Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Parents' Fund Supports Purchase of Library Books

The University Libraries Parents' Fund has been established to accept gifts for use by the University Libraries to purchase books and monographs.  Parents are encouraged to make contributions to the Fund by giving online.

For more information, contact Linda Burr at 336-256-0184.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Jackson Library Portico Entrance Beautified

The Portico Entrance to Jackson Library grew brighter and more beautiful in December, when a local garden company donated violas to create two large beds on either side of the stairs leading into the building from College Avenue.

The flowers are the gift of  High Performance Flowers, which operates at the Colfax Farmer's Market off Sandy Ridge Road during the growing season.  After a conversation with a customer who also works in the University Libraries, Michael Turner, UNCG class of 2005, and the company owner, Branson Davis, class of 2000, decided to donate some their flowers for us to enjoy.  Michael, in particular, says he used to spend a lot of time in our library when he was in school, and was happy to work with Branson to arrange this gift to us.  Thanks for giving back, gentlemen.

Thanks also to Kevin Siler, Jeff Hawkins, Chris Fay and our other groundspeople for preparing and planting the beds for us.
Photo by Carolyn Shankle

Monday, December 10, 2012

University Libraries Acquire Print from Weatherspoon Art Museum

The University Libraries have recently acquired a 1964 print of Taylor Garden at Elliott Univeristy Center at UNCG by Un-Ichi Hiratsuka, a gift of Miss Katherine Taylor to the Weatherspoon Art Museum in 1977.  Read more about the artist at

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Margaret Maron Honored

Author Margaret Maron speaking at UNCG
We are delighted to announce this honor for Margaret Maron, who attended UNCG and whose papers are on long-term loan to our University Libraries. 
Mystery Writers of America Announces Ken Follett & Margaret Maron
as their 2013 Grand Masters
Plus Raven and Ellery Queen Awards
December 3, 2012 New York, NY – Ken Follett and Margaret Maron have been chosen as this year’s Grand Masters by Mystery Writers of America (MWA). MWA's Grand Master Award represents the pinnacle of achievement in mystery writing and was established to acknowledge important contributions to this genre, as well as a body of work that is both significant and of consistent high quality. Mr. Follett and Ms. Maron will be presented with their awards at the Edgar Awards Banquet, which will be held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City on Thursday, May 2, 2013.

Margaret Maron is the author of twenty-six novels and two short story collections. Her first mystery, One Coffee With, was published in 1981, and was the beginning of her Sigrid Harald series featuring a New York City police officer. But it wasn’t until 1992, and a fictional return to her North Carolina roots, with Bootlegger’s Daughter (the first of the Deborah Knott series), that Maron was awarded an Edgar, Agatha, Anthony and Macavity award. Maron’s works are on the reading lists of courses in contemporary Southern literature and have been translated into 16 languages. She has served as president of Sisters in Crime, the American Crime Writers League, and Mystery Writers of America. She and her husband live on her family's century-old farm a few miles southeast of Raleigh, which inspired the setting for Bootlegger's Daughter.

On learning she was a Grand Master, Maron said, “Me? It still hasn’t fully sunk in. I keep remembering my first MWA dinner when I was half-afraid that I would be asked to leave because I only had a few short stories and a half-published book to my name, so how could I possibly belong there with those luminaries?  Grand Master?  Wow!”

Previous Grand Masters include Martha Grimes, Sara Paretsky, Dorothy Gilman, James Lee Burke, Sue Grafton, Bill Pronzini, Stephen King, Marcia Muller, Dick Francis, Mary Higgins Clark, Lawrence Block, P.D. James, Ellery Queen, Daphne du Maurier, Alfred Hitchcock, Graham Greene, and Agatha Christie.

MWA is the premier organization for mystery writers, professionals allied to the crime-writing field, aspiring crime writers, and those who are devoted to the genre. The organization encompasses more than 3,000 members including authors of fiction and non-fiction books, screen and television writers, as well as publishers, editors, and literary agents. For more information on Mystery Writers of America, please visit the website:

# # #


The EDGAR (and logo) are Registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by the Mystery Writers of America, Inc.

Monday, December 3, 2012

For Those Who Wish to Give

During this holiday season, we are especially thankful to our Friends of the UNCG Libraries and other donors for your membership and support, enabling us to offer a better library experience for students, faculty, staff and Friends than would be possible without you.

Click here if you’d like to make a year-end contribution to the Friends and here if you would just like to make a contribution to support the University Libraries.

2013: A Preview of Coming Programs

Monday, January 28 Book Discussion of When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship with God by T. M. Luhrmann, led by Dr. Ben Ramsey, Religious Studies. Hodges Reading Room, Jackson Library, 4 p.m. FREE
Wednesday, February 13 — UNCG alum Wiley Cash, author of A Land More Kind Than Home. Hodges Reading Room, Jackson Library, 7 p.m. FREE
Monday, February 25 — Book Discussion of Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence., led by Dr. Keith Cushman, English. Hodges Reading Room, Jackson Library, 7 p.m. FREE
Wednesday, March 6 — Christopher Hodgkins and Robert Whalen Present "The Digital Temple of George Herbert." Hodges Reading Room, Jackson Library, 4 p.m. FREE.
Monday, March 18 — Book Discussion of In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror & an American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Erik Larson, led Dr. Karl Schleunes, History. Hodges Reading Room, Jackson Library, 7 p.m. FREE
Wednesday, March 20 Joseph Bathanti, current North Carolina Poet Laureate, Hodges Reading Room, Jackson Library 4 p.m. FREE
Wednesday, April 10 Kathryn Stripling Byer, UNCG alumna and former North Carolina Poet Laureate, Hodges Reading Room, Jackson Library, 4 p.m. FREE
Monday, April 29 — The Friends of the UNCG Libraries Dinner will feature John Shelton Reed, whose latest book is Dixie Bohemia: A French Quarter Circle in the 1920s. Tickets will go on sale in January. Fee charged.



The Friends of the UNCG Libraries: 2012 in Review

Among the programming and service highlights of 2012:


·         BOOKMARKS Presents a Conversation with Kim Edwards

·         “Learn: Space: Learn” presented by Patrick Lee Lucas, Interior Architecture. 


·         A Dickens of a Celebration (Bicentennial celebration of the birth of Charles Dickens)


·         Matthew Pearl, author of The Technologists, and The Last Dickens 

·         Saving the Hansen House” documentary film screening

·         The Friends of the UNCG Libraries Annual Dinner “A Celebration of the Blues” with William Ferris and Lorenzo (Logie) Meachum


·         The third of six faculty-led book discussions held throughout the year from February through December

·         A newly elected and fully engaged Friends of the UNCG Libraries Board of Directors

May, June, and July (as well as the rest of the year)

·         Access to a book collection of more than 1 million volumes

·         A DVD collection of more 5000 items

·         Current literature and paperback collections of popular titles for summertime and year-round reading

·         Air conditioned respite from the heat in beautifully furnished libraries full of comfortable seating

·         A helpful and professional group of library employees dedicated to helping patrons find the information they need when they need it


·         The opening of the Digital Media Commons


·         A Visit with Tony Horwitz, author of Confederates in the Attic and other histories

·         Storyteller, Author and Musical Artist John McCutcheon


·         Dedication of the Harold Schiffman Music Library in the Music Building

·         Screening of documentary film Semper Fi: Always Faithful with special guest Jerry Ensminger 

·         Kelly Ritter, author of To Know Her Own History: Writing at the Woman’s College, 1943-1963 talk and book signing


·         Virginia Dare in Fact and Fancy," presented by author Marjorie Hudson in celebration of the birth of the first English child born in America


·         Coffee and other hot beverages provided by the Friends of the UNCG Libraries for hard-studying students preparing for exams


Thursday, November 29, 2012

UNCG makes ‘Best for Vets’ list

Military Times Edge magazine has named UNCG a “Best for Vets” school. UNCG is the only public university in North Carolina included in the annual ranking.  As the home of the Betty Carter Women Veterans Historical Project, the University Libraries takes special pride in receiving this recognition.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Carolyn Weill LeBauer Fund is Established

In this season of Thanksgiving, we take a moment to appreciate one of the many special donors to our University Libraries and say thank you to all.
Carolyn Weill LeBauer, a 1936 graduate of Woman’s College, cherished her alma mater.  She was a Greensboro native who contributed greatly to the community through her association with civic, cultural and medical auxiliary activities over many years.  She died in March 2012, and we are pleased to announce that her estate has now established the Carolyn Weill LeBauer Fund to support the book arts collection housed in the Special Collections of Jackson Library at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.. 

“This is an appropriate way to honor Carolyn’s memory and interests,” says Dean Rosann Bazirjian of the University Libraries.  “She was a member the Friends of the UNCG Libraries for many years, and she and her husband Maurice gave a special volume to the book arts collection back in 1975, one which remains one of the jewels of our collection.  We were and are grateful for her support and interest in the University Libraries at UNCG.”

Monday, November 19, 2012

Community Literary Events

From our Friends at the Center for Creative Writing in the Arts at UNCG comes this calendar of upcoming events:

Winston-Salem Writers’ Open Mic Night—Tuesday, November 20th, 7:00PM
Community Arts Café, 411 West Fourth Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Free and open to the public
You’re invited to join in on the third Tuesday of each month for an open mic. Read 5-minute excerpts from your prose or poetry to a friendly and receptive audience. Unlike a “slam,” there’s no judging. Sign-up begins at 6:30 p.m. Food and beverages are available for purchase.

Local Author Mary Flinn Book Launch: A Forever ManTuesday, November 20th, 6:00PM
Bistro 150—Oak Ridge Commons, 2205 Oak Ridge Road, Oak Ridge, NC 27310
Free and open to the public
Award-winning Greensboro author Mary Flinn launches A Forever Man, her fourth novel in the saga beginning with The One.
Autographed copies will be available for purchase just in time for holiday shopping.
Guests are encouraged to stay and dine at one of Oak Ridge's finest restaurants.

Poet.SHE SLAM Battle of Words Poetry Slam—Sunday, November 25th, Doors at 7:00PM, Event at 8:00PM
Tate St. Coffee, 334 Tate St., Greensboro, NC 27403
$5 Student $7 Adult $10 to Compete
Poet.she's debut poetry slam series brings you only the best poets and features from the Southeast.
Our first feature to kick off this amazing event is none other than the winner of Women of the World Poetry Slam 2011: Theresa Davis! *Editor’s note, I’ve seen her many times in Atlanta, and she’s fantastic.
Sign ups start now! Looking for 12 to 14 competitors! First place prize valued at $100 (cash + gift)

NC Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti Reading and Book Signing—Saturday, December 1st, 5:00PM
Barnes & Noble, 3102 Northline Ave., Greensboro, NC 27408
Free and open to the public
Reading Connections joins with Barnes& Noble to host North Carolina Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti. He is professor of creative writing at ASU and has taught writing workshops in prisons for more than three decades. You’re invited to join them for this special event.

A Not So Silent Night—Monday, December 3rd, 6:30PM Reception, 7:00PM Show
Greensboro Historical Museum, 130 Summit Ave., Greensboro, 27401
$20—Buy in advance
Internationally renowned storytellers Bill Lepp, Andy Offutt Irwin and Kim Weitkamp join forces in this hilarious, family friendly performance to welcome in the holiday season!
You will leave this event with a smile on your face and a song in your heart!
This event is a collaboration between Triad Story Exchange, Greensboro Public Library, Friends of the Library, City Arts and the Greensboro Historical Museum.

Eclectic Book Club—Wednesday, December 5th, 7:00PM
Barnes & Noble, 3102 Northline Ave., Greensboro, NC 27408
Free and open to the public
This fun but focused group reads from a wide variety of genres. This month they're reading The Reading Promise by Alice Ozma. Our January the discussion will be a Reader's Choice; read any book and share your insights with the group.

 7 on the 7th Reading and Open Mic—Friday, December 7th, 7:00PM
Glenwood Coffee and Books, 1310 Glenwood Avenue Greensboro, NC 27403
Free and open to the public
You’re invited to Glenwood Coffee and Books for this monthly reading series that always takes place at 7:00PM on the seventh day of every month. There will be a few featured readers before the reading opens up to an open mic. This event presents a lot of opportunities for the audience to share their work, so whether you’re interested in hearing local authors or sharing your own work, this is a great opportunity.

Winston-Salem Writers’ Open Mic Night—Tuesday, December 18th, 7:00PM
Community Arts Café, 411 West Fourth Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Free and open to the public
You’re invited to join in on the third Tuesday of each month for an open mic. Read 5-minute excerpts from your prose or poetry to a friendly and receptive audience. Unlike a “slam,” there’s no judging. Sign-up begins at 6:30 p.m. Food and beverages are available for purchase.

Monday, November 12, 2012

UNCG Libraries' Faculty Continue to Serve the Community in a Variety of Ways

Reference Librarian Steve Cramer is doing some training at the Chamber of Commerce next Wednesday as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week. His course will be Marketing Research Tools to Grow Your Business at Greensboro Entrepreneur on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 from 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM (EST). Register at

The North Carolina Library Association held the 2012 Leadership Institute on October 25th thru October 28th at the Caraway Conference Center. The mission of the Leadership Institute is as follows:

"The Mission of the North Carolina Library Association (NCLA) Leadership Institute is to create opportunities for learning and skill building in leadership and mentoring. The Institute will cultivate an improved understanding of self and others, while inspiring participants to serve in leadership roles within the profession at local, state and national levels"

The University Libraries were well represented by four of our library faculty; Mike Crumpton, Assistant Dean for Administrative Services, led the planning committee that created the mission and logo and planned the program. Steve Cramer, Business Librarian and Gerald Holmes, Reference Librarian and Diversity Coordinator are serving as Group Mentors, each working with a group of participants on activities planned for the next year leading up to the biennial conference in October in Winston-Salem. And Amy Harris, Reference Librarian and Information Literacy Coordinator was selected as a participant of the institute and will graduate at conference with her group and a completed leadership project.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Library Colleague Rob Bixby Dies

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the death of our colleague Mr. Robert Bixby, who passed away on Friday, October 26, 2012 after an extended illness. Rob was an employee of the University Libraries working as a Digital Imaging Technician in Jackson Library since May 2009. Rob joined UNCG in April 2003, and worked for the Center for Youth, Family & Community Partnership as a Computing Support Tech II prior to transferring to the University Libraries.

His obituary can be found online at:


Retired UNCG Historian Richard Current Dies at 100

We have recently learned of the death of retired historian Richard Current, who taught at UNCG for many years. Dr. Current was one of America's leading historians, with a particularly strong reputation for his work about Abraham Lincoln. Dr. Current served as head of the Department of History and Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro from 1955-1960, and was a University Distinguished Professor of History at UNCG from 1966 to 1983.

His papers are in the UNCG Archives and are described here.

See his obituary from the Washington Post here.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Virginia Dare in Fact and Fancy - Join Us Thursday, November 8 at 4 pm

You are invited to attend a presentation by author Marjorie Hudson about Virginia Dare, the first English child born in America, at 4 pm on Thursday, November 8 in the Virginia Dare Room in the Alumni House. The event is free and open to the public, and is sponsored by the Friends of the UNCG Libraries.

This project is also made possible by a grant from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

For more information, see
. An interpreter for the hearing impaired will be available.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Diversity Residents from UNCG Attend Joint Conference of Librarians of Color

Left to right are LaTesha Velez, Nataly Blas, and Jason Alston
At the recent Joint Conference of Librarians of Color in Kansas City  all three UNCG diversity residents stopped together for a photo.  "We are very proud of our Diversity Residents," noted Dean Rosann Bazirjian, who also attended the conference.  Reference Librarian and Diversity Coordinator Gerald Holmes was also happy to get to see them.  LaTesha is now in PhD program at The University of Illinois, Jason is in the PhD program at The University of South Carolina, and Nataly has recently begun her residency at UNCG.

Monday, October 8, 2012

"Bound for the Future: Child Heroes of the Underground Railroad": Book Talk on November 8

On Thursday, November 8 at 7:00 pm, the UNCG Student Libraries Advisory Council, along with the UNCG Historical Society, will host a book talk in the Reading Room of Jackson Library.  Author Jonathan Shectman will discuss his new book, Bound for the Future: Child Heroes of the Underground Railroad.

These student groups welcome community attendance at this free event.  A book signing will follow the talk.

Jonathan Shectman is former editor of a series of science education books published by the National Science Resources Center, an arm of the Smithsonian Institution. His published works include Greenwood's Groundbreaking Scientific Experiments, Inventions, and Discoveries of the 18th Century.

As the publisher describes, Bound for the Future "illuminates the vital contributions of specific, underappreciated child activists within the extremely local circumstances of their daily work. It also provides meaningful context to the actions of these young activists within the much broader social practice of resisting slavery, and offers fresh insight into the complicated question of who was responsible for ending slavery. Through a thorough examination of these subjects, author Jonathan Shectman proves his central thesis: in many specific cases, children were the essential lifeblood of the Underground Railroad's operational workforce."

NC Literary Map Unveiled

A student working on a report . . .

A traveler with an interest in historic literary sites . . .

A teacher preparing a lesson plan . . .

A writer interested in places that have inspired other writers . . .

A book club planning its discussions centering around a particular author or set in a particular place . . .

These are but some of the users of the North Carolina Literary Map, a new, free resource produced by the University Libraries at UNC Greensboro in collaboration with the North Carolina Center for the Book. The NC Literary Map, found on the Internet at, identifies the North Carolina places associated with more than 3000 writers and more than 4700 of their books with an interactive online tool that is designed to foster interest in the state’s rich literary tradition.

In recognition of the strong literary tradition at UNCG and its award-winning MFA Writing program, and utilizing the strong technical development staff in the University Libraries, UNCG’s Special Collections and University Archives Department  decided to update the state’s paper literary maps done in the past with an online reference tool that is both interactive and environmentally friendly, and were pleased to collaborate with the North Carolina Center for the Book at the State Library to do so.  “The State Library of North Carolina is proud to be a partner in this wonderful Literary Map project,” said State Librarian Caroline ‘Cal’ Shepard. “Our state has a rich written heritage, and we are fortunate to have such a wonderful tool to guide us in our explorations.”

North Carolina novelist Michael Parker says, “Doris Betts' statement that you could not throw a rock in Chapel Hill and not hit a writer seems to be true of the entire state.   I have a copy of the previous map hanging on my wall, and, as crowded as it is, it looks almost sparse compared to this new online version.  The inclusion of so many new voices, all across our state, is so impressive that I am inclined to think that literature is the Old North State's greatest export."

Want to see how to use Map and learn more about it?  Staff from the University Libraries will be demonstrating the NC Literary Map and answering questions about it at the following locations at the Fabulous Fridays programs sponsored by the Public Library Section of the North Carolina Library Association’s during October:

Other presentations about the Literary Map will be:

A free webinar for anyone interested in the map will be held on October 24 at 3:30 p.m.  Register at  The webinar will be recorded and available for later viewing.

The North Carolina Literary Map is an open and ongoing project, and encourages readers to contact the project staff at with suggested changes or additions. Criteria for inclusion are listed on the website, but please let them know if there is an author or a book that you believe should be included or if the existing information is incomplete.   The following blogs are being developed and maintained by the Special Collections and University Archives at UNCG:

Please contact the project staff at for more information.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Virginia Dare in Fact and Fancy

The Virginia Dare Room at UNCG is 75 years old this year.  The child for whom it is named was born 425 years ago.  “Why not celebrate both?” we asked as we proposed the free program to be offered November 8 at 4 p.m. at the Alumni House on the UNCG campus.

Virginia Dare is a historical figure dimly remembered more than 400 years after her birth. She was the first English child born on American soil, part of the disastrous Lost Colony of Sir Walter Raleigh which disappeared into a shroud of mystery shortly after she was born. A close scrutiny of new research in archaeology and dendrochronology has revealed new theories that may result in a solution to the mystery before long. More than that, however, the tangle of legends, oral histories, Native American connections, and even pop culture that have built around Virginia Dare over four centuries are astonishing, entertaining, and even amusing. In this program, Marjorie Hudson explores new research and old legends, from the uncovering of the Kendall ring to her discovery of pop culture items on E-bay and her collection of “Virginia Dare” autographs from living persons named for a child shrouded in mystery.

This project is made possible by a grant from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Hudson is one of the Council’s “Road Scholars.”

Marjorie Hudson is the author of Searching for Virginia Dare, a personal journey into the mysterious disappearance of the Roanoke Colony. Written in a “mosaic” form, and recommended by North Carolina Libraries, Tar Heel Junior Historian, North Carolina Literary Review, and Our State, the book gained national attention as a selection of Book Women Readers ont eh Road.  Hudson’s essays, short stories, and poems explore themes of loss, conflict, and a yearning for community deeply threaded through American history and contemporary life. Two recent stories won Pushcart Special Mentions, and her essay “Sufi Dancing With Dad” is featured in the anthology Scorched in the Birthing: Women Respond to War. Her latest book is Accidental Birds of the Carolinas, a collection of short stories. Her writing and teaching have garnered many awards and honors. In 2000 she was recipient of the Sarah Belk Gambrell Award, North Carolina Artist-Educator of the Year. She was director of the George Moses Horton Project and Jubilee in 2000, and she holds degrees from American University and Warren Wilson College.  

Thursday, September 27, 2012

"To Know Her Own History": Book Talk on Thursday, October 25

You Are Invited . . . 

What:  A book talk by Professor Kelly Ritter on To Know Her Own History: Writing at the Woman's College. 1943-1963.

When: Thursday, October 25 at 4 pm

Where: Hodges Reading Room, Jackson Library


As Professor Kelly Ritter (English Department) describes in her introduction, "To Know Her Own History is a sociohistorical study that focuses on the intertwined histories of first-year composition and creative writing at a public Southern women’s college in the mid-twentieth century in order to examine how evolving definitions of literacy, as well as evolving views of women as writers, shaped American college writing instruction during the postwar era. I offer new historical insight into the historical happenings in women’s writing postwar through an extended case study of the English department of the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina, and spotlight the national curricular trends and local institutional conditions that affected this college’s students and faculty. These include the difficult economic conditions inherent to a Southern women’s college during this financially precarious postwar period, wherein large,coeducational universities that served a variety of populations effectively grew to dominate the American educational landscape."

The book draws on interviews with alumnae as well as the extensive records held in the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives of the University Libraries.

Join the Friends of the UNCG Libraries as we celebrate the publication of this book and the important history of writing at Woman's College.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

New Diversity Resident Joins University Libraries

Nataly Blas has been named the 2012-2014 Diversity Resident at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro libraries.

Nataly was awarded a Master’s degree from the School of Library and Information Studies at Florida State University in August, 2012. While in the program, Nataly worked as a Graduate Assistant in the Robert Manning Strozier Library, providing reference and research assistance to graduate students.  In addition to coordinating Scholar Commons programs and events, she also developed collections for the Hispanic Marketing Communication program and assisted with acquiring resources for Latin American Studies.  Nataly received her Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations from Florida State University in 2010 and worked as a Library & Museum Assistant while obtaining her undergraduate degree.

The two year Residency Program at UNCG’s University Libraries was established to further increase the diversity of the  professional staff and foster the growth and development of a new librarian. The Residency encourages exploration of all aspects of academic librarianship. The Resident participates in the University’s diversity initiatives and collaborates with the UNCG Library and Information Studies program in developing programs related to diversity. 

Nataly’s first rotation during her residency will be in Reference and Instructional Services.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Friends of the UNCG Libraries Sponsor Screening of Documentary Film, Semper Fi, Always Faithful

Jerry Ensminger is an American hero to many.   His service to his country is inspiring, and his belief in his adherence to the Marine Corps motto, Semper Fi, meaning "always faithful" has been unswerving. 

Jerry served as a master sergeant in the United States Marine Corps at Camp Lejeune North Carolina, where he and his family were exposed to lethal levels of toxins in the drinking water on the base.  His daughter Janey died of childhood leukemia at age nine.  Since hearing  initial news reports about the contamination of Camp Lejeune in 1997, Jerry has spent 15 years advocating for justice due to Marines and their families as a result of this exposure. 

On Monday, October 22 at 7 pm in the Elliott University Center Auditorium on the UNCG campus, the Friends of the UNCG Libraries will present a screening of Semper Fi: Always Faithful, a documentary film by Rachel Libert and Tony Hardmon about Jerry’s story.  We do so to help inform the public about the tragedy at Camp Lejeune, and to present the compelling story of what tenacious and commited individuals can do to advance the cause of justice in the American political system.

Mr. Ensminger will be present to lead our presentation of the film.  Please join us for what promises to be a sobering and informative evening, examining an issue with repercussions for the more than 1 million persons believe to have been exposed to these toxins between 1957 through 1987 at a Marine base in our own state, a tragedy that may have even wider repercussions than we now know.

Please be with us for this free screening and discussion.  Complimentary parking will be available in the Oakland Avenue Parking Deck.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Exciting Changes at the Harold Schiffman Music Library

photo by Sarah Dorsey
What a difference color (and new shelving and furniture) make!   So says Music Librarian Sarah Dorsey, noting that visitors will find that the Harold Schiffman Music Library has undergone renovation following the recent naming of the library for composer and Greensboro native Harold Schiffman.

As reported in June,  the Music Library was named in honor of a large planned gift from Schiffman and his wife Dr. Jane Perry-Camp.  At the time, Dean John Deal of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance noted "This generous bequest from Harold Schiffman and Jane Perry-Camp, along with their previous gifts to the Jackson Library, constitute the largest gift to the School of Music, Theatre and Dance since its inception in 2010 and to the School of Music since 2001.  The scholarship endowment component will provide financial assistance to hundreds of future music students.  It is truly a transformational gift.  We are tremendously indebted to Harold and Jane for their generosity."

At the same time, the Harold Schiffman Music Library renovation based in part on the input of the interior architecture students in Dr. Patrick Lee Lucas' Interior Architecture Third Year Studio Class.  During the spring semester of 2012, Lucas and his students worked with the University Libraries to envision some possible scenarios for updating the identity of the library.  Among the recommendations was to use materials, colors and textures to envliven and animate the space.   New furniture, shelving, paint and signage were  installed over a period of several weeks.  Throughout the renovation, the Harold Schffman Music Library  blog enthusiastically chronicled the process.

Mentoring for Music: The Story of Three Librarians, and How They Worked to Further Develop the World’s Largest Cello Music Collection

(L-R) Mac Nelson, John Baga
Paul Hessling (photo by Carolyn Shankle)
Paul Hessling has been a cataloger at UNCG for 25 years. John Baga is beginning his career as a cataloger at Mississippi State after getting his M.L.I.S. degree from UNCG in 2011. They are linked by a passion for UNCG’s cello music collection, and their relationship with Mac Nelson, UNCG’s cello music cataloger.  Here is their story.

UNCG’s cello music collection is believed to be the world’s largest.  It has been built over nearly half a century, beginning with the acquisition of the Luigi Silva Collection by the Friends of the Library in 1964. Seven other collections have been acquired and processed in the intervening years, and the web site at  draws more than 6000 web page views per year from  students and scholars from throughout the world each year, as well as hundreds of visitors in person.  The collection is the result of collaboration and dedicated effort by a number of individuals in the School of Music and the University Libraries, and there are many people who deserve credit for creating this treasure for scholars, musicians, and students.

This story is about three of those people, and the relationship that continues to take the cello music collections at UNCG into new areas.  None of them work exclusively in the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives, where the cello music collection resides, but each works closely with the Department in developing the collections and making them more useful and more accessible.
Paul Hessling has been special collections cataloger at UNCG since 1986.  He is also a collector and the donor of numerous materials now in the Special Collections and University Archives at UNCG.  During his career, he has also mentored other librarians, among them Cello Music Cataloger Mac Nelson, who describes Hessling’s knowledge of special collections cataloging as “encyclopedic.”  Together, Paul and his wife Janice, a Greensboro physician, have also been generous donors to the University Libraries.  When Nelson, who is himself a talented guitarist, shared with them his dream to record and document the lives and careers of two cellists whose collections were given to UNCG, the Hesslings were enthusiastic about the idea.  In the course of their work together in the Cataloging Department, Paul Hessling encouraged Nelson and agreed that one of the most important things he could do with the cello music collection would be not just to catalog it and make it available to students and scholars, but also to pursue working with the two virtuoso cellists, Bernard Greenhouse and Laszlo Varga. 

Nelson acted upon his colleague’s advice.  He raised money and arranged for a recorded video interview with Beaux Arts Trio founder Bernard Greenhouse at his home on Cape Cod. Most scholarship about Greenhouse’s legacy had focused on his solo career and work with the Beaux Arts Trio.  There was also much interest in his ownership and playing of the "Paganini" Stradivarius cello dated 1707, but Greenhouse was also a great teacher and mentor.   In a short film produced by award-winning filmmaker Joanna Hay. the 93-year old Greenhouse may be seen teaching and mentoring an eleven year old Korean cellist, Ha Young Choi, the youngest student whom Greenhouse ever taught, and one whom he believed has great promise.  As he does so, Greenhouse reflects on the training he received from Pablo Casals as a young man.  In his later years, Greenhouse focused his efforts on creating a place where cellists could come and work with him before beginning their professional careers.  While Greenhouse died in 2011 at the age of ninety-five, this extraordinary footage of him teaching and reflecting on his long career still serves as a memorial to his greatness as a teacher and mentor, supplementing his library of annotated scores, papers and other materials which were given to UNCG.

Another of Nelson’s dreams was to record the life story of Laszlo Varga, who survived the horror of a Nazi labor camp in Hungary as a young man, escaping to become one of the world’s great cellists.  He was principal cellist at the NY Philharmonic under Leonard Bernstein and Dimitri Mitropoulos, among other achievements.  In the 1950s, he formed the first cello quartet in the U.S., which helped spawn a worldwide movement of cello ensembles. To date, he has completed over 50 transcriptions for solo cello, cello and piano, cello ensemble and mixed ensemble with cello.  Varga gave his collection to UNCG in 2006.

In 2005, Varga came to UNCG to participate in a celebration of Greenhouse, and came again in 2006, when UNCG celebrated his own work. Both celebrations were organized by Music professor Brooks Whitehouse, who was then at UNCG and is now at The University of North Carolina School of the Arts.  Nelson first met Varga at that 2005 celebration when he was assigned to escort him throughout the weekend.  As he had done with Greenhouse, Nelson became not just a cataloger of the cellist’s works, but his friend as well.   Encouraged by Hessling and supported by Dean Rosann Bazirjian and Cataloging Department Head Mary Jane Conger, Nelson began work on documenting the full range of Varga’s life and career. 

Here also is where John Baga enters the story.  The Winston-Salem native, while pursuing a graduate degree in library and information science at UNCG, was approached by Nelson and Professor Jim Carmichael of the Library and Information Studies program at UNCG about doing some projects relating to the cello music collections.  Also a pianist with a special interest in drawing attention to music that he considers  under-exposed, Baga eventually took an internship under Nelson’s direction, and, suffering perhaps from the contagious enthusiasm that characterized the entire project,  became fascinated with the collection and career of Varga.  Baga undertook a project to organize and further develop some notes Varga had prepared about his life and career. According to Nelson, Baga undertook the project with “palpable enthusiasm and single-minded concentration. “  After producing a forty page manuscript that he enhanced with parenthetical notes and indexing, Baga was hooked.  When he came into an unexpected inheritance from his father, Baga generously came to Nelson and offered financial support to do another video interview, this time with Varga.  Baga continues to believe Varga  is a cellist who is seriously under-represented in the scholarly literature, and is doing something about it.  Recently, he gave additional gifts to encourage published research about Laszlo Varga and support the development of the Libraries’ collection about  him with such projects as oral history interviews with his students.  The Hesslings also made two significant financial contributions to the project, which had stalled when ill health kept Varga from visiting Greensboro.  As a result, Nelson and the videographer went to visit him instead, at his home in Florida. The result was eight hours of video footage with a reinvigorated Varga that Nelson hopes eventually to distill into another film tribute to a great cellist.  As Paul Hessling notes, “the idea was too important to let a lack of money keep it from happening.  It was a project that had to be done.”

The relationship of Nelson and Baga is a close one.  The two plan to collaborate on presentations and articles about their projects, and Nelson notes with pride that Baga has recently been named monographic cataloger at Mississippi State University, his first professional position.

Students and scholars of music have long recognized the value of mentoring and teaching to the careers of newer cellists.  The “genealogy” of one’s training is one of the marks by which a cellist develops and becomes associated throughout a lifetime of music.  How appropriate that so too has the relationship of Hessling, Nelson and Baga come to define and give testimony to the value of mentoring for careers in librarianship that have deepened and enriched the cello music collections at UNCG.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Tools for Preparing for the 2012 Elections

As we close in on the 2012 elections, the University Libraries are making every effort to engage the campus in this exercise in civic engagement.

There’s a voter registration table on the first floor of Jackson Library where potential voters may register or change their voter registration.

Reference Librarian Lynda Kellam has prepared a 
LibGuide to help voters educate themselves about the candidates and their positions on the issues. 

Archivist Sean Mulligan has prepared an exhibit entitled Campaigns and Elections: the Race for Political Office now on display in the Hodges Reading Room on the 2nd floor of Jackson Library.
The Friends of the UNCG Libraries book discussion on October 29 features Dr. David Olson of the Political Science Department leading a discussion of Theodore White's classic, The Making of the President 1960 at 7 pm in the Hodges Reading Room, Jackson Library. Register on our website.

Even French television took an interest in the opinions of UNCG students when the Democratic National Convention was held in Charlotte, and visited Jackson Library to talk to them.