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Quarterly Report Fall/Winter 2019

Fall/Winter 2019

The Libraries Mission Statement

The Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries are fundamental to the university’s goal of advancing scholarship and learning. We collect, preserve and make accessible a wide variety of resources, we partner with faculty and students to shape research, and we encourage the development of informed scholars and engaged citizens.


Students marching with a flag

Black Studies As (A) Movement: AADS @50
Vanderbilt University’s Special Collections recognized fifty years of African American and Diaspora Studies at Vanderbilt University in a fall semester exhibit which included materials held in the University Archives. Student magazines such as Rap and Versus and faculty publications spoke to the history of African American studies on campus. Jason Schultz, librarian for African American and Diaspora Studies, history and Islamic Studies, discussed the exhibit at the November “Curator's Talk.”
Read African American and Diaspora Studies Marks 50 Years at Vanderbilt to learn more about the program.


OPEN MIND Series: American Medevac Battlefield Rescue
The Television News Archive honored the Veterans Day event with a one-of-a-kind modern U. S. Army field hospital exhibit and a showing of American Medevac with special guest Morton Dean. Other sponsors for the event were Army ROTC, the Center for Medicine, Health, and Society, the History Department, the Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries, the Curb Center, the Program in American Studies, and the Program in Cinema and Media Arts.


Moon Walk: A Viewing of the July 21, 1969 Evening News
Attendees joined Jim Duran, director of the Vanderbilt television news archive and curator of born-digital collections, to watch the evening news from 50 years ago, the day after humankind first walked on the moon. Lively discussion followed the viewing of the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite. The event was one in the on-going series, “Curators’ Talk.”


Food for Health and Wealth: Five Centuries of Recipes and Cookbooks
The fall exhibit of Vanderbilt’s History of Medicine Collections of cookbooks, recipe books, and collections of home remedies closed with a talk by New York Times-bestselling author Anne Byrn, who spoke on the ways recipes and home treatments evolved in the days before modern conveniences.


Trash Heap of History Exhibit Spotlights 1989 Fall of Communism in Romania
Dr. Paul Michelson, Distinguished Professor of History at Huntington University, offered a curator's talk to discuss resistance and resignation in the face of Ceauşescu totalitarian regime. The lecture excavated "the trash heap of history" through an exhibit of items discarded during the fall of the Socialist Republic of Romania in 1989. The Michelson family's 1989 Collection is on display at Divinity Library through May 31, 2020.

Teaching and Learning

Medical School Advanced Wikipedia Elective Students Add 209 References; Get 183,00 Total Views during the Month
Wikipedian-in-Residence, Mary Anne Caton and Director of Eskind Biomedical Library, Philip Walker, joined Dr. Jeremy Warner, associate professor of medicine and biomedical informatics, to teach the VUSM WikiMed Advanced Elective course this past fall. During the month-long elective, seven 4th-year medical students contributed medicine-related content to Wikipedia.


Teaching Innovations at Vanderbilt: Wikipedia Editing
Mary Anne Caton
, library programs and grants coordinator and Wikipedian-in-Residence, joined Dr. Danielle Picard, senior lecturer of medicine, health, and society worked together to incorporate Wikipedia editing in MHS 3890 Eugenics and Its Shadow course. Faculty are welcome to contact Mary Anne if they would like to add Wikipedia editing to their classes. Mary Anne also coordinates several Wikipedia edit-a-thons each semester. The next two edit-a-thons are “The Women of Peabody College” (March 18) and “ART+FEMINISM” (March 25). Students may sign up for edit-a-thons in Anchor Link; DYV and GME credits are available.


Paste Paper and Bookmaking Workshop
Vanderbilt Libraries
hosted a paste paper and bookmaking workshop in November as part of the new Libraries’ series “Print and Paper,” connecting artists with the campus communities to discuss and teach about printed matter. Artist Jace Graf of Cloverleaf Studio led the paste paper and bookmaking workshops.


Mapping the Nashville Campaign Using GIS Technology
Stacy Curry-Johnson, librarian for geospatial data and systems, georeferenced the hand-drawn 1860s map of the Nashville Civil War Campaign to the map of modern-day Nashville using GIS software. Scanned maps and historical data usually do not contain spatial reference information and accurate location data is needed to allow for one-to-one comparison of the past and present maps. In this case, the historic map, drawn by G.H. Blakeslee, identifies where the military defenses were located and how those defenses crisscrossed what is now the Vanderbilt campus. This kind of technology allows students to connect past events with places they see every day.


Yuh-Fen Benda, librarian for Asian Studies and librarian for metadata, organized the annual Tadoku (Japanese for “read a lot”) reading event in the Central Library. Students and community members came together to read from the libraries’ Tadoku collection, a curated selection of Japanese books for various levels of readers. Readers also enjoyed Japanese tea and snacks provided by the Central Library and the Asian Studies Program.


Law Librarians Teach Law Courses
Meredith Capps, head of faculty services, librarian for foreign and international law, and lecturer in law, Sarah Dunaway, Mariah Ford, and Clanitra Nejdl, librarians for research services, Katie Hanschke, head of instruction and access services and lecturer in law and Larry Reeves, associate university librarian and director of the Law Library, taught 1L and LLM Legal Research courses. Mark Williams, head of collection services and lecturer in law, taught the upper-level Business and Securities Research course. Meredith Capps also taught the upper-level Transnational Legal Research course.


Music Encoding Initiative Enables New Forms of Digital Musicology
Global leaders of the Music Encoding Initiative—which provides guidelines and tools for encoding music notation in computational form—joined experienced practitioners and newcomers to the process for a cross-disciplinary workshop and hackathon on campus. Joy H. Calico, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Musicology and professor of German Studies, and Clifford Anderson, associate university librarian for research and digital initiatives, served as the local hosts for the MEI conference.


Research Hacks Workshops
The Central Library offered a full range of workshops supporting student and faculty research and academic success. The workshops will continue in the spring semester.


Digital Scholarship and Communications Workshops
Each semester the Digital Scholarship and Communications (DiSC) unit offers workshops and working groups to support new, interdisciplinary modes of research, discovery, and publication, ranging from geocoding to data citation to open access publishing.


Research, Writing & Relaxation
Subject librarians from the Vanderbilt Libraries and Writing Studio consultants were available on the evening of December 2nd to help students with their final research and writing projects. Coffee, snacks and free chair massages were offered to ease the stress.


Librarians’ Teaching Community of Practice
Approximately 15 Vanderbilt librarians and library staff participated in the fall Teaching Community of Practice, designed to give library staff an opportunity to learn from one another and build their pedagogical skills. The fall cohort focused on assessing student learning, and group members worked together to review and design assessment artifacts, including rubrics and surveys.


Campus Community and Beyond

Playing Cards with Jane Austen: An Evening of Speculation
The Friends of Vanderbilt's Libraries sponsored a presentation on card playing in Jane Austin books by English Professor Robin Bates followed by playing Speculation, a fun and easy card game played in Austen's Mansfield Park.


All Hallows: Witches, Magic, and Things that Go Bump Exhibit
The Central Library hosted the exhibit All Hallows: Witches, Magic, and Things that Go Bump , featuring an array of rare items from the Special Collections Library and the History of Medicine Collections. Among the treasures on exhibit were a first American edition of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, grimoires and other books about magic, rare accounts of witch trials, as well as books on alchemy, tarot and divination, spiritualism, and fantastic beasts from the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries.


Hidden VUMC Figures
At the third annual "Hidden VUMC Figures" awards event, Curator of the History of Medicine Collections and Archives Christopher Ryland, spoke about one of the four recipients, William (Bill) Gunter Sr., who served as the diener of the anatomy labs at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (in charge of anatomical material), a post that he held for 56 years. For more on Gunter and on others receiving awards, see the full article.


Celebrating 100 Years of Peabody Library
Peabody Library
, which opened its doors in 1919, celebrated its 100th anniversary with remarks by Tipper Gore, Peabody College alumna, activist, author, photographer, and former second lady of the United States. Other celebratory events this fall included a 100th birthday party, centennial champagne reception and a "Tree Talk & Walk" with Steve Baskauf, data science and data curation specialist and Vanderbilt University Arboretum representative.


Book Group Discusses Giovanni's Room
The Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries and the Margaret Cuninggim Women's Center have joined together to sponsor a book group exploring fiction and non-fiction titles with selections focusing on new authors, and unfamiliar or neglected books. During the December meeting, participants discussed Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin.


Teresa Gray, curator of Special Collections, coordinated a display of the 1969 time capsule for the Class of 1969 Reunion.

Expert Services

Librarian Yuh-Fen presenting

Yuh-Fen Benda, librarian for Asian studies; librarian for metadata, was selected to attend the Overseas Korean Studies Librarian workshop in Seoul, South Korea and presented "Collaboration is the Key: Building a Korean Studies Program at Vanderbilt University." The five-day workshop included 22 participants from 14 countries.


Leslie Foutch, librarian for human and organizational development, received the Faculty VUceptor of the Year award. Leslie was nominated by her student VUceptor for the award. This was the first semester that Vanderbilt librarians were able to participate within the program! Ramona Romero, librarian for anthropology, philosophy, and classical and Mediterranean studies and Sara Manus, music librarian for education and outreach were also Faculty VUceptors this fall.


Clanitra Nejdl's, librarian for research services, report, "The Search Committee: An Effective Approach to Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity in Library Recruiting" appeared in the fall 2019 ALL-SIS Newsletter. Clanitra also presented "From the First Day Forward: Integrating Legal Research into Law School Doctrinal Courses" at the Legal Writing Institute One-Day workshop at Penn State Dickinson Law in Carlisle, PA, on December 6, 2019.


Sarah Dunaway, librarian for research services, hosted the panel "Love, Dreams, and Human Nature" at the Southern Festival of Books in October featuring authors Sybil Baker and Marcia Butler.


Jake Schaub, librarian for music cataloging, started his term as Chair of the Southeast Chapter of the Music Library Association. Jake was elected to serve one year as Vice Chair-Chair Elect and two years as Chair followed by one year as Past Chair.


Karen Swoopes, administrative assistant, served on the conference planning committee and Machelle Keen, library assistant, served as Chair for the Nashville Area Library Alliance (NALA) Support Staff as Leaders conference, a day-long conference providing high-quality sessions and networking opportunities for Nashville area library support staff. The conference was an excellent opportunity for members to share expertise specific to libraries and support staff and provide timely, thought-provoking and educational sessions that directly relate to support staff and their jobs within the library. Library staff presenting at the conference were: Debra Stephens, coordinator of public services and Machelle Keen, library assistant, presented "Hook, Line and Sinker: Reeling in Your Patrons"; Leanna Myers, web designer and social media coordinator, presented "Let's Get Social: Creating a Social Media Strategy for Libraries"; Karen Swoopes, administrative assistant presented, "Providing Good Customer Service: Why It Matters" and Melissa Mallon, director of Peabody Library; director of teaching and learning, gave the keynote address, "Leading from All Sides: Making a Positive Impact in your Library."


Melissa Mallon, director of Peabody Library; director of teaching and learning, co-presented a panel discussion titled, "Enabling Student Learning Through Information, Data, Digital, and Media Literacies" at the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.


In a joint American Library Association (ALA) and the Special Libraries Association (SLA) committee, Rahn Huber, librarian for business; senior lecturer in management, participated in a project team to create Business Research Competencies. Endorsed by ALA's Reference & User Services (RUSA), the competencies will help information professionals promote the development of business information research skills. Rahn also participated in the student admissions selection panel along with VU/VUMC faculty and staff, and community business partners for VUMC's MIPD, a four-year Ph.D. to MD program. The program is tailored to engineers and applied scientists with existing Ph.D. degrees with a goal to fill the need for physician/engineers/scientists to tackle clinical problems through innovative research and discovery, improving patients' lives.


Bobby Smiley, interim director of the Divinity Library, edited Information Literacy and Theological Librarianship: Theory & Praxis . Keegan Osinski, public services librarian for religion and theology, contributed the chapter, "Exposing the Null Curriculum in Graduate Religious Studies Education" to the publication.


Melinda Brown, librarian for women's and gender studies; librarian for inclusion initiatives, gave a presentation, "Who's Being Asked to Dance? A Space for Members of Bi/Pan+ Orgs to Talk About Inclusion" at the BECAUSE 2019 Conference. This workshop gave an opportunity to talk about what organizations were already doing around promoting inclusion with an eye to assessing where opportunities lay for alternative and/or additional outreach approaches.


Steve Baskauf, data science and data curation specialist, coauthored the article "Improving Darwin Core for research and management of alien species", published in Biodiversity Information Science and Standards 3:e38084. The article proposes new standard metadata terms and controlled vocabularies for non-native species. When adopted, these terms will become part of Darwin Core, an international standard for biodiversity metadata.


Kashif Graham, outreach librarian for religion and theology, interviewed author Saeed Jones about his latest work, How We Fight for Our Lives, at the Southern Festival of Books in October. The interview was broadcast live on C-SPAN2's BookTV.


Karen Swoopes, administrative assistant in the Peabody Library, earned her certificate for successfully completing the Business of VU course. The program offers the Vanderbilt community an educational opportunity to learn about the business operations of the university and higher education.

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