Most importantly, you'll have a set time and place to focus on getting scholarships and others to help you with applying. If a student came to the seven week workshop, spending two hours each week, and earned a $500 scholarship, that's equivalent to earning $35.71 dollars an hour! Quite a pay raise from any campus position! Part of our time will also be set aside for learning about how to manage your finances so you leave college with as much money as possible.

To prepare for this workshop, the library got a few scholarship books, available for anyone to use. So we can be sure many students have a chance with them, they are on the reserves shelf. They circulate for 2 hours, in-library use only.

Information on thousands of scholarships, grants, and prizes is easily accessible in this revised directory and features awards indexed by career goal, major, academics, public service, talent, athletics, religion, ethnicity, and more.

2170 programs offering private, federal, and state money. Over 1.8 million awards including scholarships, internships, loans.
Provides detailed profiles of financial aid awards for higher education, covering such topics as eligibility, number of awards, amount of award, application requirements, and deadlines for applications.
Provides 30 complete winning scholarship essays with analysis of why they were successful, scholarship interview strategies, Q&A with scholarship judges, 12 essays that bombed and an essay-writing workshop that covers selecting a topic, creating an outline, writing and editing
Kristina won over $500,000 in scholarships, enough to get her a PhD, by working very hard and winning a lot of money along the way. She shares her story and explains how you can use her experience to get money of your own.
Cost should never be a barrier to receiving a high-quality education. That's why Peterson's continues to provide students and parents - like YOU - with the most comprehensive up-to-date, and accurate information on how to get your share of the financial aid pie. Peterson's is with you every step of the way. With our resouces for financial aid, education exploration, test prep, and career guidance, you'll be well prepared for success!

More information on the workshop will be emailed out to students as we near the next semester, so keep on the lookout, space will be limited!


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

West Hall: Then and Now

Although these images appear remarkably similar despite the many decades which separate them, West Hall has changed greatly over the years.  Currently Anthropology, the language departments and ROTC inhabit the three main floors and two lower levels.  These four walls have also housed residents, a chapel, the college library and a gymnasium. 
Photo Credit: Karlyn Schumacher

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