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WSU Library System News

News & Updates in the Libraries

Walter P. Reuther Library receives grant from NHPRC to expand discovery and access to oral histories

June 3rd, 2014

Wayne State University’s Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs, was recently awarded a grant totaling $109,152 from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) to facilitate the discovery and promotion of 1,660 oral histories of individuals directly involved in the labor, civil rights and social justice movements, among other important historical developments.

By employing updated access methods, the NHPRC grant project will allow Reuther archivists to work on descriptions that will make the oral histories easier to discover by researchers. Donated to the Reuther or conducted by staff members over the last 40 years, these stories bring a deeper understanding of the lives and work of such prominent national figures as Grace Lee Boggs and Cesar Chavez and organizations like the NAACP and the UAW. Perhaps more importantly, the oral histories also give voice to the unknown rank-and-file workers, immigrants, pioneering professional women and minority urban dwellers, providing new perspectives on the American experience.

“This grant will allow scholars to easily locate oral histories of labor leaders and individuals who tell their own stories in their own ways, bringing a new understanding of their lives and work,” said Sandra Yee, dean of the Wayne State University Libraries. “Making these oral histories more accessible will be a huge benefit to researchers.”

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission supports projects to facilitate the use of historical records held by archives and other repositories and to assure their long-term preservation. The Archivist of the United States is the Chairman of the fifteen-member Commission, which includes representatives from all three branches of the federal government as well as the leading archival and historical professional associations. Established in 1934 with the National Archives, the NHPRC has awarded nearly 5,000 grants for preserving, publishing and providing access to the nation’s historical documents.

Discover the hidden gems of the Libraries with the Wayne State Insiders on June 11!

May 28th, 2014

Prepare yourself for an unveiling of the hidden gems of the Wayne State Libraries on June 11 from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. as we offer a guided tour of the Reuther Library and a Special Collections-focused self-guided tour throughout the Undergraduate and Purdy/Kresge Libraries as part of the Wayne State Insiders program.

The 90-minute program will kick off in the Purdy/Kresge Auditorium with a short welcome from Dean Sandra Yee, Special Collections Team and Reuther Library. From there, participants will split into two groups: one group will take part in a behind-the-scenes, 40-minute tour of the Reuther Library headed by archivist Louis Jones, while the other group will be provided maps and embark on a self-guided tour of Special Collections highlights in the UGL and P/K. From elephant memorabilia and keepsakes belonging to Florence Nightingale, to a lock of Abraham Lincoln’s hair and the sister to the pistol used by John Wilkes Booth in the Lincoln assassination, the Wayne State Libraries hold a trove of historical treasures to share! Librarians and staff will be available to not only help direct people to the various points of interest, but also to explain the collections and answer questions from the tour participants. The two groups will switch at the conclusion of the first Reuther tour so that the first group can explore the libraries while the other group tours Reuther.

To RSVP, visit: http://events.wayne.edu/2014/06/11/wayne-state-insiders-discover-hidden-gems-of-the-libraries-53121/

The Wayne State Insiders includes alumni, friends, students, parents, faculty and staff who serve as informal ambassadors for Wayne State and our Midtown community. We welcome anyone excited about the positive impact of WSU and Detroit’s urban renewal. The more we learn, the more we can share and the greater our collective impact can be.

2013 Wayne State Libraries Annual Report

April 28th, 2014

Click below to download a copy of the Wayne State University Libraries’ 2013 Year in Review.
wsuls_annual_report_2013

Don’t forget to check out our Instagram account to check out all the photos and more! waynestatelibraries

A very rare book opens six different ways and reveals 6 different books

April 23rd, 2014

Book binding has seen many variations, from the iconic Penguin paperbacks to highly unusual examples like this from late 16th century Germany. It’s a variation on the dos-à-dos binding format (from the French meaning “back-to-back”). Here however, the book opens six different directions, each way revealing a different book. It seems that everyone has a tablet or a Kindle tucked away in their bag (even my 90 year old grandma), and so it sometimes comes as a surprise to remember the craftsmanship that once went along with reading.

The book, which comes from the Rogge Library in Strängnäs, features devotional texts printed in Germany during the 1550s and 1570s (including Martin Luther’s Der kleine Catechismus). Each of the books is held closed with its own ornate metal clasp, and was probably far more decorative than useful. Just imagine finding where you left off! See more images of this book and other rare examples on the National Library of Sweden’s Flickr page.

Read more at http://www.visualnews.com/2014/01/24/rare-book-opens-6-different-ways-reveals-6-different-books/#VgsjCU1gDyvVjX9f.99

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Libraries around the world: The Human Library – Check Out A Living Book And Listen To Their Story

April 23rd, 2014

London – In the Human Library you can rent people who have been through difficult times – and they will tell you all about it. It’s a way of debunking the stereotypes that have spread around Great Britain.

They are each sitting at a round table and wearing yellow silk sashes with “book” written across. A dozen people have volunteered to become part of this human library set up in the London headquarters of an NGO called Crisis. They have all been through hard times. Some took drugs; others lived in the street or suffered from mental illnesses. They have put themselves at the public’s disposal and can be “borrowed” for half an hour, enough time to learn a little about their experience.

“I was agoraphobic,” says Teresa, a shy redhead with green eyes. “At times, I couldn’t leave the house for 12 weeks.” Why is she participating in this project? “To show that there is a face behind the illness and to dispel the stereotypes about it, since its often perceived as a form of laziness.”

Other “books” include Mafruha, a Bangladeshi refugee and poet; Joirute, a Lithuanian with a handicapped daughter; or Rafeik, a homeless drug-addict. On the wall, a board sums up their life story and indicates who is “available” and who is “taken.”

Life stories, as told by those who have lived them

A former alcoholic and drug addict, 45 year-old Gordon is the first to be borrowed today. “I started taking drugs when I was 11,” he tells the first four people who chose him. “I increased the doses, mixed ecstasy, amphetamines, cocaine, heroin. I went to prison.” A listener interrupts to describe his own experience as an alcoholic. He wants advice on how to stop. “For me, the trigger was the day I accepted to see myself as a drug-addict,” explains Gordon.

Nearby, 42 year-old Stephen is telling a mother and her son about his incredible life. “At nine years old, I was adopted by a wealthy family. I worked for the Queen and for Harrods. I met many famous people; I even went on tour with Michael Jackson. And then, after a nervous breakdown, everything came crumbling down. I ended up in the street.” His audience is captivated. “Talking about my past is a form of therapy, it enables me to put things into perspective,” he notes after his performance.

Organizer Veena Torchia hopes to debunk certain stereotypes. “I grew up in South Africa during the apartheid. I saw the effects of fear based on ignorance.” She believes meeting with a real person can change things. Juliet, one of the “readers,” agrees. “I really identified with one of the “books,” because we had grown up in the same city and were both victims of racism.”

150 Human Libraries around the world

The idea of a human library was born in Denmark with an NGO called Stop the Violence. It was then exported to about sixty countries with help from the Council of Europe. But the idea truly took off in Great Britain thanks to the energy of two men, Nick Little, a librarian, and Oz Osborne, who works for an NGO from rural Norfolk County that fights against mental illnesses.

“We organized our first event in 2008,” remembers Little. “Since then, there have been 150 such events throughout the country.” They transformed the concept into a franchise. “We train partner organizations, like Crisis, who then organize their own human libraries.” Because the goal is to reach people who harbor the most stereotypes, the libraries are often in busy areas like supermarkets, stations or even in the street.

As for the “books,” they are selected according to a strict process. “The goal is to have a group of people who represent all parts of society,” says the librarian. “From an HIV-positive person to a Polish migrant, as well as transgender or handicapped people.” The “titles” are regularly updated. “Since 9/11, it is important to include Muslims because of Islamophobia,” he says. “After the riots last summer, we called upon young black delinquents.” It is also important to take local specificities into account. For instance, the library looked into “chavs”, the derogatory term used for young white men from the working class. But the goal isn’t to reproduce stereotypes. “One of our participants is a 85 year-old man who fled Nazi Germany when he was 14. When the audience chose the book called “Refugee,” it wasn’t expecting him,” says Little. “We don’t want to tell people how to think, we just want to take them out of their comfort zone,” adds Osborne.

Sometimes the “library” is a place of learning. “People learn, for instance, that an asylum seeker doesn’t have the right to work and therefore won’t steal British jobs,” Osborne explains. Claire Carney, who organized several events in Preston, in the North of England, says the participants she spoke with learned that “you can’t catch AIDS through saliva or that a blind woman can have a child.”

Nick Little and Oz Osborne know that it will “never be possible to convince everybody.” Sometimes reactions are even violent. “One man attacked me because I was suggested he borrow a gay book and he thought I was calling him a homosexual,” says Little. But there are also achievements. “We were able to change a Christian fundamentalist’s mind on gay marriage.” One of reading’s many benefits.

Read the full article: The Human Library – Check Out A Living Book And Listen To Their Story

Get ready to get even more from your library searches with Summon!

April 14th, 2014

First, the Wayne State Libraries brought you Research Warrior, a new way to search that made finding books, media and articles from journals and magazines even easier. Now, get ready for Summon, a search tool that brings you all the features of Research Warrior but also increases your results to include things like research guides, librarian contact information and licensed reference materials like Gale Virtual Reference. With over three million library items, over five hundred databases, and a single search box, you’ll spend even less time searching, and more time finding.

Summon uses responsive design, which makes viewing on tablets and mobile devices even better and will integrate directly into Quick Search. Summon will replace Research Warrior in the “Everything” tab on the library website on May 6 but to preview it now, go to http://wayne.summon.serialssolutions.com

Wayne State University’s Shiffman Medical Library Outreach Services hosts “Conversations with Caregivers” conference April 16

April 4th, 2014

On April 16, Wayne State University Shiffman Medical Library Outreach Services is presenting “Conversations for Caregivers,” an all day conference featuring a panel discussion, forum and breakout sessions that will connect caregivers to legal, financial, healthcare, long-term care and research experts who will help demystify the roles and responsibilities of caregivers.

The event takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit’s cultural center. The panel and session leaders will include Wayne State professors, social workers, physicians and attorneys that will speak on topics including avoiding legal and financial pitfalls, communication between physicians, patients and families, psychosocial needs of caregivers and more.

“People are often surprised at the resources that are available,” said Shiffman Medical Librarian LaVentra Ellis-Danquah. “It makes an incredible difference when caregivers can get the help that they need close to home.”

According to the Michigan Office of Services to the Aging, you may be one of the State’s 1.2 million caregivers if you are an unpaid family member or friend who assists an older adult or a person with a disability with any of their daily living activities. Many who find themselves in these circumstances may not identify themselves as caregivers.

The event is free and open to the public but registration is required. To register or for more information, including a full list of the sessions offered, go to guides.lib.wayne.edu/shiffmanoutreach or contact LaVentra Ellis-Danquah at (313) 577-9083 or laventra@wayne.edu.

The 16 Coolest College Libraries In The Country

March 25th, 2014

Wayne State didn’t make the list but it’s still a great group to peruse!

http://www.businessinsider.com/coolest-college-libraries-2014-4?op=1

Wayne State School of Library and Information Science’s Project IDOL accepting applications for fall 2014 cohort

March 24th, 2014

The Wayne State University School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) is now accepting applications for Project IDOL (Increasing Diversity of Librarians) fall 2014 cohort.

Project IDOL is a collaboration between the Wayne State SLIS and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Library Alliance. Thanks to funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program, SLIS and the HBCU Library Alliance have joined forces to achieve greater diversity among practicing library professionals. In this three-year project, the two partner organizations will recruit, mentor and offer an online master’s degree in library and information science (MLIS) to 10 students from historically underrepresented groups. SLIS will provide the education, while the HBCU library alliance will assist with recruitment and retention by providing mentorship of the students.

Project IDOL Fellows will receive full tuition for their MLIS degree, advisory support of individual mentors, additional funds for books, conference travel and a personal computer. The degree must be completed within two years. SLIS encourages applicants from anywhere in North America, as the MLIS degree can be completed entirely online.

Interested applicants must first be accepted into the Wayne State MLIS program before being considered for Project IDOL funding. Further details about Project IDOL and full application requirements can be found at slis.wayne.edu/diversity/projectidol.php or by contacting Matt Fredericks, SLIS academic services officer, at aj8416@wayne.edu

UGL puts on commemorative display in celebration of National Poety Month

March 24th, 2014

During the entire month of April, in honor of National Poetry Month, the Wayne State University Library System will be presenting a commemorative display celebrating the work of esteemed Wayne State alumni and poets, Robert Hayden and Dudley Randall. Consisting of twelve free standing and hanging six-foot panels in the atrium of the Undergraduate Library, the exhibition will highlight the life and works of Hayden and Randall through selected poems, biographies and photos.

Dudley Randall (January 14, 1914 – August 5, 2000) was a Wayne State alum, African-American poet and poetry publisher from Detroit. He founded a pioneering publishing company called Broadside Press in 1965, which published many leading African-American writers. Randall penned his most well-known poem “The Ballad of Birmingham”, in response to the 1963 bombing of the Baptist church that Martin Luther King, Jr belonged to in Birmingham, Alabama. Randall’s poetry is characterized by simplicity and realism.

Robert Hayden (August 4, 1913 – February 25, 1980) was a Wayne State alum, African American poet, essayist and educator. Hayden was elected to the American Academy of Poets in 1975 and from 1976 to 1978, served as the first African American Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. In 1985 this position became the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress.