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Library Champions: Vanguards and Trailblazers

by Alan Fricker on 2022-05-30T15:31:37+01:00 | 0 Comments

The Library Champions online exhibition ‘Vanguards and Trailblazers’ was devised as an exciting opportunity to spotlight individuals of various disciplines within the King’s College London community and further afield whose diversity of thought has singled them out as prominent figures in academia and/or society, yet their lives and their work may be less known to mainstream audiences.  

‘Vanguards and Trailblazers’ seeks to bring their voices to the fore and in so doing emphasise the importance of equality and inclusion in academia. This exhibition project has been a labour of love for both staff and students alike and the comradery and diligence shown by the Library Champion students is commendable. 

Through this project the students were able to interact with the library and our resources in new ways; learning new skills along the way that will put them in good stead in their future endeavours, be it further study or chosen career path. They have learned how exhibitions are produced, curated, and promoted. The Library Champions researched two exhibition subjects each, including one KCL alumni and a person of interest to them. 

Vanguards and trailblazers collage

We interviewed two students from the online exhibition project, and these are their comments:  

What attracted you to the project? 

Joyce: I chose the online exhibition project because I was interested in curating exhibitions, creating visuals, and exploring how exhibitions are designed and put together. 

Miraya: I became interested in Library Champions because an alumnus had recommended the Library Champion project, and I decided to get involved. Based on the recommendation I thought that I would find this project fulfilling. 

What have you gained from participating in Library Champion? 

Joyce: I have enjoyed finding points of connection with different people’s stories, through the process of research. Exploring how others have critiqued Elizabeth Smart’s work, for example, helped develop my own critical analysis in trying to understand a writer’s feelings through their work. 

Miraya: I learned the importance of citing sources and giving credit where it’s due, creating original content, and exploring the creativity in all subjects. 

Library Champion staff leads - Ebony / Gemma / Lola: 

To have our ideas come to fruition and the opportunity to teach students the importance of diversity of thought in the context of an online exhibition, centring around the King’s community and academia. How exhibitions are developed as well as curation skills. It was a unique experience to have the opportunity to lead a project. We are proud to present this exhibition that we created, developed, and delivered for the KCL community.  

The students have found that participating in this project has highlighted interdisciplinary skills that they can use going forward through their studies, including tools of comparative literature. Students and staff came together to discuss and debate themes and subjects for exhibition content. They met regularly on Teams to communicate ideas and make connection with each other, finding commonalities in their subject area.  

The students found inspiration in the individuals they have chosen for this exhibition, who all exemplify tenacity, independence, determination, and creative flair. They all challenged the status quo, and we hope that you find inspiration in their stories too. 

You can see the Online Exhibition at ‘Vanguards and Trailblazers’  - share your thoughts on Twitter/Instagram: #WhatTrailWillYouBlaze?  

Participating library champions: 

Ellen Beveridge
Junhan Zou 
Miraya Borah 
Aleksandra Stankiewicz 
Sachel Bise 

Library team:

Gemma Hector - Library Assistant (Collection, Design & Delivery)
Lola Adesanya - Library Assistant (Collection, Design & Delivery)
Ebony Burke - Senior Library Assistant (Learning Design & Delivery) & Anti-Racism Community of Practice Coordinator

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