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The Learning Commons

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Welcome to the Lapp Learning Commons blog!

We will be using this blog as a tool to help students, faculty, and staff become acquainted with new resources acquired by the Learning Commons in print and electronic formats.

Today, I want to let you all know about a grant we've received from the Secretary of State of Illinois, with funding from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).

Back to Books 2013 was a competitive grant to assist libraries in Illinois in meeting the needs of their patrons through focused collection development, improving access to quality content and information. The Lapp Learning Commons applied and received $5,000 through this grant opportunity. Our project, titled "Gender, Race, and Sexuality in Religion," is an attempt to improve CTS's already strong collection of materials in this subject area. Through examining our current collection and comparing it to core book lists from the Women & Gender Studies Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries, we produced a list of materials that are critical and/or significant works in these subject areas were not readily available to our students. Because of CTS's focus on interdisciplinary research and intersecting systems of oppression, gender/feminist studies materials that intersect with race and/or sexuality are critical to our students' research, regardless if the book is specifically about religion, though many titles that also intersect with religion were also purchased.

The image to the right, of "Black Bodies, White Gazes: The Continuing Significance of Race" by George Yancey, is one of the many titles we've purchased through the grant. Yancey utilizes Franz Fanon and other theorists to develop a way to decode the social constructions of "whiteness" and "blackness." Yancey analyses Frederick Douglass's autobiographical reflections and Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, exploring how the white gaze disciplines, entraps, and finally undermines the identity of Blacks. 

The Lapp Learning Commons is committed to meeting the research needs of our community. Follow the blog to learn more about what we've purchased through Back to Books and learn about new & featured content!

Evan Boyd, Assistant Librarian