Category Archives: Past Events

Southern Kentucky Book Fest celebrated its 18th year

The Southern Kentucky Book Fest celebrated its 18th year this past April, welcoming over 140 authors and illustrators to the Knicely Center in Bowling Green for two full days of celebrating reading and the love of books. With dozens of panels and presentations on Saturday, book fans were able to learn from and interact with best-selling authors representing all literary genres. On Friday, aspiring teen and adult writers attended writing conferences with authors, focusing on everything from writing with the 5 senses to character development and more.

SOKY Book Fest events are free and open to the public, and we’ve got plenty of exciting programs to celebrate literacy throughout the year. Visit our website, or find us on facebook, twitter, and Instagram for updates and announcements. If you have any questions, send an email to Book Fest coordinator and Literary Outreach Coordinator Sara Volpi at

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Filed under Events, Flickr Photos, Past Events, SOKY Book Fest

Haiwang Yuan translates popular children’s book series

Haiwang Yuan, Professor of Library Public Services, WKU, has recently published his translation of Different Carmela, a set of children’s picture books in China. This set of 12 books were originally the work of French author and illustrator Christian Jolibois and Christian Heinrich. It was translated into Chinese and sold millions in China. Yuan was invited to translate the Chinese version into English, as many of the Chinese parents want their children to start learning English at an early age. The original French version has won the French Cherbourg Teenagers’ Book Awards in 2001, the French Goncourt Children Literature Awards in 2003, the French Country Children’s Literature Awards in 2003, and the French Le Havre Children Literature Jury Awards in 2006.

Yuan FullSizeRender (1)

Haiwang Yuan, Professor & Coordinator of Web & Emerging Technologies, DLPS, WKU Libraries

Each of the 12 books describes an adventure by brother and sister chickens with their lamb friend. The adventures introduce to young readers great people like Columbus, Galileo, Aesop, the Montgolfier Brothers, and Sir Lancelot – one of the Knights of the Round Table, and even Martians! Without their even knowing it, young readers will learn from these adventurous stories how to be curious and courageous, and how to treat fairly those who look different from us.


Different Carmela children’s book set, translated by Haiwang Yuan

The set of books is accompanied with dramatic recordings of the text by two Americans, and the recording is accessible via a QR code printed on the back cover of each book. Readers of the books can scan the code with a scanner available in Wechat, a popular social media platform recently featured by New York Times at Entering the password acquired by purchasing the books, the readers can listen to the recordings right on their mobile devices.

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Filed under Acquisitions, ERC, General, Latest News, New Stuff, Past Events, People, Stuff, Uncategorized

Goodbye, Old Friend. You served us well.

Back before the Internet, Kentucky librarians feverishly retyped newspaper stories using carbon paper so they could use filing cabinets to provide access to information and save their one newspaper during the Great Depression. Before KenCat, our online presence for the collection management software, Library Special Collections had catalog cards, typewriters and a lovely old cabinet in which to house hundreds of man hours of meticulous indexing of manuscript collections.

Six employees moved the DLSC manuscripts card cabinet to Gatton Academy yesterday.

Six employees moved the DLSC manuscripts card cabinet to Gatton Academy yesterday.

Advancements to that card catalog came with the end of “People, Place, Thing” organization of cards, the alphabetizing by word (not letters, ignoring spaces), the addition of brief title cards for locating unprocessed collections, and the purchase of the electric typewriter with memory. Each improvement decreased the manpower necessary to create the finding aid and increased access, but researchers still had  to use it on-site.  The Ghostbusters movie where the cards flew out of the cabinet truly gave librarians nightmares.
Yesterday Jonathan Jeffrey bid farewell to an old friend, the Manuscripts Card Catalog. Now researchers worldwide can access that information via and It is our hope that soon we can digitize our vertical files so that future generations will not have to come to our Harrison-Baird Research Room in the Kentucky Building to utilize all the precious news clippings and other data sources lovingly filed for 60 years in filing cabinets which I teach our researchers are the “internet of the 1930s.”

For those  of you who love antique furniture, you will be please know that the six men it  took to remove it (with catalog drawers already removed) from the building said it would  be re-purposed in the Gatton Academy.

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Filed under Manuscripts & Folklife Archives, Past Events, Uncategorized

A Tribute to a former Kentucky Librarian: Jeanette Farley

Jeanette Farley (Nov. 5, 1920 – June 13, 2016) always had a welcoming smile for everyone! That message was the “take-away” theme from her memorial service today. No one that knew her did not know Jeanette’s smile lit up the room.Jeanette Wilson Farley (1920-2016)

I first met Mrs. Farley when I was an undergraduate student using the Kentucky Library. Her desk was in the middle of the research room. She was so approachable by a student new to the use of Library Special Collections. My respect for her grew when I became a student worker; she was never too busy to help me. She was a role model of how librarians should work with researchers and mentor historians and future librarians. In 1982, she retired from WKU Libraries.

Always a life lesson teacher, Mrs. Farley gave her sons the following poem as she approached her senior years.

Given to her sons as Mrs. Farley began her 70s.I

We will miss you, Mrs. Farley, you serve the Kentucky Building well.


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Brian Coutts gave Best Reference 2015 seminar

Dr. Coutts Best Reference 2015

Brian Coutts delivering Best Reference 2015 seminar

Brian Coutts gave his “Best Reference” seminar on Friday, May 13 at 10:00 a.m. in Helm 5. Best Reference is an annual selection he makes for Library Journal,  the nation’s oldest and leading library trade journals.  The article appears in the March 1, 2016 issue in both print and online.  This year’s list included 31  titles from 20 different publishers, including 10 university presses and some small publishing houses.  This is the 30th consecutive year Brian has been involved with this project either as a consultant, coauthor or author.  A reception followed with cake and coffee.

Best Reference 2015 seminar

Best Reference 2015 seminar


Cake at the reception

Cake and Coffee Served at the Reception

Best Reference 2015 flyer

Best Reference 2015 flyer

Photo Album

Best Reference Article

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Filed under Acquisitions, AskUs!, General, Past Events, People, Reference, Stuff, Uncategorized

Where Politics is Fun . . .

PACK in Louisville, April 16, 2016

PACK in Louisville, April 16, 2016

On Saturday, April 16, 2016, the Spring Political Americana Collectors of Kentucky show occurred in Louisville, KY. WKU Alumnus and PACK member Bob Westerman invited Kentucky Museum curator Sandy Staebell and Special Collections Librarian Sue Lynn McDaniel to exhibit items and our online access to the Rather-Westerman Political Collection. Our ephemera and artifact collection is the best worldwide for primary sources on campaigning by national, state, and local politicians in Kentucky.

We set up two computers. One allowed us to do Kencat searches on politicians, types of collectibles, and locations of interest. The second computer played the “Campaigning in Kentucky” gallery of Worth A Thousand Words: Special Collections Galleries  in TopScholar  In addition, we brought some of our most unique items in protective display cases to create interest among the members viewing our booth.

The high point of the day was the arrival of charter member Julius Rather who began donating to Library Special Collections and the Kentucky Museum in 1983.   Other PACK members rushed to greet Mr. Rather, his wife, daughter, and grandson. Mr. Rather enjoyed seeing other members and getting more familiar with WKU’s online presence of the Rather-Westerman Political Collection.  For WKU, the day was a huge success as other members asked questions about making donations and accessing our collection.  One vendor donated a stuffed toy donkey with a Democratic candidate’s pin on it to the Kentucky Museum.

Three GenerationsResearchers interested in learning more about WKU’s Rather-Westerman Political Collection should visit and search “Rather-Westerman” or the politician, county, or office of their choice.  If you need assistance in online viewing, contact our Research Assistance Desk, Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. CDT.  If you are a potential donor, we would love to talk to you about items you may have collected over the years.  For a woman who disliked politics for her first 50 years, I can know say that the “Rather-Westerman Political Collection” and PACK shows are fun!





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Tracing the Unexplored: Carlos de la Torre’s “Assessing Left Wing Populism in Latin America”

lat_20160330111015507On Monday, April 11 WKU Libraries, in collaboration with the Depts. of Modern Languages, Political Science, Sociology, the School of Journalism and Broadcasting, and the Office of International Programs, hosted Carlos de la Torre, Professor at the University of Kentucky, as part of the Tracing the Unexplored speaker series. A native of Quito, Ecuador, de la Torre moved to the United States in 1979, earned his BA in Sociology in 1983 from the University of Florida, and ultimately earned his PhD in 1993 from the New School for Social Research in New York for his study of Ecuadorean Populism in the 1930s and 40s, focusing on the early career of Jose Maria Velasco.

Before coming to UK in 2011 he previously taught at Drew University and Northeastern University, was a professor in the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales Sede (FLASCO) in Ecuador, was a Fulbright Scholar, a Woodrow Wilson International Center Fellow, and a Guggenheim Fellow. He now serves as International Studies Program Director and Professor of Sociology at UK and teaches courses on topics like Global Racism, Global Populism, and Media and Politics in Latin America. He has authored twelve books, most recently Latin American Populism of the Twenty-First Century in 2013 and Promises and Perils of Populism: Global Perspectives in 2015, as well as contributing occasionally to Spain’s leading newspaper El Pais and maintaining a weekly column in Dario Hoy, Quito’s leading newspaper.

De la Torre’s talk focused on “Assessing Left Wing Populism in Latin America: The Examples of Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador”, examing why Hugo chavez Evo Morales and Rafael Correa were elected, the similarities and differences among their regimes, and the challenges to their populismand was held at 4:30 p.m. at the Faculty House.

Photo Album | Audio File | Podcast RSS

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Filed under Events, Flickr Photos, General, Old Stuff, Past Events, Podcasts, Stuff, Uncategorized

Friends of Peggy


Peggy Wright

Peggy Wright

Gathered together to celebrate her 90th Birthday at Federal Grove in Auburn, Kentucky and reflect on her long career at WKU.   Nancy Baird described her “travels with Peggy” in Europe and Russia while Helen Crocker spoke of the friendship established among their group of former history professors from 1978  (Nancy Baird, Helen Crocker, Carol Crowe-Carraco, and Peggy plus Sally Ann Strickler, former Department Head of Library Public Services) which has lasted almost four decades, with gatherings to celebrate each of their birthdays every year.  Elaine Moore, former Coordinator of Electronic Resources, now retired in Arizona, sent along greetings, pictures and stories from their trips to the International Reading Association in Norway and Sweden.  Father Andy Garner of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church described Peggy’s many contributions to the church including her counseling of death row inmates at Eddyville and her work with the Detention Center in Bowling Green.  Brian Coutts shared a story of their ill-fated trip to the Toledo District of Belize in 1993 and the “curse of the crystal skull” of Lubaantun.

(From left to right) Sally Ann Strickler, Father Any Garner, Helen Crocker, Peggy Wright, and Nancy Baird

(From left to right) Sally Ann Strickler (Former Head, Dept. of Library Public Services), Father Andy Garner, Helen Crocker, Peggy Wright, and Nancy Baird

(Left to right) Brian Coutts and Helen Crocker

(Left to right) Brian Coutts and Helen Crocker

(Left to Right) Mary Lou Simmons and Brian Coutts

(Left to Right) Mary Lou Simmons and Brian Coutts

Father Andy Garner, St. Joseph's Catholic Church

(Left to right) John Gottfried, Brian Coutts, Mary Lou Simmons, and Father Andy Garner, St. Joseph’s Catholic Church

Photo Album

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Filed under Flickr Photos, General, Past Events, People, Uncategorized

WKU Libraries Derby Hat Day

WKU Libraries celebrated Derby Day by wearing hats to work the day before the Derby.Derby Hat Day 3rd

Photo Album

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Yogi Berra: American Icon

Yogi Berra turned 90 last week

Yogi Berra turned 90 last week, May 12, 2015

On May 12, 2015 former New York Yankee catcher and Hall of Famer Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra turned 90 years old. Yogi Berra was born in 1925 and grew up in the St. Louis’ Italian-American neighborhood “The Hill”. His father immigrated from Italy in 1909 and, valuing work above all, made Berra leave school in the eighth grade to find a job. Despite these challenges, Berra continued playing baseball and in 1942 was offered a signing with the New York Yankees, including a $500 signing bonus and $90 per month contract.

Yogi Berra, playing for the New York Yankees

Yogi Berra, playing for the New York Yankees

Berra served in the Navy during World War II, participating in the D-Day invasion off of Omaha Beach. He returned to baseball with the Newark Bears in the middle of the 1946 season where at first his practices were unimpressive as the coach had him shagging baseballs and skipping batting practice. After Berra hit a few balls over the stadium lights during one workout he played every night for the rest of the season before getting a call from the Yankees. Today Yogi Berra is seen as an American icon for his nineteen season career, with over two thousand hits, 358 homeruns, fifteen All-Star games, and ten World Series championships, earning him a place in the Hall of Fame. His personal sayings or “Yogi-isms” are famous and include recognizable lines such as “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over” and “It’s déjà vu all over again”. Berra went on to manage for the New York Mets and later the Yankees in the 1984 season before being fired by George Steinbrenner in 1985. The two reconciled prior to the Yankees’ “Yogi Berra Day” on July 18, 1999 and Berra has since been honored with a Yogi Berra Museum and Stadium and has attended appearances at the annual “Old Timer’s Day”.

As summer begins and baseball season progresses, WKU Libraries offers a vast collection of summer reading on any topic. To learn more about Yogi Berra, see:


When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It!: Inspiration and Wisdom from One of Baseball’s Greatest Heroes by Yogi Berra
 Call Number: GV865.B4 A3 2001bx


You Can Observe a Lot by Watching: What I’ve Learned About Teamwork from the Yankees and Life by Yogi Berra with Dave Kaplan
Call Number: GV865.B4 A3 2008


Ten Rings: My Championship Seasons
by Yogi Berra with Dave Kaplan
Call Number: GV865.B4 A313 2005x


Yogi Berra: Eternal Yankee by Allen Barra
Call Number: GV865.B4 B37 2009


Yogi: It Ain’t Over by Yogi Berra with Tom Horton
Call Number: GV865 .B4 A3 1989

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