Books about the good and / or evil nature of humans

In these days, with reports of atrocities from far and wide, it can be easy to think that the world is a bad place, that mankind is evil and that all hope is gone – but is it really so? In our display cabinets, we currently have an exhibition on the theme Humans – good or evil?.

A central book of the exhibition is The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil by Pilip Zimbardo. The book is divided into two parts and the first part is about Zimbardos study of the psychological effects of becoming a prisoner or prison guard, often called the Stanford prison experiment. The second part of the book deals with the events that took place inside the Abu Ghraib-prison in 2004. Zimbardo writes that it doesn’t take much for a person to perform evil acts, but he also states that it takes as little for a person to be good or heroic. In this 23 minutes long presentation on TED.com you can listen to Zimbardon when he speaks on the subject.

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The exhibition contains books about human origins and development, good and evil. In addition, we have picked up several novels on the theme. You are free borrow the books in the glass cases, or look up one of our many e-books on these subjects. Here are some examples of e-books:

The question whether humanity is good or evil might not have an answer, maybe because the question is a bit black and white. But reading various theories and books that deal with these issues is one way to deal with the thoughts we get when the news about atrocities in the world never seems to end.

Text: Katharina Nordling

Seven tips if you want to make the most of the library

Last week we held a presentation in Swedish on how to make the most of the library, we gave the students seven tips, and here are they now in English.

First tip was about how you find books in the library. When you’re looking for a book you want to start by searching for the book in Summon at our webpage to find out the location of the book. What floor? What shelf? Then you need to actually find the book in the library, and here´s a guide to how that’s done.

The second tip was about information seeking. When you need to search for information to your essays och other tasks – do not hesitate to ask us for help! You are welcome to the Information Point at the entrence to the library for Search support, or if you’d rather visit the Search lab at Thursdays. If you take your information seeking seriously the rest of the work will be both better and more interesting.

The third tip: Don’t forget the part of the ice isbergberg that’s under the surface! You can think of our collections (books, journals, databases and articles) as an ice berg, the part above the surface is the printed part of the collection. Easy to notice inside the library building. But then there’s the part below the surface as well: All our electronic resources. You’ll find both the electronic and the printed materials through Summon at our webpage. Do you think it’s difficult with e-books? Please come and ask us for help! We’d love to help you find e-books, and to get you started reading them. If you want to monitor some particular journals – we recommend BrowZine.

Fourth tip was about how to determine if an article is peer reviewed or not. A subject we have written about in the library blog many times before.

The fifth tip concerned writing, and we told the audience about the Language lab in the library, a place where you can get support in academic writing.

Tip number six: book requests. If a book you want is already on loan – make a request. However, you don’t want to make a request if there’s a copy of the book available in the library (even if the other copy is on loan). Read more about book requests here.

Seventh tip: Follow our blog (the one you’re currently reading) to get more useful tips!

Text: Katharina Nordling
Bild: Colourbox och Katharina Nordling

Books that could have been banned

This week is Banned Book Week in the United States. It’s a week when libraries celebrate all humans right to read any book they want. The US has a system where the user of any library can challenge a book’s existence in the library. The person who challenged the book will then need to deliver argument as to why the book should be banned. The vast majority of challenges of books is made by worried parents who want to ban offensive or objectionable books that they think their kids should be protected from. Sometimes the challenges are more organised and come from a group in society who has decided to try and get a specific book banned from the library. The library in question most often answers the challenge using their purchasing policy as the main argument.

When a challenge is made, its reporter to the American Library Association (ALA), who every year compiles a list of the most challenged books during the past year. A summary of the challenges made between 2000 and 2009 shows that the most common reason to challenge a book was that it was perceived as “sexually explicit”, closely followed by the reason “offensive language”.

Some of the books that’s been challenged the last years, and that are available at our library are (click the title for information if the book is available or not):

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
the-hunger-gamesIn the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games.

Some reasons for the challenges made were anti-family, violence and offensive language.

The curious incident of the dog in the nighttime av Mark Haddon
the-curious-incident-of-dog-in-the-night-timeA murder mystery novel like no other. The detective, and narrator, is Christopher Boone. Christopher is fifteen and has Asperger’s, a form of autism. He knows a very great deal about maths and very little about human beings. He loves lists, patterns and the truth. He has never gone further than the end of the road on his own, but when he finds a neighbour’s dog murdered he sets out on a terrifying journey which will turn his whole world upside down.

Some reasons for the challenges made were offensive language and religious viewpoint.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
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Afghanistan, 1975: Twelve-year-old Amir is desperate to win the local kite-fighting tournament and his loyal friend Hassan promises to help him. But neither of the boys can foresee what will happen to Hassan that afternoon, an event that is to shatter their lives. After the Russians invade and the family is forced to flee to America, Amir realises that one day he must return to Afghanistan under Taliban rule to find the one thing that his new world cannot grant him: redemption.

Some reasons for the challenges made were offensive language, violence and homosexuality.

Brave new world by Aldous Huxley
brave-new-worldFar in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs all its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone harbouring an ill-defined longing to break free.

Some reasons for the challenges made were offensive language, sexually explicit and racism.

 

None of these books has been banned at the libraries in the US, mostly due to the libraries hard work to fight for every persons right a read what ever they want, a right that is included in The first amendment.

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There is no similar system in Sweden, to challenge books that you as a user of the library feel is inappropriate. But that doesn’t mean that different books suitability is discussed from time to time. For example was there a lively discussion about whether the book Tintin in the Congo should be allowed in some libraries a couple of years ago.

Text: Katharina Nordling

Report from our Library Open House

Last week the Library had an Open House-event for all staff at the university. During two hours the majority of librarians were available to demonstrate and discuss what support the library can offer employees at the university.

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There were two scheduled points during the hours the open house was held. It was Thomas Nyström (librarian who focuses on publishing and research support in his daily work) that on two occasions, gave a presentation on the theme of scientific publishing. In his presentation Thomas talked, among other things, about the various methods and tools to select journal for your article. In addition, he also spoke about the H-index and showed practically how the H-index of the university changed between different databases.

Centre for the event was the library lounge whererektor_chef fika was served, and librarians and guests mingled and discussed a range of different questions. Some of the topics discussed were education in information seeking, course literature, support for students with reading and writing disabilities, BrowZine, information seeking and much more. Several visitors became aware of new things that the library can help with.

There was also a quiz with questions about the library and its function, winner of this was Niina Hernandez.

Text & photo: Katharina Nordling

Hi Tandis Talay!

image1In a series of portraits we are going to introduce the staff at the Library to all our readers and customers. Who are the people working at the library? And what are they doing there? Read our portraits and get to know your librarians! We asked Tandis a few questions.

What are your main duties?
I work in customer service and just began a week ago, so I’m not sure of all tasks yet, but I know that I will work with scheduling and I will be in charge of the student assistants who work here. It also includes working at the information point 3 times / week, and then also work with the billing of overdue books. And I will also work closely with Campus services and IT.

For how long have you worked here, and what did you do before you started here?
I just started two weeks ago but I have worked here before, two years ago.Then I worked in both Media where I got to work with interlibrary loan and acquisition and Digital Services where Social Media was one of my many tasks.

What were you doing before you started here?
I worked at the University of Gothenburg, mainly at two different libraries: 40% at the Humanities Library in customer service but really most of interlibrary loans and 60% at the Social Science Library as a part of Digital Services, I was a member of the web team.

What do you do when you´re not at work?
I’m either out walking my dog or doing something with the house or having friends over or visiting friends. I recently found an interest in mindfulness and training, so I try to keep that going as well.

Do you have any book recommendations you want to share?
The Art of Hearing Heartbeats of Jan-Philipp Sendker. The book is about a successful lawyer, originally from Burma but lives in New York with his wife and children who do not really know anything about his upbringing. One day he disappears without a word, and his family did not manage to track him beyond Bangkok. Four years later, his daughter Julia finds an old love letter that her father had written to an unknown woman in a small village in Burma. She decides to go there and look for her father. This book makes you think about the stressful life you live and the choices you have made.

Dream Heart by Cecilia Samartin. The book is about two cousins, Nora and Alicia who are living in Cuba during the 1950s. They are best friends and live their dream life until Fidel Castro takes over power. They separated briefly when Nora’s father decides that they should flee to the United States and Alicia’s father and family remains in Cuba. The cousins ​​keep in touch through correspondence. You get to experience how Havana is transformed from the beautiful to the poor ruined city. You also get to experience the struggle for identity. An exciting and entertaining book.

Text: Lena Holmberg och Tandis Talay
Picture: Katharina Nordling

Buy our stylish tote – only 20 SEK!

tygkasseAre you aware that we are selling a stylish polka dot tote for only 20 SEK at the Information Point? It’s a good buy if you have too much stuff to fit in your bag, or maybe as a souvenir from Borås to your loved ones at home.

The look of the tote is inspired of the artwork Counterpoint, which adorn the university building at sunny days.

blrfasad_620Do you want to buy a bag? Come by the Information Point – we accept both cash and credit card.

Text & picture: Katharina Nordling

Tips when you’re searching Summon from home

When you use Summon from home, or elsewhere outside the campus, it is good if you log in first. Logging in enables you to have access to all the resources we have enabled in Summon. If you do not log in you miss the results from the Web of Science.

How to do it:

1. You find the search box for Summon on the Library web site. Do your search in the search box.

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2. When the results list show up, you’ll see a dark gray strip in the Summon header. It says “Off campus? Login to access full text and more content.” Click on the text and log in with your regular user data.

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3. Once you have done this you will be redirected to the search page for Summon. Redo your search and you will probably see that you have more results than you had before you logged in.

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A further advantage of logging in immediately is that you do not need to log in at a later stage to access full text articles and e-books.

You find the search box for Summon at the Library website.

Good luck with your searches!

Text & images: Klaz Arvidson