Book Stories: 20 Years of Library Book Plate Celebrations

Kate McDowell

Abstract

Using storytelling as a framework, this study analyzes a faculty promotion book plating ritual through the lens of a twenty-year corpus of faculty-created and library-gathered data. The sources for this analysis are faculty reasons for book selection, or “book stories,” which are part of an annual book plating ritual at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign library to celebrate promotion and tenure. Findings include increased personal information sharing over time. Libraries in the midst of pandemic reinventions should consider sustaining, reviving, and innovating new forms of storytelling to extend the impact of the library as the bedrock of academic community.

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