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, August 31, 2015

More About Female Author - Hannah Arendt

Political theorist Hannah Arendt, who was born to a Jewish family in 1906 Germany, not only wrote such seminal works as The Origins of Totalitarianism, she dealt with totalitarianism up close.

Arendt was unable to teach at German universities due to her Jewish lineage, but she nevertheless remained in Germany until 1933, studying philosophy and anti-Semitism. Her controversial studies led to an arrest by the Gestapo, and shortly thereafter she fled to France, where she worked with Jewish refugees.

She was active in the Zionist movement, helping Jewish children displaced by the Holocaust resettle in Palestine. Arendt later escaped to America in the midst of World War II. She went on to become a U.S. citizen and prominent intellectual.

She held a variety of academic posts at prestigious universities and was made the first female lecturer at Princeton University in 1959. Arendt never stopped being controversial, however; her writings continued to generate heated debate throughout her life, but she never censored her views to avoid backlash.


Library Humor

Zinio - Free Digital Magazines

Free Digital Magazines Online

Note from Kim Stahler, Reference Librarian:

You can download magazines for free through the Berks libraries, using Zinio. The collection is small at this time, but Newsweek, Mother Jones, and Mental Floss are there for me. There is also a tattoo magazine, Inked. We are seeking people who don't use the libraries in the traditional way. I had to download Adobe, get the app, and sign up in two places. But this is so cool! You need your library card number.


Word of the Day


1. Archaic. to call; name (now chiefly in the past participle as ycleped or yclept).

…That none of us not speak a single word, / Nor clepe nor cry, but be in his prayere, / For that is Godde's owen heste dear.
-- Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales, 1400

Clepe has been in English since before 900. It is akin to the Middle Low German kleperen meaning "to rattle."


Sunday, August 30, 2015

More About Female Author - Mary McCarthy

After an abusive childhood, writer Mary McCarthy rejected the Catholicism of her upbringing and turned to atheism and Communism. She later grew disillusioned with the Soviet Union but retained her very liberal politics until her death.

She controversially defended the Vietcong during the Vietnam War, even visiting Vietnam multiple times during the conflict and reporting critically on the American military’s brutal tactics. In the 1970s, McCarthy covered the Watergate hearings.

Despite her busy career as a critic, novelist, and political activist, McCarthy managed to fit in four marriages as well as a close friendship with Hannah Arendt.


Subtly Tasteful Tattoos Only Literature Geeks Will Understand

The Gloss
*You and your best book aren’t likely to have a messy breakup. Why not profess your book love in ink? But if those great big swaths of text aren’t really your style, fear not. You can get a literary design that shows your love in a tiny, elegant way. Bonus: when you go small, when someone “gets” your tattoo, you’ve made an instant connection.

“Still I Rise” by poet, activist and all-around hero, Maya Angelou

“You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.”


Word of the Day


1. a nickname.

As for the sobriquet, she was no ice queen, but in the macho world of law enforcement, playing that role was the only thing that kept her safe — from men and from her own rogue impulses.
-- Greg Iles, The Footprints of God, 2003

Sobriquet comes from the French word of the same spelling which is of uncertain origin.

More From Dictionary.com

Saturday, August 29, 2015

More About Female Author - George Sand

George Sand

George Sand was the pen name of Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dupin, a French novelist whose predilections for masculine dress and sexual openness were highly unconventional in her 19th century milieu.

Sand found men’s clothing more practical and comfortable than cumbersome gowns and corsets worn by women of the time, and her habit of wearing men’s garments in public earned her notoriety in Paris.

She also smoked in public, which was fairly unheard of for a woman at the time. Though she married at 18, she left her husband nine years later and went on to engage in a string of affairs.

She numbered such figures as Frederic Chopin and writer Jules Sandeau among her conquests. She wrote not only novels, but political essays that expressed her socialist beliefs, and even started her own newspaper.


Subtly Tasteful Tattoos Only Literature Geeks Will Understand

Tattoo Models
*You and your best book aren’t likely to have a messy breakup. Why not profess your book love in ink? But if those great big swaths of text aren’t really your style, fear not. You can get a literary design that shows your love in a tiny, elegant way. Bonus: when you go small, when someone “gets” your tattoo, you’ve made an instant connection.

 Harry Potter’s Deathly Hallows Symbol

“The Elder Wand,” he said, and he drew a straight vertical line on the parchment. “The Resurrection Stone,” he said, and he added a circle on top of the line. “The Cloak of Invisibility,” he finished, enclosing both line and circle in a triangle, to make the symbol that so intrigued Hermione.”Together,” he said, “the Deathly Hallows.”


Word of the Day


1. Often, risibilities. the ability or disposition to laugh; humorous awareness of the ridiculous and absurd.
2. laughter.

But the little hard bright eyes were invisible now; it was only the bushy overhang of the brows which seemed to concentrate downward toward him in writhen immobility, not frowning but with a sort of fierce risibility.
-- William Faulkner, The Hamlet, 1940

Risibility stems from the Late Latin word rīsibilis meaning "that can laugh."


Friday, August 28, 2015

Subtly Tasteful Tattoos Only Literature Geeks Will Understand

Alexandria Reads
*You and your best book aren’t likely to have a messy breakup. Why not profess your book love in ink? But if those great big swaths of text aren’t really your style, fear not. You can get a literary design that shows your love in a tiny, elegant way. Bonus: when you go small, when someone “gets” your tattoo, you’ve made an instant connection.

Les Miserables’ fierce line, ‘Je suis farouche’ (“I am wild.”) in Victor Hugo’s handwriting.

“Be serious,” said Enjolras.
“I am wild,” replied Grantaire.
Enjolras meditated for a few moments, and made the gesture of a man who has taken a resolution.


Library Humor

Word of the Day


1. a sacred symbol, as an emblem, pictograph, or the like.

There was nothing more to be said on the subject of the future and their different destinies, for those words, uttered with complete calm and conviction, had done what every inspired melody does: condense a welter of emotions into an unconflicted clarity that one can instantly recall and call upon. Like a hierogram.
-- Kris Saknussemm, Enigmatic Pilot, 2011

Hierogram is a combination of hiero-, meaning "sacred," and -gram, meaning "something drawn."


Thursday, August 27, 2015

This Day In History - August 27

August 27, 1871: Theodore Dreiser is born

*Theodore Dreiser, whose book Sister Carrie helped change the direction of American literature, is born on this day in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Dreiser was the 12th of 13 children born to a poor, unhappy family. Except for one brother who became a songwriter, most of the Dreiser children failed to rise above their squalid roots. Starting in his early teens, Dreiser supported himself with menial jobs. A sympathetic teacher helped him get into Indiana University, but he stayed only one year. In 1892, he began working as a journalist for the Chicago Globe. He continued working in journalism while writing his first novel, Sister Carrie, which was published in 1900. The novel was a major break from the Victorian propriety of the time, and the printer refused to promote the book. Fewer than 500 copies were sold.

Dreiser had a mental breakdown in the early 1900s but was nursed back to health by his songwriter brother. He became a successful magazine editor until he was forced to resign in 1910 following a scandal involving an employee's daughter. Dreiser was frequently linked to immoral behavior during his lifetime. Sister Carrie was reissued in 1907 and gradually increased in popularity. Dreiser turned to writing full time. He published several more novels between 1911 and 1915, including Jennie Gerhardt (1911), The Financier (1912), and The Titan (1914).

In 1925, his novel An American Tragedy drew his largest popular success to date. Based on a famous murder trial, the book criticized the U.S. legal system, and Dreiser became a spokesman for reform. In 1927, he visited the Soviet Union and published Dreiser Looks at Russia in 1928. Associated with radical politics and the Communist Party in the 1930s, Dreiser focused on political writing until his death in 1945.


More About Female Author - Carson McCullers

Though novelist Carson McCullers, author of The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, suffered from severe, lifelong health problems, she managed to have a pretty cool life.

After a divorce in 1941, McCullers, moved to New York, where she joined an art commune in Brooklyn Heights named February House. She lived there with other brilliant artists and intellectuals including the poet W.H. Auden.

After the war, she moved to Paris, where she became close friends with writers such as Tennessee Williams. McCullers continued working throughout her life, writing novels, short stories, poetry, and even a play, despite suffering from debilitating illnesses, including repeated strokes that left her partially paralyzed by only 31.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Library Humor

Can you decode this?

by Kimberly Joki

Were you able to figure out the sentence?

“Owl Bee Bach” = “I’ll be back.”

“I’ll be back” is a catchphrase from the Terminator. It also turns up in this year’s Terminator Genisys.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

This Day in History - August 25

August 25, 1944: Liberation of Paris

*On this day in 1944, French General Jacques Leclerc enters the free French capital triumphantly. Pockets of German intransigence remained, but Paris was free from German control.

Two days earlier, a French armored division had begun advancing on the capital. Members of the Resistance, now called the French Forces of the Interior, proceeded to free all French civilian prisoners in Paris. The Germans were still counterattacking, setting fire to the Grand Palais, which had been taken over by the Resistance, and killing small groups of Resistance fighters as they encountered them in the city. On August 24, another French armored division entered Paris from the south, receiving an effusion of gratitude from French civilians who poured into the streets to greet their heroes—but still, the Germans continued to fire on French fighters from behind barricades, often catching civilians in the crossfire.

But on August 25, after Gen. Dwight Eisenhower was assured by Gen. Charles de Gaulle, leader of the French Resistant forces, that Allied troops could now virtually sweep into Paris unopposed, Ike ordered Gen. Jacques Philippe Leclerc (a pseudonym he assumed to protect his family while under German occupation; his given name was Philippe-Marie, Vicomte De Hauteclocque) to enter the capital with his 2nd Armored Division. The remnants of German snipers were rendered impotent, and many German soldiers were led off as captives. In fact, the animus toward the Germans was so great that even those who had surrendered were attacked, some even machine-gunned, as they were being led off to captivity.

More than 500 Resistance fighters died in the struggle for Paris, as well as 127 civilians. Once the city was free from German rule, French collaborators were often killed upon capture, without trial.


Angel Learning

Note: ANGEL doesn't support mobile devices such as tablets (e.g. ipad) or smartphones (e.g. iphone). Please use a full version of an ANGEL supported browser. See the recommended browsers on the Computer Requirements page.


Login instructions

What do I need to login to ANGEL?
You need your RACC Student ID number. It is printed on your registration sheet and on your class schedule.

What is my Username?
It is your RACC ID Number without any leading zeroes. For example, your RACC Student ID number is 0987654321, your ANGEL Username is 987654321.

What is my Password?
If you haven't taken a class using ANGEL before and this is your first time logging in, your temporary password is your RACC student ID number. Just make sure to remove any leading zeroes. For example, your RACC Student ID number is 0987654321, your ANGEL password is 987654321.
If you have taken a class using ANGEL previously and changed your password, you must continue to use the same password. Otherwise, contact the ANGEL Help Desk.

I'm ready, where do I login to ANGEL?

Login to ANGEL Learning - (http://racc.angellearning.com)

Please bookmark this link for future reference.
To reinforce your ANGEL skills, you can watch the video tutorials below:
movie and video image
ANGEL How To Videos

Library Humor