Scares in the Stacks

The Raven, University Art Collection.
“Not incredibly scary” or even “not scary at all” is probably how many would describe the features that make up Special Collections’ October exhibit “Scares in Special Collections.”  Honestly, if you want to be scared or unsettled or irked, there is no shortage of archival caches at Langsdale to sift through--  you can find out about discrimination (ACLU of Maryland for one, and many, many others), challenges to reproductive freedom (Planned Parenthood of Maryland Collection), LGBTQ-bashing, injustice, and the AIDS crisis (The GLCCB collection), or deadly workplace hazards and unfair labor practices (The White Lung Association collection). But since October is one of the most lovely months on the calendar, I thought I’d keep it light. You can view the display in the hallway on the 2nd Floor of Learning Commons, but let me post a few images here for your seasonal amusement.


1230 Talk this Wednesday: Diversity in Gaming

Bring your lunch and join us on 3 Wednesdays this semester during the Common Hour for a series of lunchtime conversations about perspectives on issues surrounding diversity. Connect with professors and staff outside of the classroom setting, or with students from other departments.

This week we'll be hearing from Dr. Todd Harper from the Division of Science, Information Arts, and Technology about diversity in the gaming community.  He'll also tell us a little bit about the LGBTQ+ Game Jam coming later this month!


Archives Are for Everyone

When some people think of archives, they imagine documents and artifacts that are rarefied, specialized, and only available through tightly monitored access. While preservation does require that archives are arranged systematically and treated with care, archival materials are not meant to be vaunted and intangible.  They are historical primary sources, but communities and individuals make up history, and as such, are deeply connected to what they choose to document and keep. Archives are for everyone.

Langsdale Special Collections’ own Angela Rodgers-Koukoui--with assistance from Smithsonian Audiovisual Archivist and Baltimorean Megan McShea--is sharing the secrets of archival preservation in Special Collections' Community Archives workshop (#bemorearchives) that will take place for 3 Saturdays in October, part of Baltimore’s #FreeFall program. We had some questions for Angela and Megan about what people can expect, and what the workshop is all about.


Free Fall Baltimore!

Every year one of the greatest things about Baltimore City, Free Fall Baltimore, sneaks up on me before I know it.  Free Fall offers you a chance to attend hundreds of FREE events throughout Baltimore city.  Arts, music, and theater events abound, along with workshops.  You can even join Langsdale Library's Special Collections department for a "Community Archives Workshop" on how to archive and preserve documents and photos on October 7, 14, or 28.  Many events require an RSVP, so make sure you check out the website before just showing up. 


New Print & Ebooks at Langsdale!

Did you know that Langsdale Library offers a list of all of our newest materials? We do! Each month we'll post an update letting you know about a few select titles, but there are far too many to mention here so be sure to check out our comprehensive online list. There is an RSS feed to the list, so you can subscribe and be updated when new materials get listed each month.

New Materials at Langsdale:

"'Hardly a week goes by without another controversy over free speech on college campuses. On one side, there are increased demands to censor hateful, disrespectful, and bullying expression and to ensure an inclusive and nondiscriminatory learning environment. On the other side are traditional free speech advocates who charge that recent demands for censorship coddle students and threaten free inquiry... This book provides the background necessary to understanding the importance of free speech on campus and offers clear prescriptions for what colleges can and can't do when dealing with free speech controversies'--Book jacket."

The anti-egalitarian mutation : the failure of institutional politics in liberal democracies

"The twin crises of immigration and mass migration brought new urgency to the balance of power between progressive, humanitarian groups and their populist opponents. In the United States and many European countries, the outcome of this struggle is uncertain, with a high chance that the public will elect more politicians who support an agenda of nativism and privatization. The Antiegalitarian Mutation makes a forceful case that those seeking to limit citizenship and participation, political or otherwise, have co-opted democracy."

Everybody lies : big data, new data, and what the Internet can tell us about who we really are

Check It Out!

"How much sex are people really having? How many Americans are actually racist? Is America experiencing a hidden back-alley abortion crisis? Can you game the stock market? Does violent entertainment increase the rate of violent crime? Do parents treat sons differently from daughters? How many people actually read the books they buy? In this work, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, a Harvard-trained economist, former Google data scientist, and New York Times writer, argues that much of what we thought about people has been dead wrong. The reason? People lie, to friends, lovers, doctors, surveys -- and themselves. However, we no longer need to rely on what people tell us. New data from the internet -- the traces of information that billions of people leave on Google, social media, dating, and even pornography sites -- finally reveals the truth. "

These are just a few of the many new books, movies, and games at your Langsdale Library. To see the complete listing of new materials check out our list right here! If you want to receive updates when new materials get listed each month, you can subscribe to the list through the RSS feed.


Writing Week: Improve Your Writing, Improve Your Life

Writing is hard. It’s work. Love it or hate it, you can’t avoid it! Whether you are a Math major or an English major, writing is something everyone has to learn to do well before they leave college, because employers want to hire people who can handle themselves with a word processor.  As George Anders recently pointed out in the Wall Street Journal, companies may say they’re looking for people with technical skills, but they actually prefer to hire strong writers regardless of job preparation. And even though Forbes doesn’t explicitly name writing as one of the 10 most important skills employers are looking for, they still acknowledge that “the trick is to communicate clearly that you have those skills,” probably through a nicely written cover letter.

Our motto at UB is “Knowledge that Works,” and improving your writing is probably the best way to make your knowledge work for you and see the payoff promised by your college degree. No matter what kind of job you end up with after you graduate, you are going to need to write to get it, and then write to keep it. Cover letters, resumes, personal statements, and writing samples may help you get a job. Reports, memos, carefully worded advertisements, case studies, and important research publications will help you keep the job once you’ve secured it. You can’t avoid writing, even if you’ve carefully selected a career based on the perception that you won’t have to write much!  Bottom line: writing is a powerful tool that you can put to work to improve your life in direct and indirect ways. If you learn to wield the tool effectively.

The National Council of Teachers of English created the National Day of Writing to acknowledge the importance of writing in our time and encourage literacy education. In anticipation of this big day, Langsdale Library will host a week of activities and workshops to help students participate more fully in the world of writing and learn to be conscious of their writing practice.

 Monday 10/9: From Facebook to First Draft: Academic Language

     Tuesday 10/10: UB Writers on Writing (Panel Discussion)

     Wednesday 10/11: What's Good Feedback?

     Thursday 10/12: How to Cite Right -- Avoiding Plagiarism

     Friday 10/13: Writing Retreat

Each event is different, and there is something for everyone. The workshop on academic language encourages participants to understand the characteristics of academic writing as a genre and to think about how academic audiences might be unique. Tuesday's panel discussion features UB faculty, who will describe their own writing interests and give students insights into writing in various disciplines. Wednesday's workshop encourage students to improve their technique for peer review, and Thursday's event introduces students to the intricacies of MLA, APA, and Chicago citation styles. 

The festivities culminate in our big writing retreat on Friday, October 13. You don’t have to be a great writer to participate; the point is to exercise your writing muscles and have fun.  Each hour of the event, from 12:00pm to 6:00pm, there will be a different writing prompt meant to engage you creatively or intellectually. If you’d rather work on writing for class or personal fulfillment, you can do that, too! There will be writing consultants and faculty on hand throughout the retreat to help you improve and give you tips to do your best work.

All of this prepares us to participate in the National Day of Writing, which is Friday, October 20. In the time between our writing retreat and the NDoW, we want UB students and faculty to fill social media with the best examples of our voices, our ideas, and our experiences. Share your work using the official NDoW hashtag #whyIwrite and add #UBwrites to share with our community.

1230 Talks at Langsdale: Perspectives on Diversity

Bring your lunch and join us on 3 Wednesdays this semester during the Common Hour for a series of lunchtime conversations about perspectives on issues surrounding diversity. Connect with professors and staff outside of the classroom setting, or with students from other departments.

To kick us off this week we'll be hearing from Dr. Karla Shepherd from the Diversity and Culture Center!


Join us Friday for Game Night!

This Friday, September 29th, join us in the Learning Commons Lobby from 6 to 10 for an evening of fun at our Community Board Game Night and learn more about the Langsdale Library's Game collection. In support of UB's program in Simulation and Game Design, the library has accumulated a collection of more than 200 board and video games which we'd like to share with you! 

Play a round of an old favorite like Monopoly or the Settlers of Catan.  Or if you're interested in something new to you we can pretty much guarantee we'll have something you haven't seen before.  Bring friends, snacks, or a game of your own and learn a little bit more about the collection or the Simulation and Game Design program!