Author Archives: Susan Broady

Southern Kentucky Book Fest 2016

2016.04.22_ bookfest _lewis-0032The Southern Kentucky Book Fest celebrated its 18th year this past April, welcoming over 140 authors and illustrators to the Knicely Center in Bowling Green for two full days of celebrating readingMTA-pubedit and the love of books. With dozens of panels and presentations on Saturday, book fans were able to learn from and interact with best-selling authors representing all literary genres. On Friday, aspiring teen and adult writers attended writing conferences with authors, focusing on everything from writing with the 5 senses to character development and more.

DSC00476SOKY Book Fest events are free and open to the public, and we’ve got plenty of exciting programs to celebrate literacy throughout the year. Visit our website, or find us on facebook, twitter, and Instagram for updates and announcements. If you have any questions, send an email to Book Fest coordinator and Literary Outreach Coordinator Sara Volpi at

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WKU Libraries receives national recognition for public relations and social media campaigns

GameChangerWestern Kentucky University Libraries received the “Award for Excellence” in the Library Public Relations Materials and Social Media Campaign categories at the awards banquet for the Academic Library Advancement and Development Network (ALADN) conference held in Boston, Massachusetts June 2-4.SurveyIcon190x240

The ALADN conference is an annual conference bringing together professionals from academic libraries across the United States and Canada to share innovations, best practices, and organizational successes related to fundraising for libraries, including communication and marketing strategies. As part of the conference, the Communication Awards program allows academic libraries to enter a marketing competition. With a maximum of three entries allowed, WKU Libraries won two of the fourteen categories.

The public relations materials were a continuation of the previous year’s campaign, featuring WKU students from different colleges and disciplines on campus in an effort to highlight the student and his/her major, bringing a general awareness to the libraries. WKU Libraries Marketing Coordinator and campaign organizer Jennifer Wilson said the advertising targeted the campus community and displayed the promotion on digital screens across the university, advertisements in the WKU student newspaper College Heights Herald, images on the library website, large 22×30 inch posters in the main campus library commons area, through social media,  and the athlete ad was in  Leadership_Homepage250x315the sports magazine at the home football games. The social media entry was a summary of three focused areas, including a homecoming photo booth, a spring egg hunt in the libraries, and photos displayed from special collections, creating a theme of “Then and Now.”

According to Christopher Cox, Dean of Library Services at the University of Northern Iowa and co-chair of the awards committee, the selection committee was comprised of a mix of marketing, communications, and fundraising professionals employed outside the university setting. “The quality of entries was quite good,” said Cox. “The new social media award and competition for the videos show a movement in the profession toward digital marketing and philanthropy.”

Contributors to the awards included WKU Libraries Dean Connie Foster; Marketing Coordinator Jennifer Wilson, Library Graphic Design Assistant Patric Peters, WKU Photographers Clinton Lewis and Bryan Lemon, WKU Glasgow Student Affairs Coordinator John Roberts, and Social Media Committee members Shaden Melky (chair), Sara Volpi, Crystal Bowling, Katie King, Carrie Jacoby, Suellyn Lathrop. Ex officio members included Library Professor Haiwang Yuan and Library Technical Services Department Head Deana Groves.




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GARMENT WORKERS WANTED!! Your voices and your memories, that is.

Lisa K. Miller of WKU Libraries is doing an oral history project on garment workers of Southcentral  KY, particularly those who are retired, or worked for companies that are no longer in business here.  We are interested in documenting what your workplaces were like, how things were done before mechanical and technological improvements, and your personal memories of your working life.  These digital audio interviews will be archived on our website, and will be freely available to anyone.  If you are interested in participating, please contact me at or (270) 745-6122.

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Counseling and Testing Center’s therapy dog Star visits WKU Libraries


Star, the sweet therapy dog from WKU’s Counseling & Testing Center, ventured over to Helm Library the Thursday before finals week to meet and greet students in Java City.  The eight-month-old Aussiedoodle turned out to be popular with students coming and going through the Helm Library entrance. “This is just what I needed today,” said Maddie Hughes, WKU piano major from Georgetown, Kentucky. Star’s mild temperament and soft coat was just the ticket for all the stressed out students running in to study or for a quick snack at Java City between final classes for the semester.

Carol Watwood,  assistant professor in Library Public Services, and Betsy Pierce, Outreach Coordinator for Counseling & Testing Center, organized the visit with Star. “I was very pleased with how the morning visit turned out. Several students really enjoyed the break with Star,”  said Watwood.  “Hopefully she’ll be back next semester for a return visit.”


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WKU Library Professor Haiwang Yuan’s book was recognized with storytelling award

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WKU Libraries Professor Haiwang Yuan’s book Tibetan Folktales recently received an Honorable Mention in the Special Storytelling Resources category of the 2016 Storytelling World Resource Awards. Yuan coauthored the book with Awang Kunga, who is a native Tibetan, and Bo Li. Its  publisher is Libraries Unlimited, an imprint of ABC-CLIO. Incidentally, another of Yuan’s books Princess Peacock: Tales of Other Chinese Peoples won the same recognition in 2010.

For more than 20 years, the Storytelling World Resource Awards Program has a panel of judges who evaluate new books in the field and identify outstanding works to help storytellers connect with the resources that will be most impactful for their practice.

Tibetan Folktales contains more than 30 traditional Tibetan stories that give readers a taste of the land, people, culture, history, religion, and psyche of this remote region. The tales are gathered from contemporary Tibetan storytellers and translated from written sources that represent a rich oral and written literary tradition.

“I feel honored to get this recognition on a national level, and I believe my coauthors will feel the same way,” said Yuan. “I surely hope that this award will help my book reach a wider audience so that more people will be able to learn about a great people like the Tibetans and their wonderful culture and folklore.”

Yuan has been a member of Western Kentucky University’s Department of Library Public Services for 19 years. He has edited, authored, and contributed to several books and dozens of articles. Visit TopSCHOLAR to learn more about his works and his website about his other creative activities.

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Former Fulbright Scholar Paul Griner awarded 2016 Kentucky Literary Award

The Southern Kentucky Book Fest partnership announced Paul Griner as the winner of this year’s Kentucky Literary Award for his book Hurry Please, I Want to Know, published by Sarabande Books (Louisville, KY). First awarded in 2003 and reintroduced in 2012 after a brief hiatus, the Kentucky Literary Award is a celebration of Kentucky Literature. Eligible books include those written by Kentuckians or books with a substantial Kentucky theme. Fiction and non-fiction books are recognized in alternating years, this year being the year for fiction.

2016 KY Literary Award

Griner’s book is a collection of short stories. Publishers Weekly says “Griner overlays tales of family, artistry, and parent-child relationships with elements of the surreal, in order to create, in the words of one character, ‘an undercurrent of mournfulness.’ The collection’s best stories…offer just enough detail to produce strong emotions while remaining cryptically open-ended.”

Paul Griner, a former Fulbright Scholar and current English professor at the University of Louisville, is the author of the short story collection Follow Me (Random House), a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers pick, and the novels Collectors (Random House) and The German Woman (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). His works have been published in numerous magazines, journals and anthologies, and have been translated into a half-dozen languages. He is the recipient of U of L’s Outstanding Teaching Award as well as the Graduate School’s Outstanding Mentor Award. He has a BA in History from the University of New Hampshire, an MA in Romance Languages and Literatures from Harvard, and an MA in Creative Writing from Syracuse University.


“Paul Griner has created an inventive array of characters found in amazingly varied circumstances in his short story collection Hurry Please, I Want to Know,” said Jonathan Jeffrey, department head of WKU Library Special Collections and member of the selection committee for the award. “His creativity is so pervasive that no one story even vaguely resembles the other and each one is enhanced by his tight, crisp writing.

The award announcement was made at the Knicely Conference Center at the Southern Kentucky Book Fest Meet the Authors Reception on Friday, April 22–the night before the main Book Fest event. Griner was recognized with a commemorative certificate and a monetary gift.

The Southern Kentucky Book Fest partners include Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Warren County Public Library, and the Western Kentucky University Libraries. The award was made possible with the generous support of Friends of WKU Libraries. For more information about the award, please visit

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150 authors and illustrators expected at the 2016 SOKY Book Fest

SOKYBF_Flier2016_FinalMore than 150 authors and illustrators are expected to be in attendance for the Southern Kentucky Book Fest weekend of April 22-23, including New York Times bestselling authors J.A. Jance, Garth Stein, and Jay Asher, well-known for his young adult novel Thirteen Reasons Why.

“We are incredibly excited to be able to host this line-up of quality authors and illustrators this year,” said Sara Volpi, Literary Outreach Coordinator for WKU Libraries and Book Fest organizer. “There are authors for audiences of all ages and reading levels, and the event is free and open to the public.”

Held at the Knicely Conference Center, SOKY Book Fest weekend is full of author presentations, panel discussions, and book signings as well as the Kentucky Writers Conference featuring writing workshops on Friday, April 22 presented by several authors who will be at the main event on Saturday. Friday also includes Children’s Day, with hundreds of school-aged children and teens visiting presentations and getting books signed by favorite and newly discovered authors. Our Teen Writers Conference, now in its second year, is geared toward youth in grades 9 through 12, and each session is taught by a SOKY Book Fest author. For more information or to register, go to and click on Children’s Day/Teen Writers Conference under the Events tab.

Michael Morris, V.E. Schwab, and Michael Hingson are a few well-known authors who will be on hand at SOKY Book Fest. Bestselling picture book author Adam Rex, whose book The True Meaning of Smekday was adapted into the Dreamworks film Home, will be attending both days along with illustrator Lauren Castillo, whose latest work, Twenty Yawns, was written along with Pulitzer Prize winning author Jane Smiley.

SOKY Book Fest is a partnership of Barnes and Noble Booksellers, Warren County Public Library, and WKU Libraries. For more information, visit the website at or contact Book Fest organizer Sara Volpi at WKU Libraries at (270) 745-4502.

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Sociology Professor to speak on Left Wing Populism in Latin America

Western Kentucky University is pleased to bring Dr. Carlos De La Torre, Professor of Sociology at the University of Kentucky, to present “Assessing Left Wing Populism in Latin America” as part of the Tracing the Unexplored: Populism in the Americas series. Dr. De La Torre will be speaking at the Faculty House on the Bowling Green campus, Monday, April 11 at 4:30 pm.

Dr. Del La Torre is the former director of the International Studies at the University of Kentucky and former director of Political Students and Ph.D. program at FLACSO-Ecuador. His presentation examines why Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, Evo Morales in Bolivia, and Rafael Correa in Ecuador were elected, the similarities and differences in their regimes, and the challenges of personalism.

In its ninth year, Tracing the Unexsplored series was born in the Department of Modern Languages and brings important issues of the Hispanic world to Bowling Green and the WKU campus community.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. De La Torre on campus,” said Dr. Sonia Lenk, WKU associate professor of Spanish. “His knowledge about populism will inform WKU and the community about a predominant political strategy seen in Latin America and to a lesser extent in the US.”

This series is sponsored by the Department of Modern Languages, WKU Libraries, the Department of Political Science, the Department of Sociology, the School of Journalism & Broadcasting & the Office of International Programs.

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Reception in Cravens to thank supporters and inform others about iamWKU

DSC_0017WKU Libraries was part of a university-wide effort to thank its employees for giving back to WKU. Heather McWhorter, director of Leadership Annual Giving, organized the multi-campus effort to thank employees who are giving financially to WKU as well as answer any questions for others who might be interested in learning more about the iamWKU program. According to McWhorter, the program is simple in concept; anyone who gives financially at any amount becomes a part of the iamWKU program. It’s a way to show support of WKU and to thank those who are showing support. The Ambassadors for WKU Libraries are Amanda Drost and Jennifer Wilson. For more information, contact the Ambassadors or Heather McWhorter at 270-745-3257.  

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The Meijer Used Book Sale produced high traffic to benefit SOKY Book Fest

Meijer Used Book Sale Meijer Used Book Sale held on Friday, March 3 through Sunday, March 5 had a great turn out at the Bob Kirby Branch. Hundreds of people showed up for the three-day sale, leaving with heavy bags and big smiles. Meijer sponsored the annual event offered to raise money for the Southern Kentucky Book Fest scheduled on April 22 & 23 at the Knicely Conference Center. For more details on the event, go to

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