Black History Month

February is designated as Black History Month in the United States. Started in 1926 as Negro History Week by the noted scholar Carter G. Woodson, the entire  month of February was designated as Black History Month in 1976. February was chosen because it included the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

The FAU Libraries has been commemorating the month with a series of events and exhibits, including the multi-media “Pursuit of Equality” exhibit celebrating Boca Raton’s historic Pearl City community, as well as the women who were the unsung heroes in the exploration of space, and many more achievements.  This month’s Meet-the-Dean event in the Wimberly Library from 10:30-11:30 on February 28th encouraged students to sign a poster congratulating Carla Hayden as the first woman and the first African-American to be appointed as the Librarian of Congress.

Carol Hixson explaining about Carla Hayden poster in background

Carol Hixson explaining about Carla Hayden poster in background

Celebrating Black History month is just one example of the FAU Libraries commitment to the diversity of our community, our country, and the world in which we live. Come to the libraries often to check out our events, our exhibits, and our exploration and celebration of the world around us.

Students signing banner congratulating Carla Hayden

Students signing banner congratulating Carla Hayden



Academic libraries exist to enable the students and faculty of their institutions to be successful in their academic careers and also to provide them with the skills they will need to be informed global citizens. We do this by providing access to the world’s scholarly output, by helping them develop and pursue individual research, by keeping them apprised of changes in the scholarly communication landscape, by helping them make connections with other people and ways of thinking, and by connecting them to technology and other tools to be effective critical thinkers and lifelong learners.

One of the primary challenges facing faculty and students today is understanding their rights and responsibilities when it comes to creating, sharing, citing, and repurposing intellectual content. Copyright. When is an image or video on the Web able to be inserted into a presentation or paper without first getting permission? What does fair use allow me to use in my teaching? What questions should I ask before I sign over my copyright in order to have my research published? How do I properly cite and quote someone else’s work in my own work? When am I allowed to build on someone else’s creative work in order to create a brand-new play, work of art, or musical composition? These questions have been around for a long time but have become more complex because of the prevalence of so much content that is freely available for viewing, reading, and listening on the Internet.

The FAU Libraries will be working to offer more workshops, generate more discussion, offer access to webinars, and bring in respected speakers to help address these and other questions facing today’s faculty and students.

On February 24, the FAU Libraries and the Center for eLearning are hosting world-renowned copyright expert Dr. Kenneth Crews to discuss copyright and its impact on faculty and students. Dr. Crews is an attorney, author, professor, and international copyright consultant. For over 25 years, his research, policymaking, and teaching have centered on copyright issues related to education and research. He established and directed the nation’s first university-based copyright office at Indiana University and was later recruited to establish a similar office at Columbia University. He currently serves on the faculty of Columbia Law School and has a law practice and consultancy with the firm of Gipson Hoffman & Pancione. He is the author of numerous publications including Copyright, Fair Use, and the Challenge for Universities (1993), a reevaluation of  the understandings of copyright and fair use at universities, and the well-received, Copyright Law for Librarians and Educators (3rd ed, 2012). He is the recipient of the Patterson Copyright Award from the American Library Association and the 2014 Mark T. Banner Award from the American Bar Association.

To learn more about the program and express interest in attending, faculty and students should visit




Deepening Resolve

In my first full-time library job years ago at Cornell University working to acquire materials for their Southeast Asian collection, I learned in practical terms about the commitment of libraries and librarians to providing access to resources and services to support individual inquiry and creative output. I learned that libraries acquire and make available materials regardless of the point of view represented, that they help anyone who walks in the door or reaches out for help over the phone, email, or online, that they strive to be a safe place for everyone to explore the world. And librarians routinely stand up in defense of people and groups that are under attack. While we respect diverse points of view, those points of view must be expressed in ways that don’t threaten or harm other people.

Today the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), an independent, nonprofit organization that works with libraries, cultural institutions, and communities of higher education to enhance research, teaching, and learning environments, and the Digital Library Federation (DLF), a “community of practitioners who advance research, learning, social justice, and the public good through the creative design and wise application of digital library technologies” issued a statement on their deepening resolve to support diversity and oppose divisiveness. The full statement lays out the principles and explains what it means practically when they say that they “stand in resolute support of our dedicated and diverse community of information professionals and organizational sponsors, promoting the fullest and most inclusive vision they may hold of the publics they serve: individuals and institutions that are both stalwart and vulnerable, people living now and generations yet to come. We also stand with our community in determined opposition to any political policies, actions, and divisive ideologies—like those we have observed during the current transition of power in Washington, DC—that contravene our shared, core values of enlightened liberalism and scientific understanding, and threaten our mission to create just, equitable, and sustained global cultures of accessible information.”

Other library organizations have also been more vocal recently in support of diversity and inclusion. The Association of Research Libraries, a nonprofit organization of 124 research libraries at comprehensive, research institutions in the US and Canada,  and the  Association of American University Presses recently issued a joint statement that emphasized that they “have longstanding histories of and commitments to diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice. As social institutions, research libraries, archives, and university presses strive to be welcoming havens for all members of our communities and work hard to be inclusive in our hiring, collections, books and publications, services, and environments.”  Referring to the Presidential travel ban recently promulgated, they noted that “while temporary, the ban will have a long-term chilling effect on free academic inquiry. This order sends a clear message to researchers, scholars, authors, and students that the United States is not an open and welcoming place in which to live and study, conduct research, write, and hold or attend conferences and symposia. The ban will disrupt and undermine international academic collaboration in the sciences, the humanities, technology, and global health.”

Like these other library organizations, the FAU Libraries will continue to support all FAU students and faculty, regardless of their backgrounds and point of view, and will always strive to provide a safe environment for our students and faculty to study, carry out research, engage with each other, and create new works of artistic endeavor and scholarship. We don’t play favorites.

Diversity and Inclusion (Liberty and Justice) for All

The FAU Libraries as a whole and I personally as Dean are committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment for all students, faculty, and staff of the University, regardless of their background and personal experiences. This means celebrating diversity and including everyone. It means working to ensure that everyone feels valued and safe to express their thoughts while also being exposed to and exploring other perspectives. In a university and surrounding community that is home to people from so many different backgrounds and experiences, it is challenging sometimes. Within the United States right now there is a great deal of discussion – and action – that underscores our differences in ways that make it hard to find common ground. But we in the Libraries are committed to trying.

Library associations, individual libraries, and thousands of librarians and library staff around the world are taking stands on a daily basis in support of people from all backgrounds. The International Federation of Library Associations proclaimed their support for all people of all backgrounds in their Open Societies are Healthy Societies document in which they stated that “Libraries are at the heart of healthy societies. By bringing people together – students, researchers, creators, citizens – they support learning, sharing, and the creation of new ideas. They also support the delivery of key human rights, as set out both in national constitutions and international conventions, most importantly the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: freedom of expression and access to information, as well as the right to participate in cultural life and enjoy the benefits of scientific progress.”

The Association of Research Libraries, which has numerous programs supporting diversity in the profession, and the American Association of University Presses issued a joint statement in which they said that “President Trump’s recent executive order temporarily barring entry into the US by individuals from seven countries is contrary to the values held by libraries and presses, and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the Association of American University Presses (AAUP) stand unequivocally opposed to this immigration ban.”

The FAU Libraries’ Diversity and Inclusion Committee has recently developed a statement to guide the Libraries in the development of services and programs that will promote a safe and welcoming environment for all. That statement reads:

Diversity and inclusion are fundamental values of the FAU Libraries and integral parts of our strategic plan. We seek and provide opportunities to gain experience working and collaborating in diverse, multicultural, and inclusive settings. Our appreciation and dedication for diversity allows us to serve our increasingly diverse community with sensitivity and adaptability. We define diversity to include race, sex, gender identity, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, disability, national origin, and religion. 

We also recognize inequity can accompany diversity. We acknowledge that providing all users with the same level of resources and support is not necessarily an issue of equal access. Our goal of removing barriers that might impede or discourage access and engagement is as important as providing information across space and time to our users.

 This month, the FAU Libraries are celebrating the diversity of our students and our community through several events.  In honor of Black History Month, the Libraries Exhibitions Committee has created the “Pursuit of Equality” exhibition to highlight local and national efforts to achieve equality for African Americans. Displayed in the Wimberly Library’s atrium and featuring materials culled from the Libraries’ Special Collections, Digital Library and other sources, the multi-media exhibit celebrates the efforts of residents of Boca Raton’s historic Pearl City community, as well as the unsung heroes in the exploration of space and advancements in math and science; featured in the film Hidden Figures and some pivotal moments in Black history, including the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing and the Little Rock Nine.


On February 10, from 7 to 10 p.m. the Wimberly Library will also be hosting “Blazers and the Arts 2017,” an evening of entertainment developed and sponsored by the FAU student chapter of Progressive Black Men (PBM). Chartered at FAU in November 2012, PBM focuses on academic excellence, community support and fellowship. This event gives artists an opportunity to display their talents through music. The evening will feature poetry, dance, music, a fashion show, paintings, and Ffod. Also, on February 28, we will be in the lobby of the Wimberly Library from 10 to 11:30 a.m. to encourage students and others tod to sign a congratulatory banner for Carla Hayden, the first woman and the first black Librarian of Congress appointed by President Barack Obama in 2016. In the Jupiter campus library, the staff will be hosting a scaled down version of the Human Library event first hosted in the Wimberly Library in November 2016.

There are many other events and activities in the works for this spring and beyond. I encourage students and faculty to bring your ideas to us so that the FAU Libraries will become known as the place for people to learn about the world through engagement with other people as much as through study and research.


New Year, New Vision

Welcome from the FAU Libraries to the spring semester, 2017, at Florida Atlantic University.

The Libraries are in the midst of reinventing themselves. The changes will be gradual and may not always be immediately apparent but they will reflect a renewed focus on our students and the faculty who teach and mentor them. We are in the process of realigning our organizational structure and services to position us more strategically and effectively to support the current and future needs of Florida Atlantic University’s students, faculty, and the broader community.

On November 17-18, 2016, all the faculty and staff of the FAU Libraries participated in a strategic planning retreat where we reached consensus on a new Mission statement and nine strategic goals to guide us moving forward. The new Mission statement reflects our commitment to being actively engaged with students and faculty across the various campuses and reads:

As leaders at Florida Atlantic University, we connect people to knowledge and global communities of learning across time and space. Reimagining services and spaces, we enable users to explore, collaborate, educate, and create in their journey toward academic excellence and lifelong learning.

You can learn more about the strategic planning by checking into the Google site dedicated to the effort at:

The Libraries’ physical and virtual spaces are also being reinvented. A new website design  will be rolled out in 2017, with an emphasis on ease of finding information quickly and avoiding library jargon. Space utilization is a major area of emphasis, especially in the main Wimberly Library on the Boca Raton campus. In 2016, we opened a new Graduate Student Study Lounge, redesigned the main lobby with FAU branding and new furnishings, and upgraded one of the Wimberly Library’s three computer labs.


A current project is underway to open up the fifth floor as a multi-purpose study and presentation space, adding 100 more study spaces and also providing new opportunities for students and faculty to present their research in a welcoming environment to their colleagues.

Internally, we are rethinking many of our traditional services to enable us to provide new types of services and programs. Interlibrary Loan (ILL) will be offering several exciting new services this semester to increase  ILL use by undergraduates and also to make it easier for faculty to obtain materials they need. The Interlibrary Loan Department’s Owl Express offers delivery service for Boca Raton faculty to their College’s main office. Deliveries will be made every weekday, excluding holiday closings.

We are also recruiting for an Assistant Dean for Research and Collections to provide strategic vision, policy and program development, and leadership as the Libraries redefine their collections and support for research in the context of emerging trends in scholarly communication, changing formats and access models, shared collections, and new definitions of research collections. The Assistant Dean will contribute to Libraries-wide leadership for innovative program and content development in support of the University’s mission through developing and maintaining strong, user-focused collections (print and electronic) in support of the University’s academic programs at all campuses; strengthening support for and the reliability of Interlibrary Loan services; reviewing and enhancing the role of Government Documents in support of research and academic programs; building, strengthening, and increasing the use of and support for all Special Collections including: Jaffe Center for Book Arts, Recorded Sound Archives, Print Music Collection, Marvin & Sybil Weiner Spirit of America Collection, and University Archives.

There are many more changes underway that are designed to make the Libraries the true heart of Florida Atlantic University. As Dean, I welcome your suggestions and feedback. Drop me a line anytime at

One World, Many Stories


On Tuesday, November 15, the FAU Libraries are hosting an event we are calling “The Human Library: One World, Many Stories.”


We have been planning this event for months to show our commitment to the principles of diversity and inclusion, of making sure that everyone knows that the FAU Libraries are a safe haven for people from all backgrounds, walks of life, points of view. We are joining the worldwide Human Library movement which bills itself as a “worldwide movement for social change” and which “is designed to build a positive framework for conversations that can challenge stereotypes and prejudices through dialogue. The Human Library is a place where real people are on loan to readers. A place where difficult questions are expected, appreciated and answered.” At our event on Tuesday, we will be featuring 13 Human Books – FAU students, faculty, and local community members – who will be available for conversation with anyone who is interested in learning more about them, their lives, their point of view. The event starts at 10:30 and continues until 12:30, with four twenty-minute rounds of conversation where people can move to another area and “check out” a different book.

The FAU Libraries’ Human Library event seems especially important now in light of what has been reported on across the United States. This past week (November 7-13), there have been numerous reports from across the country of people being verbally and sometimes physically harassed or attacked because they were female, Muslim, Hispanic, African-American, gay, or different in some way. The Internet and the news media are reporting on many incidents, such as CNN’s Reports of racist graffiti, hate crimes post-election. As awful as this is, the reality is that there have been incidents like this across the country for a long time. A year ago, the New York Times ran a piece entitled Racism on Campus: Stories From New York Times Readers.

FAU’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is seen in its Strategic Plan for the Race to Excellence, 2015-2025  where it has identified Diversity as one of its nine Platforms and where it is stated that FAU strives to “Become the national model for the diversity of the student body.” FAU’s “Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs promotes the academic and personal growth of traditionally underserved students. The office collaborates with the campus community to create an institutional and community climate of social justice. We promote access and equity in higher education and offer programs that educate the campus about diversity.”

Others in the country are also taking strong stands in support of diversity and inclusion. The University of California System this past week issued a statement  that read, in part: “The University of California is proud of being a diverse and welcoming place for students, faculty, and staff with a wide range of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives.  Diversity is central to our mission.  We remain absolutely committed to supporting all members of our community and adhering to UC’s Principles Against Intolerance.  As the Principles make clear, the University “strives to foster an environment in which all are included” and “all are given an equal opportunity to learn and explore.”  The University of California will continue to pursue and protect these principles now and in the future, and urges our students, faculty, staff, and all others associated with the University to do so as well.”

The FAU Libraries are making it clear that we stand on the side of diversity and inclusion. Our newly formed Diversity and Inclusion Committee is charged to make recommendations to the me as Dean of University Libraries on:

  • defining the scope of diversity needs within the context of the University’s and the Libraries’ strategic plans and mission statements
  • reviewing FAU Libraries services, collections, and technology to ensure full support for people of all backgrounds and perspectives
  • the development of signature events, services, collections, and exhibits to promote diversity and inclusion
  • improving the library’s work environment to ensure a safe, welcoming, supportive environment for all Libraries faculty and staff
  • arranging staff development opportunities to increase awareness and appreciation of different backgrounds and perspectives reviewing recruitment and hiring practices within the Library to promote diversity and inclusion
  • reviewing policies and procedures to remove obstacles and promote greater diversity and inclusion
  • developing the Libraries as role models for diversity for the FAU community

The Human Library event on November 15 is just one manifestation of our commitment to being a safe haven for all of FAU’s students, faculty, and staff. Come to us for help. Come to us to discover and celebrate who you are. Come to us explore the world in safety.



Public domain image of safety pin








Welcome to FAU’s Libraries. Bienvenidos a las Bibliotecas de FAU. Bienvenue aux bibliothèques de la FAU. Byenvini nan Bibliyotèk FAU yo.

The faculty and staff of the FAU Libraries enthusiastically welcome you to the 2016/2017 Academic Year! We are here to help you and partner with you to make you as successful as possible, whether you are a student or a faculty member, are here for the first time or are returning for another great year at FAU.

We are busy reimagining the FAU Libraries and we want you to come check out the wide range of services we offer to each and every one of you, including:

  • Friendly, professional staff and library faculty with hundreds of years of collective experience who have devoted their professional careers to making FAU a better place.
  • A wide variety of individual and group study spaces for studying quietly, collaborating with others, or just hanging out
    david dunleavy reclined Daniel Pinto 007 (2)

    Photo by Carol West of students enjoying new furnishings in the Wimberly Library


  • Continually evolving library facilities serving all of FAU’s campuses


    Photo of Dean Hixson checking out the new study pods at the Jupiter Campus

  • A new Graduate Student Study Lounge in the Wimberly Library on the Boca Campus for graduate students and College of Medicine students


    Photo by Patricia Koppisch of students in the Graduate Student Study Lounge

  • Access to approximately 3.7 million physical items and over 80,000 electronic journals, nearly 500 databases, and a growing collection of e-books and streaming videos
  • Many distinctive Special Collections including artists’ books, sound recordings, print music, rare books and manuscripts, and University Archives
  • Government documents from the United States, Florida, and other countries to help you understand the increasingly complex world around us


    Photo of student using materials from Government Documents

  • A Digital Library containing unique materials from Special Collections and University Archives, as well as the intellectual output of FAU’s faculty and students
  • In-person and virtual assistance through Library DIY, Ask a Librarian, workshops, tailored instruction sessions, research consultations, tutorials, webcasts and more
  • Research assistance on any topic when you walk in, over chat or email, on the phone or by special appointment for more in-depth assistance
  • Multiple open-use computing labs
  • Interlibrary loan access to the world’s libraries
  • Library materials on Reserve for classes
  • Assistive technology to enable students with physical challenges to be able to use library and course materials effectively
  • Laptops and iPads available for checkout and use in the Libraries
  • Wireless connectivity throughout
  • Technology-enabled group study rooms and collaboration stations


    Photo by Carol West of students using a new collaboration workstation in the Wimberly Library

  • Assistance understanding copyright and the evolving world of scholarly communication
  • A great space for hosting lectures and presentations on the fifth floor of the Wimberly Library
  • A growing array of lectures and events for fun and edification
  • Exhibits created to inspire and coordinate with current events or issues


    Presidential Pez display as part of Voting Exhibit created by Linda Lesperance, Jupiter Campus Library. Photo by Carol Hixson

  • And much more

Check us out physically or virtually on our Website or on our Facebook page or other social media sites.

We are here for you!