Lunar New Year Celebrated with Read-In

003Various IMSA school groups have coordinated a Read-In for tomorrow, Tuesday, February 2, 2016 at 4:30 p.m. The Read-In is tied to the Lunar New Year and will celebrate Asian authors. Students and staff will read original work or a passage from a favorite author. Food and drink will be served.

004Connie James-Jenkin, IMSA Collection Development and Reference Librarian, and Jeanette Clark, Circulation Clerk, have put together a display of books that features Asian authors. There are poetry books, as well as fiction and non-fiction works. All the items on display are available for check-out.





Fans of the “X-Files” are over the moon about the return of Mulder and Scully. New episodes of the popular television show are running this month and in celebration, Connie James-Jenkin, IMSA’s Collection Development and Reference Librarian, has pulled some items from the library collection and put them on display at the back of the library. After the short run of new “X-Files” episodes is over, fans can get their ET fix from these books.


An Overview of the eBooks Available Through the IRC

001Just in time for the winter break, Connie James-Jenkin, the Collection Development and Reference Librarian in the IRC, held an overview session to explain how easy it is to download eBooks and audio books from the Magic Wall, which is on the IRC’s website.

Anyone who missed Connie’s presentation on Thursday, December 17, 2015, can get the directions from Connie or visit Connie in the IRC and she’ll answer any questions. The IRC’s collection of eBooks is easy to get to. Just click “eBook collection” in the first column on the website and then click “Magic Wall.”

“There are 27,000 items in the collection,” said Connie. “There is an excellent selection of fiction, nonfiction and audio books.”

002To access the collection, users will need to download an app onto newer devices. Connie can help those with older devices, and she has a handy sheet of directions and one of FAQs available for anyone who would like one.

There are current best sellers, classics and audio books in children, teen and adult fiction and nonfiction titles. Users can browse through the titles and if something appeals, just click on the title to see a synopsis. The IRC is a member of a consortium of over 100 libraries in the eRead Illinois program, which provides access to the eBook collection.

A click on the options listed on the left side of the screen brings users to very specific categories or genres. A click on the “Language” selection lets users know if the title is available in a language other than English. Currently, there are many items written in Spanish.

During the overview, Connie mentioned that users can borrow five titles at a time, and check out each item for a three week period. To return an item before it is due, just hover over the title and click “return.”

When users are browsing titles, they may notice an item that is shaded in gray. This item is checked out, and a user can put the item on reserve. An email notice will be sent to let the user know when the item is available for download.

Stop by the IRC before it closes for winter break on Wed., December 23, 2015, and ask Connie for assistance in downloading the app that will allow you to check out any item in the Magic Wall. If you’ve already downloaded the app, happy reading!



Super Sundays in the IRC on Dec. 6th and 13th!

As the semester wraps up, finals week and the deadline for class papers is fast approaching. Have no fear, IMSA students, because Super Sundays is back in the IRC!

On Sunday, December 6, 2015, and Sunday, December 13, 2015, the IRC will be open from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. to accommodate students who wish to study, research, print or check out library items.

IRC staff will be available to help with research and technical support. This is a great opportunity to work on a class project or study for finals. Hope to see you there!

LGBTQA Display and Read-In

001Gay Pride month is June, but IMSA students are done with school at the beginning of June, so Spectrum and PME have claimed December as LGBTQA month. They are tying this recognition to Worlds AIDS Day, which is December 1st.  (Spectrum is the IMSA LGBTQ student group and PME is Peer Multicultural Educators at the school. LGBTQA stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning and Androgynous.)

002Spectrum, PME and IRC staff have created a display of fiction, nonfiction books and DVDs for LGBTQA month. Classic and contemporary fiction and non-fiction written by authors Virginia Woolf, Rita Mae Brown, Jennifer Finney and Drew Ferguson, among others, are part of the display. Memoirs, featuring stories of growing up gay and lesbian, and anthologies are also included in the display. All the items in the display can be checked out.

003On Tuesday, December 8, 2015, there will be a Read-In in the IRC at 4:20 p.m. IMSA students, faculty and staff will read from their favorite authors’ works or their personal writing, and refreshments will be served.

Tenth Annual Family Reading Night will be held on November 19, 2015

2015 FRN Posteremail-1The tenth annual IMSA Community Family Reading Night will be held on Thursday, November 19, 2015 from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. The theme for this year’s event is, “Read, Think and Go Green @ IMSA!”

Students from Aurora school districts 129 and 131, and children of IMSA employees, will be in attendance to enjoy an evening that includes a scientific demonstration by the SciTech Hands on Museum, which is located in Aurora. During the evening the children will participate in crafts, science activities and book readings held during the IMSA staff story time. Parents can take a tour of the school led by IMSA student volunteers.

A raffle will be held and prizes include puzzles of the rain forest and the ocean, movie tickets from Cinemark Tinseltown movie theater in Aurora, and coupons for a local Pizza Hut in Aurora. Back packs filled with goodies and a t-shirt will be handed out to every child who attends.

Oberweis Dairy will provide ice cream treats during the evening.

Dart Container is this year’s event sponsor. Student volunteers from the IRC, Admissions and Allies departments of IMSA will help prepare and oversee crafts for the event, painted faces and other activities throughout the night.

For more information, please contact Angela Richardson at or 630 907-5075.

New Displays in the IRC

In October several displays were set up in the IRC.

024The Diversity Awareness display includes books and DVDs that can be checked out.

026Each picture in the “Faces of IMSA” display has a QR Code under it that links to a YouTube video in which the pictured person gives their name, graduating class and how they self-identify.

022The display cases under the skylights show fossils collected by IMSA staff and others.


Women in STEM display in the IRC

001Just in time for the celebration of Ada Lovelace Day, there’s a display about women in STEM in the IRC. Ada Lovelace was born in 1815 and is recognized as the world’s first computer programmer.
An exhibit about Ada Lovelace opened in London’s Science Museum on Oct. 13th, which is not a  randomly chosen date. Lovelace’s achievements and women in STEM are celebrated around the world in mid-October on Ada Lovelace Day.
Lovelace was 17 years old when she encountered Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine. Babbage, a mathematician and mechanical engineer, was working on his Difference Engine, a calculating machine designed to solve complicated mathematical problems. Lovelace described the Difference Engine as a “thinking machine,” and she became very interested in the machine and in mathematics, according to Tilly Blyth, lead curator of the Ada Lovelace exhibition.
Blyth said in a statement that the subject both “fascinated and enthralled” the young Lovelace. Her early fascination with mathematics and the complex machines used to solve equations eventually led her to take a much closer look at the principles behind another machine that Babbage proposed to build, the Analytical Engine.
From the museum website’s description of the Ada Lovelace exhibit:
“In 1842, Lovelace translated into English a detailed account of this machine, as described by the Italian mathematician (and later Prime Minister of Italy) Luigi Menabrea.
Lovelace’s translation of Menabrea’s account was published alongside her extensive notes about the Analytical Engine and its potential uses. Included in her notes was an algorithm that the machine could use to calculate Bernoulli numbers (a set of rational numbers often used in number theory, or arithmetic). Many consider Lovelace’s algorithm to be the first computer code ever created, because it was the first logical set of steps developed for use with a specific machine.
In addition to coming up with the world’s first computer code, Lovelace also foretold the coming of the computer age. Her notes on the Analytical Engine relay an important message: Complex mathematical machines can do a lot more than crunch numbers. She predicted that Babbage’s machine might solve any problem that could be expressed using logistical symbols — such as the creation of complex musical scores.”
The Analytical Engine was described as a steam power computer for the 1800’s by the exhibit curator. Unfortunately, it was never fully developed because Babbage couldn’t get funding.
Lovelace’s notes are on display at the new exhibit, which also includes a collection of her personal letters and several portraits of the Victorian-era computer programmer. Also on display are Babbage’s intricate drawings of the Analytical Engine, as well as a part of this calculating machine (which was never fully built), and other inventions.
In a BBC Newshour segment about Ada Lovelace Day and the museum exhibit, women in STEM and tech fields were interviewed. Ada Lovelace Day began in 2009 because a lack of women at tech conferences and the need to interest more women in STEM and tech fields.
Ann O’Day, an organizer of Inspired Fest, was interviewed for the BBC Newshour piece and stated that there is a need for more women in STEM fields because a diverse group of people should design things for a diverse world. She used the example of the crash test dummy, which was modeled on a male physiology so it didn’t really test for crash impact on females until a dummy based on the female physique was used in crashes.
O’Day said that there are not enough women in key roles of leadership and tech roles. While there are role models at the top, like Sheryl Sandberg, O’Day said there is a need for more female role models at all levels. She also stated that there is a need for more education about hiring practices and unconscious bias.

002All the books on display can be checked out.

IRC Celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to recognize the contributions made and the presence of Hispanic and Latino Americans in the American melting pot. This celebration runs from September 15th to October 15th, and the new display in the IRC Reference area is full of young adult and adult fiction written by Hispanic/American authors and DVDs with stories from other countries, including Cuba and Spain. There are also CDs with music from Mexico and other lands.

004Through the stories on display, readers, listeners or watchers can learn about the influence Hispanics have had on this country with their centuries’ old traditions. Those who immerse themselves in these stories will learn about the multiethnic and multicultural customs of the Hispanic community.

The roots of Hispanic Heritage Month go back to 1968 and begin with the anniversary of the independence of these Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico, Chile and Belize also celebrate their independence days during this period.

002Puerto Rican, South or Central American and Spanish culture or origin are all included under the umbrella of the terms Hispanic or Latino, according to the website

003The Hispanic population is growing in the United States and the National Hispanic Heritage Month display is a good resource to learn about this segment of our population. All of the items on display can be checked out.


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.