Latino vs Hispanic: Do You Know the Difference?

August 24th, 2015

Do you know the difference between the term “Latino” and the term “Hispanic”? Many times people use these terms interchangeably, but they have different meanings. This mini comic, You Say Latino, by Terry Blas outlines the difference in a personal way. This comic is a nice connection to our upcoming Celebrating Latino Americans programming.
(Spoiler: Latino is focused on geography. Hispanic focuses on language.)

Awesome 1977 Chicago Video

August 21st, 2015

We love this video about Chicago in 1977. This is from the Chicago Film Archives. (Don’t miss the part about disco.)

Chicago Is… (1977)
A sponsored film made by Cine-Mark productions that promotes Chicago as a desirable travel destination for national and international visitors. The film was sponsored by the Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau Inc in cooperation with the United States Travel Service (U.S. Department of Commerce) and the Illinois Office of Tourism (Department of Business and Economic Development). Original: 16mm., Color (faded), Optical Sound, Found in Chicago Film Archives’ Chicago Public Library Collection

One Book, One College, Three New DVDs

August 20th, 2015

The library has just added three new highly acclaimed DVDs that complement our One Book, One College selection this year. These films depict the lives of Latin Americans struggling to reach the United States in search of a better life for themselves and for their families.

Previously appearing at numerous film festivals and now appearing on our library shelves is The Other Side of Immigration. This films takes us into rural Mexican towns where half the population has left to work in the United States. Through interviews with the townspeople, we see why so many leave their homes to find work in the US, as well as what happens to the families and communities that are left behind.

Winner of Best Documentary at several film festivals, El Inmigrante/The Immigrant tells the true story of the life and death Eusebio De Haro, a Mexican immigrant who was shot and killed during one of his border crossing attempts. This film that has been described as graphic, disturbing, poignant, and gripping examines varied group perspectives including the De Haro family, residents of the community in Texas where Eusebio was shot, vigilante border militias, and other migrants trying to make the crossing.

Another film festival favorite, and winner of the Audience Award at Sundance, is De Nadie. Here we meet migrants from Central and South America and learn of their dangerous journey through Mexico as the determined travelers try to reach the United States. We see the risks they are taking with their money, their health, and their lives as they face intimidation from oftentimes corrupt Mexican authorities.

Illinois EPA Student Lectures: Zero Waste, Water Conservation, Energy Reduction

August 19th, 2015

Each year, Illinois EPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention recruits upper-level university students to work on both pollution prevention (P2) and energy efficiency (E2) projects during the summer. While students have been placed primarily at manufacturing facilities, they have also worked at small business development centers, trade associations, local government facilities, environmental groups and military installations. The purpose of the program is to help facilities identify, research and pilot P2 technologies and practices. In the area of E2, companies can realize overhead cost savings due to increased energy efficiency while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Michael Simpkins
Water conservation\Reduction
BASF Corporation, Kankakee, IL
Chemical Engineer – University of Missouri, Columbia, MO; expected graduation is May 2016

Lucas Roat
Zero Waste; Cradle-to-Cradle Packaging
Clarke Mosquito Control Products, Inc. – St. Charles, IL
M.S. Environmental Engineering – IIT, Chicago; Expected graduation is December 2015

Kyle Berkhof
Greenhouse gas inventory; High efficiency vehicle survey with Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN)
IGEN – College of Lake County; Grayslake, IL
Mechanical Engineer – NIU, DeKalb; Expected graduation is May 2017

Taylor Gawthorp
Water reduction; Billion Gallon Water Challenge
Moraine Valley CC – Palos Hills, IL
Mechanical Engineer – Bradley University, Peoria; Expected graduation is May 2016

Keith Cordero
Material & Energy Balance; closing waste loops
Plant Chicago – Chicago, IL (formerly known as Back of the Yards neighborhood)
Mechanical Engineer – IIT, Chicago; Expected graduation is May 2015

Allan Tucker
Cardboard Recycling, net zero waste
University of Illinois at Chicago, Sustainability Office – Chicago, IL
Chemical Engineering – University of Illinois at Chicago; Expected graduation is May 2016

The Word “Illegal” and Hidden Meanings

August 19th, 2015

This year’s One Book text is José Angel N.’s book Illegal: Reflections of an Undocumented Immigrant. When we first reviewed this book, we discuss the use of the word “Illegal.” Most people use the term “undocumented” which is less biased and accusational. Most advocates for undocumented immigrants point out factors that there are no legal methods for poor to immigrate in the US and that there are human-rights-related issues that make the discussion more complex than legal vs illegal.

Our One Book author José Angel N. uses this term on purpose to draw attention and make a point. When we selected this book, we had concern that by using the title, Illegal, on our website and marketing materials, our library would appear to be making accusations or taking a side within the debate. In the end, we decided that this book was too important, too well-written, and too powerful for us to ignore because of concerns over the work “illegal.”

If you are interested in a broader perspective on the use of the word “illegal,” take a look at this article from the New York Times magazine The Unwelcome Return of ‘Illegals’. This article puts the term in context with the presidential primaries that are taking place now.

Where are textbook reserves?

August 17th, 2015

At the beginning of the semester, there may be several reasons that a student will not have the required textbook. One of the important services of the library is TEXTBOOK RESERVES.

If your instructor tells the class that the textbook is on reserve at the library, then you may want to use this service until you get your own.


1. The word “reserves” is a fave of librarians. It only means that items are set aside for specific classes or library patrons. A patron needs to ask for the item that is on reserve.

2. Textbooks on reserve are limited in number and in the amount of time they may be checked out. Students should not expect to get a copy of their required text for a long check out period.  In most cases, an item may be checked out for only 2 hours.

3. Where are these wonderful textbooks? As you enter the library, step up to the Circulation Desk, the very first desk on your left hand side as you enter.

4. How does a person ask for a textbook? Textbooks are filed under the course name, the course number and then title of the textbook.

5. Have you wondered why you have a MVCC photo ID? Well, this the place where you can provide your MVCC photo ID. It is needed in order to check out the text.

6. Fines? Hey, what library do you know that doesn’t have fines? And they can be pricey for reserve items. If you are clever and want to keep the textbook throughout the semester, you may end up paying more for this dubious “option” than if you had purchased or rented the text from the bookstore.

So, please enjoy this service, and to recap –

Come to the Circulation Desk, first public service desk on your left as you enter the library.

Know the course name and number (Com 101, e.g.) Then give the title of the text.

Provide your MVCC photo ID for checkout.

Reading to Learn About Ourselves: Books About Books

July 28th, 2015

Dissecting great books that have endured and are beloved and familiar to many is a great way to look at what we, as a society, value and how we view ourselves.  We have two stellar new books in our After Class collection worth checking out that explore this issue.

Anyone who has ever heard Maureen Corrigan’s wise yet down-to-earth book reviews on Fresh Air on NPR will probably want to read what she has to say about everyone’s favorite high school lit class read, The Great Gatsby.  Her new book So We Read On: How The Great Gatsby Came To Be And Why It Endures  is a satisfying read for lovers of the novel. It’s engaging and intelligent but not overly academic (which means it’s a great pick for semester break). Corrigan looks at what makes the book so special- it’s not what many people think; and also reflects on why the books has come to be buried so thoroughly in American consciousness.

Azar Nafisi came to this country from Iran, and the inspiration for her newest book, The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books was a comment someone made to her about how Americans don’t care about literature as deeply as people in other countries.  Her response to this comment is this penetrating and enthusiastic look at works by three distinctly American novelists: Mark Twain, Sinclair Lewis and Carson McCullers. She urges us to take a deep look at the America presented by these writers and how those ideas are represented in American life today.  For those who were moved by Giovanni’s Room last school year, the epilogue centered on James Baldwin is particularly powerful.


From a World of Harsh Limits into Expanded Possibility: Books About Reading

July 21st, 2015

Let’s take a deep look into the act of reading and what it can do for you, using questions and a few great items in our collection as answers.

Why Read?

Mark Edmundson, a professor at the University of Virginia has written a thorough examination of why reading matters in contemporary culture, and more specifically why it matters for young people in higher education.  His book Why Read? is for passionate professors of the humanities.  In the introduction to the book he says

Reading woke me up.  It took me from a world of harsh limits into expanded possibility.  Without poetry, without literature and are, I could well have died miserable.  It was this belief in great writing that, thirty years ago, made me become a teacher.

Does Reading Make You Happier?

Ceridwen Dovey explores this question in the June 9 issue of The New Yorker (which you can access physically in the shelves behind the café in the library).  Drawing on her personal experience with bibliotherapy and from studies published in the past ten years, she examines how reading can shape a life.  How it may make you more empathetic and can restore you through life’s roughest patches. The book mentioned in the article From Abandonment to Zestlessness: 751 Books to Cure What Ails You is a truly wonderful, and perhaps even life-changing resource.

How Do You Read?

Francine Prose is a highly regarded and award-winning author of fiction and nonfiction for adults, young adults and children.   She was the president of the PEN American Center. Her book Reading Like a Writer about learning how to write through careful reading is a deep look at what being a close reader of good writing can do for you. Even readers who aren’t interested in becoming writers themselves will marvel at the examples and insights that Prose highlights.

Next week, we’ll continue our look into the world of reading with 2 fantastic new books about books in American culture.

Psychology of Zombies: A Faculty Panel

July 21st, 2015

AMC just announced that the new season of the Walking Dead will begin October 11th. We are getting excited about this, so I thought I’d post this video from our One Book programming on World War Z (2013-2014 academic year).

Psychology of Zombies: A Faculty Panel

“A Look at Muslims in Comics”

July 20th, 2015

This article from caught my eye, Eid Mubarak! A Look at Muslims in Comics. This is a great piece that outlines a range of characters in comics (superhero and non-superhero) who are Muslims. There’s a diverse group of characters and stories.

This caught my eye, because we are excited to be hosting two of the most well-known Arab writers. Yes, I know that being Arab is not the same as being Muslim, but these books consider many similar issues. Many writers intertwine identities. The article linked above actually has several comics about non-Arab Muslims. So, this explores quite a diversity of views. Definitely worth reading.

Here’s the event details for this fall. This event is organized by the Arab Student Union.

The Arab Experience Through Graphic Novels: Author Visit and Book Signing Featuring Leila Abdelrazaq and Toufic El Rassi
Nov 17, 11am Building L, Library Lounge
We welcome acclaimed writers Leila Abdelrazaq and Toufic El Rassi to Moraine Valley for this special event. Leila Abdelrazaq is the author of the graphic novel Baddawi which is the story of a young Palestinian boy named Ahmad who is struggling to find his place in the world. Toufic El Rassi is the author of the graphic novel Arab in America which is the story of average Arab-Americans who struggle with their identity in a post-9/11 world.