Published: Sept. 12, 2022

Two students employed by the University Libraries have curated an exhibit. They call it the “After School Special,” and it is now available to browse in the Government Information stacks on the third floor of Norlin Library. 

Willow Rowland, a senior in History who has worked in Government Information with the University Libraries for three years, and Nicholas Johnson, an English Literature/Psychology major in his first year working with the library, stated that part of what makes these posters fascinating is that they arrive without context. A poster that encourages environmental responsibility depicts a man dumping used automotive oil in a natural landscape with a guilty expression on his face and reads, “Why not try it in the can?” Another promotes breast-feeding to help prevent the early onset of childhood obesity and reads, “Babies were born to be breast-fed.”

“America’s government documents can inspire, educate, and even entertain students across disciplines,” Head of Government Information Kate Tallman said. “Not only do these posters decorate our walls, but they inspire us to think about how federal agencies chose to promote and present important information over the years. As the Regional Federal Depository library for the state of Colorado, this collection of posters only scratches the surface of what is held in these stacks.”

Johnson related, “I just really enjoy being in the library, and so I decided to work here,” said Johnson of why he applied for a job with the libraries. 

Rowland says of his three years working in the Library, “I definitely have more of an appreciation of civics, government and the public sector in general and a better understanding of it after years of working here.” He graduates at the end of fall semester and plans to pursue a teaching program and anticipates teaching history.

“After School Special” is now available to explore in the Government Information stacks.