Lilly Library blog posts
I don’t know about you, but I finally feel like I’m getting in to the swing of the new semester after the holidays and our snow day last week! Though you may find the pace of the semester is heating up, make sure you leave yourself some time for reading. As usual, we have some great titles in New and Noteworthy and Current Literature.
- Failure : why science is so successful by Stuart Firestein, a professor in the department of biological sciences at Columbia University. This book examines how trial and error are an important part of the scientific process. To find out more about this book, check out this interesting NYT review.
- Carry on : the rise and fall of Simon Snow by Rainbow Rowell is a really fun YA book that turns the common fantasy trope of the “chosen one” on its head! In this book Rowell takes the Simon Snow world that she created for her Fangirl novel and makes it into its own standalone story.
- Lafayette in the somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell, who is the bestselling author of books such as Unfamiliar Fishes and The Wordy Shipmates and a former contributing editor of This American Life on NPR. Her newest book is an account of the Revolutionary War hero Marquis de Lafayette.
- America dancing : from the cakewalk to the moonwalk by Megan Pugh. Using the stories of tapper Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, ballet and Broadway choreographer Agnes de Mille, choreographer Paul Taylor, and Michael Jackson, Megan Pugh shows how freedom–that nebulous, contested American ideal–emerges as a genre-defining aesthetic. In Pugh’s account, ballerinas mingle with slumming thrill-seekers, and hoedowns show up on elite opera house stages.
- Neurotribes : the legacy of autism and the future of neurodiversity by Steve Silberman, winner of the 2015 Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction. You can find out more about this interesting book about autism here, here, and here.
Here in the Libraries, we are always trying to improve our game. To help us serve our students and faculty better, we conduct periodic surveys to understand how you view our services, spaces, and materials, and how satisfied you are with your overall library experience.
From now until February 15, we will be conducting a brief user survey. Please take a moment and tell us how we’re doing.
As a way to say thank you for the feedback, all survey participants will be entered to win a $75 Amazon gift card. The survey only takes 4-5 minutes to complete, and all responses are completely confidential, so please tell us what’s really on your mind!
The more feedback we get, the better equipped we will be to improve our existing services and develop new ones to meet emerging needs.
So please take a few minutes to complete the survey. We value your feedback. And we look forward to reporting what we learn from the survey results in the coming weeks. Thank you!
Guest post by Carson Holloway, Librarian for History of Science and Technology, Military History, British and Irish Studies, Canadian Studies and General History
Why does this beautifully crafted lapel pin connect Harrison’s name with reform? Such questions provide a good deal of the appeal of fourteen campaign pins on display as part of the Kenneth Hubbard Collection of Political Campaign Ephemera in the Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. In the current season of election news, Hubbard, a Duke alumnus and donor, has provided tokens of particular interest in contextualizing some notable presidential campaigns between 1840 and 1948.
William Henry Harrison’s is a name to ponder. Some might recognize that he was a President before the American Civil War. The alliteration of his name may sound familiar. Fewer could identify him as hero of the Battle of Tippecanoe, though more would recognize the campaign slogan “Tippecanoe and Tyler too,” referring to Harrison and his running mate, and successor. Harrison, the oldest person elected President until Ronald Reagan, died from pneumonia contracted at his inauguration after serving fewer than forty days.
“Reform,” in Harrison’s campaign of 1840, was economic reform required as a result of a protracted depression known as the “Panic of 1837.” Over a third of American banks in New York and elsewhere faltered and then failed after President Andrew Jackson’s administration decentralized the Federal banking system and British banks raised interest rates in response to perceived risk. Jackson’s Democratic successor, Van Buren, was unable to correct the economic course and prices for important agricultural export products like cotton plummeted. Whether Harrison’s Whig reforms would have been effective is questionable. The severe economic downturn lasted until 1844.
Like the Harrison pin, each of the items on display in the Rubenstein is interesting in its own right. A few have great aesthetic appeal like the Harrison pin. Other buttons illustrate powerful personalities and world-changing events. One particularly rare pin is from the only presidential campaign in which the candidate was running while serving a term in federal prison!
Getting ready for Halloween? So is Lilly Library! Come check out our collection of spooky DVDs and graphic novels, on exhibit through the end of October.The H Word: Horror in the Libraries Future Imperfect: Dystopian and Post-Holocaust Cinema
Our film exhibit features Dystopian and Post-Holocaust movies while graphic horror novels are highlighted in our The H Word: Horror in the Libraries exhibit. In addition, check out our guide to “Future Imperfect” for more dystopian movies. Last but not least, we have classic Halloween movie listings at the front desk, including a wide range of films from Ghostbusters to Paranormal Activity.
No matter what you’re looking for, Lilly Library has something for everyone to get into the Halloween spirit.