In the Collection

Blog posts about items in the catalog, ideally with permanent links to catalog records.

Between Art and Quarantine

Museums are among the many things that have been temporarily shut down. One of our librarians has been taking us on some great virtual tours of some of these museums. Recently another trend has begun as a way to interact with the art world. It’s called Between Art and Quarantine and you can get involved as well.

It began with the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and was then taken up by the Getty in Los Angeles. The challenge invites you to use the online collections of museums as inspiration and then use household objects to re-create the artwork. People are then posting their creations to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #betweenartandquarantine. The posts are creative and fun.

You can see above that my family got involved in the challenge over the weekend. Shown are our interpretations of Monet’s Poppy Field and Corot’s Interrupted Reading. Both of these pieces are owned by the Art Institute of Chicago.

This blog post from the Getty tells you more about the challenge, shows some creative examples that people have posted, and gives how-to’s for making your own re-creation.

If you want to explore more artworks or artists, you can always consult the MVCC Library collection. In the library catalog, do a search for a genre, era, or artist. Then to the left of your results click on E-books to see the online sources.

If you like, in addition to posting your work to social media, please share with me what you come up with. Email a picture of your art to I would love to see your creations!

Quarantine Book Clubs

Now that you’ve been inspired to read War and Peace by my “Reading Time” blog from earlier in the week, maybe you’d like to connect with other people doing the same thing. Together Tolstoy might be just the group for you. It’s a free virtual book club. It started a couple of weeks ago, but they’re taking it slowly, reading 12 to 15 pages per day. So there’s time for you to catch up. And by the time summer arrives, you will have read War and Peace!

But maybe that particular book isn’t your thing. There are all sorts of virtual book clubs you can enjoy. The Quarantine Book Club is hosting Zoom author chats with authors from various genres. Or you might enjoy the Translated Fiction Online Book Club with a Zoom meeting every week discussing a different translated work.

These are just scratching the surface of virtual book clubs and many have been around for some time. This article from Bustle has a collection of 14 book clubs for various reading interests. You can also search for your favorite book or author in Facebook groups and likely find all sorts of people from around the world to engage in discussions of your favorite plot points and characters.

Whether you intend to read alone or to discuss with a group, the MVCC Library has you covered, even when the library building is closed. In the library catalog, search for an author, title, or topic. Then use the limiters to the left of your results to see ebooks or even e-audio books.

April is National Poetry Month

National Poetry Month was established in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets as a way to celebrate poets and to continue the promotion of poetry and the role it continues to play in our world’s culture. Chicago is home to The Poetry Foundation, established in 2003, which publishes Poetry magazine and hosts related events like author readings and a book club. It also houses the Midwest’s only poetry library containing 30,000 volumes including audio and video recordings. Poetry magazine considers over 150,000 international poems per year for publication. Click on the links below to add a little poetry to your life!

Poetry-related materials available in the MVCC Library electronic collection

Reading Time

In this time of social distancing, we are all finding ways to fill our time and finding that we now have time for things that we never did before. My teenage daughter took it upon herself to organize our home office. My mom’s neighbor spent 2 ½ hours organizing his light bulbs! Yes, these are strange times.

Perhaps now is the perfect time to tackle that doorstopper on your reading list. Have you always wanted to read War and Peace or Moby Dick? Or maybe you’d like to re-read the whole Harry Potter series. How long will it take? There are tools available to help you answer that question.

At you can enter the name of a book and it will tell you how many hours it takes the average reader to finish that book. It will also direct you to some tests for you to calculate your personal reading speed and allow you to enter your own wpm (words per minute), allowing you to see how long it will take you to read the book you’ve chosen.

How many books can you read in a year? A pretty good test of this is demonstrated in this Mental Floss article. Read the short excerpt and answer 3 multiple-choice questions. You’ll find out how long it will take you to read War and Peace or the entire Harry Potter series. It will then tell you how many books you can read in a year by devoting say 30 minutes per day to reading. The results will amaze you.

Do you need some books to put this new knowledge into action? The MVCC Library provides access to tons of ebooks. Use the library catalog to search for a title, author, or topic. Then use the limiters to the left of your results to see the ebooks. And just in case you were wondering, we do have War and Peace, Moby Dick and the Harry Potter series available in ebook form.

Tools for a Better Binge: Just Watch and Bingeclock

JustWatch image

As you are at home binge watching Tiger King and Westworld, here are some tools to make your binge even better.

Just Watch: A streaming guide that tells which services carries which movies, shows, and other stuff. Instead of searching each service (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc.) individually, you can search for a movie or show and see which services provides it. Here are key features:

  • Includes Hoopla and Kanopy (provided to students, faculty, and staff by our library!)
  • Has easy-to-use app for iOS and Android.
  • Personalize searches based on your streaming services. You can limit to over 50 streaming options .
  • Save shows and movies in your own list so you can keep track where they are currently available.

Bingeclock: A master database of TV shows and movies. If you are preparing to watch The Good Place or Avatar: The Last Airbender and you are wondering how long it will take, Bingclock will tell you. You can search by show, and it will give you the total hours.

  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: 3 seasons totalling 1 day, 6 hours, 30 minutes.
  • The Good Place: 4 seasons, totalling 24 hours.
  • Guiding Light: 591 days, 1 hour (longest show).
  • Mash: 5 days, 9 hours.
  • Friends: 5 days, 1 hour.
  • Game of Thrones: 2 days, 22 hours, 1 minute.
  • RuPaul’s Drag Race: 4 days, 21 hours.

Invent a New Game

Last week we talked about how to find e-books and streaming videos about your favorite sports to fill the gap left by the live sports hiatus in the world. If you missed that post you can find it here.

But maybe you don’t just miss watching sports. Maybe it’s the playing sports with your friends and teammates that you crave. It’s hard to do that when stuck in your house. Well, people are finding ways. Check out this article from Com!cSands, Now That All Sports Are Canceled, People Are Coming Up With Their Own Hilarious Competitions To Satisfy Their Competitive Spirits. My favorites are Turtle Tic-Tac-Toe and Roomba Curling. You might be inspired to come up with a competition of your own. Though be aware–it seems like pets aren’t very good at games.

Games entertain us. They make us think. They help us stay connected. To learn more about games and the important role they play in our lives you can find ebooks here and articles here. Be ready to login with your MVCC username and password.

More E-Resources – Books and Art Images

In addition to the E-Resources you can find in the Moraine Valley library catalog (see previous blog post), this article will link you to 25 different pages with free books available in the public domain.

Looking for art images? Through the Moraine Valley library, you have access to the Oxford Art Online database and the Saskia Art Images Collection database. To access these, you will need to log in with your MV user name and password. Also, the Paris Museum has given unrestricted use to over 100,000 images on their collections website.

No Sports?!

You’re stuck at home and you can’t even pass the time by watching a game? The MVCC Library can help with that. We have materials for sports fans that you can access from home. Follow the links below and be ready to login with your MVCC username and password. You can always search the Library Catalog for other sports as well, and then use the limiters to the left of the results for ebooks or streaming videos.


Sports in general






Streaming Videos

Sports in general






Otaku USA

Otaku USA is now on the shelves. Find it on the Cherrywood display!

“Each issue includes an otaku section, and reviews and commentary on various anime, manga, video games and live action films and TV shows. The otaku section informs readers of releases of BDs, video games, cosplay items and related goods. In each issue there are two manga previews printed in black and white featuring the original art with English text. There are also a small number of in-depth anime reviews, most of which are four pages long.”

Magnolia Journal

Image result for magnolia journal spring 2020

Magnolia Journal is now on the shelves. Find it on the Cherrywood display!

“Find seasonal recipes and home decor ideas from your favorite Texan power couple in The Magnolia Journal. Sneak a peek into the life and home of Chip and Joanna Gaines with reflections from Jo and exclusive design tips.”

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