Tag Archives: Ekstrom Library

Corn Island Storytelling Festival

By: Natalie Moser

The Corn Island Storytelling Festival returned from last year’s successful turnout on U of L’s campus. This autumn event was centered in the quad, right outside Ekstrom Library and Bingham Humanities building. At 5:00 children, families and students intermingled as the festivities got underway. All kinds of arts and crafts kept patrons gleefully entertained until the storytelling began at 7:00; activities included pumpkin painting and tombstone decorating. Einstein’s bakery, in the Humanities building, also stayed open late, providing scrumptious fall treats; hot cocoa, hot apple cider and popcorn all found their way into many festival goer’s hands as the perfect addition to the autumn celebration. As the evening switched over, local storytellers took the stage, and the audience was treated to mystifying tall tales and musical fables. An array of talents were displayed and the audience showed their appreciation with a continuous thundering applause. Ashley Paul, an attender of the festival since she was a young girl, expressed her excitement about being at the event, stating: “There’s a lot of nostalgia associated with this event for me”. The event provided, for many, a fun celebration of the season that the whole family could enjoy; good vibes, laughter and amusement filled the air on this autumn evening.

Photo Courtesy of Google Images


Actor and filmmaker Jesus Nobot talks voting trends

By James El-Mallakh–

Jesus Nebot, an actor and filmmaker, spoke at the University of Louisville’s Chao auditorium on Monday about voting trends in young people.

“For a lot of international students and for a lot of people coming from other countries, we know what it means to be in a country where you don’t have the right to vote,” Nebot said. Nebot was born in Spain under the dictatorship of Francisco Franco. It is for this reason that Nebot speaks about democracy and promotes world peace. He has conducted over 200 speeches at universities domestically and internationally.

During his speech, Nebot talked about voting trends in the past.

“As soon [the twenty-sixth amendment] passed…over 50 percent of young people voted. And that never happened again,” said Nebot.

According to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, in 1972, 52 percent of young people ages 18-24 voted in the presidential election. In 2000 that number was 36 percent and, according to civicyouth.org, that number was 48 percent in 2008.

“To the extent that we do not engage, do not participate [in the political process], we lose. We’re letting others decide for ourselves and that’s just pretty sad.”

The rest of Nebot’s speech was very engaged with the three dozen audience members in attendance. Nebot passed out a survey that ranked each respondent more liberal or conservative based on the answers given. After this, he instructed the ones who were more liberal to gather on one side of the room and the conservative ones to gather on the other side. Then he asked members from each political orientation to debate three topics for the audience members who were not categorized as liberal or conservative. The topics debated were the hot-button issues of abortion, taxation and the environment.

“I think that he did a really great job with engaging students and getting people to think about things we don’t normally think about,” said Lauren Nehus, a senior marketing major and communications minor. “He created a really good environment and talked us through the hot topics and issues.”

KT Kennedy, a senior political science major, said, “I really think he just wants you to know it’s all about being well informed and involved, because everybody’s vote does count.”

The speech was hosted by SAB and Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. The speech was given as a two-part event, the first of which was a catered lunch in the Red Barn that allowed attendees to learn about the presidential candidate’s platforms.

Photo courtesy jesusnebot.com


Shavua Tov! Jewish Cultural Diversity Week: ‘Steel Toes’ screened at U of L

By Simon Isham–

Rage and intolerance collided with compassion at a free screening of the award-winning film “Steel Toes” on Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. at Chao Auditorium in the basement of Ekstrom library. The film screening was presented by the Jewish Studies Committee, the Social Change Program, the Student Activities Board and the Jewish Community of Louisville. It comprised the second and final event of Shavua Tov! Jewish Cultural Diversity Week 2012. The first was a pair of lectures delivered by Dr. Noah Efron on Oct. 18.

The film, which takes place in the multicultural city of Montreal, Quebec, stars Academy Award-nominated actor David Strathairn as Danny Dunkleman, a Jewish court-appointed lawyer tasked with defending Mike Downey, a neo-Nazi skinhead who attacked an East Indian restaurant worker in an inebriated rage. The film delves into the relationship that develops between the two men as Downey seeks to define the grounds of his defense, and Dunkleman parries ensuing problems on the home front.

Dr. Avery Kolers, acting chair of the Jewish Studies Committee, which selected the film, explained the decision to screen “Steel Toes.” “We were looking at a wide range of films from a long historical range. We considered a few about the immigrant experience in early 20th century America. Ultimately, it came down to “Steel Toes” or “The Footnote,” which is a great film and was the Israeli nominee for the Foreign-language Oscar last year. Ultimately, we opted for “Steel Toes” for a few reasons. First, while Judaism and the (Jewish-Canadian-ness) of the protagonist are essential to the film, “Steel Toes” deals with issues that are not exclusively Jewish, and it deals with them in a way that is not, for lack of a better word, forbiddingly Jewish…(S)omething very Jewish in ‘feel’ might have had the wrong effect-it might have exoticized, rather than helped to highlight both what is distinctive and what is universal about the Jewish experience in America. “Steel Toes,” I think, avoids this pitfall.

Andrew Walker plays Michael Downey in ‘Steel Toes’

“The second and perhaps decisive reason we chose ‘Steel Toes’ was that we did not want Shavua Tov to be all about Israel. There is more to Judaism than Israel, and more to Israel than Jews. We have relatively little chance to put on events of this sort, and we wanted to include a range of aspects of the contemporary Jewish world and experience. Since we had a major lecture about Israel we wanted a film about Jewish life in America.”

An hour-long discussion session was held after the screening for those present.

Chelsea Delepierre, a senior sociology major who attended the screening, said: “I thought it was interesting that this film was about discrimination and hate crimes, but from the moment the movie started, [the discrimination and hate] came from both sides: from the lawyer and the skinhead. The skinhead was portrayed as a stereotypical neo-Nazi from the beginning. And I thought it was interesting that the lawyer was so discriminative towards him, his friends and family, when the movie was supposed to be about reaching out to other people.”

Photos courtesy Monterey Media


Bed Bugs invade Ekstrom Library

By Tyler Mercer–

Early this morning the Vice President for Business Affairs reported “Bed bugs are reddish-brown, wingless insects that are found nationwide. They do not transmit disease but do bite to feed off the blood of humans and other animals. This semester, UofL has received and responded to three reports of bed bug sightings. The sightings are isolated and have been investigated and addressed.”

During the month of Sep. housing called in pest control to inspect separate reports of bed bugs in Unitas Tower. The rooms involved were reported to be located close together.

Trace amounts of bug beds were found in Ekstrom Library on Sep. 28. The message from the VP for Business Affairs continued, “The company then eliminated the problem quickly and safely, mitigating any risk to students, faculty or staff.

Keep an eye here or on our Facebook or Twitter for further information.


The Tarzan collection at Ekstrom contains the largest amount of memorabilia surrounding the Edgar Rice Burroughs character.

Edgar Rice Burroughs Collection: the hidden jungle of Ekstrom

The Tarzan collection at Ekstrom contains the largest amount of memorabilia surrounding the Edgar Rice Burroughs character.

By Esther Lee–

Deep in the heart of the University of Louisville Ekstrom Library lies a hidden treasure: the world’s largest institutional collection of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ writings and memorabilia of his most well-known literary creation, Tarzan.

The collection was donated by George McWhorter, who also serves as the collection’s curator. McWhorter started his Borroughs and Tarzan collection, which now includes over 200,000 items in 1936. He donated the collection to the library in 1976. It was dedicated to his mother, Nell Dismukes McWhorter, who taught him to read at the age of five.

“[Burroughs] had a great sense of humor that appealed to me. His philosophy and one of his techniques were cliffhangers, so you always wanted to read more,” McWhorter said.

When I first learned about this massive Tarzan collection in the library, I imagined a jungle, and this was not far from the truth. In the display room, there were bright, colorful Tarzan posters hanging on the walls and countless Tarzan figurines, ornaments, comics and even a pencil sharpener in the glass display cases.

“The collection was absolutely amazing. It had everything from Sunday comics from 1931 to foreign movies about Tarzan,” Keyonna McKinsey, bioengineering major, age 19, expressed when asked about her thoughts on the collection.

Not only does the collection include Burroughs collector’s items, but there are also Burroughs’ personal items such as membership cards, including War Correspondent US Pacific Fleet, United Press Correspondent and Hollywood Country Club. Another fascinating and amazing item in the display room was a personal letter from President Ronald Reagan. “The most amazing thing in my opinion is the letter written by Borroughs sent to President Reagan, and the fact that Reagan had even responded was pretty astounding in itself,” McKinsey said.

At the end of the display room was another door that led into the main exhibit. It overflows with all sorts of items such as Sunday funnies, movie scripts, badges from Dum-Dum conventions hosted by the Burrough Bibliophiles and photographs of all 22 official Tarzan actors. “I never knew that there were so many movies, TV shows and books of Tarzan. I didn’t know it was so popular,” Steven Schweinhart, computer engineering and computer science major, age 19 said.

At the end of the room, there was even a Martian chess-set, an extension of the traditional game that is based on Burroughs’ science fiction novels. Also, wedged between the bookshelves were miniature representations of Tarzan’s birthplace and Burroughs private library.

Nothing Burroughs-related escaped the collection. Not even Star Trek items that drew Burroughs references were excluded.

And of course the Burroughs Collection would not be a collection without the books. There were countless volumes including all 30 first-edition Tarzan books, reprints, foreign editions and braille copies. Although the collection is sizable already, the collection will continue to grow as the lasting impression of Burroughs’ Tarzan develops. “There will always be more adaptions of Tarzan,” McWhorter stated.

The massive collection is truly inspiring. Anyone who visits the collection would be encouraged to read early literacy classics. “I want them to need to read for themselves.” McWhorter said. “If  it’s through Burroughs, then that’s great, but it’s okay even if it’s Peter Rabbit to get them to learn to read.”

The collection’s most outstanding feature was not its impressive number of books or items, though. It was the love and dedication McWhorter has put into the collection over the decades.

Photos: Nathan Gardner/The Louisville Cardinal


News briefs 4.17.12

Ekstrom will open on dates before finals

The east wing of the Ekstrom Library will stay open until 2 a.m. on the following day: Wednesday, April 18; Thursday, April 19; Sunday, April 22; Monday, April 23; Thursday, April 26.

Budget forum with James Ramsey

President James Ramsey, along with other university officials, will hold an open budget forum to discuss matters about U of L’s budget and the budgeting process. The meeting will take place on Thursday, April 19 at 1 p.m. in the Floyd theatre of the SAC. Students are encouraged to come and ask questions.

Employees eligible for class action suit

Up to 55 University of Louisville employees may be eligible to participate in a class action suit regarding the College Retirement Equities Fund that has been filed in Jefferson County Circuit Court.

According to the University of Louisville website, U of L Today, “The suit alleges that CREF delayed the processing of account transfers or withdrawals from October 2005 through March 2008 due to a system conversion, but then disbursed funds based on account values as of the date of application, rather than the date of disbursement.”
The university is not a participant in this action.

Photo: Lara Kinne/The Louisville Cardinal


1937, The Great Flood remembered

By Josephine Lee–

In mid-January, 75 years ago, record rainfall drenched the city of Louisville and caused the Ohio River to rise to levels never reached before. This disaster, known as the “Great Flood of 1937,” not only affected Louisville and southern Indiana, but also places as far south as Arkansas, due to the influx of water in the Mississippi River. To commemorate this event, the Photographic Archives Gallery in Ekstrom Library presents a different perspective of the flood, with images from the Indiana National Guard and Margaret Bourke-White of Life magazine, Corwin Short, who accompanied Bourke-White when she took the photos.

The set of photos pulled for this 75th anniversary exhibit tell a very different story from the 50th anniversary exhibit.

Bill Carner, imaging manager for the photographic archives and curator of the exhibit, was aiming to tell a very focused story of the flood.

“For the 50th anniversary, we really went all out and had articles in the newspaper. We did a big exhibit covering all aspects of the flood,” said Carner.

The destruction of this flood is easy to forget, but one photo captures the force with which Louisville was hit – the power of the river water slamming on the bridge is an unforgettable scene that puts how bad the disaster was in perspective. One photo taken by Bourke-White is of a man in an improvised boat made out of washtubs and shows how unprepared the city was for this natural disaster.

An archive photo shows 3rd street, Grawmeyer Hall and what is now Reynold's lofts under several feet of water.

One of Bourke-White’s most iconic and ironic photos is also displayed. The photo displays flood survivors lined up in the bread line in front of a billboard that says Louisville has the “world’s highest standard of living.” This photo of Louisvillians appeared in Life Magazine and shows how a rapid turn of events can take away a comfortable lifestyle. The aerial photos from the Indiana National Guard serves as a reminder for how widespread the destruction was. In many photos, it is difficult to distinguish what is normal landscape and what are the floodwaters because the water is everywhere. Images of neighborhoods show homes that were almost completely submerged by water. It is easy to forget the destruction of this flood, but this exhibit gives new information to those unknowledgeable of the flood and rekindles memories of those who experienced it.

“The flood is probably the biggest thing that ever happened in Louisville. Anybody who lived through it would remember it very well. There was a local river historian who said the ’37 flood gets worse every year because people’s memories tend to magnify what they dealt with,” said Carner.

The exhibit of the 75th Anniversary of the 1937 Flood exhibit will run until March 9.

Photos courtesy University Archives


The prostitution debate

By Erin Wade–

If you were strolling about the lower level of Ekstrom Library last Thursday evening chances are you would have heard a rousing conversation coming from Chao Auditorium. Cards 4 Freedom, a student organization against human trafficking, teamed up with MensWork, an organization engaging men to take part in eliminating violence against women, to host a debate over the legalization of sex works in America. The panelists consisted of Dr. Kaila Story: Assistant Professor in Pan-African Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies, and Audre Lorde, Chair in Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Lilian Little: Graduate Student in Kent School of Social Work, Rus Funk: Executive Director of MensWork, and Alisha Dawn West: Graduate Student in Women’s and Gender Studies.

Only one question was asked by the orator that incited nearly two hours of a rather toasty debate amongst, not only the panelists, but the audience: What would be the best legal framework for sex works that would also reduce violence and human trafficking? Dr. Story was up to bat first and she made the argument that it should be legalized and treated as any other profession and that with government regulated health benefits and safety standards it would ideologically be the most protective. West agreed somewhat saying that ideologically it would be the best option, but it can’t be ignored that most women are forced into prostitution through trafficking. Little in turn brought up research that said 89% of women were forced into the industry and would escape if they were able. The framework she suggested would serve to decriminalize sex workers, to treat them as the victims of the crime and penalize the pimps and clients. Funk had a similar stance in saying that the workers aren’t the problem; its men’s demand of women’s bodies and their sense of “entitlement.” His example of this entitlement was certainly one of the two most memorable of the debate; something to the effect of “Men feel that just because they have an erection they have the right to stick it wherever they want.”

Although that comment certainly had the ability to derail the conversation to another debate entirely, the attention moved to how exactly it should be regulated, in regards to the transaction, and whether or not such regulation could suffice in protecting the workers. Dr. Story, still in favor of legalizing, suggested that all workers and clients be submitted to a health screening and could then be licensed even. When asked about the transaction in terms of pricing and how one would go about it she responded (Spoiler alert: this is the other memorable moment) that it would be similar to going to a salon for a manicure and that there would be signs: blow job $4.99. Granted, I do believe she was being a little facetious (especially with that price). West and Funk still had doubt especially concerning government regulation. Can we really hold the U.S. government responsible to protect these workers? Dr. Story admitted it won’t be transformed into this magical, non-stigmatized profession overnight, but that if the law is in place, it would be just as effective as any other we have and if a worker doesn’t feel as if they have been protected under said law they can take the American route—and sue.

By the end of the debate, there were still questions unanswered and topics not covered thoroughly enough, but it was brought back into perspective that there’s still more research to be done and options to explore when it comes to legalizing sex works. What did seem evident at the closing of the debate was that these conversations need to be had. Though just sex itself may be seen as taboo or uncomfortable to talk about, it may be something we should remove this leering sense of shame from, for the sake of being educated.



Dia de los muertos comes to Ekstrom library

By Nathan Douglas–

On Nov. 2, many people in Latin America and Spain celebrated El Día de los Muertos, Spanish for “The Day of the Dead.” It is a holiday that coincides with the Catholic holidays All Saints Day and All Souls Day.

“It’s a tradition that is celebrated in Latin America, particularly Mexico and Guatemala. It has roots in the ancient traditions of the indigenous tribes, the Aztecs for example, and the whole idea that life goes on after death. It is a way of celebrating those who have passed away,” said Dr. Rhonda Buchanan, director of Latin American and Latino Studies.

In Louisville, the holiday is embraced and the celebration of life could be seen throughout the city and at the University. The presence of the holiday on the campus could be most notably seen in the Ekstrom Library, where memorial altars were constructed for those who have died.

The construction of altars has become an annual campus tradition. “We (the Spanish section of the Department of Classical and Modern Languages) have been celebrating the Day of the Dead on campus since 2001. We first paid tribute to the victims of 9/11, and since then it has grown and each year it is more elaborate and involves many students of Spanish and their professors, and those from other departments and organizations,” said Dr. Buchanan.

This year, an altar was constructed in memory of Dr. Clarence Talley, a Professor of Sociology and a founding member of the Latin American and Latino Studies program. Dr. Margaret D’Silva, a Professor of Communication and a former research partner of Talley’s was one of the many who visited the altar last week.”Clarence’s altar captures the essence of his life. It is a lovely celebration of his marriage to Theresa, the students he mentored, the tea he enjoyed, and the lives he touched all over the world. Clarence knew no stranger and the altar gets that,” said Dr. D’Silva.

In addition to the altars at the University Library, there is an annual Downtown Celebration of the Day of the Dead at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft. This year’s celebration, on Friday, Nov 4 featured Latin American food, music, dance, and artwork.

There were also workshops for sugar skulls and tissue flowers, which are popular altar offerings during the holiday. The Latin American and Latino Studies Program celebrated “The Legacy of Community and UofL Leaders” with an altar dedicated to Dr. Lilialyce Akers, Anne Braden, Dr. David Hershberg, and Woodford R. Porter, Sr.

The tradition of celebrating el Día de los Muertos is one that will certainly continue in Louisville in future years. As the community experiences an influx of Latino members, the accompanying traditions and cultures will continue to be embraced.

Photos: Nathan Douglas/The Louisville Cardinal


Loud students invade Ekstrom

By Anna Meany–

God bless those who are productive at the library. If you can concentrate despite the giggling, pencil tapping and unnecessary abuse of laptop keys, you deserve a medal. It’s post-midterm time and I think we’re all happy to have gained our souls back from the library.

Club Ekstrom may be the most bumping place on campus after the gym closes. The 24-hour study availability gives students a social alternative to their dorm rooms and supposedly a place to study. It’s a place of serenity to escape crazy roommates, congregate in study groups and conduct research. And I’m not about to deal with the cackling hyenas that invaded my study room yesterday.

It was this incident that made me livid and got me thinking about library disturbances. It’s the seemingly unreachable notes of a girl’s high-pitched laugh that make you glare at her. I’ve seen others giving the glare. This glare is a one-of-a-kind, hateful look that only the most studious of students deliver. They probably won’t notice because, like everyone else, their noses are stuck in Facebook.

If I can hear your fuzzy music through your headphones, those around you are being annoyed. What bothers me the most is that I’ve been and still am that annoying girl who finds everything funny and has a need to shout in the library. Last time I went to the library, we spent a great deal of time playing Backstreet Boys songs loudly and tweeting. At some point, all of us are that obnoxious girl.

Don’t let me single out the ladies. Dudes feel an unreasonable need to be loud in Club Ekstrom, too. That annoying bro laugh when you find something funny on Stumbled Upon is cacophonous to everyone else. Really, how much fun can you have at the library?

It takes a lot of willpower to avoid making a huge scene in the library. Most students deal with library madness by moving. Unfortunately, it’s the easiest solution when glaring doesn’t quite give the hint. Not to mention, asking them to be quiet labels you as the library Grandma. We’re all especially crabby during midterms and finals, when we’re giving up sleep to spend the last few days of school studying. Listening to music, laughing\ and having conversations with friends at unnecessary volumes all contribute to the dull roar of Ekstrom. Compared to the awkward and uncomfortable silence of a library, any sound seems to be amplified with a megaphone. So please, be courteous and respect the unspoken rules of the library.

Photo: Nathan Dougless/The Louisville Cardinal