Announcement | Healthy Library Collections Ecosystem Initiative

Healthy Library Collections Ecosystem Initiative

In January 2019, the Library launched the Healthy Library Collections Ecosystem Initiative for the Rockefeller Library and the Annex. The goal is to improve and develop workflows, processes, and solutions that will ensure healthy and equitable movement of library materials throughout their lifecycle. Findability and browsability will be enhanced, shelf space will be optimized, books and other materials will be suitably placed, and library usage data will be expanded and refined–all resulting in a healthy library environment for patrons, Library staff, and collections materials.

The Shift

A direct response to feedback received through graduate student survey data, the two-year Initiative will conclude in January 2021, when a large shift of materials at the Rockefeller and the Annex will take place. In addition to populating empty shelf space and creating room on overcrowded shelves, the shift will take usage data into account to make sure that items frequently circulated or used onsite will be available in the stacks at the Rock, and that less-used items and digital material available online will be moved to the Annex. We will not be getting rid of books.

System of Healthy Collections Flow

Once the improved processes are in place and the shift occurs, the Library will have identified and established a system of healthy collections flow that will allow for new items to move into the Rock.

Benefits

  • Already, book locator technology has been repaired and improved! 
  • All new books can be shelved within a few days of receipt
  • Books and other materials will live in a healthy shelf habitat
  • Locations in the catalog will align with locations in the Rock
  • All items in a call letter will be located together, so browsing the stacks will be easy, enjoyable, and fruitful
  • Scans from all journals at the Annex can be requested and received in a timely manner 

Process

A cross departmental committee of Library staff is overseeing and conducting the steps of this process, which is akin to having construction zones on campus. Your experience at the Library from now until January 2021 will not change, aside from incremental improvements like small shifts to create more space for overcrowded books. We will continue to provide the same high level of services, facilities, and physical and digital resources throughout the entire process.

Input

In addition to using feedback the Library has already gathered from patrons, we are conducting focus this semester, including faculty and students. 

If you would like to participate in the focus groups or have any questions, suggestions, or concerns, please contact us at libraryecosystem@brown.edu.

Committee

  • Nora Dimmock, Deputy University Librarian, Chair
  • Pat Putney, Associate University Librarian for Scholarly Resources
  • Sarah Evelyn, Director of Academic Engagement for the Humanities and Social Sciences
  • William S. Monroe, Senior Scholarly Resources Librarian, Humanities
  • Emily Ferrier, Librarian for Social Science and Entrepreneurship
  • Bart Hollingsworth, Head of Circulation and Resource Sharing
  • Kimberly Silva, Rockefeller Circulation Manager
  • Michelle Venditelli, Head of Preservation, Conservation, and the Library Annex
  • Paul Magliocco, Head of Annex and Stacks Maintenance Preservation Service
  • Dan O’Mahony, Director of Library Planning and Assessment

Event | John Laudun – “Are We Not Doing Phrasing Anymore?”: Towards a Cultural Informatics

On Wednesday, February 26, 2020 at 12 p.m. in the Digital Scholarship Lab at the Rockefeller Library, John Laudon, PhD will give a talk, “‘Are We Not Doing Phrasing Anymore?’: Towards a Cultural Informatics.” Organized by the Data Science Initiative, the Cogut Institute for the Humanities, and the Library’s Center for Digital Scholarship.

Free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

“Are We Not Doing Phrasing Anymore?: Towards a Cultural Informatics

Recent headlines reveal the profound suspicion with which statistical methods have been received within the humanities. The pervasive belief is that a chasm lies between statistics and the humanities that not only cannot be bridged but should not be attempted, at the risk of losing the human. And yet slowly and steadily, a growing number of practitioners have not only developed research programs but also pedagogical methods that open up new analytical perspectives as well as new avenues for students to explore their relationship between the subject matter and their own understanding.

This talk offers a small survey of various practices to be found in the digital humanities alongside a few experiments by the author in allowing students to experience how statistical methods in fact demystify the meaning-making process in language and empower students not only to ground their insights in things they can see and count, but also in understanding texts as nothing more than certain sequences of words, opening a path to making them better writers as well.

Working from a broad survey to narrow applications, the talk suggests that concerns about a loss of humanity in the humanities is actually a concern for loss of certain kinds of authority, but that new kinds of authority are possible within which researchers and teachers will find a firm ground from which to offer interpretations and evaluations of the kinds of complex artifacts that have long been the purview of the domain.

John Laudun, PhD

John Laudun received his MA in literary studies from Syracuse University in 1989 and his PhD in folklore studies from the Folklore Institute at Indiana University in 1999. He was a Jacob K. Javits Fellow while at Syracuse and Indiana (1987 – 1992), and a MacArthur Scholar at the Indiana Center for Global Change and World Peace (1993 – 1994). He has written grants that have been funded by the Grammy Foundation and the Louisiana Board of Regents, been a fellow with the EVIA Digital Archive, and a scholar in residence with UCLA’s Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics. His book, The Amazing Crawfish Boat, is a longitudinal ethnographic study of creativity and tradition within a material folk culture domain.

Laudun’s current work is in the realm of culture analytics. He is engaged in several collaborations with physicists and other scientists seeking to understand how texts can be modeled computationally in order to better describe functions and features.

Date: Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Time: 12 p.m.
Location: Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence

Announcement | Brown Library Staff Recognized for Service Milestones on BEAR Day

On Tuesday, February 18, 2020, Brown University staff gathered for the annual Brown Employee Appreciation and Recognition (BEAR) Day, at which staff are recognized for milestone years of continuous service. With so many employees with impressive longevity, the Library is always well represented at BEAR Day.

Here are the Library staff members who were recognized this year:

5 Years of Service

  • Andrew Creamer
  • Kimberly Silva

15 Years of Service

  • Kathryn Gearon
  • Erica Saladino

20 Years of Service

  • Diane Cazzarro
  • Bart Hollingsworth

25 Years of Service

  • Joseph Mancino

30 Years of Service

  • Deneen Eugenio

30+ Years of Service

  • Karen Bouchard
  • John Boylan
  • Raymond Butti
  • James Chapin
  • Stephen Conlon
  • Paul Cormier
  • Ann Dodge
  • Patricia Dumin
  • Peter Harrington
  • Joanna Katsune
  • Paula Kojian
  • Andrew Pereira
  • Linda Peterson
  • Patricia Putney
  • Robert Rosa
  • Joanne Tandy
  • Virginia Twomey
  • William Wood

40+ Years

  • Charles Flynn
  • Linda Gesualdi
  • Sheila Hogg

Announcement | #LibraryLove Poetry at the Rock

This Valentine’s Day, Friday, February 14, 2020, look for 10 posters of poems hanging around the Rock. Written by poets who identify as LGBTQ+ and/or as members of historically underrepresented groups, the poetry offers readers an opportunity to engage with love from different perspectives.

Readers can also vote for you favorite poem of the ten selected, tell us your all time favorite poem and item in the Library, and provide feedback, if you like, for what the Library can do or do better to make all feel welcome and supported.

Vote here

The winner: “Separation” by W. S. Merwin.

Thanks for voting!

The poems on display:

  1. Harjo, Joy. For Keeps by Joy Harjo – Poems | Academy of American Poets. https://poets.org/poem/keeps. Accessed 13 Feb. 2020.
  2. Vuong, Ocean. “In Defense of Dancing.” Guernica, 1 Apr. 2012, https://www.guernicamag.com/in-defense-of-dancing/.
  3. Asghar, Fatimah. “My Love for Nature by Fatimah Asghar.” Poetry Magazine, 13 Feb. 2020, https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/90290/my-love-for-nature.
  4. Oberman, Miller. “On Trans by Miller Oberman.” Poetry Magazine, 13 Feb. 2020, https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/57983/on-trans.
  5. Jordan, June. “Poem for My Love by June Jordan.” Poetry Foundation, 13 Feb. 2020, https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/49218/poem-for-my-love.
  6. Lorde, Audre. “Recreation by Audre Lorde.” Poetry Foundation, 13 Feb. 2020, https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/42579/recreation.
  7. Merwin, Poetry. “Separation by W. S. Merwin.” Poetry Magazine, 13 Feb. 2020, https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/28891/separation-56d21285b2140.
  8. Cassarino, Stacie. “Snowshoe to Otter Creek.” Zero at the Bone, 1st ed., New Issues Poetry and Prose, 2009, p. 91.
  9. Larkin, Poetry. “Want by Joan Larkin.” Poetry Foundation, 13 Feb. 2020, https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/54384/want.
  10. Limón, Ada. “What I Didn’t Know Before.” The Carrying, Milkweed Editions, 2018, p. 120.

It is the Library’s sincere hope that all members of the Brown community feel welcome and supported in our physical and virtual spaces. We have the privilege and responsibility to steward and highlight works by writers and researchers of all backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. Representation is important.

Love comes in many forms. On Valentine’s Day, we appreciate you joining us in a love for poetry and for all the ways in which we can love and support each other, today and every day.

This is YOUR Brown University Library. You belong here.

Announcement | LED Light Bulbs

Energy efficient LED light bulbs are being installed in all light fixtures throughout Library buildings.

This effort to increase our energy efficiency is in direct alignment with Brown’s mission to cut campus greenhouse gas emissions by 75% by 2025 and to achieve net-zero emissions no later than 2040.

The work will begin at the Rockefeller Library on Tuesday, February 18, 2020.

Thank you for your patience while this work is being done.

Announcement | Anthony Helm, Director of Library Digital Technologies

The Library is delighted to announce the hire of Anthony Helm as Director of Library Digital Technologies. His start date is March 2, 2020.

Anthony is currently the Head of Digital Media and Library Technologies at Dartmouth College, directing a team of 16 professionals including web developers, programmers, and librarians. As a member of Dartmouth’s leadership team, Anthony was instrumental in strengthening the school’s digital infrastructure by implementing the Alma Integrated Library System. He also led the planning, design, and completion of a $1.7 million renovation project in the Jones Media Center to create a more contemporary, media-focused learning center. 

Prior to Dartmouth, Anthony was the Academic Technologist for the Arts and Humanities at Clark University in Worcester, MA. 

Anthony earned an M.A. in Japanese Language, Literature and Culture from The University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. in Communication Arts—Television/Radio with a minor in Asian Studies from Southern Methodist University.

Event | The Evolving Image of Shaker Life with Rob Emlen

On Tuesday, February 11, 2020 at 4 p.m. in the Lownes Room of the John Hay Library, Rob Emlen will discuss his newly-published book Imagining the Shakers, based in part on research in the Hay’s Special Collections.

The Evolving Image of Shaker Life

In the half century between 1830 and 1880, the American public encountered the first visual images of this country’s oldest and largest communal religious society. Published as newspaper and magazine illustrations or as separate engravings and lithographs meant to be framed and displayed, these prints reveal the changing ways in which Americans imagined the radically nonconformist Shakers, evolving from suspicion and ridicule to acceptance as a valued part of the cultural landscape of the nation.

Rob Emlen

Rob Emlen is a Visiting Scholar in American Studies at Brown University and a Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society. He recently retired as university curator and senior lecturer in American Studies at Brown, and as a part-time faculty member in the Theory and History of Art and Design at the Rhode Island School of Design. During his 34 years at Brown he conducted much of the research for his book Imagining the Shakers in the collections of the John Hay Library.

Date: Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Time: 4 p.m.
Location: Lownes Room, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence

To request special services, accommodations, or assistance for this event, please contact Jennifer Braga at Jennifer_Braga@brown.edu or (401) 863-6913 as far in advance of the event as possible. Thank you.

Exhibit | Early American & English Bookplates 18th-20th C.

Sonia Lustig
Bookplate Collection

Bookplates are also known as “ex libris” and include a name, motto, and motif. Decorated pieces of paper found on the inside of books, ex libris have practical, historical and social associations that trace back to 15th century Germany, around the time of the invention of the printing press. They not only promote the return of borrowed books and provide a trail of documented ownership, their artistic design also conveys the personalities of book owners and the practical and imaginary worlds inhabited by them.

View bookplates for Henrietta Countess of Pomfret Lady of the Bedchamber to the Queen (1698–1761), Massachusetts Medical Society (1781), and Louis-Rene Quentin de Richebourg of Champcenetz (1759–1794), among others.

Exhibit Dates: February 6 – March 31, 2020
Exhibit TimeJohn Hay Library Hours
Exhibit Location: Second Floor Landing, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence

Event | #LibraryLove 2020

This Valentine’s Day – Friday, February 14 – let us know what you think is the greatest thing at the Library, enjoy cookies, write a love letter, explore poetry, and make a button from a special collections print. Available from 12 – 3 p.m. in these library locations:

  • Rockefeller Library, Sorensen Family Reading Room
  • John Hay Library, First Floor Lobby & Lounge
  • Sciences Library, Lobby
  • Orwig Music Library, Circulation Area

What do you love about the Library? 📚

We want to know about the book / journal / artifact / tool / technology / chair / view / librarian that you found through the Library that has had an effect on you. Please tell us by submitting a comment or posting to social with #LibraryLove at:

Cookies + ❤️

There will be cookies and a taped up heart in four library locations, along with sticky notes and pens. We invite you to write what you love about the Library on a sticky note and put it up on the wall with the heart.

Love Letters 💌 📬

Each location will also have available complimentary greeting cards from the Friends of the Library collection. Please help yourself to a card, write a love letter, seal and address the envelope (you will need to know the address), and place it in the box near the cards. The Library will mail it for you!

Poetry ✍︎ 🎼

Explore ten poems by writers who identify as LGBTQ+ and/or as members of historically underrepresented groups, printed out on posters at the Rock. Take a photo of your favorite poem or book of poetry. Video yourself reciting poetry or singing a love song. Post an original poem. #LibraryLove

Buttons 😍

Make a button out of priceless special collections materials! A button maker, fixings, and (prints of) eye catching items from the Hay’s special collections will be available in the lobby of the John Hay Library from 12 – 3 p.m.

Announcement | Steven Lubar Appointed Faculty Director of CDS

The Brown University Library is delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Steven Lubar as the inaugural Faculty Director of the Center for Digital Scholarship (CDS). Serving as a senior Library leader during this three-year appointment, Professor Lubar will spearhead the development of academic programming relating to digital scholarship at Brown, working closely with Library leadership and campus partners to advance CDS’s role as the University’s primary hub for new and emerging modes of scholarship that are enabled by digital technology. His directorship began on January 1, 2020 and will run through June 30, 2023.

Steven Lubar

Steven Lubar is Professor of American Studies, Professor of History of Art and Architecture, and Professor of History. He has written and taught about museums and museum history, public and digital humanities, and the history of technology and skills. A 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship helped support his most recent book, Inside the Lost Museum: Curating, Past and Present.

Professor Lubar was director of the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage from 2004 to 2014 and director of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology from 2010 to 2012. He received his undergraduate degree from MIT and his Ph.D. in history from the University of Chicago.

Enthusiastic about the possibilities this new role entails, Professor Lubar stated, “I am delighted to join the Center for Digital Scholarship as we continue to build on our long history of innovative digital scholarly projects. I look forward to creating connections across the campus and finding new ways to work with faculty, students, and staff to support and expand the exciting work of digital scholarship at Brown.”

CDS Faculty Director

As Faculty Director, Professor Lubar will have primary responsibility for building academic community and programming at CDS. This will include creating a regular digital scholarship seminar and other forums for faculty, students, and staff to consider theoretical, methodological, and practical questions involved in these new and emerging modes of scholarly work. He will also organize an academic oversight structure to guide CDS in its support for faculty’s digital scholarly projects. He will continue ex officio as a member of the faculty advisory committee for the Mellon Foundation-funded Digital Publications Initiative, which will now become a formal part of CDS. 

This new role also includes building stronger partnerships with other campus departments, centers, and programs with aligned interests, exploring new academic program initiatives, and helping to represent Brown in the international community of digital scholarship centers. He will continue teaching and performing other faculty duties in his departments. 

Strengthening Center Organization and Operations

Stemming from the University Library’s strategic plan and further informed by an external review of CDS in 2019, the creation of a Faculty Director is one element in a broader effort to enhance CDS. Other organizational changes are in process to ensure that CDS’s academic programs and service functions form an integrated and coherent suite of resources for digital scholarship at Brown.