Building Inclusive Community Through Diversity and Anti-Bias in Children’s Literature

Herrick Library is hosting an exhibit organized by Professor Susan Morehouse and students in English 217, Blood, and Guts and Alphabets: The Gory Truth about Children’s Literature.
IMG_7993The exhibit includes books from Herrick Library’s Children’s Collection, selected for their demonstration (in both text and images) of diversity and anti-bias in early literature for children.
The students stated, “We believe that if children learn appreciation for other people, cultures, places, and beliefs alongside their abc’s they will have the power to change the world.”
As part of the group project and exhibit, the students developed “5 Do’s for Creating an Anti-Bias Early Reader Library.”
DO the books in your library reflect diverse cultures and diverse lifestyles?

  • Do they show the values and beliefs of different cultures that reflect the contemporary world? Do they inspire students to learn more about diverse cultures? Is history also accurately represented?

IMG_7996DO the books in your library reflect the truth of cultures, lifestyles, and abilities?

  • Do they avoid injurious or demeaning stereotypes? Do they avoid tokenism, showing a diversity of cultures and abilities as a regular part of life?

DO your books include authors from a variety of different backgrounds, cultures, and ethnicities?

  • Do they include the visions and voices of writers and artists of diverse cultures?

DO the books in your library cover people, places, cultures, etc. in your everyday life?

  • Do they show women and men, and girls and boys, in non-traditional or non-gender-typed roles?

DO you have a wide variety of family dynamics visible in your library?IMG_8015

  • Families are more ethnically, racially, and religiously diverse than half a generation ago. Does your library reflect this?

The books and related documentation will be on exhibit in Herrick through the end of the fall 2019 semester.

Junior ceramic work on display in Herrick

Herrick Library was honored to display work from Professor Linda Sormin’s junior ceramics students this semester. The work will come down soon, so if you want to see it in person hurry on over to Herrick!
Emotional Rollercoaster, Jackie Fisher
Changling: Child in Peril, Christina Rhodes
Untitled, Hannah Hones
Dignified Distortion (series of three heads), Corran Shrimpton
Michelin Meadow, Matt Watterson

Exhibit Opening and Reception: Medieval Manuscripts of Alfredum

You’re all invited! Come enjoy light refreshments in the Scholes Library this Thursday, October 20th, from 11:20 am to 12:00 pm, while admiring illuminated manuscript pages created by our students, alongside beautiful manuscript reproductions from Special Collections. I had the opportunity to work with the students and help them discover some of the manuscript facsimiles we have here at Scholes, and it was very exciting to see the work they turned in afterwards. (And did I mention refreshments?)

Students create posters for Women's History Month

A series of poster presentations are on display in Herrick Library in honor of Women’s History Month. The posters were created by students in Prof. Vicki Eaklor’s spring semester Women in Society class.
The posters explore topics in women’s history, including women in athletics, reproductive rights, the birth control pill, and the Guerrilla Girls.
Women’s History Month became a national celebration in 1981 when Congress passed Pub. L. 97-28 which authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week.” Throughout the next five years, Congress continued to pass joint resolutions designating a week in March as “Women’s History Week.”  In 1987 after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress passed Pub. L. 100-9 which designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month.”  Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the President to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month. Since 1995, Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama have issued a series of annual proclamations designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.”

Exploring Race and Identity in America Through Fiction

An exhibit in the entryway of Herrick Library focuses on race and identity in American as viewed through fiction.
The following books are included. Any of them can be checked out at the library’s front desk:
what is the what
Blasphemy, Sherman Alexie
How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent, Julia Alvarez
What is the What, Dave Eggers
Bronx Masquerade, Nikki Grimes
Welcome to Braggsville,  T. Geronimo Johnson
Girl in Translation, Jean Kwok
An Intimation of Things Distant: The Collected Fiction of Nella Larsen, Nella Larsen
The Namesake, Jhumpa Lhari
Song of Solomon, Toni Morrison
Beloved, Toni Morrison
Boy, Snow, Bird, Helen Oyeyemi
Mexican White Boy, Matt de la Pena
More Happy Than Not, Adam Silvera
On Beauty, Zadie Smith
The Burgess Boys, Elizabeth Strout
Herrick Library welcomes recommendations for library acquisitions. If you would like to suggest a specific book, please use our suggestion form.

Herrick features local poets for National Poetry Month

Herrick Library is celebrating National Poetry Month in April by inviting local poets to share their work.
Juliana Gray, Associate Professor of English, has organized a display in Herrick’s entryway featuring poetry by Alfred University faculty and students. In addition to poems by Dr. Gray, you will find work by Emrys Westacott (Professor of Philosophy), Heather Hallberg Yanda (Senior Lecturer in English), Ben Howard (Professor Emeritus), and students Julianne Angie, Colby Cotton, and Laneisha McCauley.
Juliana Gray is the author of two full-length poetry collections. Roleplay, published in 2012 by Dream Horse press won the 2010 Orphic Prize and the 2013 Eugene Paul Nassar Poetry Prize. Her first book of poetry, The Man Under My Skin, was published by River City Publishing in 2005.
National Poetry Month was founded in 1996 by the American Academy of Poets and is celebrated in April. The goals of the celebration are to highlight the legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets, to encourage the reading of poems, to assist teachers in bringing poetry to their classrooms, to bring increased attention to poetry by national and local media, to encourage the publication and distribution of poetry books, and to encourage support for poets and poetry.
Please join us in supporting our own, local poets by stopping by to read and enjoy some of their work.
National Poetry Month

"Harry Potter's World" Coming to Scholes Library

Illustration of an alchemy workshop;  Courtesy National Library of Medicine

Illustration of an alchemy workshop;
Courtesy National Library of Medicine

I’m pleased to announce that the Scholes Library will be hosting the “Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine” exhibit from the National Library of Medicine, from August 31st through October 10th! The exhibit will be accompanied by opening and closing receptions, contests, a series of lectures and events, and much more.
The Harry Potter’s World exhibit is a traveling piece that focuses on the Renaissance traditions–scientific, philosophical, and mythological–that influenced the magic and culture in the world of Rowling’s books. Including images of primary sources on topics from alchemy to botany and magical beasts, the National Library of Medicine’s materials will be supplemented by items from our own collection. Items such as the Magiae Universalis Naturae et Artis (as seen below), a 17th century text from special collections, will be on display, tracing the relationships between alchemy, metallurgy, and chemistry.
A page from the Magiae Universalis

A page from the Magiae Universalis

We’re planning an extensive program of activities to accompany and enrich the exhibit, and there should be something for everyone. (Butterbeer! Costume contest! Music! Chocolate frogs! Prizes!) For right now, though, we’d like to reach out to all of you, our patrons and readers, and open the door to your involvement in this event.
As part of the Harry Potter’s World Exhibit, the libraries are seeking professors, staff, and community members of all walks of life to come speak on a topic related to Harry Potter–or to put on a demonstration of a relevant skill, or lead a workshop, or almost anything else you can imagine. While lectures directly about Harry Potter are obviously welcome, this concept is very flexible, and we welcome all proposals and suggestions. Maybe you want to take your inspiration from Professor Sprout’s Herbology class and talk about medicinal herbs; maybe you have some insights into the history of witchcraft in England; maybe you’re feeling crafty and want to teach people how to make their own wands. It’s all open!
Several other institutions have held lecture series while hosting this exhibit. Here are just a few of their titles, to help inspire you:

  • “Magic, Illusion, and Ghosts: The Marketing of Science and Psychotropics,” Dr. Glen Spielmans, Metropolitan State University
  • “Quick Quotes and Quibblers: The Role of the Media in the Wizarding World,” Lola Burnham, Eastern Illinois University
  • “Magic, an Anthropological Perspective,” Dr. Don Holly, Eastern Illinois University
  • “Character, Structure, Perspective…and a Castle: A Medievalist Reads Harry Potter,” Dr. David Raybin, Eastern Illinois University
  • “Immortality,” Dr. Thomas Duffy, Yale University

Obviously this is just a tiny selection of the possible range! Let your imaginations run wild; we’re eager to hear your ideas. If you have an idea, a suggestion, a question, a full-fledged proposal, or you’d just like to get involved in some way, please send me an email to
Looking forward to hearing from you!

Trading Cards from Harry Potter’s World Exhibition Courtesy National Library of Medicine

Trading Cards from Harry Potter’s World Exhibition
Courtesy National Library of Medicine

New York Women

Students mark Women's History Month with Herrick displays

Students in Professor Vicki Eaklor’s Women in Society class have collaborated with Herrick Library to create some displays marking Women’s History Month.
Women’s History Month had its origins as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress asked the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as Women’s History Week. Since 1995, Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama have issued a series of annual proclamations designating the month of March as Women’s History Month.
New York Women
During the spring semester, students in Professor Eaklor’s class prepared group presentations on the following topics:

  • The history of campus violence and related laws in New York State
  • The contribution of women to New York State’s cultural history
  • The history of reproductive rights in New York State

Some of the books that the students consulted are included in the display case in Herrick’s main entrance. The student presentations are on display on the main floor of Herrick Library, near the computer lab.
student displayWomen in Society, an interdisciplinary course, is the foundation of Alfred University’s Women’s and Gender Studies Program. It examines the relationship of women worldwide to institutions and developments in the social, political, and economic spheres. Topics include biological issues, women and work, women as family members, media portrayal of women, and the origins and development of modern feminism.

Art Auction in the Book End Lounge at Herrick Library


Coral Lambert and one of her students, Lily Montgomery, have mounted a week-long art auction in the Book End Lounge. The auction will support a trip to the Pedvale Sculpture Park in Latvia this summer. Coral and her students will be building a large Earth Work Sculpture and participating in the International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art.

All are welcome to stop by Herrick Library to enjoy the art and/or to make a bid on any of the one-of-a-kind items on display. The auction will wind down on Friday, April 18th.

New illuminated manuscripts display in Scholes!

This isn’t a full blog post, just a heads up–come check out the new display in Scholes, in the case by the reference desk!  Students from Kate Dimitrova’s illuminated manuscripts class used medieval recipes and techniques to decorate their own pieces of parchment, and the results (along with two pages from our own facsimile collection) are on display.
A full post with pictures of the event artists and their work will be posted later.