What Comes Next: A recap

As summer draws near, another season of Temple Libraries’ programming has come to an end. Take a look back with us on some of what we offered and watch any of our programs online.

The highlights

The season began with a charge: help stop the cycle of menstrual inequity. In partnership with the Office of Sustainability, we hosted a distinguished panel of speakers who shared their thoughts about the issue. Amani Reid and Nayanka Paul, Temple alumni and representatives from Bloody Btches; Caroline Burkholder from Temple University’s Office of Sustainability; Brittany Robinson from Temple’s Wellness Resource Center; and Dr. Jeni Stolow from the College of Public Health discussed the stigma associated with persons who are menstruating and how to create more welcoming environments. Want to learn more? Dr. Stolow was interviewed in Temple Now about the harm of not talking openly about your period.

In our Chat in the Stacks series, Philly DA Larry Krasner spoke candidly in an interview with Tara N. Tripp, assistant professor in Temple’s Department of Criminal Justice, about the road to reform. Rather read a recap than watch the recording? Check out this coverage by The Temple News. This program series is in collaboration with the Faculty Senate Committee on the Status of Faculty of Color.

Screenshot of Philly DA Larry Krasner
Screenshot of Philly DA Larry Krasner

From there, we moved to a conversation about the future of local and national journalism, moderated by Klein College Dean David Boardman, who spoke with Tracy Davidson of NBC10, Gabriel Escobar of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Cherri Gregg of WHYY, and Aron Pilhofer of Klein College of Media and Communication. This program was part of our McLean Contributionship Philadelphia Evening Bulletin Endowed Lecture Series at Temple University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center. 

Clockwise from top left: David Boardman, photo courtesy Temple University; Tracy Davidson, photo courtesy NBC10 News; Gabriel Escobar, photo by Jessica Griffin, The Philadelphia Inquirer; Cherri Gregg, photo courtesy WHYY; Aron Pilhofer, photo by Alessio Jacona, “The Whole Picture”

Also on Zoom, the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection hosted a variety of programs, including a two-day celebration of Harriet Tubman’s 200th birthday anniversary. Both day 1 and day 2 are available to view. This year, the beloved Bootsie Barnes Jazz Series featured the Alfie Pollitt Quartet and included a special tribute to former WRTI host Harrison Ridley, Jr. 

The Afrofuturism symposium brought scholars, artists, and other practitioners together in person to share their work as it relates to the Afrofuturist aesthetic and Black digital humanities practices and to speculate about the future of cultural heritage preservation. Parts 1 through 7 are available to view.

Afrofuturism symposium photos by Heidi Roland Photography

Exhibits and more

One of our featured exhibits took place in the Charles Library exhibit space. SCRC Staff Picks: What’s Great, New, and Next? highlighted purchases and donations from individuals and organizations that represent collecting strengths, caught staff’s fancy, have already been used for research and instruction—or could provide the ‘next’ research project for a fortunate user. Find out some of what staff had to say in this Temple Now article.

There were also  myriad book club meetings, author talks, and other performances and conversations that took place over this busy semester!

Photos by Joseph V. Labolito for Temple University

This past spring, our programs reached an audience of more than 660 attendees. If you were one of those attendees, or a speaker, or a supporter in any way, THANK YOU! We couldn’t do what we do without you. 

Stay in touch

Have an idea for a future program or are interested in staying connected to see what we have in store for the fall? Connect with us @TempleLibraries on Twitter and Facebook and @tulibraries on Instagram


Take the bite out of crunch time

It is that time of year again: the buds are sprouting, the city is coming alive with farmers markets and concerts, and finals are the last thing keeping you from summer. Temple University Libraries wants to help make this time of year as breezy as the spring wind outside.

Plan your study time

Reserve a breakout room early as they fill up quickly. Both Charles Library and Ginsburg Library have rooms that you can check out to work alone or in a group. While you are studying in Charles Library look out for free snacks on 4/26 and 4/28!

Also in Charles, instruction rooms 202 and 401 will be available for study space during the study day and finals.  

Manage your citations

Citations for research papers can get unwieldy, and our librarians are experts at helping you organize the chaos. View our guide for citing sources. Check out citation managers Mendeley, EndNote, and Zotero. Or view this short tutorial for an overview on citations.

Working on a paper? Consider this dictionary

Girl reading the Oxford English Dictionary

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) isn’t your typical dictionary. Yes, it provides definitions for words from across the English-speaking world, but the OED also gives useful information about the history of each word and the evolution of word meanings. The OED highlights where each word came from, who has used it where and when, along with whether the meaning and/or word itself has become obsolete. Examples of the word used in past and present texts help to provide greater context.

While the OED has its own colorful past (as detailed in books by Peter Gilliver in 2016 and Simon Winchester in 1998), it remains an invaluable research tool for literary scholars because it can help them unlock deeper meaning in the literary texts studied. Check out this series of videos for more information on how to use the Oxford English Dictionary.

Meet with a librarian

Schedule a one-on-one meeting with your subject area liaison for whichever course you need assistance with. Or chat with us 24/7 for help finding resources. The Libraries are here to support you, so reach out in the way best suited to your needs. 

Take care of yourself

Scrabble pieces spelling out Self Care

It is inherently stressful to have your classes end at the same time and have to juggle exams, papers, and projects for them all. Managing this stress is ever-so-important for self care. Learn some tips from the Wellness Resource Center and/or tune into an upcoming event:

  • Tuesday, 4/26/22, 12:00–12:30pm — Staying Present: Using mindfulness to manage stress
  • Wednesday, 4/27/22, 1:00–3:00pm — Painting with Pups, hosted by the Wellness Resource Center and Student Activities in Student Center 217AB
  • Friday, 4/29/22, 1:00–1:30pm — Journaling for Stress Management

Follow @BeWellTU for more tips, resources, and motivation during finals season!

Tests after tests

Does your field require certifications or exams after graduation? We will support you through those as well! Check out our test prep guide for resources for your particular discipline and certifications.


Regardless of how your final exams and papers go, the Libraries will be here for you on the other side. We remain open and offer resources and support all summer long. For those of you returning next year, keep us in mind this fall as you jumpstart your semester research to minimize the crunch of future finals. And if you’re graduating, remember that alumni have lifelong benefits at the Libraries!

Meet our longest running program series: Chat in the Stacks

For 14 years now, we’ve teamed up with the Faculty Senate Committee on the Status of Faculty of Color to co-host Chat in the Stacks, an engaging series of panels on timely topics, featuring faculty from across the university. We are proud to offer this series, which wouldn’t be possible without our faculty friends like Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon, Karen Turner, David Brown, and others who have contributed to these programs over the years. 

Every semester, we offer two Chat in the Stacks programs. Over the years, we’ve covered topics from race in politics to policing to women in the academy. Read on for a look back at just a few of these moments and a preview of what’s coming up this spring.

Man dressed in military uniform

Photo by Brae Howard

Back in November 2016, one program focused on the military in America and its effects on American culture.

Female panelist speaking into mic

Photo by Brae Howard

During our September 2017 Chat in the Stacks, a panel discussion centered on the experiences and observations of women—particularly women of color—in academia.

Sharif Street speaking into mic

In November 2018, we hosted State Representative Malcolm Kenyatta and State Senator Sharif Street, who spoke to us about race and politics in the wake of the midterm elections.

Chat in the Stacks President Wingard slide

Most recently, in November 2021, we got the inside scoop from Temple’s new President, Dr. Jason Wingard. We also got to hear from Dr. Molefi Asante and Dr. Timothy Welbeck, who discussed Temple’s forthcoming Center for Anti-Racism

Ready to catch up?

View more past Chat in the Stacks conversations on our watch past programs page.

screenshot of past chat in the stacks video recordings

Coming up this spring

Coming up this spring as part of our series, we’re hosting a conversation between Philadelphia’s District Attorney Larry Krasner and Assistant Professor Tara N. Tripp, who is a member of the Faculty Senate Committee, on Thursday, February 24. Our second of the spring will take place on Thursday, April 14, and will recognize Temple faculty who engage in compelling research and exemplary leadership. Check back for details on the honorees.

Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon at the podium

Photo by Brae Howard

We look forward to continuing this partnership with the Faculty Senate Committee on the Status of Faculty of Color for many years to come. Please consider joining us for a future Chat in the Stacks!

Beyond the Page: What Comes Next

How do we imagine and shape the future? Join us this spring as we explore What Comes Next. Whether it be new horizons for academia and our university, research trends in specific disciplines, or the ongoing fight against COVID-19, we’ll come together to look toward the future in our spring Beyond the Page public programming series.

What Comes Next graphic

Coming up this spring

  • A conversation about period poverty and menstrual inequity on campus and in Philadelphia
  • Love Data Week workshops and programs celebrating all things data
  • Panel discussion about the future of local and national journalism
  • Staff picks from our Special Collections Research Center exhibited in Charles Library 
  • Author talks hosted by the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection featuring Allen Ballard, Stephany Coakley, and Gabrielle David
  • A commemoration of Harriet Tubman’s 200th birthday, including a continuation of the exhibit The Quest for Freedom and Dignity: Celebrating William Still and Harriet Tubman through June 2022 at the Blockson Collection
  • A symposium about the intersection of digital humanities and Afrofuturism, where we’ll speculate about the future of cultural heritage preservation
  • Lunchtime book club discussions
  • And more!

Wondering if an event is designed for you? Our programs are geared toward a general audience and are open to all, including Temple students, faculty, staff, alumni, neighbors, and friends. Registration is encouraged.

View the schedule of upcoming events on our events page, and view recordings from the fall and previous semesters at library.temple.edu/watchpastprograms.

Spring Blooms

Photo by Ryan S. Brandenberg for Temple University

There’s more… specialized workshops

In addition to our event series, the Libraries host specialized workshops on everything from organizing your digital photos to writing a data management plan. Workshop presenters have expertise in the areas they cover, and sessions range from a half hour long to a few hours depending on the topics covered. All skill levels are welcome to participate in our workshop sessions. Registration is required. See the full lineup at library.temple.edu/workshops.

Charles Library at night

Photo by Betsy Manning for Temple University

Keep in touch

Have ideas for future programs? Let us know!

Connect with us @TempleLibraries on Twitter and Facebook and @tulibraries on Instagram

We hope to see you this spring!

 – the Libraries programming team

That’s a Wrap on Made in North Philly

aerial photo of center city from North Philadelphia

Photo by Ryan S. Brandenberg, Temple University

This fall, the Libraries wrapped up our year-long tribute to North Philadelphia with a diverse range of events and experiences. We’re proud to report that our fall Beyond the Page programming reached an audience locally and beyond of more than 700, not including anyone who couldn’t make it live and watched our recordings instead! Catch up on any programs you missed at library.temple.edu/watchpastprograms.

What made this past season of programming particularly special was that for the first time since March 2020, we were able to hold a few events in person again. 

One popular event was a continuation of the Unedited Philadelphia series. As part of this series, Archivist John Pettit shares unedited footage from local news stations such as WPVI and CBS3/KYW, whose archives are housed in our Special Collections Research Center. For this year’s screening, a live audience gathered in the Temple Performing Arts Center to view clips John chose showcasing North Broad Street. It was unique because we were watching clips from a location right on Broad Street, and a few of the clips even showcased the Temple Performing Arts Center! We also offered a concurrent livestream so that audience members could tune in from anywhere. 

Photo of tour of inside Church of the Advocate

Photo of mural in Church of the AdvocateAnother program that brought people together in person was a series of tours of Church of the Advocate, located at Diamond and 18th Street near Main Campus. In partnership with Temple’s Office of Community Affairs, this program offered audience members an opportunity to learn more about this North Philadelphia landmark. Guests heard about the history and architecture of the church, the artwork on the walls, and even got a peek at behind-the-scenes areas including an upstairs office where the Black Panthers used to meet and the basement crypt.

Inside view of Church of the Advocate

Photos by Joseph V. Labolito, Temple University

On Zoom, we heard from Representative Malcolm Kenyatta about his memories growing up in North Philadelphia while Karen Warrington recalled the importance of the Ile Ife Black Humanitarian Center as part of the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection’s “We Remember and We Recall: North Philadelphia Oral History Project.” The Blockson Collection also screened a series of films from Scribe Video Center’s Community History Project, showcasing North Philly staples such as William Penn High School, Norris Homes, and Freedom Theater. 

Other Zoom highlights included programs about the Uptown Theater and the Urban Creators.

Photo of Neighbors of North Philly exhibit

Photo by Heidi Roland Photography

We also offered collaborative exhibits connected to our Made in North Philly theme, including Neighbors of North Philly, from Narrative Medicine program students at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine, and Explore Eastern North Philadelphia: Students and Community Engagement, by Professor Lynn Mandarano and students along with the SCRC.

We are grateful to our program partners, speakers, organizers, and audience who made our fall programming a success! Stay tuned for spring announcements.

 

Get Ready for Crunch Time

It’s finals szn, and the Libraries are here to help alleviate some of the stress that often accompanies this time of year. Below are some tips and resources for a calm and confident exam period.


Time for you

Studying on the first floor of Charles Library

When things get busy it can seem like there is no time for YOU. Avoid this by scheduling “me time.”

  • Are movies your thing? You can check out a DVD or video as well as the equipment to watch them with from the BookBot in Charles Library.
  • Gaming connoisseur? The Duckworth Scholars Studio hosts a gaming hour every Tuesday at 10:00 am EST. Join them on December 7 for King of Tokyo or December 14 for Meeple Party. Both days will also feature other options like Jenga and Bananagrams. You can also look into borrowing gaming equipment, including controllers, board games, and cards from the Libraries at your convenience.
  • Like to escape into a fun book? Leisure reading books including graphic novels, YA, fantasy, mystery, science fiction, and memoirs are kept on the first floor of Charles Library in the short stacks, and just past the main floor service desk inside the Ginsburg Library.

Bake your stress away

Basked of breadYour body needs food, especially to fuel you through studying, so take a break to cook or bake something delicious. It just might be therapeutic! Check out some recipes from our collections including the Blockson Collection and Special Collections Research Center as well as from the DPLA’s Pennsylvania-based cookbooks.

Writing—but make it fun

Journaling can be a nice way to vent some of the stress. Check out these journaling tips from Hayley, a peer educator at the Wellness Resource Center. 

Dogs–need we say more? 

Petting dog in Charles Library

We are hosting dogs for petting or viewing on Wednesday, December 8 from 1:00–3:00 pm EST. 

Guided Wellness

We are lucky to have the Wellness Resource Center to help us help ourselves. Attend a workshop for a guided practice in stress management.

Staying Present: Using Mindfulness to Manage Stress

Wednesday, December 8, 3:30–4:00 pm

Learn how mindfulness and related skills can help manage stress and invite calm. Guided activities will be offered as an opportunity to practice these skills. This program is offered monthly and consists of an overview of mindfulness principles followed by a new skill or practice to make each session unique. Zoom link

Owl About Stress

Monday, December 13, 2:00–2:30 pm

Stress isn’t all bad and this program will help folks explore ways to find balance for optimal performance without burning out. Students will learn about self-care and create their own self-care plan to feel more supported during those especially stressful times of the semester. Zoom link

Music makes me [keep] control

DYK that you can listen to music for free through our databases?! Want some classical music to be the background sound for studying? Try Mozart piano sonatas from Naxos Music Library.

Perhaps the likes of Miles Davis and John Coltrane soothe your soul? Naxos Jazz is great for that. Have something else in mind? Check out Music Online for a variety of music genres from all over the world.

5th Annual Winter concert promo

Join us virtually for a live concert by the TachyChordia a capella group on Dec. 15 at noon.

Get your hands dirty

Charles Library green roof

While gardens may already have been put to bed for the winter, indoor plants often need repotting or other TLC. The tactile experience of digging through dirt can be a peaceful activity, not to mention the feeling of productivity that results from seeing your plant thriving in a whole new pot. Our Ambler Library specializes in agriculture resources. You can get started with these gardening ebooks

Animals alleviating angst

Have to miss Destress with Dogs? Fear not, you can always check out the videos of animals at the Philadelphia Zoo for some comfort (especially this baby sloth!). Or get lost in the vast array of creature cams on explore.org!


Whatever works for you, it is important to practice self-care during this final exam period. Our 24/7 space is open to suit your study habits. The event space on the first floor will also be available as a quiet study zone during limited times between 12/7–12/15; check for the daily schedule posted outside of the room. Our library chat is available 24/7 or you can call, email, or text us during regular hours.

Follow the Wellness Resource Center for more self-care tips or reach out to Temple Libraries for more assistance. Feeling more than finals stress? Tuttleman Counseling Services is available to provide mental health support.

Good luck!

Care and Custody: Past Responses to Mental Health

Guest post by Courtney Eger, Learning and Engagement Librarian

Design proposal of the Sheppard Asylum near Baltimore, MD by Calvert Vaux, 1860
Image courtesy of the National Library of Medicine

The week of October 3rd is Mental Illness Awareness Week, the perfect time for Ginsburg Health Sciences Library’s online programming around Care and Custody: Past Responses to Mental Health. In the United States, it was once common practice to commit people to asylums if they had a mental health condition and their family was unable to care for them. 

Over time, the horrors of institutional care were revealed (overcrowding, abuse, etc.).  Asylums were closed in a process called deinstitutionalization, creating issues of care in the community. New problems arose from this change, including an increase in incarceration for those with mental health conditions and more attention to community-based treatment programs. 

George Elder in the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, photograph by Nelson Martinez, 1971
Image courtesy of the Special Collections Research Center, Temple University

You can read more about this history at the National Library of Medicine (NLM) online exhibit website. There is even a Temple connection in the NLM’s exhibit: this photo of George Elder from the Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center 

​The Ginsburg Health Sciences Library invites you to attend a series of online events and workshops related to this topic from October 4–7, 2021. Our lineup includes:

  • Two workshops
    • Bias in Mental Health Literature, presented by Courtney Eger
    • Searching for Mental Health Topics, presented by Stephanie Roth
  • Two online lectures
    • From Incarceration to Therapeutics in the Friends’ Asylum: Treating Philadelphia’s ‘Insane’ in the 19th Century. Dr. Darin Hayton of Haverford College will speak on local mental health history. 
    • Giving Asylum to Those Who Need It. Dr. Dominic Sisti of UPenn will speak about deinstitutionalization and mass incarceration. 
  • One panel
    • Mental Health and Academics: Tips and Strategies for College Students with speakers Janie Egan (Temple University Wellness Resource Center), Hannah Roach (student, Lewis Katz School of Medicine, Class of 2023), Janet A. Castellini (MSS, LCSW), and Jen Rowe (Disability Resources and Services)
    • (Please note—The panel #FreeBritney: A Case Study in Care vs Custody, originally planned for this week, has been postponed.)
  • In addition there will be Creative Self Care kits for health sciences students on campus. Stop by the Ginsburg or Podiatry Libraries on Monday, October 4 to pick up a create-your-own jigsaw puzzle kit (while supplies last!).

Learn more about these events at our program website or on our events page!

Image courtesy of the National Library of Medicine

New exhibit: Med school students get to know North Philly neighbors

Quote

“The idea was to see the world literally and figuratively through a new lens, to begin conversations, listen to stories, and capture the images of people living near Temple University Hospital and the Lewis Katz School of Medicine, the very people we will care for one day.”

—Lewis Katz School of Medicine (LKSOM) students

A new exhibit, Neighbors of North Philly, is now on display at Charles Library as part of Temple University Libraries’ Beyond the Page public programming series, Made in North Philly. The exhibit showcases the work of Lewis Katz School of Medicine (LKSOM) students as part of a project to get to know members of the surrounding community.

At Temple’s Health Sciences Center, students can enroll in an elective course where they get to meet individuals they may one day provide care for at Temple Hospital. Taught by Michael Vitez, director of narrative medicine at Temple University’s LKSOM, students are tasked with going out into neighborhoods surrounding Temple Hospital, finding people to speak with, and making conversation with them. From that conversation stems a narrative and better understanding of the people in the community. The class culminates with photos and stories to share about the neighbors. This exhibit includes work from students enrolled in the course in fall 2018 and 2019. 

View Neighbors of North Philly on the fourth floor of Charles Library, room 401, now through December.

Announcing fall theme: Made in North Philly

This past spring, our Beyond the Page public programming series explored the home of Temple’s Main Campus and Health Sciences Center: North Philadelphia. We looked back on the past and considered the present and future of North Broad and beyond: the people, places, communities, and stories Made in North Philly.

Aerial photo of North Broad Street with Met sign

Aerial photo of North Broad Street, Temple University photography

You can view recordings of spring 2021 programs on our website.

We invite you to join us in the fall as we continue the conversation with a mix of in-person and virtual programming. We’ll take a walk up Broad Street together as we screen more gems from our video archives. We’ll meet current residents of North Philadelphia through the Narrative Medicine program’s Neighbors of North Philly project. And we’ll learn more about institutions like the Church of the Advocate and the Uptown Theater.

These programs are designed to shine a light on North Philly and its incredible history, showcase the resiliency of the community and organizations that reside here, and inspire you in your own work.

And of course, we’ll continue to offer the concerts, Blockson Collection events, and partnership programs that you’ve come to expect from Temple Libraries.

View the schedule of upcoming events on our events page, and check back often as new programs are being added daily. All programs are free and open to the public.


Exhibits

Check out some of our exhibits to accompany our programming this fall!

Photo of man in North Philadelphia

From the Neighbors of North Philly exhibit

  • Care and Custody: Past Responses to Mental Health, Ginsburg Health Sciences Library, on view September–November 2021
  • Exploring Eastern North Philadelphia: Students and Community Engagement, Charles Library Exhibit Space, on view September – December 2021
  • Neighbors of North Philly, presented by Lewis Katz School of Medicine students, Charles Library, Room 401, on view September – December 2021
  • The Quest for Freedom and Dignity: Celebrating William Still and Harriet Tubman, Blockson Collection, on view through June 2022

Keep in touch

Have ideas for future programs? Let us know!

We hope to see you this fall!

 – the library programming team

 

Behind the scenes with the Blockson Collection

Welcome back to Temple University Libraries’ programs and events blog! For our first post in a while, we’re going behind the scenes to tell you more about the programming brought to you by the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection.

First, we’ll take a look back at some of the Blockson Collection’s recent programs, and then we’ll check in with Dr. Diane Turner, curator, and Leslie Willis-Lowry, associate archivist, who help plan and coordinate Blockson Collection programs.

Still from walkthrough of The Quest for Freedom and Dignity: Celebrating William Still and Harriet Tubman exhibit, from the Blockson Collection’s Juneteenth program

June programs celebrated Black Music Month, Juneteenth, and William Still

On June 3, we went on a musical journey with pianist, composer, producer, teacher, and dancer Alfie Pollitt. Pollitt, who has worked with a number of famed musicians in the genres of so-called jazz and rhythm and blues, spoke candidly about his life experiences and career. We invite you to view the program and watch the fascinating stories, hear musical tributes, and learn a little more about Black music in honor of Black Music Month.

Later that month, we celebrated the bicentennial of William Still’s birth and Juneteenth. We started off by watching a video walkthrough of The Quest for Freedom and Dignity: Celebrating William Still and Harriet Tubman exhibit, on view through June 2022 in the Blockson Collection. Then, Charles L. Blockson, curator emeritus and founder of the collection, reflected personally on his family history and relations to William Still and Harriet Tubman in a video from a previous program held at the Blockson Collection. View the entire program on our website. And, check out this article highlighting some items in the collection that can help us better appreciate and understand the significance of Juneteenth.


Meet the staff

We checked in with two Blockson Collection staff members, Dr. Diane Turner and Leslie Willis Lowry, to ask about recent programs, the shift to virtual events during the pandemic, and the upcoming season. But first, let’s meet them!

Dr. Diane D. Turner is curator of the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection at Temple University Libraries. Dr. Turner holds three Temple University degrees. Her areas of specialization and research include African American Labor, Cultural and Social History, Philadelphia Jazz History, Independent Black Filmmakers, Oral History, and Public History. Her dissertation is entitled Organizing and Improvising: A History of Philadelphia’s Black Musicians’ Protective Union Local 274, American Federation of Musician. She has taught African-American history at the university level including Brown University, Northeastern University, Rowan University, University of South Florida (Tampa, FL) and other institutions.  She has authored My Name is Oney Judge (2010), Feeding the Soul: Black Music, Black Thought (2011) and Our Grand Pop is a Montford Point Marine (2018), co-authored with her father, Corporal Thomas S. Turner Sr. Her writings appear in anthologies and scholarly journals. She serves as a consultant on a number of advisory boards and committees such as Bethel Burial Ground Historic Site Memorial Committee, Chronicling Resistance, Scribe Video’s Precious Places and others. She is president of the Montford Point Marines Association, Philadelphia Chapter #1 Auxiliary. Her current book project is a history of jazz in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Leslie Willis Lowry is associate archivist at the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection at Temple University Libraries, and has worked in collections management and as an archivist, researcher and consultant in several capacities, including special collections, exhibitions, films, television and publications for over thirty years, including the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, the International African American Museum in Charleston, the African American Museum in Philadelphia, The Museum of Afro-American History in Boston, The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Bronx Museum of Art, Scholastic Books, among others. As a curatorial and research assistant to Deborah Willis, the nation’s leading historian of African American photography and curator of African American culture, Leslie has cataloged the work of individual photographers, photographic collections and groups of photographs that are part of an exhibition and publications; in addition to researching and planning for photographic exhibitions. After years of working in management, supervising hundreds of employees, and as liaison and consultant to many cultural institutions and religious organizations, Leslie’s career has been divided into two distinct areas – archival and education – within the broad areas of photographic history, visual culture, African American history and popular and material culture. Within these fields she has consistently emphasized the importance of the use of the archives to build programming, education and community connections.


Building Blockson Collection programs

Diane and Leslie took turns answering our questions about programming at the Blockson Collection.

Temple Libraries (TL): How do you go about planning programs for the Blockson Collection? Where do you get your ideas from and/or how do you choose speakers to feature?
Diane Turner (DT): Blockson Collection staff use program planning meetings to collaboratively work on developing programs. We use our knowledge base of history and culture in Philadelphia for inspiration and in identifying potential speakers.

TL: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, all of the Libraries’ programs and events have gone virtual. What has that been like for the Blockson Collection’s programming? Have there been any unexpected benefits or challenges?
Leslie Willis Lowry (LWL): The Blockson Collection accomplished a great deal during this unusual period of working remotely through the COVID-19 pandemic. As an initiative to stay connected with members of our community, programs were redesigned using a virtual platform to give it the modern aesthetic needed for further reach. The virtual programs continue to enable our community members to become aware of new research and to identify emerging scholars and programming that addresses issues that are a part of our mission.

With the rich and impactful virtual programming we produced this year, we were able to strengthen our visibility and expand our contact list numbers. We were also able to develop wider audiences online through social media growth. Attendees were represented both nationally and internationally.

TL: Can you share a favorite moment from your recent June programs?
DT: The [June 3rd] program was pre-recorded at the Philadelphia Clef Club, and this was the first live music that I had heard since February 2020.  Also, we lost Sam Reed so we are honored to have featured him for Jazz Appreciation Month.

TL: Anything you can tell us about the upcoming 2021-2022 programming season?
LWL: The Blockson Collection’s upcoming 2021-2022 programs season includes the following:

SEPTEMBER
September 22 | Glenn Ellis
History of Black Health in America

September 29 | Gospel Music Heritage Month
Honoring the Legendary Marion Williams

OCTOBER
October 7 | William Still’s birthday Celebration

October 19 | Scribe Video Center | Precious Places Community History Project Screenings
-The Freedom Theatre
-William Penn High School
-Church of the Advocate
-OIC

October 28 | Cullen Knight
Entertainment, Jazz and Social life in North Philadelphia

NOVEMBER
November 9 | Oral History Program with Karen Warrington
Ile Ife Black Humanitarian Center: The Importance of the Center and its Cultural Impact

November 18 | Author Talk: Haki Madhubuti
“The Autobiography of a Black Vegan”

Check library.temple.edu/events closer to the start of the fall semester for program details.