Updates: Ekstrom Third Floor Renovation

Following are the latest updates for our third floor renovation.

July 23

Ekstrom Library will be closed for business on Saturday, August 3rd (for the entire day) and will re-open at the regularly scheduled Sunday, August 4th opening time (12 noon).

The closure is due to the Physical Plant Electrical Department’s scheduled power outage.  Physical Plant workers will be finalizing equipment installation and 3rd floor renovation crews will be on-site working. No one else will not be permitted to enter the building August 3rd.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your cooperation.


July 15

  • Electrical work was been slightly behind schedule but is almost caught up.
  • Framing is also slightly behind but they anticipate making up time with extra crews working. The framing and drywall surround on the elevator shaft will begin soon.
  • Painting in the north area is scheduled to start Wednesday the 17th. The acoustic ceiling treatment will also be applied.
  • Carpet installation may start as early as two weeks from now if the delivery remains on schedule.
  • The brick veneer removal work and new glass installation on the east facade of the building are now scheduled to begin the week of July 29th. This is likely going to take 25 days to complete. This work will likely cause minor inconveniences in entering the east side of the building when classes begin. We will share more information as the timeline and details are clarified.

June 27

  • Drilling should be completed by June 28.
  • Rough-ins for plumbing, electrical and HVAC connections will continue on both floors.
  • Beginning Monday July 1 and through July 5, crews will install electrical conduits and other wiring on the northeast quadrant of the third floor. On those days, access to Current Periodicals and Print Reference areas will be limited between the hours of 5 p.m.-7 a.m.
  • Exterior façade work has been delayed for some weeks as the crews await an order for glass. The façade process is expected to take at least several weeks, and may involve a restriction in access to the east entrance.

June 20

  • Demolition work is nearly completed on the third floor; demolition is in progress on the first floor.  
  • Workers continue to frame and rough in plumbing, electrical and HVAC connections on both floors.
  • First floor core drilling is still on schedule for June 26-29, during the day and evening, with heavy equipment brought in to the first floor.
  • While primary core drilling on the third floor is mostly completed, crews need to drill in two small areas next week. Again, you may experience vibration and some noise during these times.
  • Within the next two weeks, crews will begin removing bricks from the exterior façade. This process is expected to take at least several weeks. Due to the nature of the work, access to the east entrance may be restricted during this time.

June 13

  • Next week, construction crews will install dust barriers around the REACH and DMS offices on Ekstrom Library’s first floor in anticipation of floor core drilling.
  • From June 18-20, crews will drill on the third floor during the day and evening, bringing in heavy equipment to the first floor.
  • First floor core drilling will occur June 26-29, during the day and evening. Again, heavy equipment will be brought in to the first floor.
  • You may experience vibration and some noise during these times.

As in all construction projects, dates may shift as work commences. We will let you know as soon as possible when we find out about any changes. Thank you for your patience and understanding. 

Please direct questions, concerns or other responses to eks1reno@louisville.edu (recipients are Bruce Keisling, Andy Clark and Carolyn Dowd). However, if you’d like to provide feedback anonymously, you may use this form: http://louisville.libguides.com/forms/suggestion   

Ekstrom’s Renovated Third Floor Opens

Minor touch-ups, furniture delivery to continue in coming months

Ekstrom Library’s newly renovated third floor is now open. Visitors will find modern study spaces, a large wall of windows, a reading room, and a dedicated graduate student area. The entire floor will remain a quiet study area.


While most of the project is complete, workers will complete a few final touch-ups to some areas. Furniture delivery has been delayed and will continue throughout the year and into the Spring semester.

To make way for the renovation, some of Ekstrom’s collection housed on the third floor was relocated or removed. Many books are now on the fourth floor, and some are in high-density storage, or the Robotic Retrieval System (RRS).  Patrons who are unable to find books or other materials in the library’s collection may use our Inter Library Loan system.


The Libraries will continue to raise funds to complete its proposed Jewish Studies Reading Room in space formerly occupied by the Writing Center. Libraries Development Director Matt Wyatt is working with the UofL Jewish Studies program and the local Jewish community of Louisville to fund an inspiring venue for local and national lectures, presentations and other events.


To find out more about the project, please see this website.

Historic African American Newspaper Louisville Leader Now Fully Transcribed and Searchable

A group of descendants of I. Willis Cole, founding publisher of The Louisville Leader (1917-1950), gathered last week in the offices of the University of Louisville Archives and Special Collections to celebrate a milestone – the transcription of all issues of the historic African American weekly newspaper.

An online searchable archive of the newspaper’s stories was made possible by a crowdsourced transcription project launched seven years ago by Archives and Special Collections. Now the public can easily peruse the newspaper’s stories, which included local, regional, national, and international news as well as school, church, sports, theater, club, business, and social events.


Grandchildren and descendants of I. Willis Cole, publisher of the Louisville Leader, gather to celebrate the completion of the transcription project. 

First published on November 10, 1917 and continuing weekly until September 30, 1950, six months after Cole’s death, the newspaper had a strong editorial voice.

“It was a newspaper that celebrated freedom, spoke to power and advocated for the betterment of everyone,” said Aaron Cole, I. Willis Cole’s grandson.

“I was a white child in Louisville in the 1930s and 40s . . . and I thought civil rights began in 1950,” said Tom Owen, UofL archivist and historian. “It didn’t. You can’t hold these pages without realizing that civil rights began long before the 1950s.”

Fully digitized and publicly available since February 2013, the Leader has been an important resource for scholars and researchers. When a member of Ken Burns’ team working on a Jackie Robinson documentary sought to determine whether Robinson was jeered and booed in Louisville when he played with the (all-white) Major League, the Leader was able to provide an answer: yes. Among many other requests for information from the Leader’s pages, a local blues society consulted it for research on a historical marker; and an ASC intern consulted it to write a graduate paper on the segregation of Louisville’s public park system.


Celebratory cake shows the Leader’s 20th Anniversary edition.

Original copies of the newspaper were stored at the Cole Publishing Company, where Aaron Cole said “there may have been a few field mice who were also enjoying it.” These copies were badly damaged by a fire in 1954. Eventually, the family gave the badly deteriorated bulk of the collection to Kentucky State University in Frankfort, Kentucky, who loaned them to the University of Louisville in 1978 for microfilming.

In 2011, ASC personnel had the microfilm scanned, intending to provide free online access, but the poor quality of the optical character recognition (OCR) hindered the discoverability of the content to search engines.


ASC Director Carrie Daniels, Digital Initiatives Librarian Rachel Howard, and Metadata Librarian Rebecca Pattillo.

Fortunately, a solution lay in online crowdsourced transcription, whereby volunteers type the stories from their home or office computer.  The project involved many Libraries personnel, including the server administrator, digital technologies systems librarian, web services librarian, and archivists, who collaborated to set up the software and design its look and workflow. A Public History graduate student interning in fall 2012 prepared issues for uploading into ASC’s Digital Collections and articles for transcription.

ASC launched the Louisville Leader Transcription Project during African-American History Month in 2013, and continued to upload articles for transcription, allowing volunteers and ASC personnel to transcribe text for search until mid-October 2019.

Digital Initiatives Librarian Rachel Howard said that by observing patterns in usage and hearing from some volunteers, she and her colleagues have learned many valuable lessons from the project.

student assistants

ASC student assistants who contributed to the transcription project.

“People choose to transcribe for the same reasons they seek to volunteer in-person in libraries, museums, archives, and historical societies,” she said. “It’s because they are interested in history, they want to contribute, and they have time to do so.

“The work of the volunteer transcribers didn’t need editing. Only one transcription failed to include the text of the article itself, and it was not spam, but a commentary on the current state of a public housing project that was new (and full of hope) in a 1940 issue of the Leader.”

One “super-user,” a local woman now in her 80s who contributed her time almost every day for many years, emailed Howard frequently when she noticed an incomplete article or a glitch with the software. Some of Howard’s favorite quotes from the contributor include: “I am now transcribing events that took place when I was 10 years old” “At all times we should keep in mind that ‘history’ is what we are living right now. We still have far to go, but oh, how far we have come.”; and “I am enjoying this . . . I know I am making a contribution, and in the process I am getting a good look at history from a different perspective. . . I feel that I have known some of these people, their clubs and church work, etc., as well as some of the issues that had meaning for them. I googled the Bard-Fleming case last week because I wanted to know how it ended. . . Yes, I am getting something out of this, too.”

“I really just want to thank everybody in the community, here and online, who made this accomplishment possible,” Howard said.


New Films- November 2019

SGA Collection Far from Home

  • Ma
  • Scooby-Doo! Return to Zombie Island
  • Amazing Grace
  • Batman Ninja
  • The Alienist
  • Spider-Man: Far from Home
  • Booksmart
  • Yesterday
  • The Souvenir
  • X-Men: Dark Phoenix
  • Alita: Battle Angel
  • Cool Runnings
  • Trollhunters: season one
  • Child’s Play
  • Doom Patrol: Season one
  • Aladdin
  • Millennium: season one
  • The Public
  • John Wick Chapter 3
  • Breakthrough
  • Peaky Blinders: season three
  • Full Metal Panic Fumoffu- complete series
  • Death in Paradise: season five
  • the Intruder


New Films – October 2019

SGA CollectionAvengers Endgame

  • Brightburn
  • Outlander Season 4
  • Never Look Away
  • A Dog’s Journey
  • The Sun is Also a Star
  • Batman Beyond: the complete series
  • Men in Black: International
  • Lego DC: Family Matters
  • Age of Uprising: The Legend of Michael Kohlhaas
  • The Secret Life of Pets 2
  • Mrs. Wilson
  • Riverdale: the complete second season
  • Okko’s Inn
  • Rocketman
  • Descendants 3
  • Mirai
  • Avengers Endgame
  • Fast Color
  • Ashes in the Snow
  • A Royal Affair
  • Poldark : Seasons 1-4
  • Friday the 13th part 2
  • Friday the 13th part 3
  • Pokemon Detective Pikachu

Judy Chicago – The Dinner Table

The Bridwell Art Library is celebrating Banned Books Week with an artistic spin! Stop by the library to see our book display featuring challenged works of art, pick up coloring sheets and buttons, and share your experiences with censored artwork.

By Trish Blair

This is the story of a feminist dinner party and the brouhaha that surrounded it being seen, and the quest for its permanent home.

In the 1970s, the art world was dominated by old or dead men.  Not seeing herself or other women in that myopic view, Judy Chicago set out to change that.  Created from 1974-1979 she and her band of 400 volunteers created a massive cooperative art installation consisting of a 48-foot equilateral triangular table with 39 place settings of famous women.  Eventually the piece would recognize 999 more women with the addition of a tile floor inscribed with those names in gold. 

The first show opened and was a huge success at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art with over 90,000 people seeing it in its three-month run.  However, subsequent viewings of the show were not in a museum again until 2002.  This was due mostly to the reviews of the shows being described as “failed art”, “crass, and solemn and single-minded.”  The vulvar imagery on the plates along with the ceramics and embroidery techniques involved were thought of as craft-work, vulgar, and radical. 

In 1988 after a decade of touring The Dinner Party needed a permanent home.  Judy Chicago, in 1990, attempted to donate it to the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) to anchor a proposed museum in a then empty library.  From there the Washington D.C. political media machine began writing stories that claimed that The Dinner Party “had been banned from several art galleries around the country because it depicts women’s genitalia on plates” and that the “Board of Trustees will spend nearly $1.6 million to acquire and exhibit a piece of controversial art.” This brought the ire of Republican Congressmen who deemed it pornographic and cut 1.6 million dollars from the UDC budget.  The entire cost of the renovation needed to house the piece.  Judy couldn’t take the fighting so she pulled the gift offer. 

Spring forward to 2002 and a wealthy museum donor bought, and gifted the entire piece to the Brooklyn Museum for permanent display.  In 2007 the Dinner Party was opened to the public and has remained there ever since.

Another great thing that came from The Dinner Party was the response from women world-wide who wanted to do something to join the empowerment they felt after viewing it.  Judy and her creative partner Miriam Shapiro decide that women could make triangular shaped quilt panels. The panels, which utilize a wide variety of materials and techniques, were made by different women or groups honoring and addressing individually selected women, women’s organizations, or women’s issues, to expand the number of women honored by Chicago’s The Dinner Party. In the end, 539 panels were made and eventually gifted to the University of Louisville’s Hite Institute from Judy Chicago. 

For more details about the Dinner Party see:

The dinner party : a symbol of our heritage – Art Library Reserves NK4605 .C45

Beyond the flower : the autobiography of a feminist artist – Art Library Reserves N 6537 .C48 A2 1996

Embroidering our heritage : the dinner party needlework – Art Library Reserves NK9106 .C47

https://louisville.edu/art/facilities-resources/international – honor-quilt




Gallery View: Capturing Women’s History: Quilts, Activism, and Storytelling,
Hite Art Institute, University of Louisville

Top Five Reasons Ekstrom’s Interlibrary Loan Staff Cancel Requests

By Andy Huff

Many UofL faculty, staff and students have used the University Libraries’ Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service to request materials from other academic and public libraries in the United States. Over the past year, our staff has fulfilled 14,612 requests for materials. ILL also includes document delivery services: our staff scan articles from our bound and electronic holdings and deliver them as PDFs to your ILL account.

graphic five reasons

Unfortunately, among these numerous requests, we had to cancel 1,811, or more than 12%.  Our mission is to provide research materials to patrons when and where they need them, and while we have an exceptional fill rate of 88%, my team and I want to do even better.  To that end, I have complied the top five reasons why we cancel requests so that you know what may have happened to your last request, and what is involved in the decision-making process of our ILL staff.

  1. We have exhausted all possible sources (475 requests or 26%)

In this context, ‘sources’ are other libraries we contact to get the materials you’re looking for. If you get this notice, it is because we could not find a library that could supply the item you requested.  Sometimes it is because the only libraries that have the item are overseas; at other times, it is because a lending library is not willing to supply their materials via ILL.

  1. Other (384 requests or 21%)

This one is a bit trickier.  We typically categorize some items as ‘other’ for specific reasons that do not fall under our normal cancellation categories.  For example, we received a blank request, an item is available online (such as a journal article or e-book that is either public domain or owned by UofL), or an item is at the Law or Art library, in which case we refer them to that library.

  1. Textbooks (239 requests or 13%)

While we wish we could use ILL as an avenue for students to acquire textbooks, we have found that the shipping and handling costs, renewal rate, and sheer volume of requests would quickly swamp our department. Some professors assign new textbooks every semester, or they assign the most recent edition, and editions are constantly being updated; to keep the latest version of all assigned textbooks would be impossible.

  1. Unable to verify your request (212 requests or 11.7%)

We cancel requests when we are unable to find material based on the citation provided to us. This generally happens when we receive too little information and we cannot match what you have given us to a specific item, or the citation is too broad and fits too many items). We send out an will e-mail you when we are unable to verify a citation and give you 48 hours to respond back to us before canceling the request.

  1. Too new for an interlibrary loan (145 requests or 8%)

This happens when a book is forthcoming, the book is on order at other libraries and has not arrived there yet, or other libraries are unable to provide us the book because of age limitations on the material.  Many libraries will restrict the use of new release books and will not allow them to circulate for a year so that their local patrons can use them.  Ekstrom Library does the same thing for books in the Browsing Collection so that you have time to read them before we send them to requesting libraries.

We hope students, faculty and staff will continue to use the ILL for their scholarly work. To learn more, please visit http://library.louisville.edu/ill/policy.

New Films-September 2019

SGA Collectionbest of enemies

  • Orange: The Complete Series
  • Death in Paradise: Season 3
  • Pet Sematary 2019
  • Little
  • Are you Afraid of the Dark?: Season 1
  • the Kid
  • Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan: Season 1
  • The Curse of La Llorona
  • Aladdin
  • Long Shot
  • Riverdale: Season 1
  • the Aftermath
  • Missing Link
  • Dumbo
  • Early Edition: Complete Series
  • Vixen
  • The Best of Enemies
  • Bt’X Empire of the Machine, V1
  • Pokemon Detective Pikachu
  • Tolkien
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch: Complete Series
  • Shazam!
  • Batman: Gotham by Gaslight
  • Gloria Bell
  • Ugly Dolls
  • Archie’s Weird Mysteries