Attention First-year students and Seniors!

Display poster, snacks

If you’re a first-year student or a senior, we need your help! The 2014 HEDS Research Methods Survey is currently underway and we need you to participate. This survey will help to improve research methods, help us assist you more effectively, and will update FYS functions. The survey is open March 20-April 24 and only takes about 15 minutes to complete. If you qualify to take part, you should have received an email with the subject line “Help Hope College with your feedback!

We’ll even throw in a bonus. You can stop by the 2nd floor computer lab in the library to fill out the survey and get Hot Chocolate & Cookies either Monday, April 7th or Tuesday, April 8th from 8-10pm. Not only will you be entered for a chance to win 1 of 3 $100 cash prizes (what?!), but you’ll also affect Hope’s future by participating. Win-win! It’s quick, simple, and online. What are you waiting for?!

Presidential Colloquium with Professor H Russel Botman

At 4pm on Monday, March 3 in Winants Auditorium, Graves Hall, join speaker Russel Botman as he presents his Presidential Colloquium Address entitled “Stellenbosch University’s HOPE Project: A Vision for Academic Renewal”. In addition, on Tuesday, March 4, Botman will present his keynote address “Mandela’s Children: Shaping a University” at 4pm in Dimnent Chapel. The presentation of Honorary Doctorate will take place as well. Learn more about the Colloquium by visiting the site.

Professor Hayman Russel Botman is Rector and Vice-Chancellor of Stellenbosch University (SU) in South Africa. He holds a PhD in Theology from the University of the Western Cape (UWC). As a prime mover of SU’s HOPE Project, Botman is leading the initiative to eradicate poverty, promote human rights, and create a sustainable environment with a competitive industry, among other things.

For links to Professor Botman’s writings and speeches, and more information on higher education in South Africa, see this guide.

Random Acts of Kindness Week

Did you know February 10-16 is Random Acts of Kindness week? Here at Van Wylen we love to celebrate random acts of kindness. Right now on the first floor of the library you can write down your ideas about how to spread kindness to friends, family, and strangers. One person wrote “Tell someone they are beautiful” while another said “Make an international student feel at home.” What random act can you do for a stranger this week? For inspiration, visit

Random Acts of Kindness Random Acts of Kindness Random Acts of Kindness







If you’re interested in pursuing more on this topic, the library has some resources available to you. A subject search in the catalog for “social action” or for “humanitarianism” yields lots of books and ebooks to peruse. For scholarly articles, try your hand at 1Search. You’ll receive lots of results from across many databases, which you can then narrow down according to your criteria.

VWS Presents: Ismet Prcic & Benjamin Busch


The Jack Ridl Visiting Writers Series continues on Thursday, January 30 with authors Benjamin Busch and Ismet Prcic.

The authors will be available in Fried-Hemenway Auditorium, Martha Miller Center for a Q&A session at 3:30pm. A reading will take place in Winants Auditorium, Graves Hall at 7:00pm. To learn more about the authors and the Visiting Writers Series of Hope College, visit

Both authors’ books are available at the library. Learn more about Benjamin Busch’s memoir “Dust to Dust”  and Ismet Prcic’s “Shards“.

Civil Rights Week

The 2014 Civil Rights Week is underway at Hope. Events sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Education will be happening throughout the week. On Tuesday, January 21 at 7pm in Dimnent Memorial Chapel, Dr. Gwendolyn E. Boyd, president-elect of Alabama State University, will be giving a keynote speech entitled “The Heart of an Activist: Grow Local, Think Global.” Learn more about speaker Dr. Gwendolyn E. Boyd in “Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 49.” Admission to all activities is free.

The library has many resources that you can use to learn about civil rights. If you’re looking for scholarly articles, start with the database America: History and Life. Pictures can often be an impactful reminder of our historic struggle for civil rights. ARTstor has a host of images to help show us that history. As always, a quick search in the catalog yields hundreds of results for you to browse in print or online.

If you’re interested in learning more, contact a librarian and we’ll get you the resource you’re looking for.

Presidential Colloquium

Wednesday, September 25th, marks the date of the Presidential Colloquium, a semiannual lecture series at Hope College where the community is invited to listen to several prestigious scholars speak on the topics of leadership, academy, and global civic engagement. At 4 pm, in Winants Auditorium of Graves Hall, lectures, panel responses drawn from the Hope community, and other campus engagements will be addressed. Admission is free, and the lectures will be followed by a Hope faculty panel discussion and book signing. The colloquium is in association with the inauguration of President John. C. Knapp. President Knapp became the college’s 12th president on July 1st of this year.

The first speaker in the series will be Dr. Richard Carwardine, Abraham Lincoln expert and president of Corpus Christi College, Oxford. His talk will be “Abraham Lincoln and the Lessons of Leadership.” His biography, Lincoln: A Life of Purpose and Power, won the Lincoln Prize in 2004. Copies of this book will be offered at the book signing. In addition to being the president of a constituent college of the renowned University of Oxford since 2010, Dr. Carwardine has been awarded several research awards focused on 19th century American politics and religion from the British Academy and the Leverhulme Trust and was appointed Professor of American History in 1994. Dr. Carwardine has published articles and delivered lectures to various audiences from the University of California, Berkeley, to the eastern shore of the Atlantic Ocean. His internationally recognized expertise is not to be missed.

The Van Wylen Library has provided a featured collection of Richard Carwardine’s works, and a selection of other Lincoln related materials available here. There are also many ebooks offered about Lincoln such as “Battle Cry of Freedom: the Civil War Era“, and Abraham Lincoln As a Man of Ideas

More opportunities to engage in Colloquium related events are offered through the library. At 10 am on Sept. 25th, the Rare Book Reading Room of Van Wylen Library will feature a King James Bible on display, which was partly translated at Corpus Christi College, accompanied by an informal talk by Dr. Carwardine. Also, at 2 pm in the Herrick Room, a presentation on “Abraham Lincoln: Emancipation and Its Legacies in the United States and Abroad” will be given by Dr. Carwardine, featuring an examination of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and its impact thereafter.

by Gemma Davies, student blogger

You’re Invited!

Come one, come all!

You are welcome to the Music Open House at the Van Wylen Library! On September 12, from 10:00 am to noon, the second floor of the library will be hosting a ‘Music Open House’, located near the music collection. This past summer marked the move of Hope College’s music library from the Nykerk Hall of Music to the Van Wylen Library in preparation for the construction of the new Center for Musical Arts. The purpose of this event is to educate anyone who is interested in the resources the music collection has to offer. It will give the music department and any others the chance to become savvy with the design of this newly relocated music collection.

Several music-related collections and databases can be found on the Music Research Guide, through the library’s website. For example, Naxos Music Library gives an online variety of music, ranging from classical to folk, from Naxos and Marco Polo recordings. In addition, Grove Music Online conducts music research and offers full text from numerous musical scholars all around the world. Last, but not least, there is the Library Music Source, which is accurately described as the largest library of sheet music ever.

Stop by any time and join us in checking out the new music library!

by Gemma Davis, Student Blogger

Conversations About Student Research

On July 25th, the Van Wylen research and instruction librarians hosted a meeting of the West Michigan Information Literacy Group.  This is a group of teaching librarians who meet regularly to exchange “best practices” and to share ideas on how to better help students navigate the world of information.

As usual when you get librarians together, stimulating conversation was shared by all.  We particularly focused our talk on “discovery platforms”; these are tools, like Hope’s new 1Search platform, that allow users to search much of a library’s content all at once.  Since they are particularly useful for beginning college researchers, we discussed how a focus on these kinds of tools can change what we can do in the undergraduate classroom, in Gen Ed classes like FYS and ENG113.  By merging together all the library’s “information silos,” does this free up time to expose students to higher level information literacy concepts?  While there was general agreement that discovery platforms aren’t meant to replace catalogs and databases for more advanced researchers, they are great tools for alleviating library anxiety for beginning college researchers, instilling confidence in their ability to do library research, and opening doors that could lead them to more sophisticated information habits.

We also shared our experiences with assessment tools. How can libraries best measure and demonstrate the skills and habits that students are gaining through their exposure to the library, whether in the classroom or in other day-to-day engagement with our resources and services?  Many different examples were shared, giving Hope librarians much food for thought for how we assess our own practices.

— Jessica Hronchek, Research and Instruction Librarian

Van Wylen Celebrates 25th Anniversary with Reception

library2Van Wylen Library is celebrating 25 years of service this year. A reception honoring the library will take place on Monday, April 22 from 3 to 5 p.m. on the first floor. All are invited to enjoy cake, coffee, and tea while checking out the library history display, which includes artifacts like the ground-breaking shovel, photos, and Anchor articles that describe the library’s history. The library’s namesakes, Hope’s 9th president and his wife Ds. Gordon and Margaret Van Wylen, will be on hand to cut the cake.

Opening in January 1988, the library celebrated its official dedication on April 21. An April 27, 1988 Anchor article describes the festivities, which included speeches by Dr. John Hope Franklin, a famous African American historian, President John Jacobson, who was in his first year of presidency, and Provost Jacob Nyenhuis.

Join us as we celebrate 25 years of serving students and faculty at Van Wylen Library!

–Madalyn Muncy, Library Student Blogger

Hope Celebrates National Poetry Month

Hope is celebrating National Poetry Month with five special readings throughout the month of April.

Kicking off the celebration is Jean Valentine, who will read Monday, April 1 at 4 p.m. in Winants Auditorium of Graves Hall. Dream Barker, Valentine’s first book, won the Yale Younger Poets Award. She has written eleven books of poetry including: Break the Glass, National Book Award for Poetry winner Door in the Mountain, and The Cradle of the Real Life. Also, be sure to check out her other books.

Following Valentine’s reading is third-generation Korean American Gary Pak on Tuesday, April 2 at 4 p.m. in Fried-Hemenway Auditorium. His books include The Watcher of Waipuna and Other Stories, A Ricepaper Airplane, and Children of a Fireland

On Thursday, April 11, Mark Hillringhouse will read at 7 p.m. in Winants Auditorium of Graves Hall. Hillringhouse’s writing and photography have appeared in “American Poetry Review,” “The New York Times,” and “View Camera.” He is the recipient of several poetry fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and he recently published a series of portraits of the New York School poets. He also recently published a photo essay, “Passaic River Journal,” in the “American Poetry Review.”

Ed Hirsch will read through VWS on Thursday, April 18 at 7 p.m. in the Knickerbocker Theater. For the Sleepwalkers, Hirsch’s first collection, was awarded the Lavcan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets. His other collections include: Wild Gratitude, Special Orders, On Love, and Lay Back the Darkness. He is also the author of the national bestseller How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry.

The month will wrap up with a reading by Hope senior creative writing majors on Friday, April 19 at 4 p.m. in Fried-Hemenway Auditorium. Students will read original work from their four years at Hope.

–Madalyn Muncy, Library Student Blogger