University of Iowa Libraries names Carmelita Pickett Associate University Librarian

PICKETT-CARMELITA-34Carmelita Pickett, collection development officer at Texas A&M University Libraries, has been named associate university librarian for the University of Iowa, effective October 13.

Pickett joined the university libraries at TAMU in 2003 as an Africana studies librarian. In 2009, she became the director of collection development operations and acquisitions services, where she provides leadership to the collection management team with a budget of over $15 million. Responsible for all aspects of the libraries’ collection development strategy, she was instrumental for developing a value statement that is used as an advocacy tool when negotiating with publishers.

Her national service includes elected positions in the Association of College and Research Libraries African American Studies Librarians Section and the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services as well as her appointment to the ACRL Dr. E.J. Josey Spectrum Scholar Mentor Committee and as an ALA Spectrum Scholarship Juror.

“The University of Iowa Libraries is a great library and I’m humbled to be a part of such a dynamic group of professionals,” said Pickett. “It’s an exciting time for research libraries as we position ourselves to better understand and engage the people we serve. The focus of 21st century collections, spaces and services should be to meet the needs and wants of users rather than maintaining old systems and structures that inhibit the academic enterprise in its core mission: research, teaching, and learning.”

“Building a research library for the 21st century requires an innovative approach to building a highly relevant and useful collection that both students and scholars need,” said John Culshaw, University Librarian. “Carmelita has spearheaded projects that have balanced research demands as well as budget priorities. We are excited to have her as part of the Libraries’ senior leadership team as we move forward.”

Pickett will succeed Edward Shreeves who had served as associate university librarian for nearly 25 years until his retirement in 2012. Michael Wright has served as interim associate university librarian since Shreeves’ retirement.

As associate university librarian, Pickett will be an integral part of the Libraries’ administrative team and provide leadership to a group of subject specialist librarians who represent every discipline at the University of Iowa.

Art Library materials usage during flood.

As a result of the closing of Art Building West (ABW), the staff of the Art Library have made arrangements to provide resources for art faculty and students.

  • Art Library books checked out by UI graduate students and faculty will be automatically renewed.
  • Materials on Reserve will be placed at Main Library Reserve.
  • Materials currently on hold at the Art Library will be at the Service Desk in the Main Library.
  • Materials may be returned to the Main Library.


Please use Interlibrary Loan for all needed materials (library staff will not have access to ABW).

Please contact the Art Library staff ( or Main Library Circulation staff ( with any questions.

Art Library CLOSED

With the closure of Art Building West (ABW) due to possible flooding, the Art Library will be closing at 3:00 p.m. on July 2 until further notice.

  • Materials on Reserve will be placed at Main Library Reserve.
  • Materials currently on hold at the Art Library will be at the Service Desk in the Main Library.
  • Materials may be returned to the Main Library.
  • Please use Interlibrary Loan for all needed materials (library staff will not have access to ABW).

Check out books and eat them too… Edible Books Festival, April 1

The University of Iowa Libraries invites faculty, staff, students, and the community to celebrate the annual International Edible Books Festival April 1 by crafting a delicious book to share and, of course, eat.

To participate, follow two simple rules: entries must be edible, and they must have something to do with books as shapes and/or content. Edible books will be displayed on April 1 in the Main Library Learning Commons, Group Study Rooms1103 and 1105 in the South Lobby from 3:00-4:30 p.m., followed by a book tasting.

Prizes will be awarded in multiple categories including Best Book Structure, Best Literary Allusion, Judge’s Favorite, Audience Favorite, and Best Tasting. Entries will be judged by the Iowa City Press-Citizen’s Michael Knock, University of Iowa Center for the Book’s Emily Martin, and University of Iowa Libraries Special Collections Librarian Colleen Theisen.

For more information or to submit an entry, please contact Brett Cloyd via email at or by telephone at (319) 335-5743, and bring your entry to Room 1103 between 2:00-2:45 p.m. on April 1.

The International Edible Books Festival is an annual event held on April 1 around the world. The event unites bibliophiles, book artists, and food lovers to celebrate the ingestion of culture and its fulfilling nourishment. Participants create edible books that are exhibited, photographed, and then consumed. Information and inspiration can be found at

We have just finished breakfast, and it is six o clock

Joseph Culver Letter, February 24, 1864, Page 1

Head Qrs. 1st Brig., 1st Div., 11th A.C.
Nashville Febry. 24th 1864
My Dear Wife

We have just finished breakfast, & it is six o clock. In another hour, we will be on the march. The Column will be in motion out the Murfreesboro Pike at 8 o clock.

Our wagon is waiting to be loaded, & I have embraced this leisure moment to say good bye. Write to me often. We will get mail on the route, so I hope to hear from you. We are all in good health.

I have deferred writing in answer to your question because I thought I would get home. If you prefer, go to Mrs. McGregor’s.1 Make yourself comfortable by all means & try & be contented and happy. May God bless & keep you.

Give my love to all,

Good Bye.
Your Affect. Husband
J. F. Culver

  1. In one of her letters to J.F.C., Mary Culver had broached the subject of leaving her parents’ home and taking a room at Mrs. M. J. McGregor’s. Mrs. McGregor was a 45-year-old widow. History of Livingston County, p. 642.
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I am happy to hear that you enjoy such good health

Joseph Culver Letter, February 22, 1864, Page 1

Head Quarters, 1st Brig., 1st Div., 11th A.C.
Nashville Febry. 22nd 1864
My Dear Wife

Your letter of the 15th came to hand this evening.1 I am happy to hear that you enjoy such good health. I telegraphed to you this morning informing you that we would leave here to-morrow.2 We are loaded & the train has started, so that there is not much probability of our not going this time.

Mrs. Harrison arrived yesterday evening. The train was several hours behind time. She had not been in bed a half hour before the orders came to march. How would you have enjoyed it? She will remain in the city a couple of weeks.

Harry McDowell starts home in the morning, & Jim Morrow.3 I will write to you as often as I can on the march.

You wrote to me as to what you should do. I have still some hope of getting home. Since I set down we recd. orders to send out our Pickets again. Another sell. It is now so late that I cannot write more, or I will not get to see McDowell. I am well. Harry will give you all the news. Chris [Yetter] & Alf [Huetson] were here to-night. I will write more by mail. May God bless you. Good night,

Your Affect. Husband
J. F. Culver

  1. Mary Culver’s letter of February 15 is missing from the Culver Collection.
  2. To prevent Confederate General Johnston from rushing soldiers from his Army of Tennessee to Demopolis, Ala., to oppose General Sherman’s columns which had advanced east from Vicksburg to Meridian, Miss., General Grant directed General Thomas to employ two corps of his Army of the Cumberland to make a forced reconnaissance toward Dalton. This movement was to begin not later than Monday morning, the 22d. In conjunction with this movement, orders were received by General Ward to start Harrison’s brigade for Bridgeport, Ala., where it would report to General Howard. On the departure of Harrison’s brigade, Ward’s 2d Brigade would report to General Rousseau and take post at Nashville, Lavergne, and McMinnville. O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XXXII, pt. I, p. 25; pt. II, p. 435.
  3. Lieutenant McDowell and Sergeant Morrow were to return to Illinois on recruiting duty. William H. H. McDowell, a 21-year-old farmer, was mustered into service on Sept. 8, 1862, as sergeant major of the 129th Illinois, and on April 17, 1863 he was commissioned 2d lieutenant of Company E. On Feb. 22, 1864, he started for Illinois to bring up a detail of recruits from Camp Yates, and rejoined the regiment in April. In August 1864 McDowell was detailed to the XX Corps’ ambulance corps, and in January was assigned to duty with the Pioneer Corps. He was mustered out with the regiment on June 8, 1865, near Washington, D.C. James Morrow, a 26-year-old clerk, was mustered into service on Sept. 8, 1862, as a sergeant in Company G, 129th Illinois Infantry. Sergeant Morrow accompanied Lieutenant McDowell to Illinois on recruiting duty, but did not rejoin the regiment until mid-summer. He was mustered out on June 8, 1865, near Washington, D.C. Compiled Service Records of Union Soldiers, NA.
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I suppose you have had such a happy visit from the Boys home that you could hardly find time to write any letters

Joseph Culver Letter, February 21, 1864, Letter 2, Page 1Chattanooga Tenn
21st of Feb. 1864
Dear Sister Mary

Yesterday I received yours of the 17th inst. the first one that I have received from you for some time but I suppose you have had such a happy visit from the Boys home that you could hardly find time to write any letters. I received a letter from Frank nearly two weeks ago, but have not written to him yet. Jack is with Bridges [Batt.?] yet I have received one letter from him since he came back to Nashville, and he could not tell when he would come to [Batt?] “M.” I am looking for a letter from him every day.

I received a letter from Thos. yesterday He is well and says he has written home 3 times since he left and has not got an answer to any of them yet. He thought he would go to Steubenville before long. He had better be in some other “Bizz” than flirting with my girls down “thar”

We have had fine weather here for the past week. It looks like April weather up North I do not think we will have much more cold weather down here There are several Batteries being fitted out for active service in this place and going to join Thomas in Alabama. I do not know whether Batt “M” will be one of them or not. I think Thomas will soon be on the move, somewhere We have a boat in the Batt and have some fine rides on the Tenn. We have a sail for it & when there is a good breeze we use it.

I am glad to hear of the Revival in Pontiac How do the S. Schools prosper, this winter. I do not know of any thing more to write Remember me to Friends

Aff-ly Your Brother
S.A. Murphy
Batt M 1st Ill Arty
Chattanooga Tenn

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I feel rather certain that I shall get home this Spring

Joseph Culver Letter, February 21, 1864, Page 1

Head Qrs., 1st Brig., 1st Div., 11th A. C.
Nashville, Febry. 21st 1864
My Dear Wife

I recd. two letters from you yesterday evening, both mailed on the 12th, but one written on the 6th & 7th & the other on the 12th.1 I am happy to learn that you enjoy such good health. I will not undertake to answer the questions you have asked, for I feel rather certain that I shall get home this Spring. If not, I will telegraph for you.

If you get an opportunity to see Thomas Hill, ask him what he can do to assist me.2 The money of Tom Smith’s & Joe Shellebarger’s that I expected to borrow is in his hands.3

Mrs. Harrison will be here this evening; the Col. recd. a dispatch from her to-day. My going home will be delayed on Mitchel’s account.4 He has sent in an application for leave to go home & get married. I will cheerfully wait on him. I think he is more nervous about it than I was. He will probably bring his bride here.

I was at church to-day & heard a very good sermon. It was late when we got back, & now it is mail time & my letter very brief. I have been almost tempted to telegraph for you & give up the idea of getting home. I am afraid by the time Jim returns, which will be full one month, we will have marching orders. If I succeed in being sent for the instruments, it will not interfere with my getting a leave of absence next fall, but to get a leave of absence now would prevent it.

If I do not get home, I will write in full about the matters of which you write. Hoskins will be home next week; I will send by him. He is ordered to Chicago to appear against C. J. Beattie.5

You want me to tell you the next prettiest name to Mary. For dark eyes & dark hair, brunnette, I like Ellen, & for light hair & complexion, Jennie.6 Give my love to all. I must close. I hope to get home. May God bless you.

Your Affect. Husband
J. F. Culver

  1. Mary Culver’s letters of February 7 & 12 are missing from the Culver Collection.
  2. Thomas Hill was a 43-year-old Pontiac Township farmer. In 1860 he valued his real estate at $13,000, his personal estate at $1,400, and lived with his wife, Mary, and four children. One of his four farm hands had been Chris Yetter. Eighth Census, Livingston County, State of Illinois, NA.
  3. Joseph Shellenbarger, a 19-year-old fruit tree agent, was mustered into service on Sept. 8, 1862, as a private in Company A, 129th Illinois. Private Shellenbarger died in the brigade hospital on March 31, 1864, at Wauhatchie of pneumonia. Thomas R. Smith, a 23-year-old farmer, was mustered into service on Sept. 8, 1862, as a private in Company A, 129th Illinois. Private Smith was hospitalized at Quincy, Ill., with wounds to the left arm received at New Hope Church, Ga., May 27. 1864. He received a medical discharge on May 18, 1865. Compiled Service Records of Union Soldiers, NA.
  4. Adjutant Mitchell of Harrison’s staff was granted a 10-day leave on February 19, 1864, “to attend to personal business” in Bloomington, Ind. Ibid.
  5. Charles J. Beattie, a Livingston County lawyer, had been indicted for forgery in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Ibid.
  6. Mary Culver had written J.F.C. of her hope that their next child would be a girl and had asked his preference for a name.
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