Today’s News: Separating Fact from Fiction

This year’s United States presidential election campaign may be remembered for the proliferation of fake, false and misleading news stories especially on social media sites such as Facebook. Viral news hoaxes have been around for many years but 2016 seems to be the year they exploded into the consciousness of the American public. Even typically reliable news sources, whether mainstream or alternative, corporate or nonprofit, rely on particular media frames to select and report news stories based on different notions of newsworthiness. The best thing to do in our contemporary media environment is to read, watch and listen both widely and often, and to be critical of the news sources we share and engage with on social media. To help you in evaluating news stories, Reynolds Libraries has created a guide –  http://libguides.reynolds.edu/fakenews

fake-news

Library extended hours: Fall 2016

Student studyingTo help you prepare for final exams,  Reynolds Library will extend its hours of operation during the last weeks of the semester at the Parham and Downtown campuses.

Our extended schedule will be as follows:

7:45 am – 10:00 pm          Monday, December 5th  – Thursday, December 8th

7:45 am – 5:00 pm            Friday, December 9th

8:00 am – 2:00 pm            Saturday, December 10th (Downtown Library only)

10:00 am – 4: 00 pm         Saturday, December 10th (Parham Library only)

7:45 am – 10:00 pm          Monday, December 12th – Thursday, December 15th

7:45 am – 5:00 pm            Friday, December 16th

 

We hope the extended hours will provide you a safe and comfortable learning environment and to offer you the research assistance you need for your final exams and papers.

Good luck!

From Open Textbooks to Open Pedagogy

Reynolds librarians, Lynn Riggs and Denise Woetzel, recently attended the annual Open Education Conference right here in Richmond. Open education advocates gathered from around the world to learn about the latest research, development, advocacy, design, and other work relating to open education including: tools and technologies supporting open education; collaborations between teaching faculty and librarians in support of open education; models supporting the adoption, use, and sustaining of OER in higher education; and the role of librarians, faculty and students in advocating for, supporting, and sustaining OER adoption and use.

Lynn and Denise attended a wide variety of sessions on everything from open textbook publishing to open pedagogy. Several sessions that got Denise and Lynn most excited and inspired were:

  • Free + Freedom: The Role of Open Pedagogy in the Open Education Movement, presented by Rajiv Jhangiani from Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Vancouver and Robin DeRosa from Plymouth State University, New Hampshire. Professors Jhangiani and DeRosa explained the What, Why and How of open pedagogy. Open education is broader than open textbooks and savings. It is empowering students to make decisions about the courses they are taking as well as developing content for the course that is both meaningful and valuable to the rest of the higher education community. A fitting quote by John W. Gardner referred to during the session – “All too often we are giving young people cut flowers when we should be teaching them how to grow their own plants.” Some open pedagogy examples identified were: students writing and editing wiki articles; a student-created first-year seminar at Plymouth State University where students were also involved in developing the attendance policy and grading policy. Some of the questions posed during the session were: Why have students answer questions when they can write them? What inspires teachers and students to learn, change, care? How can OER be part of a larger mission related to access and empowerment?
  • It’s Not About the Books: Let’s Think About Open Pedagogy, presented by Christie Fierro, Instructional Designer and OER Coordinator at Tacoma Community College. Ms. Fierro defined open pedagogy as student-created content released with an open license which gives value to the world. Some examples of open pedagogy student projects at Tacoma Community College included: a presentation to the local town council on banning plastic bags; a video promoting and discussing the importance of a local food drive; students writing and modifying chapters for open history textbooks; and students collaborating with the library archivist to create a LibGuide on the history of Tacoma Community College.
  • The Faces of OER: Student Reflections on the Z Degree Experience, this panel discussion included business professor, Linda Williams and four students from Tidewater Community College. Professor Williams began the session by asking, “Whose course are you teaching? McGraw-Hill’s or yours?” Several students reflected that the instructors for their Z degree courses were more engaged with the topics that were taught, and that they themselves felt more connected to these classes than to ones using only traditional textbooks. Students reflected that Z degree courses had a richer bank of resources for them to learn from that just one publisher.
  • Establishing Actual Costs of Textbooks Across Curricula: Data from the Virginia Community College System, presented by Jamison Miller, Kim Grewe, and Amanda Carpenter-Horning. The College Board in its Annual Survey of Colleges estimates the cost per year for books and supplies is $1200.00. This group of doctoral students sought to find out how much the average costs for books are for first year students at the VCCS colleges. They compiled a list of college level, general education, first year courses at each school and checked these against the bookstores’ prices at each college. The estimated average cost of books for these two semesters in the VCCS is $1,110.50 which is less than but close to the national average. Estimated costs for a fall semester’s worth of books at Reynolds is just over $600. For a fall semester at Central Virginia Community College the cost is under $100.

Other session highlights included:

If you would like to talk to Lynn or Denise about the Open Education Conference or discuss possible OER collaborations with the library, you can contact them by email or phone:

Check out these other Open Education Conference resources:

The Polls Are Now Open!

Technically, yes, you can already vote (absentee) for president here in Virginia!

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In case you missed it, the Parham Road Campus Library has put up a display all about this up-coming election, with a little information about the good old electoral college. Stop by to take a closer look at the display while you mull over the decision ahead.

In the meantime, here are some important links that you may want to check out before the big day.

What if I want to vote absentee?: Remember, the deadline to request an absentee ballot is Saturday, Nov 5th!

What’s even on my ballot anyway? I’m sure this isn’t your first time hearing this, but POTUS is not the only thing that you’ll be voting on come November 8th! Find out everything that will be on your ballot by entering your address at the link above.

Where exactly is my polling place? Not sure where to go? Fill in your address at the link provided to find out! Remember, you have to vote at the polling place that correlates to the address where you’re REGISTERED to vote!

Do I need I.D.? Yes! Some forms of ID are as simple as a valid Driver’s License or a Virginia Voter Photo Identification card. Check here for a list of all acceptable forms of ID. If you don’t have one, you can get the aforementioned VA Voter Photo ID by visiting any general registrar’s office. Do it quickly! (More information is available at the link!)

A Program about The Children Act? Why?

“Just to be clear, Adam. You do realize that it’s for me alone to decide what’s in your best interests. If I were to rule that tchildren-acthe hospital may legally transfuse you against your wishes, what will you think?”

He was sitting up, breathing hard, and seemed to sag a little at the question, but he smiled. ‘I’d think My Lady was an interfering busybody.” (Ian McEwan, The Children Act, 117-118).

Around the World through Books’ upcoming program on Thursday, November 10, will be framed by the events of The Children’s Act by Ian McEwan. Paralegal Studies program head Susan Brewer will lead the discussion, a challenging task because:

  1. Not everyone will have read the book, and that’s okay.(But all three Reynolds Libraries have copies to lend.)
  2. Though this program is sponsored by the Multicultural Enrichment Council, it is not particularly multicultural—at least not in the sense of ethnic diversity. It is set in London, England, and the main characters are white middle-class folk of decent background and intelligence, with nobody particularly harassing them.

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    Susan Brewer (not Fiona Maye)
  3. This is a book without much action or plot, and almost everybody in it wants what’s best for the others. Almost everybody. Yet it has a sense of urgency and is literally about life and death decisions.

This is a book about searching for truth, and it’s a book about judging. Fiona Maye is a high court judge who must decide whether a young man with leukemia, Adam Henry, a Jehovah’s Witness, must have the blood transfusion which he wants to refuse, but without which his treatment will surely fail. Adam is seventeen and three-quarters, still technically a minor, but well over the sixteen years at which a child’s wishes are usually considered in legal matters. His parents support his choice. The hospital has brought it to court—the doctors want to save this charming, intelligent young man. The Henrys believe that Biblical injunctions to abstain from eating blood also preclude accepting blood products into the body. Adam is prepared to die rather than disobey God.

What’s multicultural about all that? What does this book have to do with diversity and inclusion? Here are three answers; perhaps you can supply more. Or perhaps the program will give us a chance to develop other ideas—come to LTC 220 from 7-8:30 on Thursday, Nov. 10 and see.

  1. Religious convictions (or anti-convictions) are part of each person’s cultural identity. They help define our understanding of right and wrong and how things ought to be, which in turn affects how we treat each other.
  2. Even reasoned, critical thinking based on law (The Children Act is the British child protective services law, to oversimplify it), logic, and the best of intentions is affected by the context of cultural conventions, parental and social influences, and, perhaps, life’s momentous distractions. Fiona is childless and her husband is behaving badly.
  3. Fiona’s husband is behaving badly. It is accurate to say he’s being really stupid and selfish, but that sounds so judgmental. Society today has a “Don’t judge!” mantra. “Judge not, that ye be not judged (Matthew 7:1),” is quoted frequently. But what does that really mean? How can we be inclusive, kind, and respectful, and still be true to our own convictions about right and wrong?children-act-poster

Find your Fandom at the Library

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Comic Con Display at the Downtown Library

Did you miss the New York Comic Con this year?  Are you going to the Virginia Comic Con in Richmond at the end of October?  Get help choosing your Fandom at the Library.  We have DVDs of The Avengers, X-men, The Hobbit, Star Trek, Star Wars, etc. along with many Anime DVDs.  We also have books on Superheroes, Manga and Comics.  Once you’ve found your Fandom, you can use this online book, 1000 incredible costume & cosplay ideas a showcase of creative characters, for Cosplay costume ideas.

Comic Con: Comic book convention
Cosplay: Literally “Costume Play.” Dressing up and pretending to be a fictional character (usually a sci-fi, comic book, or anime character).
Fandom: The community that surrounds a TV show/movie/book etc. Fanfiction writers, artists, poets, and cosplayers are all members of that fandom. Fandoms often consist of message boards, livejournal communities, and people.

Definitions from UrbanDictionary.com.

Happy Columbus Day!

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Die Schiffe des Columbus by Gustav Adolf Closs

“The great thing about revisionist history is you have the freedom to go back and correct these misconceptions about the past, as long as you’re doing it in a scholarly and authentic and well-researched sort of way.”

– Candace Gibson
Stuff You Missed in History Class – Did the Chinese Reach America Before Columbus?

Happy Columbus Day everyone!

In honor of this (sometimes polarizing) holiday, let’s all take a moment to go back and see if what we learned about Columbus’ ‘discovery’ in elementary school still holds true today.

Lucky for us, the folks at the “Stuff You Missed in History Class” podcast have done some of the work for us already. Take a listen to this short episode, where they discuss Gavin Menzies book 1421: The Year China Discovered America? and whether or not Menzies theory holds water.

Inspired to do your own investigation after listening to the podcast? You’re in luck! We’ve got the book and its sequel – Who Discovered America? – right here in our collection!

If you’re especially inspired, we’ve also got Lies My Teacher Told Me to tide you over.

Happy hunting/researching/de-bunking!