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Keeping you up to date with Library teaching and outreach activities.

Change the Subject as a Teaching Tool by Jill Baron

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Change the Subject, a film about libraries, labels, and activism, was co-directed by Dartmouth librarian Jill Baron and filmmaker Sawyer Broadley and co-produced by Dartmouth alumni Melissa Padilla ‘16 and Óscar Rubén Cornejo Cásares ‘17. The film explores the singular effort of students and librarians to change the Library of Congress subject heading “Illegal aliens,” a movement that has had a national impact.

It premiered at Dartmouth College on April 27, 2019, and since then, has had 51 public screenings, been included in two film festivals, and was broadcast on Vermont PBS, part of their “Made Here” series. The impact of the film has been widespread, but perhaps most significantly as a teaching tool in a variety of classrooms. The film has been screened to K-12 audiences as an illustration of civics in action, and is increasingly included in library and information school curricula, prompting a new generation of librarians to ponder what diversity and inclusion in libraries really mean when these values are at odds with traditional library practices.

At Dartmouth, students in the Fall 2019 course “Latinx Lives in the United States” produced Words Matter, an online exhibit about the film, delving deeper into topics such as the role of language in determining identity, and the history of immigrant rights activism at Dartmouth. Given that the film explores how libraries use cataloging and controlled vocabularies to organize information, teaching librarians are finding the film useful in terms of building critical information literacy skills in students. Baron aims to produce a teaching toolkit for the film, and hopes that the film will continue to inspire conversations about social justice, racial equity, and inclusivity in libraries and higher education.

Dartmouth Library reports on “Teaching with Primary Sources” by Morgan Swan

During the 2019-2020 academic year, the Dartmouth Library is participating in a study conducted by Ithaka S+R, a not-for-profit service that helps academic communities serve the public good and navigate economic, technological, and demographic change. The current study, titled “Supporting Teaching with Primary Sources,” is being facilitated by Morgan Swan, Daniel Abosso, and Myranda Fuentes, and has benefitted from significant contributions from Joshua Dacey before his departure. The Dartmouth Library team will partner with Ithaka S+R and twenty-five other institutions of higher learning in both the US and the UK to conduct a series of interviews with faculty who use primary sources in the classroom in some capacity.

At present, twelve Dartmouth faculty have been interviewed and transcriptions will soon be generated. Then, the Dartmouth Library team will review and code the transcripts according to certain keywords of relevance and interest. Once that’s complete, the information will be collated and used in the creation of a report that will seek to elucidate the ways in which the Dartmouth Library can provide support for faculty who want to incorporate primary sources in meaningful ways in the classroom, whether on-site or virtually.

The information gathered here at Dartmouth will also be included in a capstone report by Ithaka S+R and will be essential for the larger library profession to further understand how the support needs of instructors in teaching with primary sources are evolving. The Dartmouth Library’s local report will go live in September 2020 and Ithaka’s larger report should appear soon after.

From Script to Print by Daniel Abosso

During fall term, Daniel Abosso taught an 8-week Osher class, “From Script to Print: European Cultural Change, 1300-1600” that focused on the how European intellectual culture changed during the transition from manuscripts to printed books. Students worked with manuscript and early printed books at Rauner Special Collections Library, prints at the Hood Museum, and parchment, paper, and the hand-press at the Book Arts Workshop to understand the physical processes involved in manuscript and book production. Each week was devoted to a different theme, from anatomy and disease to the discovery of the New World. Students read primary sources that ranged widely, from a 7th century encyclopedia to a 16th century Neo-Latin epic on syphilis. One student commented, “If ever you wanted to take a journey back in time to another place, this is the course! Daniel has the amazing ability to show the works of these ancient scholars in relation to world events and perspectives, and bring these personalities to life.”

Women in Data Science: Building a longer table starts at Dartmouth by Catrina Cuadra

While women struggle for equality across disciplines, women in data science face particular challenges. They struggle to reach representation and many find themselves unhappy working in these industries, ultimately leaving. There are several places where women veer off the path to a successful data science career, often in liminal stages where women lack support. These stages include transitioning from student to master, entering the professional world, and achieving professional success. Often women lack structures and networks to turn to in these critical stages of their careers.

The need to establish social networks for women within the data science world has become increasingly clear. Many of the issues women face in their struggle to reach parity stem from lack of mentors, sponsors, teachers, friends, and colleagues. Based on a UN initiative, the forthcoming Dartmouth Library Women in Data Science (WIDS) initiative hopes to address this need. Led by Catrina Cuadra, WIDS will create a space for women to advance their technical skills and learn some of the soft skills needed to engage in the tech world. While the skills are important, the professional and personal networks that arise from the group meetings are what will ultimately contribute to building a longer table in the world of data science and tech.

Please keep an eye out for the first WIDS meeting. All gender identities are welcome. If you have any questions about WIDS please contact Catrina Cuadra.

Dartmouth librarian Katie Harding has been selected as a fellow in the SPARC Open Education Leadership Program, an intensive professional development program to empower library professionals with the knowledge, skills, and connections to lead successful open education initiatives that benefit students. The two-semester program blends online, peer-to-peer, and project-based learning to build a comprehensive understanding of the open education space coupled with practical know-how to take action on campus and beyond. Katie will work with a mentor to implement a capstone project that will help advance open education at Dartmouth and contribute back to the broader open education community.

Dartmouth College is a member of SPARC, which is a global coalition dedicated to making Open the default in research and education. For more information about the SPARC Open Education Leadership Program, visit