On Monday, February 14, Healey Library hosted a “Book Love” event to launch its brand new Beacon Book Swap Spot, located on the walkway just outside the library entrance. The event also highlighted this year’s collection of Black History Month book recommendations, curated by Roxann Harvey, a member of the Library’s Reference Desk team.
The event began at 10 a.m. with refreshments such as cookies, brownies, coffee and cocoa served from the library’s loan counter. The Beacon Book Swap Spot is located just outside the library entrance in the walkway, while the physical collection of books recommended for Black History Month was located near the library’s self-service kiosk recently opened. Chromebooks were also on display so attendees could view a Linktree that linked all Black History Month book recommendations to e-book releases.
Library office department manager Ann Marie Shafer explained how the “Book Love” event and the Black History Month book recommendation posting became connected.
“So because [we’re] handle the refreshes inside but have the Beacon Book Swap Spot – which is sort of the highlight of what we’re launching -[and] because it’s also February, it’s Black History Month, it seems important and timely – especially in an institution like UMass Boston that has such a diverse population – to make sure that we really put in highlights works that are relevant to our community,” Shafer said.
Mass media contacted Harvey about the selection process for the Black History Month book recommendation collection, but received no response.
“Roxann Harvey is also the person who makes our selections that go on the self-checkout machine – she creates these images and everything – and she’s also part of our social media team,” Shafer said. “So [she created] posts that were posted on our Instagram account highlighting the physical books we had pulled, as well as the e-books we have in our collection, those she had selected from our current collection.
Shafer also explained why the library is hosting the “Book Love” event in the first place.
“I think in times like these we all look for reasons to celebrate,” Shafer said. “And as librarians, we obviously personally have a lot of love for books, and we know that students and teachers do too. And it seemed thematic as we prepare to launch the Beacon Book Swap Spot that we could do a little something special for this launch to highlight it, let people know it’s there, take some refreshments, do it so people know what’s going on, and then they can come back and see the Beacon Book Swap throughout the year.
The Beacon Book Swap Spot—an idea originally proposed by Jessica Holden, Reference Archivist at UMass Boston, and facilitated by Shafer—is a book shelf open to all members of the UMass Boston community and separate from the Healey Library .
“We want to make sure people understand that the separation between [the fact that] these are all books that are not part of the library’s collection and are completely free,” Shafer said. “There’s no verification of these books, there’s no expiration date, they’re just books you can pick up and own. You can give it to someone else when you’re done if you want. Or if you finish the book and think, “Okay, that was good, someone else might like it,” but you don’t want to keep it in your dorm, you can bring it back and put it back on the shelf.”
To follow events happening at the Healey Library, follow @healeylibraryumb on Instagram.