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’.

 

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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!

LGBTQI+ History Month – Finding resources in the unlikeliest of places

By Sarah Lewis

During LGBTQI+ History Month, the Library is blogging and sharing resources on social media to further shed light on the content we have which may be of use in research or for general interest purposes. In preparation for this, we conducted a brief survey of our databases and, in particular, I wanted to see if some of our less obvious databases also contained pertinent content on LGBTQI+ subjects and issues.

Black image of human head with large rainbow question mark inside it

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Justice and change: health and wellbeing of the UK LGBTQ+ community in 2022 

By Oonagh Monaghan

Martin Luther King, Jr., reminded us that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Change takes a long time, but it does happen and that fight for change also needs people behind it to fight for what is right and fair and to end discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.  What we need to avoid, is for the change to be a negative and regressive pulling back of hard fought-for rights. 

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LGBT+ History Month Reading list

For 2022, the Library has a great new reading list which includes many new titles that have just arrived in the Library.  In addition to new titles, there are also examples of other books and resources which link to the theme ‘Politics in Art: ‘The Arc Is Long’

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Black History Month 2021

For Black History Month 2021 the Library has created a new reading list about the black history of artists and art movements.  In addition to books we already have in the Library, we have also purchased some new titles which should arrive very soon.

The reading list also includes some online resources and we would welcome new resources to add to the list.

Picture of three artist books
Selection of books from the reading list

LGBTQ+ health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic

Its near the end of LGBTQ+ History month so we are focussing on LGBTQ+ mental health and wellbeing research in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.

LGBT+ 2021 History Month logo

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Exploring LGTBQ+ History in an Online Archive

February is LGTBQ+ history month in the UK and library blog is celebrating by featuring posts about resources for exploring LGTBQ+ lives in the past, present, and future. This first post in our series is about one of our online archives. 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.

Adam Matthews Explorer (AM Explorer), is one of the library’s newer databases, and contains a huge range of online archives organised around a wide range of themes. Queer histories  A collection that might be of particular interest for exploring LGTBQ+ histories in the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries centuries is Sex and Sexuality. The archive collects the research papers, notes, and interviews of people who have researched sex, sexual behaviour, sexuality from an academic and medical perspective, such as Alfred Kinsey and Norman Haire; and archival collections which focus on lived experiences of individual people.

Handwritten notebook page
Page from the Diary of Anne Lister (1791-1840)

You can do a keyword search within the archives represented in the collection (the take a tour page gives you a good overview of the collection as a whole) or browse specific parts of it. One particular part of the collection lets you explore the diaries of Anne Lister, a nineteenth century gentlewoman who wrote about her relationships with women and travels across Europe. An introductory essay offers some context and background on who Anne Lister was and her importance in lesbian history.  You can also explore the papers of the nineteenth and early twentieth century gay rights advocate Edward Carpenter. To explore twentieth century gay and lesbian history, you can explore the responses given by participants in the National Gay and Lesbian Survey.

Orange paper with typed letter to National Gay and Lesbian Survey Participants, 1996
National Gay and Lesbian Survey, Letter to Participants, 1996

The Sex and Sexuality archive also focuses on a wide range of collections from specific libraries,  such as the Kinsey Institute, which has collected a large library and archive of material relating to sex and sexuality–you can explore collections ranging from romantic and erotic pulp fiction to an archive of materials on cross-dressing in the nineteenth century and much more besides. You can also explore collections from the ONE Archive at the University of Southern California Libraries, including papers, photographs and letters which provide a firsthand view of queer lives, relationships and advocacy in twentieth century America. On the other side of the pond, archivists have collected a huge range of material from the UK’s National Archives relating to sex and sexuality–you can see some of the highlights here

Image of two white women wearing glasses standing on a hillside
Photograph (Sue Gaff and M Doyle) from Esther Herbert and Marvyl Doyle Papers and Photographs

Even if you have some experience researching for your studies, working with an online archive can sometimes be overwhelming! There are a range of ways to explore the collection in order to find material you are looking for or interested in. You can search for specific names or keywords–if you are searching for particular words and phrases keep in mind that our vocabulary around sex and sexuality has changed a lot (and continues to do so), so you might find it helpful to take a look at the research tools section for ideas. If you are interested in browsing specific topics, like gender identities or art and literature, there’s a feature that lets you browse by topic. And if you struggle to locate material that is relevant to your research or interests, do contact your subject librarian–we’re here to help!

How young adult literature is clapping back to misogyny

March is women’s history month and the library blog is celebrating by featuring posts from authors around the university about the lives and writings of women. The third post in our series is by Emily Hanson, administrator for the School of History and Heritage. Thank you for writing for us, Emily! 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.

How young adult literature is clapping back to misogyny (and how this supports those most in need of advocacy)

I recently found myself writing a defense of young adult literature on my blog. I have always argued for the importance of high quality, relevant teen literature (or YA–Young Adult), not just for teens but for all of ages. At first glance, literature written from a teenage perspective offers the potential for representation that young people may not find elsewhere in traditionally published writing, alongside facilitating empathy for the modern teen experience. Beyond this, however, I argue that YA is a fantastic vehicle for exploring some of life’s most challenging experiences through the lens of those in a life phase where these experiences are new and deeply felt. In the context of women’s history, YA writing provides an excellent opportunity to empathetically ‘clap back’ to misogynistic issues faced by the young women of 2020.

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