What They’re Reading: Christy S. Coleman, Hari Jones Hidden Histories Program Series Presenter
Ask Christy S. Coleman if she has been a lifetime library user and the answer is, “Of course.”
“As a college student, there were the late nights researching archives,” she says. “As a kid, going to the library was something that our family took us to all the time. Libraries and museums, if they were free, that’s where we went.”
Especially in February, she remembers Sunday afternoons at 3 p.m., when speakers would give Black history programming for Black History Month. That was in her hometown of Williamsburg, VA, where she is currently executive director of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation.
Coleman is a highly regarded public historian, author, and advocate on the power of museums, diversity, and inclusiveness. She is the featured presenter for The Library’s 2021 Hari Jones: Hidden Histories Program Series on Wednesday, February 17. The program memorializes the late Civil War historian Hari Jones with a rich array of resources illuminating the previously overlooked corners and Black history stories. Coleman will speak on “The Importance of Narrative Correction.”
What are you reading? I love romance novels and fantasy. My husband and I are reading The Expanse series by James S.A. Corey [also an Amazon Prime series]. It’s about future-based humans. Some are living in the asteroid belt. We’ve colonized Mars, and Earth is in complete destruction. Earth has been turned over to a populist leader who decides that he’s going to take over the resources of the other human settlements. It’s not as dramatic as a Star Wars. It’s about the deep personal struggles and the personalities, and humans are at war again. It’s really quite a compelling series.
Why those books? With so much going on in the world and how much information I’m constantly dealing within my day-to-day life, my pleasure reading right now is fantasy or romance. A little romance is always good for the soul.
What do you like about libraries? Their accessibility. I get why, time and time again, they beat out museums as the most trusted places in America. Libraries are accessible to everyone. You don’t get this sense of ‘I don’t belong there.’ It’s that kind of feeling I’ve tried to foster in museums for a long time. We have to figure out how to make people feel welcome.