Saturday, June 06, 2020

Systemic Racism and Anti-Black Police Violence

The Armacost Library condemns systemic racism and anti-Black police violence. We support and commit to anti-racism work while acknowledging our contributions are partial and incomplete. We will continue to make better choices for our community. We are stronger when we value the lived experiences and voices of Black people. library[dot]redlands[dot]edu

We condemn systemic racism and anti-Black police violence. We recognize we need to listen and support others first to help to create a different and better reality. We support and commit to anti-racism work while acknowledging our contributions are partial and incomplete. To that end, we commit to:

  • Reviewing Armacost Library's collections to evaluate how well they support anti-racist teaching and scholarship throughout the University. We pledge to share the results of this analysis and to rectify gaps that we find. This includes purchasing sources written, created, or published by people of color. 
  • Promote books, films, and other content to help educate our community about the necessity of anti-racism work.
  • Participate in and offer anti-racism education and programming.
  • Evaluate our hiring and management practices to ensure we are recruiting, hiring, and supporting a diverse and inclusive staff.
  • Provide a safe and welcoming space for Black students, faculty, staff, and guests by upholding our Community Agreements.
The Armacost Library

[Updated 6/8/20 with an image of our social media post]

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Curbside Pickup @ Armacost Library

Armacost Library staff will begin Curbside Pickup on Monday June 1, 2020.

University of Redlands faculty, staff, and students will use the Request feature in Primo to choose items to checkout for curbside pickup. You must be signed-in with your University of Redlands credentials to see the Request option. 

Prompt to sign-in

After signing-in, Request option available

To start, curbside pickup will take place on Mondays and Thursdays, noon-5pm. A Library staff member will email when your items have been picked from shelf. You will be asked to schedule an appointment for pickup of your items. Each appointment will provide a 15-minute window for pickup at the back entrance of the Armacost Library building. If you are unable to pickup requested items, we will also offer to mail items to your current residence. 

If you have items you would like to return, please use the book drop located at the back entrance or mail using USPS book rate. We have extended due dates, so please hold on to your books/DVDs/scores if there is not rush to return. 

If you have questions, please contact us during our reference chat hours or email

Monday, May 18, 2020

Signs of Spring

The Longed-for Sun by Enrique Martínez Celaya 
The signs of Spring are all around us: plants returning from dormancy, flowers blooming, and bees reappearing. Spring shows us a resurgence of life after longer nights and colder weather. This season inspires artists, writers, and film makers with themes of renewal, birth, and love, and is the study of naturalists and ecologists around the globe. Though current quarantine measures may reduce our exposure to this treasured season, this post aims to bring you the spirit of spring, from different perspectives.

An early naturalist, John Muir, asks his reader to imagine wandering through a glacier meadow north of Soda Springs in his book, The Mountains of California:

"With inexpressible delight you wade out into the grassy sun-lake, feeling yourself contained in one of Nature's most sacred chambers, withdrawn from the sterner influences of the mountains, secure from all intrusion, secure from yourself, free in the universal beauty. And notwithstanding the scene is so impressively spiritual, and you seem dissolved in it, yet everything about you is beating with warm, terrestrial, human love and life delightfully substantial and familiar. The resiny pines are types of health and steadfastness; the robins feeding on the sod belong to the same species you have known since childhood; and surely these daisies, larkspurs, and goldenrods are the very friend-flowers of the old home garden. Bees hum as in a harvest noon, butterflies waver above the flowers, and like them you lave in the vital sunshine, too richly and homogenously joy-filled to be capable of partial thought. You are all eye, sifted through and through with light and beauty" (1894, p. 129).

Not long after Muir's wanderings through California wilderness, a famous play made its debut in France. In 1913, Stravinsky's ballet, The Rite of Spring, was first performed at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées to an audience shocked by the ballet's violence. It wasn't long before the ballet was banned, though the original choreography has been recreated in a 2008 performance by the Mariinsky Ballet, at the Mariinsky Theatre, in St. Petersburg.

In addition to ballet and music, spring inspires artists working with paint and other media. For example, Enrique Martínez Celaya's work, "The Longed-for Sun" is featured above, and is just one piece by Celaya that incorporates feelings and imagery of Spring. You can view more of his work in ArtStor, such as "The Link of Tree and Sun." If you find Celaya's work intriguing, you can view others at his personal website

Poetry is another form in which a reader can identify the influence of Spring. Although countless examples exist, Yang Mu's poetry is available in a bilingual edition with Chinese side by side with English in the book, Forbidden Games & Video Poems: The Poetry of Yang Mu and Lo Ch'ing. Here is an excerpt of Mu's striking poem, "Spring Song," originally written in 1985, which describes a conversation with the first robin of the year:

He has now stopped in front of the bonsai pine 
Peering left and right. 
The last of the snow on the roof 
Melts rapidly, pouring in torrents into the flower bed— 
"Perhaps my heart just might be greater 
Than the universe," in challenge 
I glare at his short beak, eager and speechless 

His feathers polished from extended flapping in southern reaches 
In a season of dumb indecision 
They are the most reliable light: "Otherwise 
What would guide you during your travels?" 

"I rely on love," he says 
Suddenly raising the level of the discussion 
Beating his glittering wings, jumping into the clump of chrysanthemums 
That were planted last fall and have managed to live through the harsh 
"Relying on the strength of love is a common 
Concept, a type of praxis. Love is our guide" 
He stands among the green leaves and the moss-speckled stones 
Abstract, distant, like a teardrop 
In the rapidly warming air, he shakes himself plump 
"Love is the goddess of the heart... " 
How much more so 
Now that spring has come

Monday, May 04, 2020

Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Solidarity Image of Coy Fish Image from American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees

The designation of May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in the United States is owed to the work of two congressional staffers, Jeanie F. Jew and Ruby Moy, and New York Congressman Frank Horton. Jew first introduced the idea to Horton in the mid-1970s after presidential decrees enacted Black History Month (1976) and Hispanic Heritage Week (1968). Jew and Ruby Moy, Horton's chief of staff, spearheaded the efforts to gain support for a proclamation in 1978. It wasn't until 1992 that Horton was able to introduce legislation to permanently designate May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

May was chosen to commemorate two events: the arrival of the first known Japanese immigrant in May 1843 and the completion of the transcontinental railway in May 1869, a feat that would not have been realized without Chinese workers.

Learn more about the deep, rich, and varied communities, histories, and contributions of Asians in the United States in the PBS and WETA five-part documentary series, Asian Americans, premiering May 11 and 12, 2020. Led by a team of Asian American filmmakers, the series examines the significant role of Asian Americans in shaping American history and identity, from the first wave of Asian immigrants in the 1850s and identity politics during the social and cultural turmoil of the 20th Century to modern refugee crises in a globally connected world.

In the U.S., and other majority-white countries, we're experiencing an increase in anti-Asian discrimination and harassment. Learn more about and how to intervene in coronavirus-related racism and xenophobia:

Code Switch: When xenophobia spreads like a virus
APALA: What's your normal? Your stories during COVID-19
APALA, AFL-CIO: Protecting Asian American and Pacific Islander working people
Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council: Stop AAPI Hate Incident Report Forms

The Armacost Library has a wealth of resources to learn more about our shared American experiences.

Kanopy's curated collection of streaming documentaries and film for Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
Ebooks available in Armacost Library's collections.

Find recommended reads for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month from your local library, and connect to their ebook collections. Some selections from:
Berkeley Public Library
Los Angeles Public Library
San Francisco Public Library

Moon, K. (2019, May 23). How one woman's story led to the creation of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Time.

Monday, April 20, 2020

ALURA Recipients Announced for 2020!

We are happy to announce the winners of this year’s Armacost Library Undergraduate Research Awards: congratulations to CAS students Margaret Eronimous and Lindsey Jordan!

In the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, our congratulations go to Margaret Eronimous for her ALURA submission in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences entitled, “An American Sound: Parallels in Popular Compositions and Land Management in Depression Era North and Latin America.” Maggie began work on this project in the fall of her junior year and has just successfully defended the paper. 
The central claim of Maggie’s paper revolves around changing human relationships with natural spaces and emerging attitudes and practices around public lands developed in tandem with novel musical forms during the 1930s and 40s in the Americas. Her work explores and defines examples of how art imitated life in the form of popular music. In order to do this, Maggie necessarily drew upon works in scholarship, journalism, government reports, and musical scores and recordings. Bravely navigating the waters of an emerging sub-discipline, she made full and expert use of various information resources, including multiple databases, print materials, and faculty across campus.  

In Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, our congratulations go to Lindsey Jordan for her paper, “Greenhouse Gas Emissions Associated with Animal Agriculture and Mitigation Strategies within the Industry.” Lindsey describes her paper as a “meta-analysis of mitigation opportunities.”  Her central question is: “How much would our total emissions decrease if we applied technical mitigation strategies to the four processes in the livestock lifecycle analysis?” 
Lindsey used a variety of sources including books, journal articles and scientific research-based information from NGOs including the OECD and the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization.  From that literature, Lindsey identified stages in the livestock lifecycle that could be analyzed, and various mitigation strategies associated with each.  She synthesized content from those sources and concluded that using a variety of strategies could result in a 45% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.  That is a reduction of more than 3.2 gigatons annually.  A significant amount.   

We’d also like to heartily thank the members of this year’s two selection committees, and all of the entrants. Winners from all years may be viewed in InSPIRe, our institutional repository. Congratulations to Maggie and Lindsey! 

Monday, March 30, 2020

Viral Open Access in Times of Global Pandemic

Vincent W. J. van Gerven Oei, co-director of open access punctum books, shares his thoughts about global information privilege. As American universities and schools, educators and administrators, support staff and families, scramble to meet students' educational needs and institutional performance indicators, our gratitude to publishers and others freeing up access must be understood within a broader context.

Viral Open Access in Times of Global Pandemic 

by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

This post was originally published on March 19, 2020 and is available at

In recent weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to numerous calls for scientific research concerning the virus and the disease to be made open access and freely available to the public. These calls stand in a tense relationship not only with the profit-driven approach to medical research by pharmaceutical companies,1 but also with the business models of the for-profit academic publishing oligopoly, dominated by a few companies making excessive profit margins that are essentially subsidized by public funds.2 The current pandemic makes abundantly clear that the public availability of public knowledge indeed saves lives – but it doesn’t do so only now, it always does.

Let’s recap.

The initial report of the WHO on an outbreak of pneumonia in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, dates to December 31, 2019. The first articles in medical journals appear in mid-January, for example in the open-access International Journal for Infectious Diseases. Rather than wait for publishers to release publicly funded knowledge to the public, a massive online archiving project publicly released more than 5,000 unpaywalled articles on coronaviruses on Sci-Hub in the same month.3 On January 30, 2020 the WHO declared a global health emergency.

On January 31, a statement was published on the website of the Wellcome Trust, in which a number of publishers and journals, including publishing oligopolists Elsevier, Springer Nature, and Taylor and Francis, agreed that
all peer-reviewed research publications relevant to the outbreak are made immediately open access, or freely available at least for the duration of the outbreak
The term “COVID-19” was announced on February 11, and on March 11 the WHO declared the COVID-19 public health crisis a “pandemic.” Two days later, on March 13, chief science advisors from twelve countries released a statement, relayed by the Office of Science and Technology Policy of the White House, urging “publishers to voluntarily agree to make their COVID-19 and coronavirus-related publications, and the available data supporting them, immediately accessible in PubMed Central4 and other appropriate public repositories.”

In response, several of the signatories of the January 31 declaration, including the oligopolists, agreed to further make “all of their COVID-19 and coronavirus-related publications, and the available data supporting them, immediately accessible in PubMed Central (PMC) and other public repositories.”

The Wellcome Trust statement raises the fascinating question concerning what type of research is exactly “relevant” to the outbreak. As the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic is not only tied to the DNA of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, its protein structures, and the way interacts with the human body, but also the field of medicine, and therefore also healthcare, and healthcare funding, and health education, and thus also much broader questions of state organization, economic structures, educational resources – in brief, all the ways in which humans have ordered the world. If we want to come to a full understanding of the outbreak, all peer-reviewed research in medical, STEM, social science, and the humanities is potentially “relevant” and should therefore be made open. But that is certainly not how Elsevier c.s. see it.

Then there is also the question of what “duration” means here. The outbreak started officially when the WHO declared it a public health concern on January 30, and for-profit publishers acted a day later. But when will that end? When is all this research that is not temporarily released to the public going back behind lock and key? If predictions that COVID-19 may become endemic to the human population and circulate on an annual basis like the flu becomes reality, its duration is indefinite, but the free access to medical research most certainly won’t be. As HIV/AIDS researchers have long known, even though a pandemic may claim millions of victims, the paywall remains shut as long as the spotlight isn’t on.

The criminal hypocrisy of the publishing industry’s current professions of minimal decency becomes clear once you check the archive of the Wellcome Trust and find similar calls for open access concerning the Ebola epidemic of 2018 and the Zika outbreak in 2016. In neither case do we find the compassionate and understanding signatures of Elsevier, Springer Nature, Taylor and Francis, or many others. One gets the impression that only now that a disease affects the Global North, suddenly open access is something of a moral obligation, an obligation that was not so urgently felt when tens of thousands died in Africa. The position of academic for-profit publishers is therefore clear: the deaths of some are more problematic (for their bottom line and “reputation”) than others.

Pilfered from Ernesto Priego.

Opening access went properly viral when schools and universities closed down in the Global North. Suddenly, also non-medical research was made freely accessible. Cambridge University Press opened up its textbooks “until the end of May 2020”; more than 75 publishers made their publications freely accessible to any institution with a ProQuest account “through mid-June”; Harvard University Press made its Loeb Classical Library freely available to school and libraries “until June 30”; and several university presses made their books freely available on Project MUSE until May 31 or June 30, 2020.5 Again, only now that school children and students in the Global North are confronted with a limited access to physical learning materials – a daily problem for millions of students around the globe – it appears possible to open up those precious digital files.

As with the temporary opening of access to COVID-19-related articles, the academic presses offering “discretionary” unpaywalling – to a random subset of their catalogs with unknown or poorly argued relevance for the catastrophe that has hit our education systems – are doing nothing but engaging in last-minute, haphazard PR, hoping that the realization that publicly funded knowledge is inaccessible to most of us will not dawn too soon on the anxious tax payer, confronted with their restless child at home or scrambling to assemble an impromptu online “learning experience.”

It is not only in times of crisis that publicly available knowledge can save lives. It always has this potential, and it’s our choice.

  1. The attempts of the Trump government to buy the exclusive rights to a potential German vaccine are a case in point.
  2. Enough for RELX, the parent company of Elsevier to buy back 1 billion GBP in stock during 2019 and 2020. Its CEO, Erik Engstrom, earned £80.3 million in the last decade.
  3. This is a good example of “pirate care.”
  4. PubMed Central is a freely accessible database for medical papers managed by the NIH.
  5. So apparently publishers think that this is all going to be over (in the Global North) by June or July.

You may cite the original work as

van Gerven Oei, V. W. J. (2020). Viral Open Access in Times of Global Pandemic. Punctum Books. Retrieved from
License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0)

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Use Stuff from the Smithsonian

Doing a presentation? Creating art? Writing a blog post? Need an image?

On February 25, the Smithsonian launched Smithsonian Open Access. From the Smithsonian Magazine:
For the first time in its 174-year history, the Smithsonian has released 2.8 million high-resolution two- and three-dimensional images from across its collections onto an open access online platform for patrons to peruse and download free of charge. Featuring data and material from all 19 Smithsonian museums, nine research centers, libraries, archives and the National Zoo, the new digital depot encourages the public to not just view its contents, but use, reuse and transform them into just about anything they choose—be it a postcard, a beer koozie or a pair of bootie shorts.

And this gargantuan data dump is just the beginning. Throughout the rest of 2020, the Smithsonian will be rolling out another 200,000 or so images, with more to come as the Institution continues to digitize its collection of 155 million items and counting.
This means that anyone with an internet connection can (legally) download this content and use it (e.g., post it to social media, add it to that scholarly article you're writing, add it to an open educational resource, and more) without needing to ask for permission--which was a requirement in the past. Got questions? Check out their FAQ.

What will you create?