Monday, July 29, 2013

FOL Book Discussions for 2013/14

We are pleased to announce the schedule for the 2013/2014 FOL Book Discussions.  This is the 12th season, and once again we invite our Friends and other interested community members to join us as we discuss books from past and present.  Each discussion will be led by a UNCG faculty member.  To reserve a spot at one or more discussion, please register on our website, or contact Barry Miller at 336-256-0112.

All book discussions will meet on Mondays in the Hodges Reading Room

Monday, September 16, 2013 at 4:00 pm: The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander. 
Faculty Discussion Leader: Dr. Steven Cureton, Sociology.

This year, the Sociology Department is celebrating its Centennial with a series of events that look at "Inequality and Social Justice in a Changing World." The Friends of the UNCG Libraries are excited to team up with Sociology for our first book discussion.  As The New York Review of Books wrote, "Now and then a book comes along that might in time touch the public and educate social commentators, policymakers, and politicians about a glaring wrong that we have been living with that we also somehow don't know how to face. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander is such a work."  

Listen to an interview with the author at NPR.

Monday, October 7, 2013 at 7:00 pm: The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt. 
Faculty Discussion Leader: Dr. David Wharton, Classical Studies.

Winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize and the 2011 National Book Award, The Swerve tells the story of how the translation of Roman philosopher Lucretius's On the Nature of Things "fueled the Renaissance." Publishers Weekly writes "In this gloriously learned page-turner, both biography and intellectual history, Harvard Shakespearean scholar Greenblatt turns his attention to the front end of the Renaissance as the origin of Western culture's foundation: the free questioning of truth."

Listen to NPR's review of the book.

Monday, November 4, 2013 at 4:00 pm: The Colony: The Harrowing True Story of the Exiles of Molokai by John Tayman. 
Faculty Discussion Leaders: Dr. Janne Cannon (Microbiology and Immunology) and Dr. Rob Cannon (Biology).

 John Tayman tells the story of Hawaii's infamous leper colony, in existence from 1866-1967. The New York Times praised Tayman's work, "Tayman's narrative pulls the reader beyond the superficial, medical horrors of leprosy to the more devastating human horrors that lie beneath. In doing so, he has brought to light the profound dignity of his subjects.

Hear an interview with the author on NPR.

World War I began in 1914, 100 years ago.  To mark this somber anniversary, the FOL Book Discussion Group will read two books about the war. 

Monday, February 24, 2014 at 4:00 pm: Goodbye to All That by Robert Graves.

Faculty Discussion Leader: Dr. Ron Cassell, History. 

 In 1929, Robert Graves published his memoir of World War I. Now remembered more perhaps for I, Claudius and his poetry, Goodbye to All That was an instant best seller--running "through some 30,000 copies within the first few weeks of its publication," according to the Times  of London.  In his introduction of the book, historian Paul Fussell notes "one thing that makes Goodbye to All That so permanently readable is its happy management of the literal by imposing on it such devices of fiction as suspense, surprise, and irony."  

Abe Books produced a great video review of the book, which you can see here

Monday, March 17, 2014 at 7:00 pm: The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West.

Faculty Discussion Leader: Dr. Keith Cushman, English.

Rebecca West was a renowned journalist, critic, and novelist. Her first novel, The Return of the Soldier, was published before the war ended.  An early review in  The New York Times sums up the plot,"Since the outbreak of the great war all sorts of situations have entered into hitherto peaceful and commonplace private lives, situations many of which are full of dramatic and tragic possibilities. And although the case of amnesia upon which Rebecca West founds her novel would not have been impossible in time of peace, it is far more probable in time of war. It was shell-shock which made Christopher Baldry lose his memory, forget all that had taken place during fifteen years, and go back to the time when he was a boy of 21. . .  It is of what happened after he came back home to the wife, whose very existence he had forgotten, that the book tells."

Open Road Media has produced a brief video to introduce readers to West.

Monday, April 21, 2014 at 4:00 pm: Serena by Ron Rash.

Faculty Discussion Leader: Dr. Hephzibah Roskelly, English.

The Washington Post's review sums up the novel well: "Serena, the Lady Macbeth of Ron Rash's stirring new novel, wouldn't fret about getting out the damned spot. She wouldn't even wash her hands; she'd just lick it off. I couldn't take my eyes off this villainess, and any character who does ends up dead. Alluring and repellant, she's the engine in a gothic tale of personal mayhem and environmental destruction set in the mountains of North Carolina during the Depression."

By the time this discussion rolls around, the Hollywood version of the book will have been released.  Sadly, the movie is being filmed in the Czech Republic and not in our North Carolina mountains!

Monday, July 22, 2013

University Libraries Receive Continued Grant Support for "Textiles, Teachers and Troops"

Principal investigator David Gwynn of the University Libraries has received notification that our application for a second year of funding for "Textiles, Teachers and Troops" has received support from the State Library of North Carolina in the amount of $103,333.

Textiles, Teachers, and Troops will make available more than 175,000 digital images including photographs, manuscripts, rare books, scrapbooks, printed materials, and oral histories documenting the social and cultural development of Greensboro. For the first time, all five colleges and universities in Greensboro, along with the Greensboro Historical Museum, will be collaborating on a project to make primary source materials available online. By documenting the vitally important influence of the textile industry, public and postsecondary education, and the massive World War II military presence, Textiles, Teachers, and Troops will provide context for understanding the growth of Greensboro from a town of two thousand residents into one of the leading manufacturing and education centers in the Southeast. The project will display these new materials alongside a large body of material already digitized by the partners and will provide the initial content for a larger community‐based history portal.

More about the project

Thursday, July 18, 2013

BILL HARLEY: Two-time Grammy Award winner, NPR commentator, and acclaimed storyteller/musician will perform in Greensboro and Winston-Salem

“Stories are how we make sense of our lives...  Stories are at the very center of what it means to be human.” – Bill Harley

Two-time Grammy Award Winner, NPR commentator and acclaimed storyteller/musician/author Bill Harley will perform free family concerts in the Triad on Saturday, September 7 and Monday, September 9, as well as for schoolchildren in Greensboro and Winston-Salem at other times during his visit.

Bill uses song and story to paint a vibrant picture of growing up, parenting and family life. Poignant and hilarious, his work spans the generation gap, reminds us of our common humanity and challenges us to be our very best selves. A prolific author and recording artist, Bill is also a regular commentator for NPR’s “All Things Considered” and has been featured on PBS.  His thoughtful remarks at a Ted Conference about the importance of storytelling are moving and inspiring.  Bill is a long-time audience favorite at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough TN, and recently returned from a series of performances in New Zealand.

Bill began singing and storytelling in 1975 while still in college. His work has influenced a generation of children, parents, performing artists and educators. Bill's songs are joyous, direct and honest, his stories are filled with the details of daily life – all told and sung from his slightly off-center point of view. Says event organizer Barry Miller, “Bill connects with children because he has been known to view the world from the perspective of a 4th or 5th grader.  He connects with adults because he is a man of deep insight and empathy, seasoned with infectious humor.”

"Humor is my weapon," says Harley of his award-winning recordings. A two-time Grammy winner, Bill's recordings have also garnered numerous other national awards including Parents' Choice, NAPPA (National Association of Parenting Publication Awards), ALA (American Library Association) and the highest honor from the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio for his concert DVD, "Yes to Running!" filmed in conjunction with Montana PBS.  

Bill's trademark wit and wisdom can also be found in his picture books and novels for children. His newest children’s book, Lost and Found, was released this year. His first novel, The Amazing Flight of Darius Frobisher was chosen by Bank Street School of Education as one of the best children's books of the year and his second novel, Night of the Spadefoot Toads was awarded the Green Earth Book Award as best environmental book of the year in the children's fiction category. His picture books, based on his songs, stories and poems also stand out as 'pick of the list' from ABA.  He is a Storytelling Award Winner, and a member of the Storytelling Circle of Excellence. Bill is currently working on a new series about 4th grader Charlie Bumpers, with the first book due out in the Fall of 2013.

Touring internationally in theaters, schools, libraries, festivals and conferences, as a workshop leader, keynoter and inspirational speaker, Bill's work affirms our commonality and reminds us to laugh out loud.  In the car, the classroom, at home or on stage, "no one beats Harley for intelligent, polished children's entertainment – he's simply the best."  Mothering Magazine
Bill Harley’s Triad appearances are all sponsored by the University Libraries at UNCG, with the support of the Pam and David Sprinkle Children’s Book Author and Storytellers Fund.  Thanks also to the Proximity Hotel and the Printworks Bistro for their support.
Greensboro: Monday, September 9, 7 p.m. FREE
Elliott University Center Auditorium UNCG campus

Winston-Salem: Saturday, September 7, 12:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. with book signing after each performance.  FREE
BOOKMARKS Festival, Downtown Arts District (Main Stage)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Fall 2013 Friends of the UNCG Library Events

Friday, September 6 at UNCG & Saturday, September 7 at BOOKMARKS— A Visit with Historian James McPherson
9/6 Jackson Library Reading Room. UNCG, 1st Floor. 4 pm.
9/7 BOOKMARKS Festival, Winston-Salem  Times TBA

Saturday, September 7 at BOOKMARKS & Monday, September 9 at UNCG—Storyteller, Author and Musical Artist Bill Harley
9/7 - BOOKMARKS Festival, Winston-Salem. 12:30 and 4 pm.
9/9- Elliott University Center Auditorium UNCG, 7 pm.

Monday, October 21 —”Loving Jane” a public discussion led by Dr. Hephzibah Roskelly about Jane Austen and why she is so popular 200 years after Pride and Prejudice was first published (part of a series still being developed to celebrate Austen).  Virginia Dare Room, Alumni House, 7 pm.

Tuesday, October 29 —Author Jill McCorkle reading from her new book Life After Life and signing copies of her books, Virginia Dare Room, Alumni House, 4 pm. 

Saturday, November 9—Women Veterans Historical Project Luncheon and Panel Discussion.  For more information contact Beth Ann Koelsch at or 336-334-5838.  Fee, discount for veterans.  Sponsorship tables available.

Friends of the UNCG Libraries Book Discussions 
For more information, contact Kimberly Lutz at 336-256-8598. Free.

Monday, September 16 — Book discussion of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander led by Steven Cureton, Hodges Reading Room, Jackson Library 4 pm.

Monday, October  7—Book Discussion of The Swerve: How the World Became Modern, by Stephen Greenblatt led by David Wharton, Hodges Reading Room,  Jackson Library 7 pm.

Monday, November 4 — Book Discussion of The Colony: The Harrowing True Story of the Exiles of Molokai, by John Tayman, led by Janne and Rob Cannon, Hodges Reading Room, Jackson Library, 4 pm.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Jackson Library Landscape Project - An Update

Visitors to Jackson Library from the College Avenue side of the building through the portico entrance will notice some changes this summer.  Installation of the new landscaping is to begin Friday, July 19, and is expected to be largely completed by the end of July.
The Board of Directors of the Friends of the UNCG Libraries announced a special initiative at the annual dinner in the spring to revitalize that landscaping. "The Library has traditionally been a photogenic centerpiece, and we want to return it to that status," said board member Laura Tew.
With Board approval and financial support, award winning UNCG Grounds Manager Chris Fay commissioned Christine Russell of New Earth Design to craft the proposed landscape design to incorporate sustainability principles, including:

  * minimal demands for water and fertilization;

  * food and protection for local songbirds; and

  * minimal upkeep requirements. 
The Jackson Library portico facing College Avenue will be accentuated by Graham Blandy boxwood, dwarf Burford hollies and Kay Paris magnolias. The Yoshino cherry & Jane magnolia trees will be highlighted by hydrangeas and flowering Kaley rose mountain grass, seasonally colorful shrubs, annuals, and perennials. Bluestone slate will lead to the brick sitting wall where library passersby can congregate or rest.   All in all, it’s a landscape of which we can be proud.

With almost 80% of the $25,000 goal raised, we are beginning work on installing the landscape this summer while most students are away, and to get the grass well established before school starts. 
To meet our fund-raising goal of $25,000 to complete the project, the Friends of the UNCG Libraries are accepting tax-deductible contributions. The Board hopes to raise the rest of the necessary funds by September 1.  When we reach the $25,000 goal, we have been given permission to install a brass sign indicating that the garden was created by the Friends of the UNCG Libraries.
Donations can be made online here. Checks can be made out to UNCG and mailed to Advancement Services, PO Box 26170, Greensboro, N.C. 27402-6170. Please put Jackson Library Landscaping Project on the memo line.