Library News

Posted by on Thursday, July 21, 2016 - 10:10am

Since 1997, incoming freshmen at ASU have been asked to read a book as part of their orientation to Appalachian State University. By participating in the Common Reading Program, students establish a common experience with other new students.

This year's selection is So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson. So You’ve Been Publically Shamed is Ronson’s most recent book; it begins with the author’s surprising discovery that a Twitter account had been started under his name without his knowledge or approval, and, that the account was continually active. From there the book goes on to explore a number of questions arising from the public dimensions of social media, and, especially, how it reflects other forms of social control. 

Critics have praised the book: Publisher’s Weekly calls it “clever and thought-provoking” and notes, “this book has the potential to open an important dialogue about faux moral posturing online and its potentially disastrous consequences.” The Huffington Post remarks that Ronson has an, “introspective and often funny lens” and that the book, “is an insightful, well-researched, and important text about how we react to others poor decisions," while Vulture magazine remarks that “with an introspective and often funny lens, [Ronson] tracks down those whose blunders have exploded in the public eye…So You've Been Publicly Shamed is an insightful, well-researched, and important text about how we react to others” on social media.

Multiple copies of the book are available from the library in print and ebook format. Additional resources about the author and the book are available from the Library Guide to the Common Reading Book, and from the Common Reading Program website.

Public Events with Jon Ronson

2016 Black and Gold Convocation, Monday, August 15, 2016 at 1:00 PM, Holmes Convocation Center

Public Reading, Q&A, and Book Signing, Monday, August 15, 2006 at 7:00 PM, Blue Ridge Ballroom, Plemmons Student Union

Public Reading and Book Signing, Tuesday, August 16, 2016 at 9:00 AM, Watauga County Public Library, Boone



Posted by Greta Browning on Friday, July 1, 2016 - 9:53am
Dustin Witsman

Welcome to Dustin Witsman!  He is the new Processing Archivist in Special Collections.  He started on June 6, 2016.

Dustin grew up in the Wabash Valley and lived in and around the mid-west until moving to Boone in late May, 2016.  He attended Southern Illinois University Carbondale where he studied English Literature, Philosophy, and Psychology, graduating with a BA in English in 2007.  He earned his MLIS from Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois in 2012 with a concentration in Archives and Cultural Heritage Resources and Services. 

Dustin has done work in a number of archives including:  the Special Collections Research Center at Southern Illinois University - Carbondale; the Center for Black Music Research at Columbia College Chicago; the Hubbard Street Dance Center in Chicago; Shorefront Legacy Center in Evanston, Illinois; the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University - Newark; and the Center for the History of Rural Iowa Education and Culture at the University of Northern Iowa.  

Dustin can be reached at, 828-262-4975, or in his office, Room 456.

Posted by on Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - 12:51pm

High Country Sustainability is the theme of the 2016 University Libraries Summer Author Series to be held at Appalachian State University. The series is sponsored by the Richard T. Barker Friends of the Library. Janet Larsen, co-author of 2015’s “The Great Transition: Shifting from Fossil Fuels to Solar and Wind Energy,” kicks off the series with a talk Thursday, June 30, at 3:30 p.m. in Parkway Ballroom of the Plemmons Student Union.

Other speakers in the series are Jay Leutze at 3:30 p.m. July 14, also in the student union’s Parkway Ballroom, and Chris Arvidson, Julie Townsend and Scot Pope at 3:30 p.m. Aug. 4 in Room 114 Belk Library and Information Commons.

Janet Larsen

Larsen is an environmental analyst working to connect the dots between climate, energy, water, agriculture and security. She led the research efforts of the Earth Policy Institute (EPI) from its inception in 2001 until 2015. Prior to the creation of Earth Policy Institute, Larsen worked at the Worldwatch Institute. Her research has covered a range of topics, from bike sharing and bottled water to food security, forest cover and crop yields.

In addition to “The Great Transition,” Larsen also co-authored “The Earth Policy Reader.” She managed the research for all of EPI’s books, including the “Plan B” series and “Full Planet, Empty Plates.” She holds a degree in earth systems from Stanford University.

Jay Leutze

Leutze was born in Virginia and now lives in the Southern Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. Trained as an attorney, he has become a leading voice for state and federal conservation funding for investment in public lands. He is a trustee for Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, one of the nation’s most established land trusts.

He is the author of 2012’s “Stand Up that Mountain: The Battle to Save One Small Community in the Wilderness Along the Appalachian Trail,” winner of the Reed Environmental Writing Award. Leutze’s book tells the true story of a North Carolina outdoorsman who teams up with his Appalachian “mountain people” neighbors to save treasured land from being destroyed.

Chris Arvidson, Julie Townsend and Scot Pope

These three writers edited the 2015 anthology “Reflections on the New River: New Essays, Poems and Personal Stories.” Arvidson is a writer who has worked in land and water conservation. She lives in West Jefferson. Pope is a photographer, musician and writer who lives in Creston. Townsend has taught writing for 23 years at UNC-Charlotte and Appalachian State University. She lives in Fleetwood.

For more information about the series, contact Lynn Patterson at 828-262-2087.


Posted by on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 - 9:22am

The library provides access to the following primary source collections from Adam Matthew Digital:

  • African American Communities 
    Focusing predominantly on Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, New York, and towns and cities in North Carolina this resource presents multiple aspects of the African American community through pamphlets, newspapers and periodicals, correspondence, official records, reports and in-depth oral histories.
  • American Consumer Culture: Market Research & American Business, 1935-1965
    Market Research and American Business, 1935-1965 provides a unique insight into the American consumer boom of the mid-20th century through access to the complete market research reports of Ernest Dichter, the era’s foremost consumer analyst, market research pioneer and widely-recognised ‘father’ of Motivational Research. 

  • American History, 1493-1945
    This unique collection documents American History from the earliest settlers to the mid-twentieth century. It is sourced from the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the finest archives available for the study of American History. 

  • American Indian Histories and Cultures
    Explore manuscripts, artwork and rare printed books dating from the earliest contact with European settlers right up to photographs and newspapers from the mid-twentieth century. 

  • China: Trade, Politics & Culture 1793-1980
    This collection is based on substantial collections of unique manuscript materials held at the library of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and the British Library in London.

  • Colonial America
    This unique collection of largely manuscript material from the archives of the British government is an invaluable one for students and researchers of all aspects of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century American history and the early-modern Atlantic world.

  • Empire Online
    This resource brings together manuscript, printed and visual primary source materials for the study of 'Empire' and its theories, practices and consequences. The materials span across the last five centuries and are accompanied by a host of secondary learning resources including scholarly essays, maps and an interactive chronology.

  • Global Commodities: Trade, Exploration & Cultural Exchange
    This resource brings together manuscript, printed and visual primary source materials for the study of global commodities in world history.

  • Slavery, Abolition & Social Justice
    This resource is designed as an important portal for slavery and abolition studies, bringing together documents and collections covering an extensive time period, between 1490 and 2007, from libraries and archives across the Atlantic world.  

See Primary Source Databases from the library website for more primary source collections.

Posted by Greta Browning on Friday, May 27, 2016 - 2:39pm
Lulu Belle & Scotty album covers

The W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection includes over 3,000 LP recordings, and a mere 45 examples of album cover art from the collection are on display on the Library’s 4th floor. This new exhibit, “33 1/3 @ 3333: Long Play Album Art from the W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection,” showcases album covers from artists with roots within the Appalachian region, ranging from traditional fiddle tunes to chart-topping hits. The covers selected reflect the personalities and artistic sensibilities of the performers and are themselves visual statements (enhanced by the music they recorded).

The exhibit, curated by Trevor McKenzie, will run through August 2016.

Listening copies of these albums and their accompanying liner notes are available within the Appalachian Collection in Special Collections.  For access, please inquire at the service desk inside the department on the Library’s 4th floor.  Click here to browse a list of the collection’s LP recordings, with accompanying covers.

For more information, please contact us at 828-262-4041 or

Posted by on Thursday, May 26, 2016 - 8:24am

Be introduced to an overview of Library resources and services specifically designed for Distance Education students, faculty, and staff. Learn about services such as book and article delivery, catalog searching, RAP sessions, instruction requests, etc. Bring questions and requests!

Date: Monday, June 6, 2016
Time: 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Instructor: Kelly McCallister, Distance Education Librarian
Register Here

For more information about the workshop: 

Check out the Library's Distance Education site: 

Posted by on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - 1:59pm

The library has a wide variety of resources for international learners, travellers, and students who love other cultures and adventures. This video link highlights the many resources available to students, staff, and faculty of Appalachian State University:

Selected resources include:

  • Research Help while Abroad
  • Contemporary and Classic World Literature
  • Foreign Films and Documentaries
  • Language Resources
  • Scholarly Research from Library Databases
  • Travel Guides

For additional information about international resources, see the Library Guide to Study Abroad.





Posted by on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - 8:58am

Kelly McBride, Coordinator of Information Literacy & Instruction in Belk Library & Information Commons, is the 2016 recipient of the Harvey R. Durham Outstanding Freshman Advocate award. The award honors one full-time Appalachian State University employee each year who has contributed significantly to improving the freshman experience on campus. The recipient each year receives a $1,000.00 award, an inscribed plaque, a medallion, and will hold a one-year appointment on the award committee.

For more information about the Durham Freshman Advocate Award go to



Posted by on Monday, May 9, 2016 - 8:31am
Pam Mitchem Photo

Boone - University Libraries faculty member, Pam Mitchem is the 2016 recipient of the Thornton W. Mitchell Service Award.  Pam Mitchem has been a professional archivist for 18 years, working in digitization and digital curation since 2000.  She held positions as Preservation and Digital Projects Archivist, Interim University Archivist, and Special Assistant to the Dean of Libraries for Digital Initiatives. Mitchem earned an M.A. in Appalachian studies from Appalachian State University and an Ed.S. in leadership and higher education, also from Appalachian. She is a certified archivist (CA) with the Academy of Certified Archivists and is a Society of American Archivists certified digital archives specialist (DAS). She is at work on her post-masters certificate in data curation at UNC-Chapel Hill and is associate professor and the coordinator of digital scholarship and initiatives team at the Appalachian State University Libraries.

Established in 2003, the Award seeks to recognize an individual who has demonstrated outstanding service to the archival profession in the state of North Carolina by promoting public awareness, appreciation, or support of cultural heritage institutions, preserving historical and cultural resources, providing leadership in archival organizations or associations, or teaching, training, or mentoring new members of the archival profession.

The award honors the late Thornton W. Mitchell, who served as North Carolina State Archivist from 1973 until his retirement in 1981, and was an active member of the archival profession for forty years. The first Thornton W. Mitchell Service Award was presented at the SNCA spring meeting in March 2004.


Posted by on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - 10:58am

Congratulations to all the students who are graduating this May, 2016. We especially thank all of our student library employees for their hard work and dedication. Your work in the library is greatly appreciated! You will be missed.

Graduating student library employees for 2016:

Amanda Andersen
Jennifer Asciutto
LeCount Beale
Andy Bratton
Ariel Bushel
Brianna Carr
Isaac Church
Dawn Davis
Wesley Davis
Shelby Gaskin
Teri Gravel
Sydney Goodman
Cecilia Taylor-Hardy
Jackson Hart
Alexandra Higgins
Haley Holland
Will Hyatt
Bria Ikard
Hunter Irving
Eric Janken
Darrick Keller
Hannah Lanier
John Magee
Ryan Malone
Kylil Martin 
Emily Miller
Sarah Paap
Tamela Queen
Hayley Razzeto
Jack Sales
Samantha Sawyer
Jordann Smart
Victoria Sutton
Curtis Tweed
Katelyn Turbyfill
Cody Ward
William Ward
Shane Watson
Hayden Waugh
Shannon Wiggins 

Good Luck on your Next Adventure!