The William R. Jenkins Architecture, Design, and Art Library is pleased to announce its fall schedule of pop-up libraries, in partnership with First Friday Studio Sessions at Blaffer Art Museum.
The program features a series of pop-up libraries with curated art books available for check-out and museum catalogs for sale. Refreshments and light snacks will be provided.
- August 30 | 10am-12pm
- September 6 | 10am-12pm
- October 4 | 10am-12pm
- October 10 | 4-6pm
- November 1 | 10am-12pm
- December 6 | 10am-12pm
“I thought I’d print 500 copies and they’d live in my closet,” said Taylor Davis-Van Atta of the first volume of Music & Literature. “Maybe I would do five issues if I was lucky.”
Word got around. The journal, produced by the nonprofit Music & Literature, Inc. and celebrating the oeuvres of international writers, artists, and musicians, has released nine issues to date, with its tenth and eleventh volumes in the works. What began as a labor of love by a curious and motivated individual has evolved to an esteemed, distinctive literary publication that is distributed to over 70 US bookstores and subscribed to by nearly 50 academic and public libraries; with contributors spanning six continents, over 45 countries, and working in 25 languages.
Davis-Van Atta, digital scholarship coordinator at University of Houston Libraries, was pleasantly surprised by the reception of the journal in 2013, which grew from his personal interest in artists not well-known in the US. He is publisher and co-editor of Music & Literature, which originated from research, and tons of it.
“In the early days before we had any staff and it was just me, I would look into what had been written in other languages about an artist I was interested in,” he said. “I’d reach out to the artist and tell them I wanted to curate a substantial portfolio of work about their career to date, and make it available to English-speaking readers.”
Davis-Van Atta provided the artist with a sense of the goal of the journal, and realistic expectations of the project, not the least of which is that publication does not necessarily equal widespread fame, although the journal has been successful in terms of gaining the interest of other editors and publishers. With an understanding of the commitment involved, the artists whom he has contacted have been enthusiastic and generous with their time and effort.
Each print issue of Music & Literature is devoted to the portfolios of artists whose work, for various reasons, had yet to reach an English-speaking audience. The editorial team works with artists to select pieces of their work, and translators are hired. The portfolios are assembled with varied perspectives on the artists’ work, and aims to be as comprehensive as possible. Many of Music & Literature’s featured artists have been working for over 30 years.
The most recent issue features Swiss-German writer Peter Bichsel and Canadian poet Sylvia Legris, two radically different artists who share no interest in self-promotion but have achieved a cult following in their regions of the globe.
“We seek out those artists who are truly deserving of being globally known,” said Davis-Van Atta, noting both the challenge of being introduced to a new language as an artist, and the value of encountering global voices.
Now with a staff of seven and fluency in eight languages, the editors of Music & Literature rely on a network of readers, other editors, and cultural attachés in underrepresented parts of the world who have a strong sense of the art that’s being produced in various languages. The lifecycle of a portfolio, from recommendation to publication, takes around two years, including selection of work, securing rights and permissions, and finding available translators.
Crossing language barriers is a time-consuming but necessary endeavor, said Davis-Van Atta. “It’s a big investment from a lot of people, and it definitely takes time to find what we think are the best pieces and what will resonate with English readers. [The artists] are coming from a completely different set of contexts than those we might be used to, so we want to find pieces that make sense and generate interest. There’s no built-in audience for this.”
Issue 10 of Music & Literature will feature poet and artist Renee Gladman, and improvisational pianist Craig Taborn. Davis-Van Atta and the editorial team have found a compelling way to represent the work of musicians on the printed page, by enlisting a well-known music journalist to conduct an interview with the artist for a retrospective, as well as soliciting comments from those with whom the artist has collaborated.
“We get funny, bizarre, personalized stories, and so there’s a real human perspective with those types of interviews,” said Davis-Van Atta. “It’s not just the arts and the work that we’re able to draw attention to, but we’re interested in conveying a sense of intimacy and communion with that work. We really love the thrill of working with that world.”
Music & Literature, Inc., is a nonprofit organization devoted to publishing and promoting the work of underrepresented artists from around the world. Each print issue of Music & Literature assembles an international cast of writers and critics in celebration of three featured artists whose work has yet to reach its deserved audience. In addition to its flagship publication, Music & Literature offers robust coverage of the arts through its website and organizes premier live programming in cities around the globe, routinely collaborating with other cultural organizations and institutions to bring the work of its featured artists directly to audiences. The Music & Literature project is designed to meet the immediate needs of modern arts enthusiasts while enduring and becoming a permanent resource for future generations of readers, scholars, and artists.
Two rare book exhibits are now on display at the William R. Jenkins Architecture, Design and Art Library.
On the first floor, a collection of books and magazines featuring artists and works from the Maeght Foundation can be found at the south wing exhibit case. The Maeght Foundation is one of France’s renowned art institutions. Their artists include stars such as Miro and Giacometti.
Also on view in the upper mezzanine area are four collotypes of draped models from a 1902 book titled Draperies in Action by Charles Schnek.
Contact Catherine Essinger for an appointment.
University of Houston Libraries is now a member of the Library Publishing Coalition (LPC).
The LPC “extends the impact and sustainability of library publishing and open scholarship by providing a professional forum for developing best practices and shared expertise.”
Taylor Davis-Van Atta, digital scholarship coordinator, said the membership speaks to UH Libraries’ growing emphasis on making UH scholarship widely visible and discoverable. “With the Libraries playing a larger role in research production through new services and initiatives such as the Digital Research Commons’ sponsored projects program and the Alternative Textbook Incentive Program, we are building in the Libraries the means of producing and publishing a wide range of original scholarly works,” he said.
In the evolving landscape of scholarly communications, it becomes increasingly essential to establish a collaborative foundation of knowledge that is relevant among various institutions working in this space. With LPC membership, Davis-Van Atta said, UH Libraries has gained “access to a leading community of librarians who are partnering with researchers in innovative ways and developing open source tools and platforms that allow these partnerships to produce dynamic and interactive kinds of scholarship—and to publish this scholarship to the web in a variety of ways.”
Learn more about Cougar ROAR, Research Open Access Repositories.
LPC membership allows UH Libraries to build upon its existing expertise in the areas of copyright, publication agreements, open educational resources (OER), and open access, and will spur expansion of related services for UH faculty and students.
“Many UH instructors are interested in publishing OER, as it eliminates textbook costs for students and allows more flexibility regarding assigned educational materials,” said Ariana Santiago, open educational resources coordinator. “Through the LPC, we can more easily learn from other institutions and incorporate best practices into the OER program at UH.”
Local and national partnerships augment UH Libraries’ collections and services and expand the research environment for faculty and students. Consortia, common in the academic library world, provide access to cost-effective cooperative purchases of licensed resources as well as expedited resource sharing. Learn more about UH Libraries’ memberships and consortia.
University of Houston Libraries welcomes Edward Gloor as the new engineering librarian.
Please describe your role at UH Libraries and talk about some of your professional goals.
I am very happy to be joining UH Libraries as the new engineering liaison librarian. I’ll be working to strengthen relationships between the Cullen College of Engineering, the College of Technology, and the library through research collaboration and consultation, instruction, outreach, and advocacy. UH Libraries already offers patrons excellent services. I plan on expanding those to augment the work that is being done in the colleges that I work with through new projects, and expanding on projects that I have already done, like my work with VR and 3D objects.
Please share a bit about your background and interests. How do these inspire and shape your approach as a librarian?
I come from a community centered background that puts listening first to overcome challenges. Liaison librarianship is all about adapting to the current needs of patrons. Through active listening I can work collaboratively with patrons to design solutions that work best for everyone.
What is your first impression of the University?
The supportive and inviting culture of the University of Houston made my decision to join the library an easy one. I look forward to growing here and I know that I will be supported in that growth.
What is your favorite hobby/cuisine/book/movie?
I love nature photography and hiking. I am so excited to be in Texas where I have plenty of opportunity for both!
An article co-authored by a University of Houston librarian and published in Performance Measurement and Metrics has been selected by the editorial team as an outstanding paper in the 2019 Emerald Literati Awards, which celebrates high-quality scholarly research.
Santi Thompson, head of Digital Research Services, co-wrote “Barriers and solutions to assessing digital library reuse: preliminary findings” with Genya Morgan O’Gara, Liz Woolcott, Elizabeth Joan Kelly, Caroline Muglia, and Ayla Stein.
Rachel Helbing, director of library services for the health sciences at University of Houston Libraries, has been confirmed for membership in the Academy of Health Information Professionals (AHIP) at the Distinguished member level.
AHIP is the Medical Library Association’s (MLA) peer-reviewed certification and career recognition credentialing program for health information professionals. AHIP membership indicates a high level of achievement in continuing education, teaching, publishing, research, and other contributions to the profession.
Helbing completed her Master of Library and Information Science and Master of Science in Health Informatics degrees at Kent State University in Ohio. She has been a librarian for over a decade and has worked in consumer health, hospital, and academic health sciences libraries. Her interests include clinical informatics and evidence-based practice.
The Architecture, Design & Art Library is pleased to present a new student art exhibit.
Emmanuel Oluwaseyi Bamtefa’s Culture for the People will be on display August through October.
Bamtefa is a visual artist from New York and of Yoruba descent. He has been an active artist since 2012 and is interested in portraiture and figure painting. Bamtefa is in his senior year at the University of Houston School of Art.
“As an artist, I look to introduce life of a certain people that is not familiar to the western world. I want to introduce people to a major people’s way of life through imagery and abstraction using different mediums. In this exhibition, I will focus on abstraction of reality from today’s society coming from my upbringing with the things I learnt from my perspective to things that I felt was necessary to talk about.”
A reception will be held on August 9 at 12 noon, free and open to the public. The first 10 guests will receive a gift.