WWI & America – Veterans Panel discussion

We are pleased to announce that the Library has received a grant to participate in programming in support of WWI and America, a two-year initiative coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the nation’s entry into the war in 1917. The project is sponsored by Library of America with generous financial support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The purpose of WWI and America is to provide scholar-moderated opportunities for those who served in more recent conflicts in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan to bring their experiences to bear on historical events and texts and to illuminate for a wide audience the lasting legacies of World War I, and the similarities and differences between past and present.

The first of these opportunities takes place Thursday, September 28 at 6:30pm in the Harry S. Downs Center for Continuing Education, room 101. (Building 11 on this map.) Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from and engage in a facilitated discussion with a panel of veterans. The selected themes for Thursday’s event are “Why Fight?,” “Race and WWI,” and “America on the World Stage.” Selected readings for each theme are available on the event website. The grant also includes a copy of World War I and America: Told by the Americans Who Lived It, a collection of writings and speeches by soldiers, nurses, activists, and others who experienced the War. This resource is available in the Clayton State Library at the Circulation & Reserves Desk on the lower level and online. Discussion event attendees are encouraged to read the themed selections prior to the event.

“We are pleased to receive this grant from Library of America and the National Endowment for the Humanities to provide programming around these historical sources. We hope participants will be inspired to further explore the impact of war on America throughout history, the present, and into the future,” said Gordon Baker, Dean of Libraries.

All WWI & America programming offered by the Clayton State Library is free and open to the public. Veterans and non-veterans alike are welcome to attend. Faculty are encouraged to offer credit for attendance or related special assignments. The library will feature resources to supplement student research into the topics covered during the events.

For more information about these events and to stay up to date with future WWI & America programming, please visit http://clayton.libguides.com/wwiamerica or contact Erin Nagel at (678) 466-4330 or ErinNagel@clayton.edu.

This program is part of World War I and America, a two-year national initiative of The Library of America presented in partnership with The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the National World War I Museum and Memorial, and other organizations, with generous support from The National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit http://wwiamerica.org.

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Guest Post: Harry Potter Brings Magic to Clayton State with the “Potter Talks” Series


The following article was written by Dianne Hill, Jordan Knight, Bre’auca Thompson, Keondra Walters, and Evelyn Tran, students in Dr. Margaret Fletcher’s ENGL 1102 Spring 2017 classes as part of the library’s partnership with the university’s PACE initiative. In addition to this article, the students created a series of research guides to accompany the Harry Potter’s World exhibit. Find more information about the Harry Potter’s World exhibit and the PACE initiative following this article.


Harry Potter’s visit to Clayton State brought out students who have been reading the series since middle school as well as professors who also enjoy and search beneath the surface of the complex fantasy series.   The exhibition which was brought by the National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health was sponsored by the Clayton State Library under the leadership of Erin Nagel, Assessment & Marketing Librarian. The exhibit invited students and professors as well as the general public to join in exploring Harry Potter’s world and its roots in Renaissance magic, science, and medicine.  One important part of the program was the “Potter Talks” series, in which Clayton State professors and their kin led us deeper into the realms of magic and meaning that inspire Potter fans. Those of us who attended the talks learned that Potter’s world is fun and intriguing, but it is also extremely complex.

Valuable vs. Priceless; The Invisibility Cloak; blank slide

Real picture of an invisibility cloak, from Dr. Pratt-Russell’s talk

The first speaker was Dr. Kathryn Pratt Russell, a professor in the English Department, who spoke on the convergence of Renaissance and contemporary monetary policy in the world of Harry Potter.  In an interview, Dr. Pratt Russell stated that she usually writes on British Romantic literature, mentioning in particular the work of Walter Scott, a British novelist whose work was often concerned with how regular people survived the harsh world of 18th and 19th century British economy.  She pursued the topic of money in Harry Potter’s world because of her interest in how Harry appears to be much more financially privileged that many of his friends.  She also felt that a focus on money would expand the interests covered in the exhibit.  In explaining her research methods, she talked about how she looked up every source dealing with Harry Potter and money.  Although she already had ideas of what she wanted to talk about, she explained that academic writers do extensive research to avoid plagiarism that can occur even though the writer hasn’t seen someone else’s work.  She stated that if someone else had already written on the ideas she had in mind, she wanted to be sure to give them credit.

Dr. Pratt Russell said that she felt the Potter books are mainly for children and teenagers; however, because author J. K. Rowling is so knowledgeable about general folklore and British and Irish legends, the books are educational.  She explained that she saw many influences from periods other than the Renaissance.  The book she found most interesting was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and her favorite movie in the series was the Prisoner of Azhabn, which showed a shift in tone from the other films.  Dr. Pratt Russell concluded her interview by saying that one of the best things for people to take away from the exhibit was the fun of studying history.  Many people will leave the exhibit motivated to learn more about history and to expand their reading both in the fantasy genre and perhaps other areas of British literature also.

Your Potion Mistresses; Antoinette with cartoon image; Mary with cartoon image

Artist rendering of presenters Antoinette and Mary Miller

The series’ second speaker, Dr. Antoinette Miller, psychology professor at Clayton State, demonstrated the multi-generational interest in Harry Potter by bringing her teen-aged daughter Mary with her as a co-presenter.  The topic of their talk was potions and their links to various psychological phenomena.  The mother-daughter duo shared information about a number of potions including the “Amortentia” or love potion; the “Drink of Despair” which includes fear, delirium, and extreme thirst; and the “Felix Felicis,” also known as liquid luck. All potions can bring disaster or bad luck if used incorrectly.  In the world of psychology, Dr. Miller and “Mistress” Mary related these potions and the need for them to humanistic explanations of psychological disorders and self-actualization undermined by unhappy relationships and unfulfilling jobs.

In an interview, Dr. Miller said that one of the most interesting aspects of the study of potions is Wolfsbane which helps in inpulse control when given to a character like Lupin, a werewolf, for  control of his wolf side so that he wouldn’t try to kill people when he was transformed.  She also enjoyed the idea of the placebo effect taking place when Ron imagined that he mistakenly believed a drug had made him more relaxed.  Even though potions are magical in Harry Potter’s world, they bear a resemblance to the real world of psychological needs and cures.

Image of Professor Seth Shaw presenting in front of screen

Professor Shaw talks about Immortality and Memory in Harry Potter’s World

Professor Seth Shaw of the Archival Studies Department discussed “Immortality through Memory.”  He explained that maintaining archives is all about acquiring and preserving records in perpetuity which is a type of immortality.  A major theme in Harry Potter is the quest for immortality, which Professor Shaw compared to using records to create memories that will endure, which is the purpose of an archive.  Our physical bodies are not immortal, but what can endure is the record of what we do and the things we think.   Records are really the closest that we will get to immortality, barring spiritual notions and beliefs in immortality. Based on what we can see and understand in the physical world and the academy, memory is the closest that we can come to physical immortality.  A huge plot point for the Harry Potter series revolves around Voldemort and his attempt for immortality through the horcruxes.  In an interview, Professor Shaw explained that in terms of research, he watched Dr. Kathryn Pratt Russell’s presentation, and talked with her about some of her resources.  She mentioned a book of academic writing on the topic of philosophy in Harry Potter, which she lent him.  He found the book invaluable to his presentation on immortality; also, he gave his interviewers an important lesson on how scholars work together and learn from each other when researching ideas.

In terms of the overall series and J. K. Rowling’s artistic success, Professor Shaw noted that “you can see the progression and complexity that develops in her ability to discuss very complex topics that arose as the Harry Potter series went on.”   He felt that her knowledge of various myths and legends as well as magical practices of old definitely comes through in the series.  He stated that “you can tell as you read her material the things that are consistent with theory and philosophy and previous modes of thought and that she must have been well read in those areas” based on the progress she makes as the series develops.

Image of Dr. Furlong in costume presenting in front of screen

Professor McGonagall (AKA Dr. Furlong) talks about genetics in the wizarding world

The fourth and final speaker in the series was Dr. Michelle Furlong, professor of science.  The title of her presentation was “The Mendelian Genetics of Wizards.”  She defined scientific terms such as phenotype, genotype and alleles, and used interactive techniques to get her audience involved.  In terms of Harry Potter’s world, there are squibs, which are nonmagical children born to magical parents; there are magical children born to or raised by Muggles (nonmagical people).  Hermoine is an example of a magical child born to Muggles, and Harry is a magical child raised by Muggles.  Dr. Furlong explained how environment plays a part in magical development.  Although Harry had magical genes, his magical powers didn’t truly develop until he began school at Hogwarts.  Children born in the same family, such as the Dursley children may have varying degrees of magical power; for examples, Ron’s powers were weak while Ginnie’s were strong.  Dr. Furlong noted that this was an example of incomplete dominance.  Although the magical gene is recessive but usually strong in the offspring of two magical parents, traits can blend so that children in the same family may have differences in magical abilities.

Dr. Furlong explained that evolution and mutations can play a part in the strength of magical traits.  She also explained the existence of regulatory genes that can turn traits on and off.  She concluded her presentation with an explanation of magic that delighted her audience who had been working hard to understand how mutation changes can create the ability to talk to snakes. Most people, and certainly most readers of Happy Potter, believe themselves to be common Muggles.  Actually though, because the magic gene is recessive and because the regulatory gene is recessive, we may not develop magical powers, but the magic, and the potential for magic, exists in all of us. Thus her audience left the final presentation feeling that they too had some connection to the incredible magical universe of Harry Potter and the use of magic to make positive changes in the world.

Writers:  Dianne Hill, Jordan Knight, Bre’auca Thompson Keondra Walters, Evelyn Tran


The Clayton State Library hosted the Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine traveling exhibition in March and April 2017.

Clayton State Library exhibit announcement
Clayton State Library exhibit website
ENGL 1102 PACE students’ research guides (pathfinders)
Potter Talk recordings
National Library of Medicine exhibit website

The Clayton State University PACE initiative, Partnering Academics and Community Engagement, focuses on student engagement through community projects that enhance learning. This Plan is aligned with our institutional Mission of cultivating an “…environment of engaged, experienced-based learning, enriched by active community service, that prepares students of diverse ages and backgrounds to succeed in their lives and careers” and Strategic Plan emphasis on providing students with an “engaged, experienced-based learning, enriched by active community service.”

New exhibit: Harry Potter’s World

Harry Potter’s World letterhead with owl

Harry Potter’s World letterhead with owl

It’s here! It’s here! The Hogwarts Express has arrived. Hop on Platform 9 3/4 and take a ride to Harry Potter’s World.

For the next six weeks, the library is hosting a special exhibit, Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine, developed and produced by the Exhibition Program at the National Library of Medicine.

In 1997, British author J.  K.  Rowling introduced the world to Harry Potter and a literary phenomenon was born.  Millions of readers have followed Harry to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry where he discovers his heritage, encounters new plants and animals, and perfects his magical abilities.  Although a fantasy story, the magic in the Harry Potter books is partially based on Renaissance traditions that played an important role in the development of Western science, including alchemy, astrology, and natural philosophy.  Incorporating the work of several 15th- and 16th-century thinkers, the seven-part series examines important ethical topics such as the desire for knowledge, the effects of prejudice, and the responsibility that comes with power.

This exhibition, using materials from the National Library of Medicine, explores Harry Potter’s world, its roots in Renaissance science, and the ethical questions that affected not only the wizards of Harry Potter, but also the historical thinkers featured in the series.

Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine is on display in the University Archives within the Clayton State Library until April 28th. In conjunction with this exhibit, the library will host a celebration with games, prizes, and refreshments, as well as a series of faculty lectures.

Six banner traveling exhibition of Harry Potter's World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine on display at the National Library of Medicine

Six banner traveling exhibition of Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine on display at the National Library of Medicine

March 20th – April 28th – Exhibit available in the University Archives

March 23rdOpening celebration 1pm – 3pm Upper Level Library

Faculty Lectures in Library room L200:

  • Tuesday, March 28 11:00 am –Kathryn Pratt Russell – Convergence of Renaissance and contemporary money in the Harry Potter World.
  • Wednesday, April 5 12:00 pm – Antoinette Miller – Interactive presentation exploring the context and information on various potions their links to various psychological phenomena.
  • Thursday, April 13 12:00 pm – Seth Shaw & Josh Kitchens – Immortality through memory and an exploration of magical and muggle attempts to preserve memory
  • Monday, April 17 1:00 pm – Michelle Furlong – Mendelian genetics of wizards

This exhibition is brought to you by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.

For more information, visit http://clayton.libguides.com/HarryPottersWorld or contact Erin Nagel, 678-466-4330.

Grand reopening ceremony and ribbon cutting

You are invited to join us as we unveil the newly renovated, complete Clayton State Library. It’s been a long road and we want to thank you for your support and patience through it all.

Please join us Wednesday, January 27 @ 10am, for the Library Renovation Ribbon Cutting. We will have speeches, snacks, and giveaways.

Come explore the “new” library and discover all we have to offer.

Library Renovation Ribbon Cutting invitation

Library Renovation Ribbon Cutting invitation

Read any good books lately?

Finals are finished. Your research paper’s been turned in. The semester is over! It’s time to put down your textbook, log off of GALILEO, and curl up with a good book. Now, you can find that book at your CSU Library.

In April, the Library launched the Popular Reading Collection. The addition of this collection was partially in response to student comments and requests for more leisure reading materials. The Popular Reading Collection is located just inside the Library’s University Center entrance directly opposite the Circulation Desk, and includes bestselling authors, popular biography, general nonfiction, hobbies, self-improvement and much more.

In order to check out books over the summer, students must be registered and paid for the summer semester. If you have any questions or need to determine if your library account is active, please call the Circulation Desk at 678-466-4345.

Here’s a sample of what you can expect to find in the Popular Reading Collection:

Assassin by Ted Bell
Beading Vintage-style Jewelry by Marty Stevens Heebner
Break No Bones by Kathy Reichs
The 5th horseman by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
Little Bee by Chris Cleave
I Got This: How I Changed My Ways and Lost What Weighed Me Down by Jennifer Hudson
The Husband by Dean Koontz
Low Down and Dirty: a novel by Vickie Stringer
Lucille, the life of Lucille Ball by Kathleen Brady
Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
Obama, the Historic Front Pages created by David Elliot Cohen
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Prince of Fire by Daniel Silva
The Royals by Kitty Kelly
Sidney Poitier, Man, Actor, Icon by Aram Goudsouzian

The next time you are on Main Street UC, make a quick stop at the Library to pick up a good book – just for fun.

Women’s History Month

March is National Women’s History Month.  To learn more about how women have shaped history try browsing through some of the materials available in the Clayton State Library.  One title on this subject that you might find interesting is:

100 most influential women of all time
Ref HQ 1121 .A14 2010
To find more information on women and their role in history, check out our Women’s Studies LibGuide.

Spring Break hours

We want to wish all of you a safe, relaxing week off. If you are looking for a quiet place to get a jump on the rest of the semester, please note our change in hours for Spring Break week.

  • Saturday,March 3: Closed
  • Sunday, March 4: Closed
  • Monday, March 5: 8am – 5pm
  • Tuesday, March 6: 8am – 5pm
  • Wednesday, March 7: Closed
  • Thursday, March 8: 8am – 5pm
  • Friday, March 9: 8am – 5pm
  • Saturday, March 10: Closed
  • Sunday, March 11: Closed
  • Monday, March 12 – resume normal hours

Trial: JoVe, the first scientific video journal

For March 1-15, we have trial access for JoVe. We invite you to use this resource during the trial period and provide us with feedback by leaving a comment or send Elizabeth Bradshaw, Natural & Health Sciences liaison, an email elizabethbradshaw@clayton.edu with your comments. The trial access is limited to on campus use only.

JoVe, Journal of Visualized Experiments, is a peer reviewed journal devoted to the publication of biological, medical, chemical and physical research in a video format. It takes advantage of video technology to capture and transmit the multiple facets and intricacies of life science research.

You will need the current version of Adobe Flash Player to view the videos.

Wilson databases move to EBSCO

EBSCO bought Wilson. What does that mean? Our H.W. Wilson databases (listed below) have moved to the EBSCOhost platform. You can now simultaneously search the multidisciplinary databases, Academic Search Complete and OmniFile Full Text Mega (H.W. Wilson), together.