Staff Recommendation – The Blessings, by Elise Juska


In her most recent novel, The Blessings, Elise Juska explores the connections between members of a large family. From birth to death, divorce and strained marriages, leaving home for the first time and learning what it means to take on the traditions of the family, this work follows the lives of a close-knit Irish-Catholic family and gives the reader no shortage of personal triumphs and losses to explore and understand. Through her deft use of differing narrators spanning four generations of the Blessings’s family tree, Juska pushes us to ask ourselves how much of our identity is shaped by family, and what happens when we step outside those boundaries.

The UArts Libraries is proud is recognize Juska as an esteemed faculty member of our own institution.

Greenfield Open Stacks – 813 J98b 2014

Lauralee Martin, Work Study Library Assistant at the Greenfield Library 

UArts 140th #tbt Posts!

Have you checked out the University Libraries’ series of #tbt posts in honor of the University’s 140th anniversary?

You should!

Search Instagram for the hashtag #UArtsArchivesTBT, or visit:

This is an ongoing series, so be sure to follow and check the UArts Libraries Instagram account regularly.

And boy, does this series have everything!

Students chilling on the steps of Hamilton Hall? Check.

Students sitting on the steps of Dorrance Hamilton Hall

Historic Philly shots? Check.

333 South Broad Street

Student makers making? Check.

Dance students practicing with labanotation score

Faculty engagingCheck.

Ben Eisenstat advises a student in an illustration class

Art installationsCheck.

Art installation at Hamilton Hall copy

A graduation photo from 1893!?!?! Check.

PMSIA class of 1893

Now, when you find yourself asking: where do they get all these wonderful photos?!?

Well the UArts Archives of course! All of the #tbt photos posted to Instagram -and many, many more- are available via the UArts Digital Collections page, accessible right through the good ol’ library homepage:

The UArts Digital Collections contain not only photos from the UArts Archives, but also student work, campus event photos and videos, and other special digital collections!

Come celebrate 140home years of UArts history with us! 

Staff Recommendation: Mall Flower

These poems and stories are beautifully woven thoughts that almost jump off the page with fresh humor and poignant memories. They surprise and delight with their colorful details, sensitive observations and raw emotion. Tina Barry takes you on a journey full of deep losses but also clarity, defiance and acceptance.

Mall Flower

by Tina Barry

Call # 811.54 B279m

Recommended by Barbara Danin, Greenfield Library Acquisitions and Administrative Coordinator
Recommended by Barbara Danin, Greenfield Library Acquisitions and Administrative Coordinator

Music Library Special Collections: Rare LPs

The music library has its own Special Collection of LPs78 rpm Long Playing recordsthat are incredibly old. They’re stored behind the circulation desk in the music library and are available to be played on turntables in the library’s listening area. Whether or not you are of the opinion that LPs sound better than CDs or digital music files, these records have a strong nostalgia value. If you’re the kind of person who enjoys the smell of old books, diving into a box of old records may be the right thing for you.


Beyond that, their historical value is undeniable. The records in the music library span from a “Collection of Rare Recordings by the Originator of Boogie Woogie” Pine Top Smith, to a 1938 recording of Irving Berlin to one of Paul Robeson’s very first records with recordings of “Were You There?” and “Steal Away” published in 1925.


So take a browse through the collection and instead of getting sucked into a series of google searches or looking on youtube for an old recording of a song by Charles Aznavour, come try it here.


Written by Jo Dutilloy, Music Library Circulation Assistant

Staff Recommendation: The Box Man

The Box Man by Kobo Abe is a surreal journey through the mind of a man in 1970’s Japan who decides to disconnect from society by becoming a “box man.” He walks through life with a cardboard box (meticulously described by Abe) over his upper body. The box is filled with objects and the man’s scrawled thoughts and observances. The protagonist of The Box Man is a textbook example of an unreliable narrator and you as the reader will be often unable to tell what is real, imagined, or deceptive.

Recommended for fans of Kafka, Beckett, Haruki Murakami, David Lynch.

The Box Man

by Kobo Abe

Greenfield Vault Call # 895.635 Ab335b 1980

Recommended by Bill Rooney, Greenfield Library Circulation Assistant
Recommended by Bill Rooney,
Greenfield Library Circulation Assistant

Staff Recommendation: Domestic Science: Idioms

In Domestic Science: Idioms, Nance O’Banion combines simple illustrations of familiar objects and a playful color palette to build a narrative which is informed by the readers’ experience with these objects. She explores the objects further through the text, in which she only provides the name of the object at hand, accompanied by an extensive catalog of phrases and synonyms for the subject, prompting the reader to consider their own experience of the object even further than the push of the image. Screen Shot 2016-10-07 at 10.22.24 AMThe structure of the book is both complex and playful. With its pop up elements and accordion Easter eggs, this artist’s book continues to give the reader rewards for exploring the book.

Recommended by Alyssa Winscom, Greenfield Library Work-Study Assistant

Searching for Videos

There are a number of ways to search the library catalog for videos (by which we mean DVD, VHS, Blu-Ray, and streaming). All of the videos physically owned by the UArts Libraries are in the library catalog.

  1. Go to and click the catalog link at the upper right.

Arrow to catalog

  1. In the search by: box you can:

video search by box

  • search by Author for directors, choreographers, composers, and performers. Remember to search LAST NAME first, for example: Scorsese, Martin
  • search by Title if you know it.
  • search by Keyword to find a film in a collection. Put quotation marks around phrases, e.g., “andalusian dog” or “all of me” or “cave of the heart”
  • search by Subject. There are lots of subject headings; these are a few suggestions.

feature films                            operas–film adaptations

documentary films                musical films

science fiction films              concert films

  1. In the search in: box, select Video. This will search for all video formats: VHS, DVD, Blu-Ray, and streaming.

video search in box

  1. Enter your search terms and click  Search!


Just want to browse and see what we have?

  1. Go to
  2. Select catalog from the yellow bar, top right.
  3. Select Call Number Search [on the right]
  4. Select u Search for other call numbers [click open the triangle]

Read the directions on the screen and follow the examples:

MD for Music Library DVDs

MV for Music Library videos

GD for Greenfield Library DVDs

GV for Greenfield Library videos


Once you find a video, jot down the call number, then go to the Greenfield or Music circulation desk to request it.

The UArts Libraries also subscribe to a number of large streaming video databases. See them at You can access most of them from anywhere by signing in with your UArts user name and password.