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The Uncommon Knowledge of Elinor Ostrom
Essential Lessons for Collective Action
Erik Nordman
Island Press, 2021
In the 1970s, the accepted environmental thinking was that overpopulation was destroying the earth. Prominent economists and environmentalists agreed that the only way to stem the tide was to impose restrictions on how we used resources, such as land, water, and fish, from either the free market or the government. This notion was upended by Elinor Ostrom, whose work to show that regular people could sustainably manage their community resources eventually won her the Nobel Prize. Ostrom’s revolutionary proposition fundamentally changed the way we think about environmental governance. 
In The Uncommon Knowledge of Elinor Ostrom, author Erik Nordman brings to life Ostrom’s brilliant mind. Half a century ago, she was rejected from doctoral programs because she was a woman; in 2009, she became the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Economics. Her research challenged the long-held dogma championed by Garrett Hardin in his famous 1968 essay, “The Tragedy of the Commons,” which argued that only market forces or government regulation can prevent the degradation of common pool resources. The concept of the “Tragedy of the Commons” was built on scarcity and the assumption that individuals only act out of self-interest. Ostrom’s research proved that people can and do act in collective interest, coming from a place of shared abundance. Ostrom’s ideas about common resources have played out around the world, from Maine lobster fisheries, to ancient waterways in Spain, to taxicabs in Nairobi. In writing The Uncommon Knowledge of Elinor Ostrom, Nordman traveled extensively to interview community leaders and stakeholders who have spearheaded innovative resource-sharing systems, some new, some centuries old. Through expressing Ostrom’s ideas and research, he also reveals the remarkable story of her life.
Ostrom broke barriers at a time when women were regularly excluded from academia and her research challenged conventional thinking. Elinor Ostrom proved that regular people can come together to act sustainably—if we let them. This message of shared collective action is more relevant than ever for solving today’s most pressing environmental problems.

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Understanding Data and Information Systems for Recordkeeping
Philip C. Bantin
American Library Association, 2008

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Understanding Telecommunications Business
Andy Valdar
The Institution of Engineering and Technology, 2015
We all enjoy the benefits of the 'information age' but we may not be aware of the range of technologies and infrastructure that underpins the Internet and the services that it supports. There are many companies involved in the business of providing and operating such resources. This book attempts to explain the complex interplay between the companies, how their businesses operate, and how they seek to make a profit.

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Understanding the Arts and Creative Sector in the United States
Cherbo, Joni Maya
Rutgers University Press, 2008
The arts and creative sector is one of the nation's broadest, most important, and least understood social and economic assets, encompassing both nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, for-profit creative companies, such as advertising agencies, film producers, and commercial publishers, and community-based artistic activities. The thirteen essays in this timely book demonstrate why interest in the arts and creative sector has accelerated in recent years, and the myriad ways that the arts are crucial to the social and national agenda and the critical issues and policies that relate to their practice. Leading experts in the field show, for example, how arts and cultural policies are used to enhance urban revitalization, to encourage civic engagement, to foster new forms of historic preservation, to define national identity, to advance economic development, and to regulate international trade in cultural goods and services.

Illuminating key issues and reflecting the rapid growth of the field of arts and cultural policy, this book will be of interest to students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, to arts educators and management professionals, government agency and foundation officials, and researchers and academics in the cultural policy field.

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Unmanaged Landscapes
Voices For Untamed Nature
Edited by Bill Willers
Island Press, 1999

The idea that humans can effectively "manage" nature -- that we can successfully manipulate and control our environment to meet our needs and satisfy our desires -- is almost universally accepted in today's society. While we may be aware that nearly all significant environmental problems are caused by human actions, we remain convinced that the key to solving these problems is "better management."

In Unmanaged Landscapes, editor Bill Willers brings together an insightful and thought-provoking selection of writings that challenge that assumption. Written between the mid-nineteenth century and the late 1990s, the pieces range from two paragraphs written in response to an exam question to tightly reasoned philosophical arguments. They offer the thoughts, stories, and analysis of scientists, journalists, philosophers, historians, educators, and others who have considered the effects and implications of "resource management," and have found themselves in favor of keeping some landscapes free from human interference.

The collection is divided into three sections: one that focuses on biology and ecology, one that examines the idea of wildness from the standpoint of human society and its economic concerns, and a third that considers philosophical and spiritual aspects of wildness. Featured are works from leading environmental thinkers including Rachel Carlson, George Wuerthner, Joanna Macy, Paul Shepard, David Orr, John Burroughs, David Ehrenfeld, Arne Naess, Bill McKibben, Donald Worster, Carolyn Merchant, Rick Bass, and many others.

As Willers explains in his introduction, "If wildness and wild creatures are to survive on Earth, so then must unmanaged landscapes, for they are the fountainheads of the wildness that Henry Thoreau taught is the preservation of the world. They are the blank spots on the map longed for by Aldo Leopold." Unmanaged Landscapes presents a compelling argument for protecting and restoring that wildness.


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Unsettling Archival Research
Engaging Critical, Communal, and Digital Archives
Edited by Gesa E. Kirsch, Romeo García, Caitlin Burns Allen, and Walker P. Smith
Southern Illinois University Press, 2023
HONORABLE MENTION, 2024 Conference on College Composition and Communication Outstanding Book Award in Edited Collection!

A collection of accessible, interdisciplinary essays that explore archival practices to unsettle traditional archival theories and methodologies.
What would it mean to unsettle the archives? How can we better see the wounded and wounding places and histories that produce absence and silence in the name of progress and knowledge? Unsettling Archival Research sets out to answer these urgent questions and more, with essays that chart a more just path for archival work.
Unsettling Archival Research is one of the first publications in rhetoric and writing studies dedicated to scholarship that unsettles disciplinary knowledge of archival research by drawing on decolonial, Indigenous, antiracist, queer, and community perspectives. Written by established and emerging scholars, essays critique not only the practices, ideologies, and conventions of archiving, but also offer new tactics for engaging critical, communal, and digital archiving within and against systems of power. Contributors reflect on efforts to unsettle and counteract racist, colonial histories, confront the potentials and pitfalls of common archival methodologies, and chart a path for the future of archival research otherwise. Unsettling Archival Research intervenes in a critical issue: whether the discipline’s assumptions about the archives serve or fail the communities they aim to represent and what can be done to center missing voices and perspectives. The aim is to explore the ethos and praxis of bearing witness in unsettling ways, carried out as a project of queering and/or decolonizing the archives.
Unsettling Archival Research takes seriously the rhetorical force of place and wrestles honestly with histories that still haunt our nation, including the legacies of slavery, colonial violence, and systemic racism.

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The Urban Commons
How Data and Technology Can Rebuild Our Communities
Daniel T. O'Brien
Harvard University Press, 2018

The future of smart cities has arrived, courtesy of citizens and their phones. To prove it, Daniel T. O’Brien explains the transformative insights gleaned from years researching Boston’s 311 reporting system, a sophisticated city management tool that has revolutionized how ordinary Bostonians use and maintain public spaces. Through its phone service, mobile app, website, and Twitter account, 311 catalogues complaints about potholes, broken street lights, graffiti, litter, vandalism, and other issues that are no one citizen’s responsibility but affect everyone’s quality of life. The Urban Commons offers a pioneering model of what modern digital data and technology can do for cities like Boston that seek both prosperous growth and sustainability.

Analyzing a rich trove of data, O’Brien discovers why certain neighborhoods embrace the idea of custodianship and willingly invest their time to monitor the city’s common environments and infrastructure. On the government’s side of the equation, he identifies best practices for implementing civic technologies that engage citizens, for deploying public services in collaborative ways, and for utilizing the data generated by these efforts.

Boston’s 311 system has narrowed the gap between residents and their communities, and between constituents and local leaders. The result, O’Brien shows, has been the creation of more effective policy and practices that reinvigorate the way citizens and city governments approach their mutual interests. By unpacking when, why, and how the 311 system has worked for Boston, The Urban Commons reveals the power and potential of this innovative system, and the lessons learned that other cities can adapt.


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Useful, Usable, Desirable
Aaron Schmidt
American Library Association, 2014

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Using and Curating Archaeological Collections
S. Terry Childs
University Press of Colorado, 2019
All archaeologists have responsibilities to support the collections they produce, yet budgeting for and managing collections over the length of a project and beyond is not part of most archaeologists’ training. While this book in the SAA Press Archaeology in Action Series highlights major challenges that archaeologists and curators face with regard to collections, it also stresses the values, uses, and benefits of collections. It also demonstrates the continued significance of archaeological collections to the profession, tribes, and the public and provides critical resources for archaeologists to carry out their responsibilities. Many lament that the archaeological record is finite and disappearing. In this context, collections are even more important to preserve for future use, and this book will help all stakeholders do so.

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