Sitting Smart in Langsam Library

annafurniture3New lounge furniture provides more varied study options.

Langsam Library is one of the busiest places on campus. Students take advantage of every corner of the building when looking for a place to study. With the goal of providing more comfortable yet practical places for students to work and study, we have added new lounge furniture to the 4th floor of Langsam Library. The modular furniture provides a variety of seating options — booths, benches and individual seats — as well as built-in outlets for plugging in laptops. Students are already making good use of the new furniture in the short time it has been available.

Come study in Langsam Library!


What’s the DL with Triceracopter?

by Cedric Rose

Patricia Renick with Triceracopter.

Patricia Renick with Triceracopter.

As the culminating experience practicum for my Master of Library and Information Science degree, I am working on a digital collection of documents connected to the evolution of Patricia Renick’s Triceracopter: Hope for the Obsolescence of War.  The finished library will illuminate the connections and processes–physical, social, and conceptual–concealed in the finished work.  Along the way I’ll ruminate on issues and concepts related to digital libraries (DLs).

Triceracopter is a hybrid of parts with far-flung origins in space and time: part three-horned Rhinoceros-like creature that last walked the earth 66 million years ago, part war-damaged helicopter, the final manifestation of a series of forms that imprinted further forms under the hands, intellect, imagination; and will of a DAAP professor and sculptor whose life included shock treatment for a misdiagnosis of schizophrenia (Chapman 2003), decades of teaching art, and emergence as an internationally recognized artist.

Patricia Renick and Triceracopter in process.

Patricia Renick and Triceracopter in process.

In Triceracopter, Renick connects our history and future to the visceral present.  Libraries connect us to the past and future, as well as to one another.  In a digitally networked world, connections multiply, offering new pathways and applications.  Information technology is a great tool for transmitting and receiving information, but it’s also a new tool for thinking, learning, understanding, and creating even as it is also becoming evident that, used as a mere crutch or convenience, such technology also runs the risk of limiting us.

Google, which began as a digital library project (Hart 2004), is now seen by some as a threat to libraries as we know them.  Google Book’s ultimate goal, to digitize the world’s books, revolutionizes our ability to access their contents.  Library shelves are becoming fluid, endlessly reconfigurable; the covers, pages and sentences in books, transparent.  True, libraries as buildings and institutions will no longer hold a monopoly on library collections (and for the future’s sake, Google better not either).  But despite talk that libraries will go the way of the dinosaur in a world where all print and media will be searchable online, the opposite is true. The essential function of libraries and librarians: to organize and mediate access to documents, information sources, and media, is as vital today as it was in ancient Alexandria, if not more so because, despite excellent automated tools for sorting and culling search results, the library is expanding exponentially while multifaceted lenses enable ever-finer scrutiny.

Artist sketch of Triceracopter, Patricia Renick.

Artist sketch of Triceracopter.

What does all this have to do with Triceracopter?  While digital libraries, datasets, and digital collections support the mining and visualization of data for essential quantitative analysis and research, they can also support humanistic endeavors: digital libraries compliment studies in Digital Humanities.   Digital libraries help users cull relevant results from massive pools of information, but they also offer qualitative experiences.  They enhance humanistic exploration.  In Triceracopter, Renick speaks about our relationship with machines.  There’s a cold logic to machines, especially those used to kill.  Renick’s own M.O. extended beyond logic.  Interviewed by writer Laura Chapman, who asked whether she “approaches her work with a mathematical mind”, Renick responded “Everything is intuitive” (Chapman 2003). Our forays into digital technology should accommodate both the logical and the emotive, the intuitive and the creative.

So why a Triceracopter Digital Library?  Because I’m interested in those aspects of digital libraries that support the humanities, including art.  Because there are connections nested in this Bicentennial Baby worth sorting out.  The portion of Renick’s papers that deal with the creation of this work show its political and historical connections.   America exited Vietnam in 1975 (by helicopter, no less).  Renick’s earlier work showed her fascination with the juxtaposition of the biological and the mechanistic.  And works like Stegowagenvolkssaurus, a Stegosaurus with a Volkswagon Beetle torso, currently on display in NKU’s Frank Steely Library, also playfully embody cultural issues . . . and warnings.  These artifacts connect earlier eras to our own.  To the archaeologist, to the paleontologist, and even to the futurist and the archivist, no detail is too small.    Even the artist’s formal communications as she works through bureaucracies might reveal something new about her determination, rationale, and voice.

Stegowagenvolkssaurus, also by Patricia Renick, at the Steely Library at Northern Kentucky University.

Stegowagenvolkssaurus, also by Patricia Renick, at the Steely Library at Northern Kentucky University.

In art, our experience of the finished product can and certainly should be enough.  But this shouldn’t preclude further investigation, going deeper.  Digital collections enable us to more deeply access the analog collections from which they are created, to take in larger relationships, and to examine with the finest possible lens their content’s intricacies.  Or simply to discover.  There are many narratives within Triceracopter’s story, in the photos of its creation, Renick’s communications with the U.S. military, chemical corporations, government bodies, academic and arts organizations, and individuals.  And there’s also the all-too human drama of the artist’s location at the center of a web of tensions: taut strands between the creative impulse and the demands of work, between necessity and the fight for time, for space, for money and materials, for the skills and techniques, and even that most fundamental of artistic struggles: the overcoming of both criticism and self-doubt, to create.


Chapman, L. H. 2003. “No Time for Second Thoughts: A Conversation with Patricia A. Renick”. Sculpture. 22: 38 43.  Par. 30 & 46 Retrieved from http://www.sculpture.org/documents/scmag03/oct03/renick/renick.shtml

Hart, David.  August 17, 2004.  “On the Origins of Google,” National Science Foundation. Retrieved from http://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/disc_summ.jsp?cntn_id=100660

–This post, part of a series, was written be Cedric Rose, Collector at the Mercantile Library and practicum student from Kent State University’s School of Library and Information Science in the UC Libraries Digital Collections and Repositories unit.

A Special Visit with Dr. Rich

On July 8th, the Henry R. Winkler Center received a visit from Dr. Charles Rich, Susanne Carney, and Frances Clare. Dr. Rich’s father, Major Murray L. Rich, MD, served with the 25th General Hospital in World War II.

From left to right: Susanne Carney, Dr. Charles Rich, Frances Clare, Veronica Buchanan, Doris Haag

From left to right:
Susanne Carney, Dr. Charles Rich, Frances Clare, Veronica Buchanan, Doris Haag
(Photo courtesy of Roger West)











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UCBA Fun Facts: Favorite Fictional Character?

Question: Who is your favorite fictional character?

HeatherHeather Maloney, Library Director: I think Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice. “There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.”


Michelle Michelle McKinney, Reference/Web Services Librarian: Doug Swieteck in Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt



Kellie Kellie Tilton, Instructional Technologies Librarian: Anne Shirley (when she’s not being annoying). More up-to-date? Hermione Granger.


LaurenLauren Wahman, Instruction LibrarianHard to narrow down to one, but a couple of faves are both Scout and Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, Bone in Bastard Out of Carolina, and Katniss in The Hunger Games


Rachel Rachel Lewis, Technical Services Manager: No favorite, but The Joy of Cooking is an essential and classic cookbook.  I normally give it as wedding gifts.


TammyTammy Manger, Public Services Manager: I don’t think I have a favorite.



ChrisChris Marshall, Public Services Assistant: Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffanys


Summer Orientation

by Lauren Wahman

It’s that time of year…incoming freshman are here!

The UC Blue Ash College Orientation is in full swing with hundreds of new students coming to campus this summer.  Advising, UC ID’s, registration, campus tours, and more are all part of Orientation and the UCBA Library is a proud participant at every program this summer.  Campus tours include a visit to the Library where students learn about the 5 Cool Things to Know.


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UCBA Fun Facts: Favorite Cookbook?

Question: What’s your favorite cookbook?

HeatherHeather Maloney, Library Director: Any of Ina Garten’s books…haven’t come across a bad recipe yet!



Michelle Michelle McKinney, Reference/Web Services Librarian: The Cake Mix Magic series…all the recipes start with a box of cake mix.



Kellie Kellie Tilton, Instructional Technologies Librarian: America’s Test Kitchen! (And anything that shows step-by-step with photos. I am an awful cook.)


LaurenLauren Wahman, Instruction LibrarianCan’t remember the last time I read a biography…



Rachel Rachel Lewis, Technical Services Manager: No favorite, but The Joy of Cooking is an essential and classic cookbook.  I normally give it as wedding gifts.


TammyTammy Manger, Public Services Manager: Gooseberry Patch Cookbook “Super-Fast Slow Cooking”. I love this book…simple and fast!


ChrisChris Marshall, Public Services Assistant: Campbell’s Soup cookbook.  “Best Loved recipes”


UC Forward Course Takes Hands‐on Approach to Teaching and Learning about a Fashion Icon

By Jennifer Krivickas

ucforward1First offered in the fall of 2013 and then again in spring 2014, “Documenting a Fashion Icon: The UC Bonnie Cashin Collection” is a ‘test kitchen,’ hands-­on course that incorporates trans-disciplinary inquiry and discourse, student crowd sourcing power, and Millennials’ innate love for technology, social media and images, to investigate, interpret, digitize and widely disseminate authoritative information about an important collection of garments (from the DAAP Historical Garments Collection) designed by Bonnie Cashin.

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Sidney Rossiter Benedict : Notes from the Oesper Collections, No. 27, July/August 2014

A circa 1928 Bock-Benedict colorimeter

A circa 1928 Bock-Benedict colorimeter

The 27th issue of Museum Notes tells the story of a UC graduate who, inspired by his undergraduate chemistry teacher, went on to become a nationally prominent physiological chemist and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Click here for all other issues of Notes from The Oesper Collections and to explore the Jensen-Thomas Apparatus Collection.

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