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Digital assets unavailable Jan. 23, 7-8am

On Tuesday, January 23, 2018 at 7am we will perform maintenance on the server that hosts many of our digital assets. It should be back by 8am.

This will affect all links to digital assets which include images, PDFs, and datasets that we host.

Library tours, January 16-19

Library Tours

Join other students and get your bearings with a 3-in-one tour of the Doe Memorial Library, Moffitt Undergraduate Library, and the Main Stacks. See these central libraries and learn about the student services they provide. Tour starts at the north entrance of Doe Library.

January 16 – 19
2-3 p.m.

New Year’s Resolution?: Read More Books

Resolve to Read More in 2018

Happy New Year! With a new year comes the inescapable (and usually unfulfillable) list of New Year’s resolutions. At a loss for realistic ideas? Join us in our resolution to read more — including and especially for leisure. If you’ve resolved to spend some more time hitting the books (for pleasure), check out our recommendations for a great start to your reading year:

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Happy holidays! Here’s a musical gift from the UC Berkeley Library.

The holiday season is a time for joy, gratitude, and, of course, music. This year, we asked a special guest — and Bach enthusiast — to play a composition from the Jean Gray Hargrove Music Library, home to some 200,000 volumes of books and printed music.

The Music Library is just one of 25 libraries that inspire, empower, and serve the scholars of this great university, with your support.

We hope you enjoy this musical treat!

Holiday hours at campus libraries

Reduced intersession hours begin Monday, December 18. Be sure to check the hours before planning a visit! In addition, libraries will be closed on Friday, December 22.

Most libraries reopen on Tuesday, January 2 and continue with reduced hours until spring semester begins on Tuesday, January 16.

Life, gene editing, and rock ’n’ roll: 5 things we learned from Jennifer Doudna’s talk

Jennifer Doudna, left, professor and co-inventor of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing, speaks with Susan Koskinen, head of the Life and Health Sciences Library Division, at the Bioscience & Natural Resources Library on Nov. 14, 2017. (Photo by J. Pierre Carrillo for the University Library)
Jennifer Doudna, left, professor and co-inventor of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing, speaks with Susan Koskinen, head of the Life and Health Sciences Library Division, at the Bioscience & Natural Resources Library on Nov. 14, 2017. (Photo by J. Pierre Carrillo for the University Library)

When Jennifer Doudna was in high school, a guidance counselor called her into his office to talk to her about her career.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” Doudna recalls him asking.

“I want to be a scientist,” Doudna said.

“Girls don’t do science,” she remembers him saying.

She has been proving him wrong ever since.

For one, the UC Berkeley professor co-invented CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing, hailed as the biggest biological breakthrough since the discovery of DNA’s molecular structure in the 1950s. The technology comes with the possibility of curing devastating diseases and improving lives but also raises ethical questions.

“If you have a tool that allowed precision changes to DNA to be made,” she said, “that provides a way that, in principle, one could alter human evolution by making changes that could become inherited by future generations.”

In the years that followed, Doudna has become instrumental in raising awareness and broadening understanding — within the scientific community and beyond — about the technology. It’s a duty Doudna doesn’t take lightly. “It’s something I feel deeply passionate about,” she said.

Doudna sat down in front of an audience Tuesday in the Bioscience & Natural Resources Library for a chat about her book (“A Crack in Creation” is out this year), her life, and her scientific breakthrough.

Here are five things we learned.

1. Her upbringing in Hawaii influenced her career path.

Growing up, Doudna lived in Hilo, a “small, rural town,” on the big island of Hawaii. It was living in Hawaii, surrounded by diverse wildlife (“blind cave spiders and all kinds of interesting plants,” she said) that sparked her lifelong love of science.

“When I think back on how I got interested in science and biology and chemistry,” she said, “it really, I think, stems from growing up in that island environment and wondering about how organisms can evolve to live in a setting like that.”

And in 10th grade, Doudna’s interest in science deepend, thanks to a chemistry teacher, Miss Wong, who “taught us kids that science was about solving puzzles — it was about asking questions and figuring out how to answer them.”

“I absolutely loved it,” she said. “It was fun, and I started imagining that it would be really great to grow up and have someone pay me to do what I thought was just kind of fun — playing around in a lab.”

2. Even bioscientists get the blues.

In her 40s — and well into her second decade of running her lab — she started to question whether her work was going to have an impact.

“I really almost had sort of a midlife crisis,” she said.

She took a leave of absence at Berkeley for an opportunity at a company — which, in retrospect, was the wrong move.

Although it was a great company, she began to realize, “It was just the wrong fit for me,” she said. “I felt it in my gut. This is not where I’m meant to be.”

“I realized that I just loved working with students. I loved being at a public university,” she said. “I really believed in that mission of having education available to anyone who can come and wants to learn and wants to work at this wonderful place that we have here.”

She asked her former colleagues at UC Berkeley if she could return.

“They took me back,” she said.

3. She didn’t like the name of her book at first.

Neither Doudna nor co-author Samuel Sternberg liked the title “A Crack in Creation,” which their editor suggested.

“It sounded very ominous, somehow,” she said.

Neither could think of a better title, and they were eventually won over.

“It does sort of convey this idea that … we’re sort of at a fork in the road, in a way, and it really does feel kind of profound at times to me.

“We’re at a point where now we as a species have a tool that will allow us to control … who we are.”

4. She has a complicated relationship with the spotlight.

“People have called me the public face of CRISPR, and I’m sort of shocked by it,” she said.

But with glare of the spotlight comes the opportunity to raise awareness and educate the public.

“I feel sort of a sense of honor that I’ve been sort of thrust into this position of being a spokesperson for science, and it’s something that I feel deeply passionate about,” she said.

5. She had a brush with rock royalty.

With her profile having reached new heights come opportunities that she had never previously imagined.

“I was at a thing in London not long ago, and I turned around, and behind me was (rock guitarist) Jimmy Page,” she said. “We just struck up a conversation. We started talking about science, and about guitars, and Led Zeppelin.

“And I said to him, ‘I’m such a fangirl. I mean, I listened to your music growing up. Would you mind if I took a picture with you?’

“And (now) I have a picture with Jimmy Page.”

EZproxy is here!

As of today, EZproxy is available for off-campus access to licensed online resources. EZproxy allows users to connect to resources via CalNet sign-in or with their PIN / Cal 1 card number and without any configuration in a browser or device. No longer having to configure or install anything means that online resources are available from any computer anywhere.

EZproxy replaces our current home-grown Library proxy service. However, the home-grown proxy will be around until Summer 2018.

To learn more about EZproxy see our guide at guides.lib.berkeley.edu/ezproxy.

Video: Center for Connected Learning: The Undergraduate ‘Collider Space’

Moffitt Library provides undergraduates with something that no other space on campus can — a place where students of all disciplines can come together to actively discover, develop and prototype solutions that change the world. As the undergraduate hub for connected teaching, learning, and discovery at Berkeley, Moffitt Library now serves 10,000 students each day. “This is a very special place,” explains University Librarian Jeffrey MacKie-Mason.

And this is just the start. This summer, the Library received campus approval to build a campaign for the Center for Connected Learning at Moffitt Library. The Library is now laying the groundwork to bring together students, faculty, Library staff, and supporters to design an innovative and interactive teaching and learning space that spans all five floors of Moffitt Library.

We envision the Center for Connected Learning as a “collider space” where students flow between multimedia classrooms, collaborative project spaces, hands-on studios, and peer-to-peer and expert consultation — all within the same building. Students would have access to one-stop consultation on retrieval, evaluation and use of advanced information resources, tech support, and the skills required for 21st century information literacy.

Watch our video, Center for Connected Learning: The Undergraduate Collider Space, to learn more.

Summer Reading: Making Sense of Science

Making Sense of Science

Making Sense of Science: Separating Substance from Spin
Cornelia Dean
Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2017

Cornelia Dean was a New York Times science writer for over thirty years and is currently a writer-in-residence at Brown University. Given her excellent previous work, I have every confidence that her new book, Making Sense of Science, will be well written and informative. The book is targeted for non-scientists who seek the background needed to evaluate scientific claims. Books like Dean’s are especially timely because of the anti-science climate that now reigns in Washington.

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

Summer Reading: Paying the Price

Paying the Price

Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream
Sara Goldrick-Rab
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016

Goldrick-Rab conducted this study of thousands of young people to understand the obstacles they face in completing a degree whether at a two-year or four-year college. She discovered what you probably already know. Young people from middle class and low income families alike confront many challenges just to get an education: rising tuition and fees; the high cost of living (rent, food, gas, books, etc); a complicated and insufficient Federal aid program; difficulties finding flexible work that allows students to pay for and stay in school full time. Politicians will tell you that they worked their way through college and so should you. But, only a generation ago, theirs was a very different world in which hard work and determination got you a degree. Implementing policies that will make college affordable for all can happen. But first, we as a society must agree that a college education is a right for all and not just a privilege for those who can afford it.

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

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