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Diversity in Our Past: Students of Color at Massachusetts Agricultural College

June 3, 2016 2:30-4:50


As part of Alumni Weekend, Rob Cox, Head of Special Collections and University Archives, will discuss the nearly hidden history of students of color at Massachusetts Agricultural College, the predecessor to UMass Amherst, from the first arrival of international students in the 1870s, to the lives of the first nine African American students at the turn of the twentieth century.

William Peebles and Zachary Hubert, pictured in the photos, were among the first African American students to study at Massachusetts Agricultural College. The numbers were few in a college that was still tiny, but their impact was large. 

The talk, which takes place on Floor 25 of the W.E.B. Du Bois Library, is free and open to the public. A reception will follow from 4 - 4:50 p.m.

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Finals Fun Breaks

April 28 - May 5, 2016

Book Buttons

From Thursday April 28 to Thursday May 5th, the Libraries are hosting a series of FINALS FUN BREAKS! Come to the W.E.B. Du Bois Library and the Science and Engineering Library (SEL) for coloring, origami, blocks, free food courtesy of UMass Catering & Auxiliary Services, button making, and popcorn. 

Check out the Finals Fun Breaks schedule: 

BOTH locations 
All week: April 28 - May 5, “24/7” 

BOTH locations 
May 2,3,4 at 2pm 
Free Cookies and Coffee 
(Provided by UMass Catering & Auxiliary Services)

April 28 at 2 pm 
Button Making

April 29 at 2 pm 

May 2 from 4-6 pm 
Button Making

De-stress at the Libraries this Finals Week! #FinalsFun #UMassLibraries

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Synergy Exhibit Artist's Reception

April 21, 4-6 p.m. Science & Engineering Library

Exhibit AliciaHunsicker

Members of the public, students, facuty, and staff are invited to an Artist's Reception from 4-6 p.m. at the Science and Engineering Library, Lederle Graduate Research Center Lowrise, Floor 2, where they can meet the artist, Alicia Hunsicker '93, and enjoy food and drink.

he event is free and we look forward to seeing you there! 

For more information about Synergy:

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Creative Teaching Salon

April 20, 3:45 p.m. at the University Club


All faculty and instructors are invited to a Teaching Salon held Wednesday, April 20, at 3:45 p.m. at the University Club. 

The event includes refreshments and informal conversations about creative teaching and active learning.

Appetizers and soft drinks will be provided free of charge courtesy of UMass Dining.  Join discussions with colleagues about teaching, and stay after for dinner with family and friends.

Creative Teaching Salons do not have an agenda; each one starts with a key question and then lets the conversations emerge from the participants.Wild ideas and insights on teaching are welcome.

The question for April 20th is: How do we help all types of learners feel included in our classes?

RSVP is encouraged but not required: more information, contact Kate Freedman.  

The event is co-sponsored by the Institute for Teaching Excellence and Faculty Development (TEFD), UMass Information Technology, the UMass Amherst Libraries, and UMass Dining.

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14th Annual Dinner with Friends featuring author Donna Leon

Saturday April 2, 2016 6:30 p.m. (Sold Out!)

Dinner DonnaLeon

International best-selling author Donna Leon will be the guest speaker at the Friends of the UMass Amherst Libraries 14th Annual Dinner with Friends on Saturday, April 2, 6:30 p.m., at the W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst. 

Donna Leon is the author of the international best-selling Commissario Guido Brunetti series. The winner of the Crime Writers’ Association Macallan Silver Dagger for Fiction, among other awards, Leon was born in New Jersey, studied at UMass Amherst, and has lived in Venice for thirty years.

The Brunetti novels explore myriad social issues facing the city of Venice, with Venetian architecture, language, and food taking pride of place as the characters grapple with crime solving. There are currently 25 novels in the Brunetti series from Death at La Fenice (1992) to The Waters of Eternal Youth (2016). German television has produced 20 Commissario Brunetti mysteries for broadcast.

The series has also inspired two companion books, Brunetti’s Venice: Walks Through Venice with the City’s Best-Loved Detective by Toni Sepeda (2009) and Brunetti’s Cookbook by Roberta Pianaro (2010).

Leon also collaborates with Il Pomo d’Oro, an orchestra founded in 2012 with a special focus on opera, writing program notes, scouting singers, organizing recording opportunities, and appearing on stage as a narrator in some productions. In 2016, Il Pomo d’Oro will tour with many operas and concerts, including Gondola, with Vincenzo Capezzuto and Leon.  

The Libraries’ signature fundraising event will feature a champagne and hors d’oeuvres reception, music from the Libraries’ Italian opera collection, a silent auction, a gourmet Venetian dinner featuring dishes adapted from Brunetti’s Cookbook, and a lively talk and book signing by Leon.

Proceeds from the Dinner with Friends benefit the Library Facilities Fund which supports the Libraries’ continual upgrades, improvements, and re-imagined learning spaces for UMass Amherst students.

Space is limited. Tickets are $150 per person and $275 for two (of which $100 and $175, respectively, is tax-deductible). 

Individual and corporate sponsorships are available starting at $250.

For more information, contact Carol Connare (413-545-0995, or visit the Dinner with Friends website: For reservations, email: by March 25, 2016.

photo credit: © Regine Mosimann Diogenes Verlag AG Zurick

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Open Education Week with Nicole Finkbeiner

March 9, 2016 3:30pm, W.E.B. Du Bois Library 2601

pej nicole finkbeiner 07 13 14 1

As part of Open Education Week 2016, the Scholarly Communication office and the W. E. B. Du Bois Library will host Nicole Finkbeiner, the Associate Director of Institutional Relations for OpenStax. OpenStax is the Rice University-based non-profit organization dedicated to improving student access to quality learning materials by developing free, peer-reviewed, open textbooks.

Nicole will be on campus on Wednesday March 9 to discuss the adoption of OpenStax textbooks on thousands of college campuses around the world.

Please join us for an informal presentation and discussion on March 9 at 3:30pm in Room 2601 of the Library. Light snacks will be served.

The event is free and open to the public. If you are plan on attending, please RSVP here:

Hope to see you there!

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11th Annual Social Change Colloquium

April 8, 2016 1-6PM Rm. 163, Campus Center


The UMass Amherst Libraries host “Documenting Punk: Writing, preserving, watching and listening to the history of an American cultural movement.” The 11th annual social change colloquium aims to open a conversation about the documentation of punk.

Keynote speaker Dr. Michael Stewart Foley is the author of Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables and Front Porch Politics, The Forgotten Heyday of American Activism in the 1970s and 1980s. Foley is a professor of American Political Culture and Political Theory at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. He is also a founding editor of The Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics, and Culture.

Event speakers also include Ramdasha Bikceem, Byron Coley, Lisa Darms, Michael T. Fournier, Lydia Lunch, Deward MacLeod, Sara Marcus and Tanya Pearson. For full speaker bios, visit:

Punk, one of the last major youth sub-cultures during the pre-Internet era, was also a decentralized national and international community linked mostly by recordings, zines and the touring of bands. Individual scenes developed across the country in major urban areas, suburban communities and small towns. While each had its own personality and bands, they were linked by a shared distrust of establishment institutions and commercialized popular culture.

In recent years, punk archives have been established at academic repositories and as a result, scholars and the broader public have access to stories that have before only been shared within the punk community. Efforts have also been made to chronicle the history of the movement through the making of films, books and oral histories. The colloquium aims to open a conversation about the documentation of punk. The panel will explore questions including: How can the anti-establishment, anti-institutional, do-it-yourself ethos of punk be reconciled with the desire to collect, preserve and academically study the movement? How can the needs of community access be balanced with the demands of proper conservation? Can the ways scholars, archivists and librarians document a community be reconciled with the ways the movement documents itself?

Each year, the UMass Amherst Libraries’ Department of Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) sponsors a colloquium focusing on a topic in social change. Like SCUA’s collections, these colloquia cover a broad terrain, touching on a variety of issues in social justice, equality, and democracy.

The colloquium is free and open to the public. RSVP at:  The event is co-sponsored by the UMass Amherst Libraries, UMass Amherst Department of History, Amherst College Library, Hampshire College, and Social Thought & Political Economy (STPEC).

For further information, contact: Jeremy Smith 413-545-6729; or Brian Bunk 413- 413-545-6769

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Talking Truth: Finding Your Voice Around the Climate Crisis

Seven-event series: from 2/29 through 4/20, 2016


The UMass Amherst Libraries host a series of interactive climate change events which run between February 29 and April 20, 2016. The series is organized by Talking Truth: Finding Your Voice Around the Climate Crisis, a collaborative community comprised of UMass students, faculty and staff working together to integrate the intellectual, emotional and spiritual dimensions of climate change.

Will Snyder, UMass Extension educator and a member Talking Truth’s planning team, says, “We believe that effective learning and action requires integration of all dimensions of experience. Our aim is to promote the engagement of hearts and minds in understanding and acting on climate issues.”

Monday, February 29, 2:30-3:30 p.m. “Facing an Uncertain Future: Building Your Inner and Outer Skills.” The workshop is led by Skills-for-Life, a Royalston, Mass-based group which imparts skills that strengthen communities and support individual growth. Participants explore the idea of balancing outer skills such as carpentry and gardening with inner skills such as self-awareness. Floor 26.

Friday, March 4, 12:30-2:00 p.m. “Activism and Mindfulness: Grounding Ourselves within the Climate Crisis.” Interactive group discussion. Floor 26.

Wednesday, March 9, 7:00-9:00 p.m. “Renewables are Ready.” A slide show offering scenarios of an energy efficient future, presented by Pat Hynes from the Traprock Peace Center. Floor 26.

Tuesday, March 22, 12:30-2:00 p.m. “Crafting Personal Stories.” Interactive group discussion focusing on sharing climate stories based on personal passion and motivation to inspire action. Floor 26.

Tuesday, April 19, 10:30 a.m. “Sustainable World Sourcebook Giveaway.” 500 free copies will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Outside the Du Bois Library. (Lower Level, in case of inclement weather.)

Wednesday, April 20, 7-9 p.m. “The Wisdom to Survive: Climate Change, Capitalism and Community.” Film screening and discussion examines the challenges climate change poses and highlights meaningful action that can be taken by individuals and communities. Floor 26.

Thursday, April 21, 5:30-7:30 p.m. “Climate Action Celebration.” A gathering to honor graduating seniors as they share what they learned at UMass Amherst, what they wished they had learned, and their ambitions for future climate activism. Floor 26.  (RESCHEDULED from 4/14.)

All events are free and open to the public. The events are co-sponsored by the UMass Amherst Libraries, the Office of Civic Engagement and Service-Learning, the Psychology of Peace and Violence Program, and the Department of Environmental Conservation.

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This Changes Everything

Free Screening of Climate Change Film

this changes everything

AMHERST, Mass. – The public is invited to a free film screening of This Changes Everything, on Tuesday, November 17, 7:30 p.m., in the UMass Amherst Commonwealth Honors College Events Hall (next to Roots Café).

Filmed over 211 shoot days in nine countries and five continents over four years, This Changes Everything is an epic attempt to re-imagine the vast challenge of climate change.

Directed by Avi Lewis, and inspired by Naomi Klein’s international non-fiction bestseller This Changes Everything, the film presents seven powerful portraits of communities on the front lines, from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond.

Interwoven with these stories of struggle is Klein’s narration, connecting the carbon in the air with the economic system that put it there. Throughout the film, Klein builds to her most controversial and exciting idea: that we can seize the existential crisis of climate change to transform our failed economic system into something radically better.

There will be a brief discussion after the film giving audience members a chance to share their reactions and begin a dialogue on how the UMass community can act on the empowering message of the film to make changes, both on and off-campus.

The screening is sponsored by the UMass Amherst Libraries Sustainability Fund and is presented by the UMass Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign, and a coalition of students and staff at UMass Amherst.

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Tower Run at Du Bois Library

Thursday, November 19, 7–10 p.m.

Tower Run

First Annual Tower Run at W.E.B. Du Bois Library

AMHERST, Mass. – UMass students, faculty and staff are invited to register for the first annual Tower Run on Thursday, November 19, 2015, from 7– 10 p.m., at the W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst. Modeled after the Empire State Building Run-Up, 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 17. 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 not timed; participants are encouraged to bring their own timing devices, the only prize offered is that of bragging rights.

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

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.

“We hope that the Tower Run will become an annual occurrence,” says Jay Havey of USOR.  “We believe the Tower Run has the potential to become an iconic event for our campus community. The Libraries carry so much history and prestige that we want to show them off as much as possible and this event allows us to do that.”

UMass Campus Recreation, an integral part of the educational mission of UMass Amherst and the Department of Athletics, 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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