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The University of Iowa Libraries

The University of Iowa Libraries


Spotlight Series Displays Master List: What is the Spotlight Series?

Spotlight Series” displays are meant to connect the library to the UI cultural houses and resource centers.

70’s Activism at UI Cultural Houses

The “Spotlight Series: 70’s Activism at UI Cultural Houses” display focused on the activities of the African American, Chicano and American Indian students. Student organizations brought many speakers to the UI campus for discourse and dialogue. Each organization was proactive in their support and involvement with the Black Power, Chicano and American Indian Movements locally and nationally. This display is a physical documentation of each cultural center’s contribution and a snapshot of how three national activist movements of the 70’s resonated with the students at the University of Iowa.

Spotlight Series: A Harvest of Knowledge"

“Spotlight: A Harvest of Knowledge” is a display that tells the stories of ordinary people who accomplished the extraordinary. We invite you to partake of the harvest, learn from it and be inspired.

“You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas.” - Shirley Chisholm

Films That Inspire

The “Spotlight Series: Films That Inspire” display, located by the Information Desk on the first floor of the Main Library, featured resources included in the Notable Videos for Adults list established by the Video Round Table (VRT). The VRT provides leadership within the American Library Association (ALA) on all issues related to video collections, programs, and services in libraries. We encourage the UI community to explore the topics presented in these poignant and moving films, available in Media Services at the UI Main Library.

Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month is an annual event celebrating the culture and traditions of U.S. residents who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America and the Caribbean, as well as the contributions of Hispanic Americans to the United States. The national observance began in 1968 as National Hispanic Heritage Week and Congress expanded it to a month in 1988. Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15, the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries—Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively. Given the many countries, cultures and regions to which Hispanics trace their ancestry, it is not surprising that they use a variety of terms to identify themselves: Latino, Colombiano, Chicana, Puertoriqueño, Boricua, Xicano, Mexican American, Dominicano and many more. The U.S. Census Bureau defines Hispanics as persons of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central-American descent, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race. There are approximately 44 million Hispanics in the U.S. They constitute 15% of the total population and 4% in Iowa, making them the largest ethnic or race minority in the nation and the state. The Hispanic community in Iowa is experiencing an exciting time of change as it begins historic growth in the state. The Hispanic population in 2006—nearly 115,000—represents an increase of 28% since 2000. Hispanic enrollment at the University of Iowa during the spring term in 2007 was 767.

This display highlights University of Iowa Hispanic and Latina/o students, faculty and alumni, as well as resources available in the Main Library about the Hispanic and Latina/o experience.

This exhibit features selected items from Mujeres Latinas, an Iowa Women’s Archives initiative to document the lives of Iowa Latinas, their families and the history of their communities.

Spotlight Series

LIBRARY GUIDE WORK IN PROGRESS    The UI Cultural Houses and Resource Center managed by the Office of Student Life are fundamental in bringing to light issues that are important to African Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Latinos and Native Americans and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender community. The “Spotlight” displays, were located by the Information Desk on the first floor of the Main Library, were meant to connect the Libraries to the UI cultural houses and resource center.

The displays were “living displays,” meaning that students could take the displayed books off the shelf and check them out. The displays were learning tools and the materials provided generate interest in the subject.

Spotlight Series: Human Experience in Popular Films and Songs

The “Spotlight Series: Human Experience in Popular Films and Songs” display, located by the Information Desk on the first floor of the Main Library, features popular culture sources that can inspire and engage students to delve more deeply into important issues of social justice and human rights. Many of these films and songs feature little known biographical stories and historical events that would otherwise be ignored.  We encourage the UI community to explore the resources presented in this display. The films and songs  featured are all available in Media Services and in the Music Library, housed at the UI Main Library.

Native American/First Nations Poets and Novelists

The Native American/First Nations display recognizes the contributions of Native poets and novelists to the American literary tradition. Prior to the arrival of the American settlers, several native groups lived in Iowa. The influx of the American settlers lead to the forced mass exodus of the indigenous people, as the American settlers continued to push westward. Iowa's woodlands and prairies were the home of many different Indian tribes, including the Ioway, Iowa’s namesake, and the Meskwaki, the largest native tribe in Iowa, whose settlement is located in Tama, IA.

“It's important as a writer to do my art well and do it in a way that is powerful and beautiful and meaningful, so that my work regenerates the people, certainly Indian people, and the earth and the sun. And in that way we all continue forever.” - Joy Harjo (1951– ) from Voices from the Gaps: Women Writers of Color, 1993

Spotlight: Poetical Composition

"Spotlight: Poetical Composition" is a display that focuses solely on the content of the poem or song being highlighted. Within the display the titles, authors, bibliography and any background information for each display panel are only available by viewing this LibGuide. By not identifying the poem or song the display planning group is asking the public to focus on the text that is provided. Ask yourself: Does knowing the background of a poem or song change what you, the reader, feel about the piece? Are you so distracted by trying to guess the background information about the piece that you cannot enjoy the piece?

Subject Guide

Rachel Garza Carreón
Religious Studies and Latino Native American Cultural Center

(319) 335-6441

Spotlight: Putting Idealism To Work

The "Spotlight: Putting Idealism To Work" display is a celebration of individuals and groups that impact the lives of the community in a positive way. By being  social justice advocates or by sharing their culture and traditions with others the community slowly changes into a more inclusive place to live.

"Be the change you want to see in the world."  

Mahatma Gandhi

Spotlight Series: The Color of Truth

"Spotlight: The Color of Truth" is a display that celebrates artists who are talented in their field and have also dedicated their lives to social justice.  Through the use of their art these innovative artists tell a “truth” ... the struggle of the immigrant, the suppression of their cultural identity or to convey a love and respect for family, home and one's individuality.

“I really don’t want to produce artwork that does not have meaning beyond simple decorative values. I want to use public space to create a public voice, and a public consciousness about the presence of people who are, in fact, the majority of the population but who are not represented in any visual way. By telling their stories we are giving voice to the voiceless and visualizing the whole of the American story.”  Judy Baca

Spotlight: Visionary Leadership

The "Spotlight: Visionary Leadership" display features individuals who had the courage to tell their story, whether the story was one of survival or of determination. Each individual overcome great odds and became powerful advocates for change.

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear."  Ambrose Redmoon