Meet the newest Friends of the Library Board Member – Stephanie Dickey

Hi, I’m Stephanie Dickey, and I’m delighted to be the newest board member for the Friends of the Libraries!

I was born and reared in small-town Ohio, but I grew up in hundreds of different worlds, maybe thousands, thanks to the power of books.  After school, I used to run to our tiny public library behind the fire station and wait until the magic porch light above the door flipped on. That was my signal to enter for dazzling escapades, mine for the reading. My co-conspiring librarian could always count on me to be the first adventurer of the afternoon. From Go Dog Go to Homer’s Odyssey, I explored my way through those two rooms of books with a passion and delight.

Books have always held transformative power for me. In fact, one entire summer I WAS Nancy Drew, searching for secret passages in my house and hiding clues behind loose limestone blocks in the foundation.  Alas, during a hot murder investigation, Nancy chanced upon a huge, moldy rattrap (sans rat—unless you consider my brother the rat for putting it there) under the cellar stairs. Through the alchemy of books, Nancy effortlessly banished the trap trauma by transporting herself from the rats in River Heights to the realm of The Once and Future King until Labor Day, becoming all the characters in succession. Except Guinevere. Too tame for the intrepid girl detective.

When my family moved to the country during middle school, the public library was not nearly as accessible.  Not to be deterred, however, Dad (not the successful lawyer Carson Drew but, even better, a hungry reader like me) piled all seven of us into the Ford station wagon every Tuesday night for our weekly trip to the larger and even more exotic public library of our new hometown. Sometimes my book haul took up more room in the car than I did.  If my cache of good reads ran out before the week was up, I lit out for town on my trusty Schwinn (lovingly dubbed, High Speed Wobble) for the 4-mile round trip. Who wouldn’t have done that? Of course, I was limited to the number of books I could carry on those trips, but I got pretty adept at negotiating the books, the bike, and the blacktop.

That was a long time ago, and I’m still a voracious reader. These days I consume a lot of media online, but my favorite format will forever remain real books. Real physical weight in my hands. Real texture of pages. Real smell of printer’s ink. Real. I don’t have quite as much time to read for pure pleasure any more, but I still steal time like an accomplished thief just to read for fun.  Even as I write, my house is a literal dust bowl, my kitchen floor is screaming out to be mopped, and my husband and I will likely have Cheerios for dinner, but I just have to finish the The Personal History of Rachel DuPree before bedtime.

I am so privileged to serve on the FOL board!  Just remember, if I’m ever late to a board meeting, send a search party to find me in the stacks. I’m not lost, just beguiled by the siren call of books. Forever and ever. Amen.

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Fall 2018 Library Student Assistant Awards

The University Libraries held our biannual Library Student Assistant Award (LSAA) reception on October 26, 2018. Seven students were honored with a $500 award.  Library Student Assistant Awards are funded by contributions to the Campus Scholarship Innovation Campaign from the University Libraries’ staff, with a matching contribution from the Friends of the Libraries.  To date, nearly 400 awards have been distributed totaling $180,000.

University Libraries’ staff would like to congratulate this semester’s winners:

  • Molly Mackenzie Banfield, a junior majoring in psychology
  • Genevieve Coutinho, a junior majoring in nursing
  • Eric Dahlstrom, a senior majoring in motion pictures
  • Maria Hess, a junior majoring in music education
  • Alexis Rakovan, a sophomore majoring in rehab services
  • Buddhika Senanayake, a graduate student in the applied statistics program
  • Kyle Wilson, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering

Pictured above:
Front Row:  LSAA Recipients – Alexis Rakovan, Maria Hess, Genevieve Coutinho, Molly Mackenzie Banfield, Eric Dahlstrom
Back Row:  Friends of the Libraries Board Members, Natalie De Horn, Stephanie Dickey, Glenn Graham (President), and Sue Polanka

Congratulations to all of our Library Student Assistant Award recipients!

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NaNoWriMo at the Library

The month of November houses many events for activities and food, but one such event has increased in popularity over the past few decades, the National Novel Writing Month. The point of the event is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. There are rules on how, (see https://nanowrimo.org/how-it-works) but they are optional in most cases. Why 50,000? It’s a round number that is somewhere between Novella and Novel size. How does one write this much in 30 days? By tackling it 1,667 words each day. The trick is to focus on the writing and turn off the editor. There’s a whole other month set aside for the editing – it’s called February or NaNoEdMo.

How long has this been going on? In 1999, it was organized amongst a small group on the west coast. It’s now a worldwide event, run by a non-profit group that sets up sponsorship for young writers and educators. According to their website, 402,142 people participated last year.

The steps are easy. One just simply visits https://nanowrimo.org/ to sign up. Then, on November 1st sometime after 12:01am, the writer starts writing either by hand or by keyboard. At some point, before the end and often periodically all through the month, the writer updates the word count on the website’s tracker, or not. Finally, at some time before November 30th at midnight, the writer stops writing and uploads their document to the word count authenticator (there are ways to estimate with handwritten books – though I have never walked this route so I’m not certain how, but the information is on the site).

Why should someone do this? It’s an outlet of creativity. It’s a challenge. It’s fun sometimes. It gives one a chance to try something new. And… maybe the story is published like one of these hundred plus writers: https://nanowrimo.org/published-wrimos

What does this have to do with Wright State University? The Dunbar Library is going to host a Write-In on November 25th from 2-5 in the Library Group Study Room. Though some of the NaNoWriMoers tend to write at home or in dark corners of coffee shops, some gather at Write-Ins, where participants can write on their own, get inspiration from each other, challenge each other, and share in the community of other writers. Mark your calendar and join us. 50,000 words isn’t that much; this blog post is already just shy of 400 words.

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Save the Date – Friends of the Libraries Luncheon with Ann Weisgarber

Please Save-the-Date
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
for the Friends of the Libraries Annual Luncheon

Join us as we welcome Wright State University Alumnus, Ann Weisgarber, as our luncheon speaker.  Ann is the author of three historical novels, The Personal History of Rachel DuPree, The Promise, and The Glovemaker, which will be published in early 2019.  Ann will discuss the importance of libraries and archives in a writer’s research process, sharing examples from her three historical novels.  More information on the luncheon will be posted after the new year.  Check our Friends of the Libraries website for more information.

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