Monthly Archives: September 2013

Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month in the IRC

HispanicHeritageMobullebdNational Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15th until October 15th. During this month we recognize the contributions made by Hispanic and Latino Americans as we celebrate their heritage and culture.

IMG_0057National Hispanic Heritage Month began in 1968 and starts on September 15th because that is the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico, Chile and Belize also celebrate their independence during this month.


You can share in this annual monthly tribute by learning about and clecbrating the Hispanic Americans who have influenced and enriched this country. Stop by and check out something today!

Thanks to Simona Stancov ’15 and Nicole Schubert ’15 for creating the bulletin board and Amy De La Torre ’15 for setting up the display to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.


These are just some of the books that were challenged or banned from libraries last year. All are available for check out from the IRC.

A Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, Barbara Ehrenreich

The Kite Runner, Hosseini Khaled

500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures, Elizabeth Martinez

Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi

Prep, Curtis Sittenfeld

The Glass Castle: A Memoir, Jeannette Walls

Feed, M.T. Anderson

The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky

During the week of Sept. 22nd, known as Banned Books Week, we celebrate more than thirty years of the freedom to read what we choose and to select our reading from a full array of possibilities.

This year, Banned Books Week recognizes the need for a day of awareness regarding banned websites, which is Wednesday, September 25th.

Over the years, Banned Books Week has come to be known as an educational and awareness tool surrounding the issue of banned or challenged books, but there is a growing censorship issue of overly restrictive filtering of educational websites that reaches  beyond the requirement of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA).

According to the American Library Association, students, teachers and school librarians are frustrated daily when they discover legitimate educational websites blocked by filtering software installed by their school.  Filtering websites don’t allow students the opportunity to develop skills to evaluate information from all types of sources. ALA states that relying on filters does not teach digital citizens how to be savvy searchers or how to evaluate the accuracy of information.

During Banned Books Week, take a minute to look at the following from the American Library Association website, and imagine a world without forums for information and ideas.

Library Bill of Rights

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

I. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.

II. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.

V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.

VI. Libraries that make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

Adopted June 19, 1939, by the ALA Council; amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996.

IM/Chat Help Now Available In IRC


Library patrons can now interact with the IRC’s reference librarian, Connie James-Jenkin, via real time chat on the IRC website. When Connie is available in the IRC and monitoring the online chat, there will be a box at the bottom of the IRC website that patrons can enter questions into, which Connie will answer. When the IRC is closed or Connie is unavailable, there will be a message asking patrons to email questions.

Whether patrons are looking for help with homework, or need suggestions for a book or DVD, the IM/Chat Help is available.

To use IM/Chat Help, click on the box and enter a question or request. The question or request will come up on Connie’s computer screen and she can answer immediately. If the question or request is too complicated, Connie may ask the patron to visit her in the IRC so she can work in person with the patron. Any questions or requests are welcome, and Connie anticipates that this will become a popular tool for IRC users. “Any question they can ask in person can be asked virtually,” said Connie.