Learning about others’ lives can help us to reflect on our own. This Thanksgiving Recess (November 24-27), consider reading a memoir. The library has several on display this month (they’re located behind the cookbooks), but if you’re interested in a title that we don’t have, you can place a request for it using our interlibrary loan service. If one of the other 76 libraries within our consortium owns the title, it will be ready for you to pick up in just a few days. As always, please ask us if you have any questions about finding or borrowing materials.
Here’s a sample of the memoirs available to borrow at the PSC Library:
October 8-10, 1871: Thanks to a combination of very dry conditions, a predominance of wooden buildings, and a smaller fire from the previous day which compromised the efficacy of firefighters and equipment, what would be known as the Great Chicago Fire ruined about a third of the city. We might never know for sure if Mrs. O’Leary’s cow was to blame for the blaze, but check out these four great resources from the PSC Library and beyond to learn more about this important event in Chicago history!
Primary sources were created by individuals during the time of the historical event, rather than by later researchers. Newspapers are a great example of a primary source, and the PSC Library has digital access to the archives of the Chicago Tribune.
One way to find articles created around the time of the Great Chicago Fire is to look at the news articles published around October 8-10, 1871. To do this, first find the archive that covers the time period of interest. In this case, since we are searching for articles created during 1871, click on the fifth archive in the list, “Chicago Tribune (1860-1872).” Once there, you have the option to search within the publication or to browse specific dates.
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.
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?
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. Thesixth extinction is likely to be mankind’s most lasting legacy, compelling us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.
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.
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.
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.”
That should open the A-Z Databases page. All you have to do now is click on “American Government.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.