Thursday, January 29, 2009

College Night 2009 Display

Now on display in the library you'll find our annual tribute to the University of Montevallo's College Night. Check out the display just past the lobby, which includes original photos, sheet music, production books and College Night programs.

The College Night tradition is so unique in American higher education that it has been honored at the Library of Congress in a permanent exhibit in the American Folklife Center. Started in 1919 as a series of skits performed in the school cafeteria, the tradition has grown over the years to a week-long series of athletic contests and other homecoming events. As anyone who has visited the UM campus knows, the pinnacle of College Night week is a full-scale musical theatre production, which is written, directed, and performed entirely by students.

One of the perks of working in the library is the occasional chance to look at the production books and programs from past years. The library not only houses these treasures in the University Archives, we also share some of them with the UM community at this special time of the academic year. Following UM's College Night traditions, this year's focus is on class years ending in nine.

I learn something new about our homecoming tradition every year. Here are a few random facts about College Night that I found interesting:
  • 1921 marked the first year of Gold Side and Purple Side productions. The Gold Side claimed victory in the very first of these match ups.
  • Although men began attending UM (then Alabama College) in 1956, it was not until 1963 that male and female co-leaders were elected. This tradition continues today.
  • The tradition of dedicating College Night to an individual or group of people began in the 1930s. Only two people have received the honor more than once: Dr. (and later Dean) Thomas H. Napier received the dedication in 1934 and 1944. Ms. Mary Frances Tipton, longtime Director of the library, received the honor in 1967 and 1980.
  • In 1942, the first College Night held after Americans entered World War II, the dedication was offered to "people in the service of the USA."
  • The Purple Side's longest victory streak was six wins in the years 1945-1951. The Golds own the longest streak in school history with seven victories from 1961-1967.
  • College Night performances were staged in Reynolds Hall in 1928 and 1929, after which they were moved to the new Palmer Hall. Palmer has been home to College Night every year since, with the exception of 2007, when the auditorium was closed for roof repairs.
  • The Purple Side owns the most College Night victories with 46 wins. There have been 42 Gold victories.
Special thanks to our Archivist Carey Heatherly for directing this year's display and for timely fact checking (any errors in this blog are solely mine!) The display itself is the creative work of our Archives Assistants Dallas Hanbury and Savannah Willingham. The photos in this post were taken by Joel Bullock. You can see more College Night display photos on our Flickr and Facebook pages.

On the UM Website:

Also on the Web:
Links updated 2/3/15

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Schedule

Just a quick reminder that the library will have shortened hours over the next few days due to the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.
  • Saturday, January 17th Closed
  • Sunday, January 18th 2:00 P.M. – 6:00 P.M.
  • Monday (MLK, Jr. holiday), January 19th Closed
We'll return to our normal hours of operation on Tuesday the 20th at 8:00 am.

Alabama Author's Book Optioned by Film Company

Bob Carlton, of the Birmingham News, reports that Warren St. John's Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer has been picked up by Half Shell Entertainment. Published in 2004, the book traces the steps of devoted University of Alabama football fans as they travel from game to game during the 1999 season.

In 2006, RJYH earned St. John the Alabama Library Association's Author Award for Nonfiction.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Welcome to Congress, YouTube

The leaders of the United States Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives have announced that Congress is now in session, on YouTube. You can now find a number of Representatives and Senators' YouTube channels on two new platforms: and

These pages feature a clickable map at the top of the screen that makes finding your lawmakers easy. At this point, the only member of the Alabama delegation sharing video is Fourth District Representative Robert Aderholt, but more are sure to follow in the coming weeks.

Check out this video from House and Senate leaders about this new service:

House Minority Leader John Boehner points out that some lawmakers have been using sites like YouTube for some time now. There can be little doubt that video and other social media had a huge impact on the recent presidential election. It will be interesting to see how voters use this these technologies to stay informed about their government.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Welcome Back!

We hope you all had a wonderful break, and, like us, that you're eager to start the new semester! If you've accessed this blog from the library's web site, then you'll already have noticed that our main page looks a little different. We've incorporated a Meebo chat box that will allow you to chat with the librarian. A librarian will be online every day between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. If you submit a question at other times, one of us will get back to you as soon as possible. Be sure to include your email address in your message so we can respond. We're looking forward to hearing from you!