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Retirees Earn Honors from Library Associations

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Vicki Croft

Retired WSU librarians Vicki Croft and Marilyn Von Seggern recently received honors from the Medical Library Association and the American Library Association.

Croft, former head of the WSU Animal Health Library, shared MLA’s Erich Meyerhoff Prize with Susanne K. Whitaker, retired veterinary librarian at Cornell University, for best unpublished essay on the history of medicine and the allied sciences written by a health sciences librarian.

Croft and Whitaker co-authored “The Role of Accreditation on the Evolution of United States and Canadian Veterinary School Libraries in the Late 19th and 20th Centuries.” Their paper, which incorporated materials from WSU’s Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections, was chosen for the Meyerhoff prize for its originality and relevance to the topic of accreditation standards for veterinary medical libraries.

Von Seggern, former WSU government documents librarian, earned the Bernadine Abbott Hoduski Founders Award from the ALA’s Government Documents Roundtable (GODORT) for significant contributions to the field of state, international, local or federal documents. The award recognizes those whose contributions have benefited not only the individual’s institution but also the profession.

Von Seggern was active in the Northwest Government Information Network and served as WSU’s representative to the Technical Report Archive and Image Library from 2010 until her retirement in 2017. Marilyn also made wide-ranging contributions to GODORT, across at least six committees and all three task forces. One highlight was her work on the State Databases Project for Washington, which she maintained with thoroughness and meticulous detail.

Through Aug. 31: After-Work Book Collections Displayed at Terrell Library

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A new exhibit in WSU’s Terrell Library this month highlights the collected books and other media of library employees when they’re not at work. Called “After Hours 5: Don’t Judge a Book by its Owner,” the exhibit runs through August in the atrium display case.

Started in 2014, the “After Hours” exhibits celebrate the creativity and uniqueness of WSU Libraries’ staff post-work pursuits.

“This exhibit gives folks a way to share passions that otherwise might not have much opportunity to see daylight at our workspace,” said Wendy Blake, a library and archives paraprofessional in the technical services unit and exhibit co-organizer. “Employees of the WSU Libraries were prompted to share the most unusual and/or most meaningful items that have found a place on their home bookshelves.

“Sometimes our interests lead us down unlikely paths, and our different interests are not always closely related to each other,” she said. “There should be some enjoyable discoveries for everyone.”

Community cooking

Erin Hvizdak, reference and instruction librarian, shared her collection of community cookbooks, including The Best Cook on the Block Cook Book.

“This book has everything I look for in a community cookbook: stains, extra recipes written on scraps of paper and taped to the inside, and inscriptions,” Hvizdak said. “This book is unique in that it includes photographs of the recipe creators—both women AND men, which is rare. It is full of old-world European recipes from residents of the Milwaukee area, closely matching my own background, so it is very meaningful to me.”

Hvizdak also uses The Wytheville Cook Book. “This is the oldest community cookbook in my collection, given to me by my mother,” she said. “The recipes are written narrative style and include minimal directions.”

Bamboo furniture and price competition

For the exhibit, Mary Gilles, business and economics librarian, submitted the book McGuire, by the McGuire Company, revealing her love of McGuire bamboo furniture.

“This book is the next best thing to owning a lot of their bamboo pieces,” she said.

Gilles also included The Promotion of Price Competition Where Sellers Are Few by Frank Kottke for one reason.

“I was named in the ‘Acknowledgments,’” she said. “My lifelong conceit has been to have a book dedicated to me. This may be the closest I get.”

A Space Needle tale

Digital Infrastructure and Preservation Librarian Andrew Weaver entered Wheedle on the Needle by Stephen Cosgrove/Robin James for its pictures and for “representing a unique little chunk of Washington history—the best origin story for the blinking light on top of the Space Needle.

“I also love the influence the Wheedle character went on to have, inspiring funk songs (check out “Wheedle’s Groove” on Spotify) and becoming the mascot for the Super Sonics,” he said.

Old-school science

Blake offered a collection of books based on her fondness for charts, graphs and tables and “science from before there were supercomputers for everyone.”

Among Blake’s titles to peruse are The Dietzgen Maniphase Multiplex Decimal Trig Type Log Log Slide Rule No. 1732: A Self-Teaching Manual by H. Loren Thompson and Ovid W. Eshbach, as well as RF Connector Selector by the American Phenolic Corporation.

“How do you make the things that make our things? Start with the right sort of book,” she said.

Sweet Adelines

Jessica Striffler, library and archives paraprofessional, enjoys singing in her spare time as a way to relieve stress. So she shared the Mass Sing Songbook by Sweet Adelines International for the exhibit.

“This organization focused on the art of barbershop,” she said. “It is challenging because it is different from my previous experience, but the all-female choirs/quartets sound amazing.”

A local SAI chapter, Inland Harmony Chorus, meets Mondays from 6:30-9 p.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Genesee, Idaho. Carpools are available. For details, contact Striffler at j.striffler@wsu.edu.

Harry Potter in other countries

Conservator Linnea Rash has a specific book in mind when she travels abroad: “I try to find a used bookstore where I can buy the first Harry Potter book [by J.K. Rowling]. I only have a few so far, but I am looking forward to building my collection.”

These include copies purchased in Pullman, in London (where the book is titled Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone) and Rome (titled Harry Potter e la Pietra Filosofale).

Sex in space?

First-Year Experience Librarian Erica England tackles a pressing question about life in outer space with her book selection, Sex in Space by Laura S. Woodmansee.

“If the title alone isn’t intriguing enough, this book answers many of the questions you may have about doing ‘it’ in space—has ‘it’ been done in space before, what happens to your sex drive in space, is it even possible to conceive in space and what positions would work best,” England said.

Historical fantasy

William Clements, digital projects archivist, chose a trilogy of “historical fantasy” novels by Tim Powers about the Romantic Poets and the Pre-Raphaelites for the exhibit: The Stress of Her RegardA Time to Cast Away Stones and Hide Me Among the Graves.

“I chose these books for the unusual bindings,” Clements said. “The first is bound in bleached denim, which is meant to suggest the ocean in which Percy Shelley drowned. The second is supposed to re-create Shelley’s waterlogged journal. The third is bound in ‘cave paper’ with mica chips embedded, which is a reference to broken mirrors in the novel’s plot.”

Nancy Drew as a family tradition

Associate Dean Beth Blakesley “devoured” the Nancy Drew mystery series as a young girl in the 1970s, she said. Then she discovered that her mother was a Nancy Drew fan as well. Both copies of The Whispering Statue by Carolyn Keene (1960s and 1937 editions) are in the exhibit.

“The younger me was fascinated by the idea of a book being reprinted and that my mom and I read the same book,” Blakesley said. “Reading Nancy Drew and having different editions of the books led to not only my lifelong interest in mystery fiction, but also to my academic studies of 20th-century American history and fiction, particularly the topic of popular fiction being taken seriously as literature.”

Turn-of-the-century sheet music

Bonny Boyan, human resources coordinator, contributed 20 pieces of antique sheet music that has been in her family for several generations, inherited from her father. The pieces date back to 1918 or earlier.

“My dad was a musician, from being first-chair violinist in the Los Angeles Junior Orchestra as a child, to learning to play almost every kind of instrument, to getting his Master’s in Music Education, and finally, his favorite, being the trombonist for the Hot Frogs Jumping Jazz Dixieland Band in his later years,” Boyan said. “My mother also played many instruments, mostly piano, and she had the loveliest alto voice. My childhood home was always filled with music from every genre.”

Faculty Focus: Affordable Learning Project

Scholarly Communication Librarian Talea Anderson was recently awarded the Student Success Seed Grant to conduct her research on the Affordable Learning Project. The research surrounding this project was designed to make course materials more affordable for students and, therefore, to support their success in courses at WSU.

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The project had two main components: an open textbook reviewing workshop and small grant stipends for faculty members to create, adapt, or adopt open educational resources (OERs) in their courses. As a whole, the project was assessed on a) reduction in cost of course materials and b) student learning outcomes.

Seventeen faculty members applied for grants, and awards of $5,000 per course went to five faculty members. Each grant recipient worked with a team from WSU Libraries and Academic Outreach and Innovation to locate OERs or low-cost materials, adapt or adopt these materials, and/or create content for students.

Students enrolled in the classes that used OERs saw the cost of course materials drop from an average of more than $150 to $0. The Affordable Learning Project saved 2,285 students an estimated $228,500 in fall 2017 and spring 2018 alone. When surveyed about the quality of OERs, 96 percent of students indicated that they regarded the OERs to be of the same or better quality than commercial resources.

A faculty member summed up the project by stating, “The greatest appeal of the OER is the ability to update it at will. There is no need for lengthy production times, increased cost for students of a new edition, having to massively change course curriculum, etc. I can literally make a change on the spot and it is good for everyone.”

Kimble Gift Continues Support of Online Northwest History Database

Obituaries, especially ones from the early 1900s, have much to teach the living. WSU senior Liz Cairns knows because she scans newspaper obituaries from those decades for the Kimble Northwest History Database.

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WSU student Liz Cairns holds an obituary clipping from the Kimble Northwest History Database.

Working with obituaries might not seem like the best form of student employment, but Cairns says she loves reading them. “If it’s written down, it honors the person. It’s especially interesting when the person has lived a long time, to see all that they accomplished and how many lives they’ve touched.”

Cairns recounted the more interesting obituaries she has discovered in her work. One described how the deceased sat on President Abraham Lincoln’s knee as a child. More pertinent to her alma mater were the local obituaries of people associated with the university and whose names continue to live on in its architecture—Holland Library, Kimbrough Music Building, Wilson Hall. There were even impromptu lessons in epidemiology; pneumonia claimed many victims during this time.

Students like Cairns have a chance to learn about many aspects of Pacific Northwest history through their work on the database, a compilation of roughly 300,000 newspaper clippings collected and organized in the late 1930s by the Works Progress Administration to document life in the Pacific Northwest from 1900-1938. Subjects include Bonneville and Grand Coulee Dams, mining, Native Americans, government, and much more.

WSU alumni Wallis and Marilyn Kimble provided a seed gift in 2001 to begin digitizing the clippings. Since then and with more support from the Kimbles, library staff and student employees, including Cairns, have scanned clippings, indexed entries, and entered description terms so researchers and others can search the database for specific articles.

In September 2017, Marilyn Kimble contributed additional funds so more students can be hired to work on the database with new equipment that will speed the project along.

“It will mean that even more of the database will be available to the public,” Kimble says. “The Northwest History Database has been well used. It is gratifying to see the monetary contributions used to great potential and far exceeds what we envisioned when my husband and I first committed funds to this project.”

The database is also important to Kimble because of its impact on WSU students who have worked on the project. They relate how it improves their own understanding of the history of the 1900s-1930s on so many subjects, she says.

“They often find they can use information they glean from the database in doing papers for their course work,” Kimble adds. “The work is flexible so students can set their own schedules, which is important to their own studies. The aspect of what it means to the student workers has been very rewarding to me and one not anticipated in the beginning stages of the project.”

“It’s really neat that Marilyn Kimble is entrusting us to help preserve this history,” Cairns says. “It’s an honor in a way that I get to do that. The fact that she wants students to do the work is really special.”

Much of Kimble’s desire to provide opportunities for student workers in the library stems from her own experience of working in Holland Library in the early 1960s as a student herself, which she says “brought much self-satisfaction.” At that time, though, the idea of working on an online database did not exist.

“No one had the understanding of what future technological changes would mean to a library, but technology has broadened the world, and the access individuals now have to material is astounding,” Kimble says. “I hope our changing world never sees the demise of a brick-and-mortar library, as I find the library is still a public gathering place and offers to all a secure location to access information.”

—Story by Nella Letizia

Kanopy Pilot Moves to Mediated Model

WSU Libraries will be transitioning from the Kanopy streaming video patron-driven purchasing program to a mediated purchasing model. The change will not apply to the WSU Vancouver campus.

Faculty can still browse the Kanopy catalog at https://www.kanopy.com/, and send purchase requests to their departmental library liaison, however film trailers and previews will not be available on the Kanopy platform after this change.

For a list of departmental library liaisons, please see http://libraries.wsu.edu/about/subject-specialists. For more information about the change, contact humanities librarian Gabriella Reznowski at reznowski@wsu.edu.

‘Frauds, Fakes, Forgeries’ on Exhibit at MASC

The manuscript from Honest Abe wasn’t so honest. It took more than 60 years for the staff of Washington State University’s Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections to learn that the document was a forgery.

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Abraham Lincoln, photo by Alexander Gardner from Lincoln’s last formal sitting. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Part of an Abraham Lincoln collection purchased in the early 1940s, the handwritten fragment, entitled “On Administration,” was considered one of its chief attractions.

But in 2007, Daniel Stowell, director and editor of the Papers of Abraham Lincoln in Springfield, Ill., studied the sample of Lincoln’s handwriting and alerted MASC of its inauthenticity. Today, Stowell’s letter is part of the collection, a warning to patrons and scholars of the document’s shady history. MASC’s case isn’t unique either.

“The letters and documents of President Abraham Lincoln are the most commonly forged manuscripts in America,” said Trevor Bond, WSU Libraries’ associate dean of digital initiatives and special collections. “The manuscript expert Charles Hamilton includes 12 separate forgers of Lincoln in his book Great Forgers and Famous Fakes.

“There are so many fake Lincoln manuscripts, many held in academic libraries, that the only reliably authenticated cache of manuscripts is the collection that the Lincoln family donated immediately after his death to the Library of Congress,” Bond said.

Forgeries and other instances of skulduggery are the subject of a new MASC exhibit, “Frauds, Fakes and Forgeries: Deception in the Archives.” The exhibit opened April 17 and will run through July.

Stop the presses

Sometimes souvenir printings of newspapers are mistaken for original editions. Publishers often reprinted significant issues to celebrate anniversaries or as souvenir copies to distribute or sell. These facsimiles can often be confused with originals when they sit in an attic for decades and take on the appearance of an old newspaper.

“The original users of these facsimiles were well aware that they were reprints,” said WSU Libraries’ conservator Linnea Rash. “Over time, however, it became easy for later generations to assume that the historical newspaper that had been passed down through the years was an original. These items were usually not created with the intention to deceive. Their status as facsimiles has simply been forgotten.”

MASC has six reproductions displayed in the exhibit of an Ulster County Gazette front page dated Jan. 4, 1800, publicizing George Washington’s death. Only two known originals of the issue exist, according to WSU Libraries’ manuscripts librarian Cheryl Gunselman, yet thousands of reprints have circulated since the first president died.

To authenticate an old newspaper, one place to start is the Library of Congress’s Information Circulars webpage.

Beating a book thief

In 1987 and 1988, WSU and academic libraries around the country reported the theft of rare archival holdings. In MASC, staff found that 357 rare books and 2,500 manuscripts were missing, including the Collectarius Super Librum Psalmorum, printed in 1488. All told, the WSU materials were valued at roughly $500,000.

WSU Police Officer Stephen Huntsberry investigated the case; his work and help would eventually lead to the arrest of Iowa book collector Stephen Blumberg in 1990. When FBI and other law enforcement officials entered his home, they found more than 23,600 rare books and other materials from 270 universities and museums in 45 states, two Canadian provinces and Washington, D.C. Their value was initially estimated at about $20 million, later changed to $5.3 million — the largest book theft in U.S. history. Blumberg was subsequently tried and convicted in 1991 and sentenced to six years in prison.

Blumberg escaped notice successfully because he took care to remove signs of ownership from the books he took, Bond said. He sanded off library marks on the spine, removed book pockets, alarm strips and other ownership evidence. His method to remove book plates was to lick them off and then replace them with fake University of Minnesota Library bookplates he carried with him. But WSU recovered almost all of its stolen holdings.

“A key reason WSU was able to retrieve all but three of the more than 300 books stolen is that we had detailed cataloging of the books, noting unique bindings, inscriptions and book plates that allowed authorities to identify our books even when Blumberg took steps to erase WSU ownership marks,” Bond said. “[MASC’s] Julie King contributed to this cataloging along with retired staff member Leila Ludeking.”

“Frauds, Fakes and Forgeries” was curated by MASC staff, including Bond, Rash, Gunselman, scholarly communication librarian Talea Anderson, special collections librarian Greg Matthews and university archivist Mark O’English.

—Story by Nella Letizia

Pullman Libraries Extend Hours for Dead, Finals Weeks

Holland and Terrell Libraries, as well as Owen Science and Engineering Library, will have extended hours for dead and finals weeks.

Holland and Terrell will open at 10 a.m. Sunday, April 22, and will not close again until 10 p.m. Friday, May 4. Owen will open at noon Sunday, April 22, and will not close again until 5:45 p.m. Friday, May 4.

Ends Feb. 23: 100 Years of Hogarth Press Celebrated in MASC Exhibit

Long before the phrase “indie publishing” was coined, Virginia and Leonard Woolf set out to create a press for written works that larger publishers wouldn’t produce. In 1917, the couple purchased a small hand press, with no previous experience on how to use it.

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Virginia and Leonard Woolf in 1912, public-domain photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

But under the Woolfs’ ownership, the Hogarth Press introduced readers to literary works that explored emerging thinking of the time, as well as fiction and poetry by new authors, including the Woolfs themselves.

Many of these first editions made their way to WSU’s Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections when the university acquired the Woolfs’ personal library and a second collection of Hogarth Press books in the 1970s. This semester MASC celebrated a century of the press in an exhibit running through Friday, Feb. 23.

“I think that we would be celebrating the Hogarth Press on this 100th anniversary if they had only published Virginia Woolf and nothing else,” said Trevor Bond, head of MASC and associate dean of digital initiatives and special collections at WSU Libraries. “Having the Hogarth Press allowed Virginia Woolf to experiment and develop her unique voice.

“The press, however, did so much more. It published a vast range of innovative titles in poetry, psychology, fiction, politics and criticism,” Bond added.

One scholar’s experience of the press’s publications

Diane Gillespie is a WSU professor emerita of English, specializing in late 19th– and early 20th-century British literature. Her special interest includes Hogarth Press publications, and she is author of The Sisters’ Arts: The Writing and Painting of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell, among other titles. She has used the Woolf Library and Bloomsbury Collection in MASC since she started at WSU in 1975.

In The Sisters’ Arts, 31 of the 82 illustrations are of Vanessa Bell’s dust jackets and illustrations for her sister’s stories and novels, all published by the Hogarth Press, Gillespie said.

“I had to travel to do much of the research for this book, but it was wonderful to have these visual materials at my fingertips here in Pullman,” she said. “More recently I’ve become interested in less-known and unexpected publications by the Hogarth Press.”

One of those publications was The Refugees (1938) by Libby Benedict, an American Jewish woman writer who spent much of her time abroad and published mostly short stories and news articles. Gillespie, who wrote a journal article about the pre-World War II novel, considers this among her favorite Hogarth Press-related projects.

“My research on [Benedict] was an attempt to sketch enough of a biography to place her novel in context, to understand the refugee problem of the time and to establish what I could about her connection with the Woolfs and the Hogarth Press,” Gillespie said. “Virginia Woolf’s Three Guineas also appeared in 1938, and there are some fascinating parallels between Benedict’s treatment of women’s extra level of displacement and Woolf’s discussion of the different worlds of women and men in Three Guineas.”

The magic of holding a hand-printed book

Books like those in the Hogarth Press collection are a rare pleasure in this age of e-readers and Audible. Gillespie explains why.

“To have a chance to see and carefully touch the early hand-printed Hogarth Press books is magical,” she said. “I can imagine Virginia Woolf setting type and thus paying attention to the importance of every word, every mark of punctuation, every sentence. Her typesetting explains much about her careful drafting, editing and rewriting of her own manuscripts.”

Hogarth Press also paved the way for other independent publishers to continue the Woolfs’ dedication to a lost art, publishers like Making Waves Press, started by Woolf scholar Leslie Kathleen Hankins.

“She has followed in Virginia Woolf’s footsteps and learned to set type, along with all the other techniques, traditional and current, of the publication of all kinds of printed visual and verbal material, from single sheets to books,” Gillespie said. “I applaud this hands-on involvement with the written word and the visual creativity that often accompanies it.”

—Story by Nella Letizia

Animal Health Library Showcases Photos of Guide Dogs for the Blind

Third-year WSU veterinary student Amanda Amore knows firsthand how important her puppy-raising work with the national organization Guide Dogs for the Blind is.

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Golden Retriever Fairview, shown when he was 6 months old, is in training with WSU veterinary student Amanda Amore and WSU veterinary alumna and emergency veterinarian Katherine Martucci.

She has 15 years of experience training and working with service dogs. Three years ago, when another WSU veterinary student, Katherine Martucci, introduced Amore to the Guide Dogs for the Blind club at the university (Guiding Paws of the Palouse), she saw it as a chance to help usher future service animals down the right path to helping people who need them.

“I absolutely love this work and volunteering for the organization,” Amore said. “I understand the bond between a person and their service dog. Over the years, I’ve seen what kind of an impact service animals have on a person’s life. Guide dogs help their people lead safer, more independent and more inclusive lives.”

Photographs taken by Amore and Martucci of local puppies in training and working guides for Guide Dogs for the Blind will be on display through mid-May at the Animal Health Library in Wegner Hall 170, part of the twice-yearly “Art in the Library” program. Exhibits feature animal-themed works, typically from artists with a connection to the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine.

For more information, visit http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/news/art.

Long, worthwhile road to service

Martucci, who graduated from WSU with her DVM last May and works as an emergency veterinarian in Seattle, said a lot of hard work goes into “shaping these little bundles of puppy fluff into focused, motivated and highly skilled canine partners.” The process requires not only the joint efforts of the puppy raisers and trainers, but also the support of their communities.

The exhibit is a way to celebrate the people, puppies and places that Amore and Martucci have encountered as volunteers.

“Raising a service dog puppy is a long journey filled with countless priceless memories,” Martucci said. “You go everywhere together, rejoice in every puppy milestone, resolve yourself at every setback, scrutinize every little behavior and do your best to help that puppy reach their highest potential.

“When visitors see these photos, I hope they see the incredible bond between puppy and raiser, that they catch a glimpse of this puppy-raising journey, appreciate its greater purpose and are possibly inspired to start their own,” she said.

Proper etiquette and how to help

Amore said she also hopes the exhibit will foster an understanding of the etiquette surrounding handlers and their puppies in training or working dogs. For example, when you encounter them in public spaces, don’t smile, bend down to or make deliberate eye contact with the dog. Focus on the human instead.

“Puppies can get distracted easily,” Amore said. “We teach the puppies to focus on their handler around distractions because as working dogs, they will encounter these types of distractions regularly. Trying to distract a service dog can threaten the handler’s safety.”

If exhibit visitors are inspired to help the nonprofit organization that connects people and guide dogs, any action big or small helps. Guide Dogs for the Blind provides support to its clients and doesn’t charge anything for its services. Support consists of veterinary financial assistance, field service support and an alumni association. The organization does not receive any government funding, relying on the generosity of donors.

For more information about volunteering for or donations to Guide Dogs for the Blind, visit http://www.guidedogs.com. For information about the local club Guiding Paws of the Palouse, visit http://guidingpawsofthepalouse.weebly.com.

—Story by Nella Letizia


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