Monday, October 5, 2015

Author Chris Bohjalian to Address Friends of the UNCG Libraries Annual Dinner March 22

The Friends of the UNCG Libraries are pleased to announce that author Chris Bohjalian will be the guest speaker at their Annual Dinner on the night of March 22, 2016.

More details will follow at a later date.

Lincoln, Vermont’s Chris Bohjalian is the author of 18 books, most of which were New York Times bestsellers.  His work has been translated into over 30 languages and three times become movies.

He has a new novel arriving in January, 2016, The Guest Room, a story of a human trafficking, a party gone horribly wrong, and a marriage in crisis.

The paperback of his most recent novel, Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands, was published in May.

His books have been chosen as Best Books of the Year by the Washington Post, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Hartford Courant, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, Bookpage, and Salon.

His awards include the ANCA Freedom Award for his work educating Americans about the Armenian Genocide; the ANCA Arts and Letters Award for The Sandcastle Girls, as well as the Saint Mesrob Mashdots Medal; the New England Society Book Award for The Night Strangers; the New England Book Award; Russia's Soglasie (Concord) Award for The Sandcastle Girls; a Boston Public Library Literary Light; a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Trans-Sister Radio; and the Anahid Literary Award. His novel, Midwives, was a number one New York Times bestseller, a selection of Oprah's Book Club, and a New England Booksellers Association Discovery pick. He is a Fellow of the Vermont Academy of Arts and Sciences.

He has written for a wide variety of magazines and newspapers, including the Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, Reader's Digest, and the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine.  He has been a weekly columnist in Vermont for the Burlington Free Press since February 1992.

Chris graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude from Amherst College, and lives in Vermont with his wife, the photographer Victoria Blewer. Their daughter, Grace Experience, is a young actor in New York City. Among the audiobooks she has narrated is Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

UNCG Archivist Erin Lawrimore Appointed to National Post

University Archivist Erin Lawrimore has been appointed Vice Chair/Chair Elect for the Society of American Archivists' Committee on Public Awareness. She will take over as Chair for the 2016-17 year starting in July.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Ann Saab and Lollie White to Engage in Conversation about Their Books on October 29

Thursday, October 29: A Conversation with Emeritus Authors Ann Saab and Lollie White.
4 p.m.
Hodges Reading Room Jackson Library 2nd floor, UNCG.

 Alex Haley, author of Roots, once answered the question of why his novel became so popular.  "It came at the right time," he modestly replied.

When is the best time to publish a novel?  When it’s ready, two recent novelists with long ties to UNCG might reply.
Ann Saab
Lollie White

Ann Saab (History) and Laura (Lollie) White (English) are two retired professors at UNCG who have recently published novels after retiring from the classroom and other university responsibilities.  The Friends of the UNCG Libraries invite you to an afternoon conversation between the two at 4 pm on Thursday, October 29 in the Hodges Reading Room of Jackson Library on the second floor.

Dr. Saab, now retired after a long tenure as a UNCG history professor and department head, is the author of Bathsheba’s Book: A Woman’s Tale.  She originally wrote the novel as part of a thesis for the MALS program. Saab used her expertise in Middle Eastern history and her experience living in Turkey and Lebanon, to bring a unique perspective to Bathsheba’s story. The story is told from Bathsheba's view—from teenager to Queen Mother.

“Bathsheba has been seen in some circles as a slut,” publicity for the book notes, "but in others she is highly esteemed, a role model for motherhood as the successful mother and nurturer of King Solomon, who became the ruler at Israel's most glorious time."

Starting as a simple country girl, she experienced the richness, intrigue and perplexities of life in David's palace before winning her way to be the Queen Mother in Solomon's kingdom. Saab’s book tells her story of that journey.  As Rabbi Eliezer Havivi of Beth David Synagogue in Greensboro wrote, “Ann Saab fills in the flesh and blood and heart and soul of Bathsheba — the woman who was the object of David’s desire. In this imaginative, first-person account, she weaves passion and plotting, daily life and war, Biblical characters, both attested and invented.”

The book’s cover art is “David and the Harp” by Marc Chagall, used with the permission of the Chagall estate.

Dr. White wrote her novel Play Music over three years, basing it on the experiences of the parents of her first piano teacher and family friend, whose piano lessons provided “my first tantalizing taste of Europe.”

White’s novel follows the lives of Liesl and Hugo Huber, Viennese Jewish immigrants to New York at the turn of the 20th century.  Hugo finds work as a musician and Liesl designs costumes for the Metropolitan Opera, and their friends are the artists of opera and vaudeville, including the Enrico Caruso.   Hugo’s career soars when he masters the art of musical accompaniment for silent movies, and he is hired as a conductor of the prestigious motion picture orchestra at the Eastman Theater in Rochester. 

A review in Kirkus notes: "Colorful glimpses into the worlds of classical music and opera, Prohibition-era America, and the timing and scoring of music for silent films...  White's novel is reminiscent of Ragtime in its fictional depiction of an emerging cultural change. An entertaining, ambitious historical saga infused with the love of music and inspired by fascinating real-life figures."

The program is free and open to the public.  No reservations are required.  Copies of the books will be available for sale and signing.

Please contact Barry Miller at or 336-256-0112 at least one week prior to the event to request disability accommodations. In all situations, a good faith effort (up until the time of the event) will be made to provide accommodations. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Louise Talma Concert on October 2 to Celebrate the UNCG Linda Arnold Carlisle Research Grant Awarded to Music Librarian Sarah Dorsey

Sarah Dorsey
Louise Talma
Sarah B. Dorsey, Head of UNCG's Harold Schiffman Music Library, is the recipient of the 2014-15 Women’s and Gender Studies Linda Arnold Carlisle Research Grant Award. Dorsey’s award supports her work on a biography of composer, pianist and pedagogue, Louise Talma (1906-1996), which she will complete while on Research Assignment during the spring semester of 2016.

Talma was a pioneering American composer of the twentieth century. The second female composer to receive a Guggenheim fellowship, she was the first to win two consecutively (in 1946 and ‘47). She was the first American to teach with famed French pedagogue Nadia Boulanger at Fontainebleau. Thirteen years after receiving an award from the National Institute of Arts and Letters for her three act grand opera (The Alcestiad, written on a libretto by Thornton Wilder), Talma was finally invited to join the august institution in 1974, the first female composer so honored.

The concert will take place on Friday evening, October 2nd at 5:30 in the Organ Recital Hall at the UNCG School of Music, Theatre and Dance. Performers include UNCG faculty and students. Following the performance, there will be a reception in the Harold Schiffman Music Library.

Chamber music, organ music and choral music, including at least one world premiere, discovered last year at the Library of Congress, will make up the program. The pieces to be performed include over five decades of compositional output by Talma, who lived in Manhattan most of her life, taught at Hunter College for over 50 years and composed in the woods of New Hampshire at the MacDowell Colony. Pieces presented will reveal Talma’s fascination with the environment.

In addition to celebrating the Carlisle Grant, Dorsey will feature recordings from the concert as part of her book which will link to a web site enabling her readers to hear the music while reading about it.

If you have any questions about the concert, contact Sarah at or 336.334.5610.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Margaret Maron Presents Women of Mystery with Charlaine Harris October 22 at UNCG in Support of the University Libraries

Charlaine Harris,
photo by D. Woldan
Margaret Maron
photo by Bob Witchger
Note: The  audience will be limited to 125 persons.  There is no charge for the event, but those wishing to attend are asked to email Barry Miller at to assure their place for this unique program.

What happens when Judge Deborah Knott meets Sookie Stackhouse? 

Do vampires indulge in the products produced by alleged North Carolina bootleggers?

Find out when authors Margaret Maron and Charlaine Harris settle down with their famous protagonists for a conversation at UNCG on October 22 at 7 pm in the Virginia Dare Room of UNCG’s Alumni House for the second installment in the Margaret Maron Presents Women of Mystery Series. 

It is no accident, they say, that the visit is timed only a few days before Halloween.

Margaret Maron and Charlaine Harris are both highly successful writers with legions of fans, and the appearances of their new books are always highly anticipated. They are also two highly accomplished women who have been pioneering figures in a world of mystery-writing now dominated by women novelists.  They will speak about their careers, their lives, their friendship, their genres, the state of the book industry, and the handling of social issues in their writing, among other topics. 

This is not Margaret Maron’s first visit to UNCG.  She attended school here and has returned a number of times to speak, including the gift of a commencement address to our graduates in 2010.  Last year, she inaugurated our Margaret Maron Presents Women of Mystery series with her friend and colleague Nancy Pickard.

While decidedly modest about a list of accomplishments and awards that includes an Honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2010 and the North Carolina Award for Literature in 2008, Margaret Maron has long been active in mentoring other writers and calling attention to the compelling issues facing North Carolina in her novels.

Maron’s papers are on long-term loan to UNCG’s Hodges Special Collections and University Archives Department in Jackson Library.

Her latest novel, Long Upon the Land, was published in August 2015.  It will be the last in the Judge Deborah Knott series, Maron says. 

This year she has invited Charlaine Harris to be part of her Women of Mystery series.

Charlaine Harris says that she is a true daughter of the South. She was born in Mississippi and has lived in Tennessee, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Texas. An aside: Her mother was a librarian, and she has written a mystery series about a librarian/sleuth, both of which make her popular at this gathering. 

Charlaine began writing plays when she attended Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee and began to write books a few years later when she says her husband “told her to stay home and write.” Her first book, Sweet and Deadly, appeared in 1981. When Charlaine’s career as a mystery writer began to falter a bit, she decided to write a cross-genre book that would appeal to fans of mystery, science fiction, romance, and suspense. She is perhaps best known for The Southern Vampire Mysteries series, otherwise known as The Sookie Stackhouse Novels. She says she could not have anticipated the huge surge of reader interest in the adventures of a barmaid in Louisiana, or the fact that Alan Ball, creator of the long-running True Blood TV series, would come knocking at her door.

Harris is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and the American Crime Writers League.  She is a member of the board of Sisters in Crime, and alternates as president of the Arkansas Mystery Writers Alliance. Her papers reside in the University of Mississippi Department of Archives and Special Collections.

Charlene is also an enthusiastic promoter of the Kiva microloan program, Heifer International, Doctors Without Borders, and Habitat for Humanity, among other organizations.

Charlaine is a voracious reader. She has one husband, three children, two grandchilden, and four rescue dogs. “She leads,” she says, “a busy life.”

Please contact Barry Miller at or 336-256-0112 at least one week prior to the event to request disability accommodations. In all situations, a good faith effort (up until the time of the event) will be made to provide accommodations.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Friends of the UNCG Libraries to Discuss Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

October 5 at  7 p.m.  Book discussion of  Being Mortal, by Atul Gawande.  Discussion leaders: Drs. Janne and Rob Cannon.  Hodges Reading Room, Jackson Library.

Atul Gawande, MD, MPH, is a surgeon, writer, and public health researcher who will speak in Greensboro as part of Guilford College’s Bryan Series on October 20. He practices general and endocrine surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health and the Samuel O. Thier Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School.

The book’s website says "Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming the dangers of childbirth, injury, and disease from harrowing to manageable. But when it comes to the inescapable realities of aging and death, what medicine can do often runs counter to what it should. Through eye-opening research and gripping stories of his own patients and family, Gawande reveals the suffering this dynamic has produced. Nursing homes, devoted above all to safety, battle with residents over the food they are allowed to eat and the choices they are allowed to make. Doctors, uncomfortable discussing patients’ anxieties about death, fall back on false hopes and treatments that are actually shortening lives instead of improving them. And families go along with all of it."

Our discussion will be led by Drs. Janne and Rob Cannon.  Janne is an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine, and Rob is a Professor in the Department of Biology at UNCG where he has been a faculty member since 1972.

The discussions are free and open to the public on a space available basis, with preference given to members of the Friends of the UNCG Libraries who register.

If you have questions, contact Barry Miller at 336-256-0112.

Please contact Barry Miller at or 336-256-0112 at least one week prior to the event to request disability accommodations. In all situations, a good faith effort (up until the time of the event) will be made to provide accommodations.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

University Libraries' Mike Crumpton Elected to North Carolina Library Associaton Post

Michael Crumpton, Assistant Dean for Administrative Services at UNCG’s University Libraries, has been elected Vice-President, President Elect of the North Carolina Library Association.  He will be installed at the biennial NCLA conference being held in Greensboro in October.

Crumpton came to UNCG as Assistant Dean for Administrative Services in 2007.  Previously, he was Director of Library Services at the Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh, and Manager of Access and Information Services at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County OH.

His experience with professional library associations is extensive. He was Chair of the 2012 & 2014 NCLA Leadership Institute Planning Committees; co-chair of the NCLA Biennial Conference Programs Committee, 2011 & 2013; and has been a Board member of the NCLA Leadership and Management Section since 2012.  For the North Carolina Community College Library Association he served as VP/President Elect from 2005-2006, and President from 2006-2007, hosting both annual conferences. Mike has also been active in the American Library Association (ALA); the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL); the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM); the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE); and the Society of College and University Planning (SCUP).

Crumpton received the Master of Library Science from the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY, and a BS in Business Administration, from the University of Central Florida.

He has also published extensively.  A selected list of his publications and presentations may be found in UNC Docks at

Crumpton believes strongly that one of North Carolina’s greatest resources is its libraries, including   libraries in our communities, in our schools, in our institutions of higher education, and as needed for the special information needs in business, research and industry.  Echoing his long-held interest in human resource development, he notes that “one of the greatest resources that each library in North Carolina has is its people; the librarians, paraprofessionals and support staff, student helpers, volunteers and citizens that support their institutions.  The Libraries of North Carolina are also instrumental in the development and economic well-being or our state and the work that is done in each and every library is significant to our society’s prosperity.”

He pledges to work hard to be inclusive of all members of the library community as it collectively addresses issues and proactively seek insights to emerging trends and the changing needs of our constituents.  He will advocate for all libraries and their staffs to grow in the profession in order to fulfill our mission to North Carolina and to foster their own growth and development.