Disaster Relief Mapathon at UM Libraries | How You Can Help


September 29, 2017 | 2-5 p.m. | Information Literacy Lab | Otto G. Richter Library, 3rd floor
University of Miami | 1300 Memorial Drive | Coral Gables, 33146

The University of Miami Libraries are continually looking for ways to provide any kind of disaster relief assistance to our neighbors in Puerto Rico and Mexico. Along with Columbia University, Rutgers University, Boston University, and Trinity College, UML will host an event using the OpenStreetMap platform to help provide the Red Cross and other emergency first responders with data needed for disaster response in Puerto Rico and Mexico.

How You Can Help

Contribute your time to open-source mapping and help trace buildings and missing roads to support relief organizations in damage assessment and needs for support. These very basic tasks are easy to learn and training will be provided at the beginning of the event.

RSVP to p.morgan@miami.edu

What You Need to Know

No mapping experience or knowledge of local geography is necessary. Limited laptops will be available so please bring your own device if possible.

Save time by creating a free account on OpenStreetMap prior to the event:
https://www.openstreetmap.org/user/new

While it’s not required that you stay for the full length of the event, we suggest that you contribute at least one hour of your time.

This event is organized by Paige Morgan from the UM Libraries Digital Scholarship Group in collaboration with Alex Gil at Columbia University.

 

About the UM Libraries Digital Scholarship Group

The Digital Scholarship Group, which includes GIS Resources, Digital Humanities, Data Services, and Data Management, focuses on helping users find, manage, interpret, and publish data. As part of the UM Learning Commons at the Otto G. Richter Library, the Digital Scholarship Group is available to help you learn specialized software and tools and develop your knowledge of GIS, digital humanities, qualitative methods, and statistics.



On Display at Weeks: Banned Music and Musicians

Weeks Music Library has joined with Richter Library to commemorate Banned Books Week 2017. Weeks is hosting an exhibit of music and musicians that have been banned, boycotted, or challenged for a variety of reasons around the world and throughout the 20th century.

UM Libraries wants to celebrate Banned Books Week by highlighting not only books, but all kinds of creative works that have targeted in order to keep their messages from being heard.

Our exhibit will run through the end of the semester.

For more information on Banned Books Week, visit http://library.miami.edu/blog/2017/09/25/banned-books-week-2017/.





Banned Books Week 2017

A Celebration of Our Right to Read

by Erika Goodrich and James Wargacki, Learning & Research Services

How often do you think about your right to read? It is said that words can change the world, whether they’re spoken aloud or written down. The First Amendment recognizes the power of words, enshrining our freedom of speech. But what happens when that freedom is challenged? When we’re told we can’t speak out, can’t read words that might challenge our thoughts or give us new ideas?

September 24-30 is Banned Books Week, a time of year designated to raise awareness of banned and challenged books and an opportunity to understand the consequences of censorship.

Banned Books Week was founded in 1982 by Judith Krug in response to the sudden surge of challenged books. Krug, a First Amendment defender and library advocate, strongly opposed censorship. She felt that no one should be restricted from books or ideas, and that readers should have the freedom to develop their own opinions.

In the thirty-four years since Krug began her initiative, there have been more than 11,300 books challenged, according to the American Library Association (ALA). Just last year ALA reported 323 challenges, including Alex Gino’s George and Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread by Chuck Palahniuk.

If a book is challenged, someone is trying to keep it from the hands of readers. ALA’s Office of Intellectual Property has reported the top three reasons for a challenge are: 1) the material was considered to be sexually explicit, 2) the material was considered to have offensive language, and 3) the material was considered unsuited for any age group.

Challenges by various groups have resulted in books commonly regarded today as classic literature being banned from libraries and schools across the United States. In 2004 Michael and Tonya Hartwell spearheaded an unofficial ban of King & King by Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland after they decided the LGBTQ content of the book was inappropriate for their seven year old daughter stating, “[she] is not old enough to understand something like that, especially when it’s not in our beliefs.” Michael and Tonya refused to return the book to their child’s school library because they wanted to prevent other children from being exposed to the story.

 

 

Other works that have been challenged include:

  • Helen Bannerman’s The Story of Little Black Sambo has been challenged numerous times for the depiction of its main character. The book has been described as “dangerous and cruel” as well as “the kind of dangerous and obsolete books that must go.”
  • Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is often challenged for its obscene language.
  • Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales was notably challenged in Eureka, Illinois in 1995 for its racy content. The full version of the book was banned by the Eureka School Board and replaced with an annotated version.
  • In 1973 in Orem, Utah, sales of Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange caused an independent book dealer to be arrested for selling obscene books. The charges were later dropped, but the dealer was forced to close the store and relocate to another city.
  • Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five has been challenged multiple times for its obscene content, including one instance in Drake, North Dakota in 1973 when the local school board ordered that copies of the book be confiscated and burned.
  • Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 is often challenged for its use of obscene language. In Irvine, California in 1993, a teacher at Venado Middle School used black markers to censor all of the offending language before giving the books to students.

Banned Books Week at Richter

Banned Books Week highlights these and many other influential works that have endured censorship, bringing together proponents of free speech, librarians, publishers, teachers, and book lovers of all genres. This year’s events specifically highlight book bans and challenges both domestically and abroad.