New Biography on Retired Dean and McKinney Supporter Gloyna

gloyna_book_coverThis biography, Reflections of a Soldier and Scholar, by Davis Ford is packed with Earnest Gloyna’s fascinating recollections of farming, public education and family life in the Texas Panhandle during the Depression as well as his experiences in WWII, in graduate school at Johns Hopkins, and, of course, his professional life as a consultant/businessman, professor and dean. Of particular interest is his early life in the Texas Panhandle picking cotton, cutting milo, going to rural schools, learning to type and meeting his future wife, Agnes. Two of these would be helpful in his later life—typing and Agnes.

The story of how he chose graduate school over working for the U.S. Public Health Service after the war is classic Earnest. He decided to go to graduate school instead of joining the Public Heath Service because they would only pay him as a Captain. This decision changed everything—Earnest went to graduate school and became Dr. Gloyna.

Earnest has had an amazing career as an educator and researcher, as a consultant working on environmental problems all over the world, and as a dean. Under his leadership the College of Engineering grew enormously and improved its graduate programs by hiring highly qualified faculty from all over the United States. This faculty would help make the Cockrell School a research powerhouse.  Another of his great accomplishments was when he helped the Engineering Library grow from a barely competent collection to one of the best in the US. Continue reading

Win Tickets to The Klezmatics

It’s time for another Texas Performing Arts/University of Texas Libraries contest, and this one offers a chance to win tickets to the neo-klezmer stylings of The Klezmatics. This contest is in promotion of TPA’s 2010-2011 season.

Formed almost a quarter-century ago in the East Village, The Klezmatics genre-bending approach to the traditional Yiddish music style has earned them critical acclaim and fan loyalty. 2006’s Wonder Wheel – the group’s eighth album and a Grammy winner – was a klezmer take on the lyrics of Woody Guthrie.

The Klezmatics will play Bass Concert Hall at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, November 30.

For your chance to win, visit the Libraries Research and Win Contest #5 page and fill out a brief questionnaire.

Entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, May 26. One winner will be chosen randomly from the correct responses and announced on Twitter and Facebook on Thursday, May 27.

A Medium for Expression

whiteboardThe end of the school year can be a liberating time for much of the population of the university. Most students get an extended break from the rigors of learning, or they complete a successful college career and move on to the next phase of life. Faculty transition from honing lectures and grading papers to scholarly or research pursuits, or just take some time to recuperate from teaching consecutive semesters. And for staff it generally means shorter lines, less traffic and time to catch up on all the projects that went on the back burner during the school year.

This nascent liberation can sometimes spur creative bursts as there are the beginnings of a collective exhale across the campus. Being on the front lines as we are when the library becomes a strategic center for student end-of-year projects and finals, we sometimes get the opportunity to witness, or even document, this extraordinary behavior.

We recorded two such examples just last week. Continue reading

Maps Make Reference Top 30

kabul_tpc92The Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection gets a lot of use.

With its more than 25,000 maps digitized to date, that makes the collection the largest in the public domain, and it also means that the PCL Map Collection website gets a lot of visits…about 20 million pageviews in the last year alone.

In the past we’ve been alerted to high-profile users such as the United Nations (in the prosecution of Khmer Rouge) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, as well as regional and national news agencies, accessing the collections.

Now, the American Library Association has taken notice.

The Reference and User Services Association division of ALA has named the PCL Maps website as one of it’s 30 Best Free Reference Web Sites for 2010.

Plonsky Scores Trailblazer Award

plonsky_chris_2009_mugUT Women’s Athletic Director and incoming Libraries Advisory Council President Chris Plonsky is the recipient of the College Sports Information Directors of America’s (CoSIDA) 2010 Trailblazer Award.

According to the CoSIDA website, the Trailblazer Award is given “to an individual who is a pioneer in the field of sports information who has mentored and helped improve the level of ethnic and gender diversity within CoSIDA.”

Plonsky will receive her award at the CoSIDA convention in San Francisco on July 6.

Chris has served on the Libraries Advisory Council since 2006, assuming the role of Vice-President in 2007. She will take up the role of President in fall 2010 and will continue to advise the Libraries in their marketing, outreach and fundraising efforts.

You can read more about Plonsky’s award here, where you’ll find a great profile of her by former Longhorn Assistant Athletics Director and current sports broadcaster Bill Little.

Our congratulations to Chris on this much deserved honor.

Win Tickets to Punch Brothers, Loudon Wainwright III

The latest contest from the Libraries and Texas Performing Arts to promote TPA’s 2010-2011 season offers the chance of a night of American acoustic music in a rare double-bill, featuring Punch Brothers and Loudon Wainwright III.

Punch Brothers – featuring mandolin prodigy Chris Thile – have been likened to “what might be called American country-classical chamber music,” by the New York Times. Thile’s rise from virtuoso to Grammy-winning member of Nickel Creek has made him a sought-after commodity; Punch Brothers is the latest waypoint in what will likely prove to be a storied career.

Loudon Wainwright (father of Martha, Lucy and Rufus) has been a mainstay in the folk community for forty years with over 20 albums to date, including two Grammy nominations. And when he’s not playing music, he’s playing roles in films like The Aviator, Big Fish, and The 40-Year-Old Virgin.

The show takes place at Bass Concert Hall, September 10, 2010, at 8pm.

To enter, visit the Libraries Research and Win Contest #4 page and fill out a brief questionnaire.

Entries must be received by 11:59pm on Wednesday, May 12. One winner will be chosen randomly from the correct responses and announced on Twitter and Facebook on Thursday, May 13.

Nobel Laureate and UT Alum J.M. Coetzee Speaks

coetzee-banner-events5-1

On May 5, Nobel Prize winning author J.M. Coetzee, who earned a Ph.D. degree in 1969 from The University of Texas at Austin, will be speaking at the LBJ Auditorium as part of the Centennial Celebration of the Office of Graduate Studies.

An acclaimed novelist, academic, and literary critic, Coetzee is one of the university’s most distinguished alumni.  Said to be influenced by his own personal history of growing up in South Africa, Coetzee writes with strong anti-imperialist feelings. He has published 13 books, including The Life and Times of Michael K in 1983 and Disgrace in 1999. Both books were awarded the Booker Prize, making him the first author to be given the award twice. His novel Waiting for the Barbarians was adapted into an opera composed by Philip Glass.

The event runs from 6-7:30 pm.  Click here for more information about this free event and to RSVP.

Check out J.M. Coetzee’s work at the Libraries.

Meghan Sitar is Instruction & Outreach Librarian for the University of Texas Libraries.

(Cross-posted at News for Undergraduates)

FAL Exhibit Explores an Explorer

The Fine Arts Library is hosting an exhibition tracking the life and work of Colonel Leo Bond Roberts, an Army civil engineer who traveled extensively in his capacity for the military, taking photographs and collecting ephemera and artifacts from his travels throughout Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

An opening reception takes place from 5-7 p.m., Friday, May 7, in the Roberts Reading Room of the Fine Arts Library. The exhibit will be on view through July.

The exhibit includes materials from all phases of Roberts’ life: childhood, college years, officer during World War I, topographer and explorer during the 1920s and 30s, civil engineer, military engineer and planner during World War II and chief engineer of the Jones Beach Marine Theater on Long Island, NY.

Photographs, publications, military awards, African masks, and lantern slides of travels in the Gobi Desert and in Ethiopia will be on display with many other items from Roberts’s travels.

Items in the exhibition were generously donated to the Fine Arts Library by Roberts’s daughter-in-law, Jan J. Roberts.

If you would like to attend the opening reception, please RSVP to Eve McQuade at emcquade@austin.utexas.edu or call 512-495-4363.