In the Headlines

Blog posts about big news stories and issues (i.e. not local news)

Access Denied

Have you ever found an interesting article in your social media, but you couldn’t read it without unblocking ads or subscribing to the publication?  I had this happen to me recently when I found an interesting article entitled Can Books Compete With Netflix? Yes, and Here’s Why. It was published in the Wall Street Journal so when I tried to open it, I hit a paywall. Instead of paying for a subscription, I remembered that I can check to see if it’s in our Wall Street Journal database.  Did you know that we have access to 100’s of magazine and and academic journals through our databases?  You just need to go to our Research Tools page and either go to “All Databases” or choose a subject category underneath.

Partial view of the of the Research Databases List with a red arrow pointing toward All Databases

The Wall Street Journal database is under “News”.  I did a search in the database for the article title, and I found it!  Some publications don’t allow access to ALL of their articles so sometimes you may not be able to find what you are looking for.  If that ever happens, the library can order the article from other libraries through our Interlibrary loan form, but sometimes, we may be able to find it in one of our other databases. The librarians are always happy to help, so please Ask a Librarian for help. If the article I was looking for interests you, here is a link to it in the WSJ database. Can Books Compete with Netflix? To read it, you will need to log in with your MV user name and password.

Voting Information for the November 3, 2020 Election

Key Dates for the November 3, 2020 Presidential Election

  Date  Event
  10/6/2020  Voter registration closes for deputy registrars and local election officials
  10/7/2020  First day of grace period registration and voting
  10/18/2020  Last day to register to vote by online application
  10/19/2020  First day of early voting
  10/29/2020  Last day to request a mail ballot, including military and overseas voters
  11/2/2020  Last day of early voting
  11/2/2020  Last day of grace period registration and voting
  11/3/2020  Last day mail in ballots can be postmarked or dropped off in a secure Mail Ballot Drop Box
  11/3/2020  Election Day

Vote by mail

Any registered suburban Cook County voter may request a mail ballot using the online application. Once your registration is verified and the application is processed, a paper ballot will be sent to the mailing address you designate in your application. The deadline to apply is five days before the election.

The Clerk’s Office will offer secure mail ballot drop boxes. Additionally, the Clerk’s office will offer an Election Day Drop Box in Daley Plaza in Chicago. Ballots may also be returned via USPS.

For the November 3, 2020 Presidential Election, traditional Early Voting will take place October 19-November 2

Early Voting locations and hours in suburban Cook County

If you live in the City of Chicago please visit chicagoelections.com for their Early Voting locations and other important information.

Election Day Voting

Registered suburban Cook County voters can only vote in their home precinct on Election Day.

Registered and unregistered Cook County residents can find their assigned polling place with the Your Voter Information tool.

Residents who are not registered to vote may register and cast a ballot on Election Day with same-day registration and voting. Those who wish to register on Election Day must present two qualifying forms of ID.

A voter who needs ID, but who cannot present ID, may cast a Provisional Ballot on Election Day. In order for that Provisional Ballot to be counted, the voter must present ID within 7 days of the election to the Cook County Clerk’s office, 69 W. Washington St., Suite 500, Chicago IL 60602.

Source COOK COUNTY CLERK’S OFFICE

Explore Nobel Prize Winner Louise Glück’s Poetry

Louise Glück – Photo gallery. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Media AB 2020. Thu. 8 Oct 2020.

The 2020 Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to the celebrated American poet Louise Glück on Thursday. The Nobel Committee cited “her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal” in the award announcement.

To learn more about Glück and her career as a poet, check out her Poetry Foundation biography or read the New York Times article about the Nobel Prize announcement in the Library databases.

Poetry

Find Glück’s collected poetry in POEMS 1962-2012, which includes poems from her Pulitzer Prize winning book The Wild Iris, and other works in our print collection.

Glück has also published extensively in literary magazines. Find her works online through the Library in The New Yorker and American Poetry Review.

Find an audio recording of “The Golden Lily,” one of Glück’s most studied poems and audio recordings and text of many other poems available from the Academy of American Poets.

How America Lost 200,000+ Lives to Covid-19

The United States has been preparing for a pandemic like Covid-19 for 15 years. The U.S. wrote the global pandemic playbook that lays out instructions for testing, contact tracing, masks, social distancing and communications. So how is it that the United States, one of the wealthiest countries in the world, and seemingly the most prepared, accounts for 20% of Covid-19 deaths while having only 4% of the global population?

The New York Times took a deep dive into the data and the 15 year timeline to examine why we’ve wound up with so many preventable deaths. They share what they found in this video, America Wrote the Pandemic Playbook, Then Ignored It.

Are There Really Farting Microbes on the Planet Venus? This is a Job for Research!

Maybe you were scrolling through a news feed today and saw some headlines about aliens on Venus, or at least this weird gas that maybe means aliens. Maybe you’re not sure what to make of that or even if it’s true.

So we’ve got this library full of reliable news sources and books just waiting to be explored. Let’s do a little SCIENCE RESEARCH!

Oh, come on, don’t you want to know about the alleged aliens? Let’s check out some different databases and see what we can find!

If we’re looking for science news, a great place to start is Science Magazine Online, where we can find a news article describing the research that lead to the discovery.

If we are looking for more news, maybe we should try a news database, like the New York Times. If we search “life on Venus” under news, we find another article about the research that looks at this specific gas found in the Venusian atmosphere that we know is produced on Earth by tiny microbes. The production of that gas could mean there are living microbes, like bacteria, in the Venusian clouds! ALIEN BACTERIA!

Maybe now you’ve been bit by the knowledge bug and you want know more about Venus or the other planets. Follow me down the rabbit hole of astronomy information! We’ve got some great books in our collection that you can find through our Catalog! You might find a few books that look interesting…

As for life on Venus, we may not have the answer yet, but with a little bit of research we can discover what the headlines really mean. It wasn’t that bad, was it?

Librarians are always ready to help you dig into the databases to find what you need. All you have to do is ask us!

What Is the National Guard?

In the past week, I have learned a lot more about the National Guard. “Bring in the National Guard to bring peace to the streets” or “Allow the local police to handle the unrest” is the argument that is being spread across America. As a researcher, I know it is important not only to research both sides of an argument, but also to explore background information that will help better understand the topic.

According to the National Guard website, “The National Guard is a unique element of the U.S. military that serves both community and country. The Guard responds to domestic emergencies, overseas combat missions, counterdrug efforts, reconstruction missions and more.” The National Police Foundation describes four main functions of local police: enforcing laws, preventing crimes, responding to emergencies, and providing support services. It may also be helpful to investigate how the National Guard has been used in the past.

Where does a researcher go next? I think most people may want to understand why some groups prefer keeping local police in charge instead of deploying the military to keep the peace. TwitterFacebook, and other websites can be informative, but a researcher has to make sure the information is correct. The MVCC databases, especially the NEWS database, are good sources of reliable information.

Actions for Creating Safe Communities

If you’ve been paying attention to the protests calling for an end to police violence towards the Black community, you may have seen “Defund Police” or “Abolish Police” on posters and hashtags. These ideas might sound new or even outrageous–the police and the criminal justice system are one component of our social structure that seems fundamental–but questions about the role of policing to keep communities safe have been asked by communities of color for a long time. 

The current movement to shift government funds from police to communities grew out of the prison abolition movement that began in the 70’s. The concern with both prisons and policing stem from the deep racial inequities that are revealed in who is imprisoned and policed. Are Prisons Obsolete by Angela Davis is a good and short place to start. Davis introduces and explains the term Prison Industrial Complex which is used “to describe the overlapping interests of government and industry that use surveillance, policing, and imprisonment as solutions to economic, social and political problems” (Critical Resistance). Activists have charted the way this collusion of interests has led to over-policing and the criminalization of minority communities

Abolitionists, like Mariam Kaba, see alternatives to the Prison Industrial Complex and policing in transformative justice and community accountability. One example of how this might look is presented by Chain Reaction: Alternatives to Calling the Police a project from Project Nia

Below you’ll find readings that explain both the concern with prisons and policing as status quo as well as the potential for creating real systemic change.  

“Abolition is not about destruction and anarchy—it’s about building alternatives…”You can’t just focus on what you don’t want, you have to focus also on what you do want”

Abolish the police? Organizers say it’s less crazy than it sounds

The War on Neighborhoods : Policing, Prison, and Punishment in a Divided City by Ryan Lugalia-Hollon and Daniel Cooper–When the main investment in a community is policing and incarceration, rather than human and community development, that amounts to a “war on neighborhoods,” which ultimately furthers poverty and disadvantage. Longtime Chicago scholars Ryan Lugalia-Hollon and Daniel Cooper tell the story of one of those communities, a neighborhood on Chicago’s West Side that is emblematic of many majority-black neighborhoods in US cities.


Invisible No More : Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color by Andrea J. Ritchie–A timely examination of how Black women, Indigenous women, and women of color experience racial profiling, police brutality, and immigration enforcement…it documents the evolution of movements centering women’s experiences of policing and demands a radical rethinking of our visions of safety—and the means we devote to achieving it.

Freedom is a Constant Struggle : Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement by Angela Y. Davis (Audiobook)–Reflecting on the importance of black feminism, intersectionality, and prison abolitionism for today’s struggles, Davis discusses the legacies of previous liberation struggles-from the black freedom movement to the South African antiapartheid movement. Facing a world of outrageous injustice, Davis challenges us to imagine and build the movement for human liberation. 

Additional research options include the library’s databases:

A Reading List for Learning How to be Antiracist

No one becomes “not racist,” despite a tendency by Americans to identify themselves that way. We can only strive to be “antiracist” on a daily basis, to continually rededicate ourselves to the lifelong task of overcoming our country’s racist heritage.

Ibram X. Kendi, author of Stamped from the Beginning and How to be an Antiracist, created this Antiracist Reading List in the summer of 2019. It was useful then and feels especially necessary right now. Kendi describes the reasons why he recommends each book rather than just summarizing each title. He chooses books that may be difficult or challenging because they force us to encounter the world from a different perspective. Read through his Reading List and come back to this post to see what the library has available either in print or online. You can access print books from the library through our new curbside service (use the request it button in the catalog and you’ll be contacted to schedule a pick up time), and if you need help accessing the online versions, please ask a librarian.

The Condemnation of Blackness : Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America by Khalil Gibran Muhammad

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, also available as an Ebook or Audiobook

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, also available as an Ebook or Audiobook

The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X and Alex Haley

Dying of Whiteness : How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America’s Heartland by Jonathan M. Metzl, also available as an Ebook

Black Marxism : The Making of the Black Radical Tradition by Cedric J. Robinson available as an Ebook

How We Get Free : Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective edited and introduced by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor available as an Ebook

Well-read black girl : finding our stories, discovering ourselves : an anthology edited by Glory Edim available as an Ebook

Redefining Realness : My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock, also available as an Audiobook

Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde, also available as an Ebook or an Audiobook

New Free Release from J.K. Rowling

J.K Rowling has a new children’s book to share called The Ickabog. It’s not Harry Potter and it’s not about magic. It’s something entirely different. She wrote it years ago and read it her children as she was working on it. She had intended to publish it after the Harry Potter series, but decided to do some writing for adults instead. The Ickabog went up to the attic.

Then the pandemic happened. Wanting to do something special for children everywhere, she dusted the book off and gave it another read. She made some changes, re-read it to her now much older children, and then put some things back they way her children had remembered and loved them from before. The Ickabog will be released in print this coming November. But before that, starting today, she is releasing the book online for free. She will release a chapter or two at a time over the next 7 weeks.

In addition to sharing the book with everyone, she’s also encouraging children to send in illustrations for the book. The selected ones will appear in the print version when it is published.

Read all the details, and of course The Ickabog, at the official website for the book. theickabog.com

You can also read more about the Harry Potter series and J.K. Rowling herself in the library collection.

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