The Library Welcomes New Staff Members!

The Library is pleased to announce four new staff additions!

Zoe LeBlanc will join the Scholars’ Lab research and development team on October 2. She’s currently ABD in history at Vanderbilt University and holds an M.A. from Vanderbilt and a B.A. from the University of Toronto. According to Scholars’ Lab Director Alison Booth, Zoe’s analysis of global anti-colonialism in the ’50s and ’60s print media of Cairo, Egypt and other capitals brings new expertise on research in countries with non-Western archival practices and challenges. Zoe has experience in front-end web design, text and image analysis, and mapping and data visualization with React, Redux, Elixir, and Postgres. She’s fluent in French and Arabic, with a passion for making difficult DH methods accessible and enjoyable.

Robin Mitchell will begin at the Library on October 2 as the first Executive Director of Library Advancement, and comes from UVA’s Advancement team where she’s been Director of Major Gifts, Scholarships since January 2016. Before that, she worked in development at Loyola University Chicago and Northwestern University. Robin will manage the Library’s Advancement team and strategic development planning in addition to her duties as Major Gift Officer—she makes the shift as the Library embarks on its Bicentennial campaign and the renovation of Alderman Library.

Erich Purpur has been working since September 18 as a Research Librarian for Sciences & Engineering. Erich comes to the Library from the DeLaMare Science & Engineering Library at the University of Nevada, Reno, and has an M.S. in Library Science from UNC-Chapel Hill. As liaison to several science and engineering departments, Erich contributes to Library outreach and engagement with the STEM fields around the Library and data services. He has experience working with GIS, statistical, and 3D modeling technologies.

Christopher Welte (pronounced “Welty”) also joined the Library on September 18 as the Senior Design and Development Engineer for the Library User Experience Team. From print to web, exhibits to products, and art direction to brand management, Christopher has pursued a wide range of disciplines. He’s been an Industrial Design major, an Exhibit Coordinator at the Cincinnati Museum Center, a graphic/UI/UX designer at Kumho Tire, and at Crutchfield. UX Director Jill Heinze is excited that Christopher has an opportunity to “bring his beautiful design aesthetic, user interaction design experience, unique retail and cultural institution background, and delightful energy to our Library and our users.”

Welcome, Zoe, Robin, Erich, and Christopher!

The Hathi Trust Research Center offers Scholars a Sneak Preview of Research Tools!

The Hathi Trust Research Center (HTRC) is working to promote one of the hottest areas of literary research. Text-mining and non-consumptive research refer to a type of literary analysis in which the close reading of text is irrelevant. The important thing is the frequency of certain words. Scholars will of course continue to find meaning in literary texts, but studying the frequency and patterns of words published in thousands of books over time is opening new avenues to understanding literature. Computational analysis applied to the linguistics of Shakespeare, for instance, is determining which parts of Shakespeare’s plays were written by him, and which parts by contemporaries working with him—and who they were. Beyond questions of authorship, the impersonal analysis of words may also reveal previously unknown forces that have contributed to literary movements. Collecting the data is only half the battle; the rest is figuring out what it all means.

University Librarian John Unsworth has had a particular interest in text-mining since he was a faculty member at the University of Illinois. As a member of the HTRC Executive Management Group, he is part of the HTRC’s effort to encourage participation in the growing field of quantitative literary analysis. To tempt more scholars on board, the HTRC is offering a sneak preview of some of the sites it has in development, putting its 4 billion pages of scanned data at their disposal. Note that these are all development sites, and sometimes slow to load initially, but then your patience will be rewarded.

Get the Latest Reports on Business Conditions with the Library’s New Online Resource, IBISWorld

If you own a business and need information on market conditions, you don’t have to spend a lot of time and money getting the facts. Get up-to-date, comprehensive information, fast, from the Library’s new online resource IBISWorld—”the largest provider of industry information in the U.S.”

IBISWorld’s library offers over 3,000 industry reports that cover more than 700 industries across 5 major economies. A new feature offers over 1,000 procurement reports on the United States, covering the most purchased products in America. The reports are always fresh, providing information based on current conditions, not historical models. Fifty year ago “Plastics” may have been the one word Dustin Hoffman needed to know in The Graduate, but in 2017 prices for plastic are low, keeping industry growth down.

IBISWorld even analyzes future industry performance with Risk Ratings Reports, providing forward-looking assessments and numerical scores that allow users to instantly understand the level of opportunities and threats relevant to any unique trading environment. The IBISWorld Media Center is an industry resource for busy journalists on tight deadlines.

Other Services include

  • Specialized Industry Research Reports, keeping you abreast the latest business opportunities.
  • iExpert Industry Summaries, giving you snapshots of industries and the most vital facts and figures.
  • Business Environment Profiles, giving insight into the variables of weather, government policy, commodity prices, and consumer attitudes.
  • And Industry Wizard, allowing you to create lists that are most applicable to you and your business.

Please check the Library’s list of other new online resources. It’s updated daily!

UVA Today Features Article on Library Employee & Resident Playwright Sean McCord

Library audio-visual/information technology engineer Sean McCord has a play opening tonight, September 7, at 8:00 the Belmont Arts Collaborative, 221 Carlton Rd. in Charlottesville. According to an article in UVA Today, McCord’s play “Moving” will be the first production of the Charlottesville Playwrights Collective—a new theater company that the writer started as a forum where aspiring local playwrights can produce and collaborate together on their own work.

“Moving,” follows the lives of residents who move into and out of one apartment over a 30 year period in Silver Lake, a neighborhood of Los Angeles. “I was intrigued by the idea of taking a setting that gave me a platform to explore how the choices we make early in life can impact us and the people around us as we age,” McCord said. “It’s a story about growing, changing and yes, moving.”

The play will be performed on September 7, 8, 9, 15 and 16 at 8:00 p.m. General admission is pay-what-you-will. The collective has two more plays scheduled for spring.

Read more about the Playwrights Collective and how Sean McCord was able to realize his dream of becoming a playwright in the article “From Page to Stage: This Library Employee has Renewed a Passion for Plays” (UVA Today, 9/5/2017).

Ivy Stacks users may see delays during construction

In preparation for eventual renovations in Alderman Library, construction of the Ivy Stacks addition, an expansion of our off-site storage facility, began in summer 2017. The facility will double our current capacity, provide improved preservation conditions, and give the Library options for storage while spaces in the main Library are under construction in the future.

During Ivy Stacks construction, Library staff has access to the facility for retrieval only one day a week. On Tuesdays, all Ivy Stacks requests will be retrieved.

This means that any items that are requested from Ivy Stacks before noon on Monday should be delivered within 48 hours. Requests received after this time are likely to be delayed until the following week, but please know we’ll do everything in our power to retrieve materials as quickly as possible.

A rectangular building showing proposed doubled space directly text to it.

Bird’s eye view of planned Ivy Stacks construction.

The project is scheduled for completion in spring 2018. Visit for the most recent service updates.

Learn more about Ivy Stacks.

The Brown Science & Engineering Library Sports a New Look for Fall!

The Charles L. Brown Science & Engineering Library has been given a fall makeover. Seventeen sculptures dangle from the ceiling of the Library’s west wing reading room—sea creatures fashioned by Australia’s indigenous artists out of plastic fishing nets that have been lost or discarded to drift in the sea, killing aquatic wildlife and fouling coral reefs. The artists’ intention is to make the public aware of the growing ecological disaster of “ghost nets” and other plastic pollutants. The exhibition “Defending the Ocean with Art”—sponsored by the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Museum and UVA’s Department of Environmental Sciences—is featured in the UVA Today article “Ghost Nets to Art: Exhibition Raises Awareness of Ocean Litter,” and will be on view through Jan. 7.

But artwork isn’t all that’s new in the library. Beneath the representations of marine life in the west wing, the Library has added comfortable chairs so students can study and confer with each other in groups; in the east wing there are inviting niches for quiet study; and in the central computing area there are new public workstations. So come to Brown any time and check out the library’s artwork and amenities!

The west wing reading room of the Charles L. Brown Science & Engineering Library

The library’s east wing, with graceful new cubicles for quiet study

New workstations in the central computing area

UVA Today Features Library Exhibition on “UVA in 100 Objects”

On Thursday, August 24, the Library kicked off activities commemorating UVA’s bicentennial with its exhibition “The University of Virginia in 100 Objects: a Bicentennial exhibition celebrating the history of the University” in the main gallery of the Harrison Institute and Small Special Collections Library. The exhibition that will run through June 22, 2018 has been designed as a companion to the book “Mr. Jefferson’s Telescope: A History of the University of Virginia in One Hundred Objects,” by Encyclopedia Virginia editor Brendan Wolfe.

Items in the exhibition range from the historical (Jefferson’s telescope and walking stick) to the ephemeral (a UVA Barbie doll) to the powerful (an enlargement of a photo of Sally Cottrell Cole, a rare image of one of the enslaved workers at UVA). According to a featured article in UVA Today, most of the 100 objects—some on loan from private collections—are located in the gallery, while “others are scattered across Grounds at 16 satellite locations.”

Special Collections Curator Molly Schwartzburg says, “This is the most ambitious exhibition we have ever done” and “raises important questions about the selective process of writing history—what is brought to the forefront and what is left out. One hundred items cannot even begin to cover the history of this university, but it’s a compelling start.”

Read more about the Library’s exhibition in the article “UVA in 100 Objects(UVA Today, 8/25/2017).

The Library Hosts Tent in front of Peabody for Viewing Eclipse—Will Supply Glasses!

On Monday, August 21st, the Library will host an eclipse viewing tent in front of Peabody Hall. This event will last from about 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.  There will be a large number of eclipse glasses available so people can view for a while and then return the glasses for others to use.

Starting at 1:00 p.m. we will have eclipse glasses to give away or lend at each library:

  • Alderman will get 100 glasses that we’ll give away.
  • Brown Science and Engineering Library will have 20, ideally to be lent not given—at least until about 3:30 p.m.
  • Fine Arts, Physics, and Math libraries will have 5—again lent until about 3:30 p.m.
  • Law Library will have about 8 pairs for North Grounds eclipse viewing

The Charlottesville Syllabus: Educating the Public about White Supremacy in Charlottesville

Many in Charlottesville were shocked on August 11 when a torch-bearing procession of white supremacists marched on the Grounds of the University of Virginia to intimidate the University community with racist slogans, and on August 12 when—after a rally by white nationalists in Charlottesville’s Emancipation Park—a driver mowed down a gathering of counter-protesters, injuring many and killing paralegal Heather Heyer.

Should these events have been so surprising? The Graduate Student Coalition for Liberation has created The Charlottesville Syllabus to make everyone aware that Charlottesville is not the liberal safe-haven from racism some believe it to be, and that the city has its own history of tolerance for, and complicity with, white supremacy. “With resources selected and summaries written by UVA graduate students, this abridged version of the Syllabus is organized into six sections that offer contemporary and archival primary and secondary sources (articles, books, responses, a documentary, databases) and a list of important terms for discussing white supremacy.”

Watch the eclipse on 8/21 with free glasses from the Library!

Alderman Library will be handing out eclipse glasses on 8/21 (while supplies last) to encourage safe viewing of the solar eclipse that passes through between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. that day. Additionally, some other UVA Libraries will be lending pairs of glasses during the eclipse:

  • Brown Science and Engineering Library will have 20, ideally to be lent not given—at least until about 3:30 p.m.
  • Fine Arts, Physics, and Math libraries will have 5—again lent until about 3:30 p.m.
  • Law Library will have about 8 pairs for North Grounds eclipse viewing
Three images of people looking at the sky while wearing cardboard glasses with silver colored lenses.

The Library will distribute free glasses like those pictured here (as long as supplies last) from Alderman Library, and glasses will be available for loan from all UVA Libraries between 1-4pm on 8/21.

While no part of Virginia will see a total eclipse, Charlottesville will see about 86% of the sun covered by the moon at the peak of the eclipse (approx. 2:40 p.m.).

During the eclipse, visit the “Ask a Librarian!” table outside Alderman Library. Or, stop by the circulation desks at Brown, Math, Physics or Fine Arts Libraries. These locations have a limited number of glasses to lend out for viewing from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The table outside of Alderman Library will also have a Sunspotter telescope available for public viewing of the eclipse. This small telescope projects the image of the sun on to a piece of paper, allowing for safe viewing from all sides.

Don’t miss this massive celestial event!


Note: Now that we’re nearing the eclipse date, many of the reputable vendors of viewing glasses have sold out. Be cautious when buying online to ensure you’re adequately protecting your eyes. Safe eclipse glasses block all of the (invisible, but harmful) ultraviolet and infrared light from the Sun, in addition to almost all of the visible light. The glasses distributed at Library locations were purchased from reputable vendors, and are ISO 12312-2 certified.

Children and a park ranger look at a large spot of light in a triangular wooden structure.

Alderman Library will be showcasing a Sunspotter telescope like the one shown here.