UH Libraries News

OER Adoptions on Follett Discover

The deadline for submitting Spring 2021 course material adoptions has been extended to Tuesday, November 17. Instructors who use open educational resources (OER) as course materials can submit their adoptions using Follett Discover. 

Submitting timely adoptions of OER materials lets students know which courses do not have textbook costs, allowing them to make informed course registration decisions, and maintains the university’s compliance with state and federal regulations. 

Submitting OER Adoptions

Access Follett Discover from your AccessUH account. 

  • Option 1 (PREFERRED). Link to or upload your OER material. In Follett Discover, select your course title and go to “Add My Content.” 
  • Option 2. Select “Only OER material is being used for this course,” displayed on your course title card. This option is useful when adopting multiple OER resources that are cumbersome to enter individually. If you are adopting OER and a traditional textbook, do not select this link, as it will prevent the textbook from being added. 

We encourage you to share this information with your colleagues. For further assistance with Follett Discover, refer to Faculty Textbook Adoption

For more information about OER, visit UH Libraries Open Educational Resources

By on November 13th, 2020 in Announcements, Featured

New ‘Among Us’ Sewing Workshop

‘Among Us’ sewing workshop

The University of Houston Libraries Makerspace will host a new sewing workshop online this month. Users will learn basic hand-sewing skills by sewing a simple plushie based on the popular game Among Us. No experience is required and the workshop is free.

This class will be held via Zoom on November 18 from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Registration is required. Materials required to complete this course will be free for curbside pick-up after the user has completed registration for the workshop. 

Upcoming Arduino Workshops

University of Houston Libraries will host a series of Arduino workshops online beginning Thursday, October 29. The Arduino is the most affordable and accessible microcontroller available. It has the ability to accomplish almost all simple electronic projects and is the perfect introduction to programming in C++. These five workshops offer an introduction to Arduino from scratch so you can build your robot, work on your class project, or improve your home – without any programming experience needed.

Arduino workshops

Arduino workshops

Arduino Workshop 1 – October 29, 12 noon – 2 p.m.

Arduino Workshop 2 – November 5, 12 noon – 2 p.m.

Arduino Workshop 3 – November 12, 12 noon – 2 p.m.

Arduino Workshop 4 – November 19, 12 noon – 2 p.m.

Arduino Workshop 5 – December 3, 12 noon – 2 p.m.

New Digital Research Commons Manager

Elizabeth Irvin-Stravoski

Elizabeth Irvin-Stravoski

University of Houston Libraries welcomes Elizabeth Irvin-Stravoski as the first manager of the Digital Research Commons (DRC).

Please describe your role at UH Libraries and talk about some of your professional goals.

I will be administering the Commons and helping the Digital Research Services department build and expand DRC offerings. I will also be assuming the management of the UH Institutional Repository, including processing electronic theses and dissertations.

Please share a bit about your background and interests. How do these inspire and shape your approach in digital research?

I graduated from UH in ’19 (Go Coogs!) with a master’s degree in English literature and a certificate in digital humanities. I hold a standard Texas Teacher’s certificate for ELAR 7-12 and am also a licensed practical nurse. These life experiences, together with a focus on medieval literature during the pursuit of my degree, have fostered a curiosity in the intersection of the medical advances (or lack thereof) of an era, together with the literature it produces. Digital research provides the methods to consider such an intersection in excitingly thorough and unique ways.

Please summarize a few of your current projects.

My primary focus is to transition from public school teaching to managing the DRC, and all that that entails. However, I am very interested in revisiting/revising a project from my graduate student days, in which the literature of the 14th century is analyzed using digital methods—from a medical practitioner’s standpoint—for its relevance and relation to the Black Death.

What is your favorite hobby?

I hope it isn’t too cliché to say that my favorite hobbies would be reading and researching/learning about new and interesting things across a wide spectrum of topics. If I had to pick one topic or genre, I would say I most enjoy reading historical fiction, for the wealth of independent research opportunities it provides. I’m currently reading Maurice Druon’s The Accursed Kings series, about the 14th century French monarchy and lauded by George R.R. Martin as “the original Game of Thrones.”

UH Researchers Release Digital Exploration of Ancient Syria

A digital humanities project featuring a dynamic presentation of ancient Syrian material culture is now available online.

The SYRIOS Project: Studying Urban Relationships and Identity Over Ancient Syria is a digital exhibit focusing on narratives of the Syrian capital city of Antioch-on-the-Orontes. The proof-of-concept release guides users through interactive stories of the region built from coins, texts, and other material culture.

Kristina Neumann, PhD, assistant professor of Roman/digital history, and Peggy Lindner, PhD, assistant professor of computer information systems at University of Houston, are leading a multi-year, interdisciplinary project that began as a study in visualizations from a database of 300,000+ coin finds. The researchers noted the topic drew attention in and outside of academia, and pursued an approach that holds implications for both scholarly and public interest, with the ultimate goal of preserving knowledge of the ancient Middle East through new digital methodologies, and facilitating public engagement with contemporary issues of Syrian identity and heritage.

In its first phase, the SYRIOS exhibit is the culmination of experiments in design, interactivity (such as animated text and parallax scrolling, 3D scans, digital visualizations, and virtual simulations), and usability. “Especially innovative is our sortable digital coin pile and our 3D annotated coin,” Neumann said. “We also go well beyond traditional online archives and catalogs by narrating ancient stories with coins, texts, and other artifacts from Syria.”

Users are able to view new research in the form of thematic narratives based on coin, archaeological, and textual evidence about political, economic, religious, and archaeological histories of Antioch; and explore coin evidence as pieces of art and as objects that move, including a series of Tableau maps presenting archaeological data, an illustrated Omeka catalog of all known types of coins minted at Antioch, and a dataset of coins excavated at Antioch, which users can download to explore their own applications of the material.

Future iterations of the exhibit will feature content and design enhancements, and expansion to include the histories and material culture of other cities within ancient Syria.

This project is made possible by funding from the UH Libraries Sponsored Projects program and by expertise from the Libraries’ Digital Research Services, Liaison Services, Special Collections, and Library Technology Services departments.

Digital Research Commons Virtual Office Hours

University of Houston Libraries Digital Research Commons staff will be available for office hours every Friday during the Fall 2020 semester through November 20. Researchers at all levels are encouraged to bring their questions about digital humanities, data management, and scholarly publishing to the virtual DRC during the following times:

Digital Humanities
11:00am – 12:00pm with Dr. Claude Willan, Director of Digital Humanities Services

Research Data Management
12:00pm – 1:00pm with Dr. Reid Boehm, Research Data Management Librarian

Scholarly Publishing
1:00pm – 2:00pm with Taylor Davis-Van Atta, Director of the Digital Research Commons and founding publisher of Music & Literature: a humanities journal

Access virtual office hours
All sessions are accessible through this Zoom link (no password required). You may be added to the Zoom Waiting Room and admitted on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Questions? Contact us.

2021 Sponsored Projects Call for Proposals

University of Houston Libraries Digital Research Services (DRS) and Digital Research Commons (DRC) invite UH faculty, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows to submit proposals for sponsored digital research projects to run for the calendar year 2021. DRS collaborates with researchers on projects involving digital techniques across the humanities, social sciences, and experimental sciences.

DRS seeks teams or individuals, experts and novices alike, who have a project that they would like to develop. This can either be a project that is already underway or one not yet begun. While prior knowledge of digital tools and techniques is welcome, it is not required. DRS works with researchers to help them organize their information, analyze it, and produce compelling results.

DRS will offer grants at three levels, designed to address projects at different levels of development. The first level, designed to help projects at the seed stage of development, will offer funding up to $3500. The second, designed to develop projects that have already made demonstrable progress, will offer funding up to $6500. The third tier, designed to foster projects at a planning stage, will offer funding up to $1000, and focus primarily on producing a polished application for federal or external grants.

Proposals are due by November 6. For more information on how to submit your proposal, visit Sponsored Projects Program Overview and Documentation.

Virtual Poetry & Prose September 30

University of Houston Libraries is pleased to announce the first-ever virtual Poetry & Prose reading, featuring new graduate students of the UH Creative Writing Program. The reading starts at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 30 on Zoom and is free to attend. Register

Reader Bios

Nick Almeida earned his MFA from The Michener Center for Writers where he was Editor-in-Chief of Bat City Review. His fiction has appeared in American Literary Review, Mid-American ReviewWaxwingSoutheast Review, and elsewhere. 

Pritha Bhattacharyya (PhD, Fiction) is a Bengali-American writer and first-year fiction PhD student at the University of Houston. She completed her MFA at Boston University, and she was a Fall 2019 Leslie Epstein Global Fellow in Osaka, Japan. 

Ryan Bollenbach is a writer living in Houston, Texas. He formerly served as poetry editor for Black Warrior Review in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He reads for SweetLit: A Literary Confection and Heavy Feather Review. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Colorado Review, poets.org, Painted Bride Quarterly, Snail Trail Press and elsewhere. Find his tweets @SilentAsIAm, more writing @ whatgreatlarks.tumblr.com

Addie Eliades, a new UH MFA candidate in poetry, was a 2019 Fulbright Fellow in Brazil. She received the University of Virginia’s 2017 Rachel St. Paul Poetry Prize. Her writing has appeared in Bitter Melon Magazine, Rumble Fish Quarterly, and other publications.

Tayyba Maya Kanwal is a Pakistani-American writer who grew up in the United Arab Emirates. Her work appears in Juxtaprose, Quarterly West and other journals. Her nonfiction has been anthologized by The Doctor TJ Eckleburg Review and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Her awards include the Inprint C. Glenn Cambor Fellowship. She is a candidate for an MFA at the Creative Writing Program at the University of Houston.

Erin L. McCoy holds an MFA in creative writing and an MA in Hispanic studies from the University of Washington. She won second place in the 2019–2020 Rougarou Poetry Contest, judged by CAConrad, and her poem, “Futures,” was selected by Natalie Diaz for inclusion in Best New Poets 2017. Her poetry and fiction have been published or are forthcoming in Bennington Review, Pleiades, DIAGRAM, Nimrod International Journal, Conjunctions, and other publications.

Fey Popoola is an activist and writer. She has a degree in Linguistics and Cognitive Science from Princeton University and is now a first year poetry MFA student here at UH. 

Joy Priest is the author of HORSEPOWER (Pitt Poetry Series, 2020), winner of the Donald Hall Prize for Poetry. She is the recipient of the 2020 Stanley Kunitz Prize and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, APRThe AtlanticPoetry Northwest, and Poets & Writers, among others. She is currently a doctoral student in Literature & Creative Writing at the University of Houston.  

Stephanie Pushaw‘s short fiction appears in Narrative, Joyland, and the Masters Review Anthology. She has also published essays in Mississippi Review, DIAGRAM, and Los Angeles Review of Books. She was a Truman Capote Fellow at the University of Montana, where she received an MFA in Fiction, and has worked as assistant essays and interviews editor at The Believer. Originally from Los Angeles, Stephanie currently lives in New Orleans. 

Adele Elise Williams is a poet from Louisiana. She is a winner of the Emily Morrison Poetry Prize and has received support from Hindman Settlement School, Muse Writing Center and Inprint of Houston. Adele’s work can be found or is forthcoming in Split Lip Magazine, The Adroit Journal, Quarterly West, SAND, and more. 

New Resource Description Librarian

Leo Martin

Leo Martin

University of Houston Libraries welcomes Leo Martin as the new resource description librarian.

Please describe your role at UH Libraries and talk about some of your professional goals.

I’m very excited to be joining UH Libraries as their new resource description librarian. I primarily create catalog records for music scores, sound recordings, and special collections materials. I am also researching recent trends in popular music, including established and emerging microgenres like chopped and screwed music and vaporwave music.

Please share a bit about your background and interests. How do these inspire and shape your approach as a librarian?

Collaboration underpins all of the work I do, and is foundational in my approach to librarianship. I’m an educator first and foremost, and I try to center my approach to cataloging resources on discovery and accessibility. My first job in a library was actually as a student assistant at the UH Music Library over in the Moores School of Music building! After a stint in the Marines I knocked out my B.S. in Music Education and M.S in Library Science with a focus in music librarianship at the University of North Texas. I’ve also gigged and taught bassoon and oboe lessons over the years, and was previously the catalog librarian for the New England Conservatory of Music.

What is your first impression of the University?

I had the opportunity to visit campus in mid-February before COVID-19 and thoroughly enjoyed my time interacting with the UH community. It’s also a very good sign when students are in the library using resources and interacting regularly with the staff there. To also see how UH has navigated the uncertainty brought by the pandemic and both hire and onboard me is nothing short of impressive.

What is your favorite hobby/cuisine/book/movie?

I dabble in making zines (shorthand for “do-it-yourself” magazines) and have been recently working through my backlog of video games, TV series and books. I’ve recently read Questlove’s book “Creative Quest,” and have been chipping away at “Fire Emblem: Three Houses” on the Nintendo Switch.

By on September 18th, 2020 in Announcements, Featured

New Endowment Supports LGBT History Research Collection

University of Houston Libraries is pleased to announce the establishment of a new endowment to support the LGBT History Research Collection.

The Hollyfield Foundation Endowment will provide funding for the acquisition and preservation of primary source materials in the LGBT History Research Collection, one of 13 collecting areas in UH Libraries Special Collections. The collection preserves and promotes the archives of LGBT communities and organizations from Houston and the region. Materials, including personal papers, organization records, and library collections, document the communities’ activist, cultural, social, and political activities, and the personal experiences of community members.

Through its support of LGBT and AIDS non-profits, the Hollyfield Foundation has made a substantial positive impact on local LGBT communities since its inception in 1994. The Houston-based organization contributes to charities that work to prevent discrimination, promote equality, and assist in HIV/AIDS education, care and treatment.

“Jay Hollyfield deeply loved Houston and our LGBT community and history,” said Elizabeth McLane, Hollyfield Foundation board president. “The Hollyfield Foundation Board of Directors is thrilled that his name will now be linked perpetually to one of the nation’s most extensive and exceptional LGBT history collections.”

In recognition of this grant, UH Libraries will establish an annual exhibition of materials from the LGBT History Research Collection, to be held at MD Anderson Library during June each year as part of Pride Month.

Marilyn Myers, interim dean of UH Libraries, said the endowment supports the Libraries’ mission to preserve and provide access to unique primary sources for teaching, learning, research, and scholarship. “This endowment will allow UH Libraries to expand the LGBT History Research Collection and increase engagement with students and scholars,” Myers said. “With this gift, we’ll be able to make accessible a rich collection of primary source materials to those seeking an understanding of the history and legacy of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender communities.”