Updates on Alderman Renovation and Clemons Library Improvements

In an effort to keep communication lines open during these early days of renovation planning, “mini-newsletters” like this one will be periodically posted here, on the Library’s News page, and are simultaneously being circulated as bookmarks with a portion of ILS books. 

Alderman Renovation Update: Spring 2018

After receiving public feedback and conducting numerous planning sessions, HBRA Architects will be presenting renovation documents in June for BOV approval. If approval is secured, HBRA will move into the next phase and begin creating building schematics, which will convey significantly more detail about proposed layout of the renovated building.

Enabling projects (projects to aid in a smooth Alderman renovation) continue: Clemons Library will see improvements beginning this summer and Ivy Stacks expansion is nearly complete.

Ivy Stacks construction will wrap up in May, and the shelving facility will return to normal service (delivery within 12 weekdays) in June. Solar panels on the roof offset the preservation-quality conditions inside the facility, and the expanded capacity will be essential in the coming years.

Clemons Library improvements begin in Summer 2018

Cemons Library will close on May 14 and re-open in August, 2018. While closed, the building will receive a complete HVAC overhaul and several bathrooms will be renovated.

  • Collections will remain available and can be requested through Virgo.
    • Clemons Reserves will move to Brown Library, and Fine Arts video reserves will move to the Fine Arts Library. (There is no change to reserves that are currently found in Fine Arts and Music Libraries.)
    • Read more about summer collections availability in the Library news blog.
  • Clemons floors 2–4 will resume normal service in the fall.
  • Clem 1 will remain closed through the academic year for extensive renovation.

Stay up-to-date on renovation activities by visiting the Library’s Alderman Renovation page.

To receive Library updates in your inbox, including updates about the Alderman renovation, subscribe to the Library news blog.

No Big Deal: FSU Cancels Elsevier Bundle, Citing Outdated Model and Out-of-Control Cost

The following article was written by Library Director of Information Policy Brandon Butler and posted on his behalf

The Florida State University Library announced this week that they will no longer subscribe to the comprehensive bundle of journals (sometimes called the “Big Deal”) sold by the wildly profitable Dutch multinational publisher Elsevier. “FSU is being charged too much—all because of a poorly thought-out 20-year-old contract,” Library Dean Julia Zimmerman wrote in her notice to the FSU community. The Library’s decision came after 8 years of negotiations failed to yield an acceptable deal, and it was endorsed by a unanimous vote of the Faculty Senate and supported by the Provost.

FSU is just the latest university library to decide that “Big Deals” are no longer a good value. The public interest group SPARC (of which the UVA Library is a member) is tracking Big Deal cancellations, and they’ve compiled a long list of institutions who have walked away in recent years. Research libraries have long known that the Big Deal model is unsustainable, and observers have argued for years that academic mega-publishers like Elsevier are bad for science generally. The main question has been when and how universities will decide to stop sustaining them, both with subscription dollars and with research literature.

Canceling a bundle package doesn’t mean cutting off access to all of the literature owned by that publisher. FSU will use a series of strategies to ensure continuing access: subscribing to a subset of higher-value Elsevier journals based on usage statistics and faculty input, offering next-day access to unsubscribed journal content using electronic interlibrary loan, and subsidizing instant access to articles using a la carte purchase. Many libraries are also highlighting tools like Unpaywall and OA Button that help researchers instantly find legal open access versions of articles. Researchers at other institutions, including UVA, can help by posting appropriate versions of their research articles in open repositories like Libra, consistent with their publishing agreements.

Virginia research libraries negotiate collectively to obtain journal bundles, and the prices we pay are comparable to those paid by FSU. We plan to disclose more about how our collection budget is spent in the coming months. That disclosure is part of a campuswide conversation kicked off earlier this year by a presentation to the UVA Deans by Dean of Libraries John Unsworth. Watch this space for more as we work to ensure UVA is making wise, sustainable investments in information resources.

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ReSounding World War I—Music Library Helps Explore Context of Era’s Tunes

On Tuesday, April 24, from 5:30 p.m.–8:00 p.m. in the Garden Room in Hotel E of the Colonnade Club, the University of Virginia is hosting ReSounding the Archives, a concert and symposium that will feature the work of students bringing World War I sheet music to life. UVA music librarians Abby Flanigan and Winston Barham have been helping students from Dr. Elizabeth Ozment’s “ReSounding the Archives” course to select and research WWI era sources.

World War I ended nearly a century ago, and the unavailability of usable recordings has been a problem for scholars, and hopefully a thing of the past. Now it’s possible to hear the music without the recorded hiss and crackle of ancient phonograph discs, and to experience the songs from new vantage points—come to the Colonnade Club on Tuesday evening and get a fresh perspective on their social, cultural, and political uses.

The symposium is part of a larger project, which has brought together the University of Virginia’s Music Library and McIntire Department of Music; George Mason University’s College for the Visual and Performing Arts; and Virginia Tech’s History and English Departments, School of Performing Arts, and Special Collections to showcase student work and make available the digitized sheet music and recordings of each song on a website. ReSounding the Archives is sponsored by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (RRCHNM) and funded by a grant from 4-VA Research.

The symposium is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served!

Join the Library in Celebrating Preservation Week, April 22–28!

On April 18 the Library got a jump on Preservation Week (April 22–28) with an in-house demo of how to make iron gall ink—the most widely used ink from the middle ages to the early 20th century.

UVA Book Conservator Sue Donovan; Associate Director, Campus-Wide Partnerships & Services Ricky Patterson; and Senior User Experience Design & Development Engineer Christopher Welte assembled the ingredients for Donovan to whip up a batch of ink using Jane Austen’s favorite recipe that calls for “blue galls,” iron sulfate, gum Arabic, and beer. Galls are round pods that form on trees when wasps inject eggs to incubate in the stems—they provide a rich source of tannic acid.

As soon as the finely ground galls and other ingredients were combined in a dark mixture, the staff were given the opportunity to dip quills and write with the type of ink that Austen may have used 200 plus years ago to pen Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Northanger Abbey.

Preservation Week is dedicated to connecting library users and staff with preservation tools, promoting the importance and enhancing the knowledge of preservation issues among the general public.

Please join the Library in celebrating and saving our our cultural record:

  • Tuesday April 24, 10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m., in the Byrd/Morris room of the Harrison Institute and Small Special Collections Library, Associate University Librarian for Special Collections and Preservation Brenda Gunn will lead a book club discussion of John Grisham’s Camino Island, a novel about a priceless archival theft from Princeton University’s Firestone Library. If you need a copy of the book, contact Brenda Gunn and she’ll try to snag you a copy.
  • Thursday April 26, starting at 9:00 a.m. EST, UVA will participate in the Society of American Archivists’ Twitter Conference. The Library will focus on the work it’s doing with community digital collecting regarding events of August 11–12 2017. To follow along, see hashtag #PresTC.
  • Thursday, April 26, 12:00 p.m.–1:30 p.m., in the Byrd/Morris room of the Harrison Institute and Small Special Collections Library, Kress Conservation Fellow Nora Bloch will give a talk entitled “Reducing the Appearances of Tidelines on Leather with Rigid Gels” for the annual UVA Library Preservation Lecture. Bring your lunch. The Library will provide drinks and tasty treats!

UVA Library Contributes to Open Source Anthology of 18th & 19th Century Literature

Library Director of Arts & Humanities Chris Ruotolo (third from right) observes as English professor John O’Brien instructs students.

According to an article in UVA Today, many students download online copies of public domain works when they’re assigned in class. After all, why pay for an expensive edition from the bookstore when you can have the book for free? It’s a problem, however, when there’s no way of telling if the online text has been reliably transcribed or if it’s the correct edition. Are you getting the 1818 edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, or the 1831edition that was revised after critical reception?

To address the problem, the National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded a $73,000 grant to UVA English professor John O’Brien and the Library’s Director of Arts and Humanities, Chris Ruotolo, who are collaborating with associate professor Tonya Howe of Marymount University to build Literature in Context—a free, open source anthology that can be counted on for accurate, authoritative editions of 18th and 19th century American and British literature.

“The library has an interest in providing access to high-quality digital texts for use by UVA students, as well as the general public,” Ruotolo said. “Part of our role in this project is to ensure that reliable digital editions are preserved and discoverable for use by future generations of scholars.”

Holdings of “the most important editions” of Jonathan Swift’s works in the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library are another valuable UVA contribution to the project. And some of the students in O’Brien’s undergraduate course on “Satire” are annotating Gulliver’s Travels for the anthology, deepening their own appreciation of Swift while building what Ruotolo describes as “a repository of scholarship and public knowledge.”

Read more about the project in the article “What Page Are You On? Making Online Texts More Reliable for Teachers and Students” (UVA Today 4/12/2018)

Hacking the Stacks—Using Virgo’s Purchase Request as an Engine of Social Change

In the wake of last summer’s white supremacist torchlight demonstration on the Lawn and the deadly “Unite the Right” rally, the Graduate Student Coalition for Liberation (CSCL) came together to publish the Charlottesville Syllabus—an alternative media platform they hope will “educate readers about the long history of white supremacy in Charlottesville.”

Recently, the coalition brought the same passion for social justice to the Music Library to “Hack the Stacks.” The idea originated with Aldona Dye, a graduate student in the Music Department who approached Research Librarian for Music and Performing Arts, Abby Flanigan, about using Virgo’s purchase request feature with the goal of expanding the Library’s collection to include books by underrepresented authors and independent presses on a variety of social justice topics.

On April 6, members of the coalition came to the Music Library to make requests. They coordinated with the library’s collections and acquisitions teams, who were on hand to keep requests flowing smoothly and ensure that the number of purchase requests were what the system could handle.

To Flanigan, the event was a perfect convergence of interests, combining the coalition’s goal to ensure that there are adequate resources available on Grounds for “learning about and combating white supremacy” with the Library’s primary goal to ensure that students and the faculty have access to the research materials they need and want.

According to Dye, “Faculty are more likely to use library books as classroom materials, and students are more likely to use these books in their research papers when they can easily find them in the library stacks. Hack the Stacks helps to diversify the curriculum and topics of study that our students and faculty engage with.”

Among the titles on the coalition’s request list are:

  • Jennifer Baumgardner & Amy Richards, Grassroots: A Field Guide for Feminist Activisma how-to guide for social activism based on individual stories and personal experience
  • Clare Land, Decolonizing Solidarity: Dilemmas and Directions for Supporters of Indigenous Strugglesexplores what can go wrong when well-intentioned activists from colonial backgrounds take up the cause of Indigenous peoples, and how to get it right
  • Corbett Joan O’Toole, Fading Scars: My Queer Disability History—first-person essays and observations on the history of disability rights in the U.S.
  • Amy Sequenzia, ed., Typed Words Loud Voices—experiences of people who communicate in nonstandard ways in a world where only speech is valued
  • Sally Tomlinson, The Politics of Race, Class and Special Education: The selected works of Sally Tomlinson—writings on the history of social class, race, and gender, and how individual “problems” were connected to wider social structures and policies

The SHAFR Guide Online: Your One-Stop Resource for U.S. Foreign Policy History

If you’re wondering where to find the best resources for your next paper on History or Politics, start with The SHAFR Guide Online: An Annotated Bibliography of U.S. Foreign Relations since 1600—now available from the Library. The 2.1 million word online report, sponsored by the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR), lists resources compiled and annotated by top scholars, covering American Foreign Policy from early colonial times to the present.

The 30 chapters of the SHAFR Guide cover every type of historical source: government documents, biographies, monographs, book chapters, journal articles, web sites, and much more.

Chapter 1 offers a place to start, with a wide array of bibliographies, overviews, and syntheses that cover general topics.

Chapters 2–26 provide a chronology of U.S. history, each chapter focusing on sources that will help with research in a specific historical period beginning with colonial times and ending with the Obama administration.

Chapters 27–30 suggest works that will put you on the cutting edge of the hottest themes in modern-day research. For example:

  • Race, Gender, and Culture in U.S.—sources not traditionally associated with Foreign Relations research, from popular culture, media, art, music, religion, sports, and public diplomacy.
  • Economic Issues and U.S. Foreign Relations—literature dealing with foreign economic policy.
  • Domestic Issues, the Congress, and Public Opinion in U.S. Foreign Policy—works addressing the impact of domestic politics on American foreign policy.
  • U.S. Foreign Relations and Non-Governmental Actors—non-governmental organizations and inter-governmental organizations, and their role in U.S. foreign relations.

Each chapter arranges sources with links to primary published materials coming first (no more citing sources from someone else’s work). Next come works on historiography, then suggestions of topical material. For example, if you’re interested in how commercial enterprise has affected U.S. relations with Asian countries, and you look in “Chapter 6: The United States, Asia, and the Pacific, 1815–1919,” there is a category dedicated to whaling.

The SHAFR Guide Online: An Annotated Bibliography of U.S. Foreign Relations since 1600 is just one of the online resources offered by the Library. Please check our list of new online resources. It’s updated daily!

Carmelita Pickett Appointed as AUL for Scholarly Resources and Content Strategy at UVA Library

The University of Virginia Library is pleased to announce that Carmelita Pickett will join its senior administration as Associate University Librarian (AUL) for Scholarly Resources and Content Strategy, beginning in July, 2018.

Carmelita PickettDescribed as both “wise and diligent” in the acknowledgements of Lawrence Jackson’s The Indignant Generation (Princeton UP, 2011), Ms. Pickett brings with her a wealth of experience in both public and private research universities, most of it focused on the acquisition, organization, use, and preservation of library collections.

Ms. Pickett said, “I’m delighted to join UVA Library to further its mission to support the University of Virginia. Research libraries are even more critical in this age of information and technology, providing a hub for research collaboration, innovation, and entrepreneurial exploration.”

Carmelita Pickett has over 19 years of experience in academic libraries. In 2014, she was appointed Associate University Librarian at the University of Iowa, where she has overseen Access Services, Acquisitions, Research Library & Instruction, Special Collections & University Archives, and Scholarly Communications. In this position, she led the library’s strategic collection development and user services efforts.

Prior to her appointment at the University of Iowa Libraries, she served as Africana Librarian and later as Director of Collection Development Operations and Acquisition Services at Texas A&M University. In this role, she was responsible for all aspects of the libraries’ collection development strategy, and she was instrumental in developing a value statement used as an advocacy tool when negotiating with publishers. She also provided leadership for a collections budget of over $15M and managed the resource development efforts for the Texas A&M University System Library Consortium.

Ms. Pickett has also held previous academic library positions at Emory University and the University of California Santa Barbara.

The Library offers Mass Observation Online—Window into a Britain You Never Knew

England in the mid-20th century is the subject of the database Mass Observation Online. And now the raw data of daily life in Britain, compiled by the social research organization Mass Observation, is available through the Library, giving researchers a gritty, ground-level view of major social trends in Britain from the Great Depression through WWII and into the Cold War ’50s.

Mass Observation began in 1937 when researchers headed by anthropologist Tom Harrisson equipped an army of ordinary volunteers with diaries and open-ended questionnaires called “directives,” and told them to go forth and record whatever went on around them—to create an “anthropology of ourselves.”

They recorded everything—opinions about dancing, jazz, movies, the Nazi blitz, fashion, women in the workforce, politics, race, class, dreams, propaganda, television, attitudes about sex, conversations taken down in pubs, in churches, dance halls, the cinema, and more.Much of Mass Obervation’s data was condensed and published in file reports and books, but Mass Observation Online offers you the complete handwritten diaries, typescripts, photos and poster art collected by both volunteers and paid investigators—comprising a unique perspective on England’s popular culture in the years before, during, and after WWII.

Mass Observation Online is just one of the online resources offered by the Library. Please check out our list of new online resources. It’s updated daily!