Today, NBC News is shining attention on the impact of COVID and calling attention to what we can do. They are doing a “homepage takeover” where their usual page full of news has been replaced with reporting on COVID. We are in the midst of the most difficult time of this pandemic. According Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield, who said that the next few months will be “the most difficult in the public health of this nation.”
In the Headlines
Blog posts about big news stories and issues (i.e. not local news)
The New York Times has released its 2020 Year in Pictures: “A Year Like No Other.” This is a powerful document with images from each month. The pandemic, racial protests & violence, the presidential election and much more. We are living through history, which, we are learning, is very difficult.
To see the materials the library owns about Joe Biden, click on the picture within the blog post.
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.
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.
Key Dates for the November 3, 2020 Presidential Election
|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|
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.
If you live in the City of Chicago please visit chicagoelections.com for their Early Voting locations and other important information.
Registered suburban Cook County voters can only vote in their home precinct on Election Day.
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
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.
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.
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 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!
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. Twitter, Facebook, 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.
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”
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.