Thursday, March 21, 2019

2019 Libraries Visiting Scholar lecture: “Academic Freedom: The Key Role of Archival Records”





April 18, 2019, 11 am – Noon, Nebraska Union Auditorium
Tanya Zanish-Belcher, the Director of Special Collections & Archives at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is the 2019 Visiting Scholar for the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries. Her public presentation on “Academic Freedom: The Key Role of Archival Records,is scheduled for April 18, 2019, at 11:00 a.m. in the Nebraska Union Auditorium (1400 R St., Lincoln).  The event is free and open to the public.
Zanish-Belcher’s presentation will address research, and the broadest sense of the historical record, which is based on, or depends upon, the quality and amount of historical records available for the types of stories we can tell. The expansion of the documentary record, particularly (1) the creation of materials giving a much-needed view of marginalized groups long silenced, (2) the explosion of community-based archives, and (3) the digitization of materials from the past all provide rich new sources for exploration. What impact does this growing plethora of information and data have on our efforts to describe, contextualize, and share the various elements of our complicated histories? At the same time, a growing lack of access to the public record, whether by cost, censorship, a decrease in public funding, or a narrowing view of American citizenship, challenges us. How can archivists, researchers, and scholars reverse this trend and ensure the continued preservation and access to the historical record which defines who we are?
Zanish-Belcher received her M.A. in Historical and Archival Administration from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, and her B.A. in History from Ohio Wesleyan University. Prior to her appointment as director at Wake Forest in 2013, she was the Head of Special Collections & Archives at Iowa State University Library between 1998-2013, and was also a Special Collections Archivist at the Alabama Dept. of Archives and History between 1989-1994.

Her publications include Perspectives on Women’s Archives (edited, with Anke Voss) for the Society of American Archivists (2013) and author of one of its chapters, “’A Culture of Concealment’: Revealing the Records of Human Reproduction.” Tanya has taught workshops on archival reference for the Midwest Archives Conference and has given many presentations at the state, local, and national levels. She has published articles on women’s archives and women in science, and has served on and chaired various SAA committees, including the nominating committee, Committee on the Status of Women, and the Membership Committee. She was named a Society of American Archivists (SAA) Fellow in 2011, the highest accolade given by the Society. She is a Past President of Midwest Archives Conference, member of the SAA Council (2012-2015), and was elected Vice-President/President Elect for SAA in 2016. Zanish-Belcher served as the 73rd President of the Society of American Archivists in 2017-2018.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Kiyomi Deards Named ARL Visiting Program Officer for Diversity and Leadership







(Reprinted from ARL News)

By Mark A. Puente

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has appointed Kiyomi Deards of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln as a visiting program officer for diversity and leadership, effective February 1, 2019. Deards will support the Association’s diversity, equity, and inclusion portfolio in advancing access to economic and social prosperity, encouraging full participation in society, and countering the historical lack of access to and underrepresentation of human and material resources that research libraries cultivate and steward.

As a visiting program officer, Deards will conduct research and produce several resources for ARL member libraries and archives to use in strengthening their efforts to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion. Her areas of research will include (1) frameworks for diversity, equity, and inclusion competencies in libraries, archives, other cultural heritage and information organizations, and higher education; (2) training, community building, and development programs that address diversity, equity, and inclusion competencies; and (3) funding sources for developing a cohort of expert facilitators to help ARL institutions create and implement diversity, equity, and inclusion plans.
Beth McNeil, chair of the ARL Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and dean of the University Library at Iowa State University, said, “We are pleased to have Kiyomi working with the Association to advance some of the key priorities in our diversity, equity, and inclusion portfolio. Her work will help inform what strategies and programs we need to implement and sustain in order to make more substantive and enduring change in this area. It is particularly gratifying to have someone who has benefited from participating in ARL’s diversity recruitment programs giving back to the Association and to the profession.”
Deards is an associate professor, and librarian for chemistry, biochemistry, forensic science, physics & astronomy, and water, at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL) University Libraries. She has worked with, and led, programs focused on mentoring and career support for historically underrepresented groups in libraries since 2009. Most recently, she chaired the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Dr. E. J. Josey Spectrum Scholar Mentor Committee. At UNL Deards leads the SciPop science and pop-culture outreach program. She writes and presents about issues of management equity and mentoring in libraries, science literacy, and informal science education. In 2009–2011, she was an ARL Diversity Scholar in the Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce.
The ARL Visiting Program Officer program provides opportunities for outstanding staff members at ARL member libraries and archives to contribute to special projects and programs, either in whole or in part, in order to advance the agenda of the Association. Visit the ARL website for more information about the Visiting Program Officer program.


Friday, February 8, 2019

Nebraska Lecture features Kay Logan-Peters and "Building Nebraska U: The Saga of University Hall and the Origins of the Modern University.”



Kay Logan-Peters, professor of libraries and art and architecture librarian, will present “Building Nebraska U: The Saga of University Hall and the Origins of the Modern University.” The presentation will examine the university’s architectural history, including an NET-produced virtual reality tour of University Hall, the first building on campus.

The talk is the second installment in a series of 12 Nebraska Lectures in 2019, part of the university’s celebration of its 150th anniversary this year. The lectures will focus on unique aspects of Nebraska and the university.

A reception will follow the lecture.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Associate Professor Leslie Delserone to Serve as Editor-in-Chief for Journal of Agricultural & Food Information


University Libraries’ Associate Professor Leslie Delserone was recently appointed as Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Agricultural & Food Information(JAFI), published quarterly by Taylor and Francis. Serendipitously, JAFI was the journal in which Leslie published her first peer-reviewed article as a librarian, "Tracking ‘Organic’ Agricultural Research in the U.S 1970-1989: What Federal, Legislative, and Selected USDA-sponsored Documents Reveal". Leslie formerly served on the journal’s editorial board, and for seven years as editor of its “Society of the Quarter” column. Her tenure begins officially with volume 20 in 2019, although she’s been acting editor-in-chief since October 2018.  

The Journal of Agricultural & Food Information began in 1993 and emphasized research and practice in agricultural librarianship. Today, its expanded scope covers “the interface between information science and the fields of agriculture, food, and nutrition.” 

Contributing authors are librarians and many other information specialists, including those working in extension, agricultural education, and with government agencies. One of the appealing aspects to this role for Leslie is the educational component, working with writers to improve submitted manuscripts through the constructive criticism of double-blind peer-review. The book reviews and quarterly columns, although not peer-reviewed, are a great opportunity for early professionals to develop their writing skills and build a publication record.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Erica DeFrain Co-Leads Research with Students Exploring Physical Spaces


Dr. Erica DeFrain, Assistant Professor at University Libraries, and Dr. Miyoung Hong, Assistant Professor of Interior Design, have teamed up with six Undergraduate Creative Activities and Research Experience (UCARE) students from the College of Architecture to study the use of informal learning spaces across the University of Nebraska - Lincoln campus. This mixed-methods, interdisciplinary research study will compare students’ learning needs and behaviors at Love Library, the Nebraska Union, the College of Business, and the College of Nursing. The project is an extension of an earlier study conducted by DeFrain and Hong, and funded by the UNL Research Council’s Maude Hammond Fling Faculty Research Fellowship, that focused on the Adele Hall Learning Commons. DeFrain said, “In that study we learned what was important about the Adele Hall Learning Commons, but needed to understand the ‘pull’ factors for other similar spaces on campus. Conducting this comparative analysis will help us to identify the unique attributes for each of the sites, and understand how to best support the students who use them and their learning needs.”

For their investigation, DeFrain and Hong are combining observation, survey, and focus group methods to gather qualitative and quantitative data from each of the sites. The survey instrument, designed according to the American Institute of Architect’s Post-Occupancy Evaluation best practices, asks students to assess the physical design aspects, such as spatial design, furnishings, and indoor environmental quality (IEQ), reflect on their own productivity and needs, and provide standard demographic data. During Fall 2018, the UCARE students focused on the College of Business and Love Library South, documenting 120 hours of observations and gathering over 300 student surveys from the two sites. Beginning in January 2019, they will switch to collecting these data from the College of Nursing and the Nebraska Union.

DeFrain said, “The people who create and oversee informal learning spaces have their own intentions for them, and it’s enlightening to see how students are actually matching or mismatching those intentions. For example, many of our campus spaces are being built to support active, collaborative learning, but when we asked students what they were working on in those spaces, they most often were there for independent study, and our observational data support that.”

The project has provided numerous opportunities to share and discuss findings, and DeFrain and Hong are excited to continue their research collaboration once this study concludes. They presented a poster on the first stage of the research at the 2018 International Association of University Libraries conference in Oslo, Norway; will present full findings at the 2019 Architecture Research Centers Consortium conference in Toronto, Canada; and aim to submit an article for review by the end of this year. The UCARE students will also share their work at the 2019 UNL Spring Research Fair, and are hopeful their proposals for the National Council for Undergraduate Research will be accepted for presentation at next spring’s conference in Kennesaw, Georgia.