Ask A Librarian

WVU Libraries names two Munn scholars

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
May 4th, 2018

West Virginia University Libraries selected Elizabeth Satterfield and Rachel A. Wattick as 2018 Robert F. Munn Undergraduate Library scholars.

“All of us at WVU Libraries are pleased to recognize Elizabeth Satterfield and Rachel Wattick for their tremendous achievements in researching their topics and presenting their findings,” Interim Dean of Libraries Karen Diaz said. “Our selection committee noted that they clearly dedicated a great deal of thought and time to gathering the necessary information and then writing their impressive works of scholarship.”

Munn award winners with deans

Munn Award winners Rachel A. Wattick (second from left) and Elizabeth Satterfield pose with Damien Clement, assistant dean of the Honors College, and Karen Diaz, interim dean of WVU Libraries.

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Maintaining a strong collection during tough budget times

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
April 26th, 2018

Student with laptop

By Karen Diaz, Interim Dean of Libraries

The state of West Virginia and West Virginia University have had a couple of belt-tightening years. This, of course, has impacted the Libraries budget as well.  After two years of stringent reductions and loss of access to reserve funding, we have had to cut our spending on library materials (collections) from over $9 million in FY 2015 to under $6 million in FY 2018. This is a 39% reduction.

A few things about library collections:

  • About 90% of our materials budget now goes to electronic materials. This includes databases, e-books, and e-journals, and is fairly typical for an academic library.
  • About 88% of our budget is for subscription items. These are items that in most cases require us to maintain the subscription in order to continue to have access to the title at all.  For instance, if we cancel a database, we no longer have access to any information in the database.  We don’t just lose access to the current year moving forward.
  • Some of our “materials” costs actually go to tools to help provide access to our content. For example, we pay an annual fee for our online catalog, in some cases we pay an annual “hosting fee” for digital content, we pay for tools that allow our users to log into proprietary content from off campus, and tools that provide us with data about which materials are being used.
  • Even the content we get for free, such as gift books or important archives and manuscripts, have costs. There are fees for transporting the material, processing it so it is known and findable to researchers, and housing it – sometimes in special acid-free boxes or in particular conditions for longevity. If we want to make that content available online there are digitization costs.

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Looking at Morgantown exhibit opens April 20

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
April 13th, 2018

The Downtown Campus Library will host an opening reception for the West Virginia University Libraries’ newest exhibit, “Looking at Morgantown,” on April 20 from 4-6 p.m. in Room 1020.

“Looking at Morgantown” showcases 24 photographs specific to Monongalia County and the people, places and events that represent the area by 18 regional professional and amateur photographers. The WVU Art in the Libraries Committee selected the images from more than 350 submissions.

The exhibit is in conjunction with “Looking at Appalachia: Selected Images from 2014-2016” currently on display at the DCL. “Looking at Appalachia is an ongoing crowdsourced photography project created by West Virginia-based photographer Roger May as a response to media coverage and perceptions of Appalachia and the President Johnson’s War on Poverty.

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Downtown Campus Library to host two Wikipedia edit-a-thons in April

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
April 9th, 2018

 

The Downtown Campus Library will host two Wikipedia edit-a-thons in April. Both event are open to the public. Preregistration is not required, but people should bring a laptop.

The first is an Art + Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon on April 13 from noon to 3 p.m. in room 104. The Art + Feminism edit-a-thon will focus on female artists in the collection of the WVU Museum. Participants will have the opportunity to write about and edit Wikipedia pages of female artists, painters, designers and dancers. Kelly Doyle, WVU Libraries’ Wikipedian in Residence for Gender Equity, will be available help individuals edit and create an account. For more information contact Sally Deskins, Libraries exhibits coordinator, at sbdeskins@mail.wvu.edu.

On April 19, from noon to 3 p.m., in Room 1036, students in the Women’s and Gender Studies capstone class are organizing a Women Innovators, Designers and Entrepreneurs Wikipedia Edit-a-thon. It will be held in conjunction with WVU’s Demo Day and Black Women’s History Month. For information on this event contact Kasi Jackson, associate professor of Women’s and Gender Studies, at kasi.jackson@mail.wvu.edu.

 

Libraries interim dean named Library Senior Fellow at UCLA

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
April 6th, 2018

West Virginia University Libraries Interim Dean Karen Diaz is among 17 top academic library directors selected as Library Senior Fellows at UCLA for fall 2018. The international cohort will travel to UCLA in August for a three-week residential program featuring lectures, guest speakers, case studies and field trips.

“I’m delighted to welcome this distinguished group of accomplished library managers to the Senior Fellows program,” said Brian E. C. Schottlaender, director of the Library Senior Fellows program at UCLA. “Through the competitive selection process, these individuals have demonstrated that they are part of the next generation of library leaders in the academic world.”

Library Senior Fellows at UCLA combines management perspectives, strategic thinking and practical and theoretical approaches to the issues confronting academic institutions and their libraries. Of some 250 alumni, nearly half have gone on to positions as library directors. The program is a collaborative effort of the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies (GSE&IS), the UCLA Library and Ithaka S+R.

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Downtown Campus Library to host poet Maggie Anderson on April 4

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
March 28th, 2018

Maggie Anderson

West Virginia University Libraries will present Talking Publicly with Maggie Anderson, a reading and discussion, on April 4 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Downtown Campus Library’s Milano Reading Room. This free event, part of a celebration of National Poetry Month, is open to the public.

Anderson is a West Virginia-based poet and author of five books of poems, most recently “Dear All” (2017).

Following Anderson’s reading and talk, Dr. Judith Stitzel, WVU Professor Emerita of English and founding director of the WVU Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, will moderate a discussion on the role of poetry in contemporary society.

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US Congress exhibit opens April 2

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
March 28th, 2018

Photograph of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill addressing a joint meeting of Congress, December 26, 1941, from the Senator Harley Martin Kilgore papers, WVRHC

The United States Congress is the branch of the federal government closest to the people, where representatives and their constituents most directly engage over the issues of the day. Yet many Americans view Congress with a mix of frustration, confusion, and disapproval.

To promote a better understanding of Congress, the West Virginia and Regional History Center at West Virginia University Libraries will open a new exhibit, “The People’s Branch: Exploring the U.S. Congress with Archives,” on April 2, in the Downtown Campus Library’s Rockefeller Gallery. It will remain on display through December 2018.

“The People’s Branch” uses archival materials to explore the basic functions of Congress and the importance of the institution in American democracy. It highlights the representative responsibilities of the body and the interactions between politicians and constituents. It encourages visitors to consider how Congress has evolved over time and how it continues to shape politics and public policy.

“With the upcoming 2018 midterm elections, the exhibit offers a chance to look at the legislative branch broadly and to reflect on how the institution has remained consistent, and changed, over time” said Danielle Emerling, WVRHC assistant curator and congressional and political papers archivist.

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Book dealer honors Forbes with massive book collection to WVU

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
March 21st, 2018

Harold Forbes, retired rare books curator, peruses a book dealer Jim Presgraves donated to WVU Libraries in honor of Forbes as library associate Autumn Summers and work study student Jamie Rood look on.

When Harold M. Forbes retired from West Virginia University as curator of Rare Books in 2013, bookseller Jim Presgraves wanted to pay a proper tribute to his colleague’s long career.

Rather than sending a card, Presgraves, approaching retirement himself, donated a large portion of his inventory at Bookworm and Silverfish Books in Rural Retreat, Virginia, to WVU Libraries in honor of the former Rare Books Curator. Library staff calculate the gift at more than 10,000 books, pamphlets, archives, maps and other materials with a value more than $500,000.

“WVU has been a very good customer over the years, and that was my reward,” said Presgraves, who secured books on West Virginia, Appalachia and other topics for Forbes.

As part of his donation, he requested the Libraries identify 100 books and add special bookplates recognizing Forbes. Rare Books Curator Stewart Plein, who worked with Forbes prior to his retirement, selected books she knew would interest him and invited Forbes back to the Rare Book Room in the West Virginia and Regional History Center to unveil the tribute.

“At first, I thought, ‘What a terrific selection’, and then I was stunned to see my name in the books,” Forbes said. “To receive something like this, something so substantial, it was exceptional. I felt truly honored.”

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Interview with Elaine Sheldon, Director of “Heroin(e)”

Posted by jetapia@wvu-ad.wvu.edu.
March 19th, 2018

As part of Women’s History Month, West Virginia University Libraries screened the Oscar nominated “Heroin(e)”, directed by Peabody Award-winning documentarian Elaine McMillion Sheldon alongside an exhibition photography of three West Virginia-based photographers.

West Virginia native and WVU alumna Sheldon (BSJ, 2009) thereafter discussed the Netflix Original Documentary short following three women fighting the opioid crisis in Huntington, as well as the work of the artists whose work is seen in “A Knowing Intimacy: A photography exhibit by West Virginia Women” on display in DCL Room 1020 through April 13.

Sheldon, the exhibit’s curator, explained that the name comes from the shared intimate quality among her work and the work of photographers Lisa Elmaleh, Rebecca Kiger and Meg Elizabeth Ward.

Before the event, Sheldon sat down with WVU Libraries’ Exhibits and Programs Coordinator Sally Deskins to discuss how growing up and living in West Virginia impacts her work as well as her time at WVU, making documentaries about her homeplace, her podcast She Does, curating this exhibit and much more. The interview was created using StoryCenter’s Listening Station and is archived with the StoryCenter.

Click here to learn more about the exhibit and artists.

“A Knowing Intimacy” is supported by the Libraries’ Arts in the Libraries program. For more information contact Sally Deskins, exhibits coordinator, sbdeskins@mail.wvu.edu.

Call for Art Created by Health Professionals at WVU

Posted by jetapia@wvu-ad.wvu.edu.
March 13th, 2018

WVU Art in the Libraries, in collaboration with Health Sciences Center, is seeking visual artists in the health care field working at WVU and WVU Medicine to participate in a group exhibition to take place in the fall of 2018 in the WVU Health Sciences Library.

Through art, relationships of medical professionals and their patients and the impact thereof can come through, such as in Luke Fildes’ famous 1891 painting, The Doctor (below) or Thomas Eakins’ Gross Clinic (1875).  Too, artwork can prove a fun hobby, personal release or second creative profession for those in such a scientific, sociable profession as health, like mid twentieth century illustrator Frank Netter or the contemporary painter Lissa Rankin (Both Sides Now painting, below), who retired as OBGYN to make art.

tan and white with wide strip down center and hourglass and colorful dots.

Both Sides Now by Lissa Rankin

Man watching young girl sleeping on chairs with man in background

The Doctor by Luke Fildes

We want to know what WVU health professionals are making visual art!

Any part or full time staff or faculty, may submit any media, ready-to-display, work of any theme for this exhibition.  We’re interested in all types of work addressing contemporary issues or concerns, health or medical issues or concerns, or completely abstract artwork.  You do not need to be an “established” artist! We are looking for health professionals who create artwork, any level or media will be considered.

The facilities include limited wall space and display cases in the Health Sciences Library, on the 2nd floor of the Health Sciences Center of West Virginia University. There is ample natural and artificial overhead lighting. Traffic includes medical undergraduate, graduate students, faculty and other professionals in the health and medical field as well as prominent campus visitors and others using the library facilities. Artists are encouraged to visit the space before submitting.

Artists are responsible for transporting artwork to and from the Library if their work is accepted.  Libraries hold the University insurance if loan form is filled out and signed, though security is limited to the access services staff of the Library during open hours.

To participate: Contact WVU Libraries Exhibits Coordinator, Sally Deskins, sbdeskins@mail.wvu.edu, 304.293.0369, feel free to send images, ideas, websites, etc. by May 31, 2018.

About: Art in the Libraries develops exhibits and related programs in the Downtown Campus Library, Evansdale Library, and Health Sciences Library, highlighting the creative endeavors and scholarship of WVU faculty, staff, and students, reaching across the University, the region, and the broader academic community. This program demonstrates how art, libraries and scholars encourage the community to explore, reflect, and discuss what they encounter in the WVU Libraries which seeks to embody the mission of West Virginia University by excelling in discovery and innovation, modeling cultural diversity and inclusion, promoting vitality and building pathways for the exchange of knowledge and opportunity. Exhibits.lib.wvu.edu

Be an Advocate for Change

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
March 7th, 2018

As part of Open Education Week (March 5-9), West Virginia University Libraries, faculty and students are focusing on the high cost of textbooks.

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

The rising cost of textbooks can not only affect a student’s bank account, but their grades as well. The Florida Virtual Campus, formerly the Florida Distance Learning Consortium, has been studying the effect of rising textbooks costs on students’ purchasing decisions, their academic success, and their awareness of Open Education Resource (OER) options.

Their 2016 study found that the cost of textbooks continue to be a negative influence on students’ grades and success.

2016 Florida Student Textbook & Course Materials Survey chart

Florida Virtual Campus. (2016). 2016 Florida Student Textbook & Course Materials Survey. Tallahassee, FL.

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Libraries to host exhibit and Heroin(e) screening for Women’s History Month

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
February 27th, 2018

 

Elaine McMillion Sheldon

As part of Women’s History Month, West Virginia University Libraries will showcase the work of Peabody Award-winning documentarian Elaine McMillion Sheldon and three other West Virginia-based photographers.

West Virginia native and WVU alumna Sheldon (BSJ, 2009) will screen her most recent film, the Oscar-nominated “Heroin(e)”, March 8 at 6:30 p.m. in the Downtown Campus Library, Room 104. The Netflix Original Documentary short follows three women fighting the opioid crisis in Huntington.

It will be followed by a reception and panel discussion to include the artists whose work can be seen in “A Knowing Intimacy: A photography exhibit by West Virginia Women” on display in DCL Room 1020 March 8-April 13.

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WVRHC launches George Bird Evans digital collection

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
February 15th, 2018

George Bird Evans poses with Blue and Dawn, ca. 1940. 

West Virginia University Libraries’ West Virginia and Regional History Center has launched a digital collection that chronicles more than six decades of work by acclaimed outdoorsman, author and illustrator George Bird Evans.

The George Bird Evans Collection contains sixty-five years of detailed handwritten hunting journals in which Evans meticulously recorded the results of hunting excursions, primarily in West Virginia’s Allegheny Mountains.

“George Bird Evans was one of the world’s foremost authorities on upland bird shooting and fine bird dogs,” WVRHC Director John Cuthbert said. “His eloquence and philosophical bent earned him an avid following among hunting literature enthusiasts across the nation and beyond.”

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The Purpose of a Library

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
February 14th, 2018

By Karen Diaz, Interim Dean of Libraries

Recently, I attended a leadership training event. The trainer encouraged attendees to think about the difference between our function and our purpose.  To illustrate the issue the trainer showed us a photo similar to those in this news story. Clearly, the function the men in superhero costumes were performing was cleaning windows.  But by dressing in superhero costumes to do this work they fulfilled a larger purpose. They provided a healing environment for children who were suffering from pretty horrible diseases by including a sense of fun and happiness.

Bringing this thinking into a library context, it’s hard to pinpoint the function of a library, much less its purpose.  Some might say that a library’s function is to preserve the cultural record. Others might say it is to promote lifelong learning. Yet others might consider it to be a community center focused on meeting both educational and entertainment needs. Many library vision statements include language like “collect, preserve, and provide access to information.” When you look at staff positions there are all sorts of more traditional functions that are carried out: such as cataloging and archival processing, acquisitions of materials, reference, interlibrary loan, systems and technology support, circulation, instruction, and communication. There are newer functions in some environments such as learning technology, open access publishing, copyright services, and more.

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Help lower textbook costs for students

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
February 12th, 2018

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.

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 at the Downtown Campus Library, Room 104, March 8 at 10 a.m. Librarians Hilary Fredette and Martha Yancey will lead the workshop.

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Applications being accepted for Faculty/Staff Exhibition Award

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
February 1st, 2018

West Virginia University Libraries and the Art in the Libraries committee have created the WVU Faculty/Staff Exhibition Award to help promote the art and scholarship of faculty and staff. Current faculty and staff may submit ideas for an exhibit that visually showcases their scholarship in new and experimental ways, provides a visual evolution of their work or answers a research question. One awardee will receive a $1,000 professional development award and an exhibition, including promotion and public programming. Application deadline is February 28. More information is available at exhibits.lib.wvu.edu.

Art Crawl to highlight art, history, nature on Campus

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
January 30th, 2018

West Virginia University Libraries encourages University and Morgantown community members to participate in the Campus Art Crawl on February 15, from 4-6 p.m. In addition to exhibits, the tour will feature activities, such as a scavenger hunt, and food and drink. Admission and participation are free.

Downtown

Downtown Campus Library Atrium: This exhibit celebrates a decade of College of Creative Arts Professor of Photography Michael Sherwin teaching a workshop on Jackson Hole photography. Beginning at 4 p.m., Sherwin and a group of his students will give a presentation on their work.

West Virginia & Regional History Center: A selection of documents and artifacts from the Center’s archives illustrate the University’s founding and early years. Read the rest of this entry »

Server Updates

Posted by jetapia@wvu-ad.wvu.edu.
January 24th, 2018

We will be updating the following systems.  The sites may be down briefly, but downtime should be minimal.

January 24:

ojs.lib.wvu.edu
civilwarwv.lib.wvu.edu
clarysville.lib.wvu.edu

January 25:

iai.lib.wvu.edu
jerrywest.lib.wvu.edu
mdid.lib.wvu.edu
news.lib.wvu.edu
pec.lib.wvu.edu
rockefeller.lib.wvu.edu

January 26:

gbe.lib.wvu.edu
holt.lib.wvu.edu
rahall.lib.wvu.edu
storercollege.lib.wvu.edu
suma.lib.wvu.edu
textbooks.lib.wvu.edu
usswv.lib.wvu.edu
wvhistoryonview.org

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

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
January 23rd, 2018

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 Inglorious 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 runs May 14 to August 3 and 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 matthew.steele1@mail.wvu.edu or 304-293-4240.

Arts build community among WVU Libraries, campus and Morgantown

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
January 12th, 2018

As library collections become increasingly digital, West Virginia University Libraries seeks to engage our users and community in our spaces in new ways. One avenue is the Art in the Libraries program, which brings art and collaborative exhibitions into the library buildings to spark discussions and inspire new ideas.

“Having art and exhibits in these publicly used spaces presents a unique opportunity for exhibitor and library guest,” said Sally Deskins, exhibit coordinator for WVU Libraries. “The exhibitor’s work is in a neutral space, a space which preserves and protects new ideas and perspectives, and a space where some who wouldn’t normally seek out art and exhibits, will go.”

Art in the Libraries programming spans the Downtown Campus, Evansdale and Health Sciences libraries. The committee welcomes ideas for collaborative and engaging programs and submissions for exhibition proposals on an ongoing basis.

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