From the Association of Research Libraries:
Today the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL) announced it will rekindle its partnership with the University of Kentucky’s Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History to expand its collection of oral history interviews with leaders who played key roles in ASERL’s growth and development over the years. ASERL first collaborated with the Nunn Center in 2016 to collect ten interviews with its earliest leaders. This new project seeks to grow that history, reflecting ASERL’s growth from a social organization to one of the leading voices in American research library cooperation.
“ASERL’s strength is built upon the myriad interpersonal relationships among people in member libraries that have been fostered by ASERL over the decades,” commented Christopher Cox, ASERL Board President and Dean of Libraries at Clemson University. “It’s wonderful that we can continue to tell the amazing story of ASERL’s impact and the people who made it possible.”
The interviews conducted in 2016 involved significant time and effort on logistics – interviewers traveling across the region, heavy recording equipment in tow, to record interviews face-to-face with their subjects. Thanks to the proliferation of online meeting tools and their ease of recording, the process for the 2022 interviews will be much simpler.
As she did in 2016, Jennifer A. Bartlett, Oral History Librarian at the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, part of the University of Kentucky Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center, will lead the 2022 project. “Service, innovation, and creativity: All are themes woven throughout the interviews with ten of ASERL’s early leaders in the original 2016 project. It’s an exciting opportunity and a real honor to continue these fascinating conversations with ASERL’s talented, committed professionals, adding new voices to this already rich collection,” commented Ms. Bartlett.
ASERL and Nunn Center staff are currently compiling contact information for past ASERL leaders who will be invited for interviews. The interview sessions will each be 60 – 90 minutes in length, and are expected to begin in early Summer 2022. The new collection will be released to the public in coordination with ASERL’s Fall 2022 Membership Meeting, set for December 1 – 2, 2022 in Raleigh, NC.