Oil & Water Screening at Rhode Island International Film Festival

oil & water RI film festival

Francine Strickwerda, Laurel Spellman Smith, David Poritz, and Hugo Lucitante on their way to the Rhode Island International Film Festival (image source: twitter.com/OilandWaterFilm)

“Oil & Water”—the selection for this year’s First Readings program—will be screened at the Rhode Island International Film Festival on Thursday August 7 at 2:30 p.m. in the Metcalf Auditorium at RISD Museum.

The film is a coming-of-age story of two boys (David Poritz and Hugo Lucitante), from different backgrounds, confronting one of the world’s worst toxic disasters. Various scenes in the film were shot at Brown University while David Poritz was an undergrad.

This fall, the directors (Francine Strickwerda and Laurel Spellman Smith) as well as David Poritz and Hugo Lucitante will return to Providence to do a screening and film discussion with the Brown community.

For more information about the First Readings program or about the film, visit the First Readings website.


Librarian Li Wang Wins Outstanding Paper Award


At the 2014 International Conference on Chinese Digital Publishing and Digital Libraries, Librarian Li Wang was awarded Outstanding Paper (first place) for his presentation and paper titled “Digital Scholarship at Brown: New Trends in Research Services in North American University Libraries.”

This conference was organized by Tsinghua University Library, The University of Hong Kong Libraries, Shandong University Library, and China Academic Journals Electronic Publishing House. It took place July 3 & 4 in Jinan, China.

An online version of the paper is available here.

The Library Welcomes Laura Pavlech

lauraPavlechThe Library is pleased to announce the appointment of Laura Pavlech as the new Biomedical and Life Sciences Librarian.

Pavlech recently received her master of science in library science from the University of North Carolina School of Information and Library Science.

For the past two years, she has worked in the User Services department of the UNC Health Sciences Library, where she has helped students, faculty, and staff from the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Nursing, and Public Health.

Prior to becoming a librarian, Pavlech was a practicing veterinarian.  She received her undergraduate degree in biology from Stonehill College, and her doctor of veterinary medicine from Tufts University. Pavlech completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at the University of Georgia Veterinary Teaching Hospital. She then pursued residency training in clinical nutrition at North Carolina State University Veterinary Health Complex.

Pavlech is excited for the opportunity to combine her science and medical background with her library experiences to work with the students, faculty, and staff of Brown University. She also looks forward to returning to New England. Pavlech originally hails from Connecticut.

Pavlech is located on the 14th floor of the Science Library.

Please join us in welcoming Laura to the Brown University Library!

Summer Activity in the Library

Library Summer Activity

Some might view the summer as a slow time on a college campus, but the Brown University Library remains committed to supporting users. Many groups find themselves using the Library over the summer months including: pre-college students, undergraduates, and high school students. The summer is also a time for renovation and an opportunity to install new technologies.

Here’s a brief look at some of the groups passing through the Library as well as a few of the summer activities.

    • Summer Pre-College Students: This summer Brown is offering over 200 courses selected to reflect the University’s curriculum. It isn’t long after these classes start that pre-college students find themselves in the Library.
    • Undergraduate Summer Session: About 450 students enroll in summer session classes at Brown each year. Subject Librarians have remained busy meeting one-on-one with a number of undergraduates.
    • Brown Summer High School Program: Now in its 46th year—the Brown Summer High School is a daytime program open to Providence-area high school students. Instructors from this program can often be found in the Rock Lobby tutoring students.
    • Renovations: The University Library is renovating both the Rockefeller Library and the John Hay Library. In the Rockefeller Library, the first floor computer cluster, Reference Room, and Hecker Center will be renovated. The John Hay Library is finishing up a year-long renovation of the entire building.
    • New Technology: In response to faculty requests, the Library recently acquired a “Bookeye 4” scanning station for users to easily scan books and other materials. As part of the Hecker Center renovation, a new laptop loaner cart will be added.
    • Other Summer Activities:
      • Thesis writing: Many current students—both undergraduates and grad students—use the summer as an opportunity to work on their thesis.
      • Professional development: Librarians and staff are busy attending conferences and continuing their research.
      • Student workers: A number of student workers have been hired to help with shelving and the digitization of materials during the summer months.
      • First Readings: In partnership with the Dean of the College, the Library created the First Readings website to introduce incoming students to the Brown community.

Summer Renovation of the Rock’s Central Reading Room

5513_2014-07-01_Scene 4.1

The central reading room on the first floor of the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library at Brown is undergoing a major renovation this summer.  

Based on feedback collected from Brown students who frequent the Library, the area will be transformed into a more comfortable and functional study space with improved lighting, updated computer workstations, and more data and electrical outlets.  The space will also feature open areas combined with private group study rooms, including a mix of large and small study tables along with casual seating.

Expected to be completed by the end of September, the Library looks forward to welcoming new and returning students and faculty to this terrific new space in the fall.


Updates From Around the Library (July 2014)

July Blog Updates

Here are a few recent highlights from some of the Library’s various blogs:

Contact: Mark Baumer |  401-863-3642

Construction Begins on Addition to Library Collections Annex

Annex Module 2
This summer, ground was broken on a new addition to the Library Collections Annex, the University Library’s off-site materials storage facility, located approximately four miles from College Hill. When fully outfitted, the additional module will increase the Annex’s total storage capacity to approximately 2.3 million items.  Completion is set for mid-December 2014.
The current Annex module was opened in 2005 with an estimated capacity of 1.5 million volume equivalents. At its opening, the Annex was expected to provide sufficient storage capacity for 15 years of collection growth. Several on-campus construction projects, such as the John Hay Library renovation, required more items to be sent off-site than initially planned. As a result, the facility is almost completely filled 9 years after its first day of operation. The new module will provide space for another 1 million volumes. Because items in the Annex are housed by size, the ultimate number of items held depends on the mix of materials stored.

Like the current module, the new addition will feature sophisticated climate controls and a state-of-the-art security system to ensure the long life of materials stored there. Items requested from the Annex are delivered to campus within 24 hours on workdays; shorter articles and chapters may be scanned and sent directly to users as well.


New “BookEye 4″ Scanning Station in the Rock

Bookeye 4 Scanning Station

Bookeye 4 Scanning Station | Level 2 of Rockefeller Library

If you happened to pass through Level 2 of the Rock in the last week you might have noticed some new equipment near the the copiers. The new machine (pictured above) is a “Bookeye 4″ scanning station. The “Bookeye 4″ will allow library users to easily make high-end scans of books and other related materials. 

Specifications for the “Bookeye 4″ scanning station:

  • Scans up to 17 x 24 inch documents in 7 seconds
  • 400 x 600 dpi optical resolution in 24-bit color
  • 19 inch preview monitor
  • Touch screen controls
  • Integrated 2-position V-cradle
  • 2 integrated USB ports
  • Gigabit ethernet connectivity


Happy Birthday to John D. Rockefeller, Sr. from the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library

John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library

John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library

As the Brown University Library celebrates the 50th anniversary of the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library, we pause to acknowledge the incredible life and accomplishments of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. and, most notably, the tradition of philanthropy that he engendered within his family and throughout his groundbreaking charitable organizations.

One hundred seventy five years ago today, John Davison Rockefeller was born on July 8, 1839 in Richmond, NY. Born into a modest household, the second of six children, Rockefeller, Sr. was raised to value hard work, saving money, and charitable giving. At the age of 12, with savings earned raising turkeys, he loaned money to a local farmer at 7% interest and discovered he had a knack for putting money to work for him. At 16, he began a job at Hewitt & Tuttle, commission merchants and produce shippers, as an assistant bookkeeper in Cleveland, OH, where the family now lived. Before long, he had impressed his employers and the business community with his hard work and business acumen.

A few years later, in 1859, he started his own commission merchant business—Clark & Rockefeller—with neighbor Maurice Clark. The business did well and boomed during the Civil War; however, Rockefeller realized there was a limit to the success of the commission merchant business in Ohio and instead turned his focus to oil.

In 1870, after two permutations of oil companies, Rockefeller and his brother William plus four other partners formed the Standard Oil Company. From this union, the Standard Oil Trust was created in 1882—a vertically integrated organization that controlled the twenty companies that comprised Standard’s entire oil enterprise. The Trust was incredibly successful, supplying products to 80% of American towns by 1904 and providing the country with affordable fuel for lighting. After losing an anti-trust suit, the Trust was dissolved in 1892, though all the companies continued on, with shares instead of trust certificates held by the stakeholders.

During the days of the Trust, Rockefeller became extraordinarily wealthy. (His worth was estimated at $900 million in 1912.) He hired Frederick Gates to manage his fortune, including investments and charitable giving. Gates was joined in this endeavor by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. in 1897. Retiring that same year, Rockefeller, Sr. turned all his energy toward philanthropy. When he died in 1937, his worth was estimated at $26.5 million, with most of his fortune having been given to charity and his heirs.

A trustee for his church by age 21, Rockefeller, Sr. had always made charitable giving part of his approach to earning, saving, and spending. He gave to and supported the causes he thought would have the greatest positive impact on the human condition, and indeed, many of his philanthropic efforts had a profound influence. He is credited with the creation of the University of Chicago; he founded the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (now Rockefeller University), which developed, among many things, a serum treatment for spinal meningitis and pneumonia; he founded the General Education Board (now the Rockefeller Foundation), which bolstered public education in the South; he established the Rockefeller Sanitary Commission, whose efforts resulted in the elimination of hookworm in the South and laid the blueprint for modern public health services.

Many organizations received Rockefeller’s financial support, including Brown University, where his son, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., attended college, matriculating in 1893. While at Brown, Rockefeller, Jr. met Abby Aldrich, a Rhode Island native, who would become his wife (and a prominent philanthropist in her own right). Rockefeller, Jr. took up his father’s doctrine of philanthropy, giving generously to Brown, which he loved so well. Known at Brown as “Johnny Rock,” Rockefeller, Jr. received an honorary master of arts degree in 1914 at the time of Brown’s sesquicentennial celebration. The John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library was dedicated 50 years later in 1964. As the University celebrates its 250th anniversary, we remember and honor the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Rock and the spirit of giving that made its existence possible, begun over a century ago by a remarkable man who considered charity as important as industry.