Thursday, March 24, 2016

Aeon system improves access to Special Collections materials

As of March 31, 2016, the UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center will join more than 50 other research universities in moving away from paper request slips and sign-in ledgers. The new Aeon requesting system will allow SCRC researchers to submit requests for materials using a custom web-based interface including submitting requests for materials, placing digital reproduction orders, and scheduling their visit online without ever logging into email or typing a message.

According to Jaime Marie Burton, director of SCRC’s Research Services and Education, “Aeon has been in use at leading research institutions for several years and has proven to be an invaluable solution for efficient access to research collections, rare books, and original primary source materials, as well as improving the security of collections. We are looking forward to new data points on how researchers use our collections, and establishing improved metrics that will inform decision-making and collection development for the future, all geared towards helping the SCRC better support UK’s vibrant research community.”

UK patrons will be able to create an account using their LinkBlue IDs, while non-UK researchers will establish an account with a chosen username and password. After completing online registration, patrons will have access to their own requesting history, be able to track the status of active requests in real-time, make changes to requests and orders, and receive digital deliveries. In coordination with an archivist, the “Activity” feature will allow class material lists to be saved, shared, edited, or used again in future semesters. A new “Tags” feature will also allow patrons an additional way to organize their requests to accommodate their own individualized research projects and needs.

The requesting system roll-out will include the submission of requests through an online manual form, or through a new “Request” button and submission options embedded directly in an updated layout for collection guides and finding aids on ExploreUK, as well as oral histories through the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History online catalog SPOKEdb, and eventually the UK Libraries catalog InfoKat Discovery.

On the staff side, the system will centralize registration and patron data, utilize processing queues and efficiencies that automate tracking of materials across 4 buildings and multiple storage locations, create instantaneous usage statistics, generate reports for long-term data gathering, trend analysis, and program assessment. The enhanced efficiency, improved security, and the facilitation of data-driven management decisions will provide a higher level of knowledge and control of collections, which will also inform planning around functions like cataloging, digitization, collection development, acquisitions, donor relations, conservation, and materials storage.

The SCRC Breckinridge Research Room will be closed on Wednesday, March 30, to allow for staff training and system set-up; services may also be limited on Tuesday, March 29.

UK Libraries partners with federal government to provide access to WPA collections

The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) has announced an official partnership with UK Libraries designed to ensure long-term, public access to tangible and digital collections of historical materials from the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Over the past five years, UK Libraries digitized more than 450 WPA publications from Kentucky and other southeastern states. These digital publications are available via ExploreUK. As a result of the partnership with GPO, these digital publications will eventually be accessible from their online Catalog of U.S. Government Publications, making the digital collection available to an even wider audience.

The tangible WPA collection consists of almost 3,000 titles published in the 1930s and 1940s as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal to address unemployment during the Great Depression. For more details on the WPA and our collection of their publications, please see the LibGuide.

Engineering and Science Libraries to merge

The Engineering Library will soon merge with the Science Library to become the Science and Engineering Library in the Margaret I. King Building. The current Engineering Library in Anderson Hall will be open to the public until 4:30 p.m. Friday, May 13, 2016. This should give Engineering Library users sufficient time to return borrowed materials and complete other library-related tasks.

During the summer the Engineering Library faculty, staff, and collections will relocate to the new Science and Engineering Library. The move should be completed well in advance of the beginning of the 2016 Fall semester. If you have questions or need additional information please contact Engineering librarian Sue Smith or the head of the new merged Science and Engineering Library Christie Peters.

Photo exhibit in Young Library focuses on women around the world

A photo from the "Diversity of Lifestyles" exhibit

By Gail Hairston

The extraordinary photography of Ethelee Davidson Baxter will be on exhibit in the first floor atrium of the University of Kentucky William T. Young Library through April 22, 2016. The theme of Baxter’s exhibit is “Diversity of Lifestyles: Women Around the World.”

Baxter, who was named to the UK College of Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame in 2014, found a second career in photography after many years presiding in a courtroom. Her work can be viewed at

“Travel has always been my passion, especially travel to remote and unusual destinations. Since my retirement, I have enjoyed my travels through my camera lens,” said Baxter, who has traveled extensively on seven continents.

Ethelee "Lee" Baxter
She is most interested in “capturing images of vanishing cultures and documenting remote corners of the globe and the cultures that inhabit them.

“In this exhibit, I hope people will enjoy the images of fascinating women whom I have encountered in my travels around the world, living their unique and diverse lifestyles,” said Baxter.

Baxter was born in Jackson, Kentucky, in 1939, and raised in Lexington. She graduated from Lafayette High School in 1957 and was inducted into the first class of the Lafayette High School Hall of Fame in 1989. She graduated from UK in 1961 with a bachelor’s degree in English, speech and drama.  While at UK, she was a Wildcat cheerleader, president of the Blue Marlins synchronized swimming team, and a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority.

For the seven years following graduation from UK, Baxter taught English in junior and senior high schools, as well as junior college, in San Diego, California; New Haven, Connecticut; and Bethesda, Maryland. In 1970, Baxter and her family moved to San Francisco, where she received her Juris Doctor degree from Golden Gate University School of Law in 1974 and a Master of Laws in 2009.

She practiced law in San Francisco until 1982 when she was appointed commissioner to the San Francisco Superior Court. Five years later, Baxter was appointed by Gov. George Deukmejian to the San Francisco Municipal Court, and in 1992 Gov. Pete Wilson appointed her to the San Francisco Superior Court, where she presided over the Family Law and the Criminal Felony Trial departments.

Currently, she sits on the Board of Trustees of Golden Gate University, where she established the Baxter Fellowship in Trial Advocacy at Golden Gate School of Law in 2000. She also chairs the Law School Dean’s Advisory Council. She is on the Board of Trustees of Smuin Ballet in San Francisco and is on the boards of directors of the George Adamson/Tony Fitzjohn Preservation Trust based in Kenya as well as the African Environmental Film Foundation in Tanzania.

She was married for 48 years to UK alumnus and Hall of Fame inductee the late Dr. John D. Baxter. She has two daughters and two grandsons.

And she remains, in her own words, “to this day and forever” an avid UK fan.

Reprinted with permission from UKNow.

Scott Howard leaves UK Libraries

Scott Howard, library specialist in audio visual services at William T. Young Library, has resigned from UK Libraries. His last day will be April 1, 2016. Please join me in thanking Scott for his service. 

Judith Quire to retire from UK Libraries

Judith Quire
Judith Quire, Special Collections Research Center, will retire from UK Libraries as of July 11, 2016. Before joining UK Libraries Judi served in the President’s office during the Lee Todd administration. Please join me in thanking Judi for her service to UK Libraries.

Friday, March 18, 2016

"Men of Note" concert creates harmony between archives and the arts

The "Men of Note" were a prominent fixture on the Lexington jazz scene for decades.
On March 31, 2016, at 7 p.m. in the Singletary Center on the University of Kentucky campus, the UK Jazz Ensemble led by Miles Osland and the UK Repertory Jazz Band led by Brad Kerns will play a concert from historical arrangements by the “Men of Note," a band that played a leading part in the Lexington jazz scene for many years. Special guest performers will be surviving members of Men of Note. The concert is free and open to the public.

UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center holds a rich archive of materials on the Men of Note. Archival materials include the band's book of arrangements, an historic collection of charts dating back to the early 1940s. In 2014 Dick Domek, professor emeritus in the UK School of Music and member of Men of Note, and Gail Kennedy of SCRC began recording oral histories with band members for the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History. The interviews focus on recollections of band members and the history of jazz music. The collections also include the personal memorabilia of Byron Romanowitz, noted Lexington architect and jazz musician who anchored the Men of Note beginning in the 1980s until the band's dissolution in 2009. 

Alternative Textbook Grant program supports teaching, learning, and student success

By Adrian Ho and Jillian Waitkus

Committed to supporting student success and knowledge sharing, UK Libraries is launching the Alternative Textbook Grant Program to encourage faculty members to adopt peer-reviewed, open access alternative textbooks or to create alternative textbooks for their courses. Faculty members may apply for one of ten grants of up to $1,500 each to implement any curriculum change required for the use of alternative textbooks. 

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics has shown that the cost of college textbooks rose 82 percent from 2002 to 2012. Studies indicate that the financial burden of textbooks negatively impacts student success by limiting students’ access to essential learning resources. With textbook cost soaring to an exorbitant level, faculty members are looking for solutions that will enable students to gain access to learning materials in the most economical way.

Open educational resources and alternative textbooks present a proven solution to the prohibitive prices of traditional textbooks, and allow faculty members to customize course materials in timely and innovative manners. UK Libraries’ academic liaisons will provide faculty members with assistance in identifying existing alternative textbooks and UK Libraries’ licensed information resources that are appropriate substitutes for traditional textbooks. 

Any current UK faculty member teaching a course in 2017 using a commercial textbook is eligible to apply for one of the ten alternative textbook grants. Proposals must be submitted via the Program’s online form. 

The Faculty Senate Library Committee will review the proposals. Successful applicants will be notified of awards in early Fiscal Year 2016/2017. Selection criteria include: strength of statement of concern, estimated potential savings by students in the course, sustainability beyond the initial semester, and the ability to use the alternative textbook in 2017. Each grant recipient will have to submit a report that describes the alternative textbook, the number of students impacted, estimated student savings, and a short evaluation of the experience with the Program. Outcomes of the Program will be shared with the UK community.

The proposal submission deadline is April 29, 2016.  For more information about the Alternative Textbook Grant Program, please contact UK Libraries Director of Digital Scholarship Adrian Ho at or UK Libraries Senior Associate Dean Mary Beth Thomson at