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 http://library.uncg.edu/dp/nclitmap/, 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 www.tinyurl.com/nclitmaplaunch.  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 nclitmap@uncg.edu 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 nclitmap@uncg.edu 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.