Jessica

Katherine Johnson 1918 – 2020

Today marks the passing of one of the great minds of mathematics. Katherine Johnson, a mathematician at NASA during the Space Race, contributed to projects such as America’s first human space flight, the first moon landing, and the Space Shuttle.

In 2015 she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor given to civilians, for her 33 years of work with NASA.

She was best known for the calculations that helped put John Glenn in orbit around the Earth, the story behind Hidden Figures, available at the library in DVD, book, eBook, and eAudio format.

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International Day of Women and Girls in Science

The United Nations has designated February 11th as International Day of Women and Girls in Science, a day that highlights how important it is to encourage a new generation of women to enter into the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields. International Day of Women and Girls in Science aims to break down harmful stereotypes and narratives as well as promote policies that makes STEM fields more accessible to women and girls.

How Can You Celebrate Women in Science?

Introduce Girls and Young Women to STEM Careers

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National News Literacy Week

With so much talk about “fake news”, how do you know what’s real and what’s fake? The best way is to polish up your critical thinking muscles and learn some news literacy skills!

January 27th – 31st is National News Literacy Week, a joint effort from the News Literacy Project (NLP) and the E.W. Scripps Company. The goal is to increase awareness of news literacy as a life skill and to promote the importance of a free press in a democratic society.

How can you tell if you’re news-literate? Take the quiz or Get Smart About the News with some of NLP’s other resources.

Want to get better at spotting fake news and bad information? Learn a new media skill: lateral reading. Watch the video to learn more:

Librarians are always ready to help you figure out fact from fiction. Stop in at the library, call, text, or chat with us to get help!

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I’m GLAD I Can Evaluate Science News

Despite my love of all things science, I’m often frustrated by how scientific discoveries get reported to the public. Studies are often oversimplified, misrepresented, blown out of proportion, or taken out of context to encourage readers to click on a headline. And since science influences so much of our lives, misinformation can be dangerous.

Okay, so you want to be well informed about new scientific discoveries and how they might impact you, but you don’t want to read a bunch of sciencey research papers every day. How can you know the news stories you’re reading are accurate? Well, the best way is to be like a scientist and discover the truth for yourself!

Above the Noise developed the GLAD criteria to help determine if a science news article is trustworthy or not:

  • Get past the clickbait
  • Look out for crazy claims
  • Analyze sources
  • Determine outside expert opinions

Check out the video to learn more:

Want to go further down the rabbit hole of science news reporting?

This bunny knows the importance of accurate and trustworthy science reporting.

If you’d like help identifying good sources of science news, you should ask a librarian!

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“I Want to Drive to Campus in Cold Weather for a DVD”, Said No One Ever

You ever think, “I’d like to watch a movie, but I don’t want to pay for it or leave the house”? Don’t worry, the library understands. Better yet, we don’t judge.

You can stay home AND warm while simultaneously NOT violating any piracy laws by streaming video through the library! Being lawful has never been easier.

Arrr, be ye downloading that video legally?

Browse movie titles in Hoopla, one of the library’s streaming services. Want to snuggle up with a good book or a graphic novel? They have those too! Music? You bet! You’ll need to create an account, but it’s free for MVCC students, faculty, and staff.

You also have access to the Swank Digital Campus, full of streaming Hollywood films just a click away.

Hoopla and Swank not your thing? Check out the classic and indie films found in Kanopy.

BONUS: these services are available even when the library is closed!

Don’t be sad, tiny cat! Streaming media is always available!

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Transgender Day of Remembrance

Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), a day to honor those who were lost to anti-transgender violence.

TDOR began in 1999 as a vigil honoring the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman that had been killed the previous year. It has since become an annual tradition used to remember other members of the transgender community that have passed.

Learn more about transgender rights with these resources at the library.

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No Disney +? No problem!

Don’t feel bad if you can’t jump on the Disney+ bandwagon- many of your favorite Disney classics are right here at the library. We may not have The Mandalorian, but we can certainly satisfy your need for Star Wars films.

And best of all, they’re free when you show your Moraine Valley ID at the circulation desk.

Well Obi-Wan, if you want to take that DVD home we absolutely do. Jedi mind tricks don’t work on librarians.

No Disney +? No problem! Read More »

Make it a Hobbit to Look for the Science

I said “peaceful” Bilbo!

November 11th marks the 65th anniversary of the publication of The Two Towers, the second book in J.R.R. Tolkien’s famous Lord of the Rings trilogy. Central to the story are the Hobbits, peaceful, large-footed people of short stature that love the comforts of home.

Most people accept that Middle Earth and its inhabitants are fantasy, but there’s some scientific evidence that hobbit-like people might have been real. In 2003 scientists discovered a hominin, or species related to humans, that was small in stature. Named Homo floreisiensis and nicknamed “the hobbit”, whether or not this fossil find is a distinct species has been hotly debated among scientists since its discovery.

There’s also some evidence that a volcano was partially responsible for the disappearance of the species and that Komodo dragons might have seen them as prey. Where have I heard a story like this before?

Mixing science and literature? It brings tears to my eyes!

Scientists have found evidence that H. floreisiensis created and used tools, but there’s no word of any gold rings found at any of the archaeological sites. If there were, the find would be precious...

Check out some of the other ways science honors Tolkien’s works. Feeling nostalgic for the films? We’ve got them! Want to research our human relatives? Try our Science databases!

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Science is Snow Laughing Matter

I’m not going to lie, the snow certainly has some nerve to arrive this early in the season. But since it’s here, we should look at the chemistry behind snowflakes. Let’s learn some SCIENCE!

Hey, where are you going? This is cool, I promise!

According to the American Chemical Society, all snowflakes start as a humble dust particle encased in ice and are individually shaped by the temperature and environmental conditions as they fall to the ground. It’s the variety in conditions that lead to the incredible differences seen in each flake.

Not all snowflakes are flat!

Researchers have even developed a camera that takes multi-angle photographs of single snowflakes in free-fall to produce 3D images and measure fall speed. Understanding snowflake mass, diameter, and fall speed can improve cold weather forecasting models.

Individual snowflakes might seem harmless, but when they get together they can really pack a punch. Scientists studying earthquakes in California found that accumulated snow and water can deform the earth’s crust, leading to increased seismic activity. That’s some powerful snow.

A quick search in Science Magazine Online can help you find articles about snowflakes and more amazing science! Make sure you access it from the library website in order to use all its features.

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Stream These Horror Flicks to Your Device and Watch Them from Behind the Couch

Cats watch horror films too!

Need some spine-tingling entertainment during this spooky week? You can stream these right to your device with Hoopla. Just don’t blame us if you have to sleep with the light on!

The Thing on the Doorstep is a psychological horror film based on the story by H.P. Lovecraft (of Cthulhu fame).

Did you say silent vampire film? You’ll love the 1922 silent movie Nosferatu.

Who am I kidding? This kitten is braver than me.

If you only have half an hour before that Halloween party starts you have just enough time for the madness of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart.

Find out what made high school students in the 90’s afraid of the dark with the slasher film Scream.

Finally, explore your (completely justified) fear of clowns with The Clown at Midnight.

Stream These Horror Flicks to Your Device and Watch Them from Behind the Couch Read More »

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