Kerr’s Name Here

He may have retired from the Libraries recently, but that hasn’t led Tim Kerr to slow his pace even a step. And since his wife Beth is still plugging away as Theater and Dance Librarian at the Fine Arts Library, we like to occasionally check in and see what he’s up to.

Turns out that in addition to continuing work on his art, Tim has also been working on a book about his art.

Your Name Here includes images of his activism art – paintings, sketches and multimedia endeavors – with handwritten commentary. It also comes with a cassette (yep) of some of Tim’s favorite musical creations.

The book is available (free preview) from Austin’s own Monofonus Press, just in time for the holidays.

Then and Now at Architecture and Planning

Throughout its 100-year history, the Architecture & Planning Library has been an integral part of the School of Architecture, providing services and collections for information and inspiration.  In tandem with the School, the library has grown and changed to meet the needs of its users—students, faculty, scholars, and the community.

A new exhibit – Then and Now: The Library of the School of Architecture – gives an overview of the library’s history as it developed from a faculty collection, to an established library in 1912, and then how it moved along with the School to its new locations.  Featured are interesting examples of how services and collections have expanded and stories about how people have contributed to their library and archive.

The exhibition – on view in Architecture & Planning Library Reading Room in Battle Hall through March, 2011 – is being held in conjunction with the School of Architecture’s centennial celebration 100: Traces & Trajectories exhibition.

Producing a centennial exhibit is a momentous occasion.  The challenge proves that some things never change: it reflects the efforts of an expert staff, dedicated students, the tireless hours of our volunteers, including co-curator Sarah Cleary.

All items on exhibit are from the vast collections of the Architecture and Planning Library and its Alexander Architectural Archive, as well as images courtesy of the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History.

Enjoy the School of Architecture Exhibits and Events Flickr slideshow.

Beth Dodd is Head Librarian for the Architecture & Planning Library at The University of Texas at Austin.

Surviving the Crunch

The days get shorter in more ways than you can imagine this time of the year, especially around the university campus as the final push of the semester evinces itself in the form of projects, papers and tests.

The Libraries does its part to help minimize the stress with a program meant to promote those resources and services that make the tasks at hand a tad less imposing.

This year’s Crunch Time outreach initiative highlighted library services and resources for students at The University of Texas at Austin between the hours of 11am-3pm on November 9, 10 &11. The program purpose is to promote the availability of in-person, drop-by assistance, subject librarian consultations, and the UT Libraries Ask a Librarian IM and email services.

During Crunch Time students are provided with Ask a Librarian contact cards attached to mini-Nestle Crunch bars, a series of time saving handouts and increased staffing at service points.  A brief survey to determine awareness of service options is made available from UT Libraries computer workstations across the campus, and students who participate are entered in a prize drawing.

First introduced by the Reference and Information Services department at UT’s Perry-Castaneda Library in 2008, Crunch Time has become an annual event and three additional UT Libraries locations participated this year, increasing its reach.

Statistics indicate that students took advantage of the program and more of them were connected with the information they wanted, at point of need, as a result. Of the three locations reporting, there were 536 queries, with a large number of those (199) occurring on Wednesday, November 10, at the Perry-Castañeda (105) and Fine Arts (94) Libraries. There were also 193 participants in the services web survey.

Jenifer Flaxbart is Head of Reference & Information Services for the University of Texas Libraries.

See more images from Crunch Time programs here.

World AIDS Day at Fine Arts

The Fine Arts Library will host an event in recognition of World AIDS Day, which occurs annually on December 1.

Guest speaker Akinyi Wadende, a graduate fellow in Education at Texas State University, will be joined by University of Texas Professor of Art History Moyo Okediji to present “Kwe Mosiko: HIV/AIDS, Art and Activism” in the Roberts Reading Room of the Fine Arts Library in the Doty Fine Arts Building beginning at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, December 1.

“Kwe Mosiko” is a concept among the ethnic Luo people of Kenya and Tanzania that celebrates beauty as a process of physical and emotional healing.

By examining the intersections of beauty and healing in contemporary American art, modern European art and indigenous African art, the presenters will draw on art and activism as creative resources to combat endemic and epidemic aspects of the HIV/AIDS infections. Video and multimedia components will accompany the presentation.

This event is free and open to the public.

Kaiju Invade Science Study Breaks

What is that rumbling!? Ah, it’s the final Science Study Break of 2010 here to crush you under its enormity.

Join us Wednesday, October 27, at 6 p.m. as Dr. Anne Silverman from the Department of Mechanical Engineering reveals the biomechanics of old school movie kaiju (King Kong, Godzilla), and their CGI mega monster progeny (Alien, Cloverfield, The Host).

The program takes place in Garrison Hall 0.102 with free snacks and compelling conversation, so come and be edu-tained.

Pop culture and the academy collide as Science Study Break features relevant faculty and experts from the University of Texas at Austin discussing the reality and fantasy portrayed as fact in science-themed television and movies.

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Win Tickets to Percussionist Cyro Baptista

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The Benson Latin American Collection and Texas Performing Arts along with the UT Libraries are offering up a chance to win tickets to a unique performance by Brazilian Jazz/World musician and percussionist Cyro Baptista.

Baptista is reprising a performance from his debut album Villa-Lobos/Vira-Loucos, an homage to early twentieth-century classical Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos.

Baptista performs at 8 p.m., next Tuesday, October 26, at Hogg Auditorium.

From the TPA website:

Texas Performing Arts is proud to present Cyro Baptista performing his classical program, Villa-Lobos/Vira-Loucos, an evening focused on Baptista’s 1997 solo debut album of the same name. In this acclaimed collection, Cyro interprets and deconstructs a number of themes by the early twentieth-century classical Brazilian composer Hector Villa-Lobos. The recording is considered a true testament to Baptista’s mastery of music and the live experience beckons to you on a musical journey that is dynamic, virtuosic, grooving, and absolutely unique in sound and vision.

To be entered in the drawing for a pair of tickets, just visit the Cyro Baptista Trivia Question page and answer a Benson trivia question. Contest ends at 3 p.m. on Monday, October 25. Winner will be alerted via email and the Benson’s Facebook page.

Good luck.

“Fantasticks” Creators Talk at FAL

The Fine Arts Library at The University of Texas at Austin will host an intimate conversation with the creators of the world’s longest-running musical, “The Fantasticks.”

“What Starts Here: A Conversation with Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt” will take place in the Roberts Reading Room in the Fine Arts Library at 3 p.m. on Thursday, October 14. Department of Theatre & Dance faculty Holly Williams will moderate.

Following the event will be a reception for the exhibition In a Major Key: Artifacts from 50 years of The Fantasticks, which features photos, playbills, manuscripts and other ephemera related to the various productions of “The Fantasticks” from the personal collection of Harvey Schmidt.

The exhibition – coordinated by Cathy Henderson of the Harry Ransom Center – is on display in the Roberts Reading Room at the Fine Arts Library through the end of the Fall semester.

The conversation with Schmidt and Jones is associated with the Department of Theatre & Dance’s 50th Anniversary production of “The Fantasticks” which features two performances on October 15 & 16, as well as a gala dinner and panel discussions.

Vargas Llosa Earns Nobel for Literature

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Mario Vargas Llosa was awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday.

Though he holds Spanish dual citizenship and currently resides primarily in London, his birth, his background and his oeuvre make him thoroughly Peruvian.

In announcing the award, the jurors cited Vargas Llosa’s “cartography of the structures of power and his sharpened images of resistance, rebellion, and defeat of the individual.”

The author’s published works, in Spanish and translated editions, are held in the Benson Latin American Collection and other campus libraries, and a chapter from Vargas Llosa’s upcoming novel is available online.

Jorge Mario Pedro Vargas Llosa (1936- ) was born in Arequipa, Peru, a provincial capital south of Lima. He spent his youth with his mother and members of her family in Cochabamba, Bolivia, Piura, on the northern coast of Peru, and Lima, where he attended San Marcos University and published his first pieces of fiction.  In 1958, Vargas Llosa graduated from university and received a scholarship for study in Madrid, beginning a twelve-year residence abroad.

While living in Europe– first Madrid, then Paris and London– he worked as a journalist and wrote novels that gained critical acclaim.  La Ciudad y los perros (1963) won the Premio de la Critica Española despite stirring animosity in Peru for its thinly-veiled criticism of the ruling military. Publication of La Casa verde in 1965 firmly established Vargas Llosa as a member of what came to be known as the “Latin American Boom,” a generation of writers that include fellow Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez and Carlos Fuentes. Film aficionados may recognize La Tía Julia y el escribidor from its film adaptation as Tune in Tomorrow.

Vargas Llosa’s novels introduce his readers to Latin America’s rich legacy of historical characters.  La Guerra del fin del mundo evokes events of Brazil’s 19th century internal war and La Fiesta del chivo reflects on the last days of the Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo.  Two novels,  Historia de Mayta (1984) and Lituma en los Andes (1996) are set in the events of Peru’s intestine struggle with the guerrilla group, Shining Path.  This traumatic period in Peruvian history inspired Vargas Llosa to more than fiction.   He became a candidate for the presidency in the 1990 election.  His defeat by the now incarcerated Alberto Fujimori proved a blessing for a man whose artistic skills far surpass his politics and for those of us who find pleasure in reading.

Since the 1990s, Vargas Llosa has resided primarily in London.  He was awarded Spanish citizenship in 1993 and elected to the Real Academia Española in 1994.  He has become an articulate spokesman for the importance of the Spanish language and Spanish culture.  This fall Vargas Llosa is living in Princeton as a Distinguished Visitor and, now, a Nobel laureate.

David Block is Latin American Studies Bibliographer at the Benson Latin American Collection.

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