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.

Science is Shaped by Wikipedia

Wikipedia Logo

Researchers from MIT found that “incorporating ideas into a Wikipedia article leads to those ideas being used more in the scientific literature.” Isn’t that fascinating? Because Wikipedia is open, any researcher can use it to  easily find an overview on a scientific topic. Find a summary of the article on the always excellent Open Culture or read the original study which is  a freely available preprint (a research article before it has been peer reviewed).

Job Posting: Technical Services & Electronic Resources Librarian, Instructor or Assistant Professor

The Ursula C. Schwerin Library at New York City College of Technology, CUNY, seeks a tenure-track library faculty member at the Instructor or Assistant Professor rank to serve as Technical Services & Electronic Resources Librarian. Reporting to the Chief Librarian, the successful candidate will be responsible for the library’s cataloging, serials, and electronic resources operations, working with colleagues in the library and at the college and university. The Technical Services & Electronic Resources Librarian will also offer reference and be responsible for designated subject specialist liaison activities. All members of the library faculty must maintain a record of excellence in librarianship, scholarly achievement, and service. The Ursula C. Schwerin Library is committed to enhancing our diverse academic community by actively encouraging people with disabilities, minorities, veterans, and women to apply.

The Technical Services and Electronic Resources Librarian will:

  • Perform original cataloging, and oversee and maintain vendor-ready cataloging for print and ebooks and serials.
  • Coordinate electronic resources workflow including ejournal holdings, database trials and subscription set up, and outreach and publicity for new resources.
  • Manage print journals and continuations including claiming and other typical print serials functions.
  • Supervise full-time support staff.
  • Represent City Tech on the CUNY Office of Library Services Cataloging Committee, Electronic Resources Management Committee, and Electronic Resources Advisory Committee.
  • Work as subject specialist in assigned curricular areas, including collection development, communication and consultation with subject faculty, and reference and information literacy instruction.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications:

  • Master’s in Library and Information Science (MLS/MLIS) or closely related discipline from an ALA-accredited institution
  • A second master’s degree OR doctorate is required for appointment as tenure-track Assistant Professor; if appointed as Instructor, the candidate will be expected to complete an additional graduate degree within 5 years (CUNY tuition remission is available)
  • Experience in library technical services, electronic resources, or related field
  • An interest in scholarship or creative achievement appropriate for a tenure-track position
  • Strong oral and written communication skills, and strong analytical, organizational, and planning skills
  • Excellent interpersonal and leadership qualities, a commitment to collaboration and mutual respect, and the ability to work efficiently and effectively on shared projects and committees in our multicultural library and college/university community

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Supervisory experience
  • Experience working in an academic or research library
  • Background, experience, or degree in STEM fields, especially health sciences or engineering technologies
  • Familiarity with Ex Libris, OCLC, or related products
  • Knowledge of cataloging best practices, familiarity with RDA
  • Familiarity with assessment practices in libraries and higher education

New York City College of Technology (City Tech), City University of New York, is the largest public baccalaureate college of technology in the Northeast. The college awards both associate and baccalaureate degrees that allow graduates to pursue careers in the computing and engineering technologies, health professions, human services, hospitality, and other professional and technical fields. Our college community includes over 17,000 students from 145 countries, and most are the first in their family to attend college.

City Tech’s Ursula C. Schwerin Library is integral to the educational mission of the college, and fosters connections with and supports students, faculty, and staff in their academic pursuits. Library faculty and staff are committed to student success as we implement and acquire those services and resources that will have the greatest positive impact on the diverse City Tech community. As members of an academic department in the college, library faculty at City Tech and CUNY are represented by the Professional Staff Congress union (http://psc-cuny.org).

Compensation:

CUNY offers faculty a competitive compensation and benefits package covering health insurance, pension and retirement benefits, paid parental leave, and savings programs. We also provide mentoring and support for research, scholarship, and publication as part of our commitment to ongoing faculty professional development.

Closing Date:

Open until filled with review of resumes to begin on or after July 12, 2021.

How to Apply:

Candidates should provide a cover letter, CV, statement of scholarly interests, and contact information for three references as one document.

Visit http://cuny.jobs to apply: https://cuny.jobs/brooklyn-ny/technical-services-electronic-resources-librarian-instructor-or-assistant-professor-tenure-track-ursula-c-schwerin-library/1CF9D3D6A39248BE856ED902AE16E599/job/

The Extraordinary Educators of the SEEK Program

Insurgent Knowledge: The Poetics and Pedagogy of Toni Cade Bambara, June Jordan, Audre Lorde, and Adrienne Rich in the Era of Open Admissions is a wonderful dissertation, soon to be book, written by CUNY grad Danica B. Savonick. This post is based on her work.

In 1965, CUNY established the Search for Education, Elevation, and Knowledge Program (SEEK) to recruit and prepare “economically and educationally disadvantaged” students to matriculate at City College. SEEK provided students not only with free tuition and free books, but also a stipend that addressed the material conditions of students’ lives beyond the classroom.

By 1968, four extraordinary women were teaching basic writing classes for SEEK down the hall from one another. Audre Lorde, June Jordan, Toni Cade Bambara, and Adrienne Rich all taught for SEEK in the late 1960s and early 1970s. These writers/activists/teachers shared a belief in the teaching of writing as a transformative, political, and creative process.

Lorde, Jordan, Bambara, and Rich observed how students who entered the university through SEEK at first distrusted them, and how many had been mistreated by previous educators. All of them saw the oppressive dynamics inherent in traditional classroom set-ups. They shared a fundamental respect for their students, and they understood that many of them had been disempowered in previous classrooms. They listened to students and changed their approaches to teaching based on what they heard. They sought to be allies for their SEEK students, not saviors there to liberate oppressed students.

Together, they experimented with how the classroom might be a space of collective social change. Together, they explored how education can contribute to building a more just and equitable world. They believed in the transformative power of education and saw how their teaching could contribute to the Women’s Movement, the Civil Rights Movement, and the movement for Black Power.

Lorde, Jordan, Bambara, and Rich created a collaborative environment for teaching and writing. They exchanged syllabi, lesson plans, and assignments and sat in on each other’s classes. They deliberately researched and invented teaching strategies that would help working class students, first-generation students, and students of color. Their groundbreaking collaborative work at SEEK has had a profound impact on the teaching of writing, and is now considered of great theoretical importance.

“I teach myself in outline,” Notes, Journals, Syllabi, & an Excerpt from Deotha, is a collection of Audre Lorde’s teaching materials from her time at CUNY.

June Jordan: “Life Studies,” 1966-1976 includes texts from her time at SEEK.

It’s Not November but It’s Voting Season in NYC

Graphic of a bus with "The City is Yours" stenciled on the side
The City is Yours, Alex Dunn, CC-BY-NC 4.0

May 28 is the last day to register to vote in the June 22 primary election. The race for mayor is just one of several offices that hold primaries, which will determine who is on the ballot in November for the general election. New York has a ‘closed primary’ system which means, to vote in the primary election, you must register with a political party to vote in that party’s primary. In a city where 70% of registered voters are Democrats, is the race for Mayor decided by the Democratic primary? A lot of experts think so. 

Too many New Yorkers don’t vote in local elections but they should, especially for down ballot races! Local politicians make policies and write and enact legislation that impact: housing and land use, education access, climate change, transportation, policing, funding for social services, and more. Aside from mayor, other offices on the primary ballot in June are City Council, Borough President, Public Advocate, Comptroller, and Manhattan District Attorney. Check out who is on the ballot and read some of the resources below to learn where the candidates stand on the issues that matter to you. 

After you register, you should make a plan to vote and look up your polling location. Can’t vote on June 22nd? NYC has early voting for the primary starting on June 12th. Find out when and where you can vote early

More resources about how to vote and information about how you can get involved are available on the NYC Votes website. Wonder about ID requirements, translation services, or think you or a family member might need assistance at your polling place? The New York Public Research Interest Group (NYPIRG), which works directly with CUNY and has an office at City Tech with student interns, has a voters bill of rights

Why this Race is Important

All local elections have a real impact on our lives but right now we have a lot on the table: many NYC families are struggling after the pandemic to keep up with medical bills, pay their rent, or find a new job; a lot of voters want to change our policing system, which disproportionately targets people of color; and people have vastly different ideas on how we should go about creating safe streets, resolving the homeless crisis, ensuring low-income residents have access to technology, and more. 

This year is especially important because a majority of current City Council representatives are term-limited, meaning we have the chance to elect a lot of new people who represent small districts, usually comprising a couple of neighborhoods. Not sure what a City Council representative does? A lot more than you might think! 

Ranked Choice

This election is the first in which voters will be able to support multiple candidates by ranking them in order of preference. Why does this new provision exist? Because we voted for it on a ballot measure in 2019–a lot of people supported ranked choice voting because it might make politics more civil and give a platform to outsider candidates who people might not otherwise vote for because they are worried about wasting their vote.  

Important things to know about ranked choice voting are it’s OK to rank fewer than 5 candidates, and it is not OK to give two or more candidates the same rank. Ranking candidates does not affect your first choice. Want to learn more? Check out the NYC Board of Elections website for information and frequently asked questions about ranked choice. 

Mayoral Candidates

Of course, the largest focus this year has been the (Democratic) Mayoral race candidates. And City Tech students might have a particular interest in their plans about public higher education. So far, all of the candidates’ official websites mention CUNY as essential in workforce development and a valued partner in creating more teachers, nurses, entrepreneurs, engineers, etc. No candidates specifically address the needs of the CUNY system after years of economic austerity and post-pandemic cuts that have left a lot of campuses under-resourced. Below, we’ve aggregated some information about the candidates so you can learn more about their stance on CUNY and other civic issues.

Candidates In the NewsOccupation & Experience
Dianne MoralesInterview with NYTimesCEO of anti-poverty nonprofit in the Bronx; long experience with youth/P12 education; only person to mention CUNY at the first mayoral debate
Maya WileyInterview with NYTimesFormer counsel to current mayor Bill DeBlasio; New School professor
Kathryn GarciaInterview with NYTimesFormer DoS commissioner; ran NYC emergency food program during COVID-19 crisis
Eric AdamsInterview with NTimesCity Tech alum! and current Brooklyn Borough President; Has identified as a Republican in the past; Former police officer and founder of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement who Care
Shaun DonovanInterview with NYTimesFormer secretary of Housing and Urban Development under the Obama Administration
Andrew YangInterview with NYTimesBusinessman and millionaire; Proponent of private sector partnerships in many areas of governance; has never voted in a local election!
Scott StringerInterview with NYTimesCurrent NYC Comptroller; free CUNY community college proponent; accused of sexual misconduct
Raymond McGuireInterview with NYTimesCorporate executive at Citigroup; lots of Wall Street investment in his campaign

Wonder what other New Yorkers think about the mayoral candidates? The New York Times interviewed people across the city to find out. 

What should the next NYC mayor do? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

City Tech Ebooks on Political History and Voter Rights

This blog post was written collaboratively by Profs. Anne Leonard and Nora Almeida

June Jordan

A photograph of June Jordan

June Jordan was a powerhouse poet, activist, journalist, and educator. One of the most widely-published and highly-acclaimed writers of her time, Jordan was active in the civil rights, feminist, antiwar, and gay and lesbian rights movements. Through her poetry, essays, plays, and children’s literature, she spoke passionately about race, class, sexuality, and political struggles around the world.

Jordan was born in Harlem in 1936, the child of Jamaican immigrants who raised her in Bedford-Stuyvesant. A gifted student, she began writing poetry in elementary school. She attended boarding school in New England, where her teachers encouraged her writing but never shared the work of any Black writers with her. After earning a BA from Barnard College, Jordan began teaching at the City College of New York in 1966. She published her first book of poetry, Who Look at Me, in 1969. She went on to teach at Yale University, Sarah Lawrence College, and the State University of New York at Stony Brook, before becoming Professor of African-American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, where she founded Poetry For the People.

Jordan’s essays were published in magazines and newspapers around the world. She also published more than twenty-five major works of poetry, fiction, and children’s books before her death in 2002. In an interview shortly before her death, Jordan said that “the task of a poet of color, a black poet, as a people hated and despised, is to rally the spirit of your folks…I have to get myself together and figure out an angle, a perspective, that is an offering, that other folks can use to pick themselves up, to rally and to continue or, even better, to jump higher, to reach more extensively in solidarity with even more varieties of people to accomplish something. I feel that it’s a spirit task.”

Jordan’s books of poetry include the collections Kissing God Goodbye: Poems, 1991-1997, Haruko/Love Poems, Naming Our Destiny, Living Room: New Poems 1980-1984, and Things That I Do in the Dark. Her essay collections include Affirmative Acts: Political Essays, June Jordan’s Poetry for the People: A Revolutionary Blueprint, Technical Difficulties, and Civil Wars: Selected Essays 1963-1980.

You can access several online, full text works by Jordan in the City Tech Collection, including:

Life as Activism: June Jordan’s Writings from the Progressive

Some of Us Did Not Die: New and Selected Essays of June Jordan.

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

National Poetry Month: Yes, you can borrow these books!

April is national poetry month and if our campus library was open, I’d pick out some of my favorite books from our collection and some of new poetry books that I haven’t had a chance to read yet. I’d put them on a little tiered shelf in the front of the library with a sign that says:

Yes, you can borrow these books!

And I hope you would.

A lot of people think that poetry isn’t their thing but I usually think they probably just haven’t found a poem they really like yet.

Some of the poems that have meant the most to me have been poems that I’ve come across when I needed them, or that have helped me understand something about myself or the world. There are a few poems that I return to often. There’s a poem that I read when I’m sad and a poem for when I am nervous. There’s one I read when I can’t fall asleep. There’s this poem, by one of my former poetry teachers at Brooklyn College, which reminds me of my hometown. There’s this poem that I’ve read a million times that I love and still don’t fully understand.

There’s this video of the poet L.S. Asekoff (another former teacher of mine) reading a poem called Sparrow at a bar in Brooklyn that no longer exists that makes me think of all of the other places in New York that don’t exist.

And I usually read the Preface to Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass (1855 edition) on my birthday.

This is my favorite part:

This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body. . . .

This year instead of a display in the library, I thought I’d highlight a few online spaces where you can read and listen to poems (and watch videos of people reading). Here is also a link to a database of small presses that publish work by new and emerging writers and a link to Small Press Distribution where you can buy affordable books that support these presses.

Segue online reading series (videos)

Electronic Poetry Center

Penn Sound Poetry Archives (audio)

Poetry Project House Party (digital performance and publications…and also writing prompts)

New Bilingual Library Tutorials

This post was co-authored by City Tech Students and Library College Assistants Maria Barales and Ivette Perez.

We are glad to announce that we have new Bilingual Tutorials available to support students doing research!! We have translated and captioned several YouTube tutorials from English to Spanish to provide students another language option they may feel more comfortable with and to accommodate our large Hispanic/Latinx population here at City Tech. 

Our team at the library are currently creating more bilingual tutorials and resources to assist students!

One of the tutorials animated and translated by our library college assistant, Maria Barales, was the “Annotated Bibliography” tutorial.

Check out the “Annotated Bibliography” tutorial here:

Maria was not only able to translate the tutorial, but as a Communication Design major, she was also able to add animation! Maria followed a script in english and translated it into Spanish and created graphics from scratch using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Then she imported all graphics into Adobe After Effects to animate it which was challenging. Maria used recorded audio of her sister narrating the tutorial in Spanish and had to make sure the pacing of the animation and what she was saying was synched with the animated video. For the last step, Maria transferred the animated tutorial into Premiere and exported it as an mp4 and uploaded it to the City Tech Library YouTube channel.

Another tutorial we translated was our “Citation Vacation” webcomic which details the importance of citing your sources and shows how students can navigate the citation process. Our library college assistant, Ivette Perez, translated the entire webcomic into Spanish.

Check out the “Citation Vacation” tutorial here:

Both Maria and Ivette have also worked to add Spanish captioning to several other video tutorials and have created Spanish transcripts for the City Tech Stories podcast.

When approaching translating, it can be very difficult as Spanish consists of many different dialects and many English words do not translate well into Spanish. It’s important to also take into consideration that common English words are also not as common in the Spanish language and to try to find work-arounds for the language barrier. 
Check out our YouTube channel for more tutorials!