By Jemima Sims
Library Assistant in the Main University Library
Founded in 2004, LGBTQIA+ History month is upon us, and the theme is “Behind the Lens”. In February 2023, the UK will celebrate the people behind the scenes of stage and screen, such as costume designers, composers, playwrights, screenwriters, make-up artists and many more. Queer actors and actresses are gaining more visibility than ever, however the people off-screen are often unknown, and their contributions are huge.
The University Library have put together a display, a reading list and some social media posts to celebrate these talented and creative people, beginning with some of the most exciting costume designers in history; Adrian, Orry-Kelly and Patricia Field.
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
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.
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 highlightingnew developments in the library, this strand aimsto 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 decolonialityand 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.
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 email@example.com
In response to discussions concerning ideas for creative collaboration between the School of Design and the Library, it was proposed that we hold an installation based upon the 97 Ideas About Creativity book, copies of which are already held by the library. The Library copies of the book allow the student to write within the pages and share their own creative ideas. The installation is being held as part of the Festival of Creativity.
The installation comprises of a screen in the library, displaying one idea per day randomly from the 97 ideas contained in the book – to present the ‘Idea for the Day’. Accompanying the screen element, a computer is available to Library users who are able to control the screen and browse any of the 97 ideas.
Special Collections Librarian, Claire Arrand has organised the latest display about making medieval inspired tiles on the ground floor of the library. Students and staff were under the direction of local artisan Andrew MacDonald from the Pot Shop on Steep Hill.