Monthly Archives: February 2016

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, 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 or contact Sara Volpi at (270) 745-4502.

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

Leap Year 2016

WKU Library Special Collections often commemorates leap year with an exhibit. This year, our efforts to educate our viewers about the legend of the 5th century agreement between St. Brigid and St. Patrick that allowed women the right to propose for 366 days every four years and subsequent beliefs about laws, have broadened.
Sue Lynn McDaniel published an article “Leap Year: Chance, Chase or Curse?” in the January 2016 issue of The Ephemera Journal. See Last week, she was the “Talk of the Town” in our local Bowling Green Daily News for her research on leap year and has curated an exhibit that closes March 31st in Library Special Collections entitled: “Time to Leap!” displays a portion of our collection.

A case exhibit provides a hint of all the sources now in the Selected Works Gallery.

A case exhibit provides a hint of all the sources now in the Selected Works Gallery.

But most  exciting  for  us this  year is  our  new opportunity to go beyond our doors by opening  the Library Special Collections’ Worth A Thousand Words gallery “Leap Year Postcards and  Ephemera.”  This  site functions as searchable permanent sources for  users not  necessarily OPAC friendly. Enjoying exhibit cases are limited by schedules and  the viewers’ ability to travel to the destination.   Nancy Richey will continue to add  all our postcards to KenCat, while Sue Lynn McDaniel adds ephemera to this online catalog, but  we anticipate wider usage and visibility of our primary sources through this  TopScholar  gateway.  Please  explore the Leap Year Postcards and  Ephemera, via  Once you have reviewed the materials, come hear Sue Lynn McDaniel’s presentation:  “Time to Leap” on Leap Day, February 29, 2016 at 4 p.m. in the Western Room of  the Kentucky Building.  For students, this  is  a swipeable event.



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Judgment Days

Samuel Carpenter's judgeship appointment, 1847

Samuel Carpenter’s judgeship appointment, 1847

As U.S. Supreme Court history turns a page with the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, we see irrefutable evidence of the personal and professional lives of other august members of the bench in the Manuscripts & Folklife Archives section of WKU’s Department of Library Special Collections.  Circuit Judge (and Bowling Green mayor) John B. Rodes, Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Charles H. Reynolds, U.S. District Judge Walter Evans, and local judge John M. Galloway are among those represented in our collections.

In 1846, Judge Henry Ormsby Brown (1787-1852) wrote to his wife Lucy during his travels on the circuit in western Kentucky.  He was intrigued with the “thriving little town” of Cadiz, “with a better society than is generally found in such villages–a genteel courthouse & several churches.”  Anxious (a little whiny, in fact) for letters from home, Brown instructed Lucy to “ascertain by the time it takes this letter to reach you” whether she should write him there or address her letter to his next destination.

When Samuel Carpenter (1824-1900) was appointed in 1847 as circuit judge for the 13th Judicial District of Kentucky, his certificate noted his substitution in place of one John W. Helm, “who refused to accept.”  On the reverse was recorded Carpenter’s oath that he “would administer Justice without respect of persons and do equal right to the poor and the rich.”

Scrutiny of judges has, of course, become ever more contentious.  In 1987, Elkton, Kentucky attorney George Street Boone shared his thoughts with Senator Wendell Ford on the nomination of Robert Bork to the U.S. Supreme Court.  Following the confirmation hearings closely, he found the controversial nominee “articulate, highly educated and intelligent,” but nevertheless more “radical” than conservative.  Given the Supreme Court’s “strong and stabilizing influence in this country,” he wrote, neither Bork’s record nor his performance at the hearings justified his appointment to the nation’s highest court.

Click on the links to access finding aids for these collections.  For more collections on lawyers and judges, search TopSCHOLAR and KenCat.

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Garvin Exhibit Opened in Jackson Gallery

David Garvin

The Department of Library Special Collections recently opened an exhibit celebrating Bowling Green businessman and “Renaissance man” David Garvin.  The commemorative exhibition will remain up through June 1, 2016 and is located in the Harry L. Jackson Gallery on the Kentucky Building’s second floor.  The exhibit features photographs, artifacts, and manuscript material related to several important aspects of Garvin’s life:  his family, his community involvement, his interest in historic preservation, Camping World, Beech Bend, and his beloved Ironwood Farm.  Items on display include a large gaming wheel from Beech Bend Park, a portrait of Garvin, trophies won by Ironwood horses, catalogs from Camping World, a painting of the Old Richardsville Road Bridge which he restored, along with dozens of Beech Bend souvenirs and postcards.

David Berry Garvin was born in Bowling Green, Kentucky, on 22 February 1943, the second child and only son of Charles Cromwell & Martha (Berry) Garvin.  He attended the Western Training School and graduated from College High in 1961.  He attended Vanderbilt University and graduated from Western Kentucky University; he furthered his education by taking classes at Harvard Business School.  He was a member of Bowling Green’s First Presbyterian Church and the E.Q.B. Literary Club.

Friends and family gather in the Harry L. Jackson Gallery to commemorate the life of David Garvin.

Friends and family gather in the Harry L. Jackson Gallery to commemorate the life of David Garvin.

In the early- 1940s, David’s father, Charles T. “Charlie” Garvin purchased Beech Bend Park, which adjoined the family farm.  That began a long career in family recreation for both Charlie and David.  Beech Bend Park eventually grew to become a nationally known amusement park and raceway and one of Kentucky’s largest tourist destinations.  David was instrumental in helping develop the International Race Track at Beech Bend.

David worked at Beech Bend from the time he was 12 years old.  In his early 20’s, while still working at the park, David founded Camping World (1966), a company which serviced the growing number of people who owned or rented recreational vehicles.  Headquartered in Bowling Green, Camping World grew into an important mail order business and eventually opened 100 retail stores nationwide and employed 5,000 employees.  David eventually sold most of his interest in Camping World to dedicate more of time to the development of a thoroughbred horse operation at his Ironwood Farm.

Besides his business interests, Garvin maintained an avid interest in historic preservation.  He purchased and restored Ironwood, the historic home of Joseph Rogers Underwood on the Barren River near Beech Bend Park.  He also restored the Old Richardsville Road Bridge and the College Street Bridge and supervised the development of an adjacent river park.  Challenging CSX Railroad, Garvin almost singlehandedly persuaded the railroad behemoth to strip the old silver paint off the Barren River railroad bridge and allow the metal to oxidize therefore making it more attractive at this busy entrance to the city.  Garvin and his son David renovated the rear of the old Bowling Green Armory into an attractive apartment building.

Besides his development and management of Camping World, David also undertook several land development projects in the Bowling Green area, including the building of Sugar Maple Square, a retail shopping center, on Highway 185, northwest of Bowling Green.  He was also heavily involved in conceptualizing land use for a commercial recreational vehicle haven in Franklin, Kentucky–Garvin’s–that was to include several national chain stores, a recreational vehicle museum, amusement rides, and an area for camping.

Garvin married Charlotte Mann in 1969.  They had four children: Katherine, Kimberley, David, and Arthur.  Garvin died on 30 August 2014 at the age of 71.


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Iceland: Extreme Learning in the Land of Fire and Ice

Iceland (3)

WKU Libraries kicked off the spring season of “Far Away Places” with Dr. Jason Polk and Dr. Leslie North, Asstant Professors from the Department of Geography and Geology at WKU, who talked about leading a study abroad group to Iceland in the summer of 2015. The speaker series event took place at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Bowling Green, KY on the evening of February 18, 2016.

Photo Album | Audio File | Podcast RSS

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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


Cementville, Paulette Livers


Hurry Please, I Want to Know, Paul 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 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

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Don’t Say “No” to the Dames

Margie Helm's Colonial Dames membership card

Margie Helm’s Colonial Dames membership card

Founded in 1891, the National Society of The Colonial Dames of America seeks to preserve and promote an understanding of America’s formative years through education and historic preservation.  Membership requires proof of descent from an ancestor who served the country during the Colonial period, but candidates must also be “invited and proposed” by an existing member.

Lydia Mae Helm, a cousin of WKU head librarian Margie Helm, resolved to join the Colonial Dames in 1942.  A Washington attorney who already knew many Dames socially, Mae was nevertheless a little intimidated at the prospect.  Her first test was appearing at a formal tea for 60 women, of whom 20 were being vetted as candidates.

Afterward, Mae informed her cousin Margie that the tea was a “complete success,” given in a “gorgeous apartment” and attended by women of charm, wealth, civic conscience and patriotism.  She was especially dazzled by those who had married titled foreigners, and conversed with one who promised to help her with her genealogy.  Planning her research trip to the Library of Congress, Mae declared “I have started and I am going to finish it.”

Margie Helm herself became a member of the Kentucky chapter of the Colonial Dames in 1951.  Two years later, she was recruited by its Historic Activities Committee in a project to identify 18th- and early 19th-century houses in the western part of the state.  Highly tasked as WKU’s head librarian and busy with church and other community work, Margie resisted the assignment, but received a stern letter from the committee.

“You can’t do this to me,” wrote Frances Fairleigh, “and further more one does not say ‘No’ to any work of the Dames.”  “So accept gracefully,” she advised.  Further, Margie was not to delegate the task to any outsider, for “this is Dames’ work.”  “For the present,” Frances concluded, “you are chairman of the western district.”  Margie appears to have surrendered, noting on the envelope her meek reply: “accepted temporarily.”

Mae and Margie Helm’s adventures with the Colonial Dames are part of the Margie Helm Collection in the Manuscripts & Folklife Archives section of WKU’s Department of Library Special Collections.  Click here to access a finding aid.  For more of our collections, search TopSCHOLAR and KenCat.

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Gift Donation to WKU Libraries from Sister City Kawanishi, Japan

Since 1995 the City of Bowling Green has participated in the Sister City Program with the City of Kawanishi, Japan, a city of 156,000 located in Hyogo Prefecture near Kobe, Japan. As part of this program WKU Libraries annually exchanges library materials with the public library in the City of Kawanishi. WKU Libraries sends materials related to Kentucky to Japan. This year’s gift from Japan range from novels to the history of Japanese paper, from children’s books to works with amazing photography and art.

Keiko Fujii, Project Manager of Cultural & International Exchanges, and Brian Coutts, DLPS Dept. Head coordinate these exchanges annually.

Among the books received include:

Maruyama-Okyo Maruyama-Okyopic









Tokubetsuten Maruyama-Okyo by the Osaka Museum featuring the artwork of 18th century Japanese artist Maruyama Ōkyo.

arikawa railway

Hankyū Densha (Hankyu Railway) by Hiro Arikawa

arikawa library wars

Toshokan Sensō (Library Wars) by Hiro Arikawa

Toshokan Sensō (Library Wars) and Hankyū Densha (Hankyu Railway) by young adult novelist Hiro Arikawa.


Washi bunkashi by Yasuo Kume about the history of Japanese style of paper known as “washi”.


11 Cats and a Pig by Noboru Baba


Picture of the Tōdai-ji












The gift also included children’s picture books such as 11 Cats and a Pig by Noboru Baba and Tōdai-ji Temple by Takeshi Kobayashi, featuring photography of Tōdai-ji. The 8th century Buddhist temple in Nara, Japan is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and it also features the world’s largest bronze statue of the Buddha.

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