The Library's Interlibrary Loan service generates notifications when you make a request, when it becomes available, and other processes.
Unfortunately these messages are often routed to your "junk mail" folder. While the Library is working with SHU IT to "whitelist" these notifications, the library also recommends two solutions.
The Lede: On Tyranny, A Book Every SHU Student Should Read
Timothy Snyder’s short book On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century is essential reading for every college student in 2018. At 126 pages and 16 x 11 cm, you can put it in your jacket pocket. And you should. And you should require your class to read it, whether or not it is in the scope of your course syllabus.
Snyder knows whereof he writes. A Yale professor of history, he wrote Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (2010) and Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning (2016). Hence he writes about tyranny clearly, specifically, and with an unapologetic, forthright commitment: We can learn from history. “History does not repeat, but it does instruct.” (page 9) Snyder writes with lucidity and power –he does not use academic jargon.
Snyder gives specific directions: Do not obey in advance. Remember professional ethics. Believe in truth. Investigate. (--my personal favorite!) Be calm when the unthinkable arrives. Under twenty headings, he describes the experiences of ordinary people under tyranny, and how they came to resist it. Ominously, he also writes about how many came to accept tyranny as trading freedom for safety –and gained neither.
Why should SHU students read it? Every one of Snyder’s twenty lessons speaks to the core values of this university –which every one of our teachers, students, and staff should know and practice now and in the future. By teaching these lessons he provides hope –collectively we can resist “fake news,” “alternative facts,” and unthinking complicity. We can teach our students to shape their future as more than careers only.
Hope does not happen automatically. “Americans today are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism in the twentieth century.” (13) We can resist the politics of inevitability, the sense that history can move in only one direction with “no alternative,” (118) and the politics of eternity, “a misty courtyard of illegible monuments to national victimhood [in which] every reference to the past seems to involve an attack by some external enemy upon the purity of the nation.” (121). The politics of inevitability “is like a coma, the politics of eternity like hypnosis.” (124) He concludes “To make history, young Americans will have to know some. This is not the end, but a beginning.” (126)
In my own teaching, I have been struck by students’ collective pessimism and diminishing expectations. They face educational debt, socially and politically polarized national tribes, and the coming realities of climate change. It is not easy to nourish hope in these times. Without hope, what can motivate them to think? This book can help. --Gavin Ferriby
A Resource You Should Know About: JSTOR Labs Text Analyzer
JSTOR Labs has built Text Analyzer, a new tool, now in “beta” (stable trial). It provides a new way to search that features JSTOR content –relevant to many disciplines at this university. It is secure, convenient, and simple: what’s not to like? You can use it with a workstation, laptop, tablet, or phone.
You simply upload (drag & drop, or cut & paste) a document –a whole paper, a paragraph, whether published or not (such as your own draft). You can load a web page –just drag & drop the URL, or an image that has text in it. When you get results, you can adjust terms’ importance and add others. The results will recommend articles and books in JSTOR. The results are automatically filtered to full text available to SHU library members, but you can expand it to all content (under the Search Filters drop-down box).
Text Analyzer will not store your document. As a stable trial, it is a machine and can give strange results, especially if your text uses extended metaphors, such as “house” as a political deliberative body, and not a residential structure. It depends on the JSTOR thesaurus of over 50,000 terms that describe JSTOR content, and it progressively “trained” to be more precise.
This video (1 minute 26 seconds) explains how your students might use it:
A Service You Should Know About: Library Resource Builder
--By Urszula Lechtenberg
The library’s new QuickSearch tool provides a seamlessly integrated Blackboard tool called Library Resource Builder (Curriculum Builder). With this tool, instructors, TAs, and course builders can create reading lists of peer-reviewed articles or ebooks directly in Blackboard course shells.
This saves a lot of time because instructors do not have to download articles and the upload them into Blackboard, or try to find the appropriate links that may break in the future. The Resource Lists will remain available in future semesters and will not have to be re-created every time Blackboard is archived. (The Resource Lists can always be edited and revised.)
Library Resource Builder connects directly to the library’s databases. The simple search allows instructors to search by keyword, author name or title of the article or ebook. Each item in the results displays with a large “Add to Reading List” button, making it easy to add or delete items. You can divide readings into multiple folders, customize the sorting order, add special instructions, and copy lists across courses and within departments.
For more information about Library Resource Builder, contact Ula Lechtenberg (email@example.com), or 203-396-8287.
You can also see how to use Library Resource Builder in this video (1 minute 55 seconds). This is the first of three videos. You can find the next two on the Library's Vimeo page.