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.

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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.

 

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


THIS SUPER POST WILL GIVE YOU PERFECT GRADES. PROFESSORS HATE IT!

Disclaimer: This post won’t give you perfect grades. You are better off with hard work and plenty of sleep.

We have seen claims like this before:

Or news stories that claim simple solutions to the most devastating of diseases:

fox
Fox News

These claims appeal to our most basic emotions and fears. We want to live healthy lives, free from illness and pain. Moreover, we want easy solutions to our health needs and concerns. However, our mental and physical well-being isn’t always so simple. Adverts and news articles, like those seen above, prey on our desires and fears. Too often, these claims are put forth by persons wanting to sell you are product. It is important to keep a critical mind when you see these claims.

Information literacy is important in more than just school. These are life-long learning behaviors that can help you make informed decisions. Brian Dunning of Skeptoid Media sets out a 15-point checklist to help spot pseudoscience. Any time you encounter a scientific claim, especially when it comes to issues of health and medicine, you should ask some basic questions:

  • Is the claim said to be based on ancient knowledge?
  • Was the claim first announced through mass media, or through scientific channels?
  • Do the claimants state that their claim is being suppressed by authorities?
  • Does the claim sound far fetched, or too good to be true?
  • Do the claimants have legitimate credentials?

For the average person, trying to identify good medical science can be tough. Health News Review is a watchdog organization operated by trained medical professionals and scientific journalists. This site evaluates health related stories in popular media. It assigns a simple to understand five-star rating system based on the accuracy of the story. Health News Review is an excellent resource for fact checking popular, mainstream health claims.

The most important thing is to be informed. Prairie State College Library has numerous books to help.

 Ordinarily well : The case for antidepressants

by Peter Kramer

Call #RM332 .K73 2016

“Do antidepressants actually work, or are they just glorified dummy pills? How can we tell one way or the other?In Ordinarily Well, the celebrated psychiatrist and author Peter D. Kramer addresses the growing mistrust of antidepressants among the medical establishment and the broader public by taking the long view. He charts the history of the drugs’ development and the research that tests their worth, from the Swiss psychiatrist Roland Kuhn’s pioneering midcentury discovery of imipramine’s antidepressant properties to recent controversial studies suggesting that medications like Prozac and Paxil may be no better than placebos in alleviating symptoms. He unpacks the complex “inside baseball” of psychiatry–statistics–and reveals the fascinating ways that clinical studies and their results can be combined, manipulated, and skewed toward a desired conclusion. All the while, Kramer never loses sight of the patients themselves. He writes with deep empathy about his own clinical encounters over the decades as he weighed treatments, analyzed trial results, and considered the idiosyncrasies each case presented. As Kramer sees it, we must respect human complexity and the value of psychotherapy without denying the truth–that depression is a serious and destructive illness that demands the most effective treatment available”


The pseudoscience wars : Immanuel Velikovsky and the birth of the modern fringe
by Micharl Gordin

Call #Q172.5.P77 G674 2012

“Science today is hardly universally secure, and scientists seem themselves beset by critics, denialists, and those they label “pseudoscientists”—as seen all too clearly in battles over evolution and climate change. The Pseudoscience Wars simultaneously reveals the surprising Cold War roots of our contemporary dilemma and points readers to a different approach to drawing the line between knowledge and nonsense.”


Sport and exercise psychology : A critical introduction

by Aidan P. Moran

Call #GV706.4 .M67 2012

“Although sport is played with the body, it is won in the mind. Inspired by this idea, the second edition of this popular textbook provides a comprehensive critical introduction to sport and exercise psychology – a discipline that is concerned with the theory and practice of helping athletes to do their best when it matters the most.”


Transform into a library expert–win prizes!

Libraries Transform.

Celebrate National Library Week with your Prairie State Librarians.

Libraries are more than just a place for books. At the Prairie State College Library, we are about the ability for the library to transform and empower our students. We do not seek to be a safeguard to knowledge but a guide on your academic and personal journey. Your PSC Librarians want you to become the experts, curators, and protectors of their own cultural, academic, and social knowledge. Whether you want to get involved in your community, find a job, start a business, or build your digital literacy skills, the PSC library is the key to your transformation.

From now until April 17, the library is running a contest in celebration of National Library Week. In this contest, we invite students to actively engage with the multitude of services our library provides.

When you complete an activity listed on the Library Expert Card (see below), you will get the box checked off by a library staff. Once you complete a row/column, you will receive an entry ticket that will put you into a drawing to win one of six prizes: 2 students will receive a $25 gift cards to the PSC Bookstore. 4 students will receive a study room for a day during finals week.

Some of the activities require using our online resources. Click some squares on the Library Expert Card to get direct access to these resources.

SWAN Recommendations Suggest Appointment Facebook Blog

March Book Display: Earth and Beyond

The book display for March explores the search for life outside of Earth, as well as the strangeness of life on our planet.

NASA recently discovered seven Earth-like planets, 40 light-years away. While a long distance for us, it is, cosmically, only a hop, skip, and jump away. As our technology improves and our science advances, we continue to discover more and more planets outside our solar system. And with each new discovery, we wonder whether they could be life on those distant worlds and how we can get to those worlds. Closer to home, Curiosity, the Mars rover, is on the search for evidence of alien life on the Red Planet. How would the discovery of life outside Earth change your perspective?

However, we can stay on our blue dot to explore high strangeness and alien worlds. In our oceans is the largest creature to ever exist: the blue whale, a mammal species known for its intelligence, unique language, and development of culture. Cephalopods (squids, octopuses, and cuttlefishes) have unique, identifying personalities.  We cannot forget the oddness of all the creatures: the poisonous, egg-laying mammal, the platypus.

Take some time to read about the odd and wonderful life on our planet. Consider the possibility of alien life and our continued, scientific search for worlds outside our own. And if you desire, read about alien abductions and UFOs.


The Last Unicorn

by William DeBuys

Call QL737.U53 D434 2015

“In 1992, in a remote mountain range, a team of scientists discovered the remains of an unusual animal with beautiful long horns. It turned out to be a living species new to western science — a saola, the first large land mammal discovered in 50 years. Rare then and rarer now, no westerner had glimpsed a live saola before Pulitzer Prize finalist and nature writer William deBuys and conservation biologist William Robichaud set off to search for it in the wilds of central Laos. The team endured a punishing trek, up and down whitewater rivers and through mountainous terrain ribboned with the snare lines of armed poachers. In the tradition of Bruce Chatwin, Colin Thubron, and Peter Matthiessen, THE LAST UNICORN is deBuys’s look deep into one of the world’s most remote places. As in the pursuit of the unicorn, the journey ultimately becomes a quest for the essence of wildness in nature, and an encounter with beauty”


Beyond the Stars: Our Origins and the Search for Life in The Universe

by Paolo Saraceno

Call GQ982 .S2713 2012

“What is the origin of the universe? Are we alone in the Universe? Using clear and plain language, the author explores these two interesting scientific-philosophical themes with a broad range of studies, including astronomy, cosmology, chemistry, biology, geology and planet science.The first part discusses the origins of everything, from the Big Bang to humankind. It follows the long course of evolution — from original matter to the formation of more complex structures, from the furthest galaxies to the nearest stars, from planets to organic molecules, from the first and most elementary forms of life through to the reptiles, the dinosaurs and the advent of man.The second part traces the history of the Earth and evaluates the risks of extinction in the future as predicted by scientists. Is the Earth the only habitable planet in the Universe? This question initiates the discussion on the importance of the Earth’s position in the solar system and the significance of our geologically alive planet.The final part is dedicated to the search for extraterrestrial beings with identifiable life forms. It also describes attempts for searching, from the past to the near future.This remarkable book provides the best answers we have to the epic questions about us and our place in the universe.” Continue reading “March Book Display: Earth and Beyond”

Fair Use Week

It’s Fair Use Week. Libraries, universities, artists, and journalists around the world are rejoicing what Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg called a “First Amendment Safeguard.”

To quote fairuse.org, “Fair use and fair dealing are essential limitations and exceptions to copyright, allowing the use of copyrighted materials without permission from the copyright holder under certain circumstances…facilitat[ing] balance in copyright law, promoting further progress and accommodating freedom of speech and expression.”

Fair use is essential in the function of schools and universities. Instructors are able to show videos in class, distribute articles to students, and have imagines in slides. This right to distribute copyrighted material. Check out the Prairie State College Library’s LibGuide on Fair Use for more information.

However, the right of fair use extends beyond academia and is an essential factor in journalism and the arts.

If it wasn’t for the principles of fair use, journalism and news reporting would be extremely difficult. Organizations like CNN, The Washington Post, Democratic Underground, and even The Daily Show are able to report on current stories and use copyrighted material to support these stories because it is considered fair use. ESPN, and other sports websites, would have to obtain permission and possibly pay money before they used team logos.

nba
espn.com 02/22/2017

For the arts, fair use protections encourage artists to experiment with current media. Pieces of art that are transformative and do not infringe on the commercial rights of the rights holder, qualify as fair use. Many musicians are experimenting with this form of art.

Monthly Display: Elections

In two short weeks, we, citizens of the United States of America, will be able to exercise one of our most important rights as citizens: voting.Women's suffrage

The history of voting rights in the United States reveals the best and worst things about our nation. In the beginning of our nation, the right to vote was exclusive to white, property owning men aged 21 and over. This right slowly opened up to all citizens, regardless of race, gender, or ethnicity. A short paragraph does little justice to history of voting rights in this country. The fight for voting equality shows the great bravery of many of our citizens. All people, especially people of color and women, put their lives at risk. Many died or were gravely injured for the vote. Moreover, it also shows the great shames our nation must face. Our long and continuing history of denying people their full and equal rights as citizens.

On November 7th, please exercise your right. Do it for those who came before you and those who will come after you. For information about your local ballot, visit Ballot Ready.

 

Dr. Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress

On September 14, Dr. Carla Hayden was sworn in as the 14th librarian of Congress. aptopixlibrarianofcongress-7b2acThe selection of Dr. Hayden is a landmark appointment; she is the first woman and the first African-American to head the Library of Congress. In addition, Hayden is also only the third career librarian to serve as Librarian of Congress, which has previously been held by historians or other scholars. The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library with over 160,000,000 items.

Dr. Hayden grew up in Chicago, attending Roosevelt University and then the University of Chicago Graduate School Library. Her first position out of library school was with the Museum of Science and Industry, where she meet Michelle and Barack Obama. In 1991, Dr. Hayden became second-in-command at the Chicago Public Library. Then in 1993, she was selected as director of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland. As director, Hayden was selected as Librarian of the Year by the Library Journal, she served as president of the American Librarian Association, and received national praise for keeping the library open during  riots in Baltimore after Freddie Gray’s arrest.

Dr. Hayden has been a champion of “Equity of Access” through her entire career. She fought against the Bush Administration and the PATRIOT Act, earning significant praise. As Librarian of Congress, Dr. Hayden has vowed to digitize the Library of Congress’s collection, providing equal access to our nation’s literary and information resources.

In her nomination address, Dr. Hayden said, “I’ve talked for years and cited how slaves were forbidden to read, you could get your hand chopped off, or people who taught slaves to read were punished, that’s Fredrick Douglass’s thing. So to have an African American heading up the world’s largest library is not quite an oxymoron, but it speaks to the history.”

Follow Dr. Carla Hayden on Twitter.

 

 

References

Gross, Daniel. “Carla Hayden Takes Charge of World’s Largest Library.” September 20, 2016. Accessed September 30, 2016. http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/carla-hayden-takes-charge-of-the-worlds-largest-library.

St. Lifer, Evan, and Michael Rogers. “Hayden leaves Chicago PL to head Enoch Pratt Free Lib.” Library Journal 118, no. 10 (June 1993): 19.Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed September 30, 2016).

Woods, Baynard. “Carla Hayden: New Librarian of Congress Makes History, with an Eye on the Future.” The Guardian. September 15, 2016. Accessed September 30, 2016. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/sep/15/carla-hayden-librarian-congress-first-woman-african-american-post-interview.

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).