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Wheelock College Library

Wheelock College Library

Thursday, December 23, 2010

We've Moved!

The Library blog can now be found at its new home at

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Vacation day trip: Museum of Science

Looking for something to do while you're on break from classes? Why not visit the Museum of Science? The Library offers passes for $5 admission for up to four people (regular price $21 for adults).

This is your last chance to see the temporary exhibits "Inside the Mind of M.C. Escher" (closes January 2), "Reptiles: The Beautiful and the Deadly" (closes Jan. 4), and "K'NEX: Building Thrill Rides" (closes January 17). But don't worry if you can't make it by then -- new exhibits will be opening soon, and the 30-plus permanent exhibits will be there no matter when you go.

Stop by the Service Desk on the first floor of the Library to pick up your discount admission pass. We only have one per date, so they are first-come, first-served, but because the passes do not need to be returned, you can pick them up any time before your visit.

Go to for more information about the museum, including hours and directions. And have a great time!


Merry Festivus!

Every year following Thanksgiving, a familiar feeling begins to set in.  Those songs!  Those lights!  Those decorations!  And suddenly I remember: I couldn't care less about Christmas.  I know I'm mostly alone on this one, but I can't help it: I'm immune to holiday cheer.

Fortunately, there's an alternative for people like me.  It's not Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, or even Chinese New Year.

It's Festivus!  Celebrated every year on December 23rd (or whenever you feel like celebrating it), Festivus is an ancient, enduring tradition that dates back to 1997 AD.  Its mystic and sacred origins emerged from an episode of the television show Seinfeld.  Anyone can celebrate Festivus, no matter your religious background, ethnicity or level of aversion to the Christmas holiday (though a high amount of the latter certainly helps).

How you celebrate Festivus is a matter of personal taste, but there are a few essentials:
  • The Festivus Pole: instead of a tree or menorah, Festivus decorations center around (and in fact are often solely comprised of) a plain metal pole.  Don't have a pole?  That's OK!  Anything metallic, or even a crude drawing of a metal pole, will suffice.
  • The Airing of Grievances: did anything or anyone particularly upset you during the past year?  This is your chance to let the world know!  If Thanksgiving is the time for remembering what you're thankful for, Festivus provides an opportunity to vent frustrations.  This can take any form you like, within the bounds of national, state and/or local laws.
  • Feats of Strength: the best part of Festivus.  Again, it's open to interpretation, but tradition dictates targeting the strongest or most powerful member of a given social group, and attempting to diminish this person's power, often by wrestling him or her to the ground.  In the absence of such a figure, an escalating series of dares is also acceptable.
So tell me, fellow Christmas-unenthusiasts: how will you celebrate Festivus this year?

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Feeling stressed? Watch some fish!

What am I going to write about? I have no ideas. What have I been doing lately that could be of interest? Nothing – all boring librarian stuff. Look around at the stuff in my office – maybe a physical object will give me an idea…folders, papers, journals, books, computer, phone, printer, chairs, stack of boxes serving as a table, calendar poster, happy light. Happy light? Seasonal affective disorder? Too depressing. Rolodex? A wry reflection on change? Who cares; I don’t even care. Clock? Observations on individual preferences for digital vs. analog and do young people wear watches anymore? Oh, how original…

Wow, I am really stuck. 10-day traffic jam in China? Old news. [Brain surf over to] Blizzard of ’78? Not blogable. Dumb websites? The ones I know aren’t as good as the ones they know.

I give up.  Why don't we take a break and watch some soothing images of fish in an aquarium?  Maybe it will inspire some great ideas... 

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Unwanted Books = Literacy Funding

Thanks to your donations of unwanted books at the end of last year, over $70 was donated to the National Center for Family Literacy.  The Library also received a commission which will be used to purchase additional materials to support you in your coursework. Instead of your unwanted books ending up in a landfill, they were sent to Better World Books to be resold or recycled.

Last year we sent them 334 books; 288 were reused and 46 were recycled. By reselling and recycling these books, we had a positive environmental impact. Your book donations saved 6 trees, 4028 gallons of water, and 481 lbs of greenhouse gases. The moral of the story is, if you have unwanted books at the end of the semester, place them in the Better World Book bins located in the Library foyer, the CCSR, the old Student Center, and at Hawes. We will send them to be recycled and the environment, the literacy foundation, the Library, and ultimately you will all benefit.


Robot Dinosaurs That Shoot Beams When They Roar (and other distractions)

The end of the semester can be stressful, with so many papers and projects due. Sometimes it helps to take a break, so we've collected some of our favorite online time-wasters for your enjoyment:

Robot Dinosaurs That Shoot Beams When They Roar is pretty much exactly what it sounds like.

The Impossible Quiz is somewhat impossible. However, the questions are always in the same order, so you can keep starting over and getting a bit further each time. The furthest I've ever made it is #39.

Ninja Ropes is a simple physics-based game that is apparently a favorite of the cast and crew of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.

StumbleUpon is a great way to find new and interesting (and distracting) stuff online. It creates personalized recommendations just for you.

FoodPornDaily is possibly the only porn site that you won't get busted for viewing in the Library.  It presents a daily photo of something that looks insanely delicious.  Click n' drool!  

Hipster Puppies liked this blog better before it went mainstream.

And if you're looking to get away from the computer screen entirely, there are board games in the lower level of the library (by the vending machines) and foosball in the Pilgrim Student Center.

Happy procrastinating!

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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Can Censorship EVER be OK?

Is censorship ever ok?
Every October, the Library acknowledges Banned Books Month with an exhibit of banned titles. We pat ourselves on the back because, after all, we don’t ban books. We’re librarians, educators, scholars. We’re for intellectual freedom 100%. Aren’t we?
In September, Boyd Tonkin published a column in The Independent in response to an exhibit of banned titles created by London libraries. He felt the titles were too easy, titles we’re too comfortable defending. His point was that almost everyone believes in censorship at one time or another. To illustrate, he compiled a list of 10 titles—that weren’t included in the London exhibit—he thought would be more difficult to defend. His list is not comfortable reading. It reminds us of the other side of the banned books discussion, the part that happens after we say, “I’d never, ever censor” when we stammer out, “Except for that book.”
Tomkins’ list includes Did Six Million Really Die? “a Holocaust denial manual” according BookTryst. I consider it hate speech, designed solely for fueling anti-Semitism. But Tomkins’ list also includes Osama bin Laden’s Messages to the World, about which one reviewer stated, “Bin Laden has been precise in telling America the reasons he is waging war on us. None of the reasons has anything to do with our freedom, liberty and democracy but everything to do with US policies and actions in the Muslim world.” That happens to be a statement I agree with. Another person—perhaps someone whose life was touched by the events of 9/11—might consider that statement outrageous and untrue, and bin Laden’s book good only for burning.
Further down the list are Pauline Réage’s Story of O, a well-known erotic novel about sado-masochism, and AM Homes’ The End of Alice, a novel told from the point of view of an imprisoned pedophile. Once upon a time (in the 70s), when sexual mores were more liberal than they are now, reading Story of O was something of a rite of passage. Definitely not a big deal. The End of Alice sounds horrifying beyond words.
Is there a point where free speech is trumped by hate speech or when content becomes dangerous? It’s a tough issue. So what do you do? You start by trying to approach things critically rather than emotionally.  Perhaps you examine both sides of a controversial topic. You ask questions, do research, look at the writing—is it inflammatory solely for the sake of being inflammatory? Perhaps you talk with other people, friends, your professors, or, and perhaps especially, those who don’t agree with you. Essentially, you approach something controversial by expanding your knowledge base. It won’t make it any easier to defend some titles, but it will help move the issue from a no discussion, stark black-and-white to a shades of gray dialogue.

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Library's Suite Dreams

The library is a great place with all of its resources, programming and friendly staff.

But have you ever felt compelled to spend the night in one?

Well, someone in New York City loves the library this much!

The Library Hotel has taken its admiration of libraries and its classification system to another level. Each of the ten floors is dedicated to one of the major categories of the Dewey Decimal System: Social Sciences, Literature, Languages, History, Math & Science, General Knowledge, Technology, Philosophy, The Arts and Religion.

The guest rooms are decorated to reflect one of these ten categories and also houses a collection of corresponding books and artwork.

For example, the 11th floor, History, is comprised of guest rooms named Biography, Geography & Travel, Asian History, Oceanography, Ancient History and 20th Century History.

For a full list of the guest room names by floor please click here.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Student Technology Services

Many of you already know me. I am based in the lower level of the Library, near the computer labs. Primarily, I work in the Library, supporting the computers and printing in the building and provide service to student laptops. We wanted to formally announce here the expansion of my services for the students. In cooperation with the Technology Department, we are making my desk a "one stop shopping" destination for all student technology needs. These services include:
  • Laptop support: spyware, viruses, update issues
  • Audio/Visual equipment help
  • email questions and problems
  • TV/Cable issues
  • Help with Office applications
  • Hardware device installation: cameras, printers, etc.
  • Smartphone email issues
Please come by and see me with any of these issues. I can be contacted at:
Jeff Pearson

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Noisy Season Gets Early Start at Library

Noisy Season at the Wheelock College Library officially opened at 10:42 Tuesday morning, when the Library staff received the first TalkBack complaint of the semester about Quiet Zone disrespectors.

Typically beginning right after the Thanksgiving break, the Noisy Season has been getting noisier in recent years, but this is the earliest onset since records have been kept. Library Director Brenda Ecsedy said the season is the result of the convergence of several factors.

“As we get later into the semester Library usage increases, and the stress of patrons using the Library increases,” she said. “As more offices and functions come into the building, and as we increase enrollment, the usual noise escalation is compounded. It isn’t surprising really that the season has opened earlier than usual, but this is even ahead of any predictions we had.”

Associate Director Ann Glannon noted that the Library is taking steps to keep the season from getting out of control. “As soon as we got that TalkBack message, we knew we had to act quickly to contain the spread of noise. Once it gets out of control, it’s hard to pull back.

“So we are increasing staff monitoring of the building, and will be posting reminders in the Quiet Zones. We’ve alerted the other offices in the building to the early arrival of Noisy Season so they can assist in curbing unnecessary volume as soon as they hear it.”

Patrons who encounter Noisy Season violators are asked to politely encourage them to reduce the noise, or to alert Library staff if they are uncomfortable directly addressing the perpetrators.


Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Thanksgiving Turkey ... Cake?!

As you probably know, the Wheelock Library will be closed Wednesday, November 24 – Saturday, November 27.

And what are you bringing to the table for Thanksgiving with your family and friends?! Turnips? Mashed potatoes? Cranberry sauce?

How about this Thanksgiving turkey cake?

I think it looks delicious. What do you think? What would your dinner guests think if you served this?


I love those silly turkeys that kids make by tracing their hands. There are all kinds of variations (do a Google image search to see some approaches you might not have considered...), they’re adorable, and fun and easy to make. But they do not constitute meaningful curriculum about Thanksgiving, Pilgrims, Native Americans, or harvest festivals.

Every year Wheelock students flock to the Library to gather Thanksgiving books for their early childhood and elementary classrooms. The students who come early are grateful, because every year demand outstrips supply; it is a popular topic. Extend the impact of the books you do find by using free online resources. The journal Booklist has published a guide called “Classroom Connections: Thanksgiving Books as Hooks—Linking Literature to Primary Sources.”

“As your thoughts turn to turkey, pumpkin pie, fall leaves, and football,
consider connecting these high-quality Thanksgiving-themed books to Library of Congress resources. Go beyond the words on the page—dig into primary sources, engage your students, spark critical thinking, and guide them toward a deeper understanding of Thanksgiving traditions and history.”
Also try the Library’s Curriculum Resources Subject Guide, which is available from the Library’s homepage. The Plimoth Plantation and the Mashantucket Pequot Museum websites (in the Guide) are full of resources, and you can easily find many more in all of the other selected websites on that page by searching for “Thanksgiving” with the custom search box at the top of the list of websites.

And then be thankful you do not have to pluck and clean a turkey before you can eat it. Did you see the size of those things?

Ann Glannon

"Turkeyday" image by Alicia Alferman from and used with permission.

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Thursday, November 04, 2010

Family Literacy Month

November is Family Literacy Month

Governor Patrick issued a Proclamation declaring November 2010 to be Family Literacy Month in Massachusetts. Family Literacy Month is an opportunity to support children of all ages in out-of-school learning, engage parents in supporting their children's education, and engage community partners in supporting and celebrating lifelong learning and family well-being.

Here are some ways to encourage inter-generational family reading.

  • Know the child’s reading abilities. A child’s teacher or reading specialist can assess a child's ability. A librarian can make recommendations on age-appropriate books.
  • Set aside time for reading. Designate a time of day when family members can read for pleasure. Make reading a part of the family routine.
  • Make reading special. Children should feel as if having a book is special. Help them create a space for storing their books.
  • Use the local library. One of the best resources for families starting a reading tradition is the access to their community's library. Libraries also offer story hours and other fun literacy activities. Make visits to your library a routine activity.

Be sure to stop and look at the library’s display case! The staff compiled a few of their favorite books and shared reading memories to celebrate this month.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Wheelock Library, Frank Benson, and John Singer Sargent?

As most of you are aware, the Wheelock College Library has seen a number of changes in 2010—from a newly designed 1st floor, to new computers, to additional group meeting space, to the relocation of the Archives.

But what do we know about the building’s history?

According to the our archival collections, the building we now call the Wheelock College Library was originally an art studio space. But it took some detective work to really uncover this building’s past.

In her study of American impressionist Frank Benson, Faith Andrews Bedford notes that, in 1915, Benson and a number of his friends and colleagues built a structure “located on the marshes of the Charles River” that they used for art studio space. A 1925 Boston City Directory lists the address for this building (under Benson’s name, among others) as 132 Riverway.

Benson, an American impressionist painter as well as a graduate of and professor at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, is known to have closed his Riverway studio in 1944. The following year, Wheelock College purchased a building on the Riverway for use as office space, art studios, and a library. Around this time, Wheelock publications and reports from the office of the president variously refer to this new building as the Art Building, the Riverway Studios, or the Riverway Studio Building.

This purchase is mentioned in the October 5, 1945 edition of The Fliterary, the Wheelock student newsletter at the time, but the building didn’t officially open as the Art and Library Building until autumn 1947. Because administrative offices were also located in the building at first, 132 Riverway served as the College’s administrative address for a number of years.

In the December 8, 1950 issue of The Fliterary, Fran Daly (class of 1952) penned an article about the “studio building” in which she writes:
The Studio Building, which serves as an art studio, a library and an administrative building, has a very distinguished past … Designed and built by Frank W. Benson and Joseph DeCamp, this building was formerly used as artists’ studios. In addition to its famous designers and builders, this building has housed artists of both local and international repute. For example, there were such artists as William James, Gertrude Fiske, Charles Woodbury, Fritz Kellogg and William M. Paxton. Even the famous John Singer Sargent is believed to have worked in the building at one time.
This list includes a couple of important figures from Boston’s art history – and perhaps no one more noteworthy than John Singer Sargent. But did Sargent ever use the Riverway studio?

Keep checking the Wheelock College Library’s blog for more information about (and images of) the Library building’s expansion over the years – and for further information about Sargent’s connection to the building. I have the answer, I promise.

-Andrew Elder, Archivist

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New Home for the Center for Career and Professional Development

The offices of the Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) are now housed in the Library, Ground Floor! The CCPD offers individual appointments on a variety of topics including: self assessment, major exploration, resumes/cover letters, job search strategies, interview techniques, applying to graduate school, and more. Look for a collection of reference materials, including major specific guides and career based books. The CCPD Resource Center (#005B) also contains employer contacts, tip sheets, and periodicals. Check out our website, which is full of valuable online resources, including career development presentations, access to Optimal Resume - a resume writing guide, and Wheelock Works - a job listing database with part-time, full-time, volunteer, and internship opportunities:

Stop by during Walk-In hours or schedule an appointment at!

Monday & Thursday 9am-5pm
Tuesday & Wednesday 9am-7pm *Extended Hours*
Friday 8:30am-4:30pm

Walk-In Hours: Have your quick questions answered or a short resume critique!
Wednesday 2-3pm
Thursday 12-1 pm

We look forward to seeing you!

Library Code of Conduct (a.k.a. Shhhh…)

Yes, we have one.

For many years we have not advertised or explicitly reminded Library users of the standards for behavior, believing self-regulation and peer enforcement to be the preferred methods for ensuring a safe, secure, and welcoming environment conducive to study and research. But the survey of students we conducted last spring told us otherwise. It was very clear from your comments that many of you did not find the Library conducive to study and research because it was noisy. And that you wanted Library staff to do something about it.

To make the expectations of appropriate behavior explicit and clear, we have posted the Code of Conduct on the Library’s webpage and physically in the building, and staff members are actively working to rebuild a culture of respectful peace and quiet. We invite you to join us. The easiest way to make the Library quieter is for all of us all to be quiet; simple, but not necessarily easy. So we may at times remind you of the community’s need for the Library to be a quieter place, a.k.a. Shhhh…

Shhh... Librarian image copyright Farmington Public Library Foundation; used with permission. Order your own Shhh...Librarian Gear today!

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Searching for Peace and Quiet?

Last spring, the Library conducted a student satisfaction survey. Many survey respondents asked for more quiet space in the Library. You asked, we listened!

Starting this fall, the following areas in the Library are Quiet Zones:
  • Basement computer labs
  • Floor 3M
  • Floor 4
  • Floor 4M
Conversations in the Quiet Zones need to be brief and-- you guessed it-- quiet. Cell phone use is prohibited. If you need to watch a video or listen to music on a computer, you must use headphones.

The Quiet Zones are places for you to study and work on class assignments in peace. If you need to do group work or have a conversation, you are welcome to do so on Floors 1-3, or in the conference rooms on floors 2M and 3M. Even in these "Non-Quiet Zones," though, the noise should be kept to a respectful level.

If you're ever bothered by noise in any area of the Library, Quiet or Non-Quiet, let a staff member know right away! We are happy to help.


Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Columbus Day Holiday on 10/11: Library open 1pm-11pm

Monday, October 11th marks this year's Columbus Day holiday. The Library will be open from 1pm-11pm.

You've heard of Christopher Columbus, but do you know about Dia de la Raza? Commemorated in many Latin American countries, it is a celebration of Hispanic culture and heritage. Dia de la Raza (Day of the Race) is observed in conjunction with Columbus Day as a reminder of the peoples and traditions that existed before Columbus' arrival, and their continued ways of life. To learn more, check out this explanation on the Mexican government's website.

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Friday, October 01, 2010

Boston Book Festival


Looking for a fun, educational and FREE event?

The Boston Book Festival will take place on Saturday, October 16th in Copley Square.

Over 150 authors will be at this FREE event! Check out the full list of presenters and sign-up for workshops and contests. There will also be great activities for adults and children, booksellers, signings, live music and food! The event runs from 9 am to 7 pm, so take advantage of this event for book lovers and enjoy a wonderful New England fall day!


Monday, September 27, 2010

Credo Reference

Check out one of our finest online reference resources, Credo Reference. Encyclopedias, dictionaries and other reference books are great sources for reliable information. Reference books are a great way to familiarize yourself with a new topic. Credo Reference makes the process even easier as you can quickly search for relevant entries.

This online resource does a little of everything. Credo boasts a robust array of online reference sources. At your disposal are great reference sources such as the Encyclopedia of School Psychology, Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender, Encyclopedia of Emancipation and Abolition in the Transatlantic World, etc. These sources and more are at your searching fingertips. You can further break down your search by subject in the drop down menu next to the search box or browse the subject lists under the "Find a Book" link.

The Concept Map is a particularly useful tool for visualizing the topic of your research. The tool graphically displays your central topic and related terms in an interconnected map. Scrolling over related terms connects you to articles and further information through a pop up window. Try searching your term in the Concept Map interface to narrow or expand on your topic.

Under the "Gadgets" link an assortment of tools are available. You can convert measurements like imperial pints to other volumes or you can convert fuel consumption. If you're having trouble spelling a word you can use the "Crossword search," using "?" in place of letters, especially useful for crossword puzzle addicts. Other gadget searches include; persons, holidays, quotations, places and definitions.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

What's your favorite banned book?

September 25th-October 2nd is Banned Books Week. Commemorated every year by the American Library Association, the purpose of this week is to draw attention to books that have been challenged, banned or withdrawn from library collections. The ALA believes that since books represent freedom of speech, they should be available for everyone to judge and evaluate.

Below is a list of the Wheelock Library staff's favorite banned books.

Let us know what YOUR favorite is!

Adam's favorite: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Allyson's favorite: To Kill a Mockingbird
Ann's favorite: the Harry Potter series
Anne's favorites: Little Red Riding Hood and And Tango Makes Three
Ashley's favorite: Lolita
Brenda's favorite: The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language
Molly's favorite: The Handmaid's Tale


Monday, September 20, 2010

Back to school, back to books!

I love September - new beginnings, cooler weather, beautiful colors. I always loved to read and maybe that's one reason I chose education as my profession. I grew up in a community that was open to different points of view. While in school I learned that there were books that we read that were not allowed in other schools throughout the country. Here are some of my favorites: Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Sneak a peek of these wonderful books - with a flashlight, under your covers.

Have a productive and good year,

Jeannie Blazar

Director, Wheelock College Resource Center


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Meet the Librarians!

It takes a large staff of dedicated people to keep the Wheelock Library running. In addition to our sixteen student workers and ten evening/weekend supervisors, there are ten professional librarians.

What do we mean by a "professional" librarian? In most cases, this refers to someone who has completed a master's degree in Library and Information Science. (If you're interested in what this means, read more here!) There are also para-professional librarians, who may not have that particular degree, but have worked in the field long enough to know the ins & outs of library work.

Our professional and para-professional librarians at Wheelock often do their work behind the scenes, so you may not know who they are or what they do. Here's a handy guide! Click on the names with links to learn more about that person's role in the Library...

Adam Williams, Instruction and Reference Librarian

Allyson Harper-Nixon, Library Services Specialist

Amy Basque, Systems Librarian

Andrew Elder, Archivist

Ann Glannon, Associate Director and Collections Management Librarian

Anne Moore, Technical Services Librarian

Ashley Peterson, Access Services Librarian

Brenda Ecsedy, Library Director

Jeff Pearson, Library Technology Specialist

Molly McInerney, Administrative Assistant


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Library Card Sign-Up Month

September is Library Card Sign-Up Month!

Do you have a card to your public library? Do you know what the library can offer you?

Here are a few ways you can use your local library:

- Learn about local candidates running for office
- Read a newspaper from another country

- Borrow an audiobook for your next roadtrip

- Volunteer as a literacy tutor

Interested in more? Check out a full list here.

Area residents, please check-out these local libraries' card sign-up policies:

- Boston Public Library
- Brookline Public Library
- Cambridge Public Library
- Newton Public Library


Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Banned: The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language

Banning a dictionary? Really?!?

WARNING! The following definition is not appropriate for those under the age of 18.

Bed (transitive verb) - to have sexual relations with

Brenda E.


Banned Book Week - The Handmaid's Tale

My favorite banned book is "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood.

This dystopian novel spoke volumes to me about gender roles, reproductive rights and class struggles. It was the first work by Margaret Atwood I read, and it became my "gateway book" to her vast breadth of eclectic work which includes novels, poetry, short stories, children's literature, non-fiction, short prose, etc. Ms. Atwood's subject matter covers a wide range; from 19th century Canadian murder mysteries in "Alias Grace" to a genetically engineered, post-apocalyptic world in "Oryx and Crake." There is something in her works that will
appeal to nearly everyone.



Banned Books Week: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

The book and the subsequent movie deserve equal praise. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest follows a patient in an infirmary as he rebels against an oppressive institution. The book by Ken Kesey raises questions about authority, society and the individuals. My favorite line out of the book, "But at least I tried...." McMurphy (the rebellious main character)states after an attempt to throw a shower control panel out the window and fails.

Adam Williams
Instruction/Reference Librarian


Banned: Lolita

Lolita was nearly banned before it even existed-- four publishing houses turned down Vladimir Nabokov's manuscript before its 1955 publication by Paris company Olympia Press. Since then, it's been decried, challenged and banned, often based solely on the bare basics of the plot.

Perhaps understandably. Lolita is the story of a 40ish man attracted to pre-pubescent girls. He marries a woman based on his attraction to her 12-year-old daughter, Dolores (nicknamed Lolita). Once his wife dies, he begins a sexual relationship with Lolita that spans several years and ends when she runs away to live with another (much) older man who is possibly even more depraved than her stepfather/lover.

A warning: readers in search of a salacious thrill will be disappointed. Despite what this crude plot synopsis suggests, Lolita is a complex and beautiful novel, and Vladimir Nabokov is widely considered one of the 20th century's greatest writers. The book accomplishes the rare feat of being a truly enjoyable read at the same time it is dense with symbolism, double meaning and allusion. This is done so deftly that it's possible to read Lolita without realizing that there are entire undiscovered layers of meaning, just lurking beneath the surface prose. To unearth it all, I recommend reading the edition annotated by Alfred Appel (usually located on floor 4M at 813 N11Lza, but currently on reserve).

-Ashley Peterson


BANNED: And Tango Makes Three

It’s nice to see a picture book with a gay theme that isn’t overpowered by its message. And Tango Makes Three is based on a true story, so the unfolding story isn’t over burdened by the points the author is trying to make. It’s an interesting story, with good illustrations, which combined with its always popular subject—penguins—makes it a fun book.

Back in the day, (my day, that is) Lollipop Power Press, was producing ground breaking books like When Megan Went Away (J-P Se8w) about a lesbian couple’s break-up, In Christina’s Toolbox (J621.9 H75i), about a little girl using tools, and Martin’s Father (J-P Ei25m) about a single father nurturing his son, that presented people and situations that were unheard of in mainstream media. Lollipop described itself as a ”women’s liberation” or “feminist” collective whose mission was to “counteract the sex-stereotyped behavior and role models that society presented to children.” Very important mission, definitely necessary, but the stories tended to get buried under its weight.

There used to be a cigarette ad aimed at women: “You’ve come a long way, Baby.” Banned or not, And Tango Makes Three shows we really have.

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Banning Harry

My favorite banned book? Harry Potter.

One of the things I cherish most about these books is their core value of love. Again and again, love is the most important, useful, valued characteristic or principle, the “trick” of Harry’s that is the source of his survival and triumph over darkness. Dumbledore is explicit about this at the end of the fifth book when he says:

“There is a room in the Department of Mysteries,” interrupted Dumbledore, “that is kept locked at all times. It contains a force that is at once more wonderful and more terrible than death, than human intelligence, than forces of nature. It is also, perhaps, the most mysterious of the many subjects for study that reside there. It is the power held within that room that you possess in such quantities and which Voldemort has not at all. That power took you to save Sirius tonight. That power also saved you from possession by Voldemort, because he could not bear to reside in a body so full of the force he detests. In the end, it mattered not that you could not close your mind. It was your heart that saved you. (p. 843)

This most basic of ideals, widely if not universally held as Good, is refreshingly, explicitly, convincingly, and consistently expressed in all seven books of the series. That these books are frequently challenged because they are believed to promote evil makes them to me the perfect example of the perils of censorship.

(For a discussion of challenges to the first few HP books see:

Foerstel, H. N. (2002). Banned in the U.S.A. : A Reference Guide to Book Censorship in Schools and Public Libraries. Westport, CT: Greenwood.)

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Banned: Little Red Riding Hood

I love the fact that Trina Schart Hyman’s Little Red Riding Hood was banned by 2 California school districts right after it came out. Little Red Riding Hood? It was banned because one of the pictures shows Red with her basket, which has a bottle of wine in it. One school official said: “It gives the younger ones the wrong impression about alcohol. . If they should refrain, why give them a story saying it’s OK?" Hmmm, maybe I've forgotten, but I don't remember getting that message from Little Red Riding Hood. Another school official said: “I don’t think the basket of wine is a good concept for kindergarten or first grade.” Wait, does that mean it’s ok for second or third grade?

Anne Moore

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Banned: To Kill a Mockingbird

Quite possibly my favorite book of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee has been challenged, banned, and removed from school libraries and reading lists numerous times for its racial themes and language. As recently as 2009, it was removed from secondary schools in a district in Canada because of parent objection to the use of a racial slur.

This book is one of the few assigned reading titles that stayed with me, and I find myself picking it up over and over again. In fact, I am overdue for another read. But I have my own copy, so if you haven't read it, you can check out the 50th anniversary edition recently added to Wheelock's collection.

-- Allyson Harper-Nixon


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Wheelock on the Big Screen

Film poster for The Social NetworkRemember back in the fall when Hollywood came to campus and covered our quad with fake snow?

Well, the official trailer for “The Social Network” is now online, and it includes a glimpse of the action shot here at Wheelock.It’s quick, but that’s definitely a view from the Campus Center out to the quad at 1:35 in. Viewer discretion is advised: the trailer contains some adult situations and obscene gestures.

The Yahoo! Movies article from July 15 gives more detail about the film. Additional info can be found on IMDb.

The movie is set to be released on October 1.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

8 out of 5 Dentists Agree...

If you like Old Spice, you will love New Spice. The Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University has created a fun video demonstrating the advantages of studying in the library:

While our library doesn't have a snack zone that magically turns laptops into giant sandwiches, we do have bucketloads of library databases and lots of great spots for studying.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Wheelock College Coat of Arms?

Did you know that Wheelock College has an official coat of arms?

When the Classroom Building at Wheelock College was built and dedicated in 1941, a stone coat of arms was fixed above the main entrance on Pilgrim Road. In a letter included in the March 1942 alumnae newsletter, Lucy Wheelock described the significance of the newly adopted symbol of the institution she’d founded in 1888:

Over the doorway of our building at 25 Pilgrim Road is the Wheelock coat of arms. It shows three wheels encircled by a wreath of oak leaves and acorns. The three wheels mean progress in the right training of childhood. They show the purpose of Wheelock College to follow the guiding ideal of the Kindergarten, – the training of the head, the heart, and the hand. We wish our children not only to know, but to do, and to feel the joy of service to humanity.

And in her unpublished autobiography, My Life Story, Miss Wheelock describes the symbol’s relationship to her own educational hero, Friedrich Fröbel (or Froebel), the innovative German educator who first introduced the “kindergarten” in 1840:

The wheels mean progress, progress toward Froebel’s ideal of child training of the head, the heart, and the hand. The oak leaves and acorns mean growth – “Great oaks from little acorns grow.”

On June 3, 1960, Wheelock’s Board of Trustees voted to incorporate the coat of arms into the official seal for the college – a crest we continue to use to this day. You can still see the Wheelock College coat of arms above the entrance to the Classroom Building at 25 Pilgrim Road.

Learn more about the Wheelock College Archives online or schedule a time to meet with the Archivist about our collections documenting the history of our institution, the histories of our alumni, and the history of efforts by those at Wheelock and around the world to improve the lives of children and families.

-Andrew Elder, Archivist


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Intersession hours August 13-September 7

The Library will be closed Friday, August 13, and Saturday, August 14, in observance of the College's summer holiday.

And with the end of summer classes, the Library will begin its regular Intersession hours schedule on Monday, August 16: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, closed.

We will also be closed Monday, September 6, for Labor Day.

Fall semester hours begin on the first day of classes, Wednesday, September 8.


Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Waste Time Intelligently with Sporcle

Got some time to kill? Check out Sporcle!

What is Sporcle, besides a word that your spellchecker will always underline in red? Glad you asked!

Sporcle is a website that is pure trivia. It challenges your knowledge of various subjects, both common and abstract, with questions and subjects ranging from "Can you name these 90's TV Show theme songs?" to "Can you name the top 100 Comic Book Villains of All Time?" to "Can you name the United States Presidents?" to "Can you name the characters of Family Guy?" Sporcle is guaranteed fun for people of all ages and is a sure way to turn that "wasted" time to something a little more productive!

-Sherard Robbins
Library Assistant

Friday, July 30, 2010

Archives exhibit display on Hawes campus

In July, the Archives installed an exhibition on Wheelock history for the College’s Center for Scholarship and Research. The Wheelock College Archives contains materials documenting the history of the College, including the memorabilia of its founder, Lucy Wheelock, and houses a collection of rare children's literature and scholarly books on education and the child.

By examining the development of Wheelock College from a one-room kindergarten training school to an institution with a more broad-ranging focus, this exhibition looks first at the course of study at the Wheelock School (or Miss Wheelock’s Kindergarten Training School, as it was known when it was founded in 1888) which changed little before the 1920s. The curriculum during this time prominently featured works focusing on philosophies and educational methods first proposed by the German educator Frederick Froebel, as well as studies of the history of early childhood education in the United States – and kindergarten education in particular.

The mission of the College is to improve the lives of children and families. We hope this exhibit offers a glimpse into the history of Wheelock and its mission. Visit the exhibit at the Center for Scholarship and Research on Wheelock's Brookline campus and let us know what you think.

For more information, contact the Wheelock College Archives.

-Andrew Elder, Archivist

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Introducing: Jeff Pearson

Name: Jeff Pearson

Job title: Library Technology Specialist

Location in Library: Lower Level of the Library, right at the bottom of the stairs.

Tell us what you do in 5o words or less: the title is actually pretty descriptive. I provide support for everything "technological" in the library, especially printing and copying from our public machines and printers, and all of our AV equipment. I also specialize in virus/spyware removal and any other software issues surrounding student laptops.

Choose one service that your department provides that you want the Wheelock community to be aware of: Student laptops, student laptops, student laptops. All virus and spyware problems, as well as device install issues, Windows update problems, and document corruption issues, all are welcome.

What is your favorite website? Here I'll cheat and list two, flip-sides of the same interest: and I'm a "newsie" and enjoy current events, both serious and humorous. It's hard to beat the New York Times for reasoned, impartial news coverage. And it is equally hard to beat the clever and outrageous takes on the news that The Onion provides. I think they should be read in tandem, just to be sane.

What is your favorite book in the Wheelock Library collection? David McCullough's John Adams ( is one of my favorite Wheelock holdings. Along with being a "newsie", I really like American history.

When I'm not at work, you can find me... Singing! At church, at Chorus pro Musica (, in my Barbershop Quartet. I also love to cook--and eat. I watch movies and read to pass the time and love to hike and camp.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Great Lines from Children's Books

I love reading aloud to kids. I attribute this in part to my father, who was a great reader, and who read to me and my sisters every night. He brought the text alive – really giving voice to the characters and capturing and conveying the heart of the story. And having worked as a nanny, volunteered in a school library, and read aloud nightly to my own kids when they were little (and even occasionally until they were in high school!), I have done a lot of reading aloud myself. I find that, just like in movies, children’s books are full of memorable lines that can be so useful in a variety of occasions in life. Here are a few I like – do you know and love any of them too? What are some of your favorites?

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Friday, July 02, 2010

Library Closed July 5

The Library will be closed Monday, July 5, in observance of the Independence Day holiday. We will reopen for regular hours Tuesday, July 6, at 9 a.m.

We will be open for regular hours Saturday, July 3, from noon to 6 p.m. And of course, you can always access our electronic resources from the Library home page, including e-books, research guides, databases and full-text journals. For resources requiring a login, use your Wheelock email address and password.

Enjoy your holiday weekend!


Thursday, July 01, 2010

July 6th-July 12th: No FLO ILL Requests

From Tuesday, July 6th through Monday, July 12th, you will not be able to place requests for books through the FLO catalog. You will, however, still be able to visit each FLO library and check out items in-person. See here for a list of FLO libraries and links to their websites.

During this time, non-FLO ILL book requests may still be placed through this form on the Library's website.

Please pardon the inconvenience! FLO ILL will be available once again on Tuesday, July 13th.

Introducing: Allyson Harper-Nixon

Allyson Harper-Nixon

Job title
Library Services Specialist

Location in Library
At the desk on Floor 1 in the mornings, and at the desk on Floor 1M in the afternoons

Tell us what you do in 50 words or less
I am in charge of the serials: all the newspapers, magazines and journals that come in to the Library need to be checked in so you can see what issues we have in the online catalog. I’m also responsible for InterLibrary Loan: any time you request a book or article from another library, those requests come through me.

Choose one service that your department provides that you most want the Wheelock community to be aware of:
Children’s magazines – we have a great collection of them, and they are available to be checked out for use in practicum settings, with children you baby-sit, or even just for your own nostalgia (Highlights, anyone?).

What is your favorite website? is a great daily dose of the absurdity of working with the public.

What is your favorite book in the Wheelock Library collection?
I can only pick one? To Kill a Mockingbird is definitely one of my all-time favorites.
As a child, I loved the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary, several of which are available in our collection. We also have Girl from Yamhill: a memoir, Beverly Cleary’s memoir.

When I’m not at work, you can find me…
Reading the same book over and over again to my toddler, watching TV (Food Network and sitcoms are my usual fare, with a little Discovery Channel thrown in for good measure), and dreaming of new mosaic projects.


Introducing: Anne Moore

Name: Anne Moore

Job title: Technical Services Librarian

Location in Library: My office is Rm. 203. The door has a mole and Thing2 on it.

Tell us what you do in 50 words or less: My job is to get you to the stuff you need. I see that there’s a record in the catalog with the right information in it so you find what you want.

Choose one service that your department provides that you most want the Wheelock community to be aware of: I’m in the processing of learning how to take care of SFX, the magic button that takes you to the full text of articles.

What is your favorite website? I really like playing with Stumbleupon. It’s a random discovery tool you can personalize. I’ve stumbled upon [sorry!] on loads of really nifty websites using it.

What is a typical work day like for you? Fun! I work with lots of different materials so I never get bored. I might start out reclassifying kits for the Resource Center, then move on to cataloging new picture books, and end up figuring out why we can’t get to the full-text of an e-journal we get.

What is your favorite book in the Wheelock Library collection? Besides all the children’s fiction and fairy tales, I love Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. The first time I read it I was too young to understand much of it. I re-read it every year for years after that, discovering something new each time as I understood more and more. It made the book magical for me, as if I got a present every time I read it. I was really disappointed when that stopped happening.

When I’m not at work, you can find me…walking my 3 pugs or with my nose buried in a book.



My name is Molly McInerney and I am the Administrative Assistant at Wheelock College Library. I am a new employee at Wheelock College and it is exciting to be a part of the start of the school year this semester! I support the entire Library Department, and I can be found on the 2nd floor by the windows facing the Campus Center. Please free to stop by and ask me any questions you may have. I am also a Library and Information Science graduate student at Simmons College so I welcome any opportunity to help a student as a great learning experience!

The Library is not only a great resource for your class assignments but it also offers many interesting activities if you're looking for a diversion from your homework. I recommend browsing through the Children's Literature section and uncovering some of your "lost" childhood favorites. I recently spotted Scott O'Dell's "Island of the Blue Dolphins" on the shelf and it took me back to 4th grade when I was fascinated with any type of survival story. My favorite book in the Wheelock Library collection is "Lyddie" by Katherine Patterson. I loved this book as a child because I had heard many stories about my great-grandmother working in the textile mills in Lowell, MA as young girl,and I liked to imagine that my great-grandmother was in the story with Lyddie. Another suggestion is to use one of the new Apple desktop computers and take advantage of their big, beautiful monitors to explore some photography. Take a break from your 13-inch laptop screen and visit two of my favorite photography sites, The Sartorialist (portrait & fashion photography of real people from around the world), or David Grossman Photography (landscape and still-life shots of Duxbury, MA and other local areas).

When I'm not at work you can find me reading on a park bench in the Public Gardens, visiting the latest exhibit at the ICA (the view overlooking the harbor from the Founders Gallery is one of Boston's best), and spending time with my family.