Filmmaking for Social Engagement: A Two Day Residency with Activist and Filmmaker Adams Wood

Filmmaking for Social Engagement: A Two Day Residency with Activist and Filmmaker Adams Wood

Our next grant-funded student project!

Next week, the KnowledgeLab is sponsoring a two day residency with activist and filmmaker Adams Wood, focused on using film as a means for social engagement.

First, join us on Thursday March 30 at 7pm in Seelye 106 for a screening of On Coal River, a film that takes viewers on a gripping emotional journey into the Coal River Valley of West Virginia — a community surrounded by lush mountains and a looming toxic threat. The film follows a former coal miner and his neighbors in a David-and-Goliath struggle for the future of their valley, their children, and life as they know it. The screening will be followed by a Q & A with the filmmaker.

On Friday March 31, the KnowledgeLab will host two interactive workshops, Hands-On Filmmaking for Social Engagement: Theory and Basic Camera Skills, 10:30a-12p and 4:00-5:30p. These interactive workshops will offer participants basic skills and theory about the many ways video and filmmaking can be used to share knowledge and inspire engagement in a social movement context.

We will discuss different forms and formats including social issue documentary, campaign and call to action videos, as well as emerging media platforms. We will screen and discuss excerpts pulled from Wood’s own work and beyond. In small group work, participants will have the opportunity to create a strategy for a hypothetical engagement goal. We will end the workshop with a brief hands-on camera training, where we will cover filming and interviewing techniques, using participant’s own cell phone cameras. Registration is required for these free workshopsRegister here.

This project is funded through a KnowledgeLab mini-grant to Maria Wood ‘AC. Mini-grants are available to all Smith students, faculty, classes, and student orgs for projects relating to the themes of knowledge creation, knowledge sharing, and the future of libraries and campus learning spaces, including pop-up installations, events, and more. To learn more, visit


Undesign the Redline exhibit coming to the KnowledgeLab February 3- March 9


RSVP to hold a class or group discussion at the Knowledelab.

Starting on February 3, 2017, the Undesign the Redline exhibit will be featured in Neilson Library’s KnowledgeLab. This interactive exhibit “invites participants to learn the history, interact with the stories and invent the future of undoing structural inequities.” The installation includes historical Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC) maps, an in-depth timeline, and stories from those affected by redlining,  a set of real-estate practices and related federal policies that were used to discriminate against people of color and immigrants in the mid-twentieth century.

Special events:

  • February 8th – A talk given by historian Nathan Connolly, author of A World More Concrete: Real Estate and the Remaking of Jim Crow South Florida and consultant to the Mapping Inequality Project. Sponsored by the History Department and the Lecture Committee and co-sponsored by Office of Multicultural Affairs and Africana Studies.
  • February 16th – A panel about Race and Place featuring Designing the WE partners Gregory Jost and April De Simone, in conversation with Joseph Krupczynski, Director of the Office of Civic Engagement and Service-Learning at UMass Amherst and Associate Professor of Architecture at UMass Amherst, Serin Houston, Asst. Prof. Geography and International Relations at Mt. Holyoke College and author of the forthcoming book Making Place in Seattle: The Challenges of Creativity, Sustainability, and Social Justice, and Chris Gilliard, Professor of English at Macomb Community College, author of “Digital Redlining, Access, and Privacy” – pending Lecture Committee support.
  • Tours, talks, screenings, performances, and more. For more information, contact Digital Scholarship Librarian – Miriam Neptune, To schedule a group visit, please complete the RSVP form.

This event is co-sponsored by: Smith Libraries, the Center for Design Thinking, the Wurtele Center, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Department of History, and the Program for the Study of Women and Gender.


Drop-In Hours at the KnowledgeLab for Zotero and Wikipedia Editing

Drop-In Hours at the KnowledgeLab for Zotero and Wikipedia Editing


Are you in a class that involves editing pages on Wikipedia? Do you have a big seminar or research paper due at the end of the semester (or sooner!)? The KnowledgeLab offers drop-in hours to guide you through resources that can help! We can teach you how to become a Wikipedia editor or how to use Zotero, a powerful and handy application that stores your sources and generates bibliographies with just a few clicks.

Who: the KnowledgeLab – and you!
What: drop-in hours for anything Wikipedia or Zotero related
When: Monday through Fridays, from 3-4 pm
Where: the KnowledgeLab, located on the second floor of Neilson Library
Why: the hardest part of writing a paper shouldn’t be making the bibliography!

Water Inquiry Project

Water Inquiry Project

students and a professor sitting in bean bags

The Water Inquiry Project, led by Education professors Carol Berner and Al Rudnitsky, has been meeting regularly in the KnowledgeLab for the Fall 2016 semester. Some of the student participants wrote a blog post about their project, with a nice description of how they’re using the KnowledgeLab:

“Our inaugural meeting occurred in Neilson Library’s new Knowledge Lab– a space that simultaneously provides structure and freedom in the pursuit of collaboration. Brightly colored beanbag chairs and large projector screens are just some of the tools that comprise this intellectual “clubhouse,” a space in which think-tanks like ours may refine developed projects or nurture nascent ideas.”

Big thanks to our Libraries student employee Phoebe Weissblum, who took all the photos for the post!

Read more about the Water Inquiry Project and see more photos of the KnowledgeLab: