Go on a Blind Date with a Banned Book!

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Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association

Libraries nationwide are celebrating our freedom to read during this year’s Banned Books Week, September 24-30. The American Library Association explains Banned Books Week this way:

By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted with removal or restrictions in libraries and schools. While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community – librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types – in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

Helmke Library is celebrating Banned Books Week by offering IPFW community members a Blind Date with a Banned Book.  At a table inside the library’s first floor entrance, choose from a selection of books labeled not by title or author, but with the reason the book was challenged or banned. Check out the book to discover what inspired each attempt at censorship.

Mostly light reading fiction, these books are a great way to relax while at the same time affirming the exchange of ideas that make democracy and our society prosper.  Some examples of challenged books included in our Blind Date selections are Harry Potter, The Kite Runner, Brave New World, and James and the Giant Peach – and many others you will know and likely love.  Stop by the library and check one out!


Meet Beth Boatright

This is the third part in a series that will help you get to know your Helmke librarians. View previous posts in this series here. Do you have a question for us? Visit our Ask-A-Librarian page and be in touch!

Beth BoatrightWhich departments do you work with on campus?

I specialize in business research: Management, Marketing, Accounting, Finance, and Economics.

What are your other major duties?

I do behind-the-scenes work on library technology and marketing.

What parts of being a librarian do you enjoy the most?

I love working with our students and teaching classes! My favorite moments are when everything clicks and people’s lives are made better or easier because of the library.

What are some of your research interests?

I’m interested in how libraries and librarians can get better at what they do by leveraging principles from the business world like leadership, marketing, and behavioral economics.

What are some of your favorite books? Is there one you particularly recommend for students?

Right now I’m somewhat obsessed with both Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly and Walter Wangerin’s Ragman and Other Cries of Faith.

For students, I’d recommend diving into books that will help you understand different points of view. Ideally, you can apply other people’s wisdom to your own decision-making so you have fewer regrets later on. That could mean learning about a different culture or learning how to think about information and relationships.

Is there any resource that you particularly love? Why?

For business research, I adore Passport, which has tons of data about people, countries, and lifestyles all over the world. But a fun resource for anyone to play with is PolicyMap. PolicyMap is just a map of the US that can be populated with all kinds of demographic data. It draws on Census and other government and public data sources and can be used in all sorts of ways. You can figure out the best place for a new business, find out about crime rates or restaurant access in a city before you visit, or learn about your own neighborhood.

Do you have any hobbies?

I spend a lot of time working with a local organization that helps people struggling with addiction. I also love reading, trying out new technology, re-watching old episodes of The West Wing, and playing canasta with my family.

Bethnascar1Any fun travel stories you’d like to share?

I really like to travel! This year my big trip was an item from my husband’s bucket list – we went to see the Daytona 500 last February. I am more of a Jane Austen fan than a Dale Earnhardt Jr. fan, but I’ve learned all about racing and it’s starting to grow on me. Daytona was especially fun because I watched drivers race just inches apart at 200 mph, entirely dependent on their crew to tell them when and where there was room to move around on the track. As someone who tries to fact-check everything, that was an impressive display of trust. (And watching more than 100 cars crash during that weekend reminded me that double-checking even my most trusted sources might help me avoid wrecks!)

Learn more about Beth and her favorite resources on our Facebook  page this week!

Oxford English Dictionary

Last week we learned that the OED is a favorite resource of Helmke Librarian Ann Marshall. Here’s a little more about this fascinating resource!



Why use a dictionary when you can just ask Google, Siri, or Alexa to define something for you? Dictionaries can codify current language use or bring fun and enlightenment to current events (see Merriam-Webster’s Twitter feed). The Oxford English Dictionary – the OED – goes even farther. Here are some reasons to check it out:

The OED includes definitions, etymology, and frequency statistics for each word, so you can trace the word’s use over time and geography.


For every definition, the OED includes excerpts from historical texts that used the word in question. This shows you the earliest known use of each word. The Professor and the Madman : a Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary recounts the amazing story of how the first edition was developed in the 1800s. (It was done by hand, via snail mail, and involved some colorful characters!)


3. Not only can you trace the history of a word over time, but the online OED includes interactive tools so you can create timelines, charts, and link to other words with similar meaning, etymology, or geographical use. Analyzing word usage over time is a newer way of analyzing historical texts, and it was one of the first types of analysis in the new research field called “digital humanities.”


Check out the Oxford English Dictonary at Helmke Library or online with your IPFW credentials!


Meet Ann Marshall

This is the second part in a series that will help you get to know your Helmke librarians. View previous posts in this series here. Do you have a question for us? Visit our Ask-A-Librarian page and be in touch!

annWhat departments do you work with on campus?

History, Political Science, Anthropology, and International Language and Culture Studies

What are your other major duties?

Coordinator of Government Documents

What parts of being a librarian do you enjoy the most?

My favorite part of my job is working with students — when a student has an “aha” moment or overcomes a roadblock (and we ALL encounter roadblocks when doing research!) and feels that, yes, I too can do this. I love seeing a student get very “into” whatever question it is that they are pursuing.

What are some of your research interests?

I’m currently working on a project which explores how today’s students experience the research process. I’m also interested in how we might make Helmke Library’s web presence more student-friendly, as well as possible research projects related to government documents.

What are some of your favorite books? Is there one you particularly recommend for students?

My personal favorite genre is memoir and I also have an interest in Eastern healing arts and practices. I’d recommend that students check out our book displays on the first floor and, as part of their college experience, to take the time to get lost in the Stacks — to, at least once (or a zillion times), browse the old fashioned way and see what they might (by accident!) discover.

Is there any resource that you particularly love? Why?

I think the OED (Oxford English Dictionary) is probably one of my top favorites — just take a random word and see how the OED has traced its meaning over decades and perhaps centuries. We live in a very dynamic and information-rich digital world and I’m discovering new resources all of the time. For example, check out Ad Access from Duke University Libraries or Oyez, jointly hosted by Cornell’s Legal Information Institute, Chicago-Kent College of Law and Justia.com.

ImageDo you have any hobbies?

I enjoy walking my dog Soji and still spend a lot of time these days working on all the projects that go along with being a home-owner. I enjoy time with friends, eating (of course!) and doing tai chi.

Any fun travel stories you’d like to share?

I’ve been to Europe twice, but feel I’ve barely touched the surface of all that there is to see internationally. I also really enjoy taking in U.S. destinations — one of the things I’m enjoying most about Fort Wayne is that there is soooooo much to explore within a 3 hour drive of IPFW.

Learn more about Ann and her favorite resources on our Facebook  page this week!


This week we learned that Compendex is a favorite resource of Helmke Librarian Sarah Wagner. We asked her to tell us more about it. Here’s what she had to say!


A glimpse of the search options in Compendex

I’m going to try not to get too nerdy in describing Compendex, which is basically a database which indexes science and engineering publications. It recently received a refresh of its interface, so it’s well-worth checking out even if you’ve used it before. Here are four reasons you might want to take a closer look at Compendex:

    1. IEEE & ACM Content: IEEE and ACM are two of the largest publishers in the engineering and technology fields. Compendex includes content from both, allowing you to do one search in Compendex, rather than going to each publisher’s individual platform.
    2. Citation Counts: Compendex integrates citation count data from Scopus, so you can view how many times an article has been cited, a feature not available in many other platforms. You can also link directly into Scopus to view more information about the citations.
    3. Searching Facets: Compendex provides several facets for refining a search, which can allow for very precise searches. For example, if you need journal articles on the topic of self-driving cars published in Czech since 1980, Compendex is the database for you.
    4. Alerts: If you go through the steps of creating an account in Compendex (you’ll want it linked to your ipfw.edu email address so it knows who you’re affiliated with), you can also set up email alerts. An alert allows you to do a search once, and then will notify you when new material related to that search is published. If you are working on a long-term project, this feature can save you a lot of time.


Meet Sarah Wagner

This is the first part in a new series that will help you get to know your Helmke librarians. Do you have a question for us? Visit our Ask-A-Librarian page and be in touch! 

Sarah Wagner is Helmke Library’s Engineering librarian.

What departments do you work with on campus?

Civil & Mechanical Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Computer, Electrical, & Information Technology, Manufacturing & Construction Engineering Technology, and Computer Science

What are your other major duties?

Scholarly Communications & Library Social Media Manager

What are your favorite things about Fort Wayne?

DeBrand’s Chocolates! And the River Greenway (to balance out the chocolates).

What do you love about being a librarian?

I love working one-on-one with students.  In my senior year of college, I realized I was having the most fun helping a friend who was struggling with a research project.  Over many late nights and lots of caffeinated beverages, I grew to love research and helping others better define and find what’s they’re looking for – which is one of many things a librarian does. It’s still my favorite part of my job!

What are some of your research interests?

I’m really interested in understanding how students do research for their assignments and how they experience using library resources such as databases and the website. I’m very interested in finding ways to make the library’s instruction program and resources better suited to student needs and more user friendly. I’m also fascinated by a number of scholarly communications issues, such as open access publishing and predatory journals.

What are some of your favorite books?

So many! Two of my all-time favorites are The Shadow of the Wind and The Night Circus. And, of course, Harry Potter.

Is there any resource that you particularly love? Why?

My all-time favorite database is definitely Opposing Viewpoints – I love how it highlights the different perspectives on controversial issues.  I wish I had had access to this database when I was in high school and college, it would have saved me a lot of time!  Any time a student comes to me and explains that they need sources arguing from different sides of an issue, this is my go-to database.  In addition, when I’m working with engineering and technology students, I like to use Compendex, which offers one of the broadest searches on science and engineering literature available.

Do you have any hobbies or fun travel stories you’d like to share?

In addition to reading too much, I enjoy cooking, drinking tea, and hiking.

Almost eight years ago now, I traveled with my family to Shanghai, China for my oldest brother’s wedding.  My brother and sister-in-law had a traditional Chinese wedding, which included my brother riding a pony!  (I’ve got pictures to prove this!)  Overall, the trip was really fascinating on many levels and I’d love to go back.

Learn more about Sarah and her favorite resources on our Facebook  page this week!

Staff News

It’s been a busy summer so far at Helmke Library! Here are a few items we’d like to share about our outstanding faculty and staff:

Deb Haley Reaches 38 Years of Service

Deb Haley, Service Desk Assistant Manager, celebrated 38 years at Helmke Library this June. Thousands of IPFW students, faculty members, and staff have benefited from her capable, knowledgeable assistance. Congratulations, Deb!

Helmke Library Welcomes Nathan Rupp

Nathan Rupp is the new Director of Technical Services and Information Technology at Helmke Library. Most recently the Head of Collection Development and Management at Yale’s Cushing/Whitney Medical Library, Nathan brings more than twenty years of technical services experience to this position. In addition to providing administrative leadership to our technical services and IT staff, Nathan will also play a significant role in managing the transition of Helmke Library’s databases from IU to Purdue. Nathan began his appointment on July 17.

Head of Public Services to Retire

Susan Anderson, Helmke Library’s Head of Public Services, will retire from IPFW on August 4th. In her leadership of Helmke’s Information Services and Instruction team, Susan has overseen significant expansion of open access, outreach, web services, and curriculum development efforts. She has been a tireless champion of the library’s role in fostering student success, and a driving force behind the growth of IPFW’s annual Student Research and Creative Endeavor Poster Symposium. We appreciate Susan’s excellent service to the IPFW community, and we wish her all the best.

Librarians Present at LOEX

Librarians Sarah Wagner and Ann Marshall collaborated with IPFW Writing Center coordinator Kristine Frye to present at the 45th Annual LOEX (Library Orientation Exchange) 2017 National Conference in Lexington Kentucky in May. Their interactive session was called “Listening and Learning from Students: Interviewing Students about the Intersections of Research, Writing and Technology.” Congratulations!

Sarah Wagner Presents at ASEE Annual Conference

The 2017 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference featured Sarah Wagner as a Lightning Round speaker on June 26. Sarah shared recommendations and lessons learned based on her work with undergraduate engineering students. Congratulations!

Purdue Transition Information

As many of you are already aware, due to the pending realignment, the Helmke Library will be transitioning from the Indiana University library system to the Purdue University library system. I wanted to take this time to share updated information and assure you that we are making every effort to maintain access to both Purdue and Indiana library resources.

At some point in the near future, our borrowed materials from Indiana University will move from intercampus to interlibrary loans as we will no longer be on the IUCAT system; however, we will still have access to IU resources, as they will have access to ours, via Interlibrary Loans.

The new online catalog will be ready to go by late spring 2018. We strongly encourage faculty to start familiarizing themselves with Purdue’s library catalog and also suggest faculty learn to use WorldCat as a comprehensive catalog. There are titles that Purdue West Lafayette won’t have that we will need to purchase and WorldCat can help us find those titles. We will host tutorials and workshops during the coming fall semester to assist in educating people on both the new catalog system and WorldCat.

For the future, e-resources – including journal databases – are currently being negotiated. We are working to ensure there is very little, if any, disruption to access and at the conclusion of these negotiations, we will have the same access as the main campus in West Lafayette. When the catalog goes live in January 2018, our faculty will be able to borrow any Purdue University book with the same rights and privileges as the faculty members on the main campus, allowing you to order directly and have the materials shipped to our campus library.

Key points to remember during the transition:

  • There will be no loss of access to resources.  Both Purdue and Indiana have been working with our campus to help find the best ways to accommodate our needs.
  • We are pro-actively buying books and ordering the titles our faculty currently have on loan from Indiana University for the Purdue Fort Wayne library. When they arrive, our faculty will be notified and we can exchange the Indiana University books for the Purdue Fort Wayne books.
  • Books that are being requested via interlibrary loan will be considered a high priority for purchase.

I thank you all for your patience during this time and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or any member of the library staff. We are here to serve as a resource to you and are more than willing to answer any questions you may have.

Alexis Macklin
Dean, Ph.D., Helmke Library

Heard on Campus!

Helmke Library’s Digital Initiatives Team is proud to announce our newest mDon collection: Heard on Campus.

Heard on Campus features newsletters and publications from Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne departments and programs over the years, including the very early days of IPFW.

As we look ahead to our 2017 Commencement ceremony, enjoy these Heard on Campus documents that celebrate IPFW graduates from years past!

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Browse the collection to view all of the historical titles available in this collection. Each digitized item is from the IPFW University Archives, but the collection may not contain every issue of each publication.

Many thanks to Jill Dunkel and everyone on our Digital Initiatives team for making this physical collection a digital reality!

Additional content may be added to Heard on Campus in the future. What documents would you like to see?

Highlighting Research and Creativity at IPFW: 2016 Opus Report


Opus, IPFW’s institutional repository, provides students and scholars to share their work with the world in an open access environment. In 2016, Opus continued to grow in both content and global reach. Here are a few highlights from our 2016 Statistical Report:

Opus can also help faculty track the impact of their scholarly and creative work – please contact Scholarly Communications at the IPFW Helmke Library (opus@ipfw.edu) for more details.