Creating Copyright Guidelines

Creating Copyright Guidelines, my school as a work in progress.

First of all we have come a long way.

As a school librarian I have a front row seat as to what comes out of the copy machine.  We all know that many print, but not everyone picks up.  Over the 4 years I had been working at my school, it became very apparent that we had some serious copyright confusion.  I didn’t want to believe that the teachers didn’t care, but to put the best spin on it, there were times when their priority for using the best possible resources for their students took precedence over ethical concerns — just saying.

Being the copyright police is not a role that I wanted to play.  I tried diplomacy, I tried gentle pushing, and what I mostly got from the infringers  was push back.

Plan B.  — Next stop, our admin team and our Academic Council.  Fortunately they were all on board.  They were unanimously clear and strong  about declaring that copyright infringement is nothing short of stealing. As a school  we had fallen into some bad habits and we needed to change.  A gentle reminder that being copyright compliant aligned with our school mission statement and modeling ethical intellectual behavior for our students was helpful.

First Step:  Communication with our school community.  I talked with a lot people in our community, department chairs, faculty.  I realized that while most people felt copyright compliance was important, they had so much on their plate that taking the time to make the necessary changes was not a high priority.  And everyone did it, wasn’t it sort of like going 5 miles over the speed limit?

Second Step:  Faculty survey on Copyright Issues.  As a way to gauge the breadth and depth of our copyright confusion I created a short copyright survey for our faculty.  (As part of my ISTE poster session, please take the survey and I will share the results with you). We had all of the faculty do the survey in their faculty meetings during an in-service day. The English department was secure enough and kind enough that they invited me to be with them when they took the survey.  Their reaction to the section on the different copyright scenarios was eye-opening.  They shared that even if they got the questions correct, it would be from  luck, not from an advanced understanding of copyright.

Third Step:  Once I had shared the results with our faculty and Admin team we decided to take action.  Copyright is complicated, as is the Fair Use Analysis.  What would move our school forward from our most egregious uses of material?  We decided that we would no longer copy from textbooks created for our courses that students did not own, and that we would make coursepacks, with all of the appropriate permissions for material that is used more than one year.

Fourth Step:  Departments grappled with these changes.  For each department this meant something different.  The Math department purchased used sets of textbooks across their curriculum to use for practice problems for students.  The history department moved away from pulling material from a wide variety of sources and had their students purchase a textbook, (in many cases an e-text).  The English department became more organized and stringent about including material in their coursepacks.

Fifth:  We rewrote our Copyright Guidelines in our Employee Handbook.

Conclusion:  No we are not 100% copyright compliant.  But it is now on radar of our teachers and our students.  Students know when teachers are infringing, and now they were noticing that they were not.  I realized that there was a lot of angst around copyright.  Teachers didn’t want to ask if they could use a resource, thinking ignorance was the best excuse.  On the other hand, many of the uses that were causing teacher stress, were absolutely ok.  You can always link to a resource (that is, if it is a legal copy!).  And the transformational use (part of the 4 Factors of Fair Use) is much broader and robust than many teachers realized.

While we are grappling with copyright — we have taken a huge step forward.  It is an on going challenge.

 

 

 

First Amendment: Where does the idea of Freedom of the Press originate?

Where does the idea of Freedom of the Press originate?  In the United States it dates back to our colonial period.  In 1735, John Zenger  was put on trial for criticizing the colonial governor.  He was acquitted by the jury because his criticism was factual.  The Freedom of the Press was later included in  our First Amendment.
For more information see the link below.

“World Press Day.” History Hub, ABC-CLIO, 2017, historyhub.abc-clio.com. Accessed 3 May 2017.

 

America after the 2016 election

For the first time in 8 years I dreaded meeting with the Bellevue Public Library Citizenship students.  How do I explain the election and the fact that so much of what Donald Trump ran on goes against the very basic premises in our Constitution and against our First Amendment rights.  But we made it through and at the end of the evening, after discussing our government and the checks and balances, we were hopeful that our system of government would prevail.

Samantha Power,   the U.S.  Ambassador to the United Nations spoke to a group of new citizens.  Here is an excerpt on her speech:   (To read her entire speech – well worth the time – go here)

“You are what America looks like. And as much as any other quality, this is what makes this country so exceptional.

Today, you, too, have become citizens of this nation — at a pretty tumultuous time, as you may have read in the newspapers. For some of you, this may be a day of mixed emotions. I suspect many of you were drawn to this country not only because of the opportunities it offers — but also because of the principles that it stands for and strives to live up to. A nation built on the values of freedom and justice, and the idea that all citizens have the right to be treated equally, and with dignity.

And yet we have just come through an election campaign in which some of these very principles have been called into question. We’ve heard politicians, public figures, and citizens call for people to be treated differently because of what they believe or because of where they were born. We’ve heard immigrants blamed for many of our country’s problems.”

and then

“And remember that allegiance is about much more than just abiding by a system of laws. Today, you are sworn into what the great Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once called the most important office in our land — that of private citizen. The office of private citizen carries with it an awesome responsibility and an unparalleled privilege of being one of the individuals empowered to keep our republic strong. The fate of our nation, your nation — and everything it stands for — has and always will depend on it. Depend on us. We trust that you are up to the task, and we welcome you to this country with open arms.”

I hope you will read the full speech.  In the full speech Samantha Powers talks about the lives of immigrants that she knows and how they have enriched and contributed to the United States, these are people that she works closely with on a daily basis.  I would affirm the same in  my life.  Immigrants are a huge piece of why America is one of the most economically stable countries in the world.  Immigrants bring so many talents and ideas that enrich us.

Rules for Reading

My rules for reading are pretty much — Find things you enjoy and read!

As a librarian I hear a lot about what people think about reading and apparently self-imposed rules for reading are not uncommon.

  • “I never start the next book until I have finished the one I am on.”
  • “I won’t let my child see the movie until they have finished the book.”
  • “I never skip ahead – that would be cheating.”

My Rules for Reading allow me to start books, and stop them; to skim when I want to; to whiz through pages quickly; and to flip to the middle or to the end to see where the book is going.  In a nutshell, anything works.  From these rules you may think I hardly read the book at all.  What I do is give myself permission to interact with the book in any way that works for me.  There are some books that I read slowly and savor, John Adams, by David McCollough is an example.  And some books I move forward quickly and then go back and reread passages — this is where the physical book works so much better than an ebook.

I read voraciously and have every since I learned to read.  One of my earliest memories was of waking early in the morning and reading my books to the guppies we had in a fish tank.  I have always loved to read and to be immersed in a book.  I think I read 80-90% of the books in the children’s section of the main branch of our public library, the Sunrise Branch of the Fort Lauderdale Public Library.  We, including my mother,  would go to the library and check out as many books as we could carry.  I would read all of my books, and then I would read all of hers. In general in my elementary and early teen years I figured I read a book a day and two a day on the weekend.  I did do other things, like ballet and children’s theater, and ride my bike, etc.  I loved to read. I still remember some of my favorite book titles.  Certainly I loved the shoe series by Neil Stretfield, Dancing Shoes, Theater Shoes, etc.  But I also loved the Secret of Saturn’s Rings and a trip to Saturn in a homemade rocket or the Hidden Door (that may not be the right title) about a boy who fell through a cosmic hole to land in the United States.

Book Suggestions for Book Club

Contemporary Fiction:

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.  477 pages.  2013.  Experiences of a Nigerian immigrant to the United States.  Part love story, part coming of age, part mature success  story.

We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo.298 pages. 2013.  Short-listed for the Man Booker Prize.  Lyrical coming of age first novel about the experiences of a young girl from Zimbabwe who immigrates to the United States. It reads like poetry.

Make Your Home Among Strangers by Jennine Capó Crucet.  388 pages. 2015.  There is a lot in the press about how hard it is to be the first of your family to attend college, this book provides insight into  the pulls between cultures and the transforming possibilities of education.

The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison. 326 pages. 2013.  Nuanced psychological thriller.  Page turner, and an interesting study of a marriage gone awry.

The Dog Stars by Peter Heller.  I can take dystopian novels and I can leave them, but this one is set apart.  My husband read it first and said I had to read it, and he was right, I enjoyed it very much.

The Attack by Yasmina Khadra. 257 pages. 2007.  A prominent Palestinian surgeon working in Tel Aviv is shocked when his wife is implicated in a suicide bombing.  This same author has written a non-fiction book called Wolf Dreams about a young man who becomes mired in Islamic fundamentalism.

Goodbye for Now by Laurie Frankel.  289 pages. 2012.  A satire about the possibilities of using social media.  Do you ever Skype with people you love?  What if they died and you could access those Skype calls to create new conversations?

Left Neglected by Lisa Genova.  326 pages. 2011.  Sarah was terrific at all she did and she did it all;  keeping up with her kids and their schedules and homework and her highly stressed job.  One day while trying to do one too many things she has a car accident that changes everything.  This books explores some of the stranger inner working of our brains, and how the brain can compensate for an injury.  For Sarah her brain would not process anything to her left, but filled in information so that Sarah was at first unaware of her disability.   Lisa Genova’s website.

Inside the O’Briens by Lisa Genova.  343 pages. 2015.  Joe O’Brien is a Boston cop.  Things start going a bit wonky for him and it isn’t until  his wife pressures him to see a doctor that he discovers he has a neuro-degenerative disorder, Huntingtons.  He and his family work through the coming changes while dealing with the genetic piece of the puzzle – each of his kids have to decide whether they will be tested for Huntingtons.

The Pleasure was Mine by Tommy Hayes.  272 pages. 2006. Beautifully written book looking back at a marriage.  Tommy Hayes father had Alzheimers and this book is a gentle look at care-taking for someone you have loved who is suffering from this disease.

Florence Gordon by Brian Morton. 320 pages. 2014.  My husband is the person who recommended this book.  Some people relate better to friends and strangers than family.   The main character reminds me of my own indomitable grandmother, who also overcame hardships and was a bit difficult to deal with.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. 295 pages. 2013. Fun, laugh out loud. Made me think that all of us have a little bit of autistic tendencies.

Historical Fiction:

The Good Lord Bird  by James McBride.  415 pages. 2013. In a twist  – a boy is mistaken for a girl, and keeps this disguise as he is caught up in John Browns abolitionist war against slavery.  National Book Award Winner.  James McBride came to national attention with his first work, The Color of Water.

Dream Lover  by Elizabeth Berg.  350 pages. 2015.  Historical fiction about author George Sands.  She was an amazing woman who was able, with the help of her inheritance and her talent to have more control over her life then most women of the time period.   The fact that she dressed like a man much of the time, but yet had affairs with prominent men of the day, including Frederick Chopin makes a hash of the strict gender mores of the time.

The House Girl by Tara Conklin.  372 pages. 2013.  This books slips back and forth between 2004 and 1852.  A young attorney investigating another case becomes aware of the controversy surrounding the art of LuAnne Bell, a plantation mistress renown for her sensitive portraits of her slaves.  Could these paintings be the work of her 17 year old house girl, Josephine?

Euphoria by Lily King.  288 pages. 2015.  Loosely based on the life of Margaret Mead, this book explores the hardships of being an anthropologist in the 1930s in the Territory of New Guinea.

Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra.  382 pages.  2013.  One of the best books I have read in the last five years.  It is about the invasion of  Chechnya by the Russians and the high cost to those who lived there.  It is a compelling but difficult read exploring the bounds of humanity and what we will do for those whom we love.

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry.  864 pages. 1989. Republished 2010. Pulitzer Prize Winner 1989.  Western. This is one of those books that defies genre.  Given that it had been a mini-series on TV in the 90s my expectation were low.  I can see why it won the Pulitzer.  Great read. I still think about these characters and the choices that they made.

Non-Fiction:

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain.352 pages.2012. Well researched look at the contribution of introverts in our society and at how our education system favors the extrovert.  Book Club Discussion Kit from Durham LibraryRandom House Teacher’s Guide.

Between the World and Me by TaNehisi Coates.  New York Times Book Review. List of Atlantic articles by Coates.  Jon Stewart interview with Coates – video.

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick. National Book Foundation Interview with the author.  A possible companion read is the The Orphan Master’s Son.  The North Koreans are told they live in a paradise and the rest of the world envies them.  The society inhibits trust with anyone, including family.  A searing look

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, an the Collision of Two Cultures by Anne Fadiman.  341 pages. 1997.  Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. Publisher Reading Guide.

The Triumph of Seeds by Thor Hanson.  277 pages.  2015.  A fascinating look at the importance of seeds in our lives, in our history and in world culture.  Extremely knowledgeable in history and natural science, Hanson weaves personal anecdotes with anecdotes of many historical figures to make his case for the importance of seeds.

A Glorious Defeat :  Mexico and It’s War with the United States by Timothy Henderson.  215 pages. 2007.  Reyna Grande (author of The Distance Between Us) recommended this book to me.  She is working on a new novel about the Mexican American War.  This is a complicated time period and Henderson does a good and very readable narrative history.

Divorced, Beheaded, Survived:  A Feminist Reinterpretation of the Wives of Henry VII  by Karen Lindsay.  217 pages. 1995. A narrative non-fiction revisionist look at the wives of of Henry VIII. It would be hard not to be familiar with the common characterization of the wives of Henry  VIII that we see in history text books and in mini-series dramas.  One of my history professors said that there is no history only historians.   This book reminds me that it is important to look through the lens of the players in the historical drama and not just from one viewpoint.

Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right by Jane Meyer.  464 pages.  2016.  Our politics have been changed by the Citizens United ruling allowing corporations to give unlimited amounts.  This is a chilling look at what that means to our political process.

Survival of the Sickest: The Surprising Connections Between Disease and Longevity by Sharon Moalem.  267 pages. 2007.  Historically certain medical conditions were advantageous in the face of other diseases, but now as people are living longer these conditions are creating their own problems.  Fascinating look at the cross section between history and our evolutionary physical bodies.

The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan  by Jenny Nordberg.  345 pages. 2014.  Life for women in Afghanistan is bleak, but for some, at least while they are young they experience the advantages of being male.  Written by a news journalist.

If Oceans were Ink:  An Unlikely Friendship and a Journey to the Heart of the Quran  by Carla Power.  352 pages.  2013.  Carla Power, an American journalist follows her friend,  Sheikh Mohammad Akram Nadwi  a madrassah trained imam who  teaches at Oxford University in England,  through his life, including back to his home village in India, to better understand the Quran and the Muslim faith.   Book Review   Title Peek

A Sense of the World:  How a Blind Man became History’s Greatest Traveler  by Jason Roberts.  Born in 1786 James Holman’s goal was to travel the world.  He was happiest going off on his own alone, where he didn’t speak the language.  During his incredible life he survived the frozen Siberia, hunted elephants in Ceylon and helped chart the Australian outback.

Memoir

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson.  342 pages. 2014.  Jacqueline Woodson is coming in April 12th 2016 to the Seattle Arts and Lectures.  This young adult book is a memoir of her life growing up in South Carolina as a minority and what her family had to do to be safe.  Jacqueline Woodson’s writing draws you in, and this book, written in verse, has a very powerful story to tell.

Infidel by Aayan Hirsi Ali.  353 pages. 2007.   Hirsi Ali’s life fascinated me.  Her perspective on the immigrant journey from Somali to the western world is very timely now.  She arrived in Amsterdam uneducated and alone.  With the help of the Dutch she became educated, then a member of the Dutch Parliament.  This all came tumbling down when it surfaced that she exaggerated her story to attain asylum in The Netherlands, and when her good friend Theo Van Gogh was murdered for their joint project  video “Submission”.  She is very much in the news currently as an advocate for the reform of Islam.  Here is an article from Salon from April 2015.  She has recently published another book Heretic. Reading Guide for Infidel.

Beautiful Struggle by Ta-Nehisi Coates.  Memoir about growing up black in America.  NPR Interview.  Coates is an acclaimed author and a current MacArthur Grant recipient.

Young Adult

The Fault in our Stars by John Green.  313 pages.  2012. John Green is a phenomena.  He is a fairly prolific author of young adult books, he has created a  YouTube series called Crash Course in History.  I use his videos to help explain Copyright to our students.  The movie of this book is well worth watching.

Wonder by  R. J. Palacio.  322 pages.  2012. This book for a couple of months was the best selling book on Amazon, not the best selling children’s book, but the best selling book.  It is about a student with a facial abnormality and his school experiences.

Book Club Resources:

Reading Group Guides:  See what other book clubs are reading.  Over 4,000 reading guides.  http://www.readinggroupguides.com/

Book Movement:  This website can be a one stop shop for book club organization and resources.  You can organize your book club, send out reminder emails to members, etc.  It does take a little time to set up.

Lit Lovers – Another resource that has information for book clubs, including author biographies, summary of the books, discussion questions and even recipes.

Publisher Sites – all the major publishers seem to have information and resources for bookclubs.  There is a lot of great information here, and suggestions, as well as some hype.  Penguin Book Club, Random House Reader’s Circle, Simon and Schuster Reading Group Guides. – take a look at the reading guide for Billy Collins, Aimless Love on the Random House site.

Library Reads – list of the top books month by month according to Public Librarians.

LARB, Los Angeles Review of Books.  Great resource for essays, interviews and book reviews.

50 Essential Historical Fiction Books, by Lily King.  Abe Books.  Interesting list.

Goodreads.  Goodreads is a great app for keeping up with what you are reading.  You can rate the books on a 5 star system, and categorize them on “shelves” of choosing.  Also you can share with others what you and they are reading and enjoyed.  Recently Goodreads was acquired by Amazon and now the patron reviews and book comments may show up in the Amazon patron reviews.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Citizenship Class at the Bellevue Public Library

Background Information:

Our Bellevue Public Library meets on Monday nights 7-8:30.  I have been teaching this class since Oct. of 2008 and in that time have met many remarkable people working toward U.S. citizenship.   In this blog I want to provide resources and information about our government, history and culture.  Every time we meet, we start out with a chat time, often talking about something happening in current events.

Go to USCIS.gov for information about naturalization.

Interesting Link to information on the First Amendment — at the time it was written and the role of the press.  http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/madison/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/The-First-Amendment-in-the-Colonial-press.pdf

The First Amendment in the Colonial press
By Gordon T. Belt
First Amendment Center library manager

 

Be The Change — First Blog — First Steps

Hold onto your hat!  Change is here, Life feels a bit like going down a ski slope that’s a bit out of my league, just barely staying on my feet as the trees speed by and the slope falls away.

Technology in general makes me feel that.  It is always changing — the change is the constant, so you can never know if what you know is still true, and yet what else is there to do but forge ahead?

As a high school librarian, it behooves me to know where to find information, to be able to point the way, even if I don’t exactly know what is around the corner.  My school has a week in the spring when all of the students focus in on something instead of attending regular classes.  Many will travel, hike, camp, or make things.  A colleague and I are going to work with students to have them create their own web presence — starting with a blog, a video and an infographic.   We talk a bit about Digital Citizenship, and so much is the world of don’ts and bewares, but there is a positive side to putting your best face out there — and that is what we want to promote and cultivate with our students.

Here I am trying first to figure some of this out  — What better way to learn something than to teach it!    But the catch is you have to stay ahead of your students, just a bit.  So here I am.

Today, I started my WordPress blog — something I have not done before.  I have registered for the WordPress  How to Blog online course, and I am hoping that I can get a good head start of this, before I start working with my students.  My plan is to learn and keep learning.  And when it all looks unfamiliar hope that there is a guidepost someplace close by to point me to the next step.

About me:  I am a librarian, so loving to read is sort of a given.  When I am not reading, I garden, crochet, commune with my cat, and dance with my husband.
Be the Change