Monday, March 31, 2014

Director of the Digital ACT Studio Lindsay Sabatino

Lindsay Sabatino, director of the Digital ACT Studio in Jackson Library’s Digital Media Commons, has successfully defended her doctoral dissertation entitled "Interactions on the Online Writing Center: Students’ Perspectives," and passed with distinction. She earned her Ph.D. in English: Composition & TESOL from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Sabatino, who came to UNCG in August, had previously been Director of the Online Writing Center and Assistant Director of the Writing Center at IUP.  She says she has especially enjoyed connecting to the many other departments at UNCG that use the Digital ACT Studio, and finds the work here a natural extension of her work helping students write.  Here, she also helps them learn how to assess their audience, purpose and context in preparing their digital projects, whether they are scripted or not.  She and the five undergraduate and two graduate student colleagues in the grant-funded Digital ACT Studio are growing their service and expect to add online consultations in the Fall to help more distance education students needing the services of the Digital ACT Studio.

The Digital ACTS consultants (the “Digiteers”) provide designers with a trained, engaged audience, providing feedback on any digital projects, such as slide presentations, video projects, podcasts, digital photography, websites, and posters by offering collaborative, dialog-based consultations.

The Library's Digital Media Commons (DMC) and the Digital ACT Studio work together to address four different literacies: informational, functional, critical, and rhetorical:
•    Informational literacy: The Library's DMC provides support in how to locate, evaluate, and cite media resources as well as functional technological literacy.
•    Functional literacy: The Library's DMC provides support in how to use the hardware and software tools necessary to create digital projects.
•    Critical literacy: The Digital ACT Studio provides support in helping designers take into account the political, cultural, and economic context of their digital media projects.
•    Rhetorical Literacy: The Digital ACT Studio helps designers match medium, message, and context to create projects that most effectively achieve the purpose they intend for their chosen audience.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

All in a Day’s Work

What is a day in the University Libraries like?

Of course, there is no typical day.  Each one brings a different set of challenges and opportunities as we work to advance and support learning, research, and service, but one day recently we took a snapshot of our day, and it looked like this:
  • 7865 people entered the libraries in person;
  • 16,145 visitors  looked at a library web site page;
  • 366 mobile devices accessed our resources, more than 76% of them for the first time, and mobile use is growing;
  • 14,285 articles from NC DOCKS containing the scholarly output of UNCG and other UNC system partners were used;
  • 1085 people used one of our 221 public personal computers, laptops and IPads, and they printed 6165 pages;
  • 200 public service questions were fielded by library faculty staff (face to face, by phone and virtually over the Internet), and there were 13 more consultation sessions;  
  • Japan and the United Kingdom topped the list of countries outside the US accessing our resources online, with 92 and 53 persons, respectively, doing so;
  • as information creators, we created 834 digital files containing 15.8 gigabytes of information; 921 digital files containing 23.1 gigabytes were uploaded to Content DM, and there were 4356 page views of our digital projects files.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Friends of the UNCG Libraries Elect New Officers

The Friends of the UNCG Libraries elected new officers at their recent annual meeting, which featured Nikki Giovanni providing “An Evening of Poetry, Love, and Enlightenment.” Outgoing chair Billie Durham served as master of ceremonies at the event, attended by 332 members and other attendees.  Funds raised at the dinner support the University Libraries.

The new Chair of the Friends is Dr. Karl Schleunes of Greensboro, Professor Emeritus of History at UNCG, where he specialized in Modern German History and the Holocaust.  Schleunes taught for 45 years, including 39 years at UNCG.  Major publications include The Twisted Road to Auschwitz: Nazi Policy toward German Jews, 1933-1939 and Legislating the Holocaust: The Bernhard Loesener Memoirs.  An avid library user and supporter, Schleunes is also a collector of travel accounts by American travelers to the Holy Land (Palestine) during the 19th century and the early 20th century (up to 1948).  He is married to the Brenda Schleunes, Founder and Director of the Touring Theatre of North Carolina.  They have one daughter and two grandchildren.  Schleunes notes that he has been a denizen of UNCG’s Jackson Library since the tower went up in 1973, and can often be found there working in his faculty study on the 8th floor.

The new Vice-Chair/Chair Elect is Camille Payton of Greensboro.  Payton has been practicing law since 1993. A native of Kinston, North Carolina, she graduated from UNC Chapel Hill and the University of Texas before practicing law in Greensboro. Payton has extensive trial experience and practices in the areas of workers' compensation and personal injury.

Newly elected to the Board for three year terms were Jud Franklin, Elizabeth Hudson, Afrique Kilimanjaro  and Mary Ellen Shiflett of Greensboro and Joyce Traver of Brown Summit.  Re-elected to a second term were Billie Durham of Asheboro and Camille Payton of Greensboro.  

For a full list of Board members, see here.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Book Discussion on March 17 is Rescheduled for March 19

Due to the weather and the potential for ice this evening, we are moving the Friends of the UNCG Libraries book discussion planned for tonight (Monday, 3/17) to Wednesday afternoon at 4 pm in the Hodges Room on the second floor of Jackson Library.

We invite you to join us then to discuss Rebecca West's The Return of the Soldier.  The dicussion will be  led by Dr. Keith Cushman of the English Department.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Textiles, Teachers, and Troops: Greensboro, North Carolina 1880-1945 Public Launch and Programs in April 2014

Greensboro--Elm St. at RR Crossing Looking North
from a Greensboro College scrapbook, of student Mabel Pitts, circa 1920.  Courtesy of Greensboro College

How did Greensboro become the city it is today?  From 1880-1945, three distinct forces helped transform the city: textiles, teachers, and troops.  Now, six important area institutions have come together to create a free online tool that documents that transformation and makes it available to the public.  Two upcoming programs will highlight that tool and are free and open to the public.

On Tuesday, April 8, a public launch of the digital project Textiles, Teachers, and Troops: Greensboro 1880-1945 will be held at the Greensboro Historical Museum at 7 p.m. In addition to demonstration of the project website and a brief outline of Greensboro history during the period, Dr. Kevin Cherry, Deputy Secretary of Archives and History in the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources will speak.  On Wednesday, April 16, a panel discussion, “Historians, Digitization & the Future of Historical Research" will be offered in the Martha Blakeney Hodges Reading Room in Jackson Library on the UNCG campus at 4 p.m.  Panelists will include UNCG historians Lisa Tolbert and Anne Parsons, and PhD candidate Alexandra Chassanoff of UNC Chapel Hill.

Textiles, Teachers, and Troops makes 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, have collaborated 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 provides 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, coordinated by the Digital Projects unit in the University Libraries at UNCG, was made possible in large measure through funding from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources. 

The project partners for Textiles, Teachers, and Troops were selected due to their roles as leaders in the preservation and presentation of cultural heritage in Greensboro. Each holds responsibility for a different and unique perspective on the history and shared culture of the city.
  • UNCG University Libraries is the lead institution for the project and provided content, digitization, metadata creation, website hosting, and longterm storage of archival masters. Project Manager David Gwynn, ably supported by J. Stephen Catlett, was based at UNCG. Most of the content was provided by the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives.
  • The Holgate Library is the library serving Bennett College, a historically black college established in 1873 which has been an active part of Greensboro’s history, particularly during civil rights movement. The Holgate Library provided content and metadata for the project.
  • The Brock Historical Museum of Greensboro College preserves the history of the College, life at the College, and the College's relation to and influence on both the surrounding communities and society in general. The Brock Museum provided content and metadata for the project.
  • The Friends Historical Collection is the archival repository of Guilford College. Guilford College provided item selection and metadata creation and also assisted with the creation of contextual materials.
  • The Greensboro Historical Museum is the principal collector, interpreter and exhibitor of Greensboro’s history. The museum provided significant content and performed much of the digitization and metadata creation of these resources onsite.
  • The Greensboro Public Library is the municipal library system of the City of Greensboro and is home to the North Carolina Collection of local history resources. The library provided content and some metadata for the project. 
  • The Bluford Library of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University serves the campus of the largest historically black university in North Carolina. Some digitization and metadata was done onsite at N.C. A&T State and some at UNCG.

Among the most significant materials related to the textile industry in Greensboro are the Bernard Cone Photograph Albums and the Cone Mills White Oak Plant Stereo Card Photographs. Digitizing these collections make available for the first time over 1500 images of life in Greensboro’s textile mills and mill villages. The Cone photographs are particularly unique in that they were taken by a member of the Cone family, allowing something of an “insider” perspective into the spaces and the social and labor history that are preserved in the images. Greensboro’s textile mills and mill villages are documented by the inclusion of Harriet L. Herring’s book Welfare Work in Mill Villages and the Cone Mills promotional booklet Thirty Years of Progress: 1895-1925. 

As five of the six partners are institutions of higher learning, materials relating to education in Greensboro are, of course, a major part of the project. Particularly significant are the records of Charles Duncan McIver, first president of the State Normal and Industrial School (now UNCG). This massive collection, the largest collection to be digitized as part of Textiles, Teachers, and Troops, documents the founding of that institution as well as McIver’s perspective on the town of Greensboro at the dawn of the twentieth century. Additional education-related collections include course catalogs from UNCG and Bennett College, plus student handbooks and materials related to Board of Governors at UNCG’s predecessor institutions. Scrapbooks and correspondence collections from students at what are now UNCG, Greensboro College, Guilford College, and North Carolina A&T State University document not only student life but also the culture of the larger Greensboro community in the early to middle twentieth century. A collection of commercial photographs documents NC A&T State University and Bennett College in the 1930s and complement photographs of UNCG and other institutions that are already online. Guilford College is also providing an album with numerous photos of that campus in the late nineteenth century.

Several collections from Guilford College also document regional education themes in general, particularly in the area of women’s education (Mary Medenhall Hobbs Papers, Rachel Farlow Taylor papers), the interaction between colleges  (Robert and Lyra Dann Papers), and Guilford College’s history and connection to the community (selected series from the Binford papers, Duke Memorial Hall papers).

Also included, however, are several collections pertaining to public primary and secondary education in Greensboro. The Abraham Peeler Papers document African American education in the then-segregated city. The dual system of public education is also a theme of the Greensboro Board of Education Collection which includes a minute book from 1906 documenting all aspects of the system’s operations. Finally, a 1937 insurance survey records all buildings owned by the Guilford County school system at the time, including plans, photographs, and financial details on the schools. The records of the Guilford College Parent Teacher Association document activities of a community school in what is now part of Greensboro during the Depression years.

Relating to the subject of Greensboro’s military presence, particularly during World War II, probably the most significant collection is the Paul Younts Papers. Younts was the commanding officer at Greensboro’s Overseas Replacement Depot (ORD) and the collection documents in great detail the history of the depot, which was a major presence during World War II and shaped the development of eastern Greensboro for decades to come. ORD and its predecessor, Basic Training Center #10 (BTC) are also documented in the Luis Felicia Papers and the Jerry DeFelice Photographs. Closely related is a collection of Greensboro promotional guidebooks produced for soldiers coming to the city. These guidebooks not only reflect the military influence but also social and cultural life in Greensboro during World War II, as is also true of the selection of photos from the Carol W. Martin (Martin’s Studio) Collection, which document both the base and the city in general. Finally, the Klein Family Papers include material about a notable Greensboro family who housed and entertained Jewish soldiers stationed or passing through the city. An additional set of photographs, part of the North Carolina A&T State University Archives photo collection, further documents ORD/BTC-10 and provides a glimpse into areas of the base that are now part of A&T’s campus.

Additional collections include the Ned Harrison Collection, including recorded reminiscences of Greensboro during World War II; a rare 16mm film documenting a visit home by national war hero George Preddy;  the Puckett Family Papers, which document the home front in Greensboro during World War II; the McDaniel Lewis Papers, which document this community figure’s activities and correspondence during World War II; and a collection of scrapbooks pertaining to the World War II activities of a local chapter of the D.A.R. Finally, the Army Town Exhibit Files contain material compiled for the Greensboro Historical Museum’s Army Town exhibit in 1993, including oral histories and other material related to the military presence in Greensboro during World War II.

To provide additional context into the period, Textiles, Teachers, and Troops also includes a selection of rare books focusing on Greensboro’s development during the period including Greensboro: 1808-1904 by James W. Albright and several other titles.

The project incorporates material already digitized by the UNCG University Libraries and Greensboro Historical Museum as part of other projects, including Greensboro Historical Newspapers, Greensboro Pictorials, and Greensboro City Directories. We envision this as the first step in a larger local history portal that works with other community institutions to make accessible many more aspects of Greensboro's history.

The principal contacts for more information about this project are
 David Gwynn: email
Stephen Catlett:email

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Jennifer Keith to Give Lecture on April 7 at 3:30 pm on "The Works of Anne Finch: Manuscript, Print, and Digital Transmission"

For the past few years the University Libraries have invited  a UNCG faculty member whose work relates closely to the Libraries  to provide a lecture for us.  Dr. Jennifer Keith of the English Department worked with the Libraries' Electronic Resources and Information Technology Department to develop the Anne Finch Digital Archive. At 3:30 pm on April 7 in the Hodges Reading Room on the second floor of Jackson Library, Dr. Keith will discuss the significance of Anne Finch's work, the collaboration with ERIT, and the uniqueness of the project.