Is banning books a thing?

This week (Sept. 23-29) is #BannedBooksWeek

Banned Books Week 2018 banner image

#BannedBooksWeek

Now celebrated annually, Banned Books Week was started in 1982 “in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries,” and its purpose is to “bring together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular” (2018 Banned Books Week website).

Each year the American Library Association (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) compiles lists of challenged books. Below are the Top Ten Challenged Books of 2017, with links to catalog records where you can either check the book out from any GSU campus library, request it from another University System of Georgia (USG) library, or request it via ILLiad interlibrary loan from a non-USG library:

  1. Thirteen Reasons Why written by Jay Asher
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian written by Sherman Alexie
  3. Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
  4. The Kite Runner written by Khaled Hosseini
  5. George written by Alex Gino
  6. Sex is a Funny Word written by Cory Silverberg and illustrated by Fiona Smyth
  7. To Kill a Mockingbird written by Harper Lee
  8. The Hate U Give written by Angie Thomas
  9. And Tango Makes Three written by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson and illustrated by Henry Cole
  10. I Am Jazz! written by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas

Banning books — is it a thing?

Given there’s an entire week bringing attention to attempts at censoring books in the US, we might jump to the conclusion that tons of people are running around trying to remove books from libraries. But let’s pause and ask ourselves, “I wonder if there’s data that examines US people’s attitudes about removing books from libraries?” Well, as luck would have it, there is!

The General Social Survey, or GSS for short, which has been conducted approximately every other year since 1972, tracks hundreds of trends in social characteristics and attitudes over the past four decades. While not a survey of the entire US population, it is a full-probability, national-level sample survey — in layman’s terms, that means you can be pretty confident that the opinions of the group of people surveyed in any given year generally reflect those of the US population at that time.

The GSS includes a series of questions that asks participants if they “favor removing” a book from the public library for various reasons, including but not limited to the following:

  • a book that is “against churches and religion” [GSS variable LIBATH, asked 1972-2016]
  • a book written by “a man who admits that he is a homosexual” that is “in favor of homosexuality” [GSS variable LIBHOMO, asked 1973-2016]
  • a book written by a Muslim clergyman that “preaches hatred of the United States” [GSS variable LIBMSLM, asked since 2008]
  • a book that claims “Blacks are [genetically] inferior” [GSS variable LIBRAC, asked 1976-2016]

Click on the variable name links above to explore the general trends in attitudes over the years.

But wouldn’t personal characteristics influence someone’s attitudes about removing books from libraries?

Great question! In statistics language: you want to see if various independent variables (e.g., race/ethnicity, religion, political views, sexual and/or gender identity, library use, etc.) have an effect on the dependent variables of removing books from libraries for various reasons. If you don’t feel like playing with the GSS data yourself, you’re in luck that some recent researchers explored this question using the GSS data:

If you do want to explore the GSS data yourself, there are a couple of online tools for doing so:

For example, I was curious to explore if one’s opinions about removing a book “against churches and religions” [GSS variable LIBATH] would be influenced by that person’s religious beliefs. Rather than use the same independent variables that the articles above had used for their religion measure, I used the SDA online tool and found the following question:

  • Please tell me whether you strongly agree, agree, disagree, or strongly disagree with the following statement: I try hard to carry my religious beliefs over into all my other dealings in life [GSS variable name RELLIFE, asked last in 2010]

I used the SDA online tool to set up a crosstabs table to explore the relationship between these two variables:Setting up crosstabs table to compare Row=LIBATH and Column=RELLIFE with a Selection Filter=YEAR(2010) and with a stacked bar chart that shows column percent values

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After clicking the Run the Table button, another browser tab opened with: (1) a table containing the percentages (in bold) and counts broken down by question answer for the 1,239 people in 2010 who answered this question, and (2) a stacked bar chart displaying the percentages broken down by question answer. To save space I’m just going to include the stacked bar chart below for our interpretation:

Stacked bar chart of relationship between LIBATH and RELLIFE variables

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What does this chart seem to tell us about the relationship of these variables?

  1. Start at the right side of the chart and focus on the green sections of the bars. As we move from right to left across the horizontal axis from respondents saying they ‘strongly disagree’ to those saying they ‘strongly agree’ with the statement “I try hard to carry my religious beliefs over into all my other dealings in life,” we see a steady increase in the percentage of GSS participants who thought a book “against churches and religions” should be removed from the public library. In other words, this data supports a claim that, generally, the more a person tries to carry their religious beliefs into their everyday life, the more likely they are to say an anti-church/anti-religion book should be removed from the public library.
  2. That said, if we focus on the purple section of the bars, we should note that 60% of those that strongly agreed and 75% that agreed with the statement “I try hard to carry my religious beliefs over into all my other dealings in life” did *not* think that an anti-church/anti-religion book should be removed from the public library. So, this data supports a claim that, generally, even if people feel that their own religious beliefs should factor into their everyday life, they are more likely to be tolerant of anti-church/anti-religion ideas being available in public library books than they are to wish that the books be removed/censored.

Want to dig into this or other data even deeper?

If we downloaded this data into a statistical software package like SPSS, SAS, or R to run tests of statistical significance, we could make more definitive conclusions about the relationship between these two variables as well as factor in other variables. Sound like fun? If so, the Library’s Research Data Services Team can help you find data and learn how to use tools to analyze it. We want to arm you with data for success in your academic life and beyond!

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Announcing Research in the Raw: Ruth Stanford

 

Science generally entails methodical investigation of a subject or phenomenon outside the self. The earth’s layers of soil and stone tell a story of past physical process; the fossil record tells of lives once lived. The history of the earth, the universe, or the human race can be meticulously reconstructed through objective scientific investigation. My work is an attempt to invert the process of science, to encourage the viewer to self-examination, to explore a realm where individual truths deposit layer by layer. I want to compel the viewer to navigate the fault lines of human interaction, to seek out and explore places where things shift, places where truth comes into question – Ruth Stanford

Sculptor Ruth Stanford began her career studying butterfly courtship behavior and protecting cave-dwelling beetles and other invertebrates as an endangered species ecologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Central Texas. With a scientist’s curiosity and keen observation skills, she now specializes in installation and site-specific sculpture, choosing particular media in service to concept.

The University Library is excited to announce Ruth Stanford, Associate Professor of Sculpture, practicing artist, and recipient of the Provost’s Study in a Second Discipline Fellowship as this fall’s first Research in the Raw speaker.

Research in the Raw is a series of informal talks in which GSU faculty members share work-in-progress.  The series is brought to you by the Library’s Department of Research & Engagement.

On September 25th, Ruth will describe her recent study trip to Africa, show preliminary work created during her travels, and discuss her plans for an upcoming body of work that incorporates this research.

Details:
Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018
4:00-5:00pm
Colloquium Room, 8th Floor Library South
Register to attend

More about Ruth and her work can be found on her website: http://www.ruthstanford.com

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National History Day @ GSU Library

This fall we are opening our doors to the National History Day community.  On October 6th and October 20th, Georgia State University Library is participating in NHD Georgia’s Research Roundup events.  National History Day is an academic program and competition which challenges middle and high school students to critically exam history.  This year’s theme is “Triumph & Tragedy in History.”  GSU’s Research Roundups are opportunities for budding historians to develop research skills and access the resources of a major research university library.

Last October, Georgia State welcomed nearly 100 social studies students and teachers from the DeKalb Early College Academy to our downtown library and archives.  DECA students participated in workshops with librarians and archivists.  Students were also given the opportunity to use GSU’s vast online resources on their own.

Students and teachers from DeKalb Early College Academy visit the Atlanta campus in October 2017.

This year, the library is broadening our reach and offering Research Roundup events at several campuses.  On October 6th, NHD students are welcome to visit our Dunwoody or Clarkston campus libraries.  Students can attend an orientation session where librarians will introduce library resources & discuss research strategies.  Students will then be able to use our collections, including extensive primary and secondary sources.  GSU librarians will be available to assist with research.  Space is limited to 35 students per campus.  For more details & to register for Roundups at Dunwoody or Clarkston see our registration form.

In addition, a limited number of NHD students can spend an afternoon at our Atlanta campus archives where they can explore the university’s unique collections.  Students will participate in a 90 minute workshop as an introduction to archival research.  After a break, the remaining time will be spent researching in the archives with assistance from GSU archivists.  Space is limited to 12 students.  This is an opportunity to do a truly unique NHD project.  For more details & to register for the Atlanta campus event see our registration form.

More information for students and teachers can be found on our National History Day Research Guide, including descriptions of GSU subscription resources available during the Roundups.

You can also contact Scott Pieper, the Reference & Instruction librarian coordinating GSU’s NHD program or Christina Zamon, Department Head of Special Collections & Archives.

We look forward to working with NHD students!

Scott Pieper is a Reference & Instruction Librarian at the Decatur Campus of GSU Library.  Scott’s research interests include pipeline to college programming and motivational theories applied to library learners.

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“Mags, Bars & (Drag) Stars: A History of Atlanta’s Gay Bars and Community Magazines”

SAVE THE DATE! On Tuesday, October 2, Georgia State University Library’s Special Collections and Archives will host what promises to be a fun and informative event,  “Mags, Bars & (Drag) Stars: A History of Atlanta’s Gay Bars and Community Magazines.” Speakers Gregg Daugherty and Ashley Coleman Taylor will talk about the impact of gay publications and bars in building Atlanta’s LGBTQ communities.

This Event is free and open to the public.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018, 4:00-6:00 pm
Special Collections And Archives
University Library South, 8th Floor
100 Decatur St. SE
Atlanta, GA 30303

 

A native of Black Mountain, North Carolina, Gregg Daugherty moved to Atlanta in 1978. He managed advertising sales for Cruise Magazine, as well as many other local gay magazines, and he became intimate with the city’s arts scene through his work with the Academy Theatre’s marketing dept. He also was involved in promoting and publishing programs for many of Atlanta’s arts groups. An avid softball player, Gregg was very active in the Hotlanta Softball League as a player, coach, and two term league secretary, and while he played for the Armory Bar, he was also a member of the Armorettes, the nationally famous drag group that raised money and awareness for AIDS charities.

In 1988, Gregg opened his own business, Performing Arts Media, a playbill and program publishing company. He worked with the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games to produce programs for the Cultural Olympiad. Then, in 1999, he created Lighthouse Communications which published the Atlanta ShowGuide.  The ShowGuide continues to be distributed bimonthly throughout greater Atlanta.

Gregg became a member of GSU’s family of donors, when Ryan Roemerman, executive director of the Center for Civil and Human Rights’ LGBT Institute recommended that his papers would find a happy home within the Gender and Sexuality Collections. The LGBT Institute’s Gregg Daugherty Papers were donated to Special Collections in the Spring of 2018, and to date, Gregg has participated in four separate oral history interviews.

 

Ashley Coleman Taylor, Ph.D. is an Instructor of Women’s Studies at Agnes Scott College and formerly a Lecturer in the Institute for Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Georgia State University. As an interdisciplinary ethnographer, she specializes in the intersecting lived experiences of black embodiment, black genders and sexualities, and African diaspora religious experience. She was a 2016-2017 Visiting Fellow at the James Weldon Johnson Institute at Emory University where she prepared her book project, Magestad Negra: Race, Class, Gender and Religious Experience in the Puerto Rican Imaginary. The manuscript, a black feminist approach to race, gender and activism in Puerto Rico, is a finalist for the NWSA/University of Illinois Press First Book Prize. Her current project, Atlanta as Black Queer Place, is an archicval oral history project that centers the lived experiences of Atlanta-based LGBT activists and features qualitative geospatial methodologies.

The Society of Georgia Archivists’ “Spotlight on Archives” grant has made this event possible. The grant is intended to help archives, museums, or heritage institutions in Georgia promote public awareness of their archives and manuscript collections, by hosting a public event during the month of October, which is not only Georgia Archives Month, but also Atlanta’s Pride Month.

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Take a library tour on your smartphone

Welcome back to the GSU Libraries! Want to learn your way around?

Use your smartphone and the free ActionBound app to take a tour of any of the GSU libraries. You’ll learn your way around the library buildings, and the basics of how to search for books and articles.

All you need is an Android or iOS device with GPS and a camera. Download ActionBound and search in the app for “GSU Library” to get started, or use one of the links below (we’ve included the ActionBound QR codes) to get started on your campus.

Contact librarians Jason Puckett or Karen Doster-Greenleaf for help. Thanks to Angie Dixon, Sarah Grace Glover, Dawn Williams, and Josh Yang for their help putting this together!

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You’ve got the power.

Atlanta Library North 3rd floor

At the end of February 2018, the University Library administered a survey to a random sample of 5,000 Georgia State students currently enrolled at all campuses. This post is one in a series that highlights a survey trend and the library’s response. We welcome your feedback anytime

Atlanta Library North 5th floor

Whenever the library solicits feedback from students, we can expect to get a ton of requests for more electrical outlets. The spring survey was no exception! You need more places to plug in and recharge your devices. We’ve been at work this summer to help you stay connected academically and personally. This month the Atlanta library added a total of 40 outlets to Library North floors 3, 4, and 5. See those black domes in the photos? Outlets! The Clarkston library added 13 outlets to its new seating area on the main level.

Clarkston Library wall outlets

Thanks to the library’s Facilities team for ensuring the success of these projects.

 

 

 

 

 


About the Author

Jennifer Jones is the Assessment & User Experience Librarian. She helps the library focus on continuous improvement through goal setting, evaluation, and user feedback.

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Your University Library needs you.

Apply now to join the 2018-19 Student Library Advisory Council. The Student Library Advisory Council exists to provide the Atlanta Library with a student perspective on library services, resources, facilities, and policies.

What’s in it for you:

  • Gain leadership experience
  • Effect change
  • Engage with your campus

What the library needs from you:

  • A one-year commitment (with the opportunity to extend your service)
  • Attendance at one meeting per month during the academic year
  • Constructive feedback and creative ideas
  • Engagement with the library’s social media accounts
  • Willingness to serve as a library advocate

We invite Atlanta undergraduate and graduate students to apply now through September 4. Send your questions to Jennifer Jones.

 

About the Author

Jennifer Jones is the Assessment & User Experience Librarian. She helps the library focus on continuous improvement through goal setting, evaluation, and user feedback.

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Still looking for a textbook or other course content?

textbook cover

Foundations of Health Information Technology by Chi Zhang and Robert Brown CCBY

Fall semester is just around the corner, so if you’re an instructor in search of a textbook or other course content, take a look at these resources which provide open textbooks. Unlike textbooks with all rights reserved copyright restrictions, open textbooks are freely available online and allow for copying, printing, and sharing. Many open textbooks also allow adaptation so that the content can be modified for individual instructional needs. Take a look at the license for each book to be sure what it allows.

Here are the top five places to find open textbooks:

Top 100 highest enrolled courses:  The highest enrolled courses in all of the University System of Georgia with links to currently used open textbooks and suggestions for which open textbook might work for you.

OER Metafinder: Developed by George Mason University, this tool currently searches 17 open content repositories simultaneously.

College Open Textbooks: Aggregates listings of open textbooks from across the web. Over 600 open textbooks sorted by discipline. Many of the textbooks include peer reviews.

OpenStax: Currently, there are only 44 textbooks in this collection, but they meet rigorous peer review requirements, scope and sequence requirements, and offer ancillary materials and affordable online homework options.

Open Textbook Library: (A Project of UMN) This library offers hundreds of open textbooks on a variety of subjects. You can read a review of the textbook and see the credentials/affiliation of the reviewer.

If you still don’t find what you are looking for, take a look at the GSU Library’s Open Education Guide. Or, contact Denise Dimsdale, Affordable Learning Georgia Library Coordinator, at the GSU Library. The GSU Library is happy to assist instructors with locating open resources, publishing open content, and locating course content and library resources that provide affordable options for students and pedagogical opportunities for instructors.

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RFP: Textbook Transformation Grants, Fall 2018-19-Due September 10

GSU Open Textbook Cover

An example of a GSU open textbook: https://oer.galileo.usg.edu/english-textbooks/14/

Adopt, adapt, or create an open or affordable textbook alternative with an Affordable Learning Georgia (ALG) grant. Learn more at the Request for Proposals for Textbook Transformation Grants. This RFP is for Round 12, and applications are due by September 10, 2018. Projects have a maximum Final Semester of Fall 2019.

To apply:

  1. Read the Request for Proposals Document.
  2. Read the new 2018 Rubric for Peer Review.
  3. Fill out the Word version of the Application Form and keep this form for your records.
  4. Fill out the Online Application Form.

The Online Application Form is still in development, but will contain the same content as the Word version of the form and will be located on the Round Twelve RFP Page. Return to this page to view the completed Online Application Form when announced in the newsletter.

Webinars will be held for a general introduction to the application process and Q&A:

YouTube Archive: July 23, 2018, 2:00pm
Next information session: August 7, 2018, 2:00pm

The Georgia State University Library provides assistance with the grant process and with locating course content to fulfill grant requirements. Additionally, the GSU library coordinates with the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning for related pedagogical and instructional technology needs. For additional information or assistance, please contact Denise Dimsdale, ALG Library Coordinator or Laura Carruth, ALG Campus Champion.

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UCL Press: An Open Access University Press

Book cover: Treasures from UCL

This book is published under a CC BY-NC-SA license. Front image: The Trevelyon manuscript; the Tudor rose, prominently featured (fol. 53r).

Reclaiming its license from commercial publishers, the University College London (UCL) Press, began operations under UCL’s Library Services in 2015 as “the first fully Open Access University Press in the UK”. The new vision and mission of the press includes using innovative technologies and ideas to establish open access as the primary scholarly publishing practice across disciplines. Most UCL Press journals are licensed with a CC-BY license. Books are licensed with a Creative Commons license chosen by the author. UCL Press’ commitment to open provides for a greater global reach for its content. The press’ use of flexible licensing options make way for innovative pedagogies and other creative scholarship that may not be possible with all rights reserved content.

In keeping with traditional quality measures, everything published through UCL Press is peer-reviewed. Although the press publishes a variety of formats, there is a focus on monographs with UCL Press publishing over 80 books in the past three years.

Explore a few UCL Press publications below:

Books:

Textbooks:

Or browse all eight UCL Press journals here.

For authors who want to publish open content through UCL Press, faculty, students, and other members of the UCL community publish for free. Authors who are not from UCL, are charged APCs (article processing charges) when applicable and BPCs (Book processing charges). However, waivers for BPCs are available for non-funded authors. Find out more about publishing through UCL Press here.

If you’d like to publish open content or if you’d like to use open content and don’t find what you need through UCL Press, there are many other options available. Take a look at the GSU Library’s Open Education Guide. Or, contact Denise Dimsdale, Affordable Learning Georgia Library Coordinator, at the GSU Library. The GSU Library is happy to assist instructors with locating open resources, publishing open content, and locating course content and library resources that provide affordable options for students and pedagogical opportunities for instructors.

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