Monday, August 18, 2014

Book of the Week (Cubed by Nikil Saval)

Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace

By Nikil Saval

Call Number:  HF 5547 .S33 2014

Review from the New York Times

Publisher's Description:  You mean this place we go to five days a week has a history? Cubed reveals the unexplored yet surprising story of the places where most of the world's work—our work—gets done. From "Bartleby the Scrivener" to The Office, from the steno pool to the open-plan cubicle farm, Cubed is a fascinating, often funny, and sometimes disturbing anatomy of the white-collar world and how it came to be the way it is—and what it might become.

In the mid-nineteenth century clerks worked in small, dank spaces called “counting-houses.” These were all-male enclaves, where work was just paperwork. Most Americans considered clerks to be questionable dandies, who didn’t do “real work.” But the joke was on them: as the great historical shifts from agricultural to industrial economies took place, and then from industrial to information economies, the organization of the workplace evolved along with them—and the clerks took over. Offices became rationalized, designed for both greater efficiency in the accomplishments of clerical work and the enhancement of worker productivity. Women entered the office by the millions, and revolutionized the social world from within. Skyscrapers filled with office space came to tower over cities everywhere.

Cubed opens our eyes to what is a truly "secret history" of changes so obvious and ubiquitous that we've hardly noticed them. From the wood-paneled executive suite to the advent of the cubicles where 60% of Americans now work (and 93% of them dislike it) to a not-too-distant future where we might work anywhere at any time (and perhaps all the time), Cubed excavates from popular books, movies, comic strips (Dilbert!), and a vast amount of management literature and business history, the reasons why our workplaces are the way they are—and how they might be better.

Friday, August 8, 2014

3D Printing is Here!

We are excited about our new 3D printer - MakerBot Replicator 2X!

As we learn and explore, Chemistry Professor Mike Zach created this object that can be used to make nanowires.

The possibilities are endless. What ideas do you want to bring to life? 

Learn. Create. Explore.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Naxos Jazz Library added to collection

Our Naxos Music collection continues to grow with the newly added jazz library. 

This collection includes renowned jazz artists (legends and contemporary) and labels, and over 8,600 albums are available with new ones added weekly. 

Enjoy first-class performances and sound.

To access, go to "Find Databases" from the Library Homepage under "N" or the Music database list.

We now have Digital Sanborn Maps - Wisconsin

ProQuest's Digital Sanborn Maps - Wisconsin 

We now have digital access to 1348 large-scale maps of 273 Wisconsin towns and cities, including Amherst, Stevens Point, Wausau, Waupaca, Marshfield, Madison, Milwaukee, Green Bay, and many others.  

Sanborn® fire insurance maps are some of the most frequently consulted maps in libraries.The maps provide  information, such as building outline, size and shape, windows and doors, street and sidewalk widths, boundaries, and property numbers. Plans often include details on construction materials and building use; and also depict pipelines, railroads, wells, water mains, dumps, and other features likely to affect the property's vulnerability to earthquake, fire, and flood.
To access, go to Find Databases from the Library Homepage under "D" or check the History or Reference database lists.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Movie of the Week (Dallas Buyers Club)

Dallas Buyers Club

A Film by Focus Features and Truth Entertainment.  Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée. Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner and Jared Leto

Call Number:  PN1997.2 .D32 2014

Reviews of the film on Rotten Tomatoes

Synopsis:  An imperfect man fights for survival during an uncertain time in America. Inspired by true events, Ron Woodroof’s story of strength is told in Dallas Buyers Club, directed by Jean-Marc Vallée from an original screenplay by Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack. Spirit Award winner Matthew McConaughey portrays the real-life character, whose self-interest is galvanized into something much more.

A son of Texas, Ron Woodroof is an electrician and rodeo cowboy. In 1985, he is well into an unexamined existence with a devil-may-care lifestyle. Suddenly, Ron is blindsided by being diagnosed as H.I.V.-positive and given 30 days to live. Yet he will not, and does not, accept a death sentence.

His crash course of research reveals a lack of approved treatments and medications in the U.S., so Ron crosses the border into Mexico. There, he learns about alternative treatments and begins smuggling them into the U.S., challenging the medical and scientific community including his concerned physician, Dr. Eve Saks (Screen Actors Guild Award winner Jennifer Garner).
An outsider to the gay community, Ron finds an unlikely ally in fellow AIDS patient Rayon (Gotham Independent Film Award winner Jared Leto), a transsexual who shares Ron’s lust for life. Rayon also shares Ron’s entrepreneurial spirit: seeking to avoid government sanctions against selling non-approved medicines and supplements, they establish a “buyers club,” where H.I.V.-positive people pay monthly dues for access to the newly acquired supplies. Deep in the heart of Texas, Ron’s pioneering underground collective beats loud and strong. With a growing community of friends and clients, Ron fights for dignity, education, and acceptance. In the years following his diagnosis, the embattled Lone Star loner lives life to the fullest like never before.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Book of the Week (The Reef by Iain McCalman)

The Reef: A Passionate History

By Iain McCalman

Call Number:  DU 280 .G68 M44 2014

Review from the New York Times Book Review

Publisher's Description:  The Great Barrier Reef, argues Iain McCalman, has been created by human minds as well as coral polyps, by imaginations as well as natural processes. In this landmark book he charts our shifting perceptions of it, from the terrifying labyrinth that almost sunk Cook's Endeavour to a fragile global treasure.

The Reef describes twelve key encounters between people, places, ideas and biosystems. In the nineteenth century the region was infamous for shipwrecks, and when Indigenous clans rescued survivors like Eliza Fraser, their actions were misrepresented in the popular press. Later, the whole world caught the fiery debate between Darwinists and creationists over the origins of this colossal structure. Artists and visionaries celebrated its beauty and fought its exploitation; marine scientists catalogued the threats to its existence.

The first social, cultural and environmental history of this World Heritage-listed site, The Reef is an effortlessly readable work by a born storyteller.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Book of the Week (The Bill of the Century by Clay Risen)

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of passage of the Civil Rights Act

The Bill of the Century:  The Epic Battle for the Civil Rights Act

By Clay Risen
Call number:  KF 4749 .R57 2014

Publisher's Description: The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the single most important piece of legislation passed by Congress in American history. This one law so dramatically altered American society that, looking back, it seems preordained—as Everett Dirksen, the GOP leader in the Senate and a key supporter of the bill, said, “no force is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.”

But there was nothing predestined about the victory: a phalanx of powerful senators, pledging to “fight to the death” for segregation, launched the longest filibuster in American history to defeat it. The bill's passage has often been credited to the political leadership of President Lyndon Johnson, or the moral force of Martin Luther King. Yet as Clay Risen shows, the battle for the Civil Rights Act was a story much bigger than those two men. It was a broad, epic struggle, a sweeping tale of unceasing grassroots activism, ringing speeches, backroom deal-making and finally, hand-to-hand legislative combat.

The larger-than-life cast of characters ranges from Senate lions like Mike Mansfield and Strom Thurmond to NAACP lobbyist Charles Mitchell, called “the 101st senator” for his Capitol Hill clout, and industrialist J. Irwin Miller, who helped mobilize a powerful religious coalition for the bill. The "idea whose time had come" would never have arrived without pressure from the streets and shrewd leadership in Congress--all captured in Risen's vivid narrative. This critical turning point in American history has never been thoroughly explored in a full-length account. Now, New York Times editor and acclaimed author Clay Risen delivers the full story, in all its complexity and drama.