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, February 8, 2016

New Interactive Tool for Research Projects

Yocum librarians have developed an interactive online tool to help students choose which databases to use for their topics. It is located on the introductory page for Yocum online databases. Give it a try! It will come in handy whether you're just starting your research or have made progress much need more direction.

Celebrating African American History Month-Places

Mt. Frisby AME Church, located near Hopewell Furnace, at the former African-American community of Six Penny.
NPS photo.
"In 1856 the African-American community at Six Penny Creek established an African Methodist Episcopal Church on land owned by the Cole family [pictured below]. This church served as a station on the Underground Railroad and as the site of the oldest African-American cemetery in Berks County. 

Tombstones record the burial of many former Hopewell Furnace workers. The cemetery, carefully restored and maintained by the Cole family, serves as a silent reminder of the once thriving African-American community that helped fuel the iron industry in southern Berks County" This information is from the National Park Service site. Check it out for more information about African American history at Hopewell Furnace). 

Hopewell Furnace is located in Elverson, PA. It is open Wednesdays through Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. except during the summer season (late May through early October) when it is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Celebrating African American History Month-People

"A lot of people resist transitiod therefore never allow themselves to enjoy who they are      
"Nikki Giovanni is one of the best-known African-American poets who reached prominence during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Her unique and insightful poetry testifies to her own evolving awareness and experiences: from child to young woman, from naive college freshman to seasoned civil rights activist, from daughter to mother. Frequently anthologized, Giovanni’s poetry expresses strong racial pride and respect for family" (from The Poetry Foundation).

Friday, February 5, 2016

Vote for New Magazine Subscriptions at the Library

The Yocum Library has a collection of exciting and thought-provoking print magazines that we provide for the RACC community to read in the library or borrow to read at home. Now, you have a chance to let us know which of a choice of magazines we'll carry in the future. Vote for the new magazines you'd like to add the collection by clicking on the link and taking our survey

Each magazine title in the survey has a link to its website for more information. Once you've completed the survey, you will be able to see all of the results from others who have voted. The staff at The Yocum Library appreciates your input.

Yocum Library's 20th Birthday Approaching Fast

The Yocum Library will be celebrating its 20th birthday on April 1, 2016 and that's no April Fool's joke. You may have noticed we've added a countdown clock at the top of the blog as a reminder. Keep watching here for more information about events to celebrate the big day.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Word of the Day for Wednesday, February 3, 2016

caparison \kuh-PAR-uh-suhn\,
1. To dress richly; deck.
2. To cover with a caparison.
1. A decorative covering for a horse or for the tack or harness of a horse; trappings.
2. Rich and sumptuous clothing or equipment.

The fruit, the fountain that's in all of us; in Edward; in Eleanor; so why caparison ourselves on top? -- Virginia Woolf, "The Years"

And he followed her order, bridling and saddling the horse and making every effort to caparison it well. -- Chr├ętien de Troyes, "The Complete Romances of Chr├ętien de Troyes"

Caparison originally referred to an elaborate covering for horses. It is related to the word chaperon. 

Dictionary.com Word of the Day

Local Site of African American Memories

In keeping with the 2016 theme of African American History month of "Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African American Memories," here is more information about one of Berks County's historic sites: the Central PA African American Museum, located 119 North 10th Street in Reading. This site is

According to the museum's web site, it's mission is "To establish, preserve and maintain a collection of objects, artifacts, arts, papers, books, photographs, etc. that document and describe the history and culture of African Americans in the New World, with emphasis on our local and regional (Reading, Berks and surrounding counties) African American history and culture, and to create an appropriate environment for exhibition of the collection to foster understanding of the history and culture of Africans in the New World, and to encourage education and research. The Mission of the museum also includes the preservation of the Underground Railroad located on the lower level of the Old Bethel A.M.E. Church in Reading, Pennsylvania."

The museum is open Wednesdays and Fridays from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Saturdays from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. and by appointment at other times. Admission is as follows: General admission-$8.00, seniors-$6.00, children 5 to 14-$4.00, and children under 4 free.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Always Here and Online Right When You Need Us!

Celebrating African American History Month

Langston Hughes

"Langston Hughes was an American poet, novelist, and playwright whose African-American themes made him a primary contributor to the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s" (www.biography.com).

Monday, February 1, 2016

Calling All Writers--Fiction and Non-Fiction

If you've written a work of fiction or non-fiction that fits the theme of love and passion, you have a chance to submit the story to The Story Corner Series. The Story Corner Series is seeking story submissions for a live reading on February 26.

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, the theme for this month is love and passion. If you have any stories that fit that theme—first love, first date, first jilting . . . love lost and/or found . . . insatiable desire . . . or cute little crushes—they want to know.

The Story Corner Series is accepting both fiction and non-fiction from both students and faculty/staff. Two fiction and two non-fiction stories, from one student and one faculty/staff member for each category, will be selected. If your story is selected, you will get to read it on February 26 as an entry in the Story Corner Series.

Submissions are due by Wednesday, February 17. Submissions should be emailed as attachments to Joey Flamm Costello at jflammcostello@racc.edu with the subject line "Story Corner Submission." Only one submission by each RACC student or faculty/staff member is permitted.

Submissions should be approximately 6 pages (double spaced), for a twelve-minute to fifteen-minute reading time. You will receive an acknowledgment email when your submission is received.

Conference and Publication Opportunities for Students

During the spring semester, RACC students have opportunities to submit their scholarly and creative work for presentation:

  • The HECBC Conference, a local, noncompetitive opportunity for students to share their scholarly and creative work in a supportive conference environment. Proposals with abstracts are due in early-March, and the conference will be held on April at 16 at Alvernia University. 
  • The Beacon Conference, a competitive conference for scholarly work. Local submissions of papers are due to Donna Singleton (Communications, Arts & Humanities Div.) on February 19, and the conference will be held on June 3 at Bergen Community College in Paramus, NJ. 

There will be a series of workshops to provide students with information about the conferences and assistance in preparing and submitting their work. The first two of ten sessions which occur in the next ten days, are described below:

Session 1: Introduction to Extracurricular Opportunities
February 3, 2016 from 2:30-3:30 p.m. in Yocum 116

Students will be introduced to various extracurricular opportunities for the publication/presentation of their scholarship and creative work. Students will learn about the local HECBC Conference and the competitive Beacon Conference. Interested students will be enrolled in a course-management site for learning about conference presentations.

Session 2: Deadlines & Abstracts 
February 10, 2016 from 2:30-3:30 p.m. in Yocum 116

Students will be informed about deadlines for submission of HECBC Conference proposals and Beacon papers. Students will be familiarized with abstract writing and the different forms of abstracts. A brief writing workshop on abstracts will be held. Additionally, students interested in submitting papers for the Beacon Conference will be encouraged to submit compositions for review and urged to attend the subsequent session.

Eight more sessions will follow the above two sessions. For more information, attend the Introduction Session on February 3. If you are unable to attend, contact Dr. Donna Singleton at dsingleton @racc.edu or Dr. Chris Costello at ccostello@racc.edu for more information.

February is African American History Month

The theme for 2016 African American History Month is "Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African American Memories." 
The theme was announced on the web site of Association for the Study of African American Life & History (ASALH), the founders of the annual celebration.

They explain that "One cannot tell the story of America without preserving and reflecting on the places where African Americans have made history." Some sites mentioned are the Kingsley Plantation, DuSable’s home site, the numerous stops along the Underground Railroad, Seneca Village, Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church, and Frederick Douglass’ home. 

We have an important site right in Reading that tells the history of African Americans in Reading and Berks County--the Central Pennsylvania African American Museum. The museum houses a collection of the most comprehensive information about the history of African Americans in our area. It is located in the former Bethel AME Church at 119 North Tenth Street in Reading. The church housed former slaves and was a stop on the Underground Railroad. 

The Yocum Library has displays of DVDs and books honoring the lives and history of African Americans. Stop in to see what's in the exhibit. As items are checked out, others are added, so make sure you check back every time you're in or check the library catalog for items not on display, including Through the Eyes of Local African Americans: Reflections on the Civil Rights Movement in Reading and Berks County, Pennsylvania (E185.615.T47 2015).