Research in the Raw: Greg Lisby

photograph, Prof. Gregory Lisby, Communication

Prof. Greg Lisby

In the past 25 years, Communication Law has shifted its focus dramatically — from an emphasis on protecting freedom of speech to protecting the money-making opportunities resulting from freedom of speech, from a focus on the First Amendment to a focus on Intellectual Property Law. This is what the Supreme Court meant when it stated that copyright is the “engine of free expression,” which is based on the premise that people do not engage in free expression without the ability to profit financially. Whatever one thinks of this new conceptualization of free expression, it is what has led us directly (if we may steal an alliterative phrase from Perry Mason) to “The Case of the Smiling Simian Selfie.”

Can a non-human take a selfie, and if so, who owns the photograph? Communication law expert Gregory Lisby, Professor and Chair of Communication at Georgia State University and a licensed attorney in the state of Georgia, will be discussing the infamous “monkey selfie” case, stemming from apparent “selfies” of macaque monkeys taken using photographer Greg Slater’s equipment and which were later published in newspapers in the summer of 2011.

In his presentation “‘Selfies,’ Ownership and Copyright in the Digital Age,” Greg will be discussing these images in the context of questions of personhood, originality, intellectual property ownership, and, of course, whether a monkey can be an author Greg will discuss the infamous 2013 “monkey selfie” case and place it in the context of legal ownership. Greg is the second speaker in the University Library’s new Research in the Raw series.

one of the monkey "selfies" in dispute

Not Prof. Lisby

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 and Engagement.


Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018


Colloquium Room, 8th Floor Library South

Register to attend


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M.H. Ross Papers Highlights

For this final blog post about the M.H. Ross Papers, the team who worked on the digitization project are highlighting our favorite pieces from the collection.

Kathryn Michaelis, Digital Projects Coordinator, Digital Library Services

Over the course of this year, I have spent a lot of time with the oral histories in the Ross collection. My choices reflect the general nature of these recordings and highlight Ross’ down-to earth personality.

Coal miners (Hess, Hornyak, Elekes, Belotsky, Merriweather), interviewed by M.H. Ross, 1971-05-17

This is an interview that Ross did with a group of coal miners who talk about their work and unionizing experiences in the early 20th century. You can tell that Ross loved talking to miners, and he encouraged them to express their true opinions and to talk about their lives honestly.

M.H. Ross, interviewed by Jane Ross Davis, 1986-09-16 (part 2)

Of the nearly 200 audio and video recordings in the collection, there are six recordings of Mike Ross being interviewed by his daughter Jane “Jancy” about his life. They all contain detailed descriptions of his experiences, and this is the beginning of the audio (the first part is transcript only). I love hearing him talk about his life in such an informal, unvarnished way.

Jeremy Bright, Library Technical Assistant – Digital Projects, Digital Library Services

For me, this is representative of Ross’ commitment to progressive values at a very early stage in his life and career. Not only did Ross volunteer his time for other progressive candidates and organizations, but he ran his own campaigns for both local and national politics, embracing a political platform that would still be considered progressive 70 years later. Through his papers, Ross’ passion and dedication to addressing and remedying racism, anti-semitism, sexism, and prejudice of all forms is made clear.



Anne West Ross: Union Maid by Jane Ross Davis, 2006 [L2001-05_120_23]

This is one of my absolute favorite documents in the Ross collection. Created by his daughter Jane Ross Davis, this booklet compiles and contextualizes news clippings, correspondence, songs from the labor movement, and photographs to describe her relationship to her family and the “family business,” specifically focusing on her mother. Anne West Ross, Mike Ross’ wife, was a union organizer in her own right and continued to dedicate herself to the labor movement (as well as a host of other progressive causes) after marrying Ross and beginning a family with him. There are so many moments in which she is the pivotal figure in Ross’ success, and this booklet is a way of engaging with that history.


Laurel Wilson, Sponsor Funded Office/Clerical, Library Technical Assistant, Digital Library Services

I’ve come to greatly admire Mike Ross and his wife Anne (Buddie), and their lifelong commitment to empowering the American people most in need, even at great personal cost. My selections are representative of Ross’ unwavering belief in the power of the people; that hardworking men and women of all walks of life can participate in the American Dream if united in the pursuit of fairness and opportunity for all.


Morenci: Diary of a Strike is a film produced by the United Steelworkers of American to document the strike of Phelps Dodge Corporation copper miners in Morenci, Arizona in 1955. This rare film provides an excellent education on the inner workings of a strike in the middle of the 20th century and highlights not only the diversity and closeness of a family-oriented union community, but the strength of unity and cooperation in labor, as well. This film also features Mike Ross in his role as union arbitrator.


The Man Who Stole Your Vote speaks to the eclectic nature of the M.H. Ross Papers. This educational comic book, released in 1952 by the National Research Bureau as part of the Good Government Series, colorfully teaches the power of representation—or lack thereof. American enfranchisement has been hard-fought and won through generations, and this material very well fits in with Ross’ belief in equal, participatory government.




The M.H. Ross Papers is available online thanks to a $48,865 grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. You can explore the collection or get started with the Finding Aid

Previous M.H. Ross Blog entries:

New Digital Collection: M.H. Ross Papers

M.H. Ross Runs for City Council in Charlotte

A Young Man of Conviction – The Early Years of M.H. Ross

Sacrifice – The Rosses in the South

Panel to Discuss M.H. Ross: Labor Leader and Coal Miner’s Advocate


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Is banning books a thing?

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

Banned Books Week 2018 banner image


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.

Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018
Colloquium Room, 8th Floor Library South
Register to attend

More about Ruth and her work can be found on her website:

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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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