September 30, 2022
by library
0 comments

National Archives Month and A Very Archival Playlist

October is National Archives Month and the Chatham University Archives is celebrating with a playlist!  A Very Archival Playlist! Click here to listen to it free on Spotify.  With contributions from notable archivists in the US and Canada along with details of what makes these songs so very archival, we invite you to enjoy the music, consider the connections to archives, and tune in on October 12, 2022 for #AskAnArchivist where we’ll be soliciting more archives-themed songs to add to the list! Here goes…

Dirty Work by Steely Dan

Colorful images of people alongside stylized name of album and band.

Cover art for Steely Dan’s Can’t Buy a Thrill

How many times have you heard the phrase “dusty archives” or other illusions to archive being dark, dank, and grimy? Perhaps you’ve heard of archives as being forgotten, secret, or unwelcoming?  Here is our tip… say any of these things to an archivist and prepare yourself, first for a death stare, and then for a lecture on how depictions of archives as being ANYTHING OTHER THAN WELCOMING AND OPEN are ill-informed, outdated, and just completely untrue.  Depending on which archivist you’re talking to, they may then break into a rendition of Tom Petty’s “Don’t Do Me Like That” and then start showing you their repository’s Instagram feed and online collections and exhibitions and asking about your research interests and recommending relevant collections.

It is also worth noting here that the narator completes their work despite feeling devalued.

I’m a fool to do your dirty work
Oh yeah

Many archivists are passionate about their work and continue in their careers with an abject recognition that their work is undervalued and our collections under-resourced.  Whether that valuation results from gender-based income disparities persistent in professions historically dominated by women-identifying individuals or because a lot of people don’t understand what archivists do, the unfortunate reality is that most archivists face a disproportionately low income ceiling relative to other professions requiring a master’s level education.

Like the castle in its corner
In a medieval game
I foresee terrible trouble
And I stay here just the same

This devaluation extends to all resources relating to the care of archival collections.  Dependent upon grant funds to enact preservation measures or reliant upon consultants to voice concern about needed infrastructure like climate control, archivists seek to overcome avoidable losses with whatever tools can be mustered.

I Turn My Camera On by Spoon
Selections by Patrick Gavin, Teaching and Learning Librarian, Huron University College, London, Ontario, Canada

Cover art for Spoon’s Gimme Fiction

Spoon has a lot of very archivally-titled songs.  Playlist options from Spoon include: All the Negatives Have Been Destroyed, Plastic Mylar, The Delicate Place, Before Destruction, and The Book I Write.  Ultimately, I picked I Turn my Camera On because of how it reflects the idea of “archival objectivity.” It’s also pretty rockin.

I turn my camera on
I cut my fingers on the way, on the way
The way I’m slippin’ away

In an interview with NPR, Spoon’s Britt Daniel shares that the song is about emotional distance.  Daniel states, “The idea of instead of engaging with the world you’re holding a camera up which, a) puts a camera in front of your face, and b) puts some distance between you and the outside world. And you’re sort of documenting the world.”

I turn my feelings off
You made me untouchable for life
And you wasn’t polite

To me, this verse relates to a controversial notion about “archival objectivity” as a basis of archival authority.  Contemporary archivists increasingly recognize the impossibility of their own impartiality as well as the need to preserve materials reflecting a more inclusive and diverse range of records creators. Gaps in the historical record relating to minoritized communities are a reflection of earlier “impolite” views and efforts to engage and empower more voices reflect an increased focus on equity in the archival profession.

I’m On Standby by Grandaddy

Cover art for Grandaddy’s I’m On Standby/Stray Dog And The Chocolate Shake 7 inch

Hardware and software obsolescence are major challenges to the preservation of born digital and digitized records with long-term historical, fiduciary, or cultural value.  With this song, we can imagine the speaker as an obsolete software, like WordPerfect, dodging requests for cloud integration or the ability to transform documents into a web page that now come standard with word processing tools.  The speaker says:

I got good at saying “I gotta go”
Number one at saying “I don’t know”
But from the stories that I heard
You humans require more words

Sympathetically personifying software like this may be a little saccharine, but it does reflect the challenge that comes with preserving digital items that were built to work on software, operating systems, and hardware that have reached end-of-life.

Bye
I’m on standby
Out of order or sort of unaligned
Powered down for redesign

The Chatham Yearbooks from 2003 to 2006, distributed on discs and based on software that requires Windows 95 and Internet Explorer 4.1., are a good example of the need for active digital preservation in the modern archival landscape.  These digital records are currently “on standby” in their native file format and copied from the original optical disc carrier.  They can be rendered to patrons, but it’s a little complicated and would require a few additional “work orders.”

Miserere mei, Deus, Amplius Lava Me composed by Gregorio Allegri and performed by The Tallis Scholars

Cover art for The Essential Tallis Scholars Album

Control.  The Vatican controlled all access to Gregorio Allegri’s Miserere mei Deus, only allowing its performance in the Sistine Chapel on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday of Holy Week.  Additionally, the Vatican promised to punish anyone attempting to copy or publish it with excommunication.  Mozart, however, couldn’t be stopped.  Only 14 years old but already a renowned composer, Mozart attended the 1770 Ash Wednesday performance in the Sistine Chapel and then rushed back to his lodgings to write the entire work from memory.  According to the story, he made minor corrections after hearing the Friday performance.

Is it true?  Could Mozart have jotted down—from memory—the two chorus parts (sometimes divided to create four groups of simultaneous parts) as well as an additional four singers?  Plus, it lasts about twelve minutes (this playlist includes the movement with the high C, Amplius lava me) and is all a cappella, so only voices and no other instruments.  We are talking about Wolfgang Amodeus Mozart, sooo…. maybe?

Whether or not this actually happened, Miserere is a shockingly beautiful piece and I’ll never forget the first time I heard it.

Moreover, the Mozart story brings up issues relating to access and thievery in archives.  Modern high-profile thefts of records function to destroy public access to historical materials through illicit sale to private owners, a practice in stark contrast to Mozart’s pirating of Miserere (the Vatican probably has a different perspective on this).  And while some stolen cultural property is accessible to anyone with an entrance ticket to the British Museum, theft of cultural heritage remains a major preservation concern in archives across the world.

Box of Letters by Wilco
Song selection by Matthew Strauss, Director of the Detre Library and Archives at the Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh, PA

Cover art for Wilco’s A.M.

This one is pretty straightforward.  A lot of archives contain boxes of letters.  The letters could be postcards, personal letters, business correspondence, memos, and notes.  Some even consider diaries to be a type of correspondence, written to a future self or to future readers.

An extra archival bit for this entry can be found in the second verse, in which the speaker says:

I wish I had a lotta answers
‘Cause that’s the way it should be
For all these questions
Being directed at me

Loosely interpreted as relating to the process of researching with primary sources, this verse touches upon how the research process invariably generates new questions and prompting re-examination of initial theories.

This verse seems to relate to the reference process, whereby patrons talk to librarians and archivists about their research questions.  While librarians and archivists might happen to have an answer to a specific question right on the top of their head, it is more likely that they will propose research avenues where a patron will look for answers.  This can be unsatisfying for patrons—whose time for combing through records is limited–and for archivists—whose primary aim is to make records accessible.  However, the process of researching with primary sources invariably leads to new discoveries and new considerations.   Research is dialogue, after all.

My Back Pages by Bob Dylan
Song selection and annotation provided by Michael P. Martin, Records Advisory Officer, Towns, New York State Archives

Cover art for Bob Dylan’s My Back Pages single

To me, the song captures many archivists’ struggles.

Lies that life is black and white spoke from my skull, I dreamed
Romantic facts of musketeers foundationed deep, somehow

Life is far from black and white and only a fuller understanding provided by records stored in archives can provide.

Romantic ideas can be accepted as facts but again a more complete knowledge can be found in archives. Sometimes those deep well known “facts”, about someone or a place that are the foundation of many beliefs are simply not true.

Yes, my guard stood hard when abstract threats too noble to neglect
Deceived me into thinking I had something to protect
Good and bad, I define these terms quite clear, no doubt, somehow
Ah, but I was so much older then I’m younger than that now

The abstract threats can be anything from fires, mold, water damage, human destruction or ransomware.

And, of course, good and bad I define these terms is part of the appraisal process.  What archivists decide to keep or not.

As far as the refrain,

I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.

I see it as the importance archives and records have in any organization.  Typically, they are seen as the forgotten, older papers that no one ever needs or uses. But we all know the moment when something is needed for legal, financial, or just general interest reasons that suddenly the Archives and the records become not only important but seen is a new gem and resource.

Time by Pink Floyd

Cover art for Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon

How many times have you looked at old pictures and considered them to be of an era so far removed that you can barely relate?  Or marveled over that something that happened last month seems like it took place a year ago?  Our experience of time is variable, even though the passage of it is a regular as a metronome.

You are young and life is long, and there is time to kill today
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you

Archives and the records they contain present researchers with documentation of earlier times, whether the recent past or 200 years ago.  Moreover, they deliver the past into the present and invite reflection.

Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over, thought I’d something more to say

Do the records of successful businesses show a few failures?  Do the papers of authors include only those story ideas that came together for publication?  Have all architectural drawings been built?  Of course not!  Sometimes, those unresolved exercises and project failures can become the most informative resources.

Bookends by Simon & Garfunkel

Cover art for Simon and Garfunkel’s Bookends

Gosh, this is such a pretty song.  And, such an archival one!

Clocking in at just under 4 minutes and with just 36 lyrics, Bookends is a spare, acoustic exploration of the forward progression of time and physical embodiments that remain of one’s experiences.  Reflecting on the past, the speaker classifies with phrases that define, characterize, and summarize a seemingly vast bulk of experience.

Time it was
And what a time it was, it was
A time of innocence
A time of confidences

In describing collections of materials that span across thousands of boxes or terabytes of data, archivists pragmatically summarize a collection’s scope to make an intelligible entry point for research.  Do summary descriptions fully convey the impact made by a person, family, or institution?  No.  But they provide a framework from which deeper research can be guided. Was there more that happened in the past besides “confidences?” Of course, but the speaker notes only the most salient elements of the past.

Long ago it must be
I have a photograph
Preserve your memories
They’re all that’s left you

Here, the speaker touches upon the remnants of the past that move forward in time, like photographs, and implores others to create remembrances for future reflection.  That records of hugely impactful times aren’t always actively preserved is evidenced by the dearth of records of the 1918 pandemic, for example.

This speaker, like many archivists today, would likely encourage folks to take the time to reflect on their present and to consider how a record of their experience could move forward in time.  The Chatham Archives provides opportunities for community members to contribute documentation of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic at: https://covid19.chathamarchivesdigital.org/

That’s all for now, folks!  We’ll be joining in on #AskAnArchivist Day on October 12, 2022 to share the list and asking for some additional archival tunes to add to the playlist.  What songs do you think carry a secondary, archivally-relevant theme?

August 30, 2022
by library
0 comments

Europe `72: The Chatham Choir Tour Scrapbook

The Chatham University Archives & Special Collections is pleased to present “Europe `72: The Chatham Choir Tour Scrapbook” in the lobby of the JKM Library.

Media Exhibit about 1972 European Tour by Chatham Choir in the JKM Library Lobby

The exhibit features materials documenting the Chatham Choir’s tour of Europe in 1972 with the Hamilton College Choir.  Preserved in a scrapbook held by the Chatham Archives, the exhibit materials include a tour itinerary and photographs of choir activities ranging from sleeping in an airplane to performing in a 15th century church and sightseeing. Of particular interest in the exhibit is a selection of audio from the Chatham Choir tour performance in Lucca, Italy on June 12, 1972.

Those unable to visit the exhibit at the JKM Library are encouraged to explore the online exhibit, created by a Chatham undergraduate student, which describes the tour in great detail.  A recording of the performance in Lucca, Italy, preserved through support from the Council of Independent Colleges, is accessible through the exhibit.  To access the online exhibit, click here.

 

May 10, 2022
by library
0 comments

JKM Library eBook Roundup!

Did you know that the JKM Library has hundreds of thousands of eBooks available to you? They range from bestselling fiction to course texts. We know that sometimes our eBooks can be overlooked, so we decided to show them a bit of love with this roundup of some interesting fiction titles that you can read right now through the JKM Library.

A few things to know about our eBooks…most of them come to us packaged as a larger subscription, so we don’t actually hand pick all of our eBooks (although we do handpick some of them!). We trust the third-party academic vendors to include titles of worth in these subscriptions. That being said, sometimes you can find some surprising titles in these packages. Make sure to always evaluate your sources, even if they’re coming from the library.

Because many eBook titles are included in larger subscriptions, they operate a bit like movies on Netflix. Sometimes they are removed from the package and we no longer have access to them. This is up to the third-party vendor, and can result in broken links on our end.

Lastly, our eBooks are not compatible with most eReaders, like Kindle. You need a browser to read them. This is again due to the ways the third-party academic vendors operate. Just an fyi!

eBook Roundup

All summaries comes from the publisher. Images are from Goodreads.

  • A Million Aunties by Alecia McKenzie
    • American-born artist Chris is forced to reconsider his conception of family during a visit to his mother’s Caribbean homeland. Told from different points of view, this is a compelling novel about unlikely love, friendship, and community, with several surprises along the way. The story takes place against the backdrop of rural Jamaica, New York City, and Paris, France.
  • An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon
    • Aster lives in the low-deck slums of the HSS Matilda, a space vessel organized much like the antebellum South. For generations, the Matilda has ferried the last of humanity to a mythical Promised Land. On its way, the ship’s leaders have imposed harsh moral restrictions and deep indignities on dark-skinned sharecroppers like Aster, who they consider to be less than human. When the autopsy of Matilda‘s sovereign reveals a surprising link between his death and her mother’s suicide some quarter-century before, Aster retraces her mother’s footsteps. Embroiled in a grudge with a brutal overseer and sowing the seeds of civil war, Aster learns there may be a way off the ship if she’s willing to fight for it
  • The Aosawa Murders by Riku Onda
    • In the 1960s, 17 people die of cyanide poisoning at a party given by the owners of a prominent clinic in a town on the coast of the Sea of Japan. The only surviving links to what might have happened are a cryptic verse that could be the killer’s, and the physician’s bewitching blind daughter, Hisako, the only person spared injury. The police are convinced Hisako had a role in the crime, as are many in the town, including the author of a bestselling book about the murders written a decade after the incident, who was herself a childhood friend of Hisako’s and witness to the discovery of the killings. The truth is revealed through a skillful juggling of testimony by different voices: family members, witnesses and neighbors, police investigators and of course the mesmerizing Hisako herself.
  • The Bear by Andrew Krivak
    • From National Book Award in Fiction finalist Andrew Krivak comes a gorgeous fable of Earth’s last two human inhabitants and a girl’s journey home.
  • Coming In Third by Amber Kell
    • Fancy some erotica? With his mother plotting to have him wed, Niall decides to sneak out of the fae palace and fulfill one of his greatest fantasies. At the Unconventional bar, he finds a pair of lion shifters looking to spice up their love life. Unable to resist the strong attraction between them, Niall lets the persuasive pair take him home.
  • Daughters of Smoke and Fire by Ava Homa
    • Set in Iran, this extraordinary debut novel takes readers into the everyday lives of the Kurds. Leila dreams of making films to bring the suppressed stories of her people onto the global stage, but obstacles keep piling up. Leila’s younger brother Chia, influenced by their father’s past torture, imprisonment, and his deep-seated desire for justice, begins to engage with social and political affairs. But his activism grows increasingly risky and one day he disappears in Tehran. Seeking answers about her brother’s whereabouts, Leila fears the worst and begins a campaign to save him. But when she publishes Chia’s writings online, she finds herself in grave danger as well.
  • Monsterland (aka North American Lake Monsters) by Nathan Ballingrud
    • Recently adapted into a tv show for Hulu! Nathan Ballingrud’s Shirley Jackson Award winning debut collection is a shattering and luminous experience not to be missed by those who love to explore the darker parts of the human psyche. Monsters, real and imagined, external and internal, are the subject. They are us and we are them and Ballingrud’s intense focus makes these stories incredibly intense and irresistible.
  • Monsters of the Week: The Complete Critical Companion to The X-Files by Zack Handlen and Emily Todd VanDerWerff
    • TV critics Zack Handlen and Emily Todd VanDerWerff look back at exactly what made the long-running cult series so groundbreaking. Packed with insightful reviews of every episode—including the tenth and eleventh seasons and both major motion pictures—Monsters of the Week leaves no mystery unsolved and no monster unexplained.
  • Mr. Cadmus by Peter Ackroyd
    • A wickedly satirical novel, filled with mystery, revenge, outlandish killings, greed and jealousy, from the multi-award winning author. The arrival of an enigmatic stranger wreaks havoc on the denizens of the idyllic English village of Little Camborne; most notably two apparently harmless women. Miss Finch and Miss Swallow, cousins, have put their pasts behind them and settled into conventional country life. But when Theodore Cadmus – from Caldera, a Mediterranean island nobody has heard of – moves into the middle cottage, the safe monotony of their lives is shattered.
  • My Greek Island Summer by Mandy Baggot
    • Becky Rowe has just landed her dream job house-sitting at a top-end villa on the island of Corfu. What could be better than six weeks laying by an infinity pool overlooking the gorgeous Ionian waters while mending her broken heart. Elias Mardas is travelling back to Corfu on business whilst dealing with his own personal demons. Late arriving in Athens, Becky and Elias have to spend a night in the Greek capital. When they have to emergency land in Kefalonia, Becky’s got to decide whether to suck up the adventure and this gorgeous companion she seems to have been thrown together with or panic about when she’s going to arrive at Corfu… Finally reaching the beautiful island, Becky is happy to put Elias behind her and get on with her adventure. Until he turns up at the villa…
  • Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko
    • Tarisai has always longed for the warmth of a family. She was raised in isolation by a mysterious, often absent mother known only as The Lady. The Lady sends her to the capital of the global empire of Aritsar to compete with other children to be chosen as one of the Crown Prince’s Council of 11. If she’s picked, she’ll be joined with the other Council members through the Ray, a bond deeper than blood. That closeness is irresistible to Tarisai, who has always wanted to belong somewhere. But The Lady has other ideas, including a magical wish that Tarisai is compelled to obey: Kill the Crown Prince once she gains his trust. Tarisai won’t stand by and become someone’s pawn—but is she strong enough to choose a different path for herself?
  • The Revelations by Erik Hoel
    • Monday, Kierk wakes up. Once a rising star in neuroscience, Kierk Suren is now homeless, broken by his all-consuming quest to find a scientific theory of consciousness. But when he’s offered a spot in a prestigious postdoctoral program, he decides to rejoin society and vows not to self-destruct again. Instead of focusing on his work, however, Kierk becomes obsessed with another project—investigating the sudden and suspicious death of a colleague. As his search for truth brings him closer to Carmen Green, another postdoc, their list of suspects grows, along with the sense that something sinister may be happening all around them.
  • Sea Change by Nancy Kress
    • In 2022, GMOs were banned after a biopharmed drug caused the Catastrophe: worldwide economic collapse, agricultural standstill, and personal tragedy for a lawyer and her son. Ten years later, Renata, a.k.a. Caroline Denton, is an operative of the Org, an underground group that could save the world from itself. Their illegal research is performed and protected by splinter cells, which are hunted by the feds. Now a mole is in the Org. Who would put the entire Org in jeopardy? Renata is the only one who can find out–and she will need to go to her clients in the Quinault Nation for answers.
  • Search History by Eugene Lim
    • Search History oscillates between a wild cyberdog chase and lunch-date monologues as Eugene Lim deconstructs grieving and storytelling with uncanny juxtapositions and subversive satire. Frank Exit is dead–or is he? While eavesdropping on two women discussing a dog-sitting gig over lunch, a bereft friend comes to a shocking realization: Frank has been reincarnated as a dog! This epiphany launches a series of adventures–interlaced with digressions about AI-generated fiction, virtual reality, Asian American identity in the arts, and lost parents–as an unlikely cast of accomplices and enemies pursues the mysterious canine. In elliptical, propulsive prose, Search History plumbs the depths of personal and collective consciousness, questioning what we consume, how we grieve, and the stories we tell ourselves.
  • The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw
    • The Secret Lives of Church Ladies explores the raw and tender places where black women and girls dare to follow their desires and pursue a momentary reprieve from being good. The nine stories in this collection feature four generations of characters grappling with who they want to be in the world, caught as they are between the church’s double standards and their own needs and passions. With their secret longings, new love, and forbidden affairs, these church ladies are as seductive as they want to be, as vulnerable as they need to be, as unfaithful and unrepentant as they care to be, and as free as they deserve to be.
  • Temporary by Hilary Leichter
    • In Temporary, a young woman’s workplace is the size of the world. She fills increasingly bizarre placements in search of steadiness, connection, and something, at last, to call her own. Whether it’s shining an endless closet of shoes, swabbing the deck of a pirate ship, assisting an assassin, or filling in for the Chairman of the Board, for the mythical Temporary, “there is nothing more personal than doing your job.” This riveting quest, at once hilarious and profound, will resonate with anyone who has ever done their best at work, even when the work is only temporary.
  • The Tiger Flu by Larissa Lai
    • In this visionary novel by Larissa Lai–her first in sixteen years–a community of parthenogenic women, sent into exile by the male-dominated Salt Water City, goes to war against disease, technology, and powerful men that threaten them with extinction. Bold, beautiful, and wildly imaginative, The Tiger Flu is at once a female hero’s saga, a cyberpunk thriller, and a convention-breaking cautionary tale–a striking metaphor for our complicated times.

March 7, 2022
by library
0 comments

“Staff Picks” Book Display

We at the JKM Library know how difficult COVID-19 has been on our Chatham community. Many of us have never had the opportunity to meet, when in normal circumstances there would have been plenty of moments for librarians and library staff to meet you, help you personally, and put faces to names. Now that we are mostly back on campus, and some faces are being revealed, we decided to put together a fun “Staff Picks” book display and Spotify playlist to help you get to know us a bit better!

Stop into the JKM Library in March to browse our physical book display showing off some of the library staff’s favorite books from our collection, and visit our Spotify account to listen to a playlist of some of our favorite songs. We have a broad range of tastes, and we’re always delighted to talk to you about books, music and more! If you’d like to get in contact with one of the librarians, you can find our emails on our Staff Directory page of our website. All books included in the display are available for you to checkout and read yourself. Perhaps you’ll discover a new personal favorite.

Keep reading to learn more about your library staff, our areas of academic expertise (that we’re more than happy to help you in), fun facts and interesting hobbies about each of us, and then the book and song we each picked!

Jill Ausel

  • Job title: Library Director
  • Favorite part of job: I really enjoy my job, and the best part is helping students and making the library a place of learning and fun.
  • A fun fact: I’m an Ancient Greek History nerd!
  • My book pick: The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women Across the Ancient World by Adrienne Mayor
  • My song pick: “In These Shoes?” by Kristy MacColl

Kate Wenger

  • Job title: Head of Access Service
  • Liaison areas: Accounting, Business, Economics, Criminology, Psychology, Social Work
  • Favorite part of job: Working with students, including our wonderful student workers!
  • An interesting hobby: I enjoy vegetable gardening, and I love the snow and am excited to use my new cross-country skis again soon!
  • My book pick: Think Again by Adam Grant
  • My song pick: “That Was a Crazy Game of Poker” by O.A.R.

Dana Mastroianni

  • Job title: Head of Public Services
  • Liaison areas: Health Sciences, Art & Design, Communication
  • Favorite part of job: Being a practical help to students. Helping them discover, think and rethink, and successfully fulfill their information needs. And my fellow librarians are pretty awesome 😊
  • An interesting skill: My car karaoke skills are on point.
  • My book pick: Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
  • My song pick: “Where the Streets Have No Name” by U2

Daniel Lincoln Nolting

  • Job title: Head of Technical Services
  • Specialty areas: Data and materials management.
  • Favorite part of job: Stickers! Putting call numbers on books! Never gets old…
  • An interesting skill: Along with an MFA in painting, while in NYC, I also learned an old Japanese woodcut method.
  • My book pick: These Truths: A History of the United States by Jill Lepore
  • My song pick: “Keep It Comin’ Love” by KC & The Sunshine Band

Molly Tighe

  • Job title: Archivist & Public Services Librarian
  • Academic expertise: Archives, preservation, and museums
  • Liaison areas: History, Political Science, Policy Studies, Bio, Chem, Math, Physics
  • Favorite part of job: Sharing and discovering (or helping others discover) Chatham history and how it informs campus activities today.
  • An interesting hobby: I sew my clothes! While I still wear a fair bit of ready-to-wear, I try to include a me-made in every outfit.
  • My book pick: Ramp Hollow: The Ordeal of Appalachia by Steven Stoll
  • My song pick: “Jolie Holland” by All the Morning Birds

Jocelyn Codner

  • Job title: Reference & Outreach Librarian
  • Liaison areas: Food Studies, Sustainability, Environmental Science, Education, English, Creative Writing/MFA
  • Favorite part of job: Working one-on-one with students!
  • An interesting skill: I play Irish flute.
  • A fun fact: I used to DJ my high school dances.
  • My book pick: The Diviners by Libba Bray
  • My song pick: “No Quiero Saber” by Selena

Carina Stopenski

  • Job title: Access Services Associate
  • Academic expertise: Gender and cultural studies, media studies, comics
  • Favorite part of job: Getting to see all the interesting titles that patrons request!
  • A fun fact: I love to collect natural curios, like rocks, herbs, crystals, and resins!
  • My book pick: Pet by Akwaeke Emezi
  • My song pick: “Calamity Song” by The Decemberists

Jennifer Langilotti

  • Job title: Technical Services Assistant
  • Favorite part of job: Learning from more experienced librarians.
  • A fun fact: Good at Tetris!
  • My book pick: A Lost Lady by Willa Cather
  • My song pick: “Dennis Quaid” by Taylor Janzen

Alley Lindner

  • Job title: Reference Associate
  • Specialty areas: English Literature with a focus in Queer Theory
  • Other areas of interest: Juicy pop culture takes!
  • Favorite part of job: I love working with students–helping with research, talking through book recommendations, etc.
  • A fun fact: I was named after my grandmother’s three-legged dog.
  • My book pick: Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson
  • My song pick: “Motion Sickness” by Phoebe Bridgers

Chelsea Gabrielson

  • Job title: Reference Associate
  • Specialty areas: Health Sciences and Children’s Literature
  • Favorite part of job: I love when I can help students with research!
  • A fun fact: I once did a 185-mile bicycle ride down the coast of Oregon.
  • My book pick: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • My song pick: “Dark Red” by Steve Lacy

Amy Melnyk

  • Job title: Reference Associate
  • Specialty areas: Social Sciences
  • Favorite part of job: Definitely helping students!
  • A fun fact: I have 51 tabs currently open.
  • My book pick: Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong
  • My song pick: “Family Affair” by Mary J. Blige

Jackson Adkins

  • Job title: Access Services Aide
  • Major: Management Information Systems, Data Science minor
  • Favorite task at the JKM Library: Getting journals and scanning them from the basement!
  • A hobby: I have been snowboarding for 12 years.
  • An interesting skill: I can clap with one hand!
  • My book pick: Kaffir Boy: The True Story of a Black Youth’s Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa by Mark Mathabane
  • My song pick: “Footsteps in the Dark” by The Isley Brothers

Trai BreenLusen

  • Job title: Access Services Aide
  • Major: English, Creative Writing and Studio Arts minors
  • Area of academic interest: Animation
  • Favorite task at the JKM Library: Pulling books for EZ Borrow and packing mail.
  • Something interesting about me: I’m an artist hoping to start my own business.
  • My book pick: The Hobbit: There and Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkin
  • My song pick: “Hey Look Ma, I Made It” by Panic! At The Disco

Riley Hurst Brubaker

  • Job title: Access Services Aide
  • Major: Journalism and Film
  • Favorite task at the JKM Library: Shelving and interacting with staff and fellow students.
  • An interesting skill: Arranging flower bouquets.
  • My book pick: A Black Women’s History of the United States by Daina Ramey anf Kali Nicole Gross
  • My song pick: “Highway Unicorn” by The Highwomen

Leyla Fevola

  • Job title: Access Services Aide
  • Major: Mathmatics and Secondary Education
  • Favorite task at the JKM Library: I love helping and creating projects with other staff members!
  • Something interesting about me: I am a dual citizen, I am a citizen of the USA and Italy!
  • My book pick: Beautiful Boy by David Sheff
  • My song pick: “All For Us” by Labrinth and Zendaya

Becca Pennington

  • Job title: Access Services Aide
  • Major: Exercise Science
  • Favorite task at the JKM Library: Stack searches (searching for missing books)
  • A hobby of mine: I run cross country and track
  • My book pick: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
  • My song pick: “Runaway” by Linkin Park

Jolie Phan

  • Job title: Access Services Aide
  • Major: Human Biology
  • Favorite task at the JKM Library: Checking books in and out to patrons
  • A hobby of mine: I love playing the piano and violin
  • My book pick: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  • My song pick: “Heroes” by David Bowie

Stephanie Spano

  • Job title: Access Services Aide
  • Major: Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Area of Academic Interest: Genetics
  • Favorite task at the JKM Library: Stack searches (searching for missing books) or helping patrons at the desk!
  • A fun fact about me: I’ve been to 25 out of 50 states in the US!
  • My book pick: Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
  • My song pick: “Oh My God” by Adele

Julia Windsheimer

  • Job title: Access Services Aide
  • Major: Interior Architecture, Music minor
  • Favorite task at the JKM Library: Shelving books
  • A hobby of mine: I like playing the flute
  • My book pick: The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
  • My song pick: “Rock and Roll” by The Velvet Underground

Savannah Wood

  • Job title: Access Services Aide
  • Major: Psychology
  • Favorite task at the JKM Library: Doing inventory
  • An interesting skill of mine: I can twirl batons and was the majorette captain at my high school.
  • My book pick: Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
  • My song pick: “Thelma + Louise” by Bastille

December 22, 2021
by library
0 comments

You Need to Read This: The Best Books of 2021 in Our Collection

As the world begins to open back up again and we start to see each other beyond the fuzziness of a Zoom screen, sitting at home reading may be the furthest thing from our minds. However, 2021 gave us some fantastic titles, both entertaining and educational alike. With a breadth of pandemic and political literature at the forefront of the literary movement right now, though, it can be beneficial to sit down with some creative titles to keep us engaged over the winter break. Here are some of 2021’s best books that you can find right here in the JKM Library collection!

call us what we carry amanda gorman Call Us What We Carry, Amanda Gorman

After performing her poem “The Hill We Climb” at the 2020 inauguration, Amanda Gorman quickly became a household name. Her use of impactful aesthetics, politically charged dialogue, and sprawling free verse creates an honest, almost journalistic approach in her writing that even non-poetry fans can enjoy. The collection’s inclusion of “The Hill We Climb” sets up this text to fit in the collections of humanitarians and political activists alike. Only released just this December, Gorman’s words will keep audiences engaged, enamored, and most importantly, motivated to make change in the world that we live in.

Punch Me Up to the Gods, Brian Broome

This memoir from Chatham alum Brian Broome has made its way onto many book lists and accrued a few awards already this year, and for good reason. Broome’s striking portrayal of growing up Black and gay in Ohio’s Rust Belt. Full of striking prose and unflinching portrayals of a complex adolescence, Broome’s words will make your heart ache in the best way possible. Broome opens up the reader to a version of Appalachia that is unlike the whitewashed depictions we’re so used to seeing in the media. This year’s Kirkus Prize winner for nonfiction, Punch Me Up to the Gods has garnered attention from all over the literary world.

An Alternative History of Pittsburgh, Ed Simon

You don’t need to be a history buff to enjoy Ed Simon’s book on eclectic Pittsburgh history. In this nonfiction text on Pittsburgh’s hidden histories, Simon opens up the reader to a Pittsburgh that is not often discussed. An accessible read that presents history in an easy-to-follow narrative, this book breathes life into local tales spanning from the Whiskey Rebellion to the legacy of Andy Warhol, with plenty of vignettes in between. Simon highlights a version of Pittsburgh that even locals may be shocked to learn about, and all through a lens that’s both entertaining and informative.

American Bastard, Jan Beatty

Pittsburgh poet Jan Beatty has released another poetry collection, this one specifically centering around her identity as an adopted child. Beatty recalls the search for her birth parents with heart-wrenching lyricism and the effects of a broken system that decentralizes identity. Beatty holds back no punches when she discusses the corruption of the adoption industry and the nuances of parenthood once the bridge between birth family and adoptive family starts to crumble. Her approach is stark, but still hopeful for a future that could be better for adoptees.

The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, Deeshaw Philyaw

Even though it was released at the tail end of 2020, Deeshaw Philyaw’s short story collection gained a ton of traction in 2021. A tour-de-force example of literary fiction, Philyaw paints vivid scenes of the lives of Black women and girls, punctuated by themes of sexuality and religious-associated guilt. Drawing from the “church ladies” that she knew growing up in the church, women who approached life in a perfectionist, godly way, Philyaw forces us to question the rhetoric surrounding Black women’s bodies and sexual feelings.

We Could Be Heroes, Mike Chen

Mike Chen’s speculative fiction-superhero novel is one that’ll keep readers on their toes from start to finish. Telling the story of two amnesiacs who have mysteriously gained superpowers, Chen explores the intricacies of the human condition paired with some high-octane action scenes and witty dialogue. When these two superpowered characters encounter each other in a memory loss support group, readers get to watch the unraveling and paranoia happen firsthand. A fast-paced read for the hero in all of us.

 

 

Carina Stopenski is the Access Services Associate at Chatham University’s Jennie King Mellon Library. They started out as a student worker while getting their creative writing degree at Chatham, and received their Master’s of Library Science at Clarion University in summer 2020. They enjoy games of both the board and video persuasion, vegan baking, and reading graphic novels. They also teach cultural studies and “cartoon theory” classes on the platform Outschool.

December 7, 2021
by library
0 comments

Native American Heritage Book Display and Land Acknowledgements

The JKM Library is honoring the cultures and history of Native Americans through a book display. Native American and Indigenous Peoples’ Heritage Month may have already passed (please take a look at our related resources page), but we should continue to reflect on the past, present, and future of these communities and their relationship to of the United States of America: how Indigenous people were colonized, how they were almost decimated, and how they are still oppressed. We recognize that we occupy the unceded, ancestral land of many Indigenous peoples, including the Seneca Nation of the Haudenosaunee (hoe-dee-no-SHOW-nee) Confederacy (who had a profound influence on the area), Delaware, and the Shawnee. As recently as the 1960s, nearly one-third of the Seneca’s tribal lands were taken by the U.S. government to build the Kinzua Dam northeast of the Pittsburgh (for more on land acknowledgments, see this handout).

Located in the first floor, the display offers a curated selection of more than 40 books with an interdisciplinary focus, ranging from literature and history to environmental studies. Part of our goal is to make these resources more visible, which often remain hidden in the stacks. In addition, we wanted to center texts by Indigenous voices. In the case of books by non-Native American authors, we have tried to include works that are inclusive in their approach and do not reproduce problematic stereotypes.

For instance, we excluded a critically acclaimed book, S.C. Gwynne’s Empire of the Summer Moon, because of its description of the Comanches as “primitive” and “barbarian.” Such language harks back to the racist discourse of past centuries, but the book was published only ten years ago and was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize. We also did not choose to share most of our Native American art books because they perpetuate the colonialist idea that Indigenous cultures are to be collected by white institutions without any attention to Native American perspectives. It is therefore urgent to share correctives to these narratives, especially from the perspective of institutions like ours, which not only occupy unceded land but also play a role in the formation of collective memory. In addition, the library’s DVD collection does not include any films directed by Native Americans except for Reel Injun, a documentary about the depiction of indigeneity in Hollywood movies, which is part of the display. We hope to be adding more items to our collection that reflect these concerns.

We invite everyone to experience the exhibit and check out any books that might interest you. Some books that we would like to highlight because of their importance for Native American history and cultures are:

  • Roxane Dunbar-Ortiz, An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States (history)
  • Two-Spirit People: Native American Gender Identity, Sexuality, and Spirituality(gender and sexuality)
  • Natalie Diaz, When My Brother Was an Aztec (poetry)
  • Cherie Dimaline, The Marrow Thieves (fiction)
  • The Book of Elders: the life Stories of Great American Indians (testimony)
  • Terese Marie Mailhot, Heart Berries (memoir)
  • Native Americans and the Environment: Perspectives on the Ecological Indian (environmental studies)
  • David J. Silverman, This Land is their Land: the Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the Troubled history of Thanksgiving (history)
  • Sean Sherman, The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen (cooking)
Khalila Chaar-Pérez (she/they) is Reference Associate at the JKM Library and also works at the People’s Media Record, a grassroots video archive in Philly. She’s a proud trans Puerto Rican committed to cultivating transformative justice, antiracism, and a world without capitalism. She is also an avid hiker, a film nerd, and a trekkie.

September 20, 2021
by library
1 Comment

Award-Winning Horror Authors Visit for National Dessert Day

Flyer for National Dessert Day EventThe JKM Library is excited to be working with CAB and the University Archives on an event this coming October 14th for National Dessert Day. The event will include fall and Halloween themed dessert snacks, the screening of short film “Chatham University Ghost Stories,” directed by student Tess Weaver, the telling of a recent ghostly encounter on campus, and readings from award-winning local horror authors. The University Archives will also have items from Chatham’s past that connect back to popular ghost stories on campus.

The event is from 7:00pm-9:00pm on Thursday, October 14th in the Carriage House. Registration is not required.

Below is the lineup for the evening. Keep scrolling to read bios and find links to our guest authors.

  • 7:00pm- Welcome, mingle, view the archive materials
  • 7:20pm- Nelson Pyles
  • 7:40pm- Sara Tantlinger
  • 8:00pm- Video of ghost stories
  • 8:15pm- An Occurrence at Thomson House (told by Jocelyn Codner)
  • 8:20pm- Douglas Gwilym
  • 8:40pm- Michael A. Arnzen

Sara Tantlinger is the author of the Bram Stoker Award-winning The Devil’s Dreamland: Poetry Inspired by H.H. Holmes, and the Stoker-nominated works To Be Devoured, Cradleland of Parasites, and Not All Monsters. Along with being a mentor for the HWA Mentorship Program, she is also a co-organizer for the HWA Pittsburgh Chapter. She embraces all things macabre and can be found lurking in graveyards or on Twitter @SaraTantlinger, at saratantlinger.com and on Instagram @inkychaotics.

Nelson Pyles is the critically acclaimed author of the novels Spiders in the Daffodils and Demons, Dolls, & Milkshakes, a collection of short works entitled Everything Here is a Nightmare, as well as multiple short stories in various anthologies. His work has appeared alongside Harlan Ellison, F Paul Wilson, Tim Waggoner, Michael Arnzen, Jonathan Maberry, and Jack Ketchum. His next collection of short stories All These Steps Lead Down will be available in 2022

Nelson is the creator  of The Wicked Library, a horror fiction podcast, where he also served as host for seasons 1-5, and collaborated as Executive Producer for seasons 6-10. He has also been a contributing writer to the popular audio-drama podcast, The Lift. Nelson is also an audiobook narrator and stunt vocalist for the progressive rock band, Novus.

Douglas Gwilym is a writer and editor who has also been known to compose a weird-fiction rock opera or two. If you aren’t lucky enough to have caught him performing his stories and music at venues around Pittsburgh, you can find him at douglasgwilym.bandcamp.com or follow him on twitter at @douglasgwilym. Check out his Amazon page. Befriend him on facebook.

Michael Arnzen is the four-time Bram Stoker Award-winning author of the novels Grave Markings and Play Dead. Arnzen teaches fulltime in the MFA in Writing Popular Fiction program at Seton Hill University, in Greensburg, PA.  Known particularly for his experiments in minimalist horror, in such books as 100 Jolts and The Gorelets Omnibus, he invites readers to subscribe to his newsletter at gorelets.com, where they can get free short-shorts delivered to their inbox when they least expect them.

 

September 16, 2021
by library
0 comments

Collaboration on Constitution Day Display

This fall the JKM Library is teaming up with the Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics to bring you an in-library display in honor of Constitution Day, also know as Citizenship Day.

Constitution Day is regularly observed on September 17th to commemorate the day in 1787 that delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution in Philadelphia. It is a day to recognize the history and importance of the Constitution, and to celebrate being a citizen of the United States of America.

In addition to the display, the PCWP is hosting a screening of the documentary Surge (2020) on Thursday, September 16th at 11:15am in the Eddy Theater. From the documentary’s website:

Surge is a feature documentary about the record number of first-time female candidates who ran, won and upended politics in the historic, barrier-breaking 2018 midterm elections. Surge follows three candidates in Texas, Indiana and Illinois who each running in uphill battles to flip their deep red districts to blue, including Lauren Underwood, the youngest Black woman to ever be elected to Congress.

Some items included on the JKM Library’s display are:

  • You Never Forget Your First by Alexis Coe
  • African American Women in the Struggle for the Vote, 1850-1920 by Rosalyn Terborg-Penn
  • The Unwinding An Inner History of the New America by George Packer
  • Iron Jawed Angels (feature film)
  • Selma (feature film)
  • Coming to America: A History of Immigration and Ethnicity in American Life by Roger Daniels
  • Eyes On the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Movement (PBS docuseries)
  • The Oxford Handbook of the U.S. Constitution
  • Women’s Rights in the USA: Policy Debates and Gender Roles by Dorothy E. McBride and Janine A. Parry
  • Representation and the Electoral College by Robert M. Alexander

All library items can be checked out by Chatham community members, with the exception of the pocket Constitutions. Those were provided by the PCWP and are free to take and keep.

September 10, 2021
by library
0 comments

“Eden Hall Farm: A Visual History from the Chatham Archives” on View in the JKM Library

The Chatham University Archives & Special Collections is pleased to present “Eden Hall Farm: A Visual History from the Chatham Archives” in the lobby of the JKM Library.

Media Player and Signage in JKM Library

A presentation of compelling images accompanied by contextualizing ephemera, the video surveys the founding, the purpose, and the experience of Eden Hall Farm guests before the site was donated to Chatham in 2007.  Students, faculty, and staff can expect to see familiar Eden Hall Farm landmarks, like the Lodge, as they were enjoyed by farm guests in the 1930s through the 1960s.  During those years, the farm was a vacation and retreat center for female employees of the H. J. Heinz Company.

Collage of photographs featuring Sebastian Mueller, Elizabeth Heinz Mueller, guests at Eden Hall Farm in front of a bus, eating in the cafeteria, and playfully rolling down a hill.

Following a brief introduction describing the impetus for founding Eden Hall Farm, the video presents photographs of farm guests alongside textual snippets from a brochure about the farm produced in the 1940s.  All materials in the video are part of the Eden Hall Farm Collection, which is housed in the Chatham University Archives and includes records ranging from guest books and paintings to land deeds and ephemera.

Those interested in exploring the collection more fully are invited to visit the online photograph collection, to review the collection finding aid, or to contact the Archivist for information or to schedule a research appointment (virtual or in-person).

September 8, 2021
by library
0 comments

Subscribe to the JKM Library’s Newsletter!

https://bit.ly/JKMNews

Subscribe: https://bit.ly/JKMNews

The JKM Library has recently begun a new monthly newsletter that sends the goods directly to you inbox! That is, if you’re subscribed…

What you can expect to find in this new newsletter of news includes (but is not limited to): information about upcoming events, ways you can find textbooks for free, announcements about the library building and services, updates from the University Archives, highlights of library resources, secrets of the universe, and more! Faculty can expect important information about critical resources and services, like course reserves, in-class library instruction, and incorporating library digital resources into Brightspace course modules.

We really aren’t joking about the secrets of the universe thing. We do actually include those. But you’ll have to subscribe to learn what they are.

Skip to toolbar