Title

Is there a book exhibit in this class? : experiential learning at the library

Document Type

Presentation

Publication Date

10-24-2019

Abstract

How can students, professors, curators, and librarians work together to collaborate in research and create exhibits? How does designing an exhibit enhance student learning and foster student engagement? The Hill Museum and Manuscript Library (HMML) and the CSB/SJU Libraries have a wide range of materials and display spaces that can provide experiential learning opportunities for a variety of classes. Matt Heintzelman (HMML), Emily Kuffner (Hispanic Studies), and Yvette Piggush (English) share their experiences of the process of designing book exhibits with two very different classes: one focusing on eighteenth and nineteenth-century representations of Africa and the Black diaspora and the other on the early modern Spanish empire. We seek to provide librarians and faculty with ideas and practical plans for creating book exhibits as a form of experiential learning. We discuss what students learned from exhibit design as well as the challenges and limitations we encountered. We share strategies and advice for using exhibit design as a pedagogical tool and bring sample materials that illustrate our tactics. We also discuss more broadly what students learn from engaging with the materiality of texts, a way of thinking that is often unfamiliar to them.

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