A (Julia) Rholes To Remember

Retiring Library Dean reflects on challenges and achievements during her tenure

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 9.09.40 AMMany University of Mississippi employees sooner or later retire, but not everyone leaves behind a rich legacy of accomplishments. When Julia Rholes retires from her position of dean of UM Libraries in December, she will definitely join that short list of people who truly made a difference at the university.

During her 12-year tenure, Rholes has overseen several improvements. These include the renovation of several library areas to create commons areas, the addition of critical research collections and digital humanities collections and the digitization of many critical archival and accountancy collections. Other projects she has spearheaded are improvements to the library website, the creation of critical new library positions, the expansion of public services and growth in the area of fundraising.

“These achievements have been the product of teamwork within the library,” Rholes said. “We are fortunate to have many hardworking, talented people in the Libraries who do really care about their work.”

Prior to coming to the University, Rholes held administrative positions at the University of Kansas (interim dean, assistant dean) and at Texas A&M University (interim assistant dean, head of Reference and Instruction). She recalls the circumstances that led to her decision to accept the dean’s position in June 2003.

“I was very impressed on my interview here by the friendliness of the people,” she said. “I was also impressed by the obvious talents of the people I met.”

Since then, the Rutgers University graduate has had to rise to the many challenges that came with the job, including space limitations and the increase in the number of faculty and students.

“My vision was trying to improve our facilities, collections and services for our different users,” Rholes said. “While growth is a positive development, it has been hard to meet the growing library needs that come with more students and faculty. You always wish you had more funds. I believe we made significant progress, but the job is never really over.”

A second generation Irish American, Rholes is the first person in her family to attend college. She received a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College and an M.A. from the University of Texas (Austin).

“I feel fortunate to live in a country which still offers such strong educational opportunities,” Rholes said. “I consider education to be so critical, especially higher education.”

Rholes’ colleagues have observed and admire her tenacious example of servant leadership.

“Dean Rholes has maintained grace and enthusiasm during her tenure at the University,” said Jennifer Ford, head of UM’s Archives and Special Collections. “She has always been supportive of patron and employee needs. Because of this, people love coming through the library doors and employees love working here.”

Angela Barlow Brown, UM Foundation director of development for special projects, said Rholes has transformed the library to meet the needs of UM students.

“From purchasing databases and journals with Library dollars raised, bringing in a coffee shop, purchasing comfortable seating and overall striving to provide the best working and study environment possible,” she said. “I love her passion for serving the students. She wants only the best for them that she can provide as a Dean and as a library team as a whole.”

For all her dedication and diligence at work, Rholes does find the time to relax and unwind. Among her favorite leisure activities are movies, gardening and occasionally cooking.

“I love to read, in that I am a librarian after all,” Rholes said. “I enjoy traveling. There are a few continents I haven’t made it to.”

With less than three months left before she leaves her campus office for the last time, Rholes looks both back with a sense of gratitude and forward with hopeful anticipation of even better things to come.

“I will miss the people I work with in the library, on campus and across the state. I believe I was very lucky in this regard,” Rholes said. “I hope to devote more time to family and friends who are located across many states. I also hope to give back by volunteering more. I’d also like to sleep past 5 a.m. a little more often.”

Rholes has been active in a number of professional organizations, including elected positions within the American Library Association, the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries and the EPSCOR Science Information Group. In 2002, she was named a Frye Institute Fellow and has authored a number of publications in the field of academic librarianship.

When asked if she had any parting “words of wisdom” for her successor, Rholes waxed philosophical.

“You have a lot of choices and decisions and I think that you should strive to be both fair and kind,” she said. “It isn’t always easy.”

Good, solid advice from a woman who has definitely fulfilled her role in the ongoing UM pantheon.

Patrons and supporters of the J.D. Williams Library are asked to continue their financial contributions to the work Rholes has begun through the UM Foundation. For more information, contact Angela Barlow Brown at 662-915-5944.

By Edwin Smith



Pop-up Libraries – Bringing Access to Information to Community

Deadline: Oct. 15

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 9.10.04 AMThe J.D. Williams Library is bringing reading and library services into the community with their Pop Up Library.

The Pop Up Library is exactly how it sounds – a library booth set up at residence halls, outdoor campus areas and even the Grove. However, it’s much more than just books. The Pop Up Library offers patrons information about library resources, news and events as well as technology demonstrations.

This new addition to the J.D. Williams library is made possible by a 2014 grant from the Mississippi Library Leadership Institute within the Mississippi Library Commission.

“The library has so much more to offer than just books,” Outreach and Instruction Librarian Melissa Dennis said. “We believe in supporting creative, fun technology that can help you learn in and out of the classroom. That is why we are using a grant funded by the Institute for Library and Museum Services to help you think outside the box.”

The grant allowed the library to create an iPad lending program to promote popular Mississippi authored e-books as well as invest nearly $4,000 in technology lending and outreach services, including the Pop Up Library.

“When students, faculty and staff see our pop up library, they will be able to stop by and check out exciting new technology that the library is providing to make required class assignments more fun,” Dennis said. “The pop up library provides extended library outreach beyond the walls of the library to the University and Oxford community, with an emphasis on STEM outreach. This also allows the library to expand technology outreach to those who are struggling to keep up with course requirements, limited class time and increased student enrollment.”

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 9.10.13 AMThe Pop Up Library can be found in the Grove during Ole Miss home football games, right in front of the Carrier Hall School of Engineering. In November, it can be found in residence hall lobbies in the evenings to offer students research help as the semester draws to a close.

“We want our students to use our books, journals, databases, government documents and a myriad of other materials to write papers, create art or compositions and develop new science or engineering ideas,” engineering and reference librarian Brian Young said.

He added that he hopes all students will learn how to create human-computer interaction projects.

“Getting students, faculty, staff and community users excited to use and learn STEM materials gives the library an opportunity to share other resources and services with users and draw more people into the library and potentially into a STEM major.”

Visitors that come to the library tent can learn about the circulation of iPad minis, MakeyMakey kits and Raspberry Pi kits as well as the new video production area, Studio One.

“We create a welcoming space for everyone to feel accepted and enjoy refreshments and conversations with librarians outside the J.D. Williams Library,” Dennis said. “The library is known for hosting learning spaces and materials for people of all backgrounds, and we enjoy promoting the creative resources and services they may not know about.”

Quiet on the Set

StudioOne is available for use to all university affiliates

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 8.56.47 AMThe University of Mississippi Libraries recently launched STUDIOone, an interactive video recording and editing studio housed in the J.D. Williams Library.

The studio, which offers a “one-stop shop” for video recording and editing needs, is available to all university affiliates.

While there was not one specific need for the studio, “we recognized that instructors are creating multimodal assignments and that students may want to use equipment outside of their phone or use editing software that may not be readily available,” said Brian Young, engineering reference librarian.

The studio offers uses a simplified recording and editing option that can be easily used without any previous video experience. The studios concept was based on the Penn State One Button Studio model.

“STUDIOone was designed to allow users to make high-quality videos in a controlled environment without having to know anything about video cameras, lighting or sound,” said Kevin Herrera, the university’s head of library information technology.

All users need is a flash drive to use the video recording studio. The simplified studio model allows individuals to create video projects without any previous lighting and camera experience. Additionally, the studio is equipped with a projector, which allows users to display visual presentations in their videos.

“Green screen technology is one of the unique features available in STUDIOone,” Herrera said. “If users record videos using the green screen option, they can later replace the green background with another background image or video. In addition to providing the equipment to record green screen videos, the studio also provides a number of software packages for video editing.”

While video editing may not come naturally to some individuals, STUDIOone contains software for all user levels. The software ranges from quick editing tools to full eLearning packages for more complex programs. Users are also given the option to choose between Windows and OSX operating systems.

If a university affiliate is interested in using STUDIOone, they must first contact the library to make an initial reservation. After their first shoot, individuals can make additional reservations though an online system.

The studio is a great resource for faculty, staff and students. It affords them the option to practice for a presentation, complete a video assignment, present a research paper and even record a lecture.

“STUDIOone is helping students to integrate digital media into their course-work, career planning, and student life,” said Richard Forgette, a professor of political science. “Faculty are already beginning to make use of this resource with new class assignments.”

The studio was funded in part by the Office of the Provost, the University Libraries and donations though an Ignite Ole Miss crowdfunding campaign, which included a generous gift from the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.

“I have told colleagues that I am much more excited to see what the university community does with STUDIOone that I have not thought about,” Young said.

For more information on STUDIOone, visit http://libraries.olemiss.edu/connect/studio-one.

Letter from the Dean

Dear Friends,

Although all the Keywords newsletters are meaningful to me, this one is particularly special. Our cover article reports on the 75th anniversary of the Friends of the Libraries. What a wonderful occasion. So many people over the years have been Friends and have helped sustain the library during good and not-so-good times. The library would not have the rich book collection it does today without ongoing contributions from Friends; those contributions really helped to supplement decreased state funding.

The organization’s success is due to the leadership of the Friends board, ably led for many years by John Pilkington and, of course, his good neighbor and English department colleague Chuck Noyes. So please join me in celebrating the past 75 years. The Friends, led by its president, Stephen Monroe, have some exciting events planned for this anniversary year, and all are welcome to attend.

This issue also celebrates generous donors and recent collection gifts. We have been fortunate over the years to have many people who care so much about our libraries. We also highlight the rollout of our new Studio One service and the introduction of our Pop Up Library, a new way of taking some library services outside the library walls.

We also mark the passing of one of Mississippi’s greatest artists, B.B King, whose personal record collection formed the foundation for our world-famous blues collection.

Finally, an article is included in this issue on my retirement, which occurs in December 2015. This is my final Keywords letter. It has been a rare privilege to serve as dean these past years. With the help of wonderful staff, a supportive administration and a terrific network of people who care about this library, I think we have achieved a lot. We have much stronger collections and services, and we have remodeled much of our space to meet the changing needs of our users. We are also doing a better job of serving our users and are fortunate to have hardworking, talented library staff who will continue making improvements; so, the best is yet to come!


Julia Rholes
Dean of University Libraries





Local Authors Honored at Friends Reception

Friends of the Library sponsored a cocktail reception at the home of Dr. Ralph and Douglas Vance on March 19. The Friends used the occasion to honor authors Tom Franklin (left), Beth Ann Fennelly, and Curtis Wilkie, who have all donated their papers to the University Libraries.



New collections from Archives & Special Collections

mum00739_b04_f01_01_275mum00739_b04_f01_01_275.tifAmerican Association of University Women Accretion: The original donation of the papers of the Mississippi Division of the American Association of University Women occurred in the late 1980s, and the organization has continued to add accretions since that time. The 2014 accretions included banners from conferences and branch documents. (Gift of the Mississippi Division of the AAUW)

Scott Barretta Collection: Several hundred CDs, books and videos relating to the blues and music history. (Donated by Scott Barretta)

Brett Bonner Collection: Around 400 CDs of blues and related music. (Donated by Brett Bonner)

Charleston, Mississippi, Rotary Club Collection: A collection of minutes from the Charleston, Mississippi, Rotary Club, circa 1925-1990s. (Donated by the Charleston Rotary Club)

Roy Greenberg Collection: Contains 60 LPs of blues and related music. (Donated by Roy Greenberg)

Lafayette County Tax Ledger: Ledger outlining tax information on residents of Lafayette County in Reconstruction-era Mississippi. (Donated by Frank Hull)

Lavonne Lambert Collection: Gift of several hundred LPs, CDs and cassettes of blues and related music. (Donated by Laurel Lambert)

League of Women Voters of Mississippi Collection Accretion: Addition of two boxes to the existing state division’s archive. (Donated by the League of Women Voters of Mississippi)

Bill McGinnis Collection: Two copies of Catalogue of the Officers, Alumni and Students of the University of Mississippi … 1859-1860 and a 1910 Bulletin of the University of Mississippi. (Donated by Bill McGinnis)

Dr. Ben F. Martin III and Cordelia Leach Fant Memorial Collection: Contains original ledgers and newspapers primarily from 19th-century Holly Springs, Mississippi. Of particular note is the 1830’s era “Board of Selectmen” ledger as well as a ledger containing handwritten reminiscences of a Confederate veteran. (Donated by Morgan Martin and Ben Martin IV)

Bob Mathews Collection: Collection of two digitized newsreels taken of the integration of the University of Mississippi by Bob Mathews. (Donated by Bob Mathews)

Ed Meek/Meek School of Journalism and New Media Collection: This collection contains negatives, photographs and written materials created by Ed Meek. Materials included range from his time as a staff writer in the University of Mississippi’s Public Relations Office (1960s) through later years. This collection contains many significant images, including Meek’s photographs of the integration of the University of Mississippi. (Donated by Ed Meek)

Shelley Fraser Mickle Collection: Papers of novelist and short story author best known for her young adult works. (Donated by Shelley Fraser Mickle)

George Miller Collection: Consists primarily of the papers of George Miller, a son of Hugh Miller of Pontotoc, Mississippi. The collection contains correspondence, financial documents, land certificates, rare newspapers and quite a bit of material on life in north Mississippi in the 19th century. (Donated by Bob Thompson, Virginia Thompson Munford, Charles Thompson III and William Thompson)

Mamie and Ellis Nassour Arts & Entertainment Collection Accretion: The Mamie and Ellis Nassour Arts & Entertainment Collection continues to grow. This year included accretions of entertainment memorabilia, including Sam Norkin caricatures, framed theatre posters, signed playbills, signed theatre posters, circus memorabilia and many other related items. Several individuals and groups also made contributions to the collection, including the Actors Fund, Frances Norkin, Daryl Roth Productions, Les Leverett, Feld Entertainment, among others. (Donated by Ellis Nassour)

Jim O’Neal Collection: Approximately 35,000 photograph negatives and slides, and 74 master audiotapes from Jim O’Neal, co-founder of Living Blues magazine. These items document about 40 years of blues history. (Donated by Jim O’Neal)

Carolyn Ross Research Files Collection: Contains extensive research material and unpublished manuscripts on Jacob Thompson (U.S. Secretary of the Interior 1857-1861; inspector general of the Confederate States Army, CSA lieutenant colonel and head of Confederate Secret Service operations in Canada). (Donated by Joyce Sidorfsky)

David G. Sansing Collection Accretion: Addition of five boxes to the research files of this Mississippi historian. New material includes files on the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion, Mississippi history textbooks and Mississippi Reconstruction among other topics, as well as recordings of oral histories with noted Mississippi politicians and members of the University of Mississippi community. (Donated by David Sansing)

William M. Shoemaker Collection: Consists primarily of scrapbooks and family correspondence related to the life and career of William M. Shoemaker. Shoemaker was an alumnus and a long-serving member on the IHL board. (Donated by Robert Hume and William Shoemaker Jr.)

Wm. Clyde Stewart Collection Accretion: Addition of mid-20th-century recordings of Mississippi political campaign songs. (Donated by William C. Stewart)

Cid Ricketts Sumner Collection: Five letters from Mississippi-born author Cid Ricketts Sumner to fellow author Alice P. Miller in the 1950s, written during Sumner’s most prolific period. (Donated by Nancy Miller)

Doris B. Thompson/James Silver Collection: Contains original notes attributed to James Silver and his research for the expanded edition of Mississippi: The Closed Society. (Gift of Mary Margaret Hansen and family)

Union County Oral History Project: Contains oral histories and transcripts from the “North Mississippi Women’s History Project” coordinated by Elizabeth Payne. (Donated by Elizabeth Payne)

United Confederate Veterans ribbon: Lafayette County Civil War veteran’s ribbon from a 1904 Memphis, Tennessee, United Confederate Veteran’s meeting. (Donated by Ronald Pass)

Curtis Wilkie Accretion: Curtis Wilkie donated his original collection in 1999. Since that time, he has made a number of accretions to the collection, and in 2014 he donated research materials related to the publication of The Fall of the House of Zeus. (Donated by Curtis Wilkie)

William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation Collection: Contains correspondence and documentation regarding programming efforts for the significant institute. (Donated by the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation)

Yellow Fever Letter: Accretion to the Canale Yellow Fever Collection. Dated 1900, this letter contains information on quarantine efforts on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. (Donated by D.J. Canale)

Spring Coffee

Sponsored by Friends of the Library

Thank you donors!

Adobe Photoshop PDF

Jesse L. White honors parents with library endowment

00007When Jesse L. White Jr. began thinking about establishing a memorial for his parents at the University of Mississippi, he quickly settled on the J.D. Williams Library as the natural choice.

“I’ve always considered the library to be the heart of a university,” said White, who earned a bachelor’s degree in history and political science in 1966. “That was certainly the case when I was at Ole Miss. I spent countless hours up in the stacks doing research or studying for exams, and it was such an important part of my time there.”

Also, White’s parents were big supporters of the university’s library, so it seemed an appropriate place to honor them, he said. The Jackson native and adjunct professor in the University of North Carolina’s School of Government has pledged $25,000 to create the Jesse Lamar and Marguerite East White Memorial Endowment.

Proceeds from the endowment can be used at the discretion of the dean of libraries, with preference given to acquiring books and digital resources in the social sciences.

“We are grateful to Jesse White for this generous gift that will help provide the materials we need to continue to recruit talented faculty members and aid research in the social sciences,” said Julia Rholes, UM library dean. “This endowment will help strengthen our programs for generations to come.”

White, who last year agreed to fund an endowment for the university’s William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation, visited campus this spring and met with Rholes to discuss the library’s needs.

“I love her orientation toward the engagement of communities through libraries,” he said. “She came from that tradition, and she has continued on that path with the Ole Miss library.”

White’s parents were extraordinary people, he said.

“My father was born, believe it or not, in 1886, so he saw the introduction of the automobile and watched men walk on the moon. From modest circumstances, he became one of the most educated and well-read men I have ever known, even though he was not a college graduate. He was a huge influence on my intellectual development.”

White Sr. enjoyed a successful career in insurance and served almost eight years as state insurance commissioner. His wife was equally successful.

“She was born at the dawn of the 20th century and was a graduate of Hinds Community College,” White said. “She was a pioneer as a female business person and was a leader in organizations like the YWCA and the Mississippi Officials Women’s Club.

“They both loved and trusted Ole Miss. They supported my staying on campus after the Meredith integration crisis, which was my freshman year, while a lot of parents pulled their children out. It changed my life.”

While a student at UM, White earned two Taylor medals and a Marshall Scholarship, which sent him to England for two years of study at the University of Sussex. After completing a master’s degree in international relations there, he returned to UM as an instructor in political science from 1968 to 1970.

He then went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to earn his doctorate. During that time, he served as secretary of the Mississippi Senate, and later as a policy planner in the newly created U.S. Department of Education.

From 1982 to 1990, White was executive director of the Southern Growth Policies Board, an economic “think tank,” and from 1993 to 2002, he served as federal co-chairman of the Appalachian Regional Commission. He joined UNC as an adjunct professor in 2003 and created the university’s Office of Economic and Business Development in 2004. He is recognized as an expert on Southern politics and the region’s economic development.

“I really think both my parents would be delighted that their names will be linked to the Ole Miss library through the endowment,” White said.

To support the library, contact Angela Barlow Brown, development officer, at ambarlow@olemiss.edu or 662-915-3181.


Ambassadors promote library with events, projects

Students take a break from studying for finals at the UM Library to pet puppies and dogs brought to visit.  Photo by Nathan Latil/Ole Miss Communications

Students take a break from studying for finals at the UM Library to pet puppies and dogs brought to visit. Photo by Nathan Latil/Ole Miss Communications

A small group of UM students has organized Library Ambassadors, a voluntary program that is raising awareness of the University Libraries’ resources.

“The goals of the Library Ambassadors are to facilitate communication between University Libraries’ administration and student body, to represent and promote the library at campus events, and to advocate for and raise awareness of library programs and services among the student body,” said Melissa Dennis, assistant professor, outreach and instruction librarian, and co-faculty adviser of the organization. “The ambassadors also help create innovative and effective promotional materials for the libraries and their services.”

Library Ambassadors’ activities and events, which take place at the J.D. Williams Library, include poetry slams, Pet-a-Pup, art night and feedback night.

“It’s a student-driven organization,” said Amy E. Gibson, professor, head of instruction, information literacy librarian and the other faculty co-adviser. “Pet-A-Pup is where we work with the Cedar Wind local dog club to bring in dogs and their owners, training for volunteer credit. These are service dogs, and the students love to come and pet them during finals week. It’s a successful two-day event drawing in hundreds of students the weekend kicking off finals week each fall and spring semester.”

Currently, five students are members of the organization, but any student can join at no cost.

“Simply join in OrgSync, and we will send you event information,” Dennis said. “Members are expected to participate in events. We also have sign-up tables at orientations.”

Officers of Library Ambassadors said they are glad they chose to participate.

“In high school, I helped out in my school’s library even though I was not a student library worker,” said Jessica Marshall of Madison, president of Library Ambassadors and a senior biology major. “When I came to Ole Miss, I wanted to find some way to become a part of the library here, and becoming a Library Ambassador was a great way to do that.”

Marshall’s duties consist of planning and leading meetings, staying in contact with library administrative advisers, being a liaison between other organizations and community groups, and setting up and creating the organization’s events.

“The greatest accomplishment of our organization, I believe, is our success in our events,” she said. “We have come up with events that are fun, entertaining and memorable. It’s amazing to hear that students and Oxford community members alike enjoy and appreciate what we do,” she said.

Aisha Knight, Library Ambassadors secretary and a junior biology major from Corinth, agreed with Marshall.

“I chose to become an ambassador because Library Ambassadors was passionate about (the same) matters I was,” Knight said. “When we see a major turnout for Pet-a-Pup, the poetry slam and other events each year, we prove success isn’t always measured in the number of members you have.”

To learn more about UM Library Ambassadors, visit its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/UM.library.ambassadors.