Meet Our Newest Staff Member: Amy Miles in Circulation! (7.9.2015)


Meet Our Newest Staff Member: Amy Miles in Circulation (7.9.2015)

Welcome, Amy!

Amy Miles joins the Chesnutt Library family as a University Library Technician in our Circulation Department. She received a B.A. in English at UNC-Greensboro.  Before moving to Fayetteville, she worked at UNC-G’s library in Preservation Services rebinding and repairing books and documents. Ms. Miles also worked at the UNC-G Writing Center as a writing consultant.

She currently spends her time reading, crafting, and volunteering in orchestra classes at a local middle school. She also has a dog named Bilbo in honor of one her favorite books.

Meet Our Newest Staff Member: Nicholle Young in Archives + Special Collections! (6.24.2015)

Nicholle Young, University Library Technician for Archives and Special Collections (Photo taken 6/24/2015)

Welcome, Nicholle!

Nicholle Young joins the Chesnutt Library family as the University Library Technician for Archives and Special Collections. Earlier this year Nicholle was an intern for the Cumberland County Public Library at their Headquarters Branch in downtown Fayetteville. While doing that she also served as a volunteer for the Fayetteville Area Transportation and Local History Museum.

Nicholle currently attends Central Carolina Community College majoring in Library and Information Technology.

#REPOST via @WHI_HBCUs: How HBCUs Can Get Federal Sponsorship from the U.S. Dept of Justice (5.4.2015)

As a highly-rated, military-friendly institution, FSU is uniquely situated to take advantage of Department of Justice research grants with. FSU provides long-established degree programs in education, social work, criminal justice, and intelligence studies among many others that are connected to law and justice.

Read the excerpt below or click through to access the full blog post to learn more about what findings and progress the leadership of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (WHIHBCU) has made since its inception in 1981 and during the Obama Administration.


By: Ivory A. Toldson & Amanda Washington

Over more than 150 years, HBCUs have provided students with the tools to meet the challenges of a changing world.  These institutions are hubs of opportunity that lift up Americans and instill in their students a sense of who they are and what they can become.  Their campuses are engines of economic growth and community service and proven ladders of intergenerational advancement. – President Barack Obama, 2014 Proclamation

Recent high profile interactions between the Black community and law enforcement officials underscore the need for criminal justice research, programs and advocacy at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) awards over $40 million to institutes of higher education, but HBCUs receive only a small percentage of this revenue. The reasons for HBCUs receiving less money are complex. Many contend that HBCUs are smaller institutions with less university personnel to deliver high quality proposals, while others identify systemic biases that may influence raters’ judgments of HBCU’s proposals.

Despite the challenges, some HBCUs have produced successful proposals to the DOJ. As an assistant professor at Southern University A & M in Baton Rouge, Dr. Ivory A. Toldson, the co-author of this article, received a grant from DOJ to study police misconduct. More recently, Howard University, Lincoln University and Elizabeth City State University received grants to address sexual violence. The purpose of this article is to provide information relevant to HBCUs who are interested in securing federal sponsorship for their research and programs through the DOJ.


The process of obtaining a grant from the Federal Government can be daunting, but there’s only one way to guarantee that a proposal will not be funding – not to apply. Currently, the DOJ funds HBCUs at a level that is less than the average for all Federal agencies. However, this is partially attributed to the low numbers of HBCUs, which have applied. Nationally, 6 HBCUs have law schools, most have criminal justice programs and all offer classes that are relevant to law and justice. In addition, HBCUs have students and faculty members should take leadership in shaping justice-relevant research, policy and practice. In partnership, government officials and HBCUs can expand support to HBCUs through the DOJ.

Specially, the WHIHBCUs should regularly produce reports such as this, which has information regarding the agency’s HBCU liaison, background facts, funding trends, existing HBCU relationships, and agency emphasis. The WHIHBCUs should also work with Federal partners to provide technical assistance to HBCUs who are interested in applying for funding.

Read the full @WHI_HBCUs blog post here.


Librarian Diana Amerson Remains a Vital Asset to FSU Model UN Delegates, Students Win 8 of 11 Awards at 26th Conference (3.31.2015)

Last Thursday, March 19th, it was crunch time. Six students sat scattered in a dimly-lit auditorium-style classroom in Taylor Science. We sat in the front row observing the Model United Nations Vice President, De’Vonicia Mickens, presiding over the meeting. She was addressing the participants, though this wasn’t the entire team.

FSU Model UN members with Librarian Diana Amerson (Thursday, March 19th, 2015)

FSU Model UN members with Librarian Diana Amerson (Thursday, March 19th, 2015)

The abbreviated team of students met to make final hour preparations and plans with faculty advisors Diana Amerson (Librarian, Bibliographic Instruction), Wesley Fountain (Government and Community Affairs), and Dr. Jilly M. Ngwainmbi (Department of Sociology).  Students were being shifted and moved around: who would serve on what committee, who would serve as a moderator, who was assigned to which country.

Questions were asked, clarifications given. Mrs. Amerson stood at the classroom podium, navigating the LibGuide that she created and continuously curates for the North Carolina Consortium for International and Intercultural Education (NCCIIE) Model United Nations Conference. She reminded students how to access key information and resources that would be beneficial during their sessions and resolution-writing.

The NCCIIE Model UN Conference hosted its 26th cohort March 26th-28th, 2015 at the Embassy Suites Conference Center in Fayetteville, NC. Fayetteville State University was the host institution; Chancellor Anderson served as the keynote speaker to the Assembly Delegates.

With the ongoing guidance of Mrs. Amerson and faculty advisors, FSU’s student delegates surpassed their competitors, winning 8 of 11 awards. Below you will find a list of FSU award recipients:

Best Overall Delegate Brandon Sawyer
Best Overall Delegation Marcus Ellerbe & Brittney Koonce
Best Overall Leadership Marcus Ellerbe
Best Delegate Security Council Keorie McMillan
Best Delegate Committee One Brandon Cropper
Best Delegate Honorable Mention Committee One Octavis Harper
Best Delegate Committee Three Terronne Cuthrell

For more information about the NCCIIE 26th  Model UN, you can visit the Model UN LibGuide.

[Librarian Blogs]: Vote for My “Ignite Session Presentation” to be Selected for the 2015 ALA Annual Conference (3.17.2015)

I’ve submitted a proposal to do the presentation for an “Ignite Session” to be part of the 2015 ALA  Annual Conference in San Francisco.  The public voting begins now and it counts 30% of the selection process.  So please vote for my Ignite Session.  If you do not have an account in ALA Connect already, you can sign-up/register here to create a free account to Vote.  You don’t need to be ALA member to create a ALA Connect account.   
This is [where you can] see my Ignite session’s Abstract and Vote.
Should you have any questions, [please]  let me know.  I’ll help you out to set up the ALA Connect account.  Please remember the voting is open until March 31st.    
Thanks in advance,

21 Days of Chesnutt | Day 9: “The Wife of His Youth” (2.18.2015)


Click the image to access and read “The Wife of His Youth eBook!

With “The Wife of his Youth“, Chesnutt delivered yet another short story of racially mixed people passing. This story illustrates the idea of racial ambiguity and living as a particular type of other in North Carolina. This–racial identity–being the most dominant theme among his published work. See what some scholars and academics are writing about this story and general conversations on passing and race.

This story rings quite relevant and timely, as this very issue of colorism (especially among Black women) was portrayed in Bill Duke’s Light Girls that aired January 19th, 2015 on OWN.

And here’s a YouTube video created by a student at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth Texas, which gives a creative synopsis of Chesnutt’s The Wife of His Youth.”

21 Days of Chesnutt | Day 4: Flashback Friday + Digitized Collections (2.13.2015)

In addition to celebrating Black History Month with 21 days of Charles W. Chesnutt, today also serves as Flashback Friday.

We are going way, way back with two archived photographs of Chesnutt as a child and young man.

These two photos are courtesy of the Archives & Special Collections digitized collection. More digitally archived photos can be accessed on campus by copying and pasting the following address into Windows Internet Explorer: P:\Data\Chesnutt Archives. For the off-campus FSU community, these collections can be obtained with a VPN connection.

21 Days of Chesnutt | Day 3: “To Be an Author” (2.12.2015)

Knowing who you are and what you want to do with your life—two issues that Charles W. Chesnutt apparently toiled with throughout adulthood. Like many writers of both the past and present, Chesnutt wrestled with other careers, jobs, and methods of sustaining his life and family.

To Be An Author - Letters of Charles W. Chesnutt, Ed McElrath and Leitz, 1997, Chesnutt Library, Fayetteville State University - Black History Month - 2.12 (2)

At some point or another, he called himself a principal, lawyer, reporter, teacher, stenographer…husband and father, too. But the one thing that he always came back to, the one trade that stuck with him was that of writer.

Chesnutt is (arguably) heralded as the first great Black American writer, a pioneer in African American literary history. In “To Be an Author” (1997), a collection of his letters between 1889 – 1905, readers are able to glean a restless chronicle of Chesnutt’s “frustration of a lifelong quest to transcend the limitations” (x) of wadding on the periphery. These letters were compiled to focus wholly on his pursuit to arrive as a professional author.

If you are never published or accepted in to a heavily-circulated publication, then what? Do you continue to write for the sake of sating your thirst to create? History tells us that notoriety tends to come back after we are dead and gone; this too held true for Chesnutt. So, you may find some reassurance knowing that it’s a sort of rite to endure your share of struggle and to balance thinking you are a writer with actually being one.

To Be an Author reaffirms that artists—no matter their form or genre—will forever struggle with how to create, share, and continue their art. They learn to persist, even if they are never accepted by their peers.

You can find this collection of letters in both the Reference and Main Stacks.

Source: McElrath, Joseph R. and Robert C. Leitz III, eds, “To Be an Author”: Letters of Charles W. Chesnutt (1889-1905). Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997. Print.

21 Days of Chesnutt | Day 2: “Self-Made Men” (2.11.2015)

Chesnutt, Charles W. “Self-Made Men.” Charles W. Chesnutt: Essays and Speeches. Ed. Joseph R. McElrath. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999. 33-40. Print.Day 2: We turn our focus to a speech that Chesnutt delivered in 1882. The message of his oration, as the title presumes, focused on the nature of men who, despite their circumstances, surroundings, and pedigree, are able to rise above and, essentially, still make something out of nothing.

He paints a picture of savvy and resolute men, with images of notables like Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin, and Frederick Douglass—men throughout history (and this was only up until 1882) who have, for all intents and purposes, started from the bottom (H/T to Drake)…and then arrived:

“But when we see a youth, born in poverty, cradled in obscurity;–when we see such a youth rise superior to his coarse surroundings, and vulgar associations, and, overcoming all obstacles, by sheer force of intellect and will attaining to a high rank in life; then we instinctively pause to admire, and rejoice in the power of the mind” (34).

“Self-Made Men” is a testament of the power of the mind to elevate the body (i.e., social station, socioeconomic status). You can read his speech in its entirety here or browse the edited collection in the Library.


Source: Chesnutt, Charles W. “Self-Made Men.” Charles W. Chesnutt: Essays and Speeches. Ed. Joseph R. McElrath. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999. 33-40. Print.


21 Days of Chesnutt | Day 1: “The Goophered Grapevine” (2.10.2015)

Here’s to 21 days devoted to our namesake, in the spirit of Black History Month.

Charles W. Chesnutt succesfully encapsulated the heavy toll of being  black, white, and other all at once in the American South.  Chesnutt’s work deals almost exclusively  with racial ambiguity, racial passing, and race relations in general. But you need to do your own reading to uncover the very personal depths of his rich and thoughtful prose!

The Goophered Grapevine, Charles W. Chesnutt, Chesnutt Library, Fayetteville State University - Black History Month (2.10.2015)Day 1: We are featuring Chesnutt’s first published short story, “The Goophered  Grapevine” published in The Atlantic Monthly in 1887. This text may prove somewhat difficult to read; Chesnutt jumped from dialect to dialect in an attempt to capture the essence of southern Black conversation and dialogue. Much in the way Hurston does in “Their Eyes Were Watching God.”

The Goophered Grapevine” is freely accessible online and you are encouraged to download and read. You can also find the short story in various Chesnutt collections, which we have available  for checkout!