Subject of the Month

A monthly display featuring resources on specific thematic subjects.

Diary, Pages, Writing, Notebook

Royalty free image from Pixabay

All the Subject of the Month Guides from 2016.

Why Have a Subject of the Month Guide?

For years, the display in the Purdy/Kresge Library highlighted books from the print collections on a unique topic every month.  However, the WSU Library System has a rich collection of eBooks, Online Journals, and Databases, too.  In addition, there is an electronic universe of high-quality, freely available online resources that includes websites, videos, and blogs.  This Research Guide for the Subject of the Month was developed in an effort to gather these resources together and make them available to a wider audience -- reaching students, faculty, and the online community at large.

Royalty free image from Pixabay

Interested in other Subject of the Month Guides throughout the years?

Check them out!

2012                                               2018

2013                                               2019

2014                                               2020

2015                                                      2021

2016                                                       2022



January-June 2016

Sign for Caldecott Medal Winners Display

Selector: Steven Remenapp and Richard Buboltz

The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.

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February 2016 image First Congressional Church of Detroit Interior

First Congregational Church of Detroit 

Selectors: Anne Hudson and Danielle Ager

February is the month dedicated annually to Black History Month. This year's official theme is:  Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African American Memories. This Guide and our Book Display at the Purdy Kresge Library are based on this theme with an emphasis on the Underground Railroad and books from our African American Literature Special Collection. 

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Sign for Shakespeare and Women Alphonse Mucha Sarah Bernhardt as Hamlet

Selectors: Judith Arnold & Cindy Krolikowski

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Jazz Appreciation Month image from the Virtual Motor City Collection

Display image from the Virtual Motor City Collection

Selector: Robin Darling

“My music is the spiritual expression of what I am — my faith, my knowledge, my being… When you begin to see the possibilities of music, you desire to do something really good for people, to help humanity free itself from its hangups… I want to speak to their souls.”
– John Coltrane [from an interview, quoted in John Coltrane, His Life and Music by Lewis Porter

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National Share A Story Month Sign

Selectors: Emily Brush and Brittany Hill

“Stories you read when you're the right age never quite leave you. You may forget who wrote them or what the story was called. Sometimes you'll forget precisely what happened, but if a story touches you it will stay with you, haunting the places in your mind that you rarely ever visit.”
― Neil Gaiman

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Sign for June 2016 Subject of the Month, Grace Lee Boggs

Selector: Monique Oldfield and Elizabeth Clemens

Grace Lee Boggs was a writer, philosopher, mentor, and an outspoken activist for many causes, including civil rights, workers’ rights, Black Power, environmental justice, feminism, and community empowerment. To many, she seemed a force of nature – always working, organizing, teaching, and inspiring others to think critically and improve the world around them. Her philosophies evolved constantly throughout her life, but one thing held true from the beginning to the end: her faith that positive social change was possible if people were willing to work together.

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July-December 2016

Text says, "July Subject of the Month: Childhood and Play." Toys surround the text as four children stand below it.

Selectors: Brittany Hill, Danielle Ager, and Mike Hawthorne

“We are never more fully alive, more completely ourselves, or more deeply engrossed in anything, than when we are at play.” ~ Charles E. Schaefer

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Photo of James Baldwin

Perhaps I did not succumb to ideology, as you put it, because I have never seen myself as a spokesman. I am a witness. In the church in which I was raised you were supposed to bear witness to the truth. Now, later on, you wonder what in the world the truth is, but you do know what a lie is.

James Baldwin, 1984

Selector: Clayton Hayes

James Baldwin, born in New York City in August of 1924, was one of the most prominent and eloquent speakers, essayists, and novelists of the American Civil Rights Movement. His visionary works attacked American race relations from a psychological perspective, and demonstrated the harm that racial inequality had on both the oppressed and the oppressor. He also struggled with his own sexuality, a theme that was reflected in his fiction and later essays. He has left an indelible mark on the culture of the United States and, indeed, the world, and is cited as a strong influence by many contemporary authors, one of the most prominent of which is Ta-Nehisi Coates. 

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Sign for Nobel Prize Winning Authors Display

Selector: Rhonda McGinnis

Since 1901, the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded annually to an author from any country who has, in the words of the will of Alfred Nobel, produced "in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction".  Though individual works are sometimes cited as being particularly noteworthy, here "work" refers to an author's work as a whole.  This display and Research Guide presents the authors who have been awarded this prize.

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Sign for American Archives Month

Selectors: Meghan Courtney and Gavin Strassel


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Selector: Meghan Courtney, Kristen Chinery, and Elizabeth Clemens

Joseph Hillstrom, known as Joe Hill, was a famous activist for the Industrial Workers of the World who specialized in songs and poetry to inspire the movement. He was born in 1879 in Sweden, emigrated to the United States in 1902, and was ultimately put to death in November 1915. Though he was accused of crimes unrelated to his activism, Hill's death made him a martyr to many in the Wobbly movement.

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The Truth Is Out There

Selectors: Richard Buboltz, Rachael Clark, and Karen Liston

conspiracy theory


1.  a theory that explains an event as being the result of a plot by a covert group or organization; a belief that a particular unexplained event was caused by such a group.

2.  the idea that many important political events or economic and social trends are the products of secret plots that are largely unknown to the general public.

conspiracy theory. (n.d.). Unabridged. Retrieved November 30, 2016 from website

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