Thursday, December 10, 2015

Synopsis of Sandcastle Girls, by Chris Bohjalian, Friends Dinner Speaker on March 22, 2016

Tickets to the Friends of the UNCG Libraries annual dinner on March 22, 2016 make a nice holiday gift, and are available by calling Triad Stage at 336-272-0160. Proceeds benefit the University Libraries at UNC Greensboro.

In his book, The Sandcastle Girls, 2016 Friends Dinner speaker Chris Bohjalian takes us on a journey that travels the terrain of his Armenian heritage, making it his most personal novel to date.

His website provides this synopsis:

When Elizabeth Endicott arrives in Syria she has a diploma from Mount Holyoke College, a crash course in nursing, and only the most basic grasp of the Armenian language. The First World War is spreading across Europe and she has volunteered on behalf of the Boston-based Friends of Armenia to deliver food and medical aid to refugees of the Armenian Genocide. There Elizabeth becomes friendly with Armen, a young Armenian engineer who has already lost his wife and infant daughter. When Armen leaves Aleppo to join the British army in Egypt, he begins to write Elizabeth letters, and comes to realize that he has fallen in love with the wealthy, young American woman who is so different from the wife he lost.

Flash forward to the present, where we meet Laura Petrosian, a novelist living in suburban New York. Although her grandparents' ornate Pelham home was affectionately nicknamed "The Ottoman Annex," Laura has never really given her Armenian heritage much thought. But when an old friend calls, claiming to have seen a newspaper photo of Laura's grandmother promoting an exhibit at a Boston museum, Laura embarks on a journey back through her family's history that reveals love, loss – and a wrenching secret that has been buried for generations.

For more information or to request  disability accommodations, please contact Barry Miller at 336-256-0112 or

Monday, December 7, 2015

Friends of the UNCG Libraries – The Year 2015 in Review


  • The UNCG sponsored series, The Globe and the Cosmos, is a year-long celebration of William Shakespeare and Galileo Galilei on the 450th anniversary of their respective births.  With strong holdings in the works of William Shakespeare, Special Collections and University Archives at UNCG’s University Libraries mounts an exhibit that exclusively focused on the Bard. The exhibit is called " 'That in Black Ink My Love May Still Shine Bright:' Selections from Five Centuries of Printed Works of William Shakespeare."


  • CSPAN features the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives during a broadcast visit to Greensboro.
  • Author, collector and former bookseller Charlie Lovett visits to discuss his new novel, First Impressions: A Novel of Old Books, Unexpected Love, and Jane Austin.
  • Keith Gorman of the University Libraries leads a book discussion of Pat Barker’s Regeneration.
  • Local historian and journalist Jim Schlosser presents a program about Greensboro at the beginning of World War I.
  • Jackson Library holds its first Vintage Viands event featuring recipes from the Home Economics Pamphlets collection in Special Collections and University Archives.  It is so popular it is repeated again in the fall.


  • University Libraries screen the documentary film “Ivory Tower” as part of the What Is College For? Series.
  • Docents from the North Carolina Museum of Art visit UNCG's Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives.
  • Members of the Jackson Society enjoy a reception with author Michael Parker at Scuppernong Books.
  • Gerald Holmes of the University Libraries is honored with a reception to celebrate being named the 2014 ALA Achievement in Library Diversity honoree.  American Library Association President Courtney Young is present for the ceremony.


  • Author and forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs addresses the Friends of the UNCG Libraries.
  • Camille Payton is elected chair of the Friends of the UNCG Libraries.  Rosemary Wander is elected Vice Chair.
  • Scholar Andrew Delbanco of Columbia University addresses the University community and the general public on the topic “What Is College For?”
  • Karl Schleunes of the History Department leads a discussion of Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 1001 and the Final Solution in Poland, by Christopher Browning
  • The Digital Media Commons in Jackson Library hosts the first New Short Film Festival.
  • Religious studies professor Greg Grieve presents a program, "Playing with Religion and Digital Games in the Library,"
  • Awards flow in to honor people who work in the University Libraries. Femi Balogun is chosen as our outstanding student library worker, and Paula Damasceno is chosen as the UNCG Student Employee of the Year. Lynda Kellam is the recipient of the 2015 NewsBank/Readex/GODORT/ALA Catharine J. Reynolds Award for government documents librarianship, and Library and Information Studies graduate student Kelsey Cheshire is awarded the W. David Rozkuszka Scholarship. Kyle Pope wins the Undergraduate Research Award given by the University Libraries.
  • It's almost time for graduation at UNCG, and, to celebrate, the Special Collections and University Archives Department installs a new exhibit on "Commencement Time at State Normal" in Jackson Library.


  • The Jackson Society Members' Choice event is a big success for the University Libraries, with new volumes of Thomas Hardy and William Shakespeare added to the special collections.
  • The University Libraries hold Staff Development Week and hold an Idea-Thon to explore ideas about renovation of Jackson Library’s First Floor Reading Room.
  • Ann Perdue of Access Services is recognized with the University Libraries Staff Service Award. 
  • The University Libraries project with the Hayes Taylor YMCA digitizes Greensboro history and draws media attention.
  • NPR listeners around the country are treated to a story about the Darlinettes, a big band composed of students from Woman's College (now UNCG) in the 1940s and early 1950s.  The story was drawn from materials in the University Archives.
  • A new exhibit in Jackson Library explores the history of physical education and athletics at UNCG, from the 1890s until today.
  • Douglas B. Moore joins the cellists represented in the UNCG Cello Music Collection


  • Clint and Terri Jackson plan testamentary gift to University Libraries.
  • Isabella Baltar of Preservation Services is awarded Libraries' Innovation and Program Enrichment Grant to create films about the care and preservation of books and other materials in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
  • Assistant Dean for Collection Management and Scholarly Communications Beth Bernhardt is named the Chair-Elect for the Association of Library Collections and Technical Services - Collection Management Section for 2015/16 and will become chair in 2016/17.
  • A new exhibit in Special Collections opens: Portable Likeness: Selected Portrait Miniatures and their Literary Context.


  • The University Libraries receive a grant for teaching with primary sources from the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives
  • Luther Hodges, Jr. donates a painting to the University Libraries which will be displayed in the Hodges Reading Room.  The painting is "Bassin Petrolier (Oil Fields)" by the French painter Arthur Van Hecke (1924-2003). 


  • UNCG Librarians Kathy Crowe and Jenny Dale lead a webinar for the Association of College and Research Libraries on High Impact Educational Practices, while Lynda Kellam coordinates a series of webinars about government information.
  • Reference Librarian and Diversity Coordinator Gerald Holmes is honored with two awards, one from the  General Alumni Association of UNC Chapel Hill and one from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, the Distinguished Service to the Library Profession Award for his significant and extraordinary contributions in service to the library profession.
  • Jo Anne Safrit (’57) a member of the Excellence Foundation at UNCG, makes a gift to the University Libraries Enrichment Fund, where it will support the Women Veterans Historical Project.
  • An exhibit of Maud Gatewood’s sketches opens in Jackson Library, in conjunction with a campus celebration of Gatewood’s artistic career.  She graduated from Woman’s College in 1954.


  • Newberry Award-Winning Children’s Book Author and Poet Kwame Alexander delights more than 1000 fourth graders coming to UNCG on a field trip, and inspires UNCG students training to become K-6 teachers, as well as the general public during presentations both at UNCG and at Bookmarks.  Alexander appears under University Libraries sponsorship with support from the Pam and David Sprinkle Children’s Book Author and Storyteller Fund.
  • Jenny Dale and Lynda Kellam lead a book discussion of Where Am I Wearing: A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People Who Make Our Clothes.
  • Our State editor and Friends Board member Elizabeth Hudson talks about her career, her education at UNCG, and other subjects to an audience in the Virginia Dare Room of the Alumni House.


  • The University Libraries Host an Open House in the Newly-renovated Digital Media Commons/Digital ACT Studio on the Lower Level of Jackson Library.
  • North Carolina’s Poet Laureate Shelby Stephenson visits the University Libraries to conduct a program and reading.
  • Rob and Janne Cannon lead a discussion of Being Mortal: What Matters at the End of Life, by Atul Gawande.
  • Margaret Maron presents Women of Mystery with Charlaine Harris.  Guests come from across the state.
  • Emeritus Authors Ann Saab and Lollie White engage in a conversation before an audience in the Martha Blakeney Hodges Reading Room in Jackson Library.
  • Dean of University Libraries Rosann Bazirjian announces her retirement effective April 1.


  • Bob Gatten gives a lecture and leads a discussion about Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis, by Timothy Egan.

  • As they prepare for final exams, UNCG students enjoy coffee provided, in part, by the Friends of the UNCG Libraries.  
  • The Jackson Society, consisting of the University Libraries leading donors, enjoys its annual social event, this year in the home of Tom and Linda Sloan.
If you wish to join in supporting the University Libraries during the upcoming year, you are invited to do so by giving online.