Ask A Librarian

Curating Undefeated: Canvas(s)ing the Politics Around Voter Suppression Since Women’s Suffrage, an online and print exhibit

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
April 21st, 2021
Image from Undefeated exhibit

By Sally Brown, WVU Libraries Exhibits Coordinator

Curating the Art in the Libraries’ large, multi-disciplinary exhibitions since 2018’s WATER, has proved an enormous and exciting part of my role as Exhibits Coordinator. Through WATER (2018-19) and Appalachian Futures (2019-20), I developed these large exhibitions with upwards of 50 diverse contributors, two committees, a designer, several sponsoring partners and of course, the signing off of Dean Karen Diaz for these displays going up in the Downtown Campus Library for the academic year.

This year’s exhibition, Undefeated: Canvas(s)ing the Politics Around Voter Suppression Since Women’s Suffrage, in conjunction with the Suffrage Centennial and the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, was complex in its multidisciplinary, and  controversial in its political nature. The complexity was compounded by the pandemic not only logistically for exhibition display, but also as it heightened the unfolding story of contemporary voter suppression with myriad new voting considerations throughout the presidential election. Thankfully, the various contributors and partners allowed for multiple perspectives for this exhibition and its related programming and we were able to engage participation from WVU and broader communities.

Read the rest of this entry »

NEH awards WVU Libraries funds to develop online portal for congressional archives

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
April 14th, 2021

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded a nearly $60,000 grant to West Virginia University Libraries to create the first-ever online portal bringing together congressional archives from repositories throughout the United States. 

“Congressional archives document the democratic process and the evolution of Congress as an institution,” said Danielle Emerling, project director and curator of congressional and political collections in the West Virginia & Regional History Center. “However, the value of the archives goes beyond the study of the branch itself. They illustrate multiple narratives related to the country’s social, cultural, and political development.” 

Read the rest of this entry »

Libraries to host “The Equal Rights Amendment: Past, Present, and Future” panel discussion

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
March 24th, 2021

WVU Libraries will host a virtual panel presentation titled “The Equal Rights Amendment: Past, Present, and Future” on Thursday, April 8, at noon. The presentation is in conjunction with the Libraries’ “Undefeated: Canvas(s)ing the Politics Around Voter Suppression Since Women’s Suffrage” exhibition and the West Virginia and Regional History Center’s exhibitions on women’s suffrage and voting rights.

Join panelists Jeri Burton, chair of the NOW’s 28th Amendment ERA Committee; Linda Coberly, chair of the ERA Coalition’s legal task force; and Liza Mickens, Vote Equality US co-founder, for a discussion about past and present efforts, challenges, and strategies for passing the Equal Rights Amendment. Danielle Emerling, Congressional & Political Papers archivist and WVRHC assistant curator, will moderate the event.

Register for the Zoom event here.

Read the rest of this entry »

WVU Libraries to host online discussion on its new Feminist Activist Collection

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
March 15th, 2021
group picture of community team

Art in the Libraries’ Virtual Program Series will present “Don’t Throw it Out!” a conversation about documenting women and the new West Virginia Feminist Activist Collection of the West Virginia and Regional History Center on March 19 at noon.

Panelists Judith Stitzel, Professor Emerita of English and Co-Founder of Women’s Studies, and Carroll Wilkinson, University Librarian Emerita, come together with Lori Hostuttler, Assistant Director of the WVRHC, to discuss collecting and documenting women’s lives, share some of their own photos, ephemera or objects, to encourage a broader and more accessible approach to archives and all it can encompass.

Read the rest of this entry »

WVU Libraries to mark Women’s History Month

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
March 4th, 2021

The State Journal published this article on March 3.

By Karen Diaz, Dean of WVU Libraries

Women – of all backgrounds – have made important contributions to society. Only recently are we learning more about these individuals and learning to give credit to women where that credit is due. The way we have learned more is through evidence. Often that evidence sits in archives used by historians and others to document how women have shaped society. Due to a long tradition of underrepresenting women and women’s contributions, there are archival silences or gaps in what has been preserved. This undervaluing perhaps also causes those making contributors to undervalue documenting what they have done.

Read the rest of this entry »

Two Students receive Dean of the Libraries’ Student Art Award

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
February 23rd, 2021

The Art in the Libraries Committee and Dean of Libraries Karen Diaz selected Anna Allen, a BFA candidate in painting, and Raymond Thompson, Jr., an MFA student in photography, to receive the 2020 Dean of the Libraries’ Student Art Award.

Read the rest of this entry »

Art in the Libraries to host Art of the Mask virtual event

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
February 10th, 2021
collage of people wearing masks

Masks are the new symbol of our time. WVU’s Art in the Libraries Program will host a free virtual event titled “The Art of the Mask: A Community Discussion and Show-and-Tell” Monday, Feb. 15, from noon-1 p.m.

The Zoom gathering, in conjunction with the Art in the Libraries’ online exhibit, The Art of the Mask, will feature an informal sharing of masks and discussion by Suzanne Gosden-Kitchen, assistant chair and teaching associate professor in the Department of Management, John Chambers College of Business and Economics, and Matthew Tolliver, an adjunct faculty member at WVU and a certified professional school counselor, Monongalia County Schools. Their mask creations are part of the digital Art of the Mask exhibit.

Read the rest of this entry »

Join the “Amplifying Appalachia” Art + Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
February 4th, 2021
Hand holding a paintbrush

WVU Libraries is hosting “Amplifying Appalachia” Art + Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, an effort to amplify the stories and figures of under-represented Appalachian artists, writers, and other creators, particularly women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ individuals.

“Amplifying Appalachia” is open to all and will run virtually from March 1-5. Participants can contribute whenever is convenient them. Prior Wiki experience is not necessary.

Read the rest of this entry »

Libraries hosting workshop focused on lowering textbook costs for students

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
February 4th, 2021

Are you an instructor who is concerned about the impact of high textbook costs for your students’ academic success? WVU Libraries will host an Open Textbook Workshop and Textbook Review on March 4 at 10 a.m. that will help instructors explore possible open textbook solutions to this growing financial issue.

Over the past few years, 60 percent of students surveyed said they delayed purchasing textbooks until they received their financial aid and 70 percent chose not to purchase a required textbook because of cost, according to the Open Education Network, a group that studies how the high cost of course materials impede students’ academic success.

Read the rest of this entry »

Libraries extends free professional development opportunity to WVU community

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
February 3rd, 2021

WVU Libraries is pleased to announce a free professional development opportunity available to University faculty and staff – complimentary registration for the OLC Innovate Virtual Conference scheduled for March 15-19.

This unlimited virtual package is a prize won by Engineering Librarian Martin Dunlap at the Online Learning Consortium’s Accelerate 2020 conference.

The Innovate Conference’s schedule includes more than 100 sessions and workshops and covers topics such as Blended Teaching and Learning; Career and Technical Education; Instructional Technologies and Tools; Leadership and Advocacy; Open Learning; Process, Problems and Practices; Research: Designs, Methods and Findings; and Teaching and Learning Practice. There are also “targeted summits,” which are thematically focused gatherings for Community College, HBCU, Instructional Design, Research, International and K-12.

Read the rest of this entry »

WVU Libraries leading menstrual product drive

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
February 3rd, 2021

WVU Libraries’ Committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, in collaboration with the Prioritize Periods Campaign of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, has launched “Take One, Leave One,” a menstrual product drive, in their campus locations including Downtown Campus Library, Evansdale Library, and Health Sciences Lactation Room, as a trial through the spring semester.

“Take One, Leave One” bins are located in public, yet discreet, locations in the buildings and welcome students and Library users to donate or take what they need. Locations will be posted on bathroom mirrors in each of the buildings. Bins will be monitored to record use and donations for potentially more long-term use or future initiatives.

“While access to basic hygiene on campus such as soap and toilet paper is routine, access to menstrual products is not at this point,” Libraries Dean Karen Diaz said. “We are happy to participate with Prioritize Periods Campaign to work on changing that and are happy to provide space to pilot improving access to this basic health requirement for so many in our community.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Libraries will close at 1 p.m. Wednesday

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
December 16th, 2020

The Downtown Campus, Evansdale and Health Sciences libraries and the Book Depository will close at 1 pm today because of the winter storm. The buildings will reopen at noon Thursday. 

WVU Libraries and Food Justice Lab seeking submissions for Food Justice exhibit

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
December 9th, 2020

The West Virginia University Food Justice Lab and WVU Libraries’ Arts in the Libraries committee are seeking content from scholars, artists, community groups and practitioners for a curated art exhibition that addresses issues related to Food Justice.

“The Food Justice Lab is thrilled to support WVU Libraries with an art exhibit that will elevate the rich histories of Appalachian food heritage, explore the inequities presently coded into our food system and help us to imagine a more just and resilient food future for our region,” WVU Food Policy Research Director Joshua Lohnes said.

Read the rest of this entry »

Libraries moving to new authentication system

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
December 6th, 2020

The WVU Libraries are moving to a new authentication system for our electronic resources on Dec. 14th. This change should be seamless for most users. If you have linked to journal articles, eBooks, or other online library resources in your courses or bookmarked them in your browser, please change http://www.libproxy.wvu.edu/login?url= to https://wvu.idm.oclc.org/login?url= in the links. If you encounter problems, please contact Library eResources at eresources@mail.wvu.edu.

Downtown Campus Library will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
November 29th, 2020

The Downtown Campus Library will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday as crews complete work on a steam line that supports the building’s HVAC system. The library will reopen Thursday at 7:30 a.m. For a complete list of WVU Libraries hours visit the Libraries’ website, wvu.libcal.com/hours

“Votes for Women – 100 Years of Suffrage in West Virginia” exhibit open in Downtown Campus Library

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
November 5th, 2020

One hundred years ago, the West Virginia Legislature ratified the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which extended voting rights to women. West Virginia University Libraries and the West Virginia and Regional History Center are marking the milestone with the exhibit “Votes for Women – 100 Years of Suffrage in West Virginia” in the Downtown Campus Library’s Rockefeller Gallery.

After being passed by Congress in 1919, the Nineteenth Amendment needed to be ratified by at least 36 states to become law. Success in the mountain state required conquering multiple hurdles, including assorted anti-suffrage protests. Despite such challenges, on March 10, 1920, West Virginia became the 34th state to approve the amendment.

Read the rest of this entry »

Student-curated online exhibit explores West Virginia political memorabilia

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
October 27th, 2020
State Chairman pin for the 1964 Republican National Convention held in San Francisco.

Elections are a foundation of American democracy, and the act of campaigning for public office is nearly as old as the Republic itself. In this election year, the West Virginia & Regional History Center is highlighting campaign materials from West Virginia politicians in a new digital exhibit, Vote for Me: West Virginia Political Memorabilia .

Elections and campaigns have changed over the centuries, and the 2020 campaign season has looked like none before. As Americans decide on the future, this exhibit explores some of West Virginia’s political past, the contributions of West Virginia politicians, as well as the history of campaign materials.

Read the rest of this entry »

Libraries to host talk on democracy, voting and race on Oct. 30

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
October 26th, 2020
Atiba Ellis, WVU Magazine, WVU Photo/Raymond Thompson

In commemoration of the Suffrage Centennial, the WVU Libraries’ Art in the Libraries Virtual Program will host Atiba Ellis, Professor of Law at Marquette University Law School, on democracy, voting and race on Oct. 30 at 6 p.m.

Ellis researches how racial and class-based oppression interact continue to abridge and deny the right to vote to communities on the margins of American democracy. His work has analyzed voter identification laws for their socioeconomic effects, situated felon disenfranchisement laws as enforcing a political underclass, analyzed the theoretical scope of the Citizens United decision, and described the ideological drivers of vote suppression.

Read the rest of this entry »

WVU Libraries has created a Halloween treat

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
October 26th, 2020

Temperatures are falling, leaves are turning, and Halloween is fast approaching in Appalachia. No tricks here – WVU Libraries has put together a libguide with information and fun facts for the season. The guide covers Halloween history, local spooky activities, how to stay safe trick or treating during the COVID-19 pandemic, information costumes and cultural appropriation, profiles of our local monsters, resources for Day of the Dead, and has some great horror recommendations. Check it out here as you prepare for Halloween.

WVU to celebrate Isaac Asimov in virtual symposium

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
October 23rd, 2020
I, Robot cover

To celebrate the work of science fiction author Isaac Asimov and the West Virginia University Libraries’ Isaac Asimov Collection, the University is hosting the 2020 WVU Isaac Asimov Collection Symposium, a virtual event, on Oct. 31 from 3-5:30 p.m.

Asimov (1920-1992), widely considered one of the greatest science fiction writers of the twentieth-century, earned the title of “The Great Explainer” because he made complicated subjects easy to understand.

Marking the centennial of Asimov’s birth and promoting science fiction as an academic resource, the Asimov Symposium will feature conversations and presentations from the Eaton Collection of Science Fiction and Fantasy at the University of California at Riverside, the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas, WVU’s Rare Book Collection and Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Department of English science fiction faculty.

Read the rest of this entry »