Celebrate Pi Day 2015

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Saturday, March 14th is the celebrated Pi Day.

Pi is known in math circles (pun definitely intended) as the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Pi is a constant number no matter the circle size, meaning circumference divided by diameter always results in the seemingly never-ending digits to the right.

This particular Pi day is a once in a century celebration as 3/14/15 at 9:26:53 A.M represents the first 10 digits of Pi in time and date format, so set your clocks! Or you can just wait around until Pi Approximation Day is observed on July 22 (also known as  the fractional representation of Pi 22/7).

If you prefer pies to Pi and would just like to brush up on your math skills, we have several books at the library available for you. Or ask a librarian to show you to the QA section where math books of all specialties and levels reside.

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Check This Book Out! The Buying of the Presidency? FDR, the New Deal, an the election of 1936

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Lately there has been quite a few TV shows focusing on American politics and politicians.  It seems every other commercial is enticing you to tune in to see what happens next in the White House.  If you’re a fan of Scandal and House of Cards, this new title by Political Science Professor Si Sheppard might just catch your eye.  In his new book, Sheppard uncovers the hidden roles that money, patronage, and power played in the campaign of 1936, through the use of previously unpublished private correspondence and internal memos from Roosevelt and the files of his political “fixer,” Democratic Party Chairman James A. Farley.  He discloses the secret history of Roosevelt’s New Deal, that has been largely unstudied despite being called Roosevelt’s greatest political triumph and the making of modern America.  I’m sure Frank Underwood and Olivia Pope would be impressed.

Using Research Starters

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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.

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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.

Going beyond the green, resources on Saint Patrick’s Day

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Saint Patrick’s Day or Lá Fhéile Pádraig, “the Day of the Festival of Patrick,” is the widely known March 17th commemoration of the death date of Ireland’s Saint Patrick. This day has been celebrated for hundreds of years, morphing from a religious based holiday to the more secular version known to us in current years.

While this day celebrates many aspects of Ireland’s history worldwide, there is still lot more to uncover. Therefore this month we have a plethora of options for you to learn more about the Irish experience, whether through the fiction of James Joyce or Roddy Doyle to historic Irish bars of Chicago and Celtic patterns.

So check out the display in the library (right across from classroom 1220), featuring all things Irish for your perusal! If you are interested in learning more about the history of Saint Patrick’s Day, check out our previous post here.

       

The Most Popular Ebooks at PSC

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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

Oscars 2015: Nominees and their Books

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Last month the 2015 Oscar Nominations were released and it was a big day for Hollywood.  “Birdman” and “Grand Budapest Hotel” tied for the most nominations with nine, while “The Imitation Game” received eight.  Several stars like Steve Carell received their first-ever nomination, including Emma Stone and Eddie Redymayne, while Meryl Streep was nominated for the 19th time.

But, as always, there were a number of snubs and surprises.  “The Lego Movie” was ignored for a Best Animated Feature nomination, and actor David Oyelowo was shut out of the Oscars, who has been widely praised for his performance as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in “Selma”.  Director of “Selma”, Ava DuVernay, who was nominated for a Globe, did not receive a nomination, which could have made her the first black female director to do so in Oscar history. The film did make the list of Best Picture nominees, and rapper Common and singer John Legend scored a nomination for best song.

The Academy Awards will take place this Sunday, Feb. 22 in Hollywood, and broadcast live on ABC at 7:30 p.m. Neil Patrick Harris will host.  For a full list of nominees visit here.

With your PSC library card, you can check out the books from the movies nominated:

Who do you want to win? Take our poll:

p.s. Did you know Oscar is made right here in Chicago?! The golden statuettes are cast, moulded, polished and buffed each January by RS Owens & Company, a Chicago-based awards manufacturer since 1982.

Check This Book Out! Narwhals: Arctic Whales in a Melting World

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NarwhalsNarwhals. Unusual creatures. What looks like a unicorn horn is actually called a tusk. In fact, the unicorn horn was modeled after the narwhal tusk (3). Why do they have this tusk? Chapter Five: Mythology delves into some of the theories such as a secondary sexual characteristic like antlers on a deer or a mane on a lion, for hunting or digging, or for sensing the salt water around them. This chapter even discusses unicorns. Chapter Three is called “A Symphony of Moos” which piqued my interest. Do narwhals sound the same as cows? To find the answer to this question, see some photographs of narwhals, or to read more about their evolutionary background, check out Narwhals: Arctic Whales in a Melting World by Todd McLeish.

 

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If you want to learn more about what Mr. Narwhal in Elf might be like, check out this book!

 

Check out our other New books outside the Quiet Reading Room as well!

Staying Fit During The Winter

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During the winter months you might find it difficult to make it to the gym, let alone workout.  It’s serious dedication to pack your gym bag, and trek through snow and sleet just to get there.  So to get you inspired to move this winter, check out these books on fitness you can do from home, or at the gym, to help you feel your best:

       
       
       

You can also check out our magazines in library:

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Black History Month

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Since being officially recognized in 1976, February has become synonymous with Black History Month also known as National African American History Month.

 

Within the library, we have used our display area to promote some of our resources on African Americans. Books on display feature not only African American history, but cultural studies and art. Come celebrate Black History Month with a variety of sources within the library that highlight the heritage and contributions of African Americans.

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Check Out Test Prep Guides

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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!

Hot Topics: Library Resources on Climate Change

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The (political) results are in…climate change does exist!

At least according to the Senate’s overwhelming response to amendment this past Wednesday that “climate change is real and is not a hoax.” Obama even mentioned climate change in his State of the Union address on Tuesday, stating “no challenge poses a greater threat to future generations.”  Politicians are starting to agree with what scientists have been saying for years.

While the Senate passed the amendment on the existence of climate change it did not pass a second amendment concerning whether human emissions are the cause.

So where do you stand on this issue? As the 2016 election draws close, we are sure to hear more about climate change and their political stances. Use the books below among other resources at PSC to determine fact from fiction.

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Check This Book Out: Unfamiliar Streets: the photographs of Richard Avedon, Charles Moore, Martha Rosler, and Philip Lorca DiCorica

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Unfamiliar Streets: the photographs of Richard Avedon, Charles Moore, Martha Rosler, and Philip Lorca DiCorica introduces readers to four in-depth profiles of American photographers (listed above) who captured the essence of street photos before the rise of social media.

Brussard also connects the images to their surrounding social histories, capturing more than just the photo. This is a book for both students of photography as well as those just starting out.

Find this book and other new books on the shelves outside the Quiet Reading Room in the Prairie State College library!

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!

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