Friends of the Old Dominion University Libraries

Fall 2002 Newsletter

Annual Author Dinner

Friends, members of the faculty, staff and community friends gathered in the River Rooms on April 4 for the annual author dinner. Writer Alex Marshall was our guest speaker, and Dr. Jeffrey Richards received the Friends Outstanding Achievement Award, presented by Professor Alf Mapp.

For the past decade, Alex Marshall has focused on the physical and social changes that have occurred in cities as technological and economic forces wrench them into new shapes and forms. His talk at the dinner focused on shared spaces in cities, and he discussed how these spaces drive public policy and societal change. Marshall was a staff writer with the Virginian-Pilot, where he covered politics, city hall, development, crime and other beats. His research and experience has led him to formulate innovative ideas – such as using transportation strategically – to better shape and develop our urban landscapes. He is the author of How Cities Work: Suburbs, Sprawl and the Roads Not Taken (University of Texas 2000).

Dr. Jeffrey Richards has been at Old Dominion University since 1992. Reading a list of his many articles and publications is to see a survey of early American literature. Richards' books include Early American Drama, Mercy Otis Warren, and Theater Enough: American Culture and the Metaphor of the World State, 1607-1789. His interests and expertise range from Puritan writers and colonial women playwrights to Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allen Poe and Eugene O'Neill. At the core of all of this is an abiding passion for exploring how American literature reflects the soul of the nation.

Presidential Lecture in History

The History Department is happy to announce that this fall’s Presidential Lecture in History will be delivered on Thursday, September 12 by Professor Jonathan Riley-Smith of Cambridge University, a leading authority on the Crusades. Friends of the Library will be on hand to support the lecture and to promote the Friends.

The title of Professor Riley-Smith’s talk is Islam and the Crusades in History and Imagination, 8 November 1898 to 11 September 2001, which he will give at 8 p.m. in the Mills Godwin Jr. Life Science Building, Room 102.

At 2 p.m. on Friday, September 13 in Constant 1005, all faculty and students are invited to attend a colloquium on his talk. Professors Maura Hametz and Rowena Muzquiz, history, and Kurt Gaubatz, international studies will open the event by offering their comments, and Professor Riley-Smith will respond. The floor will then be opened to comments and questions from the audience.

Born in 1938, Professor Riley-Smith was educated at Eton College and Cambridge University, where he began to teach in 1972. Since 2001 he has chaired Cambridge’s Centre of Middle East and Islamic Studies. He is the author or editor of 15 books on the Crusades, including The Oxford History of the Crusades (paperback, 1999). Among his most recent short articles for a general audience are “Rethinking the Crusades,” First Things (March 2000), pp. 20-23, which is online at

The 25th Anniversary Literary Festival
September 30 – October 5, 2002

In his introduction to this year’s celebration, Festival director Phil Raisor remarks, “In the Prologue to our first festival in 1978 – titled Arts Reunion – we said ‘No one has planned it, but possibly Tidewater is becoming a true regional center for the arts–a port in a different mold which encourages the development of theaters, concert halls, studios, fine arts centers, exhibition galleries and workshops. Perhaps, as in the Middle Ages and in the Free Republics of the Renaissance, the community, both its residents and artists, is accepting a very simple and universal idea: that every person is potentially an artist, subject to the inspiration of another artist at work, and, therefore, subject to the birth of creative effort’.

“This year we celebrate our past assoc-iations – with the Associated Writing programs, President’s Lecture Series, community and university co-sponsors, directors of previous festivals, and individual performers. We also nurture an idea inherent in the first, that of the interrelationship of the arts. Creativity often takes from the old and makes it new, and the results of that transformation open even more possibilities for future renovations. So looking back, we see ahead. Today, our future is strengthened by partnerships with New Virginia Review, Inc., Blackbird Magazine, and Port Folio Weekly. With Verizon’s generous contribution, we are able, for the first time, to provide support for the efforts of the Literacy community in Hampton Roads.

Still, we know that the Festival is about the literary work and the audience. In that nexus, where dreams, failures, and aspirations meet, we hear and see what is deepest in others and ourselves. Each story, poem, play, performance provides a fresh way for us to experience the world. Re-awakened, redefined – how could we not be struck that now is the time for us to make something new? That moment of inspiration, rebellion, insight, when all walls are broken down and the flow of creative energy rushes through – like the initial Big Bang – is what we hope you leave with and come back to."

Highlights of the Festival:

Monday, 8:00 p.m.: "The Round Square: Readings in a Fluid Box," Featuring the Old Dominion University Creative Writing Faculty

Tuesday, 12:30 p.m.: "Poem as Community, Community as Poem," Featuring Universes: a New York group of performers who offer a high energy rendering of poetry, hip hop, jazz and blues to tell stories of their lives and the world they live in.

Wednesday, 8:00 p.m.: An Evening of Translation and Performance, featuring W. D. Snodgrass and Friends in a celebration of music, dance and poetry to interpret works from around the world.

Thursday, 8:00 p.m.: The President's Lecture Series: Susan Sontag. The novelist- playwright-essayist-director brings her con-siderable knowledge and understanding of many art forms to bear on the idea of the relationships between the arts.

Friday, 8:00 p.m.: Virginia Deep in the Bones Four of Virginia's most honored poets -- R. H. W. Dillard, George Garrett, Henry Taylor and Ellen Bryant Voight - will feature a 'poembake' celebrating their own poetry.

Saturday, 8:00 p.m.: A Final Celebration A reading by 2000 Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Stephen Dunn.

Annual Book Sale

The Library's Annual Book Sale will be held October 30, 31 and November 1, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. each day. There will be a "sneak preview" sale for Friends members on Tuesday, October 29, from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m.

Donations of books, sound recordings, and software will be accepted at the Circulation Desk as of August 24. If anyone wishes to help with the weekly book-sorting sessions, they should call Paul Showalter, Business Reference Librarian, who is head of the Book Sale Committee this year. He can be reached at 683-5908, or at the Reference Office at 683-4182.

Jean Major Retires

As many of you know, University Librarian Dr. Jean A. Major celebrated her retirement from Old Dominion University in August. Her astute stewardship of the University Libraries – including the renovation and expansion of the Perry Library, and particularly with ever-tighter budgets – is an extraordinary capstone to her career. In addition to managing the challenging day-to-day operations and planning and implementing new technologies, Jean found the time to research and write History, Old Dominion University Library, which was published earlier this year.

From her service on the governing council of the pioneering Illinois Library Computer System project in 1979 to the current steering committee of Virginia's Virtual Library, Jean has played a key role in developing the means to introduce new and better service made possible with skilled use of technology. The University Libraries of ODU, which she has led since 1992, are at the forefront in development of technology-based services: Web-based instruction in library use, online reference service to distance education learners, electronic reserves, Web-based exhibits of special collections holdings, and faculty seminars.

Virginia S. O’Herron has been recruited as the Acting University Librarian while a search for Jean’s replacement is undertaken. Virginia has been with the University Libraries since 1993.

Fall Forum

Join mathematician Dr. John Adam and oceanographer Dr. Martina Doblin for new, wonderful ways of looking at nature. Dr. Adam will talk about his work examining math in nature. Dr. Doblin will talk about her research and the resulting photomicrographs that illuminate her work.
Sunday, November 10, 2002
2:00 p.m.
Room 151, Perry Library

New Board Members

At the Annual Meeting on April 4, 2002, the Friends voted two new members onto the Board:

Atsuko I. F. Biernot
Atsuko graduated from Old Dominion University with a B.A. in English and a B. A. in History. She has worked as a Research and Education Director at the Virginia Beach Maritime Historical Museum, and currently is Supervisor, IPD Operations at Mitsubishi Chemical America, Inc.

Paul J. Homsher, Ph.D.
Paul is a Professor Emeritus at ODU and continues to teach biological sciences on an adjunct basis. He is also active with the March of Dimes. Welcome!

Fall Events at a Glance

  • September 12, 2002 – Thursday
    History Lecture: Jonathan Riley-Smith
    8:00 p.m. Mills Godwin Bldg., Rm. 102
  • September 30 – October 5, 2002
    25th Anniversary Literary Festival
  • October 3, 2002 – Thursday
    President’s Lecture Series: Susan Sontag
    8:00 p.m. Webb Center
  • October 29, 2002 - Tuesday
    Members’ Book Sale Preview
    5:30 – 8:00 p.m. Perry Library
  • October 30 – November 1, 2002
    Library Book Sale Perry Library
    10 .m. – 3 p.m.;5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • November 10, 2002 – Sunday
    Fall Forum 2:00 p.m., 151 Perry Library