Category Archives: Top Stories

Local history oral interviews to be digitized

Booth Library is happy to announce that it has been awarded a grant from the Illinois State Library to digitize oral interviews that are key to local history. More than 100 cassettes containing audio interviews have been stored in EIU’s University Archives and Special Collections (located in Booth Library) for many years. This grant funding will allow library staff members to transfer these interviews from cassette tapes to digital files, making them accessible to the general public.

Local historians will be excited by the results of this project. The oral interviews were recorded in the late 1970s through the mid-1990s and cover topics such as the Civilian Conservation Corps, Lincoln Log Cabin, Farming in Coles County in the 1920s, Girl Scouts of Coles County during World War II, Railroading in Coles County, the 1917 tornado and many, many more.

Campus topics include the Greenwood School, Coaches at EIU, Life at EIU as a Student (from various time periods), Eastern Illinois State Normal School, Past EIU Presidents, EIU Athletics, Unionization of EIU Faculty, and many other stories from former EIU students, faculty members and administrators.

University Archives and Special Collections staff members have done a great job at preserving these cassettes, but we all know that degradation will naturally occur over time. It is critical that these recordings be digitized for the purpose of accessibility as well as preservation. Bill Schultz, cataloging librarian and interim head of University Archives/Special Collections, will oversee this digitization process over the next year.

Once completed, the content created through this project will be accessible freely to all via the Illinois Digital Archives and the Digital Public Library of America.

Veterans exhibit visiting area libraries

“Designs of Duty,” an exhibit featuring East Central Illinois veterans and their service-related tattoos, is visiting libraries throughout the region through Dec. 3, 2018.

“Designs of Duty” was curated by staff members at Booth Library. It tells the stories of seven military veterans who served our country over a 45-year period throughout Asia and Europe. Veterans featured in the exhibit are Eric Hiltner and Wilson Reynolds of Charleston, Ken Fernandes of Newman, Random Clavin of Nokomis, Adam Griffy of Olney, Shane Wright of Shelbyville and Lyle Gordon of Towanda.

Tattoos are a common symbol among the military, and this exhibit aims to explore the inspiration and meanings behind them, as well as the stories of the veterans themselves. Pride, patriotism and honor are common themes in the artwork chosen by the veterans showcased in “Designs of Duty.”

The exhibit was on display at Booth Library from Jan. 22-May 11. Following is the traveling exhibit schedule:

May 14-June 4, 2018 – Nokomis Public Library

June 4-July 2, 2018 – Charleston Public Library

July 2-Aug. 6, 2018 – Mattoon Public Library

Aug. 6-31, 2018 – Newton Public Library

Aug. 31-Sept. 28, 2018 – Olney Public Library

Sept. 28-Oct. 31, 2018 – Effingham Public Library

Oct. 31-Dec. 3, 2018 – Lake Land College Library

“Designs of Duty” is free and open to the public. For more information click here.

Booth Library adds 1,434 items in April

During April, Booth Library acquired and cataloged 1,434 new items. The list can be viewed here. These acquisitions include donations to the library, re-cataloged library items, freely available government publications, and consortium-wide purchases.
The list is arranged by location: Ballenger Teachers Center, Books, Electronic Resources, Illinois and Federal Documents, Maps, Media, Reference Collection, Special Collections and University Archives. The titles are listed by call number within each location. Please contact Karen Whisler, head of Collection Development, at 581-7551 or klwhisler@eiu.edu if you have questions.

More than just books: Booth loans games, puppets, skeleton, guitar, more

Among the many unique items available for checkout are Bucky the Skeleton, electric guitar, puppets such as this monkey, teddy bear with a stint, Games and puzzles, leaf specimens, a double-helix DNA model, and a pound of fat.

As you know, Booth Library is your go-to spot for books, journal articles, DVDs, magazines, audiobooks and e-books. And you probably know that on rainy days, you can even check out an umbrella to keep yourself dry. But Booth is home to many other items that just might be what you need to wow your fellow students and teachers, or freak out your friends!

Ever wondered what a pound of fat looks like? How about a pound of muscle? We’ve got you covered!

Need a leaf or seed specimen for that science report?  We have them!

Need a prop for that anatomy speech? The Ballenger Teachers Center offers items such as a human skull; dissected human arm; models of the brain, torso, larynx and human heart; and a teddy bear with a hydrocephalus stint. These are all carefully watched over by Bucky the Skeleton, who is also available for checkout.

The BTC also offers fun games, posters, puzzles, curriculum kits and dozens of puppets ready for checkout!

Did you forget your tools for math class? We can provide calculators, rulers, protractors and more.

Booth’s Library Technology Services offers ethernet cables and a variety of other mac and pc computer connectors, SD card readers, headphones, flash drives, chargers, cassette recorders and more.

For the musicians, we offer a truly hands-on experience. Use one of our private music rooms on the fourth floor to practice on one of our pianos or guitars (or bring your own). Create your own sound with our amplifier emulator software and even record your rehearsal session! Modernize your music with our LP- and cassette-to-digital conversion stations.

If you prefer to practice at home, we have an electric guitar available for checkout, along with a headphone amplifier and tuner.

And , of course, Booth offers a wide variety of music on CD, streaming video, and DVDs of thousands of  movies, TV shows, and documentaries. All are available for free to those with a Panther ID!

Whatever you need, check with your Booth Library first — we just might have it!

‘A Question of History’ now on display

“A Question of History: Public History in Illinois” will be on display in the Marvin Foyer of Booth Library until July 31. The exhibit was created by EIU’s 2016-2017 Historical Administration class.

On Oct. 1, 2015, the Illinois State Museum closed its doors for nine months amidst a statewide budget crisis. This closure brought the topic of public history in Illinois to the forefront of a national conversation about the relevance of history.

Featuring items from institutions across the state, including the Illinois State Museum, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, and the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, this exhibit traces the role of public and historical institutions of Illinois to show how history was and continues to be vital to our cultural heritage and identity.

For more information on the exhibit and programs, click here.

The opening reception was held March 30 and included a keynote address by Dr. Samuel Wheeler, Illinois state historian. Several other program were held during April in conjunction with the exhibit.

Learn about your library; take a tour!

Eastern students, faculty and staff members are encouraged to take a tour of Booth Library and find out what the library has to offer.

Twenty-minute tours will be offered regularly during the first four weeks of the semester. There’s no need to sign up; just come to the north lobby of the library to join in any of the tours Monday through Thursday. Tours will be offered at 10 a.m., 1 and 4 p.m. Jan. 9-Feb. 2.

Tours are also offered by appointment. Contact a reference librarian at 581-6072 to schedule a tour.

During the fall semester, Booth Library’s regular hours will be from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 1 a.m. Sunday. For more information on the library, call 581-6072 or find the library on Facebook or Twitter.

‘For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights’

Aunt Jemima and Uncle Mose Salt and Pepper Shakers, c. 1950s. Plastic, F & F Mold and Die Works, Dayton, Ohio. 2011. (Photo: E.G. Shempf)

Aunt Jemima and Uncle Mose Salt and Pepper Shakers, c. 1950s. Plastic, F & F Mold and Die Works, Dayton, Ohio. 2011. (Photo: E.G. Shempf)

“United We Shall Overcome” bumper sticker, c. 1960s. 2011. (Photo: E.G. Shempf)

“United We Shall Overcome” bumper sticker, c. 1960s. 2011. (Photo: E.G. Shempf)

Medgar Evers Funeral, Life Magazine, June 28, 1963. 2011. (Photo: E.G. Shempf)

Medgar Evers Funeral, Life Magazine, June 28, 1963. 2011. (Photo: E.G. Shempf)

“For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights,” a national traveling exhibition, will be on display at Booth Library, Eastern Illinois University, from Sept. 1-Oct. 20. A full schedule of related programming is also planned. More information is available here.

Through a compelling assortment of photographs, television clips, art posters, and historic artifacts, the exhibition traces how images and media disseminated to the American public transformed the modern civil rights movement and jolted Americans, both black and white, out of a state of denial or complacency.

Visitors to the immersive display will explore dozens of compelling and persuasive visual images, including photographs from influential magazines such as LIFE, JET, and EBONY; CBS news footage; and TV clips from “The Ed Sullivan Show.” Also included are civil rights-era objects that exemplify the range of negative and positive imagery — from Aunt Jemima syrup dispensers and 1930s produce advertisements to Jackie Robinson baseball ephemera and 1960s children’s toys with African-American portraiture.

“For All the World to See” is not a history of the civil rights movement, but rather an exploration of the vast number of potent images that influenced how Americans perceived race and the struggle for equality.

“This exhibit offers an opportunity for all of us to reflect on the past history of civil rights in our nation while pondering today’s issues,” said Allen Lanham, dean of library services. “I look forward to hearing from our campus and the greater community as we explore this important topic together.”

“For All the World to See” will be accompanied by a series of programs, including lectures, book discussions and a musical performance. The series will kick off at 7 p.m. Sept. 8 with an opening program and reception in the West Reading Room at Booth Library. Keynote speaker Janice Collins, assistant professor in the Journalism Department at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, will give the keynote address, “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Race, Relations and Reflection.”

The exhibit and all programs are free and open to the public. More details are available here.

This exhibit at Booth Library is held in conjunction with “A Dark Matter …,” a visual conversation about violence, economics and power featuring contemporary artists, which will be on display from Aug. 13 through Oct. 30 at the Tarble Arts Center on the EIU campus.

“For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights” was curated by Dr. Maurice Berger, research professor, The Center for Art, Design, and Visual Culture, University of Maryland, Baltimore. It was co-organized by the National Museum of African-American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution, and The Center for Art, Design, and Visual Culture. For All the World to See has been made possible through NEH on the Road, a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). It has been adapted and is being toured by Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA).

Local sponsors of the series are the Tarble Arts Center, Academy of Lifelong Learning and Illinois Humanities.

During the spring semester, Booth Library’s regular hours will be from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 1 a.m. Sunday. For more information on the library, call 217-581-6072, or find the library on Facebook or Twitter.

Entries accepted for student research awards

Eastern Illinois University students who have used Booth Library and archival resources to enhance their research are encouraged to enter the library’s “Awards for Excellence in Student Research and Creativity” program.

The program is open to all Eastern Illinois University students. The student entry may be a written work, art piece, exhibit, musical work, documentary, performance or another format. If campus finances allow, cash prizes of up to $300 will be awarded, in addition to certificates of recognition.

The 2016 guidelines, application and form can be found here. For more information, call 581-6061.

Entries should be delivered to the Administration Office, Room 4700, Booth Library, no later than March 25. Recipients will be selected by April 8, and the winners will be announced during National Library Week, April 11-15. Works submitted for competition must have been completed within the last 12 months.

These awards are not intended to duplicate or replace any other standing campus awards. Selected entries will become a part of Booth Library’s Student Research and Creativity Collection.

Dust Bowl exhibit and program series

Farmer and sons walking in the face of a dust storm, Cimarroon County, OK, 1936. Courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Farmer and sons walking in the face of a dust storm, Cimarroon County, OK, 1936. Courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

“Dust, Drought, and Dreams Gone Dry,” a national traveling exhibition about the causes and aftermath of the historic Dust Bowl period, will be on display at Booth Library from Jan. 11-Feb. 26.

The exhibition recalls a tragic period in our history — the drought and dust storms that wreaked havoc on the Great Plains in the 1930s — and explores its environmental and cultural consequences. It raises several thought-provoking questions: What caused fertile farms to turn to dust? How did people survive? What lessons can we learn?

“The Dust Bowl was one of the worst man-made ecological disasters in American history. We are proud that Booth Library was selected to help make the public more aware of this important era,” said Allen Lanham, dean of library services. “This exhibition delves into the history and geography behind the Dust Bowl, but also provides a human element; through the words of the survivors themselves, we learn what it was like to live through such a difficult time.”

“Dust, Drought, and Dreams Gone Dry” will be accompanied by a series of free library programs, including lectures and film screenings. The exhibition and programs feature several overlapping humanities themes: the nature of the connection between humans and nature; the many ways human beings respond to adversity; and how people came to understand and to describe their experiences living through the Dust Bowl.

Lanham invites community members and groups to view the exhibit any time the library is open. More details are available here.

Following is the schedule of upcoming events. The exhibit and all programs are free and open to the public.

  • Jan. 25 and Jan. 26, 7 p.m., Doudna Fine Arts Center Recital Hall; two-part film screening of “The Dust Bowl,” Ken Burns documentary, presented by Cameron Craig, professor laureate of geography;
  • Feb. 3, 4 p.m., Witters Conference Room 4440, Booth Library; “Illinois Plows and Breaking the Plains: Technology, Ecology and Agricultural Production during the 1930s,” by Deb Reid, professor of history;
  • Feb. 8, 4 p.m., Witters Conference Room 4440, Booth Library; “Dust Pneumonia Blues,” by Sheila Simons, professor of health studies;
  • Feb. 10, 4 p.m., Doudna Fine Arts Center Lecture Hall; “Dust Bowl Ballads: Woody Guthrie and the Politics of the Working Class,” by J.B. Faires, adjunct professor of music;
  • Feb. 16, 4:30 p.m., Witters Conference Room 4440, Booth Library; “Recapturing the Experiences of Women in the Dust Bowl: The Life and Writings of Caroline Henderson,” by Bonnie Laughlin-Schultz, assistant professor of history;
  • Feb. 17, 4 p.m., Witters Conference Room 4440, Booth Library; “The Politics of Drought in ‘The Grapes of Wrath,’” by Robin Murray, professor of English;
  • Feb. 18, 4 p.m., Tarble Arts Center Atrium; film screening of “Grapes of Wrath,” featuring the work of cinematographer Gregg Toland of Charleston, presented by Kit Morice, curator of education, Tarble Arts Center;
  • Feb. 22, 4:30 p.m., Witters Conference Room 4440, Booth Library; “Dust Bowl Lessons: Soil Conservation Then and Now,” by R.J. Alier, Coles County Soil and Water Conservation District.

For more information about “Dust, Drought, and Dreams Gone Dry,” including complete program and exhibit descriptions, visit the program web page here. More information also may be obtained by contacting project directors Janice Derr, jmderr@eiu.edu or 581-5090; Kirstin Duffin, kduffin@eiu.edu or 581-7550; or Pamela Ferrell, pferrell@eiu.edu or 581-7548.

“Dust, Drought and Dreams Gone Dry” was developed by the American Library Association Public Programs Office in collaboration with the libraries of Oklahoma State University and Mount Holyoke College. The exhibition and tour were made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Exploring the Human Endeavor.

Local sponsors of the series are the Tarble Arts Center, Academy of Lifelong Learning and WEIU-TV.

During the spring semester, Booth Library’s regular hours will be from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 1 a.m. Sunday. For more information on the library, visit the website, www.library.eiu.edu; call 217-581-6072; or find the library on Facebook or Twitter.