Monthly Archives: May 2007

From the Suggestion Box

Student Rebekah Golla asks:
I recently found out about a confusing policy in place with the library. Apparently, if anyone checks out a book and someone else wants that book, the second person can then take the book from the first person by filling out a recall slip. I called the library to ask about this policy, and they confirmed it. They said that even if a student has a book for only two days and another student wants that book, the first student must return his or her book before the original due date or be fined. Does this make sense to anyone? Isn’t the purpose of a duedate for each person to be able to check out a book for a set length of time? If another person wants the book immediately after the first person returns it, I can understand. However, does it make sense for the second person to be able to get the book before the due date? Wouldn’t it make more sense for the second person to wait and to have the library say that the first person cannot renew the book? I can understand if a professor needs the book, but it doesn’t make sense if it’s a fellow student who is on equal ground.

It seems this type of policy could potentially set up type of tug of war over a book. When I called the library, they said I could return the book and then fill out a recall notice. Then the person who wants the book from me would have to return the book to me before he or she is finished with it. Of course, I don’t want to play tug of war with someone so I wouldn’t do that. Why not keep the first policy in place that a book is due on the due date assigned at checkout? I am willing to wait if another person has a book I want and I would completely understand if I could not have the book until that person returned it on his or her due date. Isn’t it possible to order a book through interlibrary loan? It seems this would be a better solution.

Could someone please look into this confusing policy and discuss it at the library?

Thank you for your time. I think the library staff does a wonderful job helping everyone find the materials they need. They are very friendly and willing to be of assistance at anytime which is greatly appreciated by the WKU community.

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Famed Canadian Author Came to WKU Libraries

Sandra BirdsellAward Winning Canadian Author Sandra Birdsell spoke in Room 100 of the Helm Library on Tuesday, June 5, 2007. At present were WKU faculty and students, including employees from the University Libraries.

Birdsell has received more than 20 awards for her writing and published several novels and short stories. Her published works include: Children of the Day, The Russländer, The Town That Floated Away, The Two-Headed Calf, The Chrome Suite, Agassiz, A Novel In Stories, The Missing Child, Agassiz Stories and Ladies of the House, as well as short stories Ladies of the House and Night Travellers.

If you are on vacation and happened to have missed the event, you may revisit it by viewing this photo album and listening to this recording. You may also subscribe to our podcast to listen to Birdsell’s speech on the go using your favorite MP3 player.


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“Precious Gems” Quilt Exhibit

Quilt ExhibitThe Kentucky Heritage Quilt Society in conjunction with The Kentucky Library & Museum presented “Precious Gems” quilt exhibit from May 25 to June 10 in the Kentucky Library & Museum.

Each quilt on exhibit depicted the quilt maker’s interpretation of the theme; some using gemstone colors, others using patterns such as Double Wedding Ring or Jewel Box.

To learn more visit the Kentucky Museum’s web site.

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VPAL Poised to Open in Fall

The New Visual and Performing Arts Libarary in the Cravens LibraryThe University Libraries’ new division called VPAL, short for The Visual and Performing Arts Library, is getting ready to open in the coming semester. It is located on the second floor of Cravens Library, where the Career Center used to be. Libraries administration has just inspected the new facility. Here is an album of some snapshots of VPAL.

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An Endowment Created in Honor of Jayne Pelaski

An Endowment is created in honor of Jayne Pelaski.The Southern Kentucky Book Fest Partners, namely, Western Kentucky University Libraries, Bowling Green Public Library and Barnes & Noble Booksellers, have created an endowment in honor of Jayne Pelaski for her dedicated service at Western in the capacity of the University Libraries’ Community Outreach Manager for the past seven years.

Jayne Pelaski has been part of the University Libraries since September 2000. Under her leadership, the partners have developed a book fest into an year-round multi-activity events including One Campus-One Community-One Book (along with its children’s version On the Same Page and the teen version 1Read), Black History Month at Your Library, Kentucky Literary Award and Kentucky Writers Conference, to list a few.

Jayne has resigned from the position effective as of May 11, 2007, and she will be sorely missed by those with whom she has been working. On May 10, 2007, the Southern Kentucky Book Fest Partners celebrated the passion and good works of Jayne with a farewell reception in her honor in the Kentucky Room at the Kentucky Museum. If you happened to miss the event, you may still revisit it by viewing this album of photos.

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Nancy Baird Is Recipient of Sara Tyler Award

Nancy Baird Receives Sara Tyler AwardKentucky History Specialist, Prof. Nancy Baird is the recipient of the Sara Tyler Merit Award. A reception was given in her honor at the Kentucky Building on May 3, 2007. At the reception were her family members and colleagues in the University Libraries and on campus.

Library Media Education Professor Robert Smith presided over the event and gave his opening remark, Dean of Libraries Mike Binder presented the award to Nancy, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Richard Miller spoke on behalf of Provost Barbara Burch, Head of Library Special Collections Timothy Mullin presented a scrapbook and a gift to Nancy, and Libraries Special Projects Coordinator Peggy Wright, a long-time friend of Nancy, told the audience what she knew about her.

Sara TylerEstablished by colleagues of Miss Sara Elizabeth Tyler following her retirement in 1975, this award is a tribute to her 42 years of service to Western Kentucky University as a teacher, Director of Library Services, and University Archivist. The award is given to a member of the faculty for outstanding dedicated service in the field of librarianship.

Here’s an album of the photos that documented the event. A podcast of the speeches is available, so you can either listen to it on your computer or subscribe to it and listen on the go using your favorite MP3 players.

For more information about Sara Tyler and a list of recipients in the past, please visit the Libraries’ the Sara Tyler Merit Award page.

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University Libraries Open Late Finals Week

Finals WeekFinals week (Sunday May 6th through Thursday May 10th) University Libraries will again be open late to serve our students who are studying for final exams. The Helm-Cravens Library will be open until 2a.m. each of these nights. The public services areas will be manned by library faculty and staff volunteers. As in semesters past, this service is sponsored by the Student Government Association.

Dan Forrest, Coordinator
Access Services

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Dr. Brian Coutts Selects “Best Reference Books” Annually for Library Journal

On Friday, April 27, DLPS Department Head Brian Coutts presented his annual “Best Reference Books” workshop to the University Libraries’ faculty and staff. From the hundreds of new print reference titles published annually, Brian selects the top thirty for a feature article in the April 15th issue of Library Journal. As co-author or author, Brian has been making these annual selections for the past two decades. Among the features he looks for are: original contribution to knowledge, quality of writing/editing/printing/illustrations, relevance, and uniqueness.

Topping this year’s list was the Encyclopedia Judaica, second edition and the Historical Statistics of the United States, millennial edition.

A competing list is selected by a committee of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) of American Library Association (ALA) and published in the May 1st issue of American Libraries.

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Nancy Marshall Completed her Library Science Degree at UK

Nancy MarshallWe are very proud of Senior Reference Associate Nancy Marshall, who just completed her Master’s degree in Library Science at the University of Kentucky. For the past several years, Nancy has been commuting to Lexington to take classes, while still working full time in Helm Reference. The program at UK is accredited by the American Library Association, permitting Nancy to work at any public, special, or academic library in North America. (But we hope that Nancy will stay with us for a while still, since she does such a great job.)

Nancy has been in her present position since 2000. Before that, she was a Reference Assistant in Helm and a Library Assistant in the Kentucky Library. Nancy also has an MA in history from WKU.


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Western Kentucky University Launches State’s First Institutional Repository

TopSCHOLAR™ is the first institutional repository in Kentucky. It offers indexing and searching using bepress (Berkeley Electronic Publishing) technology available through ProQuest/CSA’s Digital Commons platform and is made possible by support from WKU Libraries and Provost’s Initiatives for Excellence.

“We are very excited to offer TopSCHOLAR™ to our faculty, staff and students here at WKU. It presents a wonderful opportunity to showcase the talent of our University worldwide and serves as an outstanding example of ways in which WKU is striving to become a leading American university with International reach,” says Mike Binder, Dean of WKU Libraries.

For more information please contact Connie Foster, TopSCHOLARâ„¢ Project Director at 270-745-6151 or by email at

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