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Wednesday, October 16 • 9:00am - 9:50am
Engaging and Assisting Community Members in the Pursuit of African American Heritage

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Libraries can become spaces that flourish by fostering goodwill and creating a sense of belonging among communities of color. Establishing public programs in which public librarians invite in academic librarians, community historians, community elders, or others to discuss and share expertise will generate foot traffic and increase usage of library resources.

Local history dovetails with the exploration of family history/genealogy; a widely popular topic. Regardless of the resources in-house, libraries have the ability to tap into a wide range of networks and adequately pursue the many of the records needed for genealogical and historical research.

A key network for public libraries to become familiar with are university libraries and their vast holdings of materials related to the African American experience. They are underutilized by even the most skilled researchers, but their databases and rich collections of books and microfilm make them an indispensable partner. One other topic that will be germane to the conversation is use of oral history as a platform to reach into this ethnic community. A vehicle such as StoryCorps @ Your Library is an exciting program for librarians to explore.

Libraries large and small can, and need to, find ways to attract their underserved populations.

avatar for Tim Pinnick

Tim Pinnick

History and Genealogy Spotlight
The business specializes in identifying books that assist those conducting African American genealogical research. It helps librarians assess their collections and makes recommendations. I also do presentations/lectures and have a special African American Book Talk & Fair event geared... Read More →

avatar for Noah Lenstra

Noah Lenstra

Associate Professor, Library and Information Studies (LIS) Department, University of North Carolina-Greensboro

Wednesday October 16, 2019 9:00am - 9:50am EDT
Salem 1B