Starrett City Staff & Students Remember Rita Hilu

Rita Hilu at the 2017 library staff meeting.
Rita Hilu at the 2017 library staff meeting.

We asked Starrett City staff and students to share their memories of Rita Hilu, our library assistant who passed away recently. Here are their words:

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Remembering the History of Memorial Day

Source: Cyberscooty, 1993

Memorial Day, Monday, May 28, is not just the unofficial start of summer: it is a time to reflect upon those we have lost in times of war defending our country. There was not always a Memorial Day; it has gone through many incarnations. Continue reading

An Israel Travelogue

When temperatures hit the 30s °C (that’s 80s-90s °F), it’s time to leave my air-conditioned, windowless library located two floors underground in the Givat Shaul neighborhood of Jerusalem, and go touring.

This is how I found myself on an air-conditioned tour bus this past summer with former New Yorker and veteran tour guide Shalom Pollack, traveling through the southern Hevron hills, where the heat was in the low 40s °C (104-106 °F) in the shade!

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The Olympic Games

Person skating in a rink
The author, skating.

Every four years, I am tickled with glee that the Winter Olympics have arrived. I have come to discover that people prefer either the Summer or the Winter Olympics. They can like both, of course, but they are usually more partial to one. I am definitely more partial to the Winter Olympics, which is surprising, since I hate the cold. But there is something about how winter sports make the dark, cold season cozy and celebratory that helps me make it to spring.

About 3 years ago, I took up speed skating as a way to lose weight. I learned that the activity burns 500 calories an hour. I figured if I am going to suffer through a workout, I might as well get the biggest bang for my buck. The first time I tried it, my legs felt like someone was taking a blowtorch to them. My feet were sore with blisters. And my nose was running like a faucet (ice skating makes your nose run – bring tissues). I realized this was going to be a slow buildup of my body adjusting to this new activity. I read over some books on athletic training to get an idea on how to proceed. The key was to take it slow and steady. I skated in 10 minute segments with 10 minutes of rest. Gradually, I worked up to 15 minute segments with 5 minutes of rest.  Eventually I got to the point where I am at today which is a solid 90 minutes of skating with a 5 minute rest in the middle. It is amazing how the human body adapts and alters.

The following eBooks are available on sports training at Touro College Library:

Sports Performance. Kanosue, Kazuyuki.

Nutrition and Enhanced Sports Performance : Muscle Building, Endurance, and Strength.  Bagchi, Debasis.

Strength and Conditioning for Sports Performance. Jeffreys, Ian.

But getting back to the Olympics. The Olympics has always been about more than just athletic stamina and grace. It is also an extravaganza of politics and national agendas mixing. The underlying current is about the nations of the world interacting, competing, and making statements about other nations. In a way, the Olympics is a political summit. And as the 2018 Winter Olympics wrapped up in Pyeongchang this week, we saw a thawing of tensions between North and South Korea as both nations decided to have their athletes march into the opening ceremonies under a united Korean flag. They also had a united hockey team. However, North and South Korea marched out of the games separately at the closing ceremonies leaving many to ponder the message. In addition to the drama surrounding Korea, Russian athletes had to compete under the Olympic flag due to doping scandals in their homeland. This opened a lot of discussion and controversy regarding the IOC (International Olympic Committee) engaging in favoritism and corruption. The political football of the Olympics is not new. It has been a tradition since the Olympics started.

The following eBooks are available on the politics of the Olympics:

Activism and the Olympics : dissent at the games in Vancouver and London Boykoff, Jules.

The Beijing Olympics : Soft and Hard Power in Global Politics. Caffrey, Kevin.

Designing the Olympics : Representation, Participation, Contestation. Traganou, Jilly.

As far as the 2020 Summer Olympics go, someone else will have to blog about them. I am too busy celebrating summer to watch.

Contributed by Annette Carr, Business Librarian, 65 Broadway.

Using Images on Blogs and Social Media (or: Pictures on the Internet Aren’t Copyrighted, Right?)

So you’ve written a blog post (or want to make a Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram post). You’re proud of the writing, any external information you referenced is properly sourced, and you’re feeling good about posting it for all the world to see. But first, you want pictures to illustrate your excellent prose. Just go to Google, right? After all, if it’s on the internet, it’s free for all to use!

Copyright symbol held by a person
Copyright symbol. Public domain image from user 3dman_eu onPixabay.

Well….nope. Most pictures you find on the Web are, in fact, under copyright! It doesn’t matter if they don’t have that little © somewhere on them – they are still copyrighted the moment they are created. What does that mean for you? It means that, without the copyright holder’s permission, you can’t just take something you found on one internet site and stick it into your blog post. This is a violation of copyright, and something that could potentially get you into legal trouble.

“What about fair use?”, you cry. “My blog post is educational!” That’s great, but it’s not quite enough. It’s possible that under the principles of fair use, you would be able to use copyrighted images. Take a look at each and weigh whether you think your use falls under these fair use guidelines from the U. S. Copyright Office:

  1. Purpose and character of the use, including whether the use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  2. Nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. Amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole;
  4. Effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

Fair use is kind of vague, so just because you think your work falls under it doesn’t mean that the copyright holder does.

Man wagging his finger in disapproval
Image by Ahd Photography on Flickr. Licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0 (

Say that you’ve determined your use of images in your blog post is not quite fair use, so you can’t actually put them in your blog post. What can you do? There are plenty of public domain (that means NOT under copyright) and Creative-Commons licensed images (that means you can use the image, without permission,  as long as you attribute the source and link to the license, and maybe a couple of other restrictions if you’re a commercial entity or want to make modifications) out there!

Man holding both hands in air on mountain
Imagine the freedom you’ll feel not worrying whether you’re violating copyright! (Photo by Dino Reichmuth on Unsplash)

Here are some websites that have these kinds of images:

You can also search by Usage Rights on the Advanced Search of Google Images.

There are so many places to get licensed and (truly) free images, there’s no need to pull copyrighted images off of random websites and possibly get yourself in trouble.

Just a note about this post: I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice.


U. S. Copyright Office (n. d.). Copyright in general. Retrieved from

U. S. Copyright Office (n. d.). More information on fair use. Retrieved from


Contributed by Carrie Levinson, Scholarly Communications Librarian, Midtown


Happy Lunar New Year!

Happy Lunar New Year!

The Lunar New Year, or “Chinese New Year” falls this year on Friday, February 16th, 2018. Traditionally, this holiday marks the beginning of spring and is celebrated throughout the course of a week or longer ending with the Lantern Festival.  This year it starts from 2/16 to 3/2, 2018 and it is the year of the dog. Those born under the dog are considered “communicative, serious and responsible in work”.  During the holiday families clean their homes and gather for festive meals and revelry. Learn more about Spring Festival traditions by reading another of our blog posts in Celebrating the Lunar New Year.


Staff Profiles: Heather Hilton

Bay Shore Librarian Heather Hilton

As a Long Island native, it is an honor to work for Touro College School of Health Sciences in Bay Shore NY. Being afforded the opportunity to interact with all of the aspiring professionals and assist them in their research as a librarian fills me with joy.

I became interested in the field of Library and Information Science when I returned to Stony Brook University to earn my Bachelors of Arts in Humanities as an adult student. I learned that I love information and assisting others in locating their own resources. As an undergraduate student, I was allowed to take two graduate level courses in Library Science and these cemented my love of the field and strengthened my resolve to continue my education.  Attending Queens College in Flushing I earned my Masters of Library Science.

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Vilna Discovery: Planning a Workshop

On the 8th of January 2018, the Association for Jewish Libraries’ New York chapter, NYMA (AJL-NYMA), held its annual Reference Workshop on the Vilna Discovery of lost Jewish documents at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.

Front entrance of YIVO by Gryffindor – This panoramic image was created with Autostitch. Stitched images may differ from reality., Public Domain.


As a Judaica Librarian I have been attending these workshops for years, but this one was special. It was the first one I helped put together as Reference Workshop Co-coordinator for AJL-NYMA. I accepted the position shortly after the AJL annual conference last year and naturally had no idea what I was going to do or how to do it! Continue reading

Which Way to the Bookstore? Contains new and updated information.


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