Library News

Posted by on Monday, April 15, 2013 - 9:31am
Instagram contest

Belk Library Through My Eyes

Celebrate National Library Week (April 14-20) by taking a photo that shows what you love about Belk Library. Take an Instagram snapshot capturing something you feel is special about our library and provide a single line caption conveying the idea.

This week, the Belk Library and Information Commons joins libraries in schools, campuses and communities nationwide in celebrating National Library Week, a time to highlight the value of libraries, librarians and library workers.

Entering the Belk Library Through My Eyes contest is easy!

  1. Take an awesome Belk Library photo
  2. Upload it to Instagram
  3. Tag it #BelkLibraryContest

View all the entries!

The winning snapshot will win a $50.00 University Bookstore gift card.

Have fun and be creative! Show us a feature that you love or a part of the library that is special to you. Here are some ideas to get you going:

  1. Belk Library in the spring
  2. Get collaborative in a group study room
  3. Find the library’s best keep secrets
  4. Relax in the Fox Reading Room
  5. Go digital in the Digital Media Studio
  6. Find your inner child in the Instructional Materials Center

Contest Rules

The public is encouraged to enter the Belk Library Through My Eyes contest often by tagging multiple Instragram photos with the hashtag #BelkLibraryContest. The snapshot can include a few words or a single line caption. The library’s public relations committee will choose the winning snapshot. The winner will receive a $50.00 University Bookstore gift card. The contest will officially end on Sunday, April 28th, 2013.

The contest winner will be notified via an Instagram comment from the Belk Library Instagram account. The winner must respond with their email address in order to be eligible to receive the book store gift certificate.

The photographs must obey all laws, including applicable copyright and privacy laws.

Like Your Favorite Photos!

The Instagram app allows you to “like” photos — go ahead and vote for your own photo or other photos you think are good by liking it in Instagram. The committee will take this into consideration when deciding on the winning photo.

What Is Instagram?

Instagram is an application for mobile devices that allows you to take photos, add filters for special effects, and then upload your pics to a personal photo stream. It is available for free in the Apple App Store and Google Play store.

Posted by on Friday, April 12, 2013 - 12:33pm
Commons Spring 2013

The latest issue of The Commons, the library's newsletter is now available on the library's giving page.  The theme of the Spring 2013 edition is Student learning, and highlights collaborations between librarians and faculty across campus.  An interview with Dean Reichel is included, outlining her twenty years of leadership and details about her future assignment in Academic Affairs. 

Posted by on Friday, April 5, 2013 - 12:40pm
Festo do brasil

Three days of free festivities celebrating Brazilian culture, April 10-12. Learn about Brazilian culture, including music and dance at Appalachian State University. A series of international events focusing on Brazil will be held in Plemmons Student Union. All activities are free and open to the public.

Wednesday, April 10, 7:00pm - 9:00pm, Price Lake Room, Student Union
Faculty members Gabrielle Motta-Passajou, Andres Fisher and Brent James will present “Brazil's National Treasures: Faculty Presentations on Capoeira, Football and Samba."

Thursday, April 11, 6:00pm - 9:00pm Greenbriar Theater, Student Union
The documentary “Bus 174” will be shown. A panel discussion with Craig Fischer from the Department of English, Brent James from the Department of Language, Literatures & Cultures, and Bruce Dick from the Department of English will follow. The film was voted one of the 10 best films of the year by the New York Times.

Friday, April 12, 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Grandfather Ballroom, Student Union
Festa do Brasil, a Brazilian festival, will be held in the Grandfather Ballroom. Activities include  an Afro-Brazilian dance workshop beginning at 5:00pm. A Capoeira performance at 6:30pm, and a traditional Brazilian dinner with music from 8:00pm to 10:00pm.

Co-sponsored by Appalachian State University, Belk Library & Information Commons, and the local community.

Posted by Greta Browning on Monday, April 1, 2013 - 9:14pm
Studies Building on Lake Eden at Black Mountain College

A new exhibit titled, “Black Mountain College: Innovation in Art, Education, and Lifestyle,” is now on display in the 4th Floor atrium of Belk Library and Information Commons. Black Mountain College was an experimental school, located just outside of Asheville, North Carolina, that only existed for 23 years, from 1933 to 1956. During that short time, it fostered many different artists including dancers, musicians, photographers, painters, and poets.


The exhibit has three display cases that follow the three major rectors, or elected leaders, of the college. The first explores the 1930s through John A. Rice, the founder of the college. The second looks at the 1940s and focuses on visual art through the leadership of Josef Albers. The final one examines the 1950s through Charles Olson, when writing became a central focus of the school.


Most of the artifacts on display come from the John A. Rice Papers and the recently added F. Whitney Jones Papers. Additional artifacts and images come from the Paul and Maryrose Carroll Beat Poetry Collection in Special Collections; the Western Regional Archives, State Archives of North Carolina; Joseph Bathanti; Elizabeth S. Rose; and University of Connecticut Libraries. Joseph Bathanti, North Carolina Poet Laureate, and Professor of Creative Writing advised on the creation of the exhibit. The exhibit was executed by public history graduate student Rebecca Dion.


In addition to the exhibit, two up-coming related lectures will be given in April.  On Wednesday, April 3, Professor David Silver of the University of San Francisco will deliver a talk, “The Farm at Black Mountain College: A History in Five Acts with Lessons for Today,” at 5:00 p.m. in Belk Library Room 114.  On Thursday, April 11, writer Tom Patterson will give a talk, “Reconstituting Black Mountain: Reflections on the Black Mountain College Festival at St. Andrews College, 1974,” at 7:30 p.m. in The Great Hall, Living Learning Center at Appalachian State University.


For more information on Black Mountain College, see Black Mountain College: An Exploration in Community by Martin Duberman, Black Mountain College: Sprouted Seeds: an Anthology of Personal Accounts edited by Mervin Lane, or The Arts at Black Mountain College by Mary Emma Harris.


Click here for more information on John A. Rice Papers and the F. Whitney Jones Papers in Special Collections in Belk Library and Information Commons. These collections are available for use in the Dougherty Reading Room located in Special Collections, Room 432. The Dougherty Reading Room is open Monday - Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For more information, call 828-262-7974 or email


Photo:  Studies Building across Lake Eden, Black Mountain College Campus. Courtesy of the Western Regional Archives, State Archives of North Carolina.

Posted by on Wednesday, March 27, 2013 - 2:25pm
The Farm at Black Mountain College

Friends of the University Library and the Goodnight Family Sustainable Development Program present:

The Farm at Black Mountain College: A History in Five Acts with Lessons for Today

A talk by Professor David Silver, University of San Francisco

Date: Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Time: 5:00pm

Location: Belk Library, room 114

This talk presents the history of the farm at North Carolina’s Black Mountain College (1933-1956). Widely regarded as the most influential art school in the history of U.S. higher education, Black Mountain College’s faculty-student roster reveals a "who's who" of late 20th century artists and thinkers. At the same time, the college was heavily experimental in developing rich and collaborative living-learning environments--especially with their work program, which had students, professors, and staff working side by side to help the campus thrive and, at times, survive. Much of this work took place on the campus farm. Tracing the farm's physical existence, its personnel, its buildings and structures, and its produce, crops, and livestock, grown and raised for both college consumption and much needed income, Silver reveals the farm's vital role to BMC's work program and the college's goal to be self-sustaining and points towards some valuable lessons for today's "green campuses."

David Silver is an associate professor of media studies, environmental studies, and urban agriculture at the University of San Francisco. He teaches classes on media history, social media, and green media. He is currently on sabbatical working on a history of the farm at Black Mountain College.

Please contact Lynn Patterson ( or 828-262-2087) with any questions about the program.

Posted by Allan Scherlen on Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 1:08pm
Make Hummus Not War movie poster

Date: Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Time: 6:30 pm

Location: Belk Library -- Room 114

Admission: Free, open to the public

Make Hummus Not War is a humorous film journey though the hummus bars and kitchens of Beirut, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and New York. Along the way the filmmaker encounters Palestinian and Israeli hummus cooks, chickpea farmers, political leaders, activists, Jewish settlers, and others for whom hummus is a near religious obsession.

The film will be introduced by Dr. Curt Ryan, who will also lead discussion on peace and cultural commonalities in the Middle East following the film. Dr. Ryan is associate professor of political science at Appalachian State, a scholar of Middle Eastern politics, and author of the books Inter-Arab Alliances: Regime Security and Jordanian Foreign Policy and Jordan in Transition: From Hussein to Abdullah.

The event is presented by ASU Library in conjunction with the ASU Humanities Council with grant funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities- NEH Bridging Cultures, Muslim Journeys grant and the Bivens Fund for Library Excellence. This is the third in a series of programs that compose the 2013 Muslim Journeys Program.

More description of the film: Could a regional love of hummus be the recipe for peace in the Middle East? This was the question on director Trevor Graham's mind when he set out to film Make Hummus Not War, a documentary about the Middle Eastern conflict you don't see on the nightly news.

One of the oldest-known prepared foods in human history, hummus is claimed by multiple Middle Eastern nationalities. So when Trevor Graham, a self-described hummus tragic, learned of a 2008 Lebanese plan to sue Israel for acting as if it had proprietary rights over the dish, he was intrigued and hungry for more. With Israel, Lebanon and Palestine fighting once again - over who 'owns' the hummus heritage - he set off on a personal journey into a colorful culinary history.

“Hummus and chickpeas are a symbol of our common humanity. I want this movie to say ‘We have more in common than divides us.’” Trevor Graham [filmmaker]

For more infomation contact: Allan Scherlen, Belk Library -

Posted by on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 12:51pm

Revisiting of Mughal Miniature: Traditional and Contemporary Practices in Pakistan
Wednesday, March 20, a 5 p.m. in 114 Belk Library. 

Ali Raza, Assistant Professor of Art and an artist who teaches painting at Appalachian State University, will give a talk titled "Revisiting of Mughal Miniature: Traditional and Contemporary Practices in Pakistan" Wednesday, March 20, a 5 p.m. in 114 Belk Library.  

Trained as a painter and printmaker, Ali Raza currently practices in multiple media. He has been actively exhibiting his work internationally and spends his time between Pakistan and the U.S. In the last few years he has shown his work in the U.S., UK, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Canada, Austria, and UAE.

This event is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the ASU Humanities Council and Belk Library as part of the programming for the NEH Bridging Cultures, Muslim Journeys grant.

Posted by on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 5:51pm
March Recommended Reading

Need a book break? Belk Library recommends books to reinvigorate your brain from the hard study and stress of March, midterms, and making Spring Break memorable. Grab your hammock or a comfy chair near the Fox Popular Reading Room's fireplace and take a tiny journey.


Librarian Megan: Canada by Richard Ford.

Read it because: The first sentence is "First, I'll tell about the robbery our parents committed. Then about the murders, which happened later."



  the diary of Olive Dame Campbell

Library Technician John D.: Appalachian Travels :  the diary of Olive Dame Campbell edited by Elizabeth M. Williams.

Read it because: Edited by our wonderful librarian Betsy Williams, this moving, detailed account of life coming to the Southern Appalachian region a hundred years ago as an outsider gives a rare, personal perspective of our mountains and people back when ASU was just a ten-year-old teacher's college. 


Librarian Georgie: Heat : an amateur's adventures as kitchen slave, line cook, pasta maker, and apprentice to a Dante-quoting butcher in Tuscany by Bill Buford.

Read it because: Bill Buford leaves The New Yorker to work as a line cook at Mario Batali’s restaurant, then goes to Italy to study pasta-making and butchering, and ends up telling the history of Italian cooking and its impact on high cuisine today – funny and brilliant food writing.


In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
Librarian Jennie: In Defense of Food : an eater's manifesto by Michael Pollan.

Read it because: Open up your eyes about what you put in your mouth! Simple rules for healthier eating - it changed the way I eat.



 Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Librarian Lisa: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

Read it because: The plot twists and turns make this thriller difficult to put down.



Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey

Library Technician Jason: Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey.

Read it because: Wrote the way that cowboys actually spoke in the old days, with intrigue, romance, and action. Good western and intro to Zane Grey.



 Drop Dead Healthy by A.J. Jacobs

Librarian Jon M.: Drop Dead Healthy : one man's humble quest for bodily perfection by A. J. Jacobs.

Read it because: It is a funny, lighthearted look at living healthier through a barrage of food fads, exercises, mental techniques and experiments.



Kingdom of Shadows by Alan Furst

Librarian John W: Kingdom of shadows: a novel by Alan Furst.

Read it because: Beautiful.  Evokes pre-WWII Europe.  But later on asking myself, "Why so depressed?"  It's that the Nazis are coming, of course.



  This is How you Lose Her by Junot Diaz

Librarian Amanda: This is how you lose her by Junot Díaz.

Read it because: I could not put down Junot Díaz's latest collection of short stories. Díaz's prose is enticing, poetic, and at times raw. The charming and tragic narrator Yunior will melt your heart as he navigates immigrant life, Dominican culture, love and loss.



Need more? See the 1st floor Reference Desk for a rotating selection of literature loving librarians to lead you on your way. We also have access to the book review and readalike database Novelist Plus here.

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.”