US Capitol Building on Bright Blue Background

Hannon Library observes Freedom of Information Day by commemorating the birthday of the fourth president of the United States, James Madison, and focusing on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Many government documents are already publicly available to view at Hannon Library and online, but the FOIA enables individuals to request access to other records from federal agencies. 

book cover for James Madison by Jeff BroadwaterThe “Father of the United States Constitution,” James Madison

Often regarded as a supporter of openness in government and public access to government information, James Madison Jr. was born on March 16, 1751. The anniversary of his birth is the reason Freedom of Information Day is celebrated on March 16 each year. For an ebook about his life, consider reading James Madison: A Son of Virginia and a Founder of the Nation by Jeff Broadwater online.

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 

Why care about the Freedom of Information Act? The FOIA promotes transparency and requires that federal government agencies share information requested under the FOIA unless it meets one of the nine exemptions permitted. If you’re interested in requesting information from a government agency, learning more about the FOIA and how to take advantage of it, consider checking out this FAQ

To dive deeper into the inner workings of the FOIA, you might consider taking a look at the Freedom of Information Act Guide online or view the physical copy at Hannon Library. This document covers details about fees and fee waivers, information about all nine exemptions, litigation considerations, and more. 

If you want to further your understanding of the more recent history of the FOIA, you can access fairly recent congressional committee hearings concerning the FOIA. Check out Ensuring Transparency Through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), a hearing before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that took place on June 2, 2015. You can view the physical copy or take a look at it online

Another document you might be interested in is Open Government and Freedom of Information: Reinvigorating the Freedom of Information Act for the Digital Age, which details the hearing before the Committee on the Judiciary of the United States Senate that occurred on March 11, 2014. You can access this document online or in Hannon Library

You can find many other resources related to the FOIA at Hannon Library. SOU’s Hannon Library is a Federal Depository Library, so many Government Publications you may be interested in are easily accessible through our LibGuide. If you’re having trouble finding what you’re looking for, our qualified librarians can help you. To receive assistance, you can chat with a librarian during Chat Research hours or submit a message to Ask a Librarian anytime.

Light pink background with an assortment of colorful book covers overlaid

Hannon Library is celebrating International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month by highlighting recent books which are international in focus and cover a breadth of topics. These titles were selected by Emily Miller-Francisco, Hannon Library’s Collection Development Librarian and gender, sexuality, and women’s studies subject librarian. Many of these books are available to access online as ebooks, and the others can be checked out from Hannon Library.

Book Cover of Capable Women, Incapable States
Capable Women, Incapable States: Negotiating Violence and Rights in India

By Poulami Roychowdhury

Book cover of gendered commodity chains

Gendered Commodity Chains: Seeing Women’s Work and Households in Global Production

By Wilma A. Dunaway

Book cover of hearts of our people

Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists

By Jill Ahlberg Yohe and Teri Greeves

Edited by Laura Silver

Foreword by Kaywin Feldman

book cover of Modern Girls on the Go

Modern Girls on the Go: Gender, Mobility, and Labor in Japan

By Alisa Freedman, Christine R. Yano, and Laura Miller

Book cover of Song Walking

Song Walking: Women, Music, and Environmental Justice in an African Borderland

By Angela Impey

Book cover of Women and Violence

Women and Violence: Global Lives in Focus 

Edited by Kathleen Nadeau and Sangita Rayamajh

Book cover of Women in World History

Women in World History: 1450 to the Present

By Bonnie G. Smith

Book Cover of Women's Journey to Empowerment in the 21st Century

Women’s Journey to Empowerment in the 21st Century: A Transnational Feminist Analysis of Women’s Lives in Modern Times

By Kristen Zaleski, Annalisa Enrile, Eugenia L. Weiss, and Xiying Wang

Book cover of Women Made Visible

Women Made Visible Feminist Art and Media in Post-1968 Mexico City

By Gabriela Aceves Sepúlveda

Book cover of Women's Place in the Andes

Women’s Place in the Andes: Engaging Decolonial Feminist Anthropology

By Florence E. Babb

Part of a very old letter with scripted cursive

Volunteer to Transcribe Documents

Have you put volunteer opportunities on hold over the past year due to concerns about the risk of in-person volunteering? Whether you’ve already found ways to give back lately or you’re just looking to join the growing population of volunteers who are donating their time without ever leaving their living room, Hannon Library Special Collections could use your support.

Special Collections and University Archives is an area within the library that contains materials of significant historical and research value that are too valuable, rare, or fragile to place in the open stacks. Many of these materials are primary sources that can elevate students’ research and cover a range of topics.

If you’d like to support the community that uses these resources within Hannon Library, Special Collections has an opportunity for you. Hannon Library is looking for volunteers who can transcribe several handwritten documents created between 1880 and 1939. The transcription of these documents will allow primary source materials to become keyword-searchable and more comfortable to read. Some of the materials are currently indistinct, in cursive, abbreviated, or use specific jargon. Your donation of time will ultimately help student researchers and local historians by making these unique materials easier for them to use. While volunteers have already begun transcribing materials, we are always looking for new volunteers.

Who Can Participate

person with a beard sits on couch on a laptop

Anyone with a computer, internet access, and Microsoft Word can participate in this transcription effort. History buffs may find this volunteer opportunity particularly rewarding as the materials that need transcribing document the experiences of Dr. Francis G. Swedenburg and the Anderson–Phillips family, including how their lives were affected by WWI’s bitter conflict and the Spanish flu.

For more information about this project and how to volunteer, visit Hannon Library’s online exhibit. For information explaining the transcription process, visit the How To Transcribe page.

Tutoring Center Sign

Come to Tutors Against Procrastination to get help with writing assignments as well as math and science courses! Don’t wait until quiet or finals week to start getting support from the SOU Tutoring Center. On March 3, from 7 to 11 pm, join our tutors on Zoom for drop-in style assistance. During the event, no appointments will be necessary.

To get support from the Writing Center during Tutors Against Procrastination, join this Zoom:

For help with math and science during the event, join this Zoom:

Get help with everything from brainstorming and outlining an essay or lab report to preparing for a statistics final. In addition to content, tutors can help with organization, share time-management techniques and even provide tips on note-taking. Tutors will not ever complete work for you, but they are there to support you as you complete your work, answer your questions, and provide the guidance you need to be successful.

If you can’t make it to Tutors Against Procrastination this term, but you still want help from a tutor, don’t worry. Visit our Tutoring Center LibGuide to make an appointment or find out about other drop-in sessions at

If you have any questions about this event, you can email

Blue and yellow background with phone on Hannon Library's Website

Is your time conducting research mostly spent by combing through page after page of Google search results only to come up with information that you’re not sure is credible? Maybe you struggle to narrow your search query to yield relevant results when using one of the databases available through Hannon Library. Perhaps research isn’t an issue for you, but writing a citation sometimes trips you up. 

Hannon Library’s Research Services may be a resource that you’ve left untapped during your university experience so far, but you don’t have to struggle through common research questions alone. Qualified librarians are here to assist you in a supportive learning environment, no matter your level of experience with navigating library resources. Hannon Library’s librarians can support your research in all curriculum areas, and they are available to help with everything from a simple citation question to in-depth research. 

Research Services: Visit the Research Help Desk Virtually, Chat with a Librarian, or Make an Appointment With Your Subject Librarian

There are many different ways for you to get assistance with a research assignment at Hannon Library. 

  • During our regular Research Help desk hours, you can now talk with a librarian face-to-face, virtually over Zoom. To visit our Research Help Desk over Zoom, you’ll need to make an appointment. Make an appointment with a librarian through LibCal
  • You can also ask a librarian questions over chat during chat research hours, and you can submit a question through Ask a Librarian anytime of the day. Some students, staff, and faculty find submitting a question through chat or Ask a Librarian to be most convenient. 
  • To receive help with your research tailored to your area of study, you may find it helpful to make an appointment with your subject librarian. Each of Hannon Library’s librarians has subject specialties in which they are uniquely qualified to assist students, staff, and faculty. You are always welcome to email your subject librarian at any time with questions or to set up an appointment. You can find a list of librarians and their subject specialties here. 

Whether you’re finding citing a particular source difficult or needing research assistance specific to a certain subject, Hannon Library’s Research Services can help. For more information, visit our Research Services LibGuide.