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Syracuse University Libraries

David Seaman
Dean of Libraries and University Librarian

Terriruth Carrier
Executive Director, Operational Excellence

Jennifer Collins
Director, Budget

Linda Dickerson Hartsock
Executive Director, Blackstone LaunchPad

Cristina Hatem
Director, Strategic Marketing and Communications

Petrina Jackson
Director, Special Collections Research Center

Lisa Moeckel
Associate Dean, Academic Success

Alice Pfeiffer
Director, SU Press

Danny Sarmiento
Director, Administration

Russell Silverstein
Interim Director, Library Information Systems

Ron Thiele
Assistant Dean, Advancement

Scott Warren
Associate Dean, Research Excellence

Additional Contributors:
Erica Blust, Director of Communications,
College of Visual and Performing Arts
Kelly Delevan, Information Literacy Librarian
Michael Dermody, Digital Preservation and Projects Coordinator
Sebastian Modrow, Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts, Special Collections Research Center
Michael Pasqualoni, Librarian for Newhouse School of
Public Communications

Thank you to our Libraries Advisory Board who help us achieve our mission through their support and advocacy:
Judy Mower, Chair, ’66, G’73, G’80, G’84, Syracuse NY
Carl Armani ’60, Boulder CO
Joshua C. Aviv ’15, G’17, Somerville MA
Laurence G. Bousquet G’68, Syracuse NY
Joan Brodsky ’67, G’68, Chicago IL
Adam Fazackerley ’96, Alexandria VA
Amy Fazackerley, Alexandria VA
William F. Gaske ’72, Dobbs Ferry NY
Susan Hildreth ’72, Walnut Creek CA
Diane Miron, Manlius NY
Jeffrey N. Rich ’67, Purchase NY
Eric Sherman ’91, New York NY
Christine M. Turner P’15, P’17, Berwyn PA
Mark D. Turner P’15, P’17, Berwyn PA
Kathleen A. Walters ’73, Atlanta GA

Dean’s Message

The past year has been most extraordinary. It has tested our flexibility and forced us to rethink our systems and policies. Like with most challenges, the Libraries has emerged stronger as a dynamic partner, facilitating the University’s work of completing the spring and summer 2020 semesters virtually.

Over the course of a couple of weeks in March, the Libraries went from rarely closing our doors to rapidly transitioning entirely online. We proactively worked with faculty to help them get ready for online teaching, creating content, and sharing our staff expertise in online instruction. We supported our campus with additional Research Guides, Faculty and Student Resources for Online Learning, and working with vendors who temporarily provided additional online content. As an example, we received appreciation from a professor in SU’s Drama Department, for our ability to identify streaming access to an important video for her class, along with additional content that expanded the Drama department’s online teaching materials. Emails such as theirs that read “I can’t thank you and your colleagues enough! Such a load of worry just dropped off my shoulders! I can now move forward with my 2 sections of [my course]!” made additional efforts so worthwhile.

One of the behind the scenes teams, the Libraries’ Information Technology group, did an outstanding job transitioning our entire staff to remote working, including providing loaner equipment and training. Over the course of remote working, we all adapted to more phone, email, and chat contact with users, and a rapid transition to online audio and video meetings, with shared document spaces.

Throughout the pandemic, the Libraries remains absolutely committed to supporting students, faculty, and staff with online learning and teaching and research. In recognizing the constraints of our patrons and to alleviate unnecessary stress, we automatically renewed all borrowed items until September 2020 and communicated this directly to borrowers. We continue to provide information on how to access online collections through all available channels, we identified and provided access to additional temporary licensed e-resources, and our liaison librarians are reaching out to support faculty online teaching by connecting them to relevant online resources and content.

Another example of cross-department collaboration during this challenging time was a student request for electronic textbook access. A social work faculty member—one of a handful of professors of practice who were not only teaching online but also working the front lines in area hospitals—contacted librarian for Falk College Anita Kuiken to see if there was an eBook we could provide for the student. Although the publisher noted there was one, it was not available for purchase in the United States. So, serial acquisition librarian Jennifer Zuccaro was able to find the needed edition on a temporarily released platform. And with help from Holli Kubly, our web accessibility and emerging technology librarian, Anita was able to use Microsoft Teams to access the student’s screen and navigate to where needed for the student to access the e-book.

This global experience has enabled the Libraries to rethink our interactions and processes provided to students, faculty, and researchers worldwide. It reaffirmed our commitment to growing our digital collection, while reinforcing the importance of preserving and providing access to special collections. Most importantly, though, the experience reinforced our shared humanity and our resilience to achieve our mission regardless of the hurdles or extenuating circumstances presented.

Stay well and be safe,

David Seaman

Dean of Libraries and University Librarian

Libraries Expand Digital Access to New York Times and Wall Street Journal

This March, the Libraries celebrated the addition of access to the digital editions of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal for all current Syracuse University students, faculty, and staff. The subscriptions recognize that our community consumes high quality online news and that we train oncoming generations of journalists. Whether for personal research or use in the classroom, this access enhances the ability of students, faculty, and librarians to explore media literacy topics. It also provides pivotal support for the Newhouse School’s demonstrated leadership in the study, teaching, and practice of digital journalism. In addition, the subscriptions relieve cash-strapped students from the cost of a personal subscription, particularly when course assignments require the use of these titles.

News content analysis often extends beyond written text, such as doctoral dissertation research examining news framing within political photojournalism. The audiovisual and image elements primary
to modern journalism are important to researchers across many disciplines at the University. These subscriptions demonstrate the Libraries’ commitment toward collecting news in all its many forms and providing access to the cultural record. Current faculty, students, and staff can find registration instructions for the New York Times at researchguides.library.syr/nyt and for the Wall Street Journal at researchguides.library.syr/wsj.

Streaming video related to social work, psychotherapy, and counseling
Articles and current news covering the political, historical, and economic impacts of American foreign policy and global affairs

Articles, patents, and white papers describing chemicals, with information on structures, reactions, compounds, drug development, and manufacturing

Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Linguistics
Activated in Oxford Research Encyclopedias

Giving SU Students a Competitive Advantage

Center for Learning and Student Success (CLASS) supports students as they transition to the increased academic demands of higher education and provides a competitive edge that extends beyond college. Physically located on the lower level of Bird Library with an organizational home in the Provost’s Office, CLASS helps students realize their potential to become expert independent learners. This skill set pays dividends in graduate school, the work world, and personal endeavors.

CLASS services focus on four primary areas:

• Approximately 100 group tutoring sessions per week in 25 to 30 large, historically challenging courses, from calculus to nutrition. Offered in varied formats to match students’ learning preferences, including drop-in tutoring, supplemental instruction, committed tutoring, pre-exam concept reviews, and tutoring in Mandarin.

• Individual tutoring in dozens of smaller and more advanced courses.

• An eight-hour, personally tailored academic coaching program to help 1st- and 2nd-year students use research-based study strategies to achieve their academic goals.

• New ‘Managing Online Learning’ sessions to help students plan and organize their studying individually or in small groups.

Students of all backgrounds and every academic circumstance engage with CLASS. Some students seek assistance to gain admission to their top-choice graduate program. Others turn to CLASS for help with challenges in multiple courses. CLASS utilizes a peer-based model of academic support, recruiting and training a talented, diverse team. One in four students enrolled in a course for which group tutoring is available takes advantage of this free service. First-generation students, students of color, and low-income students are especially likely to utilize CLASS.

Data from the past three full years of operation demonstrates that CLASS delivers results:

• Students who attend at least 10 group tutoring sessions earn a half letter grade higher (e.g. C+ to B-) than similar students in the same course who do not attend tutoring.

• Students who complete academic coaching before midterms Students working at Center for Learning and Student Success CONNECTIONFALL 2020 5 earn semester GPAs an average of 0.44 grade points higher than their peers.

• 1st-year students who attend group tutoring are more likely to return to Syracuse University for a second year.

Over the past three years, CLASS has received over 25,000 student visits, tutored 4,951 individual students, attracted 988 faculty and advisor referrals, coached 200 students, employed 111 peer tutors and coaches, and hosted 60 SUcceed academic orientation seminars for 1,221 new students.

In Spring 2020, CLASS transitioned to fully online services through Blackboard in response to the COVID-19 epidemic. These services provided valuable assistance to students who were no longer supported by the traditional residential college experience. In the fall, CLASS will continue with a mix of online and in-person services. “The rapid move online inspired us to experiment with new approaches,” said CLASS Director Margaret L. Usdansky, “from developing new Managing Online Learning sessions to having tutors record short study tip videos before exams.”

CLASS is building a community of learners. Each year, CLASS employs between 60 and 75 students as tutors and academic coaches. Many of the peer tutors and coaches know the benefits of CLASS firsthand, because they previously received tutoring or coaching. Working with CLASS is more than a wellpaying job and an opportunity to help others. The training CLASS tutors and coaches receive makes them eligible for national certification through the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA). The experiences they gain, including exposure to the cognitive science research on which CLASS programs are based, provide a valuable leg up in applying for internships, jobs, or graduate school.

For more information on CLASS, contact or 315.443.2005.

Why I Give to SU Libraries

I am not wealthy. My donations to Syracuse University Libraries have been in comparatively small amounts. Over the years my gifting is nothing splashy, and my name will not ever be emblazoned on a building.

These small gifts have been directed to an area of the University which, compared to other campus activities, receives fewer shout outs in the press or online. I am a primordial alumna. Back in my day, Carnegie Library was THE campus library. It is a large classic Carnegie Library. Amazingly, it is 1/10 the size of Bird Library. Students would study and hang out in a turn of the 20th century building right on the quad. Anyone searching for a book had to request it in writing and wait for a staffer (“page”) to retrieve it from the closed stacks. Not very user friendly, not handicap accessible, and certainly pre-web. But in the 1960s its resources helped us research.

Having visited Bird Library several times since graduating, I am astonished at the plethora of offerings provided there for students and researchers. A viable humming center of campus was undreamed of in the early 1960s. Libraries still are safe places for those who eschew athletics. You cannot be bored in either the Bird or refurbished Carnegie Library. And those are just two of the SU campus libraries. They are repositories of knowledge in many forms, with knowledgeable staff making resources plain and comprehensible to researchers. Not to mention the Pages Café, where I was able to purchase a sandwich, a great luxury for a hungry alumna.

Can my small gifts make any difference if I direct them to the Libraries? The archives were kind enough to accept my collection of 12 linear feet of “charity cookbooks.” As president of Reference and Adult Services Section of New York Library Association in 1989 and a reference librarian in Niagara County public libraries for three decades, I know and love libraries. My money is small fish in a large academic pond. Because thousands of researchers use them every day and night all year, I think I get “bang for my buck” by donating to the Libraries.

—Janet (Schmitt) McKenna

AB ’63 (Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences), MLS ’70 (SUNY Buffalo)

Libraries Recognize Student Employees

Over the past few years, Syracuse University Libraries has recognized the over 150 student employees who help keep the Libraries running with an end of school year celebration. Whether working directly with patrons or behind-the-scenes, student employees are invaluable to the work done to support the millions of physical and online visits to the Libraries.

This year, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the celebration occurred virtually. Like past years, Libraries supervisors were asked to nominate student employees who demonstrated dedicated service over time and significant contributions that made a lasting impact on the Libraries. A committee selected this year’s student scholarship award recipients, made possible through the generous support of Kathy and Stanley Walters, Andrew Strait and friends of Patricia Kutner Strait, and other donors.

Recipients of the Kathy and Stanley Walters Student Scholarship Fund and the departments they supported included:

• Isabel McCullough G’20 (Information Studies), Special Collections Research Center

• Ashley Downs G’20 (Falk), Access & Resource Sharing

• Souradeepta Biswas G’20 (Engineering & Computer Science), Access & Resource Sharing

• Austin Spencer ’20 (Architecture), Interlibrary Loan Recipients of the Patricia Kutner Strait Student Scholarship were:

• Maya Gelsi ’21 (Newhouse), Preservation

• Mina Gurkan ’21 (Newhouse), Access & Resource Sharing

• Cameron Vazquez ’20 (Falk), Access & Resource Sharing

Additional awards through SU Libraries Dean’s Fund were given to:

• Maialie Fitzpatrick ’20 (Newhouse), Access & Resource Sharing

• Frankie Kennedy ’20 (Arts & Sciences), Security & Facilities

• Jacqueline Natividad ’20 (VPA), Access & Resource Sharing

“Whether in Innovation and Strategy, Academic Success, Research Excellence, Special Collections, or Operational Excellence, student employees are important to the Libraries’ culture and delivery on our mission to support students, faculty, and staff with teaching, learning, and research. Not only do our student employees bring good work ethic and attitude, but they teach each other, their peers and even the Libraries’ employees,” said David Seaman, University Librarian and Dean of SU Libraries. “We simply could not do what we do without the service and contributions of our student employees.”

Those interested in contributing to the student scholarships or learning more are invited to contact Ron Thiele, Assistant Dean of Student employee sanitizing equipment in Bird Library Advancement for the Libraries, at 315.443.2537 or

Making Collections Discoverable

A curated list of some of the most notable processed material from the past semester:

• Alpha Phi Omega, Phi Chapter Collection (co-educational national service fraternity), 16.5 linear ft.

• Clifford Strait Papers (SU alumnus), 7 linear feet

• Detroit photograph album (Black history), 1 volume

• Edward Hellmich (plastics), 12 linear ft.

• Franklin E. Morris Papers (SU faculty, music), 71 films processed

• Frederick Marvin Audio Materials (SU Faculty), 8.25 linear ft. of audio recording

• George family photographs (Black history), 0.25 linear ft.

• James Van Der Zee (Black photographer), 2 items

• La Coppa d’Oro manuscript (opera libretto), 1 item

• Margaret Embree photo album (local history, women’s history, WWII), 1 volume

• Syracuse University Graduate Student Organization Records (student organization records), 7.25 linear ft.

• Syracuse University Student Government Collection (student organization records), 19.75 linear ft.

Preserving Recorded Sound & Video

Within Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) there are 108,607 media items, including magnetic audio and video, cassettes, reel-to-reel, cylinders, lacquer discs, video tapes, and film that are rated the highest priority for urgent preservation action. Due to irreversible chemical processes, materials decay, and playback machine obsolescence, some of these formats are at the end of their usable lifespan. Digitization is the most effective means of preserving access to media assets in these at-risk formats. Experts in the field posit a 10 to 15-year window to effectively achieve preservation and electronic digitization of these at-risk media before we risk losing them forever.

In response to the known urgency of media preservation, SCRC has been engaged in developing a systematic media preservation and digitization program for the past ten years. The Libraries’ media preservation effort evolved from discrete digitization projects into a formal preservation initiative. Following the prototype established by the pioneering Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative at Indiana University, SCRC conducted a comprehensive media survey covering all collections. The data collected increased the Libraries’ intellectual control of media holdings and served as a basis for establishing preservation priorities for a long-term strategy. Over 450 collections were reviewed in five separate storage locations. Data was captured for 463,678 media items with an estimated 162,804 hours of content. This includes the Ted Koppel video tape collection, the Dick Clark audio tape collection, Erica Anderson Schweitzer films, University Archives athletics films and videos, Belfer Edison cylinders, Setnor School of Music recordings, and many other unique and valuable assets.

In 2016, the Libraries secured funding to initiate a pilot project to begin the systematic outsourced digitization of its highest priority media assets. Key objectives of the pilot included establishing funding levels, workflows, practices, relationships, and infrastructure needed to support a large-scale digitization program. Multiple challenges were identified through the process, including the urgent need for information technology infrastructure enhancements to manage large-scale data storage and hundreds of thousands of digital files, as well as the need to consolidate staff functions into a single digital projects coordinator position.

To date, the Libraries has been able to digitize 12% of the high priority items. SCRC’s in-house Belfer audio digitization operation has been particularly instrumental in performing difficult, one-to-one transfers of fragile and other objects requiring intensive interventions, such as the wax cylinder collection. With our existing resources, the Libraries has been able to preserve approximately 1,600 items per year. To successfully preserve all high-priority media by 2034, digitization will need to approach an average of 6,000 items per year, an immediate and substantial increase in scale of effort.

If you are interested in supporting this important effort, please contact Ronald Thiele, Assistant Dean for Advancement, at 315.443.2537 or

LaunchPad Connects Former and Current Students

One of the benefits of being part of the Orange family is the networking and support provided by former Syracuse University students. The Blackstone LaunchPad and Techstars (LaunchPad) at Syracuse University Libraries connects alumni entrepreneurs with students interested in pursuing innovative opportunities, ventures, or working with a startup.

“Entrepreneurial alumni are drawn to the LaunchPad as a way to support and mentor students,” said Linda Dickerson Hartsock, Executive Director of the LaunchPad. Todd B. Rubin ’04 (School of Architecture), Minister of Evolution and President of The Republic of Tea, is one example. Rubin established a grant through his family foundation to support five Rubin Family Innovation Mentors at the LaunchPad. The grant funded part-time employment of current Syracuse University students who were successful LaunchPad entrepreneurs to peer mentor other student startups. The graduating Rubin Family Innovation Mentors were also each challenged with creating a legacy project for the Syracuse community.

“Providing a cycle where I can help mentor students, and then students can support their contemporaries, was a wonderful opportunity to encourage and support innovators at Syracuse,” said Todd. “I feel it is important to stay connected and give back, and I am delighted that the LaunchPad is also encouraging students to create legacy projects to pay it forward.” The five Rubin Family Innovation Mentors serve as peer advisors to a portfolio of student startups, coaching them on strategy and venture development and engaging other Syracuse University alumni in building a broader mentor network.

Last year, the Rubin Family Innovation Mentors were: David Fox ’19 (School of Information Studies), Global Media Fellow, founder of Smarta, and enrolled in Syracuse University’s College of Law; Kelsey Davis G’20 (Whitman School of Management) and ’19 (Newhouse School of Public Communications), co-founder of CLLCTVE; Alec Gillinder ’20 (College of Visual and Performing Arts), and co-founder of MedUX LLC; Quinn King ’20 (College of Visual and Performing Arts), co-founder of MedUX LLC; and Matt Shumer ’22 (Whitman School of Management), founder of Visos VR.

“The Republic of Tea’s Charter states: ‘As an organization and as individuals, we must continually learn, grow and innovate to progress, succeed and accomplish our goals.’ We are excited as a family to support not only Syracuse University, but these inspiring students. These talented leaders will learn critical life-skills while being a part of the University’s ecosystem by giving back to their peers through entrepreneurial mentorship. I am proud that this continuous shared learning will help each student be successful in achieving their dreams and goals,” says Rubin.

The LaunchPad is Syracuse University’s innovation hub and provides students from across campus with experiential learning opportunities. Each of the Rubin Family Innovation Mentors successfully brought a concept to commercialization and has experience competing and winning University-wide, state and/or national competitions.

In addition to sponsoring the Innovation Mentors, Todd and the Rubin Family Foundation also sponsored “The Republic of Innovation” 2019 Global Entrepreneurship Week, including the Impact Prize for social entrepreneurship. Todd kicked off the week’s activities and competition with an inspired keynote address.

Another example of alumni entrepreneurs connecting with students is through the LaunchPad’s regular “Fireside Chats” and “Tea Talks,” where successful entrepreneurs share their experiences and life lessons with current students. Chats and talks have featured alumni including: Michael Sadicario ’03 (Whitman School of Management), Founder and Global Sales / Business Development Thought Leader, and original co-founder of the Syracuse University Entrepreneurship Club; George Dawson ’08 (Whitman School of Management), Techstars Fund Controller; Josh Aviv ’15 (College of Arts and Sciences), G’17 (School of Information Studies), founder and CEO of SparkCharge; Aidan Cunniffe, former Whitman School of Management student, and CEO and founder of San Francisco based Optic; Adam ‘96 (Whitman School of Management) and Amy Fazackerley, co-founders of Lay-n-Go; Steven VonDeak ’08 (College of Law), co-founder and chief of staff at Density; Paul Leibowitz ’84 (College of Visual and Performing Arts), President and Chief Creative Officer of Leibowitz Branding & Design; Corey Lieblein ’93 (School of Human Development/Falk College), Founder/CEO of CP8 Capital; Kathryn Ruscitto G’91 (Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs) former CEO of St. Josephs Health; Elizabeth Ruscitto G ’12 (School of Information Studies) and ’07 (Whitman School of Management), consultant and technical executive; Michael Gursha ’10 (Whitman School of Management and Newhouse School of Public Communications), CEO of Rookie Road; Derrell Smith G ‘13 (Newhouse School of Public Communications) and ’10 (School of Information Studies and Whitman School of Management), NFL star and founder of 99Eats; AJ Damiano ’18 (Whitman School of Management), co-founder of PowerSpike; Brian Kam ’16 (Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs), founder of Thrive; Kimberly Townsend G’09 (Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs), JD’01 (College of Law), ’98(Whitman School of Management), President and CEO of Loretto Healthcare; Heather Reavey, ’99 (College of Visual and Performing Arts), head of practice innovation at EPAM Continuum; Bob Lord ’85 (Engineering and Computer Science), Chief Digital Officer at IBM; and Sharon Owens ’85 (Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs), Deputy Mayor of Syracuse.

The LaunchPad continues to look for alumni to mentor student entrepreneurs. Anyone interested in getting involved can find more information at

New Staff

As part of Syracuse University’s sesquicentennial celebration this year, Sebastian Modrow, the Special Collections Research Center’s Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts, created an exhibition on the Libraries’ milestones. It was titled “‘Let the reader emerge!’ Milestones of the Syracuse University Libraries” and focused on the Libraries as an evolving and expanding learning space, highlighting the history of their most important buildings. An online version of this exhibition is in preparation.

For the first two years of its existence, Syracuse University and its first library were housed on the second floor of Myers Block at the corner of East Genesee and Montgomery Streets in downtown Syracuse. The library’s first book was Benjamin Tucker’s Epitome of Ancient & Modern History (Philadelphia, 1822), which is now part of the Libraries’ rare book collection within the Special Collections Research Center. John P. Griffin, the University’s first librarian from 1871 to 1875, oversaw a collection comprising not more than a few hundred books when it moved to the University’s newly built Hall of Languages in 1873.

In 1875, University trustee and former president of Genesee College John M. Reid provided a generous donation of $5,000 for new book acquisitions. University Librarian Charles W. Bennett, Syracuse University professor of history and logic, went on a book-hunting 12 SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES trip to Europe and returned with over 4,500 volumes. He also learned that the library of his former professor Leopold von Ranke, who was then 80 years old and one of the most eminent historians of the 19th century, would be made available for purchase after von Ranke’s death. Bennett told Reid that year, “When Leopold von Ranke dies you must purchase his library for the historical department of Syracuse University. Then let the professors in each of the departments find friends to make like purchases for them and Syracuse will be the best furnished institution of the land for original and scholarly work.” In 1888, thanks to Bennett’s persistence and Reid’s generosity, Syracuse University succeeded in purchasing one of the most famous private research libraries of the 19th century, adding 20,000 volumes to its collection. The purchase was contingent on Reid’s condition that the University would provide a building dedicated to the library. The von Ranke Library provided ample storage that filled up quickly. However, reading, office, and teaching space for library economy classes proved to be inadequate from the beginning.

Since 1889, steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie had been funding construction of libraries domestically and abroad. Syracuse University approached Carnegie with a proposal to fund a new campus library. Carnegie agreed to provide $150,000 of Interior of the von Ranke Library, circa 1900, University Archives, Special Collections Research Center CONNECTIONFALL 2020 13 building costs if the University would match his gift to establish a library endowment. Syracuse University’s Carnegie Library was completed in 1907 and provided a new, large reading room, book stacks, and space for the Library School. The rapid growth of the library’s collections as well as of the student body quickly revealed the long-term inadequacy of Carnegie Library. Students reportedly sat on radiators or on stairs due to lack of reading room space. Between 1927 and 1954 the book collection grew from 136,000 to 487,000 volumes. By the 1930s the von Ranke Collection was considered out-of-date, and it was separated from the principal collection and turned into a ‘special collection.’ The Special Collections proper came into being two decades later: In April 1957, and thanks to the generous support of George Arents, heir of the American Tobacco Company and passionate rare book collector, the Lena R. Arents Rare Book Room on Carnegie’s third floor was dedicated.

Another special collection of renown is the Diane and Arthur Belfer Audio Laboratory and Archive. It began in 1963 as an audio archive in the basement of the Continental Can Company building, a structure that the University had purchased and re-purposed as an off-site storage facility. Walter Welch, Belfer’s first curator, helped establish Belfer as a pioneer of sound re-recordings and preservation technology.

The Continental Can Company building was only a temporary solution to a part of the Library system’s challenges. In 1967, Chancellor Tolley finally announced that a new library building would be built on Walnut Avenue. Instead of separate branches, he envisioned a new space that would house all collections on seven floors totaling 212,000 square feet. A significant donor to the project was Ernest Stevenson Bird, whose total contribution would ultimately amount to $3 million. Construction on Bird Library began in 1969, shortly before Tolley’s retirement, and was completed in 1972 at a cost of $13 million. Nearly 3 million books, periodicals, manuscripts, and microforms from Carnegie, the various branches, and the Continental Can building were moved into the new library. A year after Bird Library had become the heart of the University’s library system, Carnegie Library became a multi-purpose building, housing the engineering, life sciences and mathematics collections, and in 1982 the Mathematics Department and the chemistry collection were added. Despite a general tendency towards centralization, a few smaller libraries, including the King + King Architecture Library at Slocum Hall, the College of Law Library in Dineen Hall, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library at Sims Hall, have remained on campus.

From its opening, Bird was a busy library with a heavy emphasis on collaboration. The campus community demanded quiet study space, and Carnegie Library was renovated in 2014, returning the building to its former glory and turning its beautiful main reading room into a modern quiet study space with a historic flair, while Bird’s Learning Commons renovations and the installation of the Blackstone LaunchPad expanded the Libraries’ collaborative spaces.

Syracuse University’s Sesquicentennial is also a milestone for SU Libraries, which grew alongside its parent institution. Its history demonstrates it as one of the core stakeholders of the academic learning process, always adapting to the ever-changing needs of a thriving campus community. It is a story worth telling and preserving. “The very act of recounting 150 years of the Libraries’ history is a testimony to the importance and power of the archives. We continue and look forward to documenting this history, including the many voices that are SU,” concludes Petrina Jackson, Director of Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center. For more information on Syracuse University history, contact Special Collections Research Center at

Information Literacy Program

Information literacy is broadly defined as “the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning.”1 It is directly linked to the University’s Information Literacy and Technological Agility shared competency, one of the six shared competencies across the University. The Libraries support students’ development of this competency through delivery of quality educational opportunities, inside and outside the classroom, to enable students to succeed as members of an increasingly complex information society.

How are the Libraries delivering on this? Through three complementary approaches:

• Our programs, which support learning and include events such as the Welcome Fest, where students can find out about the variety of services and resources offered by the Libraries and its partners, building tours, subject-specific information fairs, and research workshops for specialized populations, such as international students, honors students, distance learners, graduate students, and faculty.

• Our partnerships with academic departments in a variety of ways, including course-based integration with first-year courses, such as Writing (WRT 105/205) and First Year Forum, collaborations with Syracuse University Project Advance classes for students in high school taking college courses, faculty collaborations with the Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center, introductory and upper level discipline-specific instruction by subject liaisons, and University-wide initiatives on information literacy through speakers and series.

• Our spaces, which present an opportunity to deliver information literacy instruction through reference consultations at our service desks and by appointment, research support for study groups, and roving reference. Information literacy also informs and guides the Libraries’ approach to space planning, collection development, and technology support.

Through participation in information literacy initiatives, the University community is exposed to opportunities for lifelong learning and successful navigation of the information landscape by identifying, locating, accessing, evaluating, and connecting with resources. The Information Literacy Program is designed to help users create and manage information and research workflows in an ethical and sustainable manner, engaging with the social, political, and economic contexts through which information is created and disseminated.

Instruction is delivered within the Libraries by a diverse team of librarians who teach in a multitude of spaces, employ a variety of pedagogical approaches, and reach a wide range of student populations. All library teaching staff endeavor to imbue their students with an overarching set of information literacy skills. This distributed model enables librarians from different units across the Libraries to prioritize their efforts to align with their specific student populations. For example, Learning Commons’ librarians focus heavily on instruction for first year students, international students, and online learners. The librarians in the Department of Research and Scholarship focus their teaching on students in their respective schools and colleges. The Special Collections Research Center has a team of librarians who engage with students and faculty to teach with rare books, manuscript, and archival collections.

Regardless of delivery mechanisms and styles, the Libraries takes a student-centered approach to teaching and designing instruction that incorporates constructivisthumanist approaches like active and self-directed learning. We employ instructional techniques to accommodate a variety of learning styles and apply a critical lens to information literacy concepts encouraging students to consider their experiences as learners in an information-rich society. The Libraries is also committed to support learners outside of the physical classroom, through creation of learning objects such as research guides and online tutorials.

For more information on the Libraries’ Information Literacy Program, contact Kelly Delevan at

Remembering the Work of Frederick Marvin

Legendary Concert Pianist and Music Scholar

The Libraries has been gifted with several pieces of beloved professor emeritus Frederick Marvin’s recordings and performances, which are now housed in the Special Collections Research Center’s Belfer Audio Archives.

Marvin was a concert pianist who received numerous awards internationally. Marvin began his concert career at the age of 16 in his hometown of Los Angeles. His New York debut garnered him the Carnegie Hall Award for the best debut of the season. After several years spent touring around the United States, he moved to Vienna and gave concerts throughout Europe. Marvin began teaching piano in 1968 at what is now Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts.

Marvin was renowned for his research, editing, publishing, and recording of the works of Antonio Soler, an 18th-century Spanish composer whose music had been hidden in obscurity until Marvin brought it to light. Marvin garnered two Del Amo Foundation grants, three Fulbright Fellowships, and three grants from the United States-Spanish Joint Committee for Cultural and Educational Cooperation for his research on Soler. His scholarly achievements brought him the honor of Knight Commander of the Spanish Orden del Merito Civil from the Spanish government. He was also awarded the Medaille de Vermeil, Croix de Commandeur of the Societe Academique Arts-Sciences-Lettres of France for his solo concerts. In addition to Soler, Marvin brought to light the works of Czech composer Jan Ladislav Dussek. In 2000, Marvin received the Cervantes Medal from the Hispanic Society of America in New York City, awarded to individuals for eminence in the field of Hispanic poetry and music. He was also made a fellow of the society.

Marvin’s husband, Ernst Schuh, gifted the recordings, some of which the Libraries are digitizing, as well as several monetary gifts to the Libraries in Marvin’s name. The couple also established the Professor Frederick Marvin and Ernst Schuh Piano Scholarship within the Rose, Jules R. and Stanford S. Setnor School of Music for graduate students studying performance with an emphasis on piano. Additionally, they donated a baby grand piano to the Setnor School of Music.

Marvin died in 2017 in Vienna. The Libraries is planning to host a virtual listening party of a few of Marvin’s digitized recordings in the fall.

For more information, contact Ron Thiele, Assistant Dean of Advancement for the Libraries, at 315.443.2537 or

LASTING Contributions

Like most institutions, the Libraries experience routine cycles based on the academic school year, incuding changes in staffing based on the natural progression of careers. 2019/2020 was no exception, but was particularly bitter-sweet as it included the retirements of several long-term employees. Fortunately, each of our retirees left lasting contributions to the Libraries that will benefit the University for years to come.

Bonnie Ryan retired as social sciences librarian and has been awarded librarian emerita status. Bonnie’s emphasis was on Africa/ African American Studies, Anthropology, Latin American Studies, Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Studies, Native American Studies, Psychology, Sociology, and Women’s & Gender Studies. Bonnie was a founding member of the Libraries’ Diversity and Inclusion Team. She was also instrumental in supporting the Kenyan National Archive collections, primary source government documents that belonged to the colonial government of Kenya. Syracuse University Libraries is the sole repository for the complete collection on the Kenya National Archive of materials up to the time of independence from colonial rule in Kenya in the 1960’s. It was developed through a joint grant with the National Science Foundation, the government of Kenya, and the Program of Eastern African Studies of Syracuse University, which no longer exists. These extremely valuable collections have served scholars from around the world, as well as faculty and students at Syracuse University, including Professor Martin Shanguhyia, Department of History, who makes extensive use of the collection for his classes and his own research.

Lydia Wasylenko retired as librarian for Humanities and Citizenship and was awarded emerita status. Prior to her retirement, she was selected by the Syracuse University Libraries Assembly to receive the 2019 Distinguished Service Award based on her contributions to the Libraries and the broader community, her service to the profession, and her excellence in professional skills. She was also a recipient of the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Engagement (SOURCE) award named in her honor for the pivotal role she played in researching and writing a study of undergraduate research at Syracuse University that led to the creation of SOURCE. As subject librarian, Lydia focused on various academic disciplines, from economics to history to Slavic studies. She routinely received accolades from faculty members and students. Earlier in her career, Lydia also provided expertise behind the scenes in technical services, cataloging, and database management. She worked on the development and oversight of two different professional groups within the Libraries and effectively represented the Libraries on the University Senate for many years, engaging in the development of several key campus-wide initiatives. Lydia was also instrumental in facilitating Syracuse community access to the Visual History Archive database, which supports genealogical and historical research, teaching, and learning, and documentary filmmaking using testimonies from Holocaust survivors and witnesses interviewed during the 1990s, as well as accounts from survivors of other atrocities, such as the Armenian Genocide of World War I, China’s Nanjing Massacre of 1937-38, the Guatemalan Genocide from 1978-96, and the Rwandan Genocide of 1994.

Robert Hodge, after 48 years of dedicated service and invaluable expertise, retired as Senior Audio Preservation Engineer at the Belfer Audio Archive, part of the Special Collections Research Center. Bob began his long-term association with the audio preservation work of Belfer when he served as Senior Video Engineer in the television studios at the Newhouse School of Public Communications. Having provided the Libraries with many thousands of high quality digital transfers from the Libraries’ sound collections, including the cylinder recordings available online via the Belfer Cylinders Connection, Bob’s work directly impacts long-term preservation and use of audio resources in teaching and research by scholars, faculty, students, and staff. In addition to his audio engineering skills, Bob brought to Belfer a deep knowledge of early 20th century recorded music built up over a lifetime as an avid collector of early sound recordings and vintage audio-visual technology. His specialization in this area benefited Belfer greatly over the years, as he often provided expert assistance on acquisitions and curatorial decisions. Bob also left behind several personally donated gifts in-kind to the University’s collections.

Charles Tremper, after 45 years of exemplary service, retired as principal cataloger for the Special Collections Research Center and was awarded librarian emeritus status. Charles held many positions in the Libraries, beginning as a History Bibliographer in 1974 and moving into cataloging serials. Among Charles’ many achievements were his work managing serials during the shift from the card catalog in 1983 to SULIRS, the Libraries’ first online system. He was also instrumental when the Libraries migrated its collection data to subsequent systems, including NOTIS in 1990 and Voyager in 1997. In addition, Charles served on many Libraries committees, the University Senate Committee on Services to Staff and Faculty, and the board of the Central New York Library Resources Council for several years.

Lesley Pease retired as the Learning Commons’ first leader and was awarded librarian emerita status. Lesley developed and defined the Learning Common’s ethos of collaboration, partnership, experimentation, and engagement with students and faculty. This led to a wide variety of events and installations in our spaces: silent performances, ceramics, sculpture, two-dimensional art, textiles and fiber arts, student poster sessions, and industrial design assignments. Under Lesley’s leadership, the department expanded to supporting events, programming, and exhibits in new mobile display cases. She proposed and led the first Libraries’ Welcome Fest in 2016. She and Learning Commons staff reshaped and expanded traditional reference services, adding virtual options, and the new Helpline service. In 2014, the Learning Commons welcomed technology consultants to the department and shifted student hiring to graduate students. Lesley’s previous management positions included the Social Sciences and Area Studies department and Maps and Government Information. Before becoming a manager, she was the subject librarian for women’s studies, social work, child and family studies, marriage and family therapy, gerontology, and government publications. Lesley taught two graduate classes for the School of Information Studies.

DeAnn Buss, retired as the Director of Library Information Systems, where she led the Libraries Information Technology Services unit responsible for the technological systems, software, and infrastructure required for teaching, learning, research, and behind the scenes management of the Libraries’ print assets and digital resources. During her tenure, she collaborated broadly across the Libraries to lead the development of a formalized Digital Library Program in support of the Libraries’ strategic initiative to enhance teaching and research at Syracuse University and beyond through the programmatic digitization of library holdings, support for digital projects, and the creation of new open access publications. She was also an active technology leader on campus, participating in a committee championed by the Chancellor to develop the first University-wide Information and Communication Technologies Accessibility Policy, requiring websites, software, and hardware to be accessible to persons with print and hearing disabilities. Throughout her tenure, she was the Libraries’ representative to the University’s Technology Leadership Council and was the first woman to hold the positions of Vice-Chair and Chair.

ARTISTS in the Libraries

Courtney Asztalos G’17, Plastics and Historical Artifacts Curator, Artist

Courtney Asztalos G’17 is an accomplished artist in various processes—photography, sound, installation, video, drawing, artist books, and collage. This past December, Courtney participated in a month-long artist in residency program at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, NY, offering her an opportunity to access the artist book library and film archives. She is currently working on an experimental publication where she blends elements of 20thcentury visual culture and cinema—such as camp and horror films, and fashion advertisements—in the creation and staging of her images. In creating the pictures in this experimental publication, she takes cues from the legacy of camp through costuming, set building, casting, and re-staging the raw material of everyday life to create imaginary pasts. She recently had a collaborative project with Michael W. Hicks published by Kris Graves Projects called The Glittering Eye—one of eight monographs within the LOST III series. Courtney’s work has been exhibited at the Photographic Center Northwest in Seattle, in Picture Berlin’s “Interiors to Being,” at the Atlanta Photography Group Gallery, and in the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. Her work is collected nationally in institutions such as the Museum of Contemporary Photography, UCLA’s Arts Library, Duke University, and the University of Miami. She has photographed for the New York Times, and her work has been featured in the New Yorker’s Photo Booth Blog, Paper Journal, Der Greif, Dear Dave, and “Librarians need to explore their individual creativity. Creative thinking is an underutilized problem-solving skill that can be learned and applied to any situation.” —John A. Olson, Government and Geo-Information Librarian at Syracuse University Libraries (and Photographer) in “What Academic Librarians Should Know about Creative Thinking” Syracuse University Libraries has no shortage of individuals with creative skills and talents. Not only does their creative thinking support problem solving skills, but many Libraries’ employees contribute to the organization beyond their defined responsibilities because of their creative pursuits. She recently received an honorable mention from Syracuse’s Light Work Grants in Photography. Courtney’s creative talents have benefitted the Libraries. She is cocurating a new interactive exhibit—Survival Seat: Provisions for your Research Journey—which will be on display in the Plastics Pioneers Reading Room on the 6th floor of Bird Library. The exhibition is a lively journey through archival research, using a creative selection of artifacts, documents, and photographs from the Edwin F. Bushman Papers, a mid-century plastics engineer, and the Plastics Artifacts Collection. Visitors are guided through how a research project can develop from the discovery of materials to the unfolding of their analysis. “As an artist, I’ve learned the importance and transformative nature of collaboration and creativity. In my role at the Libraries, it is such a joy to encourage and imagine new spaces when working with students, staff, librarians, and faculty in instruction, curation, and fostering research with our collections. Art is a tool to envision greater and more equitable futures, and I bring this aspiration and lens to all that I do with my work as curator.”

Fred Wellner ’17, SU Press Senior Designer, Sculptor

Fred Wellner ’17 is a talented metalwork artist whose work has shown at the Everson Museum of Art through the On My Own Time contest. Fred began sculpting using graphite, and worked in soapstone before moving on to metal. He is also a talented oil and acrylic painter. He often collaborates with his wife, also an SU alumni and employee. Together they have displayed work at the Gallery in Beacon [New York], Launchpad in Brooklyn, and in Syracuse at the Contemporary Art Gallery, the Redhouse, The Tech Garden, and the Delavan Art Center. Fred applies his creative talent daily in his role at SU Press, where he has worked for 30 years, spending much of his time designing pages and covers for some of the published SU Press titles.

Patrick Williams, Humanities Librarian,

Poet Patrick Williams is a published poet, author, and editor. His work appears in Nine Mile Magazine, Posit, and Bennington Review, among others. His chapbook Hygiene in Reading (Publishing Genius, 2016) was awarded the 2015 Chris Toll Memorial Prize and his poem “Surface/ Deep” took second prize at the 2019 New York State Fair. He edits Really System, a journal of poetry and extensible poetics and is the hands behind chapbook micro press Patrick contributed a chapter to the 2018 volume Poet-Librarians in the Library of Babel, a compendium of experimental essays, creative meditations, non-fiction accounts, and lyrical explorations that challenge, redefine, and/or widen perspectives on subjects related to libraries and librarianship. Additionally, he was featured in Erin Dorney’s 2014 article “Librarian as Poet / Poet as Librarian” in the journal In the Library with the Lead Pipe. Patrick’s doctoral research was on how creative writers interact in online writing environments. His creative work strengthens his connections to humanities researchers, writers, and artists at Syracuse University. He has brought his creative experiences to campus with humanities workshops on electronic literature, using primary sources for creative projects, exploring creative works with text mining, and do-it-yourself publishing. He has also organized a collaboration with Colgate University for a Small Press Reading, and 20 SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES he collaborated with colleagues at SU Libraries and the University of Rochester, Colgate University, and Cornell University to obtain a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to plan and pilot a skill-sharing program to develop a diverse workforce of library and archives professionals to better serve the changing learning and information needs of the American public. “One thing that my creative work brings to my professional work is a sensitivity to how we operate with language in libraries; the way we describe, compress, abstract, and even use language in the process of finding materials is fascinating to me. I am also very excited by the ways in which libraries allow for us to find surprising connections among materials and ideas. It’s a delight to see students working with our resources on generative and creative projects, drawing attention to the fact that our spaces are sites of engaged, productive inquiry.”

Kelley Parker, Executive Assistant to Syracuse University Libraries’ Dean and Dean’s Office Manager, Photographer

Kelley Parker most recently had her work displayed late in 2019 at the Everson Museum of Art. Through the On My Own Time contest, hosted by various employers throughout Central New York, Kelley’s work was selected to be featured. She has also won first place and best of show at the New York State Fair Competition for several years. Kelley’s photographs focus on nature and wildlife, and she adds various textures and layers to the captured images to give the subject depth and interest. Kelley’s meticulousness and attention to detail in her art are well-used skills in her role at the Libraries. In managing the Dean’s office, she is often called on to understand the layers and relationships within the Libraries and the University. Stephen Singer G’20, Learning Commons Technology Consultant, Artist Stephen Singer is a recent MFA graduate of the Museum Studies program at Syracuse University. He creates a variety of art toys in vinyl, resin, and one-off assemblages through his company, Whistling Pony Toys. Recent works include: Kachine Seijin, the Headless Horror series, and the upcoming Astro-Space Retro Wonder Pals. He is also working on the Grand Unified Theory of New Wave, an ongoing mapping project and interactive reference tool relating to punk, postpunk, and indie music of the past four decades. Stephen uses his skills to regularly curate Learning Commons exhibits, often with his own personal collections, including snow globes, vinyl records, sofubi and designer vinyl art toys, vintage video games, and a multitude of pop culture artifacts.

S. Ann Skiold, Librarian for Visual Arts, Abstract Artist

Ann Skiold has been the Fine Arts, Classics, Spanish, Italian, German and Russian Language and Literature librarian at Syracuse University Libraries since 2005. Born and raised in Sweden, Ann studied Law CONNECTIONFALL 2020 21 and English at Lund University. She relocated to Santa Barbara, CA where she earned a BA in English Literature. Ann was awarded a Rotary Foundation Scholarship to Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, resulting in a post graduate diploma in Visual Arts. She completed an MFA with honors in painting and an MLIS in Library and Information Science. Ann’s abstract artwork can be likened to inscapes, representing the unseen journey of the heart, mind, and soul. Her work holds a vibrant expressionist style of subliminal mysterious otherness. She breaks rules and makes her own, because each inscape is uncharted, new, and full of discovery. Ann’s collages and paintings convey a duality of raw darkness juxtaposed with a lyrical, playful, sometimes bright, and fierce sense of hope and joy. Ann’s paintings and collages have been exhibited and sold in Syracuse and Fayetteville, New York; Ljunghusen, Sweden; Santa Barbara, California; Australia; Peoria, Illinois; and Florence, Italy. Ann runs SU Libraries’ Biblio Gallery, where she promotes, selects, and coaches students on hanging a professional show on the 4th floor of Bird Library. This venue for student artwork contributes to the campus cultural life by offering students an opportunity to showcase their creative work to a wider audience. She has also taught two art classes at Syracuse University’s School of Visual and Performing Arts as an adjunct professor.

Keenan LeBlanc, Library Technician, Musician

Keenan LeBlanc, a part-time Master of Library Information Science student at the iSchool, recently joined Syracuse University Libraries. Keenan is a lifelong student of percussion by way of the drum set and pursues musical endeavors in his spare time. His style is strongly informed by his studies in jazz drum set with Tony Moreno at Columbia University, but also other various formal studies and gigging experiences in classical, Afro-Cuban, Carnatic, rock/folk, Brazilian, and African percussion. While studying in NYC, Keenan was half of the psychedelic rock duo Lovely Beasts, but more recently he has been gun-for-hire around Central New York, playing or subbing with artists such as Reading Material, Melissa Gardner, Nick Fields, and Morris and the Hepcats. This year he will be creating a self-recorded/produced album of original music with his wife and brother. Keenan has found that the cultivated ear, flexibility, ability to improvise, and whole-picture thinking that is required of a good drummer transfers well to his shifts at the Libraries’ service desks, aiding in particular with the conversational and problem solving elements of the job. Being very comfortable working as part of an ensemble, he also values the collaborative spirit that is such a defining characteristic of the environment.

Ronald Thiele, Assistant Dean for Advancement, Dance Photographer

Ronald Thiele has been with Syracuse University Libraries for 10 years. But Ron’s early career was focused on dance. While studying at University of California at Berkeley, Ron began a professional dancing career, spending nearly thirty years as principal dancer and rising to become Co-Artistic Director of the Oakland Ballet Company. There he found another passion, photographing dance. His work has been exhibited in the Oakland Museum and has been published in the book Massine: A Biography by Vincente Garcia-Marquez. Ron’s passion for the arts has provided him with an opportunity to make connections and cultivate relationships with donors at Syracuse University Libraries. Ron credits dancing for the life lesson that we are also better when we work together.


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