UH Libraries News

UH Libraries Staff Recognized at UH Staff Excellence Reception

University of Houston Libraries staff were honored at the 2018 UH Staff Excellence Reception for service longevity.

Dean of Libraries Lisa German (right) with UH Libraries staff recognized for service longevity at the UH Staff Excellence Reception. From left: Jyoti Vyas, Renee Fiorini-McManus, and Nelda Cervantes.

Dean of Libraries Lisa German (right) with UH Libraries staff recognized for service longevity at the UH Staff Excellence Reception. From left: Jyoti Vyas, Renee Fiorini-McManus, and Nelda Cervantes.

Those honored were Jyoti Vyas (20 years); Alma Gallo (20 years); Nelda Cervantes (25 years); Richard Guajardo (30 years); Renee Fiorini-McManus (30 years); and Jack Hall (over 40 years).

By on August 14th, 2018 in Announcements, Featured

Shanequea White Honored with President’s Excellence Award

Shanequea White

Shanequea White

A University of Houston Libraries staff member was honored at the 2018 UH Staff Excellence Reception.

A select group of University employees is honored each year through the President’s Excellence Awards. Shanequea White, UH Libraries department business administrator, won the 2018 President’s Excellence Award for Community Service. White, a UH alumna (BBA ’13) and longtime staff member, has been active in UH Staff Council for many years, and has contributed to the success of many campus-wide efforts, such as the Sock & Blanket Drive and the Spring Egg Hunt. Outside of UH, White is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, an organization whose purpose is to provide assistance and support through established programs in local communities throughout the world. In addition, White is pursuing her MBA at University of Houston-Downtown.

White is dedicated to helping others. “Community service is very important to me,” she said. “It allows me to give back to individuals in need, as well as to UH and the Houston community.” With the President’s Excellence Award, she is proud to continue her family’s legacy in both UH service and volunteerism. Her mother, grandmother, and aunt also attended UH and were longtime UH staff members, and are active in community service efforts as well.

View photos from the 2018 UH Staff Excellence Reception.

By on August 14th, 2018 in Announcements, Featured

UH Libraries to Host Viewing of Artist Documentary

University of Houston Libraries is pleased to host a viewing of the documentary, Jesse Lott: Art and Activism, at the University of Houston Dudley Recital Hall, located in the Fine Arts Building, on Thursday, September 13.

Jesse Lott

Jesse Lott

Lott is an influential African American artist known for “visionary wire sculpture, paper figures, and works on paper made using found materials.” He is one of the founders of Project Row Houses. The film follows Lott as he prepares for his 2016 show at Art League Houston where he was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award by his childhood friend, Mel Chin.

The filmmaker, Cressandra Thibodeaux, is an award-winning director and artist. She is the executive director of 14 Pews.

The event will begin with a reception at 6:30 p.m. with the documentary showtime at 7 p.m. A conversation with Lott and Thibodeaux will follow, along with a sculpture demonstration by the artist.

Light refreshments will be served. The event is free and open to the public, and registration is required.

UH Libraries Offers Research Workshops

Beginning in Fall 2018, University of Houston Libraries will offer a series of one-hour workshops for faculty, staff, and students to hone their skills on a variety of research tools.

Taught by Wenli Gao, data services librarian, the workshops will be hands-on to get participants quickly familiar with the tools for use in their own research. All workshops will be held in the MD Anderson Library, room 106R.

Data Cleaning with OpenRefine
OpenRefine (formerly Google Refine) is a tool for working with semi-structured datasets. It allows you to explore data, easily find facet patterns within data, and enable simple detection of data inconsistencies. It also offers quick clean-up and transformation options. In this workshop, participants will learn how to perform common data cleaning functions and use GREL (Google Refine Expression Language) for more advanced cleaning needs.

Introduction to ArcMap
This workshop will provide an overview of how ArcGIS software can help you analyze or visualize digital data that has a locational component. Participants will become familiar with the ArcGIS interface. In this hands-on session, participants will create a simple map, edit the layout, and export the map into different formats. It will also introduce learning resources to explore more GIS.

Introduction to Tableau
In this workshop, participants will use Tableau Public to create interactive data visualizations. It will cover an overview of the program and provide hands-on experience creating basic charts and maps, as well as creating interactive web-based visualization dashboards. It will also discuss publishing to the Tableau Public web server.

Online mapping with ArcGIS online
In this workshop, participants will learn basic terminologies for GIS and identify opportunities to apply GIS in your work. Participants will also learn how to use ArcGIS online to create a map with lines, points, and polygons. We will use real data to create a Houston hurricane evacuation map and see where City of Houston’s non-emergency service calls were received to report flooding during Hurricane Harvey. We will also add demographic data to the map and identify areas that need more assistance during the evacuation.


  • Tuesday Oct. 2 at 11am Data Cleaning with OpenRefine
  • Thursday Oct. 11 at 2pm Introduction to ArcMap
  • Tuesday Oct. 16 at 11am Introduction to Tableau
  • Thursday Oct. 25 at 2pm Online mapping with ArcGIS online
  • Monday Oct. 29 at 11am Data Cleaning with OpenRefine
  • Wednesday Nov. 7 at 2pm Introduction to ArcMap
  • Monday Nov. 12 at 11am Introduction to Tableau
  • Wednesday Nov. 28 at 2pm Online mapping with ArcGIS online

Register for research workshops

By on August 8th, 2018 in Announcements, Featured, New Service

Lucas Johnson and Patricia Covo Johnson Papers

Patricia and Lucas Johnson, 1979. The portrait was captured by photographer Janice Rubin.

Patricia and Lucas Johnson, 1979. The portrait was captured by photographer Janice Rubin.

University of Houston Libraries is pleased to announce that Patricia Covo Johnson has generously pledged the Lucas Johnson and Patricia Covo Johnson Papers to UH Special Collections.

Patricia Covo Johnson is known for her work as an art critic and gallery owner. After college, she met artist Lucas Johnson (1940 – 2002) while working at Galeria de Arte Misrachi in Mexico City. The couple married in 1971. In a 2006 Houston Chronicle story about Johnson, she wrote that he was self-taught in various art techniques and in 1962, found creative inspiration in Mexico City, where he lived for a decade.

Lisa German, dean of UH Libraries and Elizabeth D. Rockwell chair, said that the future acquisition supports the Libraries’ mission to preserve and provide access to historically significant primary sources for teaching, learning, research, and scholarship. “We welcome the addition of the papers that document the life and work of Patricia Covo Johnson and Lucas Johnson,” German said. “This collection will go far in engaging the scholarly community on the history of art and artists in Houston and beyond.”

The collection comprises artist Lucas Johnson’s biographical and work history, files pertaining to Covo de Iongh Gallery, and Covo Johnson’s articles and essays for the Houston Chronicle and other publications. When asked what inspired her to gift her papers to UH Special Collections, Covo Johnson said “as an art historian by training and critic by profession, I treasure the value of archives for students and scholars. Their existence meets the need to access original material from which the histories of all human action are ultimately known, written and understood.”

The mission of UH Special Collections is to preserve, safeguard, organize, and describe materials in its collecting areas, while promoting access to rare archival items for current and future generations. “I am honored and grateful that my collection dating from the early 1970s will become part of that safe and invaluable public resource in our city,” said Covo Johnson.

By on August 2nd, 2018 in Announcements, Featured

OER Award Opportunities

Two opportunities for University of Houston faculty to apply for awards for the creation and implementation of open educational resources (OER) are open.

The US Department of Education issued a notice inviting applications for new awards for the Open Textbooks Pilot program conducted under the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number 84.116T. One to 3 OER grants totaling $5 million will be awarded in late September. The Open Textbooks Pilot program supports projects at institutions of higher education that create new open textbooks or expand their use of open textbooks while maintaining or improving instruction and student learning outcomes. Applicants are encouraged to develop projects that demonstrate the greatest potential to achieve the highest level of savings for students through sustainable, expanded use of open textbooks in high-enrollment courses (as defined in this notice) or in programs that prepare individuals for in-demand fields. The deadline for transmittal of applications is August 29, 2018.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) Open Educational Resources Grant Program aims to encourage faculty at institutions of higher education to adopt, modify, redesign, or develop courses that use only OER.The THECB expects to award to eligible faculty a maximum of $5,000 for applications that propose to adopt, modify, redesign, or create one course that will use only open educational materials and a maximum of $10,000 for applications that propose to adopt, modify, redesign, or create multiple courses. The THECB anticipates awarding approximately twenty grants under this project for the biennium ending August 31, 2019. Applications must be submitted on or before August 20, 2018.

Learn more about OER.

By on August 2nd, 2018 in Announcements, Featured

UH Libraries to Host Virtual Talks with Swansea

University of Houston librarians will take part in a series of virtual conversations with librarians from Swansea University, located in the United Kingdom. UH librarians will share information about UH Libraries’ practices and processes regarding the development of online learning.

In what will be the first of several scheduled talks, members of the UH Libraries Instruction Program will cover topics such as library staff structure, software, and assessment of student engagement with Swansea librarians.

The endeavor is mutually beneficial. It supports UH Libraries’ values of increasing cross-cultural knowledge and engaging in continual improvement; sharing experiences with partner institutions allows UH librarians to critically think about methods and processes.

The academic libraries’ talks represent an established record of strategic partnership between the two universities. Swansea University, a world-class public research university located in Swansea, Wales, is a UH partner institution, with a student exchange program, teaching and research collaboration, guest lectures, and joint conferences.

By on July 27th, 2018 in Announcements, Featured

In Memoriam: Gene McDavid

Gene McDavid, former Houston Chronicle executive and longtime friend of the University of Houston, passed away this month.

George Eugene McDavid (1930-2018) was a “lifelong newspaperman.” The Mississippi native moved to Houston with his family in 1958. He attended the University of Houston while working at the Chronicle, graduating cum laude with a Bachelor of Business Administration. In 1997, McDavid received the UH Distinguished Alumni Award, and in 1998, was appointed to the Board of Regents of the University of Houston System.

“Gene McDavid made innumerable contributions to the University of Houston Libraries for the benefit of our students,” said Lisa German, dean of UH Libraries and Elizabeth D. Rockwell chair. “His advocacy for the renovation of the MD Anderson Library was appreciated by all of us here. He will be missed very much.”

View a clip from an oral history exploring the life and career of Gene McDavid.

By on July 26th, 2018 in Announcements, Featured

UH Libraries Announces Microgrant Winners

University of Houston Libraries has awarded funds to innovative project teams through its Microgrant Program.

Now in its 10th year, the Microgrant Program fosters new ideas in support of the Libraries’ Strategic Plan and the University’s goals.

Library staff submitted proposals for new services and programs which would benefit teaching, learning and research objectives of the UH community, and will collaborate in cross-departmental teams to implement their ideas.

The UH Libraries Microgrant Program winners for 2018-2019 are:

Project title: Love Data @ UH
Wenli Gao (chair), Andrea Malone, Taylor Davis-Van Atta, Alex Simons

Formerly known as Love Your Data Week, the purpose of the Love Data @ UH event is to raise awareness and build an engaged community around topics related to research data management, sharing, preservation, reuse, and library-based research data services. The project team will invite campus units that provide data-related services to talk about their services, and also invite faculty/students who use data in their research and teaching to showcase their projects.

Project title: Inaugural UH Digital Scholarship Winter Institute
Claude Willan (chair), Taylor Davis-Van Atta, Elizabeth Stravoski

Hosted in the Digital Research Commons and facilitated by the Digital Research Services department, the inaugural Digital Humanities Winter Institute at UH will be a five-day intensive boot camp for UH faculty and students interested in planning and executing their digital scholarship research projects. A campus-wide call for applicants will be circulated in the early part of the fall 2018 semester. Six UH researchers will make selections using criteria adapted from current acceptance criteria for DRC project proposals, with the goal of developing a cohort of projects around a common theme or set of approaches.

The Institute will run from Monday, January 7, through Friday, January 11, 2019. During the week, participants will have opportunities for individual consultations with Claude Willan, Taylor Davis-Van Atta, Wenli Gao, and other specialists, as well as access to software and equipment. Each researcher will be given a flash drive with an FAQ about project building and a zip archive containing the required components to install several key free software tools to help them get started.

Thanks to the members of the Microgrant Committee: Alex Simons (chair), Jay Harkin, Jamie Duke, and Daniel Pshock.

New Digital Resource on Houston’s Riverside Terrace

A newly digitized and accessible collection focusing on Houston’s Riverside Terrace has been added to the UH Libraries Audio/Video Repository.

This Is Our Home, It Is Not For Sale

This Is Our Home, It Is Not For Sale

The collection features raw footage captured for the production of the 1987 documentary This Is Our Home, It Is Not For Sale by Jon Schwartz. The searchable and viewable clips comprise over 110 interviews with former residents, city council members, former University of Houston faculty, and other community leaders discussing the evolution of Riverside Terrace amid urban development, expansion of neighboring institutions, and changes in demographics during the 1950s and 60s. The firsthand perspectives of interviewees collectively provide a fascinating and honest narrative about race and real estate in mid-century Houston.

The complete documentary is available to watch in the UH Special Collections Reading Room. In addition, the papers of filmmaker Jon Schwartz are preserved and accessible in the Reading Room. This collection covers the full scope of records related to the production of the documentary. Interviews from the collection were digitized with the generous support of an Institute of Museum and Library Services TexTreasures grant, administered by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.