Library Services 2021 Newsletter

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In This Issue PHOTOGRAPHY Jazmin Gonzalez James Greco CONTRIBUTORS Jeremy Brown Tracy Elliott Karen Feldman Katy Hennig


A Message from the Dean


A Message from University Archives & Special Collections


The Shape of Orchids: An Eternal Love Affair


Bridget Forster and Caturcia Pierre


Meet the Dean


Archival Collections Will Support the Water School


Library Services During COVID-19


Eagle Search is here



Annie Hubbell Bailey Rodgers Danielle Rosenthal Andrea Shain Melissa VandeBurgt

For more information visit:



A MESSAGE FROM THE DEAN Welcome to the inaugural issue of Library News, the first issue of the Florida Gulf Coast University library newsletter for our generous supporters. This issue, and those that follow, will be filled with stories about library collections, services, events and all the people that make our library great. What is most exciting about this newsletter is that it’s being published primarily by our library student marketing team. In this issue, we celebrate our new discovery and library online catalog Eagle Search. Eagle Search is our locally named version of the first unified library system for all 40 public universities and colleges within the state of Florida. Users can search and request from millions of items available within our combined holdings to be delivered to their home campus. This next-generation library system is cloud-based, allowing for efficient management of digital content and sharing of expertise across all 40 institutions. It is a game changer for FGCU and we are excited for how it will allow us to expand our services and increase access to more resources than ever before. Please join us this fall for our University Archives and Special Collections exhibition, The Shape of Orchids: An Eternal Love Affair. This exhibit includes some of the collections within the library’s vaults and DigitalFGCU, as well as art collections related to Southwest Florida ecology. We are beyond excited to invite community members and campus groups back into the library for what will prove to be a beautiful and fascinating exhibition with related lectures and events. Read more about the exhibit and events in this issue. There are many other topics of interest in our first issue of Library News. Please enjoy and let us know what you think!

Tracy Elliott 2021 NEWSLETTER



Dear friends, Over the past year, the doors to the University Archives and Special Collections have been closed in an effort to keep students, staff, faculty, and the community safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have worked diligently to continue to serve the campus community and beyond, despite the challenges posed by these unprecedented times. I am so proud of the Archives Team’s dedication and willingness to pivot our research sessions, exhibitions, and events to virtual platforms. The team and I have reflected on our values and have recommitted to developing archival collections that are representative of all communities residing within Southwest Florida. We do this while contributing to the historical record, fostering partnerships in an effort to expand access to unique and rare primary resources, and delivering diverse and inclusive educational programming to FGCU and the Southwest Florida community. We hosted six successful and engaging events in conjunction with our exhibition, Fight for the Ballot: Voting Rights in the 20th Century. We thank you for continuing to support us throughout the year. We’re happy to announce that our doors will once again be open for the public in August. We have missed you and invite you to join us for our 2021/2022 exhibitions: The Shape of Orchids: An Eternal Love Affair and Dunbar: A History of Lee County. We look forward to opening our doors to you once again! Sincerely, MELISSA MINDS VANDEBURGT Associate Director University Library Head of Archives and Special Collections



THE SHAPE OF ORCHIDS: AN ETERNAL LOVE AFFAIR The Florida Gulf Coast University Archives and Special Collections will present The Shape of Orchids: An Eternal Love Affair in the Fall of 2021. Orchids are considered to be one of the most coveted of ornamental plants with their exotic, graceful, and delicate form. The orchid has, for many centuries, been a symbol of love, luxury, beauty, and strength. The exhibition will celebrate the Porecki Collection, named after Daniel and Mary Alice Porecki, in a new Victorian-esque narrative. Their own love affair began the moment they set eyes on each other – fueled by their mutual passion for horticulture. From the moment the Poreckis bought their first orchid, there was no turning back. Africa, Costa Rica and Jamaica are only a few of the many incredible destinations they traveled to collect new specimens. Their love of live plants encouraged a new passion: collecting orchid-related treasures from flea markets and antique stores. From the moment they met, the Poreckis lived by their own rules – traveling, gardening, caring for family, and collecting were the staples of their incredible, orchid-fueled life together. The Shape of Orchids will highlight rare prints dating back to the early 17th century, a collection of stamps from across the globe, and Neil Gaiman’s Black Orchid comics donated by Porecki in 2016. The exhibition will feature rare books from our permanent collection, Clyde Butcher photographs, handcrafted botanical wallpapers, local herbarium specimens, and living orchid walls on loan from the Naples Botanical Gardens. Dynamic and visually compelling, the exhibit is sure to be hugely popular.

LIBRARY STUDENT WORKER PROFILE – BRIDGET FORSTER Whether it’s work, study or play, Bridget Forster loves what she does at FGCU. A 2020 graduate of the Exercise Science program, she’s working on her doctoral degree in physical therapy and expects to graduate in 2023. The hands-on aspect of the program appeals to her, as does the small cohort and the low teacher-to-student ratio. Besides the joy she finds in her studies, Forster’s also passionate about her job at the library. She has worked in the library as a Circulation Assistant for three years and plans to continue doing so through graduate school. “I love everything about the library,” Forster says. “I absolutely love all my co-workers and bosses. It’s an environment where we welcome everyone and we also have fun. Our supervisors always encourage us to ask questions.”

has been a mentor throughout undergraduate and graduate school. “So far we have written two publications together and we are working on three more,” Forster says. “He’s helped me build my self-confidence not only in life but also in my studies. He’s inspired me to be a mentor. Most importantly, he wants students to succeed.” Forster chose physical therapy because it gives practitioners the opportunity to watch people do things that they thought they never would be able to do again. “It’s so rewarding helping people reach their goals.” Her ultimate goal is to be a physical therapist in a newborn intensive care unit. After graduation, with her Ph.D. she plans to continue her studies doing a fellowship or residency program in Orlando or Tampa.

Forster came to FGCU from Boca Raton, where her family lives, moving there from Lebanon, Pennsylvania. She received Forster shares a few tips about library help financing her education through resources: “I always recommend scholarships including the Theodore Interlibrary Loan (ILL) to people. Using Siegel Exercise Science Scholarship, a ILL has saved me hundreds of dollars tennis scholarship, an FGCU President’s on textbooks,” Forster says. “We also offer calculators, cameras, headphones Silver Scholarship and Florida Bright and laptops (and more things) for check Futures. out.” In August 2021, Bridget will marry Kevin Tran and they’ll honeymoon in California. Everyone has a favorite professor and A big congratulations to Bridget and Forster’s favorite is Associate Professor Kevin! Peter Reuter, in the Department of Rehabilitation Services. Dr. Reuter 6


LIBRARY STUDENT WORKER PROFILE – CAT PIERRE If you’ve visited the FGCU library over the past three years, chances are you’ve seen Caturcia (Cat) Pierre working at the Circulation Desk. “I love the resources that we offer to students and faculty – course reserves, headphones, laptops, laptop chargers, and a new scanner that does everything for you,” Pierre says. Pierre visited three Florida universities before deciding on FGCU because of its many offerings in the science fields. “I knew FGCU was focused on science and I also knew I wanted to be a physical therapist,” Pierre says, now in her fourth year as an Exercise Science major. Why does Pierre love working in the library? “My co-workers and managers are incredible. I’ve never seen a workplace that’s like family. My library job has also taught me to solve problems.” Her manager, Patrick O’Connell, has been a role model. “When dealing with patrons, Patrick tells us always to be kind,” Pierre says. “It’s a good lesson to learn and certainly will help me when I become a physical therapist.” Outside of the library, she’s involved in two registered student organizations – A Step Above Perfection, which is

My library job has also taught me to solve problems. My co-workers and managers are incredible. I’ve never seen a workplace that’s like family. ” a dance group, and the Haitian Student Organization. Pierre recently participated in the Caribbean Student Association pageant and won first place representing Haiti. She also was a second runner up in the Miss Black and Gold pageant. She won a $2,000 scholarship from each pageant. Originally from Hollywood, Florida, Pierre plans to apply to the doctoral program in physical therapy (DPT) at FGCU and Texas State University next spring. “I’m not really sure where I will go after I finish my DPT studies,” Pierre says. “It all depends on where a job offer takes me.” Whatever lies ahead, we know Cat Pierre has a bright future.




Starting a new job can be stressful, but add a global pandemic and it can become overwhelming. Tracy Elliott, Ph.D., took this experience in stride. Her first day as dean of the University Library at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) was March 23, 2020, just as campus cleared to begin online instruction due to COVID-19. Her early months were filled with Zoom meetings and introductions but the pandemic allowed Elliott to focus on communication with her library staff. The experience helped reinforce an important belief: Libraries must be flexible and adapt to change. Those two things ensure a library remains relevant, particularly in an era that relies on the virtual space to share information electronically. “Everything I do is focused on helping the people who work in the library be successful,” Elliott said. “I want people to know these experts exist and what they are able to provide them. It’s our role to make sure that the university is academically successful.” Elliott came from California, where she served as dean of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library at San José State University. Before that, Elliott was the director of libraries at the State College of Florida and head librarian at St. Petersburg College. She has also held positions at Rappahannock Community College, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Columbus State University and Auburn University. But, as a Florida



native, she is happy to be back in her home state. “I have always kept my eye on FGCU. I knew this was a university where I could come in and take the library forward with the changes that are happening in higher education. I felt like this was a great match for me.” Elliott said. Her focus is on the library supporting scholarship while connecting students with research to make the library relevant in their day-to-day studies. She’s working on making the library more technologically savvy. It’s switching to a new cloud-based system called Alma, which will align FGCU with the other 11 public universities in Florida, allowing for high-level learning with the option to collaborate with the other institutions. “It helps us support the amazing programs coming out of FGCU, like The Water School and the Daveler & Kauanui School of Entrepreneurship,” Elliott said. “In order for them to be successful, they need a robust library that supports their academic work.” Elliott also envisions the library as a campus hub, attracting students of all disciplines, with hands-on learning tools for students such as virtual and augmented reality labs, digital prototyping and media production.

The library is the heart of

multidisciplinary work at any university, and students can enjoy that serendipity of multidisciplinary interaction. All of those types of technologies help students learn and produce scholarship in new ways.” – Tracy Elliott, Dean of the University Library at Florida Gulf Coast University




ARCHIVES COLLECTIONS WILL SUPPORT THE WATER SCHOOL Southwest Florida has a unique environmental ecosystem consisting of preserves, sanctuaries, swamps, estuaries, and coastlines. Water is the life blood of the region, allowing a spectacular array of flora and fauna to flourish here. University Archives and Special Collections recognizes the importance of collecting and providing primary resources for research on our region’s ecosystem. Our environmental ecology collections include a wide array of materials from leading contributors to the historical record, with over 700 linear feet of documents, reports, journals, photographs, maps, and ephemera lining the shelves of the vault. World-renowned environmental ecologist, Kevin Erwin, Marine Scientist and Executive Director of the Water School, Greg Tolley, former County Commissioner, Ray Judah, and the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council have graciously donated materials to create an unparalleled and comprehensive environmental history of Southwest Florida.

With the Water School opening in Spring 2022, our department has made it a priority to make these documents and materials accessible to instructors, students, and researchers by Fall 2021. Archival Assistant and FGCU Environmental Studies alumnus Jonathan Farquhar has worked on organizing the Kevin Erwin Ecology Environmental Collection over the past two years. Jonathan has said that, “working on the Erwin project has been just as challenging as it has been rewarding. I have come to understand not only the importance that this collection serves to FGCU but also to the survival of Southwest Florida.” In April 2021, Jonathan finished the physical arrangement of the collection and is now assessing documents for digitization. The digital content will be added to the nearly 1600 currently available documents within the repository’s Southwest Florida Environmental Collection.

The modern library, with its digital resources, electronic databases, and access to information anywhere and at any time has changed our world and the way we see ourselves in it. It connects us globally. But history—including environmental history—develops locally. This collection is a unique resource for understanding the sense of place that is Southwest Florida and how it has changed through time. My hope is that our students and our community will use these resources to shape a future Southwest Florida

of which we can all be proud.”

– Dr. Greg Tolley, Professor of Marine Science and Executive Director of the Water School 2021 NEWSLETTER



Note: The library was closed March-August of 2020. Some library services were still suspended or reduced after the reopening.








2019 1,575,133

2020 745,450













(Includes reference, directional & technical questions asked via face-to-face walkups, phone, email, chat, text, or mobile librarian.) 12 FGCU UNIVERSITY LIBRARY













* 2019: Not Yet Purchased


2019 593,839 2020 437,466 MUSIC TRACKS STREAMED

2019 1,650 2020 1,111 EBOOK VIEWS

2019 57,358 2020 80,844 2019

e 2020

12,041 30,926

2019 1,245 2020 1,178


EAGLE SEARCH IS HERE! Discover a new way to search for resources – Eagle Search The University Library’s new library management system went live July 13, 2021, along with all Florida public universities in the Florida Academic Library Services Cooperative.

HOW WILL THE FGCU COMMUNITY BENEFIT FROM EAGLE SEARCH? The new Eagle Search discovery service will allow better access and management of the library’s print, electronic, and digital collections as well as improved discovery of items across all Florida institutions. Eagle Search will change how the library catalog and discovery search looks and functions. Other enhanced features include: ENHANCED USER EXPERIENCE

FASTER Save time by searching almost all of the library’s collections and beyond in one simple search.

Integration of the library’s collections along with improved and expanded search capabilities.

PERSONALIZED SEARCH EXPERIENCE Log in to save your research preferences and save your items in your “eShelf” and easily export to ZoteroBib or Mendeley.


ON-THE-GO Improved mobile user interface allows researchers to search on their mobile device.


MORE DISCOVERY Explore and learn through automatic recommendations, virtual title browsing, and citation trails.

SEAMLESS INTEGRATION Alma and Primo VE work together to provide one userfriendly account for most library needs.

GIFTS TO THE FGCU UNIVERSITY LIBRARY We have ambitious priorities to support new modes of teaching, learning and empowering our students to succeed in an increasingly digital world. Your support will help create exciting growth opportunities at FGCU. GIVING TO THE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY FUND is one of the most important ways to support the FGCU University Library. These dedicated funds can be used quickly to provide new equipment and other services that the faculty and staff in the library provide. CREATIVE COMMONS — an interdisciplinary experiential learning space. This is a facility where students create tangible versions of their ideas with a variety of technology and equipment including 3D printers, scanners, electronics kits, and laser cutters. Students create audiovisual productions utilizing industrystandard software and hardware, an augmented reality/virtual reality laboratory for research in gaming, 3D video, and more in accessible, co-working spaces for small group work. RESEARCH COMMONS — a collaborative space for research and instruction librarians to engage faculty and students to produce and showcase exciting research, scholarship and innovation. Services include: research support funding search tools, publication assistance, and next steps to establishing a scholarly identity. UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES AND SPECIAL COLLECTIONS — support the preservation and promotion of collections especially relevant to Southwest Florida. Unique opportunities exist for exhibitions, collection acquisitions, gallery/reading room lighting, and vault expansion. Please consider making your gift today to support our efforts. Visit or contact Pallas Diaz, Director of Development at or 239.590.7893.



FGCU 10501 FGCU Boulevard South Fort Myers, Florida 33965-6565




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