You are here
UNLV Libraries Articles from Inside UNLV for 2008
A Shining Moment A rainbow arches above the Lied Library and a 50th anniversary banner following a December storm. If you need a photo for a presentation or for an office decoration, contact photo services at ext. 5-5778 or visit photo.unlv.edu.
Photo by Matt Carr, Gary Mandel Reps.
Across Campus: Historical Map Collection Goes Digital
Whether you’re researching the exploration of the American West for a scholarly publication or just curious about what your subdivision looked like in 1960, the extensive historic map collection housed in the Special Collections Division is an excellent source of information. Eighty-eight of the Southern Nevada and Las Vegas maps are now accessible at www.library.unlv.edu/ maps. They were selected to make the libraries’ historic map collection universally available and highlight both individually important maps and the breadth and variety of the total collection.
The digitized collection contains vital information such as original dates, publisher information, and descriptions of each map. In addition, users can view both the front and back of two-sided maps. The JPEG2000 file format chosen for the collection enables powerful zooming and panning functionality to support examination of details.
The collection documents the cartographic history and context of the Southern Nevada region, telescoping in scale from the Western Hemisphere to the streets of Las Vegas in a searchable format. Maps date from the 17th century to the present, including significant collections concerning the exploration of the American West, Southwest, Nevada, and Southern Nevada.
Through this collection, University Libraries hopes to enable new research opportunities as well as demonstrate what a critical historical resource maps are and how important it is to preserve them. Two University Libraries faculty members, Kathy Rankin and Su Kim Chung, are working on a scholarly article about the historic development of Las Vegas through maps.
Across Campus: Awards Support Undergraduate Research with Cash Prizes
Faculty members can support research by sponsoring students’ applications for the University Libraries Award for Undergraduate Research.
Up to four $1,000 cash prizes will be awarded for projects that demonstrate sophisticated information literacy skills. Undergraduates should enter their 2007 research projects for consideration by the Feb. 4 deadline. Spring 2008 projects must be submitted by April 14. University Libraries created this award in partnership with the Division of Research and Graduate Studies to recognize excellence in undergraduate research projects that incorporate the use of Libraries’ collections. The award review committee considers the product of the research, but focuses on the research process: the demonstration of information gathering skills, use of library resources, and the strategies used to investigate a research problem.
Expectations for achievement are commensurate with the applicant’s class year and the requirements of the discipline. Winners will be recognized at a reception in May, and submitted projects will be displayed in Lied Library.
The winners of the 2007 award were:
- Heidi Ann Manlove. "Hyperandrogenemia, Obesity and PCOS: Consequential Female Health, Reproductive Success and Behaviors from their Fetal Environment to their Granddaughter." Faculty sponsor: Peter Gray, anthropology and ethnic studies.
- Lisa Rios. "The Children of the Anasazi Working Class: A Biocultural Study of Child Health on Black Mesa, AD 900-1150." Faculty sponsors: Debra Martin and Jennifer L. Thompson, anthropology and ethnic studies.
- Melissa Mezger. "Student Attitudes about Alternative Energy Use at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas." Faculty sponsor: Timothy Farnham, environmental studies.
More info: Go to www.library. unlv.edu/award or contact JD Kotula at email@example.com or Priscilla Finley at priscilla.finley@ unlv.edu.
Spotlight On Accomplishments
Patrick Griffis, Kristen Costello, Darcy Del Bosque, Cory Lampert, and Eva Stowers (Libraries) wrote a chapter chronicling the University Libraries’ expansion of its virtual and physical service efforts that was published in the book Library 2.0 Initiatives in Academic Libraries. The chapter describes the Libraries’ integrated approach to establishing and expanding innovative library 2.0 services for patrons. This work is notable because it will be accompanied by a wiki that will allow chapter authors to provide updates for two years. The Libraries’ chapter covers a range of topics, including staff wikis, virtual reference, blogs, RSS feeds, and the strategic planning behind the implementation.
Across Campus: Lied Gaming Resources Attract Research Fellows
In full swing is a gaming fellowship program designed to bring scholars into Lied Library to do research at the Center for Gaming Research in special collections. The fellows use the largest gambling library in the world, which spans the 17th to 21st centuries and includes manuscript collections, casino corporate archives, promotional and publicity files, and government publications.
The five fellows for the 2007-08 academic year each receive a $4,000 stipend, desk space in special collections, and wireless access. In return, they agree to a one-month residency in Las Vegas and to give a public lecture relating to their research. Ultimately, each scholar will produce a publication incorporating the UNLV research.
The program is intended to raise the profile of the University Libraries’ unique holdings in gambling and related areas. Both faculty and graduate students are eligible for the program.
Fellows chosen in 2007 include a mathematician, two historians, an anthropologist, and a sociologist. The 2007-08 Gaming Research Fellowship recipients are:
- Jessica Cattelino, Ph.D. University of Chicago, anthropology. "Indigeneity and Gaming, from Frontier to Future"
- Stewart Either, Ph.D. University of Utah, mathematics. "The Doctrine of Chances: Probabilistic Aspects of Gambling"
- Larry Gragg, Ph.D. University of Missouri, Rolla, history. "The Promotion of Las Vegas"
- Jane Haigh (CPhil) University of Arizona, U.S. history. "Political Power, Patronage, and Protection Rackets: Municipal Politics and Corruption in Denver 1889-1904"
- Matthew Johnson (CPhil) Temple University, American History. "Selling Masculinity in Postwar America."
Spotlight On Accomplishments
Susie Skarl and Diane VanderPol (Libraries) launched a project in collaboration with the communication studies department to ensure that undergraduate communication studies majors receive consistent exposure to opportunities to develop information literacy skills.
The librarians, along with the communication studies faculty, mapped information competencies to core courses in the curriculum and identified skills students need to develop and demonstrate throughout their undergraduate career. The first phase of the project assessed student learning at the 100 level by administering an assignment to more than 30 sections of a class during a librarian-led research skills workshop. The second phase, which will be implemented this spring, includes a redesigned assignment with a grading rubric and instructor outline.
Across Campus: Stardust Memories Alive in Special Collections
The Stardust Hotel may have disappeared in a cloud of dust and debris in March of last year, but its memory lives on in a large collection of historical documents, photographs, and videos that were donated recently to the Special Collections Division of University Libraries. Materials, including correspondence, memos, brochures, newsletters, news clippings, and ephemera, provide extensive documentation of the hotel’s activities as a major force in Las Vegas gaming and entertainment in its almost 50 years on the Las Vegas Strip.
Photographs in the collection document the hotel from its opening in 1958 until its closure in 2006. They depict interior and exterior views of the property, publicity stunts, famous visitors, restaurants, entertainers, and production shows, such as the world-famous "Lido de Paris." Other materials include video and film footage of the hotel in its heyday in the 1960s, as well as footage of various entertainers and shows that were featured at the hotel.
Other interesting artifacts include original hotel bills from the 1960s, postcards, show programs, and menus from a number of the hotel’s famed restaurants, such as the Polynesian-themed Aku Aku. View a variety of digital collections and exhibits at library.unlv. edu/speccol.
More info: Contact Su Kim Chung at firstname.lastname@example.org
Spotlight On Accomplishments
Mary Palevsky (Liberal Arts and Libraries) recently launched an oral history project in collaboration with the Graduate University for Advanced Studies (Japan) and the Kohala Center on the island of Hawai’i. The research explores the intersections of culture, science, and community, focusing on the 13,800 foot Mauna Kea, a sacred mountain of the Hawaiian people and the site of 13 international observatories, including Japan’s Subaru telescope. With coprincipal investigators, Kenji Ito (Japan) and Yvonne Carter (Hawaii), she is documenting and archiving the voices of Subaru scientists, practitioners of indigenous science and traditional knowledge, Japanese-Americans, and local residents.
Across Campus: Libraries Launch Nevada Test Site Oral History Project
University Libraries recently launched its digital library containing a collection of oral histories concerning the Nevada Test Site and the 40 years of atmospheric and underground testing at the site.
This chronicle of Southern Nevada’s role in the Cold War is now available online in the form of more than 150 first-hand stories and observations of the men and women affiliated with and affected by the Nevada Test Site. This digital library fosters a better understanding of Nevada’s Cold War history and its local, national, and international significance.
"Our librarians used this significant collection of oral histories to create a one-of-a-kind digital library, making the full range of perspectives on this critical aspect of our history available for the first time worldwide," said Patricia Iannuzzi, dean of University Libraries. "The full searchability of these valuable records will benefit researchers and historians long into the future."
Digitization projects librarian Cory Lampert managed an interdisciplinary project team with library and technology expertise to transition this multiyear research project into the online environment. At digital.library.unlv.edu/ntsohp there are searchable transcripts, selected audio and video clips, and scanned photographs and images. Related print transcripts, documents, and photographs are housed in the Special Collections Division.
Spotlight On Accomplishments
Cory Lampert (Libraries) received the 2008 Outstanding Library Faculty Scholarship award. She was selected because of her extensive scholarship efforts. In 2007, she co-authored a chapter in the book Library 2.0 Initiatives in Academic Libraries as well as a $95,000 library services and technology grant for the creation of a "searchable digital collection of primary historical material documenting the early boom years of Southern Nevada." She also gave five refereed presentations at national library- and technology-related conferences across the United States. The award is given to faculty members who make major contributions to scholarship within the library profession.
Across Campus: Undergraduates Receive Research Awards
The University Libraries’ Lance and Elena Calvert Award for Undergraduate Research was awarded to three College of Liberal Arts students this year. Each won $1,000 for a research project incorporating University Libraries’ collections and demonstrating sophisticated information literacy skills.
The winners of the 2008 award were:
- Loretta Sargeant, "All We Want Is Make Us Free: The Amistad Case" (faculty sponsor, history professor David Tanenhaus)
- Claire White, "Commending Religion to All Around Us: Baptist Church Discipline, 1780-1850" (faculty sponsor, history professor Elizabeth White Nelson)
- Mark Wilson, "Problems with Gauker’s Conditional Semantics" (faculty sponsor, philosophy professor Ian Dove)
Faculty members can support the undergraduate research process by sponsoring student applications for this annual award. Up to four $1,000 cash prizes are awarded each year. The award recognizes undergraduates whose projects exhibit sophistication and originality in incorporating library collections and resources.
The award committee considers the product of the research, but focuses more on the research process — the demonstration of information-gathering skills, use of a broad range of library resources, and the strategies used to investigate a research problem.
Expectations for achievement are commensurate with the applicant’s class year and the requirements of the discipline. This year’s presentation was made more memorable by the announcement that Libraries Advisory Board member Lance Calvert and his wife, Elena, have generously endowed the award, ensuring it will continue in perpetuity.
Paula McMillen, Education Librarian
If you’ve ever read your daughter a story to calm her fears, or cracked a book to help yourself crack a smile, you have practiced bibliotherapy.
Education librarian Paula McMillen has helped bring the therapeutic use of literature to UNLV McMillen comes from Oregon State University where she held a similar position helping education faculty and students access library resources. There she helped create the bibliotherapy education project in 1999 with education professor Dale Pehrsson. Last year, Pehrsson came to UNLV and now chairs the counselor education department.
"We both just have great faith in the power of literature and stories to help people in a variety of ways," McMillen said. "Dale has told me that she’s even read picture books to senior citizens. They love having stories told; it resonates with all of us."
The bibliotherapy field combines McMillen’s love of books with her former career as a psychologist. She hopes to help teach counselors how to incorporate books into their therapeutic toolbox. As education librarian, McMillen helps students learn how to evaluate the endless sources available to them. She also helps faculty seamlessly integrate informational literacy into the curriculum.
Over the summer she helped incorporate a library research element into a course on cultural diversity that is required of all education majors. "Information is ubiquitous, but all information is not created equal," McMillen said. "You do need to be a critical consumer."
Across Campus: Libraries Create Margin of Excellence through Funding
Three University Libraries projects that focus on enhanced excellence were made possible through recent gifts and grants. External funding enables the Libraries to sustain a margin of excellence in its daily operations and special projects. The University Libraries Lance and Elena Calvert Award for Undergraduate Research was endowed by the namesake donors.
This award will provide up to four students an annual prize of $1,000 each for sophistication and originality in completing research projects using library resources. Although similar research awards exist at other colleges, the Calvert Award is the first in the nation to be endowed so it will be presented in perpetuity.
The Libraries also received two grants. A $95,000 from the Nevada State Library and Archives under the Library Services and Technology Act is creating the digital collection "Southern Nevada: The Boom Years 1900-1925." Drawing primarily from the UNLV Special Collections Division, it will offer an extensive and easily searchable digital collection of primary historical material documenting the early years of Southern Nevada. A second grant of $69,074 from the Las Vegas Centennial Commission for "Voices of the Historic John S. Park Neighborhood" is funding an oral history of the first Las Vegas neighborhood to be included on the National Register of Historic Places.
Invent the Future: UNLV Center Preserves Local History
Claytee White is one of
the people featured on the
Invent the Future posters displayed
on the academic mall.
By Allison Miller
UNLV Foundation In an era of blogging, YouTube, and instant communication, there still are some who take the time to slow down, listen, and make a personal connection. "Oral history affords us an opportunity that the written word cannot; it is rich in the nuances, accent, and the tone of the person speaking," said Lisa Gioia-Acres, a UNLV graduate and volunteer for the Oral History Research Center. She has been recording the accounts of Broadway, vaudeville, and jazz stars. "Each interviewee gives me something I take away. In just the two years I’ve been doing oral histories, I have heard some poignant and wonderful stories."
Claytee White, director of the Oral History Research Center, said, "Oral history is another tool in the arsenal of a historian’s equipment. It makes history more real, similar to a journal or a diary."
Firsthand Observations Center staff and volunteers conduct and collect audio taped interviews — sometimes supplemented by video segments — of people selected for their ability to provide firsthand observations on historical topics focusing on Las Vegas and Southern Nevada.
Located in the Special Collections Division at the Lied Library, the center was formally established in 2003, in part by private funding. "Our initial donor was Dr. Harold Boyer. His donation actually justified the start of the center," said White. The gift created the Boyer Early Las Vegas Oral History Project, which focuses on documenting a variety of early Las Vegas history — experiences such as the Helldorado parade, cruising Fremont Street, and relaxing at the Blue Onion. This project will remain active as the center continues to record early Las Vegas life.
"Our (donors) know what a unique opportunity this is in a town like ours. Las Vegas is a new city with a lot of oldtimers who have great memories," said White. Those memories don’t come just from high-profile citizens. The valets, maids, and dealers who helped make Las Vegas not just a vacation destination but also a community have had their say, too. "Without them, our history will not be complete," White said."Oral history is a way of collecting history from the bottom up instead of from the top down."
White is enthusiastic about the work that the growing center will contribute to Southern Nevada. "Collecting history in this manner is exciting and allows the university to enter the community in a very intimate way," she said. "It makes learning an exciting, one-on-one experience for our narrators, volunteers, and especially the wonderful students we are blessed to train."
More info: Contact Claytee White at ext. 5-2222.
Across Campus: "Honor with Books" Offers a Meaningful Way to Memorialize
Nearly 60 people were honored last year through the Honor with Books program, which acknowledges a friend or loved one on a nameplate in a book in the subject area of the donor’s choice.
Scores of people used the program last year to pay tribute to friends and loved ones. Sometimes the bookplates are used to celebrate events or organizations. Donations to the program have become a growing tradition, especially during the holiday season.
"Gifts of all sizes have a tremendous impact," said Dean Patricia Iannuzzi. "Unrestricted gifts like Honor with Books tributes provide funds that can be used to directly benefit students and research."
In addition to the bookplate, a searchable listing of all donors, recipients, and bookplated titles is available online at library.unlv.edu/ giving/bookplates and includes a reproduction of the actual bookplate. Each $100 contribution is taxdeductible.
More info: Call ext. 5-2286 or e-mail email@example.com.
Across Campus: Libraries Accepted to Participate in Regional Group
UNLV Libraries recently joined the Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA), a prestigious group of 32 academic research libraries from 17 states.
"UNLV brings many strengths to GWLA, including excellent general and special collections, an excellent digitization operation, the Oral History Research Center, and the world-renowned Center for Gaming Research," the GWLA Board of Directors stated in accepting UNLV’s request for membership. "The GWLA deans and directors felt that UNLV would be a strong partner in the alliance’s projects, including scholarly communication, resource sharing, digital libraries, and other cooperative activities. UNLV is already a significant contributor to the Western Waters Digital Library and participates in several licensing offers."
The membership process included a rigorous yearlong evaluation, an onsite visit with more than 22 library staff, and an interview with the executive vice president and provost. It concluded with a unanimous vote of the directors of 31 member libraries.
"The Libraries staff is very proud of the invitation to join this research library alliance," said Patricia Iannuzzi, dean of University Libraries. "I believe that membership in GWLA will provide an important path for professional development and contribution for UNLV library faculty and professional staff, and will allow the Libraries to both benefit and contribute in new ways. This affiliation will help us keep connected to the work of large research libraries while providing a forum for us to influence the future of other research libraries."
Spotlight On Accomplishments
Su Kim Chung and Katherine L. Rankin (Libraries) had an article published recently in the Information Bulletin of the Western Association of Map Libraries titled "A Cartographic Journey Through Las Vegas History: Tracing the Las Vegas Landscape Through Maps." The two-part article appeared in the March and July issues. All the maps they wrote about are owned by the Libraries’ Special Collections Division.
For more information on these maps and other collections documenting the history of Southern Nevada, visit library.unlv.edu/speccol.
Michael Frazier Conservator, University Libraries
Rebel since: 2002
What you do: I conserve books, which can include page repair, spine replacement, or a complete rebind. I also service photographs, maps, and archival materials such as letters and artifacts. Preservation, which includes environmental monitoring and emergency preparedness, is also an important part of what I do.
What makes you successful? Perseverance. There are not many jobs like mine out there. Currently, our laboratory is the only one in the state. The job requires specialized training and experience. It requires dedication to turn this into a career.
Why you do what you do: I love the cultural impact. I like the fact that my work will be here long after I am gone. Also, I get calls all the time with people asking me how to save the family Bible or their grandparents’ photo collection.
Can’t work without: Scalpels, bone folders, straight edges, and paste — we make our own paste.
Being surrounded by books: That is why people love libraries. They want the experience of walking in the door, smelling musty leather, cracking open a spine, and maybe seeing something that hasn’t been seen in 100 years.
Occupational hazard: I have been cut a lot of times, and always from something I didn’t expect.
People would be surprised to know: I manage the Balance Café inside the Student Recreation and Wellness Center on weekends. I love interacting with people I wouldn’t otherwise.