The editors of the Journal of Creative Library Practice have been heartbroken over the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many more Black people over the years. We stand in solidarity with all people who demand change to the systems that perpetuate injustice. As librarians, we want to see change in our own institutions and practices – changes that will promote justice as we help our communities acknowledge and reject white supremacy and the violence it continues to inflict on Black communities.
To that end, we are issuing a special call for papers. You, our authors and our readers, have been and are continuing to develop creative anti-racist practices and resources in your libraries. By sharing our experiences, we hope to inspire creative ways to go beyond merely providing resources to actively engaging in anti-racism in libraries. We want to help you share your established or emerging anti-racist library practices. We want to help you amplify the voices of those who have been historically marginalized. Are there things that your library has done to promote an anti-racist praxis? Whether it’s in cataloging, technical services, instruction, events, or programming, what things are taking place to ensure equity and justice? Let’s share our creative practices.
We welcome submissions of many kinds, from brief essays to peer reviewed articles. Please see our Instructions for Authors for more information about submitting your manuscripts.
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By Hunter Murphy
Engagement and Learning Librarian
duPont-Ball Library, Stetson University
Employee competencies of all levels determine the overall functioning of an organization. In an academic library, student assistants at the front desk are responsible for understanding innumerable details regarding services, resources, and policies. The Library Oscars was created as a peer-to-peer video training initiative to engage library student employees, help them take ownership of their learning, and increase competencies. This article will examine the process at Lynn University and Stetson University libraries. Using the library assistant handbook as the basis for training in each instance, the students created videos based on specific procedures and policies. The process of creating a rubric used to grade the productions and incentives for quality productions are outlined. This paper examines the strategy to benefit the frontline student employees, librarians, and staff who participated in the process, as well as the outcomes of the initiative.
Continue reading The Library “Oscars”: Comparing an Employee Video-Training Initiative at Two Academic Libraries
By Paulina Borrego (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Science & Engineering Librarian, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Editor’s note: This article presents ideas for library spaces that may be unworkable during pandemic-related closures, but may inspire creative outreach at a time of of budget and staff constraints.
It is said necessity is the mother of invention. It may also be true that the greatest gift of necessity may be the resulting liberation necessity allows. When things need to get done rapidly, there is little time to fret, over-think, or keep in line with previous conventions. Alternative avenues are explored without the luxury of dwelling on things. Solutions that might have been out of the realm of consideration are now possible.
Such was the case when the Science and Engineering Library became responsible for its exhibits. Prior to 2007, exhibits at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst Science and Engineering Library were under the purview of the W.E.B Du Bois Library Exhibits Committee. The Exhibits Committee found, planned, and funded exhibits in the main library, as well as in the branch Science and Engineering Library. Due to a change in committee charge, the Science and Engineering Library found itself maintaining its own exhibits space on a modest budget with limited staff.
Continue reading Necessity as a Liberator: A Decade of Creating Low-Cost Exhibits for Outreach and Engagement in a Science & Engineering Library
By Ellen Hampton Filgo
and Sha Towers
Baylor University Libraries
Ellen: While waiting in line at my library’s Starbucks, I ran into a faculty member with whom I’ve had a few successful instruction sessions. He mentioned that he and his research collaborators were beginning a new project and were about to meet to talk about it, so he invited me over to discuss an aspect of their literature review that they were struggling with. Since then, every time they begin a new project, they invite me to collaborate with them on their literature search. They call me their “secret weapon.”
Sha: Whenever I am in the art department, I pass through the hall with faculty offices, which often leads to impromptu conversations. During one of those conversations a few years ago, it became clear to me that an event displaying artists’ books that I was planning to hold at the library would really work better in the department, in a high traffic area that might draw a larger audience. The event ended up being a huge success, and several faculty members, noticing all the excitement, asked if they could bring their classes down to be a part of the experience. The interactions with faculty and students at that event generated library instruction sessions for other courses as well as students wanting to make appointments to see more of the collection at the library.
Continue reading An Analysis of Relationship-Building in Liaison Work: Defining the Importance of “Hangout Activity”
By Samuel T. Barber
California State University, Fullerton
*”Mid 16th century (denoting a formal defense against an accusation): from French apologie, or via late Latin from Greek apologia ‘a speech in one’s own defense'” – Oxford English Dictionary
Introduction – the task
This article describes an ongoing project designed to present archival library collections at Cal State Fullerton. These collections include contemporary 1970’s video recordings of speeches, addresses, marches, events, etc. made by visiting public figures to the university campus. Though eclectic, the collection is dominated by radical and activist voices emerging from underrepresented groups which reflect the politics and struggles of contemporary Orange County, Southern California, and – indeed – the wider United States. Notable speakers include Angela Davis, César Chávez, Sal Castro, Dennis Banks, Humberto Noé “Bert” Corona and Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales. The original video recordings were digitized some years ago. However, their subsequent presentation was limited to streaming via an institutional page on the Internet Archive which few students, faculty, or even staff were actually aware of. Furthermore, no metadata records existed to support discovery from the library catalog. As a result, despite their importance, there was extremely limited institutional and student knowledge of either the existence of the recordings or of the original events themselves. A clear and fundamental task was therefore presented to us as it would to any library professional: to expose these hidden collections, representing as they do an important element of our institutional history and the history of the communities in which we work and reside.
Continue reading An Apology* For Avoiding Accompanying Material in the Promotion of Library Collections