Total Eclipse of the Sun

Solar Eclipse (CC0 image via Pixabay)

 

It’s the end of the world! Actually no, it’s just a solar eclipse, but not just any solar eclipse: a total solar eclipse. A total solar eclipse will pass over the United States on Monday, August 21st. For a brief amount of time, around 2.5 minutes, the moon will block out the sun, the brightest stars and planets will be visible, and animals and insects will believe it is nighttime. One of the more spectacular features of a total eclipse is being able to view the corona (outer ring caused by its atmosphere) of the sun for a brief period. It is a sight to be seen. Continue reading

The Sky’s the Limit! Association of Jewish Libraries Annual Conference

On June 19, 20, and 21, the Association of Jewish Libraries held its annual conference. The Association of Jewish Libraries has chapters all over the world, ranging from all regions of the United States to Europe, the U.K., and Israel. The annual conference is a chance for Judaica Librarians from all these chapters to assemble and exchange information about the dynamic field of Judaica Librarianship, from Hebrew day school libraries and university libraries to synagogue libraries. Continue reading

Ice Cream Social: Facts for National Ice Cream Month

(CC0 image via Pexels)

Being that it is summer I figured I would write a lighthearted blog on a lighthearted topic – Ice Cream.

July is National Ice Cream Month. Yes – National Ice Cream Month (and National Ice Cream Day) are officially recognized holidays designated in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan after receiving a joint resolution from Congress on the matter. It seems that even Congress can agree on their love for this sweet treat. Continue reading

4th of July Weekend

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

Happy Independence Day from Touro Libraries!

Though library locations will be open on Monday, if you’re looking to get a jump start on the holiday celebrations, know that John Adams would have had your back. He insisted that July 2nd (the day the first of the signers affixed their names to the Declaration) was the proper anniversary. For this and more trivia to share around the barbecue or at the beach this weekend, look back on our 5 Independence Day Facts post.

Touro Libraries will be closed on Tuesday July 4th. Have a safe and happy holiday!

A Trip to Seattle: The MLA 2017 Annual Conference

MLA ’17

Over Memorial Day weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the annual conference of the Medical Library Association in Seattle, Washington. I was there to present a poster on a study my NYMC colleagues and I are currently undertaking, and also to learn from other librarians about trends in the medical library field.

I had never been to an annual conference before, and I was amazed at how packed the schedule was. Luckily, MLA created an app just for the conference, in addition to their print program, which was invaluable in keeping track of all the sessions offered. From the opening ceremony Saturday night until the end of my poster presentation on Tuesday afternoon, I was constantly on the move from one interesting program to the next! It would take a veerrry long blog post to cover everything, so I’ll just go over some highlights of my trip. Continue reading

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.

What Are You Reading This Summer?

(CC0 image)

One great way to spend a few free summer hours is to do some fun reading. The summer is a great time to fuel your personal interests by reading some new and exciting things. It’s also a good way for students to keep their minds engaged and continue learning over break. With the end of classes, students often find themselves with the opportunity to read items not mandated by their course curriculum. The LCW students that I spoke to are planning to read some great things this summer! Here is what a few of our students are looking forward to reading during their time away from classes: Continue reading

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!

Memorial Day: Honoring Our Fallen Soldiers

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A video from Military.com

Memorial Day will be observed on Monday May 29th. In 2000, the U.S. Congress and President Clinton enacted the “National Moment of Remembrance Act,” P.L. 106-579. According to Military.com, “The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation. As Moment of Remembrance founder Carmella LaSpada states: ‘It’s a way we can all help put the memorial back in Memorial Day.'”