WSU Library System News

News & Updates in the Libraries

Faculty: Apply for an Open Textbook Adoption Award by April 17

March 30th, 2016

Have you noticed?

An increase in the price of your required course textbook?
Students are not prepared for class because they have not completed the readings?
Students have not purchased the required course textbook?
A yes answer to any of these questions may impact the student retention and success in your course. According to a U.S. Public Interest Research Group survey, textbook costs can equal 14% of the tuition and fees at a four-year public university. Students may not purchase textbooks due to their cost, and unprepared students may not succeed in class, ultimately dropping the class and extending their time to graduation.

The Wayne State University Open Textbook Adoption Award is designed to help Wayne State University instructors adopt open textbooks within their courses. Selected applications will receive up to $1,000 towards open textbook adoption.

Several open textbook grant-funded initiatives have made quality, peer-reviewed textbooks available. Open textbooks are:

available online for free via internet connection
provide for personal download at no additional cost
Suggested quality, peer-reviewed open textbooks to consider include OpenStax College or University of Minnesota Open Textbook Library. The award panel will also consider quality open textbooks from other sources. If you would like assistance locating an open textbook for your course, or would like to know if the open textbook you would like to use would qualify, please contact Veronica Bielat, University Libraries, (313) 577-4217 or

The open textbook adoption must be a new project, existing open textbooks already in use by faculty for courses at Wayne State University are not eligible for this award.

Award Requirements
All award recipients will be asked to share their experiences of open textbook adoption.

Award recipients may be asked to provide class time for a student evaluation of the open textbook.

Application Review Process
Applications will be reviewed by a panel consisting of a faculty member, an administrative staff member and a student representative.

Proposals will be awarded based upon:

Quality and strength of application and how well it meets the requirements
Potential savings to Wayne State University students (based on historical course enrollment numbers and current text costs)
Ability to be implemented in the Fall 2016 or Winter 2017 semester
Accessibility and usability of the resource for all students
Award Disbursement
Award funds will be distributed at the beginning of the semester identified for open textbook adoption in the application.

Submissions are due by midnight, April 17, 2016

To apply go to:

April 14 | Michigan Notable Books author Sara Kosiba to lead discussion of “What Happens” by John Herrmann

March 28th, 2016

As part of her Michigan Notable Books tour, “What Happens,” originally written by John Hermann, will be discussed by the editor, Sara Kosiba at noon, April 14 in the Bernath Auditorium at Wayne State University’s David Adamany Undergraduate Library.

Every year, the Library of Michigan selects up to twenty of the most notable books, either written by a Michigan resident or about Michigan or the Great Lakes. The selected books are honored in the year after their publication or copyright date.  Each selected title speaks to our state’s rich cultural, historical, and literary heritage and proves without a doubt that some of the greatest stories are found in the Great Lakes State.

Born in 1900, John Herrmann is known as Lansing, Michigan’s most forgotten author. Herrmann came from a successful Lansing family that owned John Herrmann’s Sons, the largest bespoke tailor in the state. Deemed obscene, his 1926 novel “What Happens” was confiscated and banned in the United States, only being published in Paris.  The obscenity trial he eventually lost was one of the first major tests of community standards and obscenity. Once husband to the writer Josephine Herbst, Herrmann is noted for his radical writings and close association with the U. S. Communist Party.  He served in the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II and later moved to Mexico where he connected with beat writers including William Burroughs.  He died in 1959.

Sara Kosiba is an associate professor of English at Troy University in Alabama. Her research specializes in 20th century Midwestern writers, including figures such as Ernest Hemingway, Dawn Powell, Josephine Herbst, and John Herrmann. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, and a master’s degree in literature from Minnesota State University, Mankato and a Ph.D. in English from Kent State University.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Michelle LaLonde at

Submit your case report to BMJ Case Reports for free

March 9th, 2016

Are you planning to write up a case report for publication? If so, consider submitting your manuscript (for free!) to BMJ Case Reports. The WSU Library System recently became an institutional member of this journal, which waives your submission fee. Contact Katherine Akers ( before you submit to receive an institutional code.

For further information on choosing an appropriate journal for publishing your case report and tips on writing high-quality case reports, attend the upcoming “Publishing Case Reports” Seminar, held on Monday, April 4, noon-1 pm, Margherio Conference Center. Click here to register.

Wayne State University Libraries launch digital collection of strike newspaper, the Detroit Sunday Journal

March 9th, 2016

The Wayne State University Libraries recently launched a digital collection containing all issues of the Detroit Sunday Journal, the publication produced by newspaper union workers who went on strike from the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press in July 1995. Spanning four years and just over 200 editions, the Sunday Journal was a weekly tabloid newspaper that was available through the mail, in stores and at corner boxes throughout Southeast Michigan.

“It was journalism off the leash,” said Tom Schram, former publisher of the Sunday Journal. “Strike newspapers in America had been primarily stopgap publications produced by outside interests. The Sunday Journal was funded by unions. All workers received the same meager strike pay, but we were motivated, skilled professionals, unencumbered by any formal structure or hierarchy and therefore had a chance to produce an amazing, high-quality product. Some weeks we met those standards; some weeks we did not. But the goal and the effort were always there.”

The libraries digitized every issue of the Sunday Journal, from Nov. 19, 1995, to Nov. 21, 1999. Though the newspaper strike formally ended in 1997, the paper continued to run as workers were slowly rehired and ongoing disputes were settled. “The Sunday Journal is a key piece of Detroit’s historical record, a counterpoint to the narrative of relentless media consolidation” said Joshua Neds-Fox, coordinator for digital publishing at Wayne State. “We’re really proud to see this newspaper digitized, available in full text, fully searchable and to know that the work of a lot of dedicated librarians, archivists and students is culminating in this vital collection.”

The Sunday Journal was one of the longest-lived strike newspapers ever and will likely be the last major one, given the diminished state of the print industry and the rise of accessible and inexpensive online journalism. Two former Sunday Journal reporters have gone on to win Pulitzer Prizes, journalism’s most prestigious award. Paige St. John won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and Jim Schaefer won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting at the Detroit Free Press.

View the collection at

Reuther Library brings authenticity to new American Girl doll

March 4th, 2016

The Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs has shared materials in many areas from academic research and books, to newspapers and television shows but, for the first time, Reuther was called upon to help produce a toy. In 2014, Wayne State University archivists received a call from the Pleasant Company, makers of the popular American Girl dolls. The company was in the process of developing a new American Girl doll, Melody, whose story tells that of a 9-year-old African American girl growing up in civil rights era Detroit. Melody is an aspiring singer, influenced by Motown, who becomes aware of the racial inequalities surrounding her when it begins to directly affect her and her family.

The team at the Pleasant Company was looking for material that could illustrate the struggle for civil rights that was happening during the early to mid 1960s. A member of the team found Reuther Library’s “1963 Walk to Freedom” poster and bumper sticker through the Library’s blog, and thought the items would make a great addition for Melody’s story as well as her accompanying accessories.

Meant to protect the unveiling of the doll’s theme, the archivists had to agree to a verbal non-disclosure agreement and were only recently allowed to talk about their involvement in the process. “We weren’t allowed to discuss it with anyone, including our co-workers or management, the details of the project or even that we were working with the Pleasant Company,” said Elizabeth Clemens, audiovisual archivist at the Reuther Library. “We were not made aware of anything about the doll, other than she was African American, from Detroit, and her story would involve the struggle for equality in the 1960s. The Motown aspect of her story was not made known to us at the time.”

The new American Girl doll will feature the materials from the Reuther collections on the cover of her book and as part of her bedroom accessory package. Melody’s official launch is scheduled for August 2016. After almost two years of holding in this exciting news, the archivists are relieved to finally share their involvement. “We were very excited to be part of this particular story.” For more information, please contact Elizabeth Clemens at 313-577-1663.

For pictures of Melody and the Reuther materials visit

Shakespeare’s First Folio events run throughout March and April!

March 2nd, 2016

Interested in all things Shakespeare? The events of Shakespeare’s First Folio start on February 25 with a special Shakespeare edition of Knowledge on Tap at HopCat Detroit and run through April. Check out all the events here:

Faculty: Want to make your work Open Access? Apply for funding from the Libraries

March 2nd, 2016

The Wayne State University Library System recently announced the establishment of an open access publishing fund for full-time Wayne State faculty and researchers to underwrite publication charges for materials published in fee-based, peer-reviewed, openly-accessible venues.

Why Open Access? Open access increases visibility by removing barriers. Eliminating rising price barriers allows more people to see your work, making its impact that much greater.

The fund seeks to support at least ten projects each year. Applicants to the fund can request up to $1,000 and authors may accept one award per funding year. The fund will be administered by the Library System on a first come, first served basis. For more information on eligibility and to fill out an application, visit

Reuther Library announces 2016 recipients of Sam Fishman Travel Awards

February 28th, 2016

The Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs at Wayne State University is pleased to announce the awards from the Sam Fishman Travel Grant program for 2016. These annual grants provide up to $1,000 to support travel to the Reuther Library to access archival records related to the American labor movement. The award is named in honor of Sam Fishman, a former UAW and Michigan AFL-CIO leader.

As part of their research visits, awardees are invited to speak about their work at an informal event at the Reuther Library or as part of the North American Labor History Conference (NALHC) held on the Wayne State University campus in the fall. Watch for details of these events as individuals finalize their travel and research plans.

The 2016 awardees are:

Neama Alamri, Doctoral Student, University of California, Merced
“Labor Resistance and Arab Nationalism: Yemeni Americans the Farm Worker Movement.” Research examining the history of Yemeni farm workers in California and their role in the UFW and the farm worker movement throughout the 1960s and 1970s with a specific emphasis on Arab nationalism.
Alamri will visit Detroit in June or in October in conjunction with the North American Labor History Conference if he has a paper accepted at NALHC.

Marcus Cederstrom, Doctoral Candidate, University of Wisconsin-Madison
“The Life and Times of a Swedish Immigrant: Signe Aurell’s Working Words.” Research on the activities of Signe Aurell, Swedish laundress, labor activist, and writer. The project explores the significant role of Scandinavian women in temperance and labor movements and their work to record working-class immigrant experiences. Cederstrom will visit the Wayne State University campus the week of March 14 and will present on his research at 12:00 noon on Thursday, March 17, in the Reuther Library.

Lindsay Helfman, Doctoral Candidate, Temple University
“Collateral Damage: Detroit, HUD, and the Mortgage Crisis of the 1970s.” Project examines the implementation of fair and affordable housing legislation in Detroit following the city’s devastating 1967 riot/uprising. In particular, the research considers the role of labor in supporting – and sometimes resisting – creative approaches to lower costs and increase the speed of new housing construction. Helfman will be conducting research throughout the spring and summer.

William Seth LaShier, Doctoral Candidate, George Washington University
“The Black Freedom Movement and the Politics of Work in Sunbelt Atlanta, 1960-1980.” LaShier’s research focuses on the ways that African American civil rights activists, politicians, and workers approached the politics of work in Atlanta, Georgia, including efforts to end discrimination in hiring and promotional practices, and the efforts to improve working conditions and wages. He is planning a research visit to Detroit in late May.

Dr. Stephen McFarland, Assistant Professor, University of Tampa
“Putting Labor on the Map: Working Class Cartography in the U.S.” This project seeks to assemble and reckon with the cartographic traces of the U.S. labor movement. Maps that unions made help to visualize the circumstances in which they organized and shed light on how unions conceived of and assembled spatial knowledge of the labor landscape. Dr. McFarland expects his research to take place in mid-June.

Joel Suarez, Doctoral Student, Princeton University
“Work and the American Moral Imagination, 1940-1996.” This research examining the values ascribed to work in the wake of its transformation in the latter half of the twentieth century. It explores how workers themselves thought about work, what meaning they derived from it and what values they ascribed to it, and how this all changed over time. He has indicated a plan to visit at the end of March. I messaged you separately about this awardee this morning.

Jennifer Terry, Doctoral Candidate, University of California Berkeley
“Making Believe: The Business of Denying Child Labor in America.” This project examines the impact of the exemption for child labor given to the commercial agricultural industry in the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act. Lack of protection resulted in exploitative child labor practices, including pesticide exposure, substandard housing and poor educational opportunities. Terry plans to coordinate her visit with the NALHC in October.

Dr. Gregory Wood, Associate Professor, Frostburg State University
“GM Never Surrendered: Anti-Union Politics on Shop Floors in the Unionized Auto Industry, 1960-1980.” Dr. Wood’s research highlights the presence of antiunion culture at two General Motors factories in Pontiac, Michigan, and Van Nuys, California, showing that shop floors of unionized plants continued as battlegrounds over the status and presence of organized labor well beyond the turbulent 1930s and 1940s. He plans to visit in July and then return in October in conjunction with the NALHC conference.

The Sam Fishman Travel Grant Program operates on an annual basis, with applications due in January each year. Announcements for the 2017 application process will be announced in November 2016 with an application deadline in January 2017.

For further information about the Sam Fishman Travel Grant Program, please contact Erik Nordberg, Reuther Library Director, by phone at 313-577-2013 or by e-mail at

March 29 | Exhibit and panel discussion to explore Latino workers’ impact on the auto industry

February 23rd, 2016

Exhibit opening and panel discussion – “From the Margins to the Core: Latino Workers in the Nation’s Auto Industry”

Exhibit – The Walter P. Reuther Library is hosting a new exhibit, on loan from Michigan State University, highlighting the voices of Latino workers and their impact on the auto industry. The exhibit draws from photographs, oral histories and other archival records.

Panel discussion – Exploring the contributions of Latino autoworkers from a variety of perspectives. Panelists include:
• Cindy Estrada, vice president, International Union, UAW
• Rubén Martinez, director, Julian Samora Research Institute, Michigan State University
• Celso Duque, trustee, UAW Local 22
• Robert “Bobby” Ramirez, bargaining committee, UAW Local 600
• Moderator: Marick F. Masters, director, Labor@Wayne, Wayne State University

5-7 p.m. Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, 5401 Cass Avenue, Detroit

This free event is part of the Reuther Library’s “Latino Americans: 500 Years of History” series, supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the American Library Association. “Latino Americans: 500 Years of History” is part of the NEH Initiative, The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square.

For further information call 313-577-4024, or visit

Join the Libraries for a Wayne State Insiders’ view of the First Folio!

February 18th, 2016

Shakespeare’s First Folio, a major piece of literary history, is visiting Detroit throughout March. Join the Wayne State Insiders for a guided visit of the First Folio display, direct from the Folger Shakespeare Library, along with an up-close experience featuring rare Shakespeare items from Wayne State’s own collections. Ken Jackson, chair of the Department of English, will offer insight on this first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays. After the presentation, you’ll be able to visit related exhibits at the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Detroit Public Library.

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

RSVP now at