Tag Archives: Holiday

Light up December

Welcome to December, the darkest month of the year in the northern hemisphere. It’s not surprising that all cultures and traditions in this area have celebrations involving lights or fires and feasting. We have displays of cookbooks from our extensive collection that you can check out for your holiday cooking.

Our December graduates will surely shine brightly on all around them. We wish them all the best as they leave us. Special thanks to our wonderful library student assistant Cassondra.

New Products in the Library include the Testing and Education Reference Center database. It has practice entrance exam questions for public safety jobs, for Accounting certification, Teacher Praxis exams, the GED, SAT, CLEP, LSAT, and many more. Also included are tools for assessing career choices, writing your resume, and interviewing.

GFCLearnFree is a resource that we’d like to reintroduce. This portal contains hundreds of free training tools for students and really any adult trying to function in the USA. Improve your computer keyboarding and mousing, understand how Excel spreadsheets work, get an overview of using social media tools, reading a transit map, and so much more.

Celebrate October

October feels like a month of holidays! This year October encompasses Sukkot, Diwali, and Samhain/Hallowe’en among others. We have cookbooks with recipes for these holidays, and children’s books about them too. Come on in and browse!

As the leaves fall, you can use the online TreeFinder to identify the tree species they are from. And of course you can find many uses for colorful leaves, and leaf-themed designs, in our Hobbies and Crafts Reference Center.

Don’t forget to observe All Hallows Read by giving someone you love a scary book that they would like. Our new favorite for children is I Want to Be in a Scary Story. Check it out!

Other new books received this month include:
The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America’s Enemies, by Jason Fagone.
George and Lizzie by Nancy Pearl, the acclaimed debut novel by NPR books commentator.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, a young adult novel of which Kirkus Reviews says: “This story is necessary. This story is important.”
Sleeping Beauties, another novel with topical overtones, from horror master Steven King and his son Owen King.

Meet Your Library Staff
There is no better illustration of talent hiding behind a job description than Library Director Nicole Treesh. (That’s her on the left)

What do you do at the Library?
I have been the Library Director for almost a year.  The synopsis of what I do is oversee the Fort Wayne, Wabash, and now Warsaw library services, resources, and staff while supporting the mission and goals of the College particularly related to student success.  I can’t do what I do without the amazing staff on my team.  I represent the library on several committees and consortia including the Statewide Library Director’s Committee, our Regional Academic Affairs Team, and the Regional Extended Cabinet.
I develop, manage, and evaluate the library budgets, the library collections, and our online resources.  My brain is always working, thinking, and learning about trends in information technology, library services, and community college completion and retention.  I’m always striving to tell the story of the library and our mission to serve the students, faculty, and staff in more ways than just offering books and resources.

How did you gain your expertise?
I have a BS in Counseling and worked several years in community mental health organizations.  My passion for wanting to help people overcome adversity and obtain their goals in life started when I was in elementary school.  I’ve also always loved libraries, books, and technology.  I got a part time job at a library and quickly realized that my passions for helping people and information technology go hand in hand.  I decided to get my MLS and started pursuing full time library jobs.  I spent a couple years working in secondary schools in both IT, media centers, and as a Computer Programming Teacher.  My first MLS job was as a librarian here at Ivy Tech!  Soon after I started, the library director resigned and I became interim director until hired officially in November 2016.  My library career path isn’t traditional and certainly moved rapidly, but I couldn’t be happier or feel more blessed.

What is unique about you that could be of service to the Ivy Tech Community?
I believe that my background in mental health is invaluable, but also my personal experience with mental illness particularly as it relates to suicide prevention and awareness having lost my dad to suicide when I was just 17.  I’m compassionate and empathetic, can relate to the struggles of many of our students, and have the strength to move mountains for our students to succeed.

What is your favorite thing to do outside the Library?
I should say reading, right?  But truthfully, I’m a Netflix addict.  I love gardening, spending time with my husband, my kitty Maggie, and family.  I also dance obnoxiously to Kelly Clarkson 24/7 who I’ve seen 4 times in concert.

What books would you recommend to readers?
The Watersong series by Amanda Hocking who is a terrific YA author, I also have loved anything by Jandy Nelson, Jodi Picoult, or Ellen DeGeneres who is my favorite person/philanthropist.

What website do you recommend just for fun?
Everyone needs a goodreads.com account!

Changing Hours

Our Saturday hours are changing! On September 30th, we will begin opening at 9:00 a.m. and stay open until 1:45 p.m.

We have several new displays. A selection of books relevant to Hispanic Heritage Month are laid out near our north door for you to browse. They include Sonia Sotomayor’s best-selling My Beloved World.  You can check these out, too, right off the table!

Banned Books Week is September 25th -30th this year. We will have shelves of these dangerous items available for you to check out – they are part of our collections.

On our bulletin board outside our south door we are showcasing resources for courses in the School of Business, Logistics & Supply Chain. Did you know we have a dedicated Business Plan Pro workstation in the Library? Plus dozens of recent eBooks and hundreds of specialized articles.

While preparing this display I was temporarily captivated by logistics because there are so many recent innovations in this field. We’ve all heard of GPS but have you used an IPS – indoor positioning system? They are used in malls and other large spaces with many rooms. Each room or area has a transmitter using Bluetooth, WiFi or other medium; and with an app you can be directed to that specific place within the building. Wouldn’t an IPS have made those first days of classes much easier?

I recently read an article by the CMO of What3Words, a company that is providing addresses for the entire world. (Giles Rhys Jones, “Human Friendly Coordinates.” Geoinformatics, vol. 18, no. 5, 2016, pp. 10-12.) What3Words mapped the entire earth into 3-meter squares and assigned each a three-word address. Humans tend to mix up numbers – especially the long ones used by GPS systems – but research shows we can recall three random words. (They are indeed random with no connection to the purpose or neighborhood of the space so tagged.) The words are translated into local languages worldwide. This system has revolutionized humanitarian aid delivery and is allowing civil, legal, and financial services to reach communities that have been underserved. The What3Words app is free for iOS or Android, and the system now has many partners.

See you at dusty.puzzle.ritual!

Happy Birthday USA!

The flag that inspired “The Star-Spangled Banner” (image from the Smithsonian Institution

 

While fireworks explode as we celebrate the Fourth of July, you can get a blast from the past with these great historical resources! Who isn’t moved by examining Thomas Jefferson’s handwritten draft of the Declaration of Independence, or reading manuscript letters of George Washington, or the reports of eyewitnesses to battles in the Revolution?
The Coming of the American Revolution is a freely accessible, online gallery from the Massachusetts Historical Society containing digitized primary source documents like broadsides and newspaper announcements of meetings of the Sons of Liberty. Documents are presented with extensive scholarly notes and resources for teachers and students. It is clearly organized and offers multiple searching options.
Examine three early versions of the Declaration of Independence in the online gallery of the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia. The first is Jefferson’s draft, which he sent to a friend before submitting it to the Continental Congress on July 1st, 1776.
Examine correspondence between members of the Continental Congress, digitized by The New York Public Library’s Early American Manuscripts Project. These collections include hand-written letters cross-indexed by names and topics. Keyword searching will find these tags.
Read transcribed accounts of battles from eyewitnesses and soldiers’ diaries of life in the Continental Army in the database American History Online accessible through the Ivy Tech Northeast Library home page. Find it in the A-Z list of databases. From the American History Home page, under “Browse Resources” choose “Primary Sources,” then under “Filter Primary Sources” choose “American Revolution” to see an index of transcriptions. This database also has maps of major battles in the War of Independence. From the Home page, under “Browse Resources” choose “Maps and Charts”, then under “Filter Maps and Charts” choose “American Revolution.”
What was life like in the Federal period after the Revolution? Check out the open database Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Papers from 1789-1924 are keyword-searchable. 1876 was the centennial year of the United States. To see newspaper articles about the celebrations, do an advanced searchof all states for the phrase centennial anniversary or centennial celebration. Choose the date range 1870-1880 for articles about the preparation and aftermath. This is an ongoing project of the National Endowment for the Humanities, coordinated by the Library of Congress. Content is being contributed by local institutions, digitized in a format suitable for keyword searching. This site also provides a directory of newspapers from 1690-present, showing library holdings; this is the expected range of coverage upon completion.
Are you decorating your house for the holiday? Symbols of the United States is a Primary Source Set from the Library of Congress, written for elementary schools but fun for all. View digitized original sources and read the history of the Liberty Bell, our flag, the bald eagle, Uncle Sam, the Star Spangled Banner, and the Statue of Liberty. This set includes a Teachers’ plan, a student guide, and a free ebook for iOS devices.

National Bicycle Month

May is National Bicycle Month, with several events observed in Fort Wayne, including National Bike to Work Day and the Ride of Silence honoring those killed and injured while bicycling.

Bicycle safety awareness is emphasized during this month. Have you heard of the Dutch Reach?

Government agencies provide excellent resources for bicycle safety. At the sites listed, you can find best practices for cyclists and motorists, initiatives to make bicycling safer, tools for educating children in bike safety, and statistics on injuries.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/bicyclists
Federal Highway Administration https://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/bicycle/
The Medline database is a great resource for any public safety topic. Medline uses Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) for targeted searching. The Ivy Tech Library provides a user-friendly interface: find Medline (EBSCO) in our A-Z List. When you enter your search term bicycle safety also select suggest subject terms. This shows you the correct terms to use, how the topic relates to other topics, and allows you to target statistics, trends, injuries and other data sets.

Go Fly a Kite!

four kites flying in blue sky with clouds

April is National Kite Month and is a great time of the year to fly them. The American Kitefliers Association has many resources from directories of clubs to instruction videos. Kites are not just toys – kite making and flying can get very scientific and is a fun way to explore math, applied physics, earth science, art, and different cultures.
Kites have been used in scientific experiments like Ben Franklin’s test for electricity in lightning. Kites were used in warfare for observation as late as the second world war; in ancient times they could be flown over fortifications to test how thick walls were, by using triangulation. The classic kite shape of two triangles that share a base has many interesting mathematical properties, and can be convex or nonconvex.
Kites to be flown are not always kite-shaped, however; there are tubular sock and drogue shapes. Constructing a kite also involves tying special knots in the strings, and flying one uses the same technologies and techniques as operating a sail boat. Kites are being tested as a source of energy, as used in kite surfing, snowkiting, and kite sledding. Fighting with kites is an ancient sport taken quite seriously in parts of Asia, described in the acclaimed novel The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (adapted as a movie).
Many kites are made to be beautiful above all. Ancient kites were made of silk, paper, and bamboo. Today, people make them out of Tyvek® and nylon fabric too.
In some places kites are part of religious ceremonies: in India, they are flown on the Hindu festival of Makar Sankranti; in Mexico, fire kites called “little witches” are set off at night around Hallowe’en; in Guatemala, kites are flown above graves to free ancestor spirits on the Day of the Dead; in Japan, kites are released to exorcise evil spirits.
To find more information on the many aspects of kites, search in our databases using – ironically – the subject heading Kites (toys) to filter out resources concerned with the bird species called kite. (Sources: Freeman, C. (2010). Hands on geometry. Waco, TX: Prufrock Press. Rowlands, J. (1989). One-hour kites. New York: St. Martin’s Press. Silvester, H.(2008).  Into the wind: the art of the kite. New York: Abrams.)

Chocolate

 

As we make our way toward the tail-end of this rather mild winter, you may find yourself celebrating Valentine’s Day. For different couples, this day has various associations. Perhaps it’s an excuse for a romantic getaway. Maybe it’s a vibrant bouquet of flowers to dispel the winter’s dreariness. Or, if you’re anything like me, it’s all about the chocolate. Is it any wonder that we give this delicious, unique, and versatile treat away as a sign of our affection? Let’s dig a bit deeper into the world of chocolate, using the resources available in the Ivy Tech Northeast Library, to help understand what makes this confection so special.

A world without chocolate sounds like a dark place, but depending on where your ancestors hail from, that may have been the case. Made from the seeds of the cacao tree, chocolate was known for centuries as a treat, usually in the form of a drink, to Central American civilizations such as the Maya and the Aztecs. While we have come to associate the food with chocolatiers from Switzerland or Belgium, chocolate didn’t hit European shores until the Spanish conquistador Cortés encountered it during his New World exploration in the 16th century. As this Modern Marvels segment, available from the Films on Demand database, points out, chocolate as we know really came to be in 1828 when Dutch chocolate maker C.J. Van Houten created a press that allowed for the processing of cacao seeds into a dry powder, which in turn allowed in to be pressed into bars or baked into all the delectable treats we know it for today.

Since this development, the uses for chocolate have become many and varied, from the simplest bite-sized chocolate bar to the most elaborate cakes and pastries. The book Chocolate Passion from Tish Boyle and Timothy Moriarty is chock-full of “choc”-full recipes that feature the ingredient in delightful ways. For something relatively simple, the “Pain au Chocolat” is the perfect treat. The light, flaky croissant crust is the perfect way to deliver a rich, melted chocolate filling. If you’re feeling a bit more daring, try the unique fusion of flavors in “Ganache-filled Fried Wontons with Ginger Ice Cream and Chocolate Sorbet.” This recipe teaches you how to make everything, from the ice cream itself made with fresh ginger, to the ganache filling with bittersweet chocolate and cognac. The “Asian-spiced Dipping Sauce,” with its cinnamon, cloves, and anise is a perfect example of the many flavors that can complement and enhance your chocolate eating experience.

If you’re looking for something solely chocolate-focused, try Lisa Yockelson’s “Chocolate Savannahs, Remodeled” from her appropriately Chocolate Chocolate. As Yockelson describes, “The intense flavor reaches a chocolatey plateau in the dough through use of cocoa powder, bittersweet chocolate, unsweetened chocolate, and chocolate chips in the dough.” I’ll take a dozen.

Are you a diagnosed chocaholic? Ok, that may be a made-up condition, but our curiosity about chocolate from a health standpoint is definitely real. From the MedlinePlus database, an article from the National Institutes of Health entitled “Claims about Cocoa: Can Chocolate Really Be Good for You?” explores the various health claims about chocolate and its place in our diet. It details an interesting study about the Kuna people off the coast of Panama whose low risk of cardiovascular disease and blood pressure was found to be inconsistent with their salt intake and weight. Could this be good genetics? Not likely. The article also states that “those who moved away from the Kuna islands developed high blood pressure and heart disease at typical rate.” One unique aspect of their diet that piqued the interest of researchers was the fact that, as Dr. Brent M. Egan said, the amount of cocoa they consume “was easily 10 times more than most of us would get in a typical day.” Of course, this doesn’t mean you should stock up on Hershey’s bars for daily consumption. The Kuna’s chocolate is much closer to the original way that humans consumed it, a drink made from crushed and dried cacao pods that we would probably find much too bitter. Some researchers have tried to find links between chocolate and preventing disease such as diabetes or cancer, but it’s difficult to determine correlation with something as complex as diet, and almost impossible to declare causation. Even if chocolate helps stave off diabetes, most of the chocolate we eat as Americans is delivered in a way that is high in sugar and fat, which almost certainly does more harm than good. Going with darker, less processed chocolates—ideally paired with healthy foods such as fruits and nuts—seems to be the way to go. This is because a compound called flavonols are thought to be responsible for the health benefits of chocolate. Often flavonols, along with the more bitter taste that accompanies them, are removed the more cocoa is processed. By the time that cocoa makes its way into your slice of triple chocolate cheesecake, you probably shouldn’t consider it a health food. We haven’t yet reached a consensus on exactly what the health benefits of chocolate are, but as long as you’re watching the sugar and fat that accompany it, you may very well be doing your body a favor.

Are you going to enjoy any chocolate this month? There’s no wrong way to do so, and with so many interesting flavor combinations, you’ll never run out of interesting and flavorful ways to try this delicious ingredient. If you need more ideas about how to get more chocolate in your life, make sure to stop by the Ivy Tech Northeast Library and get inspired. (By Library Clerk, David Winn)