At the University of Houston Libraries, we leverage the power of partnerships and collaboration to enrich services locally and expand our impact globally. Four UH librarians are enacting this significant value by mentoring students at The Lawson Academy, a Third Ward charter school founded by Rev. William “Bill” and Audrey Lawson.
Emily Vinson, Mea Warren, Anne Washington, and Orolando Duffus volunteer with the Juvenile and Capital Advocacy Project (JCAP) and First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston (First UU) Mentorship Program, a partnership that pairs mentors with The Lawson Academy eighth graders.
Mentors in the program range from graduate students to retirees, and represent various professions and industries across the Houston area. They visit with their mentee over lunch once a week for the duration of the school year, giving The Lawson Academy students the benefit of an additional positive influence in their lives – a friend who will listen, support, and advise them.
The UH librarians serving as mentors in the program enjoy a valuable experience as well. “It’s made me feel like I have a closer connection with the community at large,” Warren, natural sciences and math librarian, said. “I’m reaching out to students who may want to go to UH someday, or maybe want to be in my profession. It’s really cool to be able to help out the younger generation.”
“One of the interesting things about mentoring someone is that it forces you to research and articulate your thoughts much more frequently,” said Duffus, business librarian. “Mentorship is a win-win for everyone involved. I get a sense of fulfillment and personal growth following every interaction with my mentee.”
Finding common ground with the students is an important first step in gaining trust and rapport. Light-hearted conversations about families, classes, music, and celebrities help establish a bond, but the talks are also substantive. Mentors share information on topics such as navigating magnet school selection, higher education pathways, and professional opportunities. Encouraging the students to think about and prepare for their future is paramount.
“Working with students in the historic Third Ward has been a rewarding experience,” said Vinson. “It’s important to engage with the wider community around UH, and the program has allowed me to learn more about my mentee and about the opportunities that The Lawson Academy is creating for the students to help them make important decisions about their education.”
Outreach is integral to the library profession, and that’s what inspires metadata librarian Washington as a mentor. “I believe that libraries are a service to the community,” Washington said. “Introducing and reinforcing the library and librarians as a resource for young people now and throughout their lives is important. It is also personally enriching; I’m learning and sharing in someone else’s experience which has given me the opportunity to reflect on my own experiences.”
University of Houston Libraries invites faculty and staff, students, researchers, and anyone interested in discovering unique materials to attend a brown bag presentation on Wednesday, November 2 in the Elizabeth D. Rockwell Pavilion at the MD Anderson Library.
Founded in 1982 as the Kaposi’s Sarcoma Committee, AIDS Foundation Houston (AFH) is Texas’ first organization dedicated to HIV prevention, education, and services. In August, UH Special Collections began collaborating with AFH to preserve their archives and make them available to the public for viewing and research. Join chief executive officer Kelly Young, chief program officer Nike Blue, librarian Vince Lee, and professor Whitney Cox for a discussion of what these archives contain, how they came to be a part of UH’s collection, and the importance of this history to the ongoing fight against AIDS.
The November 2 talk is part of Unique Holdings, a presentation series that highlights the rare archival items held by Special Collections and available for use by faculty, students and researchers.
Future Unique Holdings talks will feature librarians discussing other books and manuscripts of Special Collections that can inform and shape scholarly endeavors in any discipline.
Bring your lunch and enjoy an enlightening discussion.
What: “A History of Responsiveness” brown bag presentation
When: Wednesday, November 2 at noon
Where: Elizabeth D. Rockwell Pavilion, MD Anderson Library
Lisa Cruces, Hispanic Collections archivist at the University of Houston Libraries Special Collections, was appointed to the University of Texas at Austin School of Information Advisory Council. Members of the Council assist the dean by contributing to the School’s advancement efforts.
Cruces graduated from the UT Austin School of Information in 2012. She accepted the newly established role of Hispanic Collections archivist at UH in 2014, and was previously the Librarian-in-Residence at the University of Notre Dame.
The following databases are now available from the University of Houston Libraries:
Provides full-text electronic access to numerous legal journals, rare and out-of-print collections, including extensive backfiles.
Nursing Education in Video
This site provides access to the complete collection of Medcom’s training videos; over 400 titles.
Perspectives from individuals affiliated with the University of Houston Creative Writing Program were captured on video as a digital component of the new exhibit, Storied: The First Ten Years of the Creative Writing Program.
UH Libraries Special Collections welcomes visitors to view the exhibit located on the first floor of the MD Anderson Library, and to learn more with the following videos:
Visitors to the MD Anderson Library this week will notice a suite of banners displayed in the atrium. The Banner Project, created by Houston activist Sara Fernandez, is a type of pop-up exhibit that features pivotal points in Houston’s LGBT history from the 1930s to present day.
The thirty-seven banners bring a vibrant visual aspect to the individuals, events, and milestones of the LGBT community. Vince Lee, UH Special Collections archivist, hopes “the visuals from the banners will generate discussion, reflection, and awareness across campus and in the community.”
In tandem with LGBT History Month, The Banner Project will be on display at the MD Anderson Library through October 11, which is National Coming Out Day. Fernandez will visit the Libraries to answer questions about the project, and Lorraine Schroeder of the UH LGBTQ Resource Center will also be on hand with information that day.
Related: OutSmart article “The Banner Project: Teaching Local LGBT History in a Fast-Paced Society”
Volunteers from the University of Houston Libraries will be engaging with students and visitors at two upcoming events.
The Cougar Resource Fair will offer an informational and interactive experience for students to explore services and programs available at the University. UH Libraries will host a coin toss/library trivia game at the Resource Fair on Thursday, October 13 from 11:30 a.m – 1:30 p.m. at Lynn Eusan Park. In case of rain, the event will be moved to the Student Center.
During UH Family Weekend on Friday, October 14, UH Libraries will offer tours of the MD Anderson Library for parents and family members of UH students between 10 a.m. and 12 noon, and will begin in the 24-Hour Lounge.
Join the University of Houston Libraries Special Collections and Voices Breaking Boundaries (VBB) at a unique gathering to launch the archiving of VBB founder Sehba Sarwar’s three-decade artistic career and VBB’s extensive, multi-sensory 17-year history.
The event will showcase VBB’s archived videos, photographs, writings and art in a collection curated by UH archivist Vince Lee and intern Emily Brooks. Also featured will be conversations with Christa Forster, Elizabeth Gregory, Karen Martinez, Sixto Wagan, Borderlines editors Margot Backus and Maria Gonzalez, and VBB board members including Yolanda Alvarado and Carmen Peña Abrego. VBB’s new website, designed by Angela Martinez with direction by Dee Dee Dochen, will also be launched.
The evening will include refreshments and opportunities to engage with Sehba Sarwar and VBB’s work in Houston and beyond.
The event will be held in the Elizabeth D. Rockwell Pavilion at the MD Anderson Library on Monday, November 14 from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. It is free and open to the public.
Free workshops in Adobe Acrobat, EndNote, Excel 2013, HTML and CSS, Illustrator CS6, InDesign CS6,
Photoshop CS6, PowerPoint 2013, and SPSS are being held in October at the University of Houston Libraries.
The Technology Training program at UH Libraries offers technology courses to current UH students, faculty and staff. Classes are held in the Learning Commons Training Labs on the first floor of the MD Anderson Library.
The University of Houston Libraries and UH Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program will present “A Conversation About Hip Hop and Masculinity” with Professor Mark Anthony Neal of Duke University and Professor Anthony B. Pinn of Rice University on Thursday, October 27.
Along with the conversation between scholars, a pop-up exhibit of photographs from the Peter Beste and Lance Scott Walker Houston Rap Collection will be on display, with an introduction to the collection by archivist Julie Grob.
The event and exhibit will be held in the Elizabeth D. Rockwell Pavilion at the MD Anderson Library from 1:00 – 2:15 p.m. It is free and open to the public.
Professor Neal will also be the keynote speaker of the UH College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences John P. McGovern Endowed Lecture on the evening of October 27.
Neal is Professor of African & African American Studies and the founding director of the Center for Arts, Digital Culture and Entrepreneurship (CADCE) at Duke University where he offers courses on Black Masculinity, Popular Culture, and Digital Humanities, including signature courses on Michael Jackson & the Black Performance Tradition, and The History of Hip-Hop, which he co-teaches with Grammy Award Winning producer 9th Wonder (Patrick Douthit). He is the author of several books including What the Music Said: Black Popular Music and Black Public Culture (1999), Soul Babies: Black Popular Culture and the Post-Soul Aesthetic (2002) and Looking for Leroy: Illegible Black Masculinities (2013). The 10th Anniversary edition of Neal’s New Black Man was published in February of 2015 by Routledge. Neal is co-editor of That’s the Joint: The Hip-Hop Studies Reader (Routledge), now in its second edition.
Pinn is the Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities and professor of religion, and the founding director of the Center for Engaged Research and Collaborative Learning (CERCL) at Rice University. Pinn’s research interests include religion and culture; humanism; and hip hop culture. He is the author/editor of over 35 books, including Noise and Spirit: Rap Music’s Religious and Spiritual Sensibilities (2004), Introducing African American Religion (2012), The End of God-Talk: An African American Humanist Theology (2012), and the novel, The New Disciples (2015).
Director of Communications