Ekstrom’s Third Floor Renovation Adds Modernized Study Spaces, New Reading Room

Some collections moving prior to May construction

Final preparations are underway for the long-anticipated renovation of Ekstrom Library’s third floor, which will provide modernized, quiet study space, a new Reading Room, a dedicated graduate student study area and better lighting and wayfinding.  Construction will begin in May after Spring semester finals.

With enrollment at UofL predicted to grow in the coming years, Libraries administration seeks to utilize current available space to provide a high-quality library experience. Raising the seat-to-student ratio helps UofL’s competitive edge in recruiting new students and retaining current ones.

201496.03 PLANNING - 3RD FLOOR 2018-08-15Planned for several years, the $3M project is primarily funded by gifts and endowments, as well as a $500,000 grant from University of Louisville administration as part of its student initiatives program. It is heartily endorsed by the Student Government Association.  In planning the renovation, the Libraries also worked with its Libraries Student Advisory Board and conducted a comprehensive survey last year that revealed the need for more high-quality study spaces.

A large component of the renovation is a proposed Jewish Studies Reading Room in space formerly occupied by the Writing Center. Currently, Libraries Development Director Matt Wyatt is working with the UofL Jewish Studies program and the local Jewish community of Louisville to raise necessary funds for this project, which will serve to inspire current and future Jewish scholars and recognize this important constituency on campus.

During construction, access to the third floor will be limited; the Delphi Center’s Teaching Innovation Learning Lab (TILL) will remain open, and students will be welcome on any other floor. The bulk of the project will take place from May through September 2019 and wrap up soon after. The third floor will remain a quiet floor after construction.

Libraries personnel have been working diligently over the past year to relocate books and clear the way for the renovation. As of February 22, numerous books have been moved to either the 4th floor of Ekstrom (175k), the Robotic Retrieval System (RRS) (22k), or high-density storage (16k). This process is ongoing and will continue as books continue their migration. Because of the time and care involved in curating, documenting and filing information, some materials will be inaccessible for a period of time, roughly between six months to two years. The urgent need for renovations prompted an acceleration of the collections migration, and curation will continue as quickly as possible over the foreseeable future to return most books back into circulation.

As this process takes place, the Libraries will practice intelligent stewardship, to make sure all materials are useful and necessary for the important work of undergraduates, graduate students, faculty and other researchers. As in every academic and public library, some materials in the collections (e.g., duplicate titles) have not been used or checked out in the entire time they’ve been housed in the stacks, and are subject to weeding. Ekstrom librarians have led a meticulous process of curation to ensure the library retains all appropriate materials of high quality.

Materials undergoing migration comprise hardcover books prior to 2000 from Library of Congress A-N. All LOC A-N books published after 2000 will remain on the floor, located in the southwest quadrant, and fully accessible to students and researchers.

Patrons who wish to borrow materials that have been moved may use the Inter Library Loan system to access them from other libraries. Typically, article requests can be fulfilled within 36 hours and book/loan requests within a week-10 working days. To learn more about this process: http://library.louisville.edu/ill/about or https://wp.me/p1uJ9h-1Ce.

To provide information to the University community and the public, the Libraries have created a website about the project (https://library.louisville.edu/ekstrom/reno3). Please keep up with the project through this portal.

New Films- April 2019

SGA CollectionWidows cover

  • Bel Canto
  • The Librarians: season 1
  • Keeping Faith: season 1
  • Halloween
  • Tea with the Dames
  • Widows
  • Boy Erased
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • The Grinch
  • First Man
  • No Body’s Fool
  • The Wife
  • The last Kingdom: Season 2
  • The Hate U Give
  • The Girl in the Spider’s Web
  • Paddington
  • West world: Season 2
  • Nathan for You: Complete Series
  • Indivisible
  • Hannibal: Season 2
  • Johnny English Strikes Again
  • A Private War
  • Goosebumps 2
  • Swat Kats: The Radical Squadron

Library Guide provides access to all Grawemeyer winners’ works

As this year’s Grawemeyer Award winners head to the University of Louisville on April 9-11 to present their ideas, Ekstrom Library’s Research Assistance and Instruction (RAI) presents a new guide to the works of all Grawemeyer Award winners since the award’s inception. Katie Harper, a student intern with RAI, created the LibGuide to provide quick links to these works for students, researchers and anyone interested in finding out more about winners of this international award presented by the University of Louisville.


Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, Terra Lawson-Remer and Susan Randolph were named co-winners of the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order for the ideas set forth in their book, Fulfilling Social and Economic Rights.

Begun in 1985 by Charles Grawemeyer with an award for music composition, the Grawemeyer Award added other awards in later years, including Ideas Improving World Order (1988); Education (1989); Religion (presented jointly with the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in 2001). The awards draw international attention not only to the winners’ status and achievements, but also to the university and region.

The University Libraries provides a number of similar guides in a wide variety of subject areas to facilitate research and scholarship. The Grawemeyer Award LibGuide serves as a helpful tool for learning more about this culturally significant annual event.

To coincide with the creation of the LibGuide and the on-campus visits of last year’s winners, Ekstrom Library RAI Dept. will curate a selection of previous winner’s books to be displayed in the East Lobby  and hopefully checked out by interested community members.

ThinkIR’s 1 Millionth Download a Major Milestone in Bringing UofL Scholarship to Global Audience

UofL’s Institutional Repository, ThinkIR – a digital platform which hosts and offers open access to scholarship of UofL’s faculty, researchers and students – has passed the one-million mark for downloaded scholarship. As of March 12, some 5,136 research papers, thesis and dissertations have been downloaded by a worldwide audience.

thinkIR homepage

Since launching in 2015, ThinkIR has become a major open-access source for scholarship from UofL faculty and graduates, averaging more than 1,000 downloads per day, reaching world-wide audiences, and increasing UofL scholars’ visibility.

“This milestone represents the 1 million people who have been able to access scholarship at UofL from all over the world, for free,” said Bob Fox, dean of the University Libraries, which sponsored and funded the creation of the institutional repository.

“You can see by looking at the world map on the site where all the scholarship is being downloaded,” said Sarah Frankel, Open Access and Repository Coordinator for the University Libraries. “The dots on the map represent real-time downloads, so we know who is interested in our scholars’ research.

“The scholarship is much more discoverable through Google searches if it is hosted on ThinkIR; the search engine optimization ensures that items appear near the top of search results,” Frankel continued.

Formerly a Technical Services staff member, Frankel as OAR coordinator assists faculty in depositing their scholarship into ThinkIR and oversees the approval and publishing of graduate and undergraduate student self-submitted theses and dissertations. She creates profiles for each faculty scholar, helping them post biographical information and navigating copyright restrictions relating to their scholarship.

The repository’s name evokes the Rodin statue that graces the front steps of Grawemeyer Hall.

Currently, the top downloaded work is a 2012 Master’s Thesis from the Department of Pan African Studies: “The hidden help : black domestic workers in the civil rights movement” by Trena Easley Armstrong, followed closely by another Master’s Thesis from 2012, from the Sociology Department: “An analysis of Hindi women-centric films in India” by Srijita Sarkar – both titles have been downloaded more than 11,000 times since February 12, 2015!

In addition to providing access to UofL scholarship, ThinkIR also hosts peer-reviewed open-access journals. These journals are managed by UofL faculty and staff with support from Libraries staff. While most peer-reviewed academic journals are subscription-based, requiring high fees from hosting institutions, these journals are free and open to the public.

New Films – March 2019

SGA CollectionColette Poster

  • Night School
  • Operation Finale
  • Small foot
  • Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero
  • Lizzie
  • Assassination Nation
  • Fahrenheit 11/9
  • The Predator (2018)
  • Peppermint
  • Colette
  • Venom
  • River Runs Red
  • A Simple Favor
  • Unbroken: Path to Redemption
  • What they Had
  • the Equalizer 2
  • Juliet, Naked
  • Bad Times at the El Royale
  • I Still See You
  • Air Strike
  • Little Women
  • A.X.L
  • The House with a Clock in its Walls
  • Reprisal
  • Immortality
  • Galveston
  • Uncle Drew

Show some Library Love today!

What do you love about your library? In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’ve asked some of our patrons for their insights into this question. Here are some of their responses:

“The library is one of the last places with a “community” feel where you can go without being expected to spend money.” – Caleb Bridgwater, Senior. UofL Libraries Student Advisory Board member

“Everyone deserves a quiet place to learn and feel comfortable. Libraries do that, and they provide a knowledge opportunity to people who may not have that opportunity elsewhere.” – Erynn Overfield, Freshman. UofL Libraries Student Advisory Board member.

Valentine's Day“I love the library because it’s the one place I can go and not get distracted. There is something about being in such a sacred study place that makes me buckle down and work! It’s a one-stop destination for productivity with the comfy seating, the Starbucks and the calm atmosphere.” – Jonah Hermes, UofL Libraries Student Advisory Board member.

“I love Ekstrom Library because it has many places to study that can cater to everyone’s study habits. The Poetry Room is my absolute favorite place on campus to rea and to write papers because it is such a quiet and calm place to get my thoughts in order.” – Taylor Chatmon, UofL Libraries Student Advisory Board member.

“The Music Library’s collection of CDs is one of the campus’s hidden treasures. (And their books are pretty good too.) Chatting with Mark Dickson while he checks out your materials is an additional bonus.” – Scott Campbell, Technical Services Librarian at UofL Law Library.

“I love the eagerness of the staff to help you succeed and the availability of every study necessity possible.” – Anora Morton, 1L student at UofL Brandeis School of Law.

“Over the past 15 years, i have served in various roles at Kornhauser Library from student assistant to junior faculty member.  There have been two constant themes that have remained with me over the years – customer service and support.  I love Kornhauser because I know every faculty and staff member is always willing to go above and beyond for patrons, and they will do the same for each other.  It’s nice to work in such a positive, caring, and supportive environment.” – Tiffney Gipson, Head of Collections at Kornhauser Library.

“I love browsing the collection at Ekstrom Library, where I always leave with an unexpected book that has captured my interest while looking for something entirely different! I also rely on the quiet spaces in the Law Library where I can retreat to focus on my work without the distractions and interruptions that crop up in my office.” – Erin Gow, Online Services Librarian at UofL Law Library.

“The artists’ books at the Art Library come in all shapes and sizes, constructed in such beautiful and colorful materials and each one with a cool, unique vibe. They are works of art in themselves and one of the things I truly love about this library.” – Carolyn Dowd, Sr. Communications Coordinator for the University Libraries.

“I love the law library because the library faculty members are so helpful and thoughtful. They will go above and beyond to help students find resources, and they always strive to accommodate students’ needs, whether that be providing more phone and computer chargers or installing a phone booth!” – Calesia Henson, 3L student at UofL Brandeis School of Law.

“My favorite library is Ekstrom. I like the quiet spaces with tables for spreading out my books. I’ve written papers, completed assignments, and done math problems in this space. It’s very peaceful. I love this space.” – Isabel Rozema, Senior. UofL Libraries Student Advisory Board member.

Show some love for your library and leave an anecdote if the spirit of Valentine’s Day moves you!


Sketching Louisville’s Growth in its Streetcar Rail Lines

Louisville’s 19th and early 20th Century expansion can be traced in its streetcar lines. During the Civil War era, residents relied upon a system of mule-drawn carriages with routes through downtown and into nearby neighborhoods; starting in 1889, during the “electric age,” street cars replaced these vehicles, and ultimately stretched beyond the city limits and into communities like Jeffersontown, Okolona, Valley Station and even Shelbyville.

For nearly six decades, streetcars were the primary mode of transportation for the city’s population. Gradually, the Louisville Railway company transitioned to using cheaper and more flexible buses, and, as the nation grew increasingly obsessed with the automobile, streetcars became obsolete.

Spurred by a long-time love of the streetcar and its historical impact, historian and journalist Martin E. Biemer has written Louisville Street Railways and How They Shaped the City’s Growth. He was aided by the earlier work of now deceased researchers George Yater, James Calvert, and Ernest Gibson.

LOUISVILLE'S STREET RAILWAYS book coverThe book is a substantial undertaking, replete with several hundred photos, illustrations and drawings, many from the University of Louisville Archives and Special Collections (ASC). Also included are 14 large-scale maps of Louisville’s streetcar lines, interurban suburban lines, and steam railroad routes.

“Our community has been waiting for this book for decades,” said Tom Owen, a veteran archivist at UofL.  “Biemer has created the ‘go to’ source for inquirers interested in local history, in how technology changed society, and where Louisville once placed in a world-wide streetcar revolution.”

Biemer will discuss his research and read selections from his book on Sunday, March 10 at 2:00 p.m. EDT in the Chao Auditorium on the lower level of the Ekstrom Library on the Belknap Campus of the University of Louisville. (Reminder: this will be the first day of daylight savings time.)  Free parking is available on-campus.  UofL’s Archives and Special Collections is hosting the event where books can be purchased.  Contact ASC for more information: 852-6752.