Hoole welcomes students
By Katie Shepherd | Assistant News EditorBy Katie Shepherd | 11/17/2014 9:10pm
UA's W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library, which is located in Mary Harmon Bryant hall, is home to many rare items unavaliable to students in other libraries on campus. CW | Billy Causey
To help students gain access to the many interesting items in Hoole’s collection, which is located in Mary Harmon Bryant hall. Amy Chen, a postdoctoral fellow in the University’s Division of Special Collections, has been running an online blog titled “Cool at Hoole,” which features writing from both students and faculty about their use of items in Hoole.
“Cool at Hoole” was created by Chen’s predecessor, Jessica Lacher-Feldman, in 2007 but has taken on various forms since then. Chen said the blog covers a variety of topics from a myriad of sources.
“I try as much as possibly to get students and faculty members and other librarians and staff members to write for it, because I want to have as many voices as possible,” Chen said.
Lauren Cardon, an English professor who is planning to collaborate with Chen for an upcoming exhibition at Hoole, said the blog serves to promote all that Hoole has to offer.
“The purpose of the ‘Cool at Hoole’ blog is to offer a public forum for some of the events, new acquisitions and special projects associated with the W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library,” Cardon said.
She said Hoole is an important resource because it gives students hands-on access to historical artifacts they may not otherwise get to see.
“Working with archives provides a direct connection with history,” Cardon said.
Cardon is currently working with undergraduate students on a genealogy project based on the Hoole collections that will be on exhibition at Hoole starting Dec. 4. She said one of the students whose work is featured in the exhibit will be selected for an interview for the blog based on their exceptional research.
“Even if students don’t find something with an ancestor’s name on it, the library offers an opportunity to hold a piece of history,” Cardon said.
Brad Hahn, a senior majoring in art history, visited Hoole for research for one of his classes and said the experience was extremely useful because he was able to physically handle the items he was researching.
“It was helpful to get some hands-on experience with materials we don’t get to see everyday,” he said.
Chen said the best way for students to get involved with the blog is to simply write a post about an interesting item from the collection. She said the only requirements are that the document is as least 400 words and that it mentions at least one item in the Hoole collection by name.
She said she encourages anyone who uses the Hoole collection to write a post for the blog, but especially students.
“I really like when we have student work,” she said. “It’s very interesting.”