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.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Word of the Day

 \ VOH-tiv \,adjective;  
1.offered, given, dedicated, etc., in accordance with a vow: a votive offering .
2.performed, undertaken, etc., in consequence of a vow.
3.of the nature of or expressive of a wish or desire.

Behind the barricades--made of paving stones, or chairs, or the carcasses of cars--people had built makeshift altars, with votive  candles, incense, and framed pictures, to commemorate killed protesters where they had fallen.
-- Jon Lee Anderson, "Revolutionary Relics," The New Yorker , May 1, 2014

"I have promised a votive  offering to Poseidon," I said to one of the sailors as we marched downward again. "But he's not one of my favourite gods, I have to say."
-- Margaret Doody, "Aristotle and the Secrets of Life," 2002

Votive  shares a root with the word vote  in the Latin term vōtum  meaning "vow." Votive  entered English around 1600.


Library Humor

Meet the Yocum Staff - Tara L. Middlebrooks

Name: Tara L. Middlebrooks
Position: Library Assistant
Education: Associates Degree from RACC 1994,  Graduated Summa Cum Laude - Kaplan University, Class of 2011 – B.S. in Paralegal Studies, concentrating in Family Law.
Favorite Book: Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah
Favorite Movie: So many to list, Poetic Justice, Love and Basketball, Grease…
Favorite Area of the Library: I like them all
Special Interest: I enjoy spending time with my children, participating in their activities. I also love listening to music.
Hobby: I guess this would be the same as above.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Food For Fines

Word of the Day

 \ sing-GUHL-tuhs \, noun;  
1.Medicine/Medical . a hiccup.

He waited for her to calm down, then spoke. "Madam, the boy has singultus --hiccups in layman's terms.
-- Christopher Meades, "The Last Hiccup," 2012

Hiccups, more officially referred to as singultus , (from Latin--to catch your breath while sobbing) are repeated, spasmodic contractions of the diaphragm causing quick inhalation.
-- Lisa Sanders, M.D., "Think Like a Doctor: A Case of Hiccups," New York Times , September 12, 2011

Singultus  comes from the Latin word of the same spelling meaning "a sob" or "speech interrupted by sobs." It entered English in the mid-1700s.


This Day in History - August 21

August 21, 1959: Hawaii becomes 50th state

*The modern United States receives its crowning star when President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs a proclamation admitting Hawaii into the Union as the 50th state. The president also issued an order for an American flag featuring 50 stars arranged in staggered rows: five six-star rows and four five-star rows. The new flag became official July 4, 1960.

The first known settlers of the Hawaiian Islands were Polynesian voyagers who arrived sometime in the eighth century. In the early 18th century, American traders came to Hawaii to exploit the islands' sandalwood, which was much valued in China at the time. In the 1830s, the sugar industry was introduced to Hawaii and by the mid 19th century had become well established. American missionaries and planters brought about great changes in Hawaiian political, cultural, economic, and religious life. In 1840, a constitutional monarchy was established, stripping the Hawaiian monarch of much of his authority.

In 1893, a group of American expatriates and sugar planters supported by a division of U.S. Marines deposed Queen Liliuokalani, the last reigning monarch of Hawaii. One year later, the Republic of Hawaii was established as a U.S. protectorate with Hawaiian-born Sanford B. Dole as president. Many in Congress opposed the formal annexation of Hawaii, and it was not until 1898, following the use of the naval base at Pearl Harbor during the Spanish-American War, that Hawaii's strategic importance became evident and formal annexation was approved. Two years later, Hawaii was organized into a formal U.S. territory. During World War II, Hawaii became firmly ensconced in the American national identity following the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941.

In March 1959, the U.S. government approved statehood for Hawaii, and in June the Hawaiian people voted by a wide majority to accept admittance into the United States. Two months later, Hawaii officially became the 50th state.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Word of the Day

 \ AM-uh-slan, AM-slan \ , noun;  
1.American Sign Language.

Some labs have that have ventured into the world of chimpanzee language have taught their animals sign language in the manner of Ameslan .
-- "Chimpanzees can chat using symbolic language," New Scientist , August 24, 1978

… we cannot be sure if the grammatical complexity and richness we find in Ameslan  today existed in its Franslan precursor.
-- Harlan Lane, "The Wild Boy of Aveyron," 1976

Ameslan  is an acronym formed from the first element of each word in American Sign Language . It came into popular usage in the early 1970s.


Library Humor

Job Search - 14 Illegal interview Questions

Can an Interviewer ask if you're pregnat? 14 Illegal interview questions you should know.
 By Amanda Chatel @angerchatel

Trying to get a new job is no easy feat. And because scouring the Internet for that one perfect position isn’t hard enough, there’s also the whole interview process to worry about. Not only do you have to contend with the possibility of feeling forced to answer a question that’s illegal (we’ll get to that in second), but we women also have to deal with potential discrimination, simply because we’re women.

Studies show that when given the choice between hiring a woman of “childbearing age” or a man of the same age, a third of managers are going to choose men. Because why hire a woman who might want to have a child in a couple years when you can hire a dude who, if he and his partner have kids, will only be taking a mere week for paternity leave?

A recent survey of 500 managers by law firm Slater & Gordon found other alarming facts, too. Forty-four percent felt that hiring women was a “significant concern” due to the financial toll that maternity leave can have on a company (because all women want to have kids, of course). Even worse? “A third of managers claim that women are not as good at their jobs when they come back from maternity leave.”

Not hiring someone on the off chance that they may or may not have a child someday absurd. It is also very illegal.

Although some interview questions are obviously illegal, like being questioned about your ethnicity or sexual orientation, others can seem totally legit — especially if you have a nice banter going with your interviewer. But it’s crucial to know that you are not under any obligation to answer certain questions.

So the next time you go into an interview, be on the look out for these questions. You’ll know the question is illegal if you’re asked…


You can’t even be asked if your last name is your maiden name or not. They can ask if you’ve worked or earned a degree under another name, but whether you’re single, engaged, married, or in a polyamorous relationship with 15 people, it’s none of their business.


Totally illegal to ask.


In their dreams is right. It doesn’t matter if you have the thickest accent in the world, you can’t be asked what your first language is, nor can you be asked what country you’re from, or how long you’ve lived in the States. They can ask you ”What languages do you read, speak or write fluently?,” so if you offer up where you’re from on your own, then that’s on you.


Even if your past or current illnesses directly affect your job, your medical history is not up for discussion. However, you can be asked if you’re ”able to perform the essential functions of this job with or without reasonable accommodations?” (That’s how they get around straight-up asking if you’re at death’s door and won’t be around for your three-month review.)


OK, this one is a little tricky. Companies can’t ask about your past drug use, but they can ask if you currently use drugs, and what those drugs are. The reason for this is that the Americans With Disabilities Act only protects past drug use. In addition to the drug thing, potential employers also can’t ask if you drink, even socially, because that also violates Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990. How? Because if you’re a recovering alcoholic, that’s part of your medical history.


You might think they’re inviting you to the Christmas party early, but this question actually reveals your religion, and it’s illegal to ask about that in a job interview.


I wish I knew this one before a past job looked into my credit score and saw a big, fat zero, but I digress. If an employer wants to know how in debt you are or just how perfect your credit score is, they’ll have to ask permission first. Not only are they not allowed to ask about your spending habits, but they can’t ask if you own property, how many bank accounts you have, or whether or not you’re proficient in balancing your personal finances.


Although you can be asked if you’ve been convicted of a crime, you can’t be asked if you’ve been arrested. Granted, you need to be arrested before you can be convicted, but that’s just how the law rolls.


The feeling here is if a soldier is dishonorably discharged, it shouldn’t stand in the way of them getting a job. However, interviewers can ask about education, training, and even where you were stationed.


No matter how tiny you look, no one gets to ask you specifics about your height or weight. If something’s out of reach and your height is a concern, you can just remind them that step stools exist for a reason.


They might be able to tell based on when you graduated, but age is also not a topic they can ask you about. When people ask how long you’ve been working, with some quick math, they can easily figure out, roughly, your age.


Yes, your address is on your resume, but that still doesn’t give anyone interviewing you the OK to ask the details about where you live. If they’re really interested, they can Google it later.


As I’m sure you’ve noticed, applications for jobs often ask for an emergency contact, which is very much within their right to have after your employment. What isn’t in their right, whether before or after employment, is asking how that emergency contact is related to you. If it happens to be your husband, then voila! Now they know you’re married … so they’ll probably assumed you’re going to have a baby.


What you do in your free time is your business. That includes that single’s knitting club. You do you.

Editor’s note: If you’ve been asked one of these questions in an interview, you can file a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Genealogy Article

*101 Best Genealogy Websites of 2014
By David A. Fryxell

Whether you're a family history newcomer or a seasoned ancestry sleuth, our 15th annual collection of the best genealogy sites on the web can help enrich your genealogical research. Take a look to see which sites made this year's list.

Times flies when you’re having fun researching your family history. It’s hard to believe, but this is our 15th annual installment of the 101 Best Websites for genealogy research. (If you do the math, that’s 1,515 total website write-ups, though of course many honorees repeat from year to year.)

To celebrate the occasion, we’ve broken this year’s roster of outstanding websites into 15 categories—which also makes it easy for you to zoom in on the type of site you’re looking to explore, from social media sites to maps to state or foreign databases.
As before, in the list that follows, we’ve indicated with a $ symbol sites that require a subscription or other payment to access the core content; mostly free sites that also offer paid premium services don’t carry the $ sign.

Click the category below to see the best websites from that category:
Best Big Genealogy Websites

Best US Genealogy Websites

Best Military Genealogy Websites

Best Social Media Websites for Genealogy

Best Mapping Websites for Genealogy

Best Genealogy News Websites

Best Tech Tools for Genealogy

Best Canadian Genealogy Websites

Best Historic Newspapers Websites

Best Websites for Vital Records

Best African-American Genealogy Websites

Best State Genealogy Websites

Best Websites for Immigrant Research

Best UK & Irish Websites

 Best  Continental European Genealogy Websites

More Online
Free Web Content

Best genealogy websites for beginners

Best state research websites

Improving your Google search


Word of the Day

 \ kuh-KOG-ruh-fee \, noun;  
1.poor penmanship; bad handwriting.
2.incorrect spelling.

The writing was a model of cacography  and I think that unless you learn patience and penmanship you had best forget your manners and use the machine, as I am doing now.
-- Mavis Gallant, A Fairly Good Time , 1970

They have taken advantage of cacography  in a novel way.… They also registered more than 90 of the most probable misspellings of popular Web addresses afforded by the QWERTY keyboard…
-- Thomas W. Holcomb Jr., "Nerds Inc. Turns Typos Into On-Line Advertising," New York Times , June 2, 1997

Cacography  joins caco- , from the Greek term kakόs  meaning "bad," with -graphy , a combining form used to refer to a process or form of writing, drawing, recording or representing. It entered English in the mid-1500s.


The Academic Testing Center

The Academic Testing Center (where students go to take make-up tests or proctored tests for online courses) is closed for Summer Session.

  The Academic Testing Center will reopen for Fall Semester on September 15th.  Check out the webpage for the Academic Testing Center for more information.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Scheduled Classes for Computers

10 a..m.  -  11 a.m. Reserved-Mrs. Moyer
Where: Yocum Instruction Area
Description: Mrs. Lois Moyer ORl102 (30) Intro to Library PowerPoint

11:30 a.m.  -  12:30 p.m. Reserved-Mrs. Moyer
Where: Yocum  Instruction  Area
Description: Mrs. Lois Moyer ORl102 (30) Intro to Library PowerPoint

Word of the Day

serein \ suh-RAN \, noun;  
1.Meteorology . fine rain falling after sunset from a sky in which no clouds are visible.

The sky was clear, but a serein  drizzled onto them.
-- China Miéville, "Iron Council," 2004

Serein is the falling evening dew, which results from the general chilling of the stratum of air nearest the earth's surface after sundown.
-- John William Moore, "Meteorology: Practical and Applied," 1894

Serein  is a French loanword with roots in the Latin term sērus  meaning "late." It entered English in the mid-1800s.


Library Humor

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Word of the Day

 \ fingk \, verb;  
1.Slang . to inform to the police; squeal.
2.Slang . to act as a strikebreaker; scab.
1.Slang . a strikebreaker.
2.Slang . a labor spy.
3.Slang . an informer; stool pigeon.
4.Slang . a contemptible or thoroughly unattractive person.

You want me to find out what happened to all those kids I ran with, who didn't know I was studying them like bugs in a bottle. You want me to go down there seventeen years later and say, "I'm the guy finked  on you, remember me?"
-- Harlan Ellison, "Punky and the Yale Men," Love Ain't Nothing But Sex Misspelled, 1968

He held out for a while, laid low, and then, when the ranks started to break, he finked  and crossed the picket lines.
-- Allen Barra, "Joe Montana: Tarnished Hero," Big Play: Barra on Football , 2004

Fink  emerged as a slang term in the US in the early 1900s. Its origin is unknown, but some etymologists cite the German word of the same spelling, which means "a frivolous or dissolute person," as a possible lexical ancestor.


This Day in History - August 17

August 17, 1969: Woodstock Music Festival concludes

On this day in 1969, the grooviest event in music history--the Woodstock Music Festival--draws to a close after three days of peace, love and rock 'n' roll in upstate New York.

Conceived as "Three Days of Peace and Music," Woodstock was a product of a partnership between John Roberts, Joel Rosenman, Artie Kornfield and Michael Lang. Their idea was to make enough money from the event to build a recording studio near the arty New York town of Woodstock. When they couldn't find an appropriate venue in the town itself, the promoters decided to hold the festival on a 600-acre dairy farm in Bethel, New York--some 50 miles from Woodstock--owned by Max Yasgur.

By the time the weekend of the festival arrived, the group had sold a total of 186,000 tickets and expected no more than 200,000 people to show up. By Friday night, however, thousands of eager early arrivals were pushing against the entrance gates. Fearing they could not control the crowds, the promoters made the decision to open the concert to everyone, free of charge. Close to half a million people attended Woodstock, jamming the roads around Bethel with eight miles of traffic.

Soaked by rain and wallowing in the muddy mess of Yasgur's fields, young fans best described as "hippies" euphorically took in the performances of acts like Janis Joplin, Arlo Guthrie, Joe Cocker, Joan Baez, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Sly and the Family Stone and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. The Who performed in the early morning hours of August 17, with Roger Daltrey belting out "See Me, Feel Me," from the now-classic album Tommy just as the sun began to rise. The most memorable moment of the concert for many fans was the closing performance by Jimi Hendrix, who gave a rambling, rocking solo guitar performance of "The Star Spangled Banner."

With not enough bathroom facilities and first-aid tents to accommodate such a huge crowd, many described the atmosphere at the festival as chaotic. There were surprisingly few episodes of violence, though one teenager was accidentally run over and killed by a tractor and another died from a drug overdose. A number of musicians performed songs expressing their opposition to the Vietnam War, a sentiment that was enthusiastically shared by the vast majority of the audience. Later, the term "Woodstock Nation" would be used as a general term to describe the youth counterculture of the 1960s.

A 25th anniversary celebration of Woodstock took place in 1994 in Saugerties, New York. Known as Woodstock II, the concert featured Bob Dylan and Crosby, Stills and Nash as well as newer acts such as Nine Inch Nails and Green Day. Held over another rainy, muddy weekend, the event drew an estimated 300,000 people.


Library Humor

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Meet the Yocum Staff- Brenna J. Corbit

Name: Brenna J. Corbit
Position in Library: Technical Services Librarian
Educational Background: MLIS Library Science (academic), University of Pittsburgh 2006; MA English Literature, Kutztown 2003; BA English and Communication, Alvernia 2001; AA, Liberal Arts, Reading Area Community College 2000
Favorite Book: A Christmas Carol
Favorite Movie: It’s a Wonderful Life
Favorite Area of Library: Being in my office cataloging the new books.
Special Interests: Reading―especially Romantic Period and 19th Century literature; watching and learning about birds—especially ravens and crows; researching various family genealogies; cooking and eating spicy and ethnic cuisine; drinking coffees and teas; sipping red zinfandel or a good bourbon on the rocks; walking through nature; watching old movies with my sweetheart; writing with fountain pens; enjoying autumn and winter’s chill; sitting beneath a fully-lit Christmas tree; socializing with my library friends; and most of all, being with my family and my soul-mate.
Hobbies: Origami, writing poetry, art, cooking, genealogy.

This Day in History - August 16

*August 16, 1977: Elvis Presley dies

Popular music icon Elvis Presley dies in Memphis, Tennessee. He was 42. The death of the "King of Rock and Roll" brought legions of mourning fans to Graceland, his mansion in Memphis. Doctors said he died of a heart attack, likely brought on by his addiction to prescription barbiturates.

Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, on January 8, 1935. His twin brother, Jesse, died during the birth. Elvis grew up dirt-poor in Tupelo and Memphis and found work as a truck driver after high school. When he was 19, he walked into a Memphis recording studio and paid $4 to record a few songs as a present to his mother. Sam Philips, the owner of the studio, was intrigued by the rough, soulful quality of his voice and invited Presley back to practice with some local musicians. After Philips heard Elvis sing the rhythm-and-blues song "That's All Right," which Presley imbued with an accessible country-and-western flavor, he agreed to release the rendition as a single on his Sun Records label. The recording went to the top of the local charts, and Presley's career was launched.

During the next year, Elvis attracted a growing following in the South, and in 1955 Sun Records sold his contract to a major record label, the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), for a record $40,000. His first record for RCA was "Heartbreak Hotel," which made him a national sensation in early 1956. He followed this up with the double-sided hit record "Hound Dog"/"Don't Be Cruel." In September 1956, Elvis appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, a national variety television show, and teenagers went into hysterics over his dynamic stage presence, good looks, and simple but catchy songs. Many parents, however, were appalled by his sexually suggestive pelvic gyrations, and by his third appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, Elvis was filmed from only the waist up.

From 1956 through 1958, Elvis dominated the music charts and ushered in the age of rock and roll, opening doors for both white and black rock artists. During this period, he starred in four successful motion pictures, all of which featured his soundtracks: Love Me Tender (1956), Jailhouse Rock (1957), Loving You (1957), and King Creole (1958).

In 1958, Presley was drafted into the U.S. Army and served an 18-month tour of duty in West Germany as a Jeep driver. Teenage girls were overcome with grief, but Elvis' manager, Colonel Tom Parker, kept American youth satiated with stockpiled recordings that Presley made before his departure. All five singles released during this period eventually became million-sellers.

After being discharged as a sergeant in 1960, Elvis underwent a style change, eschewing edgy, rhythm-and-blues-inspired material in favor of romantic, dramatic ballads such as "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" He retired from concerts to concentrate on his musical films, and he made 27 in the 1960s, including G.I. Blues (1960), Blue Hawaii (1961), Girls! Girls! Girls! (1962), Viva Las Vegas (1964), and Frankie and Johnny (1966). In 1967, he married Priscilla Beaulieu, and the couple had a daughter, Lisa Marie, in 1968.

By the end of the 1960s, rock and roll had undergone dramatic changes, and Elvis was no longer seen as relevant by American youth. A 1968 television special won back many of his fans, but hits were harder to come by. His final Top 10 entry, "Burning Love," was in 1972. Still, he maintained his sizable fortune through lucrative concert and television appearances.

By the mid 1970s, Elvis was in declining physical and mental health. He divorced his wife in 1973 and developed a dangerous dependence on prescription drugs. He was also addicted to junk food and gained considerable weight. In the last two years of his life, he made erratic stage appearances and lived nearly as a recluse. On the afternoon of August 16, 1977, he was found unconscious in his Graceland mansion and rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He was buried on the grounds of Graceland, which continues to attract fans and has been turned into a highly successful tourist attraction.