St. Thomas Libraries Blog - News, Events and Musings from the UST Libraries
Database Highlights & Trials, Libraries, Media/Music Collections, New Materials

New Video Database: Projectr EDU

Our new streaming database, Projectr EDU, presents a curated and ever-expanding collection of independent, international and documentary films that proudly amplify diverse, daring, and underrepresented voices from around the world, from distributors such as Grasshopper Film, MTV Documentary Films, and Canyon Cinema.

Search by Director name, subject area, or by browsing thematic collections like: America Right Now, How We Live, or Extraordinary Stories. Need some help picking a documentary to watch? We’ve got you covered:
BULLETPROOF explores the complexities of violence in schools by looking at the strategies employed to prevent it. The film observes the longstanding rituals that take place in and around American schools: homecoming parades, basketball practice, morning announcements, and math class. Unfolding alongside these scenes are a collection of newer traditions: lockdown drills, teacher firearms training, metal detector screenings, and school safety trade shows. BULLETPROOF asks what these rituals reflect back at us, looking beyond immediate causes and responses to mass shootings in a cinematic meditation on the array of forces that shape the culture of violence in the United States.

76 Days On January 23rd, 2020, China locked down Wuhan, a city of 11 million, to combat the emerging COVID-19 outbreak. Set deep inside the frontlines of the crisis in four hospitals, 76 DAYS tells indelible human stories at the center of this pandemic from a woman begging in vain to bid a final farewell to her father, a grandpa with dementia searching for his way home, a couple anxious to meet their newborn, to a nurse determined to return personal items to families of the deceased. These raw and intimate stories bear witness to the death and rebirth of a city under a 76-day lockdown, and to the human resilience that persists in times of profound tragedy.

17 Block In 1999, filmmaker Davy Rothbart met Emmanuel Sanford-Durant and his older brother, Smurf, during a pickup basketball game in Southeast Washington, D.C. Davy began filming their lives, and soon the two brothers and other family members began to use the camera themselves. Spanning 20 years, this story illuminates a national, ongoing crisis through one family’s raw, stirring and deeply personal saga. Made from more than 1,000 hours of footage, it all starts on the street where they lived in 1999, 17 blocks behind the U.S. Capitol.

Visit the Music & Media Collection‘s page to find Projectr EDU.

 

By Nicole Wanttie

Database Highlights & Trials, Libraries, Media/Music Collections, New Materials, News & Events

Under-told Stories Streaming Videos

Under-told Stories is a journalism project focused on consequences of poverty and the work of change agents addressing them. They produce content for news organizations and, in collaboration with educators, engage students on pressing issues of our time. Under-told stories partners with the University of St. Thomas and PBS Newshour for their collaboration.

Under-told Stories features interviews, podcasts, and videos covering a wide range of topics including Education, Environmental and climate concerns, Global Health, Human rights, and Race and equity, among others.

There are also a variety of 360° videos that transport the viewer across the world while learning about social problems. Some of these locations include a 360 video of George Floyd Square in Minneapolis, a sugar cane field in El Salvador, and on top of a mountain of trash in India.

Some advisers to the collaboration include members of the St. Thomas community such as: Theresa Ricke-Kiely, the executive director for the Center for the Common Good; Michael O’Donnell, a professor and chair member of the communications and Journalism Department; Camille George, the associate dean of engineering; and Dave Durenberger, who founded the National Institute of Health Policy.

Check it out here or on our Music and Media Page listed under our streaming databases.

 

By Nicole Wanttie

News & Events

Celebrate National Library Week with UST Libraries April 3 – 9, 2022

 

The theme of this year’s National Library Week campaign is ‘Connect with your Library,’ whether it be to things like broadband, classes, communities, books, videos, or to each other.  And it doesn’t matter if it’s an academic library, public library, or school library, this is what happens on a daily basis. Usually this week is a pure celebration, but it feels different this year since it takes place during a time of increasing challenges to books in libraries and bookstores across the country.

Books have been challenged in schools and libraries for a very long time, but along with the mounting number of challenges, a bill proposed in Oklahoma would allow parents to collect $10,000 for each day a challenged book remains on library shelves.  A proposed bill in Iowa would make it illegal school and public librarians to spread “material the person knows or reasonably should know, is obscene or harmful to minors.”

This year has proven that it is wrong to consider book bans as a relic of the past. It is easy to believe that getting a book is as simple as a one-click at an online retailer, but book bans harm vulnerable communities who don’t have access to finances, time, or transportation to acquire a book no longer available to them in the places where they are: classrooms or libraries.

Libraries are powerful and they unequivocally protect the First Amendment and intellectual freedom outlined in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Judith Krug, librarian and freedom of speech advocate said it best, ‘librarians are trained as librarians; we have absolutely no training or expertise in being censors. Our job – and yours – is not to limit the horizons of a child, be he six or twelve, ten or twenty.”

The good news is that there are plenty of organizations and resources that fight for libraries and the freedom to read.  And even better news is that there is an eye-catching display of challenged books in the rotunda of the O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library, along with a white board where you can chime in with your favorite banned book.  There is also a UST Library Week website with fun pictures, online library-centric jigsaw puzzles, a link to fantastic media and music sources within the library, and most importantly, a daily trivia contest with real prizes every day.

Student with the library website displayed on laptop screen
Libraries

Library Website Redesign Sessions

In November and December of 2021, the St. Thomas Libraries gathered preliminary feedback from students and faculty about our current website. Through an online form we asked what they liked, didn’t like, and what features they frequently used.

Common themes gathered were that the website was helpful, yet confusing, and hard to navigate. Given this feedback we identified pain points and formed an initiative to redesign the library website.

With the analysis of the current website complete, we are now ready to look towards the future by asking students, faculty, and staff what they would like to see the library website become. What would make it more welcoming and a place to explore all the library has to offer for pursuits in and out of the classroom?

We are currently reaching out to students, faculty, and staff to participate in a 60-minute feedback session. Some sessions will be online, some in person, and there will be incentives for participating.

If you want to help shape the future of the University of St. Thomas Library website please fill out a brief survey and provide your contact information.

We will be scheduling the sessions and reaching out to participants in early April.

Media/Music Collections, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library

Happy International Women’s Day Tommies

Today we celebrate the accomplishments of women in all areas of society, social, political, and economic.
To help you celebrate the day, we put together some of our favorite documentaries, made by women, for everyone to learn more about what it means to be a woman today.

 The F Word
Summary: Why does the word “feminism” have so many different meanings in the United States? Men and women from diverse backgrounds are interviewed to try to answer this question while creating a platform for discussion about gender roles, stereotypes, and the feminist movement.

A Girl Like Her
Summary: A girl like her reveals the hidden history of over a million young women who became pregnant in the 1950s and 60s when “nice girls” didn’t get pregnant. It was a time when young women were routinely expelled from high schools and colleges and banished to maternity homes or distant relatives where they could give birth, surrender their babies for adoption, and start over with a clean slate. But did they? The film combines footage from educational films and newsreels – that both reflected and shaped the public’s understanding of single pregnancy during that time – with the voices of these mothers as they speak today about the long-term impact of surrender and silence on their lives.

Wonder Women! : The Untold Story of American Superheroines
Summary: A nuanced critique of gender and heroism in popular culture as well as a powerful dose of Vitamin F(eminism) for the undernourished. From the birth of the 1940s comic book heroine, Wonder Woman, to the blockbusters of today, Wonder Women! looks at how popular representations of powerful women often reflect society’s anxieties about strong and healthy women. Wonder Women! reveals the complicated negotiations girls and women face as they attempt to achieve confidence, strength, and agency in a society often at odds with those goals. Yet it also inspires through its evocative images, upbeat soundtrack, and richly contextualized history of American superheroines — including the everyday wonder women and action girls in our midst. The film goes behind the scenes with Lynda Carter, Lindsay Wagner, comic writers and artists, and real-life superheroines such as Gloria Steinem, Kathleen Hanna, and others who offer an enlightening and entertaining counterpoint to the male-dominated superhero genre.

Come check out these films and more on this topic at the Music and Media Collections in OSF 104A.

By Nicole Wanttie

 

Person sitting with the personalized website open on website
Libraries

Personalized Library Experience

The library now offers a personalized experience in One St. Thomas.

Attending feedback sessions, gathering response data, and receiving questions and comments from the St. Thomas community, it became clear that no single, one-page-fits-all experience could adequately serve all visitors to the library website. So we set out to design a page, and site, to present the most relevant resources and services to a student or faculty member based on their academic discipline and library needs.

Enter the Library Home page on One St. Thomas. Here we can focus on a personalized, relevant library experience.

We launched a page on the One St. Thomas Library Site that displays current loan items and library resources for enrolled or assigned courses. We hope to expand the information presented here in the future, tailored to the unique needs of a student, faculty, or staff member.

Before launch, we gathered feedback, and while we could not incorporate all the great ideas into the first iteration, we are looking at ways to incorporate them into future designs.

You can access the personalized page through the library’s public and One St. Thomas homepages.

Media/Music Collections, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library

Happy Valentine’s Day Tommies

Happy Valentine’s Day Tommies,
Love is in the air. To help you feel the love, we’ve gathered a few of our favorite romcoms to share with you all. Take a look at some of the films we have available for you to check out!
10 Things I Hate About You. Modern day adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew”. Kat Stratford (Julia Stiles) is beautiful, smart and quite abrasive to most of her fellow teens, meaning that she doesn’t attract many boys. Unfortunately for her younger sister, Bianca (Larisa Oleynik), house rules say that she can’t date until Kat has a boyfriend, so strings are pulled to set the dour damsel up for a romance. Soon Kat crosses paths with handsome new arrival Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger). Will Kat let her guard down enough to fall for the effortlessly charming Patrick?

Mamma Mia (2 Disc Collection) New to our collections is the 2-disc collection of Mamma Mia and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again sing Along Editions. Mamma Mia is the story of a bride-to-be trying to find her real father told using hit songs by the popular 1970s group ABBA. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again: “Join the celebration, sing and dance, and discover how it all began! … Sophie … is now pregnant, and like her mother Donna … she’ll need to take risks.”
Titanic A timeless love story born of tragedy that created an international phenomenon. This epic masterpiece is destined to sweep audiences anew into the journey of a lifetime. If you can’t find what you’re looking for here, try checking our online display for more movies on our streaming databases.

Have a particular film in mind that you want but still haven’t found it on there? Come into the Music and Media Collections in OSF 104A. We’ll be happy to help you find what you’re looking for.

By Nicole Wanttie