Monday, November 28, 2016

Magazine Monday: Review of Wired Magazine

by Steven D. Mathews, Library Assistant

The Yocum library subscribes to the print edition of WIRED magazine (est. 1993), a monthly periodical focusing on “emerging technologies” and how they affect contemporary culture, the economy, and politics. If you’re in between classes, want to relax, or take a break from studying, come to the quiet-area magazine lounge on the third floor for some easy browsing and catch up on some current events in subject areas that you may not find in your news feeds.

For example, the November 2016 issue of WIRED features a special guest-editor: President Barack Obama. In 1990, you may recall, Obama became the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review (read about it at the N.Y. Times).

The Editor-in-Chief of WIRED, Scott Dadich, writes in the opening of this issue (“Exploring Frontiers With the President”) of Obama’s reelection in 2012: “Obama campaigned on a platform of hope and optimism, about the future, and that’s what WIRED believes in too: that the future will be improved by inclusion and invention, by the unfettered flow of information and ideas, and by civil discourse, scientific discovery, and technological innovation.”

The theme of this issue is “Frontiers,” a word that was mutually agreed upon by Obama and Dadich. The individual articles are organized into five different subtypes: personal (“push the limits of human intelligence and health”); local (“build better cities and communities for everyone”); national (“create a strong, more innovative republic”), which features “A To-Do List for the Tech Industry” and a contribution from Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook; international (“confront the challenges that face the entire world”); and final (“search for future on Mars and beyond”).

In Obama’s editorial introduction, he writes: “When WIRED asked me to guest-edit the November issue, I didn’t hesitate. I know it’s the height of the election season, and I happen to have a day job that keeps me pretty busy. But given the chance to immerse myself in the possibility of interplanetary travel or join a deep-dive conversation on artificial intelligence, I’m going to say yes. I love this stuff. Always have. It’s why my favorite movie of last year was The Martian.” He also “is a big Star Trek nerd,” according to Dadich. Obama also contributed “a slightly intimidating, very rewarding list of essential books for future leaders,” such as Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert, and The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. In tiny print, at the bottom of this list (page 40), you will also find “Obama’s Playlist for Staying Fit,” which includes songs by Nina Simone, Black Eyed Peas, Sting, and more.

Despite the many full-page ads in each issue of WIRED, this special issue will provide some general insight into President Obama’s visions for the future of the world after he leaves office in January. Dadich is careful to note, though, that some readers may see a potential conflict of interest here: “You can imagine that there might be some sensitivity about the White House getting involved with editorial decisions in a journalistic enterprise. We laid those rules out far in advance, and let me assure you that after we picked stories together, the president’s team left the reporting and writing to us. In fact many of the ideas and opinions in the issue are not necessarily those of the president. They represent a collaboration among him, the magazine, and our writers.”

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Yocum Library wishes a Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Meet the Staff: Matthew Reichl

Name: Matthew Reichl

Position in Library: Librarian assistant

Educational Background: I graduated with a B.S. in English with a minor in political science.

Favorite Books: It by Stephen King, Lolita by Nabokov, Watership
Down by Richard Adams, and Blindsight by Peter Watts

Favorite Movies: The Thing, The Fly, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Ghostbusters

Favorite Area of Library: Fiction

Special Interests: Vegetarianism, sustainable living

Hobbies: Gardening, Adobe design, cooking/baking, TV

Anything else you wish to share that will help others get to know you: My wife and I had our first baby, daughter Cecilia, on October 4th.

Enjoy Your Thanksgiving Break!

There are no classes during Thanksgiving Break from Wednesday, November 23 through Sunday, November 27.

However, The Yocum Library is open on Wednesday, November 23 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. [Note the early closing time.]

The Yocum Library will be closed the remaining days for Thanksgiving Break (November 24-November 27).

Don't forget! While the library may be closed for four days, you can still access our online databases if you wish to continue working on your assignments.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Family History Tips-Part 10

Other Often-Ignored Information in Ancestral Records—Addresses

by Brenna Corbit, Technical Services Librarian

When having difficulty verifying ancestral lines or searching for a missing link, I often find answers in street addresses. After ascertaining an individual, such as in a census schedule, always take note of all available information, including the street address; usually, non-urban residents do not have house numbers. See if there are matches in other records. I like using city directories to see if I can find others living at the same address. I also look at historical street atlases for a better picture of a neighborhood. 

Our ancestral families and their distant relatives often lived in close proximity—remember that other family members and relations are valuable clues. Moreover, if your ancestors rented, they often change residences but usually in the same area, a good reason to compare city directory addresses and historical atlases. Some of these atlases use overlays, which are quite helpful because many streets change names or disappear altogether. 

Most of the following sources are available on and As for historical atlases, a good place to start is Also, search the internet for historic atlases of individual cities. For example, Philadelphia has excellent resources at Many libraries and historical societies have local historical atlases, too.

Where to find addresses in records? Addresses appear in many places, such as newspaper articles, but the most reliable sources include the following:

  • U. S. Census 1880 to 1940: City street names are written in the left hand margins. Be careful of the various columns of numbers that follow. Look at the column headings to determine house numbers.
  • City Directories: Ancestry’s database OCR (optical character recognition) search of “U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995” is notorious for not finding information. Instead, manually searching the digital image sets is best when OCR fails. But when it does work, addresses are sometimes searchable, making it possible to find others without same last names living at the same address. Be aware that some addresses are apartments. Moreover, when searching digital directories on other websites, some web browsers are better than others in terms of OCR.
  • Military Draft Registrations: Civil War, WWI and WWII registration forms often requested the registrant’s address.
  • Birth Records: Civil birth records and certificates often include street addresses. Be aware that the place of birth may not always be the home. Try to verify information with other records, such as censuses or city directories.
  • Marriage License Applications: Civil applications which started in the late 1800s often included the applicants’ addresses. Do not confuse these forms with marriage certificates, which only give the date and location of the marriage. Some applications have an attached certificate. Be careful of this if ordering from a courthouse.
  • Death Certificates: Like civil birth records, addresses are often included, but the place of death may differ from the deceased’s residence. 
  • Naturalization Records: These records consist of various forms, which requested address information. Often, Ancestry’s database searches usually hit in the middle of an individual’s set of records, so be sure to look left and right of the digital image frames.
  • Ship Manifests: Passenger lists from the late 1800s to mid-1900s often give various addresses, one for the passenger’s next of kin in the old country and one for the passenger’s final destination. Take careful note of the names associated with these addresses because the relationships are often stated. Be aware that some manifests consist of two pages, so be sure to look at the next page in the digital images.

The ship’s manifest in the image above is from Ellis Island, New York dated 14 December 1909. It is a two-page treasure trove of information. Portions of the page are highlighted to show the addresses.

Roman Zebula’s (A) nearest friend or relation in the old country is Thomas Zebula (B) who lives in the village of Glodin Beas. His final destination is Reading, Pa (C); the person and address of who he is meeting is his brother-in-law Jan Gil (D) living at 527 S. 6th Street, Reading, Pa.

All of this information coincides perfectly with other names and addresses.

Friday, November 18, 2016

First Female Librarian of Congress

Everyone was so busy with campaigning and reading about the election that this mid-September news may have escaped us. Carla Hayden was sworn in as the first female librarian of Congress, an institution and position which dates back to the origin of the nation. She is also the first African-American in the role and one of only 14 people to ever hold the position.

The U.S Senate confirmed Hayden as librarian of Congress in mid-July of this year.

Photo is from

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Meet the Staff: Jessica Gomez

Name: Jessica Gomez

Position in Library: Work Study

Educational Background: 3rd Year at RACC, Liberal Arts Transfer

Favorite Book: The Outsiders

Favorite Movies: I like too many to pick a favorite.

Favorite Area of Library: 3rd floor because it's a quiet zone and I can work without noise.

Special Interest: Fantasy/Fiction

Clubs: RACC Christian Network