UofL Librarian Alexandra Howard Selected for Prestigious American Library Association (ALA) Leadership Program

Professor Alexandra Howard, Business Research & Teaching Librarian at Ekstrom Library, was chosen for the American Library Association’s 2022 class of Emerging Leaders, a prestigious national program that accepts a limited number of participants annually.

Photo of Professor Alexandra Howard, Business Research and Teaching Librarian.
Alexandra Howard

The program offers Howard the chance to lead within the library profession and learn about the ALA structure from an insider’s perspective. Participants receive support and encouragement to serve on ALA committees and other library-related organizations.

“I’m really excited to be selected for this program,” said Howard. “My goal is to be in leadership, and I’ve been very vocal about seeking out these types of opportunities.”

Howard, who joined Ekstrom Library in October 2020, conducted her interview and application process entirely online. The process was surreal, albeit necessary, and she is “relieved” to have been on campus since August, working in person with her colleagues and campus contacts.

“It’s been a great year. I’ve been super busy, meeting with lots of faculty, teaching 44 classes this year, and holding lots of research appointments with undergraduate and graduate students.”

Howard will bring her background in outreach and advocacy to her work with the EL program.

“My focus is on innovation, community engagement, and anti-racism in my work,” she said. “One of my goals is to be a leader for innovation and community engagement in libraries. A lot of the research assistance and instruction I offer as the Business Research & Teaching Librarian is related to management and leadership.”

She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Africana Studies from Oberlin College, and a Master of Library Information Science in Cultural Heritage Informatics from Simmons University. Prior to earning her MLIS, she worked as a criminal defense investigator for the Nashville Public Defender, investigating hundreds of cases to secure not-guilty verdicts for people accused of committing felony offenses who could not afford an attorney. She also coordinated the Youth Advisory Board at Larkin Street Youth Services in San Francisco, a leadership and advocacy program for young people experiencing homelessness.

Professor Howard is a member of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) and serves on its Diversity Alliance Task Force; she also is a commissioner on the University of Louisville’s Commission on Diversity and Racial Equity (CODRE). As part of her faculty role with the Libraries, she conducts research focused on connecting local Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs with university resources to help address the racial wealth gap.

The American Library Association (ALA) Emerging Leaders (EL) program is a leadership development program which enables newer library workers from across the country to participate in problem-solving work groups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA structure, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity. It puts participants on the fast track to ALA committee volunteerism as well as other professional library-related organizations.


In Memoriam: Photographer Ron Morris (1947-2021)

By Trish Blair, Art Library Collections Coordinator

In the fall of 2018, I met Ron Morris for the first time, and the very first thing he said to me and my co-worker Kathy Moore, is that he was dying. And that is how our partnership began – with that brutally honest and poignant statement.

Photo of woman with dark hair standing before a barn door. Part of Morris' portraits.
Woman standing in front of a barn. Part of Morris’ “Portraits” series.

He asked if the Art Library would be interested in a donation of maybe 200 of his books about photography.  Since we were between directors, we consulted with Libraries Dean Fox, Tyler Goldberg (Head of Technical Services), Matt Wyatt (Development Director), and James Procell (Interim head, Art Library), and decided to accept, as photography is one of our most popular collections.  After meeting with Mr. Morris, that quickly turned into a donation of over 1,100 titles.  We don’t have an official value, but a rough estimate is about $175,000. We think it was the largest single donation to the Bridwell Art Library.

Image of two birds in a cage on a table set for two in front of a Paris cafe.
Two birds on a table in front of a Paris cafe.

I began working with Mr. Morris, taking his hand-written lists of books and arranging for pick-ups. In the summer of 2019, I took our student intern at the time, Maree Grosser, with me for the heavy lifting.  Once a week we would drive to Mr. Morris’ house and fill either my car or the library van with the treasures he was gifting to us.  He would always have jazz or classical music playing and was happy to find out that Maree was an aspiring photographer. His keen intellect and interest in both our lives was comforting. He and I shared a love of taking pictures of things that were not “pretty” to museum standards. 

To say that he was eclectic is an understatement. He was unconventional, funny, and warm.  He collected antique typewriters, cameras, and books of all sorts. He had a very large collection of Chuck Taylor shoes that perfectly suited his style and being. His apartment was like a museum, mixed with a bookstore, mixed with a comfy home.

Woman with bare shoulders sitting on a couch.
From Morris’ “Portraits.”

Ron Morris was a Louisville native and alumni of UofL’s Hite Art Institute (1969). He was also the Arts editor at the Louisville Cardinal during his undergrad period. He went from UofL to the Massachusetts College of Art for his MFA (1982) and settled in Boston for 40 years teaching photography at Newtown High School and honing his craft.  He retired from teaching in 2014 and moved back to Louisville.  His photographs have been exhibited at the Addison Gallery of American Art, Hofstra University, MIT, the Portland Art Museum, Newton Art Center, Vision Gallery, Rhode Island School of Design, the New England School of Photography, the Memphis Academy of Art, the Hudson River Museum, Northeastern University and Texas A&M University, and the Caviar Forge & Gallery in Louisville.

We had great plans to celebrate his donation in 2020, but Covid cancelled them.  Unfortunately for us, Mr. Morris passed away in the spring of 2021. Through his death we have added more items to our collection from his estate: prints of his photography; self-made books; graphic design images of the objects he collected; re-imagined movie posters; and of course more books. We will celebrate his gift sometime in the near future, but until then we will keep adding the objects he gave to us and remembering the man who was so inspirational.


Libraries Dean Fox Named Treasurer of ARL

University of Louisville Libraries Dean Bob Fox has been elected treasurer for the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). He will serve a three-year term, and will chair the group’s finance committee.

Dean Fox became UofL’s member representative to ARL in 2011 and joined the ARL Board and its finance committee in 2018; he has been a member of the audit committee since its founding in 2019. He had served as interim treasurer since August.

Fox has served as Dean of the University Libraries since 2011. Since that time, and prior to his tenure with UofL, he has served in a number of leadership positions with professional and industry organizations.

Image of Libraries Dean Bob Fox standing in front of cardinal bird graphic on the third floor of Ekstrom Library.

In addition to his ARL board service, Fox has served on several ARL committees and working groups since he became a member representative in 2011, including the Statistics and Assessment Committee/Research and Analytics Committee (2012, chair 2013–2016); the Libraries That Learn Design Team (2015–2016); and the ARL Academy Advisory Committee (2018–2019). Fox was an ARL Leadership Fellow in 2009–2010. 

UofL Libraries became members of ARL in 2002.

About the Association of Research Libraries

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 125 research libraries in Canada and the US whose mission is to advance research, learning, and scholarly communication. The Association fosters the open exchange of ideas and expertise; advances diversity, equity, and inclusion; and pursues advocacy and public policy efforts that reflect the values of the library, scholarly, and higher education communities. ARL forges partnerships and catalyzes the collective efforts of research libraries to enable knowledge creation and to achieve enduring and barrier-free access to information. ARL is on the web at ARL.org.


ThinkIR Highlights BIPOC Scholarship

Part of Open Access involves building structural equity in OA venues. To this end, the Libraries have created The Collective, an initiative to uplift BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) faculty and staff at UofL by highlighting their research and providing open-access to BIPOC-produced scholarship on ThinkIR, the University’s digital institutional repository. 

From Undergraduate Teaching Faculty: The HERI Faculty Survey 2016–2017 (www.heri.ucla.edu) © 2019

Hosted and managed by the University Libraries, ThinkIR promotes genuine open access and sustainable scholarship by making the work of UofL researchers freely available to a global audience without requiring costly and unsustainable access to journal subscriptions. “The Collective” was initiated in response to research showing that faculty who identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or people of color are underrepresented and marginalized in academia. According to the Higher Education Research Institute’s 2016-2017 faculty survey, there were large gaps between white and BIPOC scholars  feeling a need to work harder to be perceived as a legitimate scholar. “Substantially more Black (72.2%), Asian (70.7%), Latino/a (70.6%), and Native American (66.7%) faculty perceived a need to work harder than their peers to gain legitimacy compared to just 46.8% of White faculty who felt similarly.”

By featuring a BIPOC scholars research collection in our institutional repository, we hope to encourage scholars of all disciplines to intentionally seek out the research and scholarship of their colleagues of color.

Helpful Links and Resources

Home – ThinkIR – UofL Libraries at University of Louisville 

BIPOC Scholars – ThinkIR – UofL Libraries at University of Louisville

HERI-FAC2017-monograph.pdf (ucla.edu)


Celebrating International Open Access Week

International Open Access Week (IOAW), held this year from October 25-21, advocates for the right to use and access knowledge freely and without subscription and copyright limitations. Every year, IOAW attempts to raise awareness of the potential disparities that arise when some scholarship is made more exclusive and less accessible to the public. 

The theme for this year’s IOAW is “It Matters How We Open Knowledge: Building Structural Equity.” This theme was created to align with the recently released UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science:

Open Science should embrace a diversity of knowledge, practices, workflows, languages, research outputs and research topics that support the needs and epistemic pluralism of the scientific community as a whole, diverse research communities and scholars, as well as the wider public and knowledge holders beyond the traditional scientific community, including Indigenous Peoples and local communities, and social actors from different countries and regions, as appropriate. (UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science, Page 7)

Often large publishers force academics to sign contracts limiting publication of their work to a single journal, and then charge high subscription fees for access to the work. This creates a disparity in who can access the knowledge. 

ThinkIR, UofL’s Digital Institutional Repository, offers an online venue for sharing the work of our researchers, making it free, open, and accessible to a wide audience. There are no paywalls, no copyright contracts. ThinkIR is managed and hosted by the University Libraries. 

Helpful Links and Resources

Home – ThinkIR – UofL Libraries at University of Louisville 

2021 Open Access Week Theme to be “It Matters How We Open Knowledge: Building Structural Equity” – Open Access Week


New Films – October 2021

SGA Collection

Freaky DVD Cover
  • Alias Grace
  • Barb & Star go to Vista Del Mar
  • Bill & Ted Face the Music
  • Birds of Prey
  • Call Me Crazy
  • The Croods a New Age
  • The Current War
  • Des
  • Emma
  • Frankie & Alice
  • Freaky
  • The Gentlemen
  • The Grudge
  • Half Brothers
  • Honest Thief
  • Hustlers
  • It Chapter Two
  • Just Mercy
  • The Last Shift
  • Like A Boss
  • Line of Duty
  • Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears
  • Onward
  • A Perfect Planet
  • Pinocchio
  • Playing with Fire
  • Polaroid
  • Scoob
  • The Secret Garden
  • The Secret She Keeps
  • Shadow in the Cloud
  • Soul
  • Spies in Disguise
  • The Turning
  • The Woman in White
  • Wonder woman 1984
  • Black Lighting Season One
  • Death in Paradise Season Nine
  • Doctor Who Season Twelve
  • Lovecraft Country Season One
  • Miss Scarlet and the Duke
  • Miss Bradley Mysteries Complete Series
  • NCIS Season 17
  • Riverdale Season Three
  • Scooby Doo The Sword and the Scoob
  • Shakespeare & Hathaway Private Investigators Season One

Celebrating National Medical Librarians Month

October is National Medical Librarians Month and an opportunity to celebrate Kornhauser Health Sciences Library and Rowntree Library employees who continue to provide specialized library support to UofL physicians, faculty, staff, and students across the health sciences disciplines. This year, the focus is on health equity.

Medical librarians provide a pivotal role in helping eliminate disparities in health outcomes. Kornhauser and Rowntree librarians and staff frequently assist researchers in finding information on issues related to health equity, from disparities in pancreatic cancer outcomes experienced by African Americans to cross-cultural differences in palliative care preferences.

When UofL physicians or medical personnel have questions that require specialized medical research, they will reach out to our librarians who will quickly respond with the most up-to-date information. This enables physicians to make the best decisions related to patient care, a crucial step in ensuring health equity. None of the research is behind a paywall or requires a special fee for service. 

In addition to providing support for specific research questions, the librarians on the health sciences campus work to offer broad access to resources related to health equity issues. Earlier this year, Kornhauser expanded its collections to broaden DEI-related titles and the clinical librarian team created a Diversity Resources Hub for resources related to the social determinants of health, health disparities, cultural competence, consumer health resources, and more.

Social factors and equity concerns are involved in all aspects of healthcare, and the medical librarians at Kornhauser and Rowntree are glad to do their part to help researchers, clinicians, and students navigate these important issues.

To celebrate Health Literacy Awareness Month, Kornhauser will present a webinar on October 21 from noon-1 p.m. titled “Health Literacy: Your Role as a Healthcare Professional.”  Kornhauser Clinical Librarian Dani LaPreze will discuss how healthcare providers can help their patients better understand medical information, how providers can improve communication through cultural awareness and competence. She will also describe the resources that are available for both providers and patients. A Q&A will follow. To register, visit: https://library.louisville.edu/kornhauser/health-literacy-webinar.


New Films – September 2021

The High Note DVD Cover

SGA Collection

  • 1917
  • Bad Boys for Life
  • Cats
  • Clemency
  • Dolittle
  • Friendsgiving
  • The High Note
  • Home
  • Inheritance
  • The Long Song
  • Love, Weddings & Other Disasters
  • Military Wives
  • Mulan
  • Richard Jewell
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Spontaneous
  • Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell
  • Trolls: World Tour
  • Balthazar Series One
  • Coffee Prince: Complete Series
  • Father Brown Season Eight
  • Parks and Recreation Season Five
  • Scott and Bailey Series Two
  • She Ra and the Princesses of Power Seasons 1-3
  • Stranger Things Seasons 1-3
  • Titans Season Two
  • Yellowstone Season Two

Ekstrom Library to Showcase 9/11 Memorial & Museum’s Education Exhibition    

September 11, 2001: The Day That Changed the World”

Ekstrom Library will showcase the national exhibit September 11, 2001: The Day That Changed the World, which presents the history of 9/11, its origins, and its ongoing implications through the personal stories of those who witnessed and survived the attacks. Told in a series of 14 posters, the exhibit presents archival photographs and images of artifacts from the 9/11 Museum’s permanent collection to encourages critical thinking about the legacies of 9/11. The posters appear on Ekstrom’s first floor, east side, near the elevators.

the initial poster from exhibit on 9/11 attacks.

Twenty years after the attacks, with terrorism still a threat today, the events of 9/11 and its aftermath remind us that we may never be able to prevent all the actions of people intent on harming others, but we do have control over how we respond to such events. As we witness history unfolding in our own time, the ways we choose to respond—both large and small—can demonstrate the best of human nature after even the worst of days.

Poster on recovery efforts post 9/11.

“During this 20th anniversary year, it is our privilege to share these lessons with a new generation, teach them about the ongoing repercussions of the 9/11 attacks and inspire them with the idea that, even in the darkest of times, we can come together, support one another and find the strength to renew and rebuild,” said 9/11 Memorial & MuseumPresident and CEO Alice M. Greenwald.

Posters arranged in elevator lobby of Ekstrom library, east side.

The poster exhibition was developed by the 9/11 Memorial & Museum and has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy Demands Wisdom. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for Humanities.


Women’s Work in Louisville, Ky.

Over a decade ago I assisted at the research desk in the Archives & Special Collections (ASC) at the University of Louisville for a short time. I’m not an archivist, but I find the archival collections fascinating and I’d worked the ten years prior as the Social Sciences Reference Librarian. ASC was short on staff that year and I had just taken the position of Head of Web Services and wanted to keep some contact time interacting with the public, so I jumped at the opportunity to assist at the ASC Research Desk.

While working there, I got a lot more exposure to their collections – particularly the photographic collections. Being a woman, I started to notice a pattern in the photos related to Louisville: they were heavily-weighted towards men – well-off White men in particular. Talking with our archivists revealed some history about the collections. Most of our Louisville images came from the work of photographic studios in Louisville and the work of the studios during the early twentieth century was largely paid for by – you guessed it – White businessmen. So, it’s no big leap to understand why you see so many men in business suits and relatively fewer images of women, but that just made me more curious about what women were doing during these times and what life was like for them.

That started a ten-year journey into researching women’s roles in the workforce of Louisville, Kentucky. My research took me through dozens of collections in the UofL Archives and Special Collections, as well as collections at the Filson Historical Society, the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, the Jefferson County Public School Archives, and the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives.

In doing this, I “met” some fascinating women – from a frontier businesswoman to a nun / nurse for Civil War soldiers. I felt that their stories needed to be shared more broadly to make people more aware of the contributions of women’s work to our community and to advertise these amazing historical resources to people who’ve never set foot in one of our archives.

So the Women’s Work of Louisville, Ky., project was born. It’s available to anyone with internet access at https://womenwork.library.louisville.edu/. The project includes sections on Eras, Women, and a Timeline. The Eras section features essays about women’s occupations from settlement through World War II, along with a bonus essay on Louisville women’s fight for suffrage. The Women section includes short biographies of women in a variety of careers, from steamboat captain to Lieutenant Governor. Whenever possible, I tried to include quotes from the women themselves talking about their work experiences. The Timeline section highlights important legislation and firsts for women in Louisville.

timeline view

I hope you enjoy learning about these women as much as I did. And when you’re ready to learn more, come visit us in the archives!

https://womenwork.library.louisville.edu/