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.
Tending to Popular Thought: What People Read and Why
Buchanan Library Fellows under the tutelage of Instructors Mary Anne Caton, library programs and grants coordinator and Rachel Lavenda, curator of Special Collections, learned about book history and curated an online exhibit about reading using Special Collections books. Their exhibit explores sixteenth- to nineteenth-century popular literature from occult philosophy to herbology and personal essays. Each Fellow explored how past conceptions of the world were visible in their selected books. As curators, the Fellows interpreted how books and their creators participate in the world around them, adding to, changing and directing cultural trends.
Encoding Music Manuscripts
Over the course of the spring 2020 semester, four students participated in a Buchanan Library Fellows project co-led by Jake Schaub, librarian for music cataloging, and faculty member Joy Calico. Dedicated to the Music Encoding Initiative (MEI), a burgeoning digital humanities standard built toward the encoding of notated music, the students spent ten weeks focused on various aspects of the schema. After learning the nuts and bolts of MEI, students then applied their skills toward the encoding of a draft manuscript of a work by composer Alfred Schnittke held in the Libraries' Special Collections. This process was a valuable experience for students and instructors alike, both in terms of skill building as well as decision making and problem solving, since the developing MEI standard has not heretofore been applied to works of this nature.
Netsuke: Gucci of the Edo Period
The Buchanan Library Fellowship program, in conjunction with the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery, is proud to present Netsuke: Gucci of the Edo Period. Curated by two students as the culmination of their 2019–2020 Buchanan Library Fellowship, this exhibition sheds light on a group of approximately forty netsukes, or ornamental toggles worn in pre-modern Japan, in the gallery collection.
Gaming Expert Uses Clulow Collections for Research
David Levy, a collector, researcher, and writer of early gaming and playing cards, recently produced a five-part series of essays about piracy and Edmond Hoyle's A Short Treatise on the Game of Whist on his blog: Edmond Hoyle, Gent.
During his research, Levy needed reference images from A Short Treatise on the Game of Whist, and he knew that Vanderbilt Special Collections was the place to find them. Levy is no stranger to Vanderbilt's George Clulow and U.S. Playing Card Co. Gaming Collection: he previously utilized it for his Hoyle research, and he also helped assess the Hoyle collections when it was first acquired back in 2017.
Documenting the Pandemic: Heard Libraries Launch COVID-19 Archive
Zach Johnson, curator of Special Collections, Chris Ryland, curator of History of Medicine Collections and Archives, Teresa Gray, curator of Special Collections and Kathy Smith, university archivist, are leading the effort to document and preserve Vanderbilt University's and Vanderbilt University Medical Center's response to the pandemic. Staff, faculty and students from both institutions are invited to submit their personal experience of the COVID-19 pandemic for historians and future generations. Special Collections and History of Medicine Collections are seeking personal stories ranging from artistic reflections to direct accounts of the crisis. Submissions can take the form of emails, journals, social media posts, photos, videos, audio recordings, or physical items.
Divinity Library COVID-19 Religious Archiving Project
Organized by denomination and geographic area, the Divinity Library has begun to archive a collection that consists of communications from church officials (pastors, priests, bishops, etc.) to their congregations and the ministers they supervise, advising them on practices, requirements, and expectations for worship in the time of COVID-19. For more information or to submit a contribution, email Keegan Osinski , public services librarian for religion and theology.
Anne Potter Wilson Music Library Expands Blair Performance Archive
During a time of social distancing and remote learning, we remember the most important reason that we make music: to share it with others. The Wilson Music Library expanded the scope of the Blair Performance Archive (BPA) to allow Blair faculty and students to contribute remote performances. Typically, the BPA captures and shares Blair performances that take place in the concert halls at the Blair School of Music. During this pandemic, Blair faculty and students continued to perform, just remotely. Blair students and faculty can now contribute their performances regardless of performance location so this music can be shared and preserved to keep Blair’s rich recording legacy going, even during a pandemic.
Teaching and Learning
Library Video Catches the Attention of ARL
The Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries' video Vanderbilt Libraries Are Here for You was one of seven videos that the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) featured in a recent blog post. During the COVID-19 pandemic, ARL member libraries are sending video messages of support to their communities, and the Vanderbilt libraries are no exception.
No Quarantine on Information at the Heard Libraries
Vanderbilt's libraries never ramped down during the stay-at-home order. They have remained open for business, remotely, since the first day of remote work, with librarians scanning thousands of pages of texts even before they left campus.
Interlibrary Loan and Remote Resources during the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Vanderbilt Libraries continued to provide critical resources for research in a manner that maintains your safety and security. Between early March and June, the Interlibrary Loan office fulfilled 5,861 e-requests for Vanderbilt patrons and delivered 5,918 e-requests to other libraries around the world. Since March 9, we have provided hundreds of scans from our collections in lieu of physical books and purchased over 500 e-books to support course readings, instruction and research. The libraries have created a research guide for content made temporarily available by publishers and added thousands of those titles to the library catalog so they will appear in your searches.
When Research Sources Are Scarce, Librarians Jump in to Help
With the close of universities around the country because of COVID-19, students faced the hurdle of finding access to library sources. Vanderbilt librarians stepped up their services quickly and efficiently to provide help and reassurance to the new stresses of remote learning. One example comes from our very own Jason M. Schultz, librarian for African American & Diaspora Studies, American Studies, History, Islamic Studies.
A student reached out to Jason in need of research help for an essay entitled "The Use of Music and Sound in Weimar-Era Films." Finding sources online proved difficult, and the student considered changing his topic. Schultz not only provided 14 different sources the student could use, he volunteered to purchase electronic books to send his way.
Our Librarians Don't Just Go the Extra Mile–They Go around the World
Yuh-Fen Benda, Asian Studies librarian, worked closely with several courses and during the spring was embedded in China and the World, a course in the history department. When one of the students returned to China, Benda gave her a ride to the airport. She then connected all the Mainland Chinese students in the course with librarian Lorelei Dai at the Shanghai Library, working with Ms. Dai to give these students access to databases owned by the Shanghai Library.
Teach Yourself Tableau
Walker Management Library, in cooperation with Owen's Career Management Center and the Library's Digital Scholarship and Communications (DiSC) Office, hosted a program on the data visualization software Tableau for the Owen community.
Law Student Professional Development Summer Opportunities
Massey Law Librarians have created a research guide providing information about various continuing legal education courses and access to synchronous trainings provided via Lexis and Practising Law Institute.
Peabody Library Staff Offer Support for Course Readings
Peabody Library invited faculty to a drop-in Zoom meeting to learn how to create easy access to course materials for online summer classes. By using the Course Reading List Tool, faculty are easily able to integrate library materials into their Brightspace courses, providing easy access for students studying from all over the world.
Management Library Staff Step up During COVID-19 Crisis
Walker Management Library Business Librarian Kelly LaVoice presented "Add a Job-Ready Skill by Utilizing the O'Reilly for Higher Education Platform" in collaboration with the Owen Graduate School of Management's Career Management Center. Ben Darling, library services coordinator, brought books and a scanner home to provide document delivery of sections of reserve books for student use. Robbi De Peri, librarian for business and lecturer in management, created a research guide, COVID -19 Business Impacts. She was in the virtual classroom with three Owen faculty members, helping to moderate and troubleshoot issues as faculty have moved their classes online.
Despite COVID-19, the Music Keeps Playing
Wilson Music Library Circulation Coordinator Michael Jones, an expert on the course management system Brightspace, suggested instructor Carl Smith use an interview with American novelist Allan Gurganus as a jumping-off point for e-learning in the course The Movement of Line. Education and Outreach Librarian Sara Manus worked closely with Professor Joy Calico in the course, Opera of the 17th and 18th Centuries, to create an online listening quiz in Brightspace. Wilson Music Library Director Holling Smith-Borne assisted researchers by finding and making available recital recordings from the Blair Performance Archive, the libraries' archive of Blair concerts.
The Annette and Irwin Eskind Biomedical Library Staff Assist Health Care Students
Heather Laferriere, health sciences informationist at the Eskind Biomedical Library, was contacted by a clinical coordinator from VUMC's Allied Health Cardiovascular Perfusion programs. She, along with acquisitions team members Monica Sanchez and Angel Craddock, were able to identify purchase options and get a textbook licensed and activated expeditiously.
Laferriere was once again contacted by another coordinator looking for the latest edition of a book on cardiac surgery which was not available. Philip Walker, director of the Eskind Biomedical Library, and Laferriere identified three other recently published eBooks which were already in the library's collection and substituted nicely.
Research Hacks Workshops Offered Online
When the campus transitioned to remote learning, librarians offered a number of workshops via Zoom for the Vanderbilt Community.
Campus Community and Beyond
Fine Arts Gallery Presents Dream for Light Years
Dream for Light Years, a two-year collaboration between Ali Smith, a California-based contemporary artist, and Michael Alec Rose, an associate professor of composition at the Blair School of Music, can now be enjoyed online. Plans for sharing this beautiful exhibition, which never opened to the public, are underway. Watch the Gallery home page for additional information about how you can experience the exhibition.
Vanderbilt Libraries Roll Out Material Pick-Up Service
During the first month of material pick-up service,
36.3% of requests were fulfilled with the physical book
63.7% of requests were fulfilled with an electronic or digitized copy
Wilson Music Library Staff Celebrate Student Employees and Graduating Seniors
The Wilson Music Library staff held a virtual end-of-the-year student employee celebration and graduation party. The festivities kicked off with a comical rendition of "Pomp and Circumstance" using the names of our graduates as the lyrics, with each attendee singing one phrase and passing it to the next. Staff members created haikus, limericks, and words of appreciation to honor our graduates.
Digital Stress Relief Resources from Vanderbilt Libraries
Uncertain times can often result in higher-than-normal levels of stress and anxiety. The Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries have created a collection of fun, uplifting, and engaging resources to promote stress-relief and well-being. The guide, which also links to resources from Vanderbilt University, has a little something for everyone, from intellectually engaging virtual museum tours to online collaborative games to everyone's favorite — cute animal videos.
The Peabody Library and the Peabody Office of Student Engagement & Well-Being joined together to offer several uplifting online events for the Peabody community. The Peabody Paws event brought together close to 30 students, faculty, and staff — all excited to introduce their furry friends. Participants shared stories about their pets, including cats, dogs, and birds. The "We've Got Game(s)" Trivia Night offered a celebratory end-of-the- semester afternoon of games, giggles, and good times. Students, faculty and staff shared their favorite books during the Peabody Virtual Book Tasting.
Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery Receives Kress Foundation Award
The Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery has been selected among spring 2020 applicants to receive support from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation for an exhibition of medieval and Renaissance artworks. The Artist's Workshop in Medieval and Renaissance Europe will be exhibited at the gallery Nov. 4, 2021–Jan. 23, 2022.
This exhibition will draw from Vanderbilt's collections of approximately 35 works from the late medieval and early Renaissance period in Europe, with 12 Renaissance paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection as the cornerstone of the show. The Kress Foundation's competitive grants are awarded to institutions whose scholarly projects promote the preservation, instruction, and research of European art from antiquity to the 19th century, with a focus on accessibility and inclusivity for diverse audiences.
The Engineering Libraries Division of the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) has announced its 2020 Best Paper Award. The winning paper, "Supporting the Changing Research Practices of Civil and Environmental Engineering Scholars," is an Ithaka S+R research report. Alex Carroll, librarian for STEM research, along with engineering librarians from around the country, contributed to the study.
Alex Carroll, librarian for STEM research, is the author of "Building Visualization Skills Through Investigating the Journal of the Medical Library Association Coauthorship Network From 2006–2017" in the Journal of the Medical Library Association and co-author with James Reed of Purdue University, of "Roles for Health Sciences Librarians at College and University Libraries" in Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship.
Clanitra Stewart Nejdl, law librarian for research services, is one of three law librarians selected nationwide to join the AALL Spectrum Editorial Board in July 2020. The AALL Spectrum is the bimonthly member publication for the American Association of Law Libraries and is designed to further professional development and education. Nejdl's term will run from 2020 to 2022. Nejdl was a moderator for the American Association of Law Libraries' "AALL Virtual Coffee Chat: Strategic Partnerships" and co-moderator for "AALL Virtual Coffee Chat: Continuing the Conversation on Inclusion in the Profession."
The Southeastern Chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries held a virtual conference this year, and Vanderbilt law librarians were well-represented! Sarah Dunaway, librarian for research services and Meredith Capps, head of faculty services, librarian for foreign and international law; and lecturer in law, presented a program titled "Student Research Assistants: Bridging the Gaps in Training and Supervision." Katie Hanschke, head of instruction and access services and lecturer in law, Sarah Dunaway, and Meredith Capps, presented a program titled "Effectively Updating Your 1L Legal Research Curriculum: We Did it, and You Can Too!" Meredith Capps, Sarah Dunaway, Mariah Ford, law librarian for research services, Katie Hanschke, and Clanitra Stewart Nejdl, librarian for research services, presented at the William & Mary Conference for Excellence in Teaching Legal Research & Writing Online on "Backward Design: A Handy Tool for Remote Teaching." Katie Hanschke edited and published the ALL-SIS Summer newsletter. Mark Williams, head of collection services and lecturer in law, completed his time as Chair of the RIPS-SIS Teach-In Kit and posted the 28th Edition in June. Sarah Dunaway became a SEALL Community Service Committee Chair (2020-2021). Mariah Ford was appointed to the AALL/Bloomberg Law Continuing Education Grant Jury.
Josh Borycz, librarian for STEM research, presented a webinar hosted by the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) entitled, "Research Context and Research Chemistry: Information Literacy, Scholarly Publishing, and Data Management in the Chemistry Curriculum."
Kashif Graham, librarian for religion and theology and outreach librarian, was invited to present at the UT Knoxville School of Information Sciences Mini-Con(ference) for Development and Management of Collections course. During the virtual event, Graham joined an online synchronous class to discuss collections and other library-related issues with current students of the program. Graham has had a book review of The Desegregation of Public Libraries in the Jim Crow South by Wayne and Shirley Wiegand published in the most recent issue of Theological Librarianship.
Vanderbilt Divinity School alum Greg Thompson recently interviewed Kashif Graham, librarian for religion and theology and outreach librarian, for the podcast Out Loud,which shares stories from queer people of faith in the South. In their conversation, they discuss coming out, shame and acceptance, and, of course, books. Thompson highlights a story Graham shares about "how the small but powerful gesture of handing a book to someone at just the right moment has the power to change us at our core."
Graham also guest-hosted on Queerology, a podcast that has been named one of "12 Best LGBTQ Podcasts of 2020" by Oprah Magazine. The episode, entitled: "On Performative Allyship and Black Joy" debuted with the second-highest number of downloads on opening day for the podcast. Graham was also featured in a WPLN story about Black LGBTQ+ people and reform in Nashville.
Melissa Mallon, director of Peabody Library and director of teaching & learning, and her co-instructor Megan Mallon were invited by the American Library Association to design a self-paced version of their online professional development course, Fighting Fake News with Information Literacy, as a free opportunity for librarians and educators; 350 people participated in the course.
Philip Walker, director of Eskind Biomedical Library, co-authored "Leftover Opioids Following Adult Surgical Procedures: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis" with VUSN and VUMC researchers Lori Schirle, Amanda Stone, Matthew Morris, Sarah Osmundson, Mary Dietrich, and Stephen Bruehl. Systematic Reviews. 2020 Jun 11;9(1):139. doi: 10.1186/s13643-020-01393-8. PMID: 32527307; PMCID: PMC7291535.
Machelle Keen, library assistant, was invited to give a webinar sponsored by Association of Southeastern Research Libraries. "Hook Line and Sinker: Reeling in Your Patrons" highlights some of the ways she and her colleagues have worked to build community in the Sarah Shannon Stevenson Science and Engineering Library.
Artist Emily Weiner, interim curator of the Vanderbilt Fine Arts gallery and a talented artist in her own right, has contributed two paintings to help with COVID-19 relief efforts.