The University of Louisville Libraries Digital Collections is moving to a new platform, Samvera Hyku, an open-source repository framework. It will allow for greater configurability, including an improved image viewer. The open-source software allows the University of Louisville Libraries to contribute technical development rather than licensing funds, ultimately saving money while developing our skills and promoting broader, more equitable access to digital content.
However, in the short term, situations beyond our control relating to the aging server and out-of-date software require us to limit access to the full set of materials on the old platform, at https://digital.library.louisville.edu, to on-campus and UofL logins only. If you are on either campus, the URL should work as it always has. If you are off-campus and are a student, employee, alumnus, or retiree with an active UofL address, simply go to https://echo.louisville.edu/login and log in, then either select Digital Collections from the confirmation page, or replace the “digital.library.louisville.edu” string with “digital-library-louisville-edu.echo.louisville.edu”.
Meanwhile, the beta version of Digital Collections on the Hyku platform can be explored and shared by anyone and everyone, on or off campus, at https://hyku.library.louisville.edu/.
Only about 20% of the content has been added to the Hyku version. We are still testing code for upload of multiple-page items (books, catalogs, newspapers, postcard folios, baseball cards, recto/verso images, atlases, photo series…), but not even every single-page item has been uploaded yet. If you don’t see something you used to be able to access yet, don’t worry – it will get there!
Once everything has been migrated to Hyku, the old server will be completely shut down and the https://digital.library.louisville.edu address will transfer to Hyku. We do not recommend saving the URLs of items you’re interested in reviewing; instead, please make note of the Item Number, as that will be the best way for you and our staff to identify both the digital and physical items.
If you have questions about functionality, please let us know, so that we can not only help you, but also write up an explanation for others.
Curious about how to reserve a room in one of our libraries? It’s easy!
First, navigate to the University Libraries website: library.louisville.edu/home.
Next, click on the orange “Reserve a Room” box in the right hand column. This page should come up:
Then choose the library where you would like to reserve a room. Or if you prefer, you can limit your choices by room type: auditoriums, conference rooms, group study rooms, or instruction labs.
Some rooms are only available to be reserved by faculty or staff. Others are also open to students.
Descriptions of rooms may include a list of equipment and technology available within the space. For example, Art Library’s Room 102C includes:
- Movable furniture
- Control panel to turn on/off system
- 70″ mounted television monitor
- Mac computer
- Web conferencing camera
- CD/DVD player
- Screen mirroring software compatible with laptops, phones, and tablets
- Wireless keyboard and mouse
- Freestanding podium
- External speakers
- Mobile whiteboard and markers
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.
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!
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected academic libraries and the roles of online learning librarians? That question formed the genesis of a recent paper and presentation by Amber Willenborg, Ekstrom Library’s online and undergraduate learning coordinator, and co-author and presenter Tessa Withorn, online learning librarian at California State University, Dominguez Hills.
Willenborg and Withorn presented findings from their paper, Online Learning Librarianship in a Fully Online World: Findings (and Advice) from a National Study During the Covid-19 Pandemic, at the April virtual conference of the Association of College & Research Libraries’ (ACRL).
Prior to the past year of virtual work, some academic librarians may have doubted the efficacy of online librarianship, said Willenborg, but many came to appreciate the practice during the pandemic, at least according to the impressions of online academic librarians.
“In a previous study we found that online learning librarians often felt siloed and were often solely responsible for online learning work,” Willenborg continued. “But as academic libraries rapidly expanded online offerings, online learning librarians found that their colleagues were more supportive and open to online learning, where in the past they had been hesitant about its value.”
During the pandemic, online learning librarians themselves took on more leadership roles, spent more time training colleagues, and were managing an increased workload. This gave other librarians a greater appreciation for the role of online learning, according to the paper’s findings.
Initially, with a goal of uncovering difficulties within the profession, Withorn and Willenborg asked academic online learning librarians about their roles and challenges in early 2020. However, the pandemic hit soon after interviews were concluded, so the two decided to re-interview the same librarians in late 2020 to find out how their roles had changed.
Interviewees offered helpful advice to academic librarians who may be newly involved in online learning work due to the pandemic. “Find a support network and be proactive about training and professional development,” said Willenborg. “That was the topline advice: online learning is a lot of work but don’t get discouraged.”
The paper and presentation on these findings followed up an earlier study on online learning librarians titled A Foot in Both Worlds: Current Roles and Challenges of Academic Online Learning Librarians, co-authored by Willenborg and Withorn, a former Ekstrom Library student assistant. The two colleagues also presented together at the Kentucky Library Association’s Library Instruction Retreat in 2018.
Presenting at ACRL is an exceptional honor, with only 30% of presentation submissions accepted for inclusion in the conference. Willenborg also appeared at ACRL’s 2017 conference to discuss a poster.
“We received a lot of positive comments during and after our presentation,” said Willenborg. “Online learning librarians in attendance really identified with our findings.”
The University Libraries have added new materials to Ekstrom Library’s digital collections, including links to primary source documents, recordings, video and other materials on Black studies, Black drama and the African diaspora. The additions support the University of Louisville’s drive to become an anti-racist campus.
Among the materials are the transcript of the trial of Clay v. United States (Muhammad Ali); 2,500 pages of exclusive Black Panther oral histories; and the full text of over 1,700 plays by African diaspora playwrights, including previously unpublished plays by Langston Hughes, Amiri Baraka and Zora Neale Hurston among other authors.
The digital databases also offer UofL scholars and researchers access to the former Hatch-Billops Collection which includes 5,000 pages of rare interviews, oral histories, photos, original art, poetry, and other firsthand perspectives tracking African American cultural trends in the 20th century. Interview subjects include Dizzy Gillespie, Arnold Rampersand, Errol Hill, Anne Cooke Reid, Butterfly McQueen, and Charles Mingus; many recordings took place when these figures were nearing the ends of their lives, capturing a historical record that would otherwise be lost.
“It’s exciting to provide these new materials to our students and we do think they will appreciate the breadth of these digital databases,” said Libraries Dean Bob Fox. “This is part of our commitment to supporting UofL’s goal of creating an anti-racist campus.”
Recently, Dean Fox reallocated gift funding to purchase books, DVDs, digital collections and other materials on civil rights, equity, and Black history, among other subjects, in support of UofL’s anti-racism initiative.
The purchases from Alexander Street Press include:
Primary source documents exploring the migrations, communities and ideologies of the people of African descent who have dispersed around the world. The focus is on communities in the Caribbean, Brazil, India, United Kingdom and France. 1860-present.
Approximately 1,700 plays by 250 North American playwrights, together with detailed information on productions, theaters, production companies, and more. The database also includes selected playbills, production photographs and other ephemera related to the plays. 1850-present.
Black Studies in Video is a collection documentaries, interviews, and archival footage exploring the black experience through history, politics, art and culture, family structure, gender relationships, and social and economic issues.
Black Thought and Culture is a collection of nonfiction writings by major American black leaders—teachers, artists, politicians, religious leaders, athletes, war veterans, entertainers, and other figures—covering 250 years of history. It includes letters, speeches, essays, political leaflets, interviews, and transcripts.
Citizen Literacy, the University of Louisville Libraries’ online toolkit to promote information skills and resist disinformation, continues to gain recognition. The latest notice is in The State of America’s Libraries 2021: A Report from the American Library Association by the American Library Association, which offers an overview of how libraries operated in the US during the past year during the global pandemic. The report lists Citizen Literacy in its section on disinformation.
The University Libraries created the online portal to help students become better consumers of media, research and information. Launched to coincide with the final weeks of the 2020 election season, Citizen Literacy promotes essential information skills like algorithmic literacy, news literacy, how to evaluate expertise, how to investigate the veracity of online sources through lateral reading, and how to become an informed voter.
The site was created by Rob Detmering, head of Research Assistance and Instruction; Amber Willenborg, online and undergraduate learning coordinator; and Terri Holtze, head of web services.
Citizen Literacy was also recently praised in a recent report by Stanford University on general deficiencies in university instruction on digital literacy. The report shows that students are mostly unable to discern legitimate news and information sources from falsehoods and proposes innovative teaching methods to combat this deficiency. Citizen Literacy embodies a good kind of remedy, the report concludes.
“Institutions need to follow the example of forward-looking librarians and information specialists at the vanguard of new approaches to dealing with misinformation—often on shoestring budgets at liberal arts colleges and state universities. . . . Robert Detmering and Amber Willenborg, librarians at the Ekstrom Library at the University of Louisville, have produced a series of polished videos (with just the right dose of snark) that provoke college students to reevaluate their online behavior. We hope these and similar efforts will shine a light on a path for other colleges and universities to follow.”“Educating for Misunderstanding: How Approaches to Teaching Digital Literacy Make Students Susceptible to Scammers, Rogues, Bad Actors, and Hate Mongers,” (Working Paper A-21322, Stanford History Education Group, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 2020). https://purl.stanford.edu/mf412bt5333
Additionally, Last year, the Chronicle of Higher Education featured an interview with Detmering and Willenborg on media literacy; CHE’s weekly “Teaching” column focused on how higher education can combat disinformation by teaching media literacy through various means, and the Citizen Literacy toolkit was one strategy mentioned.
ThinkIR, University of Louisville’s institutional repository, will host a new peer-reviewed journal launched by a student group to highlight undergraduate research and scholarship across all disciplines, from astrophysics to art history
The journal, The Cardinal Edge, will publish its first annual issue in the spring of 2021. Jahnavi Sunkara, a joint chief editor, said the goal is to help UofL undergraduates share their work.
“The point of research is to communicate it,” said Sunkara, a junior biology major and Guaranteed Entrance to Medical School (GEMS) student. “We wanted to create an opportunity for undergraduate students at UofL to do that, because they’re doing some really amazing research in lots of different fields.”
The Cardinal Edge editorial team worked with UofL Libraries to develop an open-access portal on ThinkIR, the university’s institutional research database, where students can submit their work and read the journal. The University Libraries hosts and manages ThinkIR. The first issue will be completely digital — and free — but the team plans to print physical copies of future issues.
Students can submit their full-length manuscripts, abstracts and brief reports through December for the spring issue. The journal also will focus on the research culture at UofL with spotlight articles on student researchers and current topics in research, such as diversity and COVID-19’s impact.
Currently, only UofL students can submit articles to the journal, but there is a possibility that the team may accept work from other universities in the future. Submitted papers will be evaluated by faculty and students through a single-blind peer review, in which the identities of reviewers are kept hidden.
“It was important to us to have students involved in every single aspect of the process,” said Betty Ngo, a sophomore psychology major, Grawemeyer Scholar and joint chief editor. “It’s a research journal by students, for students. Students are our authors, reviewers, staffers and readers.”
Priyadarshini Chandrashekhar, a junior biology major, Vogt Scholar and a joint chief editor, said the goal is to provide opportunities for undergraduate students to share ideas and gain experience, whether conducting research, publishing their findings or working on an editorial board.
Aside from faculty advisers Mark Running, Ph.D., and Shira Rabin, Ph.D., of the Department of Biology, and their journal sponsor, Charlie Leonard, Ph.D., executive director of the UofL Grawemeyer Awards, every member of the 14-person editorial staff is an undergraduate student.
“They’re all students,” Chandrashekhar said. “And they can participate in everything — design, review, outreach. It’s a great experience.”
For Ngo’s part, working for and publishing in The Cardinal Edge could show graduate school admissions reviewers that she has research experience and is familiar with the publication process. Chandrashekhar and Sunkara have their eyes on medical school.
“This will help me later in my career,” Sunkara said. “It’s such a unique experience and I really feel we’re building something special here that can contribute to the long-term growth of UofL’s research culture.”
When Stephen Colbert coined the term “truthiness” in 2005 it not only described misleading rhetoric during the ramp-up to the Iraq war, it captured a central dilemma of our modern media environment: shattered, segmented media ecosystems allow many of us to create our own version of reality. In such an environment, leaders can manipulate us with words that sound truthful but are false.
Determining reality in a “post-truth” era is challenging. It is also a central tenet of citizenship. Particularly during a presidential election season.
How can faculty teach students to become savvy consumers of information in this environment?
The University Libraries has created a new online toolkit called Citizen Literacy to tackle the issue. Launched to coincide with the final weeks of the 2020 election season, Citizen Literacy promotes essential information skills like algorithmic literacy, news literacy, how to evaluate expertise, how to investigate the veracity of online sources through lateral reading, and how to become an informed voter.
“We hope faculty will use these tools to engage students with these important information literacy topics in the context of specific academic disciplines,” said Rob Detmering, Ekstrom information literacy coordinator and one of the site’s creators. Amber Willenborg, online learning and digital media librarian, also created content and narrated the videos, and Terri Holtze, head of web services, designed the online site experience.
The site contains short videos, downloadable handouts and infographics that can be incorporated into syllabi or coursework.
In the news literacy section are strategies to help students examine the value of credible news sources and identify deceptive stories, including “fake news.” Another section helps students understand algorithms whose unseen mechanisms skew online searches in a way that impacts privacy and political understanding.
The toolkit includes multiple ideas for class activities that can be easily adapted across disciplines, and that work in both online and face-to-face settings. Faculty can easily incorporate parts in their courses.
Exploring digital content from the University of Louisville just got easier. The new portal provides an easy way to access faculty scholarship, theses and dissertations, UofL and student-produced publications, as well as archival photographs and newspapers, digitized interviews, and more.
The portal includes search boxes that make it simple to dive right in and explore. Visit it at https://library.louisville.edu/digital-content.
Student journalists have narrated the evolving story of UofL’s cultural life for decades through its student newspaper, The Louisville Cardinal. Looking up these stories is much easier now that Archives and Special Collections has made historic issues of the newspaper available online.
A gift from David A. Jones, Jr. and Mary Gwen Wheeler covered the cost of digitizing The Cardinal’s 1926-2013 issues. The work was labor-intensive, including scanning aging issues of the paper, indexing each page and describing it for the online archive. Issues from 2014 on are available through the Cardinal’s issuu.com profile.
Archives and Special Collections has been preserving paper and microfilm copies of the paper since the founding of University Archives and Records Center in 1974. But printed newspapers grow brittle with age. Digitizing the newspaper reduces the burden on fragile originals, and because the archive is full-text searchable, relevant stories are much easier to find.
The University of Louisville’s student newspaper has been published, under a variety of names, since September 24, 1926. Sometimes called the University of Louisville’s Cardinal or simply Cardinal, it became The Louisville Cardinal in 1966, a title it retains today. The Cardinal – as it is more generally known – currently produces both print and web editions, providing a training ground for student-journalists.
While it has always served as an important news source for the University community, past issues are used by researchers – including students and alumni/ae – to investigate the history of the University, the nature of student life, and the impact of local, national, and global events on our community. It is also a wonderful place to stroll down memory lane.