LC Fall Film Series: “Politics in Film” Begins Sept 7 @ 7pm

This fall the library will host a series of film screenings for students and faculty throughout the semester. This year’s theme will focus on Politics in Film, with possible showings of full-length movies, documentaries and more on a variety of timely current cultural and political issues, courtesy of our Kanopy streaming database. (If you have not yet checked out this awesome resource–be sure to do so soon). And, if you have a suggestion for a film you’d like to see–let us know! 

We might even poll screening participants to vote on the next film. 


wed September 7th @ 7pm, 1st floor lc: group study area

First up is “The Immigration Paradox” (2013), a documentary directed by Lourdes Lee Vasquez, that takes “a critical and in depth look at one of the most divisive issues in human global history–immigration.”

You can read a full description here: https://immigrationtalk.org/2013/05/15/the-immigration-paradox-america-in-a-social-trap/

And…a film screening wouldn’t be complete without SNACKS. For our first feature we’re hosting a BYO Cereal Mashup.  Bring your favorite box of cereal to share or mix, we’ll have a couple on hand. We’ll also provide diary, almond and coconut milk, bowls and spoons. 

Cereal and movies...mmmm.

Cereal and movies…mmmm.

So, come out and support the film series, bring a friend, or encourage your class to attend. Guaranteed to be thought and discussion promoting.

See you there!

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Fall Election Political Display

In the Marketplace: Politics on Display

by Maura O’Neill & Margaret Mary Makowski, Library Circulation

fall 2016 marketplace political resources display

Courtesy of library work study students Margaret Makowski (left) and Maura O’Neill (right).

The 2016 presidential campaign has been rife with controversy, as both candidates have been the subject and cause of intense vitriol from all ends of the political spectrum. Donald Trump, a businessman and ex-reality TV star turned strongly opinionated politician, and Hillary Clinton, a controversial yet historic woman candidate with a background in politics, have been clashing on nearly every key issue this election. When two candidates have opinions that are such polar opposites, it can be difficult for impartial voters to decide where they stand on certain issues and which candidate they support. To make this decision easier, we created a display of politically themed books, CDs, and DVDs that will give unsure voters the tools they need to make an informed decision this November.

HIGHLIGHTED BOOKS ARE LOCATED IN THE MARKETPLACE DISPLAY: CHECK OUR CATALOG LIST FOR WHAT’S AVAILABLE.

The first category will give readers a general background in American politics, with books such as Primary Politics by Elaine C. Kamarck that describe how the U.S election system actually works. Once you’ve got a decent background in politics, you can begin to understand some of our nation’s past presidents and elections by reading historical political books such as Franklin D. Roosevelt: The War Years 1939-1945 by Roger Daniels and The Stronghold by Thomas F. Schaller.

After reading about political history, you can move on to learning about some of the struggles for human rights that have been an integral part of our nation’s history. Books such as Give Us the Ballot by Ari Berman, Forcing the Spring by Jo Becker, and After Roe by Mary Ziegler will give you insight into a wide array of human rights struggles.

Next, you can read books like Controlling the Message by Victoria A. Farrar-Myers and Justin S. Vaughn to learn how the media influences political elections, and you can read books like Prop Art by Gary Yanker to understand what messages political art is able to convey.

One of the biggest issues in recent U.S. politics has been health care reform; you can read books such as Health Care Policy and Practice by Cynthia Moniz and Stephen Gorin to get informed on this topic.

If you’re reading this blog as a student or faculty member, you are probably interested in the topic of education. Check out Degrees of Inequality by Suzanne Mettler about the political and economic factors that influence the education system.

Another one of the biggest issues this election has been immigration and racism. A Nation of Nations by Tom Gjelten and The Criminalization of Immigration by Samantha Hauptman explain immigration and its controversies, while race issues in America are explored in Who We Be by Jeff Chang. Intertwined with racial issues is the debate on America’s prison system and the mass incarceration of minorities in private prisons, which is explored in books like A Country Called Prison by Mary D. Looman and John D. Carl.

With the rise of terrorist groups like ISIS, religion has been an issue at the forefront of this election. You can read American Islam by Paul M. Barrett, Beyond Religious Freedom by Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, and other books to learn more about religious issues in America. The debate about religion has been catalyzed by increasing global violence. We chose books like What Changed When Everything Changed by Joseph Margulies and Citizen-Protectors by Jennifer Carlson to help readers explore violence, war, and gun control.

Another major issue in contemporary politics is our treatment of the environment, which is described in books such as Corporate America and Environmental Policy by Sheldon Kamieniecki.

Now that you’ve read up on politics, history, and the major issues the candidates are debating, you can finally begin to research the candidates themselves. Read up on both Trump and Hillary with The Art of the Deal by the Donald himself, A Woman in Charge by Carl Bernstein, and other books in the display.

Once you learn who the candidates are, you can follow their progress and opinions using some of the electronic resources listed below, which will give you up to date information on the 2016 presidential election.

http://www.isidewith.com/

http://www.politico.com/

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/

https://ballotpedia.org/Main_Page

https://www.icivics.org/

http://www.politics1.com/

http://www.insidegov.com/

http://www.ontheissues.org/default.htm

so, what essential election reading would you recommend? visit us on facebook and LET US KNOW!

writer pausing to think

2016 Barbara Hoffman English 160 Award Winners

If you’ve already read librarian Annette Fisher’s post on the late Barbara Hoffman, you’ll know why winning this award is such an honor. This year, we awarded four awards (with a third-place tie) to students demonstrating writing excellence combined with library research, echoing Barbara’s perennial spirit of curiosity, inquiry, and literary pizzazz.

1st Place: Michael Smith

Michael Smith ('19), 2016 Barbara Hoffman Award Winner

Michael Smith (’19), 2016 Barbara Hoffman Award Winner

Michael’s winning paper is titled: “A Different Game: How Popular News Sources Addressed Violence in Video Games After the Sandy Hook Shooting”

Congratulations to Michael and his advising English 160 Professor: Helen Bittel.

2nd Place: Kimberley Hagan

3rd Place: Hannah Docalovich and Althea Mae Fabi

3rd Place Winner: Hannah Docalovich

3rd Place Winner: Hannah Docalovich

The Barbara Hoffman English Award–Planets, Tea & Word Magic

by Annette Fisher, Information Literacy Librarian

Barbara Hoffman—I Knew You Well

For 13 years the Library and English Dept. have jointly awarded the Barbara Hoffman English 160 Writing Award to outstanding English 160 students who demonstrated the qualities of excellent writing dovetailed with excellent library research skills. As time goes on though, like the Swedish story of the King who won a great war and the people only knew the King’s name and nothing about the war itself, Barbara Hoffman will be entwined with the Award and people will wonder:

Who is this Barbara Hoffman? Bless her– I have just won $75. In her name.”

To begin, Barbara was a young woman of 26 when she joined the English faculty and she stayed for 39 years. She passed away in 2007, just a few days shy of her retirement. Quoting from her Presidential Scholarship Honoree citation: Barbara Hoffman was “an Assistant Professor of English, whose brilliant, imaginative, informed, ever-curious mind has inspired, encouraged, and spurred nearly two generations of students to discover and unleash the power of their own creativity.”

People majored in “Barbara Hoffman.” I did. It meant rearranging my schedule to fit in her Oriental Literature class, Poetry, or Creative Writing class. There was a lot of work, a lot of reading, and a lot of writing in the classes but the payoff was enormous—a whole new way of looking at the world. Take her “Planet Day.” Winners of the planet competition inspired the judges by taking creativity to the highest power. Extra points went to the planet that knew that gummy bears mixed with raisins and crushed graham crackers were the “best food ever.” Or, hip- hop interspersed with Gregorian Chant only assaulted human ears.

There were other lessons besides the powers of the planets’ senses; there was the sheer power of words. Pretty words like sizzling and sassy vs. their hard-core ‘b’ and ‘d’ alphabet brothers with hard sounds like brazen, dreary, and dungeon.  Words, just words. The whole political landscape is built on words. I often thought Barbara missed her calling—wordsmith to the presidential contenders or showing a political hack writer pundit how the game is really won.

Lucky for us, Barbara chose the trenches (as she called it), the slow, laborious process of teaching freshman how to write. In fact, her colleagues named the English 160 Award after her. Barbara shunned publicity and never came to the English Honor Society Teas where the winners were awarded, but knowing Barbara, I know she beamed inside knowing that writing, indeed the writing process, was recognized and would live on in this special Award.

Barbara’s credentials included: A.B. from D’Youville College, M.A. from the Catholic University of America, A.B.D. from Duquesne University, and a certificate from Jerusalem Biblical and Archaeological Institute of Israel. She was awarded the Sears Foundation Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award and was a Marywood CASE Professor of the Year in 2006. And for us old-timers, Barbara memory lives on at Hoffman’s Hollow, a.k.a. the ravine behind the science building where nature and literature joined forces to inspire the muse in each of us. And of course, when we sip tea, after all, the Tea Ceremony was a inspirational not-to-be-forgotten ritual in a Barbara class. Barbara studied the Tea Ceremony with a master in New York City and it showed.

Finally, Barbara loved books. Obviously. But you need to know that Barbara loved libraries with the smell of books, the card catalog made of wood, the big dictionary stands. So, what did she do when the library catalog went on-line? Why, she gave the card catalog a proper burial complete with a priest performing the last rites.

Barbara believed in the spirit of all creatures. Most of all, Barbara believed in each student. I am a better student because I was Barbara’s student. I value words and books and the spirit of students because Barbara, like the ever-wise teacher, inspired her students to claim the best in everything. And, this is why, winning the Barbara Hoffman English 160 Writing Award is so special; it is a manifestation of the best in the freshman student who values writing and library research.

Barbara would be beaming.

Barbara Hoffman

View this year’s 2016 Barbara Hoffman Award winners and first place essay.

For a taste of Barbara’s poetry, check out her (1979) Cliffs of Fall from the Marywood Library.


(Photo Image: Courtesy of Jim Frutchey, Marywood University Archives)

Designing Effective Research Assignments

by Leslie Christianson, Public Services Librarian

One aspect of information literacy is search. Librarians are available to assist faculty and students in discovering the resources and tools available at the library. Designing an effective research assignment is the first step in student success.

Here are some ideas:

  • Be specific: Let students know what is acceptable and/or required. Length, format for references (MLA, APA), and acceptable types of sources (books, scholarly articles, magazines, web). This gives the student and the librarian a starting point at the reference desk.
  • Provide students with resource lists to give them somewhere to start. Ask your library liaison for research guides.
  • Send a copy of the assignment to your library liaison. (Do you know who is your library liaison? Find out.)
  • Schedule a library instruction session. Librarians can introduce students to the process of research and the best tools for their discipline.
  • Allow for incremental and continual improvement. Have students choose a topic early in the semester and have them turn in a bibliography of their initial search. Review the list with the student and suggest ways to narrow or expand the search strategy.
  • Encourage students to set up an appointment with a librarian at any point in the research process. Librarian can help students brainstorm topics, refine the search process, and utilize cooperative search strategies to improve results.

Adapted from: Iona College: Information Literacy: Designing Effective IL Assignments. http://guides.iona.edu/c.php?g=219910&p=1455790.