Graphic novels at the library

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graphic novelsOver the past several months, we’ve been making a concerted effort to increase the size of our graphic novel collection for a number of reasons.  For one thing, professors are using them as texts for their classes in increasing numbers, and we like to support our fine and fabulous faculty* whenever possible.  Graphic novels as a format are growing in popularity among audiences of all ages and interests in libraries around the country, too, and we like to stay current.  Finally… there are so many good stories available in a variety of genres, and like any library, we really want to put excellent books (among other materials, of course) in people’s hands.

We’ve gone to great lengths to purchase titles that will appeal to a wide range of tastes… murder mysteries, science fiction epics, biography and memoir, science, economics, history, slice of life, medical thriller, superheroics, and more.  No matter what you like, we may have a graphic novel in our collection that appeals to you, and if for some reason we don’t, ask for one!  We’re always interested in hearing what sorts of titles you folks what, regardless of format, genre, or country of origin (manga and bandes dessinées suggestions especially welcome… it’s hard enough to stay on top of everything from our own country, much less the output of other countries with strong comics traditions like Japan or Belgium).

 

* It’s a post about comics, people; you have to expect some Stan Lee-esque alliteration.

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The Library’s Spring Newsletter is Here

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Lots of big things happening at your very own Douglas and Judith Krupp Library, and you can read all about it in the spring edition of our newsletter.

newsletterNew department names!  A new librarian!  New databases!  New books!  New locations for supplies!  How can you possibly hope to keep track of all these changes without a scorecard?  Read up on all of this newness, as well as looks back at the recent Geek the Library campaign and some Bryant history, a profile on one of our student workers, and more.

Click here to read the newsletter online and stay in the know!

Reference Collection Additions

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It’s finals time here at the library, and the library is full of studious people working on final projects and papers. To help you with your projects and scholarly pursuits we regularly purchase books and materials to add to our collection. Some interesting reference books arrived recently that may help you with a last minute paper. A reference librarian is the person to ask for help to peruse these materials. Take a look at some of our recent additions:

The Oxford Handbook of the Psychology of Appearance 

Boy Culture: An Encyclopedia

Climate Change: An Encyclopedia of Science and History

As always if you need help finding an article, book, or just need help finding something out: Ask a Librarian!

Good luck with finals!

We geek languages, and so can you with Mango

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As you’re probably aware, we have 7 laptops available for check-out that are dedicated to the use of the Rosetta Stone language software – one language per laptop, available in Spanish, French, Chinese (Mandarin), Italian, Russian. Japanese, and Gaelic.  But if you haven’t had any luck getting ahold of one these laptops – or maybe would like to learn a language beyond the 7 we currently offer – we have another solution for you that you won’t have to wait around for and is available to you via your web browser even as you read this: Mango Languages.

mango logoMango is a web-based language-learning tool that is available to you cheap-as-free thanks to the fine folks at AskRI.org and accessible through the Articles & Databases page on the Krupp Library website (just scroll down to the M’s).  Create an account and in just a minute or two you’ll be ready to go.  Once you’re logged in, explore your account dashboard a little – you’ll see places to keep track of the languages you’re studying and the lessons completed, as well as tabs for support and a translation tool – and then click the Languages tab to see what’s available to you.

Mango screenshot - languagesAs you can see, there are over 60 languages available.  Sure, you can learn Spanish, French, or Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), but you can also go for Greek (modern and ancient), Icelandic, Swedish, Hebrew (traditional or Biblical), Swahili, Tagalog, or even Pirate (what, no Klingon or Old High Gallifreyan?).

Basically, you have options, and you don’t have to wait around for someone to return that Rosetta laptop or worry about your place on the waiting list.  Give it a shot… you sure as heck can’t beat the price.

Banned Books Week: The 10 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2012

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As mentioned in the previous Banned Books Week post, the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom received word of 464 book challenges in 2012.  Here is a list of the top ten books/series challenged, along with the reasons why they met with opposition.

  1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey.  Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group.
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie.  Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group.
  3. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher.  Reasons: Drugs / alcohol / smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group.
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James.  Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit.
  5. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson.  Reasons: Homosexuality, unsuited for age group.
  6. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini.  Reasons: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit.
  7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green.  Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group.
  8. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz.  Reasons: Unsuited for age group, violence.
  9. The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls.  Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit.
  10. Beloved, by Toni Morrison.  Reasons: Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence.

Source: http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/node/490

New Additions to the Reference Collection

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We at the library regularly order new reference books for our collection. The Reference Stacks are on the first floor of the library past the computer terminals. Reference books cannot be checked out of the library, but do not let this dissuade you from using them. They have invaluable information that may help you with many projects and research. Here are some highlights from our recent acquisition:

First Amendment Rights: An Encyclopedia

Historical Dictionary of Tibet

Global Social Issues

DSM – 5

Research Methods in Anthropology

Historical Dictionary of Jazz

Encyclopedia of Terrorism

Scientists and Science

Dictionary of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering

Updated collection of Who’s Buying

The reference collection is indispensable for your research needs. The reference collection has material that is not available anywhere else. See a reference library today for help with your research needs. We are available by phone, instant message, text, e-mail, and in person.

Ask a Librarian!

The Oral History: An Appreciation

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Sometimes you tell the story, and sometimes you let the story tell itself.

It may seem weird to call a book an “oral history,” but that’s exactly what this genre is: the story of a topic as told by the people who lived it.  Rather than an author paraphrasing the participants’ words, they are quoted verbatim and arranged in a fashion that tells the story chronologically.  The author of a given oral history book acts more like a transcriber, editor, and occasional narrator, adding only introductory segments or brief statements that link various accounts.  In a lot of ways, it’s like reading a documentary film.

It’s also a handy tool for showing conflicting accounts of events.  You can watch whole arguments play out on the page.  Oral histories are great for that… all the yelling without any of that, you know, tedious actual yelling.

Here are some oral histories worth checking out if you’re interested in checking out some examples of this unique genre:

please kill mePlease Kill Me – The Uncensored Oral History of Punk by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain – Probably the place to start with this particular genre, whether you’re interested in punk or not.  Lots of legends surround the early days of punk rock, which is arguably the greatest “you had to be there to really appreciate it” movement in the history of rock and roll, and chances are you weren’t there.  The folks interviewed in this book were, and a surprising number of them still remember a lot of it, from the early days with the Velvet Underground, MC5 and Iggy & the Stooges to the heydays of the Ramones, Television, and the Sex Pistols, up through Black Flag and Fugazi.  Here’s the HELIN catalog listing.

live from nyLive From New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live by Tom Shales & Andrew Miller – SNL has had about as crazy a history as any TV series you can name, and the backstage stories have as many ups and downs as the show itself.  The stories of antics of the original Not Ready for Prime Time Players and likes of later stars like Eddie Murphy, Dana Carvey, Phil Hartman, Adam Sandler, or Will Ferrell are fun to read, but the down times – particularly the infamous 1980 season, often known as the painfully unfunny stretch where newspaper writers first coined the headline “Saturday Night Dead” – are somehow even more interesting read about, if a lot more tragic (poor Charles Rocket…).  It, too, can be found through HELIN.

ESPNESPN: Those Guys Have All the Fun by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales – Long before they had the broadcast rights for the NFL and Major League Baseball, and before SportsCenter became a nightly routine for even people who don’t like sports, ESPN still put sporting events on the air 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Sometimes it was local Connecticut stuff, sometimes it was professional wrestling (usually Verne Gagne’s American Wrestling Association) or roller derby, and sometimes it was chess and spelling bees.  And bowling… oh, so much bowling.  Through it all, they managed to not only stay on the air, but keep it interesting, thanks in large part to the roster of talent they’ve put on the air through the years.  Worth a look to see things from their perspective, especially since not everyone has such fond memories of their days in Bristol, CT.  And yes, HELIN has this one, too (in fact, Bryant owns a copy).

The oral history format isn’t just limited to non-fiction, either.  Here are some examples of fictional works that make use of the format:

World War ZWorld War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks – People like to talk about how scary The Walking Dead is, but most of that is people standing around wondering where that kid got off to.  This book, on the other hand, really is scary because Books (son of comedy legend Mel Brooks and actress Anne Bancroft) gives each character a unique voice and goes into such detail you have to check to make sure none of this really happened.  He does his job a little too well.  Much better than the upcoming Brad Pitt movie is likely to, so give this a read.  And here’s the HELIN catalog listing.

avengers assembleAvengers Assemble: An Oral History of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes by Brian Michael Bendis – Not the story of the creation of the comics by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Don Heck at the rest, but story of the creation of the team as told by Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye, Wasp, and the rest.  Bendis has an amazing penchant for snappy dialogue, so book told through nothing but that dialogue is pretty much a slam dunk, even if you’re not a comic book fan and maybe only know the characters from last summer’s movie.  Not available through HELIN, sadly, but maybe you can track this down through Interlibrary Loan.