A Poet Among Us

Posted by Paula Paine on September 24, 2013 in "Academic Programs", Alumni, Faculty/Staff, "The College", "Your OU" Dikeogu, GloriaGloria Creed-Dikeogu has been OU’s Director of Library Services for more than 10 years and was recently promoted to associate professor of library sciences, but those are just her day jobs. In her down time, Gloria puts pen to paper and writes poetry, which has recently been published by Short on Time Books. Originally from South Africa, she chronicled her transition from there to the Midwest in her poetry collection Cape Town Station: a poetic journey from Cape Town to Kansas. Gloria describes her work on her blog in the following way: “My poems tell the story of the complex journeys back and forth between Cape Town, where my parents and family lived, and my newly established home and family in Kansas. Trains played a large part in my life and that of my family in Cape Town, since it was the best way to travel anywhere quickly, without much difficulty, thereby also bringing the ‘train of life’ imagery into my poetry as an interwoven theme. “My poems document many of my experiences both in Cape Town and Kansas, some of them good and some bad, and my struggles along the way with love, life in general, loss, friendship, family, and the birth of my son.” For a short stroll along her journey, Gloria’s poem “The Visitor,” is included at the bottom of this article. As director of library services, Gloria has been hard at work to make books, publications, historical documents, and research and writing information easily accessible to all of the University’s constituents through numerous technological advances. Additions to the library database system, a new website, “Ask a Librarian” live chat, a mobile app, and digitally archived copies of The Campus student newspaper (1869 – 2011) are just a few of the new features created to aid students in their research endeavors. One of the new features is a research and writing guide that offers specialized resources for each academic subject area.  It can be found at http://ottawa.libguides.com/. Library resources on the student portal have also been enhanced, including the addition of a QR code that can be scanned by a smart phone to gain access to a mobile app of the libguides. Gloria believes the innovations make the library more relevant for today’s students. Now, she says, “We’re right in your living room with you. We’re in your mobile phone. We’re at your fingertips. We’ve moved from being just a physical library to an interactive, virtual library that’s available to students university-wide.” Gloria keeps readers up to date on new library resources on her blog. And to make the library a bit more fun, she pokes fun at library stereotypes by posting humorous articles and videos, such as the one found here http://myerslibrary.tumblr.com/page/2. Beyond managing research resources, Gloria heads up the archiving of OU’s museum pieces, digitizing all print materials and properly tagging and preserving the museum’s many artifacts. The Ottawa Spirit recently featured an article on this project. Gloria regularly makes use of her own resources as she is a perpetual student herself. She received a bachelor’s degree in library science in 1986, with majors in English literature, library science and information management and minors in Afrikaans and archaeology, and a Higher Diploma in Education: Post Graduate: Secondary (which is a high school teacher certification) in 1988 from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She holds a master's in library and information management from Emporia State University, as well as a Master of Arts in Human Resources and an MBA from OU. She is actively involved in committee work in two professional library organization (L to R)Patti Poe Gloria Dikeogu Bobby Garmin Lisa Garmin Jim Minges s at the national and state level and is a doctoral student in the Educational Computing and Online Learning Department at Kansas State University. The Myers Library has received a little recognition of late with the election of Caleb Puckett, instruction librarian and assistant professor of library sciences, to the Northeast Kansas Library System (NEKLS) Board to represent academic libraries and Franklin County in the system. Also, the NEKLS presented library volunteer Bobby Garmin with the Volunteer of the Year 2013 Award. Volunteers from 19 other libraries in NEKLS vied for the honor. Helpful library links: https://myottawa.ottawa.edu/ICS/Resources/Myers_Library_Online/ http://ottawa.libanswers.com/index.php http://ottawa.libguides.com/ http://myerslibrary.tumblr.com/chat  “The Visitor” by Gloria Creed-Dikeogu So you came— Finally I’ve met you. But did you come to criticize our lives? or did you come to see for yourself what life was like for the others out here? So far away where home cannot reach us? We bid you welcome! For with you, comes memories of home the warmth of parents miles away the disciplines of a long forgotten tradition the sadness of timely separation And the fears and qualms that have laid hid-den for so long. Your candor is appreciated. Yet, we hesitate to change our lives just to please you. For when you leave We must resume our present lives knowing that there can be no symbiosis. Come into our home— But in leaving Take with you the things that you see and hear the good and the bad that you’ve perceived and the secretive happiness and pain that we can barely hide in the deep recesses of our hearts.