I Cannot Tell a Lie

February 16th, 2015

Presidents Day is an opportunity to reflect on our leaders, their strengths and their challenges. And this Presidents Day, it seems appropriate to examine a story about our first President.   We’ve all heard the apocryphal story by biographer Parson Weems about the young George Washington chopping down the cherry tree, but being unwilling to lie about it to avoid punishment.

As the story goes, Washington was given a hatchet when he was about six, and proceeded to swing it at everything he could, as a little boy with a new toy might. This included his father’s prized cherry tree. Obviously, Augustine Washington had a pretty good idea what had happened, and asked his son if he knew who killed his favorite tree. Weems says young George hesitated, but couldn’t bring himself to be anything but honest, answering “I can’t tell a lie, Pa; you know I can’t tell a lie. I did cut it with my hatchet”. Expecting punishment, he was surprised when the elder Washington embraced him, proud of his son’s bravery in choosing the truth over an easier lie.

washington cherry tree by g g white

This story gives us a two-fold lesson of the importance of sources and citation – something you may be struggling with as we find ourselves a third of the way through the semester, with major papers beginning to come due. In the first place, the story is entirely false. Weems did, in fact, cite it – he claimed it was told to him by a relative of the Washingtons, who spent time with them as a girl – but this was simply a lie to cover his fabrication. Much of Weems’ biography is embellished with material he simply made up to depict Washington as a sort of mythological hero. This lack of professional ethics is the only reason people still remember Parson Weems today. It is a cautionary tale for unscrupulous scholars, who may find their sins remembered far longer than their accomplishments.

So the second lesson is to take care in citing properly, to not ‘tell a lie’ about the nature of our scholarship. When writing papers, we must cite every source we use. But how? Fortunately, making citations is easier than ever today. Online guides like the Purdue Online Writing Lab offer wide-ranging tutorials and samples. And the library has copies of the major style guides available at the front desk.

Plus, many of our databases offer automatically generated citations. In IUCAT, click the ‘Cite’ button on the right side of the screen to get a citation in MLA, APA, or Chicago style for any book, ebook, or video we have. In an EBSCO database, the button is also on the right, and offers a choice of nine citation styles. In ProQuest databases, the button is at the top, and gives the choice of thirteen styles. In Opposing Viewpoints, the button is on the right and gives the option for MLA or APA style. It is worth proofreading these citations – since they are machine generated, there are occasionally errors, particularly in capitalization. But they’ll definitely save you time. You can also export records from a lot of our databases to citation management programs of your choice, such as Zotero and EndNote (which is available for free on IUWare).

Or, you can ask for help. The Writing Center is in Whitewater Hall 206, and available at 765-973-8506 or http://www.iue.edu/hss/writingcenter/. They also offer plenty of tutorials, as well. Or, you can ask us at the library at iueref@iue.edu.

Be like Weems’ version of Washington, not like Weems himself. Embrace the truth!

Black History Month

February 9th, 2015

Every February, we get the chance to come together as a community and celebrate the achievements of African Americans throughout the history of the United States. Whether it’s hearing the biographies of often-overlooked scholars and artists and scientists, or digging deep into the life of one particularly inspirational person, this is a great time to explore the nuances of the black experience in America. Some of our databases, like Biography in Context, have sections dedicated to African American biography.

bio in context

Others are dedicated entirely to African American studies. Take Black Thought and Culture, a database which brings together over 100,000 pages of interviews, essays, pamphlets, letters, and speeches, and journal articles from 1700 to the present. It includes a wealth of primary information – the words and stories of black Americans, unfiltered by any other voice. Another is African American History Online, which features a broad range of multimedia including videos and pictures. Like Black Thought and Culture, it includes plenty of primary source material like letters and speeches, but it also includes secondary material like biographies and reference works to make the topics easier to understand. You can search it like a normal database, or browse by topic or time period (it splits the American experience into eight historical periods specially relevant to African American history).

aa hist books

And we have books highlighting every area of African American achievement. Is science your thing? Try Sisters in Science: Conversations with Black Women Scientists About Race, Gender, and Their Passion for Science by Diann Jordan. How about literature? Try What Was African American Literature by Kenneth Warren or African-American Poets by Harold Bloom. Musicians? African American Music: An Introduction by Portia Maultsby. Do athletes inspire you? There’s Out of the Shadows: A Biographical History of African American Athletes by David Wiggins. Enjoy celebrity watching? Encyclopedia of African American Popular Culture by Jessie Smith might be for you. Businessmen? The Entrepreneurial Spirit of African American Inventors by Patricia Sluby or Encyclopedia of African American Business History by Juliet Walker. Soldiers? The African American Experience during World War II by Neil Wynn. Students? African American Fraternities and Sororities: The Legacy and the Vision by Tamara Brown. And there are plenty of general titles, too, such as Voices of the African American Experience by Lionel Bascom and Landmarks of African American History by James Horton.

Let the library connect you with great information about African American history! And if you need any help, ask us at iueref@iue.edu!

Shyanna Pasay: a perfect fit for service

February 2nd, 2015

Service-learning continues to grow at IU East, and we are fortunate to have many students dedicated to service work. Shyanna Pasay is a new student staff member in the Center for Service-learning (CSL). In her second semester at IU East, Shyanna is majoring in Psychology with the goal of becoming a Child Life Specialist working at Riley Hospital in Indianapolis. She is originally from Greenfield, Indiana, which is about 50 miles from Richmond.

Shyanna worked at the Boys and Girls Club in Greenfield for two years while in high school. She has always enjoyed being involved in her community and is very passionate about working with children, so she says her work here will be “a perfect fit.” Her favorite part of Service- learning is being able to work with children since she loves kids, and it will be excellent experience for her future. Shyanna will be working at various organizations in the community, including the Fairview Boys and Girls Club, the Amigos Latino Center, and Corazón.

At Amigos, whose mission is to promote learning, cooperation, and respect across cultures, Shyanna will be helping to construct their new website, and also assisting a Latina woman who speaks very little English. Shyanna realizes that a language barrier will be somewhat of a challenge, but is excited for the opportunity since she currently plans to minor in Spanish. At Corazón, the youth group of Amigos, Shyanna will be working with Latino children as a mentor. The goal of Corazón is to “foster multicultural and multilingual friendship and community.” They do creative projects and other activities every week with the children.

Shyanna is excited to be begin her service work, and the Center for Service-learning welcomes her! If you are interested in service-learning as part of a course or as an individual project, please contact the CSL: iueastsl@iue.edu or 765.973.8411. The CSL office is located in the Campus Library, in Hayes hall.

Shyanna and Howard Lamson at Amigos First Day 1-16-15


January 26th, 2015

Here at IU East, you have no shortage of good, scholarly sources for every information need. But what do people use who are not in college? And what will you use when you graduate? The free web is an option, using tools like Google Scholar to navigate it, but you will quickly find that almost everything of value is only indexed – the full text access you rely on at IU just isn’t available to average citizens. And what is available on the free internet is often commercialized, self-published, or tabloid-level material. This type of resource is re-blogged and linked often, giving the impression of significant content, but instead being little more than an echo chamber of unreliable material.


Fortunately, if you are a resident of the state of Indiana, the Indiana State Library has purchased access to a number of high quality databases like those found at IU East – resources like Testing and Education Reference Center, Academic Search Premier, Biography in Context, and EBSCO E-Books. The ISL calls this resource INSPIRE, and anyone with an Indiana IP address can access them freely. It’s a mainstay of hundreds of public and school libraries, and the state’s significant negotiating power makes these databases cheaper for IU, as well. If you’ve ever used a database like Biomedical Reference Collection, Business Source Premier, Chronicle of Higher Education, CINAHL, Communication & Mass Media Complete, Contemporary Authors, Corporate ResourceNet, ERIC, Funk & Wagnalls New Encyclopedia, GreenFILE, Health and Wellness Resource Center, Health Business FullTEXT, Health Source: Consumer Edition, Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition, Hobbies & Crafts Reference Center, Home Improvement Reference Center, Humanities International Index, Indiana History Online, Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts, LitFinder, MAS Ultra – School Edition, MasterFILE Premier, McClatchy-Tribune Collection, MEDLINE, Middle Search Plus, Military & Government Collection, Newspaper Source, Primary Search, Professional Development Collection, PsycINFO, Regional Business News, Science in Context, SocINDEX, or TOPICsearch, you’ve used a resource subsidized in whole or in part by INSPIRE.

INSPIRE is heavily used – there were 125 million searches done in it in 2014. And such a service is common – many states offer these types of tools to their citizens. For example, Ohio has the Ohio Public Library Information Network, which includes a similar slate of databases.

But there’s a problem – the current budget before the Indiana legislature eliminates funding for INSPIRE entirely. Soon, this tool could be gone. And the hundreds of libraries and the million or so K-12 students who rely on it will be left with nothing of comparable value. And you will be, too, as soon as you graduate.

So what can we do?

The proposed budget will come before the Indiana House of Representatives, and they can reinstate funding for INSPIRE. Contacting your representative, especially if he or she is on the Ways and Means committee, is a great strategy. The chair of the House Ways and Means committee is Timothy Brown, who can also be contacted by mail at 200 W. Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204. If you live in Richmond, your local representative is Dick Hamm, although he is not on the Ways and Means committee.

And fortuitously, IU East will be holding a free Legislative Forum here on campus on Friday, January 30th. Wayne County legislators Senator Jeff Raatz, Representative Tom Saunders, and Representative Dick Hamm will all be present, and will answer questions from the audience. It will be held from 8-9 a.m. in the Graf Center in Springwood Hall. Please come and talk with them. If you have any questions, please email us at iueref@iue.edu.

A Day On

January 19th, 2015

Most holidays are a great opportunity to relax and unwind; to spend time with family or recover from stress. But Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is frequently referred to as ‘a day on, not a day off’. Because King’s life was inextricably linked to equality and service, celebrating it involves these attributes, too.

That’s not to say it has to be active – a time of meditating on the meaning of sacrifice and service might be how you choose to mark the holiday. IU East has plenty of opportunities – inspirational speaker and CEO Gloria J. Burgess will speak here at 7:00 on January 22, in Vivian on “Martin Luther King Jr.: Legacy for Life in the 21st Century,” and civil rights lawyer Michelle Alexander, will discuss her book “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness at 3:30 on January 27, livestreamed from IU Northwest in Springwood 202C. And outside of IU East, films like Selma can make King’s life more real for those of us who were born long after he died.

burgess and alexander

But honoring King can be done through hands-on service, as well. Whether it’s in his name or not, or for his causes or not, doesn’t matter as much as following his example and helping others. And the IU East Center for Service-Learning has plenty of opportunities for you to get involved. Service-learning needs include working with children or adults, building or teaching, feeding or mentoring. You can check out some of the many opportunities here, and can contact us to volunteer at iueastsl@iue.edu.

Plus, we have tons of academic sources if you want to explore King’s life or apply his principles in any class assignments. A small sampling of books we have include Becoming King: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Making of a National Leader by Troy Jackson, Martin Luther King, Jr.: A Life, by Marshall Frady, Ring Out Freedom!: The Voice of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Making of the Civil Rights Movement by Fredrik Sunnemark, and April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Death and the Transformation of America by Michael Dyson. And there are many, many more like them.


Do you have any questions? Send them to us at iueref@iue.edu!