News Archives (by academic year)
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Note: Archived news is not maintained and may include broken links.

Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act

In honor of the 18th anniversary of the signing of the ADA, the Census Bureau has compiled some facts about people with disabilities in the U.S. We want the library to be as accessible as possible -- do you have any suggestions, comments or concerns? Please contact Susan Edwards, library accessibility coordinator.

Exhibit: Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act

In honor of the 18th anniversary of the signing of the ADA, the library has an exhibit of accessibility related material in the "living room" adjacent to the Frost reference desk.

Opening: Head of Archives and Special Collections

The Amherst College Library seeks an innovative and knowledgeable leader for one of the country’s premier archives and special collections departments in an undergraduate institution. More information...

News re. Newspapers

In response to popular demand, the current newspapers have been moved back downstairs to the current periodical area. Earlier issues of newspapers, and newspapers on microform, remain on the second floor.

Attention Language Students!

Try out the Library’s new Oxford Language Dictionaries Online, giving coverage of over 4 million words, phrases, and translations of Chinese, French, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish, into and out of English.

New Report on Evaluating Professor Quality

"Does Professor Quality Matter? Evidence From Random Assignments of Students to Professors", a study recently released by the NBER (the National Bureau of Economic Research) attempts to anwer the question. Results are summarized in today's Inside Higher Ed.

Blackwell ~ Wiley Merger

The transition of Blackwell journal content to the Wiley Interscience platform has not gone quite as smoothly as planned. If you have problems accessing any of these journals, please contact Technical Services Librarian Erin Loree, 542-5014.

New Online Encyclopedia of Latin America

The Encyclopedia of Latin American history and culture is now available to the AC community. In paper, it's a six volume set, all of which is now searchable online.

Britannica Enhances User Input

Without speaking the word “wiki” aloud, Encyclopedia Britannica is now accepting “comments and suggestions” about articles from all readers.  See the explanation of how suggestions will be rigorously reviewed and accepted at Britannica’s Editorial Mission.

Improving Access to Academic Research

Create Change (motto: Shouldn't the way we share research be as advanced as the Internet?) examines new opportunities in scholarly communication, advocates changes that recognize the potential of the networked digital environment, and encourages active participation by scholars and researchers to guide the course of change.

Economics -- New Online Tool

The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics is now available, through library subscription, to the Amherst College community. Not just a dictionary, it contains short articles as well.

Amherst College Library Joins Boston Library Consortium!

The Boston Library Consortium board of directors unanimously voted to accept the Amherst College Library as its newest member. The BLC is an association of 19 academic and research libraries which supports resource sharing and enhancement of services to the users of member libraries, including expedited interlibrary loan and document delivery.

No Cold Air, No Hot Water

The annual steam shutdown affecting all buildings on campus is scheduled from Sunday, June 1 through Monday, June 9. During this time there will be no hot water or air conditioning in buildings on campus.

New Digital Primary Source

FBIS (Foreign Broadcast Information Service) Daily Reports, 1974-1996 News in translation (by the CIA) from radio, television, and newspapers around the world.

Interlibrary Loan Is Back!

Interlibrary Loan is back online (June 3) after the first phase of an ILLiad-system upgrade.  Please resume submitting interlibrary-loan requests as usual at our logon page...and please contact Douglas Black (dblack or x5031) with any questions or problems. We'll tackle the upgrade's second phase (a new user interface, with new online request forms and improved functionality) later this summer.

Reunion Attendees -- Wake Up in the Library!

Enjoy coffee and baked goods while you read the newspaper, look at the new books, visit the exhibitions, explore our online resources, and meet the library staff. Saturday, May 31, 8-9 a.m.

Chicago Manual of Style Now Online

The library now provides the Chicago Manual of Style online, which also includes the popular Quick Guide and Chicago Style Q&A.

Library Hours

The library hours for the rest of May, and for the summer have been posted. Research assistance is available additional hours, by appointment, or by email, chat or phone (contact information below).

Music Library News

Tuesday May 20-Thursday 22 there will be recording sessions in Buckley Recital Hall. The Music Library is available 10 a.m.-1 p.m., but patrons will be met at the main door of the music building so that quiet can be maintained.

New Online Music Resource

African American Song is the first online audio resource to document the history of African American music. The collection contains over 16,000 historical tracts in a diverse range of genres such as jazz, blues, gospel, reggae, ragtime, folk, spoken word and more.

Need 24/7 Study Space?

The Keefe Science Library is open 24/7 through Friday, May 16th at 4 pm. Your AC ID card will allow access during overnight hours.

Last Minute Research and Citation Questions?

Frost reference desk is open Mon-Thurs 9 am - 9 pm; Friday 9-4:30. Walk-in (or call-in or email-in). And 24/7, some quick tips on formatting your citations.

National Library Legislative Day, May 13-14

Librarians will be meeting with members of Congress to advocate for legislation supporting libraries. The Government Document Librarians are also advocating for public access to government information -- including access to Presidential Records, certain Congressional Research Service publications, and more.

Interlibrary Loans for Students Due Friday, May 9

If you’re going to be on campus later than that and will need to keep an ILL item a little longer, we can often arrange that with lenders; please e-mail Interlibrary Loan [], and we’ll do our best for you!  (And if you have something checked out through Interlibrary Loan with a due date later than May 9, you’re all set and don’t need to contact us again about it.)  Best of luck with your end-of-semester work!

Congratulations, Book Collecting Prize Winners!

The Friends of the Amherst College Library have announced the winners of the 2008 Frederick S. Lane '36 Student Book Collecting Competition -- Conor Clarke '08, James Montana '08 and Kimberly Partee ’08, and Gina Rodriguez ’10. Samples from the prize winning collections are on display in the Frost Library.

Libraries Unleashed

From a recent special supplement to the Guardian, "Academic libraries are changing faster than at any time in their history. Information technology, online databases, and catalogues and digitised archives have put the library back at the heart of teaching, learning and academic research on campus."

May Day

Celebrate May Day (International Workers' Day), May 1st -- and come to the weekly Community Tea in the Frost Library at 3:30.

Trial Database

The Library is considering a new digital collection of material relating to "Slavery, Abolition and Social Justice, 1490-2007" We need to carefully consider it (it comes with a very high price tag), but we would welcome your feedback. Trial is through April.

Working on a Research Paper?

Make an individual appointment with a reference librarian to explore resources for your topic. We can help shorten the time it takes you to get to the material you need -- so you can spend more time reading and writing, and less time searching. Students who come say it's helpful... really!

AC Website Redesign -- Which Do You Prefer?

Members of the AC community are invited to look at the design prototypes and provide feedback through the survey.

First Year Students:

Do you like free Antonio's pizza? Black Sheep $10 gift certificate? Are you doing your first research papers??? Please come to a focus group and tell us about your research. 8pm, Wed., April 23 or Thurs., April 24. About 90 minutes. Email Margaret Groesbeck (magroesbeck)

National Library Week , April 13-19th

In the mid-1950s, research showed that Americans were spending less on books and more on radios, televisions and musical instruments. Concerned that Americans were reading less, the ALA and the American Book Publishers formed a nonprofit citizens organization called the National Book Committee... In 1957, the committee developed a plan for National Library Week based on the idea that once people were motivated to read, they would support and use libraries. Perhaps it worked -- ABP announced U.S. book sales in 2007 = $25 billion. (from ALA and and AAP)

Amherst Poet Rises Again

Kessinger Publishing has just issued a reprint of Ships in Harbour, by noted poet David Morton (1886-1957), who taught English at Amherst from 1924 until 1945. Theodore Baird's English at Amherst: A History describes Professor Morton as a boxer who was fond of classroom hijinks like those of Robert Frost and other legendary Amherst professors (including Baird himself). In addition to his own primary contributions to American literature and the study of Irish poetry, Professor Morton compiled several volumes of verse by Amherst students. The College, of course, has a rich collection of Morton volumes in Frost Library and in Archives & Special Collections.

Thesis Writers

Used thesis binders can be purchased for $5 apiece in Archives & Special Collections. Guidelines for submitting theses can be found on the Registrar’s web page.

Global Music

The Global Music Archive provides free access to sound recordings and images of indigenous music from Africa and the Americas. The Digital Collection of East African Recordings has over 2,000 musical performances recorded by an East African ethnomusicologist, Centurio Balikoowa.

Need a Job?

The Science Library is looking for a student assistant for Fall. Applications online, deadline April 9th

MetaVid: Free Search of Congress on Video

A student thesis on steroids -- MetaVid provides free and open archiving of the audio/video Congressional Record since 2006. Search on a legislator, topic, more.

Research Workshop for First-Year Students on Sunday, March 30

Panicked about your first research paper at college? The Academic Peer Mentors invite all first-years to the Research Workshop on Sunday, March 30, from 8 to 9 p.m. in Frost Library's Barker Room. (Even if you don't have a paper topic now, it's never too early to start learning how and where you can find the best resources to write a good research paper!)

Women's History at the College - in the Library

In honor of Women's History Month, please join us in Archives & Special Collections, Wed., March 26th at 4pm for a dynamic discussion with three extraordinary women of Amherst College. Professor Rose Olver, Professor Helen Von Schmidt '78e and Stephanie Gounder '08. Reception will follow!

Worried About a Research Paper?

Was Spring Vacation more fun and less work than you planned? Make an appointment with a research librarian to get more quickly to relevant content.

Student Book Collecting Contest

The Frederick S. Lane '36 Student Book Collecting Competition offers recognition (and monetary prizes!) to the top four collectors. Entries must be submitted by 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 25th.

Free Web Seminar: Teaching Undergraduates Using Digital Collections

EDUCAUSE Live! broadcast on Tuesday, March 25 at 1p.m. in the Barker Room, Frost Library. Steve Worona, Marianne Colgrove, and Dena Hutto.

Waffles in the Library!

Free waffles in the library from 9am - 5pm this Wednesday. Come make yourself a waffle on Level A in the staff lounge.

Barack Obama: A More Perfect Union

The fulltext is now available through -- which the library also has on subscription.

Working on a Research Paper?

Make an individual appointment with a reference librarian to explore resources for your topic. We can help shorten the time it takes you to get to the material you need -- so you can spend more time reading and writing, and less time searching. Students who come say it's helpful... really!

Need ILL Items for Later This Semester?

If you’ll need to request books from Interlibrary Loan for use after Spring Break, we recommend putting in your requests before you leave!

Do You Know Jack?

The governor shall annually issue a proclamation setting apart March 12 as Jack Kerouac Day, in recognition of Jack Kerouac's contributions to American literature and the genre of spontaneous prose... and recommending that said day be observed in an appropriate manner by the people. (Chapter 6 of the Mass. General Laws) The Frost Library also has an exhibit of Kerouac's work on display.

Trial Database: Public Opinion Surveys

We have a two week trial of the iPoll database -- US public opinion data from the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, which includes Gallup, Washington Post, and many others. You need to login with your AC email during the trial period, and please let us know what you think (because we do care).

Can't Find That Book?

If you are having trouble finding the book you need on the shelf, ask the Library to search for it for you. Often library staff locate it in just a day.


Student's laptop was recently stolen in the library. Please do not leave your valuables unattended!

Community Tea and Human Rights

Join us for Community Tea in the Frost Library March 6th at 3:30. Student groups will display posters in honor of Human Rights Day, and we will be showing a Google Earth tour of the Crisis in Darfur on the poetry screen.

On Display in Archives & Special Collections

A stunning display of arpilleras (textile folk art) depicting repression and resistance in Chile is on display through March. It is the collection of Marjorie Agosin, author of Scraps of Life: Chilean Arpilleras.

Seeking Head of Archives & Special Collections

The Amherst College Library invites applications for Head of Archives and Special Collections. The full job description is also available as a PDF file (18 KB).

Update on Key Copyright Developments

Join us on Friday, February 29th, for an EDUCAUSE webcast with Jim Neal, Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian at Columbia University. The briefing will focus on eight critical legislative and legal arenas, and the advocacy and educational roles and responsibilities of librarians on copyright will also be outlined. Frost Library, Barker Room, 1-2pm.

Need a Student Job?

Want to help make the library website better? The Library Webteam is seeking a student worker to help the library transition to the CMS, and to bring a student perspective to the redesign team (plus there's money involved!). Please contact Susan Edwards, (email:seedwards), 542-2676.

Massachusetts Celebrates Black History Month

Images of the Antislavery Movement in Massachusetts presents digital images of 840 visual materials from the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society that illustrate the role of Massachusetts in the national debate over slavery. Included are photographs, artifacts, banners, and broadsides that were central to the debate and the formation of the antislavery movement.

On Display

View a sampling of The Amherst College Olio in the lobby of the Robert Frost Library through Sunday…. or browse and borrow from the complete run anytime in the stacks [xLH1 .A43 O44].  Included in the display is the 1970 Olio – illustrating the Library's Black History Month Lecture.

Harvard Votes to Freely Disseminate Faculty Publications

“The goal of university research is the creation, dissemination, and preservation of knowledge,” said Provost Steven E. Hyman. “Today's action in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences will promote free and open access to significant, ongoing research. It is a first step in the creation of an open-access environment for current research...” from the Harvard University Gazette Online.

Library Celebrates Black History Month

Professor Horace Porter '72 and Uthman Muhammad (formerly Calvin Ward '70 -- and father of the library's own Bilal Muhammad '98!) will share their memories of undergraduate life at Amherst College during the Civil Rights Movement, and after the assassination of Dr. King. They will talk about students seizing campus buildings -- did you know that for a time the Frost Library was renamed the Malcolm X Memorial Library? Friday, February 15th at 7pm. AC Alumni House (on Churchill Street), free and open to all. Reception will follow.

Extended Hours for Archives & Special Collections

A&SC is now open through the lunch hour! New hours are Monday - Friday, 9am - 4pm.

Harvard Considers Faculty Publishing on the Web (for Free!)

According to Robert Darnton, director of the university library, in an article in today's New York Times ''In place of a closed, privileged and costly system, it will help open up the world of learning to everyone who wants to learn. It will be a first step toward freeing scholarship from the stranglehold of commercial publishers by making it freely available on our own university repository.''

Electronic Reserves During Add-Drop Period

Shopping a course and need access to electronic reserves? Gain temporary access by requesting a petition. Requests received before 3:00 P.M. on weekdays usually active the following morning.

Introduction to EndNote, February 11th at 5pm

Come to the training -- learn how to create an EndNote library, and use it to cite sources in your research paper. To register, email Susan Kimball (sjkimball).

Seeking Head of Archives & Special Collections

The Amherst College Library invites applications for Head of Archives and Special Collections. The Head provides leadership, vision, planning and management for the Archives and Special Collections department of the Amherst College Library, including the development, preservation and organization of the collections; overseeing research and teaching access to the collections; and cultivation of donor relations. The full job description is also as a PDF file (18 KB).

Need Historic U.S. Newspapers?

The library has increased the number of years available in the digital fulltext collection America's Historical Newspapers. Dates covered now range from 1690-1900.

Library Joins the 19th National African American Read-In

As part of Black History month, the library will be participating in the National African American Read-In on Monday, February 4th from 4pm to 6pm in Frost Library Archives and Special Collections. Please come and read or come and listen. A reception will follow.

“Pouring Tea: Gay Black Men Tell Their Tales”

E. Patrick Johnson, professor of Performance Studies and African American Studies at Northwestern University, and former professor of English at Amherst, will deliver a lecture based on his forthcoming book Sweet Tea: An Oral History of Black Gay Men of the South at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2, in the Friedmann Room.

Last Chance! Pictures Without Borders: Bosnia Revisited

This powerful exhibit will be ending on January 31st... if you haven't yet seen the work of Steve Horn '72, come by the Frost Library.

Have Difficulty Reading Print?

The Library is now a member of Recordings For the Blind and Dyslexic. If you are an AC student, you may be eligible to borrow audiobooks. Questions? Email Susan Edwards (seedwards) or call (413) 542-2676.

New Digital Resource Database

Amherst College Library Digital Collections is now available -- our new and expanding database of digital materials. Freely available on campus, but access is limited to Amherst College in compliance with site-license agreements.

“The Campus Over Time”

This exhibit is now on view in Frost Library on A Level, in A&SC in the outside foyer as well as inside. In photographs, documents and objects, it focuses on a few of the interesting changes in the buildings and grounds over the College’s history. (Check out the clock hands from Johnson Chapel!)

Improving Accessibility in the Frost

The Stavros Center for Independent Living conducted an accessibility audit (pdf) of the Frost Library in the Fall of 2007. Some of the recommendations will need to wait for a building remodel to be fully realized -- but we are making progress.

Library Open on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

The library will be open regular Interterm hours on Monday, January 21. The College will be honoring the legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during a series of events in February.

New Online Exhibitions

Archives and Special Collections staff have mounted three new exhibitions: Amherst College Commencement Traditions, Amherst College: A Chronology, 1820-2003 and The Buildings and Grounds of Amherst College: A History in Photographs of the Campus (PowerPoint by Barnes Taft '57.)

Summer Internship Available at ICPSR

Are you interested in social science research? The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), the nation's largest archive of digital social science data is looking for interns.

Top Ten Assumptions for the Future of Academic Libraries

The Association of College and Research Libraries has just released this environmental scan.

New Portrait -- James Merrill '47

The Library is pleased to announce the receipt of a new bronze portrait bust of James Merrill ’47, American poet (1926 -1995) by artist Sarah Blair, mother of Torren Blair ’00.  It is given in tribute to Merrill’s generosity of spirit towards readers and writers of poetry, including the sculptor’s son. The bust is available for viewing in the Archives and Special Collections reading room (level A).

Welcome Katie Winston, Digital Resources Librarian

Catherine (Katie) Winston is serving in the new, two-year position with the Curator of Visual Resources, Don Milliken, and the Head of Library Information Technology, Jan Jourdain, to plan, implement, and manage digital asset management systems (DigiTool) for instructional and research use.

New Social Sciences Encyclopedia

The second edition of the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences is now online and in the print reference collection in the Frost.

Welcome, Will Bridegam

Please join us in welcoming Will Bridegam, former Librarian of the College, back to the Library as Acting Head of Archives and Special Collections.

Renewals/Requests Temporarily Down

From Jan 2-7, books cannot be requested or renewed directly in the catalog, due to catalog maintenance. Thank you for your patience.

Access to Library Resources from Off-Campus

Want to do some work from home? Follow these instructions from IT to access electronic resources that the Library subscribes to -- from anywhere.

Learn about EndNote during Interterm

EndNote is a tool for organizing references, images and PDFs as well as creating bibliographies.  It is particularly useful for thesis-writing seniors who are juggling hundreds of references.  It simplifies the insertion and formatting of citations and images into MS Word. Get details and sign up.

New Resources from the Library

The Library now has fulltext access to current and back issues of Harpers (1850-2007), New York Review of Books, NACLA (North American Congress on Latin America), and Commentary (1945-2007)

Extended Hours During Finals

The Keefe Science Library is open 24/7 from now through Friday, December 21st at 4 pm. Your AC ID card will allow access during overnight hours.

Working on a Research Paper?

Due dates are approaching -- but it isn't too late to get help. The fastest? Meet with a research librarian one on one by coming to the Frost reference desk from 9am-9pm Mon-Thurs, 9-4:30 Friday, or 2-5, 6-9 on Sundays. We can help you find the good stuff faster, so you can maximize the time you have left for reading and writing.

Library Student Workers Save the Snow Day!

A big thanks to all the student workers who kept the Frost, Music, and Science Libraries open yesterday after the College closed at 1pm. They kept the Frost open until 2am, Music until 11 pm, and Science overnight! And thanks to the custodial staff, who shoveled for hours so we could all come and go.

Accessibility Testing

Do you use a screen reader? We are very interested in your feedback on the accessibility of the Five College Catalog in particular, your ability to answer these questions (rtf); the new fill-in-as-you-type feature for searching by journal title; and these questions navigating the College's new CMS. Please email any comments or questions to Susan Edwards, or call (413) 542-2676. Thanks!

Working on a Research Paper?

It's not too late to make an appointment with a reference librarian. We can help shorten the time it takes you to get to the material you need -- so you can spend more time reading and writing, and less time searching. Students who come say it's helpful... really!

Study Break Today, December 6th

Come by Community Tea today at 3:30 in the Frost Library. Re-caffeneite, snack, and chat with students, faculty and staff.

Emily Dickinson Birthday Lecture

“Nothing but a Sword’: Austin and Mabel and the Publication of Emily Dickinson’s Poems" -- a talk by Polly Longsworth. Thursday, December 6 at 4 p.m. This talk was originally announced as taking place in the Alumni House but will now be held in the Lord Jeffery Inn Ballroom. Free and open to all.

Public Art ... and a Librarian?

This Thursday there will be an artists' lead tour and a Mead reception for the portraits of faculty/staff/students in their triptych installations around campus. These include our extraordinary Science and Electronic Services Librarian, Susan Kimball!

World AIDS Day and LGBTQ Human Rights

In recognition of World AIDS Day, Ariel Herrera, the director of Amnesty International USA's LGBT human rights program, will be speaking this Thursday, November 29th at Amherst College from 7 to 9 pm in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall. Mr. Herrera will be speaking about the global situation of LGBTQ rights, with a particular focus on world HIV/AIDS. Sponsored by the Amnesty International AC Student Group.

Population Database

POPLINE®(POPulation information onLINE) is the world's largest database on reproductive health. It also covers fertility, demographics, environmental health, women in development, and HIV/AIDS. Abstracts are included, and many include free fulltext articles. Others are available in the library, or through Interlibrary Loan.

Photo Exhibition in the Frost Library

The second floor gallery in the Frost Library is exhibiting the work of Steve Horn '72, photographer and author of Pictures Without Borders: Bosnia Revisited. Please stop by and see this beautiful and informative exhibition.

New Music Resource

Naxos Music Library Jazz is now freely available on campus. Over 2300 albums available in their entirety, with a range of jazz genres represented including Afro Roots, by the Afro-Cuban master Mongo Santamaria!

Library Resources from Off-Campus

Leaving campus for the Thanksgiving holiday? You can still access the Library's paid databases and fulltext journals via VPN or proxy server.

Library Hours During Vacation

The Library will have reduced hours during Thanksgiving Vacation. Happy holiday!

Working on a Research Paper?

It's not too late to make an appointment with a reference librarian. We can help shorten the time it takes you to get to the material you need -- so you can spend more time reading and writing, and less time searching. Students who come say it's helpful... really!

Pictures Without Borders: Bosnia Revisited

Steve Horn '72, photographer and author of Pictures Without Borders: Bosnia Revisited, will talk about his work and life experiences Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 4 p.m. in Pruyne Auditorium. A reception will follow in the Frost Library, where photographs of this collection will be on display.

Popular Magazines

Please take our very quick survey on what popular magazines you read. Thanks!

Need Books, Videos or Articles not in the Library?

We may be able to borrow or buy the material you want. We won't steal (though we've been known to beg). Here are some ideas on how to proceed.

American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month

In recognition of November's Native Heritage Month, the U.S. Census Bureau has compiled a fact sheet on Native peoples. Did you know that in 2006 there were 28 counties with majority Native population? Or that 28% of American Indians or Native Alaskans speak a language other than English at home? The Census has this and much more...

Join Family Weekend Fun

Do Spirits Exist?
A night of magic with Felice Ling '10 in the Halloween spirit and in commemoration of Houdini's death on Halloween in 1926. Presented by the Friends of the Amherst College Library Student Activities Committee. Admission is free; donations to benefit the Amherst Regional High School Library will be accepted.

Friedmann Room, Keefe Campus Center,
Friday, Nov. 2 at 10 p.m.

Ali Liebegott Reading at Food For Thought

Reading from her novels The Beautifully Worthless (which has a wonderful piece on loving a librarian!) and The IHOP Papers on Oct 29th at 7pm. more

Henry Steele Commager: Celebrating One of Amherst’s Legends

Organized by former students of Commager, the symposium marks his multiple roles as Amherst faculty member, 20th century historian, mentor and friend to Amherst students, and social critic. The symposium will also mark the Library's Archives & Special Collections opening of Commager’s professional papers for research. Oct. 27, 3 pm, Pruyne Auditorium.

Off the Shelf: Artists' Books from Amherst College Collections

Join the Friends of the Amherst College Library for a reception and a gallery talk at the Mead Art Museum by Guest Curator (and the Library’s Collection Development Coordinator) Michael Kasper. Friday, Oct 26th, 4:30-6pm. Gallery talk at 5.

Ali Liebegott -- from The Beautifully Worthless:

You think I fall in love all the time.

I should tell you the truth about something.
This week I asked three people to marry me.
You, my ex-girlfriend, and the librarian.

I know you're wondering why the librarian.

She found the book I'd been looking for forever.

When she emerged from a backroom with the book,
I cried, You're the big hero!
She blushed and waved her hands nervously in front of her,
no, no, she said and again I cried, my hero, my hero --
her shy hands resumed knitting an invisible sweater above her belly...
what she said next is why I wanted to marry her:
If you went to library school you would've known how to find the book too.

Emily Dickinson ROCKS! Zero at the Bone

A live rock-and-roll performance that illuminates Dickinson’s poetry combining original music and her poetry into songs. Any writer of rock or pop would have loved to have written any of the great lines that Emily Dickinson delivers. Amherst Cinema, in conjuction with the Emily Dickinson Museum, Oct 25th at 3:45. $5.

Free Music Downloads

Fritz Kreisler's Caprice Viennois is the download of the week from the Classical Music Library. Other music is available on campus from the Naxos Music Library and Smithsonian Global Sound.

Al Gore Shares Nobel Prize for Peace

Gore shares the prize with the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for their work to raise awareness about global warming. Read the book, see the movie.

Doris Lessing Wins Nobel Prize

Doris Lessing became the 11th woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in its 106 year history. According to the Guardian, the Swedish Academy described Lessing as an "epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny".

Out in the Library

October 11th is National Coming Out Day. The library has an extensive collection of GLBT books -- but sometimes finding them can be difficult. Library of Congress Subject Headings (the topic words that are used to describe what books are about) are numerous and complex. Emory University Library has provided a very useful overview of hundreds of GLBT subject headings.

Out in the Theater

Tony Kushner, Pulitzer Prize winning author of several works including Angels in America and Munich, is speaking at UMass tonight -- Fine Arts Center, Rand Theater, 7pm.

Librarians in Hollywood?

As part of Banned Book Week, the Hollywood Librarian: a look at librarians through film will debut at the Amherst College Library on October 4, 5 & 6 at 7pm in the Barker Room. Library workers and students in library school get free admission. Others: $8 for adults, $5 for senior citizens. Seating is limited, tix can be reserved -- call Tracy Sutherland, 542-5015, for reservations or questions.

Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin died on October 4th, 1970 at the age of 27. Her music lives on in CDs, books and videos.

Community Tea -- Special Event!

Law, Jurisprudence & Social Thought [LJST] is October's "Department of the Month" at Community Tea on Thursday, 3:30 - 4:30. In recognition of Banned Books Week the Library, Amnesty International-AC Chapter and Pride Alliance have organized DOOR PRIZES for THIS THURSDAY. Will you draw a lucky ticket for one of the following prizes? Five copies of Fahrenheit 451. Three copies of And Tango Makes Three. Two tote bags. Tickets for our showing of Hollywood Librarian . An "I READ BANNED BOOKS" button for your knapsack. Etc. Etc. COME JOIN US FOR CONVERSATION AT THIS VERY SPECIAL TEA.

Banned Book Week: Celebrate Freedom to Read

A group of library staff are working with the AC Amnesty International Chapter and the Pride Alliance on Banned Book Week (Sept 29-Oct 6.) There will be a book exhibit, and other special events during the week. Curious about the ten most challenged books of 2006? Want to see even more?

Emily Dickinson Poetry Marathon on Saturday, September 29th.

The Emily Dickinson Museum will host its third marathon reading of all 1,789 poems by Emily Dickinson. The readings will be held at several locations -- including the Frost Library from 12-3.

Community Artmaking Celebration on Friday

Librarian Susan Kimball is one of 18 members of the Amherst Community selected to participate in a collaborative art project with visiting artists Wendy Ewald and Brett Cook. All are iinvited to create the final product during a day-long celebration on Friday. 

Gallery Talk with Guest Curator Michael Kasper

Guest curator (and librarian extraordinaire) Michael Kasper will give a gallery talk on "Off the Shelf: Artists' Books from Amherst College Collections" on Thursday, Sept. 27, at 4:30 p.m. in the Mead Art Museum. A reception will follow. more

Writing a Thesis?

Have you made an appointment with a reference librarian? We can help shorten the time it takes you to get to the material you need -- so you can spend more time reading and writing, and less time searching. Because remember -- "only librarians like to search, everyone else likes to find!"

New Resource for American History

The library now has access to Early American Newspapers, Series 1, 1690-1876 which contains 350,000 fully searchable issues from over 700 historical American newspapers. And a reminder that we also have African American Newspapers: the 19th Century.

Lockers in the Library

Tired of carrying all those books around? AC students can reserve a locker in the Frost Library -- see the Circulation Desk about availability.

Off the Shelf

Now open at the Mead Art Museum, and running through November 18th, is "Off the Shelf," an exhibit of modernist artists' books from Amherst College collections. These intriguing and inventive "books as art" (and/or "art as books") have been selected from the holdings of the Mead, the Center for Russian Culture, and the Frost Library by guest curator Michael Kasper, the Library's Collection Development Coordinator. Rarer items are encased but the special feature of this show is a long shelf of books available for browsing, so visitors can actually leaf through them. more

Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix died on this day, September 18th, in 1970 at the age of 27. His music lives on, including in books, DVDs, and CDs in the library.

Drumming on the Quad

Friday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m. the Library is sponsoring a drumming circle. Percussion instruments will be provided, or bring your own.

Printer and Oliphant Press Founder Ronald Gordon Will Lecture at Amherst College Friday, Sept. 21

Ronald Gordon, a leading printer and typographic designer who founded the Oliphant Press in New York, will speak on “The Oliphant Press: Tradition & Transformation” at 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21, in the Archives and Special Collections of Robert Frost Library at Amherst College. A reception will follow.

Gordon studied printing and book design with Leonard Baskin as an undergraduate. He has written: “Amherst played an essential role in my becoming a graphic designer and printer.” He founded the Oliphant Press shortly after graduating from Amherst in 1965. In the four decades since its founding, the Oliphant Press has carried on a tradition of fine printing and typographic design. Beginning as a letterpress printer and designer, Gordon has adapted his style and his design skills as the craft shifted to computer typesetting, offset printing and now, digital printing. The press name is an archaic form of “elephant”; its logo appears almost exclusively on advertising rather than on books.
Gordon’s talk coincides with an exhibition, “The Seahorse and the Elephant: Amherst and Fine Printing,” which will be held in the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections from September 1 through December 16. The exhibition features the work of Gordon and another Amherst graduate, Roland Wood ’20, who (with John Fass) co-founded The Harbor Press. The Harbor Press was synonymous with fine printing in New York for almost two decades (1925-1942). Its seahorse logo appeared in dozens of versions on many Harbor Press productions.

Thanks to generous gifts from Gordon and Wood, Amherst College’s Archives and Special Collections holds a comprehensive collection of the productions of the Oliphant Press. The Archives and Special Collections also holds the archival collection of the productions of the Harbor Press, including not only the books they published, but also much of the ephemera—advertising material, job printing and privately printed books and pamphlets.
“The Seahorse and the Elephant” is co-curated by Daria D’Arienzo, head of archives and special collections, and John Lancaster, retired curator of special collections. The exhibition is part of “Bookmarks: A Celebration of the Art of the Book,” a region-wide festival from September 2007 to January 2008 that will bring to life the Pioneer Valley’s great literary traditions through film, family events, lectures and readings. The initiative is sponsored by the Amherst College Library ( and Museums10, a partnership of 10 museums and friends (including Amherst College’s Mead Art Museum, the Emily Dickinson Museum and the Museum of Natural History) within the Pioneer Valley. More information about “Bookmarks” is available on the Museums10 Website,

IT (and Library) Fair in the Campus Center on Wednesday, Sept. 12th

The IT department and Library would like to invite the Amherst community to the annual IT Fair in the Campus Center atrium between 10am and 2pm on Wednesday Sept. 12. Stop by and purchase Microsoft media, deposit AC Dollars, and enter a raffle to win a brand new iPod Nano from Desktop Computing Services. Check out the cool new projects that Academic Technology Services is working on, and see how the Library can help you with research. Of course, you can ask any other questions ... and partake in our bountiful candy harvest.

Electronic Reserves During Add-Drop Period

Shopping a course and need access to electronic reserves? During the add-drop period, Amherst and Five College students not officially registered for a course may gain temporary access to the electronic course materials (including E-reserves and online videos) by requesting a petition.

All requests received before 3:00 P.M. on weekdays will usually become active the following morning by 7:00 A.M.

Longer Loans for Library Reserves

This fall the Library is extending loan periods for Reserve materials from 3 to 4 hours. Students will have an extra hour to finish required reading or viewing. Take care to return reserve loans on time. Because of the longer loan period, the minimum fine for overdue Reserves will be $5.00.

Guantanamo: Torture, Habeas Corpus and the Constitution

In recognition of Constitution Day, attorney Buz Eisenberg, consultant Kimberly Duplechain ’99 and law professor Bruce Miller will address “Guantanamo: Torture, Habeas Corpus and the Constitution” at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 10, in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall at Amherst College. Sponsored by the Amherst College President’s Office and presented by the Amherst College Library, the event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.

Eisenberg is Of Counsel to the Northampton litigation firm of Weinberg & Garber, P.C., and a professor at Greenfield Community College in Greenfield, Mass. He is a cooperating attorney with the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights and a member of the Guantanamo Global Justice Initiative, providing pro bono representation to Guantanamo detainees. He has received a number of awards for his work on human rights and social justice.

Duplechain graduated from Amherst College in 1999. In 2003, she went to work in Washington, D.C. for the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, an agency under the newly formed Department of Homeland Security. She currently works for IBM’s Global Business Services as a senior consultant in public sector financial management and policy for several federal agencies, including the Department of Navy and the Transportation Security Administration. She is also a student at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, concentrating on international business and trade.

Miller teaches constitutional law and public law at the Western New England College School of Law in Springfield, Mass. He has worked for the National Senior Citizens Law Center in Los Angeles and was an attorney with the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. With a continuing interest in legal issues that affect the poor, he serves on the Board of Directors of the Pioneer Valley HIV-AIDS Consortium and the Advisory Board of the Western Massachusetts ACLU.

In 2004, to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787, Congress designated Sept. 17 as Constitution Day.

Early Birds at Frost Library

For those of you who get up early in the morning, the Robert Frost Library now opens at 8 a.m., Monday through Friday.

OneCard Comes to the Library

All library photocopiers now have special card readers to accept Amherst College ID/OneCards. Photocopies now will cost only $0.05 for Amherst College students, faculty, and staff.

Welcome Class of 2011!

Glad you found us on the web -- please come by and see us on the Quad. We have lots of resources, spaces, and people to support research, study, and even entertainment (over 10,000 DVDs!). You won't be alone -- the COFHE survey of AC students found 89.5% study here, and 81.2% found something interesting while browsing the shelves.

New Faculty

Services for Faculty provides information about reserves and support for your research and instruction. The library also sets aside special funds for acquistions in areas of interest to new faculty -- contact your liaison if you'd like to know more.


Community tea in Frost Library

community tea
Sept. 6, 2007


The idea for a weekly social gathering in Robert Frost Library grew from the Community Tea that used to be held in Lewis Sebring. In 2004 Dean Gregory Call suggested the Library as a new host, and along with the Dean of the Faculty, the Office of the President provided funding for the event.

Tea in the Library
Tea in the Library/2007

Frost Library is centrally located on the campus, and the staff here are dedicated to making the Tea a community-building opportunity. All faculty, administrators, staff and students are invited to gather to enjoy tea or coffee and an array of snacks catered by Amherst College Dining Services, to visit with old friends and make new ones, to examine the recent additions to the Library collections, or play a board game.

Each month this year, the Library Program Group will invite an academic or administrative department of the College as a special guest. There are also plans for occasional brief presentations by speakers and musicians.

Where & when

The Community Tea is held each Thursday from 3:30 to 4:30 when classes are in session on the main level of the Library at the New Books Reading Area.

We welcome suggestions

The Library Program Group is charged with coordinating all of the Library’s non-instructional programming, including speakers, exhibits, and social events, collaborating with other groups on campus. We encourage your participation with comments and suggestions.

Molly Brown
Kate Gerrity
Nancy E. Higgins
Marian N. Walker