WKU Libraries Blog

News and events from WKU Libraries

WKU Libraries Blog - News and events from WKU Libraries

Faculty members of Library Technical Services attend training

NACO blog pictureDepartment of Library Technical Services faculty Laura Bohuski and Amanda Drost had the opportunity to attend a 4-day Name Authority Cooperative (NACO) training at the University of Kentucky in June of 2015.

NACO is a program where participants contribute authority records for personal, corporate, and jurisdictional names; as well as uniform titles and series to the Library of Congress/NACO Authority File.

The Library of Congress defines authority control as a means of establishing a uniform recognized title for the body responsible for authoring a work and using that title whenever the name is required as an access point in a bibliographic record.

Why is authority control important? It provides the library user a way to search the catalog more easily. When a controlled heading is established for an author’s name, works by that author can be collected and accessed under the same access point in the library catalog. Authority control makes it easy to differentiate between people and corporate bodies with similar or identical names. It also allows librarians to link works together even if they have different titles and editions. These features of authority control ultimately clean up the library database and makes it easier for users to conduct research.

At their training, Laura and Amanda learned how to create authority records that meet the Library of Congress’s standards. By following these standards, they are able to contribute authority records to the Library of Congress’s authority file database, which is used by libraries worldwide.

A Railroad Man

Bowling Green depot, 1936; Morehead Hotel, 1921

Bowling Green depot, 1936; Morehead Hotel, 1921

Edwin “Ed” Tanksley (1898-1975) joined the Louisville & Nashville Railroad in 1925.  By the time he retired in 1960, he had witnessed many changes in the railroad industry and its significance for his home city of Bowling Green, Kentucky.  The transcript of a 1967 interview in which Tanksley talks about his long career is part of the Manuscripts & Folklife Archives collections of WKU’s Department of Library Special Collections.

As a clerk and then a yardman, Tanksley became closely acquainted with the mechanics of train operation and the skill of his fellow workers.  There was Smith Wood, “one of the grandest men you ever saw handle a throttle,” able to “tool those big steam engines around these bends in the track and not spill a drop of coffee.”  There was engineer “Grandma” Garr, known for his love of buttermilk, and John “Dink” Petty, a wizard on the air brakes who could give his crew in the caboose a whiplash-free ride.  Their jobs could be stressful: Tanksley recalled the anguish of engineers unable to stop their trains to avoid hitting someone on the tracks.  There were also hazards in the yard, especially for those handling the couplers between rail cars.  “I used to work with men that didn’t have but two or three fingers left on a hand because they would get them pinched off,” he remembered.

Tanksley became familiar with many of the Bowling Green hotels that catered to railroad employees and the traveling public in the 1920s and 1930s.  There were the upscale hotels, the Mansard and the Morehead, the smaller Webb Hotel, operated by a former railroad conductor, and the Rauscher House, known for its good food.  Travelers on a layover in Bowling Green could pass the time at 5-cent picture shows, or at the Potter Opera House being entertained by minstrel companies whose actors and scenery came to town via the railroad.

The railroad also brought many VIPs through Bowling Green.  Tanksley remembered evangelist Mordecai Ham and whistle stops by governors, senators and President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  FDR was a “railroad man’s friend,” said Tanksley.  The Railroad Retirement Act, a piece of New Deal legislation that provided pensions to those two- and three-fingered retirees, was “the reason a railroad man is pretty crazy about Franklin D.”

Click here to access a finding aid for Ed Tanksley’s interview.  For more collections on railroads, search TopSCHOLAR and KenCat.

Elizabethtown Library Faculty Tony Paganelli wins Dean’s Research Award

Dean Connie Foster announced Library Faculty Tony Paganelli as the inaugural research award winner at the faculty kick off meeting Wednesday, August 19 in Helm 100.

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The winning  research instruction session was designed to provide student interaction utilizing the Interactive Video Service(IVS) system for all four campus locations at WKU. The overall theme of the session was based on the NCAA College Basketball bracket system called March Madness, which the session was titled “Research Madness.” The information provided for the session is based on the WKU Libraries’ Statement of Objectives for Research  Instruction.

The research session placed students in groups, which they had the opportunity to name their group or team. Once the teams were named, students were given instruction on specific research and library information. Following each instruction section, students had to complete a given task. The tasks were organized in three rounds: Elite Eight, Final Four, and the Championship. A grading system was created to determine which team won each round. Please note, all teams advanced to each round. The brackets were released at the end of the session to determine the winner.

The session provided the necessary information to aid students in the research process, while allowing them an opportunity to participate in a fun activity. I attached a full detailed abstract of the session, if that helps better describe the instruction. Let me know if you need anything else.

 

Kentucky Women Writers Conference Livestream Set for September 11 & 12

KWWC Square Color

Date: Friday, September 11
Time: 8:00am – 3:15pm
Location: Room 212, Visual and Performing Arts Library (VPAL), Cravens Library
Contact: Sara Volpi (sara.volpi@wku.edu)

Description: Join us for the first ever FREE livestream of the annual Kentucky Women Writers Conference, live from Lexington, KY. Hear from acclaimed authors like Ann Beattie, Jacinda Townsend, Sonia Sanchez, Meghan Daum, Emily Bingham, and more to help you hone your craft and leave feeling inspired to write. Tickets are valued at $200, but thanks to a partnership with Conference Director Julie Wrinn, we’ll be able to livestream sessions and panels all day Friday and Saturday straight to you here at WKU. All are welcome. You must RSVP to attend by emailing sara.volpi@wku.edu by September 7. Coffee and breakfast pastries will be served, and participants are free to bring personal laptops for notes.

Daily Schedule:   

  • 8:00 -9:00 am poetry reading by Sonia Sanchez, with introduction and Q&A by DaMaris Hill
  • 9:15 – 10:15 am “Can the Writing Life Make Peace with Family Life?” panel discussion with Meghan Daum, DaMaris Hill, Hannah Pittard, and Julie Wrinn
  • 10:30 – 11:30 readings by Jacinda Townsend and Emily Bingham
  • 1:00 – 2:00 pm literary agent Joy Harris’ talk (part 1)
  • 2:15 – 3:15 pm Publishing Strategies for Poets: panel discussion with Lynnell Edwards, Kristen Miller, and Katerina Stoykova-Klemer

ann beattie Emily_Bingham Meghan Daum

Sanchez, Sonia head shot Jacinda Townsend

Date: Saturday, September 12
Time: 8:00am – 11:30am
Location: Room 212, Visual and Performing Arts Library (VPAL), Cravens Library
Contact: Sara Volpi (sara.volpi@wku.edu)

Description: Join us for the first ever FREE livestream of the annual Kentucky Women Writers Conference, live from Lexington, KY. Hear from acclaimed authors like Ann Beattie, Jacinda Townsend, Sonia Sanchez, Meghan Daum, Emily Bingham, and more to help you hone your craft and leave feeling inspired to write. Tickets are valued at $200, but thanks to a partnership with Conference Director Julie Wrinn, we’ll be able to livestream sessions and panels all day Friday and Saturday straight to you here at WKU. All are welcome. You must RSVP to attend by emailing sara.volpi@wku.edu by September 7. Coffee and breakfast pastries will be served, and participants are free to bring personal laptops for notes.

Daily Schedule:

  • 8:00 – 9:00am “What I Think I’m Doing” fiction craft talk Ann Beattie
  • 9:15 – 10:15 am literary agent Joy Harris’ talk (part 2)
  • 10:30 – 11:30 dramatic reading by Carson Kreitzer, with introduction and Q&A by Eric Seale

Mammoth Cave Stereoviews 1866

The Department of Library Special Collections at WKU already has an impressive collection of illustrative material related to Mammoth Cave. These items include glass plate negatives, post cards, guide books, etc. A recent acquisition of a complete set Charles L. Waldack’s 1866 stereo views will greatly enhance these materials as Waldack is the first photographer of the cave. The 42 “Magnesium Light Views in Mammoth Cave” were published by E. & H.T. Anthony & Co. and include scenes of the Hotel, guests, the African American cave guides and many interior shots of cave formations. Waldack, origimage015inally from Belgium came to the United States in 1857. It was noted that he brought “sunlight” to the interior of the cave by the use of magnesium, so that one of the greatest natural wonders of the world could be seen by many. His biography from a special edition of the “Journal of Speleological History” (2000) notes: “These were the first high quality photographs produced underground in any cave. Waldack was naturalized as an American citizen after his marriage to Mary Tanner (born about 1849) of Kentucky, who was also a photographer. He set up a photography shop at 31 West 3rd Street in Cincinnati and made many excellent views of buildings, streets, and bridges between 1857 and 1873. Most important was his 42 stereo cards of Mammoth Cave. The Anthony series was continuously printed until about 1872, and 12 of the photographs were printed as engravings in the 1870 book, “A Historical and Descriptive Narrative of the Mammoth Cave of Kentucky” by William S. Forwood.

These stereo views can be seen at by visiting WKU’s Department of Library Special Collections or by clicking on the link to access the images at KenCat.

Tell Us About Your Discoveries

Library Special Collections has created a new website where our users can give us feedback on the cool things they are finding in our collections.

Library Special Collections is made up of three units:

All our units acquire and preserve materials primarily related to Kentucky and Kentuckians.  Here it may be possible for you to find your ancestors’ marriage record, family and community photographs, oral histories and everything you ever wanted to know about Western Kentucky University.

Come visit us in the Kentucky Building, Monday – Friday 9 – 4 and Saturdays during the semester 10 – 3. And tell us what you discover or have already discovered here.

High School Confidential

Letters to B.G. Davidson

Letters to B.G. Davidson

At this time of year, high school seniors face many changes in making the transition to college freshmen.  It was no different for Benjamin Gideon “B.G.” Davidson and his friends in Bowling Green High’s Class of 1933.  Some enrolled at WKU or at the Bowling Green Business University down the street, but B.G. headed off to Centre College in Danville, where he hoped to make the football team.

Nevertheless, the old crowd kept in touch.  In particular, tall, dark and handsome B.G. was a sought-after correspondent among the young ladies he had known at Bowling Green High.  “We are having a time up on the Hill,” wrote one.  She was happy with her schedule, which gave her Tuesdays and Thursdays off to “sleep as long as I want.”  But another was nostalgic for the days of their senior hijinks.  “Sam, Allen and I were talking about some of your all’s escapades in chemistry laboratory the other day,” she wrote.  “We had a good time down there at B.G.H.S.”

Of special concern among the group was whether the flirtations and romantic attachments of high school could survive distance and the new social whirl of their college lives.  As they reported on their leisure (and occasionally academic) activities, the young ladies B.G. had left behind couldn’t resist pulling his strings.  “Darling, the Cotillion Club is giving a Thanksgiving dance,” wrote a longtime sweetheart.  “But someone asked me to go with them; however, I thought it was going to be the night you’d be home for the holidays and we’d rather go together, hadn’t we? . . . At least that’s the way I feel about that night and every other night and day you’d be here.”  Her main rival for B.G.’s affections had joined him for a dance at Centre, but afterward nervously wrote: “I don’t see how you could remember me even a tiny little bit after all those good-looking women. . . .  I noticed you weren’t sporting your frat pin — so I guess one of them has ’bout beat my time.”  Nevertheless, she had returned home to dream of seeing her favorite beau “coming down the street — and all the good times we’re gonna have this summer.”

Letters to B.G. Davidson, which give a vivid picture of the joys, pastimes and obsessions of Bowling Green’s college-age youth in the 1930s, are part of the Manuscripts & Folklife Archives collections of WKU’s Department of Library Special Collections.  Click here to access a finding aid.  For more collections about schools and students, search TopSCHOLAR and KenCat.

A letter to B.G. Davidson

“Dear B.G. (Benjamin to you), Too bad we could not get together last Saturday, but after much arguing and persuasion mother consented to let me come to the Beta formal next Saturday night.”

New faculty orientation fair

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Library faculty Jack Montgomery and Scholarly Communication Specialist Todd Seguin talked with new faculty at their orientation fair held in the Augenstein Alumni Center on Monday, August 17, 2015.  New faculty were given packets of information about WKU Libraries, Library Faculty Subject Specialists, and how they can participate in TopSCHOLAR and SelectedWorks.new faculty orientation 0673