Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Remembering writer and friend of UK Libraries, John Egerton


UK Libraries lost a great friend and supporter with the passing of award-winning writer and journalist John Egerton.  John graduated from UK and later worked in the UK public relations office.  His writing focused on the south with specific emphasis on race relations and the civil rights movement, education, and other cultural topics including southern cuisine. 

John was presented the UK Libraries Award for Intellectual Achievement at our Annual Dinner last spring.  In his remarks he offered a passionate and thoughtful case for the importance of libraries now and in the future.  I found a particular passage to be inspiring and thought I would share it with you (it is also quoted in the latest edition of “Speaking Volumes.”
“Anytime I find myself in the company of librarians, friends of libraries and lovers of books, I feel at home.  There could be no more essential institution to me than the library.  Without it, I could never have become a writer, nor could I explain or justify now the way I have spent my days and years. 

Libraries are to me - to most writers – what hospitals are to doctors or courthouses to lawyers, or garages to mechanics.  They are the places where a practitioner’s skill and instinct and judgment are brought to bear against an unanswered question or an unsolved problem.  Libraries are my proving ground, and whatever I have accomplished as a writer I attribute in substantial measure to institutions such as these, and to the people who give them life.”

SC Learning Lab offers unique undergraduate opportunities

Learning Lab Manager, Stacie Williams is off to a terrific inaugural year with the Special Collections Learning Lab.  Under her mentorship the 2013-2014 interns are thriving and already enhancing their research skills and student success.

SC Learning Lab intern Dominique Luster’s proposal has been accepted for a poster presentation at Harvard University’s National Collegiate Research Conference, taking place January 23-25, 2014 in Boston. The conference is open to undergraduates from around the country with the goal of sharing research and facilitating dialogue about challenges and opportunities in the current research construct.
Luster’s research is based on her work processing the Ron Nickell Playbill collection as part of her Learning Lab duties. Her poster is titled “The Look of American Beauty from the 1950s to the Present,” and is using archival advertisements found in the Playbills. Luster is a senior graduating in May 2014 and is a theater major with an interest in dramaturgy and archives. 

The Learning Lab is a Special Collections initiative that aims to introduce students to archival concepts and practice, additionally encouraging them to create a final scholarly work based on the UK collections. Learning Lab Manager Stacie Williams is reporting three additional projects from this year’s interns, and all will present their findings and collections to the rest of the campus community during a reception at King Library in April (date and time TBA).

Class project exhibited in Lucille Little Fine Arts Library

Professor Miles Johnson’s A-E200 (Art Education) class introduces students to the value of art as a tool for social awareness. Each semester, Professor Johnson orchestrates a group painting on a barrel. He and his students have painted several rain barrels for the Bluegrass GreenSource in Lexington. 

UK librarian creates government information endowment

A primary mission of UK Libraries is to assure that students, faculty, and the citizens of Kentucky have access to the information they need.  Thanks to a generous gift from one of our own faculty colleagues, future generations will have rapid and easy access to government information and resources. 

After receiving last year’s Paul A Willis Outstanding Faculty Award and a cash gift, Sandee McAninch decided to re-invest the award funds into the area of UK Libraries where she had spent her professional career and had received national recognition for her work – Government Documents.  With an endowment established, this year Sandee made a substantial additional gift to the endowment.  

The Sandra McAninch Endowment in Government Information will assist UK Libraries in cataloging, preserving, and providing access to federal government information and resources.  A government documents librarian for many years, Sandee’s hope is that her gift will not only serve UK Libraries, but also increase awareness about the importance of preserving and providing access to government information throughout Kentucky and the nation.
Sandee, her husband Glen, and daughter Kelly (a Ph.D. candidate in Communications at the University of Illinois) were also present for the signing of the endowment agreement.

Graduate assistant helping develop national database

Angelia Pulley, a graduate assistant in the William T. Young Library Reference Services Department, has been invited to participate in the development of an online national database at the University of California, Berkeley called The Living New Deal (http://livingnewdeal.berkeley.edu/), the first national survey of all New Deal public works and a general clearinghouse for information about the New Deal.

Angelia worked with Dr. Randolph Hollingsworth, Assistant Provost and Adjunct Professor in History; Jennifer Bartlett, Head of W.T. Young Library Reference Services; Sandee McAninch, Regional Depository Librarian; and Mary McLaren, Government Documents, to help create an educational display for the UK Libraries’ Works Progress Administration archival materials last year. As part of the project, she created a research reflection blog (http://kywpa.wordpress.com) focusing on the WPA in Kentucky. Materials on the blog will be merged into The Living New Deal project’s national database and map.

Additional information about UK Libraries’ role as a Center of Excellence for WPA materials is available in the WPA Research Guide (http://libguides.uky.edu/wpa) and at UKnowledge, UK’s institutional repository, “Putting America Back to Work During the Great Depression: Preserving and Improving Access to the Works Progress Administration Records for the Future,” http://uknowledge.uky.edu/wpa/.

UK Libraries shares digital preservation experience

Mary Molinaro, Associate Dean for Library Technologies, was an invited panel member at the Aligning National Approaches to Digital Preservation: an Action Assembly held at the National Library of Catalonia in Barcelona, Spain in November.  Mary has been a key participant in the Library of Congress Digital Preservation Outreach and Education Program (DPOE).  In Spain she spoke about the impact of such efforts on states like Kentucky and how programs such as DPOE can be expanded to help libraries and archives of all sizes address digital preservation needs.

UK Libraries participates in the dedication of new library in China

On November 18th the Agricultural Information Institute of the Chinese Academy of Science (CAAS/AII) dedicated a beautiful new library building with a great celebration.  The building is the culmination of many years of planning and reorganization.

UK Libraries participated in the effort by hosting Dr. Jeizheng Pi and Mr. Yantao Kou for the month of April in 2011.  They came to Kentucky to observe UK Libraries so they could develop new services for their new library facility.  While at UK they interacted with over 70 library faculty and staff and met many Chinese students presently attending UK. 

The new library building was completed in August.  Dr. Xiaxue Meng, Director of the Agricultural Information Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science, invited Toni Greider, Director of International Programs for UK Libraries, to participate in the dedication of the facility.  Toni recorded a congratulatory video message that was viewed during the dedication program in China.

Mr. Kou is now Dr. Kou having received his Ph.D. in August, 2012.  Dr. Pi is on a temporary assignment in Guangxi near the Vietnam border.


Sue Smith stepped down as Director of the Science and Engineering Library.  She will now devote full-time as the Engineering Librarian.  Valerie Perry, Director of Branch Libraries, will administer the Science and Engineering Library on an interim basis.