Category Archives: Latest News

WKU Libraries’ announcement of coming events and new collections.

Kentucky Live! presents Mary Ellen Pethel, “College Life and the Making of Modern Nashville”

Kentucky Live! Presents Mary Ellen Pethel on College Life and the Making of Modern Nashville Thursday, February 15, 2018 at Barnes & Noble Bookstore (1680 Campbell Lane) at 7 pm.  Everyone is welcome.

 May Ellen Pethel is an author, educator, archivist and historian.  After attending high school in Rome, Georgia she received her BA from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, her MEd from Berry College in Georgia and her PhD in history from Georgia State University.

Her newest book Athens of the New South: College Life and the Making of Modern Nashville was published by the University of Tennessee Press in 2017.  In it she explores how the founding and growth of Nashville’s colleges and universities impacted the city, region and nation.  She notes that by the twentieth century Vanderbilt University had become one of the country’s leading private schools while Fisk University was among the nation’s most prestigious black liberal-arts universities and Meharry Medical College had emerged as one of the country’s few training centers for African American medical professionals. Tennessee A&I became the state’s first public black college while various other schools: Peabody College, Ward-Belmont, David Lipscomb and Roger Williams University meant that Nashville was distinguished not only by the quantity but by the quality of its schools.

Her earlier books include A Heartfelt Mission: The West End Home Foundation, 1891-2016 published in 2017 which tells the history of a home on West End Avenue initially built to assist the Civil War’s many widow.  This “Old Woman’s Home” was funded a Nashville resident M. H. Howard.  Renamed the West End Home for Ladies in 1984 and moved to Vanderbilt Place. The last resident died in 2013.  Today the foundation distributes grants to local organizations that assist older adults.

Her All-Girls Education from Ward Seminary to Harpeth Hall: 1865-2015 was published by Arcadia Press in 2015.  It traces the founding of the Ward Seminary by Dr. William Ward and his wife Eliza in September, 1865, it’s merger with Belmont College for Young Women in 1913 and the establishment of a high school division as the Harpeth Hall School in 1951.

Berry College: A Century of Making Music (Arcadia, 2010) examined the 100th anniversary of music making at the college where Mary Ellen’s father Stan Pethel was chair of Fine Arts and where she spent much of her childhood.

She co-authored Piano Hymns for Dummies (Hal Leonard, 2010) with her father Stan Pethel which features 65 piano/vocal/guitar arrangements for 65 hymns from “Down by the Riverside” to “This Little Light of Mine.”

She currently teaches in the social sciences department at the Harpeth Hall School and serves as the school archivist and is a Global Leadership Studies Fellow and teaches in the Honors Department at Belmont University, both in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Drakes Creek Middle School receives WKU Libraries School Library Grant

Bowling Green, Kentucky – Drakes Creek Middle School Library was recognized on Thursday, January 25 for being this year’s winner for the School Library Grant sponsored by the Friends of WKU Libraries. This is the fourth year WKU Libraries has offered the grant to schools in the Barren River Area Development District.

The grant is made possible with funds from Friends of WKU Libraries and is given out to one middle or high school annually with different purposes, including improving collections or technology, for professional development funds, to improve students’ research skills, and to offer reading enrichment opportunities.

Renee Hale is the Library Media Specialist who wrote the winning application for the school. According to Hale, the grant money will be used to improve the technology of the library by creating a Green Screen studio for students to create and edit video projects.

“The video projects will encourage hands-on, creative application of thinking,” said Hale. “We are thrilled to be able to offer this to our students.”

WKU Libraries Dean Susann deVries, Library Advisory Council Chair Nancy Priest, and WKU Libraries Communications Coordinator Jennifer Wilson attended the school’s morning meeting to make the announcement to the entire student body and present the check for $500 to Ms. Hale and Principal Daryl Woods. For more information about the grant, contact jennifer.wilson@wku.edu.

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Kentucky Live! presents Ann DAngelo, author of ‘Dark Highway: Love, Murder, and Revenge in 1930s Kentucky’

Dark-Highway-Love-Murder-Revenge-Kentucky (10)

WKU Libraries’ last of this semester’s “Kentucky Live!” speaker series featured Ann DAngelo, an attorney for the Kentucky Department of Transportation Cabinet on the evening of November 16, 2017, at Barnes & Noble Bookstore in Bowling Green, KY. She talked about and signed her new book Dark Highway about the case of Verna Garr Taylor’s death on the night of November 6, 1936.

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Far Away Places presents Fedja Buric, “Bosnia: More Than Twenty Years Since Dayton”

Bosnia More Than Twenty Years Since Dayton (15)

With support from an IYO grant, WKU Libraries invited Bellarmine Historian Fedja Buric to be our guest speaker at Barnes & Noble Bookstore on the evening of Thursday, October 26, 2017, to talk about the history and the current situation in Bosnia.

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Kentucky Live! presents Joel Pett, Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist

Political Cartooning (17)

Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Joel Pett spoke in this year’s WKU Libraries’ “Kentucky Live” speaker series on the evening of Thursday, October 19, 2017. at Barnes & Noble Bookstore, a partner with WKU Libraries for community outreach services.

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Kentucky Live! presents Fred Minnick on “Bourbon: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of an American Whiskey”

Bourbon-the-Rise-Fall-and-Rebirth-of-an-American-Whiskey (10)

On the evening of September 14 at Barnes & Noble Books, Bowling Green, KY, WKU Libraries featured Fred Minnick in its Kentucky Live! speaker series as part of its community outreach initiatives. Fred Minnick is the “Bourbon Authority” for the Kentucky Derby Museum. He talked about his newly published book Bourbon: The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of An American Whiskey and signed it at the conclusion of his talk.

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Ricardo Marin Ruiz and “Cycling in Spain”

Ricardo-Marin-Ruiz-and-Cycling-in-Spain (6)

Our first speaker in this year’s Far Away Places series Ricardo Marin Ruiz spoke on cycling in Spain on Thursday, September 21 at Barnes & Noble Bookstore. Ricardo Marin Ruiz is a native of Albacete, a market town located in Southern Spain, where his family has lived for generations in a region immortalized in Cervantes’ Don Quixote de la Mancha.

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WKU Summer Start Program

On July 17, 2017, the library hosted 46 students from the WKU Summer Start program. This program is a new offering that lets first-year first-time freshmen start college a month early. The students take two classes in order to create effective study habits and begin experiencing college before the fall semester begins.

The Summer Start program contains a mixture of social and academic events. The participants work with peer mentors who teach them effective time management and study skills. They also receive introductions to various offices and services on campus that all students need to know about.

Derek Olive and Erin Holderman from Summer Start believe that the Libraries are one of the most important stops on campus. To Derek and Erin, the Libraries are so vital for college success that one of their first stops was the Helm-Cravens Library. In fact, students moved in on Saturday, started classes on Monday, and came to Helm-Cravens Library on Monday afternoon!

The Summer Start students toured the library with library faculty members Dr. Brian Coutts, Dr. Bryan Carson, Government & Law Coordinator Rosemary Meszaros, and Health Sciences Librarian Carol Watwood. Dr. Carson provided handouts and demonstrated the libraries’ website.

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Chinese artist Liu Shuling visits WKU Libraries

Liu and class in the Confucius Institute in WKU Libraries

In the Confucius Institute in WKU Libraries (from left to right): Dr. Wei-Ping Pan, Selina Langford, Carol Watwood, Shaden Melky, WKU students, Bryan Carson, artist Liu Shuling, Daniel Peach, Haiwang Yuan, WKU student, Dr. Bryan Coutts, and Liu’s daughter Liu Jiamei

On Wednesday morning, May 3, WKU Libraries faculty, staff, and students received a  lesson in Chinese calligraphy from famous Gongbi artist Liu Shuling in the Helm Library. Gongi is a careful realist technique in Chinese painting using highly detailed brushstrokes that delimits details very precisely and without independent or expressive variation. Hosted by the Confucius Institute at WKU, Liu Shuling, with assistance from his daughter Liu Jiamei and WKU Librarian Haiwang Yuan who served as translator, discussed his art on display in Helm library and taught library personnel and WKU students the history and art of Chinese calligraphy.

Liu Shuling teaches Chinese calligraphy

Liu Shuling teaches Chinese calligraphy, demonstrating one-on-one with librarian Bryan Carson

The exhibit received media coverage in China.

For more information about the exhibit, see an article from WKU news. See below for example’s of Liu’s recent artwork.

Liu's work in progress

Liu’s work in progress

Liu's work in progress

Liu’s work in progress, depicting an eagle

Liu's recent work featuring azaleas

Dr. Pan, artist Liu Shuling and his daughter Liu Jiamei, looking at Liu’s recent work featuring azaleas.

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“True Stories Artfully Told” at the Southern Kentucky Bookfest, 2017

(From Left to Right) David Gann, Fenton Johnson, Sean Kinder, and Holly Tucker

(From Left to Right) David Grann, Fenton Johnson, Sean Kinder, and Holly Tucker

The 10 a.m. session on Saturday, April 22 drew a crowd to hear the latest about new books from: David Grann, currently the nation’s hottest literary property, according to the Chicago Tribune; Fenton Johnson, one of Kentucky’s most acclaimed writers; Sean Kinder, one of this year’s nominees for the Kentucky Literary Award; and Holly Tucker, whose last book was on many people’s “best of the year” lists.  Brian Coutts served as moderator.

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Gann

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann

David Grann, whose new book Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, is moving up the best seller lists, talked about the years of investigative research he conducted into the murders of members of the Osage Indians in the early decades of the twentieth century.  It involved combing through FBI files and interviews with descendants. When oil discoveries made the Osage among the wealthiest citizens in America they were targeted by local white residents leading to murders, poisonings, explosions, etc.  Movie rights for this new book were recently auctioned off for $5 million.  A movie adaptation of his 2009 novel The Lost City of Z opened last week nationwide.  Two other movies based on his short stories True Crime and The Old Man and the Gun are in production.

The Man Who Loved Birds by Fenton Johnson

The Man Who Loved Birds by Fenton Johnson

Everywhere Home: A Life in Essays by Fenton Johnson

Everywhere Home: A Life in Essays by Fenton Johnson

Fenton Johnson talked about newest novel The Man Who Loved Birds and a new collection of essays Everywhere Home: A Life in Essays published this week.  The idea for the novel, which is set in Kentucky, he said, had been germinating for a very long time and had been prompted by the murder of a marijuana grower with drug connections in the early 1970s.  The novel involves the relationships between a monk in the Trappist Monastery of Gethsemane, a “marijuana” farmer, and a Hindu woman doctor who’s recruited to provide medical services for the county. Johnson’s next book, based on a 2015 front page article in Harper’s, is due out from Norton in 2018.

Una Merkel: The Actress with Sassy Wit and Southern Charm by Sean Kinder

Una Merkel: The Actress with Sassy Wit and Southern Charm by Sean Kinder

Sean Kinder’s wonderful biography of Covington, Kentucky film star Una Merkel was a finalist for this year’s Kentucky Literary Award.  Una Merkel: The Actress with Sassy Wit and Southern Charm describes her roles in more than a hundred movies, and countless radio and TV shows and memorable appearances on Broadway where she won a Tony for her appearance in the Ponder Heart.  The book was selected by the Huffington Post as one of the “Best Film Books of 2016”.  Sean was a guest at Covington’s summer festival where a new mural of Una Merkel was unveiled.  Kinder told the story of getting out of a cab on the Hollywood “walk of stars” (there are more than 2,600) almost exactly in front of the star for Una—taking this as some kind of sign!

City of Light, City of Poison: Murder, Magic, and the First Police Chief of Paris by Holly Tucker

City of Light, City of Poison: Murder, Magic, and the First Police Chief of Paris by Holly Tucker

Holly Tucker explained that while doing research for her earlier book Blood Work: A Tale of Medicine and Murder in the Scientific Revolution she discovered the hand written notes of the Paris Chief of Police during his investigation of the sordid affairs of poisonings, black magic, illegal abortions and much more, which involved not only the upper crust of Parisian nobility but even some of Louis XIV’s mistresses as well.  Talking about her new book, City of Light, City of Poison: Murder, Magic, and the First Police Chief of Paris, she answered questions about how Paris became the “city of light” (it was because they began to provide candle illuminations in the late 17th century), the various techniques used to poison unfaithful husbands, and various tortures used to extract information from those involved.  Suffice to say waterboarding is nothing new.

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