Take a look at the new books we added to our collection in December. You can find these and everything else in our collection through our catalog, MnPALS Plus. Here are just a few of the new titles on our shelves. Check them out!
Manifest and other destinies critiques Manifest Destiny’s exclusive claim as an explanatory national story in order to rethink the meaning and boundaries of the West and of the United States’ national identity. Stephanie LeMenager considers the American West before it became a trusted symbol of U.S. national character or a distinct literary region in the later nineteenth century, back when the West was undeniably many wests, defined by international economic networks linking diverse territories and peoples from the Caribbean to the Pacific coast.
. . .
Le Menager highlights the doubts and self-reckonings that developed alongside expansionist fervor and predicted contemporary concerns about the loss of cultural and human values to an emerging global order. In Manifest and other destinies, the American West offers the United States its first encounter with worlds at once local and international, worlds that, as time has proven, could never be entirely subordinated to the nation’s imperial desire. –amazon.com
Winner of the 2005 Thomas J. Lyon Book Award from the Western Literature Association.
January is traditionally the month to make resolutions, and to remember the past year. In Roman mythology there was a god named Janus who represented beginnings and endings. The month of January was named for him. He is depicted as having two faces. One face is to look to the future and the other is to gaze upon the past. As we start this new year, we are going to remember some of the people we lost in 2016 along with giving some suggestions for resolutions for 2017.
Now lets take a peek through Janus’ other face and look to the new year. Everyone makes resolutions for the new year. According to Dictionary.com one of the definitions of a resolution is as follows:
n. the act of resolving or determining upon an action, course of action,method, procedure, etc.
If you haven’t chosen any resolutions for this year we have a few suggestions.
Hopefully 2017 will bring you joy, knowledge, and perspective in life. Good luck with those resolutions and remember that a stumbling is not the same as failing. Get up and keep going.About the Author
Mallory Kroschel is a Information Commons Specialist at Metropolitan State University Library.
Merrill Gilfillan continues to elucidate for us, and add to our appreciation of, one of the most ignored and misunderstood areas of our vast American landscape. Like few American writers, Gilfillan has a deep feeling for, and understanding of, the western grasslands, which give both dignity and a deep historical sense to our sometimes forgotten heartland. Gilfillan’s sense of the land encompasses the plants, wildflowers, and small creatures; the birds that he writes such wonderfully detailed descriptions about; the rivers, watering holes, and butteframed vistas; and, very importantly, the legacy of the Plains tribes of Native Americans who loved this land and fashioned myth and legend about it. By overlaying these myths onto the modern plains landscape, Gilfillan invokes a poignant sense of loss, yet we are also ennobled by the profound sense of the landscape that his vision imparts to us. Gilfillan is a tour guide like no other. His readers are given lovely, lingering descriptions of the overlooked and forgotten, the out-of-the-way and underfoot. –amazon.com
Winner of the 1998 Western States Book Award for creative nonfiction.
Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the Feast of Stephen
When the snow lay ’round about
Deep and crisp and even
Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath’ring winter fuel
Perhaps you know the tune to the lyrics above. The song is Good King Wenceslas, first published in 1853, and it tells the tale of a king venturing out into a snowstorm to give alms/Christmas leftovers to the poor during the feast of Saint Stephen. (Saint Stephen was a martyr that was stoned to death because of his religious beliefs.)
Giving to the poor on the second day of Christmas or Saint Stephens day was a tradition that is thought to have started during the middle ages when churches put out poor boxes or alms boxes for donations. Over time it morphed into wealthy folk giving their servants the day after Christmas off to spend with family. Traditionally they would send them home with a box filled with leftovers of the previous days feast and sometimes gifts or bonuses as well.
Today Boxing day can be compared to black Friday in the United States in terms of shopping and consumerism. You can still find some traditional boxing day celebrations such as parades or horse and hound meetups, but they are overshadowed by the shopping the day brings.About the Author
Mallory Kroschel is a Information Commons Specialist at Metropolitan State University Library.
This week we say goodbye to one of our own. Katherine Gerwig, known around here as Kat, is moving on to bigger and better things. She is leaving us for a position at Walter Library in the Physical Sciences and Engineering Department at the University of Minnesota. Before saying our final goodbyes we thought we’d reminisce a bit. This post is dedicated to Kat.
Kat kicked off her career at Metro State as a student. She found herself a good fit in the library as a student worker. She learned the important things right away (if you are looking for a good restaurant in the neighborhood you should definitely ask her) but she also took on research and cataloging projects. She made her presence known by grabbing a few internships within the library during that time as well.
Eventually she worked her way up to being a Information Commons Specialist. Aside from helping patrons with computers each day, she worked with multiple committees and the public library to create community outreach events. She managed to join and eventually chair several committees and teams including events and social media. She also became one of the student worker wranglers and helped design a training program for those in a position she knew quite well.
A few notes about Kat…
“She motivated, encouraged, and supported me in all my wacky ways. Team Shenanacorn forever!” Nancy Kerr Circulation Technician
“Kat has done so much for the library that it feels as though she fit 5 years of “Kat” work and accomplishments into each year she was at Metro. Given a task of any size, she’d get it done in half the expected time and do it exceptionally well. Under her leadership, the library events grew in number and size, which led to some pretty epic parties. Not just anyone can manage events with live reptiles and piñatas and wand-making, but Kat has a real talent and energy for it. As a state university, the paperwork required alone would land most people into the care of Madam Pomfrey, but Kat knew how to navigate the system and to avoid the dreaded 16A form (which not even a mandrake restorative draught can cure you of).
It has been a privilege to watch Kat grow from student worker to library school grad. To have seen her rapidly gain experience and chops as a public speaker and writer. I’m looking forward to seeing her grow at her next job, and am sure to be impressed with all of her new accomplishments there. ” – Jen DeJonghe Librarian
“Kat personally taught me all about social media from a institutional perspective. I never would have had the confidence to write a blog post before working with her. I will definitely miss being able to bounce ideas off of her from across the mega-cube.” – Mallory Kroschel Information Commons SpecialistClick to view slideshow.
“Kat has been a fantastic person to work with. I personally appreciate her willingness to go “above and beyond” the expectations of her position. She has taken her library degree and applied it so well to both her job and to the various activities in the library. I wish her all the best for her new adventure at the U of M. Go Gophers! (And don’t forget to tell Julie D. she cannot steal any more of my library colleagues!)” – Chris Schafer Dean of Library and Information Services
“…I swear every time I hear Kat talk, all I hear is MoMo. You shall be missed dearly…” – Sujit Maskey Student Worker
And from the woman herself,
“Metro State Library is where I came into my professional self. Academia truly is a gated community and can be incredibly intimidating. My colleagues in the library guided and supported me through the graduate school application process and later the professional job hunt process. In the past 5 years I have watched the as the faculty and staff of Metro State Library work tirelessly and passionately to support the growth and learning of so many people like myself, who need guidance as they attend a university, change careers, or work their first job in a professional environment. I am extremely grateful to the Library faculty and staff for taking me in and providing the support, freedom, and challenging learning experiences that have been integral to my personal and professional growth.
It has been a pleasure and a privilege to work here at Metro State. I wish all of my colleagues the best as they continue to make higher education accessible to everyone.” – Katherine Gerwig Former Information Commons Specialist
Kat will be missed but, she reminds us that libraries are the places that create…
Happy trails Kat!
This post was written and edited by Mallory Kroschel with quotes from other library staff.
2017 is almost here – time to think about New Year’s resolutions! If you’d like to learn a new language next year, Mango Languages can help with fun, self-paced courses for 71 foreign languages. If English isn’t your first language, you can improve your skills with English courses in 19 different languages. And you can learn anywhere with mobile apps for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire devices. Expand your mind and fight monolingualism by learning a new language!
Credo Reference is featuring the following Topic Pages this month:
Credo Reference includes 812 reference ebooks and more than 3.4 million full text entries. Take a look!
‘Tis the season! The wonderful, chilly, and in some places, snowy white, season we call winter. If your family is anything like mine, cookies are coming. My grandmother always had a tin of cookies waiting for us grandchildren when we arrived. We each had our favorites, spritz style, Russian tea cakes, or chocolate chip. Maybe your family has favorites too such as linzer cookies, rosettes, krumkakke, or spice cookies by many a name.
To celebrate the season of cookies, library staff decided to have a friendly (and delicious) cookie competition. Cookies were required to arrive within the time frame of the competition and be stored in an airtight container. Each staff member was allowed to vote once per day for the duration of the contest. Staff members could try as many of each cookie as they liked (scarcity encouraged people to try cookies faster, and vote). At the end of the competition, the votes were tallied and the winner received the coveted “Cookie Master” trophy along with a little gift.
These are recipes similar to the recipes used to create this year’s delicious entries:
Each cookie had a unique flavor and texture. They were all quite tasty. The Mint Chocolate Chip had a classic chocolate flavor with a cooling hint of mint throughout it. The Molasses was soft and chewy with mild undertones of ginger and and a great molasses flavor. The Cranberry White Chocolate was soft and chewy with big chunks of cranberry and white chocolate throughout giving you a bit of both in each bite. The Moravian Spice was thin and crisp with hits of ginger, cloves, and pepper in each bite and the Raspberry Rugelach was like having your own mini croissant filled with just the right amount of raspberry filling. Not too sweet, and just a few bites of buttery goodness.
As the time flew by, the cookies disappeared and the voting box filled up. At the end of the contest the votes were counted and the outcome was close. The winning cookie was determined by a single vote. The library staff had spoken and the winner was library dean, Chris Schafer’s Cranberry White Chocolate cookies. Coming in a close second were Saint Paul Public Library’s, Savitri Santhiran’s Raspberry Rugelach. The winner received the “Cookie Master” trophy to display in their office for the next year and the runner up received the “Cookie Apprentice” medal to hang in theirs.
Until next year, may you have all the cookies your heart desires.
This weeks blog was written by Mallory Kroschel, an information commons specialist at Metropolitan State Library.
The Library will be closed during winter break, from Saturday, December 17th through Sunday, January 8th. We’ll be checking our e-mail and Danielle Hoveland and Barbara Schuldt will be here limited hours during the break. Instructors, please e-mail or call ahead of time (x8366) if you need to drop off reserve items or check items out before spring semester begins. If Barbara or Danielle are here, just knock on the staff door and they’ll be happy to help you.
Have a happy and restful winter break, everyone!
Need something to cozy up by the fire with this winter break? Check out our specially selected collection of winter reads. Our staff has combed through their favorite winter break books to bring you this collection of hot chocolate and fuzzy slipper worthy reads.
“Set in the racially mixed city of Atlanta Georgia during the mid to late 90’s, A Man in Full tells the stories of Charles Croker, once a college football star, now a late-middle-aged Atlanta conglomerate king whose outsize ego has at last hit up against reality, Conrad Hensley, idealistic young father of two, star Georgia Tech running back Fareek “the Cannon” Fanon, and upscale black lawyer Roger White II who is asked to represent Fanon in the accused date-rape of the daughter of a pillar of the white establishment. A Man in Full will keep you intrigued with networks of illegal Asian immigrants crisscrossing the continent, daily life behind bars, shady real estate syndicates, and the cast-off first wives of the corporate elite.” from Tom Wolfe’s website. Grab a blanket and a cup of tea before you tuck into this book.
A mystery/thriller set in Sweden in the winter. If you decide you like it, there are two more books in the original series and a fourth book that is an offshoot of the original three. Bundle up and grab a nip of something a little stronger to get in the mood for this book.
“I’ve had many enemies over the years. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s never engage in a fight you’re sure to lose. On the other hand, never let anyone who has insulted you get away with it. Bide your time and strike back when you’re in a position of strength—even if you no longer need to strike back.” – Stieg Larsson, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Two great picture books for cold winter days, The Mitten and The Snowy day are sure become winter read favorites. One tells the tale of chilly animals that are trying to make space for everyone to keep warm, while the other tells of a boy out for a snowy adventure in the city. These are great stories to read aloud to little ones or just to yourself while you’re cuddled up with blankets and hot cocoa.Click to view slideshow.
During the turbulent times surrounding the Bolshevik Revolution, Yuri Zhivago struggles to retain personal agency, but is ensnared in political machinations beyond his control. Throughout his life, Yuri is entranced by Lara, eventually choosing her over his wife and children before ultimately losing Lara as well. Though bleaker than the classic film, the novel is just as memorable.
Written for young adults, East retells the Norwegian folktale “East of the Sun and West of the Moon” combined with elements of “Beauty and the Beast”. In East, a mysterious polar bear promises Rose health and good fortune for her family if she leaves them behind to travel with him through deepest winter to a ice castle in the wilderness.
Gary Paulsen’s great adventures in northern Minnesota learning how to run sled dogs and ultimately running the Iditarod twice in Alaska are just as exciting as any of the stories he pens for kids and funnier than one might expect.
“This is not your mother’s memoir. Lifelong swimmer and Olympic hopeful Lidia Yuknavitch accepts a college swimming scholarship in Texas in order to escape an abusive father and an alcoholic, suicidal mother. After losing her scholarship to drugs and alcohol, Lidia moves to Eugene and enrolls in the University of Oregon, where she is accepted by Ken Kesey to become one of 13 graduate students who collaboratively write the novel, Caverns, with him. Drugs and alcohol continue to flow along with bisexual promiscuity and the discovery of S&M helps ease Lidia’s demons. Ultimately Lidia’s career as a writer and teacher combined with the love of her husband and son replace the earlier chaos that was her life.” from hawthornebooks.com.
“Told in Kvothe’s own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen.
The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature.” – Goodreads
If you are searching for something to keep your brain sharp amidst the warm fuzzies above, here is a book for you.
“In ADHD Nation, Alan Schwarz examines the roots and the rise of this cultural and medical phenomenon: The father of ADHD, Dr. Keith Conners, spends fifty years advocating drugs like Ritalin before realizing his role in what he now calls “a national disaster of dangerous proportions”; a troubled young girl and a studious teenage boy get entangled in the growing ADHD machine and take medications that backfire horribly; and big Pharma egregiously over-promotes the disorder and earns billions from the mishandling of children (and now adults).
While demonstrating that ADHD is real and can be medicated when appropriate, Schwarz sounds a long-overdue alarm and urges America to address this growing national health crisis.” – from Simon and Schuster.
A Man in Full recommended by Nancy Kerr, Circulation Technician.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo recommended by Dylan Haris, Library Technician.
The Mitten and The Snowy Day recommended by Mallory Kroschel, Information Commons Specialist.
Doctor Zhivago, East, and Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod recommended by Martha Hardy, Librarian.
The Chronology of Water: A Memoir by Lidia Yuknavitch recommended by Chia Vang, Student Worker.
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss and ADHD Nation: Children, Doctors, Big Pharma, and the Making of an American Epidemic by Alan Schwarz recommended by Katherine Gerwig, Information Commons Specialist.
© A Program of the colleges and universities of Minnesota State