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UH Libraries Honors Outstanding Librarians and Staff

source blog: UH Libraries News


Dean Dana Rooks recognizes librarians and staff at UH Libraries 2014 Staff Awards reception.

University of Houston Libraries recognized its top-performing librarians and staff at an awards reception on April 23 at the Rockwell Pavilion. Dean Dana Rooks addressed the gathering with a message of appreciation for excellence in service, innovation and dedication shown by the Libraries’ exceptional group of professionals.

The Dean’s Library Advocate Award was presented to Cliff Redd, Associate Vice Chancellor for Advancement, and Kristin Burch, Executive Director for Alumni Relations, for their expertise in guiding the Libraries’ development efforts.

The Outstanding Group Award recognizes a group within the Libraries that has made an impactful contribution to its overall success. Rachel Vacek (chair), Nora Dethloff, Christina Gola, Vince Lee, Marilyn Myers, Shawn Vaillancourt and Frederick Young received this honor for their achievement in the development of the Libraries’ Strategic Directions.

The Digital Library Redesign Team received the Trailblazer Award for Leading Organizational Change, for their improvement of the functionality and look of the Digital Library. Members are Rachel Vacek, Sean Watkins, Chung Kang, Keith Komos and J Fisher.

The John P. McGovern Rookie of the Year Award recognizes a staff member who, though new to the organization, has demonstrated outstanding overall performance that shows he or she is becoming an important asset to the Libraries. This year’s winner is Santi Thompson.

The Student Achievement Award recognizes a student employee whose superior performance and accomplishments demonstrate that he or she is committed to carrying out the Libraries’ mission for UH. Bryan Bishop, a student employee in Special Collections, was chosen for this award. Catherine Gonzalez received the McGovern Outstanding Student Award for demonstrating leadership, knowledge and creativity in service for the Architecture and Art Library.

Pam Forbes was honored with the Staff Achievement Award for her integral role in the success of the Optometry Library, and especially for producing the 10th Edition of the Union List of Vision Related Serials, a resource used by institutions worldwide. Frederick Young received the Staff Achievement Award for his consistently high-quality initiative and creative problem-solving in Systems. The McGovern Outstanding Staff Award winner is Keith Komos, recognized for his seamless contributions to the critical resource of server infrastructure.

The Librarian Achievement Award recipients are Andrea Malone and Rachel Vacek. Both consistently demonstrate leadership in the profession and model values that inspire colleagues. Richard Guajardo received the McGovern Outstanding Librarian Award for forward-thinking organization and leadership, and the implementation of several large-scale projects that serve the UH community.

View photos from the Libraries Staff Awards reception.

HAWK Digital Collection Now Live

source blog: Special Collections Blog

HAWK on the mic at Texas Southern University

HAWK on the mic at Texas Southern University

The breadth and depth of resources in the the Houston Hip Hop collections continue to grow with today’s announcement that the HAWK Photographs and Memorabilia are now available for patrons’ virtual perusal at the University of Houston Digital Library.

HAWK, or John Edward Hawkins, was born and raised in Houston and, along with his older brother Patrick Lamark Hawkins (Fat Pat), was an integral component of the Screwed Up Click (a group of Houston area rappers centered around the pioneering production work of DJ Screw).  HAWK, Fat Pat, DJ Screw, and their friend Kay-K would go on to create the collaboration Dead End Alliance (D.E.A.).  Before Fat Pat could realize the success of his debut album Ghetto Dreams, he was shot to death in 1998 at the age of 27 and the album was released posthumously.

HAWK's brother, Fat Pat, pictured in a "Ghetto Dreams" promotional photograph

HAWK’s brother, Fat Pat, pictured in a “Ghetto Dreams” promotional photograph

HAWK’s solo debut, Under H.A.W.K.’s Wings, was released by Dead End in 2000, followed by his sophomore release HAWK.  However, after marrying longtime girlfriend Meshah Henderson in April 2006, John Edward Hawkins’ life was also tragically cut short when he was shot to death on May 1, 2006 at the age of 36.  Endangered Species, released following his death, would help continue the musical legacy of the S.U.C., D.E.A., and the Hawkins brothers.

page from HAWK's notebook

page from HAWK’s notebook

Here at the University of Houston Special Collections we are proud to preserve that legacy and make the HAWK Papers available for study to scholars interested in Houston hip hop.  The addition of these materials to the Digital Library, combined with the previous DJ Screw Photographs and Memorabilia and Pen & Pixel highlights, has us excited about the increased online access to a burgeoning field of research.  Among the highlights in this new Digital Library collection are publicity photographs, candid snapshots, as well as a personal favorite of mine, a notebook belonging to HAWK replete with his lyrics handwritten in gold ink on black pages.

Please enjoy these new items available for study in the Digital Library and come see us when you are ready to study all of these, and more, in the Special Collections Reading Room.

New image collections available to students

source blog: Architecture & Art Library

Bridgeman Education has recently added the Royal Asiatic Society’s collection of historical images, as well as 100,000 other diverse images, to its database.  Click here to search this database or search by the title “Bridgeman Education” in the library’s catalog at

University Archives at Bauer Alumni Luncheon

source blog: Special Collections Blog

Matt Richardson showcases a College of Business enrollment brochure from the early 1940s

Matt Richardson showcases a College of Business enrollment brochure from the early 1940s

Last week the C. T. Bauer College of Business hosted their third annual Gold & Silver Cougar Alumni Luncheon, where current Bauer students mixed and mingled with graduates from 25 and 50 years ago.

The University of Houston Special Collections contributed to the festivities as University Archivist Mary Manning and Program Manager Matt Richardson attended the reunion, showcasing a veritable mobile museum of artifacts documenting the history of the C. T. Bauer College of Business as well as the storied history of the university.  Pulled from a number of collections in the University Archives, the tabletop displays prominently featured the Bauer College of Business Records and UH Photographs Collection, including old College of Business brochures advertising various focuses of study (including Air Stewardess training!), photographs and documents chronicling the construction and dedication of Melcher Hall, commencement programs from the 1964 and 1989 classes being honored, as well as yearbooks and various items showcasing UH Traditions (like Frontier Fiesta) and athletics milestones (like the Game of the Century).

A rare treat indeed to see these gems away from their cloistered confines in the Special Collections Reading Room and those in attendance seemed most appreciative as they strolled down memory lane.

Bauer alumni and guests enjoying artifacts from the University Archives

Bauer alumni and guests enjoying artifacts from the University Archives

When asked about their involvement in reunion events like these, Mary Manning replied, “University Archives loves to be involved in alumni events. We love to show off all the great documents, photographs, and artifacts we have in our collections. Our materials remind alumni of their time at UH, and University Archives staff always learn something new about the history of UH from alumni—sometimes it even leads to alumni donating their memorabilia to the archives. It is a win-win situation. And a lot of fun!”

More pictures of the Bauer Gold and Silver Cougar Luncheon can be viewed here.  All of the artifacts mentioned above, and more, are available for study with a simple trip to Special Collections.

Literary Market Place-Access Problems

source blog: Electronic Resources Help

We are currently experiencing access problems to Literary Market Place, a database that provides publishing industry information.  We have contacted to publisher, and they are working to resolve the issue.  We will update this blog post when the resource is working again.  We apologize for the inconvenience.

College Ice Hockey… in Texas?

source blog: Special Collections Blog

UH Men's Ice Hockey Team, 1936, from the UH Photographs Collection, available in the Digital Library

UH Men’s Ice Hockey Team, 1936, from the UH Photographs Collection, available for high resolution download in the Digital Library

Our congratulations to the Union College Dutchmen who upset the top-seeded Minnesota Golden Gophers in Philadelphia over the weekend to claim their first ever NCAA men’s collegiate hockey national championship.  Union College triumphed in a bit of a Cinderella story, emerging as champions of the Frozen Four by defeating the the likes of Vermont, Providence, and traditional collegiate hockey power Boston College before skating past the Gophers with a 7-4 victory.

And here at the University of Houston, we know a thing or two about traditional collegiate hockey powers.

Oh what’s that, you say?  They don’t play real hockey in Texas and the University of Houston, of all places, certainly does not have a rich hockey tradition.

Oh ye of little sporting history.

Patrick J. Nicholson’s In Time reminds us that an upstart Cougar hockey team forged a cross-town rivalry with Rice University over at the Polar Wave Ice Palace on McGowen Avenue four decades before these two schools would ever square off on the football field.  Out of the blocks the Houston Cougar ice hockey team barnstormed through their season’s schedule, thrashed their competition, and went undefeated, outscoring their opponents on average three to one.  As one might imagine, however, finding opponents for a brand new hockey program representing a very young Houston Junior College was not easy and counted among the victories that year was a besting of Rettig’s Ice Cream Parlor among others.  The Houston hockey establishment was less than impressed with the Cougars’ competition and, as the 1934 Houstonian informs us, “Because of an incomplete schedule, the city championship was forfeited.”

For a few years the hockey program lay dormant until 1939 saw a new hockey team become the first sport to be sponsored by the newly chartered University of Houston.  The high water mark for Cougar hockey may have been the 1940 season as they attempted to reclaim a city title stripped from them just a few years prior.  This time there were no questions about incomplete schedules when a would-be dream season saw a regular season split with “Rice Institute” deal the Cougars their only loss and the Owls would go on to win a unique tie-breaking scenario, claiming the city championship for themselves.

From there, it would seem, enthusiasm for a University of Houston hockey team melted under the heat and humidity of Houston.  A war was waging half a world away and the nation’s youth turned their attention away from diversions like collegiate athletics.  Once the war was over and the veterans returned home, the diversions returned as well.  UH ice hockey, however, would not make a comeback and, to this day it persists in its slumber.

But, who knows.  In a 21st century where everything old is new again, perhaps that sleeping giant will wake up soon.

The Dogs are Back: Paws and Relax at UH

source blog: UH Libraries News


Paws and Relax at UH Libraries April 28 – May 1

The University of Houston is abuzz with end-of-semester prep. Students are gearing up to finish strong, and the pressure to ace those finals can be overwhelming. A nuzzle from a furry friend can help.

Local organization Faithful Paws will bring certified therapy dogs to the MD Anderson Library for four days of stress relief this month. Students are encouraged to drop in for petting, snuggling and treat-feeding with these gentle and friendly canines, which can have a direct positive impact on well-being.

Research has shown that interaction with a dog has numerous physiological and mental health benefits, including the release of endorphins (oxytocin) which produces a calming effect, and increased feelings of comfort, motivation and socialization.

UH students have enjoyed Paws and Relax since its inception in ­­­­­Spring 2013, when librarians Kirsten Feist and Kelsey Brett proposed the plan that would help boost academic success through stress reduction.

“We had read about the astounding success of therapy dog programs at other college and university libraries, and wanted to provide a similar experience for the students at UH,” Feist said. “We were easily able to find partners and volunteers, with enthusiasm for the event growing each semester.”

Student engagement in the event has increased. In Spring 2013, over 1700 students visited with furry friends in the MD Anderson Library. In Fall 2013, that number grew to more than 2100.

Faithful Paws therapy dogs will be at MD Anderson Library, rooms 106T and 106P on the following dates:

April 28: 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

April 29: 8:00 – 10:00 p.m. (concurrent with Finals Mania)

April 30: 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

May 1: 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.


UH Librarian Elected to Research and Scholarship Committee

source blog: UH Libraries News

Christie Peters, Science Research Support Librarian at the University of Houston Libraries, was recently elected to the Research and Scholarship Committee (RSC), a committee of the Faculty Senate.

The RSC serves as the advisory board for Rathindra Bose, Vice Chancellor/Vice President for research and technology transfer. The group formulates recommendations and policies that impact the UH research community.

Peters is the first UH librarian to serve on the committee in an official capacity. Having attended RSC meetings since 2010, Peters is well-positioned to represent the UH Libraries’ commitment and voice in research, a high-priority area of the University’s strategic principles.

“This important appointment will help the Libraries better respond to evolving needs of research faculty and students for collection resources, technical support, and data management associated with their research,” said Dana Rooks, Dean of Libraries and Elizabeth D. Rockwell Endowed Chair.

Phi Slama Jama at the Final Four

source blog: Special Collections Blog

Phi Slama JamaHeads up Cougars!  It’s Final Four time!

No, we haven’t stepped into a time warp.

And, no, our Cougars sadly will not be amongst the likes of the Gators, Huskies, Badgers, and Wildcats this weekend as they square off to determine college basketball’s national champion.

However, fans of the Red and White may notice a little Cougar hue to the TBS coverage prior to the Final Four on Saturday.  As part of their pregame analysis and with the help of resources from the University Archives here in Special Collections, the TBS team will take a look back to those glorious years in the early 1980s, when the Coogs’ dunking and dominant style of play struck fear in the hearts of basketball teams across the nation, but ultimately claimed a dubious distinction–becoming arguably the best team in history to never win a national title and being on the wrong end of one of college basketball’s most monumental upsets.

We understand if the diehard Cougars out there don’t want to relive the pain, again.  But, for those of us who can’t get enough of those glory days, coverage begins at 3PM EST, 2PM Central with “The Road to the Final Four.”  Be on the lookout for some old Houstonian yearbooks, chock-full of “Akeem the Dream” (sans the “H”), “Clyde the Glide,” and the rest of Texas’ Tallest Fraternity, to make an appearance during “The Final Four Show” airing at 4pm EST, 3pm Central.

Rare Georges Braque books on display

source blog: Architecture & Art Library

In connection with the retrospective on exhibition through May 11 at the MFAH, the Architecture and Art library display case is featuring the oeuvre of Georges Braque with monographs from the collection as well as limited edition prints from the Kenneth Franzheim Rare Books Room.  These resources at the library highlight opportunities for personal inspiration and scholarly analysis of the Braque exhibit at the MFAH, which presents more than 75 works and is the show’s only U.S. venue.  Library Assistant and School of Art alumnus Chelby King conceived and created the small exhibit after noting how many resources on Braque are available in the Franzheim collection.