Healey feels 'Book Love,' promotes Black History Month book collection

The Beacon Book Swap bookshelf in the catwalk leading up to the Healey Library at UMass Boston.

On Monday, Feb. 14, Healey Library hosted a “Book Love” event to launch their brand new Beacon Book Swap Spot, located in the catwalk just outside of the library’s entrance. The event also prominently featured this year’s Black History Month book recommendation collection, curated by Roxann Harvey, a member of the Reference Desk team at the library.

The event began at 10 a.m. with refreshments such as cookies, brownies, coffee and cocoa served by the Circulation Desk in the library. The actual Beacon Book Swap Spot is located just outside the library’s entrance in the catwalk, while the physical collection of the books recommended for Black History Month was located near the library’s recently opened self-checkout machine. Chromebooks were also out on display so attendees could look at a Linktree that linked all the Black History Month book recommendations to e-book versions.  

Library Desks Service Manager Ann Marie Shafer explained how the “Book Love” event and the Black History Month book recommendation display became connected.

“So because [we’re] handling refreshments indoors but having the Beacon Book Swap Spot—which is sort of the highlight of what we’re launching—[and] because it is also February, it’s Black History Month, it seems important and timely—especially at an institution like UMass Boston which has such a diverse population—to make sure that we’re really highlighting works that are relevant to our community,” said Shafer.  

The Mass Media reached out to Harvey regarding the selection process for the Black History Month book recommendation collection, but did not receive a response. 

“Roxann Harvey is also the person that does our selections that go on the self-checkout machine—she creates those images and everything—and she’s also part of our social media team,” said Shafer. “So [she created] the posts that went up on our Instagram account highlighting physical books that we had pulled, as well as e-books that we have in our collection, the ones that she had curated from our current collection.”

Shafer also commented on why the library is hosting the “Book Love” event in the first place. 

“I think in these sorts of times, we’re all looking for reasons to celebrate,” said Shafer. “And as librarians, we obviously have a great deal of love personally for books, and we know that students and professors do as well. And it seemed thematic as we’re getting prepared to launch the Beacon Book Swap Spot that we could do a little something special for that launch to sort of highlight it, make sure people know it’s here, get some refreshments, get it so people know what’s happening, and then they can come back to look at the Beacon Book Swap throughout the year.”

The Beacon Book Swap Spot—an idea originally proposed by Jessica Holden, a Reference Archivist at UMass Boston, and facilitated by Shafer—is a book shelf that is open for everyone in the UMass Boston community to use, and is separate from Healey Library.

“We want to make sure that people understand that separation between [the fact that] these are all books that are not part of the library collection, and are totally free to take,” said Shafer. “There's no checking these books out, there’s no due date, these are just books that you can take and own. You can give it to someone else when you’re done if you like. Or if you finish the book and you’re like ‘okay, that was nice, somebody else might like it,’ but you don’t want to keep it in your dorm room, you can bring it back and put it back on the shelf.”

To keep up with events occurring at the Healey Library, follow @healeylibraryumb on Instagram.

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