Wisconsin Reads The Round House: An NEA Big Read is a project of University of Wisconsin Colleges and Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community Colleges’ students, faculty, and staff to bring communities around the state together to discuss Louise Erdrich’s The Round House. Written in the voice of a thirteen-year-old boy named Joe, whose mother has been brutally raped, the novel explores the impact of the rape on family members and the tribal community, as well as the larger issue of sexual assault on Native American women.
With discussions, films, lectures, art exhibits, and story-telling workshops on university campuses and public libraries in March and April of 2018, the project held over 70 events around Wisconsin.
NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) designed to broaden our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. The University of Wisconsin Colleges is one of 75 not-for-profit organizations to receive a grant to host an NEA Big Read project between September 2017 and June 2018. The NEA presents NEA Big Read in partnership with Arts Midwest.
The Trendy UW Colleges Libraries
Let's be honest, when you hear the word trendsetters, libraries might not be the first thing to pop into your mind. Not unless cardigan sweaters are making a significant comeback. But a recent article on the top trends in academic libraries from the Association of College and Research Libraries' College & Research Libraries News shows the UWC Libraries are keeping up on the latest library vogue. Among the top 2018 library trends, C&RL News lists:
Like many libraries nationwide, UWC Libraries are responding to the public call for information literacy as an antidote to dangerous Fake News. Finding and evaluating credible information has been a library mainstay for decades, but this recent heightened awareness has provided welcomed attention to our values and mission. Check out one of our information literacy librarian's guide on Critical Thinking About the News.
Also responding to the national landscape, the UWC Libraries have led a discussion in our institution on textbook affordability and the Open Educational Resources (OER) movement. Partnering with our colleagues in Academic and Student Affairs, the OER project team has developed a roadmap for supporting faculty in adopting open resources to reduce barriers to learning. This work will continue to build over the coming year.
If you've seen the infographic on the recent space and technology use study, you can see the Libraries are keenly interested in learning how our students interact in our spaces. Linking space or resource usage to learning outcomes can help us continuously improve our services and resources to meet changing student needs.
And you may recall from last year's annual report, the UWC Libraries spent the past year experimenting with demand-driven resources and streaming content. Usage of these types of resources, available to library users at the time of need, grew significantly and reinforced the need for responsive, on-demand resources.
As our Libraries transition over the coming year into their new home institutions, I am confident they will find new partnerships and colleagues interested in keeping things on the trendy side.
Jennifer Chamberlain, Executive Director of Libraries
 "2018 Top Trends in Academic Libraries." College & Research Libraries, 79.6 (2018): 286.