UH Libraries News

New Gates to be Installed in M.D. Anderson Library

Plans are underway to implement new security measures at the University of Houston M.D. Anderson Library.

Soon, visitors will find new gates located near the main entrance to the library. Students, faculty and staff will gain access beyond the lobby by swiping their Cougar Card in a card reader at the turnstiles, allowing entry for individuals to pass through. Additionally, arrangements will be made so visitors without a Cougar Card can still access the library. During the upcoming winter break, preparation for the installation of the gates will begin. The gates are set to be installed over the spring holiday week of March 9–14, 2020, and are scheduled for activation during summer 2020.

The additional layer of security is part of the University’s plan to enhance student and public safety on campus while maintaining accessibility for all. M.D. Anderson Library welcomes thousands of visitors every day. While the majority are UH students, borrowers from across the state, international scholars, campus tour groups and K-12 students also visit the library.

“Everyone is welcome in our library,” said dean of UH Libraries Lisa German. “As a research library at a Tier One public research institution, we have a mission to provide resources, services and spaces for our students and for the community at large. Security and accessibility are paramount.”

For more information on campus safety, visit Cougar S.A.F.E.

UH Libraries Receives $100,000 Gift for OER

University of Houston Libraries has received an anonymous gift of $100,000 to support the expansion of open educational resources (OER).

OER are teaching and learning tools, either in the public domain or released with an open license, that anyone can freely use and re-purpose. As universities across the U.S. have embraced OER, academic libraries have become central to the adoption of open educational materials in the classroom.

Commercial textbook costs have risen more than four times the rate of inflation over the past few decades, which have both financial and academic impact on many University of Houston students. A survey conducted by the UH Student Government Association found that over 37% of UH students reported not purchasing a required textbook due to cost.

While expensive textbooks prevent students from accessing course materials, OER provide free and immediate access to course materials, allowing students to be prepared on the first day of class, earn better grades, and stay enrolled in the course.

To help eliminate this barrier to student success, UH Libraries has created the Alternative Textbook Incentive Program (ATIP) for faculty to adopt OER for their curricula. Co-sponsored by the UH Office of the Provost, ATIP provides awards to faculty who take steps to implement an open or alternative textbook. In the 1st year of ATIP, 16 projects were awarded, resulting in student cost savings of over $203,000 for the 2018-19 academic year. In the 2nd year, 23 projects were awarded, with projected student cost savings of over $757,000 for the 2019-20 academic year.

ATIP is part of the burgeoning OER initiatives at UH. Ariana Santiago, open educational resources coordinator at UH Libraries, facilitates outreach and education for faculty on OER-related topics, and coordinates a growing community of practice on OER.

“This significant gift will allow UH Libraries to expand the OER program to improve the academic experience of our students,” said dean of UH Libraries Lisa German. “With this donation, we’ll be able to increase incentives for faculty who implement OER and increase the opportunity for students to academically succeed.”

By on November 26th, 2019 in Announcements, Featured, OER, Student Success

Paws and Relax Fall 2019

Local organization Faithful Paws will bring certified therapy dogs to the MD Anderson Library for three sessions of end-of-semester stress relief. Drop in for petting, snuggling and treat-feeding with these gentle and friendly canines.

Paws and Relax

Paws and Relax

  • Monday, December 2: 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. (concurrent with Finals Mania) 106-T and Liaison Services, behind Red Elevators
  • Tuesday, December 3: 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. 106-T and 2nd floor
  • Wednesday, December 4: 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. 106-T and 2nd floor
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By on November 19th, 2019 in Announcements, Featured, Student Success

New Exhibit: TX Women, Music, and Feminism

Celebrating the independent spirit and expression of Texas women, musicians, and feminists, the archives in the exhibit complement the November 18 TX Women in Rock panel, which is part of the Barbara Karkabi Living Archives Series.

TX Women, Music, and Feminism

TX Women, Music, and Feminism

One case features items donated to UH Special Collections from Mydolls (1978-present), a women-led, post-punk band from Houston, Texas. Other materials include second-wave and anarcha-feminist publications from the 1970s, originally exhibited at UH Libraries by collection donor Nancy Agin Dunnahoe of Wild Dog Archive.

The exhibit will be on display for a limited time on the second floor of MD Anderson Library near Special Collections.

“I AM A MAN” Exhibit Extended

An exhibit featuring the work of eminent photojournalist Ernest C. Withers (1922-2007), “I AM A MAN,” now on display at the University of Houston M.D. Anderson Library, has been extended through November 15.

"I AM A MAN" exhibit

“I AM A MAN” exhibit

Withers was a freelance photojournalist based in Memphis, Tennessee who documented six decades of American culture. His photos appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Tri-State Defender, the Pittsburgh Courier, Jet, Ebony, and others, and have been exhibited globally.

While his body of work, estimated at 1.8 million photos, spans musicians, athletes, and US presidents to scenes of everyday life, “I AM A MAN” focuses on Withers’ collection of images from the Civil Rights Movement. The exhibit presents powerful depictions of the NAACP Main Street protests, Tent City, March Against Fear, and the Poor People’s March on Washington, as well as memorials for Martin Luther King Jr.

Related: Exhibition of Civil Rights-Era Photographs Comes to UH

“I AM A MAN” was originally planned to end on November 3, and in continuing the exhibit for two additional weeks, UH Libraries dean Lisa German hopes more of the UH community will have an opportunity to view the images, located on the second floor of M.D. Anderson Library.

“I am very grateful that Dean Tillis from CLASS and the Links, Incorporated Houston Chapter brought this exhibit to our university,” German said. “I encourage all UH students to visit the M.D. Anderson Library and experience the work of Ernest C. Withers. His photographs are incredibly powerful and very moving.”

Sponsored Projects Call for Proposals

The Digital Research Commons (DRC) invites members of the University of Houston community to submit proposals for sponsored projects to run for the calendar year 2020. The DRC collaborates with researchers on projects involving digital techniques across the humanities, social sciences, and experimental sciences.

This cycle, the DRC will offer grants at two 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 $5000. The second, designed to develop projects that have already made demonstrable progress, will offer funding up to $12,500.

We are looking for 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. Prior knowledge of digital tools and techniques is welcome but not necessary. We work with our project members to help them organize their information, analyze it, and produce compelling results.

The DRC team will help you craft your proposal and, if your project is accepted, will help find training for team members who need it. We welcome submissions from faculty, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows. Accepted applicants will work with the DRC to build their projects into working prototypes. We especially encourage applications focused on collections in UH Libraries Special Collections.

Contact DRC with questions at drc@uh.edu. Apply by December 8th.

How to Apply
Proposals, due via email to drc@uh.edu by December 8, should include:

    1. A 2-3 sentence abstract of the proposed project, including whether the proposal is for a seed or a development grant, and why
    2. A list of your project team members and brief descriptions of roles
    3. A budget for the calendar year, either up to $5000 or up to $12,500, depending on whether the proposal is for a seed or a development grant, and a rationale for each item
    4. A project description (no more than 1000 words) answering the following questions:
      • What is the primary research question driving this project?
      • What is the main contribution your project will make to scholarship?
      • Who is your intended audience?
      • What do you intend to be the final product completed under this grant?
      • If applying for a development grant, please describe your work on the project to date.

If you are a graduate student, please include a statement about how this project aligns with your thesis topic and research/writing schedule.

Dean’s Fall Luncheon

University of Houston Libraries hosted the Dean’s Fall Luncheon this month at the MD Anderson Library Elizabeth D. Rockwell Pavilion, celebrating the philanthropy of UH Libraries’ friends and supporters.

Dean of Libraries Lisa German with Joe Duff of TPC Group

Dean of Libraries Lisa German with Joe Duff of TPC Group

Archivists from UH Special Collections displayed selected materials from various collecting areas.

View photos from the luncheon.

Fall 2019 Promotion and Tenure Recognition

University of Houston Libraries and the UH Office of the Provost celebrated the accomplishments of newly promoted and tenured faculty and librarians at a reception this month.

Elizabeth Farfán-Santos, PhD, at the UH Promotion and Tenure Recognition Reception

Elizabeth Farfán-Santos, PhD, at the UH Promotion and Tenure Recognition Reception

The UH Promotion and Tenure Recognition Program was created to recognize faculty and librarians who have recently been promoted or achieved tenure. Honorees are invited to select a book that has offered inspiration or encouragement in their professional journey. Book selections were added to the Libraries catalog and book-plated, serving as an enduring tribute to the pursuit of excellence in service, scholarship and learning.

View video from the reception.

View photos from the reception.

By on October 25th, 2019 in Announcements, Featured, Stories

TPC Group Donates Historical Archives to UH Special Collections

University of Houston Libraries is pleased to announce the receipt of historical archives from TPC Group. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, TPC Group is a leading producer of value-added petrochemical products for chemical, plastics, refining, synthetic rubber and other major industries. It has manufacturing facilities in Houston and Port Neches, Texas, and operates a product terminal in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Petro-Tex Chemical Corporation Panel Truck, 1957

Petro-Tex Chemical Corporation Panel Truck, 1957

The archives, which include publications, photographs, administrative and business records, architectural and technical drawings, films, and press materials, will be preserved and made accessible to the public, as part of the UH Special Collections Energy & Sustainability Research Collection. The Energy & Sustainability Research Collection at the University of Houston Libraries documents Houston’s place as the global capital of the energy industry that continues to shape the city’s and the world’s technologies, economies, politics, environments, and cultures. Collections support a core university priority for research, teaching, and learning, and uniquely preserve the documentary history of exploration, innovation, development, and growth in oil and gas, alternative energies, and the environment.

In 2019, TPC Group marked 75 years of operation. Sara Cronin, vice president of communications and public affairs at TPC Group, noted the company’s propitious trajectory since its inception.

“Originally built by the United States Government during World War II as part of the Synthetic Rubber Program, our manufacturing facilities played a significant role during that time in our nation’s history,” Cronin said. “In 1944, the United States Government sought alternatives to the natural rubber supply in Asia that our country could no longer access. Innovative thinkers collaborated and gained strength from one another to develop and manufacture synthetic rubber and needed raw materials, including specification 1,3 butadiene. This noteworthy beginning for what is now TPC Group not only helped the United States win the war but has had a profound impact on how we now live our daily lives.”

Petro-Tex Chemical Corporation Librarian Leona Drouet, 1955

Petro-Tex Chemical Corporation Librarian Leona Drouet, 1955

Christian Kelleher, head of UH Libraries Special Collections and curator of the Energy & Sustainability Research Collection, said, “The TPC Group Historical Archives make available to UH faculty, students, visiting scholars, and our local community unique, primary source documentation of Houston’s petrochemical industrial history. Researchers in the archives will be able to discover new, historical insights about our region’s significance to American engagement in World War II, how scientific and technological advancements have both motivated and responded to their industry and business contexts, and how society’s many different concepts and ideals of sustainability in our local and global communities have evolved over the company’s 75 years.”

TPC Group was inspired to donate its archives to UH Special Collections as part of its commitment to corporate citizenship, investment and engagement in the Houston and Port Neches communities. The company’s history and culture of partnership, support, and transparency comprise the themes that emerge from the archive.

“Beyond the products TPC Group makes is the commitment to do so in a manner that is protective of our environment, community and nearby neighbors,” Cronin said. “Entrusting the preservation and documentation of the Company’s history with UH Libraries Special Collections will ensure the elements of our Company’s culture underscore how TPC Group’s story will be told, highlighting its role in the petrochemical industry and the value of its products to society for many generations to come.”

J.W. Morris, 1957

J.W. Morris, 1957

“We are very pleased to receive the historical archive of the TPC Group,” said dean of UH Libraries Lisa German. “We appreciate the trust that TPC is placing in UH Libraries to preserve and make their archives accessible to scholars seeking an understanding of the history of innovation and development of the energy industry in Houston and the Port Neches community.”

The collection is currently being processed. For questions about materials in this collection or to request access, contact Christian Kelleher.

Student Artist Reception November 8

Morgan Stahl

Morgan Stahl

The Architecture, Design, and Art Library will host an opening reception for student artist Morgan Stahl on November 8 at 12 noon. Her exhibit, Steel Time Capsule, will be on view through January 2020.

Steel Time Capsule is a collection of various memories and representations of myself, my family, and our experiences. Whether it is an item from my grandparent’s house or moment from a fun family vacation, I documented many things from my childhood through my art and sketches,” Stahl said.

Stahl is a designer from Baltimore, Maryland. She moved to Houston to study architecture at the University of Houston. She is in her fifth and final year of school and will graduate in May 2020. Stahl works at DEK Studio as a design professional on various small residential and commercial projects. She first started sketching in middle school while also taking many art classes in and outside of school to continuously learn more about design and art. Growing up in a small but tight knit family has influenced most of her work. Her art is representative of family and the emotions that come with those experiences.

The reception is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served, and the first 10 guests will receive a free gift.