Featured Books: Coffee Edition

September 29th is National Coffee Day! There’s plenty of coffee in The Logos, thanks to Modero Coffee Roasters. And there’s just something about coffee & books together: what better way to celebrate the delicious drink than by pairing it with a book?

The library has several books and even films about the business and culture surrounding coffee today. Check them out below!


Come by the library to celebrate National Coffee Day, and grab a book to go with your drink!


National Voter Registration Day


Recently moved or turned 18? Haven’t voted in a while? Update your voter registration at NationalVoterRegistrationDay.org.

According to the US Census Bureau, young adult voters between the ages of 18 through 24 have consistently voted at lower rates than all other age groups in every presidential election since 1962. National Voter Registration Day is a great start to changing those statistics!

If you’re interested in politics, the library has plenty of books for you as well. Click on a book cover to learn more:

k9704    perception  dictionary of american govt

a companion to ethics




National Comic Book Day

The history of comics is long, colorful, and at times convoluted. Comics have lasted decades and have the stories to show for it whether it be a flammable, crime fighting android or a lady with green skin and a law degree. For National Comic Book Day, we at the Union University library have complied a condensed, and sometimes quirky, history of the superhero comic book.


Golden Age

1933, Superman appeared in Action Comics #1

Detective Comics #27 Batman hit the shelves.

Namor the Sub-Mariner, The (original) Human Torch*, and Ka-Zar appeared during this era.

The Flash and Green Lantern were released in Flash Comics.

In April of 1940, Robin made his debut as the first superhero “sidekick” in the industry.

During the winter of 1940 the Justice Society of America was released, making it the very first superhero team. The third issue of All Star Comics had heroes including The Flash, Green Lantern, The Spectre, Hawkman, Dr. Fate, The Hour-Man, The Sandman, Atom, and Johnny Thunder.

Captain America, released in 1941, was the first comic to introduce a comic where the main hero had not been tested in a previous story. The Nazi-punching American Hero flew off the shelves even before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

During the Second World War, comics were frequently shipped to troops on the front lines as a recreational escape and a reminder of home.

The book “Seduction of the Innocent” was published describing the “Corrupt” nature of many comics eventually leading to the creation of the Comics Code Authority (or CCA). This led to the censorship or extreme edits to comics that the CCA did not deem morally upright or wholesome, and this system stayed in place for decades.

For a distinct amount of time, superhero comics went into a decline where readership was heavily reduced to the point of superhero comics not being profitable.


Silver Age

Showcase comics revived the flash with a snazzy reboot (sans metal helmet) with popularity that allowed The Flash to receive his own title comic soon after. This paved the way for the resurrection of many Golden Age comic heroes.

This was the era where many comics all stars (such as Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and John Buscema) came to power.

DC brought in “alternate universes” into their story line; something they, and other comic companies would continue to do till this day. This allowed them to explain the difference of their Golden Age heroes as members of Earth-2 and Silver Age characters and onward as belonging to Earth-1.

Marvel, taking advantage of the surge of interest in superhero comics, created The Fantastic Four. Prior to this day, the superheroes depicted in comics were very simple and righteous. Marvel started the trend where heroes had very real problems and came to doubt themselves and have personal failures that took great precedent in the comics. The world of superheroes was no longer completely black and white.

Spider-Man, the X-Men, and Hulk were all children of the Silver age that we know and love today. They were centered on sociopolitical upheaval and current social issues that took major precedent in their comics.


Bronze Age

While the Silver Age began the process of blurring the lines between the righteous and the evil, the Bronze Age really began to deepen the waters. One notable example is the darkening of the Green Lantern comics. In one issue he saved a man from being beaten by a younger boy only to find out from Green Arrow that the man was a landlord cruelly evicting the residents of his complex. Also, during this era the problem of drug use was brought up as Green Arrow’s sidekick, Speedy, was found to have a drug addiction of his own. This was an important milestone as even the mention of drugs was forbidden by the CCA.

Marvel also challenged the norms by publishing a Spider-Man comic, which was about the dangers of drug abuse, and the CCA would not approve of it. Fortunately, the public sided with Marvel in the end.

As the CCA relaxed their rules, more horror related heroes such as Ghost Rider, Swamp Thing, and Son of Satan (also known as Hellstorm) were published.

In 1973’s Spider-man #121 Marvel shocked the public by killing off Gwen Stacy. Never before had such an innocent and important character been killed in such a main title comic. This began to show the gravity of the world that the heroes and villains grappled in, as well as displaying the collateral damage that was a result of it.

Marvel also began producing anti-hero characters such as Wolverine and The Punisher that were far more violent that their hero counterparts, and blurred the line between good and evil even more.

In 1976, DC and Marvel created one of their first crossover comics that incorporated a battle between Spider-Man and Superman. This allowed for other successful crossover comics to be released in the future.


Iron Age or the Grim and Gritty Age

During what we call the Iron Age of comics (or the Grim and Gritty age for reasons you will soon see) the stories in comic books became darker and more realistic.

The beginning of this trend began in 1979 when Frank Miller began penciling and writing Daredevil. Because of his writings, the dark and realistic style of storytelling became increasingly popular through the 80s.

In 1984, Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird decided to try and create the silliest, dorkiest superhero team imaginable. What was born out of this was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Originally released in black and while, it became wildly popular and was put on everything you could imagine. It even received its own cartoon series and several cinematic adaptations in future years.

In 1985, DC was struggling with the timeline and continuity of their comic universe due to the fact that alternate universe story lines were getting increasingly common, complicated, and convoluted. Because of this they released the Crisis on Infinite Earths series. In the series they focus on six different universes. They were Earth 1 (the Normal DC Universe that we all know), Earth 2 (Golden Aged DC), Earth 3 (Villains and heroes were reversed, sort of like DC’s own mirror verse), Earth 4 (Charlton Comics, 1960’s- as introduced in the series), Earth S (Fawcet Comics – Captain Marvel/Shazam and the like), and Earth X (Quality Comics 1940-1955).

Another notable DC comic is The Watchmen. In the series, a group of super-powered vigilantes are forced to quit hero work after a police strike and subsequent government intervention. This comic and Frank Miller’s Batman: The Dark Knight Returns were both very influential comics of the grim and gritty style. Some argue that Watchmen defines the distinct beginning of the next comic age.


Modern Age or the Dark Age

The Modern age of comics is one of the most diverse comic eras with the increased consumption of indie comics as well as interest in international comics.

Antiheros held much more of the spotlight and were widely popular characters such as Cable, Spawn, and Venom.

During the early portion of this age, the use of gimmicks was highly exploited. What this means is that many times, comic publishers would create several different versions of the same comic cover, having common and gratuitous team ups (thus forcing readers to buy more copies to keep up with the story line), offering collectible cards or having the covers form a poster, or even holographic (i.e. shiny) printing on some comics marketed as “special” or “limited edition.” Many readers grew tired of these gimmicks but they were still a hallmark of the business model of comics in the 90’s.

During 1988, DC made headlines by killing off Jason Todd, the current Boy Wonder, Robin. The death was released in the comic A Death in the Family and was the result of a fan vote with Robin’s death being assured by a mere 72 votes. This attracted much media attention, some of it critical, but to this day it remains a very important part of the Batman lore and still has consequences in Gotham and the Bat-family.

In 1989, the cinematic world of comics began it’s success with the release of Batman. It began a marketing movement of appealing to older audiences, thus raising the age of readership. Also, This movie is one of the reason superhero movies retain such popularity today with such titles as Guardians of the Galaxy, Wonder Woman, and Spider-man Homecoming.

A very influential comic series was released in 1989 called Sandman and it ran for only 75 issues, and not for lack of sales but rather at the writer’s request. It was the flagship comic for DC’s very successful Vertigo line that was darker and for more mature audiences.

Todd McFarlane, a very popular artist, received permission to run his own spider-man series that quickly became a massive hit. The first edition alone sold over two million copies. This was in part due to the use of gimmicks with the fact that 9 different versions were released including a platinum version.

A year later, Marvel pulled similar success by letting the artist Rob Liefeld control the art and story of the X-Force comic. This also used the method of gimmick to increase sales bu having seven versions and some including one of 5 collectible cards. Later that year, Marvel would have similar success with the release of X-Men #1.

In 1992, Superman was killed by the villain Doomsday. It caused a lot of media attention and several characters to “replace” superman such as Superboy were brought in, but he was revived a mere seven issues later.

In 1992, several famous artists went off to form Image Comics due to the complaint that they were not given enough creative freedom with the characters. Image Comics is responsible for several popular comics such as Youngblood and Spawn.

After Image Comics was created other groups started forming such as Malibu and the illustrious Dark Horse Comics.

In 1994, DC attempted top resolve an excess of continuity errors caused by Crisis on Infinite Earths with the series Zero Hour. Straight continuity was established but sometimes there is still confusion with what did and didn’t happen in the comic-verse.

During the back end of the nineties, the gimmick bubble burst and caused many comics to reduce in readership and profitability. Marvel even had to file for bankruptcy protections. This was the result of readers not responding to the hype that gimmicks once drew as well as the fact that most comics were doing things just for shock value than actual progression of story lines.

The 2000’s and beyond were a series of missteps and successes for the cinematic superheros. There were large failures such as Elektra, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and Green Lantern *shudders*. However, we all know of the bright and shining successes such as the various Captain America Movies, the Massively successful Wonder Woman, and the sweet, sweet redemption of my favorite friendly neighborhood arachnid in Spider-man: Homecoming. In my personal opinion, Marvel has succeeded so far this decade more than any other comic company with their insanely lucrative cinematic universe as well as what they have done with their comics. She-Hulk in a kick-butt superhero AND lawyer, the A-force (a group of all-female avengers) was released, and Miles Morales is doing a great job being the first African American Spider-Man. Marvel has done well getting in tune with current social issues and change and has responded with with the reduction of female hyper-sexualization in comics, increased number and development of minority characters, as well as many other things. There are missteps however, such as accusations of white-washing the cast in Doctor Strange (which is largely based in Asian culture, lore, and setting) in addition to concerns about female cinematic characters receiving less roles and screen time or only being used as love interests.

DC currently still has a large fan base and its line of batman related comics are still well loved even if the movies are criticized. One of the current fan favorites is the interactions of the various members of the Bat-family such as Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Damian Wayne (my favorite Bat-son), Barbara Gordon, Cassandra Cain, Alfred Pennyworth, Pennyworth (not a butler, just a cat), Bat-dog, Bat-cow, and many others. Relatively recently, Damian Wayne (Bruce’s son with Talia al Ghul) drew media attention with his death but has been since revived.


Comic books and superheroes have found a new market in areas such as cinematic movies, original TV series (such as Netflix’s Defenders), and traditional comics and they don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. I can’t wait to see what comics will look like for the next generation, and I hope that they still keep advancing. Now, go out and read a comic. It is National Comic Book Day after all.

*not the combustible member of the Fantastic Four (which wasn’t created until years later) but a flaming android with the alias Jim Hammond.

Post by Ruth Duncan

Things Your Librarians Wish You Knew: Purchase Recommendations

Have you ever wondered how the library decides what to add to their collections?

Many items are added because patrons like you have given us input and suggestions.

Librarians are constantly keeping track of what the current reading trends are by keeping up with the reader populace and their demands. At a university library like ours, the librarians also keep tabs on the classes offered and what materials are needed for those classes.

Students, faculty, and staff can all submit requests for not only books, but also DVDs, CD-ROMs, E-Books, Sound Recordings, Video-On-Demand, and Blu-Ray.

However, keep in mind that a submitted suggestion doesn’t always guarantee purchase. We try to take all requests into account, but the library does have a yearly budget to follow!

To contribute the name of a title that you think the library needs to add to their collection, follow this link to submit a request!

Getting A Grip on Citations: Library Workshops!


We’ve got several workshops focused on citations coming up this fall! Whether you need help with MLA for scholarly papers or want to learn how to manage the new RefWorks interface, the library has something for you to discover.

Sometimes visual help (in the form of a book!) can be useful, too. Remember that if you’re struggling with MLA, APA, or Turabian, the library has these manuals. Just search the library catalog for these books at www.uu.edu/library, or ask a librarian for help finding them.

Preregistration is required for the library workshops. To preregister, go online and select which workshop you wish to attend. Click the link to start: https://tinyurl.com/UULibWorkshops.


*Library workshops are for current Union students & faculty only.

*If you are a student on the Germantown or Hendersonville campuses, you can preregister to stream an online version of the workshops: https://tinyurl.com/UULibWorkshops.


Come Visit The Research Desk!

Research Assistance (Books) - Fall 2017 (SM)

Need help finding that one pesky article? Looking for which Reference books to use for your paper?

Come by the library’s Research Desk, located on the first floor. Trained librarians are available to help you find what you need. You don’t need an appointment, but if you do want one, you can schedule to meet with a Research Coach on the library website. We’re happy to help!

Freshman Survival Guide


College can be a magical time where you make new friends, prepare for your career, and have the time of your life, but if you’re not careful, you can mess up in some pretty crucial ways. Freshman year is the time to figure out what you want and need to do. College is much different than high school (and even more different than home school), so rather than figure it out via trial and error, we’ve compiled a list of things we wish that we understood during our freshman year.


1) Don’t be a Hermit

We all remember the whirlwind exhaustion of welcome week, and chances are you probably made some good friends already, but you shouldn’t stop there! Never stop talking to people you don’t know. You may immediately hit it off or not, but you’ll never know until you try. Also, don’t be afraid to meet people from another department. You never know when your computer science or art major friend can help you out with things way out of your wheelhouse.


2) Love is Spelled S-A-L-E

Chances are, you are strapped for cash. It’s okay, we all get it, but that’s all the more reason to see what you can get for cheap or free. Shopping at stores like Aldi for groceries is a great use of your money because essentials like milk and eggs will be much cheaper than at stores like Kroger and Walmart. If you do go to Aldi, don’t forget to bring a quarter for the shopping cart as well as your own shopping bags. Stores like City Thrift, Plato’s Closet, and Goodwill are the places to go when it comes to cheap clothes. Also, your student ID is a magical thing. ALWAYS ask if the store has a student discount!


3) Sleep is your Best Friend

As anyone and everyone knows, some assignments are going to make you lose a little sleep. However, that’s no excuse to run on 3 hours of sleep on a consistent basis. Your mind and body does SO much better when you’ve gotten the proper amount of Zs. If you absolutely cannot get the sleep you need that night, then take naps to supplement. That is how I, the procrastinating art major, survived my freshman year. Most departments and lounges have couches or chairs you can crash on if you can’t make it to your dorm. I know for a fact that I personally have slept on the art loft couch, the graphics studio couch, the ceramics studio recliner, both couches in the honors lounge, a couch in the theater department, and a desk in the library so honestly, the sky is the limit.


4) Coffee is the Sweet, Sweet Nectar of Life (in Moderation)

Everybody has seen the jokes about the guy or gal who downed a big gulp cup full of espresso and red bull in order to finish his or her term paper in 3 hours, but don’t let yourself be that person. Coffee is great for helping you rise from the dead in the morning or giving you that 3 pm boost, but moderation is key. Some people are just more sensitive to caffeine. I, for one, am one of those people. During the stress of the semester, a half a cup of joe is usually my limit. If you have overdone it, don’t worry too much. You can run a mile or drink a tall glass of water or two to banish the caffeine jitters.


5) Keep an Eye Out in Cobo

It is all too easy to forget to watch what you eat in places like the Lex and Cobo (Brewer Dining Hall), but it’s important to keep watch. If you just eat tacos and pizza your body is going to make you regret it. Make sure to get regular helpings of greens and to watch your sugar intake. There is also too much of a good thing as well. Portion sizes help you not over-eat even when the dining hall offers all-you-can-eat waffles. You don’t have to eat salad every day, just be sure to watch what you pick up for lunch.


6) Don’t forget about the Wellness Center

Between sitting in class and doing homework, you are going to spend a LOT of time sitting down. You can combat lethargy, sluggishness, and just feeling icky by working out every once in a while. If you are not on a sports team it can be hard to find time, but you can always work it in somehow. I used to walk to Kroger from my dorm to get some steps in. Some other good options are walking on the trails behind campus, spending 30 minutes using equipment in the wellness center, or even taking up yoga or tai chi.

All in all, common sense and a little willpower will get you far. Just as long as you remember that just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should do it. Best of luck during this first semester. Let’s all make it a great one.

Post by Ruth Duncan

Team Member Updates

Over the summer, library team members Olivia Skelton and Jordan Sellers stepped into new roles.

Olivia became the new Circulation Manager. Previously she held the role of Evening Circulation Supervisor.

Jordan became a new Library Associate. Previously she had been a student assistant.

We are excited for this fall here at the library!

Back To School Story Time

back to school story time

Story Time for Union children is back! Faculty and staff, bring your children and grandchildren to The Logos for a back-to-school story time on September 9th.

Spotlight on the Large Lab


It’s spacious and quiet. It has a whiteboard wall, windows, and a printer. Its rows upon rows of computers have all been updated this summer.

What is it?

Welcome to the Large Lab!


The Large Lab is located on the library’s first floor, in the hallway just past the elevators and bathrooms, and is also called “Room 131.” It’s a prime place for quiet computer use. Recently, the IT department brought in new Dell computers for the Large Lab; each of the computers operates with Windows 10.

Union Faculty can reserve the Large Lab for special meetings or presentations through the library website. For example, several library workshops will be held in the Large Lab this fall! However, when not reserved, the Large Lab’s door remains open for students in need of study space. Take a seat in the Large Lab the next time you visit the library- there’s plenty of room!