Introduction WHY I WRITE THIS BOOK I write this book for the purpose of sharing ideas about programming that I hope will help other librarians and educators. In the book, I reflect on my experience of more than thirty years as an academic librarian who has a passion for developing cultural and educational programs for library out- reach. My experience has been focused primarily on programs on African American culture, and in that regard this book may be considered a per- sonal career ethnography. On the other hand, it is filled with scores of prac- tical programming tips so that the text may be viewed as a general “how-to” reference or guidebook. Throughout the book I share case examples that I collected from librarians from across the country about how they conducted special programs, including during the two-year (2020 and 2021) COVID-19 pandemic. I didn’t start my career as a programming librarian. Before my introduc- tion to library programming, I served in other library roles. Here’s a brief description of my journey. I was born and raised in the col- lege town of Lawrence, Kansas (Rock Chalk Jayhawks!). I have lived in the Midwest all my life, interchanging residency in the states of Kansas, Ohio, Indiana, and Missouri. In my first library employment, I worked as a stu- dent assistant at Watson Library while enrolled at the University of Kansas (KU). I married just prior to my senior year at KU. After some time, I enrolled and transferred my course credits to the University of Missouri- Kansas City (UMKC). I earned a bachelor’s degree in English, with an emphasis in journalism, from UMKC. I continued my education by earning a master’s degree in library and information management from Emporia State University in Emporia Kansas. There I worked as a graduate student assistant for a women’s resource center that had a small collection of books and other materials.
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