Collaborating for Our Community

About this time every year we recognize National Library Week.  Each year is a little different; sometimes we have a display and other times we have more fun with it. For example, last year we blogged about Duggan Library staff’s favorite novel and another time we listed an interesting factoid about each staff member.

collaborative ringTo commemorate this year’s National Library Week, Duggan Library, in conjunction with our partner county libraries, Ivy Tech-Madison and the Jefferson County Public Library, decided to place a joint advertisement in one of the local papers (RoundAbout Madison).  The ad touts our collaborations such as bringing eBrary Public ebooks, Mango Languages, and Ancestry for Libraries to all our collective patrons.

collaborative databasesIn the past few years we have quickly established unique and successful working ties across multiple library types and Duggan Library is happy to be part of this special group.  In addition to shared databases we have created a living local authors list, provided instructional outreach to secondary school teachers, and offered professional services support to the new local hospital facility, among other endeavors.

In Collaborating for Our Community, we recognize the importance of all library types and we hope you do too.  Please join us in celebrating National Library Week by visiting one of our libraries and/or using the resources acquired just for you!

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The Envelope Please

As just about everyone knows, this year’s Academy Award for Best Picture went to 12 Years a Slave, a film that told the story of Solomon Northup, a free-born African-American who was captured and sold into slavery before eventually regaining his freedom.  The movie, of course, is based on Northup’s book, published in 1853.  What is not widely yet publicized is that the Duggan Library bought a first edition copy of this book just days before the film was announced as the Oscar winner.

Twelve Years a Slave

Twelve Years a Slave being unpacked

The reason for our purchase (and slightly good luck in timing) was because of the work’s recent popular culture status and therefore presumed accessibility to today’s students in addition to adding depth to a growing focus of our Special Collections.  It joins an already impressive slave narrative collection located in the Archives, including first editions of the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1845), and the Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb, an American Slave (1849) (who crossed over the Ohio River from Bedford, Kentucky right in our own back yard).

James Riley Narrative

Title page of Capt James Riley’s Narrative

At the same time we acquired the Northup volume we also purchased a work whose title may be a little more perplexing until, as broadcaster Paul Harvey was famous for saying, you know “the rest of the story”.  This other work, An Authentic Narrative of the Loss of the American Brig Commerce, Wrecked on the Western Coast of Africa, was self-published in 1817 by James Riley and tells of the “account of the sufferings of the surviving officers and crew, who were enslaved by the wandering Arabs, on the African Desart, or Zahahrah…” as the subtitle details.  The library had been looking to acquire a first edition copy for a few years and it was coincidental that a fairly inexpensive and re-bound volume became available at the same time as Northup’s narrative through our rare book dealer, The Book Block.  Why the emphasis on acquiring this book?  It is because it was one of the seminal books that influenced Abraham Lincoln’s view on slavery. [].

There is one other important first edition book we acquired in 2006 that should be mentioned with the above group and that is Harriet Beecher Stowe’s, Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly, a best-selling 19th century anti-slavery novel.  This book, published in 1852, was first serialized in an anti-slavery weekly, The National Era (more on this in a moment).   And, as it happens, Northup dedicated his book with the following; “To Harriet Beecher Stowe: Whose Name, Throughout The World, Is Identified With The Great Reform: This Narrative, Affording Another Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Is Respectfully Dedicated”.  This association was the tipping point for our need to acquire Northup’s narrative, and collectively these first editions give our students and researchers a unique opportunity to handle, read, and study books that helped shape our country’s destiny.

These acquisitions, along with many others, would not have been possible without the Lynn Endowment which funds ongoing purchases for the Charles Lynn Rare Book Collection.  This endowment, created by Mrs. Charles Lynn and her sister, Miss Mary V. Black, was formed and dedicated to the memory of former Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Eli Lilly Corporation executive, Mr. Charles J. Lynn of Indianapolis (Hanover College Triangle, February 8, 1985).  It is through such charitable gifts that we owe much of our Archives and Special Collections.  Other examples of donor generosity that enhance our ability to support studies in this tumultuous era of American History are the William R. Baldwin Library of Lincolniana (2005) and the Elias Riggs Monfort Collection donated in 2012 by Taylor Monfort and the Monfort family.

The Baldwin Library of Lincolniana contains more than one hundred items of authoritative secondary literature on Lincoln.  In addition, Dr. Baldwin also donated several period steel engravings and hand-colored lithographs, a signed Salvador Dali print, two busts, and assorted ephemera that related to his life-long interest in Abraham Lincoln [collection description courtesy of Doug Denne].  Unfortunately, Dr. Baldwin, the former CEO and co-founder of the River Blindness Foundation in Wilbraham, MA, passed away on Valentine’s Day but we remain grateful for his impressive collection.

Of course, what forever links slavery and Abraham Lincoln is the Civil War.  Thanks to the recent addition of the Monfort Papers we have over 120 Civil War era letters with a unique Hanover College perspective.  Elias Riggs Monfort was a student at Hanover College in 1861 at the outset of the Civil War.  He left the College to join the Ohio 6th and was honorably discharged from service, returning to his studies at Hanover, after suffering injuries at Gettysburg in 1863.  Among the invaluable correspondence in this collection are numerous letters Elias wrote during this timeframe to his sister, Margaret [collection description courtesy of Angela White].  I’m guessing it is okay to brag here that in our Archives is also an 1864 first printing of the Address of the Hon. Edward Everett at the consecration of the National cemetery at Gettysburg, 19th November, 1863: with the dedicatory speech of President Lincoln….(i.e., The Gettysburg Address).  This piece serves as an exceptional connection between these two distinct collections (Baldwin and Monfort).

I believe all of this is important (and impressive) enough for any college library but for Hanover College it is much more personal.  As already mentioned, we acquired Stowe’s, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, in 2006 with Lynn Endowment funds.  The effect of that book was so great that President Lincoln supposedly greeted her at the White House in 1862 by saying, “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war.” (American History Through Literature, 1820-1870, volume 1, p. 225-226, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2006).  Here’s where it gets really interesting.

In Frank Baker’s, Glimpses of Hanover’s Past, 1827-1977 (Graessle-Mercer Company, 1978) we find two important facts; one well known if familiar with College history, and one not as widespread. On page 24 of Baker’s book we learn that the College’s founder, John Finley Crowe [] was an abolitionist who started the Abolition Intelligence and Missionary Magazine in 1822, a full year before he was called to Hanover to become the pastor of the Hanover Presbyterian Church.  That the College’s founding is rooted in anti-slavery is a common, if not proud, fact to anyone associated with Hanover.  However, likely less well recognized is the College’s important connection with Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

Beginning on page 55 of Baker’s book is detailed a covert meeting on the Hanover College campus in August of 1846 of men involved in the anti-slavery movement.  Ultimately, this meeting directly resulted in the materialization of the aforementioned paper, The National Era, printed in our nation’s capital.  The paper began publishing the full contents of Uncle Tom’s Cabin over the course of about a year beginning in June 1851 making both the paper and Stowe’s work hugely impactful, as evidenced by the purported Lincoln quote.  As can be expected we have a reprint of the full run of this important paper that can be perused in our Archives.

To conclude, Baker’s book quotes one Charles Heberhart, “If that group of courageous souls (at Hanover) had not entered on the publication of The National Era in the manner and form they did, no one can say how much longer the fight for freedom of slaves might have had to wait”.  So, as can be surmised, the connecting dots of the abolitionist movement, slave narratives, Abraham Lincoln, and the Civil War is not only U.S. history, it is in many respects Hanover College history, making it well worth Duggan Library’s support and cultivation through the stewardship of important gifts like the Baldwin and Monfort collections, and the purchase of rare books such as Twelve Years A Slave.

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Out and About

During the current Winter term I have taught five library instruction sessions (two of them were for two sections of the same course).  Almost always I have taught these sessions in support of courses in the microcomputer lab located in the library – but not this term.

The computer lab has its advantages – it is large, has a built in projection system and is convenient.  The downside is that it is configured to be a lab, not a teaching space, and students who are using it as a lab are displaced when a library session has been scheduled.

Sometimes by necessity, but also in a concerted effort to try something new, I have led library sessions in the library’s new Media Technology space, in Horner 102, in a Science Center lab, and in a classroom in Classic Hall.  Each was a new adventure and ultimately was successful, at least by my account.

Teaching a Eurasia session in Horner was a typical large lecture hall presentation for approximately 70 students but the real adventure was hooking up an iPad to the projection system and using a wireless connection since the hardwired computer was not properly working.  This worked so well for me that I used the iPad again in teaching the other sessions including the back-to-back classes in the Science Center on using the Medline database.

Perhaps the two most unique classes for me this term were the Junior Chemistry seminar that I taught in our new Media Technology room (see image) since there were only seven students and the Great Works class taught in the students’ normal classroom.  That session was interesting because all students already knew their topic.  Each brought their laptop or mobile device and I was able to guide them through searches via a course LibGuide as they searched their own topic.  This was a much more engaging, and I think fruitful, use of their time than just observing a demonstration.

Media Technology Room

In getting out of my own comfort zone of teaching in the library computer lab I have found the sessions in different venues this term to be reinvigorating.  Thanks to a tablet and portable keyboard it is now easier than ever to be mobile and meet students outside the confines of the library.  Who knows, if I have to lead a session this Spring term I may try to devise a way to use the outdoor “classroom” overlooking the river!

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Strategery, Library Style

During this academic year the Duggan Library is undergoing a strategic planning process.  At the same time, Hanover College itself is embarking on a new strategic plan, making this particular library activity all the more appropriate and timely.

We are borrowing the framework recently used by PALNI (Private Academic Library Network of Indiana) which identifies various strategic initiatives and then develops goals with specific action items.  Already, I have met with library staff and the Library Advisory Group and will continue to do so throughout the year to brainstorm, categorize, and prioritize.  In between these various meetings I also hope to conduct interviews with students to gather their perspective.  We will also utilize results from an upcoming comprehensive user survey, conduct an environmental scan of our consortia and perhaps even consider a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) approach as part of the developing blueprint.

Ultimately, the aim is to have a finished plan to present to key decision-makers which will provide a road map for where we want to be in the near future.  Although strategic planning can be challenging because there is a bit of tea-leaf reading in the process it is nonetheless an essential task for our library to undertake in this ever-changing information and technology landscape.

However chaotic and overwhelming it may seem now I think it will be exciting to see what ends up in the strategic plan and I will be sure to share this on our blog.

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Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary, Happy Anniversary, Happy Anniversary, Haaaappy Anniversary   Today is the official fortieth anniversary of the Agnes Brown Duggan Library. 

On September 5, 1973 the building welcomed its first patrons under the leadership of then library director, Walt Morrill.  There was a tremendous amount of work involved in opening the building and moving the materials from the previous site (Science Hall).  It took a lot of human book movers (including one of our very own librarians who was but a wee child then, dreaming one day of working at Duggan…ok, a bit of hyperbole never hurt anyone). 

Duggan under construction

For a quick but fascinating overview of the history of the Hanover College libraries, including a piece of original carpet from Duggan’s first floor , images of the move, sketches by the building’s namesake, an oversized scrap book, and more, please take time to stop by and view the exhibit in the Archives display area on the library’s second floor. 

You can also revisit College library history through this pin (If you are new to Pinterest, just be sure to click through the image to the document.)

In addition, commemorating this anniversary year, the banner of the library’s website contains a special graphic.  Have you noticed?

Duggan anniversary banner




Fast forward to September 5, 2013 and while the building has remained true to its original Georgian architecture and function as a place for research there have been many changes in the last forty years.  These include the partial renovation in 2001 that opened up the third floor and new carpet, paint, and renovated lobby a few years ago. 

The College continues to improve the building even today as witnessed by the current retrofit of the lighting for more brightness while saving energy, the installation of a new HVAC system for consistent flow of heating and cooling, the replacement of the elevator (yea!), a new cooling system for the computer lab, and, of course, the addition of the new Gladish Center for Teaching and Learning which will be formally unveiled during Homecoming activities.

Looking ahead we hope soon to improve one more aspect of the Duggan Library by purchasing replacement furniture for the first two floors.  While the original furniture has stood the test of time (forty years to be exact) it is evident that new study tables and chairs, couches, media technology seating, configurable spaces, etc. are now required to meet the needs of today’s students.  Who knows, maybe we’ll even be able to partially pay for our new furnishings by selling our vintage orange bucket seats in the staff lounge!

vintage chair









Here’s to the next ten years when we will plan to have a really big Golden Anniversary Celebration.

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It’s a new academic year and like everyone else, the Duggan Library has to keep pace with changing expectations and technology.  One concrete example of this is saying goodbye to the online public access catalog, or OPAC, as we know it.  

Some of you may be saying to yourself about now, “what the heck is an OPAC?”  Hanover College library users may better know it as PantherCat.  Others may simply call it the online catalog.  In any case, it was the mechanism for finding out what the Duggan Library owned, where it was located, and if it was available for check out.  But, as libraries once transitioned from the card catalog to the online catalog, we are transitioning once again.  

As we say goodbye to the OPAC, we say hello to PRIMO.  Ack, another library term.  Some of you may be saying to yourself about now, “what the heck is PRIMO?”  PRIMO is our single search discovery tool that permits patrons to search across most of the library’s resources with one search.  Think Google (or Yahoo, or Bing), but library-like. We debuted it last year in beta mode but will now offer it as the (integrated) catalog tool of choice.   

One of the advantages of PRIMO is that it allows patrons several choices, including only searching the physical holdings of the Duggan Library via the “Hanover Library Catalog” drop down option instead of the default “All Hanover Resources”.  And, for a time, we still provide a link to the “Classic Duggan Library Catalog” in the PRIMO header but just be aware that it is no longer being supported by the vendor.   


As Bob Dylan sang, “The Times They Are A-Changin'”.  Speaking of, there will be a Dylan expert on campus in a few weeks but that’s for another post.

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National Library Week

In recognizing National Library Week I thought it might be interesting to share Duggan Library staff’s favorite novels of all time.  So, here goes:

Kelly, our Serials and Government Documents librarian, favorite novel is An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser.

Alynza, the library’s Periodicals and Cataloging Assistant, shares that her favorite YA novel is Jane Austen’s, Emma.

The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic, is the number one fiction choice for Patricia, our Circulation Assistant.

Michael, Duggan’s Access Services librarian says his favorite work of fiction is All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque.

Mary, our Acquisition Assistant, replied to my request with The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Heather, the Coordinator of Information Services librarian, relates that her number one novel is Charlotte Brontë’s, Jane Eyre.

Angela, the new Archives librarian, said that it is difficult to decide but ultimately chose The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon.

Robert, the Photo Archivist at the library apparently isn’t a big fan of fiction so he countered with Howard Zinn’s, A people’s history of the United States

Returning to works of fiction, I offer Pearl S. Buck’s, The Good Earth, as my favorite novel.

There you have it – Duggan Library staff favorites.  I hope you enjoyed getting to know us a little better during National Library Week and feel free to comment on the blog with your own favorite novel of all time.  

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Face to Face in an age of Virtual Reality

I’ve been spending a fair amount of my time recently compiling statistics for one group (National Center for Education Statistics) or another (Association of College and Research Libraries).  In the midst of the agonizing time trying to calculate the previous fiscal year’s expenditures on, say, serials, I’ve also taught a few library instruction sessions.  I would much prefer to spend my time doing the latter than the former. 

In fact, just in the past couple of weeks I have provided instruction for 1/10th of our entire student body FTE and I don’t even teach the most sessions!  This steady increase is a testament to our library instruction coordinator as well as our faculty who realize the importance of students being information literate, not just technologically savvy.  And, the students, many of whom are freshmen writing their first college research paper, are attentive and asking questions which will likely lead to more reference desk interactions, another favorite job responsibility of Hanover librarians.

So, in the midst of figuring out how many ebooks were purchased last year, or what social networking options we offer (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and this blog, if you are wondering), or the cost of our bibliographic utilities, networks, or consortia, it still comes down to providing core, face-to-face, academic library services…instruction and reference.  In our virtual era these standards of the profession don’t seem irrelevant; in fact, they are necessary now perhaps more than ever.  At least that is what the statistics seem to say.

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Toward an Information Commons

As we become busy with a new school year we have some exciting news to share…the Learning Center will be relocating to the Duggan Library!  Sometime before the end of the term the Learning Center will have its new permanent home in what has for years been the library’s technical services department in the back area of the first floor.

While the College, in preparing for the Withrow Center in the Campus Center, expedited this decision, the Library and Learning Center has discussed for several years this possibility as we recognize the obvious synergy.  Students will be better served by the convenience of having library resources, reference librarians, and Learning Center tutors under the same roof with the same open building hours.  While this transition will undoubtedly be a work in progress the end result will be worth any short term pains that come with any relocation projects.  Combined with the only 24-hour computer lab on campus, the building is truly becoming an information/learning commons!

The first step of this renovation will be moving library technical services staff from the first floor to the second floor in the current Think Tank group study rooms space that once served as library staff offices.  It is human nature to resist change in one’s work space where familiarity breeds comfort but the library’s technical services staff recognize that accommodating this opportunity is in the long term best interest of the students.  For that, I would like to publically recognize their unselfishness and willingness to move to new, more compact, office space.

And, while losing some of our group study space is not ideal, the benefit for students, I think, is worth this short-term tradeoff.  I envision in the not-too-distant future new space that can be developed for group study using portable furniture and perhaps even mobile screen panels.  For an idea of what is possible, you can look at the library’s furniture wish list on our Pinterest board.

As for the present, the Duggan Library happily puts out the welcome mat for the Learning Center!

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Dissemination of Information

Ok, so practically speaking, this is how social networking works. 

On the library’s Twitter account we received a re-tweet from the City of Madison announcing the 2012 Madison Regatta poster (the Regatta being a big deal for some around here). 

In the tweet was a link to the H1 Unlimited Facebook page that included a URL to the official website.  On the Madison Regatta website was an image of the graphic and they asked to help get the word out about the poster.  I then pinned the poster to the library’s “Our Back Yard”  Pinterest board.  By the way, all this only took about a minute to accomplish.

I emailed the Pinterest link to a graphic designer friend of mine who lives in Cincinnati and who enjoys the Regatta (much like I enjoy goetta).  His professional opinion was too much green but he liked the boat. 

He ended his email response with “Gonna have to watch Madison again now” which led me to add that DVD cover to our “Movies You Can Borrow” Pinterest board.  Quid pro quo.  (By the way, if you haven’t seen this movie you should watch it – surprisingly good with great location shots). 

 As for the 2012 Regatta poster, I think it has a very Speed Racer like vibe.  What’s your opinion?

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