Meet James Miller, Science/Math and IT Librarian

We are happy to introduce you to James Miller, the library’s newest librarian! James works with students and faculty in the natural sciences and mathematics, helping them with research and resource needs. He is also the library’s IT specialist. We asked him some questions:

Q: What is your academic background?
A: I received a B.A. in English from Austin College, a small liberal arts college about the same size as Hollins. My MLIS is from Drexel University.

Q: What did you do before joining our library?
A: I was an assistant librarian at South Georgia Technical College in Americus, Georgia. My position entailed collection development, instruction, web site maintenance, and essentially everything else. It was a great learning experience.

Q: What do you like to read?
A: I still love literature (Cormac McCarthy, Don Delillo, Jorge Luis Borges), but I’m trying to be more well-rounded and read more non-fiction. Most of my non-fiction interests center around health, nutrition, and sustainable food. I try to learn about science (climate, chemistry, etc.) indirectly by reading about how food is grown/produced.

Q: What else would you like to share about yourself: hobbies, fun facts, life goals?
A: I’m a Dad now so hobbies are scarce and must be childfriendly. I like to garden and play guitar. I used to be an obsessive tennis player. Anyone play here at Hollins? Fun Facts: I skateboarded for 10 years and won an amateur contest in Mainz, Germany. My first job at age 17 was as a locksmith and entailed jimmying open cars and apartment complexes, but don’t call me now for those services. I’ve never seen the film “Titanic.”

Staff/Faculty/Alum Book Club Discussion of “Wild Girls” March 19

The library’s book club for staff, faculty and alums will next be meeting on Tuesday March 19, to discuss Hollins alumna Mary Stewart Atwell’s “Wild Girls.”  We will meet at noon in the Hollins Room, with drinks and dessert provided by the library. Bring a brown bag lunch, bring a colleague, and join us: we look forward to seeing you here!

Getting the book: we have a copy, additional copies are available from the public libraries:, and Amazon will sell you the hardcover for $16.50. E-versions are also available for purchase.

For more information contact Maryke Barber at 540-362-6328 or

Sign up for a public library card at the bookmobile March 13

The bookmobile will be at Moody on Wednesday, March 13, with new books and movies, and the opportunity to sign up for a card from the Roanoke Valley Public Libraries!

RVL libraries offer popular books and films, as well as downloadable e-books and databases such as the Mango language learning system. A public library card is free with your Hollins ID: come check it out!

Sari Soldiers Documentary March 3

Next At the Library Documentary Film Series presents:

Sari Soldiers

a film by Julie Bridgham

March 3, 2:00 p.m. in Jackson Screening Room

with an introduction and Q&A by Hollins’ Nepali students.

Filmed over three years during the most historic and pivotal time in Nepal’s modern history, The Sari Soldiers is an extraordinary story of six women’s courageous efforts to shape Nepal’s future in the midst of an escalating civil war against Maoist insurgents, and the King’s crackdown on civil liberties. When Devi, mother of a 15-year-old girl, witnesses her niece being tortured and murdered by the Royal Nepal Army, she speaks publicly about the atrocity. The army abducts her daughter in retaliation, and Devi embarks on a three-year struggle to uncover her daughter’s fate and see justice done.

The Sari Soldiers follows her and five other brave women, including Maoist Commander Kranti; Royal Nepal Army Officer Rajani; Krishna, a monarchist from a rural community who leads a rebellion against the Maoists; Mandira, a human rights lawyer; and Ram Kumari, a young student activist shaping the protests to reclaim democracy. The Sari Soldiers intimately delves into the extraordinary journey of these women on opposing sides of the conflict, through the democratic revolution that reshapes the country’s future.

“[I]t gives new meaning to the words courage and resilience.” – Stephen Holden, New York Times

“A moving portrait of women during war and their struggles as mothers, daughters, and sisters.” Marie Lo, The Asian Reporter

“Bridgham’s overarching portrait of political upheaval is compassionate and insightful, …the director discovers a symbol of both inspirational human rights advocacy, and the terrible tragedy of tyranny.” Nick Schager, Slant Magazine

Apply for the Research Award By Feb. 28!

Show off your hard work and win!

The library’s annual undergraduate research award recognizes exemplary student research projects completed in Hollins courses with a cash prize of $250 and online publication. Eligible research projects will showcase extensive and creative usage of the library’s resources; the ability to synthesize those resources in completing the project; and growth in the student’s research skills.

Who: All current Hollins undergraduate students are eligible. There will be two (2) awards given: one for a freshman/sophomore, and the second for a junior/senior.

When: All applications will be due on February 28, 2013. Finalists will be announced in late March 2013, and the winners will be recognized at a reception in April 2013.

How: Choose a research project (paper; podcast; website; etc.) that you completed for a Hollins course or independent study during the three previous semesters (Fall 2012; Spring 2012; Fall 2011). You will need to have a faculty member (your class instructor; if the class instructor is unavailable, an advisor would be acceptable) agree to sponsor you for the award. As part of the application, you must write a 250-500 word essay explaining your project and the research you completed.

Why should I apply?: Because this is an awesome opportunity to show off your great work, and get rewarded for all the time you spent researching! As if that wasn’t enough, each winner will also receive:

  • $250
  • publication/archiving of your work on the library’s website and in the library’s archives
  • an excellent item to put on your resume or grad school application
  • the warm fuzzy feeling of recognition by peers and faculty

Fare-You-Well gathering for Joesephine Clarke Feb. 20 9:30 a.m.

Please join the library staff for a gathering as we say gooodbye to Circulation Coordinator Joesephine Clarke:
Wednesday, February 20
Hollins Room, 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
Joesephine has accepted a position as the branch manager librarian at the Westlake branch of the Franklin County Public Library. She first came to Hollins as a reference assistant in 2009-10, then moved into the Circulation Coordinator position in the summer of 2010. In the fall of 2012 she also accepted additional responsibilities in instruction and reference for Division III. We will miss our colleague and wish her the very best in her new endeavors!

Staff & Faculty Book Club: reading Wild Girls

The library’s book club for staff, faculty and alums will next be meeting on March 19  at noon, to discuss Hollins alumna Mary Stewart Atwell’s “Wild Girls.”  We will meet at noon in the Hollins Room, with drinks and dessert provided by the library. Bring a brown bag lunch, bring a colleague, and join us: we look forward to seeing you here!

Getting the book: we have a copy, additional copies are available from the public libraries:, and Amazon will sell you the hardcover for $16.50. E-versions are also available for purchase.

For more information contact Maryke Barber at 540-362-6328 or

Congratulations to Luke Vilelle, Hollins’ new University Librarian

Please join the Wyndham Robertson Library in congratulating our next University Librarian, Luke Vilelle.

Luke Vilelle came to Hollins in 2007. As Public Services and Liaison Librarian, he has led a student-centered team focusing on excellence in service and learning. Innovative additions to the library’s outreach have included the Student Advisory Committee and the Library Research Award. He also helped double the library’s instruction program, while improving instruction quality with multiple assessment programs.

Active in the library profession nationally and at the state level, he currently chairs the American Library Association (ALA) poster session committee, and is working with VIVA, the Virtual Library of Virginia, to represent the Commonwealth’s private institutions in the development of proposals for institutional repository software to create a digital library for scholarly work.

Luke Vilelle has published multiple peer-reviewed journal articles, including an article that received the 2010 Reference Service Press award from the Reference and User Services Association of ALA. A chapter for the book Excellence in the stacks: Strategies, practices and reflections of award-winning libraries, co-authored with librarian Maryke Barber, will be published this spring.

“Guilty Pleasures Documentary Feb. 17

Every four seconds a romance novel published by Harlequin or its British counterpart, Mills & Boon, is sold somewhere in the world…


a documentary film by Julie Moggan, part of the “Now at the Library” Documentary Film Series
Sunday, February 17, 2 pm
Jackson Screening Room, lower level, Wyndham Robertson Library

“Julie Moggan’s ‘Guilty Pleasures’ takes an amusing and touching look at this global phenomenon. Ironies abound in the contrasts between the everyday lives of the books’ readers and the fantasy worlds that offer them escape. ‘Guilty Pleasures’ portrays five romance devotees who must, ultimately, find their dreams in the real world.”

The film will be introduced by S. J. Creek, assistant professor of sociology.

This event is a collaboration with the award-winning documentary series POV ( Reception to follow.

A Literary Conversation Feb. 14

Editor and Writer: a Literary Conversation is a three-part event taking place at Hollins on February 14. The day features guest readings, Q&As and conversations about writing, editing, publishing – specifically the multifaceted relationship between editor and author.

Lunch with an editor: Ben George  noon.
Goodwin Private Dining Room. This event is for current students only.

Reading by Edith Pearlman and John Rybicki: 4:30 pm
Green Drawing Room, Main Building. Free and open to the public.

Q&A with Ben George, Edith Pearlman, and John Rybicki: 8:15 pm
Hollins Room, Wyndham Robertson Library. Free and open to the public.

Ben George, now an editor at Penguin Books in New York and a founding editor of the journal “Ecotone” and of Lookout Books, a new imprint out of UNC Wilmington, talks with two of the celebrated writers whose work he has published – poet John Rybicki and fiction writer Edith Pearlman – about the relationship between editor and writer and about the role of journals and small presses in today’s literary landscape.

Edith Pearlman has published more than 250 works of short fiction and short nonfiction in national magazines, literary journals, anthologies, and online publications. Her work has appeared in “Best American Short Stories,” “The O. Henry Prize Collection,” “New Stories from the South,” and “The Pushcart Prize Collection – Best of the Small Presses.” Her first collection of stories, “Vaquita,” won the Drue Heinz Prize for Literature in 1996. “Love Among The Greats” won the Spokane Annual Fiction Prize, while her third collection, “How to Fall,” won the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction. “Binocular Vision: New and Selected Stories” was published in 2011. Pearlman’s short essays have appeared in “The Atlantic Monthly,” “Smithsonian Magazine,” “Preservation,” “Yankee Magazine,” and “Ascent.” Her travel writing – about the Cotswolds, Budapest, Jerusalem, Paris, and Tokyo – has been published in the “The New York Times” and elsewhere.

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, John Rybicki is the author of the poetry collections “Traveling at High Speeds” and “We Bed Down Into Water: Poems.” His third collection, “When All the World Is Old,” was written in response to the long illness and death of his wife, the poet Julie Moulds. His poems have appeared in many publications, including “Poetry,” “Ploughshares,” “American Poetry Review,” “Ecotone,” and “Bomb,” and have been reprinted in “Best American Poetry” and “The Pushcart Prize.” Poet and fiction writer Stuart Dybek says, “Rybicki’s [a] poet whose individual poems seems like autobiographical fragments still hurdling apart from some personal Big Bang,” while National Book Award winner Terrance Haynes describes him as “our great true poet of ecstasy. His poems are soulful, enraptured, euphonic….” Rybicki has been a writer-in-residence at Alma College in Michigan. He teaches poetry to young writers through the InsideOut Literary Arts Project and Wings of Hope Hospice.

Ben George’s stories, essays, and journalism have appeared in “Ninth Letter,” “Tin House,” “Gulf Stream,” “Boise Weekly,” and other publications. His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and for “Best New American Voices.” A founding editor of Lookout Books at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, and a former editor at “Ecotone,” and at “Tin House,” he is now an editor at Penguin Books, where he acquires and edits hardcover titles for Viking and paperback originals for Penguin. He edited the magazine “Fugue” while earning his M.F.A. from the University of Idaho. Stories and essays he has edited have won the Pushcart Prize and the O. Henry Prize, and have been reprinted in “Best American Short Stories,” “Best American Mystery Stories,” “Best American Essays,” “Best American Nonrequired Reading,” and “New Stories from the South.” His interviews with writers such as Anita Desai, W. S. Merwin, Andrea Barrett, Margot Livesey, Peter Ho Davies, and Rick Bass appear or are forthcoming in “Tin House,” “Fugue,” and the “Believer.”

Funding for this event is provided by the Beanstalks Fund.