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.
Category Archives: People
Kentucky Live! presents Fred Minnick on “Bourbon: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of an American Whiskey”
Our first speaker in this year’s Far Away Places series 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.
Growing up he thought of becoming an actor but then turned his attentions to the more practical field of English philology. He studied Humanities at the University of Castilla-La Mancha where he later earned a doctorate in English philology in 2007. He currently teaches English at the School of Industrial Engineering at this same school.
His research interests are in the field of comparative literature, especially on American and British authors since the nineteenth century, such as George Orwell and Ernest Hemingway. These two writers are discussed in his recent book and in a past talk he gave in this series a podcast of which has been one of our most popular. An avid cycler who takes part in many races as part of an amateur cycling team, the focus of his next talk is on Spanish cycling.
Over the last 150 years, cycling has played an important role in the sport tradition of many European countries. Nowadays, this sport has turned into a relevant social, economic, and cultural phenomenon, not only in Europe, but also in other geographical and cultural contexts, particularly in English-speaking countries outside the Old Continent. Spain, which is among the nations with the longest cycling traditions, has not been an exception to this trend in which cycling is going beyond its traditional competitive nature to become the starting point of new social, cultural, and economic patterns.
In his talk he’ll explore the historical origins and later development: more specifically, how what we know today as cycling began in Spain by the end of the 19th century and how its later development was influenced to a great extent by the Tour of Spain (La Vuelta a España) as well as the incredible performance of several Spanish riders, who have raced in some of the best teams in the world. Then, its current condition as social and cultural phenomenon and as generator of economic growth. Lastly, the talk will finish with a brief account of a personal experience that may well be an example of how cycling can be a passion and almost a way of life.
We hope you’ll join us on Thursday, September 21 at 7:00 p.m. at Barnes & Noble Bookstore (1680 Campbell Lane).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
We will miss you, Mrs. Farley, you serve the Kentucky Building well.
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:
“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.
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.
Western 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.
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 the 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.