Monthly Archives: August 2012

September Reference Area Book Display

abc-notepaper-back-to-school-backgrounds-wallpapersIt’s that time of year again! New classes have begun and, as the class of 2016 enters their very first semester, many student have not yet declared a major or already thinking that their chosen major is not right for them. The Reference Area wishes to help those who are lost or unsure with a book display showcasing career information for some of Western’s most popular majors.

Books on Display

1.    Career opportunities in education / Susan Echaore-McDavid.  LB1775.2 .E33 2001

2.    College majors and careers : a resource guide for effective life planning / by Paul Phifer. HF5382.5 .U5 P445 1993

3.    The top 100 : the fastest-growing careers for the 21st century. HF5382 .T59 2009

4.   Sociology : a guide to reference and information sources / Stephen H. Aby. HM585 .A29x 1997

5.   Health care careers directory / American Medical Association. R847 .D57

6.   A student’s dictionary of psychology / Peter Stratton and Nicky Hayes. BF31 .S69 1993

7.  Ferguson career resource guide to apprenticeship programs / edited by Elizabeth H. Oakes. HD4885.U5 F47 2006

8.  Career opportunities in journalism / Jennifer Bobrow Burns ; foreword by Janice Castro.  PN4797 .B87 2007

9.  Career opportunities in theater and the performing arts / Shelly Field. PN1580 .F5 1999

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

11.  Career opportunities in conservation and the environment / Paul R. Greenland and AnnaMarie L. Sheldon. S945 .G74 2008

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Waiting to Cross

Vincent Trago's letter

Vincent Trago’s letter

As Union troops neared Bowling Green in the wake of the Confederate withdrawal in February 1862, they found that the departing enemy had destroyed foot and railroad bridges leading over the Barren River into the town.  Camped on the north side, waiting for their turn either to ford the river or cross on makeshift bridges, some of the soldiers took time to write a line home.  Among several such letters in the Manuscripts & Folklife Archives section of WKU’s Special Collections Library is one from Vincent T. Trago, a 24-year-old corporal serving with the 15th Ohio Infantry.

Unbowed by the rigors of military life, Trago assured his correspondent that “I am well as usual [and] can eat my share of rations yet.”  During the 20-mile march to Bowling Green he had avoided the fate of some of his comrades, whose “feet got verry sore so that they took off their boots and went bare footed for 6 or 7 miles.”  Local reception of the marching men also cheered Trago.  The “Kentucky girls were fix up in their Sunday best and were standing by the road side smiling and looking as pleasant as they could,” he wrote, and their African-American counterparts seemed equally delighted with the passing soldiers.  The only sour note had come from within the ranks, where some of the men had shot off their pistols and committed other breaches of discipline, and been ordered to carry rails as punishment.

A finding aid and typescript of Vincent Trago’s letter can be downloaded here.  For more of our Civil War collections, search TopSCHOLAR and KenCat.

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Cakes and the Academy

Duncan Hines and his signature product

Duncan Hines and his signature product

Formed in 1949, the Hines-Park Food Company was a joint venture of advertising executive Roy Park and Bowling Green native Duncan Hines (1880-1959).  After his first restaurant guidebook, Adventures in Good Eating, was published in 1936, Hines’s reviews became must-reads for Americans seeking quality dining during their travels around the country.  The next step for Hines was to capitalize on his reputation by creating his own food label.

The “Duncan Hines” label first appeared on ice cream, but soon became closely associated with packaged cake mixes.  In 1955, Hines-Park Foods was pondering a strategy for increasing its sales and, through heightened perceptions of the man himself, making Duncan Hines the most popular product endorser in America.

The Manuscripts & Folklife Archives section of WKU’s Special Collections Library has acquired a collection of materials dating from this period of the company’s history.  The highlight of the collection is a fascinating market research study, conducted in 1955, which features among its theoretical and survey data a detailed analysis of the company’s target consumers: women.

The study concluded that Hines’s greatest potential appeal lay with “emancipated modern housewives” who no longer submerged their identities in home and kitchen.  These women aspired to “gracious and beautiful living,” the authors observed, “but are not secure in their ability to carry out such principles.”  With his wise, bachelor-uncle-style, masculine authority, Hines could offer them the confidence that arch-rivals like motherly Betty Crocker could not.  In particular, the study argued that college-educated women, despite rejecting the submissive “homebody” label, were actually more receptive to such male authority because of their “years of respectful contact with professors and instructors.”

A finding aid for the Duncan Hines Collection can be downloaded here.  For more on Duncan Hines, search TopSCHOLAR and KenCat.

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WKU Libraries Monday Night ROAR!

WKU Libraries sponsored a photo booth during the new student orientation week called M.A.S.T.E.R. Plan. Students had a great time dressing up as or posing with popular book and movie characters such as Harry Potter, Katniss Everdeen, and the Wizard of Oz clan.

To view all of the fun had on Monday night visit

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WKU Libraries Kicked Off New Semester


On August 22, 2012, WKU Libraries kicked off the new semester at Helm 100. The kick-off featured our guest speaker Jeff Peden, “The Great Ideas! Guy,” who gave a presentation on how to create a great team to deliver the service customers want. The kick-off concluded with a luncheon. A group photo was made during the recess by the WKU photographer.

Photo Album

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Award-Winning Author, Lee Martin, to present FREE Writing Workshop!

As a part of our SOKY Reads! community wide program we are pleased to announce a FREE and fabulous writing workshop with award-winning author, Lee Martin.

Martin will lead participants in a two-hour workshop that will focus on retrieving family memories, crafting them into scenes, and utilizing other techniques common to writing memoir.  Martin captivates and inspires writers with his hands-on approach to presenting!

 The session will be held Saturday, August 25 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Warren County Public Library Main Branch located as 1225 State Street.  No registration is neccesary and the workshop is open to the public.


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WKU Libraries Participated in WKU New Faculty Orientation


On Thursday, August 16, 2012, WKU Libraries’ faculty members participated in WKU’s New Faculty Orientation Program taking place in the Western Room of the Kentucky Building. The program was an annual event sponsored by the Provost’s Office.

Interim Dean Connie Foster addressed the audience of newly hired faculty members that included one of our own—Lisa Miller, Visiting Assistant Professor and Humanities & Social Sciences Librarian. In her address, she highlighted WKU’s institutional repository TopSCHOLAR. Head of Library Public Services Brian Coutts presided over the orientation session and gave the overview presentation of the Libraries. He was followed by WKU Libraries’ faculty members Jack Montgomery, Professor, Collection Services Coordinator, who introduced the liaison/subject librarian system;  John Goffried, Assistant Professor, Coordinator of Reference Services/ Business Librarian, who introduced WKU Libraries’ website; Bryan Carson, Professor, Special Assistant to the Dean for Grants & Projects/ Coordinator of Periodical & Instructional Services, who gave a presentation on the Libraries’ literacy and research instruction services; Roxanne Spencer, Associate Professor, Coordinator of Educational Resources Center presented the Libraries’ branches; and Sue Lynn McDaniel, Associate Professor, Special Collections Librarian, familiarized the audience with the Special Collections Library.

WKU Libraries also showcased a booth along with other WKU divisions in the Kentucky Building. Nancy Richey, Assistant Professor, Image Librarian, and Jack Montgomery spent their time receiving visits from the new faculty.

Photos were taken by WKU Libraries’ Marketing Coordinator Jennifer Wilson and Professor and Special Assistant to the Dean for Web & Emerging Technologies Haiwang Yuan.

Photo Album

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A Family’s Sorrow

Federal Hill, Bardstown, Kentucky

Federal Hill, Bardstown, Kentucky

When John Rowan (1773-1843) married Ann Lytle (1774-1849), Ann’s father, Revolutionary War veteran William Lytle, made a gift to the couple of a 1,300-acre tract near Bardstown, Kentucky.  The Rowan estate at Federal Hill (as it became known) is now famous for inspiring Stephen Foster’s ballad, “My Old Kentucky Home.”

Foster’s song conjures up a bucolic setting enlivened by the Rowans’ nine children, but late in July, 1833 a dark shadow passed over Federal Hill.  Since the previous year, cholera had been stalking the residents of Kentucky, and when it finally reached Bardstown it tore through the Rowan family like a scythe.  Within a matter of days, John Rowan lost a daughter, Mary Jane, her husband William and their daughter, also named Mary Jane; a son, William Lytle Rowan and his wife, Eliza Boyce Rowan; another son, Atkinson Hill Rowan, just back from a diplomatic post in Spain; a sister, Elizabeth Rowan Kelly, and her husband William, who happened to be visiting; and 26 enslaved plantation workers.  Sixteen years later, the disease also claimed Rowan’s widow, Ann.

The Rowans distinguished themselves in law, politics and business, but their correspondence sometimes hinted at the trauma the family had suffered.  Orphaned children and the estates of suddenly departed relatives required attention from the survivors.  In particular, the losses seemed to haunt John Rowan’s daughter, Anne Rowan Buchanan.  “I am very feeble,” she wrote her sister Alice from Covington.  “I am so much affraid of cholera that my apetite has failed me.”  In the summer of 1848, Ann’s husband, Dr. Joseph Rodes Buchanan, became alarmed at the lack of letters from Alice’s family and feared the worst.  “What can it mean — can it be that there is sickness among you which you wish to conceal from us?” he wrote.  “Mrs. B. naturally dreads that such may be the case. . . . Let me beg of you to write immediately and say if you are all well or what is the matter.”  Perhaps the tragedy in his wife’s family contributed to Dr. Buchanan’s belief in spiritualism, mesmerism and communicating with the dead, described in letters written while pursuing his medical career in New York.

A finding aid for the Rowan Family Papers, available in the Manuscripts & Folklife Archives section of WKU’s Special Collections Library, can be downloaded by clicking here.  For several other collections relating to the Rowan family and Federal Hill, search TopSCHOLAR and KenCat.

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Free Book Giveaway for SOKY Reads!


If you haven’t already picked up your copy of this year’s SOKY Reads! book, In the Sanctuary of Outcasts by Neil White, there are still some available. Stop by the Warren County Public Library-Main Branch and ask for a copy, or go to Bowling Green Technical College’s main campus on Thursday, August 16 from 2 to 2:30p.m. They will be giving books away in the Building F Conference Room.

If you have any questions about the SOKY Reads! program, contact Kristie Lowry at or 270-745-4502. You can also access the program guide at

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Repairs to Cravens Library

After the storm July 20th caused massive damage and leaking efforts are underway to replace the roof to Cravens Library.


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The entrance to VPAL has been repoured in order to make it more handicap accessible.



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