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Sustainable Agriculture Student Film Series

Last semester, students in Professor Matt Ryan’s class Soil & Crop Sciences class, PLSCS 1900 “Sustainable Agriculture: Food, Farming, and the Future” created short documentaries addressing a topic of their choice, related to sustainable agriculture. Robin Gee and Ten van Winkle from Mann Library worked with the class by teaching workshops on videography skills – which included planning and storyboarding, producing video and audio, and using video editing software to create their final films, as well as the basics of copyright and fair use, and use of creative commons licenses. Students are encouraged to upload their films to Cornell eCommons, sharing a unique piece of scholarship with the Cornell community and beyond. 


At the end of the semester, the class gathered in Mann Library to enjoy popcorn and watch each other’s films. Each students’ film is judged by their classmates and instructors on quality, clarity of message, and creativity. Here are the top films from Fall 2023. The rest of the films from last semester, and many previous fall semesters, can be viewed on eCommons.  


Blooms of Doom: Unraveling the Mystery of Harmful Blue-Green Algae 

The Organic Revolution: Cultivating a Chemical-Free Future 

Oko Farms: Sustainable Agriculture in Practice 

Sustainable Agriculture at our Fingertips 

Dilmun Hill 

Sheer Sustainability 

Waves of Moo 

If you are interested in developing a similar multimedia project for your class, you can request assistance from our instruction team by filling out the instruction request form.

Spring 2024 Chats in the Stacks

We’re pleased to share the line up of our spring semester book talks! This semester includes a talk by the 2023 Dean’s Fellow Kathleen McCormick, doctoral student in Psychology. All book talks will be held in-person in Mann Library Room 160 and livestreamed, and will start at 4:30pm. You can find all recordings of our past Chats in the Stacks on our YouTube channel


Thursday, March 28, 4:30pm

Mann Library, Room 160 and livestreamed

Growing Pains: The History of Human Development and The Future of The Field

In a 2003 interview psychologist Eleanor Gibson reflected on her long and celebrated career at Cornell, and her first years on campus, stating “When I first went to Cornell, Cornell University did not hire women” (Szokolszky, 2003). But Dr. Gibson was wrong. Across campus women worked as researchers and professors in the College of Home Economics, conducting interdisciplinary work designed to improve the lives of individuals and communities around them. This work went on to transform the field of psychology and the methods and theoretical orientation of developmental science. Join us for Growing Pains: The History of Human Development and The Future of The Field by 2023 Dean’s Fellow Kathleen McCormick, doctoral student in Psychology. In this talk McCormick will explore the history of human development and home economics, and the ways the field shaped and was shaped by the political environment of the postwar period.


Thursday, April 11, 4:30pm

Mann Library, Room 160 and livestreamed

The Consciousness Revolutions: From Amoeba Awareness to Human Emancipation

How it is that we share some aspects of consciousness with bacteria? How can consciousness arise in artificial machines? And what does consciousness have to do with our survival in the face of the unfolding climate catastrophe? These, and many other fundamental questions about consciousness, are explored in Shimon Edelman’s new book The Consciousness Revolutions: From Amoeba Awareness to Human Emancipation (Springer Nature, 2023). Edelman, professor in the Department of Psychology, will discuss how consciousness is fundamentally a kind of computation and how through the understanding of human consciousness we can develop better insights into the nature of our lived experience, our problems, our social dynamics, and our shared future.  


Thursday, April 18, 4:30pm

Mann Library, Room 160 and livestreamed

Alien Earths: The New Science of Planet Hunting in the Cosmos

Join us in-person or virtually for a live book talk with Lisa Kaltenegger, associate professor in Astronomy and founding director of Cornell University’s Carl Sagan Institute, discussing her new book Alien Earths: The New Science of Planet Hunting in the Cosmos (Macmillan Publishers, 2024). This talk is co-hosted by Mann Library and the Math Library. 


Thursday, May 2, 4:30pm

Mann Library, Room 160 and livestreamed

Wildlife Disease and Health in Conservation

Most existing and emerging infectious diseases have their origin in animal populations. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic the need to understand the cause and impacts of wildlife diseases, as well as how to manage them, has only become increasingly salient. Join us for a live, hybrid book talk with Robin Radcliffe, associate professor of practice in Wildlife and Conservation Medicine in the Veterinary School, and David Jessup, former senior wildlife veterinarian of the California Department of Fish and Game and former executive manager of the Wildlife Disease Association, for a discussion of their new coedited volume Wildlife Disease and Health in Conservation (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2023).  

Spring 2024 Library Workshops

Find your way with library workshops! Our spring semester workshops will help you gain valuable research skills and set you on the right path. In addition to the live workshops listed below, we also have a wide selection of pre-recorded workshops – including citation management software and research data management options – listed on our Workshops page. And be sure to check out our new workshop offerings, including the weekly Data & Donuts discussion series, and Communicating Your Research Through Comics!

NEW! Data & Donuts
Become a better data steward with Cornell Data Services! Join us for a weekly informal discussion series to work our way through the data lifecycle over donuts. From the planning stages of a research project, through closeout and data archiving, we will discuss best practices and point to resources on campus and beyond. There will be time for open conversation, questions, skill-building, and troubleshooting.

  • Spring semester 2024 | Thursdays 9:30-10:30am | Mann Library Rm 100
  • For all levels and disciplines; attend all or a few
  • Register to receive reminders at

Introduction to Bloomberg
This is one of the best financial databases available and is widely used by finance and investment professionals. From company information to analyst advice, to mergers and acquisitions, few resources have either the range or depth of information of Bloomberg. Give yourself an edge in the job search by learning to use this powerful and sophisticated research tool.

NEW! Love Public Health Data
Thursday, February 15, 9:15-9:45am
Introduction to three high quality, less-commonly known public health data resources (including social and structural determinants of health): NaNDA, County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, and Health Evidence. This is a hybrid workshop; please note that in-person attendees must have pre-existing card access to the CVM building.

PubMed Workshop
Thursday, February 29, 12-12:30pm
Whether you are new to using PubMed, need a refresher, or looking to improve your use of PubMed, this workshop is for you! We will start with the basics and then move into advanced search techniques to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your PubMed searches. This is a hybrid workshop; please note that in-person attendees must have pre-existing card access to the CVM building.

Introduction to Market Research
Tuesday, March 5, 5-6pm
Understanding the consumer is essential for any successful business. Market research encompasses several 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.

Zotero 101
Thursday, March 14, 12:30-1pm
Come and see why everyone is talking about how Zotero simplifies the research and writing process! Please create a free Zotero account and download both the desktop program and the Zotero connector (all free at if you would like to follow along. This is a hybrid workshop; please note that in-person attendees must have pre-existing card access to the CVM building.

Intro to QGIS

Thursday, March 21, 2:30-4:30pm
This workshop will cover basic tasks using QGIS: loading data, changing the styles used to display the data on a map, installing plugins, using processing tools to do basic analysis, and exporting a finished map image.

Note: The Windows computers in Mann Library already have QGIS installed, but if you would like to use your own computer, please install QGIS on your computer **before** the workshop. QGIS is a free and open source geographic information system that runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux:


NEW! Communicating Your Research Through Comics
Wednesday, March 27, 4:30-5:30pm
Looking for a fun and unique way to communicate your research? Come and learn how to use comics to visually communicate scientific information – for conference posters, papers, and more. This is open to all skill levels, no experience drawing or graphics programs necessary!

Black Plant Scientists: A Traveling Exhibit from the Plant Cell Atlas (PCA) Initiative

This February, the Center for Research on Programmable Plant Systems (CROPPS) and Mann Library are hosting a month-long exhibit recognizing ground-breaking discoveries made by four Black pioneers in the study of plants and human well-being. The Cornell and Ithaca-area communities are cordially invited to browse a display created by artist Maxwell Eckelbarger and the non-profit Plant Cell Atlas Initiative featuring portraits and biographies of Marie Clark Taylor (plant photomorphogenesis); George Washington Carver (peanut-soybean-sweet potato crop rotation for improved soil and human health); Edmond Albius (vanilla orchid pollination); Percy Lavon Julian (synthesis of medicine from plants). The display will be viewable February 1 – 29 on Mann Library’s first floor.


An opening reception for the exhibit will take place in the Mann Library lobby on Friday, February 2, 2024, 11am – 2pm. Please join us for the opening festivities to view the display, celebrate, and learn more about BIPOC engagement at the frontiers of work in the life sciences, here at Cornell and beyond. 

Welcome back, students!

We’re pleased to welcome Cornell students back to the library for the spring 2024 semester! Please be sure to check our full hours page for the most up-to-date information on library hours. This semester, we will have slightly reduced hours for the first few weeks due to changes in staffing, but we hope to be back to our regular schedule soon!


A few other reminders as you get back into the semester routine:

Lorenzo Langstroth Unvarnished

December 25th, Christmas Day, is widely known as a day for sharing and giving. It also happens to be the birthday of a man known as the father of American beekeeping: Lorenzo Langstroth, born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1810. With the winter holidays just behind us, it seems fitting to have this particular coincidence in mind as we announce a resource that we’re pretty sure students of beekeeping and its history will find a wonderful gift: a fully digitized, searchable copy of Langstroth’s handwritten personal journal. Where a researcher would have once had to make an in-person trip to Mann’s special collections reading room to attempt a deciphering of Langstroth’s (infamously difficult to read!) handwriting, the journal is now freely available—and actually readable—as both a digitized version of the original work and in a transcribed form as part of the online Biodiversity Heritage Library.


For those not yet fully in the know, Lorenzo Langstroth looms large in American beekeeping history thanks to discoveries and inventions he made as a self-taught apiarist, innovations which essentially revolutionized the 19th century practice of beekeeping and facilitated its development into the profitable industry of today. His guide on beekeeping, The Hive and the Honeybee, was first published in 1853 and has remained continuously in print since then. Langstroth’s story is also poignantly notable for a reason that you don’t have to a be a beekeeper to appreciate deeply: his struggles with debilitating depression, which stymied many of his professional endeavors. While working intermittently as a pastor and teacher when his mental health allowed, Langstroth found constant, life-affirming inspiration in the bee world he observed closely through the prism of the hives he kept for most of his adult life.


The journal Langstroth kept is a treasure for several reasons. It provides fascinating insight into pivotal moments of beekeeping’s technological history. It is, as well, an intimate view of resilience in the face of sometimes devastating mental health challenges. And last but really not least, in the comments and pet peeves that Langstroth also recorded in his ongoing notes-to-self, his off-the-record writing offers a more mundane but no less instructive tour through the day-to-day concerns—from keeping bee hives productive to the vexing challenges of protecting trade secrets and securing patents for promising new discoveries in a timely way—that would have been top-of-mind for any aspiring agricultural entrepreneur of the 19th century.


The online availability of Langstroth’s journal in both its handwritten and transcribed form has been a work very long in the making. When early 20th century entomologist Everett Franklin Phillipps joined the Cornell faculty 1924, he made it his mission to establish one of the world’s most important collections of beekeeping materials—now known as the E. F. Phillips Collection at Mann Library. Recognizing the importance of what is arguably the collection’s crown jewel—the original Langstroth journal—for the beekeeping field, Phillips began the painstaking process of transcribing 600 pages of Langstroth’s cramped, highly slanted script—rendered even more illegible by the frequent ink bleed-through from other pages—into easily readable typescript. The project remained unfinished at the time of Phillips passing in 1951, and others took up the work intermittently over the following decades. But it wasn’t until the epic pandemic-era national lockdown of 2020 that intrepid Mann Library collections specialist Betsy Elswit finally found herself with the time needed to finish transcribing of the journal’s final 200 pages along with also reviewing, correcting and digitally reformatting all previous transcriptions. Thanks to this heroic work, a browse through the work on the Biodiversity Diversity Heritage Library today provides a look at Langstroth’s original writing with a side-by-side, fully-aligned view of the corresponding transcribed, machine-readable text.


There is much to appreciate in Reverend Lorenzo Langstroth’s courageous perseverance through the inspirational highs and deep lows of life to impact the practice of beekeeping so profoundly. Future generations of beekeepers and other readers are also likely to find themselves deeply grateful to him for the rich and authentic record of both remarkable scientific observation and personal journey he left with us—and to Ms. Elswit for her invaluable part in bringing this record to the world’s fingertips.

Photograph of Betsy Elswit with Langstroth's original journal
Mann Library collections specialist Betsy Elswit with Lorenzo Langstroth’s original journal from the E. F. Phillips Beekeeping Collection at Mann Library.