Alcatraz: Not Just an Abandoned Prison

Alcatraz at sunset (CC image via )

Recently, I took a vacation to San Francisco, California. I had never been there before, and I have no shame: I wanted to cram as many touristy experiences possible into my week-long trip. Visit the Golden Gate Bridge? Of course! Head down to Fisherman’s Wharf? Sure! Book a ferry months in advance to visit Alcatraz? …Well, what’s so interesting about an old prison? We have one of those on the East Coast; how different could it be? I really didn’t care about hearing about Al Capone or the “Birdman” for the thousandth time (I know a few people who really like crime documentaries). What I didn’t realize was that Alcatraz has a much more complex history. Continue reading

Total Eclipse of the Sun

Solar Eclipse (CC0 image via Pixabay)

 

It’s the end of the world! Actually no, it’s just a solar eclipse, but not just any solar eclipse: a total solar eclipse. A total solar eclipse will pass over the United States on Monday, August 21st. For a brief amount of time, around 2.5 minutes, the moon will block out the sun, the brightest stars and planets will be visible, and animals and insects will believe it is nighttime. One of the more spectacular features of a total eclipse is being able to view the corona (outer ring caused by its atmosphere) of the sun for a brief period. It is a sight to be seen. Continue reading

Sometimes You Can Judge a Book by Its Cover

“Covers” by Henning M. Lederer on Vimeo

Way back in 2009, an observant blogger from the New York Observer noticed a “new trend” among booksellers. Rather than wrapping books in colorful paper dust jackets, some books incorporated the art directly onto their covers. It must have been quite an observation, since other bloggers repeated or quickly replicated the original blog. I can’t say I noticed at the time, so here is my contribution to the conversation, a mere eight years later. Continue reading

A swallow visits the LCW library: What we can learn “from the birds”

LCW gets an unexpected visitor

The other day at Lander College for Women, a bird flew into the building. We were advised to close the door of the library to prevent the bird from flying in during the window of time it took to catch and release the bird into freedom. We did not want our visitor, the bird dubbed Larry, to build a nest in our books! The excitement of the “bird alert” reminded me of the important metaphor that birds serve in various texts. Continue reading

The Sky’s the Limit! Association of Jewish Libraries Annual Conference

On June 19, 20, and 21, the Association of Jewish Libraries held its annual conference. The Association of Jewish Libraries has chapters all over the world, ranging from all regions of the United States to Europe, the U.K., and Israel. The annual conference is a chance for Judaica Librarians from all these chapters to assemble and exchange information about the dynamic field of Judaica Librarianship, from Hebrew day school libraries and university libraries to synagogue libraries. Continue reading

Ice Cream Social: Facts for National Ice Cream Month

(CC0 image via Pexels)

Being that it is summer I figured I would write a lighthearted blog on a lighthearted topic – Ice Cream.

July is National Ice Cream Month. Yes – National Ice Cream Month (and National Ice Cream Day) are officially recognized holidays designated in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan after receiving a joint resolution from Congress on the matter. It seems that even Congress can agree on their love for this sweet treat. Continue reading

Staff Profiles: An Interview with Nino Rtskhiladze

Library Assistant Nino

My name is Nino Rtskhiladze (Tski-lad-ze), and I am the Library Assistant at Touro College Borough Park 45.

I was born in Georgia, and I live in New York with my family: My spouse and three teenage kids. I speak Georgian, Russian and English languages.

I graduated from Tbilisi State University in Georgia, where I got my BA in Oriental Studies. I also earned my MBA at GAU (Georgian American University).

I have worked at Touro college since February 27, 2017, and I really enjoy my job.

When I’m not working, I love to travel, read books, watch movies and spend time with my family. I love cooking and baking, but still, my favorite food is sushi. I love to play piano, and I also have a music education.

The latest thing I’ve read is An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser, but my favorite books since my earlier ages are Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin, Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

I always try to find positive sides even in the negative things, and I want to say to everyone: Never give up, and smile: life is beautiful!

4th of July Weekend

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

Happy Independence Day from Touro Libraries!

Though library locations will be open on Monday, if you’re looking to get a jump start on the holiday celebrations, know that John Adams would have had your back. He insisted that July 2nd (the day the first of the signers affixed their names to the Declaration) was the proper anniversary. For this and more trivia to share around the barbecue or at the beach this weekend, look back on our 5 Independence Day Facts post.

Touro Libraries will be closed on Tuesday July 4th. Have a safe and happy holiday!

Find Free Scholarly Research with Open Access Repositories

Here at Touro, like most colleges and universities, our students and faculty rely on peer-reviewed, scholarly journal articles to conduct their research. Touro Library subscribes to a large number of scholarly journals which can be accessed through our many databases. We think we’ve got things pretty well covered, but still, we are working on expanding our reach and offering the best access to peer-reviewed scholarly literature we possibly can. One area we are looking for this is in Open Access (OA). 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. For more information on the various business models used by OA journals, and anything else you might want to know about OA, see Peter Suber’s excellent Open Access Overview.       Continue reading

A Trip to Seattle: The MLA 2017 Annual Conference

MLA ’17

Over Memorial Day weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the annual conference of the Medical Library Association in Seattle, Washington. I was there to present a poster on a study my NYMC colleagues and I are currently undertaking, and also to learn from other librarians about trends in the medical library field.

I had never been to an annual conference before, and I was amazed at how packed the schedule was. Luckily, MLA created an app just for the conference, in addition to their print program, which was invaluable in keeping track of all the sessions offered. From the opening ceremony Saturday night until the end of my poster presentation on Tuesday afternoon, I was constantly on the move from one interesting program to the next! It would take a veerrry long blog post to cover everything, so I’ll just go over some highlights of my trip. Continue reading