One Librarian, One Reference

Wikipedian Lane Rasberry presents some background on Wikipedia

On June 7th, 2017, Touro College librarians gathered at the Midtown campus for a Wikipedia editing event facilitated by Lane Rasberry, Wikipedian-in-Residence at Consumer Reports. Lane has visited the Touro Campus several times before for student events, but this was the first time that our librarians would be loosed on Wikipedia’s entries. If you thought Wikipedia and librarians (always carrying on about scholarly sources this and databases that) don’t mix, you’d be surprised! The model Wikipedia article is based on authoritative, often scholarly, information sources, and each fact included in an entry should be supported with an appropriate citation. In fact, the criteria for becoming a “Featured Article” on Wikipedia sound a lot like a good literature review: well-written, comprehensive, well-researched, and neutral.

Read on to hear about Touro librarians’ experiences editing Wikipedia in their own words: Continue reading

Flag Day: The Anniversary of the Stars & Stripes

(CC0 image via Pixabay)

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Each year, Flag Day is celebrated on June 14th. It started with a teacher, BJ Cigrand, in 1885. He encouraged his students to observe the anniversary of the adoption of the first official flag of the United States on June 14, 1777. At that time, the flag sported only 38 stars (compared to 50 today), after Colorado joined the Union in 1876, along with the 13 horizontal stripes representing the original 13 Colonies.

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The flag on display at Bay Shore library

Cigrand spread the idea through his writing and speeches on patriotism and the flag. Over time the ceremonies grew across the United States. After three decades of acknowledging “Flag Day”, President Woodrow Wilson wrote a Proclamation on May 30th, 1916 for the official observation of the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777. To further recognize the history of the flag, an Act of Congress on August 3rd, 1949 signed by President Truman officially made June 14th of each year National Flag Day.

Citizens, businesses and organizations are encouraged to observe Flag Day by hanging a flag throughout the week of June 14th.

Contributed by: Joan Wagner, Chief Librarian, Bay Shore

Streufert, Duane. “Usflag.Org: A Website Dedicated To The Flag Of The United States Of America – The History Of Flag Day”. Usflag.org. N.p., 2017. Web. 13 June 2017.

Shavuot, the Festival of Weeks

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Young women celebrating Shavuot in Israel, 1965 (CC image via Wikimedia)

Shavuot, or the Festival of Weeks marks 7 weeks since the conclusion of the Jewish Exodus from Egypt, when the Torah and the Ten Commandments were received at Mount Sinai. There are a number of customs associated with the celebration of Shavuot, which can be enumerated using the mneumonic of the Hebrew word acharit (אחרית‎, “last”). These include the reading of a liturgical poem and from the Book of Ruth, the consumption of dairy foods (like cheesecake, blitzes, and kreplach), the decoration of homes with flowers or greenery, and all-night Torah study. Read more about the meaning of Shavuot and its traditions.

This year, Shavuot begins the evening of Tuesday May 30th and end the evening of Thursday June 1st. Most library locations will close at 2 p.m. Tuesday 5/30 and reopen Friday 6/2.

Chag Shavuot Sameach! Happy Shavuot!

On Internships & eBooks

Me as a young librarian! (Photo by Debbie Melnick, Principal Law Librarian for New York City Civil Court Library, 2010)

Many moons ago, when I was but a young librarian and did not really know what a digital repository was and copyright laws were not yet solidified in my brain, I did a summer project for the New York City Civil Court Library as part of an internship. I was a recent graduate of library school and had never worked in a legal environment before, and was interested because I had enjoyed my Legal Librarianship class in my last semester of library school. Internships are a great way to gain much-needed experience without the pressure of a “real” position, so while I could I took advantage of many opportunities to intern and volunteer. I wanted to gain as much experience as possible before entering the working world. Continue reading

Which Way to the Bookstore?

(source)

If I had a nickel for every time a student walked into the Midtown library expecting to buy a textbook, I’d have a pocketful of change. Why do they come to this place, where shelves are lined with so many books, yet I cannot sell them a single one? Doesn’t that sound like a bibliophile’s bad riddle? (OK. Here’s one. What do you get when a librarian tosses a billion books into the ocean? …A title wave!) No seriously, where is the bookstore? Continue reading

Wild and Untouched: Hiking the Deserts of Southern California

A beautiful sunset in Death Valley National Park

My husband and I like to visit at least one National Park every year. We have visited several of them so far. In fact, it looks like we have visited 24 out of 59 parks up to now. National Parks in the United States are of great importance. They are protected vast natural beautiful lands and usually include unique geological features. They are kept wild and untouched. And they can’t be bought by real estate moguls and be destroyed by human greed. Continue reading

Touro PT Students Share Health Information Worldwide in Wikipedia Editathon

This real time counter logs each edit to Wikipedia, including those by our own PT students

Drs. Shira Wiener and Yocheved Bensinger-Brody hosted their second Wikipedia Editathon for their Doctor of Physical Therapy Program students of class 2019 on April 4th.  Like last year, in this three-hour long session, Lane Rasberry, the Wikipedian-in-Residence first briefly explained the nature of Wikipedia as a free encyclopedia that can be edited by anybody. At the same time, he clarified, Wikipedia is not a chaotic space and once an article is written or edited, its dedicated volunteer editors will check on the accuracy of any new information that has been added to Wikipedia. This is how Wikipedia controls its quality, he said. Continue reading

Earth Day: Celebrating Conservation and Nature

(CC0 image via Wikimedia)

This post was originally published on April 21, 2015. In response, Librarian Aviva Adler shared her experience celebrating the first Earth Day in 1970:

As a teenager living in the Washington DC area, I volunteered with the EPA and helped with activities for the very first Earth Day. I made a tie-dye batik “earth day” flag (haven’t seen it in years, but I’m sure it’s in a box somewhere) in my parents’ kitchen. I stood on street corners with environmental literature, educating passers-by and asking for their support and signatures on petitions to pass environmental laws. I clearly remember having collected hundreds of signatures, and then handing my clipboard full of signatures to one man who took the clipboard and threw it into the Reflecting Pool … and I remember fishing it out and trying to salvage the signatures!

Earth Day is celebrated every year on April 22nd. The purpose of Earth Day is to bring awareness to environmental issues, lobby for environmental policies, and promote changes in human behaviors in order to maintain the ecosystem. Earth Day was first celebrated on April 22, 1970. Today, it is observed in more than 192 countries with more than 1 billion people participating. It is largest civil observance in the world.

Continue reading

Put Your Best Fork Forward: March is National Nutrition Month

From eatright.org

As winter draws to a close (well, maybe) and sunnier, warmer weather begins to show up in the forecast, we’ll have more opportunities to go outside (without shivering). With spring comes the reappearance of birds, flowers, green grass, and blooming trees. This is also the time of year that we see an increasing number of runners, cyclists, and outdoor enthusiasts try to lose their winter weight and get back into shape. While exercise is an important aspect of overall health, what we put into our bodies is the most important. That makes this a fitting time of year to observe National Nutrition Month. Continue reading