Wednesday, August 07, 2019

The difference between a graduate student and a graduate scholar?

As a follow-up to my first post today, here is a short video I did in 2010 on the difference between a graduate student and a graduate scholar?

By the way, the auto-generated subtitles are accurate, but the subtitles in the video itself are not.

Are you committed to learning?

Seth Godin
This is off-topic, so feel free to stop reading.  However, if you're interested in learning, keep reading.

Last month, I wrote about a section in Seth Godin's book Stop Stealing Dreams: What is School Good For? The book is available online for free in full-text.  That post is The Standardized Mass Contract. With the outdoors beckoning, I am slowly making my way through the rest of the book.  As an instructor-teacher-professor, my mind keeps being drawn back to this section:

27. The decision


We don’t ask students to decide to participate. We assume the contract of adhesion, and relentlessly put information in front of them, with homework to do and tests to take.

Entirely skipped: commitment. Do you want to learn this? Will you decide to become good at this?

The universal truth is beyond question — the only people who excel are those who have decided to do so. Great doctors or speakers or skiers or writers or musicians are great because somewhere along the way, they made the choice.

Why have we completely denied the importance of this choice?
In less than three weeks, the fall semester classes will begin on many college campuses.  Students will walk into classrooms expected to be educated.  They will sit and expect that the information delivered will make them more employable after 2-4 years.  There are many reasons why students head off to college. I wonder how many are fully committed to the educational process, which includes a high level of commitment inside and outside the classroom.  I also wonder how many come expecting - and wanting - their thoughts and world-view to be challenged.  If your thoughts aren't being challenged, are you learning anything new?

In section 44, Godin writes:
Teaching is no longer about delivering facts that are unavailable in any other format.
You may need to read that twice.  In most classes, students are expected to learn how others have thought about that subject. They need to get their thinking in line with everyone else on that topic.  However, what we need is to have students committed to learning what others think and then taking the next step and thinking radically about the topic themselves.  They need to question the topic with questions grounded in what is known, with an eye towards what's next.  Imagine a student who could ask what would happen if "X" occurred, and did so with the knowledge of A-W.

In the movie, Hidden Figures, one of the characters implores his team to "look beyond."  To look beyond, a student needs to be committed to learning, questioning, exploring...and not to obtaining a specific grade.  Going for the grade is easy.  Looking beyond is where the opportunities are.

If you're heading to school, to a conference, or to a workshop, are you committed?  Will you look beyond?

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Secretly Public Domain: U.S. Copyright History 1924-63

Public Domain Mark Last week, Boing Boing published an article entitled, "Data-mining reveals that 80% of books published 1924-63 never had their copyrights renewed and are now in the public domain."  What? According to Leonard Richardson:
A recent NYPL project has paid for the already-digitized registration records to be marked up as XML. (I was not involved, BTW, apart from saying "yes, this would work" four years ago.) Now for anything that's unambiguously a "book", we have a parseable record of its pre-1964 interactions with the Copyright Office: the initial registration and any potential renewal.
The two datasets are in different formats, but a little elbow grease will mesh them up. It turns out that eighty percent of 1924-1963 books never had their copyright renewed. More importantly, with a couple caveats about foreign publication and such, we now know which 80%.
Of course, the details matter and NYPL provides those in its own post, U.S. Copyright History 1923–1964.  I'll note that there is more work to be done to ensure that the data is correct, including harmonizing the variations of an author's name. For now, read the long post from the NYPL and begin to envision how this will change your use of pre-1963 materials!




Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Special issue of Journal of Copyright in Education and Librarianship on Models for Copyright Education

The Journal of Copyright in Education and Librarianship, vol. 3, no. 2 (2019) is a special issue which includes papers presented at the 2017 International Federation of Library Associations’ (IFLA) World Library and Information Congress' Models for Copyright Education in Information Literacy Program.  Articles included are:
The Journal of Copyright in Education and Librarianship "is a peer-reviewed open-access publication for original articles, reviews and case studies that analyze or describe the strategies, partnerships and impact of copyright law on public, school, academic, and digital libraries, archives, museums, and research institutions and their educational initiatives."  Past issues are available in its archives.
 

Saturday, July 20, 2019

#ALAac19 : Bias, microaggressions, diversity, and inclusion

Diversity is having a seat at the table, inclusion is having a voice, and belonging is having that voice be heard
Given the conversations in the U.S. since fall 2016 and some of the actions that have occurred, it is not surprising that there were many sessions related to bias, microaggressions, diversity and inclusion. I was able to attend only two. I'm giving you the descriptions because these capture important information.

New Destinations in the Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement of People of Color to the Library Profession

 

Description

In spite of ongoing diversity initiatives and programs by organizations such as ARL, ACRL and other groups, recruitment, retention and promotion among library and information studies (LIS) students and library workers is lagging. Two recent projects, the REFORMA Telling Our Stories: Community Building to Recruit and Retain Latinx to the Library Profession grant and the Hampton University Forum on Minority Recruitment and Retention in the LIS Field grant, both awarded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), address the need to set new goals and create profession-wide efforts to look at the recruitment and retention efforts if we really want to diversify the profession. Libraries that succeed in recruiting must simultaneously focus on retention and promotion of new hires. Mentoring programs have proven to be effective in supporting new professionals and aiding them to remain in the field. There is a need to develop a climate in the workplace that supports and encourages advancement. The Hampton LIS Forum, held August 1-2, 2018 at Hampton University provided a safe space for the discussion of diversity initiatives and the concerns of people of color within the LIS profession. The forum also created a think-tank to create actionable strategies to address diversity in recruitment and retention. This presentation will discuss both grant-funded projects and the need for continued efforts and research to address the lack of diversity of people of color within the library and information studies field.

Speakers: Miguel Juarez, Tina Rollins, and Tess Tobin

 

Notes


The speakers wanted to spent more of the time having a discussion with the audience, but unfortunately, they spent too much time providing background in this one-hour session.  What is clear, though, from their presentation is that there are areas where we can focus, in order to improvement recruitment, retention, and advancement.  Those areas include two which drew my attention:
  • Mentoring
  • Leadership training
We often have a specific idea of what mentoring is.  However, I like the varied list of what was mentoring can be in the Tomorrow's Professor post entitled "Mentoring and Productivity." Our staff of color may benefit from mentoring that provides one (or more) of the following:
  • Professional Development
  • Emotional Support
  • A Sense of Community
  • Accountability
  • Institutional Sponsorship
  • Access to Networks
  • Project Specific Feedback
  • Role Models
  • Safe Space

Library staff of color need to find and connect with mentors, who can provide the type of mentoring they need.  While a library might provide a mentor, staff should be willing to look elsewhere for additional mentors, who can provide a different point of view and perhaps a different mentoring relationship.

In terms of leadership training, current and future leaders need to be trained on working with diverse staff members, no matter what that diversity might be.  We cannot assume that someone already has those skills.  This training could occur in a number of different ways and might need to occur more than once, since we really don't leave everything about working in a diverse and inclusive environment in one sitting.

Our staff of color should also receive leadership training, because they will be leaders.  Some will become team leaders, managers or directors, while others might lead a project.  They should get into that leadership role with an understand of what it entails and how to succeed as a leader.  They should see leadership as a natural progression in their careers.  Having people of color in leadership roles puts them in the position of being role models for other staff as well as our communities, so we need to help them succeed, rather than setting them up for failure.

An Introduction to Implicit Bias and Microaggressions


Description

The American Library Association commits to ameliorating marginalization and underrepresentation within the Association and the communities served by libraries through increased understanding of the effects of historical exclusion. This introductory training will explore implicit bias and microaggressions. Participants will be able to identify how these concepts create barriers and begin to explore ways to disrupt our biases and respond to microaggressions. This training will be presented three times throughout Annual Conference and is open to all conference attendees.
Speakers: Mee Moua and Michael Wenger

Notes


They noted the history of bias in the U.S., noting that it was used to justify enslavement and conquest.  Some bias has been based on pseudo science.  Some have been quite intentional through federal government actions.

Bias is a preference for - or against - a group of people and it occurs on a subconscious level. We all are biased. We all can learn what our biases are and then be more mindful of how we consciously react in various situation.

One of the exercise we did was to discuss how we would handle the following scenario.
Two groups of students - one predominately white and one predominately black- are sitting at separate tables in the library, and both groups are speaking loudly to each other.  Your colleague walks over to the table that has mostly black students and tells them to be quiet or they will be kicked out of the library.
What message do you think the students at either table received from the interaction?
What would you do or say to the students, if you were the one responding?
What would you do or say to your colleague?

That was a fascinating discussion! Wow.  Did we all read the scenario the same way?  And then what did we decide to do?  You might discuss that scenario with your staff and see what happens.  I guarantee it will be educational.

This session was both informative and fun.  The speakers created good interaction with the participants and assured that we interacted with each other at our tables.

Resources


Thoughts


It is likely that every sessions at ALA related to diversity, bias, etc., began with some sort of an overview of the basics.  While I know having an understanding of the basics is necessary, I wish there could have been a different way of doing it, so that each session could have spent more time one what was unique about that session.  This might have meant creating an introductory session each day, which was marked and promoted as such.  Then the other sessions could have had in their descriptions that people were expected to attend one of the introductory sessions first.  Yes, I know this would be a hassle, but I think participants at these sessions would have appreciated it.

Finally, I want to say that I appreciate ALA having so many sessions on these topics. Now more than ever, we need to be trained and retrained on them.  And then we need to be willing to use what we have learned to make our libraries more welcoming for everyone.