Ask A Librarian

Wilkinson retires, university community invited to reception on Thursday

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
April 24th, 2019
Carroll Wilkinson

If you were a student at West Virginia University sometime during the past four decades, you probably benefited from Carroll Wilkinson’s work at WVU Libraries.

Did you ever check out a book at the Charles C. Wise, Jr. Library or the Downtown Campus Library? Did you log into eReserves to retrieve required course materials? Are you a student-veteran studying for final exams in one of the Libraries’ two Study Bunkers?

After 41 years of service to WVU, Wilkinson officially retired April 15.

“Carroll Wilkinson has been a valued librarian at WVU for 41 years,” Dean of Libraries Karen Diaz said. “She’s seen many changes within the profession and on campus and has herself been a change agent in helping move the libraries ever forward. Her insights, experience, and wisdom have been incredibly valuable to me during my interim term as Dean, and into my permanent role. I’ll miss her very much, but can think of no one more deserving of a rich and healthy retirement!”

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Learn about the Morgantown Seed Preservation Library

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
April 8th, 2019

WVU Libraries and the Morgantown Public Library will jointly hold events on Friday, April 12, in conjunction with Food Justice Day, to celebrate the opening of the Morgantown Seed Preservation Library.

The Downtown Campus Library will host a panel session on seed sovereignty and seed/food justice from 1:30-3 p.m. in the Milano Reading Room. Barbara Hengemihle, associate university librarian, will open the session, and the moderator will be Mehmet Oztan, a WVU service assistant professor of geography who created the Morgantown Seed Preservation Library in collaboration with the Morgantown Public Library, WVU Libraries and the Food Justice Lab at WVU.

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Library Faculty Assembly names Wright Outstanding Librarian for 2019

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
April 5th, 2019

The Awards Committee of the West Virginia University Library Faculty Assembly has selected Alyssa Wright, social sciences librarian, as the Outstanding Librarian for 2019.

The award, presented triennially, recognizes a faculty librarian who has made exceptional contributions toward the delivery, development, or expansion of library services or special programs for the constituencies of WVU. 

“Alyssa is a creative and dedicated librarian, and we are honored to present her with the Outstanding Librarian Award this year,” said Anna Crawford, chair of the Library Faculty Assembly Awards Committee. “The impact Alyssa has made with the social science students and faculty she works with is apparent and highly valued. And her work combining information literacy with community engagement is just one example of the kind of innovative services she provides.”

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“Understanding Trauma through Art and Literature” exhibit displays at Health Sciences Library

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
April 4th, 2019
Heart shaped paper sculpture

Rather than simply trying to define trauma, a group of undergraduate honors students created works of art that illustrate and narrate trauma. Their exhibit, “Understanding Trauma through Art and Literature,” will remain on display at the West Virginia University Health Sciences Library through May 20.

“In healthcare, practitioners are often tasked with working with those in acute distress, which we might generally describe as traumatic. Understanding trauma, then, is an important aspect of the human condition that relates to medicine,” said Renée Nicholson, an assistant professor of multidisciplinary studies.

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Libraries’ Research Commons provides expertise and support

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
April 3rd, 2019
Student working on computer

Are you preparing to start a new research project? Are you exploring publishing options for your latest article?

In addition to connecting you with needed resources, West Virginia University Libraries’ librarians and staff can support users with a high level of knowledge and expertise at many points in the research life-cycle.

Last fall, WVU Libraries launched the Research Commons, a suite of services to foster interdisciplinary connections and support graduate student and faculty research needs.

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Libraries offering Scopus training during Research Week

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
March 28th, 2019
Screen capture of scopus website

In conjunction with West Virginia University’s inaugural Research Week, WVU Libraries will offer multiple workshops to help students and faculty take full advantage of Scopus, a popular scholarly search tool.

Currently the largest curated abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature, Scopus includes the fields of science, technology, medicine, social sciences, and arts and humanities. It can be accessed on the Libraries website.

Sessions are scheduled at all three Morgantown campus. On each day there will be an overview session that includes lunch.

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Looking for a fun summer online course? Register for ULIB300: Film and Media Literacy

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
March 22nd, 2019
Graphic for film course

Wherever you travel this summer, as long as you have Internet access, you can take ULIB300: Film and Media Literacy. In this 12-week online course, students will watch the films of Quentin Tarantino, including “Inglourious Basterds,” “Kill Bill,” “Pulp Fiction,” “Reservoirs Dogs,” “Hateful Eight,” and “Jackie Brown,” and discuss how they relate to other films in their genre, criticism, marketing, film vocabulary, and media literacy.

This 3-credit course fulfills GEC 5 and 7, and GEF 6. To register in STAR, use the Class Schedule Search and set Subject to “Library Instruction.” Learn more at the Libraries website or contact the instructor, Matt Steele, at or 304-293-4240.

WVU Libraries opens Congressman Arch Moore archives, releases digital photographs

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
March 19th, 2019
Arch Moore shakes hands with President Eisenhower
Congressman Arch Moore shakes hands with President Dwight D. Eisenhower, circa 1957-1960

West Virginia University Libraries’ West Virginia & Regional History Center has opened the congressional archives of former U.S. Congressman and West Virginia Governor Arch A. Moore Jr. and released digitized photographs that document Moore’s decade in the House of Representatives. 

A native of Moundsville, W.Va., Arch A. Moore Jr. served in the European theatre during World War II before enrolling at West Virginia University as a political science major in 1946. He later earned his law degree from WVU College of Law. In 1949, Moore married Shelley Riley, a fellow WVU student, and they had three children together, Arch A. (Kim) Moore III, Shelley Wellons, and Lucy St. Clair. Daughter Shelley served in the U.S. House of Representatives (2001-2014) and the U.S Senate (2015-present).

In 1952, Moore began his political career in the West Virginia House of Delegates, and in 1956 he was elected to the First District congressional seat. He went on to serve six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives (1957-1969) winning as a Republican in a predominantly Democratic state. He is the only person to serve three terms as Governor of West Virginia (1969-1977, 1985-1989).

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Libraries offer ways to combat high cost of textbooks

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
February 28th, 2019
Chart on high textbook costs

As part of Open Education Week (March 4-8), West Virginia University Libraries, faculty and students are focusing on the high cost of textbooks.

Since 1978, the cost of college textbooks has risen 812%, a rate faster than medical services (575%), new home prices (325%) and the consumer price index (250%), according to statistics from the American Enterprise Institute.

The rising cost of textbooks impacts a student’s bank account as well as their grades. The Florida Virtual Campus has been studying the effect of rising textbooks costs on students’ purchasing decisions, their academic success and their awareness of OER options.

Their 2018 study found that the cost of textbooks continue to be a negative influence on students’ grades and success. A PDF of the “2018 Student Textbook & Course Materials Survey: Executive Summary is available at this link.

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Help lower textbook costs for students

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
February 26th, 2019
Student working on a laptop

Are you an instructor who is concerned about the impact of high textbook costs on your students’ academic success? If so, you might be interested in two Open Educational Resources (OER) opportunities being offered by WVU Libraries.

OER are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain and can be customized and re-purposed. Open textbooks are complete and can be authoritatively verified, adopted by many faculty across the country, and licensed to be freely used, edited, and distributed.

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Downtown Campus Library to host “Women and Water” exhibit and panels

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
February 20th, 2019
Woman standing on porch

“Women and Water,” an exhibit featuring artwork collected and created by West Virginia women active in the fields of water policy and advocacy, will be on display at West Virginia University’s Downtown Campus Library from March 4 to April 30 in conjunction with the WVU Libraries’ year-long “WATER” exhibit and Women’s History Month.

The Downtown Campus Library will host an opening reception on March 4 from 5-7 p.m. in Room 1020 that will include a poetry reading by Affrilachian poet Crystal Good and a performance art piece by Heather Schneider.

“This exhibit celebrates the major role that Appalachian women have played in defense of water since the 1970s,” said Martina Angela Caretta, a WVU assistant professor of geography. “The pieces on display and two panels – with women water professionals and on women’s health following the 2014 Elk River Spill – speak to the continued and renewed importance of water protection and restoration in our state beyond gender, class and racial axis.”

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Scholarly search tool Scopus returns to library resources

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
February 19th, 2019
Image of a computer screen

Do you need to save time in the initial information gathering stage of your research, monitor a research topic or trend, identify the top researchers in a particular field or track the success of your own research?

West Virginia University Libraries has reinstated its subscription to Scopus, a popular scholarly search tool. Currently the largest curated abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature, it includes the fields of science, technology, medicine, social sciences, and arts and humanities. It can be accessed on the Libraries website.

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Art in the Libraries seeking submission for craftwork exhibit at Health Sciences Center

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
February 8th, 2019
Collage of pottery and jewelry

The WVU Art in the Libraries committee, in collaboration with the Health Sciences Center, is seeking visual artists working in the healthcare field at WVU and WVU Medicine to participate in an exhibition in the fall of 2019 in the Health Sciences Library.

The second Community Show at the Health Sciences Library will focus on handmade art and crafts, including pottery, jewelry, fine art, leather, metal, wood, glass, photography, textiles, knitting and other forms. It is open to any full- or part-time Health Sciences staff, faculty or students.

Winning submissions will be displayed in the Health Sciences Library during the fall 2019 semester, with a reception to be announced.

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REMIX the WVRHC Archives: Call for digital collage work

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
February 4th, 2019
Altered historic photograph

The West Virginia University Arts in the Libraries committee wants people to get creative with history.

“REMIX the WVRHC Archives,” an exhibition and online project by the Art in the Libraries program, encourages people to use the West Virginia & Regional History Center’s online resources to design unique artistic works, such as collages, memes, GIFs, creative writing, redaction poetry and other agglomerations.

“While archives are used for research, they can also inspire contemporary thought, perspective and fun, which is the aim of this curated project,” said Sally Deskins, exhibits coordinator for WVU Libraries.

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg Visits WVU, September 1978

Posted by Jane Metters LaBarbara.
January 29th, 2019

Blog post by Lori Hostuttler, Assistant Director, WVRHC.

Fifteen years before she became a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Ruth Bader Ginsburg visited West Virginia University to serve as a keynote speaker for the 1978 September Festival of Women.  Evidence of her visit was recently found in sources at the West Virginia & Regional History Center.  A student in a class session at the Center found images and news clippings about the festival in a photocopied scrapbook from A&M 5131, the WVU Women’s Studies Center collection.  Newspaper articles found in the scrapbook were also located in the archives of the Daily Athenaeum newspaper found on microfilm at the WVRHC.  

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Libraries, Health Science Center name “Art & Health” exhibit essay winners

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
January 22nd, 2019
Hikers on glacier
“Base of Perito Moreno glacier outside El Calafate, Argentina” by Ben Silverberg.

Last fall, West Virginia University Libraries, in collaboration with the Health Sciences Center, launched “Art & Health: Artwork by Health Care Professionals at WVU,” which features two- and three-dimensional art by people who work in healthcare industries at WVU. Visitors were invited to submit written responses to the artwork as part of a corresponding contest, and the winners are students Jordan Niedoba and Carin Kuhn.

Niedoba finished first with her response to “Base of Perito Moreno glacier outside El Calafate, Argentina” by Ben Silverberg.

In her submission, Niedoba explained that she was captivated by Silverberg’s photograph of a glacier in Argentina because it made her think about people choosing to climb the glacier despite the difficulty. She compared the climbers and their tenacity to patients at WVU Medicine, specifically the ones participating in the Narrative Medicine project.

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Evansdale Library hosts Gordon Gee’s Tie Collection exhibition

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
January 15th, 2019
promotional flyer for exhibit

President E. Gordon Gee is known nationwide for his bow tie style, with feature articles and interviews in fashion publications Bow Tie Aficionado and Ivy Style, among bow tie mentions in national media such as USA Today and the New York Times, and regional media as well. He’s made several videos about his famous collection that began at age 16, and developed while he was President at WVU the first time, 1981-1985. One of his thousands of ties has flown to space. He’s met past US Presidents in them and made a plethora of service visits in them. People have imitated his style and Ohio State University even created an individualized mascot sculpture—“Gordon Gee Brutus”—donning his tie. Folks gift him with handmade ties and objects—funky and precious objects he holds dear.

This exhibit, which run January 20-May 15, takes a look at his collection and some notable times where he and his notable ties were worn and honored, with a selection of his ties, photographs and personal objects. A reception with President Gee will be held Feb. 6 from 5-6 p.m.

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Incorporate, Innovate, Create: WVU Libraries and the Teaching and Learning Commons collaborate on Open Educational Resources Grant

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
January 14th, 2019
student reading a book

West Virginia University Libraries and the Teaching and Learning Commons (TLC) are partnering to support the use of and the development of Open Educational Resources (OER) through a grant program for instructors.

The grant’s aim is to encourage development of alternatives to high-cost textbooks, lower the cost of college attendance for students, and support faculty who wish to implement new pedagogical models for classroom instruction.

“Textbook affordability is a very real issue for many students, and we’re excited to see WVU supporting instructors in offering low-cost, or no cost, options for our students.  There is a wide variety of high-quality, free resources available for faculty to consider and we look forward to partnering on these projects from a teaching and learning perspective.” Dr. Keith Bailey, assistant provost for Teaching and Learning and dean of WVU Online.

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WVU Libraries collaborates in Digital Virginias initiative

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
January 9th, 2019
Rush Holt cartoon
A cartoon commentary from the 1930s on the coal industry and coal commission, from the Rush Dew Holt Collection at the West Virginia and Regional Center.

Although Virginia split into two separate states in 1863, West Virginia University Libraries and organizations from Virginia are uniting as part of the Digital Public Library of America’s (DPLA) new Digital Virginias service hub.

Digital Virginias, consisting of institutions from both Virginia and West Virginia, offers more than 58,000 items from historical and cultural collections for research and exploration. Read more about the service hub, including how to get involved, at

“We are thrilled to be part of DPLA’s tremendous initiative,” WVU Libraries Dean Karen Diaz said. “Digital Virginias will be a valuable resource to people living in Virginia and West Virginia and anyone who wants to delve into the history of both states.”

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Help lower textbook costs for students

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
January 8th, 2019

Did you know?

  • The cost of textbooks is rising at a rate of four times inflation.
  • Sixty percent of students have delayed purchasing textbooks until they’ve received their financial aid.
  • Seventy percent don’t purchase a required textbook during their academic career because of cost.

Are you an instructor who is concerned about the impact of high textbook costs for your students’ academic success?

You can help by attending the Open Textbook Workshop and Textbook Review where you can discover open textbooks in your field. After the workshop, you will be asked to write a short review of an open textbook. Your review will benefit other faculty considering open textbooks. You’ll receive a $200 stipend for your participation and a written review. The workshop will be held March 7 at 10 a.m. in Downtown Campus Library, Room 104. Librarians Hilary Fredette and Martha Yancey will lead the workshop.

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