Urban Fiction

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Urban Fiction, also known as Urban Literature, Street Fiction, Gangsta Lit, Ghetto Lit, or Hip-Hop Fiction, is a relatively new but fast growing genre in the world of literature. Urban fiction excels in its compelling portrayals of modern characters dealing with the gritty realities of life on the urban streets. Its stories and characters help expose problems facing the black community. According to popular Urban Fiction author Teri Woods:

“The content is shedding light on a people who were, for many years, swept under the rug. It’s showing you its world, it’s giving you that whole lifestyle of drug infestation and poverty, which are the two biggest problems in black America. If you want to sweep that exposure under the rug and pretend it doesn’t exist, then it’s not going to fix the problem.”

The gritty reality and topics of this genre are what make it popular. According to Kevin Johnson, a Harlem, New York street vendor, “They are popular because they reflect the reality of the black experience, readers identify themselves with the characters and they can relate to those stories.” In addition to its intense and abrasive story lines, attention grabbing titles and ‘eye popping’ cover art also help in getting urban fiction books selected by patrons.

At PSC we are growing our collection of Urban Fiction novels. Stop by the library to check out our Urban Fiction display and the rest of our collection!

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PSC Library Joins OverDrive!

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OverDrive is now live for the Prairie State College Community! OverDrive allows users access to the library’s collection of popular fiction and non-fiction eBooks and audiobooks.

Accessing OverDrive is simple! You can either type in the link prairiestate.overdrive.com or, find it on the library’s website, under the ‘All Databases’ icon (http://prairiestate.libguides.com/az.php?a=o):

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The next step is to Sign In. All you  need to sign in is your library card number, which can be found on your PSC ID. *Note: If you have not already registered your ID card at the library, you will need to do so before using OverDrive.*

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After you are signed in, you can browse through the collection by looking at some of the site’s featured titles, by subject, or by collection. If you already know what you are looking for, you may search using the search bar on the top, right-hand corner.

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In addition to its basic search features, OverDrive has features that can help keep you organized! By clicking on the book icon, you will be directed to a page that gives you different options to select from.

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After clicking on the books icon, you will be directed to the page below.

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This page can help you keep track of your loans, items you have added to your Wish List, titles you have rated, your recommendations, and allows you to view your loan history.

 

If you have any questions or would like further information on OverDrive, please do not hesitate to contact the library!

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Our Right to Read- Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week: Our right to read, September 24-30, 2017

The American Library Association’s annual Banned Books Week will begin on the week of September 24. This year’s theme, “Our Right to Read,” is aimed at putting emphasis on our First Amendment Right, which ensures our right to read.

According to the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom, there was a 17% increase in book censorship complaints in 2016. This statistic is alarming, as it is the right of each American to make their own intellectual decisions and choose what they would like to read.

When a library or university/college is prohibited from providing certain books or materials, they are hindering an individual or community’s intellectual freedom. It is important to remember that the term “offensive” is subjective- what may be offensive to you may be perfectly acceptable to one of your peers. Because of this, these materials should be made available (if the library so chooses) and individuals should be granted their right to make their decision.

Visit: bannedbooksweek.org for more information!

PSC Library is here to help!

The Prairie State Library is THE place for all your research needs. Start by checking out the Prairie State College Library Website. Here you will find our OneSearch tool. By entering keywords into this tool, you will be able to search our entire catalogue. This includes all the print books, eBooks, articles, videos, and reference materials that you, as students, have access to. This is here to help you with your academic experience. To learn more, check out this video by PSC’s Collection Development Librarian, Thane Montaner.

Have a question about research? Trouble finding the right article? Can’t figure out ALA citation? Ask-a-Librarian! <————– Click this link!

Need a book recommendation?

You can also drop-in to the Reference Desk located in the Library’s Computer Lab. A Reference Librarian at the desk will be happy to answer any question you have!

Need assistance with a specific subject? Check out our Subject Guides. These will link you to essential resources covering a subject field. For example, we have guides on Biology, Nursing, Dental Hygiene, and many more.

Have a general question? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Follow us on Facebook for updates!

 

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples- August 9

 

On August 9, the United Nations celebrates the International Day of the Worlds Indigenous Peoples. Indigenous peoples are arguably one of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable groups of people in the world. Throughout history, the rights of indigenous peoples have always been violated. To fight against this oppression, indigenous peoples from around the world stand together to fight against their common problems and contest for their rights. The theme for this year’s International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is their tenth year anniversary. On September 13, 2007, the General Assembly adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

For more information on how to get involved, visit: http://www.un.org/en/events/indigenousday/index.shtml

A Giant Spot and Open Data

A Giant Spot

On July 10, 2017, Juno completed its 7th and final close flyby of the gas giant, Jupiter. (In cosmic terms, “close flyby” meant 6,130 miles.) In this final flyby, the Juno spacecraft snapped a close-up shot of the Giant Red Spot, a hurricane-like storm that is as big as Earth and that has been raging for at least 160 years.

juno1NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt

Launched in August 2011, Juno’s job is to closely collect and gather data on Jupiter. NASA states Juno’s explicit goals are to:

  • Determine how much water is in Jupiter’s atmosphere, which helps determine which planet formation theory is correct (or if new theories are needed)
  • Look deep into Jupiter’s atmosphere to measure composition, temperature, cloud motions and other properties
  • Map Jupiter’s magnetic and gravity fields, revealing the planet’s deep structure
  • Explore and study Jupiter’s magnetosphere near the planet’s poles, especially the auroras – Jupiter’s northern and southern lights – providing new insights about how the planet’s enormous magnetic force field affects its atmosphere.

Overall, this mission will give us a better understanding of how Jupiter begin and how it evolved into the planet it is today.

Open Data

US Copyright law states a work “prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties” is not subject to domestic copyright law. Meaning, most of the work created and published by the US government are no copyrighted, and therefore, can be used for any educational and informational purposes.

Take, for example, the picture of Jupiter’s Giant Red Spot seen above. This image was manipulated and composed by a citizen scientist using raw data gathered by NASA, a government agency. It was the right of this citizen scientist to us this information for their own and the community’s informational needs. We, as citizens, have as equal of ownership of the data as the government because we paid for the acquisition and distribution through our tax dollars.

This extends beyond just the data and information collected by NASA. All government departments and agencies are fantastic resources for gathering research sources. These agencies provide raw and analyzed data that can be used for research and educational purposes.

Here are some excellent government resources for your college projects:

The open  access to United States Government data is a right not shared by many other countries. It allows for open discussion and analysis of publicly funded practices and scientific inquiries. Unfortunately, I could not include access to the EPA’s data on climate change as the current administration has removed that information.

 

Nelson Mandela Day- July 18!

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July 18 is marked on our calendars as Nelson Mandela Day. On July 18, 2009, the United Nations unanimously voted to recognize the day-Mandela’s birthday- as a time to commemorate the lifelong service Mandela dedicated to South Africa and the world. This day calls on us to help make our communities and the world a better place.

To find out more out about what you can do to celebrate Mandela Day, visit its website at: https://www.mandeladay.com/pages/what-can-i-do

Also, use the hashtag #ActionAgainstPoverty to share or see good deeds being done in your community.

Books on Display: Pride Month

June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month.

June was chosen as Pride Month in honor of the Stonewall Riots, which started June 28, 1969. Set off by a police raid at the Stonewall Inn in New York, the riots brought focus to the rampant abuse and discrimination faced by LGBTQ people. On the one year anniversary of the Riots, New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago held the first Gay Pride Parades in U.S. history. These prides continue across the world today. On June 28, Chicago is hosting its 48th Pride Parade. Go to chicagopride.gopride.com/ for more details.

As the President ceases all Pride Month initiatives and turns a blind eye to the rights of LGBTQ people, the Prairie State Library would like to bring focus to works by and about LGBTQ persons.

Queer students, you are welcome here.

Female, genderqueer, and transgender students, you are welcome here.


George

by Alex Gino

Call FIC GIN

“When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl. George thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte’s Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part . . . because she’s a boy. With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte — but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all”


Fun Home

by Alison Bechdel

Call GN BEC

Meet Alison’s father, a historic preservation expert and obsessive restorer of the family’s Victorian house, a third-generation funeral home director, a high school English teacher, an icily distant parent, and a closeted homosexual who, as it turns out, is involved with male students and a family babysitter. Through narrative that is alternately heartbreaking and fiercely funny, we are drawn into a daughter’s complex yearning for her father. And yet, apart from assigned stints dusting caskets at the family-owned ‘fun home,’ as Alison and her brothers call it, the relationship achieves its most intimate expression through the shared code of books. When Alison comes out as homosexual herself in late adolescence, the denouement is swift, graphic, and redemptive.


Middlesex

by Jeffy Eugenides

Call FIC EUG

In the spring of 1974, Calliope Stephanides, a student at a girls’ school in Grosse Pointe, finds herself drawn to a chain-smoking, strawberry blond clasmate with a gift for acting. The passion that furtively develops between them–along with Callie’s failure to develop–leads Callie to suspect that she is not like other girls. In fact, she is not really a girl at all.


Charity & Sylvia

by Rachel Hope Cleves

Call #HQ1034.U5 C54 2014

Explores the lives of Charity Bryant and Sylvia Drake, two ordinary middle-class women who serve as a window on historical constructs of marriage, gender, and sexuality in late 18th-century and early 19th-century America. Both were born in Massachusetts, but in different towns, 11 years apart. Charity’s attachment to women was so blatant that after she turned 20, her father told her to leave the house. She worked as a schoolteacher, but was forced to leave jobs several times because of hurtful gossip about her relationships with other women. In early 1807, Charity moved to Vermont to stay with a friend, and there she met Sylvia. The two fell in love, set up housekeeping, and considered themselves married. Gradually, their family members and the residents of Weybridge did as well. Charity and Sylvia became integral to the community, attending church, running their tailor shop, and contributing to charitable endeavors. Most of all, Charity and Sylvia remained passionately committed to each other and refused to hide their relationship. An important work of history that resonates with one of today’s most public debates.


Hold Me Closer

by David Levithan

Call FIC LEV

“Larger-than-life Tiny Cooper finally gets to tell his story, from his fabulous birth and childhood to his quest for true love and his infamous parade of ex-boyfriends, in the form of a musical he wrote”


The Biology of Homosexuality

by Jacques Balthazart

Call #HQ76.25 .B35 2012

Jacques Balthazart presents a simple description of the biological mechanisms that are involved in the determination of sexual orientation in animals and also presumably in humans. Using scientific studies published over the last few decades, he argues that sexual orientation, both homosexual and heterosexual, is under the control of embryonic endocrine and genetic phenomena in which there is little room for individual choice. The author begins with animal studies of the hormonal and neural mechanisms that control the so-called instinctive behaviors and analyzes how this animal work may potentially apply to humans. The book does not focus exclusively on homosexuality, however. Instead, the book acts as a broader guide to the biological basis of sexual orientation, and also discusses important gender differences that may influence sexual orientation. While firmly grounded in the scientific literature, this text is developed for a broader audience and will be of interest to psychologists, researchers, students, and anyone interested in the biological factors that determine our sexuality


Study (break) in the library

Coffee

This finals week, the library is serving double duty: as your go-to place to study and your place to take a break! We’ll have coffee, tea, and bottled water until 6PM Monday-Thursday on the table near the chalkboard. You can’t miss the beverage table when walking in the library!

We also have coloring books, crayons, colored pencils, and puzzles set out if you really need a mental break from the books. This stress-relief station is located on the study table nearest the reference desk, across from the graphic novel collection.

Don’t forget to take care of yourself this week! The library has you covered.