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February 2017

Talking In The Library: Manjula Padmanabhan on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 5:00 p.m.

Manjula Padmanabhan is a playwright, journalist, comic strip artist and children’s book author.
She won the 1997 Onassis Award for Theatre, for her play HARVEST. In addition to writing novels and short stories,
Manjula created Suki, an Indian comic character, which was serialized as a strip in the Sunday Observer. She lives in the US .

Please join us:

Tuesday, March 28, 2017
5:00 p.m.
University Library
Mary Tefft White Cultural Center

For more information on Manjula Padmanabhan visit our Libguide

Meet the Learning Commons Staff: Karen Johnson

Karen Johnson is Senior Academic Advisor in the Center for Student Academic Success. She was interviewed by Thelma Dzialo, Library Operations Manager.

How long have you worked at RWU?

I’ve worked at RWU for 8 years. I started in the Academic Advising Center doing strictly academic advising and now work within the Center for Student Academic Success (CSAS). Our office is open to any student who needs academic assistance or academic advising. I also work with students who are withdrawing from the university, reinstating, or who are on probation.



What drew you to RWU?

  I’ve worked at several local universities in various capacities. I worked at Salve Regina University doing academic advising with graduate students and moved from there to CCRI to work with GED students transitioning to college. After a year of doing that, I realized that I wanted to get back to more traditional academic advising. An opportunity presented itself at RWU, I applied and was lucky enough to be hired.



I noticed in your online bio that you have a graduate certificate in expressive arts from Salve Regina University. What exactly does that training entail? 

 I have a Master’s degree in Humanities with a concentration in Holistic Counseling from Salve Regina University. The graduate certificate in expressive arts was part of that training. I learned techniques that can help people get through life’s difficult times by using journaling, music and sound, and drawing. These techniques help people develop emotional literacy and resilience, and are a way for me as a counselor to bring heart and the act of service into my work.


What do you like best about your job?

 I love being able to help students figure out what will make them happy in life. I recently completed a StrengthsFinder training in Atlanta and it confirmed what I already knew–that I am doing work that inspires me and is suited to my personality. I found that my top five strengths are empathy, maximizer (the ability to make things happen for people), positivity, adaptability, and woo (winning others over–the ability to inspire and motivate others).



What advice would you give to students, especially incoming freshmen and transfers?

 Figure out what you like to do! Meet with me and I’ll use all the tools at my disposal to explore different areas of study with you and help you figure out how you can use your education to do what you love. Once you have an idea of what you are interested in, I would highly recommend that you explore internships in that area. The earlier you get an internship, the better.


What book are you currently reading? Do you have a favorite genre?

  I just read Circling the Sun by Paula McLain, and enjoyed it tremendously. I don’t read a particular genre. I’ve gotten into the habit of asking the librarians on campus for book recommendations so I’m always reading something new.


Outside of work, what hobbies or activities do you enjoy?

 I took a class at Norman Bird Sanctuary on soap-making several years ago and fell in love with the process. I make scented soaps, and have found that most people love the soothing scent of lavender.


Tom Shea Talks In The Library

The first spring semester Talking in the Library event was held on Wednesday, February 15 at 4:30 PM in the Mary Tefft White Cultural Center.  The Library hosted a lecture by the author and journalist, Tom Shea. Tommy Shea was a reporter for the Springfield Register for forty years, including six years covering the Boston Red Sox.  In 1991, he was among the first reporters writing about the priest sexual abuse scandal in New England.  In 2003, Shea received the New England Associated Press Award for best local New England column.  His most recent work is Dingers: The 101 Most Memorable Home Runs in Baseball History.

Please view Tom Shea’s lecture below

Video Courtesy of RWUEDU

Writer in Residence, Adam Braver introduces Tom Shea


Dean Betsy Peck Learned introduces the talk and Adam Braver

To read more about Tom, please click here

The Birss Memorial Lecture and Book Discussion Group


The 17th annual Professor John Howard Birss, Jr. Memorial Lecture has two upcoming signature events. As part of honoring this year’s selection, One Hundred Years of Solitude &  Gabriel García Márquez, a public discussion will be held at Rogers Free Library on February 22, 2017 (7:00 PM). The following week, on March 1, the keynote address on the book will be held in the Mary Tefft White Center in the RWU Library (4:30 PM). The lecture, “Violence and History in One Hundred Years of Solitude: The Politics of Magical Realism,” will be delivered by María Helena Rueda, Chair, Associate Professor of Spanish & Portuguese at Smith College. Concurrently, the exhibition celebrating One Hundred Years of Solitude, remains on display on the first floor of the library through March 31, 2017. For information and resources about the book, please visit https://libraryexhibits.rwu.edu/birss/2017/index.php

There is No Such Thing as Educational Use

By Lindsey Gumb, Instructional Technology Librarian


It’s a common misconception that when a resource (e.g. an article, image, video, audio clip, etc.) is used in an educational setting that copyright restrictions dissolve entirely because “it’s educational use.”  I hate to be the bearer of bad news to all of you who may be guilty of casually letting this phrase roll off your tongue, but there is no such thing as educational use.  Really, I’m not lying: it’s not a real thing.  There is, however, Fair Use, which does in fact come into

play quite often in educational settings, granting educators and students alike leniency in many situations.  Let’s take a closer look.

Fair Use, or Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act is a subjective portion of the law which allows us to take and use portions of copyrighted works without obtaining the permission of the copyright holder, if and only if we use them for purposes such as criticism, commentary, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research.    To determine whether or not a use is considered fair or not, one must look at four different factors:


  • the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  • the nature of the copyrighted work;
  • the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  • the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

To give a relevant example in higher education, let’s look at a situation that surfaces often on many campuses, including Roger Williams:

Q: “I want to upload a PDF article I found in an RWU library database to Bridges for my students to read before our next class discussion.  Is this fair use?”


A: Here’s my motto: when in doubt, link out.   Instead of uploading the PDF to Bridges, simply copy and paste the permalink to the article for your students to access themselves.  You might argue that since Bridges requires a student to login it should be fine (and the courts may now agree with you), however, you are reproducing and distributing copies of copyrighted material without the explicit permission of the copyright holder by uploading the document.  By providing a link, the student is required to enter their library credentials to access the article, and if they choose, they can download it for their own personal study (and you hope they do), which is considered Fair Use.


The above example frustrates educators to no end; they feel that because the resource in question is used in an educational setting and for an educational purpose it should be okay to upload it without contacting the copyright holder (in this case, a publisher).  However, if we go back to the four factors listed above, you’ll note that number three mentions something about how much of the work (in this case, the article) one uses without obtaining said permission.  Reproducing and distributing a whole article does not favor fair use, but potentially a smaller portion would be okay.  Keep in mind, however, that the courts believe “intent to infringe is not needed to find copyright infringement.  Intent or knowledge is not an element of infringement, and thus even an innocent infringer is liable for infringement” (ARL).  If you’re unsure whether the use is fair or not, consult with legal counsel.

Because fair use is so subjective, in higher education we are often forced to choose between using the material we wish to use in the classroom and using subpar resources that don’t exactly fit our needs but have no copyright restrictions.  After reading the above Q&A, one can start to realize how frustrating working with copyright can be.

To end this article on a positive note, there is a lot of dialogue happening

in the academic and scholarly communities lately as advocates press Congress for a revision of the law to reflect the drastic change in technology and resource sharing capabilities that we have access to today as creators and consumers.  Most notably, Harvard University is hosting its 4th annual Fair Use Week from February 22 -26 both virtually and on the Cambridge campus.  Be sure to check it out!


Credit: Fair Use icon courtesy of Harvard University Library and copyright image courtesy OnlineColleges.net

From The Archives: The Fulton/Howe Collection: Valentine’s Day

by Heidi Benedict, University Archivist

The tradition of sending Valentines is not a new one. Family members, friends, and sweethearts were exchanging notes and gifts as early as the nineteenth century. Among the correspondence to Edith Howe, we found several home-made Valentines from the turn of the century.



New York Times Online is now available to the University community compliments of the RWU Library

By John Fobert, Electronic Resources Librarian



The library is proud to announce that it has been able to negotiate New York Times Online subscriptions for the University community.

Students will particularly enjoy the convenience of being able to access the latest issues of the New York Times as well as historical content back to 1851.  They will have a well written, researched and curated source of news at their fingertips.  The library hopes a resource with such relevancy to current events will spark discussion outside of the classroom thereby creating a more informed student body.

Faculty can enjoy the ease of incorporating current content into their courses as well as being able to access the New York Times in Education product.  The New York Times in Education product allows faculty to develop general instructional strategies based on learning outcomes. Students can also use this product to develop co-curricular activities when they are on-campus.

The NYT Online can be used for much more than just searching articles or reading today’s news.  Users can subscribe to newsletters such as The Edit where articles are matched to academic majors.  News alerts can be sent to mobile devices based on personal interests and needs.  There is a treasure trove of videos, photography, and other multi-media resources available.  Users can even save recipes from the food section to their own recipe box.

Sign up today!  If you need additional help or have questions, please contact the Library Information desk at 254-3375 or John Fobert, Electronic Resources Librarian at 245-3374.

To access you free subscription, see the instructions at http://rwu.libguides.com/NYTOnline

Innovations in Teaching Showcase Fall 2016

Each year we celebrate RWU faculty expertise in teaching with an Innovations in Teaching Showcase event held during the academic year. Each session has a theme and brief presentation(s) by an RWU faculty member(s) followed by an opportunity for sharing ideas, perspectives, strategies, etc.

Innovations in Teaching Series – Fall 2016
This series of the Fall 2016 semester is being sponsored by Center for Scholarship, Assessment, Learning, Teaching, & Technology (CSALT²).

Session 1 – Using an Interactive Syllabus presented by Jason Jacobs, Ph.D.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016 from 2:00 PM – 2:50 PM in Library Instruction Lab (LIL)
Creating an interactive format for a syllabus in Bridges allows an instructor to build student engagement, interactivity and accountability in and out of the classroom. Join us for this session to see one approach to organize and sequence resources and activities like assignments, forum discussions, and quizzes by class, by week or by module. This allows students anytime-anywhere access to what is needed and when for a course.
View the recording of the session:
Session 2 – Fostering Reflection and Metacognition through Journaling
Wednesday, November 30, 2016 from noon to 12:50 PM in Library Instruction Lab (LIL)
Journaling is a simple strategy that has a powerful effect on learning. When students reflect on a learning experience they draw on both cognitive and emotional information to make meaning. In this session the presenters will demonstrate how they have used different approaches to journaling, both private and shared, to engage and deepen the learning of their students.
View the recordings for each session below:
  • Donna Dimery’s Video Presentation

  • Brian Wysor’s Video Presentation


High-stakes Texts: Lowering the cost of textbooks to save Rhode Islander’s Money

By Lindsey Gumb, Instructional Technology Librarian

On September 27th Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo challenged the state’s institutions of higher education to save students $5 million over the next five years by replacing traditional (and expensive) textbooks with openly licensed (free) ones. Roger Williams University, along with 6 other colleges in the state have pledged to collaborate and engage with their respective faculty members to identify appropriate open textbooks to participate in this initiative.  As a part of this collaboration, a Steering Committee consisting of one librarian from each participating institution has been formed to provide guidance, learn from one another and to develop assessments along the way.  Instructional Technology Librarian, Lindsey Gumb, is representing RWU on the committee and is excited to marry the Governor’s initiative with the current partnerships the library has made on campus with the Open Educational Resources movement.

Talking In The Library: Tom Shea on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 4:30 pm


Tom Shea was a reporter for the Springfield Republican for forty years, including six years covering the Boston Red Sox. In 1991, he was among the first reporters writing about the priest sexual abuse scandal in New England. His work has appeared in Baseball America, New England Monthly and USA Today. In 2003, Shea received the New England Associated Press News Executive Award for best local New England column. His most recent book is Dingers: The 101 Most Memorable Home Runs in Baseball History.

Please join us:

Wednesday, February 15, 2017
4:30 p.m.
University Library
Mary Tefft White Cultural Center

For more information on Tom Shea visit our Libguide