The Notable Kentucky African Americans (NKAA) was originally a website with a series of individual web pages listing approximately 200 biographical entries on African Americans in and from the state of Kentucky. The site went live in September 2003. It consisted of one entry for each person arranged under the profession or activity in which they were notable, with references to sources of additional information.
For decades patrons from campus and the community have come to the reference desk asking for information on Kentucky African Americans. If it wasn't a well-known name such as Muhammad Ali or Georgia Powers or Isaac Murphy, then the odds of finding anything were slim to none. The main idea behind the website was to bring together the pieces of information found in various resources in Kentucky in order to give the patron a solid starting point.
The website grew at an unbelievably fast rate, and over the years a variety of enhancements were added, including both a full, single-page list (which allowed users to search the full listing) and separate files for each subject grouping, accessible from a dropbox. This required maintaining two copies of every record (since the pages were static HTML files). In addition, the website kept growing larger by the second, so a new interface became a necessity.
With a great deal of gratitude to Associate Dean for Information Technology Kelly Vickery, Web Administration Librarian Beth Kraemer, and Programmer Brian Helm, the Notable Kentucky African Americans Database was constructed at the beginning of 2007. On April 1, a link to the database was made public. A month later the cataloging records for the database were updated.
More Information on the NKAA
For a detailed account of the development of the NKAA, see Jones, Reinette, "Creating a Web Resource: African American Kentuckian Profiles," Journal of Library Administration, vol. 43, issues 3/4 (2005) pp. 149-159. (Electronic copy available to UK affiliates from campus machines or via EZProxy).
On May 30, 2007, the initial website was removed and users are now re-directed to the Notable Kentucky African Americans Database.
African American Library Directors in the USA
The listing of African American library directors in the United States developed from an inquiry posted by Alonzo W. Hill on the listserv of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA). Alonzo Hill is a part-time librarian at Independence Township Library and a library assistant/branch manager at the Flint Public Library. Hill compiled the names and addresses received via the BCALA listserv, and in collaboration with Reinette Jones, a University of Kentucky Librarian, created a database for the entries.
Reinette Jones and Alonzo W. Hill are both members of BCALA. They will continue to collaborate on the development of the African American Library Directors Database, adding new entries and updates as they are received.
The database resides on the Notable Kentucky African Americans database (NKAA) site in order to take advantage of the structure established for a similar biographical presentation. NKAA is pleased to be able to host this unique collection of significant contributors to libraries around the United States.
Visit the BCALA website to learn more about the organization.