Civic engagement


Photo credit: BKL, c/o, shared under the Creative Commons license

A new presidential administration is underway. Regardless of your political beliefs, it’s a good time to remember that as U.S. citizens, we have the duty and the right to speak up about issues we care about.

If you’re new to the civic process in general, our Political Science Guide includes some great resources to familiarize yourself with government processes, including books and websites.

Here are some ways to stay connected and to help you voice concerns:

  • Join the email list for a nonprofit organization that represents a cause you care about.
  • National Public Radio (NPR) has a new show, titled Indivisible, in which listeners with differing political views are encouraged to call in and discuss concerns. In the Chicago area, the NPR station is 91.5 FM.
  • White House Petitions are online petitions that you can start or sign. The White House is required to address petitions that reach at least 100,000 signatures.
  • is an online database of proposed changes or additions to regulations. The government is required to review and consider submissions on this site, so speak up!
  • Contact your Senator or Representative. This site has some tips on the different methods of contact, and allows you to find your elected officials by entering your zip code.

Like any organization, the government needs to know what’s working (or not) for its people. By staying informed and providing feedback, YOU can help shape the direction of our nation!





Founding Fathers of the Republic

Our virtuous Republic was founded in turbulent times. It was founded during an era of revolutions and an age of enlightenment. When searching for answers to today’s political and economic problems we utilize the Declaration and the Constitution of the United States of America as guides. However, at many times we harken back to the philosophies of our founding fathers. Although the concept of who is and who is not considered a founding father is disputed among many, there are personages from our history who are undoubtedly considered founders of the Republic. Titles by pundits such as John Adams, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton abound in the PSC Library’s collection. Learning about the lives, times and philosophies of these fathers of the republic can facilitate a citizen’s understanding of the proper roles of government in America. Among the titles that the PSC Library carry from the founding fathers of America, there are some (perhaps) honorary-foreign-Founding fathers, whose inspiration and ideologies have influenced American policy and thought a great deal. The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith and Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville are excellent treatises that proffers useful commentary on America’s economic, political and social ideals and policies.  If you are seeking knowledge of early American political thought; We have copious amounts of books to sate your appetite!