Year in Review: Notable Library Programs and Events

As students returned to on-campus instruction in the fall semester, we were able to welcome the community back into the library building for signature events. Over the course of the year, we offered a mix of virtual and in-person events.

Library Open House

library staff and students
Library staff and students at the Open House

We hosted our third annual Library Open House in October 2021. Hundreds of students attended the event where they learned about setting up research consultations, reserving group study rooms, the variety of unique items held in special collections, and more. Over 95 percent of those who attended reported feeling “comfortable” or “very comfortable” asking staff for help at the library, showing that the event met its goal in alleviating library anxiety. As one attendee noted, “This open house was a great way to learn about the library and it also provided a nice getaway from the stresses of exam week. Thank you guys so much for putting on this event!”

80 Years Later: Reflecting on Japanese-American Incarceration

In March, we hosted an event to remember and reflect upon the impact of Japanese American incarceration in 1942 and Executive Order 9066. Professors Julia Lee of LMU English and Eric Haruki Swanson of LMU Theology spoke about how students in their courses made use of special collections materials, such as the Ichikawa Family Papers and the Honda Papers loaned by Patty Arra, to explore this history. Professor Curtiss Takada Rooks of LMU Asian American Studies addressed the significance of incarceration and reparations in light of today’s anti-racist and DEI movements. Additionally, we heard testimony from first-, second-, and third-generation Japanese Americans about the legacy of incarceration on American soil. A pop-up exhibition highlighting some of the materials from the Ichikawa Papers accompanied the event.

POC in LIS Summit

Originally scheduled for 2020, the second biennial POC in LIS Summit was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and transformed into a virtual conference. In July 2021, 124 attendees from 66 institutions, across 25 states attended the online conference. The mission of POC in LIS Summit is to create a productive and brave space for people of color, especially women and marginalized identities, working in the information sector. The 2021 virtual edition provided an alternative space for colleagues and workers surviving a disastrous year with little to no opportunities for professional development and social growth. Presentations by library workers included creating POC-spaces in community archives, disrupting power imbalances within the library residency experience, designing better mentoring experiences for BIPOC librarians, and more.

Digital Citizenship Workshops

To address systemic problems with online misinformation, we once again hosted a multi-part Digital Citizenship workshop series focusing on skills students can use to navigate online information spaces. This year, in addition to “The Misinformation Pandemic: Who Can You Trust” and “Raising the Bar: Understanding Data Visualization,” we created an additional workshop: “Rise Against the Machines: Understanding Algorithmic Bias.” This new module helped students understand how algorithms perpetuate bias and discrimination and learn how to critically evaluate online search results.

Medieval Women’s Voices

To celebrate Women’s History Month, we collaborated with the Department of Theatre Arts to highlight four Catholic theologians and holy women: Teresa of Ávila, Hildegarde of Bingen, Catherine of Siena, and Julian of Norwich. LMU theatre students performed dramatic readings from the works of these notable figures. Each performance was contextualized by Professor Anna Harrison of Theological Studies who provided background on each of the theologians’ works and beliefs. Following the dramatic readings, director Stacey Cabaj of Theatre Arts joined the women for a panel discussion.

Haunting of Hannon

Not only did we bring back our haunted library in person, but this year we took over the entire library building! More than 370 students, faculty and staff attended the ninth annual Haunting of Hannon, titled “Last Ride on the Cyclone.” We introduced guests into an abandoned amusement park, destroyed by hurricanes, and took them on a ride through the horrors of extreme weather: blizzards, storms at sea, lightning, hurricanes, and more. Students from the Theatre Department offered chills and thrills by performing the roles of monsters, zombies, drowned men, and a swamp monster for good measure. It was “Amazing!” and “Freaky!” as some students told us. One attendee even noted: “I’m calling Netflix to make this a limited series.”

IRDL Speaker Series

Our IRDL Scholars Speaker Series shines a spotlight on voices and ideas that challenge traditional ways of conducting research. Now in its second year, this virtual series brought together more than 200 librarians from around the world to learn from four notable scholars on topics that included interpreting narratives in research, centering race and gender in qualitative methods, Latinx language and identities, and racist and sexist stereotypes in survey research.

Workshops for Faculty

In collaboration with our partners in the Center for Teaching Excellence, we hosted three workshops for faculty this past year. In the fall, we helped faculty learn how to utilize Zotero, an open-source program for saving citations and creating bibliographies, and integrate it into research assignments. In the spring, our librarians co-led discussions on the use of social annotation tools in the classroom that help build digital communities of readers. Most notably, we collaborated with librarians from Saint Mary’s College of California to host a joint virtual workshop about open textbooks and how open educational resources can contribute to student learning and success and affordability.

Faculty Pub Night

students looking into microscope
Students attending Faculty Pub Night

While not completely “back to normal,” our Faculty Pub Night series continued into its 13th year with a series of virtual and in-person events celebrating the scholarly achievements of our faculty. This year’s eight programs attracted more than 390 attendees and covered topics including the impact of immigration and politics on K–12 classrooms, cultural humility in art therapy, Latino paparazzi, plant-derived drugs, novels, emergency care response data, and the opioid epidemic.