banner for department blog

Report on library efforts to support equity in staffing, collections, and services

Uncategorized

ANNUAL REPORT FROM THE STAFF OF THE WILLIAM R. JENKINS ARCHITECTURE, DESIGN, AND ART LIBRARY TO OUR STUDENTS AND OUR COMMUNITY ON OUR EFFORTS TO SUPPORT EQUITY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE IN LIBRARY STAFFING, COLLECTIONS, SERVICES, OUTREACH, AND OPERATIONS 

June 2021   

The killing of George Floyd, a native of the Third Ward neighborhood that is home to the University of Houston campus, and the response to peaceful protesters demanding racial justice in 2020 motivated the Jenkins Library staff to consider what we can do and are doing to advance social justice in the microcosm of our library.  We developed strategies that we believe will help us meet our goal of eliminating systemic racism and inequity from our operations, hiring, and all aspects of our library services.  We also pledged to assess the success of these implemented strategies with a publicly distributed mid-year and annual report.  By holding ourselves accountable in this way we hope to make continual progress.  This is our first annual report.   

 

Staffing Plan  

Our library employs one librarian, 1 part-time and two full-time assistants, and 3-7 student workers, who specialize in art and design research.  We actively recruit our professional staff from the alumni of the academic departments we support.  Our department has traditionally been an ethnically and racially diverse one.  We recognize that we need to recruit employees who represent multiple demographic, cultural, and ability groups so that our students benefit from many experiences.  We will strategically promote our job openings to ensure a diverse pool of applicants for our open positions.   

 

  1. We will continue to promote open student worker positions to the students of the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design and the Katherine G. McGovern College of the Arts.  We will also promote job postings directly to multi-ethnic student organizations, as well as groups for students who face additional challenges in higher education because of their gender, sexuality, identity, physical disability, or other factor. 
  1. We will promote our professional job postings directly to arts organizations for people of color and groups traditionally under-represented in higher education, as well as community organizations dedicated to connecting under-represented groups to employment opportunities, in order to ensure a diverse pool of applicants for these positions. 

 

Assessment 

The library had the opportunity to hire two student workers since last summer.  In addition to Cougar Pathway, social media sites, and our academic departments, our employment notice was distributed to student organizations representing a wide range of underrepresented and/or ethnically diverse groups.  The following campus groups that were asked to distribute the job description include:  African Student UnionAssociation of Latinx/Hispanic Advocates and AlliesBayou City BhangraBlack Scholars CollectiveBlack Student Union at The University Of HoustonBangladeshi Students AssociationCaribbean Students OrganizationChinese Students & Scholars Association, Dhun A Cappella, Filipino Student AssociationFuture Women in ArchitectureGamma Rho LambdaGraduate Assocation of Pakistani Student UHGraduate Indian Student OrganizationGraduate Women AssociationHouston Di ShaanHouston JannatIndian Student AssociationIntercultural Women’s AssociationInternational Students OrganizationIranian Community at University of HoustonKorean Student AssociationLatin Dance AssociationLebanese Student AssociationMalaysian Singaporean Student AssociationMexico at UHNational Association for the Advancement of Colored PeopleNational Organization of Minority Architecture Students, University of HoustonNepalese Student Assocation at University of Houston-Main CampusPakistan Student AssocationPersian Society at University of HoustonStudents of East AfricaSyrian Student AssociationTaiwanese Students AssociationThe Nigerian Students AssociationVenezuelan Student UnionVietnamese Student Association. 

 

Collections   

The librarian wrote an analysis of the general collection in 2008, which noted the prevalence of Western-centric subjects and white male artists and designers in the collection.  This resulted in a plan to increase resources in multiple subject and geographic areas, in order to create a more balanced set of resources.  The plan was implemented the following fiscal year and continues to guide collection decisions.  In 2019 the librarian also developed a plan for the Kenneth Franzheim II Rare Books Room collection, which is located within the William R. Jenkins Architecture, Design, and Art.  The plan recognized the lack of racial inclusion in the collection and acknowledged that it does not sufficiently reflect the major research interests of our academic departments.  The general collection of the Architecture, Design, and Art Library is roughly 90,000 volumes and the Kenneth Franzheim II Rare Books Room collection is approximately 1,000 volumes.  Given those numbers, as well as the budget and the expense of rare books, it is not possible to quickly rectify a lopsided collection.  While the number of titles in those much-needed subjects has increased significantly over the past thirteen years, the effect has been only moderately noticeable.  The library staff is cognizant of the fact that, for most of our patrons, the library collection is the most fundamental representation of the University of Houston Libraries.  It is the physical manifestation of the library’s mission, more so than any other service or staff member.  In order to increase progress at a faster pace, therefore, we pledge to implement the following measures. 

We pledge to spend endowments designated for the library’s general collection on works by and about people of color, as well as activist art and design during Fiscal Years 2020-2022 to create a more representative collection. This will also help us align with the curricula, goals, and faculty interests in the College of the Arts, as well as the College of Architecture and Design.  

We will pursue the goals of the Kenneth Franzheim II Rare Books Room Collection Plan (2019), which include increasing the number of books by and on people of color in the rare book collection.  

During Fiscal Years 2020-2022 new purchases for the Franzheim Room will be books by or about people of color or about the visual culture of under-represented regions. By increasing the holdings in these subjects, we will not only support the faculty interests and curricula of our academic units but will also more closely meet the needs of our many students who select thesis and other research topics for which the collection offers few resources.  

 

Assessment 

At the end of June, three endowments designated to purchase materials for the William R. Jenkins Architecture, Design, and Art Library’s general collection have been spent exclusively on materials about artists, movements, and subjects related to people of color.  Titles are listed below. 

.AFRICOBRA: Messages to the People 
2019 ARTIST OF THE YEAR: MARGARITA CABRERA CATALOG LIMITED EDITION 
A Beautiful Confluence: Anni and Josef Albers and the Latin American World 
A black hole is everything a star longs to be 
ABAX Arquitectos: Homes: Architecture Comes to Life 
Adrian Piper: A Synthesis of Intuitions 1965–2016 
Affordable Houses, Inclusive Cities 
African American Architects: Embracing Culture and Building Urban Communities 
African Modernism: The Architecture of Independence. Ghana, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Zambia 
Al Borde: Less Is All 
Alison Saar: Of Aether and Earthe 
Among Others: Blackness at MoMA 
Among Others: Blackness at MoMA  
Ancient Churches of Ethiopia 
Art and Race Matters: The Career of Robert Colescott 
Authority and Ornament: Art of the Sepik River, Papua New Guinea 
Bangkok Design: Thai Ideas in Design, Textiles and Furniture 
Barthélémy Toguo 
Basquiat’s Defacement: The Untold Story 
Beyond Mammy, Jezebel & Sapphire 
Bisa Butler: Portraits  
Black art notes 
Black Built: History and Architecture in the Black Community 
Black Futures 
Black Lives 1900: W.E.B. Du Bois at the Paris Exposition 
Black Sun: Women in Photography 
Blues for Smoke 
Border Crossings: North and South Korean Insights from the Sigg Collection 
Born to Serve: A History of Texas Southern University 
Cairo since 1900: An Architectural Guide 
Capital City: Gentrification and the Real Estate State 
Carmen Herrera: Lines of Sight  
CELIA ÁLVAREZ MUÑOZ: OBRAS 
Concrete Cuba: Cuban Geometric Abstraction from the 1950s 
Deborah Roberts: The Evolution of Mimi 
Dialectic VII: Decolonizing Architectural Pedagogy. 
Diversity Among Architects 
Diversity and Design: Understanding Hidden Consequences 
Educated in Tyranny:  Slavery at Thomas Jefferson’s University 
Essays, Arguments & Interviews on Modern Architecture Kuwait 
Geometry Beyond Limits: Latin American Contemporary Art from the Jean and Colette Cherqui Collection 
GEORGE SMITH: 1970 – 2016 
Grief and Grievance: Art and Mourning in America (from Civil Rights to Black Lives Matter 
Highlights from The Studio Museum in Harlem 
I Too Sing America: The Harlem Renaissance at 100 
In a Cloud, in a Wall, in a Chair: Six Modernists in Mexico at Midcentury  
Infinite Span: 90 Years of Brazilian Architecture 
John S. Chase—The Chase Residence  
John S. Chase—The Chase Residence  
Jordan Casteel: Within Reach 
Josef Albers in Mexico 
Julie Mehretu 
Kwame Brathwaite: Black is Beautiful 
Landscape of Faith: Interventions Along the Mexican Pilgrimage Route 
Legorreta 
Lorna Simpson Collages 
Lo―TEK. Design by Radical Indigenism 
Lubaina Himid: Workshop Manual  
Luis Barragan’s Gardens of El Pedregal 
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Fly in League with the Night 
Mario Bautista O’Farril, Architect. The beginning of modernity in Mexico 
Mark Bradford: End Papers 
Mathias Goeritz Modernist: Art and Architecture in Cold War Mexico 
Maya Lin: Thinking with Her Hands 
member: Pope.L, 1978–2001 
Ming Smith: An Aperture Monograph 
Modern Architecture Kuwait 1949-1989 
Monument Wars. Washington, D.C., the National Mall, and the Transformation of the Memorial Landscape 
Noah Davis 
Paulo Mendes da Rocha: Museu Nacional dos Coches 
Places for the Spirit: Traditional African American Gardens 
Potential History: Unlearning Imperialism 
Pulses of Abstraction in Latin America: Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection 
Reconstructions:  Architecture and Blackness in America 
Revelations: Art from the African American South 
Riffs and Relations: African American Artists and the European Modernist Tradition 
Samuel Fosso: Autoportrait 
Senga Nengudi: Topologies 
Showpiece City: How Architecture Made Dubai 
Slave Labor in the Capital 
Southern Exposure: The Overlooked Architecture of Chicago’s South Side. 
Stick to the Skin: African American and Black British Art, 1965-2015 
Suzanne Jackson: Five Decades 
Taylor and Tuskegee: An African American Architect Designs for Booker T. Washington 
Teodoro González de León 
The Journey: New Positions in African Photography 
The Latin American City 
The Neocolonialism of the Global Village 
The Power of Lo—TEK: A global exploration of indigenous architectural innovations 
The Shadows Took Shape 
The Signifyin’ Works of Marlon Riggs 
To Build a City in Africa: A History and a Manual 
Togo Murano, 1931-1963 
TRACING OUR PILGRIMAGE: KERMIT OLIVER 
Trenton Doyle Hancock: Mind of the Mound: Critical Mass 
Tyler Mitchell: I Can Make You Feel Good 
Walter Fernandes: Angola Cinema: A Fiction of Freedom 
When Ivory Towers Were Black 
Wifredo Lam: The Ey Exhibition 
Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties 
Working Together: Louis Draper and the Kamoinge Workshop 
Wrapped in Pride Ghanaian Kente and African American Identity 
Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation 
Young, Gifted and Black: A New Generation of Artists 

 

 

Services 

The Architecture, Design, and Art Library’s services and programming include traditional library services, such as research instruction, technology support, and resource procurement.  It also offers services related to its foci on art, architecture, and design, such as exhibitions of student artwork, curation of digital and in-house exhibits, organized talks on architectural publishing, and pop-up libraries in fine arts centers around campus.  The staff pledges to provide equitable service and representation to the populations we serve.   

We will launch an annual assessment of the inclusivity and equity of our programs and services.  Our good intentions are not enough.  At the end of each academic year, we must publicly assess the balance of ethnic and cultural perspectives of our exhibits, artists, speakers, and programs.   

 

Assessment 

We analyzed our services in order to determine whether all patrons can equally take advantage of these services, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, physical ability, or identity.  We have not yet found evidence that our services are inaccessible to any patron group.  We have also attempted to make our services more widely available to students who are facing Covid-related financial and physical risks by mailing materials to them, so they need not come to campus or pay for parking, and by extending the due dates for art and design supplies, so students with financial challenges need not purchase their own. 

Once our operations return to normal, post-pandemic, we will solicit input from users and experts (for example, the Office of disABILITIES) to ensure our services are as equitable as possible.  Major services include: 

-Research assistance and instruction 

-Circulation and distribution of materials 

-Pop-up art libraries  

-Student art exhibits 

-Virtual and physical exhibits of collection materials 

-Course reserves 

-Assistance with interlibrary loan and document delivery 

-Digital tutorials 

-Circulating art & design supplies 

 

In 2019-2020 the library partnered with the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design to create a series of talks called Books and Bites, accompanied by a reception, that celebrates local authors of art and design books and allows others to learn about their experiences researching, writing, and publishing those works.  The series was retitled Books and Bytes in Fall 2020 and moved to a virtual platform.   

Books and Bytes schedule:   

September 

Reto Geiser, Rice University School of Architecture 

Moderated by Michael Kubo, UH College of Architecture and Design 

 

October 

Ronnie Self, UH College of Architecture and Design 

Moderated by Sandra Zalman, UH College of the Arts 

 

November 

Gail Peter Borden, UH College of Architecture and Design 

Moderated by Rafael Beneytez-Duran, UH College of Architecture and Design 

 

December 

Natilee Harren, UH College of the Arts 

Moderated by Bruce Webb, Professor Emeritus of UH College of Architecture and Design 

 

February  

Kevin Story, UH College of Architecture and Design 

Moderated by Bruce Webb, Professor Emeritus of UH College of Architecture and Design 

 

February 

Sandra Zalman, UH College of the Arts 

Natilee Harren, UH College of the Arts 

 

April 

Stephen Fox, UH College of Architecture and Design 

Peter Gershon, author 

 

April 

Fabiola Lopez-Duran, Rice University School of Architecture  

Moderated by Michael Kubo, UH College of Architecture and Design 

 

 

April 

Dietmar Froehlich, UH College of Architecture and Design 

Moderated by Maria Elena Solino, UH Department of Hispanic Studies 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Online exhibits that addressed diversity, equity, globalism, and inclusion:  

 

6/3   – Black Lives Matter and Protest Art  

6/16 – LGBTQ artists and architects in celebration of Pride 

8/5 – Essential E-Books for Architecture and Art Students  

8/12 – Essential E-Books for Architecture and Art Students 

8/19 – World Photography Day (included titles about social justice) 

8/27 – Gardens from around the world 

9/10 – Hispanic Heritage Month (books about Hispanic artists and architects) 

10/1 – International Coffee Day (books about coffee and the countries that produce it) 

10/13 – Celebrating Indigenous Art 

11/11 – Native American Art & Architecture 

1/11 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day (books about the civil rights movement and protest art) 

1/28 – Album Cover Art 

2/4 – Black History Month (Black Artists and Architects) 

3/3 – Women’s History Week (Women Artists and Architects) 

4/5 – Sustainable Architecture and Design 

5/2 – Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (Asian and Pacific Islander Artists) 

6/1 – LGBTQ Artists and Artwork 

 

Our exhibits curators considered diversity of experience within each subject for each online or in-house display of materials.  An exhibit on Manga and Comic art, for example, included titles on under-represented groups in comic art.  A Halloween exhibit included materials on the holiday’s international and multi-ethnic influences.  Other examples are below. 

Name  Topics 
Rodney McMillian: Historically Hostile Exhibit Theme  White supremacy, immigration, slavery, civil rights movement, and activist art. 
Graphic Design, Drawing, Illustration, Manga, and Comic Art Theme  Black women in comics, Asian comics, designers of color, and underrepresented graphic design subtopics. 
Stephanie Syjuco: The Visible Invisible Theme  Immigration, diaspora, women fashion, art & activism, embroidery movement, gender, dress culture, textiles in Indian Ocean, Tonga, Peru, Bhutan, and Norse societies. 
Horror Titles Theme (Halloween Special)  Diverse horror subjects in medical photography, art in science, funerary art, archaeology, ancient Egyptian tombs, Day of the Dead celebration, Maya rituals & tombs, African American cemeteries, haunted past of the U.S Civil War, Vietnam, Native American & Indigenous horrors, women liberation movement, symbolist art, gothic art & poems, European, Asian, and Latin American cinema, women in horror films, first colored women in horror films, and gender & horror films. 
Simon Fujiwara: Hope House Theme  Museum activism, human rights, Anne Frank, WW2, the Holocaust horrors, reflections, victims & survivors, consumer culture, Judaism, other world Holocaust, authenticity, modeling, hope, art & its uses, LGBTQ Jews, Auschwitz, art power, Nazis after Hitler, Jewish architecture, Berlin memorial. 
Native American Art Theme  Female Native American artists, performance & representation, visualizing the sacred, Indians on display in museums, rock art, Contemporary American Indian films, photography, American Indian schools & art education, Indigenous bodies, artifacts, ancient tattoo traditions, special ceremony paintings, Indian and Ancient Art of the Americas, sculpture, decorative art, colonialism, preserving traditional arts, Folklore in the West, and quilts. 
Celebrating Black History Month Theme  Women artist of the Harlem Renaissance, Black artists in America, the African diaspora, Black writers & artists of the Depression Era, LGBTQ Black artists, Black pioneer cartoon artists, history of Black culture, Black muralists, Black painters, the injustice of slavery, Black culture, in hope of a better era,  Black artists in the 60’s & 70’s, photographers of the Civil Rights movement, the history of African-American roots, politics of culture, plays by African-American women, Black public art in Chicago, the new Black Arts Movement, Hip-Hop Graffiti subculture, African-American performance, creating a new Black cinema, drawings & lithographs of Black artists. 
Valentine’s Day Theme  Romantic women poets, the Romantic era, Romantic cinema, Romantic China, Romanticism in British cinema and art, history of Romanticism in the 19th C, Romanticism & slave narratives, French romanticism, pre-cursors of Romanticism, Swedish Romanticism, Romantic Netherlands, Jewish Romanticism, Romanticism & the Anglo-Hispanic imagery, Welsh Romanticism, German Romanticism, 19th century female Romantics, Rococo, Romantic poetry & literature. 
Celebrating International Women’s Day Theme  Women in Mexican Folk art, women artist & democracy, Japanese women artists, designing women, visual culture, art of the Feminist Art Movement, Impressionist women artists, Chinese women artists, women making history & art, women in the Digital arts, women photographers, Canadian women artists, women architects & modernist in India, Tunisian women artists, feminist art in London, Contemporary art, Surrealist women, African-American women artists & writers, women artists from the Great Basin, women equality, LGBTQ artists & writers, creative women in Korea, southern women artists, transcultural encounters among women, women architects, women artists in all ages & countries, Mexican artists, Women’s Army Corps, 18th century women, women & gender, women Canadian artists in the age of Impressionism, women in the Fine Arts, minority women architects in California, art & the maternal, Feminist aesthetics, Togolese women artists. 
Spring Season Theme  Gardening, sustainable Asian homes, flower photography, landscape architecture in Australia, green roofs, flower drawings, flower art in Japan, the art of botanical & bird illustrations, creative garden photography, building with earth, the art of flower arrangements & design, Chinese market gardening in Australia & New Zealand, landscape women architects,  Mexican gardens & patios, tapestry garden art, sustainable homes, the art of model flowers, art of preserving flowers, still life paintings, Australian flora art, drawing Tulips & other flowers, floral artists, struggle for social & spatial justice, modern Japanese landscape architecture, art of making wine from flowers & herbs,  rainwater design, artists who painted flowers & landscapes, Islamic gardens & landscapes, design & cultivation, the art of flower panting, women in green voices, Japanese garden design, landscape modernism in Asia-Pacific, stories of ethnic gardening, sustainable Singapore homes, nature paintings in Chile, Abstract art & nature, flora symbolism of the great masters. drawing & reinventing landscape. 
Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Theme  Japanese design, Thai decorated art, Pacific arts of Polynesia and Micronesia, Feminism & Contemporary art in Indonesia, Chinese art, Southeast Asian ceramics, gender & Chinese contemporary art, Chinese architecture, Pacific arts, art of early post-war Japan, visual art in Melanesia, art & architecture of Thailand, Urban design in the Philippines, Chinese art & film, Chinese architecture & history, Japanese Zen calligraphy, Oceanic art in European museums, photographs of madras, Chinese art across cultures, art in Australia, Aboriginal Photographies, New Zealand botanical art, Japanese color prints, art & civilization of Taiwan, Japanese gardener’s art, Buddhist visual cultures, Hong Kong art & stories of Vietnamese people, architecture of the Japanese Momoyama period, Chinese religious art,  Japanese theatrical art, galleries of Maoriland, Chinese cultural revolution, a Vietnam sketchbook, Chinese 20th C. Avant-Garde, performing art in Oceania & Southeast Asia, Australia’s art history. 
National Photography Month Theme  Landscape photography, stories from the camera, lighting secrets, portraiture & photography in Africa, women photography between wars, why photography matters, professional architectural photography, secrets of stunning images, 20 C. photographers, photographers & cinema, female photographers, black & white photography, photography & anthropology, nonhuman photography, gender & photography, bird photography, key writers on photography, lens on life, digital photography, history of photography, macro photography, early photography, Italian photography, effects for portrait photographers, street photography, photography in 19 C. India. 

 

 

 

Community engagement   

According to the Houston Arts Alliance’s economic impact study, Arts & Economic Prosperity 5, Houston’s arts and culture industry generates $1.12 billion in annual economic activity in the greater Houston region—supporting 25,817 full-time equivalent jobs and generating $119.3 million in local and state government revenues.1  The Architecture, Design, and Art Library has opportunities to partner with arts organizations in Houston in order to leverage support for both art and design research on campus as well as artistic expression in the City of Houston.  That community support should include all segments of Houston’s population of artists and designers.  Houston is and has been home to a thriving community of visual and performing artists who claim ancestry from Africa, Asia, indigenous America, and Latin America.  It is our privilege, as the largest public art library in the region, to collaborate with, to celebrate, and provide research support to that community. 

  • We will reach out to community art organizations committed to social justice and equality to learn how we can support and partner with them.  
  • We will explore opportunities to facilitate dialogue with academic units and community partners on how information resources support social justice, as well as racial, ethnicity, gender, and identity-based equality. 
  • We will leverage our social media presence by creating spotlights for diverse members of our artistic community, including members of our academic departments and student bodies, to show their work and give them a space to talk about their educational influences, the books and resources they recommend, and talk about the importance of art and design research in their endeavors. 

 

Assessment 

Our social media curator has vigorously promoted art and design events in the city and on campus, including many that promote equitable representation in the artistic community.  The staff has also assisted researchers at museums, such as an upcoming exhibit of black artists at the Station Museum.  We have not, however, engaged in more outreach this year, as a result of our pledge, or developed new partnerships.  We have made an inventory of organizations with which we hope to work in the future and will communicate that aspiration to them. 

 

 

Summary   

Strengths:  staff, exhibits and services 

The professional staff of the Jenkins Library has traditionally been more diverse than is typical in libraries, where only 17% of librarians and 30.1% of classified staff did not identify as white (non-Hispanic) in 2019, according to the AFL-CIO.2  Half of the professional staff and most of the student employees employed by the Jenkins Library since 2004 have been people of color.  Multiple generations, ethnicities, first languages, nationalities, and physical abilities have also been represented by employees.  68.75% of the Jenkins Library professional staff have identified as female since 2004, compared to the 82% average recorded by the U.S. Department of Labor in 2019.   

Exhibits, virtual events, and services regularly include underrepresented perspectives, cultures, and identities.  Nearly half of 2020-2021 digital exhibits, for example, explicitly addressed inclusion, multi-culturalism, and social justice. 

 

Improvements:  collections and planning 

As a result of our pledge, we are more conscious of inclusion in planning our programming, services, and events.  It is difficult to say whether our exhibits and program are more inclusive because we did not track that information before 2020.  When we plan now, however, we include a process of asking who is being left out, who is being welcomed, and will the service work for all our patrons equitably.   

In addition, our collections are becoming more diverse for three reasons: (1) it is our intention, (2) our patrons are asking for more materials on people and subjects that have traditionally been underrepresented, and (3) publishers have increased their offerings of materials on these subjects.   

 

Need to Improve:  community and patron engagement 

We have not engaged with the on- and off-campus community as much as we intended.  Covid precautions have prevented us from engaging socially, which we hope to do in the near future.  We also intend to partner with other researchers and organizations, as well as our neighborhood institutions, in order to expand our patrons’ opportunities to engage with information that will result in scholarship and artistic output.   

In addition, our social media curator plans to create more interactive content in order to create a conversation and deeper connection with our community.  We can use all our online platforms to showcase student work and its relationship with research materials and inquiry.   

We also need to be better about soliciting feedback from our patrons, so our conversations and efforts around racial and social justice and related services do not occur in an uninformed vacuum.   

 

Listen to Joe Mashburn’s Interview

General Announcements

In honor of the late Joe Mashburn, the Architecture, Design, and Art Library would like to share an interview archived in the UH Digital Library.

The interview took place in 2015 between Joe & Anna Mod from the series Building Houston. Joe discusses his background, personal interests, professional practice & teaching.

Click to see video.

 

 

New Rare Book Exhibits On View

General Announcements, New Resource, Special Event or Display

The Architecture, Design, & Art Library is happy to present two new special collections exhibitions featuring newly acquired items from our Franzheim Rare Books collection! 

In the Mezzanine area we have on display issues no. 5, 7, and 9 of the Fluxus journal Fluxus ccV TRE. 

Fluxus was an avant-garde art movement that emerged in the early 1960s and created in response to the elitism and commercialism that was found in the art market at the time. Conceived by George Maciunas, a central figure in the movement, the Fluxus publishing program was meant to communicate the group ideas on an international scale. The issues on display feature images from Fluxus performance events, such as issue no. 9 John, Yoko, and Flux which contains images from 1970’s Flux Fest. 

On the first floor display case is a collection of papers from Fellow Communards and Communal Fellows. The box contains a series of printed objects such as maps, flyers, zines and photographs, created by artists, activists and members of the Llano del Rio Collective in response to the social and political landscape of Los Angeles. The materials included address issues such as immigration, refugees, and gentrification. 

To make an appointment contact us at archlib@uh.edu.

New Summer Services

General Announcements, New Service

The Architecture, Design, and Art Library is now open to students, faculty, and staff who want to browse the collection. See details below.

Mode of service

  • The general library spaces is open with limited capacity.
  • The service desk continues to be open in order to provide the following services.
  • Borrowing of library materials
  • Scan requests
  • Research assistance requests
  • Information and basic library instruction
  • Scans and in-depth research assistance continue to be delivered online.
  • Patrons may continue returning library materials through the drop-box on the interior wall and outdoor book bin only.

Requests & Services

The library staff continues taking requests from UH patrons and distribute any physical material in-person, mail or scans via email. Please submit all your requests (book pick-up/holds, scanning, or mailing) using our library request form. Only items from our collection are eligible. Items from other libraries, please visit here. Shipments will continue to be made weekly with limited staffing. We appreciate your patience.

Research assistance

  • Staff members continue provide limited research assistance at the service desk, if circumstances are optimal.
  • Most research assistance will be provided virtually.
  • Patrons may request assistance with class and faculty research at archlib@uh.edu.

Reserves

  • The library staff continues to provide e-reserves, as usual.
  • Pdf’s will be created on request
  • Library staff will link pdf’s and e-materials to Blackboard pages, or deliver them electronically to instructors, who may deliver them via another platform.
  • We will not provide physical reserves (books/dvd’s/etc.) at this time because of potential health risks.  We will, however, make scans of readings from books that instructors require.

For questions or concerns, please email us at archlib@uh.edu.

Building Maintenance- Library Closure June 4-7

General Announcements

The Architecture, Design, and Art Library will be closing Friday, June 4- Monday, June 7

The staff will continue working remotely. Regular hours resume Tuesday, June 8.

If you need assistance, please contact us at archlib@uh.edu  or send us a library request.

Virtual Pop-Up Archives 2020-2021

General Announcements, New Resource, Special Event or Display

Spring 2021 

 

February 5, 2021

Pop-up Library & Showcase

Theme: Celebrating Black History Month

Access link here

February 12, 2021

Special Pop-Up Library

Theme: Celebrating Valentine’s Day

Access link here

March 8, 2021

Special Pop-Up Library

Theme: Celebrating International Women’s Day

Access link here

April 16, 2021

Special Pop-Up Library

Theme: Celebrating Spring

Access link here

May 7, 2021

Special Pop-Up Library

Theme: Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Access link here

May 14, 2021

Special Pop-Up Library

Theme: Celebrating National Photography Month

Access link here

 

Fall 2020

 

September 4, 2020

Pop-up Library & Showcase

Theme: Celebrating Rodney McMillian: Historically Hostile Exhibition 

Access link here

September 25, 2020

Special Pop-Up Library

Theme: Celebrating Graphic Design, Drawing, Illustration, Manga, and Comic Art 

Access link here

October 2, 2020

Pop-up Library & Showcase

Theme: Celebrating Stephanie Syjuco: The Visible Invisible Exhibition

Access link here

October 30, 2020

Special Pop-Up Library

Theme: Celebrating Halloween

Access link here

November 6, 2020

Pop-up Library & Showcase

Theme: Celebrating Simon Fujiwara: Hope House Exhibition

Access link here

November 20, 2020

Special Pop-Up Library

Theme: Celebrating Native American Art

Access link here

A Mid-Year Report to Our Students & Community

General Announcements, Planned Down Time

A MID-YEAR REPORT FROM THE STAFF OF THE WILLIAM R. JENKINS ARCHITECTURE, DESIGN, AND ART LIBRARY TO OUR STUDENTS AND OUR COMMUNITY ON OUR EFFORTS TO SUPPORT EQUITY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE IN LIBRARY STAFFING, COLLECTIONS, SERVICES, OUTREACH, AND OPERATIONS

 

Assembled by Catherine Essinger, Daniel Fuller, Estefania Garcia, and

Edith Villaseñor Cruz, and written by Catherine Essinger

February 2021

 

The killing of George Floyd, a native of the Third Ward neighborhood that is home to the University of Houston campus, and the response to peaceful protesters demanding racial justice afterward motivated the Jenkins Library staff to consider what we can do and are doing to advance social justice in the microcosm of our library.  We developed strategies that we believe will help us meet our goal of eliminating systemic racism and inequity from our operations, hiring, and all aspects of our library services.  We also pledged to assess the success of these implemented strategies with a publicly distributed mid-year and annual report.  By holding ourselves accountable in this way we hope to make continual progress.  This is our first mid-year report.  The information within was collected in January 2021.

 

 

Staffing Plan

 Our library employs one librarian, 1 part-time and two full-time assistants, and 3-7 student workers, who specialize in art and design research.  We actively recruit our professional staff from the alumni of the academic departments we support.  Our department has traditionally been an ethnically and racially diverse one.  We recognize that we need to recruit employees who represent multiple demographic, cultural, and ability groups, so that our students benefit from many experiences.  We will strategically promote our job openings to ensure a diverse pool of applicants for our open positions.

 

  • We will continue to promote open student worker positions to the students of the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design and the Katherine G. McGovern College of the Arts.  We will also promote job postings directly to multi-ethnic student organizations, as well as groups for students who face additional challenges in higher education because of their gender, sexuality, identity, physical disability, or other factor.

 

 

Midyear Assessment of Staffing Plan

The library had the opportunity to hire two student workers since last summer.  In addition to Cougar Pathway, social media sites, and our academic departments, our employment notice was distributed to student organizations representing a wide range of underrepresented and/or ethnically diverse groups.  The following campus groups that were asked to distribute the job description include:  African Student Union,  Association of Latinx/Hispanic Advocates and AlliesBayou City BhangraBlack Scholars CollectiveBlack Student Union at The University Of HoustonBangladeshi Students AssociationCaribbean Students OrganizationChinese Students & Scholars Association, Dhun A CappellaFilipino Student AssociationFuture Women in ArchitectureGamma Rho LambdaGraduate Assocation of Pakistani Student UHGraduate Indian Student OrganizationGraduate Women AssociationHouston Di ShaanHouston JannatIndian Student AssociationIntercultural Women’s AssociationInternational Students OrganizationIranian Community at University of HoustonKorean Student AssociationLatin Dance AssociationLebanese Student AssociationMalaysian Singaporean Student AssociationMexico at UHNational Association for the Advancement of Colored PeopleNational Organization of Minority Architecture Students, University of HoustonNepalese Student Assocation at University of Houston-Main CampusPakistan Student AssocationPersian Society at University of HoustonStudents of East AfricaSyrian Student AssociationTaiwanese Students AssociationThe Nigerian Students AssociationVenezuelan Student UnionVietnamese Student Association.

 

 

 

 

Collections Plan

The librarian wrote an analysis of the general collection in 2008, which noted the prevalence of Western-centric subjects and white male artists and designers in the collection.  This resulted in a plan to increase resources in multiple subject and geographic areas, in order to create a more balanced set of resources.  The plan was implemented the following fiscal year and continues to guide collection decisions.  In 2019 the librarian also developed a plan for the Kenneth Franzheim II Rare Books Room collection, which is located within the William R. Jenkins Architecture, Design, and Art.  The plan recognized the lack of racial inclusion in the collection and acknowledged that it does not sufficiently reflect the major research interests of our academic departments.  The general collection of the Architecture, Design, and Art Library is roughly 100,000 volumes and the Kenneth Franzheim II Rare Books Room collection is approximately 1,000 volumes.  Given those numbers, as well as the budget and the expense of rare books, it is not possible to quickly rectify a lopsided collection.  While the number of titles in those much-needed subjects has increased significantly over the past thirteen years, the effect has been only moderately noticeable.  The library staff is cognizant of the fact that, for most of our patrons, the library collection is the most fundamental representation of the University of Houston Libraries.  It is the physical manifestation of the library’s mission, more so than any other service or staff member.  In order to increase progress at a faster pace, therefore, we pledge to implement the following measures.

 

  • We pledge to spend endowments designated for the library’s general collection on works by and about people of color, as well as activist art and design during Fiscal Years 2020-2022 in order to create a more representative collection.  This will also help us align with the curricula, goals, and faculty interests in the College of the Arts, as well as the College of Architecture and Design.
  • We will pursue the goals of the Kenneth Franzheim II Rare Books Room Collection Plan (2019), which include increasing the number of books by and on people of color in the rare book collection.
  • During Fiscal Years 2020-2022 new purchases for the Franzheim Room will be books by or about people of color or about the visual culture of under-represented regions.  By increasing the holdings in these subjects we will not only support the faculty interests and curricula of our academic units, but will also more closely meet the needs of our many students who select thesis and other research topics for which the collection offers few resources.

 

 

 

Midyear Assessment of Collections Plan

Endowment figures were not distributed to librarians at the midyear point, so we will act on this part of the plan in the second half of the year.

 

 

Services Plan

The Architecture, Design, and Art Library’s services and programming include traditional library services, such as research instruction, technology support, and resource procurement.  It also offers services related to its foci on art, architecture, and design, such as exhibitions of student artwork, curation of digital and in-house exhibits, organized talks on architectural publishing, and pop-up libraries in fine arts centers around campus.  The staff pledges to provide equitable service and representation to the populations we serve.

 

  • We will launch an annual assessment of the inclusivity and equity of our programs and services.  Our good intentions are not enough.  At the end of each academic year we must publicly assess the balance of ethnic and cultural perspectives of our exhibits, artists, speakers, and programs.

 

 

Midyear Assessment of Services Plan

We analyzed our services in order to determine whether all patrons can equally take advantage of these services, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, physical ability, or identity.  We have not yet found evidence that our services are inaccessible to any patron group.  We have also attempted to make our services more widely available to students who are facing Covid-related financial and physical risks by mailing materials to them, so they need not come to campus or pay for parking, and by extending the due dates for art and design supplies, so students with financial challenges need not purchase their own.

 

Once our operations return to normal, post-pandemic, we will solicit input from users and experts (for example, the Office of disABILITIES) to ensure our services are as equitable as possible.  Major services include:

-Research assistance and instruction

-Circulation and distribution of materials

-Pop-up art libraries

-Student art exhibits

-Virtual and physical exhibits of collection materials

-Course reserves

-Assistance with interlibrary loan and document delivery

-Digital tutorials

-Circulating art & design supplies

 

In 2019-2020 the library partnered with the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design to create a series of talks called Books and Bites, accompanied by a reception, that celebrates local authors of art and design books and allows others to learn about their experiences researching, writing, and publishing those works.  The series was retitled Books and Bytes in Fall 2020 and moved to a virtual platform.

Books and Bytes schedule:

 

September

Reto Geiser, Rice University School of Architecture

Moderated by Michael Kubo, UH College of Architecture and Design

 

October

Ronnie Self, UH College of Architecture and Design

Moderated by Sandra Zalman, UH College of the Arts

 

November

Gail Peter Borden, UH College of Architecture and Design

Moderated by Rafael Beneytez-Duran, UH College of Architecture and Design

 

December

Natilee Harren, UH College of the Arts

Moderated by Bruce Webb, Professor Emeritus of UH College of Architecture and Design

 

 

Online exhibits that addressed diversity, equity, globalism, and inclusion:

 

6/3   – Black Lives Matter and Protest Art

6/16 – LGBTQ artists and architects in celebration of Pride

8/5 – Essential E-Books for Architecture and Art Students

8/12 – Essential E-Books for Architecture and Art Students

8/19 – World Photography Day (included titles about social justice)

8/27 – Gardens from around the world

9/10 – Hispanic Heritage Month (books about Hispanic artists and architects)

10/1 – International Coffee Day (books about coffee and the countries that produce it)

10/13 – Celebrating Indigenous Art

11/11 – Native American Art & Architecture

1/11 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day (books about the civil rights movement and protest art)

 

Our exhibits curators considered diversity of experience within each subject for each online or in-house display of materials.  An exhibit on Manga and Comic art, for example, included titles on under-represented groups in comic art.  A Halloween exhibit included materials on the holiday’s international and multi-ethnic influences.  Other examples are below.

 

Name Topics
Rodney McMillian: Historically Hostile Exhibit Theme White supremacy, immigration, slavery, civil rights movement, and activist art.
Graphic Design, Drawing, Illustration, Manga, and Comic Art Theme Black women in comics, Asian comics, designers of color, and underrepresented graphic design subtopics.
Stephanie Syjuco: The Visible Invisible Theme Immigration, diaspora, women fashion, art & activism, embroidery movement, gender, dress culture, textiles in Indian Ocean, Tonga, Peru, Bhutan, and Norse societies.
Horror Titles Theme (Halloween Special) Diverse horror subjects in medical photography, art in science, funerary art, archaeology, ancient Egyptian tombs, Day of the Dead celebration, Maya rituals & tombs, African American cemeteries, haunted past of the U.S Civil War, Vietnam, Native American & Indigenous horrors, women liberation movement, symbolist art, gothic art & poems, European, Asian, and Latin American cinema, women in horror films, first colored women in horror films, and gender & horror films.
Simon Fujiwara: Hope House Theme Museum activism, human rights, Anne Frank, WW2, the Holocaust horrors, reflections, victims & survivors, consumer culture, Judaism, other world Holocaust, authenticity, modeling, hope, art & its uses, LGBTQ Jews, Auschwitz, art power, Nazis after Hitler, Jewish architecture, Berlin memorial.
Native American Art Theme Female Native American artists, performance & representation, visualizing the sacred, Indians on display in museums, rock art, Contemporary American Indian films, photography, American Indian schools & art education, Indigenous bodies, artifacts, ancient tattoo traditions, special ceremony paintings, Indian and Ancient Art of the Americas, sculpture, decorative art, colonialism, preserving traditional arts, Folklore in the West, and quilts.

 

 

 

Community Engagement Plan

According to the Houston Arts Alliance’s economic impact study, Arts & Economic Prosperity 5, Houston’s arts and culture industry generates $1.12 billion in annual economic activity in the greater Houston region—supporting 25,817 full-time equivalent jobs and generating $119.3 million in local and state government revenues.[i]  The Architecture, Design, and Art Library has opportunities to partner with arts organizations in Houston in order to leverage support for both art and design research on campus as well as artistic expression in the City of Houston.  That community support should include all segments of Houston’s population of artists and designers.  Houston is and has been home to a thriving community of visual and performing artists who claim ancestry from Africa, Asia, indigenous America, and Latin America.  It is our privilege, as the largest public art library in the region, to collaborate with, to celebrate, and provide research support to that community.

 

  • We will reach out to community art organizations committed to social justice and equality to learn how we can support and partner with them.
  • We will explore opportunities to facilitate dialogue with academic units and community partners on how information resources support social justice, as well as racial, ethnicity, gender, and identity-based equality.
  • We will leverage our social media presence by creating spotlights for diverse members of our artistic community, including members of our academic departments and student bodies, to show their work and give them a space to talk about their educational influences, the books and resources they recommend, and talk about the importance of art and design research in their endeavors.

 

 

Midyear Assessment of Community Engagement Plan

Our social media curator has vigorously promoted art and design events in the city and on campus, including many that promote equitable representation in the artistic community.  The staff has also assisted researchers at museums, such as an upcoming exhibit of black artists at the Station Museum.  We have not, however, engaged in more outreach this year, as a result of our pledge, or developed new partnerships.  We have made an inventory of organizations with which we hope to work in the future and will communicate that aspiration to them.

 

 

 

 

Summary

Strengths:  staff, exhibits and services

 

The professional staff of the Jenkins Library has traditionally been more diverse than is typical in libraries, where only 17% of librarians and 30.1% of classified staff did not identify as white (non-Hispanic) in 2019, according to the AFL-CIO.[ii]  Half of the non-student and most of the student employees employed by the Jenkins Library since 2004 have been white (non-Hispanic).  Multiple ages (including employees aged 50+), ethnicities, first languages, nationalities, and physical disabilities have also been represented by employees.  68.75% of the Jenkins Library staff have identified as female since 2004, compared to the 82% average recorded by the U.S. Department of Labor in 2019.[iii]

 

Exhibits, virtual events, and services regularly include underrepresented perspectives, cultures, and identities.  Nearly have of digital exhibits, for example address inclusion, multi-culturalism, and social justice explicitly.

 

 

Improvements:  collections and planning

 

As a result of our pledge, we are more conscious of inclusion in planning our programming, services, and events.  It is difficult to say whether our exhibits and program are more inclusive because we did not track that information before 2020.  When we plan now, however, we ask who is being left out, who is being welcomed, and will the service work for all our patrons equitably.

 

In addition, our collections are becoming more diverse for three reasons: (1) it is our intention, (2) our patrons are asking for more materials on people and subjects that have traditionally been underrepresented, and (3) there has been an increase of excellent new materials on these subjects published recently.

 

 

Need to Improve:  community and patron engagement

 

We have not engaged with the on- and off-campus community as much as we intended.  Covid precautions have prevented us from engaging socially, which we hope to do in the near future.  We also intend to partner with other researchers and organizations, as well as our neighborhood institutions, in order to expand our patrons’ opportunities to engage with information that will result in scholarship and artistic output.

 

In addition, our social media curator plans to create more interactive content in order to create a conversation and deeper connection with our community.  We can use all our online platforms to showcase student work and its relationship with research materials and inquiry.

We also need to be better about soliciting feedback from our patrons, so our conversations and efforts around racial and social justice and related services do not occur in an uninformed vacuum.

 

 

 

[i] Arts Economic Prosperity 5. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.houstonartsalliance.com/aep5.

[ii] Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO.  Library Professionals:  Facts, Figures, and Union Membership.  https://www.dpeaflcio.org/factsheets/library-professionals-facts-and-figures.  Viewed 3/16/21.

[iii] Ibid.

 

New Summer Hours

Uncategorized

The Architecture, Design, and Art Library will have new intersession & summer hours. See details below.

Intersession I Hours

May 17 – June 6

Monday – Friday : 11am- 3pm

Saturday & Sunday : Closed

 

Summer Hours

June 7 – August 13

Monday – Friday :  9am – 5pm

Saturday & Sunday : Closed

 

Intersession II Hours

August 14- 22

Monday – Friday : 9am – 5pm

Saturday & Sunday : Closed

 

Holidays

Memorial Day- Closed
Monday, May 31, 2021

Independence Day- Closed
Monday, July 5, 2021

 

Books and Bytes recordings available

Uncategorized

The Undergraduate program of the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design partners with the William R Jenkins Library to present Books and Bytes, a series of talks that spotlight the research and publication process of art and design books by local authors.  Recordings of our spring talks are below.

Many thanks to co-organizers Rafael Beneytez-Duran and Michael Kubo, as well as all the speakers and moderators who participated

Topic: Books and Bytes with Kevin Story
Date: Feb 9, 2021 04:44 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
https://zoom.us/rec/share/FecvZWMWSmQG7UsjOBk0cdg4x4opdthN_RetWkqYwhTP12n3OfEy1A245NWdm6KR.5oaQIkwcD99jSKW5 Passcode: J8kv%C#U

Topic: Books and Bytes with Sandra Zalman
Date: Mar 9, 2021 04:39 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
https://zoom.us/rec/share/RafjpzuIfc5an9ZHAhVM4HUjBgDT2ssebePPiRNjNcG6EY8hfMWYqq0WeffpSIhf.ruVocQgcKG2vKRpl Passcode: 4#we0j&#

Topic: Books and Bytes with Stephen Fox
Date: Apr 13, 2021 05:05 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
https://zoom.us/rec/share/72EkFNXzdaDItkQsFng5biz_2-XjQq_j5-UKG-8hfbemLy3K0xPJLEkNBGIOvBwE.Tn9WCHsAOBe51vq4 Passcode: LM^X7B7N

Topic: Books and Bytes with Fabiola Lopez-Duran
Date: Apr 14, 2021 04:46 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
https://zoom.us/rec/share/Mp-NK8Fb7iqX02xcuGQIWsxA2UAYsuOYKH9NPO9HB-LaUwjcLXNirtPwwv0LNpDT.aMyDjnXNAJbgGcMK Passcode: 9Q#FPmD?

Topic: Books and Bytes with Dietmar Froehlich
Date: Apr 22, 2021 04:45 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
https://zoom.us/rec/share/smo0yXaHNiC3hxqw26gI77Q1b12lwPh3699X4EQlI8NAWqXvxJagSMgoLmSNcNdm.GUqdVfiIXFrSAESa Passcode: gTX8Ez#u

Books and Bytes scheduled in April

Uncategorized

Join us in April to celebrate three of our local authors and learn about their publishing journeys.

April 13

Stephen Fox, editor and co-author of Making Houston Modern: the Life and Architecture of Howard Barnstone

Moderated by Pete Gershon, author of Collision: the Contemporary Art Scene in Houston, 1972-1985 

https://zoom.us/j/98617416651?pwd=TVkyazFQMXloV3c0bS9mcUVTRjV2Zz09

 

April 14

Fabiola Lopez-Duran, author of Eugenics in the Garden:  Architecture and the Crafting of Modernity 

Moderated by Michael Kubo, Undergraduate Coordinator, History and Theory of Architecture and Design

https://zoom.us/j/98617416651?pwd=TVkyazFQMXloV3c0bS9mcUVTRjV2Zz09

 

April 22

Dietmar Froehlich, author of The Chameleon Effect:  Architecture’s Role in Film

Moderated by Maria Elena Soliño, Professor of Spanish literature and film

https://zoom.us/j/94700826288?pwd=WHFNZEp0UzdPemt4RndHNzhrbGdhUT09

 

Sandra Zalman’s talk about her book, Modern in the Making:  MOMA and the Modern Experiment, 1929-1949, can be viewed with the following link:  https://zoom.us/rec/share/RafjpzuIfc5an9ZHAhVM4HUjBgDT2ssebePPiRNjNcG6EY8hfMWYqq0WeffpSIhf.ruVocQgcKG2vKRpl Passcode: 4#we0j&#

 

Previous Posts »»