There is always time to honor Women in History!

Image Credit: University of Memphis

March is Women’s History Month!  Indeed, the end of the month is nearing, but it isn’t too late to honor the women in your lives: mothers, sisters, wives, teachers and those women today, and in history, who followed their hearts and dreams, took risks, stood up against injustices and fought for the freedoms and rights that some of us benefit from today.

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Guest Post: Prepared or neurotic? You tell me!

NYC Subway Train (CC0 image via Wikimedia)

NYC Subway Train (CC0 image via Wikimedia)

The following post was contributed by Shoshana Yehudah, Director of Emergency Perparedness for Touro College.

My job as Director of Emergency Preparedness has made me sensitive to being prepared for emergency situations of any kind. I carry a hand sanitizer at all times, a mini package of paper towels, a light stick for blackouts, a smoke hood for train fires, and even heated insoles for those really cold days. I’m like Felix the Cat with a bag of magic tricks. My family, friends and colleagues all tease me about how serious I am about preparedness; my boss calls me Typhoid Mary because I’m always talking about the latest epidemic. Okay, so maybe I am a little neurotic about the whole thing, but I see it as being practical and don’t give a flying fig what others think about it. Which makes this story so out of character for me. Continue reading

Celebrating Spring: The Persian New Year

Spring flowers! Tulips & Hyacinth. (CC0 image via Pixabay)

Spring flowers! Tulips & Hyacinth. (CC0 image via Pixabay)

The Persian New Year begins on the first day of Spring, which in 2015 is on March 20th.  It is called Norooz, which stands for New Day.  Though its origin goes back to the faith of Zoroastrians, this day has been celebrated for over three thousand years, by almost every Iranian, as well as by other countries that have been influenced by this Persian tradition over the centuries.  It is considered a secular holiday, and therefore religion and ethnicity differences are put aside during this time of celebration. Continue reading

Are Libraries Becoming Obsolete? A Decade Retrospective

Libraries, from medieval to modern (Old Library at St. John's Cambridge and Touro Kew Garden Hills)

More computers, less vellum: Libraries from medieval to modern (Old Library at St. John’s Cambridge and Touro Kew Garden Hills)

The other day, our Information Literacy Service Director, Sara Tabaei,  approached me about updating an article I had written in 2005 entitled: “Are Libraries Becoming Obsolete?” I agreed and thought it would be a good idea to revisit the topic and reflect over whether my initial thoughts still held.  Continue reading

Librarian Reacts to Change, part II

Melvil Dewey Can’t Land Punch.  Librarian of Congress Poised for Victory. (source)

Melvil Dewey Can’t Land Punch. Librarian of Congress Poised for Victory. (source)

[Continued from Librarians React to Change, part I] Academic and research libraries are not fans of the Dewey decimal system, and they employ other organizational schemes.  The Library of Congress (LC) classification system arranges books using an alphanumeric call number system.  It spans the alphabet from A to Z, although it ignores the W’s and a range of Q’s.  While subject headings are constantly updated and expanded, they are fit within the existing call numbers.  The National Library of Medicine (NLM) utilizes the letters unused in LC to classify medical books with a high degree of specificity.  If you would like to see a guide to the classification systems, click here. Which classification system should a large library use? I can picture a melee of librarians duking it out for classification supremacy. Continue reading

Librarian Reacts to Change, part I

edvard munch scream

Oh no! The horror! (“The Scream,” Edvard Munch)

A periodical typically indicates its purpose and intended audience, and Lucky Magazine is no exception.  Emblazoned on its cover is the phrase “Lucky—The Magazine about Shopping.”  Now that’s something I can get behind.  I like to keep up with trends I am not going to follow.  No hottest coat for chilly days or “ridiculously good riding boots” for me.  Clearly, the intended audience for this magazine skews younger than I; nevertheless, it’s a fun read.  As a librarian, how can I resist flipping through the pages? The content within may hold the answer to my next reference question. Continue reading

Who is that masked man? Happy Purim!

image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.  Book of Esther, Hebrew, c. 1700-1800 AD - Royal Ontario Museum - DSC09614.JPG •Uploaded by Daderot Created: November 20, 2011

image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Book of Esther, Hebrew, c. 1700-1800 AD – Royal Ontario Museum – DSC09614.JPG  Uploaded by Daderot Created: November 20, 2011

On the night of Wednesday, March 4th, after having fasted all day Jews all over the world will gather in synagogues, houses of worship, places of study, and sometimes in their own homes to hear the story of Purim.

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Books On The Move

Empty books shelves—but not for long!

Empty books shelves—but not for long!

Over the summer we did a total library book “shift” at the library for the Lander College for Men.

You might ask: “Why would you do that?”

Or “Wasn’t that a lot of physical work?”  (Yes, it was.)

Or “How many books did you move?” (Over 15,000 books.)

So here is the story of why… Continue reading

Thank you, Rita Hilu

After receiving many positive comments and remarks by Starrett City students and faculty on the Annual Customer Satisfaction Survey in December, Ms. Rita Hilu, our wonderful library staff at Starrett City, responds in her own words with gratitude and encouragement: Continue reading

We love hearing from YOU!

The results are in! Here’s what students and faculty have to say about the Touro College Libraries:


We value your feedback and use it to shape the services we provide and our direction for the future. If you have any additional feedback or suggestions, please leave them in the comments.

Contributed by: Sara Tabaei, Information Literacy Services Director, Midtown

To Lend or Not To Lend Books?


Reading is a virtue, but tradition is divided on the relative merits of borrowing, lending, and purchasing books.

In Judaism, it is often considered a great virtue to lend Jewish books. Some sages of the Talmud interpreted the verse “Happy are they that do righteousness” (Psalms 106:3) as referring to those who write books and lend them. Rabbi Yehuda ha-Hasid of Regensburg in the 13th century taught that the reward for those who lend books to their students in the world to come which will be as great as if they themselves had studied from those texts since they were the vehicles who enabled knowledge to be learned by the borrowers. Continue reading

Tech Trend: 3D Printing

Photo courtesy of Jean-Etienne Minh-Duy Poirrier

Photo credit: Jean-Etienne Minh-Duy Poirrier

3D printing is taking the technology world by storm.  This new trend has been gathering attention with some of the outrageous items that can be printed, from cookies (or pancakes as shown above) to cars!  But do you know the story behind this new technology?

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Tu Bi’Shevat: Happy Birthday, Trees!

(CC image via Wikimedia)

An olive tree, “Olea europaea subsp europaea” (CC image via Wikimedia)

On February 4th of this year, Jews all over the world will eat fruit. Usually it is dried fruit, such as dried apples or pineapple, sometimes even dates, figs, or dried pear. Many purchase carob, known as bokser in Yiddish. My personal favorite was always the bright orange dried papaya. We didn’t really eat it otherwise and it tasted the best out of all the options in the little “pekeleh” (package) that we would get in school.  I never really liked the carob; it was always so dry and chewy, kind of like fruit jerky. But there we were, in the middle of winter, eating dried fruit to celebrate the birthday of the trees, as it says in the folk song we learned: “Tu B’Shevat Higiah, Chag La’Ilanot” (The fifteenth day of the month of Shevat has come, birthday (or holiday) of the trees).  Continue reading

The Streets of New York


(Photo by Matt H. Wade )

New York City Streets are rich with history.  Two of the most famous streets in New York City are Broadway and Wall Street.  Broadway is best known for the theater district, bright with lights and marquees, advertising the dozens of shows currently playing.  Wall Street is associated with money, the financial district, and the New York Stock Exchange.  But have you ever thought about the humble beginnings of these famous New York City Streets?

Broadway was the first main road created on the island of Manhattan when it was settled by colonists in 1624.  Watch this short clip from the PBS Series “New York: A Documentary film by Ric Burns”.
Settling in Manhattan, creating Broadway

Did you know that a very famous hat was purchased at a shop on Broadway in 1860?  Watch this short clip from the same video to find out.
Famous Hat

Street sign on the Wall St. taken by author on August 18, 2005 Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic

Sign on Wall St. (CC image via Wikimedia)

Here’s some more NYC trivia.  Can you guess where the name Wall Street came from?  Yes, there was a wall there at one time.  Here are two more short clips that explain how the wall went up circa 1653 and came down in 1699.
Wall going up
Wall comes down

You may know from your US History classes that New York City was the capitol at one time.  But did you know that the Continental Congress actually met on Wall Street?
NYC Capitol

If you want to learn more about NYC History and you are a Touro student, staff or faculty member, then you will be pleased to know that the entire New York video series by Ric Burns is available via online streaming video through Touro Libraries’ subscription to Films On Demand.  You can access Films On Demand, as well as many other useful video databases by visiting the Library’s homepage and clicking on the “Videos” tab.  If you are off campus, you will need your off-campus username and password to access the content in these databases.  Click here to set up or reset your username and password.

If you are a member of the Touro community, you can create custom video clips from many of our educational videos and use them in a presentation, webpage or Blackboard course.  The clips that are included in this blog post are a small sampling of the content from Touro’s online undergraduate course HISTORY OF NEW YORK CITY [ GHS 306  OL ].  I have greatly enjoyed working with Professor Elliot Hymes as an embedded librarian in this course.  I’ve been able to help add lots of pertinent library content to the course and I’ve learned so much about NYC history at the same time.   If you would like to know more about how an embedded librarian can enhance your course see the Embedded Librarian program description.

If you prefer DVDs to streaming video, the Bay Shore campus and the Midtown campus both have the Ric Burns New York video series on a set of 8 DVDs, available to borrow.

Touro Libraries also has an extensive collection of books, ebooks and other DVDs on the topic of New York.

Contributed by: Laurel Scheinfeld, Librarian, Bay Shore