LIB/ARCH 2205ID-D930 Learning Places Spring 2020

Professors Montgomery and Leonard

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Discussion questions for Thursday’s Interference Archive visit

Please review these questions in advance of our visit to Interference Archive via video tomorrow:

Many teams’ research questions look at relationships between: Environment / Architecture & Development / Humans (health, jobs, culture, community). As you watch the exhibition video please consider the following for our post-viewing discussion:

How does the exhibit illustrate relationships between environment and other social justice causes (race, labor, capitalism, etc)?

Which of these intersections are also things you’ve observed and thought about in relation to the Gowanus?

Focus on (and write down) 1 or 2 organizations or events mentioned in the exhibition video. Have you encountered these organizations or their work in the course of your research? What do you think makes their work effective (or not)?

This Thursday’s virtual visit to Interference Archive

Hope everyone is doing well this week. Annotated bibliographies are due on Thursday 4/30 (5pm!) and we’ll have a brief all-class meeting followed by short team check-ins. We’ll use the second half of Thursday’s class meeting to visit Interference Archive and tour the exhibit A Visual History of Climate Justice. Stay tuned for discussion questions. Teams should be prepared to introduce themselves and their research question to our facilitators.

9-9:20 all class meeting: looking ahead to script drafts for 5/7 and the final project

Team check-ins; one person on each team should invite your teammates and your instructors to the meeting

9:25-9:40 Team 1

9:45-10:00 Team 2

10:05-10:20 Team 3

10:25-10:40 Team 4

10:45-10:55 Team 5

11-12:30: Interference Archive visit starts at 11 sharp, resuming (re-zooming?) the same zoom meeting as below).  Stay tuned for discussion questions to review in advance of our visit; be prepared to join in the discussion after we view the exhibition video.

Join the class meeting here:

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Annotated bibliographies due next Thursday, April 30 (and research help)

Thanks, everyone, for productive conversations about your outlines and bibliographies today. Final versions of team outlines are due by 5pm today and annotated bibliographies are due next Thursday 4/30. Projects are coming together and I am really impressed with your consistency given these very difficult times. Here’s a guide to writing an annotated bibliography, including verbs and phrases for writing about texts. The Purdue OWL has a guide as well. Remember that your annotations should really reflect on how that source helps you answer your question. Make the summary as short as possible, and don’t pad your word count by restating the author’s name or the document title. Each person on a team should cite and annotate 3 sources, and each annotation should be at least 100 words. A source does not have to be text; it can be visual, like a photo, map, or documentary video. Aim for a mix of primary and secondary sources, and if you have questions, please get in touch.

A few of the places to further your research mentioned in class:

Brooklyn Community District 6 Profile – demographic data and a lot more

Digital Collections from the New York Public Library – historical photos and maps, free for everyone; also the map warper for georectified historical fire insurance maps

Digitized historical Brooklyn newspapers, especially the Brooklyn Eagle (1841-1963) – free for everyone from the Brooklyn Public Library

Social Explorer to explore current and historical demographic data and create thematic maps – log in with the LIB barcode from your college ID.

For 24/7 research help, chat with a librarian.

I’ll post details about our virtual field trip to Interference Archive as soon as I can.

Stay safe and healthy, everyone.

Class on Thursday, April 23

I hope everyone is healthy and enduring these plague days. The team outline is due tomorrow and early submissions are encouraged if your team would like some early feedback. Please submit the outline on the team project site as either a post or a page. We’ll spend time in class discussing the annotated bibliography assignment, the final assignment and script, and next Thursday’s virtual field trip to Interference Archive. Team meetings are devoted to outline review and feedback, preparing to write the annotated bibliography, and the script for the final project. Please bring any questions you have about the projects for the rest of the semester.

We’ll stick with the same schedule for tomorrow’s class:

General Class meeting: 9AM -9:25AM

TEAM 1 MEETING: 9:30AM-10:05AM

TEAM 2 MEETING: 10:10AM-10:45AM

TEAM 3 MEETING: 10:50AM-11:25AM

TEAM 4 MEETING: 11:30AM-12:05PM

TEAM 5 MEETING: 12:05PM-12:40PM

Teams 1-5, please invite your professors to your team meeting before the scheduled time.

Take care and be well, everyone. See you tomorrow.

Team progress, and notes for next week 4/23

Thanks for a productive class today. All teams are making good progress. As always, reach out with questions or concerns via email or during office hours.

Here are links to a few of the information resources we discussed:

NYC Then & Now – compare arial photographs between 1924-2018 – historical photos from the NYPL, geocoded

NYPL Map Warper – historical maps overlaid onto the contemporary street grid, especially strong for fire insurance maps; see also NYC fire insurance, topographic, and property maps

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (1841-1963) and other historical digitized newspapers, free from the Brooklyn Public Library

What did I forget? Let me know in the comments.

Outlines are due on 4/23 and annotated bibliographies on 4/30; please post or share your draft outline before Thursday’s meeting to get feedback from Prof. Montgomery and me. See guidelines for each assignment. The OWL offers good advice and examples for outline and annotated bibliography assignments as well.

Please take 5 minutes and fill out the mid-term survey to offer some feedback on how we can make the class better. It’s available until Tuesday 4/21.

Take care and be well, everyone.

Class Meeting Thursday April 16 9:00am


We will meet for 25 minutes as a full class before we switch to team meetings as we did last class meeting.

Team leaders please coordinate your Zoom meeting and be sure to post the invite on your team site so Prof. Leonard and I can join.

Schedule will match last class meeting:


TEAM 1 MEETING: 9:30AM-10:05AM

TEAM 2 MEETING: 10:10AM-10:45AM

TEAM 3 MEETING: 10:50AM-11:25AM

TEAM 4 MEETING: 11:30AM-12:05PM

TEAM 5 MEETING: 12:05PM-12:40PM

Jason Montgomery is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: LIB 2205ID Class Meeting Thursday April 16 9:00am

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Class on 4/16, and looking ahead

I truly hope everyone is healthy and safe during this terrible time. I was definitely cheered up by reading all of the reflective blog posts last week – nice work, everyone! As teams approach the annotated bibliography, it’s good practice to write reflective responses to things you’ve read. On Thursday we will have a regular class meeting at 9 via zoom, and teams will work on outline development and the annotated bibliography.

It looks like we will be able to take one of our field trips virtually. Part of our class meeting on Thursday, April 30 will be an online visit to Interference Archive, an organization close to our study site that preserves artifacts and ephemera of social movements. We will tour the newest exhibit A Visual History of Climate Justice, and learn about the Archive, its collections, and its work.

Don’t forget to take the midterm survey! It is a 6 question survey that seeks your constructive feedback on how we can make this class better.  The college decided not to administer Student Evaluations of Teaching this semester, so this is a chance to let us know how it’s going and what could be improved. The survey is open until Friday, April 17 and responses are anonymous.

The Gowanus Canal Reflections

Latia Vergara
LIB – 2205 ID
March 29,2020

Gowanus Canal Article Reflection

My overall opinion of the Gowanus Canal is that it has the potential to be great for residential living and new businesses as well. The organizations that plan to redevelop the canal and its surrounding areas must take their time with this project and consistently work on it until it is complete. In the past, the city, organizations, and developers have started work on the canal but backed out before the work was complete. Based on the 3 articles there are different opinions of what the capabilities of the canal are. Many believe that it can not be redeveloped into a predominately residential neighborhood. Due to the years of dumping and neglect, some believe it has reached its full potential thus far. Others believe it’s not worth the money it will take to redevelop the Gowanus Canal and the surrounding neighborhood. The technology and manpower it would take would be more expensive and the expenses would exceed the value of the land. History has shown that the Gowanus canal has many capabilities but it can not be developed in the same way that the Dumbo project was put together. It may have the potential to become something beautiful. The canal does not have the same resources around it that the Dumbo project has. The Gowanus can become residential housing but it doesn’t have the potential to be a waterfront community.

Gowanus Canal Article Reflection

We are living in unusual times, and in my opinion, this is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on the environment we are living in. I am relating the articles and the research site with the time we are living in because in the first article “The Gowanus Canal Will Never Be Clean.” Joseph Alexiou is mentioned that runoff has been known to contain numerous pathogens, including e. Coli, gonococcus, typhoid, and cholera, all exposed to the open air. This should be our main concern related to Gowanus. On the other hand, the situation of the Canal has been the same for years, since the 19th century to the video that was attached to the first article (2010). In the video, we can see clearly how grand and disgusting the problem is.

It is sad that the landowning industrialists and developers see dollar signs and up-zoning laws when it comes to areas such as Gowanus, instead of human lives and the right to live in a clean and safe place. Clean and safe is definitely not constructed buildings in a flood zone that’s also the site of major toxic waste deposits. It is time we stop those 250-350 million gallons of untreated raw sewage that are poured annually and people who have a hand in the decision-making process.

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