Sunday, April 15, 2007

Cynthia Shackelford Gets Caught Reading

We recently caught Cynthia Shackelford, UM's Director of Public Relations, in the 2nd floor reading area of the library. We asked her the following questions:

Carmichael Library: What are you reading?

Cynthia Shackelford: Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee, by Charles Shields

Carmichael Library: Why?

Cynthia Shackelford:
A friend let me borrow this book because she said she thought I would like it . . .and I do. Some critics have said there is really “nothing new” in this book, but since I admittedly do not know a great deal about Harper Lee’s life, I found something “new” on virtually every page. Shields didn’t interview Harper Lee for this book --she wouldn’t allow it—but I think he did a better than average job in using secondary sources to tell a pretty good story. He documents almost everything in this book with copious notes and bibliographic entries.

Harper Lee’s mother and aunt went to school here, and Shields used one of our early bulletins as a reference on a couple of pages. He listed the types of courses that were available to students then, and I’ll bet he used this library to obtain that information.

Carmichael Library:
How do you use your campus library?

Cynthia Shackelford: I like to think of the library as a “Go-To” place, and that comforts me, especially when I am doing research for projects or for Montevallo Today. I have used the archives on many occasions . . . virtually every day during the University’s centennial celebration in 1996. I also spend time in the Children’s Literature section reading the Curious George series to my favorite seven-year-old.

Stay tuned for the next episode of get caught reading. Btw, we're still taking nominations for faculty you'd like to see Get Caught Reading.

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