The Physics of . . .

By - Systems Librarian February 19th, 2009

Lisa Laughy – Archives Assistant

. . . just about everything!

A new book display in the Baker Reading Room brings together over a dozen books from the Ohrstrom Library collection that share a common thread: They all have “The Physics of” as part of their titles.  Beyond that connection it is a very diverse selection, covering topics that range from sports, music and sailing, to NASCAR, Star Trek, Superheros, and even James Bond movies.

Did you know that:

  • A baseball compresses from a round shape to an elliptical one when the bat-ball impact approaches 140 MPH?
  • When a hockey puck is tilted at a positive angle relative to the ice there is a lift force directed upward?
  • The idea behind the deflector shield on the Enterprise originated with the concept of a coherent gravitational field that creates a curvature of space?
  • Spiderman swinging on his web from building to building is a good illustration for the principle of conservation of energy?
  • Having the ideal tire slip angle on a NASCAR race car can mean the difference between spinning off the race track or speeding across the finish line?
  • The first watch camera was made in 1886, but James Bond’s ring camera worn in the film A View to a Kill is too small to actually function?

Come check out one of these interesting titles and find out some of the different ways that physics functions in your day-to-day world.

New Book Display: Black History Month 2009

By - Systems Librarian February 10th, 2009

Lisa Laughy – Archives Assistant

The Quest for Citizenship in the Americas –  this year’s theme for Black History Month –  is the inspiration for a book display now on view in the Baker Reading Room.  Library Assistant Meredith MacLeod has assembled a wide range of books that inform and illuminate this powerful and resonant theme.

Each year, The Association for the Study of African American Life and History chooses a theme for Black History Month. This year’s theme celebrates the 100th anniversary of the founding of the NAACP.  The ASALH website offers this description of the theme:

A century ago, an interracial group of Americans joined together and formed the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).  Two generations after emancipation, a tide of racism had betrayed the promise of first-class citizenship. In the South, whites had stripped Blacks of the right to vote and constructed a society based on racial segregation.  In the North, African Americans confronted myriad forms of discrimination that thwarted their aspirations.  The Supreme Court turned a blind eye to the denigration of American citizenship taking place across the land and in the government itself.

The story of the NAACP is the story of struggle to create and maintain equal citizenship for all Americans.  Through exposing the horrors of lynching, keeping the issue of equality before the courts, and organizing branches throughout the country, the NAACP drew a national following and inspired others to form organizations for racial change.  The NAACP’s work gave hope not only to blacks in the North, but to men and women in the South like Rosa Parks and Medgar Evers.

The centennial of the NAACP is an occasion to highlight the problem of race and citizenship in American history, from the experiences of free Blacks in a land of slavery to the political aspirations of African Americans today. The centennial also provides an opportunity to explore the history of other nation’s in the Americas, where former slaves also sought the fruits of citizenship.

The books assembled cover a wide range of subjects around the theme, and make for a rich exploration of what it means to strive for equal citizenship – throughout the history of America as well as today.  Take time to browse through the books and consider reading one of these titles in celebration of Black History Month this year.

New Book Display: Inauguration 2009

By - Systems Librarian January 23rd, 2009

Sandra Chauvin – Circulation Librarian

In honor of the historic Inauguration of the 44th President of the United States, the staff at Ohrstrom Library has assembled a display of related materials.

Please take a moment during the next week or two to learn about other Presidential inaugurations in such books as The inaugural addresses of twentieth-century American presidents edited by Halford Ryan (353.03 In1R) and Lincoln’s greatest speech: the second inaugural by Ronald C. White Jr. (Big. L638W5).   Listen to the actual voice of FDR give three of his inaugural addresses on the recording FDR: nothing to fear (CD Biog.  R6772).

Learn more about what experiences have shaped and inspired our new president by reading Obama’s  The audacity of hope: thoughts on reclaiming the American dream (973.931 Ob1A) as well as the DVD Senator Obama goes to Africa (DVD Biog. Ob1S).

Finally, enjoy some recordings of two of the featured performers at the inauguration: Aretha Franklin [The Best of Aretha Franklin (CD 785.42 F85)] and John Williams [John Williams greatest Hits, 1969-1999 (CD 782.85 W67).]  All of these items and many more are on display in the Baker Reading Room.

Image courtesy of Jetheriot under this Creative Commons license.

New Book Display: Graphic Novels

By - Systems Librarian December 9th, 2008

Lisa Laughy -Archives Assistant

In response to growing student interest, Ohrstrom Library is expanding its collection of graphic novels. The library staff is celebrating the influx of these engaging new books with a colorful display in the Baker Reading Room featuring over 20 new graphic novels.  They represent a mixture of artistic styles and genres including biographies, autobiographies, fantasy, and literature.  Here are the highlights of a few of the titles:

  • Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi – her award winning memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution
  • Beowulf adapted and illustrated by Gareth Hinds – a visually compelling graphic novel of the ancient classic.
  • Three Shadows by Cyril Pedrosa – an original fairy tale / fantasy story about a father’s quest to protect his young son from his fate.
  • Laika by Nick Abadzis – a fictionalized account of the first dog sent into orbit as part of the Soviet space program.
  • We Are on Our Own: A Memoir by Miriam Katin – the story of the author’s and her mother’s escape from the Nazi invasion of Budapest.

This book display is great for browsing so be sure to take a few minutes to stop by Ohrstrom to look it over.  If you have never read a graphic novel before, or only associate the genre with super-heroes in tights and capes, you will be surprised by the range of subjects and marvel at the variety of original visual styles represented.

This display will be available in the Baker Reading Room through the end of term, so if you would like some recreational reading over the holiday break just request a special due date when checking the item out at the Circulation Desk.