Monday, December 19, 2011

Library Video of the Week, December 19, 2011

Beyond Babyland, a documentary by David Appleby and Craig Leake. University of Memphis; Distributed by Cinema Guild. Library Call Number: RJ60.U52T3 2010.
From the Container insert: "Of the thirty most industrialized nations, the U.S. has the worst record of infant mortality, with African American babies dying at three times the rate of whites. In some places, that rate equals those of many third world countries. When [the] filmmakers…discovered that their hometown of Memphis had the highest infant mortality rate in the country, they decided to follow those individuals who were working to reverse the statistics. Soon they began meeting some of the young pregnant mothers most at risk, and decided to concentrate much of their efforts on learning more about their particular circumstances. The film takes us from the neonatal intensive care unit where doctors and nurses fight for the lives of pre-term babies, to a county cemetery that buries so many infants the residents of the poorest neighborhoods call it ‘Babyland.’
          We observe doctors, nurses, church volunteers and social workers as they try to navigate their way through dwindling resources, and we meet three teenage girls whose stories give us a glimpse into the stressful realities of the inner city—conditions that contribute significantly to the high mortality rate."
     This video can be found in the 3rd floor collection.

Browsing Area Book of the Week, December 19, 2011

Girls to the Front: the true story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution by Sara Marcus. Library Call Number: ML3534.3.M37 2010.
A Brooklyn-based journalist gives a brash, gutsy chronicle of the empowering music and feminist movement of the early 1990s led by young women rock groups like Bikini Kill and Bratmobile. Politicized by such national events as the backlash against feminism in the press, the first Iraq War, and the Supreme Court's gearing up to review Roe v. Wade, young women were incensed. Kathleen Hanna, a college student from Olympia, Wash., was spurred to action after interviewing writer Kathy Acker and working for a domestic violence shelter, and she decided to start a band. Hanna, along with Tobi Vail, a fanzine writer (Jigsaw) and former punk rocker who was dating Nirvana's Kurt Cobain, were on a mission to spread female rebellion via their band, Bikini Kill. Meanwhile, Allison Wolfe and Molly Neuman, who had met at the University of Oregon, were in Washington, D.C., cobbling together their own band, Bratmobile.
Thus, writes Marcus in this compelling account, the Grrrl Revolution was sparked. Marcus enthusiastically tracks the "scattered cartographies of rebellion" and captures the combustible excitement of this significant if short-lived moment. –(Publisher’s Weekly Review)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Need Help with the New Library Homepage?

"Library" is on the top navigation bar.

Have questions? Contact us:
  • Via email: Ask a Librarian
  • 715/232-1215 (Circulation)
  • 715/232-1353 (Reference)
Please note Library hours this weekend:
Sat. Dec 10 -- 11am-8pm
Sun. Dec 11 -- noon-1am

Reference Hours (Ask a Librarian):
Sat. Dec 10 -- Closed
Sun. Dec 11 -- 1pm-4pm and 5pm-8pm

We hope the new website makes locating information easier and encourage feedback to further enhance your library research! Send comments to

Browsing Area Book of the Week, December 12, 2011.

Bad Dog (a love story) by Martin Kihn.  Library Call Number: SF426.2.K49 2011.
          Martin Kihn, a former television writer, was working as a management consultant, when alcoholism got the best of him.  On the verge of losing his job, family and home, he was also burdened by his pet, a huge 5-year old, untrained Bernese Mountain Dog, who knocked down visitors, chased buses, drug dealers and fried chicken boxes and frightened his entire family.
          Can an older dog be trained to behave?  Both Martin—and Hola—would find out the answer to that question, as Kihn took his dog back to obedience school (where it had flunked out twice before), hoping that he could remain sober, and Hola could discover some manners.  Both would need some discipline in their lives, but maybe, just maybe, he could get his life back together and Hola could win an American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen award.
          Kihn’s story follows both protagonists in their journeys, the two of them linked in a bond that eventually becomes clear.

Library Video of the Week, December 12, 2011.

Out of the Past, starring Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas and Virginia Huston. Directed by Jacques Tourneur. 1947.
          Chosen for the National Film registry in 1991, (along with King Kong, Chinatown and others) this noir classic features Mitchum as Jeff Bailey, a private detective hiding from his past in a small California town, running a gas station and in love with a nice girl named Ann.  But his past catches up to him when a man shows up at his station and directs him back to gambler/gangster Whit Sterling, his last client. Sterling feels Bailey owes him a debt, and forces the former detective to do one more job for him, but Bailey can see it’s a frame-up.  Douglas plays superbly against type as the gambler Sterling, but it’s Jane Greer, as Sterling’s femme fatale girlfriend, who becomes the movie’s focus. She’s ruthless, amoral, enticing and dangerous.  Jacques Torneur, who directed the moody, 40’s icon, The Cat People, brings a pitch perfect eye to this incredible film.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Library Video of the Week, December 5, 2011

Kings of Pastry, a film by Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker.  2009.
Library Call Number: TX773.K56 2011
Follow a Chicago pastry chef in his quest to win the most prestigious prize of his profession in this recent documentary.  The collar awarded to the winners of the Meilleur Ouvrier de France (Best Craftsman in France) is more than the ultimate recognition for every pastry chef - it is a dream and an obsession. The 3-day competition includes everything from delicate chocolates to precarious six foot sugar sculptures and requires that the chefs have extraordinary skill, nerves of steel and luck. The film follows Jacquy Pfeiffer, founder of The French Pastry School in Chicago, as he returns to France to compete against 15 of France's leading pastry chefs. The filmmakers were given first time/exclusive access to this high-stakes drama of passion, sacrifice, disappointment and joy in the quest to have President Sarkozy declare them one of the best in France.
(This video is available in the 3rd floor collection.)

Browsing Area Book of the Week, December 5, 2011

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick Witt. Library Call Number: PS3604.E923S57 2011.
          Eli and Charlie Sisters are hired guns, instructed by their boss, the Commodore, to head down from Oregon City to San Francisco and there shoot an old prospector named Herman Kermit Warm.  It’s a long ride on horseback to San Francisco, though, and Eli, being the introspective type, has come to question their long association with killing, not to mention his brother’s shortcomings and his own choice of horses.  Eli’s narration of their journey is full of many striking characters, among them: a witch, an insane hermit, a forlorn lost boy, murderous hiders and dangerous saloon girls.
      A funny, sad, truly unique, genre-twisting Western, that portrays the boys as alternately bloodthirsty and bound by blood, horrifying and somehow sympathetic. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Browsing Area Book of the Week, November 28, 2011

          The Ragged End of Nowhere, by Roy Chaney. Library Call Number: PS3603.H35726R34 2009.
          Bodo Hagen, late of the CIA, has come back home to Las Vegas after ten years.  His brother has been murdered.  Ronnie had just survived a stint in the Foreign Legion, only to be gunned down in the desert near Hoover Dam.  But Ronnie didn’t end his service empty-handed.  He had a relic from overseas in his possession—possibly a stolen artifact, certainly a valuable one.  The only question is who would kill Ronnie to get it?  Whoever it was, they’re about to find out that Ron Hagen wasn’t the only dangerous brother in the family. 

          Chaney’s strong first novel, winner of the Tony Hillerman prize for best Mystery in the modern American West, is a page-turner of a thriller, with a keen eye for Las Vegas and the sometimes shadowy denizens in its background.

Library Video of the Week, November 28, 2011

Being John Malkovich starring John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener and John Malkovich, directed by Spike Jonze.(1999.) Library Call Number: PN1995.9.S85B44 2003.
         In this truly weird movie from the great director Spike Jonze, Cusack plays Craig Schwartz, a struggling puppeteer forced to take a day job as a filing clerk in a nondescript doctor’s office.  His desk and the files are on the 7½ floor and it’s just that—half a floor, about four feet high.  Craig spends his time hitting on bored but attractive coworker, Maxine, even though he’s a married man, and no one on the floor seems to mind they’re spending all day in a crouch. That would be weird enough, but then Cusack finds a hidden door; go through it and you end up inside John Malkovich’s head for fifteen minutes, after which you’re ejected into a ditch along the New Jersey Turnpike.  In no time at all, Craig has turned it into a business, offering people the chance to be Malkovich for $200 a turn.
          Things quickly get complicated, however, when Craig’s wife tries the door, has a date with Maxine, and ends up in bed with her—as Malkovich.  There is also a small problem with the actor, who is becoming increasingly paranoid as he feels all these strange people and voices in his head.
          Probably the most unpredictable movie you’ll ever see, Being John Malkovich is an original.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Library Video of the Week, November 14, 2011

Hidden Battles, directed by Victoria Mills, distributed by VSM Productions. 2010.  Library call number: RC550.H53 2010.    Interviewing five soldiers from around the world, this documentary looks at the single most affecting act of soldiering—that of killing another human being.  An Arab man who began as a boy in the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade,  tells how the struggle took his whole family and left him with the feeling he and death are connected.  An American sniper in Somalia comes home with recurring memories that won’t go away, even when he moves his family to Scotland.  A housewife from New York recalls her time as a Sandinista in Nicaragua.  Saar, an Israeli soldier, tries to overcome his memories, yet finds them always with him.  And George still struggles with the killing from Vietnam and tries to help others from more recent wars.  All try to reconcile their killing of another human being with the rest of their lives.  Selected for numerous film festivals and acclaimed by critics, Hidden Battles provides a look at the resilience of the human mind.
     This video is available on the 3rd floor of the University Library.

Browsing Area Book of the Week, November 14, 2011

The Last Bridge by Teri Coyne. Library Call Number: PS3603.O975L37 2009.
          "For ten years, Alexandra 'Cat' Rucker has been on the run from her past. With an endless supply of bourbon and a series of meaningless jobs, Cat is struggling to forget her Ohio hometown and the rural farmhouse she once called home. But a sudden call from an old neighbor forces Cat to return to the home and family she never intended to see again. It seems that Cat's mother is dead. What Cat finds at the old farmhouse is disturbing and confusing: a suicide note, written on lilac stationery and neatly sealed in a ziplock bag, that reads: 'Cat, He isn't who you think he is. Mom xxxooo' One note, ten words--one for every year she has been gone--completely turns Cat's world upside down. Seeking to unravel the mystery of her mother's death, Cat must confront her past to discover who 'he' might be: her tyrannical, abusive father, now in a coma after suffering a stroke? Her brother, Jared, named after her mother's true love (who is also her father's best friend)? The town coroner, Andrew Reilly, who seems to have known Cat's mother long before she landed on a slab in his morgue? Or Addison Watkins, Cat's first and only love? The closer Cat gets to the truth, the harder it is for her to repress the memory and the impact of the events that sent her away so many years ago" -- from publisher's web site.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Browsing Area Book of the Week, November 7, 2011.

        Dying for Heaven: Holy pleasure and suicide bombers—why the best qualities of religion are also its most dangerous by Ariel Glucklich.  Library Call Number: BP190.5.T47G57 2009.
     From the Library Journal review, (11/1/09):
          With profound clarity, insight, and skill, Glucklich (Hinduism, Georgetown Univ.; Sacred Pain) e nters into the fray of post-9/11 discourses on religion…by examining the social, psychological, and historical roles of pleasure. Moving away from an oft-perceived Islamic-West dualism, Glucklich probes the very nature of what it means to be religious and the attractiveness of becoming religious. In nine chapters, he digs into the role that such concepts as pleasure, happiness, humor, and ridicule play in the social and religious realities of our worlds (Islamic or not), complete with examples from Mozart to the KKK….He successfully elucidates both the emotive and the visceral foundations of not only the suicide bomber but also our Western perceptions and reactions…Extremely well written, and at times quite funny (e.g., when Glucklich writes about humor), this book is an absolute necessity for a public seeking to understand religious nuance and zealotry; it deserves careful attention and a broad readership. Highly recommended.  -–Anthony J. Elia, JKM Library, Chicago, IL.

Library Video of the Week, November 7, 2011.

Vera Drake, starring Imelda Staunton, Richard Graham and Eddie Marsan. Directed by Mike Leigh. 2004. Library Call Number: PN1995.9.S6V46 2005.
          Best known for her later work as the creepy, sadistic Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter movies, Imelda Staunton shows her great range by playing a sweet, working-class housewife in 1950’s England.  Kind to her friends and devoted to her family, Vera Drake is a lovely saint of a woman, a house-cleaner by day, who also finds the time to care for her sick mother and a handicapped man in the neighborhood and still watch over her husband, son and daughter.  Then, at night, she sometimes goes out to help women who have found themselves in some “difficulty.” 
Vera Drake shows the shattering effects of criminalizing abortion, both on the unfortunate women facing an unwanted pregnancy and on the sympathetic, well-meaning, but potentially dangerous people who tried to help them.  A remarkable film in many ways, not least because, though nominated for an Academy Award for Best Screenplay, the actors adlibbed their lines—the Director had to ‘reverse engineer” a screenplay from what was already on film. Staunton was also nominated for Best Actress that year.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Library Video of the Week, October 30, 2011.

Senso, starring Alida Valli, Farley Granger and Heinz Moog. Directed by Luchino Visconti. (From the Criterion Collection.) 2010. Library Call Number: PN1995.9.L6S46 2010.
     Senso has something for foreign movie lovers, designers and cinema buffs. Luchino Visconti’s lavish historical romance takes place in 1866 Venice, occupied by the Austrian Army of the Hapsburg Empire.  All is not well, however, and the Italians are uniting to drive the invaders off of their native soil. During a performance of Verdi’s Il Travatore, Venetian patriots inundate the Austrian officers in the floor seats with tri-color bouquets and handbills and several are arrested. In the midst of this political turmoil, the Contessa Livia Serpieri, troubled and distraught over her bad marriage, falls for an Austrian lieutenant. Heedless of consequences, they begin an affair as the rebellion ignites.
Valli, as the Contessa, delivers a charismatic performance and Visconti was smart enough to make her the focus of nearly every scene. The costuming and lush scenery are unequaled and won the film a Golden Lion on its release in 1954.  The Criterion Collection’s restoration includes all of the vibrant color, the English language version The Wanton Countess, as well as the full 123 minute original director’s cut, that recreated the Battle of Custozza, deleted from the original release in its homeland because it depicted an Italian defeat.

Browsing Area Book of the Week, October 30, 2011.

Heaven’s Keep by William Kent Krueger. Library Call Number: PS3561.R766 H43 2009.
          St. Paul writer Kent Krueger has turned his Cork O’Connor mysteries into a top-tier series and he outdoes himself in Heaven’s Keep.  The story this time begins with O’Connor’s attorney wife, Jo, traveling west with clients when their charter plane flies into a blizzard and disappears in a wild part of the Wyoming Rockies. 
          Cork's frantic son convinces him to go west to find her, but a search in the rugged country in the winter is all but impossible. Months pass, and just as he is coming to terms with the death of his wife, the missing pilot’s wife comes to O’Connor with the stunning news that she doesn’t believe her husband was the man flying the plane, and that an investigator she’s hired to look into the crash has himself disappeared in Wyoming.  So begins a family odyssey, searching for the truth.  Who was flying the plane, was it truly an accident and—most importantly—what happened to the people on board?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Library Video of the Week, October 24, 2011.

Top Gun: Video Gaming Obsession and Addiction. producer/director Marie Caloz; written by Gillian Findlay.  Library call number: GV1469.17.S63T67 2009.
     “When the Crisps confiscated their teenage son Brandon's Xbox, they never expected him to run away from home…or to die from injuries sustained while in hiding. Using Brandon's story as a case study, this program delves into the growing psychological problems of video game obsession and addiction. Interviews with Brandon's parents and best friend, a family therapist whose patient list includes video gamers, and a psychologist who pushed the video gaming industry to adopt a ratings system provide insights into the obsessive and addictive aspects of video gaming. But virtual realms are also an arena for real-world achievement, attracting highly skilled players and their fans, professional coaches, big-name sponsors, and six-figure purses. Members of a pro-gaming team and CEO of a pro-gaming circuit present their views as well. Game over, or game on?" -- From container.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Library Video of the Week, October 17, 2011.

Riding Bean Rules the Road created by Sonoda Kenichi, directed by Hasegawa Yasuo.  Library Call Number: PN1997.5.S87R52 2002.
        An anime classic, with designs by the iconic Sonoda Kenichi, Riding Bean has all the action and style of a classic in the genre and could have been the inspiration for Jason Statham’s Transporter movies.
      The Product description states: "In Chicago, ace courier Bean Bandit rules the road, and operates on both sides of the law. If cargo absolutely positively has to be there NOW, Bean’s your man for a price. Bean’s latest cargo is a 10-year-old girl who's worth 50 grand when delivered home, but what he doesn't know is that she's already been kidnapped, and he's about to be framed for the snatch. Meanwhile, the real kidnappers are making off with the $2,000,000 in ransom money."

Browsing Area Book of the Week, October 17, 2011.

The Quiet War by Paul McAuley. Library Call Number: PR6063.C29Q54 2009.
          Earth in the 23rd century has been decimated by ecological catastrophe. Dissidents fleeing the corporate nations of the home planet have long ago terraformed and colonized the far corners of the solar system and reaped huge benefits through biogenetic alterations to the human body.  The corporations, complete with their own governments and military forces, are beginning to look at the “Outers” as increasingly foreign, possibly no longer even part of the human race.  Already they’ve had to deal harshly with a rebellion on Mars.  The people of Earth also desire the riches promised by the innovators of the outer planets. The corporations believe they own the colonies on the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, on Neptune and even faraway Pluto.  But the colonists have their own ideas of freedom and many would like nothing better than to cut all ties with Earth. Something has to be done; the ruling Earth families begin small provocations, ratcheting up the pressure, beginning a quiet war.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Browsing Area Book of the Week, October 10, 2011.

Games that Changed the Game: the evolution of the NFL on seven Sundays  by Ron Jaworski, with Greg Cosel and David Plaut. Library Call Number: GV955.5.N35 J39 2010.
     Ron Jaworski, former Philadelphia Eagle quarterback turned sportscaster, gives the football fan a chance to look at seven innovations in the pro game that made big differences in the current state of football.  Interested readers will come away with new appreciations for football as true Sunday classics are described, each in their own chapters.  From the 4-6 defense to Air Coryell, the ESPN broadcaster breaks down some of the best and biggest ideas ever to come along, the coaches who developed them and the men who executed the new strategies on the field.  This is a great read for a football fan.

Library Video of the Week, October 10, 2011.

Inside Job, produced, written & directed by Charles Ferguson; co-written by Chad Beck & Adam Bolt. Library Call Number: HB3717 2008 .I57 2011.
          Back in 2008, when the dust cleared, over $20 TRILLION dollars had been lost in the bursting real estate bubble and the ensuing global financial meltdown.  Iceland, Greece, Spain, Portugal and several other European countries now hover on the brink of collapse.  America is in the grip of the worst unemployment and consumer money woes since the Great Depression.
          Among the only people the Great Recession has barely touched were the bankers who caused it.  Rounding up the information on what burst the bubble,  this film exposes an entire industry gone rogue, one that has corrupted politics, the regulations that were designed to keep it honest and even academia.  Not a good film to watch if you’re already outraged over the financial industry, this film won the following prizes:
Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, 2010 ; Winner, Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary (Charles Ferguson), 2011 Directors Guild of America Awards ; Winner, Best Non-fiction Film, 2011 National Society of Film Critics Awards (USA) ; Winner, Best Documentary Screenplay (Charles Ferguson, Adam Bolt, Chad Beck), 2011 Writers Guild of America Awards.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Library Video of the Week, October 3, 2011.

Annie Hall, Starring Woody Allen and Diane Keaton. Directed by Woody Allen. (Released 1977.) Library Call Number: PN1995.9.C55A55 1998.
        Woody Allen had made several previous, funny, but uneven movies before Annie Hall came along and gave him his groove. Winner of three Academy Awards—for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress—the movie follows Allen’s semiautobiographical character, comedian Alvy Singer, and his relationship with Annie Hall, played by Keaton.  Full of asides, small, interesting vignettes, and awkward but poignant moments, their romance from beginning to end illustrates a point in time in the decade of the 1970’s, New York, and the personae of two people who don’t quite fit the time and place in which they find themselves.  Along with Manhattan, this is one of Allen’s best early films, rated #140 on the IMDB’s list of all-time great movies.
It is often referred to as a film that captured the difficulties of love in the 70’s and apparently did strike a chord worldwide—it won best Foreign Film that year in Germany, Spain and Denmark, and was nominated for best Foreign Film in France.

Browsing Area Book of the Week, October 3, 2011.

Juliet by Anne Fortier. Library Call Number: PS360.O7487J85 2010.
Itinerant theater director Julie Jacobs is shocked when her beloved great-Aunt Rosa dies, leaving almost everything to Julie’s twin sister Janice.  Julie receives only a letter and a key—the letter tells her the lock for the key is in a safe-deposit box in Siena, Italy.  Traveling there, she discovers her roots go all the way back to the original Juliet of Shakespeare’s play. And that’s just the first part of a combined treasure hunt and love story that involves the modern-day Montagues and Capulets, numerous relics for clues, vendetta, danger, mystery and, of course, a love story worthy of the descendants of Giuletta. Publisher’s Weekly says, ”Readers enjoy the additional benefit of antique texts alternating with contemporary narratives, written in the language of modern romance and enlivened by brisk storytelling. Fortier navigates around false clues and twists, resulting in a dense, heavily plotted love story that reads like a Da Vinci Code for the smart modern woman.”

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Library Video of the Week, September 26, 2011.

Never Enough: a Documentary  by Kelly Anderson. Distributed through New Day Films.  Library Call Number: RC533 .N48 2010 (36 minutes.)
From the package liner notes: "Do we own our things, or do they own us? [This film] probes our relationship with the material world through three Americans' relationships with their 'stuff.' Michele Gitlin has 700 sweaters. In touch with the pain as well as the pleasure of over-collecting, she calls Ron Alford, the 'Disaster Master,' for help. Ron, a de-cluttering expert who coined the term 'disposophobia' and believes that 'clutter begins in the head, and ends up on the floor,' determines that Michele is indeed a hoarder. We follow Ron as he visits a retired marine (who owns 7,800 Beanie Baby dolls), and a Home Shopping Network addict whose purchases have made his apartment unlivable. [This film] is a meditation on material culture, consumerism, mental illness and the social fabric of our lives".

Browsing Area book of the Week, September 26, 2011.

 Sugar: a Bittersweet History by Elizabeth Abbott. Library Call Number: TX560.S9A23 2009.
          A comprehensive social history of the taste most craved. Abbott’s book takes the reader from the origins of cultivated sugar cane—likely in Indonesia or Polynesia—to the huge agribusiness of beet and cane production today. Supplanting honey in the sweetening of tea, sugar began as a treat for the wealthy and exploded in popularity; in a few hundred years, it went from luxury to unfortunate staple.  Abbott gives the reader a look at the huge enterprises that sprang up in the Caribbean in the 1700’s, plantations that required hundreds of thousands of slaves to do the work and made a handful of Europeans rich beyond dreams and how candy and chocolate became necessities. She describes the American plantations, the sugar beet fields of the north central and western plains and how the historical commodity sugar was once as precious as petroleum today.  During its rise, sugar cultivation caused the near-extinction of native Caribs, resulted in untold ecological devastation and is now responsible for problems that threaten to overwhelm world’s health care systems.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Library Video of the Week, September 19, 2011.

The Narrow Margin, starring Charles McGraw, Marie Windsor and Jacqueline White. Directed by Richard Fleischer. 1952. Library Call Number: PN1995.9.F54N37 2005.             One of the best pictures ever made in the noir  period of Hollywood gangster pictures, Fleischer’s film features plenty of twists and surprises as a pair of detectives are assigned the task of escorting a gang boss’ girlfriend from Chicago to L.A. aboard the Golden West Limited, where she’s going to testify about mob activities to a grand jury.  One of the detectives is knocked off before they even get to the train, and as it rolls through the night, the remaining police escort finds himself facing ever higher odds.  This is one of those movies that has no real scenery, just the claustrophobic sleepers of the train and relies almost solely on plot and character, neither of which disappoint the viewer.  If you like old action movies, you should like this   B-movie classic.

Browsing Area Book of the Week, September 19, 2011.

What the Night Knows by Dean Koontz.  Library Call Number: PS3561.O55 W48 2011.
     Dean Koontz, one of America’s premier suspense and horror authors, began 2011 with this ghost story of terrifying dimensions.  Homicide detective John Calvino finds a serial killer is stalking and murdering whole families, in a fashion similar to a previous killer twenty years before.  What shakes the detective to his core is that two decades before, when he was 14, his entire family was the last murdered and Calvino had killed the homicidal maniac himself in self defense.  But he has always suspected that some evil refuses to stay buried and now he’s certain that same spirit has turned its attention to his wife and children. call this “…a fast-paced novel of hurt and evil, redemption and love. The first half will have you jumping at every little noise, afraid of things that go bump in the night, and the second half will convince you that danger is often closer than you think.”

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Information Commons

University of Minnesota
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

The information commons concept is popular in academic libraries throughout the nation. It involves transforming library spaces to meet the multifaceted needs of learners.  The libraries at UW-Milwaukee, the University of Minnesota, California State Polytechnic University, and Northwestern University have adopted the model.  The three year process to transform the Reference Area (1st Floor) into an Information Commons was completed this past summer.  Its goal is to support student collaboration and learning with unique and varied study spaces.  Changes include the addition of a new centralized Reference Desk, movable tablet-arm “soft” chair furniture groupings, new study tables providing varied student work spaces allowing for individual and group study, a wireless access upgrade, improved access to power outlets, computers loaded with campus software and located in pod-style arrangements, laptop stations, scanners, printing, all in an open arrangement. In response to learner preference of online reference resources, the Reference collection was reduced to allow for expansion of collaborative learning areas.

Loyola Univesity
John Peace Library

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Image Quest – New from Encyclopedia Britannica!

Simplify and improve your search for images with Image Quest. Now you can access two million rights-cleared images for educational use from over 50 of the best collections in the world. Dorling Kindersley Images, Getty Images, the National Portrait Gallery of London, the National Geographic Society, Oxford Scientific, and other leading names have joined with Britannica to provide the best and broadest collection of proprietary educational imagery. Instructors can use the images in their lesson plans and classroom activities while students will turn to the site as they work on assignments or course projects. Free of advertising and from trustworthy sources, Image Quest provides safe and fast access to high quality images on all topics and for all ages. Britannica has done the work of finding the best photos—most of which are not freely available on the Web—you can trust the source and be certain that you're using an accurate photo.

Images can be downloaded, printed, or saved in jpeg format. To access the images go to Encyclopedia Britannica on the library’s Database A-Z list (, search a subject and then click on an image. A larger version of the image will appear. To print, email or share the image, follow the prompts in the right column.

Questions or comments, please contact Lelah Lugo, or phone: 715-232-1552.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

August Browsing Books--Business as (Un)usual

Cornered: The new Monopoly Capitalism and the Economics of Destruction by Barry C. Lynn, Library Call #:HD2757.2.L96 2010.
In his study of American business, Lynn writes, ”Consolidation of power by financiers over the basic institutions of our political economy has resulted in the dreangement not merely of our financial systems but also of our industrial systems and political systems.  Most terrifying of all is that this consolidation of power—and the political actions taken to achieve it—appears to have impaired our ability to comprehend the dangers we face and to react in an organized and coherent manner.” In looking at the unprecedented rise of monopolies over the past 30 years, Lynn finds the causes of much of the economic turmoil of today.
The Next Generation of Women Leaders: What You Need to Lead but won’t Learn in Business school by Selena Rezvani. Library Call #: HD6054.3.R49 2010.
            With information gleaned from interviewing more than 30 female executives, Rezvani gives a pep talk and supplies tools and information for women who want to make it to the top in business.  Identifying areas of strength in the female executive, the author shows why women may have new-found advantages in 21st century business.
Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City by Greg Grandin. Library Call # F2651.F55G72 2009.
            The epic story of Henry Ford’s great social experiment.  In 1927, Ford puchased land in the Amazon twice the size of Delaware, and attempted to grow both rubber and a new American outpost in the jungle.  Ice cream stands, Model T’s bandstands and communities for the workers sprang up and Ford’s assembly-line philosophy was applied to the native plantation workers.  The results were a startling and grave clash of environments, cultures and mind-sets that make for a fascinating history.
13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next financial Meltdown by Simon Johnson and James Kwak. Library Call #: HG2491.J646 2010.
 Johnson, former chief economist for the IMF and MIT professor of Entrepreneurship, and Kwak argue that the banks that are “too big to fail” are practicing an economic socialism that lets them profit in good years and allows them to use Federal money to cover their losses in lean.  The authors make a compelling case for regulation and a return to banks that small enough to suffer failure.

Look for these books in the 4th floor Browsing Area of the University Library.

August Videos-Family Matters

(All synopses from Amazon Product descriptions)
Mother and Child, starring Naomi Watts, Annette Bening and Samuel L. Jackson, directed by Rodrigo Garcia. Call Number: PN1995.5.M63M68 2010.

     Three women's lives share a common core of being profoundly affected by adoption. At age fourteen, Karen placed a baby for adoption, and has been haunted ever since by the daughter she never knew. Elizabeth grew up as an adopted child. Even though she is a bright and ambitious lawyer, she is a flinty loner in her personal life. Lucy and her husband are just embarking on the adoption odyssey, hoping for the opportunity to become parents.

  Beeswax, starring Tilly and Maggie Hatcher, directed by Andrew Bujalski.  Call Number: PN1995.9.S55B44 2010.
A marvelous film from Andrew Bujalski, Beeswax revolves around the personal and professional lives of twin sisters Jeannie and Lauren.  Jeannie co-owns a vintage clothing store with Amanda, a semi-estranged friend who may be ending their partnership. Lauren leads a looser, less tethered existence and is thinking of getting out of the country altogether. When Amanda threatens Jeannie with a lawsuit, she calls her law student ex-boyfriend for help. Eager for distraction from his own problems, he begins helping the sisters with theirs. Imbued with an innate charm, the film is a story about family, friends and lovers and those awkward moments that bring all of them together.

Eat, Pray, Love, starring Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem, dir. by Ryan Murphy. Call Number: PN1995.9.T728 E38 2010.
   Out of a bad marriage, and seeing her affair with an actor going comfortable, Liz Gilbert steps outside the zone and books passage to Italy, where she learns the joy of food while she experiences the unusual sense of being alone; India, where she learns the joys of meditation and prayer; and Bali, where she adds peace and the balance of love to her experiences. Along the way, she discovers she’s built a family of friends.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Library Services Rated Highest!

The ACT Student Opinion Survey was conducted in spring 2011 to determine the level of satisfaction with certain services and the overall college environment at UW-Stout.

There were 22 college services listed on the survey.  The service with the highest average rating of 4.24 was Library Facilities and Services. Results for the 2011 ACT Student Opinion Survey are available at

University Library staff are committed to providing quality service and resources to students and faculty. We are honored, and proud, that you are satisfied with our services!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Top Ten Reasons Students Cannot Cite or Rely on Wikipedia
Ever have an instructor tell you that you can't use Wikipedia as a source for your paper?  Read this for reasons.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Browsing books for July-American Health

Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America by Robert Whitaker. Call Number: RC443.W437 2010.
Getting What We deserve: Health & Medical Care in America by Alfred Sommer, MD, MHS. Call Number: RA445.S66 2009.
Sacrifice Zones: The Front Lines of Toxic Chemical exposure in the United States by Steve Lerner. Call Number: RA1226.L47 2010.
The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to our Brains by Nicholas Carr. Call Number: QP360.C3667 2010.
          Four controversial books on health make the reading list for July. In Anatomy of an Epidemic, Whitaker looks at the studies which evaluate the long-term use of psychiatric drugs and finds the benefits of use often misstated and patients suffering, while innovative programs are being developed which may offer far more effective alternatives.
          In the slim Getting What We Deserve, Dr. Sommer, a former Dean at Johns Hopkins, uses charts, graphs and innumerable statistics to show what we already should know: we spend more on health care than any other developed country and still aren’t better off than most of them. With sometimes acid humor, Dr. Sommer shows why.
          Sacrifice Zones spotlights an all-too-often ignored outcome of poverty: lower income communities are much more likely to be in proximity to—even surrounded by—toxic zones of industrial pollution. As jobs become critical, towns will gamble their health and the future of their children, in order to earn a living. From Alaska to Florida, from dioxin to PCBs from an old military base, the poor are often living in deadly environments.
          In The Shallows, author Carr expands on a past Atlantic article: that the Internet is making it harder for humans to think deeply and concentrate fully. Blending recent neuroscience and cultural critiques, he makes a strong case for e-moderation.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Library Videos for July--the Western Evolution

Ride the High Country, starring Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea, with Mariette Hartley. Directed by Sam Peckinpah. 1962. Library Call Number: PN1995.9.W4R54 2006.
     Considered by some Peckinpah’s finest film, the story involves two aging lawmen sent into the mountains to escort gold from a mining site back to a banker in the town below. Their journey is complicated by love, sex, fistfights, a double-cross, and gunplay. Some of the themes of this movie were no doubt shockingly adult for 1962, while Western justice and honor are on full display and the usually iconic Scott and McCrea become real people.

The Cowboys, Starring John Wayne, Roscoe Lee Brown and Bruce Dern. Directed by Mark Rydell. 1972. Library Call Number: PN1995.9.W4C69 2007.
          After True Grit, Wayne departed several times from his more stereotypic roles. As aging rancher Wil Anderson, he finds his wranglers have gone to chase a gold strike, just when he needs them to drive his cattle to market. Faced with the loss of his ranch, he desperately hires 11 boys from the schoolhouse to make the drive, but they are tailed by rustlers who mean to steal the herd. This is a rare Wayne movie and the boys-to-men theme works to his advantage. Fine performances all around and tremendous Western scenery, make this an unheralded beauty.

Little Big Man, starring Dustin Hoffman, Faye Dunaway, Chief Dan George. Directed by Arthur Penn. Library Call Number: PN1995.9.W4L57 2003.
     In Dustin Hoffman’s early tour-de force, he stars as 121 year-old Jack Crabb. Interviewed by a reporter in his nursing home, Crabb tells a tale of living with both the Cheyenne and the white man, as the West becomes settled, culminating in becoming the lone white survivor of the Little Big Horn. With Chief Dan George in his first movie role, lending tremendous weight as Old Lodge Skins, the Cheyenne who adopts the boy Jack Crabb, Jeff Corey as Wild Bill Hickock, and Richard Mulligan as the vain and arrogant Custer. Funny and heart-breaking, Penn’s work forced a new view of the stereotypical Western Indian. 
The Outlaw Josey Wales, starring Clint Eastwood, Chief Dan George and Sandra Locke. Directed by Clint Eastwood.1976. Library Call Number: PN1995.9.W4O88 2001.
          The epic story of an unrepentant Rebel border raider on the run in the post-Civil war era, Josey Wales is hunted by the Union from Missouri to Texas, giving the viewer a sweeping look at the canvas of the American West. Carpetbaggers, messianic soldiers, fur-traders, hard-luck saloon inhabitants, and Comancheros inhabit a vast landscape.  The movie has two sides: attention to detail, quality camera and cast, and a realistic portrayal of the Western environment; and then a fugitive gunfighter who can’t miss and somehow amasses an unlikely set of tag-alongs. Still, it’s a one-of-a-kind movie, hard to forget.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Retired Archivist Discusses Advances During His Career

Kevin Thorie retired as Archivist at UW-Stout after 29 years of service.  He discusses the changes in retrieval of information over that time in this article.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Browsing Books for June - Thoughts on Education

 Saving Alma Mater: a rescue plan for America’s Public Universities by James C. Garland.  Library Call Number: LB23452.G37 2009.
          In this quartet of books about education, the state of American education is seen from many angles.  James C. Garland, former President of Miami University of Ohio, outlines the cost pressures on the American public University in Saving Alma Mater. As the Library Journal review says, Garland “…explains the damaging impact of an unpredictable and uncompetitive system of state appropriations..[he] also shows that faculty values and the character of academic culture get in the way of cost-effective management and the identification of priorities. …Campus attitudes have led to a defensiveness that wastes resources, resists change, and undermines the academic excellence that students and society overall need…While Garland's recommended change in tuition policy may not work throughout the system, his clearly expressed and hardheaded analysis provide a valuable perspective for both the general reader and public officials.”  
Big Man on Campus: A University President Speaks out on American Education by Stephen Joel Trachtenberg.  Library Call Number: LA228.T68 2008.
In Big Man on Campus, the former President of George Washington University and the University of Hartford provides a lively insight into the job of running a University and reminds readers that  "Finding sufficient resources might be the greatest responsibility, but presidents also focus on student well-being, curriculum, athletics, security, facilities, and the concerns of university neighbors."  The author reminds us that American education is still the place where students and professors from all over the world seek “personal and professional opportunities.”

The Truth about Teaching: What I Wish the Veterans had Told me by Coleen Armstrong. Library Call Number: LB1775.2 .A748 2009.
Armstrong’s The Truth about Teaching takes the reader into the trenches of K-12 education and offers witty, inspiring and wry advice to present and aspiring educators alike. The publisher says,"This beautifully designed book is a celebration of the joys and challenges of the teaching life. Author and veteran educator Coleen Armstrong is a wise, witty, and caring mentor. Her words of encouragement will resonate with new teachers, with students in teacher education schools, and with veteran teachers who wish to remember that they are not alone in an often lonely profession."

The Marketplace of Ideas: Reform and Resistance in the American University by Louis Menand. Library Call Number: LB2322.2 .M45 2010.
Louis Menand’s The Marketplace of Ideas, on the other hand, speaks to the disconnect inside institutions that have functioned for many years with an established structural and philosophical process and are now in an age with radically different students and faculty, along with a society where technology is radically changing the way information is produced and disseminated. Trying to separate what should be kept with what might be usefully discarded, Menand offers a glimpse of education’s future.