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What’s New

Addressing fake news in the classroom

Newspaper spiral

Photo by Silke Remmery CC via Flickr

As an instructor, are you concerned that your students have a ‘dismaying’ inability to tell fake news from real? If so, you are invited to join a UC Berkeley faculty conversation on March 1st about how to help students navigate the rapidly changing online information landscape, and the proliferation of fake news and “alternative facts.” Faculty from Media Studies, College Writing, Integrative Biology, Political Economy and Journalism will lead this conversation on media literacy and the evaluation of sources for the classroom.

Beyond Hype, Hysteria, and Headlines: Addressing Media Literacy Gaps in the Classroom

  • March 1, 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. in the Academic Innovation Studio (117 Dwinelle)
  • Panel: Beverly Crawford (Political Science/Economy), Leslea Hlusko (Integrative Biology), Mike Larkin (College Writing), Jean Retzinger (Media Studies), and Edward Wasserman (Journalism). Moderated by Cody Hennesy (Doe Library).

You may also be interested in sharing the new library guide to Fake News, which can help students understand and detect fake news. Subject librarians are also available to help design research assignments, to visit the classroom and discuss the evaluation of resources, and you can always request a library workshop for your class.

“Agents of Change” screens on March 1 in Movies @ Moffitt

Movie poster

Agents of Change is directed by Frank Dawson and Abby Ginzberg.

Agents of Change documents university student activism in the late 1960s that worked toward a variety of goals, including the establishment of black and ethnic studies programs and building resistance to the war in Vietnam. The filmmakers envision this project as part of a social movement, rather than simply a film — a stance demonstrated in the way that the film suggests a continuity of struggle from past organizing efforts to more current movements in favor of justice both on and off campus.

Wednesday, March 1 from 7 to 9 pm
405 Moffitt Undergraduate Library
Free; open to UCB students only (UCB student ID required).
Movies @ Moffitt happens on the first Wednesday of each month of the semester.

Great talks and tips in Love Your Data Week 2017

This week, the University Library and the Research Data Management program were delighted to participate in the Love Your Data (LYD) Week campaign by hosting a series of workshops designed to help researchers, data specialists, and librarians to better address and plan for research data needs. The workshops covered issues related to managing, securing, publishing, and licensing data. Participants from many campus groups (e.g., LBNL, CSS-IT) were eager to continue the stimulating conversation around data management. Check out the full program and information about the presented topics.

Photographs by Yasmin AlNoamany for the University Library.

The Securing Research Data Panel.

The first day of LYD week at UC Berkeley was kicked off by a discussion panel about Securing Research Data, featuring
Jon Stiles (D-Lab, Federal Statistical RDC), Jesse Rothstein (Public Policy and Economics, IRLE), Carl Mason (Demography). The discussion centered upon the rewards and challenges of supporting groundbreaking research when the underlying research data is sensitive or restricted. In a lively debate, various social science researchers detailed their experiences working with sensitive research data and highlighted what has worked and what has proved difficult.

Chris Hoffman illustrated Securing Research Data – A campus-wide project.

At the end, Chris Hoffman, the Program Director of the Research Data Management program, described a campus-wide project about Securing Research Data. Hoffman said the goals of the project are to improve guidance for researchers, benchmark other institutions’ services, and assess the demand and make recommendations to campus. Hoffman asked the attendees for their input about the services that the campus provides.

The attendees of Securing Research Data workshop ask questions about data protection.

Rick Jaffe and Anna Sackmann in the RDM Tools and Tips: Box and Drive workshop.

On the second day, we hosted a workshop about the best practices for using Box and bDrive to manage documents, files and other digital assets by Rick Jaffe (Research IT) and Anna Sackmann (UC Berkeley Library). The workshop covered multiple issues about using Box and bDrive such as the key characteristics, and personal and collaborative use features and tools (including control permissions, special purpose accounts, pushing and retrieving files, and more). The workshop also covered the difference between the commercial and campus (enterprise) versions of Box and Drive. Check out the RDM Tools and Tips: Box and Drive presentation.

Anna and Rick ask attendees to do a group activity to get them talking about their workflow.

We closed out LYD Week 2017 at UC Berkeley with a workshop about Research Data Publishing and Licensing 101. In the workshop, Anna Sackmann and Rachael Samberg (UC Berkeley’s Scholarly Communication Officer) shared practical tips about why, where, and how to publish and license your research data. (You can also read Samberg & Sackmann’s related blog post about research data publishing and licensing.)

Anna Sackmann talks about publishing research data at UC Berkeley.

In the first part of the workshop, Anna Sackmann talked about reasons to publish and share research data on both practical and theoretical levels. She discussed relevant data repositories that UC Berkeley and other entities offer, and provided criteria for selecting a repository. Check out Anna Sackmann’s presentation about Data Publishing.

Anna Sackmann differentiates between different repositories in UC Berkeley.

Rachael Samberg, UC Berkeley’s Scholarly Communication Officer.

During the second part of the presentation, Rachael Samberg illustrated the importance of licensing data for reuse and how the agreements researchers enter into and copyright affects licensing rights and choices. She also distinguished between data attribution and licensing. Samberg mentioned that data licensing helps resolve ambiguity about permissions to use data sets and incentivizes others to reuse and cite data. At the end, Samberg explained how people can license their data and advised UC Berkeley workshop participants to contact her with any questions about data licensing.

Rachael Samberg explains the difference between attribution and license.

Rachael Samberg explains the difference between attribution and license.

Check out the slides from Rachael Samberg’s presentation about data licensing below.


The workshops received positive feedback from the attendees. Attendees also expressed their interest in having similar workshops to understand the broader perspectives and skills needed to help researchers manage their data.

Yasmin AlNoamany

Special thanks to Rachael Samberg for editing this post.

Feeling stumped? Ask a librarian.

Undergrads, get expert help with that humanities or social sciences research project. Make an appointment for a 30-minute session with our library research specialists. We can help you narrow your topic, find scholarly sources, and manage your citations, among other things. Make your appointment online at lib.berkeley.edu/help/research-appointments.

Appointments are from 11am-5pm, Tuesday, February 21 – Friday, April 28. Meet your librarian at the Reference Desk, 2nd floor, Doe Library

Presidents’ Day closure

Most of the Cal libraries will be closed on Monday, February 20 for the Presidents’ Day Holiday.

Feb. 20 library hours

Video: Happy Valentine’s Day from the Library!

How do you spend your Valentine’s Day? Here at the UC Berkeley Library, we spend it with those we care most about!

Video: Checking out Moffitt’s reimagined study spaces

Library social media interns Chadwick Bowlin and Rika Pokala survey the new study spaces on Moffitt floors four and five.

Event: Views of the women’s liberation, feminist movements of the 1970s, 1980s

A New Women's Symbol

A New Women’s Symbol, 1971, The Bancroft Library, BANC PIC 2012.054

Bancroft Library’s first Roundtable of the semester will take place in the Lewis-Latimer Room of The Faculty Club at noon on Thursday, February 16. Cathy Cade, documentary photographer, will present “Views of the Women’s Liberation and Feminist Movements of the 1970s and 1980s: Selections from the Cathy Cade Photograph Archive.”

Cade was introduced to the power of documentary photography as she participated in the Southern Freedom Movement of the 1960s. In the years that followed, she took an array of images that depict the women’s liberation movement, union women, trades women, lesbian feminism, lesbian mothering, lesbians of color, LGBT freedom days, fat activism, and the disability rights movement. Cade will speak of her personal experiences with social justice causes and the connections between these movements and communities. She will feature highlights drawn from her extensive photograph archive acquired by The Bancroft Library over the past several years.

Event details
Bancroft Roundtable
Thursday, February 16, noon
Lewis-Latimer Room, The Faculty Club
Presented by Cathy Cade, documentary photographer

Rare Books and Mystery Buff: Bancroft Cataloger Showcases Recent Donations at Oakland Book Fair

While most of Randal Brandt’s work involves sleuthing out cataloging information for the rare volumes that routinely cross his desk, he also finds time to curate Bancroft’s California Detective Fiction Collection.

Randal Brandt. Photo by Cade Johnson for the University Library.

This collection will be showcased, along with examples of fantasy and science fiction and western fiction, at the upcoming 50th California International Antiquarian Book Fair, Feb. 10-12, in an exhibit Brandt curated. Many of the exhibited books are recent donations acquired through Brandt’s extensive network in the mystery writing community. Some of these include:

  • Bill Pronzini and Marcia Muller presented the library with a gift of over 700 volumes in 2015, of books written, compiled, or edited by the “Mulzinis,” as they are affectionately known by their friends.
  • The Thomas H. Reynolds Collection of Ross Macdonald was received as a gift by Bancroft in 2016. Comprised of 37 exemplary copies of first editions and other rare volumes by Ross Macdonald, the collection was compiled by Thomas H. Reynolds, who, before his retirement, was the foreign and comparative law librarian at Berkeley.
  • The Anthony Boucher Collection was donated to the Bancroft Library in 2016. Boucher, who earned an M.A. from Berkeley, was a prolific writer of mysteries and science fiction, but is noted primarily for his reviewing and other activities. His renown in the field is such that the premiere annual conference of mystery authors, fans, and aficionados is known as Bouchercon.

Anthony Boucher

Also featured in the exhibit will be materials from other recent Bancroft acquisitions.

  • The Kenneth Perkins Papers were donated in 2015, including a wide-ranging array of hardcover novels, manuscript drafts, plot outlines, summaries, and synopses, research notes, correspondence, personal materials, newspaper clippings, and ephemera. Perkins, a prolific writer of westerns and mysteries, graduated from Berkeley in 1914.

Photo by Joseph Driste

  • The library also acquired the Frank M. Robinson Papers in 2015. Robinson moved to San Francisco in the 1970s to be a speechwriter for politician Harvey Milk. Shortly thereafter he started writing techno-thrillers and science fiction novels. The collection comprises books, manuscripts, and photographs, including shots taken during the 2008 production of the film Milk in which Robinson had a small part playing himself.

Photo by Joseph Driste

Q & A with Julie van den Hout

Van den Hout, a 2015 graduate from Berkeley, has been a Digital Humanities Project Archivist at the Bancroft since October 2016.  Julie came to Berkeley having discovered her passion for historical research after working for some years in health care. Her honors thesis explored a 17th-century Dutch book aimed at potential immigrants to what is now New York; it was awarded the Charlene Conrad Liebau Library Prize for Undergraduate Research (honorable mention).

Julie van den Hout. Photograph by Alejandro Serrano for the University Library.

What inspires you about your position?
It has been an honor to work with the Engel Sluiter Historical Documents Collection. This immense personal research collection, donated to the Bancroft Library, is truly a legacy of Dr. Sluiter’s life work as a UC Berkeley Latin American History professor and researcher. By bringing together materials from archives worldwide, the collection provides detailed Spanish, Dutch, English, and Portuguese perspectives on sixteenth and seventeenth century Atlantic trade. Through a UC Berkeley Digital Humanities Collaborative Research grant, Dutch Studies and the Bancroft Library are working together to digitize a small subset of the collection on the seventeenth century colony of New Netherland (now New York), and then analyze the texts using natural language processing. Working with the primary sources in the Engel Sluiter Collection has taught me much more than I could ever learn in a classroom. I am excited about the capabilities of digital humanities, and what our current project will reveal about the Dutch colony.

Your priorities over the next 6-9 months
My overarching and ultimate goal with the project is to enhance search capabilities for the Engel Sluiter Collection, and help make these impressive, but relatively unexplored, materials more accessible to researchers. My immediate focus is to reconcile the Dutch documents with the digitized OCR outputs, in preparation for processing using our in-house topic modeling application that will identify themes within the corpus. The documents will be then be published online, with the new search capabilities freely available to researchers worldwide. At the same time, I will be working to learn more about the potential of digital humanities and applying our model to other historical texts.

Opportunities at the Berkeley campus and the Library
The libraries of UC Berkeley are a treasure trove of primary and secondary sources for study of the Atlantic World. Being at a research institution is a great way to find support for new ideas, and digital humanities at UC Berkeley is at the cutting edge in its field. While some people see digital humanities as trying to replace traditional scholarship, I see it as being able to enhance and partner with traditional scholarship to add new dimensions or perspectives. In our project, for example, the use of technology is helping us find connections in the historical data and texts that may not readily visible in traditional formats.

A favorite book or favorite campus hangout
My favorite book is Two Years Before the Mast, by Richard Henry Dana, Jr., Dana’s own memoir of two years spent, as an ordinary sailor, on a merchant ship between Massachusetts and California around Cape Horn, in the early 1800’s. Long before I became interested in academic history, Dana’s engaging accounts of life at sea and trading hides along the Pacific Coast brought the past to life for me. His descriptions of colorful, pre-gold rush Mexican California opened my eyes to a California I had never learned in history books.

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