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  • Jeanie Austin

2022 Augusta Baker Lecture to be delivered by Jeanie Austin

The School of Information Science will host the 2022 Augusta Baker Lecture on April 22 at 6 p.m. in conjunction with Richland Library’s Baker’s Dozen Storytelling Festival. This year's lecture will be delivered by Jeanie Austin, focusing on their new ALA Neal-Schuman book, "Library Services and Incarceration: Recognizing Barriers, Strengthening Access."

Registration for the virtual event is free.

The annual lecture honors Augusta Braxton Baker, a renowned children’s librarian and storyteller. The first African American Director of Children’s Services in the New York Public Library system, Baker was instrumental in diversifying and modifying children’s literature to better serve its readers. After 37 years in New York, Baker decided to make South Carolina her home and served as UofSC’s storyteller-in-residence from 1980 to1994.

“This is the centerpiece of our yearly programming,” says current Augusta Baker Endowed Chair Nicole Cooke. “It celebrates the many facets of Mrs. Baker's legacy as a children's librarian, a storyteller, an author, a force in children's literature and a social justice advocate.”

This year’s lecturer, Austin, currently serves as a jail and reentry services librarian at the San Francisco Public Library. They received their Ph.D. in library and information science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and have provided librarian services in incarcerated settings and researched the field for over 10 years. Their work has been published by several renowned sources, including International Journal of Information, Diversity & Inclusion, The Reference Librarian, among others. Their lecture will focus on the re-thinking of the relationship between incarceral settings, libraries and restorative justice.

“Jeanie's work, and the work being done in these areas, is crucial,” says Cooke. “There was research in this area maybe 20 years ago, then there is a big gap in our knowledge and practice. This new work is transformational, not just for the genre of prison libraries, but for librarianship as a whole.”

Brooke Burris

Brooke Burris

Albemarle, North Carolina native Brooke Burris is a senior public relations major. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in travel and tourism PR. In her free time, Brooke enjoys hiking, painting and spending time with friends.

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