Carolina Asia Center Funds New Library Material

We have a bunch of awesome new materials for check out thanks to the Carolina Asia Center at UNC. Funded by their Title VI grant from the Department of Education, the Carolina Asian Center fosters Asian studies on campus by supporting instruction, collaborating on cultural events, and working with faculty interested in adding Asian content to their courses.

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North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation Endows Dr. Phail Wynn Jr. Library Collection

The North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation has awarded $50,000 to the Durham Technical Community College Foundation to create the Dr. Phail Wynn, Jr. Library Endowment. 

Dr. Phail Wynn, Jr. served as president of Durham Tech for 27 years. Upon his retirement in 2007, he established The Dr. Phail Wynn, Jr. Collection at the Durham Tech Library. Dr. Wynn generously supported the collection through personal philanthropy until his passing in July 2018. The library is very proud of Dr. Wynn’s collection and we are thrilled that that we can sustain and grow it in the years to come to honor his memory and legacy.  When students ask about the special collection it is a wonderful opportunity to tell them about our inspirational former president and his commitment to education, passion for service, dedication to the community, and his vision for the future.

photo of Dr. Wynn
Dr. Phail Wynn Jr., President,
Durham Technical Community College
1980-2007

Dr. Wynn’s collection promotes cultural awareness, tolerance, diversity, environmental conservation, sustainability, and peace. The collection is located on the upper level of the library.  Here are some new titles recently added to the collection.  Visit our display window at the entrance to the library and ask a staff member if you would like to borrow any of the materials on display.

What We’re Reading: The Feather Thief

The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century by Kirk Wallace Johnson

This book was read by Meredith Lewis, the [mostly] Orange County Campus Librarian, and is available for checkout at the Orange County Campus Library.

Title: The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century 
Author: Kirk Wallace Johnson

Genre: Social Science, True Crime [against a museum and the historical record], History [of animal specimen collection and feather fashion], Ethics

#ReadGreatThings2019 Category: A social science book; A book by a person you admire; A book that features college or higher education

Check out our blog post on the Read Great Things 2019 Challenge


Why did you choose this book? 

I read a lot of book lists and this one popped up sometime last year. Plot-wise, I like museums and true crime, and a museum heist was immediately something interesting to me. I don’t fly fish, but you don’t need to in order to enjoy this book.

Really, The Feather Thief is kind of about a lot of things– recovering after personal and professional disappointment, Victorian fly fishing lures, the role of museums and museum specimens in the historical record and preservation, the ecologically destructive power of fashion, and what can happen to an insular community when something illegal impacts them.  At its core, it’s about a young man who, realizing he has an opportunity to make some money in a niche community that he is a member of, breaks into a natural history museum, steals a lot of rare bird carcasses, and then sells the feathers. He gets caught (not really a spoiler). A portion of the fly fishing community reacts (or refuses to acknowledge their participation). People justify the bad behavior as not so bad and ignore the parts that don’t impact them directly. Reflection ensues. 

Did it remind you of any other book or a movie? 

It reminded me a little of Bad Blood by John Carreyrou (available through the OCC Library) and there’s this movie on Amazon Prime I watched a while ago about a man who forges (copies?) famous paintings and then donates them to art museums called Art & Craft. Both of them examine how people justify or try to hide behaviors that are bad or ethically just not right, but in different ways. I guess that’s a topic that interests me. Who knew? 

Who would you recommend this book to? 

Anyone ready to be surprised by an engaging nonfiction book that may not perfectly align with their own interests. Anyone looking to fill their social science checkbox in the Read Great Things 2019 Challenge. People who like true crime, but want to avoid the murdery ones. 

Also, people who like to tie their own fly fishing lures. This book talks your talk, unless you’re sensitive about buying authentic feathers for Victorian-era lures– then you may feel exceptionally called out.  

Open Education Week: March 4-8, 2019

There are worldwide events and webinars this week to increase awareness about textbook costs as barriers to education and the potential for technology to enhance teaching and learning.

Durham Tech Library advocates for Open Educational Resources and provides support for faculty and staff interested in exploring OER. Stop by the Main Campus or Orange County Campus libraries to pick up an OER button to show your support.

Here are some resources to help you learn more:

Open Education North Carolina is an initiative that aims to reduce the cost of higher education for North Carolina students by providing free, open textbooks for the most frequently-taught courses across North Carolina’s colleges and universities.

Grant opportunities are available through OENC now!  One Durham Tech instructor has been awarded a $1,000 grant for adopting an open textbook for an ART 111 course for Fall 2019 semester. 

Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources (CCCOER) offers frequent webinars, research and case studies, and resources for faculty.  To celebrate Open Education Week, CCCOER will hold five Faculty Dialogue webinars, each day this week, in which faculty in a specific discipline will discuss the intricacies of teaching with OER in that subject and answer audience questions. 

The Open Education Resource Guide from Virginia Tech offers a guide to getting started with open, editable, and lower-cost textbooks and open teaching & learning resources.  Especially helpful is the information on finding OER by discipline and open textbook authoring and editing. 

SPARC, a global coalition committed to making open the default for research and education, offers events, updates on policies and projects, news, and resources on all aspects of open education.

Do you want to learn more about OER or get involved at Durham Tech?  Please contact Julie Humphrey (humphreyj@durhamtech.edu or 919-536-7211 x 1602) for more information.  Stay tuned for upcoming events and discussions on campus.  

What We’re Reading: The Influencing Machine

The Influencing Machine: Brooke Gladstone on the Media. Written by Brooke Gladstone and illustrated by Josh Neufeld

This book was read by Meredith Lewis, the [mostly] Orange County Campus Librarian, and is available for checkout at the Main Campus Library.

Title: The Influencing Machine: Brooke Gladstone on the Media
Author: Brooke Gladstone and illustrated by Josh Neufeld

Genre: Social Science, Graphic Novel, Historical Overview

#ReadGreatThings2019 Category: A social science book; A book about technology; A book that will help you with one of your personal goals [if increasing your media literacy is one of your goals]

Check out our blog post on the Read Great Things 2019 Challenge


Why did you choose to read this book?W

Meredith: Well, Courtney recommended it to me. Since this book is about the history of the press/media and how it gets made and influenced in our modern world, I was especially interested from an information literacy standpoint. I mean, knowing how our news gets made matters, right? [Spoiler: The argument made in this book is yes.]

What did you like about it? 

Meredith: In general, I’m interested in learning about the history and contexts of things and this book really goes into (in a pleasant visual format) how media and government have this push-pull (repeat) relationship. I really like how Brooke Gladstone (an NPR journalist) investigates things that go into our modern media marketplace like money, bias, and information overload. She also calls out problematic practices in journalism. 

What feeling did the book leave you with?

Meredith: It left me feeling optimistic, actually! I genuinely believe that the world is full of the capacity for positive change and being informed and aware of the biases and structures around us matters and can help contribute towards making those positive changes.  

Image from page xxii of Brooke Gladstone's The Influencing Machine (illustrated by Josh Neufeld): Back in 1922, Walter Lippman wrote..."Let him cast a stone who never passed on as the real inside trugh what he had heard someone say who knew no more than he did. For the real environment is altogether too big, too complex, and too fleeting for direct acquaintance. And although we have to act in that environment, we have to reconstruct it on a simpler model before we can manage with it." But now, with most of the media's resources at our fingertips, we can seek beyond mediated interpretations of events. We can choose how much to simplify our worldview. When coverage is contradictory or confusing, we can read the original documents, or track down a dubious claim to its source... ...or seek sensible views outside out comfort zone. It's risky. John Dewey once said, "Anyone who has begun to think places some portion of the world in jeopardy." But, as Spider-Man once said (quoting his Uncle Ben), "With great power comes great responsibility."

Crafternoon Workshops Scheduled for Spring Semester

We’re calling all makers, artists, crafters, and those looking to try something new or have fun, to join us for Crafternoon!  The Library and Student Government Association are looking forward to hosting our craft workshop series again this spring semester for students, faculty, and staff.  Workshops are held in the Library’s Group Study Area room 105A on the lower level of Main Campus Library as well as other campus locations noted below.  Workshops will also be held at the Orange County Campus.  All materials and supplies are provided. Join us for creative fun, team building, and stress relief!

Workshop Dates, Times, and Locations for Main Campus

Wool Felting 
Thurs. Feb. 14  2:00-4:00  Library  5-105A

Mardi Gras Mask Decorating 
Tues. Mar. 12 from 10:00-12:00 Wynn Multipurpose Room

String Art on Wood              
Thurs. Apr. 11, 2:00-4:00 Newton 4-149

Read Great Things: Memoir Admiration

(In which one of your librarians highlights the different categories of the Read Great Things Challenge 2019. Want to know more about the Read Great Things 2019 Challenge? Check out our library blog post about it. All are welcome to participate!)

I like memoirs. A lot. I know this isn’t everyone’s favorite genre, but on the other hand, some people really only like to read memoirs. (You do you, reader.)

If you also like memoirs or just need to fill that “book by or about someone that you admire” box on the #RGT2019 Challenge and want to go the memoir-route, here are a few suggestions for you that are also available through the Durham Tech Libraries. 

Read Great Things 2019: Personal Goals!

For many, January is a time to mindfully start new habits, either just as a new year reset (hello, dry-anuary participants and all of you doing Whole 30 for your very last day today!) or as the start of a new, hopefully enduring habit.

The library surveyed Durham Tech faculty and staff and asked them to anonymously share their goals for 2019. 

Durham Tech Faculty & Staff New Year, New Goals 2019 pie chart-- 35% of those surveyed are interested in Individual Goal Achievement, including learning a specific skill or accomplishing a specific objective. 7% of those surveyed are interested in improving their time management. 10% of those surveyed are interested in self-improvement-related goals. 21% of those surveyed are interested in improving their own self-care. 17% are interested in improving their finances or financial literacy, and 10% have health and wellness-related goals, mostly related to exercising more and eating more healthily.
Results of the faculty and staff 2019 goals survey.

Have similar goals? Why not use the Read Great Things Challenge to help you reach those goals by reading a book to expand your knowledge, and also check off at least one box on your checklist? Just a few on-hand suggestions from your local Durham Tech library locations– 

While there’s a lot of debate about how effective “new year, new you” mentality can be in terms of long-term goal achievement, there’s no debate that goal-setting is valuable. From ACA 122 to our own college councils and committees, goal setting is where it’s at. 


Want to know more about the Read Great Things 2019 Challenge? Check out our blog post about it.