Current Events

Happy Birthday, Jane!


Today is Jane Austen's 236th birthday! In celebration of this day, I want to share with you some new Jane Austen titles that have been added to our collection (which include some nice new annotated editions):

Why Jane Austen? by Rachel M. Brownstein. King Library (2nd floor) | PR4037 .B76 2011

The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen edited by Edward Copeland and Juliet McMaster. King Library (2nd floor) | PR4036 .C3 2011

Jane Austen: Two Centuries of Criticism by Laurence W. Mazzeno. King Library (2nd floor) | PR4037 .M34 2011

Constancy & The Ethics of Jane Austen's Mansfield Park by Joyce Kerr Tarpley. King Library (2nd floor) | PR4034.M33 T37 2010

Emma: An Authoritative Text, Contexts, Criticism edited by George Justice. King Library (2nd floor) | PR4034 .E5 2012

Persuasion: An Annotated Edition edited by Robert Morrison. King Library (2nd floor) | PR4037 .M34 2011

It's been an interesting year for speculations and new findings about Jane Austen. Here are a couple of recent articles. Read for yourself and decide what you think of some of these findings:

Remains of Jane Austen's Steventon home unearthed

Jane Austen biographer discovers 'lost portrait'

Jane Austen 'died from arsenic poisoning'

Manuscripts Suggest Jane Austen Had A Great Editor (this one came out at the end of 2010, but people were still e-mailing it to me in 2011!)

Campus Safety and Security Data

I was fortunate to be invited as a guest speaker for several sections of IMS (Interactive Media Studies) 201 this semester. My presentation "How to Find, Use and Evaluation Numeric Data" introduced information in numeric format such as censuses and survey data to students.

An idea came to me when I was preparing for the presentation this year - There is a growing interest in the IT industry about data visualization and there are lot of free web-based application such as Google Chart Tools, Google Maps and Sourcemap [link] that can be used to present numeric data in a more informative way. Therefore I decided to come up with an in-class exercise that invites the students to explore both the world of numeric information and ways to present it. The topic I decided to use for this exercise was "Campus Safety in Public Universities in Ohio." I felt that was a topic that relates to student life and they can use the information they find both in and outside of the classroom. The students searched and compiled crime statistics from public universities in Ohio and present the findings on the map below. Each red dot represent an university and users can click on the dot to view detail information.

[Note: Data presented on this map was gathered collectively by students for an in-class exercise. The accuracy of the data was not cross-checked.]

The Penn State sex abuse scandal has stirred up a lot of discussion lately. Postsecondary institutions are required by law (the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act and the Higher Education Opportunity Act) to report numbers of criminal offenses, hate crimes, arrests, disciplinary actions and fire incidents to the Department of Education. Postsecondary institutions are also required to make campus safety information available to the public. For example, Miami University has a Campus Safety and Security page [link] that shares information on crime statistics, emergency procedures, etc.. However, considering how "attractive" this type of statistics might be, they are often hard to find on universities and colleges' website (most definitely never linked directly from homepages). Which prompted me to share the data resources that IMS 201 students used to collect data on campus safety in Ohio public universities.

  • College Navigator [link]

    Maintained by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), College Navigator can be used to search for information such as enrollment, tuition and campus safety on nearly 7,000 colleges and universities.

  • The Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool [link]

    Maintained by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the Department of Education, this online tool can be used to generate customized reports based on crime statistics and fire statistics. For example, click here [link] to see the statistics for Penn State.

    It is also worth mentioning that the California Postsecondary Education Commission [link] created a separate web-based tool for crime statistics for all California institutions. This tool allows users to produce graphs and to limit searches to a geographic region or county. However, the data available from this tool will no longer be updated due to the fact that the California Postsecondary Education Commission has closed because budget cuts.

    If you are interested to find more information about the topic of campus safety and security in postsecondary education, you should visit the Campus Security page [link] on the U.S. Department of Education website.

Data from Ohio Election Results

The Ohio General Election was held yesterday, November 8, 2011. A total of 3,545,539 registered voters went to polling locations and decided on 3 statewide issues and 1,734 local issues. The voter turnout was 46% (or 45.99%) and the turnout was considered to be high for an odd-year election. It makes me wonder where and how users can locate data about elections in Ohio in particular historical data.

You can view Ohio election results from 1940 to present via Ohio Secretary of State website [link]. You can also access historical (18th century to present) data about voter turnout and elected officials on the same site. The Ohio Secretary of State also released voter turnout from yesterday by county [link]. I am excited to see that they provide a downloadable spreadsheet version [link] which helps users to conduct further analysis or create data visualization on their own.

I've also created a Google Spreadsheet that lists General Election voter turnout in Ohio from 1978 to the election yesterday [download].

If you wish to find out more historical data on Ohio elections, there are some print resources in King Library Reference collection that you might find interesting:

  • A statistical history of the American electorate. [King Reference, JK1967 .R87 2001]
  • State and national voting in Federal elections, 1910-1970. [King Reference, JK1965 .C59]

Banned Books Week September 24th-October 1st 2011

This year's Banned Books Week will take place between September 24th and October 1st. You can find out about some of the events planned around the country and get helpful information at the Banned Books Week website. Something that might be of special interest is the Virtual Read-Out taking place on YouTube.

King Library is celebrating with a display on the first floor of King in the foyer of the library. This year's theme is about censorship and book banning from an international perspective. You can read a couple of articles about international book banning here and here.

If you are interested in seeing books that are featured in this year's display (and from past displays as well), please check out our GoodReads page below.

Post-9/11 Literature

As the United States prepares to commemorate the 10 year anniversary of 9/11, you might be interested in finding some novels that examine how different people have reacted to the events of 9/11:

A Dangerous Age: A Novel by Ellen Gilchrist. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3557.I34258 D36 2008

The Future of Love: A Novel by Shirley Abbott. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3601.B393 F88 2008

Falling Man: A Novel by Don DeLillo. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3554.E4425 F36 2007

A Disorder Peculiar to the Country: A Novel by Ken Kalfus. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3561.A416524 D57 2006

The Days of Awe by Hugh Nissenson. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3564.I8 D39 2005

The Writing on the Wall: A Novel by Lynne Sharon Schwartz. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3569.C567 W75 2005

In the Shadow of No Towers by Art Spiegelman. King Folio | PN6727.S6 I5 2004

Windows on the World: A Novel by Frʹedʹeric Beigbeder. King Library (2nd floor) | PQ2662.E43 W56 2004

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. Hamilton Library | PS3606.O38 E97 2005

If you are interested in learning more about how fiction has been changed by 9/11, you might be interested in a recent work of literary criticism called Literature after 9/11 edited by Ann Keniston and Jeanne Follansbee Quinn (King Library (2nd floor) | PS231.S47 L57 2008).

Philip Levine appointed US's 18th Poet Laureate

Philip Levine has been appointed the U.S.'s 18th Poet Laureate. You can read the announcement and a brief bio of him here. In this announcement Librarian of Congress James H. Billington explains Levine's gift: "Philip Levine is one of America’s great narrative poets. His plainspoken lyricism has, for half a century, championed the art of telling ‘The Simple Truth’—about working in a Detroit auto factory, as he has, and about the hard work we do to make sense of our lives." You can read a recent article about him in the NYT times, as well as see a selection of his poems.

If these selections pique your interest, we have several of his collections available at the library. Here's a short list of some of the titles we have:

Selected Poems. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3562.E9 A6 1984

So Ask: Essays, Conversations, and Interviews. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3562.E9 Z475 2002

A History of my Befuddlement. King Library (2nd floor) | PN1101 .L485 2009

News of the World: Poems. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3562.E9 N48 2009

Stranger to Nothing: Selected Poems. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3562.E9 S77 2006

On the Edge & Over: Poems, Old, Lost & New. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3562.E9 A6 1976

A Walk with Tom Jefferson: Poems. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3562.E9 W35 1988

Tea Obreht wins the Orange Prize for her novel The Tiger's Wife


Tea Obreht won the Orange Prize for her novel The Tiger's Wife. We have a copy of this book at King Library, though unsurprisingly it is currently checked out. The call number for this book is PS3615.B73 T54 2011, and you can request it. You might also want to try to request it from OhioLINK, since many libraries across the state have copies.

We also have most of the other titles that were shortlisted this year for the Orange Prize:

Room by Emma Donoghue. King Library (2nd floor) | PR6054.O547 R66 2010

The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna. King Library (2nd floor) | PR6106.O766 M46 2010

Grace Williams Says it Loud by Emma Henderson. We don't own this title yet, but we soon will.

Great House by Nicole Krauss. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3611.R38 G74 2010

Annabel by Kathleen Winter. We don't own this title yet, but it is available through OhioLINK.

Summer Reading


As we finish finals week, you may be starting to think about finding some fun books for the summer. May I suggest checking out the King Leisure Reading Collection on the first floor of King Library? You can browse the collection or look up a specific title in our catalog.

Here are a couple of recent titles in our Leisure Reading Collection:

Secrets to the Grave by Tami Hoag. King Leisure Reading | PS3558.O333 S43 2011

I Think I Love You by Allison Pearson. King Leisure Reading | PR6116.E17 I23 2011

Bossypants by Tina Fey. King Leisure Reading | PN2287.F4255 A3 2011

The President's Vampire by Christopher Farnsworth. King Leisure Reading | PS3606.A726 P74 2011

Sing You Home: A Novel by Jodi Picoult. King Leisure Reading | PS3566.I372 S56 2011

The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party by Alexander McCall Smith. King Leisure Reading | PR6063.C326 S37 2011

Toys: A Novel by James Patterson and Neil McMahon. King Leisure Reading | PS3566.A822 T69 2011

Getting to Happy by Terry McMillan. King Leisure Reading | PS3563.C3868 G48 2010

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future by Michael J. Fox. King Leisure Reading | PN2308.F69 A3 2010

Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier. King Leisure Reading | PS3553.H4367 R46 2010b

If you're planning on doing any traveling this summer, you might like to check out some of our travel books.

For those who are going home for the summer and live in Ohio, you might want to check OhioLINK for libraries close to your house. You might also be interested in checking out the Ohio eBook Project for titles.

For those who don't live in Ohio, try WorldCat to find a library near you.

Now let's just hope this weather finally warms up enough to sit outside with a good book!

Water for Elephants


Water for Elephants is in theaters starting today (4/22). If you are interested in reading the great book that this movie is based on, Miami University Libraries owns several copies. All of our copies are of course checked out right now, but you can click here to request a copy to read as soon as one becomes available for check out. You might also want to try the Oxford Lane Public Library to see if they have a copy to check out or get on their waiting list.

You might also want to check out Sara Gruen's more recent book, Ape House, for another poignant examination of human-animal interactions. When I recently looked it up, our copy was still available. You can find it on the second floor of King at PS3607.R696 A86 2010.

If you're interested in reading other stories of human-animal interactions, you might be interested in some of the following books:

Animal Crackers by Hannah Tinti. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3620.I56 A83 2004

Timothy, or, Notes of an Abject Reptile by Verlyn Klinkenborg. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3611.L565 T55 2006

The Elephant's Journey by Jose Saramago. King Library (2nd floor) | PQ9281.A66 V5313 2010

The story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski. King Leisure Reading | PS3623.R63 S76 2008

If Water for Elephants has piqued your interest in other fictional accounts of circus life, here are a couple of titles:

The Aerialist by Richard Schmitt. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3569.C5166 A68 2000

Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter. King Library (2nd floor) | PR6053.A73 N5 1985

The Circus in Winter by Cathy Day. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3604.A985 C57 2004

2011 Pulitzer Prizes Announced

Pultizer Prize

The 2011 Pulitzer Prize Winners have been announced. The LA Times has an article that outlines the prizes that were given in the arts and literature.

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan won for Fiction. NPR has an interesting article about her music writing, and the Huffington Post has an interview. If you are interested in reading this book, we do own it (though you may find yourself on a waiting list for it). The call number is PS3555.G292 V57 2010, and it's located on the second floor of King. We also have several other books written by her:

Look at Me: A Novel. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3555.G292 L66 2001

The Keep. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3555.G292 K44 2006

Emerald City: Stories. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3555.G292 E44 1996

Kay Ryan won the Poetry Award for her collection The Best of It: New and Selected Poems, which we own. The call number is PS3568.Y38 B47 2010, and it's on the second floor of King. We have several of her other collections as well:

Say Uncle: Poems. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3568.Y38 S29 2000

The Niagara River: Poems. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3568.Y38 N53 2005

Bruce Norris won the Drama Prize for his play Clybourne Park. We don't currently own a copy of this book (though we will soon). We do have a couple of his other plays though:

Purple Heart ; and The Infidel: Two Plays. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3614.O768 P87 2005

The Pain and the Itch. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3614.O768 P35 2007

The Unmentionables: A Play. King Library (2nd floor) | PS3614.O768 U66 2009

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