Ask A Librarian

“West Virginia’s Poetic Heart” celebrates poets Maggie Anderson and Marc Harshman

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
September 30th, 2022

West Virginia University Libraries, the West Virginia and Regional History Center and the West Virginia University Humanities Center continue the “West Virginia’s Poetic Heart” celebration on October 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the Downtown Libraries’ Milano Reading Room.

Attend in person or register to watch the Zoom event here.

At 6:30 p.m., the WVRHC will be open to showcase its latest exhibit, which documents selected West Virginia poets with materials from the Center’s book and archival collections.

The “West Virginia’s Poetic Heart” program brings together West Virginia Poet Laureate Marc Harshman and the poetry of noted Appalachian poet Maggie Anderson.

Read the rest of this entry »

Campus Read “Interior Chinatown” inspiring action across campus

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
September 20th, 2022
Students in Taiwan
Ching-Hsuan Wu (center) discusses “Interior Chinatown” with her students in a tea shop in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

This year’s West Virginia University Campus Read, “Interior Chinatown” by Charles Yu, is inspiring students, faculty and staff to ponder race, stereotypes and, possibly, even the confines of achieving the American Dream through versatile coursework, events and social media.

“In choosing a book like ‘Interior Chinatown,’ we not only bring a book of outstanding literary merit to our campus, but one that challenges us to think deeply about aspects of race in America, of the roles we play, and of our sense of home, among many others,” WVU Humanities Center Director Renée Nicholson, who oversees the Campus Read, said. “It balances the weight of these themes with a compelling protagonist and satirical humor.”

Read the rest of this entry »

“Book it!” panel to explore careers in publishing industry

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
September 9th, 2022

Curious about a career in the publishing industry? The West Virginia University Humanities Center and the WVU Career Services Center are co-hosting an online panel titled “Book It: Careers in Publishing and Book Promotion” on September 19 from 4-5 p.m.

Register for the Zoom event here:

wvu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUodu2orT8sEtXDGR1Ne_46rG9yuMFbKarX

Students who are interested in book-related careers can learn more about job opportunities post-graduation, including how to prepare academically, personally and professionally to pursue these career paths.

Read the rest of this entry »

Stories and songs to guide spectators through “A ‘Double Whammy’ of Disasters” photo exhibit

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
September 6th, 2022
Town of Rainelle sign
“A Town Built to Carry On” by John Wyatt

WVU faculty, staff and students are invited to attend the grand opening ceremony of a unique photo exhibit, “A ‘Double Whammy’ of Disasters: Flooding and COVID-19 in Rural West Virginia,” on Monday, Sept. 12 from 5:15 – 6:45 p.m. in the Health Sciences Center’s Fukushima Auditorium Lobby.

Images curated by Jamie Shinn, assistant professor in West Virginia University’s Department of Geology and Geography, and John Wyatt, her community partner, narrate rural life in Rainelle, W.Va. as the community faced both the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic along with ongoing devastation from West Virginia’s notorious 2016 flooding, which damaged hundreds of homes and businesses.

Read the rest of this entry »

University community invited to Cuthbert retirement reception

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
September 6th, 2022
John Cuthbert
John Cuthbert

John Cuthbert, former director of the West Virginia & Regional History Center, retired December 31, 2021, with more than 40 years of service to WVU Libraries. A reception in his honor will be held Friday, September 23, from 3-5 p.m. in the Downtown Library’s Milano Reading Room.

Cuthbert spent his career telling anyone who would listen about the Mountain State’s rich cultural artistic heritage.

“West Virginia is unique in many ways and certainly has one of the most interesting histories of any state in the Union,” Cuthbert said. “My mission throughout my career was to shed light on subjects and people who defy stereotypes about West Virginia.”

Read the rest of this entry »

WVU Libraries signs agreement to support researchers publishing Open Access

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
August 24th, 2022

In July, West Virginia University Libraries began a partnership with the Public Library of Science (PLOS) to provide researchers with the opportunity to publish, free of processing charges, in any of their Open Access titles over the next three years.

PLOS is a nonprofit, Open Access publisher with a suite of 12 influential Open Access journals across all areas of science and medicine. Open Access refers to free, immediate and permanent online access to digital full-text scientific and scholarly material, primarily research articles published in peer-reviewed journals.

“Investment in open access initiatives is one of the WVU Libraries’ five collection funding priorities. This PLOS agreement is another significant step forward,” said Beth Royall, past-chair of the WVU Libraries Collections Advisory Committee.

Read the rest of this entry »

Evansdale Library celebrates 40th anniversary

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
August 23rd, 2022

By Karen Diaz, Dean of WVU Libraries

To celebrate the new academic year, I’d like to share comments I made at our recent celebration of the 40th (actually 42nd) anniversary of the Evansdale Library. This is a good reminder of how libraries continue to evolve to meet the needs of campus.

In 1978, while I was still in high school, WVU broke ground for the Evansdale Library. By November 1980, when I was taking a year off from my own college experience, the doors opened to students.

It was acknowledged that the growing campus needed an expanded library system that could serve students who now did business on three different campuses within Morgantown.  We see from the newspaper accounts that one of the exciting features of this new library was going to be a large microfilm room and an AV lab!  Exciting stuff! Having been a college student myself at this time I can imagine the AV space had turntables, cassette players, big heavy headphones, and maybe even a state-of-the-art VHS player. Also present would have been the card catalog.  Ah yes, it was the environment of my own learning and experience.

Read the rest of this entry »

WVRHC receives sixth NEH grant to digitize historical newspapers

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
August 19th, 2022
Newspaper front page
This image is an example of the searchable content available through the National Digital Newspaper Program.

The West Virginia University Libraries’ West Virginia and Regional History Center has received a $162,155 grant – its sixth from the National Endowment for the Humanities – to continue digitizing newspapers published in West Virginia from 1791 to 1927.

The award is part of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), a collaboration between the NEH and the Library of Congress to enlist libraries and institutions from around the country to create a digital database of historical United States newspapers. This grant brings the NEH’s total funding of the WVRHC’s efforts to $1,293,568.29.

“We are honored that the NEH continues to support our efforts to enhance access to the historical newspapers preserved in the WVRHC,” WVRHC Interim Director Lori Hostuttler said. “It’s a testament to the incalculable value of these resources and the influential role West Virginia has played in our nation’s history.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Evansdale Library celebrates 42 years serving campus with open house

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
August 8th, 2022

WVU faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends are invited to celebrate the 42nd anniversary of Evansdale Library at an open house on Friday, August 19, from 2:30-4:30 p.m., with remarks at 3 p.m.

Designed to support the students and faculty on the then-growing Evansdale Campus, the new library provided the campus with much-needed resources. An exhibit of 1980s library service, contrasted with library service today, will be available for viewing during the open house, and during Evansdale Library’s open hours from August 10-24.

WVU Libraries receives second LYRASIS grant to support portal for congressional archives

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
August 5th, 2022
Senator Byrd, Rockefeller and Dole with their spouses
Sen. Robert C. Byrd, Elizabeth Dole, Sen. John D. Rockefeller and Sharon Percy Rockefeller, Erma Ora Byrd, and Sen. Bob Dole. Photo courtesy the Robert and Elizabeth Dole Archive and Special Collections. Materials from the archives of all three senators are available online through the American Congress Digital Archive Portal, West Virginia University.

West Virginia University Libraries has been awarded a $39,300 LYRASIS Catalyst Fund grant to support the American Congress Digital Archives Portal, congressarchives.lib.wvu.edu, the first-ever online portal that brings together congressional archives from repositories throughout the United States.

The Portal will provide open access to congressional archives by bringing together these geographically dispersed and civically important sources from multiple institutions using open-source software (OSS) into a single online portal.

“The portal will illuminate the connections across collections, provide opportunities for new scholarship, civics and history education, and make the archives of the ‘People’s Branch’ more equitably available to the people,” Catalyst Fund Program Lead Leigh Grinstead said.

Read the rest of this entry »

Collection Development at the WVU Libraries in 3 Minutes and 16 Seconds

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
June 16th, 2022

The WVU Libraries’ Collections Advisory Committee explains the Libraries’ collection development strategies in a YouTube video. WVU faculty, staff and students may find this brief explanation helpful in understanding the Libraries’ budget, the effect of inflation on their capacity to subscribe to or purchase resources, and how to place requests for resources. To discuss this further, contact the subject librarian for your discipline.

WVU Libraries to mark West Virginia Day on June 21 with “West Virginia’s Poetic Heart”

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
June 14th, 2022
West Virginia Day postcard

West Virginia University Libraries and the West Virginia and Regional History Center will help you find the words to celebrate the Mountain State’s 159th birthday with “West Virginia’s Poetic Heart” on June 21 at 1 p.m. in the Downtown Libraries’ Milano Reading Room. The date of this event has changed because of a University holiday.

The West Virginia Day program brings together West Virginia Poet Laureate Marc Harshman and the poetry of noted Appalachian poet Maggie Anderson.

“We are thrilled for Marc to headline our first in-person West Virginia Day program since 2019,” WVRHC Interim Director Lori Hostuttler said. “Although Maggie isn’t able to participate in the program, she will be present through Marc reading her works. Listening is poetry is always moving and inspiring, and will help us celebrate the experiences and relationships we as West Virginians value most.”

Read the rest of this entry »

WVU Libraries’ Collection Budget Priorities

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
June 6th, 2022
University Library circa 1910
University Library, circa 1910, West Virginia History OnView Collection

Few would argue that academic libraries have changed radically since 1902 when Stewart Hall was the WVU Library. What hasn’t changed is the Libraries’ commitment to WVU’s land grant mission and the study, teaching, and research of the faculty, staff, and students. One not-so-obvious change is the WVU Libraries’ focus on providing access to resources, as opposed to owning them. The explosion of research and new publications means no single library or library system can own everything the institution might need (even with the help of generous donors,) but through carefully curated collections and the power of interlibrary loan, libraries provide access to what faculty, staff, and students need. The focus on access is accompanied by a just-in-time approach, in contrast to the former just-in-case plan. (When the libraries purchased new books, videos, etc., because we thought they might be needed some day, this was a just-in-case plan.)

Read the rest of this entry »

WVU Libraries joins MIT Press Open Access Publishing Initiative

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
May 23rd, 2022

In March 2021, MIT Press announced the launch of its Direct-to-Open (D2O) framework. In this model, rather than purchasing licenses to eBook titles individually or through packages, libraries pay annual participation fees that support open access (OA) book publishing. Participating libraries gain access to new MIT Press titles—around 90 titles per year—as well as its eligible backlist of approximately 2,300 books. D2O features two non-overlapping collections of scholarly monographs and edited volumes: Humanities & Social Sciences and STEAM. Anyone can read the OA titles free of cost on the MIT Press website, regardless of institutional affiliation. 

Read the rest of this entry »

WVU Libraries names three Munn Scholars

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
May 19th, 2022

West Virginia University Libraries’ Teaching and Learning Committee has selected Samantha N. Franzese, Jude Platz and Elizabeth Rockwell as 2022 Robert F. Munn Undergraduate Library Scholars.

“We at WVU Libraries are pleased to recognize Samantha, Jude and Elizabeth as Munn Scholars,” Dean of Libraries Karen Diaz said. “They thoroughly researched their topics and wrote impressive works of scholarship.”

WVU Libraries and the Honors College established the Robert F. Munn Undergraduate Library Scholars Award in 2009 to honor Dr. Robert F. Munn, dean of Library Services from 1957-1986. The award goes to one or more Honors students for an outstanding humanities or social sciences thesis based on research conducted in the WVU Libraries. Along with a $1,000 award, their names will be added to a plaque in the Downtown Campus Library and their theses added to the Research Repository @ WVU. These papers can be read at researchrepository.wvu.edu/munn.

Read the rest of this entry »

Libraries unveil inaugural Inclusive Portrait

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
May 11th, 2022
Portrait of Victorine Louistall Monroe
Dean of Libraries Karen Diaz and artist Anna Allen pose with Allen’s portrait of Victorine Louistall Monroe.

Victorine Louistall Monroe made history twice at West Virginia University. She received her master’s in education from WVU in 1945, making her the first known Black female to be awarded a graduate degree from the University. Then, Monroe made history again in 1966 when WVU hired her to teach Library Science, making her the University’s first Black faculty member.

In April, WVU Libraries unveiled a portrait of Monroe (1912-2006), Professor Emerita of Library Science, the first painting to be commissioned as part of the Inclusive Portrait Project, in the Downtown Library’s Robinson Reading Room.

“We are excited to celebrate Victorine Louistall Monroe with this portrait,” Libraries Dean Karen Diaz said. “A true Mountaineer, Victorine broke several barriers throughout her life and set a shining example for future generations to emulate.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Downtown Library to host Margaret Armstrong exhibit and speaker

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
May 5th, 2022
Armstrong book cover

An exhibit on the works of Margaret Armstrong, best known for her intricate and innovative book covers, opens May 18 in the Downtown Library’s Rockefeller Gallery. The opening kicks off with a presentation by Lowell Thing, author of the upcoming book “Cover Treasure: The Life and Art of Margaret Armstrong” at 4 p.m. in the Milano Reading Room.

The exhibition, titled “The Book Beautiful: Margaret Armstrong and her Bindings,” is a collaboration between West Virginia University LibrariesWest Virginia and Regional History Center and the New York Society Library.

Armstrong (1867–1944) was 18 years old when she broke into the male dominated industry of book design and started to make a name for herself. At the time, there was only one other woman working in book design. Armstrong pushed the boundaries of design and began to dominate the field with the quality of her work.

Read the rest of this entry »

WVU Libraries and partners debut NEH-funded online portal for congressional archives

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
April 19th, 2022
Portal screen shot

West Virginia University Libraries has created the first-ever online portal bringing together congressional archives from repositories throughout the United States.

“The American Congress Digital Archives Portal Project represents the most significant proposal that I have ever seen in terms of its promise to bring historical, political, and policy materials to the fingertips of more scholars on more questions,” Douglas Harris, Professor of Political Science at Loyola University Maryland, said. “It is not a stretch to think that this project could revolutionize the study of Congress across multiple disciplines.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Libraries to unveil inaugural Inclusive Portrait

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
April 13th, 2022
Victorine Louistall Monroe gives a presentation at a public library, circa 1974.

West Virginia University Libraries will unveil a portrait of Victorine Louistall Monroe (1912-2006), Professor Emerita of Library Science, the first painting to be commissioned as part of the Inclusive Portrait Project, April 28 from 4-6 p.m. in the Downtown Library’s Robinson Reading Room.

“We are thrilled to honor Victorine Louistall Monroe with this portrait,” Libraries Dean Karen Diaz said. “A true Mountaineer, Victorine broke several barriers throughout her life and set a shining example for future generations to emulate.”

Monroe graduated from Kelly Miller High School in Clarksburg and earned her bachelor’s degree from West Virginia State College. She received her master’s in education from WVU in 1945, making her the first known Black female to be awarded a graduate degree from the University.

Read the rest of this entry »

Libraries to host Food Justice in Appalachia “Community+Food” virtual panel discussion

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
April 6th, 2022
Food Justice poster

Food is vital to sustaining all living things; yet, not everyone has access to a constant food supply, let alone fresh healthy foods. Do you want to know what local organizations are doing to help the community access food security?

West Virginia University Libraries will host a panel discussion titled “Community+Food” April 13 from 4-5 p.m. in the Downtown Library, Room 104. The program is in conjunction with the “Food Justice in Appalachia” exhibit and will give panelists the opportunity to share their organization’s role in making food more accessible to the community. For those who can’t physically attend, the discussion will also be available for viewing on Zoom.

Register for the Zoom event here.

Read the rest of this entry »