Happy 229th Birthday!


On Friday, September 16th, there will be Constitution Day Constitution Signing Event in the lobby of ATEC from 10 to 12. You will be able to sign a Mock Constitution. With signing, you will be entered to win a cash prize.
Seeing the poster for this event got me thinking about the Constitution and its importance.
The United States Constitution will be 229 years old on September 17th. When the Constitution was signed in 1787, the young nation had just won the American Revolution four years earlier. The United States did have a constitution but the Articles of Confederation was weak. The Articles had been ratified in 1781 and it allowed each state to operate like an independent country. In 1787, it was realized that a stronger constitution was needed and Alexander Hamilton invited representatives from all 13 states to meet in Philadelphia for a constitutional convention. There were 55 delegates from 12 states who spent a hot summer debating issues. The end product, our Constitution, devised three branches of government—executive, legislative and judicial – and a system of checks and balances so no one branch would have too much power.
The Constitution has 4400 words. It is the shortest and oldest Constitution of any major government in the world.
It does not set requirements for voting. In 1789, only male property owners could vote. African-American men would be allowed to vote with the 15th Amendment and all women with the 19th Amendment.
There have only been 27 amendments added to the original Constitution.
There was concern that the large states would have too much power and the small states too little. The Great Compromise saved the Convention. The Compromise called for proportional representation based on population in the House and one representative per state in the Senate. This was later changed to two representatives from each state.
There was a question as to how to address the President. The Senate proposed “His Highness the President of the United States and Protector of their Liberties. “ As is often the case, a compromise was needed (!!!) and it was decided to call him the “President of the United States.
Here’s a trivia fact that I hope you know. The Central Penn Library has books about the Constitution. A number of them are on display on the top shelves of the book shelves on your right as you enter the library.

Let’s head to the Beach!



I was just looking at the August Activities Calendar and the all- day beach trip on August 1st certainly caught my attention. My mind started wandering and I found myself splashing in the waves. I had to quickly get it back to the Central Penn Library and I continued looking at the activities calendar. If you aren’t able to go on the beach trip, you do have other opportunities during the month to enjoy summer. There will be Water Wars at the pool on the 4th; a picnic on the 10th; sand volleyball the evenings of the 10th and 24th and a dance on the 26th with the theme of “A Night in the Tropics.”
Just as there are a wide variety of summer activities for you here on campus, there are a wide variety of books here at the library for both your reading pleasure and for increasing your brain power. Keeping with the beach theme, we have The Beach Book: Science of the Shore [552.457 HOB]. I also found another ocean science book in the Atlas of Coasts and Oceans [577.512 HIN]
I found a true crime book in our collection entitled Palm Beach Murder [364.1523 COL]
In our history section, I found The War for all the Oceans: from Nelson at the Nile to Napoleon at Waterloo [940.274] Oh, how many wars have been fought on the high seas.
Going into books that are more like beach reads ( pun intended), I found the Beach House by Jane Green that takes place is Nantucket [ 823.914 GRE] and Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman. [823.92 STED]   In Light between Oceans, a lighthouse keeper on an island off of Australia has a small boat wash up onto the shore with a baby inside. The event changes his life.
The library has a nice group of books for your laid back summer reading. I think of them as beach reads although of course, they all don’t have the word Beach in the title and you don’t need to be lounging on a beach to read them. The librarians will be glad to show you where our literature section is and to point out some “beach reads” to you.

10 new laptops for the library —Thank you CP Education Foundation!

laptop cropped pic

Need to borrow a laptop? The library has recently added 10 new laptops, thanks to the Central Penn Educational Foundation. You may borrow a laptop and keep it for one week. When it is due, you may renew it unless someone has requested it. The library is thrilled to have more laptops for you to use. In the past, often all of our laptops were in use and we could not accommodate everyone who wished to borrow one.
Personally I am amazed with computer technology. Perhaps it is my age – yes, my birth certificate says I am old—but I never imagined what can be done today using a computer. When I was a librarian here at Central Penn in the late 1990’s, the internet was only available in the librarians’ office, not for general student use in the library. There is no way one could imagine borrowing a laptop and using it anywhere.
It seems as if computer technology is everywhere, but it wasn’t always this way! The library has a display of books on the history of computers. The display is just on your right as you enter the library. The display shares the area where we have the new books and DVDs.
Come to the library to check out the display or one of our new laptops or a book or DVD or video game or board game….

Independence Day

When you think of the 4th of July or Independence Day what comes to mind? Is it a barbecue or a picnic with family or neighbors? Does it include fireworks or at least sparklers? Do you go to a parade? Is it simply a day off from school or work when you get chance to sleep in?
Let’s take a moment to reflect on why we celebrate Independence Day. We are celebrating our freedom, especially our right to govern ourselves. We have the right to vote for our leaders. We don’t have to bow and curtsey to a king or queen. We can thank the Founding Fathers for our freedom. On July 2nd, 1776, the members of the Second Continental Congress voted for a legal separation from Great Britain. The sixty members of the Congress then spent the next day fine tuning the Declaration of Independence to explain why they wanted to no longer be ruled by Great Britain. The Declaration of Independence was presented to the public on the 4th of July.
With representatives from each of the colonies, the members of the Second Continental Congress were taking a bold move in telling Great Britain that they wanted their freedom and realized that they would have to fight for it. I wonder if I had been living in colonial times, if I would have made the bold move of joining the rebel Patriots. Would I be afraid to make a stand for independence or just let British rule continue? What would you do? It is something to ponder.


There are various books and DVDs about the colonial leaders and beginnings of the American republic on display on your right as you enter the library.

The Library can help you “Get a Job!”

Many of you are very much looking forward to graduating and starting a career. You are ready to apply your knowledge into a job in the workplace. You are ready to start earning a paycheck.
Oh, I got ahead of myself there. First you need to find a position and the library can help! The library has a collection of books that we call the Work Place Collection and it contains books that will help you get into the workplace.
We have books to help you with the process of hunting for a position.

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We have books to help you in writing a resume. Yes, we have more resume books than just these three.

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We have books to help you write the important cover letter.  Here  are just some of the cover letter books we have.

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GOOD NEWS! They want you to interview for a position. These books are just some of the books in our collection that will help you be prepared for the interview.

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We hope you graduate to a GREAT JOB and remember the library can help!



Celebrate Cultural Diversity at Central Penn

In 2002, the United Nations declared May 21 the “World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.” (http://www.un.org/en/events/culturaldiversityday/)

On May 20, 2016, Central Penn College will celebrate its third annual Festival of Nations. (http://www.centralpenn.edu/festivalofnations)

The United Nations added the words “Dialogue and Development” to the concept of “Cultural Diversity” in naming this Day because they knew that simply recognizing the existence of cultural diversity is not enough.  According to Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization):

“In a diverse world, the destruction of cultures is a crime, and uniformity is a dead-end: our aim must be to enhance, in one movement, the diversity that enriches us and the human rights that bring us together” (2016).

Diversity picture

Ms. Bokova is saying that all cultures are valuable and should be preserved and celebrated.  Understanding cultures other than one’s own requires dialogue (interaction) with members of other cultures.  Through this dialogue, we can all experience positive development (growth, progress) in our societies and hopefully within ourselves as well.

When I think about “cultural diversity” in a society, I think about the United States of America.  Although there are many countries in which multiple cultures exist, the United States, as part of its collective identity as a country, has welcomed people from other countries and cultures and encouraged them to express and preserve their cultural heritage.

Unlike most other countries, we are a nation almost entirely of immigrants and their descendants.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, less than 2% of the U.S. population identifies as either American Indian or Alaska Native—so 98% of Americans have ancestors from another place of origin (2014).

Among the Library staff, we have quite a range of different cultures and places of origin represented.  My background is similar to many East Coast natives—ancestors from several Western European countries.  My family’s largest connection now to our cultural heritage is our New Year’s Day dinner of pork and sauerkraut, which began as a German and then became a Pennsylvania Dutch tradition.

In contrast, the mother of our Director was born and raised in Colombia, South America.  Several of our student workers were born in other countries, including Haiti, Jamaica, and Liberia, and they later emigrated here with their families.  I enjoy learning about their cultures and seeing (and smelling!) the food that they bring in to eat.

On Friday, May 20, Central Penn is offering a great opportunity to experience other cultures and perhaps reconnect with your own—the third annual Festival of Nations will be held on campus.  It will include performances, games, activities, and food vendors representing many different nations and their cultures.  Come out and celebrate with us!

Bokova, I. (2016). Message from Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO. Retrieved from http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/events/prizes-and-celebrations/celebrations/international-days/world-day-for-cultural-diversity-for-dialogue-and-development-2015

U.S. Census Bureau. (2014). Quick facts: United States. Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045215/00

National Poetry Month

Each April, poetry is celebrated as being an important part of  our lives.
Google defines poetry as being a literary work in which special intensity is given to the expression of feelings and ideas by the use of distinctive style and rhythm.
I agree but it sounds like a definition, probably because it is one!
This quote by Dylan Thomas made me think how poetry makes me feel.” Poetry is what in a poem makes you laugh, cry, prickle, be silent, makes your toe nails twinkle, makes you want to do this or that or nothing, makes you know that you are alone in the unknown world, that your bliss and suffering is forever shared and forever all your own.” ― Dylan Thomas, a deceased Welsh poet and writer.
Yes, I read Dylan Thomas’ words a couple of times as I pondered what all he had included in the definition/ quote.
The Central Penn Library has a nice collection of poetry books. Our poetry books include   Talking White and Rising Waters both written by our very own Maria James Thiaw.


Our poetry collection includes a wide variety of styles and content. Poetry can be light and fluffy and it can be very meaningful. Come check out our poetry books and find out for yourself the enjoyment of poetry.
Poetry makes me stop and think about my feelings. – Sallie Cross

Library Shelfie Contest

You are probably sitting around wondering how you can celebrate National Library Week.
Just in case your calendar doesn’t have National Library Week marked on it, this year it is April 10 to 16th. In keeping with library etiquette, one must think of a very quiet way to observe it.
This year the Central Penn Library is quietly organizing a contest in which you are encouraged to take a shelfie of yourself. ( No, that is not a typo!) Perhaps you have guessed that a shelfie is a picture of yourself reading or holding a favorite book or DVD or a picture of yourself infront of a book shelf. After you have created a shelfie , email it to library@centralpenn.edu We will be judging the entries and awarding a cash prize for the most creative entry.
The deadline for entering is midnight on Friday, April 22nd.book-112117_640

Are YOU registered to Vote?


The Pennsylvania primary election is going to be held on Tuesday, April 26th.
The website, VotesPA.com provides information such as a checklist to see if you are eligible to vote, as well as, a summary of the primary election process. The site also has a link to the Absentee Ballot Application. The last day to register to vote in the primary election is March 28th. The last day to apply for an absentee ballot is April 19th BUT with both dates it is best to apply as soon as possible.
OK, now what are you voting for when you vote in a Pennsylvania Presidential Primary? You are selecting delegates to attend a national convention where they will represent their party’s interests.
In Pennsylvania, we have Closed Primary Elections meaning you must be a registered either as a Democrat or a Republican to vote. If you are registered as a Democrat, you will be limited to voting for a Democratic candidate running for President. If you are registered as a Republican, your election choices will all be Republicans.
The goal of the primary election is to get an accurate representation of delegates to vote at national party conventions. When choosing delegates, the Democratic party employs a proportional system. Pennsylvania will be sending 210 delegates to the National Convention in Philadelphia in late July. If the results of the Democratic primary have 60% of the voters selecting Clinton and 40% voting for Sanders, then 126 delegates are pledged to vote for Clinton and 84 delegates will be voting for Sanders. The Republican party has a “Winner takes all” system in which if Trump receives the most votes, even if it is only 40% of the total Republican votes, he will still receive the entire number of Pennsylvania Republican delegates, which is 71.
Both parties keep close track of the primaries throughout the United States and the number of delegates who have been pledged to vote for their candidates. The Republican and Democratic Nationals Conventions are mostly ceremonial, simply ratifying the candidate who has already secured the support of a majority of delegates.
The first step in having your “voice” heard in government is to register to vote, if you have not done so already. You only need to register one time. You will need to change your registration only if you change your address, name or political party. The next step is to VOTE!

Where, oh where do I start in doing research?


Your professor has asked you to write a paper about the Islamic State. You realize that you should know more about it since it has been in the news so much but where do you start in finding good, reliable information? Once again, the library comes to the rescue!
The library has a number of resources for you to use in beginning your research. Let’s start with accessing databases for up to date information. Go to www.centralpenn.edu. Under College Services, find Library. Then find “online resources” on the right side of the page under Library Quick Links. There are a number of databases that you should check out for writing your paper about the Islamic State or for many other research topics.
The first database is CREDO. This site is a great place to start because it provides you with background information from general reference works such as dictionaries & encyclopedias.
Once you have a vague idea of what the Islamic State is, you are ready to build upon that by looking at other databases.
EBSCO is one of our periodicals database. I clicked on EBSCO and then EBSCO host web and the under the Continue button, I clicked on “select all”. When I did a search for Islamic State, I got over 8785 results. I had even clicked on the two boxes limiting the search to Full Text and Peer Reviewed (Scholarly Journals). When I limited the search to articles published in 2014 and 2015, I got 621 results. If you want to limit your topic even farther, the advanced search option gives you the chance to view related topics such as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria since a list of related topics is shown as you type in your query.
Another place to find periodical articles is the Gale Database. Check out the Academic One File database for periodicals. Another Gale database to check out is the Opposing Viewpoints database. There you will find all sorts of information on various sides of an issue. When I searched Islamic State, I found everything from published viewpoints to videos and images.
It dawns on you that the library may have some books that will be helpful. You can see what books are available at the library by going back to the Library Quick Links on the Library webpage and clicking on online catalog. There you can do a “keyword search” by typing in Islamic State. Your search is rewarded by learning that the library has a number of books. The titles that we have physically in the library have a book symbol with the description of the book. The online catalog tells if the book is available or if it is checked out. If it is checked out, it will say when it is due and it also gives you an option of requesting it by clicking on the red checkmark located above the title. You will notice that some of the books have the book symbol but it has an e in the lower right corner of the symbol. The e means that the book is an ebook and it is available to you 24/7. Click on the title and then “connect to” and there is the book!
The databases and the online catalog with its connection to ebooks is available 24/7. One valuable resource the library offers is its librarians. We are not 24/7 but the library is open from 8am to 11 pm Monday through Thursday. It is open on Fridays from 8 to 6. Saturdays we are open from 1 to 5. We are here to help you!