University Library Newsletter Issue 13 November 2011



From University Librarian Ginny Steel

This is the time of year when we look back with gratitude. With the campus' landmark McHenry Library back in new splendor and functionality our hearts go out to all who had a hand in this major accomplishment.

Thank you to the many wonderful people who have continued or increased their financial support of the UCSC Library.

Thank you to the kind, thoughtful people who have remembered the University Library in their estate plans.

Thank you to the generous people who parted with precious collections of photographs, books, prints and more, so that their treasures can be used to support teaching and research in Special Collections & Archives and in the circulating collection.

Thank you to the people who helped make the "Attics of Our Lives" event such a smashing success. We also extend a big thank you to the people who opened their homes to entertain university supporters. Your creativity and generosity are among our many blessings.

Thank you to our campus partners in administration, information technology services, business and administrative services, university relations, student services, campus police, and other units who worked with us in many ways to help us enhance the library's support of teaching and research.

Thank you to the groundskeepers who contributed to the beauty of our magnificent surroundings.  

Thank you to our campus colleagues, architects, builders, and designers who worked so hard to create a "new" McHenry Library that welcomes students and faculty and supports teaching, learning, and research. We also thank the local firms who helped with the move back into McHenry Library. It was a huge undertaking that went remarkably smoothly thanks to good planning and hard work.

Thank you to the janitorial staff members who meet the challenge of keeping clean our now 260,000-square-foot McHenry Library as well as the Science & Engineering Library.

Thanks, Hoffman Family, for your delectable food, your excellent coffee, and for providing healthy meals to students, faculty, and staff at McHenry Library's Global Village Café.

Thank you to our wonderfully dedicated and hard-working staff members who have managed changes in service models, made daily treks between our two buildings, and met the multiple needs of students and faculty with knowledge, creativity, and good humor. You have done a terrific job!

Finally, thank you to our many, many users who are living testimony that academic libraries thrive and continue to serve the purpose of educating future leaders of California and the nation.

It has been a great year for our library family. We are proud that you are part of it. As we all count our many blessings, I extend to you the warmest wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving. 

Happy reading!

Ginny Steel

University Librarian    

Help! I Can't Find What I Need!

Have you ever set off into a large library only to feel overwhelmed? The best of signage doesn't replace a friendly person offering help.

1043Roving Students Assistants Matt Graves and Tanya Pita


Often it's the student shelving books to whom their fellow students or other library patrons turn for assistance. Building on this reality, at the University Library we have trained a very special group of roving student library assistants to help users navigate library services and facilities. 

Matt Graves and Tanya Pita are among the first yellow-vest clad student information assistants. Each is equipped with special training, an iPad, and a 2-way radio.

Based on a similar program at UC Merced, the pilot program started in the fall quarter, with hours clustered in weekday late afternoons. The assistants' iPads allow on-the-spot searches of the library's catalog and databases; the 2-way radio is used to reach librarians and information services specialists.

Tanya, a sophomore majoring in molecular biology and biochemistry, tells us, "This job has already expanded my knowledge about my major and library resources. It is an interesting way to help people." Matt, a junior majoring in psychology, says, "This is the only job where you become a celebrity during finals and midterms!" 

Long time Information Services Specialists Peggy McNicholas and Laura McClanathan trained the student assistants in fielding and addressing questions. Questions beyond the scope of the work of the roving students assistants are referred to librarians and library assistants.

While Tanya and Matt are working at the Science & Engineering Library, two roving student assistants, Brandon Knight (a sophomore, majoring in business management economics) and Leah Nichols (a junior majoring in literature), are serving users at McHenry Library. If you have the opportunity to take advantage of help from Matt, Tanya, Brandon or Leah, let us know what you think.


1,624 Student Assistants

The McHenry Library looks amazing!
I spent a great deal of time at McHenry and have fond memories of the space and the librarians who worked was part of the reason I decided to become a librarian.
Once a Slug, always a Slug.
Kirby McCurtis
Librarian II, San Diego Public Library

No university library can fulfill its mission without student assistants; we are so grateful for the help.

1,624 student assistants have worked for the University Library since 1996. Were you one? Did you shelve? Check bibliographic citations? Package books for inter-library loan? Have you kept up with fellow library student assistants? We'd like to hear from you.


Kay Ryan, Poet

From the moment she bounded up the stage stairs, Kay Ryan's vitality energized her audience. She was funny, thoughtful, and very entertaining. Her audience was engaged, often laughing with the poet. Being with Kay Ryan was a great treat.

On Sunday, November 20th a fortunate group of Santa Cruz-are people were treated to a reading by Kay Ryan, United States Poet Laureate (2008-2010). The reading took place as part of the 2nd Annual Morton Marcus Memorial Poetry Reading.

2011 has been a year of awards for Kay Ryan. In April she won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for her collection The Best of It: New and Selected Poems. In September, Ms. Ryan was awarded the MacArthur Fellows Programs's genius grant.


The reading was held at UCSC's Music Recital Hall, a short walk through the woods from McHenry Library where the archive of the late poet Morton Marcus is housed. Among the sponsors of the poetry reading was UC Santa Cruz.


The Grateful Dead Archive: Progress Toward a Goal

1040Good vibes at Attics of our Minds evening


The Grateful Dead Archive goal is to preserve, organize, describe, digitize, and make available to all the very generous gift of the band's archive received by the library in 2008.

There are even larger goals. The Grateful Dead Archive is the cornerstone of a much larger collection of materials relating to the political, artistic, and literary history of the 1960's in Northern California and beyond. The University Library well on the road to becoming a resource for scholars of the period. 

Since spring 2008, we've come a long way. Nicholas Meriwether, Grateful Dead Archivist, and Robin Chandler, Project Manger for the IMLS grant, have made a big difference. They've lead teams of library staff members and dedicated volunteers who've accomplished so much.

Donors have made a tremendous impact. Pat yourselves on the back for your generosity and far-sightedness! 

There is more. The gift of the Grateful Dead Archive propelled the library to seek and gain a grant from the Institute for Library and Museum Services (IMLS). That $615K grant pushed library staff members to expand their understanding and their skills around digitization of objects and the digital organization of information. These new skills will be applied to other collections held by the library, thus making still more archives and collections available to scholars and interested individuals around the world.  

Here is the report on what's been accomplished to date. 

Behind the Scenes

  • Equipment & people work 5-days a week to digitize fan mail, posters, business records, and more
  • 49,000 items digitized
  • 20,000 items tagged
  • 652 published titles cataloged 

Publications of the Archive  

  • First Fusion, the commemorative journal for Bob Weir's Marin symphony, features the program and nine essays exploring aspects of the Dead's intellectual history (May 2011). Edited by Nicholas Meriwether.  
  • Dead Studies, volume 1, 2011, is a scholarly journal that builds on the model and momentum of the journal founded by Nick Meriwether, Dead Letters.  Dead Studies is edited by Nicholas Meriwether.    
  • The Attics of Our Lives: Posters and Art of the Grateful Dead Archive, a Preview Exhibit.  Catalog by, Nicholas G. Meriwether, 2011.
  • Reliquary: The Newsletter of the Grateful Dead Archive.         

Publications Using Archive Resources

  • Dead Letters: The Very Best Grateful Dead Fan Mail  by Paul Grushkin (Voyageur Press, 2011)  
  • Grateful Dead Scrapbook: the Long, Strange Trip in Stories, Photos, and Memorabilia by Ben Fong-Torres (Chronicle Books, 2009)  


  • A BIG THANK YOU to the people who contributed funds, ideas, and lots of work to making Attics of Our Lives happen, among whom are: Claudia and Alec Webster, John Allured, Gary Bencomo, Susan Bradshaw, Curtis Clyne, Todd Graham, Andre Lafleur, and Joanne Miller. Roger McNamee kindly sat for a long interview; his generosity and enthusiasm led him to sponsor the Stanley Mouse poster celebrating the event. More contributors to the event are thanked on page 218 of the book accompanying the exhibit, The Attics of our Lives: Posters and Art of the Grateful Dead Archive, a Preview Exhibit.   
  • Susana Millman images from the photographer  
  • Herb Greene images from the photographer 
  • David F. Brooks' broad and deep collection of memorabilia
  • Eileen Law, the original archivist, continues to find and send us treasures       


  • Grateful Dead Now Playing at the New-York Historical Society ran from March to September 2010.    
  • Attics of Our Lives, the preview exhibit of Grateful Dead Archive items curated by archivist Nicholas Meriwether, November 5, 2011.  


Donors have made a tremendous impact. Pat yourselves on the back for your generosity and far-sightedness!

We are grateful to everyone who has contributed money, time, talent, knowledge or items to the Grateful Dead Archive.

We need your continued support.  Keep the Dead Alive. Support the Archive! 


Parents Make All the Difference


The third floor of the newly expanded and renovated McHenry Library is an especially comfortable place to study because parents helped to furnish it.

A gift of $40,000 to fund furnishings for a third floor study area came from the Parent Fund. Giving to the Parent Fund is a way for parents of students to contribute to the personalized education that characterizes UCSC. In the past three years gifts to the Parent Fund have supported the Student Emergency Fund, Student Affairs, Undergraduate Education, and the University Library. While members of the Parents Association suggested the distribution of money they raised, Chancellor Blumenthal made the final decision to direct the funds, this year, to the library.

We are very grateful to the chancellor, and the Parents Association for their contribution to the University Library...and so are the students.


Let's Celebrate Now

Have you remembered the UCSC University Library in your will? If so, we'd like to know so that we can celebrate your generosity now. Don't be shy! Your gift intention can be as public or as private as you want.

Contact Astrid von Soosten at or 831-459-5870


Re-Dedication of McHenry Library  

Friday, April 27th, 2012.

Save the Date!  We'll celebrate the re-dedication of McHenry Library.


Editor: Lettie Bennett, Associate Director of Library Development
Photography of Matt Graves and Tanya Pita by Margaret McNicholas
Photographs not attributed to others were taken by Lettie Bennett
Proofing: Mark Engel
Special thanks to Suzanne Flanders, Library Office Manager