One Final Post

Now that the end of the semester is upon us, my time as an intern at the IUP Libraries is almost over. I graduate from IUP at the end of next semester and there are many things that I think about. Most of all, I ask myself if I will be ready to be in the “real world” or not. I still do not have all the answers, but my time as an intern at the IUP Libraries has helped me develop skills that I can use towards my future career and endeavors. It has given me opportunities to work in a more professional setting than I have previously experienced, I learned how to write a blog and improved my writing and researching skills.

For my internship, I wrote a series of entries for the Library blog (Banned Book Week, IUP: A History, Pennsylvania and the Coal Mines, and Abraham Lincoln: A Wonderful Collection), I was allowed to choose the topic of each blog post, research the topic, and then compose each blog post and submit them for review prior to publication. I then create a Facebook post and tweet to announce the new post. For each blog post, I picked the topic from what is available in the IUP Libraries’ Special Collections. I also went to the Banned Book Week event and wrote a blog post on it before the event, to advertise the event and let people know a little more back story on the event and why it’s important to read banned books.

My time as an intern was very eye-opening. I learned how to write in a different style that I had no background with, and it solidified the fact that I wanted to work in a University setting. I am very excited to enter the next phase of my life, but I will always remember my time as an intern at the IUP Libraries.

Abraham Lincoln: A Wonderful Collection


Most people know who Abraham Lincoln was and know of the great things he accomplished during his lifetime. Of course, if you were not raised in the United States, you probably might only know that he was a President of the United States and wore a tall hat. For those who were raised here, or did more research on him, you know that he is one of our most famous Presidents, governing the country during the civil war and championing the ending of slavery in the United States.


Abraham Lincoln is one of the most interesting of the past Presidents of the United States as well as one of the most iconic. President Lincoln was a politician and lawyer before his time as the 16th President of the United States. He served as President from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. President Lincoln was the first United States President to be assassinated, and it was a very hard and terrible experience for our country. The country was still divided from the Civil War – a division that was only emphasized when a Confederate supporter, John Wilkes Booth, shot President Lincoln during a performance of “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theater. Though President Lincoln lived for a short while afterwards, Booth’s attack ultimately resulted in his death.


There are many people who love to collect memorabilia of past Presidents, especially President Lincoln. At Stapleton Library, thanks to the donations of Dr. Earl J. and Ann S. Hunt from Johnstown, PA, we have the Abraham Lincoln Collection at the IUP Special Collections and University Archives, Manuscript Group 136. Some of the items we have in our collection is: brochures, pamphlets, papers, coins, plates, busts of Abraham Lincoln, A Civil War presidential pardon (handwritten), and many more items!


If you want more information or would like to explore our special collections, come over to the library and check it out!

Pennsylvania and the Coal Mines

If you are from Pennsylvania, you probably have family members who were or are coal miners and depending on the area, may have once relied on the mines. If you aren’t from Pennsylvania, you’ve probably figured out that this state, at one point in time, had a lot of coal mines and produced a fair amount of coal.


Some mining companies even made small towns for their workers to live in. Ernest, which is only four miles out of Indiana, was a town like this which was founded in 1904. The workers and their families lived there and by 1916, Ernest was a thriving mining community with a school, two churches, a barbershop, and a large company store. Now, no one who lives in Ernest remembers what it was like before the mines were around.



Mining was once one of the most dangerous jobs that a man or child could have. Yes, children used to work in the mines before child labor laws. Small spaces that grown men couldn’t fit into but needed worked in, they would send children. These children were normally children of other miners who were too poor to afford not to send their children in. Many lives were lost in the mines because there were few, if any, laws in place to keep the miners safe.


Now there are many, many different laws. Each and every law that is connected to the coal mines has a reason behind it. Whether someone died, got injured, or something happened that endangered the workers, there is a law that was put into place to prevent this from happening. My great-grandfather Termin lost his arm in the coal mines after a spark ignited some dynamite by his arm. During the time that my grandfather worked in the mines (1888-1955, age 8-75) there were not many laws that kept him safe, not for the majority of when he worked anyway.



My family in previous generations were very active members in the coal mining industry. Both of my grandfather’s and my father all worked in the mines, though my father was only a miner for six short months before it closed for good. Now many other people are no longer able to work in the mines, as most of the mines in Pennsylvania are shutting down. The mines have a fascinating history, if you want to learn more come to the library and visit the archives section! We have a trove of information on the coal industry in Indiana county.

IUP: A History


Almost everyone who has gone on a tour at IUP knows that when we first started out, we were known as the Indiana Normal School. Above is a picture of the Normal School, which we know as Sutton Hall. To the right is a current map of the school grounds. A lot has changed over the years, as you can tell just from these two photos. The timeline below shows some highlights of IUP’s long history (click the image for a larger version).




We’ve also gone through a few mascot changes throughout the years. For the longest time we were known as the “Indians” of Indiana. This lasted all the way up until 1991! This was in reference to the names of both the town and the school. Our mascot was either called “Chief” or “Squaw” depending on which student played the part. In 1991 the mascot was changed due to movements to eliminate Native American related mascots, mainly because they were and still are seen as offensive to the culture.

Our new mascot from 1991-2006 was the American Black Bear. Despite the efforts to eliminate the Native American as our mascot, our new mascot was named Cherokee in honor of the current fight song and despite having the black bear as our mascot, we were still commonly known as the “Indians.”

IUP Fight Song – Cherokee performed by the 1999 IUP Marching Band



In 2006 we officially became known as the Crimson Hawks, and 2007 saw the revealing of our mascot Norm – an ode to the Indiana Normal School – whom we all know and love. Norm is a nod to where we started.

iup-crimson-hawks make-your-mark-at-iup


Some statistics that you may find interesting:



Our students come from 41 different states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Palau, and 56 different countries.




Noteworthy People

Jane Leonard (December 27, 1840 – April 5, 1924) worked on campus for 46 years (1875-1921). Jane Leonard stood as a symbol of strength through the starting of our history. Leonard Hall was named in her honor.


Patricia Hilliard Robertson (March 12, 1963 – May 24, 2001) was IUP’s very own astronaut! A native of Homer City, Pennsylvania right down the road from Indiana, Robertson went to IUP for her bachelors in biology before going on to the Medical College of Pennsylvania. Unfortunately she passed away in 2001 due to her injuries which she got from a plane crash.


Elinor Gordon Blair (June 29, 1913 – April 17, 2015) grew up on campus during the time of the Indiana Normal School and was known by most faculty and students. She was even in the 1916 yearbook. She wrote a memoir about her experience living on the campus.

Awards Received

2013- National recognition for community service with the “Presidents Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll”

2014- made one of the “top 100 public universities in the U.S.” according to U.S. News and World Report

If you want to know more, come see everything for yourself in the library archives! This is just a very tiny amount of all of the amazing information offered in our archives!

Banned Books Week

One thing many people have learned through their years of schooling is that at one point books have been banned. Whether it was for religious reasons, political movements, or overall fear, books were banned. Now for thirty-four years on the last week of September, the United States of America celebrates Banned Books Week.

But what really is Banned Book Week? Why should we celebrate this? One thing that the United States is known for is its freedom. Its freedom to let individuals speaks yet books are still being banned or censored. This week is meant to highlight that people should be allowed to read and explore the many books that wonderful authors have written. But instead, elementary and middle schools continue to take books off of their shelves and refuse to teach certain books because they contain “offensive” material. Parents sometimes are the cause of books being banned as they do not want their child being taught something that goes against what they would teach their child. Often, parents do not want their children reading something that has racism or sex in it without direct punishment as they feel that it teaches their children that they can do these things. Examples of such books are: The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie.


Image result for Harry Potter books

The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling has been challenged and banned in some schools due to its focus on witchcraft, dark storyline, and can set bad examples for children. This particular series of books has been a favorite of mine since I was four years old. My experience with these books is nothing short of amazing. It taught me that being a good friend and surrounding myself by good friends is what will help me in life, rather than being surrounded by the rich and “powerful” families. I learned that I needed friends who would stick with me through everything, no matter what was going on in my life, like Hermione and Ron do for Harry and vice versa. It also taught me that love is one of the most important things in life and that it can save you, whether figuratively or literally in a sense. I never once thought about rebelling against an evil teacher, unless I was completely correct in doing so. Nor did I ever think that it was okay to be racist like the Malfoy family. Overall, if you want to read about a boy wizard, do it. If you do not want to read it, obviously you have that choice.


Image result for adventures of huckleberry finn

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is a classic, yet schools and parents ban this book because it’s seen as racist and can make people uncomfortable. I can understand not wanting to teach children that it is okay to be racist because that is not okay. What I do not understand is why it is not allowed to be taught to teenagers who should be able to handle knowing that racism should not be tolerated.


Image result for the absolutely true diary of a part-time indian

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie is a book that is banned because it mentions masturbation, profanity, racism and deals with very hard subject matters such as alcoholism and death. I just read this book in my English 418 class. Although it does deal with dark matters, there is nothing wrong with allowing a ninth grade student to read this book. I loved this book because even though it touched on dark matters, it made it very clear that alcoholism was never okay and there would always be negative consequences to go along with it. Alexie also made it very clear that Junior, the protagonist of the story, was never better than anyone else.

Those three books are only a very small examples of banned books. If you would like more information on which books are banned or challenged, you could go to

If you would like to participate in Banned Books Week, Monday 9/26/2016 the six o’clock series in the HUB Ohio room is focusing on “What’s Pop Culture and Why Do Diverse Pop Culture Voices Get Challenged?” hosted by the Pop Culture Methodologies group. On Wednesday 9/28/2016 from 1-2PM in the HSS Atrium there will be a read-out. Come and listen to excerpts from banned books or if you’d like to read something yourself you can sign up to do so! There will be refreshments, prizes and vouchers at this event. Hope to see everyone there!

Meet the Intern, Emily

“Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.” –Anna Quindlen

My name is Emily Shook and I am just a small town girl who followed her love of books to college. I grew up in Northern Cambria, Pennsylvania — not too far from Indiana. I have one younger brother who also attends IUP and is a freshman in the Safety Science program. A little about me: I love history, I really enjoy writing stories and over the summer I not only got to babysit six beautiful kids from two different families, but I also had the chance to work on a horse farm in Blairsville. When I’m not in class or reading a book I’m either with my sisters of Gamma Sigma Sigma doing community service, babysitting, crafting, fishing, cooking or working on my internship at our very own Stapleton Library on campus. I chose to do an internship at the library because it is giving me the opportunity to work with social media, research, and inform other students just how useful the library is to college students and how much it has to offer them. Not only can it make them successful college students, but that it also offers very interesting and amazing different artifacts that are not available anywhere else.

Currently I am a senior here at IUP majoring in English Literary, Textual, and Cultural studies with a minor in Criminology and am graduating in May 2017. Once I graduate I will hopefully be going to graduate school focusing in composition and literature.