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May 2016


By Betsy Peck Learned, Interim Dean



The Library Learning Commons staff thank all of our students and faculty for making our year an exciting and productive one! To all of our graduating seniors, we wish you the best of luck in finding the job of your dreams, a second degree, or just a lazy, fun-filled summer!

Highlights of our year include:

  • Welcoming our new partners in the Center for Student Academic Success to the building—Associate Provost Bob Shea, his assistant Jane Magliocco, and the Advising and Peer Mentoring staff—Morgan Cottrell, Liz Niemeyer, and Karen Johnson.
  • A new Mary Tefft White Cultural Center with the latest digital technology and moving glass walls for noise control.
  • Bright and cheerful new digs for Student Accessibility Services on the first floor of the library.
  • Partnering with the Center for Teaching and Learning on faculty development initiatives including the Faculty Writing Retreat, and Open Educational Resources.
  • Collaborative library programming with Rogers Free Library in Bristol including shared Talking in the Library events and a memoir writing workshop.
  • Completing our first full year of our library blog, Connections including student writers!

Meet The Learning Commons: Three Libraries

By Alexis den Boggende, Connections Intern



Roger Williams University has a vast collection of books and journals which are kept in the three libraries on campus: Architecture, Law and the University Library. Each library has something special to offer, whether it is through its collections, or the knowledge and help that our librarians have to offer Roger Williams students.


The Architecture Library is a beautiful library open to all students, not just Architecture and Historic Preservation students. It’s a good study space, located across from the Main Library. The library houses more than 24,000 books, and computers that allow everyone access to the collections. Students may also be interested in the periodicals and journals that the Architecture Library has to offer, which totals more than 200 titles. Additionally, students may use the online databases from the University Libraries website. Here, they will discover links to databases by major, which includes Architecture and Urban Design, Art and Architectural History, and Historic Preservation. These databases provide a multitude of scholarly articles and academic databases that students may access easily. The Architecture Library is open all week and has extended hours during finals.


The University Library is the center of all things literary on campus. It is open daily and has extended hours during finals. With a new Information Desk and a separate MediaTech desk for technology help, there are a lot of great resources at the University Library. MediaTech will help you with technical issues with your laptop, phone, and more and has a small collection of equipment for check-out. If a student needs a desktop computer, the University Library can help–there are many computers on all three floors that any student may use, along with printing, scanning, and copy services. The many talented librarians at the University Library will help you locate appropriate books and periodicals for your research assignment. There are more than 220,000 books in the University Library. The library has three levels: first floor, for group collaboration on projects that may require talking and socializing. The second floor is for quiet study sessions, with minimal talking. The third floor is reserved for silence, which provides a great place to sit down and get work done, whether it be reading for class or writing a paper. Each floor offers incredible study spaces, like private cubicles, couches and private study rooms for group projects. The new Mary Tefft White Cultural Center is a beautiful addition to the University Library, where distinguished speakers often come and give lectures. Often, the library holds exhibits, with past exhibits of Truman Capote and Nathaniel Philbrick including archival materials and their work. Like the Architecture Library, students may also search the library catalog online and explore its many databases.



The Law Library is open to all, not just law students. It is a great spot for legal research, with over 200,000 volumes that are open for students to use, along with a online databases that may also be of help. The Law Library offers more than 10 study rooms that students may use for individual study or group projects, along with computers that they can access research on as well. The library houses multitude of legal documents that students should take advantage of, including state and federal documents and reports, documents and records from the Supreme Court and other government documents.

University Archives Annual Commencement Exhibit



The University Archives Annual Commencement Exhibit for 2016 celebrates the 60th anniversary of the founding of Roger Williams College. A visual timeline highlights events from 1956-2016, and includes facsimiles of founding documents and newspaper articles, as well as commencement photos from 1956, 1966, 1976, 1986, 1996, and 2006. The exhibit will open Friday, May 13.



Roger Williams College awarded its first four-year degrees on June 4, 1970. Commencement exercises were held on the campus green in front of the library (now the Gabelli School of Business). James Payson Dixon, President of Antioch College, delivered the Commencement Address.



Marshall and Mary Howe Fulton received the Roger Williams College Award  in 1972 for their service to the College.  The award was first introduced in 1970.

Short Takes: Poetry Collections in Brief

By Maggie Daubenspeck, Connections Intern


This past April’s National Poetry Month encouraged us to consider some of this season’s new releases. The good folks at Farrar, Straus, and Giroux were kind enough to send some of the poetry books off their list—from first books to established writers.



If You Can Tell, Poems by James McMichael

Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

February 2016


If You Can Tell is James McMichael’s seventh collection of poetry, composed of eight poems of varied length. In this new collection, McMichael explores “God and the Word” and what it means to exist. Religious themes carry throughout his work as he writes about his mother’s illness, failed relationships, and death. His collection examines whether McMichael is devout or questions his faith and the Word of God. McMichael has been previously known for his sixth book of poetry, Capacity, which was a finalist for the 2006 National Book Award for Poetry.



Observations, Poems by Marianne Moore

Edited by Linda Leavell

Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

April 2016


Marianne Moore was a Modernist poet known for her precise language. This edition of Observations is based off of the original text published in 1925. This collection of modernist poems pre-dates the dramatic revisions done by Moore in 1925 when she cut “fifty-four poems to forty.” Her poetry, full of wit and irony, also inspired Elizabeth Bishop to challenge the accepted views of society. This devout Presbyterian plays with meter during the rise of free verse and continuously edited all of her works up until her death in 1972.



The Swimmer, Poems by John Koethe

Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

March 2016


John Koethe’s The Swimmer, dedicated to Mark Strand, is full of questions and honest answers about what it means to be living. In his tenth collection, Koethe takes the reader around the world through his lyrical poems exploring the individual. From listening to Frank Sinatra to visiting the Louvre to reading Elizabeth Bishop, Koethe dives into the unconscious mind to find the truth. He calls out poets by name and shares their influence on him in his own writings. Koethe has previously won the Lenore Marshall Prize, the Kingsley Tufts Award, and the Frank O’Hara Award for his writings.




Standing Water, Poems by Eleanor Chai

Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

April 2016


Standing Water is the first book of poetry Eleanor Chai has published with her own work. Chai has been both an editor and advisor to both poets and artists for years. Her lyrical collection is filled with precise language and follows a narrative on Chai’s own life. The image of Little Hanako is explored along with the image of a mother not present in the author’s life. Chai plays with meter and rhyme throughout her poems which all vary in size and length. Each poem studies how we look at our world.

Rhode Island Red Cross Visual Timeline Collaboration with RWU

The American Red Cross Rhode Island Chapter is celebrating 100 years of service to the Rhode Island community. The chapter was chartered September 16, 1916 on Aquidneck Island in Newport. As part of the year-long celebration, the Red Cross has partnered with Roger Williams University to create a visual timeline highlighting milestones and achievements of the organization in Rhode Island over the last century.Faculty member John Farmer and graphic design students worked together on the 12-panel “A Century of Service Traveling Exhibit.”

The University Library is hosting the display from May 2 – 14. The exhibit will be touring various venues throughout the state, culminating in a special evening event in Newport at Tennis Hall of Fame on September 17, 2016.
For more information about the travelling exhibit, visit http://www.redcross.org/news/event/local/ri/Century-of-Service-Traveling-Exhibit




Student Partners:
Nick Corey
Augustina Dickinson
Ryan Cripps
Frank Tobitsch
Ryan Henriksen
Brianna Hardy
Kevin Cameron
Wakidi Hala