A Day to Celebrate Library Assistants & Support Staff

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Touro Library Assistants, outside the entrance to the Medical Research Library of Brooklyn at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center. From left to right: Merita Verteniku, Sarah Nakar, Brandon Harrington, Ziva Romano, & Nino Rtskhiladze.

National Library Week is a time to appreciate libraries and to celebrate those who make them vibrant and welcoming community centers – library workers! A few of our own library assistants (above) had the opportunity to attend this year’s 21st Annual Library Assistants Day Celebration, sponsored by the METRO New York Library Council. Continue reading

Celebrating Spring and the Persian New Year at the same time!

Spring Blossoms
aaron-burden from Unsplash

The Persian New Year begins on the first day of Spring, which falls on March 20th this year. It is called Norooz, which translates roughly into New Day.  Though its origin goes back to the faith of Zoroastrians, this day has been celebrated for over three thousand years, by almost every Iranian, as well as by other countries that have been influenced by this Persian tradition over the centuries.  It is considered a secular holiday, and therefore religion and ethnicity differences are put aside during this time of celebration. Continue reading

Who is that masked man? Happy Purim!

image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.  Book of Esther, Hebrew, c. 1700-1800 AD - Royal Ontario Museum - DSC09614.JPG •Uploaded by Daderot Created: November 20, 2011
image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Book of Esther, Hebrew, c. 1700-1800 AD – Royal Ontario Museum – DSC09614.JPG  Uploaded by Daderot Created: November 20, 2011

On the night of Wednesday, March 20th, after having fasted all day Jews all over the world will gather in synagogues, houses of worship, places of study, and sometimes in their own homes to hear the story of Purim.

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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.

How does Daylight Savings Time affect us?

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

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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.

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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

Celebrating Sukkot

A sukkah from inside. (From Wikimedia user Muu-karhu)
A sukkah from the inside (via Wikimedia user Muu-karhu)

After the solemnity and introspection of the High Holy Days, Sukkot, the Festival of Booths, is always a treat. Like the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, I look forward to Sukkot every year because this holiday, unlike Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, is an unaltered celebration.  After the Exodus from Egypt, the ancient Jews traveled the wilderness for forty years before reaching the land of Israel. They lived in small huts called “sukkot” during this time. The holiday of Sukkot commemorates those temporary dwellings: Orthodox Jewish families build a small hut, or Sukkah, outside the house where they eat all meals for the seven days of the holiday. Many Orthodox Jews also sleep outdoors in the Sukkah. A typical Sukkah would look something like this:

(source)
(source)

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