Scholarly & Professional Activity Committee Annual Report (2003-2004)

Scholarly And Professional Activity Committee (SAPAC) organized several presentations by Rutgers librarians on a diverse range of topics in art, history, economics and literature. All the programs were very well attended followed by enthusiastic and informative discussions. SAPAC would like to encourage you to take advantage of this arena for sharing your research ideas and endeavors.

Future planning of events by SAPAC will additionally involve "Faculty Salon" type of presentations where a faculty member and librarian will collaborate and present on issues of interest to both the teaching faculty and the libraries. The presentation at RUL faculty meeting in March by Lourdes Vazquez and Prof. Martinez received enthusiastic and wide attention and set precedence to the faculty salon idea. SAPAC will solicit and review the proposals for these series held after the RUL faculty meetings. Faculty members and other interested parties will also be invited from the speaker's department to draw a wider audience.

List of Events held during 2003-2004

[All events were held in the Pane Room at the Alexander Library]

Title of Presentation: Voorhees Hall: Rutgers' First Modern Library
Presenter: Fernanda Perrone, Archivist and Head, Exhibitions Program, Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries.
Date of Presentation: October 9, 2003
This fall we are celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Voorhees Hall, Rutgers' first purpose built library with an exhibition, on display in Gallery '50 on the first floor of Alexander Library until December 24, 2003. The dedication of the Voorhees Library marked a new phase in the evolution towards a modern research library staffed by professional librarians. The exhibition will focus on the history of the Voorhees Library, from its 19th century antecedents through the building's later incarnation as the Rutgers Art Gallery and Art History Department. Fernanda Perrone, curator of the exhibition, will speak informally about Voorhees Hall in the context of the history of Rutgers University Libraries, and lead a gallery tour.

Title of Presentation: The New York Society Library in the Colonial and Early Republican Period
Presenter: Tom Glynn, Anglo-American History and Political Science Librarian, Rutgers University Libraries.
Date of Presentation: December 18, 2003
Founded in 1754, the New York Society Library was the first "public library" in the city of New York and one of the first in North America. The library was public in the sense that any member of the public could gain access by paying a membership fee and an annual subscription. The early development of its collection reflects the kinds of knowledge that were deemed socially useful in the colonial and republican periods. As the first publicly available collection in the city, the early years of the library shed also light on the different ways that "the public" was conceived and how those different conceptions relate to cultural and intellectual authority in early American.

Title of Presentation: Graphic Novels: Locus of Teenage Angst and Desire
Presenter: Michael Joseph, Rare Book and Jerseyana Catalog Librarian, Rutgers University Libraries.
Date of Presentation: January 28, 2004
Graphic Novels: Locus of Teenage Angst and Desire considers the contemporary graphic novel as an artist's book for teen-agers, in which artists-authors subvert the conventions of good book design in order to "rematerialize" the book object and emphasize the sensuality, and even sexuality, of reading. Unlike the traditional reading experience, in which the book-as-object is erased in deference to the significations of text, reading graphic novels involves physical self-awareness--as such, the book serves as a surrogate and symbol of the body, though a body with a peculiarly adolescent cast. Emphasizing its physicality, the graphic novel surrenders a degree of clarity and determinacy customarily expected of books. Readers are asked to collaborate in shaping the meanings of the book at every level, and are led to contemplate the apparatus of interpretation grounded in their distinctly subjective choices. Engaging with graphic novels, therefore, teen readers are allowed to symbolically wrestle with the indeterminacy of adolescence, the uniquely liminal experience of "growing up," and to think of reading as an empowering embodying process in which one asserts imaginative authority while claiming control over "real materials in real space."

Title of Presentation: Libraries as Information Intermediaries
Presenter: Ryan Womack, Business & Economics Librarian, Rutgers University Libraries.
Date of Presentation: March 10, 2004
Information is available all around us. The typical individual consumes information everyday from a variety of sources - from the public Internet, from private informal messages, from personal paid subscriptions, and even from libraries. What is distinctive about the library's role in information delivery? What kinds of information and services are libraries best suited to deliver?

Title of Presentation: Clothed with the Spirit: Researching Shaker Art and Material Culture
Presenter: Sara Harrington, Art Librarian, Rutgers University Libraries.
Date of Presentation: May 18, 2004.
The Shakers, a religious group at its height in the nineteenth century, established communities in New England and a few other states. The objects they produced as a part of their material culture, including "gift" drawings, furniture, and baskets, are now considered by antique collectors and art historians as aesthetic art objects in their own right. This talk explores the work of the Shakers and describes the issues arising in the compilation of an annotated bibliography treating recent scholarship on Shaker art and material culture.

Respectfully Submitted by
Triveni Kuchi
Chair, Scholarly And Professional Activity Committee (SAPAC) 2003-2004.

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