Laupus Library’s leadership worthy of national celebration

This week, Laupus Library joins libraries nationwide in celebrating the many ways libraries lead our communities through the transformative services, programs and expertise they offer.

April 8-14 is National Library Week, an annual celebration of the life-changing work of libraries, librarians and library workers. Libraries aren’t just places to borrow books or study — they’re also creative and engaging community centers where people can collaborate using new technologies and develop their skills and passions.

“We promote our scholarship at a national level,” said Beth Ketterman, Laupus Library director. “Our library employees lead through active service in regional, state and national library associations. Next month, we have librarians speaking at the Medical Library Association on innovative ways we’ve transformed our collection development practices to best meet the needs of our university patrons. Our archivist, Layne Carpenter, relayed some of her interpretive expertise and practices at a recent Society of N.C. Archivists meeting.”

Ketterman said Laupus leads ECU’s Division of Health Sciences by introducing new services. One recent example is the launch of a systematic review service that provides authoritative and exhaustive searches for investigators in the health sciences.

“Our librarians conduct the searches and supply the literature search methodology for published reviews, and receive authorship credit for this very important partnership in the research process.”

Dr. Joseph Lee, assistant professor for the Department of Health Education and Promotion in the College of Health and Human Performance, recently completed a published review using the library’s service.

“Our collaboration with the systematic review service at Laupus provided information critical to the Food and Drug Administration’s regulation of vaping (or e-cigarette) retailers,” he said.

“Our systematic review, which is published in Tobacco Control, was only possible with the expertise and collaboration of a librarian. This service is indispensable given the ever growing volume of scientific literature and the need to leverage high-quality scientific evidence to improve the health of the public.”

Also a leader in the provision of resources to support the division and area health practitioners, the library selects and ensures efficient access to thousands of journals, books and other resources.

“A unique and growing part of our collection is our anatomical models; in fact, we have the largest collection of these models of all health sciences libraries in the state, and that is due to Laupus’ responsiveness to student need,” said Ketterman.

As part of the celebration, the library is hosting free programs and exhibits during the week and into the later part of April.

On Monday, April 9 the Medical History Interest Group lecture, “The History of PTSD: How Cultural Narratives Affect the Patient Experience,” presented by Dr. Sheena M. Eagan, assistant professor in the Department of Bioethics and Interdisciplinary Studies, will be held at 4:30 p.m. in the Evelyn Fike Laupus Gallery located on the fourth floor of Laupus Library.


On Tuesday, April 10 an opening reception will be held for art exhibit “Eye Rain and Heart Cramps” from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in the Evelyn Fike Laupus Gallery on the fourth floor of the library. On display through June 1, the exhibit showcases a collection of paintings and mixed media artworks by April Holbrook, administrative support specialist for clinical financial services in the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. The art exhibit is part of the library’s ongoing Art as Avocation series that explores artistic talents of faculty and staff from the health sciences.

On exhibit throughout the week in the fourth floor gallery is “Fighting for their Lives: Medical Practices During the American Civil War.” The exhibit examines how doctors and medical staff cared for soldiers, looking specifically at surgery, disease, infection and the role of hospitals. Items on display represent an unrecognizable era of medicine when amputations were common and anesthesia was fairly new.

The following week of Apr. 16-20, Laupus will celebrate National Preservation Week with a variety of daily activities and demonstrations offered on the second floor of the library. Students and patrons will have the opportunity to learn more about book preservation, digitizing and photographing artifacts for the database, performing conservation on artifacts and archival materials, packing and storage of family heirlooms, and more about cultural heritage. Handouts and supplemental materials will be available each day.

Finishing out the month, the Country Doctor Museum will celebrate its 50th anniversary on Saturday, April 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with “History Alive! A 50th Anniversary Celebration” – a family-friendly event that aims to offer visitors a glimpse into the past. Free activities will include museum tours, a petting zoo and horse drawn carriage rides from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Acoustic and old-time music will be provided by DryBread Road, and a variety of food vendors will be present. The Aurora Fossil Museum, Joel Lane House, Imagination Station Science and History Museum, Aycock Birthplace and the Tobacco Farm Life Museum will offer free activities and demonstrations.

The Country Doctor Museum will also showcase a new exhibit, “The Sick Room: Home Comfort & Bedside Necessities,” which illustrates how an extended illness of a family member or loved one was a common part of life at the turn of the 20th century. 

Opened in 1968, The Country Doctor Museum shares the history of medicine in rural America and is managed as part of the History Collections of Laupus Library. It is the oldest museum in the United States dedicated to the history of America’s rural health care and is located in Bailey, N.C.

“None of what we do would be possible without the advocacy and commitment from our Friends of the Laupus Library,” said Ketterman. “The Friends promote the library and ensure that we have funds to enrich these programs and student-focused events when we wouldn’t otherwise be able to.”

Chairman of the Friends of Laupus Library Dr. John Papalas said, “As a Brody School of Medicine alumnus, I know how instrumental Laupus Library was to my success as well as the class of 2006. By being involved with the Friends, my support helps Laupus to continue to serve a growing health sciences division.”

Read more about the Friends in a photo story at

First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April.

For more information about Laupus Library, The Country Doctor Museum and the Friends of Laupus Library, visit

 By Kelly Rogers Dilda
University Communications