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Reflections on Discovery and Growth at the University of Miami Libraries

Portal to Past & Future How UM’s evolving library landscape is harnessing today’s search for knowledge.

About Access The University of Miami Libraries (UML) serves a broad community of researchers and scholars, innovators and explorers, educators, students, and lifelong learners whose interests and endeavors thrive on the promise of access—access to

This Just In An award-winning tool developed at UML creates broader access to resources, gives archival description new purpose

work environments,

The Remixing Archival Metadata Project (RAMP) works as a text

research materials,

editor: The program efficiently transforms historical and biographical

tools, and services—

information—archival descriptions that are mainly accessed by on-

and access also to

site researchers—into online formats such as Wikipedia that serve

higher knowledge and

a much broader audience of researchers on

pathways to discovery

the web. The program was developed by the

made possible through

Cataloging and Metadata Services and Web and

libraries and their

Emerging Technologies teams with the support

collections. Access is

of UML archivists. Links to published articles are

at the core of UML’s

now available on the UML blog.

mission, and this

publication reflects on

C. F. W. Coker Award of the Society of American

the many ways that

Archivists, which recognizes systems, innovative development in

mission is being carried

archival description, or descriptive tools that enable archivists to

out in our collections,

produce more effective finding aids. Through RAMP, more individuals

events, exhibitions,

will have access to the wide range of historical topics that are

services, and other

documented at UML’s unique and distinctive collections. Look to the

forms of programming.

UML blog for updates on the RAMP initiative, including new articles

Here you will learn more

from our collections available through the program.

The RAMP initiative is the winner of the 2014

about the wide range of efforts and initiatives at UML that are connecting library users to a diverse landscape of resources and leading to scholarly and cultural enrichment throughout


our community.

SUPPORT UML Pledge your support for UM Libraries at or contact UML’s Director of Development Karla Hernandez at or 305-284-2266.

I nterdis cipl inary L ib ra r y Otto G. Richter Library

S ub ject Specialty L ib ra r i es Paul Buisson Architecture Library, School of Architecture Judi Prokop Newman Information Resource Center, School of Business Administration Rosenstiel Library, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science Marta and Austin Weeks Music Library, Frost School of Music

I ndependent L ib raries Louis Calder Memorial Library, Miller School of Medicine Law Library, School of Law To learn more about our libraries and their collections, including contact information and directions, please visit or call 305-284-3233.

A Conversation Begins on New Directions, Dynamic Spaces, and Enlightening Possibilities The rich smell of books fills the air of the stacks at the Otto G. Richter Library, where one can skim row after row of scholarly titles without a sound beyond one’s footsteps or the rustling of pages being turned by a reader, nestled cozily inside the wooden walls of a study carrel. The experience awakens a sense of nostalgia in Charles Eckman, the dean of UM Libraries (UML). “It’s a family thing,” says Eckman, whose parents were also librarians. His first memory of exploring a library was being in the research wing of the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father worked. “It was a great place, filled with the smell of books, with doctors and nurses moving in and out and collections piled in the back,” recalls Eckman,

Charles D. Eckman, Dean and University Librarian n provides

leadership and

management responsibilities for

who now heads a system that is ranked among the top 50

UML’s vast holdings of books,

research libraries in North America.

journals, digital materials, and unique and distinctive collections

Eckman says the libraries of today are worlds away from the repositories where he spent many hours of his youth reading microfilm to conduct genealogical research, which was an early interest. “There has been a complete transformation with the digital revolution,” he says, alluding to a modern

n has

managed and consulted for

several digital library and open access initiatives n previously

served at Simon Fraser

University, University of California, Berkeley, and Stanford University n holds

a master’s in library and

search for knowledge that is far more flexible, mobile, and

information science from UC

hyperconnected—and is redefining the role of libraries and

Berkeley, doctorate in politics

learning institutions.

from Princeton University, and a bachelor’s in political science from Indiana University


Since arriving from Simon Fraser University

(British Columbia) in December 2013, Eckman

enrichment,” Eckman says. In January, UML

has been leading efforts on Richter Library’s

will gain the additional leadership and expertise

main floors, space filled largely by computers,

of two accomplished library innovators, Kelly

to streamline the process of discovery through

Miller, serving as the associate dean of learning

the creation of a Learning Commons. He

and research services, and Sarah Shreeves, as the

envisions a hub for library users to read e-journals,

associate dean of digital strategies, to help carry

learn creative and technical skills using online

out initiatives supportive of online and physical

instructional resources, such as, and

spaces that promote this shared mission.

apply digital research tools toward the creation of

new knowledge.

stages in the new year is the restoration and historic

preservation of Brockway Hall, which will

“We are increasingly thinking about how we

A significant project expected to enter planning

can implement a variety of tools and instructional

designate the secure ground-floor space currently

support in these spaces to promote creativity,

storing prized and unique collections as the new

Learning Commons at Richter Library n a

collaboration, and educational growth and

multipurpose library space

offering tools, equipment,

Kelly Miller, Associate Dean for Learning and Research Services n will

supervise and provide strategic

Sarah Shreeves, Associate Dean for Digital Strategies n will

provide strategic leadership and

direction for digital infrastructure

makerspaces, and publishing

leadership and direction for educa-

and technology

services that promote collaboration,

tion and outreach initiatives such as

planning for digital

content creation, mobile education,

the Learning Commons project

scholarship and

skill-building, tutoring, information

n widely

recognized for her

technology, and access to other

transformation of library services

forms of support

in support of teaching and

scholarly publishing initiatives n serves

and advises for

for the space to begin

learning, she is a frequently invited

a number of national

in 2015 in collaboration with the

speaker on the topic of developing

digital library initiatives

University’s Writing Center (College


of Arts and Sciences), Academic


coordinator for the IDEALS program

Resource Center (VPUE), and

services and

at the University of Illinois at

Academic Technology (ITS)


Urbana-Champaign; co-coordinator

n planning

n past


was director

n past

position was the

of the Scholarly Commons n holds

a bachelor’s degree in

of teaching

medieval studies from Bryn Mawr, a

and learning

master’s in children’s literature from


Simmons College, and a master’s in

and head of the College Library,

library and information studies from

University of California, Los Angeles

the University of Illinois at Urbana-

n has

taught at Michigan, Dickinson

College, and the University of Virginia n holds

both a doctorate and master’s

degree in Slavic languages and literature from the University of Michigan


home of Special Collections and the University Archives. Eckman says the project aims to provide a state-of-the-art facility featuring exhibition spaces, a lecture hall, curatorial offices and a grand reading room that will offer access to thousands of rare and unique materials, including the collections of Marjory Stoneman Douglas, the Orange Bowl, Finlay B. Matheson, and Pan Am, which are currently hidden away in the stacks tower.

“Primary and secondary source materials found

in these unique and distinctive collections broaden students’ minds and teach them about their own

McNeal, circa 1960s

cultural and political histories,” Eckman says.

Archiving U

Throughout his first year in Miami he has been

The late Dr. Archie L. McNeal was the first director of the University Libraries, serving from 1952 to 1979. During that time the Libraries’ holdings grew from 273,000 volumes to approximately 1.4 million volumes. McNeal also oversaw the construction of the Richter Library, completed in 1962, and is well known for leading a number of important scholarly research initiatives in the early years of the University.

University Archivist Koichi Tasa

recently received a call from Dr. McNeal’s niece about donating an Otto G. Richter Library brochure from the 1960s that she had come across while Brockway Hall, 1962

going through family albums. With more than 35 years having passed

Reinventing Brockway Hall

since Dr. McNeal’s retirement, the donor didn’t expect anyone currently at UML

Between the 1960s and 1990s Richter Library’s Brockway Hall served as a

to remember who he was, yet Tasa

popular lecture and performance space where students, faculty, and members

knew the name well. “I was honored to

of the public often gathered for a variety of scholarly and cultural attractions.

present this community member with

The ground-floor library space was a hub for the local and University

materials from throughout her uncle’s

community to engage in lectures, debates, conferences, workshops, concerts,

career,” Tasa said. Archived articles from

plays, and other events. UML’s plans for restoring the historic space—making

The Miami Hurricane describe some

it the new home of Special Collections and University Archives—will allow

of the library programs initiated under

for the revival of these and other unique and important functions. The

his leadership. Iconic photos from the

restored multipurpose, state-of-the-art facility will, for instance, provide ideal

1950s through 1970s feature Dr. McNeal

public access for events that engage our community in discussions about

in action at the library. “These items will

history, politics, art, counterculture, and many other topics of local historical

serve to forever document his important

significance that are well-documented in UML collections. This restoration

work at the Libraries and, like so many

project will allow Brockway Hall, a significant architectural treasure, to once

other treasures at the Archives, provide

again thrive as a cultural center of the University of Miami.

a glimpse into a significant time of growth for our University.”



fall 2014

learning more about the community from artists

because of its strong initiatives to provide access to

and activists sharing their stories and from

archival materials, which hold significance across

browsing through online exhibitions—but

the scholarly and community landscape. This

emphasizes no less the learning value in physically

creates opportunities for building partnerships

touching some of these records.

and collaboration across campus and beyond.

“We are working with many different areas of the

Eckman, who earned a Ph.D. in politics

from Princeton University, began his career at

University to create exciting programs that engage

the University of California, Berkeley, where he

our community and increase awareness of library

received a Master of Library and Information

resources,” Eckman says.

Studies. He first started working in digital formats

in the late 1980s, while staffing the government

pioneering conference in March, “New

documents library at Berkeley. “It was then that I

Directions in Cuban Studies,” past fellows

really saw the future of libraries.”

presented their doctoral research to more than 100

community members in attendance as well as those

Eckman wants the Libraries to sustain the role

of archivist—not only because it collects history, but

At the Cuban Heritage Collection’s (CHC)

who accessed the presentations via live streaming.

Sharing Their Stories Miami-Dade County Commissioner candidate Daniella Levine-Cava (elected in August), UM Trustee Thelma Gibson, Denise Perry, co-founder of Power U for Social Change, and Maria Rodriguez, executive director of the Florida Immigrant Coalition, discussed challenges and opportunities in local civic engagement at “Women Who Move Miami,” a panel discussion in March held at Special Collections and co-hosted with UM’s Office of Civic and Community Engagement. Panelists shared their experiences in community building and activism and discussed the efforts they’re now leading to effect change in and empower South Florida communities.


From left: Gibson, Levine-Cava, Perry

“Between Despair and

“Cleared to Land:

Hope: Cuban Rafters

The Records of the

at the U.S. Naval Base

Pan American World

Guantánamo Bay, 

Airways, Inc.” 


A concise, visual

A look at critical events

retrospective on the

surrounding the Cuban

historic aviation giant

Rafter Crisis, known as

that links to a newly

the largest exodus from

enhanced search tool for

Cuba since the Mariel

the Pan Am collection

Boatlift of 1980

Eckman said in his address to audience members, both local and remote, that he hoped seeing the many ways in which these scholars have used CHC’s collections will inspire more to begin their own quests for discovery and to “keep the conversation going.”

In many ways that future has arrived at the U, and

Eckman is encouraging ’Canes to embrace it—to push the boundaries of research, teaching, and learning using the resources that the modern-day library has made possible. Today’s higher education libraries, he says, “need to be vibrant, dynamic, and responsive—and listen to their communities very closely.” And though their nostalgic, if slightly musty, smell may be fading, he adds, “they still possess the promise of knowledge yet to be uncovered lurking around every corner.”

Cross-Campus Partnerships UML is co-host throughout the fall to the internationally renowned Places & Spaces: Mapping Science

A Pioneering Conference Emerging scholars presented their research at the live streamed “New Directions in Cuban Studies” conference, which explored new insights in Cuban and transnational studies. Scholars from around the United States served as panel discussants, and the keynote lecture was delivered by Louis A. Pérez, Jr.

exhibition, which tours universities around the country showcasing an inspiring collection of maps and data visualizations related to medicine, engineering, political science, sociology, and other scholarly disciplines. In a cross-campus partnership, half of the 100 visualizations, including the latest iteration of Places & Spaces, plus all of the 3-D and interactive elements of the exhibition, are on display on the first and second floors of the Richter Library, which also provided invaluable logistical support to the project. The remaining half of the exhibition is being displayed at the Stanley and Jewell


Glasgow Hall on the first floor of the School of Architecture, which has its own visualization projects in progress and where many of the special events related to Places & Spaces are being held. In addition to Places & Spaces, the library features a local exhibition, This Space, This Place, which draws from UML collections and a wide range of work produced by UM faculty and students to show how data visualization

José Quiroga leading a discussion with former CHC fellows

techniques are being applied to research at the University of Miami.



fall 2014


Office of the Dean and University Librarian Otto G. Richter Library 1300 Memorial Drive, Suite 333 Coral Gables, FL 33146

March 13 “Women Who Move Miami” highlighted the experiences of four women known for their leadership efforts across Miami. The event was co-hosted by Special Collections and UM’s Office of Civic and Community Engagement.

J a n ua r y Flori-zines: Underground Voices from the Sunshine State showcased Special Collections’ growing collection of handmade booklets, known as zines, and other materials documenting counterculture in Miami and other parts of Florida. The exhibition also brought together a dynamic roundtable discussion about the ongoing significance of zines and featuring local zinesters, artists, and activists. Out of the Shadows featured a collection of Cuban literary great Gastón Baquero’s personal papers, including manuscripts, photographs, and private correspondence. The exhibition, hosted at the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion, provided insight into the author’s life during a span of 40 years spent in exile from the island.

Fe b r ua r y The Truth Marches On, an exhibition at Richter Library, commemorated Black History Month through a display of books, photographs, films, and original publications related to local and national African-American history.

Fe b r ua r y 2 0 Award-winning photojournalist Maggie Steber discussed the work of “capturing beauty in the face of tragedy” in a multimedia presentation at Special Collections. The UM faculty member and former director of photography at The Miami Herald, who has spent 25 years covering events in Haiti during some of the country’s most turbulent times, presented her work in “The Audacity of Beauty.”

UML IN THE NEWS Media coverage of UML events, book talks, lectures, symposia, and faculty have appeared in various news sources. Visit the “UML in the News” page on our website ( to view this year’s media mentions.

March 20 and 21 Pioneering conference “New Directions in Cuban Studies” showcased the scholarly research of CHC graduate fellows at the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion.

M ay The Marta and Austin Weeks Music Library celebrated the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz with an exhibition featuring books, scores, vinyl records, CDs, DVDs, and promotional materials related to the film classic.

October 29 Cryptic readings transformed Special Collections into a spectral wonderland during a haunted tour and “scholarly séance” presented with the Department of Theatre Arts. UM theatre students materialized throughout the event as ghosts, goblins, and other spirit creatures, reanimating rare, strange stories from the Jackie Gleason Collection and other parapsychology works preserved at Special Collections.

Origins and Influence featured a range of scholarly and popular culture materials to commemorate Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. UML presented the exhibition in collaboration with the Asian-American Students Association and the UM Anime Club.

September 11

C u r r e n t ly o n V i e w

Alina García-Lapuerta unveiled her new book, La Belle Créole, at a presentation and book signing at the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion, an event co-hosted with Books & Books. The London-based biographer’s discussion focused on the modern and sophisticated life of the Countess of Merlin, who is known as Cuba’s first female author. The English-language biography was compiled over the course of seven years, during which the author consulted research materials on La Contessa at CHC and Books & Books in addition to her research in Cuba, France, and Spain.

Honoring the Cuban Engineer, an exhibition at the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion, highlights innovations and achievements of Cuban and Cuban-American engineers. The exhibition was organized by the Cuban Heritage Collection, the Association of Cuban Engineers, and the Cuban-American Association of Civil Engineers, with support from UM’s College of Engineering, FIU’s College of Engineering, and the Amigos of the Cuban Heritage Collection. The exhibition is on view through December 2014.

September 24

Places & Spaces: Mapping Science, a world-traveling exhibition of more than 100 data visualizations, is on view at Richter Library and Glasgow Hall (School of Architecture) through December 2014.

UM students and scholars celebrated “right to read” at “Banned Books Read Out,” an event at Richter Library commemorating the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week. Event participants, who included Dean Charles D. Eckman, Student Body President Alessandria San Roman, and several faculty members from the College of Arts and Sciences, read aloud from banned and challenged literary works including The Jungle, A People’s History of the United States, and others.

This Space, This Place features a range of visualizations at Richter Library showing both how the scientific, the practical, or the just-plainwacky concept has been conveyed in the past and how modern tools are allowing information to display in growing complexity and dimension. The exhibition is on view through December 2014.


access | Volume 1  

Portal to Past & Future: How UM's evolving library landscape is harnessing today's search for knowledge -- The University of Miami Libraries...

access | Volume 1  

Portal to Past & Future: How UM's evolving library landscape is harnessing today's search for knowledge -- The University of Miami Libraries...