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Libraries Study Break, Dec. 14 with Con Brio


Please join us for a quick break from studying with homemade cookies and milk and student performers.

Study breaks are at 9 p.m. Monday, Dec. 15 and Tuesday, Dec. 16 in the Burling Library Lounge. Con Brio will sing on Monday and the Ritalin Test Squad will perform on Tuesday.

Cookies will be delivered to the Kistle Science Library, as well.

This event is co-sponsored by the Libraries Student Educational Policy Committee (SEPC), the Student Government Association, and the Libraries.



 


- See more at: http://www.grinnell.edu/news/libraries-study-breaks-fall-2014#sthash.JsU...

Please join us for a quick break from studying with homemade cookies and milk and student performers.

Study breaks are at 9 p.m. Monday, Dec. 15 and Tuesday, Dec. 16 in the Burling Library Lounge. Con Brio will sing on Monday and the Ritalin Test Squad will perform on Tuesday.

Cookies will be delivered to the Kistle Science Library, as well.

This event is co-sponsored by the Libraries Student Educational Policy Committee (SEPC), the Student Government Association, and the Libraries.

- See more at: http://www.grinnell.edu/news/libraries-study-breaks-fall-2014#sthash.JsU...

Please join us for a quick break from studying with homemade cookies and milk and student performers.

Study breaks are at 9 p.m. Monday, Dec. 15 and Tuesday, Dec. 16 in the Burling Library Lounge. Con Brio will sing on Monday and the Ritalin Test Squad will perform on Tuesday.

Cookies will be delivered to the Kistle Science Library, as well.

This event is co-sponsored by the Libraries Student Educational Policy Committee (SEPC), the Student Government Association, and the Libraries.

- See more at: http://www.grinnell.edu/news/libraries-study-breaks-fall-2014#sthash.JsU...

Please join us for a quick break from studying with homemade cookies and milk and student performers.

Study breaks are at 9 p.m. Monday, Dec. 14 and Tuesday, Dec. 15 in the Burling Library Lounge. Con Brio will sing on Monday and the Ritalin Test Squad will perform on Tuesday.

Cookies will be delivered to the Kistle Science Library, as well.

“Up From the Roots,” a Concert to Commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Thirteenth Amendment

The Office of Cultural Affairs, Grinnell College Libraries, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion present “Up From the Roots,” a concert commemorating the 150th anniversary of the 13th Amendment, at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, December 4, at Herrick Chapel. The program features soprano Randye Jones and saxophonist Damani Phillips, along with the Young, Gifted, and Black Gospel Choir. They are joined by pianists Marlys Grimm and Ha Na Song, vocalist Gary Jackson, organist Sam Salamone, and drummer Tim Crumley.

The program focuses on the African-American influence on music from the end of the American Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement of the mid-20th century, and includes a myriad of traditional African-American musical selections.

“We are taking a different approach to the impact African-Americans have had on the history and culture of the United States,” explains Randye Jones, who also serves on the Libraries’ staff. “We want to look at the role they played in shaping the musical development of this country by touching briefly on the roots, the Negro Spiritual, and some of its many branches, namely Gospel music, Blues, Jazz, Rhythm and Blues, and even how African-Americans influence Western Classical music.”

“Up From the Roots” is free and open to the public.

Celebration of Life for Richard Fyffe

A celebration of life for Richard Fyffe will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 15, at the Conard Environmental Research Area (CERA).  The Grinnell College Libraries is sad to announce that Richard passed away peacefully on Thursday afternoon, November 5. He served as the Samuel R. and Marie-Louise Rosenthal Librarian of the College from 2006 until this fall. The entire Grinnell College community benefited from Richard’s extensive knowledge, collaborative skills, leadership, and thoughtfulness. Grinnell College is a better place thanks to the hard work and dedication of Richard Fyffe, and he will be greatly missed. 

Story Time Study Break

With a backdrop of children’s book illustrations from African artists (courtesy of Grinnell Prize winner Golden Baobab), come listen to children’s stories from around the world at 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15, in Burling Gallery.

We will share a story or two, then have books available to read together in small groups.

Bring your friends from everywhere. We especially welcome Big Brothers and Big Sisters to bring their Littles, and International Students to bring their host siblings. 

Milk, cider, and cookies for all. 

Hosted by Friends of Faulconer Gallery.

 

 

WWII V-mail in the Jimmy Ley Collection

James “Jimmy” Ley attended Grinnell College for two years before enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Force in 1942. An extensive collection of correspondence written by Ley during his time at Grinnell and in the Army Air Force, as well as personal items, photographs, and military documents were donated by members of his family to the college archives in the fall of 2014.

The correspondence in the Jimmy Ley Collection provides wonderful insight into the life of a Grinnell student during the early 1940s, and also of a solider during the Second World War. Ley was a prolific letter writer. The majority his letters were written on paper and mailed home to his parents and other family members. However, when Ley was shipped overseas to England, he and his family exchanged a few letters using Victory Mail, also known as V-Mail.Letter from the Jimmy Ley Collection

V-Mail, invented by Kodak, used a photographic process to take pictures of handwritten messages using microfilm. The microfilm was then mailed overseas. Once it arrived at the destination, it was enlarged and printed for the recipient to read as easily as a normal letter. Shipping microfilm instead of sending full sheets of paper in envelopes drastically reduced the weight, speed, and cost of overseas correspondence.

In this particular V-Mail letter sent on August 6, 1943, Ley writes little about the war.  V-Mail was censored before it was sent, and patrons can see the censor stamp in the upper left-hand corner. Ley does mention that his squadron is sleeping in tents, claims that the food is very good, and also talks about visiting a local town near where he is stationed. Ley sent this message about half a year before he went missing-in-action over Abbeville, France while serving as an engineer gunner on a mission.

To see more of Ley’s correspondence, including postcards, handwritten letters, as well as more examples of V-Mail, visit the Special Collections and Archives. Special Collections and Archives is open to the public 1:30-5:00pm Monday through Friday and mornings by appointment.

You can also read more about V-mail at the National World War II Museum website.

Bejing Filmmaker and Author Visits Grinnell College

November 9, 7:30 pm – Screening of A Chronicle of My Cultural Revolution (ARH 302)

November 10, 4:15 pm – Roundtable discussion, “An International Life of Arts and Letters” (Burling Lounge)

Bejing writer and documentary filmmaker Xu Xing is finishing a month-long speaking tour of universities in the United States with a visit to Grinnell College on November 9 and 10. His time here includes a screening of one of his films followed by a time for questions and answers, a roundtable discussion and reflection on his experiences in China and abroad, and several other opportunities for conversation.

Born in China in 1956, Xu Xing was separated from his parents as a child when they were sent away for re-education during the Cultural Revolution. He has traveled extensively, in China and other countries, and his short stories reflect themes of wandering, loneliness, bitterness, and the quest for individual freedom. His films also explore these themes, and often include humor and elements of fantasy.

Burling Library has available Xu Xing’s collection of short stories, Variations Without a Theme and Other Stories, translated by Maria Galikowski and Lin Min. Three of Xu Xing’s documentary films are also available in the library’s collection: A Chronicle of My Cultural Revolution, in which Xu Xing narrates chronologically his personal experiences during China’s Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution; Five Plus Five, a humorous depiction of the life of a taxi driver whose customers are residents of a Bejing artists’ colony; and Summary of Crimes, which relates the true story of a group of counter-revolutionary peasants who were jailed for exercising free speech during the Cultural Revolution.

All are invited to events planned during Xu Xing’s visit to Grinnell. On November 9 at 7:30 pm in ARH 302, East Asian Studies will sponsor a screening of the documentary film, A Chronicle of My Cultural Revolution. Xu Xing will be available to answer questions following the screening. The film is subtitled, and a translator will also be present.

On November 10 at 4:15 pm in Burling Lounge, Grinnell College Libraries will sponsor “An International Life of Arts and Letters,” an informal gathering during which Xu Xing will reflect on his experiences in China and abroad. Translation and refreshments will be provided.

 

Curien, Annie. “Xu Xing.” Encyclopedia of Contemporary Chinese Culture, 2011. Web. 2 Nov. 2015.

Richard Fyffe, Samuel R. and Marie-Louise Rosenthal Librarian of the College

On Oct. 1, Richard Fyffe, Samuel R. and Marie-Louise Rosenthal Librarian of the College and associate professor, began a permanent medical leave. Richard was recently diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).

Julia Bauder, associate librarian and associate professor, is serving as Interim Librarian. A national search for a new Librarian of the College will be conducted in the coming months.

Since 2006, Richard has served Grinnell with great distinction, while working to raise the profile of college libraries nationally.

At Grinnell, Richard worked to develop the library's collections, promote initiatives in information literacy and research skills, strengthen our partnerships and consortia memberships, and advance technology in service of teaching, learning, and research. He served on many campus committees and task force groups that supported faculty, staff, and students, most recently as Science Division representative to the Executive Council.

An award-winning librarian, Richard placed a high priority on innovative services to benefit the Grinnell community. He oversaw the launch of Digital Grinnell, opened the archives of “Scarlet & Black,” and built closer, stronger connections between the libraries and academic departments.

Richard worked collaboratively with faculty to develop intellectual property policies and pass an open-access resolution. His innovations helped reinvent the College's libraries through the creation of a peer-mentoring program for research literacy and by rethinking collections philosophy. Richard was also instrumental in the opening of Kistle Science Library and the renovation of Burling Library, including media collection improvements, installation of a computing commons, expansion of the Burling Lounge, and upgrades that make the libraries more welcoming.

Under his leadership, the College received an Excellence in Academic Libraries Award from the Association of College and Research Libraries and American Library Association in 2011.

Richard was also active nationally. He has had leadership roles in the Iowa Private Academic Library consortium and the Oberlin Group consortium, served as co-chair of the American Library Association Scholarly Communications Committee, was an editorial board member of the peer-reviewed journal College & Research Libraries, and was twice elected as chair of the Board of Directors for the Center for Research Libraries in Chicago.

Please join the Grinnell College Libraries in recognizing Richard for his many contributions, thanking him for his distinguished service to the Grinnell community, and wishing him all the best.

 

The Historie of Foure-Footed Beasts

The Historie of Foure-Footed Beasts, written by Edward Topsell was published in 1607. It was printed bypage "Of the Vnicorne" from The Historie of Foure-Footed Beasts William Jaggard. The lengthy subtitle reads, “Describing the true and liuely figure of euery beast, with a discourse of their seuerall names, conditions, kindes, vertues (both naturall and medicinall) countries of their breed, their loue and hate to mankinde, and the wonderfull worke of God in their creation, preseruation, and destruction."

The Historie of Foure-Footed Beasts contains relevant information for those interested in a variety of disciplines, particularly history, art, and zoology. Looking through this bestiary gives readers a sense of how people of the Elizabethan era understood animals and nature. Readers will notice that along with factual information, Topsell offers some highly incorrect details. He states that weasels give birth through their ears, elephants worship the sun and moon, and that apes fear snails. Furthermore, he writes that the blood of an elephant and the ashes of a weasel are a cure for leprosy.

Topsell was a clergyman in the Church of England rather than a naturalist, so his book draws heavily on the works of others with more knowledge. On the title page, Topsell explicitly acknowledges the publications and work of Conrad Gesner (1516-1565), considered to be the greatest naturalist of his time. All of the animals featured in Foure-footed Beasts were taken from Gesner’s earlier work, Historiae Animalium. He also includes an extensive list of authors who have written about beasts as a guide for readers. 

Due to the fact that Topsell borrowed so heavily from other authors and naturalists, The Historie of Foure-Footed Beasts is best known for its illustrations. A variety of illustrators contributed to the work. Among the illustrations are Albrecht Dürer’s well-known woodcut Rhinoceros. While it is clear what animal most of the illustrations represent, a large majority are not strictly accurate depictions. For example, various mice appear very large and possibly vicious.

Foure-footed Beasts lists animals alphabetically, with illustrations and a detailed explanation provided for each animal. Although Topsell largely covered common animals such as goats, weasels, deer, and dogs, he also included animals that would have been unknown or considered exotic to English readers, such as elephants and rhinoceros. Of great interest to modern readers is the fact that Topsell did not confine himself to known animals, but also incorporated mythical animals. The book contains illustrations and explanations of the mythical creatures gorgons, unicorns, and satyrs.

We encourage anyone with an interest to drop by Special Collections and look at this fascinating book in person.  Special Collections and Archives is open to the public 1:30-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and mornings by appointment.

An Interview with Paula Smith, author of “Engaging Risk: A Guide for College Leaders"

Is it risky for a teacher of creative writing, also a poet, novelist and short story writer, to write a book on, say, risk management?  In search of an answer, we asked Grinnell faculty member Paula Smith a few questions about her recently-published book, “Engaging Risk: A Guide for College Leaders.” 

  1. Why did you write this book?Engaging Risk: A Guide for College Leaders

As soon as I started reading about risk management, I realized that its principles can apply to running a college. But the challenge lies in applying a set of ideas originally developed in the corporate world to an entirely different type of organization. Academic institutions will succeed not by imitating business models, but by keeping a steady focus on the sustainability of their academic mission and by building on the strengths of shared governance. Therefore, college leaders need a modified version of risk management. “Engaging Risk” proposes that new approach: risk management geared toward the aims of a liberal arts college.

  1. How, in brief, would you have Grinnell College and higher education engage in risk?

A useful first step is the “campus tour” to identify, evaluate, and understand the challenges that the college faces. Some of these risks can affect daily operations, while others have potential impact on broader strategic goals. But the all-important second step is to take action. It’s not enough to analyze data, bring in consultants, produce colorful charts, or write reports. Making a real change, by putting something in place to control the risk (whether it’s a change in what people are doing, or a physical change to the campus itself) can actually lower the likelihood of a negative event, or maximize the benefits of a positive one. Only at that stage does the college achieve a goal of effective risk management.

  1. You’re a creative writer.  How did your background as a writer impact the way you approached the topic of risk?  Or the way you wrote the book?

Both fiction writers and risk managers continually ask the question, “What if….?”  Writers drop their fictional characters into highly risky situations, and go on to explore how much the characters are willing to risk, what chances they’re willing to take. When we read fiction, we start anxiously anticipating what could go wrong for the characters, and wonder if they’ll be courageous enough to face what threatens them. Henry James called this sense “the imagination of disaster.” Risk managers take a similar approach. One of the favorite questions from a risk manager is, “What keeps you awake at night?”  I think risk could even replace the traditional framework of “conflict” as a key concept for fiction writers. I enjoyed writing the book because I had fun bringing ideas to life with examples, clear explanations, and active verbs. It doesn’t pretend to be a literary work, and maybe for that reason I was able to write it fairly quickly.

4.      Has the writing of this book changed the way you teach?

I’ve mentioned ideas from the book several times in class and when talking with students. Primarily, though, because the book contains such a strong message that teaching and learning are absolutely central to the life of a college (and that the biggest risks are those that threaten educational excellence), the experience of writing it has made me grateful to return to the classroom and work with students again.

Thursday, October 15 at 4:15pm, join Professor Paula Smith in Burling Lounge to help launch her new book, "Engaging Risk: A Guide for College Leaders," and learn why risk matters in decision-making at all levels. Between serving as dean of the college and her return to the faculty, Paula Smith played the role of "Professor Riskmeister" on Grinnell's campus and started a national dialogue about liberal arts colleges and risk (http://www.preparedcollege.com). Come to discuss the story behind her book and the deeper questions it raises about college governance.