x Introduction I began my professional librarian career in Ohio. I served as head of access services, or head of circulation and reserves, as it was called back then, at King Library at Miami University of Ohio in Oxford. I worked at the uni- versity for about two years. From there, my family (husband and young daughter and I) moved to Bloomington, Indiana, where my husband went to graduate school at Indiana University (IU). While he was in graduate school, he served as a live-in coordinator for a residence hall, the John W. Ashton Center. Members of my family can tell many captivating stories of our expe- riences living for five years in the residence hall, or dormitory as it is called by some, which makes my husband wince. I became pregnant after our first full year of living at Ashton Center. My husband and I had our second child, a son, who was born and raised a Hoosier! After my son turned two years of age, I began working part-time as a reference librarian for the Monroe County Public Library in Bloomington. I was employed at the library for about three years. Then I applied and was hired as a reference librarian with the Main Library of IU. After earning tenure at IU-Bloomington as a librar- ian faculty member, I was promoted to the head of the campus library in IU’s Black Culture Center, which was home to the African American Arts Insti- tute and other offices. The African American Arts Institute is composed of a choral ensemble, dance company, and the IU Soul Revue (a popular music performing group). It was in this environment that I became an enthusiast for cultural and educational library outreach programming. While I served as the director of the library of the Black Culture Center, the facility grew and expanded in size and services. A major change was that the library moved into a newly constructed building in 2002, into a shared space with IU’s newly renovated Theatre and Drama Department. The reno- vated and newly constructed space for the Theatre and Drama Center com- bined physically with the newly built Black Culture Center in a unique architecturally designed facility. The new complex included three theatres, classrooms, offices, a dance studio, and a library. In a two-day ceremony, the complex opened with two special guests, theatre and screen legends Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. Soon after it opened, the Black Culture Center was renamed the Neal- Marshall Black Culture Center (NMBCC) after IU’s first African American male graduate (Marcellus Neal) and African American female graduate (Frances Marshall), in 1895 and 1919, respectively. It was as head of the library in the NMBCC that I honed my programming skills. My experiences in serving in and directing the NMBCC Library and my involvement in other areas at IU led to my trajectory as a leader of educational program- ming for academic library outreach, which grew into my personal passion. In 2007, my family and I moved to the “Show-Me-State” of Missouri and the city of Springfield. There I helped to build a “town and gown” literacy initiative known as the Springfield African American Read-In. Much of my motivation in the latter endeavor grew from the early inspiration that I had
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