Barb Keleher

Veterans Day 2020

Today the MVCC library would like to thank all veterans who have served and continue to serve our country. “Moraine Valley is honored to have those who served our country in the military as members of our college community.” Visit the MVCC Veteran site and explore the numerous resources that the college offers.

National Adoption Month

National Adoption Month

November is National Adoption Month. The celebration of adoption began in 1976 when Governor M. Dukakis announced that Massachusetts would “promote awareness of the need for adoption for children in foster care”. Here is a brief background on adoption in the United States. The MVCC catalog and databases are an excellent source of information on this topic.

Happy National Adoption wishes to all loving adoptive families.


“The dystopia described in George Orwell’s nearly 70-year-old novel 1984 suddenly feels all too familiar. A world in which Big Brother (or maybe the National Security Agency) is always listening in, and high-tech devices can eavesdrop in people’s homes. (Hey, Alexa, what’s up?)  A world in which the government insists that reality is not “something objective, external, existing in its own right” — but rather, “whatever the Party holds to be truth is truth.” The perfect storm of 2020 is a tense presidential election, a pandemic that sees no end in sight and social upheaval that permeates every corner of the country. It may seem that reading this novel at this time may be counter-productive to one’s mental health. Perhaps it is paramount that we try to understand the past to find solutions to the future. “Today, 1984 reads more than a novel; it’s a prophecy that will sting you with parallels that still hold true some seven decades later.”

Sign into the MVCC Hoopla app and check out a 1984 e-book or a 1984 audio book by George Orwell. Or, perhaps you may want to watch a streaming video of 1984 also on Hoopla. I also plan to read the e-book On 1984. This book discusses the division in America and the similarities of 1984 to our present world.


The Chinese Moon Festival

October 1 marks the mid-autumn festival of the Chinese Moon Festival or Moon Cake Day in China. It traditionally falls on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese lunar calendar. This holiday is the second most important festival in China after the Chinese New Year. Similar to the American Thanksgiving holiday, the Moon Festival celebrates family gatherings. Turkeys symbolize our traditional day of family reunions. The Chinese use the first full moon of October as a symbol of family homecomings. They celebrate this holiday with special moon cakes (cookies), incense, and various symbolic gestures to welcome the full moon.

This Autumn festival is celebrated in other parts of Asia as well. They focus on family gatherings, special foods, and various ceremonies.

Happy Moon Day Festival!

The 19th Anniversary of 9/11

Today marks the anniversary of the terrorist assault on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Flight 93. The attacks claimed the lives of 2,977 people.

The MVCC library has an extensive collection of material that may help you understand the initial attack and the tragedy that continues to have long lasting effects on America and the world. You may find this article interesting. The author explores how different generations view the 9/11 tragedy.

Free America Flag Cleaning - Puritan Cleaners

Bird Migration and the Chicagoland Area

Birds from the Northern Hemisphere are seasonal travelers. During the Spring, the birds fly northward to take advantage of the increase of food. As Winter approaches, food decreases and birds make the trip back south.

Cook County pond

“Fall migration is a much less hurried affair for birds compared with spring, when various species are rushing to get to their breeding grounds and find the best place to nest.” Because Chicago is part of the Mississippi Flyway, hundreds of bird species annually traverse from the south to the north and back again. Fall is a great time to look upward and see nature’s aviators maneuver the Chicagoland sky. Area forest preserves are a great place to bird-watch. You need little equipment. Perhaps a pair of binoculars and a bird guide book that you can find in the MVCC library, or add an app to your smart phone.

Actually, bird watching has increased in popularity since the pandemic began. Here are some tips that may help you become interested in this fascinating hobby.  

Labor Day

The celebration of Labor Day began in 1882 as a salute to the workers of New York City. The idea of a special day for the American working class spread throughout the country and on “June 28, 1884, President Grover Cleveland signed a law making the first Monday in September a national holiday.”

The history of labor unions in America is important for all of us to know. The MVCC library has a collection of print books (how to check out print books) and ebooks to help us understand the history of the U.S. labor movement. The Chicago labor movement may also interest you. The library also has numerous books on Chicago labor. Another great source for historical news is the Chicago Tribune Historical database. It is amazing to read newspaper articles about past labor unrest in Chicago.

The labor movement in the United States and the city of Chicago is a combination of tribulation and triumph. Enjoy your day off.

The 75th Anniversary of the Trinity Test

The atom bomb did not miraculously appear at the end of World War II. It took years and some of the world’s greatest scientific minds to develop the most destructive weapon ever created by humankind. In the late 1930s, rumors were circulating that Nazi Germany was working to develop a powerful new weapon. Two European scientists, Einstein and Fermi, refugees from fascist Europe, warned American officials of the danger of a Nazi atomic bomb. Einstein even sent a personal letter to President Roosevelt. The message warned the president of the dangers of atomic warfare. The threat of mass destruction by the Axis nations was the impetus of creating the Manhattan Project.

The new program was located in various parts of the United States. The Trinity project, one of the multilayered parts of the Manhattan Project, was located in New Mexico. It was the testing site for evaluating the most efficient way of dropping a super bomb. The military took over 52,000 acres of land in Los Alamos, New Mexico, in 1942. The area was shrouded in secrecy. On July 16, 1945, the bomb was dropped. The Army reported that a large amount of munitions had exploded to hide the truth that America had successfully created an atomic bomb. “To help provide the public with a credible account, the Manhattan Project allowed New York Times reporter William Laurence to live on the Los Alamos compound in the months leading to the blast. He kept the secret and wrote a celebrated series in the Times after Hiroshima.”‘Atomic Bill’ Laurence, The New York Times, and the Birth of the BombA star science reporter had unparalleled access to the Manhattan Project, as chronicler and cheerleader.

The most poignant part of this research has been reading the eye witness accounts of the Los Alamos bomb drop. One can feel the uneasiness of the scientists who participated in the construction of the atomic explosive. Several of them compared the new technology to stories from Greek mythology, Pandora’s Box and Prometheus. An updated article continues to compare technology and mythology.

Christian Lous Lange, the winner of the 1921 Nobel Peace, writes, “technology is a useful servant but a a dangerous master.”


“On July 3rd, we announced the commencement of a thorough review of the team’s name. That review has begun in earnest. As part of this process, we want to keep our sponsors, fans and community apprised of our thinking as we go forward.” On July 13, the Washington Redskins stated that they would change the name and the logo of the team. A combination of advocacy groups and financial sponsors insisted that the team’s name be changed. There have been numerous suggestions for the new name, but the two names that have piqued my interest are the Washington Red Tails and the Washington Code Talkers.

The Red Tails would honor the Tuskegee Airmen. This group consisted of the first black airmen in the United States Armed Forces. The men of the 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group painted the tails of their planes red. Eventually they were given the nickname Red Tails.

The Navajo Nation initially suggested that the Washington Redskins team name be replaced by the Washington Code Talkers. This name would be a tribute to the Navajo soldiers who created an intricate code that played a crucial role in the Pacific during World War II. After deliberation, the Navajo nation rescinded their suggestion of Washington Code Talkers.

The team plans to reveal the name before the 2020-2021 football season begins. Here are some possible new names for the team.

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