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GENEROUS BENEFACTORS: Joe and Melinda Kennedy

By econnections on July 2, 2013 9:36 AM | Permalink

Melinda and Joe Kennedy (center) surrounded by their family on the dedication of the Melinda Kennedy Group Study Room in Lied Library.

As an undergraduate, Melinda Kennedy spent many hours holed up in study rooms at the Lied Library, studying for one of her many biology or chemistry courses. When she wasn’t in the classroom or preparing for class, she was at work, earning money to pay for school. To commemorate her hard work, her husband, Joe Kennedy, and their three children made a donation to UNLV Libraries to name a popular first-floor group study room after her. The surprise was a Christmas present, with the official dedication this spring.

“She worked hard. She paid for school herself, and worked full time,” Joe Kennedy said. “I have so much respect for her for doing that, and that’s why it was perfect. I thought it would be nice, that instead of being just from me, the gift could come from the whole family.”

From the Special Collections Archives — Summer in Las Vegas, Circa 1916

By econnections on June 24, 2013 2:30 PM | Permalink

Summer in early Las Vegas usually included swimming at the town's only public swimming pool, at the old Las Vegas Ranch. Here a group of railroad employees pose by the pool in 1916.

Above, the ladies pose in the latest swim wear.

These photos are from the Jacob Von Tobel and Ernie Cragan collections. You can view more images from these collections by visiting UNLV Libraries Special Collections, located in Lied Library. You may also access additional photographs online at


Dean's Message

By econnections on June 19, 2013 3:32 PM | Permalink

UNLV breathes at a slower pace during the summer months. Now in July, the flurry of students rushing to class or in the libraries studying for exams, and the many campus events, seems far behind us.

The university as a whole is more relaxed—and, in many aspects, the Libraries as well. For me, summer offers breathing space to reflect on the work of the past year; to consider our challenges and opportunities; and to identify and prioritize future projects.

Where have YOU seen Libraries' Special Collections?

By econnections on June 19, 2013 3:31 PM | Permalink

Thousands of people view items from our Special Collections every day, even though they have never visited Lied Library. Our online digital projects and exhibits are nationally recognized and attract thousands of visits annually. But where in Las Vegas or in Nevada have you seen our historical photograph collection? Here are just a few places where our images have been displayed or have been part of an exhibit, just in the last four years.

UNLV Center for Gaming Research Director Dr. David Schwartz appears in exhibit videos at the “Mob Museum.”

The Envelope, Please… Calvert Award Winners Announced

By econnections on June 19, 2013 3:26 PM | Permalink

For the students who recently received the Calvert Award for Undergraduate Research, it was an honor akin to the Oscars. It was obvious by their glowing faces that the honorees were thrilled to have their research validated and showcased to the university during a special reception that took place in the Lied Library on May 2.

With the support of a generous endowment from Lance and Elena Calvert, the University Libraries Lance and Elena Calvert Award for Undergraduate Research recognizes excellence in undergraduate research projects that incorporate the use of University Libraries' collections and demonstrate sophisticated information literacy skills on the part of the undergraduate researcher. The award review committee considers the product of the research, but focuses on the research process: the demonstration of library research skills, adept use of library resources, and reflection upon the strategies utilized to investigate a research problem.

Where are they now? Previous Calvert Award Recipients

By econnections on June 19, 2013 3:25 PM | Permalink

By now, you have probably learned that students who enter the Calvert Award for Undergraduate Research competition, whether or not they win, become better researchers, presenters and critical thinkers as a result of their participation. But have you ever wondered how they do in the “real world” with these skills? We recently caught up with three past Calvert Award winners and learned their experience propelled them toward success in their lives after graduation.

Vanessa Jaramillo-Cano, 2012

Research projects:
“An Examination of the Varying Role of the United Nations in the Civil Wars of Rwanda and El Salvador”

Oral History Research Center Celebrates 10 Years of Bringing Las Vegas History to Life

By econnections on June 19, 2013 3:24 PM | Permalink

When Las Vegas children climb on their grandfathers’ knees to listen to a story, they very well may hear tales of the city’s history. At 108 years old, Las Vegas is fairly young. Its natives, with unique experiences, have their own stories to tell or can share those of their parents and grandparents. Unlike in much older cities, in Las Vegas those interested in its history aren’t confined to reading about it. They can hear it as well.

The Oral History Research Center at UNLV finds, collects and catalogs the city’s history through personal stories from everyone from Las Vegas founders and children of politicians, to a mechanic’s son who remembers his father’s shop on Main Street, or from a casino worker at the MGM Grand the day of the fire in 1981. These oral histories give a voice to Las Vegas’ past. They also help to explain its present.

Officially, the center has been collecting these stories for 10 years and, to celebrate, it’s sharing its collection with the residents who helped create it.

Documenting the African American Experience in Las Vegas Goes Digital

By econnections on June 19, 2013 3:22 PM | Permalink

During this past year of organizing the African American Collaborative, a series of three town hall meetings were hosted at the West Las Vegas Public Library. These meetings introduced community members to the project and encouraged their contributions as narrators. Participants also shared their personal photos and other memorabilia. Future town hall meetings will be announced in local publications, on the UNLV and UNLV Libraries websites, and on television programs.

It’s one thing to read about history. It’s what academics and other interested parties have always done. But anyone who’s ever listened to someone tell a story—whether it’s about their day or about something that happened long ago—knows there’s just something special about those kinds of recollections.

COLA 100 Case Study — UNLV’s General Education Reform in Action

By econnections on June 19, 2013 3:13 PM | Permalink

Cian McMahon is an Irishman who spent his childhood in the Emerald Isle, lived 10 years ambling around Northern Canada planting trees and fighting mosquitoes, performed in a college rock band, and hiked the roadways of North America and Europe. Then, he earned his PhD at Carnegie Mellon University and came to UNLV where he brings a heady combination of innovation, energy and creativity to the teaching of history.

So, it's no surprise that the eclectic Dr. McMahon is one of some 60 faculty members who took part in the UNLV Libraries' Faculty Institutes. The institutes, are designed to help faculty members create new courses and revise existing courses to emphasize critical thinking skills and real world learning. A post-doctoral scholar, Dr. McMahon brought his institute experience to bear on his freshman seminar course COLA-100, a course intended to provide new students with the academic inquiry skills necessary for success in university work.

Bridging the Gap – UNLV Libraries Adds Value to Student Employment Experience

By econnections on June 19, 2013 3:07 PM | Permalink

Library student assistants participate in an interactive communication exercise where one person is the communicator and the other person is the listener. The goal is for the listener to understand the instructions from their partner as to how to place a distinct set of shapes in a specific order. Both partners had the opportunity to experience their current verbal communication and listening skills in action and under a time crunch.