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Director of Communications
Around The Library
Andrea Malone, foreign language and ethnic studies librarian at the University of Houston Libraries, was recently selected as a 2013-2014 fellow of the Association of Research Libraries Leadership and Career Development Program (ARL LCDP).
The ARL LCDP is a highly competitive fellowship that prepares mid-career librarians from underrepresented groups to advance into leadership roles in research and academic libraries. The program focuses on developing a more diverse professional workforce that builds the success of research libraries in serving the needs of scholarly communities.
The 18-month LCDP curriculum includes three institutes; mentorship with an ARL library director; and the development and implementation of a research project.
“I was thrilled to be chosen,” Malone said. “It gave me a boost of confidence to pursue more challenging work.”
Malone’s research for the LCDP expands upon work she has previously conducted in collections assessment. She has designed a survey that will gather data on the use of foreign language materials by international students, faculty and researchers. The results of the survey will inform future collections development.
“I’m excited to go through all the data and see how I can better serve our international users,” Malone said. “I want to find out if there is a need for them to have more materials in their native language, or any other language related to their field of research.”
Malone is collaborating with the UH Libraries collections and online resources coordinator to sort the data. “Librarianship here is a very collaborative effort,” she noted. “We work together on many types of teams and research projects. We do better as a library because we collaborate.”
In addition to her role as librarian, Malone is also a professor of French at Houston Community College. She often posts quotes of inspiration and insight en français in her office, including the lyrical il faut réfléchir avant d’agir, translated to “think before you act.”
Malone’s roles as librarian and professor complement one another and allow her to perform better in each one. “As a librarian supporting class instruction, it helps me as a professor because I know what information is available to my students for research projects,” she said. “When I create assignments, I ensure there’s an element of research and information literacy.”
Being a professor of French allows Malone to relate better with University of Houston faculty to whom she serves as a liaison. She thoroughly understands their instruction and research needs, and encourages faculty to look to UH librarians as a source of knowledge for their research, and on better instruction of their students.
Being able to offer targeted services to the UH community is one of the distinctive features of the UH Libraries. “It’s often said that the library is the central knowledge base of the university,” Malone said.
For students, critical thinking and information literacy skills are essential, and UH librarians strive to reach as many students as possible to equip them with skills to carry forward into their careers.
“We work really hard to ensure that our students realize the value of the resources we have available,” Malone said. “It’s knowledge they need not only for completing assignments, but knowledge to take with them once they graduate.”
What do our web users need? That is the question University of Houston Libraries seeks to answer with its new Homepage Sketch Contest.
Student sketches will be used to help us understand what is important to our users, and the best and most common ideas will be considered when making updates and improvements to the library homepage.
All UH students are invited to enter the contest through November 8. Winners will be chosen by library staff. The first place winner will receive a Kindle Fire HD, and runners-up will receive library care packages. ENTRY FORM PDF
- Visit the M.D. Anderson Library between October 28 and November 8.
- Sketch your idea for the best Libraries homepage ever on a sheet representing a blank webpage frame at one of three designated locations on the first floor. Be creative!
- Submit your sketch to the Service Desk.
Judging will take place November 11 – 15. Top entries will be posted on the UH Libraries web site.
University of Houston Libraries announces the first-ever Game On, Cougars! event, to be held on Saturday, November 16 from noon to 6:00 p.m. at the M.D. Anderson Library in the Rockwell Pavilion.
Gaming enthusiasts from the UH community and across the Houston area will participate in an exciting afternoon of open gaming, including card and strategy games, board game demonstrations and Mario Kart (Wii) and Street Fighter (Xbox 360) tournaments.
Game developers will also showcase prototypes in need of play-testers, and vendors will display merchandise. Attendees will have plenty of chances to win prizes, too.
The UH Libraries is hosting Game On, Cougars! in conjunction with hundreds of libraries around the globe in celebration of International Games Day @ Your Library, an initiative of the American Library Association.
Game On, Cougars! is free to attend. Tasty snacks and beverages will be served. Register now!
University of Houston Libraries welcomes visitors to the new exhibit Collective HER-story, A Mosaic Masterpiece: Exploring the Carey C. Shuart Women’s Archives.
The Carey C. Shuart Women’s Archives and Research Collection was named in honor of Shuart, a well-known Houston philanthropist who has not only provided generous support for the collection, but has initiated many positive endeavors benefitting art, education, and women’s causes throughout the region. Shuart currently serves on the advisory board of UH Friends of Women’s Studies.
The archives emerged to capture the lives of women and women’s organizations in the Houston area, and the collection continues to grow. “It’s been very vibrant,” said Vince Lee, archivist in the UH Libraries Special Collections. “We have about 60 collections thus far and we have many more prospective donors in the pipeline.”
The collection illustrates the importance of women’s roles in the history and future of Houston and the state of Texas, making those stories available to scholars and the general public. It covers an important cross section of women in politics, philanthropy, social services, the arts, health and education, science and religion.
Some of the more illuminating materials include photos, organizational records and papers on trailblazers like Minnie Fisher Cunningham, a suffrage leader; former Houston mayor Kathy Whitmire; former Women’s Advocate and Executive Director of the Houston Area Women’s Center Nikki Van Hightower; and records from the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Other notable items include records, writings and photographs of the Houston Gorilla Girls, an anonymous women’s art collective, and memorabilia from the Houston Comets.
The physical exhibit, which opens on October 14 in the M.D. Anderson Library, includes a touchscreen component, as well as an online mosaic of various tiles that represent the breadth of the collection, and highlight how the women’s movement has evolved from the past and present to the future.
The multimedia component includes clickable images and video interviews of Houston Mayor Annise Parker, Carey C. Shuart, Dr. Elizabeth Gregory, director of the UH Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies program, and Cynthia Freeland, founding director of the program.
Viewers may also test their knowledge of Houston women’s history with an interactive quiz that provides a comprehensive overview of the collections, and, as such, will inform further research and teaching topics in women’s studies.
Lee noted that one of the more intriguing aspects of the collection is the realization that, through history, women were driven to forge their way in society to address their own needs and achieve their goals, and in so doing, had significant impact on the world. “Their collective voice became so loud that the rest of society had to take notice,” Lee said.
The UH Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies interdisciplinary program will host a panel discussion on women’s activism as part of The Barbara Karkabi Living Archives series in the Elizabeth D. Rockwell Pavilion in the M.D. Anderson Library on October 14. Following the discussion, curator Vince Lee will guide guests from that event to the exhibit for a tour and narrative overview.
The 2013-2014 season of Poetry & Prose: Creative Writers at the University of Houston kicks off on October 9.
The Evening with New Creative Writers will feature M.F.A. and Ph.D. students in the UH Creative Writing Program, including Martin Rock, Matthew Salesses, Adrienne Perry and Rhianna Brandt.
Martin Rock’s poems have appeared in Black Warrior Review, Bateau, Conduit, Salamander, Best New Poets 2012, and other journals. His recent chapbook from Brooklyn Arts Press, Dear Mark, is a response to the work of Mark Rothko and a previous chapbook, Fish, You Bird, was published by Pilot in 2010. He is editor in chief of the online journal of poetry, art, and translation, Loaded Bicycle, and is an assistant poetry editor for Gulf Coast. He holds degrees from Florida State University and NYU, and is the recipient of fellowships from the Starworks Foundation, InPrint, and the Port Townsend Writers Conference.
Matthew Salesses is the author of a novel, I’m Not Saying, I’m Just Saying, a novella, The Last Repatriate, and two chapbooks. He is the Fiction Editor and a Contributing Writer for The Good Men Project. He has also written for The New York Times, NPR, The Rumpus, Glimmer Train, American Short Fiction, and others. His latest project is a couple of ebooks forthcoming from Thought Catalog Books.
Adrienne Perry grew up in Cheyenne, Wyoming, the daughter of a rolling stone from Southern California and a mother whose family homesteaded outside of Gillette. In past lives, Adrienne has worked as a reference librarian, a chambermaid, a college counselor, an admissions officer, and an au pair. A graduate of Hampshire College and the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers, Adrienne is also a Kimbilio Fellow.
Rhianna Brandt is from Hays, North Carolina and has studied creative writing at Salem College and the University of Houston.
Now in its 14th year, Poetry & Prose showcases the talented writers of UH in the beautiful and centrally located Honors College Commons. “We have an amazing, Tier One-quality creative writing program, and Poetry & Prose is a great way to give our creative minds yet another venue,” said Kerry Creelman, UH Libraries coordinator of undergraduate instruction and outreach. “Houston is a great city for reading opportunities, and this is just one more that is geared towards the UH community.”
The 2013-2014 series line-up includes:
- Wednesday, October 9 – new Creative Writing Program graduate students
- Wednesday, November 6 – the Shrimp Boat Projects, a creative research project that explores the regional culture of the Houston area
- Wednesday, February 12 – an evening with non-fiction writers
- Wednesday, April 16 – featuring undergraduate Creative Writing students with work appearing in Glass Mountain
All readings are free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided.
The University of Houston Libraries has recently rolled out improvements to many web-based services, designed with the user in mind.
UH students, faculty and staff are invited to explore technology and research enhancements, including:
- Real-time computer, equipment, and room availability services. The UH Libraries have desktops, workstations, netbooks and multimedia equipment within the M.D. Anderson Library’s Academic Research Center and the Learning Commons, for use in-house and for check-out. Equipment includes laptops, HD video cameras, DSLRs, scanners and printers. Browse available equipment.
- Did you know that the UH Digital Library offers free online access to digital collections of historic and cultural materials documenting the University, the city of Houston, the state of Texas, and more? Browse the collections.
- Search, simplified: OneSearch is your gateway to articles, e-journals, databases, the catalog, and research guides. The Libraries created a streamlined OneSearch Help page to help users with their research questions.
On October 17, the University of Houston Libraries and UH Bookstore will co-host a book event.
The book’s afterword was penned by Julie Grob, coordinator for digital projects and instruction in UH Libraries Special Collections. The department collects archival material which documents Houston history and culture, including creative writing, architecture, and performing arts. Grob introduced the idea of a hip-hop archival collection at UH a few years ago.
Houston is a major hub of hip-hop. Influential artists in the genre have attended UH, like Paul Wall and Chamillionaire, and the University’s juxtaposition with neighborhoods in which hip-hop was born make it a natural repository to preserve a significant aspect of Houston’s culture.
“I felt that [hip-hop] is a nontraditional area of the arts that we weren’t collecting and there was no good reason why we wouldn’t be collecting that too,” Grob said. “It’s an important thing to document socially, but it’s also a way to connect the archives with our students and community.”
The Houston Hip Hop collecting area at UH began with the DJ Screw Papers and DJ Screw Sound Recordings, which paved the way for a gathering of other materials, including the Hawk Papers; Pen & Pixel Graphics, Inc. Records; Samplified Digital Recording Studios Records; and Houston Hip Hop Recording Artists Collection.
“DJ Screw developed his own innovative production style called ‘chopped and screwed’ which is associated with Houston, and important to document,” Grob said. “I was interested in the underground aspect of what he did. He did this without the backing of a big record label or commercial radio.”
DJ Screw’s family, primarily his father Robert Davis Sr. donated much of the material. Additional donors include Nikki Williams, DJ Chill, and DeMo.
The heart of the DJ Screw collection is its sound recordings, some 1500 12-inch vinyl records which he used to make his screw tapes. Photos and memorabilia, handwritten lyrics, video and audio recordings, posters and album cover artwork round out the composite hip-hop collection.
Grob met scholar Maco Faniel one day in the Special Collections reading room, when he was at work on the book as part of his Texas Southern University history master’s thesis. Grob learned about his project and the two began collaborating. She invited Faniel to moderate a panel at a 2012 Houston hip-hop conference, and he asked Grob to write the afterword for his book.
Grob noted that her interest in learning about hip-hop was driven by enthusiasm. In building the collection, she learned a lot from the people involved in the hip-hop community, which she cites is the basis of its success. “I just went to them and said ‘teach me what you know – tell me your story,'” she said.
The community’s response to the acquisition of the hip-hop collection has been overwhelmingly positive, said Grob. “People are incredibly excited that the material is being preserved, and the culture is being recognized. I’ve never worked on a collection that has had this much excitement.”
One of the more interesting aspects of Houston hip-hop is how it reflects the people and culture where it originated. In learning about the place and culture of hip-hop, “that was really exciting to me as an archivist,” Grob said. “I think that, in a lot of neighborhoods where hip-hop originated, the people have a limited voice, and the culture isn’t heavily documented in other ways. Hip-hop gives a voice to the life and culture of people in those neighborhoods.”
The public is invited to a book talk and signing of Hip-Hop in Houston: The Origin and the Legacy, with author Maco Faniel on October 17 at 5:00 p.m in the University of Houston Honors Commons, located on the second floor of MD Anderson Library.