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Showing posts from 2009

The University Libraries launch wonderful genealogical and historical research tool

Earlier this semester, the University Libraries officially launched "The Digital Library on American Slavery," a free resource that enables anyone with access to the Internet to search through thousands of court and legislative petitions dealing with slavery in the American South (1776-1867). Just click on

What might you find? The Digital Library includes records on 83,000 individual slaves from 15 southern states and Washington D.C. Each slave is named in the records, and in some cases the Digital Library includes other identifying information, such as specific skills and family relationships. The records include documentation on slaves who ran away, on free blacks seeking to purchase family members out of slavery, and on slaveowners petitioning to reverse wills, among many other topics. Already, amateur genealogists are turning to the site for information on their family histories, and we have heard from the descendants of slaves and slave…

100 Most Notable Books of the Year!

Just in time for holiday gift giving, The New York Times has published its list of the 100 most notable books of the year. You can see the full list at

The University Libraries make some of these books available through our Current Literature program. You can find many bestsellers and award winners on the first floor of Jackson Library in the reading room across from the Reference Desk. I just checked out Wolf Hall, one of the books that made the NYT list. This Booker Prize winner is set in Tudor England, and is told from Thomas Cromwell's perspective. I will be returning it in two weeks, and I highly recommend it!

Friends Sponsor Stress-Free Zone in Jackson Library

Approaching finals week can be stressful. This year, the University Libraries, thanks in part to sponsorship by the Friends of the UNCG Libraries, is offering students a chance to chill out. Students can take a break and play games with their friends in the reading room of Jackson Library while library staff serve up cookies and lemonade. Ace Candyland this week, and maybe Organic Chemistry will seem like a snap next week! Come see the students at play on Thursday, December 3 from 1-7pm.

Eric Shoaf Donates Collection to UNCG in Honor of his Mother, Class of ‘52

The UNCG Libraries have received a donation by Eric C. Shoaf of a collection of books on the history of the guitar in popular music given in honor of his mother, Jane Sarsfield Shoaf, Class of 1952. The collection includes more than 500 items, focusing on guitar selections, biographies on great master guitarists, guitar repairs, and guitar learning courses. Eric is the Assistant Dean for Administration of the Library at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Sarah Dorsey, Head of Music Library at UNCG, was very impressed by the rich contents of the donated collection. She praises the generosity of Eric Shoaf and points out that the fact that our library has not been collecting in this area for years means that this gift fills a long-standing gap in our collection. “Our students and faculty will benefit for years to come,” Ms. Dorsey commented. Mac Nelson, Cello Cataloger at UNCG and a life-long guitarist, also offers his insight to this collection, “it is comprehensive in its cover…

Pulitzer Winner Nazario Speaks at UNCG on November 16

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sonia Nazario visits UNCG Monday, November 16, to discuss her book, Enrique’s Journey: The Story of a Boy’s Dangerous Odyssey to Reunite with His Mother.

Nazario will address the greater Greensboro community from 7-9 p.m. in the Sullivan Science Building Auditorium. This session is free and open to the public. From 3-4 pm, Nazario will speak to UNCG students, faculty and staff in Cone Ballroom, Elliott University Center. Book signings will follow both presentations. Copies of Enrique’s Journey are available in the UNCG Bookstore.

The UNCG University Libraries, the English Department, the Lloyd International Honors College, the Human Rights Research Network, Housing and Residence Life and the Graduate Student Association are sponsoring Nazario’s visit.

UNCG chose Enrique’s Journey, the true story of a Honduran boy’s struggle to find his mother in the United States, as the 2009-10 All Campus Read. Over 1,500 students at UNCG are reading Enrique’s Journey t…

Rave Reviews for the November 9 Book Discussion Read

The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton. Discussion Leader: Patrick Lee Lucas, Department of Interior Architecture. Monday, November 9, Hodges Reading Room, Jackson Library, 7:00 pm. Space still available—RSVP now to or at .

This promises to be a great discussion—check out the book’s reviews:

It would be hard to overstate my praise for this book. De Botton is a graceful and engaging essayist, miraculously combining both levity and profundity. For anyone such as myself, who is appreciative of architecture but not especially knowledgeable, this is the perfect initiation. The book itself is beautiful, with over a hundred illustrations. If you have never thought about the importance of the buildings that provide the settings for our lives, The Architecture of Happiness will change that fact forever.
--Kevin Gill in Entertainment Today, 08 March 2007
For de Botton, almost ever…

Book and Reading News for November 2009

Following are the book and author events in the Triad that I know about during November:

FREE Friends of the UNCG Libraries Events

Monday, November 9: Friends of the UNCG Libraries Book Discussion of The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton, led by Patrick Lee Lucas of UNCG’s Interior Architecture Department. Free, but registration is suggested at

Other book and author events at UNCG:

Monday, November 16: Sonia Nazario’s book, "Enrique’s Journey," is the campus read at UNCG this year. Ms. Nazario will appear at UNCG at 7:00 p.m. in the Sullivan Science Building Auditorium at UNCG. Her appearance, free and open to the public, is sponsored by the UNCG Libraries, Housing and Residence Life, the Graduate Student Association, the English Department, the Lloyd International Honors College, and the Human Rights Research Network. We recommend parking in the McIver Parking Deck off Market Street at McIver Street. For a campus map, see http://…

Irene A. Parsons creates Endowed Fund to Benefit Women Veterans Historical Project

Miss Irene Parsons of North Wilkesboro, NC has created the Irene A. Parsons Endowed Fund for the benefit of the Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project in the University Libraries of The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. The Project acquires and preserves resources documenting the history of women veterans and women serving in related service organizations.

Chancellor Linda Brady said of the gift, “it represents a meaningful investment to sustain and further advance the level of excellence for which the University Libraries’ Special Collections has become known.”

Irene Adelaide Parsons was born in Wilkes County, North Carolina and graduated from high school in nearby Taylorsville. She attended Brevard College for two years and then worked in Wilkes County prior to enrolling at Woman’s College in Greensboro, North Carolina, in 1939. She graduated in1941 with majors in business administration and education, and later received her master’s degree from George Washington …

Free "Friends and Faculty" Lecture on Monday, October 19

How do very young children view their world? Does a three-year old in Kenya interact with her family in the same way as a three-year old in Finland? Does the small child of working-class parents in Greensboro have more in common with middle-class children in Greensboro or with working-class children in Korea and Estonia? Dr. Jonathan Tudge, a professor of human development, has spent over 20 years researching the everyday life of pre-school age children around the world, and his study included many Greensboro families. Join us for an evening with Professor Tudge as he delves into "The Everyday Life of Children."
Monday, October 19 at 7:00 pm in Claxton Room, Elliott University Center, UNCG Campus

UNCG Librarian Lynda Kellam Selected as Emerging Leader by American Library Association

Data Services and Government Information Librarian Lynda Kellam at UNCG's University Libraries has been selected to participate in the 2010 Class of Emerging Leaders of the American Library Association. Her participation will be sponsored by the Government Documents Round Table of the Association (GODORT)

The ALA Emerging Leaders program is a leadership development program which enables newer library workers from across the country to participate in problem-solving work groups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA structure, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity. It puts participants on the fast track to ALA committee volunteerism as well as other professional library-related organizations.

Lynda is UNCG's second participant in this selective program. Cello Music Cataloger Mac Nelson was named in 2007.

UNCG Librarian Mac Nelson has won the 2010 Walter Gerboth Award from Music Library Association

The award is made to members of MLA who are in the first five years of their professional library careers, to assist research-in-progress in music or music librarianship. This award will enable Nelson to travel to the home of the eminent cellist Laszlo Varga, where he will spend three days recording interviews for use in his research project, "The Varga Legacy: An Oral History." Varga is one of the two living donors to UNCG's Cello Music Collection (Bernard Greenhouse is the other) and is one of the most distinguished cellists of the 20th (and 21st) centuries: in addition to having an international reputation as a performer and recording artist, Varga served as principal cellist of the New York Philharmonic under Dimitri Mitropoulis and Leonard Bernstein. His life and art were celebrated here at UNCG February 16-18, 2007; the "Varga Celebration," which was jointly sponsored by the UNCG School of Music and the University Libraries.

The Gerboth Award was founded…

Book and Reading News for October 2009

FREE Friends of the UNCG Libraries Events

Monday, October 5—Fred Chappell reading from his new book of poetry, Shadow Box, Faculty Center, 4 p.m. (co-sponsored with the Center for Creative Writing in the Arts)

Monday, October 5—Book Discussion of Stoner, by John Williams, led by Michael Parker of the English Department,. Jackson Library, Hodges Reading Room, 7 p.m. Registration encouraged, see

Monday, October 19—Friends and Faculty Lecture:
Jonathan Tudge, Human Development
and Family Studies Dept., “The Everyday Lives of Young Children in Greensboro and around the World.” Elliott University Center, Kirkland Room, 7 p.m. Contact Kimberly Lutz by phone at 336-256-8598 or by email at

Monday, October 26—Book discussion of Enrique’s Journey, by Sonia Nazario, led by Elizabeth Chiseri-Strater of the English Department, Hodges Reading Room, 7 p.m. Registration encouraged, see

Other October Book…

Dr. Saundra Westervelt Leads Book Discussion on The Innocent Man on September 21.

Dr. Saundra Westervelt of UNCG's Sociology Department, will lead this season's first book discussion on Monday, September 21, at 7:00 pm in the Hodges Reading Room of Jackson Library. The book we're discussing? The Innocent Man, John Grisham's non-fiction account of the wrongful conviction of Ron Williamson. Dr. Westervelt recently sat down with University Libraries staff member Hannah Winkler to discuss her research, her connection to some of the "characters" in Grisham's book, and what The Innocent Man can teach us about what leads to wrongful conviction and its long-term effects on the exonerated. We invite you to listen to the podcast of their conversation, and we hope to see you Monday night!

Book and Reading News for September 2009

There are lots of book events going on in the area this month that I want to make you aware of.

In addition to the appearance at UNCG of storyteller and children's book author Willy Claflin on September 14, sponsored by the University Libraries through the generosity of Friends of the UNCG Libraries Board members Pam Sprinkle and Betty Hicks and the O. Henry Hotel,there are several other things happening in the area.

Book lovers in the state are blessed (or maybe cursed, since all these events are the same weekend) by three book festivals in September, all the weekend after Labor Day. Choose from among
the BOOKMARKS Festival in Winston-Salem;
the NC Literary Festival in Chapel Hill; and
the Carolina Mountain Literary Festival in Burnsville.

The Friends of the UNCG Libraries Book Discussion Series opens September 21 with a discussion led by Saundra Westervelt of the UNCG Sociology Department about John Grisham's nonfiction work, "The Innocent Man." It's free, Re…

Celebrate Founder’s Day October 5 at UNCG with Author Fred Chappell

The Center for Creative Writing in the Arts and the Friends of the UNCG Libraries will contribute to the celebration of UNCG’S FOUNDERS DAY with a reading by Fred Chappell, emeritus professor of English and former Poet Laureate of North Carolina.

Mr. Chappell will read from his recently released poetry book, Shadow Box,published by the Louisiana State University Press, at the campus’s Faculty Center, Monday October 5, at 4:00 PM. In this richly human work that explores the complexities of age, loss, love and memory, Mr. Chappell accomplishes a rare feat that will be of particular interest to writers and students of poetry: he presents the world with a completely new and demanding form of verse, one of his own invention in which one poem is embedded or nested within the language of another. Mr. Chappell has called on a second reader, his wife, Susan Nicholls Chappell, to highlight and clarify for listeners the rich interplay of the two voices in these lyrical conversations.

A book signi…

October 26 Book Discussion on Enrique's Journey Added to Fall Lineup

We are excited to offer an additional Friends of the UNCG Libraries book discussion this Fall. Professor Elizabeth Chiseri-Strater of the English Department will lead the discussion of Sonia Nazario's Enrique's Journey, the book selected as UNCG's all-campus read this year. Professor Chiseri-Strater explains that the book is well worth reading because "it reveals the hard issues of immigration reform. The Pulitzer Prize winning author describes one child's journey from Central America through Mexico into the United states to find his mother in a way that the problem becomes personal and intimate for the reader. Nazario's detailed reporting gives voice to the bravery of undocumented immigrants and the hardship of these families that are separated due to devastating poverty." The book discussion will take place at 7:00 p.m. in the Hodges Reading Room of Jackson Library

To register to attend this book discussion or any of the other six discussions, please vis…

Storyteller and Author Willy Claflin to Appear September 14

Monday, September 14, 2009, 7 p.m. Elliott University Center Auditorium, UNCG Campus
Free and Open to the Public

Have you ever engaged in quadrapedagogy with a shaggy ruminant whose life’s work is preserving traditional moose tales? Learned to use your voice in myriad different ways to tell the story of Little Red Riding Hood? Sung traditional folksongs with a master collector of the genre?

If not, acclaimed storyteller, children’s book author, and folk-singer Willy Claflin and his sidekick Maynard Moose are coming to UNC Greensboro on Monday, September 14, concluding with a public performance at 7 p.m. in the Elliott University Center Auditorium. Sponsored by the University Libraries, the event is free and open to the public. Earlier in the day, Claflin will perform at UNCG for elementary schoolchildren in area schools in cooperation with the UNCG School of Education, then speak to UNCG students in K-6 methods classes in the School of Education. Claflin will also appear at BOOKMARKS: Th…

University Libraries' Woodstock Photos in the News

Check out the article in the August 19 News & Record about the University Libraries' collection of Woodstock photos. Taken by famed photographer and former faculty member Arnold Doren, who died in 2003, the photos range from shots of teenagers playing in the mud to Jimi Hendrix playing guitar. Twenty of Doren's Woodstock photos are on display on the second floor lobby of Jackson Library through September 19. Doren's gift of 70 boxes of photos to the University Libraries is the largest gift of photos in UNCG's history.

Fox 8 also ran a story, broadcast from the Hodges Reading Room and featuring Manuscripts Curator Jennifer Motszko, on August 14 about the Woodstock photo exhibit.

Schedule set for the 2009-2010 Friends' Book Discussion Group

The Friends of the UNCG Libraries Book Discussion Group is back! For the 2009-2010 academic year we will be discussing faculty favorites with some of our favorite faculty. Check out their selections below and be sure to register at for all the discussions you would like to attend.

First up--The Innocent Man, a non-fiction work by John Grisham. Saundra Westervelt of the Sociology Department, who will lead the discussion, is an expert on criminology and the sociology of law. In her current research, Professor Westervelt is conducting interviews with individuals who have been wrongfully convicted and exonerated. One of these exonerees, Greg Wilhoit, was a major source for Grisham's book. Join us at 7 p.m. on Monday, September 21, in the Hodges Reading Room, Jackson Library for the discussion.

Michael Parker, a novelist and professor of English and creative writing, will lead the second discussion at 7 p.m. on Monday, October 5, on John Williams…

Friends of the UNCG Libraries Elect New Chairperson, Directors

UNCG alumna Pat Sevier (shown left) has been elected chairperson of the Friends of the UNCG Libraries. Ms. Sevier is involved in many local cultural and community service organizations and has served on the Board of Trustees of the Greensboro Historical Museum, the Board of Directors of Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro, and the Board of Visitors of Greensboro College. She is also co-owner of The Perfect Wedding, an event consulting firm.

The Friends are pleased to welcome five new Board members, including three alumnae: Evans Garber of Greensboro (MA in history), Sandra Hildebolt of Winston Salem (MS in library science), and Dr. Rebekah Megerian of Asheboro (Ed. D in higher education administration). Dr. Lisa Levenstein, an assistant professor of history at UNCG, and Jeri Rowe, News & Record columnist, are also joining the Board.

Susan Farr Honored with Staff Service Award

Susan Farr (on right in photo), Documents Manager at Jackson Library, has received the University Libraries Staff Service Award for 2009. The award recognizes and rewards members of the SPA library staff who provide outstanding leadership and service in furthering the accomplishment of the library's mission. Susan has worked in the University Libraries since 1997. In presenting the award, Service Award Committee Chair Carolyn Shankle (on left in photo by Dean Rhoades) likened Susan's work to that of a gardener, knowing how and where to weed to keep a collection strong. The federal documents collection has been weeded, moved and reclassified during Susan's time in the position. "She knows the topography of the collection," Shankle says, "its strengths and weaknesses, and serves as an able guide to all who want to reference it for added wisdom." Farr was also commended for her work on the blog, "In the News" at

Storyteller and Children's Book Author Willy Claflin to Appear at UNCG and BOOKMARKS: The Triad's Festival of Books

You are invited to this free event. For more information about Willy Claflin, see For more information about the BOOKMARKS Festival, see