The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11 month: Veterans Day

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Flag in a 3D-printed holder, created at our Bay Shore Library

Here are some facts regarding our veterans:

  • 16 million Americans served in World War II
  • The youngest of WW2 veterans will be 90 this year (if they enlisted in 1945 at age 17)
  • At age 112, Richard Arvin Overton is the oldest verified World War II veteran
  • We are losing 372 WW II veterans per day
  • There are still about 496,77 veterans from WWII living

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How does Daylight Savings Time affect us?

Coming this Sunday, you have to set your clock one hour back again!

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Photo by Lukas Blazek on Unsplash

The controversial policy of daylight saving is one of the most widespread in the world, “used by 77 countries and regions with a combined population in excess of 1.5 billion”1. The biggest argument in favor of this policy was the impact on electricity consumption. But have you ever wondered how changing the time abrupt affects us,  both mentally and physically?

Comment if you agree or disagree with daylight savings.

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WOW! What a conference

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Lots of experts attended the conference, including Steven Bell (left) from Temple University. I have to confess that I had not seen him at first when I took this photo 🙂

Since starting Open Touro, Touro College’s Open Education Resources (OER) initiative, we have become increasingly involved with OER. You can read more about what we have one so far here.

This past week, we attended OpenEd, an annual conference on Open Education which was held at the US Niagara Falls. Over 350 presentations, posters, roundtables, lightning talks, and panels were given. The presentation themes included accessibility, assessment, pedagogy, economics, sustainability, social justice, and the future of OER. The more than 850 people who attended consisted of faculty members, deans, provosts, librarians, school teachers, and even students, which just illustrates how big and important this movement has become. We have returned with notebooks full of ideas, thoughts and practical next steps. Continue reading

Find Free Scholarly Research with Open Access Repositories

Since this week is the official Open Access Week, (October 22-28), we like to draw your attention to the plethora of Open Access (OA) scholarly material that is available online via different repositories, some of which we have mentioned in this article and you can find through Touro Libraries.

OA refers to material that is published online, for free, without most copyright and licensing restrictions. Much of it is published under a Creative Commons license. It is important to note that OA material is published with the full consent of the copyright holder, not pirated in any way. Scholarly journal publishing has never been a money-making endeavor for the writers so they are not giving up any kind of financial benefits by publishing OA.     Continue reading

To The Books! (A Nostalgia Story)

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Dictionaries in the Midtown library.

When I was a child, the city had numerous filling stations.  Because of their ubiquity, the many companies were constantly in competition. In order to draw in customers, these establishments relied heavily on promotional offers.  Thanks to Sunoco, we had a full set of drinking glasses emblazoned with vintage cars.  Tonight, I will sip from the tumbler depicting a 1915 Studebaker.

Sunoco tumbler depicting a 1915 Studebaker car.
Sunoco tumbler depicting a 1915 Studebaker car.

Nowadays, the only gas station prize you might find is a fuel pump located in Manhattan.

In those bygone years, supermarkets also offered incentives to induce customer loyalty.  You could obtain an entire set of English bone china at Bohack’s  by making a purchase in the store. Get your dinner plate on week one, your salad bowl on week six, and don’t forget week 14, or you will miss the gravy boat.

The greatest prize of all, however, was a set of encyclopedias, offered at a nominal price. With a volume sold every week, the encyclopedia assured the store 26 return visits, one for each letter of the alphabet. It was presumed that frugal education-minded customers would return repeatedly in an effort to complete their sets.  Apparently, my parents were such customers. Continue reading

Columbus Day: Its Role and Significance in American History

Christopher columbus

For many of us, Columbus Day is remembered as a day in which we commemorate the discovery of the Americas by the Italian Renaissance explorer, Christopher Columbus.  The holiday falls on the second Monday of October, and it is a time in which many of us, except for government officials and bank employees, do not have the holiday off from our workday (unless we intentionally take the day off), though we manage to also commemorate the holiday by often watching the many parades that are prevalent on this day, or throwing a party.  For many Italian Americans, however, it is a quite special time for them to display their pride by dressing up, playing music, and of course, making lots of wonderful food. Continue reading

Introducing Open Textbooks this fall at Touro: students save almost $15,000.00

Is this textbook required? Can I use an older edition? Does the library have this book? These are common questions raised by students at the beginning of every semester. The reason why they are so common is very simple: textbooks are expensive. In the last 20 years, their price increased over 200%, while college tuition increased 191%, both way above the overall inflation (+57.4%, Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Bashe Simon, director of Touro Libraries, initiated a project to raise awareness of open textbooks. Open textbooks are resources that are available at no cost under aCreative Commons license. This allows them to be downloaded, stored, distributed, revised, and remixed to suit the instructor’s need. They are free and have been used in numerous higher education institutions with great success (see, for example, this project by Tidewater Community College). Continue reading

Volume & Issue Numbers Demystified

"What is a periodical?" video from Touro Libraries' forthcoming Savvy Researcher Video Series
What is a periodical?” video from Touro Libraries’ Savvy Researcher Video Series

If you’ve done research papers in the past, you’ve probably had at least one professor ask you to cite something called an academic journal article (or three). But what exactly is it that your instructors are looking for?

Well, to answer that question, first we have to talk about what librarians call “periodical literature.” This is just a fancy collective name for magazines, newspapers, and journals which are published on a recurring, periodic basis, perhaps daily, weekly, or monthly. Individual issues of an academic journal are usually identified by volume and issue numbers. While you might browse through the September 2015 issue of Rolling Stone at the dentist, you’re more likely to find Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Vol. 122, Issue 3, on the shelves of your college library.

All of the different numbers in journal article citations can be a little tricky to keep straight though, so let’s break it down another way. Think of your favorite TV show. Got it? Ok. So, I’m going to go with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In this case, the show had 7 yearly seasons of 22-ish episodes each. In terms of periodicals, that would be 7 yearly volumes of 22 issues each.

If my friend wanted to watch the silent episode of Buffy, I could direct him to season 4, episode 10. If I wanted to quote Patrick Shade’s scholarly analysis of the episode’s philosophical implications on communication theory in an essay, however, I would direct readers to Volume 6, Issue 1 of The Journal of the Whedon Studies Association in my citation.

On the topic of academic jargon, it’s worth mentioning that the opposite of a periodical in the library world is sometimes called a monograph — but in the rest of the world, we just call them books. To continue our analogy, books are more like movies. Sure, there might be a sequel or two – or new editions, in book terms – or it might be part of a series, but they are still essentially self-contained entities.

So now that you know that journal articles are identified by the journal they’re published in, and the particular volume and issue it appears in, hopefully, it will make them easier to identify and cite!

Visit the library homepage to choose a database to begin your search, or check out the Student Services page for more research help, like the difference between scholarly vs. popular periodicals.

Contributed by Chelsea DeGlopper, Former Instructional Design Librarian, Midtown

Celebrating Sukkot

A sukkah from inside. (From Wikimedia user Muu-karhu)
A sukkah from inside (via Wikimedia user Muu-karhu)

After the solemnity and introspection of the High Holy Days, Sukkot, the Festival of Booths, is always a treat. Like the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, I look forward to Sukkot every year because this holiday, unlike Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, is an unaltered celebration.  After the Exodus from Egypt, the ancient Jews traveled the wilderness for forty years before reaching the land of Israel. They lived in small huts called “sukkot” during this time. The holiday of Sukkot commemorates those temporary dwellings: Orthodox Jewish families build a small hut, or Sukkah, outside the house where they eat all meals for the seven days of the holiday. Many Orthodox Jews also sleep outdoors in the Sukkah. A typical Sukkah would look something like this:

(source)
(source)

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Yom Kippur: A Day of Atonement

Jews praying in the synagogue
Maurycy Gottlieb: Jews Praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur, aka The Day of Atonement: this represents the time when Jews will have their fate decided. How much money will be earned for the year, what a person’s health will be, as well whatever is supposed to happen to a person in their life during the year.  People of course pray that everything that will happen should be good for the person.

I should note that on this occasion, the prayers are only directed between people and G-d, not between people and other people.  Any “offense” that take place between people is not covered by Yom Kippur.  The individuals involved need to ask for pardon from each other.

Yom Kippur is the end of this Holy time of year, which began with Rosh Hashanah.  This is a ten day period when forgiveness is asked from G-d as well as from “man”. As it says in the Liturgy, on Rosh Hashanah G-d writes down what will be and on Yom Kippur that decree is sealed.

This year, Yom Kippur will begin the evening of Tuesday, September 18th and conclude the evening of Wednesday, the 19th.

Contributed by: Edward Schabes, Library Assistant, Midtown

(Updated with 2018 dates and new picture.)