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Want to upgrade your digital skills? The Library’s Level Up initiative can help.

Virtual reality, fake news, do-it-yourself web design — what do these things have in common? All are part of our ever-changing information landscape, for better or worse. And all are explored in a new initiative, Level Up, which aims to help students take a closer look at the technology in their lives through dozens of fall workshops and online guides. Want to learn about 3-D printing? Need help getting started on a research project? We’ve got students covered.

“We want to empower students to create new media, experiment with emerging technologies, and be critical consumers of information in an age when bogus stories are increasingly common,” says E-Learning and Information Studies Librarian Cody Hennesy, who is designing and implementing the initiative.

This week, the Library launched a Level Up web resource, which includes information for students interested in enhancing their digital information skills and teaching tools for faculty members on these topics.

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: The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

The Emperor of All Maladies

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer
Siddhartha Mukherjee
New York: Scribner, 2011

A very readable Pulitzer Prize winner. Despite the somewhat depressing topic, I couldn’t put it down. Maybe our future students will find a cure.

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

Ecocity Berkeley: Thirty Years On

Woman watering a garden planted inside a car

September 15 – December 15, 2017
Environmental Design Library – 210 Wurster Hall

In 1987 Richard Register released his first major book, Ecocity Berkeley: Building Cities for a Healthy Future, inserting “ecocity” into the urban planning lexicon. Using Berkeley as a test bed, he promoted a new vision for urban development; his ideas and drawings presaged a number of contemporary design elements, tuning architecture and urban design to nature’s and human needs and desires. This exhibit explores his inspiring vision and its international influence.

Summer Reading: The Man Who Planted Trees: A Story of Lost Groves, the Science of Trees, and a Plan to Save the Planet

The Man Who Planted Trees

The Man Who Planted Trees: A Story of Lost Groves, the Science of Trees, and a Plan to Save the Planet
Jim Robbins
New York: Spiegel & Grau, 2012

Inspired by Giono’s tale from 1953, the book follows the endeavors of protagonist David Milarch, a Michigan nurseryman who engages in a study of the oldest trees in the U.S. and attempts to copy the genetic material of 826 species of trees. The story is easy to follow and is informed by both scientific knowledge and environmental efforts. It includes detailed descriptions of the role of trees in cleaning pollutants from the air as well as preserving our freshwater systems. The book emphasizes the interdependence of trees not only with their immediate ecosystems but with the planet as a whole.

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

Exhibit examines Russian Revolution 100 years later

Vladimir Lenin was known for his oration skills, which this poster illustrates. The smokestacks, representing an industrialized future, and red banner are common visual motifs in Soviet propaganda. (Valentin Shcherbakov, “A Spectre Is Haunting Europe, the Spectre of Communism”)

Vladimir Lenin was known for his oration skills, illustrated here. Smokestacks, representing an industrialized future, and the red banner are common motifs in Soviet propaganda. (Valentin Shcherbakov, “A Spectre Is Haunting Europe, the Spectre of Communism”)


Russia has dominated popular discussion
recently, as news junkies and casual observers alike can tell you.

But how much do you actually know about the country’s history?

As it turns out, 2017, which has been anything but uneventful so far, marks 100 years since the Russian Revolution. And although the Kremlin may not be officially commemorating the centenary, the UC Berkeley Library is exploring the topic in a vivid new exhibit at Moffitt Library.

For those who need a refresher, the revolution consisted of a pair of coups, both in 1917: The first saw the demise of the monarchical government of Tsar Nicholas II, and the other, led by Vladimir Lenin and the Bolsheviks, led to the rise of the world’s first communist state, which would fall in 1991 (which, for some millennials, might as well be ancient history).

With feedback from key scholars on campus, Liladhar Pendse, Slavic and East European studies librarian at UC Berkeley, curated the exhibit, called “The Russian Revolution Centenary: 1917-2017: Politics, Propaganda and People’s Art.”

“The revolutions result in upheavals that generally lead to big transformations and social changes,” Pendse said. “How do those who have come to power behave? What kind of social and economic changes do they implement in the name of ‘humanity’? How do artists and authors behave and create new ‘transformative’ genres?”

The exhibit explores these questions through three major themes: politics, propaganda and the people’s art.

Because of the widespread illiteracy in the Russian Empire at the time, imagery became a potent force in conveying ideas. The result is an exhibit that is “highly visual.”

This poster by Russian artist Dmitry Moor is among the most recognizable pieces of Soviet propaganda. (Dmitry Moor, “Did You Register as a Volunteer?”)

This poster by Russian artist Dmitry Moor is among the most recognizable pieces of Soviet propaganda. (Dmitry Moor, “Did You Register as a Volunteer?”)

Revolutionary posters served as tools of propaganda for the early Soviet government. (You’re probably familiar with the aesthetic, which has served as an inspiration for everything from album covers to candy ads.) The Communists tried to replace familiar religious iconography with images of warriors or workers, symbols that were used to evoke the “just society” they envisioned. And the public art that was created by — and for — the people reinforced the expected norms of equality in the “new world,” Pendse said.

Pendse hopes the exhibit will help students learn about other viewpoints, encourage them “to think outside of the box” and remember the past, he said.

“At the back of my mind is what we can learn from history,” he said.

The exhibit is on view through Jan. 8. See the exhibit on the third floor of Moffitt Library — you’ll need a Cal 1 Card for entry. Click here to see the exhibit’s virtual counterpart.

From K-pop to the school-to-prison pipeline: Launch Pad program to offer rare glimpse into undergraduate research

Moffitt Library will be hosting the inaugural Launch Pad event Wednesday. Launch Pad provides a rare look at the undergraduate research process. (Photo by Alejandro Serrano for the University Library)

Moffitt Library is hosting the inaugural Launch Pad event Wednesday. Launch Pad offers a look at the undergraduate research process. (Photo by Alejandro Serrano for the University Library)

Shelby Mack was scared.

She and a friend, both high schoolers in Southern California, had been heading to a fast-food joint — ditching class, admittedly — when a school security guard stopped them and took them to the principal’s office.

Mack remembers bursting into tears, not knowing what punishment would await.

One thing led to another. What started as a visit with the principal and a phone call to her mother (plus a court date and a fine) ended with Mack going to the Police Department and participating in a juvenile delinquency program known as Divergent, she said.

“We didn’t even make it to McDonald’s,” Mack quipped.

The experience — one of many from Mack’s life that underscores the disparity in discipline between black girls and white girls — helped influence the topic she would research as a Haas Scholar.

The UC Berkeley senior, majoring in American studies with a concentration in black education, is studying black female enrichment programs such as Oakland-based African American Female Excellence and how these programs can be used to replace and dismantle zero-tolerance policies — policies that critics say play a role in the school-to-prison pipeline.

Shelby Mack, a senior majoring in American studies with concentration in black education, will talk Wednesday about the process behind her research into black female enrichment programs. (Photo by Jami Smith for the University Library)

Shelby Mack, majoring in American studies, will talk Wednesday about the process behind her research into black female enrichment programs. (Photo by Jami Smith for the University Library)

On Wednesday, Mack will be one of two undergraduates discussing the research process with fellow students as part of of the inaugural Launch Pad event at Moffitt Library.

Launch Pad’s undergraduate talks on the research process open “a creative space for discussion and growth,” explained Ashley Bacchi, events coordinator for the UC Berkeley Library and creator of the series. “Rather than focusing on results of students’ research, the talks provide insight into the research process itself inviting participation from students from inside and outside of the discipline.

“The fourth floor Central Commons in the Moffitt Library offers a unique space for an event series that highlights the spirit of collaboration, innovation, and process learning that is embodied in this new addition to the Library system.”

For her research, Yena Lee, a senior at UC Berkeley who is majoring in media studies and minoring in journalism, also is focusing on a pervasive problem — albeit an entirely different one.

“The sexism in K-pop is very prevalent,” said Lee, a fellow with the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program, or SURF. Along with misogyny, homophobia and other problematic themes are common in lyrics and other aspects of so-called star text, which encompasses not only artists’ work, but also their publicity and promotional materials.

The troubling lyrics have caused a rift within fan communities, causing tension that has played out across Twitter in the form of hashtags and, in some cases, cyberbullying.

On one side are the diehards, whose unwavering loyalty is consistent with the established norms of being a K-pop fan. And on the other side are the fans who are challenging the status quo by demanding that their favorite artists address their problematic lyrics. (#WeWantBTSFeedback and other hashtags were created for that purpose.)

“(Most) artists are not doing anything, basically,” Lee said. “They don’t want any fans to be excluded, so they just keep quiet.”

Through in-depth interviews and data analysis — and a trip to Korea, funded by the SURF Fellowship program — Lee is taking a look at the people who, by holding their idols to account, are redefining what it means to be a K-pop fan.

Yena Lee, who is majoring in media studies and minoring in journalism, will be a presenter at Launchpad on the UC Berkeley campus on Sept. 13. Launch Pad is a program for undergraduate students to discuss the research process among their peers. (Courtesy of Yena Lee)

Yena Lee, majoring in media studies and minoring in journalism, is looking at tensions within K-pop fan communities and how those tensions play out across Twitter. (Courtesy of Yena Lee)

Both of Wednesday’s talks explore topics within the social sciences, but future Launch Pad events will focus on a variety of disciplines. October’s event will focus on science and engineering (formula-style racing, to be exact), and the talk in November will delve into the arts and humanities.

The subject areas are far-reaching, but the goal remains the same: to foster collaboration and innovation among students and to support the research process.

“I think it’s a really great effort by (the UC Berkeley Library) to bring everybody together,” Lee said.

Wednesday’s Launch Pad event takes place at 12:10 p.m. on the fourth floor of Moffitt Library. Each student’s talk will last about 10 minutes, and a Q&A session will follow.

5 things we learned from Alice Waters’ talk at UC Berkeley

From left, UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ, Alice Waters and Heyday Books publisher Steve Wasserman chat before Waters' book event at the Free Speech Movement Café at Moffitt Library. The event was the first one tied to the release of her memoir. (Photo by Cade Johnson for the University Library)

From left, UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ, Alice Waters and Heyday Books publisher Steve Wasserman chat before Waters’ book event at the Free Speech Movement Café at Moffitt Library. (Photo by Cade Johnson for the University Library)

Alice Waters is not your average celebrity chef.

The so-called godmother of California cuisine seems to prefer activism to television (Guy Fieri, take note) and has championed a variety of causes throughout her life, from free speech to free school lunches.

She spoke with Steve Wasserman, publisher of Heyday Books, at the Free Speech Movement Café at Moffitt Library on Thursday, in the first event tied to the release of her long-awaited memoir.

Here’s what we learned from the talk.

1. She recently gave a peach to Al Gore.

Hoping to draw attention to the connection between food and global warming, she gave the Colorado-grown fruit to the former vice president, who recently released a follow-up to his acclaimed documentary about climate change.

“Thank God, (the peach) was perfect,” she said.

Talk about delicious diplomacy.

2. She has a daily ritual that helps her stay in shape.

“I walk out and take a walk up the hill for 45 minutes,” she said, also noting she also does some “little exercises” as part of her routine. “It’s almost like a meditation.”

Oh, and one more thing: “I try not to have anything in my house that’s too tempting.”

Waters and Wasserman talk about Waters' life and memoir. Asked about what she regrets, she mentioned passing on the opportunity to meet John Lennon, saying she was "too intimidated." (Cade Johnson for the University Library)

Waters and Wasserman talk about the chef-activist’s life and memoir on Thursday. (Cade Johnson for the University Library)

3. She had an unfortunate incident with fish.

Once, Chez Panisse brought in live trout, which found temporary residence in the kitchen sink. Apparently not taking kindly to the chlorinated tap water, they began jumping out, causing — as you can imagine — a chaotic scene.

“It was before we had an open kitchen,” she said, which spared diners the possibility of an impromptu show during their meal.

4. She has strong feelings about President Donald Trump

What does she think about Trump’s announcement about the repeal of the Deferred Action for Children Arrivals program, or DACA, which protected nearly a million undocumented immigrants who came here as children?

“I think the most important thing is for us to all band together — in a spiritual way,” she said. “They need to know we support them.”

5. Her favorite recipe?

Get some fresh mint, boil water, and pour the water over the mint. And wait. Then drink.

“That’s the recipe,” Waters said.

The Student Issue: Fiat Lux covers feature Cal artists

 

Students working in the revamped fourth and fifth floors of Moffitt Library enjoy fresh inspiration in the original artwork adorning the walls. Each academic year, members of the Library Undergraduate Student Advisory Board select the half-dozen paintings, drawings, photos, and mixed media works created by UC Berkeley students and displayed in the Library. There were over 100 student submissions for the upcoming installation. In the spirit of The Student Issue, Fiat Lux celebrates this student work by featuring three pieces on three different covers. Our latest issue of the Library’s news magazine also includes stories on open access publishing, lowering student textbook costs, the value of digital information skills, and rare materials at the East Asian Library and the Music Library. Flip through these stories and more in our latest issue on issuu.

Alice Waters on free speech, acid and the making of a counterculture cook

(Photograph by Steven Marcus)  (Photograph by Megan Alldis)
Alice Waters as a student at UC Berkeley, left, and more recently. After transferring to UC Berkeley in 1964, Waters became active in the Free Speech Movement. “It was very, very important that we stood together and created this world together,” she said in an interview. (Left: photograph by Steven Marcus [full credit below]; right: photograph by Megan Alldis)

 

Alice Waters was reluctant.

“Reluctant” isn’t a word often associated with the celebrated food icon and activist. But when it came to her new book, the third and final installment in a contract, she considered giving the money back and forgoing the project altogether. “I didn’t feel like I had something really to say,” she said in a phone interview.

But she talked to her agent, who offered encouragement, and secured help from a longtime friend, as well as a young writer who would take dictation (Bob Carrau and Cristina Mueller, respectively).

“And so we began,” she said.

The result is an honest memoir, out Sept. 5, which offers an intimate account of Waters’ early life.

By writing it, she said, she “hoped to empower the counterculture of this country.” (The memoir’s title? “Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook,” fittingly.)

In the book, Waters revisits a broad range of experiences, including her activism as a student at UC Berkeley during the heyday of the Free Speech Movement. And on Thursday, Waters will read from the memoir at the Free Speech Movement Café at Moffitt Library, on the campus where that movement was born. The event will include a conversation between Waters and her friend Steve Wasserman, who runs Heyday Books, and a book signing.

“Alice Waters has dedicated her new memoir to the Free Speech Movement; she feels it enabled Chez Panisse,” Chancellor Carol Christ said. “Her reading, at the Free Speech Movement Café, will enable us all to understand this extraordinary conjunction.”

Waters’ connection to UC Berkeley runs deep. In fact, the alum (she graduated in 1967 with a degree in French cultural studies) still has a presence on campus. In 2001, The Bancroft Library celebrated the acquisition of historical documents and photos from her revolutionary restaurant at 1517 Shattuck Avenue.

“I was very honored when they asked for the papers,” she said. “I feel like I am forever part of that space.”

Waters’ journey at UC Berkeley began in 1964, when she transferred here from UC Santa Barbara.

“A lot was going on in Berkeley. And I really didn’t know what it was all about,” she said. “I wanted to know what was going on.”

It wasn’t long until Waters joined the Free Speech Movement, which gained considerable traction under the leadership of activist Mario Savio. (Waters’ new book is dedicated in his memory — and the Free Speech Movement Café was funded by a gift in honor of Savio.)

“(Savio) always seemed to see the big picture,” she said. “It wasn’t just about stopping the war in Vietnam. He was speaking about coming together and sharing values. … It was very, very important that we stood together and created this world together.

And it was from the influence of that world that Chez Panisse was born. Not long after she graduated from UC Berkeley, the restaurant first opened its doors.

It was 1971, and she was only 27.

Waters embraced local, high-quality ingredients, cooperative relationships with farmers and, importantly, the counterculture ethos.

“We did it differently,” she said. “It was doing it differently that made it what it is.”

The restaurant went on to inspire countless restaurateurs to adopt the “farm-to-table” approach. And Waters’ influence extends beyond her “little French restaurant.” Waters has championed free, sustainable, healthy school lunches for students; the importance of an edible education; and, famously, the creation of an organic garden at the White House.

Is she happy that First Lady Melania Trump vowed to keep the garden going under the new presidential administration?

“Any good news about the garden is good,” she said. “That’s all I can say.”

With wide-ranging acclaim and accomplishments, does she consider herself primarily a chef or an activist?

“I’ve never thought of myself as a chef-chef. I’ve never thought of myself as a really good cook. I’m a taster. I’m engaged. I’m a co-producer with the farmer.

“Yes, I’m a chef … because I can run a kitchen. But it’s always been a cooperation, (and) we, hopefully, create something that’s better than the sum of the parts.

“No question I’m an activist.”

But her story isn’t just about activism and food.

After all, no memoir about 1960s counterculture would be complete without the drugs.

Waters used acid only once, she said — knowingly, that is.

“One other time they spiked the punch at a wedding, and we all lay on the back lawn of the house where the wedding was held,” she said, “and there was the most glorious sunset.”

Was acid life-changing?

“Certain things made sense to me that hadn’t before,” she said. “In that sense, it was life-changing.”

It also was “utterly shocking,” she said.

“I never did it again,” she added.

“I’ve always been a wine person.”

All are welcome to attend the event (Free Speech Movement Café, Moffitt Library, 6 p.m. Thursday). No ticket is required, and seating is limited.

Free Speech Movement photographs [graphic] taken by Steven Marcus, BANC PIC 2000.002–NEG Strip 36:13. © The Regents of the University of California, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

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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