Serendipity

1
Jul14

Recommended Reading from Staff at Snell

Posted by: Nina Shah

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Nothing is better than kicking back with a good read over the summer, so some of our staff at Snell Library have compiled a list of summer reading recommendations that are sure to fit a wide range of tastes. Enjoy and happy reading!

The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis

“Extraordinary miniatures, very original, take your breath away at first reading (and the second, third…)”

Recommended by Will Wakeling, Dean of University Libraries

Find it at Snell Library

 

 

 

Southern Reach Trilogy, by Jeff Vandermeer

“These are nicely written in a creepy, weird fiction style, so they have overtones of science fiction and Southern Gothic. The unfolding mystery plot is fascinating so far, with very good, evocative writing.”

Recommended by Amanda Rust, Assistant Head of Research and Instruction

Find it at Snell Library: Annihilation & Authority
 
 

Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson

“Clever author Atkinson proposes alternative lives (and deaths) for a child born during a snowstorm in 1910.”

Recommended by Julie Jersyk, Research and Instruction Librarian

Find it at Snell Library

 

 

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, by Rachel Joyce

“Retiree Harold Fry embarks on a cross-country journey on foot to hand-deliver a letter to a dying acquaintance… ‘Harold could no longer pass a stranger without acknowledging the truth that everyone was the same, and also unique; and that this was the dilemma of being human.’”

Recommended by Ernesto Valencia, Systems Librarian

 

 

The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho

“A magical and inspiring story about navigating through life’s challenges, following your heart, and accomplishing your dreams.”

Recommended by Nina Shah, Library Development Officer

Find it at Snell Library

 

 

A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night, both by Deborah Harkness

“The first book is wonderful—so much fun—a mystery set in academia with witches and vampires and other creatures of the night! The story is fast-paced and well-executed and ends far too quickly. The second book is at least as good as the first!  Great books for the beach or a long flight to some place fun!”

Recommended by Janet Morrow, Head, Resource and Discovery Services

 

Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell

“This fascinating book is composed of long segments in the voices of six individual characters from different time periods, in totally different writing styles. Mitchell truly inhabits the main characters in each of the six segments, making them sound and feel authentic, and very different from one another. There are plenty of little overlaps and connections among the stories, too, which make for another level of enjoyment as you try to find those along the way.”

Recommended by Rebecca Bailey, Research and Instruction Librarian

Find it at Snell Library

What the Dog Saw, by Malcolm Gladwell

“Journalist Malcolm Gladwell has pieced together a collection of essays about human psychology and social behavior, many of them about sort of weird or unexpected phenomena.”

Recommended by Karen Merguerian, User Engagement and Assessment Librarian

Find it at Snell Library

 

 

Chain of Change: Struggles for Black Community Development, by Mel King

“Published in 1981, Chain of Change traces the story of the Black Community of Boston from the 1950s to the 1970s through the eyes of one of the South End’s most vocal residents, former Massachusetts State Representative Mel King. It also proposes a strategy for the future (the 1980s): a Community Development Plan that included decentralization, education, and coalition building.”

Recommended by Giordana Mecagni, Head of Archives and Special Collections

 Find it at Snell Library and other NU locations

 

Posted in: Read, Listen, Watch, Serendipity, Staff Interests

19
Jun14

R&I Librarian Donna Kennedy Retires after 37 Years

Posted by: Will Wakeling

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Donna Kennedy, R&I Librarian, Snell Library
I am both delighted and disappointed to announce that, after working 37 years with Northeastern University Libraries, Donna Kennedy has decided to retire from the University, effective July 1st, 2014.

My delight is in knowing that, after years of a strong and productive commitment to her working career, Donna will now have the time to pursue a quite active engagement with her hobbies and, most important, numerous children and grandchildren. My disappointment is in knowing that the Library and University are losing a colleague who has always brought energy, a solid commitment, and a rare expertise to her work and, most especially, to the curricular and research needs of the student and faculty communities.

Soon after arriving at the University in 1977, Donna was instrumental in developing services and collections at the former Burlington Campus Library to accommodate and enrich the experiences of a significant population of adult students enrolled in University College (later College of Professional Studies).

When the Burlington Campus Library closed, Donna returned to Snell Library to, at first, lead the Access Services Department and, finally, as a Research and Instruction Services Librarian, to anchor the outreach and research support to the significant education program at the University.

Donna’s achievements will long be valued and remembered by us and, I’m sure, by the many, many students and faculty to whom she has given expert assistance over the years. We hope to see some of these old friends at the event on June 24th. On behalf of all Library staff, I wish Donna a long and very well deserved retirement.

—Will Wakeling, Dean, University Libraries

Posted in: Library Memories, Library News and Events, Serendipity, Staff Interests

12
Jun14

Research in the Archives: Ashley Brewer

Posted by: Giordana Mecagni

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The following is a guest post from Ashley Brewer ’18, a double major in History and English.

Last semester [Fall, 2013], as the final paper for my history course on Dissent in Modern America, I drew up a research proposal on the historic impact of bisexuals on the Gay Rights Movement. I structured this paper around the Bisexual Resource Center collection in Snell Library’s Archives and Special Collections department, partly because of how exhaustive and thorough it was as a source, but also because finding research on the history of the bisexual community was almost impossible. I was surprised to discover that the concept of bisexual erasure extended to the academic community as well; many of the few existing sources were merely self-help guides or scientific studies, with barely a footnote on the subject of the community’s history. Without Northeastern’s Archives, I would not have been able to write my paper at all.

The archive collection itself was received from the Bisexual Resource Center in 2005 and 2007, and consists of 11.5 cubic feet of conference minutes, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, articles, publications, survey results, and, my personal favorite, an extensive scrapbook of the 1993 March on Washington. The documents are not restricted to BRC records but rather cover a wide range of organizations and publications, and one pamphlet in particular details the history of the bisexual community more clearly and concisely than any of the other sources I was able to find. The Archives staff was enthusiastic and extremely helpful, and for future projects I will definitely check there first before venturing over to the Boston Public Library. I cannot begin to express how incredibly essential Snell Library’s Archives and Special Collections department was to my research, and I highly encourage others to take a look and see what they have to offer.

Posted in: Archives and Special Collections, Information and Society, Serendipity

23
Oct13

IRis, Northeastern’s Digital Archive, Reaches Milestone: 1 Million Downloads!

Posted by: Hillary Corbett

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When the Northeastern University Libraries launched IRis in 2006, the idea of an “institutional repository” was still fairly new. Universities were starting repositories to share their intellectual and administrative output – faculty-authored articles, dissertations and theses, student-run publications, university-created reports, and other documents. Seven years later, many more colleges and universities around the world have digital repositories of open access materials created by their faculty, students, and staff. These repositories often also host open-access journals and other publications – at Northeastern, IRis has hosted the Annals of Environmental Science since 2007, and also provides access to faculty-authored and -edited books.

IRis began with only a few collections in 2006, but has grown exponentially since then. Today, IRis contains over 6,000 items, and as of Tuesday, October 15, 2013, these items have been downloaded one million times!

Although it’s not possible to determine which one item received the lucky one-millionth download, we know that on that day, 649 items were downloaded 1147 times. Here’s a breakdown of the types of materials downloaded that day:

Here are top downloads in each category, for October 15, 2013:

As you can see, slightly more than half of the items downloaded were dissertations or master’s theses. An important contributor to the growth of IRis has been the university’s transition to an Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) program in the 2007-2008 academic year – instead of depositing print copies of dissertations and master’s theses in the library’s archives, graduate students now submit their ETDs to ProQuest and an open-access copy is made available through IRis. Both undergraduate and graduate research output is very popular in IRis – in fact, almost every month our most highly accessed collection is the Honors Junior/Senior Projects!

In the coming months, we will be expanding on the success of IRis with DRS – Northeastern University’s Digital Repository Service. The DRS will offer even more functionality for users and depositors, such as more flexible sharing options, the ability to manage permissions, and options for curated and noncurated collections.

Posted in: Library News and Events, Research Online, Scholarly Communications, Serendipity

12
Dec12

Co-op Reflections: Our Time at Snell

Posted by: Jen Anderle

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As the semester comes to an end, so do two co-ops in Snell Library. I have been working as the marketing and events planner, and Brittany Tassone has been working in the Digital Media Commons Studio. We have taken some time to think back on our experience here and offer advice to the new co-ops that will take our place in January. 

Thank you to Snell Library and our co-workers for two great co-op experiences. - Jen

Jen:

As the marketing and events co-op I planned Meet the Author events, assisted library staff with many other projects and events, and used Snell’s social media pages to promote library happenings and communicate with the Northeastern community. I gained a lot of marketing experience from this co-op. The Northeastern community is very diverse, and it was valuable for me to have to promote events and campaigns to such an audience. As a Northeastern student, I benefitted from working with different academic departments and student groups, and I feel much more connected to my university as a result.

I was not sure what to expect at an on-campus co-op, but it turned out to have been an incredible advantage. I was able to have more freedom and work on a wide range of projects at Snell, and was never stuck with boring or repetitive tasks. My favorite things about this job are that that I did something different every day, gained such a wide spectrum of experience, and got to work with a great group of people.

My advice to the next Marketing and Events co-op is to get the most that you can out of working in this position. If you have a good deal of experience when you start, then take on a bit more and come up with new ideas for events and promotions. Also, stay organized and be confident!

 

Brittany:

My co-op experience at the DMCS definitely was a good fit for me professionally. I was able to use my creative skills and design some unique promotional material, motion, and website graphics, but I was also able to assist in other student’s project, providing them with help that was crucial for it to be the best itcould be. I did experience some trials during my work, and learned that in the business of customer service you definitely need a lot of patience, and willingness to help. Those are qualities that I feel I possess, making my position here definitely a benefit for the DMCS. Having people that don’t necessarily speak English, or don’t have a large knowledge base about design software could be frustrating at times, but working with different types ofpeople is a lesson that I feel everyone should learn. It was beneficial for me because I know in the future I will definitely have to work with all types of different people to create designs for the intended audience.

The best part about working at the DMCS would have to be the great atmosphere my superiors and co-workers created for me. I was able to work on my designs without a huge rush on time, making the transition into my first co-op comfortable for me. My advice to future co-ops would to be to practice using the design software like Adobe Suite, Final Cut, and the iLife suite, as much as possible. It will be very helpful when answering questions in the future.

Posted in: Digital Media Design Studio (DMDS), Jobs, Library Memories, Serendipity, Staff Interests