The Therapy Dogs are here: give some love and get a lot back

Stressed about exams? Need someone nice to hang with? Take a break from studying and spend time petting a furry friend. The therapy dogs are back in the Library and want some attention. Make this a good day. Hugging a four-legged friend works wonders. You’ll love it, and they will too. See their schedule below.

Thursday, May 2, 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.:
Mary Brackett with her sweet dog Ruth will visit the Fine Arts Library.

Sunday, May 5, after 1:00 p.m.
Nancy Kechner and her Rex will visit Alderman and Clemons libraries and will be joined by Ollie and Kuiper (and their humans). They’ll divide their time between Alderman and Clemons. Kiuper is a big shaggy dog. Who doesn’t love a big shaggy dog?

Mary Brackett and Ruth will visit Brown Science and Engineering Library

Support open source Public Domain Song Anthology, published by Aperio

The Library is proud to announce that the first musical score of the Music Library Association Open Edition Series, the Public Domain Song Anthology, will be published by the Library’s open source venture, Aperio. The project—a collaboration between the UVA Library, the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Michigan Library—has secured substantial pledges from institutions around the country. Now the project is going public for the last chunk of funding. There are some pretty great premiums for individuals who contribute to the crowdfunding campaign, and your support will help ensure that the online anthology is available for free to anyone!

The Public Domain Song Anthology brings 373 classic American songs to music teachers, students, and performers—curated and arranged by David Berger, founding conductor and arranger for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and Chuck Israels, famed bassist for the Bill Evans Trio and founder of the first jazz repertory orchestra. Berger and Israels are donating new harmonizations and other content with a CC0 license so that teachers, students, and musicians can freely reuse, modify, and share all music in the anthology.

Funds raised by the campaign will cover:

  • The arrangers’ fees
  • Publishing costs for copy editing
  • Hosting files online with Aperio
  • Print costs to produce a physical copy for individual and library backers
  • Costs associated with other backer rewards

With your contribution, the Library can help eliminate the prohibitive cost of purchasing music that stands as an all too common barrier to learning. The release of 373 songs in the anthology unrestricted by claims of copyright from our arrangers means the songs belong to anyone for learning, playing, and enjoying.

The publication team for the Public Domain Song Anthology includes music library and copyright experts: Brandon Butler (UVA), Paul Cary (Baldwin-Wallace), Kathleen DeLaurenti (Peabody Institute), Dave Ghamandi (UVA), Melissa Levine (University of Michigan), and Matthew Vest (UCLA), with special support from Robert Schwartz of D.C. law firm Constantine Cannon, and Shebam Productions LLC.

Book Traces Awarded a $110,000 Planning Grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded $110,000 to the University of Virginia in support of strategic planning for the Book Traces project. The grant will support a one-year effort to scale the project to regional and national levels. Led by Andrew Stauffer (associate professor of English) and co-principal investigator Kristin Jensen (project manager in the UVA Library), the Book Traces project aims to discover historically-significant, uniquely marked and modified books in the circulating collections of academic libraries. Since 2014, Stauffer, Jensen, and a number of collaborators have been discovering and cataloguing books published before 1923, annotated or marked by their former owners, and currently shelved in open stack library collections. The goal is to preserve unique volumes and illuminate former cultures of reading and book use, and to change the conversation about shared print by demonstrating the scholarly value of well-worn copies.

Marginalia in a volume from the shelves of UVA's Alderman Library

Marginalia in a volume from the shelves of UVA’s Alderman Library
(Sanjay Suchak/UVA Communications)

The Mellon grant will support the expansion of the Book Traces project to a larger consortium of libraries and involve more librarians and faculty in its development. Activities during the grant period will include the testing of various methods to find and make visible the unique artifacts hidden among library collections, including tracing donations of books through university records; collaborating with partner libraries and consortia to sample their collections; and exploring the possibility of training computers to recognize the presence of marginalia on scanned page images.

Many North American academic library collections were built through donations of personal and family libraries, and many of these books contain some sort of marginalia. This is the genesis of the Book Traces project. A majority of these books were printed in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the era in which books became an affordable luxury and millions of ordinary people started making books part of their daily lives. People read books at home and took them along on journeys. Soldiers read aloud to each other while on campaign, marking their books with regimental identification; heartbroken women wrote notes in the margins about their lost loved ones; and schoolchildren doodled and traced their hands on the blank endpapers of books. Many of these books later ended up in the collections of academic libraries where they still sit today, largely unrecognized for the traces of history hidden in their pages.

The Book Traces Strategies Planning Grant builds on previous Book Traces work. In 2014, Stauffer launched, a crowdsourced website for collecting examples of uniquely marked books. “Book Traces @ UVA” was a two-year project (2015-2017) headed by Stauffer and Kara McClurken, the Director of Preservation Services at the University of Virginia Library. With funding from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), Stauffer and McClurken oversaw a large-scale survey of pre-1923 books in the University of Virginia’s circulating collections. Currently, Stauffer and Jensen are collaborating with Caroline Janney, the Nau Professor in History of American Civil War and Director of the John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History, on a project titled “Civil War Era Readers and their Books in Virginia Libraries,” with funding from a University of Virginia 3 Cavaliers seed grant. All of these efforts have benefited from the contributions of numerous University of Virginia student workers and volunteers.

Fourth Year Library Student Employee Sarah Hesler Awarded Graduate Assistantship to Attend University of Maryland’s I-School

UVA Library student worker Sarah Hesler is off to the University of Maryland’s College of Information Studies (UMD iSchool) this fall to get her masters in library and information science. While there, she will serve as a Graduate Assistant in the Preservation Department of the University of Maryland Library, following in the footsteps of her current boss, Director of Preservation Kara McClurken.  McClurken served as a graduate assistant in that same department nearly twenty years ago and credits her experience there as the reason she chose to focus on preservation for her library career.

McClurken couldn’t be more proud—of her student, or the mentoring program of the UVA Library Preservation Department.  “The preservation of our cultural history is generally not a subject that is known to most students as they are growing up—so few high school students imagine this as a possible career.  I know I didn’t.  We have worked hard in this department to support both potential and early career librarians and conservators so that we can ensure the good stewardship of our cultural history in the next generation.”  For McClurken, the fact that Hesler is not only going on to her alma mater, but will be working in the same department that launched her own career, is heartwarming: “Sarah is one of those students that you can see right away has so much to contribute to the world—she is hardworking, enthusiastic, and eager to learn.  I couldn’t be happier for Sarah or for my colleagues at Maryland.

Hessler (left) and McClurken, in the Preservation offices in Alderman Library

Hesler (left) and McClurken, in the Preservation offices in Alderman Library

We sat down to talk with Sarah about her current job and her plans for the future.

Where is your hometown? Virginia Beach, VA

What is your major? Astronomy major with a pre-medical track

What made you want to apply for your current job?  While searching for a job for Summer 2018, I found the listing for Summer Preservation Student Assistant on Handshake and after reading the description, I immediately knew it was the job I wanted to do. After working there for the summer, I stayed for the school year because I enjoyed it so much.

What do you like about your current job, and what have you learned?  I like the combination of critical thinking, creativity, hand-eye coordination, precision, and attention to detail required for preservation. I’ve learned so many concrete skills for making protective enclosures and mending multiple kinds of material, but I have also developed my own intuition when it comes to taking measurements or deciding how to best approach a project.

What made you decide to go to library school?  After working at Preservation for several months, I realized that I enjoy working in Preservation and in the Library in general even more than I thought I would. My original plan to pursue medicine no longer excited me like it used to, and I realized that it wasn’t what I wanted to do anymore. Working at Preservation has been one of my favorite experiences at UVA. While working here, I heard a lot about Rare Book School at UVA, and I eventually expanded on my involvement with the Library by applying for RBS’s Presswork Fellowship. My experience with RBS just increased my love for working with books and the Library, and I realized at some point during all of this that I should pursue what I really love—preservation. I decided that the best first step for this would be to attend graduate school for a Masters in Library Science, as this would increase my qualification for working in a library and provide the opportunity to learn more skills in an academic and professional setting. I’m hoping to expand my skills with rare or abnormal materials as I gain more education and experience.

Do you know what you want to study and/or specialize in?  My favorite aspect of library work is preservation/conservation, and I am interested in collections management as well, so I intend to focus on Archives and Digital Curation. I also really enjoy dealing with rare books and materials, so I am hoping to have some involvement with that as well.

What excites you about the UMD program and the Graduate Assistantship?  I am so excited to be able to work in the Preservation Department while I attend UMD. I have loved working with UVA’s collections, and I am very excited to see what the collection looks like at another school. The close proximity of UMD to Washington D.C. gives easy access to a huge amount of museums and libraries that I am hoping to build relationships with while at UMD. The UMD Graduate School places a lot of emphasis on balancing “a strong theoretical foundation with hands-on experience”, which I believe is extremely valuable for someone hoping to enter the library field as a career.

What else should we know about you? I have a strange major and background for someone entering the library field, but I think my different experiences will give me an interesting perspective on challenges presented to me. I also feel as though the people I work with at UVA’s Preservation Department have made my learning and working experience so fun. I learn from my bosses and fellow student employees every day. They inspire me and they are the best part of UVA. I’m looking forward to seeing where this path takes me.

Alderman Renovation: What to expect in 2019


Alderman Library will be closing for renovation beginning in May 2020. The 2019-20 academic year will be a transitional period where preparations will be made to minimize the duration of the closure. Alderman is expected to reopen by the spring of 2023.

The transfer of materials is the next step:

  • Materials will be moved from Alderman to Clemons and Ivy Stacks between May and December, 2019.

All items held by the UVA Library will remain discoverable in Virgo, the Library’s catalog. No materials are being removed from circulation.

  • During the renovation, high-use items will be available for browsing in Clemons, and the full collection will remain available on-demand from Ivy Stacks.
  • Visit Virgo, the Library catalog, to find materials and browse the full collection using Virtual Shelf Browse.

As materials are transferred, we’ll be easing access by increasing the rate of deliveries from Ivy Stacks.

  • For graduate students, we’re also expanding some essential services: we are now honoring requests for scans of articles and book chapters from materials that UVA owns and, beginning Fall 2019, we will be expanding LEO delivery service. Stay tuned for details!

Proposed view from University Ave with Nameless field and large Library building behind in similar style to current except expanded back entrance and patio spaceThe renovation will allow us to address necessary infrastructure and accessibility issues, improve overall usability, and better deliver Library services to a much larger user community than Alderman was built to serve. The renovation will create an environment that is welcoming to all and rebuild and restore the Library that has become an iconic symbol of the intellectual experience at the University of Virginia.

For more information, visit

Tyler Magill is the Recipient of the American Library Association’s 2019 Paul Howard Award for Courage

Tyler Magill of the University of Virginia Library has been awarded the American Library Association’s (ALA) 2019 Paul Howard Award for Courage for his actions on the night of August 11, 2017 in response to white supremacists marching at the University on the eve of the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville.

Tyler Magill in front of the statue of Thomas Jefferson at the Rotunda, University of Virginia.

Tyler Magill in front of the statue of Thomas Jefferson at the Rotunda, University of Virginia.

The Paul Howard Award, last given in 2017 to the Kansas City (Missouri) Public Library, is a bi-annual award given since 1995 to a librarian, library board, library group, or an individual who has exhibited unusual courage for the benefit of library programs or services.

In the nomination for the award, Magill’s colleagues expressed their admiration for him, noting that his actions “both on the night of the 11th and during the weekend demonstrated his willingness and ability to face adversity and danger with resolve . . . the (UVA) Library believes he symbolizes the spirit that the Paul Howard Award for Courage represents.”

Magill will be presented the award during the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, DC from June 20–25, 2019. With the award comes a citation of achievement and $1,000, which Magill plans to donate to the Charlottesville Community Resilience Fund, which “raises and distributes funds to meet the needs of people who face undue hardships imposed upon them due to structural oppression.”

Press release from the American Library Association news site:

2019 Paul Howard Award for Courage to Magill

CHICAGO – Tyler Magill of the Alderman Library at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, is the recipient of the American Library Association (ALA) Paul Howard Award for Courage. The $1,000 award and citation honors a librarian, library board, library group or an individual who has exhibited unusual courage for the benefit of library programs or services.

The award will be presented at the Award Reception and Ceremony during the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, DC.

A stacks liaison at UVA’s Alderman Library. Magill is recognized for his actions on the night of Aug. 11, 2017, during the “Unite the Right” rally on campus. He joined students at the Jefferson statue to help protect them from violence. They linked arms while being surrounded by white supremacists who were carrying torches and chanting “Jews will not replace us.” Unfortunately, violence did break out and Magill was injured and suffered a stroke on the following Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017. His actions, both on the night of the 11th and during counterprotests throughout the weekend demonstrated his willingness and ability to face adversity and danger with resolve.

In the words of Paul Howard himself, courage is “the quality of mind which enables one to face adversity, difficulty, or danger with resolution and fortitude . . . it is that characteristic which enables librarians to seek the achievement of goals in spite of all opposing forces.” Jury chair Laurel Bliss states that Magill’s “resolution to openly face the adversity within the context of the Charlottesville white supremacist rally made him a strong candidate for this particular award.”

Members of the 2019 Paul Howard Award for Courage jury committee are: Laurel Bliss, chair, San Diego State University Library, San Diego; Sharon Edwards, Motlow State Community College McMinnville Center, McMinnville, Tennessee; Brian Rogers, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chattanooga, Tennessee; Linda Weatherspoon, Wentzville, Missouti; and Becca Worthington, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Charlotte, NC.

For more information on the Paul Howard Award for Courage and other ALA awards, please visit

The Library presents SensusAccess—convert documents into useful written and audio formats

SensusAccess is a file conversion tool offered by the Library that transforms written documents into audio formats. It has benefits for the visually impaired but has a variety of uses for anyone who needs quick access to information in multiple formats. And it’s available to all members of the UVA community!

With SensusAccess:

  • You can convert lengthy Word documents into mobile-friendly ebooks and  MP3 files that you can listen to while driving, walking, or working at home.
  • You can convert inaccessible image files into editable text, or convert Word documents into tagged PDFs, or PowerPoint presentations into RTF documents or web pages.
  • You can study a language, converting text in a variety of European languages, American English, Latin American Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Mandarin, Cantonese, Taiwanese, Korean, Japanese and more.

The quality of the results depends upon the quality and formatting of the original document. Conversion results are best for documents that are primarily text and comply with accessibility standards (e.g. proper use of headers and formatting).

Documents less suited for conversion are those that contain scanned images of STEM content, complex mathematical equations, and graphs. However, good results are possible even in multilingual documents and those with complicated elements. Consult the very good E-learning Course at no charge. It’s divided into nine modules—modules 1–6 will help most users, while modules 7–9 offer advanced help for creating documents with a greater level of accessibility.

Go to the SensusAccess form, choose a file type or paste in the text you want to convert, upload it, and the resulting file will be sent to an email address you provide in the form.

IMPORTANT: this service is NOT sufficiently secure for the transmission of highly sensitive information, as defined by UVA’s Information Policy.

Learn something new! Request an item from Ivy Stacks

Ivy Stacks is an offsite preservation-quality shelving facility where some Library materials are stored. Items in Ivy will be marked as such in Virgo. But what if you want to access those materials? It’s easy!

To recall items from Ivy:

  1. Locate the item in Virgo
  2. Click the “Request from Ivy” button in the top rightA red arrow points to the button Request From Ivy in Virgo
  3. Follow instructions to log in. Note there are separate login buttons here for:
    • UVA Users (Netbadge login),
    • Non-UVA Users, and
    • Health System Users
  4. You’re now in our ILLiad Request System. The “Request an Item” form will automatically populate with information about the item you’re requesting. Review the request, add any notes about a particular volume or copy (if needed), and click “Submit Request”.

That’s it! LEO takes care of the rest.

LEO (“Library Express On-Grounds”) will bring your item(s) to your designated pickup location. You’ll be notified by email when your item has been delivered. Learn more about LEO delivery. 

View status and cancel

You can view the status of your requests at any time by clicking “Requests in Process”. If you wish to cancel a request, simply click the Transaction number and then choose “Cancel Request”.

Pro tip!

""Clicking the Virtual Shelf Browse icon in Virgo will let you view items side by side as they would be in the stacks.

Want to see Ivy Stacks in action? Check out “Inside UVA’s Ivy Stacks” from UVA magazine. 

Questions? Remember you can always ask a Librarian!