In the Collection

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

On This Day in 2020…

A stay at home order was issued in Illinois. Life quickly got strange and scary due to Covid-19. Bread was made, toilet paper hoarded, and friendships continued in online spaces.

Inviting a friend over to visit in spring 2020 via the game “Animal Crossing”. I remember thinking “Welp, I guess this is how we have friendships now”.

The early part of the pandemic looked different to different people and it can be strange to look back at that time and remember some of the drastic life changes we endured.

The graphic novel Covid Chronicles: A Comics Anthology looks back at those early days and the impressions it left on all of us. Containing 64 short comics compiled between April and October 2020, it examines our responses to illness, isolation, social justice, economic insecurity, politics, and more. Each comic represents a unique style and perspective, many written about relatable and emotional stories. This anthology does an excellent job of capturing one of the most impactful times of recent history.

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Agriculture and Climate Change

The One Book One College selection this year, All We Can Save, takes a look at the threat of climate change. When we think about climate change, we often focus on energy use. That is important, but it’s not the whole picture. A huge contributor to the problem is agriculture. It’s a triple threat. Plowing releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Fertilizing is a source of nitrous oxide. Cattle release methane. All of these together amount to about a third of all the greenhouse gases leading to human-caused changes in climate.

The food choices that we make matter a lot. And big changes need to happen in the agriculture industry. The New York Times released the first video today that is part of a series called “We’re Cooked.” Part 1, “Meet the People Getting Paid to Kill Our Planet,” takes a hard look at the agricultural lobby in the US. You can watch all of the videos as they are released here. And don’t forget to sign up for your free subscription to the New York Times through the MVCC Library.

To find out more about food and climate change, check out these titles from the MVCC Library.

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Comic Convention Companion

This season is full of great pop culture events. New York Comic Con was last month, San Diego Comic Con will be in-person next week, and Chicago’s own C2E2 will be in-person in December. So many awesome shows!

Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones attending this year, or maybe you feel the time isn’t right. Either way, the library has graphic novels, cosplay resources, artists, and more to connect you with the pop culture community!

Check out some of the resources below in our Comic Convention Companion, and visit the library in the near future to see some of our staff’s best graphic novel and manga recommendations for your holiday break! Click the image below to view the collection:

Comic Convention Companion

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Chicago–The Candy Capital of the World

Halloween is almost here. Getting to dress up in costumes is only part of the holiday fun. Because let’s face it, Halloween is also about the candy. Did you know that a lot of the candy that fills trick-or-treaters’ buckets has a history in Chicago?

Tootsie Rolls, M&Ms, Snickers, Brach’s, Wrigley, Lemonheads, Red Hots, Baby Ruths, Butterfingers, Jolly Ranchers, Milk Duds, Cracker Jack, the list goes on and on. These candies and many more are Chicago products. Even Hershey owes its start to Chicago, since it was at the1893 Chicago World’s Fair that Milton Hershey got the idea to start his own chocolate company. Chicago has long been known as the Candy Capital of the World, having been throughout most of its history the producer of one third of all the candy made in the United States.

Learn more about Chicago’s delicious history in the book Chicago’s Sweet Candy History, by Leslie Goddard. You can also find more histories of candy here in the MVCC Library collection.

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Frida Kahlo Exhibit

The Frida Kahlo exhibit that spent the summer at nearby College of DuPage was impressive and drew visitors from all 50 states and 42 countries. In case you were unable to enjoy the event in person, or would like to revisit some of what you experienced, this virtual tour is a great way to connect with the exhibit. Through exhibit photos and narrative, the curator walks us through Frida’s difficult life and then helps the viewer engage with a few of the paintings on display. We also see reproductions of Frida Kahlo’s garden and house. Frida Kahlo Timeless Virtual Tour

To engage even further with the life and works of the artist, check out the MVCC Library’s collection on Frida Kahlo.

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Bathing in the Forest to Relieve Stress… at the Library?

This year’s One Book One College selection is All We Can Save, a collections of essays by women leading the fight against climate change. Thinking about climate change and the environment can be really stressful, but getting out into and enjoying nature can have some really positive benefits.

You might have heard of “Forest Bathing“, the concept of immersing yourself in a natural environment as a form of stress relief. While participants do not actually bathe or even enter into water, sounds, smells, textures, and even tastes of nature are explored and enjoyed.

If you’d like to learn more about Forest Bathing, check out the book “Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness“. Find it in our After Class collection near the library entrance.

The After Class bookshelf, surrounded by student seating
To find the After Class book collection, turn right after you enter the library

If you’d like to get out in nature and learn about it at the same time, check out some of the Library’s upcoming public events. We have a couple opportunities for members of the MVCC community to learn more about the natural areas on campus! Register for events on our Events page. Events are always FREE!

MVCC Prairie Tour (Weds 9/29 and Thurs 9/30) Join earth science faculty member, Jana Svec, for a tour of MVCC’s own prairie. Learn about the geography, plants and animals that are in our own backyard, right on campus.

Native Plants: Foundation of Our Ecosystem (Online Event 10/6) We will discuss how native plants, insects and birds interconnect to maintain our food supply, water, air quality, climate etc.  The significant decline in birds and insects is largely due to habitat loss and lack of native plants.  We will show what the individual can do to reverse this trend. This discussion will be presented by Catheryn Bryla, Sag Moraine

Prairie Seed Collection Event (Tues 10/12 and Thurs 10/14) Help us protect MVCC’s prairie! Join us and Jana Svac, earth science faculty member, in collecting seeds from native plants to ensure that our prairie remains healthy for the future. This is a chance to get outside and make a difference.

Finally, if you want to dig deeper into the native plants and wildlife of Illinois, check out this librarian-curated list of websites, field guides, and books! Click on the image below to browse!

Explore Wild Illinois

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A Better Way to Evaluate Online Information

Are you looking to up your game in the evaluation of online information? Bestselling author John Green wants to help!

Misinformation, disinformation, fake news, and conspiracies have become so common that we stumble across these all the time in our web searches and in our news feeds. And it’s getting harder and harder to evaluate the information that we find. Really bad information is often presented in a professional looking manner with a great looking list of references. Those old checklists just don’t work anymore.

What we really need to do is find out who is behind the information and why they want us to see it. A great way to do this is to leave the webpage we’re on, open a new tab, and google the person or organization presenting the information. Instead of reading vertically, up and down the page we found, we need to read laterally, across the web, to find out what other people have to say about the presenter.

Here’s where John Green comes into the picture. His Crash Course YouTube series has produced a collection in collaboration with researchers at Stanford University to help us learn more about how misinformation is spread and to demonstrate how to use lateral reading skills to evaluate online information. The videos are really engaging and really helpful.

Check out the first Navigating Digital Information video below. As always, the MVCC Library has lots of helpful information as well. Click here for a sample.

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Jane Austen July

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a student in possession of a summer break, must be in want of a reading challenge.

Okay, maybe not, but if you are looking for a month-long reading challenge and you enjoy a little early 19th century English literature, look no further than Jane Austen July!

Hosted by three Booktubers: Blatantly Bookish, Books and Things, and Spinster’s Library, the challenge has a Goodreads group, read-alongs, and a Bingo card that readers can complete.

The hosts have created 7 challenges, all of which can be completed with materials from MVCC Library!

  1. Read one of Jane Austen’s Six Novels
  2. Read something by Jane Austen that is not one of her main six novels
  3. Read a non fiction work about Jane Austen or her time period, The Late Georgian or Regency Era
  4. Read a modern retelling of a Jane Austen book
  5. Read a Book by a contemporary of Jane Austen (Some examples are Walter Scott, Mary Shelley, and more)
  6. Watch a direct screen adaptation of a Jane Austen Book.
  7. Watch a modern screen adaptation of a Jane Austen Book. (Some examples are Bride and Prejudice and Clueless)

I propose an 8th challenge: Read an article from a peer-reviewed Jane Austen academic journal!

Will you be partaking in this Regency read-a-thon?

#JaneAustenJuly2021 #JaneAustenJuly

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How Comics Work! (a visual guide)

Check our this amazing visual guide to understanding comics! Candida Rifkind, Brandon Christopher, and Alice RL’s “How Comics Work.

Our library provides access to 1000s of graphic novels and comics (in both print and digital options). Sometimes getting started in this medium is the tough part, so that’s why “How Comics Work” is a great guide. In just a few pages, it gives you the short and to understand this iconic popculture literary form.

The spectrum of cartooning styles (from realistic to iconic).
“Closure” is a term used for the act of reading and interpreting movement & meaning from still images.

How Comics Work! (a visual guide) Read More »

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