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VCU Libraries Community Zooms


A series of brief virtual events designed for the VCU Libraries community, highlighting timely subjects, celebrating achievements, practicing creativity and more.

Sessions are held Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. and last approximately a half hour to 45 minutes each. Attendees may join via Zoom. To receive a link to join the sessions, or for questions or accommodations, please contact the VCU Libraries Development Office at


Please contact the VCU Libraries Development Office at


Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.


Additional sessions coming soon.


April 30
Celebrating Preservation Week: Collections Care Activities at VCU Libraries and Preserving Your Personal Treasures
Led by Nora Bloch
Find out how VCU Libraries protects its valuable collections of books, artifacts and art and learn how to preserve your own family treasures and documents in this session with Preservation Librarian Nora Bloch.

May 7
Virtual Awards Program: Student Book Collecting Contest and Friends of VCU Libraries T-shirt Design Contest
Led by Matteo Pangallo and Antonia Vassar
Meet the talented winners of these two contests for students and learn about their winning submissions and what inspires them.

May 14
Finding Trusted Information About COVID-19
Led by Dana Ladd and John Cyrus
The amount of information available on COVID-19 can be overwhelming. Librarians from the MCV Campus (Tompkins-McCaw Libary for the Health Sciences and the VCU Medical Center Health and Wellness Library) provide tips for identifying reliable health information and walk attendees through their detailed online guide. Resources for patients, health care providers and the community will be provided.

May 21
Walkthrough of the New VCU Libraries Website
Led by Ashley Brewer
Web Systems Librarian Ashley Brewer, who has led the recent redesign of the library website, guides attendees through the new site, discusses the decision-making process behind it and invites feedback.

May 28
Docent-guided Virtual Tour of VCU Libraries Galleries
Led by Alice Campbell
VCU Libraries offers dozens of digital exhibits in its online galleries. Digital Outreach and Special Projects Librarian Alice Campbell leads attendees through this virtual space, sharing highlights and tips on how to get the most from your own explorations.

June 4
What's Everyone Reading?
Led by Kelly Gotschalk, Gregory Kimbrell and Ward Teft of Chop Suey Books
As summer approaches, Ward Teft of Chop Suey Books joins VCU Libraries in a roundtable about exciting new books and great summer reading projects. Attendees are invited to share about books they're reading or planning to tackle this summer.

June 11
Collaborative Poetry of Empowerment

Led by Oscar Keyes and Gregory Kimbrell
Poetry has long been used as a tool of self-expression, protest and healing. In light of recent injustice, Multimedia Teaching and Learning Librarian Oscar Keyes and poet/event specialist Gregory Kimbrell lead a collaborative poetry activity using Google Docs that makes a great starter for meaningful conversations. No poetry expertise required.

June 18
They Closed Our Schools: Making a Documentary of Racial Injustice in Prince Edward County

Led by Brian Grogan of Mercy Seat Films
In 1959, local officials closed the public school system of Prince Edward County in defiance of the United States Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. the Board of Education. The closure demonstrated the intractable tenacity of racism and continues to have repercussions today. Filmmaker Grogan discusses his ongoing work on a documentary exploring this moment in history, as well as the recent book from University of Virginia Press, A Little Child Shall Lead Them: A Documentary Account of the Struggle for Education in Prince Edward County, Virginia. The book was co-edited by Brian Grogan and VCU Associate Professor of History Brian J. Daugherity, Ph.D.

June 25
21 Years of Leading VCU Libraries
Led by John E. Ulmschneider
In his two decades at VCU, University Librarian and Dean of Libraries John E. Ulmschneider has guided VCU Libraries through monumental changes for the university and for academic libraries as a whole. On the eve of his retirement, he shares reflections on his career and insights into the field of librarianship.

July 2
New Life for Old Books: Paper Flower Making Workshop

Led by Kelly Gotschalk
Old books can be great for making into new things. In this interactive workshop, Director of Development and VCUarts graduate Kelly Gotschalk demonstrates some simple techniques for turning outdated, worn, damaged, or tired books into beautiful paper flowers. If you want to follow along and make your own paper flowers during the session, have these items on hand:

  • Tools: low temp hot glue gun, scissors, small paint brush
  • Materials: old books, sticks or stems, paste

A video of the workshop will be shared afterward.

July 9
Catching Up with VCUarts Qatar Libraries

Led by Amy Andres
Interested in knowing what life has been like in Qatar during COVID-19 and how VCUarts Qatar's fall semester is shaping up? Amy Andres, director of libraries and associate university librarian at VCUarts Qatar, shares what's been happening and takes questions.

July 16
Aiming for Equality: The Goochland County Rosenwald Schools Oral History Project

Led by Jessica Johnson
Starting in the 1910s, "Rosenwald Schools" were constructed for black students as a philanthropic endeavor funded in part by businessman and philanthropist Julius Rosenwald. Over a 15 year period, 4,977 schools, primarily for African Americans, were funded and built. According to Julius Rosenwald Fund (JRF) records, the JRF helped construct 367 schools, three teachers' homes and eleven school (industrial) shops in Virginia. In this session, Jessica Johnson, processing archivist for Special Collections and Archives at Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences, explores the Goochland County Rosenwald Schools Oral History digital collection, a landmark documentary project for preserving an important chapter in Virginia history.

July 23
Preserving Personal Treasures at Home

Led by Nora Bloch
Do you have family photos, old newspapers, scrapbooks and other items that are important to you sitting in boxes in your basement or attic? Learn the dos and don'ts of keeping them safe and what materials you'll need for preserving them in this session featuring Preservation Librarian Nora Bloch.

July 30
The History and Impact of Advertising Icons
Led by Kelly O'Keefe and Pattie Sobczak
Former Brandcenter professor and managing director Kelly O'Keefe has been collecting memorabilia pertaining to advertising icons for more than 30 years. In this session, he explores favorite pieces from his collection, digitally available through VCU LIbraries Scholars Compass.

Aug. 6
VCU Libraries: In the Interim

Led by Teresa L. Knott
As VCU prepares for one of the most unusual and complicated years in its history, Teresa L. Knott, who joined VCU Libraries in 2009 as director of Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences, steps into her new role as interim dean of libraries. In this session, she talks about the reopening of the buildings, on-campus life during the pandemic, and the future of VCU Libraries.

Aug. 13
Cabinet of Wonders: Stories of Your Personal Treasures

Led by Alice Campbell
Libraries collect materials of cultural and historical value. Library lovers are often collectors, too. But while our personal treasures may or may not have great cultural, historical or even monetary value, they do have meaning. In this session, we focus on these objects, from childhood drawings to vacation mementos, and the stories they tell. Digital Outreach and Special Projects Librarian Alice Campbell facilitates.

Interested in sharing one of your own treasures during the session?

Please sign up by sending a photo of your possession to Gregory Kimbrell at If there are details you want to point out, please also send close-ups. During the session, he will show your photos while you take three to five minutes to tell your possession's story. If you can, please also bring the physical object with you to the session. We can't wait to see what you share!

Aug. 20
Adèle Clark: Artist and Activist

Led by Ray Bonis
Adèle Clark (1882–1983) was a well known Richmonder who combined her vocation as an artist and educator with political activism to advance the rights of women and others for nearly seven decades. She was a founding member of the Equal Suffrage League of Virginia, longtime head of the Virginia League of Women Voters, a progressive reformer and a lobbyist. She advocated for racial cooperation throughout her life and support for public education during the Massive Resistance era in Virginia. In this session, Ray Bonis, senior research associate in Special Collections and Archives, previews a new online exhibit exploring her life, work and lasting impact.

Aug. 27
Simple DIY Techniques for Making Books at Home

Led by Andrea Kohashi
Learn how to make a book out of one sheet of paper as you hear about the Book Art Collection in Special Collections and Archives. Andrea Kohashi is a teaching and learning librarian in Special Collections and Archives and a practicing book artist.

To follow along with making a book, you will need:

  • a single sheet of paper (printer paper that is 8.5" x 11" is great to start with)
  • a pair of scissors

Sept. 17
Nursing History: Virginia Style

Led by Jodi Koste
VCU's and Virginia's strong nursing education and practice reach back into the 19th century, when a substantial medical infrastructure was needed to accommodate casualties of war and the needs of a rapidly growing state. In this session, Jodi Koste, archivist and head of Tompkins-McCaw Library Special Collections and Archives, explores the complex history of Virginia nursing from its roots to the present day.


Prior to joining a session, attendees are encouraged to check that Zoom is working properly on their computers or devices by testing it at

At the start of every session, attendee's microphones will be muted. This allows everyone to hear the organizers and presenters clearly. Attendees will be invited to unmute their microphones and speak at different times during the session.

If you have questions or comments while others are speaking, you can type them in the chat or, if the chat is unaccessible, contact Gregory Kimbrell, the chat moderator, by text at (804) 393-2951 or by email at

As at physical events, attendees are asked to help make sessions inclusive of all participants by using respectful language and allowing others to speak, even if they disagree with viewpoints being expressed.

VCU Libraries reserves the right to remove attendees from sessions for disruptive behavior.

Be advised that VCU Libraries will record all sessions for its private archives but may make use of the recordings for future projects, including publicity.

Image: Photo by Allie Smith from Unsplash