African American Male Librarians AssociationThe Quarterly Journal of AAMLAISSUE 06 June 2012 In This Issue New Exhibit at NYPL’s Schomburg Center P.1 Announcements P.2 The Role of Librarians in Social Media (Part 1 of 2) P.3 2nd Annual Read and Seed Program P.3 The AAMLA President’s Message P.4 Men’s Health Literacy Initiative P.5 AAMLA’s Organizational Structure P.5 ALA’s Emerging Leaders Program P.6 Gay Men of African Descent at 25: A New Exhibit at New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture By: David Eric FoaneyOn Wednesday, February 1, 2012, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Librarypremiered Gay Men of African Descent at 25: A History in Words and Images. This is an exhibition that celebratesthe groundbreaking organization’s 25th Anniversary. GMAD at 25 was sponsored by Time Warner, Inc. who pro-vided the initial funding for New York Public Library’s LGBT Initiative, with additional support from M.A.C. AIDSFund, the Arcus Foundation, and Friends of the LGBT Initiative.Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD) was founded in 1986 by the Reverend Charles Angel. A Pentecostal preacher,who, by 1986, had contracted the AIDS virus. Angel had recognized the need for black gay men in New York City toform coalitions that would address and combat homophobia and racism, as well as the HIV/AIDS pandemic. In theensuing years, the fledgling organization, which began with volunteers, grew to encompass a paid staff and a vari-ety of programs. Its focus would also evolve from political advocacy into a supportive agency that provides a socialspace that nurtures black gay men. Today GMAD is dedicated to improving the quality of life within the New York
Gay Men of African Descent at 25 - Continued From Page 1City black gay community by effectively fighting the Harrison, Reggie Shuford, George Bellinger, Jr., Bish-triple threat of AIDS, homophobia, and racism op Zachary Jones and Tokes Osubu.through education, advocacy, health and wellness, Senator Bill Perkins, along with Harlem historian,and social support. Michael Henry Adams, were on hand to presentThe exhibition and panel discussion were co-curated a proclamation to GMAD in honor of its anniversaryby Dr. Kevin McGruder, former Executive Director and the organization’s accomplishments. Over 300of GMAD and current Scholar-in-Residence at the people came out to celebrate the historic event.Schomburg Center, and Steven G. Fullwood, Project “Even today there are some people who are sur-Director for the Black Gay & Lesbian Archive at the prised that some people who are black and gay areSchomburg Center. Both are longtime supporters of willing to identify themselves as such,” said McGrud-GMAD. er who believes the exhibition provided a teachable“At the opening reception people from the GMAD moment. “The fact that the exhibition is not in afamily of early members were really pleased to see "gay" space, but in an area that can be visited bythe exhibition, because it included images of other anyone who visits the Schomburg challenges the ex-early members, some of whom have passed away, pectation that those who are black and gay shouldbut perhaps even more because the Schomburg is be ashamed and seek to hide who they are,”such a symbol of the African American community,” McGruder added.McGruder said. “The hosting of the exhibition signi- The exhibition is currently on display in the Manu-fies that gay men of African descent are not at the scripts, Archives and Rare Book Division, and will upperiphery of the community, as is often suggested, until August 31, 2012.but central to it in the same way as other people ofAfrican descent.” AnnouncementsGMAD at 25 is the first ever exhibition of a black gay Online AAMLA Membership Application Canorganization at the Schomburg, or anywhere else, be Found at the following URL: http://188.8.131.52/aamla/said Fullwood. “I think it’s vital that the institution’shistory was celebrated here in this community,” he Mr. Gerald D. Jackson has built an AAMLAsaid, “given the Center’s remarkable and unparal- Facebook page. Here is the URL: http://leled history in collecting and preserving black www.facebook.com/ AfricanAmericanMaleLibrariansAssociation.LGBTQ culture and history.” Fullwood mentioned Please “Friend” AAMLA on this social network-that the organization’s records are also housed at ing site.the Schomburg. Alan Bailey (North Carolina) is the recipient ofOpening night of the exhibition featured a reception the AAMLAs Outstanding Service Award forand panel discussion about GMAD’s past with for- his past work on the AAMLA newsletter, from 2010-2011. Mr. Bailey will be receive hismer and current GMAD officers and members in- award next month. AAMLA really appreciatescluding Kevin McGruder, Kevin Coleman, Bonnie his time, effort, and service in the past and present.
The Role of Librarians in Social Media (Part 1 of 2): Teaching the Black Community to Capitalize on the Social Networking Site Twitter!By: Don P. Jason III, Editor-In-Chief of the AAMLA NewsletterSocial networks are currently revolu-tionizing the way people around theworld interact with one another. Afri-can Americans have become one of thefastest growing groups to adopt onlinesocial networking sites, with Twitterbeing the black community’s social net-working site of choice. According to aHuffington Post article titled “Why AreAfrican Americans More Likely To JoinTwitter?” by Bianca Bosker, “African However, in order to make sure that these black community to use social net-Americans are more likely than whites new African American social network users works to branch out and integrateto use Twitter -- and the gap is grow- are utilizing Twitter and other social network- themselves into the overall cybering” (1). This article goes on to cite the ing sites safely and advantageously, librarians community. This encourages mem-Pew Internet and American Life Project and information professionals must get in- bers of the black community to usewhen it states that “during a six month volved. these sites in productive ways thatperiod… the share of African Americans can advance their academic and pro- First, librarians and information professionalson Twitter nearly doubled from 13 to fessional goals. must use social networks to proactively reach25 percent, while the proportion of out to the black community and anticipate its Librarians and information profes-whites on Twitter edged up only slight- needs. Next, information professionals need sionals can use social networkingly, from 5 to 9 percent” (1). to teach black businesses and organizations sites such as Twitter to anticipateThe same Pew Internet Study found to use social networks to promote programs the needs of member of the blackthat “African Americans are also far and services that benefit the black communi- community. One Twitter featuremore active Twitter users: 11 percent ty. After that, librarians and information pro- that allows information profession-visited the social media service daily, fessionals have an obligation to convince the als to perform this outreach is men-compared to 3 percent of whites” (1).Finally, an ABC News article titled, “IsTwitter Disproportionately Popular The 2nd Annual Read & Seed Program Literacy Nation in conjunction with the African American Male Librarians Association isAmong Black Users?” by Ki Mae proud to announce our 2nd annual “Read & Seed Program.” The theme is “Read to aHeussner cited Edison Research, a mar- Child for Children’s Week.”keting company, when it states “AfricanAmericans make up about 24 percent The program aims to empower Black males across the country to join our efforts to promote literacy among our youth. In honor of Father’s Day we are requesting that allof Twitter users, which is nearly double fathers give one (1) hour of their time to read to a child or group of children betweentheir representation in the U.S. popula- the dates of June 10-17, 2012.tion”(1). The above said, it is clear that For more information please visit http://African Americans have a definite pres- www.literacynation.com/Home.html or contact Rich-ence on Twitter and that this presence ard E. Ashby, Jr. by phone at (646) 721-1358 or viais only growing. email at firstname.lastname@example.org
ships to black high school students. The Role of Librarians in Social Media– Continued From Page 3 Students can even start following pro-tioned in an article found in the journal, While social networking sites can be used fessionals that live in their communi-The Reference Librarian, titled “Making to market and advertise events, librarians ties in an effort to start surroundingTwitter Work: A Guide for the Uninitiated, and information professionals can teach themselves with business-mindedthe Skeptical, and the Pragmatic” by Va- African Americans to utilize social net- people who may turn out to be men-lerie Forrestal. The article states that working sites for professional and aca- tors in the future.“Twitter search alerts essentially allow demic reasons. Statistical research analyz-[librarians] to use Twitter as a ‘proactive’ ing the black community’s use of socialreference tool. For example, [librarians] networks is presented in Cheryl Pearson-can be notified if someone uses the terms McNeil’s Cincinnati Herald article, titled AAMLA President’s‘research,’ ‘paper,’ or ‘writing’ on Twitter “New report highlights Blacks’ use of so- Messagewithin a mile of [their] location, giving [the cial media.” The articles states that “28librarians] an opportunity to respond to percent of African American social net- Greetings!the poster with research options at the working fans engage in giving advice or First of all, I would like to thank all of the African American Malelibrary”(148). their opinions on entertainment” (1). This Librarians Association (AAMLA) mem- was a sentiment echoed by the Huffington bers that have/are contributing to ourThis is a concrete example of librarians association. Without you there is no Post’s news articles cited earlier in thisusing social networking to venture outside AAMLA. In addition, I’d like to thank article. The Huffington Post cites infor- everyone that has become an activethe walls of the library. By using this participant in a committee. We have mation from the Pew Internet Study,Twitter feature librarians will be able to been doing a great deal of brainstorming which found that “gossip updates and which is of great benefit to AAMLA. Inhelp African American students as well as celebrity news were two of the driving addition, I would like to propose that weother students from the community with continue to support each other as our forces behind African American younghomework, research projects and papers organization continues to grow. I believe people’s use of social networking that AAMLA is something special! Last-without these students ever having to set sites” (Bosker 1). In addition, the ABC ly, I would like to congratulate Jessefoot in the library. Thus, a student getting Cleary and Bobby Walters on their re- News article cited previously also statesoff the school bus and tweeting to a friend cent job appointments. Jesse will be that “Twitter offered a segregated experi- working as a full-time Librarian at Oak-about the science project that is due next land Community College beginning in ence where black users stayed to them-week can elicit a helpful response from a the fall of 2012 and Bobby is currently selves” (Heussner 1).librarian who might offer assistance in the working as a full-time Librarian at the University of Kentucky. Both employersform of resources that the student can use All and all, librarians and information pro- knew of Jesse and Bobby’s contributionsin the local library or online. fessionals can facilitate integration of so- to AAMLA, and it may have helped them secure their new positions at the afore- cial networks. They can teach the blackIn addition to being a great tool for proac- mentioned academic libraries. Kudos to community to reach out to people of both of you and best of luck!tive reference social networking sites like different ethnic and racial backgrounds, P.S. Remember it’s all about coopera-Twitter are a great way to advertise and online. These professionals can teach the tion, not competition!market programs and events for free. Li- black community and young people to Sincerely,brarians and other informational profes- Alonzo W. Hill value what these groups have to say. Alsosionals have used these sites to promote AAMLA President library and information professionals canthe library’s programs and services since teach African Americans, especially blackthese sites went live on the internet sever- youth, to use these social networkingal years ago. That said, librarians can teach sites for academic and professional pur-black businesses and African American poses. For instance, when on Twitter, in-community organizations to use these sites stead of following a dozen celebrities,to reach out to members of the black com- why not follow a university that offersmunity in new ways. college scholarships to black youth or fol- low a local business that offers intern-
Mens Health Literacy Initiative: AAMLA’s National Mens Health Month By: Bobby Walter, AAMLA Membership Officer OrganizationalNational Mens Month is celebrated each lets from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health Structureyear in June. In the recognition of and Family Services.NMHM, Bobby Walter (AAMLA) Mens The African American MaleHealth Month Literacy Outreach Project Librarians AssociationCoordinator, has implemented an out- was founded in Flint,reach and a community of practice pro-ject. Michigan by Alonzo W. HillThis years project promotes health litera- on August 28, 2010.cy and awareness for adult men and teen OFFICERS FOR 2010-2012boys within the communities of Frankfort President: Alonzo W. Hill,and Lexington, Kentucky. M.L.I.S. (Michigan)Ms. Nkechi Amadife (Community Mem-ber), Ms. Dantrea Hampton (Community Vice President: Michael E.Member), and Mr. Raphael D. Jackson Owens, M.L.I.S.(AAMLA) assisted Bobby Walter with dis-tributing literature to individuals, church- (Oklahoma)es, community organizations, YMCA, bar- Here are some activities/ideas: Secretary: Raphael D.ber shops, and agencies within the state.The effort is to educate families about the (1) Mens health book display. Jackson, M.L.S. (Kentucky)importance of living healthy and happy (2) Present an educational event, such as Treasurer and Webmas-lives. a men’s health presentation. ter: Richard E. Ashby, Jr.,NMHM is promoted by the Mens Health (3) Healthy cooking demonstrations.Network (NHN) in Washington, D.C. M.L.S. (New York)"Health literacy is the ability to read, un- (4) Ask a local nurse, doctor, or healthderstand, and act on healthcare infor- Public Relations: Marcel- educator to give a lecture on men’s healthmation", according to the Center for at your workplace, church, community laus A. Joiner, M.L.S.Health Care Strategies, Inc. Health pro- group, senior center, health department, (North Carolina)motion is the process of enabling people etc.to increase their health and well-being. Membership Officer: Bob- (5) Set up a table at a store, restaurant,Printed publications and electronic re- hallway at work, gym, library, community by Walter, M.L.I.S.sources are related to mens health issues center, etc. with brochures and infor- (Kentucky)and some generic health concerns. The mation on men’s health and Men’s HealthAfrican American Male Librarians Associa- Month. Historian: Derek Mosley,tion members are encouraged to get in- (6) Write an opinion article about men’s M.L.S. (Louisiana)volved this month by organizing a menshealth literacy activity or outreach pro- health and how it affects the entire family Editor-In-Chief of thegram within his state. and submit it to your local newspaper. AAMLA Newsletter: DonAAMLA appreciates the generous dona- (7) Distribute health brochures that focus P. Jason III, B.S. (Ohio)tions of pamphlets, brochures, and book- on the health of men and their families.
American Library Association Accepts Applications for the 2013 Class of Emerging Leaders – Deadline Aug. 3, 2012The American Library Association ence in Chicago (June(ALA) is now accepting applications 27–July 2, 2013). Ad-for the 2013 class of Emerging ditional criteria canLeaders. Details on the program be found on thecriteria as well as a link to the ap- Emerging Leaders’plication can be found on the Web page (http://Emerging Leaders Web page www.ala.org/(http://www.ala.org/ educationcareers/educationcareers/leadership/ leadership/emergingleaders). The deadline to emergingleaders).apply is August 3, 2012. An ALA division,The program is designed to enable round table, ethniclibrary workers to get on the fast affiliate, state chap-track to ALA and professional lead- ter or school libraryership. Participants are given the media affiliate will sponsor near- No more than one person fromopportunity to work on a variety of ly all of the selected applicants. any institution will be selectedprojects, network with peers and Each sponsor will contribute for participation in the programgain an understanding of the ALA $1,000 toward expenses of in any given year.structure and wide range of activi- attending the ALA Midwinterties. Meeting and Annual Conference For more information, visit the ($500 for each conference). Emerging Leaders Web pageIndividuals who are considering (http://www.ala.org/ Sponsorship is not required forapplying to the program should be educationcareers/leadership/ participation in the program.under 35 years of age or be a new emergingleaders) or contact thelibrary professional of any age with A list of sponsoring units is in- program coordinator, Beatricefewer than five years of experience cluded as part of the online appli- Calvin (email@example.com).working at a professional or cation. Applicants can indicate onparaprofessional level in a library. the application which groupsThey should also be able to attend they want to consider them forboth the ALA Midwinter Meeting sponsorship. Applicants may alsoin Seattle, Wash. (Jan. 25–29, check with various state associa-2013) and the ALA Annual Confer- tions and/or state chapters to find out if they are participating and how to apply for their spon- sorship.