Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month

May 18th, 2015

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and a great opportunity to experience the accomplishments, culture, and impact of Asian and Pacific Islander influence on American life. May commemorates both the immigration of the first Japanese citizens to the United States on May 7, 1843, and also marks the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869 – a feat accomplished by thousands of Chinese immigrants. But it also celebrates immigrants from anywhere in Asia, Melanesia, Micronesia, or Polynesia. Fortunately, regardless of what culture you want to explore, the library has plenty of resources for any need.

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For scholarly databases, the Asian Studies eBook Collection is a great place to start, with coverage for subjects ranging from art to history to religion.  It includes perspectives from China, Japan, Korea, Tibet, and Central, South, and Southeast Asia.  And specific aspects of culture have specialized databases, as well. For economic questions, there’s Asian Business and Reference.  For literary studies, Asian American Drama and South and Southeast Asian Literature are excellent tools.  And for cultural studies, a database like Oral History Online offers an unmediated look at Asian perspectives and personal histories.

Outside the library, there are also lots of materials on the free web. The Library of Congress and the Smithsonian both have an Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month website, which include multimedia information for scholars and special materials for teachers.  Other websites ranging from Asian Nation to the AARP offers tools, statistics, and infographics.

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And of course, if you want books, we have lots of choices there, too. You can choose from titles like Asian America: Semblance of Identity: Aesthetic Mediation in Asian American Literature by Christopher Lee, Chains of Babylon: The Rise of Asian America by Daryl Maeda, Becoming Asian American: Second-Generation Chinese and Korean American Identities by Nazli Kibria, Identity Construction among Chinese-Vietnamese Americans: Being, Becoming, and Belonging by Monica Trieu, Asian North American Identities: Beyond the Hyphen by Eleanor Ty, or Asian American X: An Intersection of Twenty-First Century Asian American Voices by Arar Han.

Any questions? Ask us at iueref@iue.edu!

One Book 2015

May 11th, 2015

The campus One Book for 2015 has been selected – it is Positive by Paige Rawl. A powerful, visceral memoir of her life, it chronicles Paige’s life with HIV and her experiences with unreasoning hate and bullying. Students and staff can get their free, IU branded copy in the library, complete with a letter of introduction from Chancellor Cruz-Uribe.

You can get a jump on fall semester and the events surrounding the One Book by reading it now. And it’s perfect summer reading – her prose is lively and quick and powerful. That’s not to say it is light reading, though – parts of it are very hard. When her HIV status is first betrayed by a friend. The relentless bullying of callous kids. Cutting her wrists in the hope of just feeling something different. Sleeping pills. It’s a serious story, with sobering ramifications.

But it’s a story of hope, not of tragedy. Of a young woman who was not conquered by the worst life had to offer. And she’ll be the first to tell you – even though there’s a lot of pain in it, it’s a positive story. Perhaps not in the sense of miscreants coming to justice. But in finding strength. Finding purpose. Living a life defined by compassion. Paige’s story reminds all of us that have struggled with loneliness, with being bullied or being an outcast, that there is light at the other end. To hang in there. That you are assuredly not alone.

The One Book events will culminate in a visit from Paige Rawl on October 27, 2015, but there’s plenty to do before then. There will be programs and lectures here on campus and in the community. You can post your own stories online. And we’ve prepared a guide of helpful resources here.

But perhaps the best way to get involved is through service. You can make a difference and take a stand against bullying. More opportunities will be posted as the year progresses, and you can contact the Center for Service-Learning at iueastsl@iue.edu to volunteer and raise awareness in our community.

Any questions about the One Book for 2015? You can ask us at liblearn@iue.edu.

one book 2015

Government Information Day

May 4th, 2015

May 7th is Government Information Day at the Indiana State Library! The ISL is using this opportunity to highlight what is available and how to use the wealth of information collected and published by the U.S. and state governments, whether you access that information through libraries or directly from government agencies.

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One huge area of government information is statistics. The federal government tracks data on numerous civilian concerns – whether you’re studying economics, demographics, criminal justice, or health, there’s something for every need. In fact, there is so much out there, it’s hard to know where to begin.  A good place to start is the portal FedStats, which includes links to statistics for over one hundred agencies on the federal, state, and local level.

But there’s more than just statistics. Looking for a job? The government has data that will give you insight on your job prospects and the nature of employment. Trying to secure additional student loans or grants? There are resources to help you find those benefits. USA.gov acts as a portal to these types of data, broken down by type of need rather than name of agency.

For databases, a source like Congressional Quarterly Researcher is a great tool for in-depth, unbiased overviews of the major issues of the day. If you’re looking for law, LexisNexis has case law and state and federal codes. History? Try American Memory from the Library of Congress. U.S. foreign policy? Try the Digital National Security Archive. Congressional documents? Try the Government Publishing Office.tunity to interact with government professional as well as their peers. “We are opening up the line of communication. While this day is geared towards librarians, it is a unique opportunity for the public to come in and talk to these professionals as well.” GID15 is a free event for anyone who wishes to attend. Librarians can earn up to six Library Education Units (LEUs) towards their certification. Go to http://ow.ly/JzLTc for FREE registration

And remember, not everything is online. Especially for older data, knowing who to contact can be vital for finding the right government information. Often, online statistics don’t go back more than a few decades, and this is especially true at the state and local level.  That’s not to say that the data doesn’t exist – just that it hasn’t been digitized and put online.  So for state data, a call or email to the Indiana State Archives (arc@icpr.in.gov) can get you on the right track. Want information from a Census after 1940? Try a federal depository library like IU Bloomington. When looking for offline information, though, be sure to give them a few days to collect the data and send it back to you!

And if you need any help, ask us at iueref@iue.edu!

Continuity of Learning

April 27th, 2015

We’ve almost finished another school year! For most students, the summer is a break. For others, it’s a chance to get a few more classes in before next year. But regardless, what you’ve learned this year isn’t going to be forgotten. You’ll build on it in the years and classes ahead.

Some of that is abstract, like learning the mindset of your chosen field, or its jargon. But some of it is more concrete. Probably, at some point, you’ll have a project that would benefit from work you’ve done before. A paper that follows up on something you researched for a previous class, or a presentation that would benefit from using some of the same sources. You’ll definitely want to be able to retrieve this material quickly, without having to start over from scratch.

Many library resources are designed to help you do just that. Lots of databases allow you to create accounts so you can save articles and whole searches to peruse later. For example, in EBSCO databases like Academic Search Premier, the link is on the red bar at the top of the screen. In ProQuest Databases, the link is called ‘My Research’, and is also at the top of the screen. In JSTOR, the button is labeled ‘Login’ and is on the right. The exact location and name of the link may look a little different, but most databases give you access to a tool like this.

proquest my research

Of course, our main doorway to research in the library are LibGuides that have been custom-made to suit the needs of individual classes. And these remain a powerful tool for you to revisit in later classes. Some LibGuides are preserved whole, with links to all the same great information, organized in the same way. Other classes change a lot from year to year and professor to professor – particularly basic classes like First Year Seminar. So LibGuides for these classes have an archive of information particular to past semesters, preserving the material you needed in a convenient place.

libguide archive

And you can maintain your own repository of useful information – retain the articles you downloaded or the bibliographies you made for your projects this year rather than deleting them, particularly in classes for your major. After all, who knows what will be useful to you next year, or the next?

If you have any questions, be sure to ask us at iueref@iue.edu!

Money Matters

April 20th, 2015

This week is Money Smart Week, a personal financial literacy initiative started in Chicago in 2001. Today, it is observed in a dozen states and is supported by the American Library Association and the Financial Planners Association. This public awareness campaign helps people, especially youth, manage their finances through numerous programs targeted at all kinds of groups and individuals.

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Many of our students are already quite experienced at budgeting, and have been managing their own households for many years. Others are new to it, though, and could use an ally. Especially our soon-to-be graduates, when the dreaded student loan repayment bills start to come! Fortunately, there are plenty of tools and resources for you to use right here in the library.

A great place to start is our financial literacy libguide. It includes articles, books, and websites of use to building your financial literacy skills, as well as material selected by our financial aid department that can help with repaying student loans. But of course, it’s only the tip of the iceberg. We have plenty more, as well – check out titles like The finance and accounting desktop guide: accounting literacy for the non-financial manager by Ralph Tiffin, Teens and credit by Roman Espejo, Taking ownership of the future: the national strategy for financial literacy, Using deliberative techniques to teach financial literacy by Nancy Claxton, or PISA 2012 Results: Students and Money: Financial Literacy Skills for the 21st Century for helpful tips and tools. There’s something for every need.

financial literacy books

And as always, if you have any questions, please ask us at iueref@iue.edu!