ANNUAL AUTHOR DINNER -- March 29
The Friends of the Library annual author dinner is scheduled for the evening
of March 29. This annual Friends celebration will be held in the North
Cafeteria of Webb Center. A reception with cash bar begins at 6 p.m.,
and the dinner will be served at 6:30.
Paul Rasor, Director of the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom
at Virginia Wesleyan College will be the speaker. His book, Faith Without
Certainty: Liberal Theology in the 21st Century, was published in April
2005. The following introduction was prepared by Joe Jackson, board member,
Friends of the ODU Library.
At a divisive time in our history when the American impulse toward empire
concerns conservatives and liberals alike – when the President’s
statement that “freedom is on the march” can be simultaneously
seen as a commitment to freedom or, in the words of political philosopher
Cornel West, evidence of “the gangsterism of America” –
Professor Paul B. Rasor, Director of the Center for the Study of Religious
Freedom at Virginia Wesleyan College and author of Faith Without Certainty:
Liberal Theology in the 21st Century, likes to remind us that “the
deep roots of democracy are more spiritual than political.”
Democracy has been called a secular faith, yet its three spiritual commitments
– justice, questioning, and hope – are the same basic commitments
of religious liberalism, Rasor says. “A commitment to the deepening
of our democracy can also deepen our faith. One of the things I learned
from living with the Quakers for five years is that the spiritual is political,”
a fact often brought home these days by simply turning on the national
and international news.
A Unitarian Universalist minister, Rasor received his Master of Divinity
degree from Harvard Divinity School in 1994 and doctorate of theology
five years later from Harvard University. He earned law and music degrees
from the University of Michigan, practiced law six years in New Mexico,
has been a professor of both law and theology, and likes to remind people
that he plays a mean jazz and classical trombone. In the 1980s, he was
involved in several human rights and humanitarian missions to Guatemala
and El Salvador during the height of the “death squad” atrocities
and political “disappearances.” In November 1989, he was involved
in the investigation of the bombing of the offices of the group Mothers
of the Disappeared when Jesuit priests were assassinated and nearby neighborhoods
were strafed and bombed. He has been called one of the few Unitarian theologians
actively at work today, and his observations on the roots and directions
of liberal theology in contemporary American culture spring from a kaleidoscope
“Religious liberals today remain committed to such principles as
free religious inquiry, autonomous judgment about truth claims, and openness
to divergent views,” he writes in his Introduction, and these are
among the young nation’s same nascent strengths identified 200 years
ago by Alexis de Tocqueville in his classic Democracy in America. Yet
these are also factors that create an uneasy, contentious dynamic in public
life, with no pat answers – and thus, a continuing world of tensions.
This tension can be “creative or paralyzing, freeing or frustrating,”
but it is as undeniably a part of religious liberalism as it is intrinsic
to the basic workings of true democracy.
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Katherine T. Bucher, Professor of Curriculum and Instruction, will become
the 12th recipient of the Friends’ Outstanding Achievement Award,
annually conferred at the author dinner on a member of the university
community who has consistently excelled through writing in his or her
discipline for a span of years.
Dr. Bucher holds an Ed.D. in Administration and Curriculum from Auburn
University and an M.L.S. from Rutgers University. She is the author of
a wide range of texts and articles on topics ranging from young adult
literature to middle school teaching to information technology for schools.
She was awarded a major grant in 2005 by the Institute for Museum and
Library Services for a project titled “Distributed School Library
Media Graduate Program in Virginia.”
BASKETS FOR BOOKS -- SUCCESSFUL FUNDRAISER
Baskets for Books, the annual basketball game to benefit the University
Libraries and the Friends of the Library, was played in the Constant Convocation
Center on December 17. The ODU Monarchs met the DePaul Blue Demons in
an exciting game that ended with an ODU win.
Friends of the Library sold 290 tickets to the game, and the two contestants
in the half-time free-throw contest made 21 baskets. Altogether, the Friends
of the Library raised $2,265 through this event.
INTERVIEW WITH UNIVERSITY LIBRARIAN
How do students learn to seek information – to use digital resources
– to exploit the library fully – to evaluate information from
the vast range of sources? This is the question we explored with University
Librarian, Virginia S. O’Herron, for this newsletter report.
Newsletter: What information-seeking skills do students possess already
when they come to college?
University Librarian: Although many may come to college with an awareness
of what a library is, a large number may lack basic skills for using libraries
and resources. Often, their first source is the Internet, but they typically
don’t differentiate between the material retrieved in a Google search
and those high quality digital resources that the library buys.
Newsletter: What kinds of tools do they need to acquire?
University Librarian: Students must understand the different kinds of
information sources – books, journals, databases, for example –
and develop the ability to select the type of source appropriate to their
specific needs. They must learn to formulate an appropriate search strategy
for that need, and they must hone the ability to recognize valid sources,
among the flood of material retrieved.
Newsletter: What is the library’s role in teaching information
retrieval skills to students?
University Librarian: The library’s mission is to foster the acquisition
of lifetime information retrieval and use skills to serve the needs of
Newsletter: How do faculty and librarians work together to help students
develop these skills?
University Librarian: Instruction in basic library use is integrated into
lower division coursework, and these experiences are followed by classes
customized by discipline and developed in cooperation with faculty as
students progress through their degree programs.
Newsletter: What are the approaches that the library uses?
University Librarian: In addition to instructional experiences integrated
into courses, the library offers topical workshops, online tutorials,
and research assistance on the library’s Web site. There is growing
use of the library’s e-mail reference service for in-depth consultations.
Newsletter: Is instruction in information-seeking confined to work with
University Librarian: Librarians work with nearly as many graduate courses
as undergraduate. They meet with classes, often prepare course guides
to go along with the instructional sessions, and make themselves available
for follow-up consultations with individual graduate students. In addition,
narrowly focused workshops on specialized resources and services are presented
for graduate students and faculty.
SYMPHONY ARCHIVE GIFT
In spring of 2004, leadership of the Virginia Symphony concluded an agreement
with the Old Dominion University Libraries to transfer ownership of the
symphony archives to the university library’s Special Collections
Department. In the library, it was recognized, the valuable historical
documents would receive appropriate preservation treatment and would be
organized for easy access and continued use by researchers, as well as
by those associated with the symphony and symphony league. The archives
would extend the range and depth of collections in the library’s
special collections, too, making a new aspect of Tidewater history available
for present and future users.
The first archival materials from the symphony were delivered to the
library in April of 2005, and their processing by library staff began.
Each document received conservation treatment, and all were sorted into
categories. Archival folders and boxes were labeled and filled with parts
of the collection, and an inventory of documents was prepared. The transfer
of archives will continue until all suitable materials have been received
by the library, and the process of preserving, organizing, and preparing
for use will continue.
To develop the symphony archive collection further, people who have records
of past symphony operations are encouraged to donate them to the library
to fill in missing parts of the symphony archives. Gifts of memorabilia
– keepsakes, scrapbooks, and the like – also are valuable
and will be welcome. For further information, the library’s contact
for this project is Susan Catlett, and she can be telephoned at 683-4483
or contacted by e-mail at Scatlett@odu.edu.
NEW LIBRARY VOLUNTEERS
One of the benefits of belonging to Friends of the ODU Library is the
opportunity to serve as a volunteer – to immerse yourself in a part
of the library of particular interest to you, to get a glimpse behind
the scenes, and to make an important contribution to the growth of the
Mary Mosier and Buddy Ammons both answered a call for volunteers in September
and are thoroughly involved now in absorbing projects.
Buddy Ammons, a retired educator, works about six hours a week in the
library’s Special Collections Department, where he is processing
archives of former provosts of Old Dominion University. He reports being
“totally amazed” at the numbers of people who make use of
the library’s special collections – its university archives
and its manuscript collections – as well as by the impressive amount
of staff work that is required to maintain a healthy and viable special
collections department in the university library. He also regards the
association with students as a “huge plus.”
Mary Mosier also gives five or six hours a week to Special Collections,
where she is processing the papers of former Norfolk City Council member,
Conoly Phillips. She notes that Special Collections has an “amazing
collection of local family papers,” which she enjoys exploring as
a byproduct of her work in Special Collections. During the past five years,
she was a library school student and used Perry Library for every class!
She explains, “Volunteering is my way to say thank you to all the
wonderful and talented librarians at the Perry Library that helped me
the last five years.”
Those wishing to explore the possibility of a volunteer assignment in
the university library may contact Mary Daniel, chair of the Friends’
Service Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org or 745-1292.
CALL FOR SUGGESTIONS
If you have ideas for Friends of the Library programs or activities, the
opportunity exists now for you to send them to Friends leadership. Have
you been a member of another Friends organization that had ideas our group
could borrow? Did you have expectations about the Friends of the ODU Library
that haven’t been met? Are you a member of another organization
with a successful activity that could inspire our group?
Please send suggestions to the president of the Friends of the ODU Library,
Charles Burgess, at email@example.com or 489-5808. And thanks for your
MEMORIAL AND HONORARY GIFTS
A gift to the Old Dominion University Library may be made in memory or
in honor of a friend or relative. Such a donation is an enduring contribution
that promotes the excellence of the university and its academic programs.
Gifts at all levels are used to purchase books for the library’s
collection. Each volume purchased with memorial and honorary gifts will
display the library’s special bookplate naming both the honoree
and the donor.
To make a memorial or honorary gift to the library, send your contribution
to Fern McDougal, Friends of the Library, Old Dominion University Library,
23529-0256. In addition to the name of the person in whose memory or honor
the gift is given, please include the name of the person to be notified,
in the case of a memorial gift.
COMPOSERS ROOM EXHIBIT
Women in Jazz: Women’s Contribution to America’s Original
Art Form is an exhibit mounted in the Diehn Composers Room and focused
on women’s roles in jazz history from its origins to the present,
with special emphases on women instrumentalists, vocalists, and all women
The print exhibit – images, sound records, and books from the library’s
collection – will be available until March 31, while the Web exhibit
links audio and biographical material on selected artists. The Web exhibit
can be found at http://www.lib.odu.edu/musiclib/exhibits/index.htm.
FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY NEWSLETTER is produced by the Publicity Committee
of the Friends of the Old Dominion University Library; members are:
Jean A. Major, Chair