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Author Talk: Ellen Meeropol Reads from Her Latest Novel, Kinship of Clover

Talking Truth: Finding Your Voice around the Climate Crisis

TT Ellen Meeropol

Thursday, 9/28, 7-9 p.m.

Science and Engineering Library, Lederle Lowrise

As part of the UMass Amherst project, "Talking Truth: Finding Your Voice around the Climate Crisis"


Local author Ellen Meeropol G'89 graduated from the Nursing program at UMass Amherst. With deep activist roots, she draws from her twin passions of medicine and social justice in this novel. Her characters come to life at the intersection of political turmoil, ethical dilemmas, and family life. Meeropol is the author of two other novels, On Hurricane Island (2015) and House Arrest (2011). On Hurricane Island was named a Massachusetts Must-Read Book for 2016 by the Massachusetts Center for the Book. Copies of Kinship of Clover will be available for sale and signing.

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UMass Amherst Libraries Host Author Talk Series

Author Talk

The UMass Amherst Libraries host a new series of author talks beginning Thursday, September 28, 2017, at the Science and Engineering Library and W. E. B. Du Bois Library. The goal of the Author Talk Series is to celebrate authors and books with a connection to UMass Amherst and provide an opportunity to connect the campus community and the public with the Libraries. Featured authors will be from the Five Colleges and beyond. The series will include three events in the fall: September, October, and November, and three events in the spring: February, March, and April.


Ellen Meeropol, Thursday, September 28, 7-9 p.m., Science and Engineering Library, Lederle GRC Lowrise

Ellen Meeropol G’89 will read from her newest novel, Kinship of Clover. With deep activist roots, Meeropol draws on her twin passions of medicine and social justice in this novel. Meeropol’s characters come to life at the intersection of political turmoil, ethical dilemmas, and family life. She is the author of two other novels, On Hurricane Island (2015) and House Arrest (2011). On Hurricane Island was named a Massachusetts Must-Read Book for 2016 by the Massachusetts Center for the Book. Meeropol graduated from the Nursing program at UMass Amherst. Her reading is in partnership with the UMass Amherst project, Talking Truth: Finding Your Voice Around the Climate Crisis.


Carol Bailey, Thursday, October 19, 2017 5-7 p.m., Du Bois Library, Room 2601

Carol Bailey G’07 is an Associate Professor at Westfield State University. Her area of teaching and research is postcolonial literatures, with specialization in Caribbean literature. Bailey is the author of A Poetics of Performance: The Oral-Scribal Aesthetic in Anglophone Caribbean Fiction (2014), in which she explores Caribbean written literature alongside calypso, reggae, and different modes of Caribbean oral storytelling, emphasizing folk and urban working-class performance cultures and a woman-centered poetics. Co-sponsored by the following departments: Afro American Studies; English Department; Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies; Women of Color Leadership Network; and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.


John Elder Robison, Thursday, November 30, 5-7 p.m., Du Bois Library, Room 2601

John Elder Robison’s works include Be Different (2011), a how-to guide for grownups with autism; Raising Cubby (2013), the story of raising his autistic son; and Switched On (2016), about his participation as a research subject in brain studies. Robison is active in the autism civil rights movement and is a strong supporter of neurodiversity – the idea that autism and ADHD are a natural part of humanity, essential for our success, and should be honored and accepted even as we work to relieve any disability they may cause.   


Books will be for sale at all three talks. 

The Author Talk Series is made possible through the generous support of the Friends of the Library.

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Get Your Game On!


Sunday, September 3, 2017, 7:30-10 p.m.

Learning Commons


Come to the Learning Commons in the lower level of the W.E.B. Du Bois Library for games, food, and prizes!


This event is sponsored by UMass Amherst Libraries and UMass Amherst Information Technology.

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19th Annual Fall Reception

If You Want to Be Happy, Be Grateful: The Life and Teachings of Brother David Steindl-Rast

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Please Join Us!

If You Want to be Happy, Be Grateful:
The Life and Teachings of Brother David Steindl-Rast 

Sunday, October 1, 2017

3 – 6 p.m.
Old Chapel, University of Massachusetts Amherst

AMHERST, Mass. – The UMass Amherst Libraries invite the public to the 19th Annual Fall Donor Appreciation Reception, “If You Want to be Happy, Be Grateful: The Life and Teachings of Brother David Steindl-Rast,” on Sunday, October 1, 2017, from 3 – 6 p.m. in Old Chapel, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The event is free and open to the public. Reservations are appreciated by September 22, 2017:, 413-545-3974. 

The 2017 Fall Reception celebrates the life and work of Brother David Steindl-Rast, who donated his archives to the Libraries’ Special Collections. A scholar, writer, activist, and Benedictine monk, Brother David has shared a worldwide message of peace, interfaith dialog, social justice, and environmental stewardship for more than 50 years, and he is co-founder of the interactive online community A Network for Grateful Living. Brother David’s TEDTalk, Want to Be Happy? Be Grateful, has garnered over five million views.

The reception will include hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar from 3:00-4:30 p.m. and a speaking program from 4:30-6:00 p.m.

This year’s program features three speakers from A Network for Grateful Living: Anthony Chavez, Brother David’s longtime travel assistant and grandson of Cesar Chavez; Kristi Nelson ’03, Executive Director; and Margaret Wakeley, Program & Community Development Coordinator. Brother David will not be present.

Steindl-Rast is one of the most important figures in the modern interfaith dialogue movement. Leaving his monastery in Elmira, New York, in the mid-1960s and receiving rare Vatican support for his bridge-building work between Christianity and Buddhism in 1967, Steindl-Rast became the first Benedictine to learn directly from Buddhist teachers such as Hakuun Yasutami, the founder of the Sanbo Kyodan Zen Buddhist organization; Soto Zen monk Shunayu Suzuki; and Zen Buddhist Master Soen Nakagawa.

Through his friend Thomas Merton, a Catholic writer, mystic, Trappist monk, and social activist, Steindl-Rast allied with Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hahn, to fight for peace. When not in seclusion Steindl-Rast has served as a teacher of contemplative prayer, the intersection of Zen and Catholicism, and gratefulness as a spiritual practice. Steidl-Rast has developed an influential philosophy which he has disseminated through many books, articles, lectures, and residencies in spiritual centers such as Tassajara Zen Mountain Center—the first Buddhist monastery outside Asia—and the Esalen Institute, a retreat center and intentional community in Big Sur, California. Much of the current popularity of mindfulness and Zen-influenced living and activism owes a debt to his teachings.

The accompanying exhibit, “Locus Solus: Place, Meaning, and Community in the life of Brother David Steindl-Rast,” showcases items curated from Steindl-Rast’s recent donation of correspondence, photographs, writings, audio/visual recordings, art, and publications. The Brother David Steindl-Rast Papers join a number of other recent high-profile donations to the Social Change Archive in SCUA, including the records of the New England Yearly Meeting (of Quakers), the Peter Simon Collection and the Bernard Jaffe Papers.

Parking is available in the Campus Center or in any non-24 hour lot. Free lots closest to the Old Chapel include lots 32, 34 and 71. Metered spots are also free on the weekend. There are 15 handicap parking spaces between South College and Goodell Building.   Campus Map


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Book Talk and Dinner SOLD OUT!

May 18, 2017

You’re invited BACK TO 1914

Join us to hear Ed Klekowski, Professor Emeritus, give a talk about his first book of fiction, The Kaiser’s American, set during the first year of WWI, then enjoy a gourmet dinner, all while supporting the Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives.

Thursday, May 18, 2017
6:00 p.m., Floor 26, Room 2601

Klek post

Cocktails and Exhibit of WWI Archival Collections followed by Dinner, Dessert, and Book Presentation.

Please indicate your choice of entrée:

Herb Roasted Beef Tenderloin, Portuguese Local Seafood Stew, or Vegetarian Seared Parmesan Semolina.

Tickets are $125 per person 
(of which $75 is tax-deductible).

Space is limited, please reserve early.

To pay by credit card, please phone 413-545-3974

To pay by check, please mail to:

Kim D. Fill
W. E. B. Du Bois Library
154 Hicks Way, Room 415
Amherst, MA 01003-9275

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A Climate for Change: Research, Reflection, and Action Around Climate Change

Saturday, April 1, 2017 4-7 p.m.


The UMass Amherst Libraries host an interactive sustainability event, “A Climate for Change: Research, Reflection and Action Around Climate Change,” on Saturday, April 1, 2017, from 4 – 7 p.m. on the Lower Level of the W. E. B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. Seating is limited. The Library will remain open to the public during the event.

The event includes a Sustainability Showcase featuring a variety of UMass Amherst campus-based sustainability initiatives, talks by UMass Amherst geosciences professors Julie Brigham-Grette and Robert DeConto, as well as the presentation of the Libraries’ 2017 Sustainability Hero Award to Massachusetts State Representative Solomon Goldstein-Rose, and the awarding of first place prize for the Undergraduate Sustainability Research Award.

The interactive Sustainability Showcase includes Divest UMass, UMass Climateers, Sustainable UMass, Eco-Reps, Sustainable Food and Farming and Student Farm Enterprise, Sustainability Curriculum Fellowship, Libraries’ Sustainability Fund, the Talking Truth project, Sustainability Projects Abroad, Northeast Climate Center, and the Wind Energy Center.  The Libraries’ Special Collections & University Archives will share information about their environmental, anti-nuke, and alternative energy collections. Additionally, the public is invited to take part in a reflective writing exercise where they can share their thoughts on climate change. These reflections will be added to the Libraries’ archives.

Dr. Julie Brigham-Grette is a  professor of Quaternary/glacial geology, arctic paleoenvironments, and Department Head of Geosciences at UMass Amherst. Julie is also chair of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences’ Polar Research Board, and was named a 2016 Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, an honor given to individual members “who have made exceptional scientific contributions and gained prominence in their respective fields of Earth and space sciences.”

Her research focuses on the chronology of geologic systems that record the climate evolution and sea level history of the Arctic over the past 3.5 million years and on documenting the global context of ancient environmental change across the Bering Land Bridge, that area of the western Arctic from Alaska and the Yukon into northeastern Russia and adjacent marginal seas.

Brigham-Grette has recently been named a Public Engagement Faculty Fellow by the Public Engagement Project, a UMass Amherst-based endeavor which supports and trains faculty members to use their research to contribute to social change, public policy, and to enrich public debate. During her fellowship, Brigham-Grette will help educate the public and policy makers on how to best manage investments in coastline development given the certainty of rising sea levels.

Dr. Robert DeConto, professor of climatology, department of Geosciences at UMass Amherst, is one of the world’s leading experts on polar climates, ice sheets, and sea-level rise. He is the winner of the 2016 Tinker-Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica. The recognition comes for his outstanding work on past and future Antarctic climate and for research integrating geological data with modeling to reveal likely consequences for future sea level rise from ice sheet melt. The prize includes a $100,000 award and is given to “an individual in the fields of Antarctic science and/or policy who has demonstrated potential for sustained and significant contributions that will enhance the understanding and/or preservation of Antarctica.”

DeConto and co-author Penn State climate scientist David Pollard’s March 2016 paper in Nature, “Contribution of Antarctica to past and future sea-level rise,” was named the most featured climate change paper in the media last year as reported by, a U.K.-based website covering the latest developments in climate science, climate policy and energy policy. The research paper was featured in 386 news stories and was covered by outlets such as the BBC, Guardian, Huffington Post, New York Times, Washington Post, and The New Yorker.

Massachusetts State Representative Solomon Goldstein-Rose, Third Hampshire District, will be presented with the Libraries’ 2017 Sustainability Hero Award. Golstein-Rose, who took over the seat vacated by retired State Representative Ellen Story, and is one of the youngest state legislators in the country, is an advocate for system change, particularly on education and clean energy, and a resource for constituent service, internship opportunities, and political activism.

The first place winner of the Undergraduate Sustainability Research Award will also be honored.  This annual scholarship promotes in-depth understanding of sustainability topics, research strategies, and the use of library resources, and is funded by the UMass Amherst Libraries’ Sustainability Fund.



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Talking Truth: Finding Your Voice Around the Climate Crisis

Events from January 30 - April 22, 2017


The UMass Amherst Libraries host a series of interactive climate change events which run from January 30 through May 8, 2017. All events are free and open to the public. Unless otherwise specified, the events take place in the W.E.B. Du Bois Library. Seating is limited, please arrive early.

The multi-event series, now in its second year, is organized by Talking Truth: Finding Your Voice Around the Climate Crisis, a collaborative community comprised of UMass Amherst students, faculty, and staff working together to integrate the intellectual, emotional and spiritual dimensions of climate change. The theme of the spring 2017 series is “Living and Working with Purpose in a Time of Climate Disruption.”

Holding Earth: Mindful Climate Action
Mondays, 1/30-5/8, 3:00-3:45 p.m., Room 1638

Weekly 30-minute mindfulness practice followed by sharing of resources, action-based opportunities, and ideas.

Finding Work with Meaning in the Anthropocene: Panel Discussion
Thursday, 4/19, 7:00-9:00 p.m., Room 2601

Gain insights into your personal journey toward forward-thinking work in sustainable living and community building within the fields of education, entrepreneurialism, and green building, with Ofer Sharone, assistant professor, Sociology, UMass Amherst; Sara Schley, co-founder of the sustainable consulting firm Seed Systems; Ezra Small, UMass Amherst Sustainability Manager; Sarah Hebert G’13, Trinity Solar employee; and John Fabel, building and construction technology adjunct faculty member, UMass Amherst. 

Meeting Our Ancestors: Exploring the Future Through the Present Moment
Friday, 2/24, 12:30-2:00 p.m., CAMPUS CENTER Room 917

A sacred “deep time” practice session, inspired by the work of activist and Buddhist scholar Joanna Macy. In this workshop we will consider how we might act like ancestors of future generations and reinvigorate our commitment to climate justice action. The group is facilitated by Tim Beaucage, graduate advisor/teaching associate at UMass Amherst.  

Beyond Doom and Gloom: Including Solutions to Climate Change in Teaching
Wednesday, 3/1, 12:30-1:30 p.m., Room 2601

Live webinar for faculty presented by the Disciplinary Association Network for Sustainability. Learn to access expert guidance and curricular materials to engage your students in current and future solutions. This webinar is applicable to any course, in any discipline; discussion to follow.
Finding Your Life Purpose: Career Workshop
Thursday, 3/2, 7:00-8:30 p.m., Room 2601

Reflective writing, group discussion and practical steps to support career exploration. The group is led by contemplative career coach and mindfulness teacher Jennifer Earls, M.Ed., Dance with Life Consulting.

Poetry reading and creative writing workshop
Thursday, 3/23, 7:00-9:00 p.m., Room 2601

Featuring Don Ogden, author of Bad Atmosphere. A free copy of Ogden’s book will be given to the first 20 participants to arrive.

Green Building Tour
Thursday, 4/13, 4:00-5:30 p.m., Meet in the lobby of the W.E.B. Du Bois Library

Get the inside stories of the new Design Building, renovated Old Chapel, South College addition, Integrative Learning Center and others. Led by Ludmilla Pavlova, senior campus planner.

Other associated events:

A Climate for Change: Research, Reflection, and Action around Climate Change
Saturday, 4/1, 4:00-5:00 p.m., Lower Level, W.E.B. Du Bois Library.

Participate in our reflective writing exercise as part of the Libraries’ spring Climate Change event, which will also include a Sustainability Showcase, speakers, and refreshments. The full event is from 4-7 p.m.

Town of Amherst Sustainability Festival,
Saturday, 4/22, 10:00-4:00 p.m, Amherst Town Common 
Find representatives from Talking Truth in the Climate Transformer area.

For more information, contact Madeleine Charney, 413-577-0784 or visit: and

Talking Truth is co-sponsored by the Office of Civic Engagement and Service-Learning, UMass Amherst Libraries, Department of Environmental Conservation, and Psychology of Peace and Violence Program.

Talking Truth is endorsed by the following UMass Amherst entities, the Center for Counseling and Psychological Health, UMass Climateers, Eco-Rep Program, Biostead Initiative, Contemplative Pedagogy Working Group, Spiritual Ecology and Regenerative Systems Initiative, and Office of Religious and Spiritual Life.

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Second Annual Tower Run

November 17, 2016 7-10 PM

Tower Run

UMass Amherst students, faculty and staff are invited to register for the second annual Tower Run to be held on Thursday, November 17, 2016, from 7–10 p.m., at the W.E.B. Du Bois Library. The Tower Run offers the opportunity to run the 440 steps of the Du Bois Library, from the Lower Level to Floor 26.

Participants must register in advance by November 10. For more information and to register, visit:

The entry fee is $10 and registration is limited to the UMass Amherst community. Runners will be put into different time slots and allowed to run in intervals.  The first 100 registrants will receive a Tower Run t-shirt. The Tower Run is untimed; participants are encouraged to bring their own timing devices: the prize offered is bragging rights.

The event is sponsored by UMass Students of Recreation (USOR), UMass Campus Recreation, and the UMass Amherst Libraries.

“We are extremely excited for the second annual Tower Run,” says Bethany Welch of USOR. “Both Campus Recreation and the Library are a huge part of UMass students' lives and it is awesome to be able to combine the two in one great event. We hope that this fun activity will develop camaraderie in the UMass community in the following years.”

UMass Students of Recreation (USOR) is a registered student organization that is responsible for holding events on the UMass Amherst campus including a National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) Regional Basketball Tournament, Campus Recreation Olympic Games (CROG), and other athletic activities. The main goal of USOR is to advance the Campus Recreation program and offer fun experiences to people who want to get involved with different sorts of recreational activities.

UMass Campus Recreation, an integral part of the educational mission of UMass Amherst and the Division of Student Affairs and Campus Life, provides comprehensive recreational and student development opportunities, as well as exceptional programs, services and facilities. Through positively reflecting the interests and values of the UMass community, Campus Recreation actively promotes and encourages a lifelong commitment to health and wellness.

All proceeds from the Tower Run will go towards the UMass Amherst Libraries’ Facilities Fund which enables the Libraries to continually upgrade, improve, and re-imagine learning spaces.

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The Souls of Black Folk Book Giveaway

Today: Wednesday, October 5, 10 a.m., Lower Level, until books are gone!

DuBoisbook giveaway2

Five hundred copies of the book The Souls of Black Folk, the seminal work of W.E.B. Du Bois, will be given away today on the Lower Level of the Du Bois Library by Whitney Battle-Baptiste, Director of the Du Bois Center. She will be joined by students and John Fitzgerald '63, G'78, who donated the books. 

Last year's event, also made possible through the generosity of John Fitzgerald, was extremely popular and all 500 copies were handed out in just under 2 hours.

First come, first served! Lower Level, Du Bois Library.

The event is sponsored by the W.E.B. Du Bois Center.

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Birds of Prey with Tom Ricardi

Friday, October 14, 2016 1-2:30 p.m. Lower Level, Du Bois Library

Birds of Prey

The UMass Amherst Libraries will host Tom Ricardi of the Massachusetts Birds of Prey Rehab Facility in Conway, Mass for an interactive presentation featuring live birds of prey. Among the raptors featured will be a Golden Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Red-Tailed Hawk, Harris Hawk, Kestrel, Screech Owl, Great Horned Owl, and Eurasian Eagle Owl. The event is free and open to the public.

A retired Fish and Wildlife game warden and licensed wildlife rehabilitator, Ricardi cares for injured birds, operates a successful captive-breeding program, and travels throughout New England and New York providing information aimed at helping people appreciate, respect, and assist in the conservation of these important raptors.

This event is a must for anyone who enjoys watching the Peregrine falcons atop the Du Bois Library.

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