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Volume 2, Issue II
Progressive Librarians Guild
From the President
• For a second semester in a row, Dawn Hunziker from the Disability Resource Center brought us the Accessibility Workshop. Her workshop was so Once again, our creative and dedicated members well received last year that we were very happy that worked to bring many engaging events to SIRLS and she offered to give it again. The workshop covered the UA community. Some of our work in the past year how to make web pages and web documents more has even reach the international community! Here are accessible for people with disabilities. The techsome of the highlights from the Fall 2009 semester: niques she covered can also benefit people relying on old computers or even people • Fundraising Raffle & who use PDAs. Books to Belize: At the end of the summer, we sent • Along with the two other stufour suitcases of books to dent groups—LSO and SLA— Belize. These books were PLG co-sponsored the Fifth Anused by Peace Corps volunnual SIRLS Graduate Student teers for a library for school Symposium the second weekend children. Thanks to a great in November. selection of donated prizes from local businesses, we • On November 17th 2009, we raised $223 in the fundraishosted an LIS SkillShare. Proing raffle. fessionals and students gathered to share skills in a round table • Our first Banned Books fashion. Nicole Pagowsky—partWeek series of events were time Outreach Information Spea success and were recogcontinued on next page nized in ALA’s November issue of American Libraries. Over the week, and through a partnership with UA Libraries, we were able to reach the larger UA community. The week opened with an exhibition As the UA Chapter of the Progressive Librarians of banned and challenged books on the ground Guild looks forward to its second birthday, we report floor of the Main Library and a mini film festival and reflect on the many projects that invigorated our in the Gallagher Theater in UA’s Memorial Student past semester. Union. Rebecca Blakiston, a UA librarian, also worked with us to coordinate a panel discussion Programs and events this fall varied from studentand read-out in the library. Our panelists were Dan focused sweets socials to international literacy outLee, the UA’s director of copyright and scholarly reach, along with community projects celebrating incommunications; Kimberly Chapman, a librarian at tellectual freedom. Educational efforts ran the gamut UA and David Robinson, a UA associate professor fron a technology workshop promoting accessibility of English. Thanks to everyone who made our first Banned Books Week events a success! continued on next page
From the Editor
continued from previous page (From the President)
cialist with the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center—covered event planning; Christa King—current SIRLS student—covered discussion facilitation; and Rebecca Blakiston—Instructional Services Librarian at UA—covered information literacy instruction. Video podcasts of all three SkillShare presentations are available on our web- • We’d like to expand our Banned Books Week events for 2010 and in the early part of the Spring site. Semester, we will be forming a joint planning committee (this year with LSO and SLA members, as • We opened and closed the semester with two ice well). Our goal is to reach an even larger portion cream socials at the Santa Barbara Ice Creamery of the undergraduate population at UA as well as near UA campus. We had a great turn out at each a larger portion of the greater Tucson community! event and were able to raise a small amount of money thanks to a percentage donation by the creamery. • Finally, this spring we will celebrate our 2nd anniversary as a chapter of PLG! • We presented the Most Progressive Faculty Awards at the SIRLS Graduation Ceremony on December If not already a member, we hope you consider joining 18, 2009. PLG-UA this semester. Everyone is welcome—new The Fall semester brought a variety of new voices and students, students who have been in the program for perspectives to our group and we continue to welcome some time, alumni and LIS professionals in town— and new members! Our focus on the position of Project we encourage as much participation as is comfortable Managers as the event planners and community col- for each member. You will find information on how to laborators of the group has allowed us to continue to join in this newsletter, as well as in our online wiki. program diverse projects and events. Rather than be led Cheers! only by a select few officers, we model our decision- Kristen Curé / President making on the consensus model. Anyone can volunteer to be a Project Manager or participate on a supcontinued from previous page (From the Editor) port team. This system helps to make PLG-UA more diverse by providing opportunities to more members to a skillshare encouraging information professionals for leadership and teamwork experiences, and allows to share their skill sets. This issue provides an excelpeople to focus on issues that they are most passionate lent introduction into the character and calendar of about—if you have an idea for a project or event that PLG-UA. you find compelling, you can make it a reality at PLG! Finally, a glimpse at some of what is planned for Spring 2010: • In continued support of commitment to collaboration with the community at large, we look forward collaborating with Read Between the Bars for a fundraising event to help them send books to prisoners. • We will be collaborating with the SIRLS chapters of LSO and SLA on three professional development events including an application workshop and a networking event. 2 In this issue learn more about the new director of Arizona’s School of Information Resources and Library Science (SIRLS), and his vision for the future of the library school. Updates include the Books to Belize Initiative, and freshly elected officers for Spring 2010. The members of UA-PLG enjoyed a productive and memorable past semester. Check out our stories, and consider becoming involved in our upcoming endeavors. Regards, Olivia Baca / Webmaster
• REFORMA Tucson is planning a conference focused on better serving underserved Spanishspeaking and Latino populations in libraries; slated for early June 2010. In line with our focus on community engagement, we’ll be looking at how we can participate in the conference.
Interview: SIRLS Director Bryon Heidorn
SIRLS had the privilege of having our new director Dr. Bryan Heidorn join us this past October. Dr. Heidorn came to us after teaching at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois and after spending two years working with the Division of Biological Infrastructure at the National Science Foundation as the program manager. He has a B.S. in Psychobiology, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Information Science. Although he has a busy schedule Bryan was kind enough to take some time out of his schedule and answer some questions for our PLG and SIRLS students. Q: What is it that drew you to SIRLS?
by Rachel Castro
A: Over the past several years SIRLS has reestablished itself as an important center of teaching and research in the fields of library and information science. There is excellent opportunity for growth in the southwest United States so I see it as an interesting challenge to help continue moving SIRLS ahead. My life objectives include making myself useful and making sure that I am never bored. Joining SIRLS gives me the opportunity to accomplish both objectives. My own research area is biodiversity informatics or eco-informatics which has the objective of serving the information needs of the biological communities. The University of Arizona is a powerhouse of ecology and environmental research providing me with a large number of colleagues and clients for my work. Q: Are there any changes you plan on implementing? Why? Q: Are there any programs that you are excited about? Why? A: I do not know all of the changes I am likely to support. In many cases the motivation for change needs to A: Knowledge River (KR) and the Digital Informa- come from the community. For example the archives tion Management (DigIn) are both valuable services continued on next page 3
for the community, and in their own unique ways are critical for the future of the school and the profession. The KR program has been around long enough now that there is a very large pool of alumni and volunteers who can help to move the program forward to reach many more people in the Hispanic and Native American Communities and to include everyone who is interested in the cultural perspective of information services. The board of supervisors of the program are already mapping out exciting new directions hat will make the program sustainable. I have my own interest in dissemination of environmental information with the help of these communities but that is just a very small piece of the overall picture. DigIn, also a new program, is exciting because it represents the future of the profession. Society has entrusted libraries, museums and archives to acquire, distribute and preserve the information that it needs to thrive under the premise that broad, equitable dissemination of information will help society make informed decisions about it future. The digital deluge of information however is challenging the structures that the knowledge institutions have put into place. DigIn provides a structure where the next generation of professionals will be trained in relevant principles and technology as they become available.
continued from previous page (Dr. Heidorn Interview) community is demonstrating a demand for students with slightly different training than we now provide. We need to work with that community to see what is needed and how we might provide it. On the broader scale, SIRLS has a relatively small doctoral program and many of the students are part-time. Doctoral students are critical to the research and teaching mission so I would like to grow that program. Doctoral students are a major investment for the school and take several years to finish their work so financing this growth will be challenging in the current economic climate. This means that the entire faculty needs to work on bring in research grants to support the students and to provide the intellectual challenges that can become the focus of relevant dissertations. At the other end of the education spectrum many LIS schools around the country have started very successful undergraduate programs that help to educate a more information literate society. SIRLS has done relatively little along these lines so this represents an opportunity to answer the schools mission with a different population of students. Q: What are some of the lessons you’ve learned during your career? A: The secret to success is being there. There is always someone who knows more than you so listen and use their ideas. Try-Try again, Don’t Panic! Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. Never work with anyone who is not committed to the cause. Q: Do you have any advice for incoming and/or outgoing student? A: Incoming students frequently think they are entering an undergraduate program. They expect to learn fact, to learn the answers. That is not what graduate education is about. It is about learning to think, learning to find your own answers for any situation. If you come to the program looking to be spoon fed knowledge you will not do well here or in profession after. If you have a job of any import no one will be there to tell you what needs to be done step by step. You will need to 1) figure out the correct course of action; 2) convince others of the merit of the approach; 3) work with a team to get there. That is what you learn in graduate school. 4 Q: What do you view as most progressive about our SIRLS students, staff, faculty and/or programs? A: SIRLS exists in a very diverse community in terms of educational background, ethnic and cultural background and in terms of goals. The students and faculty do an incredible job integrating all of these perspectives. And just for fun... Q: What are you reading right now? A: American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House by Jon Meacham Q: What is your favorite quote? A: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The Declaration of Independence and “A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.,”,Douglas Adams Take the Constitution of the United States for example.
by Olivia Baca
Sweet Community Gatherings
Library school students often overheat while feverishly completing their assigned readings, thoughtful compositions, and technology labs. The Tucson sun, even in the fall and winter, often exacerbates the temperature rise. In response, PLG-UA has partnered with a local ice cream parlor, Santa Barbara Ice Creamery. To help students begin and end the Fall semester, PLG held socials at Santa Barbara, just west of the SIRLS building, on Campbell and Speedway. Turnout was high at both events, and feedback has been positive. Beat the heat this spring by joining us again at Santa Barbara.
“The Case for Books”
by Robert Darnton reviewed by Emily Hardy
Robert Darnton, cultural historian and head librarian at Harvard University, released his thirteenth book this year. The Case for Books is organized into three sections presented in reverse chronologic order, containing essays on the future, present and past history of the book as an intellectual and societal institution. The Case for Books offers a little something for everyone interested or involved in the political economy of books. For enthusiasts of the history of books, the historian facet of Darnton’s professional persona shines through in the “past” third of the book, which he concludes with the following: “books do not merely recount history; they make it.” If The Case for Books sheds light on an impressive variety of aspects of the subject of books in society, having the capacity to appeal to a wide range of bookies, fault can be found in the same area: the reach is sometimes too broad, with the book being made up of a collection of essays from the past ten years on the fate of the book in the age of digital information and Amazon’s Kindle. If you as a reader do not mind applying your critical eye to identify the repetitive parts, and skip through them, you have in The Case for Books a great fifty pages or so written for the librarian of the modern age. These sections include a sharp critique of the Google Book Search and settlement and the implications for research libraries, a chapter on the future of libraries in the digital age, and a look at the capacity of modern society to balance born digital and born print materials. If Darnton has one critical point of view, it is that libraraies are changing, that books still have value, and that librarians will be at the forefront of this change, with the future unknown. This perspective is one Darnton probably shares with many, if not most of the librarians out there, but it is always fun to read a particularly well articulated summary of the arrangements and attitudes so common among information professionals in an age of social change. The Case for Books. Darnton, Robert. Publisher: PublicAffairs, October 27, 2009. ISBN 978-1586488260
President: Kristen Curé Co-President: Yamila El-Khayat Treasurer: Diana Olivares Secretary: Emily Hardy Webmaster: Olivia Baca Fundraising Coordinator: Rachel Castro Faculty Advisor: Tom Wilding President: Kristen Curé Co-President: Emily Hardy Treasurer: Diana Olivares Secretary: Jeffrey Cruz Webmaster: Brenda Taylor Fundraising Coordinator: Rachel Castro Faculty Advisor: Tom Wilding
Congratulations to the winners of 2010 Most Progressive Faculty Awards
Full Time Faculty
“Dr. Wilding has gone above and beyond the call of duty by taking on the advising of all students and his online teaching is innovating and highly interactive.”
“Mr. Silverman has a progressive teaching
style and progressively structures his class. He incorporates hands on activities, field trips, and expert guest lecturers. He offers progressive treatment of students, with extensive feedback and support.” 5
Book Packing Party for Prisoners
by Jeffrey Cruz
Early in the fall of 2009 I volunteered to attend a bookpacking party sponsored by Read Between The Bars, a books-to-prisoners collective that sends free books to prisoners throughout the State of Arizona. Lisa Zander, one of the executive members of the small collective, invited me as a PLG member to take part in one of their monthly book-packing events. Since Read Between The Bars is a grassroots group and dependent on volunteers and donations, she was hoping that our chapter of the PLG could suggest some ways to improve the organization of their revolving collection. The party took place in the garage of a member’s house on the Southside of Tucson and involved beer, boxes of dusty books and good conversation. The majority of the work our four-person team tackled consisted of unpacking stacks of boxes (read: dozens piled 4 high and 3 deep) crammed with books; sorting and discarding unwanted materials; and shelving and reorganizing books a bookstore style. Most of our time went into sorting books into three piles: books perfect for prisoners (they would meet institutional requirements and were on popular topics); books unsuitable for detention centers, in terrible condition or on unpopular topics; and educational materials destined for a specific detention center. Perfect books are those that are small paperbacks (hardbound books are not allowed by correction facilities and, as librarians, we all know how dangerous those heavy hardbound books can be!), in good condition and on popular subjects. Interestingly, dictionaries (plus other reference resources) are the most requested books. Other popular topics include books in Spanish, books on history (especially Latino/Latin American, Native American and Mexican history), How-to books 6 (especially on drawing and starting a business) plus mysteries and thrillers. Unacceptable books were either recycled (because of their terrible condition or because they were on completely outdated topics) or, because they were in good condition but were hardbound or on unpopular subjects, resold to used book stores in order to purchase packing materials and stamps to mail requests. We set aside the last pile of materials (educational textbooks, workbooks and book sets) because they were to be sent to a specific detention center with which Read Between the Bars had a particular arrangement. A warden at this particular institution was hoping to build an educational library and the collective was more than happy to help. Although this party ended before the real packing could begin (that was left for another upcoming night), I felt that their operation was a well-oiled machine. Since their collection was constantly in flux (donations in, books packaged, donations out), their books were never returned, and their volunteers were resourceful and dedicated, they had no need to document specific books (only the number of books and maybe popular authors or subjects), no need for a complex organizational structure (it was easy to find Michael Crichton, a Spanish-English dictionary or How To Run a Small Business) and no need for a library student to pontificate. • If you would like to make a donation of books (paperbacks in great condition), money ($20 provides a book for at least 6 prisoners) or packing materials (tape, envelopes and stamps) OR if you know a prisoner who would like to request a book, please mail: Read Between The Bars | c/o Daily Planet Publishing | P.O. Box 1589 | Tucson, AZ 857021589. Or check out their website at readbetweenthebars.org (they accept PayPal donations).
Banned Books Week 2009
by Kristen Curé
“Challenging Censorship: Libraries as advocates for freedom and democracy.” The event concluded with the panel discussion led by Dan Lee, the UA’s director of copyright and scholarly communications; Kimberly Chapman, an assistant librarian at UA and David Robinson, a UA associate professor of English. The panel discussion was lively and kept the attendees engaged. The speakers touched on issues ranging from: a look at long challenged classics; what to do with dangerous information such as instructions on bomb-making; and how people move to ban controversial literature, such as publications with LGBT themes, even in places that are traditionally seen as liberal such as college classrooms. By the end of the night, all in attendance saw just how far reaching censorship can be. Thanks to much hard work and collaboration, our first Banned Books Week celebration was a success. The week’s events were even mentioned in the November issue of American Libraries, along with a photograph of the exhibit. We look forward to an even bigger Banned Books Week next fall!
This past fall, PLG-UA, in partnership with the UA Libraries, coordinated a series of events to raise awareness and celebrate our freedom to read and the First Amendment during Banned Books week. The week’s events included: an exhibition of challenged and banned books on the ground floor of the Main Library, a mini film festival in the Gallagher Theater in the Memorial Student Union, a very well attended panel discussion and a read-out. The events spoke not only to the most foundational tenants of librarianship in a true democratic society, but also, to our pledge as progressive librarians to uphold and promote social responsibility and diverse viewpoints.
A special thanks goes to the Banned Books Week project managers Olivia Baca and Rebecca Blakiston; the UA Libraries; and finally, all of the student and alumni volunteers: Jeff Cruz, Kristen Curé, Yamila El-Khayat, Emily Hardy, Michelle Martin, Christine Seliga, Diana The mini film festival was open to the public and held Olivares, plus all of those who donated banned books on Monday, October 28th. It gave a broad, historical for the display! look at challenged literature that ranged from classic to contemporary works. The fest included a video trib- Want more information? ute to banned books and a screening of the 1910 silent film adaptation of the much challenged classic: “The • PLG-UA Calendar and Events Page: http://sirls.ariWonderful Wizard of Oz.” The film fest also included zona.edu/PLG/calendar a screening of the feature-length “Quills;” a fictional portrayal of the struggle of the Marquis de Sade and • UA New article: http://uanews.org/node/27626 the French authorities who wished to censor his publications. • American Libraries ebrary (to find the November 2009 issue): http://site.ebrary.com/lib/ala/home.acThe panel discussion and read-out were held at the tion Main Library on Wednesday, October 30th. The attendees and audience members participated in the read-out • American Libraries online photo essay: http:// by presenting passages from some of their favorite americanlibrariesmagazine.org/content/bannedbanned and challenged books. Rebecca Blakiston, an books-week-2009 assistant librarian at UA, gave a Pecha Kucha titled 7
by Ramona Romalia
Adventures in Recruitment during Library School Bootcamp
Dine Around 1702 Pizza & Beer was the site of the Dine Around for Meet and Greet this Winter’s SIRLS 504 class. Amid beer and pizza The Winter 504 SIRLS Meet & Greet took place on orders, new students regaled incumbents with the triJanuary 4, 2010, on the 4th floor of the Main Library. als and tribulations of surviving “library boot camp” The tired new students were treated to a hearty Italian this semester. We tried to provide in-depth answers to dinner. PLG president, Kristen Curé, did an excellent questions that ranged from instructor ratings to projob of explaining the purpose and goals of the group. curing parking passes and restaurant recommendaPLG members passed out newsletters, and Kristen fin- tions. We hope to see some of these students at our ished by inviting students to the upcoming meeting. future meetings and events.
This past fall PLG-UA held a photo contest to encourage members and friends to find creative poses to promote our Free-Trade Tote Bags. Votes were tallied in November. The winning photo, left, belongs to Olivia Baca and Yamila El-Khayat. Their victory was sweet; PLG awarded the winners with a $10 gift certificate to Santa Barbara Ice Creamery.
REFORMA-Tucson, along with the Knowledge River program at the University of Arizona’s School of Information Resources and Library Science, is proud to announce the first annual REFORMA-Tucson LiSLaS Conference: Entre bibliotecas y comunidades (LiSLaS stands for Library Services for Latinos and the Spanish speaking). The goal of this workshopping conference is to present and highlight effective programs that at-
LiSLaS Conference Announced
Save the date! The conference will be held on Friday, June 4, 2010, at the University of Arizona.
tract, reach out to, and work with Latino and Spanishspeaking patrons in our library communities. This year the focus will be on outreach and marketing, literacy (from information literacy to early childhood literacy) and community partnerships. The LiSLaS Conference will feature speakers and presenters from throughout Arizona, in addition to a networking lunch sponsored by PLG, a presentation fair and a Mexican Dinner. For more information, please visit www. reformatucson.org.
Considering membership with PLG: UA? Here’s a rundown on joining our chapter!
1. WHO CAN JOIN PLG? Library and Information Science students at SIRLS, alumni of SIRLS, and current library workers in Tucson at any level can join. 2. HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? $20 for 2 years of membership 3. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF JOINING? PLG: UA is one of only six student chapters of PLG in the country, and one of the newest, so you would have the opportunity to shape the direction of our chapter and help build our programs and events structure. You would be able to participate in creating our newsletter, work with Tucson community groups to create ties and organize events, and get to know fellow students in the SIRLS program, alumni, and community library workers. Please complete the membership form and pay the appropriate dues to join. If you are interested in joining the PLG parent organization, please go to their website for more information on dues and benefits: 6. WHAT IF I’M A DISTANCE STUDENT IN THE SIRLS PROGRAM OR AN ALUMNI WHO HAS MOVED OUT OF TOWN? Distance members are able to attend meetings through Breeze, collaborate on the wiki and through the listserv, and contribute to our newsletter. Distance students can also run for certain officer positions (Webmaster/Newsletter Editor and Fundraising Coordinator). 7. WHO CAN BE AN OFFICER? Because we are a University group, only students can run for officer positions; however, any paying member can become a “Project Manager.” A Project Manager (PM) takes the lead in organizing a particular even, and reports information to the group. There can be more than one PM per project. 8. I’VE NEVER REALLY DONE ANY ACTIVISM IN THE PAST; WOULD I FEEL AWKWARD JOINING? No; you do not have to be a “seasoned” activist to join PLG: anyone with an interest in progressive librarianship and a willingness to participate is welcome. 9. I’M STILL NOT SURE IF I’M INTERESTED OR NOT, WHAT ELSE CAN HELP ME DECIDE? That’s okay -- you can still join the listserv and come to our meetings to get a feel for PLG to see if you want to become a member. To subscribe to the listserv: Send an email message to: email@example.com with an empty subject line, and with the following as the only line in the body of the message: subscribe UA-PLG Yourfirstname Yourlastname Because the list engine registers your email address as a subscriber instead of your name, only the email account you registered will be allowed to receive postings or to post messages. You may register all of your email addresses. 10. I’M NOT A LIS STUDENT, ALUMNI, OR WORKER; HOW CAN I PARTICIPATE? We are unable to take individuals as members who do not fall in the above categories; however, we are very interested in collaborating with community groups, so please do get in touch with us if you are with another group!
4. HOW MUCH OF A COMMITMENT DO I NEED TO MAKE? As much or as little as you would like. We have bi-weekly meetings, collaborate on our wiki, and promote discussion through our listserv. We don’t require a certain amount of participation, but do encourage at least some. However, if you choose to run for an officer position, most will require a substantial time commitment. 5. WHERE DO I SEND MY DUES? You can send them C/O our Treasurer to: School of Information Resources and Library Science PLG: UA Chapter -- C/O Treasurer 1515 E. 1st St. Tucson, AZ 85719 -Checks should be made out to -“Progressive Librarians Guild: UA Chapter”
Progressive Librarians Guild: UA Chapter Membership Form
Name: ___________________________________ Email Address: ____________________________ Mailing Address: ___________________________ ________________________________________
Student – Expected Graduation Date: _______ Are you a virtual student? YES NO
SIRLS Alumni – Graduation Date: __________ Current Library Professional – Library: __________________________________________________ Areas of Interests/Specialization: _________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ Membership Dues: $20 for 2 years of membership Please make checks payable to “Progressive Librarians Guild: UA Chapter”. Send checks and membership forms directly to the UA Chapter. Submit Form and Dues to: School of Information Resources and Library Science PLG: UA Chapter -- C/O Treasurer 1515 E. 1st St. Tucson, AZ 85719
PLG USE ONLY: Entered into Database – Date: __________ Payment: Cash Check - Check no.: ___________________
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