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California magazine: Five questions for University Librarian Jeffrey MacKie-Mason

Jeff MacKie-Mason

UC Berkeley University Librarian Jeffrey MacKie-Mason. (Photo by Max Whittaker for the University Library)

“Most of the world’s scholarly, high-quality, knowledge-rich information is not freely available on the Internet,” explains University Librarian Jeffrey MacKie-Mason in a recent interview with California, the UC Berkeley Alumni Association magazine. “You might be able to find it via Google, but you’ll have to pay for it. At Berkeley, we spend $20 million a year to purchase or license information resources that are not freely available: Our students and faculty couldn’t do that themselves!”

In the California interview, MacKie-Mason discusses how the Library’s growing collection of electronic resources enhances the enormous print collections, and reiterates the importance of the Library as an essential provider of knowledge and information in the Internet age.

The Library’s commitment to increasing information literacy is also on display: in response to a question about the proliferation of “fake news,” MacKie-Mason describes the importance of learning to “evaluate and discern information quality” in an environment where the historical barriers to publishing have been eliminated.

Read the full interview.

Summer Reading: Native Speaker

Native Speaker

Native Speaker
Chang-rae Lee
New York: Riverhead Books, 1995

Chang-rae Lee’s beautifully written first novel, Native Speaker, follows the life of Henry Park—born on an airplane ride en route from Korea to the United States. Set in New York City, this unconventional spy novel chronicles Henry’s astute, methodical observations of the people in his life and the languages they speak. Henry’s assignment to spy on a Korean-American candidate for mayor pushes Henry to ask difficult questions about his own identity and immigrant politics. Lee explores race and relationships, alienation and assimilation, morality and personal gain, the personal and public—revealing the complexities of what it means to be first-generation American.

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

Summer Reading: Hag-Seed

Hag-Seed

Hag-Seed
Margaret Atwood
New York: Hogarth, 2016

A modern update to Shakespeare’s The Tempest, told from the perspective of a theater director who has been ousted from his post, and is plotting his revenge on his enemies while/through teaching Shakespeare-in-performance to prisoners, written by one of the best authors of our time. (And a good opportunity to revisit The Handmaid’s Tale.)

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

Summer Reading: Nonsense

Nonsense

Nonsense: The Power of Not Knowing
Jamie Holmes
New York: Crown Publishers, 2015

The very real perils and consequences of jumping to conclusions, of feeling total certainty and confidence, and the power of being able to handle ambiguity. (John Keats called this “Negative capability,” and he saw it most vividly in Shakespeare’s writing.) Told through a series of case studies ranging from the workplace to personal life. If our modern condition is one of unpredictability and increasing complexity, Holmes’ lessons for “how to deal with what we don’t understand” are particularly urgent.

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

Summer Reading: Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City
Matthew Desmond
New York: Crown Publishers, 2016

The day-to-day experiences of landlords, tenants, movers, sheriffs, and others wrapped up in the economy of eviction. A great companion to last year’s On the Same Page pick, Just Mercy; at one point, Desmond writes, “If incarceration had come to define the lives of men from impoverished black neighborhoods, eviction was shaping the lives of women. Poor black men were locked up. Poor black women were locked out.” Desmond makes the compelling case that stable housing is a precondition for civic engagement and democracy, because civic life begins at home, and is rooted in a community. After telling the unforgettable stories of a few to illustrate the plight of millions of Americans, he devotes the epilogue to making broader policy recommendations that aim to break the cycle of eviction.

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

June is Pride Month

SF Pride - June 24-25, 2017

#SFpride #summerOfLove50 #resist

Since 1970, Pride celebrates the resistance of the Stonewall Uprising of June 28,1969 and the struggle for human rights for all. Pride Month hasn’t been officially declared by the current president, but fortunately that won’t stop the celebration, or the resistance. If you’re looking for a good GLBTQIA movie or documentary — to learn, laugh or cry — Kanopy has almost 400 streaming videos on the diverse array of queer related themes, available to anyone on campus or to UCB via proxy or VPN. And of course we have lots of books, journals and databases as well!

Summer Reading List: Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

Benjamin Franklin: An American Life
Walter Isaacson
New York: Simon & Schuster, 2003

Among his many accomplishments, Franklin founded libraries, volunteer firefighting companies, and served as the United States’ first Postmaster General. According to Isaacson, Franklin was “the most accomplished American of his age and the most influential in inventing the type of society America would become.” During Franklin’s adulthood, the American ideals of civic life were crafted, along with many of the institutions which foster those ideals.

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

New library service!

UC Berkeley Global Resource Sharing

You can now pick up Interlibrary Loan items at most library locations and NRLF!

When you fill out your ILL request, just select the library you prefer from the pick up location list. You will be notified by email when the item is ready at your preferred location.

Remember to pick up ILL material by the hold expiration date or items will be returned to the lending institution.

Microform material will continue to be available as Library Use Only in the Newspaper & Microform Library, regardless of the pickup location selected.

Summer Reading List: The Study Qu’ran: A New Translation and Commentary

The Study Qu'ran

The Study Qu’ran: A New Translation and Commentary
Seyyed Hossein Nasr
New York: HarperOne, 2015

Six years in the making, The Study Quran is described by its editor-in-chief, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, as “a small contribution to unity in the Islamic world.” More importantly, it is also an opportunity for non-Muslims to understand the Quran in historical context. Translated by a team of both Sunni and Shiite scholars of Islam, this edition of the Quran also offers in-depth commentaries to help place the book’s more controversial passages into historical context, and to examine the Quran from multiple Islamic spiritual, theological, and legal perspectives. Upon its publication in late 2015, the book sold out its first print run immediately — a rare feat for any book about religion.

At a moment when Islam is one of the world’s few religions that is growing instead of shrinking, the Quran and what it means to Muslims still remains a puzzle to many non-Muslims in the west. This book is an opportunity to reverse some of the Islamophobia that has been encroaching on many Americans by introducing us to the basics of what Muslims believe. As the current generation of Americans becomes less religious, and as religious literacy declines in the media while religious studies is also on the decline in academia, books like The Study Quran offer us an opportunity to change our perspectives about one of the world’s most misunderstood religions.

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

Summer Reading List: Ready Player One

Ready Player One

Ready Player One
Ernest Cline
New York: Crown Publishers, 2011

The fantastic novel Ready Player One presents a world in which virtual reality technology becomes fully integrated with and inseparable from humankind’s lives. With the advancement of technology in our own world, there is a growing amount of hype and optimism around the diverse applicability of virtual reality but also a lack of thorough study of its implications. In about a generation’s time, virtual-reality technology should mature and if it indeed stays true to its current hype, it is our generation’s responsibility to conceive of some of its potential implications to better prepare ourselves for what’s about to dawn on us. Ready Player One serves as a cautionary tale as it explores those implications through the characters’ relationships, their sense of identity, and the greed for power.

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

Share your experience with the GALC!

The Graphic Arts Loan Collection (GALC) at the Morrison Library was created in 1958 by Professor Herwin Schaefer, who believed the best way to foster an appreciation of art was for students to live with actual art. With that in mind, we would love to hear about your experience living with your GALC piece.

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