Library Interview: Luke Beatty

Today for our library interview series we have a familiar face in a new role. As he will note, Luke Beatty has been with us for a few years, initially as our Outreach Librarian, and then taking over the directorship from Jan Figa last year. We are glad to have his leadership here at the library, and thought we should check in on him in his new role now that he’s had a chance to make it his own.

865(eatty2)Who are you, what is your title, and how do I get in contact with you?

My name is Luke Beatty, and I’m the Library Director at Schewe Library. You can contact me in the following ways:

• By email at luke.beatty@ic.edu.
• By phone at 217-245-3573.
• By visiting my office, which is located on the main floor of Schewe Library (by the DVD Collection).

How long have you been at IC, and what led you here?

I’ve been at IC for a little more than three years. I initially came to the college in 2014 after finishing out a contract as a Philosophy & Religious Studies Librarian at Mount Royal University (in Canada). I started out in the library as an Outreach Librarian, but was promoted to Library Director last year.

I’d like to say I had some high-minded reason for coming to IC, but really I just couldn’t get a job in California! In retrospect, this was a healthy stroke of luck, because my time at IC has been rewarding and I’ve been able to positively influence the library during my tenure here.

What do you do at Schewe?

Broadly speaking, I’m responsible for the leadership and administration of Schewe Library. Leadership is the fun part – planning for the future, creating services, setting priorities, etc. Administration is the less-fun part of the job – managing the facilities, paying the bills, assessing and evaluating the library, etc.

When I’m not leading or administrating, I also do some more traditional librarian work: reference, instruction, research consultations, collection development, etc.

Any exciting initiatives you’ve got planned in the next little while?

The main floor of the library was renovated this past summer (new carpet, new paint, new furniture, a new group study room, new reference desk, and a new Information Technology service desk), so ensuring these changes have the impact they’re supposed to have will keep me occupied for the next little while.

In terms of upcoming initiatives, I’m hoping we can entice the college to invest some more dollars on our lower floor in order to modernize its aesthetic and improve its functionality. I’m also excited about our new IC publications display, which will be a permanent fixture in the library as of next month. This is something the library (and the college) has needed for a long time, and it will bring new visibility to the scholarship our faculty, staff, and administrators are producing.

Tell our readers something interesting/exciting/unusual about you…

First, I’m Canadian, so that’s unusual (for here, at least).

Second, I’ve permanently resided in four different countries during my lifetime, so that’s interesting (I think).

Third, I was once chased by a rutting moose along the banks of the Bow River (in Banff, Alberta) under a full moon! I escaped this raging sex monster by fleeing into a tightly clustered grove of fir trees, which the moose was reluctant to enter because his massive horns wouldn’t let him navigate between the trees. Does that qualify as exciting?

Yes, Luke, we think it does.


Library Interview: Liz Papp

We have one last introduction to make for the year as part of our library interview series. Joining us as part of the Public History Graduate Intern program with the Khalaf Al Habtoor Archives and the Findley Congressional Office Museum, we are glad to welcome Liz Papp to campus! Her time with us is made possible through a grant with the Davee Foundation. She will be on campus through December.

Papp2017Who are you, what is your title, and how do I get in contact with you?

My name is Elizabeth Papp (call me Liz!), and I’m the Fall 2017 Public History Graduate Intern for the Khalaf Al Habtoor Archives. You can reach me at elizabeth.papp@ic.edu, or visit the Archives on the bottom level of Schewe Library.

How long have you been at IC, and what led you here?

My first day at IC was August 21. I came here to finish fulfilling an internship requirement for my Master’s degree in Historical Administration from Eastern Illinois University. Before coming to IC, I interned at the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site in Collinsville, IL, and I have worked at various historic sites throughout Illinois.

What do you do at Schewe?

I work in the Khalaf Al Habtoor Archives (and occasionally the Paul Findley Congressional Office Museum in Whipple Hall). I do a little bit of everything; research, writing, caring for archival collections, and some special events and outreach. If you visit the Archives with a question or research request, there’s a good chance I’ll be the one to help you.

Any exciting initiatives you’ve got planned in the next little while?

In the words of our fearless Archivist and Curator Samantha Sauer, we’re still a baby archives. So a lot of my work will be with inventorying and rehousing collections, getting them in a better position for researchers to access. We’ve also just established regular reading room hours in the Archives (Tuesday and Thursday 2pm-4pm, Wednesday 3pm-5pm) and open hours for the Findley Museum (Monday 2pm-4pm), so be sure to stop by!

Tell our readers something interesting/exciting/unusual about you…

I have almost a decade of experience with public history, speak French, and once accidentally went to Canada.

Library Interview: Emma Norris

We not only have newly renovated library spaces this year, we also have new personnel joining us here at Schewe Library! As part of our library interview series, it is our great pleasure to introduce our new Access Services Manager, Emma Norris, who replaced Liz Potsch over the summer. We are glad she has joined the team!


Who are you, what is your title, and how do I get in contact with you?

Hello! My name is Emma Norris and I’m the Access Services Manager here at Schewe Library. I’m always happy to answer your questions – feel free to send me an email (emma.norris@ic.edu), call my office number (217-245-3264), or drop by the Circulation Desk (weekdays before 4:30pm).

How long have you been at IC, and what led you here?

I started at IC in July. I recently completed my master’s degree in Library and Information Science and I was drawn to the great work happening at Schewe. I’m very happy to be here 🙂

What do you do at Schewe?

Everything I do at Schewe supports access to library materials. My primary duties include overseeing the daily operations of the circulation desk, keeping patron accounts in good working order, maintaining the library stacks, collaborating with faculty on course reserves, and processing I-Share requests.  I also supervise our wonderful team of student workers.

Any exciting initiatives you’ve got planned in the next little while?

I’m currently aiming to make the Circulation Desk more welcoming & user-friendly. The cumbersome wooden dividers are gone and there’s dual monitors in their place. Getting assistance at the Circulation Desk will be easier than before and save everyone from unnecessary neck strain.

Tell our readers something interesting/exciting/unusual about you…

I have a pet duck named Ben Aflac. Sometimes he accompanies me on kayak rides around my family’s pond.

Library Renovations

Oh the times they are a-changing. And for the better! If you have already been to the library since the start of term, you have likely noticed just how much has changed. We basically tore up the main floor in the name of this radical newness. Then we put it back together in the name of this radical newness with comfortable reading spaces, a new tech-enabled group study room, more study seating, a new reference desk, and carpet (glorious carpet!), with a few other rearrangements besides.

The lower floor and archives also saw some changes, with better study seating on the lower floor, and some new classroom capabilities for the archives’ reading room (just in time for the new Public History class offered by the archives and history department).

The upper floor is still much the same as ever with our comfy couches, overflowing book stacks, and CAE/TRIO offices.

See the before:

It was chaos everywhere, with our circulation desk temporarily set up in the Pratt classroom with a hoard of chairs, and a refrigerator or two in the middle of our main computer lab. The old carpet came up, and the new carpet came down, and then things started to come together.

See the now:

As you can see, we’ve got some spiffy looking new spaces. The new tech-alcove (Schewe 211) is the big feature, with a 4k screen and software matching our DLC; it also makes for a good group study space with some sound privacy from the rest of our social main floor. Anyone can reserve the space using the system at the door. Our new and notable items have now moved to just behind the DLC, where we will also be featuring select faculty publications. Come check out the latest hot topics, and latest research from your professors. And if you have any questions, the reference desk is the place to ask! We’re no longer hidden behind awkward cubicle walls, but open and approachable for the asking. Our reference hours will be familiar, with one of our librarians at the desk from 8:30-5 M-F. Come ask us anything!

We also have a couple of new looks on the lower floor:

On the left we have new large and small tables so you can either spread out your research or cloister yourself for isolated work (there are also some couches tucked around the sides of the stacks if you need somewhere comfy and quiet). On the right we have the new archives reading room, with our new archives intern Liz Papp already hard at work!

Last but not least, we are also welcoming the IT department’s new Service Desk Express just around the corner from the entrance on the main floor (near the printing and copying station). We know how much tech is used in the library these days, and so now we have someone on-site to help with some of the more in-depth issues that might come up! This IT Service Desk Express will be staffed 10-12, 3-5 M-F and 6:30-8:30 M-Th.


There are a number of other small changes, like the DVDs moving (still on the main floor), the Civil War Collection now being located downstairs (near the archives), and some additional seating being available on the main floor, but you will have to come to see everything for yourself. If you have any questions about how to find something, feel free to ask. We’re here for you, and excited about the new academic year!

Library Interview: Erika Wade

Long overdue, we wanted to add an installment to our library interview series, this time featuring our new Digital Services Librarian, Erika Wade, who replaced Danielle Trierweiler earlier this academic year. We are glad to have her here!

http://www.warmowskiphoto.comWho are you, what is your title, and how do I get in contact with you?

My name is Erika Wade, and I am the Digital Services Librarian here at Schewe. You can contact me by email at erika.wade@mail.ic.edu, or feel free to stop by my office in Schewe 205 between 8:00 and 4:00 p.m. most days.

How long have you been at IC, and what led you here?

I have been at IC for just over six months, and I came here because I am excited about the work we are doing in the library to help students, faculty, and staff find information or resources for research, entertainment, or whatever else they may be working on.

What do you do at Schewe?

One of my primary jobs is to keep the library databases, link resolvers, and online subscriptions for journals and other resources updated, up, and running. I also work with marketing to update the library website and make it as useful as possible for our patrons. I also teach library sessions, answer questions at the reference desk, and help out with circulation and maintaining our physical materials when needed.

Any exciting initiatives you’ve got planned in the next little while?

I’m very excited about some new updates we are making to the library website using the LibGuides platform. Many of the changes won’t take place until summer, but you can already check out our updated database and streaming video guides.

I’m also excited to be working on institutional repository projects with several of the faculty here. The Shared Shelf link on the library’s homepage leads to some of the great digitization and content creation work being done right here at IC!

Tell our readers something interesting/exciting/unusual about you…

Something a bit unusual about me is that right after college, I spent 27 months living and working in Indonesia as a Peace Corps Volunteer. It was an incredible experience, and I always enjoy talking about it if you are interested 🙂

Have You Read? … 1984

poster_1984_lrgWith the phrase “alternative facts” bouncing around in the media, George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984 has again been surging to the top of many best seller lists. With Oxford Dictionaries naming “post-truth” its 2016 international word of the year, 1984 appropriately depicts a post-truth society in which “doublethink” — unwavering loyalty to two contradictory ideas at the same time — is mandated by the ruling party.

Today we encourage you to pick up a copy of 1984 and give it a read.

From the publisher:

Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell’s chilling prophecy about the future. And while 1984 has come and gone, Orwell’s narrative is timelier than ever. 1984 presents a startling and haunting vision of the world, so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the power of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of multiple generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions — a legacy that seems only to grow with the passage of time.

You can find a copy of 1984 in our catalog, along with other dystopian and anti-authoritarian novels like Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.

Have You Read? … The American Way of Poverty

american-way-of-povertyAs Illinois continues to face financial straits, you may find yourself searching for insight about the systemic issues that give rise to this kind of crisis. As the next installment of our “Have You Read?” series, we hope to highlight one of the resources to help you start a conversation about these issues if you aren’t having them already.

Today we encourage you to pick up Sasha Abramsky’s The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives, which was selected as A Notable Book of the Year in 2013 by The New York Times Book Review.

The publisher writes:

Fifty years after Michael Harrington published his groundbreaking book The Other America, in which he chronicled the lives of people excluded from the Age of Affluence, poverty in America is back with a vengeance. It is made up of both the long-term chronically poor and new working poor, the tens of millions of victims of a broken economy and an ever more dysfunctional political system. In many ways, for the majority of Americans, financial insecurity has become the new norm. This book shines a light on this travesty. The author brings the effects of economic inequality out of the shadows and, ultimately, suggests ways for moving toward a fairer and more equitable social contract. Exploring everything from housing policy to wage protections and affordable higher education, he lays out a panoramic blueprint for a reinvigorated political process that, in turn, will pave the way for a renewed War on Poverty. It is, Harrington believed, a moral outrage that in a country as wealthy as America, so many people could be so poor. Written in the way of the 2008 financial collapse, in an era of grotesque economic extremes, this book brings that same powerful indignation to the topic.

You can find a copy of the book here in our catalog.