Monday, April 29, 2013

Treasures of the Collection: Official War Records Part III (post-Civil War)

Official War Records Part III (post-Civil War)

After the Civil war the U.S. military engaged in a number of conflicts, among them; the Spanish-American War, various Caribbean military interventions in the early 20th century, World Wars I and II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Iraq/Afghanistan conflicts.  Most, but not all, of these conflicts were the subject of official government histories.    For the Spanish American War and the Caribbean interventions, no “official” government histories were written.  However after World War I the Historical Section of the Army War College wrote a 17 volume official history of the conflict and the Army’s participation in it.   Published in 1948 and republished in 1988 by the Center for Military History (CMH), these 17 volumes comprise the official record of the Army Expeditionary Forces (AEF) in Europe in 1917-1918.   Hewes library has the 1988 republication found at D114.8:

In the middle of World War II, the Army created the General Staff historical branch in July 1943 which is now known as CMH.  This organization composed of historians, translators, editors, and cartographers began the publication of the Army’s official history of World War II.  Now comprising 79 volumes, the Green Books as they are called are a detailed accounting of all aspects of the Army’s participation in that war.   Go downstairs to the Ds and look for the green backed books.  These will all be volumes in the Army’s official history (but some of the titles are tan, not green).  There are also official Marine Corps histories of the conflict found in the same section. 

Subsequently, CMH wrote a series of books on the Army’s participation in the Korean and Vietnam Wars and is currently writing a history of the Cold War.  The Navy and Air Force historians have also written histories of those services’ participation in various conflicts.  

All of the more recent military histories, regardless of service are found in the D section of the basement.  Here is a breakdown of the areas to check for more these histories.
Air Force Histories: D 301
Army Histories: D 114.7
Marine Corps: D 214.13
Navy Histories:  D 207.10 and D 221.2

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Digital Public Library of America

The Digital Public Library of America recently launched and strives to collect and make available the contents of libraries around the country.  It's mission states:
"The Digital Public Library of America brings together the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums, and makes them freely available to the world. It strives to contain the full breadth of human expression, from the written word, to works of art and culture, to records of America’s heritage, to the efforts and data of science. The DPLA aims to expand this crucial realm of openly available materials, and make those riches more easily discovered and more widely usable and used, through its three main elements:
1. A portal that delivers students, teachers, scholars, and the public to incredible resources, wherever they may be in America. Far more than a search engine, the portal provides innovative ways to search and scan through the united collection of millions of items, including by timeline, map, format, and topic.
2. A platform that enables new and transformative uses of our digitized cultural heritage. With an application programming interface (API) and maximally open data, the DPLA can be used by software developers, researchers, and others to create novel environments for learning, tools for discovery, and engaging apps.
3. An advocate for a strong public option in the twenty-first century. For most of American history, the ability to access materials for free through public libraries has been a central part of our culture, producing generations of avid readers and a knowledgeable, engaged citizenry. The DPLA will work, along with like-minded organizations and individuals, to ensure that this critical, open intellectual landscape remains vibrant and broad in the face of increasingly restrictive digital options. The DPLA will seek to multiply openly accessible materials to strengthen the public option that libraries represent in their communities."
Visit their website to view a few of their current digital exhibitions, including The Great Depression and New Deal, Indomitable Spirits: Prohibition, and This is Your Land: Parks and Recreation

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Preservation Week: More Web Resources

Learn more about Preservation Week on the web from the following resources:

ALCTS Preservation Week:
Site provides information and ideas to help you celebrate Preservation Week. It includes a Speakers
Bureau, tip sheets, links to basic and extensive preservation information, and information about programs to be offered during Preservation Week. It is complemented by an ALA Preservation@Your Library web page for the general public.
American Institute for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works: Caring for
Guidance for care of common categories of collections, printable as handsome two-sided 8.5 x 11” broadsides.  Heritage Preservation: Heritage Health Index and The Caring Books and Downloadable Documents. These provide valuable preservation information, with extremely useful information about responding to sudden emergencies in collections.

Institute of Museum and Library Services, Connecting to Collections
Links to online resources, grouped by category, at, and a
bibliography of collections care titles distributed as a bookshelf to more than 2,500 local libraries and
museums ( Includes hard-to-find categories like
audio-visual and digital materials. Information includes video and news about IMLS’s national conservation initiative.

Library of Congress: Preservation
Includes simple instructions for preserving family treasures and caring for collections with links to more comprehensive information grouped by topic and type of material.

Society of American Archivists: Preservation
Selected Links to Preservation Web Sites, Links to a wide variety of Web sites with preservation information useful to archivists and archives, among others.  Memories and treasures should last a lifetime and be passed on to future generations. President Obama once wrote, “Part of America's genius has always been its ability to absorb newcomers, to forge a national identity out of the disparate lot that arrived on our shores.” The memories and treasures of individuals, families, and communities are essential to our record of this process—they contribute to our understanding of history and its participants just as collections in libraries, museums, and archives do.

-Excerpted from What is Preservation Week?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Preservation Week: Charles Wilt on Preservation

Charles Wilt, ALCTS Executive Director, shares his thoughts on Preservation Week:

Pre-Finals and Finals Week Hours, Spring 2013

The library's pre-finals hours begin today!  We'll be open late on Friday and Saturday nights and opening early on Sunday morning so you can finish those last minute papers and projects.

 Pre-Finals & Finals Week, Spring 2013 (April 26 - May 8)
  • Friday, April 26: 7:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 27: 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 28: 9:00 a.m. - Midnight
  • Monday - Wednesday, April 29 - May 1: 7:30 a.m. - Midnight
  • Thursday - Friday, May 2 - 3: 7:30 a.m. - 2:00 a.m.
  • Saturday - Sunday, May 4 - 5: 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 a.m.
  • Monday - Tuesday, May 6 - 7: 7:30 a.m. - 2:00 a.m.
  • Wednesday, May 8: 7:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Preservation Week: The FUNadmentals of Book Care

Originally created for National Library Week by George Mason University Libraries. The short film provides informative lessons about preservation and proper book care.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Preservation Week: Preserving Your Memories

In addition to preserving materials housed in libraries - have you ever considered ways to preserve your family memories?  The Preservation Week: Pass It On theme also include personal, family treasures that need care and attention.  Depending on the material type, different steps and processes will be required to ensure the long term care of your item.
The Association for Library Collections & Technical Services maintains a Preserving Your Memories section, which highlights reviewed resources for preservation of paper, photographs, and more. 

A few highlights include:

Extended pre-finals library hours begin Friday!

Hewes Library will be open additional hours this weekend in anticipation of finals coming up.  We'll be open later on Friday and Saturday night as well as early on Sunday morning.

Pre-Finals & Finals Week, Spring 2013 (April 26 - May 8)
  • Friday, April 26: 7:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 27: 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 28: 9:00 a.m. - Midnight
  • Monday - Wednesday, April 29 - May 1: 7:30 a.m. - Midnight
  • Thursday - Friday, May 2 - 3: 7:30 a.m. - 2:00 a.m.
  • Saturday - Sunday, May 4 - 5: 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 a.m.
  • Monday - Tuesday, May 6 - 7: 7:30 a.m. - 2:00 a.m.
  • Wednesday, May 8: 7:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Preservation Week: Steve Berry

Steve Berry, New York Times best-selling author, is the first national spokesperson for Preservation Week. Berry started as spokesperson in January 2012 with an appearance at the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Dallas, where he gave the keynote presentation at the Preservation Week 2012 Kick Off, sponsored by the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS). He also commented on his role and the Preservation Week initiative in a YouTube video. - From ALCTS

Monday, April 22, 2013

Preservation Week: The Facts

Preservation Week @ your library: Fact Sheet from the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS)
Why is preservation important?
In 2005 the first comprehensive national survey of the condition and preservation needs of the nation’s collections reported that U.S. institutions hold more than 4.8 billion items. Libraries alone hold 3 billion items (63 percent of the whole). A treasure trove of uncounted additional items is held by individuals, families, and communities.
Some 630 million items in collecting institutions require immediate attention and care. Eighty percent of these institutions have no paid staff assigned responsibility for collections care; 22 percent have no collections care personnel at all. Some 2.6 billion items are not protected by an emergency plan. As natural disasters of recent years have taught us, these resources are in jeopardy should a disaster strike. Personal, family, and community collections are equally at risk.

 Key environmental factors that place collections at risk:
  • Light: Ultraviolet rays from natural and artificial sources can cause fading and disintegration.
  • Pollutants: Dust is abrasive and can accelerate harmful chemical reactions.
  • Heat: High temperatures can accelerate deterioration.
  • Moisture: High humidity promotes mold growth, corrosion, and degradation, while excessive dryness can cause drying and cracking. Fluctuations between extremes can cause warping, buckling and flaking.
Key items that should be preserved include historical materials that are unpublished and one-of-a-kind, such as:
  • architectural drawings
  • artifacts
  • audio and video recordings
  • diaries
  • genealogical information
  • letters
  • maps
  • memoirs/reminiscences
  • minutes/reports
  • photo albums and photographs
  • printed materials
  • professional and business papers
  • speeches/lectures*
Preservation Fast Facts
  • More than 4.8 Billion Artifacts are held in public trust by more than 30,000 archives, historical societies, libraries, museums, scientific research collections, and archaeological repositories in the United States. 1.3 billion of these items are at risk of being lost.
  • Roughly 70 percent of institutions need additional conservation/preservation training for their staff and volunteers.
  • A majority of collecting institutions, more than 80 percent, do not have a disaster plan in place that can be executed by trained staff.
  • Nearly a quarter of all the 21 million paintings, sculptures, and works of decorative art in U.S. collections need conservation treatment or improved care and conditions.
  • More than 50 percent of collecting institutions have had their collections damaged by light.
  • More than 65 percent of collecting institutions report damage to their collections due to improper storage.
 *Source: “A Public Trust at Risk: The Heritage Health Index Report on the State of America’s Collections,” Library of Congress,
Excerpted from ALCTS.  For more information on ALCTS and its work please visit

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Preservation Week: April 21-27, 2013 "Pass It On"

What is Preservation Week?  Why is it important?

Preservation Week was organized in 2010 by the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS), which is a division of the American Library Association.  They've put together a great history to address the need to raise awareness.  Read what ALCTS has to say:


In 2005 the first comprehensive national survey of the condition and preservation needs of the nation’s collections reported that U.S. institutions hold more than 4.8 billion items. Libraries alone hold 3 billion items (63 percent of the whole). A treasure trove of uncounted additional items is held by individuals, families, and communities. These collections include books, manuscripts, photographs, prints and drawings, and objects such as maps, textiles, paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, and furniture, to give just a sample. They include moving images and sound recordings that capture performing arts, oral history, and other records of our creativity and history. Digital collections are growing fast, and their formats quickly become obsolescent, if not obsolete.

The Importance of Preservation Awareness

Some 630 million items in collecting institutions require immediate attention and care. Eighty percent of these institutions have no paid staff assigned responsibility for collections care; 22 percent have no collections care personnel at all. Some 2.6 billion items are not protected by an emergency plan. As natural disasters of recent years have taught us, these resources are in jeopardy should a disaster strike. Personal, family, and community collections are equally at risk.  ALA encourages libraries and other institutions to use Preservation Week to connect our communities through events, activities, and resources that highlight what we can do, individually and together, to preserve our personal and shared collections." - from ALCTS
Throughout the week, we will feature information on preserving collections and the importance of highlight preservation in libraries and archives.  Learn more about Preservation Week.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

National Library Week: Statistics on Libraries

The Institute of Museums and Library Services recently released it's 2010 Public Library Survey Results.  The report highlighted some interesting statistics and the overall theme that was noted was the fact that libraries are doing more with less.  We've highlighted a few statistics from the report to round out our features on National Library Week:

Public Library Services and Operations
  • Public libraries offered 3.75 million programs to the public in FY 2010, which amounts to an average of at least one program a day for every library system in the country. The majority of these programs (61.5%) are designed for children. Attendance at programs has continued to rise, indicating an increased demand for these services.
  • Public libraries circulated 2.46 billion materials in FY 2010, the highest circulation in 10 years, representing a continued increasing trend. Circulation of children’s materials has increased by 28.3 percent in the last 10 years and comprises over one-third of all materials circulated in public libraries.
  • The composition of public library collections has changed dramatically in recent years. While books in print continue to dominate the physical portion of the collection, making up 87.1 percent of the total in FY 2010, the share of non-print materials, including audio and video materials and electronic books, has increased. The number of e-books has tripled since FY 2003. In FY 2010, there were 18.50 million e-books available for circulation.
  • Public access computer use continued to be one of the fastest growing services in public libraries. In FY 2010, public libraries reported a computer use rate of more than one use for every five visits to the library. Public libraries have responded to demand by increasing access, doubling the number of public computers in the past 10 years.
  • Physical visits to libraries decreased 1.1 percent in 2010. (Note: the survey does not collect data on online visits or transactions of public libraries.) Physical visits remain strong with an overall 10-year increase of 32.7 percent from FY 2001-FY 2010. On average, Americans visited a public library 5.3 times per year, a ten-year increase of 21.7 percent.
Public Library Resources
  • Public libraries had $11.3 billion in revenue in FY 2010, a decrease of 3.5 percent from FY 2009, after adjusting for inflation. Although local governments have generally been the largest source of revenue for public libraries, they have had to take on an even larger role as state support declined over 10 years.
  • Public libraries reported operating expenditures of $10.77 billion dollars in FY 2010, the first decrease since FY 2001. Although expenditures across all U.S. public libraries were $36.18 per capita, per-capita expenditures varied greatly by state, with spending as low as $15.99 and as high as $67.78.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

New ScotsRead Titles Arrived

The following titles arrived and were added to the ScotsRead Collection on the main floor of the library:
  • A Perfect Proposal by Katie Fforde
  • Daddy's gone a hunting by Mary Higgins Clark
  • Tapestry of Fortunes: A Novel by Elizabeth Berg
  • The Fever Tree by Jennifer McVeigh
  • Midnight at Marble Arch by Anne Perry
  • Taking Eve by Iris Johansen

National Library Week: Challenged Books

As part of National Library Week, the American Library Association releases the names of book titles that were the most frequently challenged in the previous calendar year.  The most frequently challenged books of 2012 were:

Out of 464 challenges as reported by the Office for Intellectual Freedom
  1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey.
    Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie.
    Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  3. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher.
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James.
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
  5. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson.
    Reasons: Homosexuality, unsuited for age group
  6. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini.
    Reasons: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
  7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green.
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  8. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
    Reasons: Unsuited for age group, violence
  9. The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
  10. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

National Library Week: Libraries Are 'Tabernacles of Personal Freedom'

From @ your library:

As part of the Auditorium Speaker Series at the American Library Association’s 2013 Midwinter Meeting in Seattle, Caroline Kennedy, Honorary Chair of 2013 National Library Week, spoke to an enthusiastic crowd about her passion for libraries and the role that reading and poetry has played in her family members' lives.

Kennedy said that all types of libraries are, “tabernacles of personal freedom: freedom of thought, freedom of expression, freedom of opportunity and the true test of liberty – freedom to dissent,” and noted that, “Libraries have a critical role in teaching the higher order thinking skills that students need under the Common Core curriculum, and the research techniques and analytics that are so critical in the information age.”

Video of Caroline Kennedy’s speech is available online.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

National Library Week: Spotlight on Poetry

Just in time for National Poetry Month and National Library Week: Check out Poetry Beats Studio, an interactive studio designed for students, educators and poetry lovers, where they can explore the rhythm and sound of spoken word.

Hewes Library's resources on poetry can be found in the library catalog as well as our online databases.  A few databases of interest:
  • Modern Language Association (MLA) International Bibliography: Indexes 4,000 international periodicals covering literature, languages, linguistics, and folklore. Coverage: since 1969. Updated ten times annually.
  • Literature Resource Center (LRC): Contains 400,000+ full-text articles, 40,000+ critical essays, 122,000+ biographies, and more, covering all topics related to literature in all genres. This also includes Contemporary Authors.
  • Literature Online (LION): Covers 350,000+ works of literature, including tens of thousands of primary sources, 880,000+ records of literary criticism via the ABELL index (138 journals of which are full-text), and eight renowned reference works. Coverage: since 1920.
  • MagillOnLiterature Plus: Provides online access to Salem Press' editorially reviewed critical analyses and brief plot summaries, combined with thousands of biographical records and images. Source materials include Masterplots, Masterplots II, and other Magill review publications.
Access to Hewes Library databases is limited to current students, staff, and faculty of Monmouth College.

Monday, April 15, 2013

National Library Week: Caroline Kennedy

Caroline Kennedy is this year's National Library Week spokeswoman.  Watch her PSA for libraries:

Sunday, April 14, 2013

National Library Week: Fact Sheet

National Library Week will be observed April 14-20, 2013 with the theme, "Communities matter @ your library®."

First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation's libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. All types of libraries - school, public, academic and special - participate.

Celebrations during National Library Week include: National Library Workers Day, celebrated the Tuesday of National Library Week (April 16, 2013), a day for library staff, users, administrators and Friends groups to recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers; National Bookmobile Day, celebrated the Wednesday of National Library Week (April 17, 2013), a day to recognize the contributions of our nation's bookmobiles and the dedicated professionals who make quality bookmobile outreach possible in their communities; and Celebrate Teen Literature Day, celebrated the Thursday of National Library Week (April 18, 2013), aimed at raising awareness among the general public that young adult literature is a vibrant, growing genre with much to offer today's teens.

History of National Library Week

 In the mid-1950s, research showed that Americans were spending less on books and more on radios, televisions and musical instruments. Concerned that Americans were reading less, the ALA and the American Book Publishers formed a nonprofit citizens organization called the National Book Committee in 1954. The committee's goals were ambitious. They ranged from "encouraging people to read in their increasing leisure time" to "improving incomes and health" and "developing strong and happy family life."

In 1957, the committee developed a plan for National Library Week based on the idea that once people were motivated to read, they would support and use libraries. With the cooperation of ALA and with help from the Advertising Council, the first National Library Week was observed in 1958 with the theme "Wake Up and Read!"

National Library Week was observed again in 1959, and the ALA Council voted to continue the annual celebration. When the National Book Committee disbanded in 1974, ALA assumed full sponsorship.

Friday, April 12, 2013

New Items at Hewes Library

New items are added to the Hewes Library Collection on a continual basis. Recent titles have included:

  • Rabbit and Robot: The Sleepover by Cece Bell
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • What is a Book?  by Joseph A. Dane
  • Moliere on Stage: What's So Funny? by Robert W. Goldsby
  • Business Life in Ancient Rome by Chris G. Hebermann
  • Stage Turns: Canadian Disability Theatre by Kirsty Johnston
  • Royals by Kitty Kelley
  • Tudor and Stuart Britain, 1471 - 1714 by Roger Lockyer
  • Music in 1853: The Biography of a Year by Hugh MacDonald
  • Rosetta Stone and the Rebirth of Ancient Egypt by John Ray

Treasures of the Collection: Official War Records, Part 2

This is Part II of the Treasures of the Collection Feature: Official War Records.   Part 1 is also available to read. 

Photograph of a US Passport from the time period of the Barbary Wars
Official War Records-Part II  (pre-Civil War Navy)
The old saying goes, “history is written by the victors” But sometimes, whether a history is written at all depends upon the branch of service of the person ordering the history to be written.  Hewes library contains three examples of official military histories that were written because of the military service related positions held by presidents of the United States.

Title Page of Book
In the 1934 Congress passed an authorization for the expenditure of $10,000 to begin printing historical and naval documents.  The first set of naval documents printed under this law was a set entitled “Naval documents related to the Quasi-War between the United States and France”.  Consisting of 7 volumes the collection of documents was assembled by Dudley Knox, the officer in charge of the Office of Naval Records and Library in the Department of the Navy.  President Franklin D. Roosevelt who had served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy from 1913 – 1920 wrote the preface to the set, which indicates that his interest in naval matters was responsible for the publication of this work.

Title Page of Book
The Quasi-War with France was one of the first engagements with a foreign power undertaken by the United States after the establishment of the country.  Running from 1798-1800, the war occurred because of the signing of a favorable trade treaty with Britain in 1794.  This angered France which believed that the United States was giving more favorable treatment to the British than to them.  In retaliation, the French began seizing U.S. trading ships bound for Britain. The XYZ affair, in which American diplomats were refused access to the French Prime Minister Talleyrand without payment of a bribe, caused the U.S. to sever relations with France in 1798 and U.S. ships began to seize French ships.  The Quasi-War was ended in September 1800 by the signing of the Treaty of Mortefontaine.

Sample document written by the Commander of the USS Constellation
Publication of early naval documents continued under the Roosevelt administration in 1939 with the publication of the 6 volume set Naval Documents related to the United States Wars with the Barbary Powers.  The wars with the Barbary Powers referred to were a series of conflicts that took place between North African pirates and the U.S. Navy between 1801 -1805 and 1814-1815.  Shortly after the publication of this set, the U.S. Navy was attacked at Pearl Harbor and World War II began, stopping all publications of an historical nature. 

Title page of Book
Publication of historical naval documents languished until the 1960’s when, apparently not to be outdone by President Roosevelt, President John F. Kennedy a former officer in the U.S. Navy during World War II wrote the preface for the 11 volume set “Naval Documents of the American Revolution”.  Now there was no official American navy until after the war was over and United States came into being, but there were engagements between ships of the British navy and the American rebels throughout the revolution.

Both sets contain many documents and illustrations relating to our early navy.  The sets can be found in the Hewes Library government documents collection, the Quasi-war with France at N.16.2:Q2, the Barbary Wars set at N16.2:B23 and the Naval documents of the American Revolution at D 207.12.  These titles cannot be found in the online catalog, but in the card catalog in the government documents section.

Drawing of Naval Cannon and Carriage, plus bar and round shot
The next section of this article will discuss histories of more recent conflicts.  Check back soon!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Program Tonight! Sufi Poetry Reading at the Buchanan Center for the Arts

Tonight at 7:00 pm, there will be a Sufi Poetry Reading at the Buchanan Center for the Arts in downtown Monmouth.  Members of the college and Monmouth community will be invited to read selections from Sufi poetry. The program is coordinated by the Monmouth College Muslim Journeys programming committee.

The Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys is a project of the National Endowment for the Humanities, conducted in cooperation with the American Library Association, the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies at George Mason University, Oxford University Press, and Twin Cities Public Television. Support was provided by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York. Additional support for the arts and media components was provided by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Database of the Month: Literature Online (LION)

Our database of the Month for April is Literature Online (LION) .

In 1996, the Academy of American Poets declared April as National Poetry Month, a month dedicated to the promotion and appreciation of American poems and poets.  In honor of this month, the database this month is one in which a great many samples of American (and other) poetry are found, Literature Online (LION).

LION is not just about poetry.  It covers all facets of literature and has information on the authors of many countries besides the United States.  But as this is National Poetry Month, we will only talk about finding text, biographies and criticism of American poets and their work. For poets, LION is an especially good way to find the text of their poems online as it contains many works by different poets that can be searched by title, keywords or author.  LION contains poetry from poets that are well known and those not so well known.

In addition to title, keyword and author searches, there are several browse functions that facilitate exploration of the contents of the database.  For poetry click on “browse complete contents” which brings up a listing of all of the full-text materials found in the database.  Each listing is arranged by period and “American Poetry” is the top listing in each time period, beginning with the 1607-1785 Colonial period. In brackets is a list of how many volumes and how many differing authors are represented in the collection.  Clicking on the listing of volumes brings up all full-text poetry found for that time period, arranged by author.

For criticism of an author’s works, click on the “criticism & reference” button and enter the author’s name to find a listing of articles and links which provide critical reviews of the authors works. WHEN SHOULD I USE THIS DATABASE? Use this database for information on any literary topic or to quickly find samples of poetry.

In closing, here are some links to poems to help you celebrate the arrival of Spring (when it finally arrives!) found in the database that were written by American poets.
  • Hymn to the Evening by Phyllis Wheatley (1753-1784), who was the first black poet to be published in America in 1767.
  • Spring Joy by Emma Lazarus (1849-1887) whose most well-known poem is “The New Colossus” which is inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty.
  • spring \ may by Cummings, E.E. 1894-1962 an experimental poet of the early 20th century.
  • Easter Season by Louise Gluck(1943- ) well-known living American poet.
Finally, we will close with the poem most appropriate to April and Illinois, Walt Whitman’s When Lilacs Last in the Door-yard Bloomed, composed for the funeral of President Abraham Lincoln after his assassination in April 1865. 

Take the time to read at least one American poem this month!

Access to databases is limited to current students, staff, and faculty of Monmouth College.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

New ScotsRead Titles

The following titles just arrived and were added to the collection.  Find them on the library's main floor:
  • Family Pictures by Jane Green
  • Six Years by Harlan Coben
  • Pure by Julianna Baggott
  • No Way Back by Andrew Gross
  • Life after Life: A Novel by Kate Atkinson
  • Starting Now by Debbie Macomber

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Return to Regular Hours

Today, Hewes Library resumes regular hours. We hope everyone enjoyed their Easter break!