Save the dates of Oct. 21-25 for the 2013 VCU Friends of the Library Book Sale. As in the past several years, the sale will be held in the basement of James Branch Cabell Library, in room B7. Expect another wide selection of books of all varieties, from novels to medical texts, as well as comics, audio books, music CDs, DVDs and much more. All proceeds from the sale will help to fund VCU Libraries collections and programs. For additional details, please see the event website.
To help make this year's sale another great success, please consider making a donation of books or other materials. Donations are accepted year-round, and donors may arrange to drive up to Cabell Library so that library staff can help unload. A donation form and guidelines for what types of books and materials we can and cannot accept may be found on our donations page. For additional questions or to schedule a time to make your donation, please contact Gregory Kimbrell at (804) 828-0593 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Caitlin Klimavicz: The starchy scent of cooking rice filled the small home of a young mother in La Hicaca, Honduras. Located in the rural mountains of Northern Honduras, La Hicaca has no running water or electricity. I traveled to La Hicaca in June with HOMBRE, a group of doctors, residents, medical and pharmacy students from MCV. We lived in La Hicaca and provided basic medical care to local patients in clinics each day. Since there is no reliable source of clean water, poor water quality is a major determinant of health in the region. Due to deforestation, wood is a precious commodity used only for cooking, not for boiling water. HOMBRE has distributed simple water filters to address this need for several years. As we traveled around the village to test water samples from the filters we were greeted warmly in many homes like this one.
- Elizabeth Diaz: A couple members of the Richmond Global Health Alliance taking in the breathtaking view during a morning hike. Hiking at such a high altitude is challengingand requires a lot of break, however, you can tell that the view was worth it. It's nowonder the locals call Pampas Grande "El BalcÃ³n Suspendido entre el Mar y el Cielo" translated as "The Balcony Suspended between the Sea and the Sky".
Elizabeth Diaz: Brothers waiting for their mom to finish up her visit in the clinic
- Kristin Bell: Photos from the Christian Medical & Dental Association (CMDA) Medical Mission trip during Spring break 2012. Medical, Pharmacy and Dental students traveled with practitioners to San Salvador to provide clinics in cooperation with La Casa de mi Padre and medical students from San Salvador.
On Friday, May 3, hundreds of students preparing to graduate from VCU gathered at the Science Museum of Virginia for the event Your Passport to the World. Held annually, the event celebrates the achievements of the students with a soirée featuring international food from local vendors, music and dancing. Students also have the opportunity of visiting with representatives from many VCU departments to learn more about how to stay connected with the university after graduation and what resources it has to offer for helping graduates to advance their careers. VCU Libraries was, of course, there this past May 3 to talk about the VCU Friends of the Library and our extensive community programs. More importantly, though, we wanted to congratulate the students, every one of whom had visited Cabell Library or Tompkins-McCaw Library, whether in person or online, countless times during their studies. Best wishes for the future, and please keep in touch!
As the 2013 spring semester ends and the summer begins, we look back on an academic year packed with public events. A glance through the list reveals an astonishing variety, from an exhibit of fossils to an exhibit focusing on medical outreach, from a panel about library technology to a presentation by a comics and fantasy artist. These events would not have been possible without the concerted efforts of the entire VCU Libraries staff, the VCU Friends of the Library, the James Branch Cabell Library Library Associates, and many other library supporters around VCU and the Richmond community. To everyone, a big thanks for your help.
And in case you missed any events, a number of them can be watched in video form on the VCU Libraries YouTube channel (see below for individual links).
"Books You Carry with You" exhibit | August 6-September 27
This exhibit, on loan from the Richmond Public Library, featured the reflections of more than 50 Richmond leaders about the children's books that had taught them invaluable lessons. For its appearance in Cabell Library, it was expanded to include a wall on which visitors could post their own thoughts about the children's books that they loved. The wall accumulated hundreds of Post-it Notes featuring everything from Aesop's fables to "Harry Potter."
"Australopithecine!" exhibit | August 20-December 18
The VCU School of World Studies anthropology program arranged this exhibit of facsimile fossilized skeletons of two specimens of Australopithecus sediba, a human-like primate thought by some researchers to be an ancestor of Homo sapiens. Students from the anthropology program conducted special instructional sessions for high-school classes that came to see the exhibit.
Robert Browning exhibit | October 18-December 7
In conjunction with the 2012 Victorian Institute Annual Conference held at VCU, this exhibit offered library visitors the opportunity to browse vintage papers, books, ephemera and other materials pertaining to English poet Robert Browning. All of the items came from the extensive collection of Mark Samuels Lasner and were on loan from the University of Delaware.
CHEC 10th Anniversary Lecture | October 18
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Community Health Education Center (CHEC), VCU Libraries and VCU Health Systems hosted this lecture by John J. Nance, popular novelist and authority on patient safety. Nance proposed a model of healthcare in which the various branches of medicine worked together to provide the highest possible degree of service to patients.
VCU Friends of the Library Annual Book Sale | October 24-28
Every year, people from miles around Richmond travel to Cabell Library for the book sale sponsored by the VCU Friends of the Library. The book sale this past year was one of the most successful ever, thanks in part to enormous collections of comic books, audio books and classic series for children and young adults, such as "Nancy Drew" and "The Hardy Boys."
VCU Cabell First Novelist Award celebration | November 8
Justin Torres, winner of the 2012 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, read from his novel, "We the Animals," and was joined by his agent and publisher for a discussion, led by Richmond-based writer Valley Haggard, on the evolution of the novel and its unique style and thematic content. The event drew attendees from around the region, including many students from the Appomattox Regional Governor's School for the Arts and Technology.
"Moving up to the Cloud" panels | January 9
Librarians from Virginia and beyond gathered for this pair of panels focusing on the future of library information systems and on VCU Libraries' historic move to Alma, cutting-edge cloud-based software for cataloging and managing library resources. The panels featured important voices in the field of information systems, including Marshall Breeding, Mark Ryland of Amazon Web Services, and Mark Triest, president of Ex Libris North America, as well as VCU University Librarian John Ulmschneider.
Panel 1 video | Panel 2 video
11th Annual Black History Month Lecture | February 5
An audience of 400 packed the house for this lecture featuring Innocence Project co-director Peter Neufeld and exoneree Marvin Anderson. The discussion between the two touched upon inequities in legal preceedings and the important role of objective evidence such as DNA in initiating reform within the justice system.
Video | Photos
"Gabriel's Conspiracy" panel | March 13
In this panel, held in partnership with the VCU Year of Freedom Committee, prominent scholars Dr. Michael Nicholls and Dr. Philip J. Schwarz considered the genesis of the suppressed Richmond slave rebellion of 1800 and its impact on attitudes and policy throughout Virginia. Janine Yvette Bell of the Elegba Folklore Society moderated a fascinating conversation between the two scholars and the audience.
Video | Photos
"Digital Pragmata" series | March 26, April 25, May 2
Conceived as a forum for Richmond-based professionals in the digital humanities to share their work and to discuss issues in this rapidly evolving field, the "Digital Pragmata" series consisted of three panel events, all held in Cabell Library, featuring prominent speakers addressing faculty, staff and graduate students from VCU and the local community. Edward Ayers, president of the University of Richmond, gave the keynote presentation.
Session 1 videos | Session 2 videos | Session 2 photos
"Another Untold Story of Race and Richmond" presentation | March 28
Carmen Foster, a long-time support of VCU Libraries, discussed the history of Hartshorn Memorial College, a private school for African-American women founded in 1883 and now a part of Virginia Union University, and the challenges faced by its graduates because of the racial climate in the early-twentieth-century South. The event, held in Cabell Library Special Collections and Archives, overflowed with attendees.
28th Annual Brown-Lyons Lecture | April 4
Titled "What Gives Life Meaning? A Jewish Response," this lecture examined the age-old pursuit of meaning in life from a specifically Jewish perspective. Dr. Jack D. Spiro, one of the most popular speakers in the region, always draws a large crowd from across the VCU and wider-Richmond communities, and this event was no exception. With an audience of more than 500 people, it ranked among the best attended in VCU Libraries history.
"The Art of Magic Making" presentation | April 18
Aficiondos of comics and fantasy illustration gathered for this presentation and book signing. Charles Vess discussed his rise from a hopeful VCU undergraduate (and employee of Cabell Library!) to the renowned artist of hugely successful works such as "Sandman," "The Books of Magic" and "Stardust." Only a month after the event, the video recording on YouTube had already been watched more than 500 times, a record for VCU Libraries.
Video | Photos
"Rams Reaching Out" photo exhibit | April 18-September 30
For this exhibit, students in the health sciences submitted photos of their outreach activities. The photos, often touching and inspiring, illustrate the commitment of VCU students to serving the community and beyond. The exhibit is the fourth to appear on the rennovated gallery walls on the first floor of Tompkins-McCaw Library and will continue though the summer and into the fall semester of 2013.
Student lamp exhibit | April 26-May 10
Students from the VCU Departments of Interior Design and of Crafts and Material Studies teamed up to create the seven working light fixtures that made up this exhibit. Each light fixture was inspired by objects from Cabell Library Special Collections and Archives. The exhibit, held in Cabell Library during spring exam season on the Monroe Park Campus, caught the eyes of countless visitors.
American cartoonist Billy DeBeck (1890-1942) created many popular comic strips over the course of a career spanning nearly 40 years. Among his best-known strips are ones that involve characters Barney Google, a loveable ne'er-do-well and aficionado of gambling in various forms, and Spark Plug, Barney Google's blanket-covered racehorse, but perhaps DeBeck's most enduringly popular character is Snuffy Smith, a moonshiner from the backwoods of North Carolina. While working on the Snuffy Smith strips, DeBeck amassed a library of more than 100 volumes of fiction, anthropology and folklore focusing on Appalachia, the Ozarks and the American South. In 1990 VCU Libraries acquired the Billy DeBeck Collection, including this library, from DeBeck's former secretary.
Paul Robertson, research assistant in James Brach Cabell Library Special Collections and Archives and a doctoral student in VCU's Media Art & Text (MATX) program, will give a presentation on Billy DeBeck and his library at 2 p.m. on Thursday, May 23, 2013, in the second-floor Multipurpose Room in James Branch Branch Cabell Library. Robertson will look critically at the nature and extent of DeBeck's research and at the character of Snuffy Smith and DeBeck's intentions for him. The talk will be free and open to the public, and refreshments will be provided. For questions, please call (804) 828-0593.
During the spring semester, a group of students from the Department of Interior Design and the Department of Crafts and Material Studies met in Cabell Library Special Collections and Archives to participate in a collaborative project inspired by Special Collections and Archives itself. The students worked in teams composed of two Interior Design graduate students and one Craft and Material Studies major, and each team selected a particular focus of Special Collections and Archives to serve as the catalyst for a design for a functional LED light fixture. With Cabell Library preparing for the construction of a major new building adjacent and attached to the existing structure, the teams also engaged with the vision for the new building, trying to imagine their completed light fixtures installed inside it and incorporated into the architecture.
The completed light fixtures will be on display on the first floor of Cabell Library from April 26 to May 10 for all patrons and visitors to see. An opening reception will take place on Friday, April 26, from 5 to 7 p.m. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet the designers and to discuss the project. Both the exhibit and the opening reception will be free and open to the public.
Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences opens "Rams Reaching Out," a photography exhibition featuring contest entries about the outreach activities of VCU health sciences students from urban Richmond to rural Southwest Virginia to the faraway shores of West Africa.
Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences will host a live simulcast of TEDMED 2013, April 16-19, during regular library hours. The University community is invited to join colleagues to listen to this provocative series of short, inspiring talks, curated by the well-known TED (technology, entertainment, design) conference series, which began in the mid-1980s.
TEDMED focuses on health and medicine. The conference meets at the Kennedy Center in Washington, for a 31/2 day program.
According to organizers, "TEDMED believes that the future of health and medicine will be shaped by vital input from leading medical colleges, teaching hospitals, government agencies and non-profit institutions around the world." In this spirit of collaboration and information sharing, the TEDMED event is broadcast free to these institutions.
This is the first time VCU has participated in TEDMED Live.
- John Maeda, Rhode Island School of Design President: "How can design principles lead to more discovery and better treatment?"
- America Bracho, CEO and President, Latino Health Acesss: "What happens when patients become leaders on the health team?"
- Harvey Fineberg, President, Institute of Medicine: "What is the U.S. health disadvantage?"
- Amy Abernathy, Director, Duke Center for Learning Health Care: "Can patient data have a second life?"
- Sally Okun, VP Advocacy, Policy and Patient Safety, PatientsLikeMe: "Does anyone in healthcare want to be understood?"
- Francis S. Collins, NIH Director: "Can science take the next leap?"
- Susan Desmond-Hellmann, Chancellor, University of California, San Francisco: "Attention stressed-out docs: Can the consumer be the 'cavalry'that rescues you?"
- Elizabeth Marincola, President, Society for Science and the Public: "With open access, who translates medical research?"
- Elazer Edlman, Senior Physician, Harvard-MIT Biomedical Engineering Center: "The Big Bang in Medicine and Engineering - will the knowledge explosion actually hurt innovation across disciplines?"
- Laura Deming, Partner, The Longevity Fund: "How do we make prevention a $1 trillion business?"
- Isaac Kohane, Professor of Pediatrics and Health Sciences Technology, Harvard Medical School: "How can every clinical visit be used to advance medical science?"