George Mason University librarian receives I Love My Librarian Award

For Immediate Release
Mon, 01/10/2022

Contact: Macey Morales, Deputy Director, Communications and Marketing Office, American Library Association, mmorales@ala.org

George Oberle recognized with national public service honor 

CHICAGO – George D. Oberle, director of the Center for Mason Legacies, history librarian, and assistant term professor at George Mason University (GMU), is a winner of this year’s I Love My Librarian Award. Recognized by the American Library Association (ALA) for his amplification of historically underrepresented voices and the dedication he brings to uncovering and teaching about hidden histories, Oberle was selected from more than 1,300 nominations from library users across the country. 

Applying his dedicated scholarship in history and his commitment to social justice, Oberle has transformed his campus community and its understanding of GMU’s and its namesake’s racial history through his work establishing and leading the Center for Mason Legacies (CML), an interdisciplinary and collaborative research center housed in the university’s Fenwick Library that seeks to preserve and examine the legacy of George Mason IV, his ancestors and heirs, and the people he enslaved. 

Oberle’s work with the CML has culminated in numerous educational resources for the GMU community, including a robust website with an array of primary source materials and a memorial recognizing the individuals enslaved by George Mason in the center of campus. As his nominators note, “By his example and his accomplishments, George has shown that what starts as a small library project can indeed grow into an important asset supported by the entire university.” 

“Dr. Oberle’s work with the Center is remarkably pointed and relevant to these times as he and the team work towards uncovering our hidden histories, expanding our historical record and knowledge of both the past and the present, documenting current racial tensions, and seeking a more just future,” his nominators wrote. “He works directly in the spaces combatting erasure and suppression and inspires students and faculty alike as he does so. In these efforts, he embodies not only the time-tested tradition and unique role of libraries in society as knowledge-preservers, but also the knowledge-creation and discovery-learning traditions of research universities.” 

Oberle and this year’s nine other honorees will each receive a $5,000 cash prize, a $750 donation to their library, and complimentary registration to ALA’s LibLearnX. The virtual award ceremony will take place during the conference at 3:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, and will be available to stream live at https://www.youtube.com/user/AmLibraryAssociation.  

Since the award’s inception in 2008, library users have shared more than 20,000 nominations detailing how librarians have gone above and beyond to promote literacy, expand access to technology and support diversity and inclusion in their communities. Information regarding previous award winners can be found on the I Love My Librarian website at?http://www.ilovelibraries.org/lovemylibrarian.? 

Carnegie Corporation of New York generously sponsors the I Love My Librarian Award. The New York Public Library also supports the award. ALA administers the award through its Communications and Marketing Office, which promotes the value of libraries and librarians.? 

About Carnegie Corporation of New York 
Carnegie Corporation of New York was established by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding. In keeping with this mandate, the Corporation’s work focuses on the issues that Andrew Carnegie considered of paramount importance: education, international peace, and a strong democracy. 

About The New York Public Library 
The New York Public Library is a free provider of education and information for the people of New York and beyond. With 92 locations—including research and branch libraries—throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, the Library offers free materials, computer access, classes, exhibitions, programming and more to everyone from toddlers to scholars, and has seen record numbers of attendance and circulation in recent years. The New York Public Library serves nearly 17 million patrons who come through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at?www.nypl.org. To offer this wide array of free programming, The New York Public Library relies on both public and private funding. Learn more about how to support the Library at nypl.org/support. 

About the American Library Association 
The American Library Association is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice of libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit ala.org. 

For more about this year’s award winners, read the press release here and visit the award site here.

Latest release from George Mason University Press: The Trials of Rasmea Odeh

The George Mason University Press has published The Trials of Rasmea Odeh: How a Palestinian Guerilla Gained and Lost U.S. Citizenship by Steven Lubet, which has been described as a gripping, accessible, and engaging narrative, invaluable for discussion of the issues of citizenship, statehood, and the limits of legality.

About the book: On February 21, 1969, a bomb exploded in the largest supermarket in Jerusalem. The blast killed two and injured many more, triggering an intense search for the terrorists behind the plot. Israeli security forces quickly apprehended, tortured, tried and eventually convicted twenty-one year-old Palestinian Rasmea Odeh for murder. Twenty-five years later, however, found Odeh not serving a life sentence in an Israeli prison, but starting a new life in the United States, first in Detroit and later in Chicago, eventually becoming a naturalized citizen and working as a community organizer. Her arrest by US federal authorities in 2013 on charges of unlawful procurement of citizenship and subsequent trial ignited defenders and detractors, even as the facts of the case, the previous conviction and those of Odeh’s life were obscured or ignored.

Based on extensive research, The Trials of Rasmea Odeh: How a Palestinian Guerilla Gained and Lost U.S. Citizenship separates fact from fiction as it follows the remarkable twists of this story, even—or especially—where those facts subvert one political narrative or another. The result is that rare book that is both an extraordinary achievement of scholarly research and a gripping, accessible and engaging narrative, making it an invaluable resource for discussion of the issues of citizenship, statehood and the limits of legality it engages.

About the author: Steven Lubet is the Williams Memorial Professor at the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law where he directed the Bartlit Center on Trial Advocacy from 1988-2021. He is the author of numerous books on trial advocacy and the legal profession, with a specialization in the history of American political trials. His scholarly articles have been published in top legal journals, and his popular essays have appeared in national newspapers, as well as outlets such as Slate, Salon, Politico, and The Daily Beast. His commentaries have been heard on National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition.”

What an exemplary gem of scholarship! Combining thorough inquiry with critical empathy, Lubet has written a superb classic that young scholars whatever their field will benefit from reading. The Trials of Rasmea Odeh is truly one of the most impressive books I’ve ever read!

-David J. Garrow, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama

Professor Lubet takes no shortcuts with this book, unflinchingly examining the record of Odeh’s life … Professor Lubet is able to explain the underlying law and legal strategy in a way that is clear and comprehensible without losing any technical nuance. He brings the courtroom alive to the reader, showing how both political and legal strategies influenced how the case was litigated. [It] is beautifully written and will be of interest to a wide audience.

-Cassandra Burke Robertson, John Deaver Drinko-Baker Hostetler Professor of Law and Director, Center for Professional Ethics, Case Western Reserve University School of Law

In The Trials of Rasmea Odeh, Professor Lubet weaves together an intricate historical and legal account of Middle Eastern conflict and U.S. denaturalization. Rasmea Odeh’s story, told with nuance and in crisp jargon-free prose, grips the reader every bit as much as a fictional thriller would. Professor Lubet leaves us with a highly informative and fascinating book of great value to scholars and nonspecialists alike.”

-Irina Manta, Professor of Law and Founding Director of the Center for Intellectual Property Law, Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University

About the George Mason University Press: The George Mason University Press supports the academic mission of George Mason University by publishing peer-reviewed, scholarly works of distinction, written by authors from a wide range of intellectual perspectives, for a diverse, worldwide readership. Learn more and view our current catalog here.

University of Arkansas is Newest ASERL Member

December 16, 2021 — ATLANTA — On December 16, 2021, members of the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL) voted unanimously to admit the University of Arkansas (U-Ark) as the newest member of the association.  U-Ark is the first new member to join ASERL since 2011, for a total of 38 institutional members in 12 states.  ASERL is one of the largest of regional research library consortia in the United States.  ASERL focuses much attention on professional development — including diversity, equity, and inclusion issues — and building large-scale shared print library collections, as well as a very active resource sharing community.

“Many people in ASERL libraries have long and highly-trusted connections with the fine people working at the University of Arkansas,” commented Tim Pyatt, ASERL’s Board President and Dean of ZSR Library at Wake Forest University.  “Including U-Ark as part of ASERL’s membership and programming was a very natural extension of our work together.  We are very pleased to count them among our ranks.”

Added Jason Battles, Dean of Libraries at University of Arkansas, “I’m fairly new to this post, but even before I arrived my staff had been exploring the possibility of joining ASERL.  I was familiar with ASERL from my previous positions, so I know the top-notch quality of their programming.  I believe the University Libraries’ collections, initiatives, and interests will make this new relationship beneficial for ASERL and the University of Arkansas for years to come.”

The University of Arkansas Libraries provide access to more than 3.7 million volumes and more than 232,000 journals. The Libraries offer research assistance, study spaces, computer labs with printing and scanning, interlibrary loan and delivery services, and cultural exhibits and events. 

Founded in 1956, ASERL is recognized as a national leader in cooperative research library programming. 

George Mason University Libraries is a longstanding member of ASERL.

VIVA Open Course Grant Announcement

VIVA is excited to announce the Request for Proposals for the next round of VIVA Open Course Grants (formerly Course Redesign Grants) is officially open! Applications are due February 23, 2022, and award notification will take place on May 20, 2022.

VIVA Open Course Grants are designed to empower Virginia faculty with the resources and time they need to design or update courses to include open, no cost, or library materials. Open Course Grant recipients are awarded $2,000 – $30,000 to adopt, adapt, or create a resource and pilot them in a course by spring, 2025.

Faculty members at any VIVA institution, full or part-time, may apply. Proposals may involve one person or teams that include: teaching faculty, librarians, instructional designers, subject matter experts, editors, graphic designers, or others as needed. Multi-institutional teams are particularly encouraged. 

More information, including the full Request for Proposals and application instructions are available at https://vivalib.org/va/open/grants/course.  A list of past grant recipients can also be found on that page.

Webinars will be held at the following times, and will include a general introduction to the grants, the application process, and a Q&A:

Successful applications will be selected on the basis of: 

  • Potential for student savings, including class enrollment and existing resource costs
  • Use of Open Educational Resources (freely available and free to be modified)
  • Frequency of course offering, with a preference for high-enrollment, required courses, and/or courses that are part of the SCHEV Passport or Transfer Virginia Programs
  • Impact of the project on open education, such as the development of high quality resources in areas for which no other open content is currently available
  • Impact on educational equity and outcomes in traditionally underserved communities
  • Preference for statewide reach through multi-institutional efforts
  • Commitment to continue offering the course for future years
  • Agreement to the terms of the grant and required activities

*VIVA is funded by the Virginia General Assembly and VIVA member institutions, and is sponsored by the State Council of Higher Education (SCHEV). 

For faculty developing a syllabus for a new course or simply updating a syllabus for a new semester, we hope that these grants offer an opportunity to look to open and no-cost course materials to improve student engagement and course outcomes. Applicants are encouraged to contact VIVA at vivaopen@gmu.edu with questions, to talk through project ideas, or for feedback on application drafts. 

Winter Break Closure & Interlibrary Loan Service

Remember to request materials that you need over winter break early!

The Libraries will close at 6 p.m. on Friday, December 17, 2021 and will reopen on Monday, January 3, 2022. Our ILL staff will not be processing requests or responding to messages during that time. In general, please allow extra time for shipping delays for books during this time of year, and remember that many other libraries will be closed for the holidays and, therefore, not sending materials requested via ILL until they reopen.

There are two things you can do to increase the likelihood that your request will be delivered to you during break while staff are not working:

  1. Include the journal’s ISSN or a book ISBN in the ISSN/ISBN field on the request form for fastest service. (Enter the ISSN using the format 1234-5678, and the ISBN using the 10 or 13 digit number without dashes.)
  2. When entering the year of an article or book, please use the format YYYY. Additional characters in this field will cause delays in processing your request.

Upon reopening, ILL requests will be processed in the order that they were received.

If you have questions, please contact ill@gmu.edu