Author Archives: Chrystal Dawson

Umbrella Month

umbrella monthSince March is Umbrella Month, allow me to tell you a little bit about the history of the umbrella and how they are being used today. Umbrellas have been in existence for thousands of years, when umbrellas were originally used to shade important persons from the sun. But soon people realized that umbrellas functioned as a wonderful shield from the rain.

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Copyright Center: Images, Photos, and Graphics! Oh My!

frogs_on_benchHave you ever been in the middle of creating a Power Point presentation and you realize that you need an eye-catching image to capture your audience’s attention? Have you asked yourself, “Where can I find some free images to add to my project and avoid any copyright concerns?”

If your answer is the Bellevue University Library’s Copyright Center, you have already discovered the right place! In fact, the Copyright Center contains an “Images” page that lists the Library’s image database, Britannica Image Quest, plus various other image websites, that allow you to use photos for free!

Let me start with Britannica Image Quest. Currently, this is the Library’s only image database. Image Quest provides access to over two million images from collections such as the National Portrait Gallery, Getty Images, National Geographic Image Collection, and DK Images, to name a few.  All you have to do is search for the image, download it, and give the image attribution using the credit line already provided. It is as easy as that!

If using Image Quest did not quite give you the images you were looking for, where can you go next? Hopefully we all know that we cannot just perform a Google search and use any image that we find, right?! Well, as long as you perform that search by filtering the usage rights to your type of use, there may be plenty of images you can use. However, this is only one image website, but there are plenty more!

One of my favorites right now is called Pixabay. All images on this site are released under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license which means the images can be altered, downloaded, distributed, and used however you wish. Plus, attribution is not required. Many of the photos have the stock photography quality and look, but without that lovely watermark.

Another wonderful website with CC0 images is Unsplash. Anyone can submit a photo or collection on this site and share with others. You can search the newest photos or search through various collections to find the perfect photo.

Perhaps you are looking for more of a graphic or icon rather than a photo. Try the website, Noun Project, which will allow you search all kinds of icons, many which are added daily.

There are many other websites listed on the Images page of the Library’s Copyright Center. Hopefully this will give you a start as you are searching for images or photos. Please let us know ( if you discover any new sites that might be helpful to others. As always, thank you for supporting the Bellevue University Library Copyright Center!

Get Your Vote On!

vote-imageTuesday, November 8, 2016 is Election Day!  With all of the political TV & radio commercials, yard signs, billboards, and Facebook rants, it’s difficult to forget that election season is upon us.  Hopefully that means you either voted early or plan to vote on this day. However, if you have decided not to vote at all, please reconsider that decision. Voting may not be important to you now, but your vote could change the future for you and your kids.

Before I get too far, let me provide you with a brief history of Election Day itself and why it is this time of year. In 1845, Congress passed Election Day as the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November. This is primarily due to all of the farmers during that time period. On Sunday, the farmers were in church and Wednesday was a market day.  Since farmers needed a good day to travel to a polling location, Tuesday was the best day for their schedule. As far as the month, November was the best time of year since it was after a busy harvest season and before the treacherous winters.  Hence, Election Day occurs on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

Now, allow me to fast forward to today and to the importance of voting. Trust me, I’m not going to voice my opinion on whom you should vote for, I just want to encourage you to vote. This year, I must admit that I do have a much greater appreciation for all of the politicians who have and are running for local and state level office because my spouse is running for an office. I never knew just how much work, effort, and time they spent knocking on people’s doors and attending events and functions to get their name and face out there! In fact, I have helped with the campaign and now know about all of the countless hours involved of not only bagging up informational pieces to hang on the doors, but also the door-knocking itself. Let’s just say it’s a TON of work, but pretty exciting too!

Furthermore, the ballot includes so much more than the presidential candidates (if this is why you do not want to vote this year), but also for other offices such as the U.S. House of Representatives, Senate, city offices, and important Legislative bills. In fact, this time on the Nebraska ballot, Bill 268 is listed which is the death penalty bill, and it is up to you whether you would like to repeal or retain it. Feel free to visit this helpful website for Nebraska voters:, to learn more about the candidates and bill. And, if you have not quite made up your mind about the presidential candidates, you can visit to review their stance on various issues.

I’ll stop right here so you have time to go out and vote on November 8!

Students Engage in Book Club

Eleanor  Park Table SignOn August 23 Bellevue University Library hosted its first student book club.  Two students attended in person, and five students joined the online book club through the site, Goodreads. Even though there was a lot of planning and organizing in the past eight months, both students truly enjoyed this opportunity and look forward to future book clubs.  Continue reading to find out how our first book club evolved. Continue reading

Kanopy Database


Are you searching for new video material for a course? Perhaps you are looking for a documentary, a TV series, or a foreign language film? The Bellevue University Library has you covered with Kanopy!

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Visual Data: How to Create an Infographic

Infogr.amWouldn’t you like to use an easy tool for quick infographics? On February 5th, I gave a presentation to our library on, a tool for creating infographics. If you have never heard of or even infographics, I have some great information to share with you. was founded in 2012 by newsroom people, Uldis Leiterts and Raimonds Kaze. They wanted to empower journalists with an easy infographic tool. This award winning company, headquartered in Latvia, touts that “ is the fastest growing data visualization community on the planet!” Continue reading

October Display Case

This month’s library display case is featuring Bellevue University’s Disability Services area.  This is only fitting as October has recently been proclaimed by President Barack Obama as National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month, meaning that employers need to continue to recruit those talented and skilled individuals with disabilities to promote the right to equal employment opportunity for everyone.  With this being said, take a closer look at what our Disability Services department has to offer to the Bellevue University community.   Feel free to visit the library to see the display case in person or view more photos on the Library’s Pinterest board titled, “Library Displays.”   Also, visit the Disability Services website to read about more information and services that they have to offer.