Tick-Tock Day

Time, the most valuable commodity
Time, the most valuable commodity

With just three days left in the secular year, today has been designated Tick-Tock Day. Like most of the plethora of third-tier holidays (dictionary day, anyone?), it’s a bit silly, but I still rather like the idea behind it. The premise is that this can be a designated time to wrap up any lingering projects, or perhaps a last year’s resolution that may have fallen by the wayside, before the year is out, to better get a fresh start when the clock ticks over to January 1, 2016. Continue reading

The Winter Solstice

New York City Winter Sunset (CC image by Anthony Quintano)
New York City Winter Sunset (CC image by Anthony Quintano)

December 22, 2015 marks the first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Also known as the winter solstice, today will see the fewest daylight hours of any day year, just nine hours and fifteen minutes in New York. Although we’ve now entered the winter season and the days will gradually begin to lengthen, the year’s coldest temperatures are still a month or two away, as the Earth’s thermal mass continues to slowly cool, just as the asphalt streets of New York continue to radiate heat long after an August sunset. Continue reading

Critical Information Literacy

Teachers are no longer considered the sole arbiters of knowledge, filling the empty vessels of their students minds (CC0 image)
Teachers are no longer considered the sole arbiters of knowledge, filling the empty vessels of their students’ minds (CC0 image)

Since I have an interest in the philosophical approach called critical theory, I was curious to know if librarianship and critical theory might intersect with each other in relation to current trends in librarianship.  And while doing some research, I quickly came across a curious and what appears to be a quite significant article in the arena of information literacy instruction.  The article, published in 2006, is called Critical Information Literacy: Implications for Instructional Practice, by James Elmborg, Assistant Professor, School Of Library and Information Science at the University of Iowa.  I thought it would be quite interesting to explore just one of many takeaways of this article, so to speak, and give a very short sketch of what sort of impact critical information literacy might have more broadly on academic librarianship in general and perhaps more specifically and interestingly on Touro College Libraries. Continue reading

Heading back to the classroom: 3D printer training


The class crowds around as one participant prepares the machine for printing, including leveling the build plate and loading filament into the extruder

As many of you know, the Bay Shore Library has received a 3D printer, thanks to a ‘Medical Library Project’ grant to provide the funds for the printer and its materials. In order to prepare for its integration into courses as well as use in the Library, Touro Librarians along with Professors and IT staff members headed back to the classroom for a two-day MakerBot training course. Continue reading

What is a classic?

The Great Books of the Western World (CC image by rhsmith4)
The Great Books of the Western World (CC image by rdsmith4)

As curators of written works, libraries often want to include classics in their collections. For many centuries, “the classics” referred specifically to Greek and Latin literature, either in their entirety or those by their greatest authors. Sometimes classic implies the best, works deserving the highest praise or possessing extraordinary merit, insight, substance or style. According to Cicero, a classic is like good wine, getting better with age. Alternately, “classic” can used as an antithesis to “romantic,” where classical refers to grounded in reason, whereas romantic is based on emotion, such as the categorization of Classical versus Romantic periods in instrumental music. Continue reading

Put on your yarmulke, it’s time to celebrate Chanukah!

(photo Ricki Carroll)
Many menorahs (photo by Ricki Carroll)

When I was a college student living in the dormitory, one of my favorite times of the year was Chanukah. Starting from the evening of the twenty-fifth day of the Hebrew month of Kislev, over one-hundred girls who called the dorm home came down to the front lounge, where long, foil-covered tables were set up in full view of the street, to light Chanukah lecht (candles or lights). Continue reading

How To Be Happier

6815445475_3c5568aff3_o (1)
Create your own happiness through learned optimism (CC0 image via flickr)

This post was written by guest contributor Sabra Brock, Interim Dean of the Graduate School of Business. This post originally appeared on LinkedIn

I love the concept of Learned Optimism. It is the idea that you can learn how to increase your moments of happiness. Martin Seligman introduced the concept in 1990 when he was president of the American Psychological Association. Up to that point APA presidents had taken on research focused on disease. He focused on health, specifically happiness and optimism. Continue reading

Score: Librarian–One, Google–Nothing!


wrigley's scoreboard
Wrigley Field’s Scoreboard (CC photo by Scott R Anselmo

When I first entered the library profession, I discovered a secret known to librarians far and wide.  There were many search engines to choose among, and librarians were particular in their preferences.  Search engines were like opinions- everybody had one.  I pity the fool who favored Infoseek or Magellan, because they have gone to the resting place of dearly departed search engines in the sky. (Not the cloud.)  Back then, a typical job interview included the question “What is your favorite search engine?”  There would be no “Ask Jeeves!” for me.  It was Google all the way, baby!   Say the word – get the job! BAM!  It was that easy!  Didn’t you know Google is my middle name? (That’s Carol Google Schapiro, if you please!)  Imagine my shock and disbelief when Google recently could not produce the results to which I have grown accustomed. Continue reading