Free Comic Book Day Tomorrow – May 6

It’s “Free Comic Book Day” tomorrow! Held the first Saturday every May, “the [comic book] industry comes together to give away free comics and encourage fans, both old and new, to flock to the best place in the comic book community: local comic shops. Major publishers such as DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Dark Horse Comics, IDW Publishing, and Image Comics put out free comics for fans to enjoy at the more than 2,300 local comic shops participating in Free Comic Book Day.” (www.freecomicbookday.com)

You can find local comic book stores near Palos Hills that are participating in the event by using Free Comic Book Day’s locator web page. Nearby participants are:

Also, check out MVCC Library’s graphic novel section. We have books about comics and we also have graphic novels that are bound collections of comic books such as Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man, Marvel’s She-Hulk, DC Comics’ Bombshells, and more!

New to the Collection: Neither Snow Nor Rain by Devin Leonard

Do you ever wonder what might become of the U.S. Postal Service with the advancement of technology? We can print stamps at home on our personal computers, pay more and more bills online, use E-mail instead of “snail mail,” and even have packages shipped directly from vendors to recipients without ever setting foot in a post office. While stamps are probably one of the best bargains around, the U.S. Postal Service has been losing money, closing many of its offices, and debating whether to cut mail delivery days.

New to the MVCC Library collection is the book Neither Snow Nor Rain: a History of the United States Postal Service by Devin Leonard. The tagline always was that “neither snow nor rain” or any type of bad weather could keep the postman away. What could possibly keep them away would be dogs; in fact, I just saw a postman interviewed on a morning show this week stating that, while it’s humorous to think of, the biggest stumbling block for him has been dogs chasing him down! Even the word “snail” mail emanated from the dawn of E-mail because it was faster sending electronic mail than using the slow postal service.

An excerpt from Leonard’s interesting book reads: “In parts of America that it can’t reach by truck, the USPS finds other means to get people their letters and packages. It transports them by mule train to the Havasupai Indian Reservation at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Bush pilots fly letters to the edges of Alaska. In thinly populated parts of Montana and North Dakota, the postal service has what it refers to as ‘shirt pocket’ routes, which means that postal workers literally carry all their letters for the day in their shirt pockets.” Hearing situations such as these remote delivery areas leads one to wonder if the U.S. Postal Service will continue to exist in the future…pick up this book and check it out!

For a limited time you can find the book shelved in the library lounge on the 2nd floor among the new arrivals. Otherwise, it can be found here in our catalog.

Congratulations Delphine Lytell!

MVCC Library would like to congratulate our very own Delphine Lytell on her nomination for Adjunct Professor of the Year! Delphine has dedicated almost two decades of service to our library, our students, and her profession. You may have been one of her students, as she is an “expert of all trades.” She has taught a myriad of classes including College 101, Library Information sessions, and even Psych. and History classes. Outside of the classroom she continues helping students who stop by the Reference Desk in the library. Her contributions to the college have been many from leading grant proposals to, most recently, working on our digital archives project for MVCC’s 50th Anniversary. She also continues to contribute to her profession by providing guidance to new (and seasoned) librarians who begin their journeys at MVCC.

We will find out who the college selects for Adjunct Professor of the Year later this spring, but in the meantime, please join me in congratulating Delphine on her nomination!

Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven

If “Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary…” sounds very familiar to you, it should! It’s probably one of the most recognized lines from one of the most famous poems ever written by Edgar Allan Poe. The Raven was first published under his name on January 29, 1845, in the New York Evening Mirror. While it made Poe a household name, it didn’t bring him overwhelming financial success.

Our library has access to the free eBook provided by Project Gutenberg. This particular copy is illustrated by Gustave Doré. His illustrations were woodcuts, “A method of printing from an inked block of medium-soft wood (usually pear or cherry) from which an artist has excised all but an illustration…in a woodcut, the finished print is conceived as dark lines on a light ground.”[i]

While the poem is hauntingly beautiful and melodic in its own right, Doré’s illustrations are even more so. Check out The Raven in our catalog.

[i] (Reitz)

Edgar Allan Poe Museum. Poes-Biography. n.d. Website. 26 January 2017. <https://www.poemuseum.org/poes-biography>.

Reitz, Joan M. “Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science.” 2004-2014. ABC-CLIO.com. Online Document. 26 January 2017. <http://www.abc-clio.com/ODLIS/odlis_w.aspx>.

 

New to Collection: Nutcracker(s)

nutcrackerIt’s that time of year again, when the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful…and you might want to watch the Nutcracker ballet! Two new versions have been added to our library collection. The first is The Nutcracker featuring Mikhail Baryshnikov and the American Ballet Theatre. It premiered in 1976 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and was recorded for television in 1977. It remains one of the most popular televised productions even until today and earned Baryshnikov an Emmy nomination. Our copy is the Blu-ray version which was released in 2012.

The second version is the Nutcracker choreographed by Helgi Tomasson for the San Francisco Ballet. This was a new version of the ballet, which premiered in 2004 at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco. The story is set during the time of the Panama–Pacific International Exposition, a 1915 world’s fair held in San Francisco celebrating the completion of the Panama Canal and the city’s recovery from the 1906 earthquake. Another difference from Baryshnikov’s version is that the main female character of Clara is played by a young girl instead of an adult female dancer. One of the extra features of our copy is a documentary on the 1915 World’s Fair.

Both versions of the Nutcracker can be located in the library’s main floor lounge for a limited time. In the meantime, here’s some fun Nutcracker facts!

New to Collection: “First Women” by Kate Andersen Brower

firstwomenWith the close of this presidential election season coming fast and furious, there is a real possibility that Hillary Clinton will become the first female president of the United States…leaving President Bill Clinton as “what” as far as terminology goes? The “First Gentleman” or “First Husband?” Whatever way it is phrased, this will be a unique situation and will be interesting to see what his role turns out to be in the White House depending on the election outcome. In the meantime, you might want to check out the latest book by Kate Andersen Brower, First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies located here in our catalog, and for a limited time upstairs in the Library Lounge at the “New Titles” display. There are two different spreads of photographs included in the book of our former First Ladies with some interesting facts. Here’s a tease: “Laura Bush, a Republican, and Michelle Obama, a Democrat, are closer than Michelle is with Hillary Clinton. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Laura defended Michelle when she came under criticism, and the two have since praised each others work as first ladies” (Brower). It is nice to learn that friendships are made beyond party lines.

Andersen is also the author of the New York Times bestseller The theresidenceResidence, which the Today Show has reviewed as “a revealing look at life inside the White House. . .it’s ‘Downton Abbey’ for the White House staff.” You can find this book here in our catalog.

We also have these two books in eAudioBook and eBook formats, made available through eRead Illinois. Check them out whichever way suits your fancy and enjoy some political reads before the election.

First Women eAudiobook ; First Women eBook ; The Residence eAudioBook ; The Residence eBook

Brower, Kate Andersen. First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies. New York: Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2016. Print.

 

College Student Resources – Icecream Apps Website Review

icescreenshotlogo“The Internet-based world we live in means that common web-based homework tasks need easy and fast solutions. Ice Cream Apps fills the bill by providing students the software to take care of tasks like capturing screenshots, converting video formats, making slideshows and all kinds of stuff that college students’ coursework can require” (Mooney).

The company’s “mission is to provide millions of users all over the world with great and still free analogues to the popular paid applications for Windows systems. . . .Some of our products are absolutely free, some free versions have limited features with an upgrade possibility to PRO version which have special features and no limitations” (Icecream Apps).

As a former Master’s degree student, what I like about the Icecream Apps website is it is like a “one-stop shop” for applications that most college students will eventually need to use.

  • PDF Converter – a PDF format of a document is easier to access and use especially if an instructor does not use Microsoft Word; I have also used this feature many times responding to job applications when a PDF is required. Converts a file to (and from) PDF.
  • Screen Recorder – I had to create a presentation for one of my online classes showing a demonstration of something on-screen.
  • Ebook Reader – this could come in handy if a student is researching and saving online articles that are in an EPUB format.
  • PDF Split and Merge – could be useful if a student is saving an article they found in an online database, but only wants to keep specific pages of pertinent content.
  • Slideshow Maker – could help a student create a presentation or just a slideshow of personal pictures.
  • Image Resizer – I tested this to resize a background photo for my LinkedIn page and it is very user-friendly.

All of the above software applications work on Windows-based systems; only two (Screen Recorder and PDF Split and Merge) work on Mac based systems so far.

Other features that I like about this website are: there is a “Help Center” drop down menu which offers *manuals and how-tos on using the software; on each separate software product page there is a short video presentation highlighting features of the software; and all the software products offer translations into many different languages for people all around the world.

icescreenshotmanual*Screen shot of the on-screen manual. I created this using the software and added the arrows and the text. Very user-friendly for not having read the manual.

Check out Icecream Apps and let us know what you think!


Icecream Apps. About: Icecream Apps. © 2014-2016. 7 September 2016. <http://icecreamapps.com/about.html>.

Mooney, Paula. “Articles. Technology: 21 Most Useful Websites Every College Student Needs to Know.” n.d. Lifehack Website. Document. 7 September 2016. <http://www.lifehack.org/articles/technology/21-most-useful-websites-every-college-student-needs-know.html>.

 

New to Collection – “Race: the Incredible True Story of Gold Medal Legend, Jesse Owens”

RaceIf you are suffering from Olympic withdrawal now that the Rio Olympic games are in the history books, check out MVCC Library’s collection for materials that might be of interest.

This past August was the 80th anniversary of Jesse Owens winning Olympic gold at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany. “Germany made broadcast history by being the first to televise a sports event–the 1936 Olympic Games held in Berlin. The quality was poor and live transmissions could only be seen in special viewing booths in Berlin and Potsdam. But the Nazi regime took the opportunity to showcase its considerable radio broadcasting capabilities at the 1936 Olympics and focus the world’s attention on Germany. Ironically, in doing so, they helped bring international attention to African-American track star Jesse Owens who won four gold medals in track and field (100 meters, 200 meters, long jump and the 4x 100-meter relay)” (Fischer 3).

New to our collection is the DVD true story of Jesse Owens titled Race. Starring Stephan James as Owens and Jason Sudekis as Owens’ coach, it depicts his rise to fame as an Olympic track runner in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Striking are the scenes in which the racial climate of Adolf Hitler’s Germany is depicted, especially when Hitler did not want to meet Owens after winning his race(s). “Eighty years later, Jesse Owens is still remembered, not only as an Olympic hero but for destroying Adolf Hitler’s myth of racial purity” (Fischer 3).Owens

So if you are a fan of Usain Bolt and enjoyed watching his Olympic races in Rio, check out this movie to learn about one of his most famous predecessors.

Race can be found here in our collection and for a limited time in the Library’s main floor lounge area. A nice companion to this movie is the book Nazi games : the Olympics of 1936 by David Clay Large, found here in our collection.

 

Fischer, Audrey. “Olympic Games: Broadcasts of the Olympic Games Bring the Event to Life for Millions of Viewers and Leave a Record Behind for Posterity.” Library of Congress Magazine July/August 2016: 3. PDF. 24 August 2016.

 

Retelling of Alex Haley’s “Roots”

Roots2Back in 1977, ABC-TV aired the Roots miniseries. “With 100 million viewers, the finale still ranks as the third-highest-rated U.S. entertainment program ever measured by Nielsen…” “…the series engendered a national conversation about the legacy of slavery. [Mark] Wolper, whose father, David, was Roots’ executive producer and owned the rights, thanks his teenage son for motivating him to reinvent [Alex] Haley’s story. ‘After he watched the miniseries, my son said, Dad, I understand it’s important, but like your music, it doesn’t speak to me’” (Rudolph 25-26).

Beginning on Memorial Day (Monday, May 30) and continuing over four consecutive nights, the History Channel, A&E, and Lifetime will be airing the retelling of Alex Haley’s television adaptation of Roots. One of the main characters, Kunta Kinte, (Haley claimed was one of his ancestors) was taken from Africa, transported to America, and sold into slavery. He is being played by an unknown actor (Malachi Kirby) as was done in the 1977 version when LeVar Burton was chosen. “History [Channel’s] remake has a similarly recognizable cast [as did the original]. Matthew Goode, Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Tudors) and James Purefoy play slave owners, and Forest Whitaker is Fiddler, the enslaved musician who helps Kinte survive (a role that earned Louis Gossett Jr. an Emmy in the original). Anna Paquin and Mekhi Phifer (ER) play new characters, a Southern belle and her coachman, who share a big secret. Laurence Fishburne shows up in the final episode as Haley” (Rudolph 26).

In our MVCC Library catalog, we have Alex Haley’s 30th anniversary edition of the Pulitzer Prize winning book Roots: the Saga of an American Family and the DVD movie adaptation Roots, both currently available for checkout.Roots

Continuing the Roots theme, we have another book by Haley titled Alex Haley’s Queen: the Story of an American Family. Haley was the grandson of Queen, and his book tells the story about the children of black slave women and their white masters. We also have the first biography on Haley, written by Robert J. Norrell, titled Alex Haley and the Books that Changed a Nation.

“The time [for the retelling of Roots] also seems right with a renewed interest in America’s difficult racial history because of films like 12 Years a Slave… ‘That focus doesn’t happen accidentally,’ Wolper believes. ‘It’s a result of the reaction we have to things that are happening in the world” (Rudolph 26).

12YrsaSlaveCome check out the original version of Roots (in both print and DVD), any other works by Alex Haley, and 12 Years a Slave (in both print and DVD) for the Memorial Day weekend in preparation for the new remake. Also, check out the trailer for the new Roots remake.

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

Rudolph, Ileane. “Roots Revisited.” TV Guide Magazine May 23 – June 5 2016: 25-27. Print.

 

New to Collection – “Concussion” Book & DVD

ConcussionWSIt started with an article Jeanne Marie Laskas wrote for GQ magazine titled “Game Brain.” She helped to publicly expose the work of forensic pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu who discovered the brain disease CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) that many NFL football players/retirees were dying from, some committing suicide over.

Omalu’s story began when Mike Webster, aka “Iron Mike,” a Hall of Fame center for the Pittsburgh Steelers died suddenly. He performed the autopsy and started doing exhaustive research, paying for tests on Webster’s brain out of his own pocket, to try to figure out what made this former NFL player go mad. “What Omalu discovered in Mike Webster’s brain—proof that Iron Mike’s mental deterioration was no accident, but a disease caused by relentless blows to the head that could affect everyone playing the game—was the one truth the NFL would do anything to keep secret.” (Back cover book.)

MVCC Library has Laskas’s book Concussion, which is based on her GQ article. We also have the DVD motion picture adaptation of the same name, starring Will Smith (as Dr. Omalu). As a librarian who does not enjoy sports, I can tell you the movie and book look riveting! Check them both out in tandem if you’d like. The book is located here in our catalog, and the DVD is located here (both for a limited time located in the main floor lounge area).

Also, check out Laskas’s original GQ article here. Concussion