2016 LACUNY Institute – Race Matters: Libraries, Racism, and Antiracism

2016 LACUNY Institute – Race Matters: Libraries, Racism, and Antiracism

by Professor Maureen Garvey, Evening/Weekend Instruction Librarian

LACUNY Institute, the annual day-long conference organized by the Library Association of CUNY, was held at Brooklyn College on May 20. This year’s theme was Race Matters: Libraries, Racism, and Antiracism.

From opening remarks, through two keynote speakers and many concurrent panel sessions it was an inspiring, thought-provoking and challenging day, sparking a very necessary conversation.

april-hathcockIn a beautiful opening talk drawing appropriately from both theory and lived experience, April Hathcock (Scholarly Communication Librarian, NYU), pointed out that that race matters in our profession, when 87% of librarians are white. As such, she noted that neutrality is not a just choice, in the face of such facts. She further stated that we have seen an increased focus on diversity in hiring, but we also require a subsequent focus on inclusion, to support more people of color who enter the profession, to remain and succeed. “Acknowledging these issues is not perpetuating them, as some maintain. It is a first step toward change.” As we were reminded by April, Frederick C. Douglass taught us that power will concede nothing without demand.

MitchellSJacksonMitchell S. Jackson’s keynote (author, recipient 2016 Whiting Award) was a blistering trip through his upbringing in urban Portland, Oregon in which he deftly used the stories of people he knew, alongside his own, to illustrate that ‘revision’ is possible for everyone, and to urge us to consider our role in making this revision possible for all those students and patrons that appear before us.




Other sessions covered a huge range of subjects from inequality in publishing, both scholarly and literary, to repairing our unjust taxonomies, microaggressions, antiracism and whiteness, and the social justice potential of specific collections. CSI was represented by our Chief Librarian, Dr. Wilma Jones who presented and participated in a roundtable session of chief librarians on “Diversifying the Library Profession.”

unspecifiedSeveral CSI Library faculty played a large role in bringing this event to fruition. Professors Jonathan Cope, Anne Hays, and Mark Aaron Polger were all on the planning committee. Altogether, it was a great day.  A shout out to Professor Ellen Sexton of John Jay College, who coordinated the catering for the event. For what I heard, several people acclaim as the best conference lunch ever!

The library community looks forward to seeing action and discussion that will grow from this terrific event.

Greetings and Happy Fall from the Chief Librarian

Greetings and Happy Fall from the Chief Librarianwilma-fall2016

I am pleased to bring you updates from last academic year and highlights of new resources and services in the CSI Library.  First and foremost, I am happy to report that we successfully recruited two library faculty members for the positions of Electronic Resources Librarian and Evening/Weekend Instruction Librarian. These two new librarians have expanded our reach in many dramatic ways, the results of which you have certainly already felt or seen. Their bios are available in this newsletter, and you will see why.

Highlights of new initiatives implemented in 2014/2015 include the introduction of OneSearch – our new federated search to CUNY Libraries’ resources that retrieves a variety of resource types with a single search; the introduction of semester-long calculator loans – a resounding success; the creation of the Technology Support Center – a dedicated space for laptop and calculator loans, as well as support for printing and other library technology issues; and the implementation of an Events Calendar (htttp://www.lbrary.csi.cuny.edu/events) that lists exhibits and programs taking place in the Library – check it out!

We strengthened our collections in the new programmatic areas at CSI, namely TESOL, East Asian Studies, Arabic Studies, Physician Assistant, and Legal Studies.  In addition, the collections for programs under review for accreditation—namely, Social Work, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Physical Therapy, and Nursing—all received special attention.   As such, our journal holdings increased by 11,455 unique titles and our book collection expanded by 57,000 titles, primarily in e-book format.

Looking ahead, we have several exciting projects to roll out this year.  The first is CUNY’s institutional repository, Academic Works @ CUNY, which went live this semester.  A team of librarians here at CSI will be in touch with you (students, faculty, and staff) to get you hooked on depositing your works into this open access repository.  The second is the Blackboard/Library Integration Project, which we have been yearning for since BB was implemented.  It’s been a treat for us to create a webpage that provides key access points to library resources—now available to you directly in Blackboard!  More information about these two projects are detailed in articles on the following pages.  In addition, we have been in pilot mode with NJVID, a video repository program, which aims to provide ample storage for live-streaming multimedia and interactive tutorials.  This has been a spirited collaborative project between Media Services and Offices of Technology Systems that we hope will become a staple at CSI.

As always, I do encourage you to explore some of our databases.  Two new e-resources recently added were E-Marketer (a database that provides insights and trends relating to digital marketing, media and commerce) and Euromonitor: Research Monitor (a business reference database offering high quality research on industries, countries and consumers worldwide). We were also able to augment the following resources with additional titles: Ebrary, IEEE Xplore, Films on Demand, JStor, Springer Link eBooks, and Salem Press.  Go on, explore to your heart’s content!

That’s all from me for now.  I trust that you are having a productive semester so far!


Wilma L. Jones, Ph.D.
Associate Dean and Chief Librarian

Ten Resources to Tweet About


  1. There are 800+ titles of textbooks on Reserves for two-hour loans for use in the Library. Many titles are textbooks for introductory courses.
  2. Graphing Calculators(TI-84) are now available for 15-week loans (i.e. the whole semester) and can now be checked out from the Technology Support Center.
  3. The new Technology Support Center, located on the first floor of the library in room 109A, provides access to laptops, graphing calculators, and scanners.Mike
  4. Breaking news! All printers on the first floor have all been consolidated to one location in the reference room, and are strategically located six feet away from the Tech Support Center.   The same has been done with the copy machines—all four of them are less than six feet away from the Tech Support Center.
  5. Check out the K-12 Text Collection located on the 2nd floor, in west wing of the building.  These K-12 Texts include over 600 titles in print (and hundreds more online in the eBrary e-book database).
  6. A selection of the DVD Collectionis available to circulate for three-day loans.  Over 100 titles are available, including The Blind Side, Argo, The Wolf on Wall Street, Habla con Ella, The Help, Hurt LockerShawshank Redemption, Anna Karenina, To Kill a Mockingbird, Gone with the Wind, Hannah and her SistersBiutiful, Monsieur Lazhar, Los Abrazos Rotos, No, Kon-Tiki, and more.
  7. Check out our live-streaming video databases, Films on Demand and Kanopy (Media Educational Foundation) at  http://www.library.csi.cuny.edu/streaming-video/.  They include over 19,000 educational and documentary videos and video-clips.
  8. Graduate students can now enjoy two of 10 group study rooms that have been specifically designed for seminar and collaborative group sessions.  They include flexible furniture, seating for up to 12, a large white board, and a 42” LCD monitor screen.
  9. The third floor, which is zoned as the silent floor, is the best kept secret at College of Staten Island Library.  Enjoy the quiet space at individual carrels or large study tables.
  10. Scrapbooks made out of abandoned papers at printers have been neatly stapled into 6-paged booklets for anyone’s use.

–Wilma Jones

What’s New? Academic Works. CUNY’s Institutional Repository Goes Live at CSI

imgresThis fall the CUNY’s Office of Library Services introduced its new Institutional Repository, Academic Works.

An Institutional Repository (IR) is an online archive that anyone affiliated with the institution can use to preserve and make accessible a wide range of scholarly material. Everything from academic articles/papers to artistic works (basically any item that can be digitized) can be placed in the institutional repository and made accessible to a global audience of scholars and researchers.

What makes Academic Works so exciting is that it is CUNY’s very own IR. The College of Staten Island has a collection that is a part of Academic Works. This site can serve as a portal to the world showing all of the varied scholarly projects being undertaken by CSI students, faculty, and staff. Additionally, the existence of such a portal means that we can join the worldwide open access movement. This is a movement of scholars and librarians who are committed to making scholarship easily accessible to as wide an audience as is possible. All too often research and scholarship (particularly research that is funded by federal grants) is locked behind pay walls and inaccessible to the general public. The open access movement attempts to make more of this research universally accessible and IRs like CUNY’s Academic Works play a large role in creating the infrastructure that makes open access possible.

So go to http://academicworks.cuny.edu to create an account and see the scholarship that is being produced here at CSI and throughout CUNY!

-Jonathan Cope

Library /Blackboard Integration Pilot Project

What goes together better than pretzels and chocolate? You guessed it: the library and blackboard! Blackboard is CSI’s Learning Management System (LMS) and software that all instructors at CSI have access to. If you are new to Blackboard, it allows instructors to build teaching content online, including uploading files (like readings and the syllabus), creating instructional wikis and blogs, hosting discussion boards for students to comment between classes, and more. If this sounds like a one-stop portal for the digital classroom, you are correct!

The fact that we have access to Blackboard at CSI may be old news, but what’s new, and especially exciting, is that Blackboard has recently upgraded to allow librarians to embed modules into your existing Blackboard classes.

Instructors can collaborate with the library in a few simple ways:

  • By adding library content into your course through the “content collection.”
  • By linking to our online guides through your Blackboard course (in the same location where you add Discussions, Blogs, or Wikis).
  • By instructing your users to visit the Library Tab at the top of the home screen, which will lead you to library research materials that we’ve set up for you.

These features will be available in the Spring of 2016. Please ask us how to use the various tools mentioned above, and we will happily describe what’s possible in more detail.

-Anne Hays