Wikipedians Unite at UofL Libraries

2017 is the second year that UofL’s Margaret M. Bridwell Art Library hosted community members to learn about how to edit Wikipedia.  Over a dozen people attended this event to combat gender disparity in the art world.

Artist Elizabeth Catlett wrote “No other field is closed to those who are not white and male as is the visual arts. After I decided to be an artist, the first thing I had to believe was that I, a black woman, could penetrate the art scene, and that, further, I could do so without sacrificing one iota of my blackness or my femaleness or my humanity.”1

Not only is the field of contemporary art difficult for women and non-binary people to break into, but the highly-masculine culture of Wikipedia is also a barrier to gender equality.  For example, articles about topics typically associated with females (Polly Pocket) are typically shorter and link to fewer references, while those associated with males (Nerf) are longer, and include more references.

In a 2011 survey, Wikimedia found that less than 13% of its contributors were female.

Art+Feminism is a global, grassroots campaign to end gender disparity within Wikipedia, not only in terms of the number or articles about women in the visual arts, but more importantly the number of female editors.  Attendees gathered to attend a training about how to edit Wikipedia articles before beginning to make edits of their own.  In Louisville, attendees included UofL students, professors, and local St. Francis School high school students.  New editors corrected facts, added citations to existing article, and ultimately created two new articles.

Articles improved include those about African-American artists Senga Nengudi and Elizabeth Catlett.  Both are sculptors, and known for their work on themes of race, gender, and class.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

  1. Farris, Phoebe. Women Artists of Color: A Bio-critical Sourcebook to 20th Century Artists in the Americas. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1999.

Editing to Defeat Gender Disparity in Wikipedia

By Trish Blair

In a 2010 survey Wikipedia found that less than 13% of its contributors identify as female.    While the reasons for the gender issues are debatable, the results represent marginalization in the form of a combined history.  To combat this issue Art + Feminism Wikipedia edit-a-thon events were created.  Every year, since 2014, there have been over 280 events across six continents to combat this problem by creating and updating thousands of Wikipedia articles about women in art.

art-and-feminism

Last March the Bridwell Art Library participated for the first time, in collaboration with the Hite Institute of Art to create a page for the International Honor Quilt which UofL is the permanent repository.  This massive community based art project was on display in the spring of 2016 at the Hite Gallery and fit nicely into our first editing project.  We had 13 people working diligently to collaboratively research and create a new Wikipedia page.  It was hard work but we all felt a sense of accomplishment when our page was uploaded.

This year the Bridwell Art Library is proud to announce that our Art + Feminism Edit-a-Thon will be held Thursday March 23 from 4pm-7pm inside the library at Schneider Hall.  We would like to invite anyone to join us who in interested in learning how to edit Wikipedia regardless of age, gender or human experience.  If you are drawn to art or feminism come help us to research, create and celebrate great women artists.

To sign up please go to:

http://tinyurl.com/uoflartfem17

All you will need to bring is yourself, a laptop or tablet, and the desire to be a part of this incredible worldwide event.

 

 


Ekstrom Library Festooned for Dia de los Muertos

A visual feast awaits students, researchers and visitors in Ekstrom Library this week. In celebration of el Día de los muertos, or Day of the Dead, a national holiday celebrated throughout Latin America, traditional kites made by University of Louisville Spanish students hung in the third floor lobby, while altars honoring those who have passed away this year, including David Bowie and Muhammad Ali were set up in the Lower Level and on the first floor.

In Mexico, Día de los muertos is recognized as a National Holiday. The celebration takes place on November 1-2, in connection with the Catholic holidays: All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. Traditions include building private altars honoring the deceased and
visiting graves with gifts.

Los barriletes gigantes (giant kites) are a unique tradition in Guatemala. For months, teams work to build giant kites made of bamboo and tissue paper. The designs are incredibly intricate and often hold a political message. On Nov. 1, the giant kites are taken to a sacred hill on the outside of town, overlooking the main cemetery. There is music, dancing, food and general celebration. At dusk, the kites, 6 meters in height and width, are
launched. The high November winds soon tear the kites to pieces, symbolic of the life
and death that all celebrate on el Día de los Muertos.

University of Louisville Spanish students have been studying the diverse ways in which el Día de los muertos is celebrated throughout Latin America. The Ekstrom Library annual event showcases the culmination of these lessons with a small Día de los muertos celebration.

To learn more:

http://louisville.edu/spanish/day_of_the_dead

http://events.louisville.edu/event/el_dia_de_los_muertos_day_of_the_dead?utm_campaign=widget&utm_medium=widget&utm_source=University+of+Louisville


Celebrate Banned Books Week Sept. 25 – Oct. 1

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information.

The University Libraries are sponsoring several events to commemorate Banned Books Week, including:

  • Film Screening: September 26 at 4:00pm in Ekstrom Library, Room 117A/CLC
    • Persepolis (2007): A film based on the autobiographical graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi about an independent young woman growing up in Iran. (Donuts will be served!)
  • Banned Books Read Aloud: September 27-29 from 11:00a.m. to 1:00p.m., East Side of Ekstrom Library
    •  Faculty, students, and staff will be reading from their favorite banned or challenged books on the east side of Ekstrom Library.
  • Create Your Own Book Cover: September 27-29 from 11:00a.m. to 1:00p.m., East Side of Ekstrom Library
    • Create your own book cover with the Writing Center and reflect on why a particular banned book has been meaningful to you

For more information, contact George Martinez at george.martinez@louisville.edu.

Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

15215684628_5013b87b28_o
Image: Banned book mark, The COM Library. Creative Commons

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. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) compiles lists of challenged books as reported in the media and submitted by librarians and teachers across the country.

Find out which challenged books made the 2015 list, which was released as part of the 2016 State of America’s Library Report.

A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. As such, they are a threat to freedom of speech and choice.

The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted with removal or restrictions in libraries and schools. While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.

If you would like more information about banned and challenged books, contact the Office for Intellectual Freedom at (800) 545-2433, ext. 4220, or oif@ala.org.

 


He swings, fans swoon: UofL library displays its renowned Tarzan collection

UofL Archives and Special Collections will display a portion of its enormous Edgar Rice Burroughs collection July 1, just in time for the release of the new “The Legend of Tarzan” film. Burroughs famously created the original Tarzan character and stories.

The Burroughs collection is the largest in the world, with more than 100,000 items such as first-edition books, fanzines, film stills, scrapbooks and posters, games and other memorabilia from the author’s life and works.

Known as “The Grandfather of American Science Fiction” Burroughs penned 63 novels, 21 short stories and 26 literary sketches. Originally writing for pulp magazines, Burroughs quickly mined a deep vein with his Tarzan character by capitalizing on the stories’ success by allowing merchandisers to create knives, bows and arrows, belt buckles, watches, figurines, candy, bread, pop-ups, coloring books and costumes. Many of these items are part of the collection.

Beginning July 1, to synchronize with the movie’s release, ASC will exhibit editions of “Tarzan” in 37 different languages, to emphasize the worldwide appeal of Burroughs’ iconic character. It will be on the first floor of Ekstrom Library, in the west wing across from the circulation desk, and run until Sept. 2, one day after Burroughs’ birthday.

“What better time to showcase some of this important collection, which means so much to the numerous fans of Burroughs, than at the release of another ‘Tarzan’ movie,” said Carrie Daniels, director of Archives and Special Collections. “Just the fact that this story, with an indelible character at the center, prompts a major movie release shows the longevity and imaginative depth of Burroughs’ original tale.”

Most of the collection was donated and curated by Archives and Special Collections Professor and Curator Emeritus George T. McWhorter, as a tribute to his mother, who taught him to read early in life using Burroughs’ stories. The collection is officially named in her honor.

In addition to the displayed exhibit, all items from the collection are available in Archives and Special Collections Research Room, Ekstrom Library, lower level 17. Anyone with a photo ID may view or research individual items 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

For more information, contact Daniels at 502-852-6676 or carrie.daniels@louisville.edu.


UofL Librarians visit “Niagara of the South” at Kentucky Library Associations Spring Conference

By Anna Marie Johnson

Discussions of community engagement, supporting graduate student publishing efforts, and high-quality, free information resources took place against a spectacular backdrop as librarians from UofL’s Ekstrom Library presented at the Kentucky Library Association’s Academic and Special Section/Special Library Association Joint Spring Conference at Cumberland Falls State Park near Corbin, KY, April 7-9, 2016.

CumberlandFalls2016RobCumberland Falls is home to the only moonbow in the Western hemisphere. While the moonbow was not in evidence during the conference, pre-conference and keynote speakers illuminated practices of assessment in academic libraries as well as the Framework for Information Literacy which helps librarians identify concepts that prove especially difficult for students as they navigate in a complex information environment.

Fannnie_KLA_SLA_2016

Fannie Cox

Librarians Sue Finley, Latisha Reynolds, and Fannie Cox, from the Research Assistance & Instruction (RAI) Department discussed the results of their survey of twenty different academic libraries which found hundreds of free websites and databases that could be used by UofL’s community, especially important in difficult budgetary times. Fannie Cox also presented on her work with community engagement, exhorting her audience to form collaborative partnerships on their campuses and to present and write about their efforts.

George Martinez, Samantha McClellan, Rob Detmering, and Anna Marie Johnson, also librarians from RAI presented on the Publishing Academy, a collaborative effort between

George_Sam_KLA_SLA_2016

George Martinez and Samantha McClellan

the Ekstrom Library Learning Commons and the School of Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies. A series of five workshops on topics such as copyright, open access, impact factors, and writing for publication combined with two faculty panels helped the twenty-student cohort peek behind the curtain into the often intimidating world of academic publication.

Finally, Tyler Goldberg, Head of Collection Development and Technical Services and her co-presenter from Northern Kentucky University speculated on the future of their work, complicated as it is by changing models of publishing and formats (e-books, etc.) as well as the systems that libraries use to keep track of the material they license or buy.


Feminist Wikipedia Editors Gather at UofL

A global phenomenon, Art+Feminism, arrived in Louisville on Saturday, March 19th when Bridwell Art Library and the Hite Art Institute co-hosted a satellite Wikipedia event.  Over the course of an afternoon, nine Wikipedians collaborated to write a new article about the International Honor Quilt (IHQ), an important community-based art project inspired by Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party artwork.  Although the quilt has been acknowledged as a precursor to the well-known NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, no Wikipedia article had been created for the IHQ.

View of Editors Seated at Tables

Editors work on the International Honor Quilt article at the University of Louisville. Examples of the quilt can be seen pictured in the background.

Co-organizers Trish Blair and Sarah Carter ran the event to teach community members how to create Wikipedia accounts, understand the anatomy of a wiki page, establish notability, and learn to code using wiki mark-up.  One experienced Wikipedian drove in from Lexington to attend the event and provide her support.  A grad student, community artist, UofL alumna, and regional quilter made up the rest of the work group.

 

Flyer and Books

Event flyers for the Wikipedia Art+Feminism event on top of a selection of useful reference books.

Writing the article involved locating published sources documenting the quilt.  This is where the Art Library’s collection of books and periodicals came into play.  Wikipedians were able to locate books and articles in the library that mention the quilt’s origin and importance within Judy Chicago’s career.  By the end of the day, the International Honor Quilt article was live on Wikipedia.

The Art+Feminism movement is in its third year, having held its inaugural edit-a-thon at the Museum of Modern Art in 2014.  According to an article published last year, the movement’s goal is to simultaneously “close the gender gap in both content and participation in Wikipedia.”  Louisville joined over 125 locations across Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania, North and South America in holding a satellite event.