As the Inaugural Racial Justice and Social Equity Librarian, I am dedicated to launching Stanford Libraries’ database called KNOW Systemic Racism (KSR). I am responsible for outreach to faculty and students interested in issues of race, ethnicity, and social equity across all departments, schools as well as the Equity, Community, Leadership (ECL) centers. I will also be responsible for collection development of research materials in all formats that support the research and teaching needs of scholars working on those issues. I will work with other bibliographers to identify publishers and data sources that expand the breadth of Stanford’s collections.
I was the visionary for Stanford Libraries' exhibit titled, Say Their Names – No More Names. This forget-me-not exhibit highlights 65 names of recognizable victims who represent larger groups of lesser-known victims. This exhibit includes the names of 330 victims and 3 admitted cases of governmental systemic racism. This exhibit aspires to make the unknown victims - known.
As Librarians, we are charged with the awesome responsibility of being keepers of the light and protectors of our shared memories. However, before we as a society can “Know Justice” we must interrogate the injustices and right the wrongs of society, and only then will we “Know Peace.” Please visit our exhibit at https://exhibits.stanford.edu/saytheirnames
Say Their Names – No More Names now has a Chinese translation, accessible by clicking the drop-down menu under "English" in the header. We hope that this allows people in more communities to read these stories. The Spanish translation is in progress. Articles about Stanford Libraries' Say Their Names – No More Names exhibit were published by Stanford Report and The Stanford Daily.
In solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, I am creating a KNOW Systemic Racism (KSR) database. This will enable users to discover factual data about interconnected systems that pose threats to people of African descent in the United States that have been shaped by racist policies and practices of institutions across centuries. It will also help people take action against these threats by knowing their rights and finding, evaluating, and connecting with government agencies and community groups that address systemic racism.
One of my main goals for creating the KSR is to hold our government accountable by tracking "Promises Made & Promises Unkept."
Stanford Libraries’ KNOW Systemic Racism (KSR) database will collect, digitize and archive data that is evidence of systemic racism, oral histories and personal narratives documenting discrimination for use in racial and social justice research. The SRT will also cultivate a local network of Stanford scholars and community organizers to identify ways to ameliorate racial discriminatory practices in the Bay Area.
The first KSR dataset consists of California Law Enforcement Agency documents including those elusive Police Union Contracts. The KSR provides public access through our Digital Repository to a comma delimited .csv file containing the name, agency type, city, county, and URLs for over 460 Police Policy and Training Manuals. This collection is valuable for data mining, tracking reforms and empowering civilians to identify police misconduct as expressed in their written procedures. The KSR’s police collection is being duplicated by Howard University’s Law Library which is just one of our partners at HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities).
My ORCID ID https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3649-8202
- MLIS, Dominican University
- BA, Public Relations, University of Illinois at Chicago
Mentor, ARL Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce 2017-2019
Hawaii Library Association (HLA), 2016
ABC-CLIO/Greenwood/Praeger Publisher's Editorial Advisory Board, 2013
Reference Services Review Editorial Advisory Board, 2010-2013
International Federation of Library Association (IFLA), 2008-Present
American Library Association (ALA), 2000–2015,
Cybrarian Extraordinaire: Compelling Information Literacy Instruction. Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited, February 2011.
FORTHCOMING. Smith, Felicia. April 2022. Loving Libraries – Stanford University Library’s Paid Summer Internships. In Fostering Student Success: Academic, Social, and Financial Initiatives.
Smith, Felicia. 2021. Putting the "Ass" in Library Class. In Teach Library and Information Literacy with a Sense of Humor: Why (and How to) Be a Funnier and More Effective Library Instructor and Laugh All the Way to Your Classroom, edited by Kishor Vaidya.
Smith, Felicia. 2019. Information Literacy Instruction using Virtual Reality. In Beyond Reality: Augmented, Virtual, and Mixed Reality in the Library, ed. Ken Varnum, ALA Publication.
Smith, Felicia. 2009. Life Saving Library Outreach. In Librarians as Community Partners: An Outreach Handbook, edited by Carol Smallwood, ALA Publication.
Smith, Felicia. 2009. Freedom Readers in a Juvenile Correctional Facility. In Librarians as Community Partners: An Outreach Handbook, edited by Carol Smallwood, ALA Publication.
Smith, Felicia. Low-Income Students Can Not Afford to be Victims of Low-Information! presenter, Stanford FLI Conference, Stanford, CA, February 7-9, 2020.
Smith, Felicia. Virtual Reality in Libraries is Common Sense. Library Hi Tech News, August 2019.
Smith, Felicia. Artificial Intelligence & Malicious Steganography. Computers in Libraries, June 2018.
Smith, Felicia. Linguistic Diversity in Libraries. Library Journal, July 10, 2018.
Smith, Felicia. Evaluating the Options for Virtual Reality in Literacy Instruction, Computers in Libraries, Jan./Feb. 2018.
Smith, Felicia. Should Libraries Even Consider Hacking Back if Attacked? Computers in Libraries, Jan./Feb. 2017.
Smith. Felicia. The Amazing Library Titles Race. Library Journal, Sept. 15, 2015.
Smith, Felicia. Helicopter Librarian: Expect the Unexpected. Library Journal, Aug. 28, 2012.
Smith, Felicia. Pirate-Teacher. Journal of Academic Librarianship, Volume 33, Number 2, pp. 276-288.
Smith, Felicia. Games for Teaching Information Literacy Skills. Library Philosophy and Practice, Volume 9, Number 2, April.
Smith, Felicia. Weary Helper: From Private Investigator to Librarian. LISCareer.com.
Smith, Felicia. Pursuit of Employment in the New Millennium. LISCareer.com.
Smith, Felicia. J.A.W.S. -- A Historical Perspective. Journal of Electronic Publishing, Volume 10, Number 2, Spring.
Smith, Felicia. Seldom-Explored Minorities' Stories: Eyes Wide Shut. Versed, Nov.- Dec. 2005.
“What Does Juneteenth Mean to Me? It’s Complicated,” presenter, Stanford Residential & Dining Enterprises, Stanford, CA, June 16, 2021.
"Rise Up & Say Their Names," presenter, Stanford University's FLI Conference, May 15, 2021.
"From Black Power to BLM: Reimagining Dr. King's Dream," panelist, Stanford University's Diversity and Access' MLK Celebration, January 21, 2021.
"Black Lives Matter/Anti-Racism Efforts,” presenter, Ivy Plus Research, Teaching and Learning Affinity Group’s Crash Conference,” Webinar, July 17, 2020
“Hashtag #OK Zoomers,” presenter, Ivy Plus Research, Teaching and Learning Affinity Group’s Crash Conference,” Webinar, April 1, 2020
“Can Virtual Reality Change Information Literacy Instruction?" presenter, American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter’s Symposium on the Future of Libraries, Philadelphia, PA, January 25, 2020.
"Virtual Reality in Instruction: A Common-Sense Solution,” presenter, Library Technology (LibTech) Conference, Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, March 20-21, 2019.
“Academic Fake News: The Great Information War!” Invited guest speaker, Alabama Library Association Annual Convention, Grand Hotel in Point Clear, AL, April 2-5, 2019.
“Amazing Races Spanning from Outdoor Instruction All the Way to Virtual Reality,” presenter, LOEX Annual Conference, Minneapolis, MN, May 9-11, 2019.
"Be Anyone You Want while Becoming Information Literate in Virtual Reality,” presenter, Alberta Library Conference, Jasper, Alberta, April 26-29, 2018.
"Flipped Classroom & Amazing Race Outdoor Library Workshop," presenter, Hawaii Library Association Annual Conference, Hilo, HA, November 12, 2016
"Lovin' Libraries: Stanford Internship Program," presenter, October Conference for New England Academic Librarians, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, October 2013
“5-Minutes of a Day in the Life of the Pirate Librarian,” California Academic and Research Libraries Conference, San Diego, CA, April 2012.
“Outreach to Inmates: Kindles in Kiddie Jail," National Diversity in Libraries Conference, Princeton University, New Jersey, July 2010. (*Note* Click images on presentation link to advance)
“A Day in the Second Life of Students of the Pirate Librarian,” LOEX-of-the-West Conference, Mount Royal University, June 2010, Calgary, Alberta.
“Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye with Library Technology,” International Federation of Library Association, August 2009, Bologna, Italy.
More about me
Before coming to Stanford, I worked at the Hesburgh Libraries at the University of Notre Dame. Prior to that I worked at Medical, Business, and Public libraries. Interestingly enough, I was employed as a Certified Criminal Defense Private Investigator before becoming a librarian.
While at Stanford, I successfully advocated for our libraries to recognize Juneteenth as a holiday. The libraries tweeted my speech about my feelings about Juneteenth in relation to a recent cluster of televised police shootings. My Juneteenth speech is in the Stanford Digital Repository, along with video of my protest near Stanford, after the murder of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. My Juneteenth video essay was also included in Stanford University's African & African American Studies Special Issue publication called "The 2020 Project." I was pleased to contribute to the Rise Up for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) exhibit especially the timeline of Asian Americans and African Americans Points of Unity and Discord.
In 2021, the struggle continues. I helped coordinate the libraries' first ever Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) Fair. My hard work was recognized when I was nominated for a Black Community Services Center Award after I created a highly successful Black Lives Matter (BLM) exhibit, "Say Their Names - No More Names." A Stanford alumnae printed my 65 exhibit stories and onto posters in her front yard and added spotlights and chairs to help educate passersby. My exhibit touched people internationally, including librarians in Brighton, United Kingdom who were considering creating a similar exhibit based on colonialism as opposed to my exhibit which focused on America's Anti-Black racism. Say Their Names - No More Names was included in Stanford Reports’ (2020) Year in Review under the Arts & Creativity section.
I was invited to join the Advisory Group for the University's Long-Range Planning's Affinity Group, called People of Color in Technology (POC-IT). This group advances representation, engagement, and support for people of color in technology roles at Stanford. In 2020, as a member of POC-IT’s Advisory Group I pushed for the addition of meaningful action items to our Black Lives Matter solidarity statement as opposed to merely words and we launched a Pilot Sponsorship Program in July 2021. I was also featured in Stanford's Women in Technology (WIT) Newsletter in July 2021.
I developed professionally produced instructional videos featuring the new library mascot that I created called the "Nerd Squirrel." They are on YouTube: Primary Sources , How to use SearchWorks , How to Search databases , Leapfrogging and Evaluating Sources. Students love my Nerd Squirrel, which is great for branding.
American Libraries magazine published two articles about my Virtual Reality Symposium at ALA Midwinter in 2020. In the June 1, 2020 issue they published about my VR concept in "What the Future Holds: Library Thinkers on the Most Exciting Technology and Noteworthy Trends." The other American Libraries magazine article included my symposium topic discussing Using Virtual Reality to Fight Fake News. I was also featured in an April 1, 2020 Stanford Report article about staff members working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. I was also included in the April 22, 2020 ReMix article “Stanford Libraries staff keep students and faculty connected to vital resources during virtual spring quarter.”
I am proud to have created paid internships for first generation college students, specifically First-Generation Low-Income (FLI) High School students from underrepresented populations, in 2013 & 2014.
I published blog posts showcasing my unique approach to diversity issues in librarianship. The first was "It is Puzzling" which uses a puzzle to augment my "Linguistic Diversity" article. The second blog post was a four-part series, called "Academic Fake News: Information Wars." This post illustrates how minorities have always been recipients of fake news.
I created an "Amazing Library Titles Race" game for library instruction, in 2015. This was the same year that I experimented with Zombie (video game) Battles to build bonds between librarians and students. I also piloted my "Free-Range" library instruction workshops. These were library classes held outside near trees, using mobile devices or laptops only. I presented at the Hawaii Library Association's Annual Conference on Flipped Classrooms and the Amazing Race. I also created an outdoor reference service located near a fountain. The theme for this service was "Librarians are fountains of information." I am still asked about my previous work, including my popular and funny, RefWorks Citation Cop spoof video. I also created De-Stress Fests to help Stanford students relax during exams, our team expanded the concept to include llamas. These events also included massages, dog therapy, art therapy (painting parties) as well as games from childhood, jigsaw puzzles and snacks of course. When Second Life was an emerging technology, I created an incredibly successful program used in my instruction class that allowed students to arrange materials on a rack separating scholarly journals from popular magazines. I created a maze that required them to answer library questions in order to advance to the next rooms.
The Second Life program and RefWorks video creation as well as details about my literacy program I created inside of a Juvenile Jail are all discussed in detail in my book, Cybrarian Extraordinaire: Compelling Information Literacy Instruction.