The Indelible Mark of Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor

Dec 7, 1941, “a date which will live in infamy“, was the day of the attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor during World War II. Today, we remember that date and its losses: Continue reading

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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). This year it starts on Sunday evening, December 2 and ends in the evening of December 10th. 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 that was used burned for eight days, and to celebrate this, a festival was created – Chanukah. Continue reading

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy

From GST student Md. Zahidul Haque, on the origin and celebration of Thanksgiving:

Americans celebrate this public holiday as a harvest festival on the 4th Thursday in November each year in the United States. The First Thanksgiving day was celebrated by the Pilgrims in the new world in 1621 after their first harvest. After the USA became independent, Congress recommended one day each year as Thanksgiving for the whole nation to celebrate. Canadians also celebrate this day on the second Monday of October. Up to today, we believe that this day is for the celebration of Pilgrims and offering foods to Native Americans. It is also a day of gratitude as well the respect to Native Americans for teaching the Pilgrims how to cook. At that time the pilgrims couldn’t survive without the help of Native Americans.

In New York City, my family and I celebrate this day by joining with our child’s school or family or friend’s homes. For this year’s celebration, we will get together in a common place for dinner. We will make traditional food like carved turkeys, pumpkin pie, corn, vegetables, fruits, as well as some other Indian fried dishes, then serve each other and have dessert at the end of the meal. So every year we are waiting for this day to celebrate.

Wishing everybody a happy, safe, and delicious Thanksgiving weekend!

All Touro library locations will be closed 11/22-11/23.

The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11 month: Veterans Day

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

Here are some facts regarding our veterans:

  • 16 million Americans served in World War II
  • The youngest of WW2 veterans will be 90 this year (if they enlisted in 1945 at age 17)
  • At age 112, Richard Arvin Overton is the oldest verified World War II veteran
  • We are losing 372 WW II veterans per day
  • There are still about 496,77 veterans from WWII living

Continue reading

How does Daylight Savings Time affect us?

Coming this Sunday, you have to set your clock one hour back again!

clock
Photo by Lukas Blazek on Unsplash

The controversial policy of daylight saving is one of the most widespread in the world, “used by 77 countries and regions with a combined population in excess of 1.5 billion”1. The biggest argument in favor of this policy was the impact on electricity consumption. But have you ever wondered how changing the time abrupt affects us,  both mentally and physically?

Comment if you agree or disagree with daylight savings.

Continue reading

WOW! What a conference

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Lots of experts attended the conference, including Steven Bell (left) from Temple University. I have to confess that I had not seen him at first when I took this photo 🙂

Since starting Open Touro, Touro College’s Open Education Resources (OER) initiative, we have become increasingly involved with OER. You can read more about what we have one so far here.

This past week, we attended OpenEd, an annual conference on Open Education which was held at the US Niagara Falls. Over 350 presentations, posters, roundtables, lightning talks, and panels were given. The presentation themes included accessibility, assessment, pedagogy, economics, sustainability, social justice, and the future of OER. The more than 850 people who attended consisted of faculty members, deans, provosts, librarians, school teachers, and even students, which just illustrates how big and important this movement has become. We have returned with notebooks full of ideas, thoughts and practical next steps. Continue reading

Find Free Scholarly Research with Open Access Repositories

Since this week is the official Open Access Week, (October 22-28), we like to draw your attention to the plethora of Open Access (OA) scholarly material that is available online via different repositories, some of which we have mentioned in this article and you can find through Touro Libraries.

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.     Continue reading

To The Books! (A Nostalgia Story)

Dictionaries
Dictionaries in the Midtown library.

When I was a child, the city had numerous filling stations.  Because of their ubiquity, the many companies were constantly in competition. In order to draw in customers, these establishments relied heavily on promotional offers.  Thanks to Sunoco, we had a full set of drinking glasses emblazoned with vintage cars.  Tonight, I will sip from the tumbler depicting a 1915 Studebaker.

Sunoco tumbler depicting a 1915 Studebaker car.
Sunoco tumbler depicting a 1915 Studebaker car.

Nowadays, the only gas station prize you might find is a fuel pump located in Manhattan.

In those bygone years, supermarkets also offered incentives to induce customer loyalty.  You could obtain an entire set of English bone china at Bohack’s  by making a purchase in the store. Get your dinner plate on week one, your salad bowl on week six, and don’t forget week 14, or you will miss the gravy boat.

The greatest prize of all, however, was a set of encyclopedias, offered at a nominal price. With a volume sold every week, the encyclopedia assured the store 26 return visits, one for each letter of the alphabet. It was presumed that frugal education-minded customers would return repeatedly in an effort to complete their sets.  Apparently, my parents were such customers. Continue reading

Columbus Day: Its Role and Significance in American History

Christopher columbus

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

Introducing Open Textbooks this fall at Touro: students save almost $15,000.00

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