Reading and Inclusivity Panel at the SHARP conference

Professor Joseph Kavulya and I were delighted to be able to present a paper based on the work of the DRIVE project at the Society for the History of Authorship, Readership and Publishing Conference, held online for the first time in July 2021. Our paper on Libraries and Inclusivity was part of a panel moderated by Marianne Martens from Kent State University in the US, in which she reported on a project she led in Nigeria, funded by USAid.

Brief details of our panel in the conference programme

The session was well attended and generated a lively discussion about the role of libraries and increased opportunities for accessibility with digitisation. As part of our presentation, we included examples of the great work being carried out at KNLS Kibera (Mary) and SAIDE Community Library (Kelvin) and we also talked about the recent toolkit for introducing digital reading to libraries produced by Worldreader (available via the Resources section of our website).

SHARP has recently held a number of events aimed at enhancing the inclusivity of the organisation and the discipline of book history more broadly. At this year’s conference, a roundtable on perspectives from the Global South included a fascinating contribution by Digital Humanities and Digital Heritage scholar Chao Tayiana on the history of the ngadji drum in Kenya.

It was wonderful to be able to share with colleagues from countries including the UK, US, Canada and South Africa some of the work of the DRIVE project, paving the way for potential future collaborations but also celebrating the inspiring work already being undertaken by network members.

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