Year: 2022

Celebrate National Friends of the Libraries Week

Since 2005, the American Library Association has promoted National Friends of the Libraries Week during the third week of October as a time to recognize the dedication of Friends groups across the nation.

The Wright State University Friends of the Libraries were established in 1978 and is a group of Wright State faculty, staff, retirees, alumni, and community members who are committed to supporting the unique needs of the Wright State University Libraries and its patrons.

A few of the ways they support the mission of the WSU Libraries to provide quality research services, materials, and library spaces for students, faculty, staff, and the Miami Valley community are:

  • The Friends support the library staff grants for research projects, new equipment and technology, staff development, and other special projects.
  • In collaboration with the Wright State University Retirees’ Association and the Wright State University Alumni Association they host a book club discussion on select evenings at 5:30 p.m. via WebEx.
  • In April they host an annual meeting and luncheon. For April 2022 they hosted a virtual “lunch-in”, Paul Laurence Dunbar, a Celebration of the 150th Anniversary of His Birth, featuring Herbert Woodward Martin, Professor Emeritus, University of Dayton.
  • Twice per year they award $500 scholarships to library student assistants in recognition of their outstanding job performance and contributions to the work of the Libraries.
  • Annually in April, the Friends of the Libraries honor the “Top Scholars” selected by the Dean’s Office in each college and the Lake Campus.
  • And more…

If you are not already a member, please consider joining or renewing your membership today. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate National Friends of the Libraries Week than welcoming you to our membership!

Kristallnacht and the Dayton Holocaust Resource Center

Image of Renate Frydman, Ph.D.
Renate Frydman, Ph.D.

Join us on October 20 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm for Understand, Educate, and Heal: Renate Frydman, Ph.D., and the Dayton Holocaust Resource Center. Dr. Frydman will share her story of fleeing Germany just days before Kristallnacht, and how it has shaped her lifelong focus on educating students about the Holocaust, genocide, racism, and bullying.

Dr. Frydman’s talk will be livestreamed on WSU TV, and will include a Q&A session with future teachers from the Wright State University School of Education and Leadership.

A gift from the Frydman family, the Dayton Holocaust Resource Center is housed within the Charles and Renate Frydman Educational Resource Center (ERC). This nationally recognized collection of materials about the Holocaust, modern genocides, racism, and bullies/bullying includes books for the scholarly student and the K–12 classroom; curriculum guides; and non-print items such as films, audiobooks, and kits. It is one of the most extensive collections of its kind in the Midwest. Search for items in the DHRC collection in the libraries’ catalog.

Of special interest in the DHRC collection is Faces of the Holocaust, a unique series of interviews produced by the DHRC through Wright State University. These interviews include not only eyewitness accounts of Holocaust survivors, liberators, protectors of Holocaust Jews, and observers, but also stories told by their descendants. For more information, see the Faces of the Holocaust curriculum guide for teachers.

Register now for access to the livestream and event reminder.

University Libraries 2022-2023 Book Club

Join us for the 2022-2023 Book Club sponsored by the Friends of the Libraries, WSU Alumni Association, and the WSU Retirees Association.

When and Where:

Thursday evenings at 5:30 p.m. on WebExRegistration is encouraged but not required.

What We’re Reading:

September 8, 2022: Hell of a Book by Jason Mott

In Jason Mott’s Hell of a Book, a Black author sets out on a cross-country publicity tour to promote his bestselling novel. That storyline drives Hell of a Book and is the scaffolding of something much larger and urgent: since Mott’s novel also tells the story of Soot, a young Black boy living in a rural town in the recent past, and The Kid, a possibly imaginary child who appears to the author on his tour.

As these characters’ stories build and converge, they astonish. For while this heartbreaking and magical book entertains and is at once about family, love of parents and children, art and money, it’s also about the nation’s reckoning with a tragic police shooting playing over and over again on the news. And with what it can mean to be Black in America.

Who has been killed? Who is The Kid? Will the author finish his book tour, and what kind of world will he leave behind?  Unforgettably told, with characters who burn into your mind and an electrifying plot ideal for book club discussion, Hell of a Book is the novel Mott has been writing in his head for the last ten years. And in its final twists it truly becomes its title. (Description from the publisher)

November 10, 2022: Blackout by Erin Flanagan

Blackout - Book Cover Image

Join special guest Wright State University Professor of English and Edgar Award-Winning author Erin Flanagan in this discussion about her new novel, Blackout.

Seven hard-won months into her sobriety, sociology professor Maris Heilman has her first blackout. She chalks it up to exhaustion, though she fears that her husband and daughter will suspect she’s drinking again. Whatever their cause, the glitches start becoming more frequent. Sometimes minutes, sometimes longer, but always leaving Maris with the same disorienting question: Where have I been?

Then another blackout lands Maris in the ER, where she makes an alarming discovery. A network of women is battling the same inexplicable malady. Is it a bizarre coincidence or something more sinister? What do all the women have in common besides missing time? Or is it who they have in common?

In a desperate search for answers, Maris has no idea what’s coming next—just the escalating paranoia that her memories may be beyond her control, and that everything she knows could disappear in the blink of an eye. (Description from publisher)

January 12, 2023: Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak

Island of Missing Trees - book cover image

It is 1974 on the island of Cyprus. Two teenagers, from opposite sides of a divided land, meet at a tavern in the city they both call home. The tavern is the only place that Kostas, who is Greek and Christian, and Defne, who is Turkish and Muslim, can meet, in secret, hidden beneath the blackened beams from which hang garlands of garlic, chili peppers and wild herbs. This is where one can find the best food in town, the best music, the best wine. But there is something else to the place: it makes one forget, even if for just a few hours, the world outside and its immoderate sorrows.

In the center of the tavern, growing through a cavity in the roof, is a fig tree. This tree will witness their hushed, happy meetings, their silent, surreptitious departures; and the tree will be there when the war breaks out, when the capital is reduced to rubble, when the teenagers vanish and break apart.

Decades later in north London, sixteen-year-old Ada Kazantzakis has never visited the island where her parents were born. Desperate for answers, she seeks to untangle years of secrets, separation and silence. The only connection she has to the land of her ancestors is a Ficus Carica growing in the back garden of their home.

The Island of Missing Trees is a rich, magical tale of belonging and identity, love and trauma, nature, and, finally, renewal. (Description from Publisher)

March 9, 2023: The Love Songs of W.E.B. Dubois by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers – Fiction Winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize

Honoree Fannone Jeffers’ debut novel, The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois, is about the world of our ancestors, and lets them sing. Their high notes are legacy, history, tradition, and the mysteries of the spirit world. Their low notes are the atrocities of the Mid-Atlantic Slave Trade, smoothed over and often dismissed, yet impossible to ignore, thanks to the inherited damage that continues to contaminate society today. They sing of the early days when the Indigenous mixed with the African and the Scottish, and they sing of their descendants.

From the early days of what is now Georgia, in America, we visit Seminole territory, moon houses, Creek villages. This early America, with its society of slavers and the enslaved, is juxtaposed with the modern story of Ailey Garfield coming of age in the contemporary South. We watch as Ailey confronts familial responsibility, racism, sexism, and domestic abuse. For Ailey, the academic world looms as opportunity and refuge, even as street life in the city is also a reality for her and her family. Intellectual ideology provides hope but is also problematic; Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois do not see things, eye to eye. The Black community, as monolith, is deconstructed, here. We experience 20th Century America, particularly the Civil Rights Movement, as well as the complexities of drug addiction and the constrictions of marriage, through Ailey’s mother, her sisters, and her extended family.

This cacophony of voices is ultimately about love, even as heinous acts occur during slavery and continue in contemporary America. Depraved family members co-exist with righteous matriarchs and patriarchs. Class differences between lovers, colorism, and identity are also themes in this ambitious work. Jeffers celebrates the power of education and ideas, the community provided by the African American church, and the survival of a people confronting unbelievable odds. These love songs exalt literature and activism and are an invitation to us all to join in.

(excerpt by Lisa Page at https://www.daytonliterarypeaceprize.org/2022-awards/)

Book titles are available for borrowing from the WSU Libraries collection, click on book titles above to check current availability. Don’t have a WSU library card? Join our Friends of the Libraries for borrowing privileges and help support the Libraries’ collections and programs.  

Library Game Night, Friday August 26, 2022

Image of students playing games in the Dunbar Library

The University Libraries invites all current Wright State students to attend our free Game Night, Friday, August 26, 2022 from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Celebrate a successful first week of classes with food and games! Pizza, snacks, and cookies will be provided while supplies last.

Join us in the first floor Group Study Room of Dunbar Library. Check-in will be at the Circulation Desk. Your Wright1 Card is your ticket in, so please bring it with you.

The focus will once again be on board games and card games, with a simple escape room to attempt if you feel adventurous! The library has a large selection of board games, but feel free to bring your own games to share.

Many thanks to our sponsor, the Friends of the Libraries, and to our student and staff volunteers.

Questions? Email: library-game-night@wright.edu.

We are excited to welcome you back to campus and hope that you visit the library often!