University Libraries Newsletter
November 2019
Library Resources & Events
VA Student Resource Room in Baugh Biomedical Library
The Charles M. Baugh Biomedical Library (CBBL), in collaboration with the USA Office of Veterans Affairs, has embarked on a mission to increase support for student veterans on campus. The first phase was to allocate space on the 3 rd floor for a VA Student Resource Room. Previously, this space housed the Historical Collection of the Biomedical Library. Most of the resources stored in the space were moved to the McCall Rare Book and Manuscript Library located on the 3 rd floor of the Marx Library.
A soft opening of the resource room began August 19 th , ensuring the availability of the quiet study space for JagVets during the fall semester. Currently there is seating for 12 at square modular tables that can be moved as needed, a recliner for our Vets in need of a rest, and a new computer provided by the VA. In addition, the VA and the Biomedical Library will collaborate to develop future programing and services for our JagVets. This is an exciting endeavor for the Baugh Biomedical Library and two liaisons, Thalia Shaw and Heather Hoven-Glass, are available to provide assistance as needed.
A grand opening for the new VA Student Resource Room at CBBL will be held on Veteran’s Day, November 11 th . If you would like to donate to this project:

The Veterans Resource Room, Suite 1365, located in the Academic Services Center:
Mon- Fri: 8:00 am -5:00 pm.
The Veterans Resource Room, Room 328, in the Baugh Biomedical Library:
Mon-Thurs: 7:15 am - 9:45 pm
Fri: 7:15 am -5:45 pm
Sat: 9:00 am - 5:45 pm
Sun: 1:00 pm - 9:45 pm
Spooky Good Time during Haunted Places, Haunted Spaces
The Marx Library hosted its first ever "Haunted Places, Haunted Spaces: A Live Forum on the Ghosts of Mobile." On October 17th @ 6 pm. The library invited Elizabeth Palmer, author of Haunted Mobile, Mary Palmer, author of Boyington Oak: a Grave Injustice, Patsy Hamilton of the Richards DAR House and Marye Newman, Museum Manager at Historic Oakleigh House Museum to share about their haunted experiences. Photos courtesy of Dennis Palmer.
Free Webinar: Predators, Prey, and Open Access: Evaluating Open Access Publications
With the increasing availability of open access journals has come the corresponding problem of predatory publishing. Unlike many legitimate open access journals, predatory journals accept papers with little or no oversight, regularly foregoing the rigorous peer review and editorial standards expected of academic journals. Fortunately, librarians have been developing tools that help authors make the distinction between the two. Join our speakers as they look at scholarly integrity, discussing how to recognize both the hallmarks of reliable publications and the traits common to unreliable (predatory) ones.
This webinar will be presented by Stephanie Ard, Social Sciences Librarian, Marx Library, University of South Alabama and Kathy Wheeler, Assistant University Librarian for Collections, University Libraries, University of South Alabama.
The webinar will start at 10 am, on November 19th, 2019. You can register at the following link:
McCall Library represented at the Oral History Association Conference in Salt Lake City
The University of South Alabama was well represented at the Oral History Association conference in Salt Lake City in October. McCall Library Interim Director, Deborah Gurt presented a paper on the panel Voices in the Archives.
Gurt (far L) also supported the Honors College team (pictured here L to R) of Ruby Staten, Candice Fairchild, Lex McKinnell, and HC Dean Kathy J. Cooke on their Alabama Humanities Foundation funded project centered on the Mobile-Tensaw Delta. Prof. Kern Jackson of English and African American Studies is also a member of the project team who made the trip to Utah.
Sawyerville Oral History Project Interviews at the McCall Library
Professors Sarah Silkey of Lycoming College and Mike Fitzgerald of St. Olaf College were in the McCall Library this week continuing their research and digitization project with the Pickens Family papers. In collaboration with McCall Library Interim Director Deborah Gurt, oral history interviews were conducted with four African American descendants of the Pickens family of Hale County who owned the Umbria Plantation there. These interviews will contribute to enriching the historical record and preserving important perspectives on Alabama's history. Pictured L to R are: Eugene Pickens, Vickie Pickens Fields, Jimmy Fields, Sarah Silkey, Mike Fitzgerald, and Linda Cooper. 
USA Libraries represented at the Senior Expo
The University of South Alabama Libraries provided a wealth of health information to the senior citizens of the Mobile, AL community at the annual Area Agency on Aging Senior Lifestyles Expo. The exhibit, held at the Greater Gulf States Fairgrounds on October 3, 2019, was bustling with approximately 1100 senior citizens from the community, including many veterans. This annual event brings resources that provide services to the senior community in one of the largest venues in the area. Receiving an All of Us Exhibitor Award through the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Southeastern Atlantic Region (NNLM SEA), Rachel Fenske and Paula Webb were able to bring awareness of the All of Us Research Program to our community, as well as the vast array of health information from the National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health. The exhibit won 1 st prize in the education category among 57 vendors present. 
The Marx Library Extends Hours
The Marx Library hours have been extended by one hour starting October 29, 2019.
 The new hours are 7am - 1 am (extended from midnight).  
The new hours are as follows:
October 29 – December 6 (New closing time begins)
Monday - Thursday - 7:00 am – 1:00 am 
Friday- 7:00 am - 6:00 pm
Saturday - 9:00am - 5:00 pm Sunday - 1:00 pm – midnight

Marx Library hours are posted on the webpage
Fines Amnesty Day!
Fines Amnesty Day is in conjunction with the Jag Pantry Food Drive. If you bring in a donation of food on your overdue books, the Marx Library will wave the fines.

The Fines Amnesty day is
November 20th, 2019!
USA Libraries Recent Professional Development
Muriel Nero - Muriel Nero, Head of Cataloging, is the current Chair of the University and College Library Section of the Southeastern Library Association.

Paula Webb - Paula Webb, USA Libraries Outreach and Communications Librarian, is the current Secretary of the University and College Library Section of the Southeastern Library Association.

Paula Webb - Paula Webb, USA Libraries Outreach and Communications Librarian, was elected Chair of the Southeastern Library Association Membership Committee.
Deborah Gurt named Interim Director of McCall Library
Deborah Gurt has been named Interim Director of USA Libraries’ Doy Leale McCall Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Ms. Gurt was appointed Assistant Librarian and Processing and Digital Archivist at the University of South Alabama in 2017.
She holds the Master of Library and Information Science from Rutgers University, the Master of Arts in Jewish Studies from Gratz College, and the Bachelor of Arts with distinction, Honors in Judaic Studies from the University of Michigan. Ms. Gurt was a New Faculty Scholar at the University of South Alabama 2017-2018. She completed the Georgia Archives Institute in 2018, serving an internship in Emory University’s Rose Manuscript Archives and Rare Book Library. Most recently, she completed archival certification, by which she attained membership in the Academy of Certified Archivists 2019-2024. She is a member of USA Libraries Leadership Team and has been a participant in USA Libraries Leadership Development Institute series since 2018. She serves as library liaison to the University of South Alabama Honors College. Ms. Gurt holds membership in the Academy of Process Educators, the Southern Jewish Historical Society, and the Society of American Archivists.

Prior to joining the University of South Alabama Libraries, Ms. Gurt completed an internship at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage creating interview metadata for web accessibility, and independently piloting an oral history project with members of Hattiesburg’s Jewish community. She later served in an NEH grant-funded position in the Technical Services department at USM’s Cook Library cataloging the oral history collection, The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi .

Ms. Gurt’s passion for fully representative archives led to her engagement with Mobile’s Africatown as was highlighted in “Speaking of Africatown: A Case Study in Community-University Partnership in Archiving,” published in the Society of American Archivists Research Forum (2019). Gurt presented this work at national and state conferences and in university exhibits. She also initiated a partnership with Invisible Histories Project and the Queer History South network to serve as a host repository for local collections with LGBTQ community focus. Her engagement with Mobile’s Jewish community through exhibits, collection development, and partnership with the Gulf Coast Center for Holocaust and Human Rights Education, helped position the university for establishing a minor in Jewish and Holocaust Studies in 2018. In 2017, she secured funding for the traveling exhibit “Joseph Bloch: Father of Mobile’s Music” which continues to tour Alabama and Mississippi. In association with university colleagues she is a supporting partner in the successful grant "Sharing Stories: Oral History in Blakeley Bluff and the Greater Mobile-Tensaw Delta," secured from the Alabama Humanities Foundation in 2019. Ms. Gurt serves as a peer reviewer for the Journal of Contemporary Archival Studies.

Ms. Gurt has been a member of the Board of Directors of Mobile’s Ahavas Chesed Synagogue since 2017, where she currently serves as Vice President of the Congregation.
Grand Opening of the VA Resource Room and Ribbon Cutting
November 11th
Veterans Day Luncheon
11:30 am - 1:00 p.m.
Student Veterans Resource Room
Open House & Ribbon Cutting
Baugh Biomedical Library
Room 222A, 3 - 5 p.m.

Helen Keller Exhibit
November/December 2019
Gallery Hall
Poarch Creek Exhibit
1819: A Look at Creek Life
November/December 2019
Rodning Gallery, Marx Library

Dolls to Doodles: A Digital Odyssey
Susan Warley
November/December 2019
Gallery 181, Marx Library
November 20th @ 6 p.m.

Ahavas Chesed Synagogue: 125 Years of Jewish Life in Mobile
A Student Exhibit by Emily Ensor-Gibson
3rd Floor Hallway Exhibit Cases
November 2019
Ryan Baldrop Exhibit
January/February 2020
Rodning Gallery of Art, Marx Library
February 6th, 2019 @ 6 p.m.
Rodning Gallery of Art, Marx Library

Russ Farris Exhibit
January/February 2020
Gallery Hall

Claudia McClure Exhibit
January/February 2020
Gallery 181, Marx Library
Mike Itaya, Library Technical Assistant I, set up this year's #CommonRead display in the Marx Library's first floor display about Japanese-American internment during World War II.
USA Anthropology student builds exhibit about the
 Ahavas Chesed Synagogue
Emily Ensor-Gibson, Anthropology student and Museum Studies minor, shared a little about herself and why she was interested in this topic:
" I have been working in the McCall Library for the past year. I was really excited to have the opportunity to research and build an exhibit based on the collections within the archives. After completing an archival internship this past summer in Indiana at a Holocaust museum, I really wanted to delve into the story of the thriving Jewish community of Mobile. While the Ahavas Chesed Synagogue has been moved from several locations all over the city, the congregation has remained constant in their dedication to preserving their cultural and religious traditions as well as building a strong community serving one another."