As the COVD-19 pandemic entered a second spring, VCU Libraries continued to use the Zoom platform to keep the Friends of VCU Libraries engaged. We have had more than 700 individual participants at these events and are so grateful to have found a way to stay connected.

If you missed a program or want to revisit one that you enjoyed, descriptions and links to the recording of the semester’s events can be found here.

What’s Everyone Reading? Holiday Edition, Led by Nick Cooke, owner of Black Swan Books

Winter is here, so it’s time to put on festive sweaters, mull cider and read piles and piles of books. Nick Cooke, owner of Black Swan Books, leads a roundtable about personal reading. Attendees share books they’re currently reading, have recently read or are planning to tackle in the coming months.

Removing Barriers to Share Important Stories: The VPM + ICA Community Media Center, Led by Chioke I’Anson, Ph.D.

With the digital revolution of the last 25 years, traditional media has given way to newer forms of communication that allow for individuals to report the news and share stories. In this session, Chioke I’Anson, Ph.D., assistant professor in the VCU Department of African American Studies, talks about the new VPM + ICA Community Media Center at VCU and the impact that this can have in the local community, particularly in an era where local news reporting is dwindling and independent voices are more important than ever.

Graphic Medicine at VCU Libraries, Led by Cindy Jackson and Talicia Tarver

.”Graphic medicine” is a term coined by Ian Williams, M.D., to indicate the “intersection of the medium of comics and the discourse of healthcare.” Through graphic medicine, practitioners, patients and scholars have a medium through which they can discuss complex health topics using the type of storytelling reserved for comic books and graphic novels. VCU Libraries houses a number of graphic novels that have been used as key resources to discuss topics of health and wellness. In this session, Research and Education Librarian Talicia Tarver and Library Specialist for Comics Arts Cindy Jackson explore these resources and share a list of suggested readings.

The Organ Thieves, Led by Chip Jones and Jodi L. Koste

Pulitzer Prize–nominated journalist and author Chip Jones reveals how he took a new look at the first heart transplant at the Medical College of Virginia in 1968 in his new book, The Organ Thieves: The Shocking Story of the First Heart Transplant in the Segregated South.

Jones and Jodi L. Koste, archivist and head, Health Sciences Library Special Collections and Archives, discuss his three-year-long research project and how it evolved into a close examination of the life and death of a Black man, Bruce Tucker, whose heart was taken from his body without any prior consent in Virginia’s first heart transplant operation in 1968. This led to the nation’s first wrongful death lawsuit over heart transplantation brought by a young Black trial lawyer named L. Douglas Wilder. Jones and Koste discuss the background of the organ transplant program at MCV and the community context in which it developed.

Tackling Monumental History in Film, Led by Hannah Ayers and Lance Warren

Ayers and Warren are Richmond-based documentary filmmakers producing a feature film How the Monuments Came Down. The film, funded by VPM and the Virginia Film Office, uses Richmond’s monuments to explore the 150-year history of white supremacy and Black resistance in the city. Hannah and Lance offer a sneak-peek of the film and discuss their process in determining how to tell an epic and timely story.

How to Entice Them to Read—and Keep Reading: A Dozen Contemporary Classics for Kids, Led by Leila Christenbury, Ed.D.

Getting kids excited about reading is a critical step toward academic success and life-long learning. Books can stimulate the imagination, inspire and teach in ways very different from other media, and in an age when many kids have videos, games, etc. at their fingertips, it’s important to find books that speak to and engage young adults directly. In this session, Leila Christenbury, Ed.D., Commonwealth Professor Emerita, VCU School of Education and expert on young adult literacy, discusses contemporary books with an outstanding track record for getting kids to start reading, including series books, historical fiction, adventure novels, nonfiction and graphic novels.

Who We Are: What Historic African American Cemeteries Can Teach Us About Our Shared Past, Led by Brian and Erin Holloway Palmer

In the last eight years, the Palmers have worked to uncover and reassemble the East End Cemetery, a nearly lost segment of local Black history. Their work includes on-site restoration, documentation, community engagement, the collection of oral histories, archival images, primary documents and the construction of an interactive website. The work of the Palmers should serve as a primer for conscientious historical investigation. Their research also dovetails with a longtime focus on preserving Black history in VCU Libraries’ Special Collections, which includes, among many other documents, the Virginia Black History Archives Collection.

What’s Everyone Reading?, Led by Kelly Justice, owner of Fountain Bookstore

At last, it’s spring, a time of renewal, also a time of looking forward to enjoying the fresh air and reading books outdoors on the porch or in the garden. For this session, Kelly Justice, owner of Fountain Bookstore, joins VCU Libraries in a casual conversation about books and the pleasures of reading.

Categories Community, Events, Friends of VCU Libraries