Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Book Thief

The end of September and start of October are always punctuated by Banned Book Week, which is, in short, a celebration of books that tend to be challenged by various groups because of content, word choice, characters, titles, covers, and so on. And while that could be a perfect excuse to wax poetic about Mark Twain, Voltaire, or yes, even Harry Potter, my annual celebration of Banned Books is to reread a very ironic book on that list:

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

 Why is it an ironic choice? Because The Book Thief is not only a surprisingly funny and heartfelt story about World War II Germany, it centers on books and book burning.

The New York Times described the book as “not really… ‘Harry Potter and the Holocaust.’ It just feels that way.” It’s narrated by Death, who shouldn’t be as fabulous as they are, but they’re fabulous (even if I can’t shake the image of Death being a tiny, sassy Australian woman). The main character (the titular “Book Thief” who is really named Liesel) is an adolescent girl whose life has been tinged with death, but has remained resilient, warm, kind, and sweet. The first book she steals is a manual for grave diggers, and her love of learning proves insatiable. She and her adopted family show a tiny slice of the War from the perspective of German citizens and every act of defiance her family commits feels like a victory.

It’s completely worth the read, and the film version is set to be released in early November. ~~Maisie

Editor's note--If interested, call # is PR 9169.4 Z87 B66 2006

Thursday, October 24, 2013

What I did last summer.......

Over the summer I worked in the library archives developing a finding aid for part of the William Shirer Collection. Shirer, a journalist from Cedar Rapids popular for his memoirs of fascist Germany and Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, donated his entire collection of documents to the college archives near the end of his career. My job was to read through a collection of his personal correspondence from the year 1979 and create a document that summarized the collection and contained subject headings for important events and persons of note mentioned in the letters.

It was interesting to get a peek into the personal life of a famous author and journalist, as well as see the sorts of acquaintances Shirer had made throughout his life. Many of the letters Shirer received were from aspiring journalists and novelists hoping to get some advice about the writing process. Overall I enjoyed the experience, even if it did get a bit tedious sorting through his letters for the third time. ~~Eric

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Monday, October 21, 2013

I've been hacked!

On Facebook lately, I noticed a friend complaining that some pins and boards that she had never pinned or created showed up on her Pinterest account (using social media to complain about social media.  How meta.)  Although she joked that the weight-loss ads that had popped up were "Pinterest fat-shaming me for all the desserts that I post,"  account security is something to be cognizant of.   What do you do if you get hacked?

First of all, any time you get hacked, or suspect that you've been hacked, your immediate priority should be changing your password for the site.  This is also a good time to remind yourself that make sure that you have different passwords that you change/update regularly.  It's not a great idea to have the same password for your Facebook account, your online banking, and your Google account.  You don't want to hand over the keys to your entire online kingdom in one fell password swoop.  Similarly, you should be updating your passwords on a regular basis.  If you've been using the same password for 2 years, it's time to retire it and come up with something new.

Once you've updated your passwords, it's time to go ahead and run a virus scanner on your computer.  Computing services can clue you into some great software for your devices, and it's also worth exploring ad-block or no-script programs that can stop hijack attempts.  Lastly, you will want to make sure that you go in and delete the posts that the hacker/program made on your behalf (which sometimes can't be done until you've changed the password.)

Hopefully these tips will help your accounts get cleaned up after a hacking.  As for protecting your account, make sure that you change/update your passwords regularly, and be vigilant when deciding to click on links.  Remember the old caveat that if something looks too good to be true, it probably is, which means that Sony probably is not going to give you a free PS4 just so you can help them test it by clicking on some random link that you see on your Facebook feed. These types of ads can contain phishing programs searching for passwords and other sensitive date, so be careful And when in doubt, you can always check on Snopes or Google an ad or story to see if something has been debunked. Forewarned is forearmed!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Harvest Festival

Time goes so fast. A special festival happens once a year for all the Chinese is Full Moon-autumn festival. At that day, the whole family members would get together to eat the moon cake and watch the full moon at night to celebrate this festival. Yesterday, a library staff named Hongbo who is from China held a small celebration party for us. She brought some moon cakes and fruits for us. We were so excited cause the moon cake was so delicious and met each other after a long break. There was so many interesting things happened during the break, we could not wait to share it with others. We ate the moon cake and waited the moon showed up. However, yesterday was raining and sky covered by the clouds, we could not see the moon. It was kind of disappointed. I was still every happy to celebrate the traditional festival out of our country. Thanks Hongbo held this small party for us. Happy full-autumn day to everyone! ~~Linzi

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Take time to see the Art work in the Library

One of my favorite parts of working in the Library is the art. While walking around shelving books, or counting students, or even just sitting at the desk I see these pictures and am still amazed. This will be my second year working at the Library and I it is like the pictures are always changing and I am finding new ways to look at these works. After a long day of class and soccer it is relaxing coming to work just so I can look at the extensive amount of art this building holds, and try to interpret it from my understanding.~~~~Gordon

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Notes from a Summer Worker Chapter 2

What I did in the Library this Summer
This summer, my coworkers and I have been working primarily on two projects. The first of which is transcription. Transcription is listening to accounts of the flood of ’08 and rendering it in on archival paper that will be stored in the library’s archives. I have had two individuals that I have transcribed. The first was a fantastical man who had traveled the country and the world performing in a show in which he dressed as a woman and performed comedic acts. He finally settled in Cedar Rapids, only to have his home flooded and his sequined costumes tarnished by the Cedar River’s bloat. With the help of his neighborhood, the community came together and repaired a broken morale. The second transcription assignment is about one of our own fellow Coe Students. She was a nursing student during the time of the “Epic Surge” and worked at St. Luke’s and lived there when her apartment was flooded. During the spring and summer of 2008, not one person was unaffected in some part by the flood.
The second project is that of digitizing students’ honors theses from past years. Currently, students are expected to submit a digital copy of their thesis, but in years past this was not the case. In order to preserve their hard work and showcase Coe’s intellect for future Kohawks and curious minds, we have been scanning the theses and making them accessible online.

What you look forward to in the school year
The school year is going to be the busiest yet for me. It’s bittersweet to be approaching my last year here at Coe College, but I have plenty of events and projects to assure that I don’t coast through it. I am heavily involved with Coe Human Rights Advocates here on campus (inquire if interested, friends!). We have a gala scheduled for the fall that will benefit a non-profit dedicated to eradicating the presence of anti-personnel mines whose purpose has longer expired through mine-dogs. The dogs are able to discover mines through scent, and humans are able to disassemble them. There will be a sampling of area restaurants’ appetizers to lure in community members and Kohawks to pledge their support. My school year will also include various activities and conferences that I will attend with fellow Coe College Democrats. There is no off-season in politics. Whether it’s the ice-cream social(ist), or hosting a speaker, there will be plenty to do. On the academic side, I will be focusing on writing my honors thesis about religious resurgence in politics in Turkey and India (which I expect to have a throng of faithful devotees to my writing. Or my advisor. Or just me). Regardless, it shall be written and bound and contain my blood, sweat, tears, and the stains from too many midnight espressos. In what free time I have left, it will be spent with my Tri-Delta sisters, doing weird things. Whether it is doing head stands in the hallway whilst listening to sitar music during tour season, crafting until glitter coats our lungs, or shopping with the money that I just do not have, we will make time for each other and treasure the little time we have left. ~~~~Shanel

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Library Hours during Fall Break











Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Interlibrary Loan: The ILList Office on Campus

What is ILL? According to the site Internet Slang, "ill" is "cool, tight, etc."  However, here at the library "ILL" means something totally different: Interlibrary Loan.

Need to borrow a specific book for your next big paper, but neither Stewart Memorial Library nor the fabulous public libraries here in Cedar Rapids seem to have it?  Interlibrary Loan to the rescue!  Students and faculty of Coe College have this great service that too many are unaware of.  Harlene Hansen (Reference Assistant) along with the student workers in the Reference Office work to help you find the book you are looking for at one of the various libraries Coe is in connection with and borrow it for you to use.  The best part is that this service is FREE to the Coe community.

Interlibrary Loan also works great for articles!  When searching through the databases on the library’s website, some articles are not readily available to view as internet or PDF files.  By clicking the “Request This Item Through Interlibrary Loan” button, your request is sent into a database where the reference workers search through a larger database to find you the article you need and a library that can supply an electronic or paper copy.

Don’t make yourself ill (and not the cool kind) over that paper that’s due in a few weeks!  Not sure if the library has a particular journal that you are looking for, or you’re not sure how to use the catalog to find out?  Stop into the reference office and Katelyn Handler and Harlene Hansen will be happy to help you out and to try and answer all of your questions.