Introduction xi found by developing programming for the library in the NMBCC at IU- Bloomington. It was there that I first learned of and observed the African American Read-In (AARI) event. This was led by then IU assistant professor in the School of Education, Stephanie Power-Carter. The AARI is not limited to any one locality. It is a national literacy pro- gram that originated with the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English in 1989. The national founder of the AARI, Dr. Jerrie Cobb Scott, wanted to make reading an integral part of Black History Month. After moving to Springfield, I soon learned that an African American Read-In had been piloted at one middle school. I became involved there in the AARI and was soon elected chairperson. I helped to build the Springfield AARI into a collaborative partnership of several organizations committed to forming a citywide literacy initiative, which I will discuss later in the book. I invite the reader to follow my journey as an academic librarian who loves to develop library programming along the way I will introduce an array of programming ideas. Readers will find descriptions of some of my programs and those of other librarians from libraries big and small and of different types throughout the United States. Dozens of examples of success- ful programs that involve partnerships are shared. Readers who love library programming as much as I do will want to model or revise programs that they find here for use at their own institutions or with their own groups. Promoting African American Writers: Library Partnerships for Outreach, Programming, and Literacy has six chapters with practical content. Here are descriptions of the chapters. Chapter 1, “Working Together for Library Outreach: Promoting African American Writers,” makes the case for inclusion, equity, and diversity in library programs and the promotion of African American authors. A starter list of names of African American writers and culture keepers from history and the twenty-first century is provided on which programs can be created. The list contains more than seventy writers and culture keepers—test your- self to discover how many of them you recognize. In Appendix A of the book, brief biographies are given for the persons named in the list. Chapter 1 outlines first steps to use in promoting the works of African American writers through programs for communities. Chapter 2, “The National African American Read-In: A Model Program That Works,” describes the literacy initiative referred to as the African American Read-In (AARI) that was founded by Jerrie Cobb Scott of the National Council of Teachers of English in 1989. Over the years, the AARI has attracted more than a million readers in the United States and in other countries. Chapter 2 highlights AARI programs that I’ve hosted. It also includes several case examples from other librarians who have hosted suc- cessful AARI programs in different parts of the United States. Chapter 3, “Building Partnerships and Developing Programs That Pro- mote African American Writers,” is a guide to building partnerships. The
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