Delphine Lytell

Librarian by profession; otherwise, a wonderful human being.

When facts do not change our minds

A program on National Public Radio on September 8, 2010,,

gives us an insight into our thought processes as humans.  When would we change our minds to correspond with irrefutable information or facts that support another position? As easy as it sounds, we human beings do not necessarily do that; rather we like to hold on, perhaps even more firmly, to our beliefs despite evidence to the contrary.


Check out this Boston Globe article, How Facts Backfire. If you really want to spend time with a study conducted by Brendan Nyhan at the University of Michigan about five years ago, feel free to read,  When Corrections Fail: The Persistence Of Political Misperceptions (PDF).

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Research Tools on the Encyclopedia Britannica Online

Students who need to get some interesting facts for their research papers should consider looking at the Research Tools section of the EB Online database. Three interesting and potentially useful options are  Timelines, World Data Analyst, and Compare Countries. Note: while EB Online has many citations for its various searches, citing the Research Tools will require some original work on the part of the student mainly because each result is unique.

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Websites: Educational and Utilitarian

Trying to save the earth? Interested in the environment?“Welcome to the Encyclopedia of Earth, a new electronic reference about the Earth, its natural environments, and their interaction with society. The Encyclopedia is a free, fully searchable collection of articles written by scholars, professionals, educators, and experts who collaborate and review each other’s work. The articles are written in non-technical language and will be useful to students, educators, scholars, professionals, as well as to the general public.” These words are from the web site It is a very good resource for the student and layperson alike. A keeper. Who’s responsible for it? The National Council for Science and the Environment with editorial support from the Department of Geography and Environment and the Center for Energy and Environmental Studies at Boston University.

On another note, if you want to know the lay of the land, Lincoln Land in particular, visit Put out by the Illinois Dept. of Transportation, these are PDF maps of Illinois. Although Google Maps will give you directions and streets, these maps, rather, show the features of regions in Illinois according to Township, County, and City, with only the main thoroughfares plotted. Not all cities in Illinois are on the list. 

And finally, try to learn something new by visiting You will have to get through a lot of ads to get to your video, but as a neophyte, you will be treated to step-by-step instructions or information on various topics from handling corn snakes to putting on mineral make-up to advanced pole dancing.

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The Columbia Granger’s Index to Poetry

The Columbia Granger’s Index to Poetry, familiarly called Granger’s, is an important resource to finding poems in anthologies. Our copy is the 2002 Granger’s (REF PN1022.H39). For the convenience of library patrons, the librarians have checked the list of books (anthologies) in the front of Granger’s and written in the call numbers of those anthologies that MVCC owns.

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Bowling Alone by Robert D. Putnam and Better Together by Robert D. Putnam and Lewis M. Feldstein

The monster that Frankenstein created made quite an impact on his community. In light of this aspect of life,
What has happened to a favorite American character trait of joining together for a common purpose? Is the “club” or “community organization” falling on hard times?

You can read all about the changes that are occurring in the way we Americans see ourselves and our interaction in our communities in Bowling Alone and its follow-up Better Together. Click on the title to look at some of the reviews from Barnes and Noble.

Yes, MVCC owns these two books.

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