Archive for Events

2011 National Hispanic Heritage Month

Much data on Hispanics in this country are available through this Census Bureau Facts for Features page. Other valuable resources include:, Smithsonian Institution, Celebrate Hispanic Heritage (from Scholastic), Hispanic Properties/Heritage in the National Parks (National Park Service), Hispanic Heritage (from Gale, including biographies and timelines), the Library of Congress (numerous links to collections), EDSITEment (provides a guide to many important sites), and Infoplease.

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New Jerseyans Who Finished the 2011 Boston Marathon

For those interested, the official race site has a searchable page where you can see who finished, their checkpoint times, and their official times. You can search by name, bib number, and by city and state as well. See who crossed the finish line from New Jersey; even more specifically, see if Jersey City was represented.(BTW, we were.)

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Nuclear Power and Japan

With the drama in Japan still unfolding, we’d like to supply you with some informative sites. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission maintains a reading room of pertinent documents on the U.S. nuclear industry. This site can be supplemented with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s updated news section on Japan along with its many technical documents which are freely available. The U.S. Energy Information Agency provides Japan: Country Analysis that investigates Japan’s energy sector. Google Crisis Response includes a person locator, maps, and message boards while How Nuclear Power Works is an understandable primer on this topic and includes a section on the pros and cons of nuclear power; another good source is from NPR: Primer: Japan’s Nuclear Crisis. Come here to find the number of nulcear plants operating in New Jersey. News sources include The Guardian, BBC News, Reuters, The Washington Post, The New York Times and CNN.

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2010 Year in Review

Our previous entry dealt with the highlights and lowlights in New Jersey. This addition has a broader context: 2010 Images of the Year (Newsweek); 50 Moments of 2010: A Week by Week News Chronicle (Time); 2010: Year in Review (CNN); 2010: The Year in Pictures (The New York Times); Year in Review: 2010 (Infoplease); Year in Review: Science Stories of 2010 (NPR); The Year in Review 2010 (American Libraries); 2010 in Review (The Atlantic); 2010 in Review (Business Week); 2010 Top 100 Global Thinkers (Foreign Policy); Women’s Health 2010: A Year in Review (CDC); and 2010 Year-End Review (Wall Street Journal). But no assessment can be called complete without the inclusion of Dave Barry’s unique perspective on the past year’s proceedings.

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Expanded Computer Services in Guarini Library

In addition to the 18 PCs on the 4th floor equipped with Microsoft Word, the Library has added another 16PCs on the 2d floor. However, not only do these more recent installations have Word, they all have Excel, Access, and PowerPoint as well. All 34 computers also have Internet access and are attached to printers. Thank you, students, for your responses to our surveys; we really do listen to what you have to say!

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2009 Class of the New Jersey Hall of Fame

Last night the 2009 inductees were presented. Their biographies, less one, may be read on the Hall’s website. Information on the sole recipient not highlighted on the list as of this posting, Lieutenant Brian Brennan, is available from another site; Lientenant Brennan received the Hall’s first “Unsung Hero” award. Coverage of the ceremony is available from, along with a video of Lieutenant Brennan’s speech.

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Happy 200th Birthday, Charles Darwin

February 12 saw the birth of two towering figures in history:  Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin. The Linnean Society, where  Darwin and Alfred Wallace Russell both delivered papers on July 1, 1858 outlining their theories of evolution in natural selection, is holding symposiums in his honor. Darwin’s complete works are online, including all six editions of his Origin of Species. The BBC has a whole section devoted to him, as does the New York Times. PBS contributes the Evolution Library while Berkeley adds its Understanding Evolution site, and the National Academies contribute the very extensive Evolution Resources. Nature, Science, Guardian, New Scientist, Scientific American, Discover, and Forbes all offer special reports/features on him. Books about him are here.

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The Great Lemon Shortage

Have you, gentle reader, while walking the aisles of your local supermarket, remarked on the steep price increases in lemons(almost double) and the near-impossibility of procuring lemon juice from concentrate in its distinctive green plastic containers? Well, we did. In fact, so astounded were we by the absence of one of our staples, that we went to another food establishment and were met with the same shelve inadequacy. Conspiracy you say? Far from it! Due to a series of weather-related catastrophes, lemon production has been curtailed severely. Starting with a devastating January 2007 freeze in California to an equally deleterious temperature dip in Argentina, and combined with severe droughts in Spain, all these events have added up to a global shortage of lemons. The latest figures show a worldwide drop from 4,640,000 metric tons in 2006/2007 to 3,675,000 metric tons in 2007/2008. And the forecasts, while slightly hopeful, are only so if certain criteria are met. So if you see lemons and lemon juice, pick ‘em up.  And remember that this is not the only global shortage we have seen; look at what happened to lentils and rice. Additional information may be found here:  Citrus: World Markets and Trade. Reduced Lemon Output Brings Down Total Citrus Production(July 2008); Lemon Shortage Not Over Yet(November 2007); Argentina Citrus Semi-Annual Report(May 2008); Global Shortage Means It’s A Sour Summer Ahead for Lemon Lovers(June 2008); Fruit and Tree Nuts Situation and Outlook Yearbook 2008(October 2008); Sunkist 2007 Annual Report; and Weekly Market Update Report(January 15 2009)

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The Macintosh is 25 Years Old

On January 24, 1984 , Apple unveiled its much-awaited personal computer – the Mac. Fronted by an advertisting campaign featuring one the best commercials ever made – “1984” directed by Ridley Scott, the Mac challenged other computer makers with its user-friendly features. See Wired Magazine’s 25 Years of Mac as well as the similarly titled 25 Years of the Mac. Other sites of interest: Making the Macintosh: Technology and Culture in Silicon Valley; PBS’ Triumph of the Nerds; A History of the Personal Computer; Apple’s 1984: The Introduction of the Macintosh in the Cultural History of Personal Computers; and the New York Times on Apple.

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Happy 200th Birthday, Edgar Allan Poe

Poe was born on January 19, 1809. During his brief life he: attended West Point for a semester; created the genre of detective fiction, foreshadowing Sherlock Holmes; helped creat the horror genre; contributed to the development of science fiction; was one of America’s first shory story writers; was one of America’s first literary critics, emphasizing style; and popularized cryptography. His peripatetic life has allowed many cities from Richmond to Boston to claim his as their own. The most comprehensive site to find his writings is at the Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore; it contains a wealth of additional information on Poe as well. The Free Library of Philadelphia(one of the cities which claims Poe as its own) provides listings of Poe-related materials and web sites. The Edgar Allan Poe Cottage, where he spent the last years of his life, has its own site with a picture of the dwelling. contains story summaries, quotes, a timeline, and a wordlist, among other features; this is a site well worth visiting. The New York Times has a section devoted to Poe containing news articles and links to outside sources. An extensive Poe Webliography is current through 2007. A Poe entry from the distinguished Cambridge History of English and American Literature, though outdated, does provide salient information. Poe as a character in others’ writings is highlighted here.

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European Digital Library Opens 11/20, Closes 11/20

So great was the anticipation for Europeana, the name for the European Digital Library, that when it was opened yesterday more than 10 million hits per hour crashed the site. A planned repository of millions of texts, images, sound, and film, Europeana will become a resource of the first order when it is finally back up. Over 1000 institutions from the European Union have contributed digitized collections to this vast multilingual undertaking. A nice review of the project is found here. Europeana is slated to go back up in mid-December. In the meantime, check out our de facto national library, the Library of Congress and its digital treasures.

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Today in History: War of the Worlds Radio Broadcast

On the evening of October 30, 1938, listeners to the Mercury Theatre on the Air sat spell-bound and horrified as initial reports came in of an alien invasion from Mars. With eyewitness reports from the landing site in West Windsor, New Jersey, this radio broadcast, heard across the continental United States, had more than a few panicky citizens heading for their basements. Based on the classic H.G. Wells novel – The War of the Worlds- this fictitious radio adaptation, proved the power of this nascent media. It also made the reputation of its presenter, one Orson Welles. You can read the radio script, hear an audio of the original program, or read the original 1898 novel. To listen to all the Mercury Theatre radio productions, please visit here. Read the New York Times report on reaction to the broadcast.

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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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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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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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“Were there no women – only queens?” – Women’s History Month

whm.jpg This plaintive query, quoted on page 142 of The School Textbook: Geography, History, and Social Studies highlights the underrepresentation of women in textbooks used in this country and in others. While some remediation of this grave lack has occurred, much more needs to be done as is witnessed by the AAUW report, Gender Gaps, and the well-researched article by Linda Jones Black, “Textbooks, Gender, and World History.” If you believe that discussing the contents of textbooks is not an important matter, then we direct your attention to this Congressional hearing on textbooks. This redress of gender bias is necessary so that we may all remember where we came from and who brought us this far. Without an accurate depiction of the past, the future must, of necessity, be distorted as well. The Library has an excellent online guide to women’s studies.

Here are some other sites to visit as well: the Library of Congress has an entire section devoted to women’s history; the Encyclopaedia Britannica weighs in with its own guide; the Census Bureau provides us with facts and figures; the Gale Co provides us with some additional information; and let us not forget the National Women’s History Project.

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Happy Birthday, Susan B Anthony

susan1.jpg Today is her birthday. Besides checking out the Library’s books by and about her, not to mention numerous journal articles, you might want to see her six-volume work (as edited by Elizabeth Cady Stanton) – History of Woman Suffrage - online. Also, please visit the Library of Congress and view “Votes for Women,” which contains selections from the National American Woman Suffrage Association.

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ALA Annual Conference

seeyouat.gif Starting today several librarians from NJCU will join tens of thousands of librarians from around the country and the world in Washington DC for the American Librarian Association  Annual Conference. Conference highlights will include the premiere of The Hollywood Librarian on Friday night and the Opening General Session with Bill Bradley. Other speakers include Ken Burns, Armistead Maupin, Marian Wright Edelman and Julie Andrews.

This YouTube video gives you an idea of what it is like when librarians converge on a city. The video shows librarians attending the Midwinter Meeting in Seattle, which is about one third the size of the Annual Conference. If you would like to keep up with what’s going on at Annual, these librarians will be blogging the event.

 See you in DC!

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NJCU Graduation Photos

img_7436.jpg Our own Lou Tiscornia has taken some wonderful graduation photos. See them here.  Thanks, Lou! The Jersey Journal also covered the NJCU graduation and you can see their photos here.

Those of you who have not graduated yet might want to take a look at some of the library’s instructional resources. Pay special attention to how to access the databases from home and tips for searching Academic Search Premier. Also see these EBSCO videos on basic and advanced searching using their databases. Knowing how to use the library will help you get better grades, and we all know that’s what really matters, right? ;=)

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Congratulations Graduates!

NJCU celebrates commencement today at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, NJ.  Nearly 1,600 students will graduate and their names will be announced. For more information, see the university’s official commencement site.

For memorable commencement speeches, take a look at this archive, which includes commencement speeches by Bono, Madelaine Albright, Desmond Tutu and Elie Wiesel.

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