Family Weekend Forum | The Evolving Roles of Libraries in Teaching, Learning, and Research

Come and join us for a discussion about the ways in which the roles and relationships of academic libraries are changing to meet the University’s academic mission in the 21st century. “The Evolving Roles of Libraries in Teaching, Learning, and Research” will focus on a highly productive and successful relationship between the Brown University Library and the teaching and research of Computer Science Professor, Andries van Dam. University Librarian Harriette Hemmasi and Professor van Dam will provide compelling examples that demonstrate the evolving nature of teaching, learning, and research at Brown.

andries_van_damProfessor van Dam is the Thomas J. Watson, Jr. University Professor of Technology and Education and Professor of Computer Science. He has been on Brown’s faculty since 1965 and was one of the Computer Science Department’s co-founders and its first Chairman, from 1979 to 1985. He was a Principal Investigator and was the Director from 1996-1998 in the NSF Science and Technology Center for Graphics and Visualization, a research consortium including Brown, Caltech, Cornell, North Carolina (Chapel Hill), and the University of Utah. He served as Brown’s first Vice President for Research from 2002-2006. His research has concerned computer graphics, hypermedia systems, post-WIMP user interfaces, including pen-centric computing, and educational software. He has been working for over four decades on systems for creating and reading electronic books with interactive illustrations for use in teaching and research.

HarriettePhotoHarriette Hemmasi is the Joukowsky Family University Librarian at Brown University, where she has oversight for the library system and provides leadership in the delivery and integration of information resources and new technologies into the campus’s teaching, learning, and research environment. Since coming to Brown in the fall of 2005, Hemmasi’s primary objectives have been to translate the University’s goals and directions into actions for the Library; to build bridges between digital library initiatives and the broader set of campus technologies; and to establish the Library and its staff as active partners in the University’s academic mission.

Date: Saturday, October 25
Time: 10 a.m.
Location: Smith-Buonanno 106

Explore Social Sciences Data Resources at the Social Sciences Data Fair (October 8)


The Library is hosting a Social Sciences Data Fair on Wednesday, October 8, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Come learn about the wide variety of social sciences data and software tools available for your research, and discover how to get the most out of them by dropping by one of our trainings and demonstrations. Enter a raffle to win prizes! Refreshments and light lunch will be served. No registration necessary.

Training sessions from vendors in attendance will include:

  • Geographic Research, makers of SimplyMap
  • QSR  International for NVivo Software
  • The Roper Center
  • Oxford Economics
  • ICPSR – Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

Schedule of Events

(10 a.m.—4 p.m. in the Digital Scholarship Lab and the Hecker Center both on the main level of the Rockefeller Library)

Digital Scholarship Lab: (All day)
Please walk in! Social sciences librarians and some of our vendors will be available all day in the Digital Scholarship Lab to answer questions and provide assistance.

  • 10 a.m. Open the doors and introduction by Bruce Boucek
  • 3:45 p.m. Raffle drawing for Amazon Gift cards courtesy of Geographic Research, the makers of SimplyMap.

Hecker Center:

  • 10:30 a.m. Presentation by QSR International: Introduction to NVivo
  • 11:00 a.m. SimplyMap Introduction
  • 11:30 a.m. Social Sciences Data at Brown an Introduction (Bruce)
  • 12:00 p.m. ICPSR Webinar “Meeting Federal Data Sharing Requirements Now and Into the Future”
  • 1:00 p.m. SimplyMap Introduction (afternoon repeat)
  • 1:30 p.m. Presentation by QSR International: Introduction to NVivo (afternoon repeat)
  • 2:00 p.m. Roper—an introduction
  • 2:30 p.m. Oxford Economics webinar: An Introduction to the Tools
  • 3:00 p.m. Public-Access Data Sharing at ICPSR: Update on the State of open ICPSR
  • 3:45 p.m. Raffle for Amazon Gift cards courtesy of Geographic Research, the makers of SimplyMap. We will be raffling 2 gift cards, one in the amount of $75.00 and the other in the amount of $50.00.

We will have coffee and snacks in the morning and a light lunch at noon.

Date:  Wednesday, Oct. 8
Time: 10am-4pm
Location: Rockefeller Library’s Digital Scholarship Lab & Hecker Training Center

Lecture | Gestural Indebtedness: Social Obligation and Circulations of Dance Online with Harmony Bench

HarmonyBenchJoin the Brown University Library and the Department of Music on Wednesday, October 22 at 6 p.m. in the Digital Scholarship Lab for a lecture by Harmony Bench entitled, “Gestural Indebtedness: Social Obligation and Circulations of Dance Online.” In her talk, Bench will consider the impact of “spreadable media” and what has been called the sharing economy on the ways that dance circulates in and through digital spaces.

In particular, she will argue that analyzing dance as partaking in a gift economy, with its attendant social obligations, sheds light on some of the tensions that arise when movements and gestures circulate beyond the communities that produce them. Gifts are never free, as Marcel Mauss argues. How, then, do economies of movement operate when dancers source their material from YouTube or video games, thus removing themselves from reciprocal relationships vis a vis other practitioners and movement innovators? What other forms of relationality appear as dancers assert a collective ownership of popular choreographies such as those in music videos? And how does the position of “fan” differ from that of “artist” when considering these alternate economies of movement?

Free and open to the public, this event is part of the Department of Music’s Fall Colloquium series.

Harmony Bench is Assistant Professor of Dance at Ohio State University, where she teaches in the areas of Critical Dance Studies, Dance History, and Performance Studies. Her research focuses on digital and screen media as they intersect with and inform choreography, movement, gesture, and dance as a social practice. She is the incoming co-editor of the International Journal of Screendance and serves as Secretary on the board of directors for the Congress on Research in Dance. She is currently working on a book entitled Dance as Common: Movement as Belonging in Digital Cultures. Harmony received her PhD in Culture and Performance from UCLA, and she holds additional degrees in Performance Studies from NYU and in Ballet and Women’s Studies from the University of Utah.

Date: October 22, 2014
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: The Patrick Man Digital Scholarship Lab, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence


George R.R. Martin and Tom Doherty to Receive Library’s Harris Collection Literary Award


Join the Brown University Library and Friends of the Library for an evening with distinguished author George R. R. Martin and renowned publisher Tom Doherty. A brief awards ceremony will kick off the event, followed by an interview with Martin and Doherty, led by Modern Culture and Media Professor Lynne Joyrich and local author Jon Land ’79.

Complimentary tickets for this event will be available to Brown ID holders only on Monday, October 6 at 12 p.m. through this website:

This event is brought to campus by the Friends of the Brown University Library.

Please visit the Harris Collection Literary Award website for more information about this exciting event, the award recipients, and the Award itself.


Date: Thursday, October 23, 2014
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Salomon Center for Teaching and Learning, De Ciccio Family Auditorium

Lecture | The Brown Charter: Digital Discoveries

imbr00000004842_02md_WEBBrown University’s Charter manuscript exists as two pieces of water-damaged parchment, with few visible letters. To coincide with Brown’s 250th anniversary, Rachel Lapkin, Library Materials Conservator, began working with Digital Production Services photographer Lindsay Elgin to see if modern imaging techniques could reveal more of the original manuscript. Learn about the characteristics of parchment, and of manuscript ink, and how these traits can be exploited by specialized lighting and processing techniques to allow for closer examination into this object’s memory.

Date: Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Time: 4 pm

Location: Lownes Room, John Hay Library


Rachel Lapkin, Library Materials Conservator

Lindsay Elgin, Photographer, Digital Production Services

John Hay Night at the Hay Library with Authors John Taliaferro and Joshua Zeitz

513RZiM7VHLAvailable February 2014

Ever wondered who John Hay was? On Wednesday, October 1 at 5:30 p.m. in the Lownes Room of the John Hay Library, you will have the chance to learn more about Brown’s most illustrious alumnus, a poet and diplomat who served three presidents—two of them as Secretary of State. Two authors, John Taliaferro and Joshua Zeitz AM’98, PhD’02, will discuss and sign their recent books about Hay, which will be available for purchase on site. Associate Professor of History Michael Vorenberg will introduce the speakers. A Q&A and reception will follow the talk. This event is free and open to the public.

John Taliaferro

Taliaferro-1132 _8X12

John Taliaferro is a graduate of Harvard College and a former senior editor at Newsweek. He is the author of four previous books: Charles M. Russell: The Life and Legend of America’s Cowboy Artist; Tarzan Forever: The Life of Edgar Rice Burroughs; Great White Fathers: The Story of the Obsessive Quest to Create Mount Rushmore; and In a Far Country: The True Story of a Mission, a Marriage, a Murder, and the Remarkable Reindeer Rescue of 1898. He and his wife, artist Malou Flato, live in Austin, Texas, and Pray, Montana.

Taliaferro’s All the Great Prizes: The Life of John Hay, from Lincoln to Roosevelt, is the first full-scale biography since 1934 of John Hay, a major figure in American history for more than half a century.

See more at:

Joshua Zeitz


Josh Zeitz has taught American history and politics at Cambridge University, Harvard University, and Princeton University. He is the author of several books on American political and social history and has written for the New York TimesWashington PostLA Times, Smithsonian Magazine, The New RepublicThe AtlanticDissentAmerican Heritage, and Mother Jones. Josh also appeared as a commentator on two PBS documentaries: Boomer Century, and Ken Burns’s Prohibition.

A former gubernatorial speechwriter and policy aide, Josh earned his B.A. with highest honors at Swarthmore College and his Ph.D. in American History at Brown University. He lives in Hoboken and Ocean Grove, New Jersey with his wife, Angela Zeitz, an artist, and their two daughters.

Lincoln’s Boys: John Hay, John Nicolay, and the War for Lincoln’s Image by Zeitz is a timely and intimate look into Lincoln’s White House through the lives of his two closest aides and confidantes. Drawing heavily on Hay’s and Nicolay’s letters, diaries, and memoirs, Lincoln’s Boys is part political drama and part coming-of-age tale—a fascinating story of friendship, politics, war, and the contest over history and remembrance.

See more at:

Date: October 1, 2014
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: Lownes Room | John Hay Library

John Hay Library Open Saturday 9/27 for Fall Celebration


As part of Brown University’s Imagine Brown 250+ Fall Celebration the John Hay Library will be open Saturday, September 27th (10 am – 6 pm).  The Hay Library will be open during its regular hours Sunday, September 28th (noon – 10 pm).

In addition to the ongoing exhibits, Elements of Tradition and Change: Brown University’s First 250 Years and The Great War, 1914–1918, visitors may take part in tours:

2 pm: Curator’s Tour of Elements of Tradition and Change

Engage in a lively exhibition tour with University Archivist Jennifer Betts.  Ms. Betts will discuss the exhibition’s themes as well as the history behind the University Archives collection materials on display. The exhibit highlights the University’s founding, evolving educational curriculum, social transformations, and the expanding campus.

2-2:45 pm and 3-3:45 pm: Tours of the John Hay Library

Join Peter Harrington, Curator, Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection, to view various special collections including the display of 5,000 miniature toy soldiers, and the Lincoln and Napoleon Rooms. Following the tour, take the opportunity to view the recently remodeled first floor of the Hay.



Banned Books Week 2014


Between September 21 and September 27, 2014 the Library will be celebrating Banned Books Week.

Every year for Banned Book Week, the American Library Association (ALA) promotes the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinions even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular. The ALA’s goal with Banned Book Week is to stress the importance of ensuring the availability of all viewpoints to all who wish to read them.

For the entire week, the Library will be contributing to the #BannedBooksWeek hashtag on Twitter. Also, be on the lookout for Banned Books Week materials in various Brown Library locations. If you spot something related to Banned Books Week take a photo and share on Instagram using the hashtag: #BannedBooksWeek.

For more about info about Banned Books Week visit:

Top ten frequently challenged books of 2013 has been released as part of the State of America’s Library Report. Find out which books made the list.

Music and the Great War Exhibit


Late summer and early fall of 2014 marks the centennial anniversary of the outbreak of World War I. This war had a dramatic effect on the psychological, political, and aesthetic landscape of Europe and North America. Although it is sometimes overshadowed in twentieth-century history by the second World War, the first World War inspired doubt, cynicism, and nostalgia that has resounded to the present day in musical works.

This exhibit takes a look at a few pieces with content that was directly inspired by the events of the war. There is work by Joan Littlewood, Kevin Puts, Alban Berg, John Foulds, and Igor Stravinsky.

Location: Orwig Music Library
Date: September 2014—January 9, 2015

Rock Reading Room Construction Impacts, 9/21 – 9/25

Due to construction to renovate the Reading Room on the first floor of the Rockefeller Library, there will be no access to the Finn glass study rooms and window study carrels along College Street from Sunday, September 21 through Thursday, September 25th. The rooms and carrels will re-open on Friday, September 26.

Noisy work (grinding) will begin Sunday, September 21 at midnight through Monday, September 22 at 8:00am. Users of the Rockefeller Library between midnight and 2:00am on Sunday will be affected. Extra measures will be taken to help control dust and smell.