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
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