A New Form of News: Songs, Poems, Games, and More from the Post

This week the Washington Post Magazine released their alternative storytelling issue online. This is an interesting information literacy & journalistic endeavor trying to break the mold of the “6000 word story” by using music, games, mad libs, graphic novels, poetry and more to share news.

You can learn more about the goals of this issue here: The Washington Post Magazine Publishes an Alternative Storytelling Issue.

Here’s a link to a short videos about musician Ben Folds writing a song about Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Ben Folds Writes a Song About Rod Rosenstein

September 11, 2001

Today is the 17th anniversary of 9/11. “The September 11 assault were a series of four coordinated attacks by the terrorist group al-Qaeda against the United States”.

The MVCC library is an excellent source of information for research on this subject.

You may also want to view our historical newspapers Chicago Tribune Historical  or The New York Times Historical to get a day by day report of this tragedy.

The Whole World was Watching Chicago 50 Years Ago

This week marked the 50th Anniversary of the 1968 Democratic National Convention and the riots in the streets of Chicago between protesters and Chicago police. This was a turning point of the 1960s, and many of us who live in Chicagoland now may know people on both sides of this highly charged event. Here are some sources that may help us better understand this historic event.

Retrospective from the New York Times (2018): ‘The Whole World Is Watching’: The 1968 Democratic Convention, 50 Years Later
On Aug. 28, 1968, violent clashes in Chicago between demonstrators and the police produced one of the most polarizing showdowns of the 1960s. People are still debating what it all meant.

Tribune Articles from August 29, 1968: Cops, Hippies War in Street: Scores Hurt in Battle on Michigan av. Police, Hippies Wage Pitched Battle in Michigan
Michigan avenue was turned into a bloody battleground last night as police swung their sticks on anti-war demonstrators and anti-Democratic convention pickets in streets outside the Conrad Hilton hotel, the convention headquarters.

Summary Video from the Newseum (2015): Reporting Vietnam: 1968 DNC Police Riot
Outside the DNC in Chicago on the evening of August 28, 1968, tensions between protesters and police reached a violent climax, as police attacked with tear gas, mace, and billy clubs. Journalists and protesters alike were arrested in the chaos that ensued.

128 Editorial Boards Fighting the War on the Press

128 editorial boards are taking a stand on Thursday (August 16) against the “war on the press.” This is a fascinating struggle for credibility for these papers. Here’s some coverage:

Globe rallies newspapers to protect free press from Trump attacks

‘‘We are not the enemy of the people,’’ said Marjorie Pritchard, deputy managing editor for the editorial page of The Boston Globe, referring to a characterization of journalists that Trump has used in the past. The president, who contends he has largely been covered unfairly by the press, also employs the term ‘‘fake news’’ often when describing the media.

The Globe has reached out to editorial boards nationwide to write and publish editorials on Aug. 16 denouncing what the newspaper called a ‘‘dirty war against the free press.’’

You can read more here: “More than 100 newspapers will publish editorials decrying Trump’s anti-press rhetoric

“Insightful” Google Searches

Do you always accept the top Google results as factual? Are you sure? An old standby in the research world is now ready to give you some help. Encyclopaedia Britannica has a new Chrome extension, “Britannica Insights,” that adds information to the top right of the results page when you search for something. There are limits, of course. Britannica admits it works best for scientific or historical information.

Read more about it: Chicago Tribune, Wired, and The Verge

An American Author…Tom Wolfe

Tom Wolfe, a best selling author and journalist, died today at the age of 88.  Mr. Wolfe authored many famous works.  The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, written in 1968, is a classic read on the 1960s hippie movement. The Right Stuff, a non-fiction book written in 1979, describes the first 15 years of America’s space program.  The Bonfire of the Vanities, a novel written in 1987,  gives a vivid picture of New York City in the 1980s.  Wolfe is credited with numerous colorful phrases that include “The Me Decade” and “Radical Chic”. “His decades of creativity with the written word have undoubtedly left an enduring impact.”

Check out the MVCC catalog or databases for more information on Tom Wolfe.

Choose Privacy Week: Know Your Privacy Rights

Happy “Choose Privacy Week”!!! Libraries around the world celebrate May 1-7 as Choose Privacy Week which is a time for libraries to educate and advocate for the importance of privacy in our democracy.

The Choose Privacy Week website has a resources page outlining tips and tools you can use to ensure your online privacy such as:

Here’s the description from the Choose Privacy Week Website!:
The American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom established Choose Privacy Week in 2010 to help libraries work with their communities in navigating the complicated but vital issues of privacy rights. Privacy has long been a cornerstone of library services in America and a right that librarians defend every day. “

Here’s a video from a few years ago on the importance of privacy.

Vanishing Liberties: The Rise of State Surveillance in the Digital Age

Vanishing Liberties: The Rise of State Surveillance in the Digital Age from 20K Films on Vimeo.

Summer Bites

The warm weather has finally arrived in Chicago.  Baseball, barbecue, beaches, and bugs are part of the hot weather season.

Unfortunately, the downside of this season is the insects and the dangerous diseases they transmit.  The New York Times recently reported that “the number of people who get diseases transmitted by mosquito, tick and flea bites has more than tripled in the United States in recent years.”

The CDC site on this summertime hazard has additional information on how people in the Midwest can protect themselves from these treacherous bites.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo

We finally have a print copy of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss. The book was announced (and released) on March 18th during an episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver with some controversy. Independent booksellers were blindsided by the release and questioned business ethics as the book was first made available to Amazon.¹ The larger conversation was around the fact that the book was published as a parody of Marlon Bundo’s A Day in the Life of the Vice President, written by Charlotte Pence and illustrated by Karen Pence. Both books star the Pence family pet, Marlon Bundo, but one is a biography of the Vice President, while the other is about same-sex marriage.

The release of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo was political, serving as Oliver’s response to Mike Pence’s indirect support of anti-gay organizations.² The plot is about gay marriage and pictures contain cues for adults. At the same time, the book introduces broader themes that go beyond this specific political situation. Twiss writes about the essentials of democracy and diversity, ideas that are universal regardless of who is in power. You can checkout the book in print or electronically from our library.

  1. Green, Alex. “Booksellers Outraged by Chronicle’s Rollout of John Oliver Book.” Publishers Weekly, 26 March 2018, https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/bookselling/article/76440-booksellers-outraged-by-chronicle-s-rollout-of-john-oliver-book.html. Accessed 26 April 2018.
  2. “Mike Pence: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO).” YouTube, uploaded by LastWeek Tonight, 18 March 2018, https://youtu.be/rs2RlZQVXBU.