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!

April 8: Preprint Repositories: Taking Control of Our Work

This event is April 8 @ 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

The LACUNY Scholarly Communications Roundtable and Junior Faculty Research Roundtable would like to welcome all CUNY faculty, staff, and students to our joint event on community-owned preprint repositories! 

Illustration of the role of preprints

Preprint Repositories: Taking Control of Our Work
Date: Thursday, April 8, 2021
Time: 3:30-5:00pm

Public demand for scholarly research skyrocketed in 2020, as people sought reliable and readily available information on COVID-19. Much of this need was met by preprints, scholarly papers that are released publicly prior to peer review and publication in a scholarly journal.

Many major preprint services have been bought by large corporations and are no longer run by members of the scholarly community. In response to this trend, our speakers describe what it means to run a community-owned repository for preprints.

Juan Pablo Alperin is the Associate Faculty Director of Research for the Public Knowledge Project, an initiative developing open source software for scholarly publishing. He will discuss PKP’s new Open Preprint Systems software, which helps localized repository managers share preprints.

Vicky Rampin is a co-founder of LISSA, the LIS Scholarship Archive, a disciplinary repository for library and information science scholarship. She will discuss the archive’s recent departure from the Center for Open Science in favor of a platform supporting community-owned infrastructure.

Register for this event

Image by SciELO. Licensed under CC BY 4.0.

Print on Demand at Brooklyn Public Library

Here’s some news you can use! Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) just announced that anyone with a library card, eCard, or Guest Pass can send a document remotely from their device to a printer at select branches of BPL. Any New York State resident can apply for a library card from BPL. With your eCard, you can borrow ebooks, audiobooks, and use library databases!

HP LaserJet 1020 printer
“HP LaserJet 1020 printer” by Joydeep is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Print at These Locations

Invisible Women in Women’s History Month

It’s March, which means it is Women’s History Month, a commemoration of “the specific achievements women have made over the course of American history in a variety of fields”…with one notable exception: the field of domestic labor.

Domestic labor—cooking, cleaning, childcare, and other activities related to household maintenance—remains largely invisible and undervalued. Domestic labor is mostly done by women, and particularly women of color, who keep those around them fed, safe, clean, and cared for. It is essential work, without which no other economic activity could take place, but it is considered unworthy, for example, of being an achievement to celebrate during Women’s History Month.

Photograph of Wages for Housework supporters at an International Women’s Day march in New York City,
Wages for Housework supporters at an International Women’s Day march in New York City, 1977. Photo by: Freda Weinland.

Silvia Federici, who was one of the organizers of the Wages for Housework movement, has described domestic labor as “a form of gendered economic oppression and an exploitation upon which all of capitalism rests.” Domestic labor enables others to work outside the home, and to enjoy higher status jobs and better wages. It is the invisible work that makes all other work possible.

If women in the United States earned minimum wage for their unpaid domestic labor, they would have made $1.5 trillion last year, according to a recent article in the New York Times. Imagine what would happen if women either refused to do any domestic labor or insisted on being paid for it. Our entire economy would be transformed.

Of course, some people are paid for doing domestic labor. During the past three decades, as more and more women entered the workforce, those with enough income (usually white, college-educated, and middle to upper class) began to pay others to help care for their children or clean their homes or even buy their groceries for them. The majority of domestic workers in the United States are low-waged women of color and immigrants. Women with privilege working outside the home have depended on outsourcing domestic labor to women with less privilege. Even though there have been efforts to organize and protect domestic workers from exploitation, they don’t have much protection, and are often denied formal benefits and time off to care for their own families.

During the last year, with schools and offices closed and an New York State executive order that classified most domestic workers as “inessential”, more people had to perform their own domestic labor rather than outsourcing it. Many women with privilege have been forced to quit their jobs, as they can no longer hire domestic workers to help them. Because of the pandemic, some have become more aware that their careers and comfortable lifestyles depend on the underpaid labor of undervalued domestic workers. It seems like a good moment to reevaluate the low value assigned to life-maintaining labor and to start celebrating women for all of the kinds of work they do.

Want to learn more about women and work? Check out these ebooks from the City Tech Library!

[This post was co-authored with City Tech Librarians Nora Almeida and Wanett Clyde.]

Upcoming Faculty Workshops on Scholarly Publishing

The Publication Cycle

For Spring 2021, we’re introducing new, shorter workshops introducing attendees to useful tools that help us document the impact of our research, boost our presence, or help manage our writing process. Our first express workshop was on the ORCID author identifier on March 11 and the workshop slides are available online.

Google Scholar Profile (Express Workshop)
April 6, 3-3:30 PM
Google Scholar Profiles provide an easy way for you to showcase your individual scholarship and, more importantly, easily examine who is citing your work and find citation counts.
Registration

Freely Available Scholarly Metrics
(Express Workshop)
April 7, 4-4:30 PM
Covers Google Scholar Profile for citations and Google Scholar for journal rankings, Scimago for journal rankings, Altmetric Attention Scores for social media, and download reports from Academic Works (and other repositories). We’ll also touch on finding individual journal acceptance rates as well as Journal Impact Factors.
Registration

Zotero Basics
April 26, 2-3 PM
Attendees will learn the capabilities of this powerful, free open-source reference management software program. The session covers the functionalities of the Zotero client, adding the Zotero plugin to your browser, and importing citations to generate a bibliography. To maximize our workshop time, please download Zotero from https://www.zotero.org and create your username and password in the Zotero client software by going to EDIT > PREFERENCES > >SYNC
Registration

Demystifying Academic Works (Express Workshop)
May 4, 3-3:30 PM
What is Academic Works and how does it benefit you as a scholar? You will learn more about how and why publishers allow you to contribute to Academic Works and the many benefits to sharing your scholarship openly to you, your students, and the public. 
Registration

Zotero Basics
May 11, 3-4 PM
Attendees will learn the capabilities of this powerful, free open-source reference management software program. The session covers the functionalities of the Zotero client, adding the Zotero plugin to your browser, and importing citations to generate a bibliography. To maximize our workshop time, please download Zotero from https://www.zotero.org and create your username and password in the Zotero client software by going to EDIT > PREFERENCES > >SYNC
Registration

Avoiding Predatory Journals and Conferences (Faculty Commons, Faculty Fridays)
May 14 12-1 PM 
Predatory journals and conferences are a hot topic but frequently misunderstood. We’ll debunk some myths and learn more about predatory journal and conference characteristics as well as how to thoughtfully evaluate a journal or conference before submitting. This workshop will include hands-on activities.
Registration  


Our Scholarly Publishing Clinic is available on-demand and during our office hour at 12 PM every last Thursday of the month. We provide one-on-one consultations as well as workshops that fit your schedule.

Find more scholarly communications and publishing support from the library on our website.

Questions? Contact Prof. Monica Berger, Library, at mberger@citytech.cuny.edu

Controlled Digital Lending and the Open Library

Controlled Digital Lending

Loaning materials to patrons is a fundamental role of any library. The current COVID-19 pandemic has created an urgent need for libraries to find new ways of providing access to their collections. With many libraries now closed, patron demand for digital materials is higher than ever. As a result, many libraries have turned to Controlled Digital Lending in order to provide materials that their communities cannot access in any other way. 

City Tech Library is one of 18 CUNY libraries partnering with the Open Library, a project of the Internet Archive, to provide Controlled Digital Lending access to our collections.  Controlled Digital Lending (CDL) is the digital equivalent of traditional library lending. Under CDL, libraries own physical materials but make them available as digital copies. Libraries can digitize their books and lend out digital versions in place of print items. CDL has three core principles:

  1. A library must own a legal copy of the physical book.
  2. The library must maintain an “owned to loaned” ratio, lending no more copies than it legally owns.
  3. The library must use technical measures to ensure that the digital file cannot be copied or redistributed. 

The “fair use” section of copyright law allows libraries to responsibly lend materials through CDL. As long as the terms of loans are limited, and digitized books are locked so borrowers can’t download or otherwise copy them, libraries using CDL are within the boundaries of the law.

Michelle Wu, an attorney and law librarian, developed the concept of CDL. Her model of CDL had several goals, including:

  • Making print materials easier to discover;
  • Providing more efficient delivery of library resources;
  • Creating digital formats that are more accessible to those with disabilities; and/or
  • Preserving and protecting library collections, providing access to materials during natural disasters, severe weather, and health emergencies.

This short video is a fantastic explanation of CDL. 

Open Library  

Eighteen CUNY libraries, including City Tech, have partnered with the Open Library, a book digitization project of the Internet Archive that provides access to millions of books. Over 770,000 print books in CUNY collections across are now linked in OneSearch to electronic versions freely available in the Open Library. 

The browseable list of subjects can be found at http://openlibrary.org/subjects and the advanced search can be found at https://openlibrary.org/advancedsearch.

Once you create a free account, you may borrow up to ten books at a time for browsing (1 hour) or borrowing (14 days).  To borrow materials, please register for an account at: http://openlibrary.org/account/create and then go directly to the Borrowing landing page at http://openlibrary.org/borrow

Titles that are available will have the “Read in Browser” link, where users can borrow, download, and read in a variety of formats such as BookReader, Adobe Digital Editions, PDF, text, ePub, and Kindle editions. Most ebook reading platforms are available online for free download. Books with a lock icon are available to persons who are blind or with vision loss.