Stranger Things @ PSC Library

In a small Indiana town, a boy, Will Byers, vanishes. The search for Will pulls together his friends and family and the town sheriff. They find themselves up against a secret corporation, sinister government scientists, and a girl with other-worldly powers. This is Stranger Things, Netflix’s newest original series.

Rooted in nostalgia for the 1980s, Stranger Things also finds kinship with government conspiracies and a truth that may be hard to believe. (Very minor spoilers ahead.) Our series heroes find themselves up against a government scientist, who was principle investigator in Project MKULTRA before working at Hawkins National Laboratory (the secret corporation). This is where fiction fades into reality. Launched in 1953, during the early stages of Cold War, Project MKULTRA was a CIA-led investigation into mind control. The intelligence agency concern was on the ability to manipulate and extract information from subjects through the use of drug and physical influences. The CIA wanted control and tap into the minds of Soviet agents and were worried about the Russians doing the same. Over the course of MKULTRA, the CIA gave LSD to college students without consent, attempted to hypnosis subjects, and experimented with electro-shock therapy. Ultimately, Project MKULTRA provided no conclusive medical advancement and continues to be a black mark for the US government.

Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), a federal law “establishing the right of access to government information and agency records as essential to a free and open society,” the wrong doings of the government agency were made public. In 2001, all remaining MKULTRA records were made public. These can be freely accessed through archive.org.

What are the stranger things you can find at the Prairie State Library?

Select the Right College for You!

If you plan to go beyond a two-year college experience make sure that you select schools that are in line with your educational and career goals.

As much as the college application process is about your grade point average (GPA), standardized test score(s), and student essay, it is also about selecting the right college for you. Are you on the Pre-Med track? Well, you need to look at top and middle-tier research universities. Are you interested in law? Make sure that the university you are interested in actually has a law school. Are you interested in the humanities? A smaller college community? Look at private, liberal arts colleges that are doing innovative things with languages, literature, and technology.  Are you a non-traditional student? Got kids? You need convenience, time, and maybe an online evening or weekend program.

Don’t be fooled by the hype! The choice is yours, and with a little bit of research, you can find the best university or college for you! Come into the library to check out some of our resources!

EBSCO eBook Academic Collection

EBSCO eBook Academic Collection

As many of you know, the PSC Library offers access to a huge number of eBooks. While some of these are fiction, the vast majority are non-fiction titles that cover all the difference academic subjects. In fact, even though the library holds around 30,000 physical, printed books, we provide access to over 100,000 eBooks!

Recently, the library switched its main eBook provider, so I’d like to go over some of the basics of the new system. The quickest way to find eBooks is to use OneSearch on the main library website, just as you would to find other library resources.

OneSearch

Let’s say you searched for “ebola.” Your results page might look like this:

search results

As you can see, the results for this search include a print book for the first result. But in the third result, you see the title Ebola: Essentials, Response Efforts, and Prevention Issues. That book is an eBook, as indicated in the text under the book cover image. Also note the link that says “PDF Full Text.” If you click on that, you will be taken to a page where you can read the book in its entirety.

ebook reader page

Note the arrows in the middle of the page, which allow you to advance to the next page, or go back to a previous page.

ebook reader page arrows

You can also click on the Table of Contents link, expanding sections by clicking on the “+” boxes. By doing this, you can link to individual sections of the book. toc

If you would like to send a link to an eBook to your professor or other student, make sure to use the “Permalink” button at the top of the page and copy the URL that opens up when you click on it.

ebook reader permalink

From this page, you can also easily get a citation for the eBook. Simply click on the “Cite” button at top, scroll down to find the citation format used in your class, and copy and paste the citation into your document. Remember to double-check the citation for accuracy! While this tool is a great time-saver, it is not perfect, and is no substitute for an understanding of citation practices.

ebook reader cite

As you can see in the images above, there are also buttons that let you save and email pages. You can use these to remember important pages, and to send yourself a link to eBooks in which you have found useful information.

Finally, if you would simply like to browse the available eBooks by subject, click here, and you’ll be brought to this page:

ebook page

You can also get to this page from the main library website, by clicking on “Find,” in the menu, and then “All Databases.”

find all databases

On the page that opens, click on “E” and then “eBook Academic Collection.”

az ebooks

As with most PSC library resources, these eBooks are available off-campus. If you use OneSearch from off-campus, remember to click on the guest access link at the top of the screen, where you will be asked to enter your login information.

Feel free to ask a librarian if you have any questions, or if you’d like a tutorial on eBooks or other resources!

Cahokia Mounds

Looking for a weekend trip? Want to visit a World Heritage site? How about the third largest pyramid base in the world? You do not even have to leave Illinois.

01-cahokia-central-plaza-615
Cahokia Central Plaza

Cahokia Mounds, located in what is now St. Clair County, Illinois, was the largest pre-Columbian indigenous city north of Mexico. Built where the Missouri River feeds into the Mississippi, the city was a principal trade hub that connected peoples and goods from Canada to Appalachia to Mexico. At its most populated, Cahokia reached 40,000 inhabitants, a population not matched in the U.S. until the late 18th century. At the time, approximately 1,100 C.E., it was one of the most populated cities in the world, greater than major European cities like London and Paris.

Today, Cahokia stands as a testament to the sophistication of indigenous people. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the settlement complex is an architectural marvel. Covering over 6.5 square miles, Cahokia contains 120 earthen mounds, with additional satellite sites, serving religious, political, and social purposes. Located in a flood plain, the site had to be drained and many tons of rock and soil had to be moved to construct the plazas and mounds. The principal structure, Monk’s Mound covers over an immense 14 acres, making it the largest earthen structure and the third largest pyramid base in the world, rivaled only by the Sun Pyramid in Teotihuacán and the Great Pyramid in Cholula, Mexico.

Much is left to be discovered about Cahokia. An active archaeological site, researchers are re-discovering cultural, economic, social, and religious artifacts. We are constantly expanding our understanding of the land’s first people.

What can you discover?

References

Barnes, Ian. The Historical Atlas of Native Americans. Edison, N.J. : Chartwell Books, 2009.

Johnson, Michael, and Richard Hook. Encyclopedia of Native Tribes of North America. Buffalo, New York : Firefly Books Inc., 2014.

Kehoe, Alice Beck. “Cahokia, the Great City.” OAH Magazine Of History 27, no. 4 (October 2013): 17. MasterFILE Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed July 5, 2016).

 

Library Mixtape: New Books on Music

Library Mixtape: New Books on Music

Whether your interest is country, rap, gospel, rock, jazz, or any other genre, you can find a book that will let explore all types of music at the Prairie State College Library.

Maybe you want to read up on its theory, learn more about the industry and how to make music, or take a look at its history. If so you can find the Library’s music section in the ML call range or check out some of these new books we added this year.

 The story of music : from Babylon to the Beatles : how music has shaped civilization

Shark Week!

Shark Week starts this Saturday, June 26, on the Discovery Channel, and after nearly 30 years, has become a summer TV staple. Though criticized in the past for truly unbelievable programming, one thing remains true: people are fascinated by sharks. Representing a very real but rare danger, stories about sharks and shark attacks regularly attract fans.

Starting in the 1970s with the publication of Jaws, and later the hit Spielberg film, shark stories — fictional and real — have captured the world’s imagination. While these stories are exciting, and sometimes silly, it’s impossible to deny the true power and majesty of the creatures themselves.

Take some time this summer to learn a little more about sharks with these titles from the library. And don’t worry: there are no sharks in Lake Michigan. Probably.

shark1

shark2 shark3

The ecology of beaches

Lots of us enjoy relaxing out at the beach over the summer. The beach and coasts have played an important cultural and economic role throughout human history. But few of us realize that beaches around the world are threatened by a variety of factors, including careless beachfront development and climate change. This is not just a problem for other countries, or just the east and west coasts- even the beaches of Lake Michigan have seen significant erosion recently! So, on the next hot day you sit out by the shore, check out the following books, and think about how such an idyllic environment can be preserved:

History in and Around Chicago!

Learn more about Chicago and Illinois history over the summer by checking out a book and visiting some of our cultural institutions.For its 2015-2016 season, the Chicago Public Library Foundation’s One Book, One Chicago, selected Thomas Dyja’s book, The Third Coast, which offers a detailed account of Chicago history. His narrative of Chicago includes many historical landmarks that we can still visit today. Themes included in the book are politics (of course!), architecture, urban planning, the arts, and race. The Chicago Public Library hosts many events during the One Book season.

The 2015-2016 season is now over, but the 2016-2017 season is forthcoming. No matter, The Third Coast would make a great summer read!

And in between reading, make plans to visit some of these local institutions: The Pullman State Historical Site , DuSable Museum  , National Museum of Mexican Art, and Heritage Museum of Asian Art (reopening late summer of 2016.)

Below is just a small sample of titles in the Prairie State College Library collection. So stop by to check out some of these great Chicagoland stories (fiction and non-fiction included!), and ask about our college archives!

Ask A Librarian: Call, Text, and Chat Your Question

The Library has added Chat Reference to make it easier for you to get a hold of us and have your questions answered.

You can find our chat reference options at the bottom of every page on the Library’s website as well as the Library’s Ask A Librarian page and OneSearch. Here are some of the new options that are available to you.

 

 

 

Chat: Use the Chat Box to easily ask a question from anywhere in the world. Just simply click on the box and start typing your questions and a PSC Librarian will answer you during business hours.

Library FAQs: Search through all of our commonly asked questions or use the built in email form to ask us a question when the Library is closed.

Mobile Friendly: On your mobile you can now easily call, text and email a Librarian any question you have about the Library.

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The secret to writing better prose? Read poetry.

Whatever language is native to you, poetry can teach you about language. Poetry can teach you how to be concise, which words trigger a particular emotion (“Be quite.” versus “Shut up!), which words have more impact, and help you build your vocabulary. Also, reading poetry from different countries can offer insight into other people’s experience and how they think.

From old English poets such as Percy Bysshe Shelley (Romantic) to more experimental and political (for his time) poets such as Ezra Pound, there is a poet or collection of poetry for you. There is no reason to be intimidated, and it’s best to begin by learning some of the basics. The best way to learn how to write poetry—or write prose—is to read widely and often. So that is the advice I offer here.

There are different forms of poetry: sonnet, ballad, sestina, epic and many others. All of these were designed to evoke a specific feeling from the reader, and strict forms require creativity and concision from the writer.

My favorite poets are Shakespeare (see his work for traditional forms–his sonnets are awesome!!), William Blake (innocent/Christian themes) Gwendolyn Brooks, Phyllis Wheatley, Nikki Giovanni, Countee Cullen, Warsan Shire, and too many more to list here.

Stop by the Prairie State College Library and start your poetry habit today!

Graphic Novel Display: Image Comics

imagecomics
Image Comics creators (clockwise from top left): Erik Larson, Rob Leifeld, Todd McFarlane, Mac Silvestri, Jim Valentinio, Jim Lee, Whilce Portacio

For most of comic book’s history the two major companies, DC Comics and Marvel, have not always been very kind to their creators. In fact, the creators of arguably the most important superhero, Superman, saw very little in residuals from DC Comics. In the 90s, during comic books second major boom, companies would hire creators to work on known creations, but would give them very little in regards to creative process and even less when it came to residuals and royalties. Even in instances where the creator, developed their own superhero for the company (e.g. Deadpool, who was created by Rob Leifeld in the 1990s for Marvel), the company would retain all of the rights to the creator.

In the Winter of 1991-92, seven Marvel artists (pictured above), who were disillusioned with this corporate model, decided they had enough, and started their own company with a new creator-friendly model comics. This company was called Image Comics. You can watch rise of the company in the new documentary, The Image Revolution (AV PN 6725.I434 2016), or read about in the EW feature The Coolest Comic-Book Company on Earth by Clark Collis.

What was interesting about this new company is that the only thing that image would own would be the the logo of their company. Everything else would belong to the creators (including most of the costs). It was a new way of doing business, that the major publishers hated, but eventually would have to embrace (if only slightly). And to this day, Image Comics is the main competition to the Big Two, and still continues to shape public consumption of comic books, with titles like The Walking Dead, Spawn, and Saga. You can find all of the Image titles we have on display this month of the Creator-Owned comic book display.

We can help you avoid plagiarism as you finish those final papers!

The end of the semester is nearly here, and along with dreams of sunny days and sleeping in is the reality of final papers. Writing a research paper is HARD, and we want to make sure you get all the help you need. Because of that, one of our librarians — Matthew Root — created a subject guide to help you through the ins and outs of plagiarism.

We know that you know what plagiarism is generally: passing off someone else’s work as your own. But did you know it’s also:

  • paraphrasing without citing?
  • using a paper you wrote in another class?

Matthew created this guide to answer questions you have about making sure you’re acknowledging someone else’s work in your own. And when you’re done writing your paper, check out our citation subject guide for the details of MLA and APA style.

Last: did you know the database helps you in creating a citation? When you’re in a record, click on the “Cite” link on the right side.

cite1

Scroll through to find the appropriate style for your class (e.g. APA or MLA), copy the citation, and paste it into your Work Cited list.

cite2

*IMPORTANT* You still need to make sure the citation matches the style you need, and all of the important stuff is included, but it cuts down on a lot of the work.

Good luck! You’re almost done!

Find Magazines, Newspapers, and Journals by title or subject with Publication Finder

As great as OneSearch is for keyword searches, it’s not necessarily straightforward how you can search for a specific magazine, newspaper, or journal title. If you just throw the title into the main OneSearch search box, the results usually don’t work out the way you would expect.

I can already hear you asking, “Why would I be searching for a specific publication title anyway?” Well, for one thing, the library offers online access to some of the most popular magazines, like National Geographic, Consumer Reports, and Newsweek, which you can read by issue, and many of them in PDF form with the original photos and layout. 

The same is true for newspapers. In particular, the Chicago Tribune is available, as are the Washington Post and New York Times. Anyone who has spent much time on the websites of those newspapers is probably familiar with the paywalls constantly asking you to log in or subscribe.

Luckily, you don’t have to! All of these publications are available through the library’s database subscriptions.

To search for a specific publication, all you need to do is use Publication Finder. You can get to Publication Finder in several ways. First, you can just click on the link on the library website that says “A-Z Journal List.”

library website

Alternately, you can click on “Find” in the menu bar, then click on “A-Z Journal List. ”

library website A-Z link

Finally, if you are in OneSearch already, you can get to Publication Finder by clicking on “Publications” at the top of the screen.

OneSearch failed search for Chicago Tribune

Once your’re in Publication Finder, just put the publication name into the search box and click the “Search” button. You’ll be taken to a page that lists all the access options available for the titles matching your search request. For example, a search for Chicago Tribune has 8 results, each covering a different span of time and different historical titles used by the Tribune. Click on the result link listing the time frame you are interested in. For example, if you are interested in reading today’s issue, click on the first link which says “Chicago Tribune (ProQuest) 12/04/1996 – present.”

pubfinder-trib-ed

This will take you to a different page, where you can select today’s issue, or a different issue available for that publication.

proquest-trib-ed

Another great thing about Publication Finder, which can be really useful if you are doing research on a topic, is to search for publication titles by subject, or even just use the “Browse By Discipline” links to see a list of everything that is available in a particular subject area.

pubfinder

If you have any questions about using Publication Finder, or if you can’t find a particular publication, contact the PSC library and we’ll be happy to help!

Sustainability Month @ PSC Library

“We have much to learn by studying nature and taking the time to tease out its secrets.”

– David Suzuki

On Friday, April 22nd, we will celebrate the 46th Earth Day. Earth Day, which began in 1970, was created to draw attention to environmental issues, such as agricultural suitability, climate change, ecological preservation, biodiversity, and green energy. Since the first event, Earth Day has stretch across the globe, bringing together over a billion people. Prairie State College has taken the month of April to focus on sustainability, hosting a number of events on campus.

This Earth Day will be a proud moment for the global community as 120 nations, including the U.S. and China, will sign the Paris Climate Agreementa promise to decrease greenhouse gas admissions and a commitment to the reversal of global climate change.

The Prairie State Library has several titles on sustainability and issues relating to climate change. Check out what you can study and discover nature’s secrets:

Blessed Unrest The Big Ratchet Age of Sustainable Development How to Think Seriously About the Planet

Careers in green technology and sustainable development are rapidly growing. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics has projected a 21% growth from 2010 to 2020. This job growth cuts across several labor fields with opportunities for every type of student. Explore the multitude of options and start planning for your future!

Careers in Focus: Environment Green Careers Green Collar Jobs Sustainable Communities

Sources:

Davenport, Coral. “Nations Approve Landmark Climate Accord in Paris.” The New York Times. December 12, 2015. Accessed April 21, 2016. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/13/world/europe/climate-change-accord-paris.html.

Earth Day Network. “Our Mission.” Earth Day Network. Accessed April 21, 2016. http://www.earthday.org/

Kirk, Karin and Monica Bruckner. “The Workforce for a Sustainable Future.” InTeGrate. Accessed April 21, 2016. http://serc.carleton.edu/integrate/programs/workforceneeds/workforce_overview.html

TV Shows: Based off of Books

The new AMC show, Preacher, created by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, starts up May 22nd. It stars Dominic Cooper, as a Texas preacher, who decides to seek out God after witnessing a supernatural event. I’m excited about this because it will be based off of one of my very favorite comic series of the same name from the 90s by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillion (which the Library own all of the volumes of).  It also got me thinking about what other TV series that are based of books which the library owns.

Continue reading “TV Shows: Based off of Books”

Native American and Indigenous Studies

Indigenous and Native peoples include aboriginal people of Australia, South America, and Canada. This post highlights the resources that are available in the Prairie State College Library collection, which mainly focus on Northern and some Southern American indigenous peoples.

Beginning in the 1960s, academic programs in Native American and Indigenous studies blossomed from the Native need for self-esteem and respect in North American societies. One of the first programs in American Indian Studies began at the University of Minnesota in 1964 (Morrison, 1997, p.112). And these programs have expanded well into the 21 century, with some American Indian community colleges being established over the years.In Peace, Power, Righteousness: An Indigenous Mainfesto, Taiaiake Alfred defines the terms used to identify indigenous peoples saying “Indian” (…is a legal term still in use by some indigenous people in North America), “Native” (in reference to the racial and cultural distinctiveness of individuals, and to distinguish our communities from those of the mainstream society, “American Indian” (in common use and a legal-political category in the United States), “Aboriginal” (a legal category in Canada, and “indigenous” (in global contexts and to emphasize natural, tribal, and traditional characteristics of various peoples.)” (p.23). One learns that there is a distinction in tribal affiliation as well as identity. Further, there are different ways of knowing and being in native and indigenous contexts from which we can all learn. These are some of the complexities and distinctions that one can encounter by reading the literature in Native American and Indigenous studies.

Want to learn more? Stop by the library and check out one of these resources!

Sources:
Alfred, G. R. (2009). Peace, power, righteousness: An indigenous manifesto. Oxford University Press, USA.
Morrison, D. A. (Ed.). (1997). American Indian studies: An interdisciplinary approach to contemporary issues. Peter Lang Pub Incorporated.

In Memoriam: Umberto Eco

Out of all the deaths of famous and somewhat famous people that have occurred recently, the one that personally hit me the most was that of Umberto Eco.

When I was around 13 or 14, I read his novel Foucault’s Pendulum, which I had found serendipitously in a bookstore. At the time, I was fascinated by all the historical references, and to the conspiracies and secret societies which it described and satirized. To this day I still think it’s a great satire of what happens when you really jump down the rabbit hole of conspiracy theorizing. And from a literary perspective, the writing in this, and other books of his that I would later read, strike me as just the right mix of erudition and accessibility. You enjoy reading Eco, not only for the story, but for the use of language, which comes across even in translation from Italian. You also inevitably learn something.

Many years later when I heard about Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code, which tread upon some of the same ground as Foucault’s Pendulum, I was annoyed that such an inferior work could enjoy so much more success.

Eco had an amazing ability to make the past seem like a living, breathing reality, something that really comes across best in the other three novels pictures above:  The Name of the Rose, The Island of the Day Before, and Baudolino. The first is a murder-mystery set in a medieval monastery, with a Sherlock Holmes-type monk sent in to investigate. The Island of the Day Before is concerned, among other things, with the 17th and 18th century race to discover an accurate way to measure longitude, with all its immense implications for transoceanic navigation. Baudolino is about a peasant boy sold off to the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, who eventually goes off in search of the legendary Kingdom of Prester John, and after wandering through a variety of fantastical lands, ends up in Constantinople while it is being sacked by the Fourth Crusade.

Of course, as well known as he was for his literary works, Eco was also a scholar, working most often in literary theory and “semiotics,” the study of signs and signification–a field in which he was a central figure. This scholarship certainly informed his approach to literature, and to some extent it’s no surprise that his earliest novel, The Name of the Rose, would deal with questions of medieval philosophy, the subject of his earliest scholarly work. At the same time, his scholarly concerns never seemed to displace the artistry or fun in his fiction works, something that isn’t true of many figures.

Thanks for the stories, Mr. Eco.

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Women’s History Month: American Indian and Indigenous Women

Stories of American Indian women Pocahontas and Sacagawea are familiar parts of elementary history education. However, their history has been sanitized, romanticized, and even animated by Disney.

Their current lives are often made invisible.
The truth is that many American Indian and Indigenous women were warriors and explorers.  And they have been activists and advocates for their people. Women such as Anacaona who was a Taino (indigenous) woman from the land that is now Haiti, Sarah Winnemucca whose name was Thocmentony–named after a flower–and was a member of a Northern Paiute tribe in Nevada, and Waziyatawin ,  a Dakota, member of a Minnesota tribe, and a professor activist at the University of Victoria in British Columbia.
Anacaona became a chief after the passing of one of her brothers, and represented her people to the Spanish. One could say that she had a close relationship with the Spanish. Ultimately, they betrayed her trust, and executed her by hanging.
Sarah Winnemucca wrote an autobiography that serves as an historical narrative of her people and includes stories about their first contact with Europeans.

Waziyatawin, a professor of Indigenous history, has been an outspoken activist and advocate for the Dakota people, and for all other indigenous people.

If you want to learn more about inspiring American Indian and Indigenous women, check out some resources in the Prairie State College Library!
Sources:

Mountain Man Hugh Glass: The History of the Revenant

The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge by Michael Punke
Book / Ebook

revenant
noun rev·e·nant \ˈre-və-ˌnän, -nənt\

: one that returns after death or a long absence
-Miriam Webster

The Revenant, staring Leo DiCaprio and directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, tells the story of a frontiersman on a fur trading expedition in the 1820s who must fight for survival after being mauled by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team. It is based on the book The Revenant by Michael Punke, which itself is based on the story of an actual man named Hugh Glass.

There is very little about Hugh Glass that actually known outside of the fact that he was one of the “mountain men” who, during the turn of the 19th century were drawn out west in pursuit of the lucrative business of fur-trapping. Now, when Europeans came over from the new world, they found themselves awash in animals which they could use for fur trade (mainly beavers). From the boom in resources was developed a new trade of people named “mountain men”. The mountain man was a rare bred (there was usually only about 200-300 total) of person who braved the wild, hostile Native Americans, and the elements for months at a time before they returned to civilization. They even had their own system of medicine, called “frontier medicine, to deal with any injuries that may occur. Sure enough, though, by the 1800s they had hunted the beaver population in the Eastern portion of the country to near extinction. But luckily the United States had just invested in the Louisiana Purchase, which opened up St. Louis to the Rocky Mountains to these trappers. Hugh Glass was one of the men who ventured west to seek his fortune.

The Story of the Revenant (do not continue reading if you want to avoid spoilers …. of American History)

Continue reading “Mountain Man Hugh Glass: The History of the Revenant”

What you should know about the Illinois Primary

While it may be difficult to believe, we have just started the5140570614_227de6dc42_m 2016 primary process;  the Republican Party has held an election or caucus in 4 states and the Democrats in 3. On March 1st, the nomination process will kick into a higher gear with  “Super Tuesday” when 11 states will host a primary election event. “Super Tuesday” is a Tuesday in February or March when the highest number of states host their primary events. Primaries continue until June 7th, when California and New Jersey elections round off the cycle. Click here for a complete calendar of election events.

Primary season can be a very confusing time. The United States Constitution only sets standards for general elections, therefore, the standards for primary elections are left to the states, the political party in each state, as well as local jurisdictions. This can leave a rather mixed bag of events. For example, the Republican Party in South Carolina held their primary election on February 20th, whereas the Democrats held it on February 27th. In
North Dakota, the Republicans will have a closed caucus but the Democrats will select their nominee through an open primary. Check out The Imperfect Primary by Barbara Norrander from the Prairie State College Library for a more thorough discussion on the U.S. political, nomination system.

Some important things to know about the Illinois primary:

  1. March 15th, the date of the state-wide primary elections.
  2. It as a “hybrid primary.” This means that when you go to your polling place you may select the primary ballot for any party. In a “closed primary,” you may only vote in a party’s primary if you are a registered member of that party.
  3. Illinois has an easy-to-use portal to help you determine your polling place.
  4. Voting is open 6am-7pm.
  5. Voter registration ended on February 16th; however, you can still register to vote! Called “Grace Period Registration,” any Illinois resident may register in-person at an election authority in their jurisdiction. This also includes updating your address or legal name. Make sure you have the right forms of identification when you register.
  6. You can vote now! Tuesday the 15th could be a very busy day for you, as well as other voters. You also may be too excited to wait and want to vote as soon as possible. Illinois allows for early voting for any qualified voter. If this is something that interest you, there is a map of all early voting locations in suburban Cook County.
  7. If you are not an Illinois resident, you should vote in your home state!

As mentioned above, the Republican and Democratic parties are holding their primary elections on March 15th. The field for presidential candidates could change, which often happens after Super Tuesday. However, this does not change your duty as a voter. You have the opportunity to cast your vote for your party’s nomination in several races. This includes national positions, such as United States Senator, as well as for very important local positions, like Circuit Judges.

Finding balanced and unbiased information about the candidates can be difficult. The Illinois State Board of Elections provides a complete list of all the candidates running for a position in this primary cycle. You can determine your voting districts by using either their desktop or mobile application. A recommended third-party site is BallotReady. Its expressed mission is to empower the voter by providing easy access to information about the election, the candidates, and any referendum. BallotReady allows voters to compare and contrast candidates in each position and examine each person based their stances to specific key issues.

Happy Voting!

 

Harper Lee, 1926-2016

Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird and its sequel Go Set a Watchman, died today at the age of 89.

A native of Monroeville, Alabama, Lee was 34 when To Kill a Mockingbird was published in 1960. The success of the novel, and its immediate connection to the current political and cultural climates, led quickly to the production of a film adaptation starring Gregory Peck. The movie was released in 1962, and received 3 Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Peck and Best Screenplay Adaptation. The book was also the recipient of a number of awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1961.

In 1964, Lee declined to give any more interviews, citing her exhaustion with answering the same questions again and again. She also wrote no more novels. When it was announced that a sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird would be published in 2015, questions were raised about its authenticity, and Lee’s actual intentions.

Harper Lee was one of the 20th century’s most renowned and celebrated authors. To read her novels, watch the film version of To Kill a Mockingbird, or learn more about her, check out one of the items below.

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Black History Month @ PSC Library

On February 10th, 1976, President Gerald Ford, in his statement on the creation of Black History Month, wrote that as a nation we should “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” However, the founding of Black History Month dates back further than President Ford’s “Message” and has a history before the official recognition by the United States government. This Month’s history first began in 1915 and is closely tied with Chicago.

Dr. Carter G. Woodson, an alumnus of the University of Chicago, met with four colleagues at the Wabash YMCA in Chicago to form the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). Through ASNLH and Journal of Negro Life, Dr. Woodson published the scholarly works of Black researchers and intellectuals. In 1925, he used the publishing and organizing power of ASNLH to declare the first Negro History Week in February of 1926.

Starting in the 1940s, Negro History Week began to shift to Black History Month. At his House of Knowledge in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood, Frederick H. Hammurabi, a community activist, started celebrating Black History Month and emphasized the scholarly pursuit of “African-American history and historic links between African-Americans and African culture and traditions” Hammurabi, who, inspired by his own journey to discover his African roots, helped individuals in Bronzeville discover their own African roots and spread the knowledge of African, African-American, and Afro-Caribbean history and culture.

With this history, the monthly book display, in part, seeks to explore the history of the Black community and culture in Chicagoland. It is a rich and diverse history. It is a history of labor and the industrialization of the United States. It is a history of art and literature and the Black Renaissance. It is also the history of civil rights and the continued fight for social, economic, and political equality. The history includes musicians, athletes, and a President.

Chicago's South Side Bridges of Memory I've got to make my livin' Black Chicago Renaissance

In addition to the glance on material relating to Chicago, this month’s display also examines African history. The history of the continent is deeply rich and complex. It includes the culture, achievements, and life of many distinct and disparate people and civilizations. It spans millennia; it is the cradle of humankind, the birthplace of art and language, home to great and powerful empires, and origins of modern legal and justice systems.

Africa: A Biography of the Continent African History The Washing Of The Spears A History of West Africa

Sources:

DePaul Digication. “House of Knowledge: Knowledge is Power.” CGCT Bronzeville Community Tour. Accessed February 4, 2016. https://depaul.digication.com/cgct_bronzeville_community_tour/House_of_Knowledge

Ford, Gerald R. “Message on the Observance of Black History Month.” Speech. February 10, 1976. Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum. https://www.fordlibrarymuseum.gov/library/speeches/760074.htm

Scott, Daryl Michael. “Origins of Black History Month.” Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Accessed February 4, 2016. https://asalh100.org/origins-of-black-history-month/

Original Source Documents: Black Thought & Culture

The Black Thought and Culture database from Alexander Street Press is an impressive electronic resource that gathers together writings and information on a large number of important black thinkers and cultural figures. It includes major works by Frederick Douglass, Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, Sammy Davis Jr., Ida B. Wells, Nikki Giovanni, Mary McLeod Bethune, Audre Lord, A. Philip Randolph, Amiri Baraka, Ralph Ellison, Langston Hughes, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Bayard Rustin, and many, many others.

A large amount of the material you can find in this particular database is previously unpublished or hard to find. Some of this includes the entire run of the Black Panther  newspaper, a transcript of the trial of Muhammad Ali, and many oral histories and interviews with musicians and artists.

If you want to search quickly for a particular author or topic, you can click can mouse over the “Find” menu and click on either “Sources” or “Authors.”

The Find - or advanced search screen

You can also get a year-by-year list of documents by mousing over “Browse” and then clicking on “Years.”

browse by historical events

You can also search by authors, keywords, and more using the this database’s advanced search, which you can find simply by mousing over “Search” and then clicking on “Advanced,” though you can certainly use the simple search if you don’t need all the extra options!

advanced search options

Be sure to ask your librarians if you have any questions about finding anything!

Women of the Civil Rights Movement

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday is around the time that we begin to reflect on the people and events of the Civil Rights Movement. We highlight the speeches and voices of important male leaders, but seldom focus on the important contributions of women.

Because of the real and present danger of corporeal violence (lynching) against African Americans, Black men in particular, the women were often tasked with being on the front lines of the movement. Women such as Ida B. Wells, Jo Ann Gibson Robinson, and Claudette Colvin were the brains and bodies used to advance the human rights of African Americans in the United States.

Ida B. Wells was a passionate and effective voice for African Americans who were being lynched. Jo Ann Gibson Robinson wrote her memoir, Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Women Who Started It: The Memoir of Jo Ann Gibson Robinson, and set it in the midst of the struggle.  And Claudette Colvin, a dark-skinned, pregnant teenager represented African Americans on the bus before Rosa Parks. Parks was not only the face of the bus boycott, but was an advocate for domestic workers who experienced sexual assault. Other female voices often forgotten are Ella Baker and Fannie Lou Hamer. Like Jo Ann Gibson Robinson, Ella Baker was a behind the scenes organizer, the head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and the person to recruit Martin Luther King, Jr. into the Civil Rights Movement.  And Fannie Lou Hamer, one of 20 children born to sharecroppers, was the voice for laboring African Americans in the southern region of the U.S. Mrs. Hamer joined the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and worked to teach literacy to African Americans. It was important for African Americans to be able to read and write, as local government agencies used tests as an obstacle to their right to vote.

Lastly, I would like to include an important person behind the March on Washington, Bayard Rustin. As important female voices in the history of the Civil Rights Movement have been suppressed, so to have the voices of the LGBTQ community. Bayard Rustin, a gay Black man, organized the March on Washington. Similar to the ways in which Black women experience interlocking oppressions, Rustin experienced intersectional oppression because of his sexuality.

To learn more about the women of the Civil Rights Movement, check out one of these books from the Prairie State College Library today!

Sources:
http://www.americanswhotellthetruth.org/portraits/ella-baker
http://www.howard.edu/library/reference/guides/hamer/

2015 Award Winners and Finalists

medalsStop by the Library this month to check out our display filled with current and previous winners of book awards or continue reading to see this years winners and finalists.

Pulitzer Prize:

Honoring excellence in journalism and the arts since 1917.

National Book Award:

Celebrating the best of American literature and enhancing the cultural value of great writing in America.

Nobel Prize for Literature:

Awarded annually to an author from any country who has, in the words of the will of Alfred Nobel, produced “in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction.”

Man Booker Prize:

The Man Booker Prize promotes the finest in fiction by rewarding the very best book of the year. The prize is the world’s most important literary award and has the power to transform the fortunes of authors and publishers.

National Book Critics Circle Award:

The National Book Critics Circle honors outstanding writing and fosters a national conversation about reading, criticism and literature.

Caldecott and Newbery Medal:

The Caldecott Medal annually recognizes the preceding year’s “most distinguished American picture book for children” and the Newbery Medal is awarded to “the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children”.

The SWAN Catalog

The SWAN Catalog

slide-3-readyA library catalog is the place you go to see what books and movies a particular library has that you can check out or place a hold on. The Prairie State College Library, along with over 70 local libraries, use what is called the SWAN Catalog, which has recently gotten a new look and interface. Continue reading to find out more on using this new catalog to see what we have or to order books and movies from our partner libraries.

 

Your Account

Before you can sign up for a SWAN account you must make sure that you already have a library account with the Prairie State College Library. To set up your account, you will just need to bring your Student ID to the Circulation Desk.

After you set up your Library Account you can log in to SWAN by going to the Catalog (https://catalog.swanlibraries.net/client/en_US/pcs-in/?dt=list) and clicking on Log In in the top right hand corner.

log inTo log in just type in your PSC Student ID number (located at the bottom of the card) into the Library Card Number box. You PIN number will be the last 4 digits of the phone number that you signed up for your Library Account with.

After you are logged in you can check the status of your account by clicking on My Account in the top right hand corner. This area will tell you what items you have checked out, on hold (ordered from another library) and if you have any fines.

checked outSearching SWAN

To search SWAN, just begin by typing the name of the item you are looking for in the search box. The default search is ALL FIELDS. If you want a narrower search, click on the ALL FIELDS drop down menu. From there you can limit your search to author, title, subject, etc … .

searchWhen you have found the item you are looking for on the Results page, just click on the Title to see its status. If the item is not checked out, write down the Call Number and bring it to a Librarian at the Reference Desk who will be happy to show you where the item is located.

On this screen you can also place a hold on checked out items, add the item to a wish list, and check out summaries, reviews and excerpts of the item. In addition, the SWAN Catalog will produce further Suggestions that are similar to the book.

item recordPlacing a Hold

In addition to the books we have at Prairie State College, you can also search what items our partner libraries have and, if you want, have them sent to Prairie State College, by placing a hold. You can find the Search Box for all of the libraries by going here or by clicking on the Prairie State College drop down menu and selecting Everything.

everythingThen you just search the catalog for your item and when you find it, click on the Place Hold button. A librarian will then call or email you when the item is in. It will usually take 2-4 business days to arrive.


 

If you have any more questions about using the SWAN Catalog, stop by the Reference Desk and a Librarian will be happy to help out.

Library Resources to Expand Your Digital Skill Set

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that YouTube and all its video glory has only existed for the past ten years. Though YouTube first appeared on February 14th, 2005, the first video was posted ten years ago today on April 23rd, 2005.Untitled

While YouTube is full of videos on seemingly every subject, no matter how random, there are also a ton of education friendly channels that can help you with your assignments or just to learn something new. Check out CrashCourse for lessons about history, disease, and psychology to name a few. SciShow and MinuteEarth are more science and space focused, but are full of interesting facts and ideas to explore.

If you would rather produce your own content online, the Library has resources to help you expand your digital skill set, with titles on editing and production, as well as careers in multimedia, it’s all there for you to check out!

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Resume and Job Hunting Help @ PSC

Prairie State College’s Student Career Development Center provides current students and PSC graduates with a wide-range of services to help make successful career choices. You can visit Office 152 in the Adult Training and Outreach Center to get started.

There is also the Chicago Heights Workforce Center at PSC, who’s mission is to “assist Cook County residents with grant-funded training and career opportunities that result in career paths and self-sufficiency”.  They can help with career counselling, training and education, job development/placement and workshops.

You can also search for current job listings on the College Central Network (CCN), a free online job listing source for employment opportunities in northern Illinois.  Job hunting while on campus?  Check out the upcoming Job Fairs and Employer Recruitment Visits happening at PSC.

Spring Job Fair 2015

Tuesday, April 14
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Conference Center

There are also one-on-one consultations and Day and Evening Workshops happening several times a year at the Student Career Development Center.  These free professional development workshops are offered on a variety of topics like:

  • Career Changers
  • Résumé Basics
  • Interviewing Skills
  • Job Search and Techniques
  • How to Attend a Job Fair

Need help getting started on your resume or cover letter? Come into the library to find some of these books that will help you land that job:

       
       
       

Using Research Starters

If you want to find out an overview of a topic, where do you go? Many people try Wikipedia first. It has a lot of information. Now what if you need an overview of a topic but would like one you could cite for a paper? That’s where our research starters come in. They are shorter than Wikipedia entries but can still get you started. The sources are usually from encyclopedias, as well.

For example, let’s say I go to library.prairiestate.edu and type adhd in the search box. I get 205,000+ results, but the top one before the numbered ones says Research Starter.

adhd reserach starter

Now I can click where it says “Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)” and read approximately five pages about ADHD. It comes from Magill’s Medical Guide, a quality source. At the bottom of the research starter it lists a bibliography that you can also use including sources from the DSM-5 and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

There are more than 62,000 research starters (1), so your topic has a great chance of having its own research starter. I’ve found them for microeconomics, wicca, the sinking of the Lusitania, zebras, the solar system, cloning, and more.

(1) Enis, Matt. “Industry: EDS Research Starters Debuts.” Library Journal 139.5 (2014): 22. Professional Development Collection. Web. 27 Feb. 2015.

The Most Popular Ebooks at PSC

Many of you know that we have a very large eBook collection here at PSC (we have over 4 times as many ebooks as print books), and by the looks of it, you’ve been busy reading them! Here are 12 of the most accessed ebook titles in our collection for 2014. Feel free to take a look at them by click on the cover images, or explore the ebook collection on our own either in OneSearch or directly in the ebook collection.

Dinner Roles: American Women and Culinary Culture
Dinner Roles: American Women and Culinary Culture

Cambodian Buddhism: History and Practice
Cambodian Buddhism: History and Practice

The Poorhouse: Subsidized Housing in Chicago
The Poorhouse: Subsidized Housing in Chicago

Pro Tools 101: An introduction to Pro Tools 10
Pro Tools 101: An Introduction to Pro Tools 10

Muse in Bronzeville: African American Creative Expression in Chicago, 1932-1950
Muse in Bronzeville: African American Creative Expression in Chicago, 1932-1950

Against All Hope: A Memoir of Life in Castro's Gulag
Against All Hope: A Memoir of Life in Castro’s Gulag

Nurse's Grant Writing Advantage : How Grantwriting Can Advance Your Nursing Career
Nurse’s Grant Writing Advantage: How Grantwriting Can Advance Your Nursing Career

Arguing with Tradition: The Language of Law in Hopi Tribal Court
Arguing with Tradition: The Language of Law in Hopi Tribal Court

Why Did They Kill?: Cambodia in the Shadow of Genocide
Why Did They Kill?: Cambodia in the Shadow of Genocide

Scientific Research as a Career
Scientific Research as a Career

Bacteria: The Benign, the Bad, and the Beautiful
Bacteria: The Benign, the Bad, and the Beautiful
Obesity: Cultural and Biocultural Perspectives
Obesity: Cultural and Biocultural Perspectives

Check Out Test Prep Guides

Have you ever wanted to check out a study guide for the GRE, ASVAB, or NCLEX? Prairie State Library has many test prep guides. Let me show you a step-by-step way to search for the guides through our OneSearch. Click on any of the screenshots (pictures) to see them more clearly.

gre 1

First, type the name of the test into the search box on our homepage, library.prairiestate.edu. I used GRE as an example. Then hit enter or click on Find It.

gre 2

Next, you will come to our results page. To find books on campus, use the limiters on the left-hand side and click the box next to “In the Library.”

gre 3

Finally, check the status of the book you want to see if it says “ON SHELF.” If it does, then you can find the book with the Call Number (Call No.) or write down the Call Number and bring it to a librarian to help you locate it. If the one you want is checked out, you can put it on hold or find a different book that is available.

We have guides for the ACT, ASVAB, CDL, CLEP, GED, GMAT, GRE, GRE psychology, LSAT, NCLEX, SAT, TOEFL, and more!

That’s it! Three simple steps to finding a test prep guide! As always, come to the Reference Desk in the library if you have any questions, or call us at 708-709-7948!

Where Can I Find…in the Library?

8-26-2014 1-16-11 PM

Welcome or welcome back to the library. A new school year is underway, and the library is here to support you. We have many different resources that we want students, faculty, and staff to be aware of so you can take advantage of them! (Click on the pictures to enlarge them).

DVDsA new and exciting addition to everyone is our DVD display rack. Now you can browse our DVD selection right in the library. Look through the covers, bring the one you want up to the circulation desk with your ID, and borrow DVDs for 7 days! New covers and titles are being added often.

Location: Near the front door of the library, opposite the circulation desk.


ereaderAnother new addition as of this semester is our e-readers. Now you can check out a book from our 3M collection and then check out an e-reader to take home with you for 3 weeks. This way you don’t have to have a phone or other device that you can read it on, and you can take it with you anywhere!

Location: Check books out in catalog, check out e-reader at circulation desk.


reference booksWhat staples do we have to offer you in the library? Besides the usual fiction and nonfiction, we have reference books, graphic novels, books on display, a quiet reading room, study rooms, and more!

Among our reference books are dictionaries, encyclopedias, subject-specific overviews, almanacs. These books cannot be checked out, but you can make limited copies for yourself or use them in the library.

Location: The middle of the library on shorter shelves.


graphic novelsOur graphic novels are very popular in the library, and rightly so I think! I’m a big fan of graphic novels because you can see the characters as the author or illustrator imagined them, and you have to read the pictures just as much as you read the text. They recently moved to being shelved by the fiction but are still pulled out separately.

Location: Back left of the library under the sign that says “Fiction.”


book displayEvery month the librarians put together displays on relevant and/or interesting topics. Our current displays are books on video games and books on back to school. Other displays we have put together include themes like Halloween, Christmas, Going Green, Gardening, the World Cup, Summer Reading, and Poetry Month.

Location: Past the computers, in front of the library classroom.


study room meets quiet roomWe also have a quiet reading room past the circulation desk where there is no talking and you can read or work without distractions. If you have two or more people that want to discuss something or study or work together, there are three study rooms available to reserve for up to 2 hours at a time. This can be done with a student ID up at the circulation desk.

As always, the reference librarians are at the reference desk by the computers ready to help you with your academic needs whenever the library is open. Stop by, interrupt us, and ask away! We’re here for you!