The Olive Tree
A New Beginning
Fogler Library recently moved toward a new beginning when Joyce Rumery took over as our Dean. The same anticipation and excitement was echoed at a campus level as Robert Kennedy officially became the 18th president of the University of Maine. Kennedy, who had served as interim presidents for 8 months, was named president in April after a national search.
In recognition of this important event and as a way to welcome Kennedy, Fogler Library sponsored an ice cream reception for Kennedy and the staff from Alumni Hall on June 16th.
In typical Maine fashion, the weather did not cooperate and the festivities were held indoors, but this did not dampen the spirits of the attendees. President Kennedy, Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs John Mahon, Senior Advisor to the President Evelyn Silver, and their staffs joined the group from Fogler. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet colleagues and to talk about our common goals.
On the Road: Traveler’s Tales
Fogler’s Works in Progress series continued on March 23rd with an afternoon of armchair travel which included A bilingual multimedia celebration of the 400th anniversary of the publication of Cervantes' Don Quixote, the ultimate traveling man of La Mancha, arranged by poet and UMaine English Instructor Kathleen Ellis and performed by UMaine students in English, Honors, and Music, and Spanish, and readings from Tina Passman and Kay Retzlaff.
Tina Passman has taught Greek and Roman Classics and languages at the University of Maine since 1985. She is a grandmother of three and lives in Orono with five cats. In the 1990s, she co-coordinated the Poetry Free Zone reading series on campus. A student of Buddhism for several years, she traveled to China with a "bunch of Buddhists" in November 2001. She recently returned from a trip to Israel.
Kay Retzlaff, MA, Ph.D., grew up on a farm in Nebraska. She traveled from there to the wilds of Washington, D.C., where she lived and worked for 12 years as a professional writer. She lived in Kentucky for a year. In 1993, she and her husband moved to Frankfort, Maine. She travels regularly to Ireland, sometimes taking groups of students from the University to Galway. She has traveled with her sister to Germany and Scotland (a travel tale unto itself). She also spends a great deal of time in Canada.
Works in Progress, a series featuring writers reading and discussing their work.
University Authors Reception
Towards the end of the Spring 2005 semester, on Wednesday, April 20, a talkative crowd gathered in the University Club to celebrate the scholarly and creative output of faculty and staff book authors, editors, and performers. Jointly hosted by the University Bookstore and Fogler Library, the first University of Maine Authors Reception in four years honored over 100 authors who had produced books and recordings from 2001 to 2004. President Robert Kennedy was in attendance and offered his congratulations to one and all.
The faculty and staff recognized at the wine and cheese reception represented a wide variety of disciplines, and the diversity of topics was impressive, including works on public broadcasting, the lobster industry, children’s non-fiction literature, Canada, and geographic information systems. Honorees enjoyed leafing through their colleagues’ books, which were displayed on tables in the club. Most of the works are owned by the library and available in the circulating collection. Fogler Library’s Collection Services Department maintains a web page listing the works of university authors at www.library.umaine.edu/colldev/umauthors.htm.
Hard Work to Make it Right
On April 7th, The Fogler Friends hosted the UMaine premier of Hard Work, the latest film from award-winning filmmaker, Jim Sharkey. This event was co-sponsored by the Women’s Resource Center and Women in the Curriculum.
Featuring the 19th century writings of working women, this documentary film explores the working and living conditions for women in Maine’s shops and factories.
In 1888 the Bureau of Industrial and Labor Statistics commissioned Flora Haines of Bangor to travel throughout Maine to interview women about their work. She handed out questionnaires that queried the women about workplace health and safety issues, work hours and wages, and living conditions in local boarding houses. The women's written responses provide a rare glimpse into the lives of these working women. The women not only describe their hard work, long hours, and low pay, but they also offer their own explanations for these difficult conditions.
Sharkey’s hour-long film combines the “voices” of these working women together with period music, photographs, and interviews with Maine historian Carol Toner. The result is a fascinating look into the lives of working women, a subject too often ignored in Maine history. Both Sharkey and Toner were on hand to chat with guests and answer questions.
Book Design: Continuity and Change
Michael Alpert, director of the University of Maine Press, spoke on book design and the history of books on April 1st in Fogler Library’s Special Collections Department. In his presentation, Book Design: Continuity and Change, Alpert discussed the historical role of publishing as a force throughout history, from the Renaissance to the modern age. Examples of both early and significant twentieth-century books from the Fogler Library’s Special Collections were displayed and discussed. Alpert also spoke about design principles as they apply to book publication. The presentation concluded with an overview of current books from the University of Maine Press.
Since the late 1970s, Alpert has published books at Theodore Press/ Sarah Book, his private press. Books from this press have been included in exhibits at the Metropolitan Museum (N.Y.), the Victoria and Albert Museum (London), and the Rijksmuseum (the Hague). He is the recipient of the Stephen Harvard Prize for Excellence in the Book Arts, presented by the Baxter Society of Portland. He has taught book-arts workshops at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Deer Isle. Alpert is also a writer and visual artist. His two most recent books are A Night-Sea Journey (poetry) and A Maine Portfolio (photographs). Alpert's photography will be exhibited at the University of Maine Museum of Art, January–April 2006.
This event was part of Fogler Library’s month-long celebration of the University of Maine Press, which included an exhibit in the library’s first floor display gallery.
Home | Olive Tree | Winter 2006