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News from the Libraries

Teaching and learning at the archives

For several years, the archivists at the Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections have been working with the U of M Heritage Studies and Public History program. Their work has primarily focused on grad students’ internship projects. This fall, however, the archivists developed and taught the course Archives for Historians. Topics covered included archival theory, selection and appraisal, arrangement and description, reference and access, physical and digital preservation, exhibits and outreach, and ethics. The course was designed to give students a sense of what it means to be an archivist.

On the move: The Bell Room

One side of the Bell Period Room with three stained glass windows and three lit lamps

Bell Period Room

In March 2018, the James Ford Bell Library moved from Wilson Library into the Elmer L. Andersen Library. The collection of materials that document the premodern history of trade and cultural exchange mostly moved all at once. Left behind in Wilson, but certainly not forgotten, was the imagined period room, assembled by Mr. Bell, a University of Minnesota alumnus, longtime Regent, and founder of General Mills, based in Minneapolis.

In the spring of 2022, the Bell Room has been carefully dismantled and then reimagined in new space in Andersen Library. The new Bell Room will reopen as a special exhibition gallery in mid-June 2022 with the exhibit: “Becoming Greenlanders: An Immigration Story.”

The Libraries is grateful to Ford Bell and the James Ford Bell Trust for embracing and supporting this new vision.

Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility

During FY2021, the Libraries Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leadership Committee (DEI-LC) focused on drafting, approving, and circulating a statement of support for the Libraries’ approach to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA). The Emergency Procedures Task Force used an IDEA lens to examine the Libraries’ emergency policies and procedures pertaining to library spaces. The group reviewed incident data, recommended improvements to building Emergency Procedures manuals, and supported training for Libraries staff (including anti-bias approaches and de-escalation tactics).

The DEI-LC also advised on a number of projects across the Libraries, including:

  • the launch of the Student Advisory Board
  • creation of a Racism in Libraries LibGuide
  • a screening of the “Change the Subject” documentary, and
  • a historical language statement for Archives and Special Collections.

Beginning in May, the DEI-LC began working with Strategic Diversity Initiatives (SDI) to conduct an IDEA climate assessment survey for Libraries staff alongside further IDEA strategic planning for FY2022.

—Kate Dietrick and Emma Molls, for the DEI-LC

Give to the Max Day success

iPad pulled from library bookshelf

Through a crowdfunding campaign on Give to the Max Day, Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, the Libraries raised money to help support free e-textbook access for students. Pictured: Libraries student worker Ibrahim Ismail-Adebiyi holding a tablet. The concept for this image is based on a photo created by olesz002 and submitted to the U of M Libraries for our Student Photo Contest in 2014.

Library Staff Promotions

The Board of Regents has granted continuous appointment and awarded promotions to:

Ben Wiggins, Program Director for Digital Arts, Sciences, & Humanities (DASH), has received a promotion from Assistant Librarian to Associate Librarian with continuous appointment.

Alicia Kubas, Government Publications and Data Librarian, has received a promotion from Assistant Librarian to Associate Librarian with continuous appointment.

Additionally, two colleagues have been promoted to full rank:

Shannon Farrell, Natural Resources Librarian, has been promoted to Librarian.

Kate McCready, Interim Associate University Librarian for Collections and Content Strategy, has been promoted to Librarian.

Money Matters

Library expenditures FY2021

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