12 Ways to Have a More Sustainable Holiday Season

The holiday season is such a fun time of year. Friends and family meet to spend time with each other, cozy nights by the fireplace complete with hot cocoa, and giving gifts to one another. It is such a busy and exciting time of the year that we often forget to take into account the effects of our activities. Continue reading

Mark Twain

With November coming to a close, Thanksgiving passed and the holiday season in full swing, it’s easy to forget that Mark Twain’s birthday is November 30th. Born under Halley’s comet in one of the coldest months of the year, Mark Twain was one of the first great American authors, he left a tremendous impact on the literary world. His stories and memoirs fused wild adventures with a novel sense of humor, but this style comes as no surprise once you know a little more about his storied and eventful life.

Continue reading

Shop Small on Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, is sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, days of frenzied shopping mostly at the big retailers. The hustle and bustle of these impersonal transactions is a stark contrast to the quieter more customer focused neighborhood shops. This year marks the 10th anniversary of Small Business Saturday, which was started by American Express in 2010. The goal was to encourage people to “shop small” and spend more of their dollars at local businesses. The Small Business Administration, which helps Americans start, build, and grow their businesses, became a co-sponsor in 2015. People have embraced and supported this day, spending a record $17.8 billion in 2018, but this year small businesses need your support more than ever.

Continue reading

Consider Participating in Family Stories Month

When I was growing up one of the magazines in our household was Readers’ Digest, and a consistent feature in that publication from 1939 – 1967 was “The Most Unforgettable Character I have Ever Met”. Those brief biographies of famous and not-so-famous individuals was usually the first section that I read when each new issue arrived. Do you have an “unforgettable character” in your extended family? The one that grandparents, aunts, uncles, or cousins talk about frequently when they are gathered together? Or perhaps one that you met and made a deep impression on you?

Continue reading

American History in the Bellevue University Library

This November saw a presidential election rife with misinformation, political divisions, and endless time in front of cable news channels.  Of course, because it is 2020, this unprecedented national decision played out on a backdrop of increasing COVID-19 concerns and economic hardship. This has led to a rise in anxiety and personal stress across the United States, which can make the upcoming holiday season even more daunting.  In stressful times, it is easy to fall into the trap of believing that everything is out of control.  How will the Zoom-facilitated Thanksgiving get-together possibly work if the future seems so uncertain?  One way to ease those understandable concerns is to focus on things that are controllable.  Of the problems currently facing us, misinformation is the simplest one to fight on one’s own.  With a little help from the Bellevue University Library print collection, it is easy to combat misinformation about the United States history and culture.  The history and culture of the United States is broadly divided in the print collection into the following subject areas.

Continue reading

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Through the Years

For many Americans, one of the highlights of Thanksgiving Day is waking up to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV. Every year, people gather to watch large balloons, beautiful floats, loud marching bands, and hear the sounds of the holiday. The parade was started by immigrants to celebrate their American citizenship. The parade is broadcasted live with musical acts, performances, and a lot of people on the streets celebrating the season.

Continue reading

Ep. 43: Fantasy and Tropes

Welcome to the More Than Books Podcast Episode 43! Named after the official Bellevue University Library newsletter, each episode features library staff members discussing a topic related to literature, libraries, technology, pop culture, and more. Now available on iTunes!

 Description: In this episode, Sierra and Emily discuss two of their favorite classic, yet not-as-well-known, fantasy series! These beloved series are the Earthsea Cycle by Ursula K. Le Guin and the Elenium Series by David Eddings. Grab a cup of tea and get cozy as we sit down to talk about fantasy classics (and tropes)!

Music Attribution:
Intro – “Can’t Stop Me” from Feeding the Lions EP by ProleteR
Outro – 1940’s Slow Dance (Sting) by Doug Maxwell

Book Series Discussed (summaries from Goodreads):
The Earthsea Cycle by Ursula K. Le Guin
 

Ged, the greatest sorcerer in all Earthsea, was called Sparrowhawk in his reckless youth.

Hungry for power and knowledge, Sparrowhawk tampered with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow upon the world. This is the tale of his testing, how he mastered the mighty words of power, tamed an ancient dragon, and crossed death’s threshold to restore the balance.”

 
The Elenium Series by David Eddings
After a long spell of exile, Sparhawk, Pandion Knight and the Queen’s champion returns to native land to find it overrun with evil and intrigue – and his young queen greviously ill. Indeed, Ehlana lies magically entombed within a block of crystal, doomed to die unless a cure can be found within a year.”

The views and opinions discussed within the “More Than Books” Podcast do not necessarily represent those of the Bellevue University Library or Bellevue University as a whole. Discussion of film availability was accurate as of the time this podcast was recorded.

Setting the Record Straight

When you think about “world records,” most people immediately think “sports.”  However, librarians are probably more familiar with the Guinness Book of World Records, published annually since 1955, acknowledging record-breaking human achievements.  Today, November 18, 2020, is “Guinness World Records Day.”  Celebrated every November, this day was first recognized in 2004, when the publication became the world’s bestselling book.  However, some believe it actually goes back to November 10, 1951, when Sir Hugh Beaver, manager of Guinness Breweries in Ireland, argued about the fastest game bird in Europe.

Continue reading

November is National Novel Writing Month

Have you ever wanted to write a book, but did not know where or how to start? As luck would have it, November is National Novel Writing Month! This annual event, known colloquially as NaNoWriMo, seeks to give people the “tools, structure, community, and encouragement” to start and finish a novel draft in a single calendar month.

Continue reading