Category Archives: Featured Materials

Scribd is providing free access to popular Ebooks and periodicals

Scribd is a subscription ebook and audiobook service. For one month staring March 17th to April 17th, they are providing free access to their collections for any new customer. Access will end; you will not be automatically enrolled. We have tried this free service and recommend it. We were required to download a free app on our mobile phone to use the service.

Reading a ripping yarn is a great way to relax during these stressful times. You will find many of the same titles in the Scribd ebook collection as we have in our current Baker & Taylor print collection. The Scribd collection also includes the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, The Atlantic, and other titles useful for course work assignments. (We have access to these titles in our databases, with various embargo periods.)

Here is the link to sign up: https://www.scribd.com/readfree?utm_source=readfree

 

Pi à la Mode

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Every year on March Fourteenth people around the world celebrate the most famous mathematical constant: the ratio of the length of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. This is an irrational number, approximated to 3.14 (or 3.1415926) and represented by the Greek letter π. As a number, π is transcendental and real as well as irrational. Mathematician James Glaisher remarked of π that “a complete account of its calculation would almost amount to a history of mathematics.” (Quoted in: William Dunham, The Genius of Euler: Reflections on His Life and Work: On the History of Euler’s Constant (The Mathematical Association of America, 2007), p. 147.)

π has been calculated out to over a trillion decimal places, but we still do not know where it ends! Competitions to recite the known sequence of digits are held regularly around the world. (See pi-world-ranking-list.com for record-setting recitations.)

Mathematician Mark Kac noted that “pi, so intimately connected with circles, keeps cropping up in probability theory and statistics, the two disciplines which deal with randomness and luck.” (Mark Kac, Enigmas of Chance: An Autobiography: The Search for the Meaning of Independence (Harper & Row, 1985), p. 55.) We have an activity set up for you to experience this, based on Buffon’s Needle, the proof named after Georges-Louis LeClerc, Comte de Buffon, a scientist who enjoyed gambling.

The Greek letter π is pronounced like our English word “pie” – hence the puns, since pie is usually made in a circular pan, and, being a delicious pastry, may be difficult to divide fairly, as memorialized in the old English nursery rhyme:

A was once an Apple pie; B bit it; C cut it; D dealt it; E eat it; F fought for it; G got it; H had it; I inspected it; J joined it; K kept it; L longed for it; M mourned for it; N nodded at it; O opened it; P peeped in it; Q quartered it; R ran for it; S stole it; T took it; U upset it; V viewed it; W wanted it; X, Y, Z, and ampersand, all wished for a piece in hand.

March Fourteenth is also the birthday of Albert Einstein (b. 1879), who theorized what is perhaps the most famous equation using a constant in our universe: the relationship of mass to energy, represented by E=mc2 (E=energy; m=mass; c=the speed of light).

March Fourteenth is the death anniversary of another famous physicist: Stephen Hawking (d. 2018) who developed theories about the origins of our universe, and black holes, based on Einstein’s work.

The Library is displaying books by and about Einstein and Hawking, plus books on number theory and pastries, this month.

Come on in for some Pi!

 

National Ethics Awareness Month

No matter your area of study or line of work, ethics have an effect on policies, principles, and behavior. As an official observance, National Ethics Awareness Month draws attention to how crucial the ongoing study and practice of ethical engagement is.

Modernity comes with unforeseen dilemmas that shape the way we experience the world. Ethics takes a practical approach in exploring humane and sensible solutions to otherwise unavoidable and irreconcilable problems.

Ivy Tech offers a number of classes that take exclusive looks at ethics through the lens of many different disciplines:

PHIL 102: Introduction to Ethics
LEGS 170: Legal Ethics
TMAS 120: Ethics and Massage Management
BUSN 120: Ethics and Social Responsibility
CRIM 201: Ethics in Criminal Justice
HLHS 105: Medical Law and Ethics
HUMS 220: Issues and Ethics in Human Services

More information on these classes and more can be found here: https://www.ivytech.edu/course-catalog/.

The library has also curated a small collection of our books to further showcase National Ethics Awareness Month. Please stop by to not only find which dilemmas most apply to your life but to also discover if you can contribute to their resolutions!

In honor of this month’s observance, our eBook Spotlight recognizes “The Most Good You Can Do: How Effective Altruism Is Changing Ideas about Living Ethically.” You can find that title and a wide selection of others on Ivy Tech Library’s catalog, Ivycat!

New Children’s Books

“Jack is a rule-proof bundle of bunny-eared id who does as he pleases, and therein lies his considerable charm.” (BCCB)

Hi, Jack! by Mac Barnett & Greg Pizzoli: PIC BAR

In a book as cheerful and charming as Snail himself, Corey Tabor tells a winning tale of a slow but steady snail, whose determination and kindness bring him the best reward of all: friendship.

Snail Crossing by Corey R. Tabor: PIC TAB

“This heartwarming story of a boy and his beloved dog opens the door for further study of our 16th president.” (Kirkus Reviews)

Honey: The Dog Who Saved Abe Lincoln by Shari Swanson: E457.32 .S93 2019

“A wonderfully specific book that will delight the right readers, especially in maple syrup territory of the Northeast and Midwest.” (Booklist)

Bear Goes Sugaring by Maxwell Eaton III: TP395 .E28 2019

In addition to promoting the value of patience, Schmidt’s story will also be valuable for early study of changing seasons and teaching where food comes from.” (School Library Journal)

Almost Time Gary D. Schmidt & Elizabeth Stickney: PIC SCH

“Where’s Baby? is a beautifully illustrated hide-and-seek book for preschool aged children who want a light, playful read.” (CM Magazine)

Where’s Baby? by Anne Hunter: PIC HUN

“Echoes of child persistence and adult exasperation might ring familiar to grownup readers, but mostly this will earn plenty of giggles from fans of Jon Klassen and Lemony Snicket.” (BCCB)

Please Don’t Eat Me by Liz Climo: PIC CLI

Frederick Douglass Newspapers and other Abolitionist sources

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Frederick Douglass was a great orator, eloquent writer, and the publisher of three newspapers supporting the cause of Abolition. After escaping enslavement, his own freedom was bought with funds raised from his speaking tour of Europe. Douglass championed African-American owned newspapers as essential, declaring that:  “the man who has suffered the wrong is the man to demand redress,—that the man STRUCK is the man to CRY OUT—and that he who has endured the cruel pangs of Slavery is the man to advocate Liberty.”

The Library of Congress has now digitized their entire Frederick Douglass Newspaper Collection and made it freely available and searchable online. This is a subset of the Frederick Douglass Papers collection which they also curate. Although the Library holds the largest collection of his newspapers, it does not include every issue, because the Douglasses’ house was burned (by suspected arson) destroying part of his library where archival copies were stored.

Douglass was involved in publishing newspapers from the 1840s into the 1870s. These are powerful primary sources for learning about the experiences of African Americans in the United States from the antebellum era through Reconstruction. The Library of Congress provides freely downloadable teaching kits for the Frederick Douglass Papers, and for other primary sources from this time.

Other digital collections of Frederick Douglass papers are at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis; and in the New York Heritage Digital Collections.

In the Frederick Douglass collections one can find connections to Fort Wayne and the African-American and Abolitionist communities here. Henry Ward Beecher was a correspondent of Douglass; his father Lyman Beecher headed Lane Theological Seminary in Cincinnati during the period it was splintered by abolitionism. Henry Beecher visited Fort Wayne in 1843 and convinced members of the First Presbyterian Church – until then served by the abolitionist pastor Alexander T. Rankin – to split off and form another abolitionist congregation, which his brother Charles served as pastor for its first six years. Indiana was not a slaveholding state, but the position of African Americans was precarious within its borders. Rankin’s house in downtown Fort Wayne has been identified as a stop on the underground railroad.

Among our books dealing with abolitionist activism in Fort Wayne are:

The Underground Railroad and the Antislavery Movement in Fort Wayne and Allen County, Indiana by Angela M. Quinn – View Record in IvyCat

Slavery and the Meetinghouse: The Quakers and the Abolitionist Dilemma, 1820-1865 by Ryan P. Jordan – View Record in IvyCat

Indiana, 1816-1850: The Pioneer Era by Donald F. Carmony – View Record in IvyCat

Homeless, Friendless, and Penniless: The WPA Interviews with Former Slaves Living in Indiana compiled by Ronald L. Baker – View Record in IvyCat

A trove of primary sources relating to the Underground Railroad in Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio is The Wilbur H. Siebert collection, available online from the Ohio Memory Network. Professor Siebert, of Ohio State University, began the project with his history students in the 1890s. They were able to interview former fugitives, “railroad agents,” and others for whom escapes were living memory. The Siebert collection includes this map of escape routes through Indiana on which Fort Wayne is a node.

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Image courtesy of the Ohio History Connection