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On Monday, September 17, 2018, Assistant Professor of Government Justin Peck  delivered Wesleyan’s 2018 Constitution Day talk entitled “Progress, Preservation, and the Constitution After Trump.”  The event was held in the Hubbard Room of Russell Library, which was packed with about 90 Middletown and Wesleyan community members.


Andrew White, Caleb T. Winchester University Librarian, and Michael Meere, chair of the Friends of the Wesleyan Library and Assistant Professor of French, before thanking Russell Library for hosting and then introducing Justin Peck.


Justin Peck is in his second year as Assistant Professor of Government. Prior to joining Wesleyan, Justin was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at San Francisco State University. Justin’s scholarship explores the historical construction of American politics. He is currently finishing a book manuscript that explores how ideological.battles within the Republican party influenced civil rights policy enactments from 1865-1918. He is also working on a project that explores how preferences about the proper distribution of powers between the three branches of government influences how members of Congress vote. He holds a B.A. in Politics and History from Brandeis University, and both an M.A. and Ph.D. in Government from the University of Virginia.


Justin detailed the tension between those who seek to preserve the Constitution as they idealize it and those who are dissatisfied and want change. He compared the political and economic situation in the U.S. in the late nineteenth century with the current climate.


Photographs by Chloe de Montgolfier ‘22.

Assistant Professor of Government Justin Craig Peck will talk about the ways in which the Constitution aids and constrains reform movements in American politics.  He will examine how, to what extent, and in what ways we should be concerned with constitutional ‘preservation.’

Originally from Georgia, Justin Peck received his PhD in Government from the University of Virginia in 2014. Prior to graduate school he worked for two years in the Senate office of Christopher J. Dodd. Justin’s research explores the tensions that exist between the modern presidency and the rule of law, as well as Congress’s role in the promotion and enactment of civil rights policy.

The Friends of the Wesleyan Library are pleased to be collaborating with Russell Library on this event.  We look forward to this opportunity for members of the Wesleyan and Middletown communities to connect and exchange ideas.  For more information, email libfriends@wesleyan.edu.

Physical Plant managed a complicated restoration of Olin’s original windows this summer.


Expert workmen removed the windows and shipped them to be restored.



Plywood replacements gave the building a temporary new look on the outside.



And many of the inside spaces were swathed in plastic and protective enclosures.




Some spaces, including Smith Reading Room, will be closed through part of September, but we are looking forward to the completion of the project and the return of all the restored windows.  Many thanks to Mike Rosalie and Roseann Sillasen for all their work on this project!

Welcome to Andrew W. White, who is starting as Wesleyan’s Caleb T. Winchester University Librarian on July 2, 2018!



Andrew comes from Bates College, where he was the Director of Academic and Client Services  and served as the Interim Vice President for Information and Library Services for two years. There he worked extensively on technology and facilities issues, integrating academic support services into the library, and promoting awareness of library services.

Prior to Bates, he was at Connecticut College, working closely with faculty to match teaching and research needs with technology.

Andrew holds a B.A. in English from SUNY Buffalo, and both an M.A. in English and an M.L.S. from Indiana University.

The spring 2018 Check It Out is now available online!  Learn about two intriguing thesis projects, a highlighted collection, new and retiring staff, library events, and the 2018 undergraduate library prize winners.
Have an idea for an article or would like a printed copy?  Email libfriends@wesleyan.edu.

— Click here for the full Check It Out Spring 2018 issue —


Student workers help the library provide the services the Wesleyan community needs: from getting books ready for the shelves, to checking them out and then reshelving them when they come back, to digitizing items.  Without their commitment, the libraries couldn’t stay open to the wee hours of the morning to accommodate late night studying.  To all of our recently graduated library workers, thank you for  your hard work and congratulations on your graduation!  Best wishes from the library staff and the Friends of the Wesleyan Library.   Come back to visit often!

Book Conservation Lab
Amanda Larsen
Sophie Sokolov

Mary Carrion
Mikaela Carty
Christine Clark
Victoria Cruz-de Jesus
Lorena Fernandez
William Freudenheim
Christi Pak
Irvine Peck’s-Agaya
Aqila Putri
Nila Ravi
Anthony Strack

InterLibrary Loan
Brooke Burns
Alejandra Marcelino
Danielle Rosario

Library Office
Aida Julien
Shizuha Hatori
Sarasa Suzuki
Shione Donahue

Materials Processing Marking
Christopher Cepil
Patrique Harris

Music Library
Declan Hindman
Justin Liew
Thomas Reid

Grace No
Jonathan Tang
Thai Duong Vu Nguyen

Science Library
Kafilah Ali Muhammad
Ethan Chupp
Diana Dominguez
Gretchen LaMotte
Jin Soong Liew
Alina Pham

Cail Daley
Sarah Kang
Gabriel Tagliamonte


Music Library graduating student workers Thomas, Justin, and Declan


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.–




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