Monday, March 11, 2019

It is All Pretty Words and Shell Games

Who is accountable?
For DEI: Nobody!

Holding Cultural Petting Zoos is Easier than Creating Equitable Institutional Structures.  Many institutions are stuck in a loop of cultural events that consist of food tasting and traditional dress modeling, etc...As if the mere exposure to such multicultural aspects would cure racism overnight.  Of course, these events do have a place, but they can't be relied upon to create progress in a historically white institution.

I've been thinking about this for a long time and it really comes down to accountability and value.

Claiming Equity, Diversity and Inclusion as a part of a traditionally white educational institution or organization is a benefit most schools have taken.  Schools have the benefits of doing something without actually having to make any real changes as there is literally no accountability, nor credibility.

The above claim is damaging to people of color  and other oppressed groups because it puts out the issue, but doesn't really seek a solution.  In the end--all sides are frustrated and race and other oppressive relations and structures remain the intact.

And the worst part of this is that it is all built on the backs of POC and other marginalized people.

We are meant to represent ALL people of color and when and if we screw up we are so severely punished that it sets a psychological example for others on all sides.  In the end--POC and other oppressed groups--raise their hopes, but are constantly let down--because there is no real accountability for DEI to the admin, faculty, staff, nor the organization.

Here is a sarcastic take on DEI in educational institutions and organizations:

Benefits of DEI inclusion on organization mission statements.
  • Increased reputation
  • Increased student enrollment
  • Increased administrative pay
  • No accountability
  • No real changes required 
  • Huge ROI with little to no effort
  • White people feel great
  • All of this built on the pain and suffering of POC at your institution
  • Implement now for highest returns
  • Organizations don't have to value DEI work by staff members
The above bullets are satirical, but they are based on my experience working in large educational institutions and national professional groups.   

Accountability and transparency are vital.

We must have accountability for DEI progress, or lack thereof within organizations and institutions.

We must have real change in faculty, administration and staff representation.  

We must demand that resources are spent on DEI if they are part of a mission statement.

We must demand that POC are not the only ones expected to have a stake in this work.

We must demand that DEI work is valued and counts toward tenure and other professional advancement opportunities.

We must require our organizations and institutions to live up to their mission statements when it comes to DEI.  

Callout a lack of DEI progress.

We must hold our leaders accountable for progress or lack thereof when DEI is part of a mission statement.

DEI should be part of performance assessments, budgets, organizational goals and other concrete planning for any educational institution or organization.




Sunday, December 16, 2018

I was Facebook's Pawn: A Confession

Facebook is a cesspool of invalid information.  Image is public Domain.
Dear readers, I used to be a huge proponent of FB.  I am a librarian and early on I realized the potential of social media for networking, sharing information and as a medium for learning. 

This is no longer the case.

I used to believe FB was a great tool to share information.

It is not even a good tool for sharing information.  

I am an information professional.  Part of my job is teaching students information literacy.  Here is a definition of Information Literacy that ALA uses:

Information literacy is a set of abilities requiring individuals to "recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information." 

This has much to do with the the person's ability to search for and find valid information.  

Most dictionaries define validity as: "The quality of being logically or factually sound;  soundness or cogency.

This is fundamental to using information to create knowledge. That is to say, if you use corrupted information to create knowledge--then that knowledge will be corrupted and invalid. 

Facebook is a cesspool of false, misleading and triggering information.

Facebook is able to build a psychological profile of users and then use this profile information to 'feed' information that will trigger certain reactions in that targeted user.  They know what we have shared in the past and what led up to this sharing.  This is incredibly powerful information and is key to understanding how their stimulus response system works.

The 2016 election results were partially a result of this.  



I can no longer use FB as an information professional.

Will I use it to promote my books and other work?

Yes--most certainly.

However, I won't use it as a vehicle to share information any longer.

I can't trust the information I am 'fed' on FB.

I often share information that is:

  • Old
  • Semi-true
  • Biased

I am not the only information professional that does this.

Since it is a networking interface--I often receive information from other librarians, teachers, authors, activists, etc...that is invalid. 

Sometimes I share information based on my trust of the individual, but many times they have been manipulated into sharing this invalid information and I unknowingly pass this on.  People might think that since I'm a librarian--what I share is valid---when it sometimes isn't.  Then they pass it on.  I hope you see where I'm going with this. 

One point here is that it is so hard to tell what is true and what is not--or that I will have to go out and triangulate every piece of information I am 'fed' if I want to share valid information on FB.  Another point is that even information professionals share invalid information on FB.  

Throw in the psychologically triggering aspect and this makes FB an invalid tool for sharing information.  
The Gesture by Shirt58
I would also say that libraries and librarians should be wary of promoting FB in light of the above.

As an Information Professional it is unethical to promote a platform that shares invalid information with our patrons and to students.

Should we maintain FB pages?

Sure--there are plenty of reasons to use FB.

One would be outreach.

A library could use it's FB pages to teach patrons how bad an information source FB is and why they shouldn't use it as an information source.

Another reason to use FB is support groups.  Support groups on FB can be wonderful if properly moderated.  Just take a look at the Library Employee Support Network on FB.  

Where users share information with one another in a shared interest group is another reason.  Certain professional development groups are wonderful on FB.  I can think of the REFORMA Think tank as one example of a good use of FB.  

Groups are still a valid use of FB--provided they are not just a place where people share FB feed information.

So, I am no longer an active user of FB.  Those who know me--know I have been a active  proponent of FB and other social media.  I am rethinking my use of other social media, but I was never as convinced of any other platform as I was  of FB.  The idea that it was a great tool--was true for me for years and years.  

It is not a good tool for sharing information.  

Is it a good tool for contacting your old high school classmates?

For sure.

Is it a good tool to keep in touch with family?

Yes!

Is it a good news or information source?

Most definitely not!

Have a great holiday season!

Sunday, December 9, 2018

RĒL is the Real Deal in Oregon!

RĒL Cannabis Oregon
If you live in Oregon than you have a wealth of options when it comes to higher THC vape cartridges.  I've tried many and there is a new one I would like to tell you about.I had the good fortune to be able to try out the RĒL 710 disposable vape pen recently!  The distillate I tried was a sour diesel -- and it was great! It was powerful: in THC 70's range.  It tasted like diesel from the natural terpenes RĒL uses in its products.  I was struck by the natural taste and a powerful impact a few minutes after exhaling a huge cloud of vapor from the sweet little 710!
RĒL 710
The 710 has a ceramic coil and is filled with one gram of great THC or CBD oil.  The one I had was THC as CBD does nothing for me.

Here are some major pluses of the RĒL 710 vape pen:

  • Smooth Draws
  • Large Draws
  • Didn't get clogged
  • Was able to vape all the oil in the cartridge
  • Discreet
  • Rechargeable mini USB
  • Long battery life
  • Price range- 40-50 bucks
As a long-term medical cannabis patient I can tell you that this is a great product at a great price.  I will be using their products more in the future.  
RĒL Cannabis Nano and 710
The Nano comes with either 1/3 or 1/2 a gram of oil.

And I will most definitely have to try their disposable cartridges.
RĒL disposable cartridges.
And they have these--SWOON!  The RĒL Clearomizer with up to two grams of oil for medical patients!  I need this!

RĒL Clearomizer
And lastly I will have to try their dablicators and get back to you!

RĒL Dablicators
Shout out to RĒL Cannabis from Oregon and for Oregon!  Thank you for your outstanding work!

A nice variety of products are avaailable.
Here is a link to RĒL Cannabis Oregon: https://relcannabis.com.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

#InnovationIsAboutMoreThanTechnology

in·no·va·tion
ˌinəˈvāSH(ə)n/
noun
  1. the action or process of innovating.
    synonyms:changealterationrevolutionupheavaltransformationmetamorphosisbreakthrough;More
  2. _______________________________________________________________________

When thinking about innovation, make sure you include infusing innovative thinking in your staff.

Wirtz Labor Library Staff Recipients of the John Sessions Memorial Award Presented by the Reference and User Service Association of the American Library Association 2009
Wirtz Labor Library Staff
Recipients of the John Sessions Memorial Award
Presented by the Reference and User Service Association of the American Library Association
2009
Staff should be able to:

  • Feel free to experiment, feel free to fail, feel free to succeed.
  • Analyze failures and celebrate what is learned from them.  
  • Always include those who live in poverty in your "innovative thinking."
  • Outreach to innovative leaders in the communities you are trying to reach. 
  • Work with these community leaders to gain insights to user information needs
  • Make sure innovative thinking is taking place in multiple languages.
  • Infuse Civics instruction in your innovative thinking. 
  • Infuse Social Justice via programming based on community needs.
  • Use technology when appropriate, but focus on people when innovating. 
  • Focus on more than just the needs of patrons who come into the library.
  • Base innovation on  community need. _________________________________________________________________________
Rainbow Family
Community
  • What do they want?
    • Do we know what the community needs and wants?
  • How do they want it?
    • What formats do they need this information packaged in?
  • Where do they want it?
    • Will they come into the library for this information or will we deliver it somewhere?

We need to empower our communities by providing them the information they need in the places they want it and deliver it via the methods they prefer.   While this may seem outrageous to some, it is important to outreach to those who pay taxes for the library, but who don't think the library is relevant to their lives because the library is not providing the information they need.  This is not just the job of the outreach department of your library--it is the library's job!

  • How do we know what people need?
    • Ask them via the leaders of their communities.  
      • They can answer questions about community needs and survey their communities.
    • Do you know the leaders of the communities? 
      • These leaders can disseminate information to their communities for the library.
      • They are trusted already within their communities.
_________________________________________________________________________________
Mt. Angel Public Library
I once went into the Mt. Angel public library in Mt. Angel, Oregon.  I asked them about their Spanish collection.  They showed me a single shelf of books.  I asked them why there were so few and they replied, "Because Spanish speakers don't come into the library much."  I replied, "Well, maybe there is a reason!"
Woodburn Public Library
Woodburn Public Library
On the other hand, I went into the Woodburn, Oregon public library recently and they had a decent Spanish collection that was being heavily used by patrons.  Woodburn PL also have staff who are bilingual. 

Both Woodburn and Mt. Angel have large populations of Spanish speakers...

So empower your staff to innovate, but be strategic about who these innovations include and why your library is making them. 

Communicate these innovations to the community via several channels.

Does the community have a radio station in their language?

Can the library send someone to be interviewed on the radio in that language?













Sunday, May 27, 2018

My Heroes Call Out

My heroes call out to me from across time

Some call out from hundreds of years ago

I can hear some from just yesterday

My heroes call out to me and make my heart strong

They are our alternative narrative

Calling out our history

Calling out our enemies

Calling out our allies

Calling out our resistance

My heroes call out to me and I listen

They are part of what makes our culture great

They are the true Americans

Calling out hatred makes us stronger

My heroes call out that shit

What if Huey P. Newton hadn't called out?

What if Rosa Parks hadn't called out?

What if John Trudell hadn't not called out?

What if Malcolm X hadn't called out?

What if Audre Lorde hadn't called out?

What if Larry Itliong hadn't called out?

What if we don't call out?

My heroes call out to me


 


Sunday, March 18, 2018

Select CBD Review...

Select CBD Promotion Materials
I suffer from PTSD and from arthritic pain.  My state, Oregon allows me to get a medical cannabis card for these conditions and it helps me greatly.  My main experience has been with THC though.  Select Cannabis Oil makes my favorite high THC vaporizer cartridges in Oregon.  I've been trying to get some for review on this blog.  They told me they can't give away THC cartridges, but that they would send me some CBD products to test and review.  They sent me some vape pens and some tinctures to test out and review for you all.  CBD is non-psychoactive and does not get people high.

Select CBD Package of Vape Pens and Tinctures
I had the good fortune to receive a box of CBD products from Select oil last month.
 I am excited because I have not had the opportunity to try CBD in any real quantity for a period of time.  CBD is something I had not had a chance to try--it is expensive and I have not seen scientific studies that confirm results for pain and anxiety.  However, I have heard so many anecdotal reports of   CBD mitigating anxiety and pain that I am super curious about it.

Select CBD Disposable Vape Pens
Select CBD Disposable Vape Pens
The vape pens are disposable and also taste really good.  I received:  Grapefruit (revive), Lavender (relax), Peppermint (focus), cinnamon (relax), and Lemon (revive).  These vapes are broken up into 4 groups: relax, revive, focus and revive.  They all taste great and like Select's THC cartridges, they produce a large amount of vapor when a person draws from them.

Select CBD Tinctures
Their tinctures taste great!  I began to take two ML of tincture a day and I vaped about 6 times a day on February 18th, 2018.  The tinctures taste really good and I received a variety of flavors:  Spearmint, Lavender, Unflavored and Lemon Ginger. I have had tinctures before and usually they taste horrible.  ALL these select tinctures taste great--even the unflavored.  You can drop the tincture into coffee, or water, or some other liquid, or you can take it sublingual with the dropper--which has precise measurements.   


They come in 100 ML dropper bottles.  
The bottles and packaging are top notch.  The droppers have exact measurements and make it easy to use in exact amounts.  

Variety of flavors

Dosages: Are confusing.  I would recommend Select sends included material about dosages for pain, anxiety, etc...It was hard to figure out.  I had to do a web search to find information and am still not sure I am taking the proper dosage.

Impact on health

After one month of daily dosing with Select CBD tinctures and vape pens, I have not noticed any sort of changes.  I have been experiencing arthritic pain and stiffness for the last two months and it has not changed one bit.  I did fall and hurt my kneed recently and seemed to recover more quickly the usual.  This is all anecdotal of course.  I am probably about 1/2 way through my supply and will update this post in a couple of weeks.  So, if you are interested in trying CBD products, or already know they work for you--Select CBD makes a good product.  I recommend it.  However, like I said--I have not really experienced any noticeable improvements with my anxiety or my pain.

The (.5 gram) vape pens retail 45 dollars and the tinctures (30 ML) retail 65 dollars.

Here is the blurb from Select:

Select CBD Blends

  • Relax: Take it easy with either Cinnamon or Lavender
  • Revive: Restore and uplift your body and mind with Lemon or Grapefruit
  • Focus: Increase mental clarity with Spearmint or Peppermint

Explore the benefits of CBD like never before with our all-in-one disposable CBD vaporizer pen that combines therapeutic essential oils with smooth CBD isolate. These products are hemp-derived and contain zero THC, with no psychoactive buzz effect that you would expect from most cannabis. Our sleek pen design provides hassle free portability and ease of use, with a built in battery and the same core technology as our proprietary design.
      DISCREET & PORTABLE - No fragrance, easy to fit in your pocket, purse or bag ready-to-go
      OPPORTUNITY TO MICRODOSE CBD - Each puff provides you with 1-2 mg of CBD      ORGANIC JAPANESE COTTON WICK - Many other vaporizer companies that use silica wicks, which give users a plastic taste, and can be dangerous when heated      ALL-IN-ONE - The product is self-contained and ready-to-go, with a battery life that lasts just as long as the oil does -- about 150 puffs! 
Select CBD Drops

  • Peppermint: Infused with ashwagandha, rhodiola and peppermint, which are known to bring energy and focus
  • Lavender: Infused with lavender, chamomile and passionflower, which are known for relaxation and calmness
  • Lemon-Ginger: Infused with ginger, turmeric and lemon, which are known to be naturally energizing, revitalizing and uplifting
  • Flavorless: Contains no added herbs or essential oils

Experience the relief of fast acting CBD in the form of our convenient & discreet tinctures. Select Drops provides a fast-acting solution of benefiting from the restorative effects of cannabinoids without vaping or smoking. Drops contain a specially formulated balance of cannabidiol and herb-infused refined coconut oil, known as MCT oil for fast acting absorption into the bloodstream. Find the bliss of convenient herbal relief anytime, anywhere with our proprietary cannabidiol tincture.
      TASTES GREAT - Unlike many tinctures, Select CBD Drops have a great taste -- making them easy to add to your favorite foods and drinks, or just to take directly from the dropper      CHOOSE-YOUR-DOSAGE - Start with .5 to 1 mL per day, and work your way up - everyone has a different sweet spot for CBD      INFUSED WITH HERBAL BLENDS - We steep dry herbs into our oil for 48 hours, allowing the healing power of these herbs to really shine 

Here is a link to the Select CBD site: https://selectcbd.com


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