In the Duckworth Scholars Studio with Jordan Hample

Jordan Hample

Jordan Hample

Jordan Hample got a taste for gaming at Camden County Community College and then moved on to study computer science at Rowen University. After working in the Camden County Library System’s IT department and establishing an independent gaming company with friends (Semag Company), he saw that Temple was hiring for its digital scholarship start-up. Jordan has now been with the Temple University Libraries since 2015. Once we had all made the

Person using VR headset

A student uses a VR headset

transition to Charles Library in the late summer and fall of 2019, Kristina DeVoe and I decided to interview Jordan to find out what in the heck he does and what’s going on in that Loretta C. Duckworth Scholars Studio (web site / blog). Do they have lightsabers? What about transporters? Are there strange bursts of light and otherworldly sounds emanating from that zone on the third floor? What does all of this have to do with education and research? OK, so maybe it’s an exaggeration to say that Jordan was an international man of mystery, but we were nevertheless a little uncertain about

Demonstrating photogrammatry

Photogrammetry in the Scholars Studio

Jordan demonstrates VR

Jordan Hample demonstrates VR

what he does. It seems likely that in our positions as librarians supporting multiple academic departments that we will need to work more closely with the Scholars Studio in the future. So, not only was this interview fun but it was also important for us.

Both of these engaging and informative interviews provide a nice introduction to the work of the Loretta C. Duckworth Scholars Studio through the eyes of one of its founding members. In the first interview he discusses the Scholars Studio and his role in it (3:54-6:33), the VR / Visualization Studio (6:34-8:35), play and gaming in education, plus eSports (8:50-12:23), and outreach (12:26-22:30), among other topics.

Pouring mixture to make faceshields

David Ross pouring the special sauce

In the second interview Jordan first describes working from home. Then he explains in detail the role that the Scholars Studio played in collaboration with the Tyler School of Art and the College of Engineering to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) for the Temple Hospital System for the COVID-19 emergency (7:55-18:20) (special shout out to David Ross). Though the COVID-19 pandemic has been a terrible tragedy, it is rewarding to know this new organizational structure within Charles Library has been able to play such an important and lifesaving role, which is all the more reason to take some time to listen to Jordan’s experiences and insights.

These interviews took place on January 6, 2020 and June 8, 2020. We’d like to thank Jordan Hample for his cooperation.

 

Digitizing Art and History: An Interview with Michael Carroll

What started out as part-time employment for erstwhile undergraduate student Michael Carroll has morphed into a fascinating career reviewing, organizing, and digitizing archival collections that move him back and forth through time and space, a medieval manuscript or a Renaissance Italian log of commercial transactions on one day,

Michael Carroll

Michael Carroll

a montage of 20th century Philadelphia street scenes on another, and yet historical and stereotypical images of racial bias on another. Michael Carroll holds a B.A. (2014) and M.A. (2019) in Art History from Temple University and he is currently working on a Masters in Library Science from Clarion University. He began working in Paley Library (R.I.P., 1966-2019)  as a sophomore and continued this part-time position after returning from a junior year abroad program in Italy. He was hired into a full-time position at Paley Library in 2016.

Digital Collections

Temple Digital Collections

Michael currently leads a team of mostly student workers digitizing the amazing collections in the Charles Library Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) and the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection. His work combines a close attention to detail and technical expertise with an art historian’s eye for the unusual, the ordinary, and the beautiful. For an overview of what he does in his work, listen to minutes 4:09 to 11:42 of the audio.

 

Humanities librarians Jill Luedke (Art & Architecture) and Rebecca Lloyd (History, Spanish/Portuguese, Latin American Studies) interview Michael Carroll (12/05/2019) in this first Behind the Scenes audio, a series that will highlight the

Rebecca Lloyd and Jill Luedke

unsung heroes of the Temple University Libraries. While students, faculty, alums, and community users generally only see the public-facing staff of the Library, there are many more people behind the scenes who organize and make available our vast physical and digital collections. In their positions Jill and Rebecca regularly depend on the materials Michael and his student workers digitize, so they were eager to learn more about his work. At the very end of the interview, Rebecca, Jill, and Michael talk about the importance of primary sources and the need for students and researchers to become more familiar with finding and interpreting them (33:20-38:09).

When asked about his favorite project, Michael explained that scanning and documenting Temple’s medieval manuscripts came out on top.

medieval manuscript

A Medieval Manuscript

Known officially as Bibliotheca Philadelphiensis, Temple’s contribution to this regional project consists of 43 scanned images, containing 15th century Italian business documents, choral sheet music, a book of hours, and a missal leaf.

Stereotypical Image

Stereotypical advertising image

Another special project that he worked on was the Stereotypical Images Collection, a collection of images, designed for classroom use, that represents racial and ethnic stereotypes in popular culture. (You can hear Michael talk about these projects between 16:24 and 18:47 of the audio.) One additional collection that Michael talks about is the work he did in collaboration with the SCRC and the Digital Scholarship Center (the current Duckworth Scholars Studio) scanning a vast

Science Fiction Prject

Science Fiction Books

science fiction collection with OCR technology in order to enable textual analysis and data mining of this digital corpus. He talks about this project during the interview when he discusses the technology-related aspects of his work (13:38 to 16:21).

Throughout the interview, Rebecca and Jill ask Michael to reflect on his career path and provide advice for students who might want to pursue their interests in the cultural sector as a

Michael Carroll

Michael Carroll, action photo

profession. He has very valuable and encouraging suggestions for anyone interested in this fascinating (and, as he cautions, often painstaking) line of work (18:48-21:46; 25:47-27:23; 29:01-32:08).

Since we recorded our original interview way back on December 5, 2019 — which at this point seems like a million years ago — we decided to check back in with Michael at his new pandemic workstation. In addition to providing some insight on how he overcame the initial disorientation and reorganized his work, it is also one among many testimonies to this strange and painful time we are living through.

NEW! Refworks institutional login

You can now create an account in Refworks using your institutional login (TU AccessNet). If you already have a Refworks account, you can associate it with your institutional account.

Creating a new account: https://refworks.proquest.com/

  • Choose Temple University, login using your AccessNet, provide email and name, and Voila! You’ve got an account!

AccessNet Login

Associate an existing accounting: https://refworks.proquest.com/ 

  • Log in using your existing account, click on Settings and then on Associate Credentials

Associate Credentials image

Questions? Contact Fred Rowland

 

The Hamlet Fire, 1991

Bryant Simon

Bryant Simon

 

 

 

A deadly fire raced through the Imperial Food Products factory in Hamlet, North Carolina on the morning of September 3, 1991. As the fire raged, employees found themselves trapped behind chain-locked exits, which led to the deaths of 25 people. The fire was big news. I was living in Philadelphia at the time and I can remember news reports and descriptions of desperate people frantically trying to escape.

Historian Bryan Simon was in a doctoral program at the University of North Carolina in 1991 and he often drove through Hamlet on his way to visit the research archives at the University of South Carolina. Birthplace of  jazz great John Coltrane, prize-winning reporter Tom Wicker, and former Philadelphia Eagles Pro Bowl wide receiver (and current Eagles radio color commentator) Mike Quick, Hamlet had been a prosperous railroad junction through the first half of the 20th century until the railroads went into decline. By the 1980s, the city government and its inhabitants were desperate to bring new businesses to town. It was during this time that a Pennsylvania company processing chicken parts into chicken tenders moved to Hamlet.

Bryant Simon’s most recent book, The Hamlet Fire: A Tragic Story of Cheap Food, Cheap Government, and Cheap Lives (The New Press, 2017), as the subtitle indicates, is about much more than a tragic fire. Instead, Simon uses Hamlet as a microcosm to examine the larger economic and political forces that have transformed the United States. Where policy makers were once focused on creating an economy that produced high manufacturing wages, starting in the 1970s they increasingly turned their attention to an economic model of low wages and cheap products. The fire at Imperial Food Products are part of this story.

I spoke to Bryant Simon on January 23, 2018.

—Fred Rowland

Workshop: Protecting Digital Privacy & Security

Announcing two fall workshops sponsored by TUL Research Data Services

Protecting Your Digital Privacy & Security
Location: Digital Scholarship Center (DSC), Ground Floor Paley Library

Date: Wednesday, October 18, 2017, 11-12
Location: Digital Scholarship Center (DSC)

Date: Wednesday, October 25, 2017, 11-12
Location: Digital Scholarship Center (DSC)

Today’s digital technologies offer tremendous advantages, from quick access to information and effortless communications to convenient online shopping and commercial transactions. This ease of access can come at a price, however, as Internet providers and web sites track your online behavior and sell your private information and hackers seek to breach your financial accounts and intercept your personal and business communications. Take the necessary steps to protect yourself!

This workshop will provide tools and tips for protecting your digital security and privacy. Here are some questions we will answer:

  • How can I manage all my passwords?
  • What options are available for browsing anonymously online?
  • How can I chat online privately?
  • Where can I learn more about digital privacy and security?

Join us in October to learn more about protecting your digital privacy and security!

Protecting Your Personal Privacy in a Digital World

Surveillance Cameras          Laptop Spying           Spy Silhouette

Announcing a new workshop…

Protecting Your Personal Privacy in a Digital World

Date: Thursday, March 2, 2017, 11-12
Location: Digital Scholarship Center (DSC)
Sign Up (or just show up)

Date: Tuesday, March 21, 2017, 11-12
Location: Digital Scholarship Center (DSC)
Sign Up  (or just show up)
(Cancelled due to scheduling conflict)

Date: Thursday, March 23, 2017, 11-12
Location: Digital Scholarship Center (DSC)

We live in an age of pervasive digital surveillance, whether those prying eyes are marketers, hackers, governments, or employers. Learning the principles of online digital privacy is essential for navigating daily online activities, such as communicating with friends, engaging in social activism, or accessing a banking or credit card account.

This workshop will provide the tools and tips you need to make more informed decisions concerning your online activity. Here are some questions we will answer:

  • How can I manage all my passwords?
  • What options are available for browsing anonymously online?
  • Should I use the cloud to sync my devices?
  • How can I chat online privately?
  • What are some trusted sources for learning more about digital privacy and security?

Since each individual’s “threat model” is different, this workshop aims to provide practical information to help you think more clearly about your digital privacy needs. Our intended audience is the community of regular Internet users who wish to start thinking a little more systematically about their online activity.

Media, Pennsylvania: March 8, 1971

John Raines and family

 

John Raines teaching

In 2013 whistleblower Edward Snowden leaked thousands of classified documents and confirmed a vast National Security Agency spying program. Though there had been significant revelations before Snowden’s leaks, this new information made it impossible for the US government to deny the international scope of its intrusions into the privacy of individuals, organizations, and governments.

43 years earlier a group of eight middle class antiwar activists performed a similar public service, releasing internal FBI documents that revealed a pattern of abuse by J. Edgar Hoover and federal agents. The full story is told in a new book (Betty Medsger’s The Burglary) and a documentary film (1971, directed by Johanna Hamilton), both released in 2014. The Citizens’ Commission to Investigate the FBI, as they called themselves, burglarized the Media, Pennsylvania office of the FBI in the hopes of finding evidence of illegal FBI surveillance and disruption of the antiwar movement.

J. Edgar Hoover’s citadel was seemingly impregnable, built by decades of careful public relations and a comprehensive intelligence network. Though there was near certainty among antiwar activists and other protest groups of FBI malfeasance, there was no tangible evidence. After surveilling the Philadelphia FBI office and determining that it was too closely guarded, the Commission to Investigate the FBI looked to the FBI’s suburban offices for an opportunity.

After months of casing the Media, Pennsylvania office, the Citizens’ Commission to Investigate the FBI made its move on the night of the first historic Joe Frazier – Muhammad Ali fight, March 8, 1971. By sunrise the next day, the Citizens’ Commission had eight large suitcases of documents – the full contents of the Media FBI filing cabinets – secured in an isolated farmhouse, waiting to be organized and analyzed. Hundreds of FBI agents were assigned to investigate the Media break-in, but no one was ever charged with the crime. The disclosures that resulted from the Media burglary provided concrete evidence of illegal FBI activities.

John and Bonnie Raines were members of the Citizens’ Commission to Investigate the FBI. John Raines, now professor emeritus, has been at Temple University since he arrived from the Union Theological Seminary in 1966. John Raines spoke to me about his experiences with the Citizens’ Commission to Investigate the FBI on October 2, 2014.

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—Fred Rowland

Marketing Schools, Marketing Cities

Maia Cucchiara image

 

 

 

 

Maia Cucchiara’s new book, Marketing Schools, Marketing Cities: Who Wins and Who Loses When Schools Become Urban Amenities (University of Chicago Press, 2013), is a very timely intervention into the current debate about the troubled Philadelphia public school system. Most of the research for this book took place between 2004 and 2007 as part of her doctoral dissertation during the Philadelphia Center City Schools Initiative (CCSI), which sought to market and promote Center City public schools in an effort to retain middle and upper middle class Center City families from fleeing to the suburbs in search of better schools. She shines a light on this initiative by focusing on one school and one neighborhood, which she pseudonymously names “Grant Elementary School” and “Cobble Square”. In the course of her research, she interviewed parents, administrators, teachers, and local civic and business leaders, as well as participated in many events at Grant Elementary School.

One of the most important and illuminating aspects of Marketing Schools, Marketing Cities is the way it highlights the tensions between an urban area’s economic and civic space as citizens are increasingly seen as customers and consumers. What rights and duties do we have as citizens and how are those rights and duties constrained or enhanced when they are interpreted from a narrow economic perspective? On the one hand, retaining Center City families grows the tax base and potentially benefits all Philadelphia schools, given that schools are financed primarily through real estate taxes. On the other hand, how does one justify directing additional resources to Center City schools at a time when there are so many disadvantaged schools in the outlying neighborhoods? The tensions that Maia Cucchiara investigates in Marketing Schools, Marketing Cities are still very much with us today and make this book a “must read” for anyone interested in Philadelphia public schools and the future of public education.

I spoke with Maia Cucchiara on September 19, 2013.

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—Fred Rowland

 

 

 

2011-2012 Library Prize Winners!

Here are the winners of this year’s Library Prize for Undergraduate Research and the Library Prize for Undergraduate Research on Sustainability & the Environment.
Please join us on Tuesday, May 1 at 4 PM in the Paley Lecture Hall for the Awards Ceremony. The winners and their faculty sponsors will discuss the prize-winning papers. Refreshments provided.

Library Prize for Undergraduate Research

  • Summer Beckley, “A Crisis of Identity: Advertising & the British Ministry of Information’s Propaganda Posters of World War II”
    History 4997, Advisor: Richard Immerman
  • Afrora Muca, “From Classroom to Battlefield: The Role of Students in the Closing of Carlisle Indian Industrial School, 1918″
    History 4997, Advisor: Andrew Isenberg
  • Eugene Tsvilik, “No Enemies to the Left: The Communist Party of the United States and Crises of International Communism, 1956-1968″
    History 4997, Advisor: Petra Goedde

Library Prize for Undergraduate Research on Sustainability & the Environment

  • Anthony Shields, Jenna Fink, Hasan Malik, Nicola Horscroft
    “The treatment of drinking water using polymeric sorbents”
    Engineering 4296
    Faculty: Huichun (Judy) Zhang
  • Brian Davidson, Fiona Farrelly, Thomson Liang, Melissa MacKinnon
    “Sustainable and efficient rope pump”
    Engineering 4296
    Faculty: Robert J. Ryan
  • (Honorable Mention)
    Rachel Maddaluna
    “Mitigation of climate change and species loss through avoided deforestation”
    Biology 4391
    Faculty: Brent Sewall


—Fred Rowland