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September 2016

U.S. Government visits RWU Library

Joe Paskoski, Senior Outreach Librarian from the U.S. Government Publishing Office in Washington DC, visited the RWU Library which is a Congressional designated federal depository library.  Mr. Paskoski was interested to meet with staff, provide FDLP consultation services and provide guidance in the management of the RWU depository.  He also expressed an interest in our partnership with the Law School Library which provides law students with needed resources.  John Fobert, Depository Coordinator and Electronic Resources Librarian, introduced him to the staff and provided tours of the University Library, Architecture Library and the Law School Library where he met with John Schlinke, Architecture/Art Librarian and Stephanie Edwards, Law School Collection Services Librarian, respectively.  All involved agreed that it was a useful visit as we became aware of new services offered by the GPO.
Pictured from left to right:  Jackie Katz, Electronic Resources Assistant, John Fobert, Electronic Resources Librarian, Joe Paskoski, GPO Senior Outreach Librarian.

From The Archives: The Fulton/Howe Collection: Marshall Enters Brown University

By Heidi Benedict, University Archives


One hundred years ago, in September 1916, Marshall Fulton left his family home in Keokuk, Iowa and moved to Providence, Rhode Island to attend Brown University. There he spent a great deal of time with his Uncle Frank. In Marshall’s diary for 1916, he describes his experiences and emotions during his first year at Brown. Included here are three entries from his diary:  September 20, the day he left home; September 25, the day he registered for classes, and September 27, his first day of classes. Marshall gave the valedictory address at his graduation from Brown in 1920. The Archives holds his correspondence with his parents, diaries, and a scrapbook from his years at Brown.








For more from this collection: click here

Sana Mustafa visits RWU as the first Talking in the Library speaker of the semester













Photos by: Megan Lessard/Roger Williams University Library

Syrian Refugee, Sana Mustafa, Kicks Off the Fall Talking in the Library Series



In the summer of 2013, Sana Mustafa, an undergraduate business student in Damascus, came to attend the State Department sponsored Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) at Roger Williams University. During those several weeks, she would be learning about democratic systems of government, seeing them in practice, and developing leadership skills. The understanding was that she would bring what she learned back to Syria. As part of a generation determined to see change in her country, Sana looked forward to using her new skills to help the movement to transform Syria into a more stable nation; one with greater equality, opportunity, and safety after so many years of authoritarian rule.

But midway through the first weeks, while sitting in a classroom on the RWU campus, Sana’s phone buzzed. The message said her father had been detained. No one knew where he was, or if he even was alive.

Already arrangements were in motion for her mother and her sisters to flee the country for Turkey. Sana was advised not to come back. It was that unsafe.

With only a suitcase packed for the six week MEPI program, and barely any money, Sana found herself an unexpected refugee in the United States. And thus began a three-year saga that found Sana sleeping on couches, going from small job to small job, resource to resource, as she negotiated a complicated bureaucracy, trying to make a life for herself in the US, as well as be an advocate for her family and her country.

Eventually, through the efforts of many in the NGO community, Sana was granted political asylum, and allowed to finish her education with a full scholarship at Bard College.

All the while, her family struggles to make a life among the thousands of refugees in Turkey, and with no word about the state or fate of her father.

As part of the Talking in the Library series, we look forward to welcoming Sana back to RWU, where this chapter in her ever-written story began.


When: Thursday, September 22, 2016

Time: 4:30 PM

Where: Mary Tefft White Center, University Library

From the Archives: The Fulton Dedication and Exhibition

By Heidi Benedict, University Archives
On Saturday, August 27, 2016, following Convocation Exercises, the University dedicated the RWU Bristol campus as the newly renamed Fulton Campus. In 1965, Dr. Marshall N. Fulton and his wife Mary Howe sold over 60 acres of Ferrycliffe Farm, founded by her grandfather, to Roger Williams College. To commemorate their gift, the University unveiled an historic marker and named the main road on campus to Fulton Way.

1900_fultonhowe_homestead 1900, Family “Homestead,” where the University Residence sits today


The current Fulton family members donated their family papers to the University five years ago. The collection documents the history of the Farm and of the family. With correspondence making up the bulk of the collection, it is particularly strong in representing the family members’ personal and professional activities and interests, and demonstrates their affection for learning, travel, and each other. The Library has prepared an exhibit featuring family photographs and selected letters from the collection. The Archives hopes to have the collection completely processed by July 2017, marking the 100th anniversary of Mary Howe Fulton’s birth.


June 1940, Marshall and Mary Howe

Sticker-Shock Sparks Faculty-Librarian Collaboration with OER

By Lindsey Gumb, Instructional Technology Librarianpicture1

Typically, it goes a little something like this:  A student arrives on campus, prints his course schedule and then takes a walk to the bookstore to see what reading materials his professors may have assigned for his courses.  The panic that often ensues from the sticker-shock is very real and far too common.  For students studying in the United States during 2015-16, the average cost of textbooks for just one year at a private four-year university like Roger Williams University was $1,249 (source).  With exorbitant prices like this tacked onto already high tuition costs, it’s no wonder that librarians across the nation are investigating whether or not OER (Open Educational Resources) could be the answer.

So what are OER, and why is the library getting involved?  OER can be identified as teaching, learning and research materials in analog, digital, and interactive mediums that are free of any copyright or license restrictions.  OER are meant to not only alleviate the financial burden of student learning but also to enrich and revolutionize it.  Faculty utilizing OER now have far more flexibility in selecting whole or individual chapters of open textbooks (free) in addition to searching through online shared banks of interactive lesson plans, media, journal articles and more to create custom and engaging learning environments that encourage students to be active learners both inside and outside of the classroom.  It isn’t always easy to locate and evaluate quality OER that fits within the confinements of one’s syllabus, and this is where the RWU librarians have stepped up to collaborate with the Center for Teaching & Learning, Instructional Design, and 7 faculty members in all different disciplines wanting to make a difference in their students’ lives.

Stay-tuned for an inside look into all 7 of our faculty fellows’ experiences working with the library and OER.  We’ll showcase how each individual chose to incorporate OER into his/her fall semester courses and how they plan on assessing the benefits of access and student learning throughout.  The emergence of OER in higher education is creating exciting opportunities for faculty to reassess their pedagogical practices and engage students in deeper intellectual explorations of subject content.  Follow along and get inspired!


A Quick Guide to the Learning Commons – Fall 2016

By Betsy Learned, Dean of University Libraries


Welcome to all our new students and to those returning to campus!  I know we can all relate to the excitement of the new school year—new shoes, new books, and the great potential for new friends and experiences.

Over the summer the library staff have been busy migrating to a new library system.  Because our data has not yet been completely migrated, you may find searching for books and articles to be somewhat more difficult than it used to be.  If you have any problems please call our Information Desk at x3084 or stop by to see us.  You can also still search the old HELIN catalog for the next few months at http://library.uri.edu.  As always, our library staff is here to help you with any of your assignments and/or research.

For those of you who are new to RWU, the library building includes many partners who together are called the Learning Commons.  This helps you locate all your academic support services under one roof.  These services include:


First floor:

  • Library Information Desk
  • Media-Tech Help Desk
  • CSALT (Center for Scholarship, Assessment, Learning and Technology)
  • Student Accessibility Services
  • Mary Tefft White Cultural Center (for student study when not in use for events)

Second floor:

  • University Archives
  • Web and Digital Services
  • Advising and Peer Mentoring
  • Tutoring and Writing Center
  • CSALT administrative offices

Third floor:

  • Quiet study floor
  • Group study rooms
  • Library Instruction Lab (LIL)
  • Library administrative offices


Have a wonderful semester and please come see us in the Learning Commons!

Save the Date for Talking in the Library Fall Semester Speakers



September 22, 2016

Sana Mustafa –Syrian Student and Activist

Where: Mary Tefft White Cultural Center/RWU Library (4:30 PM)

in association with the School of Justice Studies

Sana Mustafa is a young Syrian woman, who a few years ago had been active in democratic politics and protests as a college student in Damascus. As coincidence would have it, she was at the MEPI program at RWU during that period when she learned her father had disappeared, and she’d been told not to return to Syria. In the meanwhile, her remaining family escaped to Turkey. Thus began quite an odyssey for her. Currently, she is a student at Bard, but has worked at the UN, given talks worldwide about her experiences, etc.


For more on Sana: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/syrian-student-i-knew-i-could-never-move-forward-without-he


October 5, 2016

Dawn Tripp – Novelist

Where: Rogers Free Library, Bristol RI (7:00 PM)

in collaboration with Rogers Free Library and the Jane Bodell Endowment

Dawn Tripp’s fourth novel Georgia is a national bestseller, described as “magical and provocative” by USA Today. Winner of the Massachusetts Book Award for Fiction, Tripp is the author of three previous novels: Moon Tide, The Season of Open Water, and Game of Secrets, a Boston Globe bestseller. Her essays have appeared in the Virginia Quarterly Review, The Believer, The Rumpus, Psychology Today, and NPR. She graduated from Harvard and lives in Massachusetts with her family. For more about Dawn: http://www.dawntripp.com



November 2, 2016

Archer Mayor –Crime Novelist

Where: Where: Mary Tefft White Cultural Center/RWU Library (4:30 PM)

in association with the School of Justice Studies

Archer Mayor is the author of the highly acclaimed Vermont-based series featuring detective Joe Gunther, which the Chicago Tribune describes as “the best police procedurals being written in America.” He is a past winner of the New England Independent Booksellers Association Award for Best Fiction—the first time a writer of crime literature has been so honored. In 2011, Mayor’s 22nd Joe Gunther novel, TAG MAN, earned a place on The New York Times bestseller list for hardback fiction. For more on Archer: http://archermayor.com/about/