Lori Koetters

“Let Freedom Read:” Banned Books Week 2023

Let Freedom Read title on abstract figure of open books.

The American Library Association website has information about the increase in book challenges in the last couple years. In 2022, ALA tracked 1,296 book challenges, nearly double the number of challenges in 2021. Every year, Banned Books Week is held to publicize these challenges and the books that are challenged. But also, Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read. Want to read a book that has been under attack? See the list here.

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Job Search and Career Resources

Are you graduating? (Congratulations!) Do you graduate in a year? Are you thinking about your future jobs and career? Here are some resources to help you.

The Moraine Valley Job Resource Center is in Building S, Room S202. They can assist you with resume and cover letter reviews, interview skills, and possible internships. You can email them at jrc@morainevalley.edu.

How about some Ted Talks? They have a list of talks regarding interviewing, body language, and staying calm when you are stressed.

And here are some books available in the library.

Job Interview Tips for Overcoming Red Flags

The Introvert’s Complete Career Guide

101 Job Interview Questions You’ll Never Fear Again

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Presidential Veto and Lawmaking

There was news coverage last week that President Biden might soon issue the first veto of his presidency.

How does a law get to the stage of being approved by the president—or not approved, which is a veto? According to usa.gov, here is the process (very simplified): A bill is introduced by a senator or representative and goes to committee where it is researched and discussed. Then the bill is voted on by the Senate or House of Representatives. If it passes the Senate or House, the bill goes to the other chamber of Congress and goes through a similar process. If both chambers pass the bill, the lawmakers work together to make a version that passes both the Senate and the House. If it passes both house of Congress, the bill goes to the president.

If the president vetoes the bill, it may be possible for Congress to override the veto.

For other information about the U.S. Congress and legislation, check out these books or ebooks from the Moraine Valley Library.

Losing to Win: Why Congressional Majorities Play Politics Instead of Make Laws by Jeremy Gelman
Heavy Lifting: The Job of the American Legislature by Alan Rosenthal
Rulemaking: How Government Agencies Write Law and Make Policy by Cornelius M. Kerwin and Scott R. Furlong
The Limits of Party: Congress and Lawmaking in a Polarized Era by James M. Curry and Frances E. Lee

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Baking and Cooking in December

Do you have some traditional treats that you make year after year for celebrations? Are you interested in looking for something new? Here are a few cookbook suggestions that are available at the library.

Two shelves with an array of five book covers. The top shelf shows Breads of the World, Holiday Cookies, and The World on a Plate. The bottom shelf shows The Perfect Cookie and Classic German Baking.

Breads of the World TX769 .I54 2013b

Holiday Cookies TX772 .H65 2014

The World on a Plate TX725.A1 H5674 2015

The Perfect Cookie TX772 .P47 2017

Classic German Baking TX721 .W45 2016

In addition to the books listed above, here are two ebooks that you might like to skim for ideas: Vegan Holiday Cookbook and Christmas Baking.

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What’s My Topic?

Is it time to start thinking about a topic for your paper or your speech? You might want to look at SIRS Researcher to get some ideas. SIRS Researcher is one database available through the Library website. In SIRS Researcher, you can browse topics and categories.

Opening page of SIRS Researcher database with SIRS Issues Researcher and Trending Topics titles highlighted in gold boxes.
Opening page of SIRS Researcher database.

You may find a topic that you have always been interested in or you may find a topic you don’t know much about. It’s easy to browse.

Page from SIRS Researcher database with Need help choosing a topic? title highlighted in gold box above a grid selection of 10 selections.
“Need help choosing a topic?” section of SIRS Researcher database.

SIRS Researcher has thousands of full-text articles exploring social, scientific, health, historic, business, economic, political, and global issues. The articles come from newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals, books, and government documents.

Access SIRS Researcher.

We also have a Help Guide for SIRS Researcher.

If you need help with this database or any database, Ask a Librarian!

What’s My Topic? Read More »

New Words to Use in Scrabble

The new edition of the official Scrabble dictionary has added hundreds of new words, such as sheeple, bitcoin, emoji, and puggle. Other big news in the Scrabble world is that the word “OK” is now acceptable. Scrabble has been around since the 1930s but it needs to change as language changes.  The library does not have any books about Scrabble specifically, but we do have a book about board games: It’s All a Game: The History of Board Games from Monopoly to Settlers of Catan by Tristan Donovan. And the library has many dictionaries for you to use, including online access to the Oxford English Dictionary.

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MLA and APA Citation Information

Classes have started. You see on the syllabus that you will need to provide MLA or APA citations for an assignment or for a paper. Maybe that is new to you—or maybe you don’t remember the details from your high school classes. The library can help! You can stop by the library and talk to a librarian about citation. Or, go to the “Research Tools” page on the library website. Click “Citing Sources” in the middle of the Research Tools page (under Featured Services). The Citing Sources Guide has a variety of links and instructional videos that show citation examples for journal articles, web pages, books, and many other sources. As always, help is available from the librarians or from the Speaking and Writing Center.

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“Insightful” Google Searches

Do you always accept the top Google results as factual? Are you sure? An old standby in the research world is now ready to give you some help. Encyclopaedia Britannica has a new Chrome extension, “Britannica Insights,” that adds information to the top right of the results page when you search for something. There are limits, of course. Britannica admits it works best for scientific or historical information.

Read more about it: Chicago Tribune, Wired, and The Verge

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Fast Food History

Most of us have eaten at McDonald’s. Do you know how the company started? Two brothers in California developed a system in the 1950s to serve just a few quality items quickly at their hamburger stand. They were the McDonald brothers and, at the time, they were pretty satisfied with their company and product. But a shake machine salesman from Illinois saw a big future in the business.

The Founder is a movie from 2017 that tells how Ray Kroc got into business with the brothers. At first, he had the job of setting up McDonald’s franchises around the country. After a few years, he took over the company. He then called himself the founder of the company. You can decide if you agree. Check out the DVD and see the performances by Michael Keaton, Nick Offerman, and John Carroll Lynch.

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Rating Biographies of the Presidents

There are many, many presidential biographies. Now someone is reading many of them for you, rating them, and providing reviews on his blog. Stephen Floyd is an investment banker and an “avid fan of American history.” He has merged his love of American history and great biographies to focus on finding the best biographies of each president. In 2012, he started with George Washington and is now working on biographies of Richard Nixon. See his blog for the list of biographies and his reviews.

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