New Stuff Tuesday – July 16, 2019

Joss Whedon's Big Damn Movie book cover

Joss Whedon’s Big Dam Movie
Essays on Serenity

edited by Frederick Blichert
PN1997.2.S465 J67 2018
New Arrivals Island, 2nd floor

You have to admit–if you’re me at least–that Firefly (2002) is the best television series that didn’t last a season. It may even be the best television series ever. If you are a fan of scifi, westerns, or Civil War stories and haven’t seen the series yet, I highly recommend it. Like Star Trek, the series has a space cowboy base upon which the story lines are built. Should you care to watch it, Firefly: The Complete Series is in our Browsing Collection, DVD Feature Film collection on the 2nd floor, under call number Fir. It can be checked out for 2 weeks.

Heroic efforts were made by the fans to continue the TV series, but that endeavor failed. However, it did spawn the movie Serenity and Serenity was good. It wrapped up some hanging story lines for fans, but also had broad appeal for those as yet uninitiated to the story and so could stand alone. The week it debuted in theaters it was number two on the charts. Should you care to watch it, Serenity is normally in our Browsing Collection, DVD Feature Film collection on the 2nd floor, under call number Ser. However, right now it is on Reserve, so you would want to borrow a copy from another UW System library using UW Request.

There has been some published Firefly/Serenity scholarship over the years, including the Winter 2008 issue (vol. 7, no. 1) of Slayage. What makes this book different is that Blichert has collected 15 essays related to some of the unique aspects of Serenity. These essays are not reruns of Firefly research. Chapter titles provide insight into the topics they cover. Some particularly interesting ones are “Death in the ‘Verse,” “The Miranda Job: Serenity as Crime Film,” and “Unspeakable Darkness: Truth, Power and the Taboo of Race.” If you are a browncoat you need to check this book out.

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Veteran’s Lounge Makeover

Want comfort and tranquility? The UW-Whitewater Andersen Library’s ‘Veterans’ Lounge’ is the ideal place for you! The lounge has undergone renovation the past few weeks and now offers a renewed space for students. Brand new carpet and furniture characterizes the lounge’s new energy, offering an even more comforting, modern look.

The Veteran’s Lounge was created back in fall of 2010. Since then, this place has been home for countless students—particularly, our veteran students. This area is available for reassurance, relaxation, comfort, and is a moderate room for anyone who served in the military or is currently serving in the military. The interactive space will continue forward with computer access and television for its users. The Andersen Library is currently open to students and the public throughout the summer, 7:30am-8pm Monday through Thursday, 7:30am-4:30pm on Friday, and 1-5pm on Sunday. Be sure to stop by and check it out!

Until then, seeing is believing…


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Enjoy guitar?

If you enjoy guitar, attend “Gladius: A Night of Spanish Guitar Music” on Wed., July 17, from 7-8pm at the Irvin L. Young Memorial Library (Whitewater’s public library at 431 W Center St, Whitewater). Space is limited, so plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before it starts!

If you’re a lover of guitar music but can’t make this event (or if you just want more), check out Andersen Library’s resources, including CDs like Concierto de Aranjuez (2nd/main floor Academic CDs, M1037.4.G8 R6 2004), Andrés Segovia: A centenary celebration (2nd/main floor Academic CDs, M125.S43 A5 1994), and In the Spanish style (2nd/main floor Academic CDs, M125.P37 I6 1986).

Also available are resources on learning to play the guitar, if you’re lookng for a summer project!

You can get a taste of the music via YouTube, e.g.,

Please ask a librarian (email, chat, phone 262.472.1032, or visit the Reference Desk) for assistance with finding additional materials.

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New Stuff Tuesday — July 2, 2019

Thomas Paine and the Dangerous Word book cover

Thomas Paine and the Dangerous Word
by Sarah Jane Marsh

New Arrivals Island, 320 Mar


As a longtime American history buff, I still am consistently dismayed by how little I know about many historical personages, and Thomas Paine ranked among them. This very well-documented and engagingly-written children’s book helped me to remedy that in a quick read. For example, I didn’t know that the Englishman arrived in America (deathly sick from typhus) only about six months before the battles of Lexington and Concord that started the Revolutionary War. He published the pamphlet anonymously at first, due to the inflammatory nature of the word “Independence” at a time when most of the public were still seeking reconciliation with Britain, and due to the controversy the first printing of 1000 copies sold out in just 11 days. As the author tells us in an afterward, Adams and other leaders at the time all credited Paine’s pen with enlivening peoples’ spirits to accept the revolution more than any other writer at the time; and Paine’s words have still been used by modern presidents and leaders such as Barack Obama and John Kerry.

I really appreciated how the (first-time!) author used so many of Thomas Paine’s own powerful words in both her text as well as some of the illustrator’s lively illustrations – the words seem to flow vibrantly off the page. It’s easy to see how his Common Sense pamphlet became, proportional to the population at the time, the most widely read best-seller in American history! (according to biographer Harvey Kaye)

If you’re curious, you can read the text of Common Sense online.

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Celebrate July 4! Library hours, local events

It’s almost July 4th! How will you celebrate? Andersen Library will close at 4:30pm on Wed., July 3rd, and the Library is closed on Thurs., July 4th. Then it’s back to normal summer session hours as of 7:30 a.m. on Fri., July 5th.

While the physical library is closed, online access to databases (including articles), the library holdings information listed in Books, media and more (UW Whitewater) (including access to ebooks) and Ask a Librarian online assistance via chat will be available.

Flag and fireworks imageNow, about celebrating…there are a lot of choices!

On Tuesday, July 2nd, enjoy the Whitewater City Market vendors on the University’s Wyman mall from 4-7 pm.

Whitewater’s 4th of July Festival runs Wed.-Sun., July 3-July 6. The schedule includes a “Not all superheroes wear capes”-themed parade at 10am on Thurs. the 4th (see parade program for entries), preceded by the 12th annual Whippet City Mile Run along the same route and starting at about 9:50am. Following the parade is a water ski show on Cravath Lake. The Festival also includes midway games, food, music, the 35th annual car show (on the 4th, 8am-2pm), fireworks (Thurs. & Sat., 10pm), and more.

Many nearby communities will be celebrating as well, e.g., Milton offers a carnival, parade (1pm on the 4th), music, fireworks, and more. The Hoard Historical Museum (401 Whitewater Ave, Fort Atkinson) will host its 41st annual ice cream social on the 4th from 1-3pm with music and patriotic readings. Events listings are available for Jefferson County communities or Walworth County communities by selecting a date or date range on their calendars. To find events in other communities, please search the Internet or ask a librarian (call 262.472.1032, come in, email or chat) for assistance.

Enjoy. Happy Fourth!

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New Stuff Tuesday – June 25, 2019

Creating Wicked Students book cover

Creating Wicked Students:
Designing Courses for a Complex World

by Paul Hanstedt
LB2395.35.H37 C74 2018
New Arrivals Island, 2nd floor

Geared toward an audience of post-secondary educators, Hanstedt offers a fresh lens through which to view and guide our course design. He credits Edmond Ko, an engineering instructor, with using wicked in the context of problems, solutions, and competencies. Since students are often faced with wicked problems, that is “situations where the parameters of the problem and the means available for solving them are changing constantly” (p. 3), they need wicked competencies in order to address them. Years ago, few would have imagined how quickly fake news might spread on social media platforms, legalization of gay marriage, or the Zika virus, for example. How can students learn the content and skills of a course, and enter the post-college world able to apply it, question it, and possibly propose solutions that may lead to reinventing it to address such issues?

Handstedt walks us through how we might rethink our purpose, set goals for our courses and restructure them. Chapters are designed to guide the instructor through assignment creation, creating authoritative exams, and day-to-day teaching methods. Finally, he provides examples of assignments which provide opportunities for assessing wickedness.

For an overview of wicked design and examples, view Handstedt’s presentation or listen to his Teaching in Higher Ed podcast episode.



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New Stuff Tuesday – June 18, 2019

It's All a Game book cover

It’s all a Game:
The History of Board Games from Monopoly to Settlers of Catan

by Tristan Donovan
GV1312 .D66 2017
New Arrivals Island, 2nd floor

Let’s play a game! Did you know Andersen Library has its own collection of board games? They’re part of the Curriculum Collection Teaching Tools where you can find classic board games including Monopoly, Battleship, Yahtzee, The Game of Life, Clue, and Scrabble — and newer ones like Apples to Apples and Exploding Kittens. These are mostly games you might find in a PreK-12 school — but we’re open to suggestions for your favorite games.

British journalist Tristan Donovan sketches out the history of the board game, from the earliest known game of senet in ancient Egypt to today’s Chess Plaza in Manhattan’s Washington Square Park. One early game came from the city of Ur (in modern day Iraq) and archaeologists call it the Royal Game of Ur because it was unearthed in a tomb in the city’s royal cemetery. Many similar boards were later found elsewhere in the Middle East. Just as with senet, it was anyone’s guess how to play the game until the rules to Ur were translated from an ancient Babylonian tablet in the British Museum. You can even find the Royal Game of Ur on Amazon (reproductions, of course). How cool is that?!

If you’d like to see the Royal Game of Ur in action, Irving Finkel, the British Museum’s cuneiform expert, will show you how it’s done.

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New Stuff Tuesday – June 11, 2019

They shall not grow old movie poster
They Shall Not Grow Old
D521 .T44 2018
New Arrivals Island, 2nd Floor

They Shall Not Grow Old is the result of years of restoration work led by Peter Jackson’s Wingnut Films. The work involved using digital restoration techniques to modernize 100 year old footage from the first world war. The project also colorized the footage by looking at countless examples of soldier’s uniforms, weapons, and the landscape. The final part was using lip readers and artillery audio to provide sound to footage that never had it originally.The focus of the film is on English forces in the western front, and while the film was never meant to be a comprehensive documentary of the Great War, the work done here allows World War I to be seen in a way it’s never even been imagined before.

Perhaps, the most spectacular work in this film was the work done in a scene featuring a general giving a speech to rally his troops before battle. In the making of feature, Jackson relates how the original speech was discovering after digging through archives in Great Britain. Using a voice actor, dialogue of the speech was added to the footage for the first time. The footage is of course a reminder of the all that is horrible when we go to war, but it is a good reminder that for many of us we had relatives from the 60 million people who fought in the war and the film makers encourage us to look into our own family histories to discover these relatives.

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Honoring the WWI Gold Star men

As the smoke cleared from the battlefields of World War I, the Whitewater Normal School came together to honor those who served and those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the cause.  May 30, 1919, was the first Memorial Day following the signing of the armistice that had ended the war the previous November.  Almost 50 students and faculty,  approximately 10 percent of the student body, returned to the school to resume their studies.  Missing from that number were seven students and alumni.

Honoring the fallen

Memorial exercises were held at the school assembly on Thursday, June 5, 1919, to honor Byron Beckett, Loren Borst, Lawrence Buckley, William Graham, Oscar Hamilton, Harold Hawes, and Ernest Magoon, all students or graduates from the Normal School and Commercial High School.

At the assembly, Chaplain Gustav Stearns from the 128th infantry gave a memorial address.  A member of the faculty spoke about each of the fallen soldiers, “giving a brief sketch of their lives and telling something of their service” (Whitewater Register, June, 12, 1919).

On June 8, 1920, a memorial to the Gold Star men was erected on the front lawn of the Normal school, flanking the entrance to Old Main along with a bust of President Salisbury. “It was a shaft of Montello granite on which is to be placed “Victory.” A bronze tablet on the face of the shaft has the names” of the soldiers (Whitewater Register, June 10, 1920).  The dedication ceremony included a speech by A.A. Upham and an address by Chaplain Stearns.  In 1923, a bust of President Abraham Lincoln was added to the top of the pedestal.  The memorial now stand near the southwest corner of Hyer hall.



Gold Star Men

Byron Beckett, 1918

Byron Beckett served as the Senior class president and graduated from the Principals’ Course in June 1918 before serving as a seaman second class in the Navy.

Loren Borst, 1917

Loren Borst, known as the “Big Mondovi Star,” helped lead the football team to the 1917 championship game.  He left to fight for “Uncle Sam” and died at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, in November 1918 from influenza and pneumonia.

Lawrence Buckley attended the Normal School in 1915 and went on to work for the North Western Railway. He joined the Navy in 1917 and was promoted to seaman second class during his year of service.  In March 1918, he was granted a ten day furlough and returned to Whitewater, where he died suddenly from diphtheria.

William “Billy” Graham was part of the Freshman class of 1909 at Whitewater Normal.  He joined Company K, 128th Infantry, and served for six years, rising to the rank of Corporal.  He died in action on August 2, 1918.

Oscar Hamilton, 1918

Oscar Hamilton, another Whitewater native, was an editor for the Royal Purple and the Minneiska before graduating from the High School Course at Whitewater Normal in 1918. He went on to serve with the U.S. Engineers in Washington, DC, where he contracted influenza and pneumonia, which claimed his life in October 1918.

Harold Hawes served as the Junior class president for the Commercial High School in 1917. He enlisted as a Private 1st Class in the 128th Infantry, Company K, on April 7, 1917, the day the United States declared war on Germany.  He died in France from wounds he received in battle.

Ernest Magoon joined the army as a private in the 38th Infantry, Company B.  He served in France and went missing during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.  In August 1921, as the U.S. government began sending soldier’s bodies home from Europe, Ernest and another soldier, Elmer Wright, returned to Whitewater.  The Normal School hosted a service to honor these soldiers.


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New Stuff Tuesday — May 21, 2019

World of Birds bookcover

World of Birds
by Robert Hunter
E Hun
New Arrivals Island, 2nd Floor

Blame it on tech-enabled everything these days, but it seems to me that picture books for the younger set are getting ever more techie and interactive. I’m not complaining, when it results in books like this lushly illustrated volume that plays (through the pressure sensors on the back page) the calls of 60 separate bird species! I do wish the calls were a little more clearly separated — currently all 8 or 10 or so birds from a given page will play in one 5- to 10-second recording, sometimes overlapping and it’s hard to tell what is what bird. But the result feels like you’re out in the jungle or the Australian outback, listening to a cacophony of birds all around you, so I can’t criticize too much.

I trust the bird calls must be highly accurate because they were created in collaboration with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. I also love the diversity of the creatures represented — all 7 continents, 10 different habitats, birds large and small, running, swimming, and flying.

Out of curiosity, I wondered if we had other sound-playing books by this publisher. It doesn’t look like any of the others play sounds, but the library has quite a collection of high-quality illustrated picture books from this publisher that are just begging to be used in your next social studies or science lesson plan!


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