Friday, February 3, 2012

Dr. Elliott Engel coming to UNCG to celebrate Dickens

The Freshman Seminar Program at UNCG is pleased to sponsor Charles Dickens: 200 Years of being "The Inimitable" by Dr. Elliot Engel on Tuesday, February 21 at 3 p.m. in Jackson Library on the UNCG campus.

With the program, Dr. Elliot Engel brings to life the extraordinary genius of the man many critics recognize as the greatest novelist in our language. Using anecdotes, analysis, and large doses of humor, Professor Engel will reveal Dickens' fascinating business acumen that was every bit as creative as his literary imagination.

The program is free and open to all, but seating is limited.

Originally from Indianapolis, Indiana, Dr. Engel now lives in Raleigh, where he has taught at the University of North Carolina, North Carolina State University, and Duke University. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow at UCLA. While at UCLA he won that university’s Outstanding Teacher Award.

Dr. Engel has written ten books published in England, Japan, and the United States. His mini-lecture series on Charles Dickens ran on PBS television stations around the country. His articles have appeared in numerous newspapers and national magazines including Newsweek. He has lectured throughout the United States and on all the continents including Antarctica. Four plays which he has written have been produced during the last ten years.

For his scholarship and teaching, Dr. Engel has received North Carolina’s Adult Education Award, North Carolina State’s Alumni Professorship, and the Victorian Society’s Award of Merit. Most recently, for his thirty years of academic work and service in promoting Charles Dickens, he was nominated and inducted into the Royal Society of Arts in England.

Since 1980, Dr. Engel has been President of the Dickens Fellowship of North Carolina, the largest branch of this worldwide network of clubs. The sales of Dr. Engel’s books, CDs, and DVDs have raised funds for The Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital which Dickens helped found in London in 1852.

For more information about Engel, see For more about UNCG’s celebration of the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens, see

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Novelist Matthew Pearl to appear at UNCG March 1

Matthew Pearl’s first three novels, The Dante Club, The Poe Shadow and The Last Dickens have been translated into more than thirty languages and have more than one million copies in print combined. Because of his authorship of The Last Dickens about the publication of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Pearl's appearance is made in conjunction with UNCG's “A Dickens of a Celebration.” The appearance is sponsored by the University Libraries and the Center for Creative Writing in the Arts at UNCG.

Critics have likened Pearl to E. L. Doctorow, and he has been described as “at the very forefront of contemporary novelists” (Caleb Carr), “sparkling with erudition” (Janet Maslin, The New York Times), and “the shining star of literary fiction” (Dan Brown). With his new novel THE TECHNOLOGISTS, Pearl expands his repertoire to bring the same suspense to nineteenth-century science that he did to three of literary history’s greatest mysteries.

In nineteenth-century Boston, a war exists between the past and present, tradition and technology. On an early April morning, a fiery cataclysm in the harbor throws commerce into chaos, as ships’ instruments spin inexplicably out of control. Soon after, another mysterious catastrophe devastates the heart of the city. On a former marshy wasteland, the daring Massachusetts Institute of Technology is rising, its mission to harness science for the benefit of all and to open the doors of opportunity to everyone of merit.

The shocking disasters cast a pall over M.I.T. and provoke assaults from all sides—rival Harvard, labor unions, and a sensationalistic press. With their first graduation and the very survival of their groundbreaking college now in doubt, a band of the Institute’s best and brightest students—including “charity scholar” Marcus Mansfield, a quiet Civil War veteran and one-time machinist; Robert Richards, the bluest of Beacon Hill bluebloods; class genius Edwin Hoyt; and Institute’s lone, ostracized female student Ellen Swallow—secretly come together to save innocent lives and track down the truth, armed with ingenuity and their unique scientific training. Working against their small secret society, from within and without, are the arrayed forces of a stratified culture determined to resist change at all costs and a dark mastermind bent on the utter destruction of the city. THE TECHNOLOGISTS is a dazzling journey into a dangerous world where the word “technology” represents a bold and frightening new concept and where the America we know today begins to shimmer into being.

Pearl will appear and sign books at UNCG at 7 pm on Thursday, March 1 in the Virginia Dare Room in the Alumni House at UNCG. The event is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Celebrate Blues Music on March 28 to support the University Libraries

You are invited to join us for the Friends of the UNCG Libraries annual dinner on March 28, when we will welcome Dr. William R. Ferris(above) and Mr. Logie Meachum(below) in a celebration of blues music to support the University Libraries at UNCG.

For more, see the University's news release.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Grab a Book.. on Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens was born in 1812. UNCG is celebrating the bicentennial of his birth with a series of programs sponsored by the University Libraries, the English Department, the Freshman Seminar Program, the Atlantic World Research Network, the Friends of the UNCG Libraries, the Greensboro Public Library and others.

Books by and about Dickens abound, with more than 900 titles in the UNCG library catalog alone. Some of these are highlighted at the GRAB A BOOK display near the Circulation Desk in Jackson Library during Feburary, and may be checked out. In addition to his own work, there are numerous biographies, books of criticism, and studies of Dickens on subjects ranging from criminology and prisons to psychology, history, travel, theatre, cinema, journalism, and parent-child relations. We invite you to choose from among these selections and others in our book collection, and visit "Windows to the World: The Immortal Works of Charles Dickens," now on exhibit in the Hodges Reading Room on the second floor of Jackson Library through March 30.

"A Dickens of a Celebration" will continue with a series of programs sponsored by the University Libraries, the English Department, the Freshman Seminar Program, the Atlantic World Research Network, the Friends of the UNCG Libraries, the Greensboro Public Library and others. For a schedule of events, including visits by novelist Matthew Pearl and scholars Eliot Engel and Eileen Gillooly, as well as a birthday party, a book discussion and films at the Greensboro Public Library, see or

Upcoming Programs during February and March

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

Monday, February 6 - Book Discussion of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, led by Hepsie Roskelly, English, Hodges Reading Room, Jackson Library, 4 p.m. Free

Tuesday, February 7 - Dickens's 200th Birthday Party/favorite readings, sponsored by the English Department, Humanities Faculty Lounge, 3rd Floor, Moore Hall of Humanities and Research Administration
2-4 p.m.

Tuesday, February 21 - "Charles Dickens Presented by Dr. Elliot Engel," sponsored by the Freshman Seminar Program of the College of Arts & Science, Jackson Library, 3 p.m. Free.

Thursday, March 1 - Matthew Pearl, author of The Technologists, and The Last Dickens, Virginia Dare Room, Alumni House. 7 p.m. Free.

Friday, March 2 — “Saving the Hansen House” documentary film screening, co-sponsored by the Center for Creative Writing in the Arts at the Greensboro Historical Museum, 7:30 p.m. Free

Wednesday, March 28 - Friends of the UNCG Libraries Annual Dinner - A Celebration of Blues Music with Bill Ferris and Logie Meachum. Call the UNCG Box Office 336-334-4849 for tickets. Fee.

Journal of Learning Spaces Launched by UNCG Librarians

A team led by UNCG librarians has launched The Journal of Learning Spaces to provide a scholarly, multidisciplinary forum for research articles, case studies, book reviews, and position pieces that examine higher education learning spaces in the context of space design, use, and management, as well as assessment, evaluation, and pedagogical practices. The journal employs the library’s Open Journal System (OJS) software, which hosts several other online journals for the University and its faculty.

The editorial team includes Joe M. Williams, Head of Access Services, who is serving as editor-in-chief, as well as Associate Director Kathy Crowe, Assistant Director Mike Crumpton, and librarians Jenny Dale and Beth Filar Williams. Several other UNCG faculty members in related disciplines also serve on the editorial board.

The journal’s first issue was published in December 2011. Two issues per year are planned, and there will be no subscription fee. Both html and pdf formats will be offered.

The following is an interview between Williams and Library Columns editor Barry Miller

How did the idea for The Journal of Learning Spaces start?
JW: I have been interested in learning spaces on both a professional and personal basis, and I also have been interested in working with an open access journal publication. These two interests came together, and were shared by several of my colleagues within the library and the University. Chancellor Brady has also put an emphasis on learning communities as a vital part of UNCG’s future, which made us decide to take advantage of UNCG long history in this field, going back to the founding of the Residential College in 1970, the oldest such learning community in North Carolina.

What’s the purpose of the journal?
We want to be a forum for discussing learning spaces, both physical and virtual, from a multi-disciplinary perspective. We see articles on this subject being published in various disciplines, but too much of the discussion is within silos, whether they be libraries, instructional technology people, facilities people, teaching faculty, or others. We started our journal project with people in libraries, library and information studies, interior architecture, residence life, teaching and learning, and education, but we really want anyone with an interest in this topic to be aware of our journal.

Have you had any surprises?
I have been pleased with the amount of interest we have gotten among colleagues willing to serve on the editorial and advisory boards and to work on the journal as peer reviewers. I thought that would be the hardest part, but we have had a lot of people step forward to help. We began with a core group of people within UNCG, but have since expanded to include people from all over the U.S, at this point. UNCG is an ideal-sized university in which to do this kind of project. It is easy to get to know people in related areas, and the infrastructure is here to support our efforts. Prior to publishing our first issue, we had over 200 registered readers for the journal – I think that shows there is real interest in this topic nationally.

What are your biggest challenges in starting this new journal?
We found that getting submissions was a little slower than we expected. At first, we put out calls for papers in various disciplines and in different listserves. With our second issue, e we will also target conference proceedings, and begin pointing individuals toward our journal.

What has been the role of the Open Journal System software in starting the journal?
It has been essential. Without this software, which makes it possible to produce a journal without a lot of technical knowledge, but still conduct peer review, communications with authors, reviewers, editors and advisors, we would not have undertaken the creation of the Journal of Learning Spaces. It allows the whole process to be automated, to a great extent.

ASERL Signs Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities

The Association of Southeastern Research Libraries has signed this Declaration, and the University Libraries at UNCG are members of ASERL:

"The Internet has fundamentally changed the practical and economic realities of distributing scientific knowledge and cultural heritage. For the first time ever, the Internet now offers the chance to constitute a global and interactive representation of human knowledge, including cultural heritage and the guarantee of worldwide access.

We, the undersigned, feel obliged to address the challenges of the Internet as an emerging functional medium for distributing knowledge. Obviously, these developments will be able to significantly modify the nature of scientific publishing as well as the existing system of quality assurance.

In accordance with the spirit of the Declaration of the Budapest Open Access Initiative, the ECHO Charter and the Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing, we have drafted the Berlin Declaration to promote the Internet as a functional instrument for a global scientific knowledge base and human reflection and to specify measures which research policy makers, research institutions, funding agencies, libraries, archives and museums need to consider.


Our mission of disseminating knowledge is only half complete if the information is not made widely and readily available to society. New possibilities of knowledge dissemination not only through the classical form but also and increasingly through the open access paradigm via the Internet have to be supported. We define open access as a comprehensive source of human knowledge and cultural heritage that has been approved by the scientific community.

In order to realize the vision of a global and accessible representation of knowledge, the future Web has to be sustainable, interactive, and transparent. Content and software tools must be openly accessible and compatible.

Definition of an Open Access Contribution

Establishing open access as a worthwhile procedure ideally requires the active commitment of each and every individual producer of scientific knowledge and holder of cultural heritage. Open access contributions include original scientific research results, raw data and metadata, source materials, digital representations of pictorial and graphical materials and scholarly multimedia material.

Open access contributions must satisfy two conditions:

The author(s) and right holder(s) of such contributions grant(s) to all users a free, irrevocable, worldwide, right of access to, and a license to copy, use, distribute, transmit and display the work publicly and to make and distribute derivative works, in any digital medium for any responsible purpose, subject to proper attribution of authorship (community standards, will continue to provide the mechanism for enforcement of proper attribution and responsible use of the published work, as they do now), as well as the right to make small numbers of printed copies for their personal use.

A complete version of the work and all supplemental materials, including a copy of the permission as stated above, in an appropriate standard electronic format is deposited (and thus published) in at least one online repository using suitable technical standards (such as the Open Archive definitions) that is supported and maintained by an academic institution, scholarly society, government agency, or other well-established organization that seeks to enable open access, unrestricted distribution, inter operability, and long-term archiving.

Supporting the Transition to the Electronic Open Access Paradigm

Our organizations are interested in the further promotion of the new open access paradigm to gain the most benefit for science and society. Therefore, we intend to make progress by

*encouraging our researchers/grant recipients to publish their work according to the principles of the open access paradigm..

*encouraging the holders of cultural heritage to support open access by providing their resources on the Internet..

*developing means and ways to evaluate open access contributions and online-journals in order to maintain the standards of quality assurance and good scientific practice..

*advocating that open access publication be recognized in promotion and tenure evaluation.

*advocating the intrinsic merit of contributions to an open access infrastructure by software tool development, content provision, metadata creation, or the publication of individual articles..

We realize that the process of moving to open access changes the dissemination of knowledge with respect to legal and financial aspects. Our organizations aim to find solutions that support further development of the existing legal and financial frameworks in order to facilitate optimal use and access.

Signing Instructions

Governments, universities, research institutions, funding agencies, foundations, libraries, museums, archives, learned societies and professional associations who share the vision expressed in the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities are therefore invited to join the signatories that have already signed the Declaration."