Environmental and Social Justice Organizations, Near and Far

As part of my continuing efforts to increase awareness of organizations dealing with environmental/social justice issues, here are more links!

energyEnergy Freedom Coalition

http://www.energyfreedomcoalition.com/

This is the URL for the Facebook page of the Energy Freedom Coalition.

https://www.facebook.com/EnergyFreedomCoalition/

greeningThe Greening of Detroit

Something more local.  The mission statement on the main page of this organization state: “Our focus at The Greening of Detroit is to enhance the quality of life for Detroiters by repurposing the land to create beautiful and productive green spaces. We involve Detroiters in the process through community engagement, education and jobs.”

http://www.greeningofdetroit.com/

https://www.facebook.com/TheGreeningofDetroit/

restorativeDetroit Area Restorative Justice Center

“[A]  group of individuals working collectively to encourage accountability and respect within ourselves, our Corktown neighborhood, and our Detroit community through building relationships, offering resources and training, and repairing of harm that has occurred between people in order to promote peace, transformation, and healing.”

https://detroitrjcenter.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/DetroitRJN/

peercorpsPeercorps Detroit

A year-long mentorship program for Jewish teens and B’nai Mitzvah students.

http://peercorpsdetroit.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Peercorps-Detroit-565411110157512/

I’d love to hear about other local organizations and individuals who are doing creative and positive things for our community! Please email me (mclonika@udmercy.edu) if you know of any; and you may see your contributions in a future blog!

 

Kris McLonis, Associate Librarian

D-Day

American Cemetery in NormandyRecently, Sue Homant, Head of Reference Services at the library, discussed her trip to Normandy, France with Cameron Pierson, library intern. Her experiences (and pictures) had them thinking about D-Day and the part librarians played in World War II. So, they dug a little deeper. 

 

American Cemetery, Normandy, France

 

    72 years ago, on 6 June 1944, the Allied Forces landed on Normandy in an event that would become known as D-Day. This was a major turning point in the war, contributing to the eventual defeat of the Axis Powers. Now, in 2016, most of us know of these events, either from our grandparents, school, or the History Channel. Yet, what is lesser known are the efforts undertaken by the American Library Association to insure that our men in uniform, no matter where they were in the world, would still have access to reading material.

German bunker2

    The Victory Book Campaign (V.B.C.) was a program that worked to maintain and enhance library services to those in the Army, Navy, and the Marines. Such services were spurred by the previous World War and laid the groundwork for continued library support, even to this day. Initiated by the leaders of the American Library Association, the campaign itself is said to have had mixed results as it worked within a war-time backdrop. Nonetheless, the program was able to collect in excess of a million books which were used by soldiers for continued education, technical support, and even leisure – something fundamental to morale.

German bunker, Normandy, France

 

Remnents of floating harbor     The program coordinated with many organizations (both public and private) to obtain donations from the American people. The books collected and later deemed suitable were an effort to support the mental and emotional wellbeing of the soldiers during such a horrific war. This type of undertaking is astounding even by today’s standards. It serves to remind us of the democratic function of libraries. In appreciating this lesser known piece of history, one cannot think about libraries without also thinking about those democratic values so central to free societies.

Remnents of Allies Mulberry, a floating harbor on Omaha Beach, Normandy, France

 

 

Connor, J. (1942). On to victory with the Victory Book Campaign. ALA Bulletin, 36(9), 552-554. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org.proxy.lib.wayne.edu/stable/25691447

Passet, J. E. (2007). [Review of the book Books and Libraries in American Society during World War II: Weapons in the War of Ideas, by Patti Clayton Becker]. New York: Routledge. Retrieved from https://muse.jhu.edu/article/214299

Weeks, L. (2015, July 4). When America’s librarians went to war. NPR. Retrieved from
http://www.npr.org/sections/npr-history-dept/2015/07/04/418840245/when-americas-librarians-went-to-war

Written by Cameron Pierson, Wayne State University LIS practicum student.  Photos by Sue Homant.

It’s Summertime!

Laughing Whitefish FallsOne week the weather goes from highs in the fifties, the next week into the eighties. It’s Michigan! For those seeking to escape from boredom, or wish to take a break from studies, there are plenty of activities in not so far away places.

Huron-Clinton Metroparks: www.metroparks.org
Thirteen parks in southeastern Michigan featuring all sorts of outdoor activities.
Farther afield, explore Michigan’s excellent state parks and campgrounds, but be advised, many require reservations for campsites. www.michigandnr.com/parksandtrails/

For those looking for indoor activities, Michigan has many museums, large and small: www.michigan.org/museums/

has an extensive list to choose from.

 

Gardner HouseGull Rock

In the Aftermath of Violence

PSicantbreathe

At times events unfold that reveal the true nature of violence. Whether it be sanctioned and justified, or punished and condemned, few would argue that the aftermath is complex and full of emotion.

There is room for understanding realities vastly unfamiliar to our own, but it means that we will be uncomfortable. It means being forced out of our comfort zone and into the realms of the unfamiliar where it may seem as if there is little to go on, little to fall back on, little to hold on to to keep our bearings. It’s in this place of unfamiliarity, discomfort, and awkwardness that we must rely on and trust in the words, instincts, feelings, and intuitions of those that we may have felt, or assumed were “others”. We must trust in their experienced realities. We need to hear their hearts fully and empathize with them.

This is the context in which the documentary film P.S. I Can’t Breathe was created and the context in which it should be watched. Rather than seeing the death of Eric Garner as an isolated incident it should be viewed within the framework of longstanding tensions with the New York Police Department due to allegations of misconduct and brutality towards African-American communities. It’s an incident that highlights the stark divide between those who are oppressed by the various sociopolitical rules, regulations, and institutions that uphold white supremacy and those who benefit directly from the status quo.

 

 

Mental Measurements Yearbook and Tests in Print

MMY2Produced by the Buros Center for Testing, an independent non-profit organization within the University of Nebraska, the Mental Measurements Yearbook (MMY) provides users with a comprehensive guide to testing instruments. The current edition, the 19th, contains a bibliography of 183 available tests and 350 critical test reviews. The MMY contains information essential for a complete evaluation of test products within such diverse areas as psychology, education, business, and leadership. All MMY entries contain descriptive information (e.g., test purpose, publisher, pricing), references and critical review(s) written by leading content area experts. The MMY does not contain the full-text of the tests but reviews of the tests only.

TIPAlso produced by the Buros Center, Tests in Print (TIP) serves as a comprehensive bibliography to all known commercially available tests and serves as an index to all editions of the MMY. TIP provides vital information to users including test purpose, test publisher, in-print status, price, test acronym, intended test population, administration times, publication date(s), and test author(s). TIP is a comprehensive volume describing every test that is currently available for purchase. Not all tests and measures are reviewed in MMY and there are somewhat firm requirements that tests must meet to be featured in MMY. Therefore, TIP is necessary to identify and locate tests which are available and in print, but not widely popular or used enough to be featured in MMY.

Why use MMY/TIP? Maybe you are beginning to think about your Masters thesis or dissertation and you want to know what tests are available. Maybe you need information on a particular test to fulfill the requirements of an assignment. Maybe you read a scholarly article that used a particular test and you want more information about it.

MMY with TIP is accessible at UDM through Ebsco. Subscribers are entitled access to the MMY content included in Volume 9, 1985, to     the current volume, volume 19 and the TIP content included in the current volume, Volume VIII. MMY volumes 1-8, 1938-1978, and TIP volumes I – VII are available in print at the McNichols Campus Library.
articles tab
To access MMY and TIP, go to the library portal page, research.udmercy.edu. Click on the third tab,  Article, Journals + Databases. Under Find databases by title, select the letter M. Scroll down until you see Mental Measurements Yearbook with Tests in Print (Ebsco) (about 2/3 of the way down the page). You may also access MMY/TIP through the Tests and Measures tab of the Psychology LibGuide. Once you have accessed the database, and begin your searches, note that you will be searching both MMY and TIP at the same time. You do not need to select one or the other.

BeckWhen you know the exact name of the test you are looking for, type in the name in the search box and select the field TI Test Name. Click on search. Here’s a tip: if you click on HTML Full Text, all you will get is a review (or reviews) of the test. If you click on the title of the test, you will get the review(s), and the test entry data that TIP provides (e.g., authorship, test category, pricing information, etc.) If you are not sure of the exact name of the test, but you know part of the name, type in what you know and select the TI Test Name field.

depressionMaybe you want to see what tests are available for a specific disorder. For example, depression. Type that into the search box and select the PU Purpose field.

Perhaps you don’t know the name of a specific test and you are not researching a particular disorder. Each test is classified into a searchable category. The categories are:

Achievement
Adjustment/adaptive functioning
Alcohol and substance abuse
Behavior assessment
Blind
Business education and relationships
Criminal justice and forensic
Developmental
Driving and safety
Education
English and language
Family and relationships
Fine arts
Foreign languages
General miscellaneous
Handwriting
Health and physical education
Intelligence and general aptitude
Learning disabilities
Mathematics
Neuropsychological
Personality
Philosophy and religion
Psychology
Reading
Record and report forms
Science
Sensory-motor
Social studies
Socio-economic status
Speech and hearing
Test programs
Vocations

Category
So for example, if you want to see what tests are categorized under personality, type in personality and select SU Test Category as the search field.

There may be a number of reasons why you can’t find a particular test in MMY/TIP. To be included in the MMY, a test must be commercially available, be published in the English language, and be new or revised since it last appeared in the series. An older test, no longer in publication, may no longer be indexed in TIP.

Whether you are working on your Master’s or dissertation, fulfilling an assignment or just want to learn more about a particular test, MMY/TIP is the perfect resource.

As always, if you have any questions, contact a librarian.

 

 

Coffee may kill you. Or your dog. Or not.

coffee prohibitedGot your attention?

There’s no shortage of news about health and medicine.  Everyday there’s something online or on TV claiming that everyday activities or foods may be life saving or can do irreparable harm.   Often the words  “a new study has shown…” is featured in the story.

Your first thought is often “Huh?”  or something similar.

How to know what to believe?  What’s credible?  There’s a good bet that a website more known for celebrity gossip may not have peer reviewed medical information.

Health News Review provides info to the general public to  critically assess health & science claims.  To find out who’s behind this site check the about us link, a good idea for any website you’re not familiar with.  Check out the section Tips for Understanding studies.

 

Clinical researchers need to publish.  Press releases are sent out by medical journals and professional organizations hoping the mainstream media will pick up the story.  Often video is included with identification info deliberately vague so the local TV new can suggest the white-coated physician is at a hospital  “in your area”.   Websites  have unlimited space to fill  &  need to drive traffic to their pages  likely you’ll find something like this.

 

The public radio show On the Media recently devoted an entire program to  health news and what to be listen for. A check list from Health News Review lists Breaking News Consumer’s Handbook: Health News edition.  Beware of the words “breakthrough” and “miracle”.  Studies on mice are not always applicable to humans.
The fake news HBO show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver had a recent segment on Scientific Studies. 

And there’s Snopes the fact checking site that’s been around since 2005 and although it is supported by advertising now it’s a good place to check out news stories that are more urban legends. No, Nutella isn’t “toxic”;   another  word that is often used incorrectly in an alarmist way.

Science & medicine are important and so is the way they’re reported to the non-technical audience. Critical thinking is important in all media.

Cookery

CookeryI like to cook and eat.  To me, it’s one of life’s basic pleasures.  I gain a certain amount of satisfaction when I see my family and friends eating and enjoying something I’ve made.  There are health benefits to cooking as well.  CNN recently wrote about learning to cook and it’s health benefits.  I also enjoy the creative process of cooking and looking for new recipes to inspire me.  When I get stuck in a culinary rut, I like to browse the Gale Culinary Arts Collection: The Culinary Arts Collection includes 250 major cooking and nutrition magazines, including thousands of searchable recipes.  I can find creative and challenging recipes from cooking magazines like Saveur, Bon Appetit, and Gourmet. Or sometimes I just need a quick and easy recipe from a magazine like Good Housekeeping , O. The Oprah Magazine , or Real Simple.  Whatever your level of cookery skill, I hope you find something that inspires you to cook and that you’ll enjoy eating.

Systematic Reviews: not just for the health sciences

1024px-Generic_forest_plotWhat is a systematic review? Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (Oxford University) defines it as “the application of strategies that limit bias in the assembly, critical appraisal, and synthesis of all relevant studies on a specific topic. Systematic reviews focus on peer-reviewed publications about a specific health problem and use rigorous, standardized methods for selecting and assessing articles.”  But that’s just it… systematic reviews need not only be health related.

 

There are basically 5 steps in the process:

  • identify all relevant published and unpublished materials
  • select studies for potential inclusion
  • assess the quality of each study or report; exclude the poor quality studies
  • synthesize the findings from individual studies or reports
  • interpret the findings, present an unbiased summary of the findings, report any flaws in the evidence

How does a systematic review differ from a literature review? To start, a systematic review is conducted by a team; it helps to distribute the tremendous amount of work that goes into a systematic review, and it also helps to reduce selection bias. Secondly, a systematic review requires a thorough search in multiple sources looking for as much evidence on a topic that can be retrieved both published and unpublished; it helps to reduce publication bias. Typically a literature search does not include unpublished materials or an all-out resource search. Finally, the goal of a systematic review is to present the best available evidence on the topic/question of interest. A literature review aims to summarize a topic.

So what’s so great about a systematic review? The power of a systematic review lies in the synthesized evidence of a topic. For example, at one time it was common practice to place post-menopausal women on hormone replacement therapy (HRT). As a result of a systematic review on the harm and benefits of HRT, researchers found that although HRT had its benefits, it also increased the incidence of stroke and the risk of venous clots and breast cancer. HRT is no longer administered routinely.

Systematic reviews do not need to be medicine, nursing, or dentistry based. A systemic review can be conducted with non-medical studies as well. The following are resources that can be used to search for systematic review examples:

Cochrane Library and PubMedHealth – for medicine, dentistry, nursing, addictions, psychology

CINAHL – nursing, allied health

Campbell Collaboration – crime and justice, education, international development, and social welfare

The following library resources, although healthcare related, are available for assisting in conducting a systematic review:

Boland, A., Cherry, M. G., & Dickson, R. (2014). Doing a systematic review : A student’s guide. London: SAGE. (Print Book)

Eden, J., & Institute of Medicine (U.S.). Committee on Standards for Systematic Reviews of Comparative Effectiveness Research. (2011). Finding what works in health care : Standards for systematic reviews. Washington, D.C: National Academies Press. (EBook)

Holly, C., Salmond, S. W., & Saimbert, M. (2012). Comprehensive systematic review for advanced nursing practice. New York: Springer Pub. (EBook)

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Forest plot image by James Grellier (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

April is National Poetry Month

poetry month

Take a few moments this month to relax with some of your favorite poems, or to discover some new ones.  Stop by the UDM McNichols campus library to pick up volumes of recent Pulitzer prize winners including Gregory Pardlo’s Digest, Vijay Seshadri’s 3 Sections, and Tracy K. Smith’s Life on Mars.  For something closer to home, check out Roses and Revolutions, by Dudley Randall, who served as a poet-in-residence in 1969 at what was then the University of Detroit.

The library also offers online poetry, such as The New Anthology of American Poetry, or, if you are pressed for time, how about some online haiku?  You could also subscribe to the digital poem-a-day poetry series, or take a look at A Work Day in Hard Times, a blog by UDM’s own Fr. Staudenmaier, which includes daily poems and reflections.open mic

Finally, if you would like to listen to local poets or work on or share your own poetry, make sure to visit the Grounds coffeehouse on campus on Sunday, April 17th from 3:00pm to 6:00pm for the Broadside Lotus Press Poets’ Theatre.  The afternoon will start with a poetry workshop, followed by an open mic session from 4:30-6:00.

 

Jill Spreitzer, Librarian

 

 

 

Library of Congress Classification OR How Many Catalogers Does It Take To Change A Light Bulb?

LCStuff happens, and then accumulates. Of course it’s important stuff that you’ll want to use again, else you wouldn’t keep it, right? As long as it’s just a little stuff you can let it lie around randomly and just remember where everything is. Of course, your mother or significant other or even a helpful friend may foul everything up by putting your stuff where it belongs, but otherwise the system works well enough.

But eventually there is just too much stuff to remember. Since you still can‘t buy a few extra gigabytes of gray matter, your brain eventually runs out of memory.  Then you have to listen to what everybody says and put your stuff where it belongs.

And how do you know where your stuff belongs? That’s classification.

fuzzimo-vinylrecordspictures-01There are many ways of classifying stuff. Say you have a music collection that’s getting out of hand. You may want to arrange it by artist, and keep Dusty Springfield next to Bruce Springsteen. Or you may want to arrange it by type of music, putting jazz in one corner of the room, country in another, garage bands in the garage, and classical music up in the attic. Either system is fine, as long as it serves the purpose of enabling you to find stuff effectively.

The University of Detroit Mercy Libraries use a classification system devised by the Library of Congress (LC).  It arranges stuff by subject, and uses a combination of letters and numbers to bring materials together in a logical sequence.

Each piece of stuff is given a Call Number, which is basically like a street address where the material lives on the shelf. All the stuff on a given subject lives on the same street, or else on the next block over. (In real life, this would be like having all movie Tarzans living at Hollywood & Vine.)

Here is a call number, based on the LC Classification System, for William James’ book, The Varieties of Religious Experience:

BR 110 .J3 1929

The first thing to remember is that the letters “BR” have no intrinsic or mnemonic meaning, but simply indicate an area within the system. Here’s a quick summary of what comes under the letter “B” in the LC system:

B-BD= Philosophy     BF= Psychology                     BH= Aesthetics          BJ= Ethics

BL-BP Religions (general, non-Christian)      BR-BX Christianity

Within each area, the subjects generally move from general to specific. BR indicates material relating to general aspects of Christianity. The second element, 110, has been assigned for the more specific subject, “Psychology of religious experience, conversion, etc.” Again, the number “110” has no special significance; it only serves to arrange material in the desired order.

The .J3, as you probably guessed, relates to the author’s last name “James”, and serves as sub-arrangement.  “1929” is the year of publication, important when there is more than one edition of the work.

To find material on the shelf using a call number go one element at a time. First find the “BR” section, then follow the numbers as they increase from 1 to 110, then look for the J’s. As you do this, you’ll discover the wonderful world of browsing.

Nobody wants to spend all day toiling over a hot electronic device searching for stuff in a catalog. A subject-based classification system allows you the opportunity to find related material on the shelf without having to search for it. For example, on the same block as the James book, you’ll find:

Psychology and mystical experience   BR 110 .H6

The logic of the spirit: human development in theological perspective           BR 110 .L615 1998

Religious pathology and Christian faith          BR 110 .L62

The complete LC Classification System is very complex and detailed, running into the tens of thousands of pages. You don’t need to understand the complexities to use it effectively, but there are a few questions that may pop up in future blogs. For instance, why put a book on psychology and religion in the religion section (BR) rather than the psychology section (BF)? Sort of like deciding in which room to put eclectic music.

But I will let you in on a dirty little secret: most catalogers don’t do a lot of classification from scratch.  It‘s simply too complicated and time-consuming to do everything. Instead, they use information supplied by the Library of Congress and other major cataloging agencies, adapting them to local conditions as necessary. If you’ve ever used the WorldCat database, that’s where most of our cataloging information comes from.

724px-Light_bulb_icon_tips_svgSo now you know how many catalogers it takes to change a light bulb. Only one. But they have to wait and see how LC did it.

 

David Moody, Associate Librarian

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