A Model of Community-Engaged Scholarship Across “Institutional Borders” to Assess the Role of Rural Libraries in Community Engagement in the Southern and Central Appalachia

  • Bharat Mehra University of Alabama
  • Vandana Singh University of Tennessee
  • Everette Scott Sikes University of Tennessee


The paper explores a model of community-engaged scholarship developed in a planning grant entitled “Assessment of Rural Library Professionals’ Role in Community Engagement in the Southern and Central Appalachian Region: Mobilization from Change Agents to Community Anchors (CA2CA@SCA-RL)” awarded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services to the University of Tennessee, recently sub-contracted to the University of Alabama (July 2017 – June 2019). It provides insights bridging “institutional borders” at multiple levels to spotlight “invisible voices” of rural librarians and glimpses best practices in community engagement that might be relevant to other rural areas historically facing similarly challenging socio-cultural/socio-economic circumstances.