Friday, December 12, 2014

Winter Hours

Finals are over!  That means we will switch to winter break hours starting Saturday, December 13th until Sunday, January 11th.

Our winter break hours are:
Monday - Friday 8:00am - 5:00pm
CLOSED Saturday and Sunday

Additionally we will close for the holiday break from December 24th - January 4th.

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Free Tea and Coffee

One of our favorite annual traditions in the Library is Free Tea and Coffee week!  At the end of the spring and fall semesters we know it's hard to stay focused.  December 8th through the 12th we will offer assorted hot teas and fresh, hot coffee free to students, faculty and staff.

The 2nd floor of the Library is our Silent Zone, specially designated as quiet study space.  On the main floor we have lots of lab computers for last-minute paper-writing, tables for group study, nooks for private study, and comfy chairs to relax when you need a break.

If you need anything, please feel free to contact the Library by text 217/615-0079, via the Ask a Librarian! link, by phone 217-373-3839, or in person at the Library desk.  We are here for you!

Come for the free coffee, stay for the excellent study space.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Closed for Thanksgiving Break

Don't forget the Library will be closing at 5pm Wednesday, November 26th and remain closed until 7:30am Monday, December 1st.

Enjoy your break everyone!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Comments? Questions? Suggestions?

Is there a book you think we should have?  Have you experienced a weak wi-fi signal somewhere in the Library?  Are you curious what a librarian does on the weekends?

We want to hear your questions!  Also accepting: concerns, comments, suggestions.  We have comment cards available at the desk and at the suggestion drop box, which is located near green roof under the bulletin board.

Please, tell us what's on your mind.  We are continuously working to improve the Library.  Our goal is to provide an environment that promotes academic integrity and encourages strong study skills.  Ask for a comment card, or submit your comment online here.

Most comments and responses are posted on our Suggestions and Solutions board in the Library.  If you desire a personal response, please include your contact information on the back of the card.  And of course if you need immediate assistance, please inquire at the desk.  We are happy to help, it's why we're here!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

"I Voted" Did you?

We Voted - Did you?
Today is Election Day, which means if you are over 18 and a citizen of the United States - it is your civic duty to get out and vote.  Let's ignore the campaign politics and focus instead on incentive.  Why do people vote?

Many patriots vote because they believe it is their duty to uphold democracy by voting for the candidate of their choosing.  Some do extensive research into the policies and beliefs of each candidate.  Some vote based solely upon the party with which they side.  Some people vote at random.  The important thing is that you vote, regardless of your method. 

In return, voters receive a small red, white, and blue sticker that proclaims "I voted."  This sticker serves a dual purpose.  It allows you to quietly, yet proudly display your patriotism.  It also urges others to vote by reminding them that today is election day.  Like children in kindergarten, nobody wants to be left out and everyone likes stickers.

How did the "I Voted" sticker start?  The history is murky at best.  The Phoenix Board of REALTORS (also called the Phoenix Association of REALTORS) claims to have developed the sticker in 1985, but the article doesn't explain why the stickers were incorporated into the voting process.  Additionally, part of National Campaign Supply, claims "The Original 'I Voted Stickers' Satisfaction Guaranteed Since 1986."  However little else is found on the website to back up their claim.

Other articles discuss why the sticker is important and even the cost associated with voting stickers.  Even more articles claim that some businesses give away freebies for flashing your "I Voted" sticker, but had to cancel or alter their promotions on account of it possibly being illegal.  In recent years, several states have held contests to engage children by asking them to redesign the sticker

While we cannot be sure of the origin of the "I Voted" sticker, we can be sure of it's impact on our society.  Today will be filled with 'sticker selfies,' election day discounts, as well as companies and organizations urging you to cast your vote.  Whether you vote because you firmly believe that Candidate A is better than Candidate B, or because you enjoy feeling like a part of something bigger - cast your vote, be heard, and collect your sticker.

What does the "I Voted" sticker mean to you?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Library Closed Saturday, October 25

The Library will be closed on Saturday, October 25th due to power and internet outages on campus.  We will reopen Monday morning at 7:30am.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wayback Wednesday: Just where does one... wayback?

Seeing as how October is American Archives Month, it seems like the right time to wayback a bit about the Parkland Archives. 

In the Spring of 1972, President Staerkel authorized the establishment of a College Archives. William Gaines was appointed as College Archivist. (Mr. Gaines passed away recently; his obituary is here.)

In the early summer of 1979, President Staerkel, in response on an informal proposal by the College Archivist, requested a formal proposal for the establishing of a records management program. This program was authorized in October 1979. At this time, the function of records management was amalgamated with the Archives to form a new college office, The Archives and Records Management Office (ARMO). What a great name: ARMO. Gets me every time. “Hey, do you have those statistics from 1982?” “No, but have you checked with ARMO?” 

Think of the forethought that must have gone into establishing an archives at Parkland. Not all community colleges took this route, and some are now scrambling to arrange many, many years of records into a useable resource.  Now, fast forward to 2002: Things were looking bleak for poor old ARMO. The Parkland Archives was to lay dormant for the next 10 years. 

Thankfully, in 2012, an Archives Task Force was created to bring the Parkland Archives back to life. While individual departments remain responsible for maintaining and disposing their own records according to State of Illinois requirements, the Parkland Archives is the central repository for records of permanent importance. New space, new walls, new arrangement – things have shaped up. Your friendly neighborhood archivist has been busy accessioning (that’s a fancy archives word) and processing records that have been transferred from various departments that have begun to fill in blanks from those missing ten years.  

Here’s something not often considered in our Wayback posts: the FUTURE... future… future…. There are many important documents that are born digital and will stay that way that need to be collected, preserved (it’s harder than you might think… cough…floppy disk…cough), and cataloged for future access. The Parkland Archives will work to ensure that Parkland’s history is captured in whatever format in which it is presented. 

So consider stopping by the Parkland Archives. Located in R212 of the Library, and usually available in the mornings Monday thru Friday, or by appointment, we’re happy to show you around, accept your transfers, assist in your research, and help you create course content. Some of our most research-worthy records include those from the President’s office, minutes from the Board of Trustees meetings, records from Parkland College Association, a near full run of Prospectus. If you’re feeling nostalgic, consider the Sprinkler newsletter (1967-1988), the yearbooks (1970-1974) or the photo files. 

Wayback Wednesday is a feature of the Parkland College Archives. If you have ideas you'd like to see in future posts, email us at The Archives is open to faculty, staff, students and the public by appointment. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

An Imperfect Science

Here in the Library, we love a challenge.  When Larry and Anita Taylor contacted us about printing a replacement chess piece for their set, we welcomed the project.  Larry explained that one of his rooks had gone missing and he wanted to print a new one so he could continue to play.  He brought in the remaining rook and we got to work.

First we had to calibrate the scanner.  This process takes 10-15 minutes.  Makerware for Digitizer (the computer software that accompanies the scanner) walks you through the steps on your monitor.

Next up is the actual scanning!  We placed the rook on the turntable and the software walks you through the steps.  Each scan takes approximately 9 minutes, the sensor remains stationary while the turntable moves in tiny increments that allows the software to capture the item from every angle.  Multiple scans are often recommended, and merged together to create a more complete model.  For this project, we scanned the rook four times!

Sometimes a little extra editing is needed to make sure the model prints properly.  We used Meshmixer and Netfabb (both free downloads that can help edit and repair 3D designs) to remove any extra bits picked up in scanning and create a flat base for the model.

The missing rook was from the black set, so we changed out the filament (PLA or PolyLactic Acid - plastic) so the replacement rook would match the other pieces.  Changing the filament is an easy process that involves heating the extruder to melt the current color so it's easy to remove, then replacing it (still heated) with the new color.  

It is also important to level the build plate before you start a print.  This process takes 5-10 minutes and ensures that the surface is smooth and level for your print.  The display on the front of the Makerbot will walk you through the steps to level the plate.

Finally we were ready to print!  The scanning and set-up took about an hour and a half, including some trial and error.  When the model is ready, Makerware is the computer software we used to send the job to the printer.  Once that's done, it's a matter of waiting.  This print took approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes to complete.  Cost is determined by weight and this model's final weight was 16 grams, for a total cost of $3.60.  For comparison, the original rook weighs 73 grams.

As you can see, the print is not an exact replica.  This technology is still in it's early stages, particularly when it comes to scanning 3D objects.  But we are committed to the pursuit of learning, through trial and error if that's what it takes!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Collaborative Class Project in the International Lounge

Thursday afternoon the International Lounge in the Library hosted a group project combining four classes.  The ESL 73 and 74 classes taught by Tracey Brown and Christina Havenland joined forces with the COM 120 taught by Jody Littleton and Nathan Stewart.  Students interviewed each other for a Global Learning Survey.

These kind of projects are beneficial for both classes.  The ESL students are able to practice using the English language with native speakers, while the COM students gain interpersonal communication skills.  The short survey consists of questions like "Identify and describe (if you can) some cultural differences in verbal and/or nonverbal communication that you learned in this interview."

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Welcome Tatiana!

Study Abroad isn't just for students!  Each year Jody Littleton organizes a faculty exchange as well.  This year Antwanette Newton is hosting Tatiana Laydinen from Finland for two weeks.  In May Antwanette will journey to Finland to visit Tatiana for two weeks.  Tatiana is a participant in the Illinois Consortium of International Studies & Programs (ICISP) Study Visit Exchange Program with Antwanette.  Her journey to Antwanette's home is her first visit to the United States.
Antwanette Newton, Tatiana Laydinen, Jody Littleton
Tatiana represents North College Niittylahti, where she teaches Finnish, Finnish Culture and Labour Laws to help immigrants integrate into the Finnish society.  Her students range from 18 to 55 years old.  They are foreigners and teenagers who need a basic high school education to continue their education at professional colleges in Finland.

The past few years the Library has had the honor of hosting a Welcome Reception for our visitors.  Tuesday morning faculty, staff, students and administrators stopped by the International Lounge to greet Tatiana and welcome her to the Parkland community.  More photos are available on our Facebook page.
For more information about this program, contact Jody Littleton.