Sunday, November 20, 2011

Celebrating Harriette Arnow:

A program and exhibit launching the opening of the Harriette Arnow Collection was a huge success. On November 17, a standing room only crowd gathered in the Great Hall in Special Collections for a fascinating overview of Harriette Arnow’s life and career by Arnow biographer and scholar, Sandy Ballard. Professor Ballard shared insights into the Appalachian author’s publications including The Dollmaker, Hunter's Horn, Seedtime on the Cumberland, Flowering of the Cumberland, and Old Burnside. Appalachian writer Gurney Norman shared personal memories of Arnow and Dennis Bender and Ron Penn provided music.

In 1977 with the creation of UK’s Appalachian Center, UK Libraries initiated a special focus on collecting materials to support Appalachian research. Currently Special Collections contains more than 14,000 books and over 30,000 linear feet of manuscripts and audio visual materials documenting reformers, the War on Poverty, public policy, folk music, coal mining, health care, the environment, and education. The Harriette Arnow Collection joins those of other prominent Appalachian authors such as James Still and Harry Caudill.

The exhibit was co-curated by Kate Black, Curator of UK Libraries’ Appalachian Collection, and Amber Surface, a graduate student in UK’s School of Library and Information Science who will receive her M.A. in December. Amber is also preparing a forthcoming digital exhibit and utilized this archival experience to gain field placement graduate credit. Thanks to Kate and Amber for all of their creativity and hard work that made this wonderful event possible!

Photo by Lewis Warden.

UK Professor Wins National Book Award:

In case anyone has not already heard, University of Kentucky creative writing Professor Nikky Finney has won the 2011 National Book Award in Poetry for her recent work, Head Off & Split. Congratulations Professor Finney!

UK Undergraduate Research Journal Added to UKnowledge:

UK’s undergraduate research journal, Kaleidoscope, is now being published in UKnowledge. In announcing this achievement Danica Kubly thanked UK Libraries for making this initiative possible. Kubly noted that “volume nine (2010) is the first issue available but the process of uploading all back volumes is underway. Each new edition of Kaleidoscope will appear in UKnowledge. The new format provides a unique URL for each submission and all articles will be searchable through worldwide search engines such as Google and Bing. To view volume 9 (2010), please visit “

News from Fall ASERL Meeting:

The Association of Southeastern Research Libraries met in Atlanta November 14 and 15. ASERL Executive Director John Burger reported on several important topics that were covered during the two day meeting:

ASERL-SURA Data Policy Collaboration. Tyler Walters (Virginia Tech) described a new collaboration with Southeast Universities Research Association (SURA) to monitor changes in federal data management policies, offer models of local policies, and discuss emerging issues. ASERL’s Board has approved this concept. Collaboration will be via online tools and a first step in fostering more shared programming between ASERL and SURA. Several ASERL Deans and Directors indicated an interest in their libraries participating. Walters will work with John Burger to draft a formal charge for the group. A call for volunteers will be posted in December and the group will convene in early 2012.

Berlin 9 Convention. Many ASERL members had representatives at the recent Berlin 9 Convention in Bethesda. ASERL members noted some progress in signing-on at their home institutions in support of “open access” to scholarly materials. ASERL unanimously voted to support the Berlin Declaration as a means of creating momentum for gaining signatories at member institutions. John Burger will communicate with Max Planck Society and create publicity to foster additional support within ASERL institutions. UK Provost Kumble Subbaswamy has sent UK’s request to become a signatory to the Berlin Declaration

HathiTrust Constitutional Convention. Nine ASERL libraries are members of HathiTrust. There is interest in linking ASERL’s collection management programs with Hathi’s expanding array of programs. Hathi may also be exploring new models for membership/content providers and ASERL will continue to monitor these options.

Thanks to John Burger, Danica Kubly and Deirdre Scaggs for their contributions.

Terry Birdwhistell
Dean of Libraries

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