Meet the JKM Library Staff- Rachel Rohrbaugh

Posted in Uncategorized on August 20th, 2014 by library – Be the first to comment

Rachel Grove Rohrbaughrachel_tomato

  • Grew this extra-large tomato herself!
  • Once listed pizza among her top priorities
  • Is the Archivist and Public Services Librarian here at JKM Library!

What do you do here at The Jennie King Mellon Library?

I am the Archivist and Public Services Librarian.  In this role, I handle all aspects of the Chatham University Archives and the Jennie King Mellon Library Special Collections.  The Archives holds records, photographs, and other materials on the history of the school, and Special Collections is where we keep all of our rare and fragile books.


What made you choose your current profession?

When I was an undergraduate at the University of Delaware, I got a work study job in the Art History Slide Collection—now known as Visual Resources as everything moves into a digital format.  I thought it was wonderful how the librarians there got to learn about all these different periods in art history and didn’t have to focus on any one time or place.  It was there that I realized being a librarian would fuel my intellectual curiosity.  Then, after a summer volunteer position at the Pennsylvania State Archives, the whole world of archives opened up to me.  I loved the chance to work with one of a kind pieces of history.  There is so much excitement and potential in all the untold stories archives can hold.


When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was very small, I wanted to a be a waitress in a pizza parlor, because I figured the waiters and waitresses could eat all the pizza they wanted—What could be better?  As I got a little older, I was interested in being a children’s book illustrator and then later still a microbiologist.  I saw the movie And the Band Played On in health class, and it made working as a scientist for the CDC look incredibly exciting.


What’s your favorite part of your job?

I love working with students and faculty, especially when I can get a whole class into the Archives or Special Collections.


What do you like to do on your days off?

I love to travel when I can and especially love to eat new foods in each city I visit.  I also enjoy a laidback weekend camping trip with hiking, a campfire, and some quiet time in the woods.  When I’m not travelling I enjoy puttering around in my vegetable garden, playing tennis (poorly) in Arsenal Park, and catching up on my reading.


What’s the last thing you checked out? 

I always have tons of books checked out at once from both Chatham and the Carnegie Public Library.  Just yesterday evening I checked out In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson, The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri, and When She Woke by Hillary Jordan.  One of the best books I’ve checked out recently at the Jennie King Mellon Library is Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman.  I already loved the Netflix series based on the book, and I always enjoy a good memoir.  My favorite thing about Orange is the New Black are all the stories of the women she meets in prison.  The book really sheds light on the importance of prison reform and any movement towards keeping more folks out of prison for non-violent offences.

What’s one thing you think everyone should do while they live in the city?

This isn’t something I’ve completely done myself, but I think everyone should try to visit as many neighborhoods as possible.  Every neighborhood has its own unique flavor and something fun to see or do.

Meet the JKM Library Staff: Erin Wolverton

Posted in Meet the Staff on August 10th, 2014 by library – Be the first to comment

Erin Wolverton:

Wolverton pic

  •  Was born and raised in Michigan, and comes to Pittsburgh by way of Cleveland
  • Has her master’s in English
  • Claims that there’s nothing surprising about her (But we think that she’s just good at keeping secrets- we’ve never seen her and Batman in the same place…)
  • Works as a reference associate here at JKM Library

What made you choose your current profession

I got my Master’s degree in English but decided not to continue with the PhD for a variety of reasons. Then I was working at universities in student services for a long time. One day it dawned on me that I could combine what I knew about academic inquiry and the research process, and the satisfaction of assisting and being of use to people. So I dropped everything and ran to get an MLIS, which is almost completed.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

The variety of reference questions. Some days I’m searching on nursing methodologies, and some days Pretenders albums.

If you could do one thing to change/improve the JKM Library- with no worries about time or expense, what would you do?

I’d want to build a huge, huge collection that the building couldn’t possibly hold. Of course, Chatham still has enormous digital holdings, and I love digital books, too, but I still have a ton of physical books at home. And browsing shelves is so different from browsing digital records in the library catalog.

What’s the last thing you checked out?

I get most of my fiction from the Squirrel Hill branch of the CPL. I just read Dan Chaon’s Among the Missing, a collection of short stories about all the lives we don’t live because of the choices we make. The book was intense and sad and creepy, like practically everything Chaon writes. He teaches at Oberlin and occasionally writes obscure Cleveland locations into his work; he’s one of my favorite modern authors.

What’s your favorite thing about living in Pittsburgh?

The idiosyncrasies of the people who have been living here for many generations. I’m from the Midwest, but Pittsburghers are just different. You don’t hear ‘yinz’ anywhere else. Also weird things like putting French fries into the sandwiches instead of on the sides of them.

What’s one thing you think everyone should do while they live in the city? 

Take the funicular up the Duquesne Incline. Fun, cheap, amazing view of the city. Also, see a band play at Mr. Smalls.

August Display: Card-Catalog-Craft-Corner

Posted in Display, Eloise Stevens on August 2nd, 2014 by library – Be the first to comment
photo (1)

This was taken before I had coffee and realized that “shelf” had an “L” in it.

Welcome to August! Summer’s winding down and also somehow getting hotter. Luckily we have all these card catalog cards you can use to fan yourself with. You can also use them to make art, August is also national art appreciation month and that’s the theme of this month’s display.

We have some great library materials on display, mostly focused on crafts and thinking critically about art. But in the display, they are mostly a pretense to get everyone to  make art with our catalog cards!

So please, make some arts and/or crafts! Making art will surely help you appreciate the art of others!


Need some inspiration? Take a look at what some professional and amateur artists were able to do with library catalog cards:

University of Iowa Cartalog

American Craft Council, Library Card Project

Want to learn more about Art History and art Appreciation? Check out these Databases:

Art and Architecture 


Extra Credit:

You might also want to keep an eye out for notes created for the Random Note Project, or follow the Notes @ Chatham tumblr for notes found by others.

Fossil Record

“Fossil Record” by yours truly


Meet the JKM Library staff: Anna McDevitt

Posted in Meet the Staff on July 22nd, 2014 by library – Be the first to comment

This year, we’ll be using the blog to introduce ourselves, and we’re starting off with Miss Anna McDevitt, who is working at JKM as an Access Services Aide this summer. Feel free to say hi to Anna next time you’re at the library.


Anna McDevitt

  • Has been playing the violin since 4th grade (Also plays the harp!)
  • Would be a chef if she could afford culinary school
  • Is a Library Access Services Aide here at JKM Library!

What made you want to get a job at the Library?

I love books, and the library seemed like the perfect place to work during my time at Chatham. It is a great environment with happy and friendly people, and it is comforting to me. I also wanted to see if being a librarian was something I would want to pursue after graduating college.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I always wanted to be a vertebrae paleontologist. I’d been able to spell that word since I was 6, and I loved archaeology, especially dealing with Ancient Egypt so the Carnegie Museum of Natural History was my best friend (still is). Yet, when I turned 16, I gave up wanting to dig up dead things and being a paleontologist because I wanted to become a military battlefield historian specializing in World War II.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

I love working with the books! It is the obvious answer, but it is true. Working at the library has made me a better student, researcher, and assistant. I know where most books are in the library in my mind, so I know what sources I need to use for papers, and if we don’t have the books I need, I know how to get them. Working here has been great for me, especially as a history major. Also, the books smell really nice.

What’s the last thing you checked out?

Wisdom of Buddhism by Christmas Humphreys and My Life in France by Julia Child. I definitely recommend Julia Child’s autobiography because it has descriptions of amazingly delicious food and the places she paints in the pages for you take you back in time. You can almost hear her voice telling you the story. Wisdom of Buddhism is something I saw as I was shelving and grabbed it. Humphreys is one of the best people to read for a more detailed, yet still beginning level for understanding Buddhism and its teachings. I have been reading and practicing Buddhism for about a year and a half now, and I find his work very helpful and just lovely to read in general. (Note: My Life in France must be requested through EZ-Borrow, though if you really wanted it, you could submit a request to the library to buy it…)

What’s your favorite thing about living in Pittsburgh?

I love the outdoor space. I think it’s amazing how you can be in Oakland, arrive in the Hill District, and end up Downtown, only to walk to the Point and have an amazing view of the rivers. The amount of green space makes me very happy. Even little ones, like Schenley Plaza in Oakland, are nice to relax and read a book in, catch some live music, or enjoy some good and cheap food. Frick Park is also very nice to walk through when you get some free time. I also enjoy the cemeteries we have here, particularly Allegheny and Homewood Cemeteries. They are beautifully decorated, in addition to all the cool, important people you can find buried in them. It’s only creepy at night, I promise. Also, those new food trucks you can find are pretty cool. We need more of those.

What’s one thing you think everyone should do while they live in the city? (This includes restaurant recommendations, of course)

Go to the Benedum Center or Heinz Hall! Going to see a musical or concert is always a fun time (but going to the Nutcracker is the best, in my opinion), and the places you can eat while down there are incredible. My favorite is Six Penn Kitchen. They have great cocktails that you can enjoy while you watch the kitchen cooking your food right from your table. I got this slow-roasted pork with homemade gnocchi in a tomato sauce once. To die for.

Having trouble accessing your favorite database?

Posted in Eloise Stevens, How-To, Library Resources on July 1st, 2014 by library – Comments Off

interrobangsmallHi there! So today was the big switch from Ovid to EBSCO for the following databases:

  • EBM Reviews (renamed Cochrane Collection)
  • Medline
  • PsycINFO (including PsycArticles)
  • SocINDEX (replaced Social Work Abstracts)


As we work to update our links to these databases on the Library website, here’s a (relatively) easy way to access these databases.


  1. From JKM’s homepage, click Databases A-Z underneath the search toolbar
  2. Click the link for “Academic Search Premier” (It’s the first one-can’t miss it!)
  3. Above the EBSCOHost search bar, click the “Choose Databases” link (Pictured)asp
  4. Un-select Academic Search Premier and choose the database(s) that you’d like to search
  5. Tah-dah!


Soon enough, you’ll be able to search through your chosen database(s).

Thank you for your patience, and best of luck with your research!

Moving to EBSCO: PsycINFO, Medline, etc

Posted in Library Resources, New Resources on June 10th, 2014 by library – Comments Off

alertOn July 1st or shortly after, the following library databases will move from the Ovid platform to EBSCO:

  • EBM Reviews (will be renamed Cochrane Collection)
  • Medline
  • PsycINFO (including PsycArticles)
  • PsycTests
  • SocINDEX (replaces Social Work Abstracts)

If you have any saved search histories, projects, articles, alerts, etc within Ovid, you will no longer have access to those as of July 1. You will want to take a screen shot of this information so that you can replicate it within the relevant EBSCO database. If you would like assistance with this, please ask a librarian using the following options:

America: History and Life, June’s Database of the Month

Posted in Database Review, Eloise Stevens, Library Resources on June 8th, 2014 by library – 1 Comment

Ever wanted to do any research about anything that involves the United States and Canada? If so, you ought to know about  EBSCOHost’s America: History and Life.

The portraits of Daniel Shays and Job Shattuck, leaders of Shay’s Rebellion. This rebellion was in response to economic trouble of the 1780s and is seen as a potential cause of the replacement of the Articles of Confederation with the United States Constitution.

Attention students and faculty in: African American Studies, Art History, Cultural Studies, Economics, Education, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Global Policy Studies, History, International Studies, Law & Society, Media Arts, Policy Studies, Political Science, Public Policy Studies, Social Services Administration,Women’s Studies

AND MORE (I’m sure I’m missing at something)

America: History and Life bills itself as “The Definitive Database for the Past and Present of The United States and Canada”. With full-text coverage of over 260 journals and 80 books, indexing and abstracting of thousands of additional titles- including english abstracts of foreign-language articles, book review, and detailed, searchable reference, you gotta admit they have a point.

The database will look very familiar to those who have used EBSCOHost databases in the past. A nice feature of EBSCOHost is that you can search multiple databases simultaneously. Depending on what you are searching for, America: History and Life would likely pair nicely with many other databases, including Academic Search Premier, Communication & Mass Media Complete, Environment Complete, Military & Government Collection, Newspaper Source, and World History Collection.

Canadian Women wearing plastic face protection from snowstorms in Montreal, 1939. While this image is of little historical significance to Canada, it sure looks cool.

Once you’ve selected the databases you want to search, I would go straight to the advanced search feature, where you can find material by Title, author, subject, or look for phrases within the abstract or the full text. Another wonderful feature of America: History and Life is the many ways to you can limit your search. A simple click, and you can make sure that everything your search returns is the full article or book. It’s just as easy to limit your search by publication year, type of material, (A book versus an article versus a book review, for example) make sure your results are peer-reviewed, or look for publications that include images or graphs.

One thing about America: History and Life that disappoints this reviewer is a lack of primary sources. The database focuses on scholarly material of the late 20th century. While it’s great to know your strengths, even especially if you are a database- the researcher should keep in mind that resources you will find in America: History and Life are most likely secondary or tertiary, and will work best when combined with primary resources. Some places to look for great primary resources include:

The Chatham University Archives

Accessible Archives

The National Archives

The Library of Congress American Memory Project

EBSCOHost’s Newspaper Source

Fordham University Modern History Full Text Resources


Articles of (potential) interest from America:History and Life

Quigel, James P. “Steel and Steelworkers: Race and Class Struggle in Twentieth-Century Pittsburgh (Book).” Journal Of American History 90, no. 2 (September 2003): 729-731.

Smith, Michael B. 2001. “‘SILENCE, MISS CARSON!’ SCIENCE, GENDER, AND THE RECEPTION OF ‘SILENT SPRING’.” Feminist Studies 27, no. 3: 733.


Posted in Display on June 6th, 2014 by library – Comments Off

The Islamic month of Ramadan begins on June 28th. The ninth month in the Muslim calendar, Ramadan is marked with fasting, prayer, and recitations from the Qur’an. The month of Ramadan is significant because it was during that time that the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.

This information was provided by Credo Reference. For more information about Islam, Muslim culture, and Ramadan, visit the Databases A-Z list and select Credo Reference. Try using their Basic Search or Mind Map features!

Click one of these titles to access the e-book from EBSCOHost:

LGBTQ Pride Month

Posted in Display on June 6th, 2014 by library – Comments Off

The JKM Library is remembering LGBTQ Pride Month with these books from the collection:

  • Queering the underworld: slumming, literature, and the undoing of lesbian and gay history by Scott Herring

  • Sexual fluidity: understanding women’s love and desire by Lisa M. Diamond

  • Gay lives by Robert Aldrich

  • The lesbian and gay movements: assimilation or liberation by Craig A. Rimmerman

Stop in and ask how you can find one of these or many other titles on LGBTQ culture!

Join Pittsburgh and celebrate LGBTQ Pride Month with events downtown! On Sunday, June 15th starting at 12pm Liberty Ave. will be the site for Pittsburgh’s PrideFest with vendors, performers, and entertainment.

Jerry Caplan 1923-2004

Posted in Archives and Special Collections, Display, Events on June 5th, 2014 by library – Comments Off

Jerry Caplan (1923-2004) waCaplans a Pittsburgh native and a beloved artists in the community.  His art career begin in the US Army as a member of the 84th Engineer Battalion where he and other artists constructed dummy boats, planes, and tanks as military camouflage.  After the war he was employed in the pipe industry, manufacturing large clay pipes.  Here Caplan gained inspiration for pipe sculptures and ceramics, which led to the creation of some of his seminal works.  Such works include Metamorphosis, a sculpture on the Chatham University campus located outside Mellon Hall.

Caplan greatly contributed to the Chatham community.  He was a well-loved art professor who inspired students and faculty alike.  He believed “the purpose of teaching…should be to help the student first, to think creatively, second, to see rather than just to look, third.”

Professor Jerry Caplan’s life and achievements are currently featured in a University Archives display on the first floor of the Jennie King Mellon Library.  The display includes one case devoted to a sketchbook and photographs of Caplan with Chatham students.  A second case focuses on Caplan’s military experiences and includes photographs and an excerpt from his unpublished memoir.  The final case highlights publications that discuss Caplan’s devotion to teaching and his creative work.Caplan with Students

This display complements the current exhibition in the Chatham Art Gallery, Jerry Caplan and Donna Hollen Bolmgren: Partners in Art.  The exhibition opens tomorrow, June 5th, for Reunion Weekend and runs through August 22nd.  Featured are works of art in the Chatham University Art Collection, including self-portraits and other subjects in oil, drawings in charcoal and pastel, handmade paper, and sculpture in ceramic and plaster.