Friday, December 30, 2011

New Years Holiday Closing

Just a reminder that Hewes Library will be closed on Monday, January 2, 2012, to observe the New Years Holiday.  We will return to normal break hours on Tuesday, January 3.  To view a complete listing of the library's hours, please visit our hours webpage.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Holiday Closing - Dec. 23-27

Hewes Library is currently on Winter Break hours.  We will be closed for the Christmas Holiday from Dec. 23-27, 2011.  We will reopen on Wednesday, December 28, 2011.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Title Highlight: A Dictionary of Opera Characters

A Dictionary of Opera Characters from Oxford Reference Online

This online resource has over 2,500 entries related to the opera and opera characters. Although the dictionary says it is one of opera characters, it also gives short synopses of many operas. This can be useful because if one can remember the title of an opera but not the names of the characters, a list of characters and links to their entries is found in the summary of the opera. Each opera listing also has a side bar link list of characters found in the opera.

The character listings describe the roll the character plays in a given opera and what performer was first seen in the role and when s/he first appeared in the role. For characters that appear in more than one opera (such as Faust), the entry lists the different operas the character appears in and the part they play in that opera.

Another useful feature of the online dictionary is the “links for this book” link found on the main entry screen. This list of links will take you to other sites related to opera, its performers, musicians, and other topics related to the world of opera.

Database access is limited to the students, staff, and faculty of Monmouth College.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Winter Break Hours

Starting today, Hewes Library will be operating on Winter Break Hours.  A full schedule of the library's hours are online.  Winter Break hours will run from December 15, 2011 through January 22, 2012.  Our schedule will be:
  • Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Saturday - Sunday Closed
The library will be closed for the holidays on Dec. 23-27, 2011 and Jan. 2.

Bill of Rights Anniversary

Today, December 15, is Bill of Rights Day.  On December 15, 1791, the first 10 amendments to the US Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights, became effective following ratification by the state of Virginia.  Learn more about the Bill of Rights:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

New Items at Hewes Library

New items are added to the Hewes Library collection on a continual basis. Recent titles have included:

  • Yours Truly, Goldilocks by Alma Flor Ada
  • Women Writers of the American West, 1833-1927 by Nima Baym
  • Prohibition: Thirteen Year that Changed America by Edward Behr
  • Reading Human Nature by Joseph Carroll
  • Illinois: A History in Pictures by Gerald A. Danzer
  • White Coat, Black Hat by Carl Elliott
  • Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
  • Age of Wonder by Richard Holmes
  • Maynard Keynes: An Economist's Biography by D.E. Moggridge
  • Moral Foundation of Economic Behavior by David C. Rose

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Title Highlight: Sign Language Dictionaries

Gallaudet Dictionary of sign languageRandom House American Sign Language Dictionary, and the American Sign Language: A comprehensive dictionary.

These three dictionaries, all found in the library’s reference section, differ from Webster’s and other dictionaries in that the words defined are indicated by drawings of the gesture used to describe the word. American Sign Language (ASL) is a non-spoken language developed over 200 years ago and its first dictionary was written only a little over 50 years ago.

Sign language is a true language with rules of use like any other. It does not consist of pantomiming signs that represent the objects described, although some signs are iconic and do represent the object talked about (such as the sign for tree), but others bear no relation to the object or concept described. These three dictionaries show the signs used in ASL, and each offers something a little different to the user. The Gallaudet Dictionary relies on drawings to illustrate the words and concepts conveyed by a sign. The other two dictionaries use a combination of written words and pictures to illustrate and explain a sign as most signs involve some movement that accompanies the hand gesture. The Gallaudet dictionary contains a CD that demonstrates how many signs are made.

It is instructive to learn that ASL is not a uniform language; some of the words are defined in more than one way in the various books or differ from book to book. For instance the sign for the word “cheat” is different in the American Sign Language: A comprehensive dictionary from the sign shown in the other two books. Each of the books opens with a detailed discussion of the language and its use and is helpful to any reader unfamiliar with the linguistics of sign.

The acceptance of sign as a method of communication outside of schools for the deaf is a recent development and the introductions to all of the books explain some of the controversies surrounding its use. Also of interest is that although sign is not a spoken language, it is not understood cross-culturally. A person communicating in ASL would not understand a person from Britain using British Sign Language (BSL) as the signs for the same words are often not the same or even similar in ASL and BSL. However the sign language used in France served as the basis for ASL, thus deaf French and American signers can communicate more easily than an American and an Englishman.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Upcoming changes to I-Share Universal Borrowing

We would like to inform you of some upcoming changes to the I-Share Universal Borrowing service that will be taking effect after the New Year.

Last summer, the Consortia of Academic and Research Libraries of Illinois (CARLI) implemented changes to Universal Borrowing (UB) through the I-Share Catalog to standardize the I-Share borrowing experience for patrons at all I-Share libraries. The third phase of these changes will take effect on Thursday, January 5, 2012. On that date, UB block thresholds will be activated.

When a patron reaches or exceeds any of the thresholds listed below, they will be unable to request, discharge, or renew any I-Share items until the blocking condition is resolved. UB thresholds that will cause a patron to be blocked are:

• 25 UB items overdue

• 1 UB item recalled and overdue

• 3 UB items lost

• 10 claims returned on UB items

• 10 UB items self-shelved (returned to library shelf without discharge)

• $200 total owed in UB fines or fees

If any of these conditions are met, the I-Share account will be blocked at the consortial level. The patron will have to clear their account with the library that lent the item. The thresholds count only a patron's combined transactions across all other I-Share libraries. Any local circulation transactions in the patron's home library are not counted against the UB thresholds.

If you have any questions, please contact a library staff member at x2190.

US Government Resources for the Holidays

Interesting government resources from across the web: writes: "Various ethnic and religious groups in America celebrate days with special meaning to them even though these are not national holidays. Jews, for example, observe their high holy days in September, Muslims celebrate Ramadan, African Americans celebrate Kwanzaa, Irish Americans celebrate the old country's patron saint, St. Patrick, on March 17, and Mardi Gras is the day before the Christian season of Lent begins and is a big occasion in New Orleans, Louisiana, where huge parades and wild revels take place. There are many other such religious and ethnic celebrations in the United States."

Access to electronic datbase resources are limited to the students, staff, and faculty of Monmouth College.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

On Display: Winter Holidays

Currently on display in the East Lobby is a collection of library materials that relate to the Winter Holiday Season, as well as a short description of each holiday and its traditions.
All of the library materials (except Reference Books) are available to check out.  Please see a member of the library's staff to borrow an item.

Happy Holidays from the Hewes Library Staff!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Holiday Retail Statistics from the US Govnt.

Want to wow your family with some great statistics over the holiday table?  Read the latest statistics on consumer spending this holiday season.  View the full set of statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau on the Holiday Season:

$27.2 billion

Retail sales by the nation's department stores (including leased departments) in December 2010. This represented a 44 percent jump from the previous month (when retail sales, many holiday-related, registered $18.8 billion). No other month-to-month increase in department store sales last year was as large.  Other U.S. retailers with sizable jumps in sales between November and December 2010 were clothing stores (33 percent); radio, TV and other electronics stores (44 percent); sporting goods stores (58 percent); bookstores (92 percent); and jewelry stores (113 percent).   Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Service Sector Statistics

Note: Leased departments are separately owned businesses operated as departments or concessions of other service establishments or of retail businesses, such as a separately owned shoeshine parlor in a barber shop, or a beauty shop in a department store. Also, retail sales and inventory estimates have not been adjusted to account for seasonal or pricing variations.

The percentage of total 2010 sales for department stores (including leased departments) in December. For jewelry stores, the percentage was 20 percent.  Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Service Sector Statistics

The growth in inventories by our nation's department stores (excluding leased departments) from Aug. 31 to Nov. 30, 2010. Thanks to the holiday crowds, inventories plummeted by 22 percent in December.  Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Service Sector Statistics

$34 billion
Value of retail sales by electronic shopping and mail-order houses in December 2010 — the highest total for any month last year.  Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Service Sector Statistics

The number of electronic shopping and mail-order houses in business in 2009. These businesses, which employed 320,721 workers, are a popular source of holiday gifts (NAICS code 45411).

If you're not sure where to do your shopping, choices of retail establishments abound: In 2009, there were 150,205 clothing and clothing accessories stores (NAICS code 448); 8,663 department stores (NAICS code 4521); 8,424 hobby, toy and game shops (NAICS code 45112); 27,738 gift, novelty and souvenir shops (NAICS code 45322); 21,628 sporting goods stores (NAICS code 45111); 24,973 jewelry stores (NAICS code 44831); and 9,390 book stores (NAICS code 451211) across the nation. The figures shown are for locations with paid employees and do not include nonemployer firms (i.e. firms with no paid employees). NAICS — North American Industry Classification System  Source: U.S. Census Bureau, County Business Patterns,

Friday, December 9, 2011

Holiday Season Statistics from the US Government

With the holiday season upon us, do you ever stop to wonder how busy the country gets?  Take a look at some of the statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau on the Holiday Season:

Christmas Trees and Decorations

$983 million:
The value of U.S. imports of Christmas tree ornaments from China between January and September 2011. China was the leading country of origin for such items. Similarly, China was the leading foreign source of artificial Christmas trees shipped to the United States ($79.7 million worth) during the same period. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Statistics

Where the Toys are ... Made

Number of establishments around the country that primarily manufactured dolls and stuffed toys in 2009. California led the nation with 15 locations.  Source: U.S. Census Bureau, County Business Patterns, NAICS code 339931,

The number of locations that primarily produced games, toys and children's vehicles in 2009; they employed 7,858 workers. California led the nation with 98 establishments.  Source: U.S. Census Bureau, County Business Patterns, NAICS code 339932,

$2.5 billion:
The value of U.S. toy imports including stuffed toys (including dolls), puzzles and electric trains from China between January and September 2011. China was the leading country of origin for stuffed toys coming into this country, as well as for a number of other popular holiday gifts. These include roller skates ($24.6 million), sports footwear ($253.8 million) and basketballs ($38.9 million). China leads Thailand as the leading supplier of ice skates ($17.7 million versus $9.8 million), with Canada ranking third ($4.2 million). Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Statistics

Hanukkah and Kwanzaa

Proportion of the nation's spuds produced in Idaho and Washington in 2010. Potato latkes are always a crowd pleaser during Hanukkah.  Source: National Agriculture Statistics Service

$1.5 billion:
The value of product shipments of candles in 2009 by the nation's manufacturers. Many of these candles are lit during Hanukkah and Kwanzaa celebrations.  Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Annual Survey of Manufacturers, NAICS Code 3399995;

New Year's Eve and Day

More than 312 million
The nation's projected population as we ring in the New Year.  Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Estimates

Good luck on Finals! Remember: Quiet Hours, Candy Canes, and Coffee

Good luck on Finals!

The Hewes Library staff would like to wish all of our students good luck on your upcoming exams, presentations, projects, and papers! 

Remember, quiet hours are going on in the library to help you study, so please be courteous of your fellow students.  If you are looking for a quieter area to study, try the lower level study carols on the South wall. 

If you need a little sugar boost, candy canes are available on the holiday tree!  After 7:30pm, Einstein Brothers Bagels will have free coffee available for those studying.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Pop Quiz Results: Finals

On the Hewes Library website, we asked students the question: Are you ready for finals?  Here are the results:
Thanks for your participation and good luck on finals!

Library's Hours during Finals

Hewes Library's hours during Finals are:
  • Thursday - Friday, December 8 - 9: 7:30 a.m. - Midnight
  • Saturday - Sunday, December 10 - 11: 9:00 a.m. - Midnight
  • Monday - Tuesday, December 12 - 13: 7:30 a.m. - Midnight
  • Wednesday, December 14: 7:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Good luck on all of your final exams, papers, and projects!  See you next semester!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

Highligted on, each December 7 is "National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day." The Day honors the more than 2,400 military service personnel who died on December 7, 1941, during the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, by Japanese forces. The attack on Pearl Harbor caused the United States to enter World War II, which lasted until Japan surrendered on September 2, 1945.

The World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument is a national monument honoring several military engagements in World War II and is in three states.

Learn more about Pearl Harbor:

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Title Highlight: Historical dictionary of Shinto

Historical dictionary of Shinto

1 volume: Illustrated, Chronology, Appendix (with lists of web sites), Bibliography

This short book gives a brief look at some of the traditions, beliefs and history of Shinto, a Japanese religious tradition. As the author points out in his preface, there is little about Shinto that is clearly defined. As a religious tradition it is unusual in having no agreed doctrines or hierarchy. If one is unfamiliar with Shinto, reading the Introduction is mandatory as it explains much about the religion and the many scholarly debates around it. Another good starting point is the entry on Kami, the local forces/spirits venerated in Shinto that are found sometimes in the natural world (trees, rocks, rivers, mountains, etc.), the animal world, or the human world. There is also a chronology tracing the important events and personalities in the history of Shinto. The Appendix offers a list of web sites with information on the major shrines and Shinto information sites; however some of the links weren’t working as of 11-10-11 although most of ones with pictures of the various Shinto shrines do work.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Foreign Relations of the United States Series: 150th Anniversary

The following is a message from the Historian, Special Projects Division, Office of the Historian, U.S. Department of State and it was sent to all Federal depository libraries.  Monmouth College has been a FDLP Library since 1860.

December 3, 2011 marks the 150th anniversary of the Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series, the largest and most comprehensive series of its type in the world. First published in 1861, the series has become a leading example of governmental openness and embodies the U.S. Government's commitment to responsible transparency. Over the past 150 years, FRUS evolved to become the official documentary history of U.S. foreign policy decision-making and major diplomatic activity. The series is prepared according to scholarly best practices under a 1991 Congressional mandate for "thorough, accurate, and reliable" coverage and timely release.

To mark the 150th anniversary of the FRUS series, the Office of the Historian at the U.S. Department of State has delved into the story of how the series evolved over time. This research engages many important themes in U.S. history, including the transformation of government institutions, changing conceptions of national security and transparency, and the increasingly important role that the United States has played in the world. Learn about the history of the series; research posts, videos, and original documents; as well as outreach efforts from the Office of the Historian.

The FRUS series now comprises more than 400 individual volumes. The current title, Foreign Relations of the United States, is distributed to Federal depository libraries in paper and electronic format.  You can view:

New ScotsRead Titles

The latest ScotsRead titles to arrive are:
  • Murder in the first class carriage: the first Victorian railway killing by Kate Colquhoun
  • Inside the mind of Casey Anthony a psychological portrait by Keith Ablow
  • Red Mist by Patricia Cornwell

Friday, December 2, 2011

Title Highlight: The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium

The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium

3 volumes, List of Maps (vol. 1), List of Genealogical Tables (vol. 1), Abbreviations(all volumes), Illustrations, charts

If people are familiar with Byzantine history at all, it is probably with names such as Constantine, Belisarios, Theodora and Helena and with the movement of the capital of the Roman Empire from Rome to Constantinople (Istanbul) in the third century. However, these individuals and events date from the early years of a period that ran from roughly the third century AD until the 14th century. Looking at this dictionary corrects that impression. It offers coverage of many topics ranging from historical, cultural, religious, linguistic, artistic and literary. The dictionary does not limit its geographic scope to the area near Constantinople, but also covers the Middle East and contains a great deal of information on the crusades and crusaders and various rulers of Jerusalem. Next to each of the entries is its Greek name and there are suggestions for further reading given after each entry.

This set of books will give any reader a quick entry into the fascinating world of Byzantine, which was neither European nor Arab, but combined elements of both. Illustrating the wide nature of topics covered by this book are pages 278-280 which have entries covering literature (Romance of Belisarios), material culture (Bells), architecture (Bell Tower) and clothing (Belts). Among the interesting people found in the book is Saint Symeon the Stylite who founded a movement where monks spent time ranging from months to years standing on a platform removed from the world in all types of weather, often surrounded by crowds of pilgrims.