Library Contributor

ESPN2 at the Fitness Center

Recently, ESPN2 came to the fitness center to televise a high school basketball game between IHSA champions Simeon High School and St. Rita High School. You can read more about it in the Chicago Tribune article “TV Exposure Boosts Moraine Valley Community College Gym.”

Basically though, the outcome was very good and everyone (including Gatorade) was impressed with how well the facility looks on camera. Here’s to more televised events in the future!

Looking for more information about athletics at Moraine Valley? Click here to read Cyclone headlines. It will give you the latest news on athletic teams on campus and how their season is going. You can also check out information on future events on the Moraine Valley Cyclones Facebook Page.

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What is Comics Journalism?

Normally when we think about comics we think of something funny or probably something rooted in fantasy. Comics journalism is a relatively new term in the world of comics and can be described as a “shorthand term for reported nonfiction told through sequential art” (according to the Columbia Journalism Review).

If you’re new to comics journalism and would like to learn more, I’m putting down a few recommendations. One name that always comes to mind when talking about comics journalism is Joe Sacco. Late last fall, we had our first ever graphic novel symposium and we did a graphic novel series in preparation for the event. We highlighted two of Sacco’s books in our collection called Palestine and Footnotes in Gaza

If you’re looking for something you can read online, there’s a couple of options. I’d look at “Terms of Service: Understanding Our Role in the World of Big Data,” which goes over privacy laws regarding things like Facebook and Gmail and how companies can legally get information. If you’re looking for something completely different, you should check out “How to Survive a Shooting,” which is, unfortunately, as sad as it sounds.

For more information on comics journalism, you should check out “Read Harder Recommendations: Comics Journalism” and “How comics journalism brings stories to life.”

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Local Community College Leaders On Obama’s College Promise Proposal

In a recent article in the Southtown Star, community college leaders share their thoughts on Obama’s College Promise. In the article “Southland College Leaders Have Doubts About Obama Plan,” our very own President Sylvia Jenkins, Prairie State College President Terri Winfree, board chairman at Joliet Junior College Andrew Mihelich, and South Suburban College in South Holland President Don Manning are all featured in the article. I highly recommend the article, since it gives some nice insight as to what our local community colleges leaders think of Obama’s proposal.

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Media Misinformaiton on America’s College Promise And 529 Tax Breaks

Since Obama announced America’s College Promise proposal in his State of the Union address, the media has been writing continuously about if such a plan were be probable. Who would pay for it? How would we pay for it? Should we pay for it? Probably the biggest concern out there is who will have to pay for it and to who will benefit most. One recent proposal was to start taxing 529s as a way to get funds for community colleges.

Media Matters for America have recently put together an article explaining some of the details of plan “What Media Miss on the Tax Breaks in Obama’s Free Community College Plan.” In the least complicated way possible, 529s are a way for parents to put money away for their children’s college education fund. They are so great because they provide nice federal and state tax breaks and are generally low maintenance. What Obama proposed to do was end those tax breaks, which is the reason for the uproar. On the whole though, if you can afford to put away money like that for your children’s college education, do you really need a tax break? As of Tuesday though, Obama has taken taxing 529s off the table, so we don’t really need to worry about that anymore.

In the future, check out Media Matters for America. This group is a “progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.” They try to flesh out facts and ideas, since, unfortunately the media doesn’t always get their facts straight.

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Film Blog: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Today I’m featuring The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. In our collection, we have both the book and the DVD, so if you’re one of those people who like to read the book before seeing the movie, you can check it out here!

The story is partially based on the author’s experiences as a shy teenager. Charlie is a very shy, but intelligent freshman at a new school with no friends. He soon meets Sam and Patrick (who are also step siblings) who change his life. Perks of Being a Wallflower is more of a coming of age story, although a very sad one. Bring some tissues guys.

The main character, Charlie, is played by Ezra Miller who is also in The Fury, which came last October. Emma Watson, who needs no introduction I’m sure, plays Sam and she does a pretty good job with that American accent. In addition to the trailer for Perks of Being a Wallflower, I’ll include a trailer for The Fury. Lerman also did a Q&A comparing the two films. You can read about it here.

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More Talk About Obama’s ‘America’s College Promise’

Since the State of the Union address, there has been a lot of talk if Obama would be able to make America’s College Promise a reality. Here are two great podcast from Inside Higher Education that expand more on the likelihood of proposal.

Below I’ve embedded two podcasts from Inside Higher Ed website. This Week (title of the program, which is slightly confusing I know) releases weekly podcasts focusing on two issues in higher education. About two weeks ago, they had a podcast called “Free Community College For All / Rebooting Academic Governance” (Program 31) with guests from  LaGuardia Community College, Gail Mellow, and Assistant Professor of Higher Education from Seton University, Robert Kelchen talking about how Obama’s plan might affect the middle class (and if it would indeed rebuild a struggling middle class) among other things.

Program 31: “Free Community College For All / Rebooting Academic Governance”


I’m also embedding a more recent podcast (just released Friday!) called “The Obama Higher Ed Agenda / Are graduates well-prepared?” (Program 32). So all you have to do is press play! Also be sure to check out the link to the podcasts since they contain more links to related articles, videos and podcasts as well as a little background information on their guest speakers.

Program 32: “The Obama Higher Ed Agenda / Are graduates well-prepared?”



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Did you watch the State of the Union?

According to Time magazine, about 31.7 million people tuned in to watch the State of the Union. In case you missed it, there were some very life changing ideas addressed. Last week, there were a couple research posts about Obama’s plan to make community college education free to those who qualify. You can read those previous posts here and here.

In the State of the Union address, he touched a little more about how that might work. The plan would cost roughly $60 million dollars over the next 10 years. You can click here to read CNN’s take on the subject. Obama hopes to work with states to cover tuition costs for the first two years of college for those students who have earned good grades. In essence, the federal government would pay three quarters of the bill and then let the states cover the rest. It is important to note that students would still have to pay their living expenses, so it’s not completely free but who can argue with two years of free college tuition? While many experts and politicians would agree that this kind of change would be a good investment, there are many skeptics including, of course, the Tea Party. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens next!

Just as a little funny side note, you should think about watching Jon Stewart’s ‘Implodey’ Award For Worst State Of The Union Response. In it you can see some Tea Party responses.

In case you didn’t get a chance to watch the State of the Union address, I’ve embedded the video below.

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Chinese Zodiac Signs and Meanings

(Image source:

Happy New Year 2015! Chinese New Year is on Thursday, February 19, 2015. It marks the start of the Year of the Goat in Chinese zodiac. The Chinese animal zodiac, or Shengxiao has a repeating cycle of 12 years, with each year being represented by one of the animals and its reputed attributes. In chronic order, the 12 animals are: Rat (Zi), Ox (Chou), Tiger (Yin), Rabbit (Mao), Dragon (Chen), Snake (Si), Horse (Wu), Goat (Wei), Monkey (Shen), Rooster (You), Dog (Xu), and Pig (Hai).

Your representing sign in Chinese zodiacs is determined by the lunar year in which you were born. The Chinese believe the animal ruling one’s birth year has a profound influence on personality and destiny. For example, if you were born in 1991, your Chinese zodiac sign will be the Goat, and the personality of Goat is gentleness, calm, shyness, creativity, understanding, insecurity and pessimist. People born in the Goat year worry a lot and tend to complain, and appearance and material comfort are very important to them. They need lots of support, love, care, and reassurance.

You can know your animal sign by referring to the year you were born and find out the symbolic meanings of the 12 animal signs here. Besides, if you are a Goat, don’t forget to check out  “Goat” tips for the year of the Goat 2015!


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Whatever Happened to that Map?

Many people have been asking about that map of area services we used to have in out About Us section. We apologize for the disappearance, but are happy to report that we have a better working map! I’ve embedded the map below, but you can also find it listed in our About Us where it used to be.

For those of you unfamiliar with the map of area services, I’ll just briefly explain. The map has information on high schools, colleges, and public libraries within district. In addition, off campus sites such as Blue Island and Southwest Education Centers are highlighted. Any comments and/or questions are greatly appreciated, so thanks to those who emailed their concerns.

Just a tip. If you click on this button  , you can get a listing of all the points sorted out by public libraries, high schools, colleges and education sites.

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Officialness and The Torture Report

In case you missed it, last week the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released the Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program, also known as the Torture Report. So, for all you political junkies and civics geeks out there, you might be interested in having a copy of it.

Now the cool thing about everything published by Congress, or for that matter the government in general, is that it is supposed to be in the public domain. You may have a copy of this report for free, if you would like it in a digital format. It also means that if you have access to a printing press, you can also print it yourself and charge for it. The publisher Melville House is rushing the book into print, and it will hit store shelves on December 30. Amazon has already published a Kindle version of the book and has it on sale currently for $9.99. But, for the connoisseur, you can purchase the official government printed edition from the Government Publishing Office for $29.00.

If you are downloading a free version from the Internet, you should make sure you get the official copy. You can check for any digital government document’s “officialness” using Adobe Reader. Official stamp denoting an unmodified government documentLook for the certificate stamp on page 1 of any government document downloaded from the internet. If it is there, this means it is an official copy, and you have confirmation that the document has not modified in any way.

The Library already has a number of official reports like this from congress. These items are especially useful if you need Primary Sources for a research paper. Look for items in our catalog denoted as an “E-Resource”. Our collection is especially strong on the topics of, foreign affairs and especially the Middle East, the environment, cybersecurity, veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

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