The 19th Anniversary of 9/11

Today marks the anniversary of the terrorist assault on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Flight 93. The attacks claimed the lives of 2,977 people.

The MVCC library has an extensive collection of material that may help you understand the initial attack and the tragedy that continues to have long lasting effects on America and the world. You may find this article interesting. The author explores how different generations view the 9/11 tragedy.

Free America Flag Cleaning - Puritan Cleaners

“How do I _____ at the Library?”: A Library Choose Your Own Adventure

Using the library can be an adventure, especially with so many recent changes. Follow the steps in this guide to find the information you need to be successful this semester. Choose a “character” to get started on your library adventure!

First, Choose Your Character:

You’ve Chosen Student!

Students can find all sorts of help at the library, including research and citation guidance, technology to borrow, and of course books! What will you do next?

Next, Choose Your Action:

You’ve Chosen Staff or Faculty Member!

Staff and Faculty are the backbone of education! The library wants to support you in your work by providing several services. Which one will you choose?

Next, Choose Your Action:

You’ve Chosen Member of the Community!

Members of the community are still welcome in the library and we have several services available to you. Which will you choose?

Next, Choose Your Action:

You’ve Chosen Research!

Research projects can be overwhelming, but the library has so many ways to learn what you need to be successful! Where will you start?

You’ve Chosen Visiting the Library!

The library is excited to welcome visitors back into the building, but there are some new things to know about using the space. What would you like to know?

You’ve Chosen Help with a Nursing Assignment!

Nursing assignments can be tough, but the library is ready to support you. What’s your next move?

Poetry as the Voice of Experience: A Discussion of Eve Ewing’s 1919 (video)

Literature faculty discuss poems in Eve Ewing’s book 1919. This discussion will explore history through the lens of poetry while connecting Ewing’s works to other historic and contemporary poets and artists.This event is part of our One Book, One College Program.

Bird Migration and the Chicagoland Area

Birds from the Northern Hemisphere are seasonal travelers. During the Spring, the birds fly northward to take advantage of the increase of food. As Winter approaches, food decreases and birds make the trip back south.

Cook County pond

“Fall migration is a much less hurried affair for birds compared with spring, when various species are rushing to get to their breeding grounds and find the best place to nest.” Because Chicago is part of the Mississippi Flyway, hundreds of bird species annually traverse from the south to the north and back again. Fall is a great time to look upward and see nature’s aviators maneuver the Chicagoland sky. Area forest preserves are a great place to bird-watch. You need little equipment. Perhaps a pair of binoculars and a bird guide book that you can find in the MVCC library, or add an app to your smart phone.

Actually, bird watching has increased in popularity since the pandemic began. Here are some tips that may help you become interested in this fascinating hobby.  

Student Laptops!

We have more laptops in stock. Students needing a laptop can request one through MVConnect- Student-Forms- Loaner Technology! Contact the library for more information.

Chicago Poets: Past and Present

Hog Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads and the Nation’s Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the Big Shoulders:
–From “Chicago” by Carl Sandburg

The Carl Sandburg’s poem “Chicago” presents an iconic and enduring image of the city of Chicago. Sandburg was a long-time Chicago resident, and the city was often featured in his poems. But what makes a poet a “Chicago Poet?” A poet born in Chicago? Lived in Chicago? Someone who wrote poetry in or about Chicago? An artist embraced by the City? (For an in-depth exploration of this question, check out the Chicago Magazine article “Is Chicago the Poetry Capitol of America?“).

However you define a Chicago poet, the city has produced some of the greats, including Carl Sandburg, Gwendolyn Brooks, One Book selection 1919 author Eve L. Ewing, and many others. Check out the Library’s collection of works by Chicago poets, both past and present, in the virtual book display below:

Chicago Poets

And dive deep into the Library’s collection of One Book selection 1919 author Eve L. Ewing:

Eve L. Ewing

Guest Column: Flags, Continents, & Other Filters for Understanding Our World

This is a guest column from faculty member Jason King who teaches geography and math. Professor King contributes semi-regular posts to this blog.

by Jason King

If you know what to look for, you can learn a lot about a country by looking at its flag. Take the flag of the former Soviet Union:

There are some clear motifs going on here: the use of the color red, the hammer, the sickle, and the star. For our purposes, let’s talk about the hammer, sickle, and star – the hammer referred to industrial workers, the sickle to agricultural workers, and the star referred to Communism spreading to the five continents of the world.

Wait … five continents of the world? Aren’t they forgetting some? Not according to the Soviets. (Today, the Russians normally teach there are six.)

So – America teaches there are seven continents, the Soviets taught there were five, but now there are six, There’s a saying I heard from one of my Geography professors, long ago – “all models are lies, but some models are useful.”

Most Americans (and a lot of the world in general) learn there are seven continents and five oceans
*Our seven continental model is mostly used to describe landmasses.

Most of the time our filter for understanding our planet isn’t actually the land – it’s people. Most of the time we care about the location of natural resources because people use them. Most of the time we care about climate patterns because they inform us where human beings live (and you can see a big drawback to that human-centeredness when talking about climate!) So, when talking about seven continents there are some very obvious shortcomings – cross over the Isthmus of Panama and not much changes culturally. (In fact, Panama was once a part of Colombia and was only separated to give the United States a legal ability to build the Panama Canal!) Crossing over the Sinai Delta and most people continue to speak Arabic, practice the same faiths, and have a largely shared history. Crossing over the Ural Mountains – which ain’t all that mountainous – doesn’t change much culturally at all.

Human beings usually don’t feel borders as much as transition zones. You’ll never find a sign that says “You are leaving the Midwest” – you might slowly realize that elements of Midwestern Culture have begun to wane and eventually disappear as you leave the core of the Midwest. We normally speak about human cultural borders as transition zones today. Cross the Sahara, or travel through northern Kazakhstan, or the Appalachian Mountains in Pittsburgh, and you will begin to feel elements of this change.

At first glance this looks like another way geographers justify having jobs – having a meaningless thing to argue about – but there are some very real implications in our modern era. Central Asia is currently, through a rise in Chinese economic and soft power, transitioning from being in a Russian to a Chinese sphere of influence. Turkey, set between Europe and the Middle East, has pivoted strongly towards the Middle East as it was snubbed entrance to the European Union. Before the Global War on Terror, the Afghan Civil War was largely set between factions that sought to include Afghanistan into either a Middle Eastern or an Indian sphere of influence. (Today, it appears as though it will likely fall into a Chinese orbit in the fullness of time.)

When I teach Geography here are the “continents” I teach: North America, Central America, South America, Europe, The Commonwealth of Independent States, the Middle East and Southwest Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, East Asia, Australia and New Zealand, and Oceania. We’ve went from seven to eleven, but even then that’s just because we need some way of breaking up things into units.
So when people ask me, “How many continents are there?” I usually shrug and say, “Beats me!”

*Did you learn there were five? If you’re old like me you probably learned about the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Arctic. Since then, we’re added one – the Southern Ocean – based mostly on currents and water temperature, rather than its relationship to landmasses around it.

So when people ask me, “How many continents are there?” I usually shrug and say, “Beats me!”

For further readings, check out these sources:
Ebook: The Soviet Union : a short history by Mark Edele

Ebook: Russia on the edge : imagined geographies and post-Soviet identity by Edith W. Clowes

Labor Day

The celebration of Labor Day began in 1882 as a salute to the workers of New York City. The idea of a special day for the American working class spread throughout the country and on “June 28, 1884, President Grover Cleveland signed a law making the first Monday in September a national holiday.”

The history of labor unions in America is important for all of us to know. The MVCC library has a collection of print books (how to check out print books) and ebooks to help us understand the history of the U.S. labor movement. The Chicago labor movement may also interest you. The library also has numerous books on Chicago labor. Another great source for historical news is the Chicago Tribune Historical database. It is amazing to read newspaper articles about past labor unrest in Chicago.

The labor movement in the United States and the city of Chicago is a combination of tribulation and triumph. Enjoy your day off.

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