President Obama’s Reading Lists

Getty Images

As we come closer to the end of President Obama’s term, I thought it would interesting to take a look through his reading lists  over the years. So if you want to read the books that the President did check out one or more of them from the Prairie State College Library.

Between the World and Me
Ta-Nehisi Coates
E185.615 .C6335 2015
Link to Ebook

In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?


The Sixth Extinction
Elizabeth Kolbert
QE721.2.E97 K65 2014

Provides a moving account of the disappearances occurring all around us and traces the evolution of extinction as concept, from its first articulation by Georges Cuvier in revolutionary Paris up through the present day. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind’s most lasting legacy, compelling us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.

All the Light We Cannot See
Anthony Doerr
Fic DOE

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.
In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.


Washington: A Life
Ron Chernow
E312 .C495 2011

Celebrated biographer Ron Chernow provides a richly nuanced portrait of the father of our nation and the first president of the United States. With a breadth and depth matched by no other one volume biography of George Washington, this crisply paced narrative carries the reader through his adventurous early years, his heroic exploits with the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, his presiding over the Constitutional Convention, and his magnificent performance as America’s first president. In this groundbreaking work, based on massive research, Chernow shatters forever the stereotype of George Washington as a stolid, unemotional figure and brings to vivid life a dashing, passionate man of fiery opinions and many moods.


Continue reading “President Obama’s Reading Lists”

American Government reference database

One often-overlooked resource available through the PSC Library is the American Government reference database from publisher ABC-CLIO. The American Government database has a wealth of information on the American government, including encyclopedia-type article on a variety of topics, such as the powers of the different branches of government, the rights listed in the Constitution, and the everyday working of the federal government.

It also contains thousands of primary source materials, including speeches, letters, and political cartoons spanning hundreds of years, including important foundational documents like the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Articles of Confederation, and resolutions of the Continental Congress, as well as important laws and court decisions.

To get to the American Government database, simply click here or go to the PSC Library website. At the PSC Library website, click on “Find” and then click on “All Databases.”

find all databases

That should open the A-Z Databases page. All you have to do now is click on “American Government.”

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That will get you to the main American Government database page, which should look like this. If you are off-campus, you will need to log in using your PSC username and password.

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To access the reference articles about different topics, click on the “Topics” tab at the top-left of the page, which will send you here. Simply click on any of the topic links to read the full article.

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If you want to search for historical documents, images, letters, laws, etc., click on “Library,” which will send you to this page. You can search this using keywords, and you can also use the check-boxes under “Categories” to limit your results to specific kinds of documents or media.

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As always, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to Ask A Librarian, either in person at the reference desk or via our online chat/text service, which can be found at the library website.

Looking for something to read?

I know. The semester just started. The assignments are starting to pile up, and Thanksgiving looks so far away. What better way to give your brain a break than by reading something for fun?

You may have noticed a new addition at the reference desk.

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Whoever is sitting at the desk will share some of the books they really like, and think you might like, too. Ask us questions about them, ask for similar titles, or just grab them and check them out!

Missed a title? Want to see what we’ve recommended in the past? We have just the page for you!

Constitution & Citizenship Day

Constitution & Citizenship Day is a federal observance of the adoption of the United States Constitution. Introduced in 2004 by West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd, the day is set aside for the promotion of civic education on the principal document of our nation. Senator Byrd believed it was imperative that all people in the United States have a fundamental understanding of the document that guarantees our freedoms. Moreover, it is also an opportunity to reflect how our nation has struggled with expanding full and equal rights to all people. On the anniversary of the signing the Constitution, September 17, 1787, all publicly funded schools are mandated to teach about the Constitution.

The Prairie State Library is excited to host a Constitution & Citizenship Day event on Thursday, September 15th from 12:30 to 1:45. The activities will include a lecture by Professor Andrew Schott titled “‘This Process Affords a Moral Certainty’ The Election of the U.S. President” and a “Citizenship Game Show” hosted by Professor Jennifer Eick-Magan.

Need more information? Want to impress your friends or enemies during the Game Show? Bone up on your knowledge of the U.S. Constitution by using PSC Library’s Guide to Constitution & Citizenship Day.

 

References:

Krache, Donna. “Constitution Day Ushers in Mandate to Teach the Constitution.” CNN. September 16, 2005. Accessed September 02, 2016. http://www.cnn.com/2005/EDUCATION/09/16/constitution.day/.

OBAMA, BARACK. “Proclamation 9323–Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, Constitution Week, 2015.” Daily Compilation Of Presidential Documents (September 16, 2015): 1. Points of View Reference Center, EBSCOhost (accessed September 2, 2016).

No Man’s Sky: 12 Books for the Space Traveler

The new video game No Man’s Sky allow players to traverse the galaxy and explore algorithmically generated planets teaming with various environments, lifeforms and materials. For the people who are interested in space travel check out any of these 12 books on the topic. If it is not enough to quell your exploration wants, stop by and talk to a librarian who will happily help you find more materials on the topic.

Space chronicles : facing the ultimate frontier by Neil deGrasse Tyson
TL789.8.U5 T97 2012

Neil deGrasse Tyson is a rare breed of astrophysicist, one who can speak as easily and brilliantly with popular audiences as with professional scientists. This book represents the best of Tyson’s commentary, including a candid new introductory essay on NASA and partisan politics, giving us an eye-opening manifesto on the importance of space exploration for America’s economy, security, and morale. Thanks to Tyson’s fresh voice and trademark humor, his insights are as delightful as they are provocative, on topics that range from the missteps that shaped our recent history of space travel to how aliens, if they existed, might go about finding us.


Beyond : our future in space by Chris Impey
TL793 .I468 2015

A dazzling and propulsive voyage through space and time, Beyond reveals how centuries of space explorers–from the earliest stargazers to today’s cutting-edge researchers–all draw inspiration from an innate human emotion: wanderlust. This urge to explore led us to multiply around the globe, and it can be traced in our DNA.

Combining expert knowledge of astronomy and avant-garde technology, Chris Impey guides us through the heady possibilities for the next century of exploration. In twenty years, a vibrant commercial space industry will be operating. In thirty years, there will be small but viable colonies on the Moon and Mars. In fifty years, mining technology will have advanced enough to harvest resources from asteroids. In a hundred years, a cohort of humans born off-Earth will come of age without ever visiting humanity’s home planet. This is not the stuff of science fiction but rather the logical extension of already available technologies.


Time travel and warp drives : a scientific guide to shortcuts through time and space by Allen Everett and Thomas A. Roman
QC173.59.S65 E94 2012

In Time Travel and Warp Drives , Allen Everett and Thomas A. Roman take readers on a clear, concise tour of our current understanding of the nature of time and space–and whether or not we might be able to bend them to our will. Using no math beyond high school algebra, the authors lay out an approachable explanation of Einstein’s special relativity, then move through the fundamental differences between traveling forward and backward in time and the surprising theoretical connection between going back in time and traveling faster than the speed of light. They survey a variety of possible time machines and warp drives, including wormholes and warp bubbles, and, in a dizzyingly creative chapter, imagine the paradoxes that could plague a world where time travel was possible–killing your own grandfather is only one of them!


Continue reading “No Man’s Sky: 12 Books for the Space Traveler”

Back to School: Fall 2016 Edition

Back to School BlogThe Prairie State College Library welcomes back students and faculty to another exciting school year! With classes starting up, it is important to know about the new as well as continuing services that the library offers to help them succeed and enjoy their experience at PSC.

Don’t forget to check out the books at the bottom of this page and those on display near our Library Classroom, as they can help you succeed in the new school year and in your academic career.

What is New?

The Library’s Facebook PageThe Library has a Facebook Page. Like it to get Library news, updates, books recommendations and more!

Ask-a-Librarian You can now easily get a hold of a librarian even while you are off campus using our chat box. You are now also able to Text your questions. For times when the Library is closed, try out our FAQs page that provides answers to commonly asked questions as well as a easy to use email form. For more information read our instruction guide.

Try an Ebook Collection for Fun: Entertain yourself with the cloudLibrary™ App which features our popular fiction and non-fiction titles. You can read up on using cloudLibrary™ App using our instruction guide.

Try an Ebook Collection for Research: You can also use the Library’s academic ebook collection, from EBSCO, to help with your research and education. In this collection you can read, notate and download any of our 100,000+ books on academic topics.  You can read up on using the EBSCO Academic Ebook Collection by using our instruction guide.

The Library Chalkboard — Come check out the Library’s Blackboard discussion board located near the entrance of the library. Each week, the library posts one thought provoking question that you can respond to.

Check out the New Books SectionThe library now has a New Books Section that is located in front of the “Study Rooms.” This section includes the latest books that the library has received.

The Library has a New Catalog: 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.

Things to Remember…

Scanning, Faxing, and Printing is Available — Scanning documents is 5 cents per page. Faxing is $1 per page. Printing is 10 cents. In addition, printing in Color is available with the new Color Printer at the cost of 50 cents per page.

Study Rooms are Available — The library offers three study rooms that can be used for studying and preparing presentations.

Services for Faculty Members are Available — Be sure to visit our Instruction Services webpage to learn how to schedule a library instruction session for your classes, learn tips about how you can help us help your students, as well as other services you can take advantage of.

We Are Always Here to Help — Check out our Ask A Librarian Page for more information on how the library can help you out!

Books that can help you succeed this school year and in your academic career…

Olympics Reads | The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 (Ebook)
by Daniel James Brown

Are you getting excited for the Summer Olympics in Rio this summer? If so you should check The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown, which was also covered in a documentary by PBS’s American Experience (you can watch the documentary on PBS’s website).

Both the book and the documentary tell the story of nine working-class young men from the University of Washington who took the rowing world and America by storm when they captured the gold medal at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. Their unexpected victory, against not only the Ivy League teams of the East Coast but Adolf Hitler’s elite German rowers, gave hope to a nation struggling to emerge from the depths of the Great Depression.

Find the Boys in the Boat along with these other great Olympic titles at the Prairie State College Library!

Print Books

Ebooks

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!

ebebooks

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.

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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).

 

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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.

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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

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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.

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*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!

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”

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!

 

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!

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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.

Where Can I Find…in the Library?

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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!