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GW Libraries: News and Updates
Updated: 1 hour 56 min ago

Welcome GW Alumni!

Thu, 09/24/2015 - 15:06
September 24, 2015

We are excited to greet returning alumni and their families this weekend during GW's 2015 Alumni Weekend!  Whether you're a new graduate or visiting campus after many years, you'll want to include a visit to Gelman Library! 

Join us on Friday, September 25 between 3-5pm on the recently renovated entrance floor of Gelman Library for an Alumni Open House and a demonstration of our brand new 3-D printing technology. Speak with knowledgeable library staff about how 3-D printing works and how it will benefit students and faculty.  Demonstrations will take place near the Ask Us Desk on the entrance floor of Gelman. Alumni Weekend participants can show their name tags to enter the library during the Open House. Alumni should plan to use their Alumni GWorld or sign in at the front desk for entrance at other times throughout the weekend.

Lockers Now Available to Graduate Students

Thu, 09/24/2015 - 11:36
September 24, 2015

Looking for a secure spot to store small items while you are on campus? Gelman Library now offers lockers for graduate students.

The lockers are located in the Graduate Student Reading Room (Gelman 503) and are reserved on a “first-come / first-served” basis. Lockers rent for $35 per semester (Fall, Spring, and Summer).  Locker rentals begin on the first day of classes for the semester and end on the last day of scheduled finals of the same semester. Students may rent lockers per semester or for the academic year (a total of 3 semesters, Fall, Spring and Summer).

To apply for a locker, please select a locker by taking the slip posted on the desired locker in room 503 and complete the online request form (you must have the locker number to complete the form). A library staff member will contact you for an appointment to make the applicable payment and issue you a combination lock for the requested locker. 

Please direct questions to Jennifer Wesson at (202) 994-2937 or

"The Francis Effect": Assessing the Impact of the Pope's Visit to Washington

Wed, 09/23/2015 - 16:27
September 23, 2015

Thursday, October 1
11am - 12:30pm
Gelman Library, Room 702

In just over two years, Pope Francis has become an extraordinarily popular and influential world leader, so much so that scholars have begun to refer to the "Francis Effect." For this event, the GW Libraries and the GW Sustainability Collaborative have brought together three researchers to assess the political impact of the pope's recent visit to Washington, his speech before Congress in particular.

John Gehring, Catholic Program Director for Faith in Public Life, will apply insights gained in writing his book -- The Francis Effect: A Radical Pope's Challenge to the American Catholic Church.

Director of Research for the Public Religion Research Institute Daniel Cox will extend the results of PRRI's most recent survey-- The "Francis Effect": U.S. Catholic Attitudes on Pope Francis, the Catholic Church, and American Politics.

GW Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Cynthia McClintock will bring to bear her expertise on Latin America.

The discussion will be moderated by Michael Svoboda, Director of GW's Sustainability Minor.

A Reading by Kseniya Melnik

Tue, 09/15/2015 - 09:49
September 15, 2015

Thursday, September 24
Gelman Library, Room 702

The 2015 Jenny McKean Moore Writer-in-Residence is Kseniya Melnik, whose debut linked short story collection Snow in May was published in 2014.  The collection was on the short list for the International Dylan Thomas Prize and the long list for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award.  She has been interviewed in a range of venues about her work, including on NPR. Professor Melnik was born in Magadan, Russia, where the stories in Snow in May are set.  Professor Melnik will read from both Snow in May as well as some of her new work. 

The Jenny McKean Moore Fund was established in honor of the late Jenny Moore, who was a playwrighting student at GW and who left in trust a fund that has, for almost forty years, encouraged the teaching and study of Creative Writing in the English Department, allowing us to bring a poet, novelist, playwright, or creative non-fiction writer to campus each year. While in residence, the writer brings a unique experience to the GW community, teaching a free community workshop for adults along with Creative Writing classes for GW students.

Happy Birthday Eckles Library!

Thu, 09/10/2015 - 15:50
September 10, 2015

Friday, September 18
Eckles Library, Entrance Floor

Celebrate Eckles Library's 28th birthday with the Eckles staff at our annual birthday party! We'll have birthday cake, coffee, hot chocolate, and cappuccino all day long, as well as other goodies and surprises. Please help us stay green by bringing your own mug for coffee and hot drinks. 

There is so much to celebrate at Eckles! Our friendly staff can help you with your research and questions. We've got you covered with comfy study spaces as well as laptop and phone chargers for your low-energy days. When you're done with homework we house a 1000+ DVD collection and even a collection of board games. 

Learn more about Eckles when you help us blow out the birthday candles. (Just kidding - there won't be actual candles, but we'll have door prizes for some lucky students!)

3-D Printing at Gelman!

Tue, 09/08/2015 - 09:52
September 8, 2015

Print a rare fossil to use in a class presentation. 

Print a prototype of your newest product idea. 

Print your latest artistic creation.

Gelman is proud to offer 3-D printing to all GW students, faculty, and staff! 3-D printing (also called additive manufacturing) is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file. The object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the entire object is created.

Digital files may be submitted online for printing beginning September 15. Costs for printing 5 cents/gram and are calculated on the weight of the final object. Find out more at our on-going 3-d printing demonstrations throughout the library!

GW Libraries Closed for Labor Day

Mon, 08/31/2015 - 09:06
August 31, 2015

Gelman, Eckles and VS&TC Libraries will be closed on Monday, September 7 for the Labor Day holiday.

Gelman will close at 10pm on Sunday, September 6 and reopen at 7am on Tuesday, September 8. No 24-hour access is available during this time.  Eckles & VS&TCL will maintain regular hours on Sunday, September 6 and Tuesday, September 8.

Click here to view scheduled hours for GelmanEckles and VS&TCL.

Make Your Masterpiece with Multimedia Equipment, Software & Training at Gelman

Thu, 08/27/2015 - 10:50
August 27, 2015

Are you interested in filming and editing video projects?  The GW Libraries have what you need to get started. Digital video cameras, tripods, digital voice recorders, and headphones are all available for use by current GW students, faculty and staff.  Learn more about equipment for loan at:

When it’s time to edit, we’ve got Final Cut Pro on all Macs in the entrance floor multimedia lab and iMovie on all Macs in the building.

Need help getting started? Memberships to the leading online learning company, are available to all GW affiliates.  Access through and sign in with your NetID and password. 

Beginning August 31, Gelman Library to Maintain 24/7 Hours

Wed, 08/19/2015 - 16:50
August 19, 2015

Message from Provost Steven Lerman

The Estelle and Melvin Gelman Library will remain open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  We continuously try to balance the need to make sure that there is high quality study space available and operational efficiency.


Gelman Library Closed on August 23

Fri, 08/14/2015 - 08:59
August 14, 2015

Gelman Library will be closed on Sunday, August 23.  The building will reopen on Monday, August 24 at 8am. Gelman will continue on the Summer II schedule through Sunday, August 30. 

Gelman's building and service hours will change on Monday, August 31, with the begining of the academic year. The library will then operate 24 hours a day, Monday through Thursday. It will close at 11 p.m. on Fridays. Saturday hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The library will reopen at 10 a.m. on Sundays. 


Newly Renovated Graduate Student Reading Room

Thu, 08/13/2015 - 10:33
August 13, 2015

Looking for a quiet place to study? Visit Gelman Library’s Graduate Student Reading Room on the 5th floor. We painted, re-carpeted, and brought in comfortable seating -- all in response to your feedback. We've also installed lockers to provide graduate students a safe place to store small items. You’ll need to tap your GWorld card to enter: the room is open to graduate students only.

Making our Menu Accessible

Tue, 08/11/2015 - 14:08
August 11, 2015Christian Aldridge, Web Developer for GW Libraries

One of the remaining challenges to accessibility in the GW LIbraries website ( was its main menu.

We use a ‘hover’ style menu that expands when you hover over the categories, providing an easy and commonly used navigation tool. It works well on desktops and laptops but faces a few challenges in smaller windows and devices (and one popular mobile operating system).

More importantly it wasn’t ‘keyboard accessible’: it required a mouse/trackpad or touchscreen to operate, leaving users who rely on keyboard navigation in the dark.

The Accessible Mega Menu

Our solution was to rebuild the menu with Adobe’s Accessible Mega Menu jQuery library:

It offered the simplest and most straightforward approach to keyboard and screen reader accessibility along with a well supported jQuery library.

But it's not responsive, and we had to customize the css and add some javascript to adjust it to our “mobile” view.

Designing for Mobile

Our menu collapses into buttons on the smallest screens (like phones) and each button becomes a link to the main categories. The new javascript-based code from Adobe dynamically inserts css classes, which we can override in our style sheet as needed (using media queries to target smaller screens).

But not all touch devices are the same. Apple devices running iOS treat hover behavior differently: when you tap something that has a hover behavior, it toggles that behavior, and most of the time ignores any other behaviors (like links). So when our menu transformed to buttons in handheld devices, you could tap the button a thousand times and nothing would happen on an iPhone. For iOS to let you follow the link we had to remove any "child items" in the menu structure: when our menu changes to buttons we're actually just hiding the rest of the structure with css. For iOS devices we're using javascript to rewrite the output and actually remove the hidden structure.

Checking for iOS devices with jQuery:
if ($(window).width() <= 640 && navigator.userAgent.match(/(iPod|iPhone|iPad)/))

This non-standard hover behavior helped us improve our design for all touch devices. In our fullscreen menu we now check for touch (using modernizr: and add a main category link in each of our sub-menus when touch is detected.

Checking for Touchscreens with CSS (and Modernizr):
html.touch .touch-show-nav {display: block;}

Testing for Accessibility

We now run regular audits on our site designs using Google’s Accessibility Developer Tools (a free extension for Chrome: A lot of results have to be manually checked -- machine audits can only guess the context of potential issues -- but this gives us a baseline to help keep our sites accessible.

Adding an Accessibility Link

Lastly, we created a simple page on the main website ( with a statement about our accessibility standards. We added a link to it in the footer, which we’ll be adding gradually to all of our web tools. This page will help our community know where we stand on accessibility, our limits (such as third party vendor tools) and who to contact if they need assistance.