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University Libraries E-Newsletter

November 2016

Providing diverse information resources, personalized services, and creative learning spaces, the Libraries connect with students, staff and faculty on a daily basis. This e-newsletter features upcoming events as well as highlights on various new library services and sources.

From the University Librarian - Kevin Butterfied

kevin-butterfield

Fall is definitely upon us in Richmond. The leaves are turning brilliant colors around the lake and photographers are snapping photos of the Boatwright Library tower against a crisp blue sky.

In this issue of our newsletter you will read about our collaboration with the College of Arts & Sciences on the Race & Racism at the University of Richmond Project. This effort, led by project archivist Irina Rogova, seeks to document this facet of our campus history.

In addition, Lucretia McCulley, Head of Scholarly Communications and Access Services for Boatwright Library, writes about her work with the Open Textbook Initiative and the upcoming workshop she is helping to plan.

We have had a wonderful series of events in the library this semester. Dr. Kristin Bezio spoke on Brexit and Shakespeare as a part of our Visible Scholar series. Our staff have hosted, and taught, multiple Osher Institute classes for the community on such diverse topics as Rare Cookbooks to Gambling in Baseball. We continue to play an integral role in support of the International Film Series.

Our most important work, however, continues to be the support of undergraduate education and faculty research at the University of Richmond. It is the effort of which we are most proud and that the staff at the University of Richmond Libraries performs with excellence every day.

Race & Racism at the University of Richmond Project

The Race & Racism at the University of Richmond Project was born in 2014 out of a cohort of faculty and students involved with the Terms of Racial Justice (ToRJ) initiative. Upon discussing how students of color often feel marginalized on the University of Richmond campus, ToRJ initiated a Race & Racism Project to examine the history of the university and provide a deliverable where students of color could share their own experiences at the university.  The project officially launched in the Fall of 2016 with the arrival of Irina Rogova, Project Archivist and librarian at Boatwright Library. 

Behind the scenes, work has been happening on the project for some time.  Last fall, Dr. Nicole Maurantonio taught a class entitled “Digital Memory & the Archive,” in which her students engaged with the University Archives at the Virginia Baptist Historical Society in order to uncover history and create digital exhibits pertaining to race and racism at the university during the first quarter of the 20th century.  The pilot site can be viewed here. The course is being taught again this semester, with students focusing on the President Modlin years (1946-1971).  While these students are working on digital collections, project archivist Irina Rogova is also spending time in the archive in order to facilitate the creation of a larger digital exhibit in the future.  The project’s advisory group hopes to expand our list of accomplices and contributors by connecting student and faculty research to the project.  At the same time, Victoria Charles, the post-baccalaureate fellow on the project, is continuing her undergraduate humanities fellowship project, the Expanding the Ivory Tower podcast, which connects the early history of black students at the University of Richmond to her own student experience.  Beyond digital exhibits of archival materials, the project hopes to design more interdisciplinary courses around race and racism at UR, launch student research projects, and hold campus and community conversations about the impact of this history via brown bags, lectures, and symposia. On October 6th, the project partnered with University of Minnesota’s UmbraVCU’s Library Labs, and UntoldRVA to hold a panel about the use of black history collections in digital humanities and storytelling projects. 

Although in its early stages, the Race & Racism at the University of Richmond project hopes to find its place amongst similar initiatives at academic institutions across the country which seek to bring transparency and significance to often difficult histories. 

- Irina Rogova, Project Archivist

Open Textbook Network: Access and Affordability for Students

open-text-bookTextbook and related costs are a well-known barrier to college affordability for students. The Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA) recently joined the  Open Textbook Network (OTN), allowing VIVA to train open education library leaders who will hold workshops for faculty across the state to support them in making greater use of openly available educational materials, including textbooks, which are free of cost to students. By promoting the use and creation of high quality educational materials that are free for students to use, this initiative will increase affordability in higher education, promote student success, and empower Virginia faculty to contribute to the growing field of open course materials. Lucretia McCulley, Head of Scholarly Communications, will provide a workshop to University of Richmond faculty in early January.

The Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA) is the consortium of nonprofit academic libraries within the Commonwealth of Virginia. Members include all of the 39 state-assisted colleges and universities (the 6 doctoral universities, 9 4-year institutions, and 24 community and two-year branch colleges), as well as 32 of the independent (private, nonprofit) institutions and the Library of Virginia.

- Lucretia McCulley
Head, Scholarly Communications and Access Services

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