Category Archives: People

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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Filed under Events, General, Latest News, Past Events, People, Stuff, Uncategorized

“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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Filed under Events, General, Latest News, Past Events, People, SOKY Book Fest, Uncategorized

2016 Margie Helm Awards

WKU Libraries celebrated the end of Fall 2016 with a holiday gathering at 440 Main.

Congratulations to the following Margie Helm Award winners:

2016 Faculty Award to: Nancy Richey

2016 Staff Award to: Kenneth Foushee

Student Awards to: Brendan Bird, Kelsea Perkins, Kole Feinauer, and Lein Vu

Team Award: The Alma Implementation Team: Project Manager Deana Groves, Eric Fisher, Uma Doraiswamy, Laura DeLancey, Dan Forrest, Jack Montgomery, Terry Perkins, and Nelda Sims

Team Award: The Helm-Cravens Display Committee: Katie King, Paula Bowles, Ryan Dowell, Debbie LaMastus, Jessica Simpson and Allison Sircy

Photo Album

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Filed under Events, Flickr Photos, New Stuff, People

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-haiwang

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 http://www.nytimes.com/video/technology/100000004574648/china-internet-wechat.html. 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

Southern Kentucky Book Fest 2016

2016.04.22_ bookfest _lewis-0032The 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 readingMTA-pubedit 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.

DSC00476SOKY 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 sokybookfest.org, 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 sara.volpi@wku.edu.

Photo Album

 

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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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Filed under Past Events, People, Uncategorized

Summertime and the Researchers are Exhilarating!

Summertime for many people marks a time of relaxation, peace and quiet, but not if you are at the Research Assistance Desk for Library Special Collections. In the last five days, I have explored the wealth of information WKU Libraries has collected in the last 90 years with researchers from Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Logan County, Simpson and Warren Counties in Kentucky.

On Monday, I taught by phone the Logan County Historical Society’s newsletter editor how to use kencat.wku.edu to fill her research need. To make certain she answered the specific question of the day, I also e-mailed her the link to the appropriate catalog record in KenCat. As a researcher who appreciates online access, she later e-mailed:

Phoebe Ann Pittman Flowers of Logan County, KY

Phoebe Ann Pittman Flowers of Logan County, KY

“Boy, do you know how to ruin a person’s day ! ! ! I’ll be on this site until my eyes give out! Thank you SO VERY MUCH. . . Back to the computer screen ! ! ! Forget the dust and the weeds in the garden ! ! !”  When describing her discovery at our page http://www.wku.edu/library/dlsc/discovery.php , the researcher said she spent the rest of the day looking at various items. Later she sent me an electronic copy of her newsletter using the photograph of Phoebe Ann Pittman Flowers.  Its citation points more  Logan County researchers to kencat.wku.edu.  The second Monday researcher got so excited at finding her information that she hugged me (a first in my 31 years as an archivist and librarian).

Wednesday by phone I taught online research via KenCat to a Floridian seeking to complete her Daughters of the American Revolution application with a family Bible’s genealogical pages that our family surname files.  Our second phone call of the day was from a  researcher who spent his Bowling Green  research day repairing his car’s alternator rather than searching for an obituary of a Bowling Green woman who was run over by a train on a Bell County, Kentucky, railroad bridge in 1919.  His expertise in genealogy had made him hope he could solve a question nagging his neighbor about the death.  The Louisiville Courier-Journal lacked the detail he hoped to find in a local newspaper.  Unfortunately few Warren County newspapers before 1922 were saved; thus far, our holdings search has been in vain.  Perhaps someone will bring us an original from their attic soon.

On Thursday, our Mississippi researcher was on her second trip to Library Special Collections. Three years ago, she learned in Butler County about a family history that WKU has one of six known print copies.  By teaching her to search KenCat, she also made use of Drucilla Jones’ years of genealogical research.  Upon seeing a chart in the Wilbourn file from the Drucilla (Stovall) Jones collection, she exclaimed:  “What a treasure!”

Among our favorite researchers are those who arrive, having found KenCat.wku.edu and TopScholar.wku.edu , to view primary sources.   At 8:55 a.m., a North Carolina couple literally could not wait any longer for our doors to open.  They knew they wanted the Enochs Mine store ledger from MSS 29.  In it they found proof that their ancestor worked and lived in Ohio County, Kentucky from July 1886 to 1891.

Here he is!

Here he is!

We invite you to explore our online catalog for non-book materials. KenCat has a new homepage, navigation, and search system.  You do not have to be interested in genealogy or history to find the “random image” or original item that delights you.

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Filed under Manuscripts & Folklife Archives, People

WKU Libraries receives national recognition for public relations and social media campaigns

GameChangerWestern Kentucky University Libraries received the “Award for Excellence” in the Library Public Relations Materials and Social Media Campaign categories at the awards banquet for the Academic Library Advancement and Development Network (ALADN) conference held in Boston, Massachusetts June 2-4.SurveyIcon190x240

The ALADN conference is an annual conference bringing together professionals from academic libraries across the United States and Canada to share innovations, best practices, and organizational successes related to fundraising for libraries, including communication and marketing strategies. As part of the conference, the Communication Awards program allows academic libraries to enter a marketing competition. With a maximum of three entries allowed, WKU Libraries won two of the fourteen categories.

The public relations materials were a continuation of the previous year’s campaign, featuring WKU students from different colleges and disciplines on campus in an effort to highlight the student and his/her major, bringing a general awareness to the libraries. WKU Libraries Marketing Coordinator and campaign organizer Jennifer Wilson said the advertising targeted the campus community and displayed the promotion on digital screens across the university, advertisements in the WKU student newspaper College Heights Herald, images on the library website, large 22×30 inch posters in the main campus library commons area, through social media,  and the athlete ad was in  Leadership_Homepage250x315the sports magazine at the home football games. The social media entry was a summary of three focused areas, including a homecoming photo booth, a spring egg hunt in the libraries, and photos displayed from special collections, creating a theme of “Then and Now.”

According to Christopher Cox, Dean of Library Services at the University of Northern Iowa and co-chair of the awards committee, the selection committee was comprised of a mix of marketing, communications, and fundraising professionals employed outside the university setting. “The quality of entries was quite good,” said Cox. “The new social media award and competition for the videos show a movement in the profession toward digital marketing and philanthropy.”

Contributors to the awards included WKU Libraries Dean Connie Foster; Marketing Coordinator Jennifer Wilson, Library Graphic Design Assistant Patric Peters, WKU Photographers Clinton Lewis and Bryan Lemon, WKU Glasgow Student Affairs Coordinator John Roberts, and Social Media Committee members Shaden Melky (chair), Sara Volpi, Crystal Bowling, Katie King, Carrie Jacoby, Suellyn Lathrop. Ex officio members included Library Professor Haiwang Yuan and Library Technical Services Department Head Deana Groves.

 

 

 

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GARMENT WORKERS WANTED!! Your voices and your memories, that is.

Lisa K. Miller of WKU Libraries is doing an oral history project on garment workers of Southcentral  KY, particularly those who are retired, or worked for companies that are no longer in business here.  We are interested in documenting what your workplaces were like, how things were done before mechanical and technological improvements, and your personal memories of your working life.  These digital audio interviews will be archived on our website, and will be freely available to anyone.  If you are interested in participating, please contact me at lisa.miller@wku.edu or (270) 745-6122.

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Filed under General, People

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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