Cool Summer Reads

Our Popular Reading program has been renewed for the 2019-2020 academic year! See some of our recent selections below or come and browse our titles on the first floor of Mullen Library in the Reference Reading Room.

summer beach
Nice Day Summer (giphy.com)

Hold your cursor over the Title to see a short description of the book, or click to view the catalog record. The status of the book is shown beside the call number.

Title Author Status
Eyes in the Sky: The Secret Rise of Gorgon Stare and How It Will Watch Us All
Michel, Arthur Holland
The Conservative Sensibility Will, George F.
The Guest Book Blake, Sarah
Last Day Ruta, Domenica
The Last Time I Saw You Constantine, Liv
The Learning Curve Berman, Mandy
The Orphan’s Song Kate, Lauren
The Power of Human: How Our Shared Humanity Can Help Us Create a Better World Waytz, Adam
The Red Daughter Schwartz, John Burnham
The Skin Game Woods, Stuart & Hall, Parnell
This Land Is Our Land: An Immigrant’s Manifesto Mehta, Suketu
Why You Like It: The Science and Culture of Musical Taste Gasser, Nolan
100 Side Hustles: Unexpected Ideas for Making Extra Money Without Quitting Your Day Job Guillebeau, Chris

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Let’s Get Summer Reading Started!

Happy Summer Go Time! Our latest selections have arrived in our Popular Reading collection. You can find them on the first floor of Mullen Library in the Reference Reading Room.

Out of Office (giphy.com)

Hold your cursor over the Title to see a short description of the book, or click to view the catalog record. The status of the book is shown beside the call number.

Title Author Status
The Age of Living Machines: How the Convergence of Biology and Engineering Will Build the Next Technology Revolution Hockfield, Susan
The Ditch Koch, Herman
Every Tool’s a Hammer: Life Is What You Make It Savage, Adam
Exhalation: Stories Chiang, Ted
Fight Like a Mother: How a Grassroots Movement Took on the Gun Lobby and Why Women Will Change the World Watts, Shannon. Foreword by Julianne Moore
Full Count: The Education of a Pitcher Cone, David
Giants of the Monsoon Forest: Living and Working with Elephants Shell, Jacob
The Hive, No. 2 (Second Formic War) Card, Orson Scott & Johnston, Aaron
How Not to Die Alone Roper, Richard
It’s Great to Suck at Something Rinaldi, Karen
Kingdom of Lies: Unnerving Adventures in the World of Cybercrime Fazzini, Kate
The Latte Factor: Why You Don’t Have to Be Rich to Live Rich Bach, David and Mann, John David
Mrs. Everything Weiner, Jennifer
Orange World and Other Stories Russell, Karen
Reckoning: The Epic Battle Against Sexual Abuse and Harassment Hirshman, Linda
Rules for Visiting Kane, Jessica Francis
Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis Diamond, Jared

For more great information from CUA Libraries, follow us on Facebook and Twitter: Mullen Library Facebook; @CUAlibraries

New appointments in Special Collections

The University Libraries is pleased to announce new appointments in our Special Collections. John Shepherd has been named as the new University Archivist and Head of Special Collections at the Catholic University of America. Dr. Maria Mazzenga has been named as the new Curator for the American Catholic History Research Center at the Catholic University of America. Shane MacDonald will also officially take on expanded responsibilities as our Special Collections Archivist.

Mr. Shepherd earned his MA in History in 1986 from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He has been employed at Catholic University since 1989, most recently serving as the Associate Archivist since 2002 and Acting University Archivist since April 2018. He is the creator, editor, and a principal writer for the blog, The Archivist’s Nook. He has served as a panel grant reviewer for The National Endowment for the Humanities. He has contributed to numerous books and authored many articles on military, Mid-Atlantic, and U.S. Catholic histories.

Dr. Mazzenga has served as Education Archivist at Catholic University since 2005. She has taught in the Departments of History and of Library and Information Science. She received her Ph.D. in U.S. History from Catholic University in 2000 and has presented and published in the field of American Catholic history and Archival Education and Outreach for more than a decade.

The Special Collections unit of the University Libraries oversees: the University Archives, the American Catholic History Research Center, the Museum collection, and the Rare Books collections. The mission of Special Collections is to collect, organize, preserve, make accessible, and promote scholarly and public understanding of the records of The Catholic University of America and the unique books and materials which document our Catholic intellectual and cultural heritage.

The Archivist’s Nook: The Provenance and Providence of a Public Historian

This semester, we said goodbye to Dr. Timothy Meagher, University Archivist and Curator of the American Catholic History Collection at The Catholic University of America. In addition to his service as University Archivist, Meagher was Associate Professor with the Catholic University History Department, where he regularly taught Irish-American and immigration history. Though we will miss him at the Archives, we know he will be happily plugging away at his magnum opus in his “retirement”: a comprehensive history of Irish America.

Provenance is a word archivists love. It refers to the origin of a collection of archival materials, yes, but embedded in those origins is identity. For this reason, archivists use provenance as an organizing principle for their records and collections. In other words, we try to maintain and organize materials as faithfully as we can to the intention of the original creator and/or organizer of the collection, in order to preserve the integrity and identity of the collection itself.

Dr. Timothy Meagher at his desk when the University Archives was still in the Mullen Library Building. A generous grant from NCSSS Professor Dorothy Mohler enabled a move to a larger facility in Aquinas Hall, which Meagher and then Assistant Archivist W. J. Shepherd oversaw.

Meagher’s own origins are manifest in his career. Certainly, his own Irish and Catholic ancestry inspired his study of Irish America. But he also occupied a unique position as both an academic historian and a public one.  While completing his Ph.D. in history at Brown University in the early 1980s, he taught history in his hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts. But after four years, that job ended and he found himself unemployed. “There were no historian jobs,” he says of the time. So he improvised. There was a position as Assistant Archivist at the Archdiocese of Boston Archives. “Jim O’Toole was there, a historian himself getting a Ph.D. from Boston College.” The two formed a lasting friendship, with O’Toole becoming a prominent scholar of both archival practice and American Catholicism and who in fact, has served on our archives’ advisory board since its inception in 2002. For Meagher’s part, he saw that there were potentially multiple uses for the skills of a historian.

A 2003 photo of Meagher and Dr. Yuki Yamazaki, a former history student at Catholic University and employee of the Archives, examine an artifact from our collections, a Japanese anti-Christian edict dated from 1682.
Archivist’s favorite: Meagher especially appreciates these vestments worn by Archbishop John Carroll. Ordained in 1790, Carroll was the first bishop and archbishop in the United States. The vestments date to ca. 1750-1800.

In the late 1980s, Meagher made his way from Boston to Washington, D.C., where he had years earlier graduated with his Bachelor’s in History from Georgetown University. His interest in public history was now heightened by both his work in archives and a concurrent rejuvenation in the museum field, especially in the area of exhibition and public programming. He speaks fondly of his work with the National Endowment for the Humanities, where he served as Program Officer until accepting his post at Catholic University. The NEH required those who worked in public history institutions to work directly with relevant scholars in the academy, “we had historians and museum people coming in and evaluating the quality of the exhibits we funded—there were some great conversations.”

Having spent seven years making humanities scholarship accessible to broader audiences, Meagher decided it was time to move on. He was particularly interested in the museum collection at the University Archives when he began working here in 1997. From the start, his primary mission was using the archival materials in our collections to teach history to a variety of audiences. “There was a move within the Catholic Church at that point to save material culture.” At the time, few in the field of Catholic archives knew much about preserving sacred objects, so Meagher organized the Saving Sacred Things conference in 1999 to address the matter.

In 2018, the American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives received the American Catholic Historical Association’s (ACHA) Distinguished Service Award. From left, ACHA President Father Richard Gribble, Meagher, Reference Archivist Shane MacDonald, and Education Archivist Maria Mazzenga attend that year’s annual meeting to receive the award.

Drawing from his experiences working with professionals in a range of cultural institutions, Meagher expanded the Archives’ outreach and educational programming dramatically. “I was aware that there were other places doing public outreach in archives. I knew people at NARA [National Archives and Records Administration] and other places who put together educational packets using their archival materials.” So he worked with staff and teachers to put together packets related to a variety of aspects of Catholic history for Catholic high school students with materials from our archive. These formed the basis of the now fully digital American Catholic History Classroom an online education site featuring hundreds of digital documents, photos, and teaching resources. “We were trying to teach young people how historians solve historical problems. To look at source material and figure out what happened. We tried to do it with this material related specifically to Catholic life. No one else was doing it on a broad basis. A whole dimension of American life, we wanted to fill it with good history. Our collections lend themselves to understanding national Catholic history.”

Today, the Archives’ outreach and educational programming is thriving.  Thank you, Professor Meagher!

 

Easter Week Reading Suggestions

Happy Easter! Our latest selections have arrived in our Popular Reading collection. You can find them on the first floor of Mullen Library in the Reference Reading Room.

Jesus Christ (via Giphy)

Hold your cursor over the Title to see a short description of the book, or click to view the catalog record. The status of the book is shown beside the call number.

Title Author Status
Cemetery Road Greg Iles
Daisy Jones & the Six Taylor Jenkins Reid
The Fifth Doctrine Karen Robards
Gingerbread Helen Oyeyemi
In the Blink of an Eye Jesse Blackadder
The Last Act Brad Parks
The Library of Lost and Found Phaedra Patrick
When All is Said Anne Griffin
Ave Maria: The Mystery of a Most Beloved Prayer Pope Francis
Era of Ignition: Coming of Age in a Time of Rage and Revolution Amber Tamblyn
First: Sandra Day O’Connor Evan Thomas
Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals Rachel Hollis
Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America From Our Culture of Contempt Arthur C. Brooks
Pounding the Rock: Basketball Dreams and Real Life in a Bronx High School Marc Skelton
Queen Bey: A Celebration of the Power and Creativity of Beyoncé Knowles-Carter Veronica Chambers
Zora and Langston: A Story of Friendship and Betrayal Yuval Taylor
California Girls Susan Mallery
Don’t Label Me: An Unusual Conversation for Divided Times Irshad Manji
Lights! Camera! Puzzles! (Puzzle Lady Mysteries) Parnell Hall
American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race Douglas Brinkley
The Last Stone: A Masterpiece of Criminal Interrogation Mark Bowden

For more great information from CUA Libraries, follow us on Facebook and Twitter: Mullen Library Facebook; @CUAlibraries

Affordable Textbooks

This post is guest-authored by Lea Wade, STEM Librarian, University Libraries, and member of the Textbook Affordability Task Force of the Washington Research Library Consortium.

Textbook costs are increasing. Since 1977, college textbook prices have risen over 1,000 percent.

Vox had a recent article on how much students spend on textbooks, and what publishers are offering to do to help. Over two-thirds of students skip buying or renting some required texts because they can’t afford them.

University and college students are estimated to spend $1,240 dollars on books and supplies at the average full-time private four-year college in 2018-2019 (College Board, 2019).  That’s an increase from the average 2017-2018 cost of $1,220 at private colleges. Textbooks at public colleges are estimated to cost more: in 2017-2018 the average cost was $1,250 (Collegedata), and in 2018-2019 the estimated cost is $1,298 (College Board).

The cost varies from course to course – generally, prices for textbooks in the sciences and analytical studies such as accounting are much higher than in the humanities. At Catholic University, the most expensive textbooks cost $446 for an accounting textbook to $396 for an Italian language textbook with the accompanying online access code. When the course requirement includes paying for an online access code, students do not have the option of renting or buying a used textbook. In those cases, students may resort to sharing with a friend or doing without the required online access. Other students may drop out altogether if they cannot afford the required textbooks.

Student success and retention have been demonstrably improved through transition to affordable textbooks (Winitzky-Stephens, 2017; Hardin, 2018).

Libraries and colleges can work together to reduce the burden of textbook pricing on students. The Catholic University of America University Libraries is leveraging its membership in the Washington Research Libraries Consortium to examine options. One option is expanding textbook access through library reserves. Another is expanding the use of Open Educational Resources, or Open Textbooks. A recent report from the Public Interest Research Groups has laid out some options for resolving the problem by embracing Open Textbooks.

“Open Educational Resources (OERs) are teaching, learning, and research resources released under an open license that permits their free use and repurposing by others. OERs can be textbooks, full courses, lesson plans, videos, tests, or any other tool, material, or technique that supports access to knowledge.”Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition. 

OER involves replacing textbooks with openly licensed and easily accessible documents and media. With OER textbooks, students have access to the text online at no cost. Faculty can be assured that if students do not read the assigned text, it is not because they couldn’t afford the text.

Some universities are providing grant funding to faculty who agree to refocus their courses to include the use of OER. Even more funding is often provided to faculty who write an open textbook. Years of advocacy for open educational resources has begun to move the needle toward greater acceptance. Student Public Interest Research Groups have released an action plan for universities and faculty to help relieve the burden of textbook cost. An associated student-led campaign, the Open Textbook Alliance, provides simple handouts and guides on open textbooks.

Your subject liaison librarian can help you identify free open-source textbooks if you are wondering what is already available. There are several online open repositories of textbooks that are free and available to use for your research and coursework.

If you are wondering what is already available, there are several online open repositories of textbooks that are free and available to use for your research and coursework.

Some OER Repositories include the following sites:

You can learn more about what other campuses are doing to improve student success by reducing textbook cost burden from this article [Espocito, J. The Coming Wave of Affordable Textbooks [https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2018/11/19/the-coming-wave-of-affordable-textbooks/], November 19, 2018].

 

Recommendations

  • Students should directly advocate for open textbook use in their classrooms.
  • Faculty should consider adopting open textbooks in their classrooms. They should check the U. Minnesota Open Textbook Library to see if there’s a book available for your class.
  • Campus administrators should consider creating an open textbook pilot program on their campus. They can see the University System of Maryland’s MOST Initiative as a sample.
  • State and federal legislatures should invest in the creation and development of more open textbooks. See Washington State’s Open Course Library as an example.
  • Publishers should develop new models that can produce high quality books without imposing excessive prices on students.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Digital Scholarship Workshop: Data Visualization Basics

Back by popular demand! Have you wondered when you should use a pie chart (almost never), a scatter plot, or a heat graph? Before working on how to best present your project through data visualization, understanding the basic principles of visual perception, design and representing data, and communicating your research to an audience, is essential. We will examine some visualization methods and how best to apply them to different kinds of data. Please RSVP to Kevin Gunn, gunn@cua.edu.

 

 

Thursday, April 11, 2019

12:30 PM – 2:00 PM

115 Mullen Library Instruction Room

Check out our other Digital Scholarship Services.

 

Digital Scholarship Workshop: Organizing and Documenting Your Data

Managing, organizing, and documenting your data is an increasing concern for researchers. This workshop is an overview of research data management basics, including using data management plans; following proper guidelines for naming and organizing data, folders, and files; organizing, storing, and backing up your files; and documenting your data using README files, codebooks, and data dictionaries.

 

This workshop will provide you with techniques in managing your data (and time!) better.

Please RSVP to Kevin Gunn, gunn@cua.edu.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

12:30 PM – 2:00 PM

115 Mullen Library Instruction Room

Check out our other Digital Scholarship Services.

 

Spring Break Reading Suggestions

Don’t leave town until you grab a book or two from our Popular Reading collection. You can find them on the first floor of Mullen Library in the Reference Reading Room.

happy wonder woman GIF

Wonder Woman (via Giphy)

Hold your cursor over the Title to see a short description of the book, or click to view the catalog record. The status of the book is shown beside the call number.

Title Author Status
The Alarming Palsy of James Orr Tom Lee
The Current Tim Johnston
The Nowhere Child Christian White
Irish Above All Mary Pat Kelly
This is not a Love Song Brendan Mathews
The Curiosities
Susan Gloss
Forget You Know Me Jessica Strawser
I Owe You One Sophie Kinsella
Parkland: Birth of a Movement
Dave Cullen
The Cassandra Sharma Shields
Separate: The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson, and America’s Journey From Slavery to Segregation Steve Luxenberg
Finding Dorothy Elizabeth Letts
The Secret of Clouds Alyson Richman
Daughter of Moloka’i Alan Brennert
American Spy Lauren Wilkinson

For more great information from CUA Libraries, follow us on Facebook and Twitter: Mullen Library Facebook; @CUAlibraries

Fair Use / Fair Dealing Week 2019

This week is Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week (February 25th – March 1st).  The organizers of the event state that “Fair Use Week is an annual celebration of the important doctrines of fair use and fair dealing.The week is designed to highlight and promote opportunities presented by fair use and fair dealing, to celebrate successful stories, and to explain these doctrines.”fair use

Infographics

How Fair Use Helps in Saving Software

Fair Use Fundamentals

For further details and useful links about fair use and copyright, please read our post from last year:  https://www.lib.cua.edu/wordpress/newsevents/10243/