Colorado State University-Pueblo Library Presents Colorado Chicano Movement Archives

Last night, the University Library of Colorado State University – Pueblo held a reception and presentation from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.  at El Centro del Quinto Sol Community Center, 609 N. Erie Ave., to introduce its newly created Colorado Chicano Movement Archives. The event included entertainment, recognition of donors, an informational presentation by Interim University Archivist, Beverly Allen, and a presentation of student research by CSU-Pueblo students, Ruth Soto and Reyes Martinez Lopez.

At the June 30th reception, the University Archives announced the acquisition of new material from Jose Esteban Ortega related to the Chicano Movement in Colorado including: photographs, a vintage collection of community newspapers and other publications documenting the Chicano Movement of the 1960s and 70s from throughout the state of Colorado, rare books on Chicano history, as well as silk-screened banners and t-shirts emblazoned with movement slogans and artwork. A Pueblo resident for nearly sixty years, Mr. Ortega remains a well-respected community activist participating in the planning and promotion of annual Cinco de Mayo parades, Dia de La Raza celebrations, and commemorations to honor the deaths of Chicano activists who lost their lives fighting against social injustices in Colorado.

Please contact Beverly Allen at (719) 549-2475 or by email at for more information.

Colorado Chicano Movement

Colorado Chicano Movement


Libraries and Journalism

In light of the recent discussion led by Jamie LaRue on Libnet regarding Libraries and Reporters debating whether libraries should consider expanding their missions to reporting news (I’m really!! paraphrasing here), I found the following note from American Libraries interesting.

Here’s a quote. “Rutgers is the only member of the Association of American Universities with a library program connected to a journalism program; the two schools merged in 1982. “Both librarianship and journalism are facing challenges,” he told AL, and through their affiliation in the school, “each of them can draw on the strength of the other.”

Brutalist Libraries – You Gotta Love Em

According to Yahoo! News this morning, the website has come up with a list of the World’s Top 10 Ugliest Buildings and Monuments. Reuters did not endorse this list.” [Disclaimer – I went to and couldn’t find this list myself.] Here’s the Yahoo! story:  Travel Picks: 10 top ugly buildings and monuments – Yahoo News

What caught my attention is that one unfortunate library, Birmingham Central Library in Birmingham, England, made the list. Naturally, I felt bad for them! However, after visiting its website,  I want to send to Birmingham Central Library a message of solidarity. The reason stated for placing this monumental library building at number nine on the ugliest buildings list is its “Brutalist” style of architecture. Here’s a photo from the library’s website:

Brutalist Style Library

Brutalist Style Library

We too have a Brutalist style library.

CSU-Pueblo's Brutalist Style Library

As we’ve been planning for a major remodel and expansion of our library over the past two years, I’ve actually come to develop an appreciation for this style. In essence our entire campus is built in this style, and, while some joke that it was done so that the buildings could be used as a prison if the University should fail, I think there is a certain appropriateness to both the aesthetics and scale of our buildings. We are perched on a hilltop out in the prairie with awesome views of the mountains to the West and the plains to the East. Our library is definitely a strong landmark! And, I argue, its stark style and vintage 1960s look is almost “cool” again. We definitely plan to enhance but not try to disguise the original style of the building.

However, I am looking forward to better lighting and less “vintage” furnishings!

Brutalist Libraries of the world unite!!


I just heard of AccessMyLibrary for the first time today as I was listening to NPR on the way to work. The announcer read off that the program I was listening to was sponsored by “The Gale Group” bringing me access to information libraries “use” via AccessMyLibrary. Well of course that caught my attention. He didn’t say access to information “in” my library. Just information that libraries “use”. I’m pretty sure he said use not “trust” as listed in the tag line below, but I could be wrong. So I decided to look it up. The site is linked below.

AccessMyLibrary – News, Research, and Information that Libraries Trust

Apparently, it is a site through which registered users can authenticate to GALE content their libraries have purchased if their library has also registered. The attempt is to funnel Internet researchers to GALE content. It’s pretty smart, but very commercial. The pages are riddled with advertising. And it isn’t clear to me from the FAQ on the site if people have to pay for the service or not?

Have any libraries out there signed up for this? And, if so, what are your impressions?

Alice Robison Keynote Address at CALC2008

On Friday, I attended the 3rd Colorado Academic Library Consortium Summit (CALC2008) in Denver. Our morning keynote speaker, Alice Robison, is a post-doctoral fellow at MIT, researching gaming and learning theory. Her talk was very engaging. What I most enjoyed about it was that it was not, strictly speaking, about libraries. It was interesting to hear an outside perspective. She talked about how various structural features of games contribute to learning. For example, games provide participants with lots of visual stimuli, the goals of the game are made clear from the beginning, instant feedback is provided, and gamers enjoy the ability to learn by doing (and failing). My two biggest light bulb reactions to her talk were:

1) It’s ok to fail and that we should expect students to fail the first time we give them a new task; they will learn by repeating the task until they get it right.

2) “Cheats” are not only fun in gaming but they are encouraged.

My colleagues and I talked about the idea that the library itself might be viewed as a “game” and that if we applied the above criteria, students might be more engaged in the research process. Imagine that you walk in to the library to work on a project. There are lots of visual signs to make it clear where you should start. Your instructor has made it clear what your goals are for research. The environment is non-threatening, so you don’t mind starting from scratch and learning as you go. The process is fun (or at least mentally challenging <gr>). Finally, you figure out that there is a “cheat” you can use. It’s the librarian. He or she will actually tell you where to look, so you can move to the next level!

Have fun!


Recap of Common Myths

After several days of postings both on this blog and on the Libnet listserv, some consensus has emerged regarding the most prevalent myth about libraries.

Here’s a breakdown of the most common responses:

9     Libraries are no longer needed because everything is on the Internet (or the Web is equivalent to library databases)

6     Librarians do nothing but “read” and have read everything in their libraries

5    Everyone working in a library is a “librarian” (or you don’t need a degree to be a librarian)

4     Libraries are mostly about books

4     Libraries are “safe” places (or libraries are responsible for protecting kids)

3     All librarians are middle aged women with buns

3     Librarians know everything

3     Patrons are our bosses because they “pay our salaries”

2     Everything in a library is free

2    All librarians do is check books in and out

I originally posted the question as I was thinking about how to answer a question from our Foundation Director. While the responses above represent all types of libraries, I do agree that the top myth is very relevant to academic libraries in particular. So  much has been said about this that I’m not going to add anything here. But after I meet with the BOD, I will let you know their comments.

Thanks to all of you for your input.

What Students Think About Libraries

Thanks to everyone who contributed thoughts about the most commonly held myths regarding libraries. Some of them were really new to me and I think some of them really illustrate the differences between academic and public libraries. Others were more universal! I will summarize the postings on my blog as soon as I’m sure they’re all in!

While I think librarians have a good sense of the general public’s attitude towards libraries, some of their ideas may still surprise us. Here is a link to comments made by students at a university in New Zealand about the Library of 2017. I especially like the view that librarians will all wear foil and pointy hats! 🙂

On a more serious note, I’m sure most of you have already read this report from OCLC, which came out in 2005 ( But it is worth reviewing in the context of myths and misconceptions about the library. The number one “brand” that students associate with the library is still, by a large margin, “books”.