home Events and Exhibits, Special Collections and Archives Student Curated Exhibit: Children’s Literature of the Harlem Renaissance by African American Women

Student Curated Exhibit: Children’s Literature of the Harlem Renaissance by African American Women

By Adetokunbo Awosanmi

I had the privilege of working with staff in special collections and a Visual Studies professor to create an exhibit showcasing children’s literature. Most of the books were written or illustrated by African American women. Stories were published within a few decades after the Harlem Renaissance ended. The twenty-one books in the exhibit represent how invaluable the Harlem Renaissance was for African American children’s literature. Finding books, writing labels, and setting up the exhibit were the main goals for this project. I also used Via Libri to find and recommend rare books by Ellen Tarry, Jane Dabney Shackleford, and Ann Petry.

World Cat and MERLIN were pivotal in locating most books. Other books were found through bibliographies and other relevant articles. The New Negro, albeit important for the Harlem Renaissance, focused on intellectual movements rather than children’s literature. Although The Brownies’ Book is not in Ellis Library, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has uploaded issues of the magazine online. After examining the magazine, it is easy to see the positive impact it had not only for African American children, but for children from different ethnic backgrounds. Stories, poems, and illustrations challenged the stereotypical and racist portrayals of African Americans in earlier texts.

Through research, I learned that poetry was a popular medium during the Harlem Renaissance, and it is seen in contemporary African American literature. Poetry and children’s literature complimented each other; as many authors wrote poetry. Some authors wrote multiple books; a few of Arna Bontemps’ books are in the juvenile stacks. A prolific poet and librarian, Bontemps wrote books for young adults and children. Golden Slippers and The fast sooner hound are for younger audiences, while We have tomorrow and Sad-faced boy are for slightly older individuals. Like Golden Slippers, Gladiola garden and The picture-poetry book are collections of poetry. With poetry, aspects of African American life were relayed to a younger, wider audience.

Writing captions was one of the more difficult parts of the project; I needed to balance my interpretations of the text itself and the creators’ motives for their works. While analyzing the text, I examined illustrations and photographs. Some images, albeit harrowing, are displayed in the exhibit. To reflect on the past, a past where racism was not as frowned upon as it is today, acknowledgement is imperative.

I cannot recall reading a lot of African American children’s literature as a child. Most of the books I remember reading throughout grade school had white main characters. Granted, these books were not as problematic as books written in the early 1900s and before. I found it hard to stay invested, as I could not relate to the main character. Humiliation and discouragement are the last things children should feel when reading books about themselves. Unfortunately, with few realistic portrayals of African Americans, negative feelings surface. However, as more children’s literature is written for minorities, more children will learn to love themselves and their skin.

The exhibit will be on display in the Ellis Library colonnade through mid-September.

home Cycle of Success, Zalk Veterinary Medical Library Laura Buck Receives CVM Dean’s Impact Award

Laura Buck Receives CVM Dean’s Impact Award

Laura Buck, senior library information specialist at the Zalk Veterinary Medical Library, has received a 2019 College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) Dean’s Impact Award.

Each year, the Dean recognizes individuals who “have had significant positive impact on college programs.” Laura’s nominating letters pointed to her helpfulness, friendliness, and dedication to everyone in the College.

Laura began her service with the University of Missouri Libraries in 1989, moving to the CVM’s Zalk Veterinary Medical Library in 1999. One nomination cited her “sincere dedication, can-do attitude, and excellent organizational skills.” Another noted, “she has always been a positive force in the library, keeping the needs of the students, faculty, and staff foremost in her mind.” Another called her “reliable and helpful,” while yet another called her “an essential, vital resource within the library.” One nominating letter wrote of Laura, “She is the institutional memory of the library. Wouldn’t it be cool on her 30th year at MU that she received this well-deserved award?”

It is, indeed, cool that Laura has received this award. Congratulations, Laura, and thank you for 30 years of supporting the University Libraries’ Cycle of Success.

Laura Buck (right) being presented the award by CVM Dean Carolyn J. Henry (left)
home Ellis Library, Events and Exhibits Therapy Dogs for Finals in Ellis Library

Therapy Dogs for Finals in Ellis Library

Yes, it’s that time of the semester again. You’re studying, you’re researching, you’re writing, you’re living on coffee and no sleep…but look, a fluffy puff of pure love and joy! These calm, cheerful, trained therapy dogs are here to give you a break and put a smile on your face ?

Come to Ellis Library on the main floor by the North Doors / checkout desk. Tentative schedule:

  • Sunday, May 12 from 6-9pm
  • Monday, May 13 from 6-9pm
  • Tuesday, May 14 from 6-9pm

There will also be therapy dogs in the Engineering Library on Monday and Tuesday from 1-4pm.

Thanks to Ann Gafke’s Teacher’s Pet for coordinating all the dogs and owners who help us de-stress during finals!

home Ellis Library, Events and Exhibits Wrap Up Finals Week with a Game Night in Ellis Library!

Wrap Up Finals Week with a Game Night in Ellis Library!

The MU Libraries Staff Association is hosting a board game night in Ellis Library from 6:30-10:00 PM on Thursday, May 16.

Board games and a few non-messy snacks will be provided. Participants are also welcome to bring their own board games and non-messy snacks.

A few of the games that will be available:

All are welcome. We look forward to gaming with you!

Event organized by MU Libraries Staff Association leaders Eric Cusick and Rachel Brekhus

home Cycle of Success, Staff news Undergraduate Research Contest Winners Announced

Undergraduate Research Contest Winners Announced

Every year, undergraduates across all disciplines are encouraged to submit research projects to the University Libraries Undergraduate Research Contest. Their research projects can be traditional research papers, musical compositions, works of art, videos, web pages, or other creative works. The projects are judged by a cross-disciplinary panel of librarians who evaluate the sophistication of their research process and their use of University of Missouri Libraries resources.

One 1st prize $500 scholarship and one 2nd prize $250 scholarship are awarded to an individual or group project. Winners have their projects archived in MOspace, MU’s digital repository.

This year’s winners were recognized at the Friends of the Libraries council meeting on Saturday, April 6. Awards were presented by Rachel Brekhus, Humanities and Social Science Librarian.

1st Prize Winners: Ashley Anstaett, Phong H. Nguyen and Andrew J. Greenwald
Conceptual Design of Microfiber Removal Using Pressure-Swing Filtration

Their engineering paper is so much more than a design blueprint. It is a well-written and well-organized document that includes, not only the physical science involved with an invention, but also practical considerations of how the product could be maintained in real-world environments, how it could be marketed, and why it’s important to have products that remove microfibers from the environment, at the household level.

Their interdisciplinary group project required both library spaces and library resources. They described the Engineering Library’s collaborative space as “preferred” and “work-conducive,” and as providing software necessary for the conceptual design of the invention. The group also described their use of general and specialized online research tools. The process paper was more specific than most in describing how their keyword searching was done, and they identified the specialized e-journal database, Science Direct, which they used, not only for the review of literature, but also during the design process. Their process paper makes clear that in the world of product design, research is iterative and tightly connected with the creative process.

Vice Provost of University Libraries Ann Campion Riley (far left) and Humanities and Social Science Librarian Rachel Brekus (far right) present Ashley Anstaett (middle left) and Phong H. Nguyen (middle right) with their certificates. Brekhus is holding the certificate for Andrew J. Greenwald, who could not attend.

2nd Prize Winner: Erielle Jones
Fly Like an Eagle: The Success of STOP-ERA in the Missouri Senate 1977

In her paper, Jones did an excellent job of linking the rhetoric in Phyllis Schlafley’s Eagle Forum with the rhetoric used in the Missouri State Legislature to argue against passage of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), including associating passages of the ERA with affirmative action measures, unpopular among Missouri white conservatives.

The process paper detailed, not only Jones’s ultimate choice of primary historical sources, but also her independent exploration of other primary sources in pursuit of an earlier approach to the topic, which did not yield the hoped-for documentation. The paper showed the role of discipline, assistance from library and archives professionals, and serendipity in finding and selecting sources while maintaining focus on a well-defined research question. Sources examined included correspondence, leaflets, newsletters, invitations, and receipts from the personal archives of state representatives, state senate testimony, surveys, news sources, and court transcripts.

Her process showed a commitment to both the importance and the limitations of historical documentation, and understanding of the social and racial context of both the political-opinion media environment, and this media’s impact on the legislative process. Certainly, the practice in popular conservative media of linking proposed legislation not directly related to race, with narratives of governmental interference with default racial distributions of privilege, continues to be relevant today.

Vice Provost of University Libraries Ann Campion Riley (left) and Humanities and Social Science Librarian Rachel Brekhus (right) present Erielle Jones (middle) with her certificate
home Journalism Library Congrats to Our Instagram Takeover Winner!

Congrats to Our Instagram Takeover Winner!

Congratulations to Annie (Ningyuan) Hu!  Annie was selected as the Journalism Library’s Instagram Takeover winner.

In March, the Journalism Library wanted to hear from the students.  We encouraged students to submit a short video (no more than 15 seconds) to our Instagram telling us why they loved the library.  Annie submitted a great video, highlighting our space and equipment!  You can find her video here!

Annie is a senior Strategic Communication major who plans to work in fashion and/or beauty marketing.  She visits the library daily to study and checkout equipment.   When asked about the Journalism Library, Annie said “I like it, I love it! It makes me want to study here!”

A big thank you to Annie for her video!  Be sure to check us out on Instagram!

home Ellis Library, Events and Exhibits Columbia Public Library Book Bike

Columbia Public Library Book Bike

Daniel Boone Regional Library’s Book Bike is visiting campus!

On April 18, 10:30AM-12:30PM, come to Speaker’s Circle to see the Book Bike. Check out a public library book or apply for a DBRL library card!

For more information about the Book Bike, visit DBRL’s website. 

home Resources and Services A&OER Survey for Faculty and Graduate Instructors

A&OER Survey for Faculty and Graduate Instructors

Instructor A&OER Survey 2019

Online Survey – approximately 10 minutes

Open to MU faculty and graduate instructors. Please take this anonymous survey to help The UM System’s Affordable & Open Educational Resources (A&OER) learn more about instructor approaches and practices for the selection of teaching materials. The data received from this survey will be used to formulate new strategies for supporting teaching and learning at the University of Missouri. Survey is open until May 20, 2019.

Survey URL: https://missouri.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0lnuNvcUuysg6G1

Contact: oer@missouri.edu

home Resources and Services OER.MISSOURI.EDU


Interested in finding or creating OER? Just curious to learn more about OER?

Check out oer.missouri.edu or email oer@missouri.edu

What is OER?

Open Educational Resources (OER) are FREE and OPENLY LICENSED educational materials that can be used for teaching, learning, research, and other purposes.

Why does A&OER matter?

Adopting free or low-cost textbooks and digital course materials helps Mizzou control the cost of educational resources. Here are some facts about the textbook affordability in the nation and at Mizzou.

  • According to a report from American Enterprise Institute, from 1998 to 2016, college textbook prices have increased by 90% while recreational book prices have fallen by more than 35%.
  • Due to the high costs of course materials at Mizzou, 75% of students have delayed purchasing a required textbook.
  • 13% of students have considered leaving Mizzou because they couldn’t afford course materials.
home Resources and Services AOER Grant Proposals Due March 8, 2019

AOER Grant Proposals Due March 8, 2019

Reminder: Affordable and Open Educational Resources grant proposals are due on March 8.

Grant Application Schedule

  • Dates for Spring 2019 A&OER Grant Proposal
    • Call for Proposals – OPEN NOW
    • March 8: Proposals Due
    • March 11-15: Proposal Reviews
    • March 22: Faculty notified of grant decisions


  • Grant Proposals
    • Pre-Application Worksheet (PDF) (Word)
    • Explore, Collaborate and Innovate: Course Grant Funding (PPT) (Video)
    • Inclusive Teaching Incentive Guidelines (PDF)
    • Best Practices Webinar: Proposal accepted?…Now what should I do?

For more information, see the UM System’s Affordable & Open Educational Resources webpage: umsystem.edu/ums/aa/oer