Memorial Day: Forgotten History and Modern Monuments

Memorial Day has a long history in the United States, longer even than many people know. In 2001, Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory, a book written by Pulitzer Prize winner David Blight, brought to light the long ignored influence the Black community had on the origins of this holiday and a 2020 article by Time continued to highlight this section of history. This article and Blight’s book place the beginnings of Memorial Day in Charleston, South Carolina in May of 1865. During the Civil War, over 250 Union prisoners died in captivity during the last year of the war, and all of them were buried in unmarked graves. After the conflict, Black residents of Charleston decided to give these war heroes a proper burial.

Learning From History: Timelines of COVID and the 1918 Pandemic

Although the experiences of the past year has been new for most of the population, this is not the first time that America or the world has faced the trauma and terror of a quickly spreading virus. What can we learn from examining the progress of previous examples like the 1918 Pandemic commonly known as the “Spanish Flu”? Explore the timelines below to look at the side by side comparisons of major moments in events spread almost exactly a century apart.

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Summer Tutoring Opens Today

Join us this summer for help with numerous core chemistry, math, and physics classes.

Our free service does not require appointments! Simply drop in anytime you need assistance and our tutors will be happy to help. All tutoring during summer 2021 will happen online through Zoom, and you can find more information about the service via our Online Tutoring page.

Our summer hours are Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 8pm to 11pm.

For questions or to request additional information, please email lib-tutoring@fsu.edu.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

We are celebrating Asian and Pacific American Heritage this month. Congress proclaimed a week of May in 1979 as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week, and in 1992, it designated May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. The month of May was chosen to commemorate the first Japanese immigrants coming to the United States on May 7, 1843, and the Golden Spike Day of May 10, 1869 when Chinese workers contributed tremendously to complete the first transcontinental railroad in the United States.

Over one hundred years have passed since Angel Island, a counterpoint to Ellis Island, was built on the West Coast. It was used as an immigration detention center during the Asian exclusion era. Today, the estimated number of AAPI population in the U.S. is 24.2 million, and according to the U.S. Census Bureau Population Estimate, Asian Americans are one of the fastest-growing racial or ethnic groups in the U.S. Over the years, AAPIs have contributed to shaping the identity of the nation. They have confronted persistent exclusion and inequity in domestic policies and social practices, and yet contributed to the nation’s economy, science and technology, and culture and arts. They fought not only against discrimination and violence in the nation, but also in many wars to protect the nation. Yet, their challenges and struggles, and contributions to and legacies in U.S. history and culture have not been well-recognized or educated. It was only last month when the very first bill mandating a curriculum of Asian American History in public schools passed. 

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FSU Libraries Services Updates

As FSU kicks off summer sessions, FSU Libraries continue to update resources and services available to the campus community.

Here are a few notable updates: 

  • The stacks are open! Access to our physical collections in Strozier, Dirac, and the FAMU-FSU Engineering Library has resumed. 
  • Curbside and in-library pick-up services will also continue. 
  • HathiTrust Digital Library Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS) has ended. Click here to learn more. However, our extensive online resources are always available both on- and off-campus.
  • UBorrow has been suspended until mid-July due to the state-wide discovery system migration. To learn more about this upgrade and what it means for you, visit https://www.lib.fsu.edu/catalog-and-discovery-upgrades.
  • Interlibrary Loan (ILL) services for both electronic and print resources have resumed. However, there may be fulfillment delays due to library closures nationwide. Please contact lib-borrowing@fsu.edu with any questions.
  • Physical Course Reserves remain suspended until further notice. We anticipate offering physical reserves in the fall if quarantining returned print materials is no longer a necessity.
  • For updates on Special Collections & Archives, click here.

For the most update to date information, visit https://www.lib.fsu.edu/news/covid-19

My Experience as a STEM Research Data Services Assistant

By: Paxton Welton

Welcome to the third post in the Get Data Lit! blog series. This post will focus on my experience working as a STEM Research Data Services Associate with FSU Libraries during the 2020-2021 school year. In this role, I assisted with outreach and education to FSU students, groups, and organizations at Florida State University around STEM research data services. 

My name is Paxton Welton and I will be graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Finance this semester. One question that you might have right from the start-why is a finance major working in a STEM-focused role? 

When applying for jobs prior to this academic year, I knew I wanted a role that would challenge me and allow me to develop new skills. I believed that being the Research Data Services Assistant would provide me the appropriate level of challenge and opportunity that I was looking for. By and large, I believe that my experience provided me with just that. There was a major learning curve that I faced when I first started this role. While I had a grasp of the basics of data literacy and research data services, I quickly realized I did not know nearly enough to be able to properly speak to student groups about these topics. During the first few weeks of the fall semester, I spent a significant portion of my time getting a stronger understanding of data and everything FSU STEM Libraries had to offer to its students in regards to research data. By reading countless articles about data literacy and engaging in weekly discussions with my supervisor Dr. Nick Ruhs, the STEM Data & Research Librarian, I became confident in my working knowledge on these topics. 

As the STEM Research Data Services Assistant, one of my main responsibilities was conducting targeted outreach to different student organizations across campus. When I first started this process I reached out specifically to STEM-focused groups. This process involved me initiating conversations via email with registered student organizations (RSOs) to introduce them  to the research data services FSU Libraries offers them.  In several cases, we were invited to meet and/or present synchronously to these groups. This gave us a chance to share more in-depth information about our services and just how valuable they are to students. It also gave students a chance to ask us any questions they may have. Getting the chance to directly interact with students and help them find the right resources to feel more prepared for their future was by far my favorite part of this role.

I also had the opportunity to contribute to data-related events hosted by FSU STEM Libraries. Two examples include Love Data Week in February and the Virtual FSU Libraries Data Services Quest in March. My involvement in these events allowed me to see the entire process of creating programming for students. I was able to sit in on brainstorming meetings, give my input on the marketing materials, and create content for the events.

One of my main focuses throughout this year has been to develop and create this blog series you are reading right now–Get Data Lit! The focus of this blog series was data literacy and its applicability to student’s educational experiences. As such, I had the chance to put into practice the new data literacy skills I learned in this role. I also had the opportunity to connect data literacy to real-world practice and explain the importance of critically evaluating data. Doing so made me realize just how important learning data skills are for my future career and education.

One thing that proved to be a common theme throughout all the work I was doing is that data is powerful and knowing how to work with it is even more powerful. From a career in law to a career in fashion, you are going to be working with data in some form. Learning how to critically evaluate data is going to give you the skills you need to stand out in the future. 

By taking on a job in a discipline that I knew very little about, I was able to challenge myself and make the most out of this past year. From getting to work on student programming events to developing a blog series, I was constantly challenged and learning something new. 

Celebrate Earth Day with Pop Lit!

We are so lucky to be on a part of this amazing planet. Here in Florida we have plenty of sunshine, beautiful biodiversity, and lots of water to play in. Celebrate Mother Nature and Earth Day with us by checking out some of our great Pop Lit Picks through our curbside pick up. Take yourself outside and read in the sun, relax in the grass, and maybe volunteer for a garbage pick up, just make sure to stay hydrated with your reusable water bottle.

Here are some titles in our Popular Literature collection that cover just a few topics related to Mother Nature and our existence on this amazing planet. You can search for more Pop Lit books by selecting the Popular Literature collection location in an advanced search on our catalog!

Don’t forget your sunscreen and enjoy your well earned break from classes!

You can pick up any of these titles and more here through Curbside Pickup!

Congratulations Graduates!

Every spring semester the Libraries hosts a reception celebrating our part-time student employees and honoring those who are graduating. This year we decided to post a blog about our students and celebrate our graduating seniors.

On behalf of Gale Etschmaier, Dean of University Libraries, “I want to thank you personally for your service to the Libraries. Without our part-time employees, we would be unable to provide the level of support that students and faculty at FSU want and need. You’ve been an integral part of this important effort and I hope you’ll remember your time at FSU’s Libraries as a happy and productive part of your FSU experience.”

Congratulations Graduates! All your friends and colleagues in the Libraries are proud of your accomplishment, and excited for you as you take the next big step in your life. At the same time, we will miss you!

We celebrate you! Read on for words of celebration on behalf of their supervisors.

Amy Bissonnette

Supervisor: Nikki Morse 

“Amy has worked in the Outreach and Engagement unit for 3 years, leading the book display project for the majority of that time. She’s done amazing displays including Blind Date with Book and has also helped run dynamic events for undergraduate students. She kept our team laughing and was always available to lend a hand when someone needed it! Amy is graduating and moving on to the University of Connecticut Law School where she will be pursuing her Juris Doctorate.”

Bianca Devaney

Supervisor: Shaundra Lee 

“Bianca has worked at Dirac since Fall 2018. She’s been one of our most reliable, stalwart employees. Besides working the circulation desk, she collaborated with other library staff to compose a literature review on Public and Academic Library partnerships related to STEM education. In addition to crushing work, the double-major in Criminology and Psychology has interned at the Leon County Public Defender’s Office, volunteered with various community organizations and will graduate Summa Cum Laude. Her future includes law school and the occasional turkey leg.”

Claire Haraminac

Supervisor: Shaundra Lee

“Claire has worked at Dirac since 2019. She’s a great worker at the library while managing her psychology course work and several research projects in campus labs. Her future plans include becoming a licensed clinical psychologist with a focus on children while mixing in travel with family and friends.”

Hannah Menendez

Supervisor: Liz Dunne

Hannah has been an amazing Reference Associate from the second she joined the team! She is an outstanding information professional whose compassion and commitment to teaching and learning have benefited all those around her. Aside from her incredible research skills and wealth of library-related knowledge, she is an absolute joy to work with and simply put, just a really very kind and cool human. With her talent, I have no doubt she will become a Rockstar librarian in no time! Congratulations on your graduation!

Isabella (Bella) Jaramillo

Supervisor: Nikki Morse

“Bella has been a part of the Outreach and Engagement team for almost two years and started her journey with us helping out with Orientation in 2019. Since then she’s been a driving force on our team, running events and helping usher in partnerships around campus. Her passion for the environment and social justice has also helped build our team into all-around activists! Bella is moving on to Georgetown to pursue their MS in Environmental Metrology and Policy- she will be missed!”

Makenna Sebastian

Supervisor: Shaundra Lee

“Kenna has only worked at Dirac Science since August of 2020, but it seems like she’s been here much longer. She has been not only excellent on the desk but has been the lead on several on-desk projects. And this is all while earning Dean’s list-worthy marks in Biomedical Engineering and being involved in Habitat for Humanity. Kenna plans to work in the medical field and travel.”

Eilish Power

Supervisor: Mimi Bilodeau

“Eilish is an incredible employee and has flawlessly stepped into the role of peer leader this year. We congratulate this rock star on her degree and amazing work at her internship.”

Ayoola Gayle

Supervisor: Rachel Smart

“Ayoola has worked with me for three years on an Open Access outreach initiative directed towards faculty and researchers on campus. She’s done amazing work and is very excited about her plans beyond undergrad and the traveling it may entail. I wish her all the best!

Paxton Welton

Supervisor: Nick Ruhs

“Paxton has been an awesome member of the FSU STEM Libraries team this year as the Research Data Services Assistant. She has played a key role in our engagement efforts with undergraduate students in the STEM disciplines around research data services. After graduation, Paxton plans to continue her education by enrolling in graduate school to get her Masters in Accounting! Congratulations Paxton!”

Shania Maharaj

Supervisor: Eddie Powell

“Shania is an incredibly intelligent individual who has a bright future ahead of her. With her strong work ethic and professionalism she has been a wonderful member of the FSU libraries team

Saving Amazonia: Digital Book Display

As Earth Day approaches, we wanted to highlight a climate crisis that is impacting everyone, but not many are aware of. Deforestation in the Amazon rainforest is expanding at a crippling rate, causing irreversible damage every day. Land is being taken over for agriculture and development that is destroying the natural ecosystems of Amazonia. Delve into our selection of books, TED Talks, and not-so-fun facts about the Amazon rainforest.
The following articles summarize the current crisis, if you’re looking for a brief but well informed read!
Why The Amazon Rainforest is Nearly Gone
Forests Burn, Soils Dwindle, and People Suffer

These are some of the main causes of deforestation. Graphic provided by WWF
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