Hackney Library Welcomes New Library Dean, Robert Cagna, On July 24, 2017

Robert (Rob) Cagna

On July 24, 2017, Barton College’s Hackney Library welcomed new leadership to its ranks.  Robert (Rob) Cagna has taken over the helm as the new Dean and Associate Professor of Library Science at the library.

Rob comes to us from West Virginia University where he was the library director at the Charleston campus.  Before that, he was the Department Head of Access and Document Delivery Services at the University of Pennsylvania Biomedical Library.

Rob has an MSLS degree from the Catholic University of America, an MA degree from Washington Theological Union, and BA and JD degrees from the University of Florida.  He is a Distinguished Member of the Academy of Health Information Professionals.  Rob’s interests include the history of the book, the history of medicine, and the history of postal communications.

He is married to Mary Elisabeth (Mary Beth) Cagna; they live in Wilson and have two adult children, Brooke and Bryan, and two small dogs, Bertie and Zelda.

We are delighted to have Rob on board.  Drop by and say hello when you have a chance!

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Hackney Library’s 12th Annual Open House to Feature Ice Cream, Prizes, and More–Thursday, August 17, 4-6 pm!

On Thursday, August 17, Hackney Library we will be hosting our 12th Annual Open House from 4-6 pm on the first floor of Hackney Library! 

During the event, we will both be welcoming new students, faculty, and staff to the Library, to the Office of Student Success, and to Information Technology (IT) and welcoming back returning students and employees.

The Open House, which is sponsored by Hackney Library, the Office of Student Success, and the Friends of Hackney Library, is also open to the public.

This year’s Open House celebrates Wes Moore’s The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates, which has been chosen as this year’s FYS Summer Reader.

As in years past, we will have plenty of swag for attendees to enjoy:

  • All who complete a brief online survey at the event will once again receive one of our wildly popular Library Open House t-shirts ( designed again this year by Barton art professor Susan Fecho, it incorporates themes inspired by Moore’s book).
  • In addition, other giveaways from the Library and the Office of Student Success (OSS) will be available to attendees visiting seven “stations” around the library.  Each is designed to introduce new Barton community members to the library’s, OSS’s, and IT’s faculty/staff and services, as well as to refresh the memory of returnees.
  • Satisfy your sweet tooth by partaking of our “build-your-own” scrumptious ice cream sundae again this year in the library’s foyer (with the help of Tony Tilley and his stupendous Aramark crew).

And last but not least, a door prize drawing for fantastic prizes will be held at 5:30 pm, so plan to hang around until then, as you must be present to win! 

Here’s a list of door prizes you could score during the drawing at 5:30:

  • Amazon’s Echo Dot
  • Skullcandy’s GRIND Wireless Headphones
  • Roku Streaming Stick that works with all top movie and TV streaming services
  • Tile Mate Key/Object finder phone app to locate misplaced phones, keys, and other items
  • OontZ Angle Plus Portable Wireless Speaker
  • $25 Gift Card from Buffalo Wild Wings
  • $25 Gift Card from Starbucks

An opportunity to join the Friends of Hackney Library will be also be available at a table at the event for those who’d like to support the work of the library while reaping the benefits of membership.

So come check us out on Thursday, August 17th from 4-6 pm and see what Hackney Library and the Office of Student Success have to offer at this 12th Annual Hackney Library Open House!

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Friends of Hackney Library Honor Departing Library Director with First Edition Donation to Rare Book Collection

During his last week on campus, departing library director George Loveland was honored at a reception for his 5+ years of service on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 in Hackney Library’s Learning Commons.  Loveland is leaving librarianship for the full time ministry at Winstead United Methodist Church here in Wilson, North Carolina, beginning July 1.

Bobby Boykin and K. D. Kennedy, Jr. present Atmore’s “The Methodist Memorial” to George Loveland, right. [Photo courtesy of Diana James]

In honor of Loveland’s service to the College during his tenure at Barton, the Friends of Hackney Library purchased an 1801 first edition of Charles Atmore’s The Methodist Memorial, a collection of short biographies of early Methodist itinerant ministers.  Atmore was an important figure in 18th and 19th century Methodism.

In addition to the first edition of Atmore’s book, the Friends board also donated a modern reprint of the work.  Both books, which were purchased by the board from K. D. Kennedy, Jr., will be added to the K. D. Kennedy, Jr. Rare Book Room collection.

At the reception, Kennedy gave a history of the work to some 30 faculty, staff, and Friends board members gathered, and along with Bobby Boykin, former past chair of the Friends board, presented the book to George for his perusal before it is cataloged for the Rare Book Room.  Dr. Gary Daynes, Barton Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, recounted the professional accomplishments of Loveland during his time at Barton and thanked him for his service, indicating that he would be missed.

Daynes announced that a new library dean, Robert Cagna, will be coming on board July 24.

We wish George well in his new career and look forward to welcoming Robert Cagna when he arrives in July.

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Ever Popular “Study ‘Round the Clock” Returns May 5 through May 10!


  • A quiet, safe space to study, collaborate, and complete assignments.  Check.
  • 4 days of 24-hour library availability.  Check.
  • Free hot beverages.  Check.

There’s all this and more during the return to Hackney Library of “Study ‘Round the Clock” during exam period!  It all begins on Reading Day, May 5, 2017 and carries through to the end of final exams on Wednesday, May 10, 2017.  As always, for much of this exam period, the library will remain open 24/7.

The library will be open the following hours during Spring 2017 Reading Day and Exams:

  • Friday, May  5 (Reading Day) through Saturday, May 6: Open 8 am Friday, remaining open continuously until closing at 7 pm Saturday
  • Sunday, May 7 through Wednesday, May 10: Open 2 pm Sunday, remaining open continuously until closing at 6 pm Wednesday
  • Thursday-Friday, May 11-12: 8 am – 5 pm

“Study ‘Round the Clock” provides an additional 34 hours that the library will be open during exam period compared to the regular semester. In addition, during exams, free coffee, tea, apple cider, and hot chocolate will be available while supplies last to Barton students, faculty, and staff.

During these 24/7 periods, library services will be available from 8 am until midnight only. From midnight until 8 am the following morning, no library services will be available, but a police officer will be on hand providing security during that time. (Access will be limited to Barton students only during the midnight to 8 am time slots. Barton ID will be required for admission from midnight until 8 am).

So plan to visit Hackney Library during exams (remember to bring your ID for admission after midnight!) to get some extra study time in, and get your favorite hot beverage for free!

“Study ‘Round the Clock” is sponsored by Hackney Library, the Friends of Hackney Library, the Barton College Office of Student Affairs, and the Barton Student Government Association.

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Hackney Library Displays Artifacts from the College’s Archives to Commemorate the Centennial Anniversary of the U.S.’s Entry into World War I

“The Doughboy” (image taken from Vol. 5 of Frank H. Simonds’ History of the World War (New York: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1920)

April 6th, 2017 marks the centennial anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I, and the campus of Atlantic Christian College (as Barton was known during that time) was not immune to its effects:

  • Who on the campus of Atlantic Christian College  enlisted to fight in the War?
  • Who of those AC enlistees never made it home?
  • Which of AC’s former history professors (who has a campus building named for him) strongly opposed war as a means of settling disputes between nations?
  • What campus awards were established during this time?

The answers to these and many more questions are contained in a new display of artifacts from the College’s archives put together by Hackney Library’s archivist, Mr. Shannon Wilson, to commemorate the centennial anniversary.  These artifacts illustrate events on the Atlantic Christian College campus during the War and highlight those with a connection to the College who were involved in the War.

The display is located in the Discipliana/K. D. Kennedy, Jr. Rare Book Room wooden and glass case along the back wall on the first floor of the library.

Following are captions for some of the items on display:

  • Since 1914, Germany, France and Great Britain had been locked in the brutal stalemate of trench warfare on what was known as the Western Front. This form of combat often resulted in the loss of thousands of lives in order to gain a few hundred yards of ground.  The technology in many cases surpassed the tactics, as long-range artillery, poison gas, machine guns, airplanes and tanks radically changed the nature and experience of combat.  In one year of fighting, 1917-1918, 50,000 Americans were killed in action or died from wounds.  Another 70,000 perished from disease or other causes.  North Carolina counted 2,375 casualties among the lost.
  • In World War I there were 62 enlistments from Atlantic Christian College. The College also enrolled 54 men into the Student Army Training Corps (SATC) unit on campus.  Nine ministers from the campus, including John M. Waters and Perry Case, served in some branch of the service.  Two former students, Robert B. Anderson and B. Farmer, were killed in France.
  • C. H. Hamlin (namesake of the Hamlin Student Center), taught History at A.C.C. from 1925 to 1976. In the wake of the First World War’s great human cost, Hamlin became an outspoken opponent of what he termed “the war method” in resolving international disputes.
  • Robert B. Anderson, a native of Wilson, played shortstop on A.C.C.’s baseball team in 1910. A graduate of Trinity College (now Duke University), Anderson served as a lieutenant in the United States Army, arriving in France on his twenty-fifth birthday.  He was killed leading his infantry company at Cantigny, the United States’ first battle of World War I.  Anderson, Wilson’s first casualty of the war, was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Silver Star for his valor (though the period photograph has incorrectly labeled Wilson as being in South Carolina).
  • During the presidency of Raymond A. Smith (1916-1920), the College successfully navigated the challenges of the First World War, strengthened its financial position, and enlarged its connections to the Christian Church. Among other student honors, President Smith established a tradition of recognizing student achievement including the Faculty Cup (now the Coggins Cup) for the “best all-around college student of the year”.

This display is up now and will remain mounted through the end of the semester.  Come by when you have a chance to learn more about how World War I affected our campus both during the war and after hostilities ceased.

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Hackney Library to Host Book Signing/Reception Honoring Assistant Professor of Spanish, Dr. Luis Carlos Ayarza

Dr. Luis Carlos Ayarza

Much like the camera lens captures a fleeting moment, the writing of Barton College’s own Dr. Luis Carlos Ayarza provides the reader with a momentary glimpse into his soul as he contemplates his research interests through a collection of commentaries in his first book, Enjambre de Zepelines.  Dr. Ayarza is an assistant professor of Spanish at Barton College and the faculty liaison to the Hispanic community.

To meet the author and learn more about the book, please join the campus community for a Book Signing, Reading, and Reception to be held on Wednesday, April 12, from 4-6 p.m. in the Willis N. Hackney Library on the Barton campus.   Dr. Ayarza will speak about his book during the event, and light refreshments will be served.

The book, written in Spanish, will intrigue the reader with its series of notes that the author offers as writing exercises. “…writings, which are simultaneously readings,” shared Belen Gache, author of the Forward for the book. “These are lived-through writings, which have touched a human body with feeling and emotions, which awaken personal memories and images. Here we find 38 commentaries about books, films, sculptures, and ideas. They are woven, as the author comments, from the “point of view of the marginalized.” Like moths, the writings collectively join writers, film directors, critics, literary magazine editors, bibliophiles, and also fictitious characters. What do they all have in common? What does Sergio Leone have in common with Thomas Mann or Alvaro Mutis? Evidently very little. And yet…”

This book reflects Dr. Ayarza’s main areas of expertise in Latin American literature and cultures, as well as his research interests, which include creative writing, art, film, and visual culture. There also is a clear correlation between his book’s “point of view” and his doctoral dissertation, which analyzed a number of texts that are consistently excluded from the canonical lists because of their marginal position in relation to traditional literary genres in the Latin American canon.

Dr. Ayarza further explained, “Likes moths to the flame, certain texts, movies, images, or characters attract my attention. They momentarily succeed in opening the portal to fascination and discovery. This book contains writing exercises, erratic, orbital, moth-like, which are the result of that fascination. I would not know how to live without the presence of these and the writings that issue from them, which in a way prolongs them, recovers them, and illuminates the trail they have revealed.”

Book editor Pablo de Cuba Soria perfectly summarizes Enjambre de Zepelines as “a book that belongs to the world of yesterday, to that written universe—which, nevertheless, is real, too real; that remains the same on Proust’s Combray Road, as well in the crammed library of Gomez Davila, or Depardieu’s ‘Vatel,’ or in the nonexistent cashmere coat of Joseph Brodsky. Before us are the writings/fragments of a flaneur, whose writings witness what his vision—sometimes fascinatedly romantic, other times melancholically modern—invents/reveals between the lines or  amidst objects, which his memory goes about transforming, bequeathing them literary autonomy.”

A limited number of copies of Ayarza’s Enjambre de Zepelines will be available for purchase at the event; it is also available for purchase online at Amazon.com or through the publisher at Editorial Casa Vacía.com and casavacía16@gmail.com.

For additional information about the book signing and reception, please contact George Loveland, director of the Willis N. Hackney Library, at 252-399-6501 or gwloveland@barton.edu.

More about the author:

Dr. Ayarza was born in Bogotá, Colombia. In 2003, he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications with a major in Audiovisual Production from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá.  Continuing with graduate studies, Dr. Ayarza completed his Master of Fine Arts degree in Bilingual Creative Writing in 2008 at the University of Texas at El Paso and later earned his Ph.D. in Hispanic Studies at Texas A&M University in 2013.

Along with his research interests mentioned above, Dr. Ayarza has a strong commitment to enhance diversity and inclusion in the community.  In Colombia, he worked with organizations promoting the reading of literature.  This involved, among other things, coordinating several projects aimed at communities with low literacy rates.  Dr. Ayarza also coordinated a program seeking to enrich the reading experience of high school teachers within the city.  During his tenure at the National University of Colombia, he taught writing communication workshops while simultaneously working for the Network of Public Libraries and the Department of Education as a literary workshop coordinator.

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Award-Winning Author Lee Smith to be the Featured Speaker at the Friends Spring 2017 Program on April 4

Author Lee Smith (photo credit: Diane Matthews Photography)

Author Lee Smith (photo credit: Diane Matthews Photography)

The Friends of Hackney Library are pleased to welcome celebrated author Lee Smith as guest speaker at the Spring 2017 Book Signing, Lecture, and Dinner.  The event will take place on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 in Hardy Alumni Hall on the campus of Barton College.  The book signing and wine reception will begin at 6:00 pm, followed by dinner at 6:30 pm and the program immediately after.  Books by the author will be sold both during the reception and following the program.

Lee Smith is the author of thirteen novels, including Oral History, Fair and Tender Ladies, Saving Grace, The Last Girls (a New York Times bestseller), On Agate Hill, and Guests on Earth, among others; four short story collections; an off-Broadway musical, Good ‘Ol Girls (based on the stories of Smith and her former student, author Jill McCorkle).   

Lee Smith Dimestore coverHer most recent work is a memoir, Dimestore:  A Writer’s Life (Algonquin Books, 2016).

Smith was born and raised in Grundy, Virginia, a small Appalachian coal-mining town less than ten miles from the Kentucky border, where her father owned a Ben Franklin five-and-dime store and her mother taught home economics.  She received a bachelor’s degree in English from Hollins College (now University) in Roanoke, Virginia.  This background gave birth to her deep understanding of and empathy for the people of Appalachia and its culture, which is reflected in the sense of place that infuses her work.

Smith was raised in a household in which stories were the currency of communication:  “I didn’t know any writers,” Smith says, “[but] I grew up in the midst of people just talking and talking and talking and telling these stories. My Uncle Vern, who was in the legislature, was a famous storyteller, as were others, including my dad. It was very local. I mean, my mother could make a story out of anything; she’d go to the grocery store and come home with a story,” according to the official biography on Smith’s web site.

As a child of parents steeped in the art of storytelling, Smith naturally followed in their footsteps.  “I started telling stories as soon as I could talk–true stories, and made-up stories, too. It has always been hard for me to tell the difference between them,” she says in “In Her Own Words” on her web site.  A 2003 Southern Living interview with Smith reveals that during her time at Hollins College, she began to appreciate her family’s ability to spin tales from everyday life:  “This language that I grew up with—this wonderful, spoken vernacular language—was beautiful and just so full of rich imagery.”  Not only has her penchant for storytelling found expression in her acclaimed novels, but also in her short stories.  Smith is described on the flyleaf of her short story collection Mrs. Darcy Meets the Blue-Eyed Stranger asa master of the short story [who] has been compared with such luminaries as Katherine Ann Porter, Eudora Welty, and Flannery O’Connor.”  She won O. Henry Awards for her short stories in 1979 and 1981.

That importance of storytelling has stayed with her.  “Narrative is as necessary to me as breathing, as air,” she says.  “I write for the reason I’ve always done so:  simply to survive. To make sense of my life.  I never know what I think until I read what I’ve written.  And I refuse to lead an unexamined life.  No matter how painful it is, I intend to know what’s going on.  The writing itself is a source of strength for me, a way to make it through the night.”

A common thread weaves through her work, from her first story, written at the tender age of 8 on her mother’s stationery, to her latest works.  Smith explains in “In Her Own Words” that she “was fixed upon glamour and flight, two themes I returned to again and again as I wrote my way throughout high school, then college.  Decades later, I’m still at it.”

In addition to the O. Henry Awards, Smith has won numerous accolades for her writing, including the Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction for Oral History in 1983 and Fair and Tender Ladies in 1989; the North Carolina Award for Literature, 1984; the Weatherford Award for Appalachian Literature, 1988; the Robert Penn Warren Prize for Fiction, 1991; the Lila Wallace/Readers Digest Award, 1995 – 1997; the Academy Award in Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, 1999; the Southern Book Critics Circle Award, 2002 for The Last Girls; admission to the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame, 2009; the Thomas Wolfe Award, 2010; and the Lifetime Literary Achievement Award from State of Virginia, 2010.  In 1991, she was elected as a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers.

Her latest effort, Dimestore:  A Writer’s Life, is Smith’s most recent foray into nonfiction and explores the impact on her life and on her life’s work of a childhood rooted in Grundy.  As her web site recounts,

Although her parents were raising her to leave Grundy, Smith loved every aspect of her hometown—set deep in the rugged Appalachian Mountains—from the Ben Franklin dimestore her father owned and ran for many years, to the music played down by the river bank, to ice tea and gossip on the front porch, to the drive-in theater where The Stanley Brothers played before the movie began.  And while her education and travels took her far from Virginia, Smith’s appreciation of Appalachian culture never wavered. In telling the story of her enchanting childhood, revealing the mental illness that courses through her family tree, sharing her mother’s long-cherished recipes, and introducing readers to relatives, local characters, and people who changed her life, Smith portrays a time and place that most of us will never experience, a way of life that is fast disappearing.

Smith explains the inspiration for the 15 essays that appear in the memoir in this way:  “I always knew I wanted to set down some thoughts and reminiscences based around these themes – about place, memory, and writing – but this project got a real kick-start recently when the entire town of Grundy was demolished as part of a flood-control project. . . . Only last August, the house I grew up in was bulldozed too.”  Although the physical town of Grundy, Virginia may now exist only in memory, its influence continues to be felt in Smith’s work.

Praise for Dimestore has poured forth from myriad sources:    Author Annie Dillard (a fellow Hollins alum and college rock band go-go girl), proclaims, “Here’s Lee Smith at her best.  Dimestore is personal nonfiction, where her brilliance shines.  Her wide warmth blesses everything funny about life and–here especially–everything moving and deep.”  Pam Kingsbury of Library Journal concurs in a recent critique: “This memoir is Smith. . . at her finest. There is not one false note in the book. . . .This wonderful memoir—filled with tenderness, compassion, love, and humor—is highly recommended for fans of Smith’s fiction, lovers of Southern writing, and readers who are interested in the changes in small-town America.”  Author Elizabeth Spencer says of this latest effort, “In Lee Smith’s memoir, Dimestore, readers will gladly join her, finding her writing with the same lively spirit that has always informed her fiction. She never turns away from her Appalachian roots, revealing that remote region with discerning affection.”

In addition to crafting her own works of fiction and nonfiction, Smith taught writing for many years at various institutions in the Triangle, including Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Caroline State University.  She lives with her husband, writer Hal Crowther, in Hillsborough, North Carolina.

Smith is currently at work on her next book, to be titled Silver Alert.

Admission for the event is $30 each for Friends of Hackney Library members; for Barton faculty/staff, students, and spouses. For all other guests, admission is $35 each.

For more information about invitations for the event, please contact Luann Clark at (252) 399-6329, or email the Friends at fohl@barton.edu. Space is limited, and after invitations have been issued, reservations for the dinner must be received by March 27, 2017.

This event is sponsored in part by BB&T.

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