Monday, September 30, 2013

Free Coffee at Alcuin Library!

Wake up and smell the coffee! and then get it for free at Alcuin Library on Monday mornings between 8:45am -11:15am. The library is providing free coffee or tea, and muffins. If you need a little extra motivation to get up and study for that test or work on that paper, then make it over to the Alcuin Library and get your java jolt and maybe a little sustenance, again, all for free.
From Google Image

Featured ebook: Holy S--t!

"Holy Shit: A Brief History of Swearing"

From Google Image
Holy Sh*t tells the story of two kinds of swearing--obscenities and oaths--from ancient Rome and the Bible to today. With humor and insight, Melissa Mohr takes readers on a journey to discover how "swearing" has come to include both testifying with your hand on the Bible and calling someone a *#$&!* when they cut you off on the highway. She explores obscenities in ancient Rome--which were remarkably similar to our own--and unearths the history of religious oaths in the Middle Ages, when swearing (or not swearing) an oath was often a matter of life and death. Holy Sh*t also explains the advancement of civility and corresponding censorship of language in the 18th century, considers the rise of racial slurs after World War II, examines the physiological effects of swearing (increased heart rate and greater pain tolerance), and answers a question that preoccupies the FCC, the US Senate, and anyone who has recently overheard little kids at a playground: are we swearing more now than people did in the past? (From

Friday, September 27, 2013

Trial to Modern Genocide database

ABC-CLIO's new Modern Genocide database addresses the topic of genocide in general and focuses on ten key genocides in recent history. It features over 1,200 reference items, 300 primary source items, and hundreds of photographs, maps, and videos. Some of the genocides covered are very familiar, such as those associated with Armenia, Bosnia, Cambodia, Darfur, and Rwanda, as well as the Holocaust. Others included are less familiar, such as genocides related to Guatemala, East Timor, the Kurds, and the Herero people. The database's coverage is fairly thorough, with discussion of causes, consequences, perpetrators, victims, bystanders, and international reaction. Also included are discussion questions, facts/figures, a time line, glossary terms, articles, and visual/video items. Users may print, e-mail, and cite material (using APA, MLA, and Chicago formats), and export to EasyBib (CH, Apr'11, 48-4200) or RefWorks. Advanced search allows searching across genocides, geographic regions, and kinds of resources. Thus, one can conduct a search on a particular topic and limit the items to be included, making for tailored results. Links to related entries are also available. The database returns results quickly and without problems.

Access the database here:

Trial ends October 27, 2013.  

Banned Books that Shaped America

The Library of Congress created an exhibit, "Books that Shaped America," that explores books that "have had a profound effect on American life." Below is a list of books from that exhibit that have been banned/challenged.

(To learn more about challenges to books since the inception of Banned Books Week, check out the timeline created by ALA.) 

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain, 1884
The first ban of Mark Twain’s American classic in Concord, MA in 1885 called it “trash and suitable only for the slums.” Objections to the book have evolved, but only marginally. Twain’s book is one of the most-challenged of all time and is frequently challenged even today because of its frequent use of the word “nigger.” Otherwise it is alleged the book is “racially insensitive,” “oppressive,” and “perpetuates racism.”

The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Malcolm X and Alex Haley, 1965 (Grove Press)
Objectors have called this seminal work a “how-to-manual” for crime and decried because of “anti-white statements” present in the book. The book presents the life story of Malcolm Little, also known as Malcolm X, who was a human rights activist and who has been called one of the most influential Americans in recent history.
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1925
Perhaps the first great American novel that comes to the mind of the average person, this book chronicles the booze-infused and decadent lives of East Hampton socialites. It was challenged at the Baptist College in South Carolina because of the book’s language and mere references to sex.

Howl, Allen Ginsberg, 1956
Following in the footsteps of other “Shaping America” book Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman, Allen Ginsberg’s boundary-pushing poetic works were challenged because of descriptions of homosexual acts.

In Cold Blood, Truman Capote, 1966
The subject of controversy in an AP English class in Savannah, GA after a parent complained about sex, violence and profanity. Banned but brought back.
The Words of Cesar Chavez, Cesar Chavez, 2002
The works of Chavez were among the many books banned in the dissolution of the Mexican-American Studies Program in Tucson, Arizona. The Tucson Unified School District disbanded the program so as to accord with a piece of legislation which outlawed Ethnic Studies classes in the state. To read more about this egregious case of censorship, click here.  

Read the Book - Watch the Movie

From Google Image
Read the Book:

Serena by Ron Rash (Clemens Library PS3568.A698 S47 2008)

Traveling to the mountains of 1929 North Carolina to forge a timber business with her new husband, Serena Pemberton champions her mastery of harsh natural and working conditions but turns murderous when she learns she cannot bear children.
Watch the Movie:
Serena in movie theaters September 27th. The movie stars Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Banned Graphic Novels!

From Google Image
Book banning is a constant problem, and as comics become a more important part of today’s library environment, they are increasingly vulnerable to challenges and bans.

From Google Image
Comics are challenged for all of the same content reasons that other books are challenged, but are uniquely vulnerable to challenges because of the medium’s visual nature.   Comics are frequently banned for containing “adult content,” “inappropriate language,” “violence/horror,” “sex/nudity,” or not being “age appropriate.”  Because comics thrive on the power of the static image, a single page or panel as part of a larger whole can be the impetus for a challenge in a way that’s different from a passage in a book or a scene in a movie.  Some people still believe that comics are low value speech, or are made exclusively for children, and object to comics in the library because of these misconceptions.
Here’s a sampling of the most common reasons comics are challenged:
From Google Image
  • Profanity/offensive language
  • Sex or nudity
  • Violence and horror
  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Politically/socially/racially offensive
  • Offensive to religious beliefs


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Read "Once Banned" Classics

During Banned Books Week, read one of these classics that were either banned or challenged. Don't see one that interest you? Check out a full list here.
From Google Image

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Challenged at the Baptist College in Charleston, SC (1987) because of "language and sexual references in the book."

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Burned by the East St. Louis, IL Public Library (1939) and barred from the Buffalo, NY Public Library (1939) on the grounds that "vulgar words" were used. Banned in Kansas City,  MO (1939).Challenged  at the Cummings High School in Burlington, NC (1986) as an optional reading assignment  because the "book is full of filth. My son is being raised in a Christian home and this book takes the Lord's name in vain and has all kinds of profanity in it." Although the  parent spoke to the press, a formal complaint with the school demanding the book's removal  was not filed.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Challenged in Eden Valley, MN (1977) and temporarily banned due to words "damn" and "whore lady" used in the novel.Removed (2009) from the St. Edmund Campion Secondary School classrooms in Brampton Ontario, Canada because a parent objected to language used in the novel, including the word “nigger."

Ulysses by James Joyce

Burned in the U.S. (1918), Ireland (1922), Canada (1922), England (1923) and banned in England (1929).

Featured ebook: That Every Man be Armed

From Google Image

"That Every Man be Armed: Evolution of a Constitutional Right"

That Every Man Be Armed, the first scholarly book on the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, has played a significant role in constitutional debate and litigation since it was first published in 1984. Halbrook traces the right to bear arms from ancient Greece and Rome to the English republicans, then to the American Revolution and Constitution, through the Reconstruction period extending the right to African Americans, and onward to today's controversies. With reviews of recent literature and court decisions, this new edition ensures that Halbrook's study remains the most comprehensive general work on the right to keep and bear arms. (From

Monday, September 23, 2013

Banned Book Week Contest!

Stop by Alcuin or Clemens Library and guess the banned/challenged book! Winners receive a banned book! Daily winners!
From Google Image

Banned Books Week, Sept. 22-28

From Google Image
Banned Books Week is the national book community's annual celebration of the freedom to read. Hundreds of libraries and bookstores around the country draw attention to the problem of censorship by mounting displays of challenged books and hosting a variety of events.

Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982.  According to the American Library Association, there were 464 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2012, and many more go unreported. The 10 most challenged titles of 2012 were:
  1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
    Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  3. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James.
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
  5. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson.
    Reasons: Homosexuality, unsuited for age group
  6. From Google Image
    The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini.
    Reasons: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
  7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green.
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  8. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
    Reasons: Unsuited for age group, violence
  9. The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
  10. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence

Friday, September 20, 2013

Database Spotlight: Euromonitor Passport

Euromonitor Passport is a global market research database providing statistics, analysis, reports, surveys and breaking news on industries, countries and consumers worldwide.  Passport connects market research to your company goals and annual planning, analysing market context, competitor insight and future trends impacting businesses worldwide. And with 90% of our clients renewing every year, companies around the world rely on Passport to develop and expand business opportunities, answer critical tactical questions and influence strategic decision making.

Passport offers and examines:
  • Detailed analysis of consumer and industrial markets around the world across 781 cities, 210 countries, and 27 industries with historic data from 1997 and forecasts through 2020. Passport data is completely cross-country comparable.
  • Industry analysis across fast moving consumer goods and services, including market performance, market size, company and brand shares and profiles of leading companies and brands
  • Industrial makeup of the world’s largest economies, examining business to business economic influences and the forces behind strategy development, production and supply chains, economic modeling and forecasting, econometrics, data mining, scenario planning, urban economics and wealth distribution.
  • Data and analysis on consumer lifestyles, population trends, and socioeconomic analysis for every country, lifestyle and consumer type down to the city level
  • Timely commentary on factors influencing the global, regional and local business environment
  • Surveys exploring consumer opinions, attitudes and behaviours

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Read the Book - Watch the Movie

From Google Image

Read the Book:

High Fidelity by Nick Hornby (Alcuin Library PR6058.O689 H54 1996)

Rob is a pop music junkie who runs his own semi-failing record store. His girlfriend, Laura, has just left him for the guy upstairs, and Rob is both miserable and relieved. After all, could he have spent his life with someone who has a bad record collection? Rob seeks refuge in the company of the offbeat clerks at his store, who endlessly review their top five films (Reservoir Dogs...); top five Elvis Costello songs ("Alison"...); top five episodes of Cheers (the one where Woody sang his stupid song to Kelly...). Rob tries dating a singer whose rendition of "Baby, I Love Your Way" makes him cry. But maybe it's just that he's always wanted to sleep with someone who has a record contract. Then he sees Laura again. And Rob begins to think (awful as it sounds) that life as an episode of thirtysomething, with all the kids and marriages and barbecues and k.d. lang CD's that this implies, might not be so bad. (From

Watch the Movie:

High Fidelity (Alcuin Library DVD 41)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Free Coffee at Alcuin Library

From Google Image
Wake up and smell the coffee! and then get it for free at Alcuin Library on Monday mornings between 8:45am -11:15am. The library is providing free coffee or tea, and muffins. If you need a little extra motivation to get up and study for that test or work on that paper, then make it over to the Alcuin Library and get your java jolt and maybe a little sustenance, again, all for free.

Cool Tool: Audio Slideshows

Learn about different sites to create Audio Slideshows by reading this site: Free Technology for Teachers! The author states, "Somewhere between a PowerPoint presentation and a full-fledged video is the audio slideshow. Creating audio slideshows can be a good way to add meaning to slides that otherwise might not mean much without a presenter" Check out the five that the author recommends!


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Love Sesame Street?

From Google Image
Did you love watching Sesame Street growing up? Well then check out these books available at Clemens Library:

Sesame Street and the Reform of Children's Television (PN1992.77.S43 M67 2006) Through extensive archival research and a systematic study of sample programs from Sesame Street's first ten seasons, Richard Morrow tells the story of Sesame Street's creation; the ideas, techniques organization, and funding behind it; its place in public discourse; and its ultimate and unfortunate failure as an agent of commercial television reform.

Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street (PN1992.77.S43 D38 2008) On the occasion of the show's fortieth anniversary, Michael Davis's Street gang unfolds the never-before-told saga behind Sesame street.

Children and Television: Lessons from Sesame Street (PN1992.77.S43 L4)


Monday, September 09, 2013

Featured ebook: I Heart Sex Workers

"I Heart Sex Workers: A Christian Response to People in the Sex Trade"

From Google Image
Paying for sex — engaging in “the oldest profession” -- is everywhere, even in your church. The factors leading individuals into sex work are as varied as hair colors, yet sex workers are viewed as powerless individuals who must be rescued.

I Heart Sex Workers offers another perspective, one where the characters defy stereotypes and solutions are hard to find. Author Lia Scholl firmly believes the Christian response to sex work should be one of building agency for women, through education, through fighting injustice, by listening to the voices of sex workers.

I Heart Sex Workers examines the forces leading individuals into prostitution, whether through coercion, choice, or circumstance. And it provides a Christian response, answering the question, “Are you my neighbor?” How do we respond to woman trading sex for a place to live tonight when she asks, “Where will I sleep?” This book discusses these issues and many more. From

Friday, September 06, 2013

Database Spotlight: Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times - coverage 1881-1989

Rails connect East and West for the first time. Oil is discovered in Los Angeles. Immigrants come ashore from Japan and China, as former slaves arrive from the South and Latinos arrive from Mexico. Aviation and moviemaking take flight. Los Angeles hosts the Olympic Games—twice. Shipbuilding and citrus growing become major industries. Local companies Wham-O and Mattel give birth to the Hula Hoop and Barbie. The city hosts the first Super Bowl. And, the historical Los Angeles Times records it all!
The Los Angeles Times delivers unique coverage of the development of Southern California and the American West. Follow reporter Charles Lummis as he walks from Cincinnati to Los Angeles, recording his travels and providing a unique glimpse into Native American life. Read the Annual Trade Number Edition (published 1886-1962), which promoted Southern California to prospective immigrants from the East and Midwest. Review the “Noticias en Espanol” news summary column (published 1922-1933), which served the Times’ Spanish-speaking audience. (From ProQuest -Historical Newspapers)