Bookmark Newsletter - Winter 2023 Edition

From the Dean's Desk

Dean Kristi Palmer head shot in front of white columns

Hello Friends of IUPUI University Library!

In this newsletter I thought I’d try something new and share my most influential read of the Fall 2022 semester.  I read Will Bunch’s After the Ivory Tower Falls: How College Broke the American Dream and Blew Up Our Politics-And How to Fix It.  For an introduction to the book I highly recommend the NPR Fresh Air show from August 2, 2022. 

A confluence of factors including: the “enrollment cliff” or impending demographic decline in the number of college-aged students; receding belief in the value (both financial and life improvement) of higher education; admission scandals; mounting student debt as a result of increasing costs; negative impact of national and state policies; and a political climate that is increasingly unwelcoming to traditional higher education; has many folks who are committed to lifting up this work concerned and searching for answers.  With a background in history, I sought insight both about how we got here and what I, the Library, IUPUI, and our nation can do to improve our post-high school education system. 

Bunch’s work provided a thoughtful introduction to that history and pointed to some options for change, though he admits our broken system will be difficult to entirely or easily correct.  A few of my take-aways:

  • The GI Bill transformed how people thought about higher education in the US, moving it beyond attainment for only an elite and privileged few.
  • Political reaction to the Civil Rights Movement and other political activism of the 1960s, often occurring on college campuses, in part moved national policy around higher education from public good to purveyor of cultural disruption.
  • The current tension between University as “producer of free thinkers” vs. “training for a labor force” is not new.
  • The high cost of higher education is complex and influencing factors include but are not limited to:
    • Significant reduction in state/federal support since the 1960s.
    • The high tuition/high aid model established by Harvard University only works for elite institutions who can afford to be highly selective.  As state universities have tried to implement this model, they alienate the broad student body they were meant to serve.
    • State schools chose to try and compete with elite school amenities (think luxury residence halls with a lazy river) and in-turn alienated those they were founded to serve.
  • Chapter Gap Year (p. 157) describes the “Four People You Meet in Today’s America”: The Left Perplexed, the Left Broke, the Left Behind, and the Left Out.  Too much to go into here but an interesting take on how the US’s traditional generational descriptors (e.g. Gen Z, Baby Boomers) relate to views on higher education. 
  • The US system of education after high school has the opportunity to broaden and enrich its investment in America’s young adults and at the same time address a deteriorating higher education model by looping in a myriad of state-supported, post-high school paths such as: vocational and trade training, apprenticeships, military service, and civilian service (such as AmeriCorps or Peace Corps).

What an unexpected treat to find national service as a suggested path to help address our imperfect system of continuing post-secondary education.  In 2019, IUPUI University Library’s Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives became the home for the National Service Archives, a collection of papers reflective of participants in, and leaders of, national service programs such as Teach for America and AmeriCorps. 

I propose one way in which IUPUI University Library can support meaningful change in our educational system is through the National Service Archive.  It provides a rich set of resources for policy makers, students, and citizens to explore Will Bunch’s proposal that national service be an embraced avenue for continuing education.

Please consider supporting continued development of our National Service Archives.

My next read, Serving Country and Community: Who Benefits from National Service? by Peter Frumkin. 

Kristi L. Palmer
Herbert Simon Dean of IUPUI University Library


Summer Hours

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Exterior view of the University Library

Faculty & Staff Recognition

Our Library has some pretty awesome faculty & staff members that are constantly serving as leaders, not just at University Library, but also in the overall academic library world.  Please help us celebrate recent accomplishments by our some of our beloved faculty & staff members.

  • Katharine Macy was awarded a grant as part of a collaborative effort with two other universities to develop and implement curricula and open educational resources to support teaching negotiation education within academic libraries.
  • Stephen Lane was appointed to serve on the board of the Indianapolis Public Library.
  • Mindy Cooper received the Outstanding Committee Chair award from the IUPUI Staff Council for her efforts in leading the Sustainability Committee.
  • Kindra Orr and Sara Lowe have been awarded a grant from the IUPUI Center for Teaching and Learning for their University Library Information Literacy Lab proposal.
  • Gemmicka Piper has been asked to become a Digital Gardener Faculty Mentor and Ambassador. In this role she will co-lead programming and events for the IUPUI Digital Gardener.
  • Jenny Johnson in collaboration with Africana Studies faculty member Patricia Turley has been awarded a CICF grant for their project titled "Curls, Fros, Fades, & Braids: Unwrapping the Influence of Afrocentric Hair in Indianapolis". The project will feature 3D scanned hair and virtual reality experiences pertaining to hairstyles during 3 different timeframes (1899-1916, 1916-1949, 1950-1980's).
  • Greg Mobley (Archives Specialist) retired from the Library after 29 years of service. 

Campus Involvement

Students playing games at the University Library's Weeks of Welcome event
Advertisement for end of semester coffee station hosted in the university library
  • Library faculty, staff, and board members (past and present) welcomed students back to campus at the start of the 2022-2023 school year with games and prizes as part of the "Weeks of Welcome" annual celebration.
  • As students were preparing for final exams and the end of the Fall semester, we offered extended hours, a coffee bar, and therapy dogs to give them that extra boost of encouragement to finish the semester strong. 

    A panel of librarians discuss their experiences with Indiana's Librarians Leading in Diversity on a stage
  • University Library co-hosted a reunion for former fellows of the Indiana's Librarians Leading in Diversity (I-LLID) program. I-LLID is designed to recruit and educate individuals from underrepresented communities in library and information science with the goal of increasing diversity in Indiana's libraries.
  • University Library served as a polling location during the November 2022 midterm election and saw nearly 1,000 voters take advantage of this new on campus convenience.  Because of this civic engagement activity, IUPUI earned the title of Most Engaged Campus for College Student Voting.  

    Fundamental Entities art project being installed in library foyer
  • A new atrium sculpture has been installed at University Library. The sculpture was designed and created by Herron School of Art + Design student Colleen Gross. You can learn more about the sculpture here but we really encourage you to come see it in person! The atrium sculpture is sponsored by TSW Utility Solutions and we are grateful for their support. 

Alumni Library Resources

Did you know that IU/IUPUI alumni still retain access to some library resources?

Seed Library

Are you an avid gardener or have recently been thinking about starting a container garden? If so, then we have seeds for you!





Johnny P. Flynn Collection of Native American and Indigenous Studies

University Library now houses the Johnny P. Flynn Collection of Native American and Indigenous Studies.  Named after the founding director of American Indian Programs at IUPUI, the collection is comprised of scholarly monographs, memoirs, novels, and other written materials concerned with Native American and Indigenous history.

Library Cards for Residents

Residents of the State of Indiana aged 18 years or older can get an IUPUI University Library Borrower’s Card if they visit our Reference Desk to complete an Indiana Resident Library Card/User Agreement and provide a photo ID and proof of current address.  


Would you Like to Make a Gift?

If you are interested in making a gift to University Library, contact Tanika Scott (Director of Development) at 317-278-2322 or  You can also visit our Make A Gift page for additional information.

Photo Caption Contest 

Our monthly photo caption contest, put on by the IUPUI University Library Special Collections and Archives, is a chance to attach your funny captions to some of our favorite IUPUI photos from our huge collection. Each month, the funniest caption (as judged by the expert judges in Special Collections and Archives) wins a fabulous prize!  Click the button below to add your caption to this month’s photo and review previous months.