Monday, April 21, 2014

Closing out a successful National Library Week

We've closed the book on National Library Week for 2014.  It was a great week and we were thrilled to see so many friendly faces celebrate with us. 

Tuesday, April 15th there was a Poetry Celebration in the Reading Lounge.  Students, faculty and staff gathered together to share their favorite poems and read original work.  Pictured below are Will Reger, John Hayes, and Jessica Reed.

 Wednesday, April 16th a most noble contest was held in the College Center, the Cupcake-A-Book contest.  Resurrected this year, 13 participants turned literary tales into frosted masterpieces. Passersby donated spare change or dollar bills to the cupcake display they like the most. 

 A few fan favorites:

Overall the event was a huge success!  $370 was raised to be donated to the Wesley Food Pantry at Parkland College.  Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, created by Jan Thom, was the grand prize winner.  Jan won a Parkland drawstring bag, t-shirt, and water bottle - courtesy of the Parkland Bookstore.

Thursday, April 17th we unveiled the 10th READ Poster and announced the Parkland Reads book for the upcoming year.  Marva Nelson introduced the Parkland Reads book, which is The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers.

Afterwards the library director Anna Maria Watkin revealed our 10th READ Poster.  Linda Moore was present to say a few words about this year's poster candidate, John Eby.  John chose the book Stonewall by David Carter.  And for the first time, this year's candidate brought party favors for everyone in attendance...READ pencils.  John explained his fascination with collecting pencils and encouraged everyone to take one.

John and his mother
Anna Maria Watkin and John Eby
Thank you all for making this National Library Week one for the books! 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wayback Wednesday: A Parkland Library Scrapbook

In honor of National Library Week, here's a digital scrapbook celebrating the history of the Parkland College Library created with records from the Parkland Archives.

Click the button on the lower right of the frame to enlarge.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

10th Annual READ Poster Unveiling

Every year the Parkland Library carefully selects a faculty or staff member to represent Parkland College on the year's READ Poster.  These posters adorn the walls of the Library.  2014 marks the 10th year the Library has upheld this tradition.  We hold this event each year during National Library Week.  It is one of the many ways we celebrate the Library, literacy, and learning.

As always, we have guarded the identity of this year's READ poster with the utmost secrecy.  This year's candidate has served the student population for so long, it is difficult to release any clues without giving away too much.  You'll just have to join us on Thursday, April 17th at noon to find out who it is!

Please encourage friends, faculty, staff and students to attend and support the library during this time of celebration. 

Play with your food! Win a prize!


On Wednesday, April 16th from 10am - 2pm the Library will host a Cupcake-A-Book contest in the College Center.  Say that 5 times fast! 

The concept is simple.  Choose a book.  Acquire some cupcakes (make them, buy them, we don't care.)  Decorate cupcakes in a manner which somehow represents your book.  You can decorate based on theme, plot, title, character, etc.  As long as the design relates to the book.  To register, you can download an entry form here. 

On Wednesday, April 16th all the entries will be on display (no, you may not eat them) in the College Center.  Vote for your favorite by donation.  You may donate any amount.  The proceeds will benefit the Wesley Food Pantry at Parkland.

AND the entry with the most collected in donations will win a prize!  It's a good one, I promise.  For more information click here or for a flyer you can show off to all your students try this one.

If you need some ideas to get you started, here are some past years' examples...

More information
Entry form

Join us for a Poetry Celebration!

If you like poetry, you can't miss this!  On Tuesday, April 15th at 1:00pm the library will host a poetry reading in the Reading Lounge.  Students, faculty and staff are invited to read an original or favorite poem.

We would like to especially encourage students to join us and share their original poems!  All students are welcome, all types of poetry are welcome.  Your poem can be in any format, even in another language if you wish.

We request that poems be appropriate for the setting.  Please refrain from using derogatory language or excessive swear words.  We want you to express yourself, but also to consider your audience.

Click here to get the flyer!  Contact Sarah Meilike at for more information.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Spring Break Hours

The Parkland Library Spring Break hours start this weekend. No matter if we're open or closed, if you are a Parkland student or employee, you can still access our online resources. Click this link to finish up any research during your break.

Spring Break Hours

March 22 - 23
Saturday - Sunday

March 24 - 27
Monday - Thursday
OPEN 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

March 28 - 30
Friday, Saturday, Sunday

NEW Regular Hours
Starting Monday, March 31st, our library hours will change to the following:
Monday - Thursday 7:30am - 8:00pm

Friday 7:30am - 5:00pm

Saturday 10:00am - 2:00pm

Sunday closed

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wayback Wednesday: The Mascot Mystery

It had been the kind of winter that made you wonder if you’d ever see the color green again. But the spring thaw had finally begun, and, as I put away my parka, my hand brushed across my trusty trench coat, that quintessential gumshoe garb.

That’s right. It’s time to tackle another Parkland mystery.

It just so happens that I’ve been treading lightly around a puzzler for quite some time, but it’s time to bring it to light – to bring it out of brumation, as it were. So here it is (and I hope I’m not opening a can of snakes – er, worms): there is no evidence supporting the selection of Parkland’s mascot, the Cobras. None. Zilch. Zippo.

I’m not the first to attempt to crack this case.  Using the information she could obtain, Sally Foster Wallace, author of Parkland Works: A 1966-2001 History, could find no clear path to how the Cobras came to be.  She did, however, uncover a great deal of controversy that stemmed from the name. In February 1969, the basketball team decided to change their name to the Hilltoppers, citing the distasteful use of the word “snakemen” some used when referring to them.  The March 7, 1969, issue of The Prospectus went so far as to include two separate articles, one referring to the Cobras and the other to the Hilltoppers. Student Body president Donald Lookingbill ended the team’s actions:“The name is Cobras until student government changes it.”  In an interview for the book, Coach Lynette Trout said she refused to call the Women’s volleyball team the Cobras, resulting in a Prospectus headline which read, “Let’s hear it for the Parkland Whatevers.” Criticism continued nearly two decades later, with a Prospectus article (April 11, 1984) noting that some of the student body found the name and logo offensive. The result of this controversy was not a name-change but, rather, a logo redesign. 

At the time, Wallace had to infer voting results, because the actual results were missing. Imagine my excitement when I was made aware of some recently discovered voting results from the many (many, many) elections held between 1967 and 1968. (Why so many elections? It’s Parliamentary, my dear Watson.)  Excitedly, I ran down the Library stairs to Student Life. This was it, I thought to myself, the long lost winning vote. No such luck. Snake eyes.

The new information confirmed what we already knew: Pioneers and Patriots were consistently front-runners in elections held in November and December, 1967, and again in March 1968, according to results posted in The Sprinkler, Parkland’s weekly print newsletter at the time.  There was an election in April – and the results are still missing – in which Cobras was “officially” chosen the team mascot. Then, in November, 1968, the final election on record was held. These are the newly discovered results:

So there you have it. Besides the fact that Hilltoppers actually did top the hill, the only other conclusion that I can draw from this find is that students were tired of voting on the subject, as evidenced by the extremely low voter turnout. Yet it’s puzzling that the ultimately victorious moniker received just two write-ins, and I’m left with more questions than answers. Who championed the name Cobras? Why did the two votes for Cobras trump all the other votes? And, after all the elections in which Robert's Rules were so rigidly adhered to, why did the Cobras ultimately make the cut?

But what’s done is not to be undone. We’ve had many years of success under that mascot, including Parkland’s Women’s Basketball team, currently competing in the National Championship this week. So Parkland Cobras it is, and the mystery remains.

We’d love to have the scoop on how our mascot came to be. If you have any information that will unearth some answers about this mystery, we hope you’ll share with us.

Keep up with Parkland Athletics news here.

If you have a question about Parkland's history that you'd like to see featured, email us at

Friday, March 14, 2014

National Library Week Events at Parkland

Mark Your Calendars!

National Library Week
April 13-19, 2014
Parkland College Library

National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the United States.  Parkland Library has been celebrating for many years with events designed to get students, faculty and community members involved and excited about the library.  This year's theme is Lives change @ your library.  Please join us for any or all of the events listed below to help us celebrate another year of learning!

Tuesday, April 15  Poetry Celebration (time tbd). Students and Faculty are invited to share their creative side.

Wednesday, April 16  Cupcake-A-Book is back!  From 10am - 2pm cupcake adaptions of your favorite books will be on display in the College Center.  Vote for your favorite by donation and support the Wesley Food Pantry at Parkland.  The cupcake design with the highest donated amount will win a prize.

Thursday, April 17  Join us at noon for the 10th annual Parkland READ Poster Unveiling in the Reading Lounge.  We will also reveal the title of the 2014-15 Parkland Reads book.

*If you are interested in entering the Cupcake-A-Book contest or participating in the Poetry Celebration, contact Sarah Meilike ( for details.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Important News

Effective Monday, March 31st the library will be reducing evening hours.  Our new hours will be:

Monday - Thursday 7:30am - 8:00pm

Friday 7:30am - 5:00pm

Saturday 10:00am - 2:00pm

Sunday closed

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

SPARK Repository Wins American Library Association Award

Parkland Library, CETL to receive ACRL EBSCO award in June

Saturday, February 15, 2014
CHICAGO – An innovative scholarly initiative at Parkland College has earned a national library association award for the college units that developed it.

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association, selected the Parkland College Library and the Parkland College Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning to receive the 2014 Community and Junior College Libraries Section (CJCLS) EBSCO Community College Learning Resources Award, the ALA announced Friday.
The Parkland departments won the award for the cooperative project, “Scholarship at PARKland” (SPARK), Parkland’s online institutional repository.

A $500 award and plaque, donated by EBSCO Information Services, will be presented to library Director Anna Maria Watkin and CETL Director Erika Hackman during the CJCLS Awards Dinner June 27 at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

“SPARK makes excellent academic work visible, creating a clearer picture and facilitating a deeper understanding of student success,” award co-chairs David Wright of Surry Community College and Beth Lander of Manor College stated in a press release. “SPARK displayed exceptional innovation and offered promise for long-term impact. Their example helps foster the concept of institutional repositories at other community colleges, and in so doing, validates the work of students at two-year colleges as worthy of scholarly consideration.”

Launched in 2010, SPARK was one of the first institutional repositories created at a community college to promote, preserve and showcase scholarly and creative work of the college's students and faculty. It was originally conceived by Hackman and Sherry Cmiel, former information services librarian at Parkland, and funded through the Parkland College Association College Planning Committee’s Innovation Fund.
The open-access digital repository makes available to the public the rich body of scholarly and creative work of Parkland students, faculty, administration, and staff. SPARK offers a wide range of materials that anyone in the college or community can examine, from “A with Honors” student projects to Graphic Design Student Exhibition collections to academic publications by faculty. SPARK aims both to foster collaborations between faculty and students as well as between colleagues within and across disciplines and to assist Parkland College in fulfilling its mission to engage the community in learning. The repository is available at

The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for librarians. Representing more than 11,500 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to help academic and research librarians learn, innovate and lead within the academic community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning and transforming scholarship. ACRL is on the Web at, Facebook at and Twitter at @ala_acrl.
For more information regarding the ACRL CJCLS EBSCO Community College Learning Resources Award, or a complete list of past recipients, please visit the awards section of the ACRL website.