Events, Authors, and Speakers Planned for April

Starting April 4th, the Ross Pendergraft Library & Technology Center kicks off several events and lectures celebrating books, culture, history, diversity, and understanding both close to home and from the other side of the world.

Tuesday, April 4th at 6:00 P.M. in RPL 300AB

Photo of Eli Cranor, author, speaking before a large audienceAward-winning author and Russellville native, Eli Cranor, hosted a special event debuting  his latest novel, Ozark Dogs.   Publisher Soho Crime describes Ozark Dogs as a Southern thriller in which “two families grapple with the aftermath of a murder in their small Arkansas town.”

His first novel, Don’t Know Tough, won the Peter Lovesey First Crime Novel contest and was nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel, the Lefty Award for best debut Mystery Novel, and was a finalist for the 2022 Dashiell Hammett Award.  He writes to a monthly column in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette called “Where I’m Writing From,” and his work has been featured in Missouri Review, Oxford American, Ellery Queen, The Strand and other notable journals.  You can find his first thriller, Don’t Know Tough, available in our book collection.

Monday, April 10th at 7:00 P.M. in RPL 300B

Cover of book featuring an illustrated tiger and brightly colored bird next to it, perched on a rockThe Library will host John Kutko as part of its Second Monday Author Series to talk about his children’s book, The Tiger & the Painted Bunting.  The book is about a Shanti, a tiger cub who is captured from the wild and sold by poachers to a rich man.  When the tiger inevitably grows too big, she is sent to a zoo where she makes friends with a painted bunting named Al.  Kutko, a retired school teacher from Clarksville School District, developed the story which his granddaughter, Abbriel Harrison, who wrote and illustrated the book.  There will be a drawing for a free signed copy of his book at the event, along with additional copies available for purchase.

Thursday, April 13th at 2:30 P.M. in RPL 300AB

Cover of Ronnie Williams featuring tombstone superimposed below an older photograph of a black man wearing an army dress uniform.The Arkansas Tech University Black Faculty & Staff Organization will host Ronnie Williams as part of the Diversity Speaks Lecture Series.  He is the author of Markham Street: The Haunting Truth Behind the Murder of My Brother Marvin Leonard Williams, which shares the story of his brother, his murder, subsequent fight for justice, and what life was like for Black families in the South during the 1960’s.

A native of Menifee, Arkansas, Ronnie Williams recently retired as Vice President for Student Services and Institutional Diversity at the University of Central Arkansas.  During his three decades of service, he served as assistant dean of students, director of Minority Affairs, Assistant to the President, and Chief Diversity Office.  He is the former chair of the Arkansas Educational Television Commission, and the first person of color to chair the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce and the Conway Development Corporation Board.  A small reception of light refreshments, provided by the Ross Pendergraft Library & Technology Center, will be available after the lecture.  For more information about Ronnie Williams or his book, visit his webpage at:

Friday, April 14th from 1:00 P.M. – 3:00 P.M. in RPL 300B

A cartoon black and white logo of a person with a blank, open book for its head next to the words "human library"The Human Library is back at the Ross Pendergraft Library and Technology Center featuring people volunteering to tell their own stories about in a non-judgemental, personal conversation-style setting.  As part of a project in the Social Movements and Social Change class in the Behavioral Sciences department, students have been recruiting volunteers to act as “books” that can be read by an individual in a one-on-one setting.  These “books” tell their personal stories of struggle and success in overcoming challenges in life like discrimination, poverty, disability, immigration, abuse, judgement, or oppression.  You can ‘check-out’ a book just by listening to their story face-to-face to gain a broader perspective for the path they have walked.

The Human Library Event has been taking place at ATU for several years and is part of a larger, national organization to promote dialogue and understanding with groups in our society that are often subjected to prejudice, stigmatization or discrimination because of their lifestyle, diagnosis, belief, disability, social status, ethnic origin, etc.  All are welcome to this event.

Monday, April 17th at 6:00 P.M. in RPL 300B

Text with "Talk Series with Dr. Hashimoto: Manga, an introductory series to Japanese culture, language, history, and art inside anime and manga.The final lecture of the spring semester from the popular “Manga Talk  Series” from Dr. Hashimoto is titled: “Jujutsu Kaisen: History of Curse in Japan” will take place on April 17th.  Dr. Hashimoto, visiting lecturer of Japanese, will discuss the popular manga and anime series and how it relates to Japanese culture, language, and history.  Frequent attendees of the lecture series often report samples of Japanese candies and treats present at such events.  You can get started on the English-language version of the manga series with v.0 “Blinding Darkness” currently located in the New Books collection of the ATU Library.

For more information about these and other events in the library, contact our Special Events Coordinator and Second Monday Author Series wrangler, Luke Heffley.  You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for up-to-date information on all the happenings happening at RPL.

Like Us? Love Us? Tell Us!

8 book spines with titles like, Love, I Feel Love, As You Like It, Happiness, Wow, No Thank You, Hatred, Fear and Loathing, and MaliceThe annual library survey is now live and listening:

Tell us how the library’s collections, services, and spaces mattered to YOU in 2022.  If you’ve ever used our website or stepped foot in any of the library buildings (Ozark Campus Library or the Ross Pendergraft Library & Technology Center), we want to hear what you think about your library.  The survey is short and completely anonymous because–as always–we value the privacy of our users.

Have you ever wanted something different in the library?  More study spaces?  More books?  Less noise? An all-you-can-eat seafood buffet and chocolate fountain?*

Man washing his face in a chocolate fountain while the chef looks on in shock*Actual survey comment from 2022

From now until April 10th when the survey closes is your chance to let us know!

Because of your feedback last year, we’ve made a lot of changes already:

  • A beverage vending machine has been added to the south foyer.A picture of a Pepsi Vending Machine
  • Expanded full-text journal coverage with additional 998 journals from Sage Premier, 1724 journals from Taylor & Francis, & 453 journals from JSTOR’s Arts and Sciences V and VI collections.
  • Periodic pop-up libraries through-out the year to improve outreach and advertising of our great book collections.
  • Reduced noise on the 2nd floor by moving more evening personnel to the quiet floor.
  • Added access to printers from the study room computers.
  • Revamped freshmen orientation tours to describe more about the services we provide.
  • Remained open during inclement weather days.

In some cases, you’ve made some great suggestions for things we ALREADY have, but just not advertised as well as we should.  For example…

  • Did you know we have a gender-neutral bathroom?  This frequently asked-for facility is a bit hidden, but you can find it just outside of campus support at the north entrance.
  • Want to renew books online?  Yes, you can!  Just go to and sign-in to review your checked-out items and renew them online.
  • Need computers with webcams for Respondus tests?  We have the next best thing.  You can actually check-out webcams from the Circulation Desk for all your test-taking needs.  We even check-out laptops with webcams included.

Some requests, however, remain just out of reach:

  • Expansion of Hours–This is the number one request since the survey began.  Currently, the Ross Pendergraft Library & Technology ranks fourth in the amount of open hours offered at a four-year, public academic library in Arkansas.  While we would love to expand hours, we cannot safely do so without additional staff.  But keep telling us what hours you want!  Open later on Fridays?  Earlier on Sundays?  24-Hours/7 Days?  We will do what we can with the resources we have.
  • More Study Rooms–With only 10 study rooms, we know it can be difficult to find an empty one when you need it.  We recommend booking a study room as early as possible.  These go fast, particularly in the evening.  We hope we can add additional rooms in the future, but keep asking!  Your feedback and usage protects our existing spaces for student use.
  • Food in the Library–Like you, we also enjoy eating ribs and reading, but sometimes the two activities don’t mix.  Food can bring pests and frankly, we’re scared of the ants reading our collection and becoming too powerful with knowledge.
  • Digitize the DVD Collection–We would be violating a lot of laws to do this, and our librarians are still on probation for shushing in the second degree.  But you can always check out our (totally legal) streaming video collection through Swank, Kanopy, or Academic Videos Online.

We hope you will continue to tell us what we do best and what we can do better on this year’s survey.  If you want a more direct approach, send us a text, email, or chat.  If you prefer the socials, we can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.  No matter how you do it, let us know how we can make your library better (aside from chocolate fountains and seafood buffets).




Bill Morelan on Surviving the First Year of Teaching

As part of the Second Monday Author Series, Dr. Bill Morelan will be discussing his book, The Novice Teacher Survival Guide:  How to Avoid Personal Injury and Major Property Damage.  The book was written in a satirical style reminiscent of Dave Barry … [Continue reading]

One of a Kind: Jock Davis

Rescheduled for Monday November 21, at 7pm.  This World War II veteran will be the guest of our November 2022 Second Monday Author Series. Jock Davis is the author of Four Brothers: Reliving the Great Depression and World War II.  The book is Mr. … [Continue reading]

Tech Votes

The Ross Pendergraft Library & Technology Center will be hosting a series of events called Tech Votes in preparation for the November 8th elections. Earlier this fall the library was part of National Voter Registration Day in order to get voters … [Continue reading]

Second Monday Author Series – September 2022

Mr. Ken Teutsch will be the featured speaker on September 12th at 7:00 pm for the Second Monday Author Series in the Ross Pendergraft Library and Technology Center. The event will take place in room 300B.  Ken is the Multimedia Coordinator for Online … [Continue reading]

Back-to-School: Library Workshops

Welcome back to campus! The library will be hosting workshops to introduce you to the vast online library resources specifically to undergraduate students.  You will learn how to find different types of sources using Find it, such as books, dvds, and … [Continue reading]

An Historical Look at Pride Month:

Today Pride Month is a month-long celebration of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Transexual, Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ+) people. There are many activities across the country and the globe that bring awareness of the LGBTQ+ triumphs and struggles.  … [Continue reading]

Finals at the Library

It's that time of the semester again.  Finals!  The library will be open overnight Wednesday & Thursday, April 27 & 28, 2022 for finals. It will be open from 7AM on Reading Day all the way through 9PM on Friday, April 29. Coffee will be … [Continue reading]

2nd Monday Author Series Returns

After a two-year hiatus from the popular program, the 2nd Monday Author Series is back. Join us Monday, April 11, 2022, at 7pm in room 300A at the Ross Pendergraft Library & Technology Center. We are happy to have Eli Cranor, a Russellville … [Continue reading]