An Interview with Audrey Stewart, Coastal’s newest Public Services Librarian


Audrey Stewart is the newest face in the LRC! She started at Coastal as the new Public Services Librarian on July 3 after a teaching career with Duplin County Schools. In this interview, fellow Public Services Librarian Nichole Nichols talks to her about her background, what she hopes to implement at Coastal, and her eagerness to help students with information needs.

Nichole Nichols: Where did you go to school, and how did you prepare for a library career?

Audrey Stewart: I went to Cape Fear Community College my first year on a whim. I had friends that lived in Wilmington and they thought Wilmington was a great area so I came down from New York. I paid out-state-tuition to go to a community college, and I played volleyball for one year while I was there. I didn’t love North Carolina so I actually moved back to New York and did my second year of community college at Herkimer College and after my second year, I transferred to the State University of New York (SUNY) Albany and that’s where I got my bachelor’s degree in English. I majored in English and minored in History. I wasn’t really sure about what I wanted to do, so I started teaching. I thought I wanted to go into education so I went to SUNY New Paltz, which is a state school in New York, and I got my teaching degree. Then, I taught for a couple of years, but I still wasn’t sure that it was the right path for me, so I enrolled in SUNY Buffalo’s online library program in 2014-2015 and I finished December 2015 with my library degree. I continued to teach until coming upon this position.

NN: Why did you become a librarian?

AS: Part of it was a love for information and part of it was the uncertainty of whether or not teaching was going to pan out. The good news is that teaching did pan out, but then I was sitting on my library degree and that was kind of bothering me that I wasn’t using it. I grew up going to the library as a child. My mom took us to the library every week. I was always around books. All through college, I loved being a student. I’ve always been studious and around information, so I think it was more my passion for information and disseminating information.

NN: What’s your favorite thing about Coastal so far?

AS: The people! Everyone has been wonderful. I love my office. I love my staff so far. Everyone has their own personalities that I’m learning and liking, so that’s a good thing.

NN: What are some new things that you would like to implement in the library?

AS: I would love to have a student book club that would focus on their interests as well as new books that could be wide open for anyone to participate. I know that we have a graphic novel book club, and I know that there’s a staff book club. I also really like the idea of “one school, one book” where the staff reads a book as part of professional development.

NN: What is an interesting fact about you?

AS: I used to be a ballerina. For ten years, I danced ballet and I thought that I was going to be a prima ballerina and go to ballerina school and probably Julliard and all of that. When I was in middle school, I was mildly athletic, but wouldn’t describe myself as being athletic. One night my parents were away, out to dinner, so my brother and I decided to go in the backyard and kick a soccer ball around barefoot in the summer time. I slipped and I fell and broke my growth plate of my ankle. That ended my future of being a prima ballerina because still to this day, I can point and flex my foot, but I can’t point it to the degree that it would need to be to be in a point shoe…and I had just gotten on to point shoes. Ironically, my husband wanted to be a professional soccer player.

NN: What’s one thing about you that you really want students to know?

AS: I am eager and willing to help with their library needs. Even though I may be busy, they are the first priority, so whatever I have to do, I feel like that can wait. I want them to feel like they are a priority.

Contact Audrey via email ( or phone (910-938-6278).


Celebrate LGBT Pride Month with the LRC!


On the evening of  June 27,1969, police in New York, New York raided a popular gay bar, and the protests that resulted afterwards launched the LGBT Rights movement that we know today. An integral part of this movement is Pride Month, which is celebrated each year in June. Pride parades, parties, and other events take place all over the country to honor members of the LGBT community and spread the message that love knows no bounds.

Join the LRC’s celebration of Pride Month by adding one of these books to your summer reading list! Each book features a story that centers on LGBT characters. All of these books can be found in our fiction collection.


Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Leuithan

From Publishers Weekly: “In alternating chapters, the authors track two teens, both named Will Grayson, who accidentally meet halfway through the novel, perhaps changing the trajectory of both of their lives. One Will is vintage Green: a smart nerd whose rules to live by include “don’t care too much,” with a scene-stealing sidekick—Tiny Cooper, a large, flamboyantly gay classmate intent on staging an autobiographical musical. The other will (lowercase throughout) is angry and depressed; the one bright spot in his existence is an online friendship with “Isaac.” When will agrees to meet Isaac one night in Chicago, readers know nothing good will happen—and they will be wrong. A well-orchestrated big reveal takes the story in a new direction, one that gives (lowercase) will greater dimension. The ending is laudable but highly implausible. The journey to it is full of comic bits, mostly provided by the irrepressible Tiny, who needs his own novel. Frank sexual language—a shot at a bar “tastes like Satan’s fire cock”—pushes this one to high school, where its message of embracing love in all its forms ought to find a receptive audience.”


The Normal State Of Mind by Susmita Bhattacharya

From “Dipali, a young bride, is determined to make her marriage a success story. But her plans are cut short when her husband is killed by a bomb blast in Mumbai. Forced into a life of widowhood, her brother expects her to sacrifice her own independence for the sake of caring for their elderly mother, but Dipali has other ideas.

Moushumi, a school teacher, discovers that her attraction to women is not just a girl crush. As her parents discuss potential husbands, Moushumi escapes to her high-flying lover. But how long can she keep being a lesbian secret beyond the safe walls of glamorous art-crowd parties?

This stirring and important novel brings to the forefront the issue that, in the midst of communal riots and gay rights movements, India too has to make her own decisions about which traditions she must keep, and which she ought to let go.”



A Place At The Table by Susan Rebecca White

From Publishers Weekly: “In this latest from an emerging Southern literary voice, White (A Soft Place to Land) muses on friendship, the connecting power of food, and the effects of a Southern heritage on one’s search for identity. The tale begins with Alice Stone and her brother James, a close-knit pair growing up in 1920’s Negro-owned Emancipation Township, North Carolina. James is sent to New York because of his “uppity” attitude, and the book’s focus abruptly shifts to Bobby, a white boy from a strict religious family in 1970’s Georgia. His later career as a chef in a famous New York restaurant is foreshadowed in his love for cooking with his mother and grandmother, whose pound cakes are legendary. The savings from thousands of sold pound cakes fund Bobby’s escape to New York when his family ostracizes him for being gay. Here he meets renowned chef and cookbook author, Alice Stone. However, their stories don’t truly intersect until Amelia, a wealthy Connecticut woman in a failing marriage, happens upon the scene. Once again, food, prospective cookbooks, and Southern influences link characters before they discover a deeper connection through guarded secrets from the past. White’s prose is graceful and evocative, but the plot stumbles as the disparate characters’ trajectories become muddled in each other’s stories.”

Almost Like Being In Love Cover

Almost Like Being in Love by Steve Kluger

From Publishers Weekly: “Kluger’s latest epistolary novel (after the well-received Last Days of Summer ) is an engrossing, often laugh-out-loud tale of two unlikely lovers. High school jock Craig McKenna and Broadway musical–obsessed Travis Puckett fall in love during their senior year at the Beckley School in Tarrytown, N.Y., spend a summer in Manhattan, then drift tearfully away to different colleges: Travis to USC, Craig to Harvard. Twenty years later, oddball Travis, now a history professor at his alma mater, is a favorite with students thanks to some unorthodox teaching methods, but he’s laughably unlucky in love. An injury ended Craig’s college football career, and he’s now an upstate New York attorney with activist inclinations and a soft spot for runaways. He’s also about to marry long-term boyfriend Clayton—though he’s never forgotten his first romance. As Travis wades through the dating pool (most of his dates score badly on his “Boyfriend Checklist”) and doles out advice to his straight screenwriter roommate Gordo, Craig takes on the biggest case of his life: a run for the state assembly. When Travis becomes determined to reunite with Craig, he sets off on a wild cross-country adventure, providing perfect fodder for Gordo’s ultimate screenplay. In true fairy-tale fashion, Travis insinuates himself back into Craig’s life, but will the pair end up happily ever after? Though the narrative is overlong, Kluger keeps it absorbing with a parade of newspaper articles, letters, diary entries, checklists, court transcripts and charts, all composed to brilliant comic and dramatic effect.”


All I Love And Know by Judith Frank

From Publishers Weekly: “In Frank’s deeply moving second novel (after Crybaby Butch), Matt Greene and Daniel Rosen, a couple in Northampton, Mass., cope with the deaths of Daniel’s twin brother and his wife—Israeli citizens who are killed in a terrorist bombing in Jerusalem. Their will gives Daniel custody of the couple’s children, Gal and Noam, and Matt, who is used to getting by on good looks and charm, isn’t sure he can handle instant fatherhood. But while Daniel and the rest of the family are paralyzed by grief, Matt jumps in feet first to take charge. The couple is thus dismayed to learn that the Israeli courts, which can override wills for the sake of child welfare (or, in this case, homophobia), may deny custody of the children to them because they are gay. Moreover, Daniel causes controversy after he is interviewed for a newspaper story on the adoption case and, in the course of the interview, expresses sympathy for the Palestinians. As Daniel becomes more immersed in the custody battle, Matt feels increasingly ignored, until he explodes, creating a rift between the men. Frank shows a profound empathy for her characters, making this book heartbreaking, yet jubilantly hopeful.”

Happy Reading!



Summer Reading at Coastal!

May is Get Caught Reading Month, but it also brings an end to another successful  semester at Coastal! As we all know, final exam time can be one of the most stressful times of the year, so why don’t you relax and get a jump-start on your summer reading? If you are looking for something to start with, come check out our New Arrivals section in the fiction section as well as our displays, which are curated by Mary Gail Howland, one of our talented librarians. Here are some suggestions, all of which happen to be 2016 National Book Award winners and finalists:


The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead is the 2016 winner of the National Book Award in fiction.

From Publishers Weekly: “Each thing had a value… In America the quirk was that people were things.” So observes Ajarry, taken from Africa as a girl in the mid-18th century to be sold and resold and sold again. She finally arrives at the vicious Georgia plantation where she dies at the book’s outset. After a lifetime in brutal, humiliating transit, Ajarry was determined to stay put in Georgia, and so is her granddaughter, Cora. That changes when Cora is raped and beaten by the plantation’s owner, and she resolves to escape. In powerful, precise prose, at once spellbinding and ferocious, the book follows Cora’s incredible journey north, step by step. In Whitehead’s rendering, the Underground Railroad of the early 19th century is a literal subterranean tunnel with tracks, trains, and conductors, ferrying runaways into darkness and, occasionally, into light. Interspersed throughout the central narrative of Cora’s flight are short chapters expanding on some of the lives of those she encounters. These include brief portraits of the slave catcher who hunts her, a doctor who examines her in South Carolina, and her mother, whose escape from the plantation when Cora was a girl has both haunted and galvanized her. Throughout the book, Cora faces unthinkable horrors, and her survival depends entirely on her resilience. The story is literature at its finest and history at its most barbaric. Would that this novel were required reading for every American citizen.”

Click here to read more about this book from Publishers Weekly



News of the World by Paulette Jiles was a finalist for the 2016 National Book Award in fiction.

From Publishers Weekly: Jiles delivers a taut, evocative story of post–Civil War Texas in this riveting drama of a redeemed captive of the Kiowa tribe. Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, an elderly widower, earns his living traveling around, reading news stories to gatherings of townspeople. While reading in Wichita Falls one evening in the winter of 1870, he sees an old acquaintance. Britt Johnson, the main character in Jiles’s The Color of Lightning, has just come through Indian Country with his crew. The men are returning a 10-year-old girl to her aunt and uncle in Castroville after she spent four years with the Kiowa. A free black man, Britt is reluctant to have a white child in his custody. He persuades the Captain to escort young Johanna on the remainder of the three-week journey. The Captain, who has grown daughters of his own, at first feels sorry for the girl. Johanna considers herself Kiowa; she chafes at wearing shoes and a dress, struggles to pronounce American words. Challenges and dangers confront the two during their journey, and they become attached. Jiles unfolds the stories of the Captain and Johanna, past and present, with the smooth assuredness of a burnished fireside tale, demonstrating that she is a master of the western.

Click here to read more about this book from Publishers Weekly:


Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson was a finalist for the 2016 National Book Award in fiction.

From Publishers Weekly: In her first adult novel in 20 years, acclaimed children’s and YA author Woodson (winner of the National Book Award for her last book, Brown Girl Dreaming) combines grit and beauty in a series of stunning vignettes, painting a vivid mural of what it was like to grow up African-American in Brooklyn during the 1970s. When August, an anthropologist who has studied the funeral traditions of different cultures, revisits her old neighborhood after her father’s death, her reunion with a brother and a chance encounter with an old friend bring back a flood of childhood memories. Flashbacks depict the isolation she felt moving from rural Tennessee to New York and show how her later years were influenced by the black power movement, nearby street violence, her father’s religious conversion, and her mother’s haunting absence. August’s memories of her Brooklyn companions—a tightly knit group of neighborhood girls—are memorable and profound. There’s dancer Angela, who keeps her home life a carefully guarded secret; beautiful Gigi, who loses her innocence too young; and Sylvia, “diamonded over, brilliant,” whose strict father wants her to study law. With dreams as varied as their conflicts, the young women confront dangers lurking on the streets, discover first love, and pave paths that will eventually lead them in different directions. Woodson draws on all the senses to trace the milestones in a woman’s life and how her early experiences shaped her identity.

Click here to read more about this book from Publishers Weekly





Poetry Month in the LRC


April is National Poetry Month, and the Coastal community is celebrating with a variety of exciting events!

LRC Film Series

The LRC is continuing its film series with the showing of the movie Dead Poets Society on Wednesday, April 26 from 1-3 pm in BT 101.


The movie stars Robin Williams as a teacher at a prep school for boys who uses a mix of quotes from classic poets and unconventional teaching methods to encourage the boys to learn more about themselves and their true purposes in life.

Refreshments will be served. Please bring a friend with you to enjoy this classic movie!

Poetry Month Scavenger Hunt


Come by the LRC to pick up a copy of the Poetry Month Scavenger Hunt! There are eight poems that are posted in various areas on campus. As you read each poem, explain what kind of connection you feel to the poem in the space provided on the scavenger hunt sheet. Each student who brings a completed scavenger hunt to the Poetry and Pizza Reading on April 27 will receive a ticket for a prize raffle.

Poetry and Pizza Reading

Make sure that you stop by the Student Center Patio on April 27 from 11a.m to 12:30 pm for a slice of pizza and poetry readings by members of the Coastal community.



March Is Women’s Month: A Look at Contributions from Women Throughout the Curriculum

ENGLISH: Tracy K. Smith is a prize-winning poet who won the Pulitzer Prize in 2012 for her collection of poetry titled Life On Mars. She won the Cave Canem Award in 2003 for her collection entitled The Body’s Question and the James Laughlin Award for Duende in 2007. She currently teaches creative writing at Princeton University. Read more about Tracy K Smith and some of her poetry on the Poetry Foundation’s website.

SOCIOLOGY: Patricia Hill Collins is best known for coining the term “intersectionality”, a concept that recognizes the overlapping identities within a particular social group. When she was elected as the president of the American Sociological Association in 2008, she became the first African-American woman to serve the organization in that role. She has written many books and articles on race and sexuality, and her first book,  Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment, won the American Sociological Association’s Jessie Bernard Award in 2000. Read more about her accomplishments on her faculty profile from the University of Maryland .

PSYCHOLOGY: Mamie Phipps Clark and her husband Kenneth Clark are best known for their Doll Test, which revealed the effects of segregation and racism on the the self perceptions of black children and had a significant impact on the ruling of the historic Brown vs. The Board of Education case in 1954. In 1947, the Clarks opened a research center called the Northside Center for Child Development, which still provides mental health education and services for families who are living in poverty in New York, NY. Read more about her accomplishments at the American Psychological Association‘s website.

FINE ARTS: Annie Leibovitz is a celebrity photographer who has worked for Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair magazines. She has shot some of the most iconic covers for Vanity Fair magazine, including the 1991 cover shot of a pregnant Demi Moore and the 2015 cover shot of Caitlyn Jenner. In 1991, she became the first woman to have her work displayed in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. Read more about Annie Leibovitz and view more of her work at Vanity Fair magazine‘s website.

MATH: Katherine Johnson was a NASA mathematician whose calculations were a major reason why John Glenn’s Friendship 7 mission was a success. She received the Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in 2015. Her life, along with the lives of two other black women mathematicians at NASA ( Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughn) were portrayed in the Academy Award nominated movie Hidden Figures. Read more about her accomplishments from her biography on the NASA website.

CHEMISTRY: Stephanie Kwolek is most known for her work with polymers that led to the creation of Kevlar, a fabric that is so strong that it is used in bulletproof vests, helmets, and spacecrafts. She was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1994 and she won the Perkin Medal and the National Medal of Technology in 1999. Read more about her accomplishments on the webpage that the American Chemical Society has created for her.

BIOLOGY: Cheryl Hayashi is known for her research on the silks of spiders, which could lead to improvements in medical sutures, fishing lines, and stronger ropes. Read more about her from her TED Talk profile.

ENGINEERING: Mildred Dresselhaus is called the “Queen of Carbon Science” as she is most know for her research regarding this mysterious element. She received the Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in 2014 and the National Medal of Science from President George H.W. Bush in 1990. She passed away on February 20, 2017. Read the tribute from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a school where she served as Professor Emerita, to find out more about her accomplishments.

NURSING: Hazel W. Johnson-Brown  is the first African-American woman to become an Army general and she served as a former chief of the Army Nurse Corps. Read more about her life in this Washington Post article.

DENTAL SCIENCE: Jeanne C. Sinkford is the former dean of Howard University’s dental school and she is the first woman to be the dean of any dental school. She as recruited women and minorities to the dental profession through her position as Director of the Center for Equity and Diversity at the American Dental Education Association. Read more about her accomplishments on the webpage that the Sindecuse Museum at the University of Michigan dedicated to her.

Coastal Carolina LRC Celebrates Black History Month with The Butler and 42

The Coastal Carolina LRC will celebrate Black History Month with two films that highlight two important figures in history.

The first movie in the LRC Black History Film series will be 42, a biopic about Major League Baseball player Jackie Robinson.

From the official biography of Jackie Robinson on the Jackie Robinson Foundation website:

Jackie Robinson was born January 31, 1919, in Cairo, Georgia and later moved to Pasadena, California. Continuing his education at UCLA, he remains the only student to earn varsity letters in four sports in one year. He served as a second lieutenant in the United States Army and, after his honorable discharge in 1944, played baseball in the Negro Leagues. Having caught the attention of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Mr. Robinson joined the franchise’s farm team in 1946, debuting with the Dodgers on April 15, 1947 as the first black player to compete in the Major Leagues. He overcame unimaginable bigotry and during his ten-year career, was named Rookie of the Year (1947), Most Valuable Player (1949) and won a World Series title (1955). His .311 batting average, 197 stolen bases and six All-Star game appearances ensured his enshrinement into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. The father of three continued to push for equality through his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, a leadership position within the NAACP, as an executive for Chock Full O’ Nuts, and through his help in establishing the Freedom National Bank. Jackie Robinson died on October 24, 1972 at the age of 53.

Read more about Jackie Robinson and the work of the Jackie Robinson Foundation here:

Jackie Robinson Foundation website

The movie 42 will be viewed in BT 101 on Wednesday, February 8th at 1:00pm.

The second movie in our Black History Film series is based on the life of Eugene Allen, who served as a butler in the White House from the Truman administration through the Reagan administration.


Born on July 14, 1919, in Scottsville, Virginia, Eugene Allen was an African-American butler who served under eight U.S. presidents, including Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy and Jimmy Carter. He witnessed firsthand some of history’s major events, as well as the changing perspectives on race in political arenas. Known as having been a modest man, Allen is the subject of the 2013 film The Butler. He died in 2010 in Washington, D.C.

Read more about the life of Eugene Allen here: Eugene Allen biography at

The Butler will be viewed in BT 101 on Wednesday, February 22 at 1:00pm.

We hope that you will join us to celebrate these two icons of American history!





Information Tools for All of Your Santa Related Needs

Santa is a very busy man, especially during this season, so the LRC thought it would be helpful to gather some information tools that can help you keep track of him during the holidays.


Photo: Isaace Koval | E+ | Getty Images

Confirm Your Status On Santa’s Naughty or Nice List

With Christmas right around the corner, many kids may wonder where they stand on Santa’s Naughty or Nice list. Fortunately, Santa’s list is now a searchable database that will reveal the Naughty or Nice status of any child ( or adult). To view this database and search for your name, click on this link:


Photo: NORAD Santa Tracker

Find Out When Santa Will Arrive In Your Area

Your kids may also want to keep up with Santa’s travels on Christmas Eve so that they will know when to put his fresh cookies and milk by the chimney. Fortunately, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, also known as NORAD, has been tracking Santa’s yearly trip around the world on Christmas Eve since 1958. Starting the day of Christmas Eve, click this link to see when Santa will deliver gifts in your neighborhood:

Google also tracks Santa’s voyage. To access their tracker, click this link:


Photo: Toys For Tots Foundation

Find Out How You Can Help Others Have A Wonderful Christmas

Finally, make sure you take time to be Santa for a child in need. The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve collects toys for less fortunate children through the Toys For Tots program every year during October through December. Click this link to find the nearest drop off point for any new and unwrapped toys that you would like to donate:

Merry Christmas from the Coastal Carolina LRC!