Pivot to Virtual

The continued pivot to virtual events in FY21 was both an ongoing challenge and an opportunity. Staff got creative with offerings and experimented with formats to best engage our audiences.

First Fridays

First Fridays

In lieu of monthly in-person First Fridays events that were canceled throughout the pandemic, staff planned and coordinated monthly virtual events that featured curated items from the archival and rare book collections on a new theme each month. The inaugural virtual First Fridays event was live-streamed on Oct. 2, 2020, and featured a behind-the-scenes tour of the archives and rare books space (including typically restricted stacks). Other virtual First Fridays featured tabletop displays in the reading room on themes such as animals, vaccines, botanical books, preservation, and the brain.  

Historia Medica Lectures

Historia Medica Lecture

In collaboration with the Center for the History of Medicine, Becker library invited guest speakers from around the country to present virtually for the lecture series on the history of medicine. The lectures were recorded and available to view afterward. The roster of lecturers included:

  • 75th Historia Medica: Parallels Between the Sugar and Tobacco Industries: A First Glimpse at Sugar Industry Documents with Cristin Kearns, DDS, MBA
  • 76th Historia Medica: Plagues, Practitioners and Prints: Visualizing Pre-Modern Medical Know-How with Suzanne Karr Schmidt
  • 77th Historia Medica: Atomic Doctors: Conscience and Complicity at the Dawn of the Nuclear Age with James L. Nolan, Jr., PhD
  • 78th Historia Medica: The Hidden History of Medical Risk: Examples from Premodern Surgery with Marquis Berrey, PhD
  • 79th Historia Medica: Cholera in Tokyo, 1877-1895: Public health, epidemic disease, and the cityscape with Susan L. Burns, PhD

Open October

The fall seminar series highlighting trends in open data and open access continued with virtual workshops and guest speakers in collaboration with Washington University Libraries.

Open October

The lineup of five events included a panel discussion about publishing at Washington University and presentations by Lara Mangravite, PhD, from Sage Bionetworks on “Establishing the Reliability of Scientific Claims from Big Data in Biomedicine”, and Joseph S. Ross, MD, MHS, from Yale University and co-founder of MedRxiv, on “Preprints in Medicine: More Promise or Pitfall for Research Transparency.”


Love Data Week

In partnership with University Libraries and the Institute for Informatics, Becker Library continued the now-annual tradition of organizing and teaching a series of workshops on topics related to data management and sharing, data analysis, and data visualization, in celebration of Love Data Week 2021 (Feb, 8-12, 2021). Workshop topics included MDClone, R, Python, Tableau, LabArchives, and more. Carrie Wolinetz, PhD, NIH Associate Director for Science Policy, brought the week to a close with a presentation and discussion period on the new NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy. Love Data Week highlights how Becker plays a central role in bringing timely information to our research community.

WashU Libraries Book Clubs

Book clubs are a joint endeavor between Becker Library and Olin Library that pair a novel whose themes touch on our collection holdings with a presentation of materials from special collections. These virtual events are well attended, with attendees joining from across the United States. Book clubs hosted by Becker:

  • October: “The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet” by David Mitchell
  • February: “Fever” by Mary Beth Keane
  • May: “The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane” by Katherine Howe