From ALA Conference, Friday June 24, 2022
I know the last time I recorded the ALA 2022 Conference I had not yet dived into the first day of the conference, attending Library of Congress sessions before the Conference – Thursday June 23rd –
and I suggest to ANYONE that has not been to the actual Library of Congress, PLEASE visit. I made a point to see some amazing exhibits within, you can take a peek here:
So, the first day of the Conference, Friday June 24th at 8:00 AM I needed to check out the World on the Move exhibit and see if this coming to Delaware might be a possibility. Here are the notes from that conference workshop:
Investigating information surrounding The World on the Move exhibit that was currently on display a few blocks away at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial library (note, have to not forget the booked tour of that public library later tomorrow!), I was intrigued.
Cosponsored by the American Anthropological Association and the Smithsonian Folklore Division, many aspects of this exhibit, explored aspects of a former exhibit, exploring race. This interactive, virtual experience on race is a powerful tool to question and discuss race and everyday situation that w we all find ourselves in, yet some individuals experience so differently and many take those differences for granted. This Exploring Race site is pretty amazing.
I was saddened to know this World on the Move exhibit was open to display for only public library and not school libraries, but I settled in to see if I could configure a Delaware stop.
It was stressed that everyone has a migration story in their family, somewhere. “Crossroads” is a concurrent them that was emphasized in this exhibit. This exhibit inhabits 1000 square feet and addresses these four questions:
- Where do we come from?
- Why do we move?
- How does migration change us?
- Where are we going?
The aspect that drew me in was there were interactive elements to this exhibit. There is a portion that encourages individuals to share their journey and drop tokens in the correct tube that best describes their journey story.
Next, A magnetic board mimics a suitcase and asks individuals what they would bring and allows visitors to place magnetic items in the suitcase pictured of what, indeed, they would bring with them. Thirdly, There is an opportunity to share their story at the exhibit. Finally, there are flipbooks as part of this display that each tell a story related to migration in some format.
Looking back on that mention of crossroads as a theme, the idea of sharing the views of displacement, and sharing stories of nation building begins to be revealed. I I recalled Tabitha Lord’s mention of worlds building in her science fiction and my mind flashed back to that idea!)
Another focus of the exhibit was focused on the Mediterranean Basin Beringia – as this is one of the largest migration areas in the world ( I would have NEVER realized this!). Salvatore Martello, mayor of Lampedusa, questions how many groups should be welcomed, even despite the fact the numbers have caused Lampedusa to literally collapse? His question raises the question of accepting migrants without restrictions and the implications of these actions. A second note was made about how close Alaska and Russia are and were from the Beringia bridge and how we are seeing such climatic change, shared closely when you look at the Beringia/Alaska/Russia geographic area and seeing the shared climate change that is occurring.
A second geographic focus of the exhibit is Central Africa in the areas of Chad, the Congo, Nigeria, and Angola areas to name a few. The controversial eras of the Dutch colonial rule plays an important role here with a theme of the shadow of a shadow. This helps create a focus and discussion of how colonialism plays in migration as well as artists now making a resurgence gaining back lands. The mention of Aime Mpane’s art was a great reference to how this artist is able to represent so much about authentic African history due to his art.
A final area of focus is the East L.A. area focused on in this exhibit. This area, the largest Latino population is also a hub and center of Chinese activism dating back to Japanese Internment moments in history. Additionally, topics of structural racism and gentrification are brought out for discussion. Presenters Raul Gonzalez has good presentation on this topic – https://prezi.com/user/z0fwrhfz9qfo/ and a focus on the L.A. artist Nico Avino is worth investigating. A great look at this Boyle Heights area can be found in the Boyle Heights Beat. All of these resources do much to address so many extensions of migration,
Some of the details of this exhibit are that winning public libraries that receive a winning acceptance of this exhibit coming receive a $500.00 stipend to support extended activities tied to this focus, Also, the proposal process opens October 10, 2022 and due by November 10. 2022. The exhibit itself is focused on Middle to High school audiences. The start of the exhibits would officially be March 2023 to August 2025.
I like the fact that community based organizations, as well as community an local colleges, universities, anthropology, historical, and civic groups could have a role to play in bringing this exhibit to Delaware.
So, What do you think would be strengths and benefits of this exhibit coming to Delaware? I see many ties to Delaware based on areas of discussion from the above geographic areas, but the next post, I will elaborate on extensions that this exhibit could have beyond the exhibit itself.
1) Questioning individuals of where they are from, what they consider home, how they are able to show where they call home and how they have arrived here involves areas of history, science, geography, and identity. As the first state, I believe these are all able to be examined through the lens of school and public libraries, and hoped the public would see how parallel and related, as well as valuable it is for both areas of librarians are, together.
I attended the workshop on this session as well. These things stuck out to me:
2) Another librarian at ALA asked the question of how can small rural areas like Delaware compete with larger areas vying for this exhibit, such as L.A,, Chicago, New York? The answer was the meaning, importance, and value of who receives these exhibits is in the power of the proposal. The encouragement to involve institutions like Discover Bank, Museums, etc was mentioned as part of the proposal. My idea was we get testimonies and support from public librarians AND school librarians, as well as school educators, businesses, civic groups, (Communities in Schools, Wellness Centers, etc) The Delaware Department of Education, Delaware Historical Society, The Delaware Humanities, anthropologists in the state, coalitions like Mr. Chraskta has asked us to gather for advocacy, to show how public and school librarians need support, maybe in slightly different areas, but I think this is also a way to bing groups together that have been segregated in advocacy before.
3) The more groups and individuals that can play a part in advocating reasons why this display, interactive, informative, and focuses on families, can emphasize the history of diverse groups that are found in libraries, as well as in the state of Delaware, the better chance we have of having an ironclad proposal to come to Delaware and be one of many beacons of how school and public libraries need more support, advocacy, and legislation to exist and grow.
4) I believe we can make extensions that would be invaluable to this exhibit, like record weekly stories that can beome podcasts based around this exhibit, use greenscreen and 3D technology to enhance this exhibit, and so much more that can use this exhibit like a One Book Project, showing multiple extensions of both libraries in public and school arenas, through one source like this exhibit.
More to come, but this is a preliminary introduction to this exhibit, and Georgetown has become the focus since it seems the space allowed would be able to accommodate this display. I am all in to support this and would LOVE to be the first proposal the day the proposals open to hit their desks, and be the strongest argument on the desk to have this exhibit come here!
I would love your ideas and feedback as we make a strong case for bringing this exhibit to Delaware!