In early 2020, the LibraryPress@UF published My Scrapbook of My Illness with Polio by Edna Black and Lassie G. Black, with contributing editor Nina Stoyan-Rosenzweig, and designer Tracy MacKay-Ratliff. The book is available as Open Access online and in print. The book synopsis explains:
Polio, an infectious disease caused by a virus, became epidemic in the United States in the early to mid-20th century. Recounted in the form of a journal, this story about Edna Black Hindson does a wonderful job making the story of polio come alive. Edna caught polio in 1946, before the height of the epidemic, and the introduction of the vaccine – and well after Franklin Delano Roosevelt turned Warm Springs into the only place focused only on treating poliomyelitis. Thus, her story shows how Americans in the 1940s understood and treated polio, how they were able to use the facilities at Warm Springs and the work it took to help children recover muscle control and the ability to move their limbs that had originally been paralyzed.
In our initial conversations on the book, all involved discussed how important it is to have more materials that tell the stories of why vaccines and science are so important in addressing diseases and epidemics.
We had started to plan initial promotion for the book in early March. Edna and Nina had several posters and presentations planned, and the whole team was discussing how to do a launch party: would it be best to hold it at the Health Science Library on campus, another on-campus location, or off-campus? With the LibraryPress@UF being a new press, the whole team was excited on planning activities for this book. In many cases, launch parties might be done without our direct involvement as the LP@UF team, or might be part of a separate event, but this book–like all of our publications–is special, and we saw a launch party with us directly involved as a best fit. Our core launch work includes posters in the libraries, bookmarks for printed promotional materials, and, as applicable, other activities like text-based or video Q&A with the author or creator/s. With the pandemic, the LP@UF team has been busier than ever, with all of our work remaining and growing with the move to remote work.
We haven’t yet had a chance to celebrate the publication of My Scrapbook of My Illness with Polio in-person together. While we aren’t sure when we’ll get to celebrate this together, we can share the book widely to celebrate more collectively a new release by LP@UF and the important work we do as publishers and readers in making and sharing knowledge and stories that support a better, more compassionate world.
About the LibraryPress@UF
The LibraryPress@UF publishes scholarly, educational, and creative works, with an emphasis on promoting public access to scholarship and ethical practices in scholarly publishing. The Libraries’ publishing initiatives complement the work of the University of Florida Press (UF Press) to collectively contribute to the shared missions of the Libraries, Press, and UF.