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Penrose Library Blog

Library Display on Civil Rights and Social Justice

by Amy Blau  Jan 26 16
social justice-centerpieceIn the weeks between Martin Luther King, Jr., Day and Whitman’s Power and Privilege Symposium on February 18, 2016, Penrose Library is featuring a display of books and films from our collection that address the Civil Rights Movement and its legacy, and issues in and struggles for diversity, equality, and social justice. Our featured works are primarily (although not exclusively) nonfiction; all are available for check-out. We’re also featuring an electronic version of books in the display in the carousel below. Is there a book or film on these subjects that you would like to recommend for the display? We have a web form where you can tell us about it: author, title, a brief overview of its contents, and why you think it is important. Some of these recommendations may be shared in our display along with the work itself, with your permission. If the work you recommend isn’t already in our collection, we will see if we can acquire it. We hope that in exploring these works, you will find information and ideas that contribute to future discussions and actions. The books pictured below are part of the library display. Click on the circles or left-click and drag to see more images. When you click on a particular title, its record in Sherlock will tell you if it is checked out or not. To check out an available featured book, look for it in the display on the main floor next to the Circulation Desk.

Welcome back! Spring Semester 2016

by Amy Blau  Jan 15 16

nypl.digitalcollections.510d47db-5a32-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99.001.wPenrose Library staff would like to remind everyone about our hours going into the Spring 2016 semester.

Saturday and Sunday, January 16 and 17: The Library will be open from 9 am to 5 pm.

Monday, January 18: We will open at 9 am and close at 10 pm for Whitman community members (9 pm for other patrons).

Tuesday, January 19: We will open at 9 am and remain open 24 hours for Whitman community members until Spring Break.

Welcome back, students! We hope you had a restorative Winter Break and are looking forward to the beginning of the semester.

Image from The New York Public Library

Finals week message

by Amy Blau  Dec 11 15

Three out of five Whitties interviewed in this video prefer to study in Penrose Library. We’re always glad to see you here!

For finals week, we send all Whitman students our best wishes for health, as much sleep as possible, fortitude, and success in all of your final exams, papers, and projects.

ILL and Summit ordering at the end of the semester

by Amy Blau  Dec 2 15

As the end of the semester approaches, bringing due dates for papers and projects, Penrose Library staff want to help you find and access sources that you need for your research. Please be aware of some general policies and specific end-of-semester deadlines.

Books, DVDs, microfilm, and other tangible media (see below for articles)

Interlibrary loan (ILL) for print books and media materials can take a while, especially if items are coming from far away. The Access Services Department stopped requesting out-of-country loan items for students as of last week due to the time constraint for shipping. They will continue to request continental US loan items until December 7th. At that time they will only place requests for items within the Pacific Northwest/California and Montana. If you have any rush requests, please let Jen Pope know immediately.

For Summit items (print books and media materials), allow at least five business days for delivery, as usual. You may request Summit materials during finals week, but they are very unlikely to arrive before the end of the semester. Materials that arrive after the end of the semester will be held at the Circulation Desk for seven days; depending on when they are ordered, they may be sent back to their home institution before the beginning of the Spring semester.

Articles via ILL

Orders for articles via ILL are placed when the library is open, regardless of the time of year. Usually the turnaround time for an article via ILL is within 48 hours, although it can take longer, depending on the journal and the providing library. Once they have arrived, ILL articles remain available in your ILL account for 21 days. After that point, the articles are removed from your account and must be requested again, so it is a good idea to download your article as soon as you receive notification that it has arrived. Do be sure to leave yourself a cushion of a couple of days when requesting ILL articles!

Returning materials at the end of the semester

You can check on due dates for your Penrose, Summit, and ILL materials in your Sherlock account. Before you leave campus, please return items that are due while you will be away!


Image credit: Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division

Tips & Tricks: Citation Managers

by Amy Blau  Nov 17 15

Do you need help managing mountains of research sources and wrangling them into bibliographies? If so, or if you need help keeping track of your research, you should find yourself a citation manager. Luckily, Penrose has a few recommendations.


Don’t let citations weigh you down.

Zotero [pronounced zoh-TAIR-oh] is a free application that one Library 100 student described as “really cool” and “an amazing program.”  It allows you to save, organize, and manage citations to books, journal articles, websites and more. And furthermore, it allows you to generate formatted bibliographies in APA, MLA, Chicago, and many other citation styles. You can also sync your account to Zotero’s servers, allowing you to access your library from any computer. Zotero also has a group function that allows multiple people to contribute to a library, which is great for group projects.

If you’re in Division III, you might want to check out EndNote. Like Zotero, EndNote helps you collect, manage, and cite your research sources. There is a basic free version that functions in the cloud (and, specifically, within Web of Science), and a more extensive licensed version for a desktop. But Whitman has a site license for EndNote, so you may use the licensed version of EndNote while you are a student, faculty, or staff member — but you will need to remove EndNote or purchase your own copy when you leave Whitman.

Ready to get started? You can always get help by visiting or emailing a research librarian. Or explore these links on your own:

Download Zotero

Visit Penrose’s guide to Zotero

View Zotero video tutorials


You can download EndNote from Whitman’s WinApp server. See guidelines on the Penrose guide to EndNote.

Visit Penrose’s guide to EndNote

View EndNote video tutorials

Art @ Penrose: Bridging Buildings II

by Amy Blau  Nov 3 15

This is the first post in an occasional series on works of art on display in Penrose Library.

Research and post by Phil Stefani

Bridging Buildings II – Brian Paulsen – 1st floor on map case wall

The image, a plastic engraving from 1998, is emblematic of Paulsen’s black and white engraving works from the 1980s through 2000s, though he has also produced watercolors and colored illustrations at various points in his career. Bridging Buildings II features a cartoonish take on scenes of everyday life present in much of Paulsen’s work; the surreal juxtaposition between a television, chair, and tiled floor with the arc of tin men connecting the buildings suggests the modern influence of collage on the traditional form of engraving. This dark yet whimsical piece was gifted to Whitman College by former professor of art Keiko Hara. Hara worked as an art professor at Whitman for over thirty years and donated several prints to the library from the “Colorprint Collection: Spanning the States in ’98,” a nation-wide art show featuring printmaking works from an artist in each state.


The Learning Commons — Peer Tutoring at Penrose Library

by Amy Blau  Oct 20 15

penrose learning commonsTutors from the Center fOr Writing and Speaking (COWS), the Academic Resource Center (ARC), the Student Engagement Center (SEC), and Penrose Library are available Sunday through Wednesday from 8 to 10 pm in the Learning Commons area just past the Technology Help Desk on the main floor of Penrose Library.

To find out more about when tutoring is available for specific subjects, check the Learning Commons schedule in the Quick Check section on the Penrose Library homepage. Then bring your questions to the Library!


Tips & Tricks: Sherlock e-Shelf

by Amy Blau  Oct 14 15

You may already know that you can see what you have checked out from the Library and when it is due by clicking on the “My Account” link in the top right corner of the web page when you are signed in to Sherlock. You may not already know what the e-Shelf link between your name and “My Account” can do.

eshelf find
The e-Shelf in Sherlock allows you to save and organize records from Sherlock that are of interest to you. For example, if you are doing a search and see an interesting resource, but you don’t have time right then to check out or request the book, or download or request the article, you can save it to your e-Shelf by clicking on the star in the results list, so that it shows up as gold instead of as an empty outline.

eshelf books

When you are in the e-Shelf section of Sherlock, you can create folders (by different classes or different research projects, or whatever folder names you like) and then organize your saved item records in them.

eshelf newfolder01 eshelf newfolder02 eshelf newfolder1 eshelf newfolder


You can move items from the general basket into a new folder or from one folder to another using the copy and paste tools.

eshelf copy paste


You can add your own notes to a record by clicking on the chat balloon next to it.

eshelf note

You can print or email selected records, or send them to a citation management tool, by checking the box next to the record and then choosing the action you want to take from the menu above the records list. Printing, emailing, or exporting a set of records all at once (rather than one record at a time) can be convenient.

Because your e-Shelf is connected with your account, it will persist across sessions in Sherlock.

Seeing Stories @ Penrose Library

by Amy Blau  Oct 6 15

Comics. Cartoons. Manga. Bande dessinée. Graphic novels. Seeing Stories: Traversing the Graphic Narrative is a semester-long exploration of graphic narrative expression currently on display at the Sheehan Gallery. In conjunction with this exhibit, Penrose Library is providing opportunities for further investigation of these literary art forms.

Our Seeing Stories @ Penrose Library display includes a cross-section of our entire catalog of graphic novels and comics, with a specific focus on works by those authors and artists being showcased in the Sheehan Gallery exhibit. As an academic library, we choose works such as comics and graphic novels for our collection on the basis of how they support specific courses and the curriculum as a whole, as well as their popularity, award-winning status, and scholarly relevance. Our collection of over a hundred graphic novels and comics includes popular fiction in the superhero tradition, such as Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye, narratives of personal experience like Joe Sacco’s Palestine or Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, and works from a variety of linguistic and artistic traditions.

Circulation Supervisor Ellen Brigham, who selected books for the library display, also included a few of her personal favorites. Ellen started reading comics and graphic novels in middle school. She says, “To me, comics represent the ability for an art form to transcend genre. While many comics are still often relegated to the ghettos of genre fiction or children’s literature in the eyes of the mainstream, the truth is that as long as a person has an appreciation for the marriage of prose and art, they will be able to find something they love in this vast collection.”

Of the graphic novels in Penrose Library, Ellen would recommend Takako Shimura’s Wandering Son. The moving story of a young trans girl and trans boy, Wandering Son follows these two characters through their lives as they navigate both the social maze of growing up, and the specific issues encountered by young trans people in Japan.

We invite you to continue reading/seeing graphic materials held in the Library’s collections. Items on the display are available for check-out and new materials are added each week. Look for the Seeing Stories @ Penrose Library poster!


Contributors: Amy Blau, Ellen Brigham, Dalia Corkrum

Banned Books Week September 27 to October 3

by Amy Blau  Sep 25 15

The Catcher in the Rye . . . The Bluest Eye . . . Harry Potter . . .

What’s your favorite book? If it appears on this list, someone has tried to ban it.

Begun in 1982, Banned Books Week brings together communities of book lovers — librarians, authors and journalists, teachers, booksellers, publishers, and readers of all kinds — to raise awareness of the threat to free expression posed by censorship.

Every year there are hundreds of attempts to remove books from school and public libraries. The challenging and banning of books because they are deemed controversial or potentially offensive runs counter to the free exchange of ideas in a diverse society and to rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.

Find a list of the most-challenged books and more information at the American Library Association website, and celebrate the freedom to read all books, including those that have been challenged or banned. Samples of challenged books, selected from the Penrose Library collections, are on display for the next two weeks.

ALA banned books weekArtwork courtesy of the American Library Association.