Graphic novels / nonfiction

The library now has two graphic nonfiction books — Persepolis (Circ PN6747.S245 P4713 2003) and Persepolis 2 (Circ PN6747.S245 P4913 2004). The books use drawings, rather than a narrative, to tell the story of the author’s life as a child in Iran during the Islamic Revolution and when she arrives in Vienna to attend high school. Although the books tell a true story, they are often called “graphic novels,” the name generally given to the comic-like style that the author uses.

Project Vote Smart: Inform Yourself

Project Vote Smart: “Recognizing this void in American civic culture and the need to create a new organization, 40 national leaders, including former Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, formed Project Vote Smart (PVS) in 1992. Dedicated to upholding the ideal of democracy and serving the American people with unbiased and accurate information, PVS constructed a user-friendly voter’s self-defense system accessible through a website and a toll-free hotline (1-888-VOTE-SMART) over a 10-year period. Described by the New York Times as “one of the most comprehensive campaign information sites on the web” and by the Philadelphia Inquirer as “spectacular” for gathering in one place the information any intelligent voter needs, PVS is becoming recognized as the answer for objective and trustworthy information. A primary goal for PVS in the years ahead is to increase awareness of its services and use by American citizens.”

Eyetrack research – how we see the web

The Poynter Institute’s Eyetrack project tells us that when people look at news websites, “The eyes most often fixated first in the upper left of the page, then hovered in that area before going left to right.” The project also collected information about effective headline attributes, readability vs. scanability, web navigation, text vs. multimedia, etc. Read more highlights from this study at http://www.poynterextra.org/eyetrack2004/main.htm.

Project home page: http://www.poynterextra.org/eyetrack2004/index.htm

The Rise of the Creative Class

The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It’s Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Everyday Life: This book by Richard Florida is a newly arrived title in the MVCC Library. Richard Florida’s ideas were featured in this NPR story. Here’s a review from Booklist: Florida, an academic whose field is regional economic development, explains the rise of a new social class that he labels the creative class. Members include scientists, engineers, architects, educators, writers, artists, and entertainers. He defines this class as those whose economic function is to create new ideas, new technology, and new creative content. In general this group shares common characteristics, such as creativity, individuality, diversity, and merit. The author estimates that this group has 38 million members, constitutes more than 30 percent of the U.S. workforce, and profoundly influences work and lifestyle issues. The purpose of this book is to examine how and why we value creativity more highly than ever and cultivate it more intensely. He concludes that it is time for the creative class to grow up–boomers and Xers, liberals and conservatives, urbanites and suburbanites–and evolve from an amorphous group of self-directed while high-achieving individuals into a responsible, more cohesive group interested in the common good.