Kent Library's Athenaeum Series began in fall 2007. The name Athenaeum Series comes from the Greek Goddess Athena, who was known as the goddess of wisdom. It is a group of events, lectures and open forums that take place on the main floor of the library by the café and circulation desk throughout the semester and cover a wide range of topics. Each event is free and open to the public.
This series has seven events. There will be five lectures and two performances by students from the Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts.
Students from the Department of Theatre and Dance performed musical numbers such as "Summer Nights," "Beauty School Dropout," and "Greased Lightnin'" from the Tony Award-winning musical "Grease" for the first event.
The second event is scheduled for noon on Sept. 19 at Sadie's Place in Kent Library. Lynn R. Moore will give a lecture titled, "The Psychology of Now...In Retail and Fashion."
Audience members will gain insight on how to become savvy shoppers and learn strategies on how to navigate through today's economy from Moore, instructor in the Department of Human Environmental Science's discipline of Fashion Merchandising.
Moore's expertise on the matter ranges from being a customer herself to co-owning a business. She has taught the subject for 20 years.
"I like going to the events because it's the opportunity to learn something new," said Matt Olsen, coordinator of the series and instructor in Information Services. "They are interesting, but not always something we know."
The next event will take place at noon on Sept. 26. This lecture, titled "Technology and the Instructional Environment," will be given by Mary Harriet Talbut, the new instructional designer in the Office of Instructional Technology.
She will discuss the new ways that today's technology like the Apple iPad can be used within the instructional environment. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own devices to test out some of the things they will learn.
The fourth lecture "Birds and Birding in Ecuador: Trouble on the Horizon?" will be given by Dr. William R. Eddleman, vice provost and dean of the School of Graduate Studies. This event will be at noon on Oct. 17.
Ecuador is known for its diversity in species of birds and has somewhere between 1,600 and 1,700 different kinds of birds living there. Eddleman will discuss some of the species that he and his companions studied when they were in Ecuador in January. He will discuss the problems that these birds face and show pictures from the trip.
"I have seen some of the pictures he took while birding in Ecuador, and they are amazing, so I think people can learn a lot from that event," Olsen said.
At noon on Oct. 24, Dr. Jeremy Walling, associate professor from the Department of Political Science, Philosophy and Religion will discuss the upcoming presidential election with the help of Shay Priester and Allen Seabaugh. Their lecture is titled, "Technology, Security and the Mechanics of American Elections."
The sixth event, "A Student Music Recital," will take place at 12:30 p.m. Oct. 31. Students from the Department of Music will perform.
"We've done that a number of times in the past, and it has always been popular," said Olsen about the recital.
The final event is the collaboration between Kent Library's Special Collections, the Special Collections Research Center at SIU Carbondale, the Cape Girardeau County Archive Center, the Center for Regional History and the Department of History at Southeast. In the lecture "Confluence and Crossroads: The Civil War in the American Heartland," Ellen M. Ryan, the digital project manager, will discuss how and why historical documents are digitized. This event will be at noon Nov. 28.
Each of these events will last approximately an hour. There will be time for questions and refreshments at the end of the presentations.