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Atkins Library October 2022 Newsletter

Atkins Atrium naming ceremony

Atrium Naming

On April 14, Chancellor Gabor joined Dean Anne Moore to celebrate the dedication of the Atkins Library atrium in honor of Shirley Derting Grubbs, a former librarian and mother of Wendy Grubbs (‘83) whose generous gift for naming the atrium created the first ever scholarship for Atkins Library. The Shirley Derting Grubbs Student Employee Scholarship is specifically directed at library student workers who perform important work in every unit in Atkins. Without them, the library could not serve the campus community successfully.

Library student assistants master a variety of competencies that are preparing them well to excel in future jobs: 

  • provide customer service, 
  • serve as peer tutors,
  • process archival collections, 
  • maintain physical collections, and
  • conduct training and support in the use of a variety of technologies such as 3D printing, laser cutting, making/creating with other equipment and tools, gaming, videography, multimedia, visualization, virtual and augmented reality, etc. 

“We always hope that our student workers enjoy their library positions so much that they catch the library bug and pursue librarianship as a career,” said Anne Cooper Moore, dean of Atkins Library.  “But the skills they learn while at Atkins will position them well when they look for employment in any field upon graduation.” 

Beginning this semester and through the 2026-2027 academic year, Atkins will award one student worker each year with ten thousand dollars for academic support. This scholarship will help five students in need to achieve their educational and career goals. 

IMAGE Left to right: Wendy Grubbs, Shirley Derting Grubbs, Dean Anne Cooper Moore, Chancellor Sharon Gaber

Scholarship Winner Mikayla Hines

Hines Awarded New Shirley Derting Grubbs Student Employee Scholarship

Growing up in Harrisburg, NC, Mikayla Hines had many aspirations and goals that involved learning and discovering new ideas, places, and things. From a young age she was influenced by the books and movies she’d check out from her local public library. In grade school she was the first one to go to the stacks and the last one to leave the library. During her freshman year at UNC Charlotte she would bring her friends to Atkins to use the study rooms, check out books for both fun reading and class assignments, explore collections, and use the library as a safe space for when things got overwhelming. 

“I’ve been lured by libraries ever since I could comprehend what a story was, and they fed my curiosity and thirst for knowledge,” said Hines. “I chose UNC Charlotte for its ten story library; I could not pass up the opportunity to be surrounded by that many books!”

Her connection to libraries has only deepened. While obtaining a B.A. in Anthropology with a minor in Criminal Justice, Mikayla started working at the Hight Architecture Library, Atkins’ only branch library. From 2017 until her graduation in December of 2020 she was part of a student team that kept the library open for 70 hours per week. She returned to Hight in May of 2021 as a graduate student employee and continues to work here as she pursues a Master’s in Anthropology. 

Michelle Gachette, Architectural Library Supervisor, recommended Hines for the scholarship. “Mikayla’s work at Hight has helped her gain transferable skills and exercise leadership in a service role that interacts with all levels in the UNC Charlotte community,” said Gachette. “Mikayla has made an extraordinary contribution with this foundational experience.”

After graduating in 2023 with a Master’s in Anthropology, Mikayla plans to apply to UNC Greensboro’s library and information science program. She hopes to become an archivist within a museum or library focused on North Carolina history and the identification of Native American records. Aside from archives Mikayla would also like to help other anthropologists, historians, and those interested in North Carolina history and Native American history with their research needs. 

“This award means I can continue on with my dreams,” said Hines. “The Shirley Derting Grubbs Student Employee Scholarship is a beacon of light for my family and I am extremely grateful to Ms. Grubbs.”

Queen Charlotte Letter excerpt

Adopt a manuscript: Queen Charlotte edition

In 1817, just over a year before her death, Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz penned a letter thanking her correspondent for news regarding the status of her ill daughter, Sophia. In the brief communique, the wife of England’s King George III writes in the third person: “The Queen longs for this evening’s account and if good wishes and affection can have effect upon the Patient Sufferer, she trusts in Providence that it will be still more comfortable than the one received this morning.”

We are excited to add this original letter to our special collections, particularly since it perfectly complements two other holdings related to the royal family: a collection of English drama that was originally assembled by Princess Augusta Sophia, the sister of Princess Sophia; and a 1784 letter from the queen to her son William (later King William IV), admonishing him for his melancholia while at school in Germany. Our newest addition promises to be as popular with students as these have been! Anything involving Queen Charlotte is a hit these days, given the inclusion of Her Majesty as a character in the popular Netflix series Bridgerton.

To make a donation to support the purchase of this truly one-of-a-kind item, please contact Dawn Schmitz, Associate Dean for Special Collections & University Archives ( We will be happy to acknowledge your gift in the catalog record and the online guide to the collection. The cost of the letter is $500 – a gift of any amount would be welcome.

Items from two grant-funded collections

Atkins Receives Two Grants

The library recently received two grants that will help library users in a variety of ways; one to help with mental health and wellness needs of students, staff, and faculty and another to provide technology to support online learning.

The new Self-Care Collection was funded with Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds provided by The Center for Counseling at Psychological Services (CAPS). It features a mix of books and devices allowing users to create calming physical environments, engage in meditation, and adopt new self-care strategies. Collection items include white noise machines, light and color therapy lamps, guided meditation machines, and books focusing on self-care activities, burnout, and stress. Mental health and wellbeing are integral to student success, especially in recent years as we continue to navigate global health crises. Our hope is that this growing collection of books and technology will support students’ well-being.

Atkins also received an Adapting Technology Grant from the State Library of North Carolina totaling almost $40,000 to purchase equipment to support online learning, such as monitor extenders, webcams, noise-canceling headphones, iPads and Apple pencils and more. These technologies help to enhance student learning, particularly for individuals who are participating in online courses and/or are required to complete digital assignments. We learned through student surveys that having additional screen space is extremely helpful for our students to complete certain types of work on computers. And because of the continuing need to participate in classes virtually, the webcams and headsets will also be very helpful for our students. The iPads and Apple pencils have become an instant hit!