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Your Art, Our Elevators! 2023 Elevator Art Contest at Mann & Olin Libraries

Cornell University Library is calling for submissions of original artwork to adorn the first-floor elevator doors in Mann Library and Olin Library. Winners will each also receive a Cornell Store prize, valued at $100 (with gift receipt).


Our theme and prompt this year is “backstory,” which Merriam-Webster dictionary defines as “a story that tells what led up to the main story or plot (as of a film).” What backstory has defined your life, or what backstory reveals an important aspect of the world?


Entries will be judged both by visual appeal and by how creatively they’ve explored the prompt. Winning artworks will be installed starting in April 2023.


Who’s eligible: Currently enrolled undergraduate, graduate, or professional school students at Cornell.

Deadline: 11:59 p.m., E.T., March 14, 2023. The winners will be chosen by March 20.

How to submit: Use the submission form below to provide basic information about you and a paragraph describing how your entry supports the theme. Upload a high-resolution, digital file of your artwork. You must also attest that your work (including all images contained in it) is original and solely made and owned by you. Any inaccurate information could disqualify your submission. Multiple submissions are allowed.

Image file requirements and recommendations:

  • File name must include your NetID, for example “cd58_TitleOfWork.jpg”.
  • Final size of decal is 88 inches high x 42 inches wide (split down the middle to allow doors to open).
  • Portrait orientation works best.
  • File format must be vector (e.g. PDF, EPS, AI or SVG), or high-resolution raster, larger than 20MB (e.g. JPEG, TIFF, PSD).

If your image is a photograph, please provide the location where your photograph was taken (city, country, and landmark). Consideration will be given, in part, to the location where the photograph was taken and any legal restrictions on the use of images of individuals from that location.


Submit your entry!

Spring 2023 Workshops @ Mann Library

Check out our spring semester workshop schedule and learn about all the ways you can level up your research skills! Click the links below to register for these in-person workshops. To see the full list of Cornell University Library spring semester workshops, visit


And be sure to check out our Workshops page for our full listing of pre-recorded workshops, including help with searching and literature reviews, citation management software (Zotero, Mendeley, and EndNote), the nuts and bolts of systematic reviews, and research data management.


Writing a Data Management and Sharing Plan for Grant Applications

Tuesday, February 14, 12-1pm

Stone Classroom, Mann 103

This class covers the basics of writing a successful data management and sharing plan for federal funding agencies such as the NEH, NSF, NIH, NASA, and others. Attendees will learn about the different requirements funding agencies have for your research data as well as how to best meet those obligations within your lab or research group.



CANCELLEDIntroduction to Bloomberg

Wednesday, February 15, 4:30-5:30pm

Stone Classroom, Mann 103

Hundreds of thousands of investment professionals rely on the most comprehensive financial research tool on the market – Bloomberg. Give yourself a competitive advantage by learning the basics of how to navigate Bloomberg quickly and efficiently.


Introduction to Market Research

Tuesday, February 28, 4:30-5:30pm

Stone Classroom, Mann 103

Understanding the consumer is essential for any successful business. Market research encompasses a number of aspects critical to understanding the consumer, ranging from their demographic make-up, to their attitudes and behavior regarding a product or service. This workshop will introduce attendees to the basics of market research, highlighting key concepts that dictate what information is available, and exposing attendees to Cornell’s top resources for discovering this information.


Introduction to Bloomberg

Tuesday, March 7, 12-1pm

Stone Classroom, Mann 103

Hundreds of thousands of investment professionals rely on the most comprehensive financial research tool on the market – Bloomberg. Give yourself a competitive advantage by learning the basics of how to navigate Bloomberg quickly and efficiently.


Sew Creative: Hands-on workshop in the techniques of basic stitching

Friday, April 14, 12-2pm

Mann 102

Interested in trying your hand at some fiber arts but don’t have a sewing machine? No problem! Learn the basics of hand stitching in this in-person workshop. You will learn the running stitch, back stitch, invisible (hem) stitch, blanket stitch, and chain stitch. We will also discuss applications for each. No prior sewing experience is required. Materials for the class will be provided.  (This workshop is being offered in conjunction with the exhibit “Threading the Needle: Weaving Traditions into Contemporary Textile Art” on display in the Mann Gallery through August 2023.)

Who’s your Valentine? Try Mann’s book matchmaking service to find out!

Looking for love this Valentine’s Day? Let Mann Library’s matchmaking service help you meet the book of your dreams!


From Monday, February 6 through Tuesday, February 14, we’ll be matching book lovers with a “blind date” selected from our Edith A. Ellis Collection. This collection is full of popular nonfiction titles on topics ranging from people and planet, food and fiber, town and country, home and cosmos, and much, much more!


Just fill out a short dating profile and let us do the rest! You’ll be notified by email when your match is ready and waiting to be picked up at the Mann Library Help Desk. Not feeling the vibe? That’s OK – we can take your “date” back if it’s not love at first sight!


You can also explore the Ellis Collection on your own, online at or in-person on the 1st floor of Mann, near the library entrance.

Mann Welcomes New Staff Members

You may have seen some new faces (under those masks) at the library recently, so let us introduce our newest team members who joined Mann over the past six months!

Staff profile picture of Yue Hao

Yue Hao, Evening & Weekend Supervisor

Yue joined the Mann Library team in September 2021. Prior to coming to Mann, Yue worked at Ithaca College Library as an evening and weekend supervisor, gaining experience in access services and student supervision. She has a Bachelor of Education in Physical Education from Beijing Sport University. Her other professional experiences range from supervising a team of students volunteering at the Summer Olympics in Beijing in 2008, to helping with the creation of a webpage for East Asia Scholars at the Cornell Kroch Asia Library.

Peggy Tully, Gallery & Outreach Spaces Coordinator

Peggy was hired as our interim Gallery & Outreach Spaces Coordinator in September 2021. She has a Masters in Landscape Architecture from Cornell, and recently worked with Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services. As a research fellow with Syracuse University’s School of Architecture, she managed the production of a design book series and a large group exhibit focused on sustainable, affordable housing and land use for underserved populations in the Syracuse metro area. Since 2007, Peggy has also been an active partner in an Ithaca-based environmental and cultural landscape design practice.

Picture of Natasha Bishop

Natasha Bishop, Information & Public Services Assistant

Natasha joins us from the Arnot Art Museum in Elmira, NY where she has been responsible for planning exhibits, leading accessibility and inclusive design initiatives, and building partnerships with community members and artists. Prior to working at the museum, Natasha was a special collections reference assistant and research assistant for the Syracuse University Libraries. She has MA in History of Art from Syracuse University.

Photo of Liam Murphy

Liam Murphy, Information & Public Services Assistant

Liam comes to us from across campus where they worked at Olin Library as a Senior Circulation Assistant. Liam has worked as a teaching assistant in Cornell’s Anthropology department, a lab assistant in a Cornell Archaeology lab, a Public Program and Exhibits Coordinator for an Indiana University Archaeology Lab, and a museum educator. Liam holds an M.S. in Anthropology, and a Professional Certificate in Museum Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Photo of Carson Williams

Carson Williams, Collection Development Librarian

Carson served as Youth Services Librarian at the Thomas Branigan Memorial Library in Las Cruces, New Mexico and was previously the Adult Services Librarian at Benson Memorial Library in Titusville, PA. In both libraries Carson did collection development work and ensured that the collections were as diverse and inclusive as possible through data-driven diversity audits. While earning his MLIS at Clarion University of Pennsylvania, Carson gained a great deal of real-world social sciences experience while working in a psychiatric hospital. Carson has presented on LGBTQIA+ representation in collection development and has published in Library Journal.

Library Update Round 2 (For our now Somewhat-More-Normal Spring 2022 Semester)

Yay!  With the COVID/Omicron infection rate at Cornell being held at manageable levels to help ensure the safety of the vulnerable members of our community, we’ve made it back to in-person classes on campus. Well done, friends! Below, a quick update on what this means for Mann Library services and spaces.


First we’ll start off with what hasn’t changed: 

  • Approved masks must be worn at all times when inside our library building. What are approved masks you ask? Find those important details here:
  • Our policy on no eating and drinking inside the library policy continues until further notice. Food and beverages are restricted to the Mann lobby and the Mann Café only.

So, what is different for the rest of the semester? 

  • We are returning to normal semester hours, which is to say 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Fridays, 12:00 – 6:00 p.m. Saturdays, and 12:00 – 10:00 p.m. Sundays. For full hours info on all campus libraries, see
  • The Mann Library building is back to being open to all visitors. You no longer need to swipe your Cornell ID card at our front doors to gain access to the library.
  • Seminar and meeting rooms—Mann 102 and Mann 100—as well as the Stone Computer Classroom are open for reservations again. We welcome campus group meetings, seminars, and special instruction sessions in those spaces.  Links to reservation requests for these different rooms can be found here:
  • The Mann Lobby is a designated eating area on the Ag Quad, and café tables and chairs will return to that space as of Monday, Feb. 7. Enjoy…..and many thanks to all of you working so hard to stay healthy and safe with your community!

Spring Workshops @ Mann Library

With the spring semester well underway, it’s time to think about building those research skills, and what better way than by exploring our wide selection of pre-recorded workshops? Visit our Workshops page for our full listing of asynchronous workshops, including help with searching and literature reviews, citation management software (Zotero, Mendeley, and EndNote), the nuts and bolts of systematic reviews, and research data management. Check out these workshops at a time and place that’s most convenient for you!


And be sure to check out our live workshops this semester, which are being offered in a hybrid format:


Making Scientific Posters with Illustrator (2-part series)

  • Tuesday, February 22, 4:30 – 6pm
  • Tuesday, March 1, 4:30 – 6pm

Intro to QGIS

For the full listing of Cornell University Library workshops, visit the CUL Workshops calendar.


Don’t see something you need? Complete our workshop request form to let us know if you need a specialized instruction session on additional topics such as business research (e.g. Bloomberg), specific databases (e.g. PubMed), data management tools (e.g. Open Science Framework, Excel), or design (e.g. Adobe products, poster design).

An Important Chapter in Black History, Now Off the Shelf

Mann Library has digitized and made available to the world the early 20th century magazine The Modern Farmer. Published by the National Federation of Colored Farmers (NFCF) from 1929 to 1949, this unique treasure was one of the only serial publications published in the Depression-era United States that was aimed at African-American farmers. The NFCF was an organization that formed local chapters of buying and selling distribution cooperatives for African-American farmers and their goods at a time when prevailing Jim Crow laws made such efforts dangerous. James P. Davis, The Modern Farmer’s editor and president of the NFCF, served as a Head Field Officer of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration and was also a member of President Roosevelt’s “Black Cabinet,” the group of African Americans who served as public policy advisors to the President and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Mann Library’s copies of The Modern Farmer are the only known copies of this important record of 20th century history. The online collection can be found at with a search for “Modern Farmer.”

For more information on the history of this remarkable publication, see our February “Vaults of Mann” blog.

A new change of guard @ Mann

Students studying at Mann
Under Sara Wright’s management of Mann’s learning spaces, Mann facilities have been enhanced with a variety of furnishings to fit a variety of study styles and needs.

As some in the upper campus community may have already heard: There’s a new library director in town.
In late January, Cornell University Library welcomed Sara Wright as the Interim Director of Mann Library, following the retirement of Mary Ochs ’79, who led Mann Library from 2008 until January 2020. A January 27th reception celebrated Ochs’ many achievements and contributions to the Cornell University and global scholarly community, and in one of the numerous highlight moments of the occasion, Mann’s leadership torch — well, our bouquet of ceremonial corn — passed from Ochs to Wright to mark Mann’s newest dynamic transition.

Photo of Mary Ochs and Paul Wester
Mary Ochs (retiring Director, Mann Library) and Paul Wester (Director, National Agricultural Library)

Sara Wright is no stranger to Mann Library and the mission of land-grant scholarship at Cornell. Having earned a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from Drexel University, Wright joined Mann Library’s staff in 2011 to manage the services offered to library patrons via the Stone Computing Classroom and other public computing facilities at Mann. In the following years, Sara assumed a number of other leadership positions in the Library, including Academic Technology Librarian, Head of User Services and Engagement, and Head of Learning, Spaces and Technology. Thanks to Sara’s stewardship in these roles, Mann has seen a number of important, widely acclaimed facilities and service improvements that have greatly enhanced the library’s learning spaces with new tools, state-of-the-art technology, and dynamic furnishings to support the wide variety of research needs and styles represented among the students and researchers who learn and work at Cornell today.


Of course, new leadership at Mann Library has some big shoes to fill. As the speakers at Mary Ochs’ retirement reception on January 27 made clear, Mary leaves a strong and lasting legacy at Mann Library and wider Cornell. Her leadership has advanced some critical progress in widening the accessibility of world class collections for researchers at Cornell and the world beyond, especially in the developing world. And under Mary’s encouraging watch, Mann took on a pioneering role in exciting new areas for academic libraries, such as the development and application of methodologies for the systematic review of already published research literature to help realize stronger returns on emergent research initiatives. As Kathryn Boor, Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, summarized, over the course of her tenure as director of Mann Library, Mary Ochs proved herself a fearless leader in the Cornell community. And it’s no secret: In a time of rapid, near-constant change for libraries in the 21st century, fearlessness is indeed an invaluable quality for effective library management.


As Interim Director, Sara Wright will bridge the time until a new director of Mann Library is formally appointed. A national search to fill the position will begin shortly. Library and University stakeholders, including faculty of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Human Ecology will have an opportunity to meet and provide feedback about short-listed candidates. Any questions about the process may be directed to Search Committee members Danianne Mizzy (CUL Associate University Librarian / Search Committee Chair) and Ashley Shea, (Head of Instruction Services, Mann Library). It’s anticipated that an update on the results of the search process will be available in a few months time. And in the meantime, with Sara Wright at the helm, we can all also rest assured—Mann Library remains in excellent hands.

Mann’s Digital Collections Get an Upgrade

Dig deeper into agricultural history with Mann’s Digital Collections, which were recently given a makeover and migrated to CUL’s Digital Collections Portal. The Core Historical Literature of Agriculture (CHLA) is primarily a collection of landmark agricultural texts published between the early 19th century and the late 20th century. These full-text materials cover agricultural economics, agricultural engineering, animal science, crops and their protection, food science, forestry, human nutrition, rural sociology, and soil science. With more than 2000 books and 36 journals together comprising over a million pages CHLA is one of the largest digital collections of printed works at CUL.


Also newly updated, The Hive and the Honeybee showcases selections from the E. F. Phillips Beekeeping Collection, one of the largest and most complete apiculture libraries in the world. Initially begun with just ten historically significant books in the Phillips library, the collection has since grown to include over thirty key monographs as well as the first forty volumes of the landmark publication, American Bee Journal, covering 1861 through 1900. Each volume of this growing digital collection is available in full text format and is fully searchable.


For more information about the E. F. Phillips Beekeeping Collection at Mann Library, please visit our virtual exhibit

Give Our Gates a Yarnover

Yarn on Mann Gates
Mann Library gates on January 10, 2019. What will these look like on February 8?

No matter the gray, cold, rainy, snow, sleet and ice outside, collective creativity will win the day inside.

For the start of the spring 2019 semester, Mann Library cordially invites our community of students, faculty and staff to help us cover the security gates at our front doors with some knitting and crocheting fun. Bring us any swatches you’ve come up with and we’ll add them to an evolving sweater that’s already starting to make our gates look cheerfully cozy against the Ithaca winter. Or, just pick up knitting needles, crochet hook and yarn at the station we’ve set up inside our doors to start working on your patch right here in the Library. (Life sciences and human ecology motifs particularly welcome!)

Don’t know how to knit or crochet? No problem! Here are three ways we can help you get into the yarn-bombing knitting groove fast:

  • Check out some of the books and how-to manuals in our special book display by the knitting station
  • Join us for either (or both) of the knitting sprints we’ll be holding in the mannUfactory makerspace on Friday, January 25 and Friday, February 1, 12:00 – 1:00 pm to catch some basic in-person pointers from resident Mann staff knitting aficionados (Loosely defined! But with enough skill to at least help you cast on.)
  • Or, check out the online tutorials we’ve gathered for you on our yarn bombing lib guide

We’ll be celebrating the final installation with free hot cocoa in the Mann Library lobby on Friday, February 8, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., generously donated by Manndible Café. We’ll also be featuring a fire sale of our new Mann Library mugs to kick off our “Reduce, Reuse & Recycle” campaign @ Mann for the rest of the spring semester. Mugs will be on sale for $5 a piece on this day only–be sure to drop by and get yours so you too can GO REUSABLE!

Have a question? Contact us at, and one way or the other do come join us for some yarn-bombing fun!