Thursday, March 5, 2015

Jackson Society Enjoys Reception with Author Michael Parker

Members of the Friends of the UNCG Libraries Board of Directors and the Jackson Society, made up of those who support the University Libraries at UNCG with gifts of $1000 or more during the past year, enjoyed a wine and cheese reception with UNCG author Michael Parker at the Scuppernong Bookstore on March 3. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Spring Events in the Series "What Is College For?"

Thursday, March 26: Screening and discussion of Ivory Tower documentary film
3:30 p.m., followed by discussion at 5 p.m. in the Elliott University Center Auditorium, UNCG.

Tuesday, April 14: Presentation by Andrew Delbanco of Columbia University, “What is College For?”
4 p.m. Virginia Dare Room, Alumni House, UNCG.

UNCG’s “What Is College For?” series continues this spring with two related events in late March and mid-April.

On March 26, the University Libraries and the Provost’s Office will host a screening and discussion of Ivory Tower, the 2014 documentary film by Andrew Rossi.  The film premiered at the Sundance Festival last year, went into theatrical release mid-year, and was broadcast by CNN in November.  There is a copy in the University Libraries DVD collection, and it is also available on NetFlix.  You can view a trailer at

The official website for the movie describes it in this way:

As tuition rates spiral beyond reach and student loan debt passes $1 trillion (more than credit card debt), IVORY TOWER asks: Is college worth the cost?  From the halls of Harvard, to public colleges in financial crisis, to Silicon Valley, filmmaker Andrew Rossi (PAGE ONE: INSIDE THE NEW YORK TIMES) assembles an urgent portrait of a great American institution at the breaking point.
Through profiles at Arizona State, Cooper Union, and San Jose State —among several others—IVORY TOWER reveals how colleges in the United States, long regarded as leaders in higher education, came to embrace a business model that often promotes expansion over quality learning. But along the way we also find unique programs, from Stanford to the free desert school Deep Springs to the historically black all women’s college Spelman, where the potential for life-changing college experiences endure. Ultimately, IVORY TOWER asks, What price will society pay if higher education cannot revolutionize college as we know it and evolve a sustainable economic model?

The screening will begin a 3:30 pm in the Elliott University Center Auditorium, or those who have seen it elsewhere can come to the small group discussions beginning at 5 pm in the EUC Auditorium Lobby. 

One of the key voices appearing on the Ivory Tower film is that of Andrew Delbanco, professor in the Humanities at Columbia University and the author of College: What it Was, Is, and Should Be (Princeton University Press, 2012).  Dr. Delbanco will speak at UNCG at 4 pm on Tuesday, April 14 in the Virginia Dare Room on the series title topic, “What Is College For?”

Delbanco was awarded the 2011 National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama “for his writing that spans the literature of Melville and Emerson to contemporary issues in higher education.” In 2001, he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and named by Time Magazine as “America’s Best Social Critic.” In 2003, he was named New York State Scholar of the Year by the New York Council for the Humanities, in 2006, he received the “Great Teacher Award” from the Society of Columbia Graduates, and in 2013 he was elected to membership in the American Philosophical Society.

Melville: His World and Work (2005) was published in the United States by Alfred A. Knopf, in Britain under the Picador imprint, and has been translated into German and Spanish. Melville was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Biography, appeared on “best books” lists in the Washington Post, Independent (London), and TLS, and was awarded the Lionel Trilling Award by Columbia University.  Other books include The Death of Satan (1995), Required Reading: Why Our American Classics Matter Now (1997), and The Real American Dream (1999), which were named notable books by the editors of The New York Times Book Review, and, most recently, The Abolitionist Imagination (2012).  The Puritan Ordeal (1989) also won the Lionel Trilling Award. He has edited Writing New England (2001), The Portable Abraham Lincoln (1992, 2009), volume two of The Sermons of Ralph Waldo Emerson (with Teresa Toulouse), and, with Alan Heimert, The Puritans in America (1985).

Andrew Delbanco’s essays appear regularly in The New York Review of Books, The New Republic, and other journals, on topics ranging from American literary and religious history to contemporary issues in higher education. 

Mr. Delbanco has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and was a member of the inaugural class of fellows at the New York Public Library Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers.  He is a trustee of the Library of America, and the Teagle Foundation, and trustee emeritus of the National Humanities Center.  He has also served as Vice President of PEN American Center, and as a trustee of the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

Both events are free and open to the public.

Rescheduled to April 13: "Playing with Religion and Digital Games in the Library," a lecture by Greg Grieve

Please join us at 3:00 pm on Monday, April 13 in the Hodges Reading Room in Jackson Library for a lecture by Dr. Gregory Grieve of the UNCG Religious Studies Department. The event was originally scheduled for February but was postponed by bad weather and the closing of the campus.

His talk,  "Playing with Religion and Digital Games in the Library"  will draw from both his teaching and research. For the past two years, Dr. Grieve has worked closely with the Libraries' Digital Media Commons and Undergraduate Studies' Digital ACT Studio to develop space and resources for his courses on Digital Religion and Religion in Digital Games.  Final group projects in these classes require students to develop a video.

His recent books, Buddhism, the Internet and Digital Media: The Pixel in the Lotus and  Playing with Religion in Video Games explore this topic extensively. To quote Dr. Grieve:
"Shaman, paragon, God-mode: modern video games are heavily coded with religious undertones. From the Shinto-inspired Japanese video game Okami to the internationally popular The Legend of Zelda and Halo, many video games rely on religious themes and symbols to drive the narrative and frame the storyline."

We hope to see you at this dynamic lecture!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Carol Steger of the Department of Communication Studies Talks about the Value of the Digital Media Commons

The Digital Media Commons is a wonderful service that helps faculty as well as students. The DMC made all the difference in my flipped instruction course this semester. Last fall I enrolled in the FTLC’s “Flip-the-Classroom Cohort”. Our goal was to use technology in new ways to engage our students outside of the traditional classroom. Once I was given my assignment the DMC was the first campus resource I reached out to.

 I needed to create 6 videos to be sent to students before the spring semester began.  And I knew absolutely nothing about how to do this.  The DMC staff sat with me many days patiently helping me learn how to record and edit videos. (I even learned how to film using a green screen!)  There were plenty of times during the process when one staff member I had worked with was not available, and another staff would step right in and assistance without skipping a beat. They were all a great help.  It took 60 hours of work to complete my work - some of it at the center and some of it at home – but the DMC’s staff was there to help the whole way through, via email, phone, chat, or in person.  If it weren't for the DMC’s kind guidance and expertise, I would not have been able to complete the videos on time, or as effectively.

One thing that I was impressed with is the fact the center is so heavily used by our students. Every day I was in there, I could hardly find an empty seat. The center is designed for group study and collaboration, and our students are taking advantage of the resource. The DMC is obviously filling a need and I encourage more instructors to recommend the space and service to their students.

--Carol Steger, Department of Communication Studies, UNCG

Thursday, February 19, 2015

University Libraries Appearing on CSPAN February

Dr. Keith Gorman
Ms. Beth Ann Koelsch
If you watch C-SPAN programming this weekend, you’ll see some familiar UNCG faces, including two from the University Libraries.  The UNCG related programming will air Feb. 21-22.

Recently, C-SPAN came to the UNCG campus and interviewed two faculty members of the Special Collections and University Archives Department in Jackson Library. They also interviewed two faculty members and one emeritus faculty member in the History Department.

Ms. Beth Ann Koelsch is curator of the Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project in the library’s Hodges Special Collections & University Archives. “Since it’s for C-SPAN2 “the book channel,” I pulled books from the collection including memoirs, books written about particular companies (for example, “The 149th WAAC Post HQ Company, 1940-1943: Our Story”), comics, books on the history of women in the military and books about the role of women in the military,” she said.

Dr. Keith Gorman, Head of Special Collections and University Archives, was also interviewed in Jackson Library’s Hodges Reading Room. He spoke about the archives’ World War I pamphlet collection, noting that the entire collection of these pamphlets have been digitized and are online.

C-SPAN was in Greensboro as part of its “C-SPAN Cities Tour” in which they cover the history of a city as well as its local authors and libraries.

In the History Department interviews, the emphasis was on specific books the faculty have published:
  • Dr. Charles Bolton was asked about his book from 1994 “Poor Whites of the Antebellum South: Tenants and Laborers in Central North Carolina and Northeast Mississippi.
  • Dr. Mark Elliott, an expert on 19th century Greensboro judge and author Albion Tourgee, was asked about “Color-Blind Justice: Albion Tourgee and the Quest for Racial Equality from the Civil War to Plessy v. Ferguson.”
  • Dr. Loren Schweninger, emeritus professor, was interviewed about “Families in Crisis in the Old South: Divorce, Slavery & the Law.”

The UNCG related programming will air Feb. 21-22. According to C-SPAN: “The history segments will air on American History TV (AHTV) on C-SPAN3 and the literary events/non-fiction author segments will air on BookTV on C-SPAN2. In addition, we will air special Greensboro programming blocks: C-SPAN2 BookTV BLOCK: SATURDAY, February 21 at 12 pm ET and C-SPAN3 American History TV (AHTV) BLOCK: SUNDAY, February 22 at 2 pm ET.”

See more information at

Adapted from a Campus Weekly story by Mike Harris of University Relations.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Appalachian State University Librarians Assist UNCG

left to right:
Kelly McBride, Lead Librarian for Information Literacy
Rachel Fleming, Lead Acquisitions Librarian
Pam Mitchem, Preservation and Digital Project Archivist
Beth Cramer, Coordinator of Bibliographic Services

The University Libraries at UNCG wish to thank their colleagues at Appalachian State University for meeting with the library faculty here on February 13, 2015 regarding the promotion, tenure and rankings guidelines and procedures at their library.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Weekend of Southern Literary Stars: February 21-22, 2015

We have been asked to let Friends members know about these upcoming events sponsored by the MFA Writing Program at UNCG, O. Henry Magazine, and the O. Henry Hotel.

For details, see: