Jen Kolan


Are you mystified by mythology?  Good news for you!  We have a new set of DVDs in the library called Mythology for Students.  Currently, they can be found in our “new book” section which is near the entrance of the library between the open lounge and the computers.  Just ask a librarian for help if you’d like to find them.

Monks and Sand Mandalas

Tibetan Buddhist Monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastary will be visiting our library from Wednesday, March 30th to Saturday, April 2nd.  During their visit, they will be completing a sand mandala in the lounge area in the front of the library.  Construction of the mandala is an amazing process that must be seen, in person, to truly gain a sense of the patience and discipline that go into making these beautiful pieces of temporary art.  The mandala itself and the opening and closing ceremonies are highly symbolic and well worth coming to see.

The opening ceremony will be on March 30th at noon, and the closing ceremony will be on April 2nd at 1:30 p.m.  There will be a special lecture on the symbolism of the mandala on Thursday, March 31st at 12:30 p.m.

For more information on the Drepung Loseling Monks, please visit their website.

Here is a video showing the process of constructing the mandala.

For more information about Buddhism, Tibet, Buddhist art, or meditation, I have created a list of materials that our library owns.  Some will be on display in the library lounge during the event.

Need a Little Inspiration?

Over the weekend, I watched a great inspirational movie, from our library collection, called, Front of the Class.  It’s about a man, named Brad Cohen, who has severe Tourette syndrome and aspires to become the kind of teacher that he never had.

It’s an an amazing story of perseverance and dedication by a man with a wonderful attitude.  I love the lead actor, and it will leave you in a great mood.  Just know that it is a made-for-TV movie so it is definitely lacking in the kind of flair that a blockbuster movie would have, but still well worth watching!

Semester Break Fun

During your semester break, how about doing something that is not only fun, but also a learning experience at the same time.   Normally, our museums can be quite pricey so take advantage of museum free days.  Note – free days get you in for general admission which at most of the museums is everything except the special exhibits and movies.  The Shedd Aquarium is especially notable for charging extra fees (discounted on free days) to see the Oceanarium and the Wild Reef.

Museum Free Days 2010

Museum Free Days 2011 – very incomplete as of the date of my post, but will hopefully fill in soon.   I will fill in a few below  with information directly from the museum websites.

Adler Planetarium – Jan. 4, 5, 10-14, 18, 19, 24-27

Art Institute of Chicago  –  Free admission from 5-8 on Thursday.

Chicago Children’s Museum – Free Thursday evenings, 5-8pm for everyone and the first Sunday of every month for children 15 and under.

Chicago History Museum – Free on Mondays

Field Museum – Every 2nd Monday of the month is free.  Other free days exist, but are currently not listed on their website.

Garfield Park Conservatory – Always free.  Donations are suggested.

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago – Tuesdays are free.

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum –  Thursdays are free.  Donations are suggested.

Shedd Aquarium –  Jan. 10, 11, 24, 25

Mayor Richard Daley Not Running for Re-Election

As the shockwave over Mayor Daley’s announcement settles across Chicagoland, let’s take a look back at the history of Chicago politics.

Books on Chicago Politics and Government at the MVCC Library

Chicago History Museum: Parades, Protests & Politics in Chicago

Chicago Politics at the UIC Poly Sci Dept

Encyclopedia of Chicago:  Politics

Google’s Chicago Politics History Timeline

School’s (Almost) Out For Summer!

Get out and explore the natural and man-made wonders of our state or check out some local events.

General Links:

Enjoy Illinois – Includes links to arts & culture, attractions, nightlife, outdoors & recreation, shopping and sports.

Illinois.Gov – Includes links to all kinds of stuff including parks, forests, historic sites, museums, fairs and festivals.

Chicago Traveler

Outdoor Recreation:

Illinois State Parks

National Parks in Illinois

Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Illinois Campground Directory

Fairs, Festivals, Games and Shows:

Illinois Festivals 2010

Illinois Food, Festivals and Shows

April is National Autism Awareness Month

By now, all of us know someone who is affected by autism (even if you don’t know it).  According to the Center for Disease Control, 1 in 110 children in the U.S. have an autism Spectrum Disorder.  In honor of National Autism Awareness Month (yeah, I know it’s not April yet), I thought I would post some resources on the subject.

How to recognized autism:

CDC Autism Facts page

Could It Be Autism? : A Parent’s Guide To The First Signs And Next Steps
by Nancy D. Wiseman   Call number – RC553.A88 W57 2006

The ABCs Of DDs The Basics About Developmental Disorders Such As Autism And Aspergers
Moraine Valley Community College, Learning Resources Center ; Media Production Department   Call number – RC553.A88 A25 2006 VIDEO CASSETTE

Understanding autism:

Thinking In Pictures : And Other Reports From My Life With Autism
by Temple Grandin   Call number – RC553.A88 G74 1996

The Way I See It : A Personal Look At Autism And Asperger’s
by Temple Grandin  Call number – RC553.A88 G743 2008

Autism, The Musical
A Bunim-Murray Film In Association With In Effect Films
Call number – RJ506.A9 A9246 2008 DIGITAL VIDEO DISC

Understanding Brothers And Sisters On The Autism Spectrum
Writer/Producer/Director, Dan Coulter
Call number – RJ506.A9 U53 2007 DIGITAL VIDEO DISC

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