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!

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

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.

Slavery & Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive

The PSC Library recently acquired access to a new online research database! The new database, Slavery & Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive, contains an enormous amount of documents about slavery, the slave trade, emancipation and abolition movements, not only in the United States, but throughout the world. According to the publisher, the archive contains over 12,000 books, 71 manuscript collections, Supreme Court records and briefs in 377 cases, along with chronologies, bibliographies, and more.

To get to the database, first go to the PSC Library website, then click on the “All Databases” link to go to the database list.
Click on "All Databases" on PSC website

Once you are on the databases list page, click on “S,” then on Slavery & Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive.
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Once you are in the database, you have a number of options. You could simply type some keywords into the search box, or you could try an advanced search, which will give you options to limit results by publication date, source type, and other categories.

One of the more interesting ways to begin if you don’t have a particular topic already in mind is to start with the Research Tools section.
Research Tools section

Using the Research Tools link, you can learn about the the various collections that make up the databases, which tells you a bit more about their contents. For example, the image above shows the contents of one of the collections, namely documents concerning slavery and its abolition in the Danish West Indies (now known as the US Virgin Islands). If you have any questions about accessing this research database or using it, feel free to contact the PSC librarians!

EBSCO eBook Academic Collection

ACCESS EBSCO EBOOKS

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.

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Let’s say you searched for “ebola.” Your results page might look like this:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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You can also get to this page from the main library website, by clicking on “Find,” in the menu, and then “All Databases.”

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On the page that opens, click on “E” and then “eBook Academic Collection.”

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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!

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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