Each year several university faculty and staff have various works published in a variety of books, magazines, and journals across several different disciplines. To honor these achievements, the Pittsburg State University Department of Library Services annually hosts a reception for university authors.
The reception 2021 reception was held on Nov. 4 in the first-floor lobby of the Axe Library.
“I don’t know if any of us at (Axe Library) have been here long enough to tell you when this event first started,” Leon said. “We’re (in this iteration) going on our 38th year. You can see all the previous bibliographies in our digital commons. In the past, this was always a way to celebrate with colleagues, to celebrate accomplishments, authorship and scholarship, and that is what we are still trying to honor today.
Attendees were given access to either a digital or print version of a bibliography of submitted university works compiled by Jorge Leon Jr, learning outreach librarian with Axe Library. A series of manila-colored abstracts were taped to one of the library walls so that people could read excerpts of articles published by university staff and faculty in journals, while small displays were set up with physical copies of recent staff and faculty books. The reception also featured a wide variety of appetizers for attendees, including food from brownies to miniature sandwiches.
In addition to promoting the representation of as many university authors as possible, Library Services also selects a few of the book authors to be recognized individually for their work. This year’s honorees were Donald Baack, professor of business, Casie Hermansson, professor of English, and Clark Shaver, professor of engineering technology.
“(My books) are the most recent eight books in the Heinemann Education Literacy Readers series,” Hermansson said. “I worked with them from 2012 through 2020. These eight were all published in 2020 although they were written several years previously.”
One major focus during this particular Authors Reception was a feature on former university professor Stephen Harmon. Harmon was a professor of African and Middle Eastern history at PSU who died on Dec. 26, 2020. Harmon’s biography, as printed in the front of the reception bibliography, describes Harmon as “well-remembered for his kind smile, supportive nature, and rare gift for making people comfortable and welcome.”
For some of the university faculty, receptions like the Authors Reception can add some additional excitement to their profession.
“I think it’s a really exciting recognition when you are getting honored for publishing articles and books,” Hermansson said. “Research and writing is a fairly solitary profession, which we academics do like, but it’s nice when we have a final product to be shared. It’s also nice in years when we are not being honored to find out what our colleagues have been doing.”
Axe Library is always hosting a wide variety of events and amenities for students and staff at PSU. Anyone interested in keeping up-to-date with library events can visit axe.pittstate.edu for more information.