Meet Our Checkout Staff!

All of us students frequently use the services offered by the library. We will check out books, laptops, Ipads, markers, etc. all the time. But, do we really know who the checkout staff are? I asked the checkout staff to provide a few interesting facts about themselves so we all can get to know them a little better! So here ya go!

Nancy Langley

1.  My husband and son are also on campus.  My husband Jason is an Assistant Professor in the Kinesiology Dept. and my son attends the Children’s Learning Center.

2.  I previously  have been a county archivist, worked in Acquisitions at West Virginia University Libraries, Assistant Branch Manager/Children’s Programmer at a public library and taught preschool.

3. None of my college education has to do with libraries.  My degrees were in Biology and Chemistry.

4.  I am expecting my second child in August.

5.  I have a turtle obsession.

Erica Conn

  1. I spent a year in Texas working for City Year, an AmeriCorps program, where I helped high school students in reading class and worked with middle school students in an after-school program.
  2. Before that, I worked in the Interlibrary Loan department here at USI’s library.
  3. In college, I spent 6 weeks in Ireland and Wales doing archaeology work.

Debbie Clark

  1. I have worked in the David L. Rice library for 36 years and have had the privilege to watch this university change and grow.
  2.  I’ve been married for 38 years, have 2 grown sons who are married to 2 wonderful women and have 3 grandchildren.  My husband is a minister here in Evansville and both my sons are involved in ministries in New Albany, Indiana and Champaign, Illinois, so church plays a major role in my life away from campus.
  3. I was raised in a small town in northern Illinois where I spent my early childhood living along the banks of the Mississippi river where I enjoyed boating, fishing, water skiing and ice skating in the winter.  I was the only girl with 3 brothers and the majority of my cousins were boys too so I was definitely a tom boy. 
  4. I can remember having a party line before dial telephone was the norm and have that old antique phone on the wall in my house.  I also watched black and white TV before color TV’s were invented and typed all my college papers on a type writer; thank goodness it was at least electric.
  5. My favorite place to vacation is the beach, but I love to snow ski too.  When I get some free time I like to relax and read a good book but my greatest enjoyment is to spend time with my family and especially my grandkids.

Janice Morgan

  1. I have worked in Rice Library for 15 years.  When I began working here, the library’s home was in the building that is now UC East.  How different it looked then.  Now my home away from home is in the office behind the Checkout Desk.
  2. Besides my duties at Checkout, I create displays for 4 of the 6 display cases in the building, work with Government Document Microfiche, and keep an eye on the DVD collection.  I love having the opportunity to be creative at work.  Every display I create seems less like work and more like play.
  3. Outside of the job you can usually find me at home with my husband.  I have one word to say to you and that is GARDENING.  We love to garden.  Fruits and vegetables?  Yep.  Flowers?  You betcha.  I am very interested in growing my own food and doing it chemically and genetically-modified free.  I’d rather be digging in the dirt than just about anywhere else.
  4. I also enjoy my creative tornado, AKA my craft room.  I like creating things.  I’ve taken over a spare bedroom and most of the basement and turned it into a place that’s half, “Martha Stewart would be proud this”, half, “Do I really need another stack of springs from old chairs I’ve picked up from the side of the road?” worthy.  It is a creative world we live in and I am trying to use every color in the crayon box to appreciate it.


I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about our checkout staff! Now, if you see any of them walking around don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation. I’m sure Janice would love to talk gardening with you and Nancy would love to meet a fellow turtle lover!


Read on,


Austin Viano



New Suggestion Box, Library Hours, and Flying Cars

Hello again, everyone!  This is Marna Hostetler, Director of the David L. Rice Library.  I’ll be dropping in every so often to post comments from our brand new suggestion box, located at the Checkout Desk here in Rice Library.  If you have ideas, observations, or suggestions for us, please let us know.  Responses will be posted here as comments are received.

Which brings me to our first crop of suggestions:

Received February 10, 2014

  1. Extend the library hours!!
  2. Open till 2…also flying cars

I’ll take the hours first.  In August 2013, the library expanded hours on Fridays and Saturdays.  Also, as a trial run, the library was open until 2:00 am for Fall 2013 final exams Monday, December 2 – Wednesday, December 18.  We will do the same for Spring 2014 final exams, remaining open until 2:00 am every day between Monday, April 21 – Wednesday, May 7. 

As for extending hours until 2:00 am during the regular semester, we are always looking at usage statistics and safety is our primary concern.  Our late-night head counts are currently too low to maintain safety.  I remain open to the idea of expanding our hours even more than we already have, but in order for me to feel good about making a case for that, I must see more late-night usage.

And finally, flying cars.  Flying cars?!  I’m going to have to work on that…

Thank you very much for your suggestions!  We appreciate your taking the time to provide feedback. 







Useful, Yet Entertaining, Books at Rice Libarary

                I am currently working towards earning my bachelor degree in business administration with minors in marketing and management. With this direction of education I am obviously interested in business, many forms of it as a matter of fact. I grew up working for my dad at a small sporting good business so I have been brought up around sales, marketing, and management. Even though my classes are suffifient enough to teach me what I need to know in order to get my degree, I enjoy searching for other forms of education to expand my knowledge of business concepts.

                I have found in the past three years here at USI that Rice Library can provide me with just that. I love to read about stories involving how somebody got started in the business world or how somebody turned a garage based business into a multi-million dollar corporation. Rice library has multiple books featuring stories of how businessmen got started.

                Last year, I was searching for a new business book to read that I would both enjoy and get some knowledge out of. I had heard of a book called Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain from a professor so I decided to check to see if the library had it. Low and behold, Rice Library did have the exact book I was looking for and it was available, as well. Keep in mind, that this book was a book that had just been released not even a year prior to this.Image

                The book was about a young entrepreneur and how he had we from living in the projects of L.A. to multi-millionaire. While reading the book, he gave many important lessons that are applicable to both me personally and professionally. It was a great read that I learned a lot from. I, most likely, wouldn’t have read it too if Rice Library didn’t have it available.

                ImageThere are multiple other business books that Rice Library has at our disposable that students should try to take advantage of. Just to name a couple that would be great for business students to pick up, Hatching Twitter, the story of how Twitter got started and became a multi-billion dollar company, and Inside Apple, a book describing the secret business strategies of Apple. 

                ImageOf course, these types of entertaining yet educational reads are not limited to just business students. Whatever your major is, whether it be business, art, engineering, or philosophy, I guarantee you that you will be able to find an interesting book that will be beneficial to your career in the long run. Reading these types of books are what will drive a person’s interest in a subject and it will make you want to learn more. Making it habit of reading these books will be a huge asset to you once you are out of school, as well. Taking classes may not be required anymore but that doesn’t mean we can’t keep learning on our own. So take a few minutes of your spare time and look up a book that interests you and come pick it up at the library. You won’ regret it.


Read on,

Austin Viano

Cultural Views of American Soldiers during World War II by Cody Benke

There isn’t much that people don’t know about World War II; its battles and carnage are well documented. The atomic bomb that came from this war had the biggest impact, as it would change post-war policies and how countries dealt with one another.  Though these subjects are obviously important, there is another topic that shouldn’t get swept aside and should be considered, especially for an America nation that had used an isolation policy for so long leading up to World War II.  The cultural views that American soldiers had entering the war would affect how they thought of the places and people they encountered, and would be changed by what they saw and experienced.  Two collections in the University Archives & Special Collections (UASC) demonstrate the attitudes and experiences of soldiers during the war, the Kenneth McCutchan and Chris Nix collections.

Though soldiers were not allowed to keep journals or diaries many did, with men like Ken McCutchan providing a unique look at how American soldiers viewed the war in times outside of the battlefield.  Another soldier, Chris Nix Jr. would be trained as a paratrooper for an invasion of Japan that never occurred, but the people and culture he encountered in Japan would give him a greater experience than the invasion-that-never-was could have.

Raised as a farm boy in Oregon, Nix was told during training that he would be turned into a cold-blooded killer, and would be glad later on that he never had to become that, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t see death. Instead of corpses lying on the ground, Nix saw this death in the form of a defeated Japanese crowd watching him and the rest of General Douglas MacArthur’s honor guard in Japan after the end of the war in the Pacific.  In Nix’s words, the crowd “…looked like their world had ended.”

The diaries and information kept by Ken McCutchan during his time in the war provides a great source of American soldiers and how their views on culture were changed by the experience of war.  When McCutchan was stationed in North Africa, it gave him a chance to view Muslims and Arabs for the first time.  Knowing that soldiers would be confused by the new culture, the War Department issued pocket guides about North Africa (as well as one for Paris, which dispelled the rumors of wild women, among other things). In the guide, information about Islam and Muslims in general is mentioned, including how to eat properly with them and how to avoid insulting them.  One image shows McCutchan perhaps embracing this new culture, as he sends a postcard back to his mother with him on a camel enjoying himself.

North Africa, 1943

North Africa, 1943

However, McCutchan’s views on culture would be wiped away by the things he experienced, thanks in no part to the isolation policy that America had been using.  Though the American government tried to prepare the soldiers for going overseas with the guides, it didn’t provide anything for the huge cultural differences they would encounter. One of these cultural differences was how they treated women as good for nothing more than labor and birthing, with suggestions to warn women when entering a house so they cannot be seen. These cultural differences would lead to resentment with the soldiers, with many holding the natives in a negative light.  McCutchan described the Arabs as living in deplorable conditions with their animals.  McCutchan noted the good things of Islam at one point, such as their determination to adhere to Islamic rules (while some did consume alcohol most did not, which was a big rule for them to follow).  However, McCutchan wrote down that he considered it a “…soul-withering faith…” which must have made it hard to consider them anything but strangers.  But McCutchan’s negative views of these people are gradually altered, with him noting after celebrating Easter that it was the same here as it was back home. These feelings would grow stronger as the natives experienced more of the war in the form of casualties.  Men would bring their children to medics after they stepped on mines and would get blown apart.  This would give the soldiers a look at death they may not have seen before, with McCutchan, knowing that war was brought to these people, noting that “…It is the poor innocent natives who will suffer most from this war. They will be killed for years to come by mines that will be left here undiscovered.”

MSS 004-3-18_001

As McCutchan moved around to various towns in France, they were viewed in the same suspicious light by the French as the Americans viewed them and other Europeans.  Many French believed that America was nothing but a land of gangsters and crude, uncivilized people.  McCutchan expressed the viewpoint that these people wanted nothing more from American than money and men.  Despite these issues, McCutchan saw the opportunity that these various cultures can come together at some point.  He wrote to a Reverend back home that even though barriers to language and culture exist, there is an understanding among the people, and hopes that the world will realize this common ground.   While many soldiers probably began feeling this way, the US military was determined to destroy Nazi Germany at its roots.  A pamphlet sent out towards the end of the war directed soldiers in how to handle relations with Germans.  Condemning them all for what the Nazis had done, the pamphlet iterates the monstrous nature of Germans and forbade all but the most necessary communications with them until they have redeemed themselves in the eyes of the world.

MSS 004-3-19_002

 World War II and the destruction it caused would forever change the world as we know it today.  Entire military policies are devoted to atomic energy with countries rushing to get their hands on as many bombs as they can, with nations such as Israel being created in the aftermath.  However, the cultures that American soldiers experienced, and brought with them, should have a role in discussion as well.  How much of our policies would be shaped or copied from what we saw European nations doing?  For the soldiers, who only knew of American life, these new experiences would doubtfully change how they viewed the rest of the war as well as the rest of their lives. This can be seen in the records kept by soldiers like Ken McCutchan and Chris Nix Jr which are located in the archives, along with other war related collections.

January, 2014

Harry Potter, Mrs. Doubtfire, Ghostbusters and More!

                Traditionally, we students tend to think that the school library is simply for doing homework and conducting hours of research. This is true to an extent but we fail to realize the amount of entertainment a library can provide, as well. Rice Library has done a great job at providing said entertainment, much of which most students don’t know about!

                First and foremost, I better start with the books, since we are talking about a library. Freshmen come in every year and fail to realize the number of great books that we provide here at Rice Library. When I first got here, as a Freshman, I was one of the students who actually enjoyed reading for fun (crazy, right?), but once I got here I failed to continue reading for fun because I wasn’t proactive enough to find new books to read. Little did I know that great modern novels were right here at Rice Library! I suspect that this is the problem for many new students, as well. Lucky for you, Rice Library now has plenty of great novels to keep the casual reader busy throughout the school year.

                From Harry Potter to James Patterson novels, Rice Library has novels for any audience that you can imagine. Now, how do you find out if we have the novel you are looking for and, most importantly, how do you find it in the four story building that is holding thousands of books? Here are some steps that I hope will help you in your search for your next read:

  1. Think about what book you would like to enjoy next
  2. Go to the Rice Library website and click “Catalog” on the homepage
    1. Or go to this link:
    2. Type in the book that you are looking for in the search box and click “search”
    3. Now, hopefully you have found a match!
    4. Next, look at the Call Number that is listed in the “Hold Information”
    5. Write the Call Number down
    6. If you are able to find the book using that number then you are one smart cookie
      1. However, if not then you are welcome to visit the reference desk in the library and they will help you find your book
      2. Or you are more than welcome to tweet @RiceLib and ask for help and I will, personally, come find your book for you
      3. Learn how to find a book using call numbers here:

After all of this, I hope that you have a great book to enjoy!

Now, I know that a lot of people are not big readers and that is perfectly fine. Believe it or not, Rice Library provide hours of entertainment for you! A lot of students don’t know about the wide variety of movies that Rice Library has available for students to check out for a week at a time. Now, these aren’t simply educational movies for professors to show in class or documentaries. There are classics in their collection, such as Along Came Polly, 8 Mile, Patch Adams, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Ghostbusters! Most of these movies are movies that we grew up watching and will always have a fond place in our hearts. Those few movies are just skimming the surface of the amount of great movies that Rice Library provides for us to enjoy!booksmovies

                You can find these movies on the first floor and turning left when you reach the reference desk and going straight back.

So, the next time you think about buying a new book off Amazon or going an renting a movie for the weekend for 5 bucks just save some money and come to Rice Library!

Read On,

Austin Viano