Library uses displays for hate crime awareness

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The last week of October is known nationally as Open Access Week. The purpose of this week is to improve student, professor and public access to information. The cost of scholarly journals has skyrocketed in the last decade, particularly science journals, and it’s reached the point where many universities can’t afford a subscription to all of the journals they’d like. Often times, just one article can cost $30 to access.

According to Isaac Gilman, Scholary Communications and Research Services Librarian, it’s not a sustainable model; “Open Access is important for Pacific University because it has the potential to reduce the cost of accessing information for students and faculty.” Gilman added that the benefits are already being seen on campus, such as “Rob Beezer’s algebra text is already used in math classes taught at Pacific.”

Advocates of Open Access Week want to make available as much information to anyone with Internet as they can, whether that be producing scholarly journals that don’t change subscription fees or encouraging authors to share their articles on websites where the public can access them for free.

Although the university library didn’t organize any big events to honor Open Access Week this year, they did publish a few online Open Access journals, which allow both faculty and students alike to share their work. The faculty is also starting planning for next year, when they hope to truly spread the idea of Open Access in more ways.

Furthermore, the library is planning a display for the month of November. Since 1998, Nov. 20 has been recognized as the Transgender Day of Remembrance. According to Mara Strickler, Interlibrary Loan Assistant in, “it is held to recognize individuals who have been the victims of anti-transgender prejudice (transphobia).”

“Transgendered people are those whose gender identity differs from social expectations for the physical sex they were born with. To understand this, one must understand the difference between biological sex, which is one’s body (genitals, chromosomes, etc.) and social gender, which refers to expressions of masculinity and femininity.” Strickler said, “Often, society conflates sex and gender, viewing them as the same thing. Transgender has come to be used as an umbrella term for transsexuals, male-to-female and female-to-male transgender folk, gender queers and people who identify as neither female nor male.”

The main purpose of this day is to raise awareness regarding hate crimes and to mourn for  individuals who were victimized because of their gender identity.

The library will be displaying books, films and journals that relate to transgender studies. In addition to library materials, there will be flyers and other forms of information regarding events in the Portland area that celebrate Transgender Day of Remembrance.

While Strickler was not aware of any events on Pacific’s campus regarding the celebration, she said that candlelight vigils are commonly held nationally and internationally during the week of Nov. 20. Usually at these vigils, the names of people who were victims of violence because of being transgender are read out loud.

The library organizes these displays as a way to teach students, faculty and community members about different subjects that may be overlooked sometimes. If students are interested in learning more about these celebrations, they are encouraged to stop by the library and view the display.


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