Friday, January 29, 2016

Mary Karr to deliver keynote at Kentucky Women Writers Conference

By Whitney Hale

Mary Karr
Since her reign at the top of the New York Times bestseller list in 1995 for "The Liars' Club," writer Mary Karr has been credited with launching a memoir revolution. Karr will give insight into her art as the keynote speaker of the 2016 Kentucky Women Writers Conference, running September 16-17, 2016. Karr's keynote address, beginning 7:30 p.m. Friday, September 16, at the University of Kentucky, is made possible by ongoing support from UK Libraries. The event is free and open to the public.

"Mary Karr is as riveting a storyteller in person as she is on the page," said conference director Julie Kuzneski Wrinn. "Her most recent book, The Art of Memoir, grants her a new degree of authority not only as a brilliant practitioner but also as an inspired teacher of autobiographical writing. Karr's conversion to Catholicism is vividly recounted in Lit, and her keynote will include remarks on creativity and spirituality."

Karr’s first memoir, The Liars' Club, chronicled her hard childhood growing up in Texas amidst a family of eccentric misfits and their extravagant fights, secrets and alcoholism. The book won nonfiction prizes from PEN (the Martha Albrand Award for Nonfiction) and the Texas Institute of Letters, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Awards. The Liars' Club rode high on the New York Times bestseller list for over a year, becoming an annual "best book" there and for The New Yorker, People, and Time.

Karr continued to strike gold with memoirs. Cherry, her coming-of-age memoir, also hit bestseller and notable book lists at the New York Times and dozens of other papers nationwide. Her most recent book in this autobiographical series, Lit, a story of her alcoholism, recovery, and conversion to Catholicism, received rave reviews across the country and was also an immediate best-seller, having hit the New York Times, Independent Booksellers, San Francisco and Boston Globe best-seller lists.

The Peck Professor of Literature at Syracuse University, Karr released The Art of the Memoir in 2015. Using excerpts from her own work and anecdotes from fellow writers’ experiences, the writer and educator shares her process and knowledge of the form.

Outside of memoirs, Karr is a Guggenheim Fellow in poetry. She has won Pushcart Prizes for both verse and essays, as well as several grants, including the Whiting Award and Radcliffe's Bunting Fellowship. Her four volumes of poetry are Sinners Welcome, Viper Rum, The Devil's Tour and Abacus.

The 38th annual Kentucky Women Writers Conference, will take place September 16–17, 2016, at the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning and other Lexington venues. A program of the UK College of Arts and Sciences, the conference is the longest running literary festival of women in the nation. Registration opens May 1.

For more information on the conference, visit online at

Reprinted with permission from UKNow

Stacie Williams on DocNow project advisory board

Stacie Williams
Special Collections Research Center Learning Lab Manager Stacie Williams serves on the advisory board of the “Documenting the Now: Supporting Scholarly Use and Preservation of Social Media Content.” The project is a joint effort of the University of California at Riverside, Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of Maryland. Stacie joins other archivists and scholars in developing and guiding project policy.

The project recently received a two-year, $517,000 grant from the Andrew Mellon Foundation to preserve and provide scholarly access to historically significant events documented on social media through DocNow, an application still under development. DocNow will be a cloud-ready, open source to collect Tweets, metadata and other related Web content.

Julene Jones and Sandee McAninch present webinar

Julene Jones, head of Database Integrity, and Sandee McAninch, head of the Federal Depository Unit, recently gave a webinar on "Uploading Records to the COE Database: Easy as 1,2,3!". The presentation covered how to get records out of a library’s local catalog and into the ASERL COE (Association of Southeast Research Libraries Center of Excellence) Database. The complete webinar is available inn UKnowledge. It is also viewable on Vimeo, embedded below. 

Adrian Ho presents on scholarly communication during ALA Midwinter Meeting

Adrian Ho
Adrian Ho, director of Digital Scholarship at UK Libraries, spoke about scholarly communication at the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Leadership Symposium on January 8, 2016. The symposium, held in conjunction with the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in Boston, was targeted at the ARL diversity cohort (students of underrepresented groups who are in the process of pursuing a graduate degree in library and information science).  Adrian's presentation introduced the cohort to the scholarly communication ecosystem and research libraries' roles in it.  The slides are available on UKnowledge

Reflections and observations

I hope you took the opportunity to read President Capilouto’ s recent message to the campus community regarding the budget. We are facing more significant challenges ahead but President Capilouto emphatically stated “I assure you that we will not allow changes in state support to stall the momentum you have created for our students, our patients, and our state.”

We have made tremendous progress in the past 6 years and there are many successes we can point to. The recent implementation of our new ILS and website are only the most recent examples of what UK Libraries can do because of your creativity, hard work, and perseverance.

It will be several weeks before we know the final details regarding the budget. In the meantime, I will be reporting to the faculty and staff as information becomes available and if you have additional questions or concerns please share them with your supervisor or me and we will attempt to address them.
Thank you for your commitment to the success of UK Libraries.

Terry Birdwhistell

Dean of Libraries

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Farewell reception for Heath Martin

Heath Martin
A reception will bid farewell to Heath Martin, director of Collections, before he leaves UK Libraries to serve as associate dean for Collections Strategy and Management at Stony Brook University in New York.  Morning refreshments will be served 10 to 11 a.m. in the Alumni Gallery of Young Library on Friday, January 29, 2015. Please drop by to wish Heath well in this new chapter of his professional life.

Amanda Collman resigns

Amanda Collman
Amanda Collman, Account Clerk III in the Office of the Dean, has resigned. Her last day at UK Libraries will be February 9.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Nunn Center shares collected "Wisdom'" via podcast series

By Jillian Waitkus

Last October the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History initiated a new podcast, The Wisdom Project. The series of history-related podcasts draw from carefully selected oral interviews and projects from the Nunn Center’s archives of over 10,000 interviews.

"With the surging popularity of podcasting, The Wisdom Project seemed to be a natural progression for the Nunn Center," said director Dr. Doug Boyd. Boyd and oral history archivist Kopana Terry have collaborated on this project to provide "a tremendous opportunity for people to experience to history in a format that is both educational as well as entertaining."

The Wisdom Project website will be updated frequently with additional podcast topics. The website currently has four episodes, each with its own intriguing story.

"Episode #001: Interviewing Jackie O.," is based on an interview conducted by Dean Terry Birdwhistell in 1981. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis reminisces about her relationship with John Sherman Cooper, a long-time U.S. senator from Kentucky, and his wife, Lorraine. She also describes numerous social engagements she attended after the election of President John F. Kennedy in this very personal interview.

"Episode #002: Original Recipe for a Kentucky Startup" features a 1977 oral interview conducted by a UK undergraduate students with the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, Colonel Harland Sanders. The segment explores the early history KFC from its humble beginnings. The colonel also offers advice on the importance of hard work and integrity in the business world. Excerpts from interviews with John Y Brown, Jr. discuss the purchase of the franchise in 1964 and its transition into the global marketplace.

In the two interviews that make up "Episode #003: Veteran’s Stories: Remembering the D-Day Invasion," World War II veterans and Kentucky natives Louis Bowers and Jesse Beazley recall their participation in the  invasion of Normandy, France, in the summer of 1944. Bill Marshall, former director of Special Collections, conducted these interviews in 1985 and 1994.

Louis Bowers, a member of the Fourth Infantry Division that spearheaded the invasion, talks about the misconceptions of D-Day alongside the impressive tact and skill of German soldiers. Jesse Beazley remembers his hopelessness of ever returning home and his intentional disconnection from fellow soldiers in light of their impending deaths. These interviews add real voices to the tragedy and chaos World War II soldiers faced every day.

The most recent podcast features interviews with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. The two civil rights leaders spoke separately with Kentucky-born writer Robert Penn Warren, but often referenced each other in their interviews.

"Quite frankly, we’re having a great time producing The Wisdom Project, so tune in for upcoming episodes," Boyd said.

All of the podcasts are preserved at the Louie B. Nunn Center in the UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center. The podcasts can be found online at and are available on SoundCloud.

Adapted with permission from UKNow.

Special Collections Research Center: digital collections update

A photo slide of a Central Kentucky horse farm,
 from the Raitz collection. 
The following collections have been digitized and are now available on ExploreUK and the Kentucky Digital Library. Many thanks to everyone who played a role in providing access to this content.

This collection was suggested by a UK sociologist and it dovetails nicely with the Action in Appalachia: Revealing Public Health, Housing, and Community Development Records in the UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center project that Ida Sell is managing. The publication is divided into 13 units:
Frontier Nursing University Quarterly Bulletins, Vol. 90, No. 2, Summer 2015 and Vol. 90, No. 3, Fall 2015

This collection consists of color slides taken by Karl Raitz, documenting rural and urban architecture, landmarks, manufacturing, resources, and demographics throughout the regions of Kentucky.

These letters comprise correspondence written by Lambert Luten, a Civil War Union solider, to his brother, Hiram, and his parents, Berteld and Gezinna Luten.

This collection comprises stereographs that document the Louisville Tornado of 1890 taken by George Barker.

Nominations sought for Earle C. Clements Innovation in Education Award for Civics and History Teachers

Senator Earle C. Clements
The National Archives and the UK Libraries Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center seek nominations (including self-nominations) for the Earle C. Clements Innovation in Education Award for Civics and History Teachers.

The Clements Award honors the life and career of the late Earle C. Clements and his lifelong commitment to education and public service. The political career of Clements included service as a county sheriff, clerk, and judge; in the state senate and as governor; and in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, where he was a close colleague to Lyndon Baines Johnson. Bess Abell, Clements’s daughter, is both a board member of the Foundation for the National Archives and alumna of the University of Kentucky.

Up to three teachers throughout the state will be selected by an independent review panel for the Clements Award and will receive $1,000 each.  The award criteria include the following:

Teacher’s knowledge of, and enthusiasm for, the subject and commitment to increasing student awareness of the importance of public service

  • Demonstrates expertise in civics and history content and the ability to share it with students
  • Conveys enthusiasm for teaching and motivates students to learn and achieve
  • Employs active learning techniques and inspires students to be informed and active citizens 

Impact on student success
  • Motivates students to achieve high standards
  • Initiates critical thinking and fosters informed student discussion
  • Promotes academic success and cultivates a love of learning in students of all abilities and backgrounds
Evidence of creativity and innovation
  • Improves learning by using creative, original, and effective teaching methods
  • Uses technology in innovative ways to improve learning outcomes
  • Incorporates primary sources in innovative lessons that improve student achievement

Eligibility: All high school history and civics (social studies) teachers

Application packets must include the following:

1.      Completed application form
2.      Letter from applicant addressing above criteria
3.      Letter of support from principal


1.      Sample assignment
2.      Other supporting materials (may include student letters of support)

APPLICATION DEADLINE: postmarked or emailed by March 11, 2016

To access an online application for the Clements Award, visit

Application packets may be also be sent via mail:

Clements Award
Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center
Margaret I. King Library
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY 40506-0039

For questions: (please put Clements Award in the subject line).