The University of Massachusetts Amherst

News

Apr. 24 - May 4


Apr. 24-27: Make Observations
Apr. 28-May 3: Help ID Observations
May 4: Results Announced


Cities around the world will be competing to see who can make the most observations of nature, find the most species, and engage the most people in the 2020 City Nature Challenge.

By making wildlife observations, you are contributing data to scientists and your community, which helps people study and protect local species. Cities that participated in previous years documented species in their areas they didn't know they had, and got thousands of participants to get outside and take a closer look at the nature all around us.

Observations made in the following counties during the City Nature Challenge will count toward totals for the Pioneer Valley area: Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden, MA. In order for observations to count toward the challenge, participants must do the following:

1. Find Wildlife

Find and photograph any WILD plant, animal, or fungus in your backyard, campus, sidewalk cracks, mountain paths, river banks - anywhere in the Pioneer Valley.  Please avoid landscaped areas planted by people, pets, zoos, etc.

2. Take a Picture of What You See

Be sure to note where you were when you took the picture.  Remember, only observations in the three counties will count!

3. Share Your Observations

Upload your findings through the free iNaturalist app, on your phone, or online.

4. Help ID Observations

Identify the species of observations collected during the first phase of the challenge online at iNaturalist. Try to stick to the ones from the Pioneer Valley!

More information available at:

City Nature Challenge

Pioneer Valley on iNaturalist

iNaturalist Workshops, part of the Libraries Workshop Series

The UMass Amherst Libraries are coordinating all City Nature Challenge efforts for the Pioneer Valley area. The Libraries are currently looking for partner organizations to promote the challenge, make observations, host community science events, or help identify species during the 2020 City Nature Challenge.

Contact Melanie Radik, mradik@umass.edu, to get your organization involved!

February 2020
Leverett Public Library

Closing Reception with Presentation by Laura Quilter, Copyright and Information Policy Librarian
Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020
6:30 p.m.

On January 1, 2019, works published in the U.S. in 1923 came out of copyright and are now free for public use and sharing. To celebrate, the UMass Amherst Libraries curated this traveling exhibit featuring some of these materials. This is the first time since 1998 that the public domain has grown substantially, unlocking movies, music, paintings, sculpture, books, poems, and scientific publications.

The exhibit will be on display in the Leverett Public Library during the month of February.

Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries announces new annual fellowships, linking and supporting scholars working with material in SCUA’s collections. For the first time, fellowships are being offered for graduate students, early career professionals, and independent scholars interested in the spiritual dimensions of social change; the history of work, labor, and industry; and the value of human life. These new fellowships join the well-established W. E. B. Du Bois Research Fellowship and expand the breadth of subjects for researchers to delve into during short-term residential research appointments.

The Brother David Steindl-Rast Fellowship supports research that engages with the spiritual dimensions of social change. Steindl-Rast, a Benedictine monk, scholar, writer, and social activist, has shared messages of peace, interfaith dialogue, social justice, and environmental stewardship worldwide for more than 50 years.

Eligibility: Graduate students and early career professionals (within five years of receipt of a PhD). Independent scholars and those outside of academia are strongly encouraged to apply.

Kenneth R. Feinberg Fellowships: Two annual fellowshipssupport research that touches on the theme of the value of human life or otherwise resonates with the legacy of Kenneth R. Feinberg. One of the most prominent and dedicated attorneys of our time, Feinberg has assumed the role of mediator in a number of high-profile complex legal disputes, often in the aftermath of public tragedies. Frequently these cases necessitate determining compensation to victims and survivors and also confronting the very question of the value of human life.

Eligibility: Graduate students and early career professionals (within five years of receipt of a PhD).

The John William Bennett Fellowship supports research in and writing on the history of labor, work, and industry, honoring the legacy of labor historian and activist John William Bennett. A labor historian, Bennett ’52 researched the history of the labor movement since his days as an undergraduate at UMass Amherst. A born collector, he began accumulating memorabilia associated with unions, drawn to their potential as a visual record of labor iconography and self-representation.

Eligibility: Graduate students and early career professionals (within five years of receipt of a PhD). Proposals by labor historians without academic affiliation will also be considered.

The Esperantic Studies Foundation Fellowship supports research in the history and culture of planned languages, with a strong emphasis on Esperanto and the Esperanto movement.

Eligibility: Graduate students and early career professionals (within five years of receipt of a PhD).

The Du Bois Research Fellowships are managed by SCUA’s partner, the W. E. B. Du Bois Center. For information and to apply, visit the Du Bois Center’s website.

Application Process

The 2020 Fellowship Application is due on March 6, 2020; awards will be announced on April 1. Fellows will be selected according to the scholarly merit of their proposal as judged by the committee of reviewers; demonstrated need to use SCUA’s holdings; and fit to the particular fellowship program.

SCUA uses a single, online-only application process for all fellowship programs. A completed applicant’s packet must include:

  • A brief biographical statement of not more than 350 words with a description of your larger research agenda to be used for publicity purposes
  • An overview of the proposed project not to exceed three pages
  • A current resume or CV
  • One confidential letter of reference

The UMass Amherst Libraries introduce PolicyMap, a map creation tool for visualizing data about communities across the United States, including income, housing, quality of life, and even federal guidelines.

PolicyMap allows users to produce maps, tables and reports with this data at regional, state, congressional district, and county levels, making it an ideal resource for studying current issues and long-term trends that could influence voters’ decisions in the next election.

This resource is available to all UMass Amherst students, faculty, and staff, and is accessible off-campus via UMass Amherst NetID.

The UMass Amherst Libraries introduce Gender Studies E-Book Collection and Latin American Studies E-Book Collection from Duke University Press.

Isabel Espinal, Research Services Librarian for the departments of Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies and Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies, advocated for the purchase of these resources because of the cross-disciplinary applications of the collections’ content.

These resources are available to all UMass Amherst students, faculty, and staff with no download restrictions, and are accessible off-campus via UMass Amherst NetID. Additionally, Librarians Ann Kardos and Jennifer Eustis worked to ensure that the collections are entirely searchable via Discovery Search and the Five Colleges Catalog.

“I love teaching with E-Books because buying books is expensive for students, and an unlimited E-Book license lets everybody read the Library copy at the same time,” says Laura Briggs, Professor in Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies. “The collections bring together the work of brilliant, recently-published scholars, which makes for lively seminars on current scholarship.”

The UMass Amherst Libraries are partnering with the Center for Educational Assessment at the College of Education to publish Practical Assessment, Research, and Evaluation (PARE) through ScholarWorks@UMassAmherst, the digital repository for the scholarly output for the campus. Established as an open access journal in 1999 by Lawrence Rudner and William Schafer, PARE will remain open access with no article processing charges for authors. Volumes 1 through 24 have been migrated to ScholarWorks, and new issues will be published starting in January, 2020.

PARE is an online journal that provides access to refereed articles that can have a positive impact on assessment, research, and evaluation. PARE is committed to promoting fairness and equity in educational and psychological measurement and evaluation. Its editors are seeking papers that foster and support the development of high quality, inclusive assessments and assessment practices.

April Zenisky, associate research professor and director of computer-based testing initiatives for the Center for Educational Assessment, and Lisa Keller, associate professor and assistant director of the Center for Educational Assessment, will be the new co-editors.

One unique feature of PARE is that graduate students in the Research in Educational Measurement and Psychometrics program in the College of Education will be included in the peer review process; their names will be listed in the graduate student editorial board upon receiving journal review certification by Zenisky and Keller. Each journal submission will then be reviewed by one of these students as well as two or more professionals, drawn from either the editorial board or ad hoc reviewers.

Election Day is November 5, and the UMass Amherst Libraries have you covered. Here are a few of our resources to help prepare for Tuesday:

Voting Resources Available Freely Online

Polling Locations for Massachusetts can be found here.

Ballotpedia provides information about the upcoming election, including a preview of what your ballot looks like.

The Election Protection Coalition is the largest and oldest nonpartisan election protection organization that helps to ensure all voters have the opportunity to vote.

If you have problems while voting, call:

English: 866-OUR-VOTE

Spanish: 888-VE-Y-VOTA

Arabic: 844-YALLA-US

Asian and Pacific Languages: 888-API-VOTE

American Sign Language: 301-818-VOTE

You can also find the Coalition on Twitter and Facebook.

The Federal Election Commission provides election news and information.

The National Archives & Records Administration (NARA) has a page of voting information where you can check your registration.

The US Congress website has a list of the bills being considered this session, among other information.

The US Election Assistance Commission has resources for voters, including information in multiple languages.

UMass Amherst Libraries Resources

Congress Collection is a collection of facts about the activities of Congress, such as biographical data and voting habits of current members, and how members are rated by interest groups.

Questions? Contact Lisa DiValentino, Law and Public Policy Librarian, at ldivalentino@umass.edu or Laura Quilter, Copyright and Information Policy Librarian, at lquilter@library.umass.edu.

The UMass Amherst Libraries are committed to supporting our colleagues at other institutions and to working with them to transform the way libraries license and provide access to scholarly content. The Libraries’ Office of Scholarly Communications is a leading advocate for changes in the scholarly communications process, spearheading the adoption by UMass Faculty Senate of the University Open Access Policy in 2016.  

The UMass Amherst Libraries are pleased to endorse the MIT Framework for Publisher Contracts, a set of principles to guide library engagement with vendors and publishers, with the goal of advancing an open, equitable, and accessible scholarly ecosystem. The UMass Amherst Libraries are fully engaged in this process and espouse many of the principles set forth in the MIT Framework.  

UMass Amherst Libraries will continue to work with our national and international colleagues as well as vendors, publishers, and learned societies, to create and advocate for change in the scholarly communications system. As mindful stewards of the financial resources entrusted to us by the campus and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, we will seek innovative and creative ways to provide access to needed resources in the most affordable and accessible way possible. 

Endorsed October 21, 2019 by the University Libraries Administration Team: Simon Neame, Dean of Libraries; Steve Bischof, Associate Dean for Library Technology; Leslie Button, Associate Dean for Research and Learning; Terry Carroll, Director for Administrative Services; Sally Krash, Associate Dean for Content and Discovery; Carol Connare, Director of Communication; and Marilyn Billings, Advisor to the Dean of Libraries on Scholarly Communication.

 

The UMass Amherst Libraries announce the launch of Translat Library, a new journal based at UMass Amherst and published through ScholarWorks@UMassAmherst in collaboration with the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in Spain. The journal is devoted to the literary culture of Europe from 1300 to 1600, with an emphasis on vernacular translations, the Romance letters, and the Latin tradition.

Translat Library stems from a long-term project led by a group of researchers based at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. The project, which has received funding from the Spanish government since 2006, culminated in 2018 with the publication of a monograph as well as a database on medieval Catalan translations (Translat is the medieval Catalan word for both ‘translation’ and ‘copy’).

Inspired by the sections of notes and manuscript excerpts that were common in 19th century journals, the journal aims to offer a venue for research based on archival and documentary work. It seeks to publish short articles documenting the identification of a manuscript or incunable, the source of a text, archival information on an author or work, the paratexts of a rare edition, the complete or excerpted edition of an unpublished text, and published but neglected text, among other topics.

Albert Lloret, Associate Professor and Director of Spanish and Catalan Studies at UMass Amherst, serves as general editor of the journal, together with Barcelona Professor Alejandro Coroleu. The Editorial Board is composed of a roster of scholars from the UK, Italy, Spain, and the U.S.

The W. E. B. Du Bois Center at UMass Amherst Libraries has been selected for the 2019 Best of Amherst Award in the Education Center category by the Amherst Award Program.

Each year, the Amherst Award Program identifies companies and places that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These nominees enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community and help make the Amherst area a great place to live, work, and play.

The Amherst Award Program is an annual awards program established to honor the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Amherst area. The organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations, and other business advertising and marketing groups. Its mission is to recognize the small business community's contributions to the U.S. economy.