Obituary Note: Brigit Pegeen Kelly

Brigit Pegeen Kelly, one of America’s most strikingly original contemporary poets, has died this month. Kelly’s books include To the Place of Trumpets (1987), selected by James Merrill for the Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize; Song (1995), winner of the Lamont Poetry Prize of the Academy of American Poets; and The Orchard (2004), a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award in Poetry, the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize. On a personal note, she was also a mentor and friend. Her reflective wisdom and passionate ability to support her students will be missed.

What better way to mark her passing than by celebrating her writing. Here is a poem of hers titled “The Leaving.”

My father said I could not do it,
but all night I picked the peaches.
The orchard was still, the canals ran steadily.
I was a girl then, my chest its own walled garden.
How many ladders to gather an orchard?
I had only one and a long patience with lit hands
and the looking of the stars which moved right through me
the way the water moved through the canals with a voice
that seemed to speak of this moonless gathering
and those who had gathered before me.
I put the peaches in the pond’s cold water,
all night up the ladder and down, all night my hands
twisting fruit as if I were entering a thousand doors,
all night my back a straight road to the sky.
And then out of its own goodness, out
of the far fields of the stars, the morning came,
and inside me was the stillness a bell possesses
just after it has been rung, before the metal
begins to long again for the clapper’s stroke.
The light came over the orchard.
The canals were silver and then were not.
and the pond was–I could see as I laid
the last peach in the water–full of fish and eyes.

Read more about Brigit Kelly at The Poetry Foundation. You can also check out some of her poetry in our library — we hold a copy of The Orchard. I can think of no better way to celebrate her life than by sharing her words.


Schewe Library: Now a PokéStop

On July 7th, Pokémon GO was released for iOS and Android devices. This GPS-driven augmented reality mobile game has been an instant hit, reaching an estimated 7.5 million downloads in the first week of its release. That means that more than 2% of the entire U.S. population has downloaded the game in a single week!

Players capture, battle, and train virtual Pokémon which appear based on the player’s real world location. Any real world location with historic or cultural significance can be a special feature in the game, such as a PokéStop, where players stock up on resources, or a Pokémon gym, where players’ Pokémon fight to control the gym for their team (Valor, Mystic, or Instinct).

We are excited to report that Schewe Library is a PokéStop and that local Pokémon are taking advantage of the library’s many resources. We spotted this Zubat browsing our art books:


And this afternoon a Pidgey made itself at home on the comfy couch on the main floor:


We’ve even seen an Eevee working on the Macs:


Come in and see what you can catch in Schewe!

Have You Read? … The New Jim Crow

Cover art from The New Jim Crow

In the wake of tragic shootings across the country (most recently Alton Sterling and Philando Castile), you may find yourself searching for answers as to why this kind of violence keeps happening. The library may not have all of the answers for such a complex tragedy, but we have some resources to help you start the conversations if you aren’t having them already. Which brings us to a first in what we hope will become a regular series: Have You Read? where we highlight books in our collection that can help you start the conversations that matter.

Today we encourage you to pick up the critically acclaimed work by Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.

From the author’s website about the book,

The New Jim Crow is a stunning account of the rebirth of a caste-like system in the United States, one that has resulted in millions of African Americans locked behind bars and then relegated to a permanent second-class status—denied the very rights supposedly won in the Civil Rights Movement. Since its publication in 2010, the book has appeared on the New York Times bestseller list for more than a year; been dubbed the “secular bible of a new social movement” by numerous commentators, including Cornel West; and has led to consciousness-raising efforts in universities, churches, community centers, re-entry centers, and prisons nationwide. The New Jim Crow tells a truth our nation has been reluctant to face.

The Schewe Library holds copies of both the 2010 and 2012 editions of the book, which can be found here for the 2010 and here for the 2012.

Archivist Interview: Samantha Sauer

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

Hi, I’m Samantha Sauer. I have a bit of a long title, so here it goes: I am the Illinois College Archivist and Curator of the Paul Findley Congressional Office Museum. I can be contacted by email ( or by phone (217.245.3595). You’ll likely find me either in the basement of Schewe Library in the Khalaf Al Habtoor Archives or in Whipple Hall at Congressional Office Museum.

Samantha Sauer - DSC_0005 (1)What do you do at The Khalaf al Habtoor Archives at Illinois College?

I get to do several different things at IC. As the archivist, my duties include organizing, processing, and managing archival materials. The Khalaf Al Habtoor Archives are located in the basement of Schewe Library, so I also collaborate with the library team. As the curator, I work with the Congressional Office Museum to interpret and manage its collection, with an overall goal of increased campus and community accessibility.

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

I just started at IC, and I was led here by the chance to to work with both an archive and a museum collection. I enjoy working with both people (museum public programs, classes, tours, outreach….) and “stuff” (collections, artifacts, documents….), so the range of this position was enticing. Additionally Illinois College has a beautiful new facility with the Khalaf Al Habtoor Archives, and many faculty, staff, and community members have worked a long time to have this space – so it’s a really exciting time to be here! I look forward to working with everyone.

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

Currently I’m getting my feet wet and exploring the archive and Congressional Office Museum. I’m discovering what we have and drafting some short- and long-term goals and projects. My ultimate goal is to make the archives and museum accessible and engaging sites of research and reflection for the IC students, staff, and faculty, as well as the Jacksonville community.

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

I’m not sure how exciting this is, but I grew up in a home that collected film posters, especially pieces from the 1930s and 1940s. As a result I likely watched more black and white films than color movies, which helped shape my interest in history, museums, material culture, and storytelling. Looking back, I definitely knew more about Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff than say Mario and, what was the other plumber’s name? Was there another? (See?)

Library Interview: Luke Beatty

Over the next few of weeks we’ll be presenting short interviews with Schewe personnel.  The fourth in our series chronicles the adventures of our Outreach Librarian, Luke Beatty.

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

I’m Luke Beatty, and I’m an Outreach Librarian / Assistant Professor at Illinois College. I can be contacted at, or by phone at (217) 245-3573. I’m located behind the Circulation Desk in Schewe Library.


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

I’ve been at Illinois College since April, 2014.  Prior to coming here, I’d been working as a librarian at a large university, and my contract came to an end.  Professionally, I thought it would be a good idea to try out a smaller institution, and I was also keen to live in America for awhile (I’m Canadian), so I ended up here.

In a more philosophical sense, I decided librarianship would be a good fit for me because it’s one of the few professions that does unambiguous good in the world (the other two such professions are firefighting and nursing, in my opinion).  Since I didn’t want to die in a blazing inferno and don’t care for needles, librarianship was a pretty easy choice 🙂

What do you do at Schewe?

I’m here to ensure that Schewe meets the needs of the college’s students, faculty, and staff.  On a practical level, this means I do a lot of library instruction, reference, faculty liaison, program evaluation, and collection development.  I’m also the point person for a lot of the non-standard/new technologies that Schewe supports (think: the stuff in the Digital Learning Center, the Geospatial Information Systems Lab, our HP Sprouts, etc.).  Suffice it to say, I’m kept busy!

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

Excitement is a relative thing in Schewe, but here are a few projects I’d like to take up in the near future…

  • Run a few workshops for students to learn Final Draft, which is a screenwriting software we have in our Digital Learning Center;
  • Conduct focus groups to get more detailed information on how we can improve the library;
  • Get a soda machine in Schewe’s front lobby. [In days of yore, Schewe had a soda machine in its front lobby, but, as the story goes, the then-President of IC felt that the machine’s neon glow was vulgarly intruding on his evening walks, and so he decreed that the machine be removed.]

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

I used to live in Banff, Alberta, and to get to work, I had to hike through a graveyard and up a mountain. When I walked back home (to my housing coop, on the outskirts of town), I often had to tiptoe around a series of moose harems for fear that the alpha males would mistake me for a rival and gore me! Those moose were impossibly dumb, but what they lacked in brains, they made up for in terrifying brute power!

Library Interview: Garrett Traylor

Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be presenting short interviews with Schewe personnel.  The third in our series is our new Cataloguing & Reference Librarian, Garrett Traylor.

garrett4x4Who are you, what is your title, and how do I get in contact with you?

Hello IC! My name is Garrett Traylor, and I am the new Cataloging & Reference Librarian here at Schewe Library! You can typically find me at the library’s reference desk in the mornings Monday-Friday from 9-12. In the afternoons I retreat to my cataloging desk in the back corner, surrounded by a moat of books! Of course, you can always get a hold of me by phone (217.245.3207) or e-mail ( and I will always be more than happy to answer your questions and help you to find the information you need.

What do you do at Schewe?

Well, I answer your questions and help you to find the information you need! Really! Students are my priority, whether I am at the reference desk helping you to find those five books & articles you need for your paper (and teaching you the skills to find ten books & articles for your next one), or organizing those materials in our collection so that they are available (and findable!) in the first place. We have over 150,000 books in our collection, and are always adding more. So basically I am the one adding hay to the hay stack and then turning around and trying to help you find that needle you need. But, if I’ve done everything right, that needle will be polished enough that it shines through and catches your eye. Not that needles should be caught in anyone’s eyes… don’t stick needles in your eyes. See? I’m giving helpful advice already and we haven’t even met yet.

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

As stated, I am new here on campus, having just started at the beginning of February. I was drawn to the focused experience of a smaller liberal arts college after my time at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library. No other library even came close to offering a position with the kind of variety that Schewe has with my appointment as both a cataloging and a reference librarian. I am thrilled to be here!

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

At the moment my main project is getting our new materials out into circulation for you to use! I have also been doing some things with spreadsheets that only a cataloging librarian or someone very into tabletop board games could get excited about (I am both of these kinds of people — double whammy there). Otherwise, there are a few ideas being brainstormed, but nothing I am prepared to talk about. Soon though, and we can talk… so you’ll just have to check in to the library!

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

I am a published poet and cinema critic — look me up in our discovery service! Don’t let “poetry” and “cinema” scare you off though, some of my favorite writing is found in cringe-worthy pun threads on web forums, and who doesn’t enjoy a good Marvel movie these days?

Library Interview: Danielle Trierweiler

Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be presenting short interviews with Schewe personnel.  The second in our series is our Digital Services Librarian, Danielle Trierweiler.

DanielleSelfie_02042016Who are you, what is your title, and how do I get in contact with you?

My name is Danielle Trierweiler and I am the Digital Services Librarian at IC’s Schewe Library.

My desk is located in the far back of library, behind the display case. I can be reached in-person during standard business hours (9-5 M-F), by phone (217) 291-1660, and, my favorite, by e-mail at

What do you do at Schewe?

I service things digital while I librarian:

“Things digital”: I administer the library’s digital resources including all fifty-something databases, e-journals, and our new Ebsco Discovery layer. I monitor electronic resource usage statistics, troubleshoot access problems, investigate digital tools and relevant initiatives (such as GIS and data management) and also oversee the library’s circulation software, Voyager.

“Librarian”: I am collaborating with faculty, students, and staff on a variety of special projects including grant work, state consortium participation, individual research consultations, teaching the EN 121 library sessions and single session support.

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

I have been at IC for just over a year now. I was led here by the opportunity to practice librarianship in a dynamic and community-based academic environment without having to sacrifice my geeky passions for books and technology. Coming from a liberal arts environment myself, (Kalamazoo College) I have a soft-spot for small Midwest campuses like IC’s.

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

I’m working with one of the library vendors, OCLC, to implement a shiny, new authentication service model! Exciting, I know. The hope is that not only will IC be able to seamlessly access digital library resources from anywhere, but going forward, hours upon hours of library personnel time (a precious commodity) will be freed up from this specialized maintenance to better serve IC.

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

I came from Seattle where there are two things sorely lacking that I am living up in Jacksonville: sunshine and fast food. 15+ years a Michigander, I do not understand life without fast food and blasting music out of my car on a sunny day. This is the responsibility (or lack thereof) of my ‘90s childhood and neither driving, nor Taco Bell, nor sunny days were characteristic of my Seattle experience.