A warm welcome…..

The aim of the University Library blog is to connect the University of Lincoln community with information related to them locally within the institution and the Library, but also regionally and nationally.  We would like to promote and communicate a variety of initiatives, resources, developments and interesting stories that are meaningful in both the local University and wider community.

 

New Library dedicated Decolonisation and EDI area for display and promotion

The Library Subject Librarians Hope Williard and Oonagh Monaghan have been active in researching decolonising initiatives at other Higher Education libraries. Attendance at conferences and liaison with librarians across the sector has enabled us to produce our own University of Lincoln decolonising guide for academic staff and students. The next step is to make the work we are already doing more visible. The aim is to embed decoloniality into the physical space of the library. The prospective projects have been grouped into the following four areas: 

  • Revealing coloniality of existing collections 
  • Challenging coloniality 
  • Researching decoloniality 
  • Embracing and extending decoloniality

 

In addition to new resources, sinage and use of the winning design in the recent competition, a permanent space in the Library has been allocated and we are now at the stage where we have the plans in place and materials ordered or arrived and we hope that the space will develop over the first term of 2022.

Illustrated image of ear as question mark with words 'Whose voice are you hearing?'
Winning design by Cherry Wright (Ccrow Illustration) Instagram @worldofccrow 

We want to reveal coloniality with the aim to share with our students, staff, and library community the ways that our practices of organising, displaying, and sharing information are shaped by colonial worldviews and outlooks. 

We want to challenge coloniality by drawing on existing resources and highlighting new developments in the library, this strand aims to spotlight information and resources which challenge the colonial worldviews, allowing those who interact with it to broaden their knowledge and perspectives. 
We want to research coloniality and collaborate, support, and promote research within the university relating to decolonisation. A particular focus of this area is the emerging project on zines, and efforts to actively engage with the university’s student as producer initiatives and internal funding schemes. 
In the final strand we want to embrace and extend decoloniality and propose initiatives which would allow library staff and the wider university community to extend their knowledge of decoloniality and apply this knowledge in the workplace and beyond. 
scale plan of decolonising area on ground floor of Library
Part of this work is about developing awareness in the physical space of the Library and developing a dedicated Decolonisation and EDI area for display and promotion.  Oonagh Monaghan has collaborated with two Interior Architecture academics, Raymund Konigk and Zakkiya Khan on the design of the area to showcase:
    • resources in the Library that show the diverse range of voices already in the collection. 

    • Reveal and raise awareness of historical and colonial injustices which are embedded in the Library systems 

    • Provide a space for materials that highlight issues of social justice and underrepresented voices. 

    • showcase the new zines collection

Any questions, please email omonaghan@lincoln.ac.uk

Library collaboration with the Reimagining Lincolnshire Project

(The Reimagining Lincolnshire Project who have a blog Reimagining Lincolnshire – Discovering and sharing untold stories has been engaging with local people and organisations to uncover and celebrate the marginalised and forgotten stories of our city’s past with the hope that we can imagine an inclusive future.  Public space can become a bridge between past and present, a site where differences are celebrated by breaking down barriers and starting conversations.  It also sits alongside the decolonising agenda at the University of Lincoln which aims to challenge the language we use and the ways in which we teach and learn.  The project aims to tell the marginalised stories in new and creative radical ways, challenging existing hierarchies and oppressions that are the result of colonial legacy.

In collaboration with Librarians Hope Williard and Oonagh Monaghan, there are two projects for 2022/23.

For Black History Month, the team have partnered with Wikimedia UK to run an online Wikimedia Heritage Project ‘Wikithon’.

Secondly, Librarian, Oonagh Monaghan has teamed up with Dr Victoria Araj and College of Arts Technician, Jantze Holmes on a ‘Reimagining Zine Project’.

 

Continue reading “Library collaboration with the Reimagining Lincolnshire Project”

How to Never Pay for Access to Journal Articles

As we get closer to the start of the new year, the Academic Subject Librarians are starting to hear from students who are looking for help accessing content for their research. This post offers some tips for what do when you’re struggling to find that key article that everyone is citing…

First, as a member of the University, you never need to pay for access to academic journal articles. If you start your research on Google Scholar, find an article that looks great, but hit a paywall, try searching for the title of the article on the library website—we offer access to many, many thousands of journal articles. What we don’t have ourselves, we can often borrow for you!

Second, try installing a browser extension called Lean Library—it links up with our website and steers you towards links to access content that we pay for, but that would otherwise appear to be behind a paywall if you aren’t regularly logged into or using our site. If you are being really thorough, you might then want to…

Third, double check our library’s journal holdings. Despite the vastness of the internet, not all academic research is easily available online. For instance, you might want a digital copy of an article that was published in 1992, but the publisher has only digitised articles from 1995 to the present. A search of our journals via Electronic Journals or Browzine is an easy way to quickly check for access issues of this sort. Don’t worry if our library doesn’t offer access to an article, because we might be able to obtain it from another library for you–this is called interlibrary loans.

Finally, if a search of the internet, our websites, and our journals turns up nothing, you can request an interlibrary loan by filling out our request form. Select the type of material you want to find, ‘journal article,’ from the drop-down menu. Interlibrary loans are free for you and delivered straight to your inbox—article loans tend to arrive within 3-5 working days. The article is then yours to download, keep, and use in your research.

And there you are–in three or four steps, you have gone from not being able to access materials you need for your research, to having what you need at your fingertips.

If you are struggling to access academic content or have any questions about how to find research materials, remember that your academic subject librarian is always here to help. We can speak with you about your research by appointment (a perfect option if you have several articles you’re trying to track down or if you’d like a refresher on what databases or journals might be useful for your topic). You can also email us questions about finding material.

Best of luck with your research!

Decolonising@Lincoln Competition a great success!

Academic Subject Librarian, Oonagh Monaghan has been the lead on a very popular competition in collaboration with School of Design students within the College of Arts.

The competition was initiated as an idea for internal use by the library that grew into a larger project with input from colleagues from the University-wide ‘Decolonising@Lincoln Steering Group’.

Illustrated image of ear as question mark with words 'Whose voice are you hearing?'
Winning design by Cherry Wright (Illustration student)

The decolonisation of Higher Education is a global movement. At the University of Lincoln it involves recognising, examining and attempting to address the detrimental legacies of colonialism on knowledge, pedagogy, ways of working and the campus environment.

The work is contributing to raising awareness of how the voices and perspectives of Black, Indigenous and other non-White people have been marginalized, and to include a broader range of voices, ideas, approaches and intellectual perspectives in teaching, learning, research and scholarship.

The competition brief asked students to create a recognisable and memorable image that would promote and highlight parts of the University Library collection which help amplify marginalised voices.

Photograph of Ian Snowley, Rhoda Datsomor, Cherry Wright, Dinh Huy Truong and Oonagh Monaghan
From Left to right: University Librarian Ian Snowley, Runner-up Rhoda Datsomor, Winner Cherry Wright, Runner up Dinh Huy Truong and Subject Librarian Oonagh Monaghan

 

The winning image will also be used on other material in the Library, across the University and in its publicity material as the overarching theme for Decolonising@Lincoln. This includes the Decolonising@Lincoln website which will launch in Autumn 2022.

Read all about it in the Staff News: Decolonising@Lincoln Design Competition – Staff News

© 2022 Image by Cherry Wright and the University of Lincoln Library. All rights reserved

Remembering Professor Brian Winston

The Library would like to mark the loss of Professor Brian Winston, the Lincoln Chair, who passed away over Easter.

Brian made a significant contribution to media studies, with his books, journal articles and audio-visual material encouraging debate across several courses at the University but most particularly in the Lincoln School of Film and Media and School of English and Journalism within the College of Arts.

Brian will be sorely missed by library staff as he was a regular library supporter.

Selection of books by Professor Brian Winston
Selection of books by Professor Brian Winston

Women of Roman Lincoln

March is women’s history month and the library blog is celebrating by featuring posts about the lives and stories of women. We would love to hear your comments and questions about the posts: please tweet us @GCWLibrary, email us at library@lincoln.ac.uk, or tell us your thoughts in the comments section at the end of the post.

As we approach the end of March and the end of women’s history month, we hope you have enjoyed our women’s history month reading list, the display on women in medicine outside of the Ross library, and a fascinating look at the ecological consequences of yesteryear’s women’s fashions! This post continues our theme of looking at Lincolnshire women’s history, going all the way back in time to the period between the mid-first and the early fifth centuries CE, when Lincoln was the Roman city of Lindum Colonia. Continue reading “Women of Roman Lincoln”

Murderous Millinery

Two questions. Would you wear a dead bird on your hat and are you a dedicated follower of fashion? Personally, my answer to both is a resounding no. Look closely at the image above, taken from an article written by Lisa Wade in 2017. At first sight it may be viewed as a thing of beauty until you look closer and see it is an actual bird, or an amalgamation of bird parts. I make no apologies for the shock tactics.   Continue reading “Murderous Millinery”

A Celebration of Women in Medicine

March is women’s history month and the library blog is celebrating by featuring posts about the lives and stories of women. This first post is by George Grant, library assistant at the Ross Library. Thank you for writing for us, George! We would love to hear your comments and questions about the posts: please tweet us @GCWLibrary, email us at library@lincoln.ac.uk, or tell us your thoughts in the comments section at the end of the post.

The role played by women in the history of medicine is a storied and contentious one. It is defined by the struggle against the formalised and male led medical field which often side-lined and overlooked the important role of women. From the Renaissance writers who tactfully avoided the works of classical female medical practitioners, to the role of the church in labelling medicine/wise women as witches, women have, at least in Western Europe, been forcefully kept out of the more formalised aspects of medicine. This began to change in the mid-nineteenth century, with the rise and growth of movements advocating for the improvement in women’s legal and education rights. These movements led many women to question their position in society and to push into fields that had previously been closed to them.[1] The following three short biographies show how, in this period, women were able to make significant headway into the professional medical field by gaining medical qualifications against significant opposition. They worked to inspire each other and train the next generation of female doctors. As it stands today, over half of GPs in the UK are women. This staggering change in less than 200 years was built on the foundations laid by these women and others like them[2] Continue reading “A Celebration of Women in Medicine”

The Duncan Grant Lincoln Cathedral Murals: Mixing Religion with Life

By Joshua Sewell (volunteer in the University Library)

Lincoln Cathedral holds a lot of history for a structure composed mostly of stone and glass, a history that goes back nearly a thousand years. Once the tallest structure in the world and formerly one of the resting places of an original copy of the Magna Carta, the building is no stranger to events and possessions of historical importance. But those stories have been told forever and evermore. What we want to find are those tales that are less well known, but still of high value. One such tale finds its home in the Russell Chantry area of the Cathedral, and its events took place not so long ago. Inside the Chantry can be found a set of murals that adorn the walls and hold a significance that many may not be aware of. The murals have been open to public viewing since 1990, but their existence predates this by more than 3 decades. Here a question of great interest presents itself, why were the murals hidden from public view for all that time?

Continue reading “The Duncan Grant Lincoln Cathedral Murals: Mixing Religion with Life”

Discovering LGTBQ+ Histories

Happy #LGBTHM22 everyone! If you have picked up some of the books in our library displays, you might have noticed that a number of them are about queer histories. The way these stories are told has changed over time, but a plethora of gender identities and expressions, and experiences of sexuality and identity, are a constant of human history. In other words, queer people have always existed. History books like Sapphistries or The Hidden Case of Ewan Forbes depend on a wide array of sources, particularly what historians call primary sources, which are materials–diaries, documents, drawings, and more–made by someone who lived through or experienced a particular time, place or event. Historians often think of primary sources as texts but they aren’t always–comics in a zine like Not Trans Enough could be something historians use to understand the lives and experiences of trans people in the 2010s, in the same way that a Pride flag facemask will be a primary source to a scholar looking back on the 2020s.

a white woman wearing a pride facemask and a blue shirt stands on a sidewalk
“Love happens here” by gerrypopplestone is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Continue reading “Discovering LGTBQ+ Histories”