Xavier University of Louisiana Library Blog

Library news and tools you can use.

XU Library Resource Center goes live with SirsiDynix Symphony!

After 26 years working with VTLS and the VIRTUA Integrated Library System, the Library Resource Center forged a new partnership with SirsiDynix and LOUIS: The Louisiana Library Network. We are very excited about this new partnership which will help bring our library to a new level of efficient functionality.   The decision to migrate to SirsiDynix Symphony came after an assessment of cost, several discussions with colleagues, a review of the current literature, and a desire to increase networking opportunities within the state. 

Our legacy system, while serving us well for the past 26 years, came to a point in its life when it could no longer provide the level of functionality necessary to move us forward in a growing technological library world.  Our new integrated system boasts an intuitive task-oriented interface providing superior modules in the areas of circulation, cataloging, and statistical reporting.  The online catalog component of the new system allows for easy patron access to our electronic materials and to their library accounts; which will overall aid them in finding eResources, renewing materials, and viewing overdue library bills.  Additionally, SirsiDynix is currently in the process of developing a cloud-based interface which will allow staff to increase visibility and service by connecting to the system from virtually anywhere. 

After about six months of negotiations, policy building, data migration and training, the Library went live in the new system on May 29, 2014! Throughout the process we experienced a wonderful collaboration between SirsiDynix, LOUIS, Campus ITC and library personnel. We look forward to growing with our new partnerships and further expanding the services that we can provide to the greater XULA community.

Click here to start exploring the new and improved library catalog.

Freedom Summer: Study and Teaching Resources

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer, a civil rights campaign initiated by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Congress for Racial Equality to press for African-American voting rights in Mississippi. The activities of Freedom Summer — and their backlash — put civil rights issues in the national spotlight, culminating in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Students and faculty alike will be interested in the Wisconsin Historical Society’s digital collection of documents related to Freedom Summer: over 30,000 pages of organization records, personal papers of movement leaders, racist propaganda examples, diaries, images, newsletters, and much more. Also included are extensive resources for teachers and links to other resources on Freedom Summer.

(Photo: George Raymond, Jr. a CoRE activist from New Orleans. Raymond was arrested for his participation in the Freedom Rides and for voter registration activity during Freedom Summer. Source: Mississippi Dept. of Archives & History, via Wikimedia Commons.)

congressarchives:

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Equal treatment of all Americans, regardless of race, was a major debate for decades in the U.S. Congress. In 1963, President John F. Kennedy urged Congress to take action. Passage of the act was not easy. We’ll be exploring some of the key moments for the Civil Rights Act throughout the day.
On June 19, 1964, the Senate passed the Civil Right Act of 1964, 73 to 27. The House passed the amended bill on July 2, 289 to 126.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson just a few hours after House approval on July 2. The act outlawed segregation in businesses such as theaters, restaurants, and hotels. It banned discriminatory practices in employment and education. Title VII of the act created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to implement the law.
Roll Call Tally on Civil Rights Act 1964, 6/19/1964, Records of the U.S. Senate

congressarchives:

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Equal treatment of all Americans, regardless of race, was a major debate for decades in the U.S. Congress. In 1963, President John F. Kennedy urged Congress to take action. Passage of the act was not easy. We’ll be exploring some of the key moments for the Civil Rights Act throughout the day.

On June 19, 1964, the Senate passed the Civil Right Act of 1964, 73 to 27. The House passed the amended bill on July 2, 289 to 126.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson just a few hours after House approval on July 2. The act outlawed segregation in businesses such as theaters, restaurants, and hotels. It banned discriminatory practices in employment and education. Title VII of the act created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to implement the law.

Roll Call Tally on Civil Rights Act 1964, 6/19/1964, Records of the U.S. Senate

(via todaysdocument)

Study Break Suggestions for April 2014

When you break from studying this weekend, try to visit the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) located in the Warehouse District at 900 Camp Street.  The current exhibition has everyone in New Orleans excited about art. It’s titled 30 Americans and shows the work of 30 prominent African American artists from the past three decades.  Before heading over to the museum, you can visit the library to read up on featured artists Kehinde Wiley, Wangechi Mutu, Carrie Mae Weems, Lorna Simpson and Kara Walker.  Some of these artists are also featured on the Art 21 DVD available for viewing in the Media Center on the fourth floor of the library.

CAC is open from 11AM until 5PM on Saturday and Sunday.  Admission for students is only $6.00 so don’t forget to take your X-Card.  Also, Louisiana residents get in free on Sundays with their Louisiana driver’s license or state ID card.

For more information see the CAC website at http://cacno.org/

April is National Poetry Month!

(Vasiliy Tropinin, Portrait of Alexander Pushkin, 1827.)

Xavier library users may already know about poetry anthologies on the shelves and in our databases, but there are also plenty of great free, online resources accessible to anyone with no logins required. Check out these sites:

The Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress: including information on past and present Poet Laurates. 

Poetry Foundation: from the publishers of Poetry magazine.

Poets.org: Academy of American Poets’ official website.

Representative Poetry Onlinea web anthology of 4,800 poems in English and French by over 700 poets spanning 1400 years.

Unleash your inner orator!

A camera crew will be in the library to stage and film readings of the Gettysburg Address next Thursday, February 27 at 2:00. The readings are being filmed as part of an audience participation project in conjunction with Ken Burns’ upcoming documentary The Address. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate. You can read more about the project here:
http://www.learntheaddress.org/

2014 Year of the Horse

午马年快乐!

Chinese New Year is the most important holiday in China. It begins on the first day of the lunar calendar, so it is also called Lunar New Year. As it is considered the beginning of spring, it is also called Spring Festival since about 1920. The Chinese year, according to some scholars, 4712 begins on Jan. 31, 2014. Though the holiday is only about a week long, traditionally it is a 15-day holiday during which fireworks light up the night sky, drums and firecrackers can be heard on the streets, red lanterns glow at night, and red paper cutouts and calligraphy hangings are hung on doors. Celebrations conclude on the 15th day with the Lantern Festival.

The date of Chinese New Year changes each year, as it is based on the lunar calendar. The western Gregorian calendar is based on the earth’s orbit around the sun. However, China and many other Asian countries such as Vietnam, Korea, and Japan use the lunar calendar that is based on the moon’s orbit around the earth. Chinese New Year always falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice. So, actually, the traditional Chinese calendar is lunisolar, using both the lunar and solar calendars.

Both Buddhism and Daoism have unique ways of celebrating the New Year, but the Chinese New Year is far older than either religion. As in many other traditional agrarian societies, the Chinese New Year can be seen a celebration of the coming of spring and the growing season.

Within China there is a wide variety of regional customs and traditions for the celebration of the Spring Festival, but the basics are the same: family, food, and fun. Families come together, sometimes traveling long distances to return home by New Year’s Eve. They gather to eat special foods such as dumplings shaped like ancient ingots and whole fish, representing prosperity and abundance in the new year. Children receive red envelopes, hongbao, with gifts of money inside. Many hours are spent enjoying each other’s company, visiting friends and relatives, and playing mahjong.

In anticipation of the holiday, the house is thoroughly cleaned and decorated. Some traditional decorations include New Year prints and couplets for the door, kumquat trees, and flowers.

Couplets are matched sayings done in calligraphy. New Year couplets, known as chunlian, express wishes for good luck, and auspiciousness in the coming year. They are posted on either side of doors.

New Year prints, called nianhua, are very colorful woodblock prints which are pasted on doors during the New Year for decoration during the holiday and are a symbol of New Year’s greetings. Originally, pictures of the Door God were used; later, other subjects, such as the Kitchen God, babies and other auspicious symbols were included. Customarily, each year families replace their New Year pictures as a way of saying goodbye to the past and welcoming the future.

Fifteen days later, the Lantern Festival signals the end of the Spring Festival. One is reminded of Mardi Gras as one goes out on that last evening to view stationary tableaux which depict traditional Chinese themes.

Wellcome Trust puts 100,000 images online

The Wellcome Trust, a leading British health organization, has created an online database of over 100 000 historical images, with emphasis on the history of medicine. The images can be found on the Wellcome Images website and come from manuscripts, paintings, etchings, and early photographs.

The images are being released under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence, allowing users to freely copy, distribute, edit, manipulate and build upon as they wish, and are available for personal or commercial use.

image

[Wellcome Library, London.  A pharmacy.  Oil painting by a French painter, ca. 1700(?).]

schomburgcenter:

Phillis Wheatley, the first African-American to be a published poet, was emancipated today (January 21) in 1745.

What does Phillis Wheatley’s and St. Augustine’s work have in common? Thomas Mellins, curator of The New York Public Library’s “Celebrating 100 Years” exhibition, explains in this video.