November & December 2013 Semester Hours

I am sure you will agree that it seems somewhat hard to believe that the fall 2013  semester has entered its last two months!  Because N0vember and December have complicated library hours, I am including below links to the two calendars as they appear on the library’s entrance doors.    Please note that this year’s extended hours for final exams are highlighted in RED in the December calendar.  As always, if you have any questions about hours or other aspects of library service please feel free to call us at 860-570-9024.



Bill Uricchio — Library Director


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The University Libraries has a large number of Youtube videos available.  Many are instructional in nature, showing how to use various databases for example, and some are informational.  To find them simply search UCONN Libraries.

Our library is represented by three videos.  To find them search Trecker Library.  The three are:

1. A graphically lively overview of our public spaces — including several which can be reserved for private or group use.  Highlights include our quiet and group study areas and some out of the way locations not as well known as the aforementioned.

2.  The 2013 Introduction to Library services, resources and policies.  This video, which  was created for the annual visit of the campus First Year Students, provides a broad view of significant things to know about the library.  If you have ever wondered how to have books from around the world sent here for your use, for example, this is a good place to start.  Although designed for undergraduates, most of it is applicable to all library users.

3.  An illustrated history of the Greater Hartford Campus.  The coming relocation of our campus to Hartford (planned for fall, 2016) has increased interest in our program which began in downtown Hartford in 1939.  This video, based on a Powerpoint show created by the library with extensive use of historical images, covers a variety of topics.  In it, for example, you will learn that we at one time had championship basketball and baseball teams called The Hartford Huskies.  It was recently updated for architects, planners, reporters and others and the link also appears on the Hartford Courant‘s website.

Bill Uricchio — Library Director

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This year’s Greater Hartford Library Virtual Focus Group (see previous entry) got off to a challenging start with Hurricane Sandy and then a Nor’easter interrupting campus and library operations.  Prior to those weather events, we had offers to participate from 20 students.  At the start of the focus group process, however, only six had signed up to receive the necessary instructions.

To help “grease the wheels”, we discussed offering some kind of participation incentive which would increase our focus group numbers while at the same time providing an additional benefit to others.  We felt this kind of incentive would have a broader appeal than say $10 gift cards or other small monetary rewards.

We centered on an organization called Trees for the Future which plants trees in some of the world’s most challenged environments.  We settled on West Africa as a good place for our incentive,  checked with a Peace Corps volunteer who works there who spoke very highly of Trees for the Future, and announced we would plant 25 trees for each participant, up to 500 trees total.

The involvement of 12 participants translated into 300 trees.  We were so thrilled by the quality of their responses, however, we increased our donation to 500 trees which is a “grove” according to Trees for the Future.  The grove will be planted in the Kaolack district of Senegal — a very hot and dusty place much in need of shade  according to the Peace Corps volunteer who assisted us.

A green arrow points to Kaolack, Senegal

A green arrow points to Kaolack, Senegal

Please join with us in celebrating the outcome of our Virtual Focus Group and the good it has done both locally and in a very far off place

William Uricchio — Library Director

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Our thanks go to 12 students, a mix of grads and undergrads, who participated in our Virtual Focus Group about library space. During the 10 days of activity we received 94 different comments concerning the size, usability and comfort our group study, quiet study, media, and other locations.

The Virtual Focus Group, still somewhat experimental,  is a process which uses internet based blog software to emulate an in-person focus group discussion (but with everyone getting a chance to “talk” without that interrupting big mouth at the table who seems to be part of every in-person focus group).

The focus groups were designed several weeks ago and were implemented at about the same time at each of the five regional campuses.  A few days after the Greater Campus effort began, we received a surprise announcement that plans were underway to move the campus to downtown Hartford.  This made the collection of library space information more pressing because, almost immediately following the announcement, our gears shifted from attention to improving our present facility to designing a new one from the ground up, a daunting task to say the least.

Responses Summary (By Question):

What is your favorite place to study by yourself in the library?  The glass-wall Quiet Study Room has a large number of fans who tout not only its quiet but also that it tends to draw others who like and respect the quiet atmosphere.  A number of respondents wanted to see more computers in the Quiet Study Room.


When you study with a friend do you choose a different space to study than when you are by yourself?  This depends on the kind of studying being done.  Quiet study people gravitate to that dedicated space.  Students working with others like the group study rooms which often are reasonably quiet even with groups in them.


If you are in a group project, where does your group choose to work in the library?  The large and small Group Study Rooms, the Social Work History Room, and the individual study rooms all have fans who generally praise them.  Some use each of these spaces depending on what kind of project they are working on.  Several comments criticized the claustrophobic nature of the smaller, individual rooms and the lack of chairs/tables in the Small Group Study Room.


Do you like to visit the library to socialize with others?  Most respondents were firm that they generally do not socialize in the library and that they wish others would not socialize also.  Quiet is valued very highly. The campus cafeteria was mentioned as the proper place to socialize.


Do you have any comments/suggestions about library spaces?   Popular comments were for more computers and more electrical outlets.

The following were among desired items:  A Husky Bucks machine; cleaner tables especially in the group study rooms; regularly updated computer software; DVDs and media which are more visible; and more instructions in the Media Room.

Sample Comments Included:

“I like to study in the Quiet Study area when it’s for a midterm or final but I like working in the group study area mainly because there are more people to study with and the chairs are comfortable. It would be better if there were more computers.”

“I like the individual study rooms but I’m a bit claustrophobic and they are kind of small. I like the rooms because it is quiet and I can actually get work done. If they were bigger that would be more helpful because then I can spread my work out. The rooms should be big enough for one person but small enough where it isn’t a group study room.”

“The group study rooms upstairs are ideal for studying with a friend because students are allowed to talk and the noise volume isn’t overwhelming.”

Socializing is an “absolutely inappropriate use of the library. If you want to socialize, go to the undergrad building. Real students have work to do, and don’t need you being obnoxious.”

I “used to meet up with a friend in the room to the left on the second floor. Also meet with my English teacher for peer editing sessions in the private rooms off of that room.”

“I want beanie chairs so I can comfortably relax and read!!!!”

Next Steps:

The information gathered via the Virtual Focus Group is already being put to use in initial planning for the new campus library.  In particular, based on focus group results and other source materials, attention is being  placed on the number and variety of learning/study spaces as we consider square footage allocations.

Down the road, we hope to be able to provide other opportunities for the voices of our clientele to be heard as we consider the best ways to meet your personal and academic needs.

William Uricchio,  Library Director

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Virtual Focus Groups, a new idea, have many of the same benefits of   in-person focus groups but are much easier for participants to use and moderators to implement.  Click on this thumbnail to see a conference poster describing the benefits and methodology of Virtual Focus Groups:

Bill Uricchio, Library Director


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ImageDid you know that our Campus once had a championship basketball team?  Or that Charles Dickens ate supper in Hartford?  Or that you can make professional looking graphics in minutes on your computer for free?

The Trecker Library is beginning a new series of brief information sessions on a variety of topics.  Sessions are about 40 minutes long and will cover the history of the campus, introductions to free or low cost software, tips on database searching, and other subjects.  The overall program is tentatively called:  “Information Universe @ Trecker Library”.

The first three sessions, listed below, are being held in the Library’s Social Work History Room, directly opposite the Library’s main doors.  They will happen from 12:45 pm to 1:20 pm.  Due to the nature of the room, seating is limited.

The first sessions are:

“The History of the Greater Hartford Campus:  A PowerPoint Show”.   Over 100 pictures are used to trace the colorful history of the campus, including its championship sports teams,  beginning in 1939.   Wednesday, February 22 & Thursday, February 23.

“Searching the Hartford Courant Historical Database, 1764-1986”.  This session will show how to key-word search articles, advertisements, photos, obituaries, and more,  in our country’s “Oldest Continuously Published Newspaper”.  Wednesday, February 29 & Thursday, March1.

“An Introduction to Photofiltre”.  An experienced user will show the basics of this popular and free graphics program which can to used to edit photographs, create graphics from scratch, make flyers, and more.  Wednesday, March 7 & Thursday, March 8.

If the weather is dicey on the day of one of the sessions please call the Library at 860-570-9024 to confirm the schedule.

We will send campus e-mails to announce upcoming sessions and also list them on this blog.  If you have topics of particular interest which we should consider, please let me know!

Bill Uricchio, Library Director




Two recent exhibits celebrated historical aspects of Connecticut women who worked and now work in heavy industry.

All in a Day’s Work:
Photographs of Women in Connecticut Industry from the collections of the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center


Women in Connecticut have a long and rich history as workers. Their traditional place was in their own homes, where nearly all household goods and services produced were done so through women’s labor. The Industrial Revolution ushered in a new role, that of paid worker, and women entered the workforce in significant numbers. Economically disadvantaged women augmented their household income by working in the textile mills and industrial factories that proliferated across Connecticut. By 1900, 1 in 5 females over age 10 were paid workers, and 25% of them worked in manufacturing.

The influx of southern and eastern Europeans between 1880 and 1920 to Connecticut brought thousands of immigrants into the workforce, including women, eager to contribute to newly established households. As did their American-born counterparts, immigrant women employed in manufacturing faced grueling workdays, hazardous working conditions, and substantially lower pay than men. Yet, work brought with it a sense of empowerment and wage-work provided the immigrant woman a new found freedom that was often not tolerated in the old country.

War accelerated opening the gates to women’s work in industry. During World War I the need for war goods and the absence of men of fighting age gave women new opportunities. But the gains did not last. After the war, returning soldiers expected their jobs back and there was enormous pressure for women to return to their domestic sphere. Most of them did. That pressure remained through the Depression when national sentiment strongly favored men holding the few jobs that were available.

World War II again brought women into industry in large numbers, many becoming skilled factory workers in jobs previously held only by men. The prohibition of married women holding paid jobs faded only as women reassured the country that they were still maintaining their homes and families. The home was still very much the woman’s responsibility, but it was increasingly possible for women to hold down a day job as well.

African-American women forged an alternate path in the workforce. In the late 19th century African-American women worked outside the home in higher percentages than white women, but they were less likely to gain employment in factories. Most worked in agriculture or as domestics. Manufacturing jobs were for the most part racially segregated until the Civil Rights era.

About the Photographs

The photographs in this exhibit were from the Business History Collections in Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center of the University of Connecticut in Storrs. These collections illustrate Connecticut’s rich history as a leader in business and industry, and represent the diverse nature of the state’s industries, ranging from textile mills to complex technology. Many of the companies had their start as family-owned and operated small businesses and evolved into nationally known producers of such products as brass, hardware, machine tools, cutlery, clocks and watches, silk and other textiles, and toiletries. The collections are composed of a wide variety of materials including administrative and financial records, maps and facilities drawings, and advertising samples, as well as thousands of photographs depicting the diversity of workers and their work.

“We Can Do It”

was a short video slide show highlighting women who worked in Hartford area defense industries during World Wars I & II.  Produced by the Trecker Library, it saluted both the “All In a Day’s Work Exhibit” and also the fact that UConn’s Hartford Campus played a significant role in the education of thousands (literally) of men and women moving from civilian to defense occupations during the war years.