Kemp Hosts Final One Book Discussion: Reay and Smith Focus on Self-Preservation and Internet Archives

By Amy Lothian

Staff Writer

As the semester wraps up, so does ESU’s One Book, One Campus discussions surrounding Jess Row’s novel, “Your Face in Mine.”

In the fifth and final discussion of the series, Dr. Danielle Reay and Kelly Smith, of ESU’s Kemp Library presented “Your Face in Mine, Your Face Online: Finding Your Present in the Past.”

“The internet is just one big library, ” stated Dr. Peter Prium, philosophy professor and head of the One Book, One Campus selection committee.

“Libraries are thought to be boring, quiet places, but are not recognized for their uses as search engines.”

Reay and Smith highlighted and explained the overlap between the ideas of equality and race in digital and archival storing by presenting examples of online archives and the technology that makes them accessible.

Smith, a librarian at Kemp Library began with explanations of terms related to exhibits and archival storing by showing online collections in which race was presented abstractly.

“Is the idea of self-presentation changing with time?,” Smith asked.

Smith suggested that archival preservation may change over time now that we have more accessible options for deciding what goes online, unlike storage methods of the past.

While there is little quantifiable knowledge of self-presentation as exhibited by different races online, Smith stated that archival storage would reflect people’s online sharing habits.

Reay took the audience on a digital trip through online archives in a presentation titled “Diversity and Digital Libraries.”

Raey explained the digitization and accessibility of online library collections with respect to representations of different races online.

She examined several different archives including motion pictures, which, she stated, “often reflected the effects of a dominant role in society, for example, showing preference towards one race, while neglecting how other races were reflected.”

Raey also touched on archives, which showed one-sided materials such as omissions of slave narratives and other experiences that were not collected because they were deemed not important.

Looking towards the future, both Smith and Raey agreed that the ability to self-present online is sure to change the face of online digitization and is bound to create a sheer volume of digital archives for years to come.

One Book, One Campus will begin again in fall 2016 with a new novel, a new author and a new social issue to spark discussions across campus.

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