The University of Massachusetts Amherst


Thursday, September 19, 2019
5:30-8 p.m.

The University of Massachusetts Club
One Beacon Street, 32nd Floor

Cocktail Reception and Hors D'Oeuvres 5:30 p.m.
Speaking Program 6 p.m.

Join Friends of the Libraries Ken Gloss ’73 and Joyce Kosofsky ’75, Antiques Roadshow appraisers and proprietors of the Brattle Book Shop, one of America's oldest and largest used book shops. The couple will share stories from the road. Ken will speak about all things books, answer questions, and conduct free appraisals.

Space is limited. Please register here
The first 50 people to register will be entered in a drawing to win a $100 gift certificate to Brattle Book Shop.

Parking is available under the building at One Beacon Street. The garage entrance is located off of Tremont Street. For GPS directions use the address 31 Tremont Street in zip code 02018. This address is located directly across the street from the entrance to the garage. When 31 Tremont is on your left, the entrance to the garage is on your right.
The entrance can be located by coming to the Club via Cambridge Street. Cambridge Street becomes Tremont Street just past City Hall. Stay in the right lane and look for the sign for “Piperi Restaurant” on the right. Enter the garage immediately before the sign and stay to the left to enter the One Beacon Garage.
Proceed to the lower level of the garage for valet parking.

Parking Rates
EARLY BIRD SPECIAL $32 Enter between 6:00 AM and 9:00 AM Leave before midnight
NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS $8* *Parking is provided at a discounted evening and weekend rate through The Club. Evening parking begins at 4:00 PM. Upon departure you must pay for your parking with the attendant in the garage office located on level A. Inform the attendant that you are coming from the Club in order to receive the discounted $8 parking rate.

If you do not pay with the attendant and tell them that you are coming from the Club, the rate will be $14 for evening and $12 for weekend parking.

Sept. 20, 2019 - Jan. 31, 2020

W. E. B. Du Bois Library
Lower Level and Floor 25
Drawing from the burgeoning collections of visual materials in Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA), the exhibit follows the history of documentary photography from its century origins to its flowering in the post-World War II era. Photographers on display include Peter Simon, Jeff Albertson, Alton H. Blackington, Clif Garboden, Rowland Scherman, Diana Mara Henry, Kathy Borchers, and Nancy Palmieri, all of whose archives reside in SCUA. The exhibit will be accompanied by a related online exhibit, 50 photos, featuring a single image drawn from each of 50 SCUA collections.

Wednesday, Sept. 25
7 p.m.

Science and Engineering Library
Lederle GRC Lowrise
View a sneak peek of documentary: “Fire and Flood: Queer Resilience in an Era of Climate Change” followed by facilitated discussion. This event is part of a state-wide initiative called Climate Preparedness Week, which includes approximately 50 climate change library events across the state.


"The Fire and Flood Film weaves together the narratives of 21 LGBTQ people from Puerto Rico and Northern California, to get deep down to the entangled roots of the systems that create climate change and lead to the social vulnerabilities that produce- what some have started to term- "climate apartheid". However, this story does more than unpack climate vulnerability in the LGBTQ community - it celebrates the wisdom, the history, the mutual aid efforts, and the enormous capacity for resilience within the LGBTQ community that lend important insights and tools for all life in this moment of transition." -Vanessa Raditz, Director/Producer


Co-sponsors: Native American and Indigenous Studies Program, Resistance Studies, Stonewall Center, UMass Amherst Libraries, W. E. B. Du Bois Center.

Friday, September 27, 2019
1-4:30 p.m.

Fine Arts Center, UMass Amherst

Tickets available at the Fine Arts Center Box Office for $20. Admission is free for Five College students.

Join the UMass Amherst Libraries and A Network for Grateful Living for a dynamic afternoon of conversation exploring the landscape of engaged spiritual practice and action for social change. We will delve into the places where the personal and political meet as well as pathways that can catalyze and sustain our love, stewardship, and responsibility for the Earth and each other.

The Radical Aliveness and Belonging Symposium is inspired by the life and work of Brother David Steindl-Rast, a 93-year-old Benedictine Monk known as the “grandfather of gratitude” and one of the most important figures in the modern interfaith dialogue movement. Brother David, whose papers are in the UMass Special Collections and are part of their significant holdings documenting social change movements and activists, will be traveling from Austria to participate in the symposium.

The afternoon features accomplished, contemporary scholars, who are also spiritually-inspired activists and leaders, to engage this theme in its many facets. Speakers currently include: 

  • Mirabai Bush, founder of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, co-developer of Search Inside Yourself at Google, and recent author of Walking Each Other Home with Ram Dass

  • Lucas Johnson, Executive Director of On Being’s Civil Conversations Project and former leader in the U.S. community of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation, the world’s oldest interfaith peace organization

The afternoon will also include poetry, music, meditation, and other special guests.

Parking Information
UMass Amherst Parking Services has generously arranged for complimentary parking for you to attend this special event.

Complimentary Parking is available in Lots 12, 25 or 33 only. Note: It is approximately a 10-15 minute walk from these lots to the Fine Arts Center.

Handicapped Parking: The Fine Arts Center does provide free handicapped parking in the front of the building.

Paid Parking Options: Parking is also available in the Campus Center Garage.  The Garage Parking rate is $1.75/hr.  The Campus Center Garage is approximately a 10 – 15 minute walk to the Fine Arts Center.

Use our interactive campus map to identify metered parking spots, the campus garage and other locations.

The Radical Aliveness and Belonging Symposium is co-sponsored by A Network for Grateful Living (co-founded by Br. David) and Special Collections and University Archives, UMass Amherst Libraries.

Special Collections and University Archives, UMass Amherst
Drawing upon the philosophy of W. E. B. Du Bois, Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) collects original materials that document the histories and experiences of social change in America and the organizational, intellectual, and individual ties that unite disparate struggles for social justice, human dignity, and equality. Our decision to adopt social change as a collecting focus emerged from considering one of Du Bois’s most profound insights: that the most fundamental issues in social justice are so deeply interconnected that no movement—and no solution to social ills—can succeed in isolation. Rather than focus on individual movements, we therefore focus on the connections between and among movements and the flow of people, organizations, and ideas. Our hope is to provide a more robust framework for interpreting the deep histories of social engagement in America and to lay the foundation for a deeper understanding of the experience of social change. We are home to over one thousand collections which touch on some aspect of social change, including the Du Bois Papers, Brother David Steindl-Rast’s Papers, The Records of the New England Yearly Meeting of Quakers, and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

A Network for Grateful Living
A Network for Grateful Living is a global nonprofit serving a growing movement of people who embrace gratefulness as a guiding light and grounding principle in their lives. We hold grateful living as an engaged mindfulness practice, grounded in both wisdom and science, which supports our ability to see the wonder and opportunity in every moment, and motivates us to act boldly with love, generosity and respect towards one another, ourselves, and the Earth.

In service of our mission, we offer online and community-based educational programs and practices which inspire and guide a commitment to grateful living, and catalyze the transformative power of personal and societal responsibility.




Padma Venkatraman

Thursday, Oct. 3
5-7 p.m.
Floor 26, Room 2601
W. E. B. Du Bois Library

PLEASE NOTE: Although an unforeseen shipping delay prevented us from being able to sell Padma Venkatraman's books at this talk, we have some alternative options:

1. We will announce when Padma's books do arrive in the campus store. She will graciously be providing signed bookmarks and return Dec. 14 for a stock signing. Once they are available, please see Jill Evans in the UMass Store's tech dept. to purchase copies.

2. Padma will be returning to the Pioneer Valley for an event and in-person book signing at the Odyssey Bookshop in the afternoon on Saturday, Dec. 14 (time TBA).

Padma Venkatraman has worked as chief scientist on oceanographic ships, spent time under the sea, directed a school, and lived in five countries. Her novels, A Time to Dance, Island's End, and Climbing the Stairs, received numerous honors and won several national and international awards. Her latest book, The Bridge Home, came out in March 2019. She has a doctorate in oceanography from The College of William and Mary, did postdoctoral research at Johns Hopkins University, and worked a the University of Rhode Island. She enjoys writing as much as she loves science and mathematics.

Ocean Vuong Author Photo credit Tom Hines2

Ocean Vuong

Thursday, Nov. 14
8 p.m. (Doors open at 7:30 p.m.)
Fine Arts Center Concert Hall

The University of Massachusetts Amherst MFA for Poets and Writers presents a reading by Ocean Vuong on Thursday, November 14th at 8pm in the Fine Arts Center Concert Hall. This event is co-sponsored by the UMass Amherst Libraries. 

This reading is free, accessible, and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase through Amherst Books. The reading will be followed by a book signing and refreshments. 

Ocean Vuong is the author of the debut novel, On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous, out from Penguin Press (2019) and forthcoming in 14 other languages worldwide. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed poetry collection, Night Sky with Exit Wounds, a New York Times Top 10 Book of 2016, winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Whiting Award, the Thom Gunn Award, and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. A Ruth Lilly fellow from the Poetry Foundation, his honors include fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, The Elizabeth George Foundation, The Academy of American Poets, and the Pushcart Prize.

Vuong's writings have been featured in The Atlantic, Harpers, The Nation, New Republic, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Village Voice, and American Poetry Review, which awarded him the Stanley Kunitz Prize for Younger Poets. Selected by Foreign Policy magazine as a 2016 100 Leading Global Thinker, alongside Hillary Clinton, Ban Ki-Moon and Justin Trudeau, Ocean was also named by BuzzFeed Books as one of “32 Essential Asian American Writers” and has been profiled on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” PBS NewsHour, Teen Vogue, VICE, The Fantastic Man, and The New Yorker.

Born in Saigon, Vietnam, he lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, where he serves as an Assistant Professor in the MFA Program for Poets and Writers at UMass-Amherst. Photo credit: Tom Hines.

jane yolen

Jane Yolen

Thursday, Dec. 5
5-7 p.m.
Bernie Dallas Room

Jane Yolen, often called the "Hans Christian Andersen of America," is the author of nearly 400 books, including Owl Moon, The Devil's Arithmetic, and How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight. She is particularly known for the "Pit Dragon" series of young adult fantasy novels. Yolen is perhaps best known as a writer of original folk and fairy tales and fables with a strong moral core. She has won many awards, including two Nebulas, three World Fantasy Awards, a Caldecott, two Golden Kite Awards, the Jewish Book Award, two Christopher Medals, and the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement. Six colleges and universities have given her honorary doctorates, including UMass Amherst.

Friday, Oct. 4
1:30-5 p.m.

Dwight Hall 101
Mount Holyoke College

Register here.

"Change the Subject" tells the story of a group of students at Dartmouth College, who, from their first days at Dartmouth, were committed to advancing and promoting the rights and dignity of undocumented peoples. In partnership with staff at Dartmouth College, these students - now alumni - produced a film to capture their singular effort at confronting an instance of anti-immigrant sentiment in their library catalog.  Their advocacy took them all the way from Baker-Berry Library to the halls of Congress, showing how an instance of campus activism entered the national spotlight, and how a cataloging term became a flashpoint in the immigration debate on Capitol Hill.

Screening and discussion with co-directors Jill Baron and Sawyer Broadley, and UMass Amherst librarian Isabel Espinal.

Screening made possible by the UMass Amherst Libraries, Mount Holyoke College, Five College Consortium, Simmons University, and EBSCO.

Mount Holyoke College's Library, Information, and Technology Services (LITS) is committed to providing universal access to all of our events. LITS’ event spaces are wheelchair accessible.  Please contact to request disability accommodations. We ask that requests for accommodations be made as early as possible.

Wadsworth Library, Mount Ida Campus

Fall 2019 Film Series

October 14th, 2019
“The Color Purple: Alice Walker, Oprah Winfrey, and Perceptions of Black Womanhood in the 20th Century”

Alice Walker’s seminal work about black women living and working in a small southern town in the early 20th century examines relationships between men and women, with their children, and how perceptions of racial identity and self-worth are perpetuated in various socio-cultural circles. In examining underlying themes of self-awareness, self-awakening, and self-liberation in Walker’s characters, participants will discuss how the author effectively uses them to talk candidly about the reality of race, gender, sexual identity, and class within the context of the historical period and how these ideologies translate onto the 21st century societal landscape.

We’ll view Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-nominated adaptation of Walker’s novel, starring Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, and Danny Glover, comparing the coverage of themes within the book and discussing the way in which Morrison’s characters and messages are portrayed on film.

December 12th, 2019
“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks: African Americans and a Legacy of Mistreatment within the Medical Community”

In an examination of Rebecca Skloot’s “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” participants will learn about Lacks and her major contributions to medical science through the unethical harvesting of her unique cancer cells without her permission in 1951. Lacks’ cells have been bought and sold millions of times since they were harvested, with no financial compensation or consent from her family. To this day, Henrietta’s cells are still used in major clinical drug trials and research labs, cloned to sell to for-profit companies who make billions on biotech research ventures or for use in government-funded studies.

The 2018 docudrama, based on Skloot’s book and produced by Oprah Winfrey and HBO, will be used to discuss the controversies surrounding medical ethics and the disenfranchised, looking at race, gender, and class and the role those factors have played historically in the selection of subjects for human experimentation in medicine. Using the Lacks story as a case study, participants will discuss how other groups including African-American men at Tuskegee Institute, prisoners, the mentally ill and disabled, and the poor have been used throughout history as test subjects for the purported “common good” and how this has inherently affected people of color around the world even today.

Sponsored by a grant from the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Campus Climate Improvement.

The UMass Amherst Libraries, along with the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) and the University of Nevada-Reno, were recently awarded a $241,845 National Leadership Project Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to fund the development of an immersion program to train faculty and instructors on how to integrate the use of makerspaces, dedicated spaces with technological resources and equipment for project-based collaboration, into their courses.

The impetus for designing such a program comes from the results of a previous IMLS grant-funded pilot study entitled “Maker Literacies and the Undergraduate Curriculum,” which explored the impacts of academic library makerspaces on undergraduate student learning. The UMass Amherst Libraries were chosen by UTA and the University of Nevada-Reno as one of four additional university partners to participate in that study because of the Libraries’ Digital Media Lab (DML), a cross-disciplinary makerspace in the W. E. B. Du Bois Library open to all UMass Amherst students, faculty, and staff, regardless of major or department.

The results of the pilot study demonstrated that academic makerspace instructors need training and support in order to collaborate successfully with faculty on designing makerspace lesson plans and assessing maker literacies. Developing the immersion program and making it openly accessible online would fill this need at both a community and national level with the potential to be built on and scaled as new makerspace practices emerge.

“This grant gives us resources to take what we learned about maker literacies and develop a curriculum for educators,” says Sarah Hutton, head of Student Success and Engagement for the Libraries. “We’re building a community of maker-educators across a wide spectrum that can continue to learn from and engage with each other.”

Friday, Oct. 18, 1-7 p.m.
Great Barrington, MA

On Oct. 18, the Town of Great Barrington and the University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries mark the 50th anniversary of what was, in 1969, the controversial establishment of the W. E. B. Du Bois Boyhood Homesite, at 612 South Egremont Road, Great Barrington. Talks, readings, exhibitions, music, and film will take place at the Homesite, Mason Library, and First Congregational Church.

1:30-2:30 p.m., Du Bois Boyhood Homesite
Speaking program. Dr. Whitney Battle-Baptiste, Director, W. E. B. Du Bois Center, UMass Amherst Libraries, will emcee. Speakers include Frances Jones Sneed, Ph.D., professor emeritus at MCLA, Dr. David Levering Lewis, Pulitzer Prize-winning Du Bois biographer and recipient of the first Great Barrington W. E. B. Legacy Award, Guy Davis, son of actor/activist Ossie Davis, who emceed the original dedication, and Frederick Lord, an early supporter of the original homesite effort. Jazz musician Craig Harris will perform. A special tree-planting ceremony will follow.

3-4 p.m., Great Barrington Mason Library
View an exhibit of original homesite artifacts gathered by UMass and the Great Barrington-based W. E. B. Du Bois Center. A remarkable film from the 1969 dedication will be shown. Berkshire County NAACP President Dennis Powell will speak about his recent trip from Jamestown, Va., to Ghana, marking the 400-year anniversary of the beginning of the North American slave trade, followed by remarks from Rachel Moriarty, director of the Schumacher Center for New Economics.

5-7:30 p.m., First Congregational Church, Great Barrington
Reception 5-5:30 p.m. The Passing and Sharing of the Du Bois Legacy Flame follows along with an inter-generational discussion panel led by Gwendolyn VanSant, CEO and founding director of BRIDGE and vice-chair of the Du Bois Legacy Committee. Musical selections by Craig Harris, Wanda Houston and Guy Davis. Drum facilitation by Otha Day, together with Joanna Haigood, choreographer, is sponsored by Jacob’s Pillow Festival of Dance, to complete the day’s celebration.

More information is available here.


Tuesday, Oct. 22
10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Campus Makerspace
Agricultural Engineering Building Room 114

Professor Christine Hatch, UMass Extension Associate Professor, Geosciences Department

Hands-on learning and data collection engages students of all ages and backgrounds, and helps to develop intuition about river processes. This presentation will begin with a brief introduction to basic concepts of fluvial geomorphology, or why rivers look and behave the way they do. We will then have an interactive demonstration where participants will observe central fluvial-geomorphology concepts on a scale model of a river where 2 minutes equals 100 years of river evolution. This teaching tool allows us to understand river shape and process, to predict channel responses/changes over time, and to design culverts, bridges, and roadways that are more resilient to severe precipitation events.

Design Challenge

Thanks to the 3D Innovation Center at the Digital Media Lab in the W. E. B. Du Bois Library, we've recently incorporated scale models of houses (that fall into the river if placed too close to the river), roads (for demonstration trainings with transportation workers), and large wood pieces (for stream restoration) for instructional purposes. Can you help us design box culverts, corrugated culverts, or other crossing structures in TinkerCAD for demonstrations like this one? What else are we missing? Surprise us!

Questions? Contact Christine Hatch at

Follow on Twitter @UMassRiversmart