Library News

Posted by Allan Scherlen on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - 1:26pm
Prince Among Slaves movie cover

The award-winning film Prince Among Slaves will be shown Tuesday Feb 26, 2013 at 7:00 PM in Belk Library room 114.

The event is presented by ASU Library in conjunction with the ASU Humanities Council with grant funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities. This is the first in a series of programs that compose the 2013 Muslim Journeys Program.  It is also shown in celebration of Black History Month. The film will be introduced by ASU Instructor, Ray Christian, who will also lead discussion following the film.

Date: Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Time: 7:00pm

Location: Belk Library, room 114

Admission: Free, open to the public

The film is based on the true story of Abdul Rahman Ibrahima Sori, an African prince and devout Muslim slaved in the American South.

In 1788, the slave ship Africa set sail from West Africa, headed for America with its berth laden with a profitable but highly perishable cargo—hundreds of men, women, and children bound in chains. Six months later the survivors were sold in Natchez, Mississippi. One of them, a twenty-six-year-old man named Abdul-Rahman made the remarkable claim to the farmer who purchased him at the auction that he was an African prince and that his father would pay gold for his ransom. The offer was refused and Abdul-Rahman did not return to Africa for another forty years. During his enslavement he toiled on the Foster plantation, married, and fathered nine children. His story also eventually made him the most famous African in America, attracting the support of powerful men such as President John Quincy Adams.

After forty years of slavery, Abdul-Rahman finally reclaimed his freedom, but he defied the order to return immediately to Africa, and instead traveled throughout the northern states, speaking to huge audiences in a partially successful attempt to raise enough money to buy his children’s freedom. Finally at the age of sixty-seven, and after raising funds to free two of his children, Abdul-Rahman returned to Africa, only to fall ill and die just as word of his arrival reached his former home of Futa Jalloo in present-day Guinea. Abdul-Rahman survived the harsh ordeals of slavery through his love of family and his deep faith as a Muslim.

For more information, please contact Allan Scherlen,, 828-262-2285.

Posted by John Boyd on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - 8:45am
Xiaorong Shao

Dr. Xiaorong Shao, Information Literacy Librarian at Belk Library and Information Commons, and two colleagues from the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, Dr. Xiaofei Tu and Dr. Wei Xie, have been awarded a $100,000 grant from the United States State Department to share English reading and film resources and lectures on US politics and culture with students and faculty at Northeastern University (NEU) in Shenyang, China.

The team’s work with Northeastern University will revive a partnership initiated in 1981. Besides funding development of an English reading and film library at NEU, stocked with material relevant to American politics and culture, the grant will support lectures by a total of ten speakers (five American scholars from Appalachian and five scholars from China) on different topics relevant to American studies and will help fund student and faculty exchanges between NEU and App State.

Dr. Shao hopes that the people who have been involved with the program will be its enduring legacy. “We hope that that faculty members and students that have taken part in the lectures and exchanges will maintain an appreciation of the relationship between Chinese and American culture, and continue informing the public through their work.”

Posted by on Monday, February 11, 2013 - 12:31pm

It's February, and you know what that means--it's time to show your library love.


Meet our matchmakers!

Our subject experts can give you advice on a wide range of topics.  These librarians can introduce you to interesting and attractive information in your field of study or any subject you adore.

There's nothing wrong with online dating.

It can be hard to figure out the best way to get books and articles.  See our article databases and e-research tools to find the best databases for you or try APPsearch, our new research tool, to find books, media and articles.

Need some one on one time?

Schedule a RAP session for personalized research assistance.

Not ready to commit?

We don't have to meet in person.  You can chat or text a librarian any time.

Love libraries?

We know you love us (and we love you!), but if you want to get books and articles from other libraries, we're totally cool with that.  ASU students and faculty can borrow materials from other libraries through interlibrary loan.

Whisper sweet nothings.

Have ideas, suggestions or compliments?  We'd love to hear them. Tell us all about it. We can't promise that we'll give you the best dating advice, but we're great at helping you find the perfect article or book.

Posted by on Friday, February 8, 2013 - 9:42am
Map It is now available in APPsearch

So many of you asked us, "Why is there no Map It option in APPsearch!?" We're sorry for the delay. When making a major software migration like this, there are inevitably a few bumps along the way. But we have worked with our vendors and are happy to announce that MapIt! is now appearing in APPsearch.

One difference you may notice is that the Map It button does not appear on the initial results listing screen, as it does in the Classic Catalog. However, if you click on the title of any item, you will be taken to a page that does include the Map It button. The button will open a map of the library with the shelf highlighted where your book is located.

Many thanks to our friends at StackMap for getting this working for us!

Posted by on Monday, February 4, 2013 - 2:56pm
Islamic Studies image

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in collaboration with the American Library Association (ALA) has awarded Librarian Allan Scherlen and Kim Hall (P&R, and chair of ASU Humanities Council) the Bridging Cultures Bookshelf Muslim Journeys Grant.

This grant provides Belk Library with books, video, and a Islamic Studies e-resource (valued at approximately $2500) to enhance the library's capacity to engage audiences in reflection on and conversation about Muslim cultures and to address the public's need and desire for trustworthy and accessible resources about Muslim beliefs and practices and the cultural heritage associated with Islamic civilizations.  In complying with requirements of the grant, the recipients (in primary collaboration with the ASU Humanities Council and further collaboration with the Watauga Public Library, the ASU Lifelong Learning Institute, and the Muslim Students Association) will host a series of talks, forums, film showings and book discussions to be held during 2013.

Stay tuned for more information on the events planned.

Posted by on Friday, February 1, 2013 - 5:02pm
Where oh where did Map It go?

Many of our users have been missing the Map It! functionality in our new search tool, APPsearch. Map It is a tool in our classic catalog that shows the location of each book on a floorplan map of the library. It makes finding a book in the rows and rows of stacks much easier!

We're currently working hard to incorporate this functionality into APPsearch. Our web developers and vendors are doing everything they can to make it happen, and we hope to be able to offer Map It! in APPsearch soon. We'll keep you posted!

Posted by Megan Johnson on Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 2:49pm
Image: Photographs from AC.111: Appalachian Oral History Project Records; via the Backlog Blog.

The National Archives sent out this tweet: 

Tackling the backlog at Appalachian State University with a National Archives grant:  

Did you know the National Archives supports other archives through the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC)?

The Special Collections department at Appalachian State University’s Carol Grotnes Belk Library and Information Commons received a grant from the NHPRC for an ambitious two-year project to process and create finding aids and catalog records for 450 accessions. 

The William Leonard Eury Appalachian Collection is a repository with more than 44,000 volumes of books, over 200 periodical subscriptions, 8,000 sound recordings, and 1,500 videos and DVDs related to the Southern uplands, with strengths in the social sciences, regional history, folklore, music, religion, genealogy, fiction, and African and Native Appalachia. 

The project is running a fascinating “Backlog Blog” on the project at

Image: Photographs from AC.111: Appalachian Oral History Project Records; via the Backlog Blog.

Posted by Megan Johnson on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - 12:18pm

Researchers and history buffs alike may now search and access local history collections across North Carolina with a single search box thanks to a collaborative project led by the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center, NC LIVE, and the State Library of North Carolina.        

NC ECHO, available at, has been updated in order to expand access to unique local heritage collections previously scattered across a multitude of websites and North Carolina institutions.   NC ECHO enables users to search across thousands of digitized and “born-digital” historic materials, including a wide variety of books, photographs, maps, family histories, state documents, newspapers and other materials from cultural heritage institutions around North Carolina. The collections available through NC ECHO include a diverse array of materials by and about the people, places and history of North Carolina.

Posted by John Boyd on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - 1:02pm
Dr. Maya Angelou

Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto", or "I am a human being, I consider nothing that is human alien to me."

Speaking before 6,000 people at the Holmes Convocation Center Tuesday night as part of the 29th MLK Commemoration, Dr. Maya Angelou gave a shout-out to libraries.

Dr. Angelou specifically encouraged students to contact, meet, or get to know a librarian, and to find the library's poetry collections. We agree!

There are many ways to contact a librarian: Phone, text, email, RAP session, and in-person.

For more information about Maya Angelou, see the guide to Library Resources for Maya Angelou.

To find poetry in Belk Library, search APPSearch from the Library's homepage.
You can search by specific poet, e.g. Maya Angelou, or search by keywords, e.g. African American poetry.
You can further limit by format (articles, book, eBooks, etc.), or limit by location (IMC, Main Stacks, etc.).
You can refine your search by Tag: see the word cloud image below  for African American poetry:

Posted by Megan Johnson on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - 8:48am
Global Women

Global Women's Series 2013: Women and the Environment: Eco-feminism and Activism

The Global Women's Series addresses contemporary global issues affecting women and girls and is a collaborative effort between a wide range of faculty, students, staff and community members. The program is co-sponsored by the Office of International Education and Development, the Women's Studies Program, and the Belk Library and Information Commons. Faculty are encouraged to participate as well as invite students and staff to attend.

We would like to invite you to participate in the opening event of our first annual Global Women’s Series on Tuesday, March 5th from 5:00-7:00pm.  The theme for this year’s series is “Women and the Environment: Expressions of Inspiration”.

Faculty, students, staff and community members are invited to submit short performance works (5 minutes or less) or visual art to share individual and collective messages relating to building a sustainable community of health, justice, and connection. What are we doing to make a difference? What is our call to act?  Participate by submitting this Registration Form.

If you have students, friends or colleagues who have made quality expressive art pieces or projects along the theme of environmental justice and activism, please encourage them to participate!