Librarian Profile: Tess Tobin

After 17 years at the City Tech Library, Tess Tobin is retiring. We sat down with Tess to talk about fake news, her work as an advocate for Latino populations in professional library organizations, and how the library has changed during the course of her tenure at City Tech. We’ll miss you, Tess!

What made you first become interested in being a librarian?
As a child I spent a lot of time in my local library. It was a beautiful Carnegie built library and seemed palatial at the time, but the reading rooms were full of activity and it was a place to get lost among the stacks.  There was never a library school or librarian at any of my high school career fairs, and for some reason, I never thought of librarianship as a viable profession.
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Airing dirty laundry for Open Access Week

I sat down in front of my work PC to post something about Open Access Week, and now all I can think about is the vulgar state of my desktop.
Exhibit Adesktop
I’m a librarian so…what do I have to say for myself? In my defense, it’s been a really busy semester! I got a little carried away and started cutting corners. Screen-casting images to the desktop here. Downloading files, and saving to the desktop there. At least 30 percent of these files are duplicate saves, and many are destined for the recycle bin, but I can’t be exactly sure. What I am certain of is this is no way to store and organize digital things! (FYI, my personal desktop is in less of a state.)
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What’s new with open educational resources?

This spring marks the third year of the Open Educational Resources (OER) faculty fellowship program with 21 faculty from 16 departments represented Рcheck out your colleagues’ work here!
This year in the Library we’re working on pairing up faculty in the OER fellowship with their library subject liaisons to consult on locating free/open and library subscribed course materials. We’re bringing back a tabling session during Open Education Week to talk to students about OERs and textbook affordability. We’re also looking forward to spotlighting the ongoing and excellent work of faculty throughout the college to teach with cost-free/affordable course materials that facilitate active and high impact learning Рplease consider sharing your work with us (email:
To learn more about OERs visit the OER Resource guide and the OER Fellowship OpenLab site.
And consider joining our upcoming faculty workshop:
When the Textbook Falls Short: Exploring Alternative Course Materials
Tuesday, April 25th, 2-3 PM, Rm A432 in the Library

Commemorating the 1965 Voting Rights Act

voter-rights_1The City Tech Library is commemorating the 1965 Voting Rights Act, a landmark piece of legislation that prohibits racial discrimination in voting.  The act was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on August 6, 1965. The primary purpose was to eliminate state and local laws that prevented large numbers of African Americans from exercising their constitutional right to vote.  
The impact of the act was immediate and sharply increased the number of registered African American voters.  The political impact was so far reaching that even the Democratic and Republican parties became realigned. After the act was signed racial minorities tended to vote for liberal democratic candidates and many southern white conservatives changed their party affiliation to Republican.  The parties began to polarize with the Democratic party becoming more liberal and the Republican party becoming more conservative.
It is important recognize this act in our contemporary society, as the Supreme Court rescinded a key provision of the Voting Rights Act in 2013 in a contentious 5-4 decision.  The court struck down a requirement that if any of 9 southern states were to change their election laws, that they would first need federal approval.  The court determined that there were no longer adequate barriers to African Americans voting in those states to justify the law.  Shortly after this provision regulating local election laws was deemed unconstitutional a flurry of new laws were created and district maps redrawn.
The importance of the 1965 Voting Rights Act can not be understated.  It enfranchised millions of people and these voices changed the political landscape. Even if key provisions have been struck down, it has forever influenced our society.

Professor Rosemarie Reed, Filmmaker

Did you know that Prof. Rosemarie Reed (English) is a filmmaker? Her films are part of the library’s online film collection, Kanopy. We asked Prof. Reed to tell us more about her career as a filmmaker:
I have made six films for the Public Broadcasting System, better known as PBS.  Two of my films focus on women scientists.  One was the discoverer of nuclear fission, Lise Meitner.  Her discovery in 1938, in Nazi Germany, with Otto Hahn, made it possible for the first atomic bomb to be built.  Because she was a Jew and in exile, she was not given the credit she deserved, costing Meitner the Nobel Prize.  The Path to Nuclear Fission: The Story of Lise Meitner and Otto Hahn
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Can we (re)design a LibGuide that’s fun and easy to use?

Our Instructional Design Intern, Winter, has been working on improving¬†and updating our library research guides¬†to make them more engaging and user friendly. Here are some of his reflections in response to the central question…
Can we (re)design a LibGuide that’s fun and easy to use?
I’ve been asking myself this question a lot lately. I’ve been asking my colleagues this question a lot lately. Heck, I’ve even been asking my friends this question a lot lately –most aren’t aware of the existence of LibGuides. Which is actually, in my opinion, the best sort of feedback –pure, unbiased, and with a beginners mind.
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TECHNE is in CUNY Academic Works

techne-issue-03TECHNE is the annual publication of student and faculty work from the Department of Architecture at the New York City College of Technology. You can find back issues archived in CUNY Academic Works.
TECHNE¬†continues to be hosted on City Tech’s¬†OpenLab. In the interest of making TECHNE more easily found via Google and Google Scholar, as well as providing for¬†long-term preservation, the back issues are now in Academic Works both as downloadable¬†.pdfs¬†and¬†as interactive publications on the Issuu platform.¬†We also added tables of contents to each issue in Academic Works.
Many thanks to Megan Wacha, CUNY Scholarly Communications Librarian, Office of Library Services, for all her¬†help, as¬†well as to TECHNE’s editors,¬†Profs. Ting Chin, Jason Montgomery. and Michael Duddy for reaching out to the library!

Academic Works by the numbers!

Academic Works, our institutional repository, has been growing in leaps and bounds. Let’s take a look at the numbers:

series downloads works 
archives 3421 263
open educational resources 537 3
publications and research 5713 147

What is the most popular item in Publications and Research? Scholarly Monographs on Rock Music: A Bibliographic Essay (Monica Berger) has been downloaded 528 times.
Please consider contributing to Academic Works. You’ll be read more and cited more. Better yet, you’ll be doing the right thing by sharing your scholarship with the broadest possible audience: the world!

Our Science Fiction Collection is Out of this World!

The City Tech Library has a new Science Fiction collection that includes comics, serials, novels, and pulp classics. The materials, which Prof. Jason Ellis and Prof. Alan Lovegreen (English Dept.) helped acquire from a private collection in California, is comprised of over 4,000 items and is housed in the Library Archives.
This past fall, the Library¬†Exhibition showcase featured items from this collection. The display was installed by Prof. Ellis , and highlighted books, magazines and research materials that are now part of the City Tech Archives. Several English faculty are using the collection in their courses already and this past fall, City Tech hosted a Symposium on Science Fiction. ¬†Here’s what Prof. Ellis had to say about the symposium:
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