National Library Week – Flashback Friday

We’re wrapping up our National Library Week celebration with a Flashback Friday slideshow of our time spent in the UCBA Library, both old, temporary and new spaces, over the last several years. We can’t wait to reconnect in person again.

Celebrating Our Library Cats, Dogs and Fish

There are many libraries that serve as home to library cats. Now that we’re working remotely from home, our furry friends and four-legged family members have been given a promotion to co-worker and library cat/dog. In honor of National Library Week, we’d like to introduce our newest colleagues. They have made our work-from-home environment much more fun (and maybe a little more frustrating at times?).

From the Virtual Desk of…Heather Maloney

The latest From the Virtual Desk Of…Heather Maloney, leads us to our Library Director’s virtual workspace.


by Heather Maloney

National Library Week: Our favorite S.W.A.G.

The UCBA Library continues to celebrate National Library Week. The library staff pulled out, and in some cases, dusted off, some of our favorite library S.W.A.G. (souvenirs, wearables and gifts). These items have been collected from various library conferences, purchases from our favorite bookish vendors and gifted to us by our friends and loved ones.

Special Edition: From the Virtual Desk of … UCBA Student Assistants

The library faculty and staff are not the only ones working from home. Our student workers have also been working remotely in addition to continuing their studies online from home.

Bre's desk

Bre’s study and work space.


Student Worker: Bre

Major: I am an electronic media technology major

Time at UCBA Library: I’ve been with the library for about 11 months

Description: Unless weather permits sitting outside, I work at my desk, surrounded by a few of my favorite things.









Casey's desk

Casey’s study and work space.

Student Worker: Casey

Major: I am double majoring in English and History.

Time at UCBA Library:

Description: Unless weather permits sitting outside, I work at my desk, surrounded by a few of my favorite things. My dog’s name is Kibo. I thought Kibo was a cool name and later learned that it means “hope” in Japanese.

Faculty Research Lightning Talks: Meet David Freeman

The UCBA Library’s 3rd Annual Faculty Research Lightning Talks on March 10, 2020 featured four presenters and their discipline-based research projects via short, 15 minute presentations. In our Meet the Presenters series, each presenter shares some insights into their research project.

David Freeman| Associate Professor of Mathematics| Math, Physics & Computer Science Department
Presentation: Geometry from Symmetry

David Freeman giving a presentation.

David Freeman discusses his research.

Research Project
My research has been focused on the concept of symmetry. Here I use the word “symmetry” to denote a way to transform an object into itself (e.g. a reflection or rotation). My goal is to understand all possible objects that admit certain types of symmetries.

Are there any opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration with your research? If already cross-disciplinary, are there opportunities to expand it?
Yes, at least to some extent. I am very interested in the philosophy of mathematics, and I am hoping to eventually contribute to the ongoing debate about the ontology of mathematical objects (such as the ones I study). I am also quite interested in mathematically-inspired artwork. I believe there are many opportunities to express mathematical ideas through visual (and other types of) art.

What are your next steps with your research?
My long term goal is to prove a conjecture that has motivated the work I’ve already been doing. This conjecture pertains to the classification of certain mathematical objects that exhibit a high degree of “coarse” symmetry. For all I know the conjecture may end up being false, but I am somewhat optimistic that it is true. I’m not sure if a proof is within reach, but I’m willing to give it a shot. In general, this is the nature of many mathematical research projects: one group of mathematicians will pose a conjecture, and then some other group will prove (or disprove) the conjecture.

Forthcoming Publication

David Freeman, Enrico Le Donne. (Forthcoming).Toward a quasi-Möbius characterization of Invertible Homogeneous Metric Spaces. Revista Matemática Iberoamericana.


By Lauren Wahman

Recreational Reading Recommendations

The UC Blue Ash Library is celebrating National Library Week. To kick off the week, we’d like to share a few of our favorite books. Every recommended title is available in either ebook or audiobook format from the Public Library of Cincincinnati and Hamilton County (PLCHC). Although physical library locations are closed, ebooks and audiobooks can be accessed and downloaded for free in the comfort of your own home with your PLCHC library card.

Pam Adler and cover of Breaking and Entering

Pamela Adler’s Recommendation

Name: Pamela Adler, Public Services Assistant
Book Recommendation: Breaking and Entering: The extraordinary story of a hacker called “Alien” 
Author: Jeremy N. Smith
Book Description: This taut, true thriller takes a deep dive into a dark world that touches us all, as seen through the brilliant, breakneck career of an extraordinary hacker – a woman known only as Alien.
Rating:  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Review: A page turning real life thriller, the sort of book that may leave you feeling both invigorated and vulnerable.



Elizabeth Hartlaub and cover of The Tale of Despereaux

Elizabeth Hartlaub’s Recommedation


Name: Elizabeth Hartlaub, Library Operations Manager.
Book Recommendation: The Tale of Despereaux
Author: Kate DiCamillo.
Book Description: Despereaux, a most unassuming and tiny mouse, shows that even the smallest among us can be great heroes against all odds.
Rating:  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Review: Author Kate DiCamillo weaves a charming story using a “classic” fairy-tale approach that will delight children of all ages.



Heather Maloney and cover of The Power

Heather Maloney’s Recommendation

Name: Heather Maloney, Library Director
Book Recommendation: The Power
Author: Naomi Alderman
Book Description: Now in possession of a new kind of power, this novel explores how the world begins to change when girls and women experience and wield this power in different ways.
Rating:  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Review: I’m not usually into science fiction but this story really pulled me in and is a relatively quick read. It made me consider our world now and how it might be if evolution took a strange and powerful turn for one gender. The page turning plot will keep you on your toes and linger with you long after you read it.

Michelle McKinney and cover of She Came To Slay

Michelle McKinney’s Recommendation


Name: Michelle McKinney, Reference and Web Services Librarian
Book Recommendation: She Came to Slay
Author: Erica Armstrong Dunbar
Book Description: This biography of Harriet Tubman is “An illustrated tribute to one of the most exceptional women in American History.”
Rating:  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Review: I listened to the audiobook version and found it perfectly paced and engaging. This is a very easy-to-read and enlightening book on the life of Harriet Tubman.


Kellie Tilton and cover of Midnight RiotName: Kellie Tilton, Instruction Technologies Librarian
Book Recommendation: Midnight Riot /Rivers of London (Rivers of London/Peter Grant series, Book 1)
Author: Ben Aaronovitch
Book Description: Police procedural meets Hogwarts in modern-day London.
Rating:  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Review: Fun, twisty and just a touch creepy, this book (and the rest of the series) provides a new spin on magic in every day London, with a lowly policeman that gets stuck in the middle.


Christian Boyles and Normandy '44 book cover


Name: Christian Boyles, Collection Services Manager
Book Recommendation: Normandy ’44: D-Day and the Epic 77 Day Battle for France
Author: James Holland
Book Description: A stirring narrative by a pre-eminent historian, Normandy ’44 offers important new perspective on one of history’s most dramatic military engagements and is an invaluable addition to the literature of war.
Rating:  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Review: I enjoy historical accounts that tell the story from multiple viewpoints.  It was a fascinating read detailing how the Allies and Axis prepared for the invasion and how the fighting was for those on the frontline and behind the lines.  In spite of the amount of information, it is a quick and lively read.

by Pam Adler

From the Virtual Desk of … Michelle McKinney

The next From the Virtual Desk Of… tour brings you to my home office. I’m Michelle McKinney, Reference and Web Services Librarian, and I share an office with my husband, Keith, and two sons, Kam and Jameson. I’m usually stationed at the desk throughout the day while my coworkers come and go. It’s been really nice to get time back that was lost to commuting so our days get off to a much smoother start. It’s also nice to have windows and sunlight in the office (although I do daydream a bit more as I’m often watching squirrels, rabbits and neighbors moving about outside).

Faculty Research Lightning Talks: Meet Chris Gulgas

The UCBA Library’s 3rd Annual Faculty Research Lightning Talks on March 10, 2020 featured four presenters and their discipline-based research projects via short, 15 minute presentations. In our Meet the Presenters series, each presenter shares some insights into their research project. 

Chris Gulgas| Associate Professor of Chemistry| ChemistryDepartment
Presentation: A Student Discovery Involving a Chemical that Changes Color Leads to a New Organic Laboratory Experiment

Chris Gulgas giving a presentation

Chris Gulgas discusses his research.


Research Project
A new organic laboratory experiment was designed and developed based upon the independent research of two undergraduate students investigating solvatochromism.  Bromothymol blue was found to exhibit a significant red shift across a series of solvents.  An organic laboratory experiment was then created to allow students to discover this effect as a class using UV-Vis absorption spectroscopy.  Students built skills in recognizing functional groups and intermolecular interactions as well as analyzing data trends.  The undergraduate research process, design of the experiment and results from the first year of implementation into the curriculum were presented. 

Gulgas powerpoint slide

A slide from Chris’ A Student Discovery Involving a Chemical that Changes Color Leads to a New Organic Laboratory Experiment presentation. 

What excites you most about your research?
I am most excited about student-driven discovery that can be developed into something useful for learning.  Students were able to identify an unpublished property of a substance we had on hand, using equipment on hand.  This discovery turned into an experiment for all organic laboratory students to benefit from in learning about solvent properties and the nature of light. 

What are your next steps with your research?
I’d like to identify another compound that exhibits similar behavior for comparison and reinforcement. 

Additional Resources 

Reichardt, Christian (1994). Solvatochromic Dyes as Solvent Polarity Indicators. Chemical Reviews. 94 (8). 2319-2358. 


 by Lauren Wahman

From the Virtual Desk of….Christian Boyles

Like all of us, the Librarians and Staff at the UCBA Library have settled into a new routine of working at home.  We invite you to see how we keep the (virtual) lights on at the Library while still providing support to our UCBA community.

I’m Christian Boyles, the Collection Services Manager at your UCBA Library.  Here’s a quick tour of my new workspace.

Thanks for stopping by my office and I hope you are doing well, staying healthy, and I hope to see you soon again in the Library.

by Christian Boyles