Archive for October, 2011

Experience Loyola History Online

Ever wonder what courses were required for voice majors in 1953? Looking for articles written by your mom when she was a Maroon staff writer in 1982? Or do you just want to see what Harry Connick Jr. was up to as a college freshman at Loyola in 1986?

You can find all these things, and more, thanks to the recent digitization activities by the Monroe Library’s Special Collections and Archives.

A partnership with the Lyrasis Mass Digitization Collaborative through funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation enabled the digitization of 62 editions of the Wolf Yearbook ranging from 1924-2007, and 499 bulletins (also known as course catalogs) from 1886 (when what we know now as Loyola was called College of the Immaculate Conception) to 2006. The Monroe Library also hopes to digitize all editions of the school newspaper, the Maroon, but must raise enough money to do so. In the meantime, in preparation for the university’s Centennial celebration beginning in 2012, Maroon issues from 1972-73, 1982-83, 1992-93, and 2002-03 have been digitized and added to Loyola’s collection at the Louisiana Digital Library.

All of the digitized items are searchable and can be downloaded in full, or you can save individual pages as JPEGs.

Digitized issues of the Maroon

Digitized issues of the Wolf Yearbook

Digitized Loyola Bulletins

Watch a video tutorial on how to search the yearbooks and bulletins online:

WE RECOMMEND: Sullivan’s Travels dir. Preston Sturges

Sullivan’s Travels (1942) dir. Preston Sturges

Sullivan's Travels DVD coverA steam locomotive barrels at high speed through the night, as two men desperately battle it out hand to hand until falling into a river.  This turns into three men in a screening room watching this film.  The director is unhappy, saying “I want to hold a mirror up to life.”  He argues with the studio executives about what kind of films to make in troubled times.  He wants to make a serious social commentary.  The studio wants light, fluffy entertainment.  The director decides to take off to travel, learning what problems common people have.  Everyone is against it; even his butler argues that the poor don’t need serious movies.  The studio threatens to sue him unless they can turn his travels into a publicity stunt.  They follow in a luxurious camper, with cook and staff in tow.  He tries to ditch the crew, but soon he gets into real trouble, first from a farm widow, and then he meets Veronica Lake in a diner.  She becomes his guide and companion through the underside of life.

Sullivan’s Travels is one of the funniest films about film and the place of art in everyday life.  It veers around, from slapstick to despair.  You have seen some of this before:  a kid driving hand-decorated car, prisoners watching a cartoon, even the title of the unmade film are all appropriated by the Coen Brothers in O Brother, Where Art Thou?  As the saying goes, “When you steal, steal from the best.”  And Sturges’ film is one of the best comedies of the nineteen forties or any time.

- Jim Hobbs, Online Services Coordinator

WE RECOMMEND: Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich

Nickel and Dimed coverIn 2010, both the Easton, Pennsylvania and the Bedford, New Hampshire School Districts challenged Nickel and Dimed (by Barbara Ehrenreich) after several parents complained about the book’s “promotion of economic fallacies and its biased portrayal of capitalism.” However, I would argue that the book actually shows the true nature of capitalism; that it creates winners and losers.

As an experiment, Ehrenreich set out to discover if she could survive working low-wage jobs. She waited tables in Florida, cleaned houses in Maine, and worked at a Wal-Mart in Minnesota. She almost always needed a second job, so she often found herself working seven days a week, adding work as a nursing home aide and as a hotel maid at different points of her research.

In all three locations, she struggled to find housing that would be affordable for people who earned six or seven dollars an hour. A couple of her coworkers were actually homeless and living in their cars, because they always lacked enough money for first month’s rent and deposit on an apartment. Also, maintaining a healthy diet was an issue sometimes. When she was lucky enough to find affordable housing with a kitchen, she was able to cook for herself sometimes, but often she had to rely on fast food. And Ehrenreich often notes that the lunches of her coworker’s were unhealthy and insufficient for the back-breaking work they were doing.

What Ehrenreich took away from this experience is that there is no such thing as unskilled labor. None of the jobs were easy; they were all physically demanding and she never had a coworker that she would describe as “lazy.” She also comments that “You don’t need a degree in economics to see that wages are too low and rents are too high” and that when the rich and the poor compete for housing, the poor always lose. She concludes that something is very wrong when people can work as hard as they do and are still barely able to support themselves.

Overall, Nickel and Dimed is a thought-provoking read. For many, the problems of the poor are misunderstood or simply invisible, but Ehrenreich describes the problem of poverty in the United States in a knowledgeable and compassionate way. She also states that poverty is an emergency and I think anybody who would like to understand that statement better should read Nickel and Dimed.

- Kayla Whitehead, Technical Services Assistant/Serials Specialist

WE RECOMMEND: The Bible Experience: New Testament

The Bible Experience: New Testament by Ron Belk

The Bible Experience: New Testament is an audiobook of the New Testament of the Bible. Samuel L. Jackson, Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Forest Whitaker, and many other recognizable actors voice the New International Version translation. The Bible Experience creates a captivating and powerful performance of the New Testament.

It might seem unusual to recommend a Bible audiobook. However, if you are taking a biblical studies class this semester, you probably will be required to read selections from the Bible. Reading the Bible on your own is important to gain a detailed understanding of the text. The Bible Experience is an engaging and helpful supplement to those readings. The audiobook brings to life the stories of the Bible. Rather than a line-by-line reading of the text, this is a full-fledged production with superb voice actors whose performances are enhanced by the background music and sound effects. This audiobook is an engaging journey through the New Testament. Listen to it in your car, while you are studying, or even while you are exercising. The continual exposure will help you recall the Bible for quizzes, tests, and papers, and will allow you to experience the text in a new way.

- Brian Sullivan, Online Learning Librarian

Credo Reference – You Can Believe!

What’s got over 3 million authoritative academic articles on subjects from art to philosophy to religion to technology?  It’s the brand new Credo General Reference Collection.  And it’s available any time of the day or night from your computer.  Just need a definition of a critical term or a brief background piece?  Turn to Credo and search or browse by source title.  Also search for images, and use bilingual dictionaries to find words in twelve languages, including Latin, modern Greek, Portuguese and Welsh.

And don’t forget our other trustworthy reference sources:  Gale Virtual Reference Library and Oxford Reference Collection Premium!  Go to Research Guides and look for Encyclopedias and Dictionaries, then select the service of your choice.