Move In Miami Campaign

Do you love Rentschler Library? Do you enjoy and appreciate all of the support we provide to students, faculty, staff, and the community? Then consider making a donation to the library during Miami University’s “MoveInMiami” campaign. Funds donated to the library will be used to provide services and activities such as our Open Houses, give-aways, and other fun events. And, Dean and Mrs. Pratt will add $10 to each new donation that’s over $5!! Also, Cathy Bishop-Clark and her husband Greg will give $1000 to the fund that got the most donors! By clicking on the link below and then filling out the form, you can ensure that your donation will go to Rentschler Library’s fund. If you have any questions, you can contact Ellen Paxton at or (513)785-3291. Donation forms will be open until 2:20am.

Thanks in advance for your support!


Slowing down for summer

With less than a month before the start of fall semester there is still time to slow down and relax with a good book, maybe put down your Internet device. Our mobile phones and tablets are wonderful time-saving devices, but critics say that the interconnected, 24/7 life they enable leaves little time for reflection and slow digestion of the news. With that in mind, here are just a few of the titles from Rentschler Library’s collection that you can substitute for your device!

futureMindsRichard Watson, in “Future Minds: How the Digital Age is Changing Our Minds” says that “we have developed a culture of instant digital gratification in which there is always something to do – although we never seem to be entirely satisfied with what we end up choosing.”  Watson says we should even try and work less, take 1-2 days off per week, and take device-free vacations.

shallowsNicholas Carr’s  book”The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains” was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, an an expansion on his 2008 article “Is Google Making us Stupid,” published in Atlantic Monthly magazine. Carr decries how using the Internet made it more difficult for him to read and absorb longer, more challenging texts.


InternetAnxietyDoes the Internet Increase Anxiety? is a collection of essays in Greenwood Press’s “At Issues” series of books. There are chapters on multitasking, online gaming addiction, how social media can increase social anxiety disorders, and even something called “mobile device separation anxiety.”  It isn’t all doom-and-gloom, there is a chapter on how using technology mindfully can reduce anxiety from digital overload.

July is National Ice Cream month!

Out of all the food-related month long celebrations for July 2016 – Horseradish, hot dogs, baked beans – I think we can all agree that ice cream is the best one on the list. July is also National Anti-Boredom Month, National Picnic Month, and National Grilling Month, in case you were wondering.

We have Pres. Ronald Reagan to thank for designating July as National Ice Cream Month, acc. to the International Dairy Foods Association. The average American eats 5 1/2 gallons of ice cream every year, and more ice cream is sold in July than any other time of year.

IceCreamThough you would undoubtedly rather eat it than read about it, you can check out “Ice Cream Social: the Struggle for the Soul of Ben & Jerry’s” from Rentschler Library. We only ask that you NOT spill any ice cream on the pages! If you’re really intrepid, try this recipe for ice cream that doesn’t require an ice cream maker.

Library closed Monday, July 4

flag4thThe library will be closed Monday, July 4th, 2016 in observance of the holiday. Regular hours resume on Tuesday, July 5th. Have a great weekend!

New books June 2016

A blog post with *all* of our new books for June 2016 would be prohibitively long, so here are some highlights:

JubileebookMargaret Walker’s “Jubilee” is a true story of the author’s great-grandmother, born of a white plantation owner and his black mistress in the antebellum South.  The New York Times Book Review said it “chronicled the triumph of a free spirit over many kinds of bondage.”  Walker was a professor at Jackson State University and founded the Institute for the Study of the History, Life and Culture of Black People.

TamilTigressBookIt isn’t always easy to find good books on specific topics, like the civil war in Sri Lanka, so we purchased this memoir by Niromi de Soyza, who fought as a child soldier in that conflict. A review in Publisher’s Weekly said “Readers will both empathize with and judge de Soyza’s experiences in the Tamil struggle as she candidly shares the messy truths of what occurred in the jungle and how she came to leave the Tigers behind.”

KissingersShadowbookNo matter your political leanings, you can’t deny that Henry Kissinger left an indelible mark on U.S. foreign policy in the 20th century. Journalist Greg Grandin tries to expose the negative impact of Kissinger’s idea of American exceptionalism. For a different take on Kissinger, try Walter Isaacson’s 2005 biography.


spittingbloodBookFreelance historian Helen Bynum offers a history of tuberculosis, one of the world’s deadliest diseases, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The Guardian’s review said Bynum “has written a book not only full of diverting asides, but also of urgent importance…[her] book is a call to action.” While the number of TB cases declined from 2013 to 2014, it was the smallest decline in decades. [CDC link above]

Muhammad Ali (1942-1916)

Ali1The world mourns the passing of Muhammad Ali on June 3, 2016. He was a sports icon who had a tremendous impact on society. Journalist David Remnick* said it best in this article in the New Yorker:

He “was the most fantastical American figure of his era, a self-invented character of such physical wit, political defiance, global fame, and sheer originality that no novelist you might name would dare conceive him.”

Michael Ezra’s 2009 biography “Muhammad Ali: the Making of an Icon” (above)  tries to consider Ali from all sides; a national hero and a highly-scrutinized civil rights hero to many. Reviewer Carol Rotella says that Ezra’s book “makes fresh sense of Ali as cultural icon and historical figure” and the “vast literature and mythos that surround him.”

*Remnick is the author of one of the many biographies of Ali.  His 1999 title “King of the World: Muhammad Ali and the Rise of the American Hero” is rated as “a great book written by a master storyteller, a book worthy of America’s most dynamic modern hero.” (Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, June 1999). 


Ferguson featured on OhioLINK’s Researcher Profiles

D.J. Ferguson Miami University HamiltonMiami Hamilton’s very own D. J. Ferguson, Associate Professor of Microbiology, was featured on  OhioLINK Research Profiles recently in a post titled “Ferguson researches cure for heart disease with OhioLINK resources.”

Ferguson does research on anaerobic organisms in the gut and how they breakdown compounds during the digestive process. His research is helping us understand how these microorganisms may contribute to heart disease.

Ferguson is one of many MUH faculty who rely on OhioLINK to stay current on research in their field. You can sign up for journal alerts, download full text scientific papers, and request monographs for delivery to the Hamilton campus within a few days. Because of the consortial pricing that OhioLINK is able to negotiate on our behalf, we also have access to resources like Web of Science, a huge index of scientific papers, and the Electronic Journal Center, which has peer-reviewed scholarly journals from publishers like Elsevier, Blackwell, and Wiley.