Friday, January 20, 2017

Kimberlé Crenshaw

Kimberlé Crenshaw spoke at GVSU on 1/18/17. Her main points were:
  1. Resist normalization
  2. Engage in local struggle
  3. Creative conflict at home can expand our world
  4. Practice intersectional fusion politics
  • Resist normalization: Inequality isn't natural/normal and should be corrected via many paths including the law. Law helps create and reinforce systems of power. "Color blindness" is perfectly consistent with segregation! It means blindness to racial inequalities. (Saying "I don't see color, I see a person" doesn't work, because it negates the disparities.)
  • Intersectional fusion politics = asymetrical solidarities and coalitions. The focus on individual responsibililty instead of structure, institutions, and infrastructure increases disparities. We have to be aware of the underlying realities (e.g., who pays the bills or provides corporate sponsorship to institutions?)
  • How do we stay resilient? These tensions are historical, same struggles throughout time, but we keep working on civil rights to build on a deeper idea of what community is.
  • Crenshaw recommended the film Agents of Change (2016) which isn't available for purchase yet
  •  The African American Policy Forum is a good site to get more info: 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Fake news, Internet of us

I'm reading The Internet of Us: knowing more and understanding less in the age of Big Data by Michael Patrick Lynch. Fascinating, very relevant to "fake news." Lynch says that we know our opinions to be true by:
  1. Experience (via our lived senses)
  2. Reasoning (logical thought)
  3. Reflection (considering other's knowledge through its effect, existence, or character)
  4. Responsible (is someone else's fact grounded in the above and are they accountable for its veracity? Has it been examined rigorously by others and is therefore trustworthy?)

Monday, January 2, 2017

Birding 2017

Red-breasted nuthatches! White-breasted nuthatches, red-bellied woodpecker, chickadees, titmice, goldfinches, blue jays, cardinal

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Journalism and Information Literacy

Really interesting article:
Lief, Louise. “What the news media can learn from librarians.” Columbia Journalism Review, October 24, 2016 at

"Why librarians? Their job is to navigate the world of information, help scholars and students get what they need, and distinguish good information from bad." 

Information literacy "principles help students to pay attention to the source of information, ask whether it can be verified, and consider the context. Success... is when a student inquires, 'Says who? Based on what authority? What evidence?' An outstanding practitioner goes further and refutes inaccurate information."

"It’s a dynamic process that occurs through conversation and discourse."

"Seen on their mobile devices, snippets of life—tragic, joyful, heroic, unjust—scroll by on a screen, accompanied by personalized ads. Opinion and sentiment outweigh facts. It’s difficult to place information in context or understand underlying causes.... "

"The librarians encourage users to focus on inquiry rather than opinion, to evaluate a range of sources, take into account diverse viewpoints and perspectives, and to develop the ability to pursue new avenues as they gain new understanding.

They also urge users to assess the value of information in its various forms. Is it being used as a commodity, a way to understand the world, a means to influence, a path to educate, or some combination of these? They regard users not only as knowledge consumers, but also as knowledge creators."

Friday, October 7, 2016

Radical Teacher, Lesbian Herstory Archives

Radical Teacher: A Socialist, Feminist, and Anti-Racist Journal on the Theory and Practice of Teaching
open access, of course!

Lesbian Herstory Archives : is this where my diaries & letters should go after my death or while still alive if I become demented?
The donation form is here: and must be printed out.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Georgia International Conference on Information Literacy

Conference presentations at

New insights gained: Library-wide support makes creating instructional videos easier [] by having extensive guidance documentation [], shared “intro” (introduction) and “outro” screens saved on a shared drive, and a small team who reviews videos before posting them to Vimeo (which allows editing or substituting new videos while maintaining the same url, and consistent branding, without advertising (which lessens the cognitive load), unlike YouTube). This allows librarians familiar with software like Captivate to make 2-minute screen-capture videos in half a day.

CUNY libraries have a mobile app for checking out items directly from the shelves: this is something GVSU libraries could use to increase inclusion and equity (reduces fears about library use and privacy).

UNC Wilmington has 9 hours of information literacy competency built into the curriculum via a first-year seminar, first-year writing (e.g., WRT 150), a 200-level writing course; and a 200-level course in each major (e.g., COM 275 Research Methods) which includes a pre-test, homework created by librarians, 4-5 50-minute library sessions taught by librarians, a research log with a reflection component, and a post-library-session exam. An interesting question posed as a reflective prompt was, “Did you find a resource that you didn’t expect or anticipate?”

Eli Arnold, Oglethorpe University, created a good library subject guide for a course assignment using archival material [] and emphasized the need to have a rubric for both instructors and students to evaluate primary sources used in assignments.

April Schweikhard from University of Oklahoma Tulsa, referred to tutorial using the “guide on the side” format with instructions on the left menu and the live website on the right [], to help students conduct searching. She also has students (social work) assessing a situation by creating a word cloud, demonstrating a search then having students practice with their own topics (already approved by instructor), having students work from a research question or problem statement to break it into its people/audience affected, interests, etc. (PICO modified), and then using the abstracts they find to decide if the research question/problem statement is answered in the article.

William Dooling, Creighton University, discussed pre- and post-tests for extra credit participation points that had 3 open-ended questions. A scenario (research question in a disciplinary topic) was presented, asking students to “tell us in a few sentences (including multiple steps) how you would find 1) two journal articles, 2) locate two books, and 3) locate a specific cited article (citation provided from a bibliography). Dooling used a 4-category scoring rubric which added a quantitative value to the qualitative answers, shared results with the faculty, and had “debriefing” conversations with the faculty members. This assessment would be easily doable by GVSU library faculty.

Significant contacts made: Kelly McBride, Coordinator Information Literacy and Instruction, Belk Library and Information Commons, Appalachian State University (instruction and assessment); Carrie Moran, Rachel Mulvihill, Rosalie Flowers and Karli Mair, University of Central Florida (instructional videos); Vonzell Yeager, University of North Carolina at Wilmington (Communication Studies liaison librarian - a comprehensive computer based training module and the related library instruction session); Sheila Devaney, University of Florida (advertising library subject guides).

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Anishinaabe reading

I read Dirty Copper by Jim Northrup. It is mostly narrative, but an interesting read - about an Ojibwe man, Vietnam vet, who became a police officer first on the reservation, then in an urban area.

Next, I read Ogimawkwe Mitigwaki (Queen of the Woods) by Simon Pokagon (Pokagon band, Potawatomi). He lived from 1830-1899, and this is named as the 1st Anishinaabe novel, an autobiographical novel about colonialism and its effects, set in southwest Michigan. It contains many Anishinaabemowin words and phrases, but apparently Pokagon used a mixture of Potawatomi, Ottawa, and Ojibwa, and the new edition published by Michigan State University Press standardized the Anishinaabemowin. I read the 1899 edition, but even so, recognized words I have seen and heard in other contexts. I enjoyed the descriptions of life and wildlife in the woods but felt the negative effects of white society on Native Americans keenly.

I  also read parts of the nonfiction book Imprints: The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and the City of Chicago, by John N. Low(with bits about Michigan), including a chapter on Leroy Wesaw, born in Michigan but moved to Chicago for work, who created the Chicago Canoe Club. Chapter 1 explains the history of the Pokagon band, why some Potawatomi were able to stay in Michigan, and mentions Julia Wesaw, a well-known basket weaver. Chapters 1-2 also discuss Simon Pokagon's life and novel.

Reading a few poems by Margaret Noodin, Weweni, in both Anishinaabemowin and English. Noodin is also the editor of the new edition of Queen of the Woods.

Came across this title, which looks fascinating. A Two-Spirit Journey: The Autobiography of a Lesbian Ojibwa-Cree Elder by Ma-Nee Chacaby. Have requested it.