Monthly Archives: September 2022

World News Day & Access to News

What would a world without fact-based journalism look like? How would you discover trustworthy information about your community, your country, and the world?

World News Day, an initiative from the Canadian Journalism Foundation and the World Editors Forum recognized annually on September 28, seeks to “draw public attention to the role that journalists play in providing trustworthy news and information that serves citizens and democracy.” 

Celebrate World News Day by bookmarking some of the many news sources available to you via The Ames Library. These are just three popular news publications available to you online:

The Chronicle of Higher Education

“The nation’s largest newsroom dedicated to covering colleges and universities,” The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on news, events, and data impacting higher education. Read full-text articles from The Chronicle dating back to 2015.

To access The Chronicle online, visit this link.

The Economist

Founded in 1843, The Economist covers world events in business, economics, technology, politics, culture, and more. As an IWU student, faculty, or staff member, you have access to current full-text articles and an online archive dating back to 1997.

To access The Economist online, sign up for an account on using your email address. After verifying your email, you’ll have access to the website, app, and newsletters.

The New York Times

The mission of The New York Times is “seek the truth and help people understand the world.” Your access to NYT via The Ames Library allows you to read recent and historical full-text articles and issues dating back to 1851, as well as view video and images, use the TimesMachine, and access the NYT Audio app.

To access The New York Times online, please sign up with your email address at this link. Faculty/staff have four years of full access to NYT before being asked to re-authenticate, and students can enjoy access until December 31 of their graduation year.

Please note: To utilize The Ames Library’s access, existing paid NYT subscribers must first cancel their paid subscription before authorizing with their IWU email address. The Ames Library’s subscription does not include games or recipes.

Find other major news publications, such as the Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal, and more by browsing the A-Z Resources list or searching in MegaSearch.

Stay informed and seek understanding about the world, and let us know what journalism means to you.

Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation

Last week, we shared some resources, databases, and collections Ames has that highlights Hispanic, Latinx, and Chicano/a/x communities. This week we’d like to share projects hosted by other universities, archives, and cultural heritage organizations related to Hispanic heritage, as the more we’re able to connect with resources the more open our minds become. Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation is the 2022 Hispanic Heritage Month Theme.

The National Museum of Mexican Art’s mission is “to stimulate knowledge and appreciation of Mexican art and culture from both sides of the border through a significant permanent collection of Mexican art, rich visual and performing arts programs, high quality arts education programs and resources and professional development of Mexican artists. The Museum welcomes all people and strives to foster a world where all are included.” Located in Chicago, the museum showcases 3,600 years of creativity from across Mexican, Mexican-American, and Mexican-Indigenous creative works. Nuestras Historias showcases pieces from their permanent collection, to emphasize the dynamic and diverse stories of Mexican identity in the US.

Also in Chicago, the National Puerto Rican Museum is “devoted to the promotion, integration and advancement of Puerto Rican arts and culture, presenting exhibitions and programming created to enhance the visibility and importance of the rich Puerto Rican arts tradition.” Coming soon, the museum will host a Walter Mercado pop up exhibit. Mercado was “Latin America’s beloved spiritual advisor, best known for his astrology television shows. His daily horoscope readings and flamboyant persona captivated the attention of millions of Spanish-speaking people worldwide. Mercado’s fluid blend of beliefs and gender presented an expansive alternative to the traditional Catholic practices of many Latin American cultures.”

Chicago is also home to several Latino neighborhoods with colorful and innovative street art. The Pilsen Murals were originally started by street artists in the ’60s to oppose the Vietnam War and express pride in Mexican-American identities. Later generations of artists are leaving their marks, starting new conversations through their art. Humboldt Park is also home to fantastic murals, with a preservation program to help restore older murals, along with working with the community to create new pieces.

The Latinx Diaspora in the Americas Project is an oral history project at the University of Florida. It is dedicated to creating space for Latina/os to share their historical experiences related to identity, immigration reform, labor conditions, education, and civil rights.

The National Park Service cares for special places in the United States like parks, monuments, historical areas, lake- and seashores, rivers, and trails. Places like the Cabrillo National Monument preserves the history of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s voyage of exploration. It was the first contact between the coastal California Indigenous tribes, like the Kumeyaay, and men from Europe. Though the San Salvador stayed only six days in San Diego harbor, this journey and future Spanish journeys to the area would shape southern California’s complex history.

Along the El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail (which extends between El Paso, Texas and Santa Fe, New Mexico in the United States) you’ll find churches, battle sites, art museums, cultural properties, and Indigenous heritage sites. The sites along the trail reflect 300 years of conflict, cooperation, and cultural exchange between a variety of empires.

Visit the NPS American Latino Heritage website to learn more about these and other sites.

We’re Celebrating Banned Books Week

Record numbers of challenges to books in schools, libraries, and book stores across the country were tracked by the American Library Association (ALA) in 2021. Over 729 challenges to materials and services were made, accounting for more than 1,597 individual book challenges or removals.

It’s hard to think of celebrating Banned Books Week when staff in Montana are resigning after bullet-ridden books were returned to the library. Or when a library director in Idaho resigned over the extremism she faced in her community. Libraries are being defunded in Michigan and teachers dismissed in Oklahoma, while fallout from the Don’t Say Gay bill racks Florida and challenged materials are separated from general collections in Texas.

It’s recent cases like those in Virginia, though, and the reality that most challenges don’t result in a ban that give us reason to celebrate Banned Books Week. This week celebrates the freedom to read and shines a spotlight on current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship.

For over 40 years, the ALA and libraries have celebrated Banned Books week with displays, read ins, collection highlights, and, more recently, social media campaigns. Follow #BannedBooksWeek on your platform of choice and see what people are saying. Have you read any of the books that have been challenged? Why do you think someone would challenge it? What does it mean to you to hear that someone challenged something you read?

The theme for Banned Books Week 2022 is “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.” Sharing stories important to us means sharing a part of ourselves. Books reach across boundaries and build connections between readers. Censorship, on the other hand, creates barriers. Banned Books Week is both a reminder of the unifying power of stories and the divisiveness of censorship, and a call to action for readers across the country to push back against censorship attempts in their communities.

The conversation around intellectual freedom, the right to read freely, and censorship is, of course, not limited to this week or to just libraries. Our freedom to read means little without a culture of conversation that allows us to discuss our freedoms openly, work through issues that books raise for our readers, and wrestle with the challenging balance between freedom and responsibility.

Read more about the history of Banned Books Week here and this year’s honorary Banned Books Week Chair here.

Hispanic Heritage Month!

The Ames Library is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month by highlighting history, people, and digital collections that include and represent Hispanic, Latinx, and Chicano/a/x communities.

Celebrated from 15 September until 15 October, Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the contributions and importance of persons whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. 

For this first week, check out some of the databases available through Ames.

ArtStor is a repository of thousands of collections of digital images. Topics include but are not limited to foreign languages, decorative design, African/American studies, classical studies, history, Medieval studies, photography, and women’s studies. This year, ArtStor highlights 28 open collections for Hispanic Heritage Month. Those collections include maps, art, scholarly works, and oral history projects, to name a few.

Contemporary Women’s Issues is a multidisciplinary, full-text database that brings together relevant content from mainstream periodicals, “gray” literature, and the alternative press with a focus on the critical issues and events that influence women’s lives in more than 190 countries. Contemporary Women’s Issues includes English-language titles from East and West Africa, Asia, and South and Central America, the Caribbean, North America and Europe.

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Collection contains thousands of selected titles covering Asian Studies, Women’s Studies, Black Studies, Hispanic/Latino Studies, and much more. It is a comprehensive and curated subscription developed to represent all voices – regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, physical ability and religious belief.

Independent Voices is a digital collection of alternative press newspapers, magazines and journals, drawn from the special collections of participating libraries. These periodicals were produced by feminists, dissident GIs, campus radicals, Native Americans, anti-war activists, Black Power advocates, Hispanics, LGBT activists, the extreme right-wing press and alternative literary magazines during the latter half of the 20th century.

Informe Academico provides access to Spanish- and Portuguese-language scholarly journals and magazines. The database offers a wide range of content both from and about Latin America.

World Scholar: Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Portal covers Latin America culture and society from the 15th century to the present day. The collection consists of a Portal and Archive component. Launching with 293 portals based on Person, Topic, Event, Named Work and Country types users can delve into over 1.3M pages of archival material (Archive) and hundreds of periodicals, newspapers, magazines, reports, and data feeds (Portal).

Let the World See

Content Warning: Racial injustice and violence

Emmett Till’s funeral was 67 years ago Tuesday. He would have been 81 this year.

Only 14 at the time, his death* in 1955 was a flash point in the Civil Rights Movement. His mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, insisted on an open casket, to “let the world see” what had been done to her son. From his death until hers in 2003, she was an activist for racial justice, with a special interest in education. She died shortly before her memoir, Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime that Changed America, was published.

Till, directed by Chinonye Chukwu, releases this fall (at the New York Film Festival and then widely on October 28th) and tells the story of Mamie Till-Mobley’s relentless pursuit of justice for her son. Centered on her, the film broadens the focus of depictions to-date to include her story, to hold space for some of the effects of racialized violence on Black women.

Theatrical depictions of historical events draw attention to those events and are sometimes the first time someone learns of it. Feature films are dramatizations of events and, as such, are an opportunity for learning. Read on for ways you can learn more about Emmett Till and his family’s fight for justice.

The DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center (a Smithsonian Affiliate) in Chicago is a train ride away and will soon host the traveling exhibit “Emmett Till & Mamie Till-Mobley: Let the World See.” Premiering at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis on September 17th, the exhibit will travel across the country. While at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, DC, it will be less than a mile from the National Museum of African American History & Culture, where Emmett Till’s casket is on display as part of the “Defending Freedom, Defining Freedom: Era of Segregation 1876-1968” exhibit. The Emmett Till Interpretive Center in Mississippi is another opportunity for interactive learning.

Cowritten by Keith Beauchamp of The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till and Michael Reilly, this new film joins the ranks of videos and audio recordings drawing attention to Till’s murder and pursuits of justice for him. American Experience: The Murder of Emmett Till includes 36 interviews with Mississippi residents, Till family members, journalists covering the trial, and Till’s classmates. The interviews were recorded and transcribed in 2003 by Firelight Media. These videos and others are accessible through Academic Video Online (AVON).

For a more private opportunity to learn about the case, browse some of the books available through Ames Library.

Disturbing and challenging content is hard to face. Movies like Till help to keep stories of injustice in our collective memory. If this movie, or any move with a “based on real events” description piques your interest, Ames librarians and the research tools and collections available through Ames are here to support your pursuit of knowledge.

*Emmett Till’s death was incredibly violent. The Ames Library will not contribute to Black trauma by describing it.

Land Acknowledgements & the Power of Place

We acknowledge that Illinois Wesleyan University rests on land once cared for by native nations including the Kiikaapoi/Kickapoo, Peoria, Očhthi akwiŋ/Sioux, and Myaamia/Miami.

A land acknowledgement, such as the one above, begins with reflection (individual or institutional), is informed by research, and is a recognition of the power place has for Indigenous communities.

The 2022 IWU Annual Intellectual Theme, Power of Place, invites us to reflect on how our thoughts, values, perceptions, and actions are influenced by how we conceptualize a place and our place in the world. How do you conceptualize a place like Illinois Wesleyan while acknowledging the people and nations that were ousted as colonists pushed west?

One way you might start is by researching the Indigenous nations that once cared for this land. Indigenous Peoples: North America is one database you might use. It provides a robust, diverse, informative source that will enhance research and increase understanding of the historical experiences, cultural traditions and innovations, and political status of Indigenous Peoples in the United States and Canada. The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Collection from ProQuest Books is another. It includes thousands of selected titles covering Asian Studies, Women’s Studies, Black Studies, Hispanic/Latino Studies, and much more. One such title specific to our area is The Nature of Empires and the Empires of Nature : Indigenous Peoples and the Great Lakes Environment.

You might visit museums or archives dedicated to Indigenous peoples. The American Indian Center is located in Chicago. Their primary mission is to promote fellowship among Chicagoland Native Americans. Their art gallery is open for tours Monday-Friday. While you’re in Chicago, you might also visit the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian. It’s “one of only a handful of museums across the country that focuses exclusively on the art, history, and culture of Native American and First Nation peoples from throughout the United States and Canada. It promotes public understanding of cultural diversity through first voice perspectives.”

Research that you do on your own will only take you so far though. Listening to the stories and voices of Indigenous people is an important next step. Follow activists and Indigenous creators on social media. Watch videos of talks given by elders and leaders.

And attend events held locally, like Dr. Davidson’s presentation on 6 September – the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s 3D series begins with “Of Place: Viewing Land Acknowledgements through a Diné Matrifocal Lens.” From 4-5:30pm (at Hansen Center Court), Dr. Davidson will discuss how her lived experiences as a Diné woman shaper her views and how place-consciousness serves as a higher education leadership skill.

For more information on why and how to craft a land acknowledgement, check out the Native Governance Center’s website.

Readings for Labor Day

It’s been 140 years since the first Labor Day holiday was planned and celebrated in New York City. Labor organizers, municipalities, and states adopted the holiday over the next several years, until it became a federal holiday in 1894.

The late 1800s were a chaotic time in the US, as everyone was in some way effected by the huge transition from a largely agricultural society to an industrial society. The 1880s saw an influx of labor strikes, with workers challenging poor or dangerous working conditions and long hours. In the May of 1894, thousands of workers at Pullman Palace Car Company went on strike. Later that summer, a federal judge issued an injunction against a sympathy boycott and President Cleveland sent troops in to enforce the boycott. With the arrival of federal troops, the Pullman strike ended violently. Congress had just passed legislation in June, making the first Monday in September a holiday to recognize and celebrate the contributions of laborers, which Cleveland signed into only a few days before sending troops to Illinois.

That sympathy boycott might not have been necessary. The local and national organizations behind the strike and boycott had refused membership to Pullman’s two thousand African-American porters. Marginalized and minoritized persons were typically barred from joining labor organizations at the time, and thus had a completely different experience in their fair labor battles.

Legislation since then has continued to intentionally exclude women and People of Color and conversations around labor often erase the roles non-white men played in securing labor protections.

This Labor Day, in addition to enjoying the time with friends and family, check out some of the resources Ames Library has that shine a light on the pivotal contributions of BIPOC men and women in the labor movement.

Covering the last four hundred years since Africans were first brought to Virginia in 1619, Trotter traces black workers’ complicated journey from the transatlantic slave trade through the American Century to the demise of the industrial order in the 21st century. At the center of this compelling, fast-paced narrative are the actual experiences of these African American men and women. 

Filipino farmworkers sat down in the grape fields of Delano, California, in 1965 and began the strike that brought about a dramatic turn in the long history of farm labor struggles in California. Their efforts led to the creation of the United Farm Workers union under Cesar Chavez, with Philip Vera Cruz as its vice-president and highest-ranking Filipino officer.

Since the 1950s, Latina activist Dolores Huerta has been a fervent leader and organizer in the struggle for farmworkers’ rights within the Latina/o community. A cofounder of the United Farm Workers union in the 1960s alongside César Chávez, Huerta was a union vice president for nearly four decades before starting her own foundation in the early 2000s.