Hit the Road, Jack.

With the end of the semester upon us and summer just around the corner, many of us are packing our suitcases in anticipation of long-awaited adventures. For many, summer means just one thing: road trips. After a grueling semester of papers, projects, and exams there’s nothing quite like rolling the windows down, blasting the Beach Boys (or other appropriately peppy tunes), and fleeing town.

Road trips are an American tradition. The romance of the open road has inspired numerous writers to collect and create stories about its charms. Before you hit the road for yourself, check out these classic road tripping titles, all available through the IU Libraries, exploring the highways of America:


American Nomads by Richard Grant details the travels of the author through the American Southwest and parallels that journey with those of other historical American explorers, including conquistadors, cowboys, and truckers.


Blue Highways: A Journey into America by William Least Heat-Moon is the account of the author’s travels across the back roads of the United States after losing his job and separating from his wife.


On the Road by Jack Kerouac is a staple of American literature. It is a primarily autobiographical account of Kerouac’s travels across the country with a motley crew of friends and fellow travelers.


Travels with Charley: In Search for America by John Steinbeck is an autobiographical account of the author’s 10,000 mile trip around the United States with his poodle, Charley.


Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values by Robert M. Pirsig explores philosophical issues through a two-week father-son road trip from Minnesota to California.


Once you’ve explored the highways of America through literature, you’ll be inspired to load up the trunk and take to the road yourself. But where to go? What to do?


Take a look at the IU Libraries Travel page for helpful hints on accommodations and tourism information.


For a more academic approach to travel, check out a database like Leisure Tourism.com or the Hospitality and Tourism Index for the scoop on tourism trends throughout the country and worldwide.


Don’t forget that you can always find travel books, road maps, and activity guides through IUCAT! Helpful hint: After doing a search, limit your results to the “Recreation, Leisure” category on the right-hand side of the screen.


Safe road tripping!



Graduates Made Good

With commencement just days away, it’s safe to say emotions are high for a number of soon-to-be graduates. Going through the cycles of joy, nostalgia, and sadness can be as taxing as a Friday night on Kirkwood. For some, there might be the additional cloud of an unknown future. Let’s face it: Change can be scary!

While the library has a great Career Reference section on the library homepage that you should definitely take advantage of, it’s also nice to think about the IU alumni who have gone on to make their mark on the world. And probably a bit more fun.

So, whether you’re off to new adventures or have a little more time left in Bloomington, why not check out a few of these Hoosier-riffic resources?

If you’re looking to forget about your last final with a good film, check out Kevin Kline (’70) in A Fish Called Wanda or music man Hoagy Carmichael (’25) in To Have and Have Not. While it doesn’t feature any IU alum on screen, The Princess Diaries is based on the young adult fiction series by Meg Cabot (’91) and can be found at a number of the residence hall/apartment libraries.

If sports are your thing, you might be interested in Dick Enberg, Oh My!, the autobiography of long-time announcer Dick Enberg (who earned his master’s and doctorate degrees in health sciences at IU and voiced the first radio broadcast of the Little 500). You could also use the Biography in Context database to learn more about broadcaster Joe Buck (’91), Olympic swimmer Mark Spitz (’72), and colorful billionaire businessman and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban (’81).

Twentieth-century novelist Theodore Dreiser dropped out of Indiana in 1890 without earning a degree, but you can pick up Sister Carrie and An American Tragedy at the Herman B Wells Library. For non-fiction reading, you can check out current Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’ book, From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insider’s Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War. He received an M.A. in history from IU in 1966).

Other famous IU alumni you might know include Jamie Hyneman from the TV show MythBusters, former U.S. Senator and current Fox News commentator Evan Bayh, and New York Times crossword editor Will Shortz. The IU Archives has a full run of the student yearbook, the Arbutus, from 1894 to present day. See how many famous people you can find!