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The Babadook

May 29th, 2015

DVD 10948

                                                 The Babadook


The Babadook is a 2014 horror film directed by Jennifer Kent. The film revolves around a mother and her son and the difficulties surrounding their lives. The mother, Amelia, is forced to raise her son, Samuel, on her own after a devastating accident takes the life of her husband. The film depicts the struggles of raising a child on your own as well as the physical and mental repercussions that it many times has. It also details the overwhelming impact that the death of a parent may have on a young child.

From the beginning, the film shows the struggles that Amelia faces on a day to day basis. She works a dead end job while taking care of Samuel who is very troubled. Samuel is consistently acting out in school and getting himself in trouble. One night, Amelia decides to read Samuel a bed time story. The book that Samuel picks is called The Babadook. Amelia does not recognize this book but decides to read it to him anyway. The book turns out to be a disturbing tale of an entity that you cannot get rid of. “If it’s in a word, or if it’s in a look you can’t get rid of the Babadook.”

As the film progresses, the presence of the Babadook becomes more apparent. What starts seemingly as Samuel’s paranoia eventually manifests itself into visual and auditory encounters with the entity. Unexplained knocks, sounds, and sightings of the apparition add to the feeling of dread that this film brings about. Even more disturbing is the radical transformation that takes place within Amelia. The presence of the Babadook changes the once patient mother to a mean and aggressive shell of the parent she once was.

The Babadook is a testament to the power that horror cinema can hold. Many times, horror films are not taken seriously because of the many films that have not worked. However, The Babadook does work. It works because it exposes the trauma that can be inflicted through a death within the family. The Babadook is a representation of anguish, sorrow, anger, and all the other emotions that attach themselves to those involved in such a tragedy. The Babadook, just like these negative emotions, starts to take a stronger hold on everything around you when it is not dealt with. The abundance of metaphors and the overwhelming sense of dread add to the effectiveness of this film. This film is one of my favorite films because of its ability to draw emotion from the viewer. It is also a substantial achievement because it is Jennifer Kent’s debut film. A debut film receiving substantial praise is not common in the horror industry. It is even more uncommon for a female director who is producing a film in an industry that is mainly male driven. I highly recommend this movie to anybody who is a fan of the genre or who wants to see one of the top films that the genre has to offer.

Persistent Link

UVM Librarian Edits New Intellectual Freedom Manual

May 26th, 2015


UVM Library Professor Trina Magi served as editor of the recently published American Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Manual, ninth edition. This important reference work has been published since 1974 and serves as the library profession’s definitive guide to policy and practice in promoting and defending intellectual freedom in libraries. Intellectual freedom—the right of every individual to seek and receive information from all points of view without restriction—is one of the core values of the library profession, as expressed in the Library Bill of Rights.

Professor Magi revised and reorganized the ninth edition of the book to be more user-friendly, arranging content in 9 topical chapters covering access, censorship, children and youth, collections, copyright, law enforcement visits, meeting rooms and exhibit spaces, privacy, and workplace speech. The book includes practical checklists and guidelines, essays about relevant library law, and policy statements of the American Library Association. A copy of the book is shelved in the Bailey/Howe Library reference collection at call number Z711.4.I57 2015.

Professor Magi is a reference and instruction librarian at Bailey/Howe. She has chaired state and regional intellectual freedom committees, served on the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee, and published a number of articles on privacy. She has won numerous awards for her intellectual freedom advocacy and led the successful effort to create a Vermont law protecting the privacy of library users.

Bernard Sanders Mayoral Papers

April 30th, 2015

The Bernard Sanders Mayoral Papers housed in Special Collections are now open for research.

Bernie Sanders was elected mayor of Burlington, Vermont in 1981. As a self-styled socialist, he did not identify with any formal political party and ran as an independent. Sanders won the office over the Democratic incumbent, Gordon Paquette, by a margin of ten votes to become Burlington’s first independent mayor. He served as mayor from 1981 until 1989.


The Sanders Mayoral Papers include correspondence, memos, meeting minutes and agendas, election campaign material, reports, financial documents, clippings, photographs, speeches, notes, legislation, press releases, proclamations, newsletters, flyers, publications, and ephemera that document issues and accomplishments of the Sanders’ administration. During his tenure, Burlington successfully tackled taxation reform, health care, and lower utility rates and started new programs in the arts, youth, women’s rights, affordable housing, and environmental protection.


Some noteworthy projects represented in the collection include the Southern Connector; the Medical Center Hospital of Vermont; healthcare costs; the Burlington International Airport; utility rates (including cable television, telephone service, and heat); and Central America (including Burlington’s sister city in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua). The papers include much material related to development projects in Burlington during the 1980s, particularly plans for the Burlington waterfront.


To learn more about the Sanders Mayoral Papers, consult the collection inventory.

Bailey/Howe Library also has books about Mayor Sanders and reports issued during the his administration. Check the library catalog for a complete list.

The socialist mayor : Bernard Sanders in Burlington, Vermont
The people’s republic : Vermont and the Sanders revolution
Challenging the boundaries of reform : socialism in Burlington
Health care in crisis : new directions for Vermont and the Nation / report of Mayor Bernard Sanders’ Task Force on Health Care

Seven myths about the city of Burlington : an analysis of trends in local finances

Sugar on Snow April 28, 11-2:30

April 3rd, 2015


Poetry in the Archives: An Open Mic

April 3rd, 2015


Poetry in the Archives: An Open Mic
A National Poetry Month Event
April 23, 2015, 5 pm
Special Collections Reading Room, Bailey/Howe Library

Students will read original poetry, and they will also read selections by poets featured in Special Collections, including Hayden Carruth, David Budbill, Galway Kinnell, Adrienne Rich and many others.  If you are a student and would like to read, please contact chris.burns@uvm.edu or major.jackson@uvm.edu.

Free and open to the public.


Multimedia Resources student assistant Matt Lipke’s film premiere of “Elixir”

April 3rd, 2015


Multimedia Resources #UVM student assistant Matt Lipke says:Tickets for the premiere of my film, Elixir, are now on sale. We are encouraging as much pre-sale as possible. The event will likely sell out. If we sell out far out in advance, we can organize additional screenings.


The film is premiering May 1st at Roxy Cinemas in downtown Burlington, VT. We are partnering with Oxfam America and donating proceeds from the event to one of their programs (Wash) that bring clean, freshwater to those in need.

Green Screen Workshop

March 16th, 2015

Learn the Magic of the Green Screen

When: March 17, 2015
Time: 12:30pm – 2:00pm
Location: Bailey Howe Multimedia Dept > Classroom 001B
Instructor: Matt Lipke
Workshop is available to UVM Faculty, Student and Staff

A green screen is a tool used in photography to create a new background. Come to the Multimedia’s workshop and learn the details of using a green screen.

Green Screen Workshop

March 11th, 2015

Learn the Magic of the Green Screen

When: March 17, 2015
Time: 12:30pm – 2:00pm
Location: Bailey Howe Multimedia Dept > Classroom 001B
Instructor: Matt Lipke
Workshop is available to UVM Faculty, Student and Staff

A green screen is a tool used in photography to create a new background. Come to the Multimedia’s workshop and learn the details of using a green screen.

The New World Networks: Books of Renaissance Voyage and Encounter

February 9th, 2015


Presentation by Janet Whatley
Tuesday, February 24, 2015, 5:00 pm
Special Collections Reading Room, Bailey/Howe Library

How did news of the Americas reach Europe, and how was it received? How did Europeans try to understand peoples and societies that they had never encountered before?

Professor Whatley will talk about rare sixteenth-century editions of important books that informed and shaped the European imagination that are held by UVM Special Collections. These include works of the natural history and ethnography of Brazil and the diverse and conflicting narratives of the Spanish Conquest. Through these books, one can learn how Renaissance writers of various temperaments and religious allegiances recounted their experiences and interpreted the significance of the New World discoveries. Some of the books will be on display.

Janet Whatley taught French at the University of Vermont from 1973 to 2010. Her research interests include the literature of the Renaissance, New World exploration, and eighteenth-century women writers. She has written extensively about early European accounts of the New World, and in 1990 published an annotated translation of Jean de Lery’s History of a Voyage to the Land of Brazil, a first-hand account of a 1556 Protestant mission to the New World. Whatley is also the author of There are No Letters like Yours: the Correspondence of Isabelle de Charrière and Constant d’Hermenches.

Free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. For more information, email uvmsc@uvm.edu or call 656-2138.

Rare Book Purchased in Memory of Birdie MacLennan

February 4th, 2015


Jeffrey Marshall, the Director of Special Collections, recently announced that Special Collections has purchased a 1568 copy of Dante’s Divine Comedy in memory of Birdie MacLennan.

After esteemed colleague Birdie MacLennan passed away unexpectedly last March, Special Collections staff gave a lot of thought to how they might best honor her memory. Birdie, who was hired in 1990 as a serials cataloger and appointed Director of Resource Description Services in 2008, loved old books and was very fond of the Romance languages. She was a member of the local chapter of Alliance Française and the Italian Club of Vermont. Birdie earned a master’s degree in French in 2005 and was learning Italian when she died. She also attended Rare Book School at the University of Virginia.  The department agreed that an addition to the Rare Book collection of an important book in French or Italian would be an appropriate memorial.

“As it happened,” Marshall says, “We had no early editions of Dante’s Divine Comedy, a defining work of the Renaissance and one that maintained its popularity through the transition from manuscript to printed books. In fact, we had no editions of the Divine Comedy printed before the mid-eighteenth century. An early printing of this work seemed the ideal choice to honor Birdie.” He contacted a highly regarded book seller to inquire whether a fine copy could be located.

Within a couple of months, Marshall received a beautiful copy of the Divine Comedy printed in Venice in 1568. Bound in green morocco in the eighteenth century, with marbled endpapers from the same era, the book is in remarkably good condition. This edition contains the commentary of Bernardino Daniello da Lucca (1500-1565) and was printed by Pietro da Fino, an obscure Venetian printer whose ten known books span the years 1555 to 1576.

Daniello’s Dante includes full-page engravings at the beginning of each book—Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso—as well as printer’s devices on the title page and last page.


The title page device shows a rooster perched on a globe (which rests on a book), with the motto “tota nocte excubo” (I keep watch throughout the night). The device on the last page features a similar rooster on a globe against a more elaborate background, with the motto “excubo ac vigilo” (I keep watch and remain awake).


Early printed books are valuable for many reasons. Early printers were usually highly conscious of the relationship between book design and text, producing books that are esthetically pleasing. Often, scholarly works featured the author’s text in a block surrounded by the editor’s annotations, and other printing conventions that demonstrate the detailed, exhaustive analysis Renaissance scholars applied to great works. This form of commentary had largely disappeared by the eighteenth century, often replaced by extensive introductions and footnotes. The physical aspects of the book, as well, suggest much about the status of the work, its intended audience, and the cultural context of its creation at the time of printing.

Birdie MacLennan had a large and lasting impact on the University libraries. Special Collections is pleased to add an important sixteenth-century book to the Rare Book collection in her memory.