Screening of Disclosure for Trans Awareness Week

November 13th through the 19th is Trans Awareness Week. The library is providing a free screening of the film, Disclosure, which examines the portrayal of the trans community in American film.

The film is directed by Sam Feder and stars Laverne Cox, Bianca Leigh, Jen Richards, and more. Exclusive to Netflix subscribers, the library has been able to acquire a streaming version for this week for the City Tech community.

Click here to view the film.

For questions or comments, contact Prof. Junior Tidal.

Build a better library website and receive $20

The Ursula C. Schwerin Library is conducting a participatory web design research study. If you are 18 or older and interested, please fill out the survey here: https://citytech-cuny.libwizard.com/f/participatoryWeb

Selected participants will receive a $20 gift certificate to the City Tech bookstore for participating. 


For more information or questions, please contact Prof. Junior Tidal at jtidal@citytech.cuny.edu.

Privacy Workshops and Coded Bias Screening at City Tech Library

“Five Data Privacy Principles from Mozilla (Put on a museum wall) 2014” by vintagedept is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The library will be hosting workshops on digital privacy and a film screening of Coded Bias this month. Descriptions and Zoom registration links are below.

These events are open to all City Tech students and faculty. Feel free to share with your students and colleagues, and reach out if you have any questions or concerns.

Digital Privacy Workshop
Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2:00 pm

Do you have concerns about corporate or government surveillance, the security of your financial data, or who can view your personal information online? Wondering why virtual advertisements follow you around? Worried about how to make secure passwords and not always forgetting them? Confused about social media privacy settings or what information the apps you use might be collecting about you?
Learn more about privacy and take control of your digital identity! In this hand-on workshop, City Tech faculty, students, and staff will learn how to protect themselves against surveillance and unwanted data collection. Specific topics covered will include: password security, social media privacy, browser settings, and alternative search engines.
Register

Algorithmic Autobiographies and Fictions Library Workshop
Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2:00 pm
Ever wonder what Google thinks of what kind of person you are based on the ads you see? Does Facebook accurately reflect your true self? This library workshop explores how social media platforms and search engines create identities of our digital selves. Participants will learn about search engine and social media algorithms, how to access their ad preferences for Google, Facebook, and Instagram, and will then create a short story, poem, drawing, or other creative product about their “algorithmic self.” The workshop will conclude on ways to keep your data private. It is not necessary, but it is highly encouraged that workshop attendees have a Google, Facebook, or Instagram account. This workshop has been adapted from the work of Dr. Sophie Bishop (King’s College, London) and Dr. Tanya Kant (University of Sussex).
Register

Coded Bias Screening
Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2:00 pm
The library is hosting a free virtual screening of the award-winning film Coded Bias, on Tuesday, November 30th at 2:00PM, open to City Tech faculty and students. Coded Bias, directed by Shalini Kantayya, explores the work of Joy Buolamwini, a MIT Media lab researcher who discovers that facial recognition does not “see” dark-skinned faces. The film documents Buolamwini’s effort to advocate for the ban of technological bias and algorithms. The documentary film was released in 2020 and has a running time of 83 minutes.
Register

Celebrate Banned Books Week: Sep. 26 – Oct. 2nd

Read a banned book image
Read a Banned Book

Every year, the American Libraries Association celebrates Banned Books Week, a celebration of reading and the pursuit of intellectual freedom. This year’s theme is “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.” The idea is that the act of reading unifies and censorship creates barriers.

A pyramid infographic that displays challenged books statistics.
Pyramid of Challenged Books
Censorship infographic that displays who challenges books, where they take place, and a word cloud that shows what words are used to justify the censorship.
Censorship infographic
Infographic displaying the top ten challenged books in 2020
The Top Ten Books Most Challenged in 2020

Read a banned book today. The City Tech Library has several banned books available as eBooks or users can request and pick up a physical banned book by requesting a book using the library catalog.

The Writing Center at City Tech

The Writing Center is offering online tutoring for City Tech students in Fall 2021. Students who need help with essays, research papers, lab reports, etc. are encouraged to schedule appointments at https://citytechwritingcenter3766.setmore.com   for one-on-one Zoom tutoring. All genres of writing from all disciplines are welcome!

Writing tutors will meet with students for 45-minute sessions. When coming in for an appointment, students should share an electronic copy of the assignment guidelines and preferably a draft of their work. 

In addition to one-on-one writing tutoring, we also offer specialized workshops to support reading and writing. Please see here for a list of our upcoming workshops.

The Writing Center will follow City Tech’s academic calendar. Our hours are from Monday to Friday. We are open through Monday, December 20, and closed for holidays.

Here’s a video about scheduling an appointment. Please visit the Writing Center OpenLab site for more information.

Coded Bias Screening Wednesday, May 12 at 1:00PM

The library is hosting a free virtual screening of the award-winning film Coded Bias, on Wednesday, May 12th at 1:00PM, open to City Tech faculty and students. Coded Bias, directed by Shalini Kantayya, explores the work of Joy Buolamwini, a MIT Media lab researcher who discovers that facial recognition does not “see” dark-skinned faces. The film documents Buolamwini’s effort to advocate for the ban of technological bias and algorithms. The documentary film was released in 2020 and has a running time of 83 minutes.

You can register here: http://cityte.ch/codedbias using your City Tech email address.

For more information, you can contact Prof. Junior Tidal, Library Department – jtidal@citytech.cuny.edu

Official Site

What’s New Spring 2021 in Podcast Form

We have released a new episode of City Tech Stories that highlights new happenings and workshops for the spring 2021 semester. Listen below!

City Tech Stories – Podcast episode 8 – What’s New Spring 2021

Transcribed by College Assistant Yu Lau

Junior: Welcome to City Tech Stories, a podcast highlighting the experiences and voices of the City Tech community. Each episode will center around a theme and include perspectives across the college. My name is Junior Tidal and I’m the web services and multimedia librarian for City Tech. This episode is about what’s new in the library in the Spring 2021 semester. First up is our new modern library system which has changed how we access library resources off campus. Faculty and students need to use our CUNY login credentials to access library databases off campus. You can use the MyLibrary account link on the library website. Students and faculty no longer need to activate their ID before logging into databases off campus either. Did you know you can change your preferred name on your CUNYFirst account? This will associate your preferred name with your library account. You can do this by logging into CUNYFirst and updating your account information. If you have other questions about checking out materials from the library while campus is closed, you can check out our frequently asked questions page on the library website.

Want to return the mountain of library books you borrowed last year? The library book drop has been moved downstairs to just inside the 60 Tillary St entrance of the college. Any CUNY library books, CD, DVD, or VHS that is in a case may be placed inside the book drop. If you have any other questions about returning materials at City Tech, you can email us at NYCCTcirculation, that’s all one word, @citytech.cuny.edu.

Did you know the library hosts workshops? We have a wide variety of workshops that you can attend via Zoom. The first workshop, Power Searching What You Need To Know, will be hosted on Tuesday, March 21st at 3 pm. This workshop conducted by Professor Nandi Prince will provide tips on advance searching and how to it efficiently. We will also cover how to organize your results. Our other workshop is an APA citation workshop. This workshop will teach the importance of documenting sources when incorporating other’s research into your own. Learn the fundamentals of using the APA style, this workshop will be held on Thursday, April 8th at 3 pm.

Do you know about ZoteroBib? ZoteroBib is a software program what will help you create a bibliography when you write. The program allows you to generate citations in popular styles when you write including APA and MLA instantly. This workshop will show our participates how to export your completed bibliography to your paper. It’ll be held on Monday, April 19th at 4:00 PM.

Planning on doing a poster presentation? Our poster presentation will show you how to layout content and make quantitative data pop and review the best practices for ascending poster design. The poster design workshop will be held on April 20th at 3:00 PMB.

Ever wonder what Google thinks of what kind of person you are based on the ads you see? Does Facebook accurately reflect your true self? Our library workshop called Algorithmic Autobiographies and Fictions will explore how social media platforms and search engines create identities of our digital selves. Participates will learn about search engines and social media algorithms, how to access their ad preferences for Google, Facebook, and Instagram, and then create a short story, poem, drawing or other creative product about their algorithmic self. The workshop will conclude on ways to keep your ad preferences private. It’s not necessary but highly recommended that workshop attendees have a Google, Facebook, or Instagram account. This workshop has been adapted from the work of Dr. Sophie Bishop and Dr. Tanya Camp. It will be held on Wednesday, April 21st at 2:00 PM.

At the end of the semester, we will also have drop-in research sessions. These will be held on Monday, May 3rd at noon and Thursday, May 6th at 3:00 pm. We will also have an upcoming Linkedin and resume writing workshop which will be announced shortly. If you need help with your research or writing a resume, these workshops are for you.

Besides library workshops, the library also hosts open education resource workshops. These will be conducted remotely over Zoom. Part time faculty who participate will be compensated at their hourly, non-teaching adjunct rate for their time. The first workshop, Introduction to OER and the open textbook library, will be held on March 2nd from 10:00 to 11:30 AM. Peer Review and the OER Landscape workshop will be offered on Tuesday, March 23rd at 10 AM and Wednesday, March 24th at 2:00 PM. This workshop will examine existing and possible approaches to peer review evaluating open educational materials and scholarly engagement around OER creation. Participates will explore some current models from the open textbook library, Merlot, and Rebus community. Participates are encouraged to bring questions and no level of familiarity with OER is required. Our creating and customizing OER workshops will be offered on two dates that include Tuesday, April 20th from 10 AM to 11:30 AM and Wednesday April 21st from 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM. If you want to learn how to get started with customizing and creating OERs, this is the workshop for you. Participates will learn tips and best practices, platform publishing venues and ways to showcase work.

Besides workshops, the library can also support you in finding things that we may not have. You can use interlibrary loan to continue to fill article and individual book chapter requests and deliver them electronically. ILL is great for scholarly research and course assignments. Because many other libraries are closed across the country, we might not be able to fill all your requests, but we’ll try our best. If you have questions, you can email us at interlibaryloan@citytech.cuny.edu.

Besides ILL, we can also support you for your scholarly publishing. Do you need help with any aspect of scholarly publishing? Our scholarly publishing clinic is available for virtual consolations. Learn how to pick the best journal or publisher for your article or book, retain rights as an author, create a Google scholar profile or search alert, or use Academic works and citations managers and more. Office hours are by appointment, every last Thursday of each month this semester at noon via Zoom or over the phone. If you would like some consolation regarding scholarly publishing, contact Professor Monica Berger or you can email Professor Berger through the library website.

If you need further help, including research needs or any other library services, you can access the library’s 24/7 chat reference service. Go onto the library website, https://library.citytech.cuny.edu, our chat reference is available Monday through Thursday, 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM and Fridays, 10:00 AM through 5:00 PM. Outside of those hours, you can connect to other librarians. We can help your research strategy, finding pop sources for your project and evaluating information, citations and more. If you’d like to get in touch via email, you can also email asknycctref@cuny.libanswers.com, that’s asknycctref@cuny.libanswers.com.

Thanks for listening to City Tech Stories. You can continue to listen to us anywhere you get your podcasts and be sure to hit the subscribe button. Thanks.

African American Studies Department presents “Black Lives Lead: We, Too, Sing America!” Virtual Exhibit

The African American Studies (AFR) Department at CityTech presents a virtual exhibit to celebrate Black History Month, entitled Black Lives Lead: We, Too, Sing America! See the exhibit below. (Transcript forthcoming).


Dr. Yelena Bailey, AFR Adjunct, is the author of the newly published How the Streets Were Made (UNC Press). Join Dr. Bailey as she uses historical and contemporary photographs to examine the creation of “the streets” not just as a physical, racialized space produced by segregationist policies, but also as a sociocultural entity that continues to shape our understanding of Blackness in America.

Transcript

2021 Black History Month Virtual Exhibit, Black Lives Lead: We, Too, Sing America!
Transcribed by College Assistant Yu Lau

My name is Dr. Yelena Bailey and I am so grateful to have this opportunity to share a little bit with you about my book project How the Streets Were Made: Housing Segregation and Black Life in America. I want to thank the Department of African American Studies for making this possible and extending the invitation. I also want to thank the City Tech library for cosponsoring this event. You’re going to hear me, um, do a voice over and show you some images of kind of Black urban space in my hometown of Minneapolis-Saint Paul area.

Many of you will be familiar, um, with the Twin Cities that were in the news this past year with the murder of George Floyd and I think that, um, those events are closely tied to my book and the main ideas there. So I am going to walk through some of that and then I am also going to share with you the ways in which one of the authors I talk about in the book, Ann Petry, shows us that these places can also be spaces of liberation and empowerment.

Soon after musician Nipsey Hussle was murdered on March 31, 2019, social media was flooded with the reactions of Black artists, authors, and activists mourning his death. In the wake of this loss, writer and creative strategist Duanecia Evans tweeted, “The hood is a construct. The deepest underbelly of survival and poverty. The science project of classism and elitism. If you get out you have survivors’ guilt forever, if you stay in… man. Ain’t no middle.” This description of the hood or the streets is something more than physical geography is the heart of this book.

How the Streets Were Made examines the streets as a sociocultural construct that stems from the U.S. geographic segregation and continues to define the contours of Blackness and belonging in the U.S. today. This notion of the streets resonates with me on a personal level. Although I did not grow up in the streets, I was raised by a mother whose parenting was in no small way shaped by her determination to keep me from them.

My mother spent most of her childhood in the projects of North Minneapolis. She is intimately familiar with the streets and the threats they pose to Black life. She’s equally familiar with the way such spaces foster community and belonging. Although my mother made it out of the hood, throughout my childhood she was painfully aware of just how little separated us from that life. This awareness created a ferocious determination in her.

Although we did not have much money, she was resolved to keep me from the fate of other poor Black folks. This often meant moving us from place to place, actively fighting against the social, economic, and cultural forces that attempted to corral us back into poor urban neighborhoods. Even we lived in the projects, my mother moved us across town just so we could get into one of the few available suburban public housing projects. We may have been poor; she would be damned if I didn’t get a middle-class education. When those housing and school opportunity ran out, my mother was willing to relocate to another suburb or another area of the city. I say this not to exalt her as an example of exceptional perseverance but rather to highlight the way the streets, even in their strict absence, radically shaped my childhood.

My mother accepted a life of transience just so her daughter could have a shot at a decent education and a childhood free from the violence of the streets. Reflecting on my own experience has helped me to recognize the streets as much more than a physical space.

How the Streets Were Made explains why racialized spaces like the streets exist and why it is that urban and ghetto most often signify Black. The streets have shaped perceptions of Black identity, community, violence, spending habits, and belonging. They produce myths about urban Black pathology, financial irresponsibility, and inherent violence. These myths have fielded the economic and social divestment of Black communities as well as a boarder divestment from Blackness as a part of U.S. identity. How the Streets Were Made explores these topics as well as how we might approach the topic of redress in a practical and robust way.

While How the Streets Were Made explores the history of geographic segregation and how that lead to narratives that negatively impact Black life, often reinforcing economic disparities, it is also a book about how Black people have fought against these forces and how racism takes place. George Lipsitz argues that people who do not control physical places often construct discursive space as sites of agency, affiliation, and imagination. In the case of Black urban inhabitance, literature became one of the primary means through which Black intellectuals constructed these discursive spaces. While government policies, economic rationales, and marketing campaign worked to create a derogatory narrative around urban Blackness, Black authors were simultaneously wrestling with the cultural and ideological impact of living in racialized urban spaces.

In chapter two of my book, I analyze Ann Petry’s The Street, a novel that exemplifies the way the streets have been depicted and theorized in African American literature. Ann Petry published The Street in 1946, just twelve years after the National Housing Act was established. Set in 1944 Harlem, the novel follows the journey of the protagonist, Lutie Johnson, as she attempts to build a life for herself and her son Bub. Lutie migrated to Harlem after her marriage fell apart.

Determined to work her way up the social ladder, Lutie pursues a number of careers all while her son Bub finds himself alone on the streets. The novel is a tragedy that highlights the specific impact the streets have on Black familial relationships and the pursuit of the American dream. More relevant, however, is the way Petry works to narrate the transformation of A street, 116th in Harlem, from the figurative representation of everyday life in Black spaces in a menacing sociocultural entity, The street. Despite the harsh realities of the streets, depicted in the novel, they are also depicted as a safe space where Black people build community and live free from the constricting gaze of White supremacy. There is a moment in the novel when the protagonist, Lutie, is returning to Harlem after working in another part of the city and she expresses the sentiment in a clear nuanced way.

Rather than summarize it, I’ll read a short excerpt because Petry’s skill as an author is highlighted here and is a primary example of what I mean when I say that Black authors were using their writing to claim space. The book narrates that Lutie got off the train, thinking that she never really felt human until she reached Harlem and thus, got away from the hostility in the eyes of the White women who stared at her on the downtown streets and in the subway, escaped from the openly appraising looks of the White men whose eyes seem to go through her clothing to her long brown legs. These other folks felt the same way, she thought, that once they are freed from the contempt in the eyes of the downtown world, they instantly become individuals. Up here, they are no longer creatures labeled simply colored and therefore, alike. She noticed that once the crowd walked the length of the platform and started up the stairs towards the street, it expanded in size. The same people who had made themselves small on the train, even on the platform, suddenly grew so large, they could hardly get up the stairs to the street together. She reached the street at the very end of the crowd and stood watching them as they scattered in all directions, laughing and talking to each other. This is a powerful moment, both within the text and outside of it. In the novel, this realization stands in stark contrast to Lutie’s fears for her son, the dark dank apartment she lives in, and the harassment she receives on a daily basis as a Black woman. Harlem becomes a safe space where she is free to be herself and to feel fully human.

Outside of the novel, Petry uses Lutie’s realization to reclaim Black space, even space that was initially created through anti-Black policies. She writes these spaces as fostering community and freedom. This passage in Petry’s novel reminds me of the chant “Whose street, Our street.’’ When Black protesters make this statement, it’s a bold reclaiming of power over the space we live in.

In her book Demonic Grounds, Catherine McKittrick says that Black matters are spatial matters in that we produce space, reproduce its meanings, and we work very hard to make geography what it is. When we look at Black organizers today and the protests that take place in the streets, this is a prime example of giving space meaning, of turning the streets into a space of liberation.

Resources from the Professional Development Center

The Professional Development Center (PDC) helps City Tech students and alumni cultivate essential skills for achieving their personal and professional objectives. During Spring 2021, PDC is offering Front Desk Appointments, Virtual Drop-in Hours, and many other services including the Four Year Road Map.

During Front Desk Appointments, Ms. Contreras can help students and alumni with questions relating to professional development. City Tech students and alumni can:

  • Ask general questions relating to professional development and career services
  • Receive assistance with CityTechConnect – Symplicity or resetting your password
  • Access drop-in hours for with a Program Coordinator
  • Receive information about upcoming virtual events and workshops.

PDC’s Virtual Drop-in Hours are conducted via Zoom, on a first-come, first served basis. Sessions are 15 minutes in length. Counselors are available to talk about:

  • One-on-One Career Coaching
  • Resume and Cover Letter Critiques
  • Interview Preparation and Mock Interviews
  • Professional Development Workshops
  • Networking Events
  • Internship Opportunities
  • Employer Information Sessions
  • Graduate School Exploration.

Finally, PDC’s Four-Year Road Map offers recommendations for you to begin learning and exploring your interest and building a path to career achievement. Counselors can work with students as early as their freshman year.

If you are interested in any of the above services, please contact the Professional Development Center at 718-260-5050 or via email at pdc@citytech.cuny.edu.