Dawn Silvia Appointed Executive Assistant in the Office of the University Librarian

Dawn Silvia

The Library is pleased to announce the hire of Dawn Silvia, currently in the Office of the President, as Executive Assistant in the Office of the University Librarian. Dawn’s first day at the Library will be March 21.

Dawn brings to this role extensive experience supporting senior leaders across multiple industries. She joined Brown University 19 years ago, first working at the Warren Alpert Medical School with the Director of the Center for Clinical Trials and Evidence-based Healthcare, then later serving as Executive Assistant to the Deputy Provost. For the past 16 years she has worked as Correspondence Specialist in the Office of the President, a position which required her to work with numerous administrative and academic departments and stay informed about a wide range of University policies and initiatives in order to correspond with faculty, staff, students, parents, and alumni.  

Before joining Brown, Dawn served as an executive assistant to senior executives, presidents and CEO’s of major corporations including Duro Industries, Fram Corporation, Siebe Control Systems, and The Clorox Company. She was also a court stenographer in California and Rhode Island.

Dawn will provide direct support to both Joseph S. Meisel, Joukowsky Family University Librarian, and Nora Dimmock, Deputy University Librarian, and will help coordinate Library executive administration more generally. She writes that she is “a team player who takes proactive measures to anticipate the needs of the department and ensure a smooth office workflow.” Her vast experience and strong administrative, communication, and organizational skills have positioned her well to serve in this critical executive support role.

The Power of Words: Banning Books in the United States

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition

From April 8 – May 6, 2022, the Sorensen Family Reading Room on the first floor

April 8 – May 6, 2022
Sorensen Family Reading Room 

On two shelves at the entrance to the Sorensen Family Reading Room on the first floor of the Rock, books held at the Brown University Library that have been banned at least once in the U.S. will be on display for on-site perusal. This sampling shows a range of titles that demonstrate the variation in publication dates, topics, and genres of books that have been met with calls for censorship.

Book banning has a long history in the United States, beginning before the founding of the nation and carried out for many reasons. In 1637, Thomas Morton’s critique of Puritan society garnered him the honor of being banned in the colonies. From The Bible to more recent young adult fiction like The Hate U Give, thousands of books have been challenged or banned in the U.S.  

Since 1982, the American Library Association has compiled an annual banned book list, which consistently includes classics, contemporary fiction, children’s books, young adult fiction, and graphic novels. Recent years have seen books challenged for “sexual content, presence of LGBTQ+ characters, and content unsuitable for age group.”

Virtual Talk on Book Banning with Dr. Emily Knox

On Thursday, April 7 at 6:30 p.m., Dr. Emily Knox will give a talked, “Intellectual Freedom and Social Justice: Understanding the Discourse of Censorship,” for the Sarah Doyle Women’s Center’s Masha Dexter Lecture on Gender, Sexuality, and Public Policy. Dr. Knox, author of Book Banning in 21st Century America (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015), will discuss the underpinnings of contemporary book bans and will provide recommendations for how to address book censorship in schools and public libraries.

Immediately following the lecture will be a Q&A moderated by Dr. Kenvi Phillips, Director of Library Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Brown University Library.

RSVP at: https://tinyurl.com/DexterLecture22

More information

Banned Books on Display at the Rock

The Masha Dexter Lecture on Gender, Sexuality, and Public Policy presents “Intellectual Freedom and Social Justice: Understanding the Discourse of Censorship” a Virtual Talk by Dr. Emily Knox

Thursday, April 7 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. EDT

RSVP at: https://tinyurl.com/DexterLecture22

Book Banning

The censorship of books has long permeated our political and cultural landscape. Books at the intersection of race, sexuality, and gender have been particular targets for censorship at school districts and libraries across the country. In this talk, Dr. Emily Knox, author of Book Banning in 21st Century America (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015), will discuss the underpinnings of contemporary book bans and will provide recommendations for how to address book censorship in schools and public libraries. Immediately following the lecture will be a Q&A moderated by Dr. Kenvi Phillips, Director of Library Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Brown University Library.

This event will be remote captioned.

About Dr. Emily Knox

Emily is an associate professor in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests include information access, intellectual freedom and censorship, information ethics, information policy, and the intersection of print culture and reading practices. Emily’s next book, Foundations of Intellectual Freedom (American Library Association), will be released in Fall 2022. She also serves on the board of the National Coalition Against Censorship.

Sponsors

Brown University Library, LGBTQ Center, Sarah Doyle Center for Women and Gender, and the Taubman Center for American Politics and Policy

Event | Masha Dexter Lecture on Gender, Sexuality, and Public Policy: a Virtual Talk by Dr. Emily Knox

The Masha Dexter Lecture on Gender, Sexuality, and Public Policy presents
“Intellectual Freedom and Social Justice: Understanding the Discourse of Censorship,” A Virtual Talk by Dr. Emily Knox

Thursday, April 7, 2022
6:30–7:30 p.m. ET

photo of Dr. Emily Knox
Dr. Emily Knox

The censorship of books has long permeated our political and cultural landscape. Books at the intersection of race, sexuality, and gender have been particular targets for censorship at school districts and libraries across the country. In this talk, Dr. Emily Knox, author of Book Banning in 21st Century America (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015), will discuss the underpinnings of contemporary book bans and will provide recommendations for how to address book censorship in schools and public libraries. Immediately following the lecture will be a Q&A moderated by Dr. Kenvi Phillips, Director of Library Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Brown University Library.

This event will be remote captioned.

Please RSVP at: https://tinyurl.com/DexterLecture22

Co-sponsored by the Brown University Library, LGBTQ Center, Sarah Doyle Center for Women and Gender, and the Taubman Center for American Politics and Policy.

About Dr. Emily Knox
Emily is an associate professor in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests include information access, intellectual freedom and censorship, information ethics, information policy, and the intersection of print culture and reading practices. Emily’s next book, Foundations of Intellectual Freedom (American Library Association), will be released in Fall 2022. She also serves on the board of the National Coalition Against Censorship.

Kimberly Toney Inaugural Coordinating Curator for Native American and Indigenous Collections

Kimberly Toney

The John Carter Brown Library and the Brown University Library are pleased to announce Kimberly Toney as the inaugural Coordinating Curator for Native American and Indigenous Collections. Kim’s first day will be July 18, 2022.

The Coordinating Curator for Native American and Indigenous Collections will support the libraries in their focus on Native American and Indigenous collections of signal importance as well as programming, including outreach and engagement with Native American and Indigenous communities.

Kim is a member of the Hassanamisco Band of Nipmuc and is currently Head of Readers’ Services and Director of Indigenous Initiatives at the American Antiquarian Society. During her time at the American Antiquarian Society she has streamlined reference workflows, implemented and managed the Aeon collection management software, coordinated the Society’s undergraduate seminar in American Studies, developed the Indigenous Engagement Initiative, and co-curated several digital exhibitions; the most recent is Reclaiming Heritage, Digitizing Early Nipmuc Histories from Colonial Documents, which launched in November, 2021. Kim has a master’s degree in Urban Affairs & Public Policy with a concentration on Historic Preservation from the University of Delaware and a bachelor’s in Art History from the University of Rhode Island.

Brown University is committed to advancing research, teaching and engagement with the social, cultural, artistic, ancestral and heritage, legal and political aspects of Native American and Indigenous peoples in both the historical and contemporary periods. Amanda Strauss, Associate University Librarian for Special Collections, notes that Kim’s appointment heralds an important collaboration between two world-class institutions: “Establishing a permanent, joint position that focuses on Native American & Indigenous collections at both the John Carter Brown Library and the John Hay Library furthers our shared commitment to ensuring that our libraries are sites of ethical, engaged, and culturally-centered collecting and scholarship.” Dr. Rae Gould, Executive Director of Brown’s Native American & Indigenous Studies Initiative, was instrumental in helping shape this new position in support of the University’s commitment and the libraries’ collaboration. Speaking on behalf of the John Carter Brown Library’s staff and Board, Karin Wulf, Director and Librarian for the John Carter Brown Library, states: “We are delighted to welcome Kim, an outstanding professional who has innovated important programming in Native American and Indigenous Studies, to the JCB. And we’re equally delighted to be partnering with Brown University Library, reflecting our joint commitment to this essential focus.”

WWII Art Collection Talk by Peter Harrington

Greenhalgh, Robert F., “Aboard aircraft carrier ‘Belleau Wood’ on raid on Wake Island: view from starboard fantail on flight deck, two chiefs in foreground, ‘talkers’ in rear ” (1943). Prints, Drawings and Watercolors from the Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library. https://repository.library.brown.edu/studio/item/bdr:247094/

The Brown University Library is pleased to share an open invitation to view a presentation by Peter Harrington, Curator, Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection, to the Continental Commandery of the Naval Order of the United States on Thursday March 24 at 7 p.m. EST

The talk will be broadcast live on the Continental Commandery’s YouTube channel. Discover more information about this and other events from the Continental Commandery.

In his presentation, Peter will describe the Brown University Library’s World War Two Art Collection, which is part of the Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection, and how it was created over the last 25 years. The talk will include some of the collection’s highlights with a special focus on the Naval and Marine Corps artists represented.

Peter Harrington is an author, military historian, and archaeologist, who curates the Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection for the John Hay Library at Brown University where he has worked for over 37 years. A native of Manchester, England, he studied at London, Edinburgh, Simmons and Brown, and his research over the past three decades has focused on artists and images of war. For many years he taught a distance learning graduate course on the subject. His other area of research is Conflict Archaeology. He has authored and edited a number of books including British Artists and War: The face of battle in paintings and prints 1700-1914; William Simpson’s Afghanistan: Travels of a Special Artist and Antiquarian during the Second Afghan War, 1878-1879The Castles of Henry VIII; and English Civil War Archaeology. His current research focuses on art and mural programs in U.S. training camps, 1941-1945.

Library Stats Quest Week

Bruno reading in library

Please tell your Brown University Library about your on-site experience during the week of April 3 – 9, 2022 — Library Stats Quest Week!

Did you know that nearly 20,000 users visit the libraries in-person every week? 

We want to know if the experiences you’re having are meeting your needs. After each visit this week to a library location — Rockefeller, Sciences, Orwig Music, and John Hay Library — please take a few seconds to answer a very brief survey about your experience. Your input will help us better understand why you use the Library and how we can improve our services. 

We’ll also be taking a closer look at how people are using the spaces within the libraries. Library staff will do periodic headcounts in various types of spaces throughout the week.

We strive to make every visit for every patron one in which you feel welcome, respected, and supported. This is your Library. You belong here. Your feedback is essential.

Thank you!

Brown University Library Celebrates National Public Health Week 2022

In keeping with the theme of National Public Health Week 2022, Public Health is Where You Are, below are some relevant projects, initiatives, and resources from the Brown University Library.

Subscription resources available via the Library

A search for “public health” as subject retrieves these results in BruKnow, the Library catalog. You may use the filters on the left side to refine results by format, library, language, and more. Sign in with your Brown credentials to access or request any of the results.

Key academic research databases, books, journals, and other resources for Public Health can be found here: libguides.brown.edu/PublicHealth.

Freely-available online resources for reliable health information

KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation)

Nonprofit organization focusing on national health issues, as well as the U.S. role in global health policy. KFF develops and runs its own policy analysis, journalism and communications programs, sometimes in partnership with major news organizations. KFF serves as a nonpartisan source of facts, analysis and journalism for policymakers, the media, the health policy community and the public.

MedlinePlus.gov

Offers high-quality, relevant health and wellness information that is trusted, easy to understand, and free of advertising, in both English and Spanish. It is a service of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), which is the world’s largest medical library and a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Global Index Medicus

Provides worldwide access to biomedical and public health literature produced by and within low-middle income countries. The material is collated and aggregated by the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office Libraries.

More freely-available online resources can be found here: libguides.brown.edu/ConsumerHealth

Center for Digital Scholarship projects

Learn more about the Twitter projects on Black Maternal Health and My Body My Choice that the Library’s Center for Digital Scholarship (CDS) staff have collaborated on with faculty. Information about other CDS projects can be viewed on the CDS website.

Special Collections

Request access to special collections materials at the John Hay Library on Alcohol and Addiction Studies, ACT UP Rhode Island, and more! Find information about many special collections holdings and researching and accessing to special collections.

Saving Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Online (SUCHO)

book with Ukraine flag

We invite members of the Brown, local, and global community to this hybrid work-in session to preserve Ukrainian cultural heritage online.

Join the Brown University Library in the Digital Scholarship Lab at the Rockefeller Library (10 Prospect St, Providence) on Thursday, March 10, 2022 from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. EST or via Zoom as we come together in collaboration with the SUCHO project, a group of cultural heritage professionals — librarians, archivists, researchers, programmers — working together to identify and archive at-risk sites, digital content, and data in Ukrainian cultural heritage institutions while the country is under attack.

Registration Required

Register through LiveWhale, indicating in the comment field whether you will be attending in-person or via Zoom. Fill out the volunteer form. You will then be invited to join the project Slack page.

Registration is limited to 30 in-person participants. Registration to participate via Zoom is unlimited.

Please wait until we add you to the Slack to actually get started. If you want to read about the process, here’s our workflow and an orientation for new volunteers.

Questions? Contact [email protected].

Work-in Session

This work-in session will offer an overview of the types of work that you can do to help identify and archive at-risk sites, digital content, and data in Ukrainian cultural heritage institutions. We are using a combination of technologies to crawl and archive sites and content, including the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, the Browsertrix crawler and the ArchiveWeb.page browser extension and app of the Webrecorder project.

Get Involved Prior to Workshop

  1. Visit our orientation page.
  2. Submit important URLs for collections in cultural heritage institutions in Ukraine
  3. If you can read Ukrainian or Russian, or if you can run the Browsertrix crawler (check out our Browsertrix documentation to see if it’s something you’d be up for trying), fill out the volunteer form.
  4. We are currently at capacity for people to help with Wayback Machine / Internet Archive tasks or manual Webrecorder tasks, but you can still help by submitting URLs.

John Hay Library Acquires Archive of Spiderwoman Theater

Archive of legendary Indigenous theater furthers distinction and depth of Brown’s holdings in multiple interdisciplinary areas of study

First East Coast Pow Wow in New Haven in 1945, Spiderwoman Theater Archive

Providence, R.I. [Brown University] In 1976, when Muriel Miguel, her two sisters, and a diverse group of women founded Spiderwoman Theater in Brooklyn, NY, their aim was to interrogate and challenge anti-feminist narratives of the 1970s through high-caliber theatrical content written and performed by Native American women. A director, actor, playwright, choreographer, and educator, and member of the Kuna and Rappahannock Nations, Muriel — the Library’s connection to this incredible trove of materiel — is the Artistic Director for Spiderwoman Theater, and director for each of the 20 plus Spiderwoman productions. She and the Spiderwoman company draw on Indigenous storytelling traditions to create works that integrate art, dance, and music with humor and pop culture, simultaneously entertaining and educating. 

The archive is an indelible record of Spiderwoman’s history and the lives of Native American women onstage and off, and it brings extraordinary depth to the John Hay Library’s collections on Performance & Entertainment,  Global Lavender Voices, and more. Avery Willis Hoffman, Artistic Director, Brown Arts Institute, describes the impact Spiderwoman Theater and Muriel particularly have had on the practice of performance and the scholarly potential of her archive at Brown: “Muriel Miguel’s lifetime of contributions to the field of theater and Spiderwoman Theater’s mighty expansions on the realm of theatrical creativity is immeasurable; I have no doubt that the Archive will provide inspiration and a wealth of fruitful discoveries for future generations of students, faculty, visiting researchers and artists.” 

Recognized by Indigenous women in New York and beyond in the 1980s as a powerful representative of their voices and concerns, Spiderwoman Theater has since been globally renowned as an artistic force in the advancement of Indigenous women, artists, and cultural artisans. Its productions exist at the intersection of Indigenous life, sexism, classism, and violence in the lives of women — and at the vanguard of contemporary Western theatre. According to D. Rae Gould, Executive Director of Native American and Indigenous Studies, Adjunct Professor for American Studies, Affiliated Faculty in Anthropology, and Faculty Associate in the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice:

This collection will help to support and strengthen the new concentration in Critical Native American and Indigenous Studies that will launch in Fall 2022. We are grateful to have Spiderwoman Theater’s work at the University for future generations of students, faculty and other scholars. It will serve as a foundational collection for further development of the Creative Expressions area of the concentration, in particular, and expand our knowledge and understandings of her contributions to the field of Indigenous Theater.

Muriel Miguel, Co-founder, Spiderwoman Theater; credit: Shawn McPherson

In September 2019, Muriel presented Muriel Miguel: A Retrospective for the Brown University Library’s 15th Annual Don Wilmeth Endowed Lectureship in American Theatre, during which she shared the fascinating journey from her roots in Brooklyn to her landmark contributions to the contemporary feminist and Indigenous theatre movements in the United States, Canada, and around the world. Amanda Strauss, Associate University Librarian for Special Collections, reflects: 

Hearing Muriel speak in such an intimate setting and spending time with her since the lecture, learning about her life and her collection, are experiences that I will always treasure. I’m proud of the enduring relationship that the Hay has built with Muriel and, through her, Spiderwoman Theater, and am thrilled that we can be a gateway for the researchers, students, performing artists, and community members who will immerse themselves in this collection and draw from it inspiration and knowledge that will generate new scholarship and art.

The Library was honored to host Muriel, and is proud to preserve and provide broad research access to this unique collection. Once at the Hay Library, the materials will have an immediate and lasting impact on many areas of study at Brown, including Native American and Indigenous Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Theatre Arts and Performance Studies and the Brown Arts Institute, where Muriel’s daughter Murielle Borst-Tarrant (Kuna, Rappahannock), Artistic Director and Founder of the Safe Harbor Indigenous Collective, is currently a visiting Professor of the Practice. Sarah dAngelo, Assistant Professor for Theatre Arts and Performance Studies, knows Murielle well and states, “Murielle is a third generation New Yorker, and carries her family’s legacy as an Indigenous theatre artist, activist, and cultural change maker. The Brown community is incredibly fortunate to have this opportunity to engage with her as one of the most vital and accomplished storytellers working in the American Theatre today.” Access to the Spiderwoman Theater archive and Murielle’s knowledge and experience will offer Brown students and faculty deep and authentic knowledge of Indigenous theatre specifically and the art of theatre writ large.

Muriel and her wife Deborah Ratelle are currently preparing the large archive for retrieval from their home in Brooklyn, NY. The Library anticipates that it will be at Brown and available for study in late spring 2023.