SRU’s University Archives gets ‘social’ with The Rocket, campus community
April 8, 2019
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — Author Marcus Garvey once wrote, "A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots." In an effort to keep faculty, staff and students "rooted" to the institution's rich stories, University Archives at the Bailey Library is teaming up with The Rocket, the independent student-run newspaper, to bring The Rock's history to light.
Cassie Frank, instructor and archives/special collections librarian, and Brittany Fleming, assistant professor of communication and faculty adviser to The Rocket, have collaborated in a project that will not only inform all parties about SRU'S historical past but help to expand the library's social media outreach in the present.
"I wanted to find a new and different way to reach out and engage students, while also expanding our social media outreach and sharing SRU's unique history in a way only the University Archives can," Frank said. "We thought that a collaboration with the newspaper might be a good way to do that."
Frank credits student worker Kelcie Bartek, a sophomore business management major from Butler, with doing the bulk of the project's work. Bartek produces the content: finding the right images, developing trivia questions and providing quiz answers via the UA Facebook page and Instagram feed.
"It's really interesting to dive into this knowledge about the University and actually know about the school I attend," Bartek said.
In creating this collaboration, Frank wanted to get SRU students really thinking about the posts instead of simply breezing over them, so she opted for a trivia-like concept. Each post features a question about the photo posted. A recent post shared an old photo showing class registration in the days before online options were available.
"There were these incredibly long lines that students had to stand in and wait for someone to come up and physically check off all their courses on a slip of paper," said Kevin McLatchy, a Bailey Library technician. "Posting an old photo like that can show that things have actually improved and just how far we've come."
The joint project has the University Archives staff excited because of the opportunity it presents to share pieces of its collection, and SRU's history, with audiences that may never have seen them before. Frank said she feels that the purpose of the Archives is to preserve the history of the institution, if that history is just "locked away in a room where no one sees it, it's not really doing anything."
"Our goal is to share what we have and to get people excited about it," she said. "That's what makes me so enthusiastic about this collaboration with The Rocket."
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