Saturday, February 11, 2012

Gloria Singletary:

Gloria Singletary’s passing is a sad moment for the University of Kentucky. During her years in Kentucky Ms. Singletary’s giving personality made everything and everyone around her better. Whether it was participating at an assortment of UK functions, being a devoted supporter of women’s athletics, volunteering at the UK Medical Center, or supporting Lexington’s Living Arts and Science Center, Gloria Singletary gave unselfishly.

Perhaps the first important decision Gloria and Otis Singletary made when they came to Kentucky in 1969 was their decision to live in Maxwell Place. Town/gown relations were at a low ebb in the late 60’s and the Singletary’s decision to move their young family into Maxwell Place was good for both the community and the university and probably saved Maxwell Place which had earlier been targeted for demolition.

A newspaper article reported that “The Singletary children are allowed a free run of the UK campus, although Mrs. Singletary said she encouraged the children to stay out of the buildings and to avoid congested areas as they ride their bikes and walk across the campus.”

Admiration and respect for Ms. Singletary came from all areas of the university and the commonwealth for her many contributions of support and service. At one point, after learning that President Singletary might accept another presidency and leave, one UK faculty member said, “Well, if Otis leaves make Gloria president - she can do it!”

In the early 1990’s Ms. Singletary shared her memories of her time at UK during almost 25 hours of oral history interviews for UK Libraries Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History. Her story will be an inspiration for generations to come.

UK Librarians Present at International Meetings:

Katie Henningsen, Access Archivist in Special Collections, just returned from the International Federation of Library Association's midterm meeting that was held at the University of Antwerp (Belgium). The theme of the meeting was "Ambassadors of the Book, Competences for Heritage Librarians." Katie was selected to present her paper, “Preparing librarians technologically for the 21st century” in which she discussed emerging technologies.

Doug Boyd, Director of the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, was invited to Istanbul, Turkey to participate in a Hollings Center dialogue entitled The Future of Oral History in the Middle East and Central Asia. The dialogue is a gathering of a diverse group of professionals from the US, Middle East, and Central Asia. Part of the dialogue will cover digital preservation and technology issues that affect oral history and Doug Boyd was invited because of his national leadership in this area.

Looking to the Future of UK Libraries Facilities:

It might be hard to believe but it will soon be 14 years since the opening dedication of the William T. Young Library. The facility remains one of the most impressive university library buildings anywhere. However, libraries are changing dramatically and students’ leaning needs continue to evolve making it imperative that we strive to anticipate how our library facilities can best serve students, faculty, and researchers.

As UK makes building modern dormitories, classrooms, and laboratories a priority, we are also reviewing our own facilities. A meeting this week with Bob Wiseman, UK Vice President for Facilities Management, included a wide ranging discussion about UK Libraries facilities. Additional issues and questions were raised during this week’s Executive Committee discussion.

  • What is the current cost for constructing an off-site storage facility and where might it be located?
  • What are the costs and timelines for merging the Engineering and Science libraries and the Design and Little Fine Arts libraries?
  • Would collections already at Kentucky Underground Storage be moved immediately into a new off-site facility or transferred over time?
  • Would an off-site storage facility provide space for archival processing and preservation?
  • Would an off-site facility allow for the move of the Special Collections Library and Research Room to Young Library?
  • Should an off-site data center for UKIT be included in the off-site facility?
  • As UK Libraries locations on the central campus are relocated, how might those space best serve undergraduate education?
Over the next several weeks there will be further study and discussions regarding these questions. I welcome your thoughts and suggestions as we move through this process.

Civil War Collections Digitized:

Digital Library Services is now mass digitizing archival collections with a workflow designed to support getting materials online as quickly as possible. Some of the first collections that have been processed in this way include two sizeable Civil War collections and a collection of letters. The collections are being processed at the folder level, recorded in Archivists Toolkit, digitized, and then put online.

Jane Bryant Announces Retirement:

Jane Bryant, Health Literacy Librarian in the Medical Center Library since 1999, will retire from UK in late summer. After an early career in nursing, Jane earned a master’s in Library and Information Science from UK in 1984. She has worked as a Medical Librarian at UK since 1991.

Jane’s assignments have included Outreach Librarian, Web Librarian, Information Services Team Leader and Health Literacy Librarian. Among her other activities, she provides library services in the Don and Cathy Jacobs Health Education Center, a center specifically for patients and families. She makes presentations throughout Kentucky on the topic of health literacy. Recently Jane was awarded a "Kentucky Health Literacy for the Community" sub-grant from the University of Illinois in the amount of $23,800.

We thank Jane for her good work for UK Libraries and wish her a happy retirement back home in California!

Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce Call for Applications - Deadline May 1, 2012

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is accepting applications for the Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce (IRDW), a program designed to recruit master of library and information science (MLIS) students from traditionally underrepresented ethnic and racial minority groups into careers in research libraries. The IRDW includes a stipend up to $10,000 over two years, leadership and career development training, financial support for skills development, and a formal mentorship program.

The IRDW is funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and ARL member libraries. This program reflects the commitment of ARL members to create a diverse research library community that will better meet the challenges of changing demographics in higher education and the emphasis of global perspectives in the academy.

The application form is online at For more information about the program, see the IRDW website

New Staff in Dean’s Office:

Erin Miller will begin work on Monday, February 13, as a Staff Support Associate II in the Dean’s Office. Her duties will include assistance with accounting, payroll, procurement, and development. In addition Erin will provide front desk coverage and general office support.

Thanks to Mary Molinaro and Judy Sackett for their contributions to this week’s review.

Terry Birdwhistell
Dean of Libraries

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