Ask A Librarian

Brown Retires After 34 Years

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
December 14th, 2009

If you used the Health Sciences Library any time over the past 34 years, there’s a good chance Sally Brown had a role in your research quest. Brown, who served as reference coordinator at the Health Sciences Library, retired November 30.

“Sally’s personality and her knowledge of this library will be very much missed,” said Susan Arnold, director of the Health Sciences Library. “She’s always so cheerful, and she is always willing to pitch in. That’s something I really appreciated about her.”

Sally Brown
Dean of Libraries Frances O’Brien, Sally Brown, and Health Sciences Library Director Susan Arnold.
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Holiday Greetings! Holiday cards from the West Virginia Collection exhibit

Posted by Admin.
December 13th, 2009

This online exhibit consists of almost 50 early 20th century holiday cards selected from the West Virginia and Regional History Collection at the WVU Libraries.

These are divided into six sections which can be viewed by selecting images from the navigation bar on the left. Select a small image of the card from these pages to display the outside and inside of each card at its actual size.

You can view the exhibit at:

Extended Library Hours During Dead and Finals Weeks

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
December 3rd, 2009

The Downtown Campus and Evansdale libraries will remain open for extended hours during Dead and Finals weeks. There will be no extended hours on the Friday or Saturday in between.

For Dead Week, the Downtown Campus Library will open at 1 p.m. Sunday and remain open until 8 p.m. Friday. The Evansdale Library will open at 9 a.m. Sunday and remain open until 8 p.m. Friday.

For Finals Week, the Downtown Campus and Evansdale libraries will open at noon Sunday, Dec. 13, and remain open until 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18.

For more information, check out the Libraries’ calendar:

Honor Your Favorite Librarian

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
November 2nd, 2009

The WVU Library Faculty Assembly announces the opening of nominations for the Outstanding Librarian Award. This award is presented once every three years to recognize exceptional contributions toward the delivery, development, or expansion of library services or special programs for the constituencies of WVU. Attributes sought in the finalist may include leadership, initiative, creativity, dedication, and exemplary attitude. The award is open to both current and retired WVU library faculty.

Nominations will be accepted from WVU administration, faculty, and staff and must be submitted on the official nomination form by February 15, 2010.

Nomination forms and more info:

Open-Access Journals Widen Research Audience

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
October 19th, 2009

In the age of tweets, blogs, YouTube videos, and Facebook postings, people strive to share information with as many as possible and as fast as possible. Even television networks have ventured onto the Internet to capture more viewers for their hit shows.

The academic world is slowly waking up to this new paradigm, and open-access journals are cracking the rigid scholarly publishing system.

Traditionally, reading the latest research requires academic libraries to pay high subscription fees for electronic journals that are available exclusively to students, faculty, and staff and for paper versions housed on campus.

However, more eyes than usual will be able to read WVU’s latest research about infant health thanks to how the researchers chose to publish their findings.

After Dr. Giovanni Piedimonte and his team recently made discoveries about how respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) affects infants, they published their work in PLoS (Public Library of Science) ONE, an open-access journal. That choice made their findings available to anyone with access to the Internet.

“If a paper is accepted, everyone on the planet can access the paper with no charge,” Piedimonte said. “They can be in Pakistan or Afghanistan and still be able to read the paper. The audience is enormous.”
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State Association Honors Librarian for Outstanding Service

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
October 15th, 2009

The West Virginia Library Association presented Penny Pugh, Head of Reference at the Downtown Campus Library, with the Dora Ruth Parks Award for long and outstanding service to libraries and librarianship in West Virginia.

Penny Pugh
Penny Pugh

Presenting the honor during the organization’s fall conference, the Awards Committee praised Pugh for her accomplishments as a reference librarian and as a leader in WVLA.

“Her strong work ethic, her depth of knowledge, outstanding leadership and willingness to find solutions through collaborative work are well-known attributes,” the nomination letter reads. “Penny has made remarkable contributions to libraries through her work.”
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WVU Libraries Mark 150th Anniversary of Harpers Ferry Raid

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
October 12th, 2009

An exhibit in the West Virginia and Regional History Collection, in Wise Library, marks the 150th anniversary of John Brown’s Raid on Harpers Ferry.

On Oct. 16, 1859, the abolitionist and a small band of loyal followers seized control of the Harpers Ferry Armory in a plot to build an army to overthrow the South and free the slaves. Although his plan failed, the incident ignited a debate about slavery that spread across the nation and divided the country.

john brown
John Brown on Trial, sketched by David Hunter Strother
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Try ebrary Electronic Books This Month

Posted by Admin.
October 6th, 2009

The Libraries invite you to try electronic books from ebrary during the month of October. More than 44,000 books in 16 key subject areas are available for reading online through the Library web site during the trial period. The ebrary interface makes research easy, with tools that allow for highlighting, annotating and personal bookshelves.

Connect to ebrary from the Libraries trial database web site.

And please let us know what you think. Use the Feedback Form on the web. Your comments are always welcome.

Speak. Read. Know. Celebrate Banned Books Week.

Posted by Admin.
September 25th, 2009

Celebrate the freedom to read during Banned Books Week, September 26th through October 3rd. An annual event since 1982, Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Library Association and other professional organizations for authors, journalists, publishers, and booksellers. The celebration is an on-going effort to raise awareness of censorship attempts in the United States.

Each year, groups around the country seek to ban books from library shelves for reasons such as violence, sexuality, and profanity. In the past, classic works of literature like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Grapes of Wrath have been targeted by book banners. In 2008, more than 500 titles were challenged.

Visit the Downtown Campus Library’s Banned Book Week exhibits to learn more about banned books. And read a banned book this week. For suggested titles, visit Challenged or Banned Classics.

To see where book censorship occurred in 2008, visit:

WV Collection Curators to Speak at Huntington Museum

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
September 10th, 2009

Two curators from the WVU Libraries’ West Virginia & Regional History Collection will travel to the Huntington Museum of Art on Sept. 20 to speak about art and rare books.

John Cuthbert, WVRHC Curator, and Harold M. Forbes, Rare Books Collection Curator, will speak as part of an exhibit titled “American Masterpieces from the Daywood Collection,” which focuses on the contributions of Arthur and Ruth Dayton.

“The Daytons were likely the most significant collectors of fine art and rare books in the history of our state. They were also generous philanthropists,” Cuthbert said. “Their legacy lives on in the collections of the WVU Libraries and the Huntington Museum of Art as well as in the Daywood Foundation, which Mrs. Dayton founded to provide support for higher education and other worthwhile endeavors.”
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Free Tutoring in the Downtown Campus Library

Posted by Admin.
August 25th, 2009

Get a jump on the new semester. Free tutoring, offered by the WVU Academic Resource Centers, begins on August 25th. Tutors will be available in the Reference Department of the Downtown Campus Library from 7 pm until 11 pm each evening, Sunday through Thursday. The tutors can help students with chemistry, physics, biology, math, and statistics. Students should bring their ids, textbooks, and assignments to tutoring sessions.

Additional services for students are coming soon. The Library’s Term Paper Clinic will resume on September 21st. The WVU Writing Center will be joining the tutoring service later in the semester.

Evansdale Reopening for Fall Semester

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
August 14th, 2009

Some students might find studying more enjoyable this fall thanks to a summer makeover at the Evansdale Library.

A renovation project is transforming the library’s dated main floor into an aesthetically pleasing space more conducive to studying, doing research, and collaborating on group projects.

“Once the renovation is complete, the Evansdale Campus will have a bright and open library that is equipped with great resources,” said Mary Strife, Director of the Evansdale Library. “Students will want to spend time here focusing on their work or relaxing between classes.”

The Evansdale Library will welcome back students on the first day of class, but it may be a few weeks before everything is done. Computer stations and study carrels won’t arrive until the end of the first week, and a large desk to house reference and circulations services is scheduled for installation in September.

In the interim, the Libraries expect any inconveniences to be minor. Computers will be available in the classroom on the main floor and at carrels on the second floor and lower level. Students can also check out laptops or bring in their own and use the wireless network.

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Faculty Can Renew Books Online

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
July 27th, 2009

As the fall semester approaches, faculty can now simply go online to renew books they have borrowed from the WVU Libraries. Previously, policy required faculty to physically bring borrowed books to the Library at least once a year to be renewed.

For more information about the Libraries’ borrowing policy:

Birthday Celebration to Focus on Abolitionist John Brown

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
June 8th, 2009

The WVU Libraries will mark the state’s founding by focusing on abolitionist John Brown in a June 19 event in the Downtown Campus Library.

This year is the 150th anniversary of John Brown’s Raid on Harpers Ferry. On Oct. 16, 1859, Brown and a band of followers seized control of the Harpers Ferry Armory in a plot to build an army to overthrow the South and free the slaves.

John Brown
John Brown on trial. Sketch by David Hunter Strother.

“John Brown’s Raid is one of the most poignant events in American history,” said John Cuthbert, curator of the West Virginia and Regional History Collection. “Perhaps more than any other single act, it led to the outbreak of the Civil War. John Brown has been cited as the person who contributed more than any other to the start of the Civil War.”
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Scholars Award Honors Longtime Library Dean

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
June 3rd, 2009

Two Honors graduates are the first to be named Robert F. Munn Undergraduate Library Scholars. Chelsea Derlan, who earned degrees in psychology and Spanish, and Kelly Trimble, who earned her degree in Slavic and East European Studies, received the award at a ceremony in the Charles C. Wise Library over Commencement Weekend.

“These students did remarkable work. There is a tremendous amount of scholarship in these theses,” said Keith Garbutt, Dean of the Honors College. “This award recognizes and rewards it.”

Munn Scholars
Chelsea Derlan and Kelly Trimble are the first to be named Robert F. Munn Undergraduate Library Scholars.

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International Group to Honor Three from WVU

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
May 12th, 2009

The Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD) consortium will honor a WVU staff member and two former students for their achievements with Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs).

John Hagen, Program Coordinator for ETDs, will receive the ETD Leadership Award, which recognizes members of the university community whose leadership and vision has helped raise awareness of the benefits of ETDs, and whose efforts have improved graduate education through the use of ETDs.

“Over the past decade, John’s commitment to ETDs at WVU has resulted in a program that serves as a model for many other universities,” said Christine Jewell, NDLTD Board Member and Awards Committee Chair. “John has led regional and international workshops for the NDLTD, and he has hosted many visitors who come to WVU to learn about the ETD program. John has become recognized internationally for his ETD implementation and open access advocacy.”
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Libraries Co-Sponsor International Conference

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
May 11th, 2009

The WVU Libraries are co-sponsoring an international conference focused on publishing academic research online and providing free access to the public.

ETD2009: Bridging the Knowledge Divide, the 12th International Symposium on Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD), runs June 10-13 at the University of Pittsburgh.

“The goal of the ETD2009 Conference is to provide a congenial and engaging atmosphere through which participants can learn about electronic thesis and dissertation programs and other areas of scholarly communication,” said John Hagen, Program Coordinator for ETDs. “Our aim is to live up to our motto of “Bridging the knowledge divide.”
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Three LibQual Participants Win iPods

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
May 8th, 2009

Back in the old days, someone may have shared their thoughts for a penny. But today, for two students and a professor, sharing their thoughts is worth a whole lot more. As an incentive for completing WVU Libraries’ LibQual survey this spring, three randomly selected participants received iPod nanos. Myra Lowe, Associate Dean of the Libraries, presented the prizes during Finals Week. Pictured are Wanmei Wang, a statistics graduate student; Mollylin Best, a forensic and investigative science graduating senior; Lowe; and John Penn, associate professor of chemistry.

Extended Library Hours During Dead and Finals Weeks

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
April 24th, 2009

The Downtown Campus and Evansdale libraries will remain open for extended hours during Dead and Finals weeks.

The libraries will remain open continuously from 9 a.m. Sunday, April 26, until 8 p.m. Friday, May 1, and from 9 a.m.-6 pm. Saturday, May 2. For Finals Week, they will open at 9 a.m. Sunday, May 3, and remain open continuously until 8 p.m. Friday, May 8. They will be open from 1-5 p.m. Saturday, May 9.

For more info, check out the Libraries’ calendar:

Makeover to Close Evansdale Library for Summer

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
April 24th, 2009

The Evansdale Library will close this summer so that the facility can undergo an extensive renovation project.

Doors will close after finals week on May 10 and reopen before the start of the fall semester. In the interim, the WVU Libraries will work with users in retrieving needed materials housed at Evansdale.
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