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WVU Libraries increases book collection to 26 million volumes

Posted by Admin.
November 13th, 2003

CONTACT: Frances O’Brien, WVU Libraries 304-293-4040 ext. 4000

Without adding another wing or more shelves, West Virginia University Libraries is about to grow its collection by about 26 million volumes.

This feat is being accomplished through joining the Pennsylvania Academic Library Consortium Inc., or PALCI, a group of more than 50 academic libraries in the Keystone State with a reciprocal lending and borrowing agreement. WVU and Rutgers University were the first institutions outside of Pennsylvania to be invited to participate.

PALCI enables students, faculty and staff of a member institution to use a Web site to concurrently search the holdings of all participating colleges and universities. After finding a particular title, users can then request the book be sent to a library on their campus.

For students, faculty and staff at WVU, the agreement means quick and easy access to collections at schools such as the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Pittsburgh, Drexel University and dozens of others.

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Wise Library Rededication

Posted by Admin.
October 4th, 2003

The invitation:


On October 2, 2003, the WVU Libraries rededicated the newly restored Charles C. Wise, Jr. Library. This is a record of Gerald Lang’s speech, remarks, and photos from the following reception.

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Library Experiencing Renaissance

Posted by Admin.
October 1st, 2003

By Jeff Wright
Daily Athenaeum Staff Writer

After about $4 million was spent to renovate 85,755 square feet of the Charles C. Wise, Jr., Library, it has much the same look as it did more than 70 years ago.

“All the spaces in this building are deliberately sort of old fashioned and (have a) classic library look,” Dean of Libraries Frances O’Brien said.

Much attention was paid to the two reading rooms in the newly restored library, one named after James V. and Ann Pozega Milano and the other after James Robinson, O’Brien said.

“Effort was made to take them back to how they probably looked in 1931 when the library was built,” she said.

Tables and chairs from the original library are in the new one. Some of the chairs still have their 1930 inventory tags on them, O’Brien said.

Although there was a concentrated effort to make the library look like it did in the beginning of the 20th century, there was almost a back-to-the-future type of effort as well.

The original tables from the 1930 were modified to include data ports to which students can connect lap-top computers.

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WVU students, faculty find a new home in old Wise library

Posted by Admin.
September 30th, 2003

CONTACT: Monte Maxwell, WVU Libraries, 304-293-4040 ext. 4004

(MEDIA: WVU will rededicate the Charles C. Wise Jr. Library at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 4. The event will include a brief program in the Milano Reading Room, tours of the renovated facility and an unveiling of a Wall of Honor recognizing library supporters.)

An exam fast approaches and a West Virginia University student quietly studies in the James V. and Ann Pozega Milano Reading Room. No computer is near, just a stack of books, notes and a Craftsman-style table lamp illuminating the pages.

The light is new, but the table and chair where she’s sitting are original to the Charles C. Wise Jr. Library. The addition is part of an extensive, one-year renovation project focused on preserving the traditional appearance of the 70-year-old library while making it functional for today’s students.

Based on the crowds who began flocking to the space when the doors opened in January 2003, the results have been a success.

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Grimms establish WVU Library endowment

Posted by Admin.
August 28th, 2003

CONTACT: Christa Downey, Eberly College of Arts & Sciences, (304) 293-4611; 685-4023 (mobile)

A love of history and West Virginia University which has been a legacy within one Charleston family will now be memorialized through the Jack & Sheila Grimm History Library Endowment which was recently established at the WVU Foundation.

“The impact of WVU and the Department of History has been profound upon my family, and I believe it is critical that we give back so that others may also share in our experience” says Jack Grimm of his donation. The fund will assist in the acquisition of library materials to support the academic and research programs of the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of History.

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More Than 120 Books Appraised During Visit From Book Lovers’ Road Show

Posted by Admin.
August 14th, 2003

Mountaineer Spirit


Cheryl Torsney has long appreciated the works of Henry James. The professor of English has read everything James has written and turns students onto his writing. So purchasing an antique set of his works involved a little sentiment.

She knew she found a treasure and received confirmation during the Book Lovers’ Road Show held Aug. 1 in the Robinson Reading Room of the Charles C. Wise Jr. Library.

“I was surprised to learn that my set of James’s New York Edition has tripled in value since I bought it about 10 years ago,” Torsney said. “That makes it a pretty good investment.”

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Sentiment Plays Role in Book Collecting

Posted by Admin.
August 4th, 2003

The Dominion Post

photo of Jack WalsdorfPhoto: Ian Benson/The Dominion Post

Book expert Jack Walsdorf evaluates some old books, including “The Indian Fairy Book,” in his hand and, from left, a 1882 volume “Daughters of America” and a 1912 brightly illustrated edition of “Just So Stories.” The WVU Libraries hosted his “Book Lovers’ Road Show” at Wise Library on Friday. More than 70 people came to have their books evaluated.

Jack Walsdorf lovingly caressed the 1882 illustrated book, “Daughters of America.”

The daughters appeared in battered condition — one side of the spike broken through, portions of the cover showing attention from silverfish.

He shook his head.

“In real estate, it’s location, location, location. In books, it’s condition, condition, condition,” he said. It would cost, he estimated, about $75 to restore the volume. And there’s no indication anyone would want to buy the volume, written by Phoebe A. Hanaford.

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Tome Sweet Tome

Posted by Admin.
July 30th, 2003

Charleston Gazette

“Most everybody responds to old books,” said Frances O’Brien, dean of West Virginia University’s libraries. “Any librarian will tell you that one of the most fun things we do is introduce people to old books. They can actually hold in their hands something that was around when Ben Franklin was alive.”

But is that dusty old tome actually worth something? Would-be collectors can find out Friday when old-book guru Jack Walsdorf brings his Book Lovers’ Road Show to the James Robinson Reading Room at WVU’s Charles C. Wise Jr. Library in Morgantown.

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‘Do you know what this book is worth?’

Posted by Admin.
July 17th, 2003

CONTACT: Frances O’Brien, Dean, WVU Libraries, 304-293-4040, ext. 4000

Pick up an old book at a yard sale for 25 cents and think you found a treasure? Have a cherished volume your grandfather passed on to you? Curious what they’re worth?

If it’s a signed first-edition of Ernest Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea, it could net up to $1,000. Other signed volumes by Papa Hemingway could fetch between $2,000 and $3,000.

Such a find is rare, hence the lofty price tag. But similar jewels can be found on bookshelves and in boxes everywhere. Just ask Jack Walsdorf, an antiquarian book appraiser and collector, when his traveling book show hits campus.

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WVU issues clarification regarding access, fees for libraries

Posted by Admin.
July 2nd, 2003

CONTACT: Myra Lowe, University Librarian, 304-293-4040, ext. 4041

West Virginia University Libraries – including the new Downtown Library Complex – will remain free and open to the public, officials said Wednesday (July 2).

Recent news reports and headlines were somewhat misleading on this issue.

“While it is true that escalating costs for books, journals, subscriptions and access to online databases has forced the University to charge a $50 fee for residents and a $75 fee for non-residents to check out materials, individuals can and should feel free to just walk in and use our services and most materials at no charge,” library officials said. Individuals also can use guest computers to access materials for free.

This new fee for a library card applies to the general public only. Students pay a $30 fee each semester as part of the University fee structure; faculty and staff are not charged a fee.

Visiting Chairs

Posted by Admin.
June 29th, 2003

Photo – Bob Gay/The Dominion Post

photo of chairs

Mark Wagner of Indiana-based Jasper Seating Company, of Indiana, loads temporary chairs from the WVU Library onto a truck for shipment after delivering a new load of seats recently. The company had loaned a large number of chairs to the library while they were building the actual order and Wagner was performing the seat swap.

Have Library Card, Will Travel

Posted by Admin.
May 8th, 2003

Mountaineer Spirit

Faculty members traveling during the summer can call nearly 200 academic libraries across the nation home.

The Reciprocal Faculty Borrowing Program provides faculty from participating libraries with borrowing privileges and on-site access to the collections at some of the most important research libraries in North America.

To be eligible, one must be a full- or part-time time faculty member in good standing with the University Libraries and possess a library card and picture I.D. Eligible faculty may request a RFBP card at the access services desks at the Downtown Campus, Evansdale, Health Sciences or Law libraries. The card
is valid for one year and is renewable.

The Reciprocal Faculty Borrowing Program is sponsored by WVU along with other libraries connected online to the Online Computer Library Center in Dublin, Ohio.

For a list of participating libraries, check the Web site at

WVU Libraries Add Benedum Lectures to Online Offerings

Posted by Admin.
April 10th, 2003

Mountaineer Spirit


Still in high school when Henry Louis Gates visited campus to explain the complexities of politics and diversity in the new century? A night class prevented you from hearing Terence Martin Keane talk about terrorism, war and trauma? Live on the
other side of the globe?

None is a hindrance any longer to watching a Benedum series lecture. WVU Libraries have made nearly 90 Benedum Lecture Series presentations available to the public over the Internet.

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WVU Libraries Seeking Input Through Online Survey

Posted by Admin.
March 27th, 2003

Mountaineer Spirit


The WVU Libraries are seeking input from students, faculty and staff on the services they currently provide and what they should provide.

In a few days, about 4,000 randomly selected individuals will each receive an email requesting they participate in LibQUAL+, an online library service quality survey that takes place during the first two weeks of April.

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Librarian Emeritus Mildred Moyers Dies

Posted by Admin.
March 13th, 2003

Mountaineer Spirit


Librarian emeritus Mildred I. Moyers passed away Feb. 22.

She retired in 1997 with 41 years of service to the WVU Libraries.

During her career, she served as assistant circulation librarian, cataloger, chief acquisitions librarian, chief bibliographer and interim head of cataloging. She also taught classes in cataloging and classification for the WVU Library Science Department.

She was a long time member of the West Virginia Library Association who awarded her with the 20th Dora Ruth Parks Award in 1992 for long and outstanding service to libraries and librarianship in West Virginia.

She served as editor of West Virginia Libraries and the West Virginia Union List of Serials; wrote a chapter on West Virginia union lists published in Implementing Online Union Lists of Serials: the Pennsylvania Experience; and complied A Brief History of the WV Libraries From 1931. Among her degrees was a master of arts from WVU.

Friends and family have established the Mildred Moyers Library
Collection Endowment to benefit the WVU Libraries. Memorial donations can be sent to the WVU Libraries, P.O. Box 6069, Morgantown, WV 26506-6069. Checks should be made payable to the WVU Foundation with Mildred Moyers Endowment written on the memo line.

Vintage Valentines on Display at WVU Libraries’ Online Exhibit Hall

Posted by Admin.
February 13th, 2003

Mountaineer Spirit

E-VALENTINES—Step into the past this Valentine’s Day by viewing the West Virginia and Regional History Collection’s
vintage valentines, such as the one pictured here, online at

See the graphic and read the full caption (PDF).

Whodunits penned by health care professionals focus of WVU library exhibit

Posted by Admin.
February 10th, 2003

CONTACT: Monte Maxwell, WVU Libraries, 304-293-4040, ext. 4004

It makes an interesting story in itself: health care professional by day, mystery writer by night.

Arthur Conan Doyle penned his Sherlock Holmes series while serving patients through his medical practice. The ophthalmologist’s story is not that unique.

Library and bookstore shelves are lined with mysteries authored by physicians, dentists, biochemists, medical records administrators, emergency medical technicians, pharmacist assistants and nurses.

Such works are the focus of an exhibit at the Health Sciences Library throughout February. The exhibit, located in the display case outside the entrance of the library, contains a selection of books, pictures of authors and Web sites. There are also a few of the villain’s tools of the trade – poisons, on loan from the University’s Pharmacy Museum.

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WVU Downtown Campus Library extends hours

Posted by Admin.
February 5th, 2003

CONTACT: Monte Maxwell, WVU Libraries, 304-293-4040, ext. 4004

In response to student demand for increased library access, the West Virginia University Downtown Campus Library will remain open until 2 a.m. Sunday through Thursday throughout the spring semester.

“Students told us they needed a place available after midnight to study, do research or finish a paper,” Libraries Dean Frances O’Brien said. “The Downtown Campus Library is a convenient location for this kind of work.”

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Wise Researchers

Posted by Admin.
January 16th, 2003

Mountaineer Spirit

Amateur Genealogists – Dorothy and Gilbert Butcher of Clarksburg research their family tree in the West Virginia and Regional History Collection of the newly renovated Charles C. Wise Jr. Library.

See the photo and read the full caption (PDF).