Film Blog: Castle in the Sky

March 27th, 2015

Last time we featured Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, which was Miyazaki’s first animated feature film.Today we’re going to continue on that trend of Miyazaki films with Castle in the Sky. This film is considered the first Studio Ghibli produced film (1986).

The film opens with an engineer’s apprentice Pazu finding an unconscious and floating Sheeta. The story is filled with adventure as Sheeta and Pazu as they are chased by mysterious agents and even pirates! This is definitely a story for everyone. Be sure to check out the trailer before for more information, also check out Studio Ghibli’s website here.

A Quick Listen on the History of the English Language

March 26th, 2015


Most American high school and college  students are familiar with some of Shakespeare’s plays, Beowulf, Canterbury Tales and the Legend of King Arthur.  Some of us had a difficult time reading and understanding the works but our teachers helped us interpret the antiquated English.
Here is an interesting article on these famous literary works. The literature comes alive when we not only read the language but hear it too.

Spring Is Coming, So Are Our Newest Streaming Videos

March 26th, 2015

MV Library has a new series of streaming videos this March:

Engineering an Empire


(Taken from

Engineering an Empire is a documentary program on History Channel that explores the accomplishments of engineering and architecture in the history of the world. This program includes the following episodes:
Rome; Egypt; Greece; The Aztecs; Carthage; The Maya: Death Empire; Russia; Britain: Blood and steel; The Persians; Da Vinci’s World

The Men Who Made Us Fat


(Taken from

Around the world, obesity levels are rising. This three- episode documentary series entitled The Men Who Made Us Fat explores the political, economic and social events that led to our increasingly overweight world.
The Men Who Made Us Fat: Part 1
The Men Who Made Us Fat: Part 2
The Men Who Made Us Fat: Part 3

Children in No Man’s Land


(Taken from

Children in No Man’s Land is an award-winning documentary that uncovers the current plight of the 100,000 unaccompanied minors entering the United States every year. Click here to view.

New books, DVDs, music CDs, e-resources, activities, programs and SO MUCH MORE in MV Library!



Chicago Latino Film Festival

March 24th, 2015
Do you want to experience the Latin World without spending a lot of money or time? Then plan to attend the Chicago Latino Film Festival on April 10 through April 23.
Check out the schedule for movies, times and theaters.
Also, check out the MVCC Hispanic American DVD collection.


Blockus: Fitting it All Together

March 22nd, 2015



You already know that the MVCC Library is awesome, but here’s another reason to add to the list of why.  We have a new game collection that is available to you in the library.  Just come to the circulation desk to check them out!  We’re highlighting each one in a series of blog posts, and this one is dedicated to Blockus.


If you are familiar with the game Tetris, Blockus will seem familiar at a glance.  However, it gets much more complicated.  The board is a grid of 400 squares that fit your pieces.  You will get a set of 21 tiles that are based on free polyominioes, meaning that you’ll have pieces made up of squares.  These will be made up from one to five squares, each in a unique formation.


The gameplay is turn-based.  On your turn, you play one piece.  That’s it!  Simple, right?  Not exactly…  Your piece must connect to one of your other pieces, but only at the corner.  No two squares on any piece of the same color can be side by side.  You can, however, put those squares next to another color.  If you can’t fit a piece on the board, you’ll have to pass your turn.  The game ends when no more pieces can be played.


The scoring is based on how many squares in the individual pieces are left off of the board.  Each square is a negative point, so a piece made up of four squares is negative four points.  You’ll have to plan your strategy while reading your opponents moves to be able to get all of your pieces to fit on the board. Put those Tetris skills to the test!


In case you missed some of the previous posts, we’ve covered Settlers of Catan, Hey, That’s My Fish!, Tsuro, and Ticket to Ride

Why Do 1 in 3 Students Not Graduate in Community Colleges?

March 19th, 2015

There’s a great deal of talk about free community college for students. But, along with this talk, we need to have a reality check about the challenges that students face. Here’s a radio piece about some of the realities that our students (many of you reading this) face.

If you are here at Moraine Valley, there are many support options: library, tutoring, advising, counseling, clubs, etc. Don’t fall into this trap!

Episode 611: Community
Description: Free community college. When the President proposed making the first two years free for everyone, it seemed like a magic bullet for expanding opportunity. But only one in three students graduate—and money is not the problem.Today on the show: why is it so hard to get through community college?

New Video Databases @ MVCC Library

March 17th, 2015

Need to access a quick video clip, newsreel or a documentary for your class? Check out the new video/music databases @ MVCC library.

American History in Video
Historic news reals and video footage. This release includes 6,714 videos equaling 1659 hours.
Art and Architecture in Video
Welcome to Art and Architecture in Video, a collection of documentaries and interviews illustrating the history, theory and practice of art, design and architecture. This release includes 427 videos, equaling 261 hours.
Counseling and Therapy in Video
Provides the largest and richest online collection of video available for the study of counseling, social work, psychotherapy, psychology, and psychiatric counseling. This current release includes 460 videos equaling 446 hours.
Criminal Justice & Public Safety Video Collection
Collection of documentaries, training videos, and interviews illustrating the strategies, techniques, and experiences of professionals serving on the front lines of justice and public safety. This release provides 559 titles, equaling approximately 379 hours.
Education in Video
Education in Video is the first online collection of streaming video developed specifically for training and developing teachers. This release now provides 4,306 titles, equaling approximately 1301 hours.
Ethnography in Video
Brings together a wide range of streaming video, written ethnographies, field notes, seminal texts, memoirs, and contemporary studies, covering human behavior the world over. This release includes 1,111 videos equaling roughly 759 hours.
Naxos Music Library
Naxos Music Library [NML] is the world´s largest online classical music library. Currently, it offers streaming access to more than 101,300 CDs with more than 1,469,500 tracks of both standard and rare repertoire. Over 800 new CDs are added to the library every month.
Nursing Education in Video
Collection of videos created specifically for the education and training of nurses, nursing assistants, and other healthcare workers. This release includes 379 videos equaling 122 hours.
World History in Video
Collection of critically acclaimed documentaries that allow students and researchers to explore human history from the earliest civilizations to the late twentieth century. This release includes 1239 videos equaling 828 hours.

Americans’ Privacy Strategies Post-Snowden

March 17th, 2015

Michael Miner of the Chicago Reader opines on The Pew Research Center’s survey results concerning how American adults protect themselves after Edward Snowden revealed government surveillance programs in 2013. Results show that “slightly over half the Americans polled said they were “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” about this monitoring.” A paltry number according to Miner.

Chicago Reader Bleader privacy blog post

Survey questions

Senior Pew researcher Mary Madden says of the results, that “half of Americans think it would be difficult for them to find tools and strategies to help them be more private as they use technology. The vast majority have not yet adopted some of the more advanced tools that would encrypt their communications or make them less visible when they are using the internet.” These strategies may include “special search engines, e-mail encryption programs, browser plug-ins, proxy servers, and anonymity software. The adults polled were asked about each tool, and in every case most of them—at least two persons in three and more often about four in five—had either not considered using the tool or had never heard of it.”

Art for you and me: The National Gallery of Art’s Research Tools

March 17th, 2015

Today marks the anniversary of the National Gallery of Art’s official opening on March 17, 1937  by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  The National Gallery of Art was built during the Great Depression and started its collection with a large donation by a wealthy art collector, Andrew Mellon.  The night of March 17th ol’ FDR made a profound speech to the over eight thousand attendees at the opening.  He made clear that the National Gallery of Art was for the people of the United States, to provide access to the art forall citizens who wish to enjoy it.  In reference to the donors, FDR mentioned they “felt some desire to establish not a memorial of themselves but a monument to the art that they love and to the country they belong.”

Opening night of the National Gallery of

Opening night of the National Gallery of Art.

In following with the tradition set the night of its opening, the National Gallery of Art offers many free services (and free admission!) to anyone seeking information or access to the art in its collection.

River Landscape by Annibale Carracci

River Landscape by Annibale Carracci

If you can’t visit the physical gallery the NGA offers a couple different ways to view the art or find further information on either art pieces or the artists.   If you are researching a specific artist and would like to see which of their pieces are in the NGA’s collection use their Collection Search guide under the top tab “Collections.” What is really neat about this search function is the NGA provides records and in many cases photos of art they have in collection but not currently on display.  Think of it as a behind the scenes look since most of the collection is in storage or out on loan to another museum.

Look Mickey by Roy Lichtenstein


For those doing research on artists but don’t have the full name the NGA’s  Artists page provides three main ways to narrow down your search.  On the left hand side of the page you can sort by nationality, life span range and the first letter of the last name.  This comes in handy when you have an assignment to writing on artists from a specific country or time period.


Untitled (Manhattan at Night) by Ellison Hoover

The Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts is housed next to the NGA and their publication, Center, can be viewed and used for research for free through the NGA.  If you were to need further assistance in research, the NGA’s library has numerous resources and guides to assist you and you can always contact them if you need further help.

Here at Moraine Valley Library we have a research guide specifically for researching Art and Art History, long with a list of databases.   And remember, if you need any assistance in trying to find information for your finals coming up you can always ask a librarian.


Check Out Graphic Novel Creator Gareth Hinds

March 12th, 2015
Taken from

Taken from

For those of you who find reading Shakespeare hard to understand as I do, discovering a different adaptation of his work might be helpful. Continuing our graphic novel theme, today I am highlighting acclaimed graphic novel creator Gareth Hinds. He has created and illustrated several Shakespearean texts including Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, King Lear, and other anonymously written epic poems and mythological tales. Our MVCC Library has Beowulf in its catalog which you can find here. “…Grendel’s black blood runs thick as Beowulf defeats the monster and his hideous mother, and red fires rage in the hero’s final battle against a ferocious dragon. From lightning-paced contests of muscle and will to the funeral boats burning on the fjords, all are rendered in glorious and gruesome detail. Told for more than a thousand years, Beowulf’s heroic saga finds a true home in this graphic novel edition” (Candlewick Press, cover flap, 2007). If you are a fan of Hinds’ work, and would like to see more of it in our collection, check out his website for other titles. If you would like to recommend other titles for our collection fill out the “Suggest an Item for the Library Collection” form on our website.