John Casteen to Speak in Harrison-Small Auditorium on the Search for UVA Dean of Libraries

On March 24, at 4:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Harrison Institute and Small Special Collections Library, president emeritus of UVA, John Casteen III, will give a talk on “Some of What We Learned While Seeking Our New Dean of Libraries, or Things Are Not Always As They Seem (but Sometimes They Are).”

Casteen is appearing at an annual program presented by the Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia. His talk is free and open to the public—part of this year’s Virginia Festival of the Book (March 22–26, 2017). A reception will follow at Rare Book School in Alderman Library room 118.

Schedule of Book Festival events in the Harrison Institute and Small Special Collections Library:

Wednesday, March 22

Thursday, March 23

Friday, March 24

John Unsworth Speaks on 20th Century Bestsellers at the Virginia Festival of the Book

The UVA Dean of Libraries John Unsworth will appear today, March 22, at noon in the James Madison Regional Library on East Market Street to help kick off the 23rd annual Virginia Festival of the Book (March 22–26). His talk with cover his interest in 20th American Bestsellers and the courses he has taught on the subject.

Unsworth has helped compile a database of bestselling titles from 1900–1999, from “work done by undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Virginia, the University of Illinois, Catholic University, and Brandeis University, from 1998 to the present.” He has also created a digital exhibition featuring the Library’s Taylor Collection of historical bestsellers.

Come to the Jefferson Madison Regional Library and find out more!

UVA Today Features Article on “The Aviator,” on the 100th Anniversary of His Death

Before there was an Alderman or Clemons Library, there was the winged statue that stands between them; The Aviator was commissioned by the University as a memorial to the sacrifice of James Rogers McConnell, a UVA student whose Nieuport biplane was shot down by German aircraft over the Somme battlefield 100 years ago on March 19, 1917. He was the last American member of the Lafayette Escadrille to die before the United States entered WWI.There’s a feature in UVA Today about the current exhibition in the First Floor Gallery of the Small Special Collections Library, “The Aviator: Remembering James Rogers McConnell, A Centennial Exhibition,” which follows McConnell’s life from his time as a student, to when he was decorated as a volunteer in the American Ambulance Hospital Field Service in France, to when he became one of 38 founding pilots in the Lafayette Escadrille, through injuries, wounds, and finally, to his death. According to Special Collections curator Molly Schwartzburg, “He was not just an idealistic young man in search of adventure when he joined the flying corps … he expected that he was going to die.”

On Thursday, March 16 at 11:00 a.m., in the auditorium of the Harrison Institute and Small Special Collections Library, University Librarian and Dean John Unsworth will join President Teresa Sullivan, and Edwin Fountain, Vice Chair of the World War One Commission and general counsel of the American Battle Monuments Commission, in offering remarks at an event, “Soaring Like an Eagle into New Heavens of Valor and Devotion.” Members of McConnell’s family will attend, and there will be a wreath-laying ceremony at the statue afterward.

Read more about James McConnell and The Aviator in the article UVA Honors Inspiration for ‘Winged Aviator’ Statue, 100 Years After His Death (UVA Today, 3/14/2017).

Accept the Library Council Challenge to Qualify for Prizes!

The UVA Library Council is giving students a reason other than browsing the stacks and studying to go to the Library—now there’s loot! The Council is offering students a chance to win prizes if they’ll expand their on-grounds travels to libraries other than the ones they usually visit.

To participate, go to the front desk of Alderman or Clemons Library and ask for a passport card. Fill it out clearly with your full name and computing ID. After checking the hours of operation, visit seven of the eight libraries listed below by May 9 and get a staff member at the front desk of each location to punch your passport.

  1. Alderman
  2. Brown Science & Engineering
  3. Clemons
  4. Fine Arts
  5. Math
  6. Music
  7. Physics
  8. Small Special Collections

To complete the challenge, show your passport at Alderman Library’s main desk by May 9 and receive a free Library Council sticker you can display on your laptop. Drop your passport in the “Passport Drop-off” box to be eligible to win a $25 or $50 UVA Bookstore Gift Certificate!

So make the rounds, find your favorite study space, and maybe win something besides. The drawing will be held on Reading Day, May 10, and the Library Council will contact you about claiming your prize.

Good luck, everyone!

The Library Welcomes Brown and Clemons Stacks Supervisor John Hazelwood

The Library welcomes John Hazelwood who began on March 6 as Stacks Supervisor for the Charles L. Brown Science & Engineering Library and Clemons Library. John comes to UVA with experience overseeing the featured material and periodical collections of the James Madison University Music Library and the school’s performance audio-recording collection and archives. He has also worked as the Desk Supervisor of JMU’s Rose and Carrier Libraries.

Previously, John has worked as a student assistant at the Texas Tech Library’s Digital Media Studio, and at the Alexander Mack Library at Bridgewater College and the Bridgewater Music Department Library.

Besides library work, John has been a Pre-K and elementary music teacher, a beginning band director, a music retail store manager, and a piano tuner/technician/mover. He has a special interest in educational technologies, and has spent some time teaching himself how to code. He’s also an active musician and composer, and currently teaches saxophone as an adjunct instructor for Bridgewater College.

Welcome, John!

The Library’s Video Collection Features Pioneering Films that Inspire the Digital Age

The Oscars have been awarded; fans no doubt are discussing the merits of the winners and losers, perhaps asking questions about the future growth and development of the movies. It’s a discussion that’s been going on since the movies began. Now, the Library offers a front row seat for all that history. Early films can be streamed over Virgo from Kanopy, free to anyone with a valid University ID; and the Library continues to offer DVDs and blu-ray discs in the Clemons Library home video collection, and even laserdiscs from the Clemons vault and Ivy Stacks, unplayable anywhere except on equipment maintained in Clemons Library.

The Library collection includes films from as far back as Edison’s The Kiss (1894) and Frenchman George Méliès’s elaborate fantasies that were featured in Martin Scorcese’s 2011 film Hugo. Douglas Fairbanks’ acrobatics, that made him the movies’ prototypical action hero and the model for silent film star George Valentin in Michel Hazanavicius’s 2011 Oscar winner The Artist, are on display in When the Clouds Roll By (1919) and The Mark of Zorro (1920). Doug’s masked and caped avenger, concealing his identity and operating from an underground lair, was Bob Kane’s inspiration for creating Batman, and his swordplay popularized the swashbuckler genre that paved the way for Luke Skywalker’s light saber heroics.

If you’ve seen George Miller’s post-apocalyptic action-adventure Mad Max: Fury Road, you’ll want to view Buster Keaton’s The General (1926), a silent comedy about a true-life Civil War train chase, credited to Clyde Bruckman but actually directed by Keaton. Why? Because Miller learned to direct action by watching Keaton. “When I saw [The General],” said Miller, “I thought, ‘This is someone who’s incredibly careful with the camera and choreographs quite complex events inside the cuts’.” Miller asked his editor/wife, Margaret Sixel, “to cut Fury Road as a silent movie.”

Buster Keaton in THE GENERAL (1926).

Throughout the formative years, women played as important a role behind the camera as men. Alice Guy-Blaché was not only the first woman to direct a movie; she was the first person (male or female) to tell a story with film. And in 1927, star Lillian Gish and screenwriter Frances Marion collaborated on The Wind, about a woman trapped by a bad marriage and Texas dust storms, who kills the man who rapes her. It’s a rarely seen masterpiece available on VHS in the Clemons vault and on laserdisc in Ivy Stacks—playable on Clemons AV equipment.

Before Game of Thrones there was German director Fritz Lang’s Siegfried and Kriemhild’s Revenge, two parts of an epic tale about heroes, villains, and intrigue in a mythic medieval world. If Blade Runner (1982), The Terminator (1984), and other fantasies about the dominance of machines in a dystopian future are your thing, Lang got there first with Metropolis (1927)—the Library has both the restored version with an orchestral score and the 1984 Georgio Moroder version set to rock music.

From Fritz Lang’s film METROPOLIS (1927), the automaton with which Joh Fredersen plans to crush a worker rebellion.

Long before Nate Parker re-appropriated the title of D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation to tell the story of Nat Turner’s slave rebellion, African American Oscar Micheaux answered Griffith’s racism with The Symbol of the Unconquered (1920), about the importance of resisting racist aggression—part of the Library’s DVD set Pioneers of African-American Cinema. The LGBT community is represented in the very first feature-length comedy A Florida Enchantment (1914), a fantasy about a husband and wife who change sexes, directed by and starring Drew Barrymore’s great-granduncle Sidney Drewpart of the Library of Congress 3-DVD set The Origins of Film.

So browse the Library’s collection for classics that speak to you. Chances are there’s an ancient ancestor of a favorite movie waiting to be re-discovered somewhere.

The Library Releases New Video Explaining Fair Use!

If you think copyright laws were enacted so authors and their publishers can control the public’s use of their work and make themselves rich, think again. The U.S. Constitution empowers Congress to give authors and inventors an “exclusive right” to their creations “for limited times”  as an encouragement “to promote the progress of science and useful arts.” In other words, the product of an artist’s or inventor’s imagination is meant to be used.

All of the ways people make use of images on the internet—from sharing photos and videos via email and on social media, to reading PDF selections of published texts that professors post on UVACollab—would be impossible if it weren’t for the concept of fair use. As long your private use doesn’t interfere with the owner’s commercial use of the work, you most likely don’t have to get permission from the copyright holder, and you may be able to use more of some copyrighted material than you think, but only if you have good reasons.

To help patrons understand their right to fairly use copyrighted works, the Library has released a new video in which Director of Information Policy, Brandon Butler, explains in simple terms what fair use means and what its limits are:

Brandon Butler Suggests Simple Guideline for Celebrating Fair Use Week

Are you hesitant about using that great picture you found to illustrate a blog post, or worried that quoting too much from a single title for your term paper violates copyright? The Library’s Director of Information Policy, Brandon Butler, has come up with a phrase that can help determine if you are protected from having to seek permission from the copyright holder. Using writer Michael Pollan’s commonsense maxim about food, health, and nutrition—“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”—Butler simplifies the concept of fair use with his own phrase, “Use fairly. Not too much. Have reasons.”

“Use fairly” means taking from a work without superseding it, like a book review that doesn’t replace the book but informs people about whether or not to buy it, or transforming a work into something new and different that changes and adds value to it. “Not too much” means using an amount appropriate to your purpose, as with critical appraisal of an artwork that might require the entire image. “Have reasons” means being prepared to justify why your use is fair, and why the amount is not too much, given your purpose.

The most significant development in fair use for libraries this past year was Judge Orinda Evans’ finding in the Georgia State University e-reserves decision that the limit she had set earlier on the amount of a copyrighted work that could be legally posted was too restrictive. This time, instead of drawing the line at 10% or one chapter, Evans ruled that the deciding factor should be the effect of reserves on a book’s market value. Scanning substantially more than 10% of some works whose availability is severely limited, for example, may have virtually no impact on sales.

The rights that Judge Evans upheld—codified in the 1976 Copyright Act—allowing fair use of copyrighted material for “criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research” are essential to library staff who answer patrons’ questions about copyright, or who scan material for faculty to post as course reserves for students, and whose job in the Library is to reinforce the intent of the copyright clause of the U.S. Constitution—to “promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts.”

In recognition of Fair Use Week, please read the Library’s guide to Copyright and Scholarly Communication Resources, and please learn and promote the truth about fair use by reading and sharing the PDF, “Fair Use Myths & Facts.” The Library encourages everyone to continue using copyrighted material fairly, not too much, and to have reasons.

The Library Welcomes New Special Collections Instruction Librarian Krystal Appiah

The Library is pleased to welcome Krystal Appiah, who began on February 13 as the new Instruction Librarian for Special Collections. Krystal was most recently the Curator of African American History and a Reference Librarian at the Library Company of Philadelphia where her responsibilities included providing reference and instruction services to fellows and visiting classes, promoting the use of the African Americana Collection, and coordinating the Mellon Scholars Program of fellowships and internships.

She previously worked at the Maryland State Archives as a research archivist in the Legacy of Slavery in Maryland program. As a graduate student, Krystal worked in a number of archival repositories, including the archives of Brown University’s Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women, and the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History.

Krystal holds a Master of Library and Information Science degree from UCLA with a specialization in archival studies;  and an Master’s degree in public humanities from Brown University. She’s “thrilled to join the team at the University of Virginia Library and is looking forward to helping faculty and students incorporate the stellar resources of the Small Special Collections Library into the classroom.”

Welcome Krystal!

Notes Written in the Margins of Books Highlight Love Across Time in “Book Traces @ UVA”

This Valentine’s Day, UVA Today offers an article “Love in the Margins” about notes that lovers have inadvertently bequeathed us in the Book Traces @ UVA project—an effort to create an archive of books from the Library’s collection that have been uniquely enhanced by notations in the margins.

According to project head, English Professor Andrew Stauffer, “only a small percentage of [the books] contain emotionally revealing, personal notations … But it is clear that readers in previous centuries sometimes reacted to their books by inscribing parts of their lives, including their romantic feelings, within them.”

Stauffer’s favorite is a reminiscence of a love affair in 1900 that UVA student Jane Chapman Slaughter wrote into a copy of Longfellow’s Poems and Ballads. Slaughter graduated in 1935 at age 75—one of the first women to earn a Ph.D. at the University. Her lover, John H. Adamson, owned the book and would read to her from it before leaving to do missionary work in 1900, never to return. He left his book with her, and it found its way into the Library as part of a donation of her papers and books to the University.

Read more about romantic notations from the Library’s collection in the article “Love in the Margins” (UVA Today, 2/14/2017).