Welcome to the first edition of Blog Bites. Blog Bites are little snippets of other blog posts we would like to share with you. Our first bite is about an upcoming event at Metropolitan State University. To read the entire post click the link at the bottom. For more information on where to find the book, click on either of the linked titles. We hope you enjoy this bite.March 10: Silicon Valley design innovator speaks on “Designing Your Life”
After years as a successful tech executive at Apple and Electronic Arts, Dave Evans came to realize that his real mission in life was to help others find theirs. Now, he teaches Life Design at Stanford University and is the co-author of Designing Your Life. Evans’ lectures are transformative for both college students and executives, inspiring them to view life not as a problem that needs to be solved, but as a creative adventure.
Evans will speak about ideas he and co-author Bill Burnett cover in their book Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, and Joyful Life. The event is sponsored by the Career Center at Metropolitan State.
February is Black History Month in the United States and the perfect time to learn more about the history of African Americans in Minnesota. It grew out of Negro History Week which was first celebrated in 1926,created by the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), an organization founded by historian Carter G. Woodson. It evolved into Black History Month in 1976.Learn More About Minnesota History
A recent story from the Pioneer Press profiled 16 Trailblazing Black Minnesotans You Should Know More About, such as George Bonga, a fur trader and voyageur of African American & Ojibwe descent, Lena O. Smith, Minnesota’s first Black woman attorney, and labor leader Nellie Stone Johnson.
Want to learn more about African Americans in Minnesota? Try these resources:
Join us at the Metropolitan State University Library on Saturday, February 25, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm, with an African American Storytelling Picnic featuring master storyteller Nothando Zulu, President of the Black Storyteller’s Alliance. Join us for this cozy, indoor, winter picnic to listen to stories from the African Diaspora. This event is co-sponsored by the Student Parent Center and Saint Paul Public Library.
“The game of Chess is not merely an idle amusement. Several very valuable qualities of the mind, useful in the course of human life, are to be acquired or strengthened by it, so as to become habits, ready on all occasions . . . we learn by Chess the habit of not being discouraged by present bad appearances in the state of our affairs, the habit of hoping for a favorable change, and that of persevering in the search of resources.”
—Benjamin Franklin, “The Morals of Chess”
Things tend to be pretty serious here at the library but sometimes we all need a break . Every 3rd Tuesday of the month, from 4 – 7 PM we host a video game event in the Library Lounge. We offer a variety of gaming consoles, board games, snacks, and this is a chance to socialize with the community.
Some of the gaming consoles we have on hand are: PlayStation 4, Wii U, Wii, Nintendo NES, and Super Nintendo. If we are lucky, we might have opportunities to break out additional consoles such as Atari 2600, Xbox, PS 2 and whatever else we can dig up.Click to view slideshow.
Can’t make it on Tuesdays or just need a break? Any time the library is open Metro students can use the PlayStation 4 in the Library Lounge! Just check out the 2 controllers and one of the following games with your library card: FIFA 15, Project Cars, Batman: Arkham Knight, or Little Big Planet 3.
This month we have an extra special game night. We have been given an amazing opportunity to do a play test for Bears vs Babies. Bears vs Babies is the new card game by Matthew Inman (The Oatmeal) and Elan Lee, the makers of Exploding Kittens. We are the only play test happening in the State of Minnesota! The play test will happen from 4-9PM at the Metropolitan State University Library. The play test is free and open to everyone but space is limited. Register in advance to guarantee your spot at a table.
If you have any questions, or a console or games you would like to share for one of the game nights contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last week my library colleague, Chris Gevara, and I, hopped on a bus full of (mostly) women, and headed to Washington DC for the Women’s March on January 21st. Our former colleague and emerita library staffer Sage Holben was on a different bus in our same group. A number of our library colleagues and their families marched at the Minnesota State Capitol for the “sister march” held the same day. By now you’ve heard the stories of the march and seen the pictures, and have likely read that the March may have been the largest demonstration in US history. It was truly inspiring, an experience that I will never forget, and that still gives me chills to think about. It felt good, and positive, and safe, in spite of my apprehension around crowds. And I think it is no accident that I know so many librarians who marched.
I brought with me some hand-knit pink hats crafted by friends, a sign that my two young sons helped me make and a Kindle e-reader full of books to inspire me, such as Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine and We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. As it happened, I didn’t read all that much on the bus, mostly because the people seated around me turned out to be some of the nicest, most interesting people I have met, and we learned a lot about each other on that trip… on the 22 hour ride to DC, and the 22 hour ride back to Minnesota.
Marches, protests, rallies and other forms of civic engagement are fundamental parts of our democracy, and are an important form of free speech. As a librarian, I relish and strive to protect speech in all forms. Speech in books, in song, in prayer, in tweets, and in handwritten signs held by marchers. Libraries exist as a way to foster the creation, dissemination, and preservation of speech. Did you know that libraries and archives have already begun collecting and preserving the signs held by the women’s marchers? I think it is amazing!
My own walk at the Women’s March was relatively easy, but I march in the footsteps of so many others who have had much harder walks, who have put their bodies on the line for civil rights, for suffrage, and for equality. In Birmingham, where firehoses and dogs were turned on Black bodies as they marched for civil rights. In Stonewall, where the LGBT community rose up against the police to fight for the right to live and love freely and openly. These protests were not always peaceful, and they were not always “legal”, but they were right. Martin Luther King Jr. is best known for his powerful words, but he blocked traffic, too. But these marches and these actions were just, they were important, and they changed our country for the better. I look back at various points in history and I think about what I would have done if I had lived in “those” times. I feel like now is one of “those” moments, and THIS is what I need to be doing. I occupy a space of privilege in our society, and I am trying to find ways to put my body on the line, to put myself next to, or in front of, bodies that are facing harm.
“One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.
Libraries are not neutral spaces. Librarians, as a profession, have a Library Bill of Rights that we adhere to. We fiercely protect the privacy of our patrons, protect their access to computers and to reading material, and fight censorship of all types. But this goes far beyond the space within the library walls. Inequality, injustice, ableism, racism – all these things can become an issue of lack of access. Libraries can be a site for resistance to that. But if we (libraries) remain silent, we can become part of the system that perpetuates injustices. We become part of the problem. We like to think of libraries as a safe space, as place of sanctuary. But it is not enough just to exist, to just open the doors and hope people come in. We need to fight to create a space that is truly open and welcoming to all.
“I love America more than any other country in the world, and, exactly for this
reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.” – James Baldwin
As a librarian I am troubled by the way the news media seems to be failing us. I am hopeful that some of our best reporters will write good pieces, challenging pieces, and that we will listen, that we will be able to separate the important news from that which is distracting or untrue. But I also hope we will turn to each other and listen to our individual lived experiences and learn from them, too. There are people who you know, in your life, people who have important stories to tell, who have lived through wars and turmoil, who have seen great things and beautiful things and who suffered and who marched! You should listen to them. In real life, and not just on Facebook. Ask them about what they experienced. Ask them to share their stories with a library, or to participate in a project such as with the Veterans History project of the Library of Congress or the Transgender Oral History Project at the University of Minnesota. And you should tell your stories, because they are important, too. And if you want to learn more about the Women’s March, feel free to reach out to me, Jennifer.email@example.com because I’d be happy to share more about my experience with you.
“Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future.”
-Ray BradburyAbout the Author
Jennifer DeJonghe is a Librarian and Professor at Metropolitan State University Library.
Wednesday January 18th is Winnie the Pooh day, also known as A.A. Milne’s birthday. The man behind the stories of a boy and his favorite bear would have been 135 years old if he were alive today.Photo credit Wikimedia commons
People may or may not know that Milne was inspired to write the stories because of his real-life son Christopher Robin and his toy bear Winnie-the-pooh. Christopher had originally named his bear Edward, but was so fond of the bear Winnipeg at the London zoo that he renamed his toy Winnie-the-pooh.Photo credit Wikimedia commons
The real-life Winnie-the-pooh, or Winnipeg as she was known, was a Canadian black bear that had been purchased as a cub by a Canadian soldier named Captain Harry Colebourn. Colebourn then smuggled Winnipeg into Britain while training during WWI. Upon receiving his marching orders for France, the soldier gave the bear to the London zoo for safe keeping. Winnipeg was so loved by everyone at the zoo that after returning from war, Colebourn decided to let her stay and live out the remainder of her life there.
Click to view slideshow. Photo Credits: therealwinnie.ryerson.ca lookatthesegems.com huffingtonpost.com Wikimedia commons
For more information on the story of the real Winnie-the-Pooh, check out the book Finding Winnie by Lindsay Mattick.About the Author
Mallory Kroschel is a Information Commons Specialist at Metropolitan State University Library.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” -Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. is considered one of the most inspirational leaders of the United States of America. He was a leader who led people to change. If it was not for his determination to see change and to rally everyone together to march to equality and freedom we would not have the privileges we have today. His voice and intellectual speeches united many across the world to join the fight against injustice.
Martian Luther King Jr. learned and followed Gandhi’s principles of peace which, encouraged him to pursue the Civil Rights Movement. His phenomenal speeches, mainly his “I Have A Dream” speech, changed the hearts of millions across the world. Martin Luther King Jr. led the civil rights movement until his assassination April 4th, 1968. The legacy he left still lives on.
This Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday should be a reminder of the effort and work that Martin Luther King Jr. put in to stand against the injustices that took place in America. Knowing the risks, he still became the leader that influenced change in this country. To read more about Martin Luther King Jr. and his accomplishments check out our book display located on the second floor of the Metropolitan State University Library.About the Author
Bartona Alexander is a student at Metropolitan State University studying biology and a student worker in the library.
Are you ready for the new semester to start? Have you checked everything off of your list? Do you have a list??? If you are running around like a chicken with your head cut off fear not, we at the library have created a list of things you will need (or want) to get through this semester.
1) Student ID – Get yours made on the second floor of the library and then carry it with you everywhere. This is your parking pass, your library card, and your membership card to the student gym on the St. Paul campus. Keep it handy.
2) Campus Map(s) – Physical copies of St. Paul campus maps can be picked up on the first floor of the library. For other locations check out the campus locations webpage or inquire at the physical location.
3) Bookstore – If you are planning on purchasing your books from the campus bookstore (located on the first floor of the library) be sure to check their hours. They also have options to purchase items online.
4) Library – We are open seven days a week and have our hours posted on our homepage. Come on in and say hi. We have study rooms for check out available on both the first and second floors. We also have a large quiet study room on the second floor and a fireplace on each floor. Come get your study on!
5) Reference Desk – Located on the first floor of the library, the reference desk is open Sunday through Friday and is closed Saturdays. Hours are posted here. If you are looking for more research help consider taking INFS 115, your research papers will thank you and you earn two GELS credits for it!
6) Center for Academic Excellence – Do you struggle with writing, math, or science? The CAE is here to help. They have tutoring available in all of these areas along with ICS tutoring and a testing center to make up exams. Keep in mind that they are available by appointment only.
7) Food on Campus – Alimama’s Grill is located in the student center with new hours for this semester. They are open from 10am-8pm Monday – Thursday and 11am-3pm on Fridays. Closed weekends. Short on cash? Try Food for Thought, the campuses local food shelf. Whether you need to shop for some groceries or just need a quick snack, Food for Thought can help you out and is open most weekdays from 9am-6pm.
8) Calendar – Whether you prefer a small date book you can keep in your bag, or a google calendar that is accessible on your phone, you should keep a calendar. Aside from your class schedule, you can put appointments, work schedule, and downtime (which you should always make time for) in there.
Remember that whether you decide to use any of these items or not, you are awesome. Check out the message from our amazing former student worker Allison Cole as the Outstanding Student Commencement speaker for the latest graduating class.
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.
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.
‘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.
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.
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