April & May at the Libraries


Dean Sylverna V. Ford

Dr. Sylverna Ford was awarded the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Award! The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Award was presented to Dr. Sylverna V. Ford, Monday, April 4. Dr. Ford is Dean to the UofM Libraries, a position she has held since 2000. She oversees the main library and three branch libraries.

Carrolet Thomas

Carrolet Thomas

Kicking off the celebration of National Poetry Month at the Libraries, local poet and UofM Alumni Carrolet Thomas will read from her book, Aspiring to be Read, Thursday, April 21, at 2:00 pm in the McWherter Library rotunda. Carrolet Thomas has been featured in The Commercial Appeal, appeared on Fox 13’s Good Morning Memphis, and presented her poetry at The National Civil Right’s Museum.

The Libraries will round out this year’s National Poetry Month with a group poetry reading, Monday, April 25, at 2:00 pm in McWherter Library, Room 226. This event will feature poetry by UofM visiting poetry professor Dr. Richard Boada, librarian and MFA candidate Ashley Roach-Freiman, and other poetry writers from the MFA in Creative Writing workshop. Dr. Richard Boada is the author of The Error of Nostalgia and the chapbook Archipelago Sinking, both nominated for Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Poetry Awards.  He is a graduate of the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi, and won the University of Louisville’s Sara-Jean McDowell Award for Creative Writing. Recent work appears in The North American Review, RHINO, Crab Orchard Review, Yalobusha Review, Jabberwock Review, and The Louisville Review among others. Ashley Roach-Freiman is a librarian and MFA candidate at the University of Memphis where she was formerly Managing Editor of the Pinch Journal. She has poems appearing or forthcoming in Bone Bouquet, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, THRUSH Poetry Journal, Smartish Pace, The Literary Review, and Superstition Review. She coordinates and hosts the Impossible Language reading series in Memphis, TN.

DSC00903UofM faculty share their accomplishments of the previous year with students and peers! Monday, April 25 through Friday, April 29, the Libraries will host the 2016 Faculty Scholarship Week Exhibition which will be on display in the McWherter Library rotunda. All departments on campus are invited to participate. The exhibition will include journals, books, awards, works, and more.

paw-prints-colorful-backgroundStress Less during Exam Week with Puppies, Candy and Coloring at the Libraries! Monday, May 2, through Thursday, May 5, various stress relieving activities will be available to students at McWherter Library in appreciation of their hard work during exam week. Monday, May 2, a Mid-South Therapy Dog team will visit the first floor Fishbowl from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Adult coloring pages and markers, as well as sweet treats and other small pick-me-ups, will be available all week in the rotunda.


What’s New in 2016?


Ongoing Display: Black, White & Read

Memphis-Massacre-1866-Poster-Small-(Edited)On display on the first and fourth floors of McWherter Library through May, the “Black, White & Read: Reporting the 1866 Memphis Massacre” exhibition, as part of Black History Month and the Memories of a Massacre: Memphis in 1866 Project, commemorates the150th anniversary of this event in African-American history.

To learn more about this historical event, visit the Memphis Massacre of 1866 Research Guide.



March: Women’s History Month

2016posterWomen’s History Month at the Libraries will begin with a “Feminist Issues in the News” Panel Discussion, Monday, February 29 at 7:00 p.m. in McWherter Library, room 226. Drs. Amanda Nell Edgar (Communication), Virginia Solomon (Art), Robert Boyd (Journalism), Susan Nordstrom (CEPR), and Ms. Elle Perry will facilitate a discussion about feminist issues (e.g., gender, ability, sexual, racial, economic, environmental, neo-colonialist, body, and age) in the day’s New York Times.

This event coincides with an ongoing display, “Feminist Sculpture for Strolling,” a papier-mâché spherical sculpture which is a part of the Art Museum of the University of Memphis’ Disassembling Statements => Assembling Solidarity project which seeks to disassemble the daily acts of gender, sexual, racial, class, environmental, body, and age inequalities presented in newspapers and reassemble them as a spherical sculpture. Everyone is encouraged to bring newspaper articles concerning any and all feminist issues and drop them off at the display in the center of McWherter Library’ rotunda. A representative will paste the articles on the sculpture each Wednesday from noon – 1:30 p.m. The finished sculpture will be displayed at the Women’s History Month Closing Ceremony, April 1 at 12:30 p.m.

Women’s History Month at the Libraries will close with two events. The first will be a book reading and signing of Down Home Blues by Phyllis Dixon, Tuesday, March 22 at 2:00 p.m. in McWherter Library, room 226.

Frances Dancy Hooks

Frances Dancy Hooks (1928 – 2016)

The second event will be “The Life of Frances Hooks,” an honorarium and lecture by Will Love, Library Assistant and staff of the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change, Wednesday, March 23 at 3:00 p.m. in McWherter Library, room 226. Born and raised in Memphis, Frances Dancy Hooks was a well-known educator and wife of NAACP executive director Benjamin Hooks. Through her work with the NAACP and other organizations, Mrs. Hooks influenced the trajectory of initiatives involving education, poverty, and women’s rights here in Memphis and throughout the nation. This presentation will focus on her life as a teacher, activist, and church member, demonstrating how her work at the intersection of African-American and women’s civil rights greatly influenced modern women’s history.

Visit the Women’s History Month 2016 Calendar of Events for a full list of events on campus. #UMemWomen



New Technology Available to Check Out

Picture1The Libraries now offer Leap motion tracking sensors and Eye Tribe eye tracking sensors for check out at the McWherter Library circulation desk. The Leap Motion sensor is analogous to a mouse; it plugs into the USB port and allows you to use your hands and fingers to interact with a computer application as a kind of touch-less mouse. The Eye Tribe sensor allows you to use your eyes to operate a web-browser. To learn more, visit the Sensors Research Guide.


Technology Training

The Libraries offers 3D printing, web design, and soldering workshops. Visit the technology tab on the Libraries’ homepage to see a full schedule of workshops.


New to the Libraries


The new Health Sciences Library (HSL), or the Baptist Memorial Health Care Library, is on the second floor of the Community Health building on the Park Avenue Campus. The hours are 8:00 am – 8:00 pm on Monday – Thursday, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm on Friday, and closed on Saturday and Sunday. The HSL staff are John Swearengen, relocating from Communication Sciences, and Rose Moore, relocating from Math. The library has a three-story high ceiling and windows which look out onto an outdoor patio, and includes four large computer/study tables, twelve study alcoves, and three group study rooms with multimedia capability which can be reserved online at www.memphis.edu/libraries/reservations/hs_space.php. HSL’s collection includes what was Communication Science’s collection as well as the last eight years of nursing monographs and all the nursing journals from McWherter Library.

07730143-photo-oculus-riftNewly available to check out at McWherter Library is Oculus Rift. The Rift is a virtual reality head-mounted display developed by Oculus VR. The Librares currently has the Oculus Rift Development Kit, which affords more flexibility and encourages creativity in the development of virtual reality environments. The Rift is only available to graduate students and faculty with a stated research interest. For more info, visit the Rift libguide:   http://libguides.memphis.edu/oculus.

Other technology available to check out at the Libraries includes touch screen kits, calculators, digital cameras, STEM tech (such as soldering irons and multimeters), projectors, and HD audio recorders. Available in the Technology Sandbox, located in the McWherter Library First Floor Commons Room, are GIS, design, and data science programs, which students can access for free. Also available in the Sandbox is a 3D printing lab where students can print and scan in 3D.

Emerging technology training is also available at McWherter Library. Training sessions now available include a 3D printing session, a session on GoPro cameras, a session on our circulating technology, and a session on HTML/CSS, web design for beginners. To register for free, visit: http://www.memphis.edu/libraries/technology/training.php.

Maymester at the Libraries

Need help? Ask a librarian!

Need help? Ask a librarian!

The Libraries will have new extended hours during Maymester! May 11 through May 29, McWherter Library will be open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. The library will be closed on the weekends, as well as Wednesday, May 13 for Personnel Development Day and Monday, May 25 for Memorial Day. Visit our website for more information on the Libraries’ hours.

Need help with a paper or project? Feel free to ask a librarian any time! Visit Ask a Librarian on the Libraries’ homepage. You can chat with a librarian, text @ 901-201-5389, email us at askus@memphis.libanswers.com, or call 901-678-2208.  One-on-one research consultations can also be scheduled, and get answers to simple questions by clicking on the FAQ link. Don’t get frustrated. Ask a Librarian!

If you’ve had problems with QuickSearch, please let us know! Most problems can be fixed by clearing cache; click here for directions.

Extended Library Hours During Exam Week

McWherter's 1st Floor Commons Area open 24 hours

McWherter’s 1st Floor Commons Area open 24 hours

Monday, May 3 through Wednesday, May 6, the McWherter Library will be open from 7:30 a.m. until 1:00 a.m. Friday, May 1, through Wednesday, May 6, the first floor Commons Room of the McWherter Library will remain open 24 hours. After 1:00 am, students will need to present a valid U of Memphis ID to a security guard in order to enter the building. Click here for more information on the Libraries hours.

The University Libraries Hosts Faculty Scholarship Week, April 13 – 17

College of Communication and Fine Arts’ faculty scholarship

Each year, the University Libraries at the University of Memphis hosts an exhibition of the faculty’s scholarship from the previous year. This year, Faculty Scholarship Week will be observed April 13-17. The event celebrates the outstanding research, writing, performance and other scholarly works of the University’s faculty. Faculty-authored and created publications and works in a variety of media from numerous U of M colleges and departments will be displayed in the Ned R. McWherter Library rotunda beginning at noon on Monday, April 13. The exhibition will close on Friday, April 17, at 4 p.m.

The 2015 exhibition includes scholarship from Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, College of Arts and Sciences (including Political Science, Sociology, Mathematical Sciences, Physics, Earth Sciences, English, Foreign Languages and Literature, and History), College of Communication and Fine Arts (including Architecture, Art, Communication, Music, and Theater and Dance), College of Education, Health and Human Sciences (including Counseling, Education Psychology and Research), Fogelman College of Business and Economics (including Economics, FIR, and Management Information Systems), Herff College of Engineering (including Biomedical Engineering), Loewenberg School of Nursing, School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, and the University Libraries.

Faculty Scholarship Week is sponsored by the University Libraries with the support of the Friends of Libraries.

For more information, contact Anna Swearengen at mswrngen@memphis.edu or 678-2744.

The University Libraries Celebrates Women’s History Month 2015

WHM Poster 2015

The University Libraries is pleased to participate in the U of M’s campus-wide celebration of Women’s History Month. See the full calendar of events here and visit the Libraries’ Women’s and Gender Studies research guide for books, articles, web sites, videos, primary documents, and other resources about women’s history and feminist issues. In addition, we have created a special research guide featuring Tennessee women who dedicated their lives to activism and service and participated in national movements for equality.

In honor of our new exhibition, “Woven Into Words: Tennessee Women Making History,” we will host a reception on Tuesday, March 3, 5:30-7:00 p.m. on the fourth floor of McWherter Library; Dr. Christine Eisel, Department of History, will share “Lessons Learned in the Archives.” Guests can explore several display cases which illustrate the impact of women like Roberta Church, Elizabeth Meriwether, Sister Hughetta Snowden, Cornelia Crenshaw, and Maxine Smith and highlight government documents relating to women’s suffrage and political history. Presented with the support of the Friends of the University Libraries.

Then, on Wednesday, March 18, 11:30 a.m., Jazmin Miller will present her original one-woman show, “The Journey of Truth,” about the life of abolitionist and activist Sojourner Truth in the rotunda of McWherter Library. Free and open to the public.

In addition to attending programs, you can participate in Women’s History Month by responding to a writing prompt and/or recognizing a woman who has helped you weave your own story (submission sheets are also available in rotunda of McWherter Library).


New at the Libraries!

Spring semester is underway, and we’re working hard to increase access to scholarly resources and plan quality programming for the diverse U of M community.

February highlights:

Early English Books—Over 97,000 microform titles are now searchable in our catalog, including almost every English book published from the invention of printing to 1640.

New eBooks—The Tennessee Board of Regents subscribed to 177,781 titles through EBSCO, which will be available this week in the Libraries’ catalog.

Knowledge Unlatched— Several libraries have paid vendors to procure open access rights for eBooks as part of a pilot program. Click here for a list of available titles.

Black History Month—We are posting a variety of research resources, interesting links, and upcoming events related to African American history on our social media pages throughout the month of February. Visit McWherter Library and explore our reference display and digital slideshow.

RefWorks Schedule—Faculty and students can attend free workshops throughout the semester and learn how to use RefWorks software to manage citations.

Coming in March: 

Exhibition Opening, Fourth Floor of McWherter Library (Tuesday, March 3, 5:30-7:00 p.m.)—Mark your calendars! The Libraries will host an opening reception for “Woven Into Words: Tennessee Women Making History.” The evening will include a presentation by Dr. Christine Eisel (Dept. of History) who will discuss the exciting online women’s history project her students are building using the Libraries’ special collections. Free and open to the public.

Dance Performance, Rotunda of McWherter Library (Wednesday, March 18, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.)–In celebration of Women’s History Month, U of M graduate student, writer, and actress Jazmin Miller will present her original one-woman show, “The Journey of Truth,” about the life of abolitionist and activist Sojourner Truth. In partnership with the Department of Theatre and Dance and the African and African American Studies program. Free and open to the public.


Roberta Church standing by a Painting of Mary Church Terrrell, National Gallery, c1976



A Tribute to Our Colleague and Friend Betsy Park

Betsy3Betsy Park’s colleagues and friends are saddened to hear of her death on Sunday 18 January 2015 from complications of a bone marrow transplant.

Betsy’s distinguished 32-year tenure at the University Libraries at the University of Memphis was an inspiration to the faculty, staff, and students she served enthusiastically first as a reference librarian, then as Head of Reference, and finally as Assistant to the Dean for Planning and Assessment.

Betsy modeled the characteristics she expected in other Libraries faculty: Intellectual inquisitiveness, service to others, and the drive to contribute meaningfully to the profession. In addition to her oft-cited publication, “Status of the Profession: A 1989 National Survey of Tenure and Promotion for Policies for Academic Librarians” (College and Research Libraries, May 1991, 275-289), Betsy authored a book chapter and many journal articles, regularly presented her work at state and national conferences, and was active in a variety of professional organizations.

She was a respected colleague; Libraries faculty and staff actively sought her advice and counsel. Her door was always open, and she went out of her way to welcome and mentor junior faculty members. In her role as Head of Reference, Betsy was a strong and charismatic leader; she was always available, fair, and encouraging to members of the Department. She was a dedicated chair of the Libraries Tenure and Promotion Committee and created a writing group to facilitate and support the scholarship of Libraries faculty.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABetsy lived to teach, and in addition to her innumerable presentations in classrooms, often invited students and faculty to her office to help with research-related questions. Colleagues nearby could often hear exclamations of delight as Betsy shared with her visitors new perspectives, research skills, and ways to use technology.

Betsy never shied away from challenges, whether professional or personal. She was an innovative, insightful, and reliable collaborator. She was among the first librarians at the University to present online instruction to distance learning students and to be embedded in online classes, and became the go-to person for questions about RefWorks, the citation management software.

Her adventurous spirit led her to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer in Gossas, Senegal, from 1966-1968; more recently, she and her husband reveled in the cultures of South Korea, Japan, France, and Hawaii. A fabulous chef and hostess, Betsy was known for dishes inspired by the culinary experiences she had while traveling. She threw great dinner parties, made pots of homemade applesauce with her granddaughters (one of her favorite traditions), and amassed an impressive collection of cookbooks.

Betsy routinely shared produce from her bountiful garden, was often spotted at the Symphony and the Overton Shell, and was an avid golfer at one time. The songs of love birds filled her home, and she loved–and adopted–many dogs over the years (each a character, it seemed!).

Everyone who knew her has a favorite “Betsy story.” Won’t you share yours?

Celebrating a successful semester!

The faculty and staff of the University Libraries wish you pleasant and relaxing Winter Break and a happy New Year! Congratulations to the December 2014 graduates and their families. For our interim hours, please click here. Don’t forget to visit our exhibition, “From Active Duty to Veteran: Honoring Military Service in America,” on view in the rotunda and on the fourth floor of McWherter Library until January 16.

The Libraries continues to encourage and support undergraduate research at the University of Memphis. This semester, the Libraries was part of two honors research forums taught by Dr. Pam Dennis and Cody Behles. Professor Dennis’ class, “Surviving the Research Blues: A Historical Approach,” focused on local history and civil rights issues. The students consulted the Libraries’ special collections and other primary resources to inform their final projects, which they presented at the December meeting of the West Tennessee Historical Society. Professor Behles introduced his students to issues concerning scholarly communication in the 21st century. The class spent time in the Memphis and Shelby County Room at the Memphis Public Library examining and mapping communication networks of Memphians throughout history. For more information about undergraduate research on campus, visit the web site of QuaesitUM, a peer-reviewed annual publication that showcases students’ work in all disciplines.

Dr. Dennis Class

Dr. Dennis and her UNHP 1100 students

We’re pleased to announce we have subscribed to Browzine, an app which allows users to access our paid electronic periodical content through their mobile devices in a display that emulates physical bookshelves. Thank you to all across campus who participated in the trial; your feedback was appreciated. If you have not already, download the app and follow these instructions to start browsing the Libraries’ collection of journals! Feel free to contact Cody Behles (cbehles@memphis.edu) with any questions.

Finally, the University Libraries is thrilled to welcome Athena the tigress back to her home in front of McWherter Library.  Athena had been away receiving much needed repairs, and she returns to the University of Memphis as a powerful symbol of wisdom. We thank artist Pam Cobb and the Friends of the University Libraries for their generous support of her care.

We look forward to serving our University of Memphis communities in 2015!