The Passing of Arthur “Ben” Chitty

The Library mourns the loss of Arthur “Ben” Chitty, Higher Education Associate, who served as long-time Library Systems Officer, and PSC-CUNY union activist.

From Simone Yearwood, Interim Dean, School of Arts and Humanities:

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Arthur Ben Chitty on Sunday, February 11. Shortly before his retirement in Summer 2023, Ben was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.    Ben began working at Queens College in 1984 as an assistant professor in the Paul Klapper Library. With the opening of the Benjamin S. Rosenthal Library in 1988, he transitioned to an administrative role as the library systems officer (HEO), where he remained until his retirement. Throughout his tenure, he took on various responsibilities including acting acquisitions librarian and acting head of technical services. Before his retirement, he served as the assistant to the chief librarian for special projects, focusing on the assessment of the college’s Federal Depository Library Program. He previously taught as an adjunct at the Queens College Graduate School of Library & Information Studies.  

Ben was a champion in promoting health and safety practices and contract enforcement. He worked tirelessly and was a staunch advocate for the PSC and DC37 unions. He played a key role in organizing the Queens College Unions Joint Committee on Quality of Work Life, the sole cross-union committee in the City University, which convened monthly for over a decade. Alongside his wife Priscilla Murolo, he co-authored From the Folks Who Brought You the Weekend: A Short Illustrated History of Labor in the United States. Ben’s activism extended beyond academia. He was involved in the antiwar veteran’s movement since his discharge from the US Navy in 1969, initially with Vietnam Veterans Against the War and then with Veterans for Peace, advocating for peace and social justice. He leaves behind his wife, two stepsons, and two grandchildren. Information on his memorial service will be forthcoming.

February 2024: Black History Month (Art History) 

by: Gianna Fraccalvieri, QCL Information Assistant

Please join us in honoring Black History Month this February by viewing a selection of books celebrating the lives and work of various Black American artists, displayed on the main level of the Queens College Library (Rosenthal, 3rd floor). Curated by Amanda Lea Perez, our Substitute Visual & Performing Arts-Art Librarian, this cultural awareness collection seeks to emphasize the diverse history and ongoing influence of Black American artists in the world of visual and performing arts.  

Black Art History Exhibit

Some of the featured artists include Kara Walker, famous for her silhouetted figures among other multimedia works of art; Jean-Michel Basquiat, known for his neo-expressionist drawings, paintings, and graffiti street art; Faith Ringgold, renowned for her multimedia sculptures, performance art, paintings, and art education; and William Pope.L, remembered for his “interventionist public art,” performances, and much more. Other Black American artists including Lorna Simpson, Theaster Gates, and Charles White are highlighted in this selection, as well as scholarly sources analyzing the lasting impact these individuals had on the arts in the United States and beyond. 

Seeking to “improve the representation of Contemporary Black artists in the QC collection,” Amanda has recently ordered more books that will soon be available to browse in the Art Collection (Rosenthal, 6th floor). Some of these new acquisitions include Amy Sherald: The World We Make, Amoako Boafo: Soul of Black Folks, and Simone Leigh, among others. To further explore your interests, please browse the print books on display, use OneSearch to find related e-books and academic articles, meet with a research librarian in the Research Office (Rm. 344) and, of course, visit Amanda in the Art Collection

Display curated by Amanda Lea Perez, Substitute Visual & Performing Arts-Art Librarian /  Blog post written by Gianna Fraccalvieri, Information Assistant 


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Spring 2024 Art Exhibitions In New York

By: Amanda Lea Perez, Substitute Visual & Performing Arts-Art Librarian

Welcome back, Queens College Art Students! 

As the new Art Librarian at the Queens College Library for the spring semester, I look forward to assisting you with your art research needs! The Art Collection on the sixth floor of the Benjamin S. Rosenthal building contains printed books, exhibition catalogs, art pamphlets, periodicals, and rare books, as well as digital resources with access to ebooks and art-centric databases. Databases such as Artstor provide access to visual reproductions of many works of art, but part of the experience of being an art student requires seeing art in person, which is why we at the QCL have put together an art resource information board on the sixth floor, which highlights upcoming Art exhibitions in New York City. Additionally, we have provided information on how to acquire complimentary admission to New York Institutions. 

Complimentary Admission

CUNY Arts (with CUNY ID)
Cuny Arts provides students with free access to arts and cultural institutions like the Leslie-Lohan Museum of Gay & Lesbian Art, Museum of the City of New York, MoMA, El Museo del Barrio, Whitney Museum of American Art, Poster House, and The Frick Collection

Culture Pass (with NYC Public Libraries)
CUNY students can also sign up for a public library card at Brooklyn, Queens, or NYPL, which provides access to museums via Culture Pass. Enter your library card number and four-digit pin, and students can reserve a pass online for a select day to visit museums such as the Brooklyn Museum, International Center of Photography, The Morgan Library & Museum, Museum of Arts and Design, Museum of Chinese in America, Museum of the Moving Image, New Museum, The Noguchi Museum, Guggenheim Museum, and the Ukrainian Museum.

ID NYC
Using your ID NYC identification card allows you a one-year Membership for museums like the Drawing Center, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Queens Museum of Art, and Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).

FREE DAYS
Museums and cultural institutions in NYC also offer complimentary admission days. The American Folk Art Museum, the Bronx Museum of Art, the Sculpture Center, the Center for Book Arts, and the Grolier Club are always free! The Metropolitan Museum of Art is Pay What You Wish for New York Students. Cooper Hewitt is Pay What You Wish from 5 to 6 p.m. daily. Several museums throughout NYC offer free admission on Friday evenings, such as the Rubin Museum of Art and the New-York Historical Society

Spring 2024 Art Exhibitions

Bard Graduate Center Gallery (February 23 – July 7, 2024): Work by the 20th-century artist Sonia Delaunay will be on view at the Bard Graduate Center Gallery from February 23 – July 7, 2024.  Admission is free all day on the first Friday of each month. You can read about Sonia Delaunay at Queens College in the Art Stacks on Level 6

Brooklyn Museum (February 10 – July 7, 2024): The dynamic duo of New York musicians turned art collectors Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz will be exhibiting artwork from their personal collection at the Brooklyn Museum. Works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Gordon Parks, Lorna Simpson, and Kehinde Wiley will be on view from February 10 – July 7, 2024. Admission is free on the first Saturday of every month from 5–11 pm; free tickets are also available through Culture Pass. 

Cooper Hewitt (until August 11, 2024): Cooper Hewitt is exhibiting An Atlas of Es Devlin until August 11, 2024. Es Devlin is a contemporary visual artist and stage designer who crosses the boundaries into a variety of art mediums, including immersive projection-mapped sculptures. Es Devlin’s first monograph is available at Queens College Library, thanks to the generous donation through the Professor Libby Tannenbaum Memorial Endowed Fund for Art Library Acquisitions.

Metropolitan Museum of Art (February 25 – July 28, 2024):  After the closure of Vertigo of Color: Matisse, Derain, and the Origins of Fauvism and Manet/Degas at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, spring will open with several exhibitions such as The Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism (February 25 – July 28, 2024), and Weaving Abstraction in Ancient and Modern Art (March 5 – June 16, 2024)—the Metropolitan Museum of Art is always Pay-What-You-Wish for New York students.

Museum of Modern Art (March 31 – July 20, 2024): Work by the artist Käthe Kollwitz will be on display at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) from March 31 to July 20, 2024. Books about Kollwitz can be found in the Art Stacks on Level 6. CUNY students receive free admission to MoMA. 

New Museum (until March 3, 2024): Contemporary artist Judy Chicago’s retrospective Herstory is on view at the New Museum until March 3, 2024. The Art Collection contains many books about Judy Chicago. Discounted tickets are available to CUNY students; free tickets are available on Culture Pass. 

Noguchi Museum (March 20 – July 28, 2024): A retrospective by the artist Toshiko Takaezu: Worlds Within will be displayed from March 20, 2024 – July 28, 2024, at the Noguchi Museum. Admission to the museum is free on the first Friday of every month.

MoMA PS1 (April 4  – September 2, 2024): The retrospective by the artist Pacita Abad is on view at MoMA PS1 from April 4 – September 2, 2024. Melissa Cody: Webbed Skies will also be on view until September 2, 2024. Thanks to the generous donation through the Professor Libby Tannenbaum Memorial Endowed Fund for Art Library Acquisitions, new monographs from Pacita Abad and Melissa Cody have been added to the Art Collection. CUNY students receive free admission to MoMA PS1. 

Ukrainian Museum (until April 7, 2024): Folkart by the Ukrainian artist Maria Prymachenko is on view at the Ukrainian Museum until April 7, 2024. Free admission to the Ukrainian Museum is available on Culture Pass. The exhibition catalog is available in the sixth-floor Art Collection.

Benjamin S. Rosenthal Library Art Collection wishes Queens College art students an inspiring spring semester; if you have any questions or need assistance while you navigate the Art World, stop by room 603.


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January 2024: National Hobby Month 

by: Gianna Fraccalvieri, QCL Information Assistant

January 2024 is National Hobby Month! As we step into a new year and semester, consider picking up an old pastime or trying something new to enjoy the countless personal and professional rewards that hobbies can offer you. If you’re looking for a place to start, please visit the book display dedicated to the historical and current practice of popular hobbies in the U.S. located on the main level of the Queens College Library (Rosenthal 3rd floor). 

This month’s cultural awareness collection seeks to provide a variety of hobby-related resources, from step-by-step guides to detailed histories and scholarly analyses of the social and emotional impacts of different leisurely ventures. Some of the activities highlighted in this display include cooking and baking, video gaming, reading and writing, DIY crafting, caring for plants and pets, physical fitness, fashion design and cosplay, stargazing, and much more! To further explore your interests, please browse the print books and E-Books on display, use OneSearch to find related sources, and meet with a librarian for in-depth inquiries. 

Hobby Month Book Display
Queens College Library (Rosenthal 3rd floor) book display of historical and current practices of popular hobbies. 

Recent research has linked the perception of a positive work-life balance with the regular practice of hobbies among a sample of undergraduate students, suggesting that carving out time to enjoy personal interests outside of school and work could help reduce overall stress. Additionally, other articles report that having hobbies can enhance levels of productivity, creativity, and originality among scholars and professionals by encouraging more divergent thought processes throughout our daily responsibilities.  

For more information about how to pursue your recreational interests as a member of the Queens College community, please review the following resources: 

Display and blog post created by Gianna Fraccalvieri, an Information Assistant at Queens College Library and MLS/MA student at Queens College GSLIS. 


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December 2023: Universal Human Rights Month (UHRM)  

by: Gianna Fraccalvieri, QCL Information Assistant

On December 10th, 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was published by the United Nations General Assembly to officially define and defend the inherent rights of all human beings for the first time in history. In honor of this milestone, the world celebrated the 75th anniversary of Human Rights Day on Sunday, December 10th, 2023. Please help us raise awareness for Universal Human Rights Month (UHRM) this December by visiting the book display on the main level of the Queens College Library (Rosenthal 3rd floor). 

Highlighting the 2023 UHRM theme of “Freedom, Equality and Justice for All,” the books on display include works across the fields of history, political science, anthropology, sociology, gender studies, economics, and more to provide a multilayered perspective on universal human rights issues. Feel free to browse the physical books on display as this month’s cultural awareness installment, use OneSearch to find related E-Books, or meet with a librarian to discuss further research options.   

As a major achievement in international and multicultural collaboration, the UDHR has been translated into more than 500 languages and influenced the formation of over 70 human rights treaties. To learn more about this legacy and how to get involved in universal human rights advocacy efforts, please visit the following links: 

Display and blog post created by Gianna Fraccalvieri, an Information Assistant at Queens College Library and MLS/MA student at Queens College GSLIS. 


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National Family Caregivers Month (NFCM) Book Display

This November, please join us in observing National Family Caregivers Month (NFCM) by viewing the book display located on the main level of the Queens College Library (Rosenthal 3rd floor). According to the Caregiver Action Network (CAN), which is the non-profit organization responsible for organizing NFCM, there are “more than 90 million Americans who care for loved ones with chronic conditions, disabilities, disease, or the frailties of old age.” To learn more about the challenges across diverse caregiving experiences, and to explore supportive resources for caregivers and their families, please browse the books on display, search for E-books online via OneSearch, or request a research appointment with a librarian.  

National Family Caregivers Month Book Display
Queens College Library’s Book Display for National Family Caregivers Month

As this month’s edition of the Library’s cultural awareness book displays, this collection acknowledges the 2023 NFCM theme of #CaregiversConnect by elevating educational resources, shared stories, and support networks across a variety of caregiving situations. Organized support services, such as those offered through the U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL), may alleviate some of the emotional, practical, and financial pressures experienced by family caregivers throughout their honorable efforts to help their loved ones. 

For more information about how you can get involved in supporting the NFCM 2023 #CaregiversConnect campaign, please consult the following resources:  

Display and blog post created by Gianna Fraccalvieri, an Information Assistant at Queens College Library and MLS/MA student at Queens College GSLIS. 

Queens College Library Halloween Display

by: Gianna Fraccalvieri, QCL Information Assistant

Halloween Book Display
Queens College Library Halloween Display – Rosenthal 3rd fl.

As Tuesday, October 31st approaches, we invite you to stop by the main floor of the Queens College Library (Rosenthal 3rd floor) to view this year’s Halloween book display! If you are interested in learning more about the history of Halloween, horror fiction and film, and similar topics, please come in to browse the physical collection. You can also peruse related E-books online via OneSearch, explore our digital and streaming resources, and meet with a librarian to discuss more in-depth research questions.

Children’s Books

Additionally, a selection of Children’s books is available if you are looking to entertain the younger loved ones in your life with age-appropriate stories this Halloween. This collection is part of the Library’s cultural awareness book displays for October 2023, as well as our display for Italian American Heritage Month. Feel free to ask about the displays at the Information Desk.

Events

Upcoming Halloween-related events on campus include the screening of the Japanese horror film:

  • The Ring on Tuesday, October 31st from 5:00pm – 8:00pm

The film will be shown in Queens Hall 120, presented by the Japanese Studies program. For more information, contact joshua.rogers@qc.cuny.edu.

Display and blog post created by Gianna Fraccalvieri, an Information Assistant at Queens College Library and MLS/MA student at Queens College GSLIS.


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Queens College Library – Librarian Vacancies Announcement (9/12/23) 

Seeking Candidates as Full-Time Substitute Librarians, and as Part-Time Adjunct Librarians 

Queens College Library (QCL) supports student success and faculty development through its resources, services, and spaces in accordance with the college’s educational mission. QCL seeks creative, collaborative, and user-centered librarians to support teaching and learning in the schools of Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences, and Math & Natural Sciences. Our librarians will work with Library and College partners to improve services and outreach to students and faculty across academic departments. QCL encourages innovation in librarianship and expects librarians to possess strong interpersonal and creative skills, and the desire to develop new areas of expertise. 

As members of the Library Faculty, these public service positions will combine core librarianship and teaching responsibilities, such as research assistance and library instruction, with subject specialist and technology-based services to students and faculty.  

The Library and College embrace the diversity of the borough of Queens and welcomes such diversity in its students and personnel. QCL promotes a hybrid work schedule for full-timers (80% on-site, 20% remote), and all positions may include evenings and weekends. 

These positions are open until filled – review of applications begins September 18th. 

For details and to apply for a position, see our Employment page or these direct links: 

Questions about the positions or the hiring process can be addressed to james.mellone@qc.cuny.edu.


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Treasures from Special Collections and Archives: Alexander Kouguell Collection

By Pamela Padilla

The Alexander Kouguell Collection follows the life and career of Professor Emeritus Alexander Kouguell (1920-2022), whose nearly 70-year tenure and career are documented in a newly processed collection at the Queens College Special Collections and Archives.

Headshot of Alexander Kouguell with his cello
Headshot of Alexander Kouguell with his cello (Box 9)

Alexander Kouguell was born in Crimea on March 27th, 1920 to parents Arkadie and Marie Kouguell (nee Malinskya). Both his parents had been child piano prodigies, and met at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory whilst studying music. His father’s career as a composer, as well as worsening political conditions, had prompted a brief move to Constantinople (now Istanbul), Turkey, and later Beirut, Lebanon where the family remained for nearly 25 years.  

Alexander Kouguell received a diploma from the Ecole Normale De Musique de Paris in cello in 1938, his bachelors and master’s degrees from the American University in Beirut in 1941 and 1943 respectively, and enrolled at Columbia University for a PhD in Comparative Literature in 1944. In this time, he continued his career in music, which led his first position as a professor of cello at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore.  

Uncertainty regarding his continued funding would bring him back to New York, where he met musician Leo Kraft. Kraft recommended he apply for a position at the newly minted Music Department at Queens College. He became a professor at the Queens College Department of Music, later renamed the Aaron Copland School of Music, when the area surrounding Queens was still farmland—a far cry from the metropolitan borough it is today. His family followed him soon after in 1956, with the collection even including his parents’ naturalization papers. 

Kouguell’s career afforded him the opportunities to play nationwide and internationally with groups such as the New York Chamber Soloists, the Musica Aeterna Orchestra, and the Silvermine Quartet. Hotel brochures, concert programs, and even audio recordings of concerts are available upon request in his collection. True to the deep respect he commanded in the community, the collection holds many music manuscripts of pieces that were dedicated to Alexander.   

Leo Kraft piece dedicated to him (top); Kouguell in an orchestra playing (Box 6) (bottom)

Although his career and Queens College papers are a testament to his cultural impact, what makes Kouguell’s collection exceptionally special are his personal papers which outline not only his life but also the connections that made him a valued member of the Queens College community. Exchanges with his impressive mentors in France can be found in the same subseries as their obituaries, denoting the passage of time and the impact his mentors had on him. 

His eclectic collection includes photographs of his honeymoon, an audio recording of him gently guiding his oldest son’s piano lesson, a brief biography of his parents, and photographs that show the steady progression of his family from the 1940’s through the present. All of the notes that color a person’s life is existent in his collection. The heart of the Kouguell collection lies in the remembrance that the measure of a person’s life is traced through their legacy, but their impact can be felt in the treasures they leave behind. 

The Alexander Kouguell Papers are now open for research. To make an appointment to view the collection, please contact the archives at qc.archives@qc.cuny.edu.

Pamela Padilla served as the Shirley Klein Rare Books and Manuscripts Graduate Fellow over the 2022/2023 academic year. Her Fellowship was funded through the generosity of Shirley Klein.


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QC Diversity Week Event: Let’s Talk About “IT”

Queens College Library
  • Title: Let’s Talk About “IT”- Race, Gender, Sexuality, Religion, Mental Health
  • Date: April 17, 2023
  • Time: 12:15pm – 1:30pm
  • Location: Rosenthal Library Level 3 Tanenbaum Space

It’s okay to not understand something. Sometimes we just need to sit down and talk about “it”. This workshop is designed to bring people together to discuss everyday issues and have uncomfortable conversations.

Set with the concept of speed dating, participants will be paired to have a timed one-on-one discussion on a variety of topics that include race, gender, sexuality, religion, mental health, and other topics, to ask each other questions so that they can learn about issues that they are unfamiliar with. This is an opportunity to talk, listen and learn about the differences that make us unique in our own ways.

Come join us as we get comfortable with being uncomfortable and let’s talk about “it”!


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