Local Libraries LIT (Listen, Initiate, Talk), a collaboration between Johnson County libraries, will welcome author Ann Patchett on Thursday, Oct. 27 at 6:30 p.m. for a free online reading and conversation.
This is the sixth virtual author event in the series offered by public libraries in Johnson County, as well as the University of Iowa Libraries and Kirkwood Community College Library – Iowa City Campus with support from The Tuesday Agency.
Exciting News! Ann Patchett has asked her dear friend (and fellow writer/Iowa alum) Elizabeth McCracken to join in her conversation on Oct. 27. Elizabeth’s new novel The Hero of this Book was just released. Don’t miss this fantastic exchange between authors!
Local Libraries LIT strives to grow a community which shines with diversity, equity, and inclusion. This special speaker series is offered at no charge to participants, though donations are welcomed to help sustain and grow Local Libraries LIT.
This program is open to people of all abilities. If you need an accommodation in order to enjoy the program, please contact Amy at the North Liberty Library: email@example.com or call (319)626-5781.
Ann Patchett is a celebrated author, devoted reader, and a champion of literary culture. She has written thirteen books and has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including England’s Orange Prize, the PEN/Faulkner Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Ann published her first story in The Paris Review while still a student at Sarah Lawrence College. Her novel Bel Canto, was awarded the Orange Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award. In 2016, Ann released her seventh novel, Commonwealth. It was selected as a New York Times Best Book of the Year, a TIME Magazine Top 10 Selection, and was a NBCC Award Finalist. In 2019, she published her first children’s book, Lambslide, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser, as well as a novel, The Dutch House, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and has sold more than 1 million copies. Ann’s latest, These Precious Days: Essays, is a deeply personal collection that reflects on home, family, friendships, and writing.
Nataša Ďurovičová, senior editor at the International Writing Program and adjunct faculty for the MFA in Literary Translation, submitted an initial proposal to the University of Iowa Libraries in fall 2019. Not long after the exhibition was approved, Lisa Gardinier signed on as a co-curator.
Gardinier, curator of international literature for the University of Iowa Libraries, began sifting through Special Collections & Archives materials in earnest the following autumn. A key contributing collection for this exhibition was the Paul Engle Papers, which contains correspondence and so much more from founders Paul Engle and Hualing Nieh Engle.
“I spent a lot of the first year or so of the pandemic with Paul Engle,” said Gardinier. “Or, rather, his archival ghost. When our proposal for this exhibit was approved in early 2020, I planned on starting archival research that summer. Thankfully the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t delay preparation by much. Special Collections reopened for the Fall 2020 semester with limited appointments. While most of my coworkers were still entirely working from home, I was coming in two to four afternoons per week that academic year to look through the Paul Engle Papers (msc 514) and then the International Writing Program Records (RG06.0012.009) and a few archival tangents as they presented themselves.”
The curators examined box after box, working to assemble a history told through photographs, cables and letters, campus publications, books and book art, artifacts, and articles.
“Considering the amazing size of IWP-related holdings in the University of Iowa Libraries, the amount of historic documentation stored in Special Collections & Archives, and the two decades-plus of administrative materials in digital form so far generally not available as open source, another ten objects could have been chosen for each item that made it into the show,” said Ďurovičová.
The exhibition is an introduction to the International Writing Program for those who are unaware of its history, and a visual celebration of the writers – both visiting and local – who have made the program what it is today.
“If this exhibit piques your curiosity, please know that this is truly the tip of the iceberg,” said Gardinier.
A Hub, a Network, an Archive: 55 Years of International Writers in Iowa City will be on display in the Main Library Gallery until December 16, 2022. Admission to the Gallery is always free. Visit lib.uiowa.edu/gallery for information about open hours and upcoming exhibit-related events.
The International Writing Program, now celebrating its 55th anniversary year, offers a robust schedule of programming both for its visiting writers and for the public during the Fall Residency. Learn more about the 2022 Fall Residency on the IWP website, and subscribe to the IWP mailing list to find out about public events such as readings, film screenings, panels, and more. Plus, keep up with IWP on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
The “Stories from Ukraine” project is a series of videos that offer a chance for viewers to better understand Ukraine, its rich culture, and its people. The project is a collaboration between the Lviv Public Libraries, the Lviv UNESCO City of Literature, Ukraїner, and the Ukrainian Library Association. It is being presented in Johnson County in partnership with the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature, the Iowa City Public Library, the Coralville Public Library, the North Liberty Community Library, and the University of Iowa Libraries.
The four local libraries will show the videos in their public spaces for free during the week of June 13. Each video is between one and two minutes in length, and highlights a town, attraction, or region in Ukraine.
The videos were created between June 2016 and October 2018, and cover all 16 historic regions of Ukraine. The organization Ukraїner sought to capture stories from these areas to share with Ukrainians who had moved from rural to urban regions or who had emigrated from the country. With the increased interest in Ukraine after Russia began attacks in spring 2022, the series became an opportunity to teach the rest of the world about the country.
Lviv, in the west of the country, and Odessa to the south, are both UNESCO Cities of Literature. They have asked colleagues in other Cities of Literature around the world to help share their story. Here in Iowa City, we continue to seek ways to support our fellow Cities of Literature, and know that learning about Ukraine is the best way to start. See a sample video below from the historic Galicia region of Ukraine, which is home to the city of Lviv.
At the University of Iowa Libraries, “Stories from Ukraine” videos will be screened on a continuous loop in Group Area C in the Main Library’s Learning Commons between Food for Thought Cafe and the Service Desk. All are welcome to drop by any time between June 13 – 17 during open hours to watch the videos, which include music and captions but no spoken words.
Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Sara Pinkham in advance at 319-467-1805 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The current Main Library Gallery exhibit, We Are Hawkeyes: Celebrating 175 Years of Student Life at the University of Iowa, provides a glimpse into many facets of campus life over the decades. Part of the exhibition focuses on the scholarly achievements of Iowa students. An ordinary-looking composition notebook sits in one display case, open to a handwritten journal entry from 3:30 a.m. on February 1, 1958: “Success!! The first U.S. satellite is in orbit. It looks like a good one,” wrote graduate student George Ludwig, who had been working with Professor James Van Allen and his team to build the Explorer I satellite. The journal is part of the George H. Ludwig Papers [RG99.0004] in the University Archives.
In this short video, University Archivist Emeritus David McCartney provides more in-depth information about Mr. Ludwig’s journal and the Space Race. The launch of the satellite “was an absolutely magical moment for the U.S. space industry and, of course, for young George Ludwig,” said McCartney.
Explorer’s Legacy: Learn more about the Explorer I and its legacy, James Van Allen, and the discovery of the Radiation Belts in an online exhibition featuring images from the University of Iowa Libraries’ digital collection.
While the 1960s and early 1970s are remembered for protests against the Vietnam War and other injustices, campus was not quiet in the decades that followed. Students have always used their voices to advocate for change at the University of Iowa, and continue to do so.
One section of the Spring 2022 Main Library Gallery exhibition, We Are Hawkeyes: Celebrating 175 Years of Student Life at the University of Iowa, explores student-led protest through photographs, flyers, petitions, and other artifacts. The earliest protest item in the exhibit is from 1910, while the most recent images are from 2021.
In this short video from the Main Library Gallery, Community and Student Life Archivist Aiden Bettine talks about the long legacy of student protest on our campus:
Hatched in 1948 by University of Iowa journalism professor Dick Spencer III, Herky has evolved much over the last several decades. One thing remains the same, however: our mascot is beloved by the campus community and far beyond.
An original drawing of Herky by Spencer is on display in the Main Library Gallery’s current exhibit, We Are Hawkeyes: Celebrating 175 Years of Student Life at the University of Iowa. Community and Student Life Archivist Aiden Bettine shares the basics about Herky’s origin in this short video:
A bright lava lamp in the front display case of the Main Library Gallery serves as a beacon, inviting library patrons to examine the plenitude of nostalgic objects just on the other side of the glass window. Records lean against a speaker and fan out over a record player’s plastic dust cover: Tapestry by Carole King, Live & Well by B.B. King, The Graduate by Simon & Garfunkel, Magical Mystery Tour by The Beatles, Cheap Thrills by Big Brother and the Holding Company, The Age of Aquarius by The 5th Dimension, and others. Vintage board games, a bright pink frisbee, a portable transistor radio, and a 7-Up wastepaper basket are arrayed over a classic shag carpet. While flattened from years of use, the vibrant greens, yellows, and oranges are a familiar signal of the 1970s.
A crate is crammed full of both popular books and required reading, such as Catch-22, Watership Down, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and The Metamorphosis. An empty soda bottle, pop can, and tea mug add comfortable clutter, and a cinder block serves as an economical pedestal for a potted plant. We have stepped back in time to 1975, a year during which We Are Hawkeyes exhibit co-curator and University Archivist Emeritus David McCartney found himself working toward his undergraduate degree.
“I would say that the dorm room replication that we have at this exhibit pretty closely resembles the dorm room I occupied once upon a time, back around 1975,” said McCartney, who spent many hours sourcing era-appropriate objects for the display.
Inspired by his own experience moving away from home for the first time, the dorm room set in We Are Hawkeyes: Celebrating 175 Years of Student Life at the University of Iowa naturally includes a desk with a Smith Corona portable typewriter. “We did not have laptops, let alone tabletop computers, in 1975,” he said.
The desk, located beyond the display case inside the Main Library Gallery, includes a chair, and invites visitors to sit and try their hand at using the typewriter. A vintage couch, on loan from the University of Iowa Department of Theatre Arts, is a comfortable spot to flip through a Hawkeye Yearbook or duplicate 1970s issues of Light-Eater (“Serving the University of Iowa Residence Halls”), a student-published newsletter.
“As time-specific as this dorm room is, I think there’s a timelessness to it in terms of how we as students, and later alumni, could identify ourselves,” said McCartney. “And that’s what a dorm room is all about, isn’t it?”
Check out the latest Main Library Gallery video below, in which David McCartney provides a brief tour of the dorm room set from the We Are Hawkeyes exhibit.
For those distant to campus, or who would like to experience the latest Main Library Gallery exhibition from home, a virtual tour of We Are Hawkeyes: Celebrating 175 Years of Student Life at the University of Iowa is now available online.
The tour features 360° photos of the Main Library Gallery, which allow the viewer to move from area to area. The text panels and the cases containing the items on display are clickable, meaning close-up views of most objects are available along with insights from co-curators David McCartney, Aiden Bettine, and Denise Anderson.
The exhibition features student life-centered items from the University Archives and the Iowa Women’s Archives in celebration of the University of Iowa’s 175th anniversary. Student publications, protest flyers, Hawkeye sports memorabilia, and much more are included. The virtual exhibition includes videos and links to extra articles and historical context scattered throughout.
Local Libraries LIT (Listen, Initiate, Talk) will feature author R.O. Kwon on Thursday, March 3, 2022 at 7:00 PM. This is the sixth FREE virtual event in the series, which is offered by all public libraries in Johnson County as well as the University of Iowa Libraries and Kirkwood Community College Libraries (Iowa City Campus) with support from the Community Foundation of Johnson County and The Tuesday Agency. The North Liberty Library will host.
R.O. Kwon was born in South Korea and has lived most of her life in the United States. As an author and essayist, her writing explores identity, sexuality, and the comforts and complications of religion.
R.O. worked for ten years on her nationally bestselling debut novel, The Incendiaries, which The Atlantic describes as a “[portrayal of] America’s dark, radical strain, exploring the lure of fundamentalism, our ability to be manipulated, and what can happen when we’re willing to do anything for a cause.” The San Francisco Chronicle calls her novel “a debut of dark, startling beauty” while The Guardian lauds it as “a startlingly assured book by an important new writer.”
Named a best book of the year by over forty publications, The Incendiaries also received the Housatonic Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Award, the Los Angeles Times First Book Prize, and the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association Fiction Prize. R.O.’s writing has appeared—and often gone viral shortly thereafter—in the New York Times, The Guardian, The Paris Review, Buzzfeed, NPR, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Yaddo, MacDowell, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference.
The goal of Local Libraries LIT is to grow a thriving community which shines with diversity, equity, and inclusion. This author event is open to the public.
The Local Libraries LIT speaker series is offered at no charge to participants. Donations are welcomed to help sustain and grow Local Libraries LIT.
Register here to receive the Zoom link for this event via the Iowa City Public Library:https://bit.ly/ROKwon
The oldest university in the state, the University of Iowa was founded on February 25, 1847. Instruction began in the autumn of 1855 with just 124 students. Every student thereafter has left their mark on the university, and campus life today has been shaped by nearly two centuries of student influence.
Over the past 175 years, students at the University of Iowa have amplified their causes through protest and advocacy, they have shared their individuality through student publications and the arts, and they have made countless brilliant contributions to the world in which we live. The Spring 2022 Main Library Gallery exhibition, We Are Hawkeyes: Celebrating 175 Years of Student Life at the University of Iowa, spotlights some of these experiences.
The exhibit was curated by Denise Anderson, Aiden Bettine, and David McCartney of the University Archives at the University of Iowa Libraries. The co-curators carefully selected a variety of items and images both old and new from the University Archives and Iowa Women’s Archives to create a representation of student life over the decades, working on the exhibition together throughout 2021 in preparation for the university’s anniversary year.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to highlight these engaging and diverse student experiences, plucked from the pages of rich University of Iowa history,” said Denise Anderson, archives assistant.
“Students are the very core of the University of Iowa. Although students arrive on campus to pursue their higher education, the classroom is only one facet of the student experience,” said Aiden Bettine, community and student life archivist. “Student life on our campus is immersive, enmeshing students in both the Hawkeye community and Iowa City. Some students find their niche when they first step foot on campus and participate in existing student organizations or extracurricular activities. Others have had to carve out space for their identity or their passions.”
“Students are the lifeblood of a university, and student life shapes and informs those who have had the university or college experience,” said David McCartney, university archivist. “We Are Hawkeyes sets out to illustrate that experience in all its flavors, from athletics to academics, from parties to protest. Coming of age in a university setting brings with it a wide range of accumulated knowledge and lessons for life.”
The exhibit explores student-led publications from as early as 1881 with Little Tin God on Wheels and as recently as a 2021 edition of The Daily Iowan. A brief history of Iowa Memorial Union and the university’s military traditions are included, as well as samplings of artifacts from Department of Music and Department of Dance records. Visitors will also find an array of photographs celebrating social life on campus, items from fraternity and sorority collections, ephemera from the university’s earliest years, Iowa sports history, a glimpse into scholarship, an abbreviated visual history of protest on campus between 1910 and 2021, and more. A film reel shows footage including clips from commencements, the Hawkeye Marching Band, a University of Iowa newsreel, the Theatre Department, and protests in the 1960s.
“While not every student’s experience is recounted in this exhibit, we hope visitors to the Main Library Gallery will find something that speaks to their own time on campus – whether during this past year, or generations ago,” said McCartney.
A 1970s-esque dorm room set spills into the gallery from the front display case. A desk, bright orange chair, and floral loveseat invite visitors to take a seat and flip through vintage student newsletters and yearbooks. A typewriter, record player, crate of books, and a lava lamp add to the nostalgia, while plentiful classic records from McCartney’s own personal collection are artfully arranged throughout. The co-curators hope this section of the exhibition will prompt guests to consider what their must-have items were when packing for their freshman year of college.
We Are Hawkeyes: Celebrating 175 Years of Student Life at the University of Iowa will be on display in the Main Library Gallery until July 3, 2022. Admission to the Gallery is always free. Visit lib.uiowa.edu/gallery for information about open hours and upcoming events.