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Library Exhibit: Afrofuturist Design

The Library is a place for knowledge creation. One of many ways that this is achieved is through exhibits and events. The best sort of exhibits involve groups outside the Library and showcase their work. This fall, we are delighted to bring a vibrant Afrofuturist exhibit of art and literature to our display cases. Afrofuturism, says Ytasha Womack, author of Afrofuturism: the World of Black Sci-Fi Fantasy and Fantasy Culture, is a way of looking at alternate realities through an intersectional, black cultural lens. She says that it includes mysticism, metaphysics, identity and liberation to see black folks in a better future.

Our exhibit, curated by Dr. Walter Greason, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Educational Counseling and Leadership, consists of an eclectic mixture of original art and books from the Library’s collection. The art is by John Jennings, Stacey Robinson, Michel Mulipola, and Stanford Carpenter. The books range from W.E.B. Dubois, to Toni Morrison, Monmouth’s Julius Adekunle, Walter Greason and Hettie Williams, to timeless works of James Baldwin and Paul Dunbar. Videos include Black Panther, Django Unchained, 4 Little Girls, and many more. Together, they paint a picture of the black imagination as a historical narrative, a soul enslaved yet never subjugated; never without hopes and dreams. Through violence, struggle, social and political tribulation their spirit persevered. Unbound and free at last to dream, a dynamic body of art and fiction represents new worlds and existences free of the past. A guide to the exhibit and bibliography of the Library materials is available at https://library.monmouth.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2019/09/2019-Fall-Afrofuturism-Exhibit-Guide-Bibliography.pdf

On Saturday, September 7 Dr. Julian Chambliss, Professor of English at Michigan State University, offered keynote remarks at the exhibit opening. His talk was based on his book, Cities Imagined, describing the origins of Afrofuturism and how it draws from history, literature, music and art. On November 16, 2019, Dr. Greason is planning a symposium, to be held at the Library, “The Black Speculative Arts Movement: The Black Brain Belt” which will explore the work of African-American scientists, based in Monmouth County between 1945 and 1955 who pioneered and developed modern global communications technology that we rely on today.

Please pay a visit to the Guggenheim Memorial Library and enjoy a journey of triumph over adversity, intellectual and spiritual growth and fulfillment, and a magical wealth of joyful creativity.

Kurt W. Wagner, University Librarian
kwagner@monmouth.edu

Map It! / Online Library Calendar

We want the Library to be easy to use, inviting, and conducive to research and study. At its most fundamental level, the Library houses a collection of nearly 300,000 books and media items. Our Library of Congress Classification System (https://www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/lcco/) organizes the collection by subject. By its nature, it is a complex system and not immediately intuitive, especially to new users. Coupled with that, the collection extends over three floors and with numerous interruptions between shelves. So, when you’re looking up books in our online catalog (https://sierra.monmouth.edu/search.html) and you see a location and call number for a book, you may have wondered “OK, now how do I find that?” Map It! to the rescue! See a sample search result below:

At “Location” click on the “Show on Map” link, you will then see a floorplan map of the Library, and a shelf section highlighted where your book will be located.

We feel that the Guggenheim Library’s print collection remains a relevant and crucial source of information for study and research. We are continually adding to it and making sure that all subject areas are in line with Monmouth’s curriculum. One of the many advantages of making use of the print collection is that, by browsing the shelves around a book that you have searched for and found, you will inevitably discover additional titles that will also be worth using. It is nearly impossible to have this sort of happy accident happen if your information search is done completely online.

One of our most frequently asked questions at the Guggenheim Library is “Where is my class (or meeting) being held?” To improve our users’ ability to find their destination, we have created an Online Library Calendar. On the Library Web Page at the bottom of the Quick Links block, click Today’s Event Schedule to see a display of what is scheduled: Event times, names, and room numbers.


Is the Guggenheim Library meeting your needs? Do our collections, resources, services and space contribute to teaching, learning, study and research? Do we fall short? How can we do better?

Kurt W. Wagner, University Librarian
kwagner@monmouth.edu

Research Instruction & Student Success

The Guggenheim Memorial Library is much more than a beautiful, historic mansion plus a modern addition housing a substantial academic collection. Our Research Instruction (RI) service, which you may know as information literacy instruction or library instruction, is an increasingly key element in our students’ success. This inaugural post of the Guggenheim Library Blog will provide all the information needed to create the optimum Research Instruction experience for students at every level, and in every subject.

Although it may seem that our students, born digital, with their phones seemingly glued to their hands, are innate masters of navigating the internet, the truth is that they usually start and end their searching at Google, and may not know which of the Library’s 223 databases is best suited to meet their information needs.

We design our instruction sessions to meet the instructional needs of you and your students. We will work with you to deliver a session at the point in your syllabus where it will have the greatest impact. We’re interested in going beyond the “one-shot” model, where we provide a soup-to-nuts tour of a host of library resources. Consider having shorter, perhaps multiple, sessions that focus on exactly what students need at a given point in the syllabus. In the interest of making Research Instruction as convenient as possible for instructors and students, we are amenable to holding sessions in other computer-equipped classrooms on the Main Campus or Graduate Center, as well as in the Library’s classroom.

Arranging for RI sessions is now very easy. Simply fill out this form: https://monmouth.libwizard.com/f/InstructionRequest. A librarian will be assigned to the session, and you may request a specific librarian to conduct the session. You will then receive an Outlook calendar request as a confirmation of the date, time and place for the RI session. You may then correspond with the librarian to discuss the material and resources that you would like to have covered.

Specialist Librarian Christine Forbes joined the library faculty on July 1, filling the position of Mary Beth Meszaros, who has retired. Christine is our new coordinator of instruction. She comes to us from the CentraState Medical Center in Freehold, where she was the coordinator of medical education. She holds a Masters in Library Science (MLIS) from Rutgers University, a Certificate in Online Learning from Duke University, and undergraduate degrees in Nursing and Biology. Contact Christine directly at chforbes@monmouth.edu or 732-571-4404.

We believe that our students succeed when they are able to effectively seek and find information on any topic. This also will serve them in their lives beyond Monmouth as they do research before making purchases, to select a mortgage, or do any sort of fact-finding. Their ability to rapidly, effectively and accurately evaluate information and make informed selections will help ensure their success in all of their future endeavors. Please use the Guggenheim Library’s Research Instruction to help build your students’ information literacy and improve the quality of their research.

Kurt W. Wagner, University Librarian
kwagner@monmouth.edu