Author Event with Dr. Jennifer Doudna

Tuesday, November 14, 2017. 4:30-6:00pm.
Bioscience & Natural Resources Library, 2101 VLSB.
A Crack in Creation

Dr. Jennifer A. Doudna, Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology and Chemistry, UC Berkeley and Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, will discuss her new book, A Crack in Creation: Gene Editing and the Unthinkable Power to Control Evolution, a fascinating chronicle of the discovery of CRISPR and the ethical questions to come.

Sponsored by: University Library, Life & Health Sciences Division.

The Library attempts to offer programs in accessible, barrier-free settings. If you think you may require disability-related accommodations, please contact the event sponsor, Susan Koskinen,, as soon as possible.

Discover Affordable Course Content and Open Textbook Options in Workshop Series

Highlighted TextbookConcerned about the impact of high textbook and course reader costs on students? Interested in discovering pedagogically rich and innovative solutions? Consider attending the below workshops to understand the landscape for rising course content expenses, and what you can do to both lower students’ expenditures and improve their educational experience. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact We hope to see you there!


Friday, Oct. 27

Making Textbooks and Course Readers Affordable

11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | Wurster Hall, Environmental Design Library


Do you wonder how to make your assigned readings more affordable, and how much time and effort you’d need to invest? The University Library and Center for Teaching and Learning have partnered in an innovative pilot program to reduce course content expenses and incentivize the creation of high quality, free, and open course materials. In this panel event, you’ll hear from participating faculty and lecturers who will discuss their experiences and provide practical tips from the leading edge of course content affordability. Refreshments will be provided.


Friday, Dec. 8

Open Textbook Workshop – Faculty & Lecturers

9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. | Academic Innovation Studio, 127 Dwinelle Hall


Are you an instructor who is concerned about the impact of high textbook costs on your students?  Do you want to adopt or create innovative pedagogical materials?  Explore possible open textbook solutions by attending a two hour workshop and writing a short textbook review. The Library will provide you with a $200 stipend for your efforts! Space is limited, so please submit a very brief application form:


Friday, Dec. 8

Open Textbook Workshop – Staff & Campus Partners

12:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. | Academic Innovation Studio, 127 Dwinelle Hall


Are you a UC Berkeley staff or affiliate who is concerned about the impact of high textbook costs on students, or you are working with a faculty member who is? Do you want to support the adoption or creation of innovative pedagogical materials? Learn the landscape, opportunities, and challenges for adopting and creating open textbooks, and how to discuss whether open textbooks are a good fit.


Tuesday, Feb. 20

Publish Digital Books and Open Textbooks with Pressbooks

1:10-2:30 p.m. | Academic Innovation Studio, Dwinelle Hall 117 (Level D)


If you’re looking to self-publish work of any length and want an easy-to-use tool that offers a high degree of customization, allows flexibility with publishing formats (EPUB, MOBI, PDF), and provides web-hosting options, Pressbooks may be great for you. Pressbooks is often the tool of choice for academics creating digital books, open textbooks, and open educational resources, since you can license your materials for reuse however you desire. Learn why and how to use Pressbooks for publishing your original books or course materials. You’ll leave the workshop with a project already under way!


Mystery, murder, mayhem: Meet the man behind the Library’s detective fiction collection

Crime doesn’t pay.

But for Randal Brandt, it does.

For the past few years, in addition to Brandt’s primary job as the head of cataloging at The Bancroft Library, he has curated Bancroft’s California Detective Fiction Collection, numbering about 3,000 mystery novels set in the Golden State or written by California authors.

Of those, nearly 1,700 are Bay Area mysteries.

A particularly significant item? A first-edition copy of Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon. Although the book, which inspired the 1941 movie of the same name, starring Humphrey Bogart, doesn’t have its original dust jacket, “the title page is beautiful,” Brandt said.

“That’s definitely one of our collection highlights,” Brandt said.

The city of Berkeley makes appearances in a fair number of mysteries. For example, most of the action in Oakland native and longtime Berkeley resident Anthony Boucher’s first novel, 1937’s The Case of the Seven of Calvary, takes place on or near the UC Berkeley campus. (The Bancroft Library has a first-edition copy that the author presented to his mother.)

Even The Bancroft Library itself pops up in Julie Smith’s 1987 Huckleberry Fiend.

And in The Maltese Falcon, private detective Sam Spade sends his secretary across the bay by ferry to confirm facts with a UC Berkeley history professor.

“Part of what I love about mysteries is the sense of place — and what they say about the place,” Brandt said.

And it’s this place — in Berkeley at Morrison Library — that will serve as the backdrop for a night of mystery and intrigue Wednesday, featuring best-selling Northern California authors Laurie R. King, Sheldon Siegel, and Kelli Stanley. But more on that later.

Books, books, books

Brandt’s own journey to Berkeley began in the late ’80s.

Before moving here in 1989 — after graduating from Fresno State and right before the Loma Prieta earthquake  (“We had earthquakes, too, but nothing like that one”) — he came to Berkeley to visit a friend who was living here.

He remembers riding on the back of his friend’s motorcycle, checking out used bookstores.

But his interest in books goes back even further than that.

“One of my earliest memories of reading mystery fiction was reading Agatha Christie novels,” he said. “My mom would check them out from the library for herself, then pass them along to me.”

He also showed an interest early on in tales of adventure, devouring Walter Farley’s “Black Stallion” books, and, later, James Bond novels.

“I remember going to the library and getting an armload of books,” he said, “and returning them to get another armload.”

Brandt earned his Master’s in Library and Information Studies from UC Berkeley in December 1990, and he began working at the Library the next year. He’s been here ever since.

With his passion for mysteries, does Brandt think about penning his own?

“I have no inclination to write a novel,” he said, adding that he prefers writing about fiction. He has written introductions to works by the late David Dodge, his favorite author. (The Berkeley native wrote To Catch a Thief, which inspired the Alfred Hitchcock film of the same name.)

But true crime? Well, that’s another story.

“I got this email from someone out of the blue,” Brandt said. “She had been a student here. She wanted to know if I knew about the murder.”

The murder she was referring to happened nearly six decades ago, in 1960.

The scene of the crime? Doe Library.

Brandt had known about it, albeit vaguely. But the email prompted him to dig deeper — and do some sleuthing of his own, uncovering information that he intends to draw on for an article he plans to write about the case.

The killer was a brilliant man — he began to read and write at age 3, and he skipped at least three grades in school, according to his mother’s testimony after the murder — but he suffered from mental illness and trauma, he later said, because of the racial differences in his family: His mother was black, and his father was white.

The victim was a woman with whom he was in love. The two had been students at UC Berkeley.

According Brandt’s research, the murder took place in what is now the Roger W. Heyns Reading Room, on the second floor of Doe Library. Based on photographs of the crime scene he dug up in the San Francisco Examiner Photograph Archive, and comparing them to contemporary photographs of Doe found in the University Archives, he now has a good idea of the exact spot in the room where it likely occurred.

As for the details? They’ll be explored in Brandt’s article.

Though the case is intriguingly layered — with elements of race, mental illness, and trauma — one thing is for sure: “It’s a tragedy from start to finish,” Brandt said.

A night of mystery

Brandt wears many hats — many of them the detective variety.

Brandt has created a bibliography, called Golden Gate Mysteries, that, although incomplete as yet, contains 2,300 titles set in San Francisco and the Bay Area.

In 2011, he co-curated an exhibit in the Bernice Layne Brown Gallery, called Bullets Across the Bay, which drew on the Library’s materials to highlight East Bay and San Francisco’s deep tradition with mystery novels, and he helped organize a night of readings by local mystery authors.

Wednesday’s event — called Crime Does Not Pay — Enough! — is part of the Northern California Chapter of Mystery Writers of America’s slate of Mystery Week events. Current and former MWA NorCal presidents Laurie R. King, Sheldon Siegel, and Kelli Stanley will read from the works of some of the founding members of the Northern California Chapter — works that Brandt hand-picked from the Library’s collection — as well as selections of their own works.

“We’re lucky to have so much literary talent in Berkeley and the Bay Area,” said Stacy Reardon, Literatures and Digital Humanities Librarian at UC Berkeley. “That creativity is fueled by an amazing history, particularly for the mystery genre. The format of Crime Does Not Pay — Enough! underscores the legacy that twentieth century detective fiction writers continue to have on some of its most successful authors today.”

De Gruyter and Princeton Mathematics eBook Collection

De Gruyter and Princeton Mathematics eBook Collection logo

The Library recently purchased the De Gruyter and Princeton Mathematics eBook Collection. This collection consists of titles from nine well-known series published by Princeton University Press and De Gruyter – including books from the very respected series Annals of Mathematics Studies back to 1940! These series include highly-cited works from influential mathematicians such as Church, Halmos, Milnor, Polya, and Weyl, among many others.

The nine series are:

  • Annals of mathematics studies
  • De Gruyter expositions in mathematics
  • De Gruyter series in nonlinear analysis and applications
  • De Gruyter studies in mathematical physics
  • De Gruyter studies in mathematics
  • Mathematical notes
  • Princeton mathematical series
  • Princeton series in applied mathematics
  • Radon series on computational and applied mathematics

Summer reading: How to Thrive in the Next Economy

How to Thrive in the Next Economy

How to Thrive in the Next Economy: Designing Tomorrow’s World Today
John Thackara
London: Thames & Hudson, 2015

In each chapter, this book addresses a wicked problem like water scarcity and provides a case study of how one or more communities have addressed the issue and been successful. The case studies show how large complex problems can be approached and are not so intractable.

This book is part of the 2017 Berkeley Summer Reading List. Stay tuned for more weekly posts!

Vivid, vintage posters bring Bollywood exhibit to life

Students view the "Love Across the Global South" exhibit after its opening event on Oct. 6, 2017. (Photo by Cade Johnson for the University Library)
Students view the Love Across the Global South exhibit on opening night, Oct. 6, 2017. (Photo by Cade Johnson for the University Library)

The first thing you notice is its size.

Stretching across an 8-foot expanse, it features a blockbuster movie trifecta: crime, intrigue, a handsome leading man.

The six-panel billboard, digitally shrunk from its original size by about 30 percent, advertises the 1975 film Deewaar. (The movie, cited as a masterpiece of Bombay cinema — or Bollywood cinema, as it’s often called — influenced, among other works, Danny Boyle’s Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire.)

And it’s just one of the vibrantly hued, richly textured, and beautifully preserved movie posters on display in a new exhibit at Doe Library’s Brown Gallery, called Love Across the Global South: Popular Cinema Cultures of India and Senegal.

The posters, dating from 1957 to 2011, were collected by exhibit co-curator Sugata Ray on his travels in India, and they offer eye-catching portals into the genre and its influence.

“Every single piece is an integral part of the story we tell,” co-curator Ivy Mills said.

Read the full story at

Come Write In at UC Berkeley’s Doe Library

National Novel Writing Month 2017

Have you ever thought about writing a novel but just didn’t think you had the time? You’re not alone. A small group of friends from the East Bay dared themselves to finish their novels in 30 days back in 1999, creating the foundation of what has become National Novel Writing Month. Since then, this small nonprofit, NaNoWriMo, has inspired a global event of epic proportions! Fifty thousand words in 30 days! Quantity over quality is the name of the game. Turn off your inner editor, and win.

Are you working on a thesis, dissertation, or any other writing project (creative or otherwise) but could use a bit of support from the collective energy of fellow students or colleagues to help you stay focused and provide some inspiration? NaNoWriMo isn’t just for novels anymore — be a​ ​NaNoWriMo​ ​“Rebel,” and work on your academic projects, an article, a chapter, final research paper, memoir, screenplay, etc., and possibly find some new writing buddies along the way!

The amazing team over at NaNoWriMo created this worldwide community of writers and a support system of libraries, bookstores, and other neighborhood spaces all over the globe called Come​ ​Write​ ​In​, where “Wrimos” gather and forge ahead toward their word count goals during their quest to win this book-in-a-month contest. With all the positive energy of over 300,000 participants, all writing together, winning is possible. Novelist or academic, all are welcome. Since 2007, the incredible spirit of NaNoWriMo continues to motivate me to keep pushing forward, and I hope it will inspire you as well!

Come​ ​Write​ ​In​, ​Doe​ ​Library:
Nov. 5​, ​1-4 p.m.,​ ​Room​ ​180​ ​Doe
Nov. 12, ​1-4 p.m.,​ ​Room​ ​180​ ​Doe
Nov. ​19, 1-3 p.m.,​ ​Room​ ​180​ ​Doe
Nov. ​30, ​6-9 p.m.​ ​(Thank​ ​Goodness​ ​We​ ​Did​ ​It​ ​Party!),​ ​Room​ ​303​ ​Doe

Sign up at, and join the East Bay Home Region to see the calendar of events in our area and beyond.

The Library attempts to offer programs in accessible, barrier-free settings. If you think you may require disability-related accommodations, please contact Shannon Monroe at least two weeks prior to the event at, 510-643-6151.

Hands-On 10: Building on the Built: Artists’ Books on Architecture

House book

Artists’ books defy conventional “reading” and involve the viewer through sight, touch, and physical manipulation. These books are too often locked behind exhibit cases, but the Environmental Design Library will have 20 books related to architecture on hand for you to touch, turn pages, and experience.

Friday, October 27 from 4-6 PM
Environmental Design Library Atrium
210 Wurster Hall

Wine and light refreshments will be served. Hosted by David Eifler, Jennifer Osgood, Molly Rose and Lauri Twitchell. See the libguide for more information.

The Library attempts to offer programs in accessible, barrier-free settings. If you think you may require disability-related accommodations, please contact the event sponsor, David Eifler, at 510-643-7422 or two weeks prior to the event.

Library Spaces That Can Amplify Your Research

Recording studio:  Wurster 210D

Acoustically designed for recording audio or video on your own equipment, rehearsing class presentations, conducting remote job interviews.  Seats up to five.

To reserve the room, start with the Library home page, click on Find a Study Space, select “reservable rooms” and “Environmental Design Library.”

ENVI Recording Room
Environmental Design Library Recording Room

Van Houten Presentation Studio, Moffitt 415

Equipment for recording an individual or group presentation to save on a USB drive.  Microphone, microphone stand.  Polycom conference phone, cables and other technology available for checkout at the Service Desk.  Seats 8-10.

To reserve the room, start with the Library home page, click on Find a Study Space, select “reservable rooms” and “Moffitt Library.”

Moffitt Presentation Studio
Moffitt Library Van Houten Presentation Studio

Conference Studio, Moffitt 417

Equipment for an individual or group web conference using the installed room PC or your own laptop. Wireless keyboard/track pad.  Polycom conference phone, cables and other technology available for checkout at the Service Desk. Seats 8-10.

Moffitt Conference Studio
Moffitt Library Conference Studio

And of course you already knew that you can borrow laptops, ipads and phone chargers; poster carrying tubes, and frisbees (4th floor Moffitt Library).

Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) workshop

Ingenuity Pathway Analysis

A representative from Qiagen will offer a hands-on training workshop on using IPA to interpret expression data (including RNA-seq).

Date: Thursday, Nov. 9
Time: 1:30-4:30 pm
Location: Bioscience Library Training Room, 2101 Valley Life Sciences Building

You are invited to participate in this free training, and are encouraged to bring your own laptop or use the computer workstations in our training room.

Please register if you are interested in attending.

The workshop will cover how to:

  • Format, upload your data, and launch an analysis
  • Identify likely pathways that are expressed
  • Find causal regulators and their directional effect on gene functions and diseases
  • Build pathways, make connections between entities, and overlay multiple datasets on a pathway or network
  • Understand the affected biological processes
  • Perform a comparison analysis: utilize a heat map to easily visualize trends across multiple time points or samples

Questions? Please contact Elliott Smith (

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Need a mystery fix? Hear from best-selling authors — and learn about a historical real-life murder on campus.…

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Before displaying #Bollywood posters for a new @UCBerkeley exhibit, there was a big problem to overcome.…

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.@UCBerkeley's Chinese Overseas Symposium will offer a first-of-its-kind look at scholarship and Library treasures.…

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Ice cream, anyone? 🍦 Soft serve is just one of the offerings at Press, @UCBerkeley's newest cafe.…

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Registration open for our full week of #scholarlypublishing skill-building workshops during #OAWeek2017!…

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