The History of Black History Month

Black History Month, also known as African American History Month, celebrates the contributions that African Americans have made to American history and recognizes the struggle for freedom and equality.

Historian and former Dean of Howard University, Dr. Carter G. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH)) in 1915. Negro History Week was first initiated by Woodson in 1926 to focus on the need for historical recognition about African American achievements.  Negro History Week encompassed the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, two important men in the history of African Americans

Dr. Carter G. Woodson

Dr. Carter G. Woodson

In 1972 the ASALH changed Negro History Week to Afro-American History Week. In his Message on the Observance of Black History Week, President Ford in 1975 urged Americans to “recognize the important contribution made to our nation’s life and culture by black citizens.” In 1976 the ASALH expanded the week to a month, Black History Month. Interestingly, Woodson had hoped that one day historical information about African Americans would be incorporated in school curriculums so that a special, set aside remembrance would not be needed. We still celebrate Black History Month each February.


Further Reading

  • Anonymous. “Introduction.” Black History Bulletin 65.1/2 (Jan-Jun 2002): 2. History Study Center. Web. 4 Feb. 2016.
  • Crowder, Ralph L. “Historical significance of Black History Month.” Black History Bulletin 65.1/2 (Jan-Jun 2002): 39-41. History Study Center. Web. 4 Feb. 2016.
  • Peace, J Leon Jr. “..And for as long as it takes.” Black History Bulletin 65.1/2 (Jan-Jun 2002): 50-51. History Study Center. Web. 4 Feb. 2016.
  • Woodson, Carter G. “Observances of Negro History Week.” Black History Bulletin 65.1/2 (Jan-Jun 2002): 21-33. History Study Center. Web. 4 Feb. 2016.

~Betty Thomas~

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Links We Love Weekly Round-Up — February 8, 2016


What a Million Syllabuses Can Teach Us

Over the past two years, we and our partners at the Open Syllabus Project (based at the American Assembly at Columbia) have collected more than a million syllabuses from university websites. We have also begun to extract some of their key components — their metadata — starting with their dates, their schools, their fields of study and the texts that they assign.

Are Paper Books Really Disappearing?

If the printed word becomes a thing of the past, it may affect how we think.

Beware of Copyright Creep!

I’m not talking about a spooky looking monster, dead set on ending the world as we know it, or a sticky ooze that slowly trickles over the planet because we destroyed the rainforest. Copyright creep is an expression that refers to the expansion of copyright law and policy, inching and slinking its way into aspects of life that surely James Madison did not anticipate.

The Right Technology

Searching for solutions that serve people.

What Part-Timers Wish Full-Timers Knew

While the pay gap and the prestige gap between full-time and part-time faculty are well-documented, there often exists a communication gap between the two populations as well. What if — instead of those quick passing hellos in the hallway — part-time faculty were instead given license to speak directly into the hearts and minds of their full-time counterparts? Just what is it that part-timers would most want full-timers to learn, to realize, and to understand?

DIY A2J 3: Talk to Your Community

Pretty much every organization that serves the public and sees itself as having a mandate to educate is starving for new content, and if not new content then new content providers. Libraries, drop-in and community centres and social service groups usually welcome anyone prepared to provide a seminar and, best of all, they’ll do the advertising for you.

You Can Now Wander the Guggenheim Right on Your Computer

The Guggenheim Museum in New York City is as much a tribute to architecture as it is to art. The building, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, is a wonder to wander through, with its soaring atrium and gleaming, spiraled ramps. It’s a museum best experienced in person, of course—but for those of who can’t make it in the flesh, good news: You can now visit through your computer.

Meet the Man Who Created Papyrus, The World’s (Other) Most Hated Font

You’ve probably never heard of Chris Costello, but there’s a good chance you hate him. Outside of Comic Sans creator Vincent Connare, Costello is perhaps the most vilified man in all font design. Costello, you see, is the father of Papyrus, a calligraphic typeface he first created in 1982.

Librarian, the Gathering: Designing and Publicizing a Personal Librarian Program

In December 2013, librarians at Alfred University, NY, began discussing the possibility of creating a Personal Librarian Program, inspired by the work of librarians at places like Drexel University and Yale University’s Medical Library. We have always encouraged students to seek out a librarian for research assistance; now we wanted to add a human touch, providing a name and face for students encountering the intimidating task of using a college library for the first time. The librarian trading card programs of other libraries—such as Penn State and the University of Rochester—gave us the idea of creating unique cards and personas for each librarian. We decided to take the trading card idea, give it a fantasy roleplaying spin, and use these new “Magic: The Gathering”–esque cards to help connect students to their librarians and publicize the program. With this, “Librarians, the Gathering” was born.

92 Percent of Students Prefer Paper Books Over E-Books: Survey

E-books may be convenient and cheap, but they aren’t displacing paper just yet, at least in the hearts and minds of college kids. That’s what Naomi Baron, linguistics professor at American University, found out as part of the research she conducted for her new book, “Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World.”

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Did You Know?


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by | February 4, 2016 · 3:08 pm

Interested in Learning More about Charlotte School of Law’s Paralegal Certificate Program?

At an information session we will discuss the online and onsite platform, application process, answer your questions, and introduce you to the program and its components. Persons planning to attend should register in advance for the session due to limited space.

Session:        Live Webinar (Online)
Date:            February 10, 2016
Time:            12:00 – 1:00p
Register:       Reserve your space

Session:         Open House (On-site)
Date:             March 16, 2016
Time:             6:00 – 7:00p
Register:       Reserve your space


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New Year, New Resources for Library Managers

With 2016 now upon us, it seemed like a great time to scan the blogosphere and see what new posts and resources are out there that might help library managers increase both their own and their team’s effectiveness in the new year!

Training and Professional Development

Tami Schiller offers a few tips on how to make 2016 a year of professional development and highlights some new and different approaches to learning. Incorporate these tips into your new year, not only for your own growth, but for your employees as well.  Her third tip, exploring at least one new training method this year with a pilot group, is a great opportunity for the library as a whole – pick a single topic relevant to their work and get moving.  Tami provides links to additional posts detailing methods such as microlearning, formative assessment and blended learning.


Need some quick and easy daily inspiration?  Click over to Founder Mantras for your daily dose of mantras, quotes and words to live by for founders, by founders.  You can even add your own mantra to the list.  For instance, on January 11th, Alex Blumberg of Gimlet Media reminds us that “The first draft always sucks.”

Written Communication

Speaking of first drafts, how often are you charged with creating “official communication” from the library?  Do you delegate this task or do you take it on yourself? And how do you make sure that communications coming out of your library resonate, bringing the essence of your library to life through text?  Here’s some tips from Ryan LeClaire on writing with your brand’s voice that may help you do just that.  A key piece of this, especially for libraries, is understanding your customers themselves – telling them what they want to hear in a way that reaches them.  Having a relationship with your patron base, and capitalizing on the things you’ve learned about your patrons through this relationship is integral to your success!

Negotiating Contracts

We all know that walking away from a contract negotiation with a vendor is not always a realistic option in the library world, which can often make you feel as though you’re powerless to affect the final outcome. However, Susannah Tredwell offers librarians some advice on approaching negotiations you can’t walk away from, while still getting a result you’re happy with.  With tangible questions to ask yourself in preparation, important amendments you may be able to incorporate into your deal, and links to further reading, this is a great resource to start your 2016 negotiations off on the right foot!

Faculty Orientation

Academic law libraries have regular influxes of new students, so year after year, student orientation remains a hot topic. However, in this case, here’s some advice on something a little different – new faculty orientation. Tena Long Golding offers a more interactive spin on the traditional talking head presentations by librarians, especially for dry topics such a syllabi and policy statements. Their group created a video of student responses to questions such as “What one word describes a great professor?” and “What advice would you give a new professor.”  After the video, conversation is continued using the natural segue to key elements on a course syllabus. In her own words, “What used to be a session of reading through the requirements is now more of an open discussion on creative ways to communicate expectations and engage with our students.”


Let’s finish things out with a few links devoted to collaboration. We can all sing the praises of collaboration – coming together often leads to new ideas, better ways of doing things, shared workloads and more. But what about the darker side of collaboration?  Nick Milton recently wrote a piece stating that “Not all collaboration is good – some of it is a waste of time or creator of unneeded confusion.”  To support this, he links to a recent article in the Harvard Business Review which points out that usually only a handful of employees carry the full collaborative load and as a result become overloaded and disengaged.  As managers, you have the ability to identify overloaded collaborators and try to shift their burdens and find ways to reward them for their efforts.  Also, when assigning collaborative projects and roles, don’t forget that increased headcount on a project doesn’t necessarily give you greater returns. Need proof? Casey Flaherty makes some great points in his recent post that deserve a closer look. He says it best in his post tagline “Nine women can’t make a baby in one month.”

~Ashley Moye~

TSLL TechScans is “a blog to share the latest trends and technology tools for technical services law librarians.”  This content was originally posted on TSLL TechScans and is reprinted here with permission.

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