Want to help save the environment? Kill-a-Watt is here to help!

Murphy has an exciting new product available at the circulation desk: the Kill-a-Watt energy meter.  This handy little device measures how many kilowatt hours your appliances use so you can be mindful of your energy consumption!  Using it is easy, too.  Simply plug it into the outlet and plug your appliance(s) into the Kill-a-Watt meter.  After a while – I left it in for seven days – simply push the colored button the the right side and it will tell you how many kilowatt hours you have used.

My total kilowatt hours consumed was 12.3, though I didn’t have my fridge or microwave plugged in since I couldn’t fit the energy meter between the loft and the wall.  For the week that I had it plugged in, my appliances (my computer, phone charger, printer, TV, VCR player, DVD player, and any other small appliances I plugged in on and off) cost $1.15.  This would be $4.60 per month.  This might not seem like much, but remember, it doesn’t include the fridge, microwave, lights, any other high-consumption appliances, or even my roomate’s computer (which is almost always on and plugged in).


Fun facts:

The same amount of energy use that costed $4.60 here in Wisconsin would have costed $7.07 in California, $3.12 in Idaho, and $8.39 in New York (per month).**

It would take ten pounds of coal to generage the 12.3 kWh that I consumed. (


Well that is enough math for me for the rest of the week!  I hope you check out a Kill-a-Watt meter!  Even if you live in the dorms, it is nice to know how much energy you consume, or waste!  It can also help those who live off campus to pinpoint what appliances are wasting the most energy.  Remember, always unplug what you are not immediately using and turn off all lights if you don’t need them on.  Together, we can help save the world!… maybe not, but we can try.



*Energy cost estimated through information on the Intitute for Energy Research Wisconsin factsheet( Since prices change so much, the this may not be the current rate

**The rates for other states came from a very shaky-looking source.  It is not to be relied on completely, but is just used to give a broad idea of where Wisconsin stands on energy costs.  The website I took the California, Idaho, and New York information is found at

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Posted by on February 29, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Movies, Movies, Movies…EDUCATIONAL MOVIES!

Hello, I am back and ready to show you how much of a nerd I truly am.  I love learning new topics and will spend HOURS on Wikipedia clicking all the links to things such as “Russian Formalism” and “Literary Theory.”  So you can imagine my excitement when I realized you can stream educational videos to your computer for FREE and it’s legal!  That’s right ladies and gentlemen, you will not get thrown in jail and/or fined for using THIS website!  To get to it, simply go to Murphy’s homepage and there is a link on the left column saying “Films on Demand.”  These videos are not only informative, they are also really decent quality.  The videos come from companies such as BBC, The History Channel, CNBC, PBS, and many more.  (And they aren’t just for nerds).  Let me demonstrate:

Having trouble understanding Shakespeare?  Just look under the British and Irish Literature section of the English and Language Arts subject!  They have great videos about Shakespeare and even videos from groups such as the Royal Shakespeare Company so that you can watch the plays if reading them is too difficult. (Though you really should read them, too.)

Are you lost in Statistics class?  The Mathematics subject has a section dedicated solely to statistics and probability.  Many of these videos tackle difficult subjects in various ways.  Maybe a new explanation than what your professor gives in class is just what you need to ace that stats exam!

If you think these are too nerdy, but are struggling in classes, rethink your attitude towards your classes.  In education, you get out what you put in.  If you are a serious student and want to fully understand what you are learning in class, Films on Demand may be for you.  Embrace your geekdom and learn something new today!

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Posted by on February 15, 2012 in Uncategorized


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“What am I even looking for?!”

So the semester is in full swing and professors are maliciously handing out insane essay assignments.  Well, maybe not maliciously, but there is nothing worse than that moment when you get the assignment and you think to yourself, “Where do I find information on THAT?!”  Instead of panicking, hyperventilating, and/or going on a semi-psychotic rant, try stopping in at Murphy.  Now, I can practically hear you thinking, “How is wondering around a giant library with no clear aim going to help me on my paper?”  Before your write me off as a crazed nerd who’s entire world exists within the walls of such a place of knowledge, let me lay out a few options to help you find what you are looking for in life… or maybe just your assignment.

If you are not even sure what you are supposed to do:

Get all the information you can about the assignment.  Talk to your professor for clarity on anything that’s vague. Bring all of the information to the Writing Center on the second floor of Murphy inside the Learning Center (Room 256).  No stage of the writing process is too early or too late to seek help.  Tutors at the Writing Center can help you find a place to start by evaluating the assignment with you and assisting you in finding an appropriate topic to write about.  Stop in during the writing process as well to help make your paper as great as it can be. (Warning: do not think you can stop by and get your paper proofread.  That is not what the Writing Center is for.  They aim to make you a better writer and therefore will only help you to find your own mistakes.) Check out their website for more information.  Making an appointment is recommended, but you might be able to get help on a drop-in basis if tutors are available.

If you know your topic, but don’t know where to find information: (You have a lot of great options at this point.)

1) Stop by the Reference desk!  Located in the lobby directly in front of the entrance, the Reference desk is a great resource when you don’t know how to find the information you need. They are staffed by a librarian from 9am-5pm and 6pm-9pm Monday through Thursday, 11am-3pm on Friday, 1pm-4pm on Saturday, and 1pm-4pm and 6pm-9pm on Sunday.  The librarian will help you find great resources in multiple different locations.

2) If you feel uncomfortable asking for help face-to-face, you can always email the Reference desk by clicking on the link on the left hand side of the Murphy homepage titled “Ask a Librarian” or click here. (You can also email the Reference desk by sending an email to

3) Another way to talk to a librarian through the computer is to chat with the librarian at the reference desk.  On the left hand column of the homepage, there is a link called “Chat with Librarian.”  This opens a chat box where you can ask away.

4) If phones are your favorite mode of communication, you can call the reference desk at 608-785-8508 or toll-free at 800-881-4454.

5) Finally, if your project is too intricate for a simple question to solve your problems, you can schedule an individual consultation with a librarian.  This will allow you to get more personalized assistance.

To all of you in the residence halls, don’t be afraid to contact your hall librarian with any questions.  They are more than happy to help you.  After all, it is their job!  If you are unsure who your hall’s librarian is, click here and click on your hall’s tab at the top of the page.

Now go out and rock that paper!

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Posted by on February 10, 2012 in Uncategorized


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What do you think about Murphy Library?

If you haven’t already noticed, Murphy Library has been attempting to collect your input on what you like about us and how you think we could improve.  Next to the pillar at the bottom of the stairs (between the entrance doors and Murphy’s Mug) there is a dry erase board.  One side asks, “What would you like to know about Murphy Library?”  The other side asks, “What would you like to know about research?”  I would like to invite all of you to write something on there.  It will only help make the library more accessible to you!

Also, I would like to extend another invitation to all of you.  If you ever have any questions about Murphy, have ideas for improving (in the actual library as well as our website), or would just like to comment on something you noticed/like/dislike, please let me know!  I would be more than happy to answer any questions and forward any suggestions to the proper people.  If you don’t want to post questions on such a public site as my blog, feel free to email me at  Also, on the left column of the Murphy website, there are a few options you may use to get a hold of a librarian.  One way is to use the “Chat with Librarian” link (a green dot will be present by the link if a librarian is available on chat).  If no librarians are on chat, you can always email the reference desk by clicking on the “Ask a Librarian” link.

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Posted by on January 26, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Yoohoo! Eagle Gray!

Our third residence hall librarian is Heather Jett, hall librarian for Eagle Gray.  I highly suggest you Eagle Gray residents come visit her as she is very fun to talk to! 

Heather Jett

Hall: Eagle Gray

Job Title: Access Services Librarian

What do you do for your job?

I run circulation supervision, instruction, work at the reference desk, assist with ordering new materials…


What is your favorite part about being a residence hall librarian?

I am excited to work with students.


What is one thing you would like students from your hall to know about you?

That I am here to help

If you could have any animal (real or fictional) as a pet, what would you choose?

A magic dragon


What is one thing you know you do differently than most other people?



What’s the most embarassing album/cassette/CD you have ever owned?

I recieved a Sean Cassidy album as a gift once


What is your favorite toy you remember having as a child?

An electronic quiz game (I can’t remember the name of it)


How old would you think you were if you had no knowledge off your true (chronological) age?

Some days 10, others 200


What would you most like to change about the world?

I would like people to make decisions about others based only on their character, not their race, religion, culture, or anything else external.


Well, there you go Eagle Gray.  Stop buy sometime or email Heather with any additional questions you may have.  She is here to help you, so feel free to utilize such a great resource!

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Posted by on December 13, 2011 in Uncategorized


Any Drake Residents Out There?

And now for the second installment of the residence hall librarian information session.  Next up is Teri Talpe, librarian for Drake Hall.  Let’s see what she has to say.

Teri Talpe

Hall: Drake

Job Title: Special Collections Librarian

What do you do for your job?

I help the campus community, La Crosse community members, and other researchers with local history, steamboat images, other area archival photos, UWL history, genealogy, and so much more!


What is your favorite part about being a hall librarian?

Students, students, students! Seeing them on their turf.


What is one thing you would like students from your hall to know about you?

Small people have big ideas and big hearts.


Are you a big fan of any sports team?

Nope. Not a sports fan in general


What do you like to do on your time off work?

Photography, music, bike, read, cook, create things, film, live theater


Have you ever gone skydiving?

Yes, I wanted to do something for my 40th birthday that I would never forget.  So I decided to skydive.  But I wanted the whole experience, so I chose to tandem jump with an instructor so that we could free fall.  We jumped from about 2 miles up, I think.  It could have been higher.  The plane took off near East Troy, WI and I remember that I could see the chicago skyline before we jumped.  I was attached to my instructor.  We flung ourselves out of the plane and free fell for about 45 seconds.  It was very violent and as close to insanity as I’d ever been.  I could hardly breathe and it was cold.  Then I pulled the cord and the parachute opened to a completely different feeling — calm, peaceful, silent, warm.  It was such a radical difference from the free fall.  We landed perfectly.  I loved every second of it but I would never do it again because it scared the socks off of me.  it’s an incredible experience I’ll never forget the sensations, so I guess it was mission accomplished!


Off the top of your head, answer this question to the best of your ability: Why do pilgrim’s hats have buckles on the front?

That is probably and urban myth! Or an invented stereotype.


What is your favorite Halloween costume you have ever seen or worn?

A hotdog costume for a dog


If you could have anything in the world, what would be your dream Christmas/birthday present?

Universal health care



So there you go, Drake residents.  Stop by and meet your librarian sometime!  She would love to help you in your academic endeavors.

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Posted by on December 12, 2011 in Uncategorized


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Pearls Before Swine Before Homework

On one of my various “I really don’t want to do homework, so I will put it off until the final minute” internet sessions, I came across a hilarious (and library related) Pearls Before Swine comic strip.  Then I figured, why not share the joy?

Now I’m sure all of you know that our librarians will not resort to vandalism in order to recover overdue books, but it is probably in your best interest to return them on time.

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Posted by on December 5, 2011 in Uncategorized


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