Internet Archives continues to make almost 1.4 million ebooks available

The Internet Archive’s National Emergency Library, an initiative it began in March as a response to Covid-19, continues to use a controlled lending system to make almost 1.4 million books temporarily available to anyone – usually a 1 hour or a 14 day digital loan. Controlled Digital Lending (CDL) is a new system of lending e-books as if they were printed that makes it so readers can’t freely redistribute digital books they’ve borrowed. Browse the library (no login required to browse, free log in required to read ebooks), and check out the bolg post on how Internet Archives can help course reserves this fall.

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If Librarians Were Honest…

In honor of faculty Reading Day, a poem by Joseph Mills.


If Librarians Were Honest   

If librarians were honest,

they wouldn’t smile, or act

welcoming. They would say,

You need to be careful. Here

be monsters. They would say,

These rooms house heathens

and heretics, murderers and

maniacs, the deluded, desperate,

and dissolute. They would say,

These books contain knowledge

of death, desire, and decay,

betrayal, blood, and more blood;

each is a Pandora’s box, so why

would you want to open one.

They would post danger

signs warning that contact

might result in mood swings,

severe changes in vision,

and mind-altering effects.

If librarians were honest

they would admit the stacks

can be more seductive and

shocking than porn. After all,

once you’ve seen a few

breasts, vaginas, and penises,

more is simply more,

a comforting banality,

but the shelves of a library

contain sensational novelties,

a scandalous, permissive mingling

of Malcolm X, Marx, Melville,

Merwin, Millay, Milton, Morrison,

and anyone can check them out,

taking them home or to some corner

where they can be debauched

and impregnated with ideas.

If librarians were honest,

they would say, No one

spends time here without being

changed. Maybe you should

go home. While you still can.


UHMC Library Proposes Faculty Reading Day for Understanding Institutional Racism

The witnessing of the horrible murder of George Floyd, coming to us as yet another injustice against peoples of color, has catalyzed world-wide protest, reflection, and expressions for change.

Our University President’s Statement on Racism, UH Mānoa’s Hamilton Library’s Statement on Racial Justice, and the Nā Hawaiʻi ʻImi Loa’s (Native Hawaiian Librarian Association) solidarity statement reflect our University and Hawaiʻi library communities as hopeful allies available to lend their voices to calls for continued change to the systems of racism. The statements all suggest that within academia we have an essential role to play in creating this change  – because social justice is founded on education.

However, before we can become allies for continued change to the systems of racism, we must consider where our own systems and decisions perpetuate oppression and injustice. In the library, for example, we need to ask ourselves:

Are our own processes of selecting resources, organizing spaces and collections, customer service and working with others, scholarship evaluation, and personal preferences for professional development really free of the systemic racism that permeates society? 

In an attempt to better an understanding of institutionalized racism, the UHMC library would like to propose the last day of June (Tuesday, June 30th) as a Faculty Reading Day – a day of reflection and education focused on anti-racism in higher ed. On this day, we will repurpose our time to read, think and explore where within our own apparently dispassionate and “objective” intellectual traditions systemic racism might lurk.

Because one day will not change our culture (for it is our own way of thinking and behaving that we must change), Faculty Reading Day is not just a time to learn, but offered as a day to plan for the long-term and the sustained action that is needed to facilitate growth and anti-racism practices.  Ideally, we will eventually come together to explore needed changes in ourselves and the systems we collectively make.

Reading Day Recommendations

There’s an abundance to read (and watch) on this subject, with hundreds of new articles and opinion pieces published in the past two months alone. For those looking for recommendations, here are some starting points:

Following the research process, begin by reading background information on institutional racism (sometimes referred to as systemic racism) in one of the many reference works available through the library. A search through the Library’s Primo catalog for “institutional racism” retrieves over 150 reference entry results, most of which are available to read online. Here you will find, for example, the Encyclopedia of Race & Racism, a review racism frameworks that helps put “institutional racism” into context.

If you follow current events or social media, we might find useful Huffington Post’s article What does ‘systemic racism’ mean? 20 terms to help you understand allyship, and, continuing with the basics,’s Definition of Systemic Racism in Sociology provides some background on racism as a theoretical concept as well as a reality.

Considering institutional racism in relation to colleges and universities, Inside Higher Ed has been publishing relevant articles on this topic almost weekly. Check out: Pushing Back Against Racism and Xenophobia on CampusesColleges Must Take a New Approach to Systemic Racism and Diversity and Inclusion are Not Enough.  For those who have the time to read (and watch) more than just a few sources, the Innovative Educators list for developing an understanding of institutional racism includes some thorough collections worth digging through (in here you will find some of the better articles on “how to talk about racism”:

For books, the library houses a few American “classics” on the subject:  The New Jim Crow (print), The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How our Government Segregated America (print), and Why are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? (ebook). For additional titles, search the Primo Catalog using keywords “institutional racism” or “systemic racism” then filter by Resource Type for books.

Bringing this conversation home, librarian Shavonn Matsuda has put together a working document: Books on Anti-Racism in Hawaiʻi (with focus on Kānaka). This is a comprehensive list (we’ve got some homework to do!), with links to our Primo catalog for print and online borrowing options. Scroll to the bottom of this document for the list of books on institutional racism in Hawaiʻi’s higher ed.

As we consider and celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride and Juneteenth this month, we further propose the last day in June as an annual, campus-wide Reading Day for reflection and education around the issues of equity in higher ed.

Planning for the discussions comes next…

As we continue to review and collect resources for a future Research Guide, we appreciate your recommendations. Please send them to


Cultivating Racial Literacy

There are many resources with respect to racism, anti-racism, and racial literacy.  Compiled by Innovative Educators, this is a starting point for developing an understanding of institutionalized racism and to start or continue conversations on campus:

Resources & Commitment to the Black Lives Matter Campaign
Black Lives Matter is “committed to struggling together and to imagining and creating a world free of anti-Blackness, where every Black person has the social, economic, and political power to thrive.”  At Innovative Educators, we embrace and support Black Lives Matter through our work and through donation.


Student Art Exhibition


With the closing of our library building in March, we’ve had to make a lot of adjustments, including the way we feature and showcase some of our favorite things.

Inspired by our students’ powerful responses and reflections to the COVID-19 crisis and acknowledging that viewing art lowers stress levels and mental exhaustion (among other benefits–read more about this here), we’ve created this blog site as a virtual space for the Spring 2020 student visual arts exhibition.

Although this virtual approach removes the experience of seeing these meaningful art pieces in person, this move gives the students credit they deserve, while maintaining a healthy distance.  PLUS, this is a good opportunity to be able to share student work with a broader audience!

Select the gallery you would like to view:

  • ART 101 – Introduction to Visual Arts (Gwen Arkin)
  • ART 113 – Introduction to Drawing (Mike Takemoto)
  • ART 123D – Introduction to Acrylic Painting (Mike Takemoto)
  • ART 205 – Photoshop & Illustrator (Monika Jost)
  • ART/ICS – Introduction to Computer Graphics (Marc Antosch)