Announcing our new Social Media Coordinator!

@LES_ACRL welcomes new Social Media Coordinator, Sara Maurice Whitver, who will be handling our twitter account. In addition to member news and section announcements, we hope to engage our community through live discussions and through connecting with professional or scholarly organizations associated with Writing Studies, Creative Writing, and other disciplines allied with English Departments. Join us on this new adventure!

Sara is Coordinator of Library Instruction and Liaison to the English Department at the University of Alabama, and is in the final stages of completing a PhD in Rhetoric and Composition. She is excited to tackle this new role in LES and looks forward to developing close connections with LES members on Twitter!

Meet LES Member Brian Matzke

The Literatures in English (LES) Virtual Participation Committee is highlighting LES members as part of a new series. If you would like to be included in this series, please submit to this Google Form.

Name:
Brian Matzke

Job title and location:
Digital Humanities and Reference and Instruction Librarian, Central Connecticut State University

How long have you been in LES?
Almost three years

Describe yourself in two or three words:
Nerdy, organized, anxious

What are you currently reading, watching, playing, etc.?
Reading: I just picked up Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, and I’m really excited to start it. Watching: Mythic Quest on AppleTV. A really funny workplace comedy. Also reading a lot of animal encyclopedia entries and watching a lot of random dinosaur cartoons with my three-year-old.

What is something others may be surprised to know about you?
I can juggle.

What is your favorite aspect of your current position?
It’s always different. One day I’m creating descriptive metadata for a digital collection, the next day I’m writing a lesson on how to evaluate sources, the day after that I’m conducting an oral history interview with a local veteran, and the day after that I’m writing a paper analyzing a short story by Richard Wright.

What is in your toolkit?
Since I do a lot of work on digital humanities and data visualization, I really enjoy teaching about distant reading–both its uses and its limitations. I like getting to show people Voyant Tools for that: https://voyant-tools.org/
Along those same lines, I also really like the HathiTrust Bookworm: https://bookworm.htrc.illinois.edu/develop/. It’s similar to Google N-Grams, but utilizes HathiTrust’s metadata so you can refine your search more, and it also links right to the books in HathiTrust.

Meet LES Member Heather G. Cole

The Literatures in English (LES) Virtual Participation Committee is highlighting LES members as part of a new series. If you would like to be included in this series, please submit to this Google Form.

Name:
Heather G. Cole

Job title and location:
Curator for Literary & Popular Culture Collections and Head of Special Collections Instruction (as well as the liaison to the English department), Brown University Library

How long have you been in LES?
Four years

Describe yourself in two or three words:
Inquisitive, voracious

What are you currently reading, watching, playing, etc.?
I just started reading Christelle Dabos’s Mirror Visitor series, which I’m loving; I’m watching the French spy show The Bureau (it’s amazing), and playing the board game Wingspan (I’m a tabletop newbie, and this has me curious about what other well-designed and engaging board games are out there!)

What is something others may be surprised to know about you?
While my educational and professional background are in literature, for five years I was curator of the Theodore Roosevelt Collection at Harvard’s Houghton Library, so I know lots of random trivia about TR!

What is your favorite aspect of your current position?
I love finding creative ways to connect students and faculty with primary sources.

What is in your toolkit?
Right now I’m so grateful for “Ethically Teaching Primary Sources that Reflect Histories of Violence, Hate, and Oppression”, compiled by RBMS’s Instruction and Outreach Committee: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YUrHSukciOrUfuDlBHs8JWyPaTa3sIPo/view?usp=sharing

Meet LES Member Carla Baricz

The Literatures in English (LES) Virtual Participation Committee is highlighting LES members as part of a new series. If you would like to be included in this series, please submit to this Google Form.

Name:
Carla Baricz

Job title and location:
Librarian for Literatures in English and Comparative Literature, Yale University

How long have you been in LES?
This is my first year!

Describe yourself in two or three words:
Kind, curious, eager

What are you currently reading, watching, playing, etc.?
I just finished Jonathan Crary’s 24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep, and I’m now reading Adam Nicolson’s The Making of Poetry: Wordsworth, Coleridge and Their Year of Marvels (it has fabulous woodcut illustrations by Tom Hammick – the wood was collected from the area around Somerset where the poets lived in 1798). I’ve been listening to a lot of Saint-Saens and Billie Holiday lately.

What is something others may be surprised to know about you?
I’m Romanian, but I grew up in the US and then lived for a while in the Czech Republic and Israel.

What is your favorite aspect of your current position?
The range of research questions I am asked.

What is in your toolkit?
I love working with Archive Grid to get a sense of other collections in the area or to find out where certain archives are held; I also love the Ulrichsweb Global Serials database for the perennial questions about journal indexing.

Meet LES Member Amanda Rybin Koob

The Literatures in English (LES) Virtual Participation Committee is highlighting LES members as part of a new series. If you would like to be included in this series, please submit to this Google Form.

Name:
Amanda Rybin Koob

Job title and location:
Literature and Humanities Librarian, University of Colorado Boulder

How long have you been in LES?
Just over a year

Describe yourself in two or three words:
nervous laugh

What are you currently reading, watching, playing, etc.?
I’m reading All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis. I appreciate the mix of modalities (including poetry), and I’m learning a lot.

What is something others may be surprised to know about you?
I’m a very slow reader.

What is your favorite aspect of your current position?
I love being able to work with students and talk about their research — their curiosities bring me to life! I also really value my team within the libraries and our meetings where we learn together about a topic of interest. Right now we’re focusing on contemplative pedagogy.

What is in your toolkit?
I must admit that I bookmarked the Emoji Keyboard Online in early Spring 2020 and it has been helpful to me in communicating nuance and fun over Zoom chat and Microsoft Teams. https://coolsymbol.com/emojis/emoji-for-copy-and-paste.html?utm_source=chrome_ext_board
On a more serious note, a coworker shared CRediT with me last year: http://credit.niso.org/ This resource has helped me have productive conversations with collaborators to ensure that transparency in research credit is present from the beginning of our projects.

Meet LES Member Hillary Richardson

The Literatures in English (LES) Virtual Participation Committee is highlighting LES members as part of a new series. If you would like to be included in this series, please submit to this Google Form.

Name:
Hillary Richardson

Job title:
Coordinator of Undergraduate Research and Information Literacy

How long have you been in LES?
9 years

Describe yourself in two or three words:
interested in things

What are you currently reading, watching, playing, etc.?
Americanah (Adichie), Just Mercy (Stevenson),

What is something others may be surprised to know about you?
I’ve never read a Jane Austen novel! (gasp!)

What is your favorite aspect of your current position?
Working with students has always been my favorite part of any library job – they are always so funny and thoughtful!

What is in your toolkit?
The network of librarians in the LES listserv who are willing to save you is invaluable. Can’t find a thing? Someone on the listserv probably can! I also use projectcora and the DLFtoolkit regularly to refresh my class planning.

Meet LES Member André G. Wenzel

The Literatures in English (LES) Virtual Participation Committee is highlighting LES members as part of a new series. If you would like to be included in this series, please submit to this Google Form.

Name:
André G. Wenzel

Job title and location:
Bibliographer for Literatures of Europe & the Americas, University of Chicago

How long have you been in LES?
Since 2007

Describe yourself in two or three words:
Enthusiastic, impatient, busy

What are you currently reading, watching, playing, etc.?
Reading : the new Ian Rankin, looking forward to some Tana French; Playing? as in music? lots of Bach

What is something others may be surprised to know about you?
I’m learning how to play the piano

What is your favorite aspect of your current position?
The number of languages I cover

What is in your toolkit?
Basic as it sounds, WorldCat/FirstSearch is amazingly flexible and has such strong searching capacities that I use it all the time.

Meet LES Member Brian Flota

brian flota

Brian Flota is the first librarian the Literatures in English (LES) Virtual Participation Committee is highlighting as part of a new series. Are you a member of LES? Would you like to be featured as a member, or nominate a colleague? Contact Margie Ruppel, Instruction & Research Services Librarian, at Boise State University margieruppel@boisestate.edu.

Name: Brian Flota

Job title and location:
Humanities Librarian (Associate Professor) at James Madison University; Harrisonburg, Virginia

How long have you been in LES?
This will be my sixth full year in LES (I joined in 2013).

Describe yourself in 2 words:
Silly and serious

What are you currently reading/watching/etc?
Currently reading: a book about Japanese noise music; I’m also re-reading Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. Currently watching: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia; Silicon Valley; Mrs. Fletcher

What is something others may be surprised to know about you?

I have a decent collection of early- to mid-20th Century American postcards.

What is your favorite aspect of your current position?

I have plenty of autonomy in position to follow certain areas of interest. Over the last few years I’ve worked to create and develop a collection of comic books here in the libraries. I co-taught an Honors course in Fall 2018 titled “Comic Books, Analysis, and Digital Scholarship,” which was the culmination of three years of work in this area. That’s pretty cool if you ask me!

What is in your toolkit?:
Pay attention to your social media feeds if you still have them. (Sidebar: if you don’t have any, you are a better person than I am!) I find out about lots of interesting books (for collection development), projects, and discussions around literary topics here that I might not have found through more traditional means (such as library and literary journals). Also, get to know your liaison departments’ administrative assistants. Their knowledge and experience can be very helpful, especially if you are new in your position.

Continue reading Meet LES Member Brian Flota

A Message from the LES Chair

Dear LES Community,

Many of you have seen the statements from ALA and ACRL reaffirming our core values in the face of recent acts by the new presidential administration:

http://www.ala.org/news/press-releases/2017/01/ala-opposes-new-administration-policies-contradict-core-values
http://www.acrl.ala.org/acrlinsider/archives/13139

(John Overholt, CoChair of RMBS, has collected additional statements from around the profession: https://medium.com/@john_overholt/the-profession-responds-32388f79430a#.1hxngqebi)

I don’t think there’s a need for LES to generate its own statement — but I will say, as your chair, that I don’t think these statements go far enough. The past two weeks have demonstrated to me that this administration represents an affront to everything I stand for as a librarian and as a human being. I can no longer separate my politics from my professional work and I will fight for what I believe in – social justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, and intellectual freedom – by any means possible and necessary.

I speak for myself, and not for the section; but I hope that we can all work together to uphold, affirm, and extend our core values. I welcome your feedback and suggestions as to how we can move forward.

Best regards,
Laura Braunstein
Chair, ACRL Literatures in English Section