Friday, August 6, 2010

Developing the Redmond Reading Room

How about we develop a space here on campus to showcase or provide a glimpse of Eugene B. Redmond’s work on black literary and artistic culture over the last few decades? That’s a question that’s been driving me to secure and shape a place on campus to display some of the materials related to the Eugene B. Redmond (EBR) Collection at SIUE’s Lovejoy Library as well as black poetry, one of Redmond’s central concerns over the years.

This past summer, I received permission to use a small room on the third floor of the library. Now that I’m back in the area, I started organizing the large number of the boxes in the room. The process will take a few days.

In between the lifting and moving, I’ll start talking to folks and envisioning what the room might look like. For now, I’m hoping the Redmond Reading Room, as I’m calling it, can become a space that’s useful and usable in gaining a deeper appreciation of black artistic culture.

The challenges now will be consolidating all the extra materials left in the room, removing the extra bookcase in the middle of the room, getting some chairs, and deciding on what we might put in the room to start. Oh, and we'll have to figure out how to do something about the lack of an air conditioner in the room.

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