Sick of Studying, Need a Movie?

If I NEVER see another midterm again, it will be TOO SOON.

I'm tired of Netflix and I'm IN the library -- what movies do *they* have?

That's too many to search. How do I find the new ones?

Better, but still too many to look through.

Okay, that works. So where are they?

  • "Current DVDs" are in Eisenhower Library, in the M Level seating area next to the guard's desk. Those two shelves under the stairs have new DVDs as well as new books.
  • If the locations is "Eisenhower M Level Service Desk," that's the big desk where you check out books, just a few steps away.

I can check these out, right?

  • Absolutely. You can have up to five McNaughtons or up to three from the rest of the collection.

Can I watch them here?

  • Sure. There are DVD players on A Level, in the Audiovisual section (in those gray cubicles near the elevators). By the way, getting some movies to erase the memory of exams was a really good idea.  :)



Lost and Found in the Funhouse: Open for Business

John Barth.  Artwork by Dave Plunkert, Spur Design.Our new exhibition of rare books and manuscript materials is open... now! Lost and Found in the Funhouse: The John Barth Collection celebrates the American writer John Barth, known for his masterful literary experiments. Barth’s novels and stories are full of surprises: not just because of their unpredictable story-lines, or the strange creatures inhabiting them—although there are plenty of those; but because of his inventive story-telling techniques.

Take “Lost in the Funhouse,” from Barth’s 1968 collection of the same name. A thirteen-year-old boy named Ambrose Mensch visits Ocean City, Maryland with his family and a girl he likes. Simple enough: a coming-of-age tale. But while Ambrose explores the boardwalk, the pool, and the funhouse, he also comments on his own story as he tells it, like a writer agonizing over his work of art. It’s a perfect example of metafiction: fiction that is, on some level, about fiction. Like a magician raising the backstage curtain, Barth lets us see how the story’s illusions are built—reminding us that a made-up plot populated with made-up characters is, after all, made up. As we follow the twists and turns of the story’s two intertwined accounts, we lose touch with what is “really” happening… but we gain an exhilarating and profound experience. Reading “Lost in the Funhouse” feels like a voyage through an astonishing funhouse, designed by a virtuoso engineer.

With this story as its touchstone, Lost and Found in the Funhouse presents you with highlights from the John Barth Collection: Barth’s manuscripts and books; the library he assembled with his wife Shelly; artifacts from his youth in Cambridge, Maryland and his teaching career.

John Barth MapThis rich archive suggests that the story of John Barth’s writing cannot be told in a straight line leading from composition to publication. It is influenced by sources close to home—the Chesapeake Bay area—and far away. Barth’s influence, in turn, is both local and global. Wherever it travels, his work prompts commentaries, translations, new projects. In other words, publication is not just an end-point but also a beginning. Accordingly, the materials on display are divided into three groups that correspond to different stages of the writing cycle: creation, publication, and circulation. But, since this cycle does not always flow in a single, orderly direction, the materials associated with each stage are distributed throughout the gallery, funhouse-style. You can follow the pathway shown on the map above… or not. Each case is marked with its motif to help you determine where you are and how you want to proceed.

You can get a sense of what awaits you here. The exhibition is at the George Peabody Library at 17 East Mt. Vernon Place, now through February 28, 2016!

50 Yard Line Picks: Football in Film

"I love football. Football is fun." - Remember the Titans

footballFootball season is in full swing and it's going to be here for a few more months. Football is televised almost every day of the week, so football fans can get in their weekly dose almost anytime. But what about those people who want football every day? If SportsCenter replays aren't cutting it for you and you're craving some football on Tuesday nights, check out a football DVD from the library.

MSE has two of my favorites, Remember the Titans, and The Blind Side, as well as all five seasons of Friday Night Lights.  Other feature films include Brian's Song, Any Given Sunday, and North Dallas Forty.

Documentaries about football can give you more detail on the history of the game, important moments in football, and American culture more generally. Harvard beats Yale 29-29 recounts the 1968 rivalry game against the two undefeated teams, and the Ghosts of Ole Miss explores the team's integration in the early 1960s.

Be careful when searching "football" in Catalyst. This also pulls up materials on soccer and rugby, so if you're looking for materials on American football, take a quick scan through the subject listings to hone in on what you want. Not all the football movies are tagged as "football" either - also search for "sports" and limit your format to DVDs.

How do you research? We need to know!


What tools do you use to get your research done? Google Drive, MS Word, or Open Office? RefWorks, Zotero, or Mendeley? Google Scholar or Scopus?

Your librarians want to know what tools you use so that we can optimize library services and resources to better serve your needs. Please take the 101 Innovations in Scholarly Communication survey, developed at Utrecht University. Librarians there are engaged in an ongoing effort to chart the evolving landscape of scholarly communication. This international survey will investigate how tool usage varies by field, country and position. The survey will run until February 2016.

JHU faculty and graduate students are invited to take this graphical survey about research tool use. It takes 8 - 12 minutes to complete and you can opt to receive a visual characterization of your workflow compared to that of your peer group.

We want to see how research tool use differs between the JHU campuses. Please use the link below that reflects the school or campus you are primarily associated with.

Preliminary results of the international survey, as well as the final data set, will be posted on the Innovations in Scholarly Communication site. JHU Libraries will share the JHU data set and produce a report.

YOU Can Help Us Document Student Life!

JHU Bicycle Club, 1983. Ferdinand Hamburger University Archives

JHU Bicycle Club, 1983. Ferdinand Hamburger University Archives

The number and variety of student organizations are a great part of student life at Hopkins. There’s something out there for everyone! Maybe you stopped by the Student Involvement Fair this month and discovered your kindred spirits in the Hopkins Science Fiction and Fantasy Association. Would it surprise you to know it has been around since 1974? Or maybe you’re more of a music person and plan to join the Choral Society. It's been part of Hopkins since 1883 (and count Woodrow Wilson among its alumni).

How do we know the histories of these groups? The job of the University Archives is to acquire, manage, and preserve records that document the functions of our university. Student life is an important part of Hopkins and we collect records from student organizations to help document them for future generations. Alumni, historians, family history researchers, current students -- lots of people are interested in student life from years gone by. To see a list of our student life collections, visit this page on the University Archives website and scroll down to the "Student Publications, Clubs, and Organizations" section.

It can be difficult to collect student organization records, though. Offices move, new leadership is elected every year, sometimes things get forgotten or thrown away, or digital files are deleted. Without those records, though, the archives can’t document your group’s history and share it with the community. So, we need your help!

If your group has records that you are not actively using, donate them to the University Archives! We accept all sorts of material, including digital files. Take a look at our collecting policy to see what we are looking for, then contact to let us know what you have. YOU can be the one to secure your group’s place in Hopkins' history. The photos you took at last year’s barbecue or poetry reading might not seem like valuable historical material to you. But 30, 50, or even 100 years from now, people will be looking at them with the same sense of wonder and nostalgia that we get today looking at Hopkins photos from the 1880s.

Calling All Freshmen: Help the Libraries Serve You Better!

Underwood Library

You are invited to join the Student Advisory Committee (SAC) and help advise us on new and existing library services and policies. This group is chaired by Dean Winston Tabb and includes undergraduate and graduate students. Meetings are held twice per semester.

Topics can range from library hours and technology to facilities and resource recommendations.  As we prepare for renovation of the Eisenhower Library, this group will be an essential vehicle for student input and ideas. (Full disclosure: We don't have any plans to rename MSEL, although we hear the library at The Sentinel Bears a striking resemblance to our beloved building.)

Meetings are typically held at 6 pm, and pizza is provided for attendees. The first meeting of the fall semester will be held on Wednesday, October 14.

If you are interested in becoming part of SAC, please contact Deborah Slingluff for more information.

Hope to see you soon!


The Tragedy of Freddie Gray, Act 2

Timeline of Freddie Gray’s arrest. Wikimedia Commons, uploaded by Cwobeel, CC BY-SA 4.0

Timeline of Freddie Gray’s arrest. Wikimedia Commons, uploaded by Cwobeel, CC BY-SA 4.0

If you were in Baltimore this spring, you witnessed and felt our city’s pain in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody on April 19. Protests, violence, looting and fires, clean up, marches, arrests, indictments: a series of events that have come to be called, collectively, the #BaltimoreUprising. After a summer of reflection and investigation, the stage is now set for Act 2, as the six police officers involved in the original arrest of Freddie Gray and his subsequent death, ruled a homicide, come up for trial one by one.

If you are a student new to Baltimore, or if you want to know more about what happened, a panel discussion tonight will feature four students who spent the summer conducting interviews in the neighborhoods at the center of the uprising. They will review the spring’s events and describe what they learned.

You can also stay abreast of the trials as they unfold, and any repercussions across town and on campus, by following the news as it emerges. The Sheridan Libraries provide the Hopkins community with a deep bench of newspaper subscriptions and access to databases like LexisNexis that allow you to monitor events through a variety of media sources. We’ll even show you how to set up RSS Feeds and Google News Alerts, to get updates on the topics of your choice. Be sure to sign up for JHU emergency announcements, if you haven’t already, to find out about any cancellations due to further unrest.

The trials scheduled for this fall and winter are sure to test our city once again. Let’s stay connected to each other and informed, so we can respond as a community with knowledge, integrity, compassion, and a firm resolve for justice.

Baffled by Business? Me, too…

Researching market plans? Key business ratios? Mergers and acquisitions? Industry overviews? Don’t know where to begin? Never fear – our Business Research Guide is here!

Of course, you may always ask a librarian for help in person, via email, twitter, or even by texting us – but, you can also get a really good head-start by exploring the many tools we have on the Business Research Guide. To tell the truth, it’s what THIS humanities librarian uses when helping a business student at the reference desk. Trust me, it’s great.

What are some of the things you’ll find?

Oh, and to answer the questions posed above in the first paragraph – there are lots of helpful resources about market plans, business ratios, mergers and acquisitions, and industry overviews! You name it, we’ve got it! So, stop reading this blog and get down to business!

Coeducation at Johns Hopkins, pt. 2 of 2

As of 1907, female graduate students were officially admitted to Johns Hopkins. Women wishing to attend the School of Arts and Sciences, however, were still refused admittance, and usually were referred to the Woman’s College of Baltimore (now Goucher). Women were always welcome in the various part-time programs, brought together in 1909 as a separate division of Hopkins, and they could earn bachelor’s degrees there. But many women still felt excluded from full participation in undergraduate activities.

On two occasions – in 1925 and in 1952 – Hopkins attempted to abolish the undergraduate curriculum and admit students at the junior level to work toward graduate degrees, bypassing the undergraduate degree entirely. In at least one instance, a woman was admitted under this plan but was unable to complete the full graduate program. In recognition of her accomplishments, the university awarded her a bachelor’s degree, but this remained the exception to the rule.

By the 1960s, many universities that had been “men only” were either becoming coed, or were feeling pressure to make the change, as women campaigned for inclusion in the undergraduate student body. “Student unrest” became a fact of life on many campuses, and student demands were not entirely limited to protesting government actions in Southeast Asia. While Hopkins never experienced the level of protest seen at Columbia and Berkeley, there were those here who pushed for change. Sensitivities were shifting, to the point that it was difficult to justify excluding women. “Unequal marriages,” “threatening a woman’s health,” and “a life fundamentally different from that of any man” (see Part 1 on Coeducation) seemed much less valid reasons than in the past, as women’s role in society gradually changed.

In 1969, a committee of students, faculty and administrators convened to discuss undergraduate coeducation and they recommended admitting undergraduate women. The Academic Council next took up the question and voted in favor of coeducation on October 29. On November 10, 1969, the Board of Trustees approved a resolution admitting women undergraduates. Upon this action, President Lincoln Gordon appointed a task force to explore all aspects of the issue and determine what additional services would be needed, and what would be the impact of coeducation on athletics, housing arrangements, etc.

Although the dormitories were not adapted for women until 1971, in September 1970, ninety undergraduate women arrived on campus. Many were transfer students living in off-campus apartments, while others were freshmen living at home. Things did not always go smoothly, due in part to the administration’s policy, voiced by Dean George Benton, of “Let’s get what we need when we need it.” Essentially, it was left up to the women to bring problems to the administration’s attention and justify needed changes (and their expenses).

Many of the early women undergraduates also experienced ambivalence on the part of their male classmates, both socially and academically. One woman was quoted in the News-Letter saying, “You feel like a cross between Gypsy Rose Lee and Typhoid Mary.” And not all administrators were in agreement with coeducation, either. Former dean and Director of the Psychological Clinic, G. Wilson Shaffer, stated his objection as follows: “Up to now, I know of no male student who has had to interrupt his studies due to pregnancy, menstruation or menopause.”

From an historical perspective on forty-one years of undergraduate coeducation at Hopkins, it has not been easy, especially for the self-described “pioneers” of the 1970s. For any small group pushing for acceptance, there is the feeling that ‘good is not enough; you must excel to be considered an equal.’ Slowly, the ratio between women and men approached and then surpassed 50/50 (53/47 as of 2010-11). When I talk to undergrads today, many are surprised that coeducation is a relatively recent phenomenon; they assume that such a basic equality has always been in place. But even Daniel Coit Gilman, a man of vision and brilliance in many areas, might not have foreseen the day when women would be the equals of men in the academic world.

I am indebted to Julia Morgan, former Archivist and now Associate Secretary of the Board of Trustees, for her writing on this subject in 1986.


It may not be Rocket Science…

... but library research is still an art. In fact, people write books on the subject.Book jacket for Te Oxford Guide to Library Research

Thomas Mann, (a reference librarian at the Library of Congress, not the dead German writer), has written several editions now of The Oxford Guide to Library Research. Mann has also taught classes at the Library of Congress for many years, to researchers new to the institution.

Mann's 12-step program is fascinating (to us librarians anyway!), but more important, it's very useful. His basic premise is - there is always more than one way to get what you need. You should get used to using as many of his strategies as you can, because where one falls short, another one succeeds.

  • Browsing the stacks? Great IF the stacks are open, and if all the books are actually there. Find things you never thought to look for!
  • Keyword searching? A good strategy to find a needle in a haystack, and to begin your research.
  • Ask a human being? Sometimes the quickest way to your answer.
  • Bibliographies? Do they still make those? Yes! And they can be a terrific starting point.
  • Library of Congress Subject Headings? Whaaa? If you don't know about these gems, ask a  librarian. Mann is a BIG proponent.
  • Citation and related records searches? A really cool way to find stuff you can't find with any other search. Use the Web of Science for this.

And there's more. Check out Thomas Mann, or drop in and chat with a friendly librarian.