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.
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:
Brian Coutts gave his annual workshop on the “Best Reference Sources of the Year” an annual selection he makes for Library Journal, the nation’s oldest and leading trade journal. The article appears in the March 1, 2015 issue in both print and online. This year’s list included 33 titles from 20 different publishers’ including 12 university presses. This is the 29th consecutive year Brian has been involved with this project either as a consultant, coauthor or author. A reception followed with strawberry cake from Cocomo’s and Balinese coffee imported by Spencer’s.
This year’s Southern Kentucky Bookfest held a morning session featuring cookbooks, in which a panel of five authors briefly discussed their new books and answered questions from the audience at the end. WKU Libraries Department of Library Public Services Head Dr. Brian Coutts moderated the session.
Gaylord Brewer, an English professor at MTSU and author of nine books of poetry and 800 other poems, spoke about his newest book The Poet’s Guide to Food, Drink & Desire. Inspired by cooking elaborate meals and meeting chefs, his book is filled with great recipes and humorous commentary that leaves readers laughing out loud.
Morgantown, KY native Linda Hawkins has previously taught school, ran a daycare, and served as a crisis counselor for abused women and children and is now an award winning author. Her newest book Southern Seasons with Memory Making Recipes features her favorite recipes and remembrances to show readers how to get families involved in making meals and creating lasting memories.
John Van Willigen, professor emeritus of Anthropology at UK, has authored many books from Anthropology to tobacco culture to his classic Food and Everyday Life on Kentucky Family Farms, 1920-1950. With his new book Kentucky Cookbook Heritage he explores two hundred years of Southern cuisine and culture through a diverse range of topics from Nancy Green, the original Aunt Jemima, to Duncan Hines and charity cookbooks.
Fiona Young-Brown is a native of the United Kingdom, with a BA from the University of Hull, and Iowa transplant with graduate degrees in Women’s Studies and Japanese from the University of Iowa. Now writing local history, she discussed her newest book A Culinary History of Kentucky which includes delicious recipes like Mafia Jam Cake and Jefferson Davis Pie.
Aimee Zaring has an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding and has taught ESL for Kentucky Refugee Ministries, Jefferson County Schools, and Global LT. In her book Flavors From Home she shares stories from Kentucky’s various refugee communities and the recipes of their traditional dishes from steamed dumplings from Bhutan to twice fried green plantains from Cuba. This book is about how food gives refugees comforts from home while expanding cuisine in Kentucky.
WKU Libraries is one of several sponsors of this two week series of visiting speakers and documentary films. On Tuesday, March 17 at 4 p.m. at GRH 1074 Professor Luz Maria de la Torre, an indigenous activist and scholar from Otavalo, Ecuador talked about the role of indigenous women in changing ethnic relations in Ecuador. She’s currently a visiting professor and instructor of Quechua at UCLA. A reception followed. She also spoke to classes on campus.
On Wednesday, March 18 in MMTH 166, With My Heart in Yambo, an award winning documentary film directed by Maria Fernandez Restrepo was shown. The film describes how her two brothers were abducted by the police and later murdered more than 25 years ago. The documentary was introduced by Professor Sonia Lenk who had once met the Restrepos at their Quito store prior to the murders.
On Tuesday, March 24 at 4 p.m. at GRH 1074 Xavier Bonilla (aka Bonil), Ecuador’s most famous and controversial political cartoonist, spoke about “Political Humor/Cartoons in an Ecuadorian Context: A Free Press or Censorship.” He does cartoons for numerous periodicals and magazines in Ecuador including El Universo, Ecuador’s largest newspaper. Professor Melissa Stewart provided the translation, which was created by her Spanish Translation class. A reception followed. Bonilla also spoke to classes on campus and did media interviews with English and Spanish language press.
On Tuesday, March 31 at 5 p.m. in MMTH 166, Cesar’s Grill a 2013 documentary film directed by Dario Aguirre was shown. It describes how a vegetarian artist’s son living in Germany gets called back to Ecuador to help his father Cesar with his failing grill restaurant. It was recently nominated as the best documentary film at the Santa Barbara Film Festival. The director prepared a special video introduction especially for this showing at WKU. Professor Fabian Alvarez served as moderator. The film opened in Ecuadorian theaters in April and has awards at several film festivals.
Several faculty, staff, and students showed their campus spirit by donning book character costumes and walking the WKU Homecoming Parade last Friday night. Krystin Avakian, graphic designer and student worker for the Dean’s Office, said the parade was a lot of fun. “We had a great time,” said Avakian. “I went as Sherlock Holmes and carried my magnifying glass and pipe.”
Crystal Bowling, organizer of the parade, credits a great team of people that contributed to the evening’s success. “It was a great turnout and I have to thank everyone who was involved,” said Bowling. “A special thanks goes out to Amanda Hardin and Paula Bowles for rallying student assistants and allowing them to participate.”
The parade began in the middle of WKU campus and continued down State Street to Fountain Square Park.
WKU Libraries welcomed former and current students, faculty, staff and friends to an open house during Homecoming weekend. The reception was held in the newly renovated Commons at Cravens, Fourth Floor. Visitors enjoyed light refreshments, watched a PowerPoint displaying numerous images of Homecoming memories from past decades, and toured the Libraries.
Michael Cairo is Associate Professor of Political Science at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. His newest title “The Gulf: The Bush Presidencies and the Middle East.” Most students at WKU haven’t known a time when there wasn’t a mention of war in the Middle East.
The faculty and staff of University Libraries participated in this year’s 2013 New Faculty Orientation on Friday, August 16. Jack Montgomery, John Gottfried, and Jennifer Wilson answered questions at the lunch time Information Fair.
The afternoon presentation included a welcome from Dean Connie Foster and then presentations on reference services, LibGuides and databases from John Gottfried, catalogs and TopScholar from Deana Groves and Research Instruction from Bryan Carson. Jack Montgomery explained collection development and our desire to partner with teaching faculty. He also introduced our new Patron Driven Acquisition program which will launch this fall. A collection of selected resources will be added to our TOPCAT online catalog and become part of our permanent collection the second time they are selected by patrons. Katie King introduced the libraries’ social media (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Blog and our newest Pinterest). The latter features pages on programs and recent library acquisitions. Brian Coutts talked about this year’s Literary Outreach programs including the Faraway Places and Kentucky Live series, the Kentucky Writer’s Conference, the Southern Kentucky Bookfest, One Book One Community reads program and Faraway Flix, a new series of foreign film nights. He also discussed STACKMAP our new newest technical application which allows patrons to click on MAPIT in the public catalog to determine exact locations of circulating materials. Timothy Mullin talked about Library Specials Collections. The New faculty received a copy of the libraries’ Centennial History.
Link to the New Faculty Orientation Powerpoint:
Over the course of its first 100 years, WKU Libraries was served by five visionary leaders each of whom in their own unique way contributed to the growth and expansion of library services and collections.