Author Archives: nluebke

Banned Books Week is September 27, 2015 – October 3, 2015

001Banned Books Week brings attention to the books that have been banned or challenged by groups or individuals. This year the focus of Banned Books Week is on banned or challenged Young Adult books.

002The display in the IRC has challenged or banned books from the library collection and a list of additional Young Adult books that have been challenged or banned that are not part of the library collection. There are also printouts explaining why some of the books have been challenged or banned throughout the years.

003Stop by to learn about books that have been banned or challenged and exercise your freedom to read by checking out one of the books on display. There are also free “Banned” bookmarks on the table for anyone who is interested and in need of a bookmark.




Retired Astronaut Michael J. Massimino Will Speak at IMSA

003On Friday, September 18, 2015, former astronaut Michael J. Massimino, will speak at a midday assembly.

The retired astronaut is now an engineering professor at Columbia University, and will look familiar to “The Big Bang Theory” television show watchers. Massimino appeared as himself in the series when Howard went to space several seasons ago.

Massimino, who has M.S. and PhD. degrees from MIT and a B.S. degree from Columbia University, is a former NASA astronaut who went on two space shuttle flights to repair the Hubble Telescope. His space flights took place in 2002 and 2009.

The PBS program, “NOVA,” followed Massimino and the other astronauts who took the Atlantis to work on the Hubble space station in 2009.  During an interview with PBS before the “NOVA” program aired, Massimino said that “NOVA” followed the astronauts for a year and a half, covering the training for the Hubble mission, the astronauts getting ready for the flight and   their activities on the mission.

“We changed batteries, changed gyroscopes and repaired some instruments on Hubble,” said Massimino in the PBS interview. He also mentioned that he took five space walks, one of which was five hours long, on the Hubble mission.

002Follow Massimino on Twitter at: @Astro_Mike, where he writes about all things space and science. Or explore space and Hubble by checking out any of the space related books on display in the IRC near the Reference Desk.

Display created by Jeanette Clark and Connie James-Jenkin.


This Saturday, September 12, 2015, the IRC will be open as part of Parent Day. Students are welcome to use the library from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

On Parent Day, parents follow a mock class schedule of their child for a half day. Not only will parents get the feel of being an IMSA student, they can also get a taste of the classes their child is taking this semester.

While the library is open for this half day event, stop by to spend some time studying or check out the latest book, DVD or CD.


eBooks and Audio Books Available Through the IRC

001Sometimes it’s just too much trouble to physically go to the library and check out a book. Now it’s easier than ever to find something to read or listen to without ever leaving your room.

Since late 2014 the IRC has been one of the Illinois libraries that is a part of eRead, which is expanding ebook access across Illinois through the Illinois State Library system. The program is funded by the Secretary of State’s office, and the IRC currently has access to 20,000 ebooks and audio books.

To access the fiction and non-fiction  ebooks or audio books, go to: Click on the check mark at the top left of the screen to see what’s available, click on the “e” in the circle to see what ebooks are available, and click on the headphone icon to see what audio books are available.

In order to download an ebook or audiobook, click on “Download the new Axis360 app” in the lower right hand corner. The app can be downloaded to a phone, tablet, eReader or a Windows computer. Use the IMSA barcode from your picture ID to check out the book.

You can also click on the selections along the left side of the Magic Wall page, “Featured”, “Fiction”, etc. to see what’s available in those categories. When you’ve found a title you’re interested in, put the cursor over the book cover to see how many copies are offered and if any are available. If the copy is in use, you can click on “add hold” to place a hold on the book. You will receive an email when the book is available. The books can be downloaded for 21 days and when that time is up the download will disappear from your device.

The  handy bookmark pictured at the top of this page can be found at the Reference Desk, and Reference Librarian, Connie James-Jenkin, will be happy to help you if you have any questions about downloading an ebook or audiobook.

IRC Ready for the New School Year

The new school year has begun and the IRC is ready to serve the new class of Sophmores and the returning Juniors and Seniors at IMSA. As part of Welcome Week, tours of the IRC were conducted by IRC staff members to introduce new students to the wonders of the IRC.

004Connie James-Jenkin, the IRC Collection Development and Reference Librarian, set up a table to welcome IMSA students, which is stocked with books that can be checked out. There are also plenty of fiction and non-fiction books in the library stacks. If anyone needs help or a suggestion, please ask any of the IRC staff for help finding a book, magazine, movie or music CD.

001On Tuesday, August 18, 2015, groups of Sophmores toured the IRC and were introduced to staff members. The students learned what’s available in the library collection, the different hardware available for use such as computers and printer/copiers, the hours the library is open and the services provided by the IRC staff. Students were encouraged to approach IRC staff members with any questions.

003Jean Bigger, Technical Services Supervisor, and Nancy Pavlik, who works with Jean in Technical Services, introduced the students to all the different areas of the IRC and what’s available in each area.

002Paula Garrett, IRC Coordinator, and Connie James-Jenkin, IRC Collection Development and Reference Librarian, talked to the students about how to search for books. Students were encouraged to approach Connie and Paula with any questions they had about research.

The IRC staff welcomes all who are looking for a quiet place to study. Staff members enjoy sharing suggestions for a good book, movie or music if you’re looking for some diversion from class work. Students who want to stretch their creative muscles on the computer are welcome to use the computers in the IRC, which have software such as Print Shop on them that make creative endeavors easier.

Come by and check out the IRC!


IRC Team Recognized for Read-In Events

003At Community Learning Day on June 1, 2015, the IRC Team was recognized for their efforts in organizing and hosting the three Read-In events that were held in the IRC this semester.

Three Read-Ins were held, and all were covered live on this blog. In February, the first Read-In was held during Black History Month. This was followed in March with a celebration of Women’s History Month and the last Read-In was held at the end of April and combined a celebration of National Poetry Month and Cinco de Mayo.

After the Multicultural Education Specialist position was developed last year, a team of the IRC, President’s Office, English Department and Peer Multicultural Educators was formed to address these objectives: “integrate the diversity focused Standards of Significant Learning II.A and V.A into the curriculum of all academic disciplines where appropriate; and develop IMSA students, faculty, staff, alumni and parents who understand, respect and appreciate cultural and religious differences and who can communicate and interact effectively across these areas.”

The Read-Ins allowed cultural literature to be shared and provided a time and place for the community to come together to celebrate the diversity of our academy. The Read-Ins brought together faculty, staff and students, who shared their love of the written word, whether it was their own creative endeavor or a much loved work of a favorite author.

The impact of the Read-Ins wasn’t limited to a couple of hours in one day that combined a social and educational event. Multicultural Library Guides that include the English Departments’ perspectives on the importance of Multicultural literature were developed and are now accessible to the entire IMSA community.

The recognition awards nominating statement noted that “the Diversity Plan team modeled the notion of collaboration, demonstrated diversity of perspectives and celebrated cultural diversity. It was both an educational and social experience that will continue in the upcoming years focusing on the multitude of diversity that is represented at IMSA and beyond.”



IRC Work Service Students Celebrated

CelebrationOn Wednesday, May 24, 2015, all the IMSA students who had worked in the IRC during the school year to meet their work service obligation, were thanked with a delectable spread of dips and chips, lemonade and a variety of sweets, which were supplied by the IRC staff. There was plenty of music and laughter throughout the afternoon as the students relaxed and shared their plans for summer break or talked about the college they would be attending in the fall. A good time was had by all, and it was a pleasant way to end the school year.

(Photo credit to Angela Richardson)

New DVDs in the IRC

002Some new movies, recently released  on DVD, and some old favorites reordered for the IRC are now available for checkout.

008Whatever you’re in the mood for, we’ve got a movie or documentary for you! There’s comedy, drama and the latest season of “Downton Abbey.”

005Stop by the IRC and check out a DVD today.





National Poetry Month Read-In in the IRC

Blogging live from the National Poetry Month Celebration in the IRC, which is being held from noon until 12:45 p.m. on Tues., April 28, 2015.

IMSA English teacher Devon Madon opened the poetry read-in by explaining that Latino poetry rejects traditional categories. To illustrate her point, she mentioned guest poet, Michael Reyes, and said that his work doesn’t fit into one category, but is part of a long tradition of Latino poets who explain their own  self narrative through their work.

“His poetry is not only art, but a tool for social advancement,” said Ms. Madon.


IMSA students read their favorite poems, some of which were in English and some in Spanish. Evelyn opened the read-in by reading her own poem. One of the favorite selections students chose to read were “Cloud” by Sandra Cisneros and another was an excerpt from “How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accents.”

Two students chose poems by Pablo Neruda as their read-in selection.

After all the students read, Michael Reyes came onto center stage, explaining that he performs spoken word poetry that has not necessarily been created for the page.

008He asked how many in the audience had been exposed to poetry outside school, for example at open mic night, and then proceeded to talk a little about what he liked and didn’t like about open mic nights.

“For me poetry is a weapon,” said Mr. Reyes, as he explained that many years ago poets were storytellers who passed along the news of the day. Mr. Reyes said that he follows in the ancient tradition of these storytellers.

As part of his introduction to the audience, Mr. Reyes touched on his background, explaining that he is a Chicano who was raised here but has ties to Mexico. He said he is a person of color who has been reflecting on what’s happening in Baltimore (referring to the riots in the city after a black man died in police custody).

Mr. Reyes said that his first piece of freestyle poetry is an interactive piece and he asked audience members to participate by giving him words to use. Okra, smile, laughter, heritage, applesauce, empower, love and teach were thrown out for him to use.

In between performing, Mr. Reyes, shared more about himself with the audience. He said he’s recently moved to Detroit, MI after spending 14 years in Chicago developing creative space for others. He has gone from a “me” poet to a “we” poet who talks about his heritage.

Mr. Reyes will be spending the afternoon at IMSA. He mentioned some of the different venues he performs in, which make up his sphere of influence. Today he’s at a school, this Sat. he’ll perform at his home and then on Sunday he’ll be at a prison.

The audience responded positively to his performance. Mr. Reyes is a hit.


Michael Reyes to perform in the IRC to Celebrate National Poetry Month on April 28th

002On April 28, 2015, from noon until 12:45 p.m., we will celebrate National Poetry Month with Michael Reyes and all who enjoy poetry. There will be readings and food.

Michael Reyes is described as an artist/organizer on his website, and his “mission is to provide a participatory educational environment through poetry and hip-hop to address issues of social justice and cultural identity.” Adrienne Coleman, an organizer of the National Poetry Month event, chose Reyes, who  performs internationally and facilitates educational workshops on the topic of merging creative expression and critical thought.

According to his website, “Reyes’s background as a field worker in Michigan and a community activist in both Chicago and New York has added multiple layers to his Chican@/Latino identity. His work has been featured on HBO, Latin Nation, PBS documentary Dream Makers, Chicago Public Radio, National Public Radio, Pacifica and WBAI.”

“He has performed at 1,500 institutions including: United States Hispanic Leadership Institute, National Council of La Raza, Conference, National Conference on Race and Ethnicity, Latino Ivy League Conference and the NAACP. He has worked with Dr. Cornell West, Lolita Lebron, Dolores Huerta, Oliver Stone, John Leguizamo, and Kanye West.” Reyes was a featured speaker at the National Council of La Raza LIDERES Conference, the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute, the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity, and the Latino Ivy League Conference.

IMSA students and faculty have been invited to read original poems and poems written by their favorite authors. The food served during the National Poetry Month celebration will be tied to  Cinco de Mayo and feature some food favorites usually consumed on that day.

Come join the fun and celebration in the IRC on April 28, 2015, from noon to 12:45 p.m.