Skip to Main Content

News & Events

UMass Amherst Libraries Made Partner in Maker Competencies and the Undergraduate Curriculum Pilot Study

Makerspace CMS Photo

The UMass Amherst Libraries have been chosen by the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) and the University of Nevada-Reno as one of four additional university partners to participate in a pilot study entitled Maker Competencies and the Undergraduate Curriculum.

Funded by a $49,800 National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the study seeks to explore the impacts of academic library makerspaces–spaces with technological resources and equipment for project-based collaboration–on undergraduate student learning.

Sarah Hutton, Head of Undergraduate Teaching and Learning Services at the UMass Amherst Libraries and President of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) New England Chapter, applied for the partnership on behalf of the Digital Media Lab, a cross-disciplinary makerspace in the W. E. B. Du Bois Library where all students have access to professional-quality audiovisual production facilities and equipment, as well as the Makerbot Innovation Center for 3D printing.

As a partner in the study, the UMass Amherst Libraries will work towards four main goals: to pilot a diverse selection of undergraduate courses in academic library makerspaces; to expand and improve the early stage list of maker-based competencies originally developed by UTA Libraries’ Maker Literacies Task Force; to create and explore various assessment methods and tools for measuring student learning in makerspaces; and to develop an online repository of Open Educational Resources (OER) for utilizing and assessing maker-based competencies.

To accomplish these goals, Hutton will be collaborating with UMass Amherst Professors Alex Schreyer in the Building and Construction Technology program and Charlie Schweik of Environmental Conservation and the School of Public Policy over the Spring 2018 semester in their Makerspace-related class offerings: Schreyer’s “Designing with 3D CAD & BIM” and “Studies in Building Information Modeling” and Schweik’s “Makerspace Leadership and Outreach.”

According to Hutton, “Our hope is to develop competencies that could hopefully be as widely recognized and utilized as the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy–essentially, a common language for curriculum mapping and development throughout makerspaces in libraries all over the country and the world.”

Read more »

UMass Amherst Librarian Receives Digital Library Federation & Kress Cross-Pollinator Award


The UMass Amherst Libraries are pleased to announce that Annie Sollinger, Digital Image Metadata Librarian, has been selected as a winner of this year’s Digital Library Federation (DLF) & Kress Cross-Pollinator Awards.

A member of the Libraries’ Digital Scholarship Center (formerly the Image Collection Library), Sollinger works closely with the Department of the History of Art and Architecture in particular to provide quality digital images, metadata, and research support. She states, “As we add to our traditional visual resources work, I am excited about building new services that are accessible and equitable from the ground up.”

The Kress Cross-Pollinator Awards bring in awardees from non-DLF members who belong to other cultural organizations. These awards provide a travel fellowship to the annual DLF Forum, serving as a meeting place, marketplace, and congress for digital library practitioners from member institutions and the broader community. This year, the Forum will be held in Pittsburgh on October 23-25.

Read more »

UMass Amherst Faculty Members Receive Sustainability Curriculum Fellowships

$10,000 Awarded for 2017-18

The Chancellor’s Office has awarded 11 UMass Amherst faculty members with a Sustainability Curriculum Fellowship (SCF) for the 2017-18 school year. The year-long interdisciplinary fellowship provides ten fellowships of $1,000 each (one shared) to faculty developing or augmenting courses with sustainability-related topics.

Fellows will attend monthly meetings, during which they receive guidance with using library resources, assistance with course design or redesign, and reports about campus sustainability policies, projects, and other initiatives. 

The fellowship is supported by the Chancellor’s Sustainability Advisory Committee, in cooperation with UMass Amherst Libraries, the Campus Sustainability Manager from Facilities and Campus Service, the Institute for Teaching Excellence and Faculty Development, and the School of Earth and Sustainability.

To date, the SCF program has supported five cohorts of faculty fellows from every college, across two dozen different departments at the university.

This year’s Sustainability Curriculum Fellows are:



Mary Bell and Angela Roell, Stockbridge

Madeleine Charney/Naka Ishii

Nicole Burton, Stockbridge

Madeleine Charney/Naka Ishii

Carol Connare, Journalism

James Kelly

Christina DiMarco-Crook - Food Science

Naka Ishii

Wayne Feiden - LARP

Madeleine Charney

David Glassberg - History

James Kelly

Emily Kumpel - Civil and Environmental Engineering

Maxine Schmidt

Jennifer Merton - Management

J. Michael Davis

Joel Saxe - Communication

Jeremy Smith

Elizabeth Schmidt – Public Policy

Lisa Di Valentino

Read more »

UMass Amherst Libraries Win Grant from the National Networks of Libraries of Medicine - New England Region

ScienceBootCamp edit

The UMass Amherst Libraries announce the recent award of a $9,694 grant from the National Networks of Libraries of Medicine – New England Region to support Science Boot Camp (SBC), an annual two-and-a-half-day professional development event for science librarians.

The grant provided seven scholarships for Library staff and library school students from across New England. Recipients were paired with a veteran SBC mentor to develop deeper understandings of science librarianship and related opportunities. The grant also increases the reach of the program, using technology to enable more librarians to participate on the local, national, and even international scale.

“The grant money enabled the Planning Committee to hire a professional videographer to record, edit, and close-caption each session during SBC,” said Thea Atwood, Science and Engineering Librarian at the UMass Amherst Libraries, “as well as to purchase a public address system to enable participants to better hear each lecturer and provide the SBC Planning Committee more autonomy in selecting locations for future Boot Camps.”

Atwood applied for and was awarded the grant on behalf of the New England Science Boot Camp Planning Committee, comprised of science librarians from New England.

SBC aims to support science librarians assisting researchers in subjects new to them, as well as provide them with strategies for effective communication and outreach across multiple scientific disciplines. Each year, researchers are invited from three topical areas to discuss a brief overview of their field and current research. The program ends with librarians spending a half-day working intimately with a subject relevant to their work.

Read more »

UMass Amherst Libraries' Special Collections & University Archives Wins Preservation Grant for Veterans' Collections, Sites, and Memorials

Grant for Veterans

AMHERST, Mass. – UMass Amherst Libraries announce that Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) was recently awarded a $7,500 Preservation Grant for Veterans’ Collections, Sites, and Memorials for their project “Digitizing the War Experience.” Awarded by the Massachusetts State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB), this grant will be matched in kind by the Libraries.


The “Digitizing the War Experience” project will expand access to unique historical material in SCUA’s collections created by and about members of the military service and those on the home front. Over the past several years, SCUA has received a number of collections of personal and family papers that include noteworthy content relating to military and wartime experiences. These collections intersect in revealing ways with SCUA’s major collecting areas–UMass Amherst, New England histories and cultures, innovation and entrepreneurship, and social change–and highlight some of the twentieth century’s momentous historic events through the perspectives of individuals who took part in them.


In keeping with SCUA’s mission to preserve history and inspire discovery by making historical material accessible, the goal of this project is to digitize and describe materials from more than a dozen of SCUA’s collections that contain significant content related to the major American wars of the twentieth century. The digitized items, including letters, photographs, and memorabilia, will be freely available on the web in SCUA’s online repository, Credo.


Among other collections identified for digitization in this project is a quartet from the Second World War: the papers of UMass Amherst poet and professor Joseph Langland, who served in the European theater and was involved in liberating the Buchenwald concentration camp; UMass Amherst alumna and faculty member Maida Riggs, who documented her work with the Red Cross in letters and photographs; Mary Lauman, whose letters reflect on her service as a female marine; and Springfield native Herman B. Nash, whose radical political views were shaped by his military service. The project will address other experiences of war as well, including the post war occupations of Japan and Germany, Japanese-American relations, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and will include important publications and photographs from the early years of the International Center for the Disabled, which was established in 1917 to help wounded World War I veterans through vocational rehabilitation.


Staff members from SCUA will begin preparing for the project in the late summer by selecting materials to be digitized.  “Digitizing the War Experience” will start in earnest during the fall. The approximately 4,000 digital objects will be available in Credo by the end of the 2017-18 academic year. 

Read more »