One Book: World War Z

Revisit “Public Health Preparedness: Whole Community Involvement” – One Book, One College Programming on World War Z

Back in 2014, Jeremy Hirst, Chief of Risk and Emergency Management at DuPage County Health Department held a discussion on public health preparedness for pandemics (such as SARS, H1N1, influenza ), widespread drug addiction, bioterrorism, etc., & how preparations involve the entire community. This discussion was part of our One Book, One College programming on World War Z.

He discussed topics such as surges hospitals could experience during epidemics/pandemics, stresses on laboratories doing testing, and assessing needs prior to emergencies. Watching this video leaves the viewer with questions regarding the current COVID-19 pandemic, such as: did the World Health Organization (WHO) sufficiently prepare countries once the virus was spreading in China? Did the United States federal government prepare its states enough? How are our local leaders dealing with the pandemic, trickling down to the community level? Read this Rolling Stone article on “Why the World Health Organization’s Response to COVID-19 Is Crucial to the Future of Public Health.”

We will continue sharing these World War Z themed discussions in the coming weeks, but also check out the full playlist of One Book: World War Z videos.

Regardless of the event, public health is a critical component to emergency preparedness planning. Jeremy Hirst, Chief of Risk and Emergency Management at DuPage County Health Department, discusses the work of his office in bringing together community groups and first responders to address public health risk. This event is part of the Library’s One Book program on World War Z.

Revisit “How Plagues, Disease, and Outbreaks Have Changed History”: One Book, One College Programming on World War Z

Back in 2014, MVCC’s History faculty members Merri Fefles, Josh Fulton, Jim McIntyre, & Kristine VanBaren held a panel discussion on how plagues, disease, & outbreaks have changed history. This discussion was part of our One Book, One College programming on World War Z.

The various diseases they discussed were polio, the 1918 Spanish flu, the bubonic plague, & the HIV/AIDS crisis. The current COVID-19 pandemic has been compared to the 1918 Spanish flu, which is why we thought it timely to revisit this panel discussion.

We will continue sharing these World War Z themed discussions in the coming weeks, but also check out the full playlist of One Book: World War Z videos.

The fear of plagues and outbreaks has been part of literature and storytelling for many years. World War Z uses a zombie virus to end one civilization and bring about a new one. This panel of Moraine Valley Community College Historians considers the role of disease, plagues, and outbreaks throughout history. What major outbreaks have shaped history? How did they change the societies and cultures they affected? How have outbreaks & diseases impacted populations, living conditions, formations of communities, and migrations? How do historians view outbreaks and pandemics?

Max Brooks on Nerdist Podcast

In 2013/14, our One Book, One College program focused on World War Z by Max Brooks, so I was excited to stumble upon this interview with Brooks on the Nerdist Podcast. Thought I’d share it. Brooks is a master at utilizing science fiction and horror to comment on current society. He is inventive, thoughtful, and fun. This podcast is definitely intended for adult audiences.

Nerdist Podcast: Max Brooks
Description: Max Brooks (author, World War Z) talks to Chris, Matt and Jonah about his book World War Z, growing up in L.A. in the 80s, and what his father Mel’s daily routine is. They then get into a deep conversation about world politics, how science fiction used to include more social issues, and how Americans have changed the way they cope with tragedy. He then talks about his life as Mel Brooks’ son and his new graphic novel Cinema Purgatorio!

Emergency Responses at Moraine Valley Featuring MVCC Police Chief Patrick O’Connor

After yesterday’s horrific shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon (see Gunman kills at least 9 at Oregon campus before dying in shootout), I thought it may be worthwhile to post this video of MVCC’s Police Chief talking about campus safety at Moraine Valley.

MVCC Chief O’Connor discussed emergency preparedness at MVCC. This includes a range of scenarios and preparedness responses that are in place. Students, staff, and faculty are invited to view this in order to learn what they can do to be prepared on campus. This was part of our One Book program on World War Z in 2013-2014.

Emergency Responses at Moraine Valley Featuring MVCC Police Chief Patrick O’Connor

The next outbreak? We’re not ready.

The 2014 ebola outbreak in West Africa was a major outbreak that exposed our global strengths and weaknesses in terms of managing and stopping a major outbreak. (For more info on the 2014 ebola outbreak visit this CDC site.) We discussed major outbreaks as part of our One Book programming last year when we studied Max Brooks’ book World War Z.

The video below from Bill Gates’ TED talk outlines some of the problems we face as we prepare for the next major outbreak.

The next outbreak? We’re not ready.

Description from site: In 2014, the world avoided a global outbreak of Ebola, thanks to thousands of selfless health workers — plus, frankly, some very good luck. In hindsight, we know what we should have done better. So, now’s the time, Bill Gates suggests, to put all our good ideas into practice, from scenario planning to vaccine research to health worker training. As he says, “There’s no need to panic … but we need to get going.”

The Truth about Vaccinations

The debate over vaccines has popped up again in the headlines. This time the debate has been in Congress. It has come about from a measles outbreak at Disneyland. The vaccine debate is familiar to us, because we discussed it several times during our One Book programming on World War Z. Here is a panel discussion we held on the debate.

The Truth about Vaccinations and Herd Immunity

Zombies, creepy old ladies and Swedish witches……OH MY!

Halloween is just around the corner, and we have just what you need if you want to get your spook on! I’m sure you know that books are available for check out in the library, but did you know we have a large and varied DVD collection as well?  This Halloween skip the RedBox and check out some free horror that will really give you the heebie jeebies.

If it is a Zombie film you are looking for we have a list from last year’s One Book, One Campus  World War Z (hint: scroll down to the Zombie Culture section).  Our collection ranges from the classic zombies of the 1970’s through to the comedic takes of recent years.


For those that enjoy the silent black and white variety, we have the classic Swedish witch film Haxan.


Stephen King‘s books are legendary for making skin crawl, and we have two movie adaptations in the collection, Pet Sematary and Carrie.


Space is just as scary as a haunted house, and we have the classic Sci Fi films Alien and Aliens to prove it.


Let us not forget vampires, if you have never seen the original Dracula with Bela Lugosi it is a classic horror film that should not be missed.


Siblings psychologically torturing each other may be what happens around the holidays for many of us.  Before your next quarrel this holiday season, keep these not so innocent elderly sisters in mind with What ever happened to baby jane?

All you musical buffs, do not worry, we did not forget about Sweeney Todd and his bloody barber business or about that sweet transvestite in Rocky Horror Picture Show.


For those that like to be creeped out in a less gruesome manner, our Hitchcock collection is sure to please. From his earlier work in England with 39 Steps to his last film Family Plot , you will be sure to find one that tickles your mystery fancy.


If nothing here satisfies your ghoulish desires be sure to check out our catalog and type in the specific genre you are looking for.  For assistance, you can always ask a librarian!



Vaccines–Calling the Shots (video)

This week NOVA released a new special on the spread of preventable diseases due to vaccines. This is one of the topics we discussed in last year’s One Book program on World War Z. Public health was one of our themes, so I thought I’d share this along with one of the panel discussions from last year. The videos are posted below.

NOVA: Vaccines–Calling the Shots
Program Description: “Diseases that were largely eradicated in the United States a generation ago—whooping cough, measles, mumps—are returning, in part because nervous parents are skipping their children’s shots. NOVA’s “Vaccines—Calling the Shots” takes viewers around the world to track epidemics, explore the science behind vaccinations, hear from parents wrestling with vaccine-related questions, and shed light on the risks of opting out.”

The Truth about Vaccinations and Herd Immunity
Event Description: The Internet is full of information and misinformation around the safety of vaccines. The medical community does not debate vaccine safety, but a vocal communities keep the debate alive. How safe are vaccines? What information is available to make decisions about vaccine safety? This faculty panel will discuss some of the issues and present valuable information. This event is part of our One Book, One College programming on World War Z.

Robin Williams, Suicide, and the Human Condition

Like the rest of the world, we are in shock after hearing the news of Robin Williams’ apparent suicide. This is difficult news and a great loss.

Suicide is a topic that we discussed in our public programming last year during our One Book program on World War Z. We welcomed psychiatrist, Jason Burns, M.D., who defined suicide and discussed the topic from a healthcare view. He did this in the context of the World War Z program, but his talk relates to today’s news. Thus, we thought that sharing this video again may be valuable.

Suicide: A Human Condition featuring Dr. Jason Burns

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