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At this time last year, Fleet Library staff, like the rest of RISD, were eagerly anticipating Michelle Alexander's Jan. 22, 2020 Keynote in the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Speaker Series. (For more on this and the other MLK Series keynotes, see last week's retrospective from the Center for SEI and the MLK Series pages on Digital Commons@RISD.) We had worked with the Center for Social Equity and Inclusion on a book display to promote and complement Alexander's visit to campus and had filled every one of the study pavilion risers with titles on the subjects of mass incarceration, civil rights, and artists tackling the persistent problem of racial inequity in the United States. 
While we can't be together for MLK series events this year, I invite you to return to that display through its online surrogate here. Any and all of these books can be requested for contactless pick-up, and if you are not on campus and would like to be directed to other sources or e-book alternatives, please contact our Research and Instruction librarians (see below).
The dramatic events of the year since Michelle Alexander's visit have only underscored the importance of the library's ongoing efforts to make available a just, equitable, and more truly representative collection of print and online resources, and we welcome your contributions to this effort. In this newsletter we put a spotlight on our virtual "New Books" shelf, and we hope you'll recommend -- through our online form -- other titles that connect to equity and racial justice and the power of the visual arts and design to educate, inspire, heal, and change the world for the better.
Thank you and with warmest regards for a happy, healthy, and inspiring New Year from all of us at Fleet Library,
Margot McIlwain Nishimura
Dean of Libraries
P.S. Changes to our operating procedures for Wintersession can be found here.
Sneak a peek at the newest additions to our book collection: Updated monthly, our New Book feature can be accessed via our home page. Scroll down to "Collections", which are listed in alphabetical order. When you get to "N", you'll see "New Books". Just click on New Books and you'll find the latest titles we have to offer. If you see something you'd like to borrow, and you're approved to be on campus this Wintersession, make an appointment to come in, or request contactless pickup.

Below are highlights of this week's new books, from left to right; Rosie Lee Tompkins: A Retrospective; The Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall ApartColonize This!: Young Women of Color on Today's Feminism; Peace, Power & Prestige: Metal Arts in Africa

The Center for Arts & Language (A&L), has been thinking a lot lately about writing, speaking, listening, reading, and language as means of connection and care in difficult, dispersed times. With that potential in mind, they share the following invitations:

Writing Together
This WIntersession, on Tuesdays and/or Fridays, from 9-10 AM EST, join A&L director Jen Liese to write together in one shared Zoom writing room. We’ll start with a few minutes of intention-setting, then write together (cameras on or off), then reflect for a few minutes at the end. No pressure, just good company and a regular practice. Come once or ten times. All writers and writings (thesis, poems, papers, letters, notes for crit ...) welcome. E-mail to get the Zoom link.
Conversation Practice
Multilingual and international students who want to improve their speaking skills can email Maya at to sign up for a conversation group. Maya will be scheduling sessions based on your preferred day/time so let her know when you're free. Conversations will be guided by student work and interests. 
Peer and professional tutors are available to meet one-on-one via Zoom to support any written, spoken, and visual communication projects—academic, professional, or creative—at any stage of development. Practice for crit, integrate your sources, hone a thesis abstract, brainstorm a cover letter ... we’re here to give you engaged, informed, and caring feedback. Make an appointment here.
v.1’s Fall Issue
And don’t miss the fall issue of v.1, RISD’s student-led publication, featuring text, image, and sound pieces that, in the words of the editors, “collectively re-imagine health, hope, family, connections, and life and death itself.” There’s also a redesign with interactive features and more experimental and participatory platforms on the way. Find the issue here: and submit here.

Two little birds image, courtesy v.1

Our Research & Instruction Librarians Emily Coxe, Marc Calhon, and Ellen Petraits are working remotely to support all levels of inquiry, research, and instruction, and are available to guide you in finding and using the most relevant print and digital sources (check out their carefully compiled Thematic Collections). Schedule an individual Zoom appointment in advance for uninterrupted time with a librarian. Librarians also currently teach research classes via Zoom. To find out more, go to the library homepage, click on "Research Help" in the top menu bar, then Ask Us.
We recognize that returning library books might be difficult these days. Please don't worry. Here's what you need to know about returning Fleet Library and interlibrary loan (ILL) materials. Questions?
and for more information, see below.

Ways to return materials:
  1. Book drop: If you are currently in the Providence area, you can use the book drop just inside the front doors of 15 Westminster Street (by Public Safety) anytime.
  2. Mailing: Pack the items and use low cost USPS Media Mail to ship to: Fleet Library/RISD, 2 College Street, Providence, RI 02903 (email us the items you've shipped plus the tracking number). If a prepaid shipping label is helpful, please complete this form, and we will facilitate the process.
  3. If neither option works, or you have further questions, please get in touch with us by writing to
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