Monday, February 25, 2008

An Update - Catching a Breathe from the Frenzy

Hola! The new year has been ridiculous - a good kind. When the new year came in, so did new projects and it has been busy and hectic. But hey, I work GREAT under pressure!

I finally finished my part of the display case earlier last week. I really like the way Ashley and I infused Black History Month (Feb.), National Women's History Month (March), National Poetry Month and Community Spirit Month (April). We decided we will keep this display up until the end of April; therefore, our display celebrates each of these months. You should really check it out because Ashley did a fabulous job of researching and finding awesome photos of the Black community that once existed right where our university now sits! (Hence, celebrating the Black History and Community Spirit months). My display showcases pictures and information on influential Black women and poets (male and female) in/from Indianapolis. If you check out the display you will see Etheridge Knight, poet; Mari Evans, poet/writer; Julia Carson, congresswoman; Tasha Jones, poet; and Madame C. J. Walker, entrepreneur. So my display case celebrates the Black History and National Poetry months.

I had the blessing and opportunity to make contact with Madame C. J. Walker's great-great-granddaughter, A'Lelia Bundles, who provided me with fabulous pictures of Madame C. J. Walker. Ms. Bundles also told me she was going to be at IUPUI to talk at the "Marching to Justice" display, and she also told me she wanted to stop by and see our finished display! I was ecstatic! Sure enough, last Tuesday, Ms. Bundles stopped by to look at our work! I was very nervous, after all, she knows much more about her great-great-grandmother than I do. But she left me a note saying she enjoyed the display! So, now I am even more excited and proud of Ashley and my work! How awesome is that guys?

**Check out the official website of Madame C. J. Walker to learn more about her and her great-great-granddaughter, A'Lelia Bundles.

Well, that is all for today!
Until next time,

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Just an update

Hey everyone. I just wanted to take out a little time to Blog and catch everyone up on what has been going on with the Fellowship. Last week was a productive and fun week. Trina and I had the opportunity to meet with Michelle from "To Mexico with Love" to talk about getting some initial inventory underway for the Xoxocotla library project. Both Trina and I are super excited and waiting to hear back from scholarship committees in order to help us fund this study abroad/ service learning experience. We will start our official inventory next week.

We were also invited to the TL&R (Teaching, Learning and Research) retreat. At this meeting we talked with several different librarians and library staff members. The aim of the retreat was to figure out (or at least start talking about) which goals UL should start setting in order to help UL continue on the path of becoming a premiere academic library. I felt honored to be called upon to share the student perspective on matters from everything from marketing to the appropriateness of technology. I think the Diversity Fellowship was created to foster these kinds of student/staff/faculty interactions. This type of exchange serves the purpose of teaching Trina and I about the issues facing today's library and also allows us to offer our own perspectives to this conversation.

Kudos to the TL&R team for taking this approach.

Well...there are many things to come so I will say bye-bye-bye for right now.

Carry On,

Monday, February 4, 2008

Book fairs, oral histories, and displays...oh my

Ok, ok, I admit it. I haven't been keeping up with my resolution. There has been ever so much to do around here. But, that is no excuse I am still going to work on getting more blogs posted so that I can share the exciting things that are going on with the fellowship...

This week Trina and I will be working with the external relations team in order to get ready for the book fair next week. This morning we will be working on signs and figuring out where to place them to get the best student response. We have also decided to put the information about the book fair on the Diversity Fellowship's and the University Library's Facebook pages. These kind of social networking sites really reach out to the student population so we are hoping to get a good response.

This week I will also begin working on an oral history project with the special collections and archives team. For this project I will choose someone connected to IUPUI and collect a oral history of the university from that person. At this time I am most interested in collecting an oral history from someone who once lived in this neighborhood and is now affiliated with the school. I am particularly interested in this project because my mother's and father's families both have ties to the neighborhood where IUPUI now resides. My father attended Crispus Attucks High School, and my mother lived on Blake Street. During my mother's childhood Blake Street was part of a thriving African-American community. This community was displaced when the university and other city buildings were built. I think that it is important for the university to acknowledge and pay homage to these people.

Speaking of this African- American community, in recognition of this history, one of the displays in the lower lobby of the University Library is dedicated to the old neighborhood. Please come by and take a look at the photos and information on display. The photographs from Crispus Attucks and The Flanner House are housed in IUPUI's special collections and many are available online through the University Library Digital Catalog. The bulk of the other information can be accessed through the University Library's online database search. For other Indiana and Indianapolis information you might want to check out the Indiana Historical Society's database.

This display will run February 4th - May 11th so you have plenty of time to come see it.

Well until next time, Carry on.