Originally, I had planned a much different note to all of you in my first communication as interim dean of University Libraries. Yet, at present as we are all sheltering in place, I recognize that there is much uncertainty and it may be hard to make sense of all that is happening due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will get through this emergency and learn from it, coming out stronger and wiser in the end .

I have been with the University Libraries for more than 12 years, many of you already know me and I can assure you that we have the best interest of our UNC Greensboro community in mind as we make decisions on materials and services going forward. More about me later, but please know that we care about each and every one of you. This includes our students, our faculty, our alumni, our retirees, our broader community and each other. 

Our University Libraries represent the heart of UNCG, and we work hard to embody that ideal. The University's mission is service and with that in mind, I would like to share some examples of how that has played out in University Libraries over the past few weeks:

  • We have created and moved many touch points and contact opportunities to a virtual environment so that students still have opportunities to consult with librarians and staff as well as access to resources to complete their studies this semester.

  • We continue to support faculty needs, also in a virtual environment, through our liaison network for curriculum support. Many new options have opened up for us as publishers have sought to support libraries in this unusual time in new and creative ways. Those new opportunities are now part of what we can offer our faculty and students.

  • Our own faculty and staff are all transitioning into remote work and we have found some creative ways for work to continue while staying at home. This includes opportunities for professional development by everyone based on individual needs or desires.

  • There are still options open for our community beyond having access to our physical collection, I invite you to please explore our website for these opportunities

Although Jackson Library and the Harold Schiffman Music Library buildings are currently closed, our services and support are still available. Visit go.uncg.edu/libraryresources to learn about library services available to you from your home, including virtual chat, appointments, meetings and spaces. A librarian for every subject is available to meet with you or your class online.

In the next issue of Library Columns , I will share more about our future goals and direction. Yet, at this time, I would just like to encourage everyone to be well and stay healthy, and I greatly appreciate everyone’s cooperation and flexibility as we navigate the evolving situation together. 
Based on guidance from public health experts, University Libraries is adopting a strategy of social distancing for the safety of our faculty, staff, students and community patrons during COVID-19. After careful consideration, we have decided to postpone or cancel the following events, programs and workshops for a later date and time TBD. Thank you for your understanding and your continued support of University Libraries. READ MORE .
Left to Right: Dr. Laurie Kennedy-Malone, Vanessa Igoe Apple and Samantha Harlow chat inside Jackson Library.
Dr. Laurie Kennedy-Malone is a nurse educator, not a web designer who builds PDF generators and authentication schemes. In the summer of 2017, Kennedy-Malone needed a digital portal built to house what she thought would be a handful of online learning modules that she was helping to create for nurses. So, she went to where a lot of UNC Greensboro students go to find answers. She headed to the Jackson Library on UNCG’s campus.

Kennedy-Malone, a professor in the School of Nursing, received a two-year, $1.54 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). One goal of the grant was to provide free continuing education for preceptor development. A preceptor is an experienced registered nurse who serves as a role model for a nursing student training for a career after graduation. READ MORE.

Story by Alex Abrams, School of Nursing
Image courtesy of Martin W. Kane, University Communications
Have you ever been too nervous or uncomfortable asking someone a question? The Research, Outreach and Instruction Department created a library guide titled "Don’t Want to Ask?" containing ebooks on topics that people may have a difficult time asking a librarian about. The library guide contains ebooks on the following topics:

  • Bullying/Harassment
  • Physical Health
  • Mental Health
  • Families
  • Finances  
  • Gun Violence
  • Social Issues
  • Race and Immigration

Don’t see the topic you are looking for, or do you know of a book that should be added to the guide? Then, let us know! Included on the library guide is a “Suggestion Box” where you can recommend any topics you would like to learn more about and any resources that may be useful for the guide. Visit http://uncg.libguides.com/dontwanttoask/home for more information.

Story by Holly C. Shields, University Libraries
Image courtesy of Andrew Gardner, University Libraries
James Hill, superintendent of the Guilford Courthouse National Memorial Park with the National Park Service, presented the honor to Chancellor Gilliam.
The   Digital Library on American Slavery  at UNC Greensboro has been recognized by the  National Park Service (NPS) as the first-ever “virtual” stop on the Underground Railroad  Network to Freedom .

The recognition is the first of its kind for the National Park Service, and it is significant not only for UNCG, but for the broader community, region, and beyond. As a “virtual” stop, members of the public can access the thousands of resources within the Digital Library on American Slavery from the comfort of their homes, as opposed to visiting a physical marker, building, or monument. 

James Hill, superintendent of the Guilford Courthouse National Memorial Park with the National Park Service, presented the honor to Chancellor Gilliam on Feb. 18. READ MORE .

Story by University Communications
Our comfort food — food that reminds us of warmth, safety, and 'home '— brings us a sense of peace and nourishment in a chaotic world. We also have those books and stories that may serve as comforts and solace in times of uncertainty — comfort lit, if you will. As the University Libraries community, we would love to hear about your favorites as we individually and collectively try to adjust to this rapidly changing 'pandemic' reality. With that in mind, please share a photo of your favorite comfort lit(erature) with us! A selfie of you with its cover on your e-reader works great, too! Email us at libmkt@uncg.edu and tag us on social media by using #ComfortLit4Spartans . We will plan to share your photos across social media and in the next issue of Library Columns . Please be safe and well during this unsettling time. 

My favorite comfort literature is Our Town by Thorton Wilder, which brings me back to growing up in a small town and valuing that sense of community. #ComfortLit4Spartans

Story by Karlene Noel Jennings, MLIS, PhD, CFRE, Executive Director of Advancement and External Relations, University Libraries
Accessible Archives offers history scholars and students a full-text collection of Civil War and Reconstruction-era newspapers, magazines and books, which were previously available only in microfilm or print. Included as part of the Accessible Archives database is a vast collection of 19th century African American newspapers.

The easy-to-navigate environment features eyewitness accounts of historical events, descriptions of daily life, editorial observations, advertisements and genealogical records. These diverse primary source materials reflect the broad views across American history and culture, which have been placed into databases. These databases allow access to the rich store of materials from leading books, newspapers and periodicals then current. Titles will continue to be added to the collection, covering important topics and time periods.

Story by Norman Hines, University Libraries
Image courtesy of Accessible Archives
University Libraries and the Department of Library & Information Science in the School of Education co-sponsored the Spring Diversity Speaker Series this semester. The series featured Elaina Norlin, program coordinator for professional development at the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL) and Dr. Channelle James, lecturer in the Bryan School of Business and Economics at UNCG.

Norlin’s presentation focused on how Fortune 500 companies are engaging the workforce to recruit and retain top talent. Statistics show that 43% of younger workers envision leaving their jobs within two years, while only 28% seek to stay beyond five years. While companies attempt to adjust their engagement strategies with employees to meet these needs, they hope to retain top talent for longer time periods. The majority of companies aim to create a healthy workplace culture and put employee engagement at the top of their priority list.
Dr. Channelle James, a lecturer in the Bryan School of Business and Economics, presented on “Signs of Community: What Happens When We Start Getting Real about our Relationships at Work” in March. James has worked on issues of diversity and entrepreneurship for more than 25 years and has often worked with marginalized communities. She believes that understanding diversity is the cornerstone of community development. Through her academic articles and book chapters, she has highlighted how entrepreneurship can transform communities through the development of social-based enterprises.

For more information about the Spring Diversity Speaker Series, contact Gerald Holmes, associate professor and diversity coordinator at gvholmes@uncg.edu

Story by Holly C. Shields, University Libraries
Image courtesy of ASERL
Image courtesy of the Bryan School of Business and Economics
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