Archive for May, 2008

NJCU is Ten Years Old Today

On May 29, 1998, the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education granted university status to the then named Jersey City State College. At the same time, the new university restructured itself into three separate colleges. Read the history of NJCU here as well as about Jersey City in general. We would be remiss, however, if we did not mention that today also marks the 55th anniversary of the first successful climb to the summit of Mt Everest. Both the New York Times and the National Geographic sites have a great deal of information on this historic accomplishment. Also, visit the Centre for Altitude, Space and Extreme(CASE) environment medicine and look at their work with Everest.

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Most-used Databases at Guarini Library

An internal report on the most-used databases in the Library since July 2007 reveals the following top ten databases in terms of usage(in descending order): Academic Search Premier; Education Fulltext; CINAHL with Full Text; LexisNexis Academic; Wilson OmniFile; Facts on File; ERIC; ProQuest Education Journals; PsychArticles; and Business Source Premier. This almost mirrors exactly the final tallies from last year. Is anyone surprised by these rankings.? Do you wonder where your favorite database falls in this report? Just leave us a comment.

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Today in History – The Lone Eagle Lands

 A little after 10PM on May 21, 1927, a 25-year-old pilot sets his single engine plane down gently in a landing field in France. Sleep-deprived, numb and cold, he makes history by becoming the first person to fly alone over the Atlantic Ocean and becomes the world’s first media superstar. He is Charles “Lucky Lindy” Lindbergh. Flying in The Spirit of St Louis which had an average cruising speed (108 mph) approximating many of today’s vehicles as they hurtle down the Turnpike, Lindbergh was at the controls for over 33 hours, navigating with little more than a compass and pre-plotted sailing charts. Awarded the Medal of Honor and the first recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross, jumped from captain in the US Army Air Corps Reserve to bird colonel, Lindbergh is feted wherever he goes.

Tiring of the attention, he and his wife, along with their young son, Charles, Jr, retreat to High Fields, their recently built estate in Hopewell, NJ. On the night of March 1, 1932, Charles, Jr is kidnapped from the house and though ransom money is paid, the child is never returned. A body is found months later in the nearby woods, identified as Charles, Jr, and quickly buried. This “Crime of the Century” is followed by the “Trial of the Century.” Lindbergh alienates many with his views on Nazi Germany and the Jewish people and further distances himself with his isolationist views. Public reaction is typified by this editorial in the Borger(Texas) Daily Record of April 25, 1941: “It seems that Charles A Lindbergh never loses an opportunity to take a slap at Great Britain. On the other hand, there seems to be no record of [him]…belittling or criticizing Hitler….”(Hundreds of similar articles and letters will be found in his FBI files.) Having resigned his commission before the entry of the United States into World War II, he is rebuffed by President Roosevelt as he seeks re-instatement.

Lindbergh turns to the private sector as a civilian consultant and actually makes combat runs in both fighters and bombers, recording the downing of a Japanese aircraft. His innovative tips help American flyers during the war and allow them to keep their planes in the air longer. After the war, he continues his reclusive life, publishing a memoir entitled The Spirit of St. Louis which goes on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1954, the same year he is recommissioned as a brigadier general in the US Air Force. In later years  he becomes an ardent conservationist and establishes a foundation to further his work. As his Pulitzer-winning biographer, A. Scott Berg, remarked in an interview: “I think he was a very flawed human being, who, at the same time, lived an utterly unique, fascinating life. I don’t know a soul who packed more living into 72 years than Charles Lindbergh did.”

For additional information, please consult these two PBS sites: Chasing the Sun and the American Experience – Lindbergh. Also, check out this extensive New York Times section (free registration required) on Lindbergh as well as charleslindbergh.com and Lindbergh Trial (from NJ.com).

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Summer 2008 Library Hours

Guarini Library will have the following hours for the summer:

Summer I(May 19-June 23) & Summer II(July 7-August 7)

Sunday 11-5; Monday – Thursday 7:30-9

Intersession hours:

Monday-Thursday 8-5; with the exception of June 30-July 3 when we will be open from 8:30-4:30.     

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Graduation Day

Tomorrow, May 14, over 1500 students will graduate from NJCU at the Izod Center in the Meadowlands. All pertinent information on the graduation will be found here. To find out who is giving commencement speeches elsewhere, try this site. Commencement speeches can have great import; for example, the Marshall Plan for rebuilding Europe was announced by George Marshall in his 1947 speech at Harvard. This short speech, only 1200 words, was practically ignored by reporters present, but those in Europe who heard excerpts from the speech via the BBC immediately recognized the implications of the address for what it really was – America’s intention to bring Europe back from the devastating horrors of World War II. (Read about “The Ultimate Commencement Address” here.)  Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s “A World Split Apart” address at the 1978 Harvard commencement revealed his disappointment with Western culture. And let us not forget that US presidents are sought-after commencement day speakers as can be seen at this site which features speakers back to Woodrow Wilson.

“In preparation for today, I read a number of other commencement addresses. There seems to be an obligatory reference to Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. And also to give the perception that you are intelligent, you don’t actually have to BE intelligent, but just create the perception. This can usually be accomplished by a reference to Kafka-even if you have never read any of his…or her works.”  -Bob Newhart, Commencement Address, Catholic University, May 17, 1997.

 

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Fires Codes Online(NFPA)

 Founded in 1896, the National Fire Protection Association is the world’s largest organization devoted to fire safety. Comprised of over 81,000 individuals and 80 trade/industrial groups, the NFPA’s 300 codes “influence every building, process, service, design and installation in the United States”(from NFPA site). Its codes are the de facto fire codes for many municipalities and jurisdictions in this country; they are essentially the national fire codes. Guarini Library is proud to announce that we have online access to all the NFPA codes, and are one of but a handful of academic libraries that have this resource electronically. Just go our database by title section on the homepage, scroll down the alphabetical list until you reach the NFPA Codes Online, and you are good to go. You may search by code, by the master index, or by full text. And as long as you have your Gothic ID number, you may access this resource remotely. Invaluable for the fire sciences, public safety officials, or for anyone who proudly carries the appellation of “first responder.” While you are using this tool, please use it in conjunction with our fire science online resources subject guide. Read a chapter excerpt from Dennis Smith’s Report from Engine Co. 82, a bestseller in its day, and one of the most gripping reads ever. “Fire is a major national problem….Appallingly, the richest and most technologically advanced nation in the world leads all industrialized countries in per capita deaths and property loss from fire.” – from America Burning: The Report of The National Commission on Fire Prevention and Control(1973)

 

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New Jersey Hall of Fame

 What do Thomas Edison (this site allows you to search over 100,000 digital documents relating to him), Harriet Tubman (find her autobiography here), Albert Einstein (access to some of his papers is here), Buzz Aldrin (read his “Roadmap to Mars” here), Clara Barton (read some of her works here and here, and Vince Lombardi (read some of his quotes) all have in common? They, along with nine other worthies, are the first inductees into the New Jersey Hall of Fame. Although the Hall is only virtual, there are plans to build a physical structure as well. Congratulations to all the inductees! And do not forget to visit the NJCU Athletic Hall of Fame.

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