[click to return to Agenda past issues] The Agenda - Published from the Office of the University Librarian
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey Volume 25 Number 1 January 19, 2003

Vazquez- Guest Editor, Literary Journal

Image from the front cover of the summer 2002 issue of Turnrow.

As another reflection of her deep commitment to the field of creative writing, New Brunswick Libraries' Lourdes Vazquez served as the guest editor for the recently released summer 2002 issue of Turnrow. Turnrow is a twice- yearly creative writing and visual arts journal funded by Desperation Press with support from private donors and the English Department of the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

Lourdes served as guest editor for a section on Zimbabwe Anglophone Literature. The section grew out of a book- buying trip to the Zimbabwe Book Fair in 2001, where Lourdes met writers as well as vendors. This section included the writings of three contemporary authors from Zimbabwe: Memory Chirere is one of the younger generation of Zimbabwean writers and has had stories published in a number of anthologies; Lilian Masiterais is one of Zimbabwe leading women writers; Stanley Nyamfukudza is one of Zimbabwe's longer established writers.

To learn more about Turnrow, please see the journal's website at: http://turnrow.ulm.edu.

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Visitor to the States
Views the State of Our Libraries

It's not every day that we get a chance to look at our library system, our university, and even our country through the eyes of an international observer. So when international intern Sabine Rauchmann agreed to be interviewed for The Agenda, she allowed all her colleagues at the Rutgers University Libraries to benefit from her unique perspective.

Sabine graduated from the Applied University of Potsdam, Germany in September 2002 with a degree in library studies. Having already completed internships at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin and the music department of the Trinity College Library in Dublin, Ireland, Sabine sought an American internship to round out her perspective on academic libraries.

Hans Christoph Hobohm, one of her Applied University professors, knew Myoung Wilson through the activities of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) and heard good things about the Rutgers University Libraries. Sabine looked at academic libraries in Chicago and Washington State as well but ultimately decided to come to Rutgers.

Sabine arrived in September and immediately immersed herself in different library functions, with the support of her academic supervisor Jim Niessen. She produced a subject research guide on German Language and Literature, which was posted on the Libraries website and has already been cited on the University of Alberta Libraries' website as one of the best online resources in this discipline. She has also worked with Eileen Stec at the Douglass Library to prepare instruction materials on the functions of IRIS, for use by undergraduate students.

Sabine has also partnered with Myoung Wilson to develop an online tutorial for a SCILS communications research class and worked with Mary Alice Cicerale and others at TAS on a variety of cataloging projects. She also sat in on a SCILS cataloging class and observed different areas of operation in the Libraries.

One of the first things that struck Sabine here, besides the sheer size of Rutgers University, is the emphasis placed on user services. As she explained, academic libraries in English speaking countries try hard to make sure user services are readily available and well promoted. While user services are available in Germany as well, they are not "brought forward" as they are in the US.

The open stacks at US academic libraries contrast with the selectively open stacks in Germany. German academic libraries do not provide open stacks because quite a number of their volumes, like the institutions themselves, are older than those in America. Many of the books were published before 1945, and German librarians supervise their use to preserve the volumes' lifespan. Also, German library buildings often were not built with the space needed for open stacks.

Sabine chuckled as she remarked that one of the similarities between users in the US and Germany is that they ask some of the same questions, from "How do I find " (particular resources or services) to more basic directional questions like "Where is the bathroom?"

Another difference is that the Rutgers University Libraries work diligently to integrate library instruction classes into academic courses, while in Germany instruction workshops almost always take place in the library. Academic libraries here offer faculty status to librarians, which is not available in German academic libraries; and US academic libraries tend to stay open more hours each day. Another significant variation is that German library users will search independently for what they are seeking longer before asking for a librarian's assistance, while American users will ask for help sooner.

Speaking of the university outside the libraries, Sabine is impressed with the sheer number and diversity of extracurricular activities offered for students at Rutgers. This stands in marked contrast to German schools, which may be characterized as having more of a commuter focus. She also noted that Rutgers alumni appear to be more supportive financially of their alma mater, and Rutgers is far more organized in its fundraising than are German universities. Sabine believes this might be a product of the expectation in Germany that the federal government will subsidize all or most of the university's costs.

While staying here Sabine has already visited New York City, skied in Vermont, toured a number of national and cultural attractions in Washington, DC, and traveled to other states. She was most impressed with the renovations at the Library of Congress. As countries, one major difference between the United States and Germany that Sabine has observed are the extensive decorations that many Americans adorn their homes with for Halloween and Christmas, and which are not seen in Germany.

Sabine has enjoyed her US sojourn thus far and hopes to gain many more Library experiences and visits to US sites of interest, before her internship concludes. She is grateful to all those who have welcomed her and aided her in projects at the Rutgers University Libraries.

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Exhibition Opening

Woodblock from Lynd Ward's Vertigo, Special Collections and University Archives

You are cordially invited to attend
Lynd Ward's Vertigo: A Graphic Novel of the Depression
An Exhibition Opening Reception

Wednesday, February 5, 2003
5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Special Collections and University Archives
Archibald S. Alexander Library - Lower Level
College Avenue Campus

Published in 1937, Lynd Ward's Vertigo was one of the first graphic novels produced in the United States. "Lynd Ward's Vertigo: A Graphic Novel of the Depression" will explore Ward's social vision, story-telling and wood engraving technique, and artistic accomplishments. The exhibition, with an accompanying digital exhibition, will bring to light some of Vertigo's embedded narratives and emphasize its social and allegorical concerns.

To RSVP for the opening reception, send email to: events@rci.rutgers.edu or call the Libraries Administration reception desk at 732/932-7505.

The exhibition will run through the end of March 2003.

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Personnel Changes



  • Christine Ingram, Departmental Administrator
  • Robert Nahory, Digital Libraries Application Developer


  • Katherine Anderson, Library Supervisor II
  • John Gibson, Instructional Technical Specialist

Technical & Automated Services

  • Judit Hajnal Ward, Library Associate I

New Brunswick Libraries

  • Laura Friday, Secretarial Assistant III
  • Priscilla Lee, Library Assistant II
  • Mohammed Mansouri, Library Assistant II
  • Rita O'Donnell, Library Assistant II
  • Edward Suarez, Library Assistant II
  • Brian Stubbs, Library Supervisor II


Technical & Automated Services

  • Catherine Pecoraro, Library Associate I

New Brunswick Libraries

  • Isaiah Beard, Unit Computer Specialist
  • Roger Smith, Library Supervisor I


New Brunswick Libraries

  • Scott McMillan, Web Designer
  • Amy Vecchione, Library Supervisor II
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December 15, 2002
December 1, 2002
The Agenda Archive

Contributors for this issue were Margaret Hodes, Lourdes Vazquez. A special thank you to Rutgers College junior and journalism major Melissa John for her editorial review of the "Visitor to the States" article. Contributions for future issues of The Agenda should be sent to Harry Glazer, editor of The Agenda, at hglazer@rci.rutgers.edu.