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Syracuse University Libraries


David Seaman Dean of Libraries and University Librarian

DeAnn Buss Director, Library Information Systems

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

Ron Thiele Assistant Dean, Advancement

Scott Warren Associate Dean, Research Excellence

Additional Contributors:

Laura Benjamin Access Services Librarian

Michele Combs Lead Archivist, Special Collections Research Center

Melinda Dermody Head of Access and Resource Sharing

Dane Flansburgh Assistant Archivist, Special Collections Research Center

Kate Hanson Director, The SOURCE

Lisa Kuerbis Marketing Coordinator, SU Press

Sebastian Modrow Curator Rare Books and Manuscripts

Meara Mosny Communications Coordinator

Amanda Page Librarian, Open Publishing and Copyright

Michael Pasqualoni Librarian, Communications and Public Affairs

Lesley Pease Head of Learning Commons

Anne Rauh Interim Head of Collections and Research Services

Colleen Theisen Chief Curator, Special Collections Research Center

Lynn Wilcox Design Specialist, SU Press


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

Our Libraries are thriving, and we are continually assessing our operations to increase our impact on student success, campus-wide innovation and entrepreneurship, and research excellence. In 2019 the Libraries staff examined our organizational structure, created over a decade ago, and worked together to bring it into alignment with our current ambitions and the strategic direction of the Libraries and the University. I am confident that this new structure better positions our expert staff to provide and promote our information services, responsive collections, and accessible spaces, and to strengthen our ability to build an inclusive community.

On another topic, I return to the SU Libraries full-time in January 2020 after eight months as a “double dean,” having been asked to take on the additional role of interim Dean of the School of Information Studies. I am delighted to welcome Raj Dewan to campus as our new Dean of the iSchool and know that he is taking the helm of a school that is tackling an exciting array of 21st century topics from data analysis and library science to the effects of social media and the ethical use of information. Thank you to my iSchool colleagues for making me so welcome in your community—we did good work together, I think, to prepare the way for a new dean—and thank you to everyone in the SU Libraries for continuing to do your customary innovative and excellent work in my partial absence.


David Seaman

Dean of Libraries and University Librarian

Diane and Bob ’59 Miron Learning Commons at Bird Library

This spring the Libraries’ academic success and learning excellence opportunities will be enhanced when the Learning Commons is rededicated as the “Diane and Bob ’59 Miron Learning Commons.” The Mirons, whose philanthropic support of Syracuse University is rivaled only by their ongoing service, have supported many academic programs, university initiatives, and athletic endeavors across campus over the years. The Libraries’ portion of a recent $7 million gift to SU Libraries and SU Athletics will be used to create the “Diane and Bob ’59 Miron Fund for Academic Success.” This will allow the Libraries to continue to prepare and empower students with an endowed fund that will provide substantive investment in the busiest ecosystem of student facing services, spaces, and resources.

Diane Miron, a member of the Libraries Advisory Board, said “Bob and I are delighted to encourage academic and student success initiatives.” In honor of the Mirons’ philanthropy, the Libraries’ Learning Commons will be renamed.

We’re committed to supporting Syracuse University students, and we wanted to contribute in a way that will impact students from all disciplines, backgrounds, and countries,” said Diane.

The Learning Commons occupies portions of the lower level and first floor of Bird Library and is an active and communal space centered on shared learning, collaboration, meetings, content creation, socializing, and studying. In addition to the check-out, information, and technology assistance desks, the first floor of Bird includes a large bank of publicly-available workstations, printing stations, exhibit areas, and meeting areas. The first floor also includes the popular Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars entrepreneurship glass cube, the Joel and Barbara Zelnick Assistive Technology Room, the Peter Graham Scholarly Commons lecture room used by numerous groups across campus, the “New Book” area featuring Syracuse University authors and fiction, and Pages Café.

The lower level of Bird is equally devoted to student impact, housing the Center for Learning and Student Success (CLASS), which provides students with one-on-one and group tutoring and academic coaching. The new Syracuse Abroad@Bird space encourages student participation in global study. In addition to study areas, there is also a Quiet Reading Room on the lower level.

“I love Bird Library because it has everything I need: a café for coffee and food, quiet places to study, louder places to have conversations, and a whole lot of books,” said Jacqueline Allen ’23, Maxwell School.

“Our library system is an integral part of Syracuse University’s distinctive student experience and as our students evolve, so too must our spaces, resources, and programming,” said Dean David Seaman. “With the Mirons’ wonderful gift, SU Libraries is positioned to anticipate and exceed the expectations of current and future students.”

An event to dedicate the “Diane and Bob ’59 Miron Learning Commons” is being planned for later in the spring semester. For more information about the Diane and Bob ’59 Miron Learning Commons, contact Lesley Pease, head of Learning Commons, at For information about gifts to Syracuse University Libraries, contact Ronald Thiele, assistant dean of advancement, at

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders

Last summer, a group of young leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa made their way to the Syracuse University campus as part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). The program is funded by the U.S. Department of State and empowers young leaders through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking across higher education institutions and communities across the United States. For six weeks in July, a group of 25 fellows participated in learning experiences at Syracuse University, coordinated by the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs faculty and staff, including John McPeak, Stuart Bretschneider, and Ronda Garlow.

Michael Pasqualoni, librarian for Communications and Public Affairs, was involved in the program on campus and had an opportunity to interview two fellows, Annie Chipeta from Malawi and Benedict Richard Bekui (Richard) from Ghana on July 24, 2019. As is often the case in situations like these, teaching and learning is reciprocal. Those who worked with the fellows benefitted from learning about their culture and experience.

Several of the fellows shared their surprise at the volume and depth of information that is accessible through universities and libraries in the United States. According to Richard, a doctor, “Africa contributes to about 1% of the knowledge that is generated from research in the world. Most of the research that’s available is done elsewhere and applied in Africa. Or people come to Africa to do their research. It costs money to do this research, so it is difficult for us to access the information. There’s an economic model to pay for information because that is somebody’s work. I am happy that at least there are certain open access resources like PubMed that you can go to and still get good information. Unfortunately, as you dive deeper and look for more technical things, you come across the ‘you have to pay.’”

Fellows also expressed surprise at the way instruction is delivered in the United States. For example, Annie, a courts administrator, said “It’s very different in terms of the way the course is instructed and delivered, because I have spent my entire life studying in my country. The approach the lecturers take here is very engaging. In my home country if somebody is delivering a course program, they will have either their PowerPoint or they have a blackboard and chalk and write. There’s very little participation with the students. And, as such, it becomes a matter of obligation for the students to go to class, but not necessarily looking forward to learning and staying interested.” Richard reinforced that, saying “I realized everything I have been learning here is targeted toward solutions. Back home you learn new things and you have to ask yourself, ‘what am I going to use this information for?’ But here, by the time the lecture is over, the way it is taught, I am able to connect it to a solution. So it’s not just knowledge, but it is applied knowledge.”

And what about the difference between libraries in Africa and the U.S.? According to Annie, “In Africa, you could borrow some books. So if you got a book from the reserve you could only have it for a day, because other students need to get it. But if you got it from other parts of the library, you could have it three days to a week. This library [in my country] is still not very developed; not many books online, if at all.” While Annie spoke of using the Emerald database through an affiliation University of Malawi has with the University of Westminster, she indicated, “Most of the research has been ‘by the books,’ because that has been what has been accessible.” Richard reiterated this, saying, “In the university, the libraries were mainly set up for reading. Most people do not read the books in the library. They bring their own books in. I bring my own books from my house, and then I can read in the library. But in medicine now, whenever I need information, I have found that the internet is the best place to go. So, for most medical textbooks that I have, they were written several years back. I acknowledge the information there. When I want the latest stuff, I have to go to the internet, look for journals that have it, which we don’t have access to some of them because they’re very expensive.”

Mandela Washington Fellows were also introduced to the Libraries Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars (LaunchPad). Linda Dickerson Hartsock, executive director of the LaunchPad, shared an overview of entrepreneurship in the U.S. with the fellows. The students learned about the economics of working on an endeavor. “The perception that we, as Africans, have of the United States of America is ‘you are going to one of the biggest economies in the world, this giant United States.’ The country is great. There’s so many opportunities. There are so many resources available, especially when you come here. At the same time, there is the issue of inequality,” said Annie. “I took this Clifton Strengths Assessment survey to help identify my talents. After I took this, I realized I really am a leader. My first strength was ‘futuristic:’ it means that I think about the future, what could be, and I want to inspire that in others, to also think about doing better for the future. Another of my top five strengths was ‘ideation,’ or the ability to come up with ideas. So, if I am able to capitalize on this skill and become more innovative, then I think about what sort of impact we can have. Another strength is ‘activation,’ where you have an idea and you have to act fast. It’s one thing to have ideas, it’s another to implement them.”

Richard was inspired by principles shared by Syracuse University professor Sean O’Keefe, MPA ’78; in Richard’s words, “You should strive to leave whatever situation better than how it was when you found it. And talking about change, I have come to realize that change is based on your perception, and you can’t function beyond your exposure, so there is only a limited number of ways I can change what’s in this room, but when I realize there are things outside that I can bring here, things in here that I can send outside, that’s a different dimension of change. If we’re talking about access to information, every day when I read an article I know somebody who is doing something and has succeeded, that’s an environment that fosters change. So, you have seen somebody do it and succeed and you are going to do the same. But if you don’t have access to that information, then your perception of change is limited. You don’t know what’s possible. Therefore, you can’t imagine beyond that.”

For more information on the Mandela Washington Fellowship, visit

SURFACE: Making Research Publicly Available

SURFACE is Syracuse University’s online repository to host publications for local and global readers. Launched in 2010, it is managed by Syracuse University Libraries’ Open Publishing Services and provides free access to created works from authors who are or were affiliated with the University. This includes current PhD students who can opt-in to make their Electronic Theses and Dissertations available through open access via the Graduate School submission process.

Syracuse University Libraries’ Open Publishing team is committed to providing all students, faculty, and staff access to the resources and services needed to preserve and publish the products of their research. To that end, we offer services related to education and instruction, identification, collection, publication, and reference on open access works. In addition, as an R1 research institution, the University may receive grants from U.S. government agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, or others which require taxpayer funded research to be openly available as public access.

Carnegie Library: A Jewel in the University’s 150 Year History

For most students attending Syracuse University prior to 1972 (the year that Bird Library opened), Carnegie Library was the Syracuse University Library on campus. Carnegie has a rich history and holds numerous memories for the University. Commissioned in March 1905 through a generous donation from philanthropist and industrialist Andrew Carnegie, the $150,000 donation was used for the construction of a new University Library (replacing the von Ranke Library, now Tolley Humanities Building) that would be completed in 1907. Early stories told by Professor Erik Hemmingsen say that on a train ride to New York City, Chancellor Day saw a sign in a brickyard near the Hudson River saying “Bankrupt–For Sale.” The Chancellor proceeded to pull the emergency brake on the train, asked the conductor to reverse, and purchased the brickyard. The tan bricks were then used to build Carnegie Library.

Originally, the Library’s book stacks were closed and a library “page” (or runner) would retrieve the book requested. Books were transported between levels using a dumbwaiter. The stacks were created to hold the roof up as part of the building structure, and the stack floors were made of approximately 1” thick glass in a metal grid.

In the 1960s, after some people complained of eye strain, additional overhead lighting was added in Carnegie. Then in 1965, Carnegie’s book stacks become “open” to students and faculty to browse.

Current subject areas housed in Carnegie Library include biology, chemistry, engineering and computer science, library science, mathematics, military and naval science, nutrition science and dietetics, photography, public health, physics and astronomy, and technical arts and crafts. The dumbwaiter continues to be used to send books for shelving to levels not accessible by the elevator. In recent years, a new service desk was milled and crafted locally and designed to retain features of the original circulation desk.

In addition to the beautiful, high-domed ceiling and balcony in the main area of the Library, one of the other notable features of Carnegie is the Diana the Huntress statue in the entryway. Cast in bronze, the sculpture was donated in 1932 by its creator, Mrs. Anna Hyatt Huntington, whose papers reside in the Special Collections Research Center. Tradition has it that if a student rubs the dog’s paw with a prayer or good wish, they would be ensured success in a quiz or examination. From the sheen of the repeatedly caressed paw, it appears this tradition was ardently followed.

In 2007, Carnegie Library celebrated its centennial, and at the time, it was only one of two original Carnegie Libraries on any college campus still being used as a library. As the longest tenured Libraries employee at Carnegie Library, William Vogel reflected: “The decade since I was hired has brought many changes to Carnegie. When I first arrived the building was split up in odd ways and maintenance of the building left much to be desired. Since then, the separate Math and Science & Technology sections have been merged. The classrooms that had been blocking the lobby entrance have been relocated to the lower level, allowing the front doors to once again serve as a grand entrance to the library. A computer lab and three team rooms have also been added.”

Vogel continued, “In my time here, we have moved every book at Carnegie at least twice (sometimes using the single shelf-wide dumbwaiter to move books between levels), RFID tagged all of the books, and dusted shelves hundreds of times. The renovations at Carnegie have been welcomed by students and the campus community, definitely increasing use of the space. Students regularly comment on the beauty of the reading room and the plentiful power outlets, as well as the new computer lab.”

Today, Carnegie remains a vital part of the Syracuse University Libraries. Students continue to fill the seats and find reprieve in the quiet study space it provides. And the University continues to invest in maintaining the building. Future renovations include an upgrade to improve the book stack areas. This will include replacing the glass floor with new glass flooring and the original lighting with new light fixtures. The shelving will also be refurbished and repainted. Another dumbwaiter with additional capacity will be installed alongside the original to move book carts between the levels of stacks that the elevator does not reach. Even with renovations, what will remain constant is Carnegie’s character and contribution to the campus community.

For more information on Carnegie Library, contact Melinda Dermody, head of access and resource sharing, at

Admittance of Japanese American Students during WWII Reflects University’s Values

Archivists are always excited to find an item that illuminates an interesting, revealing, or provocative piece of history. One of those gems was identified while processing Syracuse University Chancellor William P. Tolley’s papers and records. As some may know, Tolley surreptitiously admitted Japanese American students from internment camps during World War II. He wrote of this in his memoir, yet no primary material emerged to support the story. In reviewing his materials, the Libraries hoped to find further documentation on this remarkable statement.

Fortunately, those hopes were realized when a letter was found as part of a large bundle of loose material. The opening sentence of the letter quickly caught our attention. It read, “This is a forty year letter of gratitude . . . I have never explicitly thanked you and Syracuse University for accepting me from the Heart Mountain War Relocation Center in Wyoming.” And so the legend was confirmed. The writer went on to say that Tolley’s “act of moral courage” accepting him and “some of 100 of my Japanese American colleagues . . . immeasurably strengthened my own belief and confidence in American democracy. I knew then that despite temporary setbacks under extreme provocation in wartime, the champions of constitutional rights, equity, and fair play for all Americans would in the end prevail.”

Tolley’s decision to allow him into the University, he wrote, had profound consequences throughout his life. After graduation, the writer served in the U.S. Army, receiving honors in the Pacific Theater as an intelligence agent. He then went on to obtain postgraduate degrees from Columbia and Yale and had a long career at Yale and the Library of Congress. “I recount these ‘accomplishments’ not to boast,” he wrote, “but to observe that none of these could have been accomplished had you not given me that first chance in 1943.” The letter was signed by Warren Tsuneishi, a 1943 graduate of Syracuse University.

The letter is a physical piece of evidence that Tolley’s act of generosity in a time when it was unpopular to act, enabled Tsuneishi to live a life of distinction. Tsuneishi’s extraordinary letter spurred our archivist’s interest in finding additional information; for example, the local Syracuse Herald-Journal reported that in 1943 two Japanese American students, Frank Watanabe and May Ohmura, made public speeches defending their presence at Syracuse University. “We are as American as anyone else,” Watanabe told a crowd at the Hotel Syracuse. “We have the same cultural background and like swing, ice cream, and baseball as do all Americans.”

Unfortunately, beyond Tsuneishi, Watanabe, and Ohmura, the University Archives has no record of the “more than 100” Japanese Americans that were part of the Syracuse University family and history. We don’t know their personal stories, details from their journey from the camps to our campus, or their experiences at the University. As archivists, we are interested in these stories and want to preserve them.

As the university celebrates its sesquicentennial, we have an opportunity to pause and reflect on our history and values. Chancellor Tolley’s admittance of Japanese Americans reflects our values of fairness, inclusion, and equity. The University Archives welcomes any information or materials from the Syracuse University community that can further shed a light on this part of our history. Please contact Special Collections Research Center at

Faculty Fellow Uses Artifacts to Teach Students about Society Today

James Watts, religion professor from the College of Arts & Sciences, spent a month of his summer in the Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) revising his Religion 301 course. As a 2019 Syracuse University Libraries’ Faculty Fellows grant recipient, Watts committed to a four-week summer residency at SCRC that included participating in a number of workshops and training sessions on handling special collections materials, teaching students how to search for items, and the logistics of designing successful assignments with rare and fragile materials.

Now his students are the beneficiaries of that commitment as they use ancient materials from SCRC’s collections to think about the intersection of religion and culture in ways that have implications today. Watts is exposing his students to 4,000-year-old cuneiform clay tablets, which are part of the University’s special collections, so that they can study the role of these texts in historical context and then connect that to modern-day comparisons. He is also teaching his students to look for other rare but largely incomprehensible texts housed in the collection in order to develop hypotheses about their social value and function.

Working with Sebastian Modrow, curator of rare books and manuscripts, students from Watts’ REL 301 class visited the SCRC on the 6th floor of Bird Library throughout the fall semester. “I use the boxes of cuneiform tablets to train students in how to examine a text apart from reading it: how to notice its form, media, format, texture, artwork (some of the tablets bear seal impressions), and accidental features (some of these tablets show finger impressions),” said Watts. “I ask them to consider how these features bear on the tablets’ social function in ancient Sumerian society, and then today in SCRC on SU’s campus. They then have to write papers that reflect on the social function of specific items in Special Collections.”

“The Faculty Fellows program was designed to support innovative curriculum development and foster new ideas about how to transform the role of special collections in University instruction,” said Petrina Jackson, director of SCRC. “Each fellow receives instruction on how to provide students with a unique opportunity to handle, analyze, and interpret SCRC’s primary source materials in their class, as well as ongoing course support.” Original funding for the program was made possible through the generosity of the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, which promotes the advancement and perpetuation of humanistic inquiry and artistic creativity by encouraging excellence in scholarship and in the performing arts, and by supporting research libraries and other institutions that transmit cultural heritage.

“The Faculty Fellowship creates one of the most ideal situations by partnering faculty with special collections librarians and archivists to create a semester-long learning experience for undergraduate students rarely seen in colleges and universities. With the fellowship, students are able to take a deep dive into primary source research, learn how to critically analyze a document or artifact, and be exposed to spectacular rare and unique materials that most of their peers have never seen. Simply put, their participation in these courses elevates their work and engages them in impactful ways that they will not soon forget,” said Jackson.

“By giving my students hands-on experience analyzing cuneiform tablets, I hope to impress them by how much the form and material of a written text influences its use, preservation, and value—both in antiquity and today,” said Watts.

The other 2019 Faculty Fellows recipient, Kate Hanzalik, assistant teaching professor in Writing Studies, Rhetoric and Composition from the College of Arts & Sciences, will be teaching WRT 205, Critical Research and Writing, in the spring semester. Hanzalik plans to introduce her students to a selection of SCRC’s robust radicalism in the arts collections, which contain literature, visual art, and music relating to 20th-century social movements, with resources such as civil rights, pacifism, environmentalism and ecology, prison reform, the labor movement, and issues of sexuality and gender.

For more information on the Faculty Fellows program, contact Petrina Jackson, director of Special Collections Research Center, at

Why I Give to SU Libraries

“Love sustains us through all our days. When someone we love dies, our memories of them sustain us, for love never dies. Remembering those we love keeps us connected to them.

My husband Patrick and I are honored to support the Remembrance Scholars Program, as it is a beautiful way to remember and honor those who died on Pan Am flight 103. Each year, the entire SU community is creatively and poignantly reminded of the individuals lost in this tragedy. In deeply meaningful and edifying ways, scholars’ lives are enriched as they bring life to the memories of those who were lost, living their senior year honoring those who died.

It is life-giving not only to the scholars, but also to the memories of those who have died and their families.

I was moved to tears the first time that I heard about the program (remembering how I wept on that cold December night when I first learned of the crash), and every time that I discuss it now. To see how deeply the scholars care about one another and the students that they represent is remarkable and encouraging.

In my own personal life, our son Luke (’16) met his now wife Hannah Visnosky (’16) when they were scholars! Beauty out of ashes: truly a bittersweet outcome of this tragedy. Luke and Hannah enjoy deep friendships with other scholars, students who are bound together by their compassion and willingness to live into the future while honoring the past.”

—Domenica V. Rafferty, MS, NCC, LPC

What Your Gift Means

Dear Rafferty Family,

Thank you so much for your generous contribution to the Remembrance program. We’re only part way through Remembrance Week 2019, and I already feel profoundly changed by the experience. I’m representing Alexia Tsairis, as your son Luke did, and I feel so honored to get to know such a beautiful soul. Your support is invaluable to keeping her memory, and the memory of all 270 lost, alive. I am so thankful.

—Erin Gavle, 2019-2020 Remembrance Scholar, ’20 Newhouse School

SCRC Finding Aids: Making Collections Discoverable

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


Experts@Syracuse provides profiles of Syracuse University faculty and their research through an information management system administered by the Office of Research and Syracuse University Libraries. “Experts@Syracuse is a valuable public tool for showcasing the research and scholarship of Syracuse University faculty. We utilize the system as a research development tool, to identify expertise on campus, match faculty to unique funding opportunities, and to find collaborators for research projects,” said Chetna Chianese, PhD, associate director of proposal support services, Office of Research.

The software aggregates, curates and utilizes metadata about faculty and department research activities. Libraries’ staff offer expertise in administering the software and supporting publication harvesting, discoverability, training, and stewardship of scholarly records. Experts@Syracuse also expands the University’s collective pool of published scholarship.

Currently, Syracuse University Libraries manages 726 profiles of researchers. Any faculty member who is researching or publishing is encouraged to set up a profile. When someone with a profile in Experts publishes a new item, it may appear automatically in the faculty member’s profile if the publication is part of the Scopus index, an interdisciplinary database licensed by the Libraries and focused on journal publications in biological, medical, physical, social, and engineering sciences. If the publication is not indexed in Scopus, faculty can add the publication individually or import from an online source option. Faculty members can customize and update funding discovery profiles to match the various components or fields of research using different terms.

Press clippings and media mentions are added automatically to Experts@Syracuse through an integration with Newsflo. The profile also includes a faculty member’s interest or willingness to talk to media. Syracuse University patents are included in Experts@Syracuse via the Research Output category.

The activities section of Experts@Syracuse is available to demonstrate contributions beyond publication. Faculty can include editorial work, event participation or organization, memberships, or visiting positions. For those interested in accepting Ph.D. students, the Experts@Syracuse profile provides an option to indicate that.

“The Office of Research is actively working with the Library to further develop Experts@Syracuse to reflect the full scholarship and research footprint of the University,” said Christina Leigh Docteur, director of proposal support services, Office of Research.

For more information, contact a member of the Experts@Syracuse Team at Team members include Anne Rauh, Brenna Helmstutler, and Scott Warren from Syracuse University Libraries, and Christina Leigh Docteur, Jeffrey Falchi, and Chetna Chianese from the Office of Sponsored Programs.

Radio Frequency Identification Technology in the Libraries

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology allows small sensors to be adhered to the inside cover of books. These sensors can be read by book checkout machines, security gates, and other devices to track individual items. RFID technology has been adopted by libraries around the world over the past decade. In 2012, the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) published a recommended practice for libraries to implement RFID that included best use of the technology, security, and privacy measures, as well as a common set of data elements to be placed on library RFID tags. NISO also provided information on preferred encoding and formatting of data for consistency across libraries.

Syracuse University Libraries’ began implementing RFID technology to track physical items in 2013. Materials were tagged in phases, with initial implementation of items in Carnegie Library, then Bird Library, and eventually King + King Architecture Library in 2018.

RFID tagging offers numerous benefits to the Libraries and its patrons. RFID supports better management of the Libraries’ physical collection by providing unique inventory options, including the ability to search for specific books and identify books that have been incorrectly shelved, so that they can be returned to the correct location. Library technicians use RFID inventory wands to search for missing items. The wands can easily discover items that can be missed by human eye, such as books that have fallen behind a row or those with a defect on the spine. “RFID has greatly improved the effectiveness and efficiency of our work in the stacks. The guesswork is gone, and the process is much less tedious and frustrating for staff,” said Laura Benjamin, access services librarian. Since implementing these RFID inventory tools, more than 1,500 books that were considered lost from the collection have been physically located.

With RFID tags on the books, circulation of items is much faster and more efficient. Circulation speed has improved at checkout, since staff are able to checkout multiple items at once and deactivate security settings simultaneously. Previously this required two separate steps in the checkout process. Patrons are also able to use the self-serve option with the RFID technology if they choose.

Another important benefit of RFID book tagging is security. With RFID tags, the expense of re-purchasing lost items has been reduced. RFID allows technicians to quickly ensure security is on for all books in the stacks. If a book exits the building without being properly checked out, an alarm will sound on the exit gate.

The added efficiency and security of this technology enables the Libraries to be better stewards of the University’s resources and spend more time supporting patron interactions.

Recent Collections Highlights

African American Communities

Pamphlets, letters, periodicals, and other primary source materials from African-American communities in the United States, primarily in Brooklyn, Chicago, Atlanta, and parts of North Carolina.

Arte Público Hispanic Historical Collection: Series 2

Books, newspapers, photographs, and other content covering the Hispanic civil rights movement, as well as late 19th and 20th century social and religious thought and writing.


Documentary streaming video on social issues, environmental studies, humanities, and performing arts topics, including titles from Bullfrog Films, Rhombus Media, Icarus, the National Film Board of Canada, and other independent film distributors.

Streaming video of performances and documentaries, including concerts, operas, ballets, and master classes by numerous performers, composers, and companies.

Newspaper Collections and Archives

Collections Support of Open Access

Late Qing and Republican Era Chinese Newspaper Collection The first of six open access global newspaper collections in the East View Global Press Archive is now available. The Syracuse University Libraries provided monetary support for the open access series through a collaborative alliance of the Center for Research Libraries and East View.

For more information on collection development or to make suggestions, contact Anne Rauh, interim head of Collections and Research Services, at

The Wide World of Databases

Have you ever used the Databases link on the Libraries’ homepage? It’s the doorway to a cornucopia of information selected for you by Syracuse University librarians and provides an easy starting point to over 630 different academic resources. Impressive, but what is a database? Commercial databases are licensed for use by current Syracuse University students, faculty, and staff. Each database consists of information packaged on a specialized website with its own search features. Databases generally have a topical focus (information or data about a particular subject) or bring together a common type of information (journals, for instance) and contain anywhere from hundreds to millions of items.

In the menu, the default search is alphabetical. Filters exist so you can quickly sort by subject, type of database, or provider. The Subjects menu has 50 different choices that reflect the full spectrum of intellectual, academic, and creative interests on campus. Most subjects have at least a dozen databases, with History (120 databases), Political Science & Public Administration (68), Literature (64), Communication (62), Business & Entrepreneurship (58), and Statistics & Data (52) topping the list. Note that every list of databases by subject also includes the name of the librarian for that area.

Check out the Database Types menu that shows information genres grouped similarly, even though they may touch on multiple subjects. This list includes 48 major collections of ebooks (some of which include over 100,000 ebooks) and 29 e-journal packages (which contain millions of articles). Wonder what’s the fastest-growing type of information the Libraries provide? The answer is streaming media through services such as Kanopy, one of 23 different video databases. The Libraries has found the campus’ desire for video content is insatiable, and we strive to add content in this format whenever possible.

Look at the Vendors/Providers menu. What are these? If you’re a student, you might recognize a few names, including EBSCO or JSTOR. If you’re a faculty member, you’ll quickly spot academic societies, e.g. the American Chemical Society or the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. This menu gives you access to an astonishing variety of database sources. Some come from companies that publish their own content (Sage, for instance), while others are from companies that compile content from different original sources into new databases (ProQuest is a good example). That information, including all 600+ databases, is for your use. So, bookmark the Databases menu and explore!

Need quick help now? Our subject librarians—and the Research Guides they create—will help you reduce our many Database options to exactly what you need. No matter what your area of study, we’ve got you covered.

SOURCE: Providing Undergraduates with Research and Creative Engagement Resources

  • In November of 2018, Syracuse University announced a $1 million Invest Syracuse commitment to support a new center for undergraduate research, which includes creative work, professional projects, lab research, visual or textual analysis, and performance. This broad, cross-disciplinary approach is united by a spirit of systematic inquiry and the ability to ground the work in existing literature, discipline, or artistic tradition. The goal of the investment is to shift students from being recipients of knowledge to participating in the creation of new knowledge.

    The vision for this new center, Syracuse’s Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Engagement (SOURCE), came to fruition when the SOURCE opened its doors with a dedication ceremony in March at its suite on the 2nd floor of Bird Library. The SOURCE fosters and supports diverse undergraduate participation in faculty-guided scholarly research and creative inquiry. Student participants progress through initial training in research or other creative skills, to designing and revising the structure of their projects, culminating in research, creative, and professional contributions that are original and timely. Last March, 103 inaugural grant recipients were announced.

    To obtain a SOURCE grant of $2500 (for one semester) or $5000 (for the academic year), undergraduate students can work independently or in teams with a professor or graduate student on a unique research project. The emphasis on undergraduate research and creative work helps students apply their knowledge to real-world problems and issues, develop a strong relationship with a faculty mentor, improve problem-solving and creative thinking skills, explore potential career areas, develop transferable skills they can use in the job market or in graduate school, sharpen their presentation and writing skills, and work on a topic or issue they find fascinating.

    Syracuse University recognizes that undergraduate research is a high impact practice of engaged learning that plays a key role in student persistence and success, particularly for underrepresented groups, first-generation, and high-achieving students. For more information on SOURCE, contact Kate Hanson, director, at

    A few examples of SOURCE grants from the fall semester include:

    • Charlotte Howard ’20, Art Photography, mentored by Prof. Doug Dubois. Charlotte traveled to South Korea’s Jeju Island for a photography project, producing a series of images that focused on the juxtaposition of the island’s natural wonders and its dark history. Her works were exhibited in Syracuse University’s Biblio Gallery in Bird Library in 2019.
    • Brandon Fascia ’20, Health & Exercise Science, mentored by Prof. Kevin Heffernan. Brandon’s study “Effect of Beetroot Juice on Brain Blood Flow in Young Adults with a History of Concussion” was accepted for presentation at the American College of Sports Medicine’s Mid Atlantic Regional Conference in 2019.
    • Bea Fry ’20, Food Studies, mentored by Prof. Anni Bellows. Bea’s work on food insecurity for transgender youth of color was cited this fall in a United Nations report: The Human Right to Food in the Context of Political Participation, Equality and Nondiscrimination.
    • Tommy Montgomery ’21 and Jack Rento ’21, Acting, mentored by Prof. Thom Miller. Tommy and Jack directed, produced, and performed in “This is Our Youth” by Kenneth Lonergan at the Piven Theatre in Chicago this summer. They received positive professional reviews, including “That this production is the realized dream of two acting majors going into their junior year of college is astounding.” Mitchell Oldham, City Pleasures.
    • Lindsay Moon ’19, Earth Sciences, mentored by Prof. Linda Ivany. Lindsay is in the final stages of preparing a manuscript for submission to the Sclerochronology special issue of the journal Paleogeography, Paleoclimatology, and Paleoecology. She is also awaiting her assignment into the U.S. Navy.

    SPRING 2020 Event

    Jan. 31: SOURCE “Orange” Talks, TED-style presentations of student research

2019-2020 Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competitions

The Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars in Bird Library (LaunchPad) is Syracuse University’s innovation hub, connecting the University’s resources with a global network that provides support for aspiring entrepreneurs, inventors, and creators. The program serves faculty, staff, students, and alumni across disciplines who are interested in innovation, invention, entrepreneurship, venture creation, and taking ideas from concept to commercialization.

The LaunchPad supported and hosted a slew of competitions in the fall for numerous student startups, resulting in teams winning prizes totaling $79,500. A recap of fall winners include:

  • Startup Weekend (sponsored by LaunchPad/Libraries): HAUS won 1st place for their Internet of Things smart humidifier device; EcoBamboo Living won 2nd place for their energy-efficient, sustainable bamboo buildings.
  • ’Cuse Tank (sponsored by LaunchPad/Libraries): PAANI won 1st place for their clean water filtration system; EcoBamboo Living won 2nd place for their energy-efficient, sustainable bamboo buildings.
  • Orange Tank (sponsored by Martin J. Whitman School of Management): CLLCTVE won 1st place for their digital platform connecting college creatives and brands; other top cash prizes went to Visos for their enterprise virtual reality system, Gamercraft for their coaching platform for electronic sports, Modern Systems for their smart home network, and Awning for their mental health mobile app.
  • Regional Qualifier for Entrepreneurs’ Organization’s Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (held in Buffalo, NY): Top awards went to MedUX for their innovative medical products through user-centered design, and PAANI for their clean water filtration systems.
  • Impact Prize Pitch Competition (sponsored by Libraries): PAANI won 1st place for their clean water filtration system; AttendPro won 2nd place for their device that improves maintenance workflow; and DreamConnect, a platform that optimizes the college experience for underrepresented students, and FreeSwing Power Source, providing portable devices to produce electricity, tied for 3rd place.
  • Hult Prize: EcoBamboo Living won 1st place for their energy-efficient, sustainable bamboo buildings; FreeSwing Power Source won 2nd place for their portable devices to produce electricity.
  • Techstars PROPEL (a global competition between 24 LaunchPads, held in New York City in November): CLLCTVE won 2nd place for their digital platform connecting college creatives and brands.

There are a number of competitions being held in the spring for interested teams, including:

  • Panasci Business Plan Competition (sponsored by Martin J. Whitman School of Management): Applications are being accepted through January 23 from Syracuse University and SUNY ESF students. Semi-finalists and finalists will compete on campus April 10-11.
  • ACC InVenture (sponsored by LaunchPad/Libraries): Syracuse University teams can apply for the first round, to be held on February 21, to represent the University at the ACC competition in April in Raleigh, NC.
  • Student Startup Madness: Teams will compete in this nationwide tournament for digital media startups, culminating in national finals in March at South by Southwest Interactive in Austin, TX.
  • Compete CNY (sponsored by LaunchPad/Libraries): The regional qualifier for the NY Business Plan Competition is on March 27 for Central New York college students; winners will move on to compete in the New York State Business Plan Competition April 30-May 1 in Albany, NY.
  • RvD iPrize (sponsored by School of Information Studies with the LaunchPad/Libraries): Teams can apply by March 13 to the Raymond vonDran (RvD) Fund for Student Entrepreneurship competition.
  • Hunter Brooks Watson Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award (sponsored by School of Information Studies with the LaunchPad/Libraries): Created to recognize Syracuse University students who have demonstrated passion and enthusiasm for their ventures or ideas, this award is presented during the RvD iPrize business competition.

For information about the LaunchPad or competitions, contact Linda Dickerson Hartsock, executive director, at

SPRING 2020 LaunchPad Events

  • 16: Innovation Law Day
  • 23: International Startup Session
  • 24: Fireside Chat
  • 28: Toolkit Tuesday
  • 29: Innovation Law Day
  • 7: Fireside Chat
  • 11: Toolkit Tuesday
  • 18: Toolkit Tuesday
  • 21: Fireside Chat
  • 25: Toolkit Tuesday
  • 6: Fireside Chat
  • 10: Toolkit Tuesday
  • 12: Innovation Law Day
  • 20: Fireside Chat
  • 25: Innovation Law Day
  • 3: Fireside Chat
  • 7: Toolkit Tuesday
  • 9: Innovation Law Day
  • 17: Fireside Chat
  • 21: Toolkit Tuesday
  • 22: Innovation Law Day

For more information on events, visit

Invest Syracuse Funds Innovation

Syracuse University made a commitment to invest in the future through Invest Syracuse. Syracuse University Libraries has received permanent funding for staff positions and programming costs to operate the Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars (LaunchPad) innovation center moving forward. The LaunchPad directly impacts the core tenets of the Invest Syracuse program: it redefines the student experience by providing access to a multi-disciplinary ecosystem of entrepreneurship and innovation, and it expands opportunities to students of promise and talent.

“This demonstrates the importance the LaunchPad has on nurturing and growing the campus-wide culture of continuous innovation,” said David Seaman, Dean of the Syracuse University Libraries and University Librarian.

Dewaine Farria Wins First SU Press Veteran’s Writing Award

While active in the U.S. Marines, Dewaine Farria served in Jordan and Ukraine. He also traveled to Russian North Caucasus, Kenya, Somalia, and occupied Palestine while working for the United Nations. Dewaine, a Renaissance man, obtained his Master of Arts in International and Area Studies from the University of Oklahoma and his Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, CRAFT, Drunken Boat, Outpost Magazine, on the Afropunk website, and in The Mantle. In the spring of 2019, Dewaine submitted his novel, Revolutions of All Colors, to SU Press’ inaugural Veterans Writing Award. Inspired by his father, Dewaine created the novel out of a short story called “Walking Point,” which includes a character loosely based on his dad. An early version of the story won second place in Line of Advance’s Colonel Darren L. Warren Writing Contest.

The Veterans Writing Award, established by SU Press in cooperation with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, is another example of the University’s longstanding commitment to veterans. The contest, open to veterans and active duty personnel in any branch of the U.S. military and their immediate family members, awards the winning manuscript a $1,000 cash prize and publication contract.

The review committee and judge had dozens of compelling submissions to choose from. Tobias Wolff, award-winning novelist, short story writer, Vietnam veteran, and former Syracuse University faculty member, was the final judge. According to Wolff, “Revolutions of All Colors is a vivid, original novel of young men struggling with questions of race, injustice, personal and political violence; of responsibility to family, friends, lovers, sexual identity—of what it means to be a man. With great assurance, the narrative ranges from New Orleans to Ukraine, Somalia, Brooklyn, Oklahoma, and from the military world to the worlds of prison, dance, mixed martial arts, even municipal government. It is a remarkable achievement.”

When asked how the military influenced his writing career, Dewaine said, “It taught me how much of life revolves around consistency and habits. The discipline I developed in the Marine Corps helped shape my approach to writing. Certainly, my time in the military also heavily influenced my thoughts on patriotism, masculinity, and violence—themes that frequently pop up in my work.” On the differences between engaging readers in fiction and non-fiction, Dewaine commented, “Good writing—whether it be poetry, fiction, or non-fiction—conveys truth. Convincing the reader to trust your narrator is the challenge, and this is true regardless of genre or point of view.”

Dewaine currently lives in the Philippines with his wife, daughter, two sons, two cats, and a dog. What’s next for Dewaine? “I’m about halfway done with a collection of short stories, with one of them published earlier this year by CRAFT. After I finish up these eight short stories, I plan to begin work on a collection of linked essays.” Dewaine will also be attending a reception in his honor in the spring in conjunction with the opening of The National Veterans Resource Center on campus. His first novel will be published by SU Press in the fall of 2020.

For more information on SU Press, contact Alice Pfeiffer, director, at

Newest Members of the Library Advisory Board

Jeffrey Rich ’67, Partner at Rich Michaelson Magaliff, LLP

Jeffrey Rich joined the Libraries Advisory Board in fall of 2018. Jeffrey is a partner in the law firm of Rich Michaelson Magaliff, LLP in New York City and specializes in corporate commercial law and financial restructuring. He graduated from the Maxwell School in 1967 and New York University School of Law in 1970. He has been active in the Blackstone LaunchPad, and he was recently appointed to represent the Libraries on the University’s National Campaign Council as well. He is married to Rebecca Rich, a 1967 graduate of the Syracuse University School of Education. He considers the Libraries and all that it encompasses an integral and essential part of the University, not only for the services and opportunities it provides to students and alumni, but for the Libraries’ mission toward furthering the goals and objectives of a 21st century University. Jeffrey is a frequent lecturer on various aspects of bankruptcy law and an active member of various legal organizations and societies. He is involved in several charities and lives with his wife in Westchester, New York.

Amy and Adam ’96 Fazackerley, Co-Founders of Lay-n-Go

Amy and Adam Fazackerley joined the Libraries Advisory Board in the fall 2019. “The experience I had as an undergraduate was incredible, but being able to work with student founders every week has been an honor and a connection to Syracuse University that I never had before,” said Adam.

Adam started his career at UUNET Technologies and then went on to found concept2creations, a firm focused on designing and developing corporate brands, digital assets, and printed media. In 2011, he co-founded and is a General Partner with the venture firm.

Amy graduated with a B.A. in Communications from Denison University in 1993 and an MBA from Johns Hopkins University in 2000. Amy served as a Board of Regents member for Mercersburg Academy, as well as an Advisory Council member of the Friends of the Libraries at Johns Hopkins University. Amy started her career as the Marketing Director for Digital Paper Corporation, a privately held software company, then went on to work for Episcopal High School as Director of Special Gifts, where she executed strategic multi-million dollar fundraising programs.

In 2010, Amy and Adam founded Lay-n-Go, a company that designs and manufactures innovative organizational solutions for life, play, and travel. They have been awarded two U.S. Utility Patents on their invention and distribute their products to leading retail companies domestically and internationally. As a woman-owned business, Amy has been featured on national TV shows like MSNBC’s Your Business, Fox and Friends, and Good Morning America. She is also a qualified guest host for QVC. Together they serve on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Council and live in Alexandria, VA with their three sons, Andrew, Miles, and Caden.

“Dean Seaman, his leadership team, and the Syracuse University Libraries did not just provide a place for student founders to meet, develop ideas, and start their companies, they built an engaging and innovative space on the first floor of Bird Library for all to see and participate in,” said Adam Fazackerley.

Josh Aviv ’15 G’17, Founder and CEO of SparkCharge

Josh Aviv, founder and CEO of SparkCharge, is a Founders Circle member of the Blackstone LaunchPad and joined the Libraries Advisory Board in 2019. Aviv received his undergraduate degree in 2015 in economics from Maxwell School, then obtained his master’s degree from the School of Information Studies in 2017, all while launching his student startup, a company that produces portable, fast-charging battery units for electric vehicles.

SparkCharge is starting manufacturing operations in Buffalo and completing a 43North residency program. SparkCharge’s engineering and research and development operations are based at Greentown Labs, a Boston-based facility that is the world’s largest clean-tech incubator. And SparkCharge has a residency at the Plug and Play Tech Center, a renowned industry-focused accelerator program in the Silicon Valley. When he’s not splitting time between his three locations, Josh enjoys spending time with his fiancée, who also graduated from Syracuse University.

The LaunchPad staff and their far-reaching entrepreneurship network helped coach Aviv and his team, leading to some of his initial success and his winning of several entrepreneurship competitions. In 2019, Aviv was honored with the Generation Orange Award at the Orange Central alumni event. “Without the LaunchPad, there would be no SparkCharge, and that’s simply the way it is,” said Aviv.


Libraries’ Student Employees Spotlight

In addition to the value the Libraries receive in employing nearly 150 students per year, the students also benefit immeasurably from learning relevant job skills and obtaining professional experience. The following are a few students’ perspectives, in their own words.

“My family and I moved to the U.S. from South Africa in 2015, and our transition had its fair share of challenges. Learning to navigate a new environment, establishing new friendships and community relations, and pursuing my own personal and career goals necessitated that I become my own champion, motivate myself to reach the objectives I set for myself, and be a role model to my siblings. I know that like every other migrant family that moved to the U.S., nothing about the process is easy and due to that people can easily be susceptible to feeling isolated and alone. Having a great group of people to work with at the Library and a fantastic boss gives me hope to know that I am not alone and that I have a strong support system around me.

Working as a floor monitor at Bird Library has helped me tremendously in enhancing my interpersonal communication skills, because we interact with various individuals regularly. I am an introverted person, so being in an environment that motivates me to push my boundaries and step out of my comfort zone empowers me. I also get to meet a very diverse group of people from different majors, backgrounds, and cultures, which enables me to build my cross-cultural communication skills and opens my mind to new perspectives, since we engage in stimulating and informative dialogues.

My work also teaches me to value the benefit of being in a university that fosters inclusivity and heterogeneity. I am always surrounded by people who think differently from me, so I learn from their unique outlooks in life.

George [Wazen], who is by far one of the most exceptional employers I have had the honor of working with, provides support to all his employees. His open-door policy is what I value the most because I can talk to him about anything and know that he will give me advice that is not only pragmatic but also valuable.

Moreover, the students I get to work alongside are brilliant, hardworking, and are some of the friendliest people I have ever come across. I appreciate having a group of people who share the same work ethic and drive as mine. I feel fortunate I got to cross paths with them.

The Library position has had a significant impact on my academic plans. It has helped me to become a more open-minded, discerning, and analytical person. In that way, it solidified my aspirations of pursuing law post-undergrad. It has also instilled within me a great vigor for taking my work seriously, getting there on time, conducting myself in a professional and friendly manner, and treating the people I interact with respectably.”

— Hassina Adams ’20 Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Department of Public Safety at Bird Library student employee


“I loved working the Maps and Geo Information desk at Bird Library! I worked the desk during nights and weekends during the school year, and I spent a few hours there during the day the summer before my senior year. I learned a lot about customer service while working at the Library. When I was there during the nights and weekends, I was often the only resource on the 3rd floor for people using the Library. I had to do my best to help every person and know when to ask for help to get the best possible answer. I also learned the importance of organization. During my summer hours at the Library, I helped take inventory of the books on the shelves and tried to determine if books were missing, out of place, etc. Without impeccable organization, nobody would ever be able to find what they are looking for! That task also required a lot of attention to detail, which I appreciate every single day in my job now.

After graduation, I took a job with the local baseball team, the Syracuse Chiefs (now renamed Syracuse Mets). I have served in several different roles with the team and am currently the Director of Business Operations and Merchandise. I use the lessons I learned from the Maps and Geo Information desk every day, whether it is keeping track of old team records, taking inventory of merchandise items, or interacting with fans.”

—Katie Berger ’14, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications

“My experience at the Library has taught me how to use the database to research and find old music for the audiobook projects I have been working on for Sound Beat. I have been able to work with librarian Rachel Fox von Swearingen to learn how to find the information, as well as the chance to be part of a group working on a project. I also use the quiet spaces in the library to study and do homework. And I love the hot chocolate at Page’s Cafe.

Being a part of the Don Waful ’37 G’39 audiobook project was a great experience for me since I was able to share it with my family and friends during Orange Central. I am interested in music and all of these experiences are helping me in my music classes and hopefully to find a job in music.”

—Ian Coe ’21, Inclusive U, Sound Beat student employee

“Working at the circulation desk has helped me learn a lot about working with people. It helped me learn that understanding people’s needs and requirements are very important in a workspace and how that impacts me as an employee and the Library as an organization. I feel glad when I am able to help the patron with a problem which they didn’t expect to find an easy solution to. Plus, a personal benefit has been discovering awesome new sections of books in the Libraries which I never knew existed, ranging from books written by Bengali poets to Calvin and Hobbes comic strips compilations.

Being part of the Libraries’ community has helped me understand my future career workspace. I worked on a Library project last semester that involved designing an application. As I worked on it, I realized that understanding requirements, knowing limitations, and following correct guidelines and policies are a vital part of realizing the result.

As a second year Libraries employee, this year I had the opportunity to train a few new students about stacks and shelving. When I evaluate how I was trained by the supervisors to how I had helped the new students with the training, I see myself learning to become a good mentor and a future leader.

Working with the various technology items which we let the patrons borrow, I have discovered so many new tips and tricks on making alternate items work when the required ones are not available. This is a great learning experience for me. I am now working on a project to document all these neat tips and tricks for future and current students.”

—Souradeepta Biswas G’19, College of Engineering & Computer Science, Access & Resource Sharing student employee

“I have really enjoyed my internship experience in the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) as their Plastics Processing Assistant. Before I started my Master’s program in Library and Information Science, I had never considered a career working in archives or special collections. I was interested in this position in part because of an elective course I took on archival management and theory in spring of 2019. Having the opportunity to work with materials in the SCRC’s collection and learn more about the archival processes has only increased my interest in pursuing archives in the future.

One of the best parts of an internship like this is that it is so hands-on. In a classroom, you can learn about archival theory, but the best way to learn how to process and rehouse artifacts is to do it yourself. My responsibilities include constructing boxes and creating custom housings for artifacts of a variety of shapes and sizes. At times, it can be challenging and takes some creative spatial thinking to get things to fit just right. It is almost like playing a real-life version of Tetris.

The Plastics Collection is unique in that it contains so many different kinds of objects. Some are more common or expected, such as tableware and Tupperware. However, I have found many unexpected objects, such as scabbards, Chinese intra-uterine devices, automobile armrests, and many toothbrushes and eyeglasses. When going through a new box of items to rehouse, I truly never know what I am going to find and sometimes cannot identify what I have found without consulting descriptions on the collection’s website. I have always loved organizing a cluttered closet or drawer, and seeing what has been lost inside of them, so I find this discovery process to be one of the best parts of the job.

Having work experience in the SCRC will be invaluable when I start looking for jobs after graduation and has reinforced my interest in pursuing a career in archives and special collections.”

—Sabrina Unrein G’20, School of Information Studies, Special Collections Research Center student employee

“As a graduate student in SU’s Library and Information Science (LIS) program, my position at Syracuse University Libraries has had an integral impact on me in both personal and professional ways. In my role as a graduate assistant to the Science and Engineering librarian, Emily Hart, I’ve gained invaluable experience in all facets of librarianship— from instruction, to programming and outreach, to systematic reviews and complex research. Being immersed in library liaison work as a student has not only been exciting and challenging, but has undoubtedly given me a head start in the realm of professional librarianship. In fact, I have already been able to leverage my role and the significant experience it provided me to gain an internship position at Walt Disney Imagineering’s Information Research Center.

Emily’s mentorship has had an incredible impact on my personal and professional outlook. From day one as her assistant, I’ve been treated as a true librarian-in-training: respected, encouraged to work independently, and able to apply my own thoughts and experiences to our work together. I played a significant role in several substantial projects led by Emily, including the ongoing and successful Graduate Research Roundtable Series, which seeks to improve the research skills of graduate students, and a Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) Matrix project aimed at mapping out the complicated landscape faced by subject librarians who provide support and services to hundreds of students and faculty. Under her guidance, I was even able to teach several library instruction sessions and lead in-depth reference appointments, opportunities which have proved extremely valuable and are not offered to all LIS students.

In this role, I was also able to network with and get to know other librarians on a daily basis, which has provided me with a support system of librarians. As a burgeoning library professional, the opportunity to attend and be involved in planning conferences , like that of the Upstate New York Science Librarians Group, was not only fun, but gave me a valuable behind-the-scenes perspective. As I enter the job market, I find this to be incredibly beneficial, as I now have insight into the many different roles and responsibilities of academic librarians.

I cannot speak highly enough of the experiences I’ve gained while serving as a student employee of Syracuse University Libraries. Without this position to supplement my coursework, I would not feel nearly as prepared to enter the world of librarianship. For this, I’m incredibly grateful to SU Libraries for their encouragement and support of student workers.”

—Alicia Gayken, MLIS G’19, School of Information Studies

“I am originally from Mumbai, India where I acquired my computer engineering degree from Mumbai University. After working for two years at Accenture Solutions Pvt Ltd, one of the information technology giants, my destiny led me to the U.S. to pursue a master’s in Information Management at the iSchool. While a graduate student, I worked in Open Access and Publishing Services with Amanda Page. I graduated from Syracuse University in May 2019. Working in Open Publishing Services provided me with an opportunity to apply my acquired skills and knowledge from the master’s program to real-life job responsibilities. Providing support for open access and scholarly communications was uniquely tied to my curriculum and especially meaningful to me personally.

Working with the Department of Research and Scholarship also helped me understand the U.S. work culture, enabling me to develop confidence and grow professionally. The experience allowed me to progress into better leadership roles in my current job as Forensics Data Analyst Consultant at Ernst and Young LLP.”

—Shivanshi Bajpai, G’19, School of Information Studies

Faculty Spotlight

“With the assistance of SU librarians, as an undergraduate at Syracuse University in the fall of 1987, I learned to educate myself. The librarians taught me how to think conceptually about locating information, using the nascent digital databases as well as the old fashioned systems to find articles, journals and books. It was a magical and empowering journey! Using microfiche to find news stories and articles from decades ago was exhilarating! I now could attain and read all of the writings of W.E.B. DuBois or John Dewey. I lived in the stacks, learning to read historical texts in a more strategic and informative manner. I learned that knowledge was layered but not linear, that at times there were “breaks” in a knowledge chain that shifted the paradigms around information. I learned that ideas had a contested history.

Understanding how to locate and trace the origins of ideas and knowledge, I became not only self-assured in the fact that there was no information that was unattainable to me, but also that I now had professionals who were invested in showing me novel ways to get to and use that information. Knowledge is power. But we must never forget that we have to seek out knowledge.

I am forever indebted to SU librarians for helping me attain these research skills! My students and my own children have benefited from these research skills that have so enriched my intellectual life.”

—Jeffery A. Mangram ’88 (Maxwell School), G’89, PhD’06 (School of Education), Associate Professor, School of Education

New Staff

  • Amanda Bottorff and Keenan LeBlanc joined as library technicians.
  • Jennifer Collins was appointed budget director.
  • Kristin Jeter joined as interlibrary loan supervisor.
  • Nora Luey joined SU Press as a project editor.
  • Nicholas Olivieri and Sarah Petrokonis joined as access services supervisors.


When you support Syracuse University Libraries, either with a gift that will mature in the future through your will or trust, or through a beneficiary designation on an account or life insurance, you can make a significant difference in the lives of students, faculty, and programs. For more information, or to explore options that are most beneficial to you, please visit or contact us at 888.352.9535 or

Spring 2020 Events

For a complete list of events, visit

  • 3–9: Graduate School Dissertation Bootcamp
  • 10: International Student Immigration Session, Transfer Student Welcome Session
  • 23: Summer Study Abroad Fair
  • 28, Jan 30: University Success Scholars
  • 5-28: Hidden Perspectives: Women’s Lives on the Erie Canal Exhibit
  • 4- Mar. 10: Weekly Series on Understanding Islam
  • 21: ACC InVenture Competition
  • 2: Visibly Hidden: Exploring Queer Masculinities in 1950s Popular Music
  • 4: Graduate Research Roundtable
  • 6: Mini Seminar with Carol Faulkner, “Unfaithful”
  • 24: Happy Birthday SU! SU Sesquicentennial Digital Humanities Showcase
  • 26: Brodsky Lecture Series & Workshop with Anna Laganà from The Getty Conservation Institute on plastics conservation
  • 27: Compete CNY / Raymond von Dran iPrize / Hunter Brooks Watson Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award
  • 30: CLASS and Syracuse Symposium present “Seeing, Drawing as Meditation” Workshop and “Seeing, Drawing, Silence” Lecture by Bradford Grant
  • 1-30: Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Exhibit
  • 2: Living Library
  • 6: Graduate Student Series: Ready, Set, Publish
  • 9: Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month “Paving the Way”; What’s New in SCRC?
  • 16: Mary Hatch Marshall Award