Monthly Archives: October 2023

Celebrate International Open Access Week

Cross-posted from the Scholarly Communications Blog.

This year’s theme for International Open Access Week (Oct. 23 – Oct. 29) is Community over Commercialization. Open Access (OA) places the value of accessible information to the public above monetary interest in knowledge dissemination. OA removes restriction from research outputs such as journal articles, books, datasets, and more. Have you ever hit a paywall in your research? Perhaps you have located the abstract for an article that sounds ideal for your project, but then you click to find a request for your credit card. Interlibrary loan is a solution for the UMass Dartmouth community in those circumstances, but what about researchers who do not have library resources available?

The free and immediate availability of academic publications online means that the research will be read and built upon by a wider and more diverse audience. With this greater exposure comes more opportunity in the academic and scientific community. This publishing model is not available for all academic research at this time, but acknowledging Open Access Week is a great way to expand awareness of OA, and to learn more.

Here are some ways to deepen your understanding of OA this week:

Position Opening: Library Assistant IV

We are currently looking for a Library Assistant IV to join our team! This patron-focused position is an important member of the Claire T. Carney Library’s Access Services Department.

General Summary of Position:  The Library Assistant IV is responsible for performing day-to-day activities in the area of access services. These activities include assisting patrons with circulating materials by charging, renewing, and discharging library materials; providing technical support to patrons using library computers, printers, or connecting personal devices to the university network; supervising student workers; and assuming responsibility for the operation of the library in the absence of a supervisor, especially during night and weekend hours.

The review of applications will begin 10/30/2023 and will be ongoing.

For more information and to apply for the position, see the full job posting at

STEM Electronic Resource Trials

The Claire T. Carney Library has initiated trial access to three STEM-focused electronic resources during the Fall semester. Access to these resources is provided through the library’s A-Z databases list. We encourage the campus community to explore these resources and provide feedback using our online form or by contacting a reference librarian. If you have questions or access problems, please contact our Electronic Resources Librarian, Sara Pike at

Visible Body (October 1-31) 

A complete set of visual and interactive reference and learning content for anatomy, physiology and life sciences. Includes web access to a vast library of 3D models, animations, diagnostic images and bite-sized learning modules as well as flashcards and interactive presentations.” To use Visible Body, individuals will need to create a personal account on the website. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact our Electronic Resources Librarian, Sara Pike.

Inspec (October 1 – November 30) 

Containing almost 16 million records across multidisciplinary and subject specific research including physics, engineering, communications and computing, Inspec is one of the most definitive abstract and indexing databases available. 

Knovel (October 1 – November 30) 

Knovel is an extensive, searchable online library of full-text content from many different publishers, including reference handbooks, conference proceedings and databases. Knovel also provides tools to bring this content into your workflow, with tables and graphs that allow users to manipulate, analyze, and export data—and an extensive unit conversion tool. 

Books too Dangerous to Read

Censorship of Library Books

There are many efforts to protect readers from encountering dangerous literature. One of the most commonly cited is the formal censorship of library books. This is when an authoritative body, whether a person or organization, actively removes a item from library circulation in order to restrict the dissemination of ideas, words, or images. The censors go beyond choosing not to read offending material and decide to restrict or eliminate other people’s access.

As this is Banned Books Week, it seems appropriate to highlight pressure put on libraries, authors, and publishers. While higher education libraries escape most traditional book censorship campaigns, our colleagues in public and school libraries are not as fortunate. In fact, the American Library Association (ALA)’s reports a record 1,269 attempted bans in 2022. Meanwhile, the ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom believes that vast majority of bans go unreported, indicating that these are only the tip of iceberg. 

Here’s a list of the top five most challenged books of 2022

  1. Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe
  2. All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson (request through ILL)
  3. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  4. Flamer by Mike Curato (request through ILL)
  5. (Tie) Looking for Alaska by John Green (request through ILL)
    (Tie) The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky> (request through ILL)

Literary Withdrawal

University libraries account for a very, very small percentage of the formal censorship bans. However, literary withdrawal impacts university libraries as well as school and public libraries. It can even impact the availability and pricing of books available for sale. These actions are very difficult to track but can be insidiously effective. Ayad Akhtar, President of PEN America, wrote that his organization pays “close attention to the phenomenon of literary withdrawal, that is, when an author or publisher, invariably in response to online pressure, pulls a book from publication.” Activists pressure authors and publishers in hopes of stopping the publication of ideas and stories they believe are harmful. As noted by Pen America in their report, Booklash: Literary Freedom, Online Outrage, and the Language of Harm, “critics have argued that “problematic” books or authors deserve special censure from the literary world.”  PEN America identifies several of these titles in the report. If you’re interested in borrowing any of the ones that were published, you can request a copy through interlibrary loan.

While PEN examines works of fiction, fear and external pressure can also adversely impact the publication of non-fiction as well. Dr. James Flynn, renowned for the Flynn effect, lamented that Emerald Publishing concluded that his book on free speech was too risky to publish after having previously accepted it for publication. It was later released by an independent publisher, although it likely lacked the publicity, editorial support, etc. that prominent publisher like Emerald would have provided. The published version can be borrowed from the Carney Library

Learn More

Here are a few resources to check out if you’re interested in learning more: