Library Closure 12/17

Due to expected inclement weather conditions, Rosenthal Library will be closed on Thursday, December 17th. Queens College Shuttle service is also suspended. We expect to reopen on Friday, December 18th or as the weather permits.

New Course: Library 170: History of the Book

Spring Semester 2021, 3 credits
Fulfills the College Writing 2 requirement
Dr. Leila Walker –
Tuesdays & Thursdays – 10:45am – 11:55am
Prerequisite – English 110

For more information about registering for this class, contact Mary Santora, the Administrative Assistant of Instructional Services, at


History of the Book- The theme of this course is the history of the book. When we examine texts through the lens of book history, we do more than simply read words: we examine the physical objects that transmit those words to an audience. The course will include reading, research, and writing. In this course, we will learn to analyze a text and its material form in order to illuminate its purpose, audience, production, reception, and social context at a moment or moments in time. We will explore how the technological changes in the production of texts, from scrolls to tweets, influenced — and were influenced by — social, political, and economic changes, and changes in who was reading and how. As we do so, we will apply this knowledge to our own writing by creating texts in a variety of forms for diverse audiences. Through our shared research, we will develop an understanding of how the technology of the book has shaped how we read, write, and communicate today.

E-Resources News: Novemeber 2020

QC Library is pleased to share a new database: Black Freedom Struggle in the United States: A selection of Primary Sources. It features over 2000 primary source documents, organized into 6 historical periods:

  • Slavery and the Abolitionist Movement (1790-1860)
  • The Civil War and the Reconstruction Era (1861-1877)
  • Jim Crow Era from 1878 to the Great Depression (1878-1932)
  • The New Deal and World War II (1933-1945)
  • The Civil Rights and Black Power Movements (1946-1975)
  • The Contemporary Era (1976-2000)

In addition to the OneSearch link above, the database can be accessed through:

Kindly note that due to a CUNY wide update in August, all electronic resources are now accessible remotely using your CUNY Login Credentials. For more information, please review our FAQ:

Medical Heritage Library Celebrates 10th Anniversary with Conference

The Medical Heritage Library is a collaborative digital project that provides open access to resources on the history of medicine and the health sciences. It has digitized rare medical books, films, journals, and other content representing each of the last seven centuries–all available freely online! For an introduction to what’s available, check out MHL’s Flickr stream, filled with incredible historic medical images.

On Friday, November 13, the Medical Heritage Library hosts a 10th anniversary conference that is free and open to all. Dr. Robin Naughton, QC Library’s Web and Digital Services Librarian, is also the Vice President of Medical Heritage Library and will moderate one panel and give closing remarks. We hope to see you there! Register via EventBrite

For Faculty: Tales of Teaching Online

We are partnering with the Center for Teaching and Learning to offer Tales of Teaching Online: Tips, Tricks, and Tragic Mishaps. This peer-led virtual discussion is an opportunity to examine the unprecedented transition to online teaching and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Faculty from every discipline, with varying levels of expertise with digital education, have been forced to rapidly reimagine their instructional methods, and learn a whole new vocabulary: Zoom meetings, asynchronous instruction, learning management systems, and more.

How did you prepare? What worked well, and what challenges do you still face in your online teaching? At this  intimate digital gathering, we’ll discuss teaching and learning from a distance. Share your tips and strategies for improving your online teaching, expanding your digital skill set, and working with online videos and Open Educational Resources, and learn from your peers’ stories.

Thursday, November 19: 4:00PM-5:00PM.

Space is limited: please RSVP early:

Library Events on Activism and Social Justice Continue

On October 6, Norka Blackman-Richards, Director of the Percy E. Sutton Seek Program at Queens College, moderated Fighting for the Future: Political Engagement and Student Leadership, a passionate and intellectually vibrant conversation that could not have come at a better time. We thank her and each of our panelists: Aysa Gray, Carmine Couloute, Siddharth Malviya, and Zaire Couloute, who shared their personal journeys as student and community leaders and their hopes and strategies for the future.

A recording of the event is available here.

This event was Part 2 of the library’s series How Can We Do Better: Creating a More Just and Inclusive World. We hope you join us on November 17 for the final program, which will focus on issues of power, representation, and inclusion in archives.  

Library Faculty and Staff News

The Music Library Today

Dr. Jennifer Oates, Head of the Music Library, and Michael Deering, an Aaron Copland School of Music graduate and a non-teaching adjunct in the Music Library, recently interviewed each other to provide a nuanced picture of working in the Music Library during the pandemic. Along with the challenges, they also discussed some of their outreach and collaborations with other departments, the Music Library’s ongoing support for students and faculty, and their hopes for the future. Their conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

Mike’s Questions for Jenn

How long have you worked at the QC Music Library?

I just started my seventeenth year as Head of the Music Library here.

You were on sabbatical when the pandemic began: what was it like stepping back in with our physical spaces closed and all of these new considerations?

Very strange! While on sabbatical, I read work emails, so I had a general idea of what was happening on campus. Coming back to work, my top priority was finding ways to help maintain a high level of service and support to our faculty and students. The Music Library crew did a fantastic job while I was out. I wanted to build on that, support our crew, and see how I could help in Rosenthal Library as well.

Since we don’t have access to our physical materials, we’ve all had to be flexible in our roles. Have any of your prior responsibilities carried into this semester? How about new considerations?

My responsibilities remain the same, but how I fulfill them has changed. I still do in-class library instruction for music courses and offer reference consultations, both via Zoom. I am pleased that students seem to be emailing with questions, which I hope continues. I have also been creating new research guides geared towards particular fields or classes, including one for Music Education and another for writing program notes.  

I am doing more at Rosenthal Library, including virtual reference. I have also been asked to lead a User Experience (UX) Team, which I’m excited about. We’ll be looking at how our patrons use the library and look for ways to streamline and improve experiences. 

I love that our Music Library crew has been eager to help out wherever possible. They’ve been updating manuals and internal guides for the Music Library and helping out with projects in Rosenthal Library, including testing the reservation system and working on microfilm/fiche projects.

As for new considerations, I had previously focused on buying physical books and scores, something I am reconsidering now. I am thinking about how to engage with students virtually. Doing screen shares on Zoom for instruction and reference consultations has been really useful and is something I want to offer even when we’re back on campus. 

What are your hopes and goals for the music library, looking at this semester and beyond?

I’ve always thought of the Music Library as the intellectual hub of the Aaron Copland School of Music. I hope that continues, and I hope we can find ways to incorporate more virtual tools and resources into our offerings. Working with classes and students via Zoom has been fun, but what other ways might we incorporate digital services into our offerings? Currently, those who reach out to me knew me from before or I have visited their class. I want to find ways to connect with those who may not know who I am or what the Music Library has to offer.

Rethinking how we support faculty is also important. During the pandemic, we’ve been focused on students and classes, but I also want to make sure our faculty have what they need for research. 

Jenn’s Questions for Mike 

How long have you been at QC? 

I started as a master’s student in 2016 and I worked in the music office my first year. Once I graduated I took another post in the office before moving to the Music Library this January.

What’s it been like working at QC during the pandemic?

It was a rushed transition for everyone, but as things settled I was glad to see a lot of possibilities to increase our accessibility, and new opportunities to get involved with different projects.

What is working well for you?

I enjoy being flexible and working in capacities I might not have otherwise. This includes helping faculty prepare for their classes through my my work with The Center for Teaching and Learning. CTL is a hub for faculty support. Throughout this shift towards virtual education, they have been very busy and I’m glad to be in their drop-in hours to help as much as possible. Working with the library’s communications department, I get to be active on social media and handle projects like this where I get to discuss our experiences during this time and share stories with our community. I’m currently working on a related story with a staff member from the Kupferberg Center for the Arts. One of my favorite projects has been Culture Watch, which is a monthly roundup of free live streamed events to enjoy from your home. 

What is challenging for you?

The most challenging thing has been staying on a good sleep schedule. I am a night owl and without always having to be somewhere in the mornings I tend to stay up a bit later than I probably should.

How do you hope your current work will impact the future of the library and the music school?  

While no one wants to be in a pandemic, it has pushed individuals, teams, and institutions in unique directions that can have some positive lasting effects. I’m hopeful that we can continue to serve our patrons and even improve our accessibility by developing more digital services.

For more on the Music Library, check out our homepage and follow us on social media!
Instagram: @qcmusiclibrary 
Twitter: @QCMusicLibrary