The HBCU Library Alliance and Brown Library receive IMLS grant for Leadership Development Program

Cultural sensitivity and organizational healing will be integral facets of unique partnership program to foster leaders at HBCU libraries and Brown University

Providence, R.I. [Brown University] The HBCU Library Alliance and Brown University Library have received a $100,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program to create a transformational leadership development program: Stronger Together, Leading Through Community. This two-year program for emerging library leaders is the first such program to intentionally unite two distinct communities of practice, HBCUs and Brown University. The curriculum and immersive exchanges of this intensive program will develop core leadership competencies such as change management, fundraising, and collection stewardship. The program will also focus on the leader’s role in promoting organizational healing from the disruption of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and in ensuring that libraries are sites of intentional social justice work.

Mutually Beneficial Partnership

The HBCU Library Alliance is a consortium that supports collaboration across the libraries and between information professionals dedicated to providing an array of resources designed to strengthen Historically Black Colleges and Universities and their constituents. This grant award marks the first project to be undertaken as part of the formal partnership between the HBCU Library Alliance and Brown University Library. The HBCU Library Alliance welcomed Brown University Library into its community of practice in February 2020 as its inaugural invited, non-HBCU affiliate member. This partnership is based on deep relational work that acknowledges and actively counteracts the historical power imbalance between HBCUs and the Ivy League. It is built with respect and investment in each other’s communities with the shared focus of mutually beneficial partnership activities. Sandra Phoenix, executive director of the HBCU Library Alliance, looks forward to working with Brown to foster strong, culturally sensitive library leaders: 

Collaborating with Brown University to support leadership development and to continue our mission to strengthen HBCU libraries and their staff sets the stage to advance our work together. We are grateful to IMLS for funding the Stronger Together, Leading through Community leadership development initiative. It is our goal to share skills and talents with Brown University, create and cultivate a diverse space for mutual teaching/learning/healing experiences and develop high-calibre library leaders to meet the needs of our communities.

Both the HBCU Library Alliance and Brown University Library have a long history of successful partnerships, which have laid the operational foundation for this pilot project to succeed and grow into a sustainable program that will deeply influence the trajectory of leadership development in libraries. According to Monika Rhue, Director of Library Services and Curation at Johnson C. Smith University’s James B. Duke Memorial Library, and HBCU Library Alliance Board chair, the grant-funded, partner-run program is well positioned to develop library leaders with expertise in social justice:

The program’s pilot will include a most-essential social justice component, where we will focus on leadership development from the lens of community members engaged in civil/human rights. There is such potential to learn, to share experiences, and to advance the development of leaders with this critical perspective. Thanks are due to Brown University for this opportunity to engage and to IMLS for funding this very timely initiative. Our transformative work continues!

The program will break new ground in library leadership development by prioritizing two guiding principles:

  1. Equitable Partnership: Intentional, respectful, and mutually beneficial partnerships across communities are essential for advancing the mission of academic libraries to serve as core resources for socially-engaged scholarship.
  2. Unique Value of HBCUs: HBCU Libraries are uniquely positioned as educational institutions that steward and preserve African American history and culture. It is the responsibility of all research libraries to support this work and advance the status and reach of HBCU libraries, thereby amplifying the cultural, social and scholarly value of African American history.

Emerging Leaders Cohort

The pilot’s cohort of emerging leaders is purposefully designed to be small, including a total of six participants drawing from HBCU Library Alliance member libraries and Brown University Library. The size will ensure deeply personalized attention to the participants, and the program directors — Sandra Phoenix, Executive Director of the HBCU Library Alliance, and Amanda E. Strauss, Associate University Librarian for Special Collections, Brown University — will be attentive to how the unique qualities of this program can be scaled for broader impact.  

Program activities will include:

  • Personalized Leadership Development Plans: Each member of the cohort will have support to create a personalized leadership development plan.
  • Formal Mentorship during the program and beyond 
  • Virtual learning and coursework: The cohort will have access to a unique leadership curriculum specifically designed for this program.
  • Cohort connections in-person and virtual
  • Immersive Exchanges: Each emerging leader will participate in a multi-day, immersive site visit at either an HBCU library or Brown University Library. These exchange residencies will be tailored to individual leadership development plans created as part of the curriculum.
  • Leadership Symposium: The program will culminate in an invitational leadership symposium wherein the emerging leaders cohort will partner with the instructors and curriculum designers to share their learning outcomes with 30-50 colleagues drawn from HBCU libraries and Brown University Library. 

“The support from IMLS is a wonderful recognition of our partnership and the goals we share for advancing the next generation of academic library leaders,” said Joseph S. Meisel, Joukowsky Family University Librarian at Brown. “Combining the distinctive strengths of the HBCU Library Alliance, its member institutions, and the Brown University Library on the basis of genuine reciprocity is a very exciting prospect.”

IMLS Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program

The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program (LB21) supports the development of a diverse workforce of librarians and archivists in order to meet the information needs of their communities by enhancing the training and professional development of library and archives professionals; developing faculty and information leaders; and recruiting, educating, and retaining the next generation of library and archives professionals.

Announcement | Orwig Accessible Entrance Closed 10/5 – 10/6

Orwig facade

In order to make the Orwig Music building more accessible, the door at the accessible entrance is being replaced. The work will occur from Tuesday, October 5 – Wednesday, October 6, necessitating the closure of the entrance. We apologize for any inconvenience caused and look forward to welcoming you through a more accessible door on Thursday, October 7.

The front door will remain open as usual. If you have any questions or concerns, please email [email protected]

A Message from the University Library to Graduate Programs and Students | Access to Scholarly Resources during Campus Closure

Dear Department Chairs, Directors of Graduate Studies, and Graduate Students,

Joseph S. Meisel, Joukowsky Family
University Librarian

At the Brown University Library, we are well aware that the COVID-19 public health crisis is having an impact on graduate students’ ability to study for qualifying exams and carry out thesis and dissertation research. At Brown, as is the case at universities across the country, we know that suspending all onsite activity at the Library is contributing to these challenges.  

I am writing to let you know about the work we have been doing to strengthen how the Library supports graduate students under these circumstances, and to ensure that you are aware of the resources that are available to help you move forward with your scholarship.

Individual Research Help

You can connect directly with a Library expert in your area who can support your research, answer questions, provide you with digital content, and offer reliable scholarly guidance during this time of stress and uncertainty. 

Increased Digital Access

Significantly expanded access to digital content is being made available during the COVID-19 pandemic. More digital scholarly content continues to be made freely accessible, and we are regularly updating our list as this happens.

The Library offers several ways to access digital content:

  1. Through our existing systems
  • Search Josiah, the online catalog, for books, articles, and other materials that Brown owns or subscribes to in electronic formats.
  • Request items through Interlibrary Loan. Requests are continuing to be filled for articles available electronically.
  • Many items from our physical collection are now available electronically via HathiTrust. We have added a link to the HathiTrust version to the records in Josiah. You will need to login with your Brown University web credentials to access the content.
  1. By contacting a librarian

You can request items by emailing [email protected] (general) and [email protected] (special collections).

  •  Library experts can help you locate materials available at Brown and elsewhere.
  • If you are looking for a book that exists in electronic format to which Brown does not currently have access, we will purchase that item if it is possible to do so.  
  • Special collections librarians will seek to identify primary source material in digital format through other libraries and archives that can contribute to students’ research. They can also offer individualized consultations regarding research methods and organizing your digital research files. Special collections is working on other creative solutions to provide digital access to its collections and to connect students with digital content at other institutions. The more we know about student research needs, the better we can deploy to find solutions.

Access to Physical Materials

We recognize that electronically available materials, however abundant, cannot address all scholarly needs and that digital content can also pose accessibility challenges. At this time, most university libraries have discontinued physical circulation and loans. For the health and safety of our staff, we are unable to provide physical access to Library materials until the University authorizes onsite activities to resume.  

As the University announced recently, President Paxson has charged a Healthy Fall 2020 Task Force with charting a path to the safe reopening of the campus. As the principles, process, and timeline for reopening emerge, the Library will be able to provide more information on how and when we can resume physical access to general and special collections materials. Like you, we are looking forward to that day.  

***

As researchers and scholarly experts ourselves, and as dedicated partners for you and your academic programs, we keenly appreciate the challenges you are facing in moving forward with your graduate studies. The Brown University Library is committed to doing whatever is possible under the circumstances to help you. To that end, we will continue to explore new ways to provide more of the content you need. In the meantime, keep telling us what you need and we’ll do our very best!

With best wishes for your safety and wellbeing,

Joe

Joseph S. Meisel
Joukowsky Family University Librarian

Exhibit | Entwined: Botany, Art and the Lost Cat Swamp Habitat

The exhibit showcases the rich history of art and science in Providence and provokes you to consider the consequences of environmental change on local biodiversity.  Premiering original watercolors of plants by Edward Peckham together with matching specimens from the Brown University Herbarium, collected by William Bailey and others, explore the lost Cat Swamp habitat of the Wayland and Blackstone neighborhoods on the East Side.

This exhibition is the collaborative work of the Brown University Herbarium, Rhode Island Historical Society (RIHS), Rhode Island Wild Plant Society (RIWPS), and John Hay Library.

Opening reception:  Thursday, January 10th, 4-6 PM

Dates: January 10 – April 30, 2019
Time: John Hay Library Hours
Location: Exhibition Gallery, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence

Exhibit | Black Panther Comics

Marvel Comics Black Panther #31, 2001

“T’Challa is the Black Panther – a righteous king, noble Avenger, and fearsome warrior. Under his leadership, the African nation of Wakanda has flourished as one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world. And though he’s a card-carrying member of the Avengers, his first loyalty lies with his people, and he will defend them to his last breath.”  – Marvel

Black Panther, 1977, 1978, 2001
New York, New York: Marvel Comic Groups
Brown University Library, Special Collections

The Black Panther (T’Challa) made his comic strip debut in Fantastic Four: “The Black Panther” (Vol 1 #52) in July 1966. The superhero character premiered in his first solo series in 1977, followed by periodic runs through 2016.

Originally created by Stan Lee (writer) and Jack Kirby (penciler) during the era of the civil rights struggle, the comic addressed the lack of black superheroes in the broader American narrative.  The Black Panther’s significance is multilayered and includes anti-stereotypical representation, self-empowerment, and connectivity to Africa. T’Challa is as relevant today as when first created, as witnessed by the record-breaking box-office sales for the Black Panther movie and the character’s popularity on social media.

The Michael J. Ciaraldi Collection

Michael J. Ciaraldi began collecting in the early 1970s. The collection consists of 60,000 comic books, published from the 1970s to 1995. The most significant sections are comprised of magazine-format comics; graphic novels; fan and collector’s journals; reissues of classic “golden age” comics and newspaper strips; translations of Japanese “manga” and “anime” comics and European comic art; compilations of the work of comic artists; advertising ephemera; role-playing game materials; and adult erotica.

Dates: April 3 – 30, 2018
TimeJohn Hay Library Hours
Location: Second Floor Landing, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence

Updates from Around the Library | February 2018

The Spring 2018 semester is off to a busy start! Take a look at what has been happening at the libraries:

Exhibit | Works from Modern Architecture

Works from Modern Architecture: A Course with Dietrich Neumann 
On view, architectural models created by students in Professor Dietrich Neumann’s lecture course, “Modern Architecture,” which surveys the “classic” period of European and American modern architecture from the turn of the century to the 1950s.  Works are based on a building or industrial design object from the time period.
                                                                                                                                            Dates: December 20, 2017 – April 6, 2018
TimeJohn D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library Hours
Location: John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence

Exhibit | San Francisco General Hospital Pillowcase

From the Scott O’Hara Papers: SFGH Pillowcase

Scott O’Hara (1961–1998) was a sex radical, porn star, writer and publisher. Between 1983 and 1993, he performed in over twenty gay and bisexual adult films.  He also edited and published the quarterly sex-positive journal Steam and the short-lived cultural magazine Wilde.

O’Hara was hospitalized at San Francisco General Hospital with AIDS-related lymphoma in February 1998. He chose to leave the hospital on the afternoon of February 18, and he died at home that evening. He was thirty-six years old.

San Francisco General Hospital was at the forefront of the AIDS crisis. In January 1983, the hospital opened the first outpatient AIDS clinic, followed later that year by the first dedicated AIDS ward in the United States. The hospital became known for the “San Francisco model” of care, an approach to treatment that emphasized compassion and respect, centralized health and social services, and collaboration with community partners.

The pillowcase will be on view in recognition of World AIDS Day.

Dates: December 1 – 21, 2017
TimeJohn Hay Library Hours
Location: Second Floor Landing, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence

Updates from Around the Library | September 2017

Welcome back to school, Brunonians!

Check out what is happening around the Library at the beginning of academic year 2017 – 2018.

  • The Image Collections in the Brown Library takes a look at the bear, in honor of Bruno.
  • Have a look at all the Library’s current, upcoming, and past exhibits.
  • You might find a workshop at the Library that covers exactly what you need to know for your research!
  • The Brown Book Truck is tweeting about the people and spaces of the Brown University Library @brownbooktruck
  • The Digital Technologies Projects blog has all kinds of information about current projects and more, like the use of Fedora 3 and Python 3.
  • Do you like books? How about cool old stuff? Head over the the Conservation Bulletin to learn about how the Library takes care of our books and delicate artifacts.
  • If you’re on social media, check for Library news on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Exhibit | H.P. Lovecraft on the Road & Caitlín R. Kiernan Papers

Greetings and Salutations: Lovecraft on the Road  &  Caitlín R. Kiernan Papers @ Brown University on view at John Hay Library, exhibition gallery from August 16 – December 15, 2017.

Greetings and Salutations: Lovecraft on the Road

Journey from Providence, Rhode Island, to St. Augustine, Florida, during the spring and summer of 1934 with one of America’s most influential fantasy and horror fiction writers. Explore the life, past and places of Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890–1937) through his correspondence, postcards and related drawings from the Brown University Library, Special Collections.

Caitlín R. Kiernan Papers @ Brown University

With novels, chapbooks, comics and more than 250 short stories to her credit, science fiction and dark fantasy writer Caitlín R. Kiernan (b. 1964) is a prolific and independent force reflecting the formative influences of her youth, including H. P. Lovecraft, Shirley Jackson, William S. Burroughs and Angela Carter.

The Brown University Library recently acquired the Caitlín R. Kiernan Papers, gifted by the author, consisting of personal papers, manuscripts, books, related artwork and objects. The collection represents both early and current works by the multiple award-winning author and published paleontologist. Additions to the collection will be made regularly by the author.