‘Camera Without Borders – the World of Caroline Littell’ to be on display at Herrick


A retrospective of travel photography by the late Caroline Littell of Alfred will be on view Friday, June 12 through Wednesday, July 15 on the main floor of Alfred University’s (AU) Herrick Memorial Library. The public is invited to an opening reception for “Camera Without Borders – the World of Caroline Littell” from 2 to 4 p.m. June 12.

The library’s summer hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday. The library is closed weekends.

Littell was a freelance photographer whose images illustrated articles on tourism and travel in several dozen newspapers and magazines in this country and in Europe. For more than 30 years, major publications featuring her photography included The Los Angeles Times, Travel & Leisure Magazine, The San Francisco Examiner, The Chicago Sun Times, The Milwaukee Journal, The Athens (Greece) News, The Denver Post, The New Orleans Times Picayune and Ocean Navigator Magazine.

In Western New York, her work appeared regularly in The Buffalo News, The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, The Hornell Sunday Spectator, The Olean Times Herald, and The Alfred Sun.

The 60 black-and-white photographs to be displayed at Herrick portray landscapes and people in locations ranging from Greece, Colombia, Thailand, and Burma to the American West and the plains of East Africa.
Born in Egypt of English parents, Littell was educated in England and later studied languages in France, Spain, Austria, and Greece. She immigrated to the United States in 1962, moving to Alfred in 1968.

As a photographer, Littell was entirely self-taught except for a brief period of instruction at AU. She worked for the most part in film, experimenting with digital formats only at the end of her career. But whether in film or in digital, her photography displayed a technical mastery of a demanding craft as well as an unerring eye for balanced composition.

Like Henri Cartier-Bresson, the French pioneer of modern photojournalism, Littell had the uncanny ability to capture on film that decisive moment of facial expression or body attitude that defines mood or personality.

Littell died earlier this year in Pasadena, CA, after a long illness.


JSTOR – 2015 Champion



After four rounds of voting JSTOR stands victorious as the 2015 Database Bracket Champions.

A favorite among both librarians and students, this database has some of the highest usage stats at Alfred as well. It’s no wonder too, covering over 50 academic disciplines collections on JSTOR include the full archival record of each journal from the first volume and extending within 3-5  years of the current issue.

And since any great wrap up includes the stats here ar the JSTOR statistics

Since January 2015 @ Alfred

Searches – 4,748

Full-text requests – 7,508

That means in the last 124 days

You made over 38 searches per day!

Downloaded 60 full-text articles per day!

That’s a lot of research!

Senior Worker Book Display 2015

Congratulations to our Senior Student Workers!

The AU Libraries would like to extend congratulations to all of our senior student workers. You have been a tremendous asset to the success of both libraries and to the AU campus as a whole. We thank you for your continued commitment and enthusiasm to making Herrick and Scholes welcoming and wonderful environments for both our staff and patrons. We appreciate you, we will miss you, and we wish you the very best in the future!

As a small token of appreciation, Herrick has created a book display to honor our senior student workers and their service to the library. Each book and DVD has been chosen by the seniors themselves. The display is set along the wall to the Computer Lab on the main floor of Herrick. We encourage you to check it out!

Senior Worker Book Display 2015

book and e-book happy

Books & e-books — preferences & benefits

Recently I attended a library orientation session where i overheard someone talking about their strong preference for books over e-books.  When the instructor noted that most of the libraries resources are online now, he sighed.  He clearly wished that he could access to more books in paper. One of our student workers shares that love of the physical book.

book happy

I imagine the person I overheard wouldn’t enjoy reading all of a book online.  He might be a little glum, like this student worker staring at the screen like she wished she were doing something else.

e-book unhappy

Like that student and like many of us, the experience of a book is a unique pleasure.  Touching the book, holding it, smelling it and, of course, reading it are all part of the pleasure.  It has many benefits. You can take it anywhere, read without a power source, you never have to wait for it to boot up, you can get right back to the page you left off at by just leaving it open, you can leaf through the pages to spot that section you liked and you know was on the lower right page — somewhere. My basement has shelves and shelves of favorite books that I go back to savor again and again. So I’m not anti-book, but why are we focusing on expanding the electronic resources?


I have to admit — I’m an administrator, so I think about cost.  A recent example of a decision we made was to add a new collection of electronic books.  The collection costs about $3,000 per year.  It has 125,000 book titles in it. So access to each of those books, for every Alfred University student, faculty member or staff member, costs about 2.5 cents a year. We bought it knowing that 75,000 titles overlapped with other collections we already owned.  So why did we buy it? Because we’re still getting 50,000 unique titles at a cost of about 6 cents a year. To put that in perspective, if we used that $3,000 and bought books in paper, assuming that the average cost of each book and its book processing at about $50, we could buy just 60 books, instead of getting access to 50,000.


The physical library is open quite a bit, 108 hours a week during the semester and library users can come in and browse to their hearts content.  But the electronic resources are available all the time, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  If you want to work at 3 in the morning, or work from off campus, or are part of the downstate programs you will only be able to access our online resources. And most, thought not all, of the libraries’ online collections are available to multiple users, so that you don’t have to wait until someone returns the book you want. Here’s another of our student workers enjoying her access to electronic materials.

e-book happy


Books that patrons like will get used, and begin to wear out.  They can get dropped in the bathtub, or a mud puddle, they can get sticky pages from people eating and reading at the same time, they can drop pages out, and sometimes patrons tear them out.  Each new person who looks at an e-book gets the same fresh copy, and the pages of an online file can’t be torn, written on, or pulled out, although you can set up a person account and mark your own personal copy of the online book.


While you can’t browse an e-book in the same way you browse a paper book, you can search for specific words which you can’t do with a book. OK, you can do that with a book, it just takes forever. No, I’m not forgetting about indexes in paper books, but virtually all indexes are selective, and some of them are pretty quirky. Many of the databases provide citation tools that let you build your bibliography in a specific style sheet as you find each resource for your project.  You can e-mail links of books to other members of a study or class group for the project you’re working on.  Another one of our student workers is frustrated with looking through a pile of books, when he wishes he could search online.

book unhappy

Books will never entirely be replaced by online resources and we continue to have extensive collections of paper books. However, in the interest of providing the best service and most extensive collections possible to Alfred University both on campus and at branch locations, our online collections make sense for us.  We do continue to buy paper books, but online has become our major focus, for so many reasons.  So enjoy both at Herrick Library!

book and e-book happy

Please share your thoughts about this topic with Steve Crandall, fcrandall@alfred.edu, I’d love to hear from you!


And then there were two…


With all the votes in we have come down to the final two databases

JSTOR  &  Academic Search Complete

While we here at the libraries are tempted to say that these two databases are equals, awesome in their own right, and Goliaths of the search. Only one can hold the title of #1

Let’s take one last look at our competitors


Name: “The Non Profit”
Publishers: 900+
Disciplines Covered: 500+
Full Text Journals: 2,000+
Primary Resources: 2 Million+
Coach: Ithaca
Claim to Fame: “We Collaborate with the academic community”

Academic Search Complete

Name: “Coverage”
Temporal Coverage: 1887-Present
Indexed Journal Titles: 13,780
Full Text Journals: 9,000
Full Text Peer-Reviewed Journals: 7,850
Coach: EBSCOhost
Claim to Fame: “The world’s most comprehensive, scholarly full-text database for multidisciplinary research”

national poetry month

Herrick features local poets for National Poetry Month

Herrick Library is celebrating National Poetry Month in April by inviting local poets to share their work.

Juliana Gray, Associate Professor of English, has organized a display in Herrick’s entryway featuring poetry by Alfred University faculty and students. In addition to poems by Dr. Gray, you will find work by Emrys Westacott (Professor of Philosophy), Heather Hallberg Yanda (Senior Lecturer in English), Ben Howard (Professor Emeritus), and students Julianne Angie, Colby Cotton, and Laneisha McCauley.

Juliana Gray is the author of two full-length poetry collections. Roleplay, published in 2012 by Dream Horse press won the 2010 Orphic Prize and the 2013 Eugene Paul Nassar Poetry Prize. Her first book of poetry, The Man Under My Skin, was published by River City Publishing in 2005.

National Poetry Month was founded in 1996 by the American Academy of Poets and is celebrated in April. The goals of the celebration are to highlight the legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets, to encourage the reading of poems, to assist teachers in bringing poetry to their classrooms, to bring increased attention to poetry by national and local media, to encourage the publication and distribution of poetry books, and to encourage support for poets and poetry.

Please join us in supporting our own, local poets by stopping by to read and enjoy some of their work.

National Poetry Month