Welcome to The Yocum Library of Reading Area Community College's Blog!

For many years we have published a print newsletter for the RACC community that provided information on the library's staff, resources, and services. In order to provide information on a more timely basis, we decided to switch to the blog format. We hope that you enjoy learning more about The Yocum Library of RACC.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Scheduled Classes for Computers

12:20 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. Reserved- Ms. Kwitkowski
Where : Yocum Instruction Area
Description: Ms. Teresa Kwitkowski  COM051 (16) Finding and evaluating Internet sources presented by Ms. Kim Stahler.

2 p.m. - 4 p.m. Reserved - Ms. Nina Mollica
Where: Library Instruction area
Description: COM 051 (20) ProOuest - find one article presented by Ms. Kim Stahler.

6 p.m. • 7:20 p.m. Reserved--Ms. Kwitkowski
Where: Yocum Instruction Area
Description: Ms. Teresa Kwitkowski  COM051 (20) Finding and evaluating Internet sources presented by Ms. Marcina Wagner.

Library Humor

Word of the Day

 \ kongk, kawngk \, verb;  
1.to go to sleep (usually followed by off  or out ).
2.to break or fail, as a machine or engine (often followed by out ): The engine conked out halfway there .
3.to slow down or stop; lose energy (often followed by out ).
4.to lose consciousness; faint (usually followed by out ).
5.to die (usually followed by out ).

The poor thing was so exhausted she probably conked  out the minute she hit the bed.
-- Bonnie K. Winn, "Family Found," 2014

In fact, things got so exciting that Archie collapsed his camp bed and had to be retrieved in a highly agitated state, but they both finally conked  out at around one...
-- Gil McNeil, "The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club ," 2009

Conk  is of unknown origin, but it may be imitative.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Word of the Day

 \ DEE-uh-fawrm \, adjective;  
godlike or divine in form or nature.

Here chiefly, in the aggrandizement of a huge and fearsome animal to deiform  proportions, does Melville surpass all other poets of his century in the rejuvenation of myth.
-- Newton Arvin, "Herman Melville ," 1950

Deiform  by nature, they return to the Creator through the interior powers of memory, intelligence, and will.
-- Timothy J. Johnson, "Sermones Dominicales and Minorite Prayer," Franciscans at Prayer , 2007

Deiform  comes from the Medieval Latin word deiformis , a combination of dei-  (meaning "god") and -formis  (meaning "having the form of").


Save this Date - November 11

5 Costly Financial Aid Mistakes Community College Students Make

Community college students who don't apply for scholarships
and financial aid may be missing out on thousands of dollars in tuition assistance.

*Loading up on classes to qualify for more student loans sets students up for failure, experts say.

By Kelsey Sheehy June 24, 2014 | 10:30 a.m.

Financial aid helps put college within reach for millions of students, but a few common mistakes and misconceptions can cost students thousands.

Community college students, who are more likely to be first-generation students and less likely to have college counseling before enrolling, are more susceptible to these errors.

Experts at community colleges and college counseling centers say these five mistakes are ones students often make on the road to financial aid.

[Find two-year schools in your state with the U.S. News Community College Directory.]

1. Procrastinating: The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is available Jan. 1, but students often don’t apply until the last minute, says Matt Falduto, director of one stop student services at Kirkwood Community College in Iowa.

"So many students wait way up until a month before classes start, and that just doesn’t give them enough time to complete the process and make sure everything is in place before the semester starts," he says.

Students who put off applying could also miss out on certain grants and scholarships that are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, he says.

"The timing is really crucial," he says. "They really need to get a jump on it ahead of time."

2. Not applying for aid: "Many community college students, especially nontraditional students, don’t take the time to apply for financial aid," says David Metz, director of financial aid at Columbus State Community College in Ohio.

Often, students simply don’t know financial aid is an option, or they think they won’t qualify because of their income.

More than 60 percent of full-time community college students worked at least part time during the 2011-2012 school year, according to the American Association of Community Colleges. That figure jumped to nearly 75 percent for part-time students, who accounted for 60 percent of all community college students in fall 2012.

Students who forgo the FAFSA could miss out on state and federal grants – which don’t need to be paid back. They may also miss out on low-interest loans that offer repayment protections rarely available with private bank loans.

[Learn how to avoid common FAFSA mistakes.]

3. Overlooking scholarships: Bypassing free money is rarely a wise move, yet many community college students do so on a regular basis, says Paula Dofat, director of college counseling at the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women, an all-female charter school that focuses on math, science and technology.

"Students don’t realize that there are numerous scholarships offered by their community college," Dofat says. "Usually it's just a matter of submitting a one-page essay and an unofficial copy of their transcript and thousands of dollars may become available to them."

Howard Community College in Maryland, for example, awarded just over $1.3 million in institutional grants and scholarships to students during the 2013 fiscal year, which students could use to cover tuition, books and transportation costs. The school plans to award an additional $2.5 million in grants and scholarships this fall, thanks to an influx of funding from the Howard County government, says Elizabeth Homan, with the school.

4. Borrowing too much: Community colleges are significantly less expensive than four-year universities, but students often borrow more than they have to.

Average annual tuition and fees for students attending public, two-year colleges in their communities were just $3,260 in 2013-2014, compared with nearly $8,900 for those enrolled as in-state students at four-year public universities, according to the American Association of Community Colleges' annual fact sheet.

[Get advice on how to maximize your savings while attending a community college.]

The lower cost, coupled with the fact that a majority of students are only enrolled part time, means students may be able to foot the bill for at least part of their education as they go.


Saturday, October 18, 2014

An Introduction to Ancestry.com

Muhlenberg Community Library - An Introduction to Ancestry.com
Tuesday, October 21 at 6:00 p.m

An Introduction to Ancestry.com

With this popular family history database, we will cover methods of access, types of sources available, and research tips. Participants are encouraged to bring some research questions that they have encountered while working on their family histories.

 Lecturer  - Ms. Mary Ellen G. Heckman, Assistant Dean of Library Services & Learning Resources

Ms. Heckman has experience as a professional genealogist and, as a volunteer, created libraries for the Berks County Prison and for the Berks County Genealogy Soci-ety. She has served on the Berks County Archives Committee, and as President of the Berks County Genealogical Society, the Berks County Library Association, and is Chair-Elect of the Pennsylvania Community Colleges Libraries Affinity Group.

Tuesday, October 21 at 6:00 p.m. at the
Muhlenberg Community Library.

Word of the Day

 \ DOO-puhl, DYOO- \, adjective;  
1.having two parts; double; twofold.
2.Music . having two or sometimes a multiple of two beats in a measure: duple meter .

About the same number of poems set to duple  or mixed meter tunes have the most characteristic poetic meter of six-syllable lines.
-- Timothy J. Cooley, "Making Music in the Polish Tatras," 2005

The tune is in duple  time, as are most corridors with a basic line longer than eight syllables.
-- Américo Paredes, "A Texas-Mexican Cancionero: Folksongs of the Lower Border," 1976

Duple  entered English in the mid-1500s. It comes from the Latin word duplus  which meant "double."


20 Computer Terms You Should Know

From Daily Writing tips.
*20 Computer Terms You Should Know
A great deal of jargon is used when talking about computers, and it’s surprising how often these terms are used incorrectly. Even published, successful novels sometimes do so. The following list provides an explanation of some of the more common computing terms you may come across or need to employ in your own writing.

Internet, World Wide Web

The Internet is the network of computers we’re all familiar with. It’s quite common for the terms “Internet” and “World Wide Web” to be used interchangeably, but these aren’t actually the same thing. The Internet is essentially the wiring that allows computers all over the world to communicate. The World Wide Web is a system that operates via this wiring. Web pages are transmitted via Internet connections but there is more to the Internet than just the web. Many other types of data travel across the Internet too, for example email.

Web Browser

A program you use to look at, and navigate between, pages on the World Wide Web. Examples include Internet Explorer and Firefox although there are many others. Again, people sometimes refer to web browsers as “the Internet”, whereas they really only provide the means to view pages on the web.

Bandwidth, Broadband

Bandwidth is an indication of how quickly data travels along a connection. The greater the bandwidth, the faster data will be sent and received. Broadband is a rather vague term that refers to bandwidth somewhere above that of an old dial-up modem, although there is no precise definition of the term. Broadband connections are generally “always on”, unlike modem connections. There are various technologies which provide “broadband” speeds – such as ADSL, cable, satellite etc.


The word modem was originally coined in the days when computers communicated by converting numbers into sounds that could then be transmitted over a regular telephone line. At each end you needed a “modulator” to generate the sounds to transmit and a “demodulator” to convert received sounds back into numbers. From “MOdulator/DEModulator” came the word modem.
With modern digital communication, no conversion to and from audible sounds is required, but even so it’s common to hear people talking about “broadband modems” or “ADSL modems” when referring to devices providing broadband connectivity. Strictly speaking, such devices are not modems at all as they communicate digitally but the word has stuck; its meaning has shifted to refer to digital devices as well.

Memory, Disk Space

Another very common source of confusion. In computing, “memory” generally refers to the temporary storage used by a computer whilst it is switched on. A computer loads programs and data into its memory in order to carry out tasks. This is more accurately called RAM or “random-access memory”. Disk space (or “hard disk space”), on the other hand, is a more permanent store that holds files even when the computer is switched off. It’s from here that the computer loads things into its memory. Strictly speaking you don’t store things in the computer’s memory as that vanishes when you turn the machine off.

Virus, Spyware, Trojan, Worm, Malware

These terms are often confused, although they have distinct meanings.
A virus is a piece of software that can copy itself and which attaches itself to some other program in order to survive and replicate. It may have some malicious intent or it may exist simply to reproduce. A worm is similar but it can exist independently; it doesn’t need to attach to a separate program. A Trojan – or Trojan Horse – is a piece of software that gains access to a computer by pretending to be benign or by hiding within some innocent-looking application. The name is obviously derived from the wooden horse employed by the Greek army during the Trojan Wars. Spyware is software that secretly monitors computer activity, attempting to gain private information without the computer user knowing.
By and large, all of the above will have some malicious intent – to harm data, spy on computer activity and so forth. Malware is a general term for all such programs – it simply means any software, of whatever sort, written with a malicious intent. Viruses are generally malware but there is more to malware than just viruses.

Bits, Bytes

At a basic level, all computer data is just a series of 0s and 1s. Each of these is referred to as a “binary digit”, for which “bit” is just an abbreviation. A byte is (generally) a collection of eight bits, so called because of the pun with bit and bite. Similarly a collection of four bits – half a byte – is sometimes called a “nybble”.
In order to refer to large numbers of bits and bytes, various prefixes are used, as in :
1 kilobyte = 1024 (or 1000) bytes
1 megabayte = 1024 (or 1000) kilobytes
1 gigabyte = 1024 (or 1000) megabytes
1 terabyte = 1024 (or 1000) gigabytes
1 petabyte = 1024 (or 1000) terabytes


To switch a computer off and on again, allowing its operating system and programs to be reloaded. Note that this is not the same as placing a computer into standby/hibernate and then resuming. A reboot requires that all software is completely reloaded.
The term derives from “bootstrap”, as in the phrase “to pull oneself up by one’s bootstraps”, because of the similarity to that seemingly impossible act (as a computer can’t run without first loading some software but must be running before any software can be loaded).


A small text file sent to your computer by a web site you have visited. These can be very useful in that they can allow the web site to recognize who you are when you return. Cookies cannot store viruses or other threats, although they can be used to track your activity across different web sites in order to provide, for example, “targeted” advertisements.


A firewall is a piece of computer software or hardware that restricts the data that is allowed to flow through. Firewalls block traffic that is undesirable in some way, the intention being to prevent infection by malware and so on without restricting the user from carrying out legitimate activity.


Unsolicited email messages sent out in bulk and generally commercial in nature. In fact the term is used more widely these days to refer to such messages in a variety of places, not just on email – for example comments on blogs.
The origin of this sense of the word spam is unclear.


CAPTCHA checks are the strings of letters and numbers that have to be typed in on some web pages before something can be saved. They exist because, although humans find interpreting these strings relatively easy, computers do not. Setting up these checks therefore blocks an automated process – such as one generating spam – from using the page, whereas a human is still able to.
The acronym CAPTCHA actually stands for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart” – a rather contrived way of arriving at an acronym that sounds like the word “capture”.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Scheduled Classes for Computers

8 a.m. - 9 a.m. Reserved-Dr. Brant
Where: Yocum Instruction Area

12:20 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. Reserved - Ms. Kwitkowski
Where: Yocum  Instruction  Area

Word of the Day

 \ joo-vuh-NES-uhnt \, adjective;  
1.being or becoming youthful; young.
2.young in appearance.
3.having the power to make young or youthful: a juvenescent elixir .

The thought of spring, when it did come, gave to Miss Freeling the same sort of halcyon, salutatory, juvenescent  feeling that Richard had, and this made them seem like old friends.
-- Sylvester Judd," Richard Edney and the Governor's Family," 1850

The vampire is literally an insatiable consumer driven by a hunger for perpetual youth, while the cyborg has incorporated the machineries of consumption into its juvenescent  flesh.
-- Robert Latham, "Consuming Youth: Vampires, Cyborgs, and the Culture of Consumption ," 2002

Juvenescent  is related to the word juvenile . It is from the Latin present participle of juvenēscere  which meant "to become youthful."


Meet the Yocum Staff - Kim Stahler

Name: Kim Stahler
Position in Library: Instruction/Reference Librarian
Educational Background: MS Library Science from Clarion, BS Education from Kutztown
Favorite Book: now reading Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You and Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We BuyFavorite Movie: too many to pick one but liked Happy Go Lucky, Doubt, and Revolutionary Road lately.
Favorite Area of Library: all my wonderful diverse coworkers, the magazine area with the pretty rug
Special Interest: politics, urban studies, pop culture, sociology, psychology
Hobby: vegan cooking, doing anything in a city, wine, letter writing, social activism, relaxing with my cats, hamster, and loved ones

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Scheduled Classes for Computers

9:45 a.m. - 10:50 a.m. Reserved - Mr.Reimenschneider
Where : Yocum Instruction Area

11 a.m. -  11:30 a.m. Reserved - Ms. Crippen
Where : Yocum Instruction Area

12:30pm  -  1:50 pm Reserved - Ms Jodi Corbett
Where : Yocum Instruction Area

Word of the Day

 \ MITH-uh-meyn \, noun;  
1.a person with a strong or irresistible propensity for fantasizing, lying, or exaggerating.
1.of, pertaining to, or characteristic of a mythomane.

"Having lived with a mythomane ," she wrote, "I know they believe everything they say; they are not conscious liars, they invent to increase everything about themselves and their lives and believe it."
-- Nicholas Shakespeare, “A Life Less Ordinary,” Granta , 1998,

The flash-before-the-crash yarn is fantasy springing from the untrustworthy lips of a mythomane .
-- Martyn Gregory, Diana: The Last Days , 1999

Mythomane  emerged in the 1950s and may be a back formation of mythomania  meaning "lying to an abnormal degree."


Free Ancestry.com Genealogy Toolkit

*Ancestry.com Family History Toolkit

This last week, Ancestry.com released a free genealogy toolkit. It is simply a PDF file containing a list of (and links to) free resources offered by Ancestry.com. I’m all over free. Some may lead to free resources that lead to Ancestry.com subscription resources, such as state resource guides. But that should be surprising to no one. Any credible guide to genealogy today is going to end up, sooner or later, pointing you to resources on Ancestry.com’s subscription website.

Here’s a sampling of the available offerings listed in the toolkit:

Free Charts & Forms
Ancestry Red Book: American State, County & Town Sources (Online reference)
Irish Research in the U.S. and Ireland (Free downloadable PDF guide)
5-minute Finds (Short videos)
County Look-up

Download your free Ancestry.com genealogy toolkit from


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Scheduled Classes for Computers

9:05 a.m. - 10 a.m. Reserved--Ms. Brown
Where: Computer Lab in P416

2 p.m.  - 4 p.m. Ms. Nina Mollica
Where: Yocum Instruction area

7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Reserved--Mr. Vanim
Where : Yocum Instruction Area

Save this Date - Tuesday, November 11

RACC to host vegan talk at The Yocum Library
Presented by Kim Stahler, MSLS
Tuesday, Nov. 11 at 2:00 p.m.
In the Lecture Hall Y117

Curious about a plant-based diet? Want to learn some tricks for dining out and easy cooking without meat, dairy, or eggs? Why would someone want to go vegan? When did all this start? Can it be done around here? Kim Stahler, vegetarian since 1990 and vegan for 5 years, will share her journey that began in childhood, where she loved all kinds of animals on her family's farm.

It is easier than ever to help your health, the animals, and the environment through eating plants; you won't go hungry, and you won't need to worry about protein. Bring your questions and enjoy a friendly, non-judgmental presentation and discussion.

Word of the Day

 \ yaf \, verb;  
1.Scot. and North England . to bark; yelp.

Probably it was a dog belonging to the natives, though native dogs near stations will yaff  as they pursue their game, as I have heard them, but this is rare.
-- William Howitt, "The History of Discovery in Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand ," 1865

Now he is certain; he pauses for a moment, looks back to see if his master is at hand; " Yaff! yaff !" the brakes ring with his merry clamor, his comrade rushes to his aid like lightning, yet pauses ever, obedient to the whistle, nor presses the game too rashly...
-- Henry William Herbert, "American Game in Its Seasons ," 1853

Yaff  may be a dialectal blend of waff  meaning "bark" with yap  or yawp . It entered English in the early 1600s.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Scheduled Classes for Computers RACC Roots

Scheduled Classes for Computers
12 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. RACC Roots
Where : Yocum Instruction Area

Word of the Day

 \ MIS-truhl, mi-STRAHL \ , noun;  
1.a cold, dry, northerly wind common in southern France and neighboring regions.

The mistral  determines much of the region's architecture, from the windowless north-facing walls of the mas (the typical Provencal farmhouses) to the cagelike bell towers that allow the wind to pass harmlessly through.
-- Alexandra Bonfante-Warren, "Timeless Places: Provence ," 1999

The mistral  made travelling impossible. We sat in the train going past platforms where the acacias and cypresses were plastered back by the wind and where even the names of the stations seemed fretted by the mistral ; Agde, Leucate, Fitou, Palau del Vidre.
-- Cyril Connolly," Enemies of Promise ," 1938

Mistral  is derived from the French word of the same spelling which referred to wind from the north-west.


Daily Writing Tips

Blah, Blah, Blah
by Maeve Maddox

Since ancient times, speakers of every language have made up nonsense syllables to indicate contempt for what other people were saying to them.

We’ve even inherited the ancient Greek nonsense syllables bar-bar-bar in the word barbarian: The Greek word barbaros meant “foreign, strange, ignorant.” According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word barbaros was an onomatopoeic formation echoing the unintelligible speech of a foreigner.

The most common nonsense syllable used to represent empty talk in the United States is blah:
The earliest OED documentation of blah in the sense of “meaningless, insincere, or pretentious talk or writing; nonsense, bunkum” is 1918.

Blah is usually repeated when the sense is “empty talk”:
"When big data is just so much “blah, blah, blah”
Getting Past “Blah, Blah, Blah” When Talking to Prospects

Sometimes a single blah means the same thing:
I’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of jabber in the world – it’s a vast cloud of blah.

As a plural noun, “the blahs” are a state of despondency:
You’ve got the blahs.  You’re not feeling hopeless, but you’re not feeling good either.

As an adjective, blah means “lethargic, unenthusiastic, listless, or torpid”:
What to Do When You Feel Blah About Your Job

“Blah, blah, blah” recently found its way into the news when a political candidate in Oregon blasted a newspaper reporter who demonstrated his lack of interest in what another candidate was saying by writing down “blah, blah, blah” instead of her actual words.

And perhaps the longest sequence to date of this string of nonsense syllables occurs in a television ad in which actor Gary Oldman holds a telephone to his ear and says “blah blah blah” for five seconds straight.

Another set of nonsense syllables is “yada yada yada.” Variations of this utterance are documented in the OED beginning in 1947. I first heard it on the Jerry Seinfeld show where I understood it to mean “details too boring to mention.”