Friday, November 20, 2015

You Can Make Ceramics!

This month’s book display in the maker series features ceramics/pottery. Over the past few months we have been featuring many of the “hands on” crafts/maker projects in a series of displays related to this year’s Parkland Reads book, “ShopClass as Soul Craft.” This month’s display case showcases work by Clare Margiotta, a Parkland College ceramics student. Her works are diverse and illustrate a comprehensive pottery skill set including many textures, colors, shapes and glazing techniques. Please check out the Parkland College Spring Catalog for all of the arts courses.

For more examples of ceramics and to support the ceramics program here consider attending one of the following events on campus:

State of the Art: Cermaics Invitational curated by Chris Berti
Saturday, November 21, noon
Giertz Gallery at Parkland College presents Four by One, a group ceramic exhibition curated by art faculty member Chris Berti. The artists include Randy Carlson, Sunshine Cobb, Michael Corney, Paul Eshelman, Meredith Host, Doug Jeppesen, Jan McKeachie Johnston, Randy Johnston, Beth Lo, Joe Pintz, and Luba Sharipan. The exhibition will include two visiting artists from Illinois including Doug Jeppesen and Randy Carlson.

Randy Carlson will also give a lecture and demonstration on Wednesday, January 27 at 1pm in the ceramics studio (room C-191). Carlson worked as a production potter in Minnesota, Maine and Wisconsin before joining the Art faculty of Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois.

Coffee and Tea, Cups and Dessert: A Giertz Gallery Benefit
Thursday, December 3, 4-7pm

Enjoy a selection of beautiful handmade cups donated by Parkland faculty and students, live music by Fair Play featuring traditional Irish music, tasty desserts provided by Parkland College Hospitality Program, and coffee and tea. A silent auction of ceramic works—perfect for holiday gifts (or for yourself)—will round out the evening’s festivities. Tickets are $30 (2 for $50) and may be purchased at the Giertz Gallery, or through the art gallery office by calling 217/351-2485 or emailing Tickets will also be on sale during the Ceramics Invitational opening reception.

The Library has a large collection of maker books, in both physical and digital formats, available to faculty, students, and community members. If you want to become a maker yourself, come on in and Ask A Librarian to help you find your new hobby!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

November 13th is World Kindness Day

One kind word can warm three winter months.  -Japanese Proverb

World Kindness Day is a day to focus on doing good in your community, being compassionate, and making the world a better place.  Together we can make this the nicest day of the year!

There are lots of ways to celebrate kindness on Friday, November 13th.  One example is to research some inspirational quotes to share through the Library catalog.  Just go to our website and search for "quotations" under the Books & Media tab.

Want to do more than that?  Try some of these other kind acts...

  • Cook a meal for a friend or family.  (Cookbooks are also available through the Library catalog, both as physical books and ebooks.)
  • Smile at everyone.
  • Be extra friendly to the cashier at the store.  If you want to go the extra mile, buy them a coffee or candy bar to help them get through their work shift.
  • Compliment a stranger.
  • Hand-write an appreciative note or letter to somebody who has impacted your life in a positive way.
  • Send somebody flowers.
  • Remember that inspirational quote you looked up?  Share that with a friend or on social media.
  • Leave quarters in a vending machine or washing machine for the next person.
  • Tell a random parent you see that they're doing a good job.
  • Visit a nursing home and chat with anyone who looks lonely.
  • Buy dessert for a stranger at a restaurant.  (Ask the server to charge you, but deliver it to a different table.)
  • Send a care package to a soldier, missionary, or college student away from home.

If you want an extra challenge, keep quiet about your good deeds.  It's tempting to detail that good deed you did on social media, so all your friends know how thoughtful you are.  But share that inspirational quote you researched instead, or simply say, "I did a kind thing today."  After all, the idea behind doing kind things is to make the recipient feel good, not humblebrag to your friends.

Keep these kind acts in mind throughout the winter months.  Many people struggle with the colder weather and shorter daylight hours, and a kind word or thoughtful gesture can really make a big difference.  More information is available here from the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Wayback Wednesday (Flashback Friday Edition): Back to the Past

Your friendly neighborhood archivist was loath to harken back to the past on Future Day, but couldn't let the week go by without investigating what life was like "back then" that made for such a creative interpretation of the future. 

Of course, SOME of us remember. SOME of us actually saw the Back to the Future movies on their original release dates. But for those who weren't around, those of us who have forgotten, or those of us who have consciously chosen to delete that time from our memories (because shoulder pads and big hair are the stuff of nightmares), here's a little taste of 1985-style technology from the Wednesday, October 23, 1985, edition of keyboard chatter, a semi-regular feature in Prospectus at the time. 

Wayback Wednesday Extra: The holographic shark in Back to the Future II reminded me of a fun weekend craft project: make your own hologram!

This information was found in Record Groups 4-4/4 (Student Services-Student Life/Prospectus)

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. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Today is Future Day!

Happy Future Day!  In the popular film Back to the Future II Marty McFly travels briefly to 2015 only to discover that he must travel back to 1955 again to prevent disastrous changes to 1985.

This Robert Zemeckis film was released in 1989, but has gained a lot of attention the past few weeks leading up to today.  In the movie, October 21, 2015 is the date Marty arrives in the future.  We get a glimpse into the future that moviemakers of 1989 envisioned.  As it turns out, they weren't so far off!  Some of the things we see in the film, while not exact, actually exist in the present.

One of the most popular things to note is that in Back to the Future II the Cubs have won the World Series.  This likely made it into the movie because in reality the Cubs haven't won a World Series since 1908, and is still true today.  In a twist of fate nobody expected, the Cubs are currently playing in the championships and still have a shot at winning this year's World Series!

Hoverboard available at
While hoverboards don't exist quite like the ones you see in the movie (heavily branded by Mattel, yes that Mattel, mass producer of Barbie and friends) plenty of companies are feverishly working to perfect and market a real hoverboard.  There is a product on the market called a "hoverboard" but the model you see now is more like a segway without the handlebars.

Virtual reality goggles are actually here!  But not in the frequency predicted by Back to the Future II.  Google glass debuted earlier this year, and virtual reality glasses are available through various retailers.  Unfortunately neither have been met with much success.  Developers are still working to get this technology into our everyday lives, but they've still got a ways to go.

The pizza hydrator was a revolutionary idea, a machine similar to a microwave that could rehydrate and reheat dehydrated foods in seconds.  While this does not exist, and nobody has been able to create the technology to do so there is another machine being developed that is remarkably similar in terms of quick, convenient food production.  Foodini and ChefJet are just two of the 3D printers being developed that will print fully edible foods in the comfort of your own home!

Three local theaters have special viewings of Back to the Future II tonight.
The Art Theatre has a 10pm showing, $5.
The Virginia Theatre has a 7pm showing, $4 or free if you wear Cubs gear.
Carmike Cinemas has a 7pm double feature showing Back to the Future and Back to the Future II.

If you're still itching for 80's nostalgia and/or futuristic themes, check out some of these titles available in the Library!

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
How to Build a Time Machine by P.C.W. Davies
Back to Our Future: How the 1980s Explain the World We Live in Now--Our Culture, Our Politics, Our Everything by David Sirota
Running Man part of The Bachman Books by Stephen King
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

Monday, October 5, 2015

Happy Birthday, SPARK!

On this day, in 2010, SPARK went live! Parkland College Library was one of the first community college libraries in the country to recognize the possibilities of an institutional repository with the mission of highlighting examples of excellence in Parkland students, faculty and staff scholarly and creative works.

The collection now holds nearly 1400 entries from over 450 student, faculty, and staff authors, and has seen over 100,000 downloads from around the globe. Take a look at this readership activity map to see how far SPARK reaches:

Every year, SPARK continues to grow with the addition of papers and projects by students participating in the A with Honors Program, selected posters from Natural Sciences Poster Sessions, podcasts from Anthropology 103’s Ethnographies of Parkland Student Life project, and prints, product designs, and digital media from the Graphic Design Student Exhibition.

As we look toward the next five years and beyond, we are always on the lookout for exciting new class projects and are actively encouraging faculty to submit open educational resources to the collection. SPARK's ability to accommodate and share your innovative ideas and creativity is limitless!  To find out more about how you can contribute to SPARK, and become part of a global collection of work, email us at

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Banned Books Answers

Last week we posted a quiz to test your Banned Books knowledge.  Go ahead and take the quiz if you haven't yet.  When you're finished, come on back and scroll down for the answers!

Q: Why was "Captain Underpants" by Dav Pilkey challenged in 2000?
A: All of the above.  A parent at the Orfordville, WI Elementary School library claimed that the books, "taught students to be disrespectful; not to obey authority; not to obey the law, including God's law; improper spelling..."  The book has also been challenged by other individuals on the basis of "inappropriate potty humor."

Q: Which of the following books has NOT been challenged?
A: All of these books have been challenged.  "To Kill a Mockingbird" for racial content and profanity, "Catcher in the Rye" for sexual content and profanity among other things, "Charlotte's Web" for it's depiction of a woman in leadership, and "The Giving Tree" was considered sexist.

Q: What book prompted the headline, "Grandma Refuses to Return Library Book, Could Face Jail Time"?
A: "It's Perfectly Normal" by Robie Harris.

Q: What reasons have been given for challenging books?
A: All of the above.  Racial issues, Presence of Witchcraft, Negativity, and Age Inappropriate have all been cited as reasons for books being challenged.

Q: Why was "in the Night Kitchen" by Maurice Sendak challenged in 1985?
A: Nudity.  This book was challenged in Beloit, WI "because the book was believed to desensitize children to nudity."

Q: Which book is banned at Parkland?
A: None.  "50 Shades of Grey," "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian," and "The Kite Runner" are all available at the Parkland Library.

Q: "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie won what award in 2007?
A: National Book Award for Young People's Literature

Monday, September 21, 2015

Test your Banned Books Knowledge

Think you know a thing or two about banned books?  Take our quiz here and check back next week during Banned Books Week for the answers!

Banned Books Week is September 27th - October 3rd this year.  Stop by the Library to see what banned books are available here.  We believe in your literary freedom; we will never tell you what you can't read.

*Thank you to the anonymous source for the grammar tip.  It has been corrected.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wayback Wednesday: A Scholarly Crest

Welcome and welcome back, scholars! Let’s begin this semester’s Wayback Wednesday series with a nod to the Parkland College Crest. Coat of Arms. Crest… Coat of Arms.

Why the confusion? Well, while it’s always been called the Parkland College Crest, technically, it should be called a coat of arms. You see, the crest is a component of the entire coat of arms, traditionally located above the helmet, which is missing here. The design does still retain the shield as the centerpiece of a traditional coat of arms, so that's good. (And here is where your Friendly Neighborhood Archivist admits that she is, perhaps, a bit too persnickety on the subject for her own good and will concede that modern times have certainly allowed for bending the traditional rules of heraldry.) Anyhoo, here’s your Parkland history fix for the month.  

The Parkland College Crest is the outgrowth of an effort begun in 1968 to develop a college seal. Working with Dick Karch, then Assistant Dean for Student Activities, designers from Josten’s (that’s right, the class ring people) took a list of ideas and included five items in their final suggested design.

The design was finalized in 1972, and the ideas which it suggests were extensively reviewed and written into “An Interpretation of the Parkland College Crest” by Paul Kunkel, while as Director of Development.  Here is the original document: 

You’ll always find this explanation of the Parkland Crest in the college catalog (see page 14), and you’ll see the crest again on the commencement program at graduation. However, your Friendly Neighborhood Archivist knows there is at least one spot where you can find the Parkland Crest here on campus, and it’s kind of in an unexpected place.  There may be more.  Let us know where you found it! 


Wayback Wednesday Extra: Symbolize the new academic year with your own coat of arms!

This information was found in Record Groups 5-3, Institutional Accountability and Research, and 6-2, Comptroller, Business Office. 

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. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Tips for a Positive Parkland Experience

Fall classes start on August 24th, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your time here at Parkland.

  • Remember the ramps.  Parkland's layout can be confusing at first.  Keep this in mind - if you're walking UP a ramp, you're walking towards the college center (X-wing).  If you're walking DOWN a ramp, you're walking away from the college center.  
  • If you drive, make a note of the parking lot when you arrive.  The lightpoles in the parking lots all have markers that indicate which lot you're in, like B7 or M1.  If you get confused walking out, remember your lot.  The letter of the parking lot will often correspond to the nearest wing of the college, for example B7 is nearest to the B wing.
  • Check out campus events, like Convocation and Activities Fair in the Student Union, August 27th at noon.  You can expect a welcoming address from the President and VP, a free lunch starting at 12:30, and explore the different clubs, organizations, and facilities Parkland has to offer.  Plus fun games and cool prizes!  You might even win an iPad!
  • Help is available!  Need research assistance?  Ask a Librarian!  Need someone to proofread your work, or help with your math homework?  Visit the Center for Academic Success in D120.  Need help finding a job?  The Career Center in U238 has local job listings and can provide assistance with your resume!
  • Get involved.  Visit Student Life in U111 to learn about the various extracurriculars available at Parkland.  You can also get your student ID here, which you need to check out material in the Library.  Not to mention a student ID will score you discounts at select local businesses!
  • Ask Questions!  That's how you learn, so don't be shy!  

And of course, the Library is here to help.  
Contact us: 
By phone 217-373-3839
By text 217-615-0079
By e-mail
By chat (click here)

Friday, June 5, 2015

Student Produced Animations

This past spring semester, the Library took advantage of an exciting opportunity to work with Derek Dallas and his Advanced 3D Animation class.  Marcellus Fauci, Brandon Gerber, Ryan Marshall, Ronald Nsokoshi, Calen Potter, and Kevin Runyan gained real client-related experience by pitching ideas and creating custom animations for the Library.

Each student researched promotional videos to find inspiration, and then presented their ideas to Sarah Meilike (Library Administrative Assistant) and Anna Maria Watkin (Library Director).  Throughout the semester, Sarah and Anna Maria worked with the students to guide their designs and give them constructive feedback.

By the end of the semester, the students had created four separate and unique videos for the Library to use in promotions.  Take a look and let us know what you think!