NC State University  |  campus directory  |  libraries  |  mypack portal  |  campus map  |  search

By: David Hiscoe

Catherine W. Bishir, Curator of Architecture Special Collections for the NCSU Libraries and preeminent historian of North Carolina architecture, has published Crafting Lives: African American Artisans in New Bern, North Carolina, 1770-1900, a history of the important roles that black craftspeople created for themselves in one of the country’s most important sea ports during this era.

According to the publisher, the University of North Carolina Press:

“From the colonial period onward, black artisans in southern cities–thousands of free and enslaved carpenters, coopers, dressmakers, blacksmiths, saddlers, shoemakers, bricklayers, shipwrights, cabinetmakers, tailors, and others–played vital roles in their communities. Yet only a very few black craftspeople have gained popular and scholarly attention. Catherine W. Bishir remedies this oversight by offering an in-depth portrayal of urban African American artisans in the small but important port city of New Bern. In so doing, she highlights the community’s often unrecognized importance in the history of nineteenth-century black life.

Drawing upon myriad sources, Bishir brings to life men and women who employed their trade skills, sense of purpose, and community relationships to work for liberty and self-sufficiency, to establish and protect their families, and to assume leadership in churches and associations and in New Bern’s dynamic political life during and after the Civil War. Focusing on their words and actions, Crafting Lives provides a new understanding of urban southern black artisans’ unique place in the larger picture of American artisan identity.”

Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh will hold a book signing for the new publication on November 4 at 7:30.

To learn more about the history of architects and builders in the state, visit the North Carolina Architects & Builders online biographical dictionary (, edited by Catherine Bishir.

By: David Hiscoe

Drawing comparisons to the work of Thomas Jefferson and Stanford White at UVA, Inform: Architecture + Design in the Mid-Atlantic cites the Hunt Library “as a symbol of how long-held plans can be turned into lasting inspiration.”

By: David Hiscoe

“The Hunt Library is all of NC State’s best ideas, all put into one building.” NC State student on Twitter


The James B. Hunt Jr. Library was conceived and designed to provide a bold icon of NC State University’s commitment to educational innovation and to the transformational research and learning that happen on our campus.

Since its opening in January 2013, the new library has significantly raised the profile of the university through hundreds of articles, hundreds of thousands of interactions on the web, and a lively, inspiring conversation about the new space in the international social media.

  • In April, the Hunt Library will be featured in the new PBS primetime series Cool Spaces ( as an iconic building driving educational change.
  • Over 250 articles on the Hunt Library have appeared in print, television, and online media in local, national and international venues:
    • Associated Press:  Hunt launch covered globally in print and TV
    • Sunday edition of Boston Globe: one of the world’s “five novel libraries”
    • Complex magazine: ranked near the top of the 25 best academic libraries
    • Ploughshares magazine: Hunt as prime example of how libraries stand poised for “a digital renaissance”
    • Paris Review: discussion of the bookBot
    • Time magazine: “the library of the future”
    • Architect magazine: an “iconic social monument” capturing “the arc of the imagination”
    • “reinventing libraries for the future”
    • The Globe and Mail:  “the university library of the future”
    • Library Journal: the Hunt Library as cover story—Tomorrow, Visualized”—for annual Library by Design supplement
    • News 14: the Hunt Library “giving North Carolina worldwide appeal”
    • Campus Technology: NC State’s “next-gen library”
    • Consejo Profesional de Arquitectura y Urbanismo: featured as a “biblioteca del mundo”
  • Full-age ads from NC State’s marketing team, featuring Hunt Library as the face of innovation and proof point of NC State’s determination to shape the future in high-profile outlets such as Time Magazine, The Chronicle of Higher EducationPC Gamer, and The Smithsonian.
  • Over 156,000 views of the “Discovering the Hunt Library” social media page that collects the wave of tweets, posts, and other new media that fans are using to talk with each other about the building.
  • Over 250,000 visits to the Libraries’ Hunt Library website.
  • Over 44,000 views to the university’s Hunt Library mini-site from 39 countries including Brazil, Spain, the UK, China, and India.
  • Almost 97,000 views of Hunt videos on the Libraries’ and the university’s YouTube channels.
  • Over 3100 of Hunt photos posted to My#HuntLibrary from 1200 NC State students and visitors from around the world.
  • Scheduled tours for over 11,000 visitors—including every faculty member recruited by the university, as well as governors, legislators, diplomats, alumni, athletic directors and their recruits, architects, and educational innovators, not only from the U.S. but from France, Russia, Moldova, the Ukraine, Japan, China, Mexico, and Israel, just to name a few.  Thousands of others have taken the Hunt Library self-guided mobile tour or just explored on their own.
  • Site for 2nd international “Designing Libraries Conference,” hosting 250 library leaders, higher education leaders, architects, and others from the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia.
  • Prestigious design awards:
    • 2013 AIA/ALA Building Award for distinguished accomplishment in library architecture
    • American Libraries’ “2013 Library Design Showcase”
    • City of Raleigh Green Design Award
  • Steady stream of social media activity with special emphasis on how the Hunt Library is an inspiration in recruiting and retaining students.  Some representative samples:
    • “I can’t wait to go to State because I hear the Hunt library is on point. I’ll probably end up living there…” Tweet
    • “Seriously though—the NCSU Library makes me want to attend the school. It’s that awesome.” Tweet
    • “So psyched to go to #NCSU, the Hunt Library is one of the coolest buildings in existence.” Libraries’ Facebook page
    • “Hunt Library . . . Proof of why NC Sate is the best school in the country.” Tweet
    • “Back at Hunt Library.  I feel energized to study when I enter the doors.” Tweet
    • The students of NCSU have a true gem at their fingertips and I have never been so impressed with a facility. It is incredible.” College Confidential blog
    • “New Hunt Library on Centennial Campus single handedly making me want to be in college again.”  Tweet
    • “I graduated in 1974 and have never been more proud of our university.”  Facebook comment
    • “That’s me in 2 more years!” Tweet from high school student commenting on Hunt Library video
    • “ The Hunt Library sure does make it easy to work hard.” Tweet
    • “My first time in the Hunt Library—Is this Google headquarters?”  Tweet

By: David Hiscoe

Canada’s premier news outlet, The Globe and Mail, explores the Hunt Library as the “university library of the future,” a space where “books are important but people are central.”

By: Marian Fragola

Stellar Students – Ryan O’Donnell and Shreye Saxena
Tuesday, October 29 at 3:00 p.m.
D. H. Hill Library, West Wing Auditorium

Ryan O'Donnell

Shreye Saxena

Ryan O’Donnell and Shreye Saxena share a passion for creating meaningful social change. With a small team of students, they created Pennies 4 Progress, a non-profit organization based on a penny-donation model. O’Donnell and Saxena will discuss their project and how they are employing the skills they are learning at NC State to build a better world.

This program is part of NCSU Libraries Stellar Student Series and supported in part by the Tom Russell Charitable Foundation, Inc. Free and open to the public. For more information contact Marian Fragola at or 919-515-3481.

By: David Hiscoe

It started with a medieval manuscript in a shoebox and ended with an endowment that will support some of the latest in modern library technologies. From an early book to the bookBot—that is the arc of the story of the Hunt Library’s new “Turlibot.”

Linda Turlington’s family had long treasured a fifteenth-century book of meditations that has been passed down from generation to generation. And that family is, as Turlington explains, “completely red and white.” Her husband of almost 40 years, Jimmy, is a 1968 NC State graduate in civil engineering. Her son Ryan obtained his B.S. from the College of Textiles in 2001.  Daughter Courtney earned her B.A. from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences in 2007.

So when the family decided that the Latin manuscript—once laboriously copied out by Carthusian monks—needed a safer long-term home where its treasures could be available to scholars throughout the world, the NCSU Libraries Special Collections Research Center was a natural choice.

An extension of the family

It was the start of another deep relationship, one that Turlington—CEO and owner of Pura Vida Promotions, a Kernersville-based advertising specialties company focusing on logoed merchandise—insists also feels like an extension of the family.  Though the Turlington family had long supported the Wolfpack Club, this was their first real exposure to the work of the NCSU Libraries.  “Everybody has just been so wonderful,” says Turlington. “And from the very beginning we felt like we belonged with what was going on with the Libraries.”

Now a board member of the Friends of the Library, Turlington has thrown her considerable energy and marketing savvy into ensuring that the Hunt Library will have the impact it promises for the state and the university: “Everybody is going to be amazed at the global outreach this new facility will enable—it will be amazing, all of those who are touched by it.  I probably never have a conversation that I don’t mention what’s going on at NC State because it’s turned into a passion of mine—the reach is going to be incredible.”

“We have been so fortunate”

The signature technologies in the new library especially interested the Turlington family, everything from the giant large-scale visualization walls to the handheld devices and Raspberry Pi’s that future engineers can now check out at will. “We are so fortunate to have these opportunities in North Carolina, especially at NC State,” she concludes.

But the bookBot automated book delivery system was particularly interesting to a family that once kept a medieval manuscript in a shoebox.  So, they seized on one of the Hunt Library naming opportunities, and the “Turlibot”—one of the four robots at the core of the bookBot—will now spend the next decades delivering books and other items to students and faculty.

A lasting legacy

Turlington says that ultimately the most rewarding work she does is to make personal contact with potential supporters, work exemplified in a Hunt Library presentation that she recently helped host for alumni at the Piedmont Club in Winston-Salem, NC, and also at the Foundation Room atop the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas.  But the naming of the bookBot robot is also very special.  Seven centuries ago, a monk copied out an enduring monument to learning, the medieval manuscript the family donated to the NCSU Libraries. The Turlington family has put its own mark on a lasting monument to educational achievement: “the bookBot is part of our legacy, and our children will always have something that is permanent at NC State.”

By: Mike Nutt

Interacting with iPad in the Immersion Theater

Select maps using the iPad

We are happy to announce the opening of the Places & Spaces: Mapping Science exhibit at the James B. Hunt Jr. Library. In collaboration with Indiana University, NCSU Libraries invites you to browse a collection of some of the most important scientific visualizations ever produced. Visitors to the exhibit can use an iPad to choose from 80 powerful examples of knowledge domain mapping, novel location-based cartographies, data visualizations, and science-inspired art works.

The exhibit runs now through October 27th, and is featured in the iPearl Immersion Theater on the second floor of the Hunt Library.

Individually and as a whole, the maps of Places & Spaces allow data to tell fascinating stories which both the scientist and the layperson can understand and appreciate. Inspiration is waiting for you at the Hunt Library!

By: David Hiscoe

The NCSU Libraries, the Coalition for Networked Information, and the University of Calgary are hosting the second annual Designing Libraries for the 21st Century in the new James B. Hunt Jr. Library on the North Carolina State University campus, October 6-8, 2013.

See the conference program at

By: Marian Fragola

Monday, October 28 at 7:00 p.m.
James B. Hunt Jr. Library Auditorium

Kick off your homecoming festivities with a screening of the amazing “Survive and Advance” from ESPN Films, brought to you by the Alumni Association Student Ambassador Program and NCSU Libraries. This event is free and open to the public.

Prior to the screening, discover treasures of the past at the NCSU Libraries’ Special Collections table that will be located in the lobby of the auditorium area. From 6:30 – 7:00 p.m., Special Collections staff will be showing a variety of items from the University Archives, including a selection of athletics photos, programs, and memorabilia from throughout the history of sports at NC State, including the 1983 championship season.

About the film: In 1983, the NC State Wolfpack, coached by Jim Valvano, stayed alive in the postseason by winning nine do-or-die games in a row — seven of which they were losing in the final minute — beating the likes of Michael Jordan and three-time National Player of the Year Ralph Sampson. The unlikely squad made it to the national championship game against No. 1 Houston, aka Phi Slama Jama, a team featuring future NBA Top 50 all-time players Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler. NC State was one of the biggest underdogs ever in the final game, one that went down as possibly the best college basketball game in history-ending with one of the most well-known plays of all time. Told through the eyes of senior captain Dereck Whittenburg, the film takes a poignant look at Jim Valvano and his remarkable impact. Runtime: 101 minutes

No RSVP or registration is needed; this is not a ticketed event. General seating, free and open to the pubic. Campus parking is free and open to the public after 5:00 p.m. on weekdays and throughout the weekend, with a few posted exceptions. For more information and directions to Hunt Library, visit

Contact Marian Fragola at 919-513-3481 or for more information.

By: David Hiscoe

Each year American Libraries magazine honors libraries that “are shining examples of innovative architecture that addresses user needs in unique, interesting, and effective ways.”  For the second year in a row, the NCSU Libraries has been recognized, this year for helping to “build the future” with the “award-winning design of the James B. Hunt Jr Library.”