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University Welcomes New Director

Deirdre Stam (center), with Professors Anne Yardley and Wendy Kolmar, at Fall Commencement

Deirdre Stam, the new Director of the Drew University Library, arrived on campus September 15 and immediately launched into fund-raising, budget preparation, giving the fall Commencement address, and generally getting acquainted with the Drew community. Dr. Stam comes to Drew with a wide range of experience and qualifications. She holds graduate degrees in Fine Arts, Education, and Library Science, and has served as curator, director and professor at such institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, Catholic University, and Columbia's School of Library Service. Most recently, Dr. Stam was the Coordinator/Librarian of SyraCWIS, the web site for Syracuse University. She identifies three aspects of her career which she would like to keep in play at Drew University: librarianship, technology, and teaching, including curriculum development and learning theory.

Two librarians met with Dr. Stam recently to explore her goals and interests in her new position:

Why did you choose to come to Drew University? 

I wanted to go to a place that was of a size that would permit some flexibility in terms of the direction the library might go, where I would be able to make a difference. The strong liberal arts tradition at Drew was very attractive, and I really liked the mix of a general undergraduate collection and some world-famous graduate research collections. It will be exciting to see what possibilities those collections have. Also, I knew something of Drew's reputation through the late William Pierson Tolley, a close friend of mine, who was one of the founding administrators of the undergraduate college.

What do you find most exciting here? 

The multi-faceted nature of the place, and the fact that Drew is trying to redefine the relationship between information and education. We're really looking at both traditional collections, which are very important, and at technology. Computers have a unique and developing role in liberal arts, research, and libraries. They transcend other media which have tended to be analogous to previously existing media such as books. I'm very intrigued with exploring the unknown, uncontrolled possibilities of computer technology.

I'm also looking forward to working with the Friends of the Library in planning the Living Library dinner on January 24, following the pattern of previous successful efforts. I want to help explore additional activities that promote support of the Library.

What do you see as your biggest challenge? 

Most immediately, working with the budget. We need to plan and forecast for the next eighteen months, but we can't anticipate the changes we'll see in that time frame. Technological developments move so quickly that the standard eighteen-month budget plan is no longer supple enough for the level of accountability, planning, and monitoring that the library needs.

Where do you see the library heading? 

Our old responsibilities and formats aren't going away: books, maps, journals are well developed for what they do. We need to maintain a gracious and functional physical place as well: it's over fifteen years since we moved into the "new library," and it's time for refurbishing, rearranging for greater user comfort, and making it aesthetically pleasing.

We also need to be ready to communicate with our users, both one-on-one and in groups. But we're going to do more about encouraging exploration. Computers, the Internet, the Web are leading to more exploration by individuals. What people want of us will be more open-ended, and our response will have to be more open-ended. Traditionally, library users have relied on us for concrete answers, but I think they're increasingly going to be interested in what people are doing or saying about a topic, in interacting with communities like news groups, centered around specific interests.

I also think we're going to be more engaged with the data and contents, with less focus on the container. One strength the library profession brings to this is a long-standing focus on supporting scholarship and research. Librarians are, because of their historical perspective, not likely to be beguiled by everything that is new.

At least in part because of my subject background, which is in art, art information, and the history of the book, I'm also keen on encouraging use of our special collections. We have some unique material that supports new scholarly areas in surprising ways. We want that to be known and to be accessible.

Jody L. Caldwell
Head, Reference Department
Lessie Culmer-Nier
Head, Catalog Department 

Treasures of the Library

When asked about a treasure one usually thinks of a physical object, or perhaps a person. In a departure from its usual subjects, this installment of Treasures of the Library describes a special library program, managed by the Conservation Department, that treats the entire library collection as a treasured object. The Conservation Department's mission is to preserve and maintain the information resources in the library. Its binding program preserves current material, while a repair program is needed to mend broken, older items. The Drew Library was heralded as "a model of good preservation administration and conservation practice" in the July 1992 issue of Conservation Administration News. Although the main focus of the conservation program is the library's circulating books, reference materials and journals, the unique needs of the Methodist Library and other special collections are not forgotten.

Masato Okinaka using a bone creaser to create a protective box

Conservation is necessary because deterioration is continuous. The most common damage seen by the Conservation Department is typified by a book, brittle from weakened paper. Most paper used in this century is of such poor quality that books sitting on a shelf will eventually self-destruct. Books that circulate outside the library are prey to external influences on deterioration such as the weather, the users' home environment and substances such as food and drink. As stated on the website of the University of Indiana Library, "When books meet snackfoods, the results aren't pretty."

Four individuals, in addition to student employees, have direct responsibilities for portions of the conservation program. Jean Schoenthaler, Associate Director and Head of Technical Services, sets policy and program priorities. Masato Okinaka, Conservation Associate, serves as conservator and expert on technical issues. Pat Goodrich, Conservation Clerk, performs physical repair on damaged volumes, while Kim Magnell, Conservation Assistant, routes all materials requiring commercial binding and maintains departmental records.

Masato Okinaka at guillotine in Conservation Workroom

The tools and equipment used to conserve the library's collection are quite varied. During a visit to the Conservation Department offices, one will find specialized tools such as a board creaser, a bone folder, and a fume hood. Okinaka created Drew's board creaser from a discarded manual guillotine cutter. A board creaser is used in the production of protective boxes for books too fragile to be rebound. A bone folder, a tongue depressor-shaped implement made of bone, is used to manipulate material and fold paper. When chemicals are used, a fume hood is available to evacuate harmful substances.

Although the basics of good conservation and preservation practices do not change, the ability to digitize information offers a supplementary alternative to the standard practice of microfilming. One example of reformatting valuable and fragile material is the Pennsylvania Gazette. Now available in the library on compact disk, this newspaper covers the American Revolution and early years of the Republic. Containing both images of the actual newspaper and searchable full-text, this rare newspaper is now easily accessible by researchers.

Still, one doesn't always need specialized tools, training, or technology to help preserve library materials. With some thought and awareness, library users can help. A combination of the Conservation Department's expertise and a little care and common sense on the part of library users will go a long way to insure that the treasures of the library will be available for future generations of faculty and students.

Pam Snelson
Assistant Director 


"Bird assemblages in patchy woodlands"1
or Rethinking Libraries in the Computer Age

"As habitats become more fragmented," the article begins, "understanding landscape-level effects on habitat quality becomes increasingly important. These effects include factors intrinsic to the habitat fragments, such as vegetation cover and structure, and extrinsic factors, such as the modifying influences of surrounding (matrix) habitats." How might these ornithological observations help us understand libraries and their users?

For both the birds of our local forest and the users of our Library, a major element that is fragmenting the traditional Drew environment, both physical and educational, is technology. And for the Library, the specific fragmenting force is information technology. The traditional homogeneity of information environment and services is giving way to a landscape of local "patches," surrounded by a complex extrinsic habitat of publicly available and commercially motivated information sources and services. 

The "patches" of information habitat that concern us are the several on-campus or near-campus micro-environments in which our users now work: the classroom, the dormitory room, the office, the library table or cubicle. Like our binocular-bearing colleages, we must ask ourselves: How do the differences in these habitats affect our users' needs for information? What resources are available to users in these places, how are they are used, and how can we assist users in making best use of them?

And then there are variations in the surrounding habitats, that is, the many information services from the outside available via the internet, and through other new modes of telecommunications. How do we alter our services to help clients optimize their use of "extrinsic" informational resources?

The management lessons provided by our ornithological tutors are clear: be flexible, be sensitive to variations in needs, be aware of new patterns of use, and move from generalized to specific solutions about managing resources. Acting on these dicta, we expect in coming months to engage in a process of analysis and planning that will result in services more finely suited to the varied and changing information habitats of our Library denizens.

1Ecological Applications (November 1997, p.1170-80) 

Deirdre C. Stam

Upcoming Events

January 24, 1998
Living Library Benefit Dinner
See related article.
Mead HallFeburary 14, 1998
Abraham Lincoln: Man and Myth in Modern Memory
A day-long symposium on all aspects of Lincoln: political, social, cultural and military
Graduate School

March 1998
Annual Booksale
Titles in all subjects, including some new books
Library LobbyJune 20-27, 1998
Willa Cather's New York: An International Willa Cather Colloquim
Registration Deadline: May 15
Graduate School


International Digital Electronic Access Library (IDEAL) represents a 3-year project of Academic Press, aiming to exploit the Internet to greatly expand and improve access to journals. Through licensing agreements with academic networks or library consortia, IDEAL brings scholarly journals directly to the researcher's desktop. It provides access at all libraries within a licensed consortium to all the journals formerly held in print anywhere within the consortium--all 175 Academic Press journals, if the consortium is large enough. The Drew Library subscribes to IDEAL through its membership in PALINET. Academic Press publishes high quality journals in the fields of science and social science with titles ranging from Advances in Mathematics to Journal of Adolescence to Seminars in Immunology.

IDEAL can be accessed via a computer connected to the campus network. Alternatively, one of the computer workstations in the Library can be used to search IDEAL. Using Netscape to connect to the URL, a selection from the "Authorized User Login" area permits the user to browse journals or start a search. The full text of journal articles is displayed in the Acrobat format, tables of contents and abstracts in HTML. Adobe's Acrobat Reader is necessary to print a full article. It is possible to look for keywords in and across journals.

Coverage of journals starts with the complete 1996 issues of 175 Academic Press journals (and some 1995 issues); an average of over 2000 articles is added every month. Anyone with Internet access can freely browse and search the journal tables of contents on IDEAL, and, for now, abstracts too. Users on Drew's campus network, however, can view, search, print, and download complete articles from all the journals represented in our consortium. For 1997, all Academic Press journals are available.

Pam Snelson
Assistant Director 

Good Reading

Sojourner Truth: A Life, a Symbolby Nell Painter

When Nell Painter spoke at Drew just a few years ago, she explained the dilemmas she faced in daring to conceive a full-length biography of a major historical figure about whose life very little is verifiable. The mythology about Sojourner Truth, a lasting icon of the indomitable African American spirit, has obscured and dwarfed the reality of Truth's life. Born Isabella in Ulster County, New York around 1979, Truth was the slave of Dutch farmers for nearly 30 years before taking her freedom in the late 1820s and reshaping her person as Sojourner Truth. During her lifetime her activities were chronicled and fictionalized by women's rights advocate Frances Dana Gage, whose account of the famous "Ar'n't I a Woman?" speech initiated the myth. Painter's fascinating biography (Norton, 1996) explores the factual record on Truth's life as well as the historical uses made of its mythologized version. It has much to say about public memory and symbol making, as it does about Truth, the woman and her times.

Delight Dodyk, Adjunct Assistant Professor of History 

Eamon de Valera: The Man Who Was Irelandby Tim Pat Coogan

In Eamon de Valera (New York: Harper Perennial, 1993), Tim Coogan presents a vivid account of the life of the most notable Irish leader of this century. From the 1916 Easter Rebellion to his death in 1975, de Valera dominated the Irish political landscape. Deeply religious and fiercely nationalistic, he guided and oftentimes forced Ireland into the modern era, tearing it away from British colonial rule. Coogan accurately depicts the momentous struggle of de Valera against both British oppressors and his fellow Irish nationalists. The Easter Rebellion, the Black and Tan conflict, the Anglo-Irish War, the Anglo-Irish Treaty which partitioned Ireland, and the resultant Irish Civil War - all are recounted in minute detail, as is de Valera's struggle with the other great leader of modern Ireland, Michael Collins, the founder of the IRA. Eamon de Valera comes across as a brooding yet brilliant tactical statesman who knew how to win Irish and Irish-American political approval. Coogan's book will delight those readers interested in Ireland's tragic modern history, but its 750 pages may challenge those not familiar with the terrain.

Jim O'Kane, Professor of Sociology 

Carl Gustav Jung by Frank McLynn

The angle taken by the author (St. Martins Press, 1996) falls within the genre of the "hermeneutics of suspicion," whereby motives tied to the will-to-power or unresolved complexes are used to explain almost all of Jung's brilliant intellectual innovations. For example, Jung's rejection of Freud's pansexualism stems from his desire to castrate the dominating father and to outmaneuver his Oedipal power by developing a more neutral theory of psychic energy-- rather than, of course, seeing possible inadequacies in Freud's theory itself! Jung's complex relationships with woman are treated at some length (his so-called jungfrauen, such as Toni Wolff, his "femme inspiratrice"), as are his attempts to develop a neo-pagan religion to replace the Western monotheisms. Special attention is given to his Swiss heritage and how it shaped his mythological consciousness. Unfortunately, the author is neither an analyst nor a philosopher which weakens his ability to probe into Jung's categorical structure.

Robert S. Corrington, Associate Professor of Philosophical Theology 

College for Sale: A Critique of the Commodification of Higher Educationby Wesley Shumar

"Focusing on commodification," Wesley Shumar examines how higher education has changed in the past 25 years as a result of the forces of globalization and capitalism that have devastated working people in developing nations. This wide-ranging book (Falmer Press, 1997) draws on post-modern theory, ethnology, and left political economy to examine many of the struggles and crises of higher education in the recent past. It analyzes fiscal crises, the growth of administrative personnel, strategic planning, the emergence of a "second-class" adjunct professorate, possibilities for unionization, the entrepreneurial university, the privatization of higher education due to declining state support, the "semiotics of college life," and major struggles over tenure, budgets, and political correctness. This seminal book will help any university faculty member to understand and respond to his or her professional life in new ways.

Fred Curtis, Professor of Economics 

Facelift for Rose

The Rose Memorial Library waited patiently during the extensive Mead Hall renovations, but at last, for twenty weeks, from the third week of June through the end of October, the exterior of the Rose Library enjoyed a long overdue facelift. The $500,000 restoration extended from the building roof to its foundation.


Rose Memorial Library, looking southwest

The most obvious change to the exterior of Rose is new paint: eleven of the thirteen columns across the broad portico of the "old library" were repainted. The two columns closest to Mead Hall had been restored during the Mead renovation. Significant preparation of the columns had to be addressed before the painting could begin. A plasterer was needed to reform the Ionic capitals; deterioration was found to be greatest at the eastern side of the building. Invisible from the front of the building, multiple vents have been incorporated into each column to promote air circulation to help prevent the new paint from peeling.

Additional major restoration took place higher up on the Rose building. The stately balustrade, which Rose shares with Mead, was completely rebuilt. The individual balusters now in place are made of molded Fypon, a type of foam with a covering that can be painted. The Fypon pieces, made from a mold of the original baluster, will never rot or decay. In addition to the balusters, all of the original woodwork in the balustrade was replaced with cypress wood.

The renovations also included a new roof for Rose Library and new roof drains. The new roof covers the portico, the rear main roof, and the penthouse. Both chimneys on the penthouse received attention: one was completely rebuilt and one was restored. Roof ladders were installed so that maintenance personnel can now access the penthouse roof and the large main roof without crawling through G-level office windows. An elaborate venting system was incorporated into the roof cornice work to reduce trapped moisture in the structure.

Moving down to the ground level of the building, maintenance work was performed on the foundation to prevent future erosion. Some damaged tiles were replaced on the portico porch, and it took six weeks time to find the stone to match the existing tile. The sparkle in the stone suggested a granite; the veining suggested marble. The final match came from Italy, and the new tiles were installed on the front edge of the portico, along with a new tile bedding.

The finishing touches to the restoration project include new portico lights, operated by a photocell. The Rose exterior is now lighted from dusk to dawn. And over the double doorway at the top of the stairs, the words "Rose Memorial Library" reflect the light in new gold leaf.

The twenty weeks of work created a lot of noise and a lot of dust, parking was disrupted, and deliveries were difficult. But according to Project Manger, Julie Valerio, Facilities Resource Management received very few complaints from the Rose Library occupants and visitors. No small wonder: the results were worth the wait and any attendant aggravation. The Rose Library exterior is once again as appropriately and proudly elegant as its grand neighbor, Mead Hall.

Eleanor Rawitz
Administrative Assistant to the Directors 

Gifts and Grants

Humanities Resources Initiative

Largely unknown even to its "regulars" is Drew University Library's rich trove of resources to support advanced research in the humanities. With the help represented by a grant of $10,000 from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, the Library will undertake a set of activities to make these materials better known and more extensively used.

The materials include collections relating to the Methodist Church which can support, in addition to traditional inquiry in this area, many new and vital areas of research, such as women's studies, Native American studies, religious and cultural studies, and studies in language and rhetoric. Additionally the Library has extensive holdings of pamphlets and nineteenth-century newspapers. Other resources include extensive electronic resources, including full-text and image databases, and traditional special collections and rare books.

During the next year, the Library will undertake three activities to increase access to these materials: develop collection-level descriptions of special collections and make this information available on the web and in print form; survey the pamphlet collection and improve its physical accessibility; and provide instruction in research-level electronic resources to potential researchers. While these enhancements will serve the Drew community directly, they will also increase the visibility of the University and its holdings for a wider audience.

Political Science Collection

The McNany family of Maplewood has donated 600 volumes and memorabilia in the field of 20th century American politics collected by O. Vincent McNany, an active participant in NJ politics until his death in 1996. The collection is located in the University Library and a special room in Smith House, home of Drew's Political Science department. On September 8, 1997, the University and the McNany family hosted a public dedication of the "O. Vincent McNany Book Collection."

Join the Friends of the Library with our online form.

January Benefit Honors Authors

The third biennial Living Library Benefit Dinner on January 24, 1998 promises to be a true literary feast. The dinner, hosted by the Friends of the Drew University Library, recognizes distinguished regional authors. This year the arts are represented by Joe Kubert, an internationally known, award-winning cartoonist; Mark Hewitt, author of The Architect and the American Country House 1890-1940; and Ken Emerson, freelance rock music critic, whose recent book is on Stephen Foster. Sports enthusiasts will enjoy the company of Sue Macy, who has authored a photo-history of American women in sports, and Arnold Rampersad, author of Jackie Robinson: A Biography. Movie aficionados will recognize Yvonne Thorton, Ditchdigger's Daughter, and Lincoln Child, Relic, whose books were developed into movies. In addition to profiling popular people, Thomas Kiernan develops plots for television movies. Joseph Blotner, C '47, exemplifies the field of literary biography. A major authority on Faulkner, he recently completed a work on Robert Penn Warren.

The dinner honors the local professorate, including several Drew University alumni. Janet Burstein, G '75, and member of Drew's English Department, researches American Jewish women writers. Herman Estrin, C '37, is founder of the New Jersey Literary Hall of Fame and a retired NJIT faculty member. Yale Ferguson, a professor at Rutgers University, writes on international politics. Nell Painter, a historian of the African-American experience and expert on Sojourner Truth, teaches at Princeton University. Leonard Sweet, Dean of Drew's Theological School, is a varied writer whose recent work is The Jesus Prescription for a Healthy Life.

Kitty Ferguson writes on the mysteries of physics and black holes and the theories of Stephen Hawking. William Jeffries gives advice on how to lead a 21st-century organization in his latest book, Taming the Scorpion. Eileen Freeman, an authority on angels, recently became an Episcopal sister. Two authors provide knowledge in the area of food and wine. John Hadamuscin, of Chatham, writes books on entertaining and cooking, and Mimi Lafollette Summerskill, owner of Lafollette Winery in central New Jersey, describes the development of the winery in her latest book. Completing this literary smorgasbord are two fiction writers: Kate Gallison, murder- mystery writer from Lambertville, and Margie Palatini, well-known for her children's book, Piggie Pie.

Call 973-408-3471 for full details on the dinner. 

About Visions


Deirdre C. Stam
Drew University Library, Madison, NJ 07940
(973) 408-3322

CONTRIBUTORS: Eleanor Rawitz, Pamela Snelson
PHOTOGRAPHS: Paula Cameron

A complete online archive of past issues of Visions
can be viewed at:

VISIONS is a semi-annual publication.
© Drew University Library

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