Monday, December 12, 2011

Curation Wars and Information Literacy

Last month,'s announcement of an initial public offering marked a watershed moment for curators. The act of curation has now been established, by anyone's measure, as a fundamental digital literacy. is a platform that allows people to publish fluid, visually-stunning "web magazines" by incorporating content already existing elsewhere on the Internet (Tweets, blog posts, Flickr images, YouTube videos, and more). The site suggests that users can "leverage curation to increase visibility" and "give persistence to their social media presence." is just one among dozens of curation tools (see below) that have emerged to meet our growing digital age crisis of information. Last year, Robert Scoble wrote about the "curation wars,"  a militaristic metaphor for the uptick in platorms like that are seeking to capture market attention. Maybe the growth of these platforms is in fact an arms race to find "The Next Big Thing" that will someday rival the net worth of Facebook, Twitter, and Google. However, I believe that so many curation platforms have arisen because the exchange of information is still fundamentally about human creativity and the construction of narratives that we present to other people.  The human component of information will remain essential, no matter how refined our algorithms might become.

What is Curation?

So what is curation? We tend to associate this word with the organization of museums, libraries, or archives. Yet curation has emerged alongside "cultivation" as the most apt metaphor of our digital age, a moment in time that requires constant work and perpetual revision. It is a term that has worked its way into the interface of Twitter, Facebook, and countless other social media platforms.

At its core, curation best describes the abilities and discretion often attributed to people who are information literate. Every day, we cycle through hundreds of bursts of information online, and we constantly make decisions about which sources we trust, which ones we don't, what we value, what we will return to, and how we organize what we've seen or listened to. By burst of information, I mean anything from an e mail to a link someone posts on Facebook to a "push notification" on our iPhones (others would call these "atoms"). Curation is, simply put, the composite of ordering, re-ordering, culling, bundling, embedding, and polling, each essential skills we need to find and evaluate information today.

As Bastian Lehmann, the founder of, suggests in the video below, creating content and curating content are two different things. Just about anyone has the ability to upload a file to a host online, but not everyone has the ability to synthesize information in compelling ways.

Why Curation?

Increasingly, the task of seeking information has shifted from a task-based skill-set to an ongoing, fluid process of organizing information, re-labeling it, and presenting it to others. Because the nature of finding information changes so rapidly, I believe that the way we learn needs to change apace. There are a few compelling reasons why we should incorporate curation tools with our learning experiences, whether we are teaching classes, taking classes, or both.

First, curation is an extension of critical thinking. It is a perpetual process of sifting through information, deciding what is valuable, what matters, and what doesn't matter in a given discourse. It invites learners to draw boundaries around spheres of knowledge and present content to other people in meaningful ways to other people.  Curation is a new dispensation of learning that already takes places in established models.

Second, thanks to the flexibility of real-time curation tools like Twitter, Storyful, Bag the Web, and others, curation is a public activity. I always like to cite research from the Stanford Study of Writing, a longitudinal project that tells us students who write or produce for public audiences tend to do work that is of better quality and more critical than work done for a college class and audience of one (the professor).  Furthermore, work that reaches a public audience can be a service to a community that extends beyond the college classroom.  It can help students establish a professional identity, and it allows them to participate in meaningful conversations, even as they are beginning to apprehend the basics of academic discourse.  Of course, the things that students create on these platforms are readily available online, but they can also be circulated easily on other networks via embed codes and sharing tools.

Here are a few tools worth looking at that you may not have noticed before:

Storyful:  This is one of the simplest tools for curation, citizen journalism, and synthesis of multi-media content that exists.  It offers seamless integration with Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube, and it appears to have a broad audience.  Using content already generated elsewhere, users can create a magazine that updates daily and automatically.  Great for collaboration between learners.

Google RSS Reader:  As Google continues to evolve, its RSS reader platform also changes to account for what's happening on the web.  You can use Google to organize, label, and share information with bundles (or "clips") that others can consume.

How Can I Get Into This?

If you are a student, feel free to meet up with me in the library.  If you're in the Honors Program, you might even want to consider taking my 1-credit class on "Curation Culture," which is slated to be offered next Fall.

If you are an instructor, consider getting in touch with me or another librarian at Carmichael to see how we can bring some of these tools into your class.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Extended Hours for Fall 2011

Photo Credit: Jim Roberts/Flickr

Starting today, Carmichael Library will be open late for your last minute study needs! We'll keep the doors open until 2:00 a.m. during the week before finals. The library will be open as late as 1:00 a.m. through next Wednesday, December 14th.

Fall 2011 Extended Hours

Dec. 5
a.m. –
a.m. –
a.m. –
a.m. –
a.m. –
a.m. –
p.m. –
a.m. –
a.m. –
a.m. –
a.m. –
a.m. –

Good luck, students!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Reality is Broken, So Come Play Video Games at the Library

Games in the Library: A Gaming Tournament
Thursday, November 17, 2011 7:00 PM
Carmichael Library
University of Montevallo

We live in a broken world. Corporations siphon billions of dollars from the public, taking money and jobs from people who are most needy. Every day, the United States and developing countries like China emit countless tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, escalating our climacteric and imperiling the future of life on this planet. Access to clean water is a crisis that transcends national boundaries; every twenty seconds, a child in the world dies because he or she does not have clean water to drink. Our most respected institutions turn a blind eye to corruption and abuse.
There are a lot of ways we could be spending our time to do something about these problems. Does anyone seriously think that playing video games should rank among these courses of action?

There are some scholars in a rapidly-growing field called Game Studies who suggest that game play can attune learners to the qualities of active engagement in a world of fragmentation and pain. Jane McGonigal, for instance, is among these scholars and says that the 300 billion hours we spend each week playing video games is anything but a waste of time. McGonigal argues that we actually aren't spending enough time playing video games (see her recent TED Talk below). Games, game play, and the study of gaming can unlock new patterns of learning and teach people how to solve real-world problems by cultivating essential skills like decision-making, time management, and collaboration.

Another ambassador for game play as a conduit for learning is Cathy N. Davidson, who argues in her recent book, Now You See It, that "Games are unquestionably the single most important cultural form of the digital age" (146). Davidson points to games as activities that radically improve the skill with which learners can divide attention and move from one task to another (an essential skill in the online world). Yet games don't just make us better learners for the sake of knowledge; rather, games are among the most effective ways that people find out about real social problems and become compelled to take action. According to a study conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 97 percent of U.S. teens play some form of video games. Of these, about half of them report that playing games make them think about (or indeed have introduced them to) moral or ethical issues. Just about everyone learns what effective, fervent action in the world looks like by playing video games.

With that reality in mind, the Carmichael Library, in association with the University of Montevallo Game Studies and Design Program, will host an evening of game play on Thursday, November 17, 2011. Inspired by the American Library Association's National Gaming Day @ Your Library, this event will feature circles of board game and video game tournaments. Come experience games that you haven't played before, like Settlers of Catan. There will be food and prizes. You can respond to the Facebook invitation, of you can just show up and play!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Day of the Dead at Your Campus Library

Students build an altar to Amy Winehouse (photo by Joel Bullock.)

We've got a couple of events coming up this week related to Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead.) For those who have not joined us for this observance before, Día de los Muertos is a holiday celebrated mainly in Mexico and by people of Mexican heritage living in the United States and Canada. The holiday is dedicated to the remembrance of friends and relatives who have died. Tomorrow, Tuesday, November 1st, Kappa Pi (The Student Art Association) is having a Day of the Dead sale from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. on the library's main floor. Items available for purchase will include t-shirts, tote bags, posters, ceramics, handmade notebooks and baked goods.

On Wednesday, November 2nd, students from Prof. Eric Vaccarella's Spanish 150 class will present their ceremonial altars (ofrendas,) which are located in the library's main floor lobby. This year's altars will be dedicated to actor and comedian Bernie Mack, singer Elvis Presley, playwright William Shakespeare, and singer Amy Winehouse. The public is invited when our students present their work at 10:00 a.m. The altars will remain on display from Friday, October 28th – Friday, November 11th.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

University Presses and RSS Feeds

An often-overlooked task for those of us who work in higher education, especially librarians and researching faculty, is keeping up with the latest monographs published by university presses. In the past, librarians and professors have learned about new publications by reading reviews in scholarly journals, scouring Choice cards, or sifting through glossy product catalogs, which inevitably seem to end up in our department mailboxes and then recycling bins after a glance.

Today, we have RSS technologies to keep track of information, and the most savvy university presses now present their content online in ways that benefit RSS users. It's now easier than ever before to know when important scholarship in a given field is published. MIT Press is a good example. If you visit their homepage, you can quickly navigate to a bank of RSS feeds organized by subject. You can subscribe to individual feeds for each subject area, add them to a reader, and learn when new titles in that area are published. MIT isn't the only press to do this. In a nearly-complete investigation, I've found several other presses that assign RSS feeds to specific subject areas:

If anyone has found other university or academic presses that organize new titles RSS feeds according to subject or discipline, let me know.

From a librarian's perspective there are several practical reasons why all university presses should provide this services on their websites. One is that the feeds allow us to customize content on our own Web 2.0-compatible sites. Many of the subject specific research guides that we create at the Carmichael Library contain feeds from recent publications (like, for instance, our recently published Sociology Research Guide). Students who reference these guides can encounter the latest scholarship in a given field, and librarians don't have to update web content.

Yet another way to keep track of what university presses are doing is to follow the blogs many of them maintain. All blogs can be tracked with RSS feeds. I've created a clip of some (not all) university press blogs, and anyone can subscribe to this list.

We'd love to hear how you keep track of university presses.

Monday, October 03, 2011

The Revelation of Research Guides

Although I've been on faculty at the Carmichael Library for a few months now, this is my first post to the library blog. Many thanks to everyone in the Montevallo community who has welcomed me so warmly.

Today I wanted to share some of the new ways that our students and teaching faculty have been accessing information on the library webpages. Since July, I and the other librarians have been developing a series of subject-specific research guides. These guides are designed to index credible (scholarly and popular) information in a given discipline. So far, we have good research guides in Social Work, Literary Criticism, Education, Psychology, and several other fields.

The Social Work research guide is a good example of what these pages do. When you visit its homepage, you can see that resources are organized in a series of tabs at the top according to kind of resource. Students can rapidly make distinctions between popular and scholarly print sources, online publications, and electronic journals, and they can find materials specific to their discipline.

Faculty will also find these pages useful, especially the "Journals" tab, which often contains a constantly-updating list of recent journal publications. This is the "revelation" of research guides, and of the "Web 2.0" landscape in general: information comes to you automatically if you take time to cultivate a single online space or tool.

There's also a section of every guide dedicated to constructing Web 2.0 tools as sources of information. For instance, on the "Social Media" tab of the Social Work research guide, anyone who visits can find a list of organizations to "like" on Facebook, find a list of Twitter feeds to "follow," or view a clip of RSS feeds to add to a personal reader.

The Carmichael Library is using Twitter to organize information. Those people who follow the @umlibrary Twitter list on Social Work resources will be able to keep tabs on journals, prominent public intellectuals, professional organizations, and college/university initiatives, all with a few scrolls of the mouse.

There's also a space on our research guides that can be customized for a specific class. Carmichael Librarians can add information, create or build ideas related to a specific assignment, or assemble any other resources that may be helpful. If you are teaching a class at the University of Montevallo, consider taking us up on our offer to save a space for you on our research guides.

The project is still in progress. We have many more guides to build, but we are always open to suggestions as we move ahead.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Scenes from Family Day 2011

For the second year running, Carmichael Library took part in the campus' Family Day event. Library staff and student workers told stories at three different campus sites giving talks at the top of the hour on Saturday afternoon. Below is a short clip of some of the scenes from this year's event:

We've also posted photos from this weekend's event on our Facebook and Flickr!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Day Two of Construction

Day Two. No construction but we did move the tables and chairs away from the wall that will have the new entrance. Bad weather came in the form of rain and no outside work could be done today. I found a picture of the front of the library from 1969 in the 1969 Montage. Enjoy.

Video of Carmichael Library first day of construction

Monday, September 19, 2011

Construction begins

Monday afternoon: Construction on the new ground floor entrance started today. The old sidewalks are pulled up and some of the old dead shrubs are gone. The two water oaks will stay and we'll do our best to keep them healthy and safe during the construction. You'll see some orange construction fencing going up soon. A few parking spaces will have to be taken out of commission so the debris can be removed. Bad weather is coming soon so they are trying to get as much done as possible while we have good weather.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Friday, September 09, 2011

Harbert Writing Center Hours for Fall Term 2011

The Harbert Writing Center is open from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. on Fridays during the fall term.

The Harbert Writing Center's Consultants are skilled in assisting writers at all stages of the writing process--from selecting topics to revising final drafts.

The Center is located in Comer Hall, room 311, and can be reached by phone at (205) 665-6438. No appointments are necessary.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Free Samples at Ollie's Today, September 7th!

Today from 9:00 a.m. until supplies last stop by Ollie's Simply To Go Café on the library's main floor for free samples. Ollie's is rolling out new food and beverage choices in the library café and we want to know what you think about these new offerings. Today's free items include Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers and V8 Frusion fruit and vegetable drinks. We hope to see you at Ollie's today!

Friday, September 02, 2011

Library Closed over Labor Day

The library will close at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, September 2. We will reopen on Tuesday, September 6 at 8:00 a.m. Enjoy the holiday!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Carmichael Library Introduces ILLiad

Carmichael Library Introduces ILLiad!

Interlibrary Loan is changing this semester! Carmichael Library now uses ILLiad, the Interlibrary Loan Internet Accessible Database.

With ILLiad, Interlibrary Loan is no longer a big deal. It’s easy to use and much faster than the old system. This is great news because when you need an article or book for a project—you need it, like, yesterday, right? Right!

With ILLiad, there are no more time-consuming, research-halting forms to fill out!! Clicking “Request this item” in many databases will do the work for you. There is also a “Free Text” option in ILLiad where you can cut and paste an entire citation into a request form. Dr. Kathy King, English professor, calls this “a BEE-U-TI-FUL thing!” And it really is!

But wait! There’s more!

With ILLiad’s electronic delivery service (called Odyssey) it’s entirely possible to get an article within an hour of requesting it—that’s crazy fast! It doesn’t happen with every request; normally you will receive articles within a few business days.

Typically, books are delivered in less than a week. To speed up the delivery process, we always borrow from Birmingham-area libraries first, and then we branch out to neighboring states—but even out-of-state books tend to arrive within seven days.

Other things ILLiad allows you to do:

  • Request books or individual articles either from databases or through Carmichael’s Interlibrary Loan homepage
  • Keep track of the requests as they are processed by Carmichael & whatever library decides to lend the items to you
  • Keep track of due dates and your loan history
  • Renew items online
  • Receive PDF articles electronically—they are delivered right to your UM email!
  • Receive notification the second a book is checked in at Carmichael—you’ll pick up your books at the circulation desk.


go here

to create your own ILLiad account!

For ILLiad Support: email OR

And remember, if you have any trouble finding the right resources, the Carmichael Librarians and the Interlibrary Loan department are glad to help—seriously, we want you to ask for help! We ENJOY questions and the opportunity to help you find what you’re looking for—even if you’re not sure what it is.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Large Format Photo Printing and Book Binding Displays

Carmichael Library invites you to come by and view two excellent displays of student works through September 3, 2011: Professor Collin William’s Large Format Photo Printing class and Professor Min Sun Lee’s Graphic Design: Book Binding class.Large Format Photo Printing class

1,2,3--Katherine Lincoln (beach, trees, underwater faces)
4--Rachel Crisson (library, thrift store)
5--Quentin Cornelison (kiln)
6--Chazz McLemore (main street Montevallo)
7--Aziza Shunnarah (floral patterns)
8, 9, 12--Justin Lee (crosses, church, night landscape with figures)
10--John Nicholson (meme)
11--Brian Carroll (tabletop turned into landscape)
13--David Wright (timber)
14--Kimberlee Bullock (Buck Park)
15--Brittany Ledbetter (dolls in woods)

Graphic Design: Book Binding class

Mark Basco
Melissa H. Frennea
Margaret E. Hague
Charles T. McLemore
Jessica E. Richard
Matthew P. Shirley
Aziza A. Shunnarah
Hannah M. Stein
Michelle L. Anderson
Kimberlee C. Bullock
Jasmine D. Densmore
Joyce F. Garrison
Ana-Sky J. Johnson
Emily A. Jones

Thanks to Collin Williams, Min Sun Lee, and their students for letting Carmichael Library display the works.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Ancient library information technology

We found this Gaylord Library Fine Calculator in a file cabinet in the library. I couldn't find out much about this tool but from what I can tell you put a numbered tile in at the bottom of the device. The number would match up to that day's date and then you would use this thing like an old slide ruler to calculate the fine. Anybody know how old this thing is? I would guess from the 1950s or 60s. Thank you to Mike Price for the photo.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Carmichael Library completes first stage of digitization project

The staff of Carmichael Library at the University of Montevallo has been working diligently for some time on a digitization project for some of the library’s holdings, and has recently shared the news that the first stage of the project is complete!

The goal of the project is to digitize all the University’s yearbooks and bulletins. Stage One included digitization of the earliest yearbooks and bulletins. These rare and one-of-a-kind items are now preserved and stored on a secure server and are available on the Internet Archives site. Alumni, students, faculty, staff and scholars can now view and download items of interest. These items can even be downloaded to a Kindle!

At a time when funding for such projects can be difficult to find, UM’s library staff was able to pursue this project by utilizing the LYRASIS Mass Digitization Collaborative. The program is supported by LYRASIS members and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The Collaborative provides libraries the opportunity to digitize and share their collections. The project is being managed by Carey Heatherly, an assistant professor at Carmichael Library, with the help of UM student interns. Their work has taken the project to the start of the second stage.

To visit the Carmichael Library Internet Archives site:

To view the 1907 edition of the Chiaroscuro, the school’s first yearbook:

Friday, July 01, 2011

Library Closed for July 4 Holidays; Catalog Outages Expected

Photo credit: museinthecity. Creative Commons license

The library will be closed this weekend in observance of the July Fourth holiday. We will reopen Tuesday, July 5 at 8:00 a.m.

The library catalog and our database connections will be down periodically over the holiday weekend due to planned server maintenance.

Have a safe and relaxing Fourth of July!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

2011 McNair Scholars Annual Research Presentations

The 2011 class of McNair scholars will deliver the Eighth Annual Research Presentations today beginning at 9:00 a.m. in Wills Hall Master Classroom. Among the evaluators of this year's presentations is library faculty member Amanda Melcher, who also serves as a library mentor to Montevallo's McNair scholars.

This year's participants, in order of appearance, are: Crystal Nichols, Patrick Morris, Corey Duke, Mikia Carter, Andrea Echols, Rachel Davis, Melissa Hollon, Sydney Stover, Mercedes Jones, Kimberly Godsey, Whitney Mitchell, Jasmine Pearson, and Kelsey Dobyne.

For more information about the McNair Scholars Program, visit their web site.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Clark Hultquist and Carey Heatherly Get Caught Reading

Photo and graphics by Joel Bullock

Our latest edition of UM Gets Caught Reading features professors Clark Hultquist and Carey Heatherly. The pair are the authors of Montevallo, which was published last month as part of the Images of America series by Arcadia Publishing. Dr. Hultquist is a Professor of History and chair of the Behavioral and Social Sciences Department at the university, while Mr. Heatherly is an Assistant Professor who handles the dual roles of Reference Librarian and University Archivist at Carmichael Library.

We usually ask our Get Caught Reading participants, "How do you use your campus library?" The following is a more detailed explanation of how Heatherly and Hultquist used the library and its collections during the preparation of their book for publication:

Clark Hultquist and Carey Heatherly use Carmichael Library for research purposes. This is best exemplified by the extensive research on both the campus and town history for the book Montevallo. The work is a pictorial history featuring 217 images accompanied by captions and chapter introductions. Almost all the images came from the University of Montevallo, mostly from Carmichael Library’s University Archives and Special Collections. Additionally, the duo spent six months researching each photograph; the people, the buildings, the stories behind each one. A sample of those rich resources include yearbooks from 1907 to the present, the student newspaper Alabamian from 1924 to the present, a collection of area newspaper scrapbooks from 1915 to 1995, and the University’s course catalogs and pamphlets from 1895 to the present.

The authors utilized Carmichael Library’s reference and circulation collections too. Much is owed to the available secondary sources on local history, particularly Eloise Meroney’s Montevallo: the First One-Hundred Years, Lucille Griffith’s Alabama College and White Columns and Red Bricks, and Mary Frances Tipton’s Years Rich and Fruitful. The research conducted at Carmichael has paid dividends beyond the publication of Montevallo as the authors are often asked to speak about local history. Most recently, the two led a tour of downtown and told stories about homes, businesses, churches, and the people who settled, lived, and worked in Montevallo, including notable events such as electricity coming to town in 1912 and the Main Street murder of Walter S. Cary.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Video: Stone Carving, May 2011

In case you missed it on our Facebook page last week, here's another posting of our video of Professor Ted Metz's May 2011 Stone Carving class at work. This video was shot and edited by our student assistant for digital projects, Mike Price.

If you haven't seen our students' completed sculptures in the library be sure to stop in soon! We've got another summer art display (to be announced very soon) coming after this week.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Stone Carving Exhibit in the Library

"Convolution," by Katie Avant. Photo by Mike Price

Please don't miss a remarkable display of student artwork from Professor Ted Metz’s May 2011 sculpture class, Stone Carving (Art 471/571.)

The twenty pieces on display are cut from Colorado alabaster, shaped, and polished into fascinating forms and textures. This work will be displayed in the library main floor foyer through June 30.

The following is a list of participating artists:

Katie Avant

Danielle Banner
"I Wish my Boyfriend were Here"
"Lost at Sea"

Kirsten A. Bowman

Melissa Brobston

Sommer Fortner

Joyce Garrison
"In the memory of my Parents"
"Together Forever Amen"

Parker Hunt

Joshua James
"Once a Mountain, Now the Sea"

Jason Jeffcoat

Hannah Ronan-Daniell
"Constant Shallowness Leads to Evil"

Alexander Schmidt

* These works are no longer on display.

Thanks to our library student assistants Hannah Ronan-Daniell and Mike Price. Hannah helped with the coordination of our exhibit and created the labels for these fine works. Mike took photos of the exhibit, which you may view on our Flickr.

Thanks to our Circulation Manager, Gloria Beasley, who headed coordination and publicity efforts for this exhibit.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Deal of the Century: EBSCO and H.W. Wilson merge

In what is being billed as the "Deal of the Century" in the library world, EBSCO has acquired the H.W. Wilson company. Here's a link to a chart detailing the new world of Super Databases.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Summer 2011 Hours

Summer I and II hours for Carmichael Library:

Sunday: 2:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Monday-Thursday: 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Saturday: Closed

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Library of Congress Adds a Jukebox

The Library of Congress has added a National Jukebox The jukebox is browsable and searchable by artist (with a short bio for each) and genre. According to the website,
"The National Jukebox debuts featuring more than 10,000 78rpm disc sides issued by the Victor Talking Machine Company between 1900 and 1925.

Imagine your computer as a new Gramophone purchased for family and friends to enjoy in your home parlor. Audition popular recorded selections of the beginning of the 20th century years—band music, novelty tunes, humorous monologues, hits from the season's new musical theater productions, the latest dance rhythms, and opera arias."
This little ditty about made me laugh!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Harbert Writing Center Hours for May 2011

This information from Dr. Glenda Conway, Professor of English and Coordinator of the Harbert Writing Center:
The Harbert Writing Center is open during May Term from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

The Peer Consultants who work in HWC provide free consultation services to writers from all disciplines and at all stages of the writing process.

HWC is located in Comer Hall, Room 311. Sessions are conducted on a walk-in basis.
Photo Credit: Susan Sharpless Smith. Creative Commons license

Monday, May 02, 2011

How You Can Help Storm Relief Efforts

This information from UM Service Learning coordinator Dr. Hollie Cost:
Dear Montevallo Community,

Thank you all for the outpouring of support for victims of the recent storms. We are expecting a long road to recovery so our efforts will be needed for many months. Below is an updated list of items we are gathering locally. Donations can be delivered directly to Montevallo First Baptist or can be placed in any of the donation boxes located on campus.

The city and university are working collaboratively to identify areas closest to us that are in the greatest need of volunteers. That information will be provided to campus on Thursday. Individuals interested in volunteering immediately can dial 2-1-1 or 1-888-421-1266. For more information visit the Alabama Poverty Project website.

Please keep in mind, if you are not volunteering or do not live in any of these areas, do not visit these areas! Onlookers are delaying relief efforts.

Can be delivered to Montevallo First Baptist or placed in donation boxes around campus. For pick-up contact David Belk with the City of Montevallo (205) 965-4336.
  • plastic gas containers
  • manual can openers
  • hard shell coolers
  • new, packaged undergarments
  • first aid supplies
  • flash lights
  • large trash bags
  • Clorox spray
  • batteries of all sizes
  • paper towels
  • baby wipes
  • baby and adult diapers
  • drinking water
  • work gloves
  • easy snack food (non perishable and packaged)
  • personal hygiene items
  • instant formula
  • toilet paper
  • emergency candles
  • hand sanitizer
  • large Tupperware bins for belongings as they are found
  • Sharpies
  • over-the-counter medicines
Additionally, you may wish to participate in the 3,000 in 3 Water Drive taking place on campus. Montevallo students, staff, and faculty are working to collect 3,000 cases of water over the next three days to help area storm victims. Get more information on the drive on the 3,000 in 3 Facebook event page.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The UM Archives and Special Collections

Just a quick note to let everyone know the archives move is underway. Student worker Jamie Rawls and interns Michael Messina, Amber Whiting, and Andrea Self have been hard at work moving and cleaning items. Ben Hayes, UM Physical Plant, came by Wednesday morning and moved portions of our shelving to the new area. I plan to document this experience by posting photos and updates along the way. Please check out more photos on our Carmichael Library Flickr account.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Extended Finals Hours for Spring 2011

Original artwork by Joel Bullock

Starting this Sunday, April 24, Carmichael Library will be open late for your last minute study needs! We'll keep the doors open until 2:00 a.m. during the week before finals. The library's end-of-semester extended hours will continue through Tuesday, May 3.

Spring 2011 Extended Hours
April 24
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2 a.m.
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May 1
p.m. –
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Good luck, students!

Monday, April 18, 2011

History Day in the Library, April 18

Photo from 2010 Fall History Day by Dr. Ruth Truss

Tomorrow, Carmichael Library will be the site of the History Department's semi-annual History Day. Seniors taking History 491 with Dr. Robert Barone will present their final research projects. At 1:00 p.m. we will have a Skype video session from England with 2005 UM alumna, Kelly Kilpatrick. Ms. Kilpatrick is soon to finish her DPhil in European History, The Historical Interpretation of Early Medieval Insular Place-Names, at Wadham College at Oxford.

The 2011 Spring History Day student presenters include:

Nathan Brown, "Southern Transformation: Chestnut Creek, the Rise and Fall of a Nineteenth Century Community"

Tiffany Cummings, "Environmentalism: A Movement of Humanity"

Marshall Davidson, "Spring Offensives of 1918: Germany’s Need for Manpower"

Vanya Gaines, "Chasing the Setting Sun: Churchill’s Early Years"

David Hughes, "The Development of the Coosa River: The Logan Martin Dam Project"

Christina Joiner, "The Making of Women in the 1920s: A Change in the Workplace, Relationships, and Culture"

Patrick Lakey, "Triumph Over the Will: Jazz Resistance Under the Third Reich"

Nick Miller, "Birmingham: The Civil Rights Movement and the African-American Church"

Christopher Robinson, "The Untold story: African-American Soldiers Who Defended the Southern Way Life During the Civil War"

Sarah Stephens, "Geronimo: The Last Campaign"

Richard Thompson, "Bloodshed in Alabama: The Major Players and Key Events of the Creek War"

Michael Trott, "Helicopter Pilots of the Vietnam War"

Amber Whiting, "The Aleutian Islands Campaign"

Please join us at any time between noon and 2:00 p.m. tomorrow!

Friday, April 15, 2011

University and Library Closing at 1pm today, April 15, 2011

This news from the University of Montevallo Public Relations Office:
Due to the possibility of inclement weather, the University of Montevallo will close at 1 p.m. today (Friday, April 15, 2011). This also includes all evening classes and special events. The University will reopen Monday at 8 a.m., as per regular schedule.

The National Weather service has indicated a severe weather event in Central Alabama this afternoon and extending into the evening.
For those attending the Montevallo Literary Festival, afternoon events have been moved to Eclipse Coffee and Books.

Please stay safe! Carmichael Library will open for our regular Saturday hours of operation, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Monday, April 04, 2011

University and Library Closing at 2pm today, April 4,2011

Because of the threat of a severe weather outbreak, the University of Montevallo and Carmichael Librarywill close today (Monday, April 4, 2011) at 2 p.m.

Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to be safe and to stay tuned to a good source for weather information.

The University will re-open at 8 a.m., Tuesday, April 5.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Editors Wanted for the Tower, the Montage, and the Alabamian

Are you interested in leading one of UM's student publications? Applications are now being accepted for editors of the Tower (literary/arts magazine), Montage (yearbook), and Alabamian (newspaper).

Leadership positions in student publications look great on resumes. Students of all majors are encouraged to apply.

Pick up an application in the student life office or on the second floor of Will Lyman House. Electronic applications may be requested by contacting Tiffany Bunt,

The deadline to submit applications is Wednesday, April 6, by 5 p.m. Applications should be returned to Tiffany Bunt, UM Public Relations, Will Lyman House.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

2011 Faculty Research Symposium

Monday, March 7 is the date of the 2011 Faculty Research Symposium on the Montevallo campus. Tomorrow's presentations will center around five themes and feature the creative work of 21 UM faculty members representing all four colleges and the library, a stellar group of scholars and creative artists.

Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to drop in anytime between 10:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. as interest prompts and time permits. The presentations will take place in Wills Hall Master Classroom, room 200. Here's a list of this year's presenters:

10:00 a.m. – 10:05 a.m.
Welcoming Remarks by President John W. Stewart

10:05 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Learning Curves
Tom Sanders (Business)
Nancy Bell (Business)
Mickey Bunn (Business)
Joe Walsh (Education)

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Laurel Hitchcock (Social Work)
Jason Newell (Social Work)
Linda Murdock (Communication Science and Disorders)
Dan Valentine (Communication Science and Disorders)

2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Soundings & Discoveries
Betsy Inglesby (English)
Joseph Landers (Music)
Glenda Conway (English)
Deborah Karpman (Art)

3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Eric Vaccarella (Spanish)
Leonor Vazquez (Spanish)
Ruth Truss (History)
Clark Hultquist (History) & Carey Heatherly (Library)

5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Creative Processes
Kelly Wacker (Art History)
Bryn Chancellor (English)
Collin Williams (Art)
Karen Graffeo (Art)

More information on the symposium can be found here.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

College Night 2011 Student Leaders Get Caught Reading

For the second time in three years, Carmichael Library is highlighting Montevallo's greatest tradition with our occasional blog feature, Get Caught Reading. Meet your Gold and Purple Side student leaders and learn what they're reading!

Photos by Joel Bullock

Purple Side co-leader Logan Reid chose The Berenstain Bears in The Bears' Nature Guide, by Stan Berenstain. Elizabeth Minyard chose The Legend of Drizzt Collectors Edition, by R. A. Salvatore. Logan majors in acting and directing, and Elizabeth is working on a fine arts degree in painting.

Gold Side co-leader Jennifer Bellamy chose Wolf Boy, by Evan Kuhlman, while Philip Green chose Stuff White People Like: The Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions, by Christian Lander. Both Jenna and Philip are Communication Studies majors, and Philip is also pursuing a double major in sociology.

Now that we know what our College Night student leaders are reading there's only one question to ask: "What's it gonna' be?!"

Related on Carmichael blog:

Thursday, February 03, 2011

From the Director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina "To our Friends Around the World: The Events in Egypt"

To our friends around the world: The Events in Egypt
30 Jan 2011

The world has witnessed an unprecedented popular action in the streets of Egypt. Led by Egypt’s youth, with their justified demands for more freedom, more democracy, lower prices for necessities and more employment opportunities. These youths demanded immediate and far-reaching changes. This was met by violent conflicts with the police, who were routed. The army was called in and was welcomed by the demonstrators, but initially their presence was more symbolic than active. Events deteriorated as lawless bands of thugs, and maybe agents provocateurs, appeared and looting began. The young people organized themselves into groups that directed traffic, protected neighborhoods and guarded public buildings of value such as the Egyptian Museum and the Library of Alexandria. They are collaborating with the army. This makeshift arrangement is in place until full public order returns.

The library is safe thanks to Egypt’s youth, whether they be the staff of the Library or the representatives of the demonstrators, who are joining us in guarding the building from potential vandals and looters. I am there daily within the bounds of the curfew hours. However, the Library will be closed to the public for the next few days until the curfew is lifted and events unfold towards an end to the lawlessness and a move towards the resolution of the political issues that triggered the demonstrations.

Ismail Serageldin
Librarian of Alexandria
Director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

SafeHouse Book Drive

Are you looking for an easy way to make an impact in our community? University of Montevallo Falcon Scholar Brandy McGough is hosting a book drive to benefit SafeHouse, a shelter for battered women and children.

Donation boxes will be at various locations throughout the University of Montevallo campus including:
  • Carmichael Library
  • Jeter Hall
  • Ramsay Hall
  • Farmer Hall
  • The Office of Student Support Services, Main Hall
Books are needed for readers of all ages, from elementary level to adult. The shelter is particularly interested in receiving books for children and teens. Monetary donations will be accepted in Ramsay Hall and will be used to purchase more books. You may specify the age group for which you want purchased.

Please help this cause! Books will be accepted through March 7th.

For further information about Safehouse, visit

For more information on the book drive you may contact Ms. McGough at

Photo by Amanda Melcher

Friday, January 14, 2011

Student Book Art Exhibition and Reception, Jan. 20

Carmichael Library Presents
Journeys and Sequences: Photography books by Montevallo Art Students

Photo by Joel Bullock

Carmichael Library, in cooperation with the Department of Art, presents a display of photographic books made by University of Montevallo Art Students. The books were made by the students of Karen Graffeo who took part in Art Department Travel Abroad courses to Italy, Turkey and Greece. In addition, some of these works were produced by students enrolled in Photo I and Documentary Photography courses. The assigned projects required the student to take a journey, or to explore a cultural topic, as well as being required to do a visual sequence of photographs in response to the Carson McCullers story "A Tree, A Rock, A Cloud". The books were produced using the iPhoto software program.

The following students have books in this display: Heather Anderson, Maggie Blevins, Melissa Brobston, Leslie Carver, Rachel Crisson, Carolyn Fain, Lauren Franks, Rachel Grimes, Elizabeth Gross, Sky Johnson, Katherine Lincoln, Jameilia Little, Faza Malik, Elizabeth Minyard, Janessa Mobley, Stephanie Moceri, Oriana Padron, Michael Price, Hannah Ronan-Daniell, Alexander Schmidt, and Allison Vancleave

Please enjoy a reception on Thursday, January 20 at 1:00 p.m. in the library. Hot cider, treats, and books will warm your body and soul! Persons attending the reception will have a chance to look at these works and learn more about the processes used in their creation. The books will be on display in the library's Main Floor lobby through Friday, January 28.

Thanks to Karen Graffeo and her students for sharing their work with us! Also thanks to Gloria Beasley, Joel Bullock, and our library student assistants who helped with the set up of this exhibition.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Hours

The library will have shortened hours for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend.

Saturday, January 15Closed
Sunday, January 162:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Monday, Monday 17Closed – Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

Photo credit: U.S. Embassy New Delhi

Sunday, January 09, 2011

UM to Close Monday, Jan. 10

This news from the UM Office of Public Relations: The University of Montevallo will be closed Monday, January 10, 2011, due to predicted ice and snow conditions that will affect the central part of the state. Today’s weather forecasts indicate ice and snow conditions throughout central Alabama beginning Sunday night and continuing into the evening on Monday which could make travel dangerous. All classes and special events for Monday and Monday evening have been canceled.

A decision regarding Tuesday’s operations, including classes and special events, will be made by noon on Monday, provided there is sufficient information to make the decision at that time.

Photo by Joie Molden

Friday, January 07, 2011

Myrlie Evers-Williams to speak at UM Jan. 11

Carmichael Library commemorates the Montevallo visit of Myrlie Evers-Williams with a display of related materials. First, this announcement and biography of Mrs. Evers-Williams from the UM Office of Public Relations:

Nationally known civil rights activist Myrlie Evers-Williams will be the featured speaker for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. program at UM Jan. 11, 2011, at 7 p.m. The location of the presentation will be announced at a later date. The topic of her talk will be "Forging the Dream: Leadership by Action and Not by Design."

Widow of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers, she has never been content to rest on her late husband’s laurels. She garnered the national spotlight as the first woman elected board of directors chair of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). She was elected chairperson to lead the nation’s oldest civil rights organization in 1995 at a time when it had been surrounded by scandal and controversy. Her positive reputation among civil rights activists, and blacks in general, made her election a cause for renewed optimism among NAACP supporters.

In early 1998, Evers-Williams decided not to run for another term as NAACP chairperson and instead chose to pursue other projects. In particular, she started the Medgar Evers Institute to promote education, training and economic development. Civil rights leader, Julian Bond, succeeded Evers-Williams as NAACP chairperson.

Evers-Williams was born in Vicksburg, Miss., and was raised by her grandmother and an aunt. In 1950 she enrolled at the then all-black Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College (now Alcorn State University) in Lorman, Miss. Starting in 1954, Evers-Williams worked full-time as field secretary for the NAACP in Mississippi. She served as her husband’s secretary in the Jackson office of the NAACP, and in that capacity played a significant role in advancing the civil rights cause. In June 1963, Medgar Evers was shot and killed as he entered his Jackson home. His murder brought national attention to the evils of racism in the South, particularly in Mississippi. Byron De La Beckwith was tried several times, but was not convicted of the murder until 1994. Although devastated personally by her loss, Evers-Williams became a symbol of courage as well as tragedy in the civil rights movement. She and co-author William Peters wrote a biography of her late husband, For Us, The Living.

Evers-Williams moved to California in 1964, where she received her B.A. from Pomona College in 1968, lectured for the NAACP and began a career in business. She remained active in civil rights work and politics, running unsuccessfully for Congress of the United States in 1970 and serving as commissioner of public works for Los Angeles in 1987. She also worked for two years for an advertising agency, and for 10 years she was the director of community affairs for a Los Angeles corporation.

Her life has been the inspiration for two movies, For Us the Living: The Medgar Evers Story and Ghosts of Mississippi. Oscar winner Whoopi Goldberg portrayed her in Ghosts of Mississippi.

Carmichael Library commemorates the Montevallo visit of Myrlie Evers-Williams with a special display of books and DVDs related to the history and development of the NAACP. Please feel free to check out any of the materials now on display on the library's Main Floor.

On the Web:

Monday, January 03, 2011

Memorial Service for Mary Seagle

A memorial service for Mary Seagle, who served as a library assistant at Carmichael Library for about 10 years, will be held Wednesday, January 5th, at 4:00 p.m. at Carmichael Library. Mary passed away New Year's Day. Friends and colleagues will be invited to share their memories about Mary at the service. Her daughter said Mary's work at the library "was precious to her. Working with the students, library staff, faculty, UM staff and others was her life."

Memorial gifts may be made to Carmichael Library or to the American Cancer Society.

The library will open Wednesday at 8:00 a.m. and will close to the general public at 3:00 p.m. prior to the memorial service.