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Archive | September, 2016

London Low Life gives “street view”

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BKS_HV4088L8_G74_168A new resource at VCU Libraries provides an almost “street view” of the topsy-turvy world of Dickens and Sherlock Holmes — only it was all too real for those who lived on the margins:  London Low Life.

Through visual records of cartoons, maps, sketches, subversive posters — and the texts of broadsides, “swell’s guides,” chapbooks, ballads, slang dictionaries, and more — researchers can experience the vibrant and illicit culture of London street life.  The brothels, gin houses and East End slums of the 19th century’s greatest city reveal the contradictions of a progressive era marked by the neglect of those consigned to poverty.

Fascinating in its depth of detail, London Low Life illumines the dark, secretive, and dangerous paths of a forgotten history and the lives of those who suffered but also subverted their situation.

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By Kevin Farley, humanities collections librarian

Image: The Great army of London poor: sketches of life and character in a Thames-side district / by the river-side visitor, The Lilly Library, Indiana University

DARE: U.S. linguistic variation

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linguistic U.S. mpaThe Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE) is a long-running project designed to capture variations in the English language across the United States. It allows scholars and lovers of language to study nuances, geographic spread, and change over time. This resource can be searched, browsed regionally, and offers many useful tools for the study of American English from its beginnings.

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By John Glover, humanities research librarian

Image: Dictionary of American Regional English

VCU Literary Award Winners

awardsVCU serves as the proud home of two major U.S. literary awards, given for book-length works in poetry and fiction. The award-winning titles are available in the collections of the VCU Libraries.

Named for late VCU English faculty member Larry Levis, the Levis Reading Prize has been given annually for the best first or second book of poetry published in the previous calendar year, beginning in 1997 and continuing to the present. The VCU Cabell First Novelist Award has been given annually to an outstanding debut novel published in the preceding calendar year, beginning in 2001 and continuing to the present. (Image: L-R, Larry Levis and James Branch Cabell)

By John Glover, humanities research librarian

Good Reads for Tomorrow’s Business Leaders

game-figure-598036_640 What management books should you be reading? How can you find inspiration to innovate, create and lead?

Asked to recommend their picks for future business leaders, faculty and administrators from the VCU School of Business and community leaders offered titles sure to inspire and engage. This short list represents the diversity of knowledge, skills and perspectives leaders needs to be successful now and into the future.

Conscious Capitalism by John Mackey
“It is the best book I know about how to think about profit when running a business.”
–Wallace Stettinius, Senior Executive Fellow

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces that Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Edwin Catmull
Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential in Us All by Tom Kelley and David Kelley
“Creative thinking and innovation have never been more important. Economies need growth. Businesses need ideas. People need inspiration.”
–Ed Grier, Dean, School of Business

Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink
“A fantastic foundational read for anyone interested in understanding some of the core
ways in which people are motivated to do their best work.”
–John Sarvay, Floricane founder and lead consultant

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher, William Ury and Bruce Patton
“There is no better book for helping people in any kind of organization develop a framework for approaching organizations. Negotiation and conflict resolution skills are a key leadership capability.”
–Douglas Pugh, Ph.D., Chair, Department of Management

How We Got to Now: Six Innovations that Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson (Related streaming video from Kanopy)
“A terrific source of inspiration. It provides longitudinal insight into how some of the most interesting innovations served as catalysts for even greater innovations and dramatic changes to the world we know.”
–Susan Coombes, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Management

Leadership Is An Art by Max DuPree
“I have adapted a quote from the book that has guided me for over 20 years now; ‘To be a leader means having the opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those who permit us to lead.’ That quote literally sits on the wall directly behind me as a constant reminder to me and my team of the expectations I have of myself.”
–Doug Pick, CEO, FeedMore

The One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard
“Truly a classic and one that I hand out to every new manager. This simple story provides a framework for them to start and learn that so important task and joy of developing other human beings.”
–Doug Pick, CEO, FeedMore

Management of the Absurd: Paradoxes in Leadership by Richard Farson
“It introduces the complexity of leadership and discusses many of the paradoxes inherent in being a good leader. Leaders have to continually balance competing demands, and this book provides a very practical treatment of some of these demands so that they do not come as a surprise.”
–Christopher Reina, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Management

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel
“This book provides an engaging framework for how to think about how to create valuable organizations.”
–Joseph Coombs, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Management

All of these titles are available from VCU Libraries. Search VCU Libraries for more titles and suggest a purchase for any of your favorites we missed.

By Patricia Sobczak, business and public affairs collections librarian, and Bettina Peacemaker, assistant head, academic outreach and business research librarian

Image: Creative Commons

VCU Libraries Leadership Resources

game-figure-598036_640Building leadership capacity in the public and nonprofit sectors is a major focus for the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Policy. In response to this emphasis, VCU Libraries has been working to ensure that our collections are in tune with the curricular and research needs of Wilder School students and faculty. The library holds more than 24,000 resources related to leadership of which over 22,000 are books and ebooks and 219 are journals.

Some notable book resources include seminal works such as:

More contemporary resources include:

Of course, every leadership collection should include:

Each of these resources offers a unique perspective on leadership and the challenges associated with the hard work and sacrifice needed to run effective public and nonprofit organizations. We welcome your comments about the leadership collection and encourage you to make suggestions for future additions. 

by Patricia Dillon Sobczak, business and public affairs collections librarian

Image: Creative Commons

Planning students display posters

Spring 2016 MURP Student Posters

Spring 2016 MURP Student Posters

This fall,  James Branch Cabell Library will showcase a set of posters  from the students of the Masters of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) Program in the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Policy.

The posters will be displayed on the long wall on the east side of Cabell Library (the wall adjacent to Suite 121) now known as a Scholarly Display Wall. The posters are examples of the students’ final projects and address pressing local and regional issues. 

The posters will go up the week of Sept. 12.

Interested in displaying scholarly posters in Cabell? Contact the library liaison to your school.

By Patricia Dillon Sobczak, business and public affairs collections librarian

Access World News: New and current media

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Access World News contains materials from 9,688 sources spanning 160 countries, 1978 to the present. Content includes newspapers, newswires, journals, broadcast transcripts and videos. Searching can be limited to:

  • Country, state and territory, region, province or city
  • Decade, year, month, day, era or presidential era
  • Language

In addition to searching, users can use the Find a Topic feature to browse by topic. Twelve broad subject areas are broken down into lists of popular and current interest topics. Clicking a topic acts as a user-friendly starting point for related search terms.

Access World News also provides a “quick access” style list of special reports and hot topics. These items gather news reports of breaking events and popular social and cultural topics for ease of access. Users can find these lists under “Other Products” in the upper left corner of the search screen.

Coverage of the Richmond Times-Dispatch may be of particular interest to local scholars. The Richmond Times-Dispatch is covered from 1985–present. Additionally, Richmond Times-Dispatch blogs are covered from 2006–present. The Collegian from the University of Richmond (2007–current) and the Commonwealth Times from VCU (2003–current) are also indexed.

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By Stephani Rodgers, liaison to Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness

Image: Access World News

Engineering Village and Knovel searches

The integration between Engineering Village and Knovel makes it possible for researchers to move their searches from one to the other to find both basic and background information and peer-reviewed articles on the same topic.

When starting from Knovel, perform your search (e.g. “density of h2”).Search Knovel

View the results in an interactive table.

View Resultsshot3

To transfer the search to Engineering Village, click the link at the bottom of the menu on the left.


The search box will be automatically populated.


To move from Engineering Village to Knovel, use corresponding link, also at the bottom of the menu on the left.


By Ibironke Lawal, engineering and science collections librarian