Narratives of (Dis)Engagement: Exploring the Library Experiences of Black and African American Students at Ohio State (Virtual Event)

November 30, 2022 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
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Narratives of (Dis)Engagement Book Cover

In this presentation, authors Tracey Overbey and Amanda Folk discuss some of the highlights of their special report entitled Narratives of (Dis)Engagement: Exploring Black and African Students’ Experiences in Libraries, which was recently published by ALA Editions. In this special report, Overbey and Folk share the findings of a qualitative research study exploring the experiences of 15 Black and African American Ohio State undergraduate students both before college and during. Given the historical legacy of exclusion and discrimination that is evident in many of our public institutions, including educational institutions, and the fact that librarianship remains an overwhelming white profession, this study examined how students have (dis)engaged with public, school and university libraries, and the ways in which these libraries have (dis)engaged these students. While there have been a handful of studies that have explored the library experiences of this student population and BIPOC students more generally, this is one of the only studies that seeks to share the stories of these students’ experiences across multiple types of libraries.

Speaker Bios:

Tracey Overbey is an assistant professor and Social Sciences Librarian at The Ohio State University Libraries. She earned a master's degree in library information science from the University of Pittsburgh. Her research interests include issues related to food desert communities and educating and exposing marginalized students to information literacy using library resources. She won an organizational award for implementing a seed library at The Ohio State University Libraries for students to come and obtain seeds from the library, to plant fresh produce within their residence halls. This initiative helped those students and faculty who live in food desert communities. She has also won state and local grants that expose students who live within economically strained communities to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) resources through programming and hands-on explorations. In addition, she serves on the Executive Board for the Black Caucus American Library Association, Vice Chair for the ACRL External Liaison Grant Committee, has published in Public Library Quarterly, International Journal of Environmental Health Research and presented conference papers at the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) conferences.

Amanda Folk is an associate professor and Head of the Teaching & Learning Department at The Ohio State University Libraries. She earned her PhD in social and comparative analysis in education from the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Education. Her research interests include exploring the sociocultural nature of information literacy and implications for teaching and learning, as well as examining the academic and library experiences of student populations that have traditionally been marginalized in higher education in the United States. In addition to serving as the editor in chief for The Journal of Academic Librarianship, Amanda has been published in College & Research Libraries, portal: Libraries and the Academy, College & Undergraduate Libraries, Journal of Library Administration and International Information & Library Review. Amanda was the recipient of the 2020 ACRL Instruction Section’s Ilene F. Rockman Instruction Publication of the Year Award.


This virtual event is sponsored by the University Libraries IDEAS Committee. If you have any questions, please contact Thomas Dickens.

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