All posts by Ann

Librarian, Liaison for School of Public Affairs & Social Services and School of Advanced Manufacturing , Engineering & Applied Technology

National Book Festival 2019 Videos released

The Library of Congress is currently rolling out videos from author talks at the 2019 National Book Festival. This annual event is sponsored by the Library of Congress and takes place in Washington, D.C. at the end of August. (It is much more comfortable to view these talks online – August in D.C. is truly swampy!)

This year, there are many wonderful videos from the Science stage reporting current research, as well as popular writers on history, politics, biography, and of course fiction and poetry and children’s books. We have books by most of these authors in our collection.

Click on this link to access the list of videos. The easiest way to browse the list is to click on Sort by Title to see author names interfiled with titles.

Image showing how to sort the list by title

National First-Generation College Celebration, Nov. 8th

Library display about first generation college students

All this week we are celebrating first-generation college graduates. This includes many of our Ivy Tech staff, and graduates.

We have a display of selected books by famous first-gens, including neurosurgeon Ben Carson, First Lady Michelle Obama, Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Clarence Thomas, General Colin Powell, and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. The books are already getting checked out, so come take a look soon!

The most recent data available (from 2016) shows that 24% of all college students are first-generation. At community colleges, the percentage is 64%. Data also shows that while most first-generation students get financial aid, they do not partake of other college services like academic support and counseling at the same rates as other students (US Dept. of Education). As these helps are often crucial to success in college, this gap is concerning.

College is a new culture, no matter how academically prepared one is. We are having some fun with this by asking people to write down words or phrases that they had to learn – or learn a new meaning of – when they started college. My favorite is “citation”! (I’m sorry, Officer …)

What are some college words you had to learn? Leave a comment here, or come in to the library and help us out with this.

All Hallows Read

Spooky Books our Staff Love

All Hallows Read is a world-wide event celebrating the delights of sharing scary stories. It coincides with Hallowe’en. Being spooked can be fun when you have someone to hold on to!

In the Library this month we are displaying books in a range of scary genres – mysteries, horror, gothic, crime – for you to check out. Our staff have some specific recommendations below.

So grab a book, grab a friend, and turn on your reading light in a darkened room …

Dracula by Bram Stoker. View Record in IvyCat

Ann Spinney recommends this because while the story is scary, Stoker’s descriptive passages of moonlight on mountains and other natural scenes are ravishing. It is all very much in the Romantic era style. We also have the Illustrated Junior Library edition of this classic in our collection.

The Skeleton Haunts a House. A Family Skeleton Mystery, Book 3. By Leigh Perry. View Free Kindle Preview

Diana Dudley recommends this one. Sid the Skeleton lives with the family of an adjunct professor. No one knows how he came alive again, but now that he is re-animated, he takes an interest in solving the mysterious deaths of others. On a visit (in costume, of course) to a Halloween Haunted House with his family, Sid is accidentally trapped inside when the police close the place down to investigate an actual dead body. Sid does some investigating of his own.

Diana also recommends Joyland and Duma Key by Stephen King – “they are not too spooky.”

Coraline by Neil Gaiman View Record in IvyCat

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. View Record in IvyCat

Liz Metz recommends these two young adult fantasy books by the masterful Neil Gaiman. They are in our Juvenile Fiction collection.

UnSub and Into the Black Nowhere by Meg Gardiner. View record for UnSub in IvyCat

Nicole Treesh writes, “The spookiest books I’ve enjoyed recently are crime thrillers by Meg Gardiner – UnSub books 1 and 2. The first, UnSub, is inspired by the real Zodiac Killer. It follows ‘a young detective determined to apprehend the serial murderer who destroyed her family and terrorized a city twenty years earlier’ (book jacket). It is in our fiction collection. The second, Into the Black Nowhere, is based on the real-life case of Ted Bundy, ‘an exhilarating thriller in which FBI profiler Caitlin Hendrix faces off against a charming, merciless serial killer’ (book jacket). It is in our Baker & Taylor fiction collection.”

Constitution day September 17th

Celebrate Constitution Day by spending some time with the document that grants US citizens their rights and privileges. An annotated online version is available from Congress.gov that aims to increase understanding of the Constitution and how it affects our society.

Constitution Annotated allows users to browse through all the Articles and Amendments, providing links to Supreme Court decisions based on each. Users can also perform topic searches and find all the passages in the Articles and Amendments and the Supreme Court cases dealing with that topic. For example, I searched “religion” in the topic search bar at the top of the page, and a list is generated of all passages in the Constitution and in Supreme Court decisions that include the term.

Notice that all the State and federal laws held unconstitutional by the Supreme Court have been tabulated for easy cross-reference.

On the same site are links to digitized primary source documents from the Constitutional Convention. View George Washington’s copy of the constitution draft annotated in his own handwriting! Read a broadside “Ode” celebrating the Constitution. Peruse pamphlets published in state and national newspapers arguing for and against the national Constitution and its ratification process. There is a very helpful “Historical Note” on the formation of the constitution, that places all of these documents in context.

With all these resources, we can surely go forth and “form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”

Summer Reading at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne

As we near the end of our summer term, a condensed semester that can be stressful for students and teachers, remember that Intersession break is coming! Here are some light reading recommendations from your library staff. Any of our staff can help you check them out. We wish everyone a relaxing, enjoyable break.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt. Fort Wayne General Collection F294 .S2B48 1994

I’ve been immersed in True Crime recently while creating displays on our forensics resources, and decided to try this old bestseller in the genre. It is perfect for summer reading, as it takes place in sultry Savannah, Georgia. There is nothing remotely gorey or scary about the story, even though it centers on a fatal shooting. The real-life characters are fascinating, and richer than many fictional people. (Ann Spinney)

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. (Available at four Ivy Tech libraries)

While delayed in an airport recently, I picked up this 1970 book, which has been reissued to capitalize on the Amazon Prime TV series. What a total delight! It is full of clever jokes, from the props – an angel eats deviled eggs while a devil eats angel food cake – to the dialog, the footnotes, and even the fonts. The story is one of the most goodness-affirming I have ever read, imagining how a child thwarts the Apocalypse. It centers on the power of friendship and kindness, through several subplots. The authors are giants of fiction and together they made a masterpiece while having a lot of fun. (Ann Spinney)

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Baker & Taylor leased books

Don’t let the lack of umbrellas and sand on the front cover fool you – this is totally a beach read! The entire book is formatted as a transcript from one of those “Where Are They Now?” shows. Daisy Jones was once the epitome of the beautiful, fearless Hollywood princess, and when she merged her voice with up-and-coming rockers The Six, they exploded onto the music scene in a way that’s never been forgotten. This book is a fun read, especially for those of us who remember the 70s fondly. (Carol Gibbs)

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes. Baker & Taylor leased books

Linda Holmes of NPR fame has written her first novel, and it’s well worth a read. Yes, it’s a romance, but it’s so much more than just waiting for the gal and the guy to finally realize they’re the perfect couple. This gal and guy come off as real people with flaws and problems and hey, guess what – what passes for true love isn’t enough to fix them. They have to dig a little deeper in order to do that. The book deals with emotional abuse, abandonment, the “yips,” and how to start over. A wonderful, heartwarming, satisfying read. (Carol Gibbs)

The Department of Sensitive Crimes by Alexander McCall Smith. Baker & Taylor leased books

McCall Smith writes multiple book series, and this is the first title in a new one he’s recently launched. His writing is quietly humorous and full of meandering thoughts as his characters interact. This series is a parody of the Scandinavian Noir genre, such as The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. It’s called Scandi Blanc, and no crime is too insignificant to investigate by the Sensitive Crimes Division. Why was someone stabbed in the back of the knee? Who do you call when an imaginary boyfriend goes missing? And of course: vampires. The fun isn’t found in solving the ‘crimes’ as much as following the preposterous conversations needed to crack the cases. (Carol Gibbs)

Chronicles of a Radical Hag (with Recipes) by Lorna Landvik. Baker & Taylor leased books

This is the story of a long-time columnist for a small-town newspaper. When a stroke sidelines Haze Evans, the newspaper decides to rerun some of her columns written throughout the decades of her employment. What follows is a nice historical retrospective, reminding the reader of how many cultural changes this country has weathered. The people surrounding Haze read her words again and are sometimes able to use them to change their perspectives or see their lives differently. Fun to see how many people were connected through Haze and her words. (Warning: this book does slant to the left. If you’re a curmudgeon like Joseph Snell, one of Haze’s critical readers, this isn’t the book for you!) (Carol Gibbs)

The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker. Baker & Taylor leased books

College students attending college in a small California town begin to fall asleep. They can’t be awakened. Some of them die. And then the sleeping sickness spreads out to the rest of the community. The news media descends to cover the crisis, complete with special terminology and logos. Some think it’s all being faked. Everyone is terrified that they could be next. For such an alarming premise, the writing is amazingly soothing. It’s gentle, even calming. Maybe even dream-like. One of my favorite things about this book was the way the lives of the different characters were shown to be interwoven, even if they weren’t aware of it. I read this book months ago and still sometimes find myself thinking about it. (Carol Gibbs)

Our non-fiction recommendation comes from Elina Puckett, who writes: “This got exceptional reviews. I am listening to it now and have a hard time putting it down.”

Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life by Peter Gray. Baker & Taylor leased books

July 4th: Visit Hawkins, Indiana

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Are you returning to Hawkins, Indiana this summer? You will want to prepare by browsing the library’s collection of books on the weirder aspects of our state. We have a Stranger Things-themed display this month with books on paranormal phenomena, the CIA, government conspiracy theories, the dangers of role-playing games, and more.