In June 2020, the Honnold Mudd Library organized an online grassroots response to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement after the death of George Floyd. Teaching and Outreach Librarian Megan Donnelly, Undergraduate Engagement Team Leader Rebecca Halpern, and Interdisciplinary Studies Librarian Nazia Islam worked closely with the Office of Black Student Affairs (OBSA) to create an antiracism and Black Lives Matter resources research guide, as well as a social media campaign focused on celebrating and amplifying the contributions and accomplishments of Black scholars, providing research tips grounded in critical race theory, and highlighting information about Black activism at The Claremont Colleges.
“Librarianship has long been a predominantly white profession, and likewise, our library is a predominantly white organization,” said Donnelly. “Because of this, we recognized the importance of collaborating with affinity groups and campus stakeholders to expand our perspectives. The OBSA staff’s contributions, feedback, and support were invaluable.”
Through this ongoing initiative, the library hopes to provide information and resources so that members of The Claremont Colleges community can educate themselves about important issues such as racism and antiracism, allyship, police brutality, and systemic racism and oppression. Faculty have used the research guide in their classes, and the library will continue to add new titles related to these topics. The initiative has also sparked a number of collaborations, including a fall 2020 online workshop on critical race theory and research co-facilitated by Donnelly, Islam, and Torie Weiston-Serdan, clinical assistant professor and director of Claremont Graduate University’s master’s program in community engaged education and social change.
The Library encourages students to get involved with the initiative by engaging with the resources in the research guide, submitting resources to the guide’s community-recommended resources tab, and submitting their names or those of other Black scholars for celebration on the Library’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter platforms. Students are also invited to make suggestions about how the Library can continue to best support its commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracist education and initiatives across The Claremont Colleges.
“The library and our staff are committed to making a more just and equitable society,” said Beth Namei, Honnold/Mudd Library’s director of research, teaching, & learning services. “We encourage any students or faculty to make suggestions for future initiatives.”
Want to learn more? Students, student groups, and faculty members who have questions about the initiative or wish to collaborate with the Library on a related initiative should contact Teaching and Outreach Librarian Megan Donnelly.