The University Libraries is seeking nominations for the Arthur Benton University Librarian’s Award for Excellence. Funded by a generous endowment, this prestigious award acknowledges a library staff member’s professional contributions in the practice of librarianship, service to the profession, scholarship, or leadership which has had a significant impact or innovation to the operations of the Libraries or the University of Iowa.
The $2,000 award may be used to support professional development activity expenses for conferences or workshops in support of research projects and publications related to services, or it may be taken as a cash award.
The University of Iowa Libraries has appointed Rita Soenksen as Interim Director of Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion (DEAI) effective June 7, 2021.
During the pandemic, the Libraries established a shared governance structure, including plans to create a DEAI Council. Based on urgent recommendations from its staff-led DEAI action plan team, the Libraries created this interim position to guide the formation of the council and engage immediate needs to integrate the Libraries’ DEAI priorities into its campus service operations.
Over the next 12 months as interim director, Soenksen will lead the launch of the Libraries’ DEAI Council, and she will help shape the DEAI director role in advance of a national search to fill the permanent, full-time position. Soenksen and the DEAI Council will advance the Libraries’ DEAI action plan in collaboration with all Libraries staff members, campus DEI initiatives, and other university stakeholders and units. Their work will examine local, national, and global events that affect the experience of students, faculty, and staff from historically marginalized groups and populations.
In her role, Soenksen will represent the DEAI Council with a seat on the Libraries’ Leadership Team, providing a voice to enact meaningful change through evidence-based decision making that will influence Libraries-wide strategic planning, policy development, and resource allocation.
Soenksen holds an MA in Afro-American Studies and an MLIS, both from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a BA in English from the University of Northern Iowa. Her professional experience includes work in human resources and Equal Opportunity and Diversity at Iowa State University and other business organizations.
At the University of Iowa Libraries, Soenksen created an anti-racism subject guide as a resource for campus and the wider community and is currently collaborating with the UI’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to raise awareness of additional resources on campus.
The University of Iowa Libraries welcomes and serves all, including people of color from all nations, immigrants, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+, gender diverse people, people of all faiths and beliefs, and the most vulnerable in our community. The Libraries expects all members of its staff to contribute to building this environment, both within the Libraries and throughout the campus community.
The UI Latinx Council Executive Board has created the Rachel Garza Carreón IMPACT Award to recognize her valuable work with the Latinx community at the University of Iowa.
The award will recognize long-time UI Latinx community members who have contributed years of service at University of Iowa and who have made a lasting impact with their efforts. The Latinx Council also selected Carreón as the first award recipient.
According to the board, “Chicana-Tejana, Rachel Garza Carreón, a staunch advocate for social justice, does many things in her role as the outreach and research librarian with University of Iowa Libraries to make the UI a more welcoming place. A vital part of that mission is to collect and document the history of the most cherished space on campus for many, the Latino Native American Cultural Center (LNACC).”
Current chair of the UI Latinx Council, Dana Dominguez (Pomerantz Career Center) says long-time staff and faculty such as Carreón play a crucial role in the campus’ Latinx community, which is the reason the council has chosen her as the inaugural recipient and namesake for the newly created award. “Often during council meetings or monthly luncheons, we talk about challenges that comes with trying to coexist and succeed within a place that wasn’t built for us,” says Dominguez. “We lose a lot of Latinx members who move on to other institutions because they don’t feel supported or valued here. When we talk about missing those who have left, I can’t help but feel so much gratitude for those who have stayed.”
Dominguez listed Carreón among leaders in the Latinx community who have made a tremendous impact at Iowa. “There is so much institutional knowledge, experience, and decades upon decades of collective contributions between them, and I can’t help but think of how different the campus would be if they had chosen to leave when times were hard,” she says. “Representation matters. We need our students to be able to see themselves in those leadership positions and believe that they can get there too.”
“It makes me proud to be a part of it when I hear people say that they stayed here at Iowa because they had the Latinx Council and people like them to be in community with,” Dominguez says. “That’s why we made this award. It’s for people who have made an impact because they chose to stay. Who better to name it after than the one who documents our existence and affirms that we are an important part of the [University of Iowa’s] history?”
The award is unique not only because it is named after Carreón, but also because the council invited her to have full oversight over its development—a role Carreón accepted. Dominguez explains, “We wanted to be sure that this award just doesn’t have her name on it, but that it has her personal touch and approval. We want her to be able to provide feedback on the nomination process, the criteria, even if she wants to pick out what the award looks like, we will let her do it. Just like she has made a mark with her research and her exhibits, we want this to be something she had a hand in, something that lasts forever. It’s the least we can do.”
Upon accepting the award, Carreón said, “To be recognized by my community is an honor. In the years I have worked at the university, I have seen students, staff, and faculty come and go. I’ve seen the community be upset, worried, and angry as they prepare to protest the many injustices we face. I’ve also seen these same community members laugh, dance, and celebrate our successes. It is important that our whole story is chronicled for future community members who come here. I am dedicated to making sure that our story is told.”
The University of Iowa Libraries’ Hardin Library for the Health Sciences has been awarded a five-year grant to continue its role as a Regional Medical Library (RML) in the Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM). NNLM consists of seven competitively selected RMLs; Hardin Library will serve Region 6. The National Library of Medicine, the world’s largest biomedical library and a component of the National Institutes of Health, will award Hardin Library $5.7 million to develop programs and services aimed at addressing health literacy and health equity through information access. In 2016, Hardin Library was awarded a five-year grant to establish an RML for the Greater Midwest Region. This new grant will enable Hardin to build on its work over the past five years.
As a Regional Medical Library, the Hardin Library’s role is to carry out regional and national programs in support of NNLM’s mission to provide U.S. researchers, health professionals, public health workforce, educators, and the public with equal access to biomedical and health information resources and data. The emphasis of the RML program is to bring quality health, public health, and biomedical information resources within reach of the public and all health and public health professionals.
Among other objectives, each RML is expected to:
Develop approaches to promote awareness of, improve access to, and enable use of NLM’s resources and data,
Develop and support a diverse workforce to access information resources and data, and support data-driven research,
Provide community-driven innovative approaches and interventions for biomedical and health information access and use.
To accomplish these objectives, Hardin’s team of five librarians will form partnerships with libraries and other organizations and offer a variety of in-person and online training for health professionals; community organizations; health-information centers; and public, hospital, and academic medical libraries throughout the country, with a regional focus on Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. In addition, Hardin Library will fund awards to assist regional libraries and other organizations to educate and support access to biomedical and health information resources and data within medically underserved areas.
Linda Walton, associate university librarian at the University of Iowa Libraries, will serve as director for the Regional Medical Library. Derek Johnson, the current associate director for the RML, will continue in this role. John Culshaw, university librarian for the UI Libraries, commends the Hardin Library staff for earning this competitive contract.
“This grant recognizes the efforts and leadership of staff at UIowa’s Hardin Library for the Health Sciences over the past five years. Their role, especially during the pandemic, has been invaluable to researchers, health professionals, and members of public throughout the region,” he says. “Not only does this renewed contract reflect well on the quality and breadth of our library’s outreach efforts within Iowa and our region but also on the high level of staff expertise and leadership at Hardin.”
Since its original authorization by Congress in the 1965 Medical Library Assistance Act, the NNLM has worked to equalize and enhance access to health information and data throughout the United States. This Network is vital in NLM’s outreach efforts to advance the progress of medicine and improve the public’s health by providing education and access to information for U.S. researchers, health professionals, public health workforce, educators, and the public. NNLM’s main goals are to work through libraries and other members to support a highly trained workforce for biomedical and health information resources and data, promote health literacy, and advance health equity through access to trusted, quality health information.
During the previous (2016-2021) grant period, the RMLs awarded more than 1,338 subawards to NNLM members. The RMLs, in collaboration with funded NNLM members, conducted more than 10,000 training events and other outreach and engagement activities reaching more than 108,000 health professionals, librarians, and members of the public.
Developed resources reported in this press release are supported by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health (NIH) under cooperative agreement number UG4LM013729. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
A library is a building, right? Or is it collection of books? What about all the other sources of information available in libraries? Loud in the Libraries takes you behind the scenes to help you make sense of the University of Iowa Libraries so you can make the best use of all the Libraries have to offer. Episodes feature librarians, staff, and student employees who are passionate about sharing the breadth and depth of the University of Iowa’s research libraries. Let them tell you how to save yourself time getting the information you need.
UI Libraries are now accepting course reserve lists for the upcoming Spring semester at the Main Library, Hardin Library, and branch libraries. Please note the following changes. Not all libraries are offering to place print books on Course Reserve for spring 2021. Online access to books through HathiTrust’s Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS) ends December 28, 2020. If a title was used in the Fall semester, you will need to contact your library to verify access for the Spring semester.
Requesting Materials for Course Reserve
Physical access to books is projected to resume by January 25, 2021. Access to library collections for in-person check-outs will vary by library.
E-books. Library staff will search for a requested eBook title; if an eBook is unavailable the instructor will be notified.
ILL service. When no eBook is available, instructors may request chapters for posting on ICON from our ILL department. The amount of individual book chapters requested is determined through the Fair Use checklist.
Streaming video. Library staff will search for a streaming video option. If unavailable, then the instructor will be notified.
Journal articles. If you need a PDF of a journal article or book chapter, please submit a request through Interlibrary Loan. Instructions on how to upload a PDF to ICON are available here.
HATHI Trust (ETAS) will be discontinued December 28, 2020.
The University Libraries is seeking nominations for the Arthur Benton University Librarian’s Award for Excellence. Funded by a generous endowment, this award acknowledges a library staff member’s professional contributions in the practice of librarianship, service to the profession, scholarship, or leadership which has had a significant impact or innovation to the operations of the Libraries or the University of Iowa. The library staff member will receive $2,000 to be used for professional development activities.
*The University Libraries includes the Main Library, Hardin Library for the Health Sciences, and the Art, Business, Engineering, Music, and Science libraries. (Professional staff in the Law Library and other campus departmental library staff are not eligible.)
On Saturday, August 22, 2020, the University of Iowa Libraries will partner with national organizations to present the first annual Ray Bradbury Read-A-Thon. During this four-hour online event, a diverse group of celebrities and Bradbury experts, including Peter Balestrieri, curator of science fiction and popular culture collections at the University of Iowa Libraries Special Collections & Archives, will present a virtual reading of Bradbury’s classic novel Fahrenheit 451 streamed over YouTube beginning at 3:30 pm CDT.
The read-a-thon, which celebrates the centennial of Bradbury’s birth, is hosted by the Library of Congress, the Los Angeles Public Library, and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers (presenter of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards). Event partners are public and university libraries nationwide, including the University of Iowa Libraries, with its robust collections of primary source materials on science fiction writers, including Ray Bradbury.
The Read-A-Thon’s on-camera readers will be as diverse as America itself. Some 40 people, including Balestrieri, will pre-record a short segment of Fahrenheit 451. Those segments, and a few from celebrity guests, will be edited into one continuous reading of the entire book, creating four hours of thought-provoking entertainment.
Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress, will provide the introduction to the reading. Additional introductions and readings will be given by John Szabo (Los Angeles Public Library), General Charles Bolden, Jr. (NASA), Ann Druyan (writer/producer/director), William Shatner (actor), Neil Gaiman (author), Marlon James (author), Marjorie Liu (author), P. Djèlí Clark (author), Brenda Greene (author), Alley Mills Bean (actress), James Reynolds (actor), Tananarive Due (author), Steven Barnes (author), and Rachel Bloom (actress).
Some readers, like Balestrieri, will record from their homes, others from their hometown libraries—or from the places where Bradbury himself lived, worked, and explored. Locations will include the historic rooms of the Los Angeles Public Library, the Library of Congress, and the former Carnegie Library building in Waukegan where Bradbury spent much of his childhood lost in books.
Ray Bradbury’s contribution to the literary landscape and our collective imagination made him one of the best-known writers of our time. His books now sit on library shelves alongside the works of authors he read in his youth at the Carnegie Library in Waukegan, Illinois. After his family moved to Los Angeles during the Great Depression, he discovered the stacks of the Venice library and many others: no matter where he lived, the library was his school. As Bradbury would later say: “I’m completely library educated. Libraries are absolutely at the center of my life. Since I couldn’t afford to go to college, I attended the library three or four days a week from the age of eighteen on, and graduated from the library when I was twenty-eight.”
Fahrenheit 451, a cautionary dystopian tale about the cost of apathy and the power of curiosity, is one of the most checked-out books at libraries throughout the United States. Viewers of the Read-A-Thon will discover–or rediscover–this redemptive story that is as powerful today as it was when it was first written. www.raybradbury.com
After the initial broadcast, the Read-A-Thon will be available until September 5, 2020.
The Participating Partners: Library of Congress, Los Angeles Public Library, and Alliance for Young Artists & Writers and the Contributing Libraries and Institutions are: Anchorage Public Library (Alaska), Athens Regional Library System (Georgia), Boston Public Library (Massachusetts), Broward County Library (Florida), Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College, CUNY (New York), Center for Ray Bradbury Studies (Indiana), Central Arkansas Library System (Arkansas), Charlotte Mecklenburg Library (North Carolina), Columbus Metropolitan Library (Ohio), Cushing Memorial Library & Archives, Texas A&M University (Texas), Des Moines Public Library and Library Foundation (Ohio), Indian Valley Public Library (Pennsylvania), Pima County Public Library (Arizona), San Francisco Public Library (California), South Pasadena Library (California), The Friends of the Venice Library (California), The Seattle Public Library (Washington), University of Alaska Anchorage Consortium Library (Alaska), University of Iowa Libraries (Iowa), University of Kansas Libraries (Kansas), University of Pittsburgh Library System (Pennsylvania), and the Waukegan Parks District and Library (Illinois)
In a career that spanned more than seventy years, Ray Bradbury inspired generations of readers in a wide variety of genres to dream, think, and create. A prolific author of more than four hundred published short stories and close to fifty books, as well as numerous essays, plays, operas, teleplays, and screenplays, Bradbury is one of the most widely translated authors in the world and one of the most celebrated writers of our time. His enduring novels and short story collections include The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, The Golden Apples of the Sun, Fahrenheit 451, The October Country, Dandelion Wine, A Medicine for Melancholy, and Something Wicked This Way Comes. RayBradbury.com
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States — and extensive materials from around the world — both on- site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.
LOS ANGELES PUBLIC LIBRARY
The Los Angeles Public Library system, with 72 branches, serves the residents of the City of Los Angeles. The system holds more than six million volumes, and with over 18 million residents in the Los Angeles Metropolitan area, it serves the largest population of any publicly funded library system in the United States. lapl.org
THE ALLIANCE FOR YOUNG ARTISTS AND WRITERS
The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, presenter of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, identifies teenagers with exceptional artistic and literary talent and brings their remarkable work to a national audience. Established in 1923 by Maurice R. Robinson, the founder of Scholastic Inc., the Awards are the longest-running, most prestigious recognition program for creative teenagers across America and one of the largest sources of scholarships for young artists and writers. The Awards have an impressive roster of notable Alumni, including Tshabalala Self, Stephen King, Kay Walking Stick, Charles White, Joyce Carol Oates, and Andy Warhol. This past year, the Alliance received 320,000 submissions from 112,000 students, grades 7-12 (ages 13 and up) from across the nation. The Alliance is proud to partner with the Ray Bradbury Foundation to launch the Ray Bradbury Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy as part of its 2021 Awards offerings. artandwriting.org
UNIVERSITY OF IOWA LIBRARIES
The University of Iowa Libraries’ Special Collections and Archives holds a wealth of rare and unique materials related to Ray Bradbury—from amateur writing and artwork found in science fiction fanzines to his first professional work that appeared in pulp magazines. Our collections include special editions of his books, early photographs, an anti-fascism statement he signed as a teenager, and much more. For more information, please visit www.lib.uiowa.edu/sc, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact Peter Balestrieri, curator of science fiction and popular culture, at email@example.com.
When campus libraries reopen on Aug. 17, services will resume in phases. To begin the semester, the Hardin Library for the Health Sciences, the Main Library, and the Sciences Library will allow building access only to University of Iowa members with a valid Iowa One Card or UI Health Care Badge. Also, all campus libraries will have shorter hours, closed book stacks, and some study areas will be unavailable.
These measures allow for appropriate quarantine of returned materials, reduce concerns about cleaning, and support social distancing due to COVID-19. Access will vary by location. For example, the Music Library and Art Library will limit occupancy by restricting access to service desks only. At the Main Library, access to the fourth and fifth floors will be limited to staff only, thus reducing impact on custodians.
“The Libraries staff understand users will be disappointed that they will be unable to browse the book stacks and fully utilize library study areas,” says John Culshaw, university librarian. “We hope conditions will shift soon, enabling us to restore access and hours. In the meantime, our plan reflects those at other libraries, including our Big Ten peers.”
In addition to limiting the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the facility, closed stacks keep the Libraries in compliance with copyright agreements with HathiTrust Emergency Access Service (ETAS), which supplies emergency online access to a large portion of our collection. The ETAS service gives the Libraries access to nearly 50% of its print volumes. Find step-by-step access instructions for HathiTrust here. The ETAS service can remain available only while our stacks are closed.
Users can still borrow books by requesting book retrieval from the stacks at any campus library. Users are encouraged to request books in advance through Infohawk+. After requesting a book, users can choose from several ways to get the book. Faculty and staff can opt for delivery to campus offices. All borrowers, including community members, can request delivery by mail. Books borrowed from the Main Library’s collections can be picked up through a contactless service at the south entrance of the Main Library. Procedures vary by location; please check with your campus library for instructions.
As the semester unfolds, the Libraries will continue to monitor the situation. When deemed safe, the Libraries will consider extending hours and opening stacks for browsing.
Thank you for your patience as we navigate changing circumstances. Please contact us at any of our campus locations with questions regarding book access. Visit our fall 2020 FAQ for complete information about changes in library services.
We’re living in unprecedented times. Protesters are speaking out against the murder of George Floyd, police brutality, and systemic racism. The UI Libraries’ Special Collections plans to pursue a careful approach toward archiving the protests in our community. We recognize potential pitfalls in a white institution rushing to collect materials about marginalized communities of color, problems such as collecting to “check the box” or collections that hurt or mischaracterize communities of color. We also recognize the problems with archival silence. Our efforts will be a three-tiered approach designed to expand authentically and ethically over time:
Gather photos.We are both taking and collecting photographs of graffiti around town and campus. These are photos of protest evidence that do not include people. We are not soliciting photographs of protests or protesters out of concern for protecting their identities.
Listen by reaching out to existing relationships within communities of color.We are working with pre-existing institutional and individual connections through three staff members who have long-established relationships with individuals in our community.
Erik Henderson, a student worker in Iowa Women’s Archives (IWA) and Special Collections, is reaching out to his connections, including campus and community groups.
David McCartney, the UI Libraries’ University Archivist, is reaching out to several connections.
Janet Weaver, assistant curator in IWA is reaching out to LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens).
Wait for material to come in down the road.This is a tried-and-true measure for us that allows us to expand our collections organically as we build connections with individuals and with organizations over time, not overnight.