Tag Archives: libraries

Astérix: Learn a language to bring freedom to others?

In Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra, the Druid Panoramix, of that unconquerable village shared with Astérix the Gaul, came away with a scroll from the Library of Alexandria. Could it have contained what we see in the image above? Unlike Queen Cleopatra, we do not have to speak ten languages, but studying at least two or three can help widening one’s perspective. Or simply communicating with fellow workers.

FDR’s Four Freedoms, particularly freedom from fear, are echoed in this film. From fear of being fed to Sacred Crocodiles to fear of losing face, languages and learning play a key role in this film, as in our real world today. Languages and libraries can also play a key role in moving us from our current world situation to one in which every human being is free from fear. Here is one proposal for how I hope we could move on, from #publicdomaininfrastructure as phase I, to phase IV’s #freeRoomAndRice for every person.

Phase I, already coming into motion, involves both humanizing all people in the eyes of one another, and building up existing infrastructure that contribute most directly to our long-term democratic institutions. The arts and media have been effective, historically, in sculpting ways of seeing the world, and in bearing witness to events. This is important for building empathy. Films like this one, books like the Harry Potter series, and TV series like Babylon 5 all help. But our institutions also need support, in order to support us over the long haul.

Growing up without a car showed me the importance of having transportation. Living in Europe showed me how efficient a railway system can be. Events over the past 3.5 years have shown us all the importance of both public education and also of adult education in the local community, as well as ongoing availability of free legal and financial advice. These sets of needs all come together in the institution of the Public Library system, as does one other. The public health system relies heavily on the assumption that both basic health education and current information are accessible to the entire population. Thus, all four parts of our infrastructure: transport, libraries and early education, adult continuing education (especially financial and legal), and access to health care, impact all of us at all income levels. So, the hashtag #publicdomaininfrastructure was created to pull together those specific issues as a way to focus on a reduced set of areas that could have a higher impact on the lives of many people. In doing so, energy and time are freed up to allow more constructive solution sets to be created to all of our problems. Once transportation and knowledge are established in support of general health, ways of funding our remaining critical policy needs can be found, starting with reducing the needless and crushing collections burden many face for medical and student debt. Once reduced, these burdens then allow time and energy for more apprenticeships, tutoring, and ways of educating ourselves that allow for far more cooperation and community building.

Phase II can then begin to lay the groundwork for new ways of seeing ourselves and our responsibilities toward one another. More to come on Phase II soon…

Let’s #EndPoverty , #EndHomelessness, & #EndMoneyBail starting by improving these four parts of our good #PublicDomainInfrastructure:

1. #libraries,

2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,

3. #UniversalHealthCare, and

4. good #publictransport

Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!!!, Walk !

#PublicDomainInfrastructure #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19 ShiraDest

May, 12020 HE

Language learning, local education, and lots of ideas

Spanish has always been my favorite language, especially after moving to the bilingual South West. Technically, I was hired for my experience in Unix which led to my MAT in mathematics, but on the ground, my love of learning languages proved to be more important in the classroom. As an adult education instructor at the Continuing Education division of the San Diego Community College District, my fluency proved helpful for many of my students, and also, of course, the ESL classes help our students from many nations contribute in the USA.

Every local educational institution has room for improvement, particularly when seen from both faculty and student perspectives. I posed some questions recently about ideas for implementing low-cost projects that would have been helpful to our students when I taught in North campus involving

1.) a small library or study area,
2.) workshops by CA Promise Program graduates, 
3.) an on-site nurse paid for by medi-Cal, and
4.) access to public transportation:

1.) Many of my students told me they didn’t have a quiet place to study.  While I know that space is in very short supply on the North campus, I wonder if a small area, possibly in the multipurpose room when it’s not being used, could be set aside with cubicles or movable small desks and a small movable lending library like the tiny libraries?

  2.)   I wonder, on the assumption of course that having graduated and started a new career as a professional with a bachelor’s degree anyone can be found who will have time, if any students having graduated with a bachelor’s degree after getting their first two years of community college paid for through the California promise program or with the San Diego promise program, could be persuaded to come back either as tutors, mentors, or even just to give workshops in the areas in which they got their educations?  Particularly accounting majors or paralegal/pre-law majors who could give small workshops on dealing with debt in California including, California statutes of limitations, or financial planning workshops or how to do your own taxes if you only need to do the 1040EZ, etc?  One-on-one tutoring, and also mentoring,  that supportive help, especially for our high school equivalency students, could be both useful and inspiring.  Seeing successfully graduated professionals with a bachelor’s degree who came through the community college system and are willing to spend individual time with them, even if only a couple of hours a week, could make a difference.  Could interns or SCORE volunteers put a program like this together?  Do we track or stay in touch with students who finish the California or San Diego promise program once they finish their bachelor’s degrees?

3.) Many of my students worked two jobs or for other reasons never had time to see a doctor even when they were ill. I wonder if it is possible to pay, through the Medi-Cal system, for a nurse to be on-site, perhaps based out of the office  of each campus, a couple of days/evenings a week?

4.)  One of the biggest problem areas that I saw for my car-free students was that neither the Continuing Education division, nor the CE faculty Union was able to get the transit authority to enforce acceptance of CE student IDs for the monthly bus and rail pass discount.  In planning for post-#Covid-19 classes, will we have any resources to address public transportation discount and access issues?

I imagine that some of these ideas may be a little overwhelming, because I understand that time and resources are extremely limited, but once in a while, as Dr. Rivera-Lacey noted: we do have to dream.

Please share your ideas for improving local education, or for supporting any other parts of our critical Public Domain Social Infrastructure!

Let’s #EndPoverty , #EndHomelessness, & #EndMoneyBail starting by improving these four parts of our good #PublicDomainInfrastructure 4:
1. #libraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!!!, Walk !


#PublicDomainInfrastructure #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19
ShiraDest

May, 12020 HE

Beat the odds by learning a language? These ancient Literate Ladies did…

Ask Tamar, Ruth, and Scheherazade.
רֶגַע… Rega… Wait, you say:
Scheherazade is not in the Bible, she is from the Thousand and One Nights, originally in Arabic, or maybe partly in Persian, but certainly not in Hebrew;
This, you remember!

Ok, point taken, her book was not in Hebrew, but Arabic is a sister language.   More on this shortly…

Tamar was a Canaanite woman, and so had to learn Hebrew, or Judah’s dialect of Hebrew at the very least.
Ruth, a native of Moab, had to learn the Hebrew of the time of Naomi.
Scheherazade, at the palace, had to learn the hardest languages of all: the languages of heartbreak, of story, and of love.

So, you see, Scheherazade’s story is the same as that of her Biblical sisters: she was a clever woman faced with a survival situation in a man’s world. And she, like her sisters, had to learn a language in order to survive.

Each lady had to live by her wits in difficult times, and to use the tools available to her at that time. Nowadays, they would surely go together to the Public Library to learn to use the power of modern tools like computers and smartphones, especially using Unix to navigate this new world. And as they succeeded then, so would succeed again, using adaptability, daring, and hope.

Hope for us all.

Let’s #EndPoverty , #EndHomelessness ,& #EndMoneyBail starting by improving these four parts of our good #PublicDomainInfrastructure:
1. #libraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare , and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!!!, Walk !


#PublicDomainInfrastructure #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19
ShiraDest

April, 12020 HE

image: By Wikimedia – Wikimedia commons, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=55282489

Learning a language would help Hakan defeat the Virus: how? Ask the Loyal Ones…

#COVID-19’dan, nasıl kazanacayız?

How do we win against the #CoronaVirus?

Potansiyelim var.”  ==  “I have potential.”

Hakan, “The Protector” of Istanbul and of all humankind, argues that despite his lack of formal education, he has the potential to do just as well as any university-educated person, even to solve problems like a deadly virus epidemic.  And, in the end, he manages to do it.

(Hermione Granger y Amelia Folch would run to the #library to get the book Karakalem ve Bir Delikanlının Tuhaf Hikayesi by Nilüfer İpek Gökdel, to read about how one deadly virus was defeated by Hakan and the Loyal Ones, after learning Turkish, of course!)

Each and every person, Protector or not, has potential.  And every person has the human right to an opportunity to prove that potential.  But everyone needs education in order to bring out and fulfill his or her potential.   Hakan was given that education by Zeynep, his most Loyal One, but we all have a world-wide educational system that currently only works in favor of those who can either afford to pay, or have the opportunity to get scholarships.  Scholarships and education require enough stable housing to be able to study.  That requires at least enough food, clothing, and shelter to be able to concentrate or get safely to a library and concentrate for a few hours per day in safety.

Public transit often plays a crucial role in this, but this post will focus on the need for every person to have a free opportunity to gain education.  Whether it is a university education, or on-going adult education regarding consumer rights, legal rights of other kinds, like tenants rights and worker’s rights, or financial and debt-related rights, everyone needs training.  While most states do have some sort of free adult education, workshops on local laws, for example, most states do not have nearly enough resources available for all of the hard-working students who would like to attend university but cannot afford to.  I have a proposal for helping them to reach their potential, and thus helping us all to reach our fuller potential as a society.  And you don’t even need to learn #Turkish (although that will open windows on the wider world to you, should you choose to accept the challenge)!

What if every diligent student were offered free study texts and allowed to sit an entrance exam for free university studies, in exchange for the promise to help by giving back to the local community as payment for his or her studies?  For example, let everyone be given free SAT prep classes, and then, any person passing the entrance exam for university studies for free.  Suppose one passes the exam and studies accounting.  That person must first agree to teach free tax preparation courses every tax season, at least during the time he or she studies at the university.  Let everyone with a bachelors degree be given free LSAT prep courses, but then if admitted to a free Law School, agree to teach free courses on consumer rights, give free workshops on state debt laws, etc.  Let paralegal students study for free, but pledge to teach free seminars on local renters’ rights and let the MBA students study for free, but teach free seminars on investment and business planning or small business marketing planning in the local area, while studying for that free Master’s degree.

Meanwhile, remember: “Bu bir masal değil.”  “This is not a fairy tale.”

So, #LearnALanguage, compare the studies in various languages, and #StopSmoking!!

Let’s #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness, & #EndMoneyBail while  improving these four parts of our good #PublicDomainInfrastructure:
1. #libraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare , and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!!!, Walk !


#PublicDomainInfrastructure and #languagelearn,
ShiraDest

April, 12020 HE

Hermione Granger y Amelia Folch, que harîan ellas con el COVID-19

…sin duda, ir a la biblioteca!!
…clearly, they would go to the library!!

 

Where else can you learn how to help your fellow citizens combat the spread of this global pandemic, and also be a part of supporting a public institution stretching back to the earliest days of our Republic, and before?  Not only do public libraries feed our need for public knowledge, but they also feed our need for communal spaces where all can gather freely in community.   From disseminating key public health information to serving as polling places, census and social worker placements and entertainment/story telling locales, the public library is a crucial social institution that supports many facets of our democratic life.  From details on local and state level consumer rights information, from where to find current statutes of limitations to where we got the Statue of Liberty,  libraries serve many needs, and need more support.

Today, more than ever before, libraries need multiple language speakers, and we all need to learn multiple languages, to see how libraries in other places and how health care in other places work.

Aprendemos leyendo

We learn by reading

 

Let’s #EndPoverty , #EndHomelessness ,& #EndMoneyBail starting by improving these four parts of our #PublicDomainInfrastructure 4: (
1. #libraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare , and
4. good #publictransport )
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!!!, Walk !

#PublicDomainInfrastructure, ‪#‎stopsmoking and #languagelearn,
ShiraDest

March, 12020 HE

Why #Libraries are so important for all of us, middle and upper classes included, as part of our #PublicDomainInfrastructure.

Comment: especially numbers 5 and 6: reading fiction helps re-wire the brain to build both empathy and compassion…

Right from childhood, many of us have been taught about that reading is very important, and perhaps one of the best hobbies we could have. That said, you may often wonder- how exactly does reading help, and precisely how it helps change the brain. Well, here are some ways reading changes your brain. 7 Ways […]

via 7 Ways Reading Changes Your Brain — Everyday Gyaan

Bibliotecas y la vida tras la Deuda… Libraries and Life after Debt…

Click here for English…

“ -¿Adónde vas?
-A la biblioteca.
-Hija, la vida es más que leer libros.
-Ya lo sé, madre.
-Lo aprendí leyendo”

¿Cuantos hemos sufrido la pena de ser facturado injustamente por una deuda?
Muchos.
¿Cuantos tenemos la suerte de conocer nuestros derechos y que hay que defenderlos?
No tantos.
¿Cuantos sabemos donde encontrar los detalles de estos derechos y como defenderlos?
No suficientamente.
¿Y cuantos tenemos acceso a un abogado, o biblioteca de derecho, y transporte, sin decir la buena salud para irse?
No la mayoria de nosotros.
Por eso nos urge las buenas bibliotecas publicas y transporte publico, para ayudar a todos en defender sus derechos. En un epoca de escasos recursos para las escuelas y bibliotecas publicas, los que necesitan màs tienen menos.
Hay soluciones para ello: Primero, dar màs dinero a los transportes y bibliotecas publicos, y a las escuelas. Segundo, quitar de encima de la gente las deudas a cada rato. Así podemos cambiar la desigalidad que nos limita a todos.


Salud Para Todos! #PublicDomainInfrastructure
ShiraDest

“ -Where are you going?
-To the Library.
-Daughter, there is more to life than reading books.
-I know, mother. I learned it by reading.”

How many of us have experienced the pain of being wrongly billed by a debt collector?
Many.
How many of us are lucky enough to know that we have rights that we must defend, which cannot be transgressed by those debt collectors?
Not as many.
How many of us know where to find the details of those rights and how to go about defending ourselves legally?
Not nearly enough of us.
And how many of us have access to good legal counsel, or a law library, and the transportation, not to mention the good health, to get there, and then to court if necessary?
Not most of us.
This is where public libraries, and public transportation, become crucial as places to help all citizens research and learn about their rights and how to defend them. In an era of shrinking library and school budgets for the 99%, separate is still not equal: fewer libraries and fewer legal and research librarians are available to guide residents searching for current Statute of Limitations, debt collection laws, etc. The result is that those who need the most help get the least, and inequality continues to grow, harming all of us.

One short term solution to these problems is clearly to fully fund Public Libraries, Pro-Bono legal and consumer Education, Public Transportation, and Universal Health Care (4 major components of our Public Domain Social Infrastructure #PublicDomainInfrastructure ).
One possible long term solution could be an old solution, advocated by several major religions over the millennia: the forgiveness of debt after a certain period of time. Modern student loans, for example, in the UK are rumored to be forgiven after 15 years, while Ancient Near Eastern societies mandated forgiving all sorts of debts periodically. These policies, modern and ancient, were meant to prevent what we are seeing today, particularly in the USA: an entrenched cycle of inequality that prevents the vast majority of people from achieving liberty, let alone pursuing happiness.

Read, Write, Dream, Walk !


#PublicDomainInfrastructure
ShiraDest

April 2nd, 12018 HE

Whose Justice? Kimin Adalet?

Click here for English…

“-Sultan Süleyman’ın Adalet ”

Kanûnî Sultan Süleyman’ın Adaleti budır…

Adaleti fikirlerimizi 500 yıl Sultan Süleyman’dan sonra değiştirdiler. Çok sevdiği şov Muhteşem Yüzyıl 600 Mısır’daki aileleri Mısır’ya dömeyi izin verdiğini ve kötü Pashahının başı kestirdi gösterdi. Bizim göremizi böyle bir adalet çok sert ama şu Sultan kütüphaneleri hamamlar ve çok altyapı halklar için yaptıldı. Dr. Maulana Karenga, şimdiki düşüncüler gibi adalet insanlık gibi derler yani hem aynı saygı her kez için hem aynı şeref için. Diğerleri, John Rawls gibi, adaleti kontrolu için derler, her kez herhangi yerleri koyarlar. Tüm üçüncü bir şey derler ki her kes ileri geçmesi lazım. O yüzdan adalet için tüm insanları hem kütüphane hem Temel Gelir şart.

(Türkcemi düzetleri için çok teşekkür edericektim… Corrections to my Turkish gratefully accepted…)

“-Sultan Suleiman’s Justice…”

This was Suleiman the Magnificent’s Justice…

Our notions of what justice is have changed over the five hundred years since Sultan Suleiman dispensed judgments and consequences. The popular series Magnificent Century depicts him freeing 600 Egyptian families to return to Egypt and executing the cruel official who had enslaved them. His justice may have seemed harsh to modern eyes, yet this Sultan also built schools with libraries, public baths, hostels and hospitals, providing a high level of public infrastructure to his subjects. Modern thinkers, such as Dr. Maulana Karenga, have defined justice in part as being fundamentally defined by treatment of each human being with equal respect and dignity. Others, like John Rawls, have proposed tests of justice in which societal roles could be interchangeable. All three agree in the essential: that each human being must be given the opportunity to grow. Each agrees that justice requires certain access and resources for all people, including: Free access to learning, and the time to use it. #PublicDomainInfrastructure (1.Free and full access Public Libraries
2.Pro-Bono Legal and Free Consumer Education
3.Universal Health Care on a Single Payer System
and
4. Good Public Transportation) can help accomplish that.

Read, Write, Dream, Walk !


#PublicDomainInfrastructure
ShiraDest

March 6th, 12018 HE

My 45 Year Mission: 4FreedomsMovementPlan