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Wednesday 28 September 2022
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Rochester Public Library Seeking Individuals to Serve on Black History & Culture Advisory Board

In the Community: City of Rochester News Release

Photo from https://roccitylibrary.org/.

Are you passionate about history? Do you think the stories we tell about the past should be inclusive of diverse perspectives and experiences? Do you want to see more people like yourself represented in Rochester’s history?

It’s time to repair the historical record!

The Rochester Public Library is seeking 10 community members to serve on an advisory board to develop an archive of Black History and Culture as part of the Documenting, Preserving & Improving Access to Local Black History Collections Project. The goal of the project is to establish a community-curated archive of historical information about the Black community in Rochester that will culminate in an online database. Each board member will receive a $1,200 annual stipend.

Board members will set the mission and vision for the proposed archive and serve as liaisons between the library and community stakeholders. In the first year, the board will be tasked with: 

  • Identifying and connecting with community stakeholders and encouraging them to participate in efforts to identify and preserve historically significant collections they might hold.
  • Identifying themes, organizations, and individuals significant to Rochester’s Black history and culture (past and present).
  • Identifying and assessing community needs and desires through a process of surveys and/or focus group meetings.
  • Developing a project/collection mission statement, vision, strategic plan, and collection policy for the new archive.

Ideal candidates are active in the community and passionate about documenting and sharing local Black history. Board members must work collaboratively as part of a consensus-based process. The board will work under the direction of Rochester Public Library staff.

“We are committed to implementing the bold ideas brought forth by the City/County Commission on Racial and Structural Equity (RASE),” said Rochester Mayor Malik D. Evans. “In order to be truly successful, we need the participation of citizens who are vested in creating greater equity in our community. This is a wonderful opportunity to serve our city through this exciting project.”

For more information, contact Antoine McDonald at antoine.mcdonald@libraryweb.org or (585) 428-8364. Applications can be found at https://roccitylibrary.org/archive-of-black-history-culture/.