Monthly Archives: March 2012

Noon Concerts at Java City in full swing

This semester’s Java City Spring Concert Series is off to a great start!  We kicked off on Valentine’s Day wit ha great performance by WKU Libraries’ own Jack Montgomery and Lonesome Liz, aka Elizabeth Bissette, Bowling Green singer/songwriter.  February also featured master musician Dave Issacs and country music singer/songwriter Artis Greene.  March brought banjo/ukelele virtuoso Johnny Foodstamp and his 1930-ish jazz based tunes.  Earlier this week saw the return of multi-instrumentalist/singer/songwriter Mean Mary performing her brand of country-rock and bluegrass on the patio.  We’re looking forward to Tyrone Cotton an April 4th and Mythagoe with Artemus Sumerta on April 24th.  If you haven’t come over for one of the concerts before, you’re missing a great, free time!

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Coming Far Away Places talk series: Ernest Hemingway and Spain


Ricardo Marin Ruiz, Professor of English at the University of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain, talked in our “Far Away Places series” about “Ernest Hemingway and Spain: Or How a Land Can Attract A Man” on Thursday, April 5 at Barnes & Noble Bookstore.

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Grand Opening of Regional Library

A large group of community members, WKU staff and librarians, and regional partners celebrated the opening of the Elizabethtown/Radcliff/Ft.Knox Regional Center Library at WKU’s extended campus in Elizabethtown on Monday, March 19. Dr. Ronald Shephens, director for the WKU Regional Center, gave opening remarks followed by Library Public Services Department Head Brian Coutts, Interim Dean Connie Foster, and the Regional Center Librarian Laura DeLancey. Western Kentucky University partners with the Elizabethtown, Radcliff, Ft. Knox area to offer more than a dozen four year degrees from the extended location. According to Regional Center Librarian Laura DeLancey, the library and its offerings are already off to a good start. Several of the students she has taught in class are calling and sending online messages with questions to aid in their research. The Elizabethtown/Radcliff/Ft.Knox Regional Center Library will be staffed with a librarian Monday 10-6; Tuesday 12-6; and Thursday 12-6.

Photos from regional library opening

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Bits and Pieces

In addition to the many print and microfilm resources in the WKU libraries’ Special Collections, we have DVD and tape visual resources. A recent find in our collection is a 3 minute 8mm black and white film that showcases former President Harry Truman’s visit to Paducah, Kentucky on October 24th, 1959. Truman’s Vice President, Alben Barkley was from Paducah and served as the 35th Vice President of the United States (1949–1953), under Truman. Barkley spent much of his life in Paducah, and has a lake, an airport and other landmarks named after him in the area. The film shows Truman going to a coffee shop, meeting with Paducah citizens and officials and speaking at a banquet during a fund raising dinner. We have converted the film to DVD and so it is available for inhouse viewing.

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“Andrew Stew”

A recipe for disaster?

A recipe for disaster?

As the season of severe weather approaches, during this Women’s History Month we offer a female perspective on one of the most destructive storms ever to hit the United States.  On August 24, 1992, Hurricane Andrew made landfall at Homestead, Florida.  With sustained winds reaching 165 m.p.h., the storm achieved rare Category 5 status and caused damage in excess of $26 billion.

A month later, Geraldine Hayes wrote from Homestead to her sister-in-law Mildred Gipson in Mammoth Cave, Kentucky.  Living amid the hum of generators, she and husband George were still without power or telephone.  For the first time, fatigue had caused her to accept a free meal from the Red Cross of corn beef hash, corn, applesauce, cookies and a drink.  Twice a week, she stood in line for hours to collect her mail at a common delivery point.  Her house had escaped total destruction, but was still in need of substantial repair and drying out.  Nevertheless, Mrs. Hayes had praise for the Red Cross, police, electrical and sanitation workers, and even her insurance company.

And she had not lost her sense of humor.  Enclosed with Mrs. Hayes’ letter was a recipe for “Andrew Stew,” a not-so-tasty concoction that summarized the impact of the storm.  Combine all the ingredients of a household, it read, with a large dose of water, stir at “200 mph for several hours and serve.”  Guaranteed to cause heartburn, this recipe had only one “antidote”: “determination, guts, hard work and lots of money.”

Geraldine Hayes’ letter is part of the collections of WKU’s Special Collections Library.  Click here to download a finding aid.  For other collections about women, search TopSCHOLAR and KenCat.

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WKU Beauty Queens

Jean Amos, Military Queen

Jean Amos, Military Queen

As many know, the current Miss Kentucky Ann Blair Thornton is a WKU student.  What some may not know, she is not the first WKU alum to hold the title.  In addition, WKU coeds have been crowned queens of the Mountain Laurel Festival, Talisman Ball, Miss Black Western, Miss Western, WKU Military Ball, Basketball Ball, Valentine Ball, Homecoming Queen and possibly most interesting Mrs. Western Student Wife.

The WKU Archives is compiling a list of these beauty queens along with photographs.  Check out and help us complete our list.

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We’ve Been Everywhere: Where’s Wallace?


This month’s WKU Libraries’ “We’ve Been Everywhere” literary outreach program featured Dr. Charles Smith, science librarian at WKU, who gave a talk on his research trip to London, Britain and Brazil. His research focused on Alfred Russel Wallace, an early evolutionary biologist.

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The Ladies’ Literary Club

Ladies' Literary Club program 1924-25

Ladies’ Literary Club program 1924-25

One spring afternoon in 1880, Matilda Stevens stopped by the Bowling Green home of her friend Hallie Thomas Hines.  Mrs. Stevens, a local teacher of “marked individuality,” had been thinking about starting a club.  Some of the city’s more prominent gentlemen had recently formed their own group, the XV Club, to discuss the cultural and political topics of the day over a hearty supper.  Mrs. Stevens believed the women ought to have a club too; unlike the men, however, she thought it unseemly to use the device of a meal to bring such a knowledge-hungry group together.  There should be no refreshments.

The result was the Ladies’ Literary Club, organized in March 1880 with 12 members and now recognized as the oldest club of its kind in Bowling Green.  Over the decades, members have met twice monthly to study countless topics in literature, culture and history: Mozart, Mary Queen of Scots, Japanese religion, the Bible in literature, Chinese emigration, evolution, precious gems, English poets, and assorted book reviews, to name just a few.

As the club minutes show, preparation was extensive, discussion was lively, and presenters were talented and intellectually curious.  In the early years, several teachers from Potter College for Young Ladies were among the more formidable members.  Giving “an elaborate historical talk” at the February 1, 1898 meeting, Gertrude Anderson “told the Club how Bismarck had put Germany in the saddle, taught her to hold the reins and ride triumphantly.”  On February 15 her colleague, Mrs. M. E. Shelburne, “in her usual comprehensive style” gave the club “a most entertaining paper on the great German pessimist Schopenhauer.  She seemed to take especial delight in airing his views on woman and her shortcomings.  But,” the minutes continued, “the 19th century Club woman is too optimistic in her views to be depressed by such effete ideas.”

The Ladies’ Literary Club Collection, which includes minute books, correspondence and historical sketches, can be viewed in WKU’s Special Collections Library.  Click here to download a finding aid.  For collections on other local clubs and organizations, search TopSCHOLAR and KenCat.

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Mark your calenders for SOKY Book Fest 2012!

Carl Hiassen will be the featured presenter at this year’s SOKY Book Fest in April.  Hiassen is the NY Times bestselling author of fiction for readers of all ages.  His work includes the Newbery Honor winning Hoot as well as Flush and Star Island.  Children’s Day will feature Newbery Honor winning author, Patricia Reilly Giff.  Giff is the author of many beloved children’s books, including the Kids of Polk Street series, Lily’s Crossing and Willow Run.  These two authors will be joined by nearly 150 other authors who appeal to all ages and interests.  The SOKY Book Fest, one of the largest book festivals in the state will be held at the Knicely Conference center.  More info about events and authors attending can be found here.

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March Reference Book Display

This month the Reference Area of Helm Library presents a collection of books on sports. With the weather warming up here in Kentucky, it is time to think about getting out for fresh air and exercise … or maybe just sitting on the couch, watching your favorite sports team get their exercise instead. The MLB will open its season at the end of the month, and the Spring Schedule is already in full swing. Then there’s hockey, still in its regular season, and basketball too! What’s your favorite sport? Read about it and much more in the Reference Area at Helm Library.

Books on Display

1. The ultimate dictionary of sports quotations / [compiled by] Carlo De Vito. GV861.12.a2 P76x

2. Professional sports team histories / Michael L. LaBlanc, editor ; Mary K. Ruby, associate editor. [4 volumes.] GV707 .U47 2001

3. Encyclopedia of women and sport in America / edited by Carole A. Oglesby ; with [contributions by] Doreen L. Greenberg … [et al.]. GV709 .E53 1998

4. The business of sports / edited by Brad R. Humphreys and Dennis R. Howard. [3 volumes] GV716 .B89 2008

5. The Oxford companion to Australian sport / edited by Wray Vamplew … [et al.]. GV675 .O94 1992

6. Encyclopedia of British sport / edited by, Richard Cox, Grant Jarvie, and Wray Vamplew.  GV605 .E53x 2000

7. Encyclopedia of North American sports history / Ralph Hickok.  GV567 .H518 2002

8. Berkshire encyclopedia of world sport / David Levinson and Karen Christensen, editors.  GV567 .B48 2005

9. Career opportunities in the sports industry / Shelly Field. GV734 .F545 1999

10. NCAA basketball. The official … men’s basketball records book.  GV885.45 .N42

11. Berkshire encyclopedia of extreme sports / Douglas Booth & Holly Thorpe, editors.  GV749.7 .B47 2007

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