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Jillian Hinchliffe
Lilly Library

Last modified: Wednesday, April 1, 2009

World-renowned puzzle expert Jerry Slocum to appear at IU's Lilly Library

Rare book library to host book signing, puzzle demonstrations, exhibition in celebration of book release

April 1, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- World-renowned puzzle expert Jerry Slocum will appear at Indiana University's Lilly Library, April 8 (Wednesday), from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., to talk about his new book, The Cube: The Ultimate Guide to the World's Bestselling Puzzle: Secrets, Stories, Solutions. Co-author Wei-Hwa Huang, a four-time World Puzzle Champion, will demonstrate cube-solving tricks and techniques.

Slocum's appearance coincides with the library's Rubik's Cube-related exhibition, "Revolutions and Solutions: A Celebration of the World's Most Iconic Puzzle."

Invented in 1979 by a Hungarian mathematician, the Rubik's Cube sold more than 100 million copies and inspired countless likenesses. The Lilly Library exhibition features examples of various cube puzzles and original documents related to the cube. Hands-on puzzles will challenge visitors of all ages.

Slocum, who has appeared with his puzzles on the Tonight Show, ABC's Nightline, Martha Stewart, and in The New York Times, is a retired aerospace engineer. For more than a decade, Slocum has been transferring his personal collection of more than 30,000 puzzles to the Lilly Library, hundreds of which are now on display. A special room in the library dedicated to the display of puzzles was inaugurated in 2006 and receives thousands of visitors each year.

Unlike word or jigsaw puzzles, mechanical puzzles are hand-held objects that must be manipulated to achieve a specific goal. The Rubik's cube is a popular example. Slocum, who developed a mechanical puzzle classification system adopted worldwide, has identified 10 types of mechanical puzzles, ranging from put-together puzzles to dexterity and disentanglement puzzles.

The Lilly Library is Indiana University's library for rare books and special collections and one of 18 libraries of Indiana University Bloomington Libraries. It is located on Seventh Street south of Showalter Fountain on the Indiana University campus in Bloomington. The Rubik's Cube exhibition runs through August 15. Hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.. For more information call 812-855-2452. Free and open to the public.