Your Voice: Dr. Erika Nielson

Erika NielsonDue to my myriad of roles as a doctoral student, Senior Lecturer, Common Reading Coordinator, and Assistant Director of the Common Experience, I have used many of the services provided by the library, including reservation of spaces for events, personal exploration and development, professional development, research and teaching support from research and instructional librarians, use of innovative spaces like the 3D printing lab and YouStar Studio, and inspirational events, such as Technology Day. I appreciate each of these services and the fact that those who work at Alkek provide these services genuinely and with a smile on their faces; they seem to enjoy what they’re doing.

Alkek Little Free Library

LittleFreeLibraryIntroducing the Alkek Little Free Library!

Located on Thorpe & Warden Lanes in San Marcos, it is a tiny library created to encourage the community to share, exchange, and read books. It is on Texas State property, Bldg. #967 at 1401 Thorpe Lane.

A team of Alkek Library staffers have launched a Texas State community service project to promote literacy to our San Marcos community through the Little Free Library program. The team, which started work in 2015, has included Lisa Ancelet, Gaye Wood, Tricia Boucher, Terry Hernandez, Roberto Gutierrez, Liz Sisemore, Emily Segoria, Megan Ballengee, Gina Watts, and Hithia Davis, the chair. The little wooden library was made by a volunteer from the community, Jason Pfanenstiel.

Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world. Through Little Free Libraries, millions of books are exchanged each year, profoundly increasing access to books for readers of all ages and backgrounds.

As a major employer and organizational citizen of the San Marcos community, Texas State’s University Libraries feels a responsibility to share its Bobcat pride and spread the joy and educational benefits of reading beyond our campus.

The front bill poster proudly displays the Texas State logo and encourages people to enjoy a book and then return it and enjoy another. The idea is to get the community to share and read books in this free community exchange. The box was originally stocked with books donated by library staff.

A second box is planned to be located on property owned by the De La Cruz Family, who have partnered in this effort, on the corner of FM 1978 and Redwood Rd. later this year

Library staff used GIS Technology and expertise to identify locations within the community that are not in close proximity to public libraries, not in flood areas, and where the socio-economic and literacy data indicated a strong need for access to books.

The team is currently working with campus student organizations to maintain the boxes and is making plans to promote and expand the program.

Researching Justice: Primary Resources at the Alkek Library Exhibit

JANUARY 26 – MAY 30
1ST FLOOR EXHIBIT CASES

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“View of Mount Carmel from sniper’s nest,” ca March 1993, photographer unknown. Photographs, Box 41, Folder 11. Dick J. Reavis Papers, The Wittliff Collections, Texas State University.

The Waco Siege occurred in February-April of 1993, when federal agents initiated a siege after a failed raid on the Branch Davidian compound. In the end, four federal agents and 82 civilians were killed. The Alkek Library holds many primary resources on the Waco Siege, in The Wittliff Collections archives and in Government Documents. The exhibit provides background on the events, as well as direction on how to learn more, about this event and other government actions, using library resources. Ashes of Waco is a digital collection from The Wittliff.

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“Aerial photos of Mount Carmel, April 19, 1993” (Andrade vs. Chojnacki, FLIR Evidence, ca 2000 Aerial photos of Mount Carmel on April 19, 1993, before and after fire starts, used as evidence in Adrade vs. Chojnacki civil court case. Trial document, Box 53, Folder 6. Dick J. Reavis Papers, The Wittliff Collections, Texas State University.

The miniseries “Waco” premieres Wednesday, Jan 28, and uses archival footage from The Wittliff Collections. And, the first of several documentary film projects for the 25th anniversary of the Waco Siege will be airing on the A&E network January 28-29. The 4-hour, two-part documentary special, “Waco: Madman or Messiah,” uses about 5 minutes of video material from across the Dick Reavis / Ashes of Waco collection.

On Wednesday, April 18, 2018, 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM, Alkek Library Film Talks Series will host a screening of the documentary Oklahoma City. The documentary traces the events–including the deadly encounters between American citizens and law enforcement at Ruby Ridge and Waco–that led McVeigh to commit the worst act of domestic terrorism in American history.

For more information, contact Government Documents Librarian Rory Elliott at re19@txstate.edu, or Wittliff Archivist Lauren Goodley at l_g138@txstate.edu.

Alkek Library Tattoo Design Contest Winner! – Update

ValeriaSanmiguelTattooWinnerIn October, the library hosted a tattoo design competition for students to create original tattoos designed with the library in mind. After the designs were received, the library polled the campus via social media and over 500 votes were received! After all the votes were tallied, the winner of the Fall 2017 Alkek Library Tattoo Design Contest was Valeria Sanmiguel with her tattoo design incorporating Alkek, Old Main, Gaillardia flowers, and the night sky. In congratulations, Valeria and her design have been commemorated in the library’s permanent collection. Stop by the circulation desk to pick up a sticker with the winning tattoo!

TravisandValeriaAlkekTattooUPDATE: Valeria Sanmiguel’s winning Alkek Library Tattoo design inspired Travis Wright to get a tattoo of Alkek. Travis said, “I always wanted a library tattoo, so when I found out Alkek was getting an official design I thought, ‘that settles it.’ I had always loved libraries in general, but this one has been especially meaningful to me since the help I’ve gotten here contributed to my first publication.” Travis is a 2018 Texas State Philosophy graduate. The University Star published an article about the Alkek Lbirary Tattoo Design contest, the winner, and Travis’ Alkek tattoo.

tattoo design - final versionFor any questions about the Alkek Library Tattoo Design Contest please contact Megan Ballengee

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Texas State University’s Archives and Research Center Now Open

ARCstaffFeatureatThe Archives and Research Center (ARC) at the  Science, Technology and Advanced Research(STAR) Park Research campus in San Marcos is now open. The ARC is the third library facility operated by the University Libraries joining the prominent Albert B. Alkek Library, located in the heart of the San Marcos campus, and the growing Round Rock Campus Library

The ARC is a state-of-the art archive library that will preserve decades of university treasures and library resources, collections and research materials. Its climate-controlled environment with cold temperatures and low humidity will prolong the life of these unique assets keeping them available for exploration and discovery, while supporting the growth of the Alkek Library and Texas State. The new library facility will be open to the public and will include a reading room to allow students, faculty, staff and researchers to review and interact with materials on site. Daily transportation of materials checked out from the ARC to the Alkek Library will make accessing materials quick and easy so patrons on the San Marcos campus will not need to drive to STAR Park to retrieve desired items.

The 14,000 square-foot ARC features a high-density shelving model that rises 35 feet high, contains more than six miles of shelving space and is environmentally controlled at 50°F with 30 percent relative humidity for ideal preservation of most materials. The initially identified materials that will move to the ARC over the next two years will include more than 600,000 library items and 3,000 linear feet of archival and Wittliff Collections materials.

ARCoutsideWith the new ARC facility, Texas State joins other major research universities like Harvard, Stanford, Rice, The University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M and many others who have built similar high-density, climate-controlled storage facilities to house and preserve their valuable collections and research materials.

Unique to the Texas State facility, is a secondary climate-controlled environment that will preserve art and artifacts that need a slightly higher temperature and humidity level. Items that need cooler temperatures, but could become brittle in the extreme cold and dry environment like oil paintings and wooden artifacts will be stored in the Art and Artifacts room at 68°F and 40 percent relative humidity.

The opening of the ARC also advances planned improvements to the Alkek Library that will meet the needs of today’s digitally focused students. The migration of seldom-circulated, but valuable resources from the Alkek to the ARC will free up space for the addition of modern, technology-rich learning commons features that will make the Alkek a showcase information and research facility.

Planned additions to the Alkek support research, innovation and student success and include: a virtual reality and makerspace center, 3D technologies, video presentation studios and practice labs, a digital media center, a GIS/data research hub, technology-centric group study and collaboration spaces, flexible model classrooms with robust technology, and a café.

Even as the ARC makes way for the Alkek to evolve into a more modern library facility, generous space will continue to be dedicated to new and in-demand book stacks, resource materials and quiet independent study spaces so that students and faculty across all disciplines can find what they need and the space to suit their individual preferences within the walls of the Alkek Library.

Additional space on the seventh floor of the Alkek Library will also make way for the expansion of the prestigious Wittliff Collections with growing assets that now include the Southwestern Writers Collection, the Southwestern & Mexican Photography Collection, the Lonesome Dove Collection and major papers of such notable authors as Cormac McCarthy, Sam Shepard and Sandra Cisneros. The collection also boasts the largest repository of modern and contemporary Mexican photography in the U.S. and is one of the university’s most valuable research resources.

Submitted by Debbie Pitts, University Libraries Marketing and Promotions Coordinator

Olga Gerhart’s Library Testimonial

OlgaGerhartTestimonial“Since arriving at the Texas State University Philosophy Department two years ago, the library has been an incredible resource.  In terms of my teaching, librarians have provided customized learning sessions for both my lower- and upper-level classes, and I frequently use the “Ask a Librarian” feature to find a fact or statistic before I go into lecture.  I also have been able to order books that I have adopted in classes so that I can place them on Reserve for the students.  And if the library does not have an article I would like to assign my students to read, the Copyright Officer purchases access to it.  In terms of my research, interlibrary loan has been invaluable.  Moreover, after I have written a piece, the Copyright Officer will not only help me determine what copyright permissions need to be obtained, the Officer will actually do the work to get those permissions.  Finally, in terms of character, the librarians with whom I have worked have always been friendly, knowledgeable, and über competent.”

— Olga Gerhart, Philosophy Faculty

Arun Banotra’s Alkek Library Testimonial

“I love the library because it’s like a limitless universe of learning. That means I’ll always have a place to learn, volunteer and make new friends. My library access is my permanent ticket to get a bunch of FREE education and entertainment. I feel so lucky to have this library as my resource. I love this place.

When I was a grad student here at Texas state I used to spend most of my time in the library. It was kind of a second home for me because my home at that time was just for sleep and to get some rest. I still remember those group studies, working on projects, preparing for midterms and finals in library. My choice of floor to study used to vary depending on the criticality of my task. If it was exam time, then I used to study on either the 5th or 6th floor, because those are silent floors, or get some personal study room on the 6th or 7th floor so that I could concentrate easily on my studies without any kind of noise.  If I had to work on some projects along with some chit-chat with my friends while doing my work, then the choice of floor was the 2nd or 4th floor. I personally love the 2nd floor and I believe this is the most happening and lively floor in the whole Alkek library. You can spend long hours on studies there, and if you’re starving, you always have the option to grab some goodies from Outtakes on the 2nd floor or the lounge on the 1st floor. Last but not least, how can I forget about the 3rd floor. If you need any digital media for fun or some prototypes for your project or class, this is the best place for you. While preparing for job interviews after my graduation, I spent almost 2 months in the library studying day and night. Even though that was a hard time, I met so many wonderful people in the library and made a lot of good friends over there who always motivated me in my hard times. Thanks to this place which gave me the chance to meet so many amazing people.

I used to spend so much time in the library because it feels good to see so many people burning their mid-night oil and preparing so hard along with you. You never feel alone in your struggle, and it acts as a stress reliever and boosts your morale. The best part about the library is they always have some happening events going on throughout the year. Sometimes those events include informative sessions about GIS etc. and sometimes they include fun events like game night, etc.

Even though I am a professional now and fortunate to have a full time job at Texas State, I still try my best to spend a few hours at Alkek each week to learn new things. I feel very at home there, and it’s always fun to catch up with old friends and learn new things with them because the library is swirling with galaxies of knowledge and worlds of books to explore.”

—- Arun Banotra, Electronic Research Specialist, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. Master of science in Computer Science from Texas State.

New Alkek Library READ poster and postcards with graduate Daniela Garcia!

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This is our new READ poster image with recent graduate, Daniela Garcia! You can get your free postcards at these locations in Alkek Library:

Circulation and Research & Info desk – main or 2nd floor
Periodicals/Media desk –  3rd floor
Government Info desk – 4th floor
The Wittliff – 7th floor

They will also be available soon at the Round Rock Campus Library.

Here is Daniela’s full testimonial about reading and the library. Her quote is on the back of the READ postcards too:

“Growing up I never truly had immediate access to luxury entertainment thus naturally causing me to shift my attention towards books. My sisters were older than me by a few years so I always found myself connected to characters inside books of many sorts instead. Throughout my public education, I would look forward to the school book raffles sometimes giving me the opportunity to get more than one book! My own personal library has been developing since those times and has even inspired me to write my own stories. Out of this inspiration derived the decision to attempt a degree in English to be able to hone my writing craft. Being surrounded by books to me means surrounded by a myriad number of worlds and characters. Being surrounded by books means surrounded by endless possibilities and opportunities to learn. This is why I love books and why the library is the most magical place for me to be.”

Daniela Garcia
BA in English, Film emphasis
Minor in Anthropology
Sigma Tau Delta International English Honors Society Member

Finals Events at Alkek!

Alkek Library will be open 24 hours each day before and during finals, starting at 7 a.m. on Monday, May 1 until midnight on Friday, May 5. Saturday, May 6 we’re open from 10 a.m. to  1 a.m., and then we resume continuous hours from 10 a.m. Sunday, May 7 until we close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 10.

ShinerFinals are stressful, so starting Wednesday, May 3, the main floor of the library will have all sorts of ways to take study breaks. Stop by the Research & Information Desk to pick up a piece of candy, stress-relief bubble wrap, or a pencil for your scantron. Also, we’ll have 3D Doodle Pens and LEGO® available near the Media Corner, where we’ll be showing cartoons.

makerdayWe’ll also have some special events in the Open Theater on the main floor. Therapy dogs are returning (yay!), and will be here from 1 to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, May 2 and Wednesday, May 3. Maker Day will be on Tuesday, May 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.– all supplies are provided, so stop in and relax while making something to take home.

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The point is, take a breather! And if you’re stuck and have a last-minute research question, chat with us using Ask-A-Librarian, or email, call, or just stop by the Research & Information Desk – we’re happy to help.

Happy finals, everyone!

Alkek Library Staff Art Show, 1st Floor, until July 31st

Drawing by Tara Spies

Come see visual art made by staff of the Alkek Library Building at Texas State University. Exhibit includes art by librarians, library assistants, and other staff in various departments of the library as well as staff in Instructional Technologies Support.  See works of fiber arts, photography, jewelry, woodcut, paintings, drawings, and more!