Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Carol Steger of the Department of Communication Studies Talks about the Value of the Digital Media Commons

The Digital Media Commons is a wonderful service that helps faculty as well as students. The DMC made all the difference in my flipped instruction course this semester. Last fall I enrolled in the FTLC’s “Flip-the-Classroom Cohort”. Our goal was to use technology in new ways to engage our students outside of the traditional classroom. Once I was given my assignment the DMC was the first campus resource I reached out to.

 I needed to create 6 videos to be sent to students before the spring semester began.  And I knew absolutely nothing about how to do this.  The DMC staff sat with me many days patiently helping me learn how to record and edit videos. (I even learned how to film using a green screen!)  There were plenty of times during the process when one staff member I had worked with was not available, and another staff would step right in and assistance without skipping a beat. They were all a great help.  It took 60 hours of work to complete my work - some of it at the center and some of it at home – but the DMC’s staff was there to help the whole way through, via email, phone, chat, or in person.  If it weren't for the DMC’s kind guidance and expertise, I would not have been able to complete the videos on time, or as effectively.

One thing that I was impressed with is the fact the center is so heavily used by our students. Every day I was in there, I could hardly find an empty seat. The center is designed for group study and collaboration, and our students are taking advantage of the resource. The DMC is obviously filling a need and I encourage more instructors to recommend the space and service to their students.

--Carol Steger, Department of Communication Studies, UNCG

Thursday, February 19, 2015

University Libraries Appearing on CSPAN February

Dr. Keith Gorman
Ms. Beth Ann Koelsch
If you watch C-SPAN programming this weekend, you’ll see some familiar UNCG faces, including two from the University Libraries.  The UNCG related programming will air Feb. 21-22.

Recently, C-SPAN came to the UNCG campus and interviewed two faculty members of the Special Collections and University Archives Department in Jackson Library. They also interviewed two faculty members and one emeritus faculty member in the History Department.

Ms. Beth Ann Koelsch is curator of the Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project in the library’s Hodges Special Collections & University Archives. “Since it’s for C-SPAN2 “the book channel,” I pulled books from the collection including memoirs, books written about particular companies (for example, “The 149th WAAC Post HQ Company, 1940-1943: Our Story”), comics, books on the history of women in the military and books about the role of women in the military,” she said.

Dr. Keith Gorman, Head of Special Collections and University Archives, was also interviewed in Jackson Library’s Hodges Reading Room. He spoke about the archives’ World War I pamphlet collection, noting that the entire collection of these pamphlets have been digitized and are online.

C-SPAN was in Greensboro as part of its “C-SPAN Cities Tour” in which they cover the history of a city as well as its local authors and libraries.

In the History Department interviews, the emphasis was on specific books the faculty have published:
  • Dr. Charles Bolton was asked about his book from 1994 “Poor Whites of the Antebellum South: Tenants and Laborers in Central North Carolina and Northeast Mississippi.
  • Dr. Mark Elliott, an expert on 19th century Greensboro judge and author Albion Tourgee, was asked about “Color-Blind Justice: Albion Tourgee and the Quest for Racial Equality from the Civil War to Plessy v. Ferguson.”
  • Dr. Loren Schweninger, emeritus professor, was interviewed about “Families in Crisis in the Old South: Divorce, Slavery & the Law.”

The UNCG related programming will air Feb. 21-22. According to C-SPAN: “The history segments will air on American History TV (AHTV) on C-SPAN3 and the literary events/non-fiction author segments will air on BookTV on C-SPAN2. In addition, we will air special Greensboro programming blocks: C-SPAN2 BookTV BLOCK: SATURDAY, February 21 at 12 pm ET and C-SPAN3 American History TV (AHTV) BLOCK: SUNDAY, February 22 at 2 pm ET.”

See more information at

Adapted from a Campus Weekly story by Mike Harris of University Relations.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Appalachian State University Librarians Assist UNCG

left to right:
Kelly McBride, Lead Librarian for Information Literacy
Rachel Fleming, Lead Acquisitions Librarian
Pam Mitchem, Preservation and Digital Project Archivist
Beth Cramer, Coordinator of Bibliographic Services

The University Libraries at UNCG wish to thank their colleagues at Appalachian State University for meeting with the library faculty here on February 13, 2015 regarding the promotion, tenure and rankings guidelines and procedures at their library.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Weekend of Southern Literary Stars: February 21-22, 2015

We have been asked to let Friends members know about these upcoming events sponsored by the MFA Writing Program at UNCG, O. Henry Magazine, and the O. Henry Hotel.

For details, see:

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Graduate Student Helps University Libraries Expand Awareness of Makerspaces and Their Use in Libraries

Corrine Luthy is an example of one of the outstanding students who are working in the University Libraries while earning their MLIS (Master of Library and Information Studies) degrees at UNCG.  A former journalist in eastern North Carolina, Corrine recently completed an independent study/practicum expanding awareness and knowledge of the use of makerspaces in libraries, such as the one in Jackson Library.

A website she has designed to be part of her capstone project for the degree describes her work on Makerspaces.  For the Fall 2014 semester she worked with a three-person team at UNCG's Jackson Library - Beth Filar-Williams (distance education librarian), Brown Biggers (server administrator), and Michelle Folkman (graduate student/curriculum coordinator) - on a project funded by an LSTA grant through State Library of North Carolina. The goals of the grant were to provide makerspace training to Library & Information Studies students and collaborations with other departments on UNCG's campus. These goals were primarily accomplished by the team using a mobile makerspace (3D printer, Arduino circuitry kits, etc.) during online and in-person workshops at various locations on and off campus throughout the semester.

As a practicum/independent study student, one of her primary duties was to assist the team with their outreach activities to LIS and other academic departments. During the semester, she served as student liaison to academic departments on campus (anthropology), designed and constructed assessment tools using Qualtrics, wrote a proposal for a poster presentation at the annual ALISE conference (presented in January), participated in virtual and in-person makerspace workshops, and co-presented with the team at the North Carolina Library Association's College and University Section mini-conference.

Her colleagues at the University Libraries were especially impressed with Corrine’s writing skills and thoughtful, reflective approach to her work.  We invite you to browse her independent study journal of her makerspace experience at

Planning to graduate in May, Corrine is continuing to work with the Makerspace project during the spring 2015 semester.  Her career interests include special collections and archives, public libraries, and (not surprisingly) makerspaces.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Special Collections and University Archives Teach Students in Myriad Ways

As an increasing number faculty at UNCG see it, those treasures stored in the Special Collections and University Archives are tools for helping UNCG students learn, express themselves, and develop their skills.  Making available and engaging students, faculty and researchers in the active use of primary sources is a major goal of the Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) Department, headed by Dr. Keith Gorman, himself a historian.

During 2014, the Department worked with or made presentations to 84 classes and presentations involving more than 1400 students, and the engagement is growing each year.   Given our collections and the nature of the subjects, one might expect classes with students in History, English, or Art, but other departments and classes represented include African American Studies; Women and Gender Studies; Photography; Kinesiology; Music; Education; Interior Architecture; Consumer Apparel and Retail; Food; and Latin.

This growing use of special collections and archival collections does not happen haphazardly.  Gorman notes that teams of archivists and librarians each semester examine class offerings and consider how specific collections might be incorporated into those classes. Kathelene Smith, an archivist in the department, then reaches out to faculty to gauge their interest.  She also pairs interested faculty with the appropriate subject specialist.   Members of the SCUA department, several of whom have additional academic degrees and experience as teachers and deep knowledge of collections, are able to customize the experience for the specific class being offered.  Some classes involve a single class visit to the department, some use digital resources, and some instructors give assignments that bring a student back to the department multiple times in a semester to conduct research.

UNCG’s faculty members seem to appreciate this kind of professional interaction, which usually involves more than just a cursory review of collections.  Feedback indicates that they find the department knowledgeable, supportive, and approachable, and more than a few have found the specific ideas introduce them to ways of incorporating primary source materials into their teaching that they hadn’t thought of and that students find to be fun and exciting ways to learn.  If you want to excite a student about a topic, Gorman says, showing them primary source materials can do that in a way nothing else can.

Few professors at UNCG know how to incorporate the department and its resources into their teaching better than Dr. Lisa Tolbert of the UNCG History Department, who for the past four years has worked with the Libraries to teach students preparing to become social studies teachers.  Her historical methods class (HIS 430: Historical Methods for Social Studies) has students working with one-of-a-kind materials in the UNCG Archives and more recently with our collection of scrapbooks. For several years, current  students were assigned to research a particular student from the University’s past.  Some got so attached to their assigned past student that they even researched their lives after graduation.  In recent years, the digitization of the large collection of scrapbooks provided a springboard to learning about the study of cultural history and education, the use of photographs, and the relationship of the scrapbooks to other collections of archival resources.

Whatever the class and whatever the student, the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives may have resources that can make learning come alive for the current generation of UNCG students.  Contact Kathelene Smith at or Keith Gorman at for more information.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Former Assistant Director Bob Galbreath Dies

Courage is often identified as a dramatic act of bravery in combat, saving someone’s life at personal risk, or some other heroic action.  There is, however, a quieter kind of courage that all too often goes unrecognized.

Bob Galbreath, who died on February 1, exemplified this quieter courage.  After serving as Assistant Director for Collection Management in Jackson Library beginning in 1990, Bob was stricken with multiple sclerosis and found it necessary to stop working due to disability in 2000, officially retiring in 2004. For over fifteen years Bob fought this dread illness with determination and optimism.  Though confined totally to his bed and unable to attend scholarly presentations or conferences or cultural events that he loved, Bob never lost his love of life or his sense of humor. 

A dedicated scholar with a Ph.D. in history, Bob taught at the college level, served for a number of years as director of the honors program at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, and held responsible positions at the libraries at Northwestern University and Loyola University before coming to UNCG.  He was a voracious reader with interests in a wide spectrum of fields, and even a casual conversation with Bob revealed his erudition in many subjects.  During his varied career he published articles and book reviews in such areas as religion, history and political science, philosophy, popular culture, and library science. 

More than most people who have not had to face a continuous ordeal of surgeries and long hospital stays, Bob stayed abreast of world events and new developments through books, newspapers, magazines, TV and the Internet, always finding something new and interesting and always eager to engage his visitors in conversation over some new or controversial issue.  

 Never complaining, Bob Galbreath inspired his friends with his indomitable spirit and optimism in the face of his unrelenting illness.  Bob served as a prime exemplifier of quiet courage and dignity, and he will be greatly missed.

Prepared by his friend and colleague, Dr. Bill Finley, former Director of Special Collections and University Archives at the University Libraries

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Home Economics Pamphlets Collection Inspires Cooking Contest and Taste Testing on Friday, February 13

Please join University Library's Digital Projects Team for Vintage Viands, a taste testing of vintage recipes showcased in the online Home Economics, Food, and Nutrition Pamphlets Collection in the Libraries' Special Collections and University Archives Department. 

Faculty and staff of the University Libraries will be working hard to make these recipes as authentic as possible for people to try. There will be a competition for the best and worst food from the recipes, so we invite library patrons to attend, and need your taste buds and your votes!

The tasting event will be Friday, February 13, 2015 from 12:30-2:30 in the Reading Room of Jackson Library. We will be serving food until it runs out, so come out early!

In addition to the taste testing, the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collection & University Archives will have a display of the actual pamphlets held by the Libraries.

Please contact Callie Coward at or 336-334-5781 or Erica Rau at if you have additional questions.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Center for Creative Writing in the Arts Newsletter, January 30, 2015

Courtesy of Shawn Delgado and the Center for Creative Writing in the Arts, here is their latest e-newsletter: