Category Archives: People

Elaine “Penny” Harrison

Elaine "Penny" Harrison, 1924-2016

Elaine “Penny” Harrison, 1924-2016

WKU’s Department of Library Special Collections lost a valued former colleague with the May 6, 2016 death of Elaine “Penny” Harrison.

According to her family, it was while watching a movie that the young Elaine Maher and two childhood friends decided to assume the names of the film’s three heroines.  Thus was born Elaine’s lifelong nickname, “Penny.”

A Connecticut native, Penny met WKU alumnus Lowell H. Harrison while working at New York University.  After they married in 1948, she followed him to London on his Fulbright Scholarship, then to Texas, where Dr. Harrison taught at West Texas State University and Penny earned a master’s degree in history.  In 1967, Dr. Harrison returned to Bowling Green to teach at his alma mater and Penny joined the Kentucky Library (now part of the Department of Library Special Collections), where she served as manuscripts librarian until her retirement in 1986.

While at WKU, Penny earned a master’s degree in library science, completed special studies in archives at the University of Wisconsin, and developed a manual for processing manuscript collections at the Kentucky Library.  The first treasurer and archivist for the Kentucky Council on Archives, she was honored with a KCA fellowship in 1987 to recognize her outstanding contributions to the profession.  Special Collections Librarian Sue Lynn McDaniel says that Penny also enjoyed mentoring students in her field.  In fact, McDaniel recalls, “she gave me the career/education advice that allowed me to become her successor as Manuscripts Librarian at WKU.”

Penny and Lowell Harrison (who died in 2011) also gave generously to WKU and the Kentucky Library.  Acknowledging their financial support for collection development, then-Special Collections Department Head Riley Handy told them simply: “We have no better friends than you.”

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Filed under Manuscripts & Folklife Archives, People

WKU Library Professor Haiwang Yuan’s book was recognized with storytelling award


Yuan- official

WKU Libraries Professor Haiwang Yuan’s book Tibetan Folktales recently received an Honorable Mention in the Special Storytelling Resources category of the 2016 Storytelling World Resource Awards. Yuan coauthored the book with Awang Kunga, who is a native Tibetan, and Bo Li. Its  publisher is Libraries Unlimited, an imprint of ABC-CLIO. Incidentally, another of Yuan’s books Princess Peacock: Tales of Other Chinese Peoples won the same recognition in 2010.

For more than 20 years, the Storytelling World Resource Awards Program has a panel of judges who evaluate new books in the field and identify outstanding works to help storytellers connect with the resources that will be most impactful for their practice.

Tibetan Folktales contains more than 30 traditional Tibetan stories that give readers a taste of the land, people, culture, history, religion, and psyche of this remote region. The tales are gathered from contemporary Tibetan storytellers and translated from written sources that represent a rich oral and written literary tradition.

“I feel honored to get this recognition on a national level, and I believe my coauthors will feel the same way,” said Yuan. “I surely hope that this award will help my book reach a wider audience so that more people will be able to learn about a great people like the Tibetans and their wonderful culture and folklore.”

Yuan has been a member of Western Kentucky University’s Department of Library Public Services for 19 years. He has edited, authored, and contributed to several books and dozens of articles. Visit TopSCHOLAR to learn more about his works and his website about his other creative activities.

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Former Fulbright Scholar Paul Griner awarded 2016 Kentucky Literary Award

The Southern Kentucky Book Fest partnership announced Paul Griner as the winner of this year’s Kentucky Literary Award for his book Hurry Please, I Want to Know, published by Sarabande Books (Louisville, KY). First awarded in 2003 and reintroduced in 2012 after a brief hiatus, the Kentucky Literary Award is a celebration of Kentucky Literature. Eligible books include those written by Kentuckians or books with a substantial Kentucky theme. Fiction and non-fiction books are recognized in alternating years, this year being the year for fiction.

2016 KY Literary Award

Griner’s book is a collection of short stories. Publishers Weekly says “Griner overlays tales of family, artistry, and parent-child relationships with elements of the surreal, in order to create, in the words of one character, ‘an undercurrent of mournfulness.’ The collection’s best stories…offer just enough detail to produce strong emotions while remaining cryptically open-ended.”

Paul Griner, a former Fulbright Scholar and current English professor at the University of Louisville, is the author of the short story collection Follow Me (Random House), a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers pick, and the novels Collectors (Random House) and The German Woman (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). His works have been published in numerous magazines, journals and anthologies, and have been translated into a half-dozen languages. He is the recipient of U of L’s Outstanding Teaching Award as well as the Graduate School’s Outstanding Mentor Award. He has a BA in History from the University of New Hampshire, an MA in Romance Languages and Literatures from Harvard, and an MA in Creative Writing from Syracuse University.

Griner

“Paul Griner has created an inventive array of characters found in amazingly varied circumstances in his short story collection Hurry Please, I Want to Know,” said Jonathan Jeffrey, department head of WKU Library Special Collections and member of the selection committee for the award. “His creativity is so pervasive that no one story even vaguely resembles the other and each one is enhanced by his tight, crisp writing.

The award announcement was made at the Knicely Conference Center at the Southern Kentucky Book Fest Meet the Authors Reception on Friday, April 22–the night before the main Book Fest event. Griner was recognized with a commemorative certificate and a monetary gift.

The Southern Kentucky Book Fest partners include Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Warren County Public Library, and the Western Kentucky University Libraries. The award was made possible with the generous support of Friends of WKU Libraries. For more information about the award, please visit sokybookfest.org.

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Diane King’s “Kurdistan on the Global Stage: Kinship, Land and Community in Iraq”

Kurdistan-on-the-Global-Stage (2)

WKU Libraries’ Far Away Places series featured Dr. Diane King, Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Kentucky. Dr. King spoke on her recent book Kurdistan on the Global State: Kinship, Land and Community in Iraq, published in 2014 by Rutgers University Press. The book explores how people in Kurdistan connect socially through patron-client relationships, patrilineage and citizenship. King offers a sensitive interpretation of the challenges occurring between tradition and modernity in a land where honor killings and female genital mutilation coexist with mobile phones and increasing education of women.

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The Meijer Used Book Sale produced high traffic to benefit SOKY Book Fest

Meijer Used Book Salehttp://library.blog.wku.edu/2016/03/14/www-flickr-comphotos13303252n0625692555131inalbum-72157665868089526/The Meijer Used Book Sale held on Friday, March 3 through Sunday, March 5 had a great turn out at the Bob Kirby Branch. Hundreds of people showed up for the three-day sale, leaving with heavy bags and big smiles. Meijer sponsored the annual event offered to raise money for the Southern Kentucky Book Fest scheduled on April 22 & 23 at the Knicely Conference Center. For more details on the event, go to sokybookfest.org.

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212° Academy students win Young Authors contest

212° Academy students Emma Jayne McGuffey and Shelby Cockrill have been selected as the winners of the SOKY Book Fest – 212° Academy Young Authors Contest. DSC_0485McGuffey, daughter of Karen and Steven McGuffey, wrote A Family of Spies: Sunrise – A New Dawn, and Cockrill, daughter of Wendy and Rhett Cockrill, wrote Game Warning. McGuffey is a 6th grader from Richardsville Elementary School, and Cockrill is a 6th grader from Oakland Elementary School.DSC_0466

SOKY Book Fest Coordinator Sara Volpi said there was a wonderful variety of books this year. “We were once again so impressed with the imagination and effort put into each book the 212° Academy students wrote,” said Volpi.

According to Jennifer Sheffield, teacher for the 212° Academy, the goal of this project was to experience the process of crafting a book for publication from start to finish.

“Students were given the assignment to write a book with an elementary school-aged reader in mind,” said Sheffield. “Each book was published through lulu.com, an online book self-publishing website, printed in full-color and assigned an official library ISBN number.”

The contest is a combined effort between the Southern Kentucky Book Fest partners (Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Warren County Public Library, and WKU Libraries) and the teachers at the Academy. The two students will receive certificates of recognition and are invited to sign copies of their books at the Southern Kentucky Book Fest on April 22-23.

For more information, visit www.sokybookfest.org or contact Sara Volpi at (270) 745-4502.

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Filed under General, Latest News, New Stuff, People, SOKY Book Fest

SOKY Book Fest partners select finalists for 2016 Kentucky Literary Award

The Southern Kentucky Book Fest partnership announces the three finalists for the 2016 Kentucky Literary Award. This year’s award will go to a work of fiction by a Kentucky author or with a significant Kentucky theme that was published in 2014 or 2015. The three finalists include:

The Marble Orchard, Alex Taylor

Taylor

Cementville, Paulette Livers

Livers

Hurry Please, I Want to Know, Paul Griner

Griner

The winner will be announced at the Southern Kentucky Book Fest’s Meet the Authors Reception to be held Friday, April 22– the night before the main Book Fest event. The Kentucky Literary Award is presented annually by the Southern Kentucky Book Fest partnership. The 2016 award is sponsored by the Friends of WKU Libraries. For more information about the award, contact Sara Volpi, Book Fest and Literary Outreach Coordinator, at sara.volpi@wku.edu or 270-745-4502.

The Southern Kentucky Book Fest is a partnership of Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Warren County Public Library, and Western Kentucky University Libraries. For more information, visit sokybookfest.org.

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Fall 2015 Library Student Assistant Scholarship

Western Kentucky University (WKU) senior Katie Gamble from Hopkinsville, has been selected as the recipient of the WKU Library Student Assistant Scholarship.  Gamble is a senior who will graduate in May 2016 with a B.S. in Communication Disorders, completing her degree in only three years.fall15studentacholarshipPictured: Doug Wiles, Gamble, and Dean of WKU Libraries Connie Foster.

According to her supervisor Doug Wiles, Gamble has worked as a Stacks Management student for two-and-a-half years.  “During that time, I have noted Katie’s motivation to be exceptional in every endeavor: academic, work-related, and personal,” said Wiles. “Katie has been a leader in several projects, including a significant transition for Stacks Management to staff  the Helm Information Desk.”

Gamble has performed at a superior level academically, maintaining a 4.0 grade point average while working in WKU Libraries and volunteering in the Kelly Autism Program. In addition, Katie was the first student employee to serve on the WKU Campus Library Advisory Council.

“I take pride in telling people that I am a WKU Libraries Student Assistant and am very thankful for the opportunity to work here,” said Gamble. “I can genuinely say that being a student assistant has strengthened my time management skills and has made me more independent.”

Katie was recognized at a reception on Wednesday, December 9 in Cravens Library. The scholarship is sponsored through funding from the Friends of WKU Libraries. For more information on the Friends program, go to wku.edu/library and click on “Support Us.”

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Arlis O. Harmon & WKU Folk Studies Intern’s Success

Graduate student intern's depiction of Harmon's life as a composer

Graduate student intern’s depiction of Harmon’s life as a composer.

In Library Special Collections, we have been fortunate to have Angela Arvizu from the Folk Studies Department as a graduate student intern beginning in June. Ms. Arvizu added 171 created the metadata records for Arlis O. Harmon’s original compositions of sheet music (which will soon be approved and internet accessible at kencat.wku.edu), researched and documented an exhibit’s contents using Past Perfect Collection Management software, and created a case exhibit which will remain on display until January 26, 2016 in the Special Collections Library of the Kentucky Building.Harmon Exhibit by Angela intern
Of her internship, Angela wrote: “The experience of being an intern at Kentucky Library Research Collections was gratifying….Harmon who died in 1992 was a composer and poetry writer from Kentucky. The work done during my internship organized and protected his collection of compositions. I appreciated the opportunity to work with Sue Lynn McDaniel and the Special Collections Library in this project.”

A closeup of items in Manuscripts, our Photograph Collection and our Sheet Music Collection

A closeup of items in Manuscripts, our Photograph Collection and our Sheet Music Collection

Often these internships and student work opportunities serve our WKU students well as they seek employment after graduation. Thank you, Angela, for a job well done!

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Filed under Old Stuff, People, Reference

WKU students receive undergraduate library research awards

Fall student assistant 10

Western Kentucky University undergraduate students Daulton Cowan, Maggie Flanagan, and Jefferson Sanders were honored for winning undergraduate research awards at a recognition ceremony in Cravens Library on Monday, November 30.  WKU Libraries and WKU University Experience faculty offer the awards in an effort to recognize the important role of good undergraduate research in college academic success.

“Information literacy and library skills are essential for student success at any level, and I am happy to be a part of introducing the importance of college-level research skills to our first year students,” said Sara McCaslin, University Experience Coordinator.

Cowan, a first-year student from Bowling Green, Kentucky, received the award for his annotated resource list project for the University Experience class on the main campus. His work featured the TED Talk “How to Start a Movement” by Derek Sivers. His instructor was Aaron Peters.

Flanagan, a first-year student from Russell Springs, Kentucky, received the award for best annotated resource list in a major-specific area. Representing the College of Health and Human Services, her project featured her area of interest titled “Nursing: The Career that Saves Lives.” Her instructor was Marsha Hopper.

Sanders, a first-year student from Nashville, Tennessee, representing student essays of the South Campus University Experience class, was recognized for the best career essay titled, “Sports Broadcasting News Analyst.”  His instructor was Dr. Anne Heintzman.

Students received a monetary gift along with a plaque honoring their achievements. The winning documents, along with those of past recipients, are posted on TopSCHOLAR–WKU’s research and creative database—at digitalcommons.wku.edu/ueul_award/.

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