Another Year Over

Preparing for the big drop - the Times Square ball, as seen from above (CC image via Wikimedia)
Preparing for the big drop – the Times Square ball, as seen from above (CC image via Wikimedia)

New Year’s Eve brings thousands of revelers to Times Square, all for the sole purpose of watching a glittering ball drop.  And it doesn’t even really drop – it slowly and decorously descends. Continue reading

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A new home for the Graduate School of Speech Language Pathology

Flatbush Midwood Campus

Midwood Flatbush Library (Ave J) has always been the main library for both the undergraduate and graduate programs in Speech Language Pathology, which are part of the Lander College of Arts and Sciences. We have provided support for undergraduate and graduate programs with print and electronic books & journals for over 15 years. Continue reading

Chanukah: The Festival of Lights

A Chanukah menorah (or chanukia) (CC0 image via Wikipedia)
A Chanukah Menorah, or Chanukia (CC0 image via Wikipedia)

Chanukah, also known as the Festival of Rededication, or the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day holiday that generally falls sometime in December (in the Hebrew calendar, the 25th of Kislev).  It celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple after the successful revolt of the Maccabees against the Seleucid Empire. To rededicate the Temple, oil was needed to relight the menorah inside, and there was very little left – only enough to burn for one day.  However, the oil used burned for eight days, and to celebrate this, a festival was created – Chanukah. Continue reading

In Celebration of Touro Faculty Authorship

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Librarians Carrie Levinson, Sara Tabaei, and Marina Zilberman show off the 2013 Faculty Publications book and this year’s tokens of appreciation, Touro-inscribed mugs.

On December 9, the Touro College Libraries hosted the 4th annual Faculty Author Reception. We are honored to recognize the contributions of our faculty to academic scholarship.  The library publishes an annual book, as well as an online database, listing publications by Touro community members in many fields, including science, medicine, art, literature, and history. Beginning in 2009, the library took the initiative of collecting this wealth of material, and we feel privileged to share it with the world of academic research. Continue reading

Libraries In Action: Community Support in Ferguson, Missouri

courtesy of Ferguson Public Library's Instagram feed.
Courtesy of Ferguson Public Library’s Instagram feed.

Libraries exist to help people find information that solve problems, answer questions, or otherwise address important individual and community interests and needs. I’d like to give thanks to the Ferguson Municipal Public Library in Missouri for giving all libraries a lesson in precisely this kind of community support. Last week in Ferguson Missouri, schools closed following a grand jury’s decision not to indict police Officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown. Nonetheless, the local public library pledged to stay open, providing a safe space for schoolchildren from the Ferguson-Florissant School district with educational activities provided by working and retired volunteer teachers. As it announced on Facebook and Twitter last Monday, “Because of the Grand Jury decision, many organizations will be closed, but the Ferguson Municipal Public Library will stay open as long as it is safe for patrons and staff. If the Ferguson-Florissant schools close, we will be hosting activities for the children. We will do everything in our power to serve our community. Stay strong and love each other.”

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As events unfolded last week, the library updated its information via social media that schools would indeed be closed, and asked for donations and volunteers to assist in the activities it had planned for the next few days. It added, “Please attend tomorrow evening’s book trade event at the library. Our teen council has worked very hard to put this together, and we would hate to disappoint these enthusiastic young people.” A team of volunteers, many of whom are teachers from the school district, prepared for a temporary educational program when they knew a grand jury decision was imminent. A similar program was held back in August, when protests first started, forcing school closures. In the past few months, the library has actively worked to diversify its collection by embracing a Books For Ferguson book drive. Counseling has also been available at the library for area residents who are having trouble coping with recent violence and services to businesses that have been damaged in the riots have also been made available.

Library director Scott Bonner couldn’t have imagined what he was in for when he assumed his post just last July. But in August, he told Library Journal, “We have a dramatic moment, and a dramatic circumstance caught the nation’s attention, but this is exactly what libraries do every day.” And what do libraries do? Among many other things, create a safe and welcoming space, where everyone is welcome to come and meet, to learn, to explore. In a country wracked with grief and strife, our libraries are still an oasis of community.

Thank you, Ferguson Municipal Library. Thank you, libraries everywhere.

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Contributed by Caitlin Bernstein, Librarian at Touro College Midwood campus.

From the Reference Desk: Jewish Business Ethics

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(CC image by Orietta.Sberla)

Students often come into the Touro Libraries looking for books and journal articles for their research. They are familiar with the stacks of books and even some of our major databases, but few know about an online research guides that combines information on print and electronic sources into one convenient package. I am talking about our LibGuides. The LibGuides are a collection of research guides on a variety of topics. Recently, one of our LibGuides came in very handy when a student came in looking for information we had on Jewish Business Ethics. Continue reading