COVID-19: Israeli and Jewish Studies Librarians Speak (November 19, 2020)

This is the penultimate event in the series: “Collecting Conversations: Academic Libraries and Research in Flux,” that we have organized at our library. The registration information is here: https://berkeley.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_CSqP-OQgRpulyYCTP-26XQ

A special note of thanks to Dr. Ruth Haber, our curator for Judaica Collections, and our campus partners for their generous support and encouragement: The UCB Center for Jewish Studies; The Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies; and The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life. Also, the event could not have been possible if not for the help from Library Administration and the Library Communications Team. ALL ARE WELCOME!

 


2020 Advanced Summer Institute Recap

In early August 2020, OHC staff gathered once more for a weeklong event: our annual Advanced Summer Institute, where we teach the methodology, theory, and practice of oral history to other practitioners. In 2020, however, COVID-19 upended our best intentions for an in-person event, and the OHC made the bold decision to turn this weeklong seminar – from lectures to small group discussions to interview exercises – into an all-digital experience. Certainly this was a sharp left turn for our office and required retooling. Nonetheless, we had a record number of applicants and 50 participants from around the world, which proves that the demand for oral history education remains strong even during a global pandemic. Despite changes for this year’s Advanced Summer Institute, I am now better able to appreciate what remains constant about the practice of oral history.

One way in which this all-digital format changed the Advanced Summer Institute was in increasing its international draw. In previous years, we have welcomed a smattering of participants from around the world. Admittedly, however, the additional cost for traveling internationally to Berkeley is something that has kept these numbers relatively low. In 2020, our all-digital format not only eliminated the cost of this travel, it also created a space for participants from several continents and timezones to join us for stimulating discussions – even in the wee hours of the morning – and share a variety of perspectives about interviewing across different cultures. Especially during a time when we are socially distancing from even our closest friends and neighbors, it was a joy to see people from around the world gather together in this way.

What did not change in our 2020 Advanced Summer Institute was the OHC’s emphasis on teaching oral history best practice through both practical experience and shared knowledge. Indeed, we doubled down on connecting participants to one another through an expanded interview exercise, wherein paired individuals planned a pre-interview and then engaged in 30-minute oral histories. They then switched roles so both could experience conducting an oral history and participating in one. From initial feedback, participants found this a valuable activity because it taught them how to ask better questions and to empathize with narrators. We also made sure to continue our small group discussions in the digital format so that participants could present their individual projects and ask for feedback in a smaller setting. This, too, proved important to sustain.

Despite these many successes, it is still important to acknowledge what we lost in this new digital format for the 2020 Advanced Summer Institute: the conversations in between sessions or during lunch that lead to meaningful connections, hands-on help with recording equipment, a distraction-free week of learning, and a sense of place near our offices at UC Berkeley. And yet, participating in this seminar – and indeed working as oral historians in the era of COVID-19 – seems to have encouraged all of us to examine the role of storytelling and documentation in this challenging moment. The resounding chorus I heard at the Advanced Summer Institute was that now more than ever we need oral history to help humanize the past and record the present. Personally, this experience reinforced my desire to connect with people – even over long distances – especially the narrators I interview in my own oral history practice.


LACCOM: Latin America and Caribbean Covid-19 Map at Georgetown University!

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in Latin America, Georgetown University’s Latin American Studies Center has created a useful web-based resource on COVID-19 in the region. The site’s self-description is as follows, “LACCOM is a tool from the Georgetown University Center for Latin American Studies, documenting the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean across three rubrics: Governance and the Rule of LawGrowth, and Innovation, and Social and Cultural Inclusion.

The screenshot below is for demonstrative and educational purposes only. Feel free to browse the website for all its features.

 


Webinar: COVID-19: European Librarians Speak!

COVID-19: European Librarians Speak!

 When:

August 6, 2020, 08:00 AM Pacific Standard Time [11 am EST, 16:00 (BST) 17:00 (CEST)]

Register in advance for this meeting:

https://berkeley.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUpdeispjMoHdOVl_1AQoq07TZcwUdqWN-W 

Note: After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Zoom accessibility features are here: https://zoom.us/accessibility 

 

Description:

The COVID-19 pandemic remains an ongoing threat that has led to the uprooting of local and global social, economic, and health conditions and the disruption of the cultural production sector. Europe has not been immune to the challenges that have been ushered in by the pandemic. Many European libraries, being at the forefront of knowledge creation and preservation, have stepped up their support of researchers and scholars in unprecedented ways. Notwithstanding, the shifts in the landscape of collection development will profoundly impact the services that libraries can provide.  

This virtual panel is the inaugural event in a planned six-part bi-monthly webinar series, “Collecting Conversations: Academic Libraries and Research in Flux,” dedicated to various aspects of librarianship. These activities will include both national and international librarians, archivists, scholars, administrators, and vendors from all parts of the world.

 In this panel, European librarians, specialists in Central, Eastern, and Southeast European Studies, and Slavic/Slavonic Studies will share experiences and perspectives about their individual and institutional challenges and opportunities in research areas instruction, and collection development. 

Panelists:

·       Ms. Mel Bach is the Slavonic Specialist and also Head of Collections and Academic Liaison at Cambridge University Library, UK.

·       Mr. Olaf Hamann is the Head of the Eastern-European Branch of the Berlin State Library, Germany.

·       Dr. Katya Rogatchevskaia is the Lead Curator of East European Collections at the British Library, UK, and the Chair of the Council for Slavonic and East European Library and Information Services.

·       Dr. Gudrun Wirtz is the Head of the Department of Eastern Europe at the Bavarian State Library, Germany.

Organizer/ ModeratorDr. Liladhar R. Pendse is Librarian for the Eastern European and Eurasian Studies Collection and the Caribbean and Latin American Studies Collections at UC Berkeley Library, USA, and the Institute for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies.

Co-ModeratorMs. Anna Rakityanskaya is Curator for Russian and Belarusian Collections at the Widener Library at Harvard University.

 The panel presentation will be recorded, but the question and answer session will not be recorded.

 

This panel is sponsored by the Institute of East European and Eurasian Studies, UC Berkeley.


Upcoming Event: Job-Seeking in the Times of Covid-19

Job-Seeking in the Times of Covid-19

A conversation with Demographers of Color 

Friday, 12 June 2020

6-7:30pmEST

This virtual panel discussion features four Ph.D. demographers of color who have worked in and outside academia. Panelists will share their career and life experiences. Join us for a sincere discussion of pivots, resilience, and hope. We are organizing this panel in response to feedback gathered at the 1st ever member-organized Demographers of Color & Allies Reception in April.

Panelists:

 Gniesha Y. Dinwiddie (Ph.D. in Medical Sociology from University of Pennsylvania, Masters in African American Studies and Sociology from UCLA, B.A in Social Science from UC Irvine) is a Health Scientist at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, which is “the leading Federal agency charged with improving the safety and quality of America’s health care system.” Prior to joining AHRQ, Dr. Dinwiddie was a Scientific Review Officer at the National Institutes of Health, Associate Faculty at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Assistant Professor of African American Studies at the University of Maryland College Park.

Mao-Mei Liu (Ph.D. in Political and Social Sciences from Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Masters in Education and Political and Social Sciences from UPF, B.S. in Molecular Biophysics and Molecular Biochemistry from Yale) is Research Faculty in the Department of Demography at the University of California, Berkeley. Before UC Berkeley, Dr. Liu was NICHD Postdoctoral Fellow at Brown University’s Population Studies and Training Center. Before and during graduate school, Dr Liu worked as a community organizer for the Greater Four Corners Action Coalition in Dorchester and SEIU in Oakland, K-12 teacher in Barcelona and translator/interpreter in the Barcelona area.

 Eddie Telles (Ph.D. in Sociology from UT Austin, Masters in Urban Planning from UCLA, B.A. in Anthropology from Stanford) is Distinguished Professor of Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara. Before UC Santa Barbara, Dr. Telles was a Professor of Sociology at Princeton and UCLA. Before joining academia, he worked as ESL instructor, community organizer, research director of Californios for Fair Representation and grants management specialist

Monique B. Williams (Ph.D. and M. A. in Demography from the University of Pennsylvania, B.A. in Urban Studies from Vanderbilt) is an Independent Consultant. Her company is called MBW Statistical Consulting. She advises C-suite executives and senior leaders of large-scale, federally-funded operations on data governance and providing services to customers. Before owning her own company full-time, Dr. Williams worked as a Statistician for the U.S. Census, a Program Officer for the National Academies, and a Senior Statistician for the U. S. Government Accountability Office.

Moderator: Associate Director of the University of Colorado Population Center and Professor at the Population Program and the Geography Department of the University of Colorado at Boulder Fernando Riosmena (Ph.D. in Demography from the University of Pennsylvania, M.A. in Demography from the University of Pennsylvania, Licenciado en Mercadotecnia from ITESM Guadalajara). Before Boulder, Dr. Riosmena was a Research Associate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Center for Demography and Ecology.

Register here. A confirmation email with meeting info will be sent post-registration.

This event is hosted by the Demographers of Color & Allies organizing committee (organizers include Asad L. Asad, Christina Cross, René D. Flores, Vicki Fung, Gabriela Sanchez-Soto, Gniesha Dinwiddie, Nadia Flores, Yana Kucheva, Mao-Mei Liu, Glenn Loury, Cecilia Menjívar, Emilio Parrado, Juan Pedroza, Ndola Prata, Fernando Riosmena, Eddie Telles, Monique Williams)

Please Save-The-Date for the last two DOC Job-seeking in Times of Covid-19 Conversations this summer 2020: Higher Ed on Friday, July 10th, 6-7:30pmEST and Real World/beyond Higher-Ed Friday, August 14th, 6-7:30 pm EST

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Source: Ann Glusker, Librarian for Sociology, UC Berkeley Library


California State Resources for COVID-19

 

Everyone seems to have a something to say about COVID-19:

  • Dippin’ Dots wants you to know that “in these challenging times, Dippin’ Dots is committed to doing our part to navigate through this unprecedented situation.”
  • Hollywood celebrities have gotten into the act too. Many of the social media links in this article on the Top-10 Tone Deaf Celebrity Coronavirus Messages are Cringy AF (via Listverse) have since been taken down for, well, being cringy AF, we’re guessing.
  • And then there was the incongruous yet insightful tweet from Steak-umm, a frozen steak company, stating that “anecdotes are not data. (good) data is carefully measured and collected information based on a range of subject-dependent factors, including, but not limited to, controlled variables, meta-analysis, and randomization.”

Resources from the State of California related to COVID-19: But much of the messaging we’re receiving these days —  from county public health officials to utility companies to our streaming services — is both important, highly relevant and reassuring. Add to the list of important information regarding COVID-10 this UC Berkeley Library Guide:

California Resources: COVID-19

Created by Political Science and Public Policy Librarian Natalia Estrada, this guide lists resources produced by the state of California related to COVID-19. The guide links to data on COVID-19 at the national,state and county level; there are also links to COVID-related information from the state as it relates to areas of public health and healthcare, the economy, education, and housing.  This is an evolving guide and Natalia will update it and add additional resources as they become available.

In the meantime, although the Library’s doors are closed, many of our services remain available.

Stay safe!

 


In memoriam: Puerto Rico’s author Iris Zavala passes away due to COVID-19!

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to take its toll irrespective of nationalities, borders and today I dedicate this post to a luminary Puerto Rican intellectual and author Iris Zavala,  who passed away on 11th April 2020 in Madrid, Spain due to the complications from Coronavirus infection.  At UC Berkeley, we are responsible for maintaining the consortial collection of Puerto Rican authors. Her obituary can be read here and here.

In our collection, there are over fifty books that Iris Zavala had authored that highlight the unending beauty of Spanish and Caribbean Literature.  Some of her works such as “Percanta que me amuraste“, “Nocturna mas no funesta” and others including, “Leer el Quijote…” are well known throughout the literary universe. RIP Iris M. Zavala, I leave the readers with a video of her interview about her book – “El bolero: historia de un amor (1991).”