Northeast Children’s Literature Collection Reception A Success

On a wet but warm Saturday afternoon in early August the UConn Libraries’ co-hosted a reception with Billie Levy for friends of the Northeast Children’s Literature Collection. The history of the collection begins as far back as the 1960′s with the purchase of approximately 600 volumes of 19th and 20th century children’s books from author/illustrator Nonny Hogrogian. During the 1970s the library engaged in the selective addition of the best historical and contemporary children’s books and manuscripts, focusing on prize-winners and works by New England authors and illustrators. In 1983, Billie M. Levy began the process of donating thousands of children’s books illustrated by American artists over the last 200 years. Her generosity and dedication to the collection has been on of the many reasons why this collection has grown into one of the top children’s literature collections in the country.

The reception included a glimpse at some of the new items that have been acquired as well as a special donation of materials from Billie Levy with the signing of her donation of Maurice Sendak materials to the collection.

“Seeing so many “builders” of the collection together, and celebrating-marking- Billie’s contribution was especially heartwarming”

We are pleased to have passionate donors to such a special collection and we look forward to more opportunities to engage with this community and continue to build the archives for future generations.

“Although my papers are in the collection, I had not understood the full scope of the libraries work. It is so nice to know that my artifacts are safe and in such good company.” 



Billie Levy signs her donation of Maurice Sendak materials to the Libraries’ Northeast Children’s Literature Collection


Greg Colati, Director of Archives, Special Collections & Digital Curation speaks with Bill Grey.

Kat Lyons_Nancy Wallace_sm

Guests Kat Lyons and Nancy Elizabeth Wallace


Event planners – Kristen Jones, Office of the Vice Provost; Martha Bedard, Vice Provost for UConn LIbraries, Jean Nelson, Marketing, Communications & Public Programming


Martha Bedard with co-host Billie Levy and guest Elizabeth Payne


Martha Bedard with the stuffed Martha from the illustrated series ‘George and Martha’ by James Marshall

Authors Pegi Deitz Shea and Cynthia Weil look over the illustrations in the collection for their book “Ten Mice for Tet!”


Terri Goldich, Archivist for the Northeast Children’s Literature Collection gives the guests a glimpse of new materials in the collection.


Terri Goldich and Martha Bedard



Average Joe Photo Show, a Photo Exhibit/Benefit for


small Gleicher, Water Bottles Ethiopia

Children of the Daasanach people, like all the tribes in Ethiopia, want your empty water bottles as they serve as an easy method to carry small amounts of drinking water. Water is in short supply in this part of the world. The tribal people drink and bathe from rain puddles, and so do their livestock. I will think about this every time I let water run in a sink.

- Leighton Gleicher, Average Joe Photo Show 2013

Leighton Gleicher’s observation accompanies her image of two smiling Ethiopian children, plastic water bottle in hand, posted above a display showcasing dozens of empty water bottles in the Average Joe Photo Show now on view in the Homer Babbidge Library’s Norman Stevens Gallery.  The show, which includes 234 eclectic images taken with cell phone or mobile device by professional and amateur photographers from this country and well beyond, all feature water and the human figure and were the result of an online appeal issued by two friends, one an accomplished artist and gallery owner, Lori Warner, the other an art historian, Rebecca Steiner, both from Lyme, Connecticut.  In devising the project, the two sought to examine the increasingly important role technology plays in our daily lives and to consider our use of water, something we simply cannot live without.

The project also includes a philanthropic twist:  a portion of all proceeds from photo sales benefits, an organization providing access to safe water and sanitation to people in Africa, South Asia, and Central America.

“Working on this project I have been continually struck by how much we take for granted – and what is so easily accessible to us — in the developed world,” observed Rebecca Steiner. “Yet for so many people in other countries or walks of life, both ever-present technology and natural elements (like water) are true luxuries. Given how organically the “Average Joe Photo Show” evolved out of an intersection between seemingly contrasting components, perhaps this project will inspire people to see connections in our greater shared global community they might not otherwise have imagined.”

Lori Warner, left, and Rebecca Steiner, right, before their Average Joe Photo Show in Babbidge Library.

Lori Warner, left, and Rebecca Steiner, right, before their Average Joe Photo Show in Babbidge Library.

The Average Joe Photo Show is now on view in the Norman Stevens Gallery in Homer Babbidge Library through October 24.   A public reception will take place on Thursday, Aug. 28, from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

For more information about the project or to submit a photograph, please see the website www.averagejoe

In addition to the photography exhibit, the Libraries is featuring “Modeling the Art and Engineering of Roman Aqueducts with Legos™,” a series of aqueducts constructed of Legos by UConn Professor of Geology Gary Robbins.

To provide water to crowded cities throughout the ancient Roman world, the Romans built some 600 aqueducts. Not only were the aqueducts marvels of engineering and hydraulics but also wondrous works of architecture and art. Robbins’ original Lego™ models on display exemplify some of the diversity in design of these marvels and demonstrate both how the aqueducts worked and why their ruins still evoke a sense of awe.

For more information on both shows, please visit:

‘Science Boot Camp’ a Big Hit at UConn!

Scott Martin from the University of Michigan and Lauren Olewnik from Castleton State College listen to Clinton Morse's description of a plant in the greenhouse.

Scott Martin from the University of Michigan and Lauren Olewnik from Castleton State College listen to Clinton Morse’s description of a plant in the greenhouse.

The South African “Bug Plant, Fly Bush,” is a carnivore…of sorts.  Unlike the better-known carnivorous Venus Fly Trap that closes on its prey and digests the insects who are unlucky enough to land on them, this plant has sticky hairs that trap insects, but doesn’t eat  them because it lacks the enzymatic activity needed to digest them.  Enter the aptly named assassin bug, Pameridea marlothi, with whom it enjoys a symbiotic relationship.  The assassin bug moves freely about the plant – unhindered by the sticky hairs – and happily eats the trapped insects.

This was just one of the observations shared by Clinton Morse, the manager of growth operations for Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, who led a group of science librarians through UConn’s nationally known greenhouses as part of “New England Science Boot Camp.”   The camp, a two-and-a-half-day educational event was hosted by UConn from June 11-13, and drew 67 participants from New England and well beyond.  In addition to the tour of the greenhouses, faculty from UConn and other universities in the northeast, provided overviews and information on the latest research on the event’s featured topics: computer science, evolution, and pharmaceutical science.

One of the librarians in attendance, Scott Martin, the Bioscience Librarian at the University of Michigan has an undergraduate degree in biology and a Master’s degree in Genetics, thoroughly enjoyed the greenhouse tour and exposure to the diversity of living plants.  “Although Michigan has an arboretum and botanical garden, I support the research in the herbarium, which has preserved and dried specimens.  Seeing them here has been a real treat!”

Among the many plants Morse pointed out to the group included:  tea  (camellia sinensis “the world’s most important caffeine beverage” whose many varieties — white, green, oolong & black – derive from this species but are processed differently after harvest; stevia, Stevia rebaudiana, a plant whose leaves are used as a sweetener and said to be hundreds of times sweeter than sugar;  Egyptian cotton, Gossypium barbadense, which is actually native to Peru, and whose fruit contains seeds covered with cotton fibers.

In addition to this biodiversity tour of the public collections, Morse led some of the librarians on a tour of the research facility not open to the public.

Aside from learning about the latest developments in various scientific fields, participants discussed use of library resources, research information needs, data management practices, and suggested new ways in which librarians can support their research communities.

Hosted each summer on a different New England campus, the casual ambience of Science Boot Camp promotes learning and camaraderie among librarians from New England and beyond.

According to Carolyn Mills, the Libraries’ Biology, Agriculture & Natural Resources Librarian and prime organizer of the event: “Science Boot Camp is held each year to give science librarians access to science topics from the viewpoint of researchers, and also to meet and network with other science librarians while having as much fun as possible.  Boot camp at UConn was a big hit this year. The campers really enjoyed the friendly welcoming campus, the greenhouses, and the researchers they met!  It made me proud to work at UConn.”

Those interested in learning more may view the presentations online, which are expected to be available sometime in July, at the New England eScience Portal:


Archival Film Series

Homer D. Babbidge, 1971

Homer D. Babbidge, 1971

You are invited to join the Libraries this summer for an archival film series showcasing UConn’s rich history. The series, in conjunction with the “What’s in a Name?” exhibition currently on display, is a selection of recently digitized historic film footage illustrating UConn’s past. The first film in the series is this Friday, June 20th with “Agriculture on Display,” a series of short films including 1936 sheep shearing competitions, wood chopping contests, and the Baby Beef Club Auction at The Big E.

Other films in the series include:

July 11    Teaching the Land
July 18    Diary of a Student Revolution
July 25    Yankee Conference Championship game at UConn, 1970
August 1   Technology and the Farm

All films will begin at noon in Conference Room 162 in the Dodd Research Center and are less than an hour long. Feel free to bring your lunch. (Maybe even some popcorn!)

The exhibit “What’s in a Name?” on display in the Dodd Research Center gallery utilizes the UConn memorabilia collection to illustrate the ways in which the University has used logos, seals, names, and colors to create our identity and affinity for the institution since 1881.

More information on both the exhibition and the film series can be found at

Ebook Pricing Hikes Amount to Price-Gouging – A Letter from the Boston Library Consortium

Since about 2010, the electronic book, or ebook, has rapidly increased its market share in the publishing business, and in 2013 it accounted for 27 percent of adult trade-book sales. Academic audiences have been somewhat slower to adopt this format, but as the general market for ebooks has begun to plateau, the academic market has been picking up. Now – and probably not coincidentally – academic libraries find themselves facing sharply increased pricing for commercially published electronic books.

Like many library consortia, the Boston Library Consortium offers an ebook program to its members. Nine of the BLC libraries – Boston College, Boston University, Brandeis University, Northeastern University, Tufts University, University of Connecticut, University of Massachusetts at Boston, University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, and University of New Hampshire – participate in the program, which includes commercial publishers such as Wiley and Taylor & Francis, as well as a number of university presses. In the BLC program, publishers charge libraries for ebooks based on a model that combines payment for short-term use of a title by a student or researcher with the purchase of the title after a few short-term uses. In this way, libraries pay full price for an ebook that meets the needs of multiple readers, and pay a fractional price for ebooks that are of use to only one or two people. This month the BLC was surprised to learn that a number of the publishers in this program planned immediate, significant, and unexplained increases in price. Even worse, the new pricing goes into effect at a time when library budgets are already committed for the 2015 fiscal year.

These newly announced price increases, amounting to several hundred percent in some cases, are levied on short-term uses, and this regressive pricing model is being adopted by the publishers whose ebooks are already among the most expensive in the scholarly market. More reasonable library pricing – both for outright purchase and for short-term use – is being offered by other publishers and we are pleased to see many (though not all) university presses in this latter category.

The BLC recognizes that the scholarly ebook market is a developing one and that publishers need to ensure that they have a sustainable revenue stream as they invest in evolving digital technologies. However, this move looks like an experiment in predatory pricing, designed to make the most of rising demand, but without justification in terms of either production cost or use value. Academic libraries and the universities they serve have already seen the results of this kind of experiment, in the pricing of scientific journals, which sky-rocketed as publishers transitioned from print to electronic delivery. And although electronic publications have some new costs not attached to print, it is abundantly clear that a small number of commercial publishers, who control over 40 percent of the scientific journals, have reaped major profits in this transition. Price inflation in scientific journals (which has been four times the general rate of inflation since 1986) has taken a major toll on academic-library budgets for books, including ebooks. This shift in resource allocation is not discipline-neutral, either: science and technical disciplines publish primarily in the form of the journal article, but the book remains central to the humanities and the social sciences. These new ebook price increases (by some of the same publishers who have hiked the price of science journals) are unjustified and therefore ethically unacceptable, and they are economically insupportable.

Consequently, the BLC will lower the price ceiling below which individual titles are eligible to be included in our ebook program, we will reduce the availability of back-list titles at high price points, and we will increase the portion of our consortial budget that is allocated to those publishers whose pricing remains reasonable. In this way, we mean to reward what we regard as fair dealing, as we attempt to limit the budget impact of what appears plainly to be price-gouging.

We have no choice but to take action. The acquisitions budgets of academic libraries do not increase at four times the rate of inflation each year, nor are universities scaling back the teaching and research programs their libraries are called upon to support. As a library consortium focused both on purchasing partnerships and pragmatic advocacy for research libraries, the Boston Library Consortium believes it must call out these escalating ebook prices as being inimical to access and contrary to fairness. We’ve seen it before, and we should not stand for it again.

We encourage campus leaders to support their libraries in this and other efforts to control costs, and we ask faculty to keep affordability in mind when next considering where to publish. Finally, we thank those publishers, primarily university presses, who make ongoing efforts to offer high quality ebooks at affordable prices.

Susan Stearns
Executive Director
Boston Library Consortium

John Unsworth
President Elect, Boston Library Consortium
Vice Provost for Library and Technology Services
Chief Information Officer
University Librarian
Brandeis University
Waltham, Mass.

Originally published in The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 27, 2014

Connect. Preserve. Share.

In the culture of the Internet, every organization needs to have a visual identity and a tag line. At the CTDA we are developing that visual identity a little at a time. Our first step was to create the minimalist wordmark that was our acronym. This minimalist approach was purposeful. The CTDA is meant to be a service and a resource that others use to preserve and make available their digital material. We wanted something that said who we were but didn’t require a lot of interpretation and did not compete with the content that the CTDA would deliver through the various presentation layers that would leverage CTDA content.

The CTDA's new tagline
The CTDA’s new tagline

As we began working with partners beyond our small implementation group, we found that of course no one knew what CTDA stood for, and in a world of silos and “complete solutions” people did not immediately understand what services we provided.  We are happy to explain that the CTDA is not a destination, but a service that organizations use to preserve their digital content and to make that content available to many presentation applications. The CTDA doesn’t itself own any content, rather it is a means of connecting organizations to preservation services so that they can share those resources with each other and the world.

As this understanding became clearer in our own minds, we got to thinking about how to better express our new sense of the service in a sound bite. We decided that we would alter the wordmark and add a tagline that succinctly explained us.  Easier said than done. After much debate and discussion we chose the three words you see above: Connect. Preserve. Share. Our mission is to Connect participants to preservation services,. We Preserve digital content and metadata for the long term, and we make it possible to Share that content with each other, and with national aggregators like the DPLA.

So there you go. I just took 300 words to say what we hope our tagline says in just three.

Written by Greg Colati
Reprinted from

Schools of Hope – The Story of Julius Rosenwald

The UConn Libraries and the UConn Co-op Bookstore at Storrs Center welcomed Norman H. Finkelstein to campus last night for a talk about his new book Schools of Hope: How Julius Rosenwald Helped Change African American Education. After listening to the story of Rosenwald, it is clear to me why Norman was so compelled to write the story. Julius Rosenwald is relatively unknown in name before you hear that he was the man responsible for the early 20th century success of the Sears, Roebuck Co. But what may be even more surprising and arguably more impressive was his commitment to improving education for African Americans at a time when discrimination was a way of life.


Northeast Children’s Literature Curator Terri Goldich with Norman H. Finkelstein. Photo credit Suzy Staubach, UConn Co-op

Finkelstein educated the audience on the type of person that Rosenwald was and the friendship between himself and Booker T. Washington that changed history. Washington, the famed African American educator, asked Julius Rosenwald to help him build “well-designed and fully equipped” schools for black children. The result was a clearly defined road map of building specifications, including details like what became the trademark large windows to utilize daylight, and the necessary financial support through a foundation with a philosophy that engaged that same community in the fundraising efforts. Over the 20 year period more than 5,300 schools attended by 600,000 black students were built. Many are still standing around the country today thanks to a movement to preserve these sites.

The book, available at the UConn Co-op is a fact-filled publication for young adult readers. It is bursting with amazing images, quotes and a detailed bibliography that helps tell the story of this unique alliance and how it changed the course of educating African American students in the early 20th century.


Photo credit Suzy Staubach, UConn Co-op

Norman Finkelstein is no stranger to children’s books or the UConn Libraries. Recently retired as a public school librarian, Finkelstein is the author of eighteen nonfiction books for adults and young readers. Two of his titles, Heeding the Call and Forged in Freedom won the National Jewish Book Award. His biography of Edward R. Murrow, With Heroic Truth, received the Golden Kite Honor Award for Nonfiction. His archival collection including manuscripts, proofs and other editorial materials are a resource offered as part of the Northeast Children’s Literature Collection. His donation yesterday will allow for us to include the materials created during the 4+ year process of creating Schools of Hope.

These types of events are always fun for us. It allows us to connect with our donors and learn more about the stories that are important to them. Yesterday also gave us the chance to check out the new UConn Co-op in Storrs Center. If you haven’t had a chance to visit them yet, please do. And while you’re at it, pick up a copy of Schools of Hope. We promise you won’t regret it.

Living with Risk. Managing the Risk of Copyright – April 16 10am

The mission of the University of Connecticut Libraries’ includes the desire to “provide our users with access to intellectual content that fulfills their academic and research needs.” But what happens when that intellectual content is protected by copyright? The complicated issues surrounding copyright and fair use are a reality in today’s academic environment.

copyrightOn April 16th we welcome Peter Hirtle, Senior Policy Advisor to the Cornell University Library to talk about the challenges of copyright, specifically how we manage the risks associated with it. Hirtle is an archivist by training and specializes in intellectual property issues. In addition to his role at Cornell, he is also currently a Research Fellow in the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and a contributing author to the blog. He has written and spoken widely on this topic, including a paper in 2012 with the title of his lecture “Learning to Live with Risk”, works on the complications of the public domain and the challenges of copyright when digitizing archives & special collections.



The public is invited to attend the lecture, which is scheduled for

Wednesday, April 16th
Class of ’47 Meeting Room
Homer Babbidge Library
University of Connecticut, Storrs

Please RSVP to by April 11.

A flyer is available (pdf version) here

Libraries’ Launch Spring Art Exhibits with Reception March 13

Thrasher_feb1987 smallmagnan portrait smallnarabri nakamurra small webThe UConn Libraries will host three distinctly different art exhibits this spring:  contemporary Aboriginal artwork from Australia;  fine wood sculpture focusing on social issues, and  punk art, music, and songs from the 1980s,  now  through June 27.

The opening reception will take place on Thursday, March 13 from 4-6 p.m. and feature live music by “Blues  Beyond  Borders,” a musical ensemble of members of the UConn community. Members include:  Harry A. Frank, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Chemistry on bass; Lewis Gordon, Professor of Philosophy and African American Studies on drums; Harvey A. Swadlow, Professor of Psychology, vocals and harmonica;  Mark Overmyer-Velázquez, Associate Professor of History & Director, Institute of Latina/o, Caribbean and Latin American Studies on piano; and Cyrus Ernesto Zirakzadeh, Professor of Political Science on guitar.  Refreshments will be served.  The public is cordially invited to attend this free event.

“Utopia Lives:  Symbolic Aboriginal Art from Australia,” is art based on important ancient stories (Jukurrpa) and symbols centered on ‘the Dreamtime’ – the period in which Indigenous people believe the world was created.  These large and bold works by four contemporary Indigenous artists are from the collection of David Glenn, a UConn Ph.D. candidate in Public Health.

Sculptor John Magnan’s installation, “Strangers in Class:  Gazing Across the Economic Divide,” features unique wooden sculptures which depict contemporary economic struggles.  “These works touch on blue-collar economic struggle, the digital divide, abject poverty and other issues, and the refinement of the work makes it resonate far beyond finger wagging,” says the Standard Times of New Bedford, MA.  Magnan, who holds an M.F.A. from the University of Massachusetts, lives and works in the National Park Waterfront Historic District of New Bedford.

“Out of the Frame: Alternative Arts of the 1980s Poets, Punk Rock and the Printed Book,” draws upon materials from UConn’s Archives & Special Collections and highlights works including:  the “Dial-a-Poem” movement, in which callers could listen for free to a variety of poems on social issues, cyberpunk writers, punk rock music and memorabilia and recordings documenting punk rock music and offset printed artists’ books of the period. The exhibit ends May 11.

For more information, please visit:



iPads for OLLIs

Written by Suzanne Zack, and Shelley Goldstein
Reprinted from UConn Libraries Newsletter, published December, 2013

iPads and technology will be the theme of outreach initiatives at the Waterbury library this academic year thanks to a $4,670 Library Services and Technology Act Grant for Services (LSTA) that was awarded by the Connecticut State Library Board (CSL). Funding enabled Waterbury to purchase 10 iPad Minis, provide instructional sessions, and through its partnership with the Osher Institute Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Connecticut (OLLI), offer a community outreach event.


The LSTA Grant, funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums, is awarded annually by the CSL through a competitive process that seeks to identify innovative programs at all types of institutional libraries. Campus Library Director Shelley Goldstein partnered with Brian Chapman, Director of OLLI in submitting a proposal entitled iPads for OLLIs. The program will be launched in the spring.

“It is a collaboration that effectively combines librarians’ skills set with OLLI’s captive audience and ultimately serves to enhance knowledge of iPads, social media, and “apps” to adult learners – a group that is often left out of the technological loop,” Goldstein said. The proposal cited Pew Center data indicating only 54 percent of older adults are using the web, as compared to 80 percent of the general population.

“Resistance to new technology is typically linked to unavailability of training opportunities and lack of awareness of its utility,” she adds. The choice of promoting iPads was based on research which showed that it is easier for older adults to navigate with a swipe and a tap than maneuvering a mouse, especially when adjusting text size. Goldstein also fell back on personal experience in noting how intuitive it was for a 91-year-old friend to expertly use an iPad to play games, read the newspaper, and occasionally peek at grandkids’ photos online.

In seeking to expand library services to older adults, the library focused on the pilot program launched in 2009 in collaboration with OLLI. Librarians have been offering a series of weekly workshops and introduced approximately 300 older adults (from age 50 to 90-plus) to browsers, web evaluation strategies, and social media. “We encountered nothing less than enthusiasm,” said Chapman. “The workshops quickly filled to capacity with extensive waiting lists. The only negative comment that consistently came up during assessments was that there weren’t enough sessions.”

As part of the grant agreement, there is a service match of 25 percent, which is comprised of instructional sessions from librarians and administrative support from OLLI staff who will market the program. In addition, OLLI purchased textbooks for use during instruction (iPads for the Older and Wiser) and is sponsoring an event featuring the author Abby Stokes of A Computer Handbook for Late Bloomers, Technophobes and the Kicking & Screaming.

“The OLLI program is thrilled to be able to benefit from the LSTA grant,” said Campus Director Dr. William J. Pizzuto, adding that “it falls in perfectly with our mission to provide learning experiences for older adults who want to engage socially and intellectually.” OLLI is primarily a volunteer-run program, with more than 700 members from 80 surrounding areas. Members attend classes and events at the Waterbury campus.