Watchmen Season Two May Not Happen, But…

Watchmen by Alan Moore, 1987.

…your interest in Watchmen does not have to end!

That’s right! The characters Alan Moore debuted in his seminal 1986-87 works, have traveled several different paths since their groundbreaking debut. Leading that charge is Geoff Johns creator of DC Comic’s Doomsday Clock. Having just completed his part at the helm of comic’s greatest achievement, Dr. Manhattan and Ozymandius are back in the news for the foreseeable future.

Lucky for you, the library’s collection has all things Watchmen. Compare the characters’ paths in all phases (Alan Moore’s Watchmen, Zack Snyder’s Watchmen movie, HBO’S Watchmen, Geoff Johns’ Doomsday Clock, and Azzarello & Straczyinkis’ Before Watchmen.

If you’ve never read Alan Moore’s Watchmen, save your money, and check out our hardcover or our online copy. Unfortunately, Moore’s relationship with DC Comics (owners of the Watchmen copyright), ended in 1988 in a bitter dispute that exists to this day. As a result, Moore never entertained a sequel or expand the universe he created. His career-defining work is now in the hands of a new generation of comic artists.

In 2012, DC finally releases the Before Watchmen comic series. Characters like Ozymadias, the Comedian, Silk Spectre, Dr. Manhattan, and others were given richer backstories with titles devoted exclusively to each character. Respected comic authors Brian Azzarello, J. Michael Straczyinkis, and Len Wein would lead these series. Click the links to read the Before Watchmen titles.

Before Watchmen: Minutemen/Silk Spectre

Before Watchmen: Ozymandias/Crimson Corsair

Before Watchmen: Comedian/Rorschach

Before Watchmen: Nite Owl/Dr. Manhattan

As a result of Before Watchmen’s success, DC Comics greenlights and releases Doomsday Clock. Doomsday Clock is a limited comic run written by Geoff Johns from 2017-2019. This series is unlike any other in that it merges the world of DC Comic Superheros with the Watchmen characters. Superman meets Dr. Manhattan in this mashup that recently ended in December of last year. Click the links to read this series in order. (Doomsday Clock Part 2 will be released in the graphic novel format on May 12, 2020).

DC Universe: Rebirth

Batman/Flash: The Button

Doomsday Clock Part 1

The Future of News in Chicagoland

Are we watching the final death knell of news in Chicago? We have already witnessed the collapse of suburban papers, and, now, we may be witnessing the end of the Chicago Tribune. The Trib has been a regional leader but in recent decades, it has been fighting to stay alive.

Now two veteran reporters from the Tribune, David Jackson and Gary Marx, are sounding an alarm with an op-ed they wrote in the New York Time. You can read it here, “Will The Chicago Tribune Be the Next Newspaper Picked to the Bone?”

They note that the hedge fund Alden Global Capital is now the Tribune‘s largest shareholder. Alden is famous for buying news groups and stripping them down for profit. Jackson and Marx note,

“Alden’s strategy of acquiring struggling local newsrooms and stripping them of assets has built the personal wealth of the hedge fund’s investors. But Alden has imposed draconian staff cuts that decimated The Denver Post and other once-proud newspapers that have been vital to their communities and to American democracy. Those newsrooms, which put a spotlight on local political corruption, have served as forums for community voices and have driven the coverage of regional television, radio and online outlets…”

They continue,

“The alternative is a ghost version of The Chicago Tribune — a newspaper that can no longer carry out its essential watchdog mission. Illinois’s most vulnerable people would lose a powerful guardian, its corrupt politicians would be freer to exploit and plunder, and this prairie metropolis would lose the common forum that binds together and lifts its citizens.”

You can read the entire editorial in the MVCC Library’s New York Times database.

The 2020 Census: What You Need to Know

2020 is a Census year!

The US Census is a constitutionally required decennial (once every ten years) count of all persons living in the United States.

The data collected during the Census determines representation on a federal, state, and local level, the distribution of billions of dollars of funding, and provides information used to make decisions about education, business, health care, and many other issues that affect the MVCC community.

Activities related to the Census will take place throughout 2020, but most people will only have to actively participate in March. Here is how the 2020 Census will look for most households:

  • March 2020: Receive an invitation to respond to the Census online, by mail, or by phone.
  • March-April 2020: Receive periodic reminders to respond, if your household had not yet participated in the Census.
  • April 1st 2020: Census Day!
  • May-August 2020: Census workers will follow up in person, if your household had not yet responded.
  • December 2020: Results of the Census are compiled and officially presented. 

Learn more on the 2020 Census website, a great resource to learn more about participating in the 2020 Census. The Library also offers a Census 2020 Research Guide with helpful links and research tips.

What’s New Wednesdays: Education Edition

Book cover images taken from publisher’s websites & Amazon.com.
Look for this sign on the display box past the Reference Desk!

Welcome back to “What’s New Wednesdays!” Since the Spring semester has just begun, this week’s theme focuses on education. Wanting to make college work for you even though it can be expensive? We have a book for that! Need to write a college admissions essay? We have a book for that too!

  • Indebted : How Families Make College Work At Any Cost / by Caitlin Zaloom – “How the financial pressures of paying for college affect the lives and well-being of middle-class families. The struggle to pay for college is one of the defining features of middle-class life in America today. At kitchen tables all across the country, parents agonize over whether to burden their children with loans or to sacrifice their own financial security by taking out a second mortgage or draining their retirement savings. ‘Indebted’ takes readers into the homes of middle-class families throughout the nation to reveal the hidden consequences of student debt and the ways that financing college has transformed family life. Caitlin Zaloom gained the confidence of numerous parents and their college-age children, who talked candidly with her about stressful and intensely personal financial matters that are usually kept private. In this remarkable book, Zaloom describes the profound moral conflicts for parents as they try to honor what they see as their highest parental duty–providing their children with opportunity–and shows how parents and students alike are forced to take on enormous debts and gamble on an investment that might not pay off. What emerges is a troubling portrait of an American middle class fettered by the ‘student finance complex’–the bewildering labyrinth of government-sponsored institutions, profit-seeking firms, and university offices that collect information on household earnings and assets, assess family needs, and decide who is eligible for aid and who is not. Superbly written and unflinchingly honest, ‘Indebted’ breaks through the culture of silence surrounding the student debt crisis, revealing the unspoken costs of sending our kids to college.”–Book jacket
  • The Years That Matter Most : How College Makes or Breaks Us / by Paul Tough – “The best-selling author of ‘How Children Succeed’ returns with a powerful, mind-changing inquiry into higher education in the United States. Does college still work? Is the system designed just to protect the privileged and leave everyone else behind? Or can a college education today provide real opportunity to young Americans seeking to improve their station in life? ‘The Years That Matter Most’ tells the stories of students trying to find their way, with hope, joy, and frustration, through the application process and into college. Drawing on new research, the book reveals how the landscape of higher education has shifted in recent decades and exposes the hidden truths of how the system works and whom it works for. And it introduces us to the people who really make higher education go: admissions directors trying to balance the class and balance the budget, College Board officials scrambling to defend the SAT in the face of mounting evidence that it favors the wealthy, researchers working to unlock the mysteries of the college-student brain, and educators trying to transform potential dropouts into successful graduates. With insight, humor, and passion, Paul Tough takes readers on a journey from Ivy League seminar rooms to community college welding shops, from giant public flagship universities to tiny experimental storefront colleges. Whether you are facing your own decision about college or simply care about the American promise of social mobility, ‘The Years That Matter Most’ will change the way you think–not just about higher education, but about the nation itself.”–Book jacket
  • The Knowledge Gap : The Hidden Cause of America’s Broken Education System–and How to Fix it / by Natalie Wexler – “It was only after years within the education reform movement that Natalie Wexler stumbled across a hidden explanation for our country’s frustrating lack of progress when it comes to providing every child with a quality education. The problem wasn’t one of the usual scapegoats: lazy teachers, shoddy facilities, lack of accountability. It was something no one was talking about: the elementary school curriculum’s intense focus on decontextualized reading comprehension ‘skills’ at the expense of actual knowledge. In the tradition of Dale Russakoff’s ‘The Prize’ and Dana Goldstein’s ‘The Teacher Wars,’ Wexler brings together history, research, and compelling characters to pull back the curtain on this fundamental flaw in our education system–one that fellow reformers, journalists, and policymakers have long overlooked, and of which the general public, including many parents, remains unaware. But ‘The Knowledge Gap’ isn’t just a story of what schools have gotten so wrong–it also follows innovative educators who are in the process of shedding their deeply ingrained habits, and describes the rewards that have come along: students who are not only excited to learn but are also acquiring the knowledge and vocabulary that will enable them to succeed. If we truly want to fix our education system and unlock the potential of our neediest children, we have no choice but to pay attention.”–Publisher description
  • From Couch to College : The Fast Track to Writing Standout Admissions Essays / by Lauren Gillespie – “If you’ve already built an orphanage in Africa or are on your way to curing cancer, great. You might not need help writing a terrific essay. But for everyone else, this book will help you transform ordinary human experiences into extraordinary–and memorable–admissions essays. For those of you curled in the fetal position with a rough draft crumpled in one fist, you can finally relax. Lauren Gillespie is the Chuck Norris of essay writing, and this brief guide boils the admissions essay process down to its most basic, accessible form. No more stressing, over-researching, or analyzing other people’s ideas. And you don’t need to read a 200-page ‘How To’ in order to write your way in! Whether you’re applying for college admissions, vocational schools, or study abroad programs, this entertaining, six-step guide will cut the fat and teach you how to write an amazing admissions essay…and quickly!”–Back cover

These books are located on the display box past the Reference Desk. Look for the sign posted above in this blog. If you need help finding these books, or would like to place any on hold, don’t hesitate to “Ask a Librarian” for assistance.

Bored Over Break? Check out an E-Book from the Library!

“Snowin’Spring” by GavinLi is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0 

Did you know? Even when the library is closed, you can still access e-books and other streaming content!!! 

We even have books to read for fun! 

Browse the Library’s selection of e-books through the library catalog, or choose an e-book service to search (We recommend Hoopla and E-Read Illinois for recreational reading!).

Not feeling like an e-book? Try streaming or downloading an e-audiobook!

Questions about accessing E-Books or E-Audiobooks? Check out our E-Books and Streaming Video page for in-depth information about accessing e-content or Ask a Librarian.

What’s New Wednesday’s

Book cover images from the publishers websites.

No theme this week, just some interesting books…although one title correlates with Merriam-Webster’s 2019 Word of the Year.

  • Consent : a Memoir of Unwanted Attention / by Donna Freitas – “A powerful memoir about a young woman’s toxic relationship with her mentor, an acclaimed professor, whose dark, stalking obsession altered her future forever. Donna Freitas has lived two lives. In one life, she is a well-published author and respected scholar who has traveled around the country, speaking about Title IX, consent, and sex on college campuses. In the other, she is a victim, a woman who suffered and suffers still because she was stalked by her graduate professor for more than two years. As a doctoral candidate, Freitas loved asking big questions, challenging established theories, and sinking her teeth into sacred texts. She felt at home in the library and safe in the book-lined offices of scholars whom she admired. But during her first year, one particular scholar became obsessed with Freitas’s academic enthusiasm. He filled her student mailbox with letters and articles. He lurked on the sidewalk outside her apartment. He called daily and left nagging voice mails. He befriended her mother and made himself comfortable in her family’s home. He wouldn’t go away. While his attraction was not overtly sexual, it was undeniably inappropriate and, most important, unwanted. In ‘Consent: A Memoir of Unwanted Attention,’ Freitas delivers a forensic examination of the years she spent stalked by her professor and uses her nightmarish experience to examine the ways in which we stigmatize, debate, and attempt to understand consent today.”–Publisher description.
  • Autobiography of a Face / by Lucy Grealy – “At age nine, Lucy Grealy was diagnosed with a potentially terminal cancer. When she returned to school with a third of her jaw removed, she faced the cruel taunts of classmates. It took her twenty years of living with a distorted self-image and more than thirty reconstructive procedures before she could come to terms with her appearance. In this lyrical and strikingly candid memoir, Grealy tells her story of great suffering and remarkable strength without sentimentality and with considerable wit. She captures with unique insight what it is like as a child and young adult to be torn between two warring impulses: to feel that more than anything else we want to be loved for who we are, while wishing desperately and secretly to be perfect.”–Publisher description.
  • She Said : Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement / by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey – “For many years, reporters had tried to get to the truth about Harvey Weinstein’s treatment of women. Rumors of wrongdoing had long circulated. But in 2017, when Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey began their investigation into the prominent Hollywood producer for the New York Times, his name was still synonymous with power. During months of confidential interviews with top actresses, former Weinstein employees, and other sources, many disturbing and long-buried allegations were unearthed, and a web of onerous secret payouts and nondisclosure agreements were revealed. These shadowy settlements had long been used to hide sexual harassment and abuse, but with a breakthrough reporting technique Kantor and Twohey helped to expose it. But Weinstein had evaded scrutiny in the past, and he was not going down without a fight; he employed a team of high-profile lawyers, private investigators, and other allies to thwart the investigation. When Kantor and Twohey were finally able to convince some sources to go on the record, a dramatic final showdown between Weinstein and the New York Times was set in motion. Nothing could have prepared Kantor and Twohey for what followed the publication of their initial Weinstein story on October 5, 2017. Within days, a veritable Pandora’s box of sexual harassment and abuse was opened. Women all over the world came forward with their own traumatic stories. Over the next twelve months, hundreds of men from every walk of life and industry were outed following allegations of wrongdoing. But did too much change–or not enough? Those questions hung in the air months later as Brett Kavanaugh was nominated to the Supreme Court, and Christine Blasey Ford came forward to testify that he had assaulted her decades earlier. Kantor and Twohey, who had unique access to Ford and her team, bring to light the odyssey that led her to come forward, the overwhelming forces that came to bear on her, and what happened after she shared her allegation with the world. In the tradition of great investigative journalism, ‘She Said’ tells a thrilling story about the power of truth, with shocking new information from hidden sources. Kantor and Twohey describe not only the consequences of their reporting for the #MeToo movement, but the inspiring and affecting journeys of the women who spoke up–for the sake of other women, for future generations, and for themselves.”–Publisher description.
  • They/Them/Their : a Guide to Nonbinary and Genderqueer Identities / by Eris Young – “In this insightful and long-overdue book, Eris Young explores what it’s like to live outside of the gender binary and how it can impact on one’s relationships, sense of identity, use of language and more. Drawing on the author’s own experiences as a non-binary person, as well as interviews and research, it shares common experiences and challenges faced by those who are non-binary, and what friends, family, and other cisgender people can do to support them. Breaking down misconceptions and providing definitions, this much-needed guide is for anyone wanting to fully understand non-binary and genderqueer identities.”–Publisher description.

If you have any trouble locating these books, or would like to place any on hold, don’t hesitate to “Ask a Librarian” for assistance!

18 years ago a cinematic adventure began…

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

Bilbo Baggins, “The Fellowship of the Ring” by J.R.R. Tolkien

On December 10, 2001, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was released in theaters. It would go on to win Oscars in Best Cinematography, Best Makeup, Best Music, and Best Visual Effects.

During the holiday break if you want to experience a different world for the first time or 100th time pick up The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy or the book trilogy here at the library.

Artist: Zaki Hamdani

The Fellowship of the Ring

The Two Towers

The Return of the King

The Lord of the Rings (book)

What’s New Wednesday’s: Ripped from the Headlines

Book cover images taken from the publishers websites.

“What’s New” for this week are books that are ripped from the headlines!

  • Member of the Family : My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the Darkness that Ended the Sixties / by Dianne Lake and Deborah Herman – “In this poignant and disturbing memoir, Dianne shares the full story of her time with Manson, revealing how she became the youngest member of his Family and offering new insights into one of the twentieth century’s most notorious criminals. While much has been written about Charles Manson, ‘Member of the Family’ re-creates in vivid detail the firsthand experience of someone who survived his wrath, returning to a time and place that changed America forever–a moment when anything seemed possible and the horrors to come unthinkable.”–Publisher description.
  • Manson : the Life and Times of Charles Manson / by Jeff Guinn – “More than forty years ago Charles Manson and his mostly female commune killed nine people, among them the pregnant actress Sharon Tate. It was the culmination of a criminal career that author Jeff Guinn traces back to Manson’s childhood. Guinn interviewed Manson’s sister and cousin, neither of whom had ever previously cooperated with an author. Childhood friends, cellmates, and even some members of the Manson family have provided new information about Manson’s life. Guinn has made discoveries about the night of the Tate murders, answering unresolved questions, such as why one person near the scene of the crime was spared. ‘Manson’ puts the killer in the context of the turbulent late sixties, an era of race riots and street protests when authority in all its forms was under siege. Guinn shows us how Manson created and refined his message to fit the times, persuading confused young women (and a few men) that he had the solutions to their problems. At the same time he used them to pursue his long-standing musical ambitions. His frustrated ambitions, combined with his bizarre race-war obsession, would have lethal consequences.”–Publisher description.
  • The Family Next Door : the Heartbreaking Imprisonment of the Thirteen Turpin Siblings and their Extraordinary Rescue / by John Glatt – “On January 14, 2018, a seventeen-year-old girl climbed out of the window of her Perris, California, home and dialed 911 on a borrowed cell phone. Struggling to stay calm, she told the operator that she and her twelve siblings–ranging in age from two to twenty-nine–were being abused by their parents. When the dispatcher asked for her address, the girl hesitated. ‘I’ve never been out,’ she stammered. To their family, neighbors, and online friends, Louise and David Turpin presented a picture of domestic bliss: dressing their thirteen children in matching outfits and buying them expensive gifts. But what police discovered when they entered the Turpin family home would eclipse the most shocking child abuse cases in history. For years, David and Louise had kept their children in increasing isolation, trapping them in a sinister world of torture, fear, and near starvation. In the first major account of the case, investigative journalist John Glatt delves into the disturbing details and recounts the bravery of the thirteen siblings in the face of unimaginable horror.”–Publisher description.

This week’s picks are located among the “New Arrivals” in the Library Lounge. If you need help locating them, or would like to put any on hold, don’t hesitate to “Ask a Librarian” for help.

Before Ford vs Ferrari, It Was Ford & Edison

The recently released movie Ford vs Ferrari tells the story of the Ford Motor Company and its pursuit of sports-car racing glory while striving to defeat Ferrari after a deal to buy the Italian car company went bad. Ford had already been involved in racing Indy cars, stock cars and drag racing. Beating Ferrari at Le Mans would put Ford on the map in sports-car racing and hopefully entice younger buyers to buy Fords. Ford Motor Company wanted to be known as more than a maker of cars for family road trips.

It was different story 50 years earlier when Henry Ford helped introduce the road trip into American culture. Beginning in 1914 and continuing each year until 1924, Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, along with Harvey Firestone and John Burroughs, took summer road trips together all over the country. They camped along the way, with chefs and butlers in tow, and investigated travel conditions. They called themselves The Vagabonds. They also took along a film crew and their travels earned a lot of publicity. Enthusiasm for road trips increased and along with it roads and roadside services took shape.

To read the interesting story of their road trips and about the impact they had on culture and infrastructure, check out the book The Vagabonds: The Story of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison’s Ten-Year Road Trip.

For even more fun, watch some of the films The Vagabonds made on their travels. Several of them are available on YouTube. The video below from The Henry Ford offers some highlights or find them all here.