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Open Education Week

It’s Open Education Week, sponsored by Open Education Global, “a member-based, global, non-profit supporting the development and use of open education around the world to:

  • expand access to education enabling every person on earth to access and contribute
  • improve the quality of education
  • make education more affordable
  • improve student success
  • foster collaboration and sharing through co-creation of education materials and the freedom to use, customize, improve and redistribute them
  • generate pedagogical innovation using the collaborative, interactive culture of the Internet
  • foster international partnerships and a global participatory culture of learning, creating, sharing and cooperation”

About Open Education

Also from the Open Education Global website: “Open education is an attitude, a practice, and a method of teaching that inspires inquiry, equal access to course materials, and sharing lessons and materials with the wider community. At the center of open education is the belief that education is strengthened when shared openly. Open education relies on open educational resources (OER) and open licensing.”

See the resources the CU library has compiled and learn more on our
OER and Open Access Resources guide

About Open Educational Resources

Again from the Open Education Global website: “OER are teaching, learning and research materials in any medium – digital or otherwise – that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions.

OER come with 5R permissions including the permission to:

  1. Retain – the right to create, own, and control copies of the content;
  2. Reuse – the right to use the content in a wide range of ways;
  3. Revise – the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself;
  4. Remix – the right to combine the original or revised content with other material to create something new;
  5. Redistribute – the right to share copies of the original content, the revisions, or the remixes with others.

OER can include textbooks, instructional materials, interactive simulations, lesson plans, full courses, and even complete degrees (often called Z-Degrees). A popular example of OER is open textbooks that are funded, published and licensed to be freely used, adapted, and distributed. These books can be downloaded for no cost, or printed at low cost offering significant savings, compared to expensive proprietary textbooks. OER provide academic freedom to customize, localize, translate, and update as required. OER expand and enhance the academic offering of an institution.

OER are typically stored and distributed through web sites, platforms or repositories that provide search, view and download capabilities.”

Women’s History Month Book Display and Events

There’s a new book display up in the library in honor of Women’s History Month. The theme for this year’s Women’s History Month book display is taken from a quote by 19th century author and activist Emma Lazarus, the author of the poem at the base of the Statue of Liberty.

“Until we are all free, we are none of us free.”

― Emma Lazarus

This idea was later echoed by Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela. King and Mandela were working toward freedom from racism and apartheid. Lazarus was encouraging American Jews to consider Jews in other parts of the world when she wrote these words in “Epistle to the Hebrews” in 1882.

The books collected in this month’s display consider impediments to women’s freedom in the U.S. and around the world, like gender-based violence and limits on reproductive freedom, and efforts to expand women’s rights and freedoms. Check them out!

And consider attending events and programs recognizing Women’s History Month on campus, including a book discussion on the book A Woman is No Man on Thursday, March 31. To obtain a copy of the book, you can use the library’s interlibrary loan service.

Black History Month book display

Graphic by Ruben Somda

February is Black History Month and one way to celebrate and honor Black history is to read and learn. Members of the CU student chapter of the NAACP put together a display of books in the library around these three themes: Black Authors, History, and Broaden Your Horizons.

The library thanks Lili Farrell, Janaya Richardson, Ruben Somda, and Snow Tsering for their work on this project.

For more info on Black History Month at Castleton, see the News item on the university website. For more info on Black History Month see the National Museum of African-American History & Culture website.

For many more learning resources, see the library’s Race Matters guide.

News Literacy Week Jan. 24-28

It’s News Literacy Week*, sponsored by the News Literacy Project**.

How could you honor News Literacy Week? In a nutshell, care before you share, that is, do your part to stop the flood of misinformation in our current media environment by thinking twice before you share questionable content. Also:

In particular, right now, misinformation on Covid-19 has deadly consequences. Take particular care with health information.

How good are you at distinguishing quality news?

Try the News Lit Quiz: Should you share it?

Lots more educational resources are collected by your library staff on a guide called News Literacy: Resources for Citizens, Students and Educators

Here’s a Public Service Announcement about News Literacy Week:

*”This annual event underscores the vital role of news literacy in a democracy and provides audiences with the knowledge, tools and abilities to become more news-literate. It also aims to inspire news consumers, educators and students to practice news literacy and to strengthen trust in news media by reinforcing the role of credible journalism. The week is presented by the News Literacy Project and The E.W. Scripps Company.”

**The News Literacy Project is “a nonpartisan national education nonprofit, provides programs and resources for educators and the public to teach, learn and share the abilities needed to be smart, active consumers of news and information and equal and engaged participants in a democracy.”

Vermont Reads: We Contain Multitudes

Read over break and then come discuss. Multiple copies available for check-out in the library.

The library and CU’s Peer Advocates for Change invite you to join us in reading the novel We Contain Multitudes by Sarah Henstra. This book was the 2021* selection for Vermont Reads, a program of the Vermont Humanities Council.

Kickoff event
Wednesday Feb. 9, 4:00 pm

Come learn about the book and pick up a copy to read

Book discussion gathering
Wednesday Feb. 23, 4:00 pm

Come discuss the book, whether you’ve read all of it, some of it, or just want to learn about it or discuss the issues it raises

Both events are in the library gallery space, just to the left as you enter the library. Enjoy light refreshments at both events.

From the VHS website:

“Our Vermont Reads choice for 2021 is a novel in letters. It tells the paired stories of two very different teenage boys who are initially reluctant to participate in a pen-pal assignment from their high school English teacher, but ultimately grow well beyond the boundaries of the school project to reveal earth-shattering revelations about themselves and their families.

The novel contains many strands relevant to current community conversations including economic disparities, how veterans return from war, domestic violence, opioid addiction, bullying, and coming out. But lest it sound too heavy, it is also a beautiful story of friendship, poetry, coming of age, and aspiring to move beyond social expectations.”

There is plenty to talk about in this compelling and emotional book!

Ask for the library’s copies at the circulation desk. If the library’s copies are all checked out, please see your public library for a copy.

More information about the book and the Vermont Reads program on the Vermont Humanities Council website

*The Vermont Reads book for 2022 hasn’t been announced yet.

Book Sale Extended to January 30!

Best Books of the Year

As the year draws to a close, various book-related publications and news outlets post their picks of the best books of the year. There are also several book awards that choose finalists and winners each year. Your librarians compile these best books of the year lists and award winners on a guide, and also create a link to books from these lists the CU library has ordered or already added to our collection that you can find in our catalog. Take a look to find some of the best reads of the year!

We can’t purchase all the books on these lists, so if you see a book on one of these lists that the CU library doesn’t own, you can request the book through interlibrary loan (for CU students, faculty and staff only) or suggest the library purchase the book.

Of course the library has lots of books not on these lists for you to peruse and find the ones YOU think are best!

Librarians are here to help

Miranda Axworthy
Charlotte Gerstein

It’s that time of the year when final papers and projects are being assigned, many involving independent research. Like many things at Castleton, support is available. In addition to the Academic Support Center, librarians are here to help too.

Miranda Axworthy and Charlotte Gerstein are the two Reference and Instruction Librarians at Castleton. We are ready to help with any information or research needs you may have. Often we help students refine their topic or find relevant, appropriate sources for a research project.

Author Neil Gaiman said, “Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one.” While there isn’t always a right answer, librarians can help you quickly find the kinds of sources you need.

You can make an appointment with either of us through the Appointments link on the library website or here. We can meet with you in person or by Zoom. You can email us at or or simply You also can get help 24/7 through our chat service. This link pops out a chat widget. We cooperate with librarians in other time zones, so a trained librarian will answer and chat with you about whatever you need help with.

Don’t be shy! We are here for you. And look at our friendly faces! We don’t bite and we love to help students.

Daylight Savings Time ends this weekend

Image by Gabe Raggio, from Pixabay

It’s that strange and disorienting time of the year when we turn back time, or, rather, we turn our clocks back an hour to end daylight savings time. To be on time for whatever you have going on from this Sunday on, turn back your clocks one hour by 2:00 a.m. Sunday, November 7.

Since this time of year gets us thinking about time, the library put together a display of books related to the concept of time, like the physics of time, stories of time travel, ways we measure time, work-life balance, advice on time management, and more. Click above to see the list of books included in the display or come in any TIME the library is open to check it out.

To learn more about why we have daylight savings time, see a recent article from NPR: Daylight saving time ends soon. Here are 4 things you should know.

Here is a video from Michael Downing, a Tufts University professor who wrote the book Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time.

Whether you are a fan of Daylight Savings Time or not, it’s the law of the land for the TIME being, and TIME heals all wounds, so you’ll get used to it, all in good TIME.

Hispanic Heritage Month

See for more info

It’s Hispanic Heritage Month and the library invites you to join us in celebrating and recognizing the legacy, contributions and experience of Hispanics in the U.S.

Of course we have lots of relevant materials to share. We are highlighting a sampling in a book display in the library. Click to see a sampling of books on Hispanic heritage currently on display in the library.

Baseball might be on your mind right now too. Certainly Hispanic baseball players have made a significant contribution to the sport. See an extensive online exhibit from the National Museum of American History called “¡Pleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues.”

From the exhibit website: “Baseball is the national pastime. But it’s also an American export, one with a tradition that’s constantly evolving. ¡Pleibol! shares the experiences of Latinas and Latinos whose love for the game and incredible talent have changed baseball and transformed American culture forever.

Throughout the last century, Latinas and Latinos have used baseball to chase their dreams, challenge prejudice, and build communities. Whether in the barrios or the big leagues, in rural backyards or barn-storming travel teams, they left a mark on how we see, hear, and play the game.”

This exhibit uses the terms Latinas and Latinos. You might have also seen the term Latinx for a gender-neutral alternative. Click to read an article from the Pew Research Center to help you understand “Who is Hispanic?”

From the article: “The terms ‘Hispanic’ and ‘Latino’ are pan-ethnic terms meant to describe – and summarize – the population of people living in the U.S. of that ethnic background…

Some have drawn sharp distinctions between these two terms, saying for example that Hispanics are people from Spain or from Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America (this excludes Brazil, where Portuguese is the official language), while Latinos are people from Latin America regardless of language (this includes Brazil but excludes Spain and Portugal).”