How To Return Items To The Library

book drop

We love when our patrons check out books and movies from the library! However, once the due date is approaching, you will need to return the library items you borrowed. This blog post will help you do that!

How to return items to the library:

  • If you checked out a book or movie from the library:

You can return your item to one of our book drops, which are spread across campus.  There is a book drop in…

  • The Bowld,
  • The SUB, and
  • The PAC.

We also have one outside of the Logos that can be used as a drive-thru! We check these book drops 3 times a day to ensure that the returned items are cleared from your account.

book drop media

Lastly, you can return a book right to us at the Circulation Desk! That way we’ll check it in for you immediately. We do not have any book drops inside the library, so please return your books to a library employee at the Circulation Desk instead.

 

  • If you were looking at a book or movie while in the library and are now done with it (and did not check it out):

Place the item on a library cart; a library employee will pick it up and reshelve it later. You can also just leave the item on a table or at a carrel- we will find it! And, as always, you can simply return the item to the Circulation Desk workers. We are happy to take the item from you and will return it to where it belongs!

 

 

  • Please do NOT try to reshelve items yourself, and do NOT place items back on the shelves or on top of other books. This is how items get out of order, making them hard to find for our patrons who need them. The following are examples of what NOT to do:

 

^These books are not only out of order, but they make the shelves look messy, too.

 

Returning your library items is easy! Just place them in a book drop or hand them to someone at the desk, and leave items that were not checked out on a cart. We’re always glad for you to use the library’s resources!

Book Review: “Amal Unbound” by Aisha Saeed

amal unbound

 

This is what I now remember most about my last afternoon at school- the smell of the dusty chalkboard, the sound of the students lingering outside the door, and, mostly, how easily I took my ordinary life for granted.

Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed is the story of a bright Pakistani girl who has to make the most of unfortunate circumstances. When Amal’s mother begins to struggle with post-partum depression, Amal stays home from school to take care of her younger sisters. She dreams of a better future when she can go to college and become a teacher. When Amal accidentally offends a member of her village’s ruling family, she is forced into indentured servitude and her whole world turns upside down.

What Amal Unbound gets right: It’s refreshing to read a book that’s not set in the United States. Amal’s story is uniquely Pakistani, and reading about her culture helped me learn new words and customs. The injustice that Amal faces is heartrending, but we cheer for Amal as she learns how to navigate the world and still be herself. Aisha Saeed wrote the fictional story of Amal as a reflection of Malala Yousafzai and her fight for women’s education, and Saeed hopes that Amal Unbound and similar stories will inspire young girls all over the world to stand up for what is right.

What Amal Unbound gets wrong: Nothing, really. My only caveat is that this book is written for a younger audience than me, so there’s some repetition here and there. However, that’s not a reason to ignore this book! The story is compelling for both adults and children.

Who should read Amal Unbound: Middle-grade children, teens, and adults who want to learn about different cultures, customs, and global problems.

Who shouldn’t read Amal Unbound: Adults who prefer adult narratives.

Matthew’s Monday Movie: “Mean Girls”

In the early 2000’s, teen comedies generally focused on the trials and tribulations of high school life, and Mean Girls set the standard for the genre.  This coming-of-age style film is brought together by an amazing cast of Hollywood’s leading young actresses of the time and witty writing by well-established producers and writers.  The film was produced by Lorne Michaels, the famous creator of Saturday Night Live and written by Tina Fey. This background of veteran comedic writing (with a long history of successful sketch comedy) helped to create an immensely funny and quotable film.

The film begins with our protagonist Cady Heron (Lindsey Lohan), who is returning to the United States after twelve years abroad with her parents. Cady is enrolled at North Shore High School and feels immediately like a fish out of water due to her years of homeschooling. She is quickly taken aside and befriended by Janis Ian (Lizzy Caplan), a fellow outcast who describes in depth the various cliques that compete in the school for popularity.

Of all the cliques in the school, none is more sought after and notorious than “The Plastics.” This clique features the most popular girls in school; The Plastics flaunt their good looks and their posh sense of fashion while exhibiting profound narcissism. Internally, each of them is filled with insecurities, and they feed off each other in order to maintain their status. This trio of manipulators includes Gretchen Wieners (Lacey Chabert), Karen Smith (Amanda Seyfried), and the leader, Regina George (Rachel McAdams). Gretchen is a pure follower who is always at Regina’s beck and call. Karen fulfills the  pretty blonde with no brain trope with her antics. Regina is the brains of the group, being the most popular girl in school and a puppet master extraordinaire. She is a crafty demagogue and can be so self-absorbed, she makes Cersei Lannister from Game of Thrones look humble.

Regina and The Plastics soon take notice of Cady and quickly befriend her. Cady enjoys the new found allure of parties and popularity, and she quickly develops a crush on Regina’s ex-boyfriend, Aaron Samuels (Jonathan Bennett). Janis insists that Cady use her new position in the group to get close to Regina and steal her old diary dubbed “The Burn Book,” as it is filled with gossip and secrets about girls and teachers at the school.  Things start to heat up when Regina discovers Cady’s crush and a jealous feud begins. This causes a schism between The Plastics, and Cady becomes the new queen bee mirroring Regina’s own tyrannical behaviors. Desperate and enraged, Regina releases the contents of The Burn Book and total anarchy unfolds. Cady, seeing, what she has become and the damage done to everyone, regrets the choices she made and seeks to reconcile with those she wronged.

This is a fantastic and iconic film. The comedy is top notch and it’s also relatable to anyone who shared similar experiences in high school where you weren’t quite sure where you fit in and hadn’t really discovered your true self. Mean Girls is still such a popular movie that as of late 2017 and 2018, it was adapted by Tina Fey as a Broadway musical in New York City.

Mean Girls is rated PG-13 for some language and suggestive situations. It is available at the Union University Library.

 

 

Top 5 Political Science Journals

pex poli sci

Political science is a constantly updating field, with new world leaders and policies being decided each day. Keep up with the latest news and theories in political science with these library-provided databases.

 

This collection provides well-rounded coverage of both the current thinking and events in US History, as well as scholarly work being established in the field.
This collection includes content from over 400 journals, covering all aspects of the past and current state of military affairs. Key subjects covered include: socioeconomic effects of war, governmental policies, the structure of armed forces, and many more.
Academic Search Complete is the world’s most valuable and comprehensive scholarly, multi-disciplinary full-text database, with more than 8,500 full-text periodicals, including more than 7,300 peer-reviewed journals. In addition to full text, this database offers indexing and abstracts for more than 12,500 journals and a total of more than 13,200 publications including monographs, reports, conference proceedings, etc. The database features PDF content going back as far as 1887, with the majority of full text titles in native (searchable) PDF format. Searchable cited references are provided for more than 1,400 journals.

 

pex poli sci

 

GPO Monthly Catalog

Consists of records published by the GPO since July 1976. Includes references for documents to congressional committee reports and hearings, debates, documents from executive departments and more.
JSTOR is an archival database providing full-text access to back issues of scholarly journals in a variety of disciplines, many dating back to the 1800’s. Union has access to publications within the Arts & Sciences Collections 1-7.

Matthew’s Monday Movie: “Hook”

In 1991, director Steven Spielberg adapted a timeless classic into a fresh take in his film Hook. This film centers around the familiar and beloved character of Peter Pan. Hook differs from all the other variations as it takes place in a future where Peter Pan left Neverland, became an adult, and forgot his past. Peter, played by the late great Robin Williams, has raised a family and become a successful lawyer and workaholic whose behavior has begun to alienate his wife, Moira, and his two children, Jack and Maggie.

The other conflict comes when a vengeful Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman) leaves Neverland and steals Peter’s children in an attempt to provoke him into returning so their feud can be settled once and for all. The problem with Peter’s character is that, having grown up in the modern world, he has completely forgotten his inner child, lacks faith in his abilities, and forgotten how to fly. Tinker Bell (Julia Roberts) arrives to take Peter to Neverland and aid Peter in rescuing his children.  Upon arriving in Neverland, Peter is mocked and jeered by Hook and his crew for failing to live up to his legend. However, Tinker Bell sets up a bargain with Hook that in three days Peter will return and be his former self and the two of them can battle it out for who keeps Pan’s children.

Over the coming days Peter must regain the faith of the Lost Boys and learn to fly again. Hook seeks to humiliate Peter further by turning his son Jack against him by mentoring him and raising him to be a pirate. Peter completes his trials and learns the truth about his past and how he came to live in the modern world. In doing so he regains his innocence and inner child while at the same time maturing. Peter learns how to fly through rediscovering his happy thoughts, which turn out to be his love for his children. In the final showdown, Peter and the Lost Boys have a climactic battle with Hook and his pirates. With Hook defeated and his children safe, Peter returns home with a rejuvenated soul and new found love of life.

Hook has received some negative critical reviews in recent times, but for me, the film is immensely nostalgic. Hook has continued to amass quite a cult following mostly due to Williams’ and Hoffman’s memorable performances. The score is fantastic due to composer John Williams, and the profits for this film were around 300 million worldwide. This would make it one of the most successful pirate-themed films, second only to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

This is a great coming-of-age film where the love between a father and his child shines through in the end. Hook is rated PG and is full of fun for the whole family.

Hook is available at the Union University Library.

 

Book Review: “North of Beautiful” by Justina Chen

north-of-beautiful2

North of Beautiful is a well-written young adult book about a girl who learns to be brave. Terra Cooper was born with a port-wine stain on her face and has learned to hide it from others, in particular her verbally abusive dad. Together with her timid mom, Terra learns to stand up for herself and accept herself as she is. In the midst of Terra’s transformation, she meets a Goth romantic interest, goes to China, and creates map-based art.

 

What North of Beautiful gets right: The main characters experience a lot of growth throughout the book. None of them become perfect, but they each begin to make positive changes in their lives. North of Beautiful has a happier ending but not so optimistic that it’s unbelievable.

The traveling part of the book is fun but never overshadows the characters themselves. North of Beautiful is all about relationships and inner motivations. It’s encouraging to watch Terra repair her relationship with her mother and begin building a new one with Jacob.

What North of Beautiful does wrong: Terra’s insecurity can be hard to read about in the first part of the book. She seems to look down on others who don’t put as much effort into their appearance as she does. However, as the book goes on, we begin to understand why Terra feels that way, and we get to see her grow and change.

Who should read North of Beautiful: Anyone who has struggled with how they look, likes cartography, or enjoys a (mostly) innocent romance. Teenagers who need someone to relate to. Adults who will understand the relationships between Terra and her parents.

Who shouldn’t read North of Beautiful: People who aren’t interested in reading about teenagers or families. People who get bored by character development and need more action in their stories.

 

Check out North of Beautiful from the library’s Family Room.

Matthew’s Monday Movie: “Sully”

On January 15th 2009 an incident occurred that would later be referred to as the “Miracle on the Hudson.” This event was an emergency plane landing into the Hudson River due to crippling bird strikes that destroyed both jet engines, resulting in complete loss of power just after takeoff. The pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and co-pilot Jeff Skiles accessed the situation, and Sully quickly determined they did not have enough time to make it to the nearest airport to land. As a result, he chose to bring the plane down into the Hudson River. Miraculously, no one was seriously harmed and all passengers and crew survived to be rescued from the river.

In 2016, Director Clint Eastwood released the film Sully to tell not only this harrowing story but also its rather controversial aftermath.  Tom Hanks was cast to play the part of Sully, and he does a nominal job as usual. Hanks has always been able to portray characters from both fiction and history in a remarkable humane and relatable tone. In the direct aftermath of the landing, Sully is pronounced a hero by the whole of the country. However, privately he struggles with the trauma and stress of the incident.

Members of the National Transportation Safety Board begin to question if Sully’s actions were correct after running diagnostics on the recovered plane. Furthermore, the board begins to claim that test simulations show that Sully could have landed the plane at the neighboring Teterboro airport or even have simply recalculated his approach and returned to LaGuardia.  Sully realizes that the board may intend to hold him accountable for the crash landing, thereby tarnishing his record and ruining his career. When Sully meets with the board, he arranges for the simulations to be tested on live pilots in an open hearing. The results of the test prove Sully’s point by showing the pilots are incapable of making it back to the airports and would have ended up crashing into the middle of the city killing all on board and many hundred more on the ground. In light of these new findings, the committee agrees with Sully that he acted correctly given the severity of the situation.

This film portrays the inherent risk that we take for granted in commercial flying, however rare accidents may be. If disaster does strike, what’s needed is an immensely skilled and level-headed pilot, and Captain Sullenberger proved that.

Sully was widely praised upon its release and still holds an 86% on the popular website Rotten Tomatoes.  Director Clint Eastwood is fantastic at creating thought-provoking biopics where you quickly forget you’re watching a film and feel as if you’re right there in the moment as history unfolds.

Sully is rated PG-13 for brief strong language and is available at Union University Library.

 

 

 

 

 

Featured Book: “Lost In Wonder, Love, And Praise” by Justin Wainscott

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Justin Wainscott, a member of Union’s Board of Trustees and pastor of First Baptist Church in Jackson, recently released a new book. Lost In Wonder, Love, And Praise is divided into 2 sections: hymns and poems. The hymns section draws heavily from Scripture; Wainscott adds recommendations of familiar tunes for each hymn to be sung to. The poems section focuses on different themes such as God’s grace, dealing with anxiety, and family.

One poem that particularly stands out is “Shared Wonder,” which is about our relationships to art:

The art we most enjoy-

whether stories or sketches,

paintings or poems,

music or movies,

sermons or songs-

is the fruit of private wonder

being made public.

Wainscott goes on to write about the joy of shared wonder, which he concludes is the end result of art.

Lost In Wonder, Love, And Praise is a great resource for worship leaders, pastors, and laymen alike. Whether you’re looking for a new hymn to sing or a poem to resonate with, this book is here to help you worship God. You can check out Lost In Wonder, Love, And Praise from the library.

Matthew’s Monday Movie: “They Shall Not Grow Old”

Peter Jackson is well known for his great work in bringing to life J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, but this past year he introduced audiences to one of the most impressive documentary films of the ages. As November 11th 2018 marked the centennial anniversary of the end of World War I, Peter Jackson released his ambitious documentary film They Shall Not Grow Old. The film’s title is from a line in the famous 1914 poem “For The Fallen” by Laurence Binyon:

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.

This film’s structure is on the outset strikingly different for a war documentary: the names of those interviewed are never given since there were over 200 veterans interviewed, culminating into over 600 hours of audio. The technical work in this film is truly mind-boggling. With hundreds of hours of black and white footage that was sped up for film, the crew colorized and digitized the film to produce a flawless product. What were once shaky and grainy images now explode with color to show how it really looked in the hellish landscapes of WW1 era France. The film does an amazing job at recreating the audio sounds of deafening artillery and even goes so far as to hire lip readers and voice actors, thereby giving voice to the men of once silent footage.

The narrative of the film begins as the war kicks off and young recruits seek to enlist (many being as young as fifteen even though the required age was nineteen). The veterans explain that their initial thoughts of war included grand adventures filled with patriotic notions of duty and service to the empire. They are quickly trained and set off for France. Their opinions about what war will be like quickly change when faced with the realities and destructive nature of modern war technology.

The vast spider web network of trenches that dominated Western Europe at the time are shown in all their visceral conditions. Living, eating, and sleeping in flooded trenches with such abundant squalor and the filth of latrines, the soldiers must deal with rats and dead men only meters away. The film’s footage truly shows what a nightmare WW1 was. There was a relentless shelling by artillery, sniper fire, and even poison gas in the trenches. In spite of these appalling conditions, the men soldiered on while many yearned for some sense of normalcy in their down time with a cup of tea or a cigarette. When they were relieved off the front for R&R many indulged in alcohol, gambling and even brothels. It was also in these downtimes that you see the true camaraderie the men have with each other.

As the film reaches its climax, the soldiers retell the horrors of  going over the top into no man’s land to attack on the German lines. Many are killed, more are wounded, and the survivors lead a bloody attack to take the German trenches and killing or capturing them. They then reflect that the enemy soldiers are not much different than themselves; some of them even become quite friendly. The soldiers, regardless of background or which side the fight, all agree that the war is useless and it should never have happened.

In closing I can’t stress how moving and awe-inspiring They Shall Not Grow Old is. It truly feels as if one is going back in time. I challenge anyone who watches it to not feel the utter heartbreak and sadness when one witnesses what these poor young men went through. I find it nearly impossible to maintain a dry eye while viewing this film. This heartbreaking documentary shows the very best and worst that humans are capable of doing to one another.

They Shall Not Grow Old is available at Union University’s Library.

*Please note: this film shows actual war footage and can be extremely unsettling. It is not recommended for young audiences.

 

 

Featured Author: Octavia E. Butler

The path to success is to take massive, determined action. (2)

 

On June 22nd, 1947, Octavia E. Butler was born in Pasadena California. Butler grew from being a shy child who escaped in books to a successful science fiction writer. In fact, in 1995, she became the first science fiction author to win a MacArthur Fellowship.

Butler wrote about time travel, slavery, African culture, telepathy, dystopias, and much more. Her stories stood out in the white-dominated field of 1980s science fiction. Butler enjoyed the science fiction genre particularly because it allowed her the freedom to write about anything she could imagine.

You can check out Octavia E. Butler’s bestelling novel Kindred from the library- look for it in our literature section!