Hunger and Homelessness Awareness

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, it is a good time to think about socioeconomic status in the United States. November 10th-18th is National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week. If you are interested in learning more about the topic, check out the materials listed below, which can all be found in the Indiana University Bloomington Libraries:


All You Can Eat: How Hungry is America? by Joel Berg focuses on the increasing number of Americans who have to wait in lines at food pantries.

American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half of Its Food (and What We Can Do About It) by Jonathan Bloom.

The Culture of Homelessness by Megan Ravenhill.

Each One Teach One: Up and Out of Poverty, Memoirs of a Street Activist
by Ron Casanova details his own struggles with poverty and how he campaigned for lower income housing and better federal assistance for homeless individuals.

Flophouse: Life on the Bowery by David Isay, Stacy Abramson, and Harvey Wang contains photographs and testimonies of people who live in lodging houses, also called flophouses.

Growing Up Empty: The Hunger Epidemic in America by Loretta Schwartz-Nobel explores public policies and national debates on hunger and poverty in the U.S.

Rachel and Her Children: Homeless Families in America by Jonathan Kozol describes families housed in the Martinique Hotel in New York and their struggles with the welfare system.


Country Boys is a documentary about two boys struggling to overcome poverty in Kentucky’s Appalachian hills.

Dark Days is a documentary about a community of homeless people that live in a train tunnel beneath Manhattan.

Living Broke in Boom Times: Lessons from the Movement to End Poverty
is a documentary about poor Americans organizing to end poverty.

The Pursuit of Happyness
tells the story of a father’s struggle through poverty and jail time; he eventually becomes a respected millionaire and Wall Street legend.

To find additional materials, you can do an advanced keyword search by the following subject headings:

Economic assistance, Domestic–United States
Food relief–United States
Homeless persons–United States
Hunger–United States
Poverty–United States
Welfare rights movement–United States

If you have any questions about researching hunger and homelessness feel free to ask a librarian!


Buzz Spector Book Art at IU Bloomington

If you have an interest in books and art, you should check out the new Buzz Spector book-art installation at Indiana University Bloomington’s Grunwald Gallery of Art! Running from Friday, October 19 through Saturday, November 16, this installation, titled “Buzz Spector: Off the Shelf”, utilizes hundreds of books from IU’s Auxiliary Library Facility (aka the ALF) to construct unique arrangements responding to the space of the gallery.

This past summer, graduate students working for the Herman B Wells Library Reference Department were able to help with this installation by compiling lists of books by IU-affiliated authors held at the ALF to be used for an installation made specifically for this exhibition. To find out what shape Spector chose to represent IU, you’ll just have to visit the gallery!

Buzz Spector

In addition to being an artist, Buzz Spector is the Dean of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis and author of several volumes on the topic of artist’s books. For more information on his work, here are several books by Spector available through IUCAT:

Buzzwords:Interviews with Buzz Spector. Chicago: Sara Ranchouse Publishing, 2012.
Buzz Spector: Shelf Life: Selected Work. Saint Louis: Bruno David Gallery, 2010.
Between the Sheets. Ithaca: Ink Shop Printmaking Center: Olive Branch Press, 2003.
The Book Maker’s Desire: Writings on the Art of the Book. Pasadena: Umbrella Editions, 1995.

There will also be a discussion roundtable with Buzz Spector about “Books, Text and Information” on Wednesday, October 24, 2012 (6:00 PM – 7:30 PM) in the Fine Arts Library Reading Room.


The Social Library

You probably use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr or Foursquare all the time. You find events, friends, information and maybe some laughs. But are you connected to the Herman B Wells Library?

The Wells Library and many other libraries on campus are using social media to connect to you. These accounts post information about upcoming campus events, special exhibits, items in the library collection, and IU or library related news. Connect online today to some of these profiles:

Herman B Wells Library
Herman B Wells Facebook
Read updates, share photos, check-in, and RSVP to upcoming events.
@HermanBWells Twitter
Tweet what you are doing at the library using #HermanBWells and tweet us your thoughts @HermanBWells. Stay up to date with the latest helpful tips and notable library materials.
Herman B Wells Flickr
Browse albums of images from recent and past library events. These images can be downloaded for your personal use.
Herman B Wells Foursquare
Check-in to let your friends know where you are. Foursquare accounts can be linked to Facebook and Twitter.
In addition to specific accounts, IU libraries have a few general profiles:
IU Libraries YouTube
Watch tutorials, orientation guides, interviews, and more.
IU Libraries Facebook
Connect to information about events, workshops, and library services.
@iulibraries Twitter
Discover tweets from a variety of library, campus, news, and education related topics.
So connect with us today on your favorite network. The library is your friend.

National Novel Writing Month

Did you know November is National Novel Writing Month? Since the project’s inception in 1999, this online creative-writing program has grown from 21 participants to over 200,000! The project challenges writers to log at least 50,000 words of a new novel during the month of November on the program’s website. The website requires registration, but once writers are logged in, they can upload their work, connect with other writers, and receive advice and critiques on their proto-novels. The National Novel Writing Month accepts novels from all genres and languages and supports the goals of all writers; anyone who reaches the 50,000 word mark by November 30 receives a printable certificate that commemorates their accomplishment. So, if you have ever had a great idea for a story, this is your excuse to start writing! Check out the links below, and let the creative juices flow!

Online Resources about Writing:
National Novel Writing Month: The official site of the National Novel Writing Month project.

Writing on the Edge: An interdisciplinary journal that focuses on writing and the teaching of writing.

Issues in Writing: A semiannual journal devoted to writing across the disciplines.

Books about Writing:
The Author’s Handbook, by Frank Peterson

The Writer’s Compass : from Story Map to Finished Draft in 7 Stages, by Nancy Ellen Dodd

Unless it Moves the Human Heart: the Craft and Art of Writing, by Roger Rosenblatt

Architecture of the Novel : a Writer’s Handbook : Plot, Story, and the Mechanics of Narrative Time, by Jane Vandenburgh

Adventures in Pen Land : One Writer’s Journey from Inklings to Ink, by Marianne Gingher


Don’t Read These Books

 If you’ve visited the Information Commons of the Wells Library in the last couple of weeks, you may have seen a sign like this. Don’t be alarmed. Librarians are not suddenly turning their backs on books and discouraging reading. On the contrary, we’re celebrating the freedom to read by highlighting some of the challenged and banned books included in the Undergraduate Core Collection.

Every fall, Banned Books Week encourages the reading of challenged and banned books and reaffirms the importance of the First Amendment and intellectual freedom. The American Library Association (ALA) is one of the sponsers of this annual event featuring books that have been targets of attempted bannings. There are many reasons why a book is challenged or banned, ranging from political and religious to sexual and social grounds. What Banned Books Week and its sponsors seek to ensure is that all viewpoints and ideas are accessible and available, even if they are unorthodox or unpopular. ALA’s website features more information on banned and challenged books here: ALA Frequently Challenged Books.

Some of the selections for this year’s display will be familiar. Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird are often included in the most frequently challenged book lists that appear annually. Brave New World topped the list for 2010. Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has been repeatedly challenged since 1885, primarily for racial references and language. John Steinbeck’s writing is also a target for challenges and bans for profanity and violence, in the case of Of Mice and Men, and on political grounds, as with The Grapes of Wrath.

Some books you find might be surprising. Why, for instance, are J.R.R Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings included? In 2001, Tolkien’s writings, including the lauded trilogy, were burned outside a New Mexico church for being satanic. Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich is another book that might seem out of place. In fact, it is number 8 on the list of most frequently challenged books in 2010. A 2001 book about the impact of the 1996 welfare reform act (Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996) on the working poor of the United States, it has been repeatedly criticized and challenged on the basis of inaccuracy, offensive language, and political and religious viewpoints.

 One book worth mentioning in detail is Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughter-House Five, first published in 1969. An anti-war satire based on Vonnegut’s own experiences during the American fire bombing of Dresden during World War II, it has been challenged for its vulgar language, violence, and an “unpatriotic” portrayal of war. Since the early 1970s, it has been challenged in school districts around the country, most recently in Republic, Missouri this past July. Besides being one of the most recent incidents of book being banned, Slaughter-House Five is significant for Indiana University because Vonnegut was a Hoosier, and his papers are housed here on campus at The Lilly Library. So, instead of checking out a copy of his book from the Wells Library, you could go read Vonnegut’s manuscripts of the novel, which include multiple drafts of the first chapter.

Close to 30 titles are included in the Banned Books display. So, the next time you’re in the Wells Library Information Commons, check them out! Ask a librarian what a specific book is about and why it was challenged or banned. Try something new, or read an old favorite. But, please, don’t NOT read these books.


Women’s History Month!

March is Women’s History Month. 2010 marks the 30th anniversary of the National Women’s History Project which began the movement and resulted in President Carter’s Proclamation in 1980, naming the week of March 8th as Women’s History Week, and Congress expanding the week into a Month in 1987. 2010’s theme is “Writing Women Back into History,” where themes from previous years will be highlighted. Some past Themes include: “Women Taking the Lead to Save Our Planet” (2009), “Women, Builders of Communities and Dreams” (2006), “In Every Generation, Action Feeds Our Dreams” (1994), and “Courageous Voices -Echoing in Our Lives” (1990).

For more information on Women’s History Month, its history, and a list of past themes and honorees, check out the National Women’s History Project (NWHP) website:

Also, don’t forget to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th.  The Theme for 2010 is “Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities: Progress for all.” International Women’s Day started in the early 1900’s in the United States and across Europe. In 1975, the United Nations officially started celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8th. In 1977, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution officially proclaiming March 8th as International Women’s Day. International Women’s Day was the start of the movement in the United States for Women’s History Week and later, Women’s History Month.

For more information on International Women’s Day, its history, and events, check out the Women Watch website, an inter-agency website for the United Nations:

For resources on Women’s History at IUB, check out the Libraries Women’s History Month website:


Library Love

Valentines to the Library

This year, to celebrate Valentine’s Day, our campus was given an opportunity to publicly display its affection—for the Herman B Wells Library!

Two large sheets of blank paper, a white board, and a black marker were set up in the lobby of Wells so that passersby could write loves notes, graffiti-style, for all to view. From such a simple idea and basic materials came astonishing results. Over a week later, we are still blushing! Here is a sampling of some of our favorite notes:

“I books!!”

“Dear Wells, Thnx 4 wonderful space u provided 4 all my courses”

“Library—one of 2 places where work gets done”

“Herman B Wells is my *BOO*”

“My love for you is as hot as your coffee”

“Thanks for being open 24/7”

“I U. See you in Summer 2010!”

“Wells, I spend more time with you than with my own GF”

“I Chik-fil-a! And my carrel”

“I haven’t paid for a movie rental in FOREVER!”

“Dear Herb, Thanks for the wonderful late nights”

“I the Kent Cooper Room”

Cyber Cafe”

“I love you, but you gotta let up on the awesome sauce!”

“Eye luv da liberry”

“Congratulations to Wells Library staff on the ACRL award!!!”

“J’aime le biblioteque!”

“I love the library—and thanks to the Wells cafe workers!”

“I that this place is open for us to study Spanish at 3 a.m.”

“IUB SLIS no. 1!!!”

“I met my bf at the lib”

“I met my gf at the lib”

“Alpha Xi Delta loves H.B.W.!”

It’s clear from this outpouring of affection that we weren’t forgotten on Valentine’s Day.

If you missed out on this opportunity to profess your love for the Wells Library, don’t despair; post your sweet nothings as a comment to this blog. And please check out these other instances of love in the library…

Romantic Comedies

The Media & Reserve Services department, located in the lower level of the Wells Library across from the Cyber Café, has a huge collection of movies in DVD and VHS format. And for those of you who live in residence halls, the RPS library system is another source of fun (and free, as long as you return them by the due date) films to entertain you.

Romance Novels

On the first floor of the West Tower there is a collection of popular fiction books, alphabetized by authors’ last names. It’s called the Browsing Collection. Come peruse the shelves and find a book to read for pleasure when you need a study break.

Love Buzz Coffee

The Commons Café, located in the lobby of Wells Library, sells fair trade coffee and a variety of snacks and beverages. Particularly good is their Love Buzz coffee. It really puts you in the mood to learn.

If you’re curious what else the library can do for you, just ask! Check out this link and contact us with any questions: Reference Services Department

Forever yours,

The Library


Image Credits

Roy Lichtenstein (American, 1923-1997)

From a Secret Admirer – Valentine to Dorothy, 1990

Watercolor on paper

(c) Estate of Roy Lichtenstein

Accessed via ARTstor


On January 12, 2010, a massive earthquake struck the nation of Haiti, causing catastrophic damage inside and around the capital city of Port-au-Prince. With so much media coverage of the earthquake  it may seem hard to find accurate information. Here are some helpful resources you can access:


IU has created a webpage to guide the public through the Haitian relief efforts going on at the Bloomington campus.  

For putting events into context and for researching background, we recommend the following sources.

  • The Geosciences Library has a link on their site to datasets and maps related to the earthquake
  • The 12 Jan. 2010 Haiti Earthquake and the Enriquillo-Plaintain Fault.  In response to the recent, tragic earthquake that struck southern Haiti, the Geological Society of America has provided open access (free) papers that address the Caribbean plate and the Enriquillo-Plaintain fault line.
  • A Country Study: Haiti. Library of Congress Country Studies Series presents a description and analysis of the historical setting and the social, economic, political, and national security systems and institutions of countries throughout the world.

You can help the victims of the earthquake by making a monetary donation:


Instructor of Haitian Creole, David Tezil, particularly recommends the International Firefighter Association, at


You can automatically donate $5 to the Yele Haiti Earthquake Fund by texting “Yele” to 501501. You can also visit their website at


The American Red Cross has created a Haiti Relief and Development fund. Donations can be made at 


You can search IUCAT for more information about Haiti as well.


Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read

Banned Books Week is this week (September 26th-October 3rd). The week celebrates the First Amendment and our freedom to read, while taking the time to acknowledge and bring attention to banned and attempted banning of books across the United States.

Here is a list of the top ten banned books in 2008 from the ALA (American Library Association):

  1. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
    Reasons: anti-ethnic, anti-family, homosexuality, religious viewpoint, and unsuited to age group


  1. His Dark Materials trilogy, by Philip Pullman
    Reasons: political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, and violence


  1. TTYL; TTFN; L8R, G8R (series), by Lauren Myracle
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group


  1. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
    Reasons: occult/satanism, religious viewpoint, and violence


  1. Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
    Reasons: occult/satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, and violence


  1. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: drugs, homosexuality, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, suicide, and unsuited to age group


  1. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group


  1. Uncle Bobby’s Wedding, by Sarah S. Brannen
    Reasons: homosexuality and unsuited to age group


  1. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group


  1. Flashcards of My Life, by Charise Mericle Harper
    Reasons: sexually explicit and unsuited to age group


Banned Books Week brings up many questions about censorship, intellectual freedom, and the stance of Libraries on both issues. If anyone would like to read any of the books on the top ten list above, they are available in the Education Library. A search on IUCat showed that IUB has most of the books on the list and they are in the Education Library.

Also, the Monroe County Library (located on Kirkwood) also has the books on the List. Search there Catalog here:

Please stay tuned and watch the Library boards and campus news for IUB Library events concerning Banned Books Week.

For more information about the events and Banned Books Week, here are two websites.

For more information on Intellectual Freedom and what Libraries say about censorship, here are two websites.


See Your Picture the Internet!!

Were you at the Libraries 1st pLaY iT uP-Game Night?

If you made it to Game Night or even if you didn’t, visit to check

Students having fun playing Guitar Hero in Wells library at Game Night
Students having fun playing Guitar Hero in Wells library at Game Night

out all the cool pictures from Game Night.  Your picture could be one of them! There was something for everyone at Game Night including Guitar Hero, DDR, and Wii gaming. Karaoke and poker also drew large crowds and of course ping pong and corn hole were crowd favorites. There were even mechanical puzzles for those who preferred quieter games.

Students enjoying Karaoke
Students enjoying Karaoke

Where were all these games were in the library? Karaoke was in the Cyber Café, which is a great place to grab a meal  (Don’t  forget to come back and redeem your certificate for some free Chick-Fil-A chicken nuggets!) and poker was on the 3rd floor which has comfortable seating including booths and plenty of tables for quiet study. DDR and Guitar Hero were in the Information Commons which has group computer workstations, a multimedia area  that includes MACs and PCs and more comfortable seating which is great if you like a little background noise when you are studying. Ping Pong and corn hole were in the lobby which is where InfoShare (  will take place the first Tuesday of every month. The lobby is also a great place to eat between classes and or meet with your group.

Game Night was sponsored by the   (UITS), Cyber Café, Office of First Year Experience and  .