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September 2015

Style by the Book – Hey guys, remember Harry Potter?

Back when we were first forming the current blog team, the Library staff joked about ways in which we could get more Harry Potter on to the blog. Someone suggested having regular posts entitled “Hey guys, remember Harry Potter?” and we all laughed but we were kind of serious too. You see, most of the Library staff are huge Harry Potter fans. We use our MBTI types to determine which Harry Potter character we’re most like (You’d be surprised at the number of Dracos we have here.) and compete in Harry Potter Trivia Night under the team name “Madame Pince’s Army” (Second place! We were SO CLOSE!) Unfortunately, the regular Harry Potter posts never happened but I wanted to share one last Style by the Book inspired by that magical series. I’ll see you at Platform 9 3/4!


Heading to Hogwarts

One City One Story

ocos1Each year, the Boston Book Festival makes a short story available to all, free of charge, to spread the joy of reading for pleasure among the teens and adults of our city. This year’s short story is “Home Movie” written by Jennifer De Leon. This story, focusing on a Guatemalan wife and husband living in Boston with their children, explores themes of immigration, home, and memory.

Copies of “Home Movie” are available for free at the Wheelock College Library. Digital copies, as well as Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, and Mandarin translations are available at the One City One Story website. Join one of the discussions that are happening at several Boston Public Library locations or organize your own! The website has some great questions to help you get the conversation started.

For more information about this year’s One City One Story selection, author, events, and the Boston Book Festival happening on October 24th, visit the Boston Book festival website at


A Shared Mission at the Service Desk

One of the best parts of my job is that I get to co-supervise the Library’s Public Services Assistants and Student Library Assistants who work at the Service Desk.

Not only do I have the chance to get to know these employees and help them foster their professional skills, but I also get the chance to be inspired by their strong work ethic and commitment to service.

Group photo of staff participating in Training Day.

Group photo of staff participating in Training Day.

This was very apparent on Saturday September 12, which was the date of the Library’s annual Training Day. During a day filled with exercises designed to hone customer service skills, to build camaraderie, and to learn more about Peer Tutoring and the Writing Center, Public Services Assistants and Student Library Assistants were asked to come up with a mission statement to guide the work that they do.

After some discussion, Service Desk Staff came up with the following mission statement:

“Our mission at the Wheelock College Library is to provide patrons with the best customer service in a respectful and positive way. We connect patrons to the resources, information, and services they need to succeed at Wheelock. We create and maintain a welcoming and inclusive environment for all.”

I wanted to share this statement with the community, because it truly represents everything that the Library’s staff members strive to do on a daily basis. And most importantly, this is something that Service Desk Staff have chosen to articulate as their shared mission.

I could not be more proud of this shared mission and look forward to working closely with Service Desk Staff to achieve it each and every day.

Rotary phone

Mindset List for the Baby Boomers

Every fall Beloit College issues its Mindset List for the incoming college class and every year I find myself more and more surprised. My cultural references have become obsolete. Where did the time go? It made me wonder if the incoming class would find the mindset of my college class as alien as I find theirs. I thought I’d give it a try, so here are some of the realities of life for my incoming college class.

  • If you wanted your own phone, you had to order it from the phone company. Each dorm had a phone in the lobby; if you got a call the person at the desk would call you on the intercom so you could pick up the extension in the hall.

    Rotary phone

    Rotary Phone. Image from

  • The lucky few owned typewriters. The really lucky ones owned electric typewriters. The rest of us borrowed.
  • Microwaves were too big and expensive to bring to college.
  • We drank Tab and Fresca. No Diet Coke yet.

  • Students went to Florida and other warm spots for spring break but not to Disney World because it hadn’t been built.
  • We found articles by looking in books, thick indexes that covered a few months to a year per volume
  • The library catalog was still a card catalog.

    Traditional card catalog

    Traditional card catalog. Image from Wikimedia Commons

  • We didn’t have cable television.
  • We called the movie, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Star Wars.

I looked up what things cost then:

  • Gallon of gas                      $ .65
  • New car (average)           $ 4300
  • Loaf of bread                     $ .32
  • Average income               $10,360.



Research assignment? We’ve got you covered.

Your research assignment might be due in four weeks or in twelve, but you know it’s coming.  One glance at your crisp new syllabus, and there it is, lurking around Thanksgiving.  I’m not going to tell you to get started this minute– just know that the library has got you covered!

To make the whole research process easier, your librarians have created research guides, easily accessed on the library website.

Image depicts the main search box on the library homepage. The research guides tab is selected, and the drop-down menu is open.

Use the search box on the library home page to find the research guide for your major or program.

We’ve designed one of these for every undergraduate major and graduate program offered at Wheelock College.  Built specifically to get you started on your research, they also connect you to people who can help you to figure out your next step, whether that’s narrowing your topic, finding relevant articles, ferreting information out of books, or citing your sources in proper APA style.  Who are these helpful people?  Your librarians, of course!

Image of button that opens chat with a librarian. This is an image only, and clicking on it will not open a chat.

(This one is just a picture… go to the library website to see it in action!)

You can get in touch with a librarian any time the library is open.  Drop in at the front desk (no appointment needed!), or give us a call (617-879-2222), email (, or chat using the widget on our website (pictured at right).

If you’re the type who likes to schedule ahead, we also offer research consultations by appointment.  Fill out this form, and we’ll get back to you to schedule a time that works for us both.

So remember, that research assignment is nothing to fear… because you’ve got librarians on your side!