Horizon Zero Dawn: 12 Books for the Wilderness Wanderer

Guerilla Games newest release, Horizon Zero Dawn, is a RPG that places the protagonist as a hunter and archer who is living in a world has been overrun by robotic technologies. Many years after the fall of civilization, the remaining humans have regressed to primitive tribal societies. The tribe that your character belongs to, The Nora,  is a society of hunter gathers, similar in many ways to Native Americans, who worship nature and shun the “old technologies” left behind by the Old Ones.

If you’ve played Horizon Zero Dawn, or just are really interested in topics like, the customs of tribal societies, earth post-civilization, artificial intelligence, and hunting, then you should check out some of these books at the Prairie State College Library to see if they are for you!


The world without us
by Alan Weisman
GF75.W4 S5 2007

In The World Without Us, Alan Weisman offers an utterly original approach to questions of humanity’s impact on the planet: he asks us to envision our Earth, without us.In this far-reaching narrative, Weisman explains how our massive infrastructure would collapse and finally vanish without human presence; which everyday items may become immortalized as fossils; how copper pipes and wiring would be crushed into mere seams of reddish rock; why some of our earliest buildings might be the last architecture left; and how plastic, bronze sculpture, radio waves, and some man-made molecules may be our most lasting gifts to the universe.

The World Without Us reveals how, just days after humans disappear, floods in New York’s subways would start eroding the city’s foundations, and how, as the world’s cities crumble, asphalt jungles would give way to real ones. It describes the distinct ways that organic and chemically treated farms would revert to wild, how billions more birds would flourish, and how cockroaches in unheated cities would perish without us. Drawing on the expertise of engineers, atmospheric scientists, art conservators, zoologists, oil refiners, marine biologists, astrophysicists, religious leaders from rabbis to the Dali Lama, and paleontologists—who describe a prehuman world inhabited by megafauna like giant sloths that stood taller than mammoths—Weisman illustrates what the planet might be like today, if not for us.


The hunt for the golden mole : all creatures great and small, and why they matter
by Girling, Richard
QL737.A352 G57 2014

Taking as its narrative engine the hunt for an animal that is legendarily rare, Richard Girling writes an engaging and highly informative history of humankind’s interest in hunting and collecting – what prompts us to do this? what good might come of our need to catalog all the living things of the natural world? Girling, named Environmental Journalist of the Years 2008 and 2009, has here chronicled – through the hunt for the Somali golden mole – the development of the conservation movement, the importance of diversity in the animal kingdom, including humankind within this realm, as well as a hard look at extinction.The Somali mole of the title, first described in print in a text book published in 1964, had as sole evidence of its existence only the fragment of a jaw bone found in an owl pellet, a specimen that seemed to have vanished as Girling began his exploration. Intrigued by the elusiveness of this creature and what the hunt for the facts of its existence might tell us about extinction, he was drawn to the dusty vaults of museums of natural history where the most rare artifacts are stored and catalogued, as he found himself caught up in the need to track it down.Part quest, part travelog, the book that results not only offers an important voice to the scientific debate about extinction and biodiversity it becomes an environmental call to arms.


Voices of the winds : native American legends
by Edmonds, Margot
E98.F6 E26

This wonderfully colorful and appealing anthology gathers more than 130 Native American legends, many told to the authors by elder storytellers and tribal historians. Traditional stories from 60 native cultures of North America are prefaced by brief head notes. Sources include government documents, periodicals, histories, and field research (some conducted by Clark). Native American cultures value an end to isolation and the individual’s return to family and tribe, but there are some striking analogs to Western myths; one Pima story neatly parallels the Noah’s ark tale. Curiosities include “She-Who-Changeth” for the more common “Changing Woman,” gender-exclusive language (” . . . man first appeared . . . “), and a claim that Navajos live today in prosperity. Continue reading “Horizon Zero Dawn: 12 Books for the Wilderness Wanderer”

Black History Month @ PSC Library

On February 10th, 1976, President Gerald Ford, in his statement on the creation of Black History Month, wrote that as a nation we should “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” However, the founding of Black History Month dates back further than President Ford’s “Message” and has a history before the official recognition by the United States government. This Month’s history first began in 1915 and is closely tied with Chicago.

Dr. Carter G. Woodson, an alumnus of the University of Chicago, met with four colleagues at the Wabash YMCA in Chicago to form the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). Through ASNLH and Journal of Negro Life, Dr. Woodson published the scholarly works of Black researchers and intellectuals. In 1925, he used the publishing and organizing power of ASNLH to declare the first Negro History Week in February of 1926.

Starting in the 1940s, Negro History Week began to shift to Black History Month. At his House of Knowledge in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood, Frederick H. Hammurabi, a community activist, started celebrating Black History Month and emphasized the scholarly pursuit of “African-American history and historic links between African-Americans and African culture and traditions” Hammurabi, who, inspired by his own journey to discover his African roots, helped individuals in Bronzeville discover their own African roots and spread the knowledge of African, African-American, and Afro-Caribbean history and culture.

With this history, the monthly book display, in part, seeks to explore the history of the Black community and culture in Chicagoland. It is a rich and diverse history. It is a history of labor and the industrialization of the United States. It is a history of art and literature and the Black Renaissance. It is also the history of civil rights and the continued fight for social, economic, and political equality. The history includes musicians, athletes, and a President.

Chicago's South Side Bridges of Memory I've got to make my livin' Black Chicago Renaissance

In addition to the glance on material relating to Chicago, this month’s display also examines African history. The history of the continent is deeply rich and complex. It includes the culture, achievements, and life of many distinct and disparate people and civilizations. It spans millennia; it is the cradle of humankind, the birthplace of art and language, home to great and powerful empires, and origins of modern legal and justice systems.

Africa: A Biography of the Continent African History The Washing Of The Spears A History of West Africa

Sources:

DePaul Digication. “House of Knowledge: Knowledge is Power.” CGCT Bronzeville Community Tour. Accessed February 4, 2016. https://depaul.digication.com/cgct_bronzeville_community_tour/House_of_Knowledge

Ford, Gerald R. “Message on the Observance of Black History Month.” Speech. February 10, 1976. Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum. https://www.fordlibrarymuseum.gov/library/speeches/760074.htm

Scott, Daryl Michael. “Origins of Black History Month.” Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Accessed February 4, 2016. https://asalh100.org/origins-of-black-history-month/

Science Fiction and Fantasy. What is the Difference?

Applied Science and technology are central to the Science Fiction genre. Science Fiction is also called Speculative Fiction because it is written with the question in mind, “What if?” (Seed 2). Common settings are: Earth, near space, or the interior of the Earth, and narratives may emphasize historical or political events. Narratives may also be spiritual (Star Wars), and even didactic in some cases. Protagonists can be human or alien (Films: E.T. the Extraterrestrial and District 9.)

Science Fiction may be set in dystopian or utopian societies (Snowpiercer and The Hunger Games series.) Often, a narrative can begin with a utopian society that actually turns out to be dystopian for some of the characters involved (Films: Elysium, and After Earth.) Dystopian narratives can fall under the Post-Apocalyptic fiction genre (The Road), but there are differences still between Dystopian and Post-Apocalyptic fiction (See Prairie State Library resources for further details.) Post-Apocalyptic fiction is usually set in a world after some catastrophic event.

On the other hand, Fantasy authors often construct worlds of their imagination (Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter series.) Think dragons, fairies, and witches ( A Game of Thrones.) Fantasy can also include darker, more horrific characters such as orcs, vampires or werewolves (Interview with the Vampire and True Blood: The Sookie Stackhouse series.)

Both genres can include elements of the other, and rely heavily on the tension between the light and dark nature of existence.

Want to read from the Science Fiction or Fantasy genre? Want to use this as a research topic? Prairie State Library has the resources that you need!

Source: Seed, David. Science Fiction: A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. Print.

Shark Week is here!

Since 1988 summertime has been synonymous with Shark Week, a week long celebration of all things shark related invading your television and social media feeds. Here a few resources to delve deeper into the often feared fish and separate fact from the many popularly misconstrued fictions.

If you’ve ever wondered what it looks like to cruise on a hammerhead (from the safety of your own computer), check out this GoPro footage provided by The Discovery Channel. You may also use surf the resources below in OneSearch, which connect you to books, videos, and news stories on sharks or whatever subject you’re interested in. Try our Research Starter on Sharks to, aptly titled, get you started on all your shark basics. Though if you’d rather see sharks a bit closer than your screen, check out these free days at the Shedd Aquarium for Illinois residents.

 jacket (4)  

The SWAN Catalog

slide-3-readyA library catalog is the place you go to see what books and movies a particular library has that you can check out or place a hold on. The Prairie State College Library, along with over 70 local libraries, use what is called the SWAN Catalog, which has recently gotten a new look and interface. Continue reading to find out more on using this new catalog to see what we have or to order books and movies from our partner libraries.

Your Account

SIGN INTO YOUR SWAN ACCOUNT

Before you can sign up for a SWAN account you must make sure that you already have a library account with the Prairie State College Library. To set up your account, you will just need to bring your Student ID to the Circulation Desk.

After you set up your Library Account you can log in to SWAN by going to the Catalog (https://catalog.swanlibraries.net/client/en_US/pcs-in/?dt=list) and clicking on Log In in the top right hand corner.

log inTo log in just type in your PSC Student ID number (located at the bottom of the card) into the Library Card Number box. You PIN number will be the last 4 digits of the phone number that you signed up for your Library Account with.

After you are logged in you can check the status of your account by clicking on My Account in the top right hand corner. This area will tell you what items you have checked out, on hold (ordered from another library) and if you have any fines.

checked outSearching SWAN

To search SWAN, just begin by typing the name of the item you are looking for in the search box. The default search is ALL FIELDS. If you want a narrower search, click on the ALL FIELDS drop down menu. From there you can limit your search to author, title, subject, etc … .

searchWhen you have found the item you are looking for on the Results page, just click on the Title to see its status. If the item is not checked out, write down the Call Number and bring it to a Librarian at the Reference Desk who will be happy to show you where the item is located.

On this screen you can also place a hold on checked out items, add the item to a wish list, and check out summaries, reviews and excerpts of the item. In addition, the SWAN Catalog will produce further Suggestions that are similar to the book.

item recordPlacing a Hold

In addition to the books we have at Prairie State College, you can also search what items our partner libraries have and, if you want, have them sent to Prairie State College, by placing a hold. You can find the Search Box for all of the libraries by going here or by clicking on the Prairie State College drop down menu and selecting Everything.

everythingThen you just search the catalog for your item and when you find it, click on the Place Hold button. A librarian will then call or email you when the item is in. It will usually take 2-4 business days to arrive.


If you have any more questions about using the SWAN Catalog, stop by the Reference Desk and a Librarian will be happy to help out.

Post Super Bowl Sports

Olympic ringsWinter is definitely here, isn’t it? At least this year’s winter brings us a good activity to do inside, getting cozy in front of the TV – the Winter Olympics! This year they are in Sochi, Russia and run from February 7th – February 23rd. The last time the Olympics were held in Russia was back in 1980 when they were still the Soviet Union. This will be their first time holding the Winter Olympics.

Personally, I prefer the Winter Olympics over the Summer ones, but if you’re not as familiar, here are a few of the events: skiing, speed-skating, figure skating, luge, curling, snowboarding, and hockey. There are a total of fifteen sports, but most of them have multiple events. My favorite is the long-track speed-skating with distances up to 10,000m. You can check out a schedule of the events here.

We have some books about the Olympics as well about a few of the individual sports here at the library and online through ebrary. You can read about cross-country skiing, snowboarding, or ice hockey.

Read about the last time the Olympics were held in Russia/the Soviet Union and the boycott by 65 countries, including the United States. Or maybe you’re interested in the philosophy of the Olympics or the Olympics as sports in general. My favorite is the Mathletics book which talks about how math relates to different sports such as ice skating or about concepts that can relate to many sports, like keeping your balance, going around bends, being on the inner or outer lanes, extreme sports, and fixing tournaments.

Boycott cover Olympics and Philosophy cover Sports in America cover Mathletics cover

The Winner Is … Award Worthy Books on Display

“I feel that this award was not made to me as a man, but to my work — a life’s work in the agony and sweat of the human spirit, not for glory and least of all for profit, but to create out of the materials of the human spirit something which did not exist before. So this award is only mine in trust.”

William Faulkner, Nobel Prize Banquet Speech, 1949

Guess what? We are celebrating award-winning books and authors this month. When you stop by the Library’s main book display, you will be able to find titles featuring writers and novelists who have been bestowed with the prestige of lifetime achievement (Nobel Prize in Literature) along with other famous scribes who have been told that a book they produced encapsulated what it meant to live the American Life (Pulitzer Prize).  We will also have recent winners like The Tiger’s Wife (Orange Prize), in addition to titles that transcended a medium (Watchmen; Hugo and Eisner Awards), authors with awards from other countries (Haruki Murakami and Yu Hua), books with upcoming movie adaptations (The Invention of Hugo Cabret; Caldecott Medal), and much, much more.

Of course, to fail to win an award is not a sin, as classics, such as Catch-22 and Slaughterhouse 5, did not even garner one statue or plaque, while other authors such Nelson Algren never seemed to recapture the critical acclaimed they received from an award-winning book (The Man with the Golden Arm, National Book Award).

Regardless, you can take the time this month to stop by the Library and find out for yourself why these title have found critical acclaim or you can continue reading to some links for other popular awards.

Continue reading “The Winner Is … Award Worthy Books on Display”