Summer 2023 Projects

All three projects for summer 2023 are hybrid (part in-person, part virtual).

Arts and Resistance Theme Semester: Highlighting Documentaries for Course Support

Mentors: Karen A Reiman-Sendi, Learning & Teaching Project Librarian and Josh Harris, Media Librarian

Number of Positions: 1

Fall 2023 semester has been identified as an Arts and Resistance theme semester with a focus on the exploration of “how the visual, performing, and literary arts play a central role in shaping cultural and political narratives.” This project will involve the identification of documentaries held in the Askwith Media Library and in our online film platforms that showcase activism, artists, and performing artists, not only produced in the U.S. but also internationally.

The student chosen for this project will research documentaries, identify, view, and analyze numerous films; select appropriate titles within scope for the project; create an annotated bibliography; and identify target Ann Arbor campus courses which could potentially use the bibliography during the Fall 2023 semester. The student will also learn about the role of media in higher education curricula, the role the library plays in media literacy, as well as teamwork skills, project planning, and library research.

Desired Skills (not required): Ability to work independently outside of trainings and meetings.

Gamified Directions to the Library: Developing a Training Module

Mentors: Caylen Cole-Hazel, U-M Library Information Resources Assistant Senior and Denise Leyton, Strategic Projects Coordinator in Library Environments

Number of Positions: 2

This project entails helping the library's Circulation and Access Services department develop wayfinding training materials to aid library users and personnel in navigating the Hatcher and Shapiro libraries. With close mentorship from library staff, the selected students will design a game that includes accurate wayfinding information to help people learn how to effectively navigate floors, stacks, instruction spaces, and service points starting at various nodes from within the library.

As an international component, the selected students will integrate non-English language in our signs and consider how to more visually represent our international collections through the creation of landmarks in our buildings that would help with wayfinding.

Students working on this project will learn practical applications for game design, graphic design, and teamwork, as well as how to communicate norms and expectations for locations across diverse cultural domains. Deliverables will be a game/training activity prototype including instructions as well as recommended designs for landmark creation.

Desired Skills (not required): Interest in game design, graphic design, and cultural diversity in academic spaces. Non-English language skills could be helpful but are not required. 

Shadow and Light / al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here Exhibition

Mentors: Evyn Kropf, Librarian for Middle Eastern & North African Studies and Religious Studies; Curator, Islamic Manuscripts Collection and Jamie Lausch Vander Broek, Librarian for Art & Design

Number of positions: 2

The students working on this project will help curate an exhibition centered around a selection of photographs and artist statements from the Shadow and Light project. This project memorializes the lives of Iraqi academics, teachers, and educators who were killed in targeted assassinations between 2003 and 2013, a time-frame that roughly parallels the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq. A selection of collection material from the published legacy of the assassinated Iraqi academics will be displayed along with the artists’ commemorations. A display of artists’ books from the project al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here — a collective artists’ response commemorating the 2007 bombing of a historic bookmarket in Baghdad — will complement the memorial. 

The students will contribute to the selection and presentation of material for a physical exhibition and online counterpart, as well as plans for events inviting connection and reflection on the legacy of the assassinated academics as well as the themes of resilience, recovery, free expression, and exchange of ideas put forward in the al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here responses. Student curators may choose to contribute their own responsive artwork as well.

Desired Skills (not required): Interest in Iraqi culture and history, photography and printmaking, and Arabic language and literatures.