Thursday, November 12, 2020

Native American Literature & Film

For Native American Heritage Month we're highlighting literature and film created by indigenous peoples of North America.

Remember that you can utilize curbside pickup for any physical items you'd like to read below. Enjoy!

Poetry and Plays


Novels and Short Stories

Graphic Novels & Comics

Short Film
A short film by Blackhorse Lowe:


This is "SHIMASANI" by Blackhorse Lowe on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.

Feature Film
A feature film by Sterlin Harjo:

Four Sheets to the Wind (2006)

An Oklahoma Indian deals with his father's death in accordance to his very specific burial wishes, which creates a family crisis.

Monday, October 26, 2020

American Archives Month


When the University of Redlands Archives was established in 2001, its mission statement emphasized that the goal of the Archives was, first and foremost, to contribute to the “sense of place” for those connected to the University, “by emphasizing the importance of history and that each individual has a place within that history.”

What better reason is there for observing American Archives Month than to celebrate that each of us deserves to be seen -- by acknowledging our “place within that history.” Your Archives is open to all to donate the artifacts that will commemorate your time here, as well as being open for you to learn more about others associated with the University. It’s a celebration of the continuity of our “place” within this institution and our shared story. The Archives are here to preserve materials which have been handed down from those who came before us, from people like you who make up the U of R today, and from those who will follow.

We who care for the items in the University Archives organize and catalog them so that we can easily access them for your use. Archives of any type provide an opportunity for you to use original research called primary sources, or firsthand facts, data, and evidence, from letters, reports, notes, memos, photographs, audio and video recordings, and more.

The University Archives contains more than 1,000 linear feet of collections which currently includes more than 20,000 photographs, an almost complete run of the student newspaper and other student publications, documentation about student life, clubs and organizations, and Greek life, yearbooks, faculty committees, and a collection of architectural drawings for every building on campus including the working drawings for the Administration Building (1909) and Memorial Chapel (1927).

One of these items is a very early pamphlet entitled, “Opening Exercises of the University of Redlands,” dated “Wednesday, September 29, 1909.” The document outlines a modest opening to the great undertaking of establishing a university. The lyrics to “The University of Redlands” song are printed within it. Sung by a male quartet, the story of our Redlands ancestors and their hope for their endeavor, was sung on that day in September,


Then shout for the vict’ry before us,

Our colors are orange and white,

For we are a band of co-workers

All striving to do what is right.

Skipping ahead 111 years to 2020, the original story continues (though our official campus colors did change!); we’re still striving. This year, in particular, we’re striving to overcome an extraordinary amount of obstacles. The Archives continues to add to the documentation of our story, for example with this image taken in August of a closure sign on the Quad.

Yes, archives are the stewards of the dusty and yellowing stuff which seem to come from another world, but we must also be stewards of the history being made today. We want our authentic story, our “sense of place,” to continue for our descendants to discover, to learn from, to be inspired by, and to enjoy.

For those whose research goes beyond the scope of the University of Redlands Archives, the City of Redlands offers the archives known as the Heritage Room at A.K. Smiley Public Library Special Collections. Here is also a list of samples of online databases and archives that may also be of use:

v  ArchiveGrid

ArchiveGrid allows you to search by topic and receive results from over 1000 archival repositories.

v  National Archives Catalog

Online Catalog of National Archives holdings.

v  New York Public Library Archives Finder

Provides information and detailed indexing to manuscript collections from over 5,000 U.S. repositories.

v  Online Archive of California

Public access to detailed descriptions of primary source collections from more than 200 contributing institutions in California.


Teresa Letizia, University Archives

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Mid-Autumn Merriness in 2020

In 2020, the Mid-Autumn Festival is on October 1st. This festive day falls on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Lunar Year (a.k.a. the Chinese Calendar). Second only to the Chinese New Year, the Mid-Autumn Festival holds agricultural importance because of the harvest and season of growth for a new year of crops. On this special day, the moon cake is popular and families gather to eat hot pot as well as dumplings and more traditional Chinese dishes. 

Available in the Armacost Library and in the digital holdings:


More literature is available when searching other terms such as "moon cake" and "Chinese festivals", so take a look through our catalogs and when we don't have that you want, let us know and we can see if we can find it through InterLibrary Loan

Also, feel free to join an event that the UofR Asian Student Association is putting on:

Happy eating and exploring! 

Monday, September 21, 2020

Banned Books Week Events

Banned Books Week celebrates our freedom to read, by highlighting banned or challenged books! Lots of events are happening virtually during Banned Books Week, and anyone is welcome to attend.

Banned Books Week Events

Redlands Community Readout     
    Tuesday, September 29, 6:00–7:30pm    
    Via Zoom, Meeting ID: 839 9254 4422, Password: 898064 
Help to build a virtual reading community at the U of R and across the city by sharing a “banned” book to raise awareness of censorship in the U.S. Read aloud a passage from your favorite challenged book. Novels and Nonfiction, pre-select 2-3 paragraphs; Picture books and Graphic Novels 2-3 pages. Listeners welcome!
    Sponsors: Diversity Initiatives, Johnston Center for Integrative Studies, Armacost Library, and Friends of the A.K. Smiley Public Library

Redlands Community Book Drive
    Monday, September 28 – Friday, October 2, 10:00–12:00pm 
Drop- off your gently worn books in a bin at Hunsaker Lounge. ALL books will be donated to high schools in Redlands and in Ghana. Lavern Clerk’23 (in photo, left side), a global business major has been collecting and donating book since she was in high school.

Bless Me, Ultima: A Banned Book Discussion
    Wednesday, September 30, 6:00–7:30pm 
    Via Zoom, Meeting ID: 890 8579 5230, Password: 898064

Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima (Warner Books, 1972) is classic coming-of-age novel with strong elements of magical realism. It is consistently challenged for reasons including: “occult/satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, violence” as reported by the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. Join a panel conversation on the rich literary heritage of Anaya’s work in an age of censorship. This program is open to the whole city of Redlands.
    Sponsors: Diversity Initiatives, Johnston Center for Integrative Studies, Órale, Armacost Library, and Friends of the A.K. Smiley Public Library

Banned Books Week 2020: Virtual Art Workshop with Duan Kellum from SKOOL BOIZ
    Thursday, October 1, 5:00–7:00pm
    Via WebEx
    Literary expert Jeffery Summers says it best, “Fahrenheit 451 is a novel based in a dystopian society that burns books to control dangerous and unhappy concepts.” The burning of books is the ultimate form of censorship. By evolving the iconic number 451, the temperature at which paper burns, we are stating that we understand that there are still elements that want to censor what we read, say, hear and even think.
    Our project will be broken up into two parts. In part one participants will create a stencil and put it on a shirt. University of Redlands community members can download and print the stencil image here. You can either wait until the workshop to cut it out or feel free to do this before our meeting. Secondly, we will create a message about censorship as it relates to a piece of literature. Participants are asked to select a book that is/was banned and recreate the book cover or take a favorite quote from a piece of literature that is/was banned. In addition, participants are also encouraged to create an original image/graphic depicting censorship. This will culminate in taking either the image/graphic or original art piece and create iron-on. Using basic materials participants you will transfer the image onto a garment, tote or other material.
    What you will need: Crayons, sand paper (medium grit), scissors, newspaper/scrap paper, iron, construction paper, X-acto knife, fabric paint/ink, stencil/dabbing brush, table covering/protection, drawing paper, pencil/pen, banned book, and -t-shirts, tote bag, or material to print on (2 per participant). 
    Sponsor: Diversity Initiatives and Johnston Center for Integrative

And Tango Makes Three
    Monday, October 5, 4:00–5:00pm 
    Via Webex 
For Banned Books Week and Coming Out Week, the Pride Center will host a reading of “And Tango
Makes Three,” a children’s book about gay penguins living at the Central Park Zoo. These penguins, Roy and Silo, mate for life and raise a family together. Following the reading, we will discuss the story. Why was it challenged, and what effect does banning LGBTQ+ books have on queer youth? 
    Sponsor: Pride Center

Finally, the top 10 most challenged books of 2019, from data collected by the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom, are as follows. When available at the Armacost Library, a link is provided to the book record - make use of our curbside pickup program to check out these books:

  • George by Alex Gino Reasons: challenged, banned, restricted, and hidden to avoid controversy; for LGBTQIA+ content and a transgender character; because schools and libraries should not “put books in a child’s hand that require discussion”; for sexual references; and for conflicting with a religious viewpoint and “traditional family structure”
  • Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin Reasons: challenged for LGBTQIA+ content, for “its effect on any young people who would read it,” and for concerns that it was sexually explicit and biased
  • A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss, illustrated by EG Keller Reasons: Challenged and vandalized for LGBTQIA+ content and political viewpoints, for concerns that it is “designed to pollute the morals of its readers,” and for not including a content warning
  • Sex is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg, illustrated by Fiona Smyth Reasons: Challenged, banned, and relocated for LGBTQIA+ content; for discussing gender identity and sex education; and for concerns that the title and illustrations were “inappropriate” 
  • Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack, illustrated by Stevie Lewis Reasons: Challenged and restricted for featuring a gay marriage and LGBTQIA+ content; for being “a deliberate attempt to indoctrinate young children” with the potential to cause confusion, curiosity, and gender dysphoria; and for conflicting with a religious viewpoint
  • I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas Reasons: Challenged and relocated for LGBTQIA+ content, for a transgender character, and for confronting a topic that is “sensitive, controversial, and politically charged”
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity and for “vulgarity and sexual overtones”
  • Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier Reasons: Challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and for concerns that it goes against “family values/morals”
  • Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling Reasons: Banned and forbidden from discussion for referring to magic and witchcraft, for containing actual curses and spells, and for characters that use “nefarious means” to attain goals
  • And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson illustrated by Henry Cole Reason: Challenged and relocated for LGBTQIA+ content

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?

Monday, March 16, 2020

Staying home? Keep on exploring with Armacost Library!

Armacost Library wishes you and your family the best as you cope with rapidly changing developments related to the coronavirus outbreak, including updates from the University of Redlands and from Armacost Library.

It looks like we will all be spending more time at home in the weeks to come. There are many great resources for art, entertainment and learning in the Armacost Library collection and beyond that can help you find inspiration and take needed mental health breaks from planning and preparing. Here are some ideas:

Saturday, March 14, 2020

COVID-19 Updates @ Armacost Library

As we respond to the rapidly evolving situation, please find updates to library hours, services, spaces, staffing, and business functions at

image credit: