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May is Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Month

“Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week,” later expanded to “Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month,” has been celebrated in May in the U.S. since 1977. This year Native Hawaiians have been added to the groups recognized.

To learn more:

National Public Radio shares “The story behind Asian Pacific American Heritage, and why it’s celebrated in May.” You can learn more on the website of the Federal Asian Pacific American Council. The Library of Congress offers some resources here. The National Archives holds a wealth of material documenting the Asian and Pacific Islander experience, including digitized items.

Various publications and organizations have come out with reading lists for AAPI Heritage Month

The Boston Globe recommends some non-book resources for learning more about AAPI heritage.

Vermont Reads 2022 Book Chosen: The Most Costly Journey

The Vermont Humanities Council has selected the Vermont Reads book for 2022. It is The Most Costly Journey, a collection of stories from migrant farmworkers in Vermont drawn by New England cartoonists.

From the Vermont Humanities Council website:

“Much of the work on Vermont dairy farms is done by people from Latin America. Over a thousand migrant laborers from Mexico and other countries milk cows, fix tractors, shovel manure, and take care of calves in our state.

Our Vermont Reads 2022 choice, The Most Costly Journey (El Viaje Más Caro), tells the stories of 19 of these workers in their own words. Illustrated by New England cartoonists in a variety of styles, each short chapter describes aspects of life as an immigrant farm worker in Vermont: crossing the southern border, struggling with English, adapting to winter, growing gardens, raising children, dealing with health crises, and working long hours…

The Most Costly Journey had its genesis at The Open Door Clinic in Middlebury, a free health clinic that serves people who do not have health insurance, and those who are underinsured. About half of the clinic’s patients are agricultural immigrant workers.

Many of these workers stay close to the farms where they work out of fear of being deported, lack of transportation, or other reasons. The problems caused by this isolation led nurse Julia Doucet to imagine a series of Spanish-language pamphlets that would help farm workers share their stories with each other. She chose cartooning as the medium for the pamphlets, as comics are common in Latin America and can be enjoyed by people of all ages and literacy levels.”

The CU Library owns a copy and will be getting more for the CU community in the fall.

Here’s a short video about the making of the pamphlets that became “The Most Costly Journey.”

Theme of Earth Week 2022 is Food Sustainability and Climate Change

Castleton is celebrating this Earth Week with the theme of Food Sustainability and Climate Change. See all the CU Earth Week events here.

The Library is promoting lots of relevant reading and other learning materials. See our Earth Week guide focusing on food waste. See the list of related books on display and come check some out! Of course we have many, many more books on topics like climate change, sustainable agriculture, humans’ relationships with animals and plants, toxicology, the natural world. Read all about it and appreciate our Mother Earth even more.

The Library’s Earth Week book display has special artwork this year from international student Aurooba Shafquat from Pakistan, pictured below. This is what Aurooba has to say about this project:

We exist because of the earth we have. If we damage it, we damage ourselves, we darken our future, we give our children a life they would not want because for all their lives they would have to struggle for things as minimal as clean air to breathe or clean water to drink. This month the library has a book display and poster to spread awareness to the students of Castleton about the environment and how we can save it. The poster has different messages for every one, do spare a few minutes to come and read what the poster says to you.

Most Banned Books of the Year

The American Library Association has announced its list of the most “banned” books of 2021.

“The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 729 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services in 2021. Of the 1597 books that were targeted, here are the most challenged, along with the reasons cited for censoring the books:

  1. Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe
    Reasons: Banned, challenged, and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content, and because it was considered to have sexually explicit images
  2. Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered to be sexually explicit
  3. All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content, profanity, and because it was considered to be sexually explicit
  4. Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez
    Reasons: Banned, challenged, and restricted for depictions of abuse and because it was considered to be sexually explicit
  5. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, violence, and because it was thought to promote an anti-police message and indoctrination of a social agenda
  6. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references and use of a derogatory term
  7. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
    Reasons: Banned and challenged because it was considered sexually explicit and degrading to women
  8. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: Banned and challenged because it depicts child sexual abuse and was considered sexually explicit
  9. This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson
    Reasons: Banned, challenged, relocated, and restricted for providing sexual education and LGBTQIA+ content.
  10. Beyond Magenta by Susan Kuklin
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered to be sexually explicit.”

What can you do to stand up against censorship and for intellectual freedom? Many things. For example:

As a protest against the recent increase in book censoring activity nationwide, the New York City Public Libraries are offering free digital library cards to people across the U.S. from now through May, to enable access to the books others would censor, and many more–the opposite of banning them. Libraries celebrate and protect your freedom to read freely, we hope you will join us.

Autism Acceptance Month

#Celebrate Diversity

Graphic by library volunteer, Adam Shard

April is Autism Acceptance Month. The Library is putting together a book display so our community can learn more about autism and neurodiversity and the experiences of neurodiverse people.

See the list of books we are collecting for the display.

What does it mean to be neurodiverse?

“Neurodiversity is both a philosophy and an emerging civil rights movement. Neurodiversity Scholar in Residence John Elder Robison has written this defining neurodiversity. 

Acknowledging and appreciating the wide range of human neurologies, including Autism and ADHD, for example, while also acknowledging and appreciating the challenges of brain difference, is key to neurodiversity.

‘Neurodiversity may be every bit as crucial for the human race as biodiversity is for life in general. Who can say what form of [brain] wiring will prove best at any given moment?” Harvey Blume, “Neurodiversity:  On the Neurological Underpinnings of Geekdom’ The Atlantic “

From the Neurdiversity Initiative website, William and Mary College

Read an explanation of the term neurodiversity from The SAGE Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood Studies.

Some more resources

Crisis in Ukraine

The new art display in the library gallery is of posters brought to Castleton by two Ukrainian artists as part of a cultural exchange with art professor Bill Ramage. Come take a look and learn more about poster art of post-Soviet Ukraine, and read about the origin of the posters and Professor Ramage’s visit to Ukraine in 1993.

The new book display in the library is of books related to the crisis in Ukraine. While the amount of violence and destruction unleashed on civilians seems incomprehensible, we can strive to understand more about the region, the history of the region, military aggression in general, Russian leadership, what justice there might be for war crimes, and the experiences of war refugees, for example.

The Atlantic magazine recently posted an article, “Nine Books to Read to Understand the War in Ukraine.” The CU library is ordering the ones recommended that VSC libraries don’t yet own. In the meantime, CU faculty, staff and students can request books we don’t have through interlibrary loan.

In addition to books, there are lots of resources online to consult. Several university libraries have created guides to learning resources related to this crisis. Here are links to a few of those. Certainly there’s a lot to learn in order to begin to understand recent events.

The library of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO): The Russian Invasion of Ukraine – Special Focus

University of Minnesota Libraries Research Guide on the Conflict in Ukraine

Portland State University: Invasion of Ukraine

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.”