Tag Archives: Avila university

In Light of Recent Events…

A Guest Post

By: Kathleen Finegan, Library Director

The recent protests at the MU campus in Columbia reminded me of an experience I had as an undergraduate at UMKC in the 1970s.

I had enrolled in a course called ‘Negro History.’ The course had not been taught for a while, thus the Negro rather than Black or African American history.

The course was taught by a Dr. Underwood and the class was full, every seat taken.

As the course developed and the members of the class engaged in discussion, two of my classmates stand out.

One was named Charles; he was a black man and we had several classes together and often shared our notes when one of us missed class. It was rumored that Charles had traveled to Haiti and returned with a more radical view on civil rights.

The second member of the class that stands out was nicknamed ‘Son of Norway.’ He  was interested in genealogy and his background was Scandinavian.  He didn’t shy away from comparing his investigation of his family history with that of Black Americans.

A class like Negro History being taught in the 1970s was bound to encourage critical inquiry and argument. Dr. Underwood to his credit demanded that all discussions remain civil and further the pursuit of understanding.

One day in class Charles and Son of Norway had an exchange about the comparability of the history of Blacks in America and the history of Scandinavians in America. Charles maintained that the history of Black Americans, because of slavery and the struggle for civil rights was more fraught than that of Scandinavians, who choose to immigrate and settle in America. He also referred not to this history of white men, but of pink men.

Charles substituted the pink race for the white race, and referred to Son of Norway as a pink man.

Son of Norway responded to begin called a pink man much as a Black man might respond to being called a N—–.

The class erupted. Everyone had something to say about the pink designation.

I learned a lot in the ruckus that followed that day. Words, and especially naming, is a powerful tool. Learning about history entails an understanding of that power..

Reading some of the responses of former MU President Tim Wolfe to the complaints of the MU minority community, I thought, Pink man.

Kathleen Finegan

 

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We’re back from the mostly dead!!

Have you missed me?

We didn’t drop off the face of the earth…we just took a little hiatus from the blog-life. We’re back now and will be posting semi-regularly until all the kiddos (read: Avila Students) run away from campus in May.

Since this blog has been mostly dead for a bit, I thought I’d take the time to update you on the happenings at your friendly neighborhood library & learning commons.

We’ve been in our fresh new digs for a semester now, and have pretty well figured out what works and what doesn’t! Two things have been made abundantly clear to us:

  1. Avila Students really really really dig the writable walls. We get fresh drawings daily along with walls written on top to bottom with nursing and psychology notes. Sometimes it’s clear that the students doing to work were just killing time while they drew a five foot tall little mermaid but others are taking the time to draw and label a multi-panel picture of the human body. It’s…interesting…to see what new stuff will be there every day!
  2. Avila Students really really really want a coffee shop…and we can’t deliver it. It’s a bummer to the students that our campus can’t seem to get a legitimate coffee shop installed…it’s a bummer to the staff as well. We did our best with what we were given, and have provided you guys with a coffee/hot drink vending machine (which makes decent beverages), some normal vending machines, a pair of microwaves, some prep space, a sink, and some cabinet space. We wanted more too, but this will have to do for now. Sorry guys!

Listening to student (and staff) complaints is not all that we do though! We’ve begun improving our already improved spaces by adding a mounted camera into the Presentation Room, so any presentations or practices or meetings or whatever can be caught on “film” if so desired. We’re working on making it more accessible, but for the time being–we’ve got that at least!

We’re also in the planning stages to create a number of new workshops and discussions that will be taking place during the next few months and in the Fall. Is there anything you would be interested in learning about? We’re always looking for fresh ideas…ours get a little stale. So far we know we’d like to talk about researching–the how to’s and what do I do’s–and how to not going to jail for copyright infringement. We’re also toying with the idea of an iPhone photography series. Thoughts?

Finally…yes, this is going to be a fairly quick and painless experience today…I am preparing to create some new things for Stress Relief Week in the library. We usually band together with Avila Student Life/GAP to host Doughnut Day and afternoon fancy snacks during that week and the last couple semesters we’ve put out coloring sheets and coffee for student brain breaks. This semester I’d like to bring more people in for stress relief activities. At this point games are on the menu–normal games like monopoly and life, card games, complicated games like Settlers of Catan and Powergrid, and MAYBE a set of giant Yahtzee dice. I think the giant dice would go over best…how about you? The other day is “solidarity day”–where the librarians/library staff are encouraged to show up in PJ’s and we’ll have healthy study snacks around. Just some ideas

Is there something you’d like us to do? We’re on the hunt for programming ideas and I could use a fresh brain or two to pick!

Keep an eye out for more posts soon! We’re glad to be back and look forward to posting some new and entertaining stuff soon!

-Friendly Neighborhood Blogging Librarian

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Summer and Reading!

I certainly hope everyone is enjoying the summer so far! I know those of us at the library have been enjoying it when we can. Our director just returned from a garden tour of England and the circulation manager just returned from a mission trip to Cuba! I, your friendly neighborhood blogging librarian, will be heading to Las Vegas (Vegas Baby!) to attend the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference; I’ll be hanging out with a bazillion (number slightly exaggerated) in Vegas…this could be interesting.

Any hoo…In library news: We’ve adopted a stray stuffed bunny. The blue-ish bunny was left outside our temporary housing in Avila Hall just after the end of spring semester and appeared to have been run over. We found this rather disturbing and brought him in, washed him up, and now he’s doing just dandy. He’s gone on many adventures already since the beginning of May, mostly to check things out around campus. His most recent adventure is a trip to Texas with our part-time assistant Elisabeth for a cataloging class. He’s been a little shy down there, but we’ve received a couple pictures which will be posted on Facebook soon. If you’re interested in Jack’s story, please check our Facebook Page! He’ll be sending a friend with me to Vegas, and I do believe a friend of his went to Cuba. 🙂  Other news: We’re still in our temporary housing in Avila Hall. In fact, we’ll be camping out down here until mid-August! As far as we have been told, the library construction/renovation project is moving quickly and smoothly as well as the other projects on campus (yay more parking!). Finally, We’ve received news that our campus internet may (*fingers crossed*) be changing to…Google Fiber! If all goes as planned, we’ll be hooked up to the new Google-y juice for the fall semester. Huzzah!

On top of bringing you good tidings and a library update, I popped on to our little blog to send out some reading suggestions. These are all about what I’ve been reading and think many of you would probably get a kick out of (I’m looking at you 20 something women-folk!). These are in a particular order…Yeah, I’m ranking them. Here are 5 books to help you survive the summer:

#1  Cinder by Marissa Meyer. This is the first book in the “Lunar Chronicles” series. The front cover (for most copies) shows a foot with bionic looking parts in a red shoe…and gives you only one minor clue to what is going on in this story. Yes, there is a cyborg and her name is Cinder. Cinder spends her time serving the needs of her stepmother and sisters working as a mechanic (and around the house like a slave) in New Beijing. The future is a new place, with androids, cyborgs (with no rights, of course), a quickly spreading and very deadly plague, and people living on the moon called Lunars. It’s an exciting retelling of (you guessed it…) Cinderella. Pick it up, and if you enjoy it, there are already two more books in the series available (the fourth is due out in 2015): Scarlet and Cress.

#2 Dorothy Must Die by Daniell Paige. Yes, another retelling, but this seems to be the summer of retellings so it’s cool (Maleficent is magnificent if you’ve got some cash to spare, btw). This retelling is not a reworking of the original story, but a story that grew from the first. Some parts of the story you know have changed and this time Dorothy is not the beloved, tornado traveling girl from Kansas. But…someone does come through via natural disaster: Amy Gumm (“Salvation Amy” to her enemies in high school). So similar and yet different from the Dorothy we’ve grown to love, Amy is dropped in OZ and sent on a mission: Dorothy Must Die. Seriously. She’s awful. It’s a story of Oz, magic, and perhaps a bit of romance. And…it’s going to be a series!

#3 The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Yes…really. I know it’s a killer for “feels” but it really is a great book. The story is all about teenager Hazel Grace and her encounters with cancer, Augustus Waters, an alcoholic author, and just life in general. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and sometimes you’ll do both at the same time, but it is worth it. If nothing else, it gives you a different glimpse into a world I hope you will never experience.

#4 The Serpent of Venice by Christopher Moore. If you’ve read any of his other books, you’ve probably become accustomed to his humor…snarky, vulgar, and just right. If you’ve never experienced Mr. Moore, this is a decent starting spot, though you’ll miss out on Pocket’s origin story. I, naturally, suggest  you read anything this man has written, though. Anyway, this story is a retelling/mash up (I know, again…) up The Merchant of Venice, the Cask of Amontillado, Othello, and a smattering of other works by Poe and Shakespeare. It’s very irreverent, but a hilarious and fun read. You follow Pocket on his adventures in Venice while acting as a messenger (with his loyal Jeff and Drool) of his queen. There is death, fighting, lying, and loving and you’ll giggle your way through the whole thing. Also…the outside of the pages is dyed blue, so that’s pretty nifty.

#5 Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. The neat old pictures scattered throughout this book and it’s sequel (Hollow City) would be enough reason to read it, but the story itself is pretty cool. Sixteen year old Jacob thinks he just a normal kid whose grandfather is a little nutty. After his grandfather’s mysterious death, around which Jacob saw something “spooky”, Jacob sets off on a mission to figure out who exactly his grandpa was. Some hilarity ensues along with wonder and suspense as we follow him to a lonely island off the coast of Wales.

That’s all for now folks. I realize 80% of those books would be considered “teen”, but lets be realistic…they’re usually quick to read and some of those stories really are fabulous. These titles will entertain and enthrall and, if nothing else, help you kill a long summer afternoon or a dreary and rain soaked day.

Check back for library updates, more summer reading suggestions, and as always some random factoids about random things!

Happy Summer Avila & My Dear Readers!

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Annnnnd…We’re Back!

Did you miss me? I wasn’t really gone, just crazy busy with the BIG MOVE here at the library. As some of you on Avila’s campus may have noticed, the library is no longer in its usual home. We’ve moved in order for our typical building to be renovated. As of this moment I’m chilling in my “lovely” shared office space in the Resident Life office on the first floor of Avila Hall. That’s right! The library has moved a large portion of it’s bulk down to the lobby area on the first floor of Avila Hall. Looking for computers? We’ve got ‘em. Printing? That too. Circulating books? Well…we may have boxed about 85% of the books that were housed in the library and locked them up for the summer. But, don’t despair! We’ve still got the books your professors placed on reserve, the St. Paul’s collection, a hefty supply of reference books, and easy access to Mobius (so we can, you know, get all the books). Basically, the entire library (minus the books and much of the furniture…) has moved via dolly or gator pulled trailer into a variety of spaces on Avila Hall’s first floor. We even have the Archives over here!

If you find yourself lost and alone when trying to locate us, just pop on to the library’s website. We have provided you with a map, complete with “yellow brick road” to follow from the old building to the temporary digs. I will ask, however, that you respect the policies of Avila Hall and enter through the first floor doors. I know it’s tempting to be lazy and stand in the vestibule on the third floor and quietly wish for someone to let you in, but please…get a little more fresh air and walk around to the front. Those doors are wide open and require no amount of wishing, crossed fingers, or possible bribery to get in; all you need is a little arm strength. If you’re still having problems finding us, try contacting us through one of our social media outlets…this blog, for example, or perhaps Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. We’re all over the internet…just waiting for something interesting to happen. Go ahead, punk, make my day (more interesting).

In less “directional” news, we’ve taken a TON of pictures and even a few videos of the move and events tied to it. I’m working on sorting through everything to bring you the least boring of the bunch. At this point we’ve got three albums up on Facebook. The first is a variety of pics taken prior to the “BIG MOVE”, “BIG MOVE day 1”, and the third is “BIG MOVE days 2 & 3”. I’ll be posting a new set of photos each day, probably in progressively smaller batches and perhaps adding more to the albums as other library staff sends me what they’ve taken. It has been really interesting seeing all the bits and pieces slowly disappear. Today, when I walked in, it was almost unrecognizable. The floor is torn up and the ceiling is completely gone in sections. All you can see are the exposed beams, some leftover duct work, and a lot of concrete and dust. I’ll be up at the library at least once a day to take new photos until they wont let me in (and then I may slip in anyway…). It is incredibly interesting to see how quickly a space can transition.

Finally, I will leave you with some parting thoughts…until tomorrow. While the move may be over, we still aren’t finished with this craziness yet. The dust wont settle in the library building until mid August! We’ve been working out of our new digs for about a week now, and are trying our best to work out the many kinks we’ve discovered come with our shared and smaller spaces. The library staff begs you to be and thanks you for being patient with us as we continue trying to make this space work well for you, our patrons, as well as ourselves. If nothing else, stop by and see what we’ve done with the space. 🙂

 

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Ch…Ch…Ch…Changes…

Have you stopped by the library lately?  Yes? It’s already starting to look a little different isn’t it?

For those of you who haven’t stopped by in the last couple weeks, we’ve begun the move and it’s in full swing again this week! By the end of the day today, the Archives will be almost completely moved over to Avila Hall. It already looks pretty bare in there! Throughout the week, this week, you’ll also notice the offices and desk areas clearing out or random pieces of furniture just chilling in the middle of the room. As the (rather cheesy) signs around campus will say “pardon our progress”. It’s going to be a little messy and a little noisy in here and Avila Hall this week as we make our final preparations for the “big move” next week.

So what, exactly is happening this week? Here is a peek at our schedule:

3/24-3/28:

  • Pack Circulation Desk & Offices

  • Complete Archives move. Clear Archives area and storage spaces

  • Pack up student DVD’s and Reserves

  • Begin pick up & delivery for furniture not traveling to Avila Hall

  • Organize all loose & current periodicals for move.

  • Move offices & circ. non-essentials to Avila Hall

3/27:

  • Library moving party!

3/28-3/30:

  • Pack up laptops, cases, DVD cameras, tripods, play scripts, etc.

3/31-4/6:

  • Library Closed

  • Movers move all storage materials to containers and St. Paul’s books to Avila Hall

  • Move computers to Avila Hall

4/7:

  • Library reopens in Avila Hall

That is our basic timeline. At this moment, the library staff are alternately doing their jobs and packing up their work life. It’s very weird to see these offices and spaces emptying out so quickly. It’s entirely possible that the cage “protecting” the Archives area will be coming down tomorrow! While we all work to make this transition as painless as possible, please bear with us, as we will still be making a little noise and one heck of a mess! You’ll notice that on the 27th we have a library moving party; this party is being “thrown” by Student Life and is (of course) open to the student body. We are waiting on official times, but I do believe it will begin around 5PM. We hope to see you there! We need all the support we can get 🙂

As always, if you need anything or have questions regarding the move or the library in general please feel free to get in touch with us on here, Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail at hooleybundschulib@gmail.com

OH!! Stay tuned for some pictures and video of the move so far!

 

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Snow Day!!

Just a quick update for my Avila University readers: Avila’s campus will be closed tomorrow! Everyone stay safe and enjoy your free day! If you must go out, be safe and prepared! I will do my best to keep you posted on any updates or changes to schedules for Wednesday! image

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