Reference Librarianship & Justice: Critical Interventions

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Reference Librarianship & Justice: Critical Interventions
Book Launch Celebration and Discussion

Friday, March 8
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Happy hour with beer, wine, non-alcoholic beverages, and snacks to follow

Join us for a half day event to celebrate the recent publication of Reference Librarianship & Justice: History, Practice and Praxis.

METRO Library Council, along with the book’s editors, are hosting a dialogue and happy hour to continue the conversation on the history, application, and critical dimensions of reference services.

In the book and in this event, we stake out and explore the terrain of a critical, social-justice oriented, purposeful, and engaged reference practice. How and when do reference work and justice work overlap? What steps can be taken to further a reference practice that seeks justice? These questions, among many others, will be discussed through panels, lightning rounds, and breakout sessions.

12:30 p.m.
Doors open

1:15 p.m. – 1:55 p.m.
Panel Discussion: Social Justice and Reference
Panelists: Kate Adler, Ian Beilin, and Eamon Tewell

2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Presentations & Panel Discussion: Reference Services and Incarcerated People
Panelists: Mia Bruner, Joshua Finnell, and Emily Jacobson

2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Break

3:00 p.m. – 3:55 p.m.
Lightning Rounds: The History and Praxis of Reference and Justice
Speakers: Jeff Hirschy, Michelle Nitto, Carrie Forbes, and Haruko Yamauchi

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Breakout Sessions: Exploring the Practice of Reference and Justice
Facilitator: Julia Marden

5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Happy hour with beer, wine, non-alcoholic beverages, and snacks

 

 

 

Anatomy of a Miracle

Satire at its best is constructive social criticism, and Miles (Dear American Airlines; Want Not) is perfecting this craft in the 21st century. Outside a convenience store in Biloxi, MS, +-+0090328656_140Cameron Harris waits in his wheelchair while his sister runs in to buy beer. Cameron is an alcoholic. Cameron is a paraplegic. Cameron is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan. And, on this day, as he stands up and begins to walk, Cameron becomes a miracle. His hermetic life is soon turned upside down with floods of prayer requests and a reality television crew following him around. While Cameron’s doctor searches for a scientific explanation for his recovery in the medical literature, the Vatican dispatches an officer from the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints to open an investigation. As the world focuses on the mystery of his recovery, Cameron struggles to conceal a long-held secret that complicates our understanding of divine agency. VERDICT With sincerity and wit, Miles pens a strong, sardonic rumination on the religious boundaries of the miraculous.

American Histories

Throughout his decorated literary career, Wideman (Sent for You Yesterday; Philadelphia Fire) has compiled an extended meditation on how we are able to heal by transmuting personal and historical facts into constant reimagining. This sprawling collection of short +-+864814434_140stories is an unapologetic resurrection of those facts in today’s political climate, with Wideman’s introduction addressed directly to the president of the United States. The author returns to the streets of Pittsburgh and his childhood memories, envisions a conversation between John Brown and Frederick Douglass, and probes the popular culture we use to escape, forget, and grieve. Each story is a parallel universe just out of reach, with the whole assembled like shards of broken glass. Interspersing pieces that include microfictions like “Bunny and Glide” and prose poems like “Snow,” Wideman elucidates loneliness and helplessness with lyrical economy and rhythmic sadness. VERDICT A deeply personal collection of stories illuminating the thinning and cyclical threads of history that both sustain us and tear us apart.

All the Pieces Matter: The Inside Story of The Wire

With the premiere of The Deuce on HBO, interest in the work of David Simon has been 51+RD8FOqBL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_reignited, and The Wire is his magnum opus. Journalist and author Abrams (Boys Among Men) delves deep into the show’s creation and enduring legacy through interviews with the actors, writers, and producers who brought the show to life. Whether it’s Dominic West reflecting on the allure of his character Detective James McNulty or actor Michael B. Jordan discussing the lasting impression of being in an ensemble cast of primarily black actors, Abrams underscores the indelible mark the show has left on actors and audience alike. Weaving all the interviews together is the enduring connection between the city of Baltimore and the creators of the show, a city that David Simon and the writers of The Deuce recently visited for inspiration. VERDICT Building upon Rafael Alvarez’s The Wire: Truth Be Told, the author further underscores the reasons why the show is often referred to as the greatest of all time.

A Long Way From Home

Carey-Swoosh-thumbOne of Australia’s greatest authors, two-time Booker Prize winner Carey (Oscar and Lucinda; True History of the Kelly Gang) has drawn inspiration from his native country throughout his career, weaving historical and fantastical tales ranging from the 1942 Battle of Brisbane to transporting a glass church from Sydney to Bellingen. Here, he uses the famous Redex Trial, a cross-country car race, to probe the unfurling legacy of colonialism in 1950s Australia. Desperate to acquire his own dealership, Titch Bobs sees both fame and financial windfall in winning the Redex Trial. With wife Irene as his copilot and neighbor Willie as navigator, he sets off across Australia’s unfinished roads and rural landscape. While Titch remains intensely focused on winning the race, Irene and Willie uncover painful personal histories along the way that intertwine with Australia’s forgotten people and communities. VERDICT Carey employs both a multivoice narrative and a continent-spanning car race to emulate the disparate voices and fits and starts that comprise Australia’s history.

Phone

Few John Updike fans would enjoy Self’s splintered, swirling narratives. Yet drug-addled coverpsychiatrist Zach Busner, a recurring character in Self’s fiction, is startlingly similar to Updike’s Rabbit Angstrom in his inability to process new forms of eroticism and spirituality as the stability of a world founded in modernist principles crumbles around him. Here, in the final book of the trilogy begun with Umbrella and Shark, Self probes the absurdity of the information age through two seemingly disparate narratives: the trials and tribulations of a wayward spy engaged in an affair with a tank commander, and the struggle of Zach’s family to provide for him as he ages. Set against the backdrop of the Second Gulf War, Self’s story lines are folded into a meditation on the meaning of a “double life” in a technology-soaked era. Bewildered by a world of spiritual decay and hyperconnectedness, Zach (like Rabbit) ultimately runs from himself. VERDICT The narrative reads and feels like an endless data stream, underscoring Self’s deliberate attempt to bury the reader in an avalanche of information. A sardonic end to Self’s modernist trilogy.

Green

As a member of Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign staff, Graham- Felsen helped articulate Obama’s message of empathy and cooperative change across social media outlets. Here, in his debut novel, he weaves those themes into a story about two 9780399591143friends navigating adolescence across the racial divide. Nicknamed Green, Dave is one of the few white kids attending Martin Luther King Middle School in Boston. His life is occupied with a daily struggle to fit in, which extends from his clothing to his demeanor. Through a shared admiration for Larry Bird and the Celtics, a black classmate named Marlon becomes one of Dave’s only friends and allies. Together, they manage the awkwardness of middle school under constant pressure to succeed from parents, teachers, and the larger community. As Marlon and Dave form their own individual identities, however, their similarities slowly become eclipsed by their differences, from family backgrounds to life goals. VERDICT Based on Graham-Felsen’s childhood in Boston in the 1990s, this work poignantly captures the tumultuous feelings of adolescence against the historical backdrop of a racially segregated city and country.

Stages of Change: Dialogue in a Liberal Arts Context

2017-10-16_13-23-20This event brings together faculty, staff, and students from Colgate, New York Six Liberal Arts Consortium schools, and others from Central New York region for a day of forums and workshops, to share research and best practices for using Intergroup Dialogue (IGD) to improving campus climate through curricular and co-curricular intellectual and community engagement. The name, “Stages of Change,” refers to the IGD 4-Stage dialogic process.

Looking Forward, Looking Back: The Evolution of Digital Scholarship

2017-bucknell-university-digital-scholarship-keynote-1080x380As colleges and universities commit more resources and staff in support of digital scholarship, they also face the challenge of creating sustainable programs. Despite the increase in faculty and staff hires, the growing demand for a range of technical expertise means that many institutions are continually working at or over capacity. Further, as faculty become more engaged in using digital methods and tools in their research, they look for ways to incorporate digital approaches in the classroom. Introducing students to digital scholarship is one way to increase capacity for this type of work on campus while simultaneously providing students with skills that will serve them as they move forward in their careers. The pre-conference workshop brought together a range of digital scholarship practitioners engaged in the question of how we create innovative and meaningful opportunities for students to learn digital methods and tools in order to facilitate learning, collaborate with faculty, and expand their own research interests.

The pre-conference attendees met on Friday, October 6, to discuss various approaches to student engagement in digital scholarship. The outcome is a public website that presents best practices, case studies, and other resources.

Participants in the Pre-Conference:

  • Lee Skallerup Bessette, University of Mary Washington
  • Joshua Finnell, Colgate University
  • Sarah Hartman-Caverly, Delaware County Community College
  • Aaron Mauro, Penn State, Erie
  • Megan Mitchell, Oberlin College
  • Courtney Paddick, Bucknell University
  • Carrie Pirmann, Bucknell University
  • David Pettegrew, Messiah College
  • Kelli Shermeyer, University of Virginia
  • Emily Sherwood, Bucknell University

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The Multispectral Thermal Imager

So proud of Madeline Whitacre and her award-winning poster in the non-technical category at the 2017 Los Alamos National Laboratory Summer Student Research Symposium.

This year’s Symposium, Championing Scientific Careers: Highlighting Student Research, was held on August 9, 2017 at UNM-LA with over 200 students showcasing their hard work and tremendous talent. The intent of the Symposium is to broaden students’ expertise and prepare them for careers in science and nontechnical fields.

Spectral Bands Graph

 

All Abilities Lending Collection

The Saline District Library (MI) is compiling a collection of gadgets and equipment available for check out by patrons called the All Abilities Collection. The purpose of the collection is to allow parents/teachers/caregivers of special needs childreSaline Photo.pngn and teens a chance to try out some of the many tools available for sensory integration and social skill development. Since children of all abilities respond differently to toys and equipment, it is often a challenge for parents of children with disabilities to know if any particular item is one that will work for their specific child. The lending nature of the collection will allow patrons to try these items out at home or school, allowing for a natural experience for the child and caregiver. It will also help the library serve their special needs community by showing that the library is inclusive and open to all. The special needs community is often underserved by or may feel excluded from traditional library programming. The library will be collaborating with local educators and an occupational therapist to select items that will offer a full spectrum of interests and needs, in addition to creating instructional guides that explain the operations of individual items as well as the therapeutic value they can offer.

Check out this project + other innovative library grants at the Innovation in Libraries Awesome Foundation Chapter.

Progressive Librarians Guild

Very excited to join the PLG in their efforts + actions.

“Libraries are an important intersection of the individual, communities and knowledge. We see librarianship as a profession and practice that serves to enable the creation of and access to a multitude of forms of human expression, experience and aspiration. We also recognize that libraries are sites where structures of injustice, exploitation, control, and oppression are nourished, normalized and perpetuated. The Progressive Librarians Guild exists to expose and call out librarianship’s active and passive complicity and acceptance of those systems, to offer and practice alternatives to those systems, to empower the voices of those excluded from positions of power and/or the historical record and to develop a praxis that contributes to on-going pursuits of human rights and dignity.”

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Mikhail and Margarita

Not unlike her main character, Himes is both a physician and a writer. Her debut novel reflects these two worlds, underscoring the necessity of artistry and imagination within cover_9781609453756_942_600the clinical application of objective science. Set during the Soviet famine of 1933, the story unfolds around Mikhail Bulgakov, a playwright and eponymous protagonist of the novel. Although struggling professionally and creatively under the Soviet censors, Mikhail finds an inexplicable fan in Joseph Stalin. While currying favor with the Soviet political elite, he is also being shadowed by Ilya Ivanovich, an agent of the secret police, for his association with Margarita, the mistress of his recently imprisoned friend. As Ilya’s interrogations of Margarita slowly evolve into affection, both men find themselves fighting for love and freedom within an oppressive system of order and discipline. VERDICT Drawing inspiration from Bulgakov’s novel, The Master and Margarita, unpublished in his lifetime, Himes pens a whirlwind tale of romance and intrigue that approximates, if not exceeds, the talents of one of Russia’s most heralded authors.

4 3 2 1

Critics were quick to describe Auster’s Invisible, a quaternary tale that told a contiguous narrative across a multitude of voices and authors, as a mere exercise i9781627794466n textual irony, lacking readability and substance. Here, the author has greater success as he returns to the four-part literary form with the coming-of-age story of Archibald Ferguson. Set in the 20th century, this novel chronicles Archibald’s maturation through four possible, yet divergent, life paths. Family fortunes, careers, and hometowns shift and change as Archibald’s life unfolds across each metaphorical fork in the road. However, one constant remains: his love for Amy Schneiderman. By interweaving each chapter into a single narrative and playing with metafiction, Auster winks at the multitude of universes contained within a single story and slyly presents the reader with essentially four drafts of a novel in progress. VERDICT Fusing the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics with the bildungsroman literary genre, Auster illuminates how the discrete moments in one’s life form the plot points of a sprawling narrative, rife with possibility.

Los Angeles in the 1970s: Weird Scenes Inside the Goldmine

Both the Watts riots and the death of Meredith Hunter at the Altamont Speedway Free Festival signified an end to a 1960s, California-style counterculture based on peace, love,41mdfweby4l and happiness. The succeeding decade would become synonymous with smog, congestion, and crime, until the resurgence of Los Angeles on a global stage at the 1984 Olympics. In this collection of essays, Kukoff (Children of the Canyon) reclaims the seemingly lost decade of L.A.’s history through the voices of those who labored in obscurity in its stretches of concrete and streetlights. From actor/producer Del Zamora’s piece detailing the importance of the Brown Berets and the Chicano movement to Doors drummer John Densmore reflecting on the importance of the band’s L.A. Woman billboard at the entrance to Laurel Canyon, this collection captures the diversity, creativity, and ever-present weirdness that continues to define La-La Land. VERDICT Below a hazy L.A. sunset, Kukoff peels back the Hollywood façade and shows a city thriving with creativity and revolutionary action under a Nixon presidency.