Current Events

A New Birth of Freedom

On this day in 1863 on the Battlefield of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln gave one our country's most enduring and mythical speeches, the Gettysburg Address.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

The significance of this speech is varied and far-reaching.  We have several books specifically about the speech as well as over a thousand books, movies and other resources dedicated to President Abraham Lincoln.

Check out some of these resources for Thanksgiving Break!

Ooh and check out this beautiful video honoring the iconic speech:

Hobbit Time!

Do you know The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey comes out in a month?  Are you making your plans to see it on opening night and listening to the soundtrack?

Another way to prepare is to re-read (or read for the first time) The Hobbit.  Luckily for you we have several copies of it:

The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again. King Library, Ground Floor, IMC, Juv | PZ7.T5744 Ho 1984

The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again.  King Library (2nd floor) | PR6039.O32 H6 1982

The Hobbit; or, There and Back Again.  King Library (2nd floor) | PR6039.O32 H62 1966x

The Annotated Hobbit. King Library (2nd floor) | PR6039.O32 H6 2002

You can also find interesting books about The Hobbit:

The Art of the Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien by Wayne G. Hammond & Christina Scull.  ArtArch | N6797.T64 H35 2012

The Hobbit: A Journey into Maturity by William H. Green.  King Library (2nd floor) | PR6039.O32 H6 1995

The History of the Hobbit by John D. Rateliff.  King Library (2nd floor) | PR6039.O32 H636 2007 

Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit by Corey Olsen.  King Library (2nd floor) | PR6039.O32 H635 2012

J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century by T.A. Shippey.  King Library (2nd floor) | PR6039.O32 Z8238 2001

We also have dvds of the Lord of the Rings trilogy films that you can watch.

Finally make sure to check out Special Collection's blog post earlier this year about the great things they have in their collection!

Happy Diwali!

Diwali, the Hindu “festival of lights”, is celebrated this week around the world, specifically in many nations in South Asia and in South Asian communities around the globe. Also known as Deepavali, this five day festival celebrates the triumph of good over evil, which is symbolized by the lighting of clay lamps which are placed outside one’s home. The lamps are often combined with decorative folk art designs, called Rangoli, drawn on floors and courtyards with colored rice, sand, and other traditional materials. Originally a harvest festival, the blessings of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, are also sought by the lighting of the Diwali lamps. Celebrations, which have regional variations, include family gatherings, fireworks, bonfires, and the sharing of sweets. In celebration of Diwali and the upcoming holiday season, the Libraries’ Diversity Cluster encourages you to learn more about this holiday and other holidays and festivals throughout the world.

Here are some sources to get you started:

The book of Hindu festivals and ceremonies / Om Lata Bahadur King Library (2nd floor) | BL1239.72 .B353 1994

The story of Divaali / retold by Jatinder Verma ; illustrated by Nilesh Mistry King Library, Ground Floor, IMC, Juv | BL1139.25 .V47 2002

Religious traditions in modern South Asia / Jacqueline Suthren Hirst and John Zavos King Library (2nd floor) | BL1055 .S88 2011

Invoking Lakshmi : the goddess of wealth in song and ceremony / Constantina Rhodes King Library (2nd floor) | BL1225.L32 R46 2010

Holiday symbols and customs : a guide / edited by Helene Henderson King Reference | GT3930 .T48 2009 | LIB USE ONLY

Encyclopedia of holidays and celebrations : a country-by-country guide / Matthew Dennis, editor King Reference | GT3930 .E53 2006 v.1-3 | LIB USE ONLY

Also, you might want to check out the Indian Students Association’s annual Diwali show, My Big Fat Indian Wedding, this Friday and Saturday. It's always a great production! For more details, click here.

Geologic Map Day

October 19 is National Geologic Map Day.  This is a recognition of the significance of this form of mapping, that seeks to map the earth beneath the surface.  These maps convey important information about the geology of regions.  They are also esthetically pleasing uses of color and shape.

In recognition, the United States Geological Survey releases a greatly revised resource, the National Geological Map Database, which provides access to a large database of geological maps through a Map Catalog, of over 90,000 maps from the USGS as well as more than 600 other publishers.  A new Map Viewer offers an additional discovery tool.  Another important resource at this site is Stratigraphy to identify geological names, charts and guidelines.

Miami University Libraries has geological maps in various forms, both digital and in print format.  The Geology subject guide includes the page Geological Mapping, that describes many of these publications, maps, and resources.  USGS maps, maps by the Ohio Geological Survey, and various recently published maps by other state geological surveys are descibed here.  Included are several recent maps, as well as classic maps that have retained importance through the years.  To find such resources in the catalog, a Subject search with the terms "Geology," regional name, and "Maps."  For example , the 2005 Geologic Map of North America is listed with the subject Geology - North America - Maps.  This will also retrieve the related Database of the Geologic Map of North America.  Both of these items are in the Libraries collections, as well as available as web pages at the USGS site.

Books about geologic mapping are available with the subject Geological mapping.  A book by Simon Winchester, The Map that Changed the World : William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology, describes the creation of the world's first geological map, of Great Britain, in the early decades of the 1800s.  Reproductions of two versions of this map are on view in the Geology Department in Shideler Hall.  Other siginifcant geological maps are viewable there, as well as in the Libraries collections.

Remembering Katrina


Hurricane season! Occasionally we get a taste in southwestern Ohio, such as tropical storm Isaac bringing rain a few weeks ago. Coastal areas of the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic and in the Caribbean know more fully the effects of these storms. One of the best-known is Katrina, which hit the Mississippi and Louisiana coasts on 27 August, 2005. The wind, the storm surge that it pushed inland, and the strains on the protection infrastructure in New Orleans devastated the region and the city. A month later, on 24 September, Rita came ashore near the Louisiana/Texas border, causing yet more damage, and impeding recovery and evacuation efforts of the earlier storm. Katrina remains the costliest storm in US history, with damages at about $108 billion. Rita’s damage was over $12 billion. Over 1200 deaths were attributed to Katrina, and more than 60 have been attributed to Rita.

Miami University Libraries have many materials in the collections. Search by subject: “Hurricane Katrina, 2005”. Here is a very small sampling, arrannged by library location.

The New Orleans Hurricane Protection System : What Went Wrong and Why : a Report, by the American Society of Civil Engineers Hurricane Katrina External Review Panel. BEST Library, Oversized, Basement | TH1096 .N49 2007

In Katrina's Wake : Portraits of Loss from an Unnatural Disaster, photographs by Chris Jordan ; essays by Bill McKibben and Susan Zakin ; poems by Victoria Sloan Jordan. BEST Library, Folio, Basement | QC945 .J63 2006

Just Seconds from the Ocean : Coastal Living in the Wake of Katrina. BEST Library, Basement | GB460.A2 S27 2007

Cooking Up a Storm : Recipes Lost and Found from The Times-Picayune of New Orleans. BEST Library, Basement | TX715.2.L68 C66 2008. From the summary:

“… After Hurricane Katrina devastated the city, tens of thousands of people lost their keepsakes and family treasures forever. As residents started to rebuild their lives, The Times-Picayune of New Orleans became a post-hurricane swapping place for old recipes that were washed away in the storm …”

Architecture in Times of Need : Make It Right Rebuilding New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward.  ArtArch | NA735.N5 A73 2009

 Katrina Personal Ojects; photographs by Jarret Schecter.  ArtArch | HV636 2005.G85 K28 2008

 Groove Interrupted : Loss, Renewal, and the Music of New Orleans.  Music Library | ML385 .S635 2011

 Devil Sent the Rain : Music and Writing in Desperate America.  Music Library | ML3477 .P49 2011

 Hurricane Katrina : the Storm that Changed America, with an introduction by Wynton Marsalis.  King Library (2nd floor) | HV636 2005 .U6 H87 2005

Clear as Mud : Planning for the Rebuilding of New Orleans.  King Library (2nd floor) | HT168 .N49 O47 2010

Old and New Media after Katrina. King Library (2nd floor) | HV636 2005.G85 O43 2010

 Racing the Storm : Racial Implications and Lessons Learned from Hurricane Katrina.  King Library (2nd floor) | HV636 2005 .N4 R33 2007

 The Children Hurricane Katrina Left Behind : Schooling Context, Professional Preparation, and Community Politics.  King Library (2nd floor) | LC2771 .C45 2007

 After the Flood, by Robert Polidori.  King Folio | F379.N543 P655 2006

 Race, Place, and Environmental Justice after Hurricane Katrina : Struggles to Reclaim, Rebuild, and Revitalize New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.  King Library (2nd floor) | HV551.4.N48 R34 2009

 Home Team : Coaching the Saints and New Orleans Back to Life, Sean Payton and Ellis Henican.  King Library (2nd floor) | GV939.P388 A3 2010

In addition to studies such as these, literary works of fiction, poetry and drama are available.

 City Without People : the Katrina Poems, by Niyi Osundare.  King Library (2nd floor) | PR9387.9.O866 C58 2011

 Katrina on Stage : Five Plays.  King Library (2nd floor) | PS627.H87 K38 2011

 The Tin Roof Blowdown : a Dave Robicheaux Novel, by James Lee Burke.  King Library (2nd floor) | PS3552.U723 T56 2007

 Ninth Ward, by Jewell Parker Rhodes.  King Library, Ground Floor, IMC, Juv | PZ7.R3476235 Ni 2010

There are also resources available online, especially from government agencies.

Terrestrial LIDAR Datasets of New Orleans, Louisiana, Levee Failures from Hurricane Katrina, August 29, 2005.  This is also available as a CD-ROM from BEST Library, maps collection | I 19.121:470

 Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast Building Performance Observations, Recommendations, and Technical Guidance : Mitigation Assessment Team Report.  This is also available as a CD-ROM at King – Government & Law | HS 5.120:K 15/CD

 Lessons Learned EPA's Response to Hurricane Katrina-Evaluation Report.

Web resources of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provide data and information.

Hurricane Katrina special report, includes PDF, images, and text.

Hurricane Katrina home page, includes satellite images, aftermath photos, maps, data and other resources.

NOAA’s National Weather Service includes the National Hurricane Center, providing current and historical information, forecasts, tracking maps, etc.

Banned Books Week September 30th-October 6th 2012


This year's Banned Books Week will take place between September 30th and October 6th. You can find out about some of the events planned around the country and get helpful information at the Banned Books Week website.

King Library is marking this week with a display on the first floor of King in the foyer of the library.  Since this month is also Hispanic Heritage Month, this year's display focuses on the 2010 Arizona House Bill 2281, which states that a school in Arizona cannot include in its classes any material that promotes the overthrow of the United States Government, promotes resentment towards a race or class of people, are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group, or advocates ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.  The Tucson Unified School District was found to be in violation of this law for offering courses in Mexican-American Studies.  As a result, books and other materials were removed from the K-12 curriculum in Arizona.  You can read about the list of materials that have been removed in this article.

We are featuring some of these titles in our display on the first floor of King and on our Pinterest board.

Here are a couple of the titles that we are featuring:

The Tempest by William Shakespeare.  King Library (2nd floor) | PR2833.A2 B35 2008

Woman Hollering Creek, and Other Stories by Sandra Cisneros. King Library (2nd floor)

The Latino/a Condition: A Critical Reader edited by Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic.  King Library (2nd floor) | E184.S75 L355 2011

Twelve Impossible Things before Breakfast: Stories by Jane Yolen.  King Library, Ground Floor, IMC, Juv | PZ7.Y78 Tw 1997 

United States Government: Democracy in Action by Richard C. Remy.  King Library, Ground Floor, IMC, Textbooks | JK274 .R44 2003 SE

Healing Earthquakes: A Love Story in Poems by Jimmy Santiago Baca.  King Library (2nd floor) | PS3552.A254 H43 2001

Civil Disobedience: A Solitude and Life without Principle by Henry David Thoreau.  King Library (2nd floor) | PS3042 1998

Check the list out for yourself and decide if you think these books should have been removed.

In Remembrance of 9/11

Today is the 11th anniversary of the 9/11. This tragic event in American history has had wide ranging effects in all facets of our world: politics, economics, psychology, media and more. It is an ideal of libraries to house and curate our collective memories, reactions and analysis of historical events.

To remember this event in our history, come to one of our libraries and check out a few of our nearly 500 books about 9/11.

Our complete collection about 9/11.

Follow our Pinterest board on 9/11 to see book covers of the collection.

Norton Anthology of English Literature Celebrates 50 Years!


The Norton Anthology of English Literature turns fifty this year. In its honor The New York Times published an interview with the founding editor M.H. Abrams and the current editor Stephen Greenblatt. It's interesting to read their thoughts on the importance of the anthology.

As you might expect, the library has several editions of this anthology. For instance, we have the 8th edition in our circulating collection.

Hamilton Library actually has the original 1962 edition in their library.

In addition to the English Literature Anthology, we of course have several other Norton Anthologies, including:

Norton Anthology of Latino Literature

Norton Anthology of American Literature

Norton Anthology of Literature by Women

Norton Anthology of Short Fiction

In the interview they mention wanting students to be able to carry the book around and read it anywhere, including under a tree. I honestly can't say I ever remember willingly carrying the book around with me because the edition I had was rather heavy. Still that edition has stayed with me over the years, and I do sometimes still refer back to it! Here's hoping that future generations of students continue to find this anthology useful.

Neil Armstrong, 1930 - 2012

Neil Armstrong, American astronaut famous for being the first person to walk on the moon, died Saturday, August 25th, in Cincinnati.  He was 82 years old.  After you've read the news articles and the Wikipedia entry, discover more about his life and work with a few books! 

  First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong by James R. Hansen

  One Giant Leap: Neil Armstrong's Stellar American Journey      by Leon Wagener

Curious about Curiosity?

With NASA's successful landing of the Curiosity rover earlier this week, our minds wander once again to the cosmos, and specifically to our red neighbor. Below are some items in our collection that may be of interest to the amateur astronomer or anyone curious about Curiosity. Most of our astronomy books are in the basement of B.E.S.T. Library in the QB section. Books specifically about Mars can be found under QB 641.

Anthony H. Young (2007). Lunar and Planetary Rovers: The Wheels of Apollo and the Quest for Mars

OhioLINK eBook

A complete history of the Lunar Roving Vehicle used on Apollo 15, 16 and 17, drawing on many photographs never before published. It also tells the story of the robotic rovers used on Mars, and concludes with a description of the new designs of rovers planned for The New Vision for Exploration now underway at NASA.

Jim Bell (2008). Mars 3-D: A Rover's-Eye View of the Red Planet

BEST Library, Basement | QB641 .B445 2008

A collection of 120 color and 3-D images captured by the Spirit and Opportunity Mars rovers. The book includes a built-in 3-D viewer, so no need for your own pair of red-and-blue glasses!

Jeffrey S. Kargel (2004). Mars: A Warmer, Wetter Planet

BEST Library, Basement | QB641 .K23 2004

This book discusses NASA's discovery of water beneath Mars's surface, something that Curiosity is setting out to explore. Anyone interested in geology should find this book fascinating.

William Sheehan & Stephen James O'Meara (2001). Mars: The Lure of the Red Planet

BEST Library, Basement | QB641 .S4838 2001

A nice history of Mars, from humans' early perceptions and mythology to modern explorations and the discovery of liquid water beneath Mars's surface.

David J. Shayler, Andrew Salmon, and Michael D. Shayler (2005). Marswalk One: First Steps on a New Planet

OhioLINK eBook

Explores questions of why humans should travel to Mars, and progress made in human space exploration. The book also discusses what types of experiments humans would do if they reach Mars.

Carl Sagan (1980). Cosmos

BEST Library, Basement | QB44.2 .S235

If you're looking for a broader view of the skies, I can't recommend a better place to start than Carl Sagan's Cosmos, which gives us such famous quotes as "We began as wanderers, and we are wanderers still. We have lingered long enough on the shores of the cosmic ocean. We are ready at last to set sail for the stars."

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