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The Friends of the Wesleyan Library Undergraduate Research Prize honors excellence in research and writing.  Judges evaluated student projects and research statements to select those which  particularly demonstrated knowledge of research techniques and high level use of Wesleyan’s library collections and resources.

We thank all of this year’s entrants, the professors and librarians who nominated them, and the prize jury.  We also thank Amy Bloom for reading from her new novel White Houses and speaking about her own research and writing process at the award ceremony on April 19, 2018.  The Friends presented a copy of White Houses to each of the awardees.

Congratulations to the 2018 awardees!

FIRST PLACE ($500 award)
Elinor Weissberg 20 —  “Understanding the American Liberty League” (Prof. Ron Schatz)


Elinor Weissberg ’20 gives a summary of her paper, with Michael Meere, chair of the Friends. (Image courtesy of Caroline Kravitz)


SECOND PLACE ($250 award)
 Kevin Liu 20 — “Matter over Mind: Body in the Chinese Model of Depression and the Effects of Acculturation” (Prof. Peggy Carey Best)

Kevin Liu ’20 (Image courtesy of Kevin Liu)


Azher Jaweed 19 — “Dams: A Visual Analysis” (Prof. Erik Grimmer-Solem)

Azher Jaweed ’19 receives his copy of “White Houses” by Amy bloom from Michael Meere. (Image courtesy of Caroline Kravitz)


Julia Perry 19 — “An Analysis of Popular Hair Styling Techniques and Marketing Strategies in the United States, 1960-2000” (Prof. H.C. Robinson)


Library Prize Jury Members

  • Ann Burke, Professor of Biology
  • Kendall Hobbs, Research Librarian and Coordinator of Research Services
  • Susanne Javorski, Art Librarian
  • Diane Klare, Interim University Librarian and Associate University Librarian for Research and Access Services
  • ​Michael Meere,  Assistant Professor of French and Chair of the Board of the Friends of the Wesleyan Library
  • Courtney Weiss Smith, Associate Professor of English
  • Royette Tavernier, Assistant Professor of Psychology


Thursday, April 19, 2018 — 7:00-8:30 pm — Smith Reading Room, Olin Library
FREE and open to the public


Bestselling author Amy Bloom, Shapiro-Silverberg Professor of Creative Writing, will read from her new novel White Houses, followed by the awarding of the Friends of the Wesleyan Library Undergraduate Research Prizes.  The Prizes celebrates excellence in writing and research using Wesleyan Library resources.

WHITE HOUSES is Amy Bloom’s first historical fiction. Guided by the three thousand letters (hundreds more had been burned) between prominent journalist Lorena Hickok and one of the world’s most admired women, Eleanor Roosevelt, all photocopied and tucked into a pile of worn boxes at the Roosevelt Library at Hyde Park, Bloom has recreated and re-imagined one of the great love stories of the 20th century.

“Bloom uncloaks the insidious treacheries girls and women face, poor and privileged alike. Through Hick’s loving eyes, we witness Eleanor’s complex struggles, unwavering discipline, and fierce passion, while Hick’s take on FDR and the rest of the Roosevelts is deftly lacerating. Hick’s outrage over the trauma inflicted on gays and lesbians, the class divide, the beauty quotient, and the gender double standard fuels this socially incisive, psychologically saturated, funny, and erotic fictionalization of legendary figures; this novel of extraordinary magnetism and insight; this keen celebration of love, loyalty, and sacrifice.”  Booklist (starred review)

Amy Bloom is the author of Come to Me, a National Book Award finalist; A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You, nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award; Love Invents Us; Normal; Away, New York Times bestseller; Where the God of Love Hangs Out; and Lucky Us, New York Times bestseller. Her stories have appeared in The Best American Short Stories, O. Henry Prize Short Stories, The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction, and many other anthologies here and abroad. She has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, Vogue, O: The Oprah Magazine, Slate, Tin House, and Salon, among other publications, and has won a National Magazine Award. She is the Shapiro-Silverberg Professor of Creative Writing at Wesleyan University.

Listen to an interview of Amy Bloom by Lucy Nalpathanchil on NPR’s Where We Live.

Email libfriends@wesleyan.edu for more information.

In this documentary, the legendary filmmaker brings his incisive vision behind the scenes of one of the world’s greatest institutions of learning, capturing the vast programmatic scope of NYC’s library system. The NYPL is blessed with uniformly passionate staff and deeply devoted, appreciative bibliophiles and beneficiaries across its 92 branches. The film reveals a venerable place of welcome, cultural exchange, and intellectual creativity. – Zipporah Films

Co-sponsored by C-FILM with funding from the Mellon Foundation.

FREE and open to the public.  For more information, email libfriends@wesleyan.edu.

Celebrating National Library Week April 8-April 14!

In the latest issue:

  • — Students Create Artists’ Books About Urgent Environmental Issues
  • — Badges to Build Information Skills
  • — Remembering Dan Cherubin
  • — World Music Archives Recordings in New Alexander Street Database
  • — Improving Library Collections and Services: Implementation of a Library Reorganization

–To read the newsletter online, click HERE or email libfriends@wesleyan.edu to request a print copy.–






Exhibit opening Saturday, March 31, 2018 at 10:00 am – through Sunday, April 8

Olin Memorial Library Lobby 252 Church Street, Middletown 
FREE! Open to the public.
Related open house at Special Collections & Archives, Wednesday, April 4, 2018 4:30-6:30 pm


(From the Center for the Arts announcement)

Houston, Texas-based artists Sarah Welch and James Beard had their studio heavily damaged due to flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey in August 2017. The duo self-publishes zines, comics, and prints, and will create a reading room installation in the lobby of Olin Memorial Library.

Based on their recently published comic book Holdouts, the installation will feature a new screen-printed take-away poster, a new zine, and a collection of found and fabricated objects, all made while in residence at Wesleyan. The story of Holdouts takes place roughly 40 years in the future on a dramatically shifted Texas coastline. In this world, little progress has been made on curbing the effects of climate change—sea levels have significantly risen and climate migration has occurred en masse. Those unable or unwilling to leave their coastal homes are without government or city services and are forced to navigate an unpredictable and harsh biome.

The artists will spend the first week of their residency printing and preparing materials, and their installation will be on display from Saturday, March 31 through Sunday, April 8, 2018. The library is open Saturday from 10am to 10pm; Sunday from 10am to 2am; Monday through Thursday from 8:30am to 2am; and Friday from 8:30am to 11pm. Admission to the installation is free and open to the public.

On Wednesday, April 4, Special Collections & Archives will host an open house in the Davison Rare Book Room in conjunction with the art installation.  On view will be artists’ books created by students in Introduction to Environmental Studies (E&ES 197) over the past several semesters.  (See the article in the most recent issue of Check It Out for more about the students’ work.)  The open house will take place from 4:30 till 6:30 p.m. 

Click here to read more about Sarah Welch and James Beard, along with other artists affected by Harvey, on Glasstire.

Entries are now closed for the second annual Library Research Prize competition.  We thank all students who have participated.  The jury looks forward to reading their papers and statements on their library research.  Winners will be announced at a special event in April.

To read more about the Friends of the Wesleyan Library Undergraduate Research Prize go to http://libguides.wesleyan.edu/libprize/home.


We’ll take this opportunity to congratulate last year’s winners again!

Rachel Rosenman (’17 Music/French)
“‘Mais la musique demeurera toujours’: Repurposing the French Baroque” (Prof. Jane Alden)
This project’s aim was twofold: to produce modern adaptations of French Baroque viol music and to consider these new editions within important historical and theoretical contexts.

Sara Feldman (’17 Anthropology/Dance)
“Hodu Lashem: Jewish Identities in India” (Prof. Gina Ulysse)
An ethnographic analysis that examines peoplehood, nationalism, and identity formation through the lens of two distinct Jewish communities in India: the Bene Ephraim of Andhra Pradesh, India, and the Bene Israel of Mumbai, India.

Competition now open for the
Friends of the Wesleyan Library
Undergraduate Research Prize

+ Eligibility and application details for the second annual
Friends of the Wesleyan Library Undergraduate Research Prize
are available at http://libguides.wesleyan.edu/libprize/home.
The deadline is 5:00 pm February 23, 2018. +

Projects will be evaluated based on the use of Wesleyan’s library collections and resources as well as on the quality of writing and research. We are particularly interested in receiving applications that show evidence of learning about research techniques and the information-gathering process itself.

There will be two cash awards: a 1st-place prize worth $500 and a 2nd-place prize worth $250.

Instructors and librarians are encouraged to nominate students’ work via the online nomination form.

Students may also nominate themselves directly via the application form.

All materials must be submitted electronically. Applications will consist of:

1)     An online application form

2)     Statement on the use of the Wesleyan libraries (maximum 600 words)

3)     Paper/Project

4)     Bibliography

The jury will be comprised of members of the Friends of Wesleyan Library Board, Wesleyan librarians, and Wesleyan faculty from Arts & Humanities, Social & Behavioral Sciences, and Natural Sciences & Mathematics.

Deadline: February 23, 2018.

Awards will be announced in April 2018.

For further information, contact the Friends of Wesleyan Library at libfriends@wesleyan.edu.

In the autumn issue:

  • — Coeducation and Its Consequences: Researching Gender, Space and Money
  • — Archival Assignations
  • — Studying Media History Through Project-Based Learning in Special Collections & Archives
  • — Students Reflect on Displaying the “Other”
  • — Andrus Family Gift of Illustrated Books

–To read the newsletter online, click HERE or email libfriends@wesleyan.edu to request a print copy.–




Thank you to all who donated books, volunteered countless hours, and came to browse and purchase books.  You all contributed to making the annual Friends of the Wesleyan Library book sale a success!  Together we raised over $3,500 towards the goal of providing funding for library events and special projects which will benefit the Wesleyan community.

Read a wonderful article by Andrew Fleming about the joy of exploring used books  in the November 7 issue of the Wesleyan Argus.  

If you would like to donate books for the Friends ongoing book sale (on the shelves outside Smith Reading Room, 1st floor Olin Library), email libfriends@wesleyan.edu.

To donate the Friends’ efforts, click here.









Don’t miss the Annual Library Book Sale!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

10 am – 4 pm

Lobby, Olin Library, 252 Church Street, Middletown, CT 06459

3500+ academic and popular books.  Most priced $1-$2.  Better books $5-$10+.

Cash and checks accepted.

For more information, email libfriends@wesleyan.edu.

Part of Wesleyan’s Homecoming/Family Weekend festivities. 

Not able to make it during the day on Saturday?  Some of the remainder books will be available for sale in the lobby Saturday evening and on Sunday, November 5 at .50 cents each or $7 per box.

Ways you can help:

  • Volunteers needed.  Please contact libfriends@wesleyan.edu.  Your help would be greatly appreciated!


Book sale from Connection reduced size

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