Title

Crossing the Tracks: Service Learning, Oral History, and the Library

Location

Benson Center, Parlor C

Start Date

11-8-2014 2:45 PM

End Date

11-8-2014 3:30 PM

Description

The Norfolk Southern Railway tracks outline the boundaries of Wilson, NC’s racially segregated communities. In the fall of 2012, a group of citizens from East Wilson, the African American side of the tracks, met to explore ways to document their community’s history, in hopes of winning historic preservation funding. Barton College’s library director attended these meetings, and launched “Crossing the Tracks,” an oral history service learning partnership between the citizens, Hackney Library, and Barton’s History Department. George Loveland, the library director, will present a paper that discusses the project as a case study of service learning for social justice.

Short bio of the presenter(s)

George Loveland is Library Director and Associate Professor of Library Science at Barton College’s Hackney Library. Prior to that, he served sixteen years as Head of Library Public Services and Library Director at Ferrum College. He is the author of Under the Workers' Caps: From Champion Mill to Blue Ridge Paper, which won the 2006 Harry Caudill Award for Journalism, and several articles on liberatory education in Appalachia, and libraries as forces for social change.

George has been instrumental in efforts to integrate service learning and participatory research into campus culture, chairing Ferrum’s Service Learning Task Force and Service Learning Committee for two years, and helping to charter the college’s Office of Service Learning. He has served as a Bonner Scholar Director, and facilitated numerous service learning projects throughout the southern Appalachian region.

George was a founding member of Just Connections, a partnership between seven Appalachian colleges and community organizations working for social change. Just Connections places students from all academic disciplines in struggling communities, helps them build relationships with community leaders, and challenges them to use their skills to seek creative solutions to community-defined problems.

From 2008-2010, George directed Ferrum’s Appalachian College Community Economic Development Project (ACCEDP), which was jointly funded by the University of North Carolina’s Office of Economic and Business Development and the Appalachian College Association. Eight community organizations representing the government, education, social service, faith-based, and business sectors met with twelve college faculty and students to explore economic development options. ACCEDP funded Geography, Composition, Spanish Culture, Theatre, and Political Science class projects that addressed the problem of poor Internet service, and how it impacts businesses and the community at large.

George is currently working with colleagues to establish a service learning program at Barton College. He is coordinating Crossing the Tracks: an Oral History of East and West Wilson, North Carolina, a partnership between the Freeman Round House Museum of African American History, Hackney Library, and the Barton College History Department. Students conduct interviews with long-time residents of Wilson’s African American community, which the library records, archives, and makes available on the web. Community members hope to use the interviews to document the rich history of East Wilson as part of their efforts to win historic preservation funding.

George recently published his second book, For Our Little Children: Growing Up in the Shadows of the Loray Mill Strike. The book deals with a major strike in 1929 at the Loray Mill in Gastonia, North Carolina, his hometown, and how he and others learned about and came to terms with this event.

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Aug 11th, 2:45 PM Aug 11th, 3:30 PM

Crossing the Tracks: Service Learning, Oral History, and the Library

Benson Center, Parlor C

The Norfolk Southern Railway tracks outline the boundaries of Wilson, NC’s racially segregated communities. In the fall of 2012, a group of citizens from East Wilson, the African American side of the tracks, met to explore ways to document their community’s history, in hopes of winning historic preservation funding. Barton College’s library director attended these meetings, and launched “Crossing the Tracks,” an oral history service learning partnership between the citizens, Hackney Library, and Barton’s History Department. George Loveland, the library director, will present a paper that discusses the project as a case study of service learning for social justice.