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University Libraries

Maps, Memes, Memory and More

By Katy Kelly

This fall, University Libraries faculty and staff were actively engaged with designing and hosting events in person and online, in addition to supporting a significant increase in use of library services and spaces.

We offered eight asynchronous programs and two live events, all in partnership with Housing and Residence Life’s AVIATE program, reaching 4,459 students. While working toward their housing goals, students dug deeper into our exhibits’ themes; explored Dayton history; created their own memes; and pondered spooky stories. 

Exhibits, Plus

We experienced a return to fully in-person learning; reinstituted our extended library hours; and welcomed the campus and the community into both of our exhibit spaces — the Marian Library Gallery and our newly dedicated Stuart and Mimi Rose Gallery

In October, we hosted the traveling exhibit Undesign the Redline, which came to UD thanks to Leslie Picca, Roesch Chair in the Social Sciences. Picca, Miranda Hallett, Ben Daigle, Diane Osman and Shari Neilson developed an interactive, self-guided exhibit experience that attracted 975 students to hear local stories and reflect on the exhibit’s analysis. An in-person workshop co-hosted by Heidi Gauder, Hector Escobar and Yamilet Perez Aragon brought 40 students into the library to discover the effects of redlining over time through historical maps and socioeconomic data. Read Yamilet’s reflection on facilitating this workshop as part of her OhioLINK Luminaries internship.

Also in October, 595 students embarked on Journeys of Faith in the Marian Library Gallery’s exhibit of the same title. This self-guided tour, developed by Kayla Harris, Melanie Fields and Stephanie Shreffler, introduced artifacts from the Marian Library and the U.S. Catholic Special Collection. For many students, it was their first time engaging with these uniquely UD collections. Read more about the tour and students’ reflections on Harris’ blog. Visit the exhibit in the Marian Library through March 24, and stay tuned later this month for the digital exhibit.

Making Memes

Capitalizing on a visual trend from social media, librarians Jillian Ewalt and Bridget Retzloff used a lighthearted learning module in October and November to teach visual literacy and spur creativity. Students — 1,214, to be exact — watched a short interactive lecture on visual literacy, memes, and finding public domain images; participated in an activity to find an image and create or remix a meme; then shared their images and answered reflection questions. Each student earned a PATH point, and we highly recommend viewing some of the student memes here and here.

A Woodland PATH

In a new online module created by Henry Handley, Diane Osman, Shari Neilson and Amy Rohmiller, students explored history and legacy through archival items, library materials and Woodland Cemetery stories. UD students and Woodland employees Meg Klepacz and Kayla Dawson augmented the program with TikTok videos about Woodland’s VIPs. It drew 1,550 students to reflect on memory and legacy in the context of UD and Dayton history. Read more on the blog.

The Student Neighborhood: Now and Then

Gauder and Bridget Retzloff combined local and University history by teaching students how to search the 1920 U.S. Census and the 1919 Dayton city directory to research who lived in the neighborhoods surrounding UD. After completing a self-paced activity, 68 students looked up the neighborhoods’ previous residents and then shared what they learned with others using Google’s MyMaps tool. 

Porch Reads

The longstanding student book and discussion club Porch Reads reconvened over Emily Carroll’s spooky collection of graphic stories, Through the Woods. Seventeen students enjoyed the book and crafted their own two-sentence horror stories. You can read them on a blog by Gauder and Zachary Lewis.

Keep Up as We Keep On Going

This is just a sample of our programming lineup. Events inspire us to connect interests, creativity and expertise to the community we serve and the mission of the University. Programming in the works for the spring term includes multiple exhibits and more PATH-eligible opportunities for students. 

Keep up to date on our programs on the University Libraries and Marian Library blogs, which also include articles by faculty and staff about their daily work and research interests. 

— Katy Kelly is an associate professor and the University Libraries’ coordinator of marketing and engagement.

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