Library, Information, and Technology Services

A Day in the Life of Archives & Special Collections:What's in the Mail Today?

Jun 19, 2012 by Leslie Fields

You never know what the day's mail delivery will bring to Archives & Special Collections... 



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Book Review: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Feb 25, 2010 by Sarah Oelker

The review in The New York Times predicted I would not be able to put this book down.  The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
(MH Stacks RC265.6.L24 S55 2009), is about a woman named Henrietta
Lacks, who grew up poor and black in rural Virginia, moved to the
Baltimore area, and died of an aggressive and painful cervical cancer
in 1951.  She left 5 children behind, one of them only a year old. 
Cells taken from Henrietta's cancer, however, have become a widely used
cell culture, and there are now many more of Henrietta's cells around
the world, albeit the cancerous ones, than there ever were in her

I certainly read the second half of the book in one sitting; it was difficult to put down. 

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Materials Moves in LITS for Summer 2009

Sep 01, 2009 by Sarah Oelker

As the beginning of the chain reaction which will bring about the
transformation of Dwight Hall into a Center for Centers, LITS staff spent much
of the summer reorganizing spaces. Some of our library materials were affected.
Here’s what’s new:

Previously, science, psychology and education
periodicals were housed on levels 2 and 3 of the Miles-Smith wing of the library.
To make way for rearrangements of LITS space, the education and psychology
periodicals now live on level 2 1/2 of the Williston part of the library to
join the humanities and social science periodicals.  Materials on microfilm have also been moved to level 2

All Science periodicals are now located on Level 2 of the Miles-Smith wing.  In addition, volumes of science periodicals older than 1980 have, in most cases, been sent to the Five College Depository facility in South Amherst. The Depository provides additional space that allows us to keep older journals in the Five Colleges, and is a location which ensures secure, climate-controlled preservation of materials as well as use by people across the Five Colleges. Individual
articles can be requested from the Five College Depository. Complete instructions can be found on
the Five College Library Depository Request Forms page.  If you need access to larger runs of older journals, or you have other needs not covered by the request forms, please contact your LITS liaison to discuss ways in which we can meet your needs. 

If you need assistance using any of our resources, please contact the Research
and Instructional Support Team

Please see our Getting
Around in LITS
page for further building directory information, plus
maps and navigation videos.

Sara C.'s Reading Recommends

Jul 08, 2009 by Sara Colglazier

In the last months I have started reading more and more short fiction; something I previously did very little of—unless it was assigned reading back at University. Now I find the form suits my needs and desire for reading. That is, of late I just do not have as much time to read; yet I continue to have the strong need and desire to read (and for a pile of books to be taking over my nightstand). Voilà short fiction to the rescue! For there is a certain sense of satisfaction, I am finding, to be gotten from fiction that can be read in one sitting (think Poe's "Philosophy of Composition").

Also I have found that I prefer either to read collections of stories in which the stories connect to create a greater whole (see below) or to read collections of non-connecting stories by various authors at the same time. The latter takes care of the problem I sometimes have with stories of a given collection all beginning to sound or seem alike. By reading across collections each author's voice and themes seem different and fresh again with each new story.

So below a few recommends that are either currently on my nightstand or that I have already read and find recommendable:

Recent releases:

Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned by Wells Tower (On my nightstand: just started)

The New Valley: Novellas by Josh Weil (On my nightstand: not yet started. These novellas supposedly are connected, so I plan to read them as a unit.)

 Tunneling to the Center of the Earth: Stories by Kevin Wilson (These I actually read back to back without reading other authors' stories in between. No fear of Wilson's stories all seeming or sounding alike. Wow, I sure hope he writes more.)

Other, older examples of story collections, in which the stories connect, overlap, and intersect, creating a sort of kaleidoscopic, novelistic whole:

 Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout (Not for anyone already down in the dumps. I cried a lot! Although I am a weepy one.)

 Men Giving Money, Women Yelling : Intersecting Stories by Alice Mattison (Hands down this must be my favorite book title!)

BTW: I'd also recommend the two above titles for book groups.

Check out them books!

And wishing you Good Reads, Sara



Sara C.'s Reading Recommends

Jun 24, 2009 by Sara Colglazier

We may no longer have a separate, official Leisure Books section (and some may even say selection) BUT we still have plenty of Good Reads. Where you ask? Well, recent arrivals are displayed and shelved in the New Book area off the Reading Room (check out the newly re-upholstered, comfy furniture).

What you ask? Well, we have picture books, fiction for tweens and teens, graphic novels, and a wide assortment of fiction and literature (primarily in English, but also in other languages). Let me give you some examples:

A Book by Mordicai Gerstein--A fabulous picture book I had to read to my niece a number of times: Again! Again!, she would demand.

The Black Book of Colors by Menena Cottin and Rosana Faría, trans. by Elisa Amado--A truly different type of picture book. A real experience.

Masterpiece by Elise Broach, illustrated by Kelly Murphy--I think this would be a great read-aloud book for a 8-10 year old. Fun for both parent and child. I know it is one I want to read. (Anyone want to lend me an age-appropriate child?)

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson--A 2008 National Book Award Finalist and winner of the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction (2009)

Tourist by Olen Steinhauer--I am hoping to read this while on vacation (very soon!), unless someone checks it out before I do.

The Best American Comics, editors Jessica Abel, Lynda Barry, Matt Madden--Speaks for itself, I think.

Black Jack by Osamu Tezuka--An adult Manga series from Japan, chronicling "the travails of an enigmatic surgeon-for-hire who is more good than he pretends to be" (from cover). Have you been meaning to see what Mangas are all about: here's your chance.

Turning Japanese by Cathy Yardley--Described by the publisher as The Devil Wears Prada meets Lost in Translation. Sounds like a fun read to me.

Life without Summer by Lynne Griffin--Ok, maybe not a fun read. (I may need a box of tissues for this one). But a not-fun read can still be a good read.

The Glister by John Burnside--Horror anyone? Not generally my thing (nightmares) but cold shivers on a hot summer day (or night) may just be the thing (if it ever gets hot and stops raining!).

Wonderful World by Javier Calvo, trans. from the Spanish by Mara Faye Lethem--Wonder what my father would think if I tried to make him proud by becoming an international criminal? Calvo's first book to be translated into English sounds whackily fun.

La fascinación de la víctima by Ana Teresa Torres--Wish I could read Spanish.

Finally I would like to mention a non-fiction book:

The Photographer: Into War-Torn Afghanistan with Doctors Without Borders by Emmanuel Guibert, et al--An intriguing mixture of narrative, photographic, and graphic story-telling on a topic that could not be more current.

Check out them books!

Wishing you Good Reads, Sara

Note: Books displayed in the New Book section can only be checked out for 4 weeks. After a few months their New Book status is removed, and they are then shelved in the Stacks by call number. Remember you can always check on a book's location and availability via our online catalog--and if our copy is out, request it from one of the other 5 College Libraries that may have it.